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Thompson on Hollywood

Hollywood Loves Brand Names Like Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

One producer pal is shopping a commercial adventure that happens to be an original script. And nobody's biting, because these days Hollywood is terrified of the original screenplay. Even though Avatar is the highest-grossing movie of all time, at this point you have to be James Cameron or Steven Spielberg to greenlight an original--unless it's a low-budget comedy. That's the last refuge of the original idea, because laughs always sell.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 20, 2010 2:27 AM
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Kick-Ass Takes Number One After All

For the second weekend in a row, the top two films were in such a neck-and-neck race that the Sunday box office estimates were turned around on Monday. So this weekend, Lionsgate's Kick-Ass, while not scoring the $20-30 million weekend some were forecasting, did win the weekend b.o. derby. UPDATE: According to Box Office Mojo, Thursday night numbers are included in the total.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 19, 2010 7:35 AM
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R.I.P. Dede Allen, One of Greatest Movie Editors Ever

We raised a glass to late editor Dede Allen at a Sunday brunch party given by author Cari Beauchamp, and talked about why Allen was such a big deal. Tim Appelo remembered that when John Hughes couldn't come up with an ending for Trains, Planes and Automobiles, he channelled Allen and flipped a few scenes around and constructed the perfect emotional pay-off for his movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 19, 2010 2:35 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Phillippe Shows Off Abs, Plays Pattinson on SNL

This magazine cover stopped me cold in the check-out line in the supermarket. I have always liked Ryan Phillippe as an actor, but he has never really broken out. He's a little too young and pretty. Many actors need to grow into their manhood, add a few face lines and gravitas before they're taken seriously. (Leonardo DiCaprio has finally grown out of his baby fat.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 18, 2010 7:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Dragon Trumps Kick-Ass

Picking up word-of-mouth as it continues to pull audiences, Paramount/DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon bested all comers at the weekend box office, kicking Kick-Ass to second place. TOH box office analyst Anthony D'Alessandro reports:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • April 18, 2010 4:34 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Kick-Ass Rides Buzz for OK Opening, Reveals Critics' Divide

Kick-Ass Rides Buzz for OK Opening, Reveals Critics' Divide
Controversy sells, and Lionsgate rode a swell of debate over the R-rated superhero action comedy Kick-Ass to a robust box office lead on Friday, an estimated $7.5 million in 3,065 runs. It may or may not make the $20 million opening benchmark some predicted; Date Night could wind up number one. This is the sort of movie that is banking on a core fan following--the folks that responded enthusiastically to early footage at Comic-Con last year--but needs to widen its appeal in order to really score. Lionsgate only invested $15 million to acquire it plus some $25 million in marketing, so it should come out ahead.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 17, 2010 5:04 AM
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You Don't Know Jack Trailer: Pacino, Sarandon, Goodman, Vaccaro, Huston

HBO is churning out movies that I want to see, including Barry Levinson's You Don't Know Jack: The Life and Deaths of Jack Kevorkian. Otherwise known as Dr. Death, Kevorkian went to jail on a murder charge for assisted suicide; he was released in 2007.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 17, 2010 2:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Video, TV, Trailers, HBO

Na'vi Morphing Stations Coming to a Theater Near You

If you liked the way Ben Stiller looked at the Oscars or the online make yourself into a Na'vi promo, then get thee to a participating Avatar morphing station. (In L.A. it starts April 16 at The Grove.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 16, 2010 12:38 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Movie Futures Exchange: Healthy Financing or Legalized Gambling?

Despite considerable opposition from the studios and their lobbying arm the MPAA, on Friday the Commodities Futures Trading Commission unanimously approved one of two box office futures exchanges. The question seems to be whether wagering on box office performance is a healthy way to raise film financing or a more sinister form of gambling that could lead to manipulation and abuse.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 16, 2010 9:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: Red Flag Opens 8: The Mormon Proposition in Thirteen Markets Day-and-Date with VOD

New distributor-on-the-block Red Flag Releasing--led by two ex-Warner Independent execs, Paul Federbush and Laura Kim--is embracing both the digital future and the theatrical past with its first release, the controversial hot-button Sundance doc 8: The Mormon Proposition.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 16, 2010 5:39 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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