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Thompson on Hollywood

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

Empire Covers Avatar

The last wide-circulation English-language movie magazine standing is published in the UK: Empire. So that's where you go for your early Avatar cover story .
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 28, 2009 6:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Mash: Downfall Keeps on Giving

The scene where Hitler berates his officers in Downfall is the gift that keeps on giving. Here's the latest in a series of alternate subtitles to accompany Bruno Ganz's climactic tirade. The latest object of Hitler's wrath: the bad reaction to James Cameron's Avatar trailer:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 28, 2009 5:33 AM
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  • 1 Comment

John Carter of Mars Adds Morton, Walker, West

I was brought up in Manhattan by a single Dad. His best pal Jerry Rubenstein's idea of a birthday present for an eight-year-old, girl or boy, was Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I scarfed it up and read every single book ever written by Burroughs, especially his Barsoom Martian novels. I read The Chessmen of Mars over and over. Burroughs took you into an exotic world, much as Burroughs fan James Cameron does in Avatar, or Wall-E writer-director Andrew Stanton will do in his first live-action feature, a film take on John Carter of Mars. In both stories, an American visits a faraway planet inhabited by strange creatures. In John Carter of Mars, co-written by Mark Andrews, Civil War hero John Carter is transported to the red planet Barsoom, where he must adapt, and meets a princess.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 24, 2009 6:48 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Avatar Day

James Cameron himself wasn't happy that the Avatar online trailer preceded the Avatar Day IMAX 3-D screenings on Friday. The reason that happened, according to Fox, is that the trailer went out at the same time as the first 10 AM screenings in New Zealand Tokyo on the other side of the world. It was a synchronous global release. The Apple site was so overwhelmed with clicks that it crashed at first. More than 4 million people streamed the Avatar trailer on that first day, breaking the prior record of 1.7 million set by Star Trek. So that was good news for Fox. Curiosity was high.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 22, 2009 6:40 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Avatar Trailer Update

The response to the Avatar teaser trailer that Fox released Thursday was mixed.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 20, 2009 10:14 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Avatar Week: Photo Gallery

I'm obsessed with Avatar. (The movies of James Cameron are moving inexorably up my flickchart.) The question for me is whether Cameron's ambitious mix of 3-D live-action and performance capture --which cost Fox way more than $200 million-- breaks out beyond the Comic-Con faithful. It feels very sci-fi thriller, which is fine for District 9. But Cameron knows how to reach a wide audience. Avatar is also a romance set on the exotic planet Pandora.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 20, 2009 2:12 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Avatar Day, Sony Acquires Parnassus, Tarantino, Screwball Ladies

We've been tracking news that Sony Pictures Classics would release The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus this fall. But as the NY-based specialty division rigorously refuses to confirm these talks, the rumors spread around the internet until Variety figured out a way to write the story so that Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group "is in advanced talks" to acquire the movie for SPC to release. It's easy to run a rumor, harder to run it down.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2009 6:52 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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

Cameron talks Avatar

When I talked to James Cameron at Comic-Con (below), he admitted that he and producer Jon Landau know that they have a lot of heavy lifting to do before the 3D sci-fi epic Avatar hits screens on December 18. 24 minutes of footage played great at the Con, where Cameron announced that Fox will screen 15 minutes in IMAX on August 21 for free on 35 screens around the country. But the VFX-packed fantasy lacks major stars and is not based on anything (god forbid, it's an original), so the movie will need a major marketing push from Fox. Which is what the Con was all about.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2009 2:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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