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Imax Corp. on Thursday posted record second quarter revenue and increased earnings as the giant-screen exhibitor pulled in strong box office from tentpoles like Jurassic World, Furious 7 and Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Imax, led by CEO Richard Gelfond, reported net income attributable to shareholders of $24.3 million, compared with a year-ago profit of $13.3 million. Second-quarter revenue jumped to $107.1 million, the exhibitor’s biggest revenue generating quarter ever, against a year-earlier $79 million. Imax also released...

Pearson said Thursday that it was in “advanced discussions” to sell the Financial Times Group. The British publisher is expected to focus on its educational publishing business and sell the financial newspaper, which it has owned for nearly 60 years. “There is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction,” Pearson said without disclosing the suitor. “A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.” Reuters reported that a global digital news company was close to buying the...

The 63rd edition of the Spanish-speaking world’s best-known film festival announced its line up of competition titles on Thursday. Six films were named to compete for San Sebastian’s Golden Shell award, including four co-productions with Latin America. Jostling for position is Cesc Gay‘s Truman, starring Ricardo Darin and Javier Camara and revolving around the relationship between two friends and their faithful dog, alongside The King of Havana from Agusti Villaronga, adapted from Pedro Juan Gutierrez‘ novel of...

Sepp Blatter might get the last laugh after all. Just days after the embattled FIFA president was caught on camera being showered in fake money at a press conference for the world soccer organization, the British comedian at the center of the prank has been arrested and charged by Swiss authorities. Simon Brodkin – who goes by the name Lee Nelson – stormed the stage on Monday, throwing bundles of fake dollar bills over Blatter and claiming that it was “for North Korea in 2026” before being dragged away by security. “We...

Pan-European pay TV giant Sky has acquired a majority stake in Blast! Films, an independent U.K. production company responsible for such series as The Supervet, The Route Masters and 999: What’s Your Emergency? Financial terms of the deal, announced Thursday, weren’t disclosed. The deal is the latest in Sky’s strategy to build a broad international content business with networks, as well as production and distribution assets. It has particularly looked to expand the distribution of new programs through its Sky Vision...

Pancake Man (Jian Bing Man), the superhero parody film that opened to an impressive $69.02 million at the Chinese box office last week, is set for a select international release later in July. The film tells the story of a poor street food vendor who gains super powers from his pancakes (jian bing). Pancake Man features Jean-Claude Van Damme as a villain and...

Courtesy of Taipei Film Festival The Bottom Line Measured and heartwarming drama about why identities matter. Venue Taipei Film Festival  Directors Cheng Yu-chieh, Lekal Sumi Cast Ado’ Kalitaing Pacidal, Dongi Kacaw, Rahic Gulas Once a topic of concern to mostly documentary makers, the past anguish of Taiwan’s...

Ant-Man, released on July 16, was unable to outperform Minions, released a week earlier, at the Russian box office during the July 16-19 weekend. Marvel’s fantasy action film grossed 268.1 million rubles ($4.7 million) against Minions’ 273.5 million ($4.8 million). The two leaders were followed by Terminator: Genisys, which had been in theaters since July 2. The top three releases accounted for 87 percent of the weekend’s total gross, according to the local industry journal ProfiCinema. With a gross of just under...

In the wake of the British government’s “green paper” into the future of the BBC, published last week, that asserted that the “size and scope” of the public broadcaster would be closely reviewed, the BBC’s own regulatory body has issued its first official response. The BBC Trust on Wednesday reiterated its call for the BBC to remain a “universal and independent broadcaster” and called for “clear boundaries” regarding the government’s involvement. It argued that the royal...

Following Netflix’s strong second-quarter earnings report late Wednesday, Wall Street analysts on Thursday raised their stock price targets. “The story is working better than expected,” wrote FBR Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett in a report, in which he raised his price target on the stock by 10 percent to $142. “Netflix Inc.’s second-quarter earnings report highlighted a growth story that is working better than we anticipated when we upgraded earlier this year with a split-adjusted price target of...

The first of seven FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland in a late May raid has been extradited to the U.S., the BBC has reported citing Swiss authorities. The man wasn’t identified, but it is believed to be Jeffrey Webb, who had waived his right to fight the extradition request.‎ The FIFA officials face corruption charges following the FBI investigation into soccer’s international governing body. The first extradited official was on Wednesday taken to New York accompanied on the flight by a three-man police escort, the...

India’s most expensive film Baahubali (The One With Strong Arms), budgeted at an estimated $40 million, will have a special international cut edited by Vincent Tabaillon. Frenchman Tabaillon’s credits include The Incredible Hulk, Clash of the Titans, Taken 2 and most recently, Now You See Me. Baahubali: The Beginning, the first of a two-part epic which will see its sequel releasing next year, has set box office records in India and abroad. According to its producers, the film’s opening weekend box-office revenue reached...

Viacom’s MTV International is expanding its popular Shores franchise with Ibiza Shore, which will bring together cast members from Shores shows from various countries.‎The Ibiza Shore cast will include faces from Spain’s Gandia Shore and Mexico’s Acapulco Shore, “plus additional surprise arrivals from Italy and Brazil,” MTV International said. Production on the first-ever co-production between MTV Latin America and MTV South Europe is set to begin in August, with the iconic Mediterranean island providing...

Kristin Scott Thomas has been named an officer of the Legion d’Honneur as part of France’s traditional Bastille Day honors. It’s a promotion for the British actress who had been named a knight in France a decade ago in the country where she has lived for over three decades. She has also been named a dame in her native U.K. this past March in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace and was previously awarded the country’s OBE in 2003. She became famous Stateside starring opposite Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral...

It might not seem the obvious choice amid the violence often touted as corrupting cinema viewers, but Mike Leigh’s historic biopic Mr. Turner has been named the most complained about film of 2014 in the U.K. According to the British Board of Film Classification, 19 people wrote with complaints regarding a scene in which Timothy Spall – who won the Palme d’Or for his performance – is seen “clenching” his buttocks. In the sequence, in which Turner has sex with his housekeeper, the BBFC said that Turner’s...

The British Film Institute has expanded its management team with the appointment of Stuart Brown to the newly created role of head of program and acquisitions. Brown, who has been serving as head of events at the BFI and has overseen some of its recent special film seasons, will be responsible for pushing audience and program development across the institute’s various platforms. The move comes as the BFI grows its distribution arm. Its re-release of Blade Runner: The Final Cut earlier in the year took well over $1 million across...

The world premiere of Jonathan Demme’s Ricki and the Flash will open the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland on Aug. 5. Meryl Streep stars as a woman who abandons her family to pursue her dream of becoming a rock star. Streep’s daughter Mamie Gummer also stars in the film, alongside Kevin Kline, Rick Springfield and Audra McDonald. Diablo Cody wrote the script. The film opens stateside on Aug. 7. As previously announced, Edward Norton will receive Locarno’s Excellence Award on the festival’s opening night.  Locarno...

Indian epic Baahubali (The One With Strong Arms) has set box-office records both at home and abroad.  Touted as India’s most expensive film ever with an estimated $40 million budget, the first part of a planned two-part epic has become the fastest Indian film to cross the 1 billion rupee ($16 million) mark, the local standard for a strong box-office performer. According to the producers, the film’s opening weekend box-office revenue reached almost $25 million (1.63 billion rupees), considered the highest for any Indian...

Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Judi Dench, J.K. Rowling and Stephen Fry are among celebrities who have signed an open letter to British prime minister David Cameron warning that “a diminished BBC would simply mean a diminished Britain.” The signatories of the letter, which was published in various newspapers, also oppose turning the U.K. public broadcaster into “a narrowly-focused market-failure broadcaster.” Doctor Who and Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat, talk show host Graham Norton, Michael Palin, David Attenborough...

FremantleMedia has appointed Vivian Yin as CEO of its Chinese unit. She will be running the day-to-day operation and driving the continued expansion of the reality TV giant’s China business. She reports to Paul O’Hanlon, managing director of FremantleMedia Asia. Yin joins FremantleMedia China from Star China where she was chief representative and vp, production and worked with shows including The Voice and Dancing With The Stars. Star China Media’s CEO Tian Ming announced the appointment of Iris Xia as deputy general...

Top Chinese director Chen Kaige has signed with CAA and will be repped out of Los Angeles and Beijing, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned. Chen, who won the Palme d’Or in 1993 for Farewell, My Concubine, most recently directed Monk Comes Down the Mountain which has taken nearly $65 million at the Chinese box office. Chen’s point agent is in LA, and he will also be represented through CAA’s Beijing office, which is headed up by Jonah Greenberg. Earlier this month, Chen said that while the movie industry was...

Walt Disney Co.’s $5.5 billion theme park in Shanghai will feature Marvel and Star Wars attractions, as well as six themed lands including Mickey Avenue and Tomorrowland, the company said. Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger unveiled a scale model of Shanghai Disneyland, the company’s first in mainland China, at a presentation at the Shanghai Expo Center,...

HBO India managing director Monica Tata has handed in her notice after a two year stint with the network, part of Turner International India’s entertainment portfolio which also includes movie channel WB and kids channels Cartoon Network, Pogo and Toonami. “Today is my last day with HBO,” Tata told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s been a lovely journey with HBO. I haven’t decided my next steps yet.” With a career spanning more than two decades, Tata was previously Turner International India’s...

TV cameras at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships regularly stray away from the on-court action to focus instead the celebrities who seem to make up a sizeable percentage of the crowd. But at the men’s doubles semifinals on Thursday, they didn’t have to. When a rogue ball went flying into the stands, having taken a deflection off a judge’s chair, it was plucked out of the air by none other than former LA Galaxy star David Beckham, who nonchalantly tossed it back into play to a roar of applause. “If he’d have...

Six former Tencent employees have been detained by police in an investigation into bribery at the social media group, part of a wider crackdown against graft that has sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry. The arrests come as Alibaba Group’s digital entertainment chief Liu Chunning was detained by the Public Security Bureau as part of a probe into his activities while he was employed at Tencent. Earlier this year, The Hollywood Reporter signed a content deal with Tencent allowing THR‘s news, features and videos...

Plans are to produce two matches per day from Wimbledon’s No. 1 Court. Japan public broadcaster NHK is testing production for its ‘Super Hi-Vision’ 8K resolution system – a whopping 16 times the resolution of HD – during this year’s Wimbledon tournament. That includes a trial run with Sony’s top of the line F65 4K camera, a model more widely known in feature film circles, where it has been used for titles including Warner Bros.’ Oblivion and most recently Disney’s Tomorrowland. At...

Prague’s Barrandov Studios is set to host a slew of Hollywood movie and TV projects in the coming year as the Czech film service industry bounces back after a decade in the doldrums. Plans to expand production incentives that introduced a 20 percent rebate on movies shooting in the former Communist central European country five years ago after years of political opposition are expected to put the country back on the international budgets of Hollywood producers. Barrandov-based Stillking Films – co-producer of Soviet Stalin-era...

Jacobo Zabludovsky, one of Mexico’s mostly widely known news personalities, died of a stroke on Thursday in Mexico City. News of the former Televisa anchor’s death got front-page treatment in all of Mexico’s major newspapers, and a Thursday memorial service drew high-profile figures such as Angelica Rivera (wife of President Enrique Pena Nieto), Televisa chairman Emilio Azcarraga and Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong. President Pena Nieto offered his condolences to Zabludovsky’s family and friends on Twitter. Zabludovsky...

British digital visual effects company Cinesite is expanding in Canada by acquiring Vancouver-based Image Engine. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the merger sees Cinesite add a studio in Vancouver to a CG feature animation facility opened in Montreal last year to complete work on Guy Ritchie’s The Man From UNCLE for Warner Bros. The tie-up gets Cinesite and Image Engine to a combined staff of around 525 artists worldwide. After Canada has taken VFX jobs from Los Angeles due to tax breaks and an expanding talent pool,...

Top Chinese director Chen Kaige said that while the movie industry was booming in his country, local filmmakers needed to raise their standards if domestic films were to compete with Hollywood in the world’s second largest market. Chen, who won the Palme d’Or in 1993 for Farewell, My Concubine, was speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at a news conference to launch his latest movie, Monk Comes Down The Mountain. “That is also the reason that we used a lot of Western crew for this film. I want their ability to get rid of...

Gaspar Noe’s sexually explicit Love, which premiered out of competition to middling reviews in Cannes after an explosive poster generated more buzz than the film, has been given a 16 rating in France prior to its release on July 15. The 16 rating means no one under 16 will be admitted. The film, which shows several scenes of explicit sex, had been originally given a 16 rating before culture minister Fleur Pellerin made the unusual request of asking the ratings board for a second review. The National Cinema Center (CNC) stuck with...

Damages and Bloodline creator Todd Kessler on Thursday talked about the changes in the U.S. TV industry, working with Netflix and the challenges of filming in Florida during a master class at Serie Series, the European TV summit held in Fontainebleau outside of Paris. Bloodline premiered at the Berlin Film Festival to rave reviews. With an all-star cast of Sam Shepherd, Sissy Spacek and Kyle Chandler, it was renewed for a second season after its debut in March. Kessler, who has perviously worked on network and cable shows and now...

U.K. media regulator Ofcom on Thursday published its latest review of public service broadcasting in Britain, which included comments on a possible introduction of retransmission consent fees like in the U.S. “Some public service broadcasters (PSBs) want subscription TV services to pay to carry their channels – so-called ‘retransmission fees’,” Ofcom said. “These fees could bring additional funding for PSBs, but resolving any possible disagreements would probably require complicated and lengthy regulatory...

The United States has officially asked Switzerland to extradite seven officials of world soccer body FIFA who were arrested in May on corruption charges. Reuters reported that the Swiss Federal Office of Justice said on Thursday that it has received the formal extradition requests. The FIFA officials were detained in an early-morning raid in a luxury Zurich hotel at the end of May and have since been held in jails in the Zurich region. The Swiss Federal Office of Justice said Zurich local police would give the FIFA officials a hearing...

As the cue for bashing Donald Trump for his derogatory remarks on Mexico keeps getting longer (latest bashers include Cher and Eva Longoria), Mexicans can now purchase their own Trump piñata to get back at the Republican presidential candidate. The Associated Press reported earlier this week that Trump-faced piñatas are now available in a variety of sizes at Piñateria Ramirez, a long-standing piñata store in the border city of Reynosa. Dalton Avalos Ramirez, the artist responsible for the piñatas, tweeted...

India’s English-language TV entertainment space is getting a new entrant in the form of Colors Infinity from Viacom18, a joint venture between Viacom and big Indian TV group Network18. Colors Infinity, unveiled on Wednesday which is expected to launch by the end of July, will compete with existing players, such as Fox’s Star World, HBO, Sony Entertainment Television’s AXN and Indian broadcaster Zee Networks’ Zee Cafe, among others. The entertainment channel will add to Viacom18’s existing bouquet of entertainment...

The BBC on Thursday unveiled its latest round of job cuts, saying it will reduce more than 1,000 positions. Director general Tony Hall unveiled the staff reductions amid news of a $235 million (£150 million) per-year shortfall in funding as British viewers increasingly use loopholes to avoid paying the license fee that taxpayers are paying to help fund the public broadcaster. Hall said that has affected the BBC more and more quickly than previously forecast. The news also comes amid political pressure on the BBC from David Cameron‘s...

John Malone‘s international cable operator Liberty Global will later on Wednesday distribute shares of a tracking stock for its Liberty Latin America and the Caribbean (“Lilac”) unit, which will formally start trading on Thursday. Ahead of the launch of the tracking stock, which will allow investors to focus on the smaller, but emerging Latin American business of the company, Wall Street analysts are bullish on its outlook. ISI Media analyst David Joyce recently initiated coverage of the tracking stock with a “buy”...

Analysts have given Discovery Communications mostly positive reviews for acquiring pan-European rights for the 2018-2024 Summer and Winter Olympics on Monday. “Discovery’s surprise acquisition of pan-European Olympics rights from 2018 to 2024 seems intriguing strategically, with seemingly beatable guidance for “positive” cumulative free cash flow,” wrote FBR analyst Barton Crockett in a report. He cited a management target of getting back about half of the $1.45 billion cost for the Olympics via sub-licensing...

The BBC is reviewing its on-air use of the term “Islamic State” after a group of British parliamentarians, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, said the use of the name in news programs helps to legitimize the terrorist group. A representative said the public broadcaster would consider a letter to BBC director general Tony Hall that was signed by 120 parliamentarians urging the organization to use a different term, The Guardian first reported. “No one listening to our reporting could be in any doubt what kind of organization...

China Film Group will list 467 million shares in a listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange to raise $740 million, according to the China Securities Regulatory Commission, after the listing was delayed earlier this year. China’s film market is the second biggest in the world and has grown rapidly and the listing by the state film giant is a sign the industry is trying to install an infrastructure for future growth. The listing news comes after an unprecedented bull run on the Chinese stock market, which has since turned into a bearish...

Universal’s dino epic Jurassic World continued its reign atop the Chinese box office charts in the week to June 28, adding another $37.96 million for a gross of $206.29 million after 19 days in China. Data from Entgroup showed that Jurassic World was still screening widely, with 223,120 showings and six million admissions. It’s been a strong year for Hollywood thus far, and tentpoles such as Universal’s Furious 7 and Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron have driven a powerful year for the world’s second largest...

Sony Corp. is to raise around $3.6 billion (¥440 billion) through an issue of new stock and bonds on Japanese and international capital markets in order to strengthen its financial base and invest in growth business sectors, the company announced Tuesday.  The entertainment to electronics conglomerate is to sell up to 92 million new shares in Japan and overseas, as well as approximately $1 billion (¥120 billion) worth of bonds in Japan only. The stock offering is set for Aug. 17 with the exact price to be determined...

Mexico’s Televisa has become the latest network to sever ties with Donald Trump. Mexico’s top broadcaster, which aired live transmissions of Trump’s annual Miss Universe Pageant, issued the following statement on Monday. “For Grupo Televisa, it’s unacceptable any type of commercial relationship with the Miss Universe Pageant and with Trump’s businesses.” Televisa’s U.S. partner Univision previously announced it was ending its relationship with Trump. Trump has been heavily criticized...

U.K. studio facilities operator Pinewood Group on Tuesday reported a profit and record revenue for its latest fiscal year, which once again saw high-profile Hollywood productions take over its stages. For the 12 months ended March 31, the company recorded earnings of $12.7 million (£8.1 million), up from £5.4 million. Its operating profit of $9.1 million (£5.8 million) compared with £4.9 million for the previous year. Profit before tax and earnings per share also rose. Revenue at Europe’s largest provider...

Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav on Monday lauded the company’s $1.45 billion European TV and multiplatform rights deal for the 2018-2024 Olympics as a “game changer” for the company and its pan-European network Eurosport. But it will also have a major effect on public broadcasters in various European countries, such as on Britain’s BBC, France Televisions in France and Germany’s ARD and ZDF. They are among the big traditional broadcasters of the Summer and Winter Games in Europe. Zaslav said on a...

Moscow’s international film festival will be housed in a “festival palace” by 2018 after a deal was signed for the construction of the long-awaited new venue, Oscar-winning director Nikita Mikhalkov says. Mikhalkov, who had long lobbied for the building of an ambitious modern arts center in Moscow to house the festival, which has been hampered by the lack of good venues, said the new multi-purpose building should be complete by 2018 — in time for the festival’s 40th edition. The completion date coincides with...

Former NBC Sports and Olympics head Dick Ebersol helped Discovery Communications with its deal for European rights to the 2018-2024 Olympics. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, known as a friend of Ebersol’s, brought the Olympics expert in as an unpaid advisor as he looked at bidding for the Olympics, sources said. Zaslav also used to work at NBCUniversal. When the IOC last year said it would like to launch an Olympics channel, Zaslav called Ebersol, 67, who agreed to advise the Discovery team. “They asked me to introduce them into...

The BBC is switching its live coverage of the Women’s World Cup to its flagship BBC1 channel for England’s quarter-final match against Canada. The soccer tournament has proved a ratings hit on smaller network BBC3, with 2 million viewers tuning in to England’s 2-1 win over former World Champions Norway on Monday, June 22. England’s June 17 match against Columbia – which The Lionesses won 2-1, scored even higher, with a peak viewership of 2.3 million. This is several times BBC3’s average audience, which...

Chariots of Fire has one more race left to run. An unofficial sequel to the 1981 Academy Award-winning film, a Chinese, Hong Kong and U.S. coproduction, is currently shooting and stars Joseph Fiennes and Chinese actor Shawn Dou with Hong Kong’s Stephen Shin taking directing duties. The Last Race will tell the story of what happened to Eric Liddell (Fiennes), one of the runners that Chariots was based on, after he epically won his Olympic medal in 1924 and returned to China. Liddell, a devout Christian, was...