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BUSINESS
April 20, 2007 | Lorenza Munoz, Times Staff Writer
Two film veterans have become the latest Hollywood players to tap into the gusher of money Wall Street is putting into the movie business by arranging a $1-billion credit line. Patrick Wachsberger, chief executive of foreign sales and distribution company Summit Entertainment, and Robert Friedman, former head of marketing and distribution for Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, aim to use the money from Merrill Lynch & Co.
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BUSINESS
May 25, 2012 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
The Men in Black are invading theaters this weekend with a mission that others have failed to achieve: knock "The Avengers" off the No. 1 box-office perch. Sony Pictures' big-budget 3-D sequel "Men in Black 3" is on track to gross about $250 million worldwide over the long Memorial Day weekend, most of which should come from overseas markets. In the U.S. and Canada, the film is expected to generate about $80 million over the four-day holiday period from Friday through Monday, said people who have seen pre-release tracking surveys.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 2013 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- “Transcendence,” the upcoming Johnny Depp sci-fi film directed by Christopher Nolan's longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister, will get a boost in China from DMG Entertainment, the Beijing-based company that helped add Chinese elements to “Iron Man 3” and “Looper.” But don't look for any extra China-specific footage in the 2014 film. DMG said Thursday it had partnered with Alcon Entertainment to help finance, produce and distribute the movie in China, which is now filming stateside and will be released in the U.S. by Warner Bros.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 24, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
The Men in Black are invading theaters this weekend with a mission that others have failed to achieve: knock "The Avengers" off the No. 1 box-office perch. Sony Pictures' big-budget 3-D sequel "Men in Black 3" is on track to gross around $250 million worldwide over the long Memorial Day weekend, most of which should come from overseas markets. In the U.S. and Canada, the film is expected to generate about $80 million over the four-day holiday period from Friday through Monday, said people who have seen pre-release tracking surveys.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2011 | By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
As founder, chairman and chief executive of National Research Group Inc. from 1978 to 2003, movie market researcher Joseph Farrell introduced the concept of market testing to Hollywood, originating now-standard industry practices such as audience tracking surveys, focus-group preview screenings and demographic analysis of moviegoers. Over the decades, NRG's confidential research reports were used by all of the major Hollywood studios to make decisions about release dates, tweak marketing campaigns and — sometimes to the unease of filmmakers — tinker with movies.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2011 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
Brad Pitt may be Hollywood royalty, but even he couldn't take down the king of the jungle at the box office. For the second consecutive weekend, a 3-D version of 1994's "The Lion King" sold more tickets than any other film in theaters, including the baseball drama "Moneyball," starring Pitt. Ticket sales for the re-release dropped only 27% to $22.1 million, bringing the movie's domestic tally to $61.7 million, according to an estimate from distributor Walt Disney Pictures. "Moneyball" still had a good weekend, debuting with a respectable $20.6 million.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
If you're suffering Hollywood career doubts and need a little advice, there are worse people you could turn to than Christopher Nolan. That's the situation Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister found himself in several years ago when he debated making the high-concept science-fiction film "Transcendence" his directorial debut. Pfister had shot all but one of Nolan's movies and had worked closely with the helmer on his superhero tentpoles. But Pfister wasn't convinced that this script, with its big ideas and action pieces and a budget that would eventually approach $100 million, was the right fit for him. "I told Chris, 'I think it's a good project.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2012 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
Mark Wahlberg had the biggest opening of his career as an action star this weekend, as his crime thriller "Contraband" was the No. 1 pick at the box office. The film about the ugly world of drug smuggling was the most popular movie over the four-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend, grossing a solid $28.8 million domestically, according to an estimate from distributor Universal Pictures. Meanwhile, the classic animated fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast," first released in 1991 and now in 3-D, collected a respectable $23.5 million over the long weekend.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 23, 2010 | By John Horn, Los Angeles Times
When it comes to people of a certain age, Hollywood has a certain reputation. Older screenwriters say they can't get jobs, leading parts for actresses start vanishing once they turn 35 and the studios have all but abandoned adult dramas. Which makes the continued success of "The Expendables" all the more remarkable. For the second weekend in a row, the action movie starring, directed and co-written by the 64-year-old Sylvester Stallone was the nation's No. 1 film, grossing $16.5 million, according to Sunday's studio estimates.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 21, 2012 | By John Horn, Los Angeles Times
The box-office debut of"Battleship" - an attempt to transform the kids' strategy pastime into a summer blockbuster - looked like a very different board game over the weekend: Trouble. Universal Pictures' $209-million alien invasion spectacle fizzled badly in its domestic premiere, grossing just $25.3 million and finishing a distant second to the third weekend of Disney's "The Avengers," according to Sunday estimates. The debut of "Battleship" - whose ticket sales were about 40% lower than some predictions - was even worse than the $30.2-million March opening of"John Carter,"one of the biggest fiascoes in Hollywood history, and the film's audience was surprisingly old. "I'm hugely disappointed in this opening," said Nikki Rocco, Universal's president of domestic distribution, who added that the film's respectable international numbers will soften the domestic blow.
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