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Thompson on Hollywood

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

Watch: Johnny Depp in Eye Liner in 'The Lone Ranger' Trailer

One glance at this trailer for "The Lone Ranger" (July 3, 2013) and there's no need to announce that the remake comes from the filmmaking team behind "Pirates of the Caribbean." Per usual these days, Johnny Depp is in heavy character makeup as the brave and brilliant fool to his stalwart fair-haired companion (Armie Hammer).
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • October 3, 2012 11:32 AM
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Marketing Watch: 'Frankenweenie' E-Book Free on iTunes

Disney's promo materials on Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie" have been innovative and choice. Their latest offering is a content-rich e-book tie-in. "Frankenweenie: An Electrifying Book" provides a behind-the-scenes examination of the world of the original 1984 short film that inspired the upcoming feature length production. Here's our "Fantastic Fest" review of "Frankenweenie"; latest clips and featurette are here.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 24, 2012 12:15 PM
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Fantastic Fest Review: With ‘Frankenweenie,' Tim Burton Revives Pet Project, Returns to Form

"Frankenweenie" is probably Tim Burton’s best film in almost a decade, but that’s not much of a compliment. With his last five films, the filmmaker responsible for some of the most fun, mischievous and magical cinema of the past 25 years has settled into a disappointing routine of utterly safe “weirdness.”
  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • September 20, 2012 10:18 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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