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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Visual Effects List of Seven Led by Avatar

Seven movies have made the short list of the Academy Visual Effects branch. They will vote for the final three nominated films on January 21 at the annual bake-off, where 15-minute reels of each film are screened for the VFX voters. I'm always at Sundance for this; I'd love to go one day.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2010 7:17 AM
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Transformers: ROTF Passes $300 Million

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has passed the $300 million in 14 days. The sequel is so hugely successful that it encourages the studios to keep pursuing the same dispiriting tentpole dream. It's not a question of Michael Bay being a crap director. He's clearly in the zone of knowing what audiences want to see. I just worry that the studios will neglect creating original franchises in the first place, which demand creativity and imagination.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 8, 2009 8:16 AM
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Paramount Scores Orci and Kurtzman Project

It's not surprising that new Paramount production head Adam Goodman took advantage of his DreamWorks insider status and nabbed a high-profile project, License to Steal, from the super-hot screenwriter-producing team Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. This buy of an overtly commercial Salon feature about globe-trotting Repo men chasing luxury planes and boats was pursued by several top directors and producers. It signals that an inside-Hollywood pro is back in charge, and the once-quiet studio is back in buying mode. When Paramount put into turnaround projects such as John Carter of Mars and Twilight , that sent another signal: the studio didn't recognize potential franchises.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2009 5:43 AM
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Transformers: ROTF Premiere, LaBeouf's Wild Life

>Here's what I learned on my rounds at the Transformers: ROTF premiere Monday night:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 23, 2009 2:03 AM
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Six Lessons of Summer Box Office

First the media touted the uptick in 2009 theatrical business, now they're pointing to a downturn compared to last summer's b.o., a few big flops and the absence of blockbusters. "Through Sunday, summer B.O. revs stood at $1.46 billion, compared to $1.47 billion last year," reports Variety.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 17, 2009 3:04 AM
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Transformers' LaBoeuf: Troubled Star

What a difference two years makes. The picture on left of Shia LaBeouf ran in Parade Magazine when Disturbia made him into a star. The photo on the right ran this week in Parade in advance of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. (Here's http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117940483.html?categoryid=31&cs=1">Variety's review.) We all know that talent is only one component of a long and happy career. Stability is another. Or to put it another way, sometimes the sensitive tuning rod that is essential to a working actor's skill set isn't screwed on tight enough. LaBeouf speaks frankly about his demons. I wish him well in dealing with them.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 16, 2009 7:16 AM
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Don't Feel Sorry for Michael Bay

Nobody likes Michael Bay. Give the media a big fat target like a Forbes "who is richer" entry, and they will not resist piling on. New York's Vulture even calls him "the mogul of mindlessness." Lest we feel sorry for him, the guy owns Digital Domain and gets 10% of the gross on the Transformers movies (and 8% on the toys). And don't get your hopes up. By all accounts, this summer's installment, as over-pixellated as it looks, will not be a boxoffice disappointment when it opens June 24.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 5, 2009 7:26 AM
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Transformers' Megan Fox Shoots Esquire Video

Clever marketing: put Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen star Megan Fox on the cover of Esquire. Shoot a Red One Camera video by Greg Williams to sell the cover story and photo layout--which come from the video shoot (a first). Let the video spread through the web like wildfire. (Which it would if they had provided embed code and allowed it to be uploaded on YouTube.) Annoyingly, you have to buy the magazine, which goes on sale May 10, to read the story and see the stills.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 4, 2009 6:15 AM
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Transformers: LAFF Premiere

Transformers took over Westwood last night, playing on multiple screens with crowds jamming Broxton Avenue will-call tables and an after-party on the street.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 28, 2007 6:26 AM
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Disturbia's LaBeouf Hits Big

The sign of a rising movie star is a little movie that unexpectedly opens big on mixed reviews. (Disturbia rated a 62 from ">Metacritic.) With Shia LaBeouf and Disturbia, some of the credit for a $23 million opening goes to a well-mounted thriller hitting at just the right time. (There's a reason studios love to do genre remakes for young audiences: they don't know the difference between the technologically enhanced new model and the superior original, in this case, Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 15, 2007 4:59 AM
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