Don’t trust people when they tell you how much time they spend watching video on their smartphones and tablets. The ratings company learned that lesson the hard way after it changed the way it measures average monthly viewing from surveys to actual observations. The old numbers were off by a factor of — wait for it — 538%, TV station trade group TVB points out this morning. Using surveys, Nielsen‘s widely followed quarterly Cross-Platform Report last year put the monthly mobile video viewing average in Q4 at 5 hours and 23 minutes. But the new report, out yesterday, quietly restated that to just 1 hour — growing to 1 hour and 23 minutes a month in the last three months of 2013. “This disparity is an important reminder of the dangers inherent in trusting consumers’ claimed behavior and calls into question many recent studies that have proclaimed the demise of traditional media based on self-reported approximations of time spent with digital devices,” TVB Chief Research Officer Stacey Lynn Schulman says.
In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom wrap up the overseas perspective on the last big awards shows of the 2013-14 season, beginning with Foreign-Language Oscar winner The Great Beauty, which lifted spirits throughout home country Italy even as director Paolo Sorrentino called for more investment in Italian cinema.
At France’s Cesar Awards, the big winner was Les Garcons et Guillaume a Table, though the potential scandale around one nominee proved far more muted than the French press or awards show broadcaster Canal Plus might have hoped. Nancy and David also take a look at the potential global bump in box office for Oscar’s two biggest champs, Best Picture 12 Years a Slave and seven-time winner Gravity.
Related: OSCARS: The Complete Winners List
The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival unveiled 47 of its 89 feature-length films in its lineup today in the World Narrative and Documentary Competition selections as well as the out-of-competition Viewpoints pics. Thursday will see the remainder in the Spotlight, Midnight, and Special sections. The fest kicks off April 16 with the already announced opening-night film, the Nas documentary Time Is Illmatic. Dior And I will screen opening night for the World Documentary competition, the Rory Culkin-starrer Gabriel from U.S. writer-director Lou Howe will open the World Narrative competition, and Summer Of Blood will open Viewpoints — all world premieres and all to screen April 17. The fest runs through April 27. Here’s the lineups in the three sections:
In a category that sometimes seemed like a two-horse race between The Great Beauty and The Hunt, with the possible squeaker of The Broken Circle Breakdown, it was ultimately Paolo Sorrentino’s love letter to Rome that triumphed. Great Beauty is the 11th win for Italy at the Oscars and the first time since Roberto Benigni’s 1998 Life Is Beautiful that the boot has kicked up a Foreign Language score. Sorrentino told me in December that he was very honored by just the nomination. “It’s a great responsibility. It’s a case in which I represent Italy and so it’s important in this moment when Italian cinema isn’t having a great time in its life… I hope we go ahead not only for me, but also for Italian cinema,” he said. Go ahead he did tonight and thanked his inspirations who include Federico Fellini, Martin Scorsese (in the house at the Dolby Theatre), and Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona. Sorrentino also thanked the cities of Rome and Naples, as well as his family.
The Great Beauty has been compared to the work of Fellini, especially Roma and La Dolce Vita; it’s the story of an aging writer in the Eternal City recollecting his lost youth (see the trailer below). Sorrentino told me late last year that he had long been collecting “little anecdotes” linked to Rome and decided to put them all together into a film so that the lead character would be a witness to that world.
Global Showbiz Briefs: 3 Warner Bros TV Series Headed To Asia; Italian Exhibitors Blast TV Airing Of ‘The Great Beauty’; More
‘Pretty Little Liars’, ‘Gossip Girl’, ‘ER’ Getting Local Versions In Asia
Warner Bros Television Group series Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl and ER have been commissioned and optioned as local versions in the Philippines, Thailand and India, respectively. In the Philippines, ABC Development Corporation is in production on Pretty Little Liars with the 22-episode adaptation to air on TV5 in April. The show ranks as the No. 1 original series of all time on ABC Family, where its 5th season will air this summer. In Thailand, Kantana Public Company Limited is producing an 18-episode local adaptation of Gossip Girl. In India, ER is under option with Gold Television Network. This follows the announcement last month that a Colombian version of the show was going forward.
Tuesday, February 25
7:00 PM: BVLGARI “Decades of Glamour” Oscar Party hosted by Naomi Watts
Location: Soho House
7:30 PM: Oscar Week – Animated and Live Action Shorts Celebration hosted by Kevin Pollak
Location: Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills
2nd Annual ICON MANN Pre-Oscar POWER 50 Dinner
Location: Peninsula Hotel
Vanity Fair and Fiat Toast “Young Hollywood”
Location: No Vacancy
Wednesday, February 26
10 AM: The Art of Elysium 7Th Annual Pieces Of Heaven Charity Art Auction
Location: Siren Studios, Los Angeles
5:30 PM: LoveGold Celebrates Lupita Nyong’o
Location: Chateau Marmont
6 PM: 7th Annual TOSCARS Awards Show
Location: Egyptian Theater, Hollywood
6:30 PM: Global Green USA Pre-Oscar® Party with performance by Moby and The Crystal Method
Location: The Avalon Hollywood, 1735 Vine Street, Los Angeles
VH1 is expanding its scripted portfolio with Hindsight, handing out a 10-episode series pickup to the hourlong scripted drama pilot from writer Emily Fox (Jane By Design) and Timberman-Beverly for a premiere in early 2015. The project, previously developed at NBC, marked the first scripted pilot order for VH1′s new head of development Susan Levison. Now it is her first scripted series pickup and a followup to the network’s first hourlong scripted series, the Queen Latifah-produced Single Ladies, and summer breakout Hit the Floor. The network most recently had scripted success with the highly rated TLC biopic and just greenlighted a Drumline sequel with Nick Cannon.
Related: Primetime Pilot Panic
Hindsight, whose pilot was directed by Michael Trim, is set in 1990s New York and stars Laura Ramsey, Legend Of The Seeker‘s Craig Horner and Sarah Goldberg.
El Rey Network Sets Premiere Dates For ‘Matador’, ‘The Director’s Chair’; Inks Licensing Deal With Celestial Pictures For Martial Arts Films
El Rey Network announced today that its original, scripted actions series Matador from Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman will premiere in July following the World Cup soccer tournament. El Rey also confirmed that the network’s founder Robert Rodriguez will direct the first episode of the series. Production gets underway at the end of March with Nicky Whelan, repped by UTA, Luber/Roklin and attorney Dave Feldman, set for the female lead. Matador is El Rey’s second original series to launch. It was announced earlier that the network’s first scripted project, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, premieres March 11. El Rey also announced that the first of 10 primetime installments of El Rey Network Presents: The Director’s Chair will premiere in April. The new hourlong series provides a forum for two directors to go one-on-one. El Rey also said it has inked a multi-year licensing deal with Celestial Pictures for martial arts titles from the Shaw Brothers library.
Ebersols Aboard To Produce And Script Warner Bros’ ‘Space Jam 2′ As A Starring Vehicle For LeBron James
EXCLUSIVE: What’s up, doc? A broken nose. Ouch! After he recovers from the injury suffered in last night’s game, NBA MVP LeBron James will be ready for his close-up — with Bugs Bunny.
Broadcasting veteran Dick Ebersol‘s sons have come on board to develop the sequel to 1996 animated/live-action hit Space Jam as a starring vehicle for James. The player is the Miami Heat star who broke his nose during last night’s game against the Oklahoma City when the Thunder’s Serge Ibaka got him in the face after a dunk.
Another Space Jam film? Why not? The first film, which broke ground for Warner Bros and starred then-Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan and a slew of other top NBA players, ended up grossing $230M worldwide for the studio.
Charlie Ebersol, who already has a good relationship with the NFL through his NFL Characters Unite series on USA Network, is about ready to do the same with the NBA. He has been brought on to the produce the picture through his production company, The Company, from a script by his brother Willie Ebersol. The latter won an Emmy for the London Olympics. This is his first screenplay.
BAFTA Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Wins Best Film But ‘Gravity’ Carries Most Weight With Six Total Nods; Chiwetel Ejiofor & Cate Blanchett Take Actor Wins; ‘American Hustle’ Scores 3 Including For Jennifer Lawrence
UPDATED WITH FULL LIST OF WINNERS AND REACTIONS: Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave rallied from a slow stat to win the Best Film award tonight at the 62nd BAFTA Film Awards in London. The slave drama from Fox Searchlight had 10 nominations but won just two awards, after Chiwetel Ejiofor took the Leading Actor prize for playing Solomon Northup. Despite the marquee victory in the last major kudofest before the Oscars, it still seemed as though the night belonged to Warner Bros’ Gravity. The space drama picked up a leading six wins from its 11 overall nominations, including for Outstanding British Film — which will keep the debate going about just how British the pic is. Alfonso Cuaron won Best Director and the pic cleaned up in the craft categories, taking Sound, Cinematography and Special Visual Effects in addition to a nod for Steven Price’s Original Score. The BAFTA crowd at the packed Royal Opera House in Covent Garden exploded with each win for the movie, which had a leading 11 nominations going into the night.
Still, the 12 Years A Slave victory tonight maintains the film’s front-runner status going into the Oscars on March 2; the film also won the Golden Globe for Motion Picture-Drama. Many feel the Academy will lean the same way, honoring Gravity in the craft categories but not for the Best Picture. The two films have been going head to head all awards season, even scrapping to a rare tie in the PGA Awards contest. “It’s very important,” McQueen said backstage after the victory. “The way the public here — but not just here, in the U.S. — by going to see the picture, means a hell of a lot.” Added producer Brad Pitt: “This is an excuse for us to all get to gather and say job well done. We’re very proud of our work here, and it means a lot to us because of the people we got to work with.”
UPDATE, 7:18 PM: Here’s the group shot from the annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton today (with closer looks and caption info after the jump). This is the largest number of nominees yet. Our Awards Columnist Pete Hammond had prime seating and wrote about what it was like to be in the room:
EXCLUSIVE: The European Film Market has been a bit sparse, with things perking up with Open Road’s acquisition of Rock The Kasbah. I’ve heard that pre-buy deal amounted to a $2 million minimum guarantee, a 10% gross deal for Bill Murray and a 1200-screen release commitment. If there is going to be action in Berlin, it might well be through the sizzle reels or other pre-buys.
The script stage projects being introduced in Berlin that seem most promising are the Daniel Craig-starrer The Whole Truth, the Jonathan Jakubowicz-directed Roberto Duran biopic Hands Of Stone with Edgar Ramirez playing the legend, Robert De Niro his trainer and Usher his rival Sugar Ray Leonard; the Nima Nourizadeh-directed American Ultra with Jesse Eisenberg and Stewart; the Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer Blood Mountain, about an Army ranger who must bring a terrorist to custody after his unit is wiped out in Pakistan; the Oren Moverman-directed Time Out Of Mind with Richard Gere; the Natalie Portman-directed A Tale Of Love And Darkness; Selma, the Ava DuVerney drama that stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr; the David Gordon Green-directed The Line with Chris Pine; the Anton Corbjin-directed Life with Robert Pattinson; and the Paolo Sorrentino-directed In The Future with Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. A lot of these are being teased at Berlin, and will lead to sales at Cannes.
As for the sizzle reels, today is a big day with footage screenings of Imitation Game with Cumberbatch, and The Search, which is Michel Hazanavicius’ follow-up to The Artist. Here are the sizzle reels that have buyers hot and bothered:
The stock is up pre-market as investors relish the encouraging news about AOL’s improving ad sales, and discount the earnings disappointment due to known factors. The company reported Q4 net income of $35.5M, basically flat with the previous year, on revenues of $679M, +13.3%. The revenue number was well ahead of the $655.8B that analysts expected. Earnings at 43 cents a share appeared to miss the Street’s target of 60 cents– although the company says it was a beat if you add back 21 cents for one-time costs. AOL took a $13.2M restructuring charge, mostly for layoffs at the Patch local news service which it recently off loaded. Traffic acquisition costs also rose with the inclusion of Adap.tv, which AOL bought in September. But overall ad sales improved 23% to $507M helped by a 63% gain, to $223.6M, in Third Party Network transactions. Global Display ads rose 7% to $181.7M but Global Search fell 2% to $101.7M. AOL remains weighed down by its declining Internet subscription business. Revenues there fell 10% to $156.7M as the number of domestic subscribers also fell 10% to 2.5M. all told, CEO Tim Armstrong says that 2013 was “AOL’s most successful year in the last decade” and it “plans to invest in our market leading strategies while we continue to grow the company.”
Disappointing data about factory performance added to investor concerns about prospects for the economy as the Federal Reserve pulls back on its stimulus efforts. The Dow Jones U.S. Media Index fell 2.7% today — ahead of a 2.3% drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 and 2.1% slide in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. All but a handful of the companies we track lost ground. CBS was hardest hit among Big Media, with shares off 4.1%. It was followed by Viacom (-4.0%), Disney (-3.6%), Sony (-3.2%), Comcast (-3.1%), Fox (-3.0%), News Corp (-2.8%), Discovery (-2.2%), and Time Warner (-2.1%). In the broader media universe, companies licking their wounds today include DreamWorks Animation (-7.4%), Lionsgate (-5.6%), IMAX (-5.4%), Starz (-5.3%), and AMC Networks (-4.7%). The few gainers include Cinedigm (+4.6%, touching a multiyear high during the day), AOL (+1.7%), Time Warner Cable (+0.6), and Apple (+0.2%).
The Biggest Loser creator/executive producer Dave Broome has inked a two-year overall deal with Sony Pictures Television, the studio behind ABC reality hit Shark Tank. Broome will will create and produce unscripted television series through his company, 25/7 Prods. “Dave has a great track record of producing captivating unscripted series that resonate with viewers,” said SPT’s head of reality Holly Jacobs. A 15-year reality veteran, Broome recently wrapped ABC Family’s semi-scripted summer series, The Vineyard, and TVGN’s holiday special, Rich At Night, featuring country star John Rich. He also partnered with Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s production company, Estefan Enterprises, to produce the Spanish-language docu-series Dale Con Ganas for Univision. Broom has created and produced several digital series, including AOL’s Jocks & Jills, a co-production with Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment. He also produced the sports documentary Two Days In April for Netflix.
In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione talks with host David Bloom about which overseas titles survived the largest-ever field of candidates to nab an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and one notable director who was left out once again; the flood of announcements that are finally bringing this year’s Berlin Film Festival into focus, including the latest film by Richard Linklater; and red-hot director Justin Lin’s new Chinese-language, 3D blockbuster of a remake.
They also take their weekly look at the global box office, marked this time around by one of Walter Mitty’s biggest dreams, or at least that of his producers; Jack Ryan’s Chinese debut; and The Wolf of Wall Street, set loose in Europe’s box offices.
In December 2012, Discovery Communications entered a strategic alliance with France’s TF1 and as part of the deal, it took a 20% stake in the group’s pan-European sports platform, Eurosport. At the time, Discovery said it had the option to raise its interest to 51% in two years. Today’s announcement accelerates that move by one year with Discovery upping its stake in Eurosport to a majority interest. TF1 will now retain a put option that could require Discovery to buy the remaining 49%. The flagship Eurosport network reaches 133M homes in 54 countries and 20 languages. It focuses on regionally popular niche sports including tennis, cycling, skiing, skating, and curling. The group also includes Eurosport, Eurosport HD, Eurosport Asia-Pacific and 24-hour channel and online hub, Eurosportnews. Following are the full details of today’s deal:
TCA: PBS Orders More ‘Women Who Make America’, Interviews Lena Dunham, Sarah Silverman, Shonda Rhimes
PBS is partnering with AOL for six new one-hour documentaries as part of its Makers: Women Who Make America franchise. Scheduled to premiere in June and August 2014, the docus build on the multi-platform initiative founded by filmmaker Dyllan McGee, which launched in 2012. The new series expands on the three-hour PBS documentary of same name, which premiered in February 2013 and told the story of the American women’s movement over the last half-century. Kathy Griffin, former CIA agent Valerie Plame, former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and the producers of Makers are scheduled to discuss the project at the press tour tomorrow. Among those profiled in the docu-series are Lena Dunham, Chelsea Handler, Shonda Rhimes, and Sarah Silverman. Each of the new documentaries tackles a different sphere of influence, including business, war, space, Hollywood, politics and comedy.
Justin Lin is making his first filmic foray into China, and into 3D. The director plans to helm a remake of 1982’s The Shaolin Temple which starred Jet Li in his debut role. Hot off a press conference in Beijing to announce the project, Lin’s partner at Perfect Storm Entertainment, CEO Troy Craig Poon, tells me the plan is to hire “an A+ list Hollywood writer to tackle the story” although there is no start date for now. “We will commence only when we feel this is ready,” says Poon. The 1982 Shaolin Temple was a Hong Kong martial arts movie directed by Chang Hsin Yen. The original story was based on Shaolin folklore and set during the transition period between the Sui Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty. When the Tang emperor is betrayed by one of his generals, the son of one of his slave workers escapes to the temple, trains in kung fu, and sets out to kill the traitor. The remake project is a collaboration of Beijing Enlight Pictures, Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars and Perfect Storm. Poon, Wu and Enlight’s Wang Changtian will produce. Poon says the budget will be north of $100M and that the idea is for it to be a “blockbuster unlike ever seen for (the Chinese) market.” He believes the timing of the film could coincide with China becoming the world’s No. 1 movie market.