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Thompson on Hollywood

TIFF: Genre Films Sell in Toronto Buying Spree

As TIFF wound down, the weekend sale of Will Ferrell's $6 million dark comedy Everything Must Go to Lionsgate/Roadside marked a more frenetic Toronto sales market than last year, when many sales took months to close. Horror film Insidious also sold, to Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group, probably for 2011 Screen Gems release. "It's a genre distributor's wet dream," says IM Global's Stuart Ford, who wasn't worried about landing North American distribs for these and two more titles at Toronto this year--all were modestly-budgeted and pre-sold in foreign territories. "The market is still challenging, but healthier than it was a year ago. There's more supply and demand. While you're not seeing many movies sell on the spot, the stronger material is likely to find the right distribution home."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2010 5:16 AM
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Oscar Talk: Post-Toronto, 127 Hours, King's Speech, Social Network, I'm Still Here

In Contention's Kris Tapley and I talked in the same city for this week's Oscar Talk. He's seen Catfish and The Social Network; I saw a bunch of new movies in Venice and Toronto including I'm Still Here, Rabbit Hole, Beginners, and I Saw the Devil.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2010 2:41 AM
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Lionsgate Goes for Oscar Gold on Rabbit Hole, Starring Kidman

Lionsgate is diving back into the Oscar race--this is the studio that delivered the Oscar-winning Precious--by acquiring North American rights to John Cameron Mitchell's Rabbit Hole, starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest, which debuted in Toronto September 13. The movie, adapted by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire’s from his Pulitzer-prize-winning play, went over well with critics here. Kidman’s Blossom Films developed and produced the film, which tells the story of two parents grieving the loss of their four-year-old boy in an accident. It's a tour-de-force role for Kidman, who won the best actress Oscar for The Hours. An Oscar campaign was part of the deal negotiation.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2010 10:23 AM
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Toronto Update: Weinsteins and Sony on Buying Spree, Acquire Submarine, Insidious

On the Toronto acquisitions front, both The Weinstein Co. and Sony have been buying movies.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 15, 2010 3:44 AM
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Toronto vs. Venice: Who Got What?

Toronto vs. Venice: Who Got What?
The Toronto International Film Festival announced fifteen galas and 35 special presentations Tuesday morning, including 25 world premieres. Among the auteurs debuting their films at TIFF are Robert Redford (The Conspirator), Michael Winterbottom (The Trip), Guillaume Canet (Little White Lies), John Cameron Mitchell (Rabbit Hole), Mike Mills (Beginners), Tony Goldwyn (Conviction), Mark Romanek (Never Le Me Go), George Hickenlooper (Casino Jack) and Andrucha Waddington (Lope).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 27, 2010 6:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Crowe Equalizes, Cage and Kidman Trespass, Tempest First Look

- Russell Crowe is set to play Robert McCall in The Equalizer, the mysterious vigilante agent made famous by Edward Woodward in the 1980s TV show, reports the LAT. Crowe is also attached to Paul Haggis's The Next Three Days, in which his character's wife is wrongly accused of murder. Clearly, Crowe is drawn to characters that have something to fight for, with a few rough edges. The Equalizer currently lacks both a shooting script and a studio, so Crowe has time to brood over this character.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 16, 2010 2:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Why Australia is a Dud

Well, Australia's second-weekend drop indicates that it isn't doing well enough with adult audiences to ever make it into a success here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 7, 2008 9:03 AM
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Holiday Boxoffice: Four Christmases, Twilight, Australia

For once, women are dominating movie theaters. That's because there's more than enough for them to see. (OK, they're not going to see Transporter 3.) Usually, though, they're starved and I hope Hollywood takes the lessons of 2008 to heart, from Sex and the City and Mamma Mia! to Twilight and Australia, all movies designed to appeal to women. Lots of women.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 26, 2008 8:30 AM
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Jackman Talks Australia, Wolverine, Cleo

Hugh Jackman knows how to work a room.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2008 8:20 AM
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Comic-Con Wrap: Iron Man, Marvel, Hulk, Watchmen, Narnia, Golden Compass, Shoot 'Em Up

While Comic-Cons past have heralded the advent of such future blockbusters as 300 and Superman Returns, this year only Jon Favreau’s new Marvel entry starring Robert Downey, Jr. as the mighty Iron Man roused the fan hordes in the 6000-seat Hall H to rise up and give a standing O. The crowds also responded well to Pixar's Wall-E, from Finding Nemo creator Andrew Stanton, about a robot trash compactor left behind on earth, who is being "voiced" by sound wizard Ben Burtt, who created the whistle-language for Star Wars' R2D2.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 31, 2007 4:34 AM
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