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The Force Is Strong With ‘The Last Jedi’ As Thursday Night Preview Looks To Rack Up $45M+ – Early Estimate

EXCLUSIVE: Disney is having a fantastic day, and it’s not even over yet. Disney began today at 4:13AM PST with the acquisition of the majority of 21st Century Fox, a deal valued around $66 billion, and they’ll end tonight with a huge box office record as Star Wars: The Last Jedi is poised to post the second best Thursday preview ever with $45M-plus. These projections come to us from Deadline sources, not Disney. Last Jedi easily ranks behind Disney/Lucasfilm’s 2015 The For… Read


Facebook To Test Pre-Roll Ads On Videos Starting Next Month

In a break from past practice, Facebook has announced that it will test pre-roll, six-second ads on the videos in its Watch hub and other video-centric areas starting in January. While the pre-rolls will not show up in News Feed for now, they will live in what the company described as “places where people intentionally go to watch videos.” The company has eschewed pre-rolls for years, using mid-roll ads as breaks. A company blog post addressed to the media from product… Read


Martin Ransohoff Dies: Film And TV Producer For Many Hits Was 90

Filmways Television co-founder and film/TV producer Martin Ransohoff has died. He was 90 years old and passed away at his home in Bel-Air, according to his family. Ransohoff had a long list of film and TV credits, including The Cincinnati Kid – a film on which he fired director Sam Peckinpah – as well as Save the Tiger, The Sandpiper (with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton), Catch 22,  Jagged Edge, the Americanization of Emily, Silver Streak, Ice Station Zebra, and TV… Read


Mario Batali Fired From ‘The Chew’ After Sexual Misconduct Investigation

ABC has ended its relationship with Mario Batali, the veteran celebrity chef who had been on indefinite leave from The Chew since Monday following allegations of sexual misconduct. The network today made that split permanent, even though it noted that “we remain unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving him.” “Upon completing its review into the allegations made against Mario Batali, ABC has terminated its relationship with him and he will no longer appear… Read


June Pictures Shakeup: Alex Saks Buys Out Financier Andrew Duncan Amid Allegation Cloud

EXCLUSIVE: In a preemptive move made as rumors of harassment allegations swirl around Andrew Duncan, June Pictures president and former ICM Partners agent Alex Saks tonight sealed plans to buy Duncan out of the company. June Pictures has fast come out of the gate as a top producer/financier of tastemaker films, including the awards season contending Sean Baker-directed The Florida Project. June Pictures is also behind Book Club, the Bill Holderman-directed ensemble that… Read


Refinery29 Lays Off Staff, Points To Tough Times To Come In 2018 For Digital Media

Young women’s lifestyle content creator Refinery29 has laid off 34 employees, just slightly more than seven percent of its staff. The layoffs came despite the 12-year-old company raising more than $125 million to date from investors, including Turner and Scripps Networks. “This year has been especially challenging for digital media and advertising companies,” said a company statement. “Refinery29 has seen tremendous growth, but is not immune to some of the negatives that… Read


‘Olive Forever’ Pilot Not Going Forward At USA, To Be Shopped Elsewhere

EXCLUSIVE: USA Network has passed on Olive Forever, its comedic crime drama pilot from Insurgent and The Babysitter writer Brian Duffield, AwesomenessTV and its former CEO Brian Robbins. I hear Universal Cable Prods., which produced the pilot, plans to shop it elsewhere. Olive Forever was an outlier for USA with its young lead. Written by Duffield and directed by Matt Shakman, the project follows the exploits of Olive (Emily Rudd), a high school student, con artist, cat… Read


The Murdochs Would Become Disney’s Largest Individual Shareholders When Merger Clears

Trust a savvy deal-maker like Rupert Murdoch to wring the most from any negotiation. The 86-year-old media mogul and his family would emerge as the single largest individual shareholders in Disney once the proposed $66 billion deal for 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets closes. Only the mutual fund Vanguard would have more significant holdings in the Burbank media giant. The Murdochs stand to receive nearly 88 million Disney shares in the all-stock deal, based… Read


Clothes Make The Characters In ‘Phantom Thread’ – The Contenders Video

When it came to making a drama thriller about a perfectionist fashion designer, filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson reached out to his longtime costume designer of seven films Mark Bridges for Phantom Thread. The film follows Daniel Day-Lewis as British couturier Reynolds Woodcock, who lives a lonely life among his staff and his caretaking sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) as he dresses 1950s London high society. While out in the country for breakfast one day, he stumbles upon a… Read


Freeform Developing Thriller ‘The Kill Book’ From ‘Mysteries Of Laura’ Team

Freeform has put in development drama The Kill Book. It hails from The Mysteries of Laura creator/executive producer Jeff Rake, co-executive producer Jeffrey Lippman, executive producer Aaron Kaplan and the production companies behind the NBC series, Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Warner Bros. TV via its cable unit Warner Horizon Scripted TV. Written by Lippman, The Kill Book is described as an action-packed thriller that follows a wily, resilient young woman… Read


Oscars: Foreign Language Film Shortlist Cuts Field To Nine; France’s ‘BPM’ Snubbed

Whittling through 92 submissions, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed its shortlist of nine titles to advance in the Best Foreign Language Film category this year. The final five Oscar nominations in the race will be announced along with the rest of the categories on January 23. As ever, the shortlist comes with its own share of surprises, including a snub for a lauded French film the second year running. The group advancing to the next stage… Read


Omarosa: Robin Roberts Declared “Black Woman Civil War” After ‘GMA’ Interview

Soon-to-be-former White House staffer Omarasa Managault-Newman says ABC News’ Robin Roberts has declared “a black woman civil war” on her. And, being Omarosa, she did so via text message – to Inside Edition. It all started when ABC News’ Good Morning America snagged the first interview with the director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison on Thursday morning. The White House announced Wednesday she will be leaving January 20, after resigning to "pursue… Read