‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ pushed back to March 2013 for 3D conversion

http://twitter.com/#!/SplashPageFilms/status/205406575567966209

It’s hard not to get hyped about an action sequel featuring new cast members like The Rock and Bruce Willis; even if the original didn’t do much to wet our anticipation for the next one.

That’s just how it is with action legends, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation is proof. The sequel was originally slated for release on June 29th, 2012, and was all set to be this summer’s blockbuster. Fans loved the addition of the face of sports entertainment, Dwayne Johnson, and the face of the Die Hard franchise and many other action classics, Bruce Willis. With those names in mind, it’s not hard to wonder why the sequel stood tall as one of the most anticipated action flicks of the year.

The recent report coming out of Cinema Blend says you’re going to have to wait a little longer. The news has burst over Twitter, confirming the push of the release date:

Par is moving G.I. JOE: RETALIATION from June 29 all the way back to March 29, 2013. Why? The studio is converting it to 3D.

— Andrew Stewart (@Stew2MAX) May 23, 2012

Breaking: Paramount has put back the release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation by nine months, to add 3D http://t.co/xyu5cJur

— Den Of Geek (@denofgeek) May 23, 2012

News Update: Yes it is true – G.I. Joe: Retaliation pushed back NINE months to March, 2013 http://t.co/zTkY1ZUw

— GeneralsJoes | YoJoe (@GeneralsJoes) May 23, 2012

All for the sake of 3-D? You shouldn’t have to wonder why that might be. We’ve all seen the prices of 3-d films, with most theaters carrying a $2-3, if not higher, cost on tickets. With enough people willing to shell over a few extra bucks to wear those funky glasses and see images stick a few inches out from the screen, it’s no surprise Paramount is hopping on the train, and re-formatting G.I. Joe: Retaliation, so that it too might rake in those dollars.

With ‘G.I. Joe 2′ trending on Twitter, everyone’s putting their own two cents in:

How massive is the Avengers? Where did G.I.Joe 2 go?….next March. #ouch

— Corey Mann (@mynameiscorey) May 23, 2012

https://twitter.com/MrsBillKaulitz4/status/205407357679845376

https://twitter.com/IG3N/status/205407250074959873

*reads up on the current reason G.I. Joe 2 is trending worldwide* …… Oh wow, that kinds sucks.

— fossilized tree sap (@MiraiBaby) May 23, 2012

G.I. Joe 2..I've been waiting for so long..now I have to wait till 2013?! Better be worth the wait..

— Vale † Byn (@twimore) May 23, 2012

Business-wise, G.I. JOE 2's shift may make sense… but creatively, it sucks…

— Billy Donnelly (@infamouskidd) May 23, 2012

https://twitter.com/rachaeljobbins/status/205406838865403906

The change doesn’t affect everyone, however:

https://twitter.com/RealJamalDB/status/205406745797996544

I guess G.I. Joe 2 is adding 3D to make it watchable.

— Earl Sinclair (@CallMeRudeSir) May 23, 2012

Will the wait be worth it? Only time will tell, and now we got a lot of it. However, some of us are easier to please than others:

https://twitter.com/simplyNTM/status/205406698595291136

While it’s a strategical move that will most likely bring Paramount some extra millions, that doesn’t mean we can’t slam our fists on the table and have a hissy fit until then. So go on, get a little mad, lose yourself!

Then just go see the Avengers again. You’ll be alright.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/05/23/g-i-joe-retaliation/


Someone Said Twitter’s CEO Is Going To Lose His Job, And The Stock Is Soaring

The rumor mill that Dick Costolo’s time is running out continues to churn.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo with Cameron Diaz Stephen Lam / Reuters

Another week, another rumor that Dick Costolo is losing his job.

This time, the mention comes from Robert Peck, an analyst at SunTrust who said, “There’s a good chance he’s not there in a year.” Peck made the call on CNBC earlier today.

Indeed, the whispers that Costolo’s time is running out have been getting louder. Twitter has gone through three heads of product in a year, not to mention the ouster of COO Ali Rowghani. In recent weeks, the rumor mill turned to Costolo, suggesting he may be the next one to be shown the door. Shortly after Peck made the call on CNBC, Twitter’s shares rose by around 3%.

While Twitter’s business continues to churn along — monetizing the service has never been Twitter’s big problem — the company hasn’t yet found a way to reignite user growth. Earlier, BuzzFeed News reported that after Rowghani’s ouster, Twitter’s growth team was reorganized into a central unit. Meanwhile, Daniel Graf — a Google alumni — was given the job as head of product. He promptly lost his job, with Kevin Weil, a longtime Twitter employee, getting the role.

Many observers and people close to the company attribute the shortfall to Costolo, who is seen largely as an operational CEO and not a product visionary — hence the revolving door at the product role. Costolo, however, is savvy and thus far has been able to navigate turmoil at the company. Still, investor patience is waning: Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal wrote a scathing story that demonstrated some of the community’s frustration with Costolo, which sources close to the company described as “spot on.”

Costolo is beloved by a segment of employees at the company, and it’s possible that his upper-management changes have bought him enough time to see the company through the Super Bowl — an event where Twitter will no doubt see a frenzy of activity.

Still, as is often the case in technology, rumors have some element of truth behind them, and the truth seems clear to both observers and investors: Costolo is running out of time.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattlynley/someone-said-twitters-ceo-is-going-to-lose-his-job-and-the-s


But Thats None Of My Business

But Thats None Of My Business

Read more: https://imgflip.com/i/aximt


Sen. Harry Reid blames GOP for ‘constant stream of falsehoods’ on Benghazi

http://twitter.com/#!/ChadPergram/status/269582416954421248

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who distinguished himself throughout the presidential campaign by claiming some guy told him Mitt Romney might not have paid his taxes, keeps calling on Democrats and Republicans to “turn away from divisions of the past” and cooperate. Next year, maybe? For now, Reid is keeping partisanship open for business, especially when it comes to Benghazi.

Sen. John McCain has called for the formation of a Senate select committee to investigate the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Libya which killed four Americans, and Reid today sent McCain a long letter with a very blunt message: “I refuse to allow the Senate to be used as a venue for baseless partisan attacks.” Well, then. We thought the attacks in question had taken place in Benghazi, but Reid is more concerned with providing cover for Democrats in Washington. Besides, what’s the point? Reid wrote further, “The elections are over; it is time to put aside the partisan politicization of national security.”

Reid says creation of a special committee to probe #Benghazi would “undermine the numerous investigations” and politicze it.

— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) November 16, 2012

As the CIA and Pentagon finally release their official timelines of Sept. 11 and Gen. David Petraeus and others testify, it is looking more and more like there has been a constant stream of falsehoods, but not from the GOP.

Reid lectures GOP senators asking for special #Benghazi cmte. Says their efforts should be “more judiciously deployed.”

— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) November 16, 2012

@chadpergram What better way to get the facts than to do a thorough, independent investigation?

— Norma Connors (@NormaConnors) November 16, 2012

@chadpergram Reid, another liar. Despicable, repulsive Harry Reid.

— SandraDavis (@SaCDav) November 16, 2012

@chadpergram – how about everyone bomabrding Senator Reid with demands that he do what is right by the American People?!?!

— Deb V (@oriolemom) November 17, 2012

@politico Who is surprised that Lap Dog Harry Reid says no to Libya Panel. LOL. Did anyone expect him to say yes?

— Debra (@AU_bebe) November 17, 2012

HARRY Reid is a disgrace. Nevadans should be embarrassed.RT @politico Harry Reid to senators: No Libya panel — politi.co/TW07Zc

— Keith Bliss (@KBGunner1) November 17, 2012

@politico @seungminkim Harry Reid is a coward. He is putting politics over four DEAD Americans.

— Jeffrey A Gray (@jeffreyalangray) November 17, 2012

One point of progress: in his letter, Reid seems to have acknowledged that Amb. Susan Rice’s “blame the video” carpet bombing of television news programs was part of that stream of “Republican” falsehoods.

@gretawire (too funny) Harry Reid’s letter states: In the weeks following “THIS TERRORIST ATTACK”…Repubs have misrepresented Facts…

— greybeard (@greybeard411) November 17, 2012

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/11/16/sen-harry-reid-blames-gop-for-spreading-constant-stream-of-falsehoods-on-benghazi/


A Rare Look Inside The Sausage Factory Of Media Consolidation

Modern media is dominated by a handful of giants, each with Byzantine internal structures. Here’s why.

Ursula Coyote / AMC

The media industry has been in a state of never-ending consolidation for decades, with conglomerates being swallowed by conglomerates, and others being chopped up and resold in a vast game of corporate Lego. As a result, the giants that now dominate the business are often incredibly complex: Take a look at the corporate maneuverings of John Malone’s Liberty Media empire, or the leviathan that is Comcast.

In late October, bankers at UBS tried to throw a couple more ingredients into the sausage grinder. In a pitch to film and TV giant Sony Entertainment, they proposed taking over AMC Networks, the owner of cable channels including AMC, Sundance, and IFC.

But this is media, so the deal couldn’t be that simple. Sony shouldn’t outright buy AMC, the bankers said in a presentation leaked alongside millions of others in a hacking attack late last year. Instead, the bankers said, Sony Pictures should be spun off from its Japanese parent company, into a new company, which would then be merged with AMC. Existing Sony shareholders would own 80% of the new business, and AMC would own 20%.

The convoluted exercise — never followed up on by Sony — is an example of how the complicated and sometimes baffling structure of the media industry leads to deals that are designed to satisfy needs beyond simple economic rationalism.

It’s also an example of the media consolidation arms race currently under way, as huge players look to get even bigger to remain in a similar weight class as Comcast, which is already the country’s largest cable company, and has agreed to buy Time Warner Cable, just a few years after swallowing up NBC/Universal. Telecom giant AT&T, has agreed to buy DirectTV, one of the nation’s biggest pay TV operators.

“Scale [is] becoming increasingly critical with recent wave of cable consolidation (Comcast / TWC / Charter, AT&T / DTV) and large scale content M&A expected to shortly follow,” the presentation says.

A Sony spokesperson declined to comment; AMC and UBS did not respond to requests for comment.

The presentation, which was included in a trove of Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton’s emails leaked by hackers last year, was prepared by UBS investment bankers. The rationale for the complex deal was Sony Pictures was “missing valuable U.S. cable network portfolio” that would turn Sony into a “leading television business with content production and distribution across all platforms and geographies.”

The proposal envisioned Sony purchasing AMC at a 30% premium to its then-price of $58.44 (the stock is now at $63), a $8.48 billion deal including AMC’s $2.8 billion in debt. A person close to Sony said that the presentation wasn’t solicited by Sony executives and wasn’t considered by Lynton, although such proposals are often prepared by investment bankers and presented to companies they have relationships with.

AMC Networks, which broadcasted the Sony-produced Breaking Bad on its flagship channel, has a “proven original programming model, secure distribution, valuable brand for advertisers and strong international channels,” the pitch said, and would, importantly, provide “significant cash flow generation for Sony.”

Many analysts consider companies with a library of high-quality original serialized content ready for broadcast — like Time Warner’s HBO and AMC Networks’ AMC — as increasingly valuable thanks to the ability to distribute shows like Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones more widely to devoted fans throughout the world.

Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG, said he didn’t think AMC was a good buy, and wouldn’t be purchased by anyone in 2015 because two of its three must-watch shows, Breaking Bad and Mad Men, have ended or will end. On top of that, TV advertising is still under pressure, the cable TV “bundle” is being gradually picked apart, with only truly must-see “appointment” TV holding up pay TV’s expensive pricing. And if cable bundles shrink in size — like Dish Network’s new streaming Sling TV service — AMC could be left on the outside (it’s not included on Sling TV).

But with a cable network, Sony would also have a natural destination for the shows it produces, international distribution through Chellomedia, the overseas cable business AMC acquired from Liberty Media in 2013, and would get access to steady revenue from AMC’s payments from cable providers.

AMC has long been rumored to be an acquisition target, and its recent success with Don Draper and Walter White added to the sheen. Investors and analysts have also long pushed some kind of reorganization of Sony and making its entertainment and movie assets somewhat independent from the company.

Activist investor Dan Loeb advocated for listing a 20% stake of Sony’s entertainment business so that it could get its own stand-alone from investors. Sony executives have long said they don’t have any interest in splitting up the company. Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai told Variety last year, “I’m not entertaining even the notion of selling our entertainment assets.”

Like many deals dreamed up by finance types, the numbers behind the proposed tie-up are more complicated than just adding up all the cash the businesses generate on their own. UBS projected that the deal would generate $3 billion in value from the combined companies, just by taking a piece out of Sony — the assumption being that investors would pay more for a pure-play entertainment company than they would for one locked up inside a sprawling consumer electronics business. The bankers also projected some $100 million in “synergies” — essentially, money saved by getting rid of work that is duplicated — between the two.

UBS estimated Sony’s television and movie business had revenues of $8.4 billion, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $752 million, and a multiple — meaning the ratio between a company’s per share earnings and its overall value and a measure of investor’s estimate of growth of future revenues — of 8X. The new company with AMC would have revenues of $10.7 billion, EBITDA of $1.47 billion and a new multiple of 10.5X.

Sony Pictures, the bankers estimate, is worth $10 billion, and the two companies together would have an enterprise value of $18.5 billion. The value of AMC’s stock when the presentation was given, however, was $5.6 billion. AMC today has a market capitalization of $4.45 billion.

An additional complication in the proposed deal was how to treat the Dolan family, which controls two-thirds of the shareholder votes at AMC through their ownership of the company’s class-B shares, which carry extra voting power.

An all-cash acquisition of AMC, the bankers said, would mean a hefty tax bill for the Dolans. If, however, Sony Pictures and AMC were combined into a new company, the Dolans would own 3.4% of its stock and pay less in taxes than if they received cash or Sony stock.

Odd structures to reduce taxes are common in this kind of dealmaking. In March, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway announced a deal to exchange 1.6 million shares of Graham Holdings for cash, Berkshire shares, and a TV station. The deal structure helped the companies avoid nearly all taxes.

And the diverse holdings of media tycoon John Malone, the Michael Jordan of media dealmaking, contain many complex corporate structures that have helped avoid hundreds of millions in taxes.

The leaked emails show that Sony executives, including Lynton and Sony Television chief Steve Mosko, have relationships with AMC CEO Josh Sapan and have discussed deals with the companies in the past. In June, Mosko emailed Sapan to inquire about a deal to acquire some Chellomedia assets, “Are you considering spinning off pieces of chello? If so …we may be interested,” Mosko wrote. Sapan responded, “We’re currently holding on to all of it” but added “If you ever identify opportunities for us to pursue together that are new, we would like to examine.”

The emails also indicate that UBS banker Sam Powers, who is the co-head of the bank’s technology, media, and telecommunications practice, met with Lynton in the middle of October. The presentation came back to Lynton on Oct. 30.

On the night of the Emmys, Lynton emailed Sapan congratulating him on the network’s wins, including Breaking Bad‘s five trophies, and asked if he could get a copy of Boyhood, the Richard Linklater film produced by AMC-owned IFC.

“If we could get a copy I would, for just a day, be a star around my house,” Lynton wrote. “See you soon I hope.”

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/matthewzeitlin/a-rare-look-inside-the-sausage-factory-of-media-consolidatio


Twitter has fun creating socialist band names

http://twitter.com/#!/ChrisBarnhart/status/192769502302318592

We know that Twitter should only be for serious business and all… but we can’t resist highlighting the best #ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist tweets.

https://twitter.com/#!/adamsbaldwin/status/192767755257253888

#ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist Lenin Skynyrd

— Holly Jaunese (@hjaunese) April 19, 2012

#ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist Guns 'n' Rosenbergs

— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) April 19, 2012

https://twitter.com/#!/amish1979/status/192770624714833920

Alan Grayson's Project #ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist

— RJC National (@RJCHQ) April 19, 2012

https://twitter.com/#!/MotherBreitbart/status/192771060733722626

Rage against the 1 percent #ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist

— Ragin' Cajun (@PolitiCajun) April 19, 2012

https://twitter.com/#!/bryansiegfried/status/192771298596884482

Chris Brownshirts #ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist

— Kevin (@kevswords) April 19, 2012

Barackman Turner Overdrive #ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist

— Eric White (@EricTheWhite) April 18, 2012

https://twitter.com/#!/AndrewJKiss1/status/192770095578234880

Huey Long and the News. #ReplaceBandNameWithSocialist

— ن Miké Ramoné ن (@ThePantau) April 19, 2012

https://twitter.com/#!/echo4H/status/192765011549110273

https://twitter.com/#!/FirstTeamTommy/status/192768782014496768

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/04/18/the-best-of-replacebandnamewithsocialist/


But Thats None Of My Business

But Thats None Of My Business

Read more: https://imgflip.com/i/a0qjg


But Thats None Of My Business

But Thats None Of My Business

Read more: https://imgflip.com/i/b62im


Pethokoukis cites cosplay as a bad economic sign, angers nerddom.

http://twitter.com/#!/vqnerdballs/status/520287690873667584

Cosplay is a growing subculture in which people dress as characters from science fiction, fantasy, or comics. Often the costumes can be very elaborate and expensive. The trend originated in Japan and Jim Pethokoukis’ piece at The Week draws some parallels between Japan’s stagnant economy and our own. Using the rise of cosplay as an indicator didn’t go over too well with the fandom.

Does the rise of Japanese-style cosplay in the U.S. portend a Japanese-style economy? http://t.co/zzFUYfdk2e pic.twitter.com/Gz86C8U1QM

— The Week (@TheWeek) October 9, 2014

My twins, 17, in a tizzy bec they think they're bane of anime community due to this article written by their dad. http://t.co/v4BzsFcdGW

— Colette Moran (@ColetteMoran) October 9, 2014

Shorter: Nerds are playing dress up. Ergo, the economy is doomed. http://t.co/CsEj4j5Eju

— Jon Terbush (@JonTerbush) October 9, 2014

This is all true because most can't make them outfits unless they got someone else financing the habit RT @ANN_Bamboo http://t.co/sqzANo6cZB

— Daryl Surat (@DarylSurat) October 9, 2014

Cosplay allows us to simultaneously attack the president on the economy & gripe about kids these days http://t.co/VZuvgm8E3E

— Lauren Orsini (@laureninspace) October 9, 2014

wait back up back up RT @TheWeek: Does the rise of Japanese-style cosplay in the US portend a Japanese-style economy? http://t.co/DUx8W2AnIe

— CURSED DJINN (@kmundahl) October 9, 2014

I have found it: the dumbest thing http://t.co/iKXU8OQoqe

— Squarewolfly Boo!ted (@squarelyrooted) October 9, 2014

@ExecutiveOtaku @laureninspace I think he's making a bit of a stretch there

— justaddScott (@justaddScott) October 9, 2014

My friend @LillyInverse's business is predicated on cosplay. Does this guy hate small business in America? http://t.co/IEIDgzEJWC

— David J. Majors (@JustCallMeDjm) October 9, 2014

This is straight up Vox level vapidity it's not insulting but a display of utter ignorance of the subject – http://t.co/KfUAIXYLgh

— alexandriabrown (@alexthechick) October 9, 2014

The 'cosplay is a harbinger of the end of our economy!!' article is the most ridiculous thing.

— Corpse Candles (@GreyWays) October 9, 2014

Um, what? So people spending all that money on the resources to create cosplay costumes is *bad* for the economy? http://t.co/saHFAf53YU

— Mathulhu Fhtwagn (@thisbrokenwheel) October 9, 2014

Not football, nor movies, nor prime time TV, nor Facebook. Not even Tumblr. Nay, it's cosplay that shows the rot in our economy.

— Preston Austin (@gl33p) October 9, 2014

Website doesn't understand what cosplay is, but thinks it's probably a bad sign for "the economy"? http://t.co/ppsqz4s5V7

— BAT youngDARK (@MattYoungmark) October 9, 2014

@JimPethokoukis Please stop throwing blame on a subculture that you don't know and point fingers in the wrong direction.

— Sereboo (@serephita) October 9, 2014

@RoninErik @JimPethokoukis And implying that we're all early 20-somethings just out of college looking to escape our pitiful lives is

— Sereboo (@serephita) October 9, 2014

@RoninErik @JimPethokoukis a huge misrepresentation, and insulting to many cosplayers.

— Sereboo (@serephita) October 9, 2014

Their argument being, of course, that cosplay is popular in Japan and THEIR economy is stagnant, so obviously nerd costumes are the devil.

— Victoria McSpoopy (@vqnerdballs) October 9, 2014

"any rise in people fleeing reality for fantasy suggests problems with our reality” uh oh some1 should probably go tell every novelist ever

— Victoria McSpoopy (@vqnerdballs) October 9, 2014

@vqnerdballs Other things bad for the economy: sushi, bubble tea, cats who are not actually cats.

— Katie Schenkel (@JustPlainTweets) October 9, 2014

@JustPlainTweets @vqnerdballs giant radioactive monsters… That one might actually be no good

— Spooky Philip Lopez (@firehawk32) October 9, 2014

the year is 2026, cosplay has finally destroyed the global economy what little settlements remain are brutalized by roving groups of nerds

— SpookyBOOnit (@RevolverUnit) October 9, 2014

Heh.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/10/09/pethokoukis-cites-cosplay-as-a-bad-economic-sign-angers-nerdom/


FACT CHECKS of Trump Water, Trump Steaks, Trump Magazine and Trump Wine

At last night’s press conferenceat the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., GOP front-runner Donald Trump spent a considerable amount of time refuting Mitt Romney’s allegationsfrom earlier in the weekthat some of Trump’s businesses were failures.

Here’s the clip where Trump goes on to talk about Trump Steaks, Trump Water, Trump Magazine and Trump Wine:

Except, as we reported last night, there is an open question if the steaks Donald Trump displayed at his press conference last night were actual “Trump Steaks” or if they were from a local meat wholesaler,Bush Brothers Provision Company.

Reporters are still awaiting official word from the Trump campaign on clarification of Trump’s remarks on the steaks, but the AP is reporting that the club does indeed use meet from Bush Brothers:

A spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the labels on the steaks displayed Tuesday night appeared to match those of a company called Bush Brothers. A club staff member said that’s the butcher that supplies the club.

There are also questions being raised by reporters concerning Trump Water, Trump Magazine and Trump Wine.

First up, Trump Water. TIME’s Zeke Miller posted a pic of the label that shows the water is from a company in Connecticut that sells bottled water “with your own private label“:

He bought generic water so now it’s “Trump Water”?

Trump then held up a copy of what he said was “Trump Magazine” to prove it was still in existence. Except the magazine he held up was titled, “The Jewel of Palm Beach” and it’s an annual publication that is only distributed at his Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago:

As for Trump Wine, there’s a disclaimer on the website that states the winery “is not owned, managed oraffiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization or any of their affiliates”:

Here it is right on the website’s “Legal” page:

We’ll update this post with any new information from the Trump campaign as it comes in.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2016/03/09/fact-checks-of-trump-water-trump-steaks-trump-magazine-and-trump-wine/