World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

All the dirt. All the top secret stuff. Anything that has to do with the process of getting us to sit and watch something projected on the big screen.

Would you happily show a minor a full on, hardcore violence, R Rated movie?

Yes
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Total votes : 18

Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:33 am

Nikki Finke:
Behind-The-Scenes With Sony Pictures’ Problems: Part One
Nikki Finke wrote:On June 19th, I emailed Sony Pictures Entertainment Vice Chairman Jeff Blake and asked if he was leaving the studio. "Up in the air. Will know soon. Promise to tell you," he replied. To which I responded, "OK. Please tell me first." His Sony bosses Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal were trying to force Blake into retiring rather than demonstrate to Hollywood that they were firing the beloved 22-year studio veteran as the sacrifical lamb for all of Sony Pictures’ many problems. During the last 3 years, the studio’s summer event pictures had not lived up to expectations beginning with 2012′s reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man. What no one knew is that Lynton and Pascal had nearly fired Blake exactly a year ago as the fall guy for Summer 2013′s box office disappointments like After Earth, White House Down, Smurfs 2, and Elysium. Just like she’d done during last summer referring to Blake’s health, Pascal a few weeks before Blake’s forced departure on Tuesday was again mentioning to media that, after 22 years in his very exacting big job, it was time "for Jeff to take care of himself". What she really meant to say, but didn’t, was "for Jeff to take the heat off Michael and myself".
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:00 pm

THR:
Why Jeff Bewkes Really Wants to Sell Time Warner
With Rupert Murdoch making an $80 billion play for the company, insiders tell THR that the TW CEO's recent moves indicate he is ready to unload.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheBaxter on Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:43 pm

i'm pretty sure Rupert Murdoch belongs to the Borg Collective. he will not stop until he has assimilated us all and added our biological and technological distinctiveness to his own. resistance is futile.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:51 pm

CBM:
Disney May Be Next In Line To Try And Acquire Warner Bros. And DC Comics In Merger
Fox's Rupert Murdoch tried and failed to buy Time Warner, and while China's richest man is now said to be looking to add the company to his empire. However, Walt Disney have also been mentioned as a potential buyer! Will we soon have the Marvel/DC Cinematic Universe?!

THR:
Why China's Richest Man Could Buy Time Warner
Wang Jianlin's plan for a $1.2 billion Beverly Hills compound might be the next big step toward owning a Hollywood studio
Three Other Suitors-in-Waiting:

Walt Disney


The prospect of combining Disney's Marvel with Time Warner's DC Comics might be too compelling to ignore, plus CNN would give Disney the cable news asset it lacks. Disney's market cap as of Aug. 8 was $149 billion compared with Time Warner's $63 billion, which gives Disney CEO Bob Iger more leverage than Murdoch might have had.

Google

The search giant most often is mentioned as a potential bidder, though Time Warner still has the historically awful AOL merger fresh in its memory. Still, Google has a track record of massive profits (unlike AOL at the time) and a hefty $385 billion market cap to back up a potential play.

Apple

As with Google, Apple's massive market cap ($567 billion), not to mention $38 billion in cash on hand, makes it an automatic potential bidder. Time Warner's giant library of film and TV content presumably would fit neatly into whatever plans the maker of iPads and iPhones has for its still-nascent Apple TV product. And, of course, iTunes always is looking for some video leverage as it goes to war with Netflix, Hulu and other online content services.

"Three Other Suitors-in-Waiting" written by Bond Paul Bond.
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Re: Gourmet Popcorn

Postby TheButcher on Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:45 am

DreamWorks’ New CEO Michael Wright On Push For Commercial Fare & Making The Tricky Transition To Features
Nellie Andreeva wrote:What is the future of Reliance-backed DreamWorks, which has pared down the number of movies it puts out with no big commercial hits since The Help and Lincoln? “It’s about going back to the company’s roots in Steven Spielberg’s brand and his vision as one of the most trusted and beloved storytellers in the world,” Wright said. Spielberg is behind some of the biggest blockbusters: Jaws, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park franchises. Amblin TV’s successful sci-fi series Falling Skies kicked off TNT’s action-adventure Sunday night, which just welcomed another breakout, The Last Ship. This is a type of fare Wright is attached to. “I have, and very proudly so, commercial instincts,” he said. “I love to sit in a theater and root for a hero, be taken on a great ride and be entertained, and I think you can expect us to bring that energy to the studio.”

Wright doesn’t like the “popcorn” moniker associated with some of Spielberg’s movies as well as TNT series he’d commissioned. He borrowed a quote used by Spielberg in reference to his film Minority Report, that “it is popcorn but it’s gourmet popcorn.” “You can expect us to take that approach,” Wright said. “We live in scary, troubled times, and I think films should be there to entertain, uplift and transport people.” At the same time, “that doesn’t mean we won’t take on tough subject matter or do something surprising and darker when its appropriate. But are we going to embrace that enthusiasm for great stories that entertain people and take audiences on a thrilling ride — you bet, absolutely.”
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:13 pm

Inside SoftBank's Studio Grab: Is a DreamWorks Deal Really Dead?

Japan's richest man begins a Hollywood courtship as Jeffrey Katzenberg floats a $4 billion sale to Rupert Murdoch, Legendary seeks an investor and everyone wonders what big deal is next
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:29 pm

SoftBank to Invest $250 Million in Legendary
Talks with Legendary are believed to have been underway for several weeks and have been separate from the DreamWorks Animation discussions
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Sat Oct 04, 2014 2:26 am

Should Jennifer Lawrence Have an IPO for Herself?
San Francisco-based Fantex plots a trading exchange for real people, where shares of future revenue could give stars a big payday now; says one lawyer, "I can almost guarantee it's going to happen"


Jessica Alba's Tears on Her Way to Building a $1 Billion Business
Roles and paydays for actresses are declining, but she was among the first to market with her own lifestyle extension, The Honest Co., as everyone (Blake Lively, Reese Witherspoon) takes a page from her playbook
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:26 pm

Legendary’s Deal With SoftBank Actually Worth Up to $1 Billion (EXCLUSIVE)
MARC GRASER wrote:Eager to lock down content for its digital platforms, SoftBank Corp. announced Thursday a $250 million investment in Legendary Entertainment and the formation of a new joint venture. The deal is far larger, Variety has learned, and could actually be worth up to $1 billion.

According to a letter sent to Legendary’s shareholders on Oct. 1 to secure votes for the pact, SoftBank’s investment in Legendary is actually broken up into three stages that began with the $250 million investment, which is expected to close within a week.

Under terms of its deal with Legendary, SoftBank has the option to make two additional $375 million investments in the company through 2018, said shareholders who provided details of the letter to Variety.

After the three rounds of investments, SoftBank, one of Japan’s largest tech congloms, has the first refusal right to purchase Legendary outright, should Thomas Tull choose to sell the company.

The first $250 million investment gives SoftBank control of 10% of Legendary, which analysts say is worth around $3 billion.

Legendary declined to discuss terms of the deal. SoftBank also declined to comment.

SoftBank has been top of mind in Hollywood over the past week since reports that the company was looking to buy DreamWorks Animation.

However the deal with Legendary — and the formation of a joint venture with the company — signals that SoftBank is more interested in becoming a major player in Hollywood by helping turn Legendary into more of a full-fledged studio in return for exclusive rights to entertainment that it can push across all of its mobile platforms around the world, that includes Sprint in the U.S.

Until now, SoftBank has had rights to mobile games from Supercell and GungHo, but had no deals with traditional entertainment providers like TV or movie studios.

Legendary Entertainment, founded in 2000, is behind such films as “Godzilla,” “The Dark Knight” and “Pacific Rim.” The company has a new distribution deal with Universal Pictures after it recently ended an eight-year pact with Warner Bros. Legendary recently started expanding heavily into television and is growing its own digital companies like Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist Industries.
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DreamWorks-Hasbro?

Postby TheButcher on Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:48 am

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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:05 am

Jeff Robinov's Studio 8 Eyes Francis Lawrence, Albert Hughes Projects as Slate Takes Shape (Exclusive)

The new studio is seeking to acquire projects that involve the 'Hunger Games' franchise director and 'The Book of Eli' co-director
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Re: The Alleged Pixar Wage-Fixing Cartel

Postby TheButcher on Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:08 am

Nikki Finke:
Pixar, LucasFilm, DreamWorks Animation In Alleged Wage-Fixing Cartel To Boost Profit

Pixar Tried Pressuring Sony To Join Alleged Wage-Fixing Cartel

Deadline:
Sony, DreamWorks Animation & Disney Slammed With New Antitrust Class Action
Dominic Patten wrote:EXCLUSIVE:
With one now-consolidated lawsuit already before the courts, it looks like the burgeoning legal battle over alleged secret wage-fixing and anti-poaching deals among animation studios has another front on which to fight. On November 20, former DreamWorks Animation layout artist Van Phan filed a class action complaint of his own against Disney, DWA, Sony Pictures Animation, Digital Domain, Imageworks, Pixar and Lucasfilm in federal court in Northern California. Like the other complaints, he is naming names (hello again Ed Catmull, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Dick Cook) and pointing to a conspiracy of systematic behavior on the part of the ‘toon studios to hurt the people in their own companies in the wallet.

“As a result of Defendants’ unlawful conduct, Plaintiff and Class Members were injured in that their compensation was lowered and they were deprived of free and fair competition in the market for their services, which allowed Defendants to unlawfully retain money that otherwise would have been paid to Plaintiff and other Class Members,” says the complaint, which cites violates of the California’s Unfair Competition Law, the Sherman Act and the Cartwright Act as past ongoing suits on the topic have (read it here). Besides seeking classification to include all those who worked at the studios since 2004, the complaint filed late last month wants an injunction to stop the behavior, damages to be determined at trial and tripled and an “incentive award to compensate Plaintiff Van Phan for his efforts in pursuit of this litigation,” among its requests. If the past three lawsuits and rumblings this summer on the matter from the Animation Guild are any precedent, Phan’s action won’t be the last we’ll see on this sprawling matter — though his claims have a some new details worth distinctly noting.

“The non-solicitation and compensation-suppressing agreements were kept secret from Defendants’ employees and other industry players,” claims the 25-page jury trial seeking filing, for instance. “Only Defendants’ top executives and recruiting and human resources personnel were involved in the conspiracy. These top executives and personnel only communicated about the conspiracy orally or in emails among themselves and stressed that the agreements not be put into writing.”


Like the class actions filed by individually by digital artists Robert Nitsch Jr. David Wentworth, and Georgia Cano earlier this year, this one by the Madagascar and Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs animator cites that these agreements were started in the 1980s by Pixar and Lucasfilm and then grew to actively include the others over the last decade. The now not-so-secret deals among the animation studios were first revealed during the discovery process of a Department of Justice investigation of similar actions among technology companies like Apple, Google and Intel that later turn into a class action suit of its own.

DreamWorks Animation, Disney & Sony Slapped With Class Action Over Wage Suppression Deals
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Re: The Great Sony Hack Of 2014

Postby TheButcher on Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:08 am

Sony Emails Reveal Failed Efforts to Recruit ‘Lego’ Directors to Run Animation Unit
Bad reputation of Imageworks, Sony Animation hinders drive to create 'brain trust'
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Re: The Great Sony Hack Of 2014

Postby TheButcher on Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:31 pm

Sony Suspends Film Shoots After Hacks Affect Payments
Chris Agar wrote:The report comes courtesy of The Times, which states that the computer problems that arose following the incident have left the studio unable to process payments pertaining to film production costs. This has caused agencies in charge of filming upcoming Sony projects to temporarily pull the plug, as they wait for the computers to get back online.




Sony Hackers Promise to Deliver Large "Christmas Gift"
Recently leaked files include Crackle details, along with emails about Ryan Gosling, Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith's kids
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Re: The Great Sony Hack Of 2014

Postby TheButcher on Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:54 am

THR:
Sony Hack: Aaron Sorkin Slams Media, Channing Tatum Gloats and 5 Other Developments
Ryan Gajewski wrote:7. Channing Tatum was more than a little excited about 22 Jump Street's box office.

If you've wondered whether Tatum ever gets worked up about how his movies perform, check out the email he wrote to co-star Jonah Hill and Pascal after the action-comedy's massive June debut gave it the second-biggest opening weekend ever for an R-rated comedy, passing up 2012's Ted.
Clearly, the man is a master at copying and pasting.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheBaxter on Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:26 am

it's interesting and fascinating reading all these sony leaks, but the more i hear and the more i think about WHY these things are getting leaked and who's leaking them, the more it makes me wish The Interview was less of a comedy and more of a documentary.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby Peven on Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:40 pm

just what did the hack do, though? really. it seems as if the simple revealing of truth is what the rich and powerful fear more than anything. do what you want just don't let the public know what they are really saying and planning behind closed doors
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheBaxter on Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:50 pm

i haven't read every single thing that's been released, but it seems damaging enough to have cost them money. the ones that get the most play are all the snarky emails of people badmouthing celebrities, and i'm sure those might do some public relations damage and maybe hurt some working relationships that cost people money, projects, jobs, etc. but probably the most damaging stuff is more nuts-and-bolts boring business stuff that gets released that has trade secrets, future planning, financial info, payment details, etc. there's also bank info and people's private info that's getting released alongside the sony info, and a lot of potential collateral damage there to innocent people who just happened to have that info collected on some sony computer. and if the hackers are to be believed, there's much more damaging stuff on the way.

i'm really not too bothered about sony as a corporation themselves, but the idea of hacking someone's computers, releasing sensitive data, hurting people, costing people money and embarrassment, all for the express purpose of trying to silence them and censor them, doesn't sit well with me.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby Ribbons on Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:39 am

Peven wrote:just what did the hack do, though? really. it seems as if the simple revealing of truth is what the rich and powerful fear more than anything. do what you want just don't let the public know what they are really saying and planning behind closed doors


This, for example:

TheButcher wrote:Sony Suspends Film Shoots After Hacks Affect Payments
Chris Agar wrote:The report comes courtesy of The Times, which states that the computer problems that arose following the incident have left the studio unable to process payments pertaining to film production costs. This has caused agencies in charge of filming upcoming Sony projects to temporarily pull the plug, as they wait for the computers to get back online.


TheBaxter wrote:i'm really not too bothered about sony as a corporation themselves, but the idea of hacking someone's computers, releasing sensitive data, hurting people, costing people money and embarrassment, all for the express purpose of trying to silence them and censor them, doesn't sit well with me.


Agreed. And yet I can't stop reading. Damn you, North Korea! :P
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby so sorry on Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:07 pm

Ribbons wrote:
TheBaxter wrote:i'm really not too bothered about sony as a corporation themselves, but the idea of hacking someone's computers, releasing sensitive data, hurting people, costing people money and embarrassment, all for the express purpose of trying to silence them and censor them, doesn't sit well with me.


Agreed. And yet I can't stop reading. Damn you, North Korea! :P


Kinda similar scenario to the Jennifer Lawrence nekkid pics...
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheBaxter on Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:50 am

Peven wrote:just what did the hack do, though?


viewtopic.php?f=60&t=76420&p=839481#p839474
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Fallout From The Great Sony Hack Of 2014

Postby TheButcher on Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:28 pm

Amy Pascal's Exit Sparks Scramble for Top Sony Job
Jeff Robinov and Tom Rothman are among a small group of candidates that could step into the role of studio head.

Tatiana Siegel & Kim Masters wrote:As Amy Pascal prepares to step down from her co-chairman post at Sony Pictures Entertainment after 15 years in the studio's top creative role, Hollywood is abuzz with speculation about who might get the vacant job.

The two most obvious candidates are Jeff Robinov and Tom Rothman, both former studio heads at Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, respectively. Both are currently under the Sony umbrella: Robinov as the head of Studio 8, his new outfit with $1 billion in backing from China's Fosun Group and several U.S. banks; and Rothman running the revived TriStar label on the Sony lot. In fact, many have speculated for months — even before the hacking scandal engulfed Sony in November — that either executive could eventually step into the co-chairman role should Pascal exit.

But sources say Robinov was in China and Rothman was in London at the time Pascal announced she was stepping down, and Sony did not appear to have tipped off either executive nor others with close relationships to the studio as to its plans. It is also unlikely that Robinov would want to step away from a new venture that has been so effective at raising money and striking strategic allegiances with the potentially lucrative Chinese audience. Rothman, on the other hand, could be hurt by embarrassing emails of his own that were leaked during the epic hack that precipitated Pascal's downfall. In one well-disseminated exchange, he poked fun at the children of Sony-based star Will Smith for being homeschooled. Still, both enjoy strong relationships with talent, not unlike Pascal, who was one of the most beloved studio heads among Hollywood's fickle star caste. And Rothman was well-known at Fox for running a tight fiscal ship, which could appeal to Sony brass after Pascal was criticized in recent years by investor Daniel Loeb and others for overspending.

If Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton and Sony Corp. president and CEO Kazuo Hirai decide to fill the void from the inside, Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad would likely be considered given that he is the highest-ranking person on the studio's production side. But according to internal documents leaked by the hackers, Belgrad appeared to be on a short leash with his bosses after a dismal 2013 (he did enjoy a much better box-office year in 2014). Bringing one of Pascal's closest lieutenants in to replace her could also be seen as "more of the same," which might not appeal to Sony's owners.

Sony's president of production Michael De Luca is another internal option. Before joining the studio last year, De Luca produced three of Sony's most critically acclaimed hits: The Social Network, Captain Phillips and Moneyball. Before that, he enjoyed a long career as a top studio executive at DreamWorks and New Line. Like Rothman, De Luca also saw embarrassing email exchanges revealed as a result of the hack, but he could bring top management experience and isn't yet considered part of the entrenched Sony management structure, which might be appealing.

Outside Sony, there are few available executives with experience running a major studio. Stacey Snider, late of DreamWorks and Universal, recently took a senior job at Fox. Adam Fogelson, who ran Universal until he was replaced in 2013 by Jeff Shell and Donna Langley, is now running the new STX studio started by Robert Simonds. Warner Bros. has three executives running the film studio, Sue Kroll, Greg Silverman and Toby Emmerich, one of whom could decide to pursue the Sony job. Beyond that, the pickings are slim.

Pascal, in her statement announcing her exit, said that she would stay on until May despite her current deal expiring in March. Presumably she will help transition in the new co-chairman before beginning her career as a producer on the Sony lot.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:32 am

JJ Abrams And Bad Robot Re-Ups With Paramount Through July 2018
“Through unrivaled imagination, talent and skill, J.J. has consistently entertained audiences around the world with his unique and creative approach to storytelling,”
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:33 pm

Variety:
Tom Rothman To Be Named Head Of Sony Motion Picture Group (EXCLUSIVE)
Sony Pictures plans to name Tom Rothman head of its motion picture group this morning in a surprise move that follows the ouster of Amy Pascal as co-chair of the Culver City-based studio.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby Ribbons on Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:52 pm

Oof, good luck with that one, Sony. It may get worse before it gets better.
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SONY it gets worse.

Postby TheButcher on Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:13 am

Ribbons wrote:Oof, good luck with that one, Sony. It may get worse before it gets better.


THR:
Tom Rothman on His Sony Era: "I Prize Stability
Amy Pascal's replacement reveals his plans for the studio as his Fox experience and a reputation for frugality won over Japan execs.

THR:
Sony's Michael Lynton Moving to New York (Exclusive)
As Amy Pascal exits to produce 'Spider-Man,' all eyes are on the Sony exec as he plots a move to New  York, struggles to right a studio and faces whispers of "Why her, not him?"


Cartoon Brew:
Sony’s Top Animation Exec Bob Osher Was Fired Today
AMID AMIDI wrote:The new head of Sony Pictures Digital Productions will be the group’s executive vice president Randy Lake. As part of an organizational restructuring, Sony Pictures Animation will no longer operate under the Digital Productions umbrella, and will be run independently by former DreamWorks producer Kristine Belson, who was hired last month. Meanwhile, the vfx arm Imageworks will be absorbed by the studio’s motion picture group.

Last year when The LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were approached by Sony to run its animation division, they turned down the offer, citing the talent drain at Sony Pictures Animation, and the low morale at Imageworks due to multiple subsidy-driven relocations to New Mexico and Vancouver, Canada. Osher’s cutthroat approach to operating the divisions had led to renewed efforts by employees to unionize Imageworks in 2012.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:11 am

SEC Ruling Changes Game for Hollywood Film Financing
Indies, studios and talent could all be impacted as JOBS Act opens door to online investments by fans
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:37 am

Disney Taps 'Narnia' Producer for Key Physical Production Role (Exclusive)
Borys Kit wrote:In this position, the exec will oversee all aspects of physical production, visual effects and postproduction for Disney Live Action feature films under Sean Bailey, Disney’s president of production.
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Re: Franchise Development

Postby TheButcher on Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:16 pm

Ian Richter Joins Legendary to Oversee Franchise Development
He previously worked at DreamWorks Animation on properties like 'How to Train Your Dragon' and 'Trolls.'
Gregg Kilday wrote:Ian Richter has joined Legendary Entertainment as executive vice president of franchise and emerging platform development. Reporting to Legendary president and COO Jon Jashni and chief marketing officer Emily Castel, he will be involved with select properties across the company’s film, television, digital and virtual reality efforts as well as emerging storytelling platforms.

Prior to joining Legendary, Richter was head of franchise creative for DreamWorks Animation where he worked with the filmmakers to bring the How to Train Your Dragon universe to multiple platforms; helped bring in the Trolls IP, which will serve as the basis for an upcoming feature; and served as franchise executive producer for the new DreamWorks-Netflix original series Dinotrux. He also served as director of programming and development at Kids’ WB! and CW Television as well as director of entertainment development and supervising producer at Mattel Entertainment, where he developed multiple network series and supervised the creative development and production of live-action and animated movies, television series and direct-to-DVDs including The Spectacular Spider-Man, The Batman and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

“Legendary Entertainment offers its devoted fans premium content via its film, television and digital platforms,” Jashni and Castel said in a joint statement. “Adding Ian to oversee the alignment and connective tissue of this content will allow us to streamline these multiple platforms and further exploit our intellectual properties.”
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:12 am

TheButcher wrote:The Epic Saga of Joel Silver: Money Struggles, Feuds and (Another) Second Chance
Silver's signature movies — action-adventure hits — are not awards contenders.
He once described fans of his films as "scum of the earth" and was known for saying, "I don't make art, I buy it."

Joel Silver Sued Over Real Estate, Art Loans
The controversial film producer allegedly owes $1.3 million to a restructuring firm.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:44 pm

"G.I. Joe" Inventor Seeks to Grab Back Rights to $100 Million Franchise
A toy created in the early 1960s is the subject of a must-watch lawsuit.
Eriq Gardner wrote:A pair of octogenarians are now in court looking to recover rights to iconic "G.I. Joe" from Hasbro. The franchise is being valued at $100 million.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Sun May 01, 2016 8:01 am

THR:
Jeff Shell Talks DreamWorks Animation Deal: "I Plead Guilty to Disney Envy" (Q&A)
The Universal film chief reveals the strategy behind a $3.8 billion deal, why having two animation studios will benefit both, Illumination chief Chris Meledandri's uncertain role and how he plans to keep distinct cultures intact.

Variety:
Jeff Shell: DreamWorks Animation Deal Turns Chris Meledandri into Universal’s John Lasseter



TheWrap:
What’s Next for ‘Croods’ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ After the DreamWorks Animation Deal?
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Tue May 31, 2016 5:12 pm

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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:13 am

Sony Pictures Shakeup: Doug Belgrad to Step Down as Film President (Exclusive)
The longtime studio executive has been with Sony since 1989.
Kim Masters and Gregg Kilday wrote:Doug Belgrad is stepping down as president of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

Belgrad, who has held the No. 2 post in the studio's film group since 2014, was considered a top candidate to succeed Amy Pascal when she gave up her role as chairman in 2015. But Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Michael Lynton instead put former 20th Century Fox chief Tom Rothman in charge of the studio’s film operations as its motion picture group chairman. Belgrad, having played a role in setting up the studio's 2016 and 2017 slates, likely will now segue into a producing deal with the studio sometime after the release of Ghostbusters in July.

The news comes a day after Sony's top television executive Steve Mosko agreed to step down from his post after a nearly 24-year run at the studio. A rep for Sony declined to comment.

Another longtime Sony veteran, Belgrad joined the studio's Columbia Pictures executive training program in 1989 and worked his way up the ranks, becoming co-president of production at Columbia in 2003 and president of the label in 2008. Seen as Pascal's loyal lieutenant, he was put in charge of all the studio's production labels, including Columbia, TriStar, Screen Gems and Affirm, when he was named president of the motion picture group in July 2014.

Since Sony's last breakout release, 2015's James Bond adventure Spectre, which grossed $880 million worldwide, the studio has had to endure a string of disappointments. Its December Oscar hopeful Concussion was shut out of the Academy Awards and grossed just $49 million worldwide. More recently, Screen Gems' Pride and Prejudice and Zombies scared up just $16 million worldwide, while the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Brothers Grimsby debuted March 11 to an opening weekend of a paltry $3.3 million.

However, the studio is betting on a change of fortune with the animated The Angry Birds Movie, which has grossed $75 million domestic since debuting May 20, the new Ghostbusters (opening July 15) and Inferno, the latest Dan Brown novel adaptation starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard (bowing Oct. 28).
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:38 pm

Viacom Nears A Deal To Sell 49% Of Paramount, Despite Sumner Redstone’s Objections, CEO Says
David Lieberman wrote:Viacom is closing in on a deal to sell 49% of Paramount, at a price that could add $10 a share to Viacom’s stock price, although the goal to have something locked up by the end of this month “is going to slip somewhat,” CEO Philippe Dauman told an investor gathering this morning.


Philippe Dauman Says Redstone Battles Have Slowed, But Not Killed Plan to Sell Paramount Stake
The Viacom chief addresses recent events at an investor conference in New York.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:08 pm

Stacey Snider to Succeed Jim Gianopulos as Top 20th Century Fox Executive
Gianopulos will be elevated to "a new strategic role" with the company.
Kim Masters wrote:Stacey Snider will take over for Jim Gianopulos as the top film executive at 20th Century Fox.

The studio on Thursday officially confirmed the moves, but the transition will take a year before it is formerly completed. The studio announced that Gianopulos, whoserves as chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox Film, will step down from his post at the end of his current contract on June 30, 2017, with Snider, co-chairman of the studio, taking over his responsibilities as studio chairman and CEO.

Gianopulos, the announcement said, will stay with Fox after the end of his contract in what it described as "a new strategic role," reporting to Lachlan and James Murdoch, 21st Century Fox's executive chairman and CEO, respectively. “I’m looking forward to this final year of an amazing 25-year journey at the studio, and to exciting new adventures," Gianopulos said in the statement.

The move, according to sources, is considered a slight toward Gianopulos and production president Emma Watts, who have guided the studio ably since Tom Rothman was ousted in 2012, overseeing such hits as the Planet of the Apes and X-Men franchises as well as the February smash Deadpool.

The shake-up caught many in the industry by surprise, including the heads of rival companies and some with close ties to Fox, who believed that Gianopulos and Watts were secure based on their performance. One such filmmaker called the moves "baffling" and "disappointing."

When she originally joined Fox as co-chairman in late 2014, Snider was charged with overseeing all production and development for Fox, Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios, Fox International Productions and Fox Searchlight, while the Fox 2000 label, headed by Elizabeth Gabler, continued to report to Gianopulos. Gianopulos and Snider were given joint oversight of the studio's global marketing and distribution efforts. But since her arrival 18 months ago, Snider had difficulty carving out a role for herself amid the studio's existing power structure. That has left some wondering what a Snider administration might look like, given that she has not yet put her imprint on Fox. Said one source close to the studio, "Other people, I could anticipate. But in this case, it's a blank canvas. A lot of people are going to give voice to the idea that this is unfair."

Snider came to Fox — at the urging of 21st Century Fox co-chairman Rupert Murdoch — from DreamWorks, which she ran with Steven Spielberg from 2006 to 2014 until it encountered money trouble. She oversaw such films as Lincoln, The Help and Tropic Thunder as the company moved first to Paramount and then to Disney. Prior to her stint at DreamWorks, Snider served as chairman of Universal Pictures from 1999 to 2006, helping to launch such franchises as Fast and Furious, Bourne and Meet the Parents. Her Universal slate also included Erin Brockovich, A Beautiful Mind, Seabiscuit and Ray.

Gianopulos, who rose through Fox's international distribution ranks, served as co-chair of Fox Filmed Entertainment, alongside Rothman, from 2000 to 2012, at which point he became the sole chairman.

In announcing the executive changes, the Murdoch brothers said in a statement, "Jim has played an integral role in growing our global film business into the powerhouse it is today. We've benefited tremendously from his creative insights, his vast knowledge of international markets, and from is unique understanding of the technologies shaping the future. We look forward to continuing to work with Jim in a new strategic capacity after the close of his current contract."

Rupert Murdoch described Gianopulos as "a close confidante" and praised him for such films as Titanic, Avatar and Deadpool. He also said that he has "the utmost confidence in the future of the studio under Stacey's leadership."

Acknowledging that "succession planning is hard, and in a creative enterprise like Twentieth Century Fox, we are very cognizant how tricky this can be," Lachlan and James Murdoch expressed confidence in Snider, who they are putting in charge of the studio, while also taking the occasion to cite such other executives on the Fox team as 20th Century Fox production president Emma Watts, Gabler, Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley of Fox Searchlight, animation head Vanessa Morrison and international productions head Tomas Jegeus.

While studios usually trade in top execs in the wake of box-office failures, that isn't the case this time around. For the current year, Fox ranks second only to Disney in terms of domestic box-office market share and has fielded such hits as Deadpool, which has grossed $775.7 million globally, and X-Men: Apocalypse, which currently stands at $483.6 million worldwide, while also releasing DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 3, which has taken in $518.5 million.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:09 pm

Fox's Film Studio Politics at Play in Top Executive Shake-up
Stacey Snider takes the top job as 21st Century Fox leaders James and Lachlan Murdoch usher in a new era at the studio with a succession plan announced to quash chatter about Snider's lack of a defined role
Gregg Kilday wrote:Stacey Snider became the first woman to head two major motion picture studios on Thursday, when 20th Century Fox announced she will succeed Jim Gianopulos as the company’s top film executive. Snider, 55, served as head of Universal Pictures from 1999 to 2006 and then spent eight years running DreamWorks Studios with Steven Spielberg before Rupert Murdoch personally wooed her to join Fox as co-chairman just 18 months ago.

In the aftermath of the reveal, several top Hollywood insiders expressed to The Hollywood Reporter both immediate surprise at Snider's elevation (especially after questions swirled about her role at the studio) and then a sense that the transition may have been set in motion back when Murdoch first brought Snider to the studio in 2014. Now the question is whether there will be fallout and possibly more executive churn at Fox, which has cut about 400 employees in the film and TV divisions this year in a cost-cutting effort under new 21st Century Fox leaders James and Lachlan Murdoch.

From the moment Snider arrived at Fox, questions arose as to where she ultimately would fit in the studio’s power structure. For a dozen years, Gianopulos, 64, had run the studio alongside Tom Rothman, and after Rothman’s exit in 2012, Rupert Murdoch reportedly urged him to bring in a strong second-in-command. But Gianopulos actually had a strong executive bench already in place, headed by production president Emma Watts, whose unit was turning out hits like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and X-Men: Days of Future Past. While Snider brought with her strong talent relations and a proven ability to manage a studio, there were those at the Century City-based studio who wondered aloud at the time, “Why do we need her?.”

In recent months, that question only became more persistent. Given the tight rapport between Gianopulos and Watts, as well as the output of a third executive, Elizabeth Gabler of Fox 2000 (The Fault in Our Stars) and the specialty division Fox Searchlight (Birdman), run by Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley, it was unclear to many what role Snider had carved out for herself. While some in the industry criticize Snider for seemingly not having accomplished much in her new job, others suggest she was smartly biding her time, with one explaining, “She cunningly didn’t put together any projects and thus doesn’t have any bombs to tarnish her.”

But the fact that that sort of speculation was becoming more widespread may be exactly what provoked Lachlan and James Murdoch, who are in the process of exerting their own control over the studio, to make a move. Snider is said to have been upset at the mounting rumors about her role and, backed by quiet yet influential mogul David Geffen, pushed to accelerate the promotion. (Fox declined to make its executives available for comment on Thursday beyond statements in the press release.)

In terms of Fox’s standing at the box office, there was no immediate need to disrupt what has been a period of relative success and stability. Fox currently ranks second in domestic market share, behind only the super-dominant Disney. Earlier this year, it pulled off a coup when Deadpool surprised the industry by grossing $775.7 million worldwide, and while X-Men: Apocalypse, which has taken in $483.6 million to date, is lagging behind 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, which ultimately collected $748 million, raising some questions about how that franchise is being developed, the studio has potential hits like Independence Day: Resurgence and Ice Age: Collision Course waiting in the wings.

The Murdochs may not have been planning to formally announce the transition for some months, since Gianopulos’ current contract runs through June 30, 2017. The timing of their decision, more than its outcome, is what proved most surprising to the industry observers polled by THR. But the public perception that Snider was adrift at Fox, the attendant rumblings in the press and Snider's desire to squash them may have forced their hand.

As the baton was passed, the studio said Gianopulos will remain at his current post for a year before then taking on what it described as an unspecified “new strategic role” at the studio. But many are now wondering if he will remain that long — although the studio could find it needs to keep him around in a senior advisory role since he’s a close confidant of James Cameron, who has embarked on four pricey Avatar sequels, the first of which he is scheduled to deliver in 2018. For his part, the well-respected Gianopulos, who may have only learned of the Murdochs’ intentions during the course of the past week, put a positive spin on the day’s events, saying, “Stacey has great creative experience and she and the Fox team will have lots of success together.”

However long it takes for what the Murdoch brothers called the “succession plan” to be formally completed, the shift effectively has taken place. “In less than an hour, Stacey went from having no power to having all the power,” one source says. Others suggest Gianopulos misread the situation. And while one filmmaker calls the news “baffling” and “disappointing,” another agent, though professing shock, says at least there will be more clarity now about which execs to approach about future projects.

The dramatic turn of events inevitably is going to raise questions about Watts’ future, having been passed over for the top job after delivering a string of hits. But a Fox insider counters, James and Lachlan Murdoch “have full confidence in Emma." That does not necessarily mean Snider and Watts will be able to sort out a working relationship. "I'm not going to say there hasn't been tension" between Snider and the Gianopulos-Watts team, this person says. Snider took her job "when the company was doing well. That's not an easy place to come into. These things are never easy."

Observes a Snider ally, “I think many people at Fox underestimated her. And they should have been nicer to her.” But another insider familiar with the situation adds, “This will be good for her actually. Her strength is rallying people behind a common esprit de corps, and now she has the wherewithal to communicate her own ideas and vision. She hasn’t had it easy. I think she’d admit she also has made mistakes, but I think she will surprise people and really build that spirit there.”

If Snider does avoid wholesale executive turnover as she asserts her rule, the general consensus is that Fox can stay the course. Notes one observer, “Warners is unstable, Paramount is unstable, Fox is not unstable. There will be some uncertainty, but this team has seen a lot of success.”
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:20 pm

Christine Birch Replacing Dwight Caines as Sony Pictures Marketing President (EXCLUSIVE)
James Rainey wrote:A makeover of the Sony Pictures Entertainment film marketing operation that began earlier this year gained steam Friday with the news that the unit’s president of domestic marketing, Dwight Caines, will be replaced by Christine Birch, who returned to the studio a little more than three months ago.


Josh Greenstein, SPE’s president of worldwide marketing and distribution, announced the management makeover in a memo to staff members. He said that Caines, whose contract is up this fall, “wanted to make a change and explore other opportunities after the ‘Ghostbusters’ marketing campaign is completed.”

The female-powered comedy remake premieres July 15 and Caines will leave later in the summer. Although insiders said Caines’ exit was voluntary, it had become clear since Greenstein lured Birch back to Sony — where she previously had worked for 12 years — that she and Caines had overlapping duties. A revamp seemed inevitable.


The email to staff Friday also announced the elevation of Andre Caraco, another longtime Sony veteran, to the position of co-president of domestic marketing for the Motion Picture Group. He will report to Birch, who will be supervised by Greenstein.

The moves come after a period of some turmoil and previous executive changes at Sony. The first week of June brought news that Sony TV chairman Steve Mosko and Motion Picture Group President Doug Belgrad were both leaving the company. Mosko’s destination remains unknown, while Belgrad exited to put together his own film finance and production outfit.

Though the TV unit has mostly been a strong suit, Sony’s theatrical releases have continued to struggle – with domestic box office for this year (through June 19) sixth and last among the major studios. An incursion into the studio’s computers by North Korean-backed hackers created more tumult in 2014 and had finally began to settle in early 2015 when Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton instigated another seismic shift: hiring the demanding, cost-conscious Tom Rothman to replace Amy Pascal as the new chairman of the Motion Picture Group.

The moves in the marketing unit are just the latest in what has been a topsy-turvy year. Eighteen months after his arrival from Paramount in the fall of 2014, Greenstein moved in March of this year to trim and revamp the marketing and distribution operation.

SPE revealed it would lay off 20 of 600 marketing and distribution employees. At that time, Greenstein appointed Danielle Misher and Damon Wolf co-heads of marketing for the genre label Screen Gems, the “adult” picture unit, TriStar, and for new acquisitions. Like this week’s new appointees, both of those executives came from inside the Sony family: Misher previously oversaw marketing for Screen Gems, and Wolf was an EVP of marketing and creative advertising at Sony Pictures.

There is considerable pressure on the marketing team, and the rest of Sony’s film division, to reverse a lackluster run.

The studio has weathered too many bombs like 2015’s Cameron Crowe pic, “Aloha,” and this spring’s Sacha Baron Cohen flop, “The Brothers Grimsby.” There are high hopes for recovery in the second half of 2016 – built on offerings like the Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy “Ghostbusters” remake; the re-imagined Western “The Magnificent Seven,” led by Denzel Washington; the latest thriller from author Dan Brown (of “DaVinci Code” fame), “Inferno;” and two buzzy awards-season pictures – “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” from Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee, and space thriller “Passengers,” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.

Though he started in early 2015, the full impact of Rothman’s appointment Lynton will only begin to come into focus after those films and others that are not holdovers, greenlit by the previous administration. Even before the announced departure of Belgrad last month, Rothman had already moved to remake the studio’s executive ranks. Last August, he picked Hannah Minghella to replace him as president of the studio’s TriStar label. He moved David Beaubaire from TriStar to an executive vice president of production at Sony’s principal filmmaking operation, Columbia Pictures. And he teamed Beaubaire with Palak Patel, a former Roth Films exec who also got an executive vice president of production title at Columbia.

In Birch and Caraco, Greenstein tapped two executives with long histories at Sony.

Birch previously spent a dozen years at the Culver City lot before moving on to jobs at DreamWorks, FilmDistrict and Universal’s Focus Features label. At DreamWorks, she took part in the launch of “Transformers” and “The Help.” At Focus, big titles included “London Has Fallen” and “The Theory of Everything,” which earned a best actor Oscar for Eddie Redmayne.

Caraco has been within the Sony family since 1989, when he joined TriStar Pictures as a junior publicist. Within five years he had become vice president of national publicity at Columbia Pictures. In 2006 he became executive vice president of motion picture publicity for Sony Pictures marketing and distribution worldwide. His publicity work set the state for many films, including “Casino Royale,” “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” and “The DaVinci Code.”

Greenstein called the duo “the right executives to launch the incredible new slate we have rolling out this year.”

Syracuse University grad Caines got his business start at Chase Manhattan Bank, where he launched the company’s first call center for personal computer banking users. He started at Sony in 1997 as the director of market research. In 2005, he became Sony Pictures digital marketing division. He later moved up to become president of marketing for all of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

In his memo, Greenstein praised Caines, who he said “built a world-class digital marketing function from the ground up, and transformed the way we market our films to consumers.” In his own note to co-workers, Caines said he would work toward a smooth transition and said he was proud to have been the first digital marketer to be appointed head of marketing at a major studio.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:39 pm

Variety:
Fox Film Chief Jim Gianopulos to Exit Early (EXCLUSIVE)

THR:
What Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Run Ending Means for the 'X-Men' Universe
CAN THE ROLE BE RECAST?
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:17 pm

China’s Wanda Forming Major Alliance With Sony Pictures
Mike Fleming Jr wrote:EXCLUSIVE:
Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group is about to broaden its Hollywood footprint in a substantial way. The company is closing a significant co-finance deal with Sony Pictures that will see Wanda take minority stakes in certain Sony tentpole-sized films, the ones that have global appeal. This is all happening quickly and the deal is expected to be closed and could be announced by next week. In addition to funding, the deal gives Sony access to Wanda’s marketing and exhibition muscle in China. SPE Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman, Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch and biz affairs chief Andrew Gumpert are finalizing the details with Wanda’s Jack Gao.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:56 pm

THR:
'Monster Trucks' Leads Viacom to Take $115M Write-Down
The company is taking the write-down months before the big-budget film opens in cinemas.
Pamela McClintock & Kim Masters wrote:With an estimated production budget of $100 million-plus, one source said the film was intended to be a broad-audience title, but turned out to be more of a kids movie.

Given Paramount's slew of box-office misses this year, Jefferies analyst John Janedis wrote in a Wednesday report that the studio's "issues" were "ongoing." He added: "Viacom indicated there would be a write-down of $115 million related to a future film that will not likely perform to expectations."

And Drexel Hamilton analyst Tony Wible said that the loss "implies that Paramount will have lost about $500 million this year despite a favorable box office, home entertainment and licensing environment."

He added: "The studio is gradually losing its major franchises, and it may be difficult to launch new ones in the increasingly competitive film slate. We are lowering our future margin assumptions for the studio."


Variety:
Rob Moore Out at Paramount Pictures (EXCLUSIVE)
Ramin Setoodeh & Brent Lang wrote:Moore, who didn’t respond to requests for comment, has been in his current job since 2008 (and with the studio since 2005), overseeing Paramount’s worldwide marketing, distribution, digital and television arms, and shepherded tentpoles like the “Transformers” and “Mission: Impossible” franchises, “Interstellar” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The studio does not expect to fill Moore’s position.

A source close to the situation said that the decision to ask for Moore’s resignation was made by the board of Viacom, Paramount’s corporate parent.

Moore’s exit comes as the studio is having a particularly turbulent year at the box office, with costly flops such as “Ben-Hur,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” and “Zoolander 2″ piling up. This week, Viacom said in public filings that Paramount would take a $115 million write-off on the still unreleased “Monster Trucks,” which bows in 2017.

Following the exit of Dauman, Viacom’s leadership gave a vote of confidence to current Paramount chairman Brad Grey. Moore was the executive in charge of the day-to-day operations at the studio. He was also integral in maneuvering Paramount’s releases in China, frequently traveling to Asia.


Paramount Delays Rings & Friday the 13th Reboot
Paramount Pictures puts the brakes on two long in-development horror sequels, with both Rings and Friday the 13th delayed by several months.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:50 pm

‘Passengers’ & ‘Jumanji’ Part Of Wanda-Sony Alliance
Mike Fleming Jr wrote:Sony Pictures and Dalian Wanda Group have announced in China and confirmed yesterday’s Deadline scoop that the China-based conglomerate will partner on numerous Sony tent poles with global appeal. (Release follows this update). On some films, Wanda will mainly provide marketing help in launching films in China, and on others, Wanda will provide between 10% to 15% in co-financing. Nothing is official, but sources say that several pictures are atop the list being discussed for this arrangement. They include the in-production reboot of Jumanji with Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black, and Passengers, the Morten Tyldum-directed sci-fi love story that stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. The other pictures I’ve heard is the new version of Smurfs, and Barbie. Reports that followed Deadline’s story claimed Spider-Man: Homecoming would be part of this deal aren’t exactly correct, as Wanda’s participation is limited to helping in a marketing capacity to launch the webslinger in China.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:05 pm

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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:52 am

THR:
Spielberg Goes Global: Why Amblin's Pact With China's Alibaba Is a B.F.D.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:02 am

AT&T agrees in principle to buy Time Warner for $85 billion


Peter Chernin Poised for Top Time Warner Role if $85 Billion AT&T Deal Closes
The former Fox executive is said to be interested in a significant role overseeing the combined company's content operations.
Kim Masters wrote:Prior to Otter and the Chernin Group, best known as the company behind the rejuvenated Planet of the Apes film franchise, Chernin was an executive at Murdoch’s News Corp. for two decades. Under Murdoch, Chernin was regarded as one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood. When he ran Fox Broadcasting, he took it to No. 1 in the 18-49 demographic, and when he ran 20th Century Fox Television it became the top supplier of shows to all networks.

As head of Fox Filmed Entertainment, he oversaw production of Titanic and Avatar, which remain the top two films in history in terms of worldwide box office, combining for nearly $5 billion.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:27 pm

AT&T to Buy Time Warner for More Than $80 Billion (Report)
A combined AT&T-Time Warner would boast a market cap north of $305 billion, making it a more valuable company than Comcast and Disney, combined.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:31 am

It's Official: AT&T Buys Time Warner for $85 Billion
The completed deal was announced Saturday.
Paul Bond & Georg Szalai wrote:Time Warner has agreed to be acquired by AT&T in a stock and cash transaction that values the entertainment conglomerate at $86 billion.

Investors will get up to $110 per share of Time Warner, roughly a 40 percent premium to where the stock traded last week, before news leaked that the two companies were in advanced talks. The deal still needs some final details hammered out between both sides, and may be officially announced before the end of the weekend, the person said.

The boards of both companies came to a preliminary agreement during meetings anchored in New York on Saturday, the person said. The agreement was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The combination of AT&T and Time Warner will create a media-telecommunications firm that is much larger than Comcast, the giant cable TV distributor that purchased NBCUniversal five years ago. It also makes AT&T a major media power player after its acquisition last year of DirecTV for $48.5 billion.

But the provider of phone services wanted to shore up its thrust into entertainment with a steady pipeline of TV shows and movies that it owns. Some say, though, that snapping up Time Warner may be a risky strategy.

"Creating value by acquiring content is tricky," Cowen analyst Doug Creutz said. "Marrying content and distribution has been tried several times in the past, with generally poor results. We view Comcast-NBCU as the exception that proves the rule."

As of Monday, the two biggest market caps among the seven entertainment conglomerates were Comcast at $154 billion and Walt Disney at $150 billion. A combined AT&T-Time Warner would boast a market cap north of $305 billion, making it a more valuable company than Comcast and Disney, combined.

Earlier on Saturday, Donald Trump expressed he would not approve the AT&T and Time Warner deal if he was elected president. "Deals like this destroy democracy," said Trump during a rally in Gettysburg, PA where he discussed what he would do in his first 100 days of presidency. The Republican nominee also said he would like to break up the Comcast/NBC Universal merger.

The AT&T deal would be subject to regulatory approval.

Analysts seem mostly confident that an AT&T-Time Warner merger will survive regulatory scrutiny, though there are some lawmakers who are likely to object — including some who approved of Comcast-NBCU but now regret their decision.

"At best, we believe a lengthy antitrust review of AT&T-Time Warner with an uncertain outcome may give both sides pause on considering a combination," said Credit Suisse analyst Omar Sheikh on Friday, prior to the board meetings.

Both sides are also closing in on a new management structure that could help AT&T absorb Time Warner's sprawling film and television assets. Former Fox top executive Peter Chernin is expected to take a major role overseeing Time Warner once the deal is completed, according to industry sources on Friday. The formalization of that role may take time to crystallize, as the proposed merger — assuming it passes federal muster — would be about a year off.

Chernin, 65, is said to be uninterested in a day-to-day executive job, but that does not preclude a significant role overseeing the combined company's content operations. or years, Chernin has been deeply involved in the media world — at times working closely with AT&T — while keeping a fairly low profile. He runs his eponymous production company, investing here, advising there, potentially putting himself in a position to run a media giant but never alighting anywhere.

He declined to comment.
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:51 am

Why U.S. Comedy Is Falling Flat at AFM
Changing demographics and the rise of locally made fare dampens enthusiasm for American laughs: "They just don’t seem to travel as well as they used to."
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Re: Getting Big Bucks to Do Nothing

Postby TheButcher on Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:22 am

THR April 09, 2014:
The Epic Disney Blow-Up of 1994: Eisner, Katzenberg and Ovitz 20 Years Later
Twenty years ago, Frank Wells, Disney's No. 2, died in a helicopter crash, and war broke out in the industry. It was Eisner vs. Katzenberg, the dominoes started to fall, and Kim Masters was in the middle of it.

THR 6/19/2013:
'Man of Steel': How Jon Peters Could Earn $15 Million -- for Doing Nothing
The studio mogul-turned-producer, blocked from working on the set, nonetheless scored a Kryptonite-proof check thanks to Hollywood's early adopter system.


Hollywood's Latest Exec Fad: Getting Big Bucks to Do Nothing
The tsunami of recent firings has led to lucrative deals for top studio chiefs to peacefully give up power. Says one veteran, "This is a town where you're paid to go away."
Pamela McClintock wrote:Another flood of firings has struck several studios that are struggling or undergoing regime change. And the result is a cascade of multimillion-dollar packages paid to top executives getting the boot without cause, leading one veteran to remark, "This is a town where you're paid to go away."

There has been an unusually high number of top Hollywood executives — including longtime 20th Century Fox film chairman Jim Gianopulos and Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore — who have received rich payouts to leave quietly in recent months. The exodus highlights a common but nonetheless costly practice that is especially prevalent in the entertainment and media business, where companies go through tough times, have a change of leadership or want to avoid scandal.

"Severance is an insurance policy. In the entertainment business, you are putting a product out there that requires imagination. It's inherently risky to be in a creative business," says compensation expert David Yermack, a professor at NYU's Stern School of Business. "And you want to provide a safe landing for those you are firing without cause. It's a signal to the next group of managers that you will take care of them."

Exit packages have been standard practice for decades in Hollywood as well as in corporate America. The major difference now is that not all studio executives who are pushed out are inclined to accept a producing deal — historically the most popular brand of golden handcuffs in the film industry — or some sort of consulting role. Rather, they want a golden handshake that sets them free — even to take another job without giving up any of their severance.

In June, 21st Century Fox chiefs Lachlan and James Murdoch announced that Stacey Snider would succeed Gianopulos when his contract ran out in summer 2017 and that he would then take on an advisory role at 21st Century Fox. That plan quickly unraveled, and Gianopulos negotiated a Sept. 1 exit. On a good year, Gianopulos — who ruled the studio for more than a decade — could have made nearly $20 million a year with bonuses. His contract either will be paid in full or he'll receive a prearranged severance package, sources say.

"Companies will defend these payments as part of a bargain to leave on good terms," says Kevin Murphy, a leading compensation expert and professor at USC's Marshall School of Business.

Several ousted executives who opted for Hollywood producing deals say that route can be uneasy. "It's very difficult emotionally for the fired person to stay and be reminded of that experience day in and day out, and it's awkward for people who once reported to you switching power positions," says one fired executive. "There's no real incentive to make a person you fired look good, so the studio doesn't help much."

There are exceptions, such as former News Corp. president-COO Peter Chernin and ex-Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal. Chernin left in 2009 with a package that included a six-year TV and movie deal, which required Fox to buy two films a year from his Chernin Entertainment. (The movie deal has been renewed, but Chernin's TV division now has a deal with NBCUniversal.) Pascal's pact is valued at $40 million after Sony gave her such marquee titles as Spider-Man: Homecoming to produce. She was succeeded by Tom Rothman, who (like Snider at Fox) is reshaping the leadership ranks, causing friction and more departures. This summer, Sony motion picture group president Doug Belgrad stepped down and segued into a production deal.

Another common practice in the entertainment and media business is to extend someone's contract even though that person, or their company, may be vulnerable. Viacom renewed Paramount chairman Brad Grey's contract through 2020 despite the turmoil at the company. Meanwhile, his deputy, Moore, was pushed out in September after Shari Redstone took control of the Viacom board following Paramount's challenged run at the box office. Moore had a full three years left on his contract, so he either got his full salary for that time period or negotiated a lower settlement. It's common to pay 50 cents on the dollar when it comes to executives below the chairman level, such as the president of production.

Whatever Moore is walking away with pales in comparison to former Viacom chairman-CEO Philippe Dauman's $72 million exit package when he departed in August.

Like Viacom, 21st Century Fox has been busy in terms of hammering out severance deals. In July, Fox News Channel impresario Roger Ailes walked away with a $40 million exit package after resigning under a cloud of sexual-harassment accusations.

Another media personality who recently negotiated a lucrative exit deal after resigning amid a cloud of scandal was Today co-host Billy Bush, who was suspended in October after hot-mic audio emerged from a 2005 taping in which Bush laughed and egged on Donald Trump when Trump made vulgar remarks about women.

But when it comes to severance lore, nothing is more famous than the $140 million deal that Michael Ovitz received when he was fired as president of the Walt Disney Co. in 1995 — after only 14 months. Disney shareholders revolted and filed a lawsuit that resulted in a lengthy and messy trial. In 2006, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled that Ovitz was entitled to the money.

"It used to be, 'You can't fire me because I quit,' " says Murphy. "Now, it's, 'I won't quit, but you can fire me.' "
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Re: World of Film Information Hotline (aka Hollywood news)

Postby TheButcher on Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:44 am

MICHAEL LYNTON STEPS DOWN AS SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT CHAIRMAN AND CEO
It was announced today that Michael Lynton will leave his post as Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and CEO. He will leave the entertainment conglomerate, which he helmed for over a decade to focus on his chairmanship of Snapchat.
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