Gita Hall May, a popular 1950s and 1960s model, has filed a lawsuit against Lionsgate over the company’s Emmy-winning 1960s drama Mad Men. In the complaint, filed today at the Los Angeles Superior Court, May argues that the series’ opening credits use an image of her without her consent. The image in question had been cropped from an 1950s photograph of May taken by well known photographer Richard Avedon for a Revlon hairspray ad.
“The Main Titles were integral to the success of Mad Men,” the complaint says (read it here), claiming that the producers “have generated income in excess of $1 billion through exploitation of the series and its episodes.” The main title for the show is not produced by Mad Men studio Lionsgate but by Imaginary Forces, with Mark Gardner and Steve Fuller credited as directors and Jeremy Cox and Joey Salim as designers. It won the 2008 Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design.
“(May’s) likeness appears more prominently and directly than any other image in that sequence, and in the Pilot directly opposite the credit for the program’s Producer,” the suit says. Since Mad Men airs on cable, May says she only became aware of the misappropriation last May. In the lawsuit she seeks unspecified damages “suffered as a result of the unauthorized use” of her likeness. Lionsgate had no comment.
Lionsgate execs had to do a little balancing act this morning when they talked to Wall Street analysts about the early plans for the movie version of author Veronica Roth’s … Read More »
The Street expected upbeat news about the year-end quarter that included the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. But not this good: Lionsgate generated $37.8M in net income in the last three months of 2012, up from a $1.4M loss in the period the previous year, on revenues of $743.6M, +130.2%. Revenues far exceeded expectations for $707M. Reported earnings, at 28 cents a share, beat forecasts for 16 cents. And that number is deceptively low: It includes a $14.7M one-time expense from Lionsgate’s payoff of debt from its purchase of Summit Entertainment. Take that out, and earnings would have come to 39 cents a share. The company’s revenues from motion pictures came to $673.5M, +189% — including theatrical sales of $192.9M, up from $8.4M at the end of 2011. Home entertainment sales for movies and TV were up 23% to $233.0M. And television revenue was up fourfold to $98.8M. But television production revenue fell 22% to $70.1M: Lionsgate says that overseas sales of Anger Management, Mad Men (seasons three, four, and five) and Weeds (Season were offset by “declines in domestic series licensing due to timing.” Lionsgate owns 51% of TV Guide Network and reports in its SEC filing that the cable channel lost $19M in the quarter, down from last year’s $11.9M loss, on revenues of $21M, -17%. The company also owns 31.1% of EPIX and says that the channel generated nearly $17M in net income, -6.2%, on revenues of $83.2M, +4.3%. Read More »
BREAKING: Not that anybody thought he was leaving, but Lionsgate has announced a contract extension for Jason Constantine to continue as President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions at the studio’s Motion Picture Group. Constantine continues to play key roles … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Long live the spec script! Lionsgate just bought Endangered, a spec script by Ryan Belenzon and Jeffrey Gelber for Lionsgate/Summit with Alli Shearmur producing. It’s an action-adventure script about a team of scientists on a mission … Read More »
NBCUniversal’s Spanish-language video operation wants to be seen as a movie destination — probably a smart strategy in light of reports showing a surge in movie-going by Latino audiences. The new multi-year agreement with Lionsgate extends their … Read More »
Codeblack Films has acquired the theatrical rights to the documentary Free Angela and All Political Prisoners. Written and directed by Shola Lynch, the film about Angela Davis premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year. Free Angela … Read More »
Writer-producer Matt Williams‘ Wind Dancer Films will develop and produce scripted comedies and drama for Lionsgate as part of the new deal. Williams created and executive produced the TV series Roseanne. He also was a … Read More »
Elevation Sales is the home entertainment joint venture between Lionsgate and Studiocanal in the UK that was originally founded in 2004 and later acquired by the partners. Kevin Dersley joins Elevation as managing director from retail … Read More »
Mark Burg and Michael Menchel’s Evolution Entertainment is expanding its partnership with Lionsgate beyond the Charlie Sheen comedy Anger Management, which the two companies are producing together. Evolution has signed a first-look deal with Lionsgate to develop and produce television programming. The pact marks the launch of Evolution’s new television division, which will be overseen by recently hired SVP Rachel Israel. “We have enjoyed an extraordinary collaboration with Evolution on Anger Management so expanding the scope of our relationship with Mark, Mike and their team made perfect sense,” said Kevin Beggs, president of Lionsgate Television Group. “They embody the kind of creative spirit and entrepreneurial acumen that define and drive the Lionsgate brand and we look forward to developing many more projects together.”
As Sheen’s longtime manager, Evolution is a producer of Two and a Half Men and Anger Management, with Burg serving as an executive producer on both series. Following a successful 10-episode run on FX last summer, Anger Management kicks off its 90-episode back order tomorrow night for a virtually uninterrupted two-year run. The series has already been sold in broadcast syndication to Fox Television Stations for fall 2014. “Our partnership with Lionsgate on Anger Management has proven to be everything we hoped for, and this new agreement is an exciting next step as we look to broaden our reach in television for both our clients and the larger community,” said Evolution principal Burg and President Menchel. Read More »
Here’s the first look at shots from Lionsgate‘s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second in the studio’s trilogy starring Jennifer Lawrence. Francis Lawrence directs the pic, which is set to open November 22.
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The Summit franchise has already grossed $3.3 billion in global box office culminating with the finale of the series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, which has taken in $821.8 million of that. The weekend release date will surely allow for strong midnight events surrounding the home … Read More »
Lionsgate‘s deal with American Greetings Corp for home entertainment rights to Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake properties comes after not-so-cuddly rights litigation between American Greetings and Cookie Jar Entertainment, which tried to purchase the former in … Read More »
Consumers aren’t going to buy many 3D TV sets unless they have more content to watch on them. The independent studio said at the International CES confab in Las Vegas today that it will help the cause by using Samsung’s … Read More »
Investors are still celebrating the new year after lawmakers in Washington agreed to deficit reduction legislation that will derail a package of spending cuts and tax increases that many economists say could have triggered another recession. Media stocks are largely up today, with Lionsgate hitting an all-time high, and conglomerates including CBS, News Corp and Time Warner touching 52-week highs. The Dow Jones U.S. Media Index is +2.7% in early afternoon trading, ahead of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard and Poor’s 500, which are both +1.7%. Viacom (+5.7%) is a standout among the leading Big Media companies. The increase follows a report this morning from Lazard Capital Markets’ Barton Crockett who says that the entertainment company “should benefit from a sentiment swing” as ratings stabilize at networks including Nickelodeon and MTV. Following Viacom among the industry leaders: News Corp (+3.7%), Time Warner (+3.0%), CBS (+2.8%), Comcast (+2.5%), Discovery (+2.6%), Sony (+2.3%), and Disney (+2.0%). Other big gainers today include LIN TV (+7.2%), National CineMedia (+6.4%), and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (+6.1%).
Related: Hollywood Wins Tax-Break Extension In Fiscal Cliff Agreement Read More »
Lionsgate‘s latest Tyler Perry pic Tyler Perry’s Temptation, which he wrote and directed, stars Friday Night Lights alum Jurnee Smollett, Lance Gross, Vanessa Williams, Robbie Jones and Kim Kardashian in a drama about a married marriage counselor (Smollett) who falls into a relationship with a rich client … Read More »
Aeon Buys Out WB Stake In Japan Cinemas
Japanese retail giant Aeon Group will acquire Warner Bros Entertainment’s 50% stake in the Japanese theater circuit Warner Mycal, Film Business Asia reports. A major exhibitor in Japan with 60 theaters and 496 screens, Warner Mycal was launched in 1993 as a partnership of Warner and Aeon, which was known at the time as Mycal. Aeon’s purchase is expected to close in February or March. Aeon separately owns some 70 complexes with 600 screens. Bringing the Warner Mycal theaters under its wholly owned umbrella is expected to make Aeon the largest movie theatre operator in Japan. Current market leader is Toho Cinemas. Aeon did not disclose the value of Warner Mycal. Warner Bros International Cinemas has been a multiplex cinema pioneer, opening more than 170 theatres with almost 1,600 screens in 11 countries including Portugal, Japan, Holland, Italy, China, and Taiwan. Most have been sold to local companies.
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