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Thompson on Hollywood

Letter to the Studios: How Not to Market Adult Dramas

Here's the first of a series of pieces (which do not necessarily reflect my POV) by guest bloggers on various aspects of the entertainment industry. Now based in Nampa, Idaho, Mike Kaplan is a veteran filmmaker (Never Apologize) and marketer who has managed campaigns for Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey) and Robert Altman (Short Cuts) among others. More recently, please note, Kaplan helped to introduce Clive Owen to American audiences with the sleeper hit Croupier and You'll Sleep When I'm Dead. Here's his argument for how the studios are killing adult dramas--through misguided marketing. Kaplan came up in a film industry that made producing and marketing films for grown-ups its first priority. That is no longer the case.
  • By Mike Kaplan
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  • August 5, 2009 9:34 AM
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  • 15 Comments

Hollywood Confronts New Austerity

Hollywood Confronts New Austerity
Patrick Goldstein calls around to nail down the new austerity hitting Hollywood. And Kim Masters details pay cuts for Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise, as well as how cost-cutter Disney is trying to deal with spendthrift producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the exemplar of Hollywood's old ways.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 4, 2009 4:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Studios Play it Safe

Studios Play it Safe
Steven Spielberg is directing a remake of the Universal/Broadway classic Harvey; he's seeking a star like Tom Hanks or Will Smith to star. Fox is partnering with DreamWorks/Reliance to produce the movie about a six-foot, invisible rabbit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 3, 2009 2:47 AM
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  • 10 Comments

Vanity Fair Ledger Story Must-Read

I scarfed up Peter Biskind's Vanity Fair cover story on Heath Ledger (which is finally online). It all makes (tragic) sense. Ledger was yet another gifted performer (from Judy Garland on) who was far happier in the zone in front of the camera than anywhere else. He pushed himself too hard. And he sought comfort (and sleep) from drugs.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 17, 2009 2:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Pitt Chased Wired Cover

Brad Pitt graces the cover of Wired Magazine's August issue, which just arrived in my morning mail. (The mag hits newstands July 21, and will post on Wired.com Thursday night after E.T.'s broadcast break.) He's frowning at wearing a bluetooth headset, and the coverline reads "With advice from Inglourious Basterd Brad Pitt"---about all the mention his new movie receives in the magazine.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 16, 2009 7:55 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Daily Links: Twilight's Pattinson Lands Vanity Fair, Baldwin Gets Political, Last Wayne Film

First GQ and EW, now Vanity Fair. If you were the editor of a major magazine, I think you'd want Twilight star Rob Pattinson for your cover, too. He's booked for Vanity Fair in the fall, around the November release of New Moon. On Twitter, Pattinson fans track his every move and flick of an eyelash, from Rome to New York. Bruno is a fan too. He fantasizes about almost landing on Pattinson at the MTV Movie Awards, below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 8, 2009 8:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

Michael Jackson's Will

The LATimes has posted a PDF of Michael Joseph Jackson's last will which is copied here:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 1, 2009 5:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Obit, Hollywood

Transformers' LaBoeuf: Troubled Star

What a difference two years makes. The picture on left of Shia LaBeouf ran in Parade Magazine when Disturbia made him into a star. The photo on the right ran this week in Parade in advance of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. (Here's http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117940483.html?categoryid=31&cs=1">Variety's review.) We all know that talent is only one component of a long and happy career. Stability is another. Or to put it another way, sometimes the sensitive tuning rod that is essential to a working actor's skill set isn't screwed on tight enough. LaBeouf speaks frankly about his demons. I wish him well in dealing with them.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 16, 2009 7:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

ShoWest: Roger Ebert Honored

After a video montage in which directors Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, and Oliver Stone paid tribute to Roger Ebert, Sony Pictures Classics co-president Michael Barker presented ShoWest's Career Achievement in Film Journalism Award to the Pulitzer-Prize winning critic of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Roger Ebert is the most popular, most respected, most honored, and most eclectic film critic in American history," Barker said, citing Ebert as "one of the few saviors of independent film--films of all shapes and sizes--American independent features, foreign films, documentaries, and animated films. Ask any independent filmmakers who Roger has championed. Errol Morris will tell you Roger gave him his career. Louis Malle used to tell everyone Roger Ebert saved My Dinner With Andre and Atlantic City from disaster, Robert Altman the same with several of his films. Pan's Labyrinth, Memento, Monster, Hoop Dreams, Roger and Me--we would not know these movies in the way we know them if it were not for Roger Ebert. This is fact."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 3, 2009 5:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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