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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Robots or Dancers, which will win the weekend boxoffice?

Footloose will likely take second place at hte box office this weekend
Nearly three decades after the original "Footloose" became a cultural phenomenon, a remake of the '80s dance flick may shimmy its way back to the top of the box office this weekend.

The film is expected to open with close to $20 million, according to people who have seen pre-release audience pollings. That gives it a good shot at claiming the No. 1 spot over "Real Steel," the robot boxing action movie that debuted with $27.3 million last weekend. Starring Hugh Jackman, the picture is expected to bring in an additional $16 million or so this round.

Another reboot from the '80s, the sci-fi horror film "The Thing," is likely to start off with around $14 million. But the other new wide release, "The Big Year," starring Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black, could prove to be one of the biggest flops of the year. Despite its moderate budget, the comedy may only sell around $5 million worth of tickets.

The original “Footloose,” about a group of teenagers faced with a dance ban in a their small town, was released in 1984. A career-making turn for its star Kevin Bacon, the film became a sleeper hit, grossing over $80 million worldwide.

Tracking surveys on Thursday indicated that the new version was generating especially strong interest among young females, meaning the movie could end up with an opening weekend gross in the high-teens. But a representative for Paramount, which produced the film, said the studio expects an opening closer to $15 million.

Click here to continue reading this story on the LA Times Company Town Blog.

The Demands Of Occupy Wall Street


As Occupy Wall Street enters its fifth week, its numbers are growing and the movement is beginning to take shape. Here are some of the protesters' demands:
  • Bank of America should be renamed Bank of Jerkmerica
  • A simple "We're sorry"
  • Corporations should be handing out more free promo items if their profits exceed $1 billion, even if it's just hats or those stupid foam cup-holder things
  • Arcade Fire to play one set for them or, if they're unavailable, Spoon
  • European-style socialist state so we can enjoy the same economic prosperity they do
  • Lower tuition at the private universities in the Northeast they chose to attend instead of in-state public colleges
  • Cheaper Odwallas
  • Holding senior executives accountable for the massive wealth lost and the millions of families they destroyed and making them feel really, really guilty about it
"News" from " The Onion" (click here).

Lone Ranger Rides Again, Apple Cloud Music / Files / Movie Service, News Corp cooks books

The Lone RangerFrom the LA Times Company store Blog

"The Lone Ranger" is back in the saddle.
The big-budget film starring Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the title character will restart production Feb. 6, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Walt Disney Studios halted work on the modern retelling of the popular 1949 television western in August, citing budgetary concerns. The filmmakers had been asked to reduce the $250-million budget to reach the $200-million figure Disney had wanted to spend.
A spokesman for the film studio did not respond to requests for comment; however, a person familiar with the situation said the project had been revived. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
Many details remain unclear, including the production budget for the film and the release date. The film originally was scheduled to reach theaters on Dec. 21, 2012.
Depp has been the studio's most bankable star in recent years, anchoring two films that reaped more than a billion dollars in worldwide box office -- this summer's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and the 2010 film "Alice in Wonderland."
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the team behind the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, will be involved in the project. Verbinski previously clashed with Disney studio executives over cost overruns on the third installment of the "Pirates" franchise and did not direct the most recent sequel.
To the cloud. Apple has plans to offer movies in its "cloud" service (think of a cloud as storage space in the sky) that would allow consumers to watch films on their Apple devices such as the iPad and iPhone without having to store the content on their devices. Apple has been meeting with Hollywood studio brass and hopes to launch the service by early 2012 at the latest. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
Universal blinks. Comcast's Universal Pictures has wimped out on its plan to offer its new Ben Stiller-Eddie Murphy action flick "Tower Heist" on video-on-demand for $60 just three weeks after its theatrical premiere. The move was roundly criticized by theater chains, several of which said they would not play the movie at all if Universal put it on VOD so soon after its theatrical release. Not that you asked, but in my opinion the theater owners were right and Universal and the rest of Hollywood needs to be careful about how soon it offers theatrical movies on other platforms. I'm yet to be convinced that shrinking and melding all these different windows together make good business sense. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

Who to kiss up to. The Hollywood Reporter has released a top-50 "power showrunners" list. A showrunner is considered the person with day-to-day responsibility for a TV show. Given that some shows have as many as a dozen producers, figuring out who really does something and who has a vanity credit isn't always so easy. Hopefully this list will separate the producers from the pretenders.

Ryan's hope fades. Ryan Seacrest's efforts to get a cable network to call his own has hit the skids, according to the New York Post. Seacrest had been hoping to snag a channel from either Viacom or Comcast, but after some initial discussions there's no movement on that front.

No pay for play. If the networks want to increase product placement revenue, they might have to stop giving away so much free placement, such as Red Bull's very visible presence last week on ABC's "Suburgatory." AdAge looks at the challenges that come with what it calls "free cameos."

Gavin says. Outspoken producer and manager Gavin Polone has started penning a column for New York Magazine's Vulture site and this week dissects what the recent standoff between the cast of "The Simpsons" and the studio that makes the cartoon hit says about the economic state of Hollywood.

Cooking the books? As if News Corp. didn't have enough problems with the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closing of its British tabloid News of the World and intense scrutiny from both British and U.S. lawmakers, now comes word that the European edition of the Wall Street Journal may have been engaged in some dubious activity aimed at artificially boosting its circulation. Andrew Langhoff, the publisher of WSJ Europe has resigned under a cloud after it was discovered that the paper had done favorable stories on a company as part of a relationship said company had with the paper's circulation department. The Guardian went even further and said the paper was actually arranging to have companies buy copies of the paper to increase its circulation numbers, an allegation that has been denied.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Randy Lewis on KCSN, one of my favorite radio stations because it doesn't sound like it was programmed by a computer.

— Joe Flint

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Twitter: @latcompanytown
From the LA Times Company store Blog

Presidental Candidate and Rock Star

We knew we couldn't sing certain songs, so we'd have to change the words to them. We'd play Eric Clapton's 'Cocaine.' But instead of singing 'cocaine,' which you probably wouldn't do in church, we'd change the word to 'propane.'


Before Politics, Huntsman Aspired To Rock Star Fame

Before GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman served as governor of Utah, a corporate executive, and U.S. ambassador to China, he had another youthful calling: Huntsman was a rock 'n' roll musician in a band called Wizard.

Above: With shaggy hair and skinny jeans, Jon Huntsman (upper right) strikes a pose with his band, Wizard