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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Box Office: Femme Comedy Bridesmaids Rules New Openers

Weekend Box Office: Femme Comedy Bridesmaids Rules New Openers
Proving that a raunchy female comedy can be as potent at the box office as those for males, producer Judd Apatow's Bridesmaids led the field of new openers. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:A gaggle of satin-pink clad Bridesmaids were powerless against upsetting Thor’s $34.5 million hold at No. 1, but their gross-out shenanigans propelled female moviegoers to shell out $24.4 million this weekend, exceeding the studio's $15-$17 million estimate. Despite much PR fanfare and red band trailers exclaiming that R-rated Bridesmaids is the female Hangover, it didn't reach that level of box office, coming in under that film’s $45 million opening.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • May 15, 2011 5:15 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Cannes: Jolie's Directing Debut Goes to FilmDistrict, Which Also Buys Looper, Starring Willis

Angelina Jolie isn't just coming to Cannes in support of partner Brad Pitt, who stars in Monday's debut of Terrence Malick's long-awaited The Tree of Life. She is also in the market to sell her debut as a director, the Bosnian war film In The Land of Blood and Honey. FilmDistrict, which has enjoyed a torrid three days of intense dealmaking, has picked up the Graham King production for December 23 domestic release the English-language version of the writer-director's film. Which makes sense, as King owns FilmDistrict. Bob Berney will mount a limited release holiday campaign for the film, which features local Bosnian talent, not Jolie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 15, 2011 4:35 AM
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Cannes Review: Why is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in Fest?

Cannes Review: Why is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in Fest?
What motivates a groggy, jet-lagged scribe to crawl out of bed for an 8:30 AM press screening of Pirates of the Caribbean? Schadenfreude. The word on the Croisette was that the fourth Pirates installment was lousy. Safe to say I wasn't expecting to have a good time. (I didn't even see Number Three, even though it boasted Chow Yun-Fat.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 14, 2011 10:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes Director Preview: Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne

Cannes Director Preview: Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Here's the second in our continuing series of Cannes director profiles.Country: Belgium
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • May 14, 2011 3:56 AM
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Cannes Update: Trabalahar Cansa (Hard Labor), Poliss, Puzzle of a Downfall Child

Cannes Update: Trabalahar Cansa (Hard Labor), Poliss, Puzzle of a Downfall Child
Two out of the three Cannes films that Simon Abrams reviews here may never be screened for stateside art-house audiences. But one is a must-see for everyone, he writes:The restored print of Puzzle of a Downfall Child, Panic in Needle Park director Jerry Schatzberg’s 1970 debut feature, is a must-see. Cannes director Thierry Fremaux introduced the screening of Puzzle, whose star, Cannes festival poster girl Faye Dunaway, attended tonight’s screening along with Schatzberg. The film is a knockout psychodrama about the inner life of a reclusive fashion model (Dunaway) and her doomed romances with men ranging from a wealthy and obnoxious playboy (Roy Scheider) to a modest photographer (Barry Primus). If the Criterion Collection or another equally important cultural institution (perhaps the Film Society at Lincoln Center) can give Puzzle’s impeccable new print a premiere or a release, the film could find an audience.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • May 14, 2011 3:38 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Emmy Watch: Fringe's Anna Torv Talks Seeing Double

Emmy Watch: Fringe's Anna Torv Talks Seeing Double
Can J.J.Abrams' sci-fi Fringe earn serious Emmy love? Amy Dawes talks to the series' Aussie star Anna Torv.Fringe, the creepy, suspenseful sci-fi series created by J.J. Abrams for Fox, has come into its own in season three. Once derided as an X-Files rip-off, it’s entered mind-bending new territory by introducing a parallel universe known as “Over There.” It now focuses on the struggles between its three main characters – noted fringe scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble), his acerbic son Peter (Joshua Jackson), and FBI investigator Olivia (Anna Torv) – and their sinister doppelgangers.
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • May 13, 2011 8:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Cannes Director Preview: Nanni Moretti

Cannes Director Preview: Nanni Moretti
Cannes may be the festival d'auteurs, but more and more these days, with fewer foreign films reaching stateside art houses, many filmgoers don't know much about the top filmmakers around the world. Nanni Moretti, known as the Italian Woody Allen because he writes, directs and acts in his films, which range from the dramatic to the hilariously self-referential, is debuting his latest, Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope) Friday in the Cannes competition. Here's a quick profile of the filmmaker by Simon Abrams: Country: Italy
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • May 13, 2011 5:53 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: Bridesmaids, Priest, Hesher, L'Amour Fou, Jack Cardiff, Topp Twins, Skateland

Can Bridesmaids win the box office? It's being hailed by many as The Hangover for women, and Part II of that franchise doesn't arrive until May 26, so this women's comedy -- which The Playlist calls "Hilarious and Heartfelt" -- stands a chance at beating Priest and other new arrivals, but will have a hard time knocking Thor and Fast Five off their box office pedestals.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 13, 2011 3:18 AM
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Cannes Update: Sony Pictures Classics Buys Israeli Footnote, Wettest County in Play

My inside-tipster on the Cannes competition told me to check out the Israeli entry from Oscar-nominated Beaufort director Joseph Cedar, Footnote (Hearat Shulayim), for which Sony Pictures Classics acquired North American and Latin rights before it screened Friday night. The comedic family drama, about rival father-son academics, aroused slight applause from the media. Cedar studied at the University of Jerusalem and NYU Film School. (Trailer is below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 13, 2011 3:16 AM
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Cannes: Weinstein Co. on Buying Spree, Acquires Iron Lady, Starring Streep as Thatcher

The Weinstein Co. is on a Cannes buying spree. Having acquired distribution rights to The Artist and Wu Xia, they have now picked up US rights for under $7 million from Pathe International to market title The Iron Lady, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and starring Meryl Streep (star of Lloyd's Momma Mia!) and Jim Broadbent as UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher and her husband, Denis.Thatcher broke gender and class barriers to rise to power as Britain’s Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. The distrib is hosting several celebratory Croisette parties Friday.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 13, 2011 2:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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