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Thompson on Hollywood

Box Office Top Ten: 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' Clears the Field, But Sets No Records

This year the official summer season launches, as did last, with a Marvel comic sequel. But Sony's costly "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," while it opened $2 million ahead of the expected gross of $90 million, is nowhere close to last year's Marvel entry. While it's scoring overseas, it could face a long road to profitability.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • May 4, 2014 1:13 PM
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'Despicable Me 2' Retains Original's Charm--and Minions

A half hour into “Despicable Me 2,” I had no idea what the story was. I didn’t care very much – directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud obviously knew that regular doses of Minion magic would mollify even the most nettlesome demand for a storyline– but the prospect of having to write a plot summary was making me crazy. What we get in “DM2” is what we loved about the first film – chiefly, the gibberish-burbling taxi-yellow Minions, who provide so much of the physical comedy, and whose only passing familiarity with any known language makes what might have been routine shtick into something delirious
  • By John Anderson
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  • June 30, 2013 3:30 PM
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Immersed in Movies: What Sam Mendes Will Do If He Returns for 'Bond 24'

So, after all the jostling the last couple of weeks to find the next Bond director (the list of suspects included Chris Nolan, Tom Hooper, Ang Lee, Matthew Vaughn, and Nicolas Winding Refn), Sam Mendes is back in play for 'Bond 24.' What producer Barbara Broccoli and star Daniel Craig want, they usually get, especially after "Skyfall" made $1.1 billion.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • May 29, 2013 12:50 PM
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CinemaCon: Sony Relies on Low-Risk Sequels, Comedies, and Faithfuls Adam Sandler, Will Smith

After seeing several CinemaCon studio presentations in a row, you start to see the retreads coming. The requisite rehash of 2012 hits, adding up to $4.1 billion worldwide, did not reveal that both "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Men in Black 3" cost too much to return serious profits, or that the global bounty from "Skyfall" was shared with Eon and MGM. As I watched Sony's dog-and-pony show, led off by studio star Adam Sandler trumpeted by Romans in tunics and breastplates, I was checking off a grid.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 23, 2013 9:56 PM
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Why Studios Continue Banking on Franchises Like 'G.I. Joe'; Which Sequels Can You Do Without?

"G.I. Joe Retaliation," a sequel to 2009's "G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra," took in more than $130 million at the worldwide box office this weekend--although its three-day $40 million domestic number was half its foreign take. (The studio cleverly beefed up the weekend number with a Thursday preview.) Part of what's wrong with movies today is that the studios are willing to throw foreign-driven movies into the domestic market, where they often get bad reviews and turn people off, because they'll make their money overseas theatrically and via TV output deals, plus licensing and merchandising, action figures, DVDs, and the like. So it's no surprise that today sees news of Paramount already exploring sequel options for "G.I. Joe."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2013 4:20 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Spielberg Taps Indie Colin Trevorrow to Direct 'Jurassic Park 4'

"Thrilled to have director on JP4, Colin Trevorrow, an exciting young filmmaker who understands and respects the world that is Jurassic Park," tweets @LeDoctor, aka producer Frank Marshall. Colin who? Well, in the honorable tradition of tapping a gifted indie filmmaker to take on a studio project, Marshall and exec producer Steven Spielberg have turned to indie writer-director Colin Trevorrow to direct "Jurassic Park 4."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 14, 2013 8:52 PM
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  • 1 Comment

In the Works: Vaughn Rumored for New 'Star Wars' Installment; Ford Interested in Revisiting Han Solo

One of the exciting prospects for veteran Spielberg poducer Kathleen Kennedy as the new president at Disney-owned Lucasfilm is that she is more than capable of developing a strong script and luring gifted filmmakers to the planned "Star Wars" franchise reboot. Even without a script on hand, directors are lining up.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • November 6, 2012 1:21 PM
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  • 13 Comments

Do Adults Want a Sequel to 'Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'?

Old people are so hot right now. After the success of "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," Fox Searchlight is awaiting a treatment for a sequel from original screenwriter Ol Parker.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 29, 2012 6:15 PM
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Top Ten Weekend Box Office Led by 'Paranormal Activity 4' and Holdover 'Argo'

Strong holdovers like "Argo," more than the new "Paranormal Activity" installment, boosted this weekend's box office over last year. Many had only small fall offs from last week. Business was also helped by a diverse slate of films appealing to a wide range of audiences. -- important for raising ticket sales, but not always achieved by studios.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • October 21, 2012 1:12 PM
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Review: Gilroy's 'The Bourne Legacy' Delivers, Thanks to Renner

I was looking forward to "The Bourne Legacy" more than most studio sequels that have lost their signature director and star. That's because Universal turned to writer-director Tony Gilroy to reinvent the "Bourne" franchise without Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon, who became a movie star playing the title character originated by Robert Ludlum.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2012 1:40 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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