'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay' release dates set, Nolan-free 'Justice League' raises questions for Warner DC films. Ouya console wants to go up against Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3.Comcast sells stake in A&E Networks to Hearst, Disney for $3 billion
Home to such superheroes as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, DC has struggled to find the same success on the big screen as its Walt Disney Co.-owned rival Marvel Entertainment — despite having a better known collection of characters.
Nolan's Batman movies have been its only hits of the past decade, surrounded by modest flops such as 2006's "Superman Returns". To continue reading this story on the LA Times Company Town Blog on-line, click More..
The Santa Monica studio announced Tuesday that it will release "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" on Nov. 21, 2014, and "Mockingjay Part 2" on Nov. 20, 2015. The company has already scheduled the second picture, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," for Nov. 22, 2013.
The news demonstrates how critical it has become for Hollywood studios to stake out the best release dates for their event movies as early as possible. "Mockingjay Part 2" now has the distinction of being scheduled the furthest into the future of any upcoming Hollywood picture, according to a release calendar supplied by Rentrak Corp.
Indeed, Lionsgate has announced the dates even before beginning production for "Catching Fire," which starts in September.
The weekend before Thanksgiving will now be Lionsgate's prime real estate for its teen-targeted book adaptations. This year it will release the final "Twilight" movie before beginning the run of "Hunger Games" films in 2013.
The first "Hunger Games" movie was released in March and went on to become a monster hit, grossing more than $400 million domestically and $273 million overseas.
"Hatfields & McCoys" was a big hit for the History channel, one of the properties belonging to A&E Networks. (History )
While the sale was expected, the price tag was higher than Comcast thought its holdings were worth. Two months ago, when Comcast first disclosed that it had exercised an option to unload its 15.8% piece of A&E Television Networks to majority owners Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp., it said its stake was worth $2 billion.
For Hearst and Disney, now 50-50 partners, the property and the prospect of getting 100% of it made it more valuable. The channels -- particularly History, which last month struck ratings gold with its "Hatfields & McCoys" -- are strong properties and cash cows.
Although Comcast could have kept an ownership position in A&E Television Networks until 2024, the partnership gave it the option to reduce its stake or sell it entirely as well.
It's not often that a brand new company would attempt to take on giants such as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, and rarer still that it would succeed.But that's what Ouya (pronounced ooh-ya) proposes to do. The Los Angeles start-up wants to develop a game console that features the type of "free" games that are popular on smartphones and tablets but have been largely absent from living room televisions.
But Ouya needs more money to get its concept off the ground -- $950,000, to be exact. To continue reading click More..