Universal Studios

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Major Theme Parks Around US Are Beefing Up Security

You'll have to pass a metal detector to enter the happiest place on Earth

(Newser) - With the Department of Homeland Security publicly worrying about potential attacks on crowded places, the three major theme parks in Orlando—Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Orlando—added metal detectors on Thursday, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The security devices are also being installed at Disneyland and Universal Studios in Los... More »

Social Network Team Making 50 Shades Movie

Erotic bestseller headed for the big screen

(Newser) - The producers behind The Social Network are teaming up again for a story a lot steamier than the founding of Facebook. Michael de Luca and Dana Brunetti are producing the movie adaptation of the best-selling Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy of erotic novels. EL James' trilogy about an affair between... More »

Japan Getting Harry Potter Park

Wizarding World in Osaka will be first outside US

(Newser) - Hogwarts is coming to Honshu. Universal Studios is planning to open a Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Osaka by late 2014, reports the Guardian . The park, like the one in Orlando and the one under construction in Hollywood, will feature rides, a Hogwarts castle, and a Hogsmeade... More »

Man Stabs Fellow Comic-Con Attendee With Pen: Cops

Alleged assailant in Harry Potter T-shirt may face serious charges

(Newser) - A dispute before a Comic-Con panel discussion ended with one attendee in police custody and another in the hospital being treated for a stab wound near the eye, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The alleged assailant was armed with a pen and wearing—look away, kids—a Harry Potter T-shirt.... More »

Terror Patrols Beefed Up at Hollywood Studios

LA County cops warn public to be on high alert

(Newser) - Police have stepped up patrols at entertainment studios in the Los Angeles area following the weekend's attempted car bombing in Times Square. Law enforcement officials say that while they aren't aware of any new threats, they are remaining vigilant at sites linked to Comedy Central owners Viacom, which some suspect... More »

King Near Movie, TV Deal for Dark Tower

Ron Howard attached as direct

(Newser) - Roland Deschain may soon be gunslinging his way onto screens big and small. Stephen King is in talks to turn his Dark Tower books into a TV series and a movie trilogy directed by Ron Howard, Deadline New York reports. Both Universal's Imagine Entertainment and Warner Bros.' Weed Road... More »

Drunk Dad Ditches Baby to Find Drunk Mom

Universal Studios debacle leads to child endangerment charges

(Newser) - A Florida man has been charged with child neglect after he—while drunk—left his 4-month-old daughter in her stroller in some bushes at the Universal Studios parking lot while he searched for the girl's drunken mother. The infant was alone for 2 hours before a park employee found her,... More »

Comcast Confirms NBC Buy

$13.75B deal will create entertainment juggernaut

(Newser) - Comcast has confirmed its deal to buy a controlling share of NBC Universal from GE to create one of the world's biggest entertainment firms. Comcast will pay $13.75 billion in cash and assets for a 51% stake in NBC, the AP reports. The nation's largest cable TV operator will... More »

Harry Potter Park Opens This Spring

Visiting Muggles can buy wands, meet hippogriffs, drink butterbeer

(Newser) - Get your wands ready: the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens next spring, Universal Orlando announced. Muggles will enter through the village of Hogsmeade, where they’ll visit Hogsmeade station, Zonko’s joke shop, and the Three Broomsticks pub to sample some butterbeer. But the main event, called Harry Potter... More »

Funny People Puts Serious Pressure on Sandler

Box office performance for latest flick a mystery

(Newser) - Though it’s called Funny People, Adam Sandler’s latest film is a bit more serious than his fans are used to—and its opening-weekend performance is a mystery, Variety reports. Forecasts range from just over $20 million to more like $35 million, Audiences loved director Judd Apatow’s prior... More »

Universal Turning Atari's '70s Asteroids Game Into Movie

Crudely drawn '70s arcade classic to become full-length film

(Newser) - Universal Studios has shot down three rivals to win the movie rights to the classic '70s Atari game Asteroids, reports the Hollywood Reporter. Matt Lopez, writer of Disney's Bedtime Stories, has been tasked with turning the game's story of a spaceship firing at crudely drawn rocks and the occasional flying... More »

DreamWorks Nails Down Disney Deal

Spielberg's studio to get financing, distribution for six films a year

(Newser) - Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks has secured a distribution deal with Disney, the Wall Street Journal reports. Under the agreement, Disney will handle marketing and distribution for six live-action DreamWorks films per year and give Spielberg’s studio access to $150 million in financing. More »

Spurned Spielberg Seeks Disney Deal

Universal scraps Dreamworks plan after demand for more cash

(Newser) - Hollywood's own financial crisis has left Steven Spielberg searching for a home for DreamWorks, the Wall Street Journal reports. Talks over a distribution deal with Universal collapsed yesterday after the studio balked at DreamWorks' request to double its financing commitment to $200 million. DreamWorks is now in talks with Disney,... 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 »

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 »

Mummy Sequel Misses Top Spot at Box Office

Dark Knight still rules, banking $43M in third weekend win

(Newser) - Even the undead can't stop Batman: The Dark Knight defeated The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor in its third weekend win, grossing an unexpected $43.8 million and hitting nearly $400 million. The Mummy sequel took second with $42.4 million, while Kevin Costner's Swing Vote, the only other... More »

Hulk Sees Green at Box Office

Marvel and Universal bank $54.4M with monster remake

(Newser) - The Incredible Hulk stormed the weekend box office, grossing $54.5 million for Universal and Marvel Comics, Variety reports. Kung Fu Panda fell to second with $34.3 million as the R-rated thriller The Happening surprised analysts by banking $30.5 million in third. You Don't Mess With the Zohan... More »

Blowtorch Ignited Studio Fire

Universal Sudios reopen after blaze

(Newser) - The Universal Studios theme park reopened yesterday after a disastrous fire on the back lot destroyed sets, a video archive and the King Kong attraction. Investigators believe the blaze was caused by workmen using a blowtorch on a New York City street set, reports the Los Angeles Times. Low water... More »

Fire Ravages Universal Studios Backlot

King Kong exhibit burns, 2 outdoor sets also ablaze

(Newser) - Fire broke out early this morning in the Universal Studios backlot, destroying priceless movie memorabilia and damaging at least one sound stage and two outdoor sets, reports the Los Angeles Times. The blaze began during filming on the lot, and consumed the King Kong exhibit that has long been a... More »

Studios Gamble on Hulk's Quick Return

Execs think buzz for June release can overwhelm stink of '03 bust

(Newser) - Studio executives are hoping that The Incredible Hulk, due out June 13, will roar in dollar-sign green—and not the sicklier shade of moviegoers still recovering from Ang Lee's 2003 version, the Los Angeles Times reports. Funders Universal and Marvel promise more action in the new version, and bigger names... More »

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