Nickelodeon Is Reviving ‘All That’ With Kenan Thompson as Executive Producer (EXCLUSIVE)

Read on: Variety.

“All That” was the show that kept on giving to Nickelodeon over the course of a decade in the 1990s and 2000s. Now the company’s president thinks a revival of the sketch-comedy series could be all that — and more. Nickelodeon wi…

‘SpongeBob’ Spinoffs Planned as Nickelodeon Chief Brian Robbins Tries to Win Back Young Viewers (EXCLUSIVE)

Read on: Variety.

In an era when young TV viewers are increasingly abandoning the traditional TV screen, Brian Robbins wants to make it very difficult for kids to give up on Nickelodeon. The veteran producer who was named Nickelodeon’s president in October hasn’t spent …

Paramount Players to Develop ‘Creepy Crawlers’ Feature Film

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Paramount Players has picked up the film rights to “Creepy Crawlers,” the iconic toy brand owned by JAKKS Pacific, the two companies announced Wednesday.

“Creepy Crawlers has been an iconic brand since the 1960’s and we are honored to work with Neal Moritz, Paramount Players, and the Nickelodeon-Viacom Family in bringing it to life on the big screen,” said Stephen Berman, chairman & CEO of JAKKS Pacific. “We, and the studio, envision the property to be developed into a family adventure film in the vein of ‘Jumanji.’”

Neal H. Moritz is set to produce alongside Marc Gurvitz. Toby Ascher and Berman will serve as executive producers.

Also Read: Paramount Hires AwesomenessTV Founder Brian Robbins to Lead New Production Division

Plot details are unknown at this time, but the film is set to be based on the toy molds developed originally by Mattel in the early ’60s. The toy was then reimagined by ToyMax in the ’90s and allowed to children to create various bug-like creatures.

JAKKS Pacific’s other brands include BIG-FIGS, Max Tow, Disguise, Moose Mountain, Funnoodle and Kids Only!

Also Read: ‘Transformers’ Sequel Cut From Paramount’s 2019 Release Slate

Ali Bell and Royce Reeves-Darby will be overseeing for Paramount Players. In recent years, Paramount has taken popular toys like Transformers and G.I. Joe and made them into movies.

Additionally, Moritz recently adapted the popular kids’ book series “Goosebumps” for Sony.

A spokesperson for Paramount has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Evan Spiliotopoulos Tapped to Write ‘GI Joe’ for Paramount and AllSpark

Paramount Animation Sets Three New Films, Including ‘SpongeBob’ Sequel

‘A Quiet Place’ Sequel in Development at Paramount Pictures

7 Takeaways From CinemaCon 2018: Change Is Everywhere, Movies Endure

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The movie exhibition business wrapped its annual CinemaCon

gathering in Las Vegas this week, and there was plenty to learn about the state of the entertainment industry and the change that is convulsing the entertainment business.

One studio had an entirely new executive team, another had to address the elephant in the room — its pending acquisition by another huge conglomerate — and the bar for entertaining the room was raised by a marching band, a video skit starring a studio mogul and … Cher.

One thing I’ll say for the movies overall — the ones coming down the pipeline about music and musicians and their journeys seem the ones with the most heart. Here are my takeaways

Also Read: Lionsgate Trots Out Blake Lively and ‘Blindspotting,’ But Identity Crisis Looms

Marvel Studios

1. Disney is a monster.

There’s no denying the dominance of this content-creating, brand-defining machine led by Bob Iger and Alan Horn on the movie side. Never was the strategic brilliance of Iger in acquiring Marvel and Lucasfilm more clearly on display than at this year’s presentation (last year the studio barely bothered to show, it felt so confident).

Disney consistently leads the Hollywood pack in market share, has had 12 films hit $1 billion at the box office in the last six years, and looks poised to continue to do so with upcoming films including this weekend’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and the new Star Wars installment, “Solo.”

And while Marvel is a hit machine, spinning off one global superhero hit after another, the other pillars of the Disney palace are also incredibly strong – besides the “Star Wars” saga, Pixar with another “Incredibles” franchise coming, traditional animation and a whole lot of interesting realistic computer graphic-drawn movies. The one most intriguing to me is “The Lion King,” with real animals. Any excuse to bring that beloved title and music to the screen seems like a good idea. Things to worry about: what will happen to animation if John Lasseter doesn’t come back?

Also Read: ‘Mowgli’ Director Andy Serkis Promises a Darker, Bloodier ‘Jungle Book’ Sequel

Getty Images

2. Suddenly, Paramount has come back to life.

After years of moribund production and morale-sucking boardroom battles and family strife, this iconic studio finally seems to have some energy, direction and pulse. New CEO and chairman Jim Gianopulos got everybody’s attention by opening with a self-deprecating video skit, in which a “Vegas Air” flight attendant criticized the mogul for having too many vowels in his name and then did her own imitation of “A Quiet Place,” the studio’s stealth horror hit.

It was a savvy way to win over the crowd since a lot of the upcoming films on Paramount’s slate would not be out until 2019 and an entirely new executive team — Wyck Godfrey, Brian Robbins, Mireille Soria — was being introduced. The studio is counting on good will and a little patience but the overall message was clear — Paramount has a plan, is making movies at a steady clip once again and has its head back in the game.

My only real quibble: Tom Cruise spent waaaaay too much time on stage explaining his latest death-defying stunt jumping out of an airplane for “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” but that’s because he’s Tom Cruise. At least he didn’t jump on a couch.

Also Read: ‘A Quiet Place’ Sequel in Development at Paramount Pictures

3. Universal brought the delight of movies to the room.

Universal offered a mix of drama (“First Man” is about Neil Armstrong’s journey to the moon), horror (“Halloween” with an irrepressible Jamie Lee Curtis), fantasy (Peter Jackson’s “Mortal Engine” is creating new worlds that, he promises, are like nothing we’ve ever seen) and thrillers (M. Night Shyamalan has a new one coming with Bruce Wiillis and Sam Jackson).

But even though he wasn’t in the room, it was Dwayne Johnson’s new action movie, “Skyscraper,” that seemed like something that you need to see on a massive screen, and that is likely to make your heart stop. That guy is a movie star, can we just say that?

Universal ended it all with a surprise live performance by Cher of “Fernando” by ABBA. She plays the grandmother in the sequel to “Mamma Mia.” The original was an unwatchable mess of a movie with the cheesiest performances on the planet that made a bajillion dollars. I’ll probably watch the sequel.

The great @Cher delights us all at #cinemacon with performance of Fernando by ABBA. Here’s a glimpse: @TheWrap pic.twitter.com/nKthcmHPpy

— Sharon Waxman (@sharonwaxman) April 26, 2018

Also Read: James Wan and ‘Aquaman’ Cast Offer First Look at Work-in-Progress Atlantis

4. Warner Bros. needed help, a lot of help.

The studio is in transition, now under former New Line head Toby Emmerich, and his newness showed. The presentation dragged on as one troupe of movie stars followed another, making small talk and pretending to be relaxed around stilted emcee Will Arnett. (Why bring Anne Hathaway on stage for “Ocean’s 8” if you’re not going to talk to her?)

And if “Life of the Party” with Melissa McCarthy seemed like one too many versions of the movie we’ve already seen her do (clueless fish out of water, this time she’s a mom going back to college), the ensemble film “Tag” — drama? comedy?  thriller? mystery? — about a group of friends who play a highly aggressive form of tag for a month every year was simply a hot mess.

“Crazy Rich Asians” looks like it could be a big winner, though the trailer made it hard to tell. But wait! There’s one huge redeeming movie on the Warner slate that made all of it worthwhile. Bradley Cooper brought “A Star Is Born,” his remake of the famed Barbara Streisand – Kris Kristofferson love story. And the trailer unveiled of Cooper and Lady Gaga was a revelation. The film promises a full-on love story with Gaga dropping all the makeup and pretense and bravada. Which brings us to…

Also Read: ‘A Star Is Born’: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga Nail High Notes With Trailer Debut

5. Music movies rule. 

There are so many wonderful films this year about music and musicians that it’s worth pointing it out. As mentioned, “A Star Is Born” looks like it will deliver. Cooper learned to play an instrument well enough to perform.

But Fox’s upcoming “Bohemian Rhapsody” appears to be a similarly strong take on the legendary Freddy Mercury, an epic performer and rule-breaker, played by Rami Malek. And did I mention that the “Mamma Mia” sequel has Cher in it?

6. 3-D is dead.

Over four days and dozens of movies that were presented to the exhibitors in Vegas, only one movie — ONE — was in 3-D, a technology that was all the rage four or five years ago. The lone exception was “Alita,” a largely CG action movie by technology diehard James Cameron about a young female cyborg given a superhuman body. (I think that’s what it was about.)

Robert Rodriguez directed it, and I’m not entirely sure if the 3-D adds all that much to the story. But what was once supposed to be the salvation of movie theaters — adding a premium ticket price to their weekend box office haul — has mostly fizzled. Calling Jeffrey Katzenberg, who predicted otherwise.

Also Read: Enter a 3-D Jungle With ‘Jumanji’ in Virtual Reality This December

Getty Images

7. And finally: Fox.

Who knows if the studio will be at CinemaCon next year? If the Disney acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox goes through, it won’t. So studio chief Stacey Snider wisely used the moment to remind the thousands of exhibitors in the room that she knew no more than they did about the future of her studio, but that she was committed to delivering great movies in the meantime.

And she backed it up with an emotional reel of Fox movies over the last 80 years, from “Titanic” to Shirley Temple to “12 Years a Slave,” reminding everyone what a contribution Fox has made to the culture. “Let’s wear our heart on our sleeves,” she urged the packed hall, choking up (and she wasn’t the only one). “Let’s celebrate the humanity that comes from discovering that we are more alike than different.”

Her words managed to overshadow the bravura, hilarious opening of the Fox presentation with Deadpool leading dancers to the song “One” from the Broadway classic “A Chorus Line.” And it was a fitting reminder that if Fox goes away, we may all be the poorer.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘A Star Is Born’: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga Nail High Notes With Trailer Debut

Fox Film CEO Teases Uncertain Future With Looming Disney Acquisition: ‘We Face a New Transition’

Lionsgate Trots Out Blake Lively and ‘Blindspotting,’ But Identity Crisis Looms

Paramount Makes First Look Deal With Todd Garner’s Broken Road Productions

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Todd Garner is moving his Broken Road Productions banner onto the Paramount lot. Garner has made a two-year first look deal to  develop and produce movies for both Paramount Pictures and Paramount Players.
Garner, who makes mainstream comedies and genre films, had most recently been under a deal with Covert Media, where he will continue to product numerous projects he set up. It is a homecoming of sorts for Garner, who started his career in accounting for…

James Bobin To Direct ‘Action Man’ For Paramount Players, Based On Hasbro Toy

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Action Man, Britain’s answer to G.I. Joe, is getting his movie closeup. Paramount Players is developing a film based on the Hasbro military figure doll set, and Brian Robbins’ division has just set James Bobin to direct it. Paddington 2‘s Simon Farnaby will write the script, and Hasbro is producing.
Bobin directed two Muppets movies and Alice Through the Looking Glass. Raised in Hampshire, England, he likely grew up with those action figures. Paramount deferred…

John Wells Sells Hancock Park Mansion to Brian Robbins (EXCLUSIVE)

Read on: Variety.

After six months on the market with an asking price that started at $14.5 million and dropped to $12.95 million, veteran television powerhouse John Wells sold his stately English Tudor mansion in Los Angeles’s historic Hancock Park for $12.412 million and no fewer than two plugged-in real estate tattletales swear the new owner is child […]

‘Body Cam’ Spec Is First Movie Deal For Ex-Awesomeness TV Chief Brian Robbins

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE:  Brian Robbins, the former Awesomeness TV CEO, has made his first big material acquisition for the new venture he’s still in the process of putting together. In a mid-six figure deal, Robbins just acquired Body Cam, a feature spec script by tyro screenwriter Richmond Riedel. The script developed a following this week and garnered three offers in a bidding situation, for a premise that is Get Out meets End of Watch. Here’s the logline: Several LAPD officers are…

AwesomenessTV Founder and CEO Brian Robbins to Exit Company

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Brian Robbins is leaving his own company.

The founder and CEO of AwesomenessTV announced his resignation Wednesday morning in an internal memo to staff. Robbins will stay on through a transition period, he said.

The exit comes after Comcast completed its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, which owns a majority stake in AwesomenessTV.

Also Read: AwesomenessTV Joins UTA Anti-Trump Immigration Rally – Will Rest of Hollywood Follow?

Robbins lauded his team and his time at the former YouTube channel. He also assured employees that AwesomenessTV is “built to last.”

In the note, which was obtained by TheWrap and is posted below in its entirety, Robbins tasked President Brett Bouttier with helping him find a new creative partner “to help continue the expansion of this business.”

“I will always carry this company in my heart and I am forever grateful to each of you for the hard work, dedication and love that you have put into our business,” Robbins wrote. “You should be proud of what we have built together, I certainly am. And I can’t wait to see what’s next for AwesomenessTV’s success.”

Also Read: ABC Comedy Head Samie Falvey Departs for AwesomenessTV, Verizon

Here’s the full memo:

Team ATV-

After an amazing ride, five fantastic years building an awesome company and brand alongside an incredible team of people, the time is right for me to pass the baton and seek new challenges.
 
It’s not a decision I made lightly. I love AwesomenessTV and all of you; I will really miss coming in here every day. I’m enormously proud of what we have been able to build together. 
 
We’ve exceeded any expectations I could have set when Joe and I started this journey. What began as a YouTube channel has turned into a global brand and the essential next generation media company for Generation Z.
 
AwesomenessTV is built to last and there is so much talent here who will carry this company forward, especially Brett who has been a partner with me nearly the entire time. He will continue to lead the company and, along with me, will find a creative partner to help continue the expansion of this business. I’ll be sticking around through the transition and Joe will be staying on in his role.
 
I will always carry this company in my heart and I am forever grateful to each of you for the hard work, dedication and love that you have put into our business. You should be proud of what we have built together, I certainly am. And I can’t wait to see what’s next for AwesomenessTV’s success. 
 
This company was built on a culture of creativity. I urge you all to keep forging ahead on that road. Change creates opportunities for creativity to blossom. Use this change to discover new talent, break boundaries and have no fear. I know that you all will continue to create awesomeness.
 
Once again, thank you all for five unbelievable years.

Brian

Related stories from TheWrap:

TheGrill Update: Brian Robbins’ AwesomenessTV, From MCN to NBCU

Verizon Buys Minority Stake in AwesomenessTV, Valuing It at $650 Million

Disney, DreamWorks Sued by Writer Alleging ‘The Light Between Oceans’ Copyright Infringement

DreamWorks Animation Names Warner Bros’ Chris DeFaria as President

DreamWorks Animation Co-President Mireille Soria Steps Down

AwesomenessTV Founder & CEO Brian Robbins Exits

Read on: Deadline.

Brian Robbins, co-founder and CEO of AwesomenessTV, is leaving the multi-channel network after five years. AwesomenessTV became a fast-growing digital brand when Robbins and Joe Davola launched it as a YouTube Channel in 2012. A year later, the company was acquired by DreamWorks Animation for $33 million in cash in one of the largest deals of its kind at that time. Two years later, Hearst bought a 25% stake in the company for $325 million.
AwesomenessTV’s ownership…

Brian Robbins Exiting as AwesomenessTV CEO

Read on: Variety.

Brian Robbins, co-founder and CEO of teen-skewing digital network AwesomenessTV, is leaving the company. His resignation, which Robbins announced in a memo to staffers Wednesday, comes after Comcast last summer completed its $3.8 billion acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, which owns a majority stake in AwesomenessTV. Brett Boutier, president of AwesomenessTV, will now lead the company…. Read more »

Blumhouse’s Jason Blum Says Frugality Pays When It Comes to Making Horror Films

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split” topped the box office for three straight weekends earlier this year, grossing more than $112.5 million at the domestic box office on a $9 million budget. But winning big with small bets is par for the course for Jason Blum, the CEO of Blumhouse, which produced the film along with Universal.

During a Monday afternoon session at the Code Media conference at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, California, Blum shared a little bit of the recipe behind his success, as Blumhouse has built a thriving business focusing on low-budget horror movies. The biggest key is keeping costs way down, but another is not being stuck on a theatrical release.

“We don’t decide how a movie will be distributed until it’s finished,” Blum said. “It might be on iTunes, it might be on 3,000 theaters, but we make that decision after the fact.”

Also Read: Jordan Peele, Allison Williams Thriller ‘Get Out’ Sets Release Date

Blum also expects theatrical windowing — which prevents movies from being shown on home video or pay-TV platforms for months after their release — to narrow in the near future. And that doesn’t bother him at all.

“It makes no difference to me,” Blum said. “We can monetize the movie on their watch, on their TV.”

That’s despite the fact that Blumhouse movies that do make it to theaters, like “Split,” tend to reap an outsized share of their total revenue from the big screen.

Also Read: John Carpenter to Exec Produce New ‘Halloween’ for Miramax

“Scary movies do much worse [in ancillary and video-on-demand revenue], most of the revenue comes in from theatrical,” Blum said.

While Blumhouse’s budget-conscious filmmaking has proven its success in theaters, it hasn’t translated as well to the smaller screen. Blum attributes that to a healthier TV ecosystem, boosted by Netflix and Amazon’s billions.

“When you go to a showrunner and say ‘you can do whatever you want for $500,000 an episode,’ he’ll come back and say ‘I can do whatever I want for $2 million an episode,’” Blum said.

Also Read: Universal Sets Release Dates for Four Blumhouse Horror Movies

Blum said Amazon and Netflix haven’t honed in on Blumhouse’s low-budget horror feature turf yet, but their super-sized TV production budgets do mean they compete for actors.

“I don’t find that I’m chasing the same projects as them, but I’m chasing the same talent,” Blum said.

The good thing is, Blum said, high-priced talent isn’t necessary at all to make a hugely profitable horror movie.

Also Read: Blumhouse Television Names Marci Wiseman, Jeremy Gold Co-Presidents

“With most other genres you need movie stars,” Blum said. “With horror, you just need a story.”

That’s why horror works so well for Blumhouse’s penny-pinching strategy, which the CEO repeatedly returned to as the key to his success.

“We’ve done best with movies that have been kicking around and everyone said no [to],” Blum said. “It’s not that we’re great risk takers, we’re doing it for much less money than anyone would do, so we can try weird stuff.”

Also Read: M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Split’ Lands 2017 Release Date From Universal, Blumhouse

One of Blum’s few regrets — he didn’t land the rights to seven-time Golden Globes winner and Best Picture favorite “La La Land,” even though Blumhouse produced director Damien Chazelle’s previous film, “Whiplash.” Blum said a blown-off lunch appointment may have played a big role — and he’s still not over it.

“I’m actually going to New York for the Oscars because I can’t take it,” Blum said.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Roger Ailes Miniseries in Development at Blumhouse Television

Blumhouse Television Names Marci Wiseman, Jeremy Gold Co-Presidents

Universal Sets Release Dates for Four Blumhouse Horror Movies

AwesomenessTV Joins UTA Anti-Trump Immigration Rally – Will Rest of Hollywood Follow?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

AwesomenessTV is joining UTA’s immigration rally on Oscar weekend and will close its offices early in order to accommodate employees who wish to attend the event, the company announced Friday.

In a memo to staff, AwesomenessTV founder Brian Robbins and president Brett Bouttier said: “We invite you to use your voice, activate your social media, and contribute to the conversation. On Friday, February 24th, we will be closing our offices early so you can participate on your own terms, in your own way.”

The company will also provide transportation to UTA’s offices in Beverly Hills, where their “United Voices” rally will take place.

Also Read: UTA Cancels Oscar Party to Host Immigration Rally

“In today’s political climate, civil rights are being compromised and our creators and global audiences are facing obstacles as they pursue their dreams,” the AwesomenessTV memo continued. “We understand the power of our collective influence and know that together we can create change.”

The UTA rally, a response to President Donald Trump’s travel ban, will aim to express “the creative community’s growing concern with anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States and its potential chilling effect on the global exchange of ideas and freedom of expression.”

Also Read: Directors Guild Denounces Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

Read the full AwesomenessTV memo below:

Dear Awesomeness,

As many of you read earlier this week, the talent agency UTA will be closing their offices early on Friday, February 24th to host “United Voices,” a rally that aims to “express the creative community’s growing concern with anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States.” They have canceled their annual Oscar party and instead will be donating to the ACLU and IRC.

In today’s political climate, civil rights are being compromised and our creators and global audiences are facing obstacles as they pursue their dreams. We understand the power of our collective influence and know that together we can create change.

We support UTA organizing this important event, and we want to offer you the same opportunity to join this peaceful protest. We invite you to use your voice, activate your social media, and contribute to the conversation. On Friday, February 24th, we will be closing our offices early so you can participate on your own terms, in your own way. We will be organizing transportation to make it easy. More details to come shortly.

In addition, we will be making a donation to the American Civil Liberties Union and International Rescue Committee.

Sincerely,

Brian and Brett

Related stories from TheWrap:

UTA Cancels Oscar Party to Host Immigration Rally

Directors Guild Denounces Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

Budweiser’s Super Bowl Spot Reminds Viewers Immigration Makes America Great (Video)