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Thompson on Hollywood

'2 Guns' Blasts Mild August Weekend; 'Smurfs 2' Lags Stateside; 'Conjuring' Most Profitable Movie Ever Made?

Universal returned to the #1 spot with Denzel Washington-Mark Wahlberg actioner "2 Guns," the latest in the studio's diverse string of successful openings, after an expensive detour with the dreadful opening of "R.I.P.D." "2 Guns" led a top 10 that totaled about $120 million in gross, a jump of $8 million over last year. Meantime, the domestic take for "The Smurfs 2" disappointed, although Sony reports better international returns.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 4, 2013 1:49 PM
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  • 8 Comments

'2 Guns' Leads Bland Friday Grosses; Sony's 'Smurfs 2' Opens in Third, Bigger Overseas

It's August. Universal is heading for its third number one opener of the summer as the Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg crime actioner "2 Guns" grossed $10 million Friday. That's the lowest number for a top film for a Friday since the pre-summer April 26 first day of "Pain and Gain," but is typical of an August opening. Overall grosses for the top 10 were slightly above the same week a year ago.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 3, 2013 12:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'The Wolverine' Disappoints at Healthy Box Office; 'Fruitvale' Lands in Top Ten

Although Twentieth Century Fox's "The Wolverine," the week's sole wide opener, performed a good deal below predictions, the overall weekend was encouraging as the uneven (and very expensive) summer continues to play out. Grosses for the top 10 came in at around $152 million, a big jump from last year's $124 million (where the #1 film was the second weekend of "The Dark Knight Rises"). Decent-grossing newcomer "The Wolverine" played its part, but the overall strength comes from several films holding well (the #2-6 films dropped between 36 and 48% from last weekend). With several significant August openings ahead, the summer could still end up ahead of last year's, but not likely quite enough to boost the year total.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • July 27, 2013 3:05 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Top Ten: 'The Conjuring' Triumphs While Box Office Slumps, R.I.P.D. Is D.O.A.

Warner Bros.' low-budget "The Conjuring" easily topped the weekend, with Fox/DreamWorks' "Turbo" placing only number three as the best of the rest. Lionsgate's "Red 2" struggled to keep pace with its predecessor, while Universal's "R.I.P.D." is lining up to be one of the summer's biggest flops. Altogether, four new openers with production budgets totaling around $400 million grossed less than $100 million this weekend, compared to the $161 million that one film, "The Dark Knight Rises," took in exactly one year ago. That led to an overall top 10 shortfall of about $50 million, as 2013 continues to struggle to catch up.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • July 21, 2013 1:30 PM
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  • 5 Comments

This Weekend: See Harrowing 'The Act of Killing,' 'Blackfish,' 'Only God Forgives,' Skip 'RED 2'

This is a very strong weekend for indies. Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act of Killing" is an artful examination of genocide in Indonesia; Gabriela Cowperthwaite's "Blackfish" centers on the lethal consequences of SeaWorld's captivity of orca whales; and Andrew Bujalski's latest, "Computer Chess," is a 1980s-set period piece following a group of awkward nerds at a chess convention.
  • By Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
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  • July 19, 2013 1:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Immersed in Movies: James Wan and Vera Farmiga Talk '70s-Set Paranormal Frightener 'The Conjuring'; Sequel in Works (VIDEO)

"The Conjuring" proves that you don't have to indulge in torture porn to be scary. In fact, the well-crafted throwback is a family drama driven by horror. It's a true life story from 1971 about a family tormented by spirits in its secluded Rhode Island farmhouse, and how renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) came to their rescue.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 16, 2013 1:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments

WATCH: Cleverly Creepy New Trailer for 'The Conjuring'

Check out the canny new trailer for James Wan's "The Conjuring," which is receiving strong reviews prior to its July 19 release. (Variety's hailed it as "Insidious" and "Saw" director Wan's "masterpiece.") The trailer cleverly interweaves interview snippets with the real-life Perron family, whose story of being haunted in their Rhode Island farmhouse in the 1970s is the basis for the film. Even the use of the baritone voiceover evokes a creepily vintage feel.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 1, 2013 2:40 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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