“This is the just the beginning — a template, if you will. You can probably guess what might be coming next.”
A new generation of Twilight with baby vampire growing up and marrying werewolf? That is my guess.
LIONSGATE TEAMS WITH STEPHENIE MEYER, FACEBOOK AND WOMEN IN FILM TO CREATE SHORT FILMS COMPETITION BASED ON CHARACTERS FROM THE WORLD OF TWILIGHT
PR Newswire Lionsgate
11 hours ago
Winning Short Films by Aspiring Female Filmmakers to be Chosen By Star-Studded Award-Winning Female Panelists
Shorts will Premiere Exclusively on Facebook Next Year
VANCOUVER, British Columbia and SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its ongoing effort to enhance its diverse portfolio of premium content, Lionsgate (LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, is teaming with Facebook, the prestigious Women In Film organization, the crowdsourcing platform Tongal and best-selling Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer to create and manage a social media campaign to develop and produce a series of short films directed by aspiring female filmmakers. The campaign, called "The Storytellers – New Creative Voices of The Twilight Saga," will include films based on a broad spectrum of characters from the Twilight universe, with guidance provided by Meyer's encyclopedic The Twilight Saga: Official Illustrated Guide.
.Courtesy of Lionsgate.
The campaign will center on a multiphase contest culminating in the selection of at least five aspiring female filmmakers to direct short films based on characters from the Twilight universe. The films will be produced and directed with the mentorship of a blue chip panel of advisors, which will ultimately select the winning shorts that will premiere exclusively on the Facebook platform next year. The star-studded group of female panelists will include Stephenie Meyer, actress Kristen Stewart, Academy Award winners Kate Winslet and Octavia Spencer, Jennifer Lee, the award-winning writer and one of the directors of Disney's global blockbuster Frozen, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, Emmy Award-winning actress Julie Bowen, and Women In Film President Cathy Schulman.
Five winning shorts will be financed through production advances, and fans will help select a grand prize winning filmmaker who will receive a cash prize and career opportunities. The short film development and production process will involve extensive fan engagement on the Facebook and Tongal platforms.
"More people than ever before are creating, discovering and engaging with videos on Facebook," said Facebook Vice President of Partnerships Dan Rose. "This collaboration with Stephenie Meyer, Lionsgate and Women In Film is a great opportunity to engage Twilight's massive global audience on Facebook through an innovative premium video program."
"We're delighted to expand our longstanding relationship with Stephenie and confident that her participation in the Twilight short films campaign will add an exciting new dimension to the incredible world she has created as an author and producer," said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns. "Our partnership with Facebook and Women In Film underscores the opportunities for growing our franchises in exciting new directions, and we're pleased to introduce fresh creative talent to the Twilight universe as part of our commitment to female empowerment in front of and behind the camera."
"Accessing Hollywood is a momentous challenge, especially for aspiring female filmmakers, so I'm thrilled that Women In Film has been invited to join Stephenie Meyer, Lionsgate and Facebook to empower new storytellers with diverse voices," said WIF President Cathy Schulman. "Women In Film is proud to help recruit and mentor female filmmakers as part of a project that illustrates the power of a beloved book and movie franchise to lessen the gender gap in our film community and provide a platform for women's perspectives to be seen and heard."
"The female voice is something that has become more and more important to me as I've worked in the film industry," said Meyer. "I'm honored to be working with Women In Film, Lionsgate, and Facebook on a project dedicated to giving more women a chance to be heard creatively."
9/29/2014 10:00 EDT - Lions Gate (LGF) shares up 1.8%, earlier up more than 3%, perhaps as investors consider it a buyout target following reports that SoftBank is talking to DreamWorks Animation (DWA) about a possible buyout. Analysts had been looking for months at Vancouver-based (LGF) as a potential tax inversion target for a US company. Still Don Bilson, head of event-driven research at Gordon Haskett Research Advisors, who has often pointed to LGF as a target in his newsletter and did so again this morning, cited Netflix(NFLX) as a potential buyer. Mr. Bilson said that one issue with a possible takeover is the company's chairman and 37% owner Mark Rachesky. "We figure Rachesky would have to be blown away by an offer."
In recent months, reports have linked SoftBank to a range of potential targets, including U.S.-based Internet company Yahoo Inc., YHOO +4.39% British mobile operator Vodafone Group VOD.LN +0.10% PLC, Mexican wireless carrier Grupo Iusacell SA de CV and Line Corp., the Japanese operator of a fast-growing mobile messaging service. SoftBank already owns a stake in Yahoo Japan Corp. 4689.TO -0.72%
But business associates of Mr. Son say he remains attracted to the growth potential of the U.S. despite the T-Mobile setback. He wants to expand SoftBank's media content, seeing that as a way to expand by giving SoftBank's mobile networks a competitive edge, they say.
To expand digital content, SoftBank in July hired Nikesh Arora, one of the driving forces behind the growth of Google Inc. GOOGL +0.45% 's lucrative search advertising business. The discussions between SoftBank and DreamWorks Animation began advancing with his arrival, one of the people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Son has met with Mr. Katzenberg, though Mr. Arora has been leading the talks, the person said.
SoftBank last month acquired control of Supercell Oy, a Finland-based mobile-game company that created titles such as "Clash of Clans.'' SoftBank also owns a controlling sake in Japan's GungHo Online Entertainment Inc., the developer of "Puzzle & Dragons." Such investments have made SoftBank the top-grossing provider of mobile-game applications for smartphones world-wide, according to research firm App Annie.
Yet efforts by telecoms and media companies to bring content and distribution under the same roof often have failed to live up to expectations. France's Vivendi SA VIV.FR +0.58% in 2004 sold control of its Hollywood assets to General Electric Co. GE +0.31% , only four years after acquiring them. And Japan's Sony Corp. 6758.TO +1.76% has struggled to reap the benefits of owning electronics and entertainment arms.
Updated Sept. 28, 2014 6:38 p.m. ET
SoftBank Corp. 9984.TO -0.81% is in talks to buy or otherwise link up with DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., DWA +0.58% people familiar with the negotiations said, a deal that could help the Japanese company and the Hollywood studio as they seek new ways to compete with rivals world-wide.
Coming nearly two months after SoftBank dropped a possible bid for T-Mobile US Inc., TMUS +1.44% a DreamWorks Animation deal could give the conglomerate's Sprint Corp. S +0.47% unit another way to try to challenge top U.S. mobile carriers AT&T Inc. T +0.57% and Verizon Communications Inc. VZ +0.32%
Rather than directly expand his telecommunications network, SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son now appears to be focusing more on acquiring content creators, mostly videogame studios so far, whose products can be used to woo potential mobile subscribers.
Mr. Son early last month decided against bidding for T-Mobile, the fourth-largest U.S. cellular operator, and combining it with No. 3 Sprint, amid antitrust concerns in Washington.
SoftBank is well positioned for acquisitions in part because of billions of dollars in paper gains from the recent initial public offering of Chinese Internet company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., of which SoftBank owns 32%.
DreamWorks Animation in talks to sell to Japan's SoftBank
DreamWorks Animation, the studio behind the "Shrek," "Kung #$%$ Panda" and "Madagascar" movies, is in talks to sell the company to Japanese telecommunications firm SoftBank Corp., according to a person familiar with the talks.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of the Glendale studio, has been in discussions to sell the company he launched twenty years ago to SoftBank, which owns Sprint Corp. and recently dropped a bid to acquire T-Mobile.
DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg talks about advancements in animation during the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. (Julie Jacobson / Associated Press)
The DreamWorks board held a meeting Thursday to consider an offer by SoftBank to buy DreamWorks for $32 a share, well above the company's current share price, which closed at $22.36 on Friday, according to the person, who was not authorized to discuss the talks.
A spokeswoman for DreamWorks Animation said she could not comment on "rumors and speculation."
lRelated DreamWorks Animation, Disney sued over alleged no-poaching scheme
DreamWorks Animation, Disney sued over alleged no-poaching scheme
SEE ALL RELATED
Katzenberg considered selling the company two years ago but withdrew those plans to focus on building the business into a broad-based studio with interests in television, theme parks, live entertainment and digital media. Last year, it bought YouTube teen network AwesomenessTV for $33 million in cash.
In an interview with The Times this summer, Katzenberg said he was no longer looking to sell the studio but focusing on growing its businesses.
The talks with SoftBank come as DreamWorks Animation has been attempting to diversify its operations after a string of box-office misfires over the last two years that rattled investors and caused a sharp decline in the company's share price.
DreamWorks Animation appoints new chief financial officer
DreamWorks Animation appoints new chief financial officer
Earlier this year, the company took a $57-million write-down for "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," the third write-down in less than two years for the studio. After its 2013 summer hit "The Croods," DreamWorks took a $13.5-million charge this year on its snail comedy "Turbo." And last year, DreamWorks reported an $87-million write-down for "Rise of the Guardians." The flop was one reason DreamWorks laid off about 350 employees.
The company scored a hit with its latest movie, "How to Train Your Dragon 2," which did big business in China.
What da heck does "charge" and "write down" mean? Use normal terms LAT please!
AT 10:38 AM SEPTEMBER 28, 2014
ADD A COMMENTSEE ALL COMMENTS
DreamWorks Animation was founded twenty years ago as part of the studio created by Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg. The company was spun off as a separate public company in 2004.
Since then, the company has evolved from a fledgling studio into a $700-million-a-year multimedia powerhouse and one of the industry's leading animation companies.
But Katzenberg has come under growing pressure to improve DreamWorks' performance as it faces growing competition from rival studios. The company posted a $15.4 million loss in the second quarter.
SoftBank has been on the lookout for acquisitions. Last year, the company made an unsuccessful attempt to buy Universal Music Group from Vivendi. SoftBank recently drew attention for its $20-million investment in Chinese Internet giant Alibaba.
SoftBank owns companies or pieces of them in wireless, broadband, Internet, e-commerce and other tech-economy sectors, including a majority share in U.S. cellphone carrier Sprint.
Recently, SoftBank hired Nikesh Arora, a business development hotshot who spent ten years at Google, to engineer new deals for SoftBank. If the DreamWorks Animation deal pans out, SoftBank will have more content to stream over its pipelines.
The deal talks were first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.
Boogins...OT...are you still in MACK? I was in it in 2013 when we corresponded about MM-398 and now the new Baxter deal to commercialize it in Europe has me back in it. Would appreciate your perspective on that board as I haven't seen any posts from you there lately.
The new study finds a convincing, and apparently strong, link between benzodiazepines and Alzheimer’s disease. IMO, It is an endless pill popping cycle, take anti-anxiety meds long term to help you feel more comfortable mentally, only to get Alzheimer's and agitation down the road, which then needs to be treated with something else.
Thanks for your response. Just as you posted, I was reading how Sanofi wants to be a leader in the MS space:
I get the feeling that they did not prioritize it. The CEO said that it was very important to find a partner that would prioritize MACK's first to market goal. Apparently, MACK is very confident with the diagnostic tools it is developing to focus on the right population that will benefit form MM-121 in the ErbB3 competitive space. Could it be that Sanofi was dragging their feet on the process and MACK initiated the process to get a new partner that would align its priorities with MACK?
IMO, it broke a supporting trend line on good volume. I am cautious that we may see sub 30 in the short term. But you never know. GL
As soon as price tries to recover, it is being swatted down, much like playing Whac-A-Mole.
Lionsgate chief Zygi Kamasa: 'Why can’t Britain be the new Hollywood?'
The chief executive of film distributor Lionsgate explains why more movies should be both made and set in the UK and why ITV and BSkyB should play their part
IAN BURRELL Author Biography Thursday 18 September 2014
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One of the leading figures in the British film industry has called on the television broadcasters ITV and BSkyB to take a proactive role in the production of independent UK-based movies.
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Zygi Kamasa, chief executive of the British arm of Lionsgate, the California-based entertainment company, said the most profitable commercial broadcasters should do more to address a shortfall in UK films. “The BBC and Channel 4 support film – I don’t see why ITV and Sky could not emulate that. This has been raised with them over the last 10 years. The broadcasters should do more to support British film,” he said.
“ITV has never had the same remit as the BBC or Channel 4, while Sky has invested in TV production but doesn’t do direct investment in British feature films. That is something that can be dramatically improved.”
Mr Kamasa described the tax credit system for British film production as a “huge boost” and claimed there was “an opportunity” for broadcasters to meet an unfulfilled demand for films set in the UK. “We do market research of up to 2,000 people and they all say we are under-served – there are not enough British movies on TV, DVD or in cinema. It’s remarkable how patriotic the audiences are. They want to see films about them.”
Lionsgate, which generates annual global revenues of $2bn (£1.2bn), last month relocated its international sales operations from California to the UK in recognition of London’s growing importance as a global film hub.
Zygi Kamasa (right) is the chief executive of Lionsgate UK Zygi Kamasa (right) is the chief executive of Lionsgate UK (Getty Images)
Mr Kamasa said Lionsgate had been influential in persuading producers of three new major film productions to make the movies in the UK rather than the US. The sequel to Now You See Me, the thriller starring Woody Harrelson and Morgan Freeman, will be filmed in London with a $100m budget. Meanwhile, London Has Fallen is a $100m upcoming follow-up to the action thriller Olympus Has Fallen and will also star Freeman, alongside Gerald Butler. It is due to be shown in October 2015.
“London is arguably the best city in the world [for film making], with an amazing tax credit system,” said Mr Kamasa. “We have some of the best crew, the best cameramen and facilities. They looked at Rome and Paris but, with no disrespect to the Italian and French film industries, they don’t have the crews that we have got.”
The third film, Criminal, a $45m action thriller starring Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Costner, was originally set in New York. “There was an opportunity here with the great crew we have in the UK and to take advantage of the tax credit, and we said: ‘Why not bring the story to London with the CIA operatives working out of the US embassy?’ ”
Lionsgate is funding eight UK independent films, including A Little Chaos, starring Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman and due for release early next year. Mr Kamasa said such projects were being funded through profits made from more mainstream films such as The Expendables 3, which Lionsgate made with the Israeli-born film producer Avi Lerner and which is expected to make $250m worldwide.
The third film, Criminal, a $45m action thriller starring Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Costner, was originally set in New York The third film, Criminal, a $45m action thriller starring Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Costner, was originally set in New York (Getty Images)
The company is also currently involved in making a television drama called The Royals, which stars Liz Hurley as a queen with two teenage children. It’s the first scripted drama for the American cable network E!, which is owned by NBC Universal. The show is being filmed at studios in East London and Mr Kamasa said he was hopeful that Lionsgate UK would be involved in “five, six or seven” projects of similar scale next year.
Mr Kamasa was co-founder of the distribution company Redbus Film, later acquired by Lionsgate, and has a long list of executive production credits on films including Bend It Like Beckham and Filth.
However, his pleas to the broadcasters do not yet seem to be finding a receptive audience. Film is a big part of BSkyB’s strategy and it offers customers over 800 movies at any time. It has deals with the six big Hollywood studios, producing rights revenues that flow into the British film business. A spokesperson said: “Sky is a major supporter of the creative industries, investing a record £600m in home-grown content this year. We’ve had a great reaction to our quality British drama and comedy, and we’ve chosen to focus on doing more in these areas.”
ITV said its “strategic focus is on television production, both in the UK and internationally, and we have no current plans to branch out into film”. Last year, though, it acquired Big Talk, which has a film production arm and made Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead.
The director’s cut: Zygi Kamasa
Zygi Kamasa is the chief executive of Lionsgate UK, one of the leading independent distributors in the UK.
He began his film career in 1993 as the founder and managing director of Scorpio Productions, based at Pinewood Studios. In 1998 he co-founded the independent company Redbus Film Distribution.
Through Redbus to Lionsgate UK, Mr Kamasa has overseen the investment, production and distribution for more than 350 films and has had in excess of 150 top 10 box-office hits in the UK, including The Hurt Locker. Most recently, he has made investing in UK projects a key part of his strategy, starting with Lasse Hallstrom’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, and Great Expectations with Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter.
SEPTEMBER 20, 2014
CHINA’S ALIBABA MAY BE READYING MAJOR HOLLYWOOD ASSAULT
Alibaba’s massive IPO will give a major boost to its plans to expand into the film business, with the Chinese e-commerce giant expected to focus on a move into Hollywood as part of its growth strategy.
Analysts say once the company has finished the work of launching the world’s biggest stock market listing, the industry can expect a major push into movies. Company founder Jack Ma, a huge fan of Forrest Gump, has made it clear he sees a future for Alibaba in entertainment.
“Alibaba has made some investments already in the entertainment industry, including [the acquisition of] a stake in Youku Tudou,” independent e-commerce analyst Li Chengdong tells The Hollywood Reporter. “After the IPO, Alibaba will be so deep-pocketed that it is able to lay out the whole industry chain and make forays into all sorts of businesses.”
Li predicts that Alibaba will put more emphasis on developing good content, using its vast capital to buy intellectual property from Hollywood, as well as make more high-quality domestic movies.
“With sufficient money at hand, everything is possible for Alibaba. It is currently very focused on entertainment as it needs to be somewhat entertainment-orientated to grab public attention,” says Li. “My guess is Alibaba will bring more and more Hollywood stars to China to attend its events, make films and appear in commercials.”
This could also involve a focus on co-productions with Hollywood studios. One of Alibaba’s biggest investors, Japan’s SoftBank, is reportedly already talking to DreamWorks and other studios.
The company has certainly been active in the entertainment business as part of a $5 billion spending spree ahead of the listing.
The Chinese entertainment market is attractive to a company like Alibaba, which has huge penetration through its e-commerce units. China’s box office is on track for $5 billion this year, by some estimates, still growing strongly.
Advances in Internet technology and the coming of age of various forms of technology are transforming the traditional channels of promotion and distribution in the country and reforming such upstream sectors as financing and production, all of which put Alibaba in a good position to expand into entertainment, say observers.
In April, Alibaba bought a stake of nearly 20 percent in leading Chinese online video company Youku Tudou.
In July, it signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Lionsgate to offer its titles in China, including Divergent and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and such TV shows as Mad Men, Weeds and The Royals.
In the biggest push to build its own entertainment business, Alibaba in June bought 60 percent of ChinaVision Media Group in Hong Kong for $804 million and renamed the company Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd. It then poached Zhang Qiang, second in command at China Film Group, to run the new production studio.
Alibaba Film Group plans to invest in eight to 10 films every year, three to five TV dramas and the same number of web-only dramas. The group’s board includes action star Jet Li, who is close to Ma, the former English teacher who founded Alibaba in 1999 and remains its chairman.
Alibaba Film Group has lined up a slate of films with In the Mood for Love director Wong Kar-wai and also has an agreement with Taiwanese director Giddens Ko.
And the company is entitled to 30 percent of the investment return from Stephen Chow‘s blockbuster Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons.
It recently discovered accounting irregularities at the film unit, which have cast a shadow over its entertainment industry ambitions, but they are not seen as a long-term impediment to major expansion, more a reminder to the company to make sure it does its due diligence.
Alibaba has also set up a film investment fund called Yuebao, which is similar to crowdfunding but different enough not to fall foul of Chinese regulations.
Another independent commentator on online issues, Yi Fanghan, said entertainment industry people can expect Alibaba to move to buy other film companies, either by buying stakes or buying them outright, and also to try and produce its own movies.
“Alibaba will start to create content or ideas for films from grassroots people and connect with Internet finance. It will be good for them to produce films, which reflect Internet culture,” Yi said, quoted on sootoo, a social media and news website about online matters.
This summer, Ma spelled out the importance of entertainment in Alibaba’s future strategy when he spent $192 million on a 50 percent stake in Chinese soccer club Guangzhou Evergrande despite happily confessing to knowing nothing about football.
“We’re not investing in [soccer], we’re investing in entertainment,” Ma said at the time. “Alibaba’s future strategies are health and entertainment.”
Outlaw, IMO, I believe EX3 will do fabulous when it gets On Demand and Steaming revenues. Just look at how Draft Day got on the top 10 list. More importantly, Divergent did VERY well and recruited more fans to the Franchise. Streaming is lucrative and that is on a global basis on billions of devices. Just look at the growth from quarter to quarter....on the CCs, I recall always hearing about stellar VOD and SVOD revenues being generating that surpasses expectations.
I just had the chance to look at the exhibits. 10.2 is the Merck agreement they had with them years ago and 10.3 is the Abbot agreement. I surmise that they excluded some of the terms with these partners for competitive reasons.
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
September 17, 2014
ORDER GRANTING CONFIDENTIAL TREATMENT
UNDER THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
File No. 1-31918 - CF#31472
Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. submitted an application under Rule 24b-2 requesting
confidential treatment for information it excluded from the Exhibits to a Form 10-Q filed
on August 12, 2014.
Based on representations by Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. that this information
qualifies as confidential commercial or financial information under the Freedom of
Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), the Division of Corporation Finance has determined
not to publicly disclose it. Accordingly, excluded information from the following
exhibit(s) will not be released to the public for the time period(s) specified:
Exhibit 10.2 through March 6, 2017
Exhibit 10.3 through August 12, 2017
For the Commission, by the Division of Corporation Finance, pursuant to
Kevin M. O’Neill