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Thompson on Hollywood

Recession Boxoffice Surge

Well, the movie industry doesn't mind that audiences are returning to theaters in droves during a recession. It's obviously good news all around. But David Poland debunks the NYT's recession "hype." While the studios may have been smart enough to not only give the audiences what they want but market the hell out of Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Taken, there's no question that these movies are doing better than they would ordinarily do. And the NYT stat that admissions are up by almost 16% is staggering.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 2, 2009 5:55 AM
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Sundance Fest Wraps

The Sundance wraps are coming in:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 29, 2009 7:07 AM
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Santa Barbara Scripters: McCarthy, Stanton, Knott, Black

I knew we'd have a lively screenwriters panel at the Santa Barbara Film Festival this year because we had two actor-writers--Tom McCarthy (who also directed The Visitor) and Robert Knott (Appaloosa) as well as writer-director Andrew Stanton (Wall-E, nominated for 6 Oscars, including original screenplay), who is one of the most entertaining guys around, and young Dustin Lance Black (nommed for Milk).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 26, 2009 2:22 AM
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Sundance Hot Titles

My flight from LAX to Salt Lake City was delayed. Every seat was taken, many of them by industry folks heading to Park City for the Fest which launched Thursday night. I enjoyed a pleasant sunset drive up the mountain with Robin Schorr, who recently left River Road to put together a new development company with funding from a private investor. She told me to see Big Fan, from writer-turned-director Robert Siegel (The Wrestler). The voice behind Ratatouille, Patton Oswalt, breaks out in this one, I hear.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 17, 2009 3:04 AM
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Critics Vent on Film Criticism

It hasn't been a good year for film criticism. Here's a round-table interview with established film critics. And here's David Poland's plaint about the LAT hiring former L.A Times entertainment editor Betsy Sharkey as film critic. With so many unemployed professional critics out there, it seems a shame to deny one a prime slot. But that's not what's going on. The LAT doesn't want to let one of their good people go, and gave her an available gig.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2008 7:32 AM
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My Top Ten List, Film Comment's Top 20 Poll

Wendy and Lucy tops Film Comment's annual critics poll of 20 best films of 2008:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 19, 2008 9:47 AM
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Screenwriting in Hollywood: A Modest Proposal

Call Nancy Nigrosh a recovering agent. After 25 years as a talent agent repping writers and directors for film and television, she left her last gig at Innovative Artists. Freed from the shackles of agenting, she wrote what she calls her Parting Shot#1. If she's right, Hollywood's days of labor unrest are not over.
  • By Nancy Nigrosh
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  • October 2, 2008 8:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Twilight: Will Male Critics Ever Understand Its Femme Appeal?

According to a San Diego State University study released on July 22, if things are bad for male film critics, they are worse for women.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 27, 2008 8:17 AM
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Lyons and Mankiewicz To Replace Ebert and Roeper

During negotiations to extend Richard Roeper's contract for At the Movies, Disney ABC Domestic Television abruptly ended the talks. Thus Roeper, followed by the show's co-founder, Roger Ebert, left the show. On Tuesday, Disney ABC will announce announced that E! Entertainment critic Ben Lyons and Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz are take over hosting duties on a revamped At the Movies aimed at a younger demo. I have never seen either of these guys. But the hue and cry is going to be fun to watch. The older target demo for Ebert and Roeper will protest. And the younger demo probably doesn't care!
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 21, 2008 7:59 AM
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IndieWIRE Finds Deep-Pocketed Backer

It makes sense that filmanthropist, doc lover and web enthusiast Ted Leonsis, the former vice chairman of AOL, would not only launch doc-friendly website SnagFilms but would also buy IndieWIRE, the trusted New York-based indie film newswire, social network and hub.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 7, 2008 7:42 AM
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