Twilight may have swept five awards — including best movie, best kiss and best fight — at tonight’s MTV Movie Awards. But everybody’s talking about that Sacha Baron Cohen stunt that “shocked” Eminem. MTV is claiming this was unscripted. (Then again, MTV produced that Janet and Justin wardrobe malfunction Nipplegate for the 2004 halftime Super Bowl show aired on CBS — then claimed that was unscripted, too.)
I was told about this last Wednesday and decided to see where the talks with the president and CEO of DirecTV went before posting tonight. But indications are the job Carey is negotiating would be structured differently than the one Peter Chernin occupies. For instance, my sources wonder whether Carey would be as integrally involved in Hollywood; if he didn’t move to Los Angeles, then he wouldn’t closely oversee the film and television business like Chernin.
At one time co-chief operating officer with Chernin of News Corp, Carey has remained incredibly close to Rupert Murdoch. Back in the day, Chase not only used to speak for the boss but also carried water for Murdoch on many battlegrounds, from fighting Nielsen’s rating system, to attacking other media conglomerates, to landing DirecTV for News Corp. Carey became president/CEO of DirecTV in 2003 when Murdoch finally acquired 34% controlling interest in the largest U.S. home satellite TV service. But in December 2006, John Malone horsetraded his large stake in News Corp for DirecTV, and Carey stayed on. But he also had to resign as a director on News Corp’s board.
Another reason I held off reporting Carey was in talks with Murdoch was because, for months now, there has been endless speculation that Carey may return to News Corp to replace Chernin who retires as prez/COO at the end of June. Even … Read More »
SATURDAY PM / SUNDAY AM: Hollywood planned a 2nd straight weekend friendly for family filmgoers who have pent-up demand, and it was a wild success with the two top family films placing #1 and #2. With 20% of K-through-12 kids out of school Friday, Pixar/Disney’s 10th pic and first 3-D movie, Up, was able to get a jump on the domestic box office with busy matinees from 1,534 3-D theaters — a record – and a total of 3,766 theatres total. So the unusual toon starring the voice of Ed Asner and receiving rave revenues opened to around $21.4 million Friday and $26.5M Saturday for a $68.2M weekend with Sunday estimates of $20.3M. Hollywood estimates for its Fri-Sat-Sun grosses started at $55M, went up to $60M based on matinees, but didn’t expect it to top 2008 Wall-E’s $63M. Instead, Up finished as Pixar’s 3rd highest grossing film, close to the $70M opening weekends of the brand’s top 2 computer animation movies, 2004 The Incredibles and 2003 Finding Nemo. (Not adjusted for inflation or ticket prices or the 3-D premium prices.) Up also bested DreamWorks’ first 3-D film Monsters v Aliens which opened at $59.3M over 2009 Spring Break. Disney has been marketing Up as a four-quadrant movie that hits all bases — from comedy to adventure. It was the first film of 2009 to snag an A+ CinemaScore, and Disney considered it Pixar’s most emotional film thus far. It worked, although some parents are emailing me it’s too dark for young children. Exit polls showed 31% of the … Read More »
Next weekend’s “PRODUCED BY CONFERENCE” is already so successful that general registration is temporarily suspended due to overwhelming demand. Now the Producers Guild Of America is trying to accommodate as many attendees as possible. So check back on June 1st if you want to register.
Billed as a weekend of the latest information and innovation impacting the entertainment industry, the Produced By Conference at Sony Pictures Studios will gather in one place 100 of the most important producers in television and film “for an extraordinary weekend of discovery, learning and creative inspiration” featuring an incredible array of speakers, seminars, technology demonstrations, networking opportunities, social events and vendor displays.It’s called the Produced By Conference – a two day event where literally the most important producers in the business will be participating: Clint Eastwood, Jim Cameron, Kathy Kennedy, Mark Gordon, Norman Lear, Michael London, Davis Guggenheim, Carlton Cuse, Bruce Cohen– over 100 of us.
“There’s a story behind this,” one of the organizers, Marshall Herskovitz, tells me. “It’s about producers in the business getting tired of being misperceived, pushed aside, invisible – you name it – and therefore stepping forward to talk about what we do, how we do it, and why. And to give access to less well-established producers so that they can find their way in as well. Just the fact that this is happening in a business this competitive is amazing to … Read More »
SATURDAY NOON: The verdict from DHD commenters is that the WME Entertainment logo is a flop. And I’ve just heard that, no, the new agency isn’t going to change it.
FRIDAY 8PM: This really is the WME Entertainment logo unveiling next week. It was on the official WME online stationery sent to employees today. Stupid as it is, the “2″ stands for the double “E”s — Endeavor and Entertainment. Have at it…
Jay stuck to the same formula that kept him No. 1 for most of his 17 years as host and let loose with one-liners about the celebutards who’ve been a part of his opening monologues. He also poked fun at his next gig: “I’m going to be going to a secluded spot where no one can find me — NBC prime time,” Leno told the audience, according to news reports. “It’s a gamble. I’m betting NBC will still be around in three months, but that’s not a given.” I still say he should have gone to ABC at 11:30 PM. If his 10PM show on NBC doesn’t work, he’ll be damaged goods.
Today, SAG’s new leadership unveiled support for its “Vote Yes” campaign on the tentative TV/Theatrical Contract with the AMPTP from Tom Hanks who is starring in a video. There’s also a new SAG “Statement of Support” signed by George Clooney and others who “wholeheartedly recommend that SAG members VOTE YES on our tentative Television and Theatrical Contracts.”
It’s been a while since I’ve reported to you about the progress of Writers Guild organizing efforts and the many successes we’ve had in the past two years. Organizing writers who work without a WGA contract is one of the key ways we strengthen the Guild and protect the standards we have all struggled so long and hard to achieve.
Our first priority in organizing is always to defend our core jurisdiction: network and cable dramas, sitcoms (including network primetime animated sitcoms), longform television, talk shows, variety shows, game shows, and live-action features. Beginning with our current contract, our jurisdiction now also includes original and derivative content in New Media. Our second priority is the expansion of our jurisdiction to areas where we currently lack coverage or where non-signatory companies have been operating, including reality television, non-primetime and feature animation, and non-fiction.
With those priorities in mind, here is a recap of our recent efforts:
In cable we have focused on Comedy Central because it employs a large number of writers. Working closely with writers on Comedy Central’s main shows, we undertook a strategy of escalating actions, culminating in a short work stoppage. One show at a time, we organized WGA coverage for:
The Sarah Silverman Program
Mind of Mencia
The Showbiz Show with David Spade
American Body Shop
Root of All Evil
Michael & Michael Have Issues
The Comedy Central Roast of Larry the Cable Guy
The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget The Untitled Jeff Dunham Project Tosh.0
“HOLE IN THE HEART OF HOLLYWOOD” RALLY: KEEP THE MPTF NURSING HOME OPEN!
While elderly residents of the long-term care facility suffer daily under threat of eviction, the Motion Picture Television Fund (MPTF) will host “Heartbeat of Hollywood,” a golf tournament and “lavish cocktail party” on the very same campus. Unfortunately, even if requested by donors, the money raised will NOT go towards saving the home. Members of Saving the Lives of Our Own will gather outside this gala MONDAY, JUNE 1ST, AT 4:30 PM to protest that fact and to give a voice to the seniors directly affected by the closure.
To ALL members of the entertainment industry and various guilds, we urge you to show your support of the residents and their families by personally participating in the rally. We’re at a tipping point! Help ensure that this world-class facility remains open for these seniors and for generations to come who’ve contributed to the fund with the expectation that this important safety net would remain in place.
Wear your guild gear and tell the MPTF that it is NOT okay to evict elderly seniors, nor to abandon their 80-year-old mission of taking care of Hollywood’s own. Thank you!
WHAT: “Hole in the Heart of Hollywood” rally
WHO: Residents, family members and members of the entertainment guilds
WHEN: Monday, June 1st, 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM
WHERE: MPTF Wasserman Campus, 23388 Mulholland Drive, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Street and shopping center parking. Signage will be provided.
You’d think Variety would be embarrassed about reporting my WME Entertainment scoops days later and not even giving me credit. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong. Worse, it takes two reporters to act so shamefully. (No credit, either, during primetime pilot panic.) Keep up with my merger postings here:
I’m told the Tom Hanks video is being shot today for the new SAG leadership. Eight of the “Vote Yes” videos are on the official ”SAG Communications Channel” on YouTube. (FYI, the guild’s new leadership removed all the videos at the previous leadership’s “Empower SAG YouTube Channel”…) Here’s the 9th and newest video that the SAG National Majority wants me to post to represent the “Vote Yes” side:
Joanne Wiles, a 14-year WMA veteran who began her career at ICM, is now returning there as a motion picture agent. Her clients include Melissa Leo, Kodi Smit McPhee, Karyn Kusama, Josh Klausner, Jesse Eisenberg, Jay and Mark Duplass, Wentworth Miller, Derick Martini.
I forgot to post this last week. At the NBC Comedy Showcase last Tuesday, which subbed for the network’s upfront, journalists who attended had to agree not to report what was said. So you didn’t hear the joke that Jimmy Fallon told about his boss: What do you get if Jeff Zucker marries Courteney Cox? A Cox-Zucker.
Ex-Jim Henson Company CEO Charles Rivkin has been announced as President Obama’s choice for Ambassador to France. A major California fundraiser for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, Rivkin is the CEO of Wildbrain animation studios, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council — a group of individuals from outside the federal government that advises the Homeland Security secretary — and a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. His father, William R. Rivkin, was ambassador to Luxembourg under John F. Kennedy and ambassador to Senegal and Gambia for Lyndon Johnson.