NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – One winner in 2012′s political races already has been decided: local television stations.
Spending on TV advertising likely will mount to historic levels as candidates again blanket airwaves with commercials pitching their virtues or bashing their opponents. The hard-fought, and expensive, battles will provide a welcome windfall for TV stations, particularly in the most tightly contested states that will decide if President Barack Obama wins re-election or loses to his yet-to-be-decided Republican opponent.
At theaters this weekend, low-budget horror movie “The Devil Inside” will try to push Tom Cruise off his perch at the top of the movie box office. Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” the fourth movie in the franchise, has ranked as the No. 1 film in the United States and Canada for the past two weekends. Paramount distributes “MI4″ and is now bringing competing movie “Devil Inside” to more than 2,200 theaters. The Viacom unit acquired “Devil Inside” for $1 million and expects debut weekend domestic sales around $8 million. The story about a woman who investigates her mother’s exorcisms is the only new wide release for the weekend, as January is typically a slow period for movie-going.
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
Bruce Springsteen guitarist and “Sopranos” actor Steven Van Zandt will star in an original series available exclusively to Netflix subscribers starting next month. “Lilyhammer” features Van Zandt again playing a mobster, this time one who enters the witness protection program in Norway after ratting on his boss.
The company describes the show as a “fish-out-of-water” story, and says all eight first-season episodes can be streamed starting Feb. 6 by subscribers in the United States, Canada and Latin America. The move is part of a Netflix push to attract more customers with original content, including political drama “House of Cards” due later in 2012. Last year Netflix angered a vocal chunk of subscribers with missteps that included a price increase and a quickly reversed plan to separate its DVD service. Will “Lillyhammer” help win some new business? Take a peek at the trailer.
As 2011 ended, U.S. and Canadian revenue fell from last year and attendance slumped to its lowest level since 1995.
Theaters are hoping to catch moviegoers over a long weekend starting Friday and ending on Monday’s U.S. government holiday, when many people will be home from work or school. Tom Cruise’s action movie “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” – the Christmas weekend winner – looks likely to lead the pack again, according to industry pundits. Distributor Paramount Pictures projects an estimated $40 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales over four days for the popular franchise’s fourth installment. Other films fighting for top spots include Warner Bros. detective sequel “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” 20th Century Fox’s family sequel “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” and Sony’s book adaptation and thriller “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Three other family-oriented films also are in the mix - Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse,” released by Disney, and Paramount-distributed “The Adventures of Tintin,” plus “We Bought a Zoo” from Fox.
Robert Downey Jr.’s follow-up to the 2009 hit “Sherlock Holmes” pulled in an estimated $54.7 million around the world, distributor Warner Bros. said on Sunday.
Los Angeles and New York Dec 16 (Reuters) – Hollywood has yet to shake off the Thanksgiving hangover, with box office receipts slumping in the weeks since the late November holiday.
Last weekend, U.S. and Canadian ticket sales fell to an estimated $77.4 million, their lowest level in three years, according to figures from the box-office division of Hollywood.com. Year-to-date receipts so far total $9.6 billion, a decline of 3.87 percent from 2010, and total attendance stands at 1.2 billion, down 4.71 percent from this time last year.
(Reuters) – The National Football League reached deals with the CBS, FOX and NBC broadcast networks that will extend television rights for the games through the 2022 season while substantially increasing payments to the league.
The networks agreed to pay annual increases of about 7 percent on average, a person familiar with the deals said. That will lift yearly rights payments to the NFL from the networks to nearly $3.1 billion in 2022, up from about $1.9 billion in 2013, the person said.
Romantic comedy “New Year’s Eve” topped the domestic movie box office during the weekend but Hollywood had little to celebrate as North American ticket sales slumped to their lowest level in three years.
“New Year’s Eve” led the charts with a disappointing $13.7 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to studio estimates compiled by Reuters on Sunday. The movie added $12.9 million from international markets, for a combined global debut of $26.6 million, distributor Warner Bros. said.
New romantic comedy “New Year’s Eve,” distributed by Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros. studio, tells a series of intertwining stories centered around the ball drop in New York’s Times Square. The film’s all-star cast includes Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, Ashton Kutcher, Hilary Swank, Sofia Vergara, Jessica Biel, Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, Katherine Heigl and Sarah Jessica Parker. Warner Bros. is forecasting a $17-million to $20-million domestic opening weekend, which should earn first-place honors at a box office ruled the past three weekends by the vampires in Summit Entertainment’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1.”