Archive for March, 2012

WWE Studios unveils film lineup

March 31, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Slate announced in Miami includes Hulk Hogan actioner, "Leprechaun" reboot

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‘Sirga’ tops Toulouse Films in Progress

March 31, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film Festivals: 'Tanta Agua' takes Cicae, Europa Distribution kudos

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‘Hunger’ tops ‘Titans’ at Friday B.O.

March 31, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Top News: Pic takes in $18.9 mil to cross $200 mil domestically; 'Titans' earns $12.4 mil

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Secular auds deliver ‘Baby’

March 31, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Box Office News: Screenings to religious orgs boosted word-of-mouth

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New blood pumps Broadway box office

March 31, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Legit News: 'Evita,' 'Salesman,' 'Newsies' offset losses at some shows

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Reed Hastings Is Just Like You – He Complains About the Cable Guys on Facebook

March 31, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Last fall, Reed Hastings took to Facebook to field his customers’ complaints. Now he’s using Facebook to complain to Comcast. Here’s a screenshot of the Netflix CEO’s most recent post , where he gripes that Comcast won’t let its subscribers watch HBO GO – the pay channel’s “TV Everywhere” app — via an Xbox 360, and goes on to talk about the way the cable provider enforces its broadband usage cap . Both of these complaints are the kind of thing that most people don’t care about, but vex a certain kind of technically savvy user.  They are important, though, because they underscore some of the tensions between programmers and providers that have made “TV Everywhere” more conceptual than it ought to be, nearly 3 years after Time Warner and Comcast announced a grand launch plan . Still, this is one of those stories where the form matters more than the content — it’s just interesting to see the head of a public company handling company business on Facebook. Then again, Hastings happens to be on Facebook’s board of directors. Also note that Hastings doesn’t just gripe about Comcast on Facebook. Here he is a couple days ago, praising the company’s new Xbox app, and complimenting/wooing Comcast executive Sam Schwartz .  And then he gripes, just a tiny bit, about Streampix, Comcast’s sorta-kinda Netflix-killer .

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Current TV Shows Olbermann the Door

March 30, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A year after Keith Olbermann hooked up with Al Gore’s struggling Current TV, the peripatetic news anchor once again is out of a job. Having locked horns with the 53-year-old newsman for months, Current founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt on Friday ended the $50 million Olbermann experiment. Effective immediately, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer will assume Olbermann’s 8 p.m. time slot, serving as host of a one-hour program titled Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer . While Current did not explicitly give cause for firing Olbermann, the co-founders were clearly fed up with his antagonistic behavior. In a note to viewers, Gore and Hyatt said that Olbermann failed to live up to the network’s guiding principles of “respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty,” adding that as “these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann…we have ended it.” In a statement posted to his Twitter account , Olbermann said he wished to “apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV,” before going on to charge the co-founders with negligence. “Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract,” Olbermann said. He went on to say that he would seek legal recourse: “It goes almost without saying that the claims against me implied in Current’s statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently.” Olbermann was brought into the Current fold in February 2011, signing on as chief news officer mere days after he was fired by MSNBC. Countdown premiered June 20. At the time, Current hoped Olbermann would help juice the channel’s distribution efforts and power ratings

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Tim Cook Visits China and Brings Back Some Ideas (Comic)

March 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

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Looks Like Cartoon and Nickelodeon Are Sharing Nick Cannon

March 30, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

So it's shaping up to be a big 2012 for Nick Cannon, who's producing flagship TV movie Ragz for his old port of call, Nickelodeon (which ran The Nick Cannon Show ), as well as a very funny-looking sketch comedy series set for Cartoon Network this coming season. Cannon's been working in kids' TV since 1998, when he joined Nick's own sketch comedy show All That , a show slightly edgier than some of its contemporaries on the network and thus part of its Saturday night "SNICK" programming block. Now he's really got some leverage at two of the big three kids' networks, and it'll be interesting to see how his profiles change based on the success of these two projects. The Cartoon upfront earlier this week had a lot going for it—the network has always done a staid breakfast presentation, with a rock-'em-till-their-ears-bleed party for Adult Swim. This year, however, the network's whole vibe seemed more Adult Swim-y, with Cartoon proper taking over the Roseland Ballroom (which hosted its blowout Jay-Z concert last year), serving drinks beforehand, and pulling a truly amazing stunt with live foley, a finale with a full-fledged orchestra playing over clips from the network's big shows, and voiceovers by its star actors. One of those was was Jeremy Shada, the voice of Finn on Adventure Time , which has become the network's flagship show over the last few seasons. Shada's the guy in this sketch, "Running Errands With My Mom," which got the biggest chuckles of anything Cartoon did that evening. It's Cannon's show, and it remains to be seen whether the show will walk the line between edgy and kid-friendly with as much assurance as this preview, or whether this will turn out to be the only good gag on the show. Still, all eyes are going to be on Cannon as he steps out from in front of the camera and into the producer spotlight in the coming months.

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Groupon Restates Earnings After Seeing a Spike in Holiday Returns

March 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Groupon has revised its results for the fourth quarter due to higher than expected return rates during the holiday period. The revision, which is not the company’s first, sent the stock tumbling by around 7 percent to $17.05 a share in after-hours trading. In a release filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, the company said it lowered its fourth quarter revenue by $14.3 million and its net income by $22.6 million. The daily deals giant is now reporting a wider net loss of $64.9 million on revenues totaling $492 million. Groupon’s revision reflects just how unpredictable the business is, and how little is known about how changes will affect its performance. It clearly did not know, or did not want to admit, how much offering slightly higher-end deals would affect its financial model. But companies in this stage of development are not typically public, or at this scale, and therefore, usually can make these errors in private. Still, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Despite these higher risk models being put into place going forward, the company reaffirmed guidance for the first quarter, meaning that it was able to perform better than it was expecting. In the first quarter, it is still expecting revenues of up to $550 million and net income from operations of up to $35 million. A Groupon spokesperson explained that the revision was necessary because the mix of deals in the fourth quarter changed. Due to higher-end offers, such as Lasik eye surgery, it experienced a higher return rate.

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