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SAG-aftra, Directors Guild Lay Groundwork For Contract Battles

3 February 2013 1:38 PM, PST

The Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA, and the Directors Guild of America both took steps over the weekend to prepare for upcoming negotiations.  The DGA on Sunday named Michael Apted and Thomas Schlamme  co-chairs of its feature film and television negotiations committee. Meanwhile, the national board of SAG and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists late Saturday gave its go-ahead to beginning talks with the ad industry on a new commercials contract in New York on Feb. 14. SAG-aftra's current commercials contract with the Association of National Advertisers expires on »


- Todd Cunningham

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'Ted' Going Out With $300M Bang at Overseas Box Office

3 February 2013 12:56 PM, PST

"Ted," Seth MacFarlane's ribald tale of a trash-talking teddy bear, crossed the $300 million mark at the overseas box office this weekend after taking the top spot in Japan for the third week in a row. It did $4.2 million over the weekend in its final international market, and has taken in $18.8 million there in 16 days.  That makes it the highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever in Japan. With its $218 domestic total and another $303.8 million from overseas, the worldwide total for Universal's comedy is now $522.6 million. The overseas total »


- Todd Cunningham

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Movie Marketing, Especially on TV, Needs to Evolve

3 February 2013 12:42 PM, PST

When you do research and try to figure out why people came to a movie, the main source of information is always television No one argues the reach broadcast networks and cable television stations possess when it comes to potential moviegoers. It is the single most effective way to quickly market films to the new audiences that the studios need to create. However, economically speaking, knowing the main source/cause of a problem -- audience creation in this case-- says nothing about how it should be fixed or whether you should use »

- Frank Conlon

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Independent Box Office: 'The Gatekeepers' Averages $22K Per Screen

3 February 2013 12:06 PM, PST

The Oscar-nominated documentary "The Gatekeepers" rolled to an impressive $22,226 per-screen average on three screens over the weekend.  Director Dror Moreh's film tells the story of the Israel's Shin Bet, from the perspective of six former heads of Israel's secret service. The Sony Pictures Classics release took in $66,677 over the weekend. With its Oscar qualifying run added in, its overall total is $86,015. Also read: Former Israeli Spymasters: Their Country's Not Trying Hard Enough to Make Peace "Koch," Neil Barsky's documentary about Edward Koch, debuted on the same day the former mayor »


- Todd Cunningham

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Zom-Rom-Com 'Warm Bodies' Swamps Stallone at Box Office

3 February 2013 9:55 AM, PST

"Warm Bodies," a teen romantic comedy that gives The Bard a zombie twist, is easily outperforming Sylvester Stallone's "Bullet to the Head' on its way to a runaway win at the weekend box office. Loosely based on Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," Summit Entertainment's "Warm Bodies" will take in $20 million in its first three days. That topped action-fantasy mash-up "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters," last week's No. 1 movie, which will wind up in second place with $9.2 million. And it crushed the disappointing "Bullet to the Head," which debuted to »


- Todd Cunningham

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Directors Guild Agrees: Ben Affleck Is the Man and 'Argo' Is the Movie

2 February 2013 11:45 PM, PST

Ben Affleck and "Argo" have done it again, winning the Directors Guild of America award as top feature-film director of 2013 and adding to an impressive run of guild victories that also includes the Producers Guild Award and the Screen Actors Guild prize for ensemble cast. The victory sealed the film's quick journey from underdog to top dog, even though Affleck is up against the fact that only three times in the Oscars' 84 years has the Best Picture award gone to a film whose director was not nominated in the »


- Steve Pond

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'Skyfall,' 'Life of Pi,' 'Anna Karenina' Triumph at Art Directors Guild Awards

2 February 2013 10:42 PM, PST

"Life of Pi," "Anna Karenina" and "Skyfall" won the film prizes at the 2013 Art Directors Guild Awards on Saturday during a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton. "Life of Pi" and "Anna Karenina" will both contend for Oscars later this month, along with three fellow nominees on Saturday night. Though up for five Oscars, "Skyfall" is not nominated in this category. The guild still lauded the latest film in the iconic spy franchise in its Contemporary Film section, one of two wins for 007 on Saturday. The James Bond franchise took home »


- Lucas Shaw

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Directors Guild Agrees: Ben Affleck Is the Man and 'Argo' Is the Movie

2 February 2013 10:36 PM, PST

Ben Affleck and "Argo" have done it again, winning the Directors Guild of America award as top feature-film director of 2013 and adding to an impressive run of guild victories that also includes the Producers Guild Award and the Screen Actors Guild prize for ensemble cast.   The victory sealed the film's quick journey from underdog to top dog, even though Affleck is up against the fact that only twice in the Oscars' 84 years has the Best Picture award gone to a film whose director was not nominated in the Best »


- Steve Pond

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Directors Guild Agrees: Ben Affleck Is the Man and 'Argo' Is the Movie

2 February 2013 10:35 PM, PST

Ben Affleck and "Argo" have done it again, winning the Directors Guild of America award as top feature-film director of 2013 and adding to an impressive run of guild victories that also includes the Producers Guild Award and the Screen Actors Guild prize for ensemble cast.   The victory sealed the film's quick journey from underdog to top dog, even though Affleck is up against the fact that only twice in the Oscars' 84 years has the Best Picture award gone to a film whose director was not nominated in the Best »


- Steve Pond

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'Wreck-It Ralph' Smashes the Competition at the Annie Awards

2 February 2013 10:17 PM, PST

"Wreck-It Ralph" wrecked the rest of the field at the 40th annual Annie Awards on Saturday night, picking up five awards to reinforce its position as the animated film with the most momentum heading into Oscar voting.  Rich Moore's comedy about a video-arcade bad guy who yearns to become a hero was named Best Animated Feature by the International Animated Film Society, Asifa-Hollywood. Moore was also honored for his directing, and the film won additional awards for its screenplay, music and voice acting in a ceremony at UCLA's Royce Hall. On the heels »


- Steve Pond

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Johnny Depp to Star as Whitey Bulger for Barry Levinson in 'Black Mass'

2 February 2013 9:35 PM, PST

Johnny Depp will star as notorious gangster Whitey Bulger in "Black Mass," an upcoming film that "Rain Man" director Barry Levinson will direct, Cross Creek Pictures and Exclusive Media announced on Saturday. Cross Creek and Exclusive Media are co-producing and co-financing the project, which Universal will release domestically as part of its deal with Cross Creek. The film's title stems from the New York Times bestseller "Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob." Written by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerald O'Neill, the »


- Lucas Shaw

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'Warm Bodies' Heating Box Office; Stallone's 'Bullet to the Head' Looks DOA

2 February 2013 8:44 AM, PST

"Warm Bodies" is running away with the box office championship on Super Bowl weekend. The zombie romantic comedy targeted teens and debuted to $8.1 million Friday, which projects to a three-day total of around $20 million. "Warm Bodies  received a "B+" CinemaScore from its young audiences and easily outpaced last week's No. 1 film, the R-rated 3D fantasy-action mash-up "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters," which took in $3.2 million Friday and is looking at a $10 million second weekend for Paramount.  »


- Todd Cunningham

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Former Israeli Spymasters: Their Country's Not Trying Hard Enough to Make Peace

1 February 2013 6:39 PM, PST

The idea was simple enough: interview six of the directors of Israel's feared security service, the Shin Bet, to hear their views on Israel. The results that director Dror Moreh (below left, obtained for "The Gatekeepers" -- which opened Friday in Los Angeles and New York -- were anything but simple. By turns surprising, intimate, confessional, self-critical and, at times, scathing, the former spymasters offer harsh words for what they see as the Israeli government's failure to make peace with the Palestinians.  Moreh talks about the experience of interviewing the Shin »


- Sharon Waxman

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Mark Waters to Direct First Film in 'Vampire Academy' Series

1 February 2013 5:28 PM, PST

Mark Waters will direct "Blood Sisters," the first film in a planned franchise based on the "Vampire Academy" young adult novels, Reliance Entertainment and Im Global announced on Friday. Reliance and Im Global are financing the movie, which is based on the first book in Richelle Mead's best-selling series. There are six books in the series thus far. Waters' brother Dan Waters adapted the tale, which follows two inseparable vampires, Rose Hathaway and Princess Lissa. The two attend a school designed to help vampires remain somewhat human as they mature. As humans often »


- Lucas Shaw

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ABC Picks Up Comedy Pilot Based on Israeli Sitcom (Video)

1 February 2013 5:27 PM, PST

ABC is exploring the uglier side of sitcom marriage by ordering "Divorce: A Love Story" to pilot. The multi-camera half-hour comedy is based on an Israeli series called "Life Isn't Everything" ("Hahaim Ze Lo Hakol" in Hebrew) and revolves around a recently-divorced couple who continue to drive each other crazy because they can't stay out of each other's lives.  Also read: ABC Orders Comedies 'Bad Management,' Untitled Andrea Abbate Project to Pilot "Rules of Engagement" executive producer Mike Sikowitz wrote the pilot with Israeli creator Daniel Lappin, who are both co-executive-producing with Noa Tishby ("In »


- Greg Gilman

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CBS Orders Detective Drama Pilot From 'Homeland' Ep Michael Cuesta

1 February 2013 5:27 PM, PST

CBS has ordered a drama pilot from "Homeland" executive producer Michael Cuesta. The pilot, "Second Sight," is based on the British series of the same name by Paula Milne. Described as a gothic psychological thriller, the pilot centers on a detective who is suddenly afflicted with an autoimmune virus that causes hallucinations reflective of his subconscious. He discovers that catching the killer depends as much on insight as eyesight.   and will follow a homicide detective who is going blind and turns his affliction into an advantage, using his heightened senses and intuition »


- Tim Kenneally

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Twitter Says 250,000 Accounts Hacked

1 February 2013 5:01 PM, PST

Twitter said Friday that 250,000 of its accounts were hacked earlier this week. An investigation showed that hackers infiltrated Twitter's internal data and stole usernames, email addresses and encrypted passwords from the users, the company said in a blog post. "This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data," Bob Lord, Twitter's director of information security, wrote in the post. "We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later." He said the social network, which has »

- Alexander C. Kaufman

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'Breaking Bad' Star Anna Gunn to Star in Bravo's 'Rita' Pilot

1 February 2013 4:52 PM, PST

Anna Gunn isn't wasting time lining up work for the post-"Breaking Bad" phase of her career. Gunn, who plays Skyler White in AMC's hit meth drama "Breaking Bad," has signed on to star in Bravo's upcoming pilot "Rita." Also read: Breaking Up With "Breaking Bad"? The pilot, an adaptation of the Danish format of the same name, is described as an "edgy, humorous and acerbic family drama" that "follows an outspoken private school teacher who struggles to raise her own three teenage children while dealing with the inane bureaucracy and overprotective parents at »


- Tim Kenneally

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Steven Tyler's Attorney Scores Big Win in Suit Over 'American Idol' Fee

1 February 2013 4:17 PM, PST

Steven Tyler's entertainment attorney Dina Lapolt had reason to sing on Friday. Lapolt, who was sued by Tyler's former management group, Kovac Media Group, over fee negotiations for Tyler's "America Idol" judging stint, had the majority of Kovac's claims thrown out on Friday, a spokesperson for Lapolt told TheWrap. Also read:  Stephen Tyler's "American Idol" Stint Sparks $8M Lawsuit Judge Joseph R. Kalin of Los Angeles Superior Court ruled in Lapolt's favor and threw out three of Kovac's claims after Laport filed a motion to have the claims dismissed on anti-slapp grounds. (Slapp is »


- Tim Kenneally

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Alan Cumming Bringing One-Man 'Macbeth' to Broadway

1 February 2013 3:18 PM, PST

Alan Cumming is headed back to Broadway to star in "Macbeth." The gimmick in this production of the so-called "Scottish play," is that "The Good Wife" star won't just be playing the titular crown-grabber, he will perform all the parts -- from the three witches to Lacy Macbeth. To explain the multiple personalities being dramatized on stage, this version of William Shakespeare's play will be set in a psychiatric unit with Cumming playing a patient who re-enacts the tale of bloody palace intrigue. The show's producers said it will have only a »


- Brent Lang

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