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Dec 19, 2013

Analysis: Lower-cost surprises drive Hollywood toward record year

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – As Ron Burgundy returns to the big screen this weekend in the “Anchorman” sequel, it’s kind of a big deal, as the fictional newsman would say, for Hollywood’s entire year.

After a handful of expensive summer flops, lower-cost movies such as the $50 million “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” are lighting up the screen for studio executives who are cautiously predicting a second straight record year.

Dec 15, 2013

Dwarves, dragon and a ‘Hobbit’ dominate box offices worldwide

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A small hobbit racked up big sales at movie box offices during the weekend, generating an estimated $205 million at theaters around the world with the debut of highly anticipated sequel “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

The second installment in the 3D “Hobbit” film trilogy earned $73.7 million of its global haul in the United States and Canada, where it easily topped weekend movie charts.

Dec 8, 2013

‘Frozen,’ ‘Catching Fire’ fuel U.S., Canada box office

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co’s animated princess fairy tale “Frozen” heated up movie box office charts in the United States and Canada, displacing dystopian thriller “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” as the top-earning film.

“Frozen” sold $31.6 million worth of tickets from Friday through Sunday during its second weekend in theaters to top domestic movie charts, while “Catching Fire” earned $27 million, according to studio estimates from Rentrak.

Dec 5, 2013

Actor Walker died from multiple injuries in crash, ‘Fast 7′ filming halted

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “Fast & Furious” actor Paul Walker died from multiple injuries in a weekend car crash, the Los Angeles County coroner said on Wednesday, as Universal Pictures suspended production of the seventh installment in its lucrative car racing film franchise.

Walker, 40, was a passenger in a fiery one-car crash on Saturday in Santa Clarita, California, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles, that also killed 38-year-old driver Roger Rodas.

Dec 4, 2013

Actor Walker died from multiple injuries, ‘Fast 7′ filming halted

LOS ANGELES, Dec 4 (Reuters) – “Fast & Furious” actor Paul
Walker died from multiple injuries in a weekend car crash, the
Los Angeles County coroner said on Wednesday, as Universal
Pictures suspended production of the seventh installment in its
lucrative car racing film franchise.

Walker, 40, was a passenger in a fiery one-car crash on
Saturday in Santa Clarita, California, about 30 miles (50 km)
northwest of Los Angeles, that also killed 38-year-old driver
Roger Rodas. The coroner said Walker’s death resulted from
traumatic and thermal injuries.

Dec 2, 2013

Comcast tests new ad tech to help networks capture binge viewers

By Liana B. Baker and Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) – Comcast Corp, the largest U.S. cable operator, is testing new advertising technology that inserts up-to-date commercials into past episodes of TV shows that are available on demand, a development that could help television networks generate additional revenue.

As people get used to catching up on or binging on older episodes of shows through online services like Netflix and Hulu, cable companies and TV networks are plying viewers with past episodes from current seasons that can be watched on demand through their cable set-top boxes.

Nov 24, 2013

‘Catching Fire’ ignites global box office with $307.7 million

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Nov 24 (Reuters) – “The Hunger Games:
Catching Fire” blazed straight to the top of weekend movie
charts, setting a U.S. and Canadian record for November ticket
sales and hauling in a huge $307.7 million around the world.

Fans poured into theaters for the second installment in the
series starring Jennifer Lawrence as scrappy heroine Katniss
Everdeen, the skilled archer who becomes a beacon of hope for
the oppressed residents of the fictional nation of Panem.

Nov 21, 2013

Lions Gate stokes overseas fire for ‘Hunger Games’ sequel

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – When the sequel “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” debuts worldwide on Friday, industry analysts believe the movie from studio Lions Gate Entertainment will set international box offices ablaze in a bigger way than the first film.

The original “Hunger Games” movie in 2012 became a smash hit with strong sales in the United States and Canada, but pulled in less than half of its box office grosses in overseas markets, a modest foreign take by blockbuster standards. Today’s biggest Hollywood movies often earn 50 to 70 percent of their revenue overseas.

Nov 17, 2013

‘Thor’ reigns over U.S., Canada box office for second week

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Superhero sequel “Thor: The Dark World” hammered out another victory in its second weekend at U.S. and Canadian box offices, overcoming a strong performance from Christmas-themed romantic comedy “The Best Man Holiday.”

“Thor,” from Walt Disney Co’s Marvel Studios, hauled in $38.4 million in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates. “Best Man Holiday” earned $30.6 million to take the No. 2 spot. Senior-citizen, buddy comedy “Last Vegas” finished third with $8.9 million.

Nov 16, 2013

NFL’s Bornstein may be candidate to head IMG: sources

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Steve Bornstein, the National Football League’s top media executive and a one-time ESPN chairman, may be a top candidate to be chairman of the powerful sports agency IMG if a group he is advising succeeds in buying it, according to two people with knowledge of the bids.

Bornstein is advising a group, headed by British money management firm CVC Capital Partners, in its bidding for the sports, fashion and marketing agency, the sources said.