June 2006 Archive

Box Office

Latest Summer Movie Tracking News: Click No. 1, Superman Gaining Strength

Here's the latest summer movie tracking news: I'm told Sony's Click will become No. 1 at the box office and hit the so-called “Adam Sandler sweet spot” of at least $40-$45 mil its opening weekend. The bigger news I've learned is that Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (opening July 7th) now has the highest combination of “definite interest” and “first choice” ever tracked by the research groups. That backs up my previous reporting that this Disney blockbuster is gonna blow… Read

Warner Bros. Asked Joel Silver For Advice On How To Market More Manly Superman

Warner Bros.' marketing of Superman Returns is a tragicomedy of errors upon errors. More to the point, I'm told Bryan Singer is fed up with it. For good reason. I could go on and on, but I'll hit the low points for now. The gay buzz sparked by one-sheets presenting Brandon Routh as the Babyfaced Superbod. Then Warner's ridiculous panic because of gay-themed Superman stories in, god forbid, The Advocate. Singer's own desperate damage control that this was “probably the… Read

Box Office

UPDATED: Da Vinci Does Bollywood Amid Protests; Qatar and Oman Ban Lifted

UPDATED: *Attempts by Sony to screen the film in one part of Andhra Pradesh today were unsuccessful when dozens of protesters under the banner of the Christian United Front raided a Hyderabad multiplex and damaged property extensively, forcing the management to suspend the film's screening. The mob even broke the box office window (as opposed to breaking the box office record), so the film could not be shown. Also, the state government is appealing the High Court… Read

LA Times Expecting Movie Ad Rebound?

Parent company Tribune and  the Los Angeles Times must be members of the cockeyed Optimists Club. How else to explain that, in their first public remarks since the Chandler family went to war against them, they claimed “trends” expected to boost revenue during the second half include additional advertising due to a larger number of movie releases (as well as new sales incentives by several major automakers). Sheesh, will these bozos never learn? Donald Grenesko, Tribune's… Read

Sir Howie Faces Angry Sony Shareholders

So now it's all-too-apparent why Sony's corporate flackery was working 24/7 to generate those many media puff pieces about Sir Howard Stringer (see my previous No Sony Product Gets This Much Great PR). Because he was facing 7,000 shareholders for the first time as CEO at Thursday's annual meeting. Specifically, facing grumbling, disgruntledworried shareholders — to use the adjectives in the AP story out of Tokyo — demanding to know why Sony was losing so much… Read

Hollywood Minorities Complain To Me: “We Are Not That Hard To Find”

It's a standard Hollywood excuse that there isn't a sufficient talent pool of minorities from which to choose executives. Well, that's horseshit. So I disagree with Patrick Goldstein's latest Los Angeles Times column, More Color, Please, in which 20th Century Fox Co-Chairman Jim Gianopulos is quoted as saying, “It's not for lack of interest or desire, because we're constantly searching for creative people. But it's a really difficult question and we haven't found an… Read

Why Hollywood Gets No Work Done

I was shocked to hear that Hollywood types were already leaving town for the July 4th holiday. It's bad enough you guys cancel four straight scheduled meetings with screenwriters. Or have your assistants book appointments six months ahead which you'll cancel anyway. And all without a twinge of guilt. But lately you've become Slacker Town. So here's why Hollywood gets no work done: June: Spend most of the month coordinating travel plans to hobnob with Bob Wright on… Read

Again, Big Media Gets Big Political Bucks

According to Broadcasting & Cable's Multichannel News, the 2006 political advertising market is overheating even without a presidential race. Candidates and issue-oriented groups have spent $440 million on advertising through early June. That's $110 million more than political advertisers spent in 2004 through the same date. Overall, U.S. political ad spending is projected to top $1 billion overall, most of it flowing over broadcast and cable TV outlets, according to new… Read

Stalking Gawker's Jesse Oxfeld in LA

Since makes a habit of stalking the famous — actually, the readers report their close encounters of the celebrity kind at restaurants and bars, and Daily Gawker Stalker reports them, even to the point of Google satellite mapping — I thought turnabout was fair play. (And to get back at Gawker for continuously running my damn debutante picture.) So let's stalk Gawker staffer Jesse Oxfeld during his recent visit to Los Angeles for his best friend's wedding. “I rented a… Read

A Screenwriter's Realistic MPAA Ratings

My pal, L.A. screenwriter Bruce Feirstein, received a lot of hate mail for his latest New York Observer column imagining new movie ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America, which therefore endears this piece to me. What prompted him was Facing the Giants, that film about the Christian football coach which received a "PG" rating because of "thematic" elements — not drugs, not violence and not sex, but religion. “I'm no prude. I've worked on my share of movies… Read

Wolcott vs Finke: Diss For Dissing George

You can't please all of the people all of the time. Though Vanity Fair columnist James Wolcott has praised me in the recent past, he defends George Clooney and disses me in the July issue (not online). Branding me an “egotist” for my audacious claim that George sans ensemble is box office poison, Jim writes: “On Oscar night, entertainment-biz reporter Nikki Finke, liveblogging the event at Deadline Hollywood Daily, joined … the ranks of the unimpressed. 'This red carpet… Read

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