November 23, 1993 |
"Like Water for Chocolate" ("Como Agua Para Chocolate"), the slice of Mexican magic realism that last May broke the North American box-office record for a Latin American film, is poised to reach another milestone. In fact, it may already be the highest-grossing foreign-language movie ever to play in this country. The success of "Chocolate" is especially noteworthy, given the realities of today's marketplace.
January 17, 1992 |
When a comedy called "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead" died at the box office last summer, so did the prospects for a small production company headed by Michael Phillips. Phillips--who has not had a hit since he produced "The Sting" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" in the 1970s--had counted on the film to shore up the shaky finances of Mercury Entertainment, founded in the red-hot financial climate of the mid-1980s.
August 31, 1999 |
Like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, hitting 'em out of the park in astonishing numbers, the major studios are this year's boys of summer, sending one film after another roaring beyond the fence. "It was the perfect summer," concludes Walt Disney Studios Chairman Joe Roth. And in Hollywood, perfection consists of popping a record 11 films into $100-million territory, with one more film ("American Pie") expected to reach that number by early fall.
August 30, 1995 |
For more than a quarter of a century, Oscar-winning animator Richard Williams labored to bring forth his signature film, one that would rival the best of Disney. And then it was gone. His epic work-in-progress, originally titled "The Thief and the Cobbler," was seized in 1992 by a completion bond company, which ensured investors that the film would be completed on time and on budget. Last week, Miramax Films released the wide-screen fable, retitled "Arabian Knight."
July 10, 1992 |
For struggling Carolco Pictures, this may be Judgment Weekend. The once highflying company that made the hit "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" is scrambling to avert bankruptcy and hoping that its latest violence-steeped fantasy, opening in theaters today, will help save it. "My own opinion is that if (the new film, "Universal Soldier") doesn't open enormously this weekend, the equity investors will say, 'Enough of this,' " said one industry observer, expressing a widely held view.
August 2, 1993 |
A week ago, it was the urban romance "Poetic Justice" starring Janet Jackson that reigned at the nation's movie-theater box offices. But by the weekend just ended, ticket sales had fallen sharply, by more than 50%. This week's champ is "Rising Sun," a thriller based on the Michael Crichton novel about Japanese business practices in the United States and starring Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes. The film from 20th Century Fox surged to an estimated weekend gross of $15.
July 13, 1993 |
Grabbing credit for success and running from failure is an all-too common practice in Hollywood. And many industry insiders are irked that Columbia Pictures--embarrassed by the expensive misfiring of "Last Action Hero"--is laying claim to what looks like the makings of a big hit with "In the Line of Fire," the Clint Eastwood political thriller that opened Friday to much fanfare.
May 21, 1992 |
The behind-the-scenes sparring that has rocked Spike Lee's film "Malcolm X" intensified Wednesday when the noted director said that if he hadn't been financially rescued by several African-American celebrities he would have been forced to shut down post-production.
June 28, 1993 |
Arriving in theaters with substantially less fanfare than the anticipated summer blockbuster films, the little romantic comedy "Sleepless in Seattle" zoomed to an estimated $17-million box-office gross in its opening weekend--a total that surprised the film industry and surpassed the $15.3-million opening recorded for the big-budgeted, fantasy-adventure extravaganza "Last Action Hero" a week ago.
April 20, 1993 |
Transamerica Insurance Group has ordered its Completion Bond Co. unit to stop issuing insurance coverage on motion picture productions until Transamerica goes public. What isn't known is whether the unit will resume writing new business after the stock sale. Transamerica Insurance, a property-casualty insurer based in Woodland Hills, is a subsidiary of Transamerica Corp., the San Francisco financial services giant. But Transamerica Insurance's newly created parent, TIG Holdings Inc.