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Howl Finds a Home, Will Smith Looks at Sequels, Live Baseball on PS3, Mags See Uptick

Thompson on Hollywood By Cameron Carlson | Thompson on Hollywood April 22, 2010 at 7:12AM

Adam Yauch's Oscilloscope Laboratories has finally acquired U.S. distribution for Sundance opener Howl. O-scope had three nominations at the last Oscars, so the Jeffrey Friedman/Rob Epstein Beat biopic adds a little wind to the distrib's sails. James Franco plays Allen Ginsberg in this historic evocation of the young poet's obscenity trial and off-beat lifestyle.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Adam Yauch's Oscilloscope Laboratories has finally acquired U.S. distribution for Sundance opener Howl. O-scope had three nominations at the last Oscars, so the Jeffrey Friedman/Rob Epstein Beat biopic adds a little wind to the distrib's sails. James Franco plays Allen Ginsberg in this historic evocation of the young poet's obscenity trial and off-beat lifestyle.

Franco's popularity is a plus, considering the movie's lukewarm response at Sundance. (Here's my Sundance report.) Some critics argued that the film explored too little of the Beat scene; here's the THR review. Howl will need more support from critics, but should find an audience among the sophisticated art-house crowd.

Major League Baseball has signed a deal to hook up PS3 with MLB.TV. Subscribers will be able to stream live games and replay archived material. No word yet if the service will be a Sony exclusive. Not to be outdone, Microsoft has announced its own "channel" for the 360. The battle for couch potatoes rages on. I look forward to watching hi-def Yankees on my new PS3, which I use for Blu-Ray viewing, Netflix streaming and Beatles Rock Band.

The brutal publishing economy has culled the glossy herd a tad: magazines are reporting an industry-wide gain since last year.

Michael Bay fans, at least, can rejoice. Will Smith might be making Bad Boys III and Men In Black 3-D.

Thompson on Hollywood

If Will Smith pulls this off, and another sequel to Independence Day, he'll ascend into box-office heaven and form a constellation in the shape of a dollar sign.

Could this sudden interest in sequels be the result of having (unusual for Smith) experienced an actual flop? Seven Pounds topped out at $167 million worldwide, compared to Hancock's $624 million.

[Cameron Carlson contributed to this report.]

This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Headliners, Studios, Daily Read, Marketing, Biopics, Will Smith, Sony/Screen Gems/Sony Pictures Classics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.