February 11, 2013 |
The award-winning visual-effects company Rhythm & Hues, considered one of the industry's leaders, is laying off 200 employees as it files for bankruptcy protection, sources close to the studio said. The layoffs come as the L.A. company, which worked on Ang Lee's "Life of Pi," nominated for a visual-effects Oscar, is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection from creditors later Monday in the wake of mounting financial difficulties, the studio said. The studio told some employees not to report to work Monday and said the studio was have difficulty meeting its payroll obligations, said sources, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 8, 2013 |
Universal Pictures is getting back into the toy business - led by a swarm of small, yellow creatures with a penchant for mischief. The Hollywood studio plans to unveil an array of new toys and games for its upcoming 3-D computer-animated sequel "Despicable Me 2" at this weekend's Toy Fair trade show in New York, signaling a willingness to reenter the competitive consumer products market with some of its bigger movie franchises. Much of the product line, to be launched ahead of "Despicable Me 2's" theatrical release July 3, focuses on the signature pill-shaped, jabbering creatures called minions that were featured prominently in the original 2010 film.
January 28, 2013 |
In a bold bet on the digital future of entertainment, Time Warner Inc. has named Kevin Tsujihara as chief executive of its Warner Bros. studio - ending a fiercely fought battle for one of the most powerful jobs in Hollywood. Tsujihara has been president of Warner Bros.' home entertainment unit, which is responsible for home video, online distribution and video games. In winning the top spot, he edged out rivals overseeing the larger and more prestigious film and television divisions.
January 17, 2013 |
Hollywood studios aren't known as easy places to work. But DreamWorks Animation once again has made Fortune magazine's list of the 100 best employers. The Glendale studio behind the "Shrek," "Kung Fu Panda" and "Madagascar" movies ranked 12th in the 2013 list, just above Quicken Loans (which ranked 13th) and semiconductor company Qualcomm (11th). Google once again was ranked No. 1. DreamWorks, with 2,350 employees, was the only Hollywood studio to make the list, which will be released Thursday.
January 11, 2013 |
Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See A Novel Juliann Garey Soho Press: 30 pp, $25 Gird yourself: Greyson Todd, the narrator of Juliann Garey's "Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See," is a bipolar studio executive, and sharing his head space can be a fascinating, grueling trip down the path of mental illness. Greyson shades toward the antihero, asking you to hate him nearly as much as he hates himself. He offers little quarter for the timid. Still, I could not help emerging from Garey's first novel with a deep sympathy for Greyson and admiration for his creator.
January 8, 2013 |
After the coffee. Before figuring out why I'm not at CES. The Skinny: I think 7 a.m. is a little too early for Viagra commercials. Will someone please tell the NBC Sports Network that? Tuesday's headlines include good news for Hollywood on the home entertainment front, lots of news coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and an appreciation of California TV personality Huell Howser. Daily Dose: Joe Waz, one of the most respected lobbyists on Capitol Hill, is returning to Comcast Corp.
January 8, 2013 |
Hollywood's friendship with Facebook is showing signs of strain. The entertainment industry was among the first to embrace the Silicon Valley phenomenon. Studio executives thought the giant social network held great promise in reaching moviegoers for less money than traditional advertising such as trailers and TV ads. Facebook's origins even became fodder for the 2010 Academy Award-winning movie "The Social Network. " These days, major studios are taking a hard look at the cost of winning friends on Facebook.
January 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In the last-minute dealmaking to stop the nation from tumbling over the so-called fiscal cliff, Congress and the White House decided not to spare most people from a hike in Social Security payroll taxes. But they did find room for billions in special tax breaks for rum makers, racetrack owners, railroads - and Hollywood studios. Riding along on the compromise bill were dozens of provisions that renewed existing tax breaks. All told, the business tax breaks will cost more than $63 billion next year, according to an analysis by Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation.
December 17, 2012 |
Hollywood isn't seeing as much green in 3-D re-releases as it had hoped. Considered an easy new revenue source after the 3-D re-release of Walt Disney Studios' "The Lion King" popped out of the screen and grossed nearly $100 million last year, most such follow-ups have landed with a thud in 2012. Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" and "Finding Nemo" were both disappointments, grossing $47.6 million and $40.7 million, respectively, in the U.S. and Canada. Twentieth Century Fox and Lucasfilm's "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" took in a similarly unimpressive $43.5 million in February.
December 13, 2012 |
An investment group led international theater entrepreneur Paul Heth has acquired a controlling stake in Karo Film, one of Russia's leading cinema chains. The consortium, which includes Baring Vostok Private Equity, UFG Private Equity and the government-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund, also said it would commit $100 million to open new multiplex venues. The group also named Heth as Karo's chief executive officer, according to a statement. Financial terms were not disclosed.