Latest Business News

Disney Did Not Discriminate Against Autistic Kids, Federal Judge Decides

Disney Parks_logogrid

After more than two years and courts from California to Florida, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts today was exonerated in a lawsuit claiming it discriminated against families with children with autism and other developmental disorders in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. "The Clerk is directed to enter judgment providing that Plaintiff shall recover nothing on his claims and that Defendant shall recover costs from Plaintiff," U.S. District Judge Anne… Read

Audra McDonald Leads A Constellation Of Stars In ‘Shuffle Along’ – Broadway Review

Shuffle Along: Brandon Victor Dixon, Audra McDonald

I’ve written here before that there is no artist in the theater today I admire more than George C. Wolfe, a writer and director blessed with the sharpest mind, the quickest wit, the wildest imagination and the fastest mouth in town. Without him, the theatrical landscape of the past 25 years would be inarguably flatter, whiter and duller. Consider his Broadway résumé alone: 1992’s Jelly’s Last Jam, the groundbreaking musical biography of nearly forgotten self-described… Read

Jeffrey Katzenberg To DWA Staff: “The Best Days Lie Ahead”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock (5610023w)
Jeffrey Katzenberg
'Kung Fu Panda 3' film premiere, London, Britain - 06 Mar 2016

In the wake of this morning’s news that Comcast made a deal to pay $3.8 billion for DreamWorks Animation, DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg addressed his troops at the company’s Glendale offices. Universal’s Jeff Shell and Donna Langley were in attendance, we’re told. Here is the gist of Katzenberg’s address: “When we founded DreamWorks more than two decades ago, our goals were ambitious in a way that no business plan or investment strategy could ever express. We wanted to build… Read

Regal Says Recliner Seats Cushioned Higher-Than-Expected Q1 Results

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Regal Entertainment’s effort to install recliner seats and high-end concessions helped it to beat analyst expectations for Q1. That lifted its shares nearly 3.6% in postmarket trading, following a 15.3% increase so far in 2016. This is the first report where the No. 1 exhibition chain says the recliner seats are “getting to a critical mass,” CFO David Ownby told analysts in a conference call. “They’ve been doing well individually. We just haven’t have enough” to make a… Read

Tanya Hart & Robert Papazian Elected Co-Chairs Of The Caucus

The Caucus 2

Tanya Hart and Robert Papazian have been elected co-chairs of The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors, for a two-year term. Hart, host of daily syndicated radio and online program Hollywood Live with Tanya Hart, also hosted and produced Live from LA with Tanya Hart for BET. Papazian shared an Emmy for NBC’s Inherit The Wind, and is the former CEO and co-owner of Hollywood’s Sunset Gower Studios. Current members of The Caucus also include JJ Abrams, James Barrows… Read

Why Did Comcast Buy DreamWorks Animation? Because It Can

Comcast DreamWorks Animation

The most powerful executive in Hollywood lives in Philadelphia, it seems. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts strengthened that case today by agreeing to pay $3.8 billion to add DreamWorks Animation to his NBCUniversal operation — which is attached to the nation’s largest collection of cable TV and broadband systems. What does that mean for the companies? Comcast and DWA are still working out details after a whirlwind negotiation that became more urgent Tuesday night when word of… Read

Peter Bart: Tech Titans Aim To Disrupt Ad Biz Right Before Our Eyes

Videri Starbucks

The “hot” word of the moment is “disruptive.” Every new technology, or business plan, seems aimed at disrupting the orderly way we presently do or see things. As if the elections weren't disruptive enough. In that context, I have been attending demonstrations of intriguingly disruptive technologies that deliver “virtual reality” and “mixed reality.” This week I also got a glimpse of a new Videri system designed to alter the reality of visiting a Starbucks or a movie… Read

Christopher McDonald Segues From ‘Good Wife’ Judge To ‘Wetlands’ & Broadway’s ‘Front Page’ Revival

Chris McDonald

EXCLUSIVE: Veteran villain Christopher McDonald, a familiar face this season as vindictive Judge John Schakowsky on CBS’ finalizing series The Good Wife, has landed a couple of plums — one on screen, the other on Broadway. He’s filming now writer-director Emanuele Della Valle’s Wetlands, described as a noirish film starring Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. The story revolves around Babel “Babs” Johnson, who is attempting to rebuild his life in bleak Atlantic City and win back… Read

WME’s Ari Emanuel, UTA’s Jay Sures + ‘Spotlight’ Cast & Journos Among White House Correspondents’ Dinner Guests – Update

Barack Obama White House Correspondents dinner 2015

3RD UPDATE, 9:32 AM: West Coast A-listers are starting to jump on flights today to D.C. for President Barack Obama’s final White House Correspondents’ Dinner. But there will be some marquee East Coast journalists in the crowd as well in the real-life Boston Globe Spotlight reporters depicted in the Oscar-winning film, who will attend along with the likes of Fox News’ Megyn Kelly and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. In addition, one particular uber-agent will… Read

Comcast Agrees To Buy DreamWorks Animation For $3.8B

Jeffrey Katzenberg Steve Burke 2-shot

The news that Comcast dismissed Wednesday as a tawdry “rumor” is now official: The cable giant says it will pay $41 a share in cash for DreamWorks Animation shares. That gives DWA an equity value of $3.8 billion. With debt, it would come to $4.1 billion — theoretically making this deal slightly bigger than Disney’s acquisitions of Marvel and Lucasfilm. DWA shares opened up nearly 24% to about $39.92. That represents a 49.2% jump this week, including a pop after news of the… Read

Viacom CEO Says Talks To Sell Paramount Stake “On Track” To Wrap In June

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (5343610bn)
Philippe Dauman
Variety Big Data Summit Presented by PwC, Los Angeles, America - 04 Nov 2015

Negotiations to sell a minority stake in Paramount are “on track” to wrap up by the end of June, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman told analysts this morning in a quarterly call to discuss early 2016 earnings. He hinted that a potential partner would bring “international and/or technical clout and expertise,” noting that the “motion picture business is evolving.” Proceeds from the sale would be used to reduce debt, pay for “strategic acquisitions,” and return to shareholders via… Read

Viacom Tops Fiscal Q2 Revenue Expectations But Ad Sales Stay Soft

Viacom Logo

Viacom’s performance in the first three months of 2016 was mixed, as is often the case with the beleaguered entertainment power. U.S. ad sales at its cable networks — a key metric for Wall Street — fell 5% due to ratings declines at some of its pay TV networks. But some of the basic financials beat expectations. The company reported $303 million in net earnings, up from a $53 million loss in the same period last year, on revenues of $3.0 billion, down 2.5%. Analysts… Read