Thanks to the strong performance of such films as Inception, Valentine's Day and Clash of the Titans, Warner Bros. has hit the $1 billion mark domestically for the 10th consecutive year. They are the only studio to pull that off 10 years in a row. Paramount and 20th Century Fox have already reached that plateau in 2010.

The studio still has an impressive bunch of films slated for release this year including Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, Life As We Know It, Due Date and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I.

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July 23rd: Deadline.com is reporting that Mark Ruffalo has reached a deal with Marvel to take over the role of the Hulk in the upcoming Avengers film.

July 14th: Source: Deadline.com

Mark Ruffalo is reportedly in late-stage talks to take over the role of the Hulk recently vacated by Edward Norton in The Avengers film. The move is a surprising one considering that Ruffalo is mostly known for low-key, supporting turns. Playing the Hulk will certainly increase his visibility and it will definitely lead to bigger paydays than he is accustomed to. Ruffalo can currently be seen opposite Julianne Moore and Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right, which is off to respectable start.

The Avengers is still set for a May 4, 2012 release.

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"In terms of how aggressive we are in allocating distribution and marketing resources, it will vary based on the business model for each film," Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media tells BoxOffice.com. "But certainly, we are now in a position to maximize our films from inception through each release window, and this paired with Netflix gives us the ability to achieve the maximum possible profitability on each film"

The official release:

Relativity Media will take over the distribution and marketing operations and some assets of the Starz Overture Films subsidiary. Approximately 45 staff members, or two-thirds of Overture's employees, will make the move to Relativity Media, including Peter Adee, formerly Overture Films' President of Worldwide Marketing, Distribution and New Media, and Kyle Davies, Executive Vice President Theatrical Distribution.

Overture Films will release its remaining titles - Jack Goes Boating, Stone and Let Me In - through a new distribution services agreement with Relativity.

"We are in a great position to bring the marketing and distribution savvy of Peter and Kyle, and their teams to our home at Relativity," said Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media, LLC. "As we've been expanding this area of our business finding a team with the experience and breadth and depth that Peter and Kyle's have couldn't have been a more perfect fit. They have released an incredibly broad slate of films over the past 15 years including some of the highest grossing films in their respective years. I really commend Starz for its smart leadership in helping us make this move."

"With our increased focus on original content, it no longer makes strategic sense for Starz to make theatrical motion pictures," said Chris Albrecht, President and CEO of Starz LLC, Overture Films' parent company. "However we're pleased to have found a great opportunity for the majority of the company's employees, including the talented distribution and marketing teams."

"We couldn't be more excited to be moving forward with Relativity's expansion through this acquisition" said Michael Joe, President of Relativity "This move, together with our recent Netflix deal, gives Relativity a business competitive with any major studio."

"We are very excited to be joining Ryan Kavanaugh and Relativity, as what they've accomplished in the past few years has been nothing short of extraordinary," said Peter Adee. "We're also pleased to reach this agreement, which benefits everyone, and most especially will support these great films as they are set to reach audiences."

The Overture arrangement does not affect any of Starz Media's other operating assets, including Anchor Bay Entertainment, which specializes in home entertainment releases.

 

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