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Thompson on Hollywood

First Award Screeners Start Arriving in Voter Mailboxes

First Award Screeners Start Arriving in Voter Mailboxes
The first award screeners are starting to arrive in voter mail boxes. The first ones mailed include Chris Weitz's L.A. illegal immigrant drama A Better Life (out on Summit DVD), starring well-reviewed Mexican actor Demian Bichir in a moving performance, and Sony Pictures' Classics' Take Shelter (in its second week of limited release), starring well-praised Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. Both were box office disappointments. Both need the extra boost of guild and year-end critic support to gain traction, so mailing early screeners was a smart move.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 17, 2011 1:06 AM
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Weekend Box Office: Real Steel Holds Off Retreads Footloose and The Thing

Weekend Box Office: Real Steel Holds Off Retreads Footloose and The Thing
On its second go-round, family actioner Real Steel, starring Hugh Jackman and superb visual effects, trounced familiar updatings of the dance musical Footloose and horror classic The Thing. Charles Lyons reports; top ten box office chart is below. Disney/DreamWorks holdover Real Steel out-stepped Paramount’s remake of the 1984 cult classic Footloose to win the box office crown for the second week in a row. Universal’s remake of John Carpenter’s The Thing was scary enough for third place in its opening frame.
  • By Charles Lyons
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  • October 16, 2011 5:02 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Trailer Watch: Marriage, Sex & Pregnancy in Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 TV Spots

The latest in the Twilight Saga series, Breaking Dawn: Part 1, hits theaters November 18. Check out two new TV spots below. In this film continuation of Stephenie Meyer's vampire/human romance, Bella and Edward get married, enjoy a romantic honeymoon in Rio, and give birth to a very strange child. We can hear the teenagers screaming already.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2011 8:18 AM
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Universal Abandons Tower Heist VOD Plan, NATO's Fithian Debates Magnolia's Wagner

Universal Abandons Tower Heist VOD Plan, NATO's Fithian Debates Magnolia's Wagner
First Netflix and now Universal Pictures have killed a change in direction after fierce resistance. In the case of Universal, the studio was testing what was acceptable to their partners, theater owners, as well as moviegoers, who are demanding earlier access to new movies. Universal had planned to make Bret Rattner's Tower Heist available via Video on Demand only three weeks after opening November 4 in theaters. Exhibitors and filmmakers from James Cameron to Jon Favreau are fighting to keep the theatrical window an average of 90 days, while several studios are pushing back, under pressure to move toward a shortened window, due to the decline of DVD revenues as well as global piracy concerns.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 12, 2011 6:37 AM
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  • 2 Comments

My Week with Marilyn Reviews: Well-Mounted Period Fantasy Earning Mostly Raves for Michelle Williams

The New York Film Festival is in full swing, reaching its midpoint Sunday with the centerpiece gala, Simon Curtis's My Week with Marilyn. Telluride eagerly wanted to book the film, but Curtis was working with distributor Harvey Weinstein on adding material and the film wasn't finished in time; in fact the filmmaker was fiddling until the last possible minute.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 10, 2011 4:34 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Real Steel Clobbers Ides of March; Dolphin Tale, Moneyball and 50/50 Show Legs

Weekend Box Office: Real Steel Clobbers Ides of March; Dolphin Tale, Moneyball and 50/50 Show Legs
DreamWorks delivered another hit to distributor Disney as Real Steel dominated its weekend box office rivals. George Clooney's political drama The Ides of March, in fewer theaters, got off to a solid start. Meanwhile, holdovers Dolphin Tale, Moneyball and 50/50 all showed good legs. Kinsey Lowe reports.Real Steel hammered to the top of the weekend fight card with an estimated $27.3 million and boosted Hugh Jackman with a rare hit outside the X-Men and Wolverine franchises. The movie performed more strongly than had been expected going into the weekend thanks to a 27% Saturday bump from Friday's gross.
  • By Kinsey Lowe
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  • October 9, 2011 4:55 AM
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Indie Release Mojo: Margaret, Dream House, Machine Gun Preacher, Drive

Indie Release Mojo: Margaret, Dream House, Machine Gun Preacher, Drive
The box office wreckage this weekend reminds that it's usually NOT a good idea to take a movie away from a director, and how hazardous it is for indie films in this over-crowded marketplace.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 3, 2011 5:33 AM
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Weekend Box Office: Dolphin Tale Overtakes Moneyball in Second Inning

Weekend Box Office: Dolphin Tale Overtakes Moneyball in Second Inning
While it looked like Moneyball would assert its dominance over the weekend box office, another second weekender took the prize: Dolphin Tale. Again, the family movie pulled a bigger niche audience than too many competitors aimed at males and adults. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:Another flood of wide entries fragmented Fall moviegoers this weekend. Warner Bros./Alcon's heart-tugging crowd-pleaser Dolphin Tale yipped up $14.2 million in its second session, overtaking Sony's well-reviewed Moneyball, which fielded $12.5 million. Both films generated warm buzz throughout the week, especially on Rosh Hashanah last Thursday when some schools were off.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 2, 2011 4:33 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Oscar Talk: Ides of March's Clooney vs. Gosling vs. Hoffman, Supporting Categories

Oscar Talk: Ides of March's Clooney vs. Gosling vs. Hoffman, Supporting Categories
Now that we've both seen George Clooney's political thriller The Ides of March, Kris Tapley and I dig into not only Oscar prospects for that film, but the list of supporting players in contention for this year. We also debate the respective box office fates of Drive and Warrior as well as how success in theaters impacts a film's awards chances. (CORRECTION: Yes, Clooney won best supporting actor for Syriana and not Good Night, and Good Luck.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 30, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Margaret Reviews: A Horrific, Pretentious, Operatic and Remarkable Mess of Movie?

Margaret Reviews: A Horrific, Pretentious, Operatic and Remarkable Mess of Movie?
Fox Searchlight finally opens Kenneth Lonergan's six-year-old $12 million Margaret this weekend, but it remains to be seen if it can make it out of the critics' slaughterhouse alive. The Gangs of New York screenwriter's debut as a writer-director, You Can Count on Me, earned two Oscar nominations, for screenplay and actress Laura Linney. But boy did Lonergan hit the sophomore slump, as he became paralyzed trying to cut his second film during an elongated post-production phase that made Terrence Malick look decisive. It's never ideal to take a movie away from a director, but Searchlight and producer Gary Gilbert had to go to court, as Lonergan was literally not cutting it.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • September 29, 2011 6:49 AM
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