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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
May 25, 2012 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
The Men in Black are invading theaters this weekend with a mission that others have failed to achieve: knock "The Avengers" off the No. 1 box-office perch. Sony Pictures' big-budget 3-D sequel "Men in Black 3" is on track to gross about $250 million worldwide over the long Memorial Day weekend, most of which should come from overseas markets. In the U.S. and Canada, the film is expected to generate about $80 million over the four-day holiday period from Friday through Monday, said people who have seen pre-release tracking surveys.
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.
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
January 17, 2012 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
Mark Wahlberg had the biggest opening of his career as an action star this weekend, as his crime thriller "Contraband" was the No. 1 pick at the box office. The film about the ugly world of drug smuggling was the most popular movie over the four-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend, grossing a solid $28.8 million domestically, according to an estimate from distributor Universal Pictures. Meanwhile, the classic animated fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast," first released in 1991 and now in 3-D, collected a respectable $23.5 million over the long weekend.
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 30, 2001 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Every now and then, palace intrigue can be fun, and there can be no more glorious setting for schemers and adventurers than Versailles, home of France's absolute monarchs, the increasingly profligate Bourbons, toppled at last in 1793 by the French Revolution. With the elegant "The Affair of the Necklace," director Charles Shyer and writer John Sweet take us into this vanished world with aplomb and allow us to discover that in many ways, nothing much has changed.
BUSINESS
August 6, 2008 | Josh Friedman, Times Staff Writer
When "The Dark Knight" recently broke the opening weekend box-office record with $158.4 million in sales, Warner Bros. snatched bragging rights from Sony Pictures, whose "Spider-Man III" had held the mark since summer 2007. So the gang at Sony would relish the chance for a bit of buzz kill. The stoner comedy "Pineapple Express" may be just the ticket.
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