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Thompson on Hollywood

Relativity to Pact with FilmNation for Foreign Sales

Glen Basner's FilmNation Entertainment and Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media are in final talks toward a long-term exclusive international sales and distribution deal. This will make it easier for Relativity going forward as it looks to acquire more titles at Sundance, Berlin and beyond. FilmNation is set to oversee international sales and distribution of Relativity titles, yet to be announced.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 14, 2011 1:28 AM
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James Bond 23 Will Shoot in Late 2011 with November 2012 Release Date

EON producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, finally released from the constraints of MGM's bankruptcy, are free to commit to going forward with James Bond 23, which has been stalled while they waited for MGM to come out of its financial quagmire. New MGM co-chairs Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum say the movie will start shooting in late 2011 for a worldwide release on November 9, 2012.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 11, 2011 7:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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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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

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