Signs of the Apocalypse Roundup – July 2010 – Week 1
Another RICO case against ‘Jersey Shore’
Following other racketeering lawsuits against the hit reality show, a woman who says she was beat up by “Snooki” and “J-Woww” at a Miami nightclub claims in a new lawsuit that the show receives “profits from a pattern of unlawful activity by filming and broadcasting incidences of criminal assault and battery that have been intentionally provoked by members of the production team and cast of ‘Jersey Shore’ for entertainment purposes.”
MTV denies woman was drunk in ‘Real World’ lawsuit
Viacom, MTV and producer Bunim-Murray have answered the $5 million lawsuit, filed last month in US District Court in Washington by Golzar Amirmotazedi, who claims she was given 8 to 10 alcoholic beverages and ridiculed when she refused to have sex with one of the show’s cast members. In pushing her claims of privacy violations and infliction of emotional distress, Amirmotazedi asserts that she was too inebriated to sign a lawful waiver. What say the defendants? Not drunk!
Fox Planning ‘Ice Road Truckers’ As John Moore-Directed Feature
As Max Payne director John Moore finishes the first graphic novel he helped create, he tells me he has set his sights on a 3D big screen transfer of the reality series Ice Road Truckers as his next film. He said that when casting fell through on his Paramount/Skydance aviation drama Northern Lights — the pic was grounded when Taylor Lautner dropped out — Moore sparked to Ice Road Truckers, the History Channel’s top-rated reality series which 20th Century Fox president Emma Watts acquired for the big screen in 2008. Moore said he and an unnamed writer (because he doesn’t have a deal yet) have come up with a take that has the studio excited.
Style acquires rights to ‘Run’s House’
Deal also includes spinoff series ‘Daddy’s Girls’
The Style Network has acquired the rerun rights to MTV series “Run’s House,” following life in the family of former Run-DMC rapper and hip-hop pioneer Joseph Simmons (aka Rev Run). The deal gives Style access to episodes from all seasons of the series and includes the spinoff “Daddy’s Girls.” “Run’s House” centers around patriarch Rev Run as he tries to balance being a father, a reverend and an icon — while trying to keep rap’s royal family securely grounded. “Daddy’s Girls” follows Run’s eldest daughters Vanessa and Angela as they start their own business after moving to Los Angeles.
The Kardashians to guest star on ‘90210′ premiere
The Kardashian sisters will appear as themselves on The CW’s “90210″ third season premiere in September, People reports. Kim, Khloe and Kourtney all star in E!’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and it looks like they’re exercising their acting chops. Kim has previously starred in “Brothers” and “CSI: NY.” Khloe and Kourtney also appear in E! reality series “Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami.”
- NBC pushes ‘Love Bites,’ moves up ‘The Apprentice’ as fall replacement
- MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore’ season 2 trailer
- Jennifer Hudson opens up to VH1; Singer calls family murders ‘surreal’ on ‘Behind the Music’
Business of the Business
Netflix Signs Streaming Deal with Relativity Media, Beats HBO, Showtime, Max
Netflix and Relativity have just announced a deal that will see all first-run theatrical releases from the production company available via streaming to Netflix subscribers, just months after their release on DVD. It’s a bit of a coup for the mail order ‘n’ mobile-streaming service, as it will give its 13 million subscribers access to new(ish) films before they’re viewed on pay TV. Under the terms of the agreement, Netflix gets licensing rights to all movies for which Relativity Media controls distribution–that’s 14 films over the next 12 months. What all industry insiders are begging to know is this: How much did Netflix pay for the priviledge? Given that the deal basically cuts out TV’s first hands-on with the movies, expect it to be around the same amount that HBO and Co. pay the studios each year–estimated to be around $100 million.
STUDIO SHAME! Even Harry Potter Pic Loses Money Because Of Warner Bros’ Phony Baloney Net Profit Accounting
Signing a deal that makes anyone a net profit participant in a Hollywood movie deal has always been a sucker’s bet. In an era where studios have all but eliminated first dollar gross and invited talent to share the risk and potential rewards, guess what? Net profit deals are still a sucker’s bet. Here is a net profit statement (below) for Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, the 2007 Warner Bros sequel. Though the film grossed $938.2 million worldwide, the accounting statement below conveys that the film is still over $167 million in the red. As one dealmaker said: “If this is the fair definition of net profits, why do we continue to pretend and go through this charade? Judging by this, no movie is ever, ever going to go to pay off on net participants. It’s an illusion to make writers, and lower-level actors and filmmakers feel they have a stake in the game.”
DirecTV announces details of its 3D channels
n3D to offer 3D programming viewable on 3D TV sets
Satellite TV giant DirecTV said it is launching the nation’s first suite of 3D channels. Among them is n3D, a linear channel powered by Panasonic that is dedicated exclusively to 3D programming and viewable on 3D TV sets, such as select Panasonic models. In addition, DirecTV is launching DirecTV Cinema in 3D, which is currently offering Imax titles “Deep Sea 3D” and “Under the Sea 3D.” DirecTV previously launched ESPN 3D on June 11 in conjunction with the network’s beginning of coverage of the soccer World Cup. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, DirecTV and Panasonic announced their plans to launch 3D TV channels and leverage relationships with programmers to obtain new and existing 3D content.
Judge orders cooperation in massive BitTorrent piracy case
At the hearing, the EFF argued that joining thousands of individuals in a single lawsuit constituted improper civil procedure. Judge Collyer rejected that argument, declining a request to sever any defendant from the lawsuit. However, in the interest of giving the defendants a fair opportunity to raise legal objections, the judge ordered that plaintiffs work with amici groups such as the EFF and the ACLU to draft a notice that could be sent to those individuals whose information is being sought from ISPs. Until an agreement has been reached on a draft notice, ISPs won’t serve its subscribers with notice they have been flagged. The decision split the middle, and has both sides claiming to be pleased with the outcome.
Redbox testing higher-priced DVD rentals
Dollar-rental king Redbox is testing DVD rentals at higher price points at its kiosk locations in five markets. There’s no guarantee the tests will lead to permanent price boosts nor an indication of how long the tests might last. Launched in November in Albuquerque, N.M., and expanded in recent weeks, the DVD price tests complement other marketing testing by the Coinstar-owned kiosk chain, including renewed testing of video game rentals. On Wednesday, Merriman Curhan Ford analyst Eric Wold said trial tests of games at 150 kiosks in Austin could bear fruit despite modest title offerings at present. Along with the $1.50 test in Albuquerque, price-point tests began in May in Modesto, Calif. ($1.25), San Diego ($1.25), Spokane, Wash. ($1.15) and Miami/West Palm Beach ($1.15).
- The first iPhone movie is here…almost
- Games a growth area for Disney, News Corp.
- Pay TV paying off in down economy; HBO and rivals are thriving by being original
- DISH replaces Fuse with Palladia
- Alleged ‘Twilight’ bootlegger sues movie theater
- Feds, studios join forces against piracy; Officials seize domain names of sites offering movies
- Trade secret war over Hollywood set locations
- Do you know your showbiz deal terms?
- ZACK SNYDER HEEDS THE 3D POST-CONVERSION BACKLASH
- Blockbuster delays $42.4 mil debt payment; NYSE to delist company’s shares; CEO’s contract extended
- Media conglomerates endure a tough Q2; All sector biggies but Viacom drop below 2009 close
- Here’s What’s Really Going On In Online Media Consumption
- Hulu launches subscription service; Video hub’s ‘Plus’ option offers expanded content for $9.99
- Study: Product-placement spending drops; Decrease comes after four years of double-digit growth
Planet of the Odd
Disneyland’s ‘Star Tours’ is closing and D23 members get the last ride
Disneyland will shutter the popular “Star Tours” attraction this month to make way for a major overhaul of the Reagan-era ride — but D23 members will be given one last, special opportunity to say goodbye to the vintage “Star Wars” adventure. “Star Tours 2.0″ is scheduled to reopen next year with an enhanced experience that will have high definition “Disney Real-D” 3D. The story presented will take place between the two George Lucas trilogies and there will be new destinations added, including Coruscant. Last year, at the D23 Expo presentation on the new “Star Tours” plans, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo pledged that his team was “going to do things with ‘Star Tours’ that have never been done with any theme park attraction before at any theme park anywhere.”
Mel Gibson’s Racist Rant Caught On Tape – Tells Oksana She Would Get ‘Raped By N***ers’
In another tirade, Mel tells Oksana: “How dare you act like such a bitch when I have been so f**king nice.” He warns, “I am going to come and burn the f**king house down… but you will blow me first.”
Oprah tops list of most powerful celebrities
Forbes also ranks Beyonce, James Cameron, Lady Gaga
Forbes said that the cumulative earnings of those who make up this year’s Celebrity 100 Power List has grown to $4.7 billion from $4.1 billion a year ago. Winfrey alone earned $315 million from June 1, 2009, to June 1, 2010. But in deciphering celebrity “power,” Forbes doesn’t take only earnings into account but also fame, which it measures by calculating the number of times a personality is mentioned in print, TV, radio and social media. That’s why music, fragrance and fashion magnate Beyonce Knowles is No. 2 on the list with earnings of $87 million, while “Avatar” impresario James Cameron is third with $210 million.
Britney Spears launching fashion collection
Candie’s juniors designs to be sold in Kohl’s from July 1
Spears, 28, has designed her first collection of clothing and accessories for the Iconix Brand Group Inc.’s Candie’s brand for which she has been the face for the past three seasons. The juniors’ collection, called “Britney for Candie’s,” will be sold exclusively in Kohl’s Department stories from July 1 to kick off the back-to-school season.
Producer Elliott Kastner dies
Credits included ‘The Big Sleep,’ ‘Where Eagles Dare’
Elliott Kastner, the American producer of Hollywood films including 1968′s “Where Eagles Dare” starring Richard Burton and 1977′s “A Little Night Music” starring Elizabeth Taylor, died June 20 in London of cancer. He was 80. The producer based his work at London’s Pinewood Studios for years. Some of his best-known movies include three big-screen adaptations of Raymond Chandler works: “The Long Goodbye” (1973), “Farewell, My Lovely” (1975) and “The Big Sleep” (1978).
Bits and Pieces
- Twilight’ death a mystery say police
- Megan Fox, Brian Austin Green marry in Hawaii
- Zoe Saldana engaged
- Kelsey Grammer divorcing
- ‘The Office’s’ Jenna Fischer ties the knot
- Jeremy London’s Restraining Order Against Family Denied
The Fine Print
This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive roundup of the entire weeks’ news. All stories are chosen by me for no other reason than that they got my attention and might capture yours. If something you think is more important chime in on the feedback; we’d love to hear comments and have a conversation about it.
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