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Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said in a Friday afternoon notice to Sony staff, “Charlie Sipkins has resigned to pursue other opportunities. We thank him for his contributions and wish him success in the future.”
No immediate replacement has been set yet.
Sipkins had joined Sony in August 2013 after working as a managing director at crisis PR specialist Sard Verbinnen. He had repped Peter Chernin, Yahoo, News Corp. and Groupon.
Sources at the studio told Variety that they were not surprised about Sipkins’ departure, noting that he had not worked at a studio prior to taking the Sony post.
Sipkins reported to Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal. When he came on board, the studio had been through a tough summer at the box office with »
- Dave McNary
Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton just issued an internal notice that Svp Communications Charles Sipkins has resigned to pursue other opportunities. “We thank him for his contributions and wish him success in the future,” the memo said.
Sipkins, whom I always found to be an effective, stand up guy, came aboard in August 2013 after working with several media companies in his role at crisis PR firm Sard Verbinnen, including advising for Yahoo and Peter Chernin. He oversaw all aspects of the company’s corporate communications and the existing Spe team, and joined during that summer where Sony was in the news a lot as it fended off Third Point hedge fund CEO Daniel Loeb, who criticized the studio for poor box office performances from such titles as After Earth and White House Down among other things and wanted parent Sony to spin off its entertainment assets. Sony didn’t budge, »
- Mike Fleming Jr
22 Jump Street is available now to Buy & Keep on Sky Store.
Having defied everybody's low expectations by making their original reboot one of the funniest films of 2012, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have upped the ante again with their even more self-referential sequel.
Digital Spy has partnered with Sky Store to relive just a few of the best in-jokes, callbacks and pop culture references that undercover cops Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) come out with this time around.
1. "It looks like a giant cube of ice," Schmidt breathes in awe when he and Jenko clap eyes on their new, big-budget digs at 22 Jump Street… just as Ice Cube himself reappears as the (ironically hot-tempered) Captain Dickson.
2. Proving that Channing Tatum is more than game for making fun of his own career, it's suggested at one point that partners go to work for the President as secret service agents, »
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When Foxcatcher arrives in theaters this weekend — the dark, true-life drama about the murder of Olympic wrestling champion Dave Schultz (played by Mark Ruffalo) — it may leave you with a looming question, “Wait, is that really Channing Tatum?” No, not just because Tatum — like his co-star Steve Carell (who plays eccentric millionaire and Schultz’s murderer, John du Pont) — is virtually unrecognizable due to the film’s stunning physical transformations. It’s because Tatum, as the tortured Olympic wrestler (and Dave’s brother) Mark Schultz, reaches staggering new heights as an actor.
The star of Step Up, White House Down, 21 Jump Street, and Magic Mike, among others, not only turns out one of this year’s most harrowing performances, but one of the very best. Even Tatum’s biggest naysayers (yes, they exist) will be blown away by the actor’s emotionally and physically daunting work in Foxcatcher. »
One of the fastest ways to pitch a movie to somebody is to mash together two different things. White House Down is "Die Hard in the White House." You're Next is "A grown-up Home Alone meets The Strangers." These pitches aren't always accurate, but the movie reference points just need to be intriguing enough that people can fill in the blanks on their own. So here's the simple pitch for a new movie called Found Footage 3D: It wants to do for found-footage movies what Scream did for slashers. There. That's all you need to instantly understand where the movie's head is at. Though it certainly helps that the pitch video for the movie is one of the most polished, clever and entertaining we've ever seen for a crowdsourced movie. Found...
- Peter Hall
Similar to what they did last year with White House Down on the Fourth of July, Sony has announced U.S. and Canadian veterans and military personnel with proper identification can go see David Ayer's WWII tank movie Fury today for free in honor of Veterans Day (United States) and Remembrance Day (Canada). To find a free screening you'll have to check local listings for participating theaters, but AMC, Regal and Cinemark are all offering free Fury tickets on a nation level, and »
- Jesse Giroux
White House Down and Magic Mike’s very own Channing Tatum is said to be targeting a role in Quentin Tarantino’s next western The Hateful Eight. The film, which is about to start shooting, already has the likes of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Zoe Bell, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, Dana Gourrier, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Madsen, Denis Menochet, James Parks, James Remar, Tim Roth and Kurt Russell amongst its cast.
Set in snowy Wyoming a few years after the Civil War, the film focuses on the tension among a group of people trapped after a blizzard diverts a stagecoach from its route. The group includes a competing pair of bounty hunters, a renegade Confederate soldier and a female prisoner (Leigh) in a saloon.
No word on which role Tatum will play, but the fact that he’s attached could bring some commercial certainty to the film. The actor has just finished shooting Magic Mike Xxl, »
- Paul Heath
Last year’s White House action movie brawl for all featuring Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down could only have one winner. Sure they didn’t win the praise of a lot of theater goers or critics, but they won something much more important, profit. So with that, London Has Fallen has started filming and Gerard Butler’s Secret Service Agent Mike Banning is set to return to save us all once again. The sequel stars the returning Butler alongside Aaron Eckhart, »
- Graham McMorrow
Out of the two dueling White House takeover pics that vied for box office dominance in 2013, it’s safe to say that Olympus Has Fallen emerged victorious against White House Down (though there are some, myself included, who feel that the latter film was far superior). While White House Down disappointed at the box office, Olympus Has Fallen made more on a smaller budget and certainly did well enough to warrant a sequel, which kicked off production in London today.
Rather obviously titled London Has Fallen, the follow-up reunites stars Aaron Eckhart, Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett and Melissa Leo. This time around, Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Butler) and President of the United States Benjamin Asher (Eckhart) find themselves battling a terrorist threat in London.
Check out the official press release, which includes an updated synopsis for the pic. Then let us know, will you be lining up »
- Isaac Feldberg
I'm still bitter that when it came to last year's "Battle of the Die Hard-in-the-White House" movies, the crown went to Olympus Has Fallen over the vastly superior White House Down. But so it goes, and we will be treated to yet another installment of Gerard Butler's Secret Service Agent Mike Banning taking down baddies. Millennium Films has sent out a press release announcing that filming has commenced on London Has Fallen, which sees Banning accompanying the U.S. President (Aaron Eckhart) and Speaker of the House (Morgan Freeman) to attend the funeral of the British prime minister. The press release also includes the first official plot synopsis, and this is my favorite part: "a deadly plot to kill the world's most powerful leaders, devastate every known landmark in the British capital, and unleash a terrifying vision of the future." All those unknown landmarks? Totally safe. Hit the jump for the press release. »
- Matt Goldberg
Sony came out ahead of analyst estimates with a smaller-than-expected second quarter loss thanks primarily to increased demand for its PlayStation4 game console. However, overall losses widened to 136B yen ($1.2B) from 19.6B yen in the comparable period in 2013 as the mobile phone unit bled $1.58B. Sales and operating revenue were up overall by 7.2% compared to the same period last year at $17.4B. The games and network services segment recorded an 83.2% bump in sales and revenue to $2.8B which Sony attributed to both PS4 hardware and software demand. The company upped its operating profit forecast in the division by 10B yen ($89.7M) to 35B yen ($314M).
In the movie unit, sales increased 2.4% on the same time frame last year to $1.64B. However, that was a 3% drop on a constant currency U.S. dollar basis which the entertainment and electronics giant said was primarily due to a decrease in theatrical revenues. »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid and Elizabeth Moss lead the cast in Truth, a Us political drama now shooting in Sydney. The Nsw government confirmed its financial support via the State Investment Attraction Scheme and said the film would inject more than $11 million in direct production expenditure into the State's economy, creating 208 jobs. Most of the post will happen in Sydney.
Redford plays former CBS News anchor Dan Rather and Blanchett is his producer Mary Mapes in the tale of the scandal that ensued after Rather reported on 60 Minutes in 2004 that George W. Bush.s father arranged for him to serve in the National Guard to avoid the Vietnam War draft.
Subsequently CBS launched an investigation into whether the documents quoted in the story were forgeries and Mapes was fired for so-called lapses in judgment.
- Don Groves
Daniel Loeb, the outspoken leader of the investment firm, Third Point, said Tuesday he has sold his position in Sony. The activist investor had previously written harsh letters to Sony management, criticizing them for not spinning off what he called the company's "bloated" entertainment assets. He also blasted the film studio for a string of flops that included White House Down and After Earth. The news of the sale was first reported by Reuters. The outlet also said Loeb has taken large stakes in eBay and Alibaba. Loeb had been a thorn in the side of Sony beginning about 17 months
- Paul Bond
(Cbr) It’s been a few months since we heard any talk of Gambit from Channing Tatum, so MTV made sure to ask the "Book of Life" star about the status of the Fox film. The actor revealed he’s been working with the producers on a potential story for the X-Man from New Orleans, and he mentioned they are still in the process of finding a writer. “I don’t want to give too much away because we don’t know that much right now other than who Gambit is,” Tatum said. “We really do want to try our hardest to give something fresh. We’re obviously going to go to the saving the world superhero movies eventually, but maybe not for the first one. We kinda want to introduce this character in a different way. When you try to do something different, you never know right off the bat what that is. »
- Brett White, Comic Book Resources
Victoria, BC. It's early May on Vancouver Island and rain has temporarily trapped Kevin Rankin in a makeshift press tent just inland at Island View Beach Regional Park. With several of his co-stars in rotation being interviewed, Rankin ends up sitting next to the heat lamp, which means sitting next to me for what turns out to be an in-depth conversation about both his work on Fox's "Broadchurch" and his eclectic and varied career. With his turns as rascally and resilient Herc on "Friday Night Lights" and gloriously unprepared-for-authority Ra Lucien on "Undeclared," Rankin has the rare honor of having been part of multiple shows that earned the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast Summer ReWatch treatment. [Three, if you include "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," though his one-episode appearance came after the season featured in the podcast.] Rankin has also had runs on shows including "Breaking Bad," "Six Feet Under," "Big Love" and "Justified," when he wasn't terrorizing the President in "White House Down" or assisting Matthew McConaughey to his Oscar in "Dallas Buyers Club. »
- Daniel Fienberg
“Talking Tom and Friends” may soon be chatting away at the multiplex.
Mythology Entertainment (“White House Down”) has inked a deal with developer Outfit7 to adapt its popular mobile apps into a movie. The film could take the form of a fully animated or live action-animated hybrid.
Introduced four years ago, the first app, “Talking Tom,” featured a cat that responded to gestures made on smartphone or tablet screens, and could animate voice recordings.
Since then, the app has expanded to offer up different animals, and spun off an animated web series, “Taking Friends,” that streams on Disney’s YouTube channel and other networks, as well as launched a merchandise line.
The family friendly app has encouraged users to upload more than 1.8 million individual interactions with the characters, generating more than 35 million views each month on YouTube. The franchise’s official YouTube channels have 1.7 million subscribers combined.
The expansion onto »
- Marc Graser
Frozen is the UK's biggest selling DVD and Blu-ray of 2014 so far.
The record-breaking Disney animation has shifted 2.44 million copies since it was released in March, according to figures released by OfficialCharts.com.
It also holds the title for the fastest selling release of the year, after selling 900,000 copies in its first week alone.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second biggest seller of the year so far. The second instalment of the Jrr Tolkien trilogy has sold 1.9 million copies since April.
Meanwhile, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has sold 934,000 copies since March to make third place.
London Has Fallen is the surprise sequel to the surprise hit Olympus Has Fallen, which managed to beat the similarly themed White House Down at the box office, despite that film taking on stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. However, it hasn’t been a smooth road for London Has Fallen, with original director Antoine Fuqua unable to continue the series due to post-production work on The Equalizer, and then Fredrik Bond leaving the project just 4 weeks before principal photography was due to start. Now it looks as though Focus Features has found their man in the form of Swedish director Babak Najafi, the man who gave us Easy Money II: Hard To Kill.
Set in London (obviously), the film sees world leaders attend the funeral of the British Prime Minister. This is obviously the perfect time for nefarious evildoers to attempt murders and badness. Enter Gerard Butler as the head of the secret service, »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
The conventional wisdom in Hollywood long held that the foreign market had an insatiable appetite for American-made genre flicks — actioners, shoot-em-ups, special-effects spectacles, etc. Give the U.S. ticketbuyers what they want and global will fall in line. But with so many domestic releases getting yawns at the local box office, Hollywood has begun feeding the foreign maw first — with consequences we’re only just beginning to understand.
And so the question arises: Do American moviegoers matter to the studios anymore?
Take Transcendence. April’s $100 million Johnny Depp sci-fi opus couldn’t invade the American consciousness, mustering just $24 million. But overseas, where U.S.A.-listers still have clout at the turnstiles, the movie rang up $80 million, accounting for nearly 80% of the movie’s worldwide cume. That didn’t make it a hit, but at least it kept the flick out of red ink.
These days, the once all-important U. »
- Scott Bowles
Though 'Mad Men' comes to an end in April 2015, it's only the beginning for Elisabeth Moss. After successfully transitioning from child actress to respected thespian with her work on "West Wing," her layered, assertive performance as Peggy Olson has turned her into an in-demand, dramatic commodity. Deadline reports that Moss will costar alongside Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett in "Truth," a docudrama chronicling the botched "60 Minutes II" investigation of the "Killian documents." James Vanderbilt ("Zodiac," "White House Down") will write and direct the film, based on Mary Mapes’ 2005 memoir "Truth And Duty: The Press, The President, And The Privilege Of Power" After running four documents purporting George W. Bush's preferential treatment in the National Guard to help the sitting president avoid the Vietnam War draft, CBS, the "60 Minutes" staff, and reporter Dan Rather were left disgraced after the papers turned out to be fakes. Blowing up only »
- Matt Patches
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