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April 2009 Archive

Video: A Message From 'Better Off Ted'

This requires some setup:  Because ABC agreed to provide free air time to President Obama tonight, the season finale of ABC comedy Better Off Ted is no longer airing this evening and being rescheduled for a later date. In response, series creator Victor Fresco made this commercial parody. (FYI, the  sitcom is set at a morally bankrupt megacorporation called Veridian Dynamics.) Interestingly, the show comes from Twentieth Century Fox TV, whose sister company FBN became the… Read

Is Zimmer Making Way for WMA Agents?

United Talent and its motion picture lit agent Adam Weinstein are parting company. I don’t get it: this kid was Jeremy Zimmer’s assistant and is a junior agent who has been intensely loyal to the UTA mo-pic chief. Disappointing.  Read

If You Wanna See Big Screen 'Wolverine'

No pre-midnight screenings of X-Men Origins: Wolverine are scheduled on Thursday. About 1,500 theatres will run shows starting at 12:01 AM Friday. Twentieth Century Fox will be releasing the pic on 9,000+ prints in 101 markets internationally (excluding Mexico, India, and Japan. Let the summer movie season begin!  Read

DreamWorks Animation 1st-Q Ups Profit

Goldman Sachs has just issued a “Buy” (from “Neutral”) on DreamWorks Animation and expects the stock price to hit $27. Meanwhile, the company’s share price rose today to $23.93 after beating the street estimates with its best 1st-Quarter performance and more than doubled profits. Better-than-expected theatrical and home video sales from Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa were cited as the principal reason. The good news for the company follows Jeffrey Katzenberg’s announcement… Read

News From Inside William Morris…

UPDATE: Some agents have been given “the nod” that they are safe. Some people have been told nothing. I hear that, during this waiting period for state and federal approvals, no one can be fired officially. I’m hearing much of the TV reality department led by Mark Itkin have decided to stay together and leave en masse to CAA. This apparently includes John Ferriter and Colin Reno. Insiders tell me most of the TV lit department — but not Cori Wellins and Lauren Whitney — is… Read

Time Warner Buries Bad Film Financing News Inside 2008 Annual Report: Also 1st-Q Movie Division Revenue Falls 7.3%; AOL Spinoff Planned

Matthew Garrahan, the Los Angeles Bureau Chief for the Financial Times, has a great scoop that just went online today: “Time Warner has been forced to absorb the cost of four films released in 2008 by its Warner Brothers subsidiary after one of the studio's key financing partners failed to contribute its 50% share.” It seems that Village Roadshow Pictures, the Australian group that has financed dozens of movies with Warner Bros including the Matrix trilogy, was unable to… Read

Box Office

'Wolverine': 63%-65% Of Online Tickets; Sellouts Mount For Thurs Midnight Shows is reporting 200-plus X-Men Origins: Wolverine sellouts, over 1/4 of them for Thursday midnights showings. As of 9 AM PT, Wolverine accounted for 63% percent of all ticket sales at today. Those sales doubled for the third time in three days. Fandango online ticket seller is reporting that Wolverine accounts for 65% of all ticket sales today, followed by Star Trek (opening May 8th) with 17%. The rest of the pack barely register above… Read

Disney Plants 2.7M Trees In Brazil Based On 1st Week Ticket Sales For 'Earth'

Nice to see the Big Media company kept its promise and this wasn’t just another bullshit marketing gimmick: Burbank, Calif. – April 29, 2009 — Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures has arranged with The Nature Conservancy to plant 2.7 million trees in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, one of the planet's most endangered rainforests, it was announced by Dick Cook, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. In keeping with the Disneynature EARTH's themes of protecting the planet and its… Read

Hurry, This Want Ad Expires On May 18th

From a real ad on in the New York/New Jersey section: Vacancy: Agents (Former WMA & Endeavor) Employer: Confidential Location: New York Duration: 3 year contract minimum, starts Immediate ——————————————————————————– If you have been “given the pink slip” or have decided NOT to ride into the new company, possibly this is for you. 20 year agency veteran seeks the best of the best from both WMA and Endeavour for midtown west Agency. Above & Below-the-Line experts… Read

TOLDJA! Endeavor's Abate Won't Join WME After Personality Clash With Walsh

I told you that, back in March, the first meeting between WMA book agent Jennifer Rudolph Walsh and Endeavor book agent Richard Abate went really, really badly. Apparently, the two hated one another. Both decided there was no way they could work with one another. There was even an unsuccessful attempt by WMA’s Walsh, backed up by Jim Wiatt, then and there to push Abate out. But Ari pushed back on behalf of Abate. Soon everything seemed to calm down. I’m told it was… Read