Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

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
  • |
  • October 31, 2010 4:04 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

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
  • |
  • October 29, 2010 7:22 AM
  • |
  • 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
  • |
  • October 29, 2010 6:06 AM
  • |
  • 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
  • |
  • October 29, 2010 5:55 AM
  • |
  • 5 Comments

Production Watch: Bourne Disses Damon, Tony Scott for Top Gun Sequel, How To Reject A Movie Plot

Matt Damon says he found out about writer-director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) directing the fourth Bourne installment the same way we did - the internet. He told Parade Magazine, “I found out they’re making another when somebody saw it on the Internet. Nobody bothered to call me." Just as we suggested, he surmises: "I’m not in it, but even so, they’ll work Bourne into the title, I guess. Universal just wants to call everything the Bourne something. So I guess they are trying to make another franchise, and as they say, ‘It isn’t over until it’s over.'" Damon boxed himself into this corner by refusing to rejoin the franchise without director Paul Greengrass. Gilroy, who helped create the franchise as the writer of all the previous entries, has come up with a way to work around Bourne.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • October 25, 2010 4:22 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Paranormal Activity 2 Scares Up $41.5 million, Hereafter Delivers Decent Bow

Paranormal Activity 2 outperformed expectations with a jaw-dropping $41.5 million estimated opening weekend, thanks to Paramount's innovative interactive marketing campaign (see spot below). The studio held the top two spots with the horror sequel and Jackass 3D, Anthony D'Alessandro reports. In fact, with less product clogging multiplexes, films with strong WOM are holding better than ever, from Secretariat to The Social Network. (Here's IW's indie b.o. report.)Paranormal Activity 2 conjured up masses of moviegoers this weekend: the Paramount horror-thriller howled a hearty $41.5 million at 3,216 sites, a marvelous opening that outstrips the $30-million bows of several Saw chapters and marks a record for a horror film, outstripping the $40.6 million minted by 2009’sFriday the 13th reboot. Overseas, the sequel also pulled in $22 million in 21 territories. As anticipated heading into the weekend, Paramount delivered a double whammy, as it grabbed the No. 2 spot with holdover Jackass 3D, firing up a solid $21.6 million, off 57% -- a typical drop for guy fare.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
  • |
  • October 24, 2010 4:20 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

Di Bonaventura Sees Old People; Scores with Red

Di Bonaventura Sees Old People; Scores with Red
The beauty of success in the movie industry is that it often comes to people who zig when others zag, who have the balls to call something and fight for it. Recession times don't encourage risk-taking, so I am happy to report that producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has not given up the maverick streak encouraged by his bosses during his glory days running production at Warner Bros. (Training Day, Three Kings, The Matrix). Now a heavyweight producer at Paramount, Di Bonaventura (Transformers, Salt) saw the potential in the dark DC graphic novel Red--about a CIA agent who fights against the dying of the light the only way he knows how--and kept pushing to get it made. That involved trying and failing to get Warners (which has a deal with DC) to back it, extricating the title from DC and finding another financeer, which turned out to be Summit, whose production chief Eric Feig, another smart cookie, saw the gold in Twilight early on, and saw it in Red too.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • October 24, 2010 3:50 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

David Poland vs. TOH

Monday, The Hot Blog's David Poland took off after me without realizing at first that the story that so enraged him was written by ex-Variety box-office analyst Anthony D'Alessandro. And both stories he pops off about, my rather sober analysis of what went wrong with Tamara Drewe and D'Alessandro's take on the poor performance of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, are among TOH's most popular, sparking healthy debate.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • October 20, 2010 7:46 AM
  • |
  • 10 Comments

Paranormal Activity 2 Spoof: Scarier Than A Demon? A Damon!

Thank Funny or Die for providing more entertainment (for free) in under three minutes than Paranormal Activity 2 will slow-drip into your system in over an hour. The first of their two trailers (below, here's the official trailer) warns of something worse than a demon - a Damon! Complete with complex math skills! The second just tries to tell the truth.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • October 20, 2010 4:55 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Names That Command the Moviesphere: Cameron Talks Avatar Sequels, True Lies, Cleopatra

If you run a movie site that seeks to service readers --and build traffic--then you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what works. Certain names, stars, projects have heat. When you write about James Cameron, David Fincher, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, franchises like Avatar, Inception, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Bourne, Twilight or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish or American), or hot films like The Social Network (or Mark Zuckerberg), they will come. And despite David Poland's sloppy rant about headlines with numbers in them, guess what? They pull more readers: folks love races, contests, drama, debates, polls, controversy, exclusives (which is why the word is so rampantly abused--there's a difference between a one-on-one interview and an exclusive) and yes, lists.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • October 20, 2010 4:19 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

Email Updates