UPDATE: Studios To Fight Over Unusual Peter Jackson Pic Deal (But Not New Line)

By | Monday April 30, 2007 @ 5:16pm PDT

jackson.jpgNormally, I don’t care about upcoming projects and leave that to the trades. But a Peter Jackson writing/directing project is an event. Sources tell me that today certain Hollywood studios were given the big PJ spec script with Mr. … Read More »

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Summer Movie Season’s Magic #? $4.5 Bil

By | Monday April 30, 2007 @ 4:49pm PDT


To movie industry heathens like you and me, we’ll always remember where we were when Mel Gibson made his drunken anti-Semitic tirade, when Tom Cruise got fired by old coot Sumner Redstone, and when the 2007 Summer Movie Season made $4.5 billion. … Read More »

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2007 MTV Movie Awards Nominees

By | Monday April 30, 2007 @ 10:36am PDT


  • 300 (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • Blades of Glory (Paramount Pictures)
  • Borat

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Ovitz Didn’t Show For Kurtzman Send-Off

By | Monday April 30, 2007 @ 9:48am PDT

Given everyone’s horrible behavior in Hollywood, it’s rare to find something that scandalizes its denizens who’ve seen it all. But Michael Ovitz managed to do just that last week when he failed to show for longtime CAA colleague Ray Kurtzman’s funeral. Ray, one of the most respected guys in showbiz, died of complications from Alzheimer’s … Read More »

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Last Word (Hopefully) On Alec Baldwin

By | Monday April 30, 2007 @ 9:13am PDT

I can clear up all the rumors: I’m told definitively that Alec Baldwin left CAA only because he didn’t want to be at the same Hollywood agency as his ex, Kim Basinger.

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Sony Acting Extra-Sneaky With ‘Spidey 3′

By | Sunday April 29, 2007 @ 8:24pm PDT

spider-man-21.jpgIn major cities around the country, Sony has quietly added lots of Thursday midnight showings of Spider-Man 3. Most of the sneaks start at 12:01 AM — so technically that’s Friday, which is the official day Spidey … Read More »

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Lionsgate Is Still Releasing College Coed Killing Pic Despite Virginia Tech Tragedy

By | Sunday April 29, 2007 @ 2:46pm PDT

elianimation.gifObviously, Lionsgate has yet to find a horror flick too sick or twisted to sell. I’m told the indie studio is still going ahead with plans to release its bloodfest film about the torture and killings of college coeds on a trip to Europe … Read More »

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Trump & Schwarzenegger Tit For TV Twat

By | Sunday April 29, 2007 @ 11:12am PDT


Obviously, Donald Trump and Arnold Schwarzenegger think we just fell off the turnip truck and are gullible as hell. Political campaign watchdogs are up in arms over the fact that The Donald just gave $10,000 to The Arnold to help pay off $2.3 million in campaign debts left over … Read More »

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Is The Reality Of ‘CSI’ Really Unrealistic?

By | Sunday April 29, 2007 @ 10:24am PDT

csi.jpgThe CBS’ Nielsen-topping series CSI and its NYC and Miami spin-offs are having a profound effect on juries, trials and law enforcement. But is hair and fibre analysis actually passé in crime-fighting? That’s the basis for Jeffrey Toobin’s … Read More »

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Again! Shia #1; Nic Cage’s ‘Next’ Stinker; Box Office -25% Awaiting ‘Spider-Man 3′

By | Saturday April 28, 2007 @ 7:52am PDT

next4.jpgSUNDAY AM: So Nicolas Cage is back to making bomb after bomb after bomb, with his Revolution / Paramount pic Next unable to open better than 4th place, behind a three-week-old teen/tween movie and a suspense film starring nobodies. With a paltry per screen average at 2,725 theaters, it was hard pressed to even make $7 mil this weekend. Clearly the only reason anyone went to see Cage’s Ghost Rider was because of the connection to the Marvel comic book. Other than that, he hasn’t starred in a movie that’s made money since 2004′s National Treasure, whose sequel comes out this Christmas. Really, Cage needs to take a long, hard look at his failed career; appearing in badly revewed pics like this is a price quote killer. (Same advice to director Lee Tamahori, who directed standout Mulholland Falls, after all. Ditto producer Joe Roth, responsible for yet another failure.) That said, DreamWorks’ Disturbia saved the day for Paramount, taking in $9 million from 3,047 theaters for its third No. 1 placement in a row and a new cume of $52 mil. (See my Paramount/DreamWorks Deal Looks Better With 20/20 Hindsight) Disney / Buena Vista’s newcomer The Invisible was No. 2, making $7.8 mil from 2,019 venues for Friday-Saturday-Sunday. New Line’s Fracture finished #3 with its Anthony Hopkins / Ryan Gosling cast, eking out $7 mil from 2,443 playdates for the weekend with a new cume of only $21.3 mil. The rest of the box office was stillborn: it’s almost cruel to list the earnings of the Top 10. Read More »

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Frank, Not Warren, Will Play Tricky Dick

By | Friday April 27, 2007 @ 5:48pm PDT


I’m told Frank Langella, who’s so brilliant as Tricky Dick in Peter Morgan’s Frost/Nixon play, is going to snag the movie version as well. This means Warren Beatty won’t be playing the role of the disgraced President interviewed by David Frost. (I already knocked down the … Read More »

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This Weekend’s Prediction: ‘Next’ No. 1?

By | Friday April 27, 2007 @ 12:42pm PDT

next_bigposter.jpgThink of it as the quiet before the storm: Expect a lackluster movie weekend before the sizzling Summer Movie Season officially kicks off the following Friday with Spider-Man 3. With no significant competition, Paramount’s Next with Nicolas … Read More »

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Studio Moguls Mark Jack Valenti’s Passing

By | Thursday April 26, 2007 @ 6:20pm PDT


Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros., issued this statement about Valenti’s passing: “Today, my heart is truly heavy. I have lost a dear friend and mentor — someone who not only made a mark in history, but also had a profound impact on my life. Jack Valenti was a true leader and gentleman whose wit, fire and passion for our business inspired everyone regardless of politics or opinion, background or belief. Jack’s love for his country and the entertainment industry was only overshadowed by his love for his family and the many charitable organizations to which he was devoted. On behalf of all my colleagues at Warner Bros, our heartfelt condolences are with Mary Margaret, his children, grandchildren and the millions and millions of people who were directly or indirectly touched by Jack.”

Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairmen Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal issued this statement about Valenti’s passing: studiocollagesmall1.jpg“Jack Valenti truly was a Renaissance man — a gifted orator, a brilliant political strategist, a visionary business leader. He certainly loved the movies and public service, and reached the pinnacle in both arenas. But most important, he loved life, and lived it to the fullest. Jack was eloquent, indefatigable, passionate and wise. Perhaps a fitting way to describe Jack is to say this man is rated “G” – for Greatness. We will miss him, and our prayers are with his family.” Read More »

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Hollywood Lobbyist Jack Valenti Is Dead: Movie Studios Rate Him ‘G’ For Greatness

By | Thursday April 26, 2007 @ 2:38pm PDT

jack-valenti-11.jpg(Refresh for latest…) Jack Valenti has died after falling into a coma following a series of strokes. The 85-year-old Valenti was the Washington D.C. lobbyist for Hollywood’s movie studios and independent producers from 1966 to 2004 as president of the Motion Picture Association of America, where under his supervision starting in 1968 the movie industry developed the ratings system for films. Because of that, Sony Pictures co-chairmen Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal said today, “Perhaps a fitting way to describe Jack is to say this man is rated “G” – for Greatness.” Read More »

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Latest Blow: CAA Loses Video Games Czar

By | Thursday April 26, 2007 @ 11:22am PDT


EXCLUSIVE (refresh for latest): I’m told Larry Shapiro, who created and co-headed the Games Division of Creative Artists Agency, has just left, and the Hollywood agency is really, really pissed. “They were profoundly unhappy and made it very uncomfortable for him. You don’t leave the mother ship,” a source explained. Still at CAA is Seamus Blackley, who took the CAA gaming gig in 2003 after the demise of the boutique game funding agency, Capital Entertainment Group, he had co-founded. But I’m told Blackley went to CAA specifically to collaborate with Shapiro. This is the latest blow for the ten-percentery, which in one week has lost actor Alec Baldwin, director Lasse Halstrom and NFL star QB Matt Leinart. It also saw TV bigwig Lee Gabler announce his retirement and let go indie financing agent Kevin Iwashina. (By the way, I’m told Iwashina learned he was fired as he was giving a lecture to a UCLA film class. He answered his cell phone, then told the class he needed to step out for a minute to take the call. caalogo.JPGHe came back a few minutes later and told the students class was cancelled and left. “Another example of a talent agency handling this type of thing with no class,” an insider explains.) Meanwhile, I hear CAA is in the midst not just of negotiating some more high-profile agent exits, but also quietly showing the door to some low-level and newly promoted agents and trainees. Reason? Cost-cutting. Here’s an example… Today, Reality TV agent Bryan Geers was let go by CAA. He’d only been upped from assistant to agent in 2002. Read More »

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I Predict The Next Great Hollywood Pitch

By | Thursday April 26, 2007 @ 10:06am PDT

woman2.JPGIt’s today’s first-person Los Angeles Times story: “I am a transsexual sportswriter. It has taken more than 40 years, a million tears and hundreds of hours of soul-wrenching therapy for me to work up the courage … Read More »

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Movie Distributors Ban Israeli Film Critics

By | Thursday April 26, 2007 @ 9:40am PDT

Here’s Part II regarding my recent posting, Oy Vey! Israeli Film Critics Having Tsuris. Yael Shuv Of Time Out Tel Aviv writes me: ”I’ve read your entry titled “Oy Vey!…” and hope it will have some positive effect. As chief … Read More »

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Does NY Times Need New Theater Editor?

By | Thursday April 26, 2007 @ 8:58am PDT

accomplices_weinraub_times-thumb.jpgRetired New York Times Hollywood correspondent Bernie Weinraub today had his first play, The Accomplices, nominated for a prestigious Drama Desk Award. He was named in the “Outstanding Play” category alongside such theater luminaries as Terrence McNally (Some Men), … Read More »

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Why Won’t NBC Let Alec Baldwin Walk?

By | Wednesday April 25, 2007 @ 7:10pm PDT

I find this inexcusable: NBC is on the verge of forcing an actor to perform against his will. It’s not like the pain-in-the-ass Alec Baldwin wants to go off and do movies instead of TV. No, if he is to be taken at his word, Baldwin claims he wants to quit acting and take … Read More »

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