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Thompson on Hollywood

Telluride Watch: Up in the Air Will Fly

Telluride Watch: Up in the Air Will Fly
Folks lined up for two hours on a rainy Telluride Saturday to get into Up in the Air. Hundreds were turned away. Writer-director Jason Reitman (and obsessive airline mile collector) played the crowd like a pro, hoping that the movie would live up to their expectations. He didn't need to worry. The director, who debuted Juno here two years ago at the same theater, delivers a winner. Loosely based on Walter Kirn's novel, Reitman's updated movie, which he started working on six years ago, has become, with the economic downturn, far more timely. It's a witty, charming and moving exploration of a world we all recognize.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 6, 2009 4:25 AM
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  • 2 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

Up in the Air Heads to Toronto

Up in the Air Heads to Toronto
Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, starring George Clooney, will launch at the Toronto Film Fest (where loyal Canadian Reitman debuted Thank You for Smoking and Juno). This is classic pre-Oscar positioning.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2009 5:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Hollywood Health Report

Hollywood Health Report
Each day brings more news of a troubled company needing debt restructuring or a management overhaul. The Weinstein Co. and MGM are just the latest examples. All the studios face pressure from their corporate parents in a grim recession amid declining ad and DVD revenues. Sales are down across the board, including classic rereleases, and less precipitously, specialty titles.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 18, 2009 7:43 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Paramount Dumps Stiller Picture, Marc Pease Experience

Paramount will open The Marc Pease Experience on a contractually minimal ten-market release outside of New York and L.A. on August 21, sources close to the movie confirm. Todd Louiso's orphaned indie film starring Ben Stiller and Jason Schartzman is a casualty of the demise of Vantage--and the departure of ex-Vantage chief John Lesher. "Their business model changed completely," said one source. "They have no specialty marketing division. The company doesn't exist."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2009 4:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Downey Banks on Franchises Iron Man 2 and Sherlock Holmes

What a difference a year makes. With Iron Man and an Oscar nom for Tropic Thunder behind him, A-list movie star Robert Downey, Jr. had a good Comic-Con. Backstage after Iron Man 2, he suggested that he's uncomfortable marketing movies, although he knows he has to do it, and that he hated the whole Hall H thing. If that's true, it doesn't show. He works the crowd better than anyone. He was hawking not only Iron Man 2, which had a stellar reaction--probably the best of the annual comics confab--but he genuinely adored playing the character Sherlock Holmes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 4, 2009 9:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Paramount Scores Orci and Kurtzman Project

It's not surprising that new Paramount production head Adam Goodman took advantage of his DreamWorks insider status and nabbed a high-profile project, License to Steal, from the super-hot screenwriter-producing team Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. This buy of an overtly commercial Salon feature about globe-trotting Repo men chasing luxury planes and boats was pursued by several top directors and producers. It signals that an inside-Hollywood pro is back in charge, and the once-quiet studio is back in buying mode. When Paramount put into turnaround projects such as John Carter of Mars and Twilight , that sent another signal: the studio didn't recognize potential franchises.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2009 5:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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