While the Parents Television Council’s view is no surprise, the activist group made it forcefully this week in a letter to MPAA chief Chris Dodd calling for meaningful changes in the movie ratings system and its treatment of on-screen violence. The “Check The Box” initiative that Dodd unveiled at last month’s CinemaCon confab changes movie ratings labeling to help people see the specific rationale — for example whether a PG-13 or R-rated film received the designation due to its use of profanity, nudity, smoking, drug use, or violence. PTC says that just gives studios “the appearance of doing something about media violence without actually doing anything at all.” The MPAA can “keep rating violent movies PG-13″ which means studios can “market those violent films to kids … PG-13 films run the gamut from Les Miserables to Drag Me To Hell. And because it applies to everything, in practice, it means nothing.” READ MORE »
WASHINGTON-Today, the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc (MPAA) announced the launch of www.WheretoWatch.org, a new website that will serve as a resource for audiences to access movies and TV shows seamlessly and legally. Today’s media landscape offers audiences the opportunity to watch movies and television shows in more ways than ever before, an environment created in part through a copyright system that empowers creativity and promotes innovation.
WASHINGTON – The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) today announced key changes to its communications team, led by Executive Vice President for Global Communications Laura Nichols. Kate Bedingfield has been elevated to Vice President, Corporate Communications and will report to Nichols. In her new capacity, Bedingfield will serve as the association’s chief spokesperson and continue to be a critical player in developing and implementing communications strategy behind all of the MPAA’s policy priorities. Howard Gantman will assume a new role as Vice President, Global Strategic Communications. In this role, Gantman will focus on global message coordination and communication strategies for international initiatives, litigation, research and internal communications for the MPAA. He will also work with key stakeholders, entertainment industry alliances and other third parties on strategic communications priorities. Additionally, TJ Ducklo has been promoted to Deputy Director, Corporate Communications and will report to Bedingfield. In this newly created position, Ducklo will play a key role in advancing the association’s communications initiatives and assist Bedingfield with her responsibilities.
WASHINGTON — A new analysis released today on the economic impact of Marvel’s Iron Man 3 filming in North Carolina finds that the film is responsible for $179.8 million in spending and 2,043 jobs in the state. The analysis was conducted by MNP LLP and assesses the economic impact of the production filming in North Carolina between December 2011 and December 2012. The analysis also finds that the production is responsible for $104.1 million in labor income across North Carolina, and that spending associated with the film engaged 719 vendors in 84 communities across the state.
This is a taller order than the former Senator might realize: Theater owners are notoriously press shy. Still, he told CinemaCon attendees today that “it’s crucial for all of us to tell the story of our industry’s impact” …
LAS VEGAS – MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd delivered remarks today at CinemaCon, the annual National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) convention. During his address, Senator Dodd together with NATO President John Fithian revealed a new campaign intended to remind parents about the important tools at their disposal which allow them to make educated decisions about content appropriate for their children.
The MPAA‘s yearly report on theatrical box office trends, out today, is a little more buoyant than it’s been in recent years. It shows global box office rising 6.4% to $34.7B last year, with the U.S. and Canada + …
The trade group CEO helped it to justify its status as a non-profit in his first year as Hollywood’s chief lobbyist. Although revenues grew 22.5% to $60.8M in 2011, expenses were up 26.2% to $61M resulting in a loss of $246,879, according to the tax form posted online by Torrentfreak. Chris Dodd‘s compensation accounted for 4% of MPAA‘s revenues: It included a salary of $2.27M, a $100,000 bonus, $36,924 in other reportable compensation, $13,475 in retirement and deferred compensation, and $10,733 in nontaxable benefits. Total salaries for the 205 employees jumped 22.5% to $26.5M. (Former MPAA President Robert Pisano, listed as special adviser, made $1.35M.) The form doesn’t provide year-over-year comparisons for individual items. But it shows that in 2011 — as the MPAA geared up for its failed effort to persuade Congress to pass anti-piracy legislation — it spent $4.7M on lobbying and $10.1M on legal expenses, as well as $2.9M for occupancy and $1.9M for travel.
Parents who hoped that entertainment companies would reduce the violent imagery that they pump into the popular culture following the Newtown school shootings are out of luck. The MPAA and virtually every other major entertainment industry lobby group announced today that they will “make a positive contribution to the national conversation on violent behavior” by launching campaigns to promote “readily available and easy-to-use” techniques parents can use to control kids’ exposure to gruesome movies and TV shows. The initiative includes PSAs, boosted websites, in-theater ads and other platforms to push existing ratings systems, parental controls and informational resources — including many that were available long before Newtown.
It’s a familiar message for the MPAA chairman. But it’s noteworthy because he delivered it today to the National Press Club in Washington DC, where the trade organization hopes to revive interest in copyright protection following the collapse last year of its effort to persuade Congress to pass tough rules to limit Internet piracy. Using this year’s Oscar-nominated films as examples of “stories that help us make sense of the world — and ourselves,” Chris Dodd called for strong intellectual property and copyright laws to protect such content. “These collaborations generate more than just social and cultural dividends, but economic ones as well — here in the U.S. and abroad”, he said in prepared remarks.
Pirated movies have made a comeback to YouTube over the past year, the Wall Street Journal reports. Hundreds of copies of movies from Disney, Sony, MGM and Warner Bros have been uploaded illegally to YouTube, but studios didn’t initially take …
Entertainment industry representatives issued this statement tonight following meetings with the White House Task Force on Gun Violence:
“The entertainment community appreciates being included in the dialogue around the Administration’s efforts to confront the complex challenge of gun violence
Strahan brings to the MPAA over 20 years of experience in business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) markets. She has a reputation built on delivering strong revenue and operating results, building high performance teams, and infusing a level of passion, energy and collaboration, among all stakeholders to propel businesses forward. As COO, Strahan will help guide MPAA’s strategic direction and oversee staff and operations.
U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen in Virginia sentenced Jeramiah Perkins, the head of the IMAGINE Group, to 60 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and an order to pay $15,000 in restitution. And Hollywood’s chief lobby group says that’s justice delivered. IMAGINE “was responsible for more than 40% of all English-language theatrical movie theft,” says MPAA spokesperson Kate Bedingfield. “This group was the most prolific English-language movie theft group in history, and shutting it down was a huge step forward in helping to reassure consumers that the movies and TV shows they watch online are legitimate and secure, not stolen. This was a significant victory in the effort to protect the hard work of creators online, and in the effort to protect an internet that works for everyone.”
Studios enjoyed their best year ever at domestic box offices in 2012 — but still managed to persuade lawmakers that movie and TV investors need a sweet tax deduction to keep the cameras rolling in the U.S. The new agreement to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff collection of spending cuts and tax hikes includes a provision enabling investors in productions shot in the U.S. to deduct the first $15M of the costs or $20M if the shooting takes place in low-income areas. Investors love the break, in Section 181 of the Internal Revenue Code, because they can take the entire deduction in the first year instead of spreading it over several years, and can combine it with state tax credits. It began with the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 and in 2008 was amended and extended to the end of 2011. But Congress didn’t renew it in time for 2012 productions. No matter: the package that lawmakers just approved will provide the deductions for productions made in 2012 and 2013.
Hollywood was quick to respond to last Friday’s horrible school shooting in Newtown, Conn, cancelling red carpets and postponing TV programs that showed anything close to violent behavior involving guns and kids. But the greater industry bodies have been mostly mum. Maybe that will change now that the Obama Administration …