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Thompson on Hollywood

Harry Potter Producer David Heyman Talks Deathly Hallows, Tentpoles, Gravity

As the seventh and penultimate Harry Potter installment was breaking records for the series, producer David Heyman reflected on producing the mighty franchise. He talked to Anthony D'Alessandro:Most producers can only dream about churning out $24 million from 3,700 midnight showings or $61.15 million in one day.  But that’s what Harry Potter producer David Heyman experiences every time he opens a new chapter in the $5.48 billion Harry Potter franchise: Breaking a new record.  The opening day for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 set a record for the series, ranking the fifth best first day bow among all films. Once an indie producer on such offbeat Parker Posey comedies as 1996’s The Daytrippers, which launched director Greg Mottola (Superbad), Heyman’s producing career took a 180 when he optioned an unpublished manuscript by author J.K. Rowling.  On Hallows opening day, he took time out to give us some insight on how the Harry Potter franchise has impacted his career and the film industry. 
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • November 23, 2010 3:26 AM
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Black Swan's Kunis Talks Celebrity; Portman Kicks Ass in a Thong in Your Highness Trailer

Black Swan's Kunis Talks Celebrity; Portman Kicks Ass in a Thong in Your Highness Trailer
Black Swan supporting actress Mila Kunis sits down with MCN's David Poland to discuss the film, working with Darren Aronofsky, and shares her views on what it means to be "a celebrity." After the jump, read Kunis's Hollywood weight-loss experience and check out her Black Swan kissing-co-star Natalie Portman in the new trailer for the medieval-fantasy-comedy Your Highness (set for April 2011 release), starring Danny McBride, Zooey Deschanel and James Franco. Who says Oscar contenders can't have a sense of humor? Or wear a thong...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 18, 2010 12:00 AM
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Haggis and Crowe's The Next Three Days Yields Mixed Early Reviews

Haggis and Crowe's The Next Three Days Yields Mixed Early Reviews
The remake of French thriller Pour Elle, The Next Three Days, Paul Haggis's third feature as a director, screened last night at the Directors Guild of America. A round-up of early reviews and the trailer are after the jump.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 17, 2010 8:36 AM
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Made in Dagenham Official Poster

Made in Dagenham Official Poster
Made in Dagenham releases November 19 following its festival circuit, from Toronto to last week's AFI Fest screening. Our Oscar Predicts Chart places star Sally Hawkins as a Long Shot Best Actress contender (remember her as Slasher in 2004's Layer Cake?), and Miranda Richardson as a Front Runner for Best Supporting Actor, while RottenTomatoes places the film at a very respectable 92%.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • November 16, 2010 9:53 AM
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Gender Watch: Tourist's Jolie Talks to Vogue, Black Swan's Portman Writes

- Angelina Jolie is Vogue's December cover girl (photos by Mario Testino), which, as usual, coincides with the release of her latest, The Tourist with Johnny Depp, out December 10. The woman doesn't have an agent, and why would she? The mold or model doesn't apply to her, and yet The Tourist's director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) confirms to Vogue that “she gets every single script that has a female role aged between eighteen and 40—every script. And she just follows her feeling, holds her own counsel. She’s probably the only global megastar that doesn’t even have an agent—she doesn’t even have a publicist.” Vogue's Vicki Woods was taken in and distracted by her famous face but says once you "clear away the craziness and tabloid clatter that swirls around the Jolie-Pitt family (or “brand”)…you find a practical woman with terrific forward-planning skills." Jolie, on playing the role that was originally written for Tom Cruise in Salt:“I felt it was a weird thing that every time you ask for a strong female role, it’s written in this strange way where it uses sexuality far too much. Or it’s all about being a woman and beating a man. So it wasn’t a surprise to me that the only way to do a strong female role properly was to not have originally written for a woman.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 12, 2010 6:51 AM
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Roadside Picks Up Hemingway's Garden of Eden, Starring Suvari, Huston

A movie based on Ernest Hemingway's second posthumously published novel, The Garden of Eden, will hit theaters on December 10, via Roadside Attractions. Adapted by James Scott Linville from the controversial edit of the unfinished novel (published in 1986), Hemingway's Garden of Eden is directed by John Irvin and stars Mena Suvari (American Beauty) and Jack Huston (grandson of director John) as a jazz age couple on their honeymoon in Europe, as the increasingly restless new bride questions and tests her husband's love. Caterina Murino, Richard E. Grant, Matthew Modine and Carmen Maura also star in the 1920s romance.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 19, 2010 8:07 AM
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Recycling at the Cinema: True Grit, The Great Gatsby and RED

We all know recycling is good for the planet, but is it good for cinema? Consider three old-is-new retreads: a western remake, a 1920s period piece and a contemporary action flick. True Grit is a remake of a 1969 John Wayne film which was adapted from a novelization of a Charles Portis 1968 serial which first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post. The Great Gatsby started as a lauded 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald novel which became a film in 1926 and again in 1949 and 1974. Even comedy hit RED, although it is not based on a book or an old movie, still exists--argues Movie City News--due to recycling of the DC graphic novel's plot and characters. There's nothing new here: movies have been adapting popular fiction for as long as they've been around. What's horrifying is Hollywood's current aversion to anything original.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 19, 2010 6:12 AM
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Studios Pull Out Marketing Stops on Tron: Legacy and Waiting for Superman

Studios Paramount and Disney are kicking marketing into gear for the education doc Waiting for Superman and the 3-D VFX extravaganza Tron: Legacy, respectively.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 11, 2010 7:37 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Academy Won't Move Up Next Oscar Show; Here's Why

Academy Won't Move Up Next Oscar Show; Here's Why
Just because the topic of moving the Oscars up to January was raised at Tuesday night's board of governors meeting of the Motion Picture Academy doesn't mean that it could happen this year. It couldn't. And the Academy has issued a statement to that effect:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 23, 2010 8:44 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Alice in Wonderland Beats Spider-Man and Iron Man Openings

In his first TOH Sunday domestic/international box-office report, ex-Variety numbers analyst Anthony D'Alessandro checks in with the studios behind this weekend's b.o. juggernaut, led by Disney's Alice in Wonderland---which proves yet again why studio marketers keep chasing the perfect match: branded family title + proven visual master + global movie star=blockbuster.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 7, 2010 6:07 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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