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Thompson on Hollywood

'Hero Whisperer' Joss Whedon and The Tension Within Him and His 'Avengers'

Would the "The Avengers" be earning its rave reviews without writer-director Joss Whedon? The multi-franchise-tentpole-orgy could have gone in countless different directions. (Robert Downey Jr. confides to Collider, "I think it is just a really good story that could have been done a hundred ways wrong," and credits it success to Whedon.) As Variety calls "The Avengers" "escapism of a sophisticated order" and ThePlaylist declares it "thrilling, hilarious and brilliantly executed," clearly Whedon took a stance and delivered. 
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 30, 2012 2:23 PM
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  • 1 Comment

In the Works: 'Iron Man 3' Wants Chastain; Carano for 'Fast & Furious 6'; Lin Takes 'Chinglish'

If "Iron Man 3" lands Jessica Chastain despite scheduling issues, the third installment of the Marvel franchise is that much closer to making up for its weak second act. The "Three of Life" star is in talks to play a sexy-smart doctor.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 24, 2012 3:10 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: The Avengers Teaser Features Explosions and Egotistical Superheroes

Joss Whedon's The Avengers -- a.k.a. superheroes playing with other superheroes and congratulating each other on being masters of the universe -- is in theaters May 4, 2012. Check out what the film has in store in the teaser below. It allows everyone to talk except Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, so we are going to go out on a limb and guess that this film will be no great step for womankind.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 12, 2011 4:58 AM
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  • 6 Comments

The Avengers Cover EW; Their Mighty Powers Still Won't Match B.O. Power of Dark Knight Rises

On newsstands tomorrow, EW's The Avengers issue banks on the star power of not just one, but three existing Marvel superhero franchise movies. Iron Man's Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Thor's Chris Hemsworth, and Captain America's Chris Evans join up with new Hulk Mark Ruffalo to defeat uber-villain Loki (Thor's Tom Hiddleston), who told TOH his powers have increased a thousand-fold. It's the superhero franchise movie to end them all.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 29, 2011 4:54 AM
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  • 10 Comments

D23 Expo Adds Two New Pixar Pics on Dinosaurs and the Inner Mind, Promos John Carter, The Avengers

The warmth in the Anaheim Convention Center Hall at D23 for Pixar and Disney animation czar John Lasseter was expressed, loudly, with a standing ovation. Also getting one was Billy Crystal (make him Oscar host already!), who's back with John Goodman in Disney/Pixar sequel Monsters University (2013). Borrowing a few pages from Comic-Con, Disney is using its direct relationship with fans and marketing synergy to promote its characters and products at its huge three-day D23. Not getting as warm a welcome as Lasseter was Disney chairman Rich Ross, who still seemed stiff in front of the teleprompters, even when he cried, "cupcakes for everyone!"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 21, 2011 1:48 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Hero Complex Fest: Captain America, Favreau, Downey, Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens, Avengers, Comic-Con

Hero Complex Fest: Captain America, Favreau, Downey, Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens, Avengers, Comic-Con
Geoff Boucher has a good gig. His Hero Complex print/blog combo gets first crack--along with EW and MTV Movies--at the best access to the top genre movies, including set visits and early interviews. The guy's a strong reporter--he's been at the LAT for some 20 years--and his enthusiasm for the Comic-Con universe is genuine. The LAT has been promoing his second annual Hero Complex Film Festival, which took place last weekend.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 13, 2011 11:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Will Thor Be Latest Jewel in Marvel Crown? Marvel Talks Recipe for Success

Will Thor Be Latest Jewel in Marvel Crown? Marvel Talks Recipe for Success
Marvel Entertainment is a model for a company that has cannily looked out for its own interests as it seeks to exploit and protect its rich endowment of comic characters and stories. With Shakespearean actor-director Kenneth Branagh's epic adventure Thor hitting theaters May 6, Anthony D'Alessandro parses the Marvel performance thus far. Like the hammer-wielding god Thor, Marvel Entertainment has smashed the film industry’s bias against superhero projects ever since rolling out the 2000 feature adaptation of Spider-Man ($822 million worldwide B.O.), ushering in the golden age of comic-book cinema. To date, the Marvel feature adaptations, both licensed and inhouse productions, have racked up $7.4 billion at the global box office. The media company will continue to raise that figure with the 22nd Marvel superhero adaptation this weekend, Thor, which is on tap to rake in $55-$70 million at 3,955 theaters (the average domestic bow for a Marvel title is $65 million) after collecting $125 million abroad.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • May 6, 2011 3:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Robert Downey, Jr. Lands American Cinematheque Award: Should Be Fun Fete

Congratulations to Robert Downey, Jr. The 25th American Cinematheque Award will be his. Downey Jr. will be honored at the annual benefit gala on October 14 at the Beverly Hilton. This event could be one of the more entertaining of these award shows, as Downey will lure some of the funniest talent in town to pay him tribute, as Matt Damon did last year: his was more of a roast. Ben Stiller, Jon Favreau, Jaime Foxx, Jude Law, Zach Galifianakis, Steve Coogan, Jeremy Renner, and recent award-winner Samuel Jackson come to mind. Any other likely cronies?
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • May 5, 2011 4:26 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Production Watch: Olsen's Red Lights, Cheadle in War Machine, Petunia Shoots in NYC

- Get her while she's hot. Sundance It-Girl (Martha Marcy May Marlene, Silent House) Elizabeth Olsen just joined Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy in Red Lights, from director Rodrigo Cortes (Buried). The non-twin Olsen sister tells Risky Business she found the thriller after reading "script after script after script." She will play Weaver's student: “Robert plays a world renowned psychic and Sigourney is a psychology professor…Cillian Murphy is my love interest, though that’s not a huge part of the story.” Olsen will take a break from NYU -- "my education is always a priority" -- to shoot Red Lights. The Psych major "find[s] mental illnesses fascinating."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 24, 2011 6:11 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Year-End Box Office Wrap 2010: Winners and Losers Chart, Warners Leads Domestic Market Share

Year-End Box Office Wrap 2010: Winners and Losers Chart, Warners Leads Domestic Market Share
It was feast or famine at the 2010 domestic box office. The studios spent too much on too many uber-flops, but thanks to holdover Avatar and premium 3-D ticket prices, they enjoyed their second-best year at the domestic box office with $10.46 billion, off less than 2% from 2009’s all-time haul of $10.6 billion. The theatrical buoyancy of 3-D inflated the average stub from $7.46 in 2009 to $7.85 in the third quarter (per the National Association of Theater Owners). But the real trend is worrisome: higher ticket prices plus static turnstiles equals fewer butts in seats. Admissions fell 6% from 1.42 billion in 2009 to 1.33 billion last year. 
  • By Anne Thompson and Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • January 7, 2011 9:10 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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