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Hollywood Studios

August 13, 2013 | By Richard Verrier and Daniel Miller
Major Hollywood studios have resolved a tax dispute in China that has held up hundreds of millions of box-office dollars since 2012. The months-long dispute centered on a 2% value-added tax that state-owned distributor China Film Group insisted Hollywood studios pay out of their share of Chinese box-office revenues, cutting into their profits in the world's second-largest film market. But Tuesday evening the Motion Picture Assn. of America, which represents the major studios, said the matter had been resolved.
April 9, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Before filming a massive battle on a freeway overpass in Cleveland, directors of Marvel Entertainment's recent release "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" didn't leave anything to chance. So Anthony and Joe Russo staged a kind of digital dress rehearsal for the scene, planning the entire action sequence - including the position of stunt performers, the placement of explosive squibs and the types of camera lenses that would be used - on a computer screen. They did so with the help of Proof Inc., a Los Angeles company that specializes in a process known as previsualization.
March 21, 2011 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
After less than three weeks of talks, the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood's major studios have reached an agreement on a new three-year contract. The tentative agreement includes a 20% increase in pay-TV residuals, a 2% increase in annual wage rates and an increase in employer pension contributions to 7.5% from 6%, according a letter the WGA sent to its 12,000 members Sunday night. Negotiations to replace the current contract, which expires May 1, began March 3. The swift agreement was widely anticipated and stood in sharp contrast to the bitter standoff that occurred in late 2007, after negotiations with the studios broke down and writers staged a 100-day strike that shut down television production and roiled Hollywood.
February 14, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Most of the coverage of Comcast 's audacious acquisition bid for Time Warner Cable has glossed over its record of flouting the public interest in its quest for influence and profit.   Given the control the merger would give Comcast over the nation's essential information and telecommunications infrastructure, that record now cries out for a closer look. What it reveals is a company that has shown little regard for the fundamental principles of the open Internet.
April 25, 2012 | Los Angeles Times
The Securities and Exchange Commission has sent letters to at least four major Hollywood studios, including Walt Disney Studios and DreamWorks Animation, over dealings in China, a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly confirmed Tuesday. The letters center on the studios' dealings with China Film Group, a state-run company whose responsibilities include determining which foreign movies get access to a limited number of slots each year for revenue-sharing deals in the red-hot Chinese movie market, which is now the second-largest in the world behind the United States.
October 23, 2001
About 40 representatives from Hollywood studios and television networks met with Gov. Gray Davis, the mayor and police chief of Los Angeles and other officials Monday to discuss safety precautions since the terrorist attacks. During a two-hour meeting at the Beverly Hilton, Mayor James K. Hahn and Police Chief Bernard C. Parks went over security measures the city has taken. Studio heads, network executives and security officials asked questions about how best to protect their studios.
December 17, 2005 | From a Times Staff Writer
Studios and the union representing Hollywood's blue-collar workers reached an agreement late Friday on a contract calling for higher pay and increased health and pension benefits. The new three-year contract, replacing one expiring July 31, affects 30,000 film and TV workers belonging to 18 locals of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. The pact will be sent to members in about one month for ratification.
August 20, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
When it comes to computer-animated movies, studios seemingly can't get enough of talking animals, planes, cars, monsters, cavemen, snails and little blue creatures who live in mushrooms. But there are signs that the abundance of animated movies may be nearing a saturation point as family audiences confront a growing number of choices over what they choose to spend their movie dollars on. "We're all sitting at a very delicate point," said Chris Meledandri, chief executive of Illumination Entertainment, which produced the hit "Despicable Me" films with Universal Pictures.
July 21, 1989 | FELICIA PAIK
The Studio/Preservation Task Force announced a set of recommendations Thursday to preserve historically significant Hollywood studios while enabling movie companies to keep the cameras rolling. "The studios will be able to develop and grow, and at the same time historically and architecturally significant buildings will be preserved," Councilman Michael Woo, whose 13th District includes Hollywood, said at a press conference at Paramount Pictures.
September 30, 2010 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
For the last five years, Ryan Kavanaugh has been one of Hollywood's go-to people to share the risk on movies. The chief executive of Relativity Media has invested in 138 films, most of them at Sony Pictures and Universal Pictures, where his company has long-term agreements to co-fund 75% of both studios' film slates. Co-financing movies can be an easy way to lose money ? a large reason the flood of private equity funds that flowed into Hollywood several years ago dried up. And Relativity has seen the downside in the last couple of years through its association with a string of money losers from Universal, including "Land of the Lost" and " The Wolfman.
January 18, 2014 | By David G. Savage and Maura Dolan
WASHINGTON - The California-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is known for progressive rulings that champion individual rights over government and corporations, but when it comes to show business, the "Hollywood Circuit" - as it has been dubbed - stands accused of routinely siding with the home-turf entertainment industry. Judges famously sided with film studios in the early 1980s when the studios sued Sony for infringing their copyrights by selling the Betamax video recorders.
January 18, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Roll credits. For more than a century, Hollywood has relied on 35-millimeter film to capture its fleeting images and deliver them to the silver screen. Now, in a historic move, Paramount Pictures has become the first big studio to stop releasing its major movies on film in the United States. The studio's Oscar-nominated film "The Wolf of Wall Street" is the studio's first movie in wide release to be distributed entirely in digital format, according to theater industry executives briefed on the plans who were not authorized to speak publicly.
January 7, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - In 1957, when he was nearly 50 years old, Run Run Shaw made a grand bet on his movie dreams. He bought 46 acres of hilly land in a remote part of Hong Kong - paying the British colonial government just 45 cents per square foot because of the poor topography and the Communist threat looming over the border with Mao Tse-tung's China - and set out to build his dream factory. By the time Shaw Movietown officially opened in 1961, the mogul had 1,200 actors, directors and other employees on site, many of them living in dormitories.
January 6, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
Hong Kong film magnate Run Run Shaw, who built the Shaw Bros. studio into the largest in Asia in the 1960s and '70s, popularized the kung fu genre around the world and later became a major philanthropist, died Tuesday at 106. Shaw's studio - which he ran with his brother, Runme - churned out more than 1,000 films over more than five decades, from romances and musicals to action pictures. He even co-produced American films, including Ridley Scott's “Blade Runner.” The legacy of Shaw Bros.
December 16, 2013 | Steve Chawkins
Tom Laughlin, a filmmaker who drew a huge following for his movies about the ill-tempered, karate-chopping pacifist Billy Jack, died Thursday at a Thousand Oaks hospital. He was 82. He had been in failing health for several years, his daughter Teresa Laughlin said. Laughlin starred in and co-produced the four films of the 1960s and '70s showcasing Billy Jack, a troubled Vietnam veteran who quietly promotes a message of peace when he's not throwing bad guys through plate-glass windows.
November 24, 2013 | By Ingrid Schmidt
On the 10th anniversary of the year that Gabriela Artigas designed her first piece of jewelry - a cuff bracelet fashioned out of a boldly colored acrylic toothbrush, minus the bristles, which she purchased at the supermarket while studying fabric design in her hometown of Mexico City - the local brand has opened its first stand-alone studio in West Hollywood. Chelsea Handler, Carey Mulligan, Emma Roberts and Tyra Banks are just a few star fans of the label, which is designed and handcrafted in Los Angeles.
Suddenly, Paramount looks like an anthill and Disney resembles Mickey Mouse. The two remaining "independent" Hollywood studios are now dwarfed in size by the Japanese parents of Columbia and MCA. How long they will remain such is the subject of debate among investors and analysts. Of the six so-called major Hollywood studios, three are now subsidiaries of foreign corporations: Columbia, Universal and 20th Century Fox. Warner Bros.
Despite the controversy surrounding Ice-T's song "Cop Killer," the rapper hasn't been too busy to pursue his acting career. Between press conferences, tour planning and concerts, the "Ice," as his closest associates call him, is making the rounds of Hollywood pitching movies with himself as the star--not the sidekick or supporting actor as he was in "New Jack City" and the upcoming "Trespass."
November 12, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Joined by a number of top tech companies, the major Hollywood studios and music labels are hoping to enlist a powerful new ally in their fight against online piracy: grade schools. The companies are financing the development of a curriculum for grades K-12 that promotes respect for copyrights. Their interest is understandable, considering how piracy has exploded online and how early in life many kids start looking for free downloads. But it's important that schools not sign on blindly to the agenda of a single industry, that the message be balanced, and that it's just a small part of a broader lesson on how to use the Internet safely and responsibly.
November 11, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
First there was the Boy Scouts' "Respect Copyrights" activity patch, backed by the Motion Picture Assn. of America. Then there was "Crime-Fighting Canines," a weekly anti-piracy comic strip series for children in which two black Labrador retrievers named Lucky and Flo sniffed out bootleg DVDs. The series was part of a school education campaign led by the MPAA. Now that group, along with the Recording Industry Assn. of America and the nation's main Internet service providers, is quietly backing another controversial push to educate schoolchildren about the evils of piracy.
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