November 2008 Archive

Hollywood CEOS To SAG: We Tell You What The Deal Is, Not Other Way Around

The AMPTP alerted me to this “Open Letter to the Entertainment Industry”  in the form of an ad addressing the current situation with SAG and set to run in the Los Angeles Times tomorrow. I have a better idea: Why don't the Hollywood CEOs get off their damn high horses and start negotiating directly with SAG (like they did with the WGA) and stop leaving everything up to their extremist labor lawyers and the AMPTP's version of Dick Cheney, Carol Lombardini. This letter… Read

Details Of AMPTP-IATSE Tentative Deal

EXCLUSIVE: As I suspected, there seems to be unfinished biz between IATSE and the AMPTP over exactly what's in their so-called “deal” announced November 19th for new 3-year contract. According to my sources, this is the general overview of the tentative agreement. But there's still no Memorandum of Agreement outlining the new terms in detail. So that's why I think it suspect that the AMPTP was so quick to announce an “agreement” with IATSE. (For example, the WGA waited… Read

Box Office

COMEDY RULES! 'Four Christmases' #1 For Thanksgiving Weekend; 'Bolt' #2, 'Twilight' #3, 'Australia' Opens Only #5

SUNDAY AM: Waistlines expanded on Thanksgiving Day, and this 3-day weekend and 5-day holiday shaped up as big for moviegoing, too. Maybe it's because of the grim economy that audiences wanted laughs, but the mediocre PG-13 comedy Four Christmases, helped by a short 80-minute running time, knocked off Twilight for No. 1 on T-Day and easily stayed on top all weekend. The expected frontrunner from New Line/Warner Bros starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon overperformed… Read

CAA Loses Two Oscar Winners: Anthony Hopkins To Endeavor; Best Foreign Language Film Writer/Director To UTA

United Talent's Jeremy Zimmer just signed away Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, writer/director of the 2007 Best Foreign Language Oscar winning The Lives Of Others (aka Germany's Das Leben der Anderen released in 2006), from CAA's Beth Swofford. (He'd been initially signed by CAA's Tory Metzger who left in May for MRC.) “Florian woke up realizing he'd been at CAA two years, and nothing had really happened. He didn't feel he had made any progress. So to focus in on… Read

SAG Issues Q-&-A Regarding Negotiations

This was released by SAG on Wednesday, November 26th: Why should we vote to authorize a strike? We need to show management that we are willing to fight to preserve our ability to earn a living as union performers; otherwise, management will take that away from us.  Nearly half of our earnings as union performers come from residuals, but management wants us to allow them to make programs for the Internet and other new media non-union and with no residuals.  This means that… Read

TOLDJA! Tyler Perry Studios And WGA Reach Agreement Mediated By NAACP

Back on October 6th, I reported that the WGA and Tyler Perry were reaching a settlement in principal. Today it's official: Tyler Perry Studios will become a signatory to the WGA contract. Sadly, the news release (below) does indicate that “some of the writers” writers fired from Perry's two television series, House Of Payne and the upcoming Meet The Browns “will not be returning”. Is that by choice? Or by Perry edict? I've asked the WGA to explain this. This… Read

SAG Prez Alan Rosenberg To Members: “Board To Call A Strike Only If It Becomes Absolutely Necessary”; AMPTP Complains

Dueling statements today… SAG President Alan Rosenfeld sent this message to members (also available on video here): Dear Screen Actors Guild Member, As your president, I want to take this opportunity to communicate directly with you about recent developments regarding our television and motion picture contract negotiations. Last week, under the guidance of a federal mediator, we attempted to resolve our differences with the AMPTP. Our national negotiators and committee… Read

The “Secret Starry SAG Strike Meeting” That Wasn't: WaxWord Blog Post Denied

WEDNESDAY PM UPDATE: Now the blogger says she can't “confirm with certainty when this meeting took place”. Nor, judging from the corrections she's already made, the rest of the story. But she still has it online. Amazing. WEDNESDAY 10 AM UPDATE: Wow, this is sad. Now the blogger has put the story back up. “It was not deleted; I was editing it last night to further check facts and inadvertently left it in 'draft'. I have now reposted, and apologies to those who missed it… Read

Box Office

Thanksgiving Wkd Predictions: 'Four Christmases' Hot, 'Australia' Not So Much; What's The Deal With Down Under Film?

TUESDAY 4 PM UPDATE: MovieTickets.com says Twilight has sold more tickets on its site than Bolt, Quantum of Solace, Australia, and Milk combined, and still boasts over 345 upcoming sold out performances. TUESDAY AM: This is shaping up as one of the big holiday weekends. No doubt the entire country may be in the mood for comedy, even a mediocre one, given the grim economic news. So it shouldn't be a surprise that New Line/Warner Bros' Four Christmases has “the best shot”… Read

Vanity Fair Going Ahead With Oscar Party

Few in Hollywood thought Vanity Fair would dare restart its annual Oscar party in this lousy economy after cancelling it last time around because of the writers strike. (We could hope, right?) But Graydon Carter just announced: “Vanity Fair will hold its annual Oscar Night party at the Sunset Tower Hotel on February 22, 2009. The party will be a much more intimate affair than in years past; we're going to scale back the guest list considerably. We'll celebrate Hollywood's… Read

CAA Not Feeling As “Super” For Big Game

It can't come as a surprise to anyone that all the full-frills parties surrounding the Super Bowl may not be held come February in Tampa because of the economic collapse. But Sports Business Journal is reporting that one of the smaller and more private parties cancelled is by CAA's sports division, CAA Sports, which has held two Super Bowl parties since being created in 2006. The pulication ays rival agent Leigh Steinberg, one of the pioneers of big Super Bowl parties, is… Read

Write Move? Wrong Move? Illegal Move?

Few issues divided the WGA more than the leadership's post-strike publication on April 18th of the names of its 28 members who went fi-core during the strike. After the WGA's solidarity during the strike itself, I was flabbergasted by the huge schism which WGA West president Patric Verrone and WGA East president Michael Winship created with their letter. It turns out that the AMPTP took advantage of the discord and filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations… Read

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