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October Films

July 15, 1997 | CLAUDIA ELLER
A decade ago, Bill Block was considered one of the hottest young agents in Hollywood and certainly one of the most ambitious. With slicked-back hair, trademark black attire and fast-talk hustle, he fit the part well. He practically pioneered the agent's use of the telephone headset and rarely missed a Monday night at Mortons. "He did the game better than anybody," says pal and former associate Jeremy Zimmer, an agent and partner at United Talent Agency.
May 12, 1997 | JASON E. SQUIRE, Jason E. Squire is an adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinema-Television and is editor of "The Movie Business Book" (Simon & Schuster/Fireside)
The acquisition of October Films by Universal Pictures is a savvy business step, continuing a trend that finds the most active independent distributors being absorbed by larger, wealthier studios ("Universal Says It Will Acquire October Films," Company Town, May 1). A few days earlier, MGM acquired John Kluge's Metromedia motion picture properties--Orion, Goldwyn and MCEG, a balanced library combining high-quality, specialized and lower-cost movies.
October 16, 1992 | LARRY STEWART
There may be times when viewers feel like dousing the verbose Tim McCarver with ice water, but Deion Sanders actually did it--three times. The drenchings occurred in the Atlanta locker room after the Braves' pennant-clinching victory Wednesday night. The ice water left McCarver boiling, and he and his CBS superiors have asked National League President Bill White to do something about it.
January 9, 2004 | James Bates, Times Staff Writer
Bingham Ray, president of the United Artists specialty films unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., is leaving the company effective immediately, MGM announced late Thursday. MGM said the decision was mutual and was made last year, but the company and Ray waited to disclose it. The New York-based Ray could not be reached for comment. The company said Ray would not be replaced. The unit will be run by Dan Rosette, executive vice president of United Artists, and Sarah Rose, senior vice president.
December 20, 1996 | LIZ SMITH
Striking, silver-haired actor Peter White has joined Ben Kingsley and Gabriel Bryne in Larry Gelbart's HBO satire "Weapons of Mass Destruction." White's latest film is the highly anticipated Albert Brooks opus "Mother," with Debbie Reynolds. White plays Debbie's conservative but sexually imaginative beau. (The buzz on Debbie's performance is building.
September 28, 1999 | JAMES BATES
Universal Pictures is starting a division to handle specialty films, an increasingly lucrative business for studios that have found they can make sizable profits from independent movies, the Seagram Co. unit said Monday. The company named former Gramercy Pictures executive Claudia Gray and Paul Hardart, a strategic-planning executive with Universal, to run the unit. Gray was named executive vice president, Hardart senior vice president.
Walt Disney Co.'s Michael Eisner doesn't have one. Neither does Sumner Redstone, the chairman and chief executive of Viacom Inc. But Barry Diller does. And in naming a forceful executive with visionary tendencies as his No. 2 at USA Networks Inc., Diller is winning applause from management experts for taking an initiative that many other media moguls have not--leaving their entertainment companies vulnerable at the top.
February 25, 1997 | SUSAN KING
The "Special Edition" of "Star Wars" was finally knocked off the top of the box-office chart by the "Special Edition" of its 1980 sequel. "The Empire Strikes Back" took in $22 million in its first weekend in re-release--the biggest February opener of all time. "Star Wars" placed second with $11 million. Its 24-day gross is $116 million. John Singleton's latest film, "Rosewood," came in eighth place in its opening weekend with a gross of $3.2 million.
February 24, 1998
Domestic market share and number of films in release for U.S. distributors Jan. 5-Feb. 22: Distributor: Paramount Films: 7 Market share: 29.8% * Distributor: Sony Films: 16 Market share: 14.8% * Distributor: Miramax Films: 9 Market share: 13.1% * Distributor: New Line Films: 8 Market share: 9.5% * Distributor: Warner Bros. Films: 9 Market share: 7.6% * Distributor: Universal Films: 5 market share: 4.9% * Distributor: 20th Century Fox Films: 5 Market share: 4.
Given the legendary trailblazing by composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham, the temptation to set forth their careers in terms of historical detail must be strong. Director Elliot Caplan resisted that lure, however, in "Cage/Cunningham," opening tonight for a four-night run at the Nuart Theatre. Instead, he has made a lyrical bio-rhapsody that neatly captures the restless wonder of their lives and works in almost hagiographical fashion.
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