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RTL Germany, Germany’s leading commercial broadcaster, has unveiled plans for an international pay TV channel, repackaging its entertainment content for a global audience. The channel, RTL International, will premiere Jan. 18 in multiple territories, including Canada, Australia, Israel, Georgia, South Africa and Namibia and will bow in the U.S. in February. RTL has signed several distribution deals already, including with Canada Bell, Charter Communications in the U.S. and FlipTV in Australia. From the second quarter on, RTL International...

Continuing its film programming, Milan’s newest art space, the Fondazione Prada is bringing Academy Award-winning director Alejandro G. Inarritu’s exhibition “Flesh, Mind, and Spirit,” to its cinema from Jan. 13 to Feb. 1. The event will open with a special screening of Pal Fejoi’s Lonesome (1928), presented with a live score. The exhibition is a selection of 15 films chosen by Inarritu in collaboration with LACMA Curator Elvis Mitchell with directors as diverse as Alain Resnais, the Taviani Brothers and Lucrecia...

Chen Sicheng’s comedy-mystery Detective Chinatown won the busy first weekend of 2016 at the Chinese box office. The film, set in Thailand and produced by Wanda and Tencent’s Heyi Pictures, grossed $43.6 million from Friday to Sunday. Local films are making hay before Star Wars: The Force Awakens makes its belated bow in China on Jan. 9.  Bolstered by strong word of mouth, Mr. Six, starring veteran Chinese director Feng Xiaogang as a crime lord gone to seed, managed an impressive hold in its second weekend in Chinese cinemas,...

Chinese real estate and investment conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has reached a deal to acquire a majority stake in Legendary Entertainment, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The agreement puts the value of the U.S. movie studio at between $3 billion and $4 billion, and could be announced as early as next week, said a person familiar with the deal who was not authorized to speak publicly. Wanda will own just over half of Legendary, with studio founder and CEO Thomas Tull and key management owning smaller stakes. Tull and...

The 11th Los Angeles-Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest is set to honor five-time Oscar-nominated composer Ennio Morricone. A schoolday classmate of Sergio Leone, the two formed a legendary partnership responsible for some of the most iconic film scores in history. The Roman composer has been nominated for an Oscar for best original score for Days of Heaven (1978), The Mission (1986), The Untouchables (1987), Bugsy (1991) and Malena (2000). He was given an honorary...

U.S. stocks dropped sharply in early Monday trading following a big decline in Chinese shares overnight as U.S. entertainment industry names had a weaker start to the year, with Netflix and DreamWorks Animation among the big decliners after analysts downgraded their respective stocks. Trading on mainland China’s stock markets was suspended on Monday, as a weakening currency and signs of weaker economic growth spooked investors, leading to a big sell-off, including in entertainment industry stocks. The malaise also hit other markets...

Netflix is planning to launch in Russia as early as this month, according to a report in Russian newspaper Izvestia. The streaming video giant, led by CEO Reed Hastings, has said it wants to have a global presence by the end of 2016, and has been looking at possible ways to offer its service in Russia. The report said it will initially be offered in the country on smart TV sets, according to English-language summaries of the story. Netflix couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. “We hope that there will be more licensed...

As had largely been expected, Katniss Everdeen cut James Bond’s record-breaking run at the top of the U.K. box office short after three weeks. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 – the fourth and final installment of the franchise – took an estimated $17 million in its opening weekend from 1,613 screens. While this was the biggest ever screen count for the series in the U.K. and Lionsgate U.K.’s widest release, the film still fell short of its predecessor’s debut by almost $3 million, echoing international...

The French release of Natalie Portman’s Jane Got a Gun has been pushed back following Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, representatives for the film told THR on Monday. The beleaguered film, which has had several release date changes in the U.S., had been scheduled to open in France next Wednesday, Nov. 25, well ahead of its U.S. premiere. It had been picked up for the U.S. by The Weinstein Company after Relativity filed for bankruptcy. Following the attacks on Friday, Portman and the film’s team called off press events...

Classic preschool kids TV show Teletubbies is headed to China’s online video market. iQiyi has acquired the AVOD and SVOD rights to more than 400 half-hours of content from Canada’s DHX Media, including the original Teletubbies, Paddington and Caillou series. And in another non-exclusive licensing deal, LeTV has acquired the smart TV, set top box and web rights to 313 half-hours of the classic Teletubbies series in the English and Mandarin languages. The content distribution deals with Chinese SVOD operators target an existing...

007 again dominated the German box office this weekend, as Spectre grossed an astounding $13.7 million (€12.8 million) in its second weekend to take the latest Bond film over the $30 million mark in the territory. Spectre is outpacing the last Bond film, Skyfall, which grossed just over $12 million (€11.3 million) in its second frame in Germany. Skyfall was the most-successful-ever Bond title for Sony in Germany, earning more than $70 million here. In the wake of Spectre‘s bonanza, there was little left for the rest....

Following the deadly attack at Paris’ Bataclan theater during the Eagles of Death Metal concert on Friday, a campaign has been launched in a bid to get the Californian rock band to the top of the U.K. music charts. To “show solidarity against terrorism and support for peace,” a fan-led Facebook group has been set up urging people to buy the group’s cover of Duran Duran’s “Save a Prayer.” As of Monday morning, the Facebook group had over 7,000 followers. “We thought it would be a nice gesture...

Following the cancelation of U2, the Foo Fighters and Motorhead concerts after the Paris terrorist attacks that shocked the city Friday, Papa Roach and Marilyn Manson have also called off their concerts in the French capital. The Marilyn Manson show scheduled for the Zenith theater in the 19th district in the city’s north was canceled as announced by the theater, citing security concerns. “Zenith is establishing a safety protocol suitable for events to accommodate you in the best conditions to enjoy the show, music,”...

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. opened in third place in Japan this weekend with box-office revenue of $922,000 (¥113 million) as local cop thriller Mozu The Movie, starring Takeshi Kitano, stayed on top. Mozu The Movie, a spinoff co-production between terrestrial network TBS and cable channel Wowow based on the series of the same name, spent its second weekend at number one, adding  $1.3 million (¥158 million) on a quiet weekend at the country’s box office to take its cumulative total to $5 million (¥616 million). Directed...

The ninth edition of the Indian government body National Film Development Corporation’s Film Bazaar will again focus on promoting India’s emerging indie scene to potential international buyers, producers and festival curators. First-time foreign delegates expected this year include reps from Focus Features, Magnolia Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn Films and Shoreline Entertainment in addition to returning participants, such as Fortissimo and Filmbuff. Festival curators include Cannes film department director Christian Jeune and Paolo...

Kenneth Branagh might have to find some more space on his mantelpiece. The actor-filmmaker is set to be honored with the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards, due to be held on Jan. 17, organizers announced Monday. The award is named after one of the U.K.’s most iconic film authors and critics, who passed away in 1995. Branagh, who has already been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to drama, has five Oscar nominations in five different categories and won the best...

24 alum Brad Turner is headed to a movie director’s chair for the thriller Penance. The indie film, to be produced by Vancouver-based Brightlight Pictures, portrays the story of a mother creating a new life after spending time in prison, only to see a criminal underworld try to reclaim her. Turner, who earned an Emmy as an executive producer and director on Fox’s 24, earlier worked with Brightlight on the first season of the Fox series Second Chance, which shot in Vancouver. The screenplay for Penance was adapted and written...

Homegrown film The Priests dominated the South Korean box office for the second consecutive week for the weekend of Nov. 13-15, while Spectre debuted in second place. The Priests, a mystery drama handled by CJ Entertainment, accounted for nearly half of the market share, or 48.7 percent, according to the Korean Film Council’s KOBIS database. The film about two priests teaming up for an exorcism has so far earned almost $24 million. In terms of admissions, by which local industry observers measure box-office performance, the title...

The Martian‘s two-week reign on top of the South Korean box office came to an end with the opening of uncanny homespun thrillers over the weekend of Oct. 23-25. The Phone debuted at No. 1, garnering 31.8 percent of the market share during this time frame to earn a cumu $5.1 million according to the Korean Film Council’s KOBIS database. Unlike the bitingly...

World Wrestling Entertainment’s streaming service WWE Network will launch in India on Nov. 2. The company announced that the service will be available in India for $9.99 (about 650 rupees) per month, the same price charged to subscribers in the U.S. and other territories. The service will be available via desktop, laptop and mobile devices. WWE Network subscribers...

Edina and Patsy are officially back, darlings. After several years of rumors about an Absolutely Fabulous movie, it was confirmed on Monday that principal photography had started on Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, with Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley reprising the roles they made famous on the original hit BBC ’90s TV series. The comedy — from BBC Films...

An AMPAS party held in London on Wednesday to celebrate the Academy’s newest European members welcomed a solid turnout of British industry figures. Held at the residence of U.S. ambassador Matthew Barzun in the grounds of Regent’s Park in the British capital and on the eighth day of the BFI London Film Festival, the party brought out such Hollywood veterans...

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi will meet with top executives from 21st Century Fox, News Corp and other companies at a New York gathering later this week hosted by Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch and CEO James Murdoch. Sources confirmed the meeting, which Indian newspaper The Hindu had reported. Uday Shankar, CEO of Fox’s Star India unit, and News Corp CEO Robert Thomson will be in attendance along with a small group of peers from media and entertainment companies, according to one source. It wasn’t immediately clear who the...

Former CBS news journalist Clarissa Ward has joined CNN as a senior international correspondent. Ward will be based in London and will contribute to the CNN, CNN International and CNN digital platforms. She comes over from CBS, where Ward reported for 60 Minutes, the CBS Evening News and other network shows. Ward’s reporting of Syria’s civil war this year earned her a Peabody, DuPont, two Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow Award. 
“CNN has the best team of international reporters of any news organization in the world....

British audiences will get a chance to see Beasts of No Nation on the big screen. The Idris Elba-starring Netflix feature from director Cary Fukunaga, which has been making waves at international festivals after bowing in Venice, will screen in select movie theaters operated by Curzon Cinemas, an art house chain with 10 complexes across the U.K. The tie-up between Netflix and Curzon, announced Monday, will see the film debut in theaters following its U.K. premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 8. Netflix is set to release the...

Courtesy of Toronto Film Festival The Bottom Line An engaging invasion without the usual rabble-rousing. Venue   Toronto Film Festival (Special Presentation)   Cast     Michael Moore, Amel Smaoui, Jenny Tumas, Pasi Sahlberg, Halla Tomasdottir   Director     Michael Moore Six years after Capitalism: A Love Story called for audiences to revolt against...

The Bottom Line Great topic, small film. Venue Venice Film Festival (Classics) Director, screenwriter Rinku Kalsy The madness of South Indian fandom – here, the godlike cult that has grown up around now-aging superstar Rajinikanth — makes for amusing viewing in Rinku Kalsy’s colorful documentary For the Love of a Man. Though it’s good fun to watch, it fails to delve very deeply into the many social issues it puts on the table. These include the connection between South India’s Dravidian community and the professed...

Universal’s beloved Minions popped up on the Great Wall of China over the weekend, bringing their infectious brand of box office-conquering cheer to the world’s second largest movie market. The Despicable Me franchise prequel, Minions, which just crossed $1 billion in global box office, is expected to do big business in China when it opens Sept. 13. The...

Posted on Aug 26 2015 - 8:52am by Celeb
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Johan Persson Anastasia Hille and Benedict Cumberbatch in ‘Hamlet’ The Bottom Line After a tentative start, Benedict Cumberbatch hits his stride in this admirable if not quite outstanding production Venue Barbican Theatre, London (runs through Oct. 31) Cast Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciaran Hinds, Anastasia Hille, Sian Brooke, Leo Bill, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith,...

Five students at the Film and Television Institute of India were arrested overnight for “rioting and criminal intimidation,” according to local media reports on Wednesday. The arrests came after a group of striking students held FTII director Prashant Pathrabe and other staffers in his office for eight hours and vandalized the office furniture on Monday. The...

International The model shows what she thinks of the Republican presidential candidate’s criticism. Heidi Klum August 18, 2015 Heidi Klum isn’t fretting about Donald Trump‘s comment that the supermodel in his eyes is no longer a perfect “10.” The German model on Monday posted a 12-second video on Twitter in response to his comment in a New York Times weekend interview. The paper quoted him as saying about Klum: “Sadly, she is no longer a 10.” Read more Josh Groban Sings Donald Trump’s...

The 59th BFI London Film Festival said Monday that it would screen Todd Haynes‘ lesbian romance Carol as this year’s American Express gala movie. The screening on Oct. 14 will be the drama’s U.K. premiere. The event will take place at the British capital’s Odeon Leicester Square and will be attended by Haynes and stars Cate Blanchett and...

The British royal palace on Friday criticized increasing “paparazzi harassment” of Prince George. In a series of tweets, it said Kate Middleton and Prince William “have been delighted to share photos of their children and will continue to do so in the months and years ahead.” It added: “Yet undercover paparazzi continue to pursue their...

Viacom’s Comedy Central UK said Wednesday that it has renewed its license for Friends for four more years in a deal with Warner Bros. International Television. Financial details weren’t disclosed. ‎Friends first aired on Comedy Central UK in 2011 and continues to be “a significant ratings contributor,” the network said. To date, 32.1...

The BBC on Tuesday said it has ordered hour-long car-themed Saturday night entertainment show The Getaway Car. It is set to air in 2016, with the public broadcaster commissioning 12 episodes. Former U.K. X Factor presenter Dermot O’Leary will host the show, which will feature Top Gear character The Stig. It will add another motoring show to the BBC’s...

China’s media watchdog has called for a “severe punishment” for a star TV anchor over jokes he made at a dinner party mocking the People’s Republic of China’s founding father, Mao Zedong. Bi Fujian, 56, is best known for the talent show Xingguang Dadao (Star Boulevard) that he has hosted on state broadcaster CCTV since 1989. He has also been a host on the Chinese New Year Spring Festival Gala since 2011. His comments were filmed and posted online in April, causing a national debate, and he was suspended from...

Only 31 percent of U.K. subscription VOD subscribers say they use online video services from the likes of Netflix and Amazon.com to watch original series. In comparison, an annual report from U.K. media regulator Ofcom found that 75 percent said they were using such services to watch movies and nearly half said they used them to view U.S. series. Ofcom data shows that 24 percent of Netflix and 15 percent of Amazon online video users in Britain cited original shows as a reason for using the services. But 60 percent of Amazon and 63 percent...

The latest actioner from LucasArts and EA also won the audience award at Europe’s leading video game conference and took honors in three additional categories. Gamer fans have been waiting a long time for the relaunch of LucasArts’ Battlefront franchise and, judging by the reception of Star Wars: Battlefront at this year’s Gamescom, the wait was worth it. The game, first announced in May 2013, was the big winner of this year’s Gamescom, Europe’s No. 1 video game conference, taking five awards including...

The Romanian film Aferim!, a Berlin winner and Romania’s entry in the Oscar race, has been picked up by Brooklyn-based art house distributor Big World Pictures for U.S. release. Radu Jude’s Silver Bear winner is to play U.S. festivals in the months ahead in anticipation of an early 2016 theatrical release, stated Big World Pictures and Beta Cinema, which handles the film’s international sales. Earlier this week, it was announced that Aferim! will be Romania’s entry in the foreign-language Oscar race. Following the...

Gamescom, Europe’s answer to the E3 games conference, is still in full swing, with hundreds of thousands of gamers packing the trade fair grounds in Cologne. Gamescom runs until Sunday, Aug. 9, but with all the corporate presentations out of the way, and gameplay reviews starting to pour in, it’s time to take stock of the lessons we learned from this year’s event. 1. Sony’s No Show Is a Worrying Sign Sony opted out of an official press conference in Cologne this year, instead preferring to wait until Paris Game...

Benedict Cumberbatch made his debut as Hamlet on stage at London’s Barbican Center on Wednesday night in possibly the most hotly-anticipated rendition of Shakespeare’s tragedy since Laurence Olivier‘s 1948 film. But amid reports of fans queuing for hours to get one of 30 on-the-day £10 ($15) tickets for the sold-out show, an angry storm erupted over newspapers’ early reviews of the performance. Despite the play’s official opening (and press) night being on Aug. 25, with the shows before considered previews,...

The chaos that followed the fall of the Soviet Union and the ensuing rush for power in Moscow will be laid bare in an upcoming series being financed and distributed by The Weinstein Co. and U.K. TV giant ITV’s ITV Studios Global Entertainment arm. Mafiya, a 10-part series written by William Nicholson (Gladiator, Shadowlands, Les Miserables), is being produced by Archery Pictures, the new U.K. banner founded last year by industry veterans Kris Thykier and Liza Marshall. It was developed in association with the BBC and Monumental Pictures,...

21st Century Fox’s Star India network has sold its 25.99 percent stake in Indian television and film production house Balaji Telefilms, which has produced some of India’s biggest shows. Most of them, such as the long-running soap Kabhi Saas Bhi Kabhu Bahu Thi, have aired on Star India’s entertainment channels. Last year, Balaji’s film unit Balaji Motion Pictures and Relativity’s India joint venture with local partner B4U Networks announced a three- picture deal, which includes a planned Bollywood remake of...

Just a day after Amazon announced that it had snared the highly sought-after signatures of Jeremy Clarkson and his former Top Gear co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond for a new motoring show, their producer has revealed more about the deal. Andy Wilman, who helped create Top Gear’s most recent and hugely popular format with Clarkson and remained its producer until shortly after the controversial presenter was dismissed in March this year, told Broadcast magazine that Amazon’s was the “strongest and most intelligent...

Liberty Global said Friday it has increased its stake in ITV from 6.4 percent to 9.9 percent. John Malone‘s international cable company had first acquired a stake in the U.K. TV giant a year ago. Liberty Global said it does not plan to make an offer to fully acquire ITV, but left its options open for the future. Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries said: “Given ITV’s operating and stock price performance, we were able to increase our staketo 9.9% with no incremental investment by hedging our existing equity position. This investment...

The founder of the Oxford University research team that had been tracking Cecil the lion has spoken out about the flood of donations following Jimmy Kimmel’s appeal. After an emotional monologue on Tuesday, the late-night host urged viewers to donate to the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), which has tracked more than 200 lions in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park for the past 20 years. “Jimmy Kimmel implored his millions of listeners in the USA to make donations to support our work on lions, and conservation...

Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 and Axel Springer have dropped discussions about a merger, citing likely issues with regulatory approval of the deal, which would have created a $16 billion (€14 billion) media giant. TV giant ProSiebenSat.1, which on Thursday reported strong second-quarter figures, had hoped to profit from synergies through a union with Springer, publisher of Europe’s number one tabloid, Bild. But the two companies, who tried and failed to merge a decade ago, said government regulatory issues over media concentration...

Zayn Malik, solo artist, is making things official. The singer shared a photo on Twitter of his official signing with RCA. (One Direction are with Columbia; both record labels are part of Sony.) This follows an announcement earlier this week that Malik reportedly signed with Turn First Artists, where he’ll be managed by Sarah Stennett, who has also guided the career of Iggy Azalea. Simon Cowell later tweeted his congratulations.  pic.twitter.com/8AnmCLdU8Z — zaynmalik (@zaynmalik) July 29, 2015 I guess I never explained...

Lionsgate said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that CEO Jon Feltheimer‘s executive compensation package for the company’s most recent fiscal year was $6.7 million. That’s well down from a $66.3 million package in fiscal 2014 when the studio, as a one-time item, accounted for stock and stock option awards for a five-year contract. Feltheimer’s pay package last year was more than five times the $12.6 million he earned in fiscal 2013. For fiscal 2015, Feltheimer received a base salary of $1.5 million, just up from...

ITV CEO Adam Crozier on Tuesday said the BBC needs to be “more distinctive” and should “act more as an enabler and a partner to the commercial sector rather than a competitor.” The British public broadcaster’s future role and duties have been in focus as the government has started the process that will lead to a new charter for the BBC. In a so-called green paper, the government recently outlined key issues to be discussed in the review. Crozier on U.K. TV giant ITV’s mid-year earnings call on Tuesday...