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Friday, August 17, 2012

Padres sold. Jet Li stars in Mandarin Action Film. Can aging actors beat Paranorman? Ike Perlmutter ruffles feathers!




"The Expendables 2"
"The Expendables 2" should rule the box office this weekend. (Lionsgate / August 17, 2012)
After the coffee. Before flying to Russia to join the Pussy Riot protests.
Old timers' weekend. "The Expendables 2" starring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and several other potential AARP members is expected to huff and puff its way to the top of the box office this weekend. Industry forecasts have "The Expendables 2" taking in between $35 million and $40 million. That will be more than enough to beat "The ParaNorman," an animated movie, and "The Odd Life of Timothy Green." Also opening is "Sparkle," featuring the late Whitney Houston in her last role. A look at the weekend box office from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
The Skinny: This was a long week and yet I can't remember one thing about it. Isn't aging wonderful? Friday's headlines include profiles of Marvel chief Ike Perlmutter, previews of the weekend box office and a chat with Robert Pattinson (I'm trying to score more young female readers).
Daily Dose: Mark Easton, the deputy general counsel atWarner Bros., is exiting the studio after just over a year there to return to O'Melveny & Myers as a partner specializing in sports and media as well as mergers and acquisitions. Easton had spent almost 20 years at O'Melveny & Myers before joiningWarner Bros. in early 2011. 
Mighty Ike. When Disney bought Marvel, it also got its chief executive Ike Perlmutter, a mercurial boss not afraid to make waves. The tightfisted and reclusive Perlmutter, now Disney's biggest individual shareholder, has alienated many at the media giant with his politically incorrect ways. A look at the controversial Perlmutter from the Los Angeles Times and Financial Times.
Small screen takes over big screen. We often hear about movie actors and producers embracing television. This summer, though, it is the other way around. The biggest summer comedy -- "Ted" -- is from "Family Guy" creator Seth McFarlane while Joss Whedon, who ran "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," wrote and directed "The Avengers." That's only the tip of the iceberg. TV Guide looks at how the big shots in TV are starting to rule movies as well.

"Flying Swords" to premiere in Imax theaters
Imax and Indomina Releasing will premiere China's "Flying Swords of Dragon Gate" in 15 Imax theaters starting Aug. 31. ( Film Workshop )
China bets on Jet Li to promote 3D film in Mandarin. China's"Flying Swords of Dragon Gate," a 3-D martial arts film starring Jet Li, will receive a one-week run in U.S. Imax theaters starting Aug. 31 in an unusual premiere to try to draw American moviegoers to the Mandarin-language film.
For all of the success that American movies have enjoyed in China, few films from the world's most populous nation have done any business in domestic theaters.  On Aug. 3, for example, China Lion opened the Mandarin-language "Girlfriend Boyfriend" in 16 American theaters, with a dismal gross of just $56,810.
"Flying Swords," the first Chinese movie shown in the stereoscopic Imax format, opened to a strong $22 million in its first weekend of release in China late last year and has grossed more than $86 million to date.
In China's Imax theaters, its total haul there trails only "Avatar,""Transformers: Dark of the Moon"and "Titanic 3D." The film recently won five awards at the 31st Hong Kong Film Awards. 
IMAX and Indomina Releasing will show "Flying Swords" in 14 American Imax theaters, which the large-format theater system said was the first time a foreign-language production debuted in the United States that way.

The San Diego Padres have been sold for a paltry 800 million dollars. The O'Malleys are back in the baseball business. Back in Southern California, too, just down the road in San Diego instead of Los Angeles. In a quick vote Thursday, Major League Baseball owners approved the sale of the Padres to a group that includes Kevin and Brian O'Malley, the sons of former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley.
As a San Diegan ... I think it's great for baseball in San Diego, that the O'Malley family and the Seidler family are going to be the owners. I'm looking forward to having some fun over the next five to 10 years.
-- New Padres executive chairman
Ron Fowler
Commissioner Bud Selig announced the endorsement after the conclusion of the owners meetings in Denver.
Under the deal, the group will buy the franchise from owner John Moores for around $800 million. The final closing of the sale will be on or before Aug. 31.
Ron Fowler, a local businessman in San Diego, will become the executive chairman. The new ownership group also consists of Peter and Tom Seidler, the nephews of Peter O'Malley, along with golfer Phil Mickelson.
This is a group of heavy hitters, especially given the pedigree of the O'Malley family. The late Walter O'Malley bought the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950 and moved them to Los Angeles before the 1958 season.

"The Lorax"
"The Lorax" was the most bought and rented DVD in the U.S. last week. (August 16, 2012)





















The Lorax dominates DVD rentals. No new movies dared challenge "The Lorax" on DVD, and Universal Pictures' animated family film topped the sales and rental charts for the week.
In its first week, the box office hit based on the classic Dr. Seuss book was the most-bought and most-rented DVD and Blu-ray disc in the U.S., according toRentrak Corp.
The No. 2 top seller wasn't a movie at all, but the History channel's "Hatfields & McCoys" mini-series, which was released on disc by Sony Pictures.
The second-most-rented disc was "Lockout," the Luc Besson-produced action film starring Guy Pearce, which came out on disc four weeks ago.
Below are the 10 most bought and rented DVDs and Blu-ray discs for the week ended Aug. 12, according to Rentrak Corp.
Top 10 DVD and Blu-ray sales
1. "The Lorax" (Universal). Week 1.
2. "Hatfields & McCoys" (Sony/History). Week 2; last week No. 1.
3."The Three Stooges"(Fox). Week 4; last week No. 2.
4. "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows"(Warner Bros.). Week 9; last week No. 3.
5. "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" (Paramount). Week 17; last week No. 9.
6."21 Jump Street"(Sony). Week 7; last week No. 4.
7."American Reunion"(Universal). Week 5; last week No. 5.
8."Wrath of the Titans"(Warner Bros.). Week 7; last week No. 7.
9. "Grimm: Season One" (Universal). Week 1.
10."Mirror Mirror"(Fox/Relativity). Week 7; last week n/a.
Top 10 DVD and Blu-ray rentals
1. "The Lorax" (Universal). Week 1.
2. "Lockout" (Sony). Week 4; last week No. 1.
3. "American Reunion" (Universal). 
Week 5; last week No. 2.

That was fast. Fareed Zakaria, a CNN host and Time magazine contributor who was suspended from both gigs the other week after he was found to have lifted material from another writer for a column on gun control, has been reinstated. Although this was not the first time Zakaria has been accused of committing the ultimate journalistic sin, Time and CNN said -- after a one-week investigation -- what happened was an isolated incident. More from the New York Times.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Pattinson tries to navigate the tabloids and mainstream media while promoting"Cosmopolis." 

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