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07 July 2011

Media Man Entertainment News; Marvel Entertainment; Paramount Pictures, Casinos, James Bond, WWE..., by Greg Tingle - 7th July 2011


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


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 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!

After Conquering Silver Screen, Marvel Sets Sights on TV...

Comic-book giant Marvel is preparing to hit TV screens following announcements by several networks that they will launch superhero-centered shows, TV Guide reported Tuesday.

Networks' decisions to introduce superheroes came in response to the box office success of comic-book films "Thor," "X-Men: First Class" and "Green Lantern," which all recently hit No. 1.

Super-heroes will play a role in Syfy's new drama "Alphas", about five ordinary people brought together by their superhuman abilities; ABC Family's "The Nine Lives of Chloe King," about a teenage girl with newfound powers; and the FX pilot "Powers," a police procedural set in a world of superheroes.

Marvel was poised to join the trend as well. Disney bought the comic-book company for $4 billion in 2009 and hired writer/producer Jeph Loeb (Heroes, Smallville) to be executive VP and head of TV at Marvel Entertainment.

Since then, Loeb -- who is also a well-known comic-book writer -- has prepared several Marvel titles for TV adaptations. Among these are a new take on "The Incredible Hulk" and a new show titled "AKA Jessica Jones," both at ABC.

"What really distinguishes these are the A-list show runners," said ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee. "We would love to make a Marvel franchise work on the network. They probably won't be the only two Marvel things we do."

Executives at ABC and Marvel have slowed down the development process in hopes of creating a show to match the soaring success of shows like "Smallville," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Heroes."

Networks Still Interested In Superhero Shows...

The TV networks are still holding out for a superhero. While comic-book films Thor, X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern all hit #1 at the box office recently, television has been a bit slower to pick up the superhero themes.

Super-heroes play a role in Syfy's new drama Alphas, about a group of ordinary misfits with unusual abilities; ABC Family's recent entry The Nine Lives of Chloe King, about a teenage girl with heightened abilities; and the FX pilot Powers.

The biggest superhero torpedo is just around the corner, as Marvel preps a major entry into TV. Disney bought the comic-book tsar for $4 billion in 2009 and hired writer/producer Jeph Loeb (Heroes, Smallville) as executive VP and head of TV at Marvel Entertainment.

Since then, Loeb — who's also a well-known comic-book writer — has been combing through Marvel's library and prepping several titles for TV adaptations. At Disney-owned sibling ABC, that includes a new take on The Incredible Hulk, shepherded by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy) and Battlestar Galactica's David Eick, plus Jessica Jones. It's about an ex superhero who opens her own detective agency and winds up assisting other heroes — adapted by Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. (Marvel has also been developing a take on Cloak and Dagger, which follows two teens who become mutants after being drugged, at ABC Family.)

Marvel is not giving away much on its projects, but leaks confirm that ABC is still high on both Hulk and Jessica Jones. "What really distinguishes these are the A-list show runners," ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee told the press earlier this year. "We would love to make a Marvel franchise work on the network. They probably won't be the only two Marvel things we do."

The powers that be at ABC and Marvel are also trying to get the best result possible. No one's been able to match the longevity of The CW's now retired Smallville, the cult status of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the mega-phenomenon of Heroes in its white-hot first season. Last season's short-lived No Ordinary Family and The Cape, plus David E. Kelley's ill-advised Wonder Woman revival (the pilot was mercifully not picked up) proved that superheroes aren't easy to translate to TV.

"It's hard to launch a successful TV show or movie, no matter where it comes from," says Lost executive producer and comic-book fan Damon Lindelof. That goes double for superhero and comic-book adaptations. "A superhero is larger than life. You can go and sit in a theater and watch a superhero there, because the movie screen is also larger than life. When you invite them into your living room, they have to be accessible — and that's a very slippery slope, one that Smallville handled masterfully."

In fact, Smallville is often cited as the best example of how to take a superhero character and create a perfect entry point for viewers. "Smallville's one [leap of faith] was that Clark had arrived from another planet," one producer says. "Everything else was grounded in reality."

Several producers and execs suggest that TV superheroes can't be bogged down by costumes or too many powers. Not only does it overwhelm viewers, but the effects are too costly and look cheap on the small screen. That's one reason, according to insiders, Marvel avoided live-action TV takes on hot franchises like Iron Man or Spider-Man.

"Superhero comics and films are driven by the set piece, these gigantic battles and extraordinary visuals," says Peter Johnson, president of McG's Wonderland Sound & Vision, which produced Fox's now canceled Human Target adaptation. "That level of execution hasn't come over to TV yet."

That's why FX exec vice president of original programming Nick Grad doesn't even consider Powers a superhero show. "It's another way to do a cop show," he says. "For a network that did The Shield, how can you possibly top that? You do a different kind of cop show. As [Powers cocreator] Brian Michael Bendis would say, it 'stays on the ground,' both literally and figuratively."

Lindelof says he believes the comics that translate better to TV don't have superhero premises. He's a big fan of AMC's take on The Walking Dead. "There are a lot of great comic books being written right now that would make fantastic series," he says. "It requires a certain reimagining of what we think of as a comic-book series. When you think of comic books, you think of superheroes. But superheroes are very challenging to do on TV."

Nevertheless, networks are drawn to the marketability of superheroes. But to do it right, "it starts with character, not costume," one producer says. "A well-written show that has a compelling central character, who has had something extraordinary happen to them, will be relatable. And people will watch."

Australian fans are understood to be some of the most passionate superhero fans and it continues to show in the numbers generated at box office. Studios hope numbers also hold up when the heroes hit Australian television.

Captain America Teams Up With Dallas Cowboys; Disney’s Marvel Opens Apparel Line...

Captain America is going into business with America’s Team. Marvel Entertainment LLC, a unit of Walt Disney Co. (DIS), and the Dallas Cowboys are developing a co-branded apparel line featuring Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man and other characters wearing Cowboys’ team colors and logos, the Cowboys and Marvel said in a joint news release.

“We are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to energize our fans, and what better way than to combine our brand with some of the all-time great superheroes that everyone has grown up with,” Jerry Jones Jr., chief sales and marketing office for the Cowboys, said in a statement.

While the characters will be clad in the Cowboys’ colors and logo, there are no plans to portray individual Dallas players as superheroes, Brett Daniels, a spokesman for the team, said in an e-mail.

Financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.

Captain America, one of more than 8,000 characters in Disney’s library, is featured in a film that will be released later this month. The Cowboys picked up the nickname “America’s Team” during the 1970s, when they won two of their five Super Bowl titles.
Earlier this year, Marvel offered similar apparel lines with the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. Go Cowboys!

Casino Punter On Life Support After Scuffle With Crown Casino Security...

Coppers are investigating an incident at Crown Casino on Sunday night that has left a man in hospital on life support.

The 40-year old man from Melbourne's Ferntree Gully became involved in an altercation with a female at the famous casino about 11pm. As security staff restrained the man, he lost consciousness.

The man was taken to The Alfred hospital, but is believed to now be at the Royal Melbourne, where he remains on life support.

The incident was captured on CCTV and police are examining that footage as part of their investigation.

Crown spokesman Gary O’Neill told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell the incident happened on the gaming floor, close to one of the bars.

"We are co-operating with police and the CCTV footage has already been handed to them," he said.

"Security are co-operating with the police investigation."

He confirmed Crown security had asked the man to leave the casino, however "other people became involved".

Mr O'Neill advised the security staff involved had not been stood down, but they have not been rostered for normal duties on the gaming floor while the investigation is occuring.

Crown Casino has been beefed up considerably in recent years with overall excellent results.

Phone Hack Scandal Gets Much Bigger; Sir Richard Branson Also Nailed...

Sir Richard Branson says he has been caught up in phone hacking allegations plaguing the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World.

During a visit to Brisbane yesterday, the British entrepreneur was asked if he had been targeted by the British newspaper.

"Yes, the police contacted me a couple of days ago to say my ... phones have been accessed," he said.

"I wish I had lived a more exciting life," he joked. He said that even the phones of his neighbours had been hacked.

The newspaper is under investigation over several phone-hacking claims.

Is anyone listing to your boring phone calls?

Mickey Rourke Changes Apartments; Belt Tightens In Line With Economy - Rourke In 'Sin City' Online Game...

Mickey Rourke has moved to a cheaper apartment - which costs $13,500 a month.
The 'Wrestler' star had been renting a 5,000 square foot loft in New York's Meatpacking district at a cost of $19,800 a month, but has now relocated to the West Village area, where he is currently residing in a considerably cheaper three-bedroom, three-bathroom duplex with a garden, gossip website TMZ reports. While Mickey is said to be enjoying his new living space, the actor may struggle to cope in a property with two levels as he has previously revealed playing grappler Randy 'The Ram' Robinson left his body so damaged, he needed assistance in getting up and down stairs. The 58-year-old actor - who is a former professional boxer - said: "I had to try harder to get up in the morning. And because of my extra bulk a football knee from high school acted up again. Two hundred years later! And my woman had to get behind me and push me up the stairs. I was pathetic looking! "So my knees wouldn't hold up, because of all the extra weight and the exercise. And all the injuries you get from being thrown down, you know?" Rourke fans will likely get a kick and a punch out of the new 'Sin City' online slot game released by Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment. If you can't remember, it was Rourke who played Marv in 'The Hard Goodbye'.

Media, Technology And Community Entrepreneur To Speak At Bondi Beach Church on July 10th...

JULY 10: Dr. Geoffrey Sykes

Virtual Selves, Avatars and Life in the Spirit - Towards a Theology of Media

Geoffrey has taught media studies at the Universities of Western Sydney and Wollongong, and published and lectured widely in this country and in prominent overseas institutions in the areas of media, communication and semiotics. He has produced and directed several videos, which have been broadcast on SBC, ABC and Foxtel, and has wide educational distribution and sales. Currently, he has several works in progress, He is an established playwright, with over 20 professional productions. In recent years he has curated a successful program of arts and theatre at the Bushchapel Helensburgh, and is currently expanding this to include video classes and activities.

Paul Virilio, a French Catholic theologian, coined the term 'virtuality' as part of negative criticism of the illusion and false values of mass media. His work belongs in a late twentieth century tradition of critical theory about media - including Baudrillard and the Frankfurt School - that stresses the false consciousness or simulacrum of media effects. The word virtuality has found more positive, though vague, meanings in popular discussion about media - especially new media like games. The talk will seek to re-claim a richer, yet thoroughly positive and theological sense of the term 'virtuality'. While maintaining it as a media term, the paper will also begin to reclaim the rich religious sense of the term "avatar", a sense that has been lost in its bowdlerized, common use as computer jargon. The paper will distinctly link both terms to New Testament forms of spiritual identity, as well as using them to provide an explanation of some of the continuing and transformative effects of media in our society. Is the church equipped to meet the opportunities of new media? What are the implications of fast broadband and the NBN? Can we argue for a new society and spirituality, based on a theology of self and community? Can we re-evaluate Christian thinking while embracing the full potential of contemporary media? The presentation will have two parts - a talk or paper, followed by an open discussion about the paper and also about any issues to do with media, theology and the spirituality or the church. Geoffrey will also briefly mention plans for community media.

Hulk Hogan And Sting Fued In Works At TNA Wrestling...

Impact Wrestling is getting interesting again. As the saga between Hulk Hogan and Sting ramps up, it's the Stinger who is besting the Hulkster. Scott Steiner in getting into the mix of things which means its going to get dangerous, both in storyline and for real.

John Cena Mentions The Rock At WWE Live Event in Perth, Australia...

Cena grabbed the mic and asked where The Rock of Team Bring It was and why he wasn't in Australia to entertain the WWE Universe. "I don't care if I've got to play G.I. Joe, Fast Five, Fast Six, Godzilla, King Kong, and Julius Caesar all rolled into one, I want to be in the middle of this ring, defending this championship in front of all of you, because I am not an actor, I am a professional wrestler. That is what I do because of crowds like you," Cena said. Cena told the fans that if they were looking to see The Rock, they would have to wait until April 1st because that's the only time The People's Champ will say he loves the fans. Cena went on with what some fans are calling a "shoot" on The Rock. Cena then thanked the fans.

UFC 132 salaries: Tito Ortiz ($450K), Wanderlei Silva ($200K); Fighter Pay Days...

Main card fighters and MMA legends Tito Ortiz and Wanderlei Silva were the top earners at this past weekend's UFC 132 event.

Both fighters earned disclosed flat-rate paydays. Ortiz netted $450,000 for his upset victory over Ryan Bader, and Silva scored $200,000 in a disappointing first-round loss to Chris Leben. The two fighters combined to secure 50.9% of the $1,277,000 total disclosed payroll for the event.

The list of disclosed paydays from the Nevada State Athletic Commission have now been released into the public domain.

UFC 132 took place this past Saturday, July 2, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The night's main card aired on pay-per-view, and the preliminary card aired on Spike TV and streamed on Facebook.

The full payouts included:

Dominick Cruz: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Urijah Faber: $32,000

Chris Leben: $92,000 ($46,000 win bonus)
def. Wanderlei Silva: $200,000

Dennis Siver: $50,000 ($25,000 win bonus)
def. Matt Wiman: $18,000

Tito Ortiz: $450,000 (no win bonus)
def. Ryan Bader: $20,000

Carlos Condit: $68,000 ($34,000 win bonus)
def. Dong Hyun Kim: $41,000

Melvin Guillard: $64,000 ($32,000 win bonus)
def. Shane Roller: $21,000

Rafael Dos Anjos: $28,000 ($14,000 win bonus)
def. George Sotiropoulos: $15,000

Brian Bowles: $34,000 ($17,000 win bonus)
def. Takeya Mizugaki: $12,000

Aaron Simpson: $34,000 ($17,000 win bonus)
def. Brad Tavares: $10,000

Anthony Njokuani: $16,000 ($8,000 win bonus)
def. Andre Winner: $14,000

Jeff Hougland: $12,000 ($6,000 win bonus)
def. Donny Walker: $6,000

Now, the usual disclaimer: The figures do not include deductions for items such as insurance, licenses and taxes. Additionally, the figures do not include money paid by sponsors, which can oftentimes be a substantial portion of a fighter's income. They also do not include any other "locker room" or special bonuses the UFC oftentimes pays. They also do not include portions of the pay-per-view revenue that some top-level fighters receive.

For example, as previously reported, UFC officials handed out additional $75,000 UFC 132 bonuses to Condit ("KO of the Night"), Ortiz ("Submission of the Night"), and Cruz and Faber ("Fight of the Night").

What this means is that the figures are base salaries reported to the commission and do not reflect entire compensation packages for the event. Got it?

Hugh Jackman: 'The Wolverine' Begins Shooting In October...

Over the last year, "The Wolverine” has had some bumps in its road to production, like the departure of director Darren Aronofsky and concerns about filming in Japan after the tragic earthquake. But it looks as if things might be smoothing out for the next solo film featuring the Marvel hero.

It was reported on Indie Wire via a CHFI radio interview that Hugh Jackman conducted in Toronto. Instead of describing any further problems for production, Jackman told the great news.

"We shoot ('The Wolverine') in October, so it will probably come out a year after that,” he said. “That’s usually around the timeline.”

While plans initially said that the movie would be out in 2012, the delays had caused some to wonder if the movie would actually come out in 2013.

It also makes one wonder if the issue of finding a new director is over. Earlier this month, word was circulating that "3:10 to Yuma" director James Mangold would most likely take the helm and replace Aronofsky.

Based on a story by Frank Miller and Chris Claremont, this movie will take Logan to Japan where he has to deal with the Japanese mafia and the problems that arise due to his own bestial nature.

Nicole Kidman To Meet Will And Kate...

Nicole Kidman will be among the celebrity guests to meet Prince William and his wife Catherine at a British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) party in Los Angeles, an online report says. Among the guests will be Tom Hanks and Jennifer Lopez, E! Online reports. Initial reports suggested the prince and the Duchess of Cambridge would only meet little-known, up-and-coming stars at the Brits to Watch bash on Saturday in Los Angeles. Latest news is that E! Online blogger Marc Malkin says movie heavyweights Kidman and Hanks will attend as will Lopez and her husband Marc Anthony. Kristin Chenoweth, dancer Derek Hough and actresses Ginnifer Goodwin and Dana Delany are also on the guest list for the soiree at the Belasco Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

Sylvester Stallone Turned 65 Yesterday...

The living legend Sly made it to 65 years young. Rambo, Rocky, The Expendables and who can forget The Party at Kitty and Stud’s? Don't tell us! On ya Sly. He's still kicking ass in movies, casino ventures and all sorts of other stuff we hear.

Richard Branson Talks Tiger Airline Trouble...

The possible collapse of Tiger Airways was unlikely to result in a spike in ticket prices, Sir Richard Branson told a business summit yesterday. Sir Richard, the founder of Virgin Australia, said his airline planned to maintain ticket prices regardless of Tiger's date. "The lower we keep our air fares, the more people we can get to travel," he told the Asia Pacific Cities Summit in Brisbane. "So what happens to Tiger I don't think will affect air fares at all." In a broad speech, Sir Richard said the first flights on his commercial space flight venture, Virgin Galactic, would happen within about 15 months. Sir Richard said there was a chance an Australian base could be part of this galactic space trip network. "There are now immediate plans, but one day I can see a possibility of Virgin Galactic operating out of Australia," he said. Space, communications, games... Branson continues to be a world beater.

Marvel And Paramount Pictures May Change Name Of Captain America for Russia, Ukraine And South Korea...

Marvel and Paramount Pictures, which is distributing “Captain America: The First Avenger,” figured they would simply release the film as the truncated “The First Avenger” in foreign countries. But in a surprise, Paramount’s overseas operation objected, arguing that Captain America had too much brand value, even in spots like France that are leery of embracing Team America too readily.

Paramount Pictures Launching New Animation Arm...

Paramount Pictures is launching a new, in-house animation division, the studio announced Wednesday. It is aiming to release its first title in 2014.

Rango, the animated Western directed by Gore Verbinski wthat was released in March, was the studio's first full-owned CGI animated movie, and it grossed more than $240 million worldwide.

To date, however, Paramount, a unit of Viacom, has largely relied on Jeffrey Katzenberg's Dreamworks Animation, with which it has a distribution deal, to fill the animation slots on its release schedule. DWA's deal with Paramount expires at the end of 2012.

Sources say Paramount has offered Jeffrey Katzberg a one-year extension at the same terms. Beyond that, the studio wants to renegotiate the deal so as to make the terms better for Paramount. Katzenberg has yet to agree to the extension.

In announcing the new division, Paramount chairman & CEO Brad Grey said the initiative was part of the studio's long-term strategy for growth and that the new division, Paramount Animation, will focus on high quality animation with budgets of up to $100 million per picture.

It will develop a broad range of family CGI animated films, with some titles released under the Nickelodeon label.

The studio already has at least one project in development: It is currently developing an adaptation of the Penny Arcade web comic New Kid, about a lone earthling who is a new kid in a school full of intergalactic aliens. Gary Whitta is writing the screenplay for producer Mary Parent and Cale Boyter.

The division will be part of the Paramount Motion Picture Group, reporting to the group's president, Adam Goodman, and will initially target one release per year. Vice chair Rob Moore, COO Frederick Huntsberry and Goodman are now conducting a search for the leader of the division.

"The marketplace has never offered as many opportunities to create wonderfully imaginative pictures at very appealing budget levels, so we feel this is a perfect moment to launch this effort. We are now eager to expand in animation with appropriate and prudent overhead and production budgets in a way that will allow us to be nimble, creative and innovative," Grey said.

James Bond: Naomie Harris Finds Next Bond Movie Special...

Actress Naomie Harris thinks the 23rd installment of the James Bond movies will have a "very special" feeling to it. The British actress is apparently a top contender for a leading role in the forthcoming Sam Mendes directed "James Bond" movie, which sees Daniel Craig reprise his role as the iconic British spy. "It would be great to be part of Bond but nothing is confirmed yet. Sam Mendes is an amazing director and a really, really lovely man as well. He's got brilliant ideas. From meeting them, I think it's going to be a very special Bond," quoted the 34-year-old as saying. Harris is best known for her role as Selena in "28 Days Later" and Tia Dalma in the second and third series of " Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.

WWE Looking For Next Giant...

WWE top brass have been on the look out for future big time wrestlers in recent months. Enter Australian Josh Taylor, who stands at 6'10" and 385 pounds, and is the latest big man wrestler to be checked out by WWE as he showed his stuff to company officials prior to Friday's live WWE event in Sydney. He is billed as the largest wrestler in Australia. Professional Wrestling Alliance Queensland co-owner Andrew Venables said Taylor is Australia's best chance of success overseas. "He is the heart and soul of wrestling in Australia," Venables said. "If he shows them half the dedication as he has locally then he will make it."

Marvel ous News: Hugh Jackman Says The Wolverine Shoots In October...

The 42-year-old Australian actor recently revealed to Toronto radio station CHFI when the next Wolverine movie will begin filming "We shoot [The Wolverine] in October, so it will probably come out a year after that," Hugh said. "That’s usually around the timeline." The Wolverine follows the popular X-Men character as he travels to Japan to train with a samurai warrior. The film will also likely star Kelly Hu and Naturi Naughton. A Media Man insider was overheard "Wolverine with Hugh Jackman may potentially be even better than Thor. For the fans and for Marvel that would be excelsior news".

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