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Thompson on Hollywood

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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'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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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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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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Universal Picks 2013 Release Dates for Howard Racing Pic 'Rush,' Sci-Fi Epic 'Oblivion,' Del Toro's 'Mama'

Universal Pictures has solidified release dates on several 2013 openings including Ron Howard's latest, "Rush" (September 20), Guillermo del Toro thriller presentation "Mama" (January 18) and Tom Cruise sci-fi epic "Oblivion," which will move up from April 26 to April 19, 2013.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 12, 2012 6:41 PM
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Universal Preps for Change, from Meyer's Upstairs Move to Courting DreamWorks' Snider and Spielberg

Changes are under way at Universal Studios. And the LAT's revelation that studio president Ron Meyer will be heading into an advisory role at NBCUniversal prior to his retirement paves the way for new leadership. The longest- running studio chief in Hollywood has arranged his own graceful exit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 9, 2012 3:53 PM
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