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Thompson on Hollywood

IN THE WORKS: Independence Day Sequels Want To Take Your Money, Even if They Don't Pay for Smith

Fox will make not one but two Independence Day sequels, fifteen years (and counting) after the original Will Smith pic raked in $800 million across the globe. It's not a new idea -- the studio had wanted to green light a sequel for some time, but both Smith and director Roland Emmerich demanded huge paychecks. So Fox focused on developing scripts and declared that the franchise could proceed with or without them.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 27, 2011 6:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: Dolphin Tale Overtakes Moneyball in Second Inning

Weekend Box Office: Dolphin Tale Overtakes Moneyball in Second Inning
While it looked like Moneyball would assert its dominance over the weekend box office, another second weekender took the prize: Dolphin Tale. Again, the family movie pulled a bigger niche audience than too many competitors aimed at males and adults. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:Another flood of wide entries fragmented Fall moviegoers this weekend. Warner Bros./Alcon's heart-tugging crowd-pleaser Dolphin Tale yipped up $14.2 million in its second session, overtaking Sony's well-reviewed Moneyball, which fielded $12.5 million. Both films generated warm buzz throughout the week, especially on Rosh Hashanah last Thursday when some schools were off.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 2, 2011 4:33 AM
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  • 8 Comments

In Time Star Justin Timberlake Invites Photographers To Make Every Second Count

Justin Timberlake is trying--still trying--to parlay his well-earned celebrity status into a movie career.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 28, 2011 10:24 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Box Office Scandal: Circuit Dealing Pervades Small Towns, Flagship vs. Century Theatres

Box Office Scandal: Circuit Dealing Pervades Small Towns, Flagship vs. Century Theatres
In a David vs. Goliath face-off, indie-owned Flagship Theaters recently won an appeal in its crusade against Cinemark’s Century Theatres. Does the age-old practice of circuit dealing — an unethical way for chain exhibitors to muscle studios — still persist? Anthony D’Alessandro digs further into this taboo topic: What is circuit dealing, exactly? It’s a predatory film booking practice whereby multiplex chains strong-arm studios for product in a specific market. If a studio decides to book with the competition in a given community, usually a Mom-and-Pop venue, then the exhibitor will threaten to bar that film (or future films) from playing the entire chain.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 27, 2011 11:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Geeking Out with Cameron at the 3D Summit: Titanic, Avatar, Theme Parks

Geeking Out with Cameron at the 3D Summit: Titanic, Avatar, Theme Parks
This week, in his Immersed in Movies column, Bill Desowitz talks to James Cameron at the 3D Summit. Don't try to convince James Cameron that 3-D is faltering. He's still a true believer, despite some recent 3-D blowback. He laughed if off as growing pains and negative media spin at the 3D Entertainment Summit this week at the Hollywood & Highland Center, but said it's nothing that can't be fixed with a change of perception and better 3-D authoring and presentation.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 23, 2011 5:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Critics, Academy, Men, Women: The Help vs. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Oscar Watch: Critics, Academy, Men, Women: The Help vs. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
It's not surprising where @spikelee falls on The Help. He's retweeting the articles that support his views, from indieWIRE's Eric Kohn to Michael Phillips in The Chicago Tribune. UPDATE: And The Association of Black Women Historians also disapproves.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 15, 2011 3:56 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Who Gets Credit for Rise of the Planet of the Apes?

Who Gets Credit for Rise of the Planet of the Apes?
Now that word-of-mouth has caught up with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which is well on its way to being a huge global hit, folks will be lining up to take credit for the picture. Who deserves the credit for how well this turned out?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 8, 2011 5:41 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Good Word Propels Rise of the Planet of the Apes to $54 Million, Change-Up Soft

Weekend Box Office: Good Word Propels Rise of the Planet of the Apes to $54 Million, Change-Up Soft
Truth is, Fox did not know what a powerful box office contender it had in prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes, waiting to screen the film until the last minute when the film's astonishing VFX were final. Then the good word exploded, and the movie scored a rousing $54 million opening weekend. Anthony D'Alessandro digs into the numbers. Fox executives had every reason to beat their chests this morning as Rise of the Planet of the Apes greatly exceeded expectations with $54 million. Meanwhile Universal suits saw yet another summer entry disappoint, as R-rated guy comedy The Change-Up followed last weekend's Cowboys & Aliens with a dispiriting $13.5 million opening.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 7, 2011 4:35 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Watch: How Weta Gives Rise to the Planet of the Apes; Andy Serkis as Lon Chaney

Oscar Watch: How Weta Gives Rise to the Planet of the Apes; Andy Serkis as Lon Chaney
One of the debates on Twitter Friday morning was which movie will be the one to the beat for this year's VFX Oscar? Michael Bay's 3-D Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which set out to challenge James Cameron's 3-D Avatar, or Terrence Malick's spacey The Tree of Life? Now a new summer movie has entered the Oscar fray: Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Bill Desowitz reports:Hail Caesar!
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • August 5, 2011 5:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Delivers: Jaw-Dropping Weta Effects, Strong Reviews

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Delivers: Jaw-Dropping Weta Effects, Strong Reviews
It is a mystery why Twentieth Century Fox took so long to unveil Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which is such a strong summer entry that it might have built up some loud advance buzz. The filmmakers were likely so anxious about the quality of the VFX that they waited until the last minute for improvements. They needn't have worried. This is not another cynical cookie-cutter sequel or remake.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 3, 2011 5:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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