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Jul 27, 2013

NBC plans Hillary Clinton miniseries, part of TV event strategy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – NBC plans to air a four-hour miniseries starring Diane Lane as former Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton, part of the broadcast TV network’s strategy to improve its ratings by luring viewers to one-time event programming.

The part of Bill Clinton has not been cast, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said on Saturday at a meeting of the Television Critics Association.

Jul 23, 2013

‘Arrested’ bump disappoints Netflix investors, shares drop

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Quirky comedy “Arrested Development” lured new subscribers to Netflix Inc’s streaming service in the second quarter, but not enough to impress investors who sent its shares tumbling 4 percent in after-hours trading on Monday.

“Arrested Development,” which Netflix dusted off seven years after it last ran on Fox, generated “a small but noticeable bump in membership,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Chief Financial Officer David Wells said in a letter to shareholders.

Jul 22, 2013

Netflix profit grows, shares drop on subscriber numbers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Video subscription service Netflix Inc (NFLX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) signed up fewer-than-expected new customers for its streaming service in the second quarter, sending its shares tumbling by nearly 6 percent on Monday despite a higher-than-expected profit.

Netflix beat analysts’ forecasts with $29 million in second-quarter profit and earnings per share of 49 cents, but said it added 630,000 new streaming customers in the United States, in the middle of a forecast the company issued in April.

Jul 22, 2013

‘R.I.P.D.’ continues Hollywood’s summer of big budget bombs

LOS ANGELES, July 22 (Reuters) – Universal Pictures’ sci-fi
action comedy “R.I.P.D.” and Dreamworks Animation’s “Turbo”
opened with a thud in North American theaters this weekend,
continuing a Hollywood streak of weekly box office bombs for
films that cost more than $100 million to make.

“R.I.P.D.,” starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, cost
$130 million to make and tens of millions more to promote. It
opened with ticket sales of $12.8 million, seventh among films
in theaters this weekend, according to the box office division
of Hollywood.com.

Jul 21, 2013

Ghosts beat minions as ‘Conjuring’ horror flick leads box office

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “The Conjuring,” a low-budget horror movie about a haunted farmhouse, spooked two pricey competitors and the “Despicable Me” minions to win a crowded weekend box office contest at U.S. and Canadian theaters.

“Conjuring” soared past forecasts with $41.5 million in domestic ticket sales in its first three days, the highest take among four new films, according to studio estimates. The strong performance from “Conjuring” knocked two-time champion “Despicable Me 2″ to second place with $25.1 million.

Jul 18, 2013

Netflix’s Emmy spotlight lifts status of online shows

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Emmy recognition for Netflix Inc elevated the stature of programming delivered solely over the Internet, a field that is attracting the biggest names in Silicon Valley and a roster of A-list Hollywood stars.

Coming later this year, Amazon.com Inc will release political series “Alpha House” starring John Goodman, one of five original shows watchable only on its Prime Instant Video service. Hulu’s streaming site will feature the voice of Eva Longoria as a former music executive turned suburban mom on animated comedy “Mother Up!”

Jul 16, 2013

DreamWorks shares drop ahead of ‘Turbo’ snail movie debut

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG (DWA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) fell 6 percent on Tuesday as industry projections suggested its new movie, “Turbo,” the story of a super-fast snail, could open at a slower pace than many of the studio’s recent hits.

“Turbo,” featuring the voice of Ryan Reynolds as a garden snail with dreams of entering the Indianapolis 500, could take in less than $35 million during its first weekend in U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to box office forecasters. The movie premieres in theaters on Wednesday.

Jul 14, 2013

‘Despicable Me 2′ minions top Sandler’s ‘Grown Ups 2′ at box office

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The mighty minions of “Despicable Me 2″ beat human comedy star Adam Sandler’s new “Grown Ups 2″ at the U.S. and Canadian movie box office this weekend.

The animated film featuring the crowd-pleasing yellow minions collected $44.8 million from Friday through Sunday, edging out Sandler’s comedy sequel, which racked up $42.5 million in ticket sales – in line with industry projections.

Jul 12, 2013

Media owners keep Hulu website, may bring in partners

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc and Comcast’s NBCUniversal said on Friday they decided to keep their video streaming website Hulu and will invest $750 million to help it grow.

Hulu’s owners still are talking to companies that could become partners for the service, a source with knowledge of the discussions said. One is Time Warner Cable, which had offered to make an equity investment in Hulu, two sources told Reuters. The role of future partners has not been determined.

Jul 7, 2013

‘Despicable’ minions upset Depp’s ‘Lone Ranger’ at box office

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The small yellow minions of “Despicable Me 2″ upstaged Johnny Depp at the weekend movie box office.

The animated “Despicable” sequel hauled in an impressive $82.5 million in the United States and Canada from Friday through Sunday, more than double the weak $29.4 million for Walt Disney Co’s big-budget Western “The Lone Ranger,” which stars Depp as the masked man’s Native American partner Tonto.