September 13, 2008 |
In the Harry Potter stories, wizards play chess with life-size, animated pieces. But when Warner Bros. pushed the release of the next film in the Potter franchise, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," from Nov. 21 to summer 2009, the studio set off a chess game of another sort that's being played out in Hollywood. In the last few weeks, distributors have shifted several major fall releases -- including the animated 3-D comedy "Bolt," the vampire thriller "Twilight," the James Bond adventure "Quantum of Solace" and the epic romance "Australia" -- to new dates in November, hoping to take advantage of the box-office void created by Harry's departure.
August 16, 2008 |
Call it "Harry Potter and the Revolt of the Muggles." A day after Warner Bros. announced that it would be pulling the sixth "Potter" film off of its November release schedule and instead releasing it next July to take advantage of skimpy competition in the summer, fans of the popular franchise were lighting up the Internet with their rage Friday. Thousands signed online petitions, others organized boycotts and protests and a vast number expressed their reaction with tears or clenched fists.
March 23, 2008 |
Born in the depths of the Depression and Prohibition eras, the Hollywood gangster movie offers a compact distillation of the social ills and anxieties of 1930s America. Warner Bros., the studio most closely associated with the genre, has already dug into its archives for two fine box sets of tough-guy flicks (released in 2005 and 2006). Like the earlier collections, Volume 3, out Tuesday, reveals the shifting moral and sociological assumptions behind these crime movies while showcasing the fruitful early careers of James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson, the era's thuggish leading men of choice.
March 20, 2008 |
DURING animation's golden age, Michael Maltese and Tex Avery were two wild and crazy guys who created some of the era's wackiest cartoon shorts. Maltese wrote and story-boarded such classics as "One Froggy Evening" (starring Michigan J. Frog), "For Scent-imental Reasons" (Pepe Le Pew), "Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 th Century" (Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Marvin the Martian) and "What's Opera, Doc?" (Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, who sings the Wagnerian "Kill the Wabbit" song). Animation director Avery began his career at Walter Lantz's Universal cartoon studio before moving to Warner Bros.
March 6, 2008 |
HE'S hardly as well known as Steven Spielberg and doesn't command nearly the respect of John Lasseter. But when it comes to cranking out consistent $100-million hits, few directors can match the track record of Roland Emmerich. Over the last 12 years, the German filmmaker has made four big-budget movies, and on average they have grossed $185 million. Emmerich's biggest hit, 1996's "Independence Day," grossed $50.2 million in its first U.S. weekend, eventually taking in more than $300 million.
January 17, 2008 |
Warner Bros. issued layoff notices Wednesday to about three dozen employees at its Burbank studio, citing the effect of the 2-month-old strike by Hollywood writers. The studio said last week that it had sent out written notice to more than 1,000 workers in its facilities division, advising them that they could potentially lose their jobs. A studio spokeswoman said Wednesday that those warnings had been misinterpreted by some media outlets, which reported that 1,000 people would be laid off.