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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Box Office: Expendables Pulls Men, Eat Pray Love Gets Women

Both Sylvester Stallone and Julia Roberts marked their best openings in years with a boost from a raft of action stars in The Expendables and femme fans of the Elizabeth Gilbert bestseller Eat Pray Love, respectively. Comic-book youth film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World stumbled out of the starting gate. Anthony D'Alessandro does the numbers:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 15, 2010 4:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Eat Pray Love Early Review: A Shallow Guilty Pleasure

Eat Pray Love Early Review: A Shallow Guilty Pleasure
Ryan Murphy's film adaptation of Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller about the divorced New Yorker's lone odyssey to Italy, India and Bali in search of meaning in her life, delivers an escapist Julia Roberts romance and exotic travelogue. But its pleasures are guilty and skin-deep.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2010 7:23 AM
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  • 9 Comments

September Issues Star Women in 40s, Witherspoon's Peggy Lee Biopic, Casting Hunger Games Franchise

- On the covers of this year's top September issues--the fattest and most important fashion magazines of the year--are established actresses in their 40s, who editors are counting on to sell as many magazines as possible. These glamour icons are out-dressing and out-charming their twenty-something and thirty-something peers (one exception is Vanity Fair's Lady Gaga cover). September Vogue (whose cover models' age average over the past year is the highest at 34.5) features Halle Berry (44 this weekend); Harper's Bazaar went with Jennifer Aniston (41); and Elle boasts Julia Roberts (42).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 10, 2010 5:29 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Directors Talk: Vaughn on Super-Hero Movies, Cameron on Avatar 2 and Oil, Murphy on Eat, Pray, Love

- Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Kick-Ass) tells Hero Complex that the quality control of super hero movies (which have been "mined to death") is "not what it's supposed to be." Vaughn jumped on the chance to do X-Men: First Class, because people are getting bored of the super-hero frenzy, which can't last forever. After producing, directing and co-writing Kick-Ass, a big budget superhero film is something Vaughn has always wanted to do - and an opportunity that may not be on offer again. He withdrew from the opportunity to direct the third X-Men installment (he didn't feel ready at the time), and it went to Brett Ratner. Now Vaughn says that he would have done a better job (100 times better to be exact). When X-Men: First Class comes out next summer, the box office will be crowded with protagonists in tights, like Captain America, Thor and Green Lantern - what Vaughn calls a too-crowded room.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 9, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Roberts Talks Eat Pray Love, Tucci Directs Streep, Galifianakis Comedies, Von Trier's Melancholia

- In this week's Eat Pray Love EW cover story, Julia Roberts reveals that she declined the option to have a spit bucket, preferring to actually eat all of the food during the Eat portion of the film set in Italy. The 7 to 10 pounds Roberts gained was exactly what her character needed to do before moving on to the praying and loving; an authentic rediscovery of her taste for life and abandonment of joyless eating (and living). As for Roberts' working relationship with director Ryan Murphy--a healthy one, since they're working together again --Roberts says "one of the things I love the most about Ryan is that he has a real legitimate answer for everything. There’s nothing that he hasn’t considered weeks before I’ve thought of the question."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 29, 2010 5:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Eat Pray Love and Salt Star Roberts and Jolie

Two leading ladies, two very different films. One puts Angelina Jolie through an identity crisis in Salt's neo-cold war atmosphere, the other stars Julia Roberts in a big-budget adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's bestseller, Eat, Pray, Love. Jolie and Roberts are two of the highest-earning, name-brand A-listers in the business. See the trailers below for these summer movies. Eat Pray Love could prove welcome summer programming for adults, especially women, while Jolie could inject an element of the unexpected in Salt, which was originally set to star Tom Cruise.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • July 7, 2010 9:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk Summer Edition: Pre-Cannes Season Survey

Oscar Talk Summer Edition: Pre-Cannes Season Survey
In Contention's Kris Tapley, refreshed after a sojourn from his labors, and I reconvene for a summer edition of Oscar Talk. We cover the lacklustre spring season, look forward to Cannes and the summer, and dissect Iron Man 2.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 8, 2010 5:13 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Duel: Yes, They're Fun, But Do Golden Globes Influence Oscar?

Oscar Duel: Yes, They're Fun, But Do Golden Globes Influence Oscar?
In this ongoing blog duel, Moviefone's resident Oscarologist Jack Mathews and I discuss the impact of the Golden Globes on the Oscar race. On Golden Globes nominations morning, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Robert Downey, Jr., Julia Roberts and Tobey Maguire were dancing on the ceiling. And Harvey Weinstein thought he had three sure-fire Oscar contenders with Nine, Inglourious Basterds and A Single Man. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2009 9:45 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Letter to the Studios: How Not to Market Adult Dramas

Here's the first of a series of pieces (which do not necessarily reflect my POV) by guest bloggers on various aspects of the entertainment industry. Now based in Nampa, Idaho, Mike Kaplan is a veteran filmmaker (Never Apologize) and marketer who has managed campaigns for Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey) and Robert Altman (Short Cuts) among others. More recently, please note, Kaplan helped to introduce Clive Owen to American audiences with the sleeper hit Croupier and You'll Sleep When I'm Dead. Here's his argument for how the studios are killing adult dramas--through misguided marketing. Kaplan came up in a film industry that made producing and marketing films for grown-ups its first priority. That is no longer the case.
  • By Mike Kaplan
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  • August 5, 2009 9:34 AM
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  • 15 Comments

Duplicity: What Happened?

While a recession-fueled box office boom is lifting most boats, one notable exception is Tony Gilroy's Duplicity, which boasted the earmarks of a commercial Hollywood vehicle--big budget, exotic locations, thriller genre, two sexy movie stars--but may have been too costly for what was really a smart-house play. (It earned strong reviews, but only $27 million so far.) Part of the problem: Universal paid Julia Roberts $20 million.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 2, 2009 5:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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