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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Box Office: Battle: Los Angeles Grabs Men; Red Riding Hood is Soft

[Pictured: Red Riding Hood, Battle: Los Angeles, Jane Eyre]The action blockbuster trumped the tween fairy tale at the weekend box office, while Jane Eyre scored the best specialty opening of the year (see indieWIRE). Anthony D'Alessandro reports. Film details, reviews and trailers are below.A disaster film showed some fireworks at the weekend box office but not enough to make up for the damage many distributors have endured this year. Sony’s sci-fi invasion title Battle: Los Angeles easily secured $36 million at 3,417 theaters, showing that old tricks still work. Despite the gripes that this year has been plagued by bad movies and that the younger audience remains bored, Battle: Los Angeles, which is equal parts District 9 and 2012, proves that the masses are still suckers for formula.  The film is a win on several fronts: first, it’s a cheap mini-tentpole at $70 million. Second it’s critic-proof, bucking its 32% rotten rating for respective A and A- Cinemascores among the under 18-ers and under 25ers. Lastly, Battle: Los Angeles bested its $35 million estimate. I Am Number Four was projected to win No. 1 over the Feb. 18-20 frame, Hall Pass beat Gnomeo and Juliet in its opening and Rango was estimated to post $50-$70 million during its first sesh. 
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 13, 2011 7:23 AM
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  • 1 Comment

SXSW Day One: Early Buzz, Opener Source Code Plays Well

SXSW Day One: Early Buzz, Opener Source Code Plays Well
People keep telling me to see Ti West's horror flick The Innkeepers. So I'll check it out Saturday night. That's what film festivals do. They start buzz on a movie that few have seen or know anything about, and suddenly a career is born--or not.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 12, 2011 10:49 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Hunger Games Franchise Wants Lawrence for Lead

Jennifer Lawrence has been weighing her options since she garnered an Oscar nomination for Winter's Bone. (TOH's flip cam interview is here.) Producers Nina Jacobson, Jon Kilik and director Gary Ross, the filmmakers behind Lionsgate's promising book-to-film franchise, The Hunger Games (March 2012), have opted to go older for the key role of tough Katniss Everdeen, who fights for survival in a dystopian future, casting Lawrence over younger actresses Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld, reports Variety. Billy Ray adapted the Suzanne Collins novel.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 12, 2011 4:40 AM
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  • 16 Comments

Tarantino Programs New Beverly Cinema: Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair, Mazursky and Grindhouse

New Beverly Cinema's March schedule is programmed by the owner and birthday boy himself, Quentin Tarantino (he turns 48 on March 27). Take a look at a selection of what's he's chosen to screen this month, listed below. The complete schedule, which includes Paul Mazursky and Grindhouse Nights, Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair and much more is here. Many screenings are already sold out, so if you'd like to celebrate March Tarantino-style, act fast.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 11, 2011 9:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Jane Eyre Interviews, Western Revivals, Guide to Fairy Tales, Miral, Fandor, Finke

- Deadline Update: Why HBO Turned Down Keaton’s Tilda, Finke vs. Academy and The Wrap.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 11, 2011 8:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Battle: Los Angeles, Jane Eyre, Red Riding Hood, Certified Copy, Mars Needs Moms, Black Death

[Pictured: Red Riding Hood, Battle: Los Angeles, Jane Eyre]There is something for everyone this weekend. If you are somehow still in the mood for mass destruction, despite the tragedy that has befallen Japan, check out Battle: Los Angeles. More interested in classic love stories? Jane Eyre is Sin Nombre director Cary Fukunaga's smart retelling of Charlotte Bronte's gothic novel; Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy offers a complex investigation of originality, value and love ripe for post-screening debate. Red Riding Hood and Mars Needs Moms should keep younger audiences entertained for a few hours. Indies Black Death and Kill the Irishman provide ample violence and machismo. Film details, reviews and trailers are below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 11, 2011 8:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Abrams and Spielberg's Super 8

Paramount has released a full-length trailer for J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg's Super 8 (June 10). Here are seven reasons to be excited about the original 70s-set filmmaking thriller.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 11, 2011 2:53 AM
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Deadline Update: Why HBO Turned Down Keaton's Tilda, Finke vs. Academy and The Wrap

Deadline Update: Why HBO Turned Down Keaton's Tilda, Finke vs. Academy and The Wrap
You know that Nikki Finke was not happy when the HBO series Tilda bit the dust; Deadline announced the show's demise the Friday before the Oscars; the news was swiftly buried by Oscar weekend posts. While most HBO watchers probably don't care, many entertainment industry insiders and press were eagerly anticipating this half-hour comedy starring Diane Keaton as a power-hungry reclusive blogger loosely based on Finke (she was to be paid a modest fee but did not consult on the series). Ellen Page co-starred as her assistant, while Jason Patric played her arch-nemesis. Many had hoped that the behind-the-scenes Hollywood show would replace HBO's Entourage, whose final, 8th season runs this summer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 11, 2011 2:46 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Schnabel Talks MPAA Appeals Board Overturn of Miral's R-Rating UPDATED

Thursday the MPAA's ratings appeals board overturned Miral's R-rating for “some violent content including a sexual assault.” Weinstein Co. can now release Julian Schnabel's controversial Palestinian film on March 25 with a PG-13 rating for “thematic material, and some violent content including a sexual assault.” UPDATE: While the final cut filmmaker screened a cut that was 13-minutes shorter than the one that played the fall festival circuit (which drew mixed reviews), he did not make changes in the rape or cane-beating scenes that had earned the initial rating. Trims at the beginning and end of the film were designed to engage audiences with the characters, he told TOH. "I'm very pleased with the movie. Some battles you have to lose in order to win the war."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 10, 2011 9:33 AM
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Red Riding Hood Reviews: "Snoozy Lulluby," "Hokum at Best," "Generic," "Moon-faced and Dumb"

Red Riding Hood Reviews: "Snoozy Lulluby," "Hokum at Best," "Generic," "Moon-faced and Dumb"
IndieWIRE's Caryn James says that Red Riding Hood makes Twilight look good. You've been warned. Below, a round-up of reviews on Catherine Hardwicke's reinterpretation of the classic fairy tale, which has been told in various forms since the 14th century. This latest retelling didn't get the Disney PG treatment, nor does it have a male-friendly gothic-horror edge. It sits somewhere in-between: the femme teen zone. Check back Saturday for TOH's SXSW interview with Hardwicke. In the meantime, see what the critics are saying:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 10, 2011 7:12 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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