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Posts Tagged ‘Universal Pictures’

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2014 Pulitzer Prizes Announced (FishbowlNY)
The Pulitzer Prizes celebrate the best of the best, and Monday we learned the latest recipients of journalism’s highest honor. TVNewser The Washington Post and the U.S. edition of The Guardian have won the award. They will share the Public Service award for their series of stories on NSA surveillance, as revealed by Edward Snowden, an NSA contractor who gave the top-secret information to the news organizations. The Pulitzer committee said the journalism was “marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.” Politico Snowden immediately declared the decision “a vindication.” The reporting on the former government contractor’s leaks was led by journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewan McAskill at The Guardian, Barton Gellman at the Post, and Laura Poitras, who worked with both newspapers. NYT The Boston Globe won the breaking news prize for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and wounded at least 260. The Post won a second award, for explanatory journalism. Eli Saslow, 31, a staff writer, won for a series of articles on American families that rely on the federal food stamp program. GalleyCat Author Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her book The Goldfinch. The novel about an orphan also won Amazon’s Best Books of the Month “Spotlight Pick” in October 2013 and was shortlisted for 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award.

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Universal Pictures Pulls Plug on Tower Heist VOD

Due to backlash from movie theater operators, Universal Pictures decided to squash plans to show Tower Heist on Comcast’s video on demand service.

“Universal Pictures today announced that in response to a request from theater owners, it has decided to delay its planned premium home video on demand (PVOD) experiment,” Universal said in a statement. “Universal continues to believe that the theater experience and a PVOD window are business models that can coincide and thrive and we look forward to working with our partners in exhibition to find a way to experiment in this area in the future.”

The original plan involved Comcast cable customers with a high-definition TV in Portland, Oregon and Atlanta paying $59.99 to watch Tower Heist from their home starting on Nov. 23. A number of theaters worried about losing customers were prepared to not show the Eddie Murphy-Ben Stiller comedy in protest.

In the end, the pressure was too much and Universal caved … for now.

You Can Watch First-Run Films at Home for $60

Universal Pictures and Comcast are testing out a new concept that will allow you to watch a movie that’s still in theaters from your living room couch.

The only catch?

It’s going to cost you $60.

Comcast cable customers with a high-definition TV in Portland, Oregon and Atlanta can test out the service starting Nov. 23 with Tower Heist, starring Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller. You have a 48-hour window to watch an unlimited number of times.

I can see this concept working for families. When you factor in the cost of parking, four tickets and food, $60 is a steal.

In the future, let’s hope the film selections are better than Tower Heist. You would have to pay me $60 to sit through that one.

LAT In 90 Seconds

42447985.jpgWhat Would Allah Blog? Jeffrey Fleishman has a terrifically interesting piece about religious and secular Muslims duking it out on Facebook throughout the Middle East. We think our culture wars are hot — kids in Cairo give secular counterparts wake-up calls so they don’t miss the dawn prayers.

39076894.jpgHow Bad Is The Economy? So bad that Universal Pictures just turned town the $130 million budget proposal for Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson‘s 3-D animated movie Tintin. That’s right. Someone said no to Spielberg. If bank failures didn’t convince you to stick your money in a mattress, this ought to do it.

42452622.jpgLow Riders: Teens who were texting Metrolink engineer Robert Sanchez on the day of the crash have taken their grieving public — on the Internet.

Pitt to Become an ‘Inglorious Bastard’ for Tarantino, Media Says

Brad Pitt.jpgIt’s not the weirdest thing in the world to hear that Brad Pitt will take a role in Quentin Tarantino‘s next film, “Inglorious Bastards” for the Weinstein Brothers and Universal Pictures.Quentin.jpg

What’s much more interesting is watching how the media, which is by all accounts in love with Pitt’s professional and personal life, handles the news.
Variety, which would be expected to break this kind of news — it’s their job for heaven’s sake — posted a full write-up at 3:20 p.m. on Thursday. Veteran reporter Michael Fleming and newbie Tatiana Siegel were bylined on the piece.
Blogger extraordinaire Nikke Finke, who prides herself on not being anything remotely like the trades and continually disparages their presence and even the news they report, issued her own one-line version with a headline that said: “Toldja.”
To her credit, the one-line version was posted at 3:13 p.m. Thursday. So she managed to get her six-word epiphanic story out all of seven minutes before Variety’s several hundred-word opus.
Maybe it’s the internet.

Tarantino Pleas with Universal to Take ‘Bastards’

Tarantino.jpg
Quentin Tarantino‘s first period piece about World War II, called “Inglorious Bastards,” may end up at Universal Pictures, according to Variety.
The studio has been negotiating with Weinstein Co. co-chair Harvey Weinstein to see if they can secure the film.
Harvey met with five different studios about finding co-financing and it boiled down to Universal and Paramount.
But Paramount reportedly fell out over its need to take foreign and domestic distribution, which Harvey was unwilling to relinquish unless a special contract were constructed along the lines of how the foreign deal was handled for “Kill Bill.”
Tarantino recently met with Brad Pitt to play the leading role of Aldo Raine, though that deal is said to be a long way from closing. Pitt and Universal will need to make up following bad blood over Pitt dropping out of Universal’s “State of Play” last year at the last second.
Shooting is scheduled to begin on “Inglorious Bastards” in the fall in Germany and France.

Trade Round-Up: Sept. 26, 2007

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CASTING ROUND-UP
Universal Pictures is back in business with Jennifer Aniston, signing the actress to star opposite Aaron Eckhart in Traveling, Variety reports. Pic will be the directing debut of Brandon Camp who wrote the script with Mike Thompson. You guessed it – it’s a romantic dramedy that stars Aniston as a floral designer who factors heavily into a self-help guru’s realization that he practices none of the principles he teaches.

Kevin James has signed on to write, produce and star in Mall Cop for Columbia Pictures. We don’t really need to tell you the story, which he’ll write with Nick Bakay, Variety reports.

Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren and Robin Wright Penn will star opposite Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Jason Bateman in State of Play for Universal Pictures/Working Title, writes Variety. Project is an adaptation of the British miniseries.

Will & Grace alum Eric McCormack is headed to cable TV, signing on to star in the TNT drama pilot Truth in Advertising, THR reports. The project is set at multimillion-dollar advertising agency Rothman, Greene & Mohr, where executives must continually prove themselves as their jobs are on the line every day. Sounds a bit like FBLA.

- CHRIS GARDNER

Trade Round-Up: Sept. 12, 2007

jon stewart.jpegStewart Tapped for Academy Awards
He’s baaaack! Jon Stewart has signed on to front next year’s Oscarcast, bringing him back to the Kodak Theatre stage for the second year in a row. And even though it’s his second outing, Stewart says in today‘s Variety, “I’m thrilled to be asked to host the Academy Awards for the second time because, as they say, the third time’s the charm.”

Pitt Back to Work, Again
Even though Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie already have four kids and seem to repeat to the press over and over how they plan to take some time off, Mr. Pitt has signed on for yet another film role. He’ll reteam with his Fight Club costar Edward Norton in State of Play for Universal Pictures, Michael Fleming reports in today’s Variety. It’s an adaptation of the British miniseries and Kevin Macdonald will direct.

Toronto Film Acquisitions
THR’s film team gives the scoop on several acquisitions out of the Toronto Film Festival including George Romero’s Diary of the Dead to the Weinstein Co. and Tom McCarthy’s The Visitor to Overture Films. Read the rest of the fest sales wrap here.

- CHRIS GARDNER

LAT in 90 Seconds

cruises.jpgA Little Welcome Wagon: Tom Cruise and Will Smith will team up to throw the Beckhams a welcome-to-LA bash on Sunday for 600 of their closest friends, including Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, Jim Carrey, Anjelica Huston, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Brian Grazer, Warner Bros. President Alan Horn and Universal Pictures chief Ron Meyer. And other neighbors.

31272748.jpgEmmy Noms Are In: And Ugly Betty is sitting pretty with 11 nods. The Envelope has more.

31279205.jpgWhat’s Gotten Into Those Clowns? Has LAT replaced its copy editors with the creators of Bum Fights? Story after story about Michael Vick’s indictment on graphic allegations of animal cruelty, is preceded with astoundingly inappropriate pun-ny headlines. Including, from the site’s homepage: “A Dog-gone Mess.” Seriously?