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2 Big Studios, No Women Directors Through 2018

That's 47 male-directed movies

(Newser) - Nearly 50 movies from two major studios are slated to come out through 2018—and there's not a female director to be found among them, according to a tally by the Wrap . It found Paramount is set to release 25 films, while 20th Century Fox will debut 22 (that... More »

Final John Hughes Script May See Big Screen

Rumor gives Paramount inside track for 'Grisbys Go Broke'

(Newser) - John Hughes died last year—last night's Academy Awards even paused for a tribute—but he may have one more movie in him. Rumor has it that Paramount will pick up an unproduced Hughes script in the hopes of making a family comedy, according to the Hollywood Reporter . Grisbys Go ... More »

Hollywood Heads Roll as DVD Sales Plunge

New studio heads place bets on 'branded entertainment'

(Newser) - In previous downturns, the corporate owners of America's movie studios would cut Hollywood some slack. Not anymore: these days, the corporate suites of LA look like the aftermath of a slasher flick, with old hands kicked out at Disney, Universal, MGM, and Paramount. With DVD sales down 25% and... More »

Studios Sweating August Releases

(Newser) - Studios used to spending August releasing movies from slightly out in left field, free from the pressure of early summer blockbusters, are finding this year more stressful than usual, the New York Times reports. A soft four weeks has put releases such as Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds under pressure to... More »

Hollywood Reeling From DVD Slump

Disappearing profits threaten movies, star deals

(Newser) - Hollywood studios are faced with huge losses because of a 21% slump in DVD sales and the fallout from the crisis on Wall Street, reports the Financial Times. Studio heads have been forced to cut back on the number of new movies in production and are preparing to trim the... More »

Spielberg Pays Bills for Ailing DreamWorks

Credit crunch forces director into personal bailout for studio

(Newser) - Perhaps for the first time, Steven Spielberg is using personal funds to pay half of a $26.5 million bill his company, DreamWorks, owes ex-partner Paramount so it can keep 17 film projects under its wing. Due to cash shortages, the studio has already lost the rights to as many... More »

Cash-Strapped Studios Spend Big on Oscars

Pricey ads run for contenders despite industry layoffs

(Newser) - America's financial crisis hasn't stopped studios from dropping big money in their quest for Oscars, Nikki Finke writes on Deadline Hollywood Daily. Amid layoffs and cutbacks, Paramount took out 7 full-page ads for Revolutionary Road in the New York Times, and Disney spent $675,000 for a Wall-E insert in... More »

Audiences Flock to Madagascar

Animated flick wins weekend box office

(Newser) - Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa had the year's best opening for an animated family flick, pulling in $63.5 million to win the weekend box office, Variety reports. R-rated gross-out comedy Role Models, meanwhile, surprised by taking second place with $19.3 million. The remaining top five: High School Musical 3:... More »

Spielberg Strikes Huge Universal Deal

Universal Studios to distribute up to 6 films a year

(Newser) - Steven Spielberg is returning to the Hollywood studio where he made his classic blockbusters Jaws and ET.  Spielberg's DreamWorks, backed with $1.4 billion in new financing, has struck a seven-year distribution deal with Universal for as many as six new releases a year, according to the Hollywood Reporter.... More »

Jones Sues for $10M in No Country Pay

Paramount hasn't coughed up promised bonuses, he argues

(Newser) - Actor Tommy Lee Jones has sued the producers of Oscar Award-winning No Country for Old Men for $10 million he claims is owed him. The suit charges Paramount Pictures failed to pay Jones a promised chunk of "significant box-office bonuses" and other compensation linked to the success of the... More »

Summer Movies Smash Record

Blockbusters boost studios to record-breaking sales

(Newser) - Hollywood studios are reeling in their highest-grossing summer ever, the Los Angeles Times reports. Domestic ticket sales stand at $3.9 billion, up from last year's record-breaking summer. A steady stream of smash hits—and higher ticket prices—accounted for the record take, more than making up for costly flops... More »

Get Smart Gets Rich at Box Office

Mike Myers' 'Love Guru' fails to impress

(Newser) - Mike Myers' Love Guru failed to work its mojo at the box office this weekend, caving to Get Smart, which raked in $39.1 million. It wasn't a close race: Myers' live-action comedy grossed $14 million, coming in at No. 4. The Incredible Hulk and Kung Fu Panda—in their... More »

DreamWorks Near Bollywood Alliance

Deal would speed Spielberg team's Paramount departure

(Newser) - Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks venture is closing in on a deal with an Indian media conglomerate that could fund a break from Paramount Pictures, the Wall Street Journal reports. Mumbai-based Reliance, a conglomerate with stakes in telecom, finance, and entertainment looking to expand into Hollywood, could bring as much as $600... More »

Iron Man Blasts Off at Box Office

Action flick is 10th highest opener ever

(Newser) - Paramount and Marvel struck gold with Iron Man this weekend, raking in $201 million worldwide in the tenth-best opening ever, Variety reports. The male-skewing film left room for Made of Honor to draw in women and $15.5 million in second spot.  More »

Warner Bros. Backs Blu-Ray

Future of HD DVD format now in question

(Newser) - Warner Bros. will release new high-def films exclusively in Blu-ray format, the Wall Street Journal reports. The decision marks a major setback for the embattled rival HD DVD format—now adopted by only two studios, Universal and Paramount—and could be a tipping point in the ongoing format war that... More »

Things That Won't Shake The Media World in 2008

BusinessWeek columnist takes a stab at '08 predictions

(Newser) - Overloaded with prediction lists, Business Week polishes the crystal ball and looks ahead to see what won't happen in the media world  in 2008.
  1. The writers won't win the current strike
  2. DreamWorks isn't going to leave Paramount after all
  3. Apple won't reinvent TV viewing
  4. "Juno" won't win an Oscar
... More »

Microsoft, Viacom Ally to Check Google

Partnership aims to counter search giant's ad growth

(Newser) - Microsoft and Viacom joined forces to counter Google's growth in the ad market yesterday, with a 5-year, $500-million partnership. Microsoft gets audio and video content from Viacom, and is a preferred partner in online gaming. Viacom will switch its ad placement from DoubleClick, which Google is about to buy, to... More »

Why Can't They Just Get Along?

Inside the bitter feud that's breaking up Dreamworks and Paramount

(Newser) - Less than two years after Paramount acquired DreamWorks, executive tempers have boiled over. The much-heralded union has degenerated into a series of scathing personal attacks between the principals, Sumner Redstone and David Geffen. Shuttling between the bigwigs, Vanity Fair offers an in-depth look at the Hollywood war—and maybe even... More »

I Am Not a Kook But I Play One on TV

Shatner uninvited to reprise Capt. Kirk in new Trek flick

(Newser) - Beam me up, Scotty...please?  When the gazillionth Star Trek movie goes into production, it will go there without the original Captain Kirk. While the latest movie incarnation of Star Trek will include the veteran Spock character, played by Leonard Nimoy, director J.J Abrams has passed on including William... More »

Hey Brother, Can You Spare a Screenplay?

Hollywood desperate to finish scripts before Halloween writer strike

(Newser) - Last week, Paramount issued an urgent call for someone, anyone, to doctor its Wolverine script—fast. Across Hollywood, studios and writers alike are desperately rushing to finish scripts before the Writers' Guild’s Halloween strike deadline, the LA Times reports. “Everybody is living in the impending doom,” said... More »

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