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Friday, August 12, 2011

Hollywood News

Going Ape, Big Directors Go 3D, Murdock, Osama bin Laden Movie, Glee!

From the LA Times Company Town blog, click here for latest entertainment industry news.

"Apes" likely to stay on top. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is likely to be the No. 1 movie this weekend again and I'm just as likely to still not see it. Opening is "The Help," a civil rights-era social drama that is getting good buzz and could be surprisingly strong at the box office. Conversely, it might end up being a case of one of those movies people say they want to see but don't. I may be there but I'm going to push to see "Thirty Minutes or Less" if for no other reason than that it's under 90 minutes! Box office projections from the Los Angeles TimesHollywood Reporter and Variety.
3-D dreams. Some of the masters of the modern movie -- Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese -- are coming out with their first 3-D movies. Do we care or has the shine already worn off the format? The Wall Street Journal looks at their efforts and if it will boost 3-D.
Get your offer in! All Things Digital says bids are due at the end of next week for the online video site Hulu, which is being shopped by its owners, which include News Corp., Walt Disney Co. and silent partner Comcast Corp. The big question is how much content and for how long are part of any deal for a sale. Without that, what are you buying? Apple, Google and other bidders large and small are shopping for the Hulu brand and some programming guarantees.
Murdoch's rise. News Corp. stock jumped after the company released its fourth quarter results and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch reiterated that he and Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey are not going anywhere. Still, given the uncertainty over how far probes into the company in England and here will go in the wake of the phone hacking scandal at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid, the clouds have hardly lifted. Details from the Associated Press and Los Angeles Times.

Staying put. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch spoke with financial analysts and media for the first time since all heck broke loose in London after revelations of widespread phone hacking at the company's now-shuttered News of the World tabloid. Murdoch, sounding more authoritative than he did in appearing before Parliament several weeks ago, made clear he's not planning on stepping down anytime soon. If he did go under the bus (his words), Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey would likely become CEO, but the mogul said son James, who has been tarnished by the hacking scandal, has his "full confidence." Coverage from the Los Angeles TimesWall Street Journal and Reuters.
They made what? TV Guide has released its annual "top salaries in television" issue. Having had to do these sorts of stories in the past, I can tell you it is a huge pain and that generally the accuracy rate on the numbers is about 75%. Take some of it with a grain of salt. Among those mentioned are Ashton Kutcher ("Two and a Half Men"), CNN's Anderson Cooper and Tim Allen, who is returning to TV in a new ABC sitcom.
Helping hand? Did the Pentagon cooperate too much with director Kathryn Bigelow's and writer Mark Boal's upcoming movie for Sony about the hunt that led to the death of Osama bin Laden? That's what Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who never met a microphone he didn't like, wants to know. After New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd said Bigelow et al. got incredible access to details about the mission, he started raising questions about national security. The White House has said no confidential details were released. Coverage from Variety and the Los Angeles Times.
See ya! After two seasons, George Lopez is out of his gig as late-night host for TBS. Lopez, who was bumped from 11 p.m. to midnight for his second season after the cable network landed Conan O'Brien, saw his ratings take a big tumble. Not only was he not compatible with O'Brien, but his fan base apparently went elsewhere rather than stay up an hour later for him. Oh, and apparently he wasn't hip enough for TBS. Analysis from the New York Times and Broadcasting & Cable.
Yeah, because that Lifetime show is doing so well. Roseanne Barr wants to try her hand at a sitcom again. The Hollywood Reporter says she is developing a show with 20th Century Fox Television. Barr's attempt at a comeback with a summer reality show for Lifetime has already been a flop. It is doubtful her fan base is strong enough to support a broadcast show anymore, so if the studio is smart, it'll do it on the cheap and sell it to TV Land.
Already? Apparently a few summer disappointments ("The Green Lantern," "The Change-Up") is all it takes for the Daily Beast to start figuring out how to save Ryan Reynolds' career. Frankly, anyone who survived "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" to become a movie star has already won.
Glee! Can the "Glee" concert movie sing at the box office? John Horn on whether "30 Minutes or Less" will deliver.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara offers her buy-sell take on cable TV business analysts. The boyfriend of a former Disney intern was busted for insider trading on Marvel stock before Disney bought the animation giant in 2009.
From the LA Times Company Town blog, click here for latest entertainment industry news.

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Rob Cain is a Lt. Col. US Army Reserve based at the Pentagon. I have known Rob since I was in fifth grade. His passion is Roman history. Check out his blog.