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Hollywood & entertainment industry news
'Apes' climbs back to top of China box office, nears $100 million

After briefly being muscled out of the No. 1 position at the mainland China box office by Schwarzenegger and Stallone, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” reclaimed the No. 1 position last week and will soon cross the $100-million mark in the territory.

“Apes” took in $21.8 million in the seven days ending Sunday, film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway reported, bringing the 20thCentury Fox film’s cumulative gross to nearly $96.5 million.

Four of the week’s top-five films were U.S. imports.

After taking the box-office crown in the first week of September, “The Expendables 3” dropped to second place last week, with about $20.5 million for the seven days ending Sunday. Its total in China now stands at $57 million, making the third installment in the series the best-selling here. The original, released in 2010, took in $35.9 million in China while the sequel sold $54.8 million worth of tickets in 2012, Artisan said.

A local romantic offering, “But Always,” took the No. 3 spot, faring...

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Chinese studio Huayi Brothers to invest $130 million in new U.S. branch

After dominating mainland China’s 2013 box office with $487.6 million in receipts, Beijing-based studio Huayi Brothers Media Corp. has announced plans to expand into the United States.

Huayi Brothers said it plans to invest $130 million to establish a wholly owned subsidiary in the U.S. for producing and distributing movies and TV shows, the company said in a regulatory filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange late Monday.

It didn’t release any details on the office location or the number of employees it expects to staff its operation. The plan still needs approval from Chinese authorities, the company said.

Wang Zhongjun, chairman of Huayi Brothers, has expressed interest in expanding the company’s business internationally on various occasions. Earlier this year, Huayi Brothers had pursued a deal to invest up to $150 million in a new production company, Studio 8, set up by Jeff Robinov, the former president of Warner Bros.

Negotiations between Huayi Brothers and Studio 8 reportedly fell...

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Time Warner Cable to broadcast final Dodger games on local TV

Tens of thousands of Los Angeles Dodgers fans haven't heard legendary broadcaster Vin Scully call games. They've missed two Dodger no-hitters, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez's clutch home runs, outfielder Yasiel Puig's antics and pitching ace Clayton Kershaw clinching his 19th win of the season.

But next week, fans finally will be able to see a handful of Dodgers games on broadcast TV.

Time Warner Cable said Monday that it will simulcast Dodger games during the final week of the regular season on local broadcast station KDOC-TV Channel 56, which is widely available in Southern California. Most homes in the region have been shut out of the action because other major cable and satellite distributors have refused to pay big money to carry SportsNet LA channel, which is owned by the Dodgers and distributed by Time Warner Cable.

The late-season deal is described by Time Warner Cable as a show of goodwill to enable fans to watch the Dodgers battle the San Francisco Giants for the National...

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Report: Women's employment in prime-time TV 'plateaued' in 2013-2014

Though Julianna Margulies said in her Emmys acceptance speech that it's "a wonderful time for women on television," a report issued on Tuesday suggests that may not be the case. 

Women’s employment in prime-time television has "plateaued" in the last year, according to a report released by San Diego State University film professor Martha Lauzen. 

The survey has been tracking women’s representation and employment in prime-time television for the last 17 years.

This year's survey, titled "Boxed In," looked at one randomly selected episode of each series on broadcast networks, cable and Netflix to determine women’s representation and employment in prime-time television. 

Female creators, executive producers, producers, directors, writers, editors and directors of photography working on prime-time television airing on broadcast networks account for 27% of individuals working behind the scenes.

The figure has decreased 1 percentage point from 2012-2013 but is on par with employment numbers...

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Film official cautions against importing Hollywood values into China

It's now the world's biggest film market outside the U.S. But how do Hollywood filmmakers successfully penetrate the Great Wall of China?

Find reliable partners, hire screenwriters who've actually visited the country and avoid grafting "Hollywood values" onto the country.

"When you choose your subject matter you have to work hard, you have to think deep," said Zhang Xun, former general manager of China Film Co-Production Corporation at a conference in Los Angeles on Monday. "Do not force Hollywood-style values onto China."

Those were among the nuggets of advice offered by Xun and her colleagues at the inaugural U.S. China Film

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Clear Channel flips its name to iHeartMedia

Clear Channel, the nation's biggest radio station owner, is broadcasting a new signal to listeners and advertisers.

The San Antonio-based media company, owner of 840 radio stations, has changed its name to iHeartMedia, after its iHeartRadio online network that lets people listen to the likes of Ryan Seacrest and Rush Limbaugh over the Web.

The name "Clear Channel" is a true throwback to a different media era. It comes from a term for a particular type of AM radio station, an old-fashioned reference in the age of Internet music companies such as Pandora, Spotify and Beats Music.

Clear Channel, which was taken over by private equity companies Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP in 2008, has faced growing competition from streaming music rivals online, as well as satellite radio.

Chief Executive Bob Pittman said flipping the switch on the name reflects the progress the radio giant has made in its digital business, as well as the growth of its live events including the...

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Time Warner Cable to televise final six Dodgers games on local TV

Time Warner Cable has agreed to broadcast the final week of the Los Angeles Dodgers' regular season baseball on local broadcast station KDOC.

The move -- in a show of goodwill to Los Angeles area baseball fans -- enables millions of viewers throughout the region to watch the final six games of the regular season. The Dodgers are locked in a tight race to clinch the National League West Division title.

For much of the season, millions of Dodgers fans have been unable to see much of the action because Time Warner Cable is the only major pay-TV distributor in the region that offers sports channel Sports Net LA, which carries the Dodgers games.

On Monday, Time Warner Cable said it has secured an agreement to broadcast the final week of Dodger games, beginning on Sept. 22, on the independent broadcast station KDOC. Legendary broadcaster Vin Scully will call the games.

KDOC is carried by cable and satellite operators, including DirecTV, Dish Network, Charter Communications, Verizon FiOS and...

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TV ratings: 'Sunday Night Football' elevates NBC; 'Miss America' down 25%

The 2015 Miss America competition lost the TV ratings crown to "Sunday Night Football," according to early Nielsen ratings.

Down 25% from last year's pageant, the competition, won by Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, earned a rating of 1.5 among the key 18-to-49-year-old demographic.

Opposite a night of football, the show, which aired from 9 to 11 p.m., averaged 6.7 million viewers.

By comparison, the show topped NBC’s 2014 broadcast of Miss USA by 1.1 million viewers and 7% among the key demo.

According to data provided by Canvs, a social TV platform created by social-media insight firm Mashwork, 85,814 of the 303,900 tweets about the pageant were reactions such as love, disappointment and congratulations.

ABC, which averaged 5.3 million viewers, earned its strongest entertainment numbers in the time slot since the Billboard Music Awards in May.

The network was third overall most watched and fourth most watched among the key demo.

But with "Sunday Night Football," NBC nabbed No. 1 most...

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Box office: 'No Good Deed' at No. 1 with $24.5 million

“No Good Deed” swam past “Dolphin Tale 2” this weekend, as both films gave the box office a much-needed boost after a summer slump.

Director Sam Miller's "No Good Deed" finished the weekend on top with an estimated $24.5 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada, with the aquatic family favorite at No. 2 with $16.5 million.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” added $8 million to its gross in the U.S. and Canada and became the first film of 2014 to reach the $300-million milestone. After its seventh weekend, the film has grossed about $305.9 million in the U.S. and Canada, bringing its worldwide total to $612 million.

Sony Pictures’ Screen Gems label had predicted “No Good Deed,” which cost a modest $13.2 million to make, would gross in the mid-to-high teens.

“We really believed the film would succeed … and it did, in a big way,” said Rory Bruer, distribution president for Sony Pictures.

The film follows Colin (Idris Elba), an escaped convict who invades the home of wife...

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Thursday Night Football draws 20.8 million viewers to CBS/NFL Network

CBS' expensive foray into Thursday prime-time NFL games is off to a strong start in the ratings.

The premiere of "Thursday Night Football" on CBS and the NFL Network scored an average of 20.8 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. That's an increase of nearly 90% from last year's comparable Thursday night game that aired only on the NFL Network.

Last week's Thursday kickoff on rival network NBC -- a highly anticipated battle between the 2013 Super Bowl champions the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers -- delivered nearly 27 million.

Another big recent prime-time game, NBC's Sunday matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos, scored 23.5 million viewers.

About 3.4 million of the Ravens-Steelers game's 20.8 million total viewers watched via NFL Network's simulcast. That telecast earned a 1.6 rating among 18-to-49-year-old viewers. Taking out the NFL Network's numbers, CBS scored 17.4 million viewers and a rating of 5.9 in 18-49.

CBS has been adding more...

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TV ratings: 'Thursday Night Football' tackles 'Biggest Loser' debut

Final ratings for the debut of CBS' "Thursday Night Football" won't be out until later, but it clearly had an impact on rival NBC's season premiere of "The Biggest Loser."

The weight-loss-competition reality show's 16th season opened with 5.4 million total viewers on average, lower than last year's fall debut by about 25%, according to early numbers from Nielsen.

Among 18-to-49-year-old viewers, the category most prized by advertisers, the show scored a rating of 1.6, down 30% from last season's number.

In 2013, "Biggest Loser" premiered without competition from the National Football League. This season's opener also aired five weeks earlier than last season, which likely also depressed viewership.

"Biggest Loser" did hold the distinction of being the highest-rated non-sports network show of the night.

As for Thursday night's pigskin proceedings, the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers unsurprisingly did much better than last year's Thursday opener, according...

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Hulu to stream L.A. Times' short-form videos

The Los Angeles Times announced Friday that millions of viewers will now be able to stream The Times’ short-form videos on Hulu.

Hulu, based in Los Angeles, is an online video service that has television shows, clips and movies on its website. It also offers a monthly subscription service, available on smart TVs, gaming consoles, mobile phones and tablets.

Jennifer Collins, Tribune Publishing’s vice president of digital development, said distributing the content on Hulu’s “innovative platform opens exciting new possibilities.”

The series, released under The Times' new Originals banner, is part of the company’s ongoing effort to expand its video storytelling.

Last week, The Times announced that it would begin its accelerated push into video journalism with Los Angeles Times Documentaries, which will air exclusively on DirecTV's Audience Network channel. The series kicks off Saturday with “A Soldier’s Wife,” a documentary developed through more than a year of reporting by a Times...

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