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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: 'Lone Survivor' Is Peter Berg's Bid to Redeem Himself After 'Battleship'

Peter Berg directed "Battleship" for Universal Pictures so that he could direct the movie he cared about, "Lone Survivor," which he has been working on for five years. Universal is giving "Lone Survivor" an Oscar qualifying run on December 27 in advance of a January 14 wide release. Like "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty," it is based on a true story.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 16, 2013 3:46 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Universal Clocks Biggest Year Ever at International Box Office

Universal is having a very good year. As of August 12, the studio has raked in its biggest year ever at the international box office. Its grosses already total $1.8 billion on such global hits as action ensemble "Fast & Furious 6" ($544.4 million), animated comedy "Despicable Me 2" ($410 million) and Oscar-winning musical "Les Miserables" ($293 million), among other titles. "Fast & Furious" is outgrossing "Despicable Me 2" overseas, while Illumination's animated sequel should come in second to Disney/Marvel's "Iron Man 3" domestically.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • August 14, 2013 1:40 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Holiday Box Office: 'Despicable Me 2' Leads Strong Two-Day Total; 'Lone Ranger' Trails Distant Second

The Fourth of July holiday box office was dominated by Universal's "Despicable 2," which did just under half of the total business for the top 10 films for Wednesday (its opening day) and Thursday. Box office boomed for one of the best summer boosts above last year so far. The two-day take was around $130 million. The roughly $60 million total for Independence Day -- an uneven holiday with all the competing activities -- was record level, and in terms of total attendance (after adjusting for ticket price increases and surcharges) the best since 2007 (which saw the release of the first "Transformers").
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • July 5, 2013 3:47 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Oblivion' Hauls in Nearly Half of Friday's Top 10 Gross

With much of the nation's eyes glued to coverage of the Watertown manhunt (which ended after 9 p.m. E.D.T.), Universal's Tom Cruise-starrer "Oblivion" still managed a solid $13 million opening day gross (which includes early shows late Thursday night). The total for the Top 10 films for the day overall was around $29 million, down from $39 million last year and $32 million last week. Grosses for the rest of the weekend will likely improve with competition from real-time drama no longer a factor.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 20, 2013 4:17 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Guillermo Del Toro and 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Co-Writer Lucy Alibar Team for Universal's 'The Secret Garden'

Guillermo del Toro is a busy man with his hands in many pies. The latest project with his fingerprints on it has landed at Universal, reports Deadline. It's a new film version of Frances Hodgson Burnett's children's classic "The Secret Garden." (One of del Toro's two amigos, Alfonso Cuaron, did a lovely 1995 film version of the author's "The Little Princess.")
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 5, 2013 12:29 PM
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Focus Features Adds Kujawski to Sundance Acquisition Team

Universal Pictures is sending Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Peter Kujawski to the Sundance Film Festival, which starts Thursday, to search for film acquisitions for not only the studio but specialized film division Focus Features. The studio wants to centralize and streamline its global acquisitions efforts.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 16, 2013 1:59 PM
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Universal Pictures Pacts with Michael Eisner's Tornante Company

Old chums Ron Meyer and Michael Eisner have forged a longterm deal between Universal Pictures and The Tornante Company. The studio will distribute Tornante's fully financed feature films worldwide.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 13, 2012 1:24 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Universal Pictures International Picks Up Six Foreign Territories on Scorsese's 'Wolf of Wall Street'

Universal Pictures International (UPI) has acquired distribution rights in the U.K., Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Scandinavia to Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," produced and financed by Red Granite Pictures and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Paramount Pictures is the film's domestic distributor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 8, 2012 1:42 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Gods and Monsters (Mostly Monsters) at the Academy’s 'Universal's Legacy of Horror' Film Series

Good horror films have always been about more than surfeiting movie audiences with chills and thrills, as 100 years of Universal movies dramatically demonstrate. The Academy’s “Legacy of Horror” film series, which screens during October to celebrate Universal’s centennial is a warning to those who dare to create life (“The Bride of Frankenstein,” 1935) or extend it beyond death (“Dracula,” 1931) or to push science to extremes that should be unattainable, as Claude Rains discovers in “The Invisible Man” (1933).
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • October 8, 2012 12:45 PM
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'Snow White and the Hunstman' Star Claflin Confirmed for 'Hunger Games' But Will He Do SWATH Sequel?

Universal was originally planning a "Snow White and the Huntsman" sequel that would bring back both Kristen Stewart and director Rupert Sanders. The idea behind the first David Koepp script turned on doing more with the unresolved romantic triangle between Snow White (Stewart), the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and William (Sam Claflin).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 22, 2012 4:29 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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