Warner Bros.' third and final Batman movie from director Christopher Nolanmade its first appearance Thursday morning on widely used research surveys known in Hollywood as "tracking" that gauge audience interest in upcoming pictures. To continue reading this story in the LA Times click More.
Mark Wahlberg stars as a man whose best friend is a teddy bear (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) in "Ted." (Universal Pictures / June 28, 2012)The potty-mouthed “Ted” will heckle the male strippers off the box-office stage, as the Seth MacFarlane comedy will take down “Magic Mike” and all other new movies hitting theaters this weekend.
"Ted," starring Mark Wahlberg as a man whose best friend is a talking teddy bear, is expected to open with a robust $40 million in ticket sales, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys. Universal Pictures, which is distributing the film, is predicting a softer opening of between $26 million and $36 million. To continue reading click on More..
Denise Richards, left, stars with Tyler Perry in "Madea's Witness Protection." (Lionsgate / June 27, 2012)
But "Witness Protection" marks a first: Never before has a Tyler Perry movie been released during the high-stakes summer movie season, which is traditionally packed with big-budget tent poles. The brand-name filmmaker has consistently found success during the "off season" for Hollywood's biggest-budget pictures, typically between February and April or between September and November.
There are plenty of examples of low-budget pictures that succeed as "counter-programming," like the recent adult drama "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and last year's comedy smash "Bridesmaids."
Perry's "Madea" movies have been consistent box-office performers no matter what time of the year they've premiered. Movies starring the character -- a loud-mouthed grandmother played by Perry -- have all debuted with at least $25 million and typically grossed between $50 million and $60 million. (One exception was 2009's "Madea Goes to Jail," which launched with $41 million and ultimately collected $90.5 million.) To continue reading in the LA Times click More..
"I'm sorry I couldn't carry the ball over the finish line," NBC "Today" co-anchor Ann Curry said during her tearful farewell speech on Thursday morning's show.
Whether Curry was apologizing to the audience or her bosses, or both, is unclear. But fairly or not, she has been pegged as the cause of NBC's ratings woes. Curry was tapped to replace Meredith Vieira as Matt Lauer's co-anchor a year ago and almost immediately ABC's"Good Morning America" started to close the ratings gap.
Now with "Good Morning America" running neck-and-neck with "Today" and even winning on occasion, NBC and its parent company Comcast can't afford to risk any further damage to its news franchise.
This season, "Today" is averaging 5.3-million viewers, which is a 4% drop from last season. At the same time, "Good Morning America" has gained 4% to 4.9-million viewers, according to Nielsen. To continue reading this story in the LA Times click on More..
Activision Blizzard on Thursday confirmed it is seeking to sell or shut down Radical Entertainment, the game studio that created the "Prototype" action-adventure series of games.
The Santa Monica game company in a statement said the decision stemmed from the failure of "Prototype" to "find a broad commercial audience."
Activision did not say how long it will continue to pay Radical's 90 employees, or whether it will shut down the studio entirely. To continue reading in the LA Times click on More..
Dotcom search rules illeagle. A New Zealand judge has ruled that investigators obtained evidence unlawfully in a search of Megaupload.com founder Kim Dotcom’s home, dealing a huge blow to the U.S. case against the online file-sharing company.
High Court Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann said in the ruling Thursday that warrants used by New Zealand authorities to conduct the search at the FBI's behest were too broadly defined and “did not adequately describe the offenses to which they were related.”
“Indeed, they fell well short of that,” she said in the 56-page ruling. “They were general warrants, and as such, are invalid.” To find out more, continue reading in the LA Times by clicking on More...
The chairman and chief executive of French telecommunications company Vivendi stepped down on Thursday following a disagreement with the board. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / June 28, 2012)
Jean-Bernard Lévy, the chairman and chief executive of the French telecommunications company Vivendi, stepped down Thursday following a disagreement with the company's board.
The company, in a statement, described the tension as "a divergence of views on the strategic development of the group." News reports and financial analysts suggest that the board has been embroiled in a debate about whether to carve off assets or break up the company, which consists of European pay-television operations, including France's popular Canal+, Activision Blizzard video game company, Universal Music Group, and phone and Internet services.
The company's stock has also been stagnant.
"The most likely explanation would seem to us to be Lévy's long-standing opposition to a fundamental shake-up of the group's corporate structure," London-based Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Claudio Aspesi wrote in a research report. To continue reading this story in the Los Angles Times click on More..
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