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Thompson on Hollywood

From Meryl Streep to Expendables Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford, Big Stars in Small Roles Boost Summer Blockbusters

The trailers for “The Giver,” a dystopian adventure based on the 1993 Newbery Medal-winning novel by Lois Lowry that opens this weekend, features a character who was a mere footnote in this influential young-adult source for such futuristic fables as “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent." Not only that, she's Hollywood royalty hiding under a veil of gray hair: Meryl Streep.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • August 12, 2014 5:24 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Transformers 4' Delivers Year's First $100-Million Weekend, Jolie's 'Maleficent' Passes $200 Million Domestic, 'Fault' Woodley's Second $100-Million Grosser

"Transformers: Age of Extinction" overcame the worst reviews of Michael Bay's career to deliver the summer's first $100 million weekend. The rest of the world came in just over double that at $201 million. With the World Cup having finished its intense initial round and little competition from new films either stateside or abroad, Paramount picked the perfect weekend for the return of the mighty Hasbro franchise.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 29, 2014 1:53 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Lionsgate and Summit Finally Merge Marketing Operations

Inevitably, the long-planned merger of Lionsgate and Summit marketing is coming to pass.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 17, 2014 5:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Lionsgate Follows 'Twilight/Hunger Games' Template by Extending 'Divergent' "Trilogy"

Not only does Lionsgate/Summit commit to an ongoing production--which is the closest the movie companies come to episodic television, allowing fans to invest in the creation of a world over time--and hang on to beloved actors over a series of films, but "Divergent" is now extending the life of its "trilogy."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 11, 2014 12:38 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Friday Box Office: 'Noah' an Easy Number One, Hasta La Vista to Arnold's 'Sabotage'

For the first time since before Thanksgiving, box office revenues for a weekend will fall short of last year. Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" (Paramount) will dominate the top 10, with Friday's take at $15,238,000 (including Thursday evening shows). With the only other wide opener "Sabotage" (Open Road) at #7 with $1,825,000, grosses were down 30% from the same Friday in 2013.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • March 29, 2014 1:59 PM
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  • 2 Comments

How 'Divergent' Became a Franchise Before It Opened and Lost Its Director

"Divergent" will prove itself at the box office on its second weekend--but the sequel is on its way no matter what. Producer Lucy Fisher reveals how they made the movie, found their romantic leads, lost the director for the sequels, and why this represents a new filmmaking paradigm.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 27, 2014 7:46 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Career Watch: Does 'Divergent''s Shailene Woodley Have the Right Stuff to Be a Movie Star?

Critics fell hard for Shailene Woodley in her film debut as George Clooney’s pained yet perceptive teen daughter in 2011’s "The Descendants." But now that she is the heroine of "Divergent," a just-opened sci-fi action franchise based on a popular series of young-adult novels, the 22-year-old actress is presumed to be in the running as the next Jennifer Lawrence ("The Hunger Games") or Kristen Stewart ("The Twilight Saga"). However, what she really is--according to reviewers at least-- is the main saving grace of the first film in a trilogy that carries a tepid 41% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • March 24, 2014 6:06 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Box Office Top 10: 'Divergent' Tops Uneven Field, 'Grand Budapest Hotel' Surges, 'Lego Movie' Passes $400 Million Worldwide

Dystopian romance "Divergent" dominated the box office this weekend. The latest movie based on a young adult book series launched a new franchise for Lionsgate/Summit--the sequel "Insurgent" starts production in May. "Divergent" boosted overall Top 10 grosses to $130 million, just enough for the 17th consecutive weekend to outperform the previous year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • March 23, 2014 1:44 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Friday Box Office: 'Divergent' Saves the Day, with an Unexpected Assist from 'God's Not Dead'

"Divergent," the latest dystopian female-centered novel adaptation to strive for franchise success, grossed a solid $22.8 million for its first day (including Thursday evening shows). Unlike recent weeks when multiple titles spread the wealth, the film looks to dominate the weekend.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • March 22, 2014 1:21 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Neil Burger Talks Being a 'Divergent' Director (TRAILER)

When asked if he was "Divergent," Neil Burger replied affirmatively but admitted that his biggest films -- "The Illusionist," "Limitless," and "Divergent" -- are all about the quest for empowerment: Ed Norton pulls off a grand scheme to win back the heart of Jessica Biel and to fit in with the social elite; Bradley Cooper takes a psychotropic drug to overcome writer's block and becomes superhuman; and Shailene Woodley's Tris utilizes her extraordinary versatility to lead an uprising against a fascist regime.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • March 21, 2014 2:57 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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