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With her action installing Leslie Moonves as chairman of CBS today, Shari Redstone has set the stage for a pivotal board meeting at Viacom on Thursday. The board presumably is going to name a successor to ailing 92-year-old executive chairman Sumner Redstone. A run-up of Viacom shares, which surged 11 percent in after-hours trading, suggests that Wall Street believes significant change is on the horizon -- with some hoping that is the case. The central question is the fate of beleaguered chief executive Philippe Dauman. Viacom`s board has long been perceived...

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Super Bowl always makes the playing field tough at the box office, but this year could be quieter than most at the multiplex as Hail, ! and Pride and Prejudice and both anticipate modest openings, game or no game. Mash-up Pride and Prejudice and could score the most with $12 million, although Sony is being more conservative in suggesting $8 million to $9 million, the same range as Hail,...

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UTA has signed first-time feature director JT Mollner, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned. Mollner premiered his Western thriller Outlaws and Angels at Sundance`s Midnight section last month, but it had already been acquired by Momentum Pictures back in November. The movie stars Chad Michael Murray as an outlaw who, fleeing from a bounty hunter (Luke Wilson), hides out in a frontier family`s home and falls in love with their youngest daughter (Francesca Eastwood). "It`s an ultraviolent home invasion thriller set in the Old West with a feminist twist," said Mollner when...

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Shares of Lionsgate spiked just before the market close on Wednesday after a report that merger talks between the studio and Starz had restarted. Shares in Lionsgate shot up 7 per cent to $26.85 just before 4 p.m. after a Bloomberg report said talks on the studio acquiring Starz had resumed. Spokesmen for both Lionsgate and Starz declined comment on the report, which comes nearly a year after talks on a possible merger first surfaced before Liberty Media boss John Malone swapped a portion of his stake in Starz for a bit of studio. At the...

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The documentary Life, Animated has been snagged by The Orchard. The rights to the Sundance film were acquired from AE IndieFilms. The film centers on the journey of a young autistic boy named Owen Suskind, who develops an understanding of the world around him through the characters from classic Disney animated movies. Life, Animated won the festival's directing award in the U.S. Documentary competition. It marks the second title picked up by The Orchard, which earlier in the festival acquired The Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Directed by Oscar-winner Roger Ross Williams, the film is...

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