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March 2007 Archive

Box Office

No. 1 'Blades Of Glory' Ices Competition; 3-D 'Meet The Robinsons' Glides To 2nd

SUNDAY AM: Cutting edge comedy Blades of Glory glided to No. 1 this weekend with a big $32 million opener on 3,372 theaters. Will Ferrell’s hot streak at the box office didn’t turn to ice, not with John Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) perched on his shoulders — literally. I do think CBS is broadcasting its epic Final Four NCAA basketball tourney on Saturday hurt the DreamWorks/Paramount laugher’s box office. In 2nd place, Disney’s CG-created Meet The Robinsons got a big… Read

UPDATE: Helicopters Saved The Day! Brush Fire Flaming Out Near Universal Theme Park & Famed Hollywood Sign

UPDATED: Helicopters dumping water along the ridgeline saved Hollywood! Only hot spots are burning now thanks to the seven choppers. But, for 1 1/2-hours today, an out of control 150-acre brush fire was ablaze near Universal Theme Park in Universal City, California. Uni people told me there were no evacuations though there were a few minor disruptions, like power going down on a light grid only to be quickly replaced. (However, I’m told a producer shooting on the… Read

Box Office

Weekend Box Office Analysis/Prediction: 1. Blades Of Glory, 2. Meet The Robinsons

This weekend’s box office matchup of same-sex figure skaters vs 3-D toon looks like it could be easy to predict: Dreamworks/Paramount’s Blades Of Glory #1 since it’s got reliable funnyman Will Ferrell and cult favorite John Heder (Napoleon Dynamite). And Disney’s 3-D toon Meet The Robinsons is likely a close #2. But that ain’t necessarily so. Maybe they’ll be neck-and-neck. For one thing, CBS is broadcasting those epic NCAA basketball match-ups on Saturday (UCLA vs… Read

Test Screening Details On 'The Simpsons'

Here’s more from that hush-hush Portland, Oregon, test screening of the hush-hush The Simpsons movie which is still a work-in-progress with only partial animation and in need of tweaks like Hans Zimmer’s score. Naturally, the attendees were forced to sign a multi-page nondisclosure agreement. Given all the secrecy, what does Fox think they have buried there: gold? Why, yes, box office gold! Who’s not gonna see this pic. And what summer blockbuster would be without a big… Read

Wannabe Big Media Moguls Fight For Trib

So Los Angeles billionaires Eli Broad and Ron Burkle at the 11th hour are battling to buy Tribune Co. They’ve upped their offer to $34 a share, or one dollar more than real estate tycoon Sam Zell’s, for the Big Media corporation. According to various news sources, the duo sent a letter to the board of Tribune Co. this evening with the bettered bid. It’s almost identical to Zell‘s, including an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) to fund much of the deal. Tribune had… Read

Will New Anti-Mormon Movie Hurt Mitt?

It’s ridiculous to think an indie film depicting one of the darkest and most controversial events in Mormon history could ruin the campaign of Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate a Mormon. Even more ridiculous to think Hollywood is releasing this pic depicting graphic scenes of violence and fanaticism by 19th century Mormons on purpose to upset his campaign. “Director Christopher Cain said that the timing is purely coincidental and that he had never heard… Read

Diller Disses User-Generated Content As 'Watching Cats Fry Grandmother's Dog'

That Hollywood-turned-Internet mogul Barry Diller disses user-generated content and thinks only professionals turn out the really good stuff able to attract big audiences. As usual, the arrogant SOB is very wordy, so I’ll clean up his quotes in a Financial Times Q-and-A. “Both have value. I've been banged around a lot because I have kept saying that, as it relates to making things that will resonate with very large audiences, I don't think very much of UGC. Except for… Read

Final Season For Ashton's 'Punk'd' Pranks

This time, it’s no practical joke. Ashton Kutcher finally appears finished fooling famous people. Of course, MTV said Punk’d would end three years ago, but now it’s looking like this 8th season beginning April 10th will be the last. Among the targets this time out are Hilary Swank, Magic Johnson, Lost star Evangeline Lilly and Hayden Panettiere of Heroes. Gee, is it the brightest idea for Kutcher to quit all his day jobs? After all, he’s not much of a movie star anymore… Read

'Hostel' Eli Roth, Lover Of Torture Porn

“Hopefully, I’m not the Judd Nelson of the Splat Pack. Preferably, I’ll be the Rob Lowe.” So quips Hostel Part I and II writer/director Eli Roth, the gore icon whom Quentin Tarantino calls “the future of horror” and let do that fake trailer in Grindhouse. “Quentin and Robert and the Weinstein Company love the trailer so much they’re already asking me, ‘Where’s the script for Thanksgiving?” Roth notes.) But it’s what Roth says next in an video interview during a… Read

ICM-Endeavor Fight For Book Agent Ends

The whole ICM-Endeavor feud over unlikeable book agent Richard Abate kinda bores me — except for all the juicy insults now directed that agent’s way. (…And the continuing perception that upstart Endeavor has the Big Mo.) The two agencies went legal on each other after ICM requested a temporary restraining order to prevent Abate from jumping to Endeavor because he wasn’t supposed to work for a competitor until 2008. Even the judge said at trial: “Frankly, I feel like… Read

This Is The Other Best Little Whorehouse

My latest column, Dangerous Liaisions, describes how there’s been more massaging of connections in the Los Angeles Times‘ opinion section than a whorehouse after Grazergate, Rumsfeldgate and even Gatesgate. It calls Publisher/CEO David Hiller a moron and a dirtbag and the archetype of a bad newspaper publisher since he bears responsibility for the “Current” mess. “And Hiller's most recent lame moves are to deep-six the quarterly guest-editor program and then send the… Read

Is This Guy The Newest Big Media Prince?

UPDATE: Eli Broad and Ron Burkle look to be back in this endless bidding. Tribune Co. has responded to a request for additional financial information from the two Los Angeles billionaires. There’ve been lots of reports that multimedia corporation Tribune Co. is close to accepting real estate tycoon Sam Zell’s $8 billion takeover offer that will… Read