October 2006 Archive

Brad Grey: Redstone “Owns The Candy Store”, Freston's Ouster “High-Stakes Poker”; Diller: As Old Media “Get More Diversified, They Get Less Well Managed”

There was an after-dinner chat with Brad Grey last night at the Forbes MEET 2006 confab held at the Beverly Hills Hotel. PaidContent.org filed on the Paramount Pictures chairman & CEO's talk. (The website is a media sponsor of the confab.) According to Staci Kramer, “Grey, whose desire to stay at Viacom was questioned in the wake of Tom Freston's departure, was quite careful to distance himself from Chairman Sumner Redstone's way of handling both Freston and Tom… Read

LA Times: Sleepovers at David Geffen's

The other day, a prominent Los Angeles Times writer whom I very much respect confessed something rather startling to me: that he finds himself in the strange position of actively wishing for David Geffen to buy the newspaper. Perhaps more LAT staffers feel the same way, since the paper keeps dwelling on Geffen's interest in Spring Street in its pages. For instance, here's more news about Geffen and the Los Angeles Times — from the Times itself. In a story about a Tribune… Read

EXCLUSIVE: 'Blood Diamond' Director Ed Zwick Blasts Gossip As “Appalling”; Says Production Set Up Private Africa Fund

Blood Diamond director Ed Zwick is furious over yesterday's gossip report alleging that Warner Bros made a promise during filming on location to provide prosthetic limbs to orphaned African teenaged and child amputees, and then reneged after the movie wrapped, or that the pledge fulfillment is tied to publicity for the film. “This is a very cynical and appalling tack to take and in the worst taste, especially given what we all tried to do while we were there.” Zwick told… Read

Box Office

CNN & NPR Refuse to Run Ads for 'Death Of A Prez'; Major Papers See No Problem

Neither CNN nor NPR will run ads for Newmarket Films' Death of a President opening this weekend on October 27th, a press release issued by the film's PR rep said today. Already, two major American cinema chains — Regal Entertainment Group, the No. 1 U.S. cinema operator with more than 6,300 screens in 40 states, and Cinemark USA, which operates roughly 2,500 screens in 34 states — have said they will not show a controversial new movie that depicts the assassination of… Read

Box Office

UPDATED: Fox Trimming 'Borat' Screens

UPDATE: I'm told the latest Borat tracking shows a slight uptick — especially among young males — but Disney's Santa Clause 3 is still gonna beat it at the box office November 3rd. “Borat gaining, but still no awareness in the middle of the country,” I'm told. “Fox is cutting back on the number of theaters where it'll open to just those in the big cities.” So Fox blinked. The studio suddenly trimmed Borat's opening to just 800 screens in the U.S. and Canada in what it… Read

Will Smith About To Be Oscar-Touted

Over the next weeks, several articles in the “Important Media” will tout Will Smith as a Best Actor shoo-in for his dramatic role in Sony Pictures' The Pursuit of Happyness. Given the upcoming critics' awards, Golden Globes, and other pre-Academy Award nonsense, this probably isn't too early to be shouting Oscar though the movie doesn't even open until December 15th. (I don't start prognosticating until January, thank you.) Then again, everyone who's seen this… Read

Does Bigger Media = Better Media? Nope!

Four new academic studies were presented at a news conference today under the headline, Does Bigger Media Equal Better Media? (MediaOwnershipReport). The new research focuses on how the concentration of media ownership affects media content, from local news reporting to radio music programming, and how minority groups have fared - as both media outlet owners and as historically undeserved audiences — in an increasingly deregulated media environment. Sponsored by the… Read

Burkle vs Ovitz: Together Again In Court

Billionaire Ronald W. Burkle is scheduled to answer questions today regarding the strength of his multi-million dollar lawsuit against Michael Ovitz, according to the City News Service. The lawsuit, filed in February 2005, alleges Ovitz breached an oral agreement to share investment opportunities they were supposed to make jointly. Attorneys for Ovitz last week won an order from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Soussan G. Brugera allowing them to question the former… Read

Does Ari's Mom Have A Secret Recipe?

Endeavor Agency's Ari Emanuel talks several times a day to his brother, U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who is masterminding the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's midterm elections. There's a well-reported piece on Rahm in today's Washington Post (Fighting For The Spoils) that mentions Ari. “They all play to win, those Emanuel boys. Rahm (left) is the middle son of three. His big brother, Ezekiel, is a Harvard oncologist and bioethicist. Younger brother Ari (below) is… Read

Box Office

UPDATE: Clint's 'Flags Of Our Fathers' Unfurls Only No. 3; 'The Prestige' Proves Magical #1; Scorsese's No. 2 'Departed' Has Legs; Sofia Coppola's 'Marie' So-So

SUNDAY AM: I'm told there was some sleight of hand at the box office Friday as the expected No. 1 movie, Clint Eastwood's Iwo Jima epic Flags Of Our Fathers, finished only No. 3. Instead, Christopher Nolan's turn-of-the-century period pic about rival magicians appeared in first place thanks to a gripping trailer, a late-breaking TV ad push over the past two weeks, great opening day reviews, and heavy promotion by star Hugh Jackman. (The other co-star was Batman Begins'… Read

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