Free Birds tells the tale of two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks who must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history – and get turkey off the Thanksgiving menu for good. The stellar voice cast includes Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson Amy Poehler, Dan Fogler, Lesley Nicol, George Takei, Colm Meaney, Keith David, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, and Dwight Howard. Jimmy Hayward directs and Scott Mosier, Craig Mazin, John Strauss and David l. Stern produce from a script by Stern and Strauss. Mazin did a rewrite. The pic from Relativity and Reel FX bows wide on November 1. Check out the trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: Annet McCroskey of Artistic Endeavors has been elected President of the Talent Managers Association, the non-profit organization created in 1954 to promote the talent management biz. Three months ago Phil Brock of Studio Talent Group stepped down from the post after serving for two years. Then-Board of Directors VP McCroskey filled in back in March when Brock suddenly vacated the position. She’ll now become the organization’s first female president in 20 years. Longtime Harrison Ford manager Pat McQueeney was elected to the post in 1980 and Christina Applegate’s manager Tami Lynn served in 1993. “Many of us were moved by Laura Linney’s acceptance speech this week at the WIF Crystal + Lucy Awards about women in entertainment and how much more progress we have to make as an industry,” said McCroskey. “As an organization we strive to be equally inclusive of all of our members and mentor other managers to adhere to our strict code of ethics.” McCroskey’s priorities include the annual industry Heller Awards planned for September 19, 2013.
Related: Laura Linney On Gender Inequality In Film Business: ‘It’s Unhealthy”
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Kim Basinger has just started shooting Danish director Anders Morgenthaler’s English-language drama Petit. The actress plays Maria, a successful career woman who cannot have children. Seeking out her dream child, she bribes Petit, a troubled dwarf in desperate straits who helps her track down a rumored prostitution ring near the Czech border where infants are being sold. There she becomes entangled in a dark world of abuse and brutality. Peter Stormare, Jordan Prentice (In Bruges, Mirror, Mirror) and German actors Sebastian Schipper and Sophie Rois also star.
Morgenthaler’s debut was the animated feature Princess which opened Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2006. His other credits include 2007′s Echo and 2009′s The Apple And The Worm. Oscar winner Basinger just wrapped Warner Bros.’ Grudge Match and also features in Paul Haggis’ Third Person. She’s repped by Oren Segal at Radius Entertainment and by attorney John LaViolette. Read More »
Tech companies had the wind knocked out of them a few weeks ago when leaked documents indicated that many provided information about customers to the National Security Agency’s previously secret PRISM surveillance program. Now Apple has followed Microsoft and Facebook by providing, in a blog post, a few details about its policies and practices. Apple says that in the six months ending on May 31, U.S. law enforcement officials made “between 4,000 and 5,000″ requests for customer data. It adds that the requests identified “between 9,000 and 10,000″ accounts or devices. “The most common form of request comes from police investigating robberies and other crimes, searching for missing children, trying to locate a patient with Alzheimer’s disease, or hoping to prevent a suicide,” Apple says. How often does the company comply? Not clear. Its lawyers evaluate each request and “only if appropriate” does it provide “the narrowest possible set of information” — and when there are inconsistencies or inaccuracies in the request “we will refuse to fulfill it.” It adds that it doesn’t “collect or maintain a mountain of personal details about our customers in the first place.” For example, “conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data. Similarly, we do not store data related to customers’ location, Map searches or Siri requests … Read More »
Listen to (and share) episode 39 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. Deadline’s Executive Editor talks with host David Bloom about the brewing battle over boxes, as cable companies, consumer electronics makers and game console providers tussle for control of the relationship with consumers; Gannett’s $1.5 billion bet on local broadcasting; John McCain’s push for an FCC investigation of cable TV pricing; and what the Rupert Murdoch divorce might mean for News Corp. and Twentieth Century Fox.
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Listen to (and share) episode 30 of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond. Deadline’s awards columnist talks with host David Bloom about the fevered campaign attending the opening week of Emmy nominations voting; Behind The Candelabra, The Bible and other contenders for Emmy Best Movie or Miniseries; Mel Brooks and his AFI Lifetime Achievement Award; and the week’s notable movies, led by one Man Of Steel, along with the apocalyptic comedy This Is The End and two terrific specialty-market releases, Sofia Coppola’s tale of true crime and celebrity culture The Bling Ring and a fine look at the backing singers for countless rock music hits, 20 Feet From Stardom.
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THURSDAY NOON UPDATE: You wouldn’t think that imagining a bunch of stoned and drunk celebrities at James Franco’s house would amount to much as a film. Then again, it’s from the Superbad/Pineapple Express crew. So Sony/Columbia Pictures’ raunchy apocalyptic comedy This Is The End received a ‘B+’ CinemaScore from audiences and 82% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and a #1 reception Wednesday night. With a dearth of both ‘R’-rated movies or well-received laughers in the marketplace, pic made $7.8M Wednesday from 3,055 theaters after a stronger-than-expected late shows around the country. That number includes $2.2M from Tuesday late and midnight screenings. Sony’s latest projections are for the film to take at least mid-$30sM or higher over the next 5 days - or about the same dollar figure as its $32M negative cost. This Is The End was marketed squarely at a young adult male audience and should counter-program the Man Of Steel juggernaut niftily this weekend. Written by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Jason Stone, and directed by Goldberg and Rogen in their directorial debuts, This Is the End is based on Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse, a short film created by Rogen and Jay Baruchel in 2007. Initially called The Apocalypse, the new film’s name was changed but its roots were made clear during marketing: on this past April Fools’ Day, Sony released a trailer for Pineapple Express 2 which … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: ITN has dated its grindhouse indie Danny Trejo’s Vengeance to arrive on August 28, deliberately opening two weeks ahead of star Danny Trejo‘s other actioner, Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills. Filmmaker Gil Medina hasn’t made a ton of friends with his bold strategy of piggybacking off of P&A for the Open Road-released Machete sequel, which ITN hopes will boost interest in their rival Trejo pic. Unorthodox Medina’s gone directly to smaller exhibitors around the country offering highly desirable splits ranging from 50/50 to 80/20 in select markets. So far he’s struck deals or is in talks to book with chains including Cinemark, Carmike, Harkins, and Megaplex Theatres to run his film ahead of Machete Kills, whose distributor Open Road is owned by top chains AMC and Regal. “I’ve been told that these chains do not care to do any favors for Open Road,” Medina told me. Utah-based Megaplex Theatres even booked the bloody revenge pic, which was shot in-state, despite its relatively conservative market. Read More »
Open Road, which made a pre-Sundance service deal with Five Star Films to release JOBS in April before pulling the film back because of insufficient time to market it right by rushing, now has set the release for August 16. Ashton Kutcher stars as the Apple visionary Steve Jobs. Here’s the official word:
Open Road Films will release JOBS – the highly anticipated film chronicling the story of Steve Jobs’ ascension from college dropout to one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century – nationwide on August 16, 2013. JOBS details the major moments and defining characters that influenced Steve Jobs on a daily basis from 1971 through 2001. The film plunges into the depths of his character, creating an intense dialogue-driven story that is as much a sweeping epic as it is an immensely personal portrait of Steve Jobs’ life. Directed by Joshua Michael Stern, written by Matthew Whiteley, JOBS was shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter and produced by Mark Hulme. JOBS stars Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons and Matthew Modine.
The cable initiative to stream any TV show, anytime, and anywhere remains spotty and confusing — and is progressing slowly — execs acknowledged in a panel on the subject today at the Cable Show in D.C. Thus far “it’s not a success,” says Fox Networks’ Mike Biard. NBCUniversal’s Ron Lamprecht rated the progress at no more than a 5 out of 10. There’s no turning back, though. “We see our consumers expecting that our content be everywhere,” he says. “There really isn’t any other choice. We have to be there.” But the industry faces a gauntlet of negotiations before it can hope to provide a service that will look the same across all TV networks, cable providers, and technology platforms. For example, Watch ESPN — the sports channel’s TV Everywhere service — “is almost exactly like what you see on ESPN, but there are blackouts because they don’t have the underlying rights” to all the games, Comcast Cable’s Marcien Jenckes says. Consumers also will find different shows when they use a network’s app compared with a cable company’s, and whether they’re used in or outside the home. “In a TNT application within the home you’re accessing TV Everywhere, but in an Xfinity application it could be [just the cable company's] VOD” programming, says Turner Broadcasting’s Jeremy Legg. “Explain to a consumer why they can get TNT in the home but not out of the home.” Read More »
Apple is putting streaming music on shuffle with iTunes Radio, a service announced today as the company’s annual WWDC developers conference. Set to launch later this year, iTunes Radio is similar in concept to Pandora, letting users pick a favorite artist and hear music from that act as well as songs from similar artists as determined by algorithms. The advertising-supported service – iTunes Match subscribers won’t get ads — will bow stateside in the fall with other territories coming online later. It will be built into iOS 7, Apple TV and on iTunes for computers and only will work on iTunes, iOS and Apple TV. More than 200 stations will be preloaded in iTunes Radio, but users will be able to create new channels, rate songs and buy music from iTunes Store. For all of its innovations, Apple is something of a Johnny come lately to streaming music, a field crowded with such players as Pandora, Rdio, Spotify and Google’s All Access, which was unveiled last month.
Related: Pandora Shares Hit On Report Of Apple Streaming Deal With Warner Music
If Google moves forward with a reported $1.3B acquisition of Israeli navigation and traffic app Waze Inc., it would be the search giant’s fourth-biggest deal by dollar value, The Wall Street Journal says. Waze was founded in 2008 and uses crowdsourcing to provide routing and real-time traffic updates, including police presence, road accidents, speed cameras, and hazards. It has nearly 50M users in about 190 countries. Waze and Facebook had been in talks, but Israel’s Globes reports the social network balked at the price tag and at a stipulation that Waze’s Israeli employees continue working in Israel. (Google has an office in Israel.) Apple had been thought in the running for Waze, but CEO Tim Cook said in May that the company had not made a bid. Read More »
Listen to (and share) episode 38 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. Deadline’s Executive Editor talks with host David Bloom about the recent trip by Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer and Nancy Tellem to romance Hollywood moguls with the Xbox One ahead of next week’s E3 videogame convention; Google’s pitch for movie marketers for their ad dollars; whether Amazon Prime can move beyond the shadow of Netflix with deals such as this week’s Viacom arrangement; and why Wall Street punished Tivo’s stock price after its latest lawsuit settlements.
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Listen to (and share) episode 29 of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond. This week, Deadline’s awards columnist vents with host David Bloom about the many omissions in the WGA’s recently released list of best-written TV series; previews the coming Emmy nominations season and whether House Of Cards will be competing for Best Drama with such stalwarts as Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Game Of Thrones; discusses whether a crucial date change for Lone Survivor will put it in the Oscar hunt; and analyzes the week’s notable movies, led by the small but smart The Purge and the Vince Vaughan-Owen Wilson comedy of Google manners, The Internship.
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Amazon’s had a big advantage competing with Best Buy‘s Web site: It seemed to be caught in “a 10-year time warp to 2002,” the retail chain’s global e-commerce and marketing President Scott Durchslag confessed in a remarkably frank presentation this afternoon to investors attending the Goldman Sachs dotCommerce Day. That’s about to change. Best Buy, which has 1B online visits a year, is “catching up to where the site should have been.” For example, the search engine has been overhauled to find exactly what the consumer wants, not something similar. The mobile app will tell people where to find the closest store, and what deals it offers. Best Buy also will create a a virtual currency that gives visitors points if they do things such as write a review or post a purchase to Facebook. The company plans to offer opportunities for people to read reviews written by friends anywhere on the Web, not just at the Best Buy site. Read More »
Warner Bros. and Dark Castle Entertainment close out the summer with Getaway, an action thriller starring Ethan Hawke as an ex-race car driver who commandeers a Shelby Cobra Mustang and its owner (Selena Gomez) in order to save his kidnapped wife. Courtney Solomon directed from a script by Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker. WB releases the pic August 30. Check out the first trailer:
FilmDistrict scored a $97M hit on a reported $1.5M budget with 2011′s indie ghost pic Insidious, helmed by Saw creator James Wan. Before Wan steps up to the Fast & Furious franchise he’ll return along with microbudget horror producers Jason Blum and Oren Peli and stars Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Barbara Hershey and Ty Simpkins for Insidious: Chapter 2. FilmDistrict releases the sequel September 13. Check out the new trailer:
People who can’t live without a smartphone may be surprised to learn that they’ve been in the minority until this year, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center‘s Internet & American Life Project. About 56% of the 1,127 adults questioned in May said that they own a computer-like, Web connected phone, up from 46% in a similar study last year. Pew says that another 35% in the new survey own a conventional mobile phone, and 9% don’t own a cell phone. As you’d expect, young adults are most likely to own smartphones: About 81% of 25-to-34 year olds have one; the number drops below half the population at age 55 and older. About 39% of those between 55 and 64 own one, sliding to 18% for those 65 and older. When it comes to smartphone operating systems, Google and Apple successfully held off threats from Blackberry and Microsoft: Among all cell phone owners 28% have a smartphone powered by Android (up from 20% last year) while 25% have an iPhone (up from 19%). Another 4% use Blackberry (down from 6%) and 1% are on Windows (down from 2%). But researchers found distinct differences in preference by demo. For example, Android beats Apple among those 54 and younger while Apple wins among college grads and in homes with incomes above $75,000 a year.