Source: Variety

20th Century Fox has tapped director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) to helm a tentatively titled project called Rise of the Apes for a June 24, 2011 release.

Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes was met with a mixed reception back in 2001, but it was still able to gross $180 million domestically. That translates to $253.2 million when adjusting for inflation. A sequel never happened.

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MORRISTOWN, N.J. -- Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. ("Cinedigm") (NASDAQ: CIDM) today announced the closing of a $172.5 million credit facility co-led by Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking and GE Capital Markets. This new credit facility will refinance all existing senior and mezzanine non-recourse debt in the Company's Phase 1 deployment subsidiary, Christie/AIX, through a newly formed bankruptcy remote subsidiary called Cinedigm Digital Funding I, LLC. The facility has received a provisional rating of Ba1 from Moody's Investor Service. The new credit facility will replace the Company's credit facility led by GE Capital Markets in 2006.

The new 6-year term loan, provided by a syndicate of 19 institutional lenders led by Société Générale and GE Capital Markets, will be at a rate of LIBOR +350 basis points with a 1.75% LIBOR floor, improving upon the previous rate of LIBOR +600 basis points with a 2.5% LIBOR floor. This new facility significantly improves upon the terms of the previous credit facility through a combination of reduced borrowing costs to Cinedigm Digital Funding, a more flexible covenant package, a 32 month maturity extension and improved free cash flow to support the payment of service fees to Cinedigm Digital Cinema Services, our service division. This new non-recourse credit facility is secured by the assets of Cinedigm Digital Funding 1, LLC.

"We are very pleased to complete this refinancing and to have a provisional rating of Ba1 by Moody's," said Bud Mayo, Chairman and CEO of Cinedigm. "This successful refinancing of our existing debt reaffirms the value of the Phase 1 digital cinema asset base and the critical role Cinedigm plays in driving the exhibition industry's conversion to digital cinema."

Adam M. Mizel, CFO and Chief Strategy Officer of Cinedigm, added, "This refinancing marks the next step in our efforts to strengthen Cinedigm's balance sheet, to improve our access to capital and to continue to position the Company for growth. We appreciate the strong capital markets execution and lending support from our long time partners at Société Générale and GE Capital. "

"We are excited to have successfully delivered institutional investor commitments for the refinancing of Cinedigm's Phase 1 digital cinema deployment," said Richard Knowlton, Managing Director, Sociéte Générale, Leveraged Media and Telecom Finance. "Together with GE Capital, we have expanded funding options for the Company's current and future digital cinema rollouts."

Michael Rhea, Vice President, GE Capital, Media, Communications & Entertainment, commented, "GE Capital is a long-time supporter of the exhibition industry and of digital cinema. We are pleased to be helping Cinedigm with their Phase 1 refinance and look forward to continuing our strong relationship."

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UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - Universal Pictures Chairman Adam Fogelson announced today Jimmy Horowitz has been promoted to President, Universal Pictures. In his new role, Horowitz will work with Fogelson, Co-Chairman Donna Langley and Vice-Chairman and COO Rick Finkelstein to shape and implement domestic strategic business initiatives and help manage day-to-day business operations. He will report to Fogelson and Finkelstein.

"Jimmy is a critical gatekeeper for our company, someone who all our filmmakers know and respect," said Fogelson. "His deep knowledge of our business and the people we work with make him a trusted strategic advisor who will play a major role in helping us shape the future of this studio."

A key member of Universal's senior management team who has worked at the studio for 18 years, Horowitz previously served as Co-President of Production and Executive Vice President of Universal Pictures, a position he held since July 2006. In that role he has supervised non-creative aspects of production at Universal and has overseen Universal's growing live stage business. Under his leadership, Universal Pictures Stage Productions has had box-office and critical success with Wicked, which has grossed over $1 billion worldwide and Billy Elliot, which won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 2009. As President, Horowitz will add the oversight of Chris Meledandri's Illumination Entertainment and Universal's relationship with Relativity Media to his portfolio.

"Jimmy is a trusted colleague and friend," said Langley. "He's a skillful negotiator who has the right instincts and judgment to help us move forward Universal's agenda in the face of any challenge. This is a well-deserved promotion."

Horowitz was appointed Executive Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs for Universal Pictures in January 2002. In this position, he oversaw the business and legal affairs departments and all of Universal's term deals. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs starting in October 1999. Horowitz joined Universal's feature legal department in 1992.

Prior to joining the studio, Horowitz served as counsel for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). He also practiced labor law at Manatt, Phelps, et al. and later at Greenberg Glusker, et al. until 1990. Horowitz earned his JD degree from George Washington University Law School and graduated cum laude from Tulane University in 1983 with a BA in political science.

 

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spielbergabrams.pngSource: Variety

Paramount has confirmed that J.J. Abrams will sit in the director's chair, with Steven Spielberg producing on Super 8, the top-secret project revealed earlier this week (read our earlier article here). All that is known about the flick at this time is that it is inspired by the films that Abrams loved growing up (it is not a Cloverfield prequel, as previously rumored). The first teaser will be attached to Iron Man 2.

Abrams reinvigorated the Star Trek franchise last summer, and he's currently attached only as a producer on the sequel. Paramount has already pegged a June 29, 2012 release date for the next Trek installment.

As for Spielberg, he recently committed to directing War Horse.

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5/6/10 Update (10:20 a.m. PT): MovieTickets.com is reporting 842 sold-out showings for Iron Man 2, 255 of which are for midnight shows. Meanwhile, Fandango is reporting sold-out showings at specific locations such as NYC's AMC Loews Lincoln Square Cinemas (which has added a 3:10 a.m. Thursday night/Friday morning showtime), San Francisco's Metreon, Chicago's AMC Loews 600 North Michigan, and L.A.'s Universal CityWalk Cinemas.

5/5/10 Update: MovieTickets.com is reporting that Iron Man 2 currently has 810 sold-out showings. The Paramount release also accounts for 84 percent of daily sales on the ticketing site as of 10:30 a.m. PT.

4/28/10 Update: MovieTickets.com is reporting that Iron Man 2 is outselling Iron Man by a margin of 5 to 1 at the same point in the sales cycle.

4/21/10 Update: The rush of summer blockbusters will begin on May 7 with Iron Man 2, and it's bound kick things off with a bang.

ironman2news2.png

MovieTickets.com is already reporting 49 sold-out showings for the Paramount release. Meanwhile, in a poll conducted on the site, 75 percent of moviegoers who are aware of the film plan on seeing it opening weekend.

The original Iron Man opened to $102.1 million in May 2008. BoxOffice.com is currently predicting a $145 million opening for the sequel.

 

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