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Thompson on Hollywood

Post-Oscar: Weinstein Co.'s Future Slate, PG-13 King's Speech

Post-Oscar: Weinstein Co.'s Future Slate, PG-13 King's Speech
The question for The Weinstein Co. post-Oscars: how will the company run going forward? Will Harvey Weinstein's restored Oscar mojo with The King's Speech's four Oscar wins unleash his voracious appetites (he has been in buying mode), or will he keep himself in line?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 25, 2011 6:14 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Trailer Watch: Working Man's Comedy Larry Crowne Stars Hanks and Roberts

Tom Hanks directs himself and Julia Roberts in blue-collar romantic comedy Larry Crowne (July 1). The script by Hanks and Nia Vardalos starts off with him getting fired, then taking a public speaking class at a local college taught by an uninspired Roberts. Yes, somehow, he wins her over.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 19, 2011 8:02 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Dueling Snow Whites: Kavanaugh Lands Roberts as Evil Queen

Relativity has landed Julia Roberts to star as the evil Queen in Tarsem Singh's untitled contemporary comedy adventure based on the Grimm fairy tale Snow White. The neophyte distrib starts principal photography in April with a planned June 29, 2012 release date, which puts it ahead in the race to start two rival Snow White projects. Charlize Theron is in talks to play the wicked Queen in Snow White and the Huntsman for Universal, which is negotiating to sign Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart. Meanwhile, The Playlist reports that Famke Jannsen is joining the Paramount fairy tale remake, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, starring Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 9, 2011 2:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: The Real Black Swan, Co-Host Franco Rehearses, Does Santa Barbara Q & A, Recites Byron

Never has one movie inspired more men to put on makeup and tights: see Johnny Knoxville at the Critics' Choice Awards and Jim Carrey on SNL, below. And here's the latest incarnation, The Real Black Swan: Lionsgate used Madea to promote Tyler Perry's latest, Madea's Big Happy Family (April 22).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 1, 2011 6:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Race Questions: Nomination Ballots Due January 14

Oscar Race Questions: Nomination Ballots Due January 14
There are several unknowns as we hurtle toward the end of balloting for Oscar nominations January 14. (Here's the schedule.) What we do know: the race for best picture is still between The King's Speech and The Social Network, the popular heart-tugger vs. the more cerebral critics' fave (see the votes at Gurus 'o Gold). Both sides are campaigning hard: both Weinstein Co. and Paramount are throwing Oscar parties this week. (My full Oscar Predicts Chart is here.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Beauty Watch: Theron vs. Roberts as Evil Queen, Portman and Cassel Talk about Women

Beauty Watch: Theron vs. Roberts as Evil Queen, Portman and Cassel Talk about Women
We've been tracking the rival Snow White projects since September, and the latest is that Charlize Theron and Julia Roberts are both being wooed to play (beautiful) Evil Queens. Theron is in negotiations for Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman, with director Rupert Sanders (Michael Fassbender is currently rumored to be in the lead for the Huntsman, and four unknowns for Snow White, including The Tempest's Felicity Jones), while Roberts is Relativity's choice for The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, to be directed by Tarsem Singh. No word on whether Natalie Portman is still Relativity's choice for Snow White, or if Disney's Snow and the Seven is still planned (our guess is no).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 14, 2010 5:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Rear-View: Youngest Best Actress Nominees

Oscar Rear-View: Youngest Best Actress Nominees
Film Experience has decided (sight unseen) that True Grit gal Hailee Steinfeld has Best Actress potential rather than the usual supporting-actress default accorded to young actresses. Why? In order to include her in their investigation of the youngest Best Actress nominees. Here is their list (winners are in bold):1. Keisha Castle Hughes, Whale Rider (2003) was 13.
(Wow, well would you look at this? Either Jennifer Lawrence or Steinfeld would become #2 if nominated for Best Actress.) 2. Isabelle Adjani, The Story of Adele H (1975) was 20. 3. Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice (2005) was 20 going on 21.  4. Ellen Page, Juno (2007) was about to turn 21. 5. Marlee Matlin, Children of a Lesser God (1986) was 21 (She's the youngest winner of all time in this category.) 6. Elizabeth Hartman, A Patch of Blue  (1965) was 22. 7. Kate Winslet, Titanic (1997) was 22 and 4 months. 8. Janet Gaynor, Seventh Heaven/Sunrise/Street Angel (1927/1928) was just a few days older than Winslet. 9. Leslie Caron, Lili (1953) was 22½ 10. TIE! Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman(1990) and Winona Ryder, Little Women (1994).
They were both 23 years and 108 days old when they were nominated. And here's another twin moment: it was the second nomination for both as they'd been previously honored in Best Supporting Actress.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 28, 2010 8:08 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Last Exorcism Over Takers in Summer Photo Finish

Two pictures vied for the top slot on the last slow dog-days-of-summer weekend. At press time it looked like Lionsgate's The Last Exorcism was beating out Sony/Screen Gems' Takers. Meanwhile holdovers The Expendables and Eat Pray Love hung onto slices of the top-five b.o. pie, reports Anthony D'Alessandro.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 29, 2010 4:28 AM
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Scott Pilgrim vs. Universal and the Matrix

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World's bottom line comes down to the same problem that has faced a long line of Universal projects. It was an indie movie that cost too much to be successful inside the studio paradigm and should have been produced and released on a smaller less ambitious scale at the studio's specialty division Focus Features, which could have nurtured it and sent it into the world on a more limited basis and built on the film's strong word-of-mouth from its narrow base. To them a $12 million gross would have been fine. To Universal, it's less than the film's marketing budget. (A funny mash-up of Scott Pilgrim vs. The Matrix is below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 23, 2010 11:37 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Box Office: Expendables Holds Off All New Takers on Weak Weekend

It's the dog days of August indeed as the mighty Expendables threw off all new challengers and cheapie Twilight parody Vampires Suck outperformed Eat Pray Love on its second go-round. Anthony D'Alessandro does the numbers. (UPDATED.)
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 22, 2010 4:26 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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