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Thompson on Hollywood

Box Office Top Ten: 'The Butler,' 'We're the Millers' Lead Solid Late Summer Weekend; 'Mortal Instruments' Another Sony Also-Ran

The end of season returns show that audiences can be satisfied with something beyond just the more hyped franchise entries that dominated most of the last few months, many of which failed to satisfy over a period when increased total grosses came with higher budgets. "The Butler" and "We're the Millers" -- both likely $100 million-plus pictures -- are significant August hits, with neither film considered typical summer fare.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 25, 2013 7:36 PM
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Zhang Ziyi In Talks for 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' Sequel, Legendary Fight Choreographer Yuen Woo Ping to Direct UPDATED

UPDATE: Zhang Ziyi ("The Grandmaster") is in talks to return as her character Jen Yu in flashback sequences for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon -- The Green Destiny," reports Entertainment Weekly. The Weinstein Co. is developing the sequel, which is penned by John Fusco ("Hidalgo"). Action star Michelle Yeoh is also on board, returning as Yu Shu Lien, with Donnie Yen set to play Silent Wolf. Legendary martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo Ping (whose choreography is on ravishing display in Wong Kar Wai's "The Grandmaster") will helm the film.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 21, 2013 12:38 PM
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Samuel L. Jackson Joins Martin Scorsese to Present Wong Kar Wai's 'The Grandmaster' UPDATED (Trailer)

UPDATE: Samuel L. Jackson is joining the previously announced Martin Scorsese in presenting Wong Kar Wai's upcoming kung fu film "The Grandmaster," deeming it "Martin Scorsese and Samuel L. Jackson Present 'The Grandmaster.'" The film hits theaters in limited release this weekend, and has a national roll-out on August 30, via the Weinstein Company.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • August 20, 2013 12:22 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Weinstein Company Makes Netflix Exclusive Subscription TV Service for its Theatrical Titles, Starting in 2016

Netflix and the Weinstein Company have announced a new multi-year licensing agreement, which will make Netflix the exclusive US subscription television service for first-run TWC films, starting in 2016.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • August 20, 2013 12:09 PM
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'The Butler' Close to 'The Help''s Opening Numbers; Holdovers 'We're the Millers' and 'Elysium' Beat Other Newcomers

"Lee Daniels' The Butler" delivered as a major number one success for The Weinstein Co., exceeding most predictions. But the overall weekend marked another summer disappointment. Three of this week's four openers fell from their Friday starts, showing bad word of mouth and lack of interest. "Kick-Ass 2" was supposed to compete for number one with "The Butler," but underperformed relative to expectations. "Jobs" and especially "Paranoia" (which didn't even make the top 10) were real bellyflops. The second weekend for both "We're the Millers" and "Elysium" outgrossed all newbies except for "The Butler."
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 18, 2013 1:36 PM
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Friday Box Office: 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' Cleans Up, Nothing Else Kicks Ass

At the Friday box office, "Lee Daniels' The Butler" rose above expectations position to score an easy top spot in what was predicted to be a close race for the weekend with poorly-reviewed "Kick-Ass 2" (Universal). The Weinstein Co.'s well-hyped historical epic benefited from the controversy over its title and strong marketing, powered by TV personality Oprah Winfrey, as well as overall favorable reviews. Two other new films, 'Jobs' (Open Road) and 'Paranoia' (Relativity) lagged far behind, demonstrating limited audience appeal.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 17, 2013 2:28 PM
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For Wong Kar-Wai's 'The Grandmaster,' Weinstein Plans Subtitled Wide Release, Oscar Campaign

Wong Kar-Wai's "The Grandmaster," now being officially presented by Martin Scorsese, is getting an ambitious release from the Weinstein Company, taking the chance that subtitles won't be a barrier in reaching a wider audience. They have not had much access to high-budget prestige martial arts films since Ang Lee's spectacular success with "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 15, 2013 4:29 PM
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Is Harvey Taking His Scissors to Korean Hit 'Snowpiercer'?

So far, the reviews for dystopian thriller "Snowpiercer" are raves. But that doesn't mean that Harvey Weinstein won't tinker with the Bong Joon-ho film before releasing it to the territories he controls, which are most of the English-speaking world. Australia trade reporter Don Groves reports that Weinstein is tangling with Bong over the final cut of his post-apocalyptic thriller, which is now 126 minutes long, "demanding Bong slash the running time by 20 minutes for the version to be released in TWC’s territories."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2013 12:59 PM
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  • 10 Comments

Harvey Weinstein Loses Tussle with Warners Over 'The Butler,' Makes Statement UPDATED (VIDEO)

In the end, Harvey Weinstein vs. Warner Bros. did not turn out well for The Weinstein Co., which as of Friday has been ordered by the MPAA to pay a $400,000 fine plus $150,000 in legal fees to the studio. According to one angry senior TWC exec, the company had received a go-ahead from the studio's distribution chief Dan Fellman--and done all the necessary legal work to clear the title, but permission was reneged. That's not what Warners says, however. They say that Weinstein needs to fulfill his legal paperwork like anyone else, and deny that the tussle is about "The Hobbit." "We may want to use the title someday," said one spokeswoman in Comic-Con.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • July 22, 2013 3:34 PM
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Trailer Watch: J.D. 'Salinger' Documentary Digs Into the Mystery of the Enigmatic Author

The first trailer for Shane Salerno's "Salinger" documentary has landed. The film, which was snapped up by the Weinstein Company in March, looks to a be an edge-of-your-seat portrait of the enigmatic, reclusive author of "The Catcher in the Rye." Salinger died in January 2010, and hadn't published a work since 1965.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 14, 2013 12:48 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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