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Thompson on Hollywood

Friday Box Office: 'Identity Thief' Outpaces Weak Pack

The good news: Universal's Melissa McCarthy comedy "Identity Thief" scored the best Friday gross of any film so far this year. Battling both a Northeastern blizzard-- which closed theaters across the most populated stretch of the country-- and inferior reviews, it easily surpassed the first-day gross for "Bridesmaids" (just under $8 million in May 2011), which, propelled by great word of mouth, stuck around for months to gross a total $169 million. The bad news: the rest of the box office.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 9, 2013 2:48 PM
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Berlin: Damon on Affleck’s ‘Rough Spot,’ 'Promised Land'’s Bomb, and Berlin’s Airport Debacle

At a press conference following the screening of his and Gus Van Sant’s "Promised Land" at the Berlinale today, Matt Damon was asked what the chances of Ben Affleck’s "Argo"winning the Academy Award, and if he was tired of talking about his friend and business partner. “His life is so interesting, I never get tired of talking about him,” said Damon with a smile. “He’s been on a roller coaster for the last fifteen years.”
  • By Tom Christie
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  • February 8, 2013 7:23 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Assessing the Production Design Oscar Race

If there is one word that best describes the five Oscar nominees for production design, it's upheaval. In "Anna Karenina," it's about the crumbling 19th-century Russian aristocracy. In "The Hobbit," Bilbo's comfortable life is turned upside down when Gandalf recruits him to help the dwarves take back their homeland. In "Les Misérables," the gritty adaptation of the celebrated musical evokes more of the political struggle to rid the inequality of 19th century France. In "Life of Pi," a boy endures a perilous spiritual journey alone on the ocean with a mysterious tiger. And in "Lincoln," the legendary 16th President struggles to end slavery and the Civil War and find peace of mind and his place in history.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 8, 2013 4:03 PM
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State of the Oscar Race, Reading the Oscar Nominees Lunch Tea Leaves (VIDEO)

As of Friday, February 8, Academy members can vote for the Oscars, right up to February 19. Many have already received their paper ballots, and three have anonymously revealed their votes to the LA Times. All they reveal is that this year, more than most, the race is wide open and hard to call. "It's the best collection of movies in 90 years," says Harvey Weinstein...
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 8, 2013 3:32 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Screenvision Unveils Pre-Show Featurette of Stars at Sundance in 2,300 Theaters

Screenvision has teamed with Starz and Vanity Fair to provide moviegoers with a look at Hollywood stars at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The featurette will screen as part of the pre-show in Screenvision's 2,300-strong theater network on February 8.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 8, 2013 2:25 PM
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Best of the Week: DGA and Art Directors Guild, Berlinale Opens with 'Grandmaster,' Weinstein Q&A and More

The best stories of the week from TOH!
  • By TOH!
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  • February 8, 2013 2:24 PM
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Berlin Market Roundup: New Adaptation from 'Terabithia' Author, Alba Stars in 'Weightless,' Dinklage in 'Long Way Home' and More

Westend Films is teaming with Bob Barney's new label Picturehouse for "The Great Gilly Project," the latest adaptation from "Bridge to Terabithia" author Katherine Paterson. Kathy Bates and Danny Glover are attached to star, while Stephen Herek ("101 Dalmations") is set to helm. The film centers on a wise-cracking foster child who meets her match in unconventional foster mom Maime Trottoer (Bates).
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • February 8, 2013 1:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Barbra Streisand Back in Director's Chair with Aldamisa International

Barbra Streisand has made a directing deal with production and sales company Aldamisa International. No word yet on the film, but reportedly Streisand is considering several projects.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 8, 2013 1:04 PM
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Weekend Preview: Good 'Side Effects,' 'Identity Thief' Steals Your Time, Praise for Foreign 'Lore' and 'Caesar Must Die'

Steven Soderbergh's pharma-thriller "Side Effects" hits theaters this weekend, starring Rooney Mara as a woman suffering a deleterious breakdown after her husband's release from prison. Critics are praising Soderbergh's film, his last big-screen entry before a self-imposed retirement from cinema. In limited release, the Taviani brothers' Italian Oscar entry, "Caesar Must Die," is a dreamlike docudrama on inmates at Rome's maximum-security Rebibbia prison.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 8, 2013 1:03 PM
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Oscar Talk: 'Argo' Wins DGA

On this week's Oscar Talk Podcast, Kris Tapley and I discuss the state of the race post-DGA win for "Argo," the Academy Nominees Luncheon, rank the animated shorts, and more. Kris is gung-ho all the way on "Argo," while I argue that in many categories including Best Picture and Director, this race is too close to call.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 8, 2013 12:00 PM
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