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Universal

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    Weekend Box Office: 'Fast Five' Starts Off Summer With $83 Million Weekend

    Hooray for Hollywood, or something. The 2011 box office finally snapped out of its doldrums with more reheated crap, “Fast Five” opening to a spectacular-for-Universal $83 million. The car blockbuster’s weekend surpasses “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” as the biggest opening weekend in Universal his...

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    Box Office: 'Rio' First 2011 Release To Crack $40 Million Opening Weekend; 'Scream' Goes Quiet

    There’s no way to sugarcoat this: it’s been a dismal year at the box office. Studios have their fingers crossed in regards to a tepid-looking summer schedule, but many were hoping the season could be kick(punch)-started early with a strong April, as two new films were tracking well over $40 million ...

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    Weekend Box Office: 'Hop' Defeats Four Newcomers; 'Your Highness' Flops Loudly And Rudely

    Earlier in the year, the tepid box office returns were something to be ignored, as 2011 was competing with the previous year, with both “Avatar” and then the anomaly of “Alice In Wonderland” each raking in a cool billion. Well, it’s April, and it’s time for Hollywood to panic. There have been no genuine out-of-the-box hits so far this year and lots of flops, and the two (barely) $100 million grossers considered underperformers (“Rango” and “Just Go With It”). Let’s face it, part of it is a failure of marketing, but the blame must be laid on inadequate product. Even when it comes to the early year doldrums, this has been a banner year for garb...

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    Allegations Of Infidelity In Paul Greengrass' 'Memphis' Script Troubled Martin Luther King Estate

    Lee Daniels' 'Selma' Also Ran Afoul Of MLK FamilyWe wished it was some kind of cruel April Fool's Day joke, but last Friday it was revealed that Universal was bailing on "Memphis," the Martin Luther King Jr. pic that was written and set to be directed by Paul Greengrass. The project was a big one. It was being prepped to start shooting in June with a release date already targeted for MLK weekend in February 2012. Universal pulled funding and claimed tight scheduling as an issue, however Deadline revealed that the estate of the late civil rights leader was "highly critical" of the film and threatened to openly and publicly condemn the project ...

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    Universal Pulls A 'Bait And Switch' For Mark Wahlberg

    Universal Pictures seem to have found a new BFF in Mark Wahlberg. The actor/producer currently has two films in the work for the studio -- the action/thriller "Contraband" and the comedy "Ted" -- and they have now picked up another vehicle to be developed for the star.

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    Weekend Box Office: Kids Come Out For 'Hop,' 'Sucker' Thoroughly 'Punch'ed

    While Universal’s animated division remains behind Disney and Dreamworks, “Hop” became their second straight surprisingly big opening this weekend, collecting $39 million. Most called the heavily-promoted film in the high 20’s, low 30’s, but like “Despicable Me” before it, the film definitely connected with family audiences in its first frame. While “Despicable Me” eventually collected $544 million globally with a much bigger opening, “Hop” isn’t expected to bust the doors down. But due to the seasonal and family appeal, expect this thing to have legs, and while they initially weren’t counting on $100 domestic, that should be easily surmounta...

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    Universal Gets Cold Feet, Bails On Backing Paul Greengrass' MLK 'Memphis' Film

    Director Paul Greengrass cannot catch a break it seems. Ever since the documentarian turned feature-length filmmaker bailed on the 4th 'Bourne' movie, he's had a string of bad luck. His Iraq war thriller, "Green Zone" ballooned around the $150 million mark (even though $100 million is the figure released) and the film pulled in a paltry $35 million domestically even with Jason Bourne-lead Matt Damon as the star. Universal took a beating on the film and the friction on that picture is part of what led Greengrass to leave 'Bourne' (though it should be said that, creatively, Damon and Greengrass were exhausted and would have left the franchise r...

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    Universal Will No Longer Go 'In The Heights' With Big Screen Musical Adaptation

    The success of studio musicals over the past little while has been a bit of a mixed bag. For every "Mamma Mia!" or "Hairspray" there's a "Rent" or "Nine" and there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason why one film flops and another succeeds in the genre. And while Universal is mounting "Les Miser...

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    Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish & Teresa Palmer Reading For Oliver Stone's 'Savages'; Uni Picks Up Film

    Update: Deadline also tosses in Abbie Cornish as a possible contender as well.

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    'Kung Fu Panda' & 'Alvin & The Chipmunks' Writer To Turn 'Candyland' Into A Narrative Somehow

    At the beginning of 2010, we named "Candyland" as one of the dumbest movies announced in 2009 and even with all the bullshit movies announced last year none of them really compete with this one yet. And now, the project is actually moving forward with a writer who will now be whispered about at part...

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