news digest


Chart change puts Eagles on top perch

Eagles' first studio album in 28 years, "Long Road Out of Eden," bows at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 today after Billboard revised a significant chart policy. In consultation with Nielsen SoundScan, Billboard now allows albums that are available only through one retailer to appear on the Billboard 200 and other Billboard charts. Such titles had not been eligible for most charts. Early SoundScan numbers have the two-disc Eagles album selling 711,000 copies. Without the change, Britney Spears' new album "Blackout" would have been No. 1.

EA plays some Chicago blues

Electronic Arts has closed its Chicago studio, laying off more than 140 people. The move is part of a reorganization effort by the leading game publisher to shed more than 350 jobs. In an internal memo leaked to the gaming press, EA Games president Frank Gibeau termed the closure the "the toughest decision of my career" but added, "The location has grown dramatically in the past three years, while revenue from the games developed there has not."

Headliners mass for 'Movies Rock'

Beyonce, Carrie Underwood, Elton John, Fergie, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Lopez, John Legend and composer John Williams are among the performers involved in "Movies Rock," a two-hour live event and television special that will celebrate the relationship between music and film and serve as a benefit for the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Conde Nast Media Group, the Producers Guild of America and the Entertainment Industry Foundation are behind the event, set for Dec. 2 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland. The special airs Dec. 7 on CBS.

Macrovision lands All Media

Digital security company Macrovision said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy entertainment database company All Media Guide for $82 million in cash. AMG is one of the world's largest providers of music and film information and holds an extensive database of ratings, biographies and essays. The deal is expected to help Macrovision — which protects clients' copyrights by scrambling videos and music — sell greater interactive content to consumers.

Outfest adds to its Legacy Project

The Outfest Legacy Project, a collaboration between Outfest and the UCLA Film & Television Archive, has selected two more films about gay and lesbian issues for restoration: "Queen of Hearts," released in 1967, looks at pre-Stonewall transsexual life, while 1984's "Choosing Children," profiles six sets of lesbian mothers. "Parting Glances" was the first title restored through the Legacy Project, which also is restoring the documentary "Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives."

Flatiron, Aesop in film pact

U.K. development banner Flatiron Films and Aesop Entertainment, which has offices in Los Angeles, London and Switzerland, are teaming on a collaborative filmmaking initiative and spent the American Film Market discussing the approach with financiers and partners. Director Richard Davenport will put together the project, which will see three pictures made at the same time under one roof. An Aesop spokesperson said the idea is to unite a creative family modeled on the lines of a repertory theater company and have talent pitch in across several roles.