News, entertainment, opinion, and whatever sparks interest in Burbank the Media City
Fronnie Lewis - Editor

Archive | July, 2008

Top Five at the Box Office

No joke.  “The Dark Knight” has leaped over the $300 million mark without slowing down one bit. “The Dark Knight” continued to break-records and dominate the domestic box office over the weekend. The Batman sequel grabbed the title of best second weekend ever with a $75.6 million haul to hold onto the number one spot at the box office.  That pushed the film’s domestic total to $314.2 million and the superhero flick is still going strong. “The Dark Knight” crossed the $300 million mark in 10 days beating the 2006 record set by “Pirates of the... Read More →

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New developments in the actors’ contract battle

      Over the weekend, SAG’s National Negotiating Committee got some heavyweight support from the union’s National Board of Directors. On Saturday, July 26 the board passed a resolution reaffirming the importance of jurisdiction over all new media productions as well as residuals for all made-for-new media programs. The resolution passed unanimously 68-to-zip. This is a vote of confidence for the SAG negotiators who have championed these issues. The union negotiators claim the producers’ “final offer” lagged in these areas therefore, they rejected it. In a press release... Read More →

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A time to remember

A man pauses to reflect near a gravesite during the March 30 public visitation at struggling Grand View Memorial Park cemetery in Glendale. This visitor is one of the lucky ones. He managed to find the grave marker or at least the general area he was looking for despite the thick layers of wild grasses, weeds, and debris. I have been to two recent visitations at this 124-year-old neighborhood cemetery. Each time, I have spotted eager and diligent visitors cleaning the gravesites, markers, and headstones. A job that should be handled... Read More →

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Movie Deals

Tyler Perry          Tobey Maguire A number of film deals announced this week. Here are some that caught my attention. Tyler Perry signs a new three-year first-look deal with Lionsgate for at least three more films. Lionsgate has distributed five Perry films starting with “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” in 2005. The prolific filmmaker has “The Family That Preys,” coming out in September. According to Lionsgate, Perry films have grossed nearly $250 million at the box office and sold more than 25 million units on... Read More →

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“The Dark Knight”: mo’ money, ticket deals & Bale’s arrest

“The Dark Knight” continues to surpass expectations. On Monday, the Batman sequel’s record-breaking domestic weekend box office got bumped up from $155 million to a mighty $158.3 million. “The Dark Knight” is racking up other records as well to go along with the biggest opening ever for a three-day weekend. Also on Monday, the film earned $24.6 million — that’s the best gross ever for a non-holiday Monday. “The Dark Knight” broke through the $200 million barrier on Tuesday and rung-up more than $18 million for screenings yesterday.... Read More →

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WNBA hands out punishment for on-court melee

The WNBA wasted no time in dealing with the bench-clearing brawl between the L.A. Sparks and the Detroit Shock on Tuesday night. A free-for-all fight is not unusual in male sports; however, this is the first time in memory it has happened in the WNBA. Today, WNBA President Donna Orender slapped 10 players and an assistant coach with game suspensions. In a statement on the WNBA website Orender called the brawl “… inexcusable and in no way indicative of what the league stands for. We hold our players... Read More →

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L.A. Sparks’ Lisa Leslie and teammates brawl on the court

Google Image Today WNBA officials reportedly are investigating the bench-clearing melee at The Palace of Auburn Hills, last night. It happened during the final seconds of the televised game between the L.A. Sparks and Detroit Shock. It started when Sparks’ Candace Parker and Detroit’s Plenette Pierson got tangled up and tumbled to the hardwood. Parker and Pierson got into a scuffle. Players from both benches rushed over, among them Lisa Leslie. That’s when Leslie was apparently pushed to the floor by Shock Assistant Coach, Rick Mahorn. Leslie was... Read More →

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Stephen King to judge book trailer contest

Calling all amateur and professional filmmakers! Dorchester Publishing and book trailer producer Circle of Seven Productions are looking for some top-notch book trailers based on novels in the Shomi series. The book series is Dorchester’s line of speculative romances. According to Dorchester executive Brooke Borneman, the Shomi books have received comparisons to films like “Blade Runner” and “The Matrix.” Best-selling novelist Stephen King has agreed to select the best trailer, which will be shown at a movie premiere in New York as well as in the market... Read More →

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Community Calendar

“The Sounds of Summer” concert series in Burbank continues on Tuesday, August 12, with America’s Premier Doo-Wop Group, The Alley Cats. Bring a picnic, bring a blanket or a lawn chair for an evening of fun. The concert kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Northwest Branch Library, 3323 West Victory Blvd. Call 818-238-5640 for more information. Contributed by Louise Paziak, Publicity Maven for the Burbank Libraries.

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Jay Leno gets the boot from “The Tonight Show”

Google Image It’s official.  NBC Executives announced today that long-time “Tonight Show” host and funnyman, Jay Leno will be signing off on Friday, May 29, 2009. Leno’s replacement, “Late Night” talker Conan O’Brien will take over the “Tonight Show” desk the following Monday, June first. NBC has made no secret of its plans to dump Leno for O’Brien. Industry watchers as well as “Tonight Show” fans have debated the move for sometime. No one really knows what will happen. We will have to wait and see if the... Read More →


The Dark Knight rolls into history

Google Image “The Dark Knight” is the new king of the box office. The Batman sequel became the event movie to see this weekend. The film rolled right over the competition for a money haul estimated at a staggering $155.4 million for the highest weekend opening ever. “The Dark Knight” snatched the title from the previous winner, “Spider-Man 3” which opened at $151.1 million in May 2007. More later on “The Dark Knight” and the weekend box office.  

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The Dark Knight – A Record Breaker!

Google Image   The first day out of the gate, the new Batman movie exploded and raced into the record books. “The Dark Knight” opened yesterday and Warner Bros. says the film earned an estimated $66.4 million. That’s a new single-day box office record! Another film headlined by a comic book crusader, “Spider-Man 3” set the previous record of $59. 8 million, last year. “The Dark Knight” has a good chance of crashing through some other records as well this weekend. The demand for this film... Read More →

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Bat Fever!

Google Image The new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight,” starring Christian Bale opens today and it has all the makings of a box office mega-hit. Interest in this follow-up to “Batman Begins” has been running high for months. Then the untimely death of actor Heath Ledger in January at the age of 28 ramped up interest even more. Ledger reportedly gives a powerful performance as Batman nemesis, The Joker. News stories are coming out today about huge advance ticket sales and long lines at early morning screenings of “The Dark... Read More →

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Murder Abroad

Mystery author Bruce Cook with a fan at a book signing. Love mysteries and exotic locales, then check out this event tomorrow, July 19, at the Buena Vista Branch Library in Burbank from 2-4 p.m. A panel of mystery authors will discuss their books, as well as the fun and problems of setting their plots and crime scenes in far away places. On the panel will be Eric Stone (Grave Imports), Aileen Baron (The Gold of Thrace), Patricia Wynn (The Motive from the Deed), Gay Toltl Kinman (Death... Read More →

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War of the words

No new talks scheduled between SAG and the AMPTP, but the rumble over the actors’ contract flared up again today. This time the battleground was the Internet. SAG sent out an e-mail titled, “It’s Not New Media – It’s Now Media” to its members explaining why the studio bosses’ final offer is not good enough. The e-mail from National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Doug Allen explained why the so-called “new media template” worked for the DGA and the WGA, but not for actors. One reason, according... Read More →

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Big day in Hollywood

The Primetime TV Emmy nominations were announced this morning. The biggest surprise — a very impressive showing by basic cable programmers. In fact, the HBO presidential series, “John Adams” received the most nominations of any program with 23. Also, up for best drama series two first-year cable shows AMC’s “Mad Men,” and FX’s “Damages.” This is the first time cable has cracked the drama series category. “Mad Men” collected the most nominations of any drama with 16. “Damages” earned seven nominations including best actress for Glenn Close. A... Read More →

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Stalemate remains in Hollywood negotiations

       SAG and the AMPTP met for a few hours in a sidebar today, but apparently little progress was made. The meeting took place at 1 p.m. in AMPTP’s Sherman Oaks headquarters. SAG sent out a very brief press release tonight — only about four lines. It stated both parties agreed to keep the contents of the meeting confidential. Still, a clue was reportedly dropped on where those talks stand. In an article on its website tonight, Variety says both sides refused to discuss details, but the AMPTP revealed that no further meetings have been... Read More →

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Another deal for screenwriter Diablo Cody

             Google Images Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody has sealed another script deal with movie mogul, Steven Spielberg. Cody is the blogger, former ad agency typist, ex-stripper, and ex-phone sex worker who wrote the screenplay for the movie, “Juno.” It was Cody’s first script. “Juno” won the gold statuette for best original screenplay at the 80th Annual Academy Awards ceremony back in March. Since then Cody has been racking up the deals in Hollywood. Today Variety described the new deal as an untitled comedy script for DreamWorks that is based on... Read More →

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Coffee & Conversation

Photo courtesy Sheila Lowe Handwriting expert and book author Sheila Lowe will be joining a panel discussion title “A Slight Case of Murder,” on Saturday, August 2 in Burbank. This event is presented by Sisters in Crime/LA, a local mystery writers’ group. Lowe has parlayed 30 plus years of experience in the handwriting field into a very successful business with clients in the judicial system as well as private industry. Also, her background came in very handy when Lowe created a mystery novel series with a sleuth named... Read More →

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New anti-smoking campaign for some Hollywood movies

Movies aimed at the younger generation will soon carry anti-smoking public service announcements when they are released on DVD. The Los Angeles-based Entertainment Industry Foundation announced a new initiative to include the special PSAs on movies that have scenes of tobacco use and are rated G, PG, and PG-13. The PSAs will appear in the opening minutes of all new youth-friendly films released by Paramount, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, the Walt Disney Company, and Warner Bros. At the end of each thirty second anti-smoking PSA there will... Read More →

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Sign of confusion

  This hands free phone sign reminder for drivers may have caused some double takes. The sign near the border of Glendale and Burbank, on San Fernando Road at Spazier Avenue, had a misspelling in the first word the first time I spotted it. Check out the photo at the top taken the week of June 23. I took more snapshots of the same sign around July 8. It appears that later the second “h” in the first word had been changed to... Read More →

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