January 14, 2005 |
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.
July 11, 2013 |
BEIJING -- “Transcendence,” the upcoming Johnny Depp sci-fi film directed by Christopher Nolan's longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister, will get a boost in China from DMG Entertainment, the Beijing-based company that helped add Chinese elements to “Iron Man 3” and “Looper.” But don't look for any extra China-specific footage in the 2014 film. DMG said Thursday it had partnered with Alcon Entertainment to help finance, produce and distribute the movie in China, which is now filming stateside and will be released in the U.S. by Warner Bros.
February 28, 2013 |
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.
May 24, 2012 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2011 |
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.
February 3, 2010 |
They are precisely the kinds of movies hardly ever nominated for the best-picture Oscar -- a tear-jerker sports film, a space-alien thriller and an animated feature with a flying house and talking dogs -- but the populist pleasures "The Blind Side," "District 9" and "Up" all made the final cut for the top Academy Award. Concerned that a steady stream of challenging, often little-seen art movies were dominating the Oscars and deflating TV ratings, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doubled this year's best-picture race to 10 contestants, and the results Tuesday were exactly as intended: the inclusion of movies that have sold a boatload of tickets.
September 26, 2011 |
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.
May 21, 2012 |
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.
April 23, 1999 |
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.
January 12, 2000 |
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.