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Thompson on Hollywood

Indies React to Tugg, Which Lets You Choose What Will Play at Your Movie Theater, Adds 'Tree of Life' and 'Bullhead' to Roster

New startup Tugg, launched Wednesday, lets audiences choose what will screen at their local multiplex. We polled several indie exhibitors and distribs for feedback (below).
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • February 23, 2012 2:38 PM
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Sundance 2012 Buyers Guide: A Primer

Every year the Sundance acquisition landscape changes as buyers come and go.
  • By Anne Thompson and Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 20, 2012 11:21 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Golden Globes Party Whirl: Plotting Assaults on "The Punisher," In the Clinch with Mr. Big

After my stint in the backstage press room at the Golden Globes, I headed into the night for a round of Beverly Hilton parties. First I crossed the forlorn red carpet to the tented Fox party in the parking lot.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 16, 2012 6:27 PM
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  • 1 Comment

2011 Sundance Film Fest Theatrical Acquisitions Underperform – Set Low Expectations for 2012

What does "Our Idiot Brother" have in common with "The Kids Are All Right," "Precious," "Sunshine Cleaning," "Once," "Little Miss Sunshine" and "March of the Penguins”? Like those other titles (distributed between 2005-2011), it was the highest-grossing film in theaters among those acquired at the Sundance Film Festival (SFF) the year it premiered.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 16, 2012 4:20 PM
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  • 7 Comments

Fox Searchlight Pushes Back 'Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

Fox Searchlight keeps pushing back "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," which like "Slumdog Millionaire," stars Dev Patel and is set in India. But that's where the comparisons end. Directed by John Madden ("The Debt"), the romantic ensemble about older Brits who settle in India to stretch out their meager retirement funds will now open in select theaters in the US on May 4, 2012. Based on the Novel "These Foolish Things" by Deborah Moggach and produced by Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin, the movie stars Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Tom Wilkinson and Maggie Smith.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2012 7:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment

The Challenger to The Artist is The Descendants

As Academy members get their ballots this week, if one movie can challenge "The Artist" in the race for the Best Picture Oscar, it's "The Descendants." For one thing, with $33 million in the till after the Christmas holidays, where it landed in the top ten, it's a box office hit in a way that "The Artist" is not.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 27, 2011 12:05 PM
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Oscar Watch: The Tree of Life's Likely Nominations, EXCLUSIVE Art Direction Video

Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" sparks polarized love or hate responses. (See the comments on the NYTimes review.) That doesn't help build consensus within critics' groups (the New York Film Critics Circle gave Brad Pitt Best Actor for "Moneyball" as well as "Tree of Life," and Jessica Chastain supporting actress for three of her films, inluding "Tree of Life"), but it will make it easier for the film to land in the Best Picture race. That's because Oscar voters who feel passionately will give it their number one slot.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 7, 2011 4:27 PM
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Fox Searchlight Debuts New Shame Website

Check out the new Fox Searchlight website for Steve McQueen's Shame. The film's score, also featured on the site, is enough to make your heart ache. Not a gentle film, but certainly worth the ride.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 9, 2011 1:36 PM
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Alexander Payne Talks The Descendants, Clooney, Next Black and White Film, New Trailer

Alexander Payne Talks The Descendants, Clooney, Next Black and White Film, New Trailer
Of all the fall movies, the one that hit me in the solar plexus, made me laugh and cry, and struck me as a likely Oscar contender in multiple categories, was heartfelt low-budget comedy The Descendants (November 18), Alexander Payne’s return to the screen, after winning best original screenplay (with Jim Taylor) for 2004’s Sideways. “Alexander should make more movies,” George Clooney told me at Telluride. Of course he should, but this is the one Payne was able to get made. And it was worth the wait. (Here's my Telluride review.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 18, 2011 4:23 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Trailer Watch: Shame, the UK Version, Latest Searchlight Oscar Contender

Trailer Watch: Shame, the UK Version, Latest Searchlight Oscar Contender
Fox Searchlight bravely took on the release of Telluride and Toronto Fest sex-addict shocker Shame (December 2), which reunites Brit director Steve McQueen with his Hunger star Michael Fassbender. Hunger was not an easy shoot, nor was Shame, and McQueen may well have directed Fassbender to his first Oscar nomination. And that's in a film likely to be rated NC-17. With Fassbender's overall heat--with four well-reviewed films to his credit this year, from X-Men: First Class and Jane Eyre to the upcoming A Dangerous Method directed by David Cronenberg--contributing momentum for award season consideration, it will be up to Searchlight to present the film just right for Academy voters, many of whom may find the elegant art film's full-frontal content too provocative. Remember, Searchlight turned intense performances by Mickey Rourke and Natalie Portman in Darren Aronofsky's gritty dramas The Wrestler and Black Swan into Academy contenders--and Portman won. Co-star Carey Mulligan is less likely to register with the actors' branch.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 14, 2011 6:24 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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