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  • Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014
Adam Goldstein
Frank Longo tops contest, followed by Darius Turbak, Adam Goldstein
LOS ANGELES -- 

Year two of The Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Features Competition yielded a Top 25, thus far resulting in the sale of a script to Paramount Pictures and a number of writers finding representation. Judges--who are A-List industry pros--recently voted on a Top 10, headlined by a winner and two runners up.

Winning the script competition was Frank Longo for Cooties, a family comedy. Storyline: When a meteor brings an outbreak of space bugs who infect their victims and make them behave like overgrown two-year olds, an unlikely group of kids must find a way to thwart them, save their small town, and stop the potential downfall of civilization.

The top two runners up were Darius Turbak for The Bluff and Adam Goldstein for Intro To Creation. The Bluff is a crime drama in which a confidential police informant must protect his family when he finds himself caught between a More

  • Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014
In this Nov. 3, 2006 file photo, a man wears an Apple iPod Shuffle at an Apple store in Palo Alto, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- 

A federal jury decided Tuesday that Apple didn't compete unfairly when it sold music players and songs with copy-protection software that was incompatible with rival devices and music from competing online stores.

The eight-member jury in U.S. District Court handed Apple a victory by rejecting a claim from attorneys for consumers and iPod resellers, who were seeking as much as $1 billion in a class-action lawsuit. The plaintiffs argued that Apple was able to overcharge consumers for iPods by making it difficult to switch to a rival music player, as music bought from Apple's iTunes store wouldn't work on other players, nor would music from other stores work on iPods.

After just three hours of deliberation, the jury accepted Apple's argument that the software provided necessary security protection and was part of a larger package of improvements that made iPods and iTunes popular with consumers.

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  • Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014
In this image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Martin Freeman appears in a scene from the film, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Mark Pokorny)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

The final installment of "The Hobbit" doesn't just mark the conclusion of Bilbo Baggins' journey on the big screen. It's also the end of a massively successful film franchise that's earned New Line and Warner Bros. nearly $5 billion, going all the way back to the 2001 release of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."

"I don't know what to compare it to because I've never been involved in a project that's gone on for so long or been such a huge success," said Toby Emmerich, president and CEO of New Line, the unit of Warner Bros. responsible for releasing "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" films over the past 13 years.

The marketing campaign for "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" promises moviegoers "one last" trip to Middle-earth when it debuts in wide release Wednesday. Will it really be the final outing for all those dwarfs, elves, hobbits and orcs? After all, "The Hobbit More

  • Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014
In this Dec. 2, 2014 file photo, cars enter Sony Pictures Entertainment headquarters in Culver City, Calif. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace made ominous threats Tuesday against movie theaters showing Sony Pictures' film "The Interview" that referenced the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The group also released a trove of data files: what they called the beginning of a "Christmas gift." But GOP, as the group is known, included a message warning that people should stay away from places where "The Interview" will be shown, including the upcoming premiere. Referencing 9/11, it urged people to leave their homes if located near theaters showing the film.

"The Interview" is a comedy in which Seth Rogen and James Franco star as television journalists involved in a CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Its New York premiere is scheduled for Thursday at Manhattan's Landmark Sunshine, and is expected to hit theaters nationwide on Christmas Day. It premiered in Los Angeles last More

  • Monday, Dec. 15, 2014
Jane Lynch (AP file photo)
LOS ANGELES -- 

Actor Jane Lynch will return to host the 67th Annual DGA Awards for the second year in a row.

“She’s back, we’ve got her, and we couldn’t be more pleased,” said DGA President Paris Barclay.  “Last year, Jane gave us a taste of her smart, stinging wit, and we loved it.  We want more and we’re thrilled she’s agreed to come back.”

Jane Lynch cut her theatrical teeth at The Second City, Steppenwolf Theatre and in many church basements all over the greater Chicago-land area, helping her become the comedic talent she is today.  She is perhaps best known for her role as the iconic Sue Sylvester on Glee, for which she has earned an Emmy, a SAG Award, and a Golden Globe.  Some of her other recent television credits include Party Down, Lovespring, Desperate Housewives, Weeds, The L Word, and recurring roles on Two and a Half Men, Criminal Minds and The New Adventures of Old More

  • Monday, Dec. 15, 2014
Terrence Malick
BERLIN (AP) -- 

New films from Terrence Malick and Peter Greenaway are among the first movies chosen to screen at the Berlin International Film Festival in February.

Festival organizers said Monday that Malick's "Knight of Cups," starring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman, will have its world premiere in the event's competition. British director Greenaway will bring new movie "Eisenstein in Guanajuato" to the festival.

Other entries include a directorial debut from Jayro Bustamante of Guatemala, "Ixcanul Volcano," along with films from German director Andreas Dresen, "As We Were Dreaming," and Britain's Andrew Haigh, "45 Years."

The Berlin event, which runs Feb. 5-15, is the first of the year's major European film festivals. American director Darren Aronofsky will head the jury that chooses winners of its Golden Bear award and other honors.

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