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‘My Little Pony’ Movie in the Works at Hasbro Studios (Exclusive)

56 minutes ago

Hasbro Studios has given the greenlight to a “My Little Pony” movie, with plans to release the animated film in 2017.

The film will join “Jem and the Holograms” as the first to be produced through Allspark Pictures, a new label through which the company will self-finance or pair up with other companies to co-finance a slate of film projects.

Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Prods. already is co-producing the live action “Jem,” with Universal Pictures co-financing the movie’s budget. The studio has dated the film for release on Oct. 23, 2015.

Hasbro Studios will take the reigns of “My Little Pony,” producing and financing it in-house. It is in discussion with studios to release the film “on the broadest possible number of screens,” said Stephen Davis, president of Hasbro Studios and global entertainment and licensing for Hasbro Inc. “We’ve very excited about the potential of that movie.”

Joe Ballarini, who wrote »


- Marc Graser

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Film Review: ‘Sacrifice’

5 hours ago

When high-school bros go deep into the woods armed with hunting rifles and expanding torsos, there will be blood, along with plentiful inclement weather. There are gobs of both in “Sacrifice,” but also a quieter moral reckoning that offers the more compelling reason to see this conventional, intermittently absorbing indie from writer-director Michael Cohn (“When the Bough Breaks”). For all its thriller accessorizing, the film grows on you — a little — as a biblical family melodrama that digs into the domestic origins of a compound crime while piling on the wages of sin. Solidly fortified with seasoned actors Dermot Mulroney and Melora Walters, and Austin Abrams as a struggling adolescent, the movie was made under the aegis of the film collaborative JuntoBox, and its combination of horror frissons and contemplative character study should give it modest crossover appeal in young and older markets.

Part hunk, part otherworldly good boy, Texan football »


- Ella Taylor

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Parents Desensitized to Sex and Violence in Movies, Study Finds

6 hours ago

When it comes to sex and violence, the more parents see, the less they care.

That’s the takeaway form a new study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center on the attitudes that parents of children aged 6 to 18 have towards film content that may be objectionable or disturbing.

Researchers showed bloody or erotic scenes from PG-13 and R-rated movies such as “8 Mile,” “Collateral,” “Die Hard” and “Casino Royale” to 1,000 parents and found that they grew desensitized as the body count mounted and sexual activity heated up. The research was conducted online last January.

The findings will be published in Pediatrics and the report serves as a companion to a 2013 study by Annenberg that found that gun violence in PG-13 movies has tripled since 1985 and movies with that rating contain more gun violence than R-rated movies.

“The rise of violence and gun violence in PG-13 movies means that lots of kids »


- Brent Lang

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Snapchat Scares Up Advertising Business with ‘Ouija’

6 hours ago

Universal Pictures became the first company to distribute an advertisement on Snapchat, using the social media app to promote “Ouija” over the weekend.

A 20-second trailer for the upcoming horror film based on Hasbro Studio’s boardgame appeared in the “Recent Updates” section of users’ accounts on the app, with a sponsored icon. The ad disappears after it’s viewed or within 24 hours. It’s unclear how much Universal paid for the plug.

As with any update, users choose whether to view the video or photos, but many of those who did, took to Twitter to talk about the video — some approving what they saw, while others were irritated by the promo that suddenly appeared on their accounts.

Snapchat, however, has said sponsored ads were coming to its 100 million users.

“We need to make money,” Snapchat put it simply in a company blog post. “Advertising allows us to support our »


- Marc Graser

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Film Review: ‘Son of a Gun’

12 hours ago

At least three entertaining films are jostling for position in Australian writer-director Julius Avery’s messily propulsive debut feature “Son of a Gun” — and if none ultimately emerges dominant, the red-blooded tussle between them is never dull to watch. Beginning as tough-minded prison drama, careering into daffily escapist caper territory and concluding somewhere in between, this London Film Festival competition entry casts Ewan McGregor brashly against type as a grizzled master thief mentoring a teenage inmate (Brenton Thwaites) through a high-stakes heist that goes inevitably off-plan. Slicker than it is smart — notwithstanding some strained chess metaphors — Avery’s film packs only moderate crossover potential, but serves as a neat calling card for bigger-ticket genre assignments. Released earlier this week Down Under, “Gun” has already secured U.S. distribution with A24.

“Things are not as you imagine,” a character intones at more than juncture in “Son of a Gun,” as the action grows ever farther-fetched. »


- Guy Lodge

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