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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance Dealmaking Heats Up; 'Don Jon's Addiction,' Harvey Lands 'Fruitvale'

In the biggest sale of the fest so far, Sundance newbie Relativity Media is closing a deal to acquire U.S. rights for $4 million, according to sources close to the sale. CAA and WME (who rep Gordon-Levitt and packaged the film) brokered the deal. Relativity committed to a wide release. Companies wanting to make a splash at Sundance often overpay, but clearly Relativity was not the only buyer convinced that this portrait of a sex-addicted bartender (JGL) trying to give up porn for his first love (Scarlett Johannson) was commercial. TWC offered an early bid of $2 million, reports Variety; CBS Films and Lionsgate/Roadside were also in the hunt.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 21, 2013 4:04 PM
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Post-Golden Globe Nominations: What Do We Know? Weinsteins Score 15, But Will That Translate at Oscars? Kidman Lands 10th Globe Nom

Advantage: Leonardo DiCaprio over "Django Unchained" costar Christoph Waltz in the best supporting actor race, even if Waltz gets the German vote. And SAG "Silver Linings" nominee Robert De Niro, who dissed the HFPA last time he accepted an award, has not been invited back. On the other hand, Globe fave Nicole Kidman scored two 2013 nominations, for both "Paperboy" and HBO's "Hemingway and Gellhorn." While she has three Oscar nominations and one win thus far, the HFPA has nominated her eight times.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 13, 2012 2:39 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Netflix's Landmark Deal with Disney Revolutionizes Way We Think About TV Content

Following Netflix's landmark pact with Disney on December 4, a three-year output deal that gives the streaming company exclusive access to the live-action and animated features of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, chief content officer Ted Sarandos states that he's eyeing similar deals with Warner Bros., and possibly Sony and Universal.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 6, 2012 4:18 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Weinsteins Face Challenging Oscar 'Playbook'

The Weinsteins have long followed the same Oscar playbook: line up a thick stack of Oscar-worthy potential contenders, give them a shot and see what sticks. They're usually pretty sharp about what's going to play with Academy voters. Nobody does it better. But this year things may not be panning out as they had planned. The studios have mounted an arsenal of powerful players for the fourth quarter that have been eating into the indie share of the adult audience.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 28, 2012 6:00 AM
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Arthouse Audit: 'Silver Linings' and 'Anna Karenina' Start Steady, Not Stellar

Two anticipated openings dominated art houses this week, as both “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Anna Karenina” launched in multiple cities as part of a strategy to push audience response in advance of wider playoffs. Both faced – as do all limited releases at the moment – massive competition from wider release studio films that are drawing the same target adult audience. Both showed strength despite all the alternative films in play.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 18, 2012 4:16 PM
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  • 3 Comments

National Geographic Channel, with Weinstein Promo Smarts, Scores Ratings Blitz with 'SEAL Team Six'

Chalk up another Harvey Weinstein controversary for effectively turning low-budget fictional programmer "SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden" into a pre-election ratings bonanza Sunday night for National Geographic Channel. Even with mixed reviews, the story behind the raid that took down al-Qaeda’s leader is its top-rated show of 2012, pulling 4.7 million viewers, and the sixth highest-rated in NGC history. It encores on Friday, November 9, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. (Our interview with director John Stockwell is here.) Ratings averaged a 1.4 in the 25–54 demo on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.  This ranks as the highest rated telecast on NGC since the premiere of "George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview" in August 2011, and eclipses the previous two-hour special record for 2012 of "Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron," which had a .9 P 25–54 rating in April. “What National Geographic Channel, CEO David Lyle and President Howard Owens did was offer a captivating film of recent American history to as many homes as possible,” said Weinstein. “We expect SEAL Team Six to be a perennial for the National Geographic Channel and hope more people watch it this Friday.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 5, 2012 6:03 PM
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'SEAL Team Six' Director John Stockwell Talks Fact and Fiction, Harvey Weinstein, 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Rushing out the fast-and-dirty TV movie of a big news story before the Hollywood class-act hits is nothing new. It's just odd that Harvey Weinstein got into the act with fiction film "SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Bin Laden." This is hardly Oscar or even Emmy fare. What exactly motivated the movie mogul to jump into this low-budget run-and-gun TV movie at last year's Cannes?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 30, 2012 6:58 PM
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BFI London Announces Industry Programme, Keynote By Harvey Weinstein

The 56th BFI London Film Festival's Industry Programme includes a keynote address by Harvey Weinstein and a conversation with director Roger Michell. Panels and talks range from the challenges and opportunities of digital platforms, how film culture affects the film industry, film piracy and the insights into the script-to-screen- to-market process.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 8, 2012 12:21 PM
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Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh Takes Legal Action Against 'New Yorker' Burkle Profile, UPDATE

Following journalist Connie Bruck's Ron Burkle profile published Monday in The New Yorker entitled "Cashier du Cinema," which depicts Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh as an incompetent businessman (which Hollywood insiders have long suspected) who has lost control of his company to Burkle, Kavanaugh and his lawyer are protesting, calling the piece "false and malicious."
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • October 2, 2012 2:40 PM
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Finally, Venice Makes 'The Master' Official

Harvey Weinstein likes to milk his PR. We all know that Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," which made its LA debut at an unannounced 70 mm screening at the Aero Theatre last Saturday (TOH review here), was set to show at the 69th Venice Biennale. Sure enough, the official release finally arrived, announcing four new titles including "The Master," starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, which will be shown in 70 mm. Chances are also good the film will turn up in Toronto.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 7, 2012 11:41 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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