Hollywood is learning the hard way that big name movie stars don’t always guarantee the success of a tentpole release. This summer at least three mega-budget titles have tanked; Will Smith couldn’t save “After Earth”, Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum couldn’t rescue “White House Down” and even the casting of Johnny Depp as Tonto wasn’t enough to rustle up an audience for “The Lone Ranger”.
On the other hand, filmmaker Lee Daniels’ next film may not have a blockbuster-size budget, but it does feature an all-star cast that includes the likes of Forest Whitaker, Robin Williams and Oprah Winfrey. Now all it needs is a new name, since a 1916 Warner Bros. short has already laid claim to “The Butler” causing Daniels and distributor The Weinstein Company to call out the lawyers.
Meanwhile, as we await the court’s verdict in the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Apple over the pricing of e-books, it turns out Amazon has quietly been raising the ante on a lot of titles, especially those from academic and small presses.
Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including the Academy’s new members, Jennifer Lopez in Turkmenistan and the cost of purchasing a Tony Award.
‘Lone Ranger’ Marks Third Big-Budget Bomb of Summer
Masked Lawman Stumbles At Box Office
As Competition Wanes, Amazon Cuts Back Its Discounts
Why Big Publishers Think Genre Fiction Like Sci-Fi Is the Future of E-Books
Broadway Box Office Mints a Dozen Millionaires
Broadway Success Has A Price: $2,500
BBC Gives Pause Button For 3-D
RIAA Changes Platinum Policy
Jennifer Lopez Performs At Birthday Party For Dictator
OWN To Air All My Children, OLTL
Pixar Sequels Not The Studio’s Emphasis
O’Brien Joins Al Jazeera
Megyn Kelly Moving to Fox News Primetime
Dome Stifles Competition
Pandora Bad For Artists
Ex-Pandora Staffer, Musician Jonathan Segel Warns Against “Pandora Groupthink”
NBC Snags Mark Burnett Bible Follow-up
Academy Invites New Members
Why This Year’s Academy Invitations Give Me Hope (Analysis)
Elmo Puppeteer Escapes Lawsuits
David Boies Charges Extortion As He Returns Fire In ‘The Butler’ Spat Between Warner Bros And The Weinstein Company
‘The Butler’ Battle: Director Lee Daniels Pleads His Case To Warner Bros.’ Kevin Tsujihara
MGMT Set Release Date for New Album