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HBO To Premiere Beyonce & Jay Z’s ‘On The Run Tour’ Concert Event In September

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 2:22pm PDT

HBO To Premiere Beyonce & Jay Z’s ‘On The Run Tour’ Concert Event In SeptemberHBO will present Beyonce and Jay Z in their first collaborative tour and their first HBO concert event in September, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo announced today at TCA. Taping September 12 and 13 at Stade de France in Paris on the only international leg of their current tour, the special will feature the superstars performing more than 40 songs. “This is a major musical event that belongs on HBO,” said Lombardo in a statement. “It’s going to be a night to remember.” said of the ongoing tour: The coordination is not just remarkable, it’s the absolute best way that two of the world’s best performers can deliver a show that proves why they are on top together.”
Although the music stars have recorded together, this is the first time the married couple has toured together on the same bill. The tour began June 26 in Miami.

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‘SNL’: Cold Open On Jay-Z Vs. Solange Smackdown Sparkles With Maya Rudolph’s Beyonce (Video)

By | Sunday May 18, 2014 @ 4:23am PDT

snl18Saturday Night Live cold-opened its 39th season finale riffing on the security video of Jay-Z and Solange duking it out in an elevator, providing a “soundtrack” revealing that Solange was just trying to brush a spider off the mogul rapper’s  jacket. Even with the delicious Maya Rudolph showing up as Beyonce, it was pretty flat beer. Guest host and SNL alum Andy Samberg, hot off his Brooklyn Nine-Nine series (produced by NBCUniversal and shown on Fox), monologued about his prominence in SNL videos and played dueling impressionists with Bill Hader and, very briefly, Martin Short. It wasn’t until almost an hour into the show that SNL troupers present and past fired on all cylinders, with a Michael Sam-inspired Vogelcheck family orgy of tongue-in-everyone-else’s-cheeks (and ears, hair, etc.) featuring alums Fred Armisen, Kristin Wiig and Paul Rudd. Here’s the opener:

Here’s Samberg’s intro:

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HBO Developing Electronic Music Comedy From DJ Calvin Harris, ‘Trainspotting’ Author Irvine Welsh, Will Smith & Jay-Z

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 9:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

harrisEXCLUSIVE: Top UK DJ Calvin Harris has teamed with Will Smith and Jay-Z for Higher, a half-hour comedy series project that has been set up at HBO for development. Written by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh and developed with Harris’ help, the fictional comedy is set in the world of electronic music. It comes from Overbrook Entertainment, Three Six Zero Group and Marcy Media, with Overbrook’s James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Miguel Melendez serving as executive producers alongside Three Six Zero Group’s Mark Gillespie and Dean Wilson, along with Harris and Marcy Media’s Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Jay Brown, and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith. This expands the smithjayzrelationship between Smith and Jay-Z who also are producing together the upcoming feature musical Annie.  Harris is a Grammy award winning songwriter and producer, who was the first DJ to win the Ivor Novello Songwriter Of  The Year Award. He has two more Grammy nominations this year, Best Dance Recording for Sweet Nothing, and Best Dance/Electronica Album for 18 Months. Released last October, 18 Months has sold over 1m albums and 28 million singles worldwide. The album produced 9 UK top 10 singles, including We Found Love feat. Rihanna, breaking Michael Jackson’s record for the most Top 10 singles from one album (7). Harris is managed by six-year-old Three Six Zero Group where he was the first client.

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Phase 4 To Release Ron Howard And Jay-Z Docu ‘Made In America’

By | Friday November 8, 2013 @ 3:17pm PST
Mike Fleming

Phase 4 Films acquired North American distribution rights to Made In America, Ron Howard’s first documentary, which he made in partnership with Imagine partner Brian Grazer and Jay-Z. CAA brokered the U.S. rights deal on behalf of the filmmakers; the Canadian rights were handled by The Exchange. Film premiered in Toronto and follows hip-hop icon Jay-Z as he plans the Budweiser Made in America Festival, a 2012 concert event with musicians including Drake, Pearl Jam, Run-DMC, The Hives, Passion Pit, Calvin Harris, Janelle Monáe and Skrillex that grossed $5 million in ticket sales and drew 80,000 fans in Philadelphia. The film will be released in the summer. Imagine produced with Marcy Media, RadicalMedia, in association with Participant Media. Showtime had TV rights and aired it last month.

“This is not a concert film but rather a reflection of the fabric of what it means to be Made in America — what the festival represents, why Jay is doing it, and how he relates to each artist,” Howard said. “Made In America is intended to showcase Jay-Z’s struggle for success and illustrate how he has become a voice and an icon for a generation of driven and creative youth.”

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Toronto: Showtime Acquires Jay-Z Concert Documentary ‘Made In America’

By | Friday August 30, 2013 @ 12:55pm PDT

Showtime will premiere the documentary Made In America on October 11. The pic chronicles the two-day music festival put together last September by Jay-Z that included performances by Kanye West, Pearl Jam, Run-DMC and other chart-toppers. Jay-Z then partnered with Imagine Entertainment to produce the pic, which will have its world premiere at Toronto on September 7 and follows the people and artists surrounding the one-off event. Imagine’s Ron Howard directed, and RadicalMedia and Participant Media also produced. The deal was negotiated by CAA on behalf of the production. “As soon as we saw this film we knew it was a perfect fit for Showtime,” Showtime president of entertainment David Nevins said. “Ron Howard and Jay-Z have crafted an inspirational portrayal of American resilience, drive and creativity, interwoven with an incredible showcase of musical talent.” Check out the trailer:

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‘Great Gatsby’ Soundtrack Sales Zooming Up Billboard 200

By | Saturday May 11, 2013 @ 1:21pm PDT

Baz Luhrmann‘s ambitious 3D Great Gatsby pic isn’t just raking in the dough in theaters. Its Jazz Age-meets-Jay-Z mash-up soundtrack has been climbing the charts fast after Tuesday’s release. According to SoundScan, early projections pegged first week sales at 90,000-95,000 copies but now the album’s headed toward 100K by Sunday and could notch a #2 debut on the Billboard Top 200 when official results come in next week. Luhrmann, exec producer Jay-Z, and executive music producer Anton Monsted gambled on slotting anachronistic new tracks and covers by contemporary hip-hop and pop artists into the 1920s-set F. Scott Fitzgerald tale. Read More »

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Will Gluck Helming ‘Annie’ Remake For Sony, Will Smith And Jay Z

By | Wednesday January 30, 2013 @ 11:19am PST
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Sony Pictures is setting Will Gluck to helm Annie, the re-imagining of the Broadway musical. The helmer who directed Easy A and Friends With Benefits for Sony-based Screen Gems takes on a high-profile project that will be produced by James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith through their Overbrook Entertainment banner, and by Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, Jay Brown, and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith through Marcy Media. Willow Smith is no longer attached; she was 9 when development began and she has outgrown the role of Annie.

Gluck will revise the film’s screenplay, which was written by Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna based on the musical and its book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin. That’s based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip. The movie is contemporized and will shoot in the fall for a 2014 release. Read More »

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UPDATE: Beyonce On Obama At NYC Fundraiser: “We Believe In His Vision”

By | Tuesday September 18, 2012 @ 7:34pm PDT

2nd UPDATE, 7:34 PM: President Obama raised millions tonight in New York at two fundraisers, and he also got in his second visit with David Letterman since taking office. His Late Show With David Letterman appearance went from the fun (the President’s weight and Clint Eastwood’s chair interview of an invisible Obama at the RNC) to the serious (the violence resulting from the anti-Islamic film Innocence Of Muslims). Obama’s visit with Letterman, his seventh overall, will be broadcast tonight (see the promo below). Afterward, the President spoke to a $12,500-per-family crowd of about 200 at a campaign event at the Waldorf Astoria. He kicked off his speech with a dig at Eastwood:  “Hello, everybody! Hello! (Applause.) Hello, New York! (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you so much. If you have a chair, go ahead and use it. If you don’t then — don’t.”, he said according to a transcript of his remarks released by the White House. The visit to the Big Apple was crowned by a $40,000-a-ticket dinner tonight hosted by Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z. Two attendees didn’t have to pay the going rate: Kindergarten teacher Ericka Dungee was the winner of NYC With Barack contest. Dungee brought her husband Bill with her. The dinner was at the 40/40 Club, which Jay-Z owns. The campaign pulled in $4 million from the dinner.

Here’s my condensed and edited version of the White House Pool reports of Obama’s remarks at the Beyoncé and Jay-Z event. Pool reports of the Letterman appearance follow: Read More »

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Beyonce Invites Obama Donors To Dinner With Jay-Z & President

By | Thursday September 13, 2012 @ 7:49am PDT

“I usually don’t email you — but I have an amazing invitation I have to share. Jay and I will be meeting up with President Obama for an evening in NYC sometime soon. And we want you to be there,” said the Dreamgirls actress in an email sent out by the Obama campaign today. “Don’t worry about the airfare and hotel, it’s taken care of. And you can bring a guest,” the email added. A similar donor appeal for the dinner with Beyoncé, Jay-Z and the President also appeared on the Obama campaign website today. While the appeal gives no date or NYC location, the New York Post reports the event is scheduled for September 18 at Jay-Z’s 40/40 club. Obama’s GOP rival for the White House will be having his own celebrity encounter: Mitt Romney and wife Ann have been scheduled to appear in a pre-taped segment on Live! With Kelly & Michael.

Like past celebrity contests the Obama campaign held with George Clooney on May 10 and Sarah Jessica Parker on June 14, donors can give as little as $3 to the Beyoncé dinner to win a chance to meet the President and his Hollywood pals. Otherwise, tickets for such events have gone for around $40,000 apiece. Unlike past dinners with Obama contests, the timeline for this one is very short — ending at midnight tonight. Read More »

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Toronto: Will Smith’s Overbrook, Jay Z’s Roc Nation Board Docu ‘Free Angela & All Political Prisoners’

By | Tuesday September 4, 2012 @ 5:17pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Overbrook Entertainment and Roc Nation will lend their clout to the Realside Productions/De Films Aiguille-produced documentary Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, which was directed by Shola Lynch. They will become executive producers on a film that premieres at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival and marks the 40th anniversary of the acquittal of Angela Davis on charges of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy. The docu was produced by Carole Lambert, Shola Lynch, Carine Ruszniewski, and Sidra Smith. Read More »

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Ron Howard, Brian Grazer To Film Jay-Z’s ‘Budweiser Made In America’ Music Festival

By | Tuesday August 28, 2012 @ 6:46am PDT
Mike Fleming

As was rumored, Imagine Entertainment partners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer will film Jay-Z’s Budweiser Made In America music festival, September 1-2 in Philadelphia. The feature will be released next year.

Translation CEO Steve Stoute will be co-producing alongside Grazer and, and Howard will direct.  Jay-Z headlines the festival and will share exec producer role with Paul Chibe, Anheuser–Busch’s U.S. Marketing vice president. The two-day festival will feature artists such as Pearl Jam, Run-DMC, Drake, Skrillex, Rick Ross, Miike Snow, Odd Future, and Janelle Monáe, all who speak to a new generation of fans.

“This will not be a concert film; it’s a reflection of the fabric of what it means to be Made In America – what the festival represents, why Jay is doing it and how he relates to each artist,” Howard said in a statement.

Grazer and Stoute previously collaborated in the Curtis Hanson-directed 8 Mile with Eminem. Producer has had a long track record of producing award-winning music films including the Grammy-winning, Concert For George, Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster, Jay-Z’s Fade To Black and the recent Emmy-nominated Paul Simon documentary, Under African Skies. CAA is repping domestic rights.

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Ron Howard, Brian Grazer Film Music Doc

By | Thursday August 16, 2012 @ 12:44pm PDT

The Imagine Entertainment partners are filming a documentary about Jay-Z’s Made in America music festival September 1-2 in Philadelphia. Lineup for the event includes Drake, Pearl Jam, Run-DMC, Skrillex, Rick Ross, Miike Snow, Odd Future and Janelle Monáe. “The festival showcases 20 pre-eminent artists that speak to the new generation,” Grazer told the New York Post. “I am producing the film with Steve Stoute and Jay. Ron is directing. It is going to be born through Jay-Z’s perspective … He is a phenom, like a musical Michael Jordan.”

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YouTube Gives Itself A Makeover To Prepare For New Channels

The new look for Google’s popular video site is part of the preparation for the upcoming introduction of services featuring professionally produced content from providers such as Disney, Lionsgate, Madonna, Jay-Z, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, Thomson Reuters — and our parent company, which will have a channel called PMC Entertainment. YouTube says that its revamped home page will make it “easier to find and follow great channels when you arrive.” There’ll be three columns: one on the left has the visitor’s favorite channels, the one in the center has the channels’ latest videos, and on the right YouTube will offer options that it figures the visitor might like. For the system to work, YouTube is encouraging people to sign in. There’ll also be integration with Google services including Google+ and Gmail, as well as Facebook. The goal is to encourage people to spend more time with the site, and make it more appealing to advertisers. Here’s YouTube’s video describing the redesign:

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‘Glee’s Ryan Murphy Courted To Direct ‘Annie’ With Willow Smith

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Glee creator Ryan Murphy is Sony Pictures’ top choice to direct a re-imagining of the Broadway musical Annie, with Willow Smith playing the lovable orphan. The project was recently set at Sony Pictures by Overbrook Entertainment partners James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith in the joint venture they formed with Jay-Z  to generate films. Sony Pictures has made the approach to Murphy, but it’s early days.

Though Willow Smith is a relative newcomer to  the screen (she has I Am Legend and Kitt Kittredge: An American Girl on her resume), she scored a hit record with Whip My Hair!, and Sony’s bet on her brother Jaden in the Overbrook-produced Karate Kid remake resulted in a big hit. Murphy is also well regarded at Sony, where he directed Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts and made a $5 million … Read More »

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Will Smith’s Overbrook, Jay-Z Form Film Deal, Look To Remake ‘Annie’

Mike Fleming

Los Angeles, Calif., January 26, 2011 – Overbrook Entertainment partners James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith have formed a joint venture with Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter to develop and produce major motion pictures.  One of the projects being discussed is the re-imagination of the classic Broadway musical ANNIE as a vehicle for Willow Smith to star. The film will be developed with Sony Pictures Entertainment and produced by Overbrook Entertainment and Mr. Carter.

The partnership began over dinner with Jada, Will, James Lassiter and JAY-Z, where they decided to co-invest in the now successful beauty products line Carol’s Daughter. They continued this partnership as co-producers of the successful Broadway production Fela!, which earned a total of eleven Tony Award nominations in 2010. Additionally, Willow Smith, managed by OE Executive Miguel Melendez, signed onto JAY-Z’s record label, Roc Nation which produced her first single titled “Whip My Hair,” which has been certified Platinum.  JAY-Z previously sampled the classic Annie song “It’s the Hard Knock Life” in his chart-busting single “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).”

“The time is right to bring back ANNIE to the big screen. Of course, we’re true believers in Willow’s talent and believe she will be perfect in this role,” said Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad. “Combining Willow with the Overbrook team that reimagined Karate Kid and the spectacular JAY-Z makes this a dream project.  A decade ago, JAY-Z proved that the power of the underlying

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