Week in Review
EmptyWonder boy: For the four people out there who don't know yet, Paramount's "Iron Man" opened to $98.6 million last weekend, or $102.1 million when you add in Thursday night screenings. (But who's counting?) It's the second-best nonsequel opening as well as the second-best opening for Paramount. Before the dust had settled Monday morning, Paramount had planted a flag on April 30, 2010, for "Iron Man 2," and in case that doesn't satisfy your inner fanboy, they've also got "Thor" set for June 4 that year and "Captain America" for May 6, 2011.
Labor pangs: After 18 days of talking and getting exactly nowhere, SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture &Television Producers broke off talks Tuesday after sister union AFTRA refused to postpone its own talks with the producers for a third time. SAG president Alan Rosenberg diplomatically expressed his disappointment: "We made a decision we thought would be good for members of both unions, which happen to be the same members, and they declined." AFTRA and the AMPTP began their own talks Wednesday to negotiate a primetime TV contract.
You may now leave the 'Runway': It turns out that "make it work" is easier said than done. In the latest development in the ongoing "Project Runway" saga, producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz confirmed Monday that they will not follow the hit series when it makes the jump to Lifetime. Instead, they inked a first-look deal at NBC Universal for their company, Magical Elves, to produce broadcast, digital and cable properties. The producers claim the developments are nothing more than a coincidence. "The two decisions were made independent of each other," Cutforth said.
Makin' that 'GTA': Take-Two Entertainment is touting "Grand Theft Auto IV" as the richest launch in the nebulously defined realms of entertainment history. The game, available for Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3, notched $500 million in first-week sales, moving 6 million total units and 3.2 million just in the first day. The previous record-holder, Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," raked in $404 million worldwide in its first six days, but analysts are quick to point out that it's apples and oranges: A ticket to "Pirates" cost about $10, but "GTA IV" retails for $60 a pop.
All in the 'Family': After more than two years of legal wrangling, "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane inked a deal this week with 20th Century Fox TV in the neighborhood of $100 million that will keep the writer-producer at 20th TV through 2012. MacFarlane's come a long way since Fox gave "Family Guy" the boot from its schedule in 2002, only to revive it in 2005 after "Family Guy" DVDs proved to be hot sellers and the network kept canceling its replacements. Of the deal, MacFarlane got right to the point in saying: "I get a lot of pleasure out of making shows. It's a bonus to be getting paid for it, and it's a double bonus to be getting paid exorbitantly for it."
Agents of change: There must be something in the water. Talent agent Mitchell Gossett said this week that he's leaving Cunningham Escott Slevin Doherty for UTA, taking with him teen sensation and walking ATM Miley Cyrus among his other clients. A day later, word came that Warren Zavala was leaving Gersh for CAA, bringing Paul Dano, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and a batch of other young actors with him. And finally, in a separate but weirdly coincidental development, former UTA agents Jonathan Perry and Brian Dow joined APA.
End credits: Ellen Page has signed on to play Jane Eyre in the literary adaptation for Ruby and BBC Films. ... Esai Morales will play patriarch Joseph Adama on "Caprica," Sci Fi Channel's pilot prequel to "Battlestar Galactica." ... James Brolin is stepping in for James Caan in David O. Russell's "Nailed," and Kirstie Alley is coming on board, as well. ... Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel and Minka Kelly are starring in Fox Searchlight's anti-romantic comedy "500 Days of Summer."