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Thompson on Hollywood

Major Studios Won't Consolidate, but Minors May Merge

The economy is a ruthless, Darwinian Master. Only the strong shall survive, and that applies to the mighty studios as well as everyone else. Sure, the theatrical market is holding up pretty well. But for every Fast & Furious, Star Trek and The Hangover there's a cynically bloated flop like Land of the Lost (for which Universal pulled print ads on its second weekend) or Imagine That. (The Wrap was inspired to do a quickie Stars Who Should Worry chart including Will Ferrell and Eddie Murphy, which probably got the site into more trouble than it was worth.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 16, 2009 7:19 AM
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Indie Studio Combine Announced

There's a new producer/distrib/foreign sales combine in the works. DF Indie Studio is led by finance experts Mary Dickinson and Charlene Fisher, who are raising coin. Two years ago they first met with Ted Hope, one of several indie-prods lined up to supply future product for which there is guaranteed U.S. distribution, potentially supervised by consultant Ira Deutchman; ex-Focus and Weinstein Co. foreign sales maverick Glen Basner is set to handle foreign sales. Having domestic release assured would make it easier for producers to raise foreign funding. That's been the scary factor for producers in recent years, as studio specialty distribs have decreased, and even existing ones often refuse to sign on to projects before they are complete.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2009 7:27 AM
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Produced By Conference: Are Boomers Abandoning Movies?

At the Produced By conference on the Sony lot last weekend, which was organized by Gale Ann Hurd and the Producers Guild, some of the best and brightest in the profession complained that nobody wants to fund movies for grown-ups these days. At Peter Bart's panel, Who Does What?, while producers Kathleen Kennedy and producing partners Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick talked about massaging tender egos, movies made to fill studio slots, fractious shoots turning out better movies than happy ones, and on-set disasters, they also complained that they can't make the films they'd like to make.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 10, 2009 6:20 AM
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The Hangover Beats Up, Universal Loses on Land of Lost

Americans who are cinching their belts and making do with less flocked to cinemas over the weekend to watch a group of grown men exercising no restraint whatsoever. The Hangover was the perfect antidote to a nation on a fiscal diet.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 8, 2009 7:15 AM
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Cannes: Winners and Losers

Who came out ahead and behind on their Cannes jaunt this year?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 31, 2009 3:02 AM
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ShoWest: Strong Sony Summer Preview

I flew into Vegas Wednesday morning to catch day three of the annual ShoWest exhibitors' confab. I was spoiled by my last plane trip: American Airlines boasted wifi (I couldn't blog on Typepad, though) on both coastal flights for $12.95 each way. No such luck on Southwest today.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2009 6:15 AM
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Breaking News: Focus Features Goes Global

Rumors have been surrounding various studio subsidiaries and Focus Features is no exception. Here's the breaking story of Focus Features' merger with Universal's International Production Group..
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 15, 2009 3:10 AM
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More: Studios

Paramount's Future and DreamWorks' Split

The details of the Paramount/DreamWorks separation are getting nailed down. Paramount sent out a release Sunday that outlines terms of the split and ongoing joint projects. Clearly, the two groups will be partnering on many upcoming pictures. Here's Tatiana Siegel.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 5, 2008 8:49 AM
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Reliance Deal is Done at Last

The Wall Street Journal, as usual, got the early call on the culmination, finally, of the long-in-the-works DreamWorks/Reliance deal:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2008 8:17 AM
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Robinov Reveals Warner Bros. Strategy and Superman Reboot

Originally posted on Variety.comClearly, Warner Bros. is abandoning the idea of sending Superman into a movie with other superheroes, like a Superman/Batman movie or Justice League, because as Warner prexy Jeff Robinov admits in this long interview with The Wall Street Journal about his studio's future strategy, right now Warners doesn't know who Superman is. Wanted: a new model Superman.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 22, 2008 1:53 AM
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