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Weekend Box Office: Harry Potter 8 Beats The Dark Knight's Opening Weekend Record UPDATED

Weekend Box Office: Harry Potter 8 Beats The Dark Knight's Opening Weekend Record UPDATED
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 smashed opening weekend records as moviegoers flocked to the ultimate event movie, the last in Warner Bros.' beloved eight-film series based on J.K. Rowling's global literary phenomenon. (See Richard Corliss's fine summation in Time.) Anthony D'Alessandro reports.No woe in the world -- neither national debt nor the closure of the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles -- crimped U.S. moviegoers from seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 this weekend as they made the final film based on J.K. Rowling’s book series the biggest domestic opening of all-time at $168.55 million, ripping the wings off of Dark Knight’s $158.4 million – a record the Christopher Nolan Batman film has held over the past three years.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • July 17, 2011 4:01 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Marshall McLuhan Lives

Marshall McLuhan Lives
If you never studied Marshall McLuhan in school, you probably know him from his infamous cameo in Annie Hall, when Woody Allen pulls him out from behind a signpost to shame a fellow moviegoer who has been pontificating on McLuhan's theories (below).
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • July 11, 2011 1:28 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: Skin I Live In Gets October Date; Carnage Goes to November, Holiday Sked Shapes Up

The earlier a high-prestige art house movie opens in the fall, the less likely that its distributor harbors serious Oscar hopes for it. In other words, if Sony Pictures Classics moves Pedro Almodovar's retitled Skin I Live In from November to October, and slates Roman Polanski's Carnage on November 18, it means the latter is being given the Oscar advantage. Almodovar's kinky thriller starring Antonio Banderas met a mixed reception in Cannes. "This is not a move," asserts SPC co-president Michael Barker. "We never set the date until now. We were always going in the Fall. It is a great date."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 27, 2011 1:50 AM
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Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris Follow-Up, The Bop Decameron, Adds Cast, Starts July 11 in Rome

Midnight in Paris is shaping up as not only Woody Allen's widest release ever (1038 screens, more than Anything Else), but the filmmaker's biggest hit ever; it's on track to outscore Hannah and Her Sisters's $40 million domestic gross. Midnight in Paris dropped only 10% last weekend, for a total $21,799,214.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • June 20, 2011 7:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: Super 8 Pulls $38 Million, Beats X-Men: First Class for Number One Slot

Weekend Box Office: Super 8 Pulls $38 Million, Beats X-Men: First Class for Number One Slot
As Paramount labored to both downplay expectations and build up word-of-mouth via advance sneaks, Super 8 exceeded box office predictions and got off to a strong start. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:Super 8’s projector bulbs burned brighter than expected as Paramount’s sci-fi drama bested its lowest box office estimates by 52% for a wondrous weekend estimate of $38 million. Concern that J.J. Abrams’ cinematic love letter to Steven Spielberg would bow to dismal results provoked Paramount to hammer the film’s critical acclaim into gold by unspooling the film on Thursday at 300-plus sites (including 239 IMAX hubs) via a Twitter promotion. One couldn't expect record grosses from a limited release: thus Thursday’s $1 million take amounted to cherries on Paramount’s sundae.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • June 12, 2011 4:52 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Weekend Preview: Pirates Will Push Back Thor and Bridesmaids, but Midnight in Paris Is Must-See

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides may be commanding 81% of Fandango's ticket sales -- and could score a $90 million weekend -- but it's getting a critical spanking. To be surprised and delighted rather than lulled into a familiar open-eyed coma, go to Woody Allen's delightful Midnight in Paris: savor every line of dialogue. Here's our early review round-up; Paris now sits at 91% fresh.
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • May 20, 2011 6:21 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk at Cannes: Von Trier Scandal, Tree of Life, Palme d'Or Contenders

Oscar Talk at Cannes: Von Trier Scandal, Tree of Life, Palme d'Or Contenders
As promised, Kris Tapley and I break our post-Oscar silence with a special Cannes edition of Oscar Talk with In Contention's London correspondent Guy Lodge. We cover the films in contention for the Palme d'Or, from Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt, and censured filmmaker Lars von Trier's Melancholia, starring Kirsten Dunst, to Pedro Almodovar's divisive The Skin I Live In, starring Antonio Banderas. We also debate the Oscar chances of these films as well as Weinstein Co.'s The Artist, starring Jean Dujardin, and We Need to Talk About Kevin, starring Tilda Swinton. (IndieWIRE interviews von Trier --who says, “I will never do a press conference again.” So does A.P.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 20, 2011 3:59 AM
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Sony Pictures Classics' Barker and Bernard: Kings of the Croisette

So far so good for Sony Pictures Classics co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard. They opened the festival with Woody Allen's best-received movie in years, Midnight in Paris, which they have been blitzing all over the media because they want to ride a Cannes wave of buzz into theaters on May 20.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 12, 2011 4:23 AM
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Woody Allen Talks Breaking Out with Cannes Hit Midnight in Paris: "Hey, Did You See Gertrude Stein?"

Woody Allen Talks Breaking Out with Cannes Hit Midnight in Paris: "Hey, Did You See Gertrude Stein?"
Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen's best movie since Deconstructing Harry in 1997.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 11:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Midnight in Paris Reviews: "Second Tier Woody, Amiable Amuse-Bouche, Gorgeous Kick-off to Cannes"

Midnight in Paris Reviews: "Second Tier Woody, Amiable Amuse-Bouche, Gorgeous Kick-off to Cannes"
While there will always be the odd dissenter, there's no question that Woody Allen's latest Midnight in Paris played well to audiences and press alike in Cannes. This is Woody Light, a sweet funny nostalgic romantic confection that proves a lively counterpoint to the dark and moody fare that tends to dominate the Cannes selection. (Australian newcomer Julia Leigh's brainy and formal Sleeping Beauty, starring Sucker Punch's Emily Browning as a lost soul who sells time with her sleeping body, would be one example. It proved divisive with critics and will be a marketing challenge.) And Owen Wilson and Allen turned out to be a perfect match, ably supported by Rachel McAdams as the ugly American you love to hate, Michael Sheen as a pompous blowhard, plus Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody as various denizens of the Paris Allen loves.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 10:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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