Category Archives: Industry Features

Exclusively for industry related features and op-ed pieces.

Career Therapist: Will Nicolas Cage Ever Be an A-List Star Again?

nicolasCageCareerTherapist1The Oscar-nominated superstar hasn’t made a studio film since 2013’s animated The Croods, so is there a way for Cage to climb his way back to the top of the ladder?

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As “Black Panther” Hits Theaters, We Revisit the Case of James Gunn Vs. Jodie Foster

James Gunn Jodie Foster Black Panther“If we’re using Jodie Foster’s metaphor, and Black Panther is part of the theme park that Hollywood has become, then it’s one of the best rides — the kind that leaves you wanting more,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Sony’s New Deal With Wizard World Demonstrates How Studios Continue to Overvalue IP

Sony Wizard World“It’s not the most ridiculous idea that Sony would go looking for more comic book IP, but the way it’s going about it is what feels so misguided, and until someone explains to me the value of an IP that has no popular recognition, I will continue to be baffled,” writes Neil Turitz.

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“The Shape of Water” Sex Toy Stimulates Discussion About Outside-the-Box Movie Marketing

The Shape of WaterWith a clever marketing campaign that perhaps distributed DNA and paternity tests to people, thus getting them talking and maybe even laughing, the studio behind Father Figures might’ve had a conversation starter on its hands, rather than an underwhelming movie,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Is Netflix Hollywood’s Great Savior or Is It Trying to Change Things Too Swiftly to Succeed?

brightHaving more immediate success with its Emmy-winning television series, many in their third, fourth and fifth seasons, will Netflix’s decision to release so much content on a weekly basis end up hurting the brand?

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The Netflix Paradox: Does the Company’s “Super” Move Suggest Another Major Sea Change?

cloverfield“It also was that rare moment when Netflix actually spent some serious money to push one of its movies, which might just suggest a change in thinking for the streaming service. That being the spending of money to do any marketing at all,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Valiant Entertainment’s Days May Be Numbered Following Sale to Chinese-Owned Corporation (Opinion)

Valiant Comics“DMG boss Dan Mintz has no interest in comic book publishing. He sees it as a sort of ghetto art, and is focused solely on turning the company into an output factory for the big and small screens, rather than focusing on the publishing entity that gave the company its value in the first place,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Sundance: “The Sessions” Filmmaker Ben Lewin on “The Catcher Was a Spy,” “Please Stand By” (Interview)

CatcherPleaseStandByThe Australian filmmaker returns with two very different movies, one a period spy-thriller starring Paul Rudd as Moe Berg, the other a more contemporary dramedy starring Dakota Fanning. The latter is now in theaters and On Demand.

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With a New Owner and a New Board, What Does the Future of the Weinstein Company Look Like?

Maria Contreras-Sweet“I’ve spoken to a few people who don’t believe that Maria Contreras-Sweet and her team will be able to pull it off, but the industry will be behind her, as there’s nothing that Hollywood loves more than a happy ending,” writes Neil Turitz.

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The Fire and Fury, Much Less the Folly, of Adapting the Bestselling Book About Donald Trump’s White House

fire and fury“Selling a cinematic property to a buyer who has no chance of recouping an investment. These kinds of things happen all day every day here, and this is just the most obvious and blatant one this week,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Apple’s Big TV Venture Has a Strong Slate, But How Will We Watch These Shows?

Apple Jen Reese“The longer Apple waits to reveal the specifics of its distribution plan, the more the company risks getting the short end of the stick from both the creative community, and audiences who will have already committed their annual entertainment budget elsewhere,” writes Neil Turitz.

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As MoviePass Keeps Adding More Members, It’s Time to Weigh the Pros and Cons

MoviePass“I’ve seen an alarming number of complaints from paid subscribers who either did not receive their cards in a timely fashion, or received inoperable cards. MoviePass also has an issue with customer service, in that it appears to be basically nonexistent,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Warner Bros.’ Executive Shuffle Overshadowed a Significant Restructuring That Should Benefit the Studio

Tsujihara WBThe studio’s movies grossed $5.1 billion worldwide in 2017, but when you’re spending over $4 billion to accomplish that, and you have significant money losers like King Arthur and Geostorm sprinkled in among the smash hits, you’re simply not doing as well as you could,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Have we Learned Our Lesson Yet About Making Sequels Past Their Prime?

SequelsPastPrimeIn the past couple years, making sequels years even decades after their popular predecessors has proven to be folly for anyone involved. And yet, 2018 offers more than a couple sequels being released an insanely long time after the original movies.

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Golden Globes Party List: Netflix and HBO Have Their Champagne Ready, But Where Art Thou A24?

Brooklynn PrinceThe only prediction we’re willing to make at this time is that The Florida Project star Brooklynn Prince is going to stay up late dancing the night away.

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Career Therapist: What Shall We Do with Antonio Banderas?

AntonioBanderasGettyThe Spanish actor has been making a series of bad thrillers and action films for Saban Films and Lionsgate Premiere lately, killing any credibility he had as a serious theatrical draw in the ’90s.

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Malcolm D. Lee May Be the Most Underrated Filmmaker in Hollywood… But That’s Changing

GirlsTripWith the success of this year’s Girls Trip and 2013’s The Best Man Holiday, the director has set himself up to direct even bigger movies through his deal with Universal.

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Willem Dafoe on His Oscar-Worthy Role in Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” (Interview)

WillemDafoeFloridaProject1Playing the manager of a run-down Orlando motel is the culmination of an amazing career of film roles for the twice Oscar-nominated actor.

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The Time Has Come for a Hollywood Hall of Fame, But Who Would Be Inducted First?

Halls of FameNames like Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Louis B. Mayer, Mary Pickford and Jack Warner come to mind for the inaugural class, just to name five people who were integral to the birth and growth of the medium.

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Disney-Fox Deal Is the Rotten Cherry On Top of a Miserable 2017 For Everyone But Theater Owners and the X-Men

Disney Fox 2Here’s the other elephant in the room: Is Disney even done buying right now? After all, the company isn’t just battling current threats like Netflix and Amazon, but future ones like Apple.

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Producer Matt Tolmach on “Jumanji,” “Venom,” “Silver and Black” and More (Interview)

JumanjiMattTolmach1The former President of Columbia Pictures continues to work with Sony producing films like the holiday family action-adventure starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black.

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Does Bitcoin Hold the Key to Hollywood’s Financial Future, Or Is It Another False Savior?

Bitcoin Hollywood“People may be designing and buying Bitcoin, but the fact that it is not tangible would seem to imply that it remains open to potential sabotage, especially in a digital world without any regulation,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Why the Academy Should Reduce the Best Picture Nominees Back Down to Five

Ocsars900507Looking at a few reasons why the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences can cut back on the Best Picture nominees to make the main Oscar race seem that much more special.

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A24 Is On Fire This Year, From “Moonlight’s” Oscar Win to Its Current Awards Crop

LadyBirdTrailerOne of the more successful newer indie distributors has discovered the secrets of marketing and distribution to the point where they might have their best year yet with Lady Bird and The Disaster Artist.

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Under the Radar: 2017 Films That Deserve More Love

patticakesreviewxcerpt13 movies you might have missed or maybe some you’ve never even heard of, but hopefully will have a chance to watch before year’s end.

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Fox and Disney Sitting In a Tree, M-E-R-G-I-N-G, But Is This Really a Good Idea?

Disney Fox DealOne has to wonder if Disney is interested in spending the money required to help James Cameron see through his ambitious vision for Avatar, which has staked out four December release dates that would coincide with more than a few Star Wars films.

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Actor Richard Jenkins on the Magic of Making “The Shape of Water” (Interview)

JenkinsShapeofWaterExcerptGuillermo del Toro’s fantasy might put Jenkins back in the Oscar race for his supporting role as the friend and neighbor of a mute woman, played by Sally Hawkins.

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Will “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” Be Bigger Than “The Force Awakens”?

ReyLastJediTNLucasfilm’s 2017 release is just weeks away. Advance tickets are selling like hotcakes. But few think it will break some of the seemingly insurmountable box office records set by its 2015 precursor.

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“Bull Durham” Creator Ron Shelton Returns to Theaters with “Just Getting Started” (Interview)

RonSheltonJGSExcerptShelton’s new comedy stars Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones as rivals at a Palm Springs retirement resort.

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“Star Wars” Has Studios Gun Shy This Year, and For No Good Reason

star wars last jedi poster smallFive Christmas releases could be on the path to profitability right now if any of their distributors had opted to take advantage of the calm before the Star Wars storm. So why didn’t they? Neil Turitz questions Hollywood’s December release strategy in his new column.

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