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    Bad B.O. Weekend: Surrogates, Fame Flop, Capitalism Scores

    It was a nasty weekend for studio openers. Disney's $80-million robot thriller Surrogates, starring Bruce Willis, flopped with an estimated $15-million opening; MGM's sagging fortunes were not buttressed by the ill-conceived $18-million teen musical remake Fame, the only movie they've opened in mont...

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    Weekend Box Office: Jennifer's Body Horror Tweener

    As predicted, Jennifer's Body opened soft at the boxoffice. Fox marketed a horror movie aimed at men, who like Megan Fox. Twentieth Century Fox hung the marketing on the Transformers star, but girls don't want to see her. The studio failed to get women to watch Karyn Kusama and Diablo Cody's angry f...

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    Toronto Day One: Creation, The Informant!, Jennifer's Body

    The reason why film festivals pick movies like Creation for opening night is that they have all the right credentials: respected producer (Jeremy Thomas) and director (Jon Amiel) and two major stars (Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly) willing to show up for the gala TIFF screenings and party. But C...

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    The Road Will Open November 25

    The Weinstein Co. has been moving around the release date of The Road, trying to figure out what it has. Well, post-Venice and Telluride, where the film earned mostly glowing reviews, it looks like Harvey and Bob Weinstein are going for a holiday play after all on a prime awards season spot, Novembe...

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    Stringray Sam: Coming Soon to Screens of All Sizes

    Just as several folks steered me to check out Stingray Sam, the episodic six-part serial musical space-western designed for mobile phones that debuted at Sundance 2009, writer-director-musician Cory McAbee, one of many filmmakers these days taking distribution into their own hands, posted the follo...

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    Awards buzz, Indie News, Disney Confab

    In Indie news, despite Inglourious Basterds' rousing start, the Weinsteins aren't out of the woods. They weren't taking any chances. They upped their media spend by several millions in the week before the opening, targeting their weakest link, women. It worked. The WSJ explains why the Weinsteins fa...

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    Avatar Trailer Update

    The response to the Avatar teaser trailer that Fox released Thursday was mixed.

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    Avatar Week: Photo Gallery

    I'm obsessed with Avatar. (The movies of James Cameron are moving inexorably up my flickchart.) The question for me is whether Cameron's ambitious mix of 3-D live-action and performance capture --which cost Fox way more than $200 million-- breaks out beyond the Comic-Con faithful. It feels very sci-...

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    Portfolio Returns, Hughes' Death Place, Celebs Shill on Facebook

    Movieline writer Stu Van Airsdale tracked down the site where John Hughes left this mortal coil.

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    Letter to the Studios: How Not to Market Adult Dramas

    Here's the first of a series of pieces (which do not necessarily reflect my POV) by guest bloggers on various aspects of the entertainment industry. Now based in Nampa, Idaho, Mike Kaplan is a veteran filmmaker (Never Apologize) and marketer who has managed campaigns for Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey) and Robert Altman (Short Cuts) among others. More recently, please note, Kaplan helped to introduce Clive Owen to American audiences with the sleeper hit Croupier and You'll Sleep When I'm Dead. Here's his argument for how the studios are killing adult dramas--through misguided marketing. Kaplan came up in a film industry that made pro...

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