January 01, 2015

Tag Archives: USD

Joey Berlin’s Goldmine – Critics Choice Awards

Joey Berlin, who co-founded the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. in 1995 and continues to oversee its day-to-day operations and its televised Critics’ Choice Movie Awards each year, likes to say that his membership seems to be satisfied with the job he’s doing because he’s been repeatedly re-elected every two years as its president.
To read article about CRACKPOT OF THE MONTH – DAVID POLAND – BFCA
The nonprofit group’s latest tax filings show that Berlin also is handsomely paid for his work. The BFCA’s latest IRS Form 990 tax filing shows that Berlin Entertainment, Inc., a company 100 percent owned by Berlin, received $859,077 for production services in 2012, a jump from $376,270 listed on tax forms the previous year.
To read article about CRACKPOT OF THE MONTH – DAVID POLAND – BFCA

Between 2009 and 2012, Berlin Entertainment was paid a total of $1,851,347, according to federal tax documents filed by the nonprofit.
Meanwhile, Berlin’s base compensation and benefits totaled $478,350 in 2012, according to the IRS filing. That compares with $455,230 the previous year.
TO CHECK TAX RETURNS FOR BFCA
The BFCA touts itself as the largest film critics organization in the U.S. and Canada, representing more than 280 television, radio and online critics.
To read prior story about Joey Berlin’s Goldmine and Critics Choice Awards.
To read about CRACKPOT OF THE MONTH – DAVID POLAND – BFCA
The boom in Oscar media coverage has propelled nonprofits like the BFCA into prominence in the run-up to the Academy Awards. Other shows like the Golden Globe Awards, the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the Santa Barbara Film Festival actively court potential Oscar nominees and the studios and independent distributors gladly lend their help in supplying stars for their glitzy events hoping to generate Oscar buzz.
In recent years, the Critics’ Choice Awards has attracted numerous stars to its red carpet gala, including George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, Leonardo di Caprio, Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep. They mix and mingle and dine along with broadcast critics from around North America.
In 2012, the year covered by the tax returns, the Critics’ Choice Awards were held at the Hollywood Palladium and broadcast by VH1. The winners that year were “The Artist” for best picture, George Clooney for best actor in “The Descendants” and Viola Davis for best actress in “The Help.” Michel Hazanavicius won best director for “The Artist.”
This year’s Critics’ Choice Awards was broadcast live on the CW Network from […]

“Annie Hall”: The Top 25 (Best Picture)

All good things must come to an end at some point. Yes folks, this is the final installment of this series of mine, and as such, it’s (hopefully) a bit of a doozy…the Best Picture field. Without a doubt, this is the big one, so it’s the one where the list will be the most important and I hope interesting to look at as well. Obviously, I could go on and on in preparation right now, waxing poetic and teasing, but at this point I know how the game works here for everyone. You all just want to see the lists that I do anyhow, so I have no problem obliging you good people there in that particular regard one more time. All you have to do is just be patient over the next paragraph or so and you’ll get the goods front and center for your reading pleasure…
One last time, try not to bury the lead and I’ll jump right into discussing my top ten a bit here now. To me, the best winner of this category so far to date has been Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. The best romantic comedy of all time, Allen’s Best Picture winner is a perfect film to me, so it’s not even close between this one and all the rest. That being said, the next two runners up aren’t miles behind. They’re Steven Spielberg’s heartbreaking Schindler’s List and Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs. Two very different works, but also two basically perfect ones. Rounding out the top five I have Billy Wilder’s The Apartment and Sam Mendes’ American Beauty, the latter of which is likely too high for some, but hey…it’s my list, right? Exactly. That’s a strong top five in my eyes, and the top ten consists of Ben Affleck’s Argo, John G. Avildsen’s Rocky, Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, and Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. There’s not a weak one in that lot, and I’d especially say that Argo is still moving upwards for me. I could see it pushing towards the top five in the next decade, but again, that’s just me. There’s really no way to not come up with an amazing top ten, just like there’s no way not to leave off a ton of worthy contenders in a top 25. You could easily go 30 or 40 […]

Spotlight on Billionaire David Ellison

NAME: DAVID ELLISON
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Family
BIO: Son of Oracle’s Larry Ellison, whose net worth is estimated between 41.8 billion (Bloomberg) and $48 billion (Forbes). Brother of uber-producer Megan Ellison. USC film school graduate. Accomplished acrobatic pilot.
MARITAL STATUS: Married to actress/singer Sandy Modic.
HOLLYWOOD CONNECTIONS: His father once co-owned the 450-foot, $200 million yacht Rising Sun with fellow billionaire and DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen. David Ellison began career as an actor, appearing in and co-financing the 2006 MGM flop “Flyboys.” Founded Skydance Productions label, named for his love of flying. Raised $350 million to co-finance movies with studio partner Paramount Pictures. Re-upped co-financing pact with Paramount through 2018.
FILMS OF NOTE: “True Grit,” “Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol,” “Jack Reacher,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “World War Z.” Combined, those films have made more than $2.4 billion at the global box office—Deadline.
FILM PROJECTS IN THE WORK:
*“Terminator: Genesis.” Director: Alan Taylor. Cast: Emilia Clarke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jai Courtney. Producers: Ellison, Dana Goldberg.
*“Mission: Impossible 5” Director: Christopher McQuarrie. Cast: Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner. Producers: Ellison, J.J. Abrams, Tom Cruise.
*“Top Gun 2” Cast: Tom Cruise.
*”Geostorm” Cast: Gerard Butler. Director: Dean Devlin. Producers: Ellison, Devlin, Goldberg, Rachel Olschan, Marc Roskin.
*Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” Cast: Tom Cruise.
REAL ESTATE VENTURES: Skydance Productions purchased the historic Santa Monica post office on Fifth Street which was opened as part of FDR’s Works Project Administration in the ‘30’s, but was shuttered last year after walk-in traffic dwindled, according to Santa Monica Daily Press. No price was disclosed.
QUOTABLES: “I got sick my first flight.”—2006 Q&A with Air & Space magazine.
SCIENTOLOGY CONNECTION: All those Tom Cruise movies. TMZ featured a 2011 video of Cruise doing the worm during a “dance battle” at Ellison’s Palm Springs wedding.

Diane Keaton: The Top 25 (Best Actress)

It’s almost over folks. Yes, this penultimate time around I’ll be tackling one of the very biggest of the big eight categories, one of the only two left. This one is arguably the second or third biggest of them all…it’s the Best Actress field. This is really about as prestigious a category as there is ladies and gentlemen, give or take how you stack Picture/Director/Actor. I could go on and on in preparation right now, waxing poetic, but at this point I know how the game works here for everyone. You all mostly just want to see the lists that I do anyhow, so I have no problem obliging you good people there in that particular regard once again. All you have to do is just be patient over the next paragraph or two and you’ll get the goods front and center for your reading pleasure…
I’ll basically just skip burying the lead this time around and just discuss my top ten a bit here now. To me, the best winner of this category so far to date has been Diane Keaton in her iconic performance in Annie Hall. She creates an unforgettable character alongside Woody Allen and wins both your heart and your mind. It’s unquestionably the best winner in this category’s history, at least in my eyes. A classic performance in a classic film. Not far behind is Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry, which I think is not just one of the all time best bits of acting, but somehow an underrated one despite winning Swank her first Oscar. Swank actually has two performances in my top ten (and she’s not the only multiple honoree here, but I’ll get to that in a moment), but this is her crowning achievement. Rounding out the top five we have Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs (who has two performances on my list), Elizabeth Taylor for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Charlize Theron for Monster. They’re all tremendous performances, and they’re joined in an absolutely stacked top ten by the likes of Louise Fletcher for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Vivien Leigh for Gone with the Wind, Natalie Portman for Black Swan, Meryl Streep for Sophie’s Choice, and Swank again for Million Dollar Baby. Besides Swank’s two mentions, Foster also shows up again just outside the top ten for The Accused, while Leigh has one more in […]

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes wins Box Office with $73 Million

Rentrak’s Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian commented, “Optimus Prime and the Autobots continue their international box office success with “Transformers: Age of Extinction” adding another $102 million in 50 territories & in the process propels the international total past the $500 million mark and the worldwide box office to a now staggering $736 million. Meanwhile “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ is still breathing fire in a whopping 62 family-friendly markets as it crosses $345 million in global revenue. In just 26 international territories this weekend’s debut of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is off to a rousing $31.1 million start.”
The top-12 domestic weekend box office estimates listed in descending order, per data collected as of Sunday, July 13, 2014, are below.
1. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes – 20th Century Fox – $73.0M
2. Transformers: Age Of Extinction – Paramount – $16.5M
3. Tammy – Warner Bros. – $12.9M
4. 22 Jump Street – Sony – $6.7M
5. How To Train Your Dragon 2 – 20th Century Fox – $5.9M
6. Earth To Echo – Relativity Media – $5.5M
7. Deliver Us From Evil – Sony – $4.7M
8. Maleficent – Disney – $4.2M
9. Begin Again – The Weinstein Company – $2.9M
10. Jersey Boys – Warner Bros. – $2.5M
11. Think Like A Man Too – Sony – $2.5M
12. America – Lionsgate – $2.5M
To read more about Box Office numbers go to www.rentrak.com

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 […]

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. […]

Inside Star Poker in Hollywood

Poker Princess, Molly Bloom, in an adaptation from her new memoir, details how she went from a 26-year-old cocktail waitress to the hostess of Hollywood,s most exclusive high-stakes poker game in the July issue of Vanity Fair.
Luring A-list names (‘Tobey,’ ‘Leo,’ ‘Ben’) and taking home upwards of $50,000 in one night, Bloom writes that the biggest winners could be the most difficult. “You can tell a lot about a man’s character by watching him win or lose money,” she writes. “Money is the great equalizer.”
Bloom writes that one of the game’s regular fixtures, “Tobey’the best player, and the absolute worst loser, refused to play without his $17,000 Shuffle Master, a machine that is supposed to deliver a fair, random shuffle every time and increases the speed of each game.” During one visit Bloom makes to Tobey’s home, to return the machine and deliver his winnings, Tobey tells her he wants to begin charging rent for the machine’s use during games: “I looked past him to the expansive foyer of his mansion in the hills. You could see straight through to the ocean. I laughed. Surely he was joking. He couldn’t possibly be serious about charging rent for a machine he insisted that we use, from the guys whose money he was taking every week. But he was as serious as death, and I quickly stopped laughing. “O.K.,” I squeaked. “Um, how much? “Two hundred dollars.” I smiled to conceal my surprise. “I’m sure that will be fine. No problem,” I said.
Recalling a big game she organized for ‘Ben’ at Bungalow No. 1 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Bloom writes that with more than $2 million on the table early in the evening, she quickly had ‘a humongous poker game’ going. Still, upon arrival, Ben requested only $50K in chips (the game’s minimum buy-in). ‘By now I had learned something about the psychology behind the way a guy asks for chips,’ writes Bloom. ‘Wanting to be overstocked or short-stacked at a table is a clear indication of playing style and ego. Whereas some guys want the tallest piles they can manage, the better to bully the table and scare people, Ben’s buy-in choice told me that he was a smart player who liked to limit his downside, especially at a table with a bunch of guys he wasn’t used to playing with.’
The game, Bloom writes, was one of those perfect […]

Tom Cruise’s new film, “Edge of Tomorrow,” doing good overseas

As the trusted standard for all studio box office reporting, Rentrak provides intelligence into overnight theatre-level reporting across the global theatrical market. Coupled with the official reported data, studios are able to analyze admissions and gross results in over 50 territories using Rentrak’s suite of products.
Rentrak’s Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian commented, “Warner Bros. “Edge of Tomorrow” puts the international marketplace on “Cruise” control topping the chart with $82 million in 63 markets while Disney’s “Maleficent” reaches $335 million worldwide. Fox’s “The Fault in Our Stars” in just 17 territories draws $17.1 million in its first weekend. Notably, Sony’s “22 Jump Street” gets a jump on the North American release with $8.8 million.”
The top-12 domestic weekend box office estimates listed in descending order, per data collected as of Sunday, June 8, 2014, are below.
1. Fault In Our Stars, The – 20th Century Fox – $48.2M
2. Maleficent – Disney – $33.5M
3. Edge Of Tomorrow – Warner Bros. – $29.1M
4. X-Men: Days Of Future Past – 20th Century Fox – $14.7M
5. Million Ways To Die In The West, A – Universal – $7.2M
6. Godzilla – Warner Bros. – $6.0M
7. Neighbors – Universal – $5.2M
8. Blended – Warner Bros. – $4.0M
9. Chef – Open Road – $2.6M
10. Amazing Spider-Man 2, The – Sony – $1.9M
11. Million Dollar Arm – Disney – $1.8M
12. Belle – Fox Searchlight – $0.8M
Full details regarding the global domestic and international box office go to
www.rentrak.com

Gamers virtually raise thousands of dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® patients battling cancer

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® is powering up a new videogame charity program with help from some of the top streaming gamers, including Johnathan Wendel (Fatal1ty), “Ellohime,” “CohhCarnage,” Danielle Mackey (Panser), actress Zelda Williams, a team from Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers, and GameStop, the world’s largest videogame retailer and official PLAY LIVE gaming sponsor.
Several of the gamers recently visited the hospital, bringing their passion for games, along with their controller skills, to help St. Jude prepare to launch a summer gaming season that will excite and engage players and raise funds to “zerg” (defeat) childhood cancer.
St. Jude PLAY LIVE is a chance for gamers to use their skills at overcoming virtual enemies and obstacles to raise money so that kids can continue to win very real battles with cancer and other deadly diseases, and to ensure that no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for anything.
The 12-week program kicks off June 13, in concert with Twitch, and ends midnight, Sept. 1, featuring titles such as League of Legends, Dota2, Minecraft, StarCraft II, and a host of indie games.
“St. Jude PLAY LIVE marks our first real foray into the video game world to raise awareness and funds for children battling cancer and other deadly diseases at St. Jude and around the world,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude. “The willingness of these online competitors to invest their time and considerable talents to meaningfully impact the lives of some of the world’s sickest children and their families has been remarkable. We are honored that so many are eager to join our lifesaving mission.”
The gaming industry is booming – it’s a $21-billion industry and the fastest growing segment of entertainment, according to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), engaging hundreds of millions of people from around the world daily. Sales of virtual goods have reached $1 billion annually, and forecast to reach more than $4 billion by 2016.
Virtual goods sold, bought or won for charitable causes are also on the rise, connecting a growing number of consumers with causes that matter to them. Additionally, many consumers are discovering a cause or organization for the first time through gaming, introducing them to philanthropy.
Players’ average age is 31, 10 years older than a decade ago, and, collectively, the world spends 3 billion hours every week playing video games, reports ESA, including games created especially for […]

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