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Thompson on Hollywood

Producers Go Sci-Fi: Avatar, District 9 and Star Trek Make Top Ten

Producers Go Sci-Fi: Avatar, District 9 and Star Trek Make Top Ten
District 9 and Star Trek join awards front-runner Avatar in the Producers Guild of America's top ten for the Darryl F. Zanuck award in theatrical motion pictures.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2010 3:12 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Will Academy Voters Take Sci-Fi Seriously?

Oscar Watch: Will Academy Voters Take Sci-Fi Seriously?
One of the big questions this Oscar season surrounds the chances of such sci-fi genre fare as Avatar, Star Trek and District 9 to land on Oscar's best-picture Top Ten List. I dig into that question here and come up with some surprising answers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2009 7:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Weekly Oscar-Talk Podcast Debut

Weekly Oscar-Talk Podcast Debut
I am happy to announce the debut of a weekly Friday kudo-podcast with In Contention's Kris Tapley. Here's the first Oscar Talk. We discuss the awards hopefuls so far and likely contenders coming out of upcoming fests; Meryl Streep’s remarkable emergence as a 60-year-old movie star; how the ten best picture slots could effect the Oscar race; new indie distribs Overture, Summit and Apparition; changing trends in Oscar campaigns; Paramount pushing Shutter Island to 2010; how Avatar Day went; and a Toronto preview.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 28, 2009 6:22 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Summer Movies: Drag Me to Hell, Away We Go

Every once in a while I am reminded that my taste is not the same as the mass audience. I can usually call a blockbuster like 300 or Star Trek--in other words, I ignore the tracking and opening weekend predictions to insist--THIS MOVIE IS SO GOOD IT WILL DO BUSINESS. Sometimes, thank God, word-of-mouth counts for something, so that a movie becomes A MUST-SEE.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 5, 2009 8:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Star Trek Opens Strong; Kurtzman and Orci Talk

You can look at tracking all you want, and listen to studio marketers downplaying expectations. But truth is, if a movie plays as well as Star Trek does, the word gets out. The movie opened to an estimated $31 million on Friday (including Thursday night numbers), and we know that the WOM will be strong. So it's going to do a lot better than those $50-65 million estimates. UPDATE: It grossed an estimated $76.5 million for the weekend but scored only 35% under 25. Of course the core demo skewed older. Paramount has been spending the big bucks on luring the younger demo--which will likely expand on upbeat WOM.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 9, 2009 6:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Star Trek Will Open Huge: $100 Million?

Star Trek will open huge, and some prognosticators are heralding the year's first $100 million weekend. That's not what the advance tracking shows, which is trending toward older males, or what Paramount wants anyone to believe. But word travels fast. And I will bet that the movie will outpace expectations. Even if the "brand"--everyone's favorite word these days--is damaged. Admittedly, my own daughter-of-a-Trekkie, Nora, 19, is not the slightest bit interested in plunking down her ten bucks.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 7, 2009 5:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Star Trek: Engaging Fun

I saw J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek Friday night, sitting in the front row at the Paramount Studio Theatre. The movie grabbed me from the get-go. Because the Star Trek universe is already established, the filmmakers get away with throwing the audience into a classic stand-off between a Starfleet ship and a frightening Romulan vessel commanded by deadly Nero (Eric Bana). Suddenly lives are at stake and key figures are dead. One survivor of the melee: James T. Kirk. By the time the Star Trek title appeared at the end of this sequence, I was in tears.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 27, 2009 7:17 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Star Trek: Cast Yourself

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 23, 2009 8:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Star Trek: Early Reviews

Early word on the J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman's reinvention of Star Trek--beyond the early peak Paramount gave Fantastic Fest earlier this month and the footage screened for journos last November--has been strong. One exhib emailed me after an exhibitor's screening:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 21, 2009 8:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Star Trek Sneak Preview Reactions

In keeping with the current trend of letting the fanboys review a sci-fi universe movie before the critics get a crack at it, Paramount mounted a surprise Fantastic Fest sneak preview of Star Trek in Austin (in place of the scheduled Wrath of Khan). Leonard Nimoy attended. (Pictures are here.) Early reaction so far is upbeat. The next round of reactions are coming from the Sydney world premiere.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 7, 2009 5:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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