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Governor Jerry Brown Talks Up California’s Revitalized Economy To Roomful Of Hollywood Heavyweights

Governor Jerry Brown talked about the promise of California and played up the state’s economic comeback during a campaign fundraiser Thursday at Disney Studio boss Alan Horn’s Bel-Air home. A mostly industry crowd of about 100 including Robert Downey Jr. and Larry Flynt turned out for the 6:30-8:15 PM event, which was put on by a Hollywood political patrician guard. Co-hosts included Jeffrey Katzenberg, Warner Bros’ Barry Meyer and Kevin Tsujihara, Fox’s Jim Gianopulos, Universal’s Ron Meyer, Paramount’s Brad Grey, Sony’s Michael Lynton and MPAA chief Chris Dodd as well as Steven Spielberg and David Geffen, though Geffen didn’t attend. All of the co-hosts had pledged to raise $54,440 each for Brown’s re-election campaign next year. Tickets for the event went from $5,000 to mogul-level $27,200. Details are sketchy about the exact amount of money raised Read More »

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Obama Set For DreamWorks Animation Visit Next Week

By | Thursday November 21, 2013 @ 10:55am PST

EXCLUSIVE: The last time President Obama was in town back in early August he had a private dinner with Jeffrey Katzenberg – now the Commander-in-Chief is heading over to his top bundler’s DreamWorks Animation Glendale campus for a very public pre-Thanksgiving visit. While in town next week for a series of fundraisers, Obama will be dropping by DWA on November 26 in the afternoon, I’ve learned. While there, the President will be giving a speech to company employees and invited guests at Katzenberg HQ. Of course, Obama’s visit to DWA isn’t the only political face time on Katzenberg’s calendar in the next week – the Animation CEO is co-hosting a mogul heavy fundraiser today for Governor Jerry Brown at Disney Studio boss Alan Horn‘s Bel Air home.

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Jeffrey Katzenberg & Steven Spielberg Donate $10M Each To Academy Museum

The donation by the DreamWorks Animation CEO and the Oscar-winning director to the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will see the main lobbies of the facility named after their families. Here’s the Academy‘s release about the gift from Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg:

Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences received separate $10 million gifts from Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. In recognition of these gifts, the two main galleries on the lobby floor of the Academy Museum will be named for Katzenberg and Spielberg – The Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Gallery and The Spielberg Family Gallery.

“Steven and Jeffrey share a passion for moviemaking and philanthropy,” said Academy Museum Campaign Chair Bob Iger. “With these incredibly generous gifts, they are combining the two, moving us closer to our goal of building a museum to preserve the history of motion pictures and inspire the next generation of filmmakers.” The Academy launched the Museum’s $300 million capital campaign in 2012 and has already secured more than half of the campaign’s goal in commitments. The campaign is co-chaired by Annette Bening and Tom Hanks.

“I am so pleased to join with Jeffrey to help build this museum to celebrate, educate, and preserve the arts and sciences of motion pictures,” said Spielberg. “Having our

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Hillary Clinton & Chelsea To Speak At Closed PGA Event Tomorrow

By | Thursday November 7, 2013 @ 11:58am PST

She may not be a 2016 Presidential candidate yet but the former Secretary of State will be packing in a lot of face time with Hollywood over the next couple of days. On Friday afternoon, Hillary Clinton will be speaking along with her daughter Chelsea at an event co-sponsored by the Producers Guild of America and the Clinton Foundation. The focus of the gathering is education and national service. PGA President Mark Gordonwill give opening remarks and act as emcee for the event, I’ve learned. Rob Reiner, a big backer of President Bill Clinton and Hillary, will be moderating the conversation between the two Clintons. Claiming security reasons, the PGA and the foundation are staying mum about the event’s location. Also, like many recent Clinton events and her visit to San Francisco later this weekend, media are blocked from gathering. (UPDATE, 2:38 PM: The organizers don’t want to give out the location but Hillary Clinton’s PGA event tomorrow will be held at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills, I’ve learned. It’s scheduled to run from approximately 1 PM to 3 PM on Friday.) The Clinton Foundation says that Scandal creator and recently named Kennedy Center board member Shonda Rhimes is scheduled to attend. CBS’ Nina Tassler, Shine America’s Rich Ross, Fox’s Kevin Reilly, Modern Family EP Steve Levitan, Parenthood EP Jason Katims and New Girl EP Liz Meriwether are also set to be there. 

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Jeff Katzenberg: ‘Turbo’ Will Be Profitable

By | Tuesday October 29, 2013 @ 3:21pm PDT

It’s a low bar. But the projection by the DreamWorks Animation CEO in a conference call with analysts should reassure investors who feared that the company would have to record an impairment charge for its summer release about a snail who dreams about competing in the Indy 500. The film, which cost about $127M to produce, has generated about $246.1M from worldwide box offices — far below early expectations. Fox is still recouping its distribution costs. As a result, DreamWorks Animation recognized just $6.4M from the film in Q3 largely from China and South Korea, where Fox is not the distributor. Jeffrey Katzenberg said in July that he expected Turbo to turn a profit, especially in overseas markets where it had yet to open and would face less competition than it did in the U.S. But with DWA’s continuing box office disappointments, Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible said last week that the company “may take as much as a $90M impairment on Turbo.” B. Riley analyst David Miller was slightly more optimistic, saying the studio might take a loss of as much as $19M. “Suffice it to say, it’s going to be very close,” he said. Miller last month lowered his global box office estimate for Turbo by 22.6% and cut his 2013 earnings estimate for DWA by 27.1% to 70 cents a share. COO Ann Daly says that revenues will still come in from the … Read More »

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DreamWorks Animation Q3 Earnings Fall But Still Beat Analyst Estimates

Can’t say that the studio had a good quarter, but Wall Street is all about expectations and on that score it looks OK with shares up 7.8% post market. DreamWorks Animation generated $10M in net income, down 58.8% compared with last year, on revenues of $154.5M, -17%. Analysts expected revenues to come in at $140.3M. Earnings at 12 cents a share also beat expectations for a penny. The company says it will begin to report its numbers for four segments: feature films, TV series and specials, consumer products, and other. The feature film unit generated $120.7M in revenue and $55.4M in gross profit. Library titles contributed the most, with $52.2M in revenues. Rise Of The Guardians came next with $42.4M, mostly from worldwide pay TV.  Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted kicked in $10.9M, followed by the summer release Turbo with $6.4M, and 2011′s Puss In Boots with $4.8M. The TV operation had $18.2M in revenue and a $4.2M gross profit, which the company says came mostly from Classic Media content and Cartoon Network’s DreamWorks Dragons: Riders Of Berk.

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Jeff Katzenberg: ‘Turbo’ Will Be Profitable

DreamWorks Animation Shares Slip After Analyst Lowers ‘Turbo’ Forecast
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Deadline’s Global Showbiz Watch With Nancy Tartaglione, Episode 11

Listen to (and share) episode 11 of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch With Nancy Tartaglione. Deadline’s international editor and host David Bloom wrap up news out of Mipcom, including that $75 million offer Jeffrey Katzenberg says he made to the makers of Breaking Bad for just three more episodes. We’ll also talk about the opening weekend in France for the controversial Palme D’Or winner, Blue Is The Warmest Color and the absence of IMAX for Gravity in France; the discovery and re-mastering of nine long-lost episodes of Doctor Who in Nigeria; and Fox’s latest big investment in soccer, this time in the top German league and covering 80 territories including all the Western Hemisphere.

Deadline Global Showbiz Watch, Episode 11 (MP3 format)
Deadline Global Showbiz Watch, Episode 11 (M4a format) Read More »

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Hillary Clinton Set For Hollywood Fundraiser On October 30

She hasn’t officially thrown her hat in the 2016 Presidential ring but Hillary Clinton is already out there raising money from Hollywood. The former Secretary of State and presumed Democratic candidate is the marquee name for a $15,000-a-ticket fundraiser on October 30 at the Beverly Hills home of Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl, according to an invite that went out this week. Selling tickets individually or for $25,000 a couple, the lunch on the day before Halloween lunch is actually for former DNC chair and longtime Clinton pal Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia Governor bid. With that election on November 5, Clinton and her husband Bill Clinton have a number of McAuliffe events scheduled in the next week, and on Monday the DNC sent out a McAuliffe donation solicitation email from Bill Clinton. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is lining up Hollywood support if she makes her widely expected 2016 decision to run. Deep-pocket donors like Saban, Peter Chernin, and Jeffrey Katzenberg as well as the likes of Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams have pledged financial support to a Clinton 2016 campaign once it is made official, sources say. Chernin, Katzenberg, Spielberg and Abrams were all hefty financial backers of President Obama, both in the 2012 election and in the lead-up to next year’s mid-terms.

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Mipcom: Jeffrey Katzenberg Talks DreamWorks Animation TV & Offering $75M For 3 Extra ‘Breaking Bad’ Episodes

Jeffrey Katzenberg told a packed audience at Mipcom today that he offered the folks behind Breaking Bad $75M to produce three additional episodes of the hit series. But he had one criteria: They would have to be delivered in 30, six-minute chapters. The DreamWorks Animation chief said he would have used the content to create “the best pay-per-view scripted TV event ever” by releasing the snippets over 30 days on VOD platforms like iTunes for 99 cents per. “There’s no doubt people would buy it every day, everyone would be there waiting for the next six minutes,” he said. The self-confessed fan said he came up with the idea prior to learning how the show would end. Given the ultimate demise of its central character, it was “not a very good idea, as we now know,” Katzenberg laughed. But, he shared the story to exemplify his vision of the potential of short-form entertainment.

Katzenberg is Mipcom’s Personality of the Year and was delivering a keynote this afternoon in Cannes when he made the comments. “I have the courage of my convictions in this, I just think there is a whole new platform” for short-form entertainment to fill up “waiting time.”

Related: DreamWorks Animation Launches Effort To Re-Position Itself As A Television Power Read More »

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Jeffrey Katzenberg Hits Up Hollywood To Support Mitch McConnell Rival

By | Tuesday September 3, 2013 @ 2:54pm PDT

He helped bankroll Barack Obama’s re-election and now the DreamWorks Animation CEO is aiming to take out the Senate Minority leader in next year’s midterms. Jeffrey Katzenberg today sent an email to fellow local Democrats urging them to turn up and hand over checks for Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes during her fundraising visit to LA on September 25-26. “Alison is the antidote to McConnell and all he represents. She can win, and she will win if she gets the support she needs,” said Katzenberg. “There is no more important election being held next year in this country,” he also wrote. The DWA boss and top Obama bundler said he’s already given all he legally can to Grimes’ campaign but asked for donors to hand over $5,200 and $10,000 to the Democrat. Politico first reported the Katzenberg letter. The only scheduled event planned so far is a lunch at Il Moro on September 25 but an insider tells me that a full mogul itinerary is being put together to introduce Grimes to all the major players and donors. She’s going to need every dime they give her. Expecting a strong challenge in 2014, Senator McConnell has already amassed a campaign war chest of almost $10 million according to fundraising report records – and that’s without RNC support and other third party backers.

Related: Obama Meets With Katzenberg Post-’Tonight’ Taping Read More »

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TOLDJA! DreamWorks Animation Taps Dawn Taubin To Head Marketing

By | Thursday August 8, 2013 @ 3:04pm PDT

UPDATE, 3:25 PM: It’s official. Dawn Taubin has been named Chief Marketing Officer at DreamWorks Animation. The full release follows below:

PREVIOUS: Jeffrey Katzenberg has hired Dawn Taubin as Chief Marketing Officer at DreamWorks Animation, sources tell Deadline. Taubin’s appointment follows the departure of marketing chief Anne Globe. Katzenberg announced earlier this week that Globe had decided to leave DWA to start her own consulting business. Taubin formerly headed domestic marketing at Warner Bros from 2002 to 2008 where she oversaw the Harry Potter franchise, 300: Rise Of An Empire and the launch of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. She also marketed the animated Happy Feet for WB. She also served as an award and marketing consultant on The Help and War Horse for DreamWorks Pictures.

Glendale, CA – August 8, 2013 – Dawn Taubin, one of the most experienced marketing executives in the entertainment industry, is joining DreamWorks Animation (Nasdaq: DWA) as chief marketing officer. Taubin, who most recently held the role of president of marketing for Warner Bros., will head all of marketing for the studio including theatrical, television and global brand initiatives.

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DreamWorks Animation Q2 Surges Behind Success Of ‘The Croods’

Shares are up about 4.7% in post market trading after DreamWorks Animation released its Q2 report. It shows net income of $22.2M, +74.2% vs the period last year, on revenues of $213.4M, +31.1%. Revenues were well ahead of the $189.7M that analysts expected. And earnings of 26 cents a share topped forecasts for 20 cents. The Croods accounted for $71.8M of the revenues in the quarter. In addition, Rise Of The Guardians added $16.7M, and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted kicked in $48.9M. “DreamWorks Animation significantly outperformed in the second quarter, thanks primarily to The Croods‘ incredibly successful box office run, where it has amassed $584 million worldwide to become the fifth highest grossing movie of the year,” DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: MTV Brazil, Nigeria’s ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ To Open TTFF, MIPCOM Honors Jeffrey Katzenberg, ‘Pulp’ Heads To Oz, New Zealand On Xbox

Viacom International To Launch MTV Brazil
Viacom International Media Networks is expanding its presence in Brazil with the launch of a new MTV channel on the country’s Pay TV platform. MTV Brazil will deliver more than 350 hours of local programming spanning daily formats, celeb realities, sitcoms, music, extreme sports and adult animations. The cable network will also debut formats from Viacom’s international content portfolio with local versions of World Stage, Guy Code and Pranked, in addition to other MTV global content in Portuguese (Snookie & Jwow, Ridiculousness and Awkward). The new channel will debut in October across key cable operators in Brazil.

Nigeria’s ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ To Open TTFF
The Nigerian drama Half Of A Yellow Sun has been selected as the opening film of the 2013 trinidad+tobago film festival. Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in the adaptation of Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same title. Set in 1960s Nigeria, the story brings audiences into a country torn apart by civil war and shows how the interwoven lives of four central characters intersect during a struggle to establish an independent republic of Nigeria. Biyi Bandele directs. The festival runs from September 17-October 1. Read More »

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DreamWorks Animation Launches Effort To Re-Position Itself As A Television Power

The company told analysts this afternoon that it will produce 1,200 TV episodes over the next five years, which CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg says “will give us a significant footprint across the global TV landscape.” DreamWorks Animation is “now on a path to becoming one of the biggest producers and distributors” of television following yesterday’s agreement to create 300 hours of programming for Netflix and today’s deal to make up to 1,100 half-hours for Germany’s Super RTL, which he calls “transformative.” All told, “it’s a big opportunity and a big undertaking.” Katzenberg adds that the company should see $100M in revenues from TV this year, about half of which will come from titles in the Classic Media library bought last year. Beginning 2015 the company expects to see at least $200M in TV revenue per year with gross profits of around 30%, close to what it sees from its films. Revenue from the Netflix and Super RTL deals won’t vary depending on the performance of different titles. The numbers don’t include benefits from sales of licensed merchandise, the library value of shows, or progress from its recently acquired online video service AwesomenessTV. The company isn’t ready yet to create a separate business line for television, but will consider the change. DWA shares are up about 1.8% in after market trading.

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Katzenberg: DreamWorks Animation Becoming A “Case Study” For China

DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg spoke at the Fortune Global Forum in Chengdu, China on Friday. He did not refer to last week’s move by the Chinese authorities to pull The Croods from release ahead of schedule, but he did address the differences between handling “rules, regulations, and traditions” in China versus in Hollywood. Here are his remarks on DreamWorks Animation’s history, and future, in the booming market:

Timing, we all know the importance of this. In fact, when the timing is right, anything and everything is possible. Today in China the timing is right. We’ve arrived at a unique moment in this country, and you might say it’s actually been 5,000 years in the making. For ages, China has been known for its Great Wall. Now it might be better symbolized by a portal of opportunity that has begun to swing open.

But as with everything else here, this portal is distinctly Chinese in its appearance, its intricacy and its functionality. At DreamWorks Animation, we are becoming something of a case study for how things and timing is so important when it comes to China. It all started a few years (ago) when two seemingly completely unrelated events were taking place at opposite ends of the planet.

In Beijing, the country’s leadership was recognizing the importance of soft power. Meanwhile in Hollywood, DreamWorks was given the green light to a movie called Kung Fu Panda. I would love to tell you that we did this as part of a very shrewd strategy to gain entrée into China. It wasn’t. We just liked the idea of a film about a panda who wants to do kung fu.

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DreamWorks Animation Chief Talks Up Possible TV Programming Initiatives

By | Tuesday April 30, 2013 @ 3:10pm PDT

The studio’s being “pretty aggressive” about at least one potential venture and hopes to have “news to share pretty quickly,” CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told analysts this evening following his company’s Q1 earnings release. He didn’t provide details, but offered his comment in response to a question about TV opportunities with a traditional cable channel, a possible DreamWorks Animation channel, and online. “There are too many plates spinning right now and we don’t have certainty on which will be the best,” he says. Cable presents a “complicated set of challenges and circumstances,” and while he’s “not close to concluding a deal” there “we continue to have interest.” DWA’s three shows on Nickelodeon make a “negligible” contribution to the company, mostly from licensing and merchandising. But the studio has equity in Dragons on Cartoon Network which is “a more advantageous model for us.” Plans for a Netflix show based on the upcoming movie Turbo provide “another set of economics that have opportunity.” Indeed, he says that with Classic Media’s 450 titles “it is a meaningful place of opportunity for us.”

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Jeffrey Katzenberg Announces China Film Project, ‘Tibet Code’

By | Friday April 19, 2013 @ 6:48pm PDT

Jeffrey Katzenberg has revealed his latest film project, Tibet Code, an Indiana-Jones-style adventure based on a series of Chinese novels set in 9th-century TibetThe DreamWorks Animation CEO announced the project, a co-production with Oriental DreamWorks’ Chinese partners, China Media Capital and Shanghai Alliance Investment Co.,  at a news conference today in Beijing. Katzenberg told the Wall St. Journal that writing on Tibet Code is about to get underway and he is confident that “we will be able to find a good course to tell a great story and not step on political issues”.

Related: Jeffrey Katzenberg Made $5.2M In 2012, +31%

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Jeffrey Katzenberg Made $5.2M In 2012, +31%

By | Friday April 19, 2013 @ 10:09am PDT

One reason for the increase is that the DreamWorks Animation CEO collected $365,386 in salary, up from his traditional $1 — an amount that many tech entrepreneurs take to illustrate that they want to help their new companies conserve cash while they make most of their wealth from the large amount of stock that they own in their companies. (Katzenberg controls 61% of the voting shares.) The new contract Katzenberg signed in October will guarantee him a $2.5M annual salary and a bonus of as much as $4M, according to the proxy filed today at the SEC. The board says the change recognizes that it’s no longer a young company — it went public in 2004 — and “determined that Mr. Katzenberg should receive a more traditional overall compensation package.” The DWA chief still did well in the stock department last year, collecting $4.5M, up from $4M in 2011, along with other compensation of $375,331 The “other” benefits largely went to security services for the CEO which the company says it doesn’t consider to be compensation but includes “in accordance with SEC guidance on this issue.” Katzenberg’s compensation was 1.8 times higher than the median for his company’s other top executives, well below the level (3 times) that corporate governance watchdogs consider to be out of whack. Read More »

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Hollywood Power Players Hosting April Fundraiser For Newark Mayor’s Undeclared Senate Race

Cory Booker hasn’t officially said he’s running to become New Jersey’s next Senator but Hollywood is planning to shovel money into his campaign treasure chest. Anointing Booker as Hollywood’s new favorite politician, invites went out this week for a “Special Evening In LA” April 25 fundraiser for the Newark Mayor at the Beverly Hills home of producer Jerry Weintraub and girlfriend, producer Susan Ekins. The event has a marquee host list that cuts across party lines and into deep wallets. It costs $5,000 a ticket to attend the fundraiser with the money going to Cory Booker For Senate. The event is one of eight the telegenic Democrat has lined up in the next two months in anticipation of a 2014 run to replace departing fellow Democrat Frank Lautenberg in the heavily Blue state. The Beverly Hills fundraiser certainly shows that backing a potential winner cuts across party lines. Republicans like Bush family confidante Weintraub and Bruce Willis are listed on the invite but so are avowed Democrats like Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was one of the largest single contributors to Barack Obama’s reelection, Steven Spielberg and new Star Wars director J.J. Abrams and their wives Kate Capshaw and Katie McGrath.

Related: President Obama Thanks Katzenbergs For “Tireless” Support
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