Check Out Our New Look

Comic-Con: Sam Raimi Vamps ‘The Last Of Us’ Movie At Screen Gems Panel

By and | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 12:21pm PDT

Comic-Con: Sam Raimi Vamps ‘The Last Of Us’ Movie At Screen Gems PanelScreen Gems today trotted out a Comic-Con god in Sam Raimi, who dealt the kind of catnip that fanboys love. Raimi was there with Neil Druckmann, creator of the Naughty Dog game The Last Of Us, to talk about how that PlayStation 3 survival The-Last-of-Ushorror action game is being turned into a feature with Raimi producing and Druckmann now writing the screenplay. Screen Gems President Clint Culpepper, whose previous big vidgame-to-movie transfer was Resident Evil, basically has given over big creative controls to Druckmann in the movie transfer. That includes casting, and choice of director.

At this point, Hugh Jackman and Josh Brolin have been the consensus fan favorites to play the role of Joel, and the choice most heavily favored to play Ellie is Maisie Williams, the Game Of Thrones star who’s so sparked about this prospect that she would have shown up for today’s panel were she not waylaid by being part of an Entertainment Weekly cover shoot for GOT.

comic-con-logoSaid Raimi: “It’s gonna be a great character journey, a great love story, and great horror fiction.” Raimi took a moment to tease the prospect of more Evil Dead: “I always loved working on that series with Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert, and my brother and I are writing the Evil Dead TV show right now … with Bruce Campbell.” They even toyed with the idea of having Campbell … Read More »

Comments (2)

Syfy Partners With Nick Cannon On Sci-Fi Fantasy Improv Series

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 10:21am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Syfy Partners With Nick Cannon On Sci-Fi Fantasy Improv SeriesEXCLUSIVE: Syfy is adding a touch of improv comedy to its lineup. The cable network has teamed with Nick Cannon‘s NCredible Entertainment for a weekly one-hour sci-fi fantasy improv series. The show will be taped in front of a live audience and feature a “home” team consisting of 4-6 national comedians who each week will face off against a different improv squad in various sci-fi/fantasy-related sketches. Casting will begin later this summer for the “away” teams. Cannon and Michael Goldman will serve as executive producers for Universal Cable Prods.

NCredible Entertainment produces music video countdown show Teen Nick Top 10 which is wrapping its third season; Nickelodeon’s React To That; Wild ‘n Out, now in its sixth season on MTV2; and an upcoming Drumline 2 sequel, slated to air in October. Cannon also hosts NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

This marks another step in Syfy’s evolution under its new leadership. The network already returned to the serialized, space opera-type dramas in the vein of Battlestar Galactica that had put it on the map and jumped back into the long-form genre with several high-profile projects.

Comments (6)

Toronto Film Fest Will Close With World Premiere of ‘A Little Chaos’; No Opener Yet; Jon Stewart, Chris Rock Get Perches

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 8:40am PDT

Toronto Film Fest Will Close With World Premiere of ‘A Little Chaos’; No Opener Yet; Jon Stewart, Chris Rock Get PerchesUPDATED, 8:40 AM: The 39th Toronto Film Festival, running September 4-14, will close with the world premiere of Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos with Kate Winslet, Rickman, Matthias Schoenaerts and Stanley Tucci. The opening-night film was not announced at this morning’s press conference.

Alan Rickman Kate WinsletA Little Chaos is the perfect closing-night film – it transports audiences to another time, another place, full of beauty, complexity, rivalry, politics and romance,” said Toronto artistic director Cameron Bailey. “Alan Rickman’s film will wind audiences up just as our festival is winding down.”

In this sumptuous historical drama Sabine De Barra (Winslet)  —  a landscaper with a taste for the unconventional — is invited to design one of the fountains at the Palace of Versailles. As she battles with the weather, the perilous rivalries at the court of Louis XIV and her own private demons, she finds herself drawn inescapably closer to the formality and enigma of the architect who hired her.

Of the 13 Galas and 46 Special Presentations announced, the initial lineup includes 37 world premieres from directors including Noah Baumbach, Susanne Bier, Peter Ho-Sun Chan, David Dobkin, Philippe Falardeau, Mia Hansen-Løve, Ning Hao, François Ozon, Christian Petzold, Lone Scherfig and Chris Rock. Here’s the list: Read More »

Comments (3)

Sony Pictures Vice Chairman Jeff Blake Exiting Studio After 22 Years

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 8:06am PDT

Sony Pictures Vice Chairman Jeff Blake Exiting Studio After 22 YearsEXCLUSIVE: Jeff Blake, who has served as vice chairman of Sony Pictures and chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution for Sony Pictures since 2005, is leaving the studio that he has been a part of for the past 22 years. Part of the innermost circle of Sony’s senior management team with CEO Michael Lynton and chair of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group Amy Pascal, the departure is a real shake-up for the studio at the highest level. Blake is the stalwart pro and has been one of the longest survivors at any studio. He worked under several Sony regimes including that of Peter Guber and Mark Canton, Jonathan Dolgen, Alan Levine, Robert Wynne, Mel Harris, the beloved John Calley, Howard Stringer, and finally Lynton and Pascal. He exits August 1.

Sony announced it at 8 AM this morning, saying, “It’s with a heavy heart and great appreciation that we want to share with you news that Jeff Blake has decided to leave SPE to pursue other opportunities … he’s been an important part of the fabric of SPE. We have all loved his legendary role as raffle master at our annual holiday party, enjoyed his gregarious laugh and sense of humor and appreciate his reputation as one of the nicest and most easy-going guys in the business.”

Image (1) sony-pictures-logo__140323172613.jpeg for post 703140With Blake’s departure, the studio loses an executive with institutional and strategic knowledge of not only marketing and distribution both domestically and internationally, but on the business itself. He has worked at three studios, having joined the business in 1974 working for Paramount Pictures in Chicago. He has also worked with the best known names in the business at Paramount and at Sony (and even a short stint at Disney) – from Charlie Bludhorn and Barry Diller to Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Stanley Jaffe, Frank Mancuso, the wonderful Brandon Tartikoff, the aforementioned executives and so many others. Katzenberg and Mancuso became Blake’s lifetime friends and mentors.

decode-pascal-articleInlineHis departure comes after Pascal and Lynton and the rest of SPE’s senior management have been under tremendous pressure after a rough round last summer and a hit-and-miss year so far in 2014. Pascal and Lynton have spent this past year making changes at the studio and shoring up their ranks with execs like Michael De Luca coming in as president of production at Columbia, and the announcement last week that Doug Belgrad is expanding duties with a new president of the motion picture group title. Those expanded responsibilities included working with the marketing and distribution team which also saw changes last year. Sony has undergone extreme cost-cutting at the studio as well with layoff after layoff. They have also worked to bring in co-financing deals and closed a big one with Lone Star Capital and Citibank, a smaller agreement with Village Roadshow and have also been waiting for former Warner Bros. executive Jeff Robinov to secure financing to start producing movies to distribute.

“Certainly there has been an air of change at Sony for the past couple of years,” said Blake. “I put it out there prior to our summer if at some point, I needed to step aside that I certainly would but, in the meantime, I wanted to make sure that there were no distractions in releasing our summer slate. I’m really comfortable with my decision, Read More »

Comments (17)

Box Office Final: ‘Apes’ No. 1′ With $36.2M, ‘The Purge’ With $29.8M+, ‘Planes’ Flies Low $17.5M, ‘Sex Tape’ Unravels To $14.6M In Soft Weekend

Box Office Final: ‘Apes’ No. 1′ With $36.2M, ‘The Purge’ With $29.8M+, ‘Planes’ Flies Low $17.5M, ‘Sex Tape’ Unravels To $14.6M In Soft Weekend8th UPDATE, Monday, 1:32 PM: It was a down weekend. After the dust cleared today, we can see the final dips: The calendar year-to-date is down 6% with the weekend of the Top Ten from last year to this year down 25%. All films added in, the business is down 23.9%. Given that all pictures underperformed a bit, here are the final box office numbers as they look this morning. Dawn-of-the-Planet-of-the-Apes-Caesar-eyesOf all the newbies, The Purge: Anarchy actually was able to gross the high end of yesterday’s estimate and ended with $29.8M. Both Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue and Sony’s Sex Tape took more of a hit, both off just a tad from their yesterday expectations; neither performed well. Meanwhile, Earth To Echo and Maleficent came in only $29K apart and the more exciting part of this box office weekend was that the smaller films did exceptionally well. Dinesh D’Souza’s controversial documentary America from Lionsgate, at No. 12, held quite well, down only 30% as did Jon Favreau’s Chef (Open Road), which even after dropping about 150 locations saw a significant jump on Saturday and ended the weekend at $25.9M. Another bit of sweet news was the solid per-screen number of Richard Linkaleter’s little masterpiece Boyhood (IFC) which held a nice $34,418 per screen; its cume is now $1.785M after two weeks in a platform release. The Top 20 chart follows: Read More »

Comments 50

TCA: Nearly 5,000 Audition To Live For A Year In Fox’s ‘Utopia’

By | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 5:16pm PDT

TCA: Nearly 5,000 Audition To Live For A Year In Fox’s ‘Utopia’Nearly 5,000 people applied to participate in Fox’s reality series Utopia, Fox’s reality TV guru Simon Andreae told TV critics this afternoon. Showrunners have whittled that prodigious list down to about 40, and are now selecting the 15 who will get to go live in some isolated made-for-TV makeshift community in southern California for a year while trying to forge a new society that believes in filming its citizens 24/7 for broadcast on TV and on the Internet.

Utopia, from reality vet John de Mol,  is a reality series featuring a group of everyday people whisked to an isolated location for an entire year and challenged to create their own civilization. The show builds dramatic tension from the provision that any of the “colonists” can be replaced at any time by someone from the show’s audience. It’s based on a Dutch show that’s been running since January. The show premieres Sept. 7.

Read More »

Comments (6)

James Garner: An Appreciation Of A Great Acting Legend Who Never Looked Like He Was Acting

By | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 12:47pm PDT
Pete Hammond

James Garner: An Appreciation Of A Great Acting Legend Who Never Looked Like He Was ActingJames Garner just made it all look too easy.

That’s the only explanation I can give for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences failing to vote him an Honorary Oscar over these last few years of Governors Awards.  More than once I wrote a column of “suggestions” including  those egregiously overlooked artists deserving of the industry’s top award, and always near the top was my annual reminder of Garner. But I guess it is just too late now.  Garner, who died Saturday night at age 86, probably just would brush off the honor anyway, thinking those more “obvious” choices were more likely to ever get an Oscar. But it is precisely because he made  it all seem so effortless that he was annually passed over.

Brett_Maverick_-_James_GarnerIt couldn’t  have been because he was also a major television star could it?  Nah. Maverick , The Rockford Files, those fine TV movies, and those magical Polaroid commercials he did with Mariette Hartley  were all great. And  no one can deny the power of those TV movies he did including Promise, Barbarians At The Gate , Breathing Lessons, Decoration Day, The Long Summer Of  George Adams and My Name Is Bill W to name a few. These showed off an actor of real range. If it were just a career in television, it would be incredibly impressive but all the obits this morning calling him a TV legend, which he certainly was, missed the point of just what Garner’s remarkable acting achievement … Read More »

Comments (19)

TCA: Fox’s Peter Rice On New Executive Structure; Future Of Pilot Model; More ’24,’ ‘Bones’

By | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 11:17am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: Fox’s Peter Rice On New Executive Structure; Future Of Pilot Model; More ’24,’ ‘Bones’With the departure of Fox’s previous top programming executive and the network’s new co-heads not in place yet, their boss, Fox Networks Group chairman Peter Rice, took the stage on his own at the network’s executive session at the TCAs this morning. Top question of the day: Fox’s new executive structure, in which the network and sibling 20th TV are both under the oversight of the same executives, Dana Walden and Gary Newman.

“We’d been the odd man out,” Rice said, a reference to the other broadcast networks, which have closely integrated with their studios. “As competition for talent has become more intense, it has put us at a disadvantage, and to have the network and the studio aligned would be helpful.”

Rice was asked to elaborate on the ways the previous setup disadvantaged Fox. “The old structure had a clear advantage for the studio: a big independent studio that was able to sell to everyone, which it has done extremely successfully,” Rice said. “But the network was increasingly disadvantaged. The ability to be reactive only because you are a buyer, that funnel became narrower and narrower as the (landscape) became more competitive… By putting these things together, we’re telling the creative community, we have this great network and a great studio, you can speak to us in a single voice.” Read More »

Comments (12)

R.I.P. Skye McCole Bartusiak

By | Saturday July 19, 2014 @ 11:21pm PDT

R.I.P. Skye McCole BartusiakSkye McCole Bartusiak, who was best known for her role portraying Mel Gibson‘s youngest daughter in The Patriot, died today at the age of 21. No cause of death was given.

Bartusiak was a stage, screen and TV actress. She had a recurring role as Megan Matheson in the show 24 and did guest star appearances in CSI, Lost, Touched by An Angel and George Lopez television shows. She started acting in 1999 with the ABC mini-series Storm of the Century. When she was 8 years old, she was in the movie Riding in Cars with Boys. She died in her Houston home at 9 AM Saturday.

Read More »

Comments (9)

TCA: ‘Ray Donovan’s Jon Voight Rehearses For Emmy; EP Takes On ‘Sopranos’ Comparison

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 7:37pm PDT

TCA: ‘Ray Donovan’s Jon Voight Rehearses For Emmy; EP Takes On ‘Sopranos’ ComparisonHomeland producers grumbled about their 2014 Emmy nomination snub for drama series at today’s TCA, but Jon Voight seemed happy to carry the Emmy nom flag for Showtime at today’s panel on his second-season series, Ray Donovan. The supporting actor nominee appeared on the panel with stars Liev Schreiber, who plays the title character, a Hollywood fixer, Paula Malcomson, Season 2 guest stars Hank Azaria and Wendell Pierce, creator/EP Ann Biderman and EP Bryan Zuriff.

For Zuriff, this marks a return to the executive producer ranks of the series following his high profile arrest and subsequent indictment for allegedly running an illegal gambling operation this time last year that prompted his temporary exit from the show. Zuriff actually touched upon his history when the cast and producers were asked to attest to the accuracy of some of the crazy storylines on the show. “We’ve all had a little bit of a past, so there’s stuff that we can draw on in the writers’ room that we can have some fun with,” he said.

Related: ‘Ray Donovan’ Executive Producer Bryan Zuriff Pleads Guilty In Gambling Ring Tied To Russian Mob

Earlier this year, Voight won a Golden Globe for his performance (star Schrieber got a nom for lead actor in a drama). When asked about Emmy, Voight could have been rehearsing his Emmy speech. The abridged version of his reply: “Let me just say, I feel very blessed and very fortunate to have had so many wonderful experiences as an actor. I am really enjoying this family that’s making Ray Donovan. It’s almost like I earned this role over years of struggling and failing and experimenting and succeeding…” He praised the “wonderful artists” he works with on Ray Donovan and reached back into the past to praise earlier collaborators John Schlesinger, Dustin Hoffman, Hal Ashby and Andrei Konchalovsky. Read More »

Comments (6)

CAA Signs Andy Garcia

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 5:47pm PDT
Mike Fleming

CAA Signs Andy GarciaCAA has signed veteran actor Andy Garcia. The actor had been longtime repped by Paradigm, going back to the days of The Untouchables, Godfather III, Black Rain, Internal Affairs and the Ocean’s Eleven films, so he had a good long run there. Garcia will next be seen in Let’s Be Cops, and Kill The Messenger opposite Jeremy Renner. He is percolating some projects that include Hemingway & Fuentes. He intends to direct the script he wrote with Hilary Hemingway,  about her uncle Ernest Hemingway. Pic is about how the writer befriended a boat captain, Gregorio Fuentes, who inspires him to write The Old Man And The Sea. Garcia intends to play Fuentes. He remains repped by Brillstein Entertainment.

Comments (1)

‘Gone Girl’s’ NYFF Announcement Fuels Fall Festival Oscar Season Speculation

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 10:25am PDT
Pete Hammond

‘Gone Girl’s’  NYFF Announcement Fuels Fall Festival Oscar Season SpeculationThough it is still only July – and the summer movie blockbuster season is still in full force – all eyes are turning to awards season as much-awaited announcements of the four big Fall movie festivals that signal the beginning of the Oscar race are starting to drop. Following last week’s news that Fox Searchlight and New Regency’s Birdman would be launching the Venice Film Festival on August 27th, comes official word today from the Film Society Of Lincoln Center that David Fincher’s Gone Girl from Searchlight’s parent 20th Century Fox and New Regency will be launching the 52nd New York Film Festival on  September 26th. This selection was absolutely no surprise as the NYFF is very Fincher-friendly and most recently opened their fest in 2010 with the director’s The Social Network. Also, 20th has a strong recent relationship with the NYFF as both last year’s Oscar flameout, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty and 2012′s Life Of Pi also had major showcases there. This continues the trend. In what might be counted as the firstnyff review of the much-anticipated adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best seller starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, NYFF Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said: “Gone Girl  is so many things at once: sharp as a razor about many aspects of American life that have been untouched by movies, very tough and just as funny, brilliantly acted, and 100%  entertaining – a wild ride from start to finish. In short, a great … Read More »

Comments (7)

TCA: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Geared Up For Season 2, Welcomes Sunday Schedule Change

TCA: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Geared Up For Season 2, Welcomes Sunday Schedule ChangeSchedule changes and lack of certain Primetime Emmy noms doesn’t keep Brooklyn Nine-Nine down. Co-creators Mike Schur and Dan Goor, EP David Miner, and the cast gathered on the CBS Radford lot today to give the TCA corps a look at their urban work environment and provide some insight into Season 2.

With Brooklyn now scheduled for 8:30 PM, and sandwiched between The Simpsons at 8 PM and The Family Guy-Simpsons crossover event at 9 PM, team Brooklyn isn’t daunted by the prospect that they’re one of two Fox live-action shows on Sunday, a night historically known for its animation lineup (the other series being Mulaney airing after Family Guy). Miner exclaimed, “This is a tremendous audience and we are with great comedies.  We were thrilled when we got the call.” Read More »

Comments (9)

Ron Howard To Helm Authorized Beatles Docu On British Invasion Years

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 6:02am PDT
Mike Fleming

Ron Howard To Helm Authorized Beatles Docu On British Invasion YearsRon Howard will direct a feature documentary on The Beatles. The focus will be the period from 1960-1966 when the mop-topped quartet took Europe and then the United States by storm with a flurry of 166 concerts in 15 countries and 90 cities. By the time they finished the last concert in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 1966, they were as big a band as Elvis Presley was a solo artist. The film has been authorized by the band’s holding company, Apple Corps Ltd, and will have the full cooperation and support of surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono Lennon, and George Harrison’s widow Olivia Harrison. The docu will be a co-production between Apple, White Horse Pictures’ Nigel Sinclair and Scott Pascucci, and Imagine Entertainment, whose principals Brian Grazer and Howard will produce with Sinclair and Pascucci. Imagine’s Michael Rosenberg and White Horse’s Guy East will be exec producers. They expect to have it ready sometimes next year, and don’t be surprised if there is a sequel, covering the band’s politicization and eventual break-up.

Ron_HowardThe film begins with the band honing its chops in Liverpool’s Cavern Club, to its first road trip shows in Hamburg, Germany, and other European countries in 1963, right before they came to America for an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. That appearance, on February 9, 1964 sparked a generation of future musicians like Eagles leaders Don … Read More »

Comments 30

FCC Extends Net Neutrality Comment Period After “Overwhelming Surge” Of Responses Crash Its Site

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 11:03am PDT

FCC Extends Net Neutrality Comment Period After “Overwhelming Surge” Of Responses Crash Its SiteToday was supposed to be the deadline for people to respond to the FCC’s proposed open Internet rules — the ones that HBO’s John Oliver famously lambasted last month. But the agency extended the comment period to midnight on Friday after “an overwhelming surge in traffic on our website” made it “difficult for many people to file comments” on the FCC’s electronic filing system, it says today. “Please be assured that the Commission is aware of these issues and is committed to making sure that everyone trying to submit comments will have their views entered into the record,” the agency says, adding that people also can contribute to the public record by emailing their views to openinternet@fcc.gov.

The public response could be unusually important to the proceedings because the commission itself is so divided on a key question: Should it reclassify the Internet as a kind of telecom service, which the FCC can clearly regulate, or keep it defined as an information service, which requires the agency to take a lighter touch? In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals in DC remanded the net neutrality rules the FCC adopted in 2010 saying that they overreached the agency’s authority over an information service. Two of the Democratic commissioners are open to reclassifying the Internet. But the two GOP members strongly oppose that. Chairman Tom Wheeler steered a middle course. He proposed extensive changes without reclassifying the Web — but said that he considers it an option.

Open Internet advocates say that … Read More »

Comments (2)

UPDATE: Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Retreat – Recap

UPDATE: Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Retreat – RecapUPDATED, Monday, 4:56 PM: Saturday’s panel with Secretary of State John Kerry and interviewer Charlie Rose went off without a hitch after some technical problems the previous day, but listening about the conflicts in the Middle East was not as interesting to moguls (‘what else is new, it’s a mess over there’) as the panel that featured billionaire investor Warren Buffet and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, according to some in attendance. Bezos, whose company Amazon has become a powerhouse in publishing and is creating its own content now, told the group gathered that the Amazon business model in publishing and creating content is here to stay. While the panels are always greatly attended, some of those who sat through the first few said they were a bit dry and boring, but “Buffet is always interesting to listen to,” said one attendee. Jeffrey_Katzenberg_118299588Said another, “All the networking is really done in the first day … unless you’re Jeffrey Katzenberg lining up meetings every hour.” Added another, “He sits there and does one meeting after another … he must have had like 20 meetings.” Yes, DreamWorks Animation’s Katzenberg was doing his ‘speed-dating’ meetings near the duck pond as usual which had some entertainment moguls laughing and others rolling their eyes (‘He has like what? One movie in the marketplace?’ Does he know how silly it looks?).

On Saturday, too, were presentations from the younger entreprenuers of Lookout, Xapo and Lending Club, which another attendee said he thought was fantastic (‘The guy from Lookout looked like he was 16 years old’). Also interesting to one attendee was the education panel with Eva Sarah Moskowitz, CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools and Kaya Henderson who is the D.C. school superintendent. “They were really good together and kept everyone’s interest.” That panel took place last Thursday.

The five-day Sun Valley retreat wrapped up last night with the annual dinner hosted by Herb Allen, whose aserbic wit and self-deprecating humor was enjoy by all. In reference to the panel earlier in the week that featured producer Brian Grazer and TWC’s Harvey Weinstein talking about the creative process, one attendee noted that “Brian really hit the mark on it. He was pitch perfect. If he did that same speech in showbiz circles it might not resonate but it did with most of people who were not in the business.’” One of the things that they both suggested was to listen to the voices in your head and get in touch with your instinct, which Allen use as a set up for a joke at the Sunday night dinner: “I have the voices in my head. I just don’t know what to do with them yet.” Until next year …

3RD UPDATE, FRIDAY, 2:50 PM: People actually enjoyed the Michael Bloomberg panel today at the H2013-07-11t154703z_2111664344_gm1e97b1tzw01_rtrmadp_3_sunvalley-conference_Fotorerb Allen Sun Valley conference as the 72-year-old answered questions from journalist Willow Bay, wife of Disney’s Robert Iger. The former mayor of New York whose fight for reasonable gun laws is well-documented, spoke about his philanthropy efforts and giving back to society. Through Bloomberg Philanthropies, the billionaire does just that in the areas of education, the arts, gun issues, governance and public health. He spoke about how dysfunctional the current U.S. system is politically and otherwise to get things done — no doubt as he personally saw what happened behind the scenes in Washington D.C. as politicians in the pocket of the NRA stymied efforts to get background checks on gun sales passed. Leave it to a politician — an orator and a former Eagle scout (hey, it’s no small task) — to wake up the moguls.

The second panel, which was supposed to feature Charlie Rose interviewing Secretary of State John Kerry piped in live from Afghanistan, went awry as the video feed didn’t work (they tried for about 15 minutes to get it up and running to no avail). That conversation, which was expected to be about how heavily the U.S. should be involved in the current explosive situation in the Middle East, will now take place tomorrow after journalist Becky Quick interviews Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos.

So they are attempting to fix the video feed for tomorrow, but let’s face it, if it doesn’t work, we doubt anyone will be upset as Kerry drones … on and on. Speaking of drones, there has been some attempt to make sure that drones don’t fly over the conference taking pictures, according to Bloomberg News. Ahhh, technology … the age of the paparazzi drone? If people are still awake after Kerry and Rose, a number of younger entrepreneurs will have their turn at bat.

Most all we spoke with don’t expect any major deals to go down at this conference. That Read More »

Comments 20

Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, More Join Disney’s Marvel Animation ‘Big Hero 6′

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 3:46pm PDT

Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, More Join Disney’s Marvel Animation ‘Big Hero 6′Walt Disney Animation Studios has assembled its voice cast for the studio’s fall feature Big Hero 6, about a young robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada and his robot companion Baymax, who pull together a team of crime fighters to save the city of San Fransokyo. Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, Damon Wayans Jr., T.J. Miller, Alan Tudyk, Jamie Chung, Genesis Rodriguez and Daniel Henney will voice the cast, with Oregon born, Tokyo raised actor Ryan Potter (Nickelodeon’s Supah Ninjas) starring as as Hiro Hamada and Scott Adsit voicing Baymax.

Big Hero 6 is the first Disney pic to feature Marvel universe characters and is adapted by Don Hall and Jordan Roberts from the Marvel comic mini-series of the same name, whose team and characters were created by Man of Action’s Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle. They’ve tweaked a few details: The original Big Hero 6 story took place in Japan and featured a post-nuclear villain created from the souls of atomic bombing victims; Disney’s version is being promoted heavily on the cute factor of robot sidekick Baymax. Read More »

Comments (0)

Apple Could Sell More Than 40M iWatches At $300 Apiece: Analyst

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 1:10pm PDT

Apple Could Sell More Than 40M iWatches At $300 Apiece: AnalystI know, Apple hasn’t even confirmed that it will introduce an iWatch. Yet Wall Street is all about expectations, and Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty is so confident that the iWatch will be a hit that she raised her target stock price for the company today — helping it to touch a 52-week high of $96.89 before closing at $96.33, +1.2%. “We view the Apple ‘halo effect’ rather than the current watch market as the more accurate predictor of iWatch sales,” she says. In her first forecast for the product, she figures Apple could sell as many as 60M iWatches in its first 12 months in the market at an average of $300 apiece — as much as half the price going straight to Apple’s bottom line. Consumers would wear a watch “with more sensors, and better form factor and aesthetics than competing devices in the market priced at $100-$250,” she says.
Read More »

Comments (6)

Business Briefs: DreamWorks Animation Stock Downgrade; Aereo Strategy Questions; Cable Nets Rocky Forecast

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 10:18am PDT

Business Briefs: DreamWorks Animation Stock Downgrade; Aereo Strategy Questions; Cable Nets Rocky ForecastDreamWorks Animation Shares Touch 52-Week Low

The stock is down about 1% in early afternoon trading after taking a hit early this morning following B. Riley’s Eric Wold’s decision to abandon his “buy” recommendation. It touched $21.90, a 12-month low, after the analyst dropped his price target nearly 22% to $25. Wold acknowledged that his upgrade in March, when the stock value was 23% higher, “proved to be ill-timed and premature.” He calls the box office for How To Train Your Dragon 2 “disappointing” which “may turn DWA into a ‘show me’ stock and keep a ceiling on valuations until more consistent box office results develop.” The good news? Wold still likes DWA’s plans to diversify and expand its TV production. He also says that Dragon shouldn’t require a write-down.

Aereo’s Effort To Define Itself As A Cable Company Could Backfire At FCC: Analyst

Aereo may have bought some time with its attempt to redefine itself as a cable company, but it likely won’t succeed, Guggenheim Securities’ Paul Gallant says this morning. He figures that U.S. District Court Judge Amy Nathan — who’s overseeing broadcasters’ plea for an injunction to shutter the streaming service — will want to hear additional arguments after the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that Aereo could not take over-the-air signals without payment. Justices likened it to a cable company: Copyright law gives operators the right to a compulsory license, which enables them to carry broadcast signals if they pay a relatively low fee set by the Copyright Office. But if the FCC also deems Aereo to be a … Read More »

Comments (1)
More Deadline | Hollywood »