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Thompson on Hollywood

Weinsteins Pre-Buy The King's Speech, Starring Colin Firth

Signaling that it is in the hunt and willing to pay for projects, The Weinstein Co. has pre-bought various international and North American rights to The King's Speech, Tom Hooper's biopic about King George VI (father of Queen Elizabeth II), who suffered from a severe stammer. Geoffrey Rush plays the man who helps the king take control of his speech. The See-Saw Films and Bedlam production is set to start shooting later this year; the Weinstein Co. is slating it for 2010 release. Firth and Rush co-starred in the Weinsteins' Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2009 9:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Apparition Picks Up Boondock Saints II

Apparition's Bob Berney is adding another movie to his burgeoning release slate, which kicks off September 18 with Jane Campion's Toronto-bound period romance, Bright Star. The latest release is Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, set to open October 30, marking yet another distribution deal with Sony Worldwide Acquisitons Group, which also pacted with Apparition to release Black Dynamite. Other releases include Toronto closing nighter The Young Victoria and Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life, starring Sean Penn and Brad Pitt.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2009 7:47 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Disney/Marvel Reaction Around Web

The reaction around the web to the news that Disney is buying Marvel for $4 billion was swift--and mixed. Here's a sampling of reporting and culled Tweets:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2009 9:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Disney to Acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4 Billion

Marvel Entertainment was so successful as an independent studio that it's a surprise to see it gobbled up by the Mouse House. Disney announced early Monday that it plans to acquire the comics company that spawned Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men and The Hulk, among some 5,000 Marvel characters. “We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” said Disney chairman Robert Iger.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2009 4:34 AM
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  • 3 Comments

LACMA Update

As the dust settles around the film program controversy at the Los Angeles County Museum, it's starting to look like director Michael Govan was as clever as a fox. Clearly, he wasn't happy with the way the film program was going. Announcing that he was shutting it down was a way to alert the media, improve attendance this summer, designate the film program as a curatorial department, and raise some badly needed funds to expand the programming. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Warner Warner Cable and Ovation TV saved the program through 2010 with $150,000 in pledges. The NYT reports.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 30, 2009 10:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Video: Obama Eulogizes Ted Kennedy

President Barack Obama delivers a heartfelt eulogy to Ted Kennedy, saying he was "the greatest legislator of our time."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 30, 2009 6:47 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Video, News

LACMA Film Program Saved, Housing Unit for Aged to Close

There's good news and bad news.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 26, 2009 8:19 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

Paramount Pushes Shutter Island to February

Paramount Pushes Shutter Island to February
In a startling reveal of how dire studio financials have become in this recession, Paramount made a swift and surgical move to trim its year-end budget. Marketing meetings took place last week for Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, based on the Dennis Lehane novel and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Running a little over two hours, the period mystery looks thrilling and commercial as hell. But the studio looked at the cold hard millions the release would require --even in October, with a possible costly Academy campaign down the line--and pushed the picture back to February 19.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 21, 2009 9:41 AM
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  • 9 Comments

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