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ENTERTAINMENT
August 24, 2011 | By Ben Fritz and John Horn, Los Angeles Times
China bought $91.9-billion worth of U.S. goods last year, including boatloads of medical devices, precious metals and electrical equipment. But when it comes to America's most celebrated cultural export - Hollywood movies - crossing China's borders has proved more difficult than climbing the Great Wall. After years of frustration with the Chinese government's severe limits on how many imported movies can play in its theaters, several prominent American film producers are cutting ambitious deals with Chinese firms that provide alternative routes into the country's exploding movie market.
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BUSINESS
July 16, 2010 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Warner Bros. is opening one of the riskiest movies of the summer this weekend, while Walt Disney Studios is opening one of the most commercially challenged. Warner's thriller "Inception" from director Christopher Nolan will probably top the box office, people who have seen pre-release surveys say, although they're far from certain how audiences will respond to its narrative complexity that's already dividing critics. The movie should open to roughly $45 million but could easily go higher or lower depending on word of mouth.
BUSINESS
August 14, 2011 | Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Independent studio Relativity Media is jumping into the fast-growing Chinese film market with a deal that gives it a stake in a local production company and a means to release its own movies in the country. Relativity said Sunday evening that it was investing in SkyLand Film & Television Cultural Development Ltd., a China-based entertainment production company. By doing so, Relativity is joining forces with SkyLand's two other financial backers: SAIF Partners, an Asian private-equity firm with $3.5 billion under management, and IDG China Media, the Chinese arm of Boston-based tech firm International Data Group.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2013 | By Ben Fritz
"Godzilla" is not scheduled to set foot in the U.S. for another two years, but things are already getting ugly. Legendary Pictures, the film finance and production company behind "Inception" and "The Hangover," has been sued by a trio of prominent producers for "tens of millions of dollars" in a dispute over a planned remake of the Japanese monster classic. Dan Lin and Roy Lee, along with Lee's partner Doug Davison, filed a lawsuit against Legendary on Thursday after they were removed from the project earlier this month.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 2013 | By Daniel Miller
Universal Pictures will release "Warcraft," a film from Legendary Pictures based on the best-selling video game franchise of the same name, on Dec. 18, 2015, the studio announced Tuesday afternoon. "Warcraft," to be directed by "Source Code's" Duncan Jones, is the first Legendary project to get a release date since the production company signed a deal  with Universal in July. Under terms of the arrangement,  Universal, a unit of NBCUniversal, will market, co-finance and distribute Legendary films for five years beginning in 2014.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
Will the kids who turn out for “Despicable Me 2” get the better of the on-screen man-children of “Grown Ups 2”? The two films will battle for No. 1 at the multiplex this weekend, as Guillermo del Toro's 3-D "Pacific Rim" will meanwhile hope to avoid the same fate as recent big-budget flops “The Lone Ranger,” “White House Down” and “After Earth.” "Despicable Me 2," which debuted with a huge $83.5 million, will likely take...
ENTERTAINMENT
July 23, 2012 | By Amy Kaufman, Ben Fritz and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Law enforcement officials plan to continue an undercover presence in Los Angeles-area movie theaters through at least Sunday, as"The Dark Knight Rises"opened to a very strong $249 million worldwide. There was only one reported incident this past weekend after police were posted in local theaters in an effort to reduce anxiety and prevent copycat crimes following Friday's massacre at a showing of the third film in   Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise in Colorado. A man waiting for the superhero film to begin at an AMC theater in Norwalk was arrested Sunday after fellow patrons reported that he became agitated and said, "I should go off like in Colorado," sheriff's deputies said.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 4, 2013 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before making sure my electric bill is paid up. The Skinny: I wonder if that blackout during the Super Bowl would have been as much fun without Twitter around for people to crack jokes and stay interested in the game. I just hope that Joe Flacco's swearing won't lead to another decade-long legal battle between CBS and the FCC. Monday's headlines include a recap of the weekend box office, a look at the sometimes tense relationship between Legendary Films head Thomas Tull and Warner Bros., and the challenges of trying to make historical films look right.
BUSINESS
March 17, 2008 | Josh Friedman, Times Staff Writer
Twentieth Century Fox's G-rated "Horton Hears a Who!" opened to an estimated $45.1 million at the weekend box office, the studio said Sunday, the latest potent performance by a movie aimed at family audiences. The animated picture, produced for about $90 million, follows a string of G- and PG-rated hits since the fall including Walt Disney Co.'s "Enchanted" and "Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour" and Fox's partly animated musical-comedy "Alvin and the Chipmunks."
ENTERTAINMENT
June 17, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
When "The Hangover Part III" opened with half as many ticket sales as its predecessor in May, it was clear American moviegoers had tired of the Wolf Pack.  But there was hope yet for Warner Bros. In the two years between the second and third "Hangover," the international marketplace expanded -- and the second installment had performed especially well for a R-rated comedy overseas. PHOTOS: Scenes from 'Hangover III' "If you look at the third movies of comedy trilogies -- 'Rush Hour,' 'Meet the Parents,' 'Austin Powers' -- honest to God, those movies tend to drop in their third film.
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