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March 2008 Archive

The Split: New SAG & AFTRA Explanations

Today’s statements from SAG and AFTRA about this weekend’s split. (Splitsville Over TV Soap: Why AFTRA Now Refuses To Jointly Negotiate With SAG): From: SAG President Alan Rosenberg Date: March 30, 2008 8:08:40 PM PDT To: SAG Members Subject: AFTRA ENDED JOINT BARGAINING RELATIONSHIP WITH SAG Dear Screen Actors Guild members, You will hear many things over the next few days about AFTRA's decision to effectively terminate our Phase One joint bargaining relationship. We… Read

Splitsville Over TV Soap: Why AFTRA Now Refuses To Jointly Negotiate With SAG

UPDATE: Tonight I received the news that AFTRA national president Roberta Reardon and officers including Susan Boyd Joyce, Denny Delk, Bob Edwards, Matt Kimbrough, Shelby Scott held their national meeting and approved a formal rift with their stepsister actors union SAG. They then went to SAG’s national board meeting and declared that AFTRA won’t negotiate jointly with the Screen Actors Guild on the new primetime TV contract. This, in spite of a long-time agreement by… Read

Box Office

'21' Holds Winning Hand At Box Office; 'Superhero' Is Superflop; 'Stop-Loss' DOA

SUNDAY AM: This weekend’s movie gross showed that Hollywood couldn’t revive the slumping box office during spring break even though 30% of students are out of school. No. 1 is Sony Pictures’s PG-rated based-on-a-true-story 21, which opened to a solid $8.6 million Friday and $9.6 million Saturday from 2,648 theaters. With Sunday estimates, that makes a better than expected $23.7M for the moderately budgeted pic (sources tell me it cost $35M). The casino card-counting… Read

Ruling Against Warner's On Superman: How Legally Greedy Can Big Media Get?

I don’t understand why the Warner Bros lot wasn’t draped in black starting the middle of this week. Because the studio should be mourning the imminent loss of a shitload of Superman dollars. I’ve finally got my hands on the entire 72-page ruling Wednesday of U.S. District Court Judge Stephen G. Larson who concluded: “After 70 years, Jerome Siegel's heirs regain what he granted so long ago — the copyright in the Superman material that was published in Action Comics, Vol… Read

…Tom Cruise-Paramount Deal Pending!

So I was told this today by an insider about that recent Sumner Redstone-Tom Cruise rapprochement meal at the very public Polo Lounge: “Jews like to break bread before Passover! If the economics are right, Paramount is interested in working with its old friend.” But here’s the breaking news: I’ve been forewarned about a big Paramount-Tom Cruise announcement soon. (Redstone’s Viacom owns the movie studio.) Will wonders never cease? Sure, when the price… Read

CAA Clarifies What Kevin Huvane Said…

CAA has shown me the Pellicano trial transcript from Wednesday’s testimony by partner Kevin Huvane which serves to clarify why he used the old CAA building as the residential address for his driver’s license. (See my previous, Pellicano Trial: CAA Partners Say Nothing.) So, in the interest of fairness and accuracy, I’m printing this info where Huvane elaborates. Here, Huvane was shown Exhibit 161, the printout of a law enforcement database search made about him with info… Read

Warner Bros Shakes Up Movie Marketing

UPDATE: A big meeting went down today inside Warner Bros theatrical marketing where staff learned their fates with “the blending” of domestic and international marketing. (Needless to say, people were throwing stares at the Glass Building where marketing and distribution are housed.) Sources tell me, “There were some promotions and some reshuffling but no layoffs whatsoever. We’re expecting to make announcements next week on those promoted. But we haven’t even started… Read

It Was A Thriller In Delaware For Diller

News reports say the Delaware court has ruled against Liberty Media’s John Malone in his effort to block Barry Diller from splitting InterActiveCorp into multiple companies. Well, at least Malone managed to land some down ‘n’ dirty jabs at Barry during this month’s court proceeding. The only problem now is for shareholders who will continue to watch Barry run IAC just like he did Hollywood studios years before: any damn way he wants to. (See my previous, Diller vs Malone… Read

Jack Klugman Sues Over 'Quincy M.E' Accounting; NBC Uni Claims $66M Losses

The complaint was filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court. This really sounds like one of the worst cases of phony-baloney studio accounting, not to mention sheer arrogance, in Hollywood history. Geez, when is Big Media going to stop this larceny? For instance, according to the lawsuit, NBC Uni is claiming that, as of the end of fiscal year 2006, Quincy M.E. has accumulated over $66 million in net losses — this after we all know that the 1976-1983 series is a classic… Read

Judge Dismisses Burkle Suit Against Ovitz

While Michael Ovitz’s name keeps coming up repeatedly in the ongoing Pellicano trial (though he’s charged with no wrongdoing), he’s also been the subject of an ongoing multimillion dollar lawsuit brought by his one-time Internet partner, billionaire investor Ron Burkle. But yesterday Ovitz scored a big victory when that lawsuit by Burkle alleging that the co-founder of CAA and fired Walt Disney Co. president broke a business agreement was dismissed yesterday by Los… Read