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Thompson on Hollywood

Immersed in Movies: Designing Cinematic Jigsaw Puzzle and Game-Changer 'Gravity'

"Gravity" production designer Andrew Nicholson, who will be at the Art Directors Guild Wednesday night and at USC on Friday, discusses why the immersive, Oscar-contending blockbuster is a model for the future of hybrid movies.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 20, 2013 2:48 PM
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TV IS THE NEW CINEMA: 'Doctor Who' 50th Specials Celebrate Britain's National Treasure

The BBC's "Doctor Who" is the longest-running television program in the history of the known universe. The 50th anniversary festivities are already well underway in the UK, with a pair of celebratory broadcasts coming up this week on BBC America.
  • By David Chute
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  • November 20, 2013 12:20 PM
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'Thor' Holds Top Weekend Spot Against Surprise Challenger 'Best Man's Holiday'

´╗┐Marvel/Disney's "Thor: The Dark World," aided both by upbeat audience reaction and the lack of product in theaters aimed at the young action-movie demo, roared back to Number One in its second weekend. Universal's "The Best Man Holiday" beat it out for top spot on Friday, but fell back to score more than $30 million, even more impressive as it played at some 1,800 fewer theaters than "Thor" ("Best Man"'s per screen average was actually 50% better).
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 17, 2013 1:42 PM
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Is Vince Vaughn Asset or Liability on 'Delivery Man'? (EARLY REVIEW ROUNDUP)

A review roundup of "Delivery Man," starring Vince Vaughn. They range from upbeat to negative.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2013 4:25 PM
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EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Scenes at Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki's Oscar-Contender 'The Wind Rises' (TRAILER)

A contender for the animated feature Oscar, the subtitled "The Wind Rises" (Disney) is now playing a one-week Oscar qualifying run in Los Angeles and New York in its Japanese subtitled version. Possibly the last film from Hayao Miyazaki, the Walt Disney of Japan, who won the animated Oscar for "Spirited Away," "The Wind Rises" is not aimed at young kids. Gorgeously drawn, it's an historical true story of the brilliant designer behind the Zero fighter plane that wrecked havoc in World War II. I interview Geoffrey Wexler, a high-ranking Studio Ghibli executive who was in town to start dubbing the English version that Disney will release on February 21.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2013 11:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Arthouse Audit: 'Book Thief' Survives Critics, Oscar-Contender 'Wind Rises' Sells Out Two Theaters

´╗┐This week's newbies are a mixed bag. "The Book Thief," a rare major studio platform release, overcame less than great reviews for a respectable showing, while Disney's release of Hayao Miyazaki's subtitled animated feature "The Wind Rises" sold out most shows at two one-week-only theaters. The rest of the newcomers fell far short of these two, with Alex Gibney's documentary "The Armstrong Lie" the best of the mediocre bunch.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 10, 2013 4:33 PM
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Weekend Top Ten: 'Thor' Bashes Box Office, 'Ender's Game' Collapses

Led by a strong performance by 3-D enhanced "Thor: The Dark World," overall grosses came in about equal to last year, keeping pace with the 2012 year-to-date total. (2013's top ten grossed $159 million against $161 million last year.) With $86,109,000 for the weekend, "Thor" came in just behind "Skyfall"'s stellar opening last year, but the heavy lifting came from the rest of the top 10.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 10, 2013 1:57 PM
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Friday Box Office: 'Thor' Strong, Not Mighty, 'Last Vegas' Lures Boomers, '12 Years' Passes $12 Million

Adding to its stellar first-week overseas haul of more than $150 million, "Thor: The Dark World" is grabbing more than half of Friday's Top 10 box office take. With $31,633,000 (including Thursday night shows) already in the till the Marvel/Disney sequel will score an easy #1 for the weekend. However, the film is unlikely to cross $100 million for the weekend. Indeed the number won't even be a record for the Veteran's Day holiday.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 9, 2013 1:33 PM
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It's Official: Jay Penske Finally Fires Nikki Finke, But Is She Free to Go Solo in January?

There was no containing Nikki Finke. The Deadline founder finally got her way. Following her last destructive media salvo--memorably describing her four years under media mogul Jay Penske as "slavery"--her boss fired her. She's free. Bring on NikkiFinke.com. But does Finke have a non-compete?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 6, 2013 2:08 PM
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TV IS THE NEW CINEMA: French Creep Show 'The Returned' Is Profoundly Unsettling

Perhaps only the gloomy, philosophical French could have a created a spook show as profoundly unsettling as "The Returned," in which the dead come back to life in a small city in the French Alps, not as ghosts or zombies but simply as themselves.
  • By David Chute
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  • November 6, 2013 6:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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