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Paul Candland Upped To President Of The Walt Disney Company Asia

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 8:53pm PDT

Paul Candland Upped To President Of The Walt Disney Company AsiaThe 16-year Disney veteran and had been president of Walt Disney Japan and now will be charged with running Disney’s Asia strategy and coordinating its businesses in the region. Paul Candland will report to Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International. The Walt Disney Company also said tonight that Stanley Cheung has been promoted to chairman of TWDC Greater China. He was managing director. Here’s the release:

Burbank, Calif., July 28, 2014 – Underscoring the growing importance of Asia to The Walt Disney Company’s global growth strategy, Paul Candland has been named to the newly created position of president, The Walt Disney Company, Asia, with oversight of Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and Greater China. Mr. Candland, a 16-year Disney veteran and president of Walt Disney Japan, will be responsible for driving the company’s strategy and coordinating all of its business efforts in Asia. He will report directly to Andy Bird, chairman Walt Disney International. Rob Gilby, managing director, TWDC South East Asia, will report to Mr. Candland.

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‘Rio 2,’ ‘Non-Stop’ Fly To Top Of Rentrak DVD/Blu-Ray Sales, Rental Charts

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 6:39pm PDT

‘Rio 2,’ ‘Non-Stop’ Fly To Top Of Rentrak DVD/Blu-Ray Sales, Rental ChartsBluebirds of happiness were alighting at distributor Fox and creator Blue Sky Studios this week, as Rio 2 flew to the No. 1 spot in Rentrak’s weekly DVD and Blu-Ray sales charts in its home-entertainment debut. The sequel’s capering birds were followed at the top by two other animated hits beloved by kids and therefore their parents: Warner Bros’ The Lego Movie and Disney’s Oscar-winning and all-time animated box-office champ Frozen.

The theatrical arrival of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, another Fox filmlikely caused its cinematic predecessor, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, to swing back near the top of the charts a whopping 136 weeks (more than 2 1/2 years) after it first arrived there. 

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FINAL: Intl Box Office: ‘Apes’ Dawns Again; ‘Godzilla’ Stomps Japan; ‘Hercules’ Muscles In; ‘Transformers’ $300M+ In China; Asia Action Ramps Up; More

FINAL: Intl Box Office: ‘Apes’ Dawns Again; ‘Godzilla’ Stomps Japan; ‘Hercules’ Muscles In; ‘Transformers’ $300M+ In China; Asia Action Ramps Up; More3RD UPDATE, MONDAY 3:10 PM PT: All studios have reported actuals for the international weekend with no major discrepancies between the cumulative estimates reported Sunday and what’s come across today. Across the top titles, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was up a tick to $54.84M from an estimated $54.4M; Transformers: Age Of Extinction was slightly lower at $36.9M versus $37.5M; Hercules was smack on with $28.7M; and How To Train Your Dragon 2 was up a whisker at $24.4M versus the $24M estimate.

cinemaworldOne notable factoid is that for the 2nd weekend in a row, numbers on Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore comedy Blended are higher than expected. Yesterday, they were estimated at $3.8M in 47 markets. Today, Warner says the actuals are $4.25M. That takes the overseas cume to $66.6M – the domestic cume was $45.4M. In Brazil, the film has been especially strong, adding $1.7M this weekend for a local cume of $6.8M and a slight 18% drop from last frame. When I asked what the deal is with Sandler, Blended and Brazil, I was told that his films are roundly popular there where family fare is also big – and this one is now bigger than Grown Ups, 50 First Dates, Bedtime Stories, Don’t Mess With The Zohan and Chuck And Larry.

Along with the above films, all figures throughout the below have been updated on: Planes: Fire & Rescue, Godzilla, Step Up All In, Sex Tape, The Purge: Anarchy, Maleficent, The Fault In Our Stars, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’ Movie, 22 Jump Street, Deliver Us From Evil, Neighbors, Kick, Edge Of Tomorrow, and Boyhood. Read More »

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DreamWorks Animation Taps Mark Zoradi As COO As It Promotes Ann Daly To President And Lew Coleman To Vice Chairman

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 2:49pm PDT

DreamWorks Animation Taps Mark Zoradi As COO As It Promotes Ann Daly To President And Lew Coleman To Vice ChairmanThe studio just announced the changes one day ahead of its Q2 earnings — and after watching its shares lose 35.4% of their value since the beginning of the year. “As DreamWorks [Animation] grows, we are focusing on creating a strong management structure that has the expertise and capacity to best serve the changing needs of our company,” CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg says. Mark Zoradi was president of Disney’s Motion Picture Group overseeing marketing and distribution until 2010. He also helped to launch Walt Disney Home Entertainment and The Disney Channel and served as General Manager of Buena Vista Television. He says that he’s “enthusiastic about the opportunity to join the talented DreamWorks team at a time of remarkable expansion and growth for the company” and plans to help “build and expand their reach with new businesses and venues.”

Related: Where The Growth Business Is For Jeffrey Katzenberg: Online Video

In the process, DWA elevated Ann Daly — who had been COO since it went public in 2004 — to president. Lew Coleman, who had been president, now becomes Vice-Chairman, and holds on to his other titles as Chief Financial Officer and Acting Chief Accounting Officer.

Related: DreamWorks Animation Shares Fall Again On ‘Dragon 2′ Box Office

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Box Office Final: ‘Lucy’ In The Sky At $43.9M; ‘Hercules’ At $29.8M; Top 20 Listed

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 2:00pm PDT

Box Office Final: ‘Lucy’ In The Sky At $43.9M; ‘Hercules’ At $29.8M; Top 20 Listed15th UPDATE, Monday, 2:00 PM: Lucy ended up the weekend just shy of $44M while Hercules did better on Sunday to get $29.8M and several other films did a notch better than expected from Sunday moviegoers. And So It Goes ended up right at $4.6M. Ugh. The Fluffy Movie was on only 432 screens and will remain on those going into the weekend  (results below).

Next weekend, all eyes are on the new openers — Marvel/Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Universal’s James Brown biopic Get On Up — to lift the box office out of its summer slump. And Guardians is likely to do just that. It’s tracking right now between $65M and $75M and veteran distribution executives think it could go higher. It’s 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes right now and seems to be getting positive reaction on all sides. And why not? It’s a really entertaining film, filled with unexpected humor and a raccoon character that kind of steals the show. Right now, Get On Up is tracking around $15M to $20M so between that and the second weekend of Lucy, Universal should end up with the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. Here’s the Top 20 chart … until next weekend when the Star Lord arrives:

1). Lucy (UNI), 3,173 theaters / 3-day cume: $43.9M / Per screen average: $13,835 / Wk 1

2). Hercules (MGM/PAR), 3,595 theaters / 3-day cume: $29.8M / Per screen: $8,289 / Wk 1

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Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ Adds Christopher Walken & Giancarlo Esposito

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 10:26am PDT

Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ Adds Christopher Walken & Giancarlo EspositoChristopher Walken will voice King Louie, the ruler of a troop of monkeys and apes, and Giancarlo Esposito will play Akela, leader of the wolf pack, in Disney‘s Jungle Book. It’s the latest edition to the live-action/animation hybrid pic, which Jon Favreau is directing from a script by Justin Marks. The duo join Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa and newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli – the only actor to physically appear on screen. The 3D pic has an October 9, 2015 release date.

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Comic-Con: Quentin Tarantino Confirms ‘Hateful Eight’ Is A Go; Talks ‘Django Unchained-Zorro’ Comic Book

Comic-Con: Quentin Tarantino Confirms ‘Hateful Eight’ Is A Go; Talks ‘Django Unchained-Zorro’ Comic BookAfter being prodded by a fan’s question, Quentin Tarantino confirmed that he is moving forward with his feature western The Hateful Eight. The announcement was made at Dynamite Comic’s panel for the Django Unchained-Zorro crossover comic-book.  Everyone in Room 6BCF erupted with cheers.

In fielding fan questions, Tarantino also teased that he’s working on an extended cut of Kill Bill that would include animated footage that was cut out of the original 2003 film.

Taking the stage this afternoon, Tarantino also earned the second biggest standing ovation at Comic-Con this weekend after Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron clip in Hall H. The whole idea for a Django Unchained-Zorro crossover comic book sparked when Dynamite CEO and publisher Nick Barruci phoned  Django producer Reginald Hudlin prior to the film’s release and pitched “Django meets Zorro.”  (Zorro has been one of the titles in Dynamite’s library for some time as well as The Long Ranger). When Hudlin brought the idea up to Tarantino over dinner, the filmmaker immediately took to it.  It was always part of his vision to have a Django western paperback series.

“I loved this idea, not only because I like western comics in general, but I also loved Zorro in all his iterations whether it was the Disney series or the William Witney films. I thought it was a great idea of taking the most famous, fictional Mexican western hero and putting him together with the newer, famous black western hero,” said Tarantino.

“I don’t want to make a ton of Django movies so this offered me a chance to keep control of the mythology, but to tell different … Read More »

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Comic-Con: Marvel Sets ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy 2′ For 2017; ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Footage Draws Standing Ovation

By and | Saturday July 26, 2014 @ 6:50pm PDT

Comic-Con: Marvel Sets ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy 2′ For 2017; ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Footage Draws Standing OvationWe finally know the first of the Marvel films that Disney has been setting aside dates for: Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 will arrive July 28, 2017. That leaves five unidentified superhero flicks between November 2017 and May 2019. The announcement came during Marvel’s Comic-Con panel tonight. Guardians star Chris Pratt and director James Gunn appeared via video from London, where they are promoting the first movie’s release overseas.

Related: Comic-Con: Marvel Teases New ‘Guardians’ Animation Series

Avengers Ultron Comic-ConThe panel also included the Avengers cast, who were introduced one by one and asked what it’s like to be in the third-highest-grossing film of all time. Throwing roses out to the Hall H crowd, Robert Downey Jr introduced all those in Avengers: Age of Ultron sans Scarlett Johansson: Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver), Paul Bettany (The Vision), James Spader (voice of Ultron) and Elizabeth Olsen (as Scarlet Witch).

Related: Comic-Con: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Cast Pic

Whedon couldn’t be here because of an injury. Feige said, “Scarlett couldn’t be here because she’s pregnant.” Then she introduced a clip via viThe-Avengersdeo from Age of Ultron in which the team, in a penthouse, play a round of trying to pick up Thor’s hammer. Tony Stark puts his Iron Man hand on, Captain America makes a go. Then Ultron crashes the party. Iron Man gets in a big super suit as apocalypse dawns again. A lot of crash-bang-boom, like the finale of the first film. Playing throughout the trailer is a child singing, “I Got No Strings” from Disney’s Pinocchio. Last shot in the clip shows all the Avengers lying dead in a massive heap against a black sky, with Tony Stark the only one standing alive. The audience gave the clip a standing ovation. Amplifying the room’s mood was Josh Brolin walking in as Thanos. Read More »

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Comic-Con: Evangeline Lilly & Corey Stoll Join ‘Ant-Man’ Stars As Marvel Screens Very Early Footage

By and | Saturday July 26, 2014 @ 6:10pm PDT

Comic-Con: Evangeline Lilly & Corey Stoll Join ‘Ant-Man’ Stars As Marvel Screens Very Early FootageAt Comic-Con on Saturday, Marvel officially introduced Evangeline Lilly and Corey Stoll onstage alongside the central cast of Ant-Man, the stand-alone superhero flick that director Peyton Reed took over from the recently exited Edgar Wright. Marvel honcho Kevin Feige revealed that Lilly, already in town for Warner Bros’ Hobbit panel earlier in the day, will play Hope Pym, daughter of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who is looking to pass the Ant-Man Ant-Man Comic-Con panelmantle on to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) in the pic. Stoll will play Darren Cross, a colleague of Pym’s who obtains Pym particles and dons the villainous mantle of Yellowjacket.

Related: Comic-Con: ‘Ant-Man’ Stars And Director Talk Hall H Virginity, Paul Rudd’s Abs (Video)

There’s just one hitch: Lilly said she hasn’t even seen a script yet. ”I can’t tell you anything else about her because I don’t know,” she said. “I’ve been evading the press over the last two days at Comic-Con about who I’ll be playing.”

Related: Will Risky ‘Ant-Man’ Be Marvel’s Waterloo Or Greatest Triumph?

She’s not the only one who may not have the latest Ant-Man info. Lilly was at first introduced as playing the role of “Hope Van Dyne” instead of Hope Pym, causing confusion for some fans. Read More »

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Comic-Con UPDATE: ‘Once Upon A Time’ Panel On ‘Frozen’ Characters; Season 4 Trailer Hits (Video)

By | Saturday July 26, 2014 @ 3:31pm PDT

Comic-Con UPDATE: ‘Once Upon A Time’ Panel On ‘Frozen’ Characters; Season 4 Trailer Hits (Video)UPDATED WITH TRAILER below.

PREVIOUS, 11:43 AM: At the Once Upon A Time Comic-Con panel this morning, series executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis showed a clip from the Season 4 premiere, where the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) enters a hospital, goes to a holding cell, and demands that her Mirror (Giancarlo Esposito) return.  It was announced earlier in the month that Esposito was returning to the show. The executive producers mentioned that they are still working on the season premiere. Also shown from the premiere was a clip with Frozen characters Elsa and Anna (Georgina Haig and Elizabeth Lail, respectively) leaving flowers at the grave of their parents. Of course, the crowd here in Ballroom 20 went absolutely nuts.

ABC also revealed the Season 4 trailer. Check it out:

Whether there will ever be a musical version of Once Upon A Time, Kitsis said, “Problem with doing a musical, is we don’t know how.” Read More »

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Comic-Con: Gareth Edwards To Direct ‘Godzilla 2′ After ‘Star Wars’, With Familiar Foes In Sequel

By | Saturday July 26, 2014 @ 12:45pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Comic-Con: Gareth Edwards To Direct ‘Godzilla 2′ After ‘Star Wars’, With Familiar Foes In SequelLegendary‘s Thomas Tull has just made it official at his Comic-Con panel: Gareth Edwards appeared via video announcing Godzilla 2. As for timing, he will direct it after helming the Star Wars spinoff stand-alone film that Disney has dated for December 16, 2016. They also disclosed Mothra, Rodan and Ghidorah would be part of it, and the clip ended with “Let them fight.”

RELATED: Godzilla Sequel in the Works

Edwards came to Comic-Con last year with the kaiju reboot which went on to be a hit for Legendary, and in the video message sent today “from a galaxy far, far away” he said he’ll return for Godzilla 2 after shooting his Star Wars pic. “We get to make another one,” he said. “I’m just up here doing a small little sci-fi movie, as soon as that’s over will be Godzilla 2.”

Tull said familiar Godzilla monster baddies Rodan, Mothra, and Ghidorah will appear in the next installment. “Toho’s been great to us and now we have more monsters to play with,” he said.

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Comic-Con: Marvel Teases New ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Animation Series

By | Saturday July 26, 2014 @ 11:30am PDT

Comic-Con: Marvel Teases New ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Animation SeriesThe Marvel Animation universe just got a lot bigger today. With perfect timing to the upcoming live action pic, the superhero giant revealed a new Guardians Of The Galaxy animation series this morning at Comic-Con.  No news on when the series will debut but it will be on Disney XD . A literally explosive 1-minute preview of the series was shown today with the Rocket Raccoon and Star-Lord characters appearing. The GOTG movie, of course, debuts next week on the big screen.

comic-con-logoOf course, Marvel being secretive Marvel they didn’t say much more about the GOTG series but the applauding fans seemed cool with that. “Enjoy the cartoons, that’s what you are supposed to do on a Saturday morning,” Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb joked with the crowd earlier as he jeph loeb marvel animation comic con 2014introduced the event.

The panel in the San Diego Convention Center’s near full huge Room 6BCF was hosted by Marvel Animation VP Stephen Wacker, SVP Eric Radomski and VP Cort Lane. Fred “the voice of Hulk” Tatasciore in the green giant’s animated series joined them too.

Besides the announcement of the new series, most of the panel was full of screening some of Marvel Animation’s already established jewels in the crown projects. There was a full first-ever showing of Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors which premieres on Disney XD in September. There were also clips from the upcoming now officially confirmed upcoming … Read More »

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Comic-Con: Marvel TV Panel Reveals ‘Captain America’ Movie Directors To Helm ‘Agent Carter’, ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D’ Adds Lucy Lawless

Comic-Con: Marvel TV Panel Reveals ‘Captain America’ Movie Directors To Helm ‘Agent Carter’, ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D’ Adds Lucy LawlessLooks like the greater Marvel Universe is officially coming to the upcoming Marvel’s Agent Carter – at least behind the camera. It was announced today during the Marvel TV panel at Comic-Con that Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo will be helming the second and third episodes of the ABC series set to debut in 2015. Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnson will helm the fourth episode, with Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito set to direct the first one

Related: TCA: ABC Sets Fall Premiere Dates

Agents of SHIELD Comic-ConThe announcements were made after a short teaser video was shown to a packed Ballroom 20. Mostly a voice-over via President Harry Truman, the post-WWII-set series promised fans that they would discover a “different side of the Marvel Universe.” Agent Carter picks up in 1946 and the first version of S.H.I.E.L.D. coming together as the Cold War heats up. Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb said the show hasn’t started stated filming and the writers room opens next week.

The cast of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. was also on the panel with Clark “Agent Phil Coulson” Gregg coming out to a thunderous standing ovation. The panel confirmed Lucy Lawless will join the show in the second season as a longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Isabel Hartley. British actor Nick Blood will also join as a mercenary, and Reed Diamond, who appeared on Joss Wheldon’s 2009 Fox series Dollhouse, will also be added. The panel was treated to a specially made video of Patton Oswalt in his S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Billy Koenig role jokingly lecturing the crowd on security.

Related: ABC Picks Up ‘Marvel’s Agent Carter’, Renews ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

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Comic-Con: Edgar Wright Still In Insect Mode On Sony’s ‘Grasshopper Jungle’

Mike Fleming

Comic-Con: Edgar Wright Still In Insect Mode On Sony’s ‘Grasshopper Jungle’EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is setting Edgar Wright to direct Grasshopper Jungle, the acclaimed Andrew Smith YA novel that is being adapted by Beautiful Girls scribe Scott Rosenberg. Rosenberg is producing with Amazing Spider-Man‘s Matt Tolmach and they will be joined by Nira Park, who is at the center of all Wright’s films. Wright, you’ll remember, recently squashed his participation in Ant-Man, the Marvel Studios film that has Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas still starring, because he and Marvel clashed over visions for the wannabe franchise. Wright is staying in insect mode, but moved onto a project that suits his sci-fi sensibility and teams him with Rosenberg, as distinctive a dialogue writer as Wright is a visual director of popcorn films.

grassh__140307001652Wright’s importance here at Comic-Con wasn’t lost on me yesterday as I walked among the throng and noticed that right between the two men holding the bright yellow signs reminding us we should repent and are going to hell, a guy held an equally bold sign on a wooden stake that read “Edgar Wright Was Right.” Whether that was for him sticking to his guns on his version of Ant-Man or something else, the filmmaker is beloved here. I’ve seen him speak in years past at Marvel panels as the difficult visual effects that will shrink Ant-Man were being harnessed, and last year he was here vamping The World’s End, the alien-attacks-pub-crawlers film that was the third in the Cornetto Trilogy he made with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.

"The World's End" - Los Angeles PremiereGrasshopper Jungle, which is best described as Stand By Me meets Attack The Block, seems right in Wright’s wheelhouse. It’s a coming-of-age story that focuses on an Iowa teen trying to come to grips with his own raging hormones and sexual feelings as he and his cohorts cause a deadly genetically engineered plague that unleashes an army of 6-foot-tall praying mantises. Those bugs live the life these guys wish for, acting on an insatiable appetite for fighting, food, and fornicating. Read More »

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Comic-Con: Major Cast Exits On ‘Ant-Man’ Include Patrick Wilson

By and | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 2:17pm PDT

Comic-Con: Major Cast Exits On ‘Ant-Man’ Include Patrick WilsonEXCLUSIVE: Don’t expect Patrick Wilson, Matt Gerald and Kevin Weisman to be at tomorrow’s Marvel Studios Hall H presentation at Comic-Con. That trio has dropped out of the ever-morphing Ant-Man movie that has Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas and The Hobbit‘s Evangeline Lilly starring. The movie has been in some state of flux after director Edgar Wright dropped out over differences in creative vision with Marvel’s Kevin Feige, so not surprisingly there is speculation that the trio’s exit is for the same reason that Wright departed and was replaced by Peyton Reed. Marvel insiders adamantly dispute that.

Related: Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari In Negotiations For ‘Ant-Man’ Rewrite

Ant-Man-Comic-Con_612x380We’re told by insiders that Gerald and Weisman’s characters were omitted in the newly evolved version of the script. Wilson, on the other hand, had a scheduling conflict as production on the movie got delayed, and that is why he won’t be there. Lilly is at Comic-Con to tour a children’s book and Peter Jackson’s final Hobbit installment, The Battle Of The Five Armies. We wouldn’t be surprised to see her at the Marvel panel along with Rudd, Douglas and Reed. Feige always pulls out the stops on Comic-Con, so we expect star-studded updates on Avengers: Age Of Ultron and some vamping on the imminent release Guardians Of The Galaxy. Feige is always good for a few … Read More »

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TCA Postmortem: Consolidation News Framed Press Tour Conversation

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 8:48am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA Postmortem: Consolidation News Framed Press Tour ConversationWith the power of fans growing and the influence of TV reviews declining in the age of social media, the once marque summer TCA press tour has been taking a back seat to Comic-Con. Once again, the Los Angeles critics convention served as a warm-up for the San Diego geekfest, with the networks trying to save their noisy announcements for the Con. But what would’ve been another uneventful summer TCA was livened up by two big consolidation stories that broke in the first and second week — 21st Century Fox’s decision to put both the broadcast network and 20th Century Fox TV under the studio’s chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman, and the company’s (for now unsuccessful) bid to acquire Time Warner.

TCA Logo New (2)The first news, which had been widely expected, was met largely with approval as an inevitable move in an industry where owning content is becoming more and more important. CBS has helped grow CSI into a billion-dollar franchise for the parent company, which owns the show. Compare that with The Big Bang Theory, which CBS developed and nurtured to a blockbuster hit that would make as much as $3 billion — for another company, Warner Bros. TV. Watching how much money it has made for WBTV, with the Chuck Lorre series, and for 20th Century Fox TV, with How I Met Your Mother, the network focused on growing its own syndicatable comedies, recently renewing CBS Studios-produced The Millers for a second season. During CBS’ TCA executive session, chairman Tassler was asked whether ownership played a role in the decision to renew The Millers over two 20th TV freshmen, The Crazy Ones, which drew bigger DVR ratings increases, and Friends with Better Lives, which showed better retention. “We will never ever, ever discriminate based solely on ownership,” Tassler said. “We feel that The Millers has a lot of great story material still imbedded in the DNA of the show.” Read More »

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Does Time Warner Need CBS To Thwart A Fox Takeover?

Does Time Warner Need CBS To Thwart A Fox Takeover?Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has a problem. Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch is preparing to sweeten his offer for the owner of Warner Bros, CNN, and HBO after it rejected an $80B cash-and-stock proposal last month. And Bewkes, who says he wants to keep Time Warner independent, has few takeover defenses. What can he do? Here are a few of the leading options that Time Warner execs and their advisors at Citigroup are weighing.

Corporate And Media Leaders Attend Allen & Company Media And Technology Conf.Combine with CBS: This would make Time Warner toxic for Fox: The FCC would not allow Murdoch to control two of the four biggest networks, and two of the largest TV station groups with overlaps in the nation’s largest markets.

And the business logic of a Time Warner-CBS combination is compelling. CBS chief Les Moonves would like to diversify his company to make it less dependent on domestic TV advertising. (He has already said that he’d like to buy CNN if Fox prevails with Time Warner and puts the news channel on the block.) Moonves also has made it clear that he’d like to play a bigger role in movies — his CBS Films appears to be struggling to figure out its identity. CBS could address these concerns by blending with Time Warner’s cable channels and movie studio.

The chief obstacle is that CBS is controlled by Sumner Redstone, who also owns Viacom. He hasn’t wanted to give up either property, and some bankers believe he’d prefer to … Read More »

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Comic-Con 2014: What You Can’t Afford To Miss

Comic-Con 2014: What You Can’t Afford To MissComic-Con 2014 officially opens today and tens of thousands are descending on San Diego to pick up their passes and prepare for four days of special screenings, studio and network panels, and previews. Having already hit the ground running, Deadline is here with Mike Fleming Jr leading our film coverage along with Jen, while Dominic and Anthony D’Alessandro handle the TV side. (Dominic will also be moderating FX’s Archer panel this year.)

Comic-Con 2014 Announces Full ScheduleOf course, veteran heavyweights like HBO’s Game Of Thrones and AMC’s The Walking Dead will be packing the mammoth Hall H on the TV side. HBO’s True Blood, a longtime fave in its final season, is set to make its Comic-Con bow Saturday in Ballroom 20, as is Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, which just wrapped its first season and has its panel this evening. Repping the big screen side, studios are putting their tentpole wares out there with presentations by Marvel and Warner Bros with The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies and Mad Max: Fury Road among others.

Below we spotlight a few special events on the schedule that you don’t want to miss. (For the full TV and film lineups, go here and here.) Read More »

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London Critics Heart ‘Shakespeare In Love’; NY Times Not So Much

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 9:03am PDT

London Critics Heart ‘Shakespeare In Love’; NY Times Not So MuchThe stage adaptation of Oscar winner Shakespeare In Love has opened at London’s Noel Coward Theatre to raves from many of the UK critics but a big ho-hum from the New York Times‘s Ben Brantley, which could throw a wet blanket over plans for a Broadway transfer by co-producers Disney and Sonia Friedman.

“I’ve often attacked our modern mania for turning movies into plays. But, in the case of Shakespeare In Love, the transformation is fully justified,” wrote Michael Billington in The Guardian. “Even more than the original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Lee Hall’s new version is a love letter to theatre itself, and one that celebrates the way magic and mystery are born out of chaos and confusion.”

“Screen to stage transfers are so frequent and mostly catchpenny and cynical that the prospect of yet another tends to fill a critic’s heart with dread,” wrote Paul Taylor in The Independent. “But here there’s the elating sense that the material – with its rivalry between two public playhouses echoing the feud between the Montagues and Capulets – is revelling in its natural element in the theatre. And the smartest move made by the producers was to hire director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod, the world-renowned Cheek By Jowl team whose profound understanding of Shakespearean drama (its dazzling fluidity; its blithe refusal to respect the “rules” of genre; its mood-mingling suppleness) enriches a production that is filled … Read More »

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