Disney‘s in the process of spending potentially $1B for Maker Studios, and today’s agreement means that — when the deal closes — it will also indirectly manage YouTube channels and videos from Jukin Media, described as “the world’s leading licensing platform for viral video clips.” It has more than 30 YouTube channels including FailArmy, which has 4.8M subs and specializes in videos of people screwing up. Indeed, one of Maker‘s specific goals is to create a website for “all things FailArmy.” (Please, Disney, don’t turn this into a theme park attraction.) The companies also plan to co-produce shows for both the Internet and TV. “Maker clearly has the best expertise and collection of resources for helping us grow our business and brands both on and off YouTube,” says Jukin CEO Jonathan Skogmo. “This was an obvious alliance for us and we’re very excited to get started.”
So far, the symbiotic relationship between Telemundo and its NBCUniversal siblings had gone mainly in one direction — with Telemundo doing Spanish-language versions of programs on its English-language counterparts, like La Voz Kids (The Voice Kids), Top Chef Estrellas and Access Hollywood Al Rojo Vivo. Now the flow will start moving the other way too, with NBC committing to develop an English-language version of El Señor de los Cielos (The Lord Of The Skies), Telemundo’s highest-rated novela last season, and USA Network putting in development Telemundo’s upcoming novela Mujer de Acero (Woman Of Steel). The adaptations will be produced by Universal TV and Universal Cable Prods., respectively. This marks the first time that NBC and USA have optioned content from Telemundo. The move comes a year after the Spanish-language network was placed under the purview of NBCUniversal’s Bonnie Hammer, who also oversees USA, and Joe Uva was put in charge of it. NBC had been interested in cracking the telenovela genre. Last fall, the network inked a deal with Electus to develop three telenovelas with an eye toward airing one as a 13-episode series — with multiple episodes running each week, following telenovelas’ traditional air pattern.
Inspired by true events, the action-filled El Señor de los Cielos tells the story of Aurelio Casillas (Rafael Amaya), one of the most prominent Mexican drug lords from the ’90s, whose ambition was to become one of the richest and most powerful men in Mexico (watch the English-language trailer below.) It ranked as Telemundo’s #1 novela last year averaging 2.3 million total viewers and nearly 1.5 million adults 18-49. The season finale averaged over 3.6 million viewers and beat Univision among adults 18-49 and 18-34 in its period.
Jamaica Inn, the highly-anticipated three-part BBC One adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s 1936 gothic novel, kicked off to strong ratings on Monday night – and got a lot of people talking. But much of the chatter has come in the form of complaints – nearly 2,200 so far, according to BBC News. British viewers are decrying sound issues, and what people have called “mumbling” by the cast of the Origin Pictures production. (The Twittersphere is referring to it as #MumbleInn.) Downton Abbey‘s Jessica Brown Findlay stars with Joanne Whalley, Sean Harris and Matthew McNulty in the drama that’s set in 1820s Cornwall (a West Country county that has a very particular accent). But there’s been some debate as to whether the sound troubles were technical or artistic. Here’s the trailer:
After initial complaints, the BBC on Tuesday apologized, saying there were “issues with the sound levels” which would be adjusted for episodes 2 and 3. (Screenwriter Emma Frost also tweeted: “None of the production team knew what happened with the (transmission) sound. It was fine before.”) Even so, folks continued to gripe and after Monday’s first installment averaged 6.09M viewers, the mini shed 2M viewers by its last on Wednesday. When asked about actors’ delivery, BBC Drama Controller Ben Stephenson told BBC News,
LOS ANGELES – April 24, 2014 – Fandango, the nation’s leading moviegoer destination, today announced it has signed an agreement with ZEFR, Inc. (ZEFR) to acquire MOVIECLIPS, the leading movie presence on YouTube. The MOVIECLIPS network consists of MOVIECLIPS.com and 25 YouTube channels, including the #1 movie trailers channel. The entire network encompasses a catalog of 45,000 curated film clips, trailers, and original video productions. With more than 7 million subscribers, MOVIECLIPS’ YouTube network averages 200 million video views per month.*
Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner star in the James Gray period drama The Immigrant. It centers on Ewa Cybulski (Cotillard) and her sister Magda (Angela Sarafyan), who immigrate to New York from their native Poland to start a new life. The two women are separated when doctors discover Magda is seriously ill and she is quarantined. Ewa then falls into the hands of Bruno (Phoenix), a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution. She later meets Bruno’s cousin Orlando (Renner), a magician who sweeps her off her feet and is her best chance to escape the nightmarish life she’s been enduring. Have a look at the new trailer for the Weinstein Co pic, which opens May 16 in limited release:
The romantic comedy premiered at Sundance and screens this week at Tribeca. Radius/TWC acquired worldwide rights to The One I Love within 24 hours of its Park City bow and now has set an August 15 release date. Charlie McDowell directed the pic, which stars Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass as spouses in a crumbling marriage who escape for the weekend in pursuit of their better selves and end up facing an unusual dilemma. Ted Danson co-stars, and Justin Lader wrote it. Here’s a clip:
EXCLUSIVE: Allen Iverson was one of the most controversial players the NBA has ever had. He was also one of the best shooters to ever hit the court, an 11-time All Star and the 2001 MVP. Now officially retired, the former Philadelphia 76er is the subject of a docu making its sold out world premiere on April 27 at the Tribeca Film Festival. From first time director Zatella Beatty, Iverson features the man himself telling his own story in his own words with appearances from the Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade and former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw among others. Beatty’s 214 Productions produces alongside Ted Faye with Mandalay Sports Media and Moore Entertainment as EPs. If you didn’t get a ticket to Sunday’s 9:30 PM screening in NYC, check out the game of this exclusive Iverson clip here:
UPDATED with video of Colbert’s appearance: Viewers curious to know what Actual Stephen Colbert is like, and what might his upcoming CBS late-night show be, got a good look Tuesday when the Comedy Central star made his first visit to David Letterman‘s Late Show since being named as his replacement. After telling Dave he’d been offered a gig with Dave’s old NBC show but turned it down because it was an unpaid internship – “It’s an expensive city,” Colbert explained. “The next job I’m taking here, that pays? Cause I’ve already signed” — Dave asked Colbert if he vacations well:
John Oliver took the NBC package deal to promote the launch of his new HBO late night show, Last Week Tonight this coming Sunday. Oliver stopped by Tonight show last night, where he made fun of Jimmy Fallon‘s interview style and talked about friends’ reaction to his final The Daily Show appearance:
Earlier this week, Oliver so deftly explained to Today show’s Matt Lauer why his satirical show would not bother to cover a report that had just been featured on Today, that Lauer barely noticed he’d been dinged:
Before Soviet hockey stars were allowed to show their skills in the NHL, many played at home for the Red Army — and were nearly unbeatable. Sony Pictures Classics has grabbed North American, Asian and Eastern European rights to Gabe Polsky’s new documentary Red Army, about one of the most dominant teams in sports history. (Watch the trailer below.) It focuses on the story of defenseman Slava Fetisov, who starred for the Red Army during the Cold War years before becoming one of the first group of players to leave the USSR to join the National Hockey League — where he starred en route to the Hockey Hall of Fame. The pic looks at his struggle to be allowed to play in North America and his transformation from national hero to political enemy in the late 1980s. “We can’t wait to present this film to audiences everywhere,” SPC Co-Presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard said in announcing the acquisition. “This is Russian history as seen from the perspective of professional ice hockey.” Red Army was executive produced by Jerry Weintraub, Werner Herzog and Liam Satre-Meloy. It will play in the Special Screening section at Cannes next month. Here’s a look:
EXCLUSIVE: JJ Abrams, Matthew Carnahan, Jane Espenson, Hart Hanson, Ronald D. Moore, Kurt Sutter, and Joss Whedon are just some of the powerhouse television creators who appear in new docu Showrunners, from writer/director Des Doyle. Pic is the first feature length film to explore the rising power of the TV showrunner and the behind the scenes process that goes into making a hit show. Doyle brought the WonderCon crowds a taste over the weekend, appearing alongside Steven Molaro (The Big Bang Theory), Espenson (Once Upon a Time, Husbands), Steve Callaghan (Family Guy), John Rogers (Leverage, The Librarians), Andrew Kreisberg (Arrow), Rockne S. O’Bannon (Revolution), Marc Guggenheim (Arrow), Chris Carter (The X-Files, The After), and Showrunners co-producer Ryan Patrick McGuffey to unveil a clip from the film, which you can check out exclusively on Deadline below.
“Kidnap? Crashing a wedding? Stealing a diamond? All right, we’re in.” Well, that and Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan as a divorced couple who head to Paris after being screwed out of their pension by their company’s new owners. Will the City of Light charm the former spouses as they try to right the corporate wrong? Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, Louise Bourgoin and Laurent Lafitte co-star in the pic from writer-director Joel Hopkins. Ketchup Entertainment, which acquired the comedy after its Toronto premiere last year, will open it May 23. Here’s a peek:
While the multichannel YouTube network awaits a big buyout payday, it has signed a deal to create its first scripted drama series. Maker Studios, which last week thwarted Relativity’s acquisition bid weeks after making a deal with Disney potentially worth $950M, has partnered with the fashion/lifestyle brand Nylon. They will create programming for the Nylon TV YouTube channel, starting with Oh, You Pretty Things, starring Francesca Eastwood (watch the trailer below). The 10-episode series follows a lifestyle blogger and her group of twentysomething trendsetters looking to make their big break in the underground music and fashion scene on LA’s Eastside. Sarah Dumont, Tui Asau, Alexander Nifong, Julian de la Celle and Matthew Grathwol co-star. The show will premiere May 19 on Maker’s fashion and beauty channel The Platform.
Cannes: 2014 Directors’ Fortnight Lineup Unveiled; ‘Whiplash’, ‘Cold In July’, ‘Catch Me Daddy’, ‘Pride’, John Boorman & More
UPDATE, 3:45 AM PT, WRITETHRU: The 19 features that will make up what looks like a particularly strong Directors’ Fortnight sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival were revealed this morning in Paris with a hefty dose of genre in the mix. Along with a special 4K restoration of Tobe Hooper’s classic 1974 frightfest The Texas Chain Saw Massacre comes Alleluia, a psychological horror pic from Belgium’s Fabrice Du Welz that’s inspired by the 1940s serial murdering Lonely Hearts Killers. Also on the roster are Australian helmer Zach Hilditch’s thriller These Final Hours with Jessica De Gouw (Dracula, Arrow); and Jim Mickle‘s Sundance pic Cold In July with Michael C. Hall as a small town Texas man who kills a home intruder and finds his life unraveling into a dark underworld of corruption and violence. This is the second year in a row that Mickle is appearing in the Fortnight following a bow in Sundance. Also out of Park City is Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, the Grand Jury prize-winner spearheaded by producers Jason Blum and Jason Reitman. (See below for the full list of Fortnight features and shorts.)
Jimmy Fallon introduced his latest Brian Williams video on The Tonight Show — this time the newsman rapped Snoop Dogg’s classic “Gin And Juice“. After the performance, the NBC Nightly News anchor stopped by to complain about this and all previous videos: “I’m downstairs, I’m doing the [Nightly News] broadcast that pays for your ‘hobby,’ and people think I have somehow colluded into the making of these videos. Let’s be clear– I’ve never said ‘hippity’.”
Fox is pulling out all the stops for the global launch of X-Men: Days Of Future Past, with stars Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy stepping up to bat for a week’s worldwide premiere tour billed as the “X-Men X-Perience.” The trio — who respectively play Wolverine, young Magneto and young Dr. Charles Xavier in the film — made a web video announcement today (see below). After the New York premiere, they will be joined by castmembers Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Peter Dinklage, Ellen Page, Fan Bingbing, Omar Sy and Nicholas Hoult for tour stops including London, Moscow, Singapore, Melbourne, Beijing and Sao Paulo — though who will wind up where is still a secret. The X-Men franchise has morphed into a cash cow overseas, with the most recent titles — last year’s The Wolverine and 2011′s X-Men: First Class – pulling in well over 60% of their global box office haul from territories outside the U.S. and Canada. This is a marketing move typical of 20th Century Fox’s prowess in foreign markets, and since the days of Titanic and Braveheart it has always globetrotted talent in an effort to raise a film’s profile and maximize moolah. X-Men: Days Of Future Past opens day and date worldwide May 25.
Column: Social media has had a tremendous impact on movie and television marketing, increasing awareness and visibility for a TV show or movie across the globe in a click — a lot clicks — of a button. Some of the best social media teams right now on TV are the two Jimmys — late-night talk hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. These two are in a constant battle for viewers and they really go at each other on social media. Their social engagement across platforms and their understanding of social heralds a new generation of savvy Hollywood stars backed by sophisticated online marketing teams that understand how to push past traditional media to build a tremendous fan base. Increasingly, stars, celebrities and their teams are using social media to extend awareness of their brands — because that is what they have become — online and off, driving ratings and box office as well as bigger fan bases.
These days, a performer’s social media footprint is strongly considered when marketers start strategizing a film’s campaign. Vin Diesel is the current king of social, almost entirely because of the monster presence he’s built on Facebook. In the months since his emotional tribute on FB for his good friend and Fast & Furious co-star Paul Walker who died in a car crash, Diesel has seen his Facebook presence vault from an already whopping 54M likes to 72.3M, according to RelishMix, which tracks social-media engagement by TV shows, films and performers. And in six months, his following has jumped 46%.
Unlike Kimmel and Fallon, Diesel has no team to manage his social profile. He does it entirely on his own. “Vin is a very unique case in that he curates that himself and the voice is authentic and all the posts seem real because they are real,” says Michael Moses, co-president of marketing at Universal Pictures. “He doesn’t have a social-media team. He maintains that. He has an authentic relationship with his fans.” Moses calls it “a higher level of commitment and engagement.”
TNT has released the new trailer for Season 4 of alien invasion drama Falling Skies, executive produced by Steven Spielberg. Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton, Drew Roy, Connor Jessup, Maxim Knight, Seychelle Gabriel, Mpho Koaho, Colin Cunningham and Sarah Carter star. Season 4 premieres on June 22 at 10 PM. Check it out: