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Thompson on Hollywood

Weinsteins Still Bidding for Miramax

Disney does want to sell Miramax--but only at the right price. If the studio doesn't get what it's looking for, it will hang on to the library. After all, Disney boasts the smallest library of the major studios. And new studio chief Rich Ross has said that he is proceeding with plans to release the outstanding Miramax titles, including Julie Taymor's The Tempest, which is not for sale and is one of two Helen Mirren Miramax vehicles; the other is John Madden's The Debt, co-starring Sam Worthington. Also on the block is the Jennifer Anniston baby-baster comedy The Switch, which is currently set for August 20 release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 14, 2010 4:48 AM
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Oscar Talk Summer Edition: Post-Cannes, Box Office Blues

Oscar Talk Summer Edition: Post-Cannes, Box Office Blues
In our second Oscar Talk Summer Edition, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I cover his cross-country road trip, award contenders emerging from Cannes, and the disappointing summer so far, with some debate over indie darlings Winter's Bone and The Kids Are Alright, which opens next week's Los Angeles Film Festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 12, 2010 3:57 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Toy Story 3: Early Reviews and Featurette

Toy Story 3: Early Reviews and Featurette
I had lunch today with Matt Atchity, the LA-based editor-in-chief of critics aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, which Flixster acquired from Fox/IGN in January. The marriage is a happy one--Flixster's mobile phone app and other efforts are tripling RT's traffic, which is back on the rise. The film that sat atop the site's review chart for years was Toy Story 2--until Man on Wire dethroned it. When it opens in June 18, will 3D Toy Story 3 wind up in the ranks of RT's top-rated--along with Pixar's unbroken string of ten rated-fresh blockbusters?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 8, 2010 9:35 AM
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Career Watch: Prince of Persia Setback for Rising Star Gyllenhaal

Career Watch: Prince of Persia Setback for Rising Star Gyllenhaal
No question that summer disappointment Prince of Persia marks a rare setback for Jake Gyllenhaal. Critics assailed his attempt to carry a Jerry Bruckheimer sword-and-sandal action tentpole, but the actor remains on Hollywood's list of go-to rising stars. Here's a taste of my latest Inside Movies Career Watch column:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 7, 2010 11:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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

What Went Wrong with Prince of Persia

What Went Wrong with Prince of Persia
I'd rather be watching HBO. That's my new T-shirt mantra. This holiday weekend I'll lay odds, sight unseen, that watching the third installment (HBO Saturday 9 PM) of writer Peter Morgan's Tony Blair trilogy, The Special Relationship, about the British ex-prime minister's relationship with then-president Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid) will prove more satisfying than the miscast, over-wrought $200-million Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time or the shoddily written and executed Sex and the City 2, which hordes of women will flock to see, nasty reviews be damned.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 28, 2010 11:33 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Memorial Day Bloody Box Office Duel Pits Femme Sex and the City 2 vs. Male Prince of Persia

Memorial Day Bloody Box Office Duel Pits Femme Sex and the City 2 vs. Male Prince of Persia
For the first time ever, this Memorial Day Weekend could mark the first-ever number one chick flick, predicts TOH box-office numbers cruncher Anthony D'Alessandro, who interviews distribution chiefs from Warners and Disney about their expectations for the four-day holiday.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • May 27, 2010 2:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Prince of Persia Clips Show Glossy Action and Non-Stars Gyllenhaal and Arterton

Mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer's M.O. is to throw gazillions of dollars at multiple high-price screenwriters, superb production values, and eye-popping visual effects. That's how an unprepossessing videogame that means nothing outside the male gamer demo winds up as a politically incorrect $200-million summer movie like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. This movie may not deliver the summer tentpole goods (despite Disney's saturation marketing blitz) when it opens this Friday--judging from its mild $18-million opening last weekend in 19 countries overseas. Anthony D'Alessandro will file his hard look at Memorial Weekend expectations Wednesday.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 25, 2010 10:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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