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Thompson on Hollywood

In the Works: Eisenberg's Magician Heist Pic, Liman Meets Cooper for Luna, McCarthy's Home Movies

The Social Networks's Jesse Eisenberg will do magic for Summit Entertainment's Now You See Me, to be directed by Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans). Jake Gyllenhaal is being eyed to play the second lead and Melanie Laurent has been offered a role. The fun goes like this: A group of the world's top illusionists perform a series of bank heists during their performances and share the riches with their audiences. Of course, when the FBI gets word, the movie turns into a thriller. Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt wrote the script. Variety reports that Summit considered Colin Firth, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jim Carrey and Hugh Grant before settling on these younger men. While an Eisenberg/Gyllenhaal duo is appealing, a Firth/Cohen pairing is even sexier.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 8, 2011 8:26 AM
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Box Office Breaks Memorial Day Weekend Record, Hangover Part II Leads Holiday Surge

Box Office Breaks Memorial Day Weekend Record, Hangover Part II Leads Holiday Surge
The 2011 box office slump is a distant memory as summer hit full stride with two mighty Memorial Day Weekend sequels, The Hangover Part II and Kung Fu Panda 2. Anthony D'Alessandro reports.Grossing $118.1 million in four days, Warner Bros.’ The Hangover Part II wasn't a drunken delusion, but a Memorial Day box office record worth remembering. Like a cup of coffee after an evening’s stupor, Hangover 2 jolted this year’s under-25 set wide awake as they spent an estimated $280 million overall at the cinema this weekend –an all-time record that surpasses 2007’s $255.6 million and puts 2010's atrocious $192.7 million Memorial Day B.O. out of mind.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • May 29, 2011 2:42 AM
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Cannes: Paramount Screens Super 8 and Puss In Boots Footage, Kung Fu Panda 2

Cannes: Paramount Screens Super 8 and Puss In Boots Footage, Kung Fu Panda 2
Paramount's marketing co-chief Megan Colligan has been mulling taking advantage of the world press in attendance at Cannes for a sneak peak at J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg's Super 8. Now the studio has invited press to see 40 minutes of footage on Thursday, UPDATE: but it turns out that it's the same 20 minutes they showed to key press in New York and at the CinemaCon exhibitor convention in Las Vegas. Get your facts together people.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 10, 2011 10:31 AM
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Cannes Adds Kung Fu Panda 2, Pirates 4; Allen Controls Opener, Adds Baldwin to Rome Film

Cannes Adds Kung Fu Panda 2, Pirates 4; Allen Controls Opener, Adds Baldwin to Rome Film
No reviews of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, which does for the City of Light what Manhattan did for New York, will run ahead of its unveiling opening night at Cannes (6 PM Croisette time) on May 11. That means there will be no advance press screening that day. Much like the last Indiana Jones installment, Cannes critics will leap from their chairs to file ASAP. The press conference will take place the following day.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 12, 2011 5:41 AM
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CinemaCon Video: Hugh Jackman & Shawn Levy Talk Real Steel, The Wolverine

CinemaCon Video: Hugh Jackman & Shawn Levy Talk Real Steel, The Wolverine
At CinemaCon, CinemaBlend chats up Real Steel's director Shawn Levy (Date Night) and star Hugh Jackman on the futuristic boxing sci-fi drama. Jackman also talks about his training for The Wolverine, a character he's prepared to play "for the rest of his life." Disney's Real Steel hits theatres October 7.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 31, 2011 6:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments

CinemaCon Update: James Cameron, George Lucas, Jeff Katzenberg Talk Cinema's Digital Future

CinemaCon Update: James Cameron, George Lucas, Jeff Katzenberg Talk Cinema's Digital Future
Stunts, legendary studio executives and name auteurs with an eye on the digital future were de rigueur during Wednesday’s CinemaCon. Anthony D'Alessandro digests the latest news from Las Vegas. In a CinemaCon 3-D powwow with directors George Lucas, James Cameron and DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, the trio continued to tub-thump the visual format, while warning attendees that 3-D shouldn’t be used frivolously by the studios to pad grosses. Cameron soapboxed the same philosophy about wasteful 3-D pics that he has been vocalizing since last summer, when he attacked Weinstein Co.’s Piranha 3D. The Wrap reported Cameron's lament: “I’m concerned about things that erode the market. Bad 3-D is one of them.” Haste leads to waste, Katzenberg further pointed out, using Warner Bros.' last-minute transformation of Clash of the Titans as an example. Good 3-D transformations take from six to eight months, not weeks.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 31, 2011 5:31 AM
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CinemaCon: DreamWorks and Disney/Pixar Previews, Fithian Pins B.O. Recovery Hopes on 3-D, Summer

CinemaCon: DreamWorks and Disney/Pixar Previews, Fithian Pins B.O. Recovery Hopes on 3-D, Summer
Here's a quick overview of news coming out of CinemaCon, the annual theater owners' convention in Las Vegas, from Anthony D'Alessandro: Following new MPAA Chairman Christopher Dodd’s speech Tuesday, National Association of Theatre Owners President and CEO John Fithian gave his State of the Industry address to CinemaCon attendees, insisting that all exhibitors must convert to digital. He also presented stats about the ever-expanding moviegoing audience--despite 2011’s low admissions. An astonishing 34 3-D films will unspool this year versus 2010's 25, Fithian said:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 30, 2011 8:09 AM
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CinemaCon: Paramount's Super 8 and China Hopes Buoy Depressed Exhibs

CinemaCon: Paramount's Super 8 and China Hopes Buoy Depressed Exhibs
CinemaCon, the annual exhibitor convention, is under way in Las Vegas, as studios show their summer reels in hopes of reviving theater owners' flagging spirits during a prolonged box office downturn. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 29, 2011 12:25 PM
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Oscar Watch: Inception Sweeps Visual Effects Awards with Four Wins, Dragon Beats Toy Story 3

Oscar Watch: Inception Sweeps Visual Effects Awards with Four Wins, Dragon Beats Toy Story 3
It's no surprise that Chris Nolan's Inception swept the 9th Visual Effects Society Awards with four wins including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture. The epic visual extravaganza is also expected to score the VFX and other technical awards on Oscar night February 27.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 2, 2011 3:39 AM
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Casting Watch: Duplass Joins Pine, Banks, Wilde in Welcome To The People; Odd Life of Timothy Green

- Alex Kurtzman is veering away from his writing roots (M:I 3, Transformers, Star Trek, Cowboys & Aliens) in his directorial debut, Welcome To The People (which he co-wrote with Jody Lambert and long-time writing partner Roberto Orci). In the DreamWorks drama, a young businessman (Chris Pine) loses his father and must deliver an inheritance to his long-lost alcoholic sister (Elizabeth Banks, who nabbed the role Hilary Swank wanted; Amy Adams passed). He discovers that his sister now has a volatile 12-year old son. Rather than deliver the money, Pine reaches out to his sister and nephew without revealing who he truly is. Olivia Wilde joins the cast as Pine's girlfriend, and Michelle Pfeiffer plays his mother. Actor-writer-director Mark Duplass (Cyrus) just signed on to play a neighbor and love interest for Banks' character. The film is set to roll this month.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 17, 2011 8:14 AM
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