Attention summer theater-goers: Movie perfection has been achieved.
Archives: May 2006
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More, per Reuters, the president “said people in the hotel were saved in part because U.N. forces occupied the hotel and because the killers wanted to keep it as a place where they could drink beer after a long day of killing and discuss whom to kill the following day.”
Initially, we thought of making a glib comment about Hutus bearing a striking resemblance to Endeavor agents putting away Heinekens at the Four Seasons, but realized that that would be going too far, and promptly recoiled from it.
Now we’re just plain horrified all over again.
The movie business is officially possessed.
Or perhaps it’s just drunk with glee over the fabulous “X Men: The Last Stand” grosses. Either way, Fox domestic distribution president Bruce Snyder today actually let slip that the reason the studio remade “The Omen” was entirely due to the calendar’s unusual confluence of sixes. As in: Tuesday, June 6th, 2006.
As Snyder told the Hollywood Reporter‘s Martin Grove,
“If it was a Wednesday it wouldn’t be quite as difficult, but that’s the reason you make the movie (so you can launch it) when 666 rolls around again. So we had to go out on that Tuesday.”
Good Lord, man. That’s the reason you made the movie? Because the release date is a bunch of sixes?!
In the words of a certain nanny: Look at me Fox! It’s all for you!
Today, Billboard carries thew word that the Son of Bob has ignited a big fattie in aisle 10: A deal, in perpetuity, with Target.
“This is the best time, in terms of owning your own masters,” Marley recently told Billboard.com about his free-agent status. “This was a dream of my father (the late Bob Marley). I’m actually fulfilling what he wanted. Right now, I feel like I’m doing for him what he wanted to do. After ‘Uprising,’ his last album for Island Records (in 1980), he was going to do his own thing.”
Your damn skippy, Ziggy: Alanis, for example, made out like a bandit from an exclusive-for-six-weeks sales arrangement with Starbucks last year.
The downside to such deals? Big chains aren’t going to back you if you do something edgy. Anyone remember Bruce Springsteen’s album debacle? But we’re guessing that’s not something Ziggy’s too worried about these days, mon.
And if Target starts offering a Michael Graves Ganja Dryer? We’ll know this deal has really begun to make sense.
– Wow. I had no idea that if you feel you’ve been “psychologically damaged by the process” of dating, you can get millions of dollars worth of compensation. Lucky me! I might just be a billionaire.
– Scathing commentary from Daniel Goldhagen today, excoriating the Pope’s white-washing of Germany’s involvement in the Holocaust. Goldhagen also wrote the book “Hitler’s Willing Executioners,” one of the most interesting and readable books on the subject we’ve encountered.
– Olga Rutterschmidt. The Joker. We ask: They’re obviously twins. The real question is, who’s the evil twin.
God, we love Hollywood: Even when someone appears to have been shot out of a cannon, it can still be made to sound marvelous.
As is the case at Marvel Entertainment, which today shed Avi Arad as its chairman and CEO.
Viz, the Hollywood Reporter: “Fresh off his successful turn as producer of ‘X-Men: The Last Stand,’ which enjoyed one of the biggest opening weekends in boxoffice history, Avi Arad has stepped down as head of Marvel Entertainment’s film studio to run his own production company.”
Right. Because anyone in their right mind would leave that job voluntarily. Marvel’s stock shot down nearly 4% on the news, and rightfully so.
Arad, of course, engineered one of the greatest turnarounds of Hollywood history. Before he and Ike Perlmutter came in, Marvel was so broke it, it literally had to auction off its front door to emerge from bankruptcy. Arad’s hits need to introduction: Sony’s “Spider-man” and its sequels not only saved Marvel, it saved Amy Pascal‘s job as chairman of Columbia pictures.
But the company has had difficulty replicating that success. “Hulk” was a costly underperformer. “Daredevil” barely crawled to $100 million, and its spin-off, “Elektra” well, let’s just say Jennifer Garner was forced at gunpoint into that leather bodysuit. We’ll leave aside “The Punisher” and “Man-thing.” No need to get bitchy, now.
No, based on what Arad is taking with him, it looks like he’s being given or given himself a golden parachute: A piece of how ever many “Spider-man’s” can be made at Sony, the damaged-goods “Hulk” and the iffy “Iron Man,” – the latter of which has staunchly refused to be made at New Line Cinema for the last five years.
The future doesn’t look terribly bright, but today looks mah-velous, as Variety points out:
“Not only is Arad basking in the glow of the boffo $122.9 million opening for “X-Men: the Last Stand”– which made it politically easier to exit now — but he has 3.15 million shares in Marvel Entertainment that vested last Friday. Arad immediately moved to sell the shares Wednesday, making nearly $60 million in the process.”
Whether he jumped or was pushed, Avi got while the gettin’ was good.
As usual, Hollywood is eating porn’s dust.
Today, Disney announced it has struck a new deal with CinemaNow, the movie download service.
Per the Hollywood Reporter,
“The deal, which took effect Tuesday, will include films on the same day that they come out on DVD, such as “Eight Below” (June 20) and “Annapolis” (June 27). Prices will be about comparable to DVDs — about $20 for new releases and half that for other movies.”
In so doing, they’re ahead of other studios, but still behind Vivid, which made a deal with CinemaNow two weeks ago.
Of course, by Hollywood standards, neither the deal nor the comparison to Vivid means much – the downloads are only available simultaneously with DVD release, so there’s not much incentive to pay more for a film you have to watch on your PC.
And while adult films are only available on DVD, they don’t ever cost a mind-blowing $200 million a la “Spider-man 3.” If there’s to be any chance of this service catching on, Disney and other studios will have to offer it before the DVDs go on sale – for now, the odds on that are about the same as Ron Jeremy replacing Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Carribean 3.”
“It is comforting to watch the Man reaffirm mainstream values of laissez-faire restraint. And it’s fun to see this central contradiction of conservatism – the amoralists’ economic freedom versus the zealots’ will to regulate – exposed. But what’s most intriguing is that it might just become a great test case for the modern media age: Now that 86 percent of Americans have their TV programs delivered by cable or satellite, and any 12-year-old is free to look at billions of unregulated Web pages, what exactly is the point of having the federal government make rules about how raunchy or rude broadcast programs may be?”
In case you missed it, my KCRW radio show this week features an interview with “Oz” and “Homicide: Life on the Streets” creator Tom Fontana about the chilling effect he thinks he new decency legislation will have on the TV business. You can listen to it by clicking here.
You can heave a sigh of relief: The Wall Street Journal today carries the news that Chris-tuh-fuh will be on the final few episodes of HBO‘s “The Sopranos.”
While the hot-tempered Moltisanti’s attempts at negotiation with Sir Ben Kingsley – pardon us, Ben Fuckin’ Kingsley – were clearly a wash this season, his real-world reps are clearly having better luck: HBO‘s attempt to define the final 20 episodes of the series as a single “season” have failed.
“The trio that secured varied raises, according to people familiar with the matter, are Michael Imperioli, who plays mobster Tony Soprano’s hothead nephew Christopher; Lorraine Bracco, who plays Tony’s shrink; and Vincent Curatola, who plays New York boss Johnny Sack.”
Silvio Dante: Chrissie, I hear you’re doing good with the gambling.
Christopher Moltisanti: You kidding me? With the money I made, I could go work at Denny’s for the rest of my life.
Silvio Dante: Yeah, like they would ever hire you.
Bizarre news today over at MGM: It’s dumping its distribution arrangement with Sony and headed to Fox.
That’s more than a little odd, because Sony owns a fifth of MGM.
As Reuters points out, “For Sony, MGM‘s decision cuts both ways. Sony’s home video business will lose lucrative distribution fees it would have earned for releasing titles from MGM‘s library of 4,000 movies and 10,000 TV episodes. However, Sony will benefit if MGM makes more money because Sony owns 20 percent of the company.”
Yeah, well, that last part is true, I guess. But the fact that MGM is dumping Sony shows that Sir Howard Stringer has the tiger, er, lion, by the tail all along: Sony paid $3 billion last year so it could access MGM’s massive library, not so it could be in the movie business with MGM. Now, the opposite has happened: MGM‘s senior-most production executives are all pink-slipped, and the “studio” is essentially a shell company that releases films other companies have financed.
The fact that Sony will be get to release another Bond film and still another “Pink Panther” film via MGM is hardly an apologia for synergy; it’s a face-saving move that suggests Sony’s synergistic investment may never have made sense in the first place.
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