The deal with GoDigital includes North American VOD and digital distribution rights for the film starring Anita Briem (The Tudors), Melonie Diaz (Hamlet 2) and Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie) and directed by Ty Hodges. Produced by Omar Epps …
The stock closed down 12.2%, to $17.26, after analysts piled on the production company for its soft year-end results, a warning that costs in 2012 will be higher than expected, and broad concerns about the market for animated films. ”Although the …
BREAKING: Paramount Pictures has signed Sacha Baron Cohen and his Four By Two Films banner to an exclusive three-year first-look deal. Four By Two Films will be headed by Sir Todd Schulman, who worked on the Baron Cohen films The Dictator and Bruno.
Deal comes after Baron Cohen’s memorable stunt on the Oscar Red Carpet, where he dumped what he said was the ashes of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il over emcee Ryan Seacrest’s tux jacket. All this as the star and studio prepare to release the comedian’s latest film The Dictator on May 11th. They simultaneously have agreed to partner again on Baron Cohen’s next original star vehicle. As part of the arrangement, Paramount has also created a development fund for Baron Cohen to generate projects in the UK to find new talent.
EXCLUSIVE: Molly Shannon is reuniting with Mike White, signing on for a recurring role on the upcoming second season of White’s HBO series Enlightened. The single-camera comedy stars Laura Dern as Amy, a self-destructive woman who has a spiritual awakening and decides to live an enlightened life, which creates havoc at home and work. In a role written for her by White, Shannon will play Eileen, the loyal executive assistant to the CEO of Abaddonn. In Amy’s mission to blow the whistle on Abaddonn’s corporate malfeasance, Eileen is unwittingly duped into providing damning information about her boss. Eileen also becomes a romantic interest for Tyler, played by White. This marks the third collaboration between Shannon and White. She previously starred in his movie Year Of The Dog and his Fox series Cracking Up.
EXCLUSIVE: The revolving door at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network continues. The latest high-level executive to depart the struggling cable network is SVP Business and Legal Affairs Alan Saxe, a well-respected executive who ran OWN’s business affairs department. In light of his departure (he reportedly left to pursue other opportunities), Tina Perry, VP Business and Legal Affairs, will lead the department as interim head. Saxe is the latest in a slew of executive departures at OWN, most recently EVP Production and Development Lisa Erspamer.
Meanwhile, OWN has been in cost-cutting mode after an yearlong struggle to break out in the ratings despite a marquee brand name and massive cash infusion from co-parent Discovery Communications. I hear the network’s executives have been told that the business in its current form is unsustainable and cuts have to be made, especially in the main Los Angeles office. Leading the charge in that area is new Discovery CFO Andy Warren, who has been examining OWN’s books. In one cost-cutting measure, OWN was recently asked to eliminate temp positions. The network has had a lot of essential positions, including assistants, filled by non-full-time employees, something that will now end.
Emma Watson will lead an ensemble cast in the latest from Oscar-winner Sofia Coppola. The Bling Ring is inspired by real events in which a group of teens engage in a string of celebrity burglaries.
The Marvel superheroes pic is written and directed by Joss Whedon, which only serves to ramp up expectations among the fanboy set. So does the cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard and Samuel L. Jackson. Here’s the second …
I have some bigger articles to post. But for the next several weeks I will be traveling for most of the time. Play nice.
EXCLUSIVE: R.J. Cutler is expanding his relationship with Lionsgate Television. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker (The War Room) and Emmy-winning television producer (American High), has signed a first-look television deal with Lionsgate to develop and produce scripted programming for broadcast and cable. …
That question seems to intrigue News Corp watchers far more than any debate about succession plans following today’s announcement that Deputy COO James Murdoch is relinquishing his role as executive chairman of the UK publishing unit. News Corp shares are up about 2% at mid-day, a contrast to the overall market which is slightly down. And many believe it’s because James’ departure from the publishing business gives investors a little more reason to hope that Rupert might ditch some or all of his newspapers. He loves the assets, but the Street considers them to be growth-challenged distractions. Wells Fargo Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker calls the news about James “one sign” that newspapers “may be spun, sold or otherwise shed.” Yesterday COO Chase Carey said that News Corp recognized such a move might help its stock price, which he says is “woefully undervalued.” But he tried to douse any belief that a plan to unload newspapers is on the company’s front-burner. “Our focus is on managing these businesses and improving profitability,” he said.
Why so little attention to James and his role in the line of succession? It’s now a foregone conclusion that
The move by Acorn Media Group to take a 64% stake in Agatha Christie’s estate marks the first time a U.S. company will have a controlling interest in one of the most-mined properties in entertainment. The mystery author counts 2 billion books sold, and numerous TV shows and movies based upon them; the estate, co-owned by Chorion, includes more than 80 novels and plays. Among the latest projects in the canon came almost a year ago, when Disney announced it was developing a Miss Marple movie with Jennifer Garner as the famous sleuth. That news was met with scorn among fans of the mysteries, who objected to what would be a younger, sassier Marple. That project hasn’t been heard from since. Here’s today’s release:
Silver Spring, MD; February 29, 2012 – Acorn Media Group, a leading independent media company, has acquired a 64% stake in Agatha Christie Limited from Chorion. With more than 2 billion books sold, Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time. Her works only follow The Bible and William Shakespeare as the most widely published books, and they continue to be adapted into internationally successful films. This milestone acquisition gives Acorn Media majority ownership of Christie’s extensive works including more than 80 novels and short story collections, 19 plays, a film library of nearly 40 TV films, and iconic characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, among many others. The Agatha Christie family retains its 36% holding and Mathew Prichard, Agatha Christie’s grandson, remains Chairman of Agatha Christie Limited.