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Thompson on Hollywood

Why Studios Raid Indies Like 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' Director David Lowery, Signed to Reinvent Disney's 'Pete's Dragon'

David Lowery, director of Sundance's buzzy Western "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," has been tapped by Disney to co-write with his producer Toby Halbrooks a reinvention of the Mouse House's classic family film, "Pete's Dragon." Reportedly it will not be a musical, as the 1977 original is, and at the moment Lowery has only been hired in a writing capacity.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • March 20, 2013 1:03 PM
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'Oz' Brings Riches, from Needed Boffo Box Office to Kunis Viral Breakout to Yet Another Sequel (VIDEO)

This weekend marks the watershed moment in 2013 when the box office will finally lift some boats around the nation's multiplexes. That's thanks to Disney's "Oz: the Great and Powerful," which is expected to deliver some $80 million, which means that other struggling movies in theaters such as "Jack the Giant Slayer" might actually reap some side benefits.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2013 1:04 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Disney Wants Kenneth Branagh to Take 'Cinderella' to the Ball

Actor-directors are in demand right now.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 1, 2013 12:49 PM
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Weekend Recap: 'Alice in Wonderland' Sequel, Heroine Complex Short Films, Depp's Don Quixote, What's Next for Refn, Cuaron and Abrams

Disney is making moves to follow up "Alice in Wonderland" with a sequel. The 3-D 2010 Tim Burton film, featuring Mia Wasikowska as Alice and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, grossed $1 billion worldwide. Variety reports that Disney has brought back scriptwriter Linda Woolverton, who also wrote "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King," to do the job.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • December 10, 2012 12:12 PM
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Disney Leads Annie Award Best Picture Nominees with 'Brave,' 'Frankenweenie' & 'Wreck-It Ralph'

Nominees for the 40th Annie Awards, recognizing the best in animation, have been announced. Between Pixar and the Walt Disney Studio branches, Disney secured three Best Picture nods for "Brave," "Frankenweenie" and "Wreck-It Ralph." Full list below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 3, 2012 2:04 PM
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Jennifer Lee to Co-Direct Disney's 'Frozen'; Women Helmers Still Minority in Animated Features

Disney has tapped Jennifer Lee to co-direct the studio's 53rd animated feature "Frozen" with Chris Buck. Lee contributed to the film's screenplay, and was also a co-writer on old-school-arcade box office hit "Wreck-It Ralph."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 29, 2012 2:58 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Saturday Box Office Preview: 'Wreck-It-Ralph' Leads Top Ten, 'Flight' Takes Off

"Wreck-It Ralph" started off with a non-holiday Friday gross of over $13 million--huge for an animated film--which is likely to be quadrupled for the weekend. After "Hotel Transylvania" owned October, "Ralph," from Disney Studios, is in position to dominate early November. With Thanksgiving ahead, it looks the crowd pleaser has a chance to be among the top animated releases of the year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 3, 2012 3:23 PM
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Disney Empire Strikes Back: As George Lucas Moves On, Disney Picks Up His Bay Area Lucasfilm for $4.05 Billion

Walt Disney Co. has made a major purchase-- following its earlier acquisition of Pixar and Marvel Entertainment-- by scooping up George Lucas's Bay Area LucasFilm for $4.05 billion. This means that Disney and its theme parks will now own future rights to Lucas's "Star Wars" franchise--in all its myriad forms.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 30, 2012 5:11 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Disney Gets Subversive with 'Wreck-It Ralph'

Disney's definitely back with "Wreck-It Ralph" (opening November 2). In fact, this unexpectedly witty and inventive videogame comedy/adventure is the surprise of the animation season and the Oscar wild card, although I haven't yet seen DreamWorks' "Rise of the Guardians," which also looks creatively bold and will likely be a major contender.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • October 26, 2012 4:28 PM
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'Mary Poppins' Origin Story 'Saving Mr. Banks,' Shooting with Hanks as Disney, Joins Backstage Hollywood Trend

Production on Disney's "Saving Mr. Banks," yet another behind-the-scenes Hollywood movie (see "Hitchcock," "The Girl," "My Week with Marilyn"), was well under way in Los Angeles last week when the news broke that scribe Kelly Marcel landed the coveted gig to adapt E.L. James erotic bestseller "Fifty Shades of Grey." This was not in Disney's marketing plan.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 12, 2012 2:21 PM
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  • 3 Comments

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