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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Box Office: Megamind Slows Unstoppable; Morning Glory Stalls in Fourth Place

Mighty Megamind held off all takers with an estimated $30-million on its second weekend, while well-reviewed Denzel Washington actioner Unstoppable followed behind with $23.5 million, and newsroom comedy Morning Glory took a miserable fourth place--after raunch-fest holdover Due Date and VFX-crammed newcomer Skyline. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:Superhero toon Megamind put the brakes on runaway train movie Unstoppable at the weekend box office.  The Paramount/DreamWorks animated title remained more powerful than a locomotive in its second session, maintaining first place with $30.1 million at 3,949 theaters while Tony Scott’s choo-choo actioner arrived in second with estimates of $23.5 million at 3,207 whistle stops – the director’s second highest three-day take, behind 1987’s Beverly Hills Cop II ($26.3 million).  Despite the competition from a speeding-bullet train, Rogue Pictures’ alien invasion feature Skyline, released through Universal, was able to chip $11.7 million at 2,880 while crowds failed to wake up to Paramount’s Morning Glory with $9.6 million at 2,518. 
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • November 14, 2010 5:11 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Gender Watch: Tourist's Jolie Talks to Vogue, Black Swan's Portman Writes

- Angelina Jolie is Vogue's December cover girl (photos by Mario Testino), which, as usual, coincides with the release of her latest, The Tourist with Johnny Depp, out December 10. The woman doesn't have an agent, and why would she? The mold or model doesn't apply to her, and yet The Tourist's director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) confirms to Vogue that “she gets every single script that has a female role aged between eighteen and 40—every script. And she just follows her feeling, holds her own counsel. She’s probably the only global megastar that doesn’t even have an agent—she doesn’t even have a publicist.” Vogue's Vicki Woods was taken in and distracted by her famous face but says once you "clear away the craziness and tabloid clatter that swirls around the Jolie-Pitt family (or “brand”)…you find a practical woman with terrific forward-planning skills." Jolie, on playing the role that was originally written for Tom Cruise in Salt:“I felt it was a weird thing that every time you ask for a strong female role, it’s written in this strange way where it uses sexuality far too much. Or it’s all about being a woman and beating a man. So it wasn’t a surprise to me that the only way to do a strong female role properly was to not have originally written for a woman.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 12, 2010 6:51 AM
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Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Early Reviews

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Early Reviews
Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows, the trailer for which (below) has over 15.1 million page views on YouTube, opens nationwide on November 19 and the early reviews are in. The first six films in the series grossed over $1.7 billion in the U.S. and $5.4 billion worldwide. The first, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, was the top earner.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 11, 2010 11:31 AM
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  • 1 Comment

AFM Panels: Weinstein Loves iPad, Barber Talks MGM, Deconstructing Global Markets

AFM Panels: Weinstein Loves iPad, Barber Talks MGM, Deconstructing Global Markets
The American Film Market is under way in Santa Monica. Here are ten things Anthony D'Alessandro learned at AFM panels.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • November 8, 2010 12:06 AM
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Weekend Box Office: Animated "Megamind" Outsmarts R-rated Comedy "Due Date"

Marking a possible record-setting weekend at the box office, animated comedy Megamind lead a robust pack including raunchy comedy Due Date and yet another Tyler Perry hit, For Colored Girls, reports Anthony D'Alessandro. Among indie openers, Danny Boyle's 127 Hours soared in its limited debut.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • November 7, 2010 5:07 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Award Watch, Production News, Talking to Boyle and League

Weekly Wrap: Award Watch, Production News, Talking to Boyle and League
OSCARS & AWARDS: While Black Swan promotional endeavors impress, the Godard anti-Semitism issue clouds his Honorary Oscar. And as The Hollywood Reporter's new glossy weekly hits the stands with its Actress Roundtable (considered in this week's Oscar Talk), Variety shuffles its editorial deck. Awards are being given to Biutiful star Javier Bardem, The Kids Are All Right's Annette Bening, Cinema Eye helps to anoint award-season documentary frontrunners and Peter Weir's The Way Back kicks off the Museum of Tolerance Film Festival. The King's Speech, with a Gala screening Friday night as part of AFI Fest 2010, leads the Gurus 'o Gold poll along with star Colin Firth and Bening.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 6, 2010 3:57 AM
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Weekend Box Office: Saw 3D Wins Halloween Horror Duel

Saw 3D won the Halloween weekend box office battle between two mighty horror sequels with an estimated $24.2 million, ahead of Paranormal Activity 2, which dropped 59% to $16.5 million, reports Anthony D'Alessandro. (Check out his seven rules for horror success here.)In the battle between phantasms and slashers at the Halloween weekend box office, the latter won out as Lionsgate’s Saw 3D hooked the top spot with $24.2 million at 2,808 theaters --the fifth-best bow for the Jigsaw series. Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 2 dropped to second with $16.5 million, off 59% from its solid bow a week ago---not too bloody for a horror title, which can plunge as much as 70% on the second weekend.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 31, 2010 4:04 AM
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The Horror, The Horror: Seven Rules for Success at the Box Office

With Halloween upon us, TOH box office analyst Anthony D'Alessandro looks at what's working--and what isn't--among horror genre titles. He finds seven often counter-intuitive rules to follow for horror success.The Paranormal Activity franchise stands as a pillar of success for horror films over the last year, reviving the genre after a recent spate of bombs (i.e. Devil, Case 39, My Soul to Take, Let Me In). What makes a horror title live or die at the B.O.? Here's a primer for horror success: 1. Realism rules: “When you touch death or visceral things like the other world, it makes people feel more alive," says Scream exec producer Harvey Weinstein. "That’s the allure of something like horror.”  Paranormal Activity producer Oren Peli is agreeing all the way to the bank: “What made Paranormal a success is that it feels small and intimate and it was important to stay true to this with the sequel,” he says. “While there are different types of horror films out there, i.e. gore, slasher, the slow psychological build of Paranormal scares people in a different way than being slashed apart.”  
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 29, 2010 7:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekly Wrap: Oscar Contenders Big and Small, Production News, Lawrence and Morgan Talk

Weekly Wrap: Oscar Contenders Big and Small, Production News, Lawrence and Morgan Talk
AWARDS
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 29, 2010 6:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Gender Watch: Theron for Snow, Cholodenko Talks, Lisbeth Salander and Hollywood's Woman Problem

-Charlize Theron could be in, and Angelina Jolie out for director Rupert Sanders' Snow White and The Huntsman, according to ThePlaylist. It was always a hopeful stretch to think that Jolie would sign up (get in line) but Theron's schedule has opened up thanks to the Mad Max postponement. That makes her an attractive candidate for evil queen Ravenna, who hires a bounty hunter (Inception Brit Tom Hardy, also starring in Mad Max) to chase down Snow White after her escape. Theron is currently shooting Jason Reitman's Young Adult with Patrick Wilson. While not as established as an action star as Jolie, Theron is one of the few actresses who can legitimately be considered alongside Jolie in the action sphere (as much for Monster and In The Valley of Elah as "actioners" Æon Flux and Hancock). Plot details are murky, but we like the thought of watching Theron boss around Hardy.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 29, 2010 5:55 AM
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  • 5 Comments

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