February 6, 2014 |
Sony Pictures Entertainment reported a profit of $231 million in the fiscal third quarter ending Dec. 31, a significant improvement from the previous quarter, when it lost $181 million. However, the film and television studio's profit was down 4.2% from the same period a year ago. Revenue was up 7.1% to $2.131 billion. Sony Pictures, a unit of Tokyo-based Sony Corp., is in the midst of a major cost-cutting initiative. The studio has said it will slash at least $350 million in overhead, and has been laying off employees.
February 5, 2014 |
Walt Disney Co. reported a 33% increase in net income for its fiscal first quarter, lifted in part by the performance of its hit movies "Frozen" and "Thor: The Dark World. " The Burbank company posted net income of $1.84 billion for the quarter that ended Dec. 28, up from $1.38 billion a year earlier. Revenue rose 9% to $12.31 billion. Disney, the world's largest entertainment and media company, posted earnings of $1.03 a share, up from 77 cents a year earlier. That exceeded the expectations of analysts, who had predicted earnings of 91 cents a share, according to investment research firm Zacks.
February 5, 2014 |
Danger Mouse had his heart set on a glimpse of Jupiter. On a recent evening, the sonic mastermind of L.A.'s Broken Bells was standing in line at the Griffith Observatory, waiting to peer through the giant Zeiss telescope there. As closing time approached, though, an attendant announced that anyone still outside the telescope dome wasn't likely to get the chance that night. Danger Mouse didn't budge. The vast expanse of outer space - specifically as viewed from the observatory - served as an important source of inspiration for the new Broken Bells album, "After the Disco.
February 4, 2014 |
Countdown to Vin Scully: three weeks. The Dodgers confirmed Tuesday what Scully told The Times' Steve Dilbeck last week: The Hall of Fame announcer will travel to Arizona to call the first broadcast on the Dodgers' new SportsNet LA channel. The channel launches Feb. 25. The Dodgers' first Cactus League game is Feb. 26, against the Arizona Diamondbacks at noon PST. "It is an incredible honor to have the remarkable opportunity to call the very first game on the Dodger network,” Scully said in a statement.
January 31, 2014 |
On the eve of contract negotiations with the studios, the Writers Guild of America said employers are seeking big cuts in healthcare benefits and pay. The guild said opening proposals from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers contained $60 million in "rollbacks for writers," including cuts in the union's health and pension plans, as well as reductions in pay rates for screenplays and TV residuals. "Are you surprised? We were," Chip Johannessen and Billy Ray, co-chairs of the union's negotiating committee, wrote in a letter to members.
January 30, 2014 |
Animator Floyd Norman vividly recalled the first time he encountered Walt Disney. In early 1956, Norman was one of a few young animators hired for a one-month tryout at the Disney studio in Burbank. A few weeks into its training, the group was told to report to a screening room on the third floor of the Animation Building. Because the room was occupied, they had to wait in the hallway. "We saw this figure step out into the hallway moving toward us," Norman said. "As the figure moved closer, we suddenly realized - oh, my God - it was Walt Disney.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2014 |
Tom Sherak had a long career as a studio executive and was involved in hundreds of films, including "Black Hawk Down," "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. " But Sherak is best known for the jobs he did for free or almost free. For three years ending in 2012, he was outspoken president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, , during which he launched initiatives but also had to deal with public controversies, including the replacement of the producer and host of an Oscar show.
January 24, 2014 |
Studios say they will support efforts by the Writers Guild of America to ensure that screenwriters are paid on time. The Writers Guild of America, West announced this week that it was working with talent agents on a joint project to "address the chronic problem of late payment to screenwriters" to "change the culture of late pay that persists in Hollywood. " The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the major film and television studios, expressed support Thursday for the union's so-called late-pay initiative.
January 22, 2014 |
The annual bash thrown by the Grammy Producers & Engineers Wing at Village Recorders studio in West Los Angeles is typically one of the livelier Grammy week events, but this year, as if to ensure there would be not a whiff of stuffiness, they chose Neil Young as the recipient of this year's President's Merit Award. Tuesday's gathering was dominated by producers and other recording studio personnel but also drew industry executives and musicians, including longtime friend and collaborator Stephen Stills, Kris Kristofferson and Jakob Dylan, among others.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 |
Another blockbuster movie, another theme park attraction. Universal Studios Hollywood unveiled new details Tuesday of its next major attraction: a 3-D motion-simulator ride based on Universal Pictures' 2010 movie "Despicable Me. " Dubbed Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, the new ride, along with an interactive playland called Super Silly Fun Land, will open this spring at the site of the defunct attraction Terminator 2: 3D. The new attraction follows...