February 2009 Archive

'Jonas Brothers 3-D' Goes From Phenom To Just Concert Pic; 'Madea' #1 Again

SUNDAY AM: The bottom dropped out of Disney's Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience to Hollywood's immense surprise. What were weekend predictions of as much as $30 million and even $40 million had to be revised down, down, down as it opened to $4.8M Friday and then $4.7M Saturday for only a $12.7M weekend with Sunday's estimate of $3M. “Concert pics usually look better on paper than they actually are because the fans drive tracking but it doesn't go beyond fans,”… Read

WGA Strike One Year Later: David

Marjorie David is a seasoned television writer and executive producer (Wildfire), and co-executive producer (Life, Dark Angel, Chicago Hope). She volunteered to serve as a Contract Captain for the WGA's Contract 2007 Campaign. She is a member of the working board of the League Of Hollywood Women Writers. The most important result of the writers' strike for me is the realization that even though incremental gains in such things as benefits can be won through a labor… Read

WGA Strike One Year Later: Gable

Ashley Gable is co-executive producer of The Mentalist and has been supervising producer on Crossing Jordan, and co-producer on The Division. A former attorney, and a working writer for 10+ years, she was a picket coordinator at Fox during the WGA strike. Last year, she ran for the WGA's board of directors. The Conglomerates' biggest mistake during the strike was, well, forcing us to go on strike. Not because the deal we got was so great. But because of that damn picket… Read

AMPAS Gets Punk'd By Iran Government

According to a report from the French news service Agence France Press (AFP), advisors to Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged a visiting Hollywood delegation to apologize for “insults and slanders” about Iranians in films. “(Iranian) cinema officials will only have the right to have official sessions with… Hollywood movie makers when they apologize to the Iranians for their 30 years of insults and slanders,” Javad Shamaghdari, the art advisor to Iran's president… Read

WGA Strike One Year Later: Rodman

Howard Rodman is professor and former chair of the writing division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts; a member of the board of directors of the Writers Guild of America, West; and an artistic director of the Sundance Institute Screenwriting Labs. His films include Savage Grace, August, and Joe Gould's Secret. Let's start with what everyone who's not in bed with the media conglomerates knows: that the strike was among the most successful ever in Guild history–  In… Read

Sumner Can Now Breath Sigh Of Relief

I go out for a while and Redstone finally restructures his massive $1.5 billion debt. The announcement came this afternoon that his National Amusements will have a repayment extension to December 31st, 2010 with certain repayments coming in 2009 and 2010. The good news for Sumner is that he won't have to sell more of his controlling interests in CBS or Viacom. The continuing bad news is that the share prices of both those companies are barely treading water.  Read

Endeavor's Leanne Coronel Now Manager

After 12 years at Endeavor, she's starting her own management and production company and repping her clients Eric McCormack (Will & Grace, Trust Me), Robert Patrick (The Unit), and Chuck's Zachary Levi — all formerly managed by her friend (and accident victim) Joan Hyler — Chuck's Zachary Levi, Jonathan Slavin (Better Off Ted), Colm Feore (24), and Armie Hammer (the new Gossip Girl love interest for Serena). Endeavor says the actors will stay at the… Read

This Email Is Making The IATSE Rounds

FILM CREW WANTED: “New Media” production company seeks crew for experimental project. Applicants must be able to create, research, write, coordinate, production design, art direct, construct, paint, dress & decorate sets, location manage, assist direct, design/tailor/supply costumes, do hair & make-up, shoot, operate, focus, slate, set marks, load, take still photographs, record sound, boom, cable, light, dimmer board operate, dolly, grip, rig, build, buy, create & supply… Read

WGA Sets Record Straight On Its Strike: “We Achieved Most Important Objectives”

The Writers Guild Of America, West, just issued this statement to answer “the concerted effort underway by the AMPTP and some in the press to minimize the success of our strike” which officially ended with the ratiication of the proposed Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement on February 26, 2008. In light of the impasses and concessions currently happening to SAG and IATSE's Hollywood Locals in their leadership's negotiations with Big Media's bargainers, I think this… Read

Sir Howard Stringer Shakes Up Sony

No, it doesn't affect Sony Pictures Entertainment. But now parent company Sony will form two new business groups: the Networked Products & Services Group, which will include Sony Computer Entertainment, as well as its PC and mobile devices businesses; and the New Consumer Products Group, which will include televisions, digital cameras and camcorders. Today's eorganization comes after Sony posted record losses of $2.7 billion this year. Tell me, how does Sir Howard hang… Read

AMPTP's Nick Counter Retires March 31; Carol Lombardini Will Be Interim Prez

SAG negotiators have been telling me for months that Nick Counter has looked increasingly unwell, and Carol Lombardini (who joined the AMPTP 30 years ago when he did) has taken the lead position in that union's negotiations. What's surprising here is the implication that Lombardini isn't being considered for Counter's job permanently. Some thought she had it in the bag. I'll have more on this breaking story later. But, for now, here's the AMPTP announcement: February 27… Read

NBC: Ben Silverman Gifts Teri Weinberg

I often refer to Ben Silverman as “the gift that keeps on giving” because he provides me with so much material to deservedly humiliate him. And now he's living up to that moniker. So where can you fail at your job and get rewarded for it? At NBC Entertainment/Universal Media Studios. But only if you're Teri Weinberg, the Reveille development exec who was brought by Ben to NBC Entertainment and then booted in December but never actually shoved through the door. Well, now… Read

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