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Thompson on Hollywood

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

That's Some Big Armour, Kristen Stewart! Set Photos from Snow White and the Huntsman

The verdict is still out on whether Twilight sensation and indie darling Kristen Stewart can fill the britches of a bad-ass Snow White. Check out these pictures from the set of Universal's Snow White and The Huntsman, which co-stars Charlize Theron is Snow White's nemesis, the Evil Queen.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 29, 2011 8:17 AM
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  • 4 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

Descendants, Clooney, Streep Top Gurus 'O Gold Oscar Rankings

Descendants, Clooney, Streep Top Gurus 'O Gold Oscar Rankings
The Gurus have spoken. Post-festivals, Alexander Payne's The Descendants (1) has taken over the frontrunner spot from Steven Spielberg's unscreened period war adventure War Horse (2). Interestingly, Spielberg was considering submitting the film to Venice but decided not to do so. He usually likes to wait until the last possible minute to show his films. It's better NOT to be at the head of the pack, anyway. The Descendants' George Clooney (1) is also at the front of the Best Actor race.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2011 5:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Toronto Wrap: Best of Fest, Oscar Boosts, Winners and Losers

Toronto Wrap: Best of Fest, Oscar Boosts, Winners and Losers
The trick with the fall film festivals is to gauge expectations going in vs. what was actually achieved. Various distributors launched their fall slates, and watched with pleasure or horror at how their movies were received by audiences and critics. Oscar contenders either moved forward in the awards race, or were pushed back. Other indies hoped their films would be picked up by the right distributor in time for this year's Oscar race. Some were, some weren't. It's tough for films that have already debuted at other festivals to pick up new momentum, although the press will bank features for release. The biggest noise goes to the new players, always.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 21, 2011 7:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments

TIFF: Pariah Gets Release Date and Poignant Poster

Focus Features initiated an online outreach to choose the poster for the upcoming Sundance drama, Pariah. The winner was "Subway," a poster showing actress Adepero Oduye staring out a window and at herself--an apt image for a film about a 17-year-old woman from Brooklyn coming to terms with her identity as a lesbian.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 7, 2011 5:25 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Venice Review: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Is Good, Not Superb Spy Thriller

Venice Review: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Is Good, Not Superb Spy Thriller
Matt Mueller reviews Tomas Alfredson's Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy, which made its world premiere in Venice. “Trust no one,” says John Hurt, in fine fettle here as British spymaster Control, in the early stages of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. In the case of the talent behind this top-class adaptation, they’re words not to be heeded. Attempting to rival the BBC’s superior 1979 serialisation of John Le Carre’s espionage classic – about the hunt for a Soviet mole in the British secret service (‘The Circus’, as Le Carre dubs it) – with a two-hour movie that couldn’t possibly bring the same depth or subtlety may have seemed a foolhardy proposition to many, but the talent wrangled for the mission is magnificently trustworthy.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • September 5, 2011 9:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Confessions of Conan the Barbarian Writer, Dark Knight Leaves Pittsburgh, Universal Drops Ouija

Christopher Nolan has wrapped filming on The Dark Knight Rises in Pittsburgh; he still has more principal photography in New York and Los Angeles. The film opens July 20, 2012.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 24, 2011 8:11 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Focus Features Adds Jeb Brody, VOD Label

One might be tempted to blame the egregious miscasting of Anne Hathaway as a working class Brit in book-to-film adaptation One Day for the departure of Focus Features production chief John Lyons; he's moving on to produce his own films. In any case, Focus has now replaced Lyons with Vendome Pictures production president Jeb Brody, who unlike Lyons and Focus bosses James Schamus and Andrew Karpen, will be based in Los Angeles. Brody supervised production on Source Code and Larry Crowne. (Official release and more bio info is below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 24, 2011 6:06 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Crazy, Creepy Love: Romance is Dangerous in Rebecca, Jane Eyre

Crazy, Creepy Love: Romance is Dangerous in Rebecca, Jane Eyre
In this week's “Now and Then" column, Matt Brennan looks at two adaptations of Gothic novels: Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940) and Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre (out on DVD), see trailers below. A pair of young women, the rough men who love them, the creepy manors they live in, and the eerie forces attempting to thwart them: it’s enough to make you wish you had a fainting couch.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • August 22, 2011 4:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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