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ENTERTAINMENT
September 23, 2010 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
Back in 1935, Herbert J. Yates founded Republic Pictures, an indie film production-distribution company with its own studio facilities located where CBS/Radford Studios now stands in Studio City. Republic produced mostly B-movies, including westerns with a young John Wayne, Gene Autry, Rex Allen and Roy Rogers, as well as such serials as "The Adventures of Captain Marvel" and such classic Wayne films as 1949's "Sands of Iwo Jima" and 1952's "The Quiet Man," for which John Ford won his fourth best-director Oscar.
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BUSINESS
September 12, 2010 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
Hollywood actors will seek higher minimum pay rates and larger contributions to their health and pension plans in contract negotiations with the industry's major TV and movie studios, set to begin this month. Those are the highlights from a package of bargaining proposals approved Sunday by the joint board of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, according to sources familiar with the talks. The proposals, culled from weeks of meetings with members of both unions nationwide, will form the framework for contract negotiations with the major studios that are scheduled to start Sept.
BUSINESS
July 30, 2010 | By Joe Flint and Claudia Eller, Los Angeles Times
It's back to square one for the Motion Picture Assn. of America. After months of negotiations with former Nebraska Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey to become head of the movie industry's chief lobbying arm, talks between the two sides broke off, again raising questions about who will become Hollywood's man or woman in Washington. The MPAA declined to elaborate on why the advanced talks suddenly ended Thursday, but people close to the matter said the two sides ultimately had different views of the job. The parties had appeared close to hammering out a lucrative deal worth $1.2 million annually for Kerrey to succeed Dan Glickman, who stepped down as chief executive in January.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2010 | By Claudia Eller and Dawn C. Chmielewski
Two months ago, newly installed Walt Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross sank producer Sean Bailey's planned $150-million production of "Captain Nemo: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." But that didn't submarine the relationship. On Thursday, Ross picked Bailey as the Burbank studio's new head of production, succeeding Oren Aviv, who was ousted this week after a disappointing spate of movies. Bailey, who has no experience as a studio executive, faces a steep learning curve in assembling slates of movies and managing dozens of executives and filmmakers.
BUSINESS
October 19, 2009 | Ben Fritz
For most movies, bigger-than-expected Thursday midnight shows are a great start to an opening weekend. For "Where the Wild Things Are," they may have been a mixed blessing. Warner Bros.' adaptation of the classic children's book collected $700,000 before the sun rose Friday, a sign that positive reviews and nostalgia were driving strong interest from adults, particularly younger ones. The flip side is that despite the movie's PG rating, families with children younger than 12 made up only 43% of the audience.
BUSINESS
October 12, 2009 | Meg James and Ben Fritz
It may own a mere 20% of NBC Universal, but Vivendi is calling the shots when it comes to whether the fabled movie studio and television company will end up in the hands of cable company Comcast Corp. or some other buyer. That's because every year in November, Vivendi can opt to sell its stake. There's also a little-known clause in the contract between Vivendi and General Electric Co., which owns 80% of NBC Universal, that gives the French media conglomerate veto power on any change in control.
BUSINESS
October 6, 2009 | Dawn C. Chmielewski and Claudia Eller
Rich Ross, the television executive who helped revive the moribund Disney Channel, now has to prove he can work movie magic at Walt Disney Studios. The 47-year-old former talent department head has been tapped by Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert A. Iger to fill the post formerly held by Dick Cook, who was ousted as chairman of the studio Sept. 18 after clashing with his boss and failing to deliver enough hits over the last year. Iger will look to Ross to reinvigorate Disney's flagging box-office fortunes and develop film franchises that can be sold across the entertainment giant's lines of businesses -- including theme parks, consumer products and television -- as well as grapple with a host of technological issues that are quickly reshaping Hollywood.
BUSINESS
August 14, 2009 | Ben Fritz
Warner Bros. is setting its sights on Redbox and Netflix amid the latest sign that consumers are abandoning retail DVD stores in favor of the fast-growing rental kiosks and mail subscription companies. The Time Warner-owned studio on Thursday joined 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures in announcing that it would not provide movies to leading kiosk operator Redbox until 28 days after they go on sale. In a surprising move that hasn't yet been made by any of its competitors, Warner said it would impose the same restriction on Netflix and other DVD-by-mail subscription providers unless they agreed to "a day-and-date revenue sharing option."
BUSINESS
August 12, 2009 | Ben Fritz
The six big motion picture studios Tuesday won a major legal victory against DVD copying. U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel issued a preliminary injunction blocking the sale of RealDVD, a controversial software application that allows consumers to copy DVDs to a computer's hard drive. The standard anti-piracy software on DVDs blocks consumers from taking the movie file off the disc. The studios filed suit in September in District Court in San Francisco when the RealDVD software went on sale, alleging that it illegally violated their right to restrict the use of their movies in digital form.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 5, 2009 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
It wasn't so long ago that, after putting in years building up his career, Denzel Washington finally cracked the $20-million star salary club. But now he's taking a sizable pay cut to star in the upcoming 20th Century Fox film "Unstoppable" after the studio threatened to pull the plug on the picture in order to get its costs down. David Fincher used to make $8 million to $10 million per picture, along with a nice piece of first-dollar gross, as an A-list director.
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