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breakingBusiness

SAG-AFTRA Briefs Agents On Contract Talks Amid Strike Threat

Gearing up for a possible strike, leaders of SAG-AFTRA today met with talent agents to update them on the status of the union's negotiations for a new film and TV contact. David White, the union's national executive director, gave the agents a one-hour briefing on the contract talks after today's bargaining session with management's Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. That the union would take the unusual step of reaching out to agents at this stage of… Read

Box Office

‘Baby Driver’ Cruising Toward $5M+ Opening Day – Box Office Update

2nd Update, Wednesday, 5:14PM: Sony-TriStar/Media Rights Capital’s Baby Driver is heading toward an opening day in the low to mid $5M range as of this minute. With evening shows occurring on the East Coast currently, and West Coast business yet to click, we could see a slightly higher figure tomorrow morning. It’s not often that a major studio opens an economically-priced action title on a Wednesday (this one cost $34M after Georgia rebates), which makes Baby Driver a… Read

Video

‘Gypsy’ Review: Naomi Watts’ Talents Wasted In Derivative Netflix Drama

Gypsy

There is a lot of teasing in Netflix's June 30-launching Gypsybut ultimately the Naomi Watts-starring series is a non-thrilling exercise in temptation and betrayal that goes nowhere and doesn’t get there particularly fast. Created by newcomer Lisa Rubin and partially directed by Fifty Shades Of Grey helmer Sam Taylor-Johnson, the 10-episode first season stumbles most noticeably in its near total waste of the Oscar-nominated Watts’ skills and talent. As I say in my… Read

exclusiveFilm

Terry Zwigoff Signs With ICM Partners

Terry Zwigoff

EXCLUSIVE: Terry Zwigoff has signed with ICM Partners. Zwigoff is best known for directing the black comedies Bad Santa and Ghost World, as well as the heralded documentary Crumb, about the cartoonist Robert Crumb. Zwigoff, who had been with WME, most recently helmed for Amazon Studios Budding Prospects, about a group that disconnects and sets out to grow pot in the country. Zwigoff remains with attorney Robert… Read

exclusiveFilm

Shaun Grant To Adapt ‘Penguin Bloom’; Naomi Watts To Star

EXCLUSIVE: Australian scribe Shaun Grant has signed on to adapt Penguin Bloom, the top-selling Australian book optioned last December by Naomi Watts, Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea for a film that will star Watts. The trio is producing the film with Aussie-based producer Emma Cooper. Set on Sydney's northern beaches, Penguin Bloom is the true story of a unique little bird that saves a family. The book is written by Bradley Trevor Greive, with photographs by Cameron… Read

breakingFilm

Saban Films Ups Execs Jonathan Saba & Ness Saban

Saban Films has promoted Jonathan Saba to SVP Distribution Sales & Marketing and Ness Saban to VP Business Development. The pair have been with the company since its May 24 launch, and the indie distributor has released 23 films since then with another 22 in the pipeline into 2018. Saba had been VP Sales since coming aboard, supervising the release strategy and marketing campaigns for the company's entire slate. He also negotiates output and license deals with Amazon… Read

exclusiveFilm

Focus Buys Political Drama Pitch From ‘Novitiate’ Helmer Maggie Betts

Maggie Betts

EXCLUSIVE: Focus Features has bought an untitled original pitch for a contemporary political drama from Maggie Betts, who’ll co-write the script with Andy Bellin. Betts will direct it. Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler of Maven Pictures will produce. Josh McLaughlin will oversee the movie for Focus. Betts wrote and directed Novitiate, the Maven Pictures-produced film that won her the Breakthrough Director Award when it premiered at Sundance. Sony Pictures Classics bought it… Read

TV

‘Pretty Little Liars’ Series Finale Ratings Rise Over 2016, Dominates Social Media

After seven seasons, last night's Pretty Little Liars series finale on Freeform finally revealed who the mysterious blackmailing A.D. was and the I. Marlene King-created drama went out with a rare ratings rise. Unlike many series nowadays, the two-hour final episode "Till Death Do Us Part" saw not only an uptick week-to-week but also year-to-year. Surging up 75% among adults 18-49 from its June 20  penultimate episode "Farewell, My Lovely," the King-directed finale… Read

exclusiveTV

‘Game Of Thrones’ Tom Wlaschiha Cast In TNT Drama Pilot ‘The Deep Mad Dark’

Tom Wlaschiha

Game Of Thrones alum Tom Wlaschiha has been tapped to co-star in TNT's hourlong mystery drama pilot The Deep Mad Dark, produced by John Wells. In the pilot, written by Megan Martin and directed by Niels Arden Oplev, Wlaschiha will play the mysterious character of Joda. When Joda appears in the field across from her building in Detroit's north end, Dr. Polly Lewis is amused. He clears the field with a machete, and she watches a weird encampment grow as others join him. Is… Read

Business

New York Times Editors Decry “Humiliating Process” Of Layoffs

Using words including “betrayal,” “humiliating” and “covfefe” and suggesting that management had compared them to “dogs urinating on fire hydrants,” copy editors at the New York Times today let executive editor Dean Baquet and his heir apparent, Joseph Kahn, know exactly how they feel about taking the brunt of layoffs and buyouts as the Times expands its reporting ranks. The latest flare-up comes at a moment when the Times also is dealing with a libel lawsuit filed by form… Read

Business

Vice Media Retracts Two Trump-Disney Hall Of Presidents Stories After Finding “Factual Errors”

Vice Media’s tech-focused site Motherboard has retracted two of its stories that had raised questions surrounding President Donald Trump’s animatronic addition to Walt Disney World’s famed Hall of Presidents exhibit in Orlando. The site today took down the two reports from earlier this week — “Here’s The Secret Backstage Trump Drama At Walt Disney World’s Hall Of Presidents” and “Behind The Scenes Of Disney’s Donald Trump ‘Hall Of Presidents’ Installation” — which… Read

Business

Disney Maintains Dividend Following Late 2016 Increase

Disney says today that it’s holding firm with its 78 cents a share semi-annual dividend– the number it hit late last year when it raised the payout from 71 cents. The cash will be paid July 27 to shareholders of record as of July 10. CEO Bob Iger says he’s “pleased to deliver another strong dividend” after the company reported a 15% increase in its diluted earnings per share for the quarter that ended in March. Some on Wall Street are a little concerned about what they’ll… Read