Warner Bros Slapped With Second ‘Conjuring’ Rights Lawsuit By Producer

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 4:08pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEHard to tell if it’s more paralegal than paranormal but something is definitely haunting The Conjuring franchise Warner Bros is trying to create. Today the studio and its New Line division were the conjuringamong the defendants named in another breach of contract lawsuit by producer Tony DeRosa-Grund and his Evergreen Media. This time 87-year-old Lorraine Warren herself, whose investigations into the seemingly supernatural with her late husband were the basis for last year’s thriller, was also listed as a defendant. Filed in federal court in Texas like last month’s suit, today’s complaint (read it here) seeking a jury trial also wants to stop any sequels going forward; a declaratory judgment of rights; and a series of unspecified actual, punitive and statutory damages likely to run into the millions. And what does the other side say? “We have not been served,” a WB spokesman told me today.

Related: Warner Bros Hit With ‘Conjuring’ Rights Lawsuit, Lionsgate Exited TV Series Deal

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Warner Bros Acquires Global Book Sensation ‘The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair’; Ron Howard To Direct

Mike Fleming

Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair MovieEXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has acquired the Joel Dicker novel The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair for Ron Howard to direct and his Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer to produce with him. Deals are also in the works for Eugenie Grandval and Claire Lundberg to produce as well. Since published by the Swiss author, the novel has been a publishing phenomenon in Europe and especially in France, where is finished just behind Fifty Shades Of Grey, and Italy and Spain, where it outsold Dan Brown’s Inferno. It has sold over 2 million copies and won the prestigious Grand Prix du Roman and was nominated for the Prix Goncourt. Book was published by Bernard de Fallois’s Editions de Fallois.

ronbrianPublished in France under the title La vérité sur l’affaire Harry Quebert, the novel is about a young superstar novelist who finds himself embroiled in a sensationalized murder mystery when his mentor, an icon of American literature, is implicated in the crime of a missing 15-year-old girl who turns up dead in the author’s backyard. Penguin will publish the book in the U.S. in May. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Warner Bros Germany Courts ‘Madame Bovary’; ‘Jamaica Inn’ Off To Strong Start On BBC One; More

Warner Bros Germany Picks Up ‘Madame Bovary’
Warner Bros Germany has acquired all German-speaking rights to Sophie Barthes’ Madame Bovary from A Company Filmed Entertainment. Based on the classic Gustave Flaubert mia-wasikowska-en-la-pelicula-jane-eyre-novel, the film stars Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans and Ezra Miller. Barthes co-wrote the screenplay with Rose Barrenche. Currently in postproduction, Madame Bovary tells the tragic story of Emma (Wasikowska), a young beauty who impulsively marries a small-town doctor in order to leave her father’s pig farm behind. But after being introduced to the glamorous world of high society, she soon becomes bored with her stodgy mate and seeks excitement and status outside the bonds of marriage. Joe Neurauter and Felipe Marino of Occupant Entertainment are producing in association with Aden Films’ Barthes and Aleph Motion Pictures’ Jaime Mateus-Tique. UK-based Prescience is financing with Tim Smith and Paul Brett as exec producers. Co-producers include A Company’s Alexander van Duelmen and Kai Kuenneman, Scope Pictures’ Genevieve Lemal and Left Field Ventures’ John Engel. Radiant Films International is handling foreign sales. A Company has distribution in select territories including Eastern Europe, Russia and Vietnam. Read More »

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Universal Studios Japan Sets Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Opening For July 15

UniversalPotterJapanThe Japan branch of Universal Studios Parks & Resorts and Warner Bros’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction was originally unveiled in May 2012 with a target late-2014 opening date. They made it: The opening day will be July … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Clint Eastwood’s ‘Jersey Boys’

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 4:56pm PDT

Here’s the first trailer for Clint Eastwood‘s adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway smash about legendary early-rock group the Four Seasons. Warner Bros’ Jersey Boys has taken a serpentine road to the big screen. It originally was at Sony before Graham King signed a multi-year deal with Warners Read More »

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UPDATE: Warner Bros Taps Former Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers As Communications Chief; Sue Fleishman Exiting

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 10:41am PDT

UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM MYERS AND FLEISHMAN: DeeDeeMyersWarner Bros has hired former White House Press Secretary and longtime political strategist/analyst Dee Dee Myers as EVP Worldwide Corporate Communications and Public Affairs replacing nine-year veteran Sue Fleishman. The move comes after Fleishman had to negotiate through a very rocky transition at the studio through several shakeups in 2013. That included the ascension of new Warner Bros Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara and the exits of the other two WB biggies angling for that gig — Warner Bros TV boss Bruce Rosenblum last May and Warner Brothers Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov the next month.

warnerbros_logoMyers is coming into a studio rocked by these exits. And although Warner Bros is still reaping the benefits of the pictures greenlit by Robinov — Gravity, The Lego Movie, 300: Rise Of An Empire, and others — it is being led by a studio chairman who has been in the job only a year and is seen as still trying to get his footing. The question is what will happen once the studio blows through all the projects set in motion by Robinov and what characteristic mark will Tsujihara make during his tenure? Fleishman was seen as Barry Meyer’s guy, which is kind of interesting because so was Tsujihara so go figure. Fresh blood now.

Warner Bros. has had a terrific run at the box office from those aforementioned films and is a force to be reckoned with TV powerhouse with such properties as The Big Bang Theory, The Voice, Two and Half Men, The Following, to name a few. They are also partnered with CBS in the CW Network where they produce Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, Shameless, and syndicated hit The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Myers is a smart, aggressive woman who is not afraid to speak up. In fact, she wrote a book Why Women Should Rule The World about how things might be better worldwide if more women were in leadership roles. Her husband has long worked as a journalist (at the New York Times and Politico) and is currently the national editor and political correspondent at Vanity Fair (where Myers also wrote). DeeDeeMyersClintonOriginally from Los Angeles, she worked for many years with former Mayor Tom Bradley and other politicians before heading to Washington, working with Walter Mondale’s campaign, Michael Dukakis, Dianne Feinstein, and then, of course, with President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton as the White House press secretary for the first two years of the administration. She was the first female press secretary and one of the youngest to hold the job.

She is certainly not the first political press secretary/strategist to make the move to Hollywood. Years ago, Anna Perez, Barbara Bush’s press secretary, was hired at CAA. Zenia Mucha, currently EVP and chief communications officer at Disney, worked  for Sen. Alfonse D’Amato and NY Gov. George Pataki. And Kori Bernards at Universal Pictures previously worked at the MPAA and in D.C. for 13 years with then-Minority Leader Richard Gephardt and Nancy Pelosi (now House Minority Leader). “There is a fair number of people who go back and forth,” said Myers. “There’s an affinity between politics and entertainment but that being said, it’s very different and there will be a transition for me.” Read More »

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‘Magic Mike’ Sequel Gets July 2015 Release Date

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 10:44am PDT

MagicMikeWarner Bros has set Magic Mike 2 for July 3, 2015. The sequel to the 2012 film directed by Steven Soderbergh that was informed by Channing Tatum‘s early days as a male stripper. This is the latest extension of … Read More »

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Warner Bros Bringing ‘Godzilla’, ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ & ‘Into The Storm’ To WonderCon

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 5:41pm PDT

warner_bros_logo-2__130321233618__130419003343__131121204956__131213030736__140121202406__140209183407__140215004412__140226000049The studio tweeted today that it is bringing three of its high-priority summer pics to the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend. Saturday’s Warner Bros panel will cover the rebooted creature feature Godzilla, Tom Cruise’s futuristic war pic Edge Of Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Dolphin Tale 2′

By | Friday April 11, 2014 @ 3:22pm PDT

Call this Episode 2: A New Hope. Warner Bros had to be taken aback a bit by the feel-good box office for its feel-good family pic Dolphin Tale, which hit No. 1 in its second weekend back in 2011 and finished with $95 million-plus worldwide. Alcon Entertainment dips … Read More »

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Warner Bros Dates ‘King Arthur’ For July 2016

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 4:21pm PDT

Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Picturesguyritchie have slotted the Guy Ritchie-helmed King Arthur for July 22, 2016. As we reported back in January, Ritchie was circling the project, a tentpole fantasy retelling of the Arthur legend. This new version … Read More »

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Warner Bros Taps ‘Jungle Book’ Scribe Justin Marks To Adapt Vertigo Comics’ ‘Federal Bureau Of Physics’

Mike Fleming

FederalBureauOfPhysicsEXCLUSIVE: Justin Marks is reuniting with producer David Goyer to adapt Vertigo Comics’ Federal Bureau Of Physics, penning the script based on a treatment by Simon Oliver, who created the comic with Robbi Rodriguez. The comic series was … Read More »

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Studios Slam Megaupload With Mega-Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

DJP LEGAL BADGEOver two years since notorious cyberlocker Megaupload was shut down on January 19, 2012, Hollywood today has gone on the legal offensive. Disney, 20th Century Fox Film, Paramount Pictures, Universal, Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. today … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore In ‘Blended’

By | Thursday April 3, 2014 @ 5:26pm PDT

Here is 2014′s first new trailer for the third onscreen teaming of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. The Gulfstream Pictures/Happy Madison rom-com Blended, which has been retitled twice, follows two single parents who endured a painfully bad blind date and later happen to sign their kids … Read More »

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Warner Bros Hit With ‘Conjuring’ Rights Lawsuit By Producer, Lionsgate Exited TV Series Deal

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 11:47am PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGELooks like more than the paranormal are a threat when it comes to The Conjuring. After months in arbitration with Warner Bros over who owns what rights to the sequels and spinoffs of the successful New Line-released supernatural thriller, The Conjuringproducer Tony DeRosa-Grund and his Evergreen Media late last week filed a breach of contract complaint (read it here) against the studio and its subsidiary. And it’s not just over movies: the 30-page complaint alleges that because of this dispute with Warners and New Line, Lionsgate eventually pulled out of a proposed Conjuring TV series deal it had with Evergreen in late summer last year. “As a direct consequence of Defendants’ deliberate actions and interference, Evergreen is unable to collect the compensation owed under its agreement with Lionsgate and has suffered monetary damages that reach well into the millions of dollars,” says the complaint filed in federal court in Texas on March 28. Released on July 19 last year,  Conjuring has pulled in more than $318 million globally, and a sequel set for October 2015 was announced last month. Among other claims by DeRosa-Grund and Evergreen is that the producer has not been paid the profit participation he and New Line agreed on out of their use of case-file material the plaintiffs owned of the investigations of Ed and Lorrain Warren.

Related: What’s In A Title? ‘Conjuring’ Producer & New Line In Dispute Over TV Rights

The plaintiffs evoke the names of Bob and Harvey Weinstein in their dense complaint as yet another example of Warner Bros and New Line playing a rights shell game.
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‘Godzilla’ Legal Battle Between Legendary & Tossed Producers Gets Trial Date

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 12:45pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEIt’ll be almost a year to the day after the new Godzilla hits the big screen, but the long legal clash between Legendary Pictures and a trio of veteran producers dumped from the reboot now has a trial date. Despite Legendary’s efforts to keep the matter private, the parties will be arguing their case in front of a jury in LA Superior Court starting Godzilla 2014 logoMay 17, 2015. That could change if the two sides reach a settlement over credits and compensation for the Warner Bros-distributed tentpole. If that doesn’t happen, the trial, which ejected producers Roy LeeDan Lin and Doug Davison have been seeking since filings started flying in January 2013, is scheduled to last around 10 days. The case was reassigned to Judge Michael Beckloff earlier this week. The new Godzilla movie, from director Gareth Edwards and starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, David Strathairn, Juliette Binoche and Sally Hawkins, opens May 14.

Related: Legendary “Confident” Of ‘Godzilla’ Lawsuit Outcome Despite Appeals Court Loss

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CinemaCon: Warner Bros Brings Out Heavy Star Power To Court Theater Owners – Eastwood, Depp, Freeman, Sandler, Tatum Hit Vegas

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 6:38pm PDT
Pete Hammond

If CinemaCon delegates were waiting for a busload of movie stars to show up at the convention, Warner Bros granted their wish this afternoon delivering, by far, CinemaCon 2014 - Warner Bros. Pictures Invites You To "The Big Picture," An Exclusive Presentation Highlighting The Summer Of 2014 And Beyondmore star power to the stage of the Caesars Palace Colosseum Theatre than the other studios combined. Clint EastwoodAdam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Melissa McCarthy , Morgan Freeman, Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis were among the names who were trotted out by the studio to the delight of theater owners in the audience. But sometimes it gets awkward up there. Tatum and Kunis just read their lines off a teleprompter, and CinemaCon2014_badgeDepp couldn’t seem to figure out if he had any. Usually at these things he just walks across the stage and waves. Sandler actually was quite funny, bantering with a very pregnant Barrymore, who was still in tears she said over the preceding clip from Godzilla. Eastwood managed a standing ovation and, in talking about the very high-decibel sound levels of the film clips, charmed his way through a brief introduction to footage from his forthcoming musical Jersey Boys.

warner_bros_logo-2__130321233618__130419003343__131121204956__131213030736__140121202406__140209183407__140215004412The heavy star presence distinguished Warners’ turn in the spotlight, the last of the major studios to come to bat, in a presentation that was otherwise very corporate in its approach. Warners had much to crow about and clearly knew it after coming off a record $5.03 billion year, 10 Oscars and a personal-best 21 nominations. It also had a 2013 summer that produced another record: All seven releases earned more than $100 million each. And Warners touted early results in 2014 as being just as promising, with The Lego Movie earning $400 million worldwide so far and the sequel 300: Rise Of An Empire already up to a symmetrically perfect $300 million. Whether the studio can continue on this kind of roll is anyone’s guess as it has a year ahead that’s almost totally lacking in bread-and-butter sequels. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Warner Bros’ ‘Into The Storm’

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 10:31am PDT

New Line Cinema and Village Roadshow Pictures will release the Steven Quale-helmed Into The Storm on August 8, 2014. This is the first teaser for the pic, which is told through the eyes and lenses of professional storm chasers, thrill-seeking amateurs, and courageous townspeople, throwing you “directly into the eye … Read More »

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Warner Bros Lands Mitch Albom Novel ‘The First Phone Call From Heaven’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has acquired The First Phone Call From Heaven, theFirstPhoneCallFromHeaven bestselling novel by Mitch Albom that was published last November by Harper. Denise DiNovi and Alison Greenspan will produce.

The book opens on a morning in the small town of Coldwater, MI, when the phones start ringing and the voices say they are calling from heaven. While each call is greeted differently — some with love, some with religious zeal, some with fear — a grieving single father with an inquisitive and hopeful son takes it upon himself to uncover whether these callers are hoaxers, or they are really dialing long distance. Chantal Nong and Cate Adams will oversee for Warner Bros.

albomAlbom, who came up a sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press, has also written bestsellers like Tuesdays With Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven, books with a wholesome spiritual tug to them. At a time when Paramount has been doing non-stop damage control as it opens the Biblical epic Noah this Friday trying to convince religious groups to come to the movie, and with several other Biblical epics in the offing, some studios see promise in uplifting books that ponder spiritual issues with less polarizing storytelling. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Tom Cruise In ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 10:11am PDT

Doug Liman‘s futuristic sci-fi actioner Edge Of Tomorrow stars Tom Cruise as Major William Cage, a neophyte officer who is dropped into combat to battle an alien race that has hit Earth in an unrelenting assault. Killed within minutes, Cage finds himself thrown into a Groundhog Day-type … Read More »

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