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Austinite’s movie has big weekend

Austinite C. Robert Cargill probably felt pretty good when he woke up Monday morning.

He may not have a name as bankable as Liam Neeson or Ben Affleck, but he had a weekend almost as big as theirs.

The former film critic co-wrote the screenplay for the horror movie “Sinister,” which took in $18.2 million. “Taken 2,” starring Neeson reeled in $22.5 million, and Affleck’s “Argo” scooped up $20.1 million.

The movie, which stars Austin native Ethan Hawke, screened at last month’s Fantastic Fest. “Sinister” was co-written and directed by Hawke’s friend Scott Derrickson and produced by Jason Blum of “Paranormal Activity,” who has a proven track record of scoring big at the box office with small-budget films.

Read an interview with Cargill at www.austin360.com/movies.

SXSW reveals first panels

The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival has announced the first batch of panels, workshops and Digital Domain sessions for next year. Organizers also announced a daylong conference called Startup Alley, which focuses on entrepreneurs and investors, and the Come & Capture Film Factory, which explores new tools for making movies.

For more details on the festival, which will be held March 8 through 16, visit swsw.com/film.