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Lionsgate Stock Jumps on Takeover Speculation

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 22:46
Lionsgate stock jumped nearly 7% to an all-time high closing price on Thursday on speculation that it could be a takeover target. Shares of the studio rose $2.21 to $34.50 following a report that potential buyers include Amazon, Verizon, and a combined CBS-Viacom. Lionsgate did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The takeover […]

L.A. Times Publisher Ross Levinsohn Under Investigation Following Report Of Sexual Harassment Settlements

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 22:42
Los Angeles Times Publisher and CEO Ross Levinsohn is under investigation after a report detailed two past settlements paid in sexual-harassment lawsuits, as well as other inappropriate workplace behavior by the publishing executive. NPR’s David Folkenflik examined Levinsohn’s behavior over the last two decades, finding examples of sexist and homophobic behavior during his time at […]

Judge Grants Default Judgment to Shut Down PubFilm

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 22:36
A New York federal judge has granted a default judgment against PubFilm, ruling that its string of websites infringed on studio copyrights and trademarks by illegally offering movies and TV shows for download. Judge Victor Marrero awarded the studios damages of $19.8 million, plus attorneys fees, but the defendants never answered the complaint or appeared […]

Above Average Steers Focus to Original Comedy Series for TV, Digital Services

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 22:12
Above Average started life in 2012 as the digital-comedy arm of Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video, the company best known for producing “Saturday Night Live.” Now, Above Average is putting its shoulder into developing bigger projects, beyond just short web series. Last May, the New York-based company recruited a new CEO: Marc Hustvedt, co-founder of the […]

Snap Layoffs: 22 Staffers Gone Across Content Division, Other Teams

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 22:06
Snapchat corporate parent Snap Inc. laid off 22 staffers as part of a wider reorganization this week, Variety has learned from a source close to the company. Some of the staffers laid off were part of Snap’s content team, but the majority were from other teams across the company. The Information was first to report the […]

Dolores O’Riordan, ‘Zombie’ and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart (Column)

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 21:10
Upon hearing the news that Dolores O’Riordan died, writer Ruby Brunton posted on Twitter what was, to me, the most fitting epitaph. It’s just two images. One is a screenshot of the headline. The other is a popular internet meme, which is reportedly a still from a Brazilian music video, of two sexily bestockinged legs […]

‘Fifty Shades Freed’ to Tie Up $37 Million in Opening Weekend

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 21:05
Universal’s “Fifty Shades Freed” should dominate its North American opening weekend on Feb. 9-11 with about $37 million, early tracking showed Thursday. Sony’s family comedy “Peter Rabbit” is tracking for a launch that weekend in the $18 million range and Warner Bros.’ Clint Eastwood thriller “15:17 to Paris” should arrive with about $10 million. The […]

‘Arrow’: Echo Kellum Teases the New Team Arrow in Midseason Premiere

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 20:55
Team Arrow took quite a hit in Season 6’s midseason finale, and it didn’t even come at the hands of one of the villains. After learning that someone on his team became a witness in the case to prove he is the Green Arrow, Oliver (Stephen Amell) grew suspicious of his newest team members — […]

Jane Fonda and Richard Perry Sell BevHills Contemporary at Steep Discount

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 20:27
Though they settled for far less than their last asking price of $9.995 million, not to mention a remarkable 34% less than their pie-in-the-sky original price tag of $12.995 million, former Hollywood power couple Jane Fonda and Richard Perry still earned a few bucks on the modern-minded residence they once shared in the popular if […]

Robert Redford Says #MeToo Movement Will Give Women More Opportunities in Hollywood

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 20:24
Robert Redford kicked off the Sundance Film Festival by praising the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements as a “tipping point” in Hollywood that will create more opportunities for women in Hollywood. “I’m pretty encouraged right now,” said Redford during a press conference on Thursday. “What it’s doing is bringing forth more opportunities for women and […]

First Look at Poster for Buzzy Sundance Heist Film ‘American Animals’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 20:22
“American Animals,” a true story about a group of college students who plan an elaborate rare books and art heist, debuts Friday at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie hits the mountainside festival with a lot of buzz, and is sure to be a conversation starter for its colorful plot, imaginative direction by Bart Layton, […]

Indie Sales Acquires Claus Drexel’s Daring Documentary ‘America’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 20:00
Paris-based company Indie Sales has acquired Claus Drexel’s politically-engaged documentary feature “America,” the helmer’s anticipated follow up to “On the edge of the World.” “America” unfolds in November 2016, when the United States was about to elect its new president. Drexel traveled to Arizona and zoomed in on folks living on the margins of society one […]

CW Beefs Up Development Team Under Gaye Hirsch With Two Promotions, New Hire

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 19:47
The CW is building up the development team under newly-named executive vice president of development Gaye Hirsch, the network announced Thursday. Julie Jarmon has joined The CW as vice president of scripted development. Additionally, Laura Terry has been promoted to vice president of scripted development and Cyle Zezo has been promoted to director of alternative […]

Rachel Weisz to Star in Sci-Fi Movie ‘Cloud One’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 19:40
Rachel Weisz is attached to star in the indie sci-fi pic “Cloud One,” sources tell Variety. “Wristcutters: A Love Story” helmer Goran Dukic is directing the film from a script he penned. Plot details are being kept under wraps, other than it being described as a grounded sci-fi movie. “The Imitation Game’s” Bristol Automotive will […]

Iconic French Director Agnes Varda Sets Off to New Film Journey with MK2 (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 19:31
Rolling off an honorary Oscar and worldwide acclaim for “Faces Places,” iconic French auteur Agnes Varda is reteaming with MK2 for her next untitled documentary project which she will co-direct with Didier Rouget. Described by MK2 as an “unpredictable documentary” from a “fascinating storyteller,” Varda’s next film will shed light on her own experience as […]

Facebook Will Exclusively Stream ‘CS:GO’ Pro League Esports Events Previously on YouTube

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 19:20
Two of ESL’s biggest esports competitions — CS:GO Pro League and ESL One — will be broadcast exclusively on Facebook. Both of the series were formerly streamed on YouTube exclusively. The World Esports Association (WESA) and ESL will launch Facebook live-streaming of CS:GO Pro League, one of the top “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” competitions, starting with […]

Rupert Murdoch Recovering After Suffering Back Injury While Sailing

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 19:17
Rupert Murdoch is recovering at home after suffering a serious back injury. The media mogul was hospitalized after taking a fall while sailing earlier this month, Variety has confirmed. The 86-year-old head of 21st Century Fox fell and was rushed off the boat by a helicopter, according to Vanity Fair, while vacationing on his son […]

Lara Croft Defies Death in New ‘Tomb Raider’ Trailer

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 19:17
A new “Tomb Raider” trailer released Thursday offers a further look at Alicia Vikander’s Lara Croft and her dangerous adventure for answers about her father’s death. Upon arrival at a mysterious island — his last-known location — she encounters a man, played by Walton Goggins, who says he was taken there by Croft’s father seven […]

Former Oculus Story Studio Team Unveils New Company, Announces 4 VR Projects

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 19:15
Key members of the former Oculus Story Studio team unveiled their new company at the Sundance film festival Thursday. Fable Studio, which was co-founded by Story Studio co-founder Edward Saatchi and filmmaker Pete Billington, aims to be a technology company slash studio for augmented and virtual reality content. One of the first projects of Fable […]

Golden Globes Music Sweep Is a Kraft-Engel Production

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 19:00
Last weekend’s Golden Globe Awards saw Alexandre Desplat win Best Score (for “The Shape of Water”), and Benj Pasek and Justin Paul win Best Song (for “The Greatest Showman”). What do they have in common? All three are represented by Richard Kraft and Laura Engel, whose Kraft-Engel Management is one of Hollywood’s top music agencies. Kraft-Engel’s […]
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