‘WIGS’ Creators Launch Indigenous Media With WPP, ITV Backing
Indigenous Media, a digital-video company led by film and TV vets Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia and Jake Avnet, has launched with investments by ITV and WPP. Jon Miller, former head of AOL and News Corp.'s digital media unit, is non-executive chairman.
Producer/director/writers Avnet (Fried Green Tomatoes, Justified, Righteous Kill) and Garcia (In Treatment, Carnivale, Six Feet Under) and Avnet's tech-savvy son, Jake Avnet, are the creators behind WIGS, the female-centric… Read
Los Angeles Mayor Courts Chinese Film And TV Production To Come To City
Ahead of the signing this week of a much-enlarged California production tax-incentive package, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told a conference of U.S. and Chinese film and TV executives that “Hollywood is open for business and we will roll out the red carpet” for projects that bolster the city's entertainment industry. It was mostly a feel-good speech before about 400 attendees at the U.S. China Film & Television Industry Expo, but a Garcetti spokesperson said afterward… Read
Intl Box Office Final: No. 1 Bragging Rights In China Too Close To Call As ‘Storm,’ ‘Expendables 3′ And ‘Apes’ Fight It Out
4th UPDATE, Monday, 2:43 PM PT: Who was No. 1 this weekend in China? It's just not clear. Although Warner Bros reported $7.7M this afternoon for Into The Storm, Fox reported $7.64M for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and it looks like Expendables 3 ended up with $7.5M (according to Rentrak). But China reporting on box office is always a bit sketchy and numbers tend to fluctuate, which may be why another final total for Into The Storm shows it pulled in only $7.16M… Read
Microsoft Buys ‘Minecraft’ Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion
Microsoft has closed the previously much-rumored deal to acquire Mojang, the small Swedish company behind the massively popular videogame franchise Minecraft, for $2.5 billion.
If you're not a gamer, or the parent of one, you may not know Minecraft, but trust me, the little kids understand. It's huge, one of the biggest independent game franchises in the world. The game has blocky, Lego-like graphics that are far from state-of-the-art in their style, but it hasn't stopped… Read
‘The Skeleton Twins’ Holds Key To Stellar Specialty Film Box Office Bow
Roadside/Lionsgate opened its Sundance prize-winner The Skeleton Twins to robust numbers in a five-city platform debut across 15 theaters, taking one of the highest theater averages of the year among limited releases. In a much broader release, Fox Searchlight edged The Drop to a near-wide release over the weekend, landing sixth in overall box office.
American Experience/PBS Films' doc Last Days In Vietnam, meanwhile held over solidly, adding one theater in its second… Read
Vivendi’s Vincent Bollore Angles To Become Europe’s Powerhouse Cable, Web & Phone Provider
Call it European Dis-Union: The battle for supremacy in the Euro TV market continues to heat up with Telefonica scoring a major victory over rival Telecom Italia in its attempts to acquire French media giant Vivendi's Brazilian broadband operator GVT. Got that?
While the primary focus of that deal appears to be the rapidly expanding Brazilian market, the real significance is likely to be felt by European TV execs, already bracing for the imminent entry of Netflix into… Read
Apple Unveils Two iPhone 6 Models, Apple Watches, Mobile Payment System
All the pre-event speculation turned out to be surprisingly accurate: Apple indeed will launch two new models of its iPhone, both with larger screens than their predecessors and lots of other impressive technical details, to be available in the U.S. and eight other countries on Sept. 19, and 115 countries by end of the year. A new version of the mobile operating system, iOS 8, will be available for free on Sept. 17.
The company also rolled out its much-anticipated… Read
Raycom-DirecTV Standoff Ends With Deal; Service Restored For 43 Stations
Just in time for today's season-opening NFL games, Raycom Media and DirecTV settled their fee dispute with a new deal that puts 43 broadcast stations back on the satcaster's service. The two sides did not disclose terms of the deal.
The deal was not entirely amicable, however. DirecTV took a shot at Raycom and other broadcasters pushing for higher retransmission-fee deals by calling for changes in legislation that mandates local broadcast channels be carried by pay-TV… Read
aGreatDay.TV Web Site, Show To Crowdfund Dreamers
Draw a triangle. Put Shark Tank, Kickstarter and the Make-A-Wish Foundation each at a corner. Somewhere in the middle of all that is aGreatDay.TV, a just-launched hybrid website with TV plans that mixes philanthropy, corporate marketing, social-media savvy and crowd-sourced competition to, as co-founder and Executive Client Director Patrik Gustafsson puts it, “help people accomplish their dreams.”
Of course, it's those dreamers and their dreams that make this… Read
Veteran Producers Natalka Znak & Simon Jones Receive Sky Equity Investment
In its second recent deal for a stake in an indie producer, Sky has made an undisclosed equity investment in Znak&Jones Productions. The group has also entered into a distribution partnership with the new shingle that was founded by veteran producers Natalka Znak and Simon Jones. With offices in Los Angeles, London and Atlanta, Znak&Jones develops original productions and sells and adapts international formats for both the U.S. and UK markets. It has a major pilot deal… Read
Summer Film Budgets vs. Total Worldwide Grosses
While studios tout records, market share and No. 1 status based on box office grosses, we thought it'd be a good idea to look at some of this year's summer films (tentpoles and not) to see how their budgets stacked up against their worldwide grosses to date. These budget numbers do not include domestic/international marketing and distribution costs, nor do they take into account the splits with exhibitors, but they do give an idea of outlay and income. Bear in mind, that… Read
‘Cantinflas’ Sails Decently In Specialty Box Office Bow
As with the major releases, the specialty film box office this Labor Day holiday weekend is comparatively more tepid than last year's. In 2013, Pantelion began a record-breaking run with Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever in… Read