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Thompson on Hollywood

Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris Lands at Sony Pictures Classics; The Fate of Past Partnerships

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all North American rights for Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. Allen's first Paris-shot film is the third to be financed by Spain's Mediapro (the first two were Vicky Cristina Barcelona in 2008 and Allen's latest, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger). SPC has also teamed with Allen before, on Dark Stranger, 2009's Whatever Works and 1999's Sweet and Lowdown. Midnight in Paris stars Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, and Owen Wilson.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 11, 2011 6:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Warner Bros. Takes On International Distribution for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit

Warner Bros. has reached a deal to handle the international theatrical and video distribution on MGM's behalf for Peter Jackson's Lord of The Rings trilogy prequel, The Hobbit (in two parts), adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's novel. MGM will oversee international television licensing for the films and both studios will collaborate on the films' marketing and release.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 6, 2011 9:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Autism Society Partners with Wurzburg's Wretches & Jabberers for National Autism Awareness Month

On Wretches & Jabberers, Oscar-winning documentary director Gerardine Wurzburg (short Educating Peter, 1993) is partnering with the Autism Society for its theatrical release in April, which is National Autism Awareness month.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 5, 2011 7:25 AM
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  • 1 Comment

FilmDistrict Will Launch with Toronto Hit Insidious on April 1; Early Reviews

New distributor FilmDistrict is launching its 2011 slate April 1 with horror-flick Insidious (trailer below), a seven-figure Toronto Fest Midnight Madness pick-up from Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group that many expected to be a Sony genre label Screen Gems release. Sure, Sony is making nice to new distribution partner--and ex-Sony exec--Peter Schlessel. UPDATE: But, it turns out, SWAG doesn't acquire films for Clint Culpepper's Screen Gems; District 9 and 88 Minutes went through Sony's Tri-Star. SWAG knew in Toronto that FilmDistrict was eager to release Insidious.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 30, 2010 5:23 AM
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IFC's Ott Joins Film Society of Lincoln Center as Marketing and PR Director

Rose Kuo continues to make moves as executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, not only importing indieWIRE founder Eugene Hernandez as digital strategy director, but now pulling in respected IFC Entertainment PR heavyweight Courtney Ott to run marketing and publicity at the Film Society: Ott will head a PR and Marketing team charged with working on several fronts on behalf of the Film Society of Lincoln Center; its programs, film festivals, theaters, educational outreach and community involvement. Most immediately, Ott will focus on the transition from a single screen to a multi-screen programming strategy with the highly anticipated opening of the Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center next summer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 29, 2010 9:47 AM
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IFC to Release The Other Woman, Starring Pregnant Natalie Portman

Just as we are all trying to get used to the idea of wraith-like Natalie Portman as a pregnant soon-to-be new mom, she turns up pregnant in a movie filmed two years ago that was recently picked up by IFC, The Other Woman. Written and directed by Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex) and produced by Marc Platt (Wanted), The Other Woman stars Portman as a woman trying not to be a wicked stepmom. See the trailer below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2010 10:26 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Variety Loses Two Players in One Week, McClintock and Harris

Pamela McClintock was in a good mood the other night at a Sundance holiday party at the Soho House, and now I know why. McClintock, with whom I worked at Variety for two years, is one of the paper's senior reporters, a veteran pro who can report, break news, write fast, and get anyone on the phone on any topic. The Hollywood Reporter has hired her away as a senior film reporter, which is a serious loss for Variety, which over the past year has seen vet reporters Michael Fleming defect to Deadline, Tatiana Siegel move to Providence, and Dana Harris move to indieWIRE. Variety has let other talent go in a series of layoffs. Critic Todd McCarthy and party reporter Bill Higgins are now at the Hollywood Reporter; Ben Fritz is at the Los Angeles Times; Daniel Frankel is at The Wrap. Variety has not replaced their lost talent with strong news reporters.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 11, 2010 1:21 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: News, Media

Ronni Chasen was Killed by Harold Martin Smith, Who Likely Acted Alone

The Ronni Chasen murder mystery that has ignited so much speculation is finally solved. No, there was no mysterious secret life, or a hit man, or any sort of organized crime. It makes so much more sense, to anyone who knew Chasen, who worked tirelessly for her clients around the clock, that she wouldn't submit easily to a haphazard robbery attempt--and got shot through her car window by a robber on a bicycle.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 9, 2010 2:09 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Blue Valentine's NC-17 Rating Overturned by MPAA

Blue Valentine's NC-17 Rating Overturned by MPAA
Sometimes the right thing happens. Harvey Weinstein milked the controversy surrounding the NC-17 rating for Blue Valentine to bring attention to the movie. Director Derek Cianfrance had refused to trim an intimate sex scene with implied oral sex between Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling from the realistic relationship drama. Finally Wednesday, after Weinstein led 40 minutes of appeals arguments and screened the film at the MPAA's Sherman Oaks offices, the MPAA appeals board overturned the rating.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 8, 2010 9:16 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Economist Film Project Selects Docs for PBS

The Economist Magazine is launching a collaboration with PBS News Hour called The Economist Film Project. The year-long initiative, which starts in January, seeks to showcase thoughtful and provocative documentary films from around the world. The Economist will select short and feature length films from established and emerging filmmakers on subjects that are in line with the mag's interest in economics, the environment, social and human rights, government and politics, religion, media and culture. Selected film segments will air on PBS NewsHour and online for the following year, and will be put in context with related Economist articles. The magazine's deputy editor, Gideon Lichfield, says the project:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 6, 2010 7:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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