week in review digest


Jacobson in first-look deal with D'Works

Six months after she was relieved of her post running Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Nina Jacobson has landed a three-year, first-look deal at DreamWorks Studios (HR 12/6). The move is a sort of homecoming for Jacobson, who was a senior film executive at DreamWorks before joining Disney as president of the motion picture division in 1998. At DreamWorks, she helped develop the early hits "What Lies Beneath" and "Antz." At Disney, Jacobson was behind the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies and developed a broad slate of films such as the female-targeted "The Princess Diaries" and "Freaky Friday" and the sports-oriented "Remember the Titans" and "The Rookie."

ESPN drafts Europe's NASN

ESPN has acquired European-based channel NASN — the only European channel dedicated to North American sports — from Setanta Sport Holdings and Benchmark Capital Europe for an undisclosed sum, the network said this past week (HR 12/6). The deal, which will see ESPN add NASN to its portfolio of channels, is expected to close early next year, subject to regulatory approval, ESPN said. NASN airs more than 800 North American sports events each year, including games from the NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball. ESPN's plans for NASN include bringing ESPN branding to the network.

5 mil 'Pirates' DVDs on Day 1

The DVD industry received a healthy shot in the arm this week with reports that Buena Vista's Johnny Depp starrer "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" sold nearly 5 million DVDs its first day in stores (HR 12/7). The first film in the franchise, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," was released on video in December 2003 and sold 11 million units in its first week, 90% of them DVD. Industry sources said the Walt Disney Co. shipped 20 million DVDs of the sequel.

Korean bill seeks to unify reg agencies

SEOUL, South Korea — The South Korean government announced Wednesday an early draft of legislation that will integrate the broadcasting and telecommunications regulatory bodies, a move that comes despite strong resistance from existing government bureaucracies (HR 12/7). Under the legislation, the government would create a Broadcasting and Telecommunications Committee that would take over all current regulatory bodies and assume responsibility for issuing licenses; establishing and enforcing policy; resolving conflicts; making and managing programming funds; and creating content and advertising regulations.

Sony on top of world with $3 bil at b.o.

Sony Pictures Entertainment said Thursday that it has reached $3 billion in worldwide boxoffice this year, a mark hit by only two other studios in movie history (HR 12/8). Warner Bros. Pictures hit that mark in 2004 and '05, while Walt Disney Pictures achieved the milestone in 2003. With three weeks left in the year, the studio also is on track to surpass its own and the industry's all-time domestic boxoffice gross of $1.57 billion — a number it reached in 2002. "The Da Vinci Code" marks the studio's top grosser this year at more than $750 million worldwide.