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Thompson on Hollywood

Be a Douchebag With Your iPhone

Drake Doremus' low-brow Sundance comedy Douchebag, which opened in New York over the weekend, is about two brothers, one on the verge of marriage, who go on a wild goose chase to find the other's fifth grade girlfriend. While some big studio films (Tron: Legacy comes to mind) have developed iPhone apps, this is one of the first little-known indies to try to build a following with a free iTunes iPhone app, available for free download at the Apple app store. (Let us know if there are others.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2010 6:36 AM
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The Social Network's Treatment of Women, Winterbottom's Kercher Murder Mystery to Star Firth

-It's no surprise that David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin's The Social Network is getting Oscar-buzz, zeitgeist hype and debates about what is fact and fiction. Now the role of women in the film is kicking up controversy. The Daily Beast's Rebecca Davis O'Brien argues that the femme roles are props in a film that "not only reflects its era, but will shape it." Stephen Colbert declares that there are no women of substance in the movie except for the small roles of lawyer Rashida Jones and Zuckerberg's scorning girlfriend Rooney Mara. The women in the movie are seen as liabilities, writes Jezebel, if not woefully disrespected.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2010 6:28 AM
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  • 8 Comments

The Social Network Plays Well to Academy

The Social Network Plays Well to Academy
Saturday's Academy screening of The Social Network played well to a full house--the movie also opened at number one this weekend, and scored rave reviews, which won't hurt with Oscar voters.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 3, 2010 7:40 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Weekend Box Office: The Social Network Clicks to Top

The most buzzed-about launch of the fall season, The Social Network met (but did not exceed) expectations with a $23-million start, while hard-R vampire thriller Let Me In proved to be a classic tweener: too bloody violent for upscale smart-house crowds and too European for mainstream gore-hounds. Anthony D'Alessandro explains:Sony’s PG-13 Facebook origin myth The Social Network effortlessly clicked its way to the top box office spot with $23 million – a number which was in line with studio estimates, but fell short of crashing any ticket booth’s computer with a fall record.  Two R-rated thrillers, Overture’s vampire remake Let Me In and Paramount’s Renee Zellweger-Bradley Cooper vehicle Case 39, each cannibalized their target femme demo, tying with $5.3 million apiece.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 3, 2010 4:17 AM
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Social Network Update: Charlie Rose, Wired

It's fascinating to see the dynamic between The Social Network visualist David Fincher (not a wordsmith) and scribe Aaron Sorkin on Charlie Rose. Fincher seems deferential, and Sorkin dominates the space. Not the usual director/writer interaction.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 29, 2010 7:03 AM
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Weekend Box Office: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Easily Clips Legend of the Guardians, You Again

There's life yet in the adult drama, as Oliver Stone's Wall Street sequel easily outscored the weekend competition. Anthony D'Alessandro reports.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 26, 2010 4:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Affleck's The Town Breaks Warners September B.O. Record

With The Town, Ben Affleck proves that he can open a movie--if he directs it. Not only did the Warner/Legendary movie score with critics at Venice and Toronto fests (earning a remarkable 93% on the Tomatometer) but it beat out the weekend boxoffice competition with a $23.8 million estimate. That's a big leap from advance tracking predicting a $15-million opener.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2010 2:17 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Clip Watch: Mirren, Willis Play CIA Seniors in Red

Summit introduced their grown-up thriller Red at Comic-Con, where star Helen Mirren wore an American Splendor t-shirt in solidarity with the late great Harvey Pekar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 17, 2010 9:46 AM
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Zombies Reign at Weekend Box Office as Resident Evil Afterlife 3D Scores $27.7 Million

What makes Resident Evil run? Anthony D'Alessandro examines the longevity of the horror franchise, which scored a $27.7 million opening weekend on its fourth go-round. Giving Avatar director James Cameron more motive to throw 3-D films under a bus, genre filmmaking reigned this weekend as Sony/Screen Gems’s fourth Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D, based on the 1996 videogame, scored $27.7 million.  It was evident from the zombie film’s Friday bow, which zapped $10.9 million, that it was bound to outstrip the record of its last installment, 2007’s Resident Evil: Extinction ($23.7 million).  The lack of frosh wide entries in a historically sleepy session coupled with 3-D premium prices fueled Afterlife’s ticket sales to greater heights.  Seeing an opportunity to capitalize on the underserved femme audience, Summit re-released The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in 1,187 theaters in celebration of the September 13 birthday of the series’ leading protagonist Bella Swan. However only a few fans showed up, shelling out an estimated $745,000. The distributor’s overall goal was to catapult Eclipse’s domestic B.O. past the $300-million mark; the film’s B.O. is about $400,000 shy of that benchmark. Overall, the top 12 films totaled $63.9 million (per Box Office Mojo), off 16% from the post-Labor Day frame a year ago.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 12, 2010 5:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Fassbender/McQueen Reunite, Studio Critique, Love And Other Drugs, Mulligan Talks Never Let Me Go

- The Guardian calls Hollywood's summer box office victory - approximately a 2.4% lead on 2009 - a hollow one; "the abiding memory of summer 2010 will be of a decline in standards" (the standards of storytelling, not technical effects). The arguments behind this hollow victory include the decline in actual people in theatre seats (lowest since 1997) and the rise in revenue (thanks, 3-D), the root of which conflicts with studios' growing challenge to stay relevant amongst growing sources of alternative entertainment (if they're only making movies for profit, they're undermining the argument for preserving the relevance of film). The Guardian also disses too many studio-approved screenplays that "too often settle for tired storylines, hackneyed dialogue and vacuous characters hiding behind music video sensibilities and loud explosions." The Guardian does see hope in the next year (including Never Let Me Go, but warns another "creatively impoverished" season of films will descend upon us sooner or later.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 8, 2010 7:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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