DREAMWORKS OUTSOURCES INVESTMENT
After a sometimes rocky and often antagonistic relationship with Paramount executives over the past three years, the principals of DreamWorks, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen, are reportedly close to a deal that would see Mumbai-based Reliance ADA Group invest more than $500 million to revive the company as an independent filmmaker. Today's (Wednesday) Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the talks,said that in addition to Reliance's investment, Spielberg and Geffen plan to borrow $500 million. The new DreamWorks reportedly plans to produce about six films a year. However, no studio has yet been selected to distribute them. (DreamWorks Animation, headed by Jeffrey Katzenberg, currently has a long-term distribution deal with Paramount.)
TIVO USERS DON'T SKIP MOVIE ADS
Commercials for new movies are the least likely to be skipped by users of TiVo digital video recorders, according to a study by the DVR maker. The study, conducted in April, found that the least fast-forwarded (and most-watched) ad was for Universal's comedy film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which aired during NBC's The Office. (The episode itself, however, did not even make TiVo's list of the ten most-watched shows.) The second least fast-forwarded ad was for Sony Pictures' Hancock which aired during an episode of ABC's Grey's Anatomy. Other movies making the top-ten list included Sony's Made of Honor (#4), Universal's Baby Mama (#7), and Paramount/Marvel's Iron Man (#10).
30-PERCENT HIKE IN ENTERTAINMENT SPENDING FORECAST
Consumers worldwide will spend $11.2 billion on all forms of filmed entertainment in 2012, up 30 percent from $85.9 billion in 2007, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2008-2012. Box-office spending is likely to increase 6.1 percent to $36.9 billion with sales spurred by 3D digital presentations, the study said. The study predicted the greatest growth will come from streaming video.
BROADWAY'S TICKET PRICES MAKE MOVIES' LOOK CHEAP
Although the average price of a movie ticket rose by half from 1997 to 2007 (to $6.88 from $4.59 -- with pricing for children and seniors included in the calculation) moviegoing remains a bargain when compared with the costs of other forms of entertainment. The Associated Press observed Tuesday that tickets for the Broadway revival of All My Sons, starring Katie Holmes, John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest and Patrick Wilson will be priced at $116.50, about the same as Equus, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths. Tickets will have a top price of $251.50 for "best seats in the house" while holiday weeks will see a spike in prices to $301.50.
AFI PICKS TOP FILMS BY GENRE
The American Film Institute has selected the top ten films in 10 classic genres, featuring them Tuesday night in a three-hour special that aired on CBS. (AFI launched a website today at www.afi.com that features over 400 video clips from all of the 100 movies.) The top two in each category: Animation: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio; Fantasy: The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; Gangster: The Godfather, Goodfellas; Science Fiction: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars: Episode IV (the original); Western: The Searchers, High Noon; Sports: Raging Bull, Rocky; Mystery: Vertigo, Chinatown; Romantic Comedy: City Lights, Annie Hall; Courtroom Drama: To Kill a Mockingbird, 12 Angry Men; Epic: Lawrence of Arabia, Ben-Hur.
DANCER, ACTRESS CYD CHARISSE DEAD AT 86
Cyd Charisse, a star of MGM musicals in the 1940s and '50s, died Tuesday in Los Angeles of an apparent heart attack at age 86. She co-starred with Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain and Brigadoon and with Fred Astaire in such films as Dancing in the Dark and The Band Wagon. Astaire once remarked about working with her: "When we were dancing, we didn't know what time it was." Survivors include her husband of 60 years, the singer Tony Martin.