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Thompson on Hollywood

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

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

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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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

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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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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X-Men: First Class: Winners and Losers, Fassbender Up, Lawrence Down

X-Men: First Class: Winners and Losers, Fassbender Up, Lawrence Down
X-Men: First Class's $56 million opening (no 3-D premium ticket sales) marks a big win for most of the folks involved. But there are a few losers, too.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 5, 2011 6:55 AM
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  • 26 Comments

Weekend Box Office: X-Men: First Class Tops Field with Prequel-Size $56 Million

Weekend Box Office: X-Men: First Class Tops Field with Prequel-Size $56 Million
Great reviews propelled reboot X-Men: First Class to a solid if not stellar $56 million opening. Anthony D'Alessandro explains why.Fox’s X-Men: First Class easily aced its weekend course in box office math by absorbing a solid $56 million into Fox’s coffers.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • June 5, 2011 4:10 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Trailer Watch: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The trailer for Rupert Wyatt's prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes, starring James Franco as a scientist run amuck and Andy Serkis (Gollum, King Kong) as a smart primate, looks pretty creepy. Here's more on WETA's VFX. Fox releases the pic on August 5. Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton and David Oyelow also star.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 3, 2011 12:33 PM
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Paramount, Fox, Cameron Relaunch Titanic Again in Retro-3-D

I know that James Cameron is invested in the future of 3-D, but it pains me that having set the highest possible 3-D standard with the glorious global blockbuster Avatar, the filmmaker is making Paramount and his home studio Twentieth Century Fox happy by retro-fitting the second-highest-grossing film of all time, 1997's Titanic, in 3-D. The studios plan a worldwide rerelease on April 6, 2012 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ship's sailing.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 19, 2011 12:12 PM
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  • 5 Comments

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