Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Universal Replaces Schamus with Schlessel to Expand Focus Features Brand

Universal is under new management. And another specialty division bites the dust. I may be overstating it, but safe to say, the old Focus Features--a high-class specialty division with an eye for awards worthy content--is no more. Longtime Focus CEO and co-founder James Schamus, a New Yorker of discernment who managed to work within a major studio's financial expectations for 12 years, is finally leaving the specialty division.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • October 2, 2013 3:06 PM
  • |
  • 4 Comments

Festival Hits 'Prisoners,' 'Enough Said' and 'Rush' Post Strong Openings

Three film festival hits, "Prisoners" (Warner Bros.), "'Enough Said" (Fox Searchlight) and "Rush" (Universal) launched the parade of awards contenders at the fall box office. All three showed solid initial results. Wide release "Prisoners" easily took the #1 slot on Friday. Among the two limited platform openers Nicole Holofcener's romantic comedy "Enough Said," starring the James Gandolfini and Julia-Louis Dreyfuss, scored an upset by having a slightly better per screen average than Ron Howard's Formula One biofilm "Rush" in their New York/Los Angeles debuts.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
  • |
  • September 21, 2013 3:32 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

How to Make Sense of the Universal Shake-Up

It doesn't matter if you turn the studio around and score the number one summer market share. The firing of Universal co-chairman Adam Fogelson reminds us that what matters is whether or not your bosses like you. I remember seeing Adam Fogelson speak at CinemaCon a few years ago, when he was head of marketing at Universal. I thought he came off cocky. The man does not lack for confidence.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 12, 2013 10:36 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Universal Sets 2014 Release Date for James Brown Biopic 'Get On Up,' Starring Chadwick Boseman UPDATED

UPDATE: Universal has set an Oscar-friendly 2014 release date for its James Brown biopic, now titled "Get On Up," starring Chadwick Boseman ("42"). It will hit theaters on October 17 of next year.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • August 29, 2013 1:17 PM
  • |
  • 2 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
  • |
  • August 14, 2013 1:40 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Universal's Adam Fogelson Makes a Splash at CinemaCon

Universal Pictures chairman Adam Fogelson has been playing nice with national exhibitors ever since he tried to make "Tower Heist" available on VOD three weeks after the theatrical opening back in 2011. The exhibitors pushed back, and Fogelson backed off--for the moment.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 18, 2013 2:08 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

CinemaCon: Fithian Looks Back at 2012, Universal New Model Studio

Every year CinemaCon rolls out the $100 Million Reel; it's a tradition to remind the exhibitors of the movies that scored in their theaters. "Something for everyone" is the theme that rang out Tuesday. The 2012 boom, said NATO chief John Fithian and others, was about delivering a diversity of high quality product.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 17, 2013 11:12 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Spielberg's 'Jurassic Park' Releases in IMAX for First Time Ever on April 5

Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" sees its rerelease on April 15, and to coincide with its return to the big screen, the dinosaur flick will have a one-week, worldwide IMAX 3-D run. T-Rex will tower higher than ever before.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • January 9, 2013 12:32 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Weekend Recap: 'Only God Forgives' Teaser, Naomi Watts as Princess Di, Twenty-Somethings on 'Girls,' and HBO/Hulu Changes

Film Comment posted the "50 Best Undistributed Films of 2012," beginning with "Our Children" (Joachim Lafosse, Belgium/Luxembourg/France/Switzerland), followed by "Memories Look at Me" (Song Fang, China) and "First Cousin Once Removed" (Alan Berliner, U.S.). Read their full list here.
  • By Maggie Lange
  • |
  • January 7, 2013 3:08 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Zemeckis to Warm Up 'Death Becomes Her' at Bravo. Why?

NBCUniversal cable channel Bravo is set to remake Bob Zemeckis's 1992 Universal film "Death Becomes Her" as a one-hour TV movie. I am mystified as to why. Zemeckis, whose new deal is at Universal, will exec produce the drama along with Jack Rapke and Jackie Levine for producer Universal Cable Prods. and Lupara Prods., who will be looking for a writer, reports Variety.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • December 7, 2012 2:34 PM
  • |
  • 7 Comments

Email Updates