Four major tech companies said witnesses should not be allowed to offer evidence that Steve Jobs was a "bully" during an upcoming hiring trial.» Read More
Walt Disney reported a 4.7% increase in net profit Wednesday, driven by strong television program sales and higher receipts at its theme parks.
Call it the anti-mySpace/Fox deal, and Disney's Bob Iger might be crazy like a fox. Disney announced a strong quarter, but the bigger news is the company's acquisition of Club Penguin, an online social networking site targeted at 6 - 12 year olds.
A selling wave in global stock markets is sweeping futures lower this morning as subprime and credit woes once more rise to the surface. A new disclosure about a third troubled hedge fund at Bear Stearns is rattling investors.
Though stocks are down sharply from their highs of July 19, many analysts see the current volatility as a buying opportunity in select sectors.
After paying their dues on the small screen for 18 years, "The Simpsons" have become movie superstars in just one day.
The "Mouse" is fighting Joe Camel and coming out against the tobacco industry. Just moments ago Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the company's new commitment to remove cigarette smoking from future Disney branded films. Disney made this news public not in Hollywood, but on the national stage of Congress. Iger declaring his company's new commitment in a letter to House Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass), who last month held a hearing on smoking in the media, asking media companies to join the anti-smoking effort.
Walt Disney on Wednesday became the first major Hollywood studio to ban depictions of smoking, saying there would be no smoking in its family-oriented, Disney-branded films and it would "discourage" it in films distributed by its Touchstone and Miramax labels.
Adam Sandler's faux gay comedy "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" charmed $34.8 million from moviegoers its first weekend in theaters to nudge the latest "Harry Potter" film from the top of the box office, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
There's no question that CD sales growth is in a sad, sad decline. But Disney's not letting go so fast. Its Hollywood Records is launching today a new format called CDVU + (plus), which has much more memory than any current enhanced CD.
Microsoft said on Tuesday it will hold firm on pricing for its Xbox 360 game console, defying widespread expectations that it would respond to a price cut by rival Sony for the PlayStation 3.
Microsoft. said Tuesday it struck a deal to make 35 Disney movies, such as the animated hit "Aladdin" and the action title "Armageddon," available for download on its online video game service.
I'm here in Sun Valley, Idaho, where all the movers and shakers in the media business are gathering for the Allen & Co. media conference to schmooze and make deals. This is where seriously big business alliances are born..
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.