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Thompson on Hollywood

Del Toro Exec Producing DreamWorks Feature Adaptation of Creepy Short Film: Alma

Guillermo del Toro, who executive produced Puss in Boots, will work again with DreamWorks Animation on Alma, another animated film based on a the popular short film (below) by Rodrigo Blaas. The former Pixar animator will also helm the feature, which is being written by Megan Holley (Sunshine Cleaning). Alma is adorable, but the vibe is wonderfully creepy--we hope (perhaps futilely) that DreamWorks keeps it that way--not to mention the gap in her teeth. A potential animated franchise with a female lead who isn't a princess? Yes, please, we need more of those!
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 31, 2011 6:35 AM
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Media Watch: Twitter Proves People Are Happiest on Weekends, Netflix vs. Amazon

Looking at a catalogue of real-time updates from Twitter, scientists at Cornell University were able to track mood changes throughout the day and week, and found confirmation of the obvious: people are happiest on their days off. Cornell University analyzed over 500 million Tweets from 2.4 million people, from 84 countries and using a computer program to look at words indicating positive or negative moods, found that positive attitudes peaked early in the morning and then again around midnight. Moods dipped in the middle of the workday and peaked on weekend mornings.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 30, 2011 6:19 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Spielberg's Tintin Opens in Europe First; Director Talks Robopocalypse, Lincoln

With the Tintin comics much more well-known in Europe than stateside, the plan was always to open the Peter Jackson/Steven Spielberg collaboration The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn overseas first, in late October, followed by a December holiday-friendly release in North America. (Trailer below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 29, 2011 5:38 AM
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Honor Roll: Producers Guild Recognizes Steven Spielberg

The Producers Guild of America will honor Steven Spielberg with the 2012 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures. The guild will bestow the producer, director, writer and Principal Partner of DreamWorks Studios with the award at the 23rd Annual Producers Guild ceremony on January 21st at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • September 21, 2011 5:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Rango Honored by Hollywood Film Festival

In a shrewd bit of Oscar positioning, Rango is the first non-Pixar film to receive The Hollywood Film Festival's animation award, which will be presented by Starz Entertainment at the 15th annual ceremony on Oct. 24 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The festival is deployed by many Oscar campaigners as a promotional event on the road to the Oscars.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 6, 2011 10:36 AM
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Oscar Watch: Mid-Year Top Animation Contenders in the Year of the Sequel

Oscar Watch: Mid-Year Top Animation Contenders in the Year of the Sequel
As we head into the fall awards season, Bill Desowitz looks at where the animation Oscar race is heading: it's so far a weak field The good news is that the Oscar race for best animated feature is wide open -- the widest, in fact, since Happy Feet beat Cars in 2006 (the last time Pixar lost the Oscar). And, lo and behold, here we are again with Happy Feet 2 competing against Cars 2 in the Year of the Sequel. Thanks to a new policy, a maximum of four films can now be nominated if 13-15 qualify. In the past, anything under 16 qualifiers meant three Oscar nominees. So expect either four or five nominees this Oscar season. The bad news, of course, is that there's a dearth of originality -- at least thus far. In fact, DreamWorks's Katzenberg told Fortune that it's the worst year for movies overall that he can remember.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • August 26, 2011 8:29 AM
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Oscar Watch: Critics, Academy, Men, Women: The Help vs. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Oscar Watch: Critics, Academy, Men, Women: The Help vs. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
It's not surprising where @spikelee falls on The Help. He's retweeting the articles that support his views, from indieWIRE's Eric Kohn to Michael Phillips in The Chicago Tribune. UPDATE: And The Association of Black Women Historians also disapproves.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 15, 2011 3:56 AM
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The Help: Mainstream Crowd-Pleaser, Not Oscar Contender

The Help: Mainstream Crowd-Pleaser, Not Oscar Contender
At the Academy premiere of The Help Tuesday night, DreamWorks' Stacey Snider, Participant's Jeff Skoll and Ricky Strauss, and Disney's Rich Ross presided over an industry unveiling that yielded plenty of tears and applause. The crowd was packed with Colleen Camp's Academy list, from producers Norman Lear, Laura Bickford and Larry Gordon to rising actor Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom). The movie is a mainstream crowd pleaser. Summit's Patrick Wachsberger is right to compare it to Driving Miss Daisy, in more ways than one, suggesting that it will perform similarly well overseas. And Ross was smart to demur when trade reporters asked him about the studio's Oscar strategy. It's wise to wait and see how it does.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 10, 2011 12:06 PM
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Comic-Con: DreamWorks' 3-D Fright Night, Vampires, Colin Farrell's Career & Underworld Awakening

Comic-Con: DreamWorks' 3-D Fright Night, Vampires, Colin Farrell's Career & Underworld Awakening
DreamWorks' Fright Night panel started off with more Twilight bashing as moderator Chris Gore called it the "badass blood-thirsty panel." True vampire fans aren't necessarily Twilight fans, it's clear. Underworld: Awakening screened footage (also in 3-D) before the Fright Night panel, with "Grandmother of Vampires" Kate Beckinsale (she gladly wears the title) talking about her "shiny bottom": no Twilight glitter. The moderator thanked her for appearing naked in the footage. And that's all we'll say about that franchise. Len Wiseman is also directing wife Beckinsale and Fright Night star Colin Farrell in Total Recall, along with Bryan Cranston, John Cho, Ethan Hawke and Bill Nighy.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 23, 2011 1:15 AM
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Spielberg & Abrams: Working Together On Super 8 Was "Crazy Good," What's Next

How was it working with Steven Spielberg on Super 8? "Crazy good," says director J.J. Abrams. "Working with Steven Spielberg was a dream, and I was kind of nervous about it because he was like a hero of mine since I was a kid." Will they work together again? Given how successful Super 8 should prove to be, their already longstanding relationship should continue. Back in February we listed 7 Reasons to be Excited About Super 8. They're still true, but the movie's even better than we'd hoped.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 9, 2011 8:17 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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