RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’ & ‘Glee’ Dip, ‘Supernatural’ Surges, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ & ‘About A Boy’ Steady

shakira april 22There were spies on ABC but it was truly show time on Fox and NBC last night. With its first live elimination show of Season 6, last night’s The Voice (2.7/9) rolled out a sizzling performance from mentor Shakira as well as cutting two contestants. Coming off its lowest Monday result ever and with the return of the Twitter instant save for a second season, the singing competition show was down 10% from last Tuesday. That’s a new low for the show in terms of regular episodes. Still, The Voice was the top-rated and most watched show of the night with 10.95 million watching. While NBC likely doesn’t want those standings to change, it might see a change in The Voice’s 18-49 rating later in the day when the final numbers come in – the show has commonly seen an adjustment upward from the preliminaries. With its 9:01 PM Voice spillover start, freshman About A Boy (1.9/6) saw a 6% bop up from last week in preliminary ratings. Fellow newbie Growing Up Fisher (1.5/4) was even with last week’s low.  Getting a 1.8/5 among the 18-49s, NBC was No. 1 last night with an all-encore CBS coming in tops in total viewers with 9.41 million watching. CBS’ NCIS repeat was the second-most-watched show of Tuesday’s primetime after The Voice with an audience of 10.42 million.
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‘Noah’ Crosses $300M In Global Box Office

cinemaworldSince bowing in Korea and Mexico in late March, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah has continued to draw strong numbers overseas. As of Sunday, it had an international cume of $197.4M, and a North American haul of $93M. Paramount and Regency Enterprises today say the biblical epic rose to $207M internationally, and $93.8M domestic through Monday, pushing its worldwide cume to $300.8M. Noah was No. 9 at the North American box noah-posteroffice this weekend with $5M at 2,537 theaters. It was No. 5 on the international chart after adding $21.6M from 6,092 runs in 56 markets. The film faced its share of controversy prior to opening, and was even banned in most of the Arab world. Nevertheless, it has hit several milestones in the course of its voyage. Domestically, its opening weekend cume of $44M was the biggest ever U.S. debut for star Russell Crowe. Overseas, the film’s releases in Russia and Brazil became the biggest ever for a non-sequel, and were the 4‎th biggest openings of all time, with $17.2M and $9.8M, respectively. The Russia bow was also Paramount’s best ever in the territory. To date, the movie has earned $32.8M in the fast-burn market. In Brazil, where Noah is at No. 2, it’s the highest grossing Paramount Pictures International release of all time with $23.4M … Read More »

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Comcast Expects NBC To Catch Up To Rivals In Upfront Ad Market

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 9:36am EDT

Steve Burke“Monetization gap” is the clunky term NBCU chief Steve Burke frequently uses when he laments the low ad rates his company commands after years of flailing in the TV ratings wars. But with NBC poised to end the prime time season No. 1 in its target 18-to-49 demo, he tells analysts today that he’s going into the upfront sales market “with our best position in a decade” and “it’s going to be worth a lot.” He knows better than to offer specific numbers, but notes that “we can’t find any network that’s swung as much in a year.” CFO Michael Angelakis also said that this will be “a very meaningful correction year.” This was one reason CEO Brian Roberts says NBCU “has real momentum and we believe this is sustainable throughout 2014.”
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INTL BO: ‘Spider-Man 2′ Spins $47M Web For Biggest Opening Of 2014; ‘Captain America’ Passes $500M; ‘Frozen’ Highest Animated Grosser Ever; ‘Rio 2′ passes $200M Overseas

Highlights: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (SONY) opens in 14 markets with $47M; Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS) passes $500M; Transcendence (WB) opens to $17.1M, mostly from China; Rio 2 (FOX) flies past $200M and is burning it up in Latin America. Noah (PAR) at $197.4M; Divergent (LGF/SUM/var) at $18M  for $74.7M cume; The Other Woman (FOX) bows with $5.3M in four markets; Spanish Affairs (UNI) phenom as Spain’s top local-lingo pic ever, still No. 1 … twice the marketshare of Spider-Man 2′s bow.

Related: Box Office: ‘Heaven Is For Real’ Rises High; ‘Transcendence’ Descends Into Hell

cinemaworld__1404061439493rd UPDATE, Monday, 10:50 PM PDT: Final numbers in for Transcendence, Divergent, Rio 2, The Other Woman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lego Movie, and Mr. Peabody & Sherman. All grosses for the movies have changed.

2nd UPDATE, Sunday, 6:50 PM. PDT: More estimates have been added for Rio 2, Divergent, and further analysis on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. There will be another update tomorrow, but no territory by territory breakdown this week. It’s always interesting to see a snapshot of the top international pictures so far in 2014. Disney’s has the two lead spots right now with  Frozen $462M) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($385.1M), followed by The Wolf of Wall Street ($262.5M), which is being handled by Universal and many other distribs. The difference between the No. 2 and No. 3 pictures is a substantial $122.6M so far. Surprising, no? Rounding out the top five is Warner Bros.’  duo The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ($244.5M) and 300: The Rise of an Empire ($223M).

Related: Specialty Box Office: ‘Fading Gigolo’ Seduces In Limited Opening; ‘Under The Skin’ Passes $1M

Amazing Spider-Man 2PREVIOUSLY, 10:27 AM, Sunday, PDT: Marking the biggest opening internationally of 2014, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has taken the markets by storm, grossing an estimated $47M as it bows in such major territories as the U.K., Spain, Germany and Belgium, Mexico and Australia. All told, 14 markets. It was a big box office weekend internationally with several major pics playing well throughout the world. But all eyes are on Spider-Man, which opened strong in territories earlier in the week. The top market for the Sony franchise is Read More »

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Box Office Final: ‘Heaven’ Is Real Deal Behind ‘Captain America’ Which Shoots Past $200M; ‘Rio 2′ Perches At No. 3; ‘Transcendence’ Short Circuited

OPENING: Heaven Is For Real (SONY) stellar at $22.5M (3-day) and $29.5M (5-day) for No. 2; Transcendence (WB) despondent at No. 4 with $10.8M; A Haunted House 2 (OPRD) $8.8M; Bears (DIS) hibernating with $4.7M.

Box Office Weekend Results5TH UPDATE, 2:45 PM: The final numbers are in for the box office Top 20, and Sony/TriStar has a lot to celebrate this weekend as peeps flocked to Heaven Is For Real this Easter holiday with a final tally of $22.5M (three-day) and $29.5M (five-day). Disney/Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier has a very good chance of being No. 1 for four weekends in a row as there is nothing in the hamper next weekend to stop it. captain-america-wallpaper-batman-vs-superman-avengers-2-captain-america-2-spider-man-2-is-this-the-golden-age-of-superhero-moviesNot since Lionsgate unleashed The Hunger Games in 2012 has that happened, and before that, the last time was in 2008 when Warner Bros introduced The Dark Knight. Rio 2 is No. 3 in its second weekend out, dropping 44%, and racking up $75M in two weeks. Transcendence, the Johnny Depp-starring sci-fi film, short-circuited this weekend and should have been retitled Despondence as it came in under $11M for Warner Bros. and Alcon. Uh, no peeps cared for that one. transcendence-trailer-johnny-deppSurprising coming from Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister who made his directing debut and delivered such a bomb. The trailer was confusing and hard to follow. Seemed like it was just a bunch of shots of Depp in different states of duress instead of selling futuristic sizzle. The one sheet was a headshot of Depp with digits on his head. And the production stills made him look like American Hustle‘s Bradley Cooper in perm rods. It’s like Lawnmower 2 for the YK2 generation. Yes, in fact, there is actually a Y2K joke in there … so 2000.

Leaving no question about Divine Intervention: Heaven Is For Real - Connor CorumNoah jumped up two notches yesterday over opener Bears and God’s Not Dead to round out the Top 10 … and … Draft Day (which dropped 42% this weekend) scored better in its sophomore frame and juked Divergent this weekend to get the No. 6 spot. A Haunted House 2 from Open Road creaked its way to No. 5 and $8.8M in its debut while Oculus dropped 57% in its second weekend. Opening next weekend: the Cameron Diaz-Kate Upton-Leslie Mann comedy The Other Woman (Fox), Brick Mansions (REL) which stars the late Paul Walker, and the horror film The Quiet Ones (LGF). Expanding from five theaters to 25 runs in LA and NY will be the John Turturo’s comedy Fading Gigolo (Millennium). Here are the final weekend box office numbers: Read More »

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HBO Renews ‘Veep’ And ‘Silicon Valley’

By | Monday April 21, 2014 @ 11:45am PDT

veep seaosn 4 debutThe two orders follow HBO‘s recent two-season pickup on Game Of Thrones. The news also follows the series’ second-week numbers coming in. Sunday’s Silicon Valley at 10 PM averaged 1.6 million viewers, after the previous Sunday’s premiere debuted with 2 million viewers. For the night, the Mike Judge series achieved a gross audience of 2.1 million viewers.  At 10:30 siliconvalley04PM, Veep delivered 775,000 viewers and a gross audience of 1.3 million viewers; last week Veep returned for a third season with 955,000 viewers, which was down 20% from the 1.2 million who tuned in to the show’s Season 2 debut on April 14 last year.  The two comedies’ second telecasts of the season followed Game Of Thrones‘ third episode, which averaged 6.6 million viewers at 9 PM last night, just shy of the season high. Another 1.6 million watched across two replays bringing the night’s tally to 8.2 million viewers.

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WGN’s ‘Salem’ Off To Strong Ratings Start

By | Monday April 21, 2014 @ 11:37am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

WGA's SalemWGN America‘s first original scripted series Salem debuted to a solid 1.5 million total viewers and 647,000 Adults 18-49 at 10 PM ET last night. That represents a +635% increase over the network’s Adults 18-49 season-to-date average in the slot and WGN America’s highest-rated telecast in more than seven years, since 2007. We should note that WGN America covers only 62.3% of the U.S. (72 million homes) and is a rare single-feed cable network, meaning that the Salem 10 PM premiere aired at 7 PM on the West Coast. For comparison, the 2007 premiere of AMC’s first original scripted series, Mad Men, drew 510,000 Adults 18-49 and 1.6 total viewers in 92 million homes. For the night, the Salem debut drew a total of 2.3 total viewers and 886,000 adults 18-49 over four airings, including encores at 11 PM ET/8 PM PT, 1 AM ET/10 PM PT and 2 AM ET/11 PM PT.  “These numbers far exceeded our expectations,” said Matt Cherniss, WGN America President and General Manager. Originally developed at FX, Salem, about the Salem witch trials, is the first series as part of WGN’s push to become a top tier general entertainment network. It will be followed by period drama Manhattan, premiering in July 2014, and event series Ten Commandments, debuting in 2015.

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Movie Ticket Outlays Averaged $7.96 In Q1

movie-ticketThat’s up just 2 cents vs the same period in 2013, and down from $8.35 in Q4 according to domestic numbers out this morning from the National Association of Theater Owners. The drop from the end of the year mostly reflects the fact that theaters in Q1 were filled with kids’ films including Frozen, Mr. Peabody And Sherman, and The Lego Movie. They typically drive the ticket averages down because they include a lot of low-priced children’s tickets and matinees. Remember that several factors influence the average price — including how many people pay a premium to see a film in 3D or on an IMAX screen. The Q4 number included 3D hits with Warner Bros’ Gravity (80% of its domestic gross came from 3D venues) and The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, and Disney’s Thor: The Dark World. The quarter also had several popular films targeted to adults including Paramount’s The Wolf Of Wall Street and Sony’s American Hustle. The average outlay for a movie ticket in 2013 was $8.13.

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‘Today’ Coming To Your Car Via SiriusXM

By | Monday April 21, 2014 @ 7:42am PDT

SIRIUS XM RADIO LOGOSiriusXM and NBC News this morning announced the launch of  Today Show Radio Channel, on which the long-running morning infotainment program will be broadcast on radio for the first time, featuring daily live feeds from both coasts — and, yes, including Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb’s slice of the franchise. SiriusXM will be the exclusive audio home of Today. From today’s announcement:
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Specialty Box Office: ‘Fading Gigolo’ Seduces In Limited Opening; ‘Under The Skin’ Passes $1M

Indie FilmsFading Gigolo cashed in at the box office this Easter weekend, catapulting itself to the second-highest theater average of 2014 among specialty releases. The feature directed by John Turturro and starring Turturro, Woody Allen and Sharon Stone opened in five locations in New York and LA on Friday, grossing an estimated $198,399 through Sunday for a solid $39,680 average. That outranks A24′s strong debut for Under The Skin starring Scarlett Johansson, which opened at the beginning of this month. That film, incidentally, passed the $1M cume mark this weekend, with the Jonathan Glazer-directed experimental sci-fi pic grossing $140K in four theaters for a $35K average. The top opener by far of course is Fox Searchlight’s sizzling The Grand Budapest Hotel, which bowed to a record $202K per-theater average March 9.

Related: Box Office: ‘Heaven Is For Real’ Rises, ‘Transcendence’ Descends Into Hell

FadingGigoloThe opening for Fading Gigolo portends a good run for the comedy, which centers on Fioravante (Turturro), who decides to become a Don Juan as a way of making money for his cash-strapped friend Murray (Allen). Turturro told me last week the film had sold to “top notch” distributors worldwide with strong opens in some international territories ahead of its U.S. launch. “It’s a date movie and even people in their 20s like the movie,” he said. “If they like the movie, then anyone will like the movie.” Millennium Entertainment CEO Bill Lee said this morning that Fading Gigolo is performing better than even hoped. “We saw a spectacular jump from Friday to Saturday, which goes to show that audiences were craving a funny and heartfelt film,” he said. Millennium will hold in NY and LA next week expanding the film to 25 runs in both metropolitan areas. It will head to San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Miami on May 2, then to additional markets May 9.

Related: INTL BO: ‘Spider-Man 2′ Spins $47M Global Web For Biggest Opening Of 2014

Under The Skin saw a sizable expansion and grossed more than $467K in 176 theaters, averaging $2,656. Last week, the film grossed over $309K from 54 runs ($5,727 PTA). Its cume now stands at $1,086,241.

Related: Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Fading Gigolo’, ‘The Final Member’, More Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ Falls, ‘Hannibal’ Surges, ’20/20′ Up As ABC Wins Demo For Friday

By | Saturday April 19, 2014 @ 9:58am PDT

kitchen nightmares april 18There was a lot cooking on primetime last night and Friday’s menu was a mix of the undercooked and the more-than-just-right. The second week of Season 6 of Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares traveled to the troubled Old Neighborhood Restaurant in Arvada, CO and to a Greek joint in Queens, NY, where the owner couple were in almost as much trouble as their establishment. Unfortunately for the two-hour reality show, the trouble didn’t stop there: the Gordon Ramsay series took a 17% dive from its 8 PM (1.0/4) premiere April 11 and an 18% drop from its 9 PM (0.9/3) broadcast last week. Read More »

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BUBBLE WATCH 2014: Freshman ABC Comedy ‘Mixology’ Heating Up For Renewal

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 5:22pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Mixology Season 2 Renewal ChancesIt has been a three-way race for renewal among three bubble ABC comedies: sophomore The Neighbors and freshmen Trophy Wife and Mixology, There seems to be some movement within the pack, with the youngest, midseason entry Mixology, gaining momentum. I hear the network and the studio already have put in place a leadership plan for next season, with creators Jon Lucas and Scott Moore set to take over the reins as showrunners from Ira Ungerleider, who will be leaving after running the series for its original 13-episode order. What’s more, in a sign of confidence to Lucas & Moore and their lucasmooreshow, I hear ABC Studios is in negotiations with the duo for an overall deal. At the same time last year, ABC Studios inked an overall deal with Dan Fogelman, with his freshman comedy The Neighbors going on to clinch the only comedy renewal for ABC Studios a few weeks later. Mixology – set in a bar over the course of one night — quickly built a core fan base and has supporters at ABC, including network topper Paul Lee. Its ratings have been lackluster at best, but so have been the numbers for Trophy Wife and The Neighbors. Relaunching a heavily serialized comedy in the fall four months after a brief midseason run would be a challenge, though I hear the story might be reset for Season 2.

Related: Bubble Watch 2014: Where Endangered Broadcast Series Stand

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Scandal’, ‘Parenthood’ & ‘Community’ Finales Up; ‘Crazy Ones’ Down

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 9:08am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

scandal-season-finaleOn a night of season finales, Scandal‘s closer dwarfed them all, drawing a 3.4 in adults 18-49 and 10.5 million total viewers Thursday. The twisty ABC drama was up 13% in 18-49 and 14% in viewers from last week to log its second highest numbers ever in both categories and the highest-rated finale to date.

Related: ‘Scandal’: Shonda Rhimes Whips Up Spoiler Storm With Season Finale

Against the Scandal closer, the season finale of NBC’s Parenthood (1.3) was up 18% from last week. But versus last year’s finale, which aired in January in nbclogothe series’ previous Tuesday 10 PM slot, it was down 24%. Community (1.0) also inched up in its season finale, up 11% from last Thursday. (Compared with last May’s finale, it was down 23%). The bumps help as both shows are being considered for (possibly partial) final-season orders. Community edged the only NBC comedy already assured a return next season, Parks And Recreation (0.9), which slipped a tenth (10%) from last week to hit a series low. Hollywood Game Night (0.9) was down 18% from its most recent original two weeks ago, also marking a series low.

Related: On The Bubble: Where Endangered Broadcast Series Stand

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Box Office: Lukewarm Thursday Bow For ‘Transcendence’, ‘Rio 2′ Might Get Its No. 1 Weekend Yet; ‘Heaven Is For Real’ May Surprise

transcendence-trailer-johnny-deppEven with taking over Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s IMAX theaters this weekend, the fact that it is a new sci-fi thriller, Johnny Depp’s the lead and it’s the only real newcomer with a shot at No. 1, Transcendences debut near the top of the box office is doubtful this weekend based on Thursday night’s grosses. Bets are on that Fox’s Rio 2 may end up with around $26M, Disney/Marvel’s Captain America 2 next with $22M-$23M and Warner Bros.’ Transcendence at No. 3 with around $18M-$20M. Those predictions come as Transcendence grossed only $850K on Thursday.

HeavenisforrealtheaterposterA question mark is Sony’s Heaven Is For Real and how many infrequent moviegoers (i.e. faith-based crowd) may boost attendance numbers. Sony noted this morning that it seems to be crossing over to a faith-based crowd and word is spreading on social media. It certainly seems to be. The film has an overall CinemaScore of A and an A+ with the under-35 demo. Right now the Greg-Kinnear-starring film based on the bestselling book is tracking around $12M-$14M for the three-day, similar to Marlon Wayans’ Haunted House 2 from Open Road. Heaven Is For Real took in a stellar $3.7M — on a Wednesday — and last night took in another $1.37M for a two-day cume so far of $7M, which puts it in line for a 5-day gross of around $20M for the Randall Wallace-directed drama.

Tonight’s business should be strong because today is Good Friday, but come Easter Sunday, moviegoing traditionally slows on the Christian holy holiday. Easter is unlike strong holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Scandal’ Finale: Shonda Rhimes On ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ (Video)

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 10:29pm PDT

ScandalabraUPDATED WITH VIDEO: Jimmy Kimmel gamely interviewed Shonda Rhimes — “the woman whose brain gave birth” to ABC’s primetime soap Scandal – in a full episode of  Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight, while viewers attempted to recover from the dizzying Scandal season finale. Chatting with Rhimes on the show set, Kimmel noted the season wrapper was really about three finales’ worth of action. “I always want to make the show something you can’t do other stuff while it’s on…You can’t fold laundry, you can’t yell at your husband,” Rhimes explained. Kimmel said that was noble of her. And so, the night wore on, kimmelLogoShonda calmly declining to cough up any dirt about future plans for the show, Kimmel trying to liven things up by noting the conference table at which they were seated was the one on which two of the show’s characters had sex in the finale and hoping someone had cleaned it before this interview.

Related: Kimmel Hits Season High & Tops Late Night With ‘Scandal’ Finale Show

“You know I can’t tell you whether or not he’s dead,” Rhimes said when asked about the fate of Columbus Short’s character, who was last seen at B613 with a gun to his head. Short made his own headlines this week when his wife accused him of threatening to kill her and himself with a knife. There had been speculation that he may be gone from Scandal.

Rhimes did tell a story about the time she could not make up her mind whether Scott Foley’s Jake Ballard should become POTUS’ new running mate — or head of a covert CIA operation — deciding to shoot it both ways and look at the footage to see which storyline “feels stupid’ and which “feels good.” Extra points if you went with “Veep” for Feels Stupid. Assisting Kimmel greatly in the Liven Things Up category were the actors of Scandal, who performed most of the parts in Kimmel’s Spanish-language spinoff Escandalo, which created the strong impression the ensemble cast of this drama was born to make single-camera comedy.

Video after the jump.
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‘Scandal’: Shonda Rhimes Whips Up Spoiler Storm With Season Finale

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 8:08pm PDT

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT: This story contains many details of Thursday’s season finale episode of ABC’s Scandal.

TONY GOLDWYN, SCOTT FOLEY, KERRY WASHINGTONABC’s D.C. drama, created by Shonda Rhimes, has grabbed big ratings over three seasons with a potent mix of wild plot twists and savvy use of social media. In another signature Shonda shocker, Washington fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) tonight watched POTUS Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) become a virtual certainty to lose his re-election bid when a bomb intended for him goes off at the funeral of a U.S. senator who’d been assassinated by Olivia’s terrorist mom Maya Lewis (Khandi Alexander) in order to get Grant at the funeral, only POTUS isn’t there. But his chief presidential-race rival — and VPOTUS –  Sally Langston (Kate Burton) was there, and survived, and becomes simultaneous ministering angel and Irony Lady at the scene of the blast. President Grant’s day gets considerably worse when he suggests to Olivia that they run away together, marry, move to Vermont and have babies, causing Olivia to have pangs of conscience and spill the beans that Grant’s dad had raped his wife, First Lady Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young), years ago. Read More »

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‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Swinging Strong In International Debut As It Casts Global Web

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 5:25pm PDT

Nancy Tartaglione contributed to this report.

the-amazing-spider-man-2-new-details-on-spideys-suitThere’s absolutely no arachnophobia in international markets for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Sony Pictures Entertainment’s latest film in its mega-franchise opened in 15 territories — including across Europe in the U.K. Spain, Germany and Belgium and in other top markets of Mexico and Australia — and numbers are just now rolling in … and they are very strong and off to a great start.

In four markets — the U.K., Germany, Australia and Belgium — the movie already has logged the biggest opening days of the year. In the U.K., Spidey grossed $2.73M, which is not surprising since it’s a top school holiday and kids are flooding into the market now. Back in 2012, The Amazing Spider-Man made $40.3M in the U.K. all in, so this is one of the most important markets for the studio. The film grabbed $1.44M Down Under in Australia, a big $1.3M in Germany and in Belgium $190K for its opening day. Other markets where Spidey opened are Austria, Denmark, Israel, New Zealand, Portugal, Switzerland, Uraguay, Bulgaria, and Sweden. Read More »

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UPDATE: ESPN Can Generate Steady Profit Growth Through 2016 CFO Tells Wall Street

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 2:06pm EDT

espnUPDATED: Following CEO Bob Iger’s lead,  Disney CFO Jay Rasulo won’t break out financial numbers for ESPN. But he strongly hints that its financial prospects are rosy by offering a few projections for Disney’s cable networks, which are dominated by ESPN. He tells investors to expect high single digit annual growth in revenues from pay TV distributors through 2016, and a similar growth rate for operating income. He’s confident about these projections because Disney has programming deals with eight of the 10 largest pay TV distributors, with the remaining two due by year end. In addition, most of its contracts with sports leagues last for years. The company won’t project ad sales but says ESPN has strong pricing power.

PREVIOUS, 11:06 AM: Disney’s dumping a lot of data about ESPN this afternoon to ease Wall Street fears that the company’s cash cow could face leaner times due its rising costs and new competition from channels led by Fox Sports 1. CEO Bob Iger kicked off today’s investor meeting in Bristol, Conn vowing that he’s going to continue to invest” in ESPN which he sees as core to his strategy to build brands and franchises. Disney doesn’t break out financial numbers for the channel, but he noted that the company’s pay TV networks account for 32% of its revenues — and 56% of its operating income. President John Skipper and other ESPN execs Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Arrow’ Down, ‘Survivor’ & ‘Idol’ Steady,’The 100′ Rises

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 9:22am PDT

SURVIVOR APRIL 16On a night of a lot of repeats on the networks, it was primetime battle between veteran reality shows last night. And though Survivor (2.2/8) dipped 8% from last week, the CBS show again was the reality TV victor. With 9.28 million viewers watching between 8-9 PM, the 28-season-strong series topped the 8.25 million total viewers and 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 American Idol had in their common hour. This is the fourth week in a row Survivor has beaten Idol in viewership and the sixth consecutive week the CBS show has come out on top in the demo in the 8 PM slot. Still, it wasn’t a stain-free victory march — as the numbers stand now, Survivor has hit a series low. That could change when the final numbers come in later today. Otherwise, CBS was all encores with Criminal Minds (1.4/4) and CSI (1.2/4). Read More »

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