China Box Office: ‘Ultron’ takes 90% of Weekly Total

May 19, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” replaced “Furious 7” at the top of the Chinese box office, with another blistering start.

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Multicultural Talent Is Surging on TV and Winning Mainstream Audiences

May 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Hardly anyone was more surprised than Dana Walden at the ratings surge Fox midseason entrant Empire enjoyed following its Jan. 7 debut. She expected a lift but not to the degree it did shoot up. But Walden, co-chairman and co-CEO of the Fox Television Group, wasn't alone—each week, the entire TV industry let out a gasp of surprise as Empire's young adult demos kept climbing to north of a 5, territory so few shows ever see. Flash-forward, and something else quite striking was going on at the Twentieth Century Fox Television studio. Two out of three freshman series it produced for this past season that featured multicultural talent were renewed

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Louder Than Bombs’

May 17, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

In the 30-odd years since “Ordinary People” upset “Raging Bull” at the Oscars, American cinema has told and retold stories of how a death in the family can reveal the dysfunction no one wanted to admit was there. “Louder Than Bombs” is just such a picture

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Film Review: ‘One Cut, One Life’

May 17, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

“One Cut,” in rehashing old problems and trying to resolve multiple unresolved issues already exposed in previous films, proves as exasperating as it is weirdly compelling.

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Cannes Film Review: Amy Winehouse Documentary ‘Amy’

May 16, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

"Self-destructive" is the label commonly attached by armchair pop psychologists to tragic figures like Amy Winehouse, the nervy, unruly and viciously talented British jazz-soul singer.

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David Lynch Returns to Showtime’s Twin Peaks Revival

May 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Twin Peaks is whole again. A month after departing the project, David Lynch is back on board with Showtime's limited-series revival of his and Mark Frost's groundbreaking show, he and the network announced Friday night. "This damn fine cup of coffee from Mark and David tastes more delicious than ever. Totally worth the extra brewing time, and the cup is even bigger than we expected," said David Nevins, president of Showtime Networks. "David will direct the whole thing, which will total more than the originally announced nine hours.

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Sleeping Giant’

May 15, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

A near-tangible slick of midsummer sweat sits heavily atop each scene in Andrew Cividino's diverting debut feature "Sleeping Giant," lending welcome sensual specificity to coming-of-age material that otherwise paddles in familiar waters.

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Will Last Year’s Shortfalls Continue in 2015?

May 15, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With the 2015-2016 upfronts now behind us, it's on to the sales season. Last year's upfront market was down, with both broadcast and cable taking hits. New Jersey-based MDI pegged the decline at 6.1% to $18.125 billion overall, including a 4.7% drop by cable to $9.67 billion. The shortfalls marked the first retreat since 2009-10, when the market suffered from the lingering effects of the 2008 financial crisis. Where is the upfront headed this year? While agency executives say it's too soon to say, there are a number of key things to consider that will partly shape the Madison Avenue bazaar.

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Harry Shearer, the Voice of Iconic Simpsons Characters, Is Leaving the Show

May 14, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The voice of some of the most recognizable and beloved animated characters of the last 30 years is going silent. Harry Shearer confirmed on Twitter that he won't be back for the 27th season of the hit Fox show The Simpsons after he could not come to terms with producers on a new contract. The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean wrote on Twitter, "The show will go on, made by people who love it and see in it the most wonderful vehicle for satire ever." Shearer has been the voice of Ned Flanders, C. Montgomery Burns, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, Seymour Skinner and dozens of other characters. The one-time Saturday Night Live cast member (remember his Mike Wallace impression? ) wrote on Twitter: "I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work." Thanks, Simpsons fans, for your support. — Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015 The Simpsons was mentioned in 21st Century Fox's third-quarter earnings report on May 6—specifically, the cost of re-airing the show on FXX. "The expense growth at the new channels was led by increased rights fees ... and increased programming costs at FXX led by The Simpsons." But it was a Simpsons mega-marathon last summer that all but saved the cable channel.

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CANNES: No End To Wanda’s Global Ambition

May 14, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Chinese property and entertainment giant unveils "The Ghouls" at Cannes, confirms global cinema ambitions.

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