Some of the names on the move ahead of the open.» Read More
The shape-shifting robots of "Transformers" have taken on a new form: Huge piles of cash.
In a scientific tie-in to the new Picture film "Ratatouille" (do scientists do this on purpose?) lab humans observing lab rats have determined that rats who've been helped in the past "pay it forward." This is, they claim, the first proof of "indirect reciprocity" in non-humans. In other words, rats that were helped in the past are more likely to help a stranger in the future. The report was published in Los Biology, an online open access journal (the same place I found the stuff about fruitflies having free will--what a gold mine that site is).
Walt Disney's animated movie "Ratatouille" opens Friday against strong competition from better-known franchise films, drawing early industry skepticism that it can match its predecessors' success and posing a challenge for Disney.
The businesses of movie making and video game making are tighter than ever. Today, they're rubbing shoulders at the Hollywood and Games Summit. These are two industries that need each other more than ever. Movie studios count on the reliable licensing fees that come from selling 5 million video games. And the video game makers like the fact that by paying a licensing fee they can tap into a guaranteed fan base, and all those marketing dollars the studios have spent. Virtually every big summer movie is also a video game: "Pirates," "Spiderman," "Shreck," and coming up "Ratatouille," "Transformers," and "Harry Potter."
Last night, I wrote that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon should have apologized for running a tribute of wrestler Chris Benoit, who we now know killed his wife and son and then killed himself. I questioned the timeline and said that I thought that the WWE must have knew hours before they ran the three-hour classic that Benoit was a suspected murderer. I understand the dilemma the WWE had--producing a three-hour special is not easy, especially in something like 10 hours. I wasn't sure what they could run and then it occured to me--how about some old WrestleMania? They surely have plenty of archives.
Update: Here's Dimension's response to my blog post: "We are not going to publicly comment on a private business matter." Earlier Post: Two Hollywood insiders just forwarded me an email exchange between Endeavor Agency partner Tom Strickler and Dimension Films President of Production Richard Saperstein about a new “spec” script that Endeavor sold to New Line called “$40,000 Man.” Per Variety, the script is about “an astronaut who finds himself horribly injured in a car accident and rebuilt by the government to be a bionic man, on a budget of $40,000-which makes him not that bionic.” Sounds kind of funny, right?
Legendary Pictures has raised $1 billion plus in new financing, and extended its first-look co-producing and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. through 2012. This means that their first partnership--which they say was profitable--worked out for both parties. About a year ago all my Hollywood banker pals were talking about how the private equity money was going to start pulling out of these movie studios--it's unstable, risky, and Wall Street can get burned.
"Ratatouille" is Disney/Pixar's first joint venture since the acquisition, and the movie--and its associated merchandise -- is exactly why Disney wanted to snap up Pixar. The film's opening on Friday but I got a sneak peak at the premiere a week early, and I was seriously impressed. Call it "Cyrano de Spice Rack", it's the story of a rat who loves to cook, and befriends the garbage boy in the best restaurant in Paris, becoming his secret chef. I was really impressed.
Infosys, Disney, Monster and more...Investing can be confusing. Luckily, Cramer has mapped out some road rules for all you Home Gamers trying to navigate the jungle that is Wall Street. Think of it as "Mad Money 101" –- some fundamental advice to keep in mind as you play the market. Whether you're a first time investor or a seasoned financier, it's always good to remember the basics.
"Evan Almighty" did not live up to its name at the weekend box office in North America.
There's no question that "Sicko" is impacting the national debate on health insurance--but will the movie be a box office hit? It's gotten an incredible amount of press, but as we saw with "Snakes on a Plane," media and YouTube, buzz doesn't always mean box office dollars. (A YouTube search finds 4,800 "Michael Moore" related videos--of those 2,200 come up for "Sicko.)
As the network TV upfront ad sales period comes to an end -- the numbers are surprisingly strong-- back up into the range of $9 billion in advertising revenues, by some estimates up 3% over last year. ABC and CBS are pretty much done with their upfront ad deals, with ABC snagging the biggest price increases per rating point, up 8.5% to 10%. (This means that ratings aren't necessarily up, but advertisers are paying more for lower ratings.)
So, there's this new Trojan TV commercial premiering Monday. It shows a bar filled with hot women and big fat pigs (www.trojanevolve.com). The hot women reject the men, disgusted, until one of the guys goes to the bathroom and buys a condom. He emerges as a hot guy, and the girl at the bar is thrilled to talk to him. .
Earnings news and clinical trial data were some of the catalysts behind the most actively traded stocks on Monday.
Blockbuster will rent high-definition DVDs only in the Blu-ray format in 1,450 stores when it expands its high-def offerings next month, dealing a major blow to the rival HD DVD format.
Hollywood's superhero foursome is still fantastic at the box office.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences just approved some new rules for the 80th Academy Awards. The most notable change is a rule that states that nominees for Best Picture can only be "three or fewer producers who have performed the major portion of the producing functions." The board approved the potential for exceptions to that limit, but it definitely sends a message about disputes over who claims awards to films like 'Crash' from Yari Films.
Fresh back from a week off at Disneyland with the family, I'm raring to go. And I noticed something as we cruised around the park. Cell phones were ubiquitous. People using them standing online. People using them riding rides! Kids. Adults. Everyone. Not so prevalent, but still there, were portable gaming devices. Yes, if you can believe it, kids wandering around the park, or sitting on a bench, or waiting on line for a ride, playing PSPs and Nintendo DSs.
'm a cynical person. But it's hard to be cynical at Disneyland. Today I covered the relaunching of the famed submarine ride after nine years, now rechristened the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. I first went on this ride when I was a preschooler, so I went in knowing I would be nostalgic, but I had to keep up my journalistic guard! Still, I've gotta hand it to the Disneyland folks. They don't miss a beat.
The all-star caper film "Ocean's Thirteen" made off with $37.1 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend to steal the No. 1 spot at the North American box office, according to studio estimates on Sunday.