Argo and Les Miz win at Sunday’s Golden Globes; Power Rangers Mega Force to premiere February 2nd; New Adventure Time and Regular Show tops primetime schedule; Disney cancels Little Mermaid 3D allowing new movies to debut in 2014 and 2015; Viacom criticized for last year’s rating’s drop; Disney’s Infinity to premiere summer 2013

 

Welcome to the Golden Globes edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!

 

Last Sunday’s Golden Globes was a shocking surprise as 2 box office hits got the best of DreamWorks Lincoln. Perch Perkins on which 2 movies won big:

 

Perch Perkins (At the Golden Globes)- “Argo” slowed the momentum of awards front-runners like “Lincoln” and “Life of Pi” at the 70th Golden Globes on Sunday, earning the Best Picture – Drama award for its dramatization of a true-life mission to rescue captured diplomats in Iran.

Meanwhile, “Les Misérables” stormed the barricades at the 70th Golden Globes on Sunday, winning the Best Musical or Comedy award over the likes of “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Moonrise Kingdom.”

Unlike the Academy Awards, the Globes honors the best of television as well. On that front, Showtime’s spy thriller “Homeland” won the statue for Best TV Series – Drama, while HBO’s coming-of-age chronicle “Girls” earned the prize for Best TV Series – Comedy.

But the biggest moment of the show was not in any of the competitive categories. It happened as Jodie Foster accepted her Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement and came out as a lesbian. Social media sites erupted as the star of “Silence of the Lambs” defended her long-time decision not to comment publicly on her sexuality, while thanking her former partner, Cydney Bernard.

“I’m just going to put it out there, loud and proud … I am, uh, single,” she said, to laughter.

She added that she was “kidding, but not really kidding,” explaining that she had been a public figure since she began acting as a toddler and didn’t want to share her personal life with the world.

“Maybe then you too would value privacy above all else … some day in the future we will look back and remember how beautiful it once was,” Foster said.

The win for “Argo” win was not the only upset of the evening. Ben Affleck, who was snubbed by Oscar voters on Thursday, made up for it at Sunday’s Golden Globes, by winning Best Director for his role in guiding the thriller to the big screen.

To capture the honor, Affleck bested Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”) and Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”), two of the directors who did make the Academy Awards shortlist, as well as Quentin Tarantino (“Django Unchained”) and Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”), two who were similarly omitted.

It followed what has been a rough few days for “Lincoln,” which also saw Affleck pick up top prizes at the Critics Choice Awards, as sympathy has built in the industry for actor-director Affleck’s snub. Unlike in prior years, the Globes show is being held after Oscar nominations have been announced. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences opted to move up the unveiling of Oscar nominees this year.

“Lincoln” wasn’t shut out entirely. Winning Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for his role as the 16th president, Daniel Day-Lewis called Spielberg “a humble master with a quicksilver imagination” and thanked him for giving him “an experience I will treasure until the end of my life.”

Affleck’s win wasn’t the only moment when the evening’s victors seemed to be commenting consciously or not on Oscar voters’ controversial decisions. Jessica Chastain, who earned Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama honors for her role as a driven C.I.A. analyst in “Zero Dark Thirty,” took the opportunity to salute Bigelow, who many awards watchers believe was left off the final list for the film’s depiction of the role torture played in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Chastain avoided wading into that particular ethical bog during her speech, but she did hail Bigelow for shattering glass ceilings for women in film through her tenacity and talent.

“You’ve done more for women in cinema than you take credit for,” Chastain said to director Bigelow.

Hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey presided over a show that poked gentle fun at the industry — pausing for digs at “Girls” impresario Lena Dunham’s age or insinuating that Glenn Close was drunk and needed a medic — but stopped short of the savage jokes aimed at various movie stars that previous host Ricky Gervais had detonated. During three shocking stints as emcee, Gervais had mocked everyone from Mel Gibson to Bruce Willis (it was not always well-received), and also skewered the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the controversial organization behind the show that has been slammed by its critics for being more interested in swag than artistry.

Instead Fey and Poehler kicked off the show by poking fun at its decision to honor the best of both film and television simultaneously.

“Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat -aced people of television,” Poehler said.

One of those beautiful film people, Hugh Jackman, shook off the lingering effects of the flu to pick up the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical award for his role as an escaped convict trying to outrun the law in “Les Misérables.”

The actor admitted onstage that he almost dropped out of the project after a difficult day of rehearsals, but thanked his wife Deborra-Lee Furness for convincing him to remain on the film.

Jennifer Lawrence won Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical for her role as a grieving widow in “Silver Linings Playbook.”

To earn the honor, the 22-year-old actress beat out veteran actresses such as Meryl Streep in “Hope Springs” and Judi Dench in “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

“I am so honored to be in a film like this … Harvey thank you for killing whoever you had to kill to get me up here today,” Lawrence said, thanking the film’s producer, Harvey Weinstein.

In addition to series honors, “Homeland” stars Damian Lewis and Claire Danes won top TV awards Sunday. Lewis earned Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama for his performance as a terrorist mole and Danes earned Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama for her portrayal of a bipolar C.I.A. agent.

“The best journeys are always shared … I would like to share this with the best cast and crew in television,” Lewis said.

“I am very proud to be working in this medium at this moment for this company,” Danes said.

Showtime, which produces “Homeland,” had a very strong evening, also picking up a Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical for Don Cheadle’s performance as a cut-throat management consultant in the network’s “House of Lies.”

Earning Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical was 26-year-old Lena Dunham.

A teary Dunham said, “I thought I’d be a cooler customer if this ever happened, and I didn’t think it would.”

“This award is for every woman who ever felt like there wasn’t a place for her,” she added.

On the film side, Anne Hathaway captured the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture prize for playing a desperate woman forced into prostitution in “Les Misérables.”

“Thank you for this lovely blunt object that I will forever use as a weapon against self-doubt,” Hathaway said.

Christoph Waltz won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for his portrayal of a German bounty hunter in “Django Unchained.”

Waltz, who captured the award over a strong field of candidates like Alan Arkin in “Argo” and Tommy Lee Jones in “Lincoln,” thanked director Quentin Tarantino, calling him his “North Star.”

Tarantino would have his own turn under the klieg lights, picking up a Best Screenplay statue for the blood-soaked revenge fable set in the antebellum South.

“Brave,” Pixar’s Scotland-set female empowerment story, earned Best Animated Film over hits like “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Hotel Transylvania.” “Amour,” the Austrian film about an elderly couple, earned Best Foreign Film over the likes of “Rust and Bone” and “Kon-Tiki.”

The champagne-lubricated event took a political turn at one point — albeit one that looked back at more distant ideological clashes — as the Globes awarded the Best Mini-Series of Motion Picture Made for Television statue to HBO’s “Game Change.”

Director Jay Roach said he hoped the film, which looks at Sen. John McCain’s decision to tap Sarah Palin as his running mate in the 2008 presidential election, would encourage more people to talk about politics.

Moments later Julianne Moore took the stage to accept an award for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Movie or Mini-Series for playing Palin in the film.

“This was one of my favorite jobs ever,” Moore said.

Her “Game Change” co-star Ed Harris won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a TV Movie or Mini-Series for his portrayal of McCain.

It would not be the only moment to dish about the democratic process. Former President Bill Clinton strolled out at one point to introduce Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” citing it as a guide for future presidents. A hush fell over the crowd as he extolled the historical epic’s virtues — one that was not lifted until co-host Amy Poehler punctured the solemnity by noting that he was “Hillary Clinton’s husband.”

Kevin Costner earned honors in the Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Movie or Mini-Series for his role in the smash hit “Hatfield’s & McCoy’s.” In a speech that looked back at his own career in movies and TV, he thanked the awards show for allowing people to “…illuminate movies they might not have seen and now they will.

Also honored in the initial awards was Maggie Smith, who captured Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a TV Movie or Mini-Series for her work as a haughty aristocrat on PBS’ “Downtown Abbey.” Smith was not at the ceremony.

Of the major awards contenders, “Life of Pi” earned a Best Original Score – Motion Picture award for Mychael Danna. On the music front, English chanteuse Adele earned her first Golden Globe for her title track on “Skyfall.”

“Honestly, I’ve come for a night out … I was not expecting this!” Adele gushed.

For Fey and Poehler, the expectations were huge, but based on the reaction on Twitter, the two former “Saturday Night Live” stars were able to put their own spin on the show. They were also able to send-up the envelope-pushing Gervais.

“Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight, because he is no longer in show business,” Fey said.

Unlike the caustic Gervais, Fey and Poehler were gentler with the HFPA, but they still shot off a few zingers at the organization’s expense.

“When left untreated HFPA can lead to cervical cancer,” Poehler said.

 

Hot off the presses! Power Rangers fans are in for a treat as Power Rangers Mega Force has an official premiere date! TV Guide gave us the date:

 

TV Guide.com has learned that the next season of the almost 20-year Power Rangers franchise, Power Rangers Mega force, will premiere on Saturday, February 2 at 1:00 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon.

The series “features Gosei, a supernatural guardian who for centuries has protected the Earth with his robotic aide, Tensou. But when the evil Warstar aliens begin their massive invasion, Gosei calls upon five teenagers with talent and attitude to form the ultimate team, the Power Rangers Mega force.”

 

We’ll have to check out this date from Nick HQ as soon as Nick confirms it to see if that’s right or needs to be changed.

 

Cartoon Network’s primetime schedule scores again as Adventure Time and Regular give the channel another well-deserved boost:

Across the second week of January 2013, Cartoon Network ranked as basic cable’s #1 network for Total Day delivery of boys 9-14, and #1 in Early Prime (7-9 p.m.) delivery of boys 6-11 & 9-14.

Cartoon Network was the #1 destination for kids 9-14 and boys 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14 across all TV networks on Monday Night (7-9p), while #1 with boys 6-11 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday Night. Monday Night’s delivery performance grew by mostly double-digits across targeted kids and boys demos vs. the same week last year, ranging between 9% and 50%.

Original animated comedies Adventure Time (Monday, 7:30 p.m.) scored as the #1 telecast of the week among boys 6-11, the #1 telecast of the day among kids 6-11 & 9-14 and boys 2-11 & 6-11. All demos scored significant double-digit delivery gains vs. last year – kids 2-11 grew by 32%, kids 6-11 by 56% and kids 9-14 by 87%. Similarly, Regular Show (Monday, 8 p.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among all kids 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14 and boys 2-11 & 6-11, also earning double-digit delivery gains ranging between 19% and 95%.

 

Disney in a last minute move has stopped The Little Mermaid from going 3D as a direct result of the last 3 Disney films that have flopped. What was the answer to the slumping 3D sales that the company was looking for Johnny?  And if so, which movies will debut between this summer and next year?

Johnny Trout (via The LA Times)- Following weak box office performances for re-releases of “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo” and “Beauty and the Beast” in 3-D, Walt Disney Studios has canceled plans for a 3-D “The Little Mermaid” in September.
 
The underwater animated hit from 1989 was the fourth and final 3-D re-release for which Disney announced plans in late 2011 after “The Lion King” proved a surprise hit in the format, grossing nearly $100 million in the U.S. and Canada.
 
But “The Lion King” turned out to be an anomaly, as the three follow-ups grossed far less. “Beauty and the Beast” took in $47.6 million last January, “Finding Nemo” $40.7 million in September, and “Monsters, Inc.” only $30.5 million since its Dec. 19 release.

Though 3-D conversions cost only a few million dollars each, those weak box office performances are not enough for Disney to justify the marketing expense of a nationwide release.
 
Disney had already begun work on the 3-D conversion of “The Little Mermaid” in November, the studio’s animation chief creative officer, John Lasseter, said in an interview at the time.
 
Disney also announced release plans for several other movies Monday.
 
A fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie will arrive in theaters on July 10, 2015. The studio has yet to confirm a director or which cast members will return, though it is difficult to imagine a “Pirates” movie without star Johnny Depp.
 
“The Muppets 2” will come out March 21, 2014.
 
“1952,” a science-fiction film to be directed by “The Incredibles” and “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” helmer Brad Bird, is set to hit theaters on Dec. 19, 2014, in 3-D.
 
“Maleficent,” which stars Angelina Jolie as the villain in a live action spin-off from the animated classic “Sleeping Beauty,” has been delayed from March 14, 2014, to July 2 of that year. The new date is five days after the fourth “Transformers” movie, setting up a battle of big-budget tentpoles over the July 4 holiday.
 
The dating of the new movies helps to fill out Disney’s 2014 and 2015 schedule that was previously light on tentpoles from the studio’s internal production unit — though movies from Marvel Studios and its animation houses were already set for release.

 

The bad news continues for Viacom as Todd Juenger accuses the company for betting the ratings rebound could reach them to the top. And the blasting wasn’t over yet as Angie found out!

 

Angie Angelfish (via Dateline Hollywood)- Don’t raise Todd Juenger’s name if you happen to run in to Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman this morning. The Bernstein Research analyst — who’s also Wall Street’s most vigorous Viacom critic — just unloaded both barrels at the spreading view that the company is poised for a rebound. Shares are +9.6% since New Year’s Day, closing at $57.82 yesterday: As I noted this week, several investors and analysts say that ratings either have or should improve at Nickelodeon and MTV, and will start to look really good when compared to early 2012 when Nick hit the skids. Don’t tell that to Juenger, who just reiterated his “underperform” rating and $52 price target. “We attribute Viacom’s poor ratings primarily to a lack of institutional creative capability, perennial under-investment, excessive reliance on too few hit programs, and liberal online distribution” to companies such as Netflix — which cannibalizes TV viewing — he says. As a result, he places a “low probability on the likelihood of a ratings turnaround.”

That’s worrisome, he adds, because Viacom shares are no longer a bargain. Although they look cheap compared to expected earnings, a different picture emerges if you compare stock prices to the company’s cash flow (or EBITDA: earnings before income taxes, depreciation and amortization) — which he considers to be a more revealing barometer. Viacom trades at 8.8 times expected cash flow making it more expensive than Time Warner (8.6x), Disney (8.6x), CBS (8.0x), and News Corp (7.6x). “Why would you pay a premium for a company with consensus EBITDA growth of only 4%, on the chance that Viacom ratings might actually someday stop declining, when premium franchises like [Disney] or [News Corp] can be bought for less?” he asks. He’s also cool to Viacom’s efforts to impress the Street by returning cash to investors — including with a planned $2.5B stock repurchase in the current fiscal year. That doesn’t enhance Viacom’s value, Juenger says adding that “we’d rather see them invest behind their brands.”

Look out Sky landers, the Disney characters are trying to steal their thunder! What’s going on in the gaming world Danny?

 

Danny Angelfish  (via Dateline Hollywood)- Disney Infinity allows players to use characters from Disney franchises, including Monsters University, Pirates Of the Caribbean and The Incredibles. Disney unveiled the gaming platform today in Los Angeles. Throughout each story-driven experience, called a Play Set, players will solve challenging puzzles, battle enemies and explore iconic locations from famous Disney properties, while collecting unique characters, vehicles, and gadgets from each world and saving them to a virtual Toy Box, Disney Interactive said in a statement. Players can access their Toy Box and build and customize their own unique virtual world using their favorite characters, vehicles, settings and accessories. Disney Infinity will launch in June across all consoles and will have a phased roll out across mobile and online devices throughout 2013. Development for Disney Infinity is being led by Disney Interactive and Avalanche Software. Here’s the full release:

BURBANK, Calif. – (JANUARY 15, 2013) – Disney Interactive today unveiled its most ambitious gaming initiative ever, Disney Infinity. This all new game platform unlocks the freedom to create stories and play experiences starring beloved characters from The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Animation Studios. Disney Infinity allows players to both experience original adventures in some of their favorite Disney and Pixar worlds and to build their own worlds using the power of their imagination.

“Disney Infinity introduces a new way to interact with the best of Disney on one game platform, both now and in the future,” said John Pleasants, co-president, Disney Interactive. “With this innovative approach to gaming, Disney Infinity will bring to life new characters, stories and environments from The Walt Disney Company over time in a way that will delight fans and gamers alike.”

In a way that only Disney can, Disney Infinity integrates collectible character figures that come to life in the game. These figures provide experiences that are true to these characters and stories, as well as the opportunity to bring characters from various Disney and Pixar films to play together in a virtual “Toy Box.” This all-new game universe will launch in June across all consoles and will have a phased roll out across mobile and online devices throughout 2013.

Throughout each story-driven experience, called a “Play Set,” players will solve challenging puzzles, battle enemies and explore iconic locations from famous Disney properties, while collecting unique characters, vehicles, and gadgets from each world and saving them to a virtual “Toy Box.” Players can access their “Toy Box” and build and customize their own unique virtual world using their favorite characters, vehicles, settings and accessories. Disney Infinity allows players the opportunity to share these unique creations in the “Toy Box” mode with friends both online and off.

The Disney Infinity Platform includes:
• Disney Infinity Interactive Pieces – Initially a line of 40 collectible interactive pieces will be introduced that allow players to expand and customize their play experiences.
• Disney Infinity Interactive Character Figures – Seventeen character figures will allow players to experience a variety of their favorite characters in true to property experiences and in “Toy Box” mode.
• Disney Infinity Base – When figures are placed on the Infinity base, they unlock the world and play experiences of Disney Infinity.
• Disney Infinity Power Discs – Interactive discs can be placed on the Infinity base to power up characters and “Toy Box” with unique powers, customizations and gadgets.

“Disney Infinity combines prominent Disney and Pixar characters and scenarios in a way that mimics how kids play in real life,” said John Blackburn, vice president and general manager, Avalanche Software. “With our platform’s unique gameplay mechanics and innovative approach to user generated content within the “Toy Box” mode, Disney Infinity will spark imaginations and provide endless hours of fun and creativity.”

Development for Disney Infinity is being led by Disney Interactive and Avalanche Software.

 

Checking the Penguins tally, 257 fans have signed in as Team Skipper begins planning the last 2 missions of season 3. Once the planning ends, the action will begin soon.

 

Our awards season continues with this year’s Golden Reels. The nom’s will be released on Friday as soon as we get it. See you soon for another edition of my entertainment report!

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