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Thompson on Hollywood

Arthouse Audit: 'Mud' Scores Sole Strong Indie Opener Amid Specialized Market Struggles

"Mud" nearly made the weekend box office top 10 in only 363 theaters, towering over all the other new openings this week, none of which had a PSA of even $12,000 with limited New York/Los Angeles two to four theater openings. For the third time in several weeks, and in this case already in the first one, much of the money came from a wide variety of upscale theaters.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 28, 2013 4:16 PM
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Weekend Preview: Michael Bay's Latest a 'Pain'-Filled Experience; Jeff Nichols' 'Mud' Captivates Critics; Skip 'The Big Wedding'

Fans of Michael Bay and his cast of beefy cohorts will likely flock to dumb male comedy "Pain & Gain," a soulless, "low-budget" exercise in machismo that has appalled critics. Those looking for lighter fare might seek solace in "The Big Wedding," which has earned universal pans despite its top-drawer cast. They are better off RSVPing to another event, such as "Take Shelter" director Jeff Nichols' southern drama "Mud," which premiered at Cannes, starring Matthew McConaughey, or the Oscar-nominated maritime doc "Kon Tiki," which traces a Norwegian's journey in 1947 across the Pacific Ocean in a balsa wood raft.
  • By Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 25, 2013 3:42 PM
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Review and Trailer for Oscar-Nominated 'Kon-Tiki' - An Enjoyable, Supersized High-Seas Adventure

Norway's Oscar-nominated Foreign-Language entry, the enjoyably supersized “Kon-Tiki,” follows the real-life adventures of explorer Thor Heyerdahl, who, in 1947, embarked on an eccentric mission across the Pacific Ocean, from Peru to Polynesia, on a wooden raft. His goal was to prove that Polynesia...
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 25, 2013 12:46 PM
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  • 6 Comments

'Kon-Tiki' to Hit Theaters in English-Language Version, Riding Tide of Scandinavian Film Popularity

With Norway's Oscar-nominated "Kon-Tiki" hitting theaters on April 19, the Weinstein Company is opting to release the film's English-language version stateside, to maximize interest and attempt to elevate the film from the subtitled ghetto that keeps most foreign titles' box office in check. As pointed out in Variety, the seafaring adventure film may be the first of the Academy's nominees to be shot scene-for-scene in two languages.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • March 7, 2013 7:00 AM
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Magnolia Takes US Rights to Norway's 'Ragnarok' with 'Kon-Tiki' Star ål Sverre Hagen

Magnolia takes rights to Norwegian adventure film "Ragnarok" after seeing a three minute promo at the Berlin Film Market. The Trust Nordisk film, from director Mikkel Sandemose, is about an archaeologist ("Kon Tiki"'s Pål Sverre Hagen) obsessed with the Oseberg Viking ship...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 19, 2013 3:45 PM
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Casting Watch: Tobias Santelmann of 'Kon-Tiki' Gearing Up for 'Northmen -- A Viking Saga'

Tobias Santelmann, who stars as one of the brawny sailors on Thor Heyerdahl's raft in Norway's Oscar-nominated "Kon-Tiki," has been cast as Viking leader Asbjorn in "Northmen -- A Viking Saga."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 19, 2013 12:14 PM
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Oscar Foreign Language Shortlist Films All Open or Set for Release by Early 2013

Something funny happened on the way to the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar shortlist. Unusually, all nine contenders announced Friday morning have either already been released in the US or will be during the first quarter of 2013.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 21, 2012 4:27 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Foreign Shortlist Arrives; Nine Films Advance; 'Barbara,' Lore,' 'Pieta' Left Behind UPDATED

Thursday night in Los Angeles, the Oscar foreign-language film award executive committee met to find out from PricewaterhouseCoopers the six finalists from 71 foreign submissions, based on the best average scores from voters who saw the requisite number of foreign entries. Academy members have been screening the films, sometimes two to three a night, in order to get them seen in time. They have to watch them in a screening room, often not very full--which means that a small group can have an inordinate impact on the final results.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2012 10:48 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Variety's 10 Directors to Watch Includes Sundance and Foreign Oscar Entry Helmers

Variety has announced its annual pre-Sundance 10 Directors to Watch list. The indie world is already familiar with jack-of-all-trades David Lowery, whose Casey Affleck-Rooney Mara starrer "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" will debut in competition at Sundance in January, while "Pit Stop," which he co-wrote, is in the NEXT section; Rebecca Thomas, whose Mormon drama "Elecktrick Children" was an official selection at Berlin 2012; and the director of Sundance 2013 entry "Kill Your Darlings," John Krokidas.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • December 7, 2012 2:56 PM
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  • 0 Comments

The Weinsteins Sail with 'Kon-Tiki,' Norway's Oscar Entry

The Weinstein Co. has acquired "Kon-Tiki" for US distribution. The film, which recently played at AFI Fest, is Norway's entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar and screened at Toronto earlier this fall...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 7, 2012 5:38 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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