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Thompson on Hollywood

Laika Unveiling 'The Boxtrolls' at Venice

Laika. The people behind 2009's "Coraline" and 2012's "Paranorman" will soon make their return with "The Boxtrolls." Ahead of their September 26 release, Focus Features will have it premiere at this year's Venice International Film Festival, screening out of competition.
  • By Nick Newman
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  • July 24, 2014 9:37 PM
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As 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Heads Toward Release, Universal Is Calling Shots (FIRST LOOK)

As the movie version of the bestselling erotic novel "50 Shades of Grey" heads for release on February 13, 2015, the Focus Features marketing is starting to roll out. The sexy Interview cover and less provocative headshot of Jamie Dornan, the Northern Irish actor ("Once Upon a Time") finally cast as S & M master Christian Grey, were duly unveiled on Facebook.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 18, 2014 6:00 PM
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Ten Promising Projects to Watch for at the Cannes Market This Year

The Cannes Film Festival is open for business. Here are ten promising projects to look out for.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • May 14, 2014 4:01 PM
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  • 3 Comments

New Focus. Not the Same as Old Focus.

Brands and labels mean a lot in Hollywood. It's about building up the perception of value. How has MGM stayed in business all these years? So when a venerated label throws away its value it makes me crazy.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 2, 2014 1:11 PM
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First Look: Jeremy Renner Blows the Whistle on a Sprawling Conspiracy in 'Kill The Messenger'

Focus Features has set a release date for "Homeland" executive producer and director Michael Cuesta's upcoming conspiracy thriller "Kill The Messenger," starring Jeremy Renner.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • March 5, 2014 4:30 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Sundance Deal Tally: Who's Bought What? (Score Card UPDATED)

UPDATED: We continue to add to our ongoing deal tally out of Sundance (which wrapped January 26). While the buys haven't been high-end, they've been steady. So, who's bought what? A breakdown of companies and numbers of buys, below.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • February 5, 2014 1:57 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Sundance: Focus Features Nabs Zach Braff's Kickstarted 'Wish I Was Here'

Focus Features has scooped up North American and international rights to Zach Braff's "Wish I Was Here," which premiered January 18 at Sundance. The film is his follow-up to "Garden State," which he controversially Kickstarted, crowd-funding more than $3 million for the project.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • January 20, 2014 12:06 PM
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How Indies 'Dallas Buyers Club' and 'Out of the Furnace' Got Made: Relativity's Robbie Brenner Talks Bale, McConaughey and Leto

Relativity's Robbie Brenner backed two movies in the year-end awards derby, "Out of the Furnace" and "Dallas Buyers Club."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2013 7:20 PM
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Schlessel Reshapes Focus Features: Loses Karpen and Foley, Keeps Brody and Bowles (ANALYSIS)

The new CEO of Focus Features, Peter Schlessel, has wasted no time reconfiguring two distributors, FilmDistrict and Focus, into one. By insisting on shutting down the Focus New York branch, he lost several valuable executives including Focus COO Andrew Karpen, who was asked to stay on. Schlessel aims to broaden Focus by expanding its film slate to include a greater number of both specialty and wide-release genre fare. He's putting in charge of the company his key FilmDistrict execs, but leaving Focus production president Jeb Brody--who happens to have a key role in "Fifty Shades of Grey," in charge of that function.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2013 5:22 PM
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Focus Takes Rights to CIA Manhunt Thriller 'Circle of Treason,' on the Capture of Traitor Aldrich Ames

Focus Features has nabbed screen rights to Sandra Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille's "Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed." In the book, the authors describe systematically hunting down America's most notorious traitor, all the while pushing up against the CIA's institutionalized sexism.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 7, 2013 12:47 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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