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By Michel Sragow and Michel Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | November 3, 2006
Buzz" is the evilest of buzzwords in the modern entertainment vocabulary. It's the hum in the air that hangs over a movie, book or TV show before the product ever reaches the audience's eyes. Currently movie buzz emanates from the mercantile Hollywood columnists who've invaded not just the trades but also major dailies, as well as from inside dopesters on the Internet; softer variations of buzz eventually appear on syndicated infotainment shows like Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | August 6, 2008
Movie openings ... they're not just for Fridays anymore. With new movies tripping over each other every week as they struggle to maximize buzz and bring in more box-office bucks than the competition, studios are looking to exploit every possible edge. Increasingly, that involves pushing at the boundaries of the traditional Friday opening - either by debuting the film just after midnight Friday (as The Dark Knight did last month) or, as is happening today with Columbia's Pineapple Express and Warner Bros.
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BUSINESS
By STEPHEN L. ROSENSTEIN | November 25, 2007
Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways for a small business to attract new customers. It uses the most trusted salesperson you could ever find for your business - a satisfied client. The power of word-of-mouth can drive business to your door, even if your marketing budget is nonexistent. However, don't expect a marketing miracle to suddenly appear. For most businesses, it is a phenomenon that you can take steps to create and nurture. Create a simple marketing message that is easy for people to pass along.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,Sun reporter | July 6, 2008
New Haven, Conn. - The boys from Baltimore sprawled on leather chairs and sofas in the dark-paneled sitting room of a castle-like residential college at Yale University. It was the kind of place where scholars from earlier decades might have relaxed with cigars as they dissected the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. This lesson was just as heady. These 47 children and teenagers, many from tough sections of Baltimore where life can seem fleeting and hopeless, made the 270-mile journey here last weekend to learn about another kind of future.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | August 6, 2008
Movie openings ... they're not just for Fridays anymore. With new movies tripping over each other every week as they struggle to maximize buzz and bring in more box-office bucks than the competition, studios are looking to exploit every possible edge. Increasingly, that involves pushing at the boundaries of the traditional Friday opening - either by debuting the film just after midnight Friday (as The Dark Knight did last month) or, as is happening today with Columbia's Pineapple Express and Warner Bros.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Lorenza Munoz and Lorenza Munoz,LOS ANGELES TIMES | August 21, 2003
HOLLYWOOD -- Fatima Bholat stepped into the summer sunshine, fresh from the darkened theater where she'd just seen The Hulk. It was opening day, and the 16-year-old high school junior had rushed out with her younger brother to see director Ang Lee's moody take on the big green superhero. Now she wanted to tell her friends all about it. She whipped out her silver-and-blue T-Mobile cell phone, pressed a button and did something that strikes terror into the hearts of studio executives: She tapped out a message telling her friends exactly what she thought of the movie -- and the verdict was brutal.
FEATURES
By Los Angeles Times | January 11, 1993
Hollywood -- Each boasted big stars, respected directors and huge marketing campaigns. Yet, in the case of "Toys," "Hoffa" and "Leap of Faith," something clearly went wrong on the way to the multiplex.The big disappointments of this Christmas season, the three films lost their studios millions of dollars and left a smattering of egg on the faces of all those involved. Studio executives and producers involved in the films have been sifting through the rubble, trying to figure out what went awry on projects that once seemed like sure things.
FEATURES
By Los Angeles Times | August 27, 1991
Usually, the fight for screen space at the nation's theaters is a bruising one. But sometimes, Hollywood studios actually don't want their movies to open on many screens. It's a strategy called "platforming," and in the case of Disney-Touchstone's "The Doctor," it appears to be working."The Doctor," starring William Hurt as a cocky surgeon who experiences the cold side of the medical system when he develops cancer, opened July 26 in six theaters. "It's a movie that we knew critics and audiences would respond to," says Touchstone President David Hoberman.
NEWS
By MICHAEL SRAGOW | June 1, 2008
The mainstream media usually cover the first three positions in the box-office top 10: the places where blockbusters and big-star vehicles reside. Generating just as much excitement among movie-lovers these days is the No. 10 slot. For two weeks in a row, a $4 million movie has filled it without the help of marquee names or special effects. This film broke into the list seven weeks after its premiere, on the strength of that elusive commodity, word of mouth. It's The Visitor, a poignant, humorous and wonder-filled character study that manages, in 90 minutes, to flesh out E.M. Forster's dictum, "Only connect."
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | April 2, 1996
Shhhh. Don't tell anyone he went to Yale.Don't tell anyone he's not a "Baltimorean," like the ads for the benefit premiere at the Senator tonight say, but a real, true-blue Columbian, a 1987 graduate of Wilde Lake High who studied theater at the Columbia School of the Arts.You can't even tell people about his extraordinary film debut in "Primal Fear," because if you do, other than to say it is extraordinary and that the whole movie depends on it, you somehow give too much away.So for a 26-year-old-local-boy-makes-really-good, Edward Norton has certainly gotten himself enmeshed in a web of secrecy as he pursues a very public career.
NEWS
By MICHAEL SRAGOW | June 1, 2008
The mainstream media usually cover the first three positions in the box-office top 10: the places where blockbusters and big-star vehicles reside. Generating just as much excitement among movie-lovers these days is the No. 10 slot. For two weeks in a row, a $4 million movie has filled it without the help of marquee names or special effects. This film broke into the list seven weeks after its premiere, on the strength of that elusive commodity, word of mouth. It's The Visitor, a poignant, humorous and wonder-filled character study that manages, in 90 minutes, to flesh out E.M. Forster's dictum, "Only connect."
BUSINESS
By STEPHEN L. ROSENSTEIN | November 25, 2007
Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways for a small business to attract new customers. It uses the most trusted salesperson you could ever find for your business - a satisfied client. The power of word-of-mouth can drive business to your door, even if your marketing budget is nonexistent. However, don't expect a marketing miracle to suddenly appear. For most businesses, it is a phenomenon that you can take steps to create and nurture. Create a simple marketing message that is easy for people to pass along.
NEWS
By Mark Caro and Mark Caro,Chicago Tribune | March 18, 2007
Few filmmakers have ever packed the commercial/critical one-two punch Steven Soderbergh exhibited in 2000. Erin Brockovich, his legal drama starring Julia Roberts, came out in the spring, grossed more than $125 million domestically and collected five Academy Award nominations, including best picture, director and actress (which Roberts won). His panoramic drug-trade drama Traffic was released at the end of the year, grossed $124 million and snagged another five Oscar nominations, with Soderbergh competing against himself for best picture and director.
FEATURES
By Michel Sragow and Michel Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | November 3, 2006
Buzz" is the evilest of buzzwords in the modern entertainment vocabulary. It's the hum in the air that hangs over a movie, book or TV show before the product ever reaches the audience's eyes. Currently movie buzz emanates from the mercantile Hollywood columnists who've invaded not just the trades but also major dailies, as well as from inside dopesters on the Internet; softer variations of buzz eventually appear on syndicated infotainment shows like Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | August 19, 2004
Barely three years ago, Norah Jones, a piano-playing beauty with haunting eyes and a voice to match, became an unlikely superstar. Although the camera loved her, Jones should not have blown up the charts with her debut, 2002's Come Away With Me, a collection of quiet, jazzy pop tunes shaded with a little country and the blues. It was much too reserved to be a monster pop album. (No hip-hop beats? No Jay-Z cameo?) Plus, she seemed too shy and a little mysterious. Just 21 at the time, Jones was never heavily made up in photos; there were no MTV-ready videos with suggestive dance routines.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Karen Nitkin and Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 13, 2003
Good luck finding the Orchard Market and Cafe if you don't know where to look. It's tucked in the back of a Towson strip mall, invisible from the street. Yet, with no liquor license and no signs to attract drive-by traffic, this little Persian restaurant has managed to survive, and even thrive, since opening in 1988. A large part of the restaurant's appeal is probably its obscurity. People like to discover hidden treasures. However, obscurity alone wouldn't keep this restaurant going.
BUSINESS
December 10, 1990
One on One is a weekly feature offering excerpts of interviews conducted by The Evening Sun with newsworthy business leaders. Lenny Kaplan is the chief executive officer of Classic Catering People, which has merged with The Catering People.Q.With the economy going through a slow down, why choose now to merge the two catering enterprises, Classic Catering and The Catering People?Neither one of our companies has really recognized or experienced the slowdown, and we developed the concept well before this became a truly apparent direction for the economy.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | August 19, 2004
Barely three years ago, Norah Jones, a piano-playing beauty with haunting eyes and a voice to match, became an unlikely superstar. Although the camera loved her, Jones should not have blown up the charts with her debut, 2002's Come Away With Me, a collection of quiet, jazzy pop tunes shaded with a little country and the blues. It was much too reserved to be a monster pop album. (No hip-hop beats? No Jay-Z cameo?) Plus, she seemed too shy and a little mysterious. Just 21 at the time, Jones was never heavily made up in photos; there were no MTV-ready videos with suggestive dance routines.
NEWS
By Sandy Alexander and Sandy Alexander,SUN STAFF | November 6, 2003
Scott Dustin's artwork has a way of getting noticed. The eyes of passers-by are naturally drawn to an eagle lifting its wings atop a tree along Bethany Lane in Ellicott City, a 13-foot-tall white rabbit standing watch over a garden on Ten Oaks Road in Dayton, or a 15-foot-tall wooden toothbrush (the world's largest, he says), which Dustin made for a dentist in Quakertown, Pa. "People find they become local celebrities" when they have the carvings at their homes, Dustin said. "It kind of brings communities together."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Lorenza Munoz and Lorenza Munoz,LOS ANGELES TIMES | August 21, 2003
HOLLYWOOD -- Fatima Bholat stepped into the summer sunshine, fresh from the darkened theater where she'd just seen The Hulk. It was opening day, and the 16-year-old high school junior had rushed out with her younger brother to see director Ang Lee's moody take on the big green superhero. Now she wanted to tell her friends all about it. She whipped out her silver-and-blue T-Mobile cell phone, pressed a button and did something that strikes terror into the hearts of studio executives: She tapped out a message telling her friends exactly what she thought of the movie -- and the verdict was brutal.
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