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Thompson on Hollywood

Gender Watch: Uphill Battle for Heroines in the Marketplace, From True Grit to Sucker Punch

It's an uphill battle for teenage movie heroines these days, writes LAT's Rebecca Keegan, who argues that female protagonists traditionally "alienate" male audiences. But things are looking up with True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld and Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone. They are:"…the product of a film industry in which young women are infiltrating traditionally male genres like action films; female directors and producers are wielding increasing creative influence, and the culture is moving from a sexed-up, dumbed-down model of female adolescence to one marked by smarts, strength and scrap."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 10, 2011 9:07 AM
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  • 2 Comments

True Grit Surges Past $100 Million at Sleepy Box Office; Cage and Paltrow Pics Are Soft

On its third go-round, True Grit surged on momentum and strong word-of-mouth to finally beat comedy sequel Little Fockers. The Oscar-buzzed Coen brothers western starring Jeff Bridges faced little or no competition, as many studio holiday entries collapsed. (See TOH's year-end box office wrap.) Anthony D'Alessandro reports:It was a ghost town at the cinema this weekend. Paramount’s True Grit continued to hang its B.O. high as it crossed the $100-million mark Sunday and pushed Universal’s family laffer Little Fockers to second place  ($13.8 million). Also falling short were two new wide entries, Relativity Media’s Nicolas Cage crusades actioner Season of the Witch ($10.7 million), and  Sony/Screen Gems' women's drama Country Strong ($7.3 million), starring Gwenyth Paltrow. Overall box office receipts totaled an estimated $114 million, off 29% from the same frame year ago when Avatar continued to be a phenomenon, grossing $50 million for the weekend.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • January 9, 2011 5:13 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Year-End Box Office Wrap 2010: Winners and Losers Chart, Warners Leads Domestic Market Share

Year-End Box Office Wrap 2010: Winners and Losers Chart, Warners Leads Domestic Market Share
It was feast or famine at the 2010 domestic box office. The studios spent too much on too many uber-flops, but thanks to holdover Avatar and premium 3-D ticket prices, they enjoyed their second-best year at the domestic box office with $10.46 billion, off less than 2% from 2009’s all-time haul of $10.6 billion. The theatrical buoyancy of 3-D inflated the average stub from $7.46 in 2009 to $7.85 in the third quarter (per the National Association of Theater Owners). But the real trend is worrisome: higher ticket prices plus static turnstiles equals fewer butts in seats. Admissions fell 6% from 1.42 billion in 2009 to 1.33 billion last year. 
  • By Anne Thompson and Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • January 7, 2011 9:10 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Dancers on Black Swan's Lesbian Action/Horror, Critiquing The Fighter, Exit Through The Gift Shop

Dancers on Black Swan's Lesbian Action/Horror, Critiquing The Fighter, Exit Through The Gift Shop
- It was inevitable that Black Swan would be divisive inside the ballet community. The Guardian pre-screened Black Swan for some of Britain's finest dancers. Here's a taste of their reactions:Tamara Rojo, The Royal Ballet: "I really have a problem with this film using an actress, not a dancer, to play Nina: the director seems to think that, in a few months, you can learn a profession that it takes years just to understand, let alone be good at. And in the film, Nina is supposed to be awesome."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 7, 2011 8:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Digital Viewing Transition: The Rise of Netflix

Digital Viewing Transition: The Rise of Netflix
In their excellent year-ahead discussion on KCRW's The Business, host Kim Masters and guests John Horn (the LAT) and Michael Schneider (Variety) agreed that 2011 marks a watershed year in the transition from traditional to digital viewing choices. They think the shift will come faster for movies than television. "The studios are burning along with huge overhead and a lot of movies that aren't working," says Masters, a confessed Luddite who defends theater-going.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2011 2:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Social Network Aims For $200 Million Worldwide; DVD Hits January 11

The Social Network Aims For $200 Million Worldwide; DVD Hits January 11
Five-hundred million friends? They're getting closer. With The Social Network edging toward the $200 million mark worldwide (so far its cume is $93 million domestic and $104 million overseas), Sony's putting it back in 600 theaters on January 7. And with Oscars in its sights, Thursday night, the film gets a PR boost from a DVD/Blu-Ray Oscar party promoing its January 11 homevideo release, with eight hours of DVD bonus features.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 5, 2011 8:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Coen Brothers Talk True Grit

The Coen Brothers Talk True Grit
As western True Grit has taken off as the surprise hit of the Christmas season (topping a field of weak contenders), and has emerged a strong awards contender (with recent PGA and WGA nods), the usually taciturn Joel and Ethan Coen are on the promo trail. Here's a taste of their sound bites from various interviews.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2011 6:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Underrated, Underdog and Misunderstood Films of 2010

Underrated, Underdog and Misunderstood Films of 2010
Who doesn't like an underdog? They're not asking to win the Oscar for Best Picture, but these under-appreciated films deserve to be seen by wider audiences than their box office numbers, critics or lack of awards talk would suggest. After the jump is a sampling of the worthy films singled out by The New York Times, The Atlantic, Moviefone, The Playlist and Associated Content. Our adds to your bucket list of films to watch when awards season is over (or now, if you're caught up) are:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 4, 2011 9:20 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Anticipating the Best of 2011: Malick, Spielberg, Scorsese, Fincher and More Sequels

- With 2010's disappointments behind us, The Daily Beast looks forward to the best prospects of 2011. They include The Hangover Part !! and The Muppets as well as Terrence Malick's The Tree of LIfe, which will be the among the first on the list (May 27) to go head-to-head with its own expectation-building anticipation. It's also the only completely original story on the TDB list.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 3, 2011 9:15 AM
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Holiday Wrap: Weak Box Office, True Grit Takes on Little Fockers, Black Swan, King's Speech Score

The box office continued tepid during what should have been a robust holiday period with North American families on vacation; it was down 26 percent from last year. For the year, the 2010 3-D-pumped domestic box office totaled $10.5 billion, down 0.3 percent from 2009's Avatar-inflated record of $10.6 billion. But the attendance stat provides a sobering reality check: attendance was down a whopping 5 percent: 1.34 billion against 1.41 billion in 2009. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2011 6:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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