SNL: What Ever Happened To Harry Potter? ‘Epilogue’ Sketch Starring Daniel Radcliffe

By | Sunday January 15, 2012 @ 12:08am PST

Cast already teased “Jersey Shore Harry Potter” in cold open here which wasn’t very funny, either. Nothing like starting 2012 on a lame note:

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Harry Potter Attraction Riding Into Universal Studios Hollywood

Harry Potter will materialize sometime in the future in Universal City with his own special section of the theme park much like “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Orlando Resort. NBC Universal is expected to announce plans … Read More »

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HAMMOND: Composer Alexandre Desplat Is Music To Oscar’s Ears Again This Season

Pete Hammond

Is Alexandre Desplat the new hardest working man in show business? The prolific French composer  who has had four Oscar nominations in the last five years  is just coming off his busiest year since gaining international notoriety in 2003 with Girl With A Pearl Earring. Since then he has been one … Read More »

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UK Extends Movie Tax Break Until 2015

By | Thursday November 10, 2011 @ 7:21am PST

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that film tax relief will be extended for four more years until the end of December 2015. It had been due to expire March next year. The UK tax break is worth 16% of the budgets of Hollywood movies shooting over here, and 20% of the budgets for local films. The news is designed to re-assure Hollywood that the UK is still the place to shoot big-budget movies. Recent Hollywood productions that have shot at Pinewood Studios include Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows and Snow White and the Huntsman. The tax break has been worth $151 million to producers over the most recent financial year, supporting over $1.6 billion spent on 208 UK-qualifying films. Read More »

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‘Harry Potter’ Won’t Be Gone Too Long

Harry Potter fans take heart. Just because Warner Bros says it won’t ship more DVDs or Blu-rays after December 29, that doesn’t mean Hogwarts will immediately vanish from physical or virtual shelves. Or that it won’t be available for … Read More »

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HAMMOND: Woody Allen, Brad Pitt, ‘The Help’ & Cast Among Early 2011 Leading Oscar Contenders; Can They Hang On?

Pete Hammond

OK, I’ll say it: If the Oscars were held today (nearly two-thirds of the way through 2011) Woody Allen could have another Best Picture winner. Of course the 84th Academy Awards aren’t being held yet and we are … Read More »

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HAMMOND: Honorary Oscars To Be Voted Next Week; Who Will Get Them?

Pete Hammond

Tuesday night is a big one for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They hold their annual election for president (expect current prexy Tom Sherak to be easily re-elected for his third and final one-year term) and they will choose the 2011 recipients of the Governors Awards, which will be some combination of Honorary Oscars, The Irving G. Thalberg Award and/or the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. At that meeting, Sherak could also tell the board who is going to produce the 84th Annual Academy Awards among the other things that may come up, including proposals to further regulate Oscar-season campaigning and parties (a move inspired by and initiated in part because of my Jan. 7 Deadline article on the issue, I am told by an Academy insider involved with the new proposals).

Even though recipients of last year’s 2nd Annual Governors Awards, (Jean-Luc Godard, Eli Wallach, Kevin Brownlow and Thalberg winner Francis Ford Coppola) weren’t announced until the last week in August a year ago, Sherak told me he is determined to get this done at the early August meeting this year in order to give Governors Awards producer Phil Robinson more time to put all the logistics of the event together; the ceremony is set for Saturday Nov. 12 and is not televised.

This all leads to the annual game of who will and who should get these prized awards, which were created in 2009 as their own separate show so more of them could be handed out and there would be more time to celebrate the careers of the recipients than during the time-crunched Oscar show. In the recent past, before the creation of the event, the Academy’s board had been limiting presentation of the Honorary awards to one per show. The Jean Hersholt Award to Jerry Lewis was the last given, on the (81st) Oscar telecast. Since then, they have handed out the maximum of four of these honors at each Governors Awards dinner. Lauren Bacall, Roger Corman, cinematographer Gordon Willis and Thalberg winner John Calley received the inaugural awards.

In terms of who will win them this year, it’s anybody’s guess as each of the 43 Governors of every branch has an opportunity to put a name in contention if they wish and a simple majority is generally all that’s required to make someone a winner. It’s clear the Academy likes diversity, repping all corners of the motion picture arts and sciences, and it seems like they have been favoring people who are still active. Wallach may have been 95 when he finally got his Honorary Oscar last year, but he is also still working.

For years, every time the board set about voting for these honors some subtle (and not-so-subtle) lobbying would take place. Veteran stars like Glenn Ford and Richard Widmark were often mentioned but never got the call despite annual letters and pleas on their behalf. Doris Day’s name always comes up in speculation about Honorary Oscars, but it’s never happened and the reclusive 87-year-old star hasn’t made a film since 1968. Director Jules Dassin had his supporters at one time on the board but went to his grave without getting the big honor. On the other hand, a large profile piece on producer Dino De Laurentiis that was (coincidentally?) placed in the L.A. Times on the morning of the selections in 2000 certainly couldn’t have hurt his chances when he was voted the Thalberg later that day. Read More »

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Warner Bros Buys ‘A Discovery Of Witches’

By | Thursday July 21, 2011 @ 11:33am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has acquired screen rights to A Discovery of Witches, the bestselling novel by Deborah Harkness. Denise DiNovi and Allison Greenspan will produce. The debut novel is about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch and a mysterious manuscript … Read More »

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Hammond On Oscar: Can ‘Harry Potter’ Finally Crack The Best Picture Race?

Pete Hammond

This weekend Harry Potter proved he can rule the worldwide box office in a big way but can he wave his magic wand at the Academy and get a Best Picture nomination to put a cherry on the Potter pie? … Read More »

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Look Out: Advertisers Will Cancel Upfront Orders As Economy Weakens, Analyst Says

Never mind the strong upfront ad sales for broadcast and cable networks. The slowing economy is “finally starting to impact marketers’ budgets,” UBS Investment Research analyst John Janedis said in a report today as he downgraded his investment … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2′

The 2nd trailer for the final Harry Potter film was released today. (Here‘s the first one from April.) Warner Bros is releasing the film in the U.S. on July 15.

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What Will Stop Wall Street’s Anti-3D Debate?

Wall Street’s backlash against 3D movies is growing serious. Just weeks after movie executives and investors wondered how well 3D films would do this summer, they’ve begun to ask much tougher questions including: When will movie theater chains begin to cancel orders for 3D projection equipment? And could continued weakening in ticket sales force AMC Entertainment to shelve its plan to go public and raise as much as $450 million?

Defenders of the technology are urging everyone to wait and see whether there’s an uptick in 3D ticket sales for Paramount’s Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, which opens July 1, and Warner Bros’ Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part II, which opens July 15.  The films should “help provide for a more positive outlook” for 3D in general and particularly for 3D technology company RealD, says Merriman Capital analyst Eric Wold.

But investors didn’t appear to agree on Friday. RealD’s stock price fell 13.2% to $20.90 the day after executives responded to the Street’s concerns with talking points that simply urged people not to read too much into disappointing 3D sales for just a few films. RealD shares now have lost 41.3% of their value since May 19. “While management dismisses a change in consumer enthusiasm toward 3D, the public is speaking and 3D is simply being overused with ticket premiums far too high,” says BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield — who has a “sell” rating on RealD. Read More »

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Will ‘Cars’ Move More Merchandise Than ‘Toy Story 3′? Either Way, Disney Will Remain The World’s No. 1 Licensor

Consumers worldwide spent $2.4 billion last year on merchandise related to Toy Story 3, helping Disney to easily reclaim the No. 1 position on License! Global magazine’s annual tally of the top sellers of stuff emblazoned with trademarked characters and … Read More »

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3D Blu-ray Disc Sales To Soar: 5.7 Million?

There’s still not a lot of 3D programming on cable or broadcast to satisfy those first buyers of 3D televisions. But IHS Screen Digest says today that the technology is about to find a real foothold among fans of Blu-ray discs. … Read More »

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Theater Owners: We’re Pissed, But No Boycott

Mike Fleming

Washington, D.C. (April 14, 2011)—The National Association of Theatre Owners does not and could not encourage its members to engage in any boycotts of any movies distributed by any company. Recent press reports to the contrary are completely false.

In an article published on April 13 in The Guardian, it was suggested that NATO indicated that cinema operators were prepared not to screen movies, and specifically referenced the coming Harry Potter film. No one from The Guardian contacted NATO before the original article was published. At our request, The Guardian did later change the article to remove the erroneous reference to the Harry Potter film.

Then later on April 13, the blog “Business Insider” entitled “Harry Potter 8 Dropped From Theaters?” suggested that NATO “is threatening to drop some of this summer’s biggest blockbusters” and that “screens under NATO are threatening to boycott upcoming studio releases, starting with Warner Bros. sure to be box office-gargantuan Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.” Again, these stories, and others that have followed, are completely false and no one from the organizations responsible for the stories contacted anyone at NATO.

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More Warner Bros Movie Rentals On Facebook: ‘Harry Potter’ & ‘Inception’

By | Sunday March 27, 2011 @ 9:16pm PDT

BURBANK, CALIF., March 27, 2011 – Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD), a market leader in video-on-demand and electronic sell-through, announced it will expand its test offering of movies for rental through Warner Bros. Entertainment’s Facebook Movie Pages.  Starting today

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Jeffrey Clifford Takes President Post For David Heyman’s Warner Bros-based Shingle

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Jeffrey Clifford, the former creative exec at Disney and Warner Bros who ran Montecito for Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock for the last four and one-half years, will move back to the Warner Bros lot to run Heyday Films for David Heyman. The deal isn’t done but Clifford will … Read More »

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ABC Family Buys Final 2 ‘Harry Potter’ Films

By | Monday November 22, 2010 @ 4:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

ABC Family completed its Harry Potter collection with the acquisition of the TV rights to the final two Harry Potter movies, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Parts 1 and 2. Deathly Hallows, Part 1 just opened to more than … Read More »

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2D Only For ‘Harry Potter Deathly Hallows’

Here’s the statement from Warner Bros:

Warner Bros Pictures has made the decision to release “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” in 2D, in both conventional and IMAX theaters, as we will not have a completed 3D version of the film within our release date window. Despite everyone’s best efforts, we were unable to convert the film in its entirety and meet the highest standards of quality. We do not want to disappoint fans who have long-anticipated the conclusion of this extraordinary journey, and to that end, we are releasing our film day-and-date on November 19, 2010 as planned. We, in alignment with our filmmakers, believe this is the best course to take in order to ensure that our audiences enjoy the consummate “Harry Potter” experience.

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