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Jan 16, 2014

Sony, Warner Bros. lead studios in nominations for Oscar gold

LOS ANGELES, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Sony Pictures Entertainment
and Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros. led
Hollywood studios competing for Academy Awards with 21
nominations each, grabbing publicity that could provide a box
office bounce for their contending films including “American
Hustle” and “Gravity.”

The recognition on Thursday from the Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Sciences was especially sweet for Sony, which
came under heavy criticism in 2013 from activist investor Daniel
Loeb after two big-budget bombs over the summer.

Jan 15, 2014

Netflix shares drop after court tosses Internet traffic rules

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Shares of video streaming service Netflix Inc fell more than 1 percent on Wednesday, a day after a U.S. court decision that could let broadband providers charge companies for faster access to content delivered over the Internet.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected federal “net neutrality” rules that required Internet providers to treat all web traffic equally.

Jan 14, 2014

New ‘Idol’ highlights harmony among judges to freshen U.S. Fox show

PASADENA, California (Reuters) – The Fox broadcast TV network promises camaraderie among its judges and a focus on the contestants when “American Idol” returns on Wednesday, seeking to reinvigorate the pioneer singing competition after a ratings slump in recent years.

Appearing before TV critics on Monday, this season’s judges – pop superstar Jennifer Lopez, country singer Keith Urban and crooner Harry Connick Jr. – emphasized their chemistry and a shared commitment to focusing on the young singers competing for a chance at stardom.

Jan 8, 2014

Video service Hulu adds new shows to original series slate

LOS ANGELES, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Video streaming website Hulu
is expanding its slate of original programming in 2014 and will
introduce four new series including reality TV satire “The
Hotwives of Orlando” and supernatural comedy “Deadbeat.”

Hulu on Wednesday announced it also will release new
episodes this year of six other exclusive series, including
comedian Seth Meyers’ animated superhero show “The Awesomes,”
and “Moone Boy,” starring “Bridesmaids” actor Chris O’Dowd.

Jan 5, 2014

‘Frozen’ ices competition to win post-holiday box office race

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co’s animated fairy tale “Frozen” took hold of first place on movie charts in the United States and Canada for the first weekend of 2014, knocking three-time champion “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” down to the No.3 spot.

Second place went to new horror movie “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones”, a spinoff from the hit low-budget “Paranormal Activity” franchise.

Dec 22, 2013

‘The Hobbit’ tops ‘Anchorman’ sequel at weekend box office

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dwarves and hobbits of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” proved too much for the much-publicized sequel “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” as the hit fantasy film topped movie charts in the United States and Canada for a second straight week, earning $31.5 million over the weekend.

Kicking off Hollywood’s year-end push of high-profile movie releases, the “Anchorman” crew led by Will Ferrell was unable to dethrone last week’s winner and took in $26.8 million for the No. 2 spot, according to sales estimates from Rentrak.

Dec 19, 2013

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 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.