Johnny Depp: Only Star To Hit The Billion Dollar Gross Mark Twice
When Alice in Wonderland this week became only the sixth film to cross the $1 billion gross mark, it certainly bolstered Johnny Depp's case for being the biggest movie star in the world. He's the only guy who has reached the $1 billion mark with two films. The other, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, is the fourth highest grossing film ever. While Will Smith usually leads the world's biggest star discussion, he has yet to reach the $1 billion mark. Tom Cruise… Read
MTV Picks Up U.S. Version of 'Inbetweeners'
The Inbetweeners are coming to the U.S. via MTV. After a heated bidding for the rights to the British high school comedy series, I hear MTV is close to giving a pilot commitment to the project, from Aaron Kaplan's Kapital Entertainment. Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, creators of the original series which runs on Channel 4′s digital sibling E4, will executive produce alongside Kaplan. Former Comedy Central head of original programming Lauren Corrao, who stepped down at the… Read
RATINGS RAT RACE: Solid 'Dance' Start For Fox; Low-Rated 'FlashForward' ABC Exit
Fox ruled the first night of the off-season with the premiere of So You Think You Can Dance, while ABC's FlashForward and NBC's 100 Questions made quiter exit/debut, respectively. The two-hour season 7 opener of Dance averaged a 3.0 rating/10 share among adults 18-49 and 8.2 million viewers overall. That was up 11% in the demo from the show's most recent fall premiere but down 12% from Dance's last summer's debut. The series finale of FlashForward (1.3/5) was down 19%… Read
More Spanish Film Industry Cuts Coming
Spanish producers are braced for much deeper public funding cuts than those announced by Spanish film agency the ICAA. The top amount filmmakers can claim for through the automatic subsidy system - pegged to box office performance - is being halved to €400,000 ($500,000). The ceiling producers can claim through selective funding is being cut by 25% to €1.5 million.
But there's worse to come next month, Fabia Buenaventura, head of the Spanish producer's association, tells… Read
‘American Idol’ Creator Bids $600M For CKX
Simon Fuller has teamed up with former Barclay Capital banker Roger Jenkins to try and buy CKX, the entertainment group which owns the rights to the TV talent show. Jenkins and Fuller have amassed a $1 billion war chest to fund the CKX buyout. They are writing to the CKX board with their offer today. Fuller's offer trumps a $550-560 million offer in March from One Equity Partners, the JP Morgan private equity arm. One Equity Partners had been working with former CKX… Read
New York Streets Ready To Fake Again (…On Universal's Hollywood Backlot)
Universal Studios has unveiled the restored New York streetback-lot location that burned down in a fire in June 2008. The lot, which consists of 13 city blocks of buildings, has been a tourist attraction and frequent location for commercials and films from The Sting to Blues Brothers. Get a look at the process behind the overhaul below known as The Phoenix Project. The Peter Jackson-created 360 3D King Kong attraction, replacing the original which also burned down, will… Read
1492 Pictures And CJ Entertainment Scare Up Thriller Trio
1492 Pictures and South Korea-based CJ Entertainment unveiled their first slate this morning since signing a three-year development deal late last year to create family-friendly films with global appeal. 1492 partners Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe pick the projects, and CJ funds development and will co-finance production with studio partners.
They start out with three thrillers.
* Killer Pizza is a comedy about a 14-year old who lands a summer job… Read
Full Series Rankings For The 2009-10 Broadcast Season
I've been doing complete season listings of all broadcast series ranked by adults 18-49 rating and total viewer average for years, and a lot of people in the TV industry have told me they find them very helpful. So here they are: the series rankers for the 2009-10 season in adults 18-49 and total viewers (scroll down for that). A few fun facts from the lists: The highest-rated new series this past season: CBS' Undercover Boss. The highest-rated new scripted series: Fox's G… Read
'Ghost Whisperer' To End After Deal With ABC To Pick Up The Show Fell Through
After some encouraging early signs out of ABC following CBS' cancellation of Ghost Whisperer last week, I hear the financial aspect of ABC picking up the veteran drama starring Jennifer Love Hewitt ultimately could not be worked out. (The show is owned 50/50 by ABC Studios and CBS Studios.) Ghost Whisperer executive producers Kim Moses and Ian Sander just issued the following statement:
"After five wonderful seasons and over 100 episodes, we are disappointed to announce… Read
Marvel Taps 'No Heroics' Creator For 'Runaways' Duty
EXCLUSIVE: Several surprise hires in the Marvel universe today. First, Fox taps James McAvoy to play the young Professor Xavier in the Matthew Vaughn-directed X-Men: First Class. Now, Marvel Studios has picked a writer to draft Runaways, the live action film based on the cult favorite comic book (created by Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan) about the children of supervillains who try to use their evil powers for heroic purposes.
The job has gone to Drew Pearce. Considering… Read
Alex Graves In Talks To Direct 'Terra Nova'
Alex Graves is in early negotiations to direct the pilot episode for Fox's midseason series Terra Nova, which is executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin. The direct-to-series project, which was well received at the network's upfront presentation, features a family from 2149 when the planet is dying who are transported back to pre-historic Earth where they join Terra Nova, a colony of humans with a second chance to build a civilization. While the producers… Read
Platinum Dunes Steers 'Turtles' Relaunch
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon have brought Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form on to produce Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the live-action film that reboots the film series launched by New Line in 1990. Bay, Fuller and Form will produce with Galen Walker and Scott Mednick.
The producers will begin meetings with writers in the next few weeks. The deal puts Bay in the center of two Paramount franchises, as he started… Read