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Star Trek Will Open Huge: $100 Million?

Star Trek will open huge, and some prognosticators are heralding the year's first $100 million weekend. That's not what the advance tracking shows, which is trending toward older males, or what Paramount wants anyone to believe. But word travels fast. And I will bet that the movie will outpace expectations. Even if the "brand"--everyone's favorite word these days--is damaged. Admittedly, my own daughter-of-a-Trekkie, Nora, 19, is not the slightest bit interested in plunking down her ten bucks.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 7, 2009 5:52 AM
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Dark Knight Ripple Effect: Dark Summer Movies

It's not like the Terminator franchise was ever light, exactly. But in the post-Dark Knight era, summer action movies--even Star Trek--are trending dark and edgy, and Terminator Salvation, Angels & Demons, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen certainly fit the bill. Word on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is that's darker than any of its predecessors.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 7, 2009 5:43 AM
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Angels & Demons: Guilty Pleasure

Most studio movies aim at your pleasure center; they're not trying to challenge your brain. But Ron Howard, like Steven Spielberg, is that rare studio hybrid--the quality/commercial filmmaker who likes to turn out both mass-audience blockbusters and Oscar contenders.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 5, 2009 6:03 AM
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Star Trek: Engaging Fun

I saw J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek Friday night, sitting in the front row at the Paramount Studio Theatre. The movie grabbed me from the get-go. Because the Star Trek universe is already established, the filmmakers get away with throwing the audience into a classic stand-off between a Starfleet ship and a frightening Romulan vessel commanded by deadly Nero (Eric Bana). Suddenly lives are at stake and key figures are dead. One survivor of the melee: James T. Kirk. By the time the Star Trek title appeared at the end of this sequence, I was in tears.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 27, 2009 7:17 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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Public Enemies' Marion Cotillard Ramps Up

It's rare for a European actress to carve out a career in Hollywood. But honing her English with rounds of Berlitz and winning both the best actress Oscar and Cesar awards for La Vie en Rose have spun Marion Cotillard into a whirlwind of film roles. First, she went to Chicago to shoot Michael Mann's Public Enemies, playing moll Billie Frechette to Johnny Depp's gangster John Dillinger (July 1).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2009 6:31 AM
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Marvel vs. D.C.

[Posted by David S. Cohen]In a front page story in this Sunday’s Weekly Variety, Marc Graser explores Warner Bros.’ plans to get its classic DC characters onto the bigscreen. Or rather, its plans to make plans.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 15, 2008 5:29 AM
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Weekend Boxoffice: Sex and the City Shows Femme Power

HBO series-turned-movie Sex and the City demonstrated the power of a femme-driven brand this weekend, scoring an amazing $26.9 million on Friday and an estimated $55.7 million for the weekend, despite middling reviews. Here's Variety's weekend b.o. report, and review. And Carina Chocano's spot-on review in the LAT.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 1, 2008 5:13 AM
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Cannes Watch: Indiana Jones

I saw it coming. Ever since Paramount announced that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Kingdom of the Crystal Skull would not screen for anyone before its May 18 unveiling at Cannes (in advance of its worldwide launch May 22), I felt that Spielberg and Co. might be setting themselves up. The anticipation of this film is too great, the pressure for information is wrecking havoc on the internet. As the NYT reports, several exhibitor screenings have added to the din surrounding this film. So far the PR strategy has been to dole out interviews to press who have not yet seen it; Vanity Fair, EW, the LAT and others have played ball.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 12, 2008 4:31 AM
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Summer Movies: Women Want Sex and the City

The NYT's Manohla Dargis seems to think that ">there aren't many women's pictures coming out this summer. True, much of the summer movie advance buzz and online hype is about what the fanboys are interested in. The women's pictures, which appeal to one or two audience quadrants and don't necessarily target men, won't be blockbusters. That's one issue. (Another is the current phobia about putting sex in movies, like Speed Racer and Iron Man, because it will scare off men and younger folks. Please.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 6, 2008 5:36 AM
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