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Big Budget ‘Jack The Giant Slayer’ Bombs On Bad Weekend For All New Releases

2 March 2013 11:00 PM, PST

Saturday Pm, 2Nd Update: I’m traveling but will keep you posted about box office. In a word, it’s ugly. Maybe that really lousy Academy Awards show turned off America to the movies. “It’s a bad weekend across the board,” a studio exec warns while one more describes, ”Another soft weekend.” Total filmgoing of $100M looks to be a whopping -37% less than last year with every single new release underperforming tracking by a wide margin. This is usually a good time to release family fare, and even more so now because there’s next-to-nothing in the multiplex. That said, Warner Bros knew well before this weekend that Bryan Singer‘s 3D Jack The Giant Slayer (3,525 theaters, including 317 IMAX screens) was tracking very soft domestically and turning into major trouble. All those effects drove the cost to a ridiculously expensive $200 million shared with Legendary Pictures and New Line. »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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Daily Variety Dead: Names 3 Editors-In-Chief And Turns Weekly; Claudia Eller Exits La Times; Can This Failing Trade Be Saved?

26 February 2013 9:41 AM, PST

Update: Variety announced today that it needs no fewer than 3 editors-in-chief to try to save the beleaguered trade which is moving to a once-a-week print edition instead of a daily. Two of the newly named chiefs are from inside, Cynthia Littleton and Andrew Wallenstein, and one is from outside, Claudia Eller from the Los Angeles Times who used to work at Variety. They’ll oversee coverage of television, digital content, and film respectively. Tim Gray wasn’t fired as expected (and should have been) but instead was demoted to overseeing international coverage and unspecified “other special projects” after presiding over Variety‘s humiliating loss of readership and influence and advertising. (2Nd Update: The new owner, Variety Media‘s Chairman/CEO Jay Penske whose Penske Media Corp also owns my Deadline Hollywood, says he’s trying to hire 5 to 6 other editors for Variety to expand its editorial staff.) Additionally, Variety announced »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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Nikki Finke’s Oscar Live-Snark: Four Hours Of Unfunny Seth MacFarlane; Unnecessary Michelle Obama; ‘Argo’ Wins Best Picture

24 February 2013 5:34 PM, PST

I’m live-snarking the 85th Oscars for the outstanding film achievements of 2012 starting at 5:30 Pm Pt tonight. Comments will open when the show starts inside the Dolby Theatre. Come for the cynicism. Stay for the subversion. Add your opinion. Warning: Not for the easily offended or ridiculously naive. To understand the Academy Awards is to understand that Tinseltown is fueled by the green-eyed monster. Envy and spite will determine the winners. Because best productions or performances have nothing to do with the 24 categories awarded tonight. The negatives, not positives, will decide this year’s Oscars. That’s par for the course in Hollywood, where nastiness rules and niceness gets rolled. How else to explain why the horrible Harvey Weinstein is trying for his 3rd straight Best Picture? Everything in Hollywood is agenda driven. That’s why I always say, when it comes to its biggest awards, what’s important are the scars, »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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