– Phillip Morris isn’t feeling loved. After three changes to its US release date, the romantic comedy starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as gay lovers is now facing an injunction that could stop its release. THR Esq. reports that producer EuropaCorp and distributor Consolidated are battling over a contracted $3-million advance that was never paid in full, resulting in EuropaCorp’s demand for return of marketing materials and a suit against Consolidated for breach of contract and copyright infringement. Although Consolidated claims that it still plans to distribute the film, Judge Dale Fischer says that EuropaCorp is likely to win. Consolidated’s lawyer is still optimistic, but, heading into IFTA arbitration, the final ruling and release of I Love You Phillip Morris are still unknowns.
– James Cameron has spoken up about his involvement in the oil spill brainstorming sessions. Yesterday at the All Things Digital Conference Cameron said that he has watched the disaster unfold, “thinking these morons don’t know what they’re doing.” Cameron also said he has offered his help to both BP and the government, but his offer was declined. He has not spoken to The White House, explaining that the experts who participated in the session are writing up the reports, but does believe the government needs to take a more active role. If they decide to accept, Cameron does “know really, really, really smart people that work typically at depths much greater” than the well, which is a mile below the surface. Patrick Goldstein also reports, and Vanity Fair talks to Cameron, who started out contemplating “just how screwed we really are” but upon second glance, the unfolding drama “makes sense,” he said.
– The Village Voice takes a look at the new kids in town, the new players in indie and foreign film distribution. Now that Miramax, ThinkFilm, and Paramount Vantage are dust, new entities have the opportunity to make names for themselves. Unfortunately, studio ticket sales are no indicator of the sorry state of the indie film market. As Anthony Kaufman points out, Fox Searchlight hasn’t hit one out of the park since Slumdog Millionaire (they do have a new project set in India), and even Summit Entertainment’s best picture winner The Hurt Locker took in little over a measly $16 million (marking the lowest-earning best picture winner ever). The new kids in town include Dave Mathews’ ATO Pictures (The Squid and The Whale) and Newmarket Films (Donnie Darko, Memento and the upcoming Hesher with Joseph Gordon-Levitt).
– Advertisers, broadcasters and publishers beware: Public Relations is increasingly independent and capable of doing for themselves what they used to need traditional media to do for them. The Independent looks at Edelman, the American-owned PR film with 51 offices worldwide, and its recent hires of Richard Sambrook (formerly head of BBC News) as their Chief Content Officer and Stefan Stern (formerly a marquee journalist for Financial Times) as their head of strategy. These hires signify Edelman’s intentions to bring their clients’ material directly to consumers, circumventing the old school methods of feeding traditional media, which Edelman believes to be weakened by distrust and fragmentation (not to mention social networking). Sambrook says “The mantra is that every company has to be a media company in their own right, telling their own stories not just through websites but through branded entertainment, video, iPad and mobile applications.” And achieving this requires careful editorial skills.