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05 July 2011

Media Man Entertainment News; Marvel Entertainment And More, by Greg Tingle - 5th July 2011

Profiles

Thor X-Men Wolverine Thor Green Lantern Batman Iron-Man Marvel Entertainment Marvel Comics Marvel Studios Marvel Slots DC Comics Warner Bros Paramount Pictures Hollywood Movies Media Man
Captain America The Avengers Spider-Man Fantastic Four The Hulk Comics Movies


Profiles

Thor X-Men Wolverine Thor Green Lantern Batman Iron-Man Marvel Entertainment Marvel Comics Marvel Studios Marvel Slots DC Comics Warner Bros Paramount Pictures Hollywood Movies Media Man
Captain America The Avengers Spider-Man Fantastic Four The Hulk Comics Movies




Marvel Movies Upcoming...

Movie Studio Date

Captain America: The First Avenger Paramount Pictures 7/22/11
Ghost Rider 2 (3D) Sony 2/17/12
The Avengers (2012) Buena Vista 5/4/12
The Amazing Spider-Man Sony 7/3/12
Iron Man 3 Buena Vista 5/3/13

Thor And X-Men First Class Tipped To Hammer Home Results...

Thor and X-Men: First Class got great reviews and we're awesome, and Captain America: The First Avenger seems set to hit the spot to, but big questions remain about Green Lantern, and the vibe is not particularly good. Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively is getting very reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has a 23% approval among movie critics, according to the 153 reviews counters. But 72% of the 62,000 plus user reviewers say that they "liked it" with it just premiering in the U.S theaters Friday after a midnight release on late Thursday/early Friday. Comic Book Movie.com indicates are pretty negative on the flick. One reviewer called the movie "inert, artificial and dead on arrival." During the midnight release on Thursday, the film drew $3.35 million 0 the same region that alike movies that were recently released did; X-Men: First Class brought in $3.37 million on June 2nd, and Thor did $3.25 million on May 5th. X-Men: First Class and Thor both had a budget significantly less than Green Lantern; the former had a budget of $160 million while Thor had exactly half the budget of Green Lantern — $150 million. While the flick will likely end up eventually surpassing its budget, the fact the other comic book movies had much less budget isn’t a great result. Ultimately, X-Men: First Class raked in $55.1 million in its opening weekend while Thor did $65.7 million. With this being the third comic book-based movie released in a month-and-a-half and mixed reviews, will Green Lantern under perform this weekend, or will the hardcore - fanboy type audience that has been largely ripping on it, check it out at the cinema?

Our top picks: Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger looks like a safe bet.

Be it movies, comics or games, we think that Marvel Entertainment leads the pack, followed by DC Comics, with Dark Horse Comics getting a third, based on the positive news leaks and insider tip offs we've been getting.

As Marvel living legend Stan Lee would say, Excelsior!

Comic Book Legend Stan Lee Eyes Chinese Fans With JV...

HONG KONG - Stan Lee wants to see the likes of Spider-Man and the X-Men weaving between skyscrapers in Shanghai and battling enemies on the Great Wall. The comic book legend has announced a joint venture with a Hong Kong investment company that aims to roll out a new superhero franchise targeted at Chinese and foreign audiences.
Lee's POW! Entertainment said in a statement issued on its website this week that the new company, Magic Storm Entertainment, will announce its first film project later this summer. "I have been eagerly awaiting this great opportunity — a chance to combine the best of American superhero epics with the best of Chinese and Asian classical filmmaking for a motion picture that would be excitedly received worldwide," Lee said in the statement. It did not say if the creator or co-creator of Marvel Comics characters such as Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, X-Men, The Fantastic Four and Iron Man will come up with new characters for the new movie or write a new story for his flagship characters, many of which have already been adapted for the big screen. It also wasn't clear if the film will be animation or feature real actors. Magic Storm Entertainment will be a partnership between Hong Kong investment company Ricco Capital Holdings and Panda Media Partners, a joint venture between POW! Entertainment and the media consulting company Fidelis Global Enterprises. Fidelis Managing Director Eric Mika, the former publisher of the trade publication The Hollywood Reporter, will serve as chief executive of Magic Storm, which will be based in Los Angeles. More than 2 million of Lee's comic books have been published in 75 nations and in 25 languages, but they do not appear to have a big following in mainland China. But recent movie adaptations of Lee's characters, like other American blockbusters, have done strong business in China, which is fast becoming one of Hollywood's key markets despite a quota that effectively limits the country to 20 major foreign productions a year. Lee's strategy is likely to capitalize on the popularity of those movies. The three "Spider-Man" movies starring Tobey Maguire have made a combined $30 million in China and the two "Iron Man" movies featuring Robert Downey Jr. made $23.2 million, according to the box office tracking website Box Office Mojo.

Local New Jersey Merchant Sees Increased Business Due to Comic Book Movies...

The Fourth of July and the big budget box office movie belong to the summer as much as a day at the shore or a trip to a Yankees game. With Marvel Comic's "Captain America: First Avenger" movie ready to hit theaters on July 22, fans get the best of both worlds. One merchant has seen an increase in business thanks not only to the Star Spangled Avenger's high action cinematic debut. Ben Lichenstein, a Glen Rock resident and owner of Zapp Comics with stores in Wayne and Manalapan, said that his stores have seen an increase in sales thanks to the patriotic comic book themed hero. "Before a movie based on a comic book concept is released, we will see more sales than in the previous months," said Lichenstein. "For instance, the Thor movie gave us a real shot in the arm, financially." He explains that the comic book movies raise the profile of the comic books, which in turn, draws people into comic book stores. Lichenstein said he is picking up both short term and long term customers thanks to the higher visibility. "We get new customers in and they may stay for a while or prove to be returning customers," said Lichenstein. He explained the comic books can sometimes prove to be even more popular than the movies. An example is the “Green Lantern” feature starring Ryan Reynolds. “I saw the ‘Green Lantern’ movie and I thought it was okay,” said Lichenstein. “But the comics have proven to be popular and growing over the last two and a half years with the company event series ‘Blackest Night’ and we will see a continue sales of the Green Lantern graphic novels. If anything, they sell well in spite of the movie.” Lichenstein said that Marvel Comics writer Ed Brubaker has been gaining fans and keeping “Captain America” going in a positive direction. He explained that adding to the popularity of the character is the fact he is the epitome of what is American. “I wish we shared a sense of patriotism the way that we did years ago,” said Lichenstein. “But we just do not have that same feeling that we do and I hope we can get some of that feeling back.” He said that a character like Captain America represents what is good in America today. Captain America is a comic book hero created in 1941 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Timely Comics and tells the story of a weak New Yorker named Steve Rogers who fails the physical exam to get into the United States military during World War II. Thanks to an experiment, he gains height and muscle mass and is given a patriotic-styled costume along with a shield. Rogers is then sent to Germany to battle Adolph Hitler’s right hand, the Red Skull, and help defeat the Third Reich. He was resurrected in the 1960s to join the Avengers with other Marvel Comic stalwarts that have become box office hits like the previously mentioned Thor, Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk. Captain America has been the subject of a 1944 cliffhanger style series and a big budget feature starring Matt Salinger (the son of writer J.D. Salinger) done in the style of Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman” film was made in 1990 but was only released on video and DVD in the United States. The current film stars Chris Evans and Hugo Weaving and is directed by Joe Johnston, director of “The Rocketeer” and “The Wolfman.” “I am surprised they are not releasing it this weekend,” said Lichenstein. “It makes sense that it being the Fourth of July, and it is a huge movie weekend, but who knows?” But until the movie comes out later in the month, he said Zapp Comics will always welcome fans and lovers of any comic book character. He said fans will stand around and talk about comic books, movies and television for hours. That is what makes a comic book store great, he said. What could be more American than shooting the breeze and debating about a common interest that is loved by millions of fans?

Marvel Comics Gets Virgin Singaporean Artist...

The first Singaporean artist will be joining the Marvel Comics bandwagon.

Benjamin Ang, 27, was shortlisted during Marvel's portfolio review at last year's Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention (STGCC).

The American comic book company has produced well-known titles such as X-Men, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, The Avengers, and Thor.

Mr Ang is the first Singaporean to be signed to Marvel and was chosen from hundreds of artists from around the region.

"It is truly a dream come true to be able to work with Marvel and alongside some of the most renowned writers and artists in the industry," he said.

The freelance illustrator's art style has been described as an eclectic mix of East and West. He said: "I aim to add a signature touch to my work and hopefully inspire more Singaporean artists to chase their dreams."

Ang will be working on projects beginning later this year.

Mr C.B. Cebulski, Marvel's Senior Vice President of Creator and Content Development, who conducted the Portfolio Review at 2010's STGCC, is hoping to discover more new talent at this year's event.

Similarly, Yeow Hui Leng, Project Director of STGCC hopes that this year's convention will serve as a platform for other budding talents to be noticed at an international level.


Captain America: International Name Relations...

Paramount and Marvel offered foreign countries the choice of two titles, 'Captain America' or 'First Avenger.'

Marvel Studios and Paramount's Captain America: The First Avenger will keep its US title in all but three countries: Russia, Ukraine and South Korea. Though it is quite common for American blockbusters to feature less US-focused titles in foreign markets, Paramount Pictures largely decided against the alterations for Captain America, and instead gave foreign countries the choice of two titles, Captain America: The First Avenger or The First Avenger. Interestingly, most international distributors believed the franchise name was so identifiable that not using "Captain America" in the title could risk losing ticket sales. Spokespeople for Marvel and Paramount declined to comment on why Russia, Ukraine and South Korea opted for The First Avenger. Additionally, it is expected the film will likely not see release in China due to a policy that only allows the country to theatrically screen 20 foreign films each year. However, a decision has yet to be reached. An inside source speaking to the New York Times on the issue claimed that marketers changed the name in these countries for cultural and political reasons. Captain America is due to hit American theaters July 22.

Indian Spiderman on ‘Stan Lee’s Superhumans’...

For billions of years, evolution has been dictated by Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Today, the rules of evolution may get fundamentally altered. Co-hosted by Stan Lee, the legendary creator of the ‘X-Men’, Discovery Science’s ‘Stan Lee’s Superhumans’ features amazing stories of real people with unique genetic abilities that translates into remarkable powers. If you thought Spiderman lives only in Marvel comics and Hollywood movies, think again. Spiderman is real, his name is Jyothi Raj and he lives in India. Jyothi Raj is currently settled in Bangalore.
Known as India’s very own Spiderman, Jyothi draws his inspiration from monkeys as he climbs anything from a wall to a tree at an unbelievable speed. The 22-year-old ex builder spends most of his time entertaining tourists by acrobatically climbing Chitradurga Fort in Karnataka. He fearlessly and effortlessly goes up 300-feethigh walls without a safety harness and hundreds of eyes watching from down below. Raj says he developed his climbing skills by watching monkeys climb trees and trying to reproduce stunts from his favourite films. Experience the unthinkable in ‘Stan Lee’s Superhumans’ on July 4 at 8:30 pm, as the show premiers on Discovery Science.
Rahul Johri, senior vice president and general manager -South Asia, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, said, “Discovery Science is about making science accessible, relevant and entertaining for its viewers. ‘Stan Lee’s Superhumans’ showcases an unprecedented global journey uncovering astonishing stories, as it explores the super powers of real life people.” ‘Stan Lee’s Superhumans’ features humans who possess unique powers such as Scott Flansburg — a human calculator who can add, subtract, multiply, divide and even calculate square and cube roots in his head to Dan Meyer who can swallow 15-inch razors, hedge clippers and even curved blades that nudge his heart out of the way as they pass by. Discovery Science is the network dedicated to making science programming accessible, relevant and entertaining. By examining the impact of science and technology on our everyday lives, Discovery Science searches for the answers to the questions that have eluded us for centuries and reveals life’s greatest mysteries and smallest wonders, from uncovering lost worlds to exploring the latest in scientific discoveries from today’s headlines.

Stan Lee's Pow! Entertainment Targets Orientals...

Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment has entered into an agreement to create superhero properties for a Chinese audience. The former Marvel president's company has teamed up with a Hong Kong investment company to form Magic Storm Entertainment, The AP reports. Eric Mika, former publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, will serve as chief executive of Magic Storm, which will announce its first film project later this summer. "I have been eagerly awaiting this great opportunity - a chance to combine the best of American superhero epics with the best of Chinese and Asian classical filmmaking for a motion picture that would be excitedly received worldwide," said Lee. The report did not indicate whether Lee himself will create new characters and properties for the venture. It was also not confirmed whether the studio will produce live-action or animated features. Last month, Lee unveiled Blood Red Dragon in collaboration with Todd McFarlane and Japanese rock star Yoshiki ahead of its Comic-Con debut. Lee remains young and heart and full of good ideas and concepts.


European Box Office Driving Hot 3D Uptake Abroad...

LOS ANGELES - While the domestic box office is sputtering when it comes to 3D, the weekend performance of "Transformers 3" notwithstanding, uptake of the format is hot abroad, particularly in Europe.

According to data released by 3D technology services company RealD on Monday, about 70% of the international box office revenue for the Marvel/Paramount release of "Thor" came from 3D ticket sales.

In Europe, "Thor's" 3D revenue accounted for nearly 80% of total box office.

For Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," the breakdown is 67% of total foreign box office for 3D, with Europe at nearly 70 percent, according to RealD.

About 60% of total foreign box office revenue for DreamWorks Animation's "Kung Fu Panda 2" came from 3D, with Europe at 67 percent.

For Disney's "Cars 2," the breakdown was 53% for the total international market, but 68% for Europe.

The U.S. market for 3D has been much cooler, with each of the aforementioned films grossing less than 50% of its opening revenue through 3D engagements.

However, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" just came off a one-week opening with a 3D performance in the U.S. and Canada of nearly 60%.


Giving Credit for Comics (Credit: The New York Times)...

To the Editor:

Brent Staples’s Sunday Observer about Jack Kirby (“Marvel Superheroes and the Fathers of Invention,” June 26) quoted from an essay of mine in such a way that readers might think that I agree with those who contend that Stan Lee had little or nothing to do with the Marvel comic book stories of the 1960s, which is decidedly not true.

In my essay, after comparing Mr. Kirby’s work at Marvel to his closely following solo work at DC Comics, I concluded that the work at Marvel was indeed a collaboration between the writer-editor Stan Lee and the writer-artists Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and others, but that “if only one man can be the author of Marvel, [Stan Lee] has a greater claim to that title than anyone else.”

Mr. Kirby and all the creators at Marvel deserved much more credit and compensation than they ever got, so if Mr. Kirby’s heirs get more of both, more power to them. But any rebalancing of the scales of justice should not be done at the expense of Stan Lee.

EARL WELLS
Johnsonville, N.Y., June 26, 2011


MCN Online Developments In Australia...

Multi Channel Network (MCN) has boosted its online team with the additions of Nick Young as national online sales director and Spencer Rodgers as Victorian online sales manager. Sales are the order of the day - no surprise there.

We learnt that Young was previously head of strategy and development at Ignite Media Brands and sales manager for Sydney and Adelaide at Ninemsn. Young has also spent nine years within agencies and media sales in the UK, including at MediaCom and Men's Health magazine.

Rodgers joins MCN from Murdoch's Fox Interactive Media where he was group sales manager. Previously, he was national sales manager at Octopus Media, and has represented Zenith OptimediaOptimedia, OMD, and TMD Carat in the UK.

MCN national sales director Mark Frain said: "The new structure and arrival of both Nick and Spencer provides MCN the platform to fully capitalise on the power of the brands we represent, no matter which screen their content is being played out on."

MCN, a joint-venture between Foxtel, Austar, Premier Media Group and XYZ Networks, has also appointed three online channel executives to its Strategic Insights team in response to client demand for integrated content ideas. Carla Wainer, Ann Gruber and Tim Love will join the team with a fourth appointment to be announced shortly.

The company is confident of strong sales in the current period, despite an national and international downturn in the sector.


Sahara Casino In Vegas Donating Neon Sign To Neon Museum...

LAS VEGAS -- Owners of the closed Sahara hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip say they're donating one of the property's iconic signs to the Neon Museum, a collection of Sin City's historic markers.

SBE Entertainment officials tell The Associated Press that the donation is part of celebrating the cultural significance of the casino that closed last month after 59 years.

The sign faced Sahara Avenue at the back of the casino, near a porte-cochere.

Neon Museum Chairman Bill Marion says the sign is a classic example of Las Vegas' storied past and the historic art form of neon signs.

The museum, also known as the Neon Boneyard, is often referred to as the place where neon signs go to die.

The donation comes as SBE mulls what to do with the space.

Donald Trump and Steve Wynn - don't be trumped - let's see if you can top this, and the word is they may, given their strong track records in the publicity stunt scene.


Stanley Ho Donates MOP 3 Million To Macau School...

Gaming - gambling tycoon Stanley Ho Hung Sun on Tuesday donated MOP 3 million to Hou Kong Middle School for the extension project of its affiliated Hou Kong Premier School. According to a press statement, Ho was represented by one of his closest associates, Ambrose So, who presented the donation to Iao Tun Ieong, principle of Hou Kong Middle School. Hou Kong Premier School located in Taipa, provides education in both Chinese and English languages. As the permanent honorary president of the institution, Stanley Ho “has been supportive of the school’s guiding principle in nurturing future talent for society,” said the statement. Ho “always reminds young people of the importance of learning and urges them to make use of the knowledge acquired to contribute back to society,” they added.


Crown Casino Offering Real Indigenous Employment...

James Packer's Crown Casino is set to become one of the largest employers of indigenous people in Victoria under a plan helped along by mining tsar Andrew Forrest.

Crown Limited executive chairman James Packer spoke at a Melbourne University today covering how his casino and its Perth cousin Burswood Entertainment Complex plan to employ 2000 indigenous Aussies by 2021. Some say it can't happen soon enough.

The discussion, organised by Generation One, will focus on career training for indigenous Australians and also feature the charity's founder Forrest, who co-founded the Australian Employment Covenant with the federal government in 2008 in a bid to secure 50,000 sustainable jobs for indigenous Australians.

Crown Limited was one of the first entities to sign on and get behind the covenant and has employed about 115 indigenous Australians over the past couple of years in its Melbourne and Perth casinos.

Crown Casino's official website states it employs more than 8000 people while Burswood employs about 4400 but it is unknown how many of the employees are indigenous.

Mr Packer is expected to advise the audience that their experiences with employing indigenous Australians has strengthened the business.

While it is unknown how many of the new jobs for indigenous Australians will be in Melbourne, Generation One boss Tim Gartrell said Mr Packer's pledge will make Crown one of Victoria's greatest employers of indigenous people.

"It's great for a senior CEO to get involved," he said. "That's really important because it's about changing people's perspectives.

"One of the really exciting things is James operates in an urban metre area and this is where the vast majority of indigenous Australians are and this is where we need to increase their employment opportunities."

The NSW, Queensland and Northern Territory governments have also signed up to the covenant.

Mr Packer and Mr Forrest have got mixed reactions for their involvement in Generation One, but the vast majority of people believe it is a good thing.

A Media Man spokesperson said "It's great that a couple of Australia's leading business people are right behind Generation One. Tremendous leadership by Packer and Forrest, and they have the vast resources to support the dream. They did it for business reasons, but it also comes from the heart, with both gents enjoying close ties to Indigenous Australia."

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