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Avengers: Age of Ultron has hit IMAX records! The film dominated overseas after bringing in $200.2 million. This surpasses the opening of the first Avengers film by 44% and Iron Man 3 by 24%. Check out some stats on the overseas contributors: Korea hit $28.2 million followed by the UK at $27.5 million, Russia at $16.2 million, Brazil at $13.1 million, and Australia at $13.1 million. The film will be released at the North American box office along with Spain, Mexico, Turkey, and Thailand this coming weekend. Mad Max: Fury Road will be a competitor for Ultron; however it will not be released until May 13. In the meantime, Ultron has room to continue bringing in high box office numbers!
Almost everyone had something to say on social media after Diane Sawyer sat down with Bruce Jenner for a 2-hour interview, which covered the rumors that he was transitioning into a woman. The exclusive interview on ABC’s 20/20 brought the highest ratings it has seen for a non-awards show and non-sports event. The special scored almost 17 million viewers! With that, Jenner was a worldwide trend on Twitter throughout the broadcast and the numbers make the show “the most social Friday telecast of all time, excluding sports.” According to Nielsen Social, about 8.1 million people saw one or more of the 972,000 tweets about the program, those tweets were sent by 403,000 people and viewed 139 million times. These conversations were filled with support for Jenner and his story. More importantly, the interview was a historic moment for the transgender community. If you didn’t watch the interview, I commend Diane Sawyer for the way she carried this sensitive matter. Sawyer asked the questions we all wanted to ask, but did so in a way that was non-invasive. It has been confirmed that Jenner will star in his own docu-series that will cover his transition; the show is set to debut on E! in July. #BruceJennerInterview
Were you thinking that the dust was beginning to settle? Not so fast. Chris Pratt, star of Guardians of the Galaxy, could be in the midst of a heated tug-of-war. Chris Pratt was signed with CAA when he began working on a film project The Real McCoy. Then, on March 31st, Chris Pratt followed his agent Jason Heyman over to UTA. Pratt was not officially attached to the project until April 16th. That’s two weeks after the move. What does this mean for the project? Does it belong to CAA or is it transferred to UTA? It’s unlikely that CAA will easily pass it over to their archenemy. The question remains…which agency will get the actor’s commission?
CAA can make the claim that they should get commission because the project first started while Pratt was still with the agency. But UTA could win this given the litigation and arbitration actions pending. There was no deal in place for Pratt but only an oral attachment agreement. In this case, UTA would be the sole agency negotiating on behalf on Pratt.
It’s no surprise CAA is fighting for this. Once the project’s pitches began circling Hollywood, every studio showed interest. Universal Studios and Warner Bros. entered an aggressive bidding war and in the end, Universal won. In addition, Chris Pratt who starred in Guardians of the Galaxy is seen as an up and coming star. He recently turned down offers as high as $6 million and if Jurassic World coming out in June is a success, then there’s no doubt his salary range would hit 8 figures. Who wouldn’t want this actor’s commission!
Stay tuned for more updates!
IMAX Corp and Warner Bros. Pictures have extended their partnership to 2020 with big plans to release up to 30 of the studio’s biggest films in IMAX’s special presentation format. Some of the films include ‘Batman v Superman,’ Tarzan,’ ‘Jungle Book:Origins,’ and Harry Potter spin-off ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.’ All films will be digitally remastered to fit the new IMAX laser format. It’s high tech, high quality, and has a higher resolution than 2D or 3D. Studios and moviegoers love this kind of stuff. The two companies have been partnered for more than 10 years and have extended for five more years. They’re definitely doing something right. The news comes just a few weeks after Warner Bros’ rival Disney renewed a similar deal with IMAX to release films such as ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ and ‘Captain America’ amongst others. Whose planning to see these blockbuster hits in IMAX?
A con man by the name of ‘Justin Jackson’ is the root of an ongoing impersonation scheme. The lawsuit filed by the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) was brought forth because Jackson has been pretending to be Winfrey’s nephew and OWN employee. His motive? All in the name of free prizes, concert tickets, hotel accommodations, and access to celebrities! This isn’t his first stint. In fact, his history of impersonation dates back to 2007. One co-Plaintiff is Reggie Love, President Obama’s former body man. Jackson pretended to be Love in order to get gift cards to the Cheesecake Factory and Juicy Couture. Interesting choice of gift cards. It’s unclear how Love is associated with the companies. Regardless, Jackson must be a huge fan. In 2010, Jackson was arrested for fraud and impersonating a public officer, but skipped bail and has since had a warrant out for his arrest. As for Scott Garner, a top executive at OWN and another co-plaintiff, Jackson supposedly used his identity to look at Miami real estate on behalf of Ms. Winfrey. Jackson wasn’t alone in the fraudulent activities but was assisted by co-defendant Angel Agarrat. The lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of Florida this past Friday, which accuses the defendants of misappropriation of name, trademark infringement, dilution and civil conspiracy. I hope Mr. Jackson doesn’t skip bail once again. More to come on What’s the Verdict!
Netflix is moving up the ranks — Netflix has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund and Silverback Films to make the eight-part series Our Planet. It is a follow-up documentary nature series to Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth. Why did Netflix partner with the World Wildlife Fund? Because Our Planet will feature “never-before-filmed wilderness areas from the ice caps and deep ocean to deserts and remote forests,” which will seriously raise the bar for natural history landmarks. Netflix needs support from WWF In order to get access to these protected areas. Although the provider has produced successful documentaries in the past, this is by far their most ambitious project yet. Our Planet is scheduled to premiere in 2019. Watch out Mother Nature, Netflix is coming for ya!
Class action lawsuits regarding royalties, compensation, or lack thereof is not a new phenomenon in the music business; Universal Music Group’s lawsuit is only the most recent. Allegedly, UMG was cheating record artists out of their royalty payments by improperly classifying digital downloads, i.e. iTunes, as ‘sales’ instead of ‘licenses.’ In effect, artists got unfairly low royalty payments. The difference between the two classifications makes all the difference. When classified as a ‘sale,’ artists only get about 15 percent of the cut. On the other hand, a ‘license’ classification gives artists a 50-50 cut with labels. It’s comes as no surprise that artists want their digital downloads to be called ‘licenses.’ Interestingly enough, Universal does not admit to any misconduct; however, they reached a settlement and are willing to pay up $11.5 million, which includes payouts and attorneys fees of about $3 million. Moving forward, all royalty rates currently written in fine print will receive a 10 percent increase. This is interesting considering Universal does not admit to any wrongdoing. Regardless, it’s always a win when a case is settled and it is most definitely a win for Universal Music Group artists who will be receiving the compensation they feel is owed.