Latest Business News

Con Men Lied, Faked IDs To “Teach” Kids Working On Hollywood Film Sets

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EXCLUSIVE: Using aliases and fake credentials, two con men have been posing as licensed studio teachers for years, Deadline has learned, giving them access to child actors employed on dozens of low-budget movies and student film projects. In a bizarre coincidence, both men  — Kent Linker and Fred Robbins — claimed to be Marty Carlin, an accredited and respected teacher who, at age 83, is retired from on-set work with kids. California has strict labor laws governing the… Read

‘Maze Runner’ Races To $37.6M Internationally With No. 1s In 50 Countries; ‘Apes’ Crosses $100M In China

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Overseas weekend estimates are in from most of the studios as Fox's The Maze Runner outpaces other comers. With about $32.5M, the YA adaptation is tops domestically, and is mirroring that success overseas with $37.56M from 7,384 screens in 50 markets. Impressively, it is No. 1 in 50 countries (47 markets) this weekend, including opening No. 1 in 44 countries. Last week, the film beat a path through Mexico, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Central America for a debut frame… Read

Political Strategist Andy Spahn Adds Partner Jennifer Gonring To Co.’s Moniker

Well-known political strategist Andy Spahn is changing the name of his firm to Gonring, Spahn & Associates to recognize his partner, co-founder and CEO Jennifer Gonring. The move comes only about a month before the November 4 midterm elections where key races are going on in the House of Representatives, 33 of 100 seats are in play in the Senate and 38 gubernatorial races are at stake. Also, 46 state legislator seats are up for grabs. The CEO has worked with Spahn since… Read

Box Office Sunday: ‘Maze Runner’ Finds $32.5M; Liam’s ‘Walk’ Limps In; ‘Where I Leave You’ No. 3

Maze Runner Walk Among The Tombstones

3rd UPDATE, Sunday, 7:53 AM: First of all, another milestone for Disney/Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. After only eight weeks in release, this audience favorite has just passed the lifetime cume of Iron Man 2 both internationally ($311.5M) and domestically ($312.4M). And Guardians is still playing, making another $5.1M this weekend. Overall, the 2014 box office so far is down 5.5 percent compared to the same period in 2013, but that is still better than it had been in… Read

Alibaba’s Big Day Shifts Focus To Yahoo

China-Based Internet Company Alibaba Debuts On New York Stock Exchange

Here's guessing Yahoo has about 3 billion reasons to wish it had sold its piece of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba today rather than yesterday. That superhot IPO debuted today and took over the NYSE, rising 38% to $93.89. That's well above the $68-a-share offering price, the price at which Yahoo agreed to sell enough stock to lower its stake from 22.4% to 16.3% and collect about $8.3B. Yahoo's shares closed today down 2.74%, but even with that dip the company's stock… Read

Peter Kujawski Named Managing Director Of Universal Pictures Int’l Productions

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Peter Kujawski is moving from EVP Worldwide Acquisitions at Universal Pictures to a newly created position. He'll become Managing Director of Universal Pictures International Productions, the division that expands the studio's overseas presence through local production, financing partnerships, acquisitions in emerging markets and the acquisition of English-language films for the studio on a worldwide basis. Kujawski will continue to report to Universal Pictures Chairman… Read

Ever After High Mattel Property Being Developed As Film

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EXCLUSIVE: Chernin Entertainment is working with Mattel to help develop an Ever After High feature film based on the popular toy line (and which has already morphed into an animated kids series). The brand is ripe for a feature film franchise. It's based on the make-believe teenage sons and daughters of famous fairy tale parents such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, The Big Bad Wolf, Goldilocks, King Charming, Rapunzel, the Frog Prince, the Swan Princess, the… Read

Box Office: ‘Maze Runner’ Off To Good Start With $1.1M, ‘Tombstones’ Takes In $480K – Late Night Numbers

Maze Runner Walk Among The Tombstones

Fox's The Maze Runner grabbed $1.1M in late-night showings at 2,200 locations starting at 10 PM. The best comparison is probably the sci-fi actioner Ender's Game, which launched with $1.4 million in November 2013 and went on to have an opening weekend gross of $27M (on the other hand, it cost three times more than Maze Runner). So, perhaps Fox is more on the money with a lower estimate for this weekend. Another comparison title is this year's other YA sci-fi actioner — Div… Read

Scotland Votes To Remain In The UK: Political Changes Loom, Effect On Film & TV Biz Uncertain

scotland ballot

There are 31 of 32 districts reporting on the Scottish vote for independence. A phenomenal 86% voter turnout is estimated, and the result saw 1.6M voters in favor of separating from the UK — curiously Glasgow was pro, Edinburgh was con. But the vote is split at 45% Yes and 55% No, a far closer result than was expected when the referendum was initially floated. In the run-up to the vote, I ran down the potential effects of a Yes. While the fate of the BBC, indie financing… Read

Yahoo’s Alibaba Windfall Could Hit $8.3 Billion After Record IPO

Yahoo Takes 40 pct Stake in China's Alibaba

Yahoo owns 22.4% of the Chinese e-retail company, and plans to sell about 140M of its shares. So it has to be thrilled to learn that Alibaba has sold its new stock at $68 a share — the high end of the range it had anticipated. Alibaba will collect $21.8B, making  this the largest IPO ever in the U.S. — ahead of the $17.9B Visa raised 2008. Underwriters have an option to sell additional shares which, if exercised, could push the total above the world record $22.1B raised… Read

Disney Slams Expanding Autistic Kids Lawsuit — Claims “Irrelevant” Action More About Media Attention

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This is not the happiest place on Earth by far for either side. Not only does Walt Disney Parks and Resorts want an Americans With Disabilities Act lawsuit from the families of children with developmental disorders tossed, it also really doesn't want to see any more plaintiffs added to the controversial case. "Most of the proposed complaint is repetitive, argumentative, inflammatory, irrelevant and unnecessary," said the media giant's parks and resorts division in… Read

‘Fault In Our Stars’ Box Office To Cross $300M Worldwide On Modest Budget: How’d It Happen?

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The modestly-budgeted The Fault In Our Stars (Fox has said it was $12M; others said it was $16 but more like $14M after the tax incentive) will gross over $300M worldwide by week's end for Fox. If ever there was a perfect storm in releasing a film, this was it. This picture slogged through the monsters, the superheroes and the animated dragons of the summer to become one of the most profitable pictures in recent memory. How did it happen? It didn't hurt that the film was… Read

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