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Thompson on Hollywood

Star Trek Opens Strong; Kurtzman and Orci Talk

You can look at tracking all you want, and listen to studio marketers downplaying expectations. But truth is, if a movie plays as well as Star Trek does, the word gets out. The movie opened to an estimated $31 million on Friday (including Thursday night numbers), and we know that the WOM will be strong. So it's going to do a lot better than those $50-65 million estimates. UPDATE: It grossed an estimated $76.5 million for the weekend but scored only 35% under 25. Of course the core demo skewed older. Paramount has been spending the big bucks on luring the younger demo--which will likely expand on upbeat WOM.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 9, 2009 6:45 AM
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Iron Man First Look

Iron Man was a huge winner. So while Marvel is still in charge of the sequel--and didn't hand the reins back to director Jon Favreau until he jumped through some hoops--I can't wait to see what he does to "deepen the chroma," as they say in Hollywood. In other words, a blockbuster brings the leeway to go even further in the right direction. Take it too far and you can get in trouble. Three weeks into production, USA Today's Scott Bowles talks to Favreau.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 1, 2009 6:25 AM
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Trailer Watch: The Hurt Locker

Summit picked up Kathryn Bigelow's riveting, intense Iraq thriller The Hurt Locker out of Toronto, and has posted the latest trailer here. Jeremy Renner, who stars in the new TV series The Unusuals, could break out with this movie, which is set for June 26 release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 15, 2009 8:35 AM
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Duplicity: What Happened?

While a recession-fueled box office boom is lifting most boats, one notable exception is Tony Gilroy's Duplicity, which boasted the earmarks of a commercial Hollywood vehicle--big budget, exotic locations, thriller genre, two sexy movie stars--but may have been too costly for what was really a smart-house play. (It earned strong reviews, but only $27 million so far.) Part of the problem: Universal paid Julia Roberts $20 million.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 2, 2009 5:56 AM
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Mortensen Open to Role in The Hobbit

Viggo Mortensen mentioned the possibility of appearing in the Peter Jackson/Guillermo del Toro production of J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit while accepting the Jameson Empire Icon Award Monday night in London:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2009 6:40 AM
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Public Enemies' Marion Cotillard Ramps Up

It's rare for a European actress to carve out a career in Hollywood. But honing her English with rounds of Berlitz and winning both the best actress Oscar and Cesar awards for La Vie en Rose have spun Marion Cotillard into a whirlwind of film roles. First, she went to Chicago to shoot Michael Mann's Public Enemies, playing moll Billie Frechette to Johnny Depp's gangster John Dillinger (July 1).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2009 6:31 AM
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Watchmen vs. Aliens?

[Posted by David S. Cohen]
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 6, 2009 5:33 AM
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Jolie Rates on Forbes List

The most remarkable thing about the top-ranked players in the Forbes Star Currency list (which measures power, money and fame) is that Angelina Jolie competes head-on with Johnny Depp, her partner Brad Pitt, and Will Smith. It helps that she nabbed an Oscar nom for Changeling. But she's ranked so high because of Wanted. She nabbed $15 million to anchor that movie, because she's an action star, the first ever to compete on a level playing field with her male peers. The studios will even give Jolie a role written for a man: she replaced Tom Cruise in Phil Noyce's upcoming studio thriller Edwin A. Salt.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 12, 2009 3:14 AM
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Weekend Boxoffice: Dark Knight Breaks Records

It's a strange high-low time, as industry folks batten down the hatches in the face of tighter credit and an unresolved de facto SAG strike. There's unemployment, fewer movies being made, agency attrition, layoffs across many companies, and yet the summer b.o. is going strong, and breaking records.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 20, 2008 7:48 AM
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Wanted Leads Off LAFF

The LA Film Fest opened with the premiere Thursday night of Universal's Wanted, followed by a Westwood block party. Spirits were high, because the smart director's showcase played.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 20, 2008 6:16 AM
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