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Stacey Snider to be named co-chair of 20th Century Fox

Stacey Snider is expected to be named co-chair of 20th Century Fox, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Snider, currently co-chair and chief executive of Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios, will serve as 20th Century Fox's No. 2 executive under Jim Gianopulos. Fox is expected to make the announcement soon.

Snider's move to a key position at Fox has been widely anticipated in Hollywood. Her start date has not been set because she is still under contract at DreamWorks until the end of the year, according to people familiar with the matter but who were not authorized to speak on record.

Representatives for Snider and Fox declined to comment.

Snider, who established herself in the film business as a top executive at Universal Pictures, joined DreamWorks in 2006. The studio started out with bold ambitions but has recently had a mixed track record at the box office.

DreamWorks, a separate entity from publicly traded DreamWorks Animation SKG, has delivered successes such as...

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Game 7 of 2014 World Series gives Fox a home run in ratings

Game 7 of the 2014 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals helped Fox score big in TV ratings.

The final game of the series, in which the Giants defeated the Royals, 3-2, averaged 23.5 million viewers and a series-high rating of 13.7. About 52 million people tuned in to watch all or part of the game.

The broadcast was up 69% in ratings and 76% in viewers compared to Tuesday's Game 6

In local markets, Kansas City posted a rating of 58.3, the highest metered market rating for any MLB game on record. San Francisco earned a rating of 38.8.

A year ago, Game 6 between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals, in which the Sox won the series, drew about 18 million viewers

Though it started off slow, the seven-game 2014 World Series ended up averaging a household rating of 8.2 and 13.8 million viewers.

Fox was the No. 1 network in the key 18-to-49-year-old demographic six of the seven nights the 2014 World Series aired.

“The incredible 2014 postseason has...

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'Nightcrawler' to top slow Halloween weekend at box office

The box office is looking at a grim Halloween weekend.

The last time Halloween fell on a Friday was in 2008, when total box-office receipts were down 37% compared with the same weekend in 2007.

This weekend will also likely be slow, as many moviegoers may skip theaters to get their horror (and candy) fixes elsewhere.

“Nightcrawler,” which stars Jake Gyllenhaal, is expected to take the No. 1 spot, pushing last week’s winner “Ouija” to No. 2, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys.

The film, which is distributed by Open Road Films and cost $8.5 million to make, could pull in as much as $12 million this weekend.  

The crime thriller follows Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal), a self-taught man who finds work as a crime-scene news videographer in Los Angeles.

It was produced and financed by Bold Films and marks the directing debut for Dan Gilroy, who also wrote the screenplay.

Since the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in early September, critics have...

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Gregg Allman dropped from Sarah Jones lawsuit

Rocker Gregg Allman has been dropped from a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant killed on a film set earlier this year.

Attorneys representing the Jones family said Thursday that Allman, his manager Michael Lehman, and Open Road Films, the film distributor launched by the AMC and Regal theater chains, have been dismissed from a lawsuit filed against the producers of "Midnight Rider."

Jones was killed and six crew members were injured on Feb. 20 when a freight train crashed into the crew as they were filming the Gregg Allman biopic on a historic train trestle in Doctortown, Ga. Jones was struck by the train and debris from a bed that had been placed on the track for a dream sequence involving actor William Hurt.

In a lawsuit filed in Chatham County State Court in Georgia in March, Richard and Elizabeth Jones allege that producers Randall Miller (also the film's director) and his wife, Jody Savin, and other parties negligently caused...

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'Mockingjay' could see biggest 2014 opening at box office

Looks like box office odds are in the third "Hunger Games" installment's favor.

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1" could open to between $130 to $160 million, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys.

That would make it the biggest launch of the year, edging out "Transformers: Age of Extinction" which pulled in $100 million in its opening weekend.

The Lionsgate film, which opens Nov. 21, is the opening installment of the two-part finale to the blockbuster franchise based on the bestselling young adult novels by Suzanne Collins.

Fandango, the nation's largest online movie ticket company, said on Thursday that the upcoming installment has sold more first day advance tickets than any other movie in 2014 so far.

The film accounted for 80% of Fandango's daily ticket sales on Wednesday, when advanced tickets became available for purchase. "Divergent," another Lionsgate young adult franchise, set the previous 2014 record for Fandango.

"Mockingjay" also became...

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DreamWorks Animation profit of $11.9 million in quarter tops estimates

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. reported a stronger-than-expected profit in the third quarter, fueled by the box-office success of "How to Train Your Dragon 2."

The Glendale animation studio earned $11.9 million, or 14 cents a share, on revenue of $180.9 million in the quarter. That was an improvement over the same quarter a year earlier, when it posted net income of $10.1 million, or 12 cents, on revenue of $154.5 million.

The results easily exceeded the earnings of 5 cents a share estimated by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

"The third quarter of 2014 was strong for DreamWorks Animation, with both quarterly revenue and earnings per share up 17% in a year-over-year comparison," Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement.

The improved financials come at a welcome time for a studio that has struggled with a rocky patch at the box office.

DreamWorks has recorded three write-downs on its films in two years, and on Wednesday said it took an additional $2.1-million impairment...

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