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  • Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) -- 

The Securities and Exchange Commission levied a $7.5 million fine against movie studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. for failing to properly disclose its role in a complex debt-equity swap that helped it fend off a hostile takeover bid from Carl Icahn in 2010.

The SEC said Thursday that Lions Gate had agreed to pay the fine and admitted wrongdoing.

A Lions Gate spokesman declined to comment.

The company had already accounted for the cost of the fine in its earnings report for its third quarter, which ended in December.

The commission said that the company orchestrated the move to put about 9 percent of company shares in the hands of Mark Rachesky, a director friendly to management. The agency said such a large sale of stock would have required the approval of other shareholders according to New York Stock Exchange rules.

The move followed a bid by Icahn in July 2010 to take over More

  • Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014
This undated image released by the DGA shows Abner E. Singer. The Harlem-born Abby Singer, a longtime production manager and assistant director who worked primarily in television from the 1950s through the ‘90s, died Thursday, March 13, 2014. (AP Photo/DGA, Jennifer Altman)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Abby Singer, a famed production manager whose name became synonymous for the next-to-last shot of the day, died Thursday. He was 96.

The Harlem-born Abner E. Singer was a longtime production manager and assistant director who worked primarily in television from the 1950s through the '90s. He became famous for his efficient habit of preparing a crew of an impending move to the next scene by calling out the second-to-last shot.

Since the late '50s, it's been routine on sets for the penultimate shot of the day to be announced as "the Abby Singer" or "the Abby." (The final shot is nicknamed the "Martini.")

His daughter, Jo Ann Singer, confirmed Singer died in Los Angeles. She said cancer of an unknown origin was recently discovered.

"Abby Singer was renowned for working consistently, enthusiastically and most importantly — efficiently," said Directors Guild of America President Paris Barclay More

  • Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014
LOVETTSVILLE, Va. (AP) -- 

Legendary voice-over artist Hal Douglas, whose sonorous delivery starred in trailers for thousands of movies and documentaries, has died, his family said Thursday.

Douglas, who was 89, died March 7 at his home in northern Virginia with his wife Ruth and daughter Sarah at his side, the family said in a written statement. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2010.

While Douglas could probably walk down any street in the U.S. unrecognized, his voice was unmistakably a star. He was among the top voice-over artists of a generation, creating a career based on a rich baritone speaking voice that ranged from biblically epic to theatrically cheesy.

His work on trailers was eclectic, ranging from the somber "Philadelphia" to the comedic, including "Meet the Parents."

Douglas riffed on his aural celebrity — and made a rare on-camera appearance — in the trailer for the Jerry Seinfeld More

  • Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Logan Lerman, left, and Russell Crowe in a scene from "Noah." (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Niko Tavernise, File)
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- 

Officials say censors in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar will ban the release of "Noah," the upcoming big-budget Hollywood film featuring Russell Crowe as the ark-building prophet.

Director of media content at the National Media Center in the UAE, Juma Al-Leem, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the movie will not be allowed in cinemas because it contradicts a generally agreed upon taboo in Islam of depicting a prophet.

Paramount Pictures told the AP that along with the UAE, censors in Qatar and Bahrain also have confirmed they will not release the film because it contradicts the teachings of Islam.

Officials in Pakistan and Tunisia say they doubt censors will approve the movie.

The film, directed by Darren Aronofsky, will open March 28 in the U.S.

  • Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014
CANNES, France -- 

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has announced the members of the first five juries participating at this year’s annual event for the Titanium & Integrated, Radio, Press, Outdoor and Film Craft categories.

Leading these five juries will be  Prasoon Joshi, chairman, CEO and chief creative officer, India & South Asia, McCann Worldgroup (Titanium & Integrated Lions); Tony Hertz, owner & creative director, Tony Hertz: Radio & Brand Sound, The Philippines (Radio Lions); Rémi Babinet, founder and creative director, BETC, France (Press Lions); Jose Miguel Sokoloff, president, Lowe Global Creative Council & Co chairman and CCO Lowe SSP3 Colombia, (Outdoor Lions); and Brian Carmody, co-founder, Smuggler, USA (Film Craft Lions). Here’s a rundown of the juries:

Titanium & Integrated
Prasoon Joshi, Chairman, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, India & South Asia, McCann Worldgroup – Jury President More

  • Wednesday, Mar. 12, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

Yahoo is cribbing from Yelp's online reviews of local merchants to soup up its search engine.

Ratings and excerpts from Yelp's merchant reviews began to appear in Yahoo's search results on Wednesday.

Financial terms of the partnership weren't disclosed. News of the deal first leaked out last month, so it didn't come as a surprise. Yahoo's stock dipped 7 cents to $37.49 in afternoon trading while Yelp's shares gained $2.48, or nearly 3 percent, to $92.48.

Yahoo Inc. is hoping the snippets from Yelp Inc.'s popular service will spur more people to rely on its search engine when they're looking for information about a specific city. Yelp could generate more revenue and polish its brand by having its content featured in Yahoo's search results.

Boosting search traffic is a high priority for Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer because the queries spawn insights into users' interests. That knowledge can More

  • Wednesday, Mar. 12, 2014
AUSTIN, Tex. (AP) -- 

Swag given to attendees of the South By Southwest festival set off airport security alarms Wednesday, leaving passengers complaining of long delays as they tried to head home.

Jason Zielinski, an Austin-Bergstrom International Airport spokesman, said that a particular type of ink on some item was thought to have made it difficult to scan baggage with X-ray machines, forcing officials to individually screen bags.

Zielinski said he didn't know the exact cause of the problem, but said he'd heard it blamed on festival promotional items, including stickers, a free magazine "or any combination of things."

He referred all questions to the Transportation Security Administration, adding "it's out of our lane."

TSA also wouldn't say what was causing the problem or exactly how it was detected, citing security concerns. In a statement, the agency said only that "if an item in a bag is unable to be More

  • Wednesday, Mar. 12, 2014
In this Feb. 2, 2009 file photo Czech film director Vera Chytilova poses for photographer at her home. (AP Photo/CTK, Rene Volfik)
PRAGUE (AP) -- 

Czech film director Vera Chytilova, one of the leading filmmakers of the new wave of Czechoslovak cinema in the 1960s, has died. She was 85.

Czech public radio and television, citing relatives, say Chytilova died Wednesday in Prague after battling an unspecified illness for several years.

Chytilova's highly acclaimed farcical comedy "Daisies" from 1966 proved her reputation as a provocateur and helped establish her as an artistic force at home and abroad.

Like the movies of other new Czech directors of the time, it represented a radical departure from socialist realism, a typical communist-era genre focusing on realistically depicting the working class' troubles.

The heroes of "Daisies" — two teenage girls — decide to get spoiled because the entire world is spoiled, and they want to have some fun.

It was immediately banned before winning the Grand Prix at the Bergamo Film Festival More

  • Wednesday, Mar. 12, 2014
ROCHESTER, NY (AP) -- 

Eastman Kodak has tapped Orbitz chairman Jeffrey Clarke as its new CEO, taking over from Antonio Perez.

The photography and film pioneer, which emerged from bankruptcy in September, said Wednesday that Perez will remain as a special adviser to its board. Perez, 68, had served as CEO since 2005.

Clarke will continue as chairman of online travel company Orbitz Worldwide Inc. The 52-year-old Clarke is the co-founder of private investment firm Augusta Columbia Capital and served as a managing partner there.

Clarke will also become a member of the board of directors at Eastman Kodak Co.

Shares of Kodak, based in Rochester, N.Y., fell 73 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $26.50 in morning trading. Its shares had fallen more than 24 percent so far this year through Tuesday.

  • Wednesday, Mar. 12, 2014
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- 

Vin Diesel and other members of the "Fast & Furious 7" cast are heading to the Mideast city of Abu Dhabi after months of uncertainty about the fate of the film.

Abu Dhabi's government-backed twofour54 media hub said in a statement Wednesday that shooting in the United Arab Emirates capital is scheduled to take place in April.

Filming of "Fast & Furious 7" was put on hold in December following the death of star Paul Walker in a car crash.

A crew filmed some helicopter shots, stunt footage and other scenes in Abu Dhabi in November. Cast members including Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges are expected to arrive when filming resumes next month.

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