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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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ENTERTAINMENT
January 14, 2005 | Kevin Thomas, Times Staff Writer
In the live-action talking animal genre, "Racing Stripes" is no "Babe" but should delight youngsters, although parents likely will find it is sentimental in the extreme, with a plot that telegraphs every development. Efficiently directed, however, by Frederik Du Chau from David F. Schmidt's script, the film is populated with endearing animals that are expertly anthropomorphized and that are voiced by, among others, a sprinkling of famous names, including Dustin Hoffman, no less.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2004 | Kevin Thomas, Times Staff Writer
The infectious heroine of the appealing but long-winded "Chasing Liberty" is an 18-year-old who has everything -- looks, personality, intelligence -- yet has a terrible time dating and leading a normal life. The reason: She's the daughter of the president of the United States. The rigors of passing through White House security and the daughter's instant recognizability in public tend to scare guys off.
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 17, 2012 | By Amy Kaufman
It won't be smooth sailing for the costly newcomer"Battleship"at the box office this weekend, as "The Avengers" is set to dominate ticket sales for the third consecutive round.  The superhero adventure film is expected to be No. 1 yet again with about $50 million in ticket sales, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys. The movie already has surpassed the $1-billion mark at the global box office and will have grossed more than $400 million in the U.S. and Canada alone by Sunday.  "Battleship," the popcorn movie about a maval fleet battling aliens which cost Universal Pictures $209 million to produce, probably will start off with a so-so $40 million in ticket sales.
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.
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.
BUSINESS
November 30, 2009 | By Ben Fritz
It wasn't new and it wasn't in first place, but all eyes were on "The Blind Side" this weekend. Alcon Entertainment's uplifting football drama starring Sandra Bullock pulled off the rare feat of increasing ticket sales on its second weekend in wide release, nearly pulling off an upset and eclipsing "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" to become No. 1. It was an unusual weekend all around at the box office, as none of the three new nationwide motion...
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.
BUSINESS
September 23, 2011 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
It will be a jungle out there at the box office this weekend, as one of Hollywood's leading lions faces off against a couple of formidable foes from the animal kingdom. Brad Pitt's new baseball drama, "Moneyball," will fight for the No. 1 spot against last weekend's surprise winner, the 3-D version of "The Lion King," and a new family film, "Dolphin Tale. " Each movie could launch with between $18 million and $20 million, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys.
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