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Family Films

October 10, 2011 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
Hugh Jackman kept George Clooney on the ropes this weekend, as "Real Steel" knocked out its competition in a box office brawl. "Real Steel," set in a futuristic world where Jackman plays trainer to a boxing robot, easily claimed the No. 1 spot, raking in a decent $27.3-million worth of ticket sales domestically, according to an estimate from distributor Walt Disney Pictures. "The Ides of March," a political drama directed by and starring Clooney alongside Ryan Gosling, collected a lesser $10.4 million but was far less expensive a movie to produce.
September 23, 2011 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
It will be a jungle out there at the box office this weekend, as one of Hollywood's leading lions faces off against a couple of formidable foes from the animal kingdom. Brad Pitt's new baseball drama, "Moneyball," will fight for the No. 1 spot against last weekend's surprise winner, the 3-D version of "The Lion King," and a new family film, "Dolphin Tale. " Each movie could launch with between $18 million and $20 million, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys.
April 25, 2011 | By Kevin Thomas, Special to the Los Angeles Times
"Zokkomon," a lively and engaging family film from the Disney unit in India, not only has a light, fanciful touch and superior production design but also more substance and cohesiveness than much Bollywood fare. A musical number, which accompanies a young boy, Kunal (Darsheel Safary), on a train trip from a big city to a remote village, foreshadows what's in store for him. The lyrics state that it is not a good thing that time stands still in this community, a place whose inhabitants have no interest in the larger world.
October 8, 2010 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
As the Walt Disney Pictures enchanted castle logo unerringly indicates, "Secretariat" is a fairy tale about a horse. If you're in the mood for it, and in the mood for a strong and satisfying performance by Diane Lane, you're definitely in the right place. Though the movie is based on the exploits of arguably the greatest horse who ever lived, a thoroughbred of whom it was truly said "his only reference is himself," "Secretariat" is hardly the place to look for a thoroughly factual account of the events in William Nack's book of the same name.
June 24, 2010 | By John Horn, Los Angeles Times
Who says family films are just for families? In one of the more surprising developments of the summer movie season, three movies primarily aimed at kids and their parents are drawing a surge of significantly older moviegoers — many of whom are going without their children — in a trend that single-handedly has reversed the vacation season's box-office doldrums. Thanks to the performance to date of the PG-rated "Shrek Forever After" ($223.8 million in domestic release)
June 10, 2010 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Robert B. Radnitz, an English teacher turned movie producer who made some of Hollywood's more distinguished family fare, including "Sounder" and "Island of the Blue Dolphins," has died. He was 85. Radnitz died Sunday at his Malibu home from complications of a stroke he had years ago, said his wife, Pearl. With the release of his first film in 1959 – the boy-and-his-dog tale "A Dog of Flanders" – Radnitz started to develop a reputation as a maker of high-quality movies for children and their parents.
April 30, 2010 | By Glenn Whipp, Special to the Los Angeles Times
You'd think that if you had an up-with-the-environment family movie in the can, you would have tied it to Earth Day and opened it last weekend. Unless, of course, that movie is "Furry Vengeance," a film so exhausting in its mean-spirited unfunny business that it would prompt Al Gore to empty his recycling bin and light a match to the contents — and the plastic bin itself — in full view of news camera crews. "Furry Vengeance" fashions itself as a green movie, but given its single-minded focus on bodily functions and the area of the anatomy that headliner Brendan Fraser calls the "no-no zone," the film is awash in an entirely different color, if you get my drift.
March 17, 2010 | By Richard Verrier
Seeking to be family friendly, Florida may have learned a hard lesson in how not to be Hollywood friendly. The Sunshine state startled the film industry recently when a bill was introduced in the state Legislature that would disqualify movies and TV shows that contained "nontraditional family values" from receiving a supplemental "family friendly" tax credit that's been in effect for a couple of years. The bill, unanimously endorsed last week by a key legislative committee, is part of a larger $75-million incentive program aimed at luring film and entertainment jobs to the state.
August 23, 2009 | Geoff Boucher
It was not your typical Hollywood creative meeting. Instead of sparkling water and Ahi salad, the Four Seasons conference room was provided with Sprite, French fries and a tray of chocolate lollipops. Magic markers and paper were piled up on the table for doodling and with good reason -- most of the people in the room weren't old enough to drive. Clearly, the Rodriguez boys were back in town. "We have our way of doing things and, so far, Hollywood seems pretty happy with it," said Texas-based filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, who was sitting with two of his sons, Rebel and Racer, both of whom contributed to their father's newest feature, "Shorts," which arrives in theaters this weekend.
June 1, 2009 | Ben Fritz
Family movies are proving to be Hollywood's most consistent performers this year. With Walt Disney's Co.'s "Up" scoring a solid $68.2-million opening and Fox's "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" at No. 2 despite the competition, PG-rated films once again topped the weekend box office in the U.S. and Canada.
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