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October Films

April 13, 2000 | A Times Staff Writer
Amir Malin has been promoted to co-chief executive of Artisan Entertainment, the distribution and marketing company behind last year's surprise hit "The Blair Witch Project." Malin, who has served as co-president with Bill Block since 1997, will now share the CEO post with Mark A. Curcio. Block, who oversees production and is headquartered in Santa Monica, remains president. Malin, responsible for the company's acquisitions and its distribution operation, will continue to be based in New York.
January 18, 1998
Opening Soon An Alan Smithee Film--Burn, Hollywood, Burn. Writer Joe Eszterhas skewers the world of big-budget films in this satirical account of an ill-fated production. (Hollywood) Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life. Sharon Gless narrates and Michael Paxton directs an examination of the author's life, including her Hollywood apprenticeship to Cecil B. DeMille. (Strand) Blues Brothers 2000.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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