"My understanding is that there is a suspension, which has happened in the past," Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez told reporters during a break in the high-level "strategic economic dialogue" taking place in Xianghe, a suburb of Beijing.He said the U.S. is lobbying China to end the ban."The problem we have with movies, with films, is that there's a limit … a quota on them, and we would like to get that lifted," Gutierrez said.U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab and Gutierrez are meeting this week with outgoing Vice Premier Wu Yi for the 18th U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. The countries' trade officials exchanged tough words about film and television piracy, market access, investment and product safety.Wu, China's top negotiator, said some of the discussions had been "heated."Gutierrez said the high-level talks began with strong objections from China over U.S. actions on intellectual property rights.The Chinese government's action may be tied to a Bush … [Read more...] about U.S., China in ‘heated’ trade talks
U s time
COMPLETE DUBAI FEST COVERAGEDespite several chances to take the bait and swallow whole, Tony Shalhoub painstakingly resisted. The star of "AmericanEast" was on hand Monday in Dubai to tub-thump the indie movie, which focuses on Arab-American immigrants in post-Sept. 11 Los Angeles, specifically their relations with their Jewish neighbors. The film screened Monday afternoon at the Madinat Jumeirah during the fourth annual Dubai International Film Festival.Like most news conferences at film fests around the world, there are inevitably questions from the floor that tend to go for the jugular.In this case, the discussion, in both Arabic and English, focused on whether the American public and the American media and entertainment biz were actually changing their attitudes toward Arabs."So many times, Arabs have been shown in a negative light," Shalhoub told the 50-odd reporters, but, he added, "things are beginning to change."The past six years since Sept. 11, he went on, have prompted … [Read more...] about Shalhoub aims to change Arab image in U.S.
The report, which analyzes patterns of Korean films released in the U.S. between 2002 and 2007, included their boxoffice result. “D-War,” directed by a comedian-turned-director Shim Hyung-rae opened on 2,277 screens in 2007 by Freestyle, and made over $10.97 million, followed by Kim Ki-duk’s Buddhist drama “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring” by Sony Classics; Bong Joon-ho’s monster flick “The Host” by Magnolia; Kang Je-gyu’s war epic “Taeguki” by Samuel Goldwyn; Im Kwon-taek’s classic remake of “Chunhyang” by Lot 47 and Park Chan-wook’s second part of revenge trilogy “Old Boy” by Tartan. The report claims that in spite of moderate success for Korean films in recent years, no particular genre represents Korean films that had opened in the U.S., unlike Japanese animation or Hong Kong kung-fu flicks. Instead, it shows that many of the Korean films that received U.S. … [Read more...] about ‘D-War’ Korea’s all-time U.S. champ
Hardware sales fell 13.4%, while software sales dropped 3.1%. The results were worse than some analysts had expected."This should not be viewed as a healthy start to the holiday season," EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich said in a research note.November sales include the Black Friday post-Thanksgiving weekend, the traditional kickoff to the annual holiday shopping spree.The industry continued to slump despite recent price cuts on all the major consoles and the launch of a blockbuster game, Activision Blizzard Inc's "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2."The economic downturn this year has pinched spending on games and hardware from more casual fans, which the industry relies on for growth. Sales in the U.S. are down 12.1% for the year.NPD analyst Anita Frazier noted that last year's huge sales tally has provided a difficult comparison for 2009."Breaking even seems more out of reach. In order to break even to last year, December sales would have to be up 36% over December 2008."Nintendo Co Ltd's … [Read more...] about U.S. video game sales down in November
"We saw a very positive sales increase for televisions, computers and PS3 in particular," Sony CEO Howard Stringer told a group of reporters on Thursday."I don't think there were any negatives, but we need a little more time to find out how big it was."Year-end sales are critical for Sony and other consumer electronics makers as they represent a big chunk of their annual revenues.Sony, which pioneered the mobile music market 30 years ago with its Walkman and once ruled the global television industry in the era of box TVs, has been struggling to keep pace with nimbler South Korean rivals and innovative U.S. IT firms in recent years.Its portable music players are in the shadow of Apple Inc.'s iPod, and the maker of Bravia LCD TVs lags a long way behind Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. in the global flat TV market.In a bid to turn its fortunes around, Sony last month unveiled new business plans and performance targets, including achieving a 5% operating margin and return on equity of 10% by … [Read more...] about Sony sees robust early U.S. holiday demand
The National Bureau of Economic Research, the country's business cycle arbiter, surprised investors by declaring that not only has the U.S. economy lapsed into recession but that it began a year ago and the downturn could be the worst since World War II. The Dow took note and slumped 680 points, down almost 8% on the day. The current recession, which many economists expect to persist through the middle of next year, is already the third-longest since the Great Depression, behind only the 16-month slumps of the mid-1970s and early '80s.Meanwhile, Redstone on Monday fired the opening salvo in his war on debt, selling his stake in video game maker Midway Games for only $100,000 plus the assumption of debt. The move makes for a loss in the investment for Redstone that is estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. With the clock ticking down to a Dec. 19 deadline to repay or restructure a big pile of debt at his holding company National Amusements, the Redstone family's team of … [Read more...] about U.S. recession made official
HBO is finally bringing the world back home.The premium TV giant, owned by Time Warner, has been an active producer of high-end international television for more than a decade — producing local-language series for its regional operations in Europe, Asia and Latin America. But these shows, some of which were ratings hits and award-winners in their home countries, were rarely available in the United States, and when they were, they were typically only on smaller streaming platforms.But on Monday, HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler said that the company would be bringing the best of its global series to American viewers. Plepler told the MIPCOM market in Cannes that local shows from HBO's European unit have long outperformed imported U.S. shows. So HBO is ready to make the best of its indigenous shows from its international networks available to American subscribers."We're going to take a couple of those shows from each of the regions, bring them back to the United States and … [Read more...] about MIPCOM: HBO to Bring International Series to U.S.
Kenzo traditionally throws some of the best bashes — from an '80s punk prom theme to a taco truck feast a few seasons back — and this year, the second of its Fashion Week fetes was to celebrate the opening of its new Marais store.Kenzo presented its collection Thursday as the intermission of a traditional Japanese Kagura performance. It made for good Instagram, but left some editors grumbling at the hour-plus running time. Designer Humberto Leon addressed the critics, saying it was needed to stand out in a crowded Fashion Month.“We’ve been really thinking about what the experience is and I know that for a lot of journalists, it might be easier to come in and come out, but in many ways I feel like Fashion Week is such a big run-on sentence," he told Pret-a-Reporter. "When I’ve gone to shows as a buyer, the shows are formatted in a way that you see 400 shows in a season. I try to think about what will be a lasting memory — whether it’s a … [Read more...] about Kenzo Eyes Retail Return to U.S.
State-run Russian media outlets and officials have downplayed the latest revelations by Facebook and Twitter about activities during last year's U.S. presidential campaign, highlighting that Google has spoken about "limited" misuse of its services by Russia-related groups."[Google] revealed that just two accounts placed several ads, paying less than $5,000 for that," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by state-run news agency RIA Novosti. "That's a huge amount for a U.S. presidential campaign," he added sarcastically.Lavrov also repeated Russia's long-standing denial of any meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. "Neither [Kremlin-funded television network] RT, nor any other Russian agency misused Google, including YouTube, during last year's presidential election in the U.S.," he said.RT declined to comment on the statements from the U.S. tech giants since they did not specifically mention the network. However, RT ran a story on its website … [Read more...] about Russia Downplays Latest Signs of Online Meddling in U.S. Election
Paramount Pictures will distribute Bollywood epic Padmavati in the U.S. and all overseas markets outside India day-and-date with the film’s Dec. 1 opening in India.This is the first time Paramount will distribute a Bollywood film.The film is co-produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s banner Bhansali Productions. The film stars Deepika Padukone (xXx: Return of Xander Cage), Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. As one of the most anticipated titles of the year, Padmavati will be released in India by Viacom18 Motion Pictures.Bhansali first directed Padmavati as an opera in 2008 for the Theatre Du Chatelet in Paris, which was based on the 1923 opera written by Albert Rousselan. Bhansali’s production traveled to Rome and was also performed at Italy’s Spoleto festival.Bajirao Mastani, which was based on historical figures and also starred Padukone and Singh.Padmavati has all the makings of a hit film and we are excited to bring … [Read more...] about Paramount to Release Bollywood Epic ‘Padmavati’ in U.S., Globally Outside India