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November 2006 Archive

Top 10 Actress Earners? On What Planet!

So I’ve read The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual list of highest earning actresses and about some in the Top 10 all I can say is: ON WHAT PLANET? Here are my reasons: 1. Nicole Kidman, makes $16 mil-$17 mil. What she should be earning: -$1 mil. That’s right, I’m saying that Nicole should be paying film companies to hire her, not the other way around. That’s because she’s poison at the box office, the female equivalent of Sean Penn. Women dislike her, men don’t think she’s… Read

The 411 On CAA Starting To Lose Clients

Beyoncé, Kate Hudson, Hugh Grant — all have left CAA within days. True, Jim Carrey recently moved from UTA to CAA, but so far his new agency not only can’t keep his old projects from blowing up either, but he’s still not cast in anything new. (Indeed, CAA went back to Fox to try to restart his Used Guys, just like UTA did, and the studio said no, just like it did to UTA. So much for the CAA mystique.) And don’t forget that CAA recently was powerless to keep Microsoft’s… Read

Comments On My Screenwriter Column…

Among the incredible reactions to my latest column, Screenwriters In The Shit, come these two astute comments: “An interesting side note is how well some of the New York based scribblers are doing. Tony Gilroy, David Koepp, John Hamburg, Richard LaGravenese, the team of Brian Koppelman and David Levien, are all among the highest paid, constantly working writers. Don’t know why it is, if somehow their lack of proximity makes them more desirable.” And this: “One thing that… Read

2007 Sundance Film Festival Lineup

Here’s the lineup for the 2007 Sundance Film Festival (January 18-28). Brett Morgan’s docu Chicago 10 will open the fest. A total 64 films have been selected to compete for the best new work categories. A total 122 feature films were selected, representing 25 countries with nearly 60 first- or second-time feature filmmakers. These were selected from 3,287 feature submissions, up from 2006. Said SDF director Geoffrey Gilmore: “This year's American Competition reflects a… Read

While Mr. $4 Mil Akiva Goldsman Fiddles, More Accomplished Movie Scribes Burn

My latest column, Screenwriters In The Shit, examines today’s desperate situation in Hollywood: while Akiva Goldsman fiddles, more accomplished movie scribes burn. It puts into context my exclusive last week about Goldsman (“Keevie” to his childhood pals) receiving a record $4 million for a Dan Brown book adaptation that’ll be Sony/Imagine’s sequel to The Da Vinci Code. Here’s how it begins: “Every year, one of the major Hollywood talent agencies conducts a running tally… Read

How To Fight Hollywood's Caste System

The findings of this report on casting aren’t a surprise, but the fact that they justify legal action against the Hollywood caste system is. A new study by the UCLA School of Law and UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center finds that Latino, black, Asian American and Native American actors have few acting opportunities available to them. But the study’s law professor author challenges the legality of race-specific casting announcements and suggests that actors may have legal… Read

Pam Anderson/Kid Rock 'Borat' Bust-Up: What's Ron Meyer Got To Do With It?

Here’s what interests me — well, more like confuses me — about the Pam Anderson/Kid Rock Borat bust-up: This happened at Ron Meyer’s home? Whaaaat? (By the way, Page Six says it took place at the Universal COO’s house in Beverly Hills. Everyone else knows he lives in Malibu.) My question is this: Why in the world were those two losers included among the 20 VIPs on what’s supposed to be a triple-A screening list? The explanation is rather ordinary: Anderson is a friend of… Read

Pellicano: Woman Who Got Away Indicted

If at first the feds do not succeed, they try, and try, again. So word from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Los Angeles today is that a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment against former SBC phone employee Joann Wiggan last Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving…. apparently it fell through the cracks with the holiday). Her arraignment may take place as soon as on Monday, Dec. 4. All three counts in the indictment carry a maximum possible penalty of five… Read

Box Office

'Casino Royale' Biggest Global Bond Ever; #1 Pic Overseas With $224+ Mil Already

007 so far is doing Da Vinci Code-like biz in all 50 countries where it’s opened No. 1 (except the U.S. where it opened No. 2). There were 18 new international debuts for Casino Royale (in Paris theater, at left) this week – all #1, including France, Germany, Spain and Scandinavia. So far, that’s an overseas total of $66.2 mil from this weekend’s haul — the 6th biggest international weekend of 2006. Last week, the spy pic was #1 in all 27 countries where it opened… Read

Box Office

Tap Dancin' Baby Mumbles Hot Xmas Toy: 'Happy Feet' No. 1, 'Casino Royale' No. 2; It's 'Deja Vu' (#3) At The U.S. Box Office

SUNDAY AM: Happy T-Bird weekend, and get out of the way for the mall stampede as shoppers try to score one of the hottest toys this holiday season: Happy Feet‘s Baby Mumbles, on sale for $29.99, which tap dances to any type of music playing. Ah, the commercialism of Xmas! A big moviegoing weekend it has been — with the top 3 films estimated to do $160 million from Friday through Sunday, and $220 mil from Wednesday through Sunday. (But that’s still -5% from last year… Read

EXCLUSIVE: New $ High for Screenwriter

I’m about to give all the Hollywood moguls indigestion before they’ve even taken a bite of their Thanksgiving meal. That’s because I’m told that Akiva Goldsman, who adapted Dan Brown’s worldwide bestseller into a $755.6 mil hit pic, is receiving $4 million for the Da Vinci Code sequel in the works by both Imagine Entertainment and Sony Pictures. Not only is that major moola, but agents are telling me this represents a new $$$ high for hiring a screenwriter (not buying a… Read

RIP: John M Higgins, Astute B&C Editor

What a shock that Broadcasting & Cable‘s business editor John M. Higgins is gone at the age of 45 (Monday night, of a heart attack). Like most good journalists, he had a way of establishing an instant and easy intimacy with people, and that extended to colleagues in the scribbling biz. What brought us together, so to speak, was my LA Weekly column (November 2004) spanking the Los Angeles Times’ resident brat, Joel Stein. Wrote Higgins: “Hmmm, I’m not sure I’ve EVER agreed… Read