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‘Wolverine’: 63%-65% Of Online Tickets; Sellouts Mount For Thurs Midnight Shows

By | Wednesday April 29, 2009 @ 12:55pm PDT

MovieTickets.com is reporting 200-plus X-Men Origins: Wolverine sellouts, over 1/4 of them for Thursday midnights showings. As of 9 AM PT, Wolverine accounted for 63% percent of all ticket sales at MovieTickets.com today. Those sales doubled for the third time in three days.

Fandango online ticket seller is reporting that Wolverine accounts for 65% of all ticket sales today, followed by Star Trek (opening May 8th) with 17%. The rest of the pack barely register above 2%.

Fandango found in an online poll of more than 1,000 moviegoers, 44% of Wolverine ticket-buyers had viewed the 2009 Academy Awards Show with  Jackman as the host, and 34% of those viewers said the Oscar telecast actually made them more excited to see the pic.

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Disney Plants 2.7M Trees In Brazil Based On 1st Week Ticket Sales For ‘Earth’

By | Wednesday April 29, 2009 @ 12:04pm PDT

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Nice to see the Big Media company kept its promise and this wasn’t just another bullshit marketing gimmick:

Burbank, Calif. – April 29, 2009 — Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures has arranged with The Nature Conservancy to plant 2.7 million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, one of the planet’s most endangered rainforests, it was announced by Dick Cook, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. In keeping with the Disneynature EARTH’s themes of protecting the planet and its wildlife, Walt Disney Studios volunteered to plant a tree in honor of every moviegoer who saw the film during its first week of release. The motion picture grossed an impressive $16.1 million at the box office during week one and broke an opening day record as well as an opening weekend record for a nature documentary.

Through its campaign to Plant a Billion Trees (www.plantabillion.org), The Nature Conservancy, one of the world’s leading international conservation organizations and its local partners are working to reforest 2.5 million acres of land and re-connect more than 12 million acres in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, one of the planet’s most endangered and ecologically significant rainforests. This restoration effort will allow hundreds of plants and animals to re-colonize their former habitats and will protect vital watersheds.

Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, “We’re proud to be working with The Nature Conservancy, one of the world’s most effective conservation organizations, in planting trees in the endangered Brazilian Atlantic

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Video: Next ‘Family Guy’ Spoofs ‘The Hills’

By | Wednesday April 29, 2009 @ 10:37am PDT

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Hurry, This Want Ad Expires On May 18th

By | Wednesday April 29, 2009 @ 10:19am PDT

From a real ad on Mandy.com in the New York/New Jersey section:

Vacancy: Agents (Former WMA & Endeavor)
Employer: Confidential
Location: New York
Duration: 3 year contract minimum, starts Immediate
——————————————————————————–
If you have been “given the pink slip” or have decided NOT to ride into the new company, possibly this is for you.
20 year agency veteran seeks the best of the best from both WMA and Endeavour for midtown west Agency.

Above & Below-the-Line experts needed who understand the corporate culture, have a firm grasp of the every-changing agency world, wake up every morning still passionate about being an agent, are finally tired of the political BS and want more, but ABOVE and BEYOND anything know that this is the entertainment BUSINESS. (There are a few of us “seasoned campaigners” out there, and these are who we are searching for.)

LEADERSHIP-TYPE TEAM PLAYERS ONLY!!!!
Shy introverts & backstabbing sleezebags – this is NOT FOR YOU. STAY FAR AWAY.

Since you already know there are long hours, script-reading on weekends, attending function after function, constantly promoting your “stable” you already are skilled and capable the responsibilities are as you have now.

We are looking for HIGH WAGE EARNERS only. You will receive 50% of agency’s 10% commission on each booking/deal.

Areas needed:
Film/TV/Theatre/Commercials (performers)
Literary (Manuscripts, Screenplays/Teleplays/IA-Rich Media)
Music (Performance, Technical, etc.)
Rich Media (IA gaming/Virtual Worlds, etc)
Production (Producers, Directors, Major Dept Heads, etc.)
Packaging/Finance
Licensing/Royalities
Corporate Branding
Distribution

All submissions shall be under the strictest confidentiality.
Please send resume’/CV, letter of interest explaining what you have now, what you want in the immediate future and where you see yourself in the … Read More »

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TOLDJA! Endeavor’s Abate Won’t Join WME After Personality Clash With Walsh

By | Tuesday April 28, 2009 @ 7:08pm PDT

I told you that, back in March, the first meeting between WMA book agent Jennifer Rudolph Walsh and Endeavor book agent Richard Abate went really, really badly. Apparently, the two hated one another. Both decided there was no way they could work with one another. There was even an unsuccessful attempt by WMA’s Walsh, backed up by Jim Wiatt, then and there to push Abate out. But Ari pushed back on behalf of Abate. Soon everything seemed to calm down. I’m told it was because Ari later saw that WMA has a $20 million book business whereas Endeavor’s is still wet behind the ears. And profit trumps personality conflicts. Today, the other shoe dropped in this little drama: Richard Abate will not be joining the newly merged WME. As an insider tells me, “It’s all amicable. Everyone knew it was coming. He was not fired.” Round One to WMA.

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U.S. Supreme Court Backs Shitty FCC Broadcast Policy On “Fleeting Expletives”

By | Tuesday April 28, 2009 @ 11:33am PDT

But the Supreme Court sidestepped ruling on whether the FCC policy is unconstitutional. So the result is that the networks are still going to have to control even the fleeting curse word on live television. (Isn’t that why there’s a 3-second delay available?) According to news reports, the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling effectively throws out the June 2007 decision by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. That court sided with Fox Broadcasting that the FCC’s indecency policy was “arbitrary and capricious” when the network received  fines for Nicole Richie and Cher swearing during the 2002 and 2003 live telecasts of the Billboard Music Awards. Now Fox wants a ruling on the FCC policy’s constitutionality.

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News About WME Entertainment Board…

By | Tuesday April 28, 2009 @ 11:17am PDT

It may look as if the William Morris Agency has an advantage over Endeavor on the WME Entertainment’s new board. But I’ve confirmed that the 5 WMA members have 1 vote each, and the 4 Endeavor members have 1 1/4 each. So it’s even.

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More WMA-Endeavor Meet & Greet

By | Tuesday April 28, 2009 @ 9:43am PDT

Ari Emanuel is playing host to WMA’s Jim Wiatt, John Fogelman, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh and Irv Weintraub as they all walk the Endeavor hallways and say hello. UPDATE: Later, WMA’s Peter Grosslight stopped by Endeavor. Same drill.

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Latest WMA-Endeavor Merger Update: Hollywood History In The Making Today: Endeavor And William Morris Vote Yes

By | Monday April 27, 2009 @ 2:17pm PDT

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6 PM: Three of the Endeavor partners who will sit on the new WME Entertainment board – Ari Emanuel, Patrick Whitesell, and Adam Venit — are at William Morris offices right now introducing themselves to and shaking hands with the WMA agents and staff. ”It’s eerily quiet,” one insider tells me. Earlier, Morris boss Jim Wiatt went to Endeavor and introduced himself.

2:40 PM: WME ENTERTAINMENT IS A GO! Here’s the official statement:

ENDEAVOR AND THE WILLIAM MORRIS AGENCY MERGE
Two of the leading entertainment agencies reach historic agreement

(Beverly Hills, CA — April 27, 2009) In a landmark deal, two of the leading entertainment agencies, Endeavor and the William Morris Agency, today announced a merger of both companies. The new agency will be called William Morris Endeavor (WME) Entertainment. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the second quarter.

The leadership team for the new agency will be Jim Wiatt, Chairman, and Ariel Emanuel, Patrick Whitesell and Dave Wirtschafter, Co-CEOs.

Wiatt, Emanuel, Whitesell and Wirtschafter join company directors John Fogelman, Peter Grosslight, Rick Rosen, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh and Adam Venit on the nine-member board that will guide the agency.

This historical agreement brings together two of the industry’s most respected entertainment agencies spanning motion pictures, television, music, theatre, publishing, commercials, sports, marketing and below-the-line production.

2:39 PM: WMA ALSO VOTED TO MERGE WITH ENDEAVOR.

2:15 PM: ENDEAVOR VOTED 100% TO MERGE WITH WILLIAM MORRIS.

An email went … Read More »

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We Won’t Have ‘Portfolio’ To Kick Around

By | Monday April 27, 2009 @ 2:04pm PDT

I can’t believe that Condé Nast’s business mag Portfolio has shut down without even yanking editor-in-chief Joanne Lipman and trying a new topper. (Like Peter Kaplan.) That sadly leaves a lot of good writers jobless, but hopefully they’ll snag contracts with other Condé Nast publications. (Like Amy Wallace.) I said from the beginning that the idea was good but its execution was awful. Take, for example, all those blowjob covers on the Big Media moguls: totally worthless CEO porn ignoring the new intolerance for corporate greed. File this under the subject of, “If Only…”

  • Could NYO’s Peter Kaplan Save Portfolio?
  • Don’t Bother With Portfolio’s CEO Porn
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    TOLDJA! Relativity & Lionsgate Ink Deal

    By | Monday April 27, 2009 @ 9:41am PDT

    I first reported this on March 27th (Lionsgate About To Do Big Relativity Deal). It took Variety until April 13th to even confirm it. Here’s today’s announcement:

    SANTA MONICA, CA (April 27, 2009) – LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading next generation filmed entertainment studio, and Relativity Media, a premier media and entertainment company, announced today that they have finalized a new multi-picture, multi-year deal under which Lionsgate will acquire U.S. distribution rights for up to five Relativity Media productions per year. The agreement builds upon the successful relationship established by the companies during the past two years, when they partnered on the critical and commercial hits THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, 3:10 TO YUMA and THE BANK JOB. The announcement was jointly made by Joe Drake, Lionsgate President, Motion Picture Group, and Co-Chief Operating Officer, and Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media.

    Said Drake, “Ryan Kavanaugh and his colleagues at Relativity Media have built an extraordinary company that is one of the industry’s most prolific suppliers of broad-appeal, talent-driven motion pictures. This agreement solidifies the long-term relationship we built together through successful partnerships on 3:10 TO YUMA, THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM and THE BANK JOB. We are thrilled to bring these new movies into the Lionsgate family, adding to the tally of first-rate productions that will define the Lionsgate release slate going forward.”

    Said Kavanaugh, “This deal represents a big step in the evolution of a partnership between two forward-thinking companies.

    Read More »

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    Best Bet That ‘Chuck’ Will Come Back…

    By | Sunday April 26, 2009 @ 12:07pm PDT

    Every year about this time, rabid fans of shows perceived to be on the bubble launch campaigns to convince networks to renew their favorite series. So Chuck fans on Monday plan to show NBC execs their loyalty by spiking sandwich sales en masse at Subway stores and sending Nerds candies. It didn’t work for Moonlight at CBS but did for Jericho. This time, I can tell you the Chuck campaign is having an effect on the NBC suits. “It’s a good show, a solid show, and it’s in contention to come back,” an insider tells me. “I’m betting it’ll end up back. But that decision hasn’t been made yet.” Interestingly, it’s not just fanboys trying to keep the Josh Schwartz show on the air, it’s also mainstream TV critics and reporters. The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Entertainment Weekly have all weighed i positively. Television Without Pity listed 8 reasons to save the series. Me? I haven’t even watched 3 minutes of it.

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    Weinraub’s ‘Accomplices” In 2nd LA Run

    By | Sunday April 26, 2009 @ 11:10am PDT

    Back by popular demand, my pal Bernie Weinraub’s play The Accomplices (“the true story of a man’s fight to save the Jews”) is back in Los Angeles and playing at the Odyssey Theatre from April 25th to June 14th in association with The Israeli Leadership Council. Weinraub was The New York Times‘ Hollywood correspondent.

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    Beyoncé Catfight #1 For $28.5M Opener; Zac Efron Still #2, ‘State Of Play’ Fizzles; ‘Earth’ Scores Biggest Nature Docu Debut

    By | Saturday April 25, 2009 @ 9:30pm PDT

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    SUNDAY AM: These kinds of movies are so demeaning to women when the wife and a deranged “other woman” catfight over a man. But there’s no denying that female filmgoers love this winning formula. (Remember the big box office of its inspiration, Fatal Attraction?) So it was no surprise to Hollywood that Screen Gems/Sony’s Obsessed starring Beyoncé did so well Friday and Saturday, opening No. 1 to $11.2 million both days in North American grosses from 2,515 theaters for what was an overperforming $28.5M weekend. Amazing, since the studio claims it cost only $20M and was expecting only $18M. This was the 2nd biggest Screen Gems opening ever. Exit polling showed that the extraordinary opening was driven by female moviegoers (58%) and nearly half were under age 25.

    Showing that Zac Efron has legs with his tween/teen fanbase, No. 2 went to 17 Again from New Line/Warner Bros with $3.9 million (down 60% from its opening last Friday) from 3,255 dates and $4.8 million Saturday. It did jump up from 3rd place with its weekend tally reaching $11.3M for a new cume of $39.6M.

    Rogue/Universal’s pummel pic Fighting with star of tomorrow Channing Tatum (of the upcoming G.I. Joe) and debuted in 3rd place to $4.5 million Friday and $4 milliON Saturday from 2,310 venues for an $11.4M weekend. That was in line with expectations for this formulaic he-man genre. Exit polling showed the audience was 58%/42% male to female, 66%/33% under to over … Read More »

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    EXCLUSIVE: Abramoff Gets Hollywood Prison Visit; Kevin Spacey Starring As ‘Casino Jack’

    By | Saturday April 25, 2009 @ 2:00pm PDT

    SATURDAY UPDATE: Kevin Spacey is in Washington DC this weekend doing extensive research for is portrayal of Jack Abramoff in the biopic Casino Jack, which starts principal photography this month with director George Hickenlooper. The actor will be meeting with former business associates of the imprisoned Capitol Hill lobbyist. Yesterday, at the prison meeting, Abramoff opened up about his former life, discussing how very little has changed on K Street since he has been in prison (and how very little will). At one point during the meeting, Spacey was sharing his impersonation of Bill Clinton with Abramoff, while Abramoff shared a pretty good impersonation of Ronald Reagan with Spacey.

    FRIDAY 1 PM PT: My sources tell me that 2-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey and film director George Hickenlooper (Factory Girl, Hearts of Darkness) are right now visiting Washington DC lobbyist Jack Abramoff in Cumberland Federal Prison. Abramoff, of course, was responsible for one of the biggest political scandal to hit the nation’s capital since Watergate, and is the subject of a screenplay Casino Jack starring Spacey and directed by Hickenlooper and written by Norm Snider (Dead Ringers) and produced by Bill Marks, George Vitetzakis and exec-produced by Donald Zuckerman and Richard Rionda of Hannibal Pictures. A portion of the project is being financed by Brad Feinstein of Titan Multi Media Group in a deal being negotiated by Paradigm. The story is described to me as a modern day GoodFellas set in Washington DC that plays like a thriller involving Karl Rove and others in former President George W. Bush’s inner circle. Cameras will roll … Read More »

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    R.I.P. Bea Arthur

    By | Saturday April 25, 2009 @ 1:16pm PDT

    She died of cancer at age 86. By having the good fortune and good sense to appear in smartly scripted sitcoms, Bea Arthur helped redefine the image of women on television and in society as more than just eye candy: she brought her talent to roles as diverse as a liberal feminist in Maude, and as a vibrant senior in The Golden Girls.

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    And In Other Agency News: Paradigm

    By | Friday April 24, 2009 @ 7:25pm PDT

    I’ve confirmed that Joel Wright and his New Media department have disappeared from Paradigm. Wright took another job up, and the agent working with him, Mitch Kapler, is going to reality with Steve Wohl. Another Paradigm exodus is 10-year veteran Jim Hess who created the Personal Appearances department. I’m told he became disenchanted and defected to Jonathan Baruch’s Rain Management Group a week ago. I’ve also confirmed that the agency is exiting recently acquired Lori Sale, the head of brand advertising, and putting in her place her 2nd in charge Randy Smith as the new department head. Yet it wasn’t that long ago Paradigm trumpeted to me Sale’s hire from ICM.

    And that’s not all. Paradigm owner Sam Gores has hired his investor/brother Alec’s beancounting consultant. I’m told that, for the past month or so, he has been conducting an internal audit of the agency. (One source says, “Getting advice from a world class entrepreneur like Alec Gores regarding intricately organizing a business that has grown to this size is not a bad thing.” Another says it’s ”to help answer the simple question, ‘Why is Paradigm losing money each and every month?’ “)

    I hear the only department making a profit is music. Paradigm just bought another music agency this week to become No. 2 in Christian music. But even rival agencies say Paradigm is doing well with TV pilot pickups and promising shows.

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    Universal Puts “Wildly Over-Budget” Gore Verbinski Pic ‘Bioshock’ On Hold For Now

    By | Friday April 24, 2009 @ 6:32pm PDT

    There’ve been rumblings about this. Verbinski told Variety that the studio bosses are pressuring him to move the production outside the United States to take advantage of tax credits instead of shooting in Los Angeles. Studio sources confirm to me that they’re looking for ways to “mitigate costs” and not ruling out “alternative locations”. Meanwhile, I’m told the pic has gone “wildly over-budget”. Wait — didn’t Universal Studios boss Ron Meyer just attend that MPAA symposium in Washington DC boasting to Capitol Hill how many American jobs are created by the movie industry? Guess that doesn’t matter now. Anyway, Variety has more detail.

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    Aaron Kaplan’s $11 Million/5-Year Deal

    By | Friday April 24, 2009 @ 5:04pm PDT

    So let’s spend a few minutes looking at the fate of the William Morris TV kingpins since everyone at the top of the about-to-merge agency wants Endeavor’s Rick Rosen to run the TV department. CAA is prepared to welcome reality kingpin Mark Itkin with open arms. Sources tell me that John Ferriter may strike out on his own. But the real surprise is that I’ve confirmed Aaron Kaplan has as much as 3 1/2 years left on an $11 million/5-year contract. With no mitigation. That certainly changes any plan to just send him on his way without cutting him a huge check. So now I’m told the Kaplan situation is “fluid”. As for movie agents, it looks like a lock that Steve Rabineau will head to United Talent because Jeremy Zimmer is courting him hard. David Lonner is considering becoming a manager for a top firm. Meanwhile, the mantra repeated about all these guys is: “They’re still under contract.”

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