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Thompson on Hollywood

Focus Features Adds Kujawski to Sundance Acquisition Team

Universal Pictures is sending Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Peter Kujawski to the Sundance Film Festival, which starts Thursday, to search for film acquisitions for not only the studio but specialized film division Focus Features. The studio wants to centralize and streamline its global acquisitions efforts.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 16, 2013 1:59 PM
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Universal Preps for Change, from Meyer's Upstairs Move to Courting DreamWorks' Snider and Spielberg

Changes are under way at Universal Studios. And the LAT's revelation that studio president Ron Meyer will be heading into an advisory role at NBCUniversal prior to his retirement paves the way for new leadership. The longest- running studio chief in Hollywood has arranged his own graceful exit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 9, 2012 3:53 PM
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Review: Gilroy's 'The Bourne Legacy' Delivers, Thanks to Renner

I was looking forward to "The Bourne Legacy" more than most studio sequels that have lost their signature director and star. That's because Universal turned to writer-director Tony Gilroy to reinvent the "Bourne" franchise without Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon, who became a movie star playing the title character originated by Robert Ludlum.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2012 1:40 PM
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Universal, Focus Pick 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Producing Team

The winners of Universal Pictures and Focus Features' bidding war to produce the movie version of EL James' erotic Number One bestseller "Fifty Shades of Grey" are "The Social Network" producers Michael De Luca ("Magnolia," "Moneyball") and Dana Brunetti ("21"), who runs Trigger Street Productions with Kevin Spacey...
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 9, 2012 10:58 PM
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In the Works: Duplass Bros. to Remake 1978's 'Same Time, Next Year' with Universal, Rudin Set to Produce

The ever-busy Duplass brothers have signed with Universal to remake the 1978 film "Same Time, Next Year," with Scott Rudin set to produce, along with original producer, nonagenarian Walter Mirisch.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 13, 2012 1:09 PM
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Arthouse Audit: Massive Opening for "Moonrise Kingdom" Shows that Festivals Matter (UPDATED 4 DAY FIGURES)

"Moonrise Kingdom" opened with some of the best platform grosses ever, even adjusting for inflation, but it isn't the only good news out there. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" had a terrific expansion, while the massive international hit "Intouchables" had a lesser, if still encouraging, NY/LA opening.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • May 28, 2012 5:36 PM
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EL James Does 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Promo Tour (Video)

Curious about EL James, author of erotic fantasy fiction "Fifty Shades of Grey"? The Twihard, who started out writing "Twilight" fan fiction before penning her own trilogy (which has been bought for the movies, under her control, by Universal and Focus Features), has been on a promo tour as her three Vintage books have sold 3 million digital and print copies in less than a month and top the New York Times bestseller list. They are also bestsellers in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. Translated books are about to hit other countries too.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 12, 2012 2:36 PM
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After Bidding War, 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Goes to Universal/Focus; Author Keeps Control of S&M Erotica Trilogy for Women

Hollywood is cautious when it comes to sex in cinema. The studios are more comfortable with raunchy sex comedies from the likes of Judd Apatow and the "American Pie" series ("American Reunion" is coming up) than anything sexy and intimate. Erotica aimed at men or women is a tricky area.
  • By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage
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  • March 26, 2012 1:42 PM
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New Trailer for 'Snow White and the Huntsman'; Stewart Is The One to End The Darkness

In this extended trailer for Universal's "Snow White and the Huntsman" (June 1), the epic fairy tale adaptation looks less edgy than we'd expected. This mythical action adventure is clearly aimed at a female PG-13 audience.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 19, 2012 12:16 PM
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  • 10 Comments

Reeves Joins Actor-Director Gang with Chinese-Language 'Man of Tai Chi'

On February 28, Keanu Reeves began production in China on his directorial debut, "Man of Tai Chi." The Chinese-language film will shoot over six months in China and Hong Kong on a budget of $32 million. It is a contemporary action film; famed martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping will work with Reeves, who stars in the film, as well as co-stars Tiger Chen and Karen Mok. The project is a co-production of China Film Group, Village Roadshow, Wanda Media and Universal (which will handle distribution).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 1, 2012 12:21 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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