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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Box Office: Expendables Pulls Men, Eat Pray Love Gets Women

Both Sylvester Stallone and Julia Roberts marked their best openings in years with a boost from a raft of action stars in The Expendables and femme fans of the Elizabeth Gilbert bestseller Eat Pray Love, respectively. Comic-book youth film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World stumbled out of the starting gate. Anthony D'Alessandro does the numbers:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 15, 2010 4:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Lionsgate, Roadside Pursue Dual Awards Track on Buried, Next Three Days, Biutiful

Lionsgate is an indie with a taste for mainstream genre fare, but when a Crash or Precious comes along, the distrib knows what to do. This year, though, Lionsgate is adopting a different model that more resembles the studio approach: chase consumers first with such movies as Buried and The Next Three Days, Oscar voters later. And let your specialty subsidiary do the heavy-lifting in the art-film arena: Roadside Attractions is closing in on a deal to release Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Biutiful starring the incandescent Javier Bardem. Ironically, ex-Lionsgate exec Tom Ortenberg is in talks to steer the campaign (he's also masterminding the Apparition release of Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2010 6:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Early Reviews: The Expendables

Early Reviews: The Expendables
The two trades are split on the new action flick The Expendables, which I have been avoiding like the plague--clearly I am not in the target male demo. Interestingly, THR's Sheri Linden finds the testosterone fest worthwhile, while Variety's Peter Debruge does not. UPDATE: Time Out London does not mince words:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 4, 2010 7:57 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Lionsgate Fights Hostile Takeover, Apatow Loves Pee Wee, Mel Gibson in Trouble

Lionsgate is avoiding a hostile takeover with a re-implementation of a poison pill tactic. That's the tactic of selling shares to current shareholders at a price substantially reduced from market value, usually aimed against one shareholder, in this case billionaire investor Carl Icahn. Basically Lionsgate is offering cheaper shares to everyone but him, in an attempt to make a possible takeover too expensive, explains the LAT. Icahn currently holds 37.9% of the company's stake. Lionsgate swallowed the pill once before against Icahn, but the move was invalidated by Canadian authorities. Icahn is also attempting to replace the board of directors.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • July 2, 2010 5:11 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Summer Fizzle Leaves Shrek 4 On Top

Last weekend's horrific box office numbers continued into this weekend, which returned animated family film Shrek Forever After--in its third week--to the top of the fray, the only film to crack the $20-million mark! The lucrative summer season is when the studios send their surefire top guns to do battle. So far, the summer of 2010 is a fizzle. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • June 6, 2010 4:37 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Must-See Winter's Bone: Granik Digs Deep with Breakout Lawrence

Must-See Winter's Bone: Granik Digs Deep with Breakout Lawrence
Indie filmmaker Debra Granik did it once with the 2004 low-budget drama Down to the Bone, which showed what Vera Farmiga could do (she won best actress from the LA Film Critics). This January at Sundance, the director did it again, showcasing Jennifer Lawrence in a star-making role as a smart young teen fighting to save her family from falling off the edge in hard-bitten Ozark country. (The film won both the screenwriting and dramatic grand jury prize.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 3, 2010 6:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Lionsgate Poison Pill Rebuffed in Canada

Lionsgate Entertainment, which is incorporated in both Vancouver and Santa Monica, is trying to fend off shareholder Carl Icahn's efforts to take over the company. But Lionsgate has met a setback, reports the LAT and Bloomberg News:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 27, 2010 11:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Kick-Ass Takes Number One After All

For the second weekend in a row, the top two films were in such a neck-and-neck race that the Sunday box office estimates were turned around on Monday. So this weekend, Lionsgate's Kick-Ass, while not scoring the $20-30 million weekend some were forecasting, did win the weekend b.o. derby. UPDATE: According to Box Office Mojo, Thursday night numbers are included in the total.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 19, 2010 7:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Dragon Trumps Kick-Ass

Picking up word-of-mouth as it continues to pull audiences, Paramount/DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon bested all comers at the weekend box office, kicking Kick-Ass to second place. TOH box office analyst Anthony D'Alessandro reports:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • April 18, 2010 4:34 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Kick-Ass Rides Buzz for OK Opening, Reveals Critics' Divide

Kick-Ass Rides Buzz for OK Opening, Reveals Critics' Divide
Controversy sells, and Lionsgate rode a swell of debate over the R-rated superhero action comedy Kick-Ass to a robust box office lead on Friday, an estimated $7.5 million in 3,065 runs. It may or may not make the $20 million opening benchmark some predicted; Date Night could wind up number one. This is the sort of movie that is banking on a core fan following--the folks that responded enthusiastically to early footage at Comic-Con last year--but needs to widen its appeal in order to really score. Lionsgate only invested $15 million to acquire it plus some $25 million in marketing, so it should come out ahead.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 17, 2010 5:04 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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