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Thompson on Hollywood

Avatar Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

As more finished footage becomes available for James Cameron's Avatar---which is about 75% CG--Fox is releasing more material in advance of the December 18 release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 29, 2009 7:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Avatar Watch: Action Figures, Concept Art, Novel

While James Cameron and the VFX wizards at Weta Digital in Wellywood are trying to finish the last big effects sequences in Avatar--which is set for December 18 release--Cameron is also working on many of the ancillary marketing and licensing sidelines that will help sell this pricey 3-D movie. (The official sticker price is $237 million, but we can safely assume that that figure is 1) low and 2) counting.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 6, 2009 6:52 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Apocalypse Now: The Rise of Dystopian Cinema

Apocalypse Now: The Rise of Dystopian Cinema
As wildfires fires rage in California, polar glaciers melt, ocean levels rise, and hurricanes grow more powerful as the world gets warmer, we are looking not only at The Age of Stupid, but the rise of Dystopian Cinema.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2009 12:23 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Will Terminator Be Back?

The Terminator franchise is in jeopardy. The question is, do we care?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 20, 2009 12:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Avatar Trailer Update

The response to the Avatar teaser trailer that Fox released Thursday was mixed.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 20, 2009 10:14 AM
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  • 8 Comments

District 9: Oscar Contender?

District 9: Oscar Contender?
District 9 is a great movie that deserves every kudo and by all accounts played great for the Academy the other night.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 20, 2009 3:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Avatar Week: Photo Gallery

I'm obsessed with Avatar. (The movies of James Cameron are moving inexorably up my flickchart.) The question for me is whether Cameron's ambitious mix of 3-D live-action and performance capture --which cost Fox way more than $200 million-- breaks out beyond the Comic-Con faithful. It feels very sci-fi thriller, which is fine for District 9. But Cameron knows how to reach a wide audience. Avatar is also a romance set on the exotic planet Pandora.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 20, 2009 2:12 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Weekend B.O., District 9 No. One, Rise of Streep, Fall of G.I. Joe

Sony marketing took rookie Neill Blomkamp's $30-million VFX thriller to a terrific estimated $37 million--it wasn't the stunning reviews alone. All the Comic-Con raves and critics and folks on twitter and facebook had a viral impact. The R-rated sci-fi thriller opened well to its largely male base. A sustained hold will require other audience segments to come in--and I just don't know how this plays for women. They went to see The Time Traveler's Wife this weekend, which nabbed lousy reviews and came in at a solid $19 million.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 17, 2009 8:54 AM
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  • 4 Comments

District 9 Must Do Well

District 9 Must Do Well
Root for District 9 to do well. The Comic-Con hit represents a lifeline to Hollywood. Commercial director Neill Blomkamp (with backing from Peter Jackson) has made an intense, unpredictable, edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller that throws you into the doc-like reality (think Cloverfield on steroids) of a battle between humans and insect-like aliens (“prawns”) in Jo’burg. The budget was lean ($30 million). No stars. Leading man Sharlto Copley had never acted in a feature before.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2009 4:02 AM
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  • 24 Comments

Cameron's Blue Avatar, Swinton Hauls Movies, Moore Traverses Fest, Ebert's Best Movies

James Cameron’s new poster for Avatar is an extreme close-up of a blue Nav'i alien from the Planet Pandora. It’s an arresting image that makes you stop and pay attention. Cameron wants you to know he’s taking you somewhere you’ve never been before. Jeff Wells hates this poster. There’s plenty of time between now and December 18 for the Fox marketers to figure out their message. I suspect that one reason they’re showing the 15 minutes in IMAX theaters on August 21 is that they know showing the film is their best approach.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2009 3:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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