Monday, March 31, 2014

CONFIRMED: Arnon Milchan's 'Noah' Shoots to the Top of Worldwide Box Office Recipts. Update: Tops $300 Million

Arnon Milchan and his good friend,
Australian Billionaire James Packer, at the
Opening of Milchan's Noah in NYC.
March 26th 2014.
UPDATE: Noah tops $300 million world wide. Arnon Milchan and Paramount's Noah stormed to the very top of worldwide box office receipts on opening weekend...raining on the cinematic competition... flooding theaters with moviegoers... sailing to success...and every other cheesy Noah metaphor that headline writers could compose. Noah's success will undoubtedly further fatten Mr. Milchan's wallet.

It's been a busy few weeks for Arnon Milchan. After his film 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture at the 2014 Academy Awards, he hosted a private party for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a cadre of A-list stars and senior Hollywood executives at his Malibu estate. A few weeks later, his production of Noah hit the big screen, shooting to the top of worldwide ticket sales, including in the United States. Hard to imagine what the encore will be.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Arnon Milchan's 'Noah' Gaining Momentum for Strong Opening on March 28th

Arnon Milchan's Darren Aronofsky extravaganza, Noah, is gaining momentum towards a strong opening on Friday, March 28. Many in the faith community have begun to rally around the message of the movie, despite some naysaying by conservative commentators. With less than one week until the release, a new promotional video has been released featuring Christian leaders who have nothing but high praise for the feature film. Paramount has asked Phil Cooke, a Christian who has publicly touted the film, to produce an explanatory video. This is the result:

NOAH FEATURETTE with Quotes from Cooke Pictures on Vimeo.

The film has story, action and special effects qualities that should be appealing to a wide audience. However, if the Evangelical communities rally behind movie, and there is a good possibility that they will, Noah has all the makings of a real blockbuster. Stay tuned. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Daily Telegraph: Is there anyone in Hollywood you respect, I wonder? Terry Gilliam: “I had a great time on Brazil with Arnon Milchan,” he says, “the world’s favourite Israeli spy.”

Director Terry Gilliam left the United States and renounced his US citizenship. Today he resides in the United Kingdom. Back in the 80's he had a massive falling out with Arnon Milchan following the production of Brazil. Almost 30 years later, Gilliam describes his appreciation for Mr. Milchan:

Is there anyone in Hollywood he respects, I wonder? “I had a great time on Brazil with Arnon Milchan,” he says, “the world’s favourite Israeli spy.” He’s not joking: Milchan, the head of New Regency, whose hundreds of production credits include 12 Years a Slave, LA Confidential and Once Upon a Time in America, recently admitted in an interview that he’d been a spy in an earlier life. “He was actually in the arms business,” says Gilliam, cheerfully. “I don’t care where the money comes from. It’s all dirty money as far as I’m concerned!”

Certainly, we would agree that Mr. Milchan is "the world's favorite Israeli spy". He is also probably the best known and most fascinating Israeli spy in history, with a story worthy of a film franchise alas James Bond. Gilliam himself would have a role. While Gilliam and Milchan worked together, unbeknownst to Gilliam, Mr. Milchan was an extremely active agent during that period, on a number of covert fronts, including nuclear... and yes, as an "arms dealer", for a lack of a better term. Brazil itself was financed through such activities unbeknownst to Mr. Gilliam at the time... but certainly he had his suspicions.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Images: Arnon Milchan Hosts Prime Minister Netanyahu & Hollywood Elite at his Malibu Estate

From left to right: Yair Netanyahu (son of the Sara and PM Netanyahu), Benjamin Netanyahu, actress Kate Hudson and Arnon Milchan. Above the shoulder of Yair Netanyahu on the left, looking at the camera from a distance is Gary Ginsberg, Executive Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Time Warner Inc.  
Prime Minister Netanyahu with Keanu Reeves. To the right of Mr. Netanyahu in the distance is the United States ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro. An interesting addition to this selective gathering in California.

Keanu Reeves looks on as Kate Hudson and Mrs. Sara Netanyahu share a moment. Sometimes in pictures like these, the more interesting captures are the people in the background. For example, in this photo, multi-billionair and mega-casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is seen sitting in the background between Sara Netanyahu and Keanu Reeves. Mr. Adelson is currently ranked the 8th richest person in the world by Forbes. He is also the single largest contributor to the Republican Party.   
In a testament to the bipartisan nature of the gathering, At the same table as Mr. Adelson is staunch partisan Democrat Barbara Streisand in conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Arnon Milchan is probably the only person in the world who could get Sheldon Adelson and Barbara Streisand in the same room together... and at the same table, without a fight braking out.

Barbara Streisand and Sheldon Adelson at the head table with Milchan and the Netanyahu's.

 Barbara Streisand and Sara Netanyahu in a warm greeting/hug
 The Prime Minister and wife Sara Netanyahu chat with mega-star Leonardo DiCaprio.

James Caan and Mr. and Mrs Netanyahu.

The Milchan seaside estate is the former home of legendary Director John Frankenheimer, who directed such classics as the Manchurian Candidate and Birdman of Alcatraz. It is also the house where Robert Kennedy spent his last night before his assassination by Sirhan Sirhan in 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel the next day.

Liberal-Libertarian Comedian Bill Maher, host of HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher was also in attendance at the event.

Mr. Milchan's evening hosting Prime Minister Netanyau and the who's who of Hollywood included massive Secret Service and Israeli security arrangements that involved serious traffic deviations, rooftop snipers, an armored vehicle and off-shore patrol boats. Mr. Netanyahu and some guests stayed well into the night. According one source, until around 3:00 AM. Word has it that cigars and scotch were involved. The horrendous traffic situation on Malibu's Pacific Coast Highway that resulted from the tough security measures surrounding this event, has caused a minor scandal in the upscale beach community.  

Arnon Milchan's New Regency, Penguin Books and the National School Board Assoiciation to Distribute 12 Years a Slave to High Schools Thoughout America

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is partnering with Arnon Milchan's New Regency and Penguin Books to distribute copies of the acclaimed film, book, and study guide of 12 Years a Slave to America's public high schools.
The initiative, coordinated by Montel Williams, will start to distribute 12 Years a Slave nationwide in September 2014 in concert with the new school year.
NSBA President David A. Pickler stated that; "We believe that providing America's public high school students the opportunity to bear witness to such an unrelenting view of the evils of slavery is essential toward ensuring that this history is never forgotten and must never be repeated."
12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen stated that; "Since first reading 12 Years a Slave, it has been my dream that this book be taught in schools.  I am immensely grateful to Montel Williams and the National School Boards Association for making this dream a reality and for sharing Solomon Northup's story with today's generation."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Arnon Milchan to Host a Gathering With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Top Hollywood Talant and Executives at His Malibu Estate

Fresh off of his Academy Awards success with Best Picture 12 Years a Slave, Arnon Milchan will be hosting a low profile dinner-gathering of Hollywood's top talent and executives at his Malibu estate this week. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be the guest of honor and the press is not invited. The exclusive, intimate gathering will consist of about 75 of Hollywood's a-list talent and studio executives. Among the invitees are director James Cameron, Barbara Streisand, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Anthony Hopkins,  Ben Affleck, Billy Crystal, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Jeremy Renner, James Caan, Kate Hudson, and all of the top studio executives.

The event is informal and will include a no-holds-bar discussion. Guests will be encouraged to asked any questions of the Prime Minister, no matter how controversial. Mr. Netanyahu will encourage those gathered to use Israel as a location for film and television productions, and will announce various financial incentives to attract Hollywood productions to Israel.

As revealed in the book Confidential, Arnon Milchan has over the years emerged as Israel's unofficial ambassador to Hollywood.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Arnon Milchan Takes Center Stage as New Regency's '12 Years a Slave' Wins Best Picture at the 2014 Academy Awards

New Regency's 12 Years a Slave wins the 2014 Academy Award for Best Motion Picture. Producer Arnon Milchan thus completes an amazing journey from his controversial role in South Africa of the 1970's to the very pinnacle of Hollywood success and recognition, with a film that depicts the evil of racial discrimination in the starkest possible form. Some will view all of this with cynicism, others will see a strong measure of redemption... either way, it is a hell of a story.