Fox Takes a Break for Blu-Ray, and Paramount Without Partners?

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Fox takes a Break for Blu-Ray viral videos
"Fight Club" in a nursing home? "Office Space" as an Off Off Broadway musical? Fox Home Entertainment teamed up with Break Media for a series of spoofs of catalog cult classics now available on Blu-Ray, using each film's original dialogue in a hilarious new context. The six spots were produced by Break's in-house Creative Labs Group and will debut new episodes every Tuesday for the next four weeks. The "Fight Club" spoof was a big hit from the get-go, generating more than 17,000 likes on Facebook within its first 24 hours of release and over 250,000 views in less than a week. The "Office Space" musical clip has also garnered more than 43,000 views on alone since its Tuesday debut.

As for future movies getting the remake treatment? "We have several other themes we want to explore (some may involve monkeys others may not)," a Fox Home Entertainment spokesperson told Ad Age in an e-mail. "We are exploring other catalog titles to re-enact and are confident our next batch will be just as fun and memorable."

Paramount Contemplates Life Without Marvel, DreamWorks
Paramount may be having a pretty good 2010 and the second-largest market share in terms of box-office grosses, but that command could be ending soon. The Wrap's Brent Lang notes that the Viacom movie studio doesn't own and sometimes just distributes its biggest hits, from "Iron Man 2" (co-producer Marvel Entertainment recently announced it would take its upcoming "The Avengers," "Iron Man 3" and future films to Disney) to "Jackass 3-D" (a co-production with MTV Films) to DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon," "Shrek Forever After" and "MegaMind." DreamWorks Animation's CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, is now said to be looking to not renew its distribution pact with Paramount after 2011, a move that would significantly dent the studio's revenues -- The Wrap notes that DreamWorks' films accounted for $1.3 billion of Paramount's $2.9 billion worldwide box-office grosses. DreamWorks Animation itself has already had to distance itself as a standalone, publicly traded company after the troubled DreamWorks stopped distributing its own live-action films in 2005 and partnered with studios such as Paramount and Disney to release its productions.

"Toy Story 3" Takes Disney 2010 Revenues to Profitability -- and Beyond
In what was a decidedly mixed year for Walt Disney Pictures -- would-be summer tentpoles "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" both underperformed and horse drama "Secretariat" disappointed -- the studio has found two major bright spots in 3-D hits "Toy Story 3" and "Alice in Wonderland." Those two films, combined with revenue from Marvel Entertainment's "Iron Man 2," helped the studio increase revenue by 9% for fiscal-year 2010 and 6% during the fourth quarter. "Toy Story 3" alone has become the highest-grossing animated film of all time, banking more than $1 billion in worldwide box-office grosses. And as Disney's marketing department takes on a new ad agency-like structure under president M.T. Carney, the studio is poised for at least one major holiday blockbuster in "Tron Legacy" and a possible hit with "Tangled," an animated adaptation of "Rapunzel."

Even Hits Can't Help Lionsgate's Revenue
As Carl Icahn looms with a takeover bid of Lionsgate Entertainment, the studio reported a loss of $29.7 million in its second-quarter due in large part to marketing costs for films such as "The Expendables" and "The Last Exorcism." Although the latter was a low-budget success ("Exorcism" grossed over $41 million on a reported $1.8 million budget), it wasn't enough to offset the costly "Expendables," which grossed more than $100 million on an $80 production budget. Studios often have to account for marketing expenditures before box-office revenue are reported, as Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew Marrigan told Bloomberg's Michael White this week. The studio has also spent more than $30 million in defense and compensation costs as it combats Mr. Icahn's takeover bid, according to Variety's Tom Lowry.

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