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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Box Office: What the Indie Numbers Really Mean UPDATED

The weekend marks the return of two veteran filmmakers who were established in specialized theaters in the 1990s – Whit Stillman and Nanni Moretti. Films from both directors (who have always made pointed observations about their surroundings) opened to respectable if not spectacular grosses this holiday weekend.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 10, 2012 1:52 PM
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Weekend Indie Box Office: What It Means, from 'Bully' to 'Island President' UPDATED

“Bully” led a slew of documentary openers this weekend (at least eight) both in terms of attention and success. The others, including two with significant previous acclaim, reveal the results of the new Oscar rule requiring full week theatrical dates in New York and/or Los Angeles with published reviews in their leading papers.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 2, 2012 10:39 PM
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Whit Stillman Q & A: 'Damsels in Distress,' 13-Year Hiatus, Upcoming Ska Rocksteady Project

Director Whit Stillman and actress Analeigh Tipton were on hand Sunday evening for a Q&A following Cinefamily's sneak preview screening of "Damsels in Distress."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 20, 2012 2:45 PM
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Sony Pictures Classics Changes Title of Woody Allen Film--Again

Woody Allen is having serial title issues. Remember "Anhedonia"? That was the first title of Allen's "Annie Hall," which went on to win the 1977 best picture Oscar. Last year, Allen changed the title of his upcoming Rome comedy from "The Bebop Decameron" to "Nero Fiddled."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 19, 2012 4:26 PM
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Weekend Box Office: '21 Jump Street' is Head of the Class with $35 million; 'John Carter' Drops to $13 million

Sony’s “21 Jump Street” took a seat at the head of the class at the North American box office as the re-imagined buddy-comedy racked up a hefty $35 million on its first weekend in theaters.
  • By Brian Fuson
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  • March 18, 2012 12:55 PM
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Weekend Indie Box Office: 'Footnote' and 'Salmon Fishing' Deliver

As the Oscar winners quickly recede from attention, two impressive Sony Classics films – one continuing, one new – stand out, while two potential cross-over films which premiered at Toronto openings survived mix reviews to show some modestly positive grosses.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • March 11, 2012 4:18 PM
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Sony Pictures Classics Nabs Jacques Audiard's 'Rust and Bone'

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all North American, Latin American and Eastern European rights to Jacques Audiard's recently wrapped romantic mystery "Rust and Bone," from Hengameh Panahi of Celluloid Dreams.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 1, 2012 7:55 PM
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Sundance 2012 Buyers Guide: A Primer

Every year the Sundance acquisition landscape changes as buyers come and go.
  • By Anne Thompson and Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 20, 2012 11:21 AM
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Will Roth & Fincher Deliver Jolie's Cleopatra?

Let us count the ways that Sony's "Cleopatra" could go wrong. But hiring Eric Roth to write the script for the Angelina Jolie epic (possibly with David Fincher at the helm) is a good sign. We can thank Roth for "Forrest Gump," "The Insider," "Munich," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and many other fine scripts including the upcoming "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close." Based on Stacy Schiff's sprawling bestseller, this "Cleopatra" is rooted in a complex history and demands a seasoned writer who will not lose sight of the biography's authentic primary sources. Bringing Fincher on board would also set the project on the right course. Exuding the infamous intelligence, charisma and sexuality of Cleopatra will be easy for Jolie, who nonetheless needs a strong director to pull from her a layered and compelling performance. The Egyptian queen--arguably the most powerful woman of all time-- was a master political strategist who deftly manipulated her two life mates, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.  (Picking the right two co-stars is also key.) If the movie gods align the elements, this could be Jolie's career-defining role--and her best shot at a Best Actress Oscar.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 16, 2011 3:49 PM
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AFM News: Sony Takes 1890s Paris Tale Bel Ami, with Pattinson, Thurman, Scott Thomas & Ricci

At AFM, Sony has acquired North American rights to Bel Ami, which stars Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci. The film, now completed, was co-directed by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod (the pair worked together on 1992 short The Big Fish, which must have been good if they attracted this cast), and is based on Guy de Maupassant's 1885 novel of the same name, adapted by Rachel Bennette. The story explores themes of ambition, power and seduction, with Pattinson starring as a broke ex-soldier who ascends 1890s Parisian society by manipulating its women.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 3, 2011 8:29 AM
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