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Oscar Watch: Summer Crop Could Go All the Way

With the field for the best picture Oscar broadened to ten, a batch of summer movies are now positioned for possible inclusion. Yes, year-end movies still have the advantage. It used to be that a summer movie had to be strong and the late-season weak for it to make the top five (think Sea Biscuit, Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator). But this year, five summer movies could score a top ten slot, from crowd-pleasers Up, Star Trek and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to higher-end fare such as Public Enemies and Hurt Locker.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 13, 2009 5:54 AM
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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Will Open Huge

It's no surprise that as of Monday AM in advance of a Wednesday opening, MovieTickets.com is reporting over 1,300 sold out showings for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince worldwide, including over 950 stateside midnight sellouts.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 13, 2009 2:39 AM
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Harry Potter Meets Love Potion Number 9

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when Potter isn't whisking through space on Dumbledore's arm (this is really a father-son fromance) or dipping his face into other people's creepy memories, he and pals Ron and Hermione are entangled in various teen love intrigues--one even involves a powerful love potion. Movieline goes to the source (Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson) to get the skinny on who hearts who.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 9, 2009 8:05 AM
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Transformers: ROTF Passes $300 Million

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has passed the $300 million in 14 days. The sequel is so hugely successful that it encourages the studios to keep pursuing the same dispiriting tentpole dream. It's not a question of Michael Bay being a crap director. He's clearly in the zone of knowing what audiences want to see. I just worry that the studios will neglect creating original franchises in the first place, which demand creativity and imagination.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 8, 2009 8:16 AM
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Clooney Wants to Play Clancy's Jack Ryan

Buried in this Kim Masters story about Sony bringing over George Clooney's production deal is a juicy nugget: Clooney wants to take over playing Jack Ryan in the Tom Clancy franchise. That is, if Paramount ever gets its act together and puts the next movie back on the front burner. It's been years since Ben Affleck took over from Harrison Ford as a younger Ryan, and acquitted himself well in The Sum of All Fears, which grossed $193 million worldwide in 2002.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 7, 2009 4:16 AM
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Jackson Farewell, St. Trinian Sequel Adds Tennant, Beatles Terrify

Variety's Dana Harris covered the Michael Jackson memorial. So did Bob Tourtellotte at Reuters and the NYT. I did not go; I listened on NPR and tracked it on Twitter. Defamer posts the ten most important moments at the Memorial.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 7, 2009 2:25 AM
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Gone with the Wind Knocks Titanic Off B.O. Chart, Dark Knight Leads Flickchart Rankings

Inflation is a huge factor in figuring out the best box office performers of all time. Bloomberg's new inflation-adjusted chart places Gone with the Wind at the top of the U.S. top box office list, along with Star Wars, The Sound of Music and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Where's the mighty number one b.o. grosser of all time, Titanic? After The Ten Commandments. Years ago, Variety's late A.D. Murphy told me the same thing: adjusted for inflation, Gone with the Wind handily beats every challenger.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 7, 2009 2:07 AM
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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Is PG the Limit?

Is Warner Bros. risking fixing a franchise that isn't broken by going PG with its latest Harry Potter movie, Half-Blood Prince? In an unusual twist on the usual ratings complaints, Warners wasn't seeking a gentler family-friendly rating, writes Pam McClintock :
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 6, 2009 4:10 AM
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Weekend Catch-Up: Holiday B.O., Harry Potter Review, Brennan, Klein R.I.P., Andreessen Fun

After a lazy holiday weekend, I herewith share with you my gleanings of what's been going on.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 5, 2009 4:23 AM
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Weekend Read: More Public Enemies, Embattled Auteurs, New Moon Spoof

As I head off for an unplugged holiday weekend--to a pal's Idyllwild hideaway with no wifi (thanks Lili)--here are some weekend links.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 3, 2009 5:08 AM
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