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‘Safe Haven’ Takes Valentines Day With ‘Die Hard 5′ Close; ‘Beautiful Creatures’ Bombs

15 February 2013 7:54 AM, PST

Friday 7:45 Am, 5th Update Writethru: Valentine’s Day numbers are differing widely among my sources. But both Fox’s critically panned Bruce Willis franchise A Good Day To Die Hard (3,552 theaters) and Relativity’s critically panned romantic drama Safe Haven (3,223 theaters) ”performed well” even according to rival studios. And both earned ‘B+’ CinemaScores from audiences which should help word of mouth. As expected, romance author Nicholas Sparks won Valentine’s Day with $8.9M. Close behind, because when you think of romance you think of the Die Hard franchise, is the Bruce Willis actioner with around $8.1M. But it should win the long 5-day Presidents Day weekend. Universal’s holdover Identity Thief will be #3 with around $5.3M. Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate’s two week old Warm Bodies became #4 with around $2.5M. And, to complete the Top Five, Thursday’s third opener was Warner Bros’ Beautiful Creatures (2,950 theaters) which earned a ‘B »


- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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Oscars: Host Seth MacFarlane On Video

15 February 2013 4:11 AM, PST

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has released portions of an interview with 85th annual Oscars host Seth MacFarlane on his biggest challenge as host, on his involvement in the show’s production, on keeping things unpredictable, on how Saturday Night Live helped him prepare, on interacting with the Oscars audience, on Oscar memories with his family, and on the ideal Oscar host. Deadline put all the sound bites and B-roll footage together: Click here to view the embedded video. »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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Oscars: Academy’s Hawk Koch On Video

15 February 2013 3:56 AM, PST

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has released portions of an interview with president Hawk Koch about Seth MacFarlane as Oscars host, on Oscar telecast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and their show, on the competition among this year’s motion pictures, and on taking charge of the Academy Awards. Deadline put all four sound bites together: Click here to view the embedded video. »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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2013 Wgaw Awards Announces Talent

14 February 2013 10:22 PM, PST

Executive Producer Cort Casady and Talent Producer Carole Propp have confirmed additional presenters to the talent line-up for the 2013 Writers Guild Awards L.A. ceremony this Sunday: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Modern Family co-stars Julie Bowen and Rico RodriguezJane Lynch (Glee), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Viola Davis (The Help), Kate Walsh (Private Practice), Stana Katic (Castle) joining her co-star Nathan FillionAmy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) and co-star Adam Scott, Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Walton Goggins (Justified), Alfred Molina (Monday Mornings), Mad Men creator Matthew WeinerAubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Sam Waterston (The Newsroom), Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond), filmmaker Mark Duplass (The Mindy Project), screenwriters Jon Lucas & Scott Moore (The Hangover), and Key And Peele co-creators/co-stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. The show will be directed by Joe DeMaio with Dave Boone returning as the show’s head writer. Contributing creative direction is the Wgaw’s »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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Oscars: Academy Sets Backstage Hosts

14 February 2013 3:03 PM, PST

The Academy and Disney/ABC Television Group’s Digital Media team today announced the hosts for their ‘Backstage Pass’ on Oscar.com and the official Oscars app. Hosts and correspondents include: returning co-hosts, ABC The View’s Sherri Shepherd and ABC soap star Cameron Mathison, plus ABC Modern Family’s Rico Rodriquez, Entertainment Weekly’s Jess Cagle, and People’s Peter Castro. The Backstage Pass will also debut a multimedia first-ever Red Carpet Digital Lounge anchored by Radio Disney’s Jake Whetter, Popsugar’s Allison McNamara, and Mashable’s Brian Anthony Hernandaz. The Oscars Backstage Pass features more than 20 live cameras placed on the Red Carpet and throughout the backstage area of the Dolby Theatre during the telecast. They will capture sound bites, backstage action, short interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. On Oscar Sunday, the Backstage Pass feature goes live from the Red Carpet to the end of the show. Oscars »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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Barry Diller’s Oscar Party On, Dani Janssen’s Off

13 February 2013 4:00 PM, PST

It’s too early to post my 2013 Hollywood Oscar party roundup. But unlike 2012 when fewer media, organizations, and swells were throwing bashes, this year almost has returned to normal. Barry Diller’s Oscar weekend mogul picnic on Saturday afternoon for Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter is back on after its 2012 hiatus. But my pal Dani Janssen’s after-the-Oscars party on Sunday night is cancelled again for the second straight year. There are still Oscar weekend’s agency parties — Hildy Gottlieb’s ICM party Thursday night, and then Jim BerkusUTA party and Ari Emanuel’s Wme fete and Bryan Lourd’s CAA bash Friday night. Harvey Weinstein’s doing it up big this year. So are the major studios with all their nominations. And there’s the fundraisers like Jeffrey Katzenberg’s ‘Night Before’ party for the Motion Picture & Television Fund and the blowout for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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“No One’s Having Sex”: Hollywood Spoof

13 February 2013 3:28 PM, PST

Disagree with me all you want, but this little Valentine’s Day guys-can’t-get-laid video is better than anything I’ve seen in a while – and funnier. Watch for the celeb cameos and cutouts (Ryan Murphy). And also the agency mentions. (“Man, even in a comedy music video about women in La, Apa gets made fun of,” emails the guy who submitted it to me): »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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Jeff Berg’s Resolution Hires Steve Alexander

13 February 2013 3:02 PM, PST

Exclusive: Steve Alexander was not just a very popular CAA talent agent for 10 years but also Heath Ledger’s, Jeff Bridges’ and Natalie Portman’s rep. After Ledger’s death, he left the agency business to go into management and independent production including 3 years with Atlas Entertainment. Now I’ve learned he’s joining Jeff Berg‘s Resolution Agency as a senior agent in the film and talent area. I’m told he was intensely sought after by many of the top agencies when it became known he wanted to return to the tenpercent business. Alexander was instrumental in building the career of Ledger, recognized posthumously with an Academy Award for best supporting actor for portraying The Joker in The Dark Knight.  His other clients also included Kim Basinger, Orlando Bloom, Johnny Knoxville, Chow Yun-Fat, Joy Bryant, Peter Gallagher, Emmy Rossum and Eddie Izzard. Alexander began working for Joel Silver »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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USC Film School Raising Hollywood Profile: Fox’s Jim Gianopulos Newest To Join Board

13 February 2013 2:50 PM, PST

The USC School Of Cinematic Arts keeps making a big push to gain more support among current Hollywood moguls and filmmakers who aren’t has-beens. Smart business: the names will translate into more money and clout for the school and its BA, Ma, Mfa and PhD programs. USC has to compete just even locally with American Film Institute’s AFI Conservatory and UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television not to mention other rival schools nationally like New York University Tisch School of the Arts and internationally like Beijing Film Academy. So no surprise that Twentieth Century Fox Film Chairman Jim Gianopulos this week joined the USC film school’s Board Of Councilors. Last week, Bryan Singer donated $5 million and became the first alumnus to have one of the film school’s 6 programs of study named in his honor. Also last week, Paramount’s Brad Grey and CBS Inc’s »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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Winners Of The Deadline Caption Contest: Meet Resolution (And Congrats, Everyone)

12 February 2013 7:11 AM, PST

Tuesday Am Update: First, you should know that Jeff Berg and his new Resolution Agency colleagues thought this caption contest was hilarious. Like, duh, they know how old they are. They also know that they’re wiser and richer and badder than all you wusses who complained it was ageist. That said, I’d advise the four to hire a good stylist - geez, any stylist – next time their photo is taken. As for the contest itself, the captions were so effing funny I laughed until I cried. (Why can’t SNL hire you Borscht Belt comics?) And the winners are: First Place Disney wonders how it will break it to the original Star Wars actors that they won’t be in Episode 7. Second Place We’re the four guys who believe McG can actually tell a story. Third Place “Dear Gentlemen, Thank you for your interest in Kappa Alpha. »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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Nancy Tellem Talks Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios, Finally

12 February 2013 4:34 AM, PST

Related: Microsoft Reveals Xbox Community Data Nancy Tellem has always been a pioneer, first as a woman in the traditional TV entertainment biz and then as #2 to Les Moonves at CBS Inc. When she transitioned to a consulting role in January 2010, Tellem indulged her passion for the digital world full-time. Meetings with Microsoft to discuss CBS/CW evolved until June 2012 when, after three months of negotiations, Microsoft announced her appointment as Entertainment & Digital Media president. Now she’s expanding her turf while Microsoft expands its entertainment footprint. At the ’D: Dive Into Media’ industry event late Monday, she spilled about her vision for entertainment on Xbox and about her new Los Angeles-based Xbox Entertainment Studios. But Microsoft and innovation do not go hand in hand: it’s been a digital slowpoke from the beginning and now can’t even make a decent computer operating system. Not only is Windows 8 a bomb, »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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Microsoft Reveals Xbox Community Data

12 February 2013 3:15 AM, PST

Related: Nancy Tellem Talks Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios Microsoft is one of the most secretive companies in the world. So it’s news that Yusuf Mehdi, corporate VP of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, on Monday night released new data about entertainment usage on Xbox and how it’s “exploded”. He claims there are now more than 76 million Xbox 360 consoles around the world — or 3 times the number of original Xbox consoles sold. In 2012, the amount of TV and other entertainment offerings on Xbox almost tripled, Mehdi claims, now surpassing 100 custom voice-controlled TV and entertainment apps on Xbox Live. “Yes, we started with video games, but we have been on a journey to make Xbox the center of every household’s entertainment.” Here’s more, according to a Microsoft news release about Mehdi’s talk at the ‘D: Dive Into Media’ conference: Living room entertainment is in its largest evolutionary »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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