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05 August 2011

Media Man Entertainment News Update, by Greg Tingle - 5th August 2011

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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
The Dark Knight Rises Warner Bros 7/20/12
Iron Man 3 Buena Vista 5/3/13
Thor 2 Buena Vista 7/26/13


Melco Crown eyes HK listing...

Macau gaming operator Melco Crown Entertainment has applied for a dual listing at the Hong Kong stock exchange (SEHK), the New York-listed company announced yesterday.

“It is worth noting that today all other casino operators in Macau, including those from the US, have their Macau operations listed on the SEHK,” Melco co-chairman and chief executive officer Lawrence Ho Yau Lung stressed in a press statement.

“We believe our proposed dual listing on the local bourse will not only put us on a par with our competitors, but will also provide our existing shareholders with much enhanced liquidity, while providing us with access to an additional source of capital,” he added.

Just last week, Melco completed the acquisition of a 60 percent share in long-delayed Macao Studio City project. Ho said at a press conference that it would invest USD 1.7 billion (MOP 13.7 billion) in the development of the Cotai resort.

He acknowledged that Melco would again tap the debt markets, after clinching a USD 1.2 billion (MOP 9.6 billion) refinancing of the City of Dreams resort in June and launching RMB-denominated bonds to raise around USD 350 million (MOP 2.8 billion) in April.

“A dual listing on the SEHK will also allow local and Asian investors to directly access investment opportunities in our company, thus broadening our investor universe,” yesterday’s statement adds.

So far there is no forecast for when the dual listing could be completed.

The operation “involves extensive preparatory work and is subject to, among others, the approval of the SEHK and other relevant authorities, the final decision of the company’s board of directors and approval of its shareholders and market conditions,” Melco explained.

“It is therefore difficult to provide a clear time frame,” the operator stressed, and the proposed dual listing “may or may not occur”.


Marvel Studios Moving Forward with DR. STRANGE‎...

A new rumor has surfaced sharing that a script by Conan's Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer has been turned in and that the studio has made a shortlist of possible directors.

According to Marvel Comics mythology, Doctor Stephen Strange is one of the most powerful sorcerers in existence. He draws his power from three primary sources: the invocation of powerful mystic entities or objects, the manipulation of the universe's ambient magical energy, and his own psychic resources. Strange's magical repertoire includes energy projection and manipulation, matter transformation, animation of inanimate objects, teleportation, illusion-casting, mesmerism, thought projection, astral projection, dimensional travel, time travel and mental possession, to name a few, though the full range of his abilities is unknown. The character has graced comic book pages for over 50 years, was the focus of a direct to video live-action film in the 1970s and most recently starred in a full length Marvel Animated feature film.

With poor to timid critical and box office reception to Donnelly and Oppenheimer's most recent work Cowboys and Aliens, it was reported that the directors being sought after have been given a copy of the script to 'oversee continued development,' which could possibly imply a rewrite. Even with that, this is still a sign that Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme may be ever closer to seeing the big screen.

A new Dr. Strange film, under the Marvel Studios banner, has been whispered about for several months now. Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige confirmed that the project is in the works and will help bring supernatural elements into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Actor Patrick Dempsey has openly stated his interest in the role and explained why a television series may be the best route for it.


Interactive Gaming To Head Up Media Growth...

Australia’s media sector will expand by 4.1% over the next five years as interactive gaming and the internet continue their trailblazing growth and Australian companies eye off opportunities in Asia.

According to the 'Outlook: Australian Entertainment and Media report from PricewaterhouseCoopers', the sector will reach a total of $37.2 bn in 2015.

Advertising spending is expected to reach $15bn, growing at a rate of 4.4%, which is slower than the global rate forecast at 6.2%.

Interactive gaming will be the locomotive of growth for the sector over the next five years with compound annual growth of 9.5% by 2015, ahead of the global rate of 8.2%.

PwC predicted a spike in market share for gaming from 8.8% of consumer spending in 2010 to 11.4% in 2015.

“Consoles are consolidating their position in the living room by becoming entertainment hubs through partnerships with content providers such as subscription television,” the report read.

Subscription TV revenues are forecast to grow by 5.1%. Advertising through the medium is tipped to reach 3% growth, outstripping its free-to-air counterpart that is forecast to grow by 2.3%

Meanwhile, consumer magazines and recorded music are headed for troubled waters, representing the only sectors expected to shrink.

As interactive gaming continues its rapid rise through the media and entertainment ranks, advertising executives are beginning to zero in on the opportunities.

Globally, advertising via the internet and within interactive games had the highest forecast growth rates, at 9.6% and 8.2% for 2011-2015 respectively.

Despite this, local players appear laggard as the domestic market for advertising in interactive games “is negligible” according to PwC.

Internet access spending represents a third of all consumer media and entertainment spend, however PwC expects slowing growth as the market gets larger and nears saturation.

Locally, the net will spearhead advertising growth in spite of this, predicted to grow by 13.5% over the five year period. The outdoor segment is running a distant second, expected to notch up 5.4% average growth.

“Consumer spending on entertainment and media products and services will reach $248 bn by 2015 in the Asia-Pacific region,” said PWC partner and author of the report David Wiadrowski. “It is time for Australian businesses to think about how best to share in the boom taking place on our doorstep.”

Gaming could prove pivotal to Australian media companies penetrating the faster-growing Asian markets.

“Asia Pacific, with three of the top four counties in the world in terms of spending on video games; China, Japan and South Korea, is the largest region at $24.3 bn in 2010,” said Wiadrowski. “It is projected to be the fastest-growing region during the next five years, increasing 11.8% on a compound annual basis to $42.3 bn in 2015.”


Gambling service in high demand...

There is already high demand for the ACT's new gambling support service, with dozens of referrals being made during its first month of operation.

Mission Australia is running the ACT Government's service which includes crisis support, financial counselling and early intervention programs for those at risk of developing an addiction.

The service is funded by a levy on gambling revenue and was officially launched today.

Lisa Short from Mission Australia says it is already receiving two referrals a day.

"We've only been operating for a few weeks. We're quite new to Canberra and we haven't sort of had a lot of advertising out there at all, yet we're getting that many referrals a day so that's quite pleasing," she said.

"We expect that to increase once our profile increases in the community over the next couple of months."

Ms Short says the uptake shows there is a real need for the service.

"People are recognising that their gambling issues may be becoming a problem and they actually want to do something about it. So it's quite promising," she said.

Ms Short says it is the first service of its kind in the capital.

"There have been gambling services in the ACT however not something that is holistic as this service," she said.

"Previously there was one-on-one counselling. We're now doing the whole gamut from early intervention with small children right through to the counselling, but also addressing those other issues," she said.

"So we take a person, it's not just their gambling that we'll be looking at, it's all the other issues that come as a result of that gambling. So we'll be working with people around their homelessness issues or their mental health.

"It's like a one-stop-shop for people who may present at other services - homeless services or mental health services - because they're experiencing that at the moment. But the underlying cause of that has been problem gambling."

Mission Australia is also working with the Australian National University to undertake research into different types of gambling intervention programs.

"We'll be developing that evidence base which is pretty cutting edge in Australia," Ms Short said.


MTV GEEK AND STAN LEE TO ANNOUNCE THE LAUNCH OF “THE SEEKERS” COMIC AND CONTEST AT SAN DIEGO COMIC CON

07.25.11

NEW MULTIPLATORM MUSIC AND COMIC HYBRID “SEPTEMBER MOURNING” WITH TOP COW PRODUCTIONS NEW COMICS “DIVINATION” AND “DEPARTMENT P.U.L.P.”

San Diego, CA- July 23, 2011 – MTV Geek, (http://geek.mtv.com and http://m.mtv.com/geek/), a central multiplatform hub for comic related and inspired content, will announce several new comics, multiplatform experiences, and partnerships at its panel at San Diego Comic Con on Saturday, July 23, including details behind the partnership with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment on the creation and contest for “The Seekers,” in which one illustrator and one writer will be selected by Lee to helm the comic. Additional announcements include a partnership with Top Cow Productions on the forthcoming launch of a music and comic hybrid entitled “SEPTEMBER MOURNING,” as well as the launch of two new original comics “Divination” and “Department P.U.LP.” Since the site’s launch in October during New York Comic Con, MTV Geek has become a leading destination for geek culture with nearly 1 million unique visitors per month.

“These new partnerships underscore our primary mission to provide passionate fans a singular hub that celebrates comics, sci-fi, fantasy, music, horror, toys, tech, and gaming,” said MTV Comics’ Executive Editor Tom Akel.

THE SEEKERS
Comic legend and POW! Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer Stan Lee and MTV Geek’s Tom Akel will announce the creative concept behind the forthcoming comic, “The Seekers” as well as a first-of-its-kind contest where one illustrator and one writer will be selected to helm the series under direction of Lee.

“The Seekers is the story of an ancient people who have been planted on Earth and little by little start to arise. What the human race is not aware of is that their purpose is to destroy the planet thereby eliminating all of mankind! But before you get too depressed, there are a few heroes who will be doing their best to save humanity. And we’re gonna give the most talented artist and writer we can find a chance to write and illustrate The Seekers comic book!” said creator Stan Lee.

Beginning August 1, aspiring illustrators and writers will be able to submit their artwork and/or writing sample via a nomination page on MTV.com. In late August, MTV Geek’s editorial team will narrow the pool down to 20 and feature their work on the site. Visitors will then vote for their favorite and the five most popular artists and writers will move on to the final round. These 10 finalists will have their work seen by Stan Lee and MTV. Finally, at New York Comic Con in October, Stan Lee will select one writer and one illustrator he’s selected to work alongside of him to launch the comic.

SEPTEMBER MOURNING
MTV and Top Cow Productions will announce the forthcoming debut of September Mourning, a multiplatform project that will blend comics and music through video, digital comic books and live events.

Using music, stories, and characters both real and imagined as its driving force, SEPTEMBER MOURNING will utilize all forms of media in ways that are truly groundbreaking. At the core of the project is M Lazar, a real life rocker who creates the music of the band September Mourning as well as provides the inspiration for the fictional character and story which is its backbone. Building on creative pioneered by iconic rockers David Bowie and Kiss, SEPTEMBER MOURNING uses today’s tools to create a cross-platform, trans-media property based on a living person; a reverse-engineered Lara Croft for the rock and roll set. SEPTEMBER MOURNING is “ZIGGY STARDUST” for Millennials.

In the coming months, the character of September, inspired by M Lazar, will be introduced in the hit Top Cow comic “The Darkness” by Marc Silvestri (acclaimed X-Men artist and creator of The Darkness, Witchblade, and Cyber Force).Launching with a live concert by the band by the end of the year, we’ll simultaneously release the first episode of the series on MTV Geek that will tie directly into The Darkness comic, followed by a weekly serialized comic, entitled “September Mourning,” digitally exclusive on MTV Geek, of September’s story.

Each week on the September Mourning hub on the site, MTV Geek will feature a new 2 to 4 minute reality style video series profiling M and the band along with animation that cuts through the psyche of M into the September Mourning universe. Between the weekly comics and video reality series, MTV Geek will host two blogs- one helmed by M and the other by September.

"Some say when it's your time to go, it's your time to go. Soul Reaper September Mourning say; "EFF THAT!" September is just a girl with the power to make things right. Fate is pissed off and Top Cow Productions along with MTV are going to show you why dying is overrated."

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS
In addition to The Seekers and SEPTEMBER MOURNING, MTV Geek will also announce the launch of two new comics: Divination, written by Eisner nominee Val Staples and Gina Iorio and illustrated by Julia Laud, as well as Department P.U.L.P. by Tony Lee and Dan Boultwood.

“Divination,” the first manga from MTV Comics, is the story of Anastasia Kempka, whose teenage life in thrown into chaos after she discovers an eerie connection to the afterlife. “Department PU.L.P.” will build on the universe created in MTV Comics’ “The Gloom,” a series of comedic one-shots beginning with “Dirk Maverick and the Space Badgers From Mars.”

New partnerships and exclusives include “Tanpopo” by Camilla d’Errico; new titles from Act-i-vate (“Megahurtz” by Joe. St. Pierre, and “Lilli MacKenzie and the Mines of Charybdis” by Simon Fraser) as well as a partnership with anime powerhouse Funimation.

These titles will join MTV Geek’s roster of original comics including “Teen Wolf,” “The Gloom,” “Hats,” and “Agent Mom.”

In addition to the MTV Geek panel, MTV will feature a series of panels, press rooms and autograph signings tied to its popular and forthcoming series. Johnny Knoxville (“Jackass”) will sit down with “Beavis and Butthead” creator Mike Judge for a one-on-one Q&A, and fans will be treated to an exclusive first look at scenes from all new episodes. Celebrated horror film writer/director Wes Craven (“Scream,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street”) will talk to the cast and series producers of the new horror-comedy “Death Valley.” Fans will be shown the world premiere this genre-busting series, along with a super tease of what’s to come this season. “Teen Wolf” returns to Comic-Con with an exclusive look at highlights from future episodes, a Q&A with the entire cast and producers, and cast signing of the original comic book. In addition, MTV will screen the first episode of the new animated series, “Good Vibes.”


King abstains from 'Sex and the City' prequel...

LOS ANGELES - The man behind the "Sex and the City" TV series and movies said on Wednesday he is not working on a possible "prequel" and has no interest in one, quashing media speculation about a new chapter in the hugely successful franchise.

"I am not working on any 'Sex and the City' prequel at all," Michael Patrick King told television journalists gathered for a bi-annual meeting of critics.

King brought the original books by Candace Bushnell to life first in the Emmy-award winning HBO series, "Sex and the City," and later in two movies starring Sarah Jessica Parker as New York journalist and fashionista Carrie Bradshaw.

Bushnell, who based the books on her own life, has since written two books, "The Carrie Diaries" and "Summer And the City," about Bradshaw's early life.

In recent weeks there has been widespread speculation of a "Sex and the City 3" that would feature young stars and be based on Bushnell's two new works. But King said he had not read the latest books and was not interested in exploring Carrie Bradshaw's younger self.

"My Carrie Bradshaw started at 33 and I took her to 40...For me the idea of going backward and making her less evolved...is something I don't even imagine doing," he said.

"I am sure Candace did a great job on them (the books) but I have no connection to a prequel," King added.

King is currently working on a new TV comedy for CBS called "2 Broke Girls" about two young waitresses working in a run-down New York diner.

King said the show was the complete antithesis of the glamorous settings and characters of "Sex and the City" .

"'2 Broke Girls' is like the evil king of chick lit," he said, saying the show would be "irreverent, spicy and outrageous." (Credit: Reuters)



Gaming tax changes to boost community coffers...

Local clubs say changes to gaming tax rates equals more money for the local community.

The New South Wales Government has announced tax breaks in exchange for an increase in grants for community and sporting groups.

The gaming manager for the Tamworth-based Wests group, Geoff Shanley, says the changes mean Wests alone will be able to contribute and extra $350,000 over the next four years.

He says the tax break is a also a considerable saving for local clubs

"Its also means that we can donate more to the community and local sporting groups and also maintain the level of staffing," he said.

"We estimate the tax break will be worth more than what we're obliged to give in extra donations to the community but we are a non-profit organisation, so those additional funds will be made available to improve customer services."


Media Man Int iGaming Report For Asia Pacific...

PartyCasino remains the worlds (and Australia's) most popular destination website for online casino games. The casino is one of a number of brands owned by igaming giant Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment. Other brands looking to make a big splash in the Asia Pacific region include the Playtech powered Grand Reef Online Casino and Ireland based Paddy Power. igaming software giants Playtech and Microgaming continue to battle it out, and Richard Branson's Virgin Games continues to investigate ways to accept Australian and New Zealand players. BwinParty's PartyCasino.com continues to domination online casino awards and maintains the stranglehold on the online casino sector, while its PartyPoker.com and World Poker Tour brands continue to also perform well. World Poker Tour has also recently inked a deal with innovative online poker room PKR.com, which looks to cause other online poker competitors a few headaches. Stay tuned for more details.


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

Thor and X-Men: First Class got great reviews and their 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 in 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!

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