Deadline's ninth annual The ContenderLos Angeles event is now underway at the newly refurbished DGA Theater in Hollywood. An overflow crowd of Motion Picture Academy members, key guild members and other voters will see a record 20 studios and 38 movies paraded in front of them in the ultimate For Your Consideration event of the movie awards season. Check back on Deadline throughout the day as we cover it all, and follow along on social at #TheContenders.
It is hard to believe this is our ninth consecutive Contenders in Los Angeles, the city where this must-stop on the awards season circuit started it all. In that time it has only grown bigger and better, expanding with the demand to Emmy season and our The Contenders Emmys event in April, as well as to Oscar season events in London and New York. It is a logistical triumph to piece it all together, but with dedicated work from Madelyn Hammond and her programming magic — as well as a staff of dedicated Deadliners making it work so smoothy from dawn to dusk — it is the ultimate place to be in order to kick off the season for voters who need to be informed on what to watch when they get their screeners.
This year, the lineup truly covers the waterfront in terms of subject matter, size of budget, comedy, drama, dramedy, superheroes, personal passion projects, re-imaginings of real life events, animation, international sensations, and even a group of strippers !. These are the movies the studios themselves choose to showcase in order to get your consideration, so we should consider this annual lineup of awards hopefulsthe best of the best.
Increasingly true life stories have become a huge part of awards season, and this one is no different. At least 16 of the films on display deal with real people or real subjects. Some revolve around hot-button topics like The Report, Dark Waters, Bombshell, Just Mercy, The Banker, Seberg and more that are ripped from the headlines. Expect to see some of the actual people onstage that these movies were inspired by, in addition to the stars who play them. And speaking of that, we will be highlighting movies about icons of entertainment from Mister Rogers to Elton John to Sharon Tate to the aforementioned Jean Seberg. And speaking of icons, you can't go any higher than the two living Popes, Francis and Benedict. We don't have the real ones beaming in from the Vatican, but maybe the next best thing.
Movies got personal this year as well and we will explore films taken from the real lives of those actors and directors who lived them, however thinly disguised they may be. Those include Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story, Pedro Almodovar's Pain and Glory, Lulu Wang's The Farewelland Shia LaBeouf's Honey Boy.
From Harriet Taubman to Ford v Ferrari to an Irishman to some real-life huckster strippers, there will be something for everyone. The racial divide will be explored as we feature exciting new films like Waves, Queen & Slim and Jordan Peele's Get Out follow-up Us to name three that will have you talking. And it is gratifying to report that this year's The Contenders Los Angeles event sports the largest number of female directors in our history with at least nine appearing to talk about their awards-contending movies. Whether that is an encouraging trend or just the nature of the movie year 2019 remains to be seen, but we are happy to be able to showcase them and all these great movie. It is an embarrassment of riches.
With Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, his sixth film with Quentin Tarantino, cinematographer Robert Richardson sought to capture '60s Los Angeles in all its glory, filtered through the auteur's singular aesthetic, as well as his childhood memories.
Following a frustrated television actor struggling to make his transition to features and his loyal stunt double, the starry pic often lingers on the world behind the scenes of Hollywood's Golden Age, featuring recreations of real television series of the era—including Lancer and Hullabaloo—the fictional Bounty Law, as well as bits of cinematic wizardry that place Leonardo DiCaprio's Rick Dalton in well-known dramas, like John Sturges' The Great Escape.
Balancing the overarching aesthetic of Once Upon a Time with that of each of these productions, Richardson wound up shooting with a handful of cameras and many more lenses, on Super 8, 16 and 35mm, daunted by the question of whether all these formats would gel together nicely in the final film.
Tapping into the cinematic grammar of the various projects Tarantino was examining, while honing a fitting look for those that don't exist, the DP was put through his paces with this ambitious piece, finding it in the end “an absolute joy” that was “absolutely unique.”
While the challenges of bringing Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood to the screen were many, the biggest challenge for Richardson was one he's faced on every film he's shot to date. “Every time I start a film, I feel the same degree of fear. When you shoot [on] film particularly, there's a greater fear that exists within me,” the DP says. “It's like, did I get the right exposure? I don't have high-definition monitors telling me, Oh, that's right. You've got it perfect. There's nothing there. It's you doing it with your [light] meter, just believing that what you're doing is at the level you need it to be.”
Speaking with Deadline, Richardson offers his insights into the process of photographing Tarantino's latest, as well as his feelings about losing his closest collaborator, with the auteur's impending retirement from directing.
DEADLINE: What were your first impressions when Quentin Tarantino approached you for Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood?
ROBERT RICHARDSON: Well, he told me very little about the project until he asked me to come by and read it. I was sort of in the dark. I had been told it had something to do with the time period and the shifts between generational movies—in other words, from studio system to the Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas, De Palma world. So, I had really no previous information and no opinion whatsoever until I went and read the script at his house.
DEADLINE: What was that first read like?
RICHARDSON: Highly stimulating, to say the least. You know, I'm in the room with Quentin, and Quentin's watching me the entire time I'm reading, and I was taking notes, because so much of the information within the script was about music, was about actors I didn't know, about television series I was unfamiliar with. It was just a tremendous amount to absorb. So, I laid down notes as I read the script, and he never left the room.
I was reading at the dining room table, and he was in the living room, and he would glance periodically towards me to see, what level of response did I have? And it was quite remarkable, honestly. It was an extraordinarily well written script, as everything I've read by Quentin is, and I was just deeply, deeply locked in—and eventually, I just lost him, as a human being in the room. I was in the script.
The only issue that came up when I finished the script [is] I said, “Wait a minute, where's the last act?
DEADLINE: Tarantino was watching you the entire time? This must have been a three- or four-hour read.
RICHARDSON: Yes, it was. [Laughs] That's the intimidating factor of Quentin. Quentin had no problem watching me for three hours. I had a problem thinking, Dude, this is weird that you're watching me read this. And at the same time, I thought, you know what? I don't have an issue. I've known Quentin for way too long now. There's not really a barrier that I feel I wouldn't be willing to be put to task with, because Quentin's become someone that's perhaps the closest collaborator I've been with in many, many years.
I mean, Oliver [Stone] was obviously an extremely close collaborator. But Quentin has become that for me, and another step. So, it was quite remarkable to be able to sit in the room and have him watching, because I have no problem being quite honest. So, if I didn't like the script, he would've known it, you know? I couldn't hide that; I wouldn't try to hide that. But I loved the script, and the actors hadn't even been picked at that point, so I was trying to imagine who might be in it. He had some names, and he had told me some of the names, but nothing had been locked.
DEADLINE: Reading the script, what stood out to you as exciting, in terms of what you might be able to do with the camera?
RICHARDSON: Well of course, to be able to deal in different time frames with different mediums—to go back and to have to deal with how television was shot. It was shot on film to do interviews for television, as well—as well as doing black-and-white material from earlier shows, basically with Leo [DiCaprio], and then later with Lancer. All of that was fascinating to me, and of course I knew very well the Polanski aspect, and the time period. I've been in that time period before, with The Doors, and the same [production] designer was on that, who was on this.
DEADLINE: It must have been much more logistically complicated to shoot out on location in Los Angeles for this film. Much has changed since the 1991 release of The Doors.
RICHARDSON: Yeah. I mean, there were a hundred locations or sets, somewhere around that number. It was very, very complex for me to shoot. The way in which we shoot now on many projects has shifted tremendously from only a few years ago, and that's essentially the influence of digital, and also smartphones. The aesthetics have altered, and the manner of capture has altered.
There's a tendency to create only with what is available, and when you go back to film, and you have to shoot film at a different ASA, you need to model it more, and you have to add to it more than you do now, when you deal with 800 to 1600, or whatever number ASA you want to shoot at, depending upon the gear. And the way in which you format, Quentin hasn't changed. Quentin stays in that spot, where he's directing every shot to be precisely what he sees in his head. That is really the great joy of making a movie with Quentin, is that he has a strong, strong mind towards what he has seen in his brain for years. He wants that put down; that's what he wants, and that's why we love Quentin.
DEADLINE: What did you discuss with Tarantino early on, in terms of an overarching aesthetic for Once Upon a Time? Obviously, he wanted to recreate '60s LA with extreme precision.
RICHARDSON: First of all, it's Quentin, as Quentin is in many films. He has certain things he likes to repeat. I think that for me, what we talked about was to have a color palette that was rich, that did not feel as if it was period, as if you would have gone back in the 1960s and put a sepia [filter over it]. There was no attempt to desaturate. The attitude had to be contemporary, full of color, but still in some way thread the needle towards a period of time that's well known to everyone. We wanted it to feel not slick, not to fall into the path of that which is too polished, to leave something rough around the edges, yet not lose the quality of the way in which we shot, or lit, or acted—to not lose it, but to be mindful at all times of the time period we're trying to capture, and to keep the freedom that was coming alive—but at the same time, holding onto the characters' movement, particularly Leo's slump, his falling from a , and the fear of what it was not to find what he actually wanted, which was a feature career. Then, he may forever be extinguished from the world, in terms of a respect for his work, and yet you have Brad [Pitt] and Margot [Robbie], who keep a bright star burning everywhere, no matter what they're going through.
That was the balance we tried to find, in the way we shot. Quentin, of course, juxtaposes Brad's life, in a trailer with a dog, and yet he's watching Mannix, and what a bright smile he has. It's really a beautiful juxtaposition, and that was the complexity of shooting the movie, was to find a way to say something about each one that spoke separately to them—to allow the actors to shine, in the way they were telling their part of the story.
DEADLINE: This film had you shooting on several different kinds of cameras and a huge variety of lenses, in Super 8, 16 and 35mm. Have you ever shot with such a wide array of formats before for one single film?
RICHARDSON: Not with Quentin. Natural Born Killers is [similar], which is a Quentin script, so I guess that's with Quentin to some extent—although he disowns that one. The script, that is...I don't actually know. We've never really gone into a detailed conversation about that film. But of course, that was multiple formats, and so was JFK—and Nixon, as well. They're just amazingly complex, in terms of how you thread that—even the work with Errol Morris.
It wasn't the most I've ever done, but it was great with Quentin. He's very specific. Quentin chose when to move to something, and it was for a specific reason. For NBK, with Oliver and myself, we went for something that was a bit more Jackson Pollock. JFK was extremely specific in why it's used, what is used, and when it's used, and in this case, it's very similar. Why we used what we used, when we used it, is what it was all about. We could've gone another couple steps, but some decisions were made—like, 70mm was discarded, for reasons that were technical, primarily, and financial, to some extent.
DEADLINE: Could you break down how you applied certain formats to certain scenes—for example, those taking place on the sets of real television series of the '60s, or the set of Bounty Law?
RICHARDSON: Well certainly, if you look at Bounty Law, it's black and white, and it was shot on black-and-white film. And it was in 1.33, which is vastly different than [ Once Upon a Time], which was shot in 2.40, or anamorphic scale. It wasn't an anamorphic show, so you have that, and you have Super 8, which is again, a sort of 1.33 format home movie. [It was] complicated for some of that, but also getting film is more complicated now than it was before.
We had some issues with getting reversal stocks, and some failures in the stocks, and we did some 16mm shooting, as well. In some of those sequences, too, I was a bit afraid that the Super 8 would not work, so we duplicated some in 16. That 16 sequence, for example, by the pool, that's in the movie, I shot on Super 8, and then I shot it on 16. Because I didn't know what was going to happen to the stock, how long it was going to take—and if it came out, would it be strong enough, visually? It ended up being used as 16mm, but [when] the 16mm went into the lab, it broke while being developed, so what you see on the screen, which was very Stan Brakhage—these large scrapes and very odd detailing on the top of the celluloid—was because it sat in a tank for a vast amount of time, before they could get it out and remove it. And they were only able to retrieve essentially what you saw.
DEADLINE: Could you expand on the approach to other recreations—for example, the film's recreation of Hullabaloo?
RICHARDSON: Hullabaloo, we did shoot with 35, in a spherical manner. We debated whether to shoot it on video, and chose to do it in 35, but the way we lit was as you would have lit a sequence like that—very flat light. And that is actually what makes it so interesting. We tried to make it look effortless—like, you don't have to think about what that scene is, or how it was shot, because it doesn't draw attention to itself. It just fits within the movie. The attempt on this film is to make it seamless. You shouldn't be drawing attention to the imagery, or what's difficult, or what's not difficult. You shouldn't be thinking about whether the camera actually went up over that roof, meeting Leo in the pool. It's like, if you're thinking about how we did the shot, then we made an error—and there are no visual effects there. It's literally, the camera moves, and comes back from that distance, and we created that shot. I think that could have been take one or two.
It fell into place so easily, and I must say that the first time I did that in a rehearsal, before we brought the actors in, I was deeply surprised. Because I thought this was going to be a nightmare to achieve. But it's such a strong crew that surrounds me, and all of the spirits of film were behind us on this movie. Whatever the reason is, we had very good karma, and everyone was moving at the same level, which is not often the case when making a film. It was amazing, the synchronicity.
DEADLINE: How did you approach the insertion of Leonardo DiCaprio into The Great Escape?
RICHARDSON: Obviously, the Steve McQueen aspect of The Great Escape was a challenge. Like, how do you introduce a character into a movie and make it feel as if he's in that film? All of that is, you're creating and trying to utilize movie language. We were sitting down with [Visual Effects Designer] John Dykstra to say, what do I do, and then evaluating, how do I light this? I'm looking at the shadows in the background of this actual sequence—“How do I create this look? What do you think they might have used?”—researching photographs to find out what you think they [did] behind the scenes. Any information we could get, we took, in order to be able to make that, and decide, what lens do you think they used at that time? Because it's not going to match what lenses we're utilizing in this time period. So, how do we get that so John doesn't have difficulty tying Leo in?
John and I talked about it, and we came to a decision on a certain lens that seemed to be the most likely lens that would be the closest to that time period, and then lit it in a similar way, so that we feel as if it matched, based upon what we saw in the film that Sturges directed.
DEADLINE: How exactly did you arrive at your conclusion, as to the kind of lens they were probably using for the real scene from The Great Escape,and the kind of lens you should use to match that scene?
RICHARDSON: Well, you start with, what's the size of the frame? How far apart are [the characters]? Does it seem to be a similar framing? Do you think they were on a zoom? No, I don't think they were on a zoom; we were dealing with a prime lens. What prime lens did you think was best? Let's look at the depth of field. They're clearly lighting it from one side, yet probably using arcs. You can see when they had a cover over the set. So, [I was able to glean] a lot of information. It just took time and a few tests, to see whether or not it felt like the correct lens.
DEADLINE: What did the set for that recreation look like?
RICHARDSON: There was no set. We shot that in a parking lot with a green screen. It was the only way to do it, because you had to do a body replacement. You can't replicate the background. We built a ramp for [DiCaprio], so it looked like he was moving in a certain way. It was all done to the specs of what the film was, [keeping] the general movement to see that it could replace properly, and stay within the perspective. Then, you had to take Steve McQueen out and rotoscope him in—or whatever they utilized for a technique to achieve that.
But it was more about coming to a conclusion of what was the best way to achieve it, and then what we would do is, as we looked at it, we would [say], “Oh, I think the camera was maybe three inches higher.” We'd play it back directly atop the other material in the original film to determine what , so that you wouldn't have this issue. Because Leo's versus Steve McQueen's is different in the first place.
DEADLINE: So much of Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood takes place in cars. What kinds of techniques and technology did you employ to capture these moments?
RICHARDSON: We used primarily old-school mounts, suction cups, cameras on them—sometimes on trailers—because it allowed Quentin to have more conversation with the actors during the sequence, and a lot of free camera movement, as well, car-to-car. We tried to keep a freedom to that, which was actually quite a joy, because I hadn't done that much car material. You know, I've always wanted to make a road movie. So for me, there were multiple tools utilized, from ordinary to more advanced, such as car-to-car, and you had to be in total sync with the driver, and the operator of the crane. We utilized contemporary elements to achieve what wouldn't have been able to be done years ago in the same degree, or with the same degree of precision, now allowing for the element that we talked about earlier, which was to leave a rough edge on the sides.
DEADLINE: Having worked with Tarantino for so many years, how do you feel about his declaration that his next film will be his last?
RICHARDSON: I said to him, “I'm going to be terribly sad if you stop, but I understand that this is where you want to go in your career, and that you feel like at some point, you don't want to make movies anymore.” I also respect him deeply, because if he feels he's at the end of what might be his best work, you have to slide with that. I don't want to step in the path of that, but I hate to lose somebody that I've loved collaborating with. Because it's rare in our lives, [for] anyone in the business, to find someone that you deeply love and respect, and that creates at the level in which he's creating, [with] a huge, massive fire within his belly and his mind. That is what we all want, as collaborators, [to work with those] at the very top of their form, who only are making it because they love it.
Sony dropped a lot of dough on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and they want to make sure they get their money’s worth. They’re angling Quentin Tarantino‘s hit for awards season glory, and that means they’re going to keep the movie in the public eye. The film got a theatrical re-release last weekend with additional scenes, and now, Tarantino and stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt are getting together again for your viewing pleasure. The three will take part in a moderated panel discussion to discuss the making of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and that discussion is set to be live-streamed exclusively in theaters across the country on Saturday.
Want to get the inside scoop on the making of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood? This weekend you’ll have your chance. On November 2 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time and 12:30 p.m. Pacific time, a screening of the film will be held in theaters across the country. After the screening, moviegoers will be able to watch a live-stream of Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio taking part in a moderated Q&A about the film. The event will be live-streamed from Tarantino’s own New Beverly, and the Tarantino, DiCaprio, and Pitt are expected to discuss “the production, their reasons for wanting to make the film, and the challenges and triumphs of bringing 1969-era Hollywood to glorious life on the screen.
The event will be free for all moviegoers but will require tickets. Tickets will be distributed only at the theaters showing the event on a first-come, first-served basis. Moviegoers interested in attending the event should arrive early as tickets will be limited. The event will be exclusive to theaters and will not be streamed online.
Here’s a list of theaters showing the event:
Ann Arbor, MI
603 E Liberty Street
Regal Hollywood 24 Chamblee
3265 NE Expressway Access
320 E 6th Street
Arclight Bethesda 16
7101 Democracy Blvd
Arclight Lincoln Park 14
1500 North Clybourn
231 W Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
New Beverly Cinema
7165 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA Sherman Oaks
Arclight Galleria Sherman Oaks 16
15301 Ventura Blvd
Mega-Plex Marché Central 18
901 Crémazie Ouest
New York Manhattan
**Start time at 6:15 p.m. ET at this location only**
**Q&A to be followed by the film at this location** Regal Essex Crossing 14
129 Delancey Street
New York Yonkers
Alamo Yonkers 6
2548 Central Park Ave
Philadelphia Oaks, PA
Regal Marketplace @ Oaks Stadium 24
180 Mill Road
Portland Vancouver, WA
Regal Cascade 16
1101 ESE 160th Ave
Arclight La Jolla 14
4425 La Jolla Village Drive
Alamo New Mission 2550 Mission Street
San Francisco San Rafael, CA
Christopher B Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 4th Ave
Regal Meridian Cinemas 16
1501 Seventh Ave
Shangri-La Hotel Toronto
188 University Avenue
Sony Pictures Imageworks
500-725 Granville Street
Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton Leonardo DiCaprio and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth Brad Pitt make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age. Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino. Produced by David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino. Georgia Kacandes, YU Dong and Jeffrey Chan serve as executive producers. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Al Pacino.
NBCUniversal international chief Kevin MacLellan is to leave the Hollywood studio and his departure will see the company “more closely align” its U.S. and international operations.
MacLellan has been with Comcast since 2001 and was most recently Chairman of Global Distribution and International.
Jeff Shell, Chairman, NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment, in a note to staff, said that he was “disappointed” to reveal MacLellan's exit. “Kevin MacLellan has made the difficult decision to leave the company and is ready to move on to his next challenge. Kevin and I have worked closely together for over 14 years, during which time he has always been a trusted friend and advisor,” he wrote.
MacLellan advised on Comcast's acquisition of Sky, launched streaming service hayu in 14 countries and oversaw the company's international studios business, which includes Downton Abbey producer Carnival. “We are sorry to see him go, but look forward to seeing what his next chapter will be,” he added.
One of the major changes following MacLellan's exit is that it will bring the international production division under the leadership of Bonnie Hammer and George Cheeks.
Earlier this month, the Hollywood studio brought Universal Television and Universal Content Productions together under a single business, NBCUniversal Content Studios, run by Chair Bonnie Hammer and Vice Chair George Cheeks. The pair will now have responsibility for NBCUniversal International Studios, which encompasses the likes of Downton Abbey producer Carnival, Hanna producer Working Title TV, Made In Chelsea producer Monkey and Australian drama producer Matchbox.
This division, run by president and NBCUniversal cable veteran Jeff Wachtel, previously reported to Maclellan. Wachtel has overseen the international production unit since January 2018, first from LA before moving to London. The company's indies are currently producing series including Carnival's Julian Fellowes-penned period drama Belgravia left for Epix and ITV and an adaptation of Emily St John Mandel's mystery thriller The Glass Hotel via its Canadian company Lark Productions. In addition to Hanna, recent successes of the international studio under Wachtel include The Capture for BBC and shepherding the Downton Abbey movie with Focus Features.
Separately, the company's international formats team, which oversees the global rollout of formats such as Saturday Night Live and World of Dance, will now come under Meredith Ahr, President of NBCU's Alternative & Reality division.
“In light of Kevin's departure, we have reassessed our international organizational structure. With the rapidly evolving global media landscape, we have decided to more closely align our U.S. and international operations. This will perfectly position us for future growth, as we take advantage of our increased international footprint and the growing number of platforms for our content,” said Shell.
Elsewhere, Ken Bettstellerwill become President, Global Networks,overseeing all non-Sky Network operations across EMEA, APAC andLatAm, adding Lee Raftery as a direct report, and partnering with Justin Che. Bettstellerwill report directly toCesar Conde, Chairman, NBCUniversal International Group and Telemundo Enterprises. DreamWorksAnimation Networks,headed by Jennifer Lawlor, will reportto Raftery.
DuccioDonati, EVP, Lifestyle & Kids Networks,will now reporttoFrances Berwick, President of the NBCUniversal Lifestyle Networks. Donati willcontinue to overseeE! Entertainment Television internationally and will take on oversight ofhayuled byHendrik McDermott.
Global Distribution,ledby Belinda Menendez and now encompassing Sky Vision,will now report jointly to Cheeks and Pete Levinsohn, President and Chief Distribution Officer for Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.
Business Development in EMEA will move under Sky,with Ben Braun, SVP, Strategy & Business Development, coordinating BusinessDevelopment inLatAmand APACin partnership withCesar and Justin Che.
Finally, David Gibbons, SVP, International Operations & Technology, will leave his role in 2020 following completion of key integration projects.
“Change is never easy, but I'm confident that we have never been better positioned for global growth. The combination of our outstanding international team, with the strength and reach of our new sister company Sky, sets us up for future success in a very competitive marketplace,” Shell added.
Sony Pictures Entertainment has posted a 73% jump in profits for the second quarter, snaring $366M during the July-September period. This is the third straight Q2 to see significant increases in the film segment, and is largely attributable to Marvel sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home and Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
The friendly neighborhood arachnid become Sony Pictures' highest-grossing global release ever this summer, having caught $1.3B at the worldwide box office. Hollywood has also contributing muscle to the period with $370M global to date.
From Tokyo today, Sony Corp overall reported a 16% hike in earnings versus the comparable 2018 frame. This is a new Q2 record for the entertainment and electronics giant with operating income rising to 279B yen $2.6B for the three months ended September 30. Increases were cited in the Imaging, Electronics, Music and Film divisions.
Sales in film and TV were up 12% on a dollar basis, to $2.43B. However, Sony did note lower licensing revenues for its U.S. television catalog and higher development expenses in TV productions. Looking at the full fiscal 2019, SPE's sales forecast has been revised 5% downward to $9.6B. Sony says the culprit is a delay in the timing of theatrical releases, though that will positively impact operating income whose outlook has been inched upwards to $651M.
Sony currently has Zombieland: Double Tap in theaters as it continues international rollout. On deck through the end of the year are the Elizabeth Banks-directed Charlie's Angels, Tom Hanks-starrer A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood and Jumanji: The Next Level which releases in mid-December.
Elsewhere, the games division was down as the PlayStation 4 console reaches its sell-by date and as the new PlayStation 5 console is coming in 2020. Sales dropped about 17% for operating income of $605M. Sony said on Tuesday that it plans to shutter its PlayStation Vue skinny-bundle TV service in order to refocus on its core videogame business. The end of the line will come next January 30.
Overall, Sony boosted its full-year 2019 outlook by 4%, aiming for 840B yen $7.7B in profits.
After a relatively calm day on the fire lines in Southern California, the National Weather Service's Los Angeles office has issued a rare, if not unprecedented, “extreme red flag warning” for L.A. and Ventura counties tonight see it here. The alert comes ahead of what authorities are calling “the most significant wind event over the past few years,” which is expected to begin around 11 p.m.
The warning runs through 6 a.m. Wednesday, and all mandatory evacuations ordered earlier in the week remain in effect.
Ringo H W Chiu/Shutterstock
Note that an “extreme red flag warning” doesn't actually exist in the Weather Service's terminology, but the ened danger apparently warranted such language.
The forecast calls for peak Santa Ana wind gusts of 50-70 mph with “isolated gusts to 80 mph possible in the Santa Monica and Los Angeles County mountains.” Noting the arid 3%-10% humidity, the Weather Service warns of “high potential for very rapid fire spread, long-range spotting and extreme fire behavior with any new fire ignitions.”
During a news conference Tuesday about the Getty Fire that broke out early Monday morning in the Sepulveda Pass, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke of potentially dire circumstances overnight. After first offering some good news — that fire is 15% contained, and that there is “no open flame right now” — the mayor's message turned ominous.
“But — and this is the big 'but,' we have the most significant wind event in Los Angeles of the year that will be starting this evening around 11 o'clock.” he said. “It will peak at 3 a.m. but continue on through Thursday. ... And there are still embers throughout this territory.”
He then compared the potential for wildfire tonight to a pair of historic L.A. firestorms. “I'm looking at 1961 [Bel-Air Fire], also the Mandeville Canyon fire in the 1970s — we are listening to our fire professionals who are making that call to continue to keep people evacuated in that mandatory-evacuation area. All it takes is one ember ... and we could see new fire or fires emerge in this area.”
The Santa Ana winds-driven fire that devastated the tony Bel-Air community in November 1961 destroyed more than 480 homes and charred some 16,900 acres. The 1978 Mandeville Canyon fire burned from Agoura in the West Valley through the canyons to Malibu and the ocean, costing 230 homes.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Fire Department noted that the city's red-flag parking restrictions took effect at 8 p.m. Tuesday and, “due to the expected severe wind event, the parking restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.” That means authorities will “remove vehicles that create a hazardous condition on Red Flag Days.”
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