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Thompson on Hollywood

American Film Market Guide: Key Players

As dealmakers converge at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, the international independent marketplace is not in great shape. The global film industry is still dealing with recession, drop-offs in DVD sales, rampant film piracy and the implosion of the North American indies. The major studios are better able to weather this turbulence than the indies, which have little margin for error.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • November 8, 2010 7:29 AM
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AFM Panels: Weinstein Loves iPad, Barber Talks MGM, Deconstructing Global Markets

The American Film Market is under way in Santa Monica. Here are ten things Anthony D'Alessandro learned at AFM panels.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • November 8, 2010 12:06 AM
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AFM Breaking News: FilmDistrict Acquires "Lockout"

In yet another deal at AFM, FilmDistrict continues its genre buying spree, acquiring all U.S. rights to sci-fi thriller Lockout, starring Guy Pearce (Memento) and Maggie Grace (Taken).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 7, 2010 11:21 AM
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AFM Breaking News: Weinstein Co. Nabs Rights to Bekmambetov's Contest Movie "Apollo 18"

Attendance is down at the American Film Market, but there are still buyers and sellers there, among them the Weinstein Co., which is announcing a pre-buy on sci-fi thriller Apollo 18, a moon-travel movie written by Brian Miller, who won a screenwriting contest mounted by producer Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), who has set Trevor Cawood to direct. Point is, many movies at AFM are wannabe projects that do not yet exist. Having a distributor in place helps to make a movie more bankable.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 7, 2010 10:46 AM
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Script Watch: Jessica Alba Disses Writers, Haggis Romantic Ensemble, Nemirovsky's "Suite Francaise"

- Some actors think that a script is irrelevant. According to Elle cover-girl Jessica Alba: “Good actors never use the script unless it’s amazing writing. All the good actors I’ve worked with, they all say whatever they want to say.” Which "good actors" could she be referring to? Her co-stars in Fantastic Four? The Killer Inside Me? Paul Walker in Into The Blue? She does offer a hint of self-awareness when she adds: "I know I haven’t been swimming in the deep end with some of the movies I’ve done. I wasn’t trying to. I knew what they were.” She co-stars with Ben Stiller in this Christmas' Little Fockers and intends to reinvent herself as the next Lucille Ball. Wonder if she'll just be making it up as she goes along?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 7, 2010 7:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: Animated "Megamind" Outsmarts R-rated Comedy "Due Date"

Marking a possible record-setting weekend at the box office, animated comedy Megamind lead a robust pack including raunchy comedy Due Date and yet another Tyler Perry hit, For Colored Girls, reports Anthony D'Alessandro. Among indie openers, Danny Boyle's 127 Hours soared in its limited debut.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • November 7, 2010 5:07 AM
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Bawdy Night at Britannia Awards with Bridges, Sheen, White, Nolan, Scotts

BAFTA LA's Britannia Awards is a fun night of Anglophilic pleasure, especially when wry wit Stephen Fry plays host. He likes doing the Britannias because there are only five awards, which keeps the proceedings short, he says. And everyone knows they're going to win; otherwise 80 percent of the nominees are disappointed, getting drunk in the bar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 7, 2010 1:16 AM
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Oscar Watch: European Film Awards Boost Polanski's "Ghost Writer"

Every bit of attention that makes Academy members stick a movie into their DVD player is a good thing. So Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer leading the European Film Awards with seven nominations (best film, director, screenplay, cinematography and actor Ewan McGregor) could boost an awards campaign. That is, if Summit wants to spend the money to mount one as they did last year with Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker. Well, they do, even though they released the well-reviewed $30-million Euro-funded The Ghost Writer last March to a modest $15.5 million gross (it did $47.7 million overseas).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 6, 2010 10:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Award Watch, Production News, Talking to Boyle and League

OSCARS & AWARDS: While Black Swan promotional endeavors impress, the Godard anti-Semitism issue clouds his Honorary Oscar. And as The Hollywood Reporter's new glossy weekly hits the stands with its Actress Roundtable (considered in this week's Oscar Talk), Variety shuffles its editorial deck. Awards are being given to Biutiful star Javier Bardem, The Kids Are All Right's Annette Bening, Cinema Eye helps to anoint award-season documentary frontrunners and Peter Weir's The Way Back kicks off the Museum of Tolerance Film Festival. The King's Speech, with a Gala screening Friday night as part of AFI Fest 2010, leads the Gurus 'o Gold poll along with star Colin Firth and Bening.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 6, 2010 3:57 AM
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The Actor-Musician Breed: From Gosling, Deschanel and Johansson to Crowe, Reeves and Bridges

Some musicians try to crossover into film (some successfully, others not), and some actors try to crossover into music (ditto). To earn commercial success in both arenas you usually need--more than actual talent in either department--to be accessible pop-star material. On the one hand are mainstream stars, from Jennifer Lopez to Justin Timberlake; on the other, artists like Ryan Gosling or Zoe Deschanel with a passion for genuine expression who don't seem to care if their side careers are successful or not.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 5, 2010 9:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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