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September 2007 Archive

Early Controversy Over Israeli Oscar Entry

The Band’s Visit has just swept Israel’s Ophir Awards (the equivalent to that country’s Oscars) so this means it should be Israel’s submission for the Academy Award’s Best Foreign Language Film. But even with the Kodak Theater ceremony still 5 months away, there’s already controversy in this category. Rivals are claiming that the political movie, about an Egyptian police band that mistakenly ends up stranded overnight in a small Israeli town, has more than 50% English… Read

Box Office

And Now There Are Three Studios $1+B

Warner Bros was already there. So was Paramount, uh, DreamWorks, uh, Paramount / DreamWorks, uh, whatever. Now Sony has joined the $1 billion plus club for 2007 domestic gross for the 6th year in a row, and only one other studio can make that claim (Warner’s). Disney, Universal and Fox should be there before the end of the year. New Line? No way. MGM? No how. Here’s where everybody stands as far as U.S. box office so… Read

Just When They Thought It Safe To Do PR

I’m told there are two tough Hollywood business pieces in the works: the Los Angeles Times is looking at The Weinstein Co, and The New York Times is working on an MGM article. Interesting how every weekend MGM gripes not-so-privately about having to distribute Harvey & Bob’s box office crap — except for hits 1408 and Halloween, of course. And also fascinating how Harvey recently chose one of his lap dog media outlets, the New York Post, to keep reassuring Wall Street and… Read

Box Office

Milla Beats Jessica: 'Resident Evil III' Strong; 'Good Luck Chuck' Not So Much

SUNDAY AM: It’s been gals, gals, gals galore at the box office this weekend. The third film in Sony/Screen Gems’ franchise, Resident Evil: Extinction, did even better than expected as the highest debuting gross of the franchise, showing that America still loves this R rated scifi series and its star Milla Jovovich. The No. 1 pic opened to $9.6 mil Friday and $8.6 mil Saturday in 2,828 theaters for a $24 mil weekend — more than  the $20 mil my box office gurus were hoping… Read

Hildy Gottlieb Rejoins ICM in MP Talent

She starts October 1st. Gottlieb left ICM to head Alec Baldwin's production company, El Dorado Pictures, and then develop projects for her husband, director/producer Walter Hill. Of course, most of her former clients scattered: Eddie Murphy, Keanu Reeves, Helen Mirren, Christopher Guest and Bill Paxton. But I’ve always loved the story of how Hildy jump-started Murphy’s film career. The 19 year old Eddie came out of the New York comedy clubs to join SNL’s 1980-1981… Read

Is Endeavor Playing Into IMG's Hands?

The story behind the story of the Ari Emanuel-brokered move by the scandal plagued ex-HBO head Chris Albrecht to IMG is that it conceivably puts the Endeavor talent agency in play again. A lot of speculation is sizzling around Hollywood that Ari could finally broker a deal for Endeavor to cash out or bulk up now that his big buddy has that big job as head of the global media unit at the sports /fashion /entertainment /media marketing and management giant. (See my Ari Emanu… Read

Wesley Snipes Ordered To Pay UTA $1.7M

It’s rare indeed for talent agencies to sue their clients. Unless the situation is really egregious, that is. Now Wesley Snipes finds himself on the hook for $1.7 million to United Talent Agency, which may never collect on the debt. The tenpercentery filed suit July 2006 in Los Angeles Superior Court accusing the Blade trilogy star of breaching a verbal agreement dating back to November 2002 to join the agency and pay 10% commissions. UTA claims its agents were… Read

One Last Limato Follow-Up, Promise…

Richard Konigsberg was among the Ed Limato protégé agents summarily dismissed by ICM (and by the way, he did “turn off the lights”). On August 25th, I reported that Konigsberg was going to Paradigm. In fact, he wound up changing his mind and started his own management company, RKM. “For 12 years I received a priceless education working at ICM for and with my mentor Ed Limato. I then had the opportunity to sit down with Sam Gores, another kind of visionary,” Konigsberg… Read

No 'Kid Nation' Screeners For CBS Board

So CBS’ despicable child exploitation series masquerading as a reality show Kid Nation premieres tomorrow. Many of the network’s biggest advertisers have passed on it. Newspaper editorials have condemned it. Children were hurt making it. Les Moonves manipulated his board of directors because of it. Speaking of that board, much has been made of the fact that CBS refused to send out advance screeners to TV critics. But I’ve learned that the network has not even given… Read

Why Studio Moguls Are Like Kremlin Czars

Everyone knows there’s a “20-minute” rule in Hollywood. As in, if you’re late to a meeting or a lunch because of gridlock on the freeway or surface streets, you get 20 minutes to arrive without anyone thinking the worst of you. Now comes a new study showing that the Los Angeles metropolitan area leads the nation in traffic jams, with rush-hour drivers spending an extra 72 hours a year on average stuck in traffic. Which reminds me of a phone conversation I had one day with… Read

Latest Hollywood Perk: The Sober Buddy

Hollywood is now indulging in a different kind of rehab substitute. It’s intense and round the clock sober companionship, aka “The Sober Buddy”. Rather than spending the standard 60 to 90 days in a clinic like Promises or Betty Ford, the actor or actress or exec hires a sober companion to keep on track. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, this coach by your side makes sure you stay clean. Such intense monitoring doesn’t come cheap, as ABC News– which claims Owen… Read

Welcome To Our World, David Edelstein

One of my fave film critics personally and professionally today launched a new blog named The Projectionist as “a place for second thoughts, third thoughts, musings both important and self-indulgent, and — I hope — a fluid exchange with readers”. New York mag’s David Edelstein plans to post several times each week, noting, "a blog is organic, and you never know if it will turn you into The Hulk or the Incredible Shrinking Man." Edelstein joined New York as film critic in… Read