Disney Slams “Frivolous” Stan Lee Media In Spider-Man Rights Case

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 6:52pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGENotoriously litigious Stan Lee Media Inc couldn’t have thought that Disney would respond to its latest Marvel character rights grab in a placid manner, so the company shouldn’t be surprised by the legal hit to the … Read More »

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Stan Lee Media Tries Again To Tangle Disney’s Spider-Man Rights In Legal Web

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 7:11pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEDespite Disney’s best legal efforts, perpetually litigious Stan Lee Media Inc is not going quietly into the Pennsylvania night with its claims to Spider-Man. Today SLMI fired back at the media giant’s attempts to shut it down once and for all last month with assertions of time-barred claims and the fact that it is a dissolved corporation. “It is Disney’s burden to prove Disney’s ownership of the copyrights to Spider‐Man. Prior spider-manlitigation cannot bar [American Music Theater], and concomitantly SLMI, from defending itself by showing Disney’s assertion is wrong,” says the dense and exhibit heavy filing in federal court in the Keystone State (read it here). “No judge has decided that Disney actually owns the Spider‐Man copyrights or, for that matter, that SLMI does not own the copyrights,” adds the opposition to Disney Enterprises’ motion to dismiss SLMI from its copyright case against American Music Theater. AMT also filed paperwork (read it here) in opposition to Disney’s motion to toss its counterclaims and SLMI from the case. This latest kick at the can by the repeatedly defeated SLMI over its claims over various Marvel characters created by Stan Lee — who no longer has anything to do with the company that bears his name — seems certainly to clog up the courts for at least a little while longer.

Related: Disney’s Spider-Man Rights Contested In Court Again By Stan Lee Media

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Disney’s Spider-Man Rights Contested In Court Again By Stan Lee Media

By | Wednesday December 4, 2013 @ 5:10pm PST

DJP LEGAL BADGEThe mantra over at Stan Lee Media Inc must be “if first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Certainly that is its legal strategy. Almost three months after a federal judge in Colorado granted Disney’s request for dismissal of SLMI’s spiderman broadwaymultibillion-dollar Marvel superhero copyright suit, the company is back in Pennsylvania court this week claiming it owns the rights to Spider-Man. “In response to Disney’s Spider-Man claims and/or in response to [American Music Theater's] counterclaims and third-party claims, SLMI respectfully seeks a declaratory judgment … that Disney cannot bar SLMI from using or licensing the Spider-Man copyrights and trademarks by virtue of the fact that SLMI (not Disney) is the owner of various  copyrights and trademarks regarding Spider-Man and has properly licensed the copyrights and trademarks to AMT,” says the third-party defendant paperwork (read it here) filed Tuesday.

Related:
Stan Lee Media’s ‘Conan The Barbarian’ Suit Savaged Again
Sony Plans More Spider-Man Sequels & Spinoffs
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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

President Obama DreamWorksObama Set For DreamWorks Animation Visit Next Week
By Dominic Patten 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.

Universal, Malcolm D. Lee In Talks To Make ‘The Best Man Holiday’ Sequel After Monster Opening
By Mike Fleming Jr. EXCLUSIVE: After a rousing opening weekend that saw his sequel The Best Man Holiday gross over $30 million domestically, Malcolm D. Lee is negotiating a deal with Universal to write, direct and produce another installment of the hit ensemble romantic comedy.

OSCARS: Why A Documentary Nomination Could Be Game-Changer For Gay Love Story ‘Bridegroom’
By Pete Hammond – The steady, emotional journey of award-winning documentary Bridegroom continues with its availability for sale beginning today on iTunes and Amazon. But it is an Academy Award nomination — or even just making that shortlist – that filmmakers Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and husband Harry Thomason really want in order to carry their message of love and tolerance for gay couples worldwide.

Hunger Games Catching Fire Box OfficeBox Office Top 10: ‘Catching Fire’s Global Opening Gross Will Hit $307.7 Million
By Mike Fleming Jr. – International numbers for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire are pouring in now, and they are as good as the domestic numbers. The film has grossed $146.6 million in 63 territories, which puts its global opening weekend gross at $307.7 in 65 territories. Read More »

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UPDATE: Sony Pictures Plans More Spider-Man Sequels And Spinoffs – But Still No Marvel Reunion

UPDATED, 1:50 PM: “We do very much have the ambition about creating a bigger universe around Spider-Man. There are a number of scripts in the works” involving characters and villains in the series, Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Michael Lynton told analysts in a Q&A session wrapping up his operation’s first meeting with investors. But he didn’t offer details, except that Sony is “working closely with Marvel and Disney.” But lest fans of the Marvel world take that to mean that Spider-Man could finally join his buddies in an upcoming The Avengers or other Marvel/Disney film — think again. Sony’s longtime rights deal with Marvel for Spider-Man allows them to exploit any character within the superhero’s universe — including villains, girlfriends or even Aunt May. But Disney, which acquired Marvel in 2009, owns merchandising rights to Spider-Man and those related characters, so any further exploitation would have to involve Disney.

While Sony today promised to hold down costs, especially for films, Lynton says that “we have in no way shape or form lost our commitment to the movie business. The movie business sits at the heart and soul of the company.” And he wouldn’t feel constrained from approving a major project. “We never once found ourselves lacking for capital” when it comes to a needed investment including an acquisition. That also was true when Disney snagged Marvel. With theme parks and several cable channels, Disney has “a few more channels to exploit” the properties. “You have to measure it against that backdrop.”

Related: Sony Pictures To Shift Emphasis From Movies To TV, Will Cut Film Output For 2014 Read More »

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Disney Wins Dismissal Of Marvel Copyright Lawsuit With Stan Lee Media

By | Thursday September 5, 2013 @ 5:30pm PDT

Turns out the Walt Disney Company really does own the rights to the Marvel characters created by Stan Lee, at least according to a federal judge today. U.S. District Judge William J. Martinez Thursday granted … Read More »

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The Hit Phenomenon?: Japanese Scientists Create Model To Predict Box-Office Success

Japanese scientists have divined a mathematical model for what they call “The Hit Phenomenon.” By calculating the advertising budget of a film before it’s released, along with the amount of time a campaign runs and its word of mouth quotient … Read More »

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Sony Registers Record Loss, But Expects Return To Profit

Posting a record loss of $5.7B for the fiscal year ended March 31, Sony today reported a quarterly loss of $3.2B. However, the company also expects a return to profit, predicting that net income for the fiscal year … Read More »

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‘Spider-Man’ Ride Amped Up At Universal Orlando

By | Thursday March 8, 2012 @ 3:32pm PST

Universal Orlando Resort today celebrated the reopening of “The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man”,– one of the world’’s most popular theme park experiences. The attraction now features enhancements including all-new 4K digital high-definition ride animation, a new highly-sophisticated Infitec 3-D projection system, a new music score, and all-new 3-D “Spider-Vision” glasses:

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Kapow! EPIX Pre-empts Stan Lee Documentary Before Slamdance Debut

By | Saturday January 21, 2012 @ 4:54pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While we wait for the offers on Sundance films like The Words, Celeste and Jessie and others to turn into deals, the other Park City festival, Slamdance, has scored a good one. EPIX is closing a preemptive deal for … Read More »

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Report: Studios Should Prepare For “The Death Of Superheroes”

It may be indelicate to make this argument just as thousands of fantasy fans are converging on San Diego for the annual Comic-Con. But the movie business may soon find itself mourning “the death of superheroes,” Susquehanna Financial Group’s Vasily … Read More »

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COMIC-CON: Some Film Studios Sitting Out

Deadline Comic-Con Movie Contributor Luke Y Thompson reports:

It’s the story every media outlet is dying to tell every year: “Comic-Con just ain’t what it used to be.” This year, however, the event — set for July 21-24 at the San Diego Convention Center — comes with some alarmist (and circumstantial) evidence: Warner Bros won’t be doing a movie presentation. Marvel Studios won’t be either, even though the tiniest teaser for The Avengers last year made for the most memorable panel. Disney initially appeared absent too. So what’s going on? Did the failure of Scott Pilgrim to triumph at the box office following a massive Con promotion last year leave studios leery?

Well, you’d think if that were the case, Universal would feel the most burned — yet they’re doubling down by holding the premiere of Cowboys and Aliens there, inviting many of the fans to attend; one would imagine the big names like Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig will at least attend.

Disney, which now owns the Muppets and Marvel Studios, is likely saving those properties for its own D23 Expo in Anaheim toward the end of August. They are, however, bringing the DreamWorks pickup Fright Night to Comic-Con (in presentation and screening form) — notably, this is a movie that will open Aug. 19, the same day the D23 Expo begins, so it makes sense to hype it sooner. Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are the big names attending; curiously, the publicity has consistently downplayed the presence of former Doctor Who star David Tenant, and he has not been mentioned as attending, though he’d be given a hero’s welcome if he did.

Warner Bros’ lack of a movie panel may largely be due to the fact that the next Superman and Batman movies aren’t ready to show much yet — Man of Steel star Henry Cavill will be there, but on behalf of Relativity’s Immortals (also Luke Evans, Kellan Lutz and Mickey Rourke; director Tarsem Singh is not currently expected). Certainly WB is showing a ton of TV previews, but I’ll leave that to my colleague Gary Hodges to discuss. The biggest question mark in my mind is what Time Warner-owned Entertainment Weekly will put on the cover of their Comic-Con issue now: traditionally, it’s been a big reveal from a Warners movie.

The biggest name being batted about right now as a possibility is Steven Spielberg, to present footage from his The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. Certainly, a Tintin presentation would be wise, as the teaser has left many (myself included) highly skeptical. The fanbase needs persuading, and since it’s Spielberg, there’s probably at least one kickass scene that can get people hyped. But Paramount’s still playing things close to the vest — when I asked a publicist there about Comic-Con plans, I was told “It’s uncertain what or if we’re bringing anything.” That’s not a denial. And there has been talk of a Captain America screening — whether that translates into an actual panel is uncertain, as the regular press junkets and such will already be in full swing for the movie, opening that week. Read More »

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BREAKING! Sony Pictures Releases First Look At Andrew Garfield As ‘Spider-Man’



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‘Spider-Man’ Takes Another Night Off

Mike Fleming

It’s another dark night at Broadway’s Foxwood Theatre for Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. After a cancelled performance Tuesday, previews were supposed to resume tonight but the stage crew and performers took an extra day to incorporate the extra safety procedures designed to eliminated the variables that led to an … Read More »

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2nd UPDATE: Spider-Man Back In Previews Wednesday Night

Mike Fleming

2ND UPDATE: A spokesman for the musical said that preview performances will resume tomorrow night. “Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Actors Equity and the New York State Department of Labor have met with the Spider-Man company … Read More »

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In First Deal, Sony Buys Contemporary ‘Frankenstein’ For Matt Tolmach

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In the first project he has set at Sony Pictures Entertainment since exiting the co-president post to become a producer, Matt Tolmach is at the center of a preemptive pitch deal for Frankenstein. The film will be a contemporary … Read More »

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Laura Ziskin Awarded 2011 Visionary Award By Producers Guild

Mike Fleming

The Producers Guild of America has named Laura Ziskin to receive its 2011 Visionary Award. The honor will be presented at the 22nd annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony January 22. Ziskin is being honored not just for a body of … Read More »

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Martin Sheen Lands ‘Spider-Man’ Role And Sally Field May Be Next

Martin Sheen is joining the Marc Webb-directed 3D Spider-Man movie, playing the role of Uncle Ben. He joins Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans, who were set earlier in the Sony Pictures Entertainment film that begins production in December. … Read More »

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Emma Stone In Spidey — But With Switch!

Mike Fleming

Sony Pictures just confirmed Emma Stone for the female lead in Spider-Man. The surprise? While days ago both the studio and her reps expected her to take the role of Mary Jane Watson, she has instead closed to play Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s first love. Here’s the studio release:

CULVER CITY, Calif., October 5, 2010 – Emma Stone has been cast as the female lead in the upcoming Spider-Man film from Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, it was announced today by Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures. Stone has been tapped for the role of Gwen Stacy opposite Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. The film, to be directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt and produced by Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin, will begin production in December and will be released in theaters nationwide in 3D on July 3, 2012. The casting continues an association between Sony Pictures Entertainment and the actress

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