CELEBRITY TREND: HOLLYWOOD INVASION OF BROADWAY
There is a huge celebrity trend of actors going to Broadway this year more than ever before and it’s big money for Broadway theater owners.
Last season, theater producers benefited enormously from this talent infusion, thanks to star-studded revivals, such as "Death of a Salesman" with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield, which had higher ticket prices, in 2011 -2012 when Broadway hit a record $1.14 billion in sales.
The lineup of plays and musicals hitting Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters is again a star-studded one, filled with stage newbies and theater veterans. Tom Hanks and Jane Lynch will be making debuts this season Tom with Nora Ephron’s “Lucky Guy” and Lynch, jumping in as a replacement in "Annie." Alec Baldwin and Ben Foster will be in "Orphans.” Orlando Bloom is also going. Cicely Tyson, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Vanessa Williams will star in "The Trip to Bountiful."
Bette Midler will return to the stage in "I'll Eat You Last." It’s a one-woman show about chain-smoking super-agent Sue Mengers gives Midler a great part she can sink her teeth into. Mengers shattered every kind of glass-ceiling to become one of the most powerful women in Hollywood. Midler’s life story isn’t so different.
A number of big talents are making their presence felt behind the scenes. "Kinky Boots" is a new musical from pop icon Cyndi Lauper.
For producers, the appeal of going with a star is obvious. Having someone like Hanks above the title can mean big money. Premium tickets for "Lucky Guy" are currently on sale for $350 U.S.
MOVIE NEWS: 24TH JAMES BOND INFO
MGM says that "Skyfall" and "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" had helped bring a three-fold increase in its 2012 net income. MGM expects to release the next James Bond movie within three years, and hopes to announce soon a new director after Sam Mendes decided to move on. In a conference call with investors, MGM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Barber said the studio was developing the screenplay for the next, 24th movie in the 50-year-old franchise about the British secret agent. They’re currently developing the screenplay and working with partners. No details have been given on casting but Daniel Craig has already signed on for two more films. The 2012 Bond film "Skyfall," starring Craig, made $1.1 billion at the global box office and impressed critics. Privately held MGM jointly produced "Skyfall" with Sony Corp's movie studio arm.
MOVIE TREND: SECOND SCREEN ADDICTED
Many believe that modern consumers’ digital consumption habits are putting movie theaters in jeopardybut recent research shows thatthose same second screen-addicted fans are actually going to the movies more often than the average moviegoer.
Speaking about second screen usage these days, watching television while also using a smartphone or tablet, is one of the most popular leisure activities of the mobile era. The mobile industry is working hard to create mobile apps and sites that relate to what's on TV, in order to capitalize on us doing this. This approach is often referred to as the "second screen." The idea is that the tablet or smartphone becomes a TV companion device,allowing for added levels of interactivity -whether on social networks or dedicated second screen apps and sites that complement on-air content.
Here's why the second screen industry will succeed:
MOVIE TREND: SECRET CINEMA
There’s a new hot trend in movies these days! It’s called Secret Cinema and it’s the shadow-y sibling of Future Cinema, an events company specializing in theatrical film screenings. The UK-based outfit stages immersive movie happenings in the true ’60s sense of the word, featuring fantastical props, transportive sets, and moving soundscapes. Much of the series’ recent success - its December showing of The Shawshank Redemption sold out immediately - can be attributed to the cult of mystery. When an event is announced, neither the title of the film nor the location of the screening is disclosed. Founder Fabien Riggall plans to introduce Secret Cinema to other cities other cities, such as New York.
With Hollywood at a crossroads, the series’s 36-year-old founder, Fabien Riggall, has come up with a way to make a night at the movies very much an experience; “I don’t want anyone watching me set up the series. It’s not what Secret Cinema is about. People must find it organically. It’s not a secret if I tell people where it will be or how I go about it.” Secret Cinema’s official New York arrival is scheduled for late spring. Further details, naturally, are secret, until Riggall takes to its Facebook page to make them otherwise.
CELEBRITY TRENDS: LEONARDO ENTERS THE ART WORLD
Leonardo DiCaprio is now an art collector. He’s been seen at the auctions with his buddies and he’s buying, planning to invest more of his money in paintings and sculpture. Currently filming new movie Wolf of Wall Street in New York – he’s been enjoying his time away from the set attending galleries and auctions to choose some pieces for his personal collection. Leonardo was out and about so much in New York, spotted viewing Andy Warhol’s and attended the Contemporary Art Auction at Christie’s Auction House. They say he came through the exhibit on several days with a posse of guys.
He entered the sale hiding under a baseball hat with his cell phone glued to his ear. He recently listed his Malibu mansion for $23 million. He had paid $6 million for the oceanfront property in 2002. The refurbished house has seven bedrooms and six-and-a-half bathrooms, but its the outdoor amenities that make it so special. There’s a beach-front deck, a fire pit, lawn area and separate gardens. The compound – which is spread over 2,633 square feet - is divided into a four-bedroom main house, with an additional two-bedroom detached guest home. When he put the estate up for rental, the asking price was $150,000 a month for six months or less.
MOVIE NEWS: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HITS SALES RECORD HIGH
Universal Studios is celebrating these days having reached the $1 billion mark at the domestic box office, three months earlier than at any time in its 100-year history. It now beat its record set four years ago. This year’s success was due to a strong slate of films including five that became No. 1 and grossed over $100 million such as: Contraband, Safe House, Dr Seuss’ Lorax, Snow White and the Hunstman and Ted). Lorax was the highest opening for an animated movie in 2012, cashing in at $70.2 million and was the highest opening film for Universal this year. Seth MacFarlane’s (Family Guy) hit comedy Ted set a new record for the highest opening for an original R-rated comedy ($54.4 million) in history and is on its way to becoming the highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever. Safe House was Denzel Washington’s second biggest opening of his career and the second-highest grossing film ever. The previous record was set in 2008 and included films such as: Mamma Mia!, The Incredible Hulk, Wanted and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. This year will be the seventh time Universal Studios reaches this milestone.
NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke is very happy with the work the studio has done and has high expectations. “Our film team has done a great job starting to turn things around and preparing the studio for the future. They have built some great new franchises, reinvigorated some older ones and acquired some very promising intellectual property. We are excited to see them execute on their plan in the years to come” he says.
There are still five films set for release this year including Pitch Perfect out October 5, the action-thriller The Man with the Iron Fists out November 2, followed by This is 40, out December 21, and on Christmas Day, the highly anticipated stage musical Les Misérables, putting the studio on track to have the highest-grossing year ever at the domestic box office, a record that was also set back in 2008.
MOVIE TREND: THE PREQUEL NEW HOT GENRE
A rising trend these days with Hollywood is the “prequel.” From The Dark Knight Rises to G.I Joe: The Rise of the Cobra and the reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes, they are coming at us non-stop. The latest? 300: Rise of an Empire prequel will be in theaters August 2013. It’s already gone through two names, including Xeres and 300: Battle of Artemisia. The latest title is reportedly a done deal and the film is directed by Noam Murro (Smart People). The plot is set before the Spartans battled with the Persians and will be based on the Battle of Artemisia, a naval battle between Greece and Persia. In the last three years alone there have been several prequels and there are more to come including James Cameron’s Avatar 4. Although the next three movies are expected to hit theaters in 2015, there’s already a lot of buzz surrounding the James’ fourth.
The sequels to look forward to: Taken 2, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 and A Good Day to Die Hard (Die Hard
BRAD PITT: BIG PAY DAY THING OF THE PAST
Multi-million dollar movie deals are a thing of the past as a new trend has taken over Hollywood – smaller budgets and smaller pay days for A-listers. Stars are now facing tighter budgets for movies and that means less is going to them. Brad Pitt, who made $25 million last year, says big pay cheques are gone “that’s a thing of the past. That thing died. That arithmetic doesn’t really work right now...that deal’s not flying these days.”
He does admit though that a shortage of funds encourages creativity. “A lot of the studios have been challenged because of the economic downturn as well so they've been betting on bigger, more tent pole kinds of things.”
“Tent pole” films take the biggest budgets but their profits prop up other movies for the major studios. He says “at the same time that opens up a vacuum for really interesting new film makers to come in.” Actors still have their ways of making millions though. They can agree to a smaller upfront salary in exchange for a cut of the eventual profits, assuming the movie will be a big hit.
Jude Law says he’s never asked for a $20 million pay cheque. “That’s never been my approach. There are certain films the only way to make them go away was just keep raising the fee, and eventually they go ‘Oh, we can’t pay you that much!’ and then they go away.”
According to Pitt, “the state in which Hollywood is in right now is “interesting.” You take the roles for the roles and you’ve just got to balance economics like everyone does. These challenges can bring the best out of the industry.”
MOVIE TRENDS: TICKET SALES DOWN $100 MILLION FROM DECADE AGO
The box office is in trouble. Down greatly over the last 10 years in fact, down $100 million from a decade ago. Despite billion-dollar blockbusters “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises”, superheroes didn’t help theaters this summer and ticket sales are down compared to the summer of 2002. They dropped nearly 20 million from 545 last year to 526 million summer 2012. The total summer film gross was $4.27 billion, down 2.84 percent from last year’s 4.4 billion.
Why the ticket sale slump?
A big decline is blamed on increasing ticket prices particularly for the popular IMAX and 3-D showings. In 2002, the movie industry experienced a surge in ticket sales with the simultaneous realises of “Spider-Man”, “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”, “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones”, and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” With the slew of movies expected to hit theaters from now until next summer, hopefully the theaters will see a resurgence of a devoted public.
MOVIE NEWS: “FRANCES HA” IS A LIGHT HEARTED TALE OF PURSUIT AND HAPPINESS
“Frances Ha” starring Greta Gerwig is worth seeing and stands out in black and white. It’s low-budget, sharp, funny and smart.
It’s about a new dancer who wants so much more than she has, a look at the life Frances (Gerwig) a 27-year-old often scattered but bright misfit in Brooklyn, New York. This is a great film by director Noah Baumbach. It explores youth, friendship, class, ambition, failure and redemption. Gerwig also co-wrote the movie and plays the title role with a carefree, light bubbling spirit.
She is also Baumbach’s real-life girlfriend and says she never had so much fun making a film. “I'm gonna start crying again if I talk about it. I've never had a happier experience making anything.”
MOVIE NEWS: “THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST” IS A POST 9/11 MASTERPIECE
“The Reluctant Fundamentalist” directed by independent filmmaker Mira Nair is a post 9/11 ideological exploration worth seeing starring Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Riz Ahmed and Kate Hudson in the adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s international best-selling novel. It’s about Changez, a young Pakistani man (Riz Ahmed) whose pursuit of corporate success leads him on a path back to the world he left behind. It’s a story about an idealist torn between Islamic radicalism and American capitalism. Director Mira Nair says it was important to explore the differences and similarities between the East and the West. “For me it is really about the dialogue, between the East and the West. I think of it as definitely a healing, a reaching out that is beyond myopia that surrounds us today.” A boy trying to attain the American Dream, with the American girlfriend (Kate Hudson) and seeking fortune on Wall Street is put on hold when the Twin Towers are attacked and a cultural divide ensues within his relationship and his country. Nair says the film’s inspiration came from 9/11, the day her life changed too. “I had just arrived in Toronto for TIFF when 9/11 as we know it happened. It was a deep shock. First, because I come from New York City and my husband, son and family were in New York City. My biggest concern was what happens to the people I love who are in that city. It took me a week to communicate with him and to get home. It was quite shocking when I got back there because it felt like images I had seen in my part of the world---refugee camps, helicopters, and a sense of a war zone, but this time it was in our own front yard. When the dust settled, the deep disturbance was that people like us who made New York our home were seen as the “other.” It was painful and part of the inspiration to try to make this film.”
The cast in itself is a representation of what Nair is trying to convey, or better yet, try to resolve. She brings Bollywood and Hollywood together to create an extraordinary film.
MOVIE NEWS: OUT “THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES” FINDS A BUYER RIGHT AWAY
Move over here come Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper in “The Place Beyond the Pines.” The movie reunites Gosling with his Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance in a crime drama about a motorcycle stunt driver who turns to robbing banks to support his family but is morally conflicted. Luke (Ryan Gosling) reunites with his on and off girlfriend Romina (Eva Mendes) and discovers he fathered a son. This leads him on a path that has rookie cop Avery (Bradley Cooper) tailing him on. This is the movie where Gosling and Mendes met and began dating seriously.
Gosling’s character resembles a lot to the one he played in the movie Drive—dangerous, confrontational, and misunderstood. The theme of the movie is an eternal one: the sins of the father shall be visited upon by the son. This movie had film buyers very excited to see at TIFF.
MOVIE NEWS: TOMMY LEE JONES IS OSCAR BOUND WITH THE “EMPEROR”
“Emperor” is a World War II drama starring Tommy Lee Jones. As U.S General Douglas MacArthur’s (Tommy Lee Jones. He turned up on set on day one with the hat, those glasses, and –bang - he was the man! Most scenes of war-torn Japan were shot in Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand. The crew was lucky to be able to shoot a key scene on the grounds of Tokyo’s Imperial Palace. It took producers a year of negotiations to shoot that. Jones, is a major star in Japan, he was a stickler for getting the historical facts right. Jones says "I bear no resemblance to Douglas MacArthur whatsoever. But a campaign hat, some aviator glasses and a corncob pipe go a long way." Director Peter Webber and Jones agreed they would not mimic MacArthur's physical features. They tried to capture his essence.
“The most important thing was the thinking and the decisions he made.” The film struggles with whether or not Emperor Hirohito should be charged with war crimes.
TECH TREND: MOVIES BY FLIXSTER APP
Movies by Flixster is the number one app today for movie reviews, trailers and show times. Don’t know what to watch? This app can help with that. The free app available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry is quick and easy to use. It lets you select a movie you want to see, then figures out where you are, and lists the closest theater it’s at! It will even display show times! You can “pin” your favorite theater to the top of the list for future visits, browse the top box office movies, watch high quality trailers, stream and download full-length movies and you can create your “Want to see” list.
The ever so popular Rotten Tomatoes is part of Flixster so it also gives you reviews on what to see or not to see. You can be the critic too by rating and reviewing movies! The app has an extensive data base of movies and is great for anyone who considers themselves a movie buff.
Click here to visit website: http://www.flixster.com/
TECH NEWS: AMAZON INSTANT VIDEO APP STREAMING TO MOVIES
Amazon Instant Video is now available on your iPad! The app gives you unlimited instant streaming of thousands of shows and movies. If you are subscribed to the company’s 79 per-year Amazon Prime Service, then you will also be offered an additional subset of “free” content. All purchases, however, are done through the web, not the app.
It’s becoming iTunes’ rival. Like Apple, viewers can find lists of major studios and networks on their website. It offers less expensive movie rentals and purchases than iTunes but what is available is always a mystery. It’s a hit or miss.
Amazon recently made a deal with NBC Universal to bring older episodes of popular TV shows like Parks and Recreations, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights and Heroes.
MOVIE TRENDS: JLO RELEASING 3D CONCERT DOC
Jennifer Lopez is joining the big trend in movies right now: 3D concert films! The film will be titled “Dance Again,” like her smash hit with Pitbull and will focus on the last few years of her life including her very public divorce from ex-husband Mark Anthony, her time on American Idol, her twins and her recent romance with dancer Casper Smart (which will be ending any day now I predict).
3D music documentaries have proven to be very successful for celebrities such as Justin Bieber’s movie “Never Say Never” which grossed $98 million worldwide. Katy Perry’s recent “Wide Awake” made over $30 million in just one month!
ABC Family has given Lopez the green light to produce a pilot about families. Her show’s working title is: “The Fosters” an hour-long drama about a multi-ethnic family of foster and biological kids being raised by two moms. Her company, Nuyorican, is also developing other TV series, including “Taming Ben Taylor” a romantic-comedy about a Mexican girl’s coming-of-age.
Cinepolis is the company behind it. Based out of Latin America, there are already150 five-star luxury cinemas as well as 28 hundred screens in 270 theaters in 10 countries.
The expansion comes at a time when theaters in the U.S. and Canada have been stagnant the last seven years. In 2011, the number of tickets sold fell nearly six percent and revenue is off four percent despite higher ticket prices.
Alejandro Ramire Cinepolis CEO says, "We are pioneers of this concept in the Western Hemisphere. We have had luxury cinemas since 1999, and we are actually the world's largest operator of luxury cinemas. So we think if they work in six countries in Latin America and India, where we also have operations, there's no reason why they shouldn't work in one of the most developed countries in the world."
At the 5-star luxury cinemas you get - dinner and drinks too while watching the film. The Cineopolis Theatres include a large hotel-like lounge area and lobby with couches and touch screen monitors showing movie trailers. It has a cafe serving coffee and desserts and a full bar with signature drinks such as the Chili Mango Martini and the Skinny Margarita.
In the theater itself you sit down in a plush leather recliner, look at the menu - and call a waiter by pushing a button! You get your order delivered right to your seat! The theater’s menu features sliders, quesadillas, cheese and hummus plates and salads. Prices for most of the finger foods range in price from $5.50 to $15 USD and there’s even a full sushi bar!! The upstairs also has an art gallery where you can purchase paintings! The first theater opened last year in California in Del Mar in San Diego. Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com says," They'll be very successful. Yeah, I don't think anyone cares about where the company of origin is. I don't think people walk into a movie theater and say who built this theater who runs this theater. I think they care about having a great experience."
The next step is they will also be integrating something called 4D. - A step up from 3D! This is where the seats move, and strange things come out and touch you and sensory effects, smells and even mist are used.
FILM TREND: CELEBRITIES MAKING DOCUMENTARIES
The big thing right now is celebrities producing their own documentaries with the latest being Beyonce. She's directing, producing and starring in a documentary about herself!
It will cover her life and career with music. The LA Times reports, “The movie is as a mix of music and personal study, blending concert footage with confessional interview. Knowles not only stars in the project but is directing it, and will also serve as a producer. About 20 minutes of footage has been shown to distributors.” It will likely go inside her marriage to Jay-Z, the birth of the couple’s daughter, and her split from longtime manager (and father) and her latest album. This is not her first ever doc, MTV aired "Beyoncé: Year of 4,” a "mini-documentary" that showed her taking time off and then returning to the recording studio. She joins Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus in the realm of big screen documentaries. They do not always do the best at the box office but they continue to be attractive to the entertainment industry.
In addition to the documentary, Beyonce is also linked to several movie roles that include Clint Eastwood's a remake of "A Star Is Born," and an animated film, "Epic," where she will voice the character of Queen Tara.
Destiny’s Child apparently likes each other too much to ever reunite! Kelly Rowland says they’re great as friends and love each other too much and they don’t want to risk ruining things with a reunion. Beyonce's father and former manager, Mathew Knowles, recently revealed plans to release previously-unheard songs by the group...He hopes for a reunion in the next 5 years.
MOVIE NEWS: RYAN SEACREST PRODUCES “FOOD FIGHT” WITH PARAMOUNT
Hollywood studios and celebrities are teaming up for big screen collaborations and Ryan Seacrest and Paramount Pictures are now making their own movie! Ryan is producing a comedy called “Food Fight” with the CEO of his own company Adam Sher. It’s lightly based on TV chef Jamie Oliver and his reality show “Food Revolution” it’s similar to Jack Black’s “School of Rock."
Seacrest previously produced a romantic comedy film with Reese Witherspoon’s Type A Films called “This Means War”. It was written by Grey's Anatomy writer Krista Vernoff (but not a good movie)
Seacrest has a lot of projects going on at any given time. He says, “I work best inundated with things, when it’s like raining information.” Seacrest's production company currently manages four different versions of E!'s Kardashian franchise and seven other unscripted shows. They include the Emmy-winning Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (ABC), The Dance Scene centering on Lady Gaga’s choreographer (E!) and I Kid hosted by Brad Garrett (TLC). Steve Burke chairman of NBC Entertainment says, “It is rare to find someone who excels both in front of and behind the camera, but that certainly applies to Ryan. He’s been a big part of E!’s success in recent years both on-air and as a producer, and we are pleased to be in business with him.” He also just debuted as a reporter for NBC Sports and Today at the Olympics while still producing his daily radio show.
FESTIVAL NEWS: YOUTUBE TEAMS WITH VENICE FEST FOR “YOUR FILM FESTIVAL”
YouTube is teaming up with The Venice Film Festival for a project called "Your Film Festival” - an online search to find the world’s best storytellers through films that were watched, and voted on by more than three million YouTube users. The finalists were narrowed from 15,000 to 10. Famed director Ridley Scott says, "These ten finalists have achieved something quite remarkable and are all clearly talents to watch". People may be surprised to know that making a short film is very difficult, but these filmmakers have all succeeded in realizing their visions and I congratulate them on this achievement.” The top 10 will travel to the Venice Film Festival at the end of August 2012.
MOVIE NEWS: BLOCKBUSTERS OVERSEAS HELPING INDUSTRY
3D comic book and fantasy movies have vast appeal in many developing markets, such as Russia, China, South Korea, and Brazil, They have increased their share of the box office. China, for example, which now has 2,500 3D screens. Michael Berry, a Chinese film expert and professor of Chinese cultural studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara says, “Hollywood has shown increasing reliance on Chinese audiences because of the quick expansion of screens and the incredible market, and this will only grow.”
They have also pushed their earnings up in many other new markets. A comic book movie, such as Disney and Marvel's "The Avengers" can generate over 750 million dollars overseas, the increase in the foreign revenue. ("The Avengers, for example, took in to date $84 million dollars in China, $63 million dollars in Brazil, $43 million dollars in Russia, and $51 million dollars in South Korea. Yu Dong, the president of Bona Film Group Limited says, “The important thing for a powerful film-producing country is that local language films have the absolute advantage in the local market, and a competitive advantage in the overseas market.” Even though the U.S. box office revenue was down in 2011 by 4 percent, the big studios were actually able to make more money as their share by getting greater returns abroad.
Meryl Streep will voice Eleanor Roosevelt and Paul Giamatti will now voice Theodore. Emmy nominated Edward Hermann from the Gilmore Girls will be Franklin. “Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS says, “ In 'The Roosevelts,' Ken Burns (the co-producer and co-creator of the film) delves into these three larger-than-life figures in a way that's never been done before, exploring not only the characteristics that made them such tremendously influential and strong leaders, but also their interpersonal relationships and human, vulnerable qualities. "It's a wonderful story and we're very excited to present it to our viewers."
The film will be the first ever to connect the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor, telling their stories for more than a century. It’s called The Roosevelts: An Intimate History." Ken Burns co-creator and co-producer of the film says, “The Roosevelts have played significant roles in other stories we've told before, from the National Parks to World War II. It's impossible, in fact, to visit many parts of the American experience without encountering their presence. But beyond simply sharing a bloodline or political success, they each shared a passionate belief that America is at its strongest when everyone has an equal chance. And on a personal level, they each struggled to overcome their own fears while maintaining a public face of courage." It’s a seven-part documentary that will run 14 hours long no launch date has been set.
MOVIE TRENDS: VIDEO ON DEMAND SAVES PAY-PER-VIEW
Studios are now turning to Video-On-Demand to make money. Pay-per-view was never a top earner but now the rise of cable VOD has made it a lot more lucrative. Sony says, “Video On Demand is the technology that allows you to order a Hollywood movie at the exact moment you want to watch it there are no pre-set start times. Video on Demand also lets you control the movie you are watching just like a VCR would. You have the ability to Fast-forward, Rewind and Pause your movie at any time.” This is what makes it more convenient for viewers and more profitable than pay-per-view.
In 2012, studio lawyers created agreements with cable networks to carry their new movies, such as the ones that now can be downloaded via HBO and Comcast on iPads, phones and other digital devices. The money that is flowing in from these deals is expected to add hundreds of millions of dollars to the studios in the next two years.
TV TRENDS: CHANNING TATUM GETS AN “ON DEMAND” CHANNEL
BIG TREND! More and more stars are getting their own “On Demand” channel on cable for one month of the year! The latest is Channing Tatum he’s featured on Time Warner Cable with his own channel for the month of July. Yes, he is that popular! The movies offered for viewing include 21 Jump Street, The Vow, GI Joe: Cobra, Stop Loss, Haywire, Fighting, and Step Up. The slightly older movies are $1.99 USD to rent and the newer ones are $4.99 USD.
Last February, Ryan Gosling was the “On Demand” poster boy for Time Warner Cable, as a Valentine's Day tribute. Fans were able to watch his latest movies: Drive, The Ides of March and Crazy, Stupid, Love. Time Warner Cable Inc. is one of the largest providers of video data, and voice services in the United States it connects more than 15 million customers.
Meantime…Channing Tatum is currently in negotiations to star in and produce a movie based on the life of daredevil, Evel Knievel. The producers are the same guys who were just announced to head up The 50 Shades of Grey movie, Mike DeLuca and Dana Brunetti. The film is slate to be written by his producing partner for Magic Mike, Reid Carolin.
Knievel was a household name in the 1970s for his nationally televised motorcycle jumps. He was known for his trademark Stars-and-Stripes uniform, and his endorsements from Harley-Davidson and a toy line by the Ideal Toy Co. He made the Guinness Book of World Records for surviving 433 broken bones during his 20-year jumping career.
The Knievel project will be based on the book, Evel Knievel: Life of Evel written by Stuart Barker. This new biopic isn’t the first time Knievel’s story has made it to the big screen. In 1971, actor George Hamilton played the daredevil in a self-titled film, and in 1977 Evel played himself in the movie “Viva Knievel!”
STUDIO NEWS: NEW WAYS STUDIOS MAKE MONEY
The studio system in Hollywood has had to find new ways to make money, this year the six major studios made record profits. Consider Disney for example, aside from their “John Carter” debacle, the studio made a record profit in fiscal 2012. The reason being, studios are now licensing to new media. The big studios have tens of thousands of TV episodes, movies, and animated shorts in their libraries. Prices are soaring as the competition between Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix increases as they buy exclusive rights to compete with each other. A top Warner Bros. executive says, “License fees that were chump change two years ago are now mind boggling.” Since studios do not pay for advertising or prints on licensed material, almost all the revenues, except for residuals, go directly to them. This makes up for the losses in DVD sales.
50 SHADES OF GREY: INSIDE HOLLYWOODS MASSIVE MOVIE BIDDING WAR!
Angelina Jolie to direct? How perfect would that be!
In June 2012, Jolie said she was interested in directing the film and was in talks so now that the book has found a studio and the writer got what she wanted - why did 50 Shades of Grey author E.L. James choose Universal and Focus to make her book into a big screen to turn her book into a big screen movie when everyone in this town wanted it? (This is going to be the adults Twilight trilogy). The first book is turning into a movie that’s expected to dwarf any other adult movie in decades. She is said to have been given $5 million dollars for the deal by them (so I guess that is one of the reasons). She says, “I really like clever men who challenge you." Focus Features - responsible for "Lost in Translation" and some of the best art house movies in recent years - has "a great background in handling difficult material” she adds.
The New York Times best-seller book is about that infamous female college student who finds herself in a kinky relationship involving sadomasochism and submission with 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey.
The book's two sequels, "Fifty Shades Darker" and "50 Shades Freed," look into their sensual relationship.
In Hollywood, there was a frenzy to get this to the big screen. Everyone who was anyone in town wanted to produce it. Producers Brian Grazer, Adam Shankman, Scott Stuber, Doug and Lucy Wick and Stacy Cramer all wanted James.
Universal has given James exactly what she wanted: script and casting approvals.
Now the producers were have been announced, they are: Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti have won the huge competition to produce the movie. This is a great choice and best choice if you ask me, they will get it. They're now on the fast track to make this film. Universal, which itself won the bidding war to make the movie, took the unusual step of allowing author E.L. James to pick the film’s producers.
James has met several times with the big-name producers to see who was to her liking. De Luca is the producer of Moneyball and The Social Network and New Line’s former president of production. Brunetti had previously worked with De Luca on The Social Network “Michael De Luca is a dream producer, whose combination of vision, taste and fearlessness is the perfect match for “Fifty Shades of Grey,” says Focus CEO James Schamus. He has a long and close friendship with Universal co-chairman Donna Langley, whom De Luca hired at New Line and mentored at the studio.
It was reported that Mark Wahlberg's production company was in the middle of buying the film rights to the three books until studios such as Warner Bros., Sony, Paramount, and Universal Pictures entered bids for the film rights. March 26, 2012 the rights were finally sold to Universal Pictures and Focus Features. American Psycho writer Bret Easton Ellis expressed his desire to write the screenplay for the film stating, "I'm putting myself out there to write the movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey...
If you’re like most, you can’t seem to get enough of this book
Here’s what they posted on Wikipedia that I found interesting:
Reception to Fifty Shades of Grey has been mixed, with Princeton professor April Alliston writing, "Though no literary masterpiece, Fifty Shades is more than parasitic fan fiction based on the recent Twilight vampire series. "Entertainment Weekly gave the book a "B+" rating and praised it for being "in a class by itself." Jenny Colgan of The Guardian wrote "It is jolly, eminently readable and as sweet and safe as BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism) erotica can be without contravening the trade descriptions act" and also praised the book for being "more enjoyable" than other "literary erotic books". The Telegraph criticized the book as "treacly cliché" but also wrote that the sexual politics in Fifty Shades of Grey will have female readers "discussing it for years to come." A reviewer for the Ledger-Enquirer described the book as guilty fun and escapism, but that it "also touches on one aspect of female existence [female submission]. And acknowledging that fact – maybe even appreciating it – shouldn't be a cause for guilt." The New Zealand Herald stated that the book "will win no prizes for its prose" and that "there are some exceedingly awful descriptions," but that it was also an easy read and if you "can suspend your disbelief and your desire to – if you'll pardon the expression – slap the heroine for having so little self respect, you might enjoy it."
The Columbus Dispatch also criticized the book but stated that, "Despite the clunky prose, James does cause one to turn the page." Metro News Canada wrote that "suffering through 500 pages of this heroine’s inner dialogue was torturous, and not in the intended, sexy kind of way".
OK. Obviously not for everyone.
KATY PERRY: LAUNCHING RECORD LABEL
Global superstar Katy Perry is starting her own record label, following in the footsteps of The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Prince and Jay-Z. With EMI's Capitol Records since 2007 she says, "When this record label does come to fruition I'm going to try and avoid the things that take away any fighting chance for an artist to have financial success. As people are coming to me with opportunities, I'm thinking, how would I want to be treated?”
Meantime: “Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D" in theaters right now, takes us into her private and public life. She says, “I'm ok with showing what's behind the curtain. I'm ok with showing that side of me because it helps people relate (to me) better and think of me as a human being.” Known for dominating the charts and with a whopping 11 top singles on Billboard, Katy has sold 9.1 million albums to date. Her documentary is part-biopic, part-concert film. She says its the closing to the Teenage Dream era and shows people exactly what she means, feels and thinks about everything. She says she went through a big professional and personal life-changing journey that wants to show her fans. The reason she wanted to create a movie was the inspiration she got from “Madonna's Truth or Dare”. She wants to capture a snapshot of who she is so that she can remind herself of what she'd lost if she ever becomes totally jaded.
FILM UPDATE: INSIDER’S GUIDE TO FIRST STEVE JOBS MOVIE
The independent film about the life of Steve Jobs has begun shooting; this is the one that Ashton Kutcher stars in. Producer Mark Hulme says “Since our film covers the early years of Apple, when Jobs was in his 20's, we needed an actor who could carry not only the youthfulness of Jobs at the time but also the psychological complexity because of that, and Ashton’s physical similarities to Jobs, he’s perfect for our film… When Ashton read the script he was immediately attracted to the project. He is a Steve Jobs and Apple fan, and is technologically savvy, as well, so he recognized the historical importance of Steve Jobs and the potential of the project. He is very excited to have the role.” This will be the first of two films now being made about Jobs. The film covers meeting partner Steve Wozniak, through his return to Apple, and his rise to international icon. Some filming takes place at the house where Jobs grew up in Los Altos, California. Shooting is now taking place at the “Apple garage” in the Jobs’ old house - where they began making the Apple computer leading up to the founding of Apple Computer Inc. in 1976.
MOVIE NEWS: BARBRA STREISAND SIGNS BLANCHETT & FIRTH
Barbra Streisand is directing again for the first time in 16 years and she’s got Colin Firth and Cate Blanchett on board. It’s an independent film called “Kinny and Cat”, a real life love story about two Americans - a writer and his photojournalist wife who was one of the first female war photographers. Streisand says, “It’s just a fascinating story that is very relevant today.” Streisand wrote the movie over 25 years ago and is very happy that it’ll be brought to life.
HOLLYWOOD NEWS: MAKEOVER FOR OSCARS HOME
Hollywood’s latest trend is for major corporations to lend their names to stadiums and theaters. As Hollywood's Kodak Theater, home of the Oscars, changes names to the Dolby Theater, huge improvements inside have been made. Dolby installed a new 60-by-32-foot screen, a 3D system and the very latest Christie 4K projectors! The 3D system mirrors the human eye to provide sharper images and color. Dolby also has installed Atmos, a new sound system to include 77 speakers!! David Gray, the vice president of worldwide production services at Dolby, says the changes are "a complete game-changer" for the theater. Gray says, “A director can make this space be the reality that he or she wants you to experience".
There is a hurdle though - Cirque de Soleil performs its show Iris at the theater six days a week and performers fly over the audience while 22 speakers hover high above the orchestra on two specially designed 1,400-pound wires. Luckily, though, they can be moved when the flyers perform to avoid any mid-air splats.
The 85th Annual Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theater on February 24, 2013.
FILM TREND: MOVIES BASED ON KIDS TOYS & GAMES
The latest trend in Hollywood is the release of TOY themed movies. Hasbro is doing the animated motion picture “Tonka” based on the popular children's truck brand.
Tonka is the bestselling toy truck in the world since 1947!
Hasbro just created the movies Transformers and Battleship. Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions and Sony Pictures are behind Tonka. Bob Osher, who's the President of Sony Pictures Digital Productions says “In its 65 years, Tonka has become more than a toy or a brand; Tonka trucks are a rite of passage for kids all around the world. Time spent with these toys creates memories that last a lifetime, as kids are inspired to play using the boundaries of their imagination. We look forward to creating a family-friendly motion picture that brings the Tonka experience to life.”
There's another big film trend right now, movies based on board games! Sony's doing two films right now based on Hasbro board games Risk and Candy Land.
Risk is going to be a “present-day, globe-trotting action thriller”. Candy Land - also coming from Happy Madison Productions – is said to be “Lord of the Rings, in a world of candy. Wow!
MOVIE NEWS: “FINALE” FOR BATMAN?
It’s the end of an era. Famed director Christopher Nolan says that his third Batman movie in the trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises” will be his last. Nolan wants fans to know that this movie will be just as good as the others. He says the reason why there’s such a large time gap between each film is so they can be the best they possibly can be. He never thought the Batman phenomenon would turn into three blockbuster movies. Nolan did not looked to the Batman comics for reference when creating his films. If he was influenced, it was by the earlier Batman movies. He admits that the brand is a "classic." His version of Batman features a more believable character. He put his own stamp on the movies. They are more of a “grounded reality.”
Nolan has grossed more than $200 million with “Batman Begins” and more than double that with “The Dark Knight.”
BOOK NEWS: A NEW ‘GODFATHER’ ON ITS WAY
It was an offer they couldn't refuse. Despite an on-going rights battle between Paramount Pictures and the estate of The Godfather author, Mario Puzo, both parties have agreed on the release of a new Godfather-based book. The Family Corleone is a new novel written by Ed Falco. It's based on a screenplay Puzo left behind when he died in 1999. The book is a prequel to The Godfather, dealing with Vito Corleone's rise to power in New York mob world, beginning in 1933 with Vito in his early 40s. The book fills in the gap between The Godfather Part I, where Marlon Brando plays the already-established Don in his 60s, and The Godfather Part II, where Robert DeNiro plays Vito as a young adult.
The long-standing legal battle between the movie studio and Puzo's estate would need to be resolved before any movie deals for the new book will be finalized. For now, the two sides have agreed to put the money made from the new book into escrow until they can resolve who has the rights to literary sequels.
MOVIE TRENDS: ‘OSCARS OUTDOORS’ MOVIE VENUE
Hollywood is going to be the place to really experience a movie soon! The Academy launched a new outdoor screening facility in Hollywood in June. Amazing! It's going to be an open-air theater built on land once planned for a big movie museum. The outdoor venue opened June 15 with a screening of Casablanca as part of a summer series called “Oscars Outdoors.” This is a MUST if you’re here this summer! Screenings will be Friday and Saturday nights until August 18. Other movies in the line up to feature on the permanent 40 by 20 foot screen include The Princess Bride, North By Northwest, Back To The Future and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Oscars Outdoors is part of the Academy's 7.5-acre campus on Homewood Avenue and Vine Street in Hollywood. More than $2 million was spent on renovations to the area along with the $50 million-plus spent on purchasing the land. The site was initially supposed to be an Academy museum, which will be created on the LACMA campus instead. The outdoor screening space is designed to have a family feel with plenty of room for picnic blankets and lawn chairs. It has a capacity for 500 people including a 10,000-square-foot outdoor plaza that can also host other functions.
“The Academy is very excited to expand on its innovative programming and provide the community with a new venue that will deepen its ties to Hollywood,” Academy president Tom Sherak said. "The events we are planning for the rest of the year are an ideal way to share our love of movies with a wider audience." Sherak also shared his hopes to what this really could have been. “I wish we could have built a drive-in theater but this is the closest we could get.”
Guests can purchase $5 tickets online. AMAPS members and students get in for $3. There will also food trucks provided by Roaming Hunger on-site! At 6:30 pm they will open the gates and movies begin at sunset. Free parking is available at Academy Hollywood found at 1341 Vine Street.
Click here for a full schedule.
Hollywood Trend Report?