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ENTERTAINMENT
February 28, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling
Johnny Depp will next be seen in Disney's "The Lone Ranger" this summer but after that it looks like he's giving popcorn flicks a rest. The Oscar-nominated actor, who became a giant movie star when he first stole the show as Jack Sparrow in 2003's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," announced Wednesday that he was committing to two new movies this year that are decidedly different than his most recent work. First up is Wally Phister's directorial debut "Transcendence," a hush-hush project being shuttled through Warner Bros.
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BUSINESS
April 20, 2007 | Lorenza Munoz, Times Staff Writer
Two film veterans have become the latest Hollywood players to tap into the gusher of money Wall Street is putting into the movie business by arranging a $1-billion credit line. Patrick Wachsberger, chief executive of foreign sales and distribution company Summit Entertainment, and Robert Friedman, former head of marketing and distribution for Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, aim to use the money from Merrill Lynch & Co.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 14, 2005 | Kevin Thomas, Times Staff Writer
In the live-action talking animal genre, "Racing Stripes" is no "Babe" but should delight youngsters, although parents likely will find it is sentimental in the extreme, with a plot that telegraphs every development. Efficiently directed, however, by Frederik Du Chau from David F. Schmidt's script, the film is populated with endearing animals that are expertly anthropomorphized and that are voiced by, among others, a sprinkling of famous names, including Dustin Hoffman, no less.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
"I do suck fat. I will suck the fat off my steak," actress Alice Englert warns as she slides into a booth at Musso & Frank in Hollywood on a dreary, overcast day. "I just want to prepare you in advance that I'm known to be disgusting when I eat steak. " Alden Ehrenreich, her costar in the new film "Beautiful Creatures," is unfazed by her eagerness. Perhaps it's because after enduring a shoot involving sweltering, 90-degree Louisiana days, food poisoning and Southern accents, the two on-screen sweethearts have an easy familiarity.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2011 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
Brad Pitt may be Hollywood royalty, but even he couldn't take down the king of the jungle at the box office. For the second consecutive weekend, a 3-D version of 1994's "The Lion King" sold more tickets than any other film in theaters, including the baseball drama "Moneyball," starring Pitt. Ticket sales for the re-release dropped only 27% to $22.1 million, bringing the movie's domestic tally to $61.7 million, according to an estimate from distributor Walt Disney Pictures. "Moneyball" still had a good weekend, debuting with a respectable $20.6 million.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 23, 2010 | By John Horn, Los Angeles Times
When it comes to people of a certain age, Hollywood has a certain reputation. Older screenwriters say they can't get jobs, leading parts for actresses start vanishing once they turn 35 and the studios have all but abandoned adult dramas. Which makes the continued success of "The Expendables" all the more remarkable. For the second weekend in a row, the action movie starring, directed and co-written by the 64-year-old Sylvester Stallone was the nation's No. 1 film, grossing $16.5 million, according to Sunday's studio estimates.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2011 | By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
As founder, chairman and chief executive of National Research Group Inc. from 1978 to 2003, movie market researcher Joseph Farrell introduced the concept of market testing to Hollywood, originating now-standard industry practices such as audience tracking surveys, focus-group preview screenings and demographic analysis of moviegoers. Over the decades, NRG's confidential research reports were used by all of the major Hollywood studios to make decisions about release dates, tweak marketing campaigns and — sometimes to the unease of filmmakers — tinker with movies.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 21, 2012 | By John Horn, Los Angeles Times
The box-office debut of"Battleship" - an attempt to transform the kids' strategy pastime into a summer blockbuster - looked like a very different board game over the weekend: Trouble. Universal Pictures' $209-million alien invasion spectacle fizzled badly in its domestic premiere, grossing just $25.3 million and finishing a distant second to the third weekend of Disney's "The Avengers," according to Sunday estimates. The debut of "Battleship" - whose ticket sales were about 40% lower than some predictions - was even worse than the $30.2-million March opening of"John Carter,"one of the biggest fiascoes in Hollywood history, and the film's audience was surprisingly old. "I'm hugely disappointed in this opening," said Nikki Rocco, Universal's president of domestic distribution, who added that the film's respectable international numbers will soften the domestic blow.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 1999 | ERIC HARRISON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Bodily secretions and abused pooches aside, the most startling quality of "There's Something About Mary" was the way it married the romantic comedy genre to the teen gross-out movie. All of that raunchy stuff that had audiences either squirming or rolling in the aisles might've shook up the folks who flock to Meg Ryan movies, but it has long been the bread and butter of a certain kind of flick that caters to, shall we say, less delicate tastes.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 12, 2000 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Based on Willie Morris' 1995 memoir, "My Dog Skip" is a standard-issue Hollywood family film about a boy and his dog growing up in a Southern small town during World War II. As such, it fills the bill without transcending it. It's a little too glossy, Skip a bit too much the trained performer--he's played by two perfectly matched Jack Russell terriers--and William Ross' omnipresent score far too syrupy and trite.
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