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Thompson on Hollywood

Must -Sees: The Last Station, Up in the Air, Bright Star

Must -Sees: The Last Station, Up in the Air, Bright Star
Must-Sees:Jason Reitman's Up in the Air has been deemed a too-dark marketing challenge. But the movie's strength is the way it skips past conventional genre cliches while deftly taking its characters through romantic escape and isolation--and the tough economy. Paramount Pictures is one of the few studios that can market both big and little movies. Up in the Air may be on its way to some Oscar nominations: it won four awards from the National Board of Review, including best picture of the year. It's tied with Precious for number one on the Gurus 'O Gold. Reviews are stellar: Tomatometer: 84%. Metascore: 81.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 4, 2009 1:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Precious, Last Station Score Five Indie Spirit Noms

Precious, Last Station Score Five Indie Spirit Noms
It was amusing watching announcers Matt Dillon and Taraji Henson maul the global Independent Spirit Awards nominees live on UStream Tuesday morning: they couldn't wrap their tongues around many of the names. Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire and The Last Station dominated with five nominations apiece. Best feature and best actor nominee 500 Days of Summer and best director James Gray (Two Lovers) were other big surprises. The announcement of Paramount's breakout thriller Paranormal Activity for best first feature (made for $15,000), brought gasps in the room. Excellent move: that film defines an indie breakout.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2009 4:08 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Area 51 Lands Stateside Distributor

A lot of Hollywood observers couldn't figure out why writer-director Oren Peli's Area 51 couldn't score a U.S. deal.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 30, 2009 5:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Epix Launches October 30

Epix Launches October 30
When I first heard that three studios--Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount--were bypassing pay-TV deals in favor of a new online streaming venture, I thought the new distribution order was at hand. While the other studios were still hung up on the old ancillary paradigm, this gang was skipping windows and jumping into the future.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 30, 2009 12:45 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Paranormal Activity is User Generated Content!

In this fourth installment from frequent guest blogger Chris Dorr, he tries to make sense of what Paramount's innovative viral campaign for Paranormal Activity really means going forward:
  • By Chris Dorr
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  • October 29, 2009 1:26 AM
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  • 10 Comments

Paramount Wants Chris Pine for Jack Ryan

Last summer, as producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura was waiting to read the new Untitled Tom Clancy Project from writer Hossein Amini, he told me that the Jack Ryan role could go older, or younger. Well, now that the studio is in deep negotiations with Star Trek star Chris Pine, they're obviously going younger. It makes sense. If the studio has an in-house star (lined up to do the Star Trek sequel), they might as well hang onto him by offering him another juicy franchise role. It amazes me that in the franchise era, it has taken the studio this long to ramp this one up.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 19, 2009 11:18 AM
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  • 3 Comments

With Paranormal Activity, Paramount Sets New Marketing Model

With Paranormal Activity, Paramount Sets New Marketing Model
From the start, Paramount online marketing executive Amy Powell knew that she could sell micro-budget horror thriller Paranormal Activity on the Internet.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2009 8:48 AM
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  • 21 Comments

Toronto: Winners, Losers, Oscar Contenders

There was plenty to see in Toronto. Here's how the films shook out for me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2009 3:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Toronto Wrap: Indie Bloodbath

Toronto Wrap: Indie Bloodbath
If industry-watchers didn't see it coming, they figured it out at this year's Toronto Film Festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2009 9:09 AM
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  • 17 Comments

Paranormal Activity Gets Release

Paranormal Activity Gets Release
Israeli emigre Oren Peli's microbudget haunted house film Paranormal Activity is one scary movie. Thanks to producer Jason Blum, Paramount picked up the $11,000 movie after some re-cutting and has set a September 25 release. Paranormal Activity scared the bejeezus out of the crowds at last weekend's Telluride Film Festival. (It's five-review ranking on Rotten Tomatoes is 100% fresh.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 8, 2009 12:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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