April 22, 2014

Tag Archives: Business/Finance

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.”
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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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Kristen Stewart allegedly focusing on relationship with Robert Pattinson

HollywoodNews.com: Kristen Stewart is apparently trying to make up for cheating on Robert Pattinson with her ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ director by focusing on their rekindled relationship.
As Stewart and Pattinson recently reunited, she is allegedly working hard to make things work, states UsMagazine.com. Stewart is reportedly spending time with him and his friends in order to show she is serious about being with him.
She even allegedly spent Thanksgiving in London with his family. Next, the two might be spending time apart as they could be working on new projects.
Do you think they will last?
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Kanye West’s team allegedly still working to stop sex tape

HollywoodNews.com: Kanye West apparently doesn’t want to join Kim Kardashian in having his sex tape go public as his team is reportedly still working to stop the release.
While the seller’s reportedly want a lot of money for it, West’s team is claiming the footage was obtained illegally, states RadarOnline. His team allegedly wants to buy back the copyright in order to prevent the tape from going public.
However, it has reportedly been a bit of a struggling as adult entertainment companies are allegedly offering the seller a lot of money for the footage.
Do you think the tape will ever be released?
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Drake has graduated high school

HollywoodNews.com: Drake might be a few years older than most high school graduates, but finally getting his diploma is just as big a deal to him.
Drake revealed on Twitter that he has managed to graduate high school after spending the summer working hard to accomplish that, states UsMagazine.com. “97% on my final exam. 88% in the course. One of the greatest feelings in my entire life. As of tonight I have graduated high school. Thank you to my teacher Kim Janzen for spending the last 5 months working tirelessly with me!!” Drake tweeted.
In order to complete high school, he only had one credit left.
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Kanye West allegedly has two sex tapes being shopped

HollywoodNews.com: There were rumors of a Kanye West sex tape that was being shopped to media outlets, but apparently there isn’t just one.
It is now being reported that two Kanye sex tapes are being shopped, and those tapes are allegedly fairly similar, states TMZ. Both tapes were reportedly shot with exes and are about 20 and 40 minutes long each.
The tapes have not yet been released, but it is reported that Kanye will take legal action if these go public. The tapes are reportedly being shopped by a third party.
Do you think the tapes will ever go public?
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Jennie Garth allegedly developing sitcom with Luke Perry

HollywoodNews.com: There have been recent romance rumors about Jennie Garth and Luke Perry, but it seems their relationship is strictly business.
It is being reported that the former ’90210′ stars are actually developing a sitcom together, states UsMagazine.com. “They have been spending a lot of time together recently because the two are working on developing a TV sitcom together. It will be a multi-camera half hour show, currently we have producers and writers and are meeting with networks,” Garth’s rep revealed about the project.
The two have been facing romance rumors, but those have been shot down and this new project seems to confirm that.
Would you watch a show by them?
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