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August 2007 Archive

Box Office

Summer Box Office Sizzles To New Record, But This Weekend Cools: 'Superbad' #1; 'The Nanny Diaries' Bombs For Weinsteins

SUNDAY AM: Today, Summer 2007 box office smashed the record for domestic gross receipts and zoomed past $3.95 billion set in 2004 to $4.003 billion. (See my story here.) Otherwise, this was one of those few times in Hollywood when age and familiarity bested youth and novelty. I’m talking about the Top 10 weekend box office, of course. (What did you think?) So oldies but goodies occupied Numbers 1-3. Of course, the fact that this is late August, and the best summer movies… Read

He's Milked That Wm Morris Email Enough

I always knew the Los Angeles Times Calendar section never had an original thought. Today it profiles that debauched/drunken agency assistant Shai Sternberger whose email bidding goodbye to William Morris I posted here last weekend. At least the newspaper credited me. Here’s what he looks like in case you were wondering. KCRW is also going to interview him. I declare Shai’s 15 minutes officially over… Read

Roger Ebert: Thumbs Down To Disney PR

Our most famous film reviewer is refuting a Disney press release claiming he has exercised his right to withhold use of his trademarked “thumbs up/thumbs down” until a new contract is signed for At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper with the syndicated TV show’s distributor, Disney-ABC Domestic TV. I received this email today from Roger Ebert: This is my response to the Associated Press story stating I withdrew the “thumbs” from the show. I was not contacted by a Disney… Read

David Geffen NOT Selling Warner Estate

I can tell you that David Geffen is denying a throwaway line inside a Wall Street Journal article today about big ticket homes for sale claiming that he “has quietly shopped his historic 9.4-acre Los Angeles estate for $100 million, according to a broker who has shown the property”. Indeed, sources tell me that Geffen turns down offers, including those in excess of $100 mil, all the time for the famed Beverly Hills mansion that was formerly owned by Hollywood mogul Jack… Read

Could NYO's Peter Kaplan Save Portfolio?

Note to Si Newhouse: My vote to fix your dreadful Portfolio magazine is Peter Kaplan, current editor of the New York Observer. A lot of people forget that he was editorial director of the absolutely best business magazine ever, Manhattan Inc., which got out of the gate as a hot mag and became a national must-read soon after. As The New York Times said about it: “Readers were attracted by articles that took a sometimes titillating look at the powerful people making news in… Read

Box Office

This Weekend: 'Superbad' #1, 'War' #2, 'Nanny Diaries' #3; Summer 2007 Record

Sony’s Superbad should continue as No. 1 this weekend. Down 40% or less would be a big show of strength for this low-cost coming-of-age comedy from producer Judd Apatow (who’s now officially a mogul in my opinion). My box office gurus expect a Superbad weekend close to $20 mil from its 2,948 theaters. Next among newcomers comes Lionsgate’s War with Jet Li and Jason Stratham which should debut “in the high teens” from 2,277 venues. And No. 3 among freshmen probably goes… Read

If Only Showtime Had HBO's Promo Dept

Hilarious that it’s taken until today for The New York Times‘ Bill Carter to declare HB-Over. (I guess Les Moonves didn’t tell him what to think about it until now.) I already did it June 12th (HBO Needs To Wise Up, Or Get Whacked) and June 13th in LA Weekly (Fade To Black), and again August 5th (HBO Hanging Itself On Hanging Chads Pic). Meanwhile, critics have reviled Showtime’s Californication, but I adore it. For one thing, the show is way more illustrative of… Read

David Lynch: World 'Moved On' From Film

Idiosyncratic David Lynch doesn’t give many interviews, so it’s worth looking at MTV’s little one on the occasion of the newly released DVD of his digital pic, Inland Empire, featuring more than an hour of additional scenes (more of his actors in rabbit costumes), an extended interview with Lynch, and even a cooking segment. For MTV, Lynch touches on topics like why he won’t go back to film, what he liked about The Bourne Ultimatum (‘There’s nothing wrong with a great… Read

Bonus Time Won't Be Happy Time At CAA

Wow, CAA just keeps cutting back and cutting back. While partners Bryan Lourd, Richard Lovett and Kevin Huvane are paying themselves $15 million a year, their tenpercentery is buzzing that the bonuses for the agents who work for them will be cut by another 10% this year. Actually, the total trim is 20% over two years because the agency slashed bonuses by 10% back in 2006. And all because the CAA partners spent too much money on their pet projects. Here are some of the… Read