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September 2006 Archive

Box Office

'Open Season' on Ashton Kutcher/Kevin Costner for No. 1; Their 'Guardian' #2

SUNDAY UPDATE: Sony’s animated kiddie fare Open Season kicked butt this weekend for No. 1. It was an embarrassing loss for Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner despite Disney’s heavy promotion of their Coast Guard action/adventure The Guardian. (So what did we learn? That Costner’s career is definitely toast, while Kutcher’s appeal is limited.) Opening in 3,833 theaters, Sony’s “when the hunted become the hunters”, starring a domesticated grizzly bear and a scrawny mule deer… Read

Finke/LA Weekly: Baquet's Billionaire Boys Club; Geffen 'Confident' LAT Buy

My latest column, Baquet’s Billionaire Boys’ Club, examines whether the Los Angeles Times editor, “Dean of Arc”, is playing a dangerous game with the newspaper’s integrity. Here’s how it begins: “Not long after Dean Baquet became editor of the Los Angeles Times, influential entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg sought a meet-and-greet. It was during this lunch that Katzenberg purposefully let slip big news: His DreamWorks partner David Geffen really wanted to buy the… Read

Problem With 'Studio 60' Is Scheduling: Would Beckman Have Let This Happen?

Don’t get me wrong: I like this show. But the primary problem with NBC’s expensive but struggling Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip isn’t the Aaron Sorkin (right) inside-the-bubble flourishes, or the smarty-pants staccato scripts, or the high-priced/high-profile cast. It’s the truly awful scheduling. Granted, ABC last spring threw that monkey wrench into NBC’s plans to air Studio 60 on Thursday nights when Grey’s Anatomy was moved there (instead of Monday nights). But Monday… Read

NY/LA Times Re-Commit to Oscar Puffery

David Carr has confirmed to me he’s reprising his Red Carpet role as “The Carpetbagger” for The New York Times this Oscar season beginning in early November. The blog will appear after the NYT‘s annual holiday movie issue is published. Intended to supplement the paper’s news coverage of the Academy Awards, Carr, a Times culture reporter and media columnist, penned a very personal, rather informal and somewhat uninformed blog but, at the end, predicted correctly that Crash… Read

Pellicano: Feds Lose Wiggan Perjury Case

This afternoon, the jury in the Joann Wiggan perjury trial returned verdicts acquitting the former SBC phone employee of four of the five counts. The jury split 6-6 on the third count, and U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer declared a mistrial on that count. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Saunders issued this statement through a spokesman: “We are disappointed by the verdict, but of course we accept the jury’s decision. We will consider the evidence related to the… Read

Will Oscar Voters Judge Mel’s Film Fairly? Gibson Sneaks ‘Apocalypto’ For Native Americans; Both Time/Newsweek Cover?

I’ve learned that both Time and Newsweek want to put Mel Gibson’s Apocalpto on their covers timed to its Dec. 8th opening. This happened with Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ: Newsweek made it the cover before the film’s release, and Time after the movie was in theaters. It’s quite a coup for any Hollywood pic to make the covers of both newsmagazines. “There are a lot of media offers on the table competing for this movie,” an insider told me. This may happen without any… Read

Box Office

'Jackass 2' Knocks Out Box Office For #1; Jet Li's 'Fearless' #2; 'King's Men' Bombs

Again, moviegoers sought mindless entertainment as Johnny Knoxville’s stupid stunt pic Jackass Number Two delivered a knockout punch at the box office for No. 1. The flick took in a bruising $11.9 million Friday and $10 million Saturday at 3,059 theaters Friday for what was a huge $29.2 million opening weekend. Hit-starved Paramount brass will be thrilled, although the idea for turning the MTV series into a movie pre-dates current management of the studio. Jet Li’s… Read

EXCLUSIVE: Top LA Times Editors Loyal To Baquet Said To Have A 'Suicide Pact'

The Tribune Co., which has an all-important board meeting today where the crisis at its Los Angeles Times will be front and center, may have a bigger problem than even the corporate owners realize with the paper’s top editorial management. I’m told there’s even a name for it inside the LA Times newsroom — “The Suicide Pact” — and it involves the highest-ranking editors. I’ve learned from insiders that, if Dean Baquet gets fired as editor and executive vice president by… Read

Finke/LA Weekly: Blood-and-Guts Behind The Scenes Why Jim Carrey Went to CAA

My latest column, Cash and Carrey, explores the Entourage-like exploits behind-the-scenes of what was once known as Team Carrey: actor Jim Carrey, his managers Gold/Miller, and his agent, UTA’s Nick Stevens, in even more detail, with more surprises, than I’ve previously reported here. Oy vey. But it’s a fascinating look inside the frantic phone calls, fractured relationships and film fortunes of showbiz, if I say so myself. As I had anticipated, after firing Stevens… Read

LAT's Hofmeister Now H'woodmeister

UPDATE: *A day after my original posting, the Los Angeles Times internal memo making the announcement finally went out today.* It’s not been announced yet, but I’m told the Los Angeles Times did select its replacement for Amy Wallace, the talented Deputy Business Editor in charge of entertainment/Big Media/technology industry coverage who Read

Ex-Mogul Sherry Lansing: Happy At Last

OK, so now we know what ex-studio moguls do: they blog on HuffPo. If Sherry Lansing’s doing it, can ousted Viacomer Tom Freston be far behind? Sherry opines about turning 60. But there are some interesting Hollywood revelations as well. “I’ve always had this great fear that time would run out and life would have passed me by. I realized that I didn’t want to die at my desk. I wanted to do something else and began to wonder: Am I defined by my job and if so, what kind of a… Read

Hannibal Is Harvey's Cannibal Now: Young French Actor Stars in Film Prequel; Dr. Lecter's Lucrative Movie/Book Tie-In

Thomas Harris’ just-delivered prequel, “Hannibal Rising”, is coming to bookstores Dec. 5. The author also penned the screenplay for the hush-hush movie version, Young Hannibal: Behind the Mask, which will be released in theaters two months later. Even though very little has been written about this forthcoming flick and it’s still not announced on the film company’s website, this could be that big score which The Weinstein Company has been waiting for… Read