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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Box Office: Paranormal Activity 2 Scares Up $41.5 million, Hereafter Delivers Decent Bow

Paranormal Activity 2 outperformed expectations with a jaw-dropping $41.5 million estimated opening weekend, thanks to Paramount's innovative interactive marketing campaign (see spot below). The studio held the top two spots with the horror sequel and Jackass 3D, Anthony D'Alessandro reports. In fact, with less product clogging multiplexes, films with strong WOM are holding better than ever, from Secretariat to The Social Network. (Here's IW's indie b.o. report.)Paranormal Activity 2 conjured up masses of moviegoers this weekend: the Paramount horror-thriller howled a hearty $41.5 million at 3,216 sites, a marvelous opening that outstrips the $30-million bows of several Saw chapters and marks a record for a horror film, outstripping the $40.6 million minted by 2009’sFriday the 13th reboot. Overseas, the sequel also pulled in $22 million in 21 territories. As anticipated heading into the weekend, Paramount delivered a double whammy, as it grabbed the No. 2 spot with holdover Jackass 3D, firing up a solid $21.6 million, off 57% -- a typical drop for guy fare.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 24, 2010 4:20 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Di Bonaventura Sees Old People; Scores with Red

Di Bonaventura Sees Old People; Scores with Red
The beauty of success in the movie industry is that it often comes to people who zig when others zag, who have the balls to call something and fight for it. Recession times don't encourage risk-taking, so I am happy to report that producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has not given up the maverick streak encouraged by his bosses during his glory days running production at Warner Bros. (Training Day, Three Kings, The Matrix). Now a heavyweight producer at Paramount, Di Bonaventura (Transformers, Salt) saw the potential in the dark DC graphic novel Red--about a CIA agent who fights against the dying of the light the only way he knows how--and kept pushing to get it made. That involved trying and failing to get Warners (which has a deal with DC) to back it, extricating the title from DC and finding another financeer, which turned out to be Summit, whose production chief Eric Feig, another smart cookie, saw the gold in Twilight early on, and saw it in Red too.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2010 3:50 AM
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For Colored Girls Early Reviews are Mixed

For Colored Girls Early Reviews are Mixed
If you're serious about an Oscar campaign, you don't hesitate to show your movie. I have yet to see For Colored Girls, which is why Lionsgate's "award season push" for Tyler Perry's reach toward mainstream credibility reeks of a distributor making nice to a favorite house director. Nothing new, and totally understandable--Perry has made Lionsgate a ton of money.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 23, 2010 3:43 AM
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  • 19 Comments

Scorsese and DiCaprio: A Retrospective

As part of Paramount's Shutter Island awards campaign, the American Cinematheque is mounting a two-day (Nov. 13-14) retrospective of director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio's partnership, from Gangs of New York and The Aviator to The Departed and Shutter Island. All four films will screen and DiCaprio (in person) and Scorsese (via satellite) will participate in a conversation on November 14.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2010 9:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

The Hobbit's Cast, And A Good Day for New Zealand Cinema

While Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. deal with the issue of whether or not to shoot The Hobbit in New Zealand, the director has confirmed the casting of the film. (UPDATE: Video of Jackson and co-producer and co-writer Philippa Boyens' NZ TV interview below.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2010 8:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekly Wrap: Awards and Festivals, News, Media, Celebs

In the past week, TOH looked at Names That Rule in Moviesphere, considered Recycling at the Cinema [pictured: DiCaprio and Hall, potentials for Great Gatsby remake] and pondered the five things that went wrong with Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2010 7:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Creepy Countdown to Black Swan's Release

Can't wait to see Natalie Portman in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan? Count down the days to its December 3rd release at the film's new viral site IJustWantToBePerfect.com. Very creepy.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2010 6:55 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Rockwell Nails Conviction Role

Oscar Watch: Rockwell Nails Conviction Role
Sometimes, there comes a moment in a working actor's life where just the right role suddenly galvanizes awards attention. I've been tracking Sam Rockwell since he broke out at Sundance in 1996 with Tim DiCillo's Box of Moon Light. Rockwell has been knocking out great juicy performances ever since--often in smaller indie films such as George Clooney's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, or David Gordon Green's Snow Angels. He's also a stalwart supporting player in Frost/Nixon, The Green Mile and The Assassination of Jesse James, and hilarious in Galaxy Quest and Iron Man 2. He held his own opposite Mickey Rourke--not an easy thing to do. Jon Favreau rewarded Rockwell with a role in the upcoming sci-fi western Cowboys and Aliens. And Rockwell also held the screen against himself in the complex and moving BAFTA-winning sci-fi indie Moon, which generated serious Oscar talk last year--but didn't have a proper Oscar campaign behind it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 22, 2010 6:29 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Spielberg Takes On Robopocalypse

Steven Spielberg is committing to direct Daniel H. Wilson's futuristic novel Robopocalypse for DreamWorks. Spielberg plans to begin principal photography in January 2012 for release by Disney’s Touchstone in 2013. DreamWorks acquired the unpublished manuscript in November 2009; Drew Goddard adapted the dystopian story about a robot rebellion against humans. Doubleday plans to publish the novel in June 2011. Spielberg's next two films, War Horse (Touchstone) and The Adventures of Tintin (Sony/Paramount) are both coming out in December. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 22, 2010 6:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk: Animation, Directors, Michael Douglas, Wall Street, Alice in Wonderland, Fair Game

Oscar Talk: Animation, Directors, Michael Douglas, Wall Street, Alice in Wonderland, Fair Game
Kris Tapley of In Contention and I talk about some low-profile films that may not make it into the race--including Solitary Man, Welcome to the Rileys--and whether Michael Douglas has a chance. We rate the three strong Andrew Garfield performances of the year: Red Riding Trilogy, Never Let Me Go, The Social Network.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 22, 2010 3:52 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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