September 2007 Archive

Abu Dhabi Shows Warner Bros The Money

Lore has it that, if a sucker is born every minute, all eventually land in Hollywood. After exhausting the German dentist money, then the American tycoon scion money, then the Greenwich hedge fund money, now Tinseltown is exploiting the Abu Dhabi real estate money. Warner Bros announced today a “long-term, multi-faceted strategic alliance” calling for a theme park, hotel, multiplex cinemas and joint fund to finance films, develop video games, and build out the… Read

Disney Digs Out Of Deep Legal Pooh-Pooh

Bob Iger can breathe a sigh of relief at today's legal decision. Since the Disney Channel has My Friends Tigger & Pooh, a re-launch of the company's very profitable Winnie The Pooh franchise. Tens of millions of dollars have been poured into the creation of this new CG TV series, all with the hope of making Pooh & pals more appealing to the SpongeBob generation. And the Mouse House has already lined up dozens of licensees to create My Friends Tigger & Pooh merchandise… Read

Maya Couldn't, Wouldn't, Will Rejoin SNL

What the hell is going on at Saturday Night Live? First, NBC privately claimed it didn't ask Maya Rudolph back to SNL for an eighth season “to freshen the cast.” Then NBC reversed itself and said it was her decision not to return. Now I receive this announcement via NBC from Maya: “It was an agonizing decision, but ultimately, I feel I made the best choice both as a mother and as an actress. I couldn't be happier to be returning to SNL.” And all of this happened in one… Read

Reason No. 789 Why I So Love Hollywood

DreamWorks Animation SKG named Tom Freston to its board of directors today. The former Viacom Inc. president and CEO, who OK'ed the deal to bring DreamWorks into Paramount, was axed by old coot Sumner Redstone a year ago. Nothing like having a common enemy to bring Hollywood types closer together. I should also remind you that, within hours of Freston's firing before his body was even cold, David Geffen called up Redstone and suggested Jeffrey Katzenberg take Tom's place… Read

The Dog Ate New Line's Balance Sheets…

What a scumbag studio New Line Cinema is turning out to be. Because of this nugget buried in that legal victory which Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson just won during the discovery phase of his 2005 lawsuit to enforce the audit provision of his contract: Back in October 2006, New Line's counsel produced only “one third of a box” of audit documents for Jackson's discovery process and claimed that's all there was. This, even though Jackson's side had requested… Read

Box Office

Movie Mogul Mayhem: Aviv vs Shmuger

Instead of just two movies competing at the box office this Friday, there are two moguls slugging it out. Vying for No. 1 will be The Game Plan from Disney, and The Kingdom from Universal. But the behind the scenes catfight is what's really interesting because both titles are the first films greenlit by their respective and recently installed (as in 2006) studio chieftains. The Game Plan was part of the trio of films (including Dan in Real Life + National Treasure: Book o… Read

Everyone In Hollywood Is Talking About…

… Ken Burns' The War which began last night on PBS. Let's not forget Tinseltown's small role in this production. Narrated by actor Keith David, the 7-part series also features the first-person voices of Tom Hanks, Josh Lucas, Bobby Cannavale, Samuel L. Jackson, Eli Wallach, Robert Wahlberg, Carolyn McCormack, Adam Arkin, and Kevin Conway. But, sadly, I'm sure there will be no mention of William Morris Agency' legendary leader, Abe Lastfogel, who reluctantly took over… Read

Toldja! NY Friars Club Wins Bicoastal War

So now it's official: the Friars Club of New York did score that legal victory over the Friars of Beverly Hills I reported way back on September 7th. (See my previous, Bicoastal Friars Club War Ends: NY Wins?) The court order was officially signed last week instructing the Friars of Beverly Hills to stop using the Friars's name. Of course, it took the flacks at Rubenstein 17 days to get back to me on this. Here's the PR: THE FRIARS CLUB WINS WITH SUMMARY JUDGMENT… Read

Oh To Have Been A Fly On The Wall…

… When Brad Grey and Jeff Bewkes lunched together at Michael's in NYC on Friday. Discussing David Chase and a Sopranos movie? Or The Departed sequel? Or the Viacom-DreamWorks debacle? Or just two “very old and close friends”? But if both moguls really had something secret going on, it would be at a dive in Chinatown.  Read