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Sony and Universal Hawk Summer and Holiday Slates, from 'Spider-Man' and 'Total Recall' to 'Battleship' and 'Bourne'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 27, 2012 at 4:26PM

Which of the six studio presentations at CinemaCon were represented by their chairmen? One could argue that the ones who most wanted to be identified with their slates, to OWN them if you will, were the ones who showed up.

More promising is Oliver Stone's return to hard R thriller territory, "Savages" (July 6) which lines up a great cast: John Travolta as a corrupt FBI man, jaded ex-Navy SEAL Kitsch and laid-back agronomist Aaron Johnson as successful pot growers who run afoul of Mexican mafiosa Salma Hayek, whose nasty henchman Benecio del Toro kidnaps their babe girlfriend (it's a menage a trois) Blake Lively. "It's about the world right around us," said Stone. "It's contemporary, it's going on now."

TV "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane's movie comedy "Ted" (July 13) stole the Universal show. In a bit of wish-fulfillment magic, young Mark Wahlberg's teddy bear (MacFarlane) comes alive and grows up into a foul-mouthed buddy. When Wahberg gets serious about Mila Kunis, trouble ensues. ("The Muppets" movie had a similar trope.) Comedy powerhouse Judd Apatow's return to the director's chair in "This is 40" (December)  starring "Knocked Up" couple Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, also played well with the crowd.

Also wowing the Colosseum was a first look at Tom Hooper's Christmas release "Les Miserables," starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, who showed off her live singing skills in a moving clip. The over-budget 3-D martial arts epic "47 Ronin," starring Keanu Reeves and a digital cast of thousands, has been pushed back to February 17 due to VFX completion issues and a need for more post-production time. In the studio pipeline are "TRON: Legacy" director Joseph Kosinski's Tom Cruise/Morgan Freeman actioner "Oblivion" (April 2013),  the action comedy "RIPD," starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds as a team of dead cops seeking to return errant stragglers to their rightful place in the afterlife (June 2013) and the inevitable latest iterations of the "Fast & Furious" (director Justin Lin returns) and "Despicable Me" franchises.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Studios, Exhibition, Universal, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Sony

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.