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BUSINESS
March 26, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
Jodie Foster, the Academy Award-winning actress, has put her home in Hollywood Hills West back on the market for $5.75 million. The Spanish-style villa, built in 1935, features a step-down living room with a cathedral ceiling, a fireplace, French doors and views of Century City. The 6,000 square feet of living space includes a screening room, an office, four bedrooms, four full bathrooms, two half-baths and an attached guest apartment. The master suite has a sauna and a seating area.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
"Frozen" has stopped the competition cold -- again. The soundtrack to the smash-hit Disney film topped the Billboard 200 on Wednesday, reflecting sales of 202,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, in the week ending March 23. With a 104% increase over the previous week (when "Frozen" was also No. 1), that's the biggest weekly number the album has logged since it came out in November -- an unusual time for such an achievement, as Billboard's Keith Caulfield points out . SPRING ARTS PREVIEW: Pop music "Generally," he writes, "albums start big and then taper off as the weeks tick by. " One probable explanation for "Frozen's" late-in-the-game boost?
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Propelled by a string of hit family movies, global movie ticket sales set a record last year, climbing to $35.9 billion in box office revenue, according to a new report. International markets accounted for $25 billion in ticket sales last year, up 5% from 2012 and 33% from just five years ago. Hollywood's growing success overseas was one of the principal findings in the annual state-of-industry report released Tuesday at the annual CinemaCon trade show in Las Vegas, which drew 900 delegates from 69 countries.
BUSINESS
March 25, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
Pending home sales plunged in California last month from a year earlier, as would-be buyers struggled with high prices. The California Assn. of Realtors said Tuesday its pending sales index fell 12% from February 2013. The index has now fallen by double-digits for six straight months. Home prices shot up last year, in part because rock-bottom mortgage rates juiced demand. But rates climbed in the second half of the year, sapping an urgency to buy. Higher prices and rates have now handcuffed many buyers.
BUSINESS
March 25, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
Sales of recently built homes fell back in February, as harsh weather and high costs held back buyers. New-home sales dropped 3.3% from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 last month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Economists had expected sales to drop after an unexpected surge in January.  Economists, though, anticipated a slightly better showing. The median forecast for those polled by Bloomberg News was for an annual rate of 445,000. January's rate was also revised downward from 468,000 to 455,000.  Quiz: How much do you know about mortgages?
ENTERTAINMENT
March 25, 2014 | By Meg James
U.S. advertising spending inched up nearly 1% last year to $140.2 billion as large companies spent more to market their products and services. Ad spending rose for cable TV, Internet display and Spanish-language media. Demand for commercials in TV sports programming also remained strong, according to a report released Tuesday by Kantar Media, which tracks ad spending. But the report uncovered a troubling economic trend. ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll "The ad market is currently being carried by the top 1,000 advertisers who, as a group, are steadily spending more while the long tail of small-sized marketers is sharply cutting back," said Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media North America.
AUTOS
March 25, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Car companies are reacting to tepid auto sales so far this year by ratcheting up the discounts.  The industry is spending about $2,773 per vehicle this month in special sales incentives and discounts, according to car shopping information company TrueCar.Com. That's up about 8% from March of last year and 2.6% above last month. Blame slow auto sales. Automakers have sold 2.2 million vehicles through the first two months of the year, down slightly from the same period a year ago. The market looks as if it is picking up gradually this month as the frigid weather in much of the nation recedes.
BUSINESS
March 19, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
KB Home Inc. shares were up nearly 7% in early trading Wednesday after the Los Angeles home builder said it posted a first-quarter profit for the first time since 2007. Revenue, home prices and future orders rose significantly as the company continued to benefit from the rebound of the housing market. The company reported revenue of $451 million for the three months ended Feb. 28, up 11% from the $405 million of revenue it posted in the same period a year earlier. The average selling price of a new home was $305,200, an increase of $33,900, or 12%, from the year-earlier quarter.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2014 | By August Brown
A list of upcoming concerts across the Southland, with on-sale dates in parentheses. Hollywood Bowl Nine Inch Nails & Soundgarden, Aug. 25 (Friday) Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Nine Inch Nails & Soundgarden, Aug. 22; KISS & Def Leppard, July 5; Lady Antebellum, June 14 (Friday) The Forum KISS & Def Leppard, July 8; Backstreet Boys, May 29 (Friday); Boston, July 29 (Saturday) RELATED: The 10 Commandments of smartphone use during concerts   Greek Theatre Under the Streetlamp, May 2; Los Lobos' Cinco de Mayo Festival, May 3; ATOMIC BOMB!
BUSINESS
March 19, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
In a landmark settlement of criminal charges, Toyota Motor Corp. admitted deceiving regulators about deadly safety defects and agreed to pay $1.2 billion, the largest penalty ever imposed on an automaker. In the unprecedented deal with the U.S. Justice Department, the world's largest automaker admitted it misled consumers about two defects that caused unintended sudden-acceleration incidents - sticking gas pedals and floor mats trapping the pedals. “Toyota put sales over safety, and profit over principle,” said George Venizelos, assistant director of the FBI. “The disregard Toyota had for the safety of the public was outrageous.
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