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Thompson on Hollywood

DreamWorks' Katzenberg Packs Animated Pics with Celebs

James Sims reviews Nicole LaPorte's new book The Men Who Would Be King: An almost epic tale of moguls, movies, and a company called DreamWorks and agrees with me that of the founding troica, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, LaPorte gives the latter the worst appraisal of the three. While Katzenberg came off great just five years ago in James Stewart's book Disney War and in this year's hagiographic insider-documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty which covers the Katzenberg golden Disney years that yielded his career peak, the $700-million-grossing The Lion King, LaPorte and Sims are both more critical. Here's Sims:
  • By James Sims
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  • June 4, 2010 6:41 AM
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Weekend Box Office: Shrek 4 Stumbles, MacGruber Flops

In its fourth go-round, DreamWorks Animation's latest Shrek installment stumbled on its opening weekend, grossing an estimated $71.25 million, marking a probable end to the lucrative franchise. Anthony D'Alessandro does the numbers.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • May 23, 2010 4:32 AM
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  • 1 Comment

News Update: Grand Ole Opry Flooded, Spielberg Picks War Horse, Stone Tours South America

Flood damage to the Grand Ole Opry House was reportedly topic number one in the Nashville music community Monday. At least three feet of water encroached on the historic venue, whose stage is considered hallowed ground in country music. This weekend's shows have been relocated to the Ryman Auditorium downtown, an equally revered venue that fortunately was unaffected. Heavy rains and the rising waters of the Cumberland River devastated middle Tennessee over the weekend.
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • May 4, 2010 1:26 AM
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DreamWorks Tell-All Exposes Katzenberg Shrek Bail-Out

DreamWorks Tell-All Exposes Katzenberg Shrek Bail-Out
Ex-Variety reporter Nicole LaPorte, now writing for The Daily Beast, shares some of what she went through to write her new book about DreamWorks, The Men Who Would Be King. The problem: Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen --three very powerful Hollywood moguls---actively worked against LaPorte, refusing to grant interviews and lobbying others to do the same:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 30, 2010 2:59 AM
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  • 2 Comments

How to Train Your Dragon Unseats 3D Rival Alice in Wonderland

How to Train Your Dragon (Metascore 73 %) finally unseats holdover Alice in Wonderland at the weekend box office, reports TOH's Anthony D'Alessandro, with Hot Tub Time Machine (Tomatometer 63%) coming in third:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 28, 2010 4:09 AM
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Disney's Aviv Exits as Ross Relies on DreamWorks

Disney's Aviv Exits as Ross Relies on DreamWorks
It's deja vu all over again. A studio in management upheaval. A new studio head recruited from TV being directed to reinvent the wheel by a boss who is a film biz outsider.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 13, 2010 12:22 AM
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Trailer Watch: How to Train Your Dragon

While most folks would pick Pixar over Dreamworks animation any day, Jeffrey Katzenberg does know how to craft accessible commercial movies like Madagascar and Shrek (the fourth installment is in the works under live-action director Mike Mitchell). But I am hearing good buzz on How to Train Your Dragon, set in the world of the Vikings, which hits theaters March 10 in several 3-D formats, including IMAX. Some elements are familiar: our young hero proves his manhood by riding a flying banshee--er, dragon. (Slashfilm has doubts.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 1, 2010 12:05 AM
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Dreamworks Acquires WW I novel War Horse to Produce with Kennedy/Marshall

DreamWorks Studios has acquired the rights to the World War I adventure novel War Horse for Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Revel Guest to produce. Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) is writing the script. Written by children's author Michael Morpurgo and first published in 1982, War Horse tells the story from a boy's POV of being separated from his horse. The sentimental play, staged with puppet horses, has been a huge sellout family hit in London for the past two years. Spielberg believes the story has universal appeal.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2009 8:07 AM
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  • 1 Comment

ShoWest: DreamWorks Animation Goes 3D

The future is 3D, declared DreamWorks animation czar Jeffrey Katzenberg on Tuesday before showing the first piece of 3D footage created by DreamWorks--a redo of an entire scene from the upcoming 2D movie Kung Fu Panda in RealD. (Everyone seems to like these cool RealD glasses better than the clunkier Dolby ones.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 11, 2008 6:44 AM
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