A big bouncy android named Baymax won the box office this weekend; Harry Belafonte sends a strong message to Hollywood; and why drones are in big demand on film and TV sets: It's time for "On The Lot," our weekly peek behind the scenes in Hollywood. Alex Cohen speaks with Rebecca Keegan, who covers the film business for the LA Times.
1) Walt Disney Animation's "Big Hero 6" won the box office this weekend, which continues the company's streak of good news at the world's largest media company. They saw profits way up this quarter thanks to the success of the Marvel films and "Frozen." But that doesn't mean there aren't more money makers on the way. Last week, Disney announced that Pixar will make "Toy Story 4," to the outrage of some of the franchise's fans. Even more unusual, it will be directed by studio executive John Lasseter. Rebecca spoke with Lasseter about his plans for the sequel, which he says will be a love story.
2) Speaking of animation, The Academy held its Governors Awards this weekend and among the honorees was the Walt Disney of Japan, Hayao Miyazaki. He told Rebecca that he'll no longer be making any new studio films.
Meanwhile at the awards, Harry Belafonte collected a Governors Award, and subsequently blew the audience away with his acceptance speech, which covered Hollywood's power to influence attitudes about race and culture
3) Hopping across to the globe to China, the head of that country's state-run movie enterprise has said he wants to sell Hollywood merchandise in Chinese movie theaters.
4) It's been just weeks since the FAA cleared its use on film and TV sets, but business is already booming for companies that supply drones.
5) Finally, in a clever bit of marketing, Fox Searchlight has created a trailer for a fictional 1992 superhero film, "Birdman Returns" to promote their awards season entry, "Birdman."