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December 2008 Archive

Warner Bros Slaps CBS With Lawsuit Over Deficit Financing Of 'Two And A Half Men'

So Warner Bros filed in LA Superior Court seeking $49M over its agreement to give CBS options to order its Two And A Half Men for a 5th and 6th season. CBS, which airs the series, agreed that if it exercised those options and the show was a hit, the network would pay back at least some deficit financing incurred by Barry Meyer and company over the first 4 seasons as well as pay premiums on the 5th and 6th year license fees. There’s no question that 2.5 Men has, by any… Read

Say What About Those Oscar Publicists?

On what planet does The Washington Post reside? The paper actually claims in a recent article about Oscar publicists that “because Barry Dale Joseph is working on Slumdog Millionaire, the slumdog underdog, already nominated for a Golden Globe, has become the favorite.” Reality check: sure, his real name is Johnson (not Joseph), he works for ID PR, and he’s an okay flack. But he reps Fox Searchlight films so the guy is already working with frontrunner gold at awards time… Read

4th Annual Focus On Female Directors

Wednesday, January 7 – 7:30 PM THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE AT THE EGYPTIAN THEATRE PRESENTS: 4TH ANNUAL FOCUS ON FEMALE DIRECTORS This shorts program celebrates cinema pioneers, actresses-turned-directors, cutting-edge animators, music video helmers, documentary filmmakers, festival darlings and the brightest stars emerging from film school. — Kirsten Dunst’s Welcome (USA, 2007, 13 min). Winona Ryder stars in this haunted house story for Glamour Magazine’s “Reel Moments”… Read

DHD To SAG: Forget Strike Authorization Ballot! Vote On AMPTP Contract Proposal

The decision by SAG president Alan Rosenberg and executive director and chief negotiator Doug Allen to delay the Strike Authorization Ballot originally scheduled to start January 3rd should be recognized as the smart move to make now when SAG’s solidarity is splitting down the middle. It is a mature recognition that both sides on this issue raise valid points and deserve to be heard before anything with the word “strike” on it is considered by members.The “Yes” camp… Read

Box Office

Snow Cools Off Hot Holiday Box Office: 'Yes Man' Cold #1 And 'Seven Pounds' #2; 'The Wrestler' Posts Best Screen Average

SUNDAY AM: The weather outside is frightful — snowstorms, followed by more cold and snow, in the Midwest and East — on this weekend before Christmas. So very early numbers for the three big movies opening in wide release in some major markets Friday and Saturday looked severely lower from Hollywood predictions. To give you an idea, here are top DMA percentage changes from last Friday: New York -45%/wk, Philadelphia -18%/wk, Toronto -45%/wk, Detroit -32%/wk… Read

Sumner's Debt Reorg Still Not Solved…

I’ve temporarily abandoned the story of over-leveraged Sumner Redstone’s protracted debt reorganization because at this point it continues to be nothing but speculation. And, frankly, one source’s predictions are no more meaningful than another’s, as I’ve learned from experience on this story. Hey, no one knows what the crazy old coot who controls Viacom, CBS, and National Amusements is really gonna do. Still, it’s downright shocking that The New York Times continues to… Read

Mika Out, Einstein In, As THR Publisher?

UPDATE: Lots of insiders have been telling me all week that Eric Mika is out as publisher of The Hollywood Reporter. Or is that just wishful thinking? (Remember, this guy was once described to me as “a prick with all the people skills of a feral pig”.) The word is he’ll be replaced by THR‘s fellow Variety emigre Rose Einstein, and Mica may get shifted by Nielsen to some job in England. Mika’s office would not confirm or deny. By my count, this would be the 5th THR… Read

Which Pic Is Leading Online Ticket Sales?

With Will Smith's Seven Pounds from Sony, Jim Carrey's Yes Man from Warner Bros, and a heroic mouse’s The Tale of Despereaux from Universal all opening today, it’s somewhat surprising that Fandango big onlineticket seller reports that the rodent is leading weekly ticket sales, apparently due to families making their holiday/weekend plans. Meanwhile, 64% of moviegoers on Fandango say they would see Will Smith in any new movie regardless of the subject matter… Read

End-Of-Year Hollywood PR News & Notes

UPDATE: Longtime PMK/HBH publicist Joy Fehily is leaving the flackery after 13 years to start her own PR agency taking clients McG, Seth McFarland, Joel Silver, and other good names. “It’s a bummer but we’re very happy for her,” PMK/HBH CEO Simon Halls told me. “This is exactly what Stephen, Robin, and I did 13 years ago.” I hear there are layoffs in LA at the two IPG flackeries Weber Shandwick, where sources tell me they have closed the entertainment division and let go… Read