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Thompson on Hollywood

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

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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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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Trailer Watch: George Lucas's World War II Aerial Ballet Red Tails Debuts January 20

We've been waiting a while for producer George Lucas's take on the World War II Tuskegee airmen, now set for release by Twentieth Century Fox on January 20, 2012. Anthony Hemingway (Treme, The Wire, Battlestar Galactica) directs a script by John Ridley (Three Kings) and a sprawling ensemble led by Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire), Terrence Howard (Iron Man), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Andre Royo (The Wire). Produced by Rick McCallum and Charles Floyd Johnson, the film boasts a score by frequent Spike Lee composer Terence Blanchard.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2011 8:29 AM
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Media Watch: Murdoch Update; Brooks Resigns; Murdoch's Apology UPDATED

Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of News International, has resigned. Brooks was editor of the News of the World from 2000 to 2003, during the time that the phone of murder victim Milly Dowler was hacked. In her interoffice memo, deciphered line by line by The Guardian, Brooks claims that she resigned because she was a distraction in the media, writing: “My desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate.” Another resignation in the phone scandal story reveals the growing pressure on Murdoch's beleaguered U.K. media group. Here's a colorful Guardian Brooks profile.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 15, 2011 4:59 AM
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Summer in Sun Valley: Moguls Convene at Herb Allen's, Murdoch Ducks

It's been hard for NewsCorp. chairman Rupert Murdoch to relax this week at investment banker Herb Allen's 29th annual Sun Valley mogul retreat, which launched July 5 and lasts for five days. Murdoch is under too much fire with the News of the World bugging scandal threatening to derail his long-planned BSkyB takeover bid--even after he opted to kill the tabloid.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 8, 2011 12:32 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Fox Ape App Could Deflate Your Ego

To promote prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes’s simian-vs-man premise, Twentieth Century Fox has released an application that will test whether iPhones and iPads users are more intelligent than monkeys.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 8, 2011 6:06 AM
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Oscar Watch: Skin I Live In Gets October Date; Carnage Goes to November, Holiday Sked Shapes Up

The earlier a high-prestige art house movie opens in the fall, the less likely that its distributor harbors serious Oscar hopes for it. In other words, if Sony Pictures Classics moves Pedro Almodovar's retitled Skin I Live In from November to October, and slates Roman Polanski's Carnage on November 18, it means the latter is being given the Oscar advantage. Almodovar's kinky thriller starring Antonio Banderas met a mixed reception in Cannes. "This is not a move," asserts SPC co-president Michael Barker. "We never set the date until now. We were always going in the Fall. It is a great date."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 27, 2011 1:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Super 8 Pulls $38 Million, Beats X-Men: First Class for Number One Slot

Weekend Box Office: Super 8 Pulls $38 Million, Beats X-Men: First Class for Number One Slot
As Paramount labored to both downplay expectations and build up word-of-mouth via advance sneaks, Super 8 exceeded box office predictions and got off to a strong start. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:Super 8’s projector bulbs burned brighter than expected as Paramount’s sci-fi drama bested its lowest box office estimates by 52% for a wondrous weekend estimate of $38 million. Concern that J.J. Abrams’ cinematic love letter to Steven Spielberg would bow to dismal results provoked Paramount to hammer the film’s critical acclaim into gold by unspooling the film on Thursday at 300-plus sites (including 239 IMAX hubs) via a Twitter promotion. One couldn't expect record grosses from a limited release: thus Thursday’s $1 million take amounted to cherries on Paramount’s sundae.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • June 12, 2011 4:52 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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