Hundreds Join Hollywood

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Lionsgate may not want any turbulence as it looks for a buyer, but an executive reshuffling is in the works, writes Kim Masters: 

Lionsgate shuffle: Sources say Motion Picture Group co-president Erik Feig has been raising money to launch a new company focused on youth-oriented projects, while Motion Picture Group co-chairman Patrick Wachsberger also plans to leave within months. Lionsgate is likely to be a major investor in Feig's company.

An executive with knowledge of the situation says Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and vice chairman Michael Burns had hoped Feig would remain for another year, presumably to give them time to pursue a sale without any major changes at the company that could raise concerns for a prospective buyer.

What they'd be losing: Feig has championed such winners as La La Land, which grossed $446 million worldwide on a $30 million budget, and the Julia Roberts drama Wonder, which pulled in $265 million on a $20 million budget.

Could a sale be near? With consolidation underway in the industry, Lionsgate may feel that selling is urgent and the iron is fairly hot. But the company's stock recently dropped sharply after the company adjusted earnings... Full story.

Black Panther's final weekend gross...

And the new number is: $242 million, updated after the totals for a record-breaking holiday Monday. That's enough to pass Star Wars: The Last Jedi as the second-highest four-day gross of all time (behind The Force Awakens). Globally, it's $426.6 million.

Ryan Coogler's open letter: "I am struggling to find the words to express my gratitude at this moment, but I will try," writes the filmmaker. "Deep down we all hoped that people would come to see a film about a fictional country on the continent of Africa, made up of a cast of people of African descent." Full letter.

Disney's Black Panther playbook: “The biggest thing for the campaign was really super-serving black moviegoers while also making it the broadest moviegoing event,” says Disney marketing executive vp Asad Ayaz, who handles Marvel titles. “This wasn’t just for our core Marvel fans. We went about making it feel like a cultural event." Full story.

The Erik Killmonger debate: Michael B. Jordan's villain is inspiring plenty of think pieces. >The Atlantic: "The tragedy of Erik Killmonger." >The New Yorker: "On Killmonger, the American villain of Black Panther." >The Ringer: "Was Erik Killmonger right?" >Esquire: "Does the film ask its audience to root for the wrong character?"

Want to fly to Wakanda? Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson is offering flights to the fictional African nation. Sure, it was a joke, but a pretty good one.

A depressing new study...

Women in Hollywood: Ninety-four percent of women working in entertainment have experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault during their careers, according to a new survey of hundreds of women in Hollywood. The most frequent incidents of harassment in the Hollywood workplace are unwelcome sexual comments, jokes or gestures directed at a woman or about a woman (87 percent of respondents said they experienced such comments).

Other experiences reported by the majority of respondents include unwanted sexual comments (75 percent of respondents saw or experienced them), "being touched in a sexual way" (69 percent), witnessing colleagues advancing in the workplace due to sexual relationships with higher-ups (65 percent) and being propositioned for a sexual activity in the workplace (64 percent). Full results.

+ A new Weinstein doc: The U.K.'s Working With Weinstein, which debuted on Channel 4 this week, showcases graphic, firsthand employee accounts of Harvey Weinstein's alleged history of harassment and assault. Details.

George and Amal's activism...

Big donation: George and Amal Clooney kicked off a wave of giving by announcing a $500,000 donation to March for Our Lives, the student-led demonstration organized by the Stoneman Douglas High kids. The couple will be marching as well.

Who followed: Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw each opened up their pocketbooks as well.

Sean Hannity has thoughts: "My attitude is, 'Run, George, run,'" Hannity said on his radio show in response to The Drudge Report's "Clooney 2020?" headline. "If George Clooney wants to run, I'm all for it.... I think Oprah Winfrey would be infinitely better as a candidate than George Clooney."

News from the Academy...

Solidarity: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is voicing its support of the filmmaking team behind the nominated documentary Last Men in Aleppo that won't be able to attend the Oscars due to travel restrictions. "As supporters of filmmakers — and the human rights of all people — we stand in solidarity," the Academy said in a statement.

Director talk...

From Paddington to Pinocchio: Disney is tapping Paul King, the director of the acclaimed Paddington films, to direct its live-action reimagining of Pinocchio, on which the studio is hoping to start production in the fall.

From Lego Batman to Dungeons & Dragons: Chris McKay may be carving out a niche for bringing games to life: The Lego Batman helmer is in talks to take the reins on Paramount's upcoming D&D movie, slated for a 2021 release.

Elsewhere in film...

Will Jessica Chastain actually star in It: Chapter 2? Maybe! The Internet's dream casting for the grown-up version of Beverly may come true, as Chastain is currently in talks for the sequel. 

Viola Davis's Amazon movie: The actress is attached to star in Troupe Zero, an Amazon Studios film written by Beasts of the Southern Wild scribe Lucy Alibar. 

Robert Rodriguez's next sci-fi thriller: The director is teaming up with creature feature writer Max Borenstein for Hypnotic, described as a grounded cop thriller with sci-fi elements.

Jennifer Lopez's rom-com gets a date: STX will release Second Act on Nov. 21. The film also stars Milo Ventimiglia, Leah Remini and Vanessa Hudgens. 

Paramount's Sonic the Hedgehog movie gets a date, too: It'll open Nov. 15, 2019. Deadpool director Tim Miller is executive producing.

Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time soundtrack: She convinced Sade to write an original song — and Sade said yes, much to DuVernay's surprise. Sia will also be providing an original song, the director revealed.

Netflix picks up White Fang: The animated feature, which premiered at Sundance, is based on the Jack London story. The streamer is planning to release it this year.

Annihilation, reviewed. "Annihilation is a ferocious, feral, female-centric update of fearsome monster classics like The Thing and Alien," Todd McCarthy writes of the Natalie Portman-starring film. "Writer-director Alex Garland shows an unerring hand in building a sense of unease about what evil lurks in a forest, and then making it pay off." Full review.

Speaking of Natalie Portman: She's come to realize it was a bad idea to sign a Hollywood petition supporting Roman Polanski back in 2009. "I very much regret it. I take responsibility for not thinking about it enough," Portman told BuzzFeed. "Someone I respected gave it to me, and said, 'I signed this. Will you, too?' And I was like, 'Sure.'"

The Costume Designers Guild Awards...

And the winners are: As a precursor to the Oscars, Tuesday's CDGA honored such Oscar-nominated films as

I, Tonya

(Excellence in Contemporary Film),

The Shape of Water

(Excellence in Period Film) and

Wonder Woman

(Excellence in Sci-Fi/Fantasy). Full winners list.

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Source : https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/what-matters-hollywood-today-today-entertainment-newsletter-2-21-2018-1086516

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