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June 2008 Archive

Tick-Tock: AMPTP Makes “Last Best Offer” Before SAG Contract Expires At 12:01 AM

  I wouldn’t get too excited about this 11th hour “Last Best Offer” by the Big Media cartel before SAG’s contract expires at 12:01 AM on July 1st. Because WGA exec director Dave Young had already informed his SAG counterpart Doug Allen that the AMPTP offered the writers “at least 10 last best offers” before a contract settlement was finally reached. SAG has said it will keep bargaining and has no plans for a strike. It said the AMPTP offer looks like the AFTRA contract… Read

COUNTDOWN TO JUNE 30TH: The Details That The Moguls Don't Want You To Know

Part I: SAG/AFTRA/AMPTP Overview: Calm Down. There Will Be No Strike Sequel. PART II: The Details That The Moguls Don’t Want You To Know Every time I think of the way that Hollywood handles its guild negotiations, I’m reminded of that Jurassic Park 2 scene where Jeff Goldblum warns everybody: “Oooh, ahhh — that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.” That happened even before the writers went out on strike for 100 days. And it’s happening now… Read

Warner Bros Will Embrace 'The Women'

EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Warner Bros will now aggressively push Diane English’s remake of The Women skedded for release September 12th with wider distribution and bigger marketing in the wake of the success of Sex And The City. This is an about-face from the studio’s earlier decision to leave plans intact for about-to-shutter Picturehouse to debut the chick flick in limited release and with a small P&A. But after weeks of hemming and hawing, Warner Bros now believes that… Read

SAG's Alan Rosenberg Publicly Confirms My “Calm Down, No Strike Steps” Report

Los Angeles, June 29, 2008 – Screen Actors Guild released the following statement from SAG National President Alan Rosenberg: "We have taken no steps to initiate a strike authorization vote by the members of Screen Actors Guild. Any talk about a strike or a management lockout at this point is simply a distraction. The Screen Actors Guild national negotiating committee is coming to the bargaining table every day in good faith to negotiate a fair contract for actors." This… Read

Box Office

Filmgoers Wild For 'Wall-E' And 'Wanted': Angelina Jolie Posts Best Opening Ever; Lonely Droid Debut Is Pixar's 3rd Biggest

    SUNDAY AM: North American box office numbers show that No. 1 Disney / Pixar’s futuristic Wall-E blasted off with a $23.1 million Friday and $22 million Saturday from 3,992 theaters for what was a $62.5 million opening weekend. This means arty Wall-E is big and transcended from a kids movie into a four-quadrant hit. But it wasn’t quite the $70+M record breaker everyone thought it would be. Still, it was the 3rd biggest Pixar opening (behind The Incredibles at $70.5M… Read

COUNTDOWN TO JUNE 30TH: Calm Down. There Will Be No Strike Sequel. But When Will Hollywood Ever Get Back To Work?

Here is my COUNTDOWN TO JUNE 30TH package: Part I: SAG/AFTRA/AMPTP Overview: Calm Down. There Will Be No Strike Sequel Part II: The Details That The Moguls Don’t Want You To Know PART I: SAG/AFTRA/AMPTP Overview The sense of panic among actors, writers, directors and below-the-liners is palpable in Hollywood right now. Matched only by the angst of agents whose phones aren’t ringing, and out-of-town journalists struggling to write “strike sequel” scare stories for… Read

Sony Pic's Van Galder & Weinstock Upped

(Culver City, June 27, 2008) — Sony Pictures Entertainment has promoted Valerie Van Galder and Marc Weinstock to co-presidents of Worldwide Theatrical Marketing, it was announced today by Jeff Blake, chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution for the studio, to whom the two will report. Van Galder and Weinstock will collectively develop and oversee worldwide marketing campaigns for all films released by Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Animation. The… Read

Shame On Toby Emmerich…

I’m told this is the last day of employment for as many as 550 laid-off New Line employees. But Toby Emmerich has been driving around in a shiny new car and parking in the 116 North Robertson lot since June 10th. Like the jackass couldn’t have waited until July to show it off to the world. UPDATE: One of Toby’s pals whom I normally respect is all in a lather and just emailed me this explanation: “The guy had a lease on a Mercedes that just ended.  He just leased a less… Read

Box Office

Wkd Prediction: Robot $70M, Angie $40M

  I’m told that not only is Pixar/Disney internally hoping for a $70+ million dollar opening for Wall-E, but also a Best Picture Oscar nomination for the L’il Robot. It’s possible with 100% great reviews from top critics and even rival studios bigwigs gushing about the pic: “I saw it on Wednesday and it’s just adorable and smart and interesting. It has more character development and emotion than any movie I’ve seen this year.” My box office gurus are projecting a $65M to… Read

'Wall-E' Orbiting Best Picture Oscar Nod?

I’m told that Disney and Pixar are going to push hard for a Best Picture Oscar nomination for Wall-E on the basis of its anti-toon moody darkness and rave reviews by critics who matter. Certainly many toons have tried for that high honor over the years, and then settled for “just” a recently added Best Animated Feature nod. Only one animated movie has made it into the most competitive Academy Award category — Disney’s Beauty And The Beast in 1991 — but, alas, didn’t win… Read

FCC To Curb Product Integration On TV: WGA Calling For “Real Time” Disclosure

While SAG has been fighting product integration in its ongoing negotiations with the AMPTP, Hollywood writers have been fighting it in Washington DC. For non-insiders, that’s when Aiden on Sex And The City keeps talking about KFC, or when The Office refers to real corporations like Staples. (Though episodes of 30 Rock keep spoofing the practice, like when Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin spoke dialogue praising Verizon Wireless, and then Fey said directly to the camera, “Can we… Read

Box Office

'Hancock': $115M Over Fourth Of July?

  All my box office gurus think Hancock will be massive. So they’re predicting a floor of $100M all the way up to $115M over the 5-day holiday since the Sony pic is starring Mr Independence Day Weekend, Will Smith. Let the prognosticating begin… Meanwhile, Sony is rolling out its long awaited and much rumored new multi-platform video service this summer in the U.S. and will offer Hancock to owners of internet-connected Bravia TVs before the movie is available on… Read