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January 2010 Archive

SAG National Board Votes To “Seek Engagement” With AFTRA To Bargain Jointly On Next TV/Theatrical Contract

The SAG National Board of Directors met via videoconference in Los Angeles and New York: Los Angeles, (January 31, 2010) – Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors voted today to seek engagement with AFTRA in a joint bargaining agreement for negotiation of the Television/Theatrical Contract. Approved 82 to 18 percent, the resolution states: "It was moved and seconded that in light of SAG’s historically productive negotiating partnership with AFTRA, the SAG National… Read

Sony Classics Buys 'Winter In Wartime'

NEW YORK, NY (January 31, 2010) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all US rights to the Dutch film, WINTER IN WARTIME from High Point Films, the theatrical division of Carey Fitzgerald's London based High Point Media Group. The film is directed by Martin Koolhoven (SCHNITZEL PARADISE) and is produced by Els Vandevorst (co-produced Lars Von Trier’s MANDERLAY and DOGVILLE), and San Fu Maltha (BLACK BOOK). Hugely successful in the Netherlands… Read

Salma Hayek Drops Out Of Rock Actioner

The CBS Films/Sony Pictures drama Faster didn't start production quick enough to keep Salma Hayek who dropped out a week before shooting begins February 8th. Filmmakers will move fast to recast for the George Tillman Jr.-directed script from Tony and Joe Gayton that puts Dwayne Johnson back into action mode. Robert Teitel is producing with Castle Rock's Martin Shafer and Liz Glotzer.  Read

Indie Realities For Sundance Fest Films

The Sundance trophies have been handed out. The film crowd has left Park City to the skiers. So what kind of market was it? Better than expected, even if most of the deals were small ones. And compared to the zero that was Toronto, a veritable avalanche of very low 7-figure sales took place in Park City, with more expected in coming weeks. Some of the films have breakout potential, like The Kids Are All Right and the documentary Catfish. Others made great festival… Read

EXCLUSIVE: Zachary Quinto (aka Spock & Sylar) Tunes Up For Spielberg's Gershwin

Since he dropped out of Harvey, Steven Spielberg's first project under the reconstituted DreamWorks has been a subject of much speculation. Now I hear who’s at the center of the director’s biopic of George Gershwin, which DreamWorks acquired last fall. It's Zachary Quinto — Sylar in the NBC drama-fantasy Heroes, and Spock in the JJ Abrams-directed megapic Star Trek. Quinto will play the famed composer and pianist, who with brother Ira was responsible for more than a dozen… Read

Box Office

#1 'Avatar' Rides Past $2 Billion Worldwide And Reigns For 7th Straight Weekend; 'Edge Of Darkness' No Bright Spot For Mel; 'When In Rome' Gets Lost At Box Office

SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM: Now that 20th Century Fox’s Avatar is the highest grossing movie of all time (not adjusted for inflation or higher 3D ticket prices), it passed the $2 billion mark in worldwide grosses and remained No. 1 at the weekend box office for the 7th straight week. Today, after just 45 days of release, James Cameron’s sci-fi epic reached $2.039 billion. The pic’s runaway success has answered all its critics, so there’s not much more to say except, Wow! It… Read

First Female Film Director Wins DGA: Award To 'Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow; Female TV Helmer Wins For 'Mad Men'

Women ruled at the DGA tonight for top honors in both film and TV drama direction. The DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film has traditionally been one of the Industry’s most accurate barometers for the Best Director Academy Award. Only 6 times since the DGA Awards began in 1948 has the Feature Film winner not gone on to win the Oscar. But tonight’s honor for The Hurt Locker‘s helmer Kathryn Bigelow is the first DGA win not just for her but the… Read

R.I.P. Karen Schmeer

Emails are pouring in about the “untimely, senseless, and tragic” passing of Karen Schmeer, a respected member of the American Cinema Editors, at age 39. She was a gifted editor of documentaries who, according to news reports, was run down by robbers during their getaway as she was crossing a street in New York City. Best known for helping craft Errol Morris' later films (The Fog Of War, Mr. Death, Fast, Cheap & Out Of Control, and Standard Operating Procedure) she won… Read

Sundance Film Festival Award Winners

Here are the complete list of 2010 winners: (continuously updated): The Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Dramatic Film went to Winter’s Bone, the Debra Granik-directed drama set deep in the Ozark Mountains, where a teenage girl heads out to find her crystal meth-making father, who has gone missing. The film was acquired earlier this evening by Roadside Attractions. The Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary was awarded to Restrepo, in which conflict journalists Sebastian Junger an… Read

Sony Sells Oprah's Nate To NBC O&Os

I reported months ago that Sony Television, which has had considerable success hawking the syndicated talk show starring Oprah discovery Dr. Oz, was going to pimp still another Harpo discovery, Chicago designer and decorator Nate Berkus. Well, now it’s sold. A deal was concluded late last night between Sony TV and NBC Universal that will put the The Nate Berkus Show on NBC O&O’s [owned and operated] TV stations in major markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago… Read

When Twihards Attack At Sundance…

This is hilarious. I’ve learned that a slew of Kristen Stewart fans somehow got the personal e-mails of Sundance buyers who were circling her Jake Scott-directed film Welcome To The Rileys. In their avalanche of messages, twitters and texts, the Twihards are imploring the execs to buy and release the film starring the Twilight Saga heroine — or at least get them DVDs of the pic. Among the surprised execs is Sony Pictures Classics’ Michael Barker. The film is geared to an… Read