EXCLUSIVE: Winter’s Discontent is the 2008 Black List script by Paul Fruchbom which Sony acquired for Atlas Entertainment a few years back. The well-liked project, which taps into the current zeitgeist of adult comedies, is moving forward with Billy Crystal attached to star as a widower who moves into a reputed, active mature community in an attempt to reinvigorate his sex life. Frank Oz, director of such pics as In & Out and Death At A Funeral, has come aboard to helm. Sony Pictures will distribute domestically and has taken rights in select foreign territories. Atlas is producing and Sierra Pictures is financing. Sierra/Affinity starts foreign sales in Cannes. Charles Roven and Alex Gartner are producing. Exec producers are Nick Meyer, Marc Schaberg, Kelly McCormick and Jake Kurily. Crystal recently starred in Parental Guidance and is next up in Monsters University from Pixar. He’s repped by CAA and managed by David Steinberg and Larry Brezner. Oz is repped by CAA. READ MORE »
A stuntman seriously injured while attempting to perform a stunt for the DVD release of the 2011 movie Ghost Rider 2 has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Sony Pictures Entertainment and two other companies. The stuntman, Michael Gaboff, says in the suit filed Friday (read it here) that he was hired in April 2012 as an independent contractor to perform a stunt for the movie’s DVD release that the production teams knew or should have known involved serious risks and failed to take proper safety measures. Gaboff’s suit says he was to ride a motorcycle up a ramp after being set afire and leap across a lake and land in the water. The suit also alleges members of the production teams exhibited “conscious disregard” for Gaboff’s concerns about the risks. The stunt went wrong and Gaboff landed on hard ground, breaking numerous bones including his lower back and neck and suffering other injuries including second-degree burns. The suit says Gaboff was “rendered sick, sore, lame, disabled, and disordered, both internally and externally and suffered … numerous internal and external injuries, severe fright, shock, pain, discomfort and anxiety.”
A stuntwoman who says she was injured on the set of Justified during a late night shoot in 2011 today sued Sony Pictures and various individuals connected with the FX series. Citing “severe and permanent physical and mental injuries,” Lisa Hoyle and her husband Robert Jakubik have filed a suit (read it here) for Negligence, Premises Liability and Loss of Consortium for injuries the Stuntchicks employee suffered during a car crash stunt on February 3, 2011 at Santa Clarita Studios. While Hoyle and her husband don’t specify any dollar amount in their complaint, they are certainly looking for more than loose change. The nine-page filing seeks general damages “in an amount to be proven at trial” as well as loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, legal fees, “medical and related expenses” and “other and further general and special damages in a sum according to proof at the time of trial” and further relief as the court “deems just and proper.” The plaintiffs are requesting a five-to-seven day jury trial in the matter. The defendants in the case are Sony Pictures Entertainment, Woodridge Productions, Santa Clarita Studios Corp, Don Kurt, Gary Lennon, Mark Glick, Susan Carpenter, Alison Try and over two dozen other unnamed individuals.
Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney
September marks a new watershed in the fight for home entertainment dollars in Oz. Nearly every Hollywood film, including new releases The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Men In Black 3 and The Five-Year Engagement, and most indie titles, will be available simultaneously on VOD and DVD. The collapsing of windows has been driven by the U.S. majors looking to boost VOD revenues to help compensate for the contracting DVD business. The strategy has been welcomed by Oz’s many VOD services who say it’s resulting in a lift in buy-rates. Brendon Moo, general manager of Foxtel On Demand and Pay Per View, says subscribers per capita buy four times as many movies as those who subscribe to Britain’s BSkyB.
The gap between DVD and VOD releases was originally 90 days. In the past few years that was shortened to 60 days and progressively to 45 and 30; now it’s zero except for independent distributors like Anchor Bay and Eagle Entertainment. The first simultaneous DVD/VOD release was The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button in 2010. Sony Pictures began releasing its films day-and-date earlier this year and Tim Harris, director digital & acquisitions, says, “We expect revenue to grow as the consumer embraces the convenience and quality of the format.” Home entertainment retailers are keen
A second suspected LulzSec hacker was arrested Tuesday on charges he took part in an extensive computer breach of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Reuters reports. Raynaldo Rivera, 20, of Tempe, Arizona, surrendered to U.S. authorities in …
Sony just released a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man. Here you go:
The battle lines are starting to harden around who’ll pay for those lame-looking 3D glasses. I’ve learned that other studios might line up behind Sony’s decision to stop paying the average 50-cents a pair fee beginning in May. Rival studios tell me Fox is on board. “We’re studying our options, but haven’t made any decisions yet,” denied Fox Filmed Entertainment spokesman Chris Petrikin. Remember, Fox was first in line to try to stop paying for glasses back in 2009 when it released Ice Age. But then had to abandon that effort after theaters rebelled. Sony was technically correct today when it said in a statement that “there never has been” a formal agreement stipulating that studios would shoulder the cost of 3D glasses. But it’s easy to understand why exhibitors are stunned by Sony’s stoppage. Because it changes an understanding that’s been in place since 2005 when Disney’s Chicken Little kicked off the 3D movie phenom.
“It is a radical departure from what the practice has been,” National Association of Theater Owners President John Fithian tells me. Now Regal CEO Amy Miles warns that if studios end the practice then it could “result in fewer screens exhibiting 3D films”. That’s bad news for Hollywood, which plans to release 39 films in 3D next year, vs. 36 in 2011. Exhibitors might encourage consumers to bring their own 3D glasses. That may be the future anyway. But BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield says if theaters require payment for 3D specs on top of the typical 3D surcharge ($3.25 to $4 a ticket), then “the U.S. moviegoer will reject this as another way for exhibitors to milk them and further decrease their interest in 3D (and perhaps going to the movies in general)”.
The fight is over glasses manufactured for RealD which it, in turn, supplies them to theaters. RealD’s stock price was down -14.7% today on the Sony news. The 3D tech company won’t disclose
Andrea Wong Tapped As President Of Int’l Production At Sony Pictures TV & President International At Sony Pictures Entertainment
EAfter a year and a half away from the spotlight, Andrea Wong is rejoining the executive ranks with top international positions at Sony Pictures Entertainment. The former CEO of Lifetime, who had been rumored for virtually every high-profile TV executive job that became available in the past 18 months, has been named President of International Production for Sony Pictures Television and President of International for SPE. She will be based in London.
In her SPT position, Wong will head the studio’s international TV production business, reporting to SPT president Steve Mosko. She will oversee SPT’s 15 owned and joint venture international production companies. Wong will shepherd the development of new formats as well as the local adaptations of SPT-owned formats, primarily on the unscripted side. The studio’s library of reality formats, which was boosted by the 2008 acquisition of Dutch company 2waytraffic, includes Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Dragon’s Den and Pyramid. Additionally, SPT has been setting up local versions of its daytime talk show Dr. Oz and some of its library sitcoms, including The Nanny, Married … With Children and Everybody Loves Raymond. It was Wong’s successful tenure as head of alternative and late-night at ABC, where she developed such hit franchises as The Bachelor, Dancing With the Stars and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, that was key in landing her the SPT job, which is skewed heavily towards reality. “Andrea’s business acumen and her role in developing successful unscripted programming like Dancing With the Stars and The Bachelor make her a perfect fit for SPT,” Mosko said.
Wong replaces Kees Abrahams, who is stepping down as president of international production for SPT. Abrahams, former CEO of 2waytraffic, had been overseeing SPT’s international production operations since 2waytraffic’s acquisition. “Kees’ entrepreneurial spirit has been instrumental to the growth of our television production business internationally and we thank him for all of his efforts,” Mosko said. Added Kees, “I think it is now time for me to pursue some new commercial opportunities, and I wish Sony well.”