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VH1 Adds Two VPs To East Coast Team

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 10:10am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

VH1 Adds Two VPs To East Coast TeamVH1 is bolstering its New York programming team with the hire of Jennifer McGovern as VP, Development, East Coast and Ken Martinez as VP, Current Production, East Coast. They will report to Nina L. Diaz, SVP, East Coast Production and Development. In addition, Vivian Gomez has been promoted to Director, Current Production.

kenmartinezmcgovernMcGovern will be responsible for the development of all East Coast original unscripted programming and lead the East Coast development team. She comes from Oxygen where she was Director of Development and Production since August 2010, working on such series as The Glee Project, I’m Having Their Baby and the upcoming Funny Girls and Nail’d It! Before Oxygen, McGovern was Manager of Alternative Series at TLC, working on Sarah Palin’s Alaska, Brace For Impact: The Chesley B. Sullenberger Story and Police Women Of Broward County, and worked as manager of development at Fox TV Studios.

Martinez will head up production on all East Coast original programming and manage the network’s slate of current unscripted series. He comes from Big Fish Entertainment, where he was an executive producer on the VH1 series Black Ink Crew. He also worked as a producer on Celebrity Wife Swap for ABC and From G’s To Gents on MTV as well as VH1′s Rock Of Love, Gotti’s Way, Flavor Of Love and My Fair Brady. In her new role, Gomez will executive produce multiple series, including Love Read More »

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Dimension Films Getting ‘Demonic’ In December

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 10:08am PDT

Dimension Films Getting ‘Demonic’ In DecemberDimension Films said it will release the supernatural thriller Demonic on December 12. Maria Bello and Frank Grillo star in the pic based on an original idea by Saw and Insidious co-creator James Wan, who’s becoming a go-to guy in the genre and most recently directed Fast & Furious 7 for Universal. Wan and Lee Clay are producing and Will Canon directed. Pic centers on the aftermath of a massacre where five college students/amateur ghost-hunters were murdered inside an abandoned home and a pair of detectives try to figure out what went down.

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Manga ‘Soul Reviver’ To Get New Life As Live-Action Film From Zwick & Herskovitz

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 10:01am PDT

Manga ‘Soul Reviver’ To Get New Life As Live-Action Film From Zwick & HerskovitzEdward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz are partnering with Fields Corporation and All Nippon Entertainment Works on a live-action English-language adaptation of Japanese manga Soul ReViver. The supernatural action series was originally created in 2012 by Tohru Fujisawa and Manabu Akishige and has featured in Hero’s, a monthly Japanese comic magazine. The story centers on Jin and Clara, two soul revivers who have the ability to move between the worlds of the living and the dead and to bring certain people back whose mission on Earth was not complete at the time of their demise. There are currently four editions of the manga.

zwick herskovitzHerskovitz and Zwick will write the screenplay, and Zwick will direct. Their Bedford Falls will produce with Japan-based entertainment companies Fields and All Nippon. The partners are eyeing a 2016 release. Zwick recently directed chess drama Pawn Sacrifice which is running in Toronto. He and Herskovitz are also producing Ron Howard’s upcoming Heart Of The Sea. The longtime partners have a history with Japanese culture, having made The Last Samurai in 2003. Read More »

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Meghan Lyvers & Brianna Bennett Join CBS TV Studios’ Drama Development Team

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Meghan Lyvers & Brianna Bennett Join CBS TV Studios’ Drama Development TeamCBS TV Studios has brought in Meghan Lyvers as SVP Drama Development and Brianna Bennett as VP Drama Development. They will work under Julie McNamara, EVP Drama Development, Broadcast and Cable.

Meghan Lyvers Brianna BennettLyvers comes  from Television 360, a division of Management 360, where she oversaw the department’s development and production slate including Avenues Of Spies, Heartland Trucking and The Terror, among others. She previously served as VP Development & Production at Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal’s Tribeca Productions where for more than 10 years she oversaw the feature film and television slate.

Bennett joins CBS from Fox where she was Director, Drama Development, working on Sleepy Hollow, The Following, Gang Related, Almost Human and the upcoming Red Band Society, Empire and Backstrom. This marks her return to CBS TV Studios where she worked as an assistant in comedy development before joining the CW as a drama development coordinator.

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Hot Trailer: Disney’s ‘Into The Woods’

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 9:55am PDT

Hot Trailer: Disney’s ‘Into The Woods’Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine star in Disney‘s adaptation of James Lapine’s Broadway musical Into The Woods. It follows the classic tales s of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel, all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them. Rob Marshall directs the pic that bows on December 25. Check out the first trailer that dropped this morning:

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Extant’ Stabilizes In New Slot, ‘Penn & Teller’ Off To Solid Start

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 9:35am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Extant’ Stabilizes In New Slot, ‘Penn & Teller’ Off To Solid StartCBS’ Wednesday scheduling move to swap Extant and Criminal Minds achieved exactly the same result the network’s similar switch on Sunday had — boosting the veteran behind Big Brother and stabilizing the newcomer at 10 PM. Following Big Brother (2.2, down a tenth from last week) at 9 PM was a Criminal Minds repeat (1.1), up 22% from last Wednesday when the crime drama’s encore aired at 10 PM. Making its 10 PM debut,  Extant (1.1) was even with last week vs. a 37% week-to-week drop logged by the sci-fi drama last Wednesday.

Extant shared the No. 1 spot in its new slot with NBC’s Taxi Brooklyn (1.1, even with last week’s fast national) but the tie may not hold. Taxi Brooklyn‘s number include a minute overrun from America’s Got Talent (2.2, down a tenth from last week’s fast national) and will likely be adjusted down a tenth like it did last week, with AGT expected to again go up a tenth.The third original summer drama in the 10 PM hour, ABC’s Motive (0.7), was up a tenth from last Wednesday. Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance (1.1) was flat. Read More »

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WWE Network Body Slams Parent Company, Q2 Report Shows

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 9:27am PDT

WWE Network Body Slams Parent Company, Q2 Report ShowsThe company that sensationalizes pain seemed to feel a lot of it in Q2: The bold $9.99 a month streaming video venture that World Wrestling Entertainment launched in February only had 700,000 subscribers at the end of June, it says today. That’s half of the 1.4M that the company said in May it needs to offset lost pay-per-view TV sales, much of it from fans watching online. The growth rate is nothing to brag about. WWE Network only added 33,000 subs in Q2. In April the company boasted that it was “well on its way to reaching its goal of 1 million subscribers by the end of 2014.”

Now it’s bracing for the point in a few weeks — after SummerSlam on August 17 — when initial subs’ six-month commitment expires. SummerSlam “will likely be the biggest draw through the remainder of the year,” Benchmark Co’s Mike Hickey observed yesterday. As a result, “We suspect subscribers will wrestle with the decision to immediately renew their six month subscription.”

So why is the stock up 7.9% today? Some investors believe that WWE’s been beat up enough; even with today’s uptick, shares are down 36% over the last three months. And WWE employees are sharing some of the pain. The company says it will slash its staff by 7%, contributing to a $30M improvement in its cash flow outlook for this year.

The Q2 numbers also weren’t as bad as analysts expected. Revenues at $156.3M, +2.6% from last year, came close to projections for $156.8M. The net loss, at 14.5M vs … Read More »

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Paramount Decides Having Michael Bay Stick Around Is A Good Idea

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 9:08am PDT

Paramount Decides Having Michael Bay Stick Around Is A Good IdeaTentpole director-producer Michael Bay has extended and expanded his first-look agreement with Paramount Pictures. The new deal, just announced, extends the current agreement with Bay’s production company Platinum Dunes for an additional three years, and also expands it to cover Bay Films. The pact begins immediately. This seems like a no-brainer for the studio: Bay’s pics have made more than $6 billion at the global box office, and his hits for Paramount include the Transformers series, the latest of which, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, is at $966.4 million worldwide since its release a month ago. In all, the four pics have grossed $3.7 billion.

ParamountLogo_new“With an ever-growing, worldwide fan base, Michael is truly one of the most inspired and beloved filmmakers of our time,” Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey said. “We take great pride in the fact that Michael is part of the Paramount family and we look forward to growing our productive and successful partnership.”

Transformers-Age-of-ExtinctionBay’s other popcorn pics include The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Island, the Bad Boys movies and Pain & Gain. Platinum Dunes partners Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form are next up with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in August, horror pic Ouija and Project Almanac and a Friday The 13th reboot due in 2015.

Platinum Dunes is having a good run on the TV side too, with The Last Ship debuting this summer as cable TV’s top new series, and Starz’s swashbuckling pirate adventure series/Treasure Island prequel Black Sails, which seems destined for a third-season pickup. Read More »

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Mia Farrow, Anjelica Huston, Martin Sheen And Brian Dennehy Will Post ‘Love Letters’ On Broadway

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT

Mia Farrow, Anjelica Huston, Martin Sheen And Brian Dennehy Will Post ‘Love Letters’ On BroadwayUPDATE with casting, schedule info below: Playwright A.R. Gurney’s romantic two-hander will return to Broadway for a star-fueled revival beginning September 13 at the Nederlander Theatre. Among the pairings for the run are Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow, launching the show, followed by Alan Alda, Candice Bergen, Carol Burnett, Anjelica Huston, Stacy Keach, Diana Rigg and Martin Sheen. Rigg is appearing with the support of Actors’ Equity Association.

The director is two-time Tony winner Gregory Mosher. Producers are Nelle Nugent, Barbara Broccoli, Fredrick Zollo, Olympus Theatricals, Kenneth Teaton and Colleen Camp.

Show was earlier reported as a possible tenant for the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. “The Nederlander had more weeks available and was available so we grabbed it,” Mosher told Deadline.

Love Letters has an all-Tony-winner design team of John Lee Beatty (set), Jane Greenwood (costumes) and Peter Kaczorowski (lighting). Casting is by Telsey + Company’s William Cantler and Andrew Femenella.

Here’s the schedule so far:

Saturday, September 13, 2014, through Friday, October 10, 2014: Brian Dennehy & Mia Farrow

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 11.58.40 AMSaturday, October 11, 2014, through Friday, November 7, 2014: Carol Burnett & Brian Dennehy

Saturday, November 8, 2014 through Friday, December 5, 2014: Alan Alda & Candice Bergen

Saturday, December 6, 2014, through Friday, January 9, 2015: Stacy Keach & Diana Rigg

Saturday, January 10, 2015, through Sunday, February 1, 2015: Anjelica Huston & Martin Sheen

The first reading of Love Letters took place at the New York Public Library, performed by Gurney and Holland Taylor. The original full production was directed by John Tillinger and opened November 3, 1988, at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut starring Joanna … Read More »

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R.I.P. Movie Makeup Icon Dick Smith

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 8:49am PDT

R.I.P. Movie Makeup Icon Dick SmithLegendary Hollywood makeup artist Dick Smith has died at the age of 92. His protege and fellow makeup genius Rick Baker tweeted the sad news this morning.

“The master is gone. My friend and mentor Dick Smith is no longer with us. The world will not be the same.”

Smith’s iconic transformationsdick smith makeup appeared in films such as The Godfather, Taxi Driver and The Exorcist, in which he created the device that allowed Linda Blair to projectile vomit. He also transformed the look of F. Murray Abraham in Amadeus, as he aged in the film from his 40s to his 80s. In 2011, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences presented Smith with an honorary Oscar (Smith’s second, his first was for Amadeus) at the Governors Awards. It was presented by Baker who called Smith “my idol, mentor, and friend for over 40 years, the greatest makeup artist of all time”. On accepting the award, an emotional, tearful Smith said ”When I watch the wonderful films they just showed, I thought, ‘What a wonderful career this fellow has had.’ I have loved being a makeup artist. To have had so much kindness is just too much.”

Earlier in his career, he worked on the vampire soap opera Dark Shadows, a project he credited with being valuable preparation for the 1970 film Little Big Man. In Dark Shadows, vampire Barnabas Collins was undergoing medical treatment to change him into a living human being. … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘SpongeBob: Sponge Out Of Water’

Hot Trailer: ‘SpongeBob: Sponge Out Of Water’In a world … that’s not underwater, the denizens of Bikini Bottom must recover a mysterious book that — oh, forget about the plot. Just go get your kids and behold the first trailer for SpongeBob: Sponge Out Of Water, the second big-screen romp for the Nickelodeon stalwart and his briny chums. The 3D pic from SpongeBob SquarePants vet and rookie feature director Paul Tibbitt follows the CGI adventures of our porous hero along with Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, Mr. Krabs and Plankton, as they venture onto terra firma for the first time. Look for bikini babes and Slash, listen for “Welcome To The Jungle” and Antonio Banderas as Alameda Jack. Paramount opens it February 6:

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China To Limit “Cultural Pollution” With Cap On Imported TV Shows?

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 8:42am PDT

China To Limit “Cultural Pollution” With Cap On Imported TV Shows?In 2012, China relaxed its feature film import quota, upping the total number of foreign movies eligible for a 25% revenue-share slot to 34. In the meantime, online has been a pretty freewheeling space where American culture has been given a large window to be exploited in the country. In the past few months, however, there has been an increase in cracking down on online content. And today, Chinese media says a plan may be afoot to impose a quota system on the licensing of overseas programs by video websites. The idea being mulled over by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television would have implications for video giants like Sohu, Youku Tudou and Tencent who collectively stream about 400 American and British TV shows — with audiences rabid for the likes of Sherlock, The Vampire Diaries and others.

I’m cautioned that there has been talk for a long time about applying stricter censorship enforcement to online content, and China specialist Rob Cain tells me, “It would be no surprise to see it enacted.” He says the Communist party “wants to set the rules of morality and proper conduct in China — essentially to keep people behaving in ‘appropriate’ ways that support, or at least don’t threaten, the (party)’s rule or legitimacy — and foreign programs are generally perceived as a threat, often referred to as ‘cultural pollution.’ ” Read More »

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Hot TV Teaser: Netflix’s ‘BoJack Horseman’

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 7:52am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Hot TV Teaser: Netflix’s ‘BoJack Horseman’Here is a look at Netflix‘s next original series, the irreverent (and a little trippy) adult animated comedy BoJack Horseman, which premieres August 22. The PSA-style promo introduces BoJack (Will Arnett), the failed legendary star of the favorite ’90s family sitcom Horsin’ Around, who has been trying to find his way through a muddle of self-loathing, whisky and failed relationships. Now, in the presence of his human sidekick Todd (Aaron Paul) and his feline agent and ex-paramour Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), BoJack is primed for his comeback. The cast of the 12-episode series, which marks Arnett’s return to Netflix following last year’s installment of Arrested Development, also includes Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins and Patton Oswalt. Raphael Bob-Waksberg created the comedy, from Michael Eisner’s The Tornante Co., and executive produces with Arnett, Paul, Steven A. Cohen and Noel Bright. BoJack was designed by graphic artist Lisa Hanawalt and animated by ShadowMachine.

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ABC News’ Sara Just Named Executive Producer Of ‘PBS NewsHour’

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 7:08am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC News’ Sara Just Named Executive Producer Of ‘PBS NewsHour’Sara Just, a 25-year ABC News veteran, is leaving the network to become executive producer of PBS NewsHour and SVP at WETA, the public television station in Washington, DC. Just, who has been ABC News’ Deputy Washington Bureau Chief since April, will join News Hour on September 2, succeeding Linda Winslow, who is retiring. During her tenure at ABC News, Just also served as Senior Washington Producer for Good Morning America and spent 17 years as a producer at Nightline, working with longtime anchor Ted Koppel.

Just’s hire comes on the heels of WETA taking over NewsHour from MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, the company named after former anchors Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer, on July 1.

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Time Warner Cable Misses Q2 Earnings Expectations With Added SportsNet LA Costs And Declining Video Subs

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 4:55am PDT

Time Warner Cable Misses Q2 Earnings Expectations With Added SportsNet LA Costs And Declining Video SubsOn the bright side: Time Warner Cable saw strong growth in broadband subs. But Q2 won’t go down as a quarter to remember for the No. 2 cable company, in the process of being acquired by Comcast. It reported net income of $499M, +3.7% vs last year, on revenues of $5.73B, +3.2%. The revenue number came close to the Street’s target of $5.74B. But diluted earnings at $1.89 a share fell short of expectations for $1.91.

Some of the weakness was due to the double whammy of increased programming costs — including for SportsNet LA, launched this year — while the number of residential video subs declined by 152,000 since March to 11.0M. Video revenues fell 4.8% to $2.55B while programming costs increased 3.9% to $1.3B. The declines were somewhat offset by price increases.

The broadband business carried the company. It added 67,000 subscriptions for a total of 11.4M while revenues increased 12.8% to $1.6B. TWC also added 79,000 phone customers, ending the quarter with 4.9M, although revenues slipped 5.2% to $490M. Looked at another way, the number of single and double play customers declined while the number of triple play subs increased for a total of 14.5M customer relationships, down 34,000.

CEO Rob Marcus says TWC “delivered the best second quarter subscriber volumes in years” as it “made terrific progress on our strategic and operating initiatives.” The company is “working hard to complete our merger with Comcast.”

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Discovery Beats Q2 Earnings Expectations With Strong Overseas Sales

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 4:13am PDT

Discovery Beats Q2 Earnings Expectations With Strong Overseas SalesUPDATE: Discovery decided in the recent upfront ad sales market to bet that pricing will improve, CEO David Zaslav told analysts this morning. The company’s upfront sales grew by mid-single-digit percentages vs last year. “We held inventory back” to maintain the price it charges for each viewer reached, he said. “The volume was not as strong as it was last year” although pricing in the scatter market remains healthy. Zaslav is determined to close what he says is a cost gap between the prices Discovery commands vs other companies’ networks. “In the long term getting the value we deserve for the quality audience we provide is how we’ll get meaningful growth.” He’s sensitive to the market changes because in the past “we think we left some money on the table.”

2013 WICT Leadership Conference - Day 1On other matters, the CEO says he expects to establish new relationships with subscription VOD providers in the next few months. And he kept his options open when asked about the consolidation taking place in media. “We’re thinking hard about it as all content owners are.”

PREVIOUS, 4:13 AM: CEO David Zaslav’s globalization efforts paid off in Q2 as Discovery Communication’s overseas operations helped to cover for weaknesses in the U.S. businesses. The company reported net income of $379M, +26.3% vs the period last year, on revenues of $1.61B, +9.8%. The top line was a hair above the $1.60B in the Street’s consensus estimate. Earnings at $1.09 a share were well above forecasts for 95 cents. Read More »

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Update: Salman Khan’s ‘Kick’ Punches Its Way To #1 At 2014 Bollywood Box Office

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 4:12am PDT

Update: Salman Khan’s ‘Kick’ Punches Its Way To #1 At 2014 Bollywood Box Officekick movie posterUPDATE, THURSDAY AM: Salman Khan’s Kick may not have broken any all-time Bollywood records when it was released last Friday, but that hasn’t stopped it from racing to the top of the yearly charts. With 148.66 crore (about $25M) through Wednesday, the movie is now the top film of 2014 at home and is expected to continue to grow with no other big openers in the marketplace until August 8. Kick bested Khan’s own Jai Ho which was released in January and ultimately made 116 crore. Kick also becomes one of the fastest movies ever to pass the 100 crore mark, having done it in five days, as Bollywhood Hungama points out. That’s on a par with Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger, his highest grossing film ever, and just below last year’s Dhoom 3, Krrish 3 and Chennai Express. The latter film also came out during this same Eid holiday period that’s going on now. It’s one of the most lucrative at the Indian box office. Kick is still playing in North America and the UK and we should have updated figures for those runs this weekend.

PREVIOUS, TUESDAY AM: At 48 and with more than 80 films under his belt, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is one of Indian cinema’s biggest draws. He shares A-List status with a group that includes Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan. Working in an industry whose box office is up to 90% driven by local movies, they have a rabid fanbase. And that spreads throughout the diaspora, making it a global event each time one of their films is released. Khan just returned to the Eid al Fitr holiday season with Kick, an action romance thriller released by UTV on Friday. Last week, I wrote about expectations for the highly-anticipated film’s debut, and with many figures now in, here’s the post-mortem on the latest from the legend.

Image (2) india-flag__130707193408-200x112.jpg for post 536351The film went out in India, North America, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and other markets on Friday, performing well but falling short of all-time records. At home in India, Kick grossed an estimated 83.83 crore ($13.95M) on more than 4,000 screens for the biggest weekend debut of the year. It bested Khan’s earlier 2014 release Jai Ho, which did 60.68 crore in its first weekend in January. Kick is now the No. 6 all-time opener in India. The film marks something of a comeback for Khan, who in 2013 stepped out of the highly-profitable Eid corridor for the first time in years, leaving the date to rival Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express which broke several records upon release.

Outside its domestic market, Kick has an estimated take of about $3M through Sunday. While that’s a healthy perf, the $1.07M North American gross on 177 screens was well shy of Dhoom 3‘s $3.3M last year which remains the biggest Bollywood opener ever in North America (and the highest-grossing local film of all time). Read More »

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‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′, ‘22 Jump Street’ Help Sony Swing To Surprise Q1 Profit

‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′, ‘22 Jump Street’ Help Sony Swing To Surprise Q1 ProfitWith films like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 22 Jump Street leading a recovery in its entertaiment division, Sony posted a surprise profit in revealing its first-quarter results this morning in Tokyo. For the whole of the company, net income rose to $260M or 26.8B yen versus 3.1B yen in the comparable 2013 quarter. Operating income hit 69.8B yen ($679M) up 96.7% from last year. As it struggles with a decrease in appetite for traditional consumer electronics, the company has ramped up its games business. Overall sales for the quarter were up 5.8% with the games segment making a large contribution via the PlayStation 4 which was launched in November 2013. The results today beat analyst expectations, but Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai maintained a previous full-year forecast for a net loss of 50B yen and an operating profit of 140B yen.

Sales and revenue in the games division jumped 95.7% to $2.5B and went from negative operating income to +$41.8M. In home entertainment which makes televisions and audio and video devices, sales increased 3.8% to $2.8B. The hike came from significant sales of LCD televisions, mainly in Europe and Asia Pacific — and were likely impacted by the World Cup. But there was also a decrease in the sale of Blu-ray disc players. The movie division, however posted a profit of about $76M, up 109.3% from last year. Sales and operating revenue were $1.9B. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has grossed about $706M worldwide, $504M of that from … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: China Forum Held On Sino-U.S. Cooperation; Simon Cowell Named Mipcom Personality Of The Year; ITV Drama Lineup; More

Global Showbiz Briefs: China Forum Held On Sino-U.S. Cooperation; Simon Cowell Named Mipcom Personality Of The Year; ITV Drama Lineup; MoreAs I reported on Monday, the China Film Association has formed the International Communication Committee of the China Film Association. At an event held Tuesday in Beijing, the ICCCFA was unveiled to address critical issues facing the Chinese film industry. DMG Entertainment, whose president Wu Bing was named as VP of ICCCFA, helped organize the event. The ICCCFA’s focus will be to educate and engage the global film community, particularly Hollywood, to enhance the development of the Chinese film industry by establishing best practices for partnering with China’s established and proven film companies to access the market. One of the major questions addressed was whether the Chinese film industry should China-And-Hollywood__130605112955-150x150__130925193515__131105220131support Hollywood studios making Chinese films or Chinese studios making Hollywood films. DMG’s Dan Mintz said the industry is “collectively agreeing on the latter as the correct agenda.” Along with the heads of many of China’s most influential state-backed film organizations, DMG escorted former Skydance COO Paul Schwake and screenwriter Evan Daugherty to the forum. Talking about the long-term goal of global film and cultural balance, Schwake said: “Though Hollywood isn’t a perfect system, it is an industry that has benefited from 100-plus years of trial and error and adaptive evolution. It’s important for the governing entities in China to support their own industry leaders so that those entities can catch up to the U.S. studios and perhaps even surpass them some day.” Said Daugherty: “Yes, it takes a great story to make a great film, but to complete that journey takes a system that excels at development, finance, production, marketing, and distribution. Otherwise that great story just lays on a shelf.” Via the ICCCFA, the Chinese government has put an emphasis on building China’s cultural industries. Kang Jianmin, Secretary-General of the China Film Association, noted: “The mission of the Chinese film industry should not only focus on content, even though content is king. It should also nurture a solid foundation of new technology, creativity and talent – in other words, focusing on industry development at-large. This macro-strategy, if successfully implemented, will most rapidly create a world-class film industry.” Read More »

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