HONG KONG— China's state-owned film distributor is making its first investment in Hollywood movies by taking a stake in two Legendary Entertainment productions. China Film Co. will make an "eight-figure equity investment" in two upcoming films, "Seventh Son" and "Warcraft," the Chinese unit of Legendary Entertainment said Tuesday.» Read More
The TV networks are really good at looking overseas for ideas--they remake "The Office" and endless gameshows and reality TV concepts. In fact, European shows are on every time you turn on the TV, just with American accents. (Plus, plenty of companies like Ben Silverman's Reveille and Fremantle make fortunes selling U.S. shows back overseas).
NBC Universal (owned by GE, which is parent company of CNBC) and News Corp are collaborating on a online video site to compete with YouTube, and today we learned its name: Hulu. (Go to hulu.com) to check out some of the video the on-demand service will be providing--you'll see that Fox's "24" and NBC's "My Name is Earl") are prominently featured.
On Friday, I reported about Nielsen's upcoming social networking site, 'Hey! Nielsen.' The idea is to mine online buzz to find out what movies, music, tv, and online video people are talking about online, with the idea to eventually turn that buzz into relevant numbers for advertisers. Nielsen won't be the first to look to social networks for insight.
People, you need to start recording these on video and sending them to me...forget YouTube. Mortgage advisor Andrea S. says this song parody of Don McLean's "American Pie" came from a branch manager at a very, very big mortgage lender you may have heard of which is having trouble lately:
Social Networking is so hot right now, Nielsen is launching a social network to FIND OUT what's hot. It's all very meta. Nielsen is launching 'Hey! Nielsen,' a social network to act as a buzztracker for what in the entertainment world is hot on the web. The idea is to tap into the wisdom of crowds--or more specifically the wisdom of the "IN crowd" who wants to be webchatting about all the hottest TV, music, movies and web videos.
Disney Music Group dominates the Billboard 200 chart with eight titles in the top 50. High School Musical 2 Soundtrack (Walt Disney Records) is #1, Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus (Walt Disney Records/Hollywood Records) is #2 and Jonas Brothers (Hollywood Records) is #8. The Disney Music Group is managing to top the charts while the rest of the music industry suffers thanks to the power of the Disney Channel.
Since Google bought YouTube last fall it's attracted a ton of eyeballs--51 million users in June alone--but not so much revenue. Google is just now starting to roll out its new ads to try to capitalize on YouTube's loyal audience. Here's how it works. Hit play on a YouTube video, and an ad will pop up in the lower fifth of the screen.
After Michael Bay declared on his blog that he was refusing to direct "Transformers 2" because he was so upset about Paramount ditching the Blu-ray format to be exclusive to HD DVD, Bay has changed his tune. He followed it up with a post saying he'd overreacted, had been convinced by some Blu-ray fans. He says he was convinced to support HD because he learned that HD had cheaper players--around that $200 magic number.
The blogosphere is swirling with rumors about how Paramount's decision to ditch the Blu-ray format in favor of HD DVD (see my previous post), could cost the studio big time. It all started with the director Paramount's biggest hit, "Transformers." On a forum on his own blog--www.shootfortheedit.com--director Michael Bay posted the following:
Here are more song parodies (see my previous post) to try to bring a smile to those of you upside down in your mortgage (or upside down in your Capital One and Countrywide stock): From a Colorado mortgage company grunt, the appropriately named Rocky M (talk about smiling through the pain), called 'Green Tree Beret" and sung to the "Green Beret" theme:
Another battle in the very long war. For years Sony's Blu-ray has been battling with Microsoft and Toshiba-backed HD DVD. And everyone--the studios, the disc and player manufacturers, and consumers--is just dying for one format to emerge victorious and the other format to fall the way of the BetaMax. HD DVD just scored an unexpected win, after Blu-ray had taken the lead. DreamWorks Animation and Viacom's Paramount (including DreamWorks Studio) just committed to releasing their films...
Conan O'Brien was spotted by Jane Wells strolling around Universal City walking with an entourage yesterday. And now we know why! "Desperate Housewives" likely will be moved from its current stage here at Universal to accommodate the "Tonight Show," which would move from NBC's Burbank lot just for Conan.
"Transformers" must really have been a huge hit -- isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery? Since the rights to Transformers are already sold, Hollywood is looking to the next best thing. New Regency is negotiating with the Mark Gordon Co. to bring to the big screen "Voltron: Defender of the Universe," a 1980s Japanese animated TV series.
Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are pulling out of their commitment to underwrite $1 billion of financing for MGM's slate financing deal, according to the Financial Times, which broke the news.We know that the credit crunch is being felt far and wide -- and now we see that it's being felt all the way in Hollywood at the most hallowed of filmmaking institutions. No one is raising any debt right now, and until the credit markets calm down, things will be quiet. Goldman Sachs and MGM were was raising about one billion dollars to finance a slate of MGM productions and co-productions, including the Hobbit, the fourth Terminator movie, and most likely the next James Bond film (co-produced with Sony).
You can always count on Nielsen/Net Ratings to let you know exactly how huge a pop culture issue actually is. Michael Moore's film, Sicko, released back on June 29 -- is still making waves online. Web traffic to blogs discussing Sicko reached 1.2 million unique visitors in May. By June traffic was down to 814,000, though people are still visiting related websites, especially as the presidential political debate on health care heats up.
Just putting Erin Burnett's picture on my blog boosted my traffic more than 100% yesterday. Or maybe it was the Fake Jane pic.
People rushed to theaters to see the buddy cop comedy "Rush Hour 3," making the last of this summer's big budget Hollywood films the top movie at the weekend box office.
There's no question that Blockbuster's livelihood is under attack--the business of driving to a store to rent a DVD and driving back when you're done is threatened from video on demand, and digital downloads, especially since both technologies are getting better and faster. So, looking to avoid going the way of the Beta Max, Blockbuster just purchased online movie downloading company Movielink for under $20 million.
DreamWorks SKG couldn't have gotten off the ground more than a decade ago if it weren't for Paul Allen's $500 million investment. Perhaps his work is done--now he's selling $150 million of DreamWorks Animation stock back to the company, and doing a secondary offering to sell an additional 10 million shares to the public.
A credit crunch affects any type of leveraged buyout--debt becomes more expensive and harder to obtain, requiring more equity, making returns lower. Considering how many leveraged deals Hollywood has made, that industry should be no exception. Wall Street players--private equity, hedge funds, investment banks--have put together more than $12 billion dollars of financing for the Hollywood studios' 'slates' of films.
Gamblers don’t always bet money or bet at casinos. Here are strange items they bet with, and odd dares they bet on.
Multi-platinum recording artist Chris Daughtry, discusses joining McDonald's as a judge and mentor for its "Voice of McDonald's" global singing competition for employees.
The Guardian US and Washington Post were awarded the Pulitzer prize for coverage of secret surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency.
WASHINGTON, April 16- Justice Samuel Alito is no longer recusing himself from two upcoming U.S. Supreme Court business cases, including a challenge by broadcast networks to online TV startup Aereo Inc..
Relativity Media has offered up to $1.1 billion to buy Maker Studios, whose shareholders are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a bid by Disney.
As a furtherance of the 1996 crime classic by Joel and Ethan Coen that starred Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi, the TV adaptation is a wonder.