‘Rio’ Helmer Carlos Saldanha Sets And Staffs Up BottleCap Productions At Fox

By | Thursday June 6, 2013 @ 1:23pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVECarlos Saldanha, who co-directed Ice Age and then helmed two Ice Age sequels in addition to Robots and Rio, has formed BottleCap Productions. The label is Fox-based, where Saldanha made an exclusive five-year deal with 20th Century Fox and Fox International to develop both live-action and animated projects.

Saldanha has hired former Scott Free exec Maresa Pullman as his VP, and promoted Jessica Roberts to Creative Executive. Pullman, who will report directly to Saldanha, most recently worked at Scott Free where she helped develop the Duplass Brothers’ Cyrus, and co-produced Jake Scott’s Welcome To The Rileys. She also worked closely with Ridley Scott on a number of projects, serving as an executive producer on Scott Free’s short animated film featuring the Coca-Cola polar bears. She also worked directly under producer Michael Costigan, working on such films as American Gangster and Body Of Lies. She began her career in the WMA mailroom and also worked for manager Margaret Riley. Read More »

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Familiar Field Battles For Best Animated Feature Annie Awards

Mike Fleming

The nominations are out for the 39th annual Annie Awards, which will be awarded February 4 at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Here are the contenders for Best Animated Feature: A Cat In Paris, Arrugas (Wrinkles), Arthur Christmas, Cars 2, Chico & Read More »

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UPDATE: News Corp Still Has “Great Confidence” In James Murdoch, But No Plan To Buy The Dodgers

UPDATE, 2:35 PM: The comment about James came from News Corp president Chase Carey, filling in for Rupert Murdoch, who wasn’t on the quarterly conference call with analysts and reporters. Despite growing concerns about James’ role in the News Of The World hacking scandal, the deputy COO “has done a good job and we are not contemplating any changes,” Carey said. He added, in response to a question, that the company is taking “seriously” the strong opposition that several shareholders expressed at the recent annual meeting to many members of the News Corp board — which includes three members of the Murdoch family. “The board will, and is, discussing those votes,” he says. “The board continues to evolve. …. That being said, we’re proud of the board.”

In other matters, Carey says that “we’re not buying the (Los Angeles) Dodgers,” but didn’t elaborate. Sports costs are not a big concern for the company for now because “outside of Los Angeles, most of our contracts are long term,” he says. He’s also unfazed by the NBA strike, saying that “it’s not a significant financial event for us” although “we’d like to see them settle it.” Carey denied that Fox is offering make-goods ads for lower-than-expected initial ratings for The X Factor:  ”We have the No. 1 show and make real money from it,” he says. “It came out a bit below where we targeted … but is building momentum.” Not much detail about the collapse of the auction for Hulu. Carey says that it ”has been a positive for us in terms of creating value” despite its “complicated ownership structure.” Carey also didn’t provide much insight into the new programming deal with DirecTV, although he says it’s “fair for both of us.” Read More »

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UPDATE: News Corp Execs Defend Fox Business, Question Hulu Sale Plans

UPDATE, 3:40 PM: Although the drama in today’s analyst call involved the News Of The World hacking scandal, News Corp execs made a few interesting points about the company’s less sensational business activities. COO Chase Carey says that the Hulu auction is “progressing largely according to plan.” But he left open the possibility that it won’t result in a sale, rhetorically asking “does it make sense to pursue that path or for us to stay in an ownership position?” He and Rupert Murdoch also said that they support the Fox Business Network, claiming it was just an oversight that they didn’t mention it when listing cable channels that are poised to grow. “The ratings are in fact improving,” Murdoch said, adding that “we need more distribution, it’s true.” Still he says Fox Business is breaking even on a cash flow basis. Carey also says that FX has the potential to become a bigger revenue generator. All told, Murdoch says that News Corp operations were “exceptional” in the last quarter providing the company with the “most robust balance sheet in our history.”

PREVIOUS, 1:19 PM: The media giant says that it did well in its fiscal fourth quarter — as long as you don’t count the $245M earnings hit from the MySpace sale. The company had net profits of $683M, down 22% from the period last year, on revenues of $8.96B, up 10.5%. Net earnings came in at 26 cents a share — but if you factor out MySpace they hit 35 cents. Analysts expected 30 cents. Read More »

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$12M-Budgeted ‘Black Swan’ Passes $300M

Fox just told me that Black Swan just debuted in Japan and earned $6.1M including previews for the biggest Fox Searchlight film opening ever there. The $12M-budgeted film is now on the verge of crossing $200M internationally, but its worldwide cume has now … Read More »

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Monday Actuals: ‘Jump The Broom’ Leaps

Monday’s box office actuals show that No. 1 Marvel/Disney’s Thor distributed by Paramount finished its opening weekend with $65.7 million. No. 2 Universal’s Fast Five ended wih $32.4M, or -69%. But the real story was the +13% Mother’s Day leap … Read More »

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‘Rio 3D’ #1 In US And Foreign With $168M; ‘Scream 4′ Whimpers; Weekend Up Overall

SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM, 3RD UPDATE: After some initial uncertainty, this was indeed the comeback weekend that finally ended Hollywood’s extended 2011 slump at the North American box office. Because after a weak Friday, most of these pics grossed stronger on Saturday. The overall total … Read More »

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