September 05, 2015

Tag Archives: IMDB Inc

Spotlight on Billionaire Jeff Skoll

By Robert Welkos
NAME: JEFF SKOLL
NET WORTH: $2.7 billion (TheRichest.com) to $3.8 billion (Forbes)
SOURCE OF WEALTH: eBay
‘BIO: Born to a middle-class family in Canada, Skoll graduated with honors in electrical engineering program at the University of Toronto, then went backpacking around the world before entering Stanford Business School, where he earned an MBA degree. He was the first full-time employee and first president of eBay, the Internet auction firm. He sold a portion of his company holdings for $2 billion. In 1999. he created the Skoll Foundation, which quickly became the world’s largest foundation for social entrepreneurship. In 2004, he created the movie production company Participant Media. In 2009. he founded the Skoll Global Threats Fund, focusing on issues that could bring the world to its knees: climate change, water scarcity, pandemics, nuclear proliferation and Middle East conflict.
MARITAL STATUS: Single
HOLLYWOOD CONNECTIONS: Participant Media seeks to make films that have the power to inspire and compel social change. Skoll has served as executive producer on more than 45 films. Recently, he launched Pivot, a new digital cable and satellite television channel aimed at the millennial generation.
FILMS INCLUDE: “Syriana,” “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “The Kite Runner,” “The Cove,” “The Help,” “Lincoln,” “Fast Food Nation,” “The Fifth Estate.”
FILM PROJECTS IN THE WORKS:
“The Ardor.” Director: Pablo Fendrik. Cast: Alice Braga, Gael Garcia Bernal. Hollywood Reporter: “A tale of survival and revenge set in the Amazon jungle.”
“Out of the Dark.” Director: Lluís Quílez. Cast: Julia Stiles, Scott Speedman, Stephen Rea. IMDB logline: “A couple and their daughter moves to Colombia to take over a family manufacturing plant, only to realize that their new home is haunted.”
“The Hundred-Foot Journey.” Director: Lasse Hallström. Cast: Helen Mirren, Rohan Chand, Juhi Chawla. Producers include Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg.g among producers. IMDB logline: “A story centered on an Indian family who moves to France and opens a restaurant across the street from a Michelin-starred French restaurant.”
“A Most Violent Year.” Director: J.C. Chandor. Cast: Jessica Chastain, Oscar Isaac, David Oyelowo, Albert Brooks. IMDB logline: “A thriller set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically one of the most violent years in the city’s history, and centered on the lives of an immigrant and his family trying to expand their business and capitalize on opportunities as the rampant violence, decay and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they […]

Actress sues Amazon for posting her true age and ethnicity on IMDB

By Kim Palacios
hollywoodnews.com: An unnamed actress of Asian descent has filed a $1 million lawsuit against Amazon.com, charging that the online retailer used personal detail from her secure profile as a retail customer and leaked it (specifically, her age and her real name) to its own subsidiary, the Internet Movie Database, commonly known as IMDB.
Deliberately referred to as “Jane Doe” to protect her identity, the plaintiff alleges breach of contract, fraud, invasion of privacy, and violation of consumer rights; she further argues that her decision not to reveal her age nor her real name were deliberate, and Amazon’s alleged act of making it available to IMDB users could compromise her career. The actress believes information about her true age and ethnicity would prevent her from being considered for certain acting roles. When the actress asked that this information be removed, Amazon refused, prompting her to file the current suit.
“In the entertainment industry, youth is king,” read the lawsuit. “If one is perceived to be ‘over-the-hill,’ i.e., approaching 40, it is nearly impossible for an up-and-coming actress, such as the plaintiff, to get work…Shortly after subscribing to IMDbPro, plaintiff noticed that her legal date of birth had been [added]…revealing to the public that plaintiff is many years older than she looks.”
Amazon declined to comment.
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Where is Robert Pattinson’s “Bel Ami”?

By Kim Palacios
hollywoodnews.com: IMDB Pro lists its release date as August 25th. Yes, that’s August 25th of 2011 (just 39 days from today). But, if it’s set to open so soon, where are the promos? Where’s the press? Where’s the fanfare around “Bel Ami”?
We asked an identical question earlier this year, after some fishiness following the distribution company’s statement about the film’s release. Since our February article, there have been more new questions than answers. Per IMDB, the August 25th release date is attributed to Greece. Three September release dates are subsequently listed for Denmark, Norway, and France. Yet, the distribution company’s earlier announcement about an August 2011 U.K. release date is nowhere to be found, and it seems nobody knows when this film will release in the U.S.
It gets weirder: a June 8th “Breaking Dawn” featurette in The Hollywood Reporter peripherally mentioned an October 19th release date for “Bel Ami”. Yet, this is the only mention any reputable venue has made, and when a skeptical fan left a comment asking for additional confirmation, The Hollywood Reporter did not reply.
There are other clues that “Bel Ami” may not be forthcoming—at least not this summer or fall. IMDB lists the film as “in production,” yet films in the editorial phase are typically listed as being in “post-production”. And there doesn’t appear to be any new press activity even in the markets where IMDB says the film is set to open in just over a month.
So, where is “Bel Ami”? And, if it will be released any time soon, why would its distributors miss opportunities to promote it? Given its star-studded cast (Uma Thurman, Kristen Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci support Pattinson in the film) and an ongoing information vacuum, the film’s absence won’t go unnoticed by the mainstream for long.
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Ryan Dunn hits #1 on IMDB StarMeter, posthumously

By Kim Palacios
hollywoodnews.com: It seems that Ryan Dunn was never so famous as he became upon his death. His untimely demise generated so much buzz about the “Jackass” star, that the IMDB StarMeter ranking currently lists Dunn at #1. In life, Dunn’s IMDB StarMeter rating topped out at #779. Dunn and Zachary Hartwell, a “Jackass 2” production assistant died when Dunn’s car hit a tree in Pennsylvania; both Dunn and Hartwell had been drinking.
Prior to his death, Dunn reached the height of his stardom in 2006 with the release of “Jackass 2”. In fact, Dunn’s star power declined between 2007 and 2010, rebounding briefly in late 2010 with the release of “Jackass 3-D.” In the days leading up to his death, Dunn’s StarMeter ranking hovered at #2,544; in early 2010, it bottomed out at #10,720.
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Jennifer Lawrence mainstreams it with “X-Men: First Class”

By Kim Palacios
hollywoodnews.com: Actress Jennifer Lawrence shot to the top of the IMDB Star Meter this weekend in the wake of the “X-Men: First Class” release. The Oscar-nominated actress, who lost out time and time again to Natalie Portman for Best Female Lead grabs in the 2010 awards season, is moving into the mainstream with her current “X-Men: First Class” and upcoming “Hunger Games” roles.
Lawrence received nominations for the fantastically-executed indie flick, “Winter’s Bone”, which was nominated in more than 30 notable film association awards. Though Lawrence won several “Best Breakout Star”-type honors, she (and Annette Benning) were largely overshadowed by the year’s most ubiquitous female victor, “Black Swan’s” Natalie Portman.
Lawrence garnered attention when she arrived at the 2010 Academy Awards, stunning red carpet fashion critics with her striking physique in a red Calvin Klein Collection dress. Though she continues her work in smaller films, like “The Beaver”, big budget blockbusters like this weekend’s “X-Men: First Class” and 2012’s adaptation of the hugely popular “Hunger Games” (which is currently filming) will make this previously obscure actress’ moniker a household name.
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IMDB to air world premiere of “Breaking Dawn” trailer

By Kim Palacios
hollywoodnews.com: While MTV subscribers will see the “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” trailer first, IMDB will post it to the Internet directly following the MTV debut. This means that fans in the U.S. and around the world who do not have immediate access to the 2011 MTV Movie Awards will have a chance to get an early glimpse of the film, too.
In fact, IMDB has launched its own “Breaking Dawn” channel due to the popularity of the franchise. The dedicated channel offers a focused view of reliable news articles, star rankings, photos, and videos relating to the film.
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Robert Pattinson’s star power exceeds that of “Water for Elephants” co-stars

By Kim Palacios
hollywoodnews.com: If the IMDB StarMeter is any indication, moviegoers headed out to see “Water for Elephants” have more interest in Robert Pattinson than his co-stars. The Twilight Saga actor is currently ranked at 34 on the StarMeter, compared to Reese Witherspoon’s 85 and Christoph Waltz’s 337.
When casting for the film was first announced, Pattinson was said by some as likely to be overshadowed by Academy Award-Winners Witherspoon and Waltz. Yet Pattinson’s current star power, combined with his role as protagonist Jacob Jankowski, indicates that the critically uncelebrated actor was, indeed, meant to carry the film.
Though reviews on the film as a whole have been poor, early reactions to Pattinson’s performance were mixed. Some included Pattinson in their blame for the film’s failure to meet expectations, citing lack of chemistry between he and Witherspoon, among other problems. Yet, Pattinson’s evangelical fan following left many moviegoers satisfied with Pattinson himself, if not the film.
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“Kung Fu Panda,” “Smurfs” teasers make their way online

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Parents who took their children to “Megamind” this weekend – and there were a lot of you – might be wondering what’s the next big family-friendly event picture you can put on the calendar.
We’ll tell you about two.
Jack Black once again will voice the warrior Po in “Kung Fu Panda 2,” and the DreamWorks Animation sequel has a teaser trailer. Check it out here via ComingSoon.
You don’t get a lot of footage, just images of the rotund Po engaging the audience in a kung fu staring contest. IMDb, however, has a few plot details, stating that Po and the Furious Five will venture to China to “battle a villain and uncover the secrets of Po’s mysterious origins.” Were they really that mysterious? I’m guessing he was born to two pandas. Anyway, Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Dustin Hoffman, David Cross, Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu return, and will be joined by newcomers Gary Oldman, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and James Woods. “Kung Fu Panda 2” will be presented in 3D, and will be out in May 2011.
And then there’s “Smurfs,” a combination animation-and-live-action hybrid that brings back the tiny blue adventurers of our youth. Raja Gosnell, who also helmed the “Scooby-Doo” update, has attracted an A-list vocal cast for his summer blockbuster, including Katy Perry as Smurfette, Jonathan Winters as Papa Smurf, Alan Cumming as Gutsy Smurf, and Paul Reubens as Jokey Smurf. My memory is hazy, but I think a few of those smurfs are new. As for the live-action part, Hank Azaria plays Gargamel, the alchemist who keeps trying to capture the smurfs. And the plot, reportedly, follows the blue creatures to New York City. ComingSoon also has a promotional image for the movie, as well as a link to the teaser trailer. Check it out here.
“The Smurfs” will be in theaters on Aug. 3, 2011.
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Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson projects going to Lionsgate

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Lionsgate is filling its slate with a trio of titles that it will distribute in partnership with IM Global, and we are starting to get a few more details about each project, thanks to Variety.
Jason Statham will headline “Safe,” which is currently in production. Written and directed by Boaz Yakin, the film co-stars Danni Lang, James Colby and Tim Carr. There’s no release date right now.
Meanwhile, Simon West’s “Protection” will go into production in March, with a New Mexico shoot. Dwayne Johnson will star in the action thriller, which casts the former wrestler as a disgraced former American Special Forces operative who must rescue a judge’s kidnapped daughter from a Mexican cartel, according to IMDb.
But the most anticipated title in the bunch has to be “Dredd,” a retry of the graphic novel that once was adapted into a Stallone vehicle. This new one stars Karl Urban (“Star Trek,” “Red”) and Olivia Thirlby (“Juno”), and will be directed in 3D by Pete Travis. It begins production on Nov. 12 in Cape Town, South Africa.
We’ll follow each project and report back new details as they surface.
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Could “Hemingway” cost Javier Bardem an Oscar nomination?

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Is Roadside Attractions biting off more than it can chew when it comes to this year’s Oscar race?
The growing film distributor hasn’t yet had a major taste of Oscar pie, having nibbled around the edges with Morgan Spurlock’s nominated doc “Super Size Me” back in 2004. All of a sudden, the company has a full plate of Oscar contenders heading into the annual awards season, and it just shifted everything around a little bit to make room for one more acquisition.
According to a release, Roadside Attractions picked up the rights to John Irvin’s “Hemingway’s Garden of Eden,” a feature-film adaptation of the cherished author’s last novel, which was posthumously published. Wasting no time, Roadside announced it will release “Eden” on Dec. 10.
Does that suggest awards aspirations for “Eden” cast members Mena Suvari, Caterina Murino, Matthew Modine or Carmen Maura? Maybe the studio smells technical potential for this Jazz Age-set romance? It’s possible, though the film only has a 5.4 grade (out of 10) on IMDb as it was released in Europe in 2008.
Roadside didn’t need to fill its December release schedule. The company already has Alejandro González Iñárritu’s gut-wrenching “Biutiful” and the oft-delayed comedy “I Love You Phillip Morris” with Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor on its December slate.
And both films harbor Oscar hopes. Buzz swirls around Javier Bardem’s brilliant turn in “Biutiful,” while Jim Carrey has earned raves for Morris. The former seems like a lock, while the latter is a distinct possibility. But will “Eden” divide Roadside’s attentions? Could this new addition also cut into some of the campaign time that’s needed to boost Roadside’s “Winter’s Bone” into deserved categories like Best Actress (for Jennifer Lawrence) and the Best Picture race? Or is this the distributor’s bold way of announcing itself as a serious Oscar player after years of standing on the outside looking in.
Either way, it makes an already interesting race more competitive. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.
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