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Thompson on Hollywood

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide; Joins Top Nine Grossers

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide; Joins Top Nine Grossers
Since it opened 17 days ago, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 has been breaking box office records, but remember--the series finale had a 3-D boost. Anthony D'Alessandro does the global numbers:In just 17 days, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 flew past the $1-billion mark at the global box office, making it the highest grossing chapter in the franchise as well as the ninth film ever to cross this benchmark (top nine grossers list is below).
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • July 31, 2011 9:32 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Cowboys & Aliens, Crazy, Stupid, Love & Indies The Future, The Guard, Interrupters, Life in a Day

Cowboys & Aliens, Crazy, Stupid, Love & Indies The Future, The Guard, Interrupters, Life in a Day
Cowboys & Aliens gets the prize for most literal title, if nothing else. While Andrew O'Hehir writes: "The movie never makes much of a case for its own existence; it's a mediocre western clumsily welded to a mediocre alien shoot-'em-up," and Roger Moore concludes: "A perfectly serviceable B-movie in the modern mold -- lots of money, lots of stars, lots of explosions and lots of credited screenwriters," TOH!'s review was somewhere in the middle, considering both the good (Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig), the bad (Olivia Wilde) and the ugly (the aliens).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 28, 2011 4:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cowboys & Aliens Early Review Roundup: Favreau, Writers Talk Genre Clash

Cowboys & Aliens Early Review Roundup: Favreau, Writers Talk Genre Clash
In the days leading up to the Cowboys & Aliens world premiere July 23 at Comic-Con in San Diego, director Jon Favreau was anxious. He was telling anyone who would listen just how brave this mash-up of the sci-fi and western genres really is. In his Thursday Q & A with Guillermo Del Toro in Hall H, Favreau said, "Everyone agrees it's either going to be terrible or awesome... This movie was not the safe move. I was in a position to do something different. As movie budgets get higher they all become the same. If you take risks, when it pays off it's wonderful. If you can take failure it's ok." Favreau also refused to make the movie in 3-D, thankfully.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 27, 2011 6:29 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Crazy, Stupid, Love Reviews: Refreshingly Upscale, Contrived, Genial Messy Comedy, Real Actors

Crazy, Stupid, Love Reviews: Refreshingly Upscale, Contrived, Genial Messy Comedy, Real Actors
Each time a studio presents a new romantic comedy I face it with dread, unless Judd Apatow is involved. He works hard at finding some grain of truth about how men and women relate to each other. (Check out this candid KCRW podcast interview.) I'm allergic to fake studio gloss, and was surprised by the skill applied to Crazy, Stupid, Love (July 29), which could easily have gone south--the degree of difficulty was high. The top-flight cast delivers on this one.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 26, 2011 10:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Captain America Makes Strong Superhero Start

Marvel has launched yet another comic superhero at the movies, Captain America. Anthony D'Alessandro reports.The stars aligned around the Paramount logo this weekend as the Marvel Entertainment production Captain America: The First Avenger became the summer’s biggest superhero opener at $65.8 million, beating Thor ($65.7 million), X-Men: First Class ($55.1 million) and DC’s Green Lantern ($53.2 million). Women who had their fill of watching men in tights took in another showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ($48.1 million) or Sony/Screen Gems' kinky romantic comedy Friends With Benefits at $18.5 million.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • July 24, 2011 4:27 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Dominic Cooper Talks Devil's Double: "Fast Cars, Sex, & Excitement"

Dominic Cooper Talks Devil's Double: "Fast Cars, Sex, & Excitement"
There's plenty wrong with Lee Tamahori's The Devil's Double, but what's right with it is Dominic Cooper. The British actor (The History Boys, The Dutchess, Mamma Mia!, An Education, Tamara Drewe) plays both Saddam Hussein's son Uday Hussein and Latif Lahia, the man forced to be his double. Based on Lahia's memoir, the film takes some loose facts and then runs wildly into male-fantasy land. This is the sexy-music-video-violent-video-game take on Hussein's regime and its byproduct: a psychotic son that rapes, kills and snorts copious amounts of coke without thinking twice.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 21, 2011 2:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Marvel Plays Captain America Too Straight, Early Reviews UPDATED

Marvel Plays Captain America Too Straight, Early Reviews UPDATED
So far so good for Marvel Entertainment, which has churned out more blockbusters than stumbles. This year, both Thor and X-Men: First Class delivered, and Sony's 2012 reboot of Spider-Man will be previewed at Comic-Con, along with a full screening of Captain America: First Avenger, which always presented a challenge. How do you dust off a patriotic World War II Nazi-fighting hero--battling larger-than-life the Red Skull--and make ten-year-old boys believe in him again? Marvel bravely took on the task, starting out the movie with the discovery of a buried fighter plane in the Arctic, and reaching back in time to resurrect the origin story of Steve Rogers, a 90-pound weakling-turned-super-strong-war-hero.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 20, 2011 8:05 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Midnight in Paris Is Woody Allen's Biggest Hit, Passes 1986's Hannah and Her Sisters $40 Million

Midnight in Paris Is Woody Allen's Biggest Hit, Passes 1986's Hannah and Her Sisters $40 Million
Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris continues its torrid box office pace. When I talked to Allen right before he opened this year's Cannes Film Festival, he knew that he had a hit ("it's a hit, a big-titted hit!" as Robert Duvall says in Network). Sure enough, the movie has broken weekly house records all over the country and passed Match Point and Vicky Christina Barcelona's benchmark of $23 million after the 4th of July weekend. And now it has even exceeded vintage Oscar-contender mainstream breakouts Annie Hall (1977, $38 million), Manhattan (1979, $39 million) and his top-grosser, Hannah and her Sisters (1986, $40 million). This past weekend Midnight in Paris wound up a few digits shy of $42 million.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 19, 2011 1:11 AM
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  • 16 Comments

Harry Potter Finale Records Boosted by Online Pre-Sales

Harry Potter Finale Records Boosted by Online Pre-Sales
While 3D boosted Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 weekend's record box office performance, so did online pre-sales, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:Another big winner surfacing from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’s $168.6 million weekend: Online movie ticket providers Fandango and MovieTickets.com.  Pre-sales for the franchise finale figuratively crashed both sites as each reaped company highs: Fandango generated 19% of Deathly Hallows: Part 2’s opening weekend ($32 million) while MovieTickets saw its highest pre-sale in its 11-year history, selling twice the amount of any movie this year.   Even more telling about the future of movie-ticket sales: 20% of Fandango’s summer revenue to date has been derived from mobile devices (from iPads to Androids).  Downloads for the company’s ticketing app currently number more than 18 million. Fandango services 60% of all U.S. screens wired for pre-sales.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • July 18, 2011 4:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Winnie the Pooh vs. Harry Potter

Winnie the Pooh vs. Harry Potter
It's curiouser and curiouser. Why would Disney put poor old Winnie the Pooh up against the mightiest franchise finale ever? New TOH columnist Bill Desowitz, who covers the inside workings of animation, visual effects and below-the-line filmmaking in Hollywood at his new blog Immersed in Movies, talks to the Disney animators behind this old-fashioned hand-drawn Pooh, which opened, despite rave reviews, in sixth place this weekend. Judging from its A- Cinemascore, strong WOM should bring more audiences to the picture in coming weeks: Oh, bother. What were they thinking at Disney, pitting the animated gang from the Hundred-Acre Wood against Harry's final confrontation with Voldemort this weekend?
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 17, 2011 8:11 AM
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  • 7 Comments

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