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April 12, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
The decision by Gary Ross and Lionsgate to part ways on "Catching Fire" has fans worrying how the new "Hunger Games" film will fare without the original director. But this is just the latest example in a long tradition of studios switching horses on a sequel. How have previous franchises turned out? Here are six comparisons. "Twilight" is perhaps the most famous of all recent cases, and the one to which "Catching Fire" is now most often being compared. In late 2008, after studio Summit and "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke haggled over issues large and small, Summit hit the reset button and hired Chris Weitz to handle the second film.
March 26, 2014 | By Sam Farmer
ORLANDO, Fla. - The death this week of Ralph Wilson, founder and sole owner of the Buffalo Bills, was but half the heartache of the NFL franchise and its fans. Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, who led the Bills to four Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990s, found out two weeks ago that the oral cancer he was originally diagnosed with in June has returned. His wife, Jill, wrote on her blog that "the cancer's back, aggressive, and starting to spread. " The 54-year-old Kelly, an icon in western New York, is hospitalized in Manhattan, and has been visited by a steady stream of Bills teammates.
August 11, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
The "Final Destination" series has skirted death many times. Originally conceived as a sample script for "The X-Files" in 1995, it made the unusual transition into a feature film five years later. That horror movie was thought of by executives at New Line Cinema as a low budget one-off, but when it became a surprise hit, a sequel was quickly cooked up. By 2009, fourth entry "The Final Destination" was, as its title implied, intended to finish the series. But despite negative reviews and fan reactions, 3-D projection saved the day. Domestic box-office sales rose modestly to $66 million, and international grosses nearly doubled from the previous high to $120 million, sending producers back to the drawing board yet again.
March 25, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
Phil Jackson wasn't overly visible Tuesday at Staples Center, hanging out in a luxury suite in a corner across from the New York Knicks' bench. Probably better that way for him. His former team drilled his new team, the Lakers bashing New York, 127-96, in front of a keyed-up crowd that hadn't seen a victory this one-sided all season. BOX SCORE: Lakers 127, New York 96 The Lakers avoided another loss and also the "We want Phil!" chants that would drift through the arena from time to time.
April 19, 2013 | By Daniel Siegal
A Burger King restaurant in Glendale wants its customers to have it their way -- right to their front door. Since April 9, the Burger King on North Central Avenue has been delivering a handful of orders each day -- the first Burger King in the state to do so, said franchise owner Bob Stevens. "We were chosen to be the first Burger King franchisee to have delivery in the state, so it's quite a feather in our cap," Stevens said. Following in the footsteps of delivery programs in Miami, Washington and Houston, the fast-food company is bringing its delivery program to California.
November 15, 2012 | By Amy Kaufman
It will be the end of an era for many young women at the box office this weekend, as the "Twilight" finale hits theaters and could gross more than any movie in the vampire franchise. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2," the fifth and final installment in the massively popular series based on Stephenie Meyer's bestselling novels, is expected to debut with around $150 million, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys. That would be the biggest opening ever for a movie in the series, whose biggest domestic hit to date is 2009's "New Moon," which launched with $142.8 million.
December 21, 2012 | By Lisa Dillman
Word-association time. Buffalo Braves? "I know Bob McAdoo," said the Clippers' Jamal Crawford. On Friday, he was being asked about his knowledge of the place where it all started for this Clippers' franchise, years ago, in Buffalo. The Buffalo Braves established a franchise-record 11-game winning streak in 1974. But it's hard to expect the Clippers to know that much about the pioneers of the franchise and achievements from 38 years ago. Especially when Crawford was born in 1980.
December 17, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
By one standard, the $84.8 million in receipts over the weekend for Peter Jackson's first crack at "The Hobbit"  was a success. The 3-D film about Bilbo Baggins' unexpected journey was, as box-office pundits reminded us, the biggest-ever opening for a December release. And the film's "A" CinemaScore suggested the fans got what they came for. But there was also plenty lacking. Pre-release estimates had the New Line/Warner Bros/MGM movie (budgeted at a whopping $250 million)
March 7, 2013 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before asking why I can't go to South by Southwest. The Skinny: I need to catch up on FX's "The Americans. " I'm two episodes behind and if I fall one more behind I may throw in the towel. Thursday's headlines include Time Warner's decision that Time is not on its side and a preview of the South by Southwest festival. Daily Dose: The other day the New York Post reported that NBC would like Howard Stern to replace Jimmy Fallon in late night if Fallon replaces Jay Leno.
June 10, 2011 | Mark Heisler
Where have you gone, Jerry Buss? If sports are a shared experience handed down from fathers to sons, it's not every dad who can give his boy the NBA's glamour franchise. As Jim Buss' first solo decision, the coach search was a Lakers landmark before it led to Mike Brown. Well, people didn't like the Louisiana Purchase, either. However it turns out, Brown didn't hire himself, making it unfortunate the sky fell on him. Actually, Jim didn't appoint himself, either, making it unfortunate the sky fell on him too. The question is not what Jim should have done, like run Brown's name past their franchise player.
March 20, 2014 | By Lisa Dillman
Let's pause for a moment of appreciation for Rogie Vachon and Toe Blake. And Marian Gaborik. First, the present-day man of the moment: Gaborik. The recently acquired Gaborik set up the first goal and later scored the decisive goal in a three-round shootout, leading the Kings to a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at Staples Center. BOX SCORE: Kings 2, Capitals 1 (SO) The victory was the Kings' first in four games, stopping a three-game losing streak.
March 15, 2014 | By Meg James
Time Warner Cable Inc. has stirred anger over its hike in subscription rates for customers and its efforts to extract hefty fees from rivals to air the L.A. Dodgers channel. Now it has incurred the wrath of city officials. On Friday, the city of Los Angeles sued the cable giant, alleging it stiffed the city on franchise fees over four years through 2011. The city seeks nearly $10 million in fees, money it said could have helped ease its budget problems during the financial crisis.
March 6, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
The Lakers would have been so incredibly happy Thursday if NBA games lasted only six minutes. They would have beaten the Clippers by three after charging to a quick lead and getting DeAndre Jordan in early foul trouble. Predictably though, reality swung its hammer the next 42 minutes ... in a very large, embarrassing way for the Lakers. The Clippers outscored them by 31 in the second quarter and absolutely humiliated them at Staples Center, 142-94. The Lakers had never lost this badly.
February 23, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
The gig: Amit Kleinberger, 33, has been the chief executive of Menchie's Frozen Yogurt since 2008. From his company's headquarters in Encino, he oversees what has become the world's largest self-serve frozen yogurt franchise, with more than 370 stores. The stores serve sweet and tart flavors of yogurt, with a choice of candy, fruit and nut toppings. There are about 50 Menchie's locations in California. An early start: As a kid, Kleinberger saw the 1987 movie "The Secret of My Success," which stars a young college grad - played by Michael J. Fox - navigating the corporate world in New York City.
February 21, 2014 | By Austin Knoblauch
The Dodgers head into their 57th season in Los Angeles as one of the favorites to win what would be their first World Series title in more than a quarter century. Many of the components that played an integral role in the team's National League West title and National League Championship Series appearance in 2013 remain as the Dodgers look to build upon one of the most-storied histories in baseball. The Dodgers' baseball lineage can be traced back more than 130 years, with the franchise spending the first 73 years of its existence playing in Brooklyn, N.Y. During their time in Brooklyn, the team won the National League pennant 13 times and beat the New York Yankees for the 1955 World Series title.
February 14, 2014 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
The parrot wasn't talking. "I'm teaching her to say, 'I miss Mace,"' said Mace Neufeld, who at 85 reckons the bird, whose name is Margie, will outlast him. With no words of affection forthcoming, Neufeld, a New Yorker who landed in Beverly Hills back when you could grab a sandwich at the Ontra Cafeteria and rent a house with a pool for $300 a month, headed toward the sitting room. He once wrote music for Dorothy Loudon, managed Dusty Springfield, produced "The Omen. " But Neufeld moves with the fervor of a man less concerned with his legacy than the spread sheet of his latest film.
December 21, 2012 | By Michael Robinson
Another night at Staples Center, another double-digit win; it's just what L.A. fans expected heading into this season - just not from the Clippers. Chris Paul and Co. won their 12th straight game on Friday, breaking the franchise record for consecutive wins. Paul finished with 24 points, 13 assists and five steals as the Clippers defeated the Kings, 97-85. Blake Griffin added 21 points and 13 rebounds as the team broke the franchise mark set by the 1974-75 Buffalo Braves.
January 22, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
MIAMI - The Lakers are losers in the standings but financial winners in a big way. They were declared the NBA's second-most valuable franchise, behind only the New York Knicks, in an annual report released Wednesday by Forbes. The Lakers are worth $1.35 billion, up 35% from the previous year, thanks mainly to their new television contract with Time Warner Cable. They earned $122 million last season from TWC, more than 20 times what the Charlotte Bobcats and Milwaukee Bucks received from their broadcasting partners, according to Forbes.
February 9, 2014 | By Broderick Turner
It was Showtime at Staples Center on Sunday night, starring the return of Chris Paul, the comeback of Blake Griffin from an injury scare and the rest of the Clippers playing their roles. Playing in his first game since he separated his right shoulder Jan. 3 at Dallas, Paul had seven points and eight assists in the Clippers' show-stopping and franchise-record-setting 123-78 victory over the overmatched Philadelphia 76ers. With Griffin overcoming a bruised left shin suffered in the first quarter to score 26 points, grab 11 rebounds and hand out six assists, the Clippers set a franchise record for biggest margin of victory.
February 4, 2014 | By Melissa Rohlin
The Sparks have been sold to an investment group led by Lakers legend Magic Johnson and Dodgers controlling owner Mark Walter, chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, a Chicago-based financial services company. Todd Boehly and Bobby Patton, other members of the group that paid a record $2.15 billion for the Dodgers in March 2012, are also in on the Sparks purchase. The only Dodgers owner who is not is Peter Guber, who owns a stake in the NBA's Golden State Warriors. The WNBA had no comment about the Sparks purchase, which was confirmed to The Times by a person with knowledge of the situation.
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