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May 2007 Archive

Pirated: 'Hostel II' Bootlegs & Downloads

I wish this were being done out of hostility to Hostel II but it’s because of the popularity of the Lionsgate horror franchise. First, bootlegs turned up on Los Angeles street corners. Now stellar workprints of the torture porn pic, albeit with an annoying bar at the bottom, are making the rounds of the Internet available at many of the movie download sites. Even the $5 DVD copies circulating are studio-grade. Hard to imagine this won't have a financial impact on the… Read

Publisher Laments LA Times Is “Broken”

I couldn’t believe the Los Angeles Times printed an article today quoting Hollywood honorary mayor Johnny Grant about Lindsay Lohan. At first I thought the two reporters were goofing on the geezer by using him as the lead sage on popular culture. Nope, they were just being clueless. As is the paper overall. I get sent so much email about troubles at the Los Angeles Times, including internal memos, that I’d do nothing but write about that sad sack paper every day. And I… Read

TOLDJA SO! Harry Potter 'Theme Park Within A Theme Park' Announced by Warner & Universal (See First Peek)

Warner Bros Entertainment and Universal Orlando Resort tonight finally gave out details to what I first reported back on April 13th: “The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter” is coming to Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park in late 2009. The two Hollywood entertainment companies also released these 3 first official artist renderings of the new theme park — and in my opinion they’re are spectacular! (See the concept images larger here.) The pair of studios are… Read

G'Bye Laura Holson, Hello Brooks Barnes: Meet NYT's New Movie Business Reporter

By tomorrow, this photo will be posted with all the studio guards, kinda like those Wanted: Dead Or Alive posters. The New York Times issued an internal memo today saying Brooks Barnes, a reporter on the TV beat at the Wall Street Journal for the last few years, is joining the NYT‘s Business Day to cover the entertainment industry from Los Angeles. Brooks will replace Laura Holson, who after six years in LA will return to New York to cover a national beat “focusing on the… Read

Don't Sweep This Under The Rug, NBC

Yesterday, new creative honcho Ben Silverman and his boss Jeff Zucker gave interviews to compliant media (The New York Times, Variety, etc) who matter-of-factly reported NBC’s bizarre decision not to buy Silverman’s production company or demand he divest it before coming to work for the corporation. Hollywood insiders told me that NBC had to insist on either course of action before hiring Ben because of the perception if not the reality of the obvious conflict of… Read

NBC SHAKE-UP: My Final Wrap & Analysis

Granted, the TV networks have always been the killing fields for creativity, but camaraderie usually governed the treatment of its executives. So the brazen brutality with which NBC Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker gave his entertainment president the bum's rush was the talk of the town all Memorial Weekend, especially because he tried to keep it secret and couldn't. Oops. I spoiled Zucker's best-laid plans by first reporting here last Friday that he was negotiating… Read

Box Office

Box Office Catfight By Hollywood Studios

UPDATED: Wow, these brawls rarely come out into the open. First, I received a statement from Sony Pictures Entertainment, and then later today, a statement from Disney. Sony’s first: “While Disney and the filmmakers of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End deserve their due on a remarkable opening worldwide, there are some irregularities in their claim regarding record-setting. There are at least two territories, Italy and France, where Buena Vista International… Read

TOLDJA SO! Ben Silverman & Marc Graboff New Co-Chairmen Of NBC Ent/NBC Uni TV

From NBC Universal today out of Burbank: Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Ben Silverman, the prolific producer and program executive behind such television hits as "The Office," "Ugly Betty," and "The Biggest Loser," as well as the man who brought "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" and "Big Brother" to the United States, is becoming a senior executive at NBC Universal. Silverman and veteran NBCU executive Marc Graboff have been appointed Co-Chairmen of NBC Entertainment… Read

Box Office

HIDE THE RUM! 'Pirates 3' Breaks Global Opening Record & U.S. Holiday Wkd Mark; H'wood Studios Question Disney Claims

MONDAY AM: Here’s the final tally for Johnny Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End: it looted a 4-day holiday weekend booty of $142 million in North America, setting the record for both Memorial Weekends and holiday weekends. But Disney was also celebrating how Johnny Depp and the gang’s threequel logged the “biggest opening of all time” at the worldwide box office, $401 million from 29,000 screens, beating the current industry record of $382M set by Sony’s Spide… Read