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Thompson on Hollywood

Box Office: What Went Wrong with Critic Faves Drive and Warrior

Box Office: What Went Wrong with Critic Faves Drive and Warrior
Aren't rave reviews supposed to push indie films into crossover success? Anthony D'Alessandro investigates what went wrong with Drive and Warrior at the fall box office.While critics did boost ticket sales for such wide appeal films as The Help (74% fresh Tomatometer and $155 million domestic B.O.) and Contagion (84% fresh, $56 million), they weren't able to turn things around for Lionsgate’s Warrior ($12.3 million, 84% fresh) or FilmDistrict’s Drive ($21.9 million, 93%). Why? It's complicated, but one thing's for sure: the films fell short because both distribs took their films out too fast to fine-tune their roll-out for their real audience. And while both films played well for women once they saw them, neither distrib was able to lure them in significant numbers.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 28, 2011 4:22 AM
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  • 24 Comments

Box Office: Lion King Steals Home Run from Moneyball During Crowded Weekend

Box Office: Lion King Steals Home Run from Moneyball During Crowded Weekend
It was such a crowded weekend at the box office that Sunday estimates are unclear. Clearly, too many movies were aimed at men. Anthony D'Alessandro reports. If you asked distribution executives on Thursday what was going to be No. 1 at the weekend box office, they would have pointed at the other guy. Sony, Warner Bros. and Disney all had strong prospects, but knew they could easily lose to each other. And this had nothing to do with the usual fall award contenders.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 25, 2011 4:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Toronto Wrap: Best of Fest, Oscar Boosts, Winners and Losers

Toronto Wrap: Best of Fest, Oscar Boosts, Winners and Losers
The trick with the fall film festivals is to gauge expectations going in vs. what was actually achieved. Various distributors launched their fall slates, and watched with pleasure or horror at how their movies were received by audiences and critics. Oscar contenders either moved forward in the awards race, or were pushed back. Other indies hoped their films would be picked up by the right distributor in time for this year's Oscar race. Some were, some weren't. It's tough for films that have already debuted at other festivals to pick up new momentum, although the press will bank features for release. The biggest noise goes to the new players, always.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 21, 2011 7:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Box Office: Contagion Runs $23-Million Fever Over Cold Weekend

Box Office: Contagion Runs $23-Million Fever Over Cold Weekend
Steven Soderbergh's pandemic ensemble thriller Contagion posted a healthy opening despite an overall downer weekend. Anthony D'Alessandro breaks down the box office:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 11, 2011 4:21 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Telluride Review Round-Up: Glenn Close Passion Project Albert Nobbs

Telluride Review Round-Up: Glenn Close Passion Project Albert Nobbs
Based on the Telluride reaction to Glenn Close's long-aborning gender-bender drama Albert Nobbs, the veteran actress has a shot at an Oscar nomination--and so does supporting actress Janet McTeer. Roadside Attractions is planning a late year release--outside the fray--and will push hard for award recognition for Close. The movie played well with the Telluride's audience, especially women, but may face some mixed reviews. The sampling below includes a rave from the NYT's A.O. Scott, which won't hurt.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 5, 2011 8:41 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Talking Warrior with Hardy, Edgerton and O'Connor--and Dark Knight, Bronson, Great Gatsby

Talking Warrior with Hardy, Edgerton and O'Connor--and Dark Knight, Bronson, Great Gatsby
Lionsgate purposely opted to take an under-the-radar approach with Gavin O'Connor's Warrior, an original drama (a rarity these days) that pits two brothers against each other in an MMA tournament. Commendably, Lionsgate financed this $25-million picture starring two on-the-rise stars: Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton, as well as Nick Nolte as the father they both hate. While the movie is strong enough to warrant festival inclusion, Lionsgate's strategy isn't off-base--the movie will prove a discovery for many critics; expect raves.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 30, 2011 8:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Hunger Games Teaser: Thrilling or Disappointing?

Reaction has been tepid to this Hunger Games teaser, introduced on video by a low-key Jennifer Lawrence at the Video Music Awards Sunday night, which reaches the film's teen demo. Here's more on the upcoming franchise: details, cast, pictures.Get More: 2011 VMA, Music
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 29, 2011 3:56 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Jennifer Grey Tweets Her Reaction To #DirtyDancingRemake

The original petite and sassy “Baby” from the 1987 Dirty Dancing, who held her own against Patrick Swayze’s sultry hulk, tweeted yesterday about the upcoming Dirty Dancing remake: “I love @Kennyortega and trust that he will do something special #DirtyDancingRemake.”
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 10, 2011 8:17 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Video: New Dirty Dancing Director Ortega's Newsies with Singing, Dancing Christian Bale

As we reported Monday, Lionsgate is giving Dirty Dancing (1987) a makeover, directed by original choreographer Kenny Ortega. Lionsgate is revamping the classic after unsuccessfully releasing sequel Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. The struggle here won't be to charge up teenage interest in the tale of teenage Baby’s forbidden romance with hip-swiveling Johnny Castle, packed with 60s classics from the original plus brand new compositions--just shove it down the willing throats of Glee, HSM and So You Think You Can Dance fans and the studio will make money. The struggle will be in creating a memorable film that has lasting powers of its own. Otherwise people will keep watching the original--nothing's stopping them so far. Do the math: Dirty Dancing was made for $6 million and brought in $213.95 million worldwide.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 9, 2011 6:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Kenny Ortega to Direct Lionsgate Dirty Dancing Remake

We haven't heard too much of Kenny Ortega since This Is It, his 2009 Michael Jackson documentary, but Lionsgate announced today that it will be producing a remake of Dirty Dancing with Ortega at the helm.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 8, 2011 11:52 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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