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May 24, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
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 around $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.
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.
January 9, 2004 | Kevin Thomas, Times Staff Writer
The infectious heroine of the appealing but long-winded "Chasing Liberty" is an 18-year-old who has everything -- looks, personality, intelligence -- yet has a terrible time dating and leading a normal life. The reason: She's the daughter of the president of the United States. The rigors of passing through White House security and the daughter's instant recognizability in public tend to scare guys off.
December 12, 2003 | Kevin Thomas, Times Staff Writer
"Love Don't Cost a Thing" finds earnest high school senior Alvin Johnson (Nick Cannon) on his pool-cleaning job when he locks eyes with beautiful Paris Morgan (Christina Milian), the most popular girl in school, during a party at her upscale home. It's not just a matter of natural attraction on Alvin's part but that Paris represents everything Alvin lacks and longs for.
January 10, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
If you're suffering Hollywood career doubts and need a little advice, there are worse people you could turn to than Christopher Nolan. That's the situation Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister found himself in several years ago when he debated making the high-concept science-fiction film "Transcendence" his directorial debut. Pfister had shot all but one of Nolan's movies and had worked closely with the helmer on his superhero tentpoles. But Pfister wasn't convinced that this script, with its big ideas and action pieces and a budget that would eventually approach $100 million, was the right fit for him. "I told Chris, 'I think it's a good project.
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.
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.
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.
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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