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Thompson on Hollywood

Cameron Weighs in on Oil Spill, Disney Sells Toy Story 3 Tickets on Facebook, Abrams' Secret Movie

- Nobody knows more about deep-sea robotic technology than filmmaker/tech head James Cameron, who has taken submersibles and his own robotic cameras down to the ocean floor to shoot documentaries on the Titanic and Bismarck. So it makes sense that he was part of a brainstorming session with U.S. officials, scientists and academics who are trying to come up with a solution to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Since BP's efforts have failed, the Federal government is opening its ears to a wider knowledge database. The Huffington Post lists other parties involved in the session: the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; Oceanographic Institute at Harbor Branch, Florida Atlantic University; University of California at Santa Barbara; Nuytco Research Limited; World Wildlife Fund; and the University of California at Berkeley. Cameron likes nothing better than hanging with scientist brainiacs.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 2, 2010 7:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Pixar is Hiring

Are you a John Lasseter or Brad Bird wannabe? Check this out. The place I have always fantasized about working--assuming that I had the necessary skill-set, which I don't--is Pixar, in Emeryville, in the Bay Area. I actually applied for a long-shot marketing job there once. Not only do they make the best movies on the planet, year in year out--ten for ten blockbusters to date, and I'll lay odds that Toy Story 3 beats How to Train Your Dragon and takes this year's number one summer spot--but I've visited the campus, and it's fabulous. It's the kind of place where bicycles line the hallways and folks like Lasseter use their offices to display their toy collections. These people are not only seriously talented, but seriously cool.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 1, 2010 7:23 AM
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Weekend Box Office: Family-Friendly Shrek 4 Overtakes Wimpy Prince of Persia and Sex and the City 2

Holdover family film Shrek 4 carried the anemic four-day Memorial Day Weekend holiday; its estimated $55.7 million gross bested two weak openers in the high-to-low $37-million range, Disney's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and R-rated Sex and the City 2, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • May 31, 2010 4:46 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Alice To Pass $1 Billion, Hollywood for Sale, Bale Talking Hillcoat Flick

-Disney's Alice in Wonderland will cross the $1 billion worldwide box-office threshold tomorrow, marking the sixth movie to do so and a record for a springtime release. With over $332 million domestic and $667 million foreign, Alice in Wonderland is Disney's second-highest grosser behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($1.07 billion worldwide).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 26, 2010 3:25 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Shrek 4 Stumbles, MacGruber Flops

In its fourth go-round, DreamWorks Animation's latest Shrek installment stumbled on its opening weekend, grossing an estimated $71.25 million, marking a probable end to the lucrative franchise. Anthony D'Alessandro does the numbers.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • May 23, 2010 4:32 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Ari Folman's Waltz with Bashir Follow-Up is The Congress, Starring Robin Wright

Ever since Ari Folman told me about adapting Stanislaw Lem's 1971 sci-fi novel The Futurological Congress, I've been excited by his central premise--which is not that of the novel-- of a gorgeous American actress on the cusp of losing her movie star luster who sells her likeness to Hollywood and can never work again. The Israeli/Polish/French co-production will mix present-day live action with an animated future, and take the character forward 20 years. He wanted to cast an actress who was willing to play herself in the role; he considered Nicole Kidman, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Jason Leigh and others. Robin Wright is a great choice.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 23, 2010 4:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Anime: Next Big Thing

Would you buy a ticket for a big-budget, live-action anime feature? What if there were four of them released at the same time?
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • May 4, 2010 1:22 AM
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  • 6 Comments

How to Train Your Dragon Roars Past The Back-Up Plan

How to Train Your Dragon came roaring back at the weekend box office, proving that fab word-of-mouth trumps familiar old-hat formulas every time. Jennifer Lopez rom-com The Back-Up Plan came in second, and DC comics movie The Losers was a disaster, coming in fourth behind Date Night. Anthony D'Alessandro dissects the numbers.Never dis a dragon – even at the box office. Paramount-DreamWorks 3D toon How to Train Your Dragon continued to flap its legs, err wings in a murky April weekend session, earning $15 million at 3,665 theaters.  Dragon slipped 23% in its fifth weekend raising its domestic cume to $178 million. Overall, weekend receipts counted an estimated $95 million, off 10-15% from a year ago.  Distribs account the drop to the lack of film product in the market, particularly with Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps moving out of the month.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • April 25, 2010 4:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Disney's Rich Ross Meets the Press

Disney's Rich Ross Meets the Press
New Disney chairman Richard Ross put on a dog-and-pony show at the Burbank lot Thursday to introduce himself to a group of key entertainment reporters. This is what a new studio chairman does to deal with media requests for interviews and meetings and to alert Wall Street to a strong line-up in advance of an upcoming Disney earnings call. About 20 reporters attended, including the trades. Ross announced the breaking news that Pixar was ramping up a Monsters Inc. sequel for a November 15 2012 release and that Disney was dating their film Brave for June 15, 2012.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 23, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Summer Movies: What Can Top Iron Man 2?

Summer Movies: What Can Top Iron Man 2?
It's starting to look a lot like summer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 20, 2010 4:01 AM
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  • 13 Comments

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