January 03, 2015
        A January Oscar Predictions Update                American Cinema Editors (ACE) Announces Nominees                2015 releases to look forward to                The best films and performances of 2014                A look at the second spot in each of the main Oscar categories                The late breaking major Oscar contenders of 2014                Golden Globe post nomination predictions for December                Cinematic gifts from 2014                Spotlight on the Stars: Bradley Cooper                Which film will lead the nomination totals for Oscar this year?                A look at some potential first time Academy Award nominees this year                A Mid-December Oscar Predictions Update                Oscars: 9 Foreign Language Films Advance in Oscar® Race                Audiences are missing out on a funny film in Seth Rogen's "The Interview"                Spotlight on the Stars: Christian Bale        

Tag Archives: Business/Finance

Amy Thurlow, has been named Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for dick clark productions

Highly regarded television executive, Amy Thurlow, has been named Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for dick clark productions, it was announced today by Mike Mahan, President of dick clark productions. She will be based at the company’s Santa Monica headquarters and will report directly to Mahan.
“Amy is one of the most talented executives in the business with an unparalleled business acumen when it comes to leading, strategizing and growing a company. She will play a vital management role as dick clark productions expands our global television footprint,” said Mahan. “I have known Amy for many years and it is a tremendous pleasure to have her join the dick clark productions team.”
“It is an incredible time to join dick clark productions with the expansion of its global business under the leadership of Allen Shapiro and Mike Mahan,” said Thurlow. “I am honored to work with such a historic company as dick clark productions and contribute to some of the biggest live television events in the world.”
Thurlow most recently served as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Sales Strategy for TV Guide Network, a CBS/Lionsgate partnership, based in New York and Los Angeles. Prior to serving as CFO and EVP, she held several positions within the company, including Senior Vice President, Sales Strategy and Planning.
Earlier in Thurlow’s career, she joined NBC Universal as Manager of Corporate Staff Finance in 1998 and worked her way up to Finance Director of Film and TV Distribution. She began her career at the General Electric Corporation.
Thurlow earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Boston College and her Executive MBA from New York University.
ABOUT DICK CLARK PRODUCTIONS
dick clark productions (dcp) is among the world’s largest producers and proprietors of televised live event programming. dcp produces perennial hits such as the “American Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.” Weekly television programming, includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group, and dick clark productions; and “Rising Star” from Keshet DCP, the joint venture between Keshet International (KI), the global distribution and production arm of Keshet Media Group, and DC Media, the parent company of dick clark productions (dcp). In 2014, dcp will debut the “American Country Countdown Awards” (FOX), “Hollywood […]

Ryan Kavanaugh: Relativity Media expands in China

Relativity Media, a next generation media company, today announced at the Shanghai International Film Festival that it has formed a joint partnership with Jiangsu Broadcasting Corp. to develop, co-finance, co-produce and distribute film and television content for both the international and Chinese markets. As part of the partnership, JSBC will make an equity investment in Relativity. Financial terms were not disclosed.
As one of the most influential media operators in China, JSBC is a highly acclaimed multi-media company operating leading television, radio, newspapers, magazines and internet properties. The two companies will develop, produce and distribute new film and television content across JSBC and Relativity’s platforms.
“China is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets for every form of content, and Relativity has long been focused on expanding our footprint in this incredibly dynamic market. The partnership with JSBC we announced today will further strengthen the robust foundation we have built in China,” said Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity. “By collaborating with JSBC, we will deepen our relationship with the Chinese media and entertainment industry and provide a world-class platform from which to co-develop Chinese and international film, television, and sports content with one of the preeminent media companies in China.”
Mr. Bu Yu, President of JSBC, said, “JSBC is delighted to make this investment into Relativity, one of the world’s most disruptive and fastest growing media companies. Combining our distribution and content with Relativity’s will strengthen the formidable platforms of both our companies. This partnership will allow JSBC and Relativity to collaborate across the full range of content from film and television, to sports and music, and we are excited about the possibilities it creates.”
Relativity in China
Relativity’s existing presence in China is underpinned by its ownership of SkyLand Entertainment, a film distribution and financing company headquartered in Beijing. Originally launched as a joint venture between Relativity, IDG China Media Fund and SAIF Partners, SkyLand is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Relativity and maintains a close strategic relationship with the government-run distributor Huaxia Film Distribution Co. Recent Relativity films released in China include Immortals, Mirror Mirror and Free Birds.
About Relativity
Relativity (www.relativitymedia.com) is a next-generation studio engaged in multiple aspects of entertainment, including film production; financing and distribution; television; sports management; music publishing; and digital media.
The studio has produced, distributed or structured financing for nearly 200 motion pictures, generating more than $17 billion in worldwide box office revenue and earning 60 Oscar® nominations. […]

“The Hunger Games: The Exhibition” will go on tour

Lionsgate the premier next generation global content leader, will launch a U.S. tour of ‘The Hunger Games: The Exhibition’ in summer 2015, it was announced today by Lionsgate Chief Marketing Officer Tim Palen. The state-of-the-art exhibition, which will include interactive displays of authentic costumes, props and other elements of the world of The Hunger Games, will be designed in conjunction with Thinkwell Group, one of the world’s leading theme park and location-based entertainment companies.
The first two Hunger Games films have grossed more than $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire became the highest-grossing domestic release of 2013 and the 10th highest-grossing domestic release of all time. ‘The Hunger Games: The Exhibition’ will launch several months ahead of the November 20, 2015 worldwide release of the fourth Hunger Games film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, and will incorporate artifacts featured in the first three films from locations within the Capitol and the various Districts of Panem. The exhibition will be featured in major museums and institutions across the country and will be supported by a multimedia promotional effort and nationwide advance ticket sales.
‘Now that we’ve built a critical mass of intellectual property, we’re committed to extending our brands into exciting new businesses that create opportunities for our fans to engage with our properties at the same time they deliver significant incremental financial benefits to Lionsgate,’ said Palen. “We’re thrilled to launch this initiative with the U.S. tour of The Hunger Games exhibition, which celebrates the world of The Hunger Games and offers Hunger Games fans an extensive behind-the-scenes look at the movie-making process.” He noted that the exhibits will also be paired with local school curricula, and nearly all aspects of the tour will be interactive.
Palen also announced that, as part of the studio’s commitment to expand its branded retail and merchandising operations, it has brought veteran Thinkwell executive Jenefer Brown in-house, naming her to the newly created post of Senior Vice President, Branded Attractions. Brown will not only oversee the launch of the U.S. tour of The Hunger Games exhibition but will explore additional theme park attraction and other location-based entertainment opportunities around the world for The Hunger Games franchise and the Company’s entire portfolio of branded properties.
Brown brings over 10 years of experience working in both the entertainment and high-technology industries. Most recently, Brown served […]

How might the Cannes winners impact the upcoming awards season?

Over the weekend, the Cannes Film Festival gave out its annual awards, highlighted by Winter Sleep taking the Palme d’Or, Bennett Miller taking the Best Director prize for Foxcatcher, Timothy Spall taking the Best Actor prize for Mr. Turner, and Julianne Moore taking the Best Actress prize for Maps to the Stars. Those films and performances now almost automatically have increased Oscar buzz, but what exactly does that mean? After all, these were citations given out in May, about six months before any of the other precursors are bestowed upon awards hopefuls. We can’t know exactly what it means, but on this day, I’d like to make a few educated guesses.
First off with the Palme d’Or winner, the Turkish film Winter Sleep is now basically assured of two things. One is that it’ll almost certainly play at the New York Film Festival (both of the past two winners in Amour and Blue is the Warmest Color made this trip as well, so it makes sense), while the other is that it now will have substantial Best Foreign Language Feature buzz. This is a challenging movie that will struggle for recognition anywhere else from the Academy and may even have trouble winning the Foreign Oscar, but it’s in the pole position right now, there’s no way around that. Beyond that, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s film is now in the history books, if nothing else.
With Miller’s win for his Foxcatcher direction, that more or less just confirms that he’s going to be a heavy hitter in the race. I don’t know of any other pundit who’d exclude him from their Best Director lineup if they were to do Oscar predictions, so this win only moves him up, potentially into a place where a win won’t be out of the question. Foxcatcher on the whole should be a major player, so while Steve Carrell didn’t receive an award for his acclaimed turn, Miller basically represents the film on the whole.
As for Spall, he’s yet to be nominated by the Academy, but this collaboration with Mike Leigh on Mr. Turner may very well be the one to do it. Much like Bruce Dern parlayed a Best Actor prize last year into an Oscar nomination for Nebraska, Spall could potentially do the same here. A nomination for Best Actor certainly isn’t out of the question, especially considering that Leigh films more often than not are cited […]

Donald Sterling Talks: “I’m not a racist and I’ve never been a racist.”

Anderson Cooper sat down for an exclusive interview with Donald Sterling today in Los Angeles.
Below sound bites from the interview.
Donald Sterling: I’m not a racist, I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I’m here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I’ve hurt. And I’ve hurt so many people. So many innocent people and I’ve hurt myself. you know I spoke to a girl that I was fond of. When I listen to that tape, I don’t even know how I can say words like that. I’m so sorry, I’m so apologetic
Anderson Cooper: What are you sorry about.
DS: well I’m sorry that so many people are hurt. I never dreamed that this could happen it’s a terrible, terrible nightmare.
My players, they didn’t need this. they didn’t need this cloud over their head.
their good people and I love them and respect them and I would always be there for them.
AC: when you saw them..
DS: And for them to hear that I’m a possible racist is so painful to me cuz I’m not a racist and I’ve never been a racist. it’s not me.
AC: when you saw the players wear their warm up jerseys in reverse so the Clippers name wasn’t on, what did you think?
DS: I really didn’t pay attention, they are clippers and their mine and I’m theirs. that’s how I feel. I would do anything for them, I made a mistake I hope it’s in their heart to forgive me for that mistake.
I don’t know why the girl had me say those things.
AC: You’re saying you were set up?
DS: Well yes, I was baited I mean that’s not the way I talk. I don’t talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things, I don’t talk about people.
AC: do you know how the tape got released?
DS: No,
AC: do you think she did it?
DS: I don’t know, an 80 year old man is kind of foolish, and I’m kind of foolish. I thought she liked me and really cared for me. I guess being 51 years older than her, I was diluting myself.
AC: do you trust her now?
DS: no, I don’t trust her and I just wish I could ask her why? And if she was just setting me up, I think that people say she was taping me for 2 years. So maybe I was just […]

Critics’ Choice: Joey Berlin from BFCA

Joey Berlin from the Broadcast Film Critics Association – Critics’ Choice Awards
By ROBERT W. WELKOS
In 1995, Joey Berlin and Rod Lurie, two entertainment reporters and film critics who had written for rival publications, joined forces to create the Broadcast Film Critics Assn.
While Lurie would go on to carve out a successful Hollywood career as a screenwriter and director with such films as “The Contender” and “The Last Castle,” Berlin hasn’t faired too badly, either, as the president of the BFCA.
Starting with 44 members the first year, the BFCA’s voting membership today hovers between 285 and 290 and the organization bills itself as the largest film critics group in the U.S. and Canada.
At the same time, the BFCA created the Critics’ Choice Awards, a glitzy tux-and-gown gala now televised on the CW Network that features red carpet celebrity arrivals, drawing worldwide media attention and plenty of Oscar buzz since the show coincides with the run-up to the Academy Awards.
But as the show has catapulted the broadcast critics into the Oscar conversation each movies awards season, tax records show that the nonprofit group Berlin leads has paid his privately-owned company, Berlin Entertainment, Inc., hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for production services.
Read prior Broadcast Film Critics Association story here at Hollywoodnews.com
IRS Form 990 filings list Berlin Entertainment, Inc., receiving a combined $992,270 from the nonprofit between fiscal 2009 and 2011.
Berlin notes that his members seem to be satisfied with the job he’s doing since he has been repeatedly re-elected president every two years.
The tax files show that Berlin’s base compensation and benefits were a combined $1,297,133 for the three-year period spanning fiscal 2009 to 2011. But his compensation is listed as coming from “related organizations” and not directly from the BFCA, according to the Form 990 documents, which all nonprofits are required to file with the IRS to qualify for tax-exempt status.
When asked about his sizeable compensation, Berlin told HollywoodNews.com in a recent telephone interview: “I did this for five years for zero compensation, but this is what I do all day, every day. I’m really proud of what we’ve built and accomplished….
“My compensation has grown with the growth of the show,” he adds without apology. “The television show is an incredible benefit to the members.” He notes that these benefits include such things as access and awards screeners. “That seems a comfortable arrangement for everybody.”
One […]

Flight of Big-budget Films Costs 50,000 Jobs

The loss of big-budget movies like “The Hobbit” to New Zealand and “Iron Man 3” and “Oz, The Great and Powerful” to North Carolina and Michigan, is costing California nearly 50,000 jobs and $410 million in state and local tax revenues, according to a study released Thursday by the Southern California Association of Governments.
“Even the loss of only half of that spending cost the state a significant amount of economic activity,” the report states. “It is evident that (California) is losing ground to other states and nations.”
Among the findings: California continued to see its market share erode. The study found that 75 percent of the 41 live action feature films with production budgets in excess of $75 million were filmed outside of California in fiscal 2013.
The loss of “Iron Man 3” and “The Hobbit,” Parts 1 and 2, had a combined budget of $320 million, the study notes.
As it was, California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program returned an impressive 11 percent return on investment in its first three years and helped generate $4.3 billion in economic activity and supported 22,300 jobs, according to the study.
Among the findings:
*Under the first three years of funding, 109 film projects were funded and completed.
*Those projects generated $247.7 million in state and local tax revenues, $4.3 billion in economic output and $1.6 billion in labor income.
*For every $1 of tax credit certificate issued, total economic activity in the state increased by $19.12, total state gross domestic product increased by $9.48, and $1.11 was returned to state and local governments in the form of tax revenues.
“You cannot look at this program and not see it is a formidable economic and fiscal benefit,” said Hasan Ikhrata, SCAG executive director. “California is very much at risk of losing its film industry, and without this program the past five years, the losses would have been even more painful.”
The report was commissioned by SCAG, the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, and principally authored by Christine Cooper, vice president, economic and policy analysis, for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Kristin Scott Thomas to quit acting

Some potentially unfortunate news is floating around the web today. Apparently, beloved actress Kristin Scott Thomas has grown fed up with the business and is quitting acting after nearly three decades in front of the camera. In an interview with the U.K. publication The Guardian, Scott Thomas talks about being bored with acting and says that she just can’t do it anymore. One obviously hopes that she reconsiders, but after a career that’s spanned over 60 films, she’s certainly entitled to feel burnt out.
In all likelihood, this will just be temporary, since in the last few years we’ve seen a lot of actors, actresses, and filmmakers say that they were retiring, only to just take a small break to try other things. One notable example of that is Kevin Smith, who notoriously announced his directing career was coming to a close, but in the past couple of months has backtracked and now has a number of new projects in various stages of development. Fingers will obviously be crossed that this is the same sort of case for Scott Thomas, though she seems pretty sincere.
If her claims of retirement hold true, she’ll have a ton of tremendous performances under her belt for cinema fans to appreciate for years to come. Last year even she gave a fantastically underrated performance in Nicolas Winding Refn’s divisive Only God Forgives. This week alone she has a supporting turn in the Oscar nominated (for Best Costume Design) period piece The Invisible Woman that one can appreciate.
Personally, I’m not one to presume that I can tell someone else what to do, so if Scott Thomas wants to quit acting, she should be supported in that endeavor. However, I hope that she does at least leave the door open a little bit ajar for a return. She talks about how the parts she’s getting are being offered to her mainly because she can help the production along, so maybe all it takes is an A-list director to call her up again? One hopes so, since it’d be a shame to lose a talent like this. Stay tuned to see how this one plays out…

‘THE EAST’ brand new poster and website now live

In THE EAST, Sarah Moss (Marling) is a brilliant operative for an elite private intelligence firm whose top objective is to ruthlessly protect the interests of their A-list corporate clientele.
She is assigned to go undercover to infiltrate an anarchist collective known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations. Living amongst them in an effort to get closer to their members, Sarah finds herself unexpectedly torn between two worlds as she starts to fall in love with the group’s charismatic leader (Skarsgard), finding her life and her priorities irrevocably changed.
NEW INTERACTIVE WEBSITE WEARETHEEAST.COM NOW LIVE

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens with an expected (and record) $84 million

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (review/teaser/trailer) basically opened like a Lord of the Rings film, give or take various variables. Its $84.7 million estimated debut clobbered the December record, which is the $77 million earned by Avatar ($77 million, $80 million adjusted for inflation) and I Am Legend ($77.2 million, $89 million adjusted for inflation) in 2009 and 2007 respectively.
It soundly thumps the various other Lord of the Rings films, but this is where it gets tricky. The prior Peter Jackson Middle Earth pictures opened on the weekend before Christmas week, which I’ve long argued is the best weekend of the year to open your picture. So the fact that The Hobbit opened a week earlier makes this number a little more impressive, although the pre-Christmas weekend is more about legs than opening weekend. On the other hand, the prior films all opened on a Wednesday, meaning that their would-be opening weekend was spread out of five days. And of course, we have to take into account nine years of inflation and the whole 3D/IMAX price bump. So purely looking at inflation and comparing the Fri-Sun portion, this opening is about on par with The Two Towers ($62 million, but $84 million adjusted for inflation) and well ahead of Fellowship of the Ring’s ($72 million, but adjusted-for-inflation $66 million) and King Kong ($50 million, and $62 million adjusted for inflation) for what that’s worth. It’s a bit behind the $72 million/$95 million opening of The Return of the King.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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