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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
December 12, 2009 | By Claudia Eller
In the latest austerity move in Hollywood, Universal Pictures has asked its three top movie suppliers -- Imagine Entertainment, Working Title and Stuber Productions -- and other production companies it funds to cut overhead and economize to compensate for the tough economic realities of the movie business, according to people close to the situation. Some of the studio's producer contracts will not be renewed when they expire. Others with longer-term agreements, including Imagine, Working Title and Stuber, have agreed to reduce operating costs, watch expenses and find efficiencies in their businesses.
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 6, 2009 | John Horn, Ben Fritz and Rachel Abramowitz
Hollywood's biggest slasher story isn't playing at any theater near you. It's hitting the industry's corporate suites, where the sacking of studio executives has reached epidemic level. As evidenced by Disney's recent firing of its studio chief, Dick Cook, and Universal Pictures' dismissal Monday of chairmen Marc Shmuger and David Linde, Hollywood is in a state of panic-producing turmoil. It used to be that Hollywood's corporate parents could stomach a dry spell from their studio managers.
BUSINESS
August 26, 2009 | Ben Fritz
As the major Hollywood studios line up for and against Redbox, Paramount Pictures is playing it down the middle. The studio, owned by Viacom Inc., has signed a first-of-its-kind trial deal guaranteeing that its titles will be available from the fast-growing $1-a-night DVD rental company through the end of the year. During that time, Paramount will study the effect of Redbox rentals on its total home-entertainment revenue, examining whether there is any decrease in the sales of its DVDs at Wal-Mart stores that house Redbox kiosks.
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