The release of a new Wes Anderson film has been a highly anticipated event among the quirky filmmaker's fans ever since his breakout success "Rushmore" in 1998.
"The Grand Budapest Hotel," which is debuting in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, is sure to continue that tradition.
The movie takes place in Eastern Europe between World War I and World War II and stars Ralph Fiennes as a hotel concierge who befriends a lobby boy. It has generally won over critics, as indicated by a 89% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes -- a good sign for a limited release poised to expand...
A "Big Bang Theory"-powered CBS beat its rivals in the ratings Thursday night with solid showings from most of its comedies.
"Big Bang" was the highest rated show with 17.9 million viewers total and a rating of 5.2 among key 18-49-year-olds, according to early numbers from Nielsen. A ratings point in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic equals about 1.3 million people watching.
CBS averaged 10.7 million viewers and a rating of 2.7 for an easy win in prime time.
The Will Arnett comedy "The Millers" and "Two and a Half Men" rose from last week to a 3.0 and a 2.7, respectively, but "The...
The new 3D Greco-Persian epic from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures began its box office charge with $3.3 million in ticket sales from Thursday night showings in the U.S. and Canada.
That's a strong start for the bloody $100-million sequel, which is expected to pull in roughly $45 million through Sunday. That would mark a solid domestic debut, though not as powerful as the 2007 original.
The first "300" opened seven years ago with nearly $71 million and went on to gross $456 million worldwide, with slightly more than half of the total coming from overseas.
After the coffee. Before confessing that I invented Bitcoin.
The Skinny: My Sunday TV viewing is going to get more complicated. I'm already juggling "The Walking Dead," "Girls," "True Detective" and "The Good Wife." Now ABC is adding "Resurrection" to the mix. I really liked the pilot and hope the series can deliver. Today's roundup includes the weekend box office preview. Also the FCC is working on new rules for local TV, and Disney makes big cuts at its interactive unit.
Daily Dose: Stu Snyder is outas head of Turner Animation, the unit that oversees Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Snyder'...
ArcLight Cinemas is hoping to enhance the moviegoer experience by developing free original content that will be screened in theaters and online.
The L.A.-based luxury cinema chain will co-produce footage of red carpet premieres, press junkets and other behind-the-scenes interviews with people in the industry and feature these clips on its website and in theaters before movie showings. The cinema will also promote the footage on its Twitter account.
In February, ArcLight partnered with production company Mid-Century Media, started by former CNN entertainment correspondent JD Cargill, to begin...
Beijing-based film production company Huayi Brothers Media Corp. plans to invest up to $150 million in a new movie company from Jeff Robinov, the former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
The deal would be one of the highest-profile partnerships between Chinese and Hollywood film entities. Robinov departed Warner Bros. in the summer of 2013 after leading Hollywood's biggest movie studio since 2007.
Huayi Brothers said in a statement that it would invest $120 million to $150 million in Robinov's Studio 8, and distribute the company's movies in China. An official agreement has not yet...
Walt Disney Studios and Shanghai Media Group Pictures have stuck a multiyear partnership agreement to co-develop Disney-branded movies that would be released in China and other international markets.
China's film business is expanding rapidly. Last year, its total box office take topped $3.6 billion, up about 27% from 2012. According to Motion Picture Assn. of America data, the country is the world's second-biggest movie market behind the United States.
Under terms of the deal, Disney Studios, a unit of Burbank-based Walt Disney Co., would pair U.S.-based writers with writers and filmmakers in...
Veteran publishing executive Jack Griffin has been named chief executive of the new Tribune Publishing Co., leading a group of eight newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.
The publishing chain is being spun off as a separately traded public company by Chicago-based Tribune Co., which plans to retain ownership of its TV stations and other properties. The separation is expected to happen this summer.
Eddy Hartenstein, who has been publisher of The Times since August 2008, will become chairman of Tribune Publishing, a non-executive role. Hartenstein plans to stay on as...
Pay-TV distributors and public interest groups cheered news that the Federal Communications Commission is considering new regulations for local television stations.
Specifically, the FCC is expected to vote on March 31 to prohibit separately owned television stations from teaming up to negotiate distribution deals with pay-TV companies.
The practice has become commonplace in the last several years because of an increase the number of operating partnerships between local television stations known as joint sales agreements or shared service agreements.
Stu Snyder, president and chief operating officer of Time Warner's Turner Animation unit, is exiting.
Snyder, who has overseen Turner's animation efforts, including the Cartoon Network, for six years, told his staff that he is resigning at the end of the month.
"It is with mixed emotions that I share with you the news that I will be leaving the company at the end of the month," Snyder said in an email. "I have had the privilege of working and partnering with some of the most creative, talented and fun people in the business, who I will miss working with every day."
Snyder's departure comes in...
An army of ancient Greeks is poised to beat a preternaturally smart cartoon dog at the box office this weekend.
"300: Rise of an Empire," a 3-D sequel to 2007's "300," is expected to gross about $45 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada through Sunday, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys.
Dreamworks Animation's 3-D animated comedy "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" could generate about $30 million, they said.
A $45-million weekend for "Rise of an Empire" would be considerably smaller than the first "300," which opened with a surprising $71 million domestically seven...
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission is set to consider tougher rules for local TV stations that would prohibit some of their joint negotiations with cable companies and limit deals between broadcasters to jointly sell advertising and share other services.
The proposals Thursday by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler came as the agency prepared to start another broad review of its media ownership rules, as required every four years.
Wheeler wants to begin the latest review with the tentative conclusion that the FCC should not loosen restrictions on joint ownership of TV stations and...
Disney Interactive, the struggling video game and digital media subsidiary of Walt Disney Co., is cutting roughly 700 jobs worldwide, the company said Thursday.
The division is closing offices in Chicago, New Jersey, Colorado, South Korea and Hyderabad, India. The layoffs represent about 26% of the division's workforce.
Disney Interactive said in a statement that it "has consolidated several lines of business as part of an effort to focus the division on a streamlined suite of high quality digital products.
"As a result of this restructuring, we have...
In a further sign of film's exit from the Hollywood stage, the post-production company Deluxe said it was closing its local film laboratory.
In a letter to customers, Warren Stein, chief operating officer of Deluxe Laboratories, said the Hollywood film processing facility will close May 9.
"The capture and exhibition of motion pictures has transitioned from film to digital in recent years," Stein said in the letter obtained by The Times. "Our processing volumes have declined sharply and as a result, the laboratory has incurred significant financial losses. This has forced us to make this very...
Fox won Wednesday night in total viewership and among key 18-to-49-year-olds, though its "American Idol" was flat with last week's numbers, according to preliminary data from Nielsen.
The aged singing contest drew 10.5 million viewers overall and a rating of 2.7 in the 18-to-49 demographic, on par with last week's episode. In the 18-49 demo, a ratings point equals about 1.3 million people watching.
CBS came in second place with an average of 10.1 million viewers and a rating of 2.2. The veteran reality program "Survivor" was flat with last week at a 2.4 rating, but its total audience...
A new report from FilmL.A. provides further evidence that California is rapidly losing its share of big budget feature films to rival states and countries.
Last year, only two of the top 25 big-budget movies, whose combined budgets totaled more than $3.5 billion, filmed primarily in California: "The Hangover Part III" and "Star Trek: Into Darkness," according to a report released Thursday morning by FilmL.A.
That's a sharp decline from 15 years ago, when 16 of the top 25 live-action movies at the box office were filmed in California, the report states.
Spotify, the Swedish streaming music service, is buying The Echo Nest, a data company that has analyzed more than 35 million songs.
With the acquisition, Spotify will improve the ways users discover new music, the company said Thursday.
The move comes as Spotify, founded in 2008, faces increasing competition from rivals such as the heavily promoted Beats Music, launched in January by headphone company Beats Electronics.
"We are hyper focused on creating the best user experience and it starts with building the best music intelligence platform on the planet,...
Veteran publishing executive Jack Griffin has been named chief executive of the new Tribune Publishing Co., leading a group of eight newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.
The publishing chain is being spun off as a separately traded public company by Chicago-based Tribune Co., which plans to retain ownership of its TV stations and related broadcast properties.
The separation is expected to happen by this summer.
Eddy Hartenstein, who has been publisher of The Times since August 2008, will become chairman of Tribune Publishing, a...
After the coffee. Before trying out a new dentist.
The Skinny: Another intense episode of "The Americans" on Wednesday night. It almost made me forget the 20 minutes of "Mixology" I forced myself to endure. Almost. Thursday's roundup includes former Warner Bros. movie chief Jeff Robinov closing in on a new deal. Also, Fox is looking for big bucks from advertisers for commercials in "24" when it returns in May.
Daily Dose:The NBC publicity machine is going into high gear for "Girls" creator Lena Dunham's hosting of "Saturday Night Live" this week. "Today" host Savannah Guthrie has an...
South by Southwest is going Gaga.
Pop music provocateur Lady Gaga will headline snack brand Doritos' lineup at the music conference and festival in Austin, Texas. Her concert at the restaurant and music venue Stubb's Bar-B-Q on March 13 will mark the "ARTPOP" singer's first performance at the annual event.
After Gaga's performance at Stubb's, the brand will host the next two nights of music at its 52-foot-tall, 500-person venue made to resemble a giant vending machine. The city of Austin denied a permit for Gaga to play the vending machine stage, citing safety concerns.
Actors and talent managers are sparring -- over a proposed code of ethics.
SAG-AFTRA on Tuesday unveiled a "Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduct" designed to promote "honest and ethical relationships between the union’s members and the managers they choose to represent them."
The document, prompted by complaints from actors about their managers, was six years in the making. Unlike agents, managers are not regulated by the union's agreements.
Although the union said the code is voluntary and talent managers aren't required to sign it, the Talent Managers Assn. has opted not to...
BEIJING – “Robocop” was unable to fend off Peter Jackson’s giant dragon last week at the Chinese box office as “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” took the top spot for the second week in a row. The second installment in the “Hobbit” series has now made more than $60.1 million on the mainland.
“Smaug,” from Warner Bros. and MGM, made $26.5 million in the week ending Sunday, besting newcomer “Robocop” by about $6 million, data from film industry consultants Artisan Gateway showed. Total box office for the week was about...
When the 87th Academy Awards rolls around next year, I hope someone calls a moratorium on grousing about the length of the ceremony. Does anyone care about how long it takes, except the poor critics who are stuck scrutinizing every minute of the show?
The Oscars extravaganza is not normal entertainment. Like the Super Bowl, it is event TV. No one expects the super Bowl to be confined to a tight schedule, even if the game is tedious. It takes as long as it takes. The same goes for the Academy Awards.
Yes, this year’s iteration went 3-1/2 hours, but it was probably worth taking the extra...
With a strong lead-in from "The Voice," NBC's new comedies earned solid Tuesday ratings, according to early numbers from Nielsen.
The 9 p.m. freshman series "About a Boy" averaged 8.7 million viewers and scored a rating of 2.6 among advertiser-desired age 18-49 viewers, marking a 13% improvement on its post-Olympics premiere.
Fellow newcomer "Growing Up Fisher" was flat with its Sochi Games debut at a 2.0, while "Chicago Fire" rose a bit to a 1.9.
"The Voice" rose 8% week-to-week to a rating of 4.0 in the key young-adults demographic, making it the top...
After the coffee. Before panicking over electronic cigarettes.
The Skinny: As a former smoker, I am enjoying watching cities and health officials panic over the growing use of electronic cigarettes. Are they cigarettes? Are they dangerous? What are those kids up to? How about just passing a law making it illegal to put anything other than food and beverages in your mouth. Problem solved! Today's roundup includes more analysis of the big Disney-Dish deal and HBO's efforts to woo a more urban audience to "Game of Thrones."
Daily Dose: As previously speculated upon in this space, Dish Network...
Walt Disney Co. and satellite TV provider Dish Network's sweeping new agreement could lead to changes in the way consumers watch television.
The comprehensive distribution deal, announced late Monday, is expected to become a blueprint on how the television industry treats the increasingly important digital rights for valuable programming.
Dish secured Internet streaming rights for content from Disney's ESPN, ESPN2, ABC Family and Disney Channel as well as the eight ABC television stations that Disney owns.
The satellite TV company intends to use...
Culver Studios, a historic independent studio where “Gone with the Wind” and “Citizen Kane” were filmed, is changing hands.
Lehman Bros. Holdings has reached an agreement to sell the Culver City property to Hackman Capital Partners, a Los Angeles real estate investment firm, two sources familiar with the matter said.
The transaction, expected to close this week, is among former Lehman assets being sold off following the investment firm’s 2008 bankruptcy filing.
ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll
Hackman Capital is buying the property for $85 million, close to what...
Sony Pictures Entertainment will make a horror film centered on the mysterious death of Canadian tourist Elisa Lam, whose body was found inside a water tank at downtown's Cecil Hotel.
The project is based on a screenplay by Brandon and Phillip Murphy titled "The Bringing." It was acquired by Sony Pictures and Matt Tolmach Productions.
The 21-year-old Lam's body was recovered Feb. 21, 2013. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning by the coroner, though surveillance video from the hotel's elevator that showed Lam acting oddly sparked conspiracy theories about the incident.
In what is being billed as the first investment by a Chinese firm in a Hollywood talent agency, Beijing-based Bison Capital Holdings has acquired a stake in Century City-based Resolution, the company announced Tuesday.
Resolution, a talent and literary agency, is headed by Jeff Berg, the former chairman and chief executive of International Creative Management, who left that company in October 2012 after a bruising power struggle.
Privately held investment firm Bison is headed by Peixin Xu, who also is an independent director of Bona Film Group Ltd., a China-based film distributor. Among...
Satellite broadcaster Dish Network isn't interested in playing ball with the Dodgers.
In an interview, Dish executive vice president David Shull said the majority of Dish's Los Angeles area customers don't care about getting SportsNet LA, the new Dodger-owned pay-TV channel that launched last month.
Dish also doesn't carry SportsNet, the Time Warner Cable-owned channel that is the home for most Lakers games. So far, that hasn't been a problem, Shull said.
"I have a lot of customers in Los Angeles who are happy with the current lineup," Shull...
Jeremy Piven and the cast of "Entourage" have reunited for a big-screen version of the long-running HBO series.
Warner Bros. Pictures, which is producing the movie with HBO Films, said principal photography on the film had begun in L.A. on Feb. 19.
The production will film over the next 35 days in various locations around the city, including the Warner Bros. lot and Hollywood.
Last week, the crew filmed at the Little Next Door restaurant on 3rd Street in West L.A. and at private homes in the West Hollywood and Hollywood Hills, according to film permits.
Beats Music is bringing more tools for musicians into the fold.
The new music streaming service is acquiring Topspin Media, a company that helps artists promote and sell their music and merchandise to consumers.
Ian Rogers, Beats Music's chief executive and the former CEO of Topspin, said the acquisition will help artists connect directly with fans.
"We’re committed to establishing Beats Music as a conduit for the artist-fan relationship, a platform where artists have a voice, and a provider of useful data and analytics on how fans interact...
Two of the nation's preeminent legal experts on copyright law are siding with broadcasters in their legal fight against Aereo, a start-up service that transmits local television signals via the Internet.
In a brief filed at the Supreme Court, UCLA School of Law professor David Nimmer and Peter Menell, a professor at the UC Berkeley School of Law, warned that if Aereo were found to be legal it could "decimate multiple industries."
The broadcasters are hoping that the high court will overturn last year's 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruling that found Aereo's transmissions and...
Carl Kasell, the official judge and scorekeeper of NPR's news quiz show "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" is retiring from the show after a long career at the public radio nonprofit.
The veteran newsman, 79, will record his final broadcast for the show this spring.
"Wait Wait," produced in Chicago with host Peter Sagal, is now in its 16th year on the air and has an audience of more than 3.8 million listeners a week.
“And whose autograph do they line up for after each show?" asked Sagal in a statement. “Carl’s. The 50-year-old computer...
NBC won Monday night with blind auditions on "The Voice" and James Spader's "The Blacklist," though the latter's ratings in a key demographic were was down from last week.
The singing contest, now in its sixth season, drew an average of 15.7 million viewers overall, according to early numbers from Nielsen, making it the night's most-watched show. Among key 18-to-49-year-olds, "The Voice" scored a rating of 4.5, down just 4% from its premiere last week. "The Blacklist" earned a 2.7 in the advertiser-desired demographic, down 13% from a week ago, but was virtually flat in total viewership (11.1...
Showtime entertainment chief David Nevins has been promoted to president of the pay-TV channel.
Nevins, who as president of entertainment gave the green light to Showtime's successful dramas "Homeland" and "Ray Donovan," will now have oversight over the network's sports unit as well its marketing, creative and digital divisions.
The promotion to the newly created position is part of a new contract Nevins signed with Showtime that runs through 2018. He will continue to report to Showtime Chairman and Chief Executive Matt Blank.
In a statement, Blank said Nevins' 2010 arrival at Showtime led to...
After the coffee. Before insert funny line here. Oops, did I really do that?
The Skinny: I caught some of the British version of "House of Cards" last night and liked it. It felt more gritty and less glamorous than the Netflix version. Also finally watched "Zodiac," which was really great. I know, you come here for news not my viewing habits. Well, we have some big news today. Dish and Disney struck a huge distribution deal and the Department of Justice is on the side of broadcasters in their fight against Aereo. Also, how a Samsung phone got all that wonderful publicity during the Oscars.
As a child, Shannon Studstill sold gum to her classmates to finance her weekly trips to the video game arcade.
That early investment in "Pac-Man" and "Defender" would pay huge dividends.
Studstill, one of the most powerful women in the male-dominated world of video games, now runs Sony Santa Monica Studio, the development group responsible for the company's hit franchise "God of War" and the publisher of such critically acclaimed independent titles as "Journey."
The 43-year-old executive is an anomaly in an industry known for its underrepresentation of women. One 2012 survey of 4,000...
Walt Disney Co. and satellite TV provider Dish Network have signed a new long-term distribution deal that includes an agreement for Dish to disable its controversial ad-skipping feature for ABC network shows.
The two companies announced a comprehensive new distribution deal Monday night that includes breakthroughs in how digital media rights are treated.
The agreement marks a breach in the four major networks' united defense against Dish Network and its ad-skipping technology called AutoHop: As part of the deal, Disney said it would drop a lawsuit.
The accord also signals a retreat by Dish,...
Hollywood Boulevard was quiet on the Monday morning after the Oscars. The parties were over, the limos were gone, and the only people in the street were crew members taking down displays and picking up trash.
But 3,000 fans were lined up outside the lobby of the Dolby Theatre, where the "Live" staff had spent all night turning the Oscar stage into the set for the annual "Live With Kelly and Michael After Oscar Show."
"We take over the theater at midnight," joked Michael Gelman, the show's executive director. "They [the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] kind of hand over the keys."
The Department of Justice is siding with broadcasters in their legal fight against Aereo, the start-up service that streams local television signals to consumers via the Internet.
In a brief filed at the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon, the department said Aereo is "clearly infringing" on the copyrights of the broadcasters whose content it is streaming without permission, and said a lower court ruling declaring the service legal should be reversed.
Launched in 2012 and available in 13 markets, Aereo plucks the signals of broadcasters and transmits them to the Internet via tiny antennae....
Ellen DeGeneres' mass A-lister selfie and pizza party helped the Oscars rule Twitter.
The event, televised on ABC, drew nearly 11.2 million tweets from 2.8 million people, according to Nielsen SocialGuide.
The 86th Academy Awards generated 25 times more tweets that the latest episode of AMC's "The Walking Dead," which saw the next most activity on the social media site.
The total Twitter "audience" for the Oscars, meaning the estimated number of people who saw tweets about the event, numbered nearly 14 million.
Sunday night's Oscars ceremony, featuring host Ellen DeGeneres, got its biggest audience in 10 years.
The 86th Academy Awards, telecast on ABC, drew 43 million viewers on average, according to Nielsen, up about 6% from last year's show, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, which ended up with 40.4 million viewers.
The viewership record for the Oscars was set in 1998, when the gala drew 55.3 million people. That was the year the blockbuster "Titanic" won 11 Oscars, including the award for best picture.
This marks the third year in a row the awards gala's total audience has grown.
The broadcast was...
Did you tune in to the Oscars on Sunday? Advertisers hope so -- major brands including Pepsi and Dove paid an average of $1.8 million for 30-second commercial spots on ABC during the awards show.
"It has been a very healthy marketplace for the Academy Awards this year," Geri Wang, president of ABC Sales, told the Los Angeles Times last week. "There are so few marquee opportunities out there for advertisers, and the Academy Awards are truly special."
Here’s a roundup of some of the commercials that aired this year:
Ellen DeGeneres may have a reason for another pizza party, if early Oscars ratings are any indication.
According to early numbers from Nielsen, which are not reliable for live events, the Sunday telecast on ABC drew an average of about 40.2 million viewers during prime time. That's 9% higher than the preliminary numbers from last year's Oscars.
Accurate numbers won't be released until later Monday, but the early figures indicate that the show could top last year's telecast, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, which ended up with 40.4 million viewers in the final tally.
From beauty products to designer clothes, celebrities are showered with free, lavish gifts during awards season.
But swag bags and events organized around them don't just benefit celebrities. They help companies that put together the luxury events and companies that publicize their products at them -- and they often cost the companies that donate the swag a load of money.
"People say, 'Wait, you make money from your swag bags?' and I tell them, 'Yes, there's actually a business behind it,'" said Amy Boatwright, one of the owners of Secret Room Events, a brand and product marketing firm.
After the coffee. Before erasing the Oscars from my already packed DVR.
The Skinny: I'd love to tell you I was at all the hot parties last night. While I was certainly in demand — sorry, Graydon and Madonna — I opted to stay home and watch the way the little people do, which is with a bag of Doritos on my lap. Today's Fix includes all the Oscar recaps and reviews you'll need. Also, the box=office report and the latest on Comcast, Charter and Time Warner Cable.
Daily Dose: Dodger fans who are not Time Warner Cable subscribers won't be totally out of luck if the team's new channel is...
As actors and industry members flocked to the Dolby Theatre for the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday, a group of about 50 security guards and community supporters took to Hollywood Boulevard to protest.
In an effort to sway the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to stop using non-union Security Industry Specialists for the annual event, the protesters held signs that read “Academy Awards: Support Good Jobs for Our Communities” and handed out fliers that read: “Why can’t Oscar go Union?"
SIS provides security for companies such as Apple, Twitter, EBay and Google....
The still-hot "Frozen" has joined the billion-dollar box-office club.
Disney's animated fairy tale musical is expected to pass $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales on Sunday, according to studio estimates.
"Frozen," which was released wide in the United States and Canada in late November, has generated $388.7 million in box-office revenue from those two countries, while overseas sales have reached $611.5 million.
The long-running picture is nominated for two Oscars, which air Sunday night. The nods include best original song for "Let it Go" by...
Mid-flight thriller "Non-Stop," the latest action movie to star Liam Neeson, flew just higher than "Son of God" to top the box office over the Oscar weekend.
"Non-Stop" grossed a studio-estimated $30 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada through Sunday, while the New Testament retelling took in $26.5 million. After three weeks at No. 1, "Lego Movie" landed in third place with $21 million in revenue. It has generated $209 million domestically so far.
Released in North America by Universal Pictures, "Non-Stop" stars Neeson as a federal air marshal trying to save a crowded...
How much does the prospect of a gold statue mean for a movie's box-office treasure trove?
This year's set of nominees for the best picture Oscar certainly doesn't have the same number of all-out hits as last year. The 2013 roster boasted six films that crossed the $100-million mark in North America, plus one that came close ("Zero Dark Thirty," with $96 million). The current crop has just four $100-million-plus-to-date movies.
It's common to try to tease out which movie got the biggest bounce in ticket sales from the nominations. But many contenders were already at the ends of their...
Tom Capizzi is going to Hollywood Sunday night for the 86th Academy Awards, but not in a limo or a tux.
Instead, he will be protesting near the Dolby Theatre, hoisting a green sign saying "Chase Talent Not Subsidies."
Capizzi will be among hundreds of visual effects workers staging a pre-Oscar rally, hoping to bring attention to the plight of rank-and-file entertainment industry workers who have been hard hit by the flight of film and TV jobs to other states and countries offering rich incentives.
As Hollywood royalty gathers to celebrate what many are calling the...
A petition to include Sarah Jones, the camera assistant killed on a film set in Georgia last week, in the Oscars "in memoriam" tribute has so far failed to sway the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Two sources close to the academy said Jones would likely not be added to the "in memoriam" segment of the Oscars show. Instead, Jones' name is expected to be added to an extended in memoriam list on the academy's website, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the decision.
Although Jones was not a member of the academy, more than 55,...
The Federal Communications Commission has pulled the plug on a study that sought information on the how local radio and television stations cover news.
The Critical Information Needs study was to be conducted every three years for Congress. It was aimed at eliminating barriers that make entry into the media industry difficult for entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
However, the pilot test for the survey included questions regarding the editorial practices of media and was heavily criticized both inside and outside the FCC. The test was slated for this spring in Columbia, S.C.
With one of its two big fish gone, BermanBraun has changed its name to Whalerock Industries.
The Santa Monica TV production and digital media company, owned by veteran media executive Lloyd Braun, made the announcement Friday.
Braun's founding partner, Gail Berman, cut bait late last month, prompting a name change for the company that employs 150 people.
Braun separately announced that he has elevated Andrew Mittman to run the company's newly combined film and scripted TV divisions. Mittman has been in charge of the firm's small film unit since 2009.
Most baseball fans have gotten used to having to shell out a few extra bucks to watch their team.
But for Dodger loyalists, the decision of the team to move all of its games to SportsNet LA, a pay-TV channel starting this season is something of a rude awakening. That's because the number of games on a local broadcast station available free to viewers was far greater here than in just about every other city with a baseball team.
Last year, KCAL-TV Channel 9 carried 49 Dodger games or almost one-third of all the games. Only the Chicago Cubs had a bigger number of games on free TV with more than...
The release of the Christian film "Son of God" this weekend kicks off an unusually large slate of wide-release religious movies for 2014. Soon to come are "Noah" and "Exodus," followed by the Christian-themed "Heaven Is for Real." Talk about a flood.
"Son of God" comes a decade after the controversial hit "The Passion of the Christ," which generated more than $370 million in revenue at the domestic box office.
The new film, culled from footage from the successful History channel "Bible" miniseries, is not expected to do as well, though it could open with up to $20 million in ticket sales in...
CBS won Thursday night with help from "The Big Bang Theory" as Fox's "American Idol" hit a new low among key 18-49-year-old viewers.
According to early numbers from Nielsen, CBS averaged 10.5 million viewers in prime time, led by "The Big Bang Theory," which drew 17.5 million overall and notched a rating of 4.9 in the key 18-49 demographic, down a tick from its last original episode. It was the most-watched and highest-rated telecast of the night.
In the advertiser-desired demographic, a ratings point equals about 1.3 million viewers.
"The Millers," "The Crazy Ones" and "Two and a Half Men"...
After the coffee. Before getting my boat out of the garage.
The Skinny: Am I the only one disappointed (but not surprised) that Jay Leno couldn't go two weeks without popping back up on a late-night TV show? Maybe there is a 12-step program for him. Loving this rain but hope its gone by Sunday so my colleagues working the red carpet aren't drenched. Today's headlines include the box-office preview and, of course, more Oscar coverage.
Daily Dose: Time Warner Cable feels so bad that some Los Angeles viewers had their Super Bowl disrupted by a brief outage that it is even sending gift cards to...
The visitors came with a box of doughnuts and an offer to buy the Hollywood property that Funk Bros. Automotive had called home for more than a decade.
In its place, they said, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wanted to build a movie museum.
Hovig Manouchekian, manager of his family's car repair shop, remembers the 2006 meeting with the academy's real estate agent and a representative of the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles as tense — with the two men pressuring him to make a deal, or force the CRA to seize the land with its powers of eminent domain.
Long relationships are rare in Hollywood — except when it comes to Oscar.
During Sunday's telecast of the 86th Academy Awards, McDonald's Corp. is set to make its 23rd straight appearance in Hollywood's biggest night, and American Express Co. will mark its 22nd year.
J.C. Penney Co. has landed the role of leading retail advertiser every year since 2001, and, after a five-year absence, longtime advertiser Cadillac is back.
And the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences renewed its vows three years ago with ABC, an arrangement that will keep the program on the network at least until...
Less than three years after launching a leading online video subscription service in Japan, Hulu has decided to bow out of the country.
Santa Monica-based Hulu has agreed to sell its Hulu Japan subscription service to Japan's Nippon Television Network Corp., the companies announced late Thursday.
"We have now reached a point in the growth of the business in Japan where we feel the best path forward is to sell the company to a strategic buyer," Hulu Chief Executive Mike Hopkins wrote in a blog post announcing the divestiture of one of the company's most ambitious projects.
Financial terms were...
Each week, thousands of Christians gather for prayer and discussion at Liberty University's cavernous Vines Center in Lynchburg, Va.
One Monday morning in January, they listened to husband-and-wife film producing team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey pitch their new movie, "Son of God."
About 10,000 students and faculty members watched as the pair behind the hit History channel miniseries "The Bible" showed clips from the film and discussed its religious significance.
"Yes, it is a movie, but it is more than a movie," Burnett told The Times. "This is an...
The latest Liam Neeson thriller and a New Testament retelling could finally knock over "The Lego Movie" during Oscar weekend as the 3-D animated hit continues to build on its big box office take.
"Lego Movie," the irreverent comedy from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, should generate an additional $20 million in ticket sales Friday through Sunday in the U.S. and Canada, which would push it past the $200-million mark domestically.
"Lego" has dominated the multiplex over the last three weekends, but the No. 1 box office spot looks like a tossup with "Non-Stop" and "Son of God" poised for...
For the first time, ABC will live stream the Academy Awards -- but only on a limited basis.
Sunday night's red carpet preshow, the entire 86th Annual Academy Awards program and "Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars," will be made available to cable customers in eight major markets, including parts of Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Consumers will need to activate the "Watch ABC" digital application and verify that they have a subscription to one of a handful of services, including AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS.
But the live streaming service will be available only to...
"The Biggest Loser" with pets?
Another reality show about weight loss may be on the horizon -- but with animals, not humans, shedding the pounds.
A recent casting call, posted on Craigslist, is seeking applicants for a potential show about pudgy puppies and cats.
“IS YOUR PET OVERWEIGHT?," the ad asked. "You could be on a new reality show! Do you have a dog, cat or any other type of pet that's overweight, or even obese? Does your beloved family pet's weight make it hard for it to breathe, run or play? Are you concerned that your pet's weight might even cut its life short?”
BEIJING -- Fifteen Chinese movie theaters that underreported box office receipts are being punished, the China Film Producers Assn. and China Film Distributors and Exhibitors Assn. said Thursday.
Box office fraud is believed to be a significant problem in China. The state-run China Daily last month cited experts as saying last year’s box office receipts may have been underreported by at least 10%, or some $360 million.
China’s movie watchdog -- the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television -- said last month it has issued new rules to curb fraud,...
No longer facing the Olympics in prime time, Fox scored a ratings win Wednesday night as "American Idol" posted numbers that were generally in line with a week ago.
But it was a close one as CBS' premiere of "Survivor" nearly tied the singing contest in the key 18-to-49-year-old demographic. Meanwhile, ABC debuted "Mixology" with mixed results.
The veteran "Idol," now in its 13th season, drew 10.6 million viewers on average, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen, up 7% from last week. Among viewers 18 to 49, the "top 13" episode drew a rating of 2.6, flat with last week. A ratings...
After the coffee. Before asking Madonna for an invite to her Oscar party.
The Skinny: "The Americans" lived up to my expectations and we all know how picky I am. Also good to have "Modern Family" back. I got through ABC's "Mixology," but after the first act I wanted to return my drink. Thursday's roundup includes a report on China's red-hot box office. Also, the Motion Picture Assn. of America is trying to woo more GOPers to its side.
Daily Dose:If there is one pay-TV provider in particular that is unlikely to strike a deal to carry the new Dodger channel SportsNet LA it is Dish. The...
A new report by the Milken Institute could provide fresh ammunition to proponents of an expanded state film and TV tax credit.
Set to be released Thursday, the study entitled "A Hollywood Exit: What California Must Do to Remain Competitive in Entertainment -- and Keep Jobs," paints a bleak picture of the jobs California has lost to New York and other rivals due to the proliferation of film tax credits and rebates.
Among the key findings: California lost 16,137 film and TV industry jobs between 2004 and 2012, an 11% decline, according to figures from U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Labor...
Although the Federal Communications Commission has already indicated it is reworking a survey that was criticized both inside and outside the regulatory agency because it sought information about news operations of radio and TV broadcasters, a prominent lawmaker wants the study killed outright.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and chairman of the House Subcommittee of Communications and Technology, is working on a bill that would stop the FCC from proceeding with its Critical Information Needs study.
The CIN study was to start in the spring with a...
Los Angeles, you may have a Houston problem.
The Dodgers are expected to have a much better season than the lackluster Houston Astros, but fans of both teams may soon have a lot in common when it comes to watching the games on television.
In Houston, a regional sports network owned by cable giant Comcast Corp., baseball's Astros and basketball's Rockets has struggled since launching in late 2012. Comcast was the only big distributor carrying it as other area pay-TV operators, including DirecTV and AT
Production of the Gregg Allman biopic "Midnight Rider" has been suspended after the death of crew member Sarah Jones, 27, who was struck by a freight train while filming in Savannah, Ga., last week.
Unclaimed Freight Productions Inc., the Pasadena company producing the film, and Meddin Studios in Georgia, did not immediately respond to calls and emails for comment. But a person close to the crew confirmed the news to the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.
Liz Biber, spokeswoman for Open Road Films, the film’s U.S. distributor, declined to comment on reports that the company is pulling out...
The advocacy group Consumers Union is urging federal regulators to scrutinize the deal struck between cable giant Comcast Corp. and the Internet streaming service Netflix.
Netflix agreed to pay to directly connect to Comcast's network to improve the video quality of movies and TV shows streamed to subscribers, after many complained about deteriorating quality.
Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports magazine, called on Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler and U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder to investigate whether Comcast is abiding by its agreement to treat all Internet...
New Mexico, which has doubled for Afghanistan and Morocco, is about to stand in for ancient Egypt.
The new drama "Hieroglyph," produced by 20th Century Fox TV and Chernin Entertainment, will begin filming at Albuquerque Studios next month, the studio said.
Elaborate sets for the show are taking up four sound stages at the sprawling production complex, where the hit AMC TV series "Breaking Bad" also filmed.
Starring British actor Reece Ritchie, "Hieroglyph" is a fantasy drama set in ancient Egypt. The show follows a notorious thief who is plucked...
This year’s nine Academy Award nominees for best picture are exceptional films that envelope audiences with great acting, unusual story lines and distinctive cinematography. But who among us can say they have been so captivated by a great movie that no errant thought has strayed into their mind?
I have seen all nine (which may be more than most members of the academy can claim) and do not have a favorite. Each in this group of movies has such an individual look and voice that weighing one against another is like comparing the proverbial apples and oranges.
A lower Tuesday "Voice" helped NBC win the night among key 18- to 49-year-olds, while CBS had more viewers overall. Meanwhile, ABC saw a lackluster launch for its new series "Mind Games."
According to early numbers from Nielsen, the first Tuesday episode of "The Voice's" sixth season drew 13 million viewers and a 3.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic. That represents a 10% decline in 18-49 from night two of "The Voice" a year ago, though it was up 4% in total viewership.
With "The Voice" as its lead-in, a rerun of NBC's "About a Boy" premiere earned a 2.4 in the key demo, better than the...
A Venice company whose technology helps brands find their most passionate YouTube fans and incorporate their enthusiast videos into marketing campaigns has attracted $30 million in new funding.
Zefr attracted the fresh round of financing from a group of investors led by Institutional Venture Partners, a late-stage venture capital fund that previously backed Netflix, Snapchat and Twitter. The fund's general partner, Dennis Phelps, will join Zefr's board.
“The new investors believe it has the potential to be a billion-dollar business, and I believe that too,” said Mark Terbeek, who...
After the coffee. Before making sure "The Americans" is on my DVR.
The Skinny: Very excited that FX's "The Americans" is back Wednesday night. If you're not watching, start. It will easily fill the void left by the shark-jumping "Homeland." I'm also strangely excited for the rain we're supposed to get. Today's Fix includes a preview of this Sunday's Oscars and a look at the museum the movie academy is building. Also, more stories about the challenges the Dodgers channel is facing getting distributed.
Daily Dose:Broadcasters are hoping that the daughter of a Supreme Court justice can help...
BEIJING -- Not even two months into 2014, China’s box office has topped $900 million, a blistering pace far ahead of last year, when receipts for the entire first quarter were about $830 million.
The strong results are being powered by a number of films, including “The Monkey King,” which in the week that ended Sunday became only the fifth film to cross the 1-billion-renminbi milestone at the mainland box office, consulting firm Artisan Gateway said.
That puts “Monkey” in rare company. Other films that have surpassed that threshold -- about $163 million at...
With the launch of a new cloud-based movie service from Walt Disney Co., the marketplace of Web-based movie services just got more crowded and possibly confusing for consumers.
After eschewing UltraViolet, a technology standard backed by its main movie business competitors, Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. has debuted Disney Movies Anywhere, a proprietary service that gives users online access to their digital and physical Disney movie purchases.
Disney Movies Anywhere launched Tuesday and is available on Apple iOS devices including the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Users can also stream films by...
A social media campaign to pay tribute to Sarah Jones, the camera assistant who died in Georgia last week, has gone viral, drawing an outpouring of support from crew members around the world.
To honor Jones, her friends and family have launched a "Slates for Sarah" social media campaign, prompting crew members to post comments and pictures of Sarah's name written on film slates on Facebook and...
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against the makers of “Trouble With the Curve,” concluding that the script of the Clint Eastwood baseball movie was not a copy of an unproduced baseball screenplay called “Omaha,” concluding that parts of the copyright lawsuit were “frivolous” and “insulting.”
In her ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer said that producer Randy Brooks overstated the resemblance between “Omaha,” which he had developed with another screenwriter, and 2012’s “Trouble With the Curve,”...
DreamWorks Animation took a $13.5-million charge on its animated movie "Turbo," which misfired at the box office this summer.
The Glendale-based studio on Tuesday said the charge represented a loss of $0.12 cents of earnings per share in the fourth quarter. The company said it also recorded a charge of $6.7 million, or $.06 cents a share, related to other unspecified content.
Nonetheless, DreamWorks Animation swung to profit in the quarter, posting net income of $17.2 million on revenues of $204.3 million in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $82.7 million on revenues of...
Annabelle, the scary doll who traumatizes two young women, is coming to life in Los Angeles.
Mutiny Pictures has begun filming "Annabelle," a spinoff of last summer's James Wan horror movie, "The Conjuring," which was shot in North Carolina.
The spinoff began filming locally last month. The 55-member crew will shoot several days this week at an apartment on South Normandie Avenue, according to permits filed with FilmL.A. Inc.
Safran Co. is producing the film, which will be distributed next year by New Line Cinema. The movie's stars include Annabelle Wallis,...
Broadcasters are hoping that the daughter of a Supreme Court justice can help them convince the high court that Aereo -- the start-up service that streams local TV signals via the Internet -- is illegal and needs to be shutdown.
In their 65-page briefing filed Monday to the Supreme Court, broadcasters -- including ABC, CBS, NBCUniversal, Fox and Los Angeles Times parent Tribune Co. -- cited work critical of a lower court ruling favoring Aereo by Jane Ginsburg, a professor at Columbia University's School of Law and daughter of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In an April 2013 article for the Media...
Seth Meyers is off to a solid start as the new host of NBC's "Late Night" talk show, following a strong first week from Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show."
According to early numbers from Nielsen, Monday's premiere of "Late Night with Seth Meyers" delivered an average of 3.42 million viewers, the franchise's biggest audience for a Monday telecast in nine years.
Among key 18-49-year-old viewers, Meyers drew a rating of 1.4, also the best Monday since 2005. Guests included Amy Poehler, Vice President Joe Biden and musical group A Great Big World.
The last time a...
Erik Feig, a longtime Summit Entertainment executive, has been named co-president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, the studio announced Tuesday.
Feig, who has signed a new long-term deal with the Santa Monica-based company, oversees film production and development for the Lionsgate and Summit movie labels.
As part of the promotion, Feig will receive expanded responsibilities for the film group's business operations.
He previously served as the studio's president of production. Feig became part of the Lionsgate fold after its January 2012...