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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Third Twilight Saga Eclipses Midnight Opening Record

    The latest iteration of the Twilight franchise, Eclipse, busted the series' own record for midnight box office hauls. The vampire teen film opened last night at 4,000 venues, raking in an estimated $30 million, $3.7 million over New Moon, according to Summit.

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  • iW NOW
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    NYT: Hulu Offering Season Passes for $9.99

    NYT: Hulu Offering Season Passes for $9.99

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  • iW NOW
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    Thomspon & Deadline: Apparition Restructuring

    As they prep for their release of Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life," Bill Pohlad's Apparition is restructuring and moving from New York to LA. The company also cut its workforce by 60%. Pohlad has brought former Lionsgate President Tom Ortenberg on as a consultant for the company. On the changes, Pohlad said in a statement, "Over the last few weeks, circumstances have forced us to rethink the direction and operations of the company, and regrettably this has resulted in layoffs impacting our staff and changes for our colleagues. Still, we very much believe in the mission set forth with Apparition, and welcome Tom Ortenberg’s expertise and consultation in the coming weeks and months. In addition, he will be a valuable asset for us on preparing to bring The Tree of Life to audiences."

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  • iW NOW
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    IFC Picks Up Apatow's TV Gems for Syndication

    Judd Apatow's cult classic TV series "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared," which boosted the acting careers of Jay Baruchel, Jenna Fischer, Linda Cardelllini, James Franco, Seth Rogen, and more have both been picked up for syndication on IFC's cable network. "Freaks and Geeks" will begin airing Fridays at 11PM starting July 2. "Undeclared" will make its IFC debut in the fall.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Bordello of Blah: Taylor Hackford's "Love Ranch"

    Taylor Hackford built his reputation early with hits like An Officer and a Gentleman and Everybody's All-American, before giving us two of the smartest and most atmospherically memorable thrillers of the Nineties, Dolores Claiborne and The Devil's Advocate. President of the Directors Guild of America and Mr. Helen Mirren, Hackford seems like a guy with an earned, solid reputation and plenty of friends. Not someone to get feverish about, but a trustworthy craftsman with eclectic taste—a mainstream toiler that auteurists can fly the flag for.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Teen Trauma: Marianna Martin on "Serenity"

    A teenage girl, earlier described as “mentally traumatized,” has slipped loose of the vigilant care of her older brother, and descends the stairs of a crowded bar. The ambient sound of dozens of conversations—only a few words legible here and there—recedes as the girl’s attention fixates on a giant screen on the wall. The screen is playing a commercial advertising “Oaty Bar”, whose jaunty tune crescendos in pastiche J-pop style, accompanied by strange anime-styled images of an octopus and other oddities. The girl stares, transfixed, and a rushing sound starts to drown out the commercial jingle. Rapid cuts flash barely legible shots of what appear to be her memories, intercut with the visual of the ad and extreme close-ups of her face, and the ad jingle is rapidly mixed down in the soundtrack, dominated by the encroaching silence and a male voice utters “scary monsters.” Now all is silent, deafeningly so. The girl whispers a word, “Miranda,” and then in an aural vacuum, save for the sound of her own hits landing, starts an epic brawl. The transformation of River Tam (Summer Glau) from lost little girl to killing machine has taken less than thirty seconds and is signaled almost entirely by sound. Read the rest of Marianna Martin's entry in the Reverse Shot Sounds Off symposium.

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  • Todd McCarthy's Deep Focus
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    The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

    The only thing that makes the “Twilight” films tolerable for non-fans of the Stephenie Meyer franchise is the constant presence of Kristen Stewart, an actor who never seems to be doing much but is almost unfailingly bewitching doing it. But from the opening minutes of “Eclipse,” the third of what will eventually be five films adapted from the four novels, I felt something was a little off about Stewart this time. At first I couldn't put my finger on it, but it had something to do with over-immaculate grooming. Her eyebrows had gotten smaller, trimmed to widen the gap between them, contributing a feel of beauty salon phoniness. Was this responsible, in turn, for the heavy-liddedness of her right eye not having quite the breathtaking sultry effect it usually does? Maybe, to a certain extent. But there was still something else. Finally, it was obvious: It was her hair. Too straight, matted down, tended to, fussed into lifelessness. Was she wearing too many extensions? Even a wig?

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Ortenberg Consults for Apparition, Which Slashes Staff by Half

    Ever since Bob Berney abruptly left fledgling distribution company Apparition pre-Cannes, CEO Bill Pohlad has been trying to figure out how to go forward. He gave Berney's Sundance acquisition Welcome to the Rileys back to Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group, which pacted with Goldwyn to release. Wednesday Pohlad confirmed that he is shutting down the New York office and cutting staff by more than half, from 27 to 15. Individual severance meetings are ongoing today. The company is proceeding on "an immediate needs basis," said spokesperson Mara Buxbaum, who didn't rule out future hires.  As previously reported, Pohlad has also brought in ex-Lionsgate president Tom Ortenberg to consult on how Apparition should proceed as a distrib; the indie vet will take immediate charge of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. Outstanding movies still in theaters include The Runaways and The Square. The Tree of Life is the only mission for Apparition going forward. (River Road's upcoming thriller Fair Game will be released by Summit.)

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  • The Playlist
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    2010: The Best Films Of The Year... So Far

    Ok, so we're a bit late, but June is here and almost over (obviously) which means the mid-way point of the year has arrived.

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  • iW NOW
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    Moët & Chandon Award goes to Actress Chiara Mastroianni

    Moët & Chandon Award goes to Actress Chiara Mastroianni

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