By David Poland email@example.com
End of Days: April 29, 2011
I wish I really knew what the wave of entertainment media crazy means. The Elvis Mitchell drama, reports that Jay Penske will throw away more of his fortune on Variety, and now, the return of Anita Busch, nine years after she left entertainment journalism. Anita’s story is not unlike Elvis’, in that there was and will now be a lot of guessing about what it true and what is just giddily repeated rumor.
All I can offer is that Anita was a neurotic handful back in the day, and whether her sense of what was happening to her was accurate or inaccurate, she definitely suffered from the experience. Is anyone really actionable aside from Pellicano and his employees? Magic Eight Ball says, “Unlikely.”
Of course, one has to love the idea of Jay Penske being unable to make money on Deadline, Movieline, et al, and going deeper in with Variety. It’s the entertainment news version of Donald Trump running for President… and like that, it’s not too likely to happen. But the thought is fantastic! Nikki Finke as the agoraphobic Charles Foster Krazy would make putting up with the ignorant press hype worth enduring. And Penske could finally take his well-earned position next to Sam Zell as a media mogul.
Meanwhile, while I am bullish on Paramount/Viacom B in 2011, the spin on this week’s quarterly that has been gobbled up by the press is pathetic. Love Rango, but Paramount will have more net profit on distribution only on DWA’s How To Train Your Dragon than on Rango. And there is no reason to assume Rango can be repeated. Also the bottom line of this quarter and the quarter before last year were skewed significantly by a lack
of theatrical product and a massive DVD push, followed by a good quarter that included the re-purchase of the $900m DreamWorks library.
I am not saying that Paramount will not do better under Grey than ever this year… just that the increase over 2010 this last quarter is a paper tiger.
I’m happy to see that Soderbergh’s retirement was a figment of his own imagination.
Fast Five seems to be ushering a new era of theatrical domination!!! The film has a good shot at breaking the record for an April opening… and may even double the record best opening for the second half of April, The Scorpion King. (Yes… The unbridled enthusiasm is sarcasm… The record possibilities are not… congrats to Universal… but there is nothing surprising about a well-marketed, commercially appealing film opening big. And looking forward to the July 4 weekend premiere of the $30 VOD… which no one will buy as they head to the multiplex to see Trannies 3.)