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Thompson on Hollywood

How Christian Berger Shot the Twin Horrors of Hungary's 'The Notebook' in CinemaScope

Janos Szasz's "The Notebook," last year's foreign Oscar film entry from Hungary, explores the dark side of inseparability among innocent yet cruel twin boys. And DP Christian Berger ("The White Ribbon"), who is now busy prepping Angelina Jolie's next directorial effort, "By the Sea," which will co-star the newly married Jolie and Brad Pitt, was immediately drawn to the brutal topic.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • August 29, 2014 2:01 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Maleficent' Crosses $700 Million Worldwide, Shining Jewel in Lackluster Summer

Disney's "Maleficent," which opened May 30, has topped $700 million worldwide, marking Jolie’s highest-grossing live action film of all time domestically, internationally and globally, as well as the highest grossing original film of 2014 worldwide. "Maleficent" is a shining jewel in a dull summer box office that has dipped 20 % so far. The year to date is down 6 %.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 22, 2014 2:49 PM
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  • 2 Comments

SCREEN TALK: Festival Updates, Fall Hopefuls, New Openers from Woody Allen to Zach Braff, Fox vs. Time Warner

David Fincher is back for the opening night of the New York Film Festival with Ben Affleck-starrer "Gone Girl." What folks really care about, says Indiewire's Eric Kohn on our sixth Screen Talk podcast (now on iTunes!) is that the opening night party is returning to Tavern on the Green. We talk about changes at various festivals, the movies that carry expectations as the fall award season gets under way, from Woody Allen to Zach Braff, and several movies coming out this weekend. We dig into Rupert Murdoch's attempted takeover of Time Warner.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 18, 2014 11:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment

'Transformers 4' Delivers Year's First $100-Million Weekend, Jolie's 'Maleficent' Passes $200 Million Domestic, 'Fault' Woodley's Second $100-Million Grosser

"Transformers: Age of Extinction" overcame the worst reviews of Michael Bay's career to deliver the summer's first $100 million weekend. The rest of the world came in just over double that at $201 million. With the World Cup having finished its intense initial round and little competition from new films either stateside or abroad, Paramount picked the perfect weekend for the return of the mighty Hasbro franchise.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 29, 2014 1:53 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Disney Adds Another Live-Action Remake, Following Success of 'Maleficent' (Cocteau TRAILER)

Well, this was inevitable, right? 'Maleficent' stomped through the box office last weekend, netting $70 million in U.S. receipts and another $100 million abroad. When a movie brings in money like that, the studio is bound to say: more, please.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • June 5, 2014 1:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Career Watch: Has 'Maleficent' Restored Angelina Jolie's Box Office Mojo?

Reviews were mixed. But for moviegoers, the $70 million opening for "Maleficent" -- an Angelina Jolie record -- for a rare female summer action adventure suggests that they were transfixed by the sight of the right actress in a perfect-fit role.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • June 2, 2014 6:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Jolie's 'Maleficent' Leads Box Office Top Ten with Strong Femme Appeal, Diaz's 'Other Woman' at $81 Million

Angelina Jolie is a huge movie star. Disney knows how to reach a broad family audience led by women. And beloved fairy tales sell. These are some of the lessons learned --yet again--by "Maleficent"'s magnificent $70 million opening, which dwarfed Seth MacFarlane's western spoof "A Million Ways to Die in the West," aimed squarely at the fickle young male demo, with $17 million.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 1, 2014 1:47 PM
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  • 3 Comments

This Weekend, Why 'Die in the West' When You Can Head to 'Night Moves' and 'Maleficent'? (TRAILERS)

Though critics are pooh-poohing the tawdry, toilet-humor antics of Seth MacFarlane's "Million Ways to Die in the West," Angelina Jolie in "Maleficent" promises to be a fun family time-suck, while the weekend's indies offer something more to chew on.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • May 30, 2014 8:09 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Director Robert Stromberg Talks 'Maleficent': Cutting Edge Virtual Cinema and Age-Old Emotional Storytelling

The path to directing from VFX and production design has certainly been a natural one for two-time Oscar winner Robert Stromberg ("Avatar," "Alice in Wonderland"). And after re-imagining Disney's iconic "Sleeping Beauty" with "Maleficent," he not only wants to continue directing but also explore new tech frontiers. In fact, Stromberg has formed his own virtual company, Hydra (in partnership with The Third Floor previs boutique and "Maleficent" production designer Dylan Cole), so he can be on the cutting edge of total cinematic immersion.so he can be on the cutting edge of total cinematic immersion.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • May 30, 2014 2:26 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Critics on 'Maleficent': Jolie Is Fierce and Film Looks Great, But Fairytale Wears Thin

First reviews have swooped in for "Maleficent," Disney's take on the "Sleeping Beauty" classic arch villain here played by a wickedly gorgeous Angelina Jolie, a ringer for the iconic character. Per critics, the news is good and bad. The film, helmed by Oscar-winning VFX artist Robert Stromberg making his directorial debut, is a suitably sumptuous visual feast. And Jolie kicks ass, clearly reveling in the role. But the message and story seem to have gotten muddled along the way, making reviewers wonder whether this fairytale is more regressive than revisionist.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 28, 2014 1:38 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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