Posts Tagged HBO

What’s The Verdict: Will the success of Entourage mean an end to female driven storylines?

What’s The Verdict: Will the success of Entourage mean an end to female driven storylines?

Entourage may prove to be one of the biggest films of the summer, and even the year. Fandango reported that more than 50% of its online sales today have been for tickets to the anticipated film debut of the popular HBO series. The film, which aired special previews across the country this past Tuesday was already able to hit a $2 million in ticket sales record.

With these starting numbers Entourage is sure to break a couple of records. But what effect will this have on female driven films in the industry? Over the past coupe of years female driven casts have become more and more prominent. Even films that would have traditionally thought of as male driven have begun to feature strong female leads.

Mad Max, a film that was originally male driven featured several female protagonists in the remake released last month. For a while it seemed as though the trend of large ensemble cast type films was to integrate both female and male characters.

Entourage presents audiences with a change to this trend. The film is entirely male driven. While it does feature female characters and cameos the storyline, like the HBO show, will revolve around its male actors.

With the film projected to break a series of records for both summer films, and the industry in general, will its all male cast send a message to content creators? Will the industry revert back to featuring all male casts?


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Collective Bargaining Hollywood Style: Entourage stars Get $2mil each negotiating as one

Collective Bargaining Hollywood Style: Entourage stars Get $2mil each negotiating as one

After years of speculation and anticipation the HBO hit series Entourage will finally make it to the silver screen. Its long journey to the world’s movie theaters, as with most Hollywood big budget productions, was not without controversy and delay. In a recent article in the Hollywood Reporter, Kevin Dillon, who co-stars in the film said that discussion about a potential film had begun as early as 2008, the same year that HBO’s Sex and the City made its film debut.  Much of the delay was due to writer and director, Doug Ellin’s inability to come up with a script and storyline for the feature. However, once the script was completed the film would be further delayed by marathon salary negotiations.

One of the project’s main stars, Jeremy Piven, who was the only established celebrity prior to the original show’s conception, received a salary that left the other actors feeling like they deserved more than originally offered. After negotiations were finally completed Piven walked away with a cool $5 million, and the film’s other stars, Adrian Gernier, Jerry Ferrera, and Kevin Dillon, each signed deals worth $2 million.

In his interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Grenier discusses how he, Ferrera, and Dillon negotiated as a single unit to get their final deal, “We recognized that we had more leverage when we were aligned.” The utilization of collective bargaining between the project’s stars and the studio is very interesting and could start a new trend in contract negotiations. Rather than negotiate separate deals and contracts it seems as though Gerneir, Ferrera, and Dillon opted to negotiate as a single unit. This allowed them to secure the same uniform deal of $2 million each, rather than have their agents and attorney’s negotiate several different deals for each star. This technique can prove to be a rather effective one for ensemble cast projects, where all the stars can work together to secure a favorable payout.

Stay tuned for more on What’s The Verdict!

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What’s The Verdict: Mitre Sports International v. HBO

What’s The Verdict: Mitre Sports International v. HBO

Court is finally in session.  Six years ago (2008), a lawsuit was filed against HBO alleging that a child labor report that aired on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” was a hoax. The report accused Mitre Sports International, a British sporting goods company, of turning a blind eye to the use of underage workers for its production of soccer balls in India. As part of the child labor report, the show featured clips of children stitching Mitra soccer balls. It’s no surprise that Mitre denied charges saying that it would never endorse child labor.   Attorney for Mitre Sports International, argued that the scenes were all staged, describing the report as “concocted” and “flat-out lies.” According to Mitre, it was all a hoax and as a result has tarnished the reputation of the company. With that, the company is seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages. But HBO is not giving up without a fight. The premium news channel stands by the report and said that no video footage was fabricated in any way, shape, or form.  In fact, HBO’s lawyer Dane Butswinkas told plaintiff Mitre they should be grateful for how generous their reporting was. Something is clearly off. Why would Mitre Sports International bring the case forward if they were wholly endorsing child labor? They wouldn’t because an investigation would probably prove they were doing so. But then why would HBO air a report that had no basis? This lawsuit comes after Rolling Stone Magazine ran into some serious trouble for inaccurate, unconfirmed reporting and NBC’s Brian Williams discrepancies in story-telling. If HBO is found guilty of fabricating any part of its new report, this will definitely hurt the premium channel’s reputation. The 12-member jury trial has officially started and is expected to last around 4 weeks…stay tuned for any updates on What’s the Verdict!

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HBO Triumphs in Decade Old Gunshot Case

Last week HBO won an appellate victory in a lawsuit brought by a gunshot victim who suffered injuries during a New York police raid. The woman sued the producers of a reality show for allegedly encouraging police to use excessive force while filming the raid for an episode. The incident, which occurred in 2001, was partially funded by HBO who was putting together footage for a tentative reality TV show featuring emergency service units (ESU) and NYPD. The film crew captured an ESU squad as they executed a search warrant in an apartment allegedly being used to sell stolen goods. One of the detectives mistook an object in the victim’s hands to be a gun and shot her once in the abdomen as she hid in a bathroom.

The victim also sued NYPD and the city of New York but that case has continued over the last decade. The claims included that the producers conspired with the police to use excessive force during the execution of the search warrant in order to maximize the entertainment value of the footage, however, that claim failed. The New York Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment dismissal granted by the lower court. 

Do you agree with the dismissal in this case?

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