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Thompson on Hollywood

Career Watch: Can Depp Transcend His Rep for Onscreen Quirk?

For most actors, playing a cyber-age Dr. Frankenstein whose consciousness is converted into an artificial-intelligence experiment that threatens humankind would be considered a rather unusual role. But casting Johnny Depp as a mad scientist in the just-opened sci-fi thriller “Transcendence”? It barely registers a ripple on his scale of bizarre characters.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • April 21, 2014 6:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Woody Allen Propels 'Fading Gigolo' to Strong Second-Best Limited Opening of 2014

In the specialty world, strong grosses follow critical reaction most of the time. When distributors fear reviews, they often avoid narrow two-city, high-profile openings, going broader or even heading straight for video on demand. Millennium Films, despite mixed reactions to the "Fading Gigolo" premiere at Toronto, committed to a high-end New York/Los Angeles debut for the John Turturro film starring (but not directed by) Woody Allen, along with a wide advance screening program and significant marketing expenditures. The surprise result is the second-best limited opener of the year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 20, 2014 8:57 PM
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  • 4 Comments

'Captain America' Tops Box Office Top Ten for Third Week as Depp's 'Transcendence' Flops

This Easter weekend three religious-themed films made the Top 10, led by new opener "Heaven Is for Real" (Sony) which barely missed taking the #2 spot despite playing in more than 1,000 fewer screens than the box office leaders. This unheralded low-budget effort reinforces the most significant trend of 2014 so far: faith-based films nabbing substantial audiences.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 20, 2014 1:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Once in a Lifetime 'The Hateful Eight' Live Read with "Tarantino superstars!"

"These are the Tarantino superstars!" the writer-director cried. The audience roared to its feet as already announced Tarantino regular Samuel L. Jackson strode onto the stage, script tucked under his arm, all in black with a black straw hat and a cigarette. He dominated the proceedings as a pipe-smoking "bald Lee Van Cleef type," ex-Cavalry major Marquis Warren, who enjoyed fighting for the Union and wiping out "white southern crackers," but now functions as a bounty hunter who prefers to bring in his quarry dead rather than alive.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 20, 2014 6:19 AM
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  • 12 Comments

Friday Box Office: Sequels Beat New Entries, Faith-Based 'Heaven' Is Strong, 'Transcendence' Starts off Weak

Easter Weekend, with its Friday school holiday, is usually an appealing date for new releases, and the studios came through with four debuts. Despite that, two holdover films, both sequels, came in #1 and #2 yesterday, with "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (Buena Vista) and "Rio 2" (20th Century Fox), at $9.6 and $9.2 respectively, leading the way.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 19, 2014 3:48 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Best of the Week: Pfister and Depp Interviews, Jon Hamm Career Watch, Women Screenwriters and More

The top stories of the week from TOH!
  • By TOH!
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  • April 19, 2014 2:45 PM
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Who Should Play Garbo and Dietrich?

A new project financed by billionaire scion Megan Ellison looks into the love affairs of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. Some have long fantasized that they loved each other, but they claimed never to have met. Who should play them in a new TV series?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 18, 2014 9:11 PM
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  • 7 Comments

Pick Hit: Raunchy R-Rated Comedy 'Neighbors,' Starring Rogen, Byrne & Efron, that Even Critics Love (RED BAND TRAILER)

Universal Pictures smartly debuted "Neighbors," a raunchy, R-rated comedy starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron as the titular domestic warmongers, at SXSW 2014, where it picked up great word-of-mouth from festival-goers and critics alike. But the best thing in the movie is Rose Byrne. The films opens May 9. Read review, roundup and see Red Band trailer here.
  • By Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 18, 2014 5:17 PM
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  • 0 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: Five Chris Marker Classics and an Agnes Varda Miniseries Will Stream This Summer

Attention cinephiles: SundanceNOW Doc Club has a juicy slate of streaming titles coming up. This May, the online VOD service will present a fantastic array of films from experimental director Chris Marker. Then in June, SundanceNOW will also host the exclusive US premiere of French auteur Agnes Varda's TV miniseries "Agnes Varda From Here to There."
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 18, 2014 4:45 PM
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  • 0 Comments

WATCH: Trailer for 'Scandal' Star Tony Goldwyn's New Legal Drama 'The Divide'

Tony Goldwyn -- aka POTUS from "Scandal" -- has a new show in the works now that the most recent season of the guilty-pleasure series starring Kerry Washington has wrapped. But he won't be acting. He's writing and producing.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 18, 2014 4:40 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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