Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Focus Goes On 10th Anniversary Buying Spree, from Bana Thriller to Sundance's 'For a Good Time Call'; Talk Digital Focus World

As Focus Features ramps up for its 10th anniversary, chairman James Schamus and president Andew Karpen are on a buying tear. And with three Oscar nominations in hand for BAFTA front-runner "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," which is scoring at the box office ($42 million worldwide), they're in high spirits. "It's kicking ass," says Schamus. "Remember, Gary Oldman is revered by his peers."
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • February 2, 2012 4:28 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Universal Digs Into Archives to Celebrate 100 Years of Movie History Throughout 2012

Universal Pictures is planning a yearlong centennial celebration to celebrate 100 years of the studio's history and legacy. The celebration aims to engage with a wide range of audiences, and it will include the restoration of thirteen titles, including "To Kill a Mockingbird," "All Quiet on the Western Front," "Jaws"...
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • January 10, 2012 12:28 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Beginners' Christopher Plummer Supporting Actor Frontrunner, Video Exclusive

While the supporting actor category is open to change and movement over the next few months, one name is sure to land a slot on Oscar nominations morning: Christopher Plummer. The stage-trained Canadian actor, 81, has been giving great performances for  decades, from Baron von Trapp in "The Sound of Music" and Rudyard Kipling in "The Man Who Would Be King" to Mike Wallace in "The Insider" and, remarkably, his first Oscar nomination as Leo Tolstoy in 2009's "The Last Station." But arguably among Plummer's best is the role Mike Mills gave him as Ewan McGregor's ailing gay father in "Beginners." It's a juicy part: late in life, although he's fighting against the dying of the light, the man has come out of the closet and is madly in love with both his freedom and his partner (Goran Visnjic). Plummer is joyful, vigorous, sexy, funny, and heartbreaking. He talks about how he approached the role in the exclusive Plummer featurette below.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • November 11, 2011 4:16 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Safe House Stars Badass Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga

Check out Universal's Safe House, from Swedish born director Daniel Espinosa. The plot sounds familiar, but we'll pay to see Denzel Washington in just about anything. Ryan Reynolds appears suitably second fiddle to Washington, and Vera Farmiga plays the tough CIA woman who balances out the requisite underwear-clad hot girlfriend. The film hits theaters February 2012.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • November 3, 2011 7:17 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Ratner's Tower Heist Set to Topple Indie Docs & Dramas

Brett Ratner's timely Tower Heist taps into anti-Wall Street sentiment and is just what you'd expect: competent, breezy, escapist entertainment. The well-cast Madoff-inspired comedy--which stars Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Alan Alda and Eddie Murphy in a supporting comeback bid-- is expected to take in $29 million this weekend, while A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas 3D could score $15.5 million.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
  • |
  • November 3, 2011 6:34 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Universal Abandons Tower Heist VOD Plan, NATO's Fithian Debates Magnolia's Wagner

Universal Abandons Tower Heist VOD Plan, NATO's Fithian Debates Magnolia's Wagner
First Netflix and now Universal Pictures have killed a change in direction after fierce resistance. In the case of Universal, the studio was testing what was acceptable to their partners, theater owners, as well as moviegoers, who are demanding earlier access to new movies. Universal had planned to make Bret Rattner's Tower Heist available via Video on Demand only three weeks after opening November 4 in theaters. Exhibitors and filmmakers from James Cameron to Jon Favreau are fighting to keep the theatrical window an average of 90 days, while several studios are pushing back, under pressure to move toward a shortened window, due to the decline of DVD revenues as well as global piracy concerns.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • October 12, 2011 6:37 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

Brothers Grimm: Snow White Stills Diminish Hope in Relativity's Family Flick

The more we learn about Relativity's The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, the less excited we become. This "family friendly" take on Snow White (with Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer), versus Universal's edgier (or so they want us to think). The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, is directed by Tarsem Singh, and will be first out of the gate on March 16, 2012. Rupert Sanders' Snow White and the Huntsman (with Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth) is in theaters July 1.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • October 12, 2011 6:33 AM
  • |
  • 20 Comments

Focus Features' Africa First Program Announces Winners of $10,000 Grants

Focus Features' Africa First short film program announces fourth set of winners. Each filmmaker--of African nationality and residence--will receive $10,000 and will be networked with and mentored by leaders of the African film community.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • October 6, 2011 7:12 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Joe Wright's Anna Karenina Begins Shooting for Working Title: Knightley Leads Strong Cast

Joe Wright has begun shooting his adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's beloved classic, Anna Karenina. Shooting in the UK and Russia with a script adapted by Tom Stoppard, the film stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Emily Watson, Olivia Williams and Ruth Wilson. Working Title's Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing alongside Paul Webster (they successfully collaborated on Wright's Pride & Prejudice and Atonement). Wright is also bringing back his cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, costume designer Jacqueline Durran and production designer Sarah Greenwood. One thing is for sure: The film is going to look amazing. Jane Eyre editor Melanie Ann Oliver is also joining Wright's team.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • October 4, 2011 5:26 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

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
  • |
  • October 2, 2011 4:33 AM
  • |
  • 8 Comments

Email Updates