UPDATE: Bob Iger Talks Up ‘Frozen’, ‘Star Wars’ & New ‘Incredibles’ And ‘Cars’ Movies As Shareholders Re-Elect Board

iger 2mouse smallThe Disney CEO made his observations as he kicked off his company’s annual shareholder meeting in Portland, Ore. Frozen has already generated more than $1B globally and, with its successful open in Japan, should pass Toy Story 3‘s sales of $1.06B.  TS3 made $126.7M in Japan. The new film’s success has returned Disney’s animation studio to its “rightful place” as one of the world’s greatest, Bob Iger says. Pixar, meanwhile, will produce a third Cars movie and is developing a sequel to 2004′s The Incredibles, Iger also said, with confirmation coming via Disney/Pixar’s Facebook page that it is “currently working on two new films featuring your favorite characters from Incredibles and Cars.” Iger also crowed about the company’s market value of more than $143B, up from about $100B last year. Incredibles“I’d call that a great year,” he says. Iger told investors that he can’t share much about Star Wars VII, but said that principal photography will begin in May in London. In his opening comments the CEO also said that the Shanghai Disney park will feature a Pirates Of the Caribbean-themed attraction called Treasure Cove.

Related:
Disney: ‘Star Wars’ To Start Shooting In May, Pick Up 30 Years After End Of ‘Jedi’

Shanghai Disney Pirates of the CaribbeanNo surprises on the business side: All of the board nominees, who were unopposed, were re-elected according to the preliminary returns. Former Starbucks CEO Orin Smith trailed the pack with support from holders owning 92% of the votes cast. Iger was favored by 99%. Some 80% supported an advisory resolution endorsing the company’s executive compensation. Just 24% supported a shareholder proposal that Disney opposed that would have barred accelerated vesting of executives’ equity awards if there’s a change in control. Read More »

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Disney’s Avoids Shareholder Showdown With Last-Minute Board Guideline Change

By | Tuesday March 18, 2014 @ 5:25am PDT

The change appears to have appeased shareholders who are still seething over Disney’s decision to make Bob Iger both CEO and Chairman — and scratches a potentially embarrassing vote today over a proposal that could have made the process of selecting board members slightly more democratic. Read More »

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Disney, Seth Grahame- Smith Making New Film Of Ray Bradbury’s ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’

Mike Fleming

wickEXCLUSIVE: Disney is making a new version of the classic Ray Bradbury thriller novel Something Wicked This Way Comes. The studio, which turned Bradbury’s novel into a 1983 movie, has set Seth Grahame-Smith to make his feature directorial debut on the project. He will begin work immediately writing a treatment, and the studio then will hire a writer to script the project. Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg’s KatzSmith Productions will be the producing banner and Katzenberg will produce the film.

The novel tells the story of how Mr. Dark, the evil proprietor of a traveling carnival who preys on the residents of a small town by bartering possession of their souls for the dreams each one has. Grahame-Smith said it was his favorite book as a child, but he doesn’t feel the movie is sacrosanct. Although the late Bradbury wrote the script, he later lamented that the movie lost a lot of the book. Grahame-Smith intends to put it back and plug a new generation into the tale. Read More »

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Disney/ABC TV Group President Anne Sweeney To Exit In January 2015 To Become TV Director

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 12:10pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Anne-SweeneyAfter 18 years at Disney, Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, will be stepping down at the end of her current contract in January 2015 to pursue a career as a TV director. “The … Read More »

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

By | Sunday March 9, 2014 @ 5:00pm PDT

FilmLightingEquipmentLowerBroadwayNYC060709Pilot Locations 2014: New York Production Rises, Los Angeles Plummets, Texas Hot
By Nellie Andreeva – While California Gov. Jerry Brown is still “not committed” to expanding the state’s film and TV tax credit, Los Angeles is seeing another drop in broadcast pilot production to what appears to be an all-time low. New York, which also lured The Tonight Show franchise away from Los Angeles, returns this year as the most popular drama location and reinforcing its strong position in comedy.

Dish And Disney Finalize Output Deal That Ends Their Ad-Hopper Dispute
By David Lieberman – The companies have officially announced a “wide-ranging” deal, which “will result in dismissal of all pending litigation between the two companies, including disputes over PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop.” The agreement calls for Dish to disable AutoHop functionality for ABC content within the C3 ratings window. The pact also for the first time allows Dish customers to access Disney’s authenticated live and VOD products.

Aereo-logo__130126232434-200x206__131008001115__131212200214__140110201424__140211193750White House Backs Broadcasters In Aereo Case
By David Lieberman and Dominic Patten – The Solicitor General’s office put the Obama administration solidly in the anti-Aereo camp with a 40-page amicus brief filed with SCOTUS.

‘The Wire’s David Simon Takes On Oprah-Produced HBO Mini On Martin Luther King
By Mike Fleming Jr. – I’m hearing that David Simon, the architect of the HBO series The Wire, Homicide and most recently Treme, will spearhead the HBO six-hour MLK miniseries adaptation of America: In The King Years, based on the celebrated book trilogy by Pulitzer Prize-winner Taylor Branch. Read More »

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Deadline Big Media 75 – The Dish And Disney Do A Deal Podcast

By and | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 1:19pm PST

Deadline BIG MEDIA ep 75In this week’s podcast, Deadline’s executive editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom look at the big Dish-Disney deal and what it might mean for other media companies and even a possible sports-free online pay-TV service. They also discuss Disney’s continuing headaches with its Interactive unit, whether FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s new rules for local broadcast alliances go far enough and look at the speculation about Carmike, the big exhibitor whose strong quarter fueled speculation that it will be a fat takeover target.

Deadline Big Media podcast 75 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Big Media podcast 75 (.M4A version)
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Disney Inks Co-Development Deal With China’s Shanghai Media Group

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 4:38pm PST

disneystudiosWalt Disney Studios and China entertainment biggie Shanghai Media Group have signed a multi-year partnership agreement to co-develop Disney-branded movies for U.S.-China co-productions, the latest move by Hollywood to get in business with China and its lucrative territory that adds 10 … Read More »

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Idris Elba To Provide The Roar In Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 3:41pm PST
Mike Fleming

Idris Elba Jungle Book Shere KhanEXCLUSIVE: Idris Elba is in final negotiations to perform the role and provide the voice of the killer tiger Shere Khan in Disney’s live-action take on The Jungle Book. Directed by Jon Favreau, the film is a mix of live action and VFX that is being overseen by Rob Legato, whose VFX credits include Avatar, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Hugo and Titanic, the latter two of which won him Oscars. The studio has bolstered its creative team by setting as its production designers Alex McDowell (Man Of Steel, Rise Of The Guardians) and Chris Glass heading a team of concept artists that includes Michael Kutsche (Alice, Oz, Maleficent), Iain McCaig (Star Wars), and Justin Sweet (Chronicles Of Narnia). The story team is headed by Iron Man‘s David Lowery, who’s working around the clock with seven full-time illustrators, with Legacy Effects participating in creature design and rigging.

Disney is moving very quickly as it is in a race with Warner Bros on versions of Rudyard Kipling’s public domain title. The rival project is still looking for a director after Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu dropped from the project. Read More »

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Disney Cuts Interactive Division Workforce By 26%

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 10:25am PST

Disney_InteractiveThe roughly 700 layoffs have been widely anticipated for the operation, Disney‘s only money-losing division in the fiscal year that ended in September. With the cuts, Disney Interactive will trim by half the number of games it … Read More »

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Les Moonves Calls Dish-Disney Deal “A Great Start” But “Not Enough For Us”

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 1:38pm PST

The CBS chief describes Dish Network and Disney’s new programming agreement as “a win-win for both companies.” Les Moonves headshotBut it’s still “not quite enough for us,” Les Moonves told the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference today. He likes the fact that Dish chairman Charlie Ergen curtailed the ability of his Hopper DVR to automatically zap ads on ABC shows; the new deal will delay that until three days after a show airs. (CBS and other broadcasters sued Dish saying that the Hopper infringed on their copyrights and violated programming contracts. hopperdvr__120524213652-1-3-2-2__130201224842__130923214955Dish says the Hopper simply automates the ad skipping that DVR viewers already do with their remote controls.) Moonves also doesn’t mind the terms in the deal with Disney that would enable Dish to carry its channels on an Internet pay TV service, also known as over-the-top. “Everybody’s talking about over the top,” he says. “We’re talking about it with many of the [pay TV distributors] we’re in business with….The current ecosystem works very well, but a new way to get paid for your linear content is a good thing if it’s done appropriately.” He adds that consumers will probably see a online pay TV service “in concert with our partners.” That could include Dish: Moonves says that “our deal with Charlie is up at the end of this year. It’ll be an interesting conversation, as they always are with Charlie.”

Related: Les Moonves Vows To Drop Dish If It Keeps Pushing Ad-Zapping DVR

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Hot TV Spot: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 10:25am PST

Just over a month after a new Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer debuted during the Super Bowl, Disney/Marvel today unveiled a new TV spot for the superhero sequel. Some of this we’ve seen before, but the new 1:01-minute spot has a lot more of Anthony Mackie as … Read More »

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Does Dish’s Deal With Disney End The Possibility Of A Sports-Free Internet Pay TV Service?

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 6:53am PST

It’s definitely a set-back for those who fantasized about such a service based on what we know from the wide-ranging program carriage agreement the companies announced last night. Dish and Disney logosMany industry watchers thought that someone might be able … Read More »

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UPDATE: International Box Office: ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’ Has No. 1 Japan Opening; ‘Lego’ Builds to $121M Overseas; ‘Frozen’ Crossing $1B Worldwide; ‘Robocop’ Takes $20.5M In China; More

By | Monday March 3, 2014 @ 9:00pm PST

cinemaworld6th UPDATE, 9 PM: Final numbers are in for The Lego Movie, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Pompeii and this year’s Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave. All have been updated below. Slave grossed another $7M over the weekend in 55 markets to bring its total international cume to $89.93M and its worldwide to $140.5M. Its top grossing market is the UK, followed by France and Spain where it had a terrific jump of 56% at the box office. It also had a nice 20% bump in Australia. It will open in Japan on Friday, the first territory to open since winning the Oscar. The other big winner at the Oscars with 7 statues, Gravity is still playing to bring its international cume up to $436.9M for a worldwide total of $707.3M. The breakdown of grosses territory by territory are below.

5th UPDATE, Monday 12:33 PM: Ride Along numbers have been updated as have some of grosses of  The Wolf Of Wall Street. Meanwhile, Dallas Buyers Club, which won Matthew McConaughey an Oscar is currently in its Latin American run and film has a cume of $1.16M in 10 markets, grossing $354K on 221 screens. It only has one more territory in Latin America to open before it completes its international run and to date has a worldwide total of about $32M on a $5M budget shot over only 23 days. Interesting to note also that Universal’s 47 Ronin is still playing in 23 territories for a total cume to date of $107.4M with four more territories to open over the next couple of months, including Italy and France.
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UPDATE: Dish And Disney Finalize Output Deal That Ends Their Ad-Hopper Dispute

By | Monday March 3, 2014 @ 5:20pm PST

hopperdvr__120524213652-1-3-2-2__130201224842UPDATE, 5:20 PM: The companies have officially announced a “wide-ranging” deal, which “will result in dismissal of all pending litigation between the two companies, including disputes over PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop.” The agreement calls for Dish to disable AutoHop functionality for ABC content within the C3 ratings window. The pact also for the first time allows Dish customers to access Disney’s authenticated live and VOD products. The full release is below the original story.

PREVIOUS, 3:59 PM: They both made big concessions as part of a new — and long-awaited — program carriage deal that Dish Network cut with Disney, The Wall Street Journal reports. disneyIt says that Dish Network has agreed to disable the Hopper DVR’s “Auto Hop” feature for ABC shows for the first three days after they air. Disney, in return, will drop out of broadcasters’ suit against Dish. They’ve said that the DVR’s feature that automatically jumps past ads on some recorded shows infringes on their copyrights and violates carriage contracts. Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen has steadfastly cast himself as a champion for his customers’ interests, saying that Hopper simply automates what DVR owners already can do with their remote controls. Now that Dish and Disney have agreed to allow ad zapping after three days, we’ll have to see whether other broadcasters can accept similar terms. CBS chief Les Moonves said in November that he’s “very flexible. We’re willing to negotiate.” Last month Ergen said that he was “cautiously optimisic” about striking a deal with Disney, in part because CEO Bob Iger — who’s also a member of Apple’s board – “has looked at [terms] in ways that others have not.” Read More »

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Is Latest ‘Star Wars’ Casting Rumor Actually True?

By | Wednesday February 26, 2014 @ 1:17pm PST

USA-'Look Back In Anger' Meet & GreetAfter pretty much every name in Hollywood has been mentioned in connection with the new Star Wars movie being directed by JJ Abrams, we’re hearing that Girls star Adam Driver is actually, really … Read More »

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Ruben Fleischer In Talks For Disney’s ‘Overnight’

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 12:23pm PST
Mike Fleming

rubenBREAKING: Disney is in talks with Zombieland‘s Ruben Fleischer to helm Overnight. Produced by Neal Moritz’s Original Film, the pic is described to me as Home Alone in a toy store, as a father and son win an … Read More »

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Disney Movies Anywhere Launches On iTunes With 400 Disney, Pixar & Marvel Titles In The Cloud

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 5:00am PST

browseall-webThe same day that Disney launches its mega-hit Frozen in the digital realm, the company is announcing a cloud-based purchase and storage service for its films. In a new deal with Apple, Disney Movies Anywhere goes live today exclusively through iTunes, kicking off with more than 400 Disney, Pixar and Marvel titles such as Iron Man 3, Finding Nemo and Mary Poppins. The service allows users to browse, buy, manage and watch movies on PCs and iOS devices using an app or website. The move comes 15 months after the company announced it was pulling the plug on Disney Movies Online, its barely-known and costly Internet pic service.

Not that DMA is without precedent.

In many ways, DMA is Disney’s answer to UltraViolet. While the House of Mickey has not been a part of the UltraViolet gang, the cloud-based digital rights library has been backed by many of the other major studios as well as Lionsgate, DreamWorks Animation and HBO, among others. With two such systems now on the movie market, there undoubtedly will be concerns about consumer confusion over DMA and UltraViolet, which debuted in 2011. The latter’s backers want the service to be the industry standard and to provide consumers with a single digital locker for their movies. A desire the new DMA now challenges.

PrintAdditionally, the tie-up with Apple is key for Disney. Right now UltraViolet titles can be played on Apple devices, with the help of an app, but don’t show up in iTunes. DMA is powered by KeyChest, Disney’s adaptable technology that can integrate with any existing distribution partner as well as work with new ones to enable access to digital content. DMA bolsters the companies’ ties with Apple. Last year, the Disney Channel app was made available on Apple TV. Read More »

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Dish Network “Cautiously Optimistic” About Carriage Talks With Disney

By | Friday February 21, 2014 @ 10:26am PST

Dish and Disney logosDish chairman Charlie Ergen had little new to report about his company’s negotiations for a broad, long-term deal to carry ABC, ESPN and other Disney-owned channels. “It’s taken longer than any of us would like,” he … Read More »

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Disney Hires Columbia Pictures’ Sam Dickerman As EVP Production

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 9:34am PST

disneystudiosColumbia Pictures‘ EVP Production Sam Dickerman is moving to Disney, taking the same title and reporting to Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production president Sean Bailey. While at Sony, Dickerman worked most recently on current Oscar Best Picture … Read More »

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