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Thompson on Hollywood

Box Office: Inception Beats Out Salt on Boffo Summer Weekend

Having already passed the $100-million mark, Inception and Leonardo DiCaprio beat out box office challenger Salt and Angelina Jolie this weekend, reports Anthony D'Alessandro. It was an embarrassment of riches at the weekend box office, as two films led by stars, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Inception and Angelina Jolie’s Salt, racked up $43.5 million and $36.5 million respectively.  Clearly both original pictures leaned on serious star power to launch their franchises, during a time when box office analysts have been questioning whether stars mean much these days. Inception had a remarkably small slip for a tentpole film of just 31%.  Typically an actioner will halve its ticket sales in its second frame, but Inception's complex plot inspires moviegoer debate--and lots of repeat business.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • July 25, 2010 4:26 AM
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  • 2 Comments

The Avengers Line-Up Wows Comic-Con: Downey, Jackson, Johansson, Ruffalo, Renner

The Avengers Line-Up Wows Comic-Con: Downey, Jackson, Johansson, Ruffalo, Renner
Iron Man star Robert Downey, Jr. took the podium at Hall H-- after the crowd of 6000 fans were duly wowed by Marvel Studios footage from Joe Johnston's Captain America, a 40s period origin myth starring Chris Evans as the mighty hero and Hugo Weaving as Red Skull, and Kenneth Branagh's Thor, starring Australian Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Natalie Portman as an earthbound scientist. Downey then brought onto the dais The Avengers crew: Samuel L. Jackson and Nick Fury's two lieutenants, Clark Gregg and Scarlett Johansson, as well as Hemsworth, Evans, Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Mark Ruffalo, who is replacing Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/The Hulk (earlier the fans booed Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige for dumping Edward Norton).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 25, 2010 4:17 AM
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Comic-Con: Stabbing Over Seat Delays Universal Hall H Panel, Cowboys & Aliens

There were many delays in Hall H Saturday. One of them came around 4:45 PM when one over-wrought attendee stabbed another in the face, causing what the cops called a minor injury. Here's Variety's report. Six thousand movie fans stood in long lines to get into the packed Hall for the Warner Bros. panel that morning, which unveiled Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern and wowed the crowd with new footage of Part I of the Harry Potter finale.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 25, 2010 3:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Scott Pilgrim Rules the Con: Wright Talks

Scott Pilgrim Rules the Con: Wright Talks
The big question for Universal--which has certainly reached fans of Eisner-award-winning Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim vs. The World comics with its multiple promo activities at Comic-Con this weekend-- is whether this movie will cross over to a wider audience.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 24, 2010 6:18 AM
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Fifth Dragon Tattoo Actress is Seydoux; Fincher Goes Goony at Con

The mystery French actress who is one of the five contenders for the role of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is rising starlet Lea Seydoux. European is good--she may be more fearless about showing her body.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 24, 2010 5:22 AM
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Indies at Comic-Con: Eisner's A Contract with God

Indies at Comic-Con: Eisner's A Contract with God
At Comic-Con's Eisner Awards Friday night, writer-producer Darren Dean announced that he is adapting Will Eisner's graphic novel A Contract with God into an omnibus movie to be directed by four rising indie directors: San Francisco's Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy), New Yorkers Tze Chun (Children of Invention) and Alex Rivera (Sleep Dealer) and bi-coastal Sean Baker (Prince of Broadway, which he co-wrote with Dean).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 24, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Relativity Media's Kavanaugh Takes Over Overture, Becomes Studio Boss

Skeptics of Relativity Media's Ryan Kavanaugh will have to admit that the aggressively ambitious 35-year-old Hollywood upstart is serious about turning his financing operation (he puts up the money for three-quarters of the movies made by Sony and Universal) into a real studio. After six years, the red-haired Wall street operator, who lost his venture capital firm during the 2001 market bust, has earned mogul status with the purchase from Starz of the distribution and marketing staff of Overture Films, which had been on the sales block and recently lost its top two execs, Chris McGurk and Danny Rosett.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 24, 2010 1:00 AM
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Comic-Con: Video and Art Round Up, Del Toro's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Check out some of new trailers and teaser clips revealed at the Con. Here's a compilation of visuals for Tron: Legacy, Megamind, RED, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Johnnie Depp made an amusing video appearance at the Disney panel Thursday, promoing the 3-D pursuit of the Fountain of Youth.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 23, 2010 9:08 AM
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Comic-Con Day One: Tron and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Travel is hell, from the American Airlines flight out of Logan that was canceled--after three hours on the tarmac spent entertaining a cranky one-year-old--to the seventh circle of hell in San Diego known as Hotel Circle. I'm actually not staying there, but I always seem to wind up there in the middle of the night. I miraculously made it into Hall H in time for the Tron panel, and stayed there all day, ducking out to sit on the floor and try to recharge my laptop and BlackBerry, which were drained from my long travel stint. Thus I was rarely tweeting and lost one blog post when my computer expired, and failed to realize my Haunted Mansion story was in preview mode until this morning. Arrgh. A flock of journos fought over the one wall outlet near Hall H. The Wrap's Sharon Waxman stood on the side, plugged into the Hall H sound booth power strip. If you're willing to take the chance of not getting back into the Hall, there's a pleasant Wired Cafe. EW's Nicole Sperling files to her blog straight from her BlackBerry. Covering Comic-Con isn't for sissies. Thanks to Luke Thompson, filing for Deadline, for giving me a cereal bar yesterday.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 23, 2010 6:59 AM
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Betty Draper: Model Parent

For anyone needing to brush up on their parenting skills, Mad Men's Betty Draper (January Jones) sets a hell of an example. New York collects some choice bits:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 23, 2010 4:52 AM
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  • 1 Comment
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