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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.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 2013 | By Julie Makinen
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.
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.
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
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
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.
BUSINESS
November 23, 2009 | Ben Fritz
Recession be damned, Hollywood is on its way to what could be its merriest holiday season ever, thanks to a group of undead teenagers. "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" posted the third-largest opening in domestic box-office history, not accounting for ticket price inflation, having sold an estimated $140.7 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada from Friday through Sunday. Only Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight" and Sony's "Spider-Man 3" had bigger openings. Summit Entertainment's "New Moon" smashed the previous record for a movie opening outside the summer event movie season and more than doubled the launch of the first "Twilight" movie last year.
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.
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