This week in industry news: Scientologists, robots and egotistical actors! Welcome to Hollywood, what’s your dream?
- The Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith (remember when he was married to his high school sweetheart and then dumped her for Jada?) are funding a private school that is scheduled to open in Calabasas in the fall. The school is sparking controversy because, even though the Smiths insist they are not Scientologists, a number of the school’s faculty are and the school will be employing teaching methods first written about by Scientologist founder L. Ron Hubbard. I think we’re missing the point here: these kids are going to have to be in Calabasas! That cannot possibly be a good learning environment.
- Pixar’s WALL-E debuted at number one with $62.5 million and Wanted opened at number 2 with $51.1 million, over $100 million between the two of them. As far as summer activities go, that’s like, 10 trips to Disneyland, so, not bad.
- Though most of the country has their election eye glued to the 2008 Presidential race, Hollywood big wigs are already looking forward to 2009 and donating money to Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villraigosa who is, as of now, without opposition. Oh, that’s a good use of his time, then.
- Jeff Goldblum is joining the cast of Law & Order: Criminal Intent in the fall. I’m not sure which one this is — I only watch the one with Ice-T — but I’m a little disappointed because it means that Raines isn’t going to have anymore seasons. I kind of liked that show. Remember? Raines? He talked to dead people? Whatever, it was good.
- OMG! The SAG contract expires at 12:01 Tuesday and THERE IS NO DEAL! SAG leadership is pointing fingers at both the AMPTP and AFTRA, but not taking any blame for the slow negotiations themselves. What? Actors are stubborn and self-centered? My world is shattered once again.
- Last week saw the federal government’s first conviction of an administrator of a peer-to-peer bittorrenting pirate, who now faces up to 10 years in prison. Gosh, this is not going to make stealing movies any less convenient and cheap.