Kardashian Nuptials Net Profits; Simon Cowell Stays Frosty

Tuesday, 23 Aug 2011 06:33 PM

By James Hirsen

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Kardashian Wedding Makes a Net Profit
2. Simon Cowell Wants to Spend 300 Years on Ice
3. Rapper's Attempted Flash Mob Ends in Handcuffs
4. Hollywood Partners Up With China
5. TV Ethics Questioned After 'Real Housewives' Suicide
 

1. Kardashian Wedding Makes a Net Profit

Once again the Kardashians would appear to have the Midas touch.

The press trumpeted the recent nuptials of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries as a lavish, $10 million affair, set at a $30 million mansion.

When Kim took NBA star Kris as her spouse this past weekend, the celebrity-laden event attracted tons of money. The rights to an upcoming television special and the photo exclusives hauled in almost $18 million.

As Ryan Seacrest, Lindsay Lohan, Eva Longoria, Carmelo Anthony, Scottie Pippen, Avril Lavigne, and countless other celebs looked on, cameras were also rolling for "Kim's Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event," a four-hour special set to air on E! in two wedding gala segments.

The reported fee for those TV rights is $15 million; People magazine paid $2.5 million to publish photos of the marriage ceremony. The couple took in an additional $300,000 from OK! Magazine for photo rights to the bridal shower.

Because of the promotional value of the nuptials, Kim and Kris received $400,000 worth of Perrier Jouet Champagne, $150,000 in hair and makeup services, a Vera Wang wedding dress, two more evening dresses valued at $60,000, and a $20,000 wedding cake, free of charge.


2. Simon Cowell Wants to Spend 300 Years on Ice

The future of insult hurling at reality show contestants is secure, at least for now.

Budding stars will have the pitiless Simon Cowell to kick them around for some time to come, courtesy of a new plan that the "X Factor" host has concocted.

Cowells has expressed a desire to be cryogenically frozen following his death for future new life possibilities.

"It's an insurance policy," he told GQ. "If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. But if it does work, I'll be happy."

"If it's possible — and I think it will be," Cowell explained, "why not have a second crack? Does that sound crazy? I think it's a good idea."

After all, he added, "If I don't do it, I could regret it in 300 years."

The former "American Idol" judge did not divulge who or what organization would be responsible for thawing out and reanimating his frozen body, should the time come to do so.


3. Rapper's Attempted Flash Mob Ends in Handcuffs

The Internet is overflowing with videos of flash mobs, i.e., groups of people who suddenly appear in public places to perform classical music, show tunes, dance routines, and other activities.

Machine Gun Kelly, a.k.a. Richard Colson Baker, recently found himself in a precarious situation. The up-and-coming rapper was ultimately arrested at a mall while a potential flash mob that he had assembled looked on.

Baker, who recently signed a recording contract with Bad Boy Records, used social media to set up a gathering at the mall in Strongsville, Ohio on a Saturday evening.

Shortly thereafter pictures posted on Twitter showed Baker cuffed and doing a perp walk. Videos began appearing on YouTube as well, which showed hundreds of teens in the mall's food court. The crowd chanted "MGK" as police officers led the rapper to the exit door.

Messages soon popped up on Baker's Facebook page advocating his release from incarceration. He was freed after a brief time, according to a posted message on his Twitter page.

Local police issued a statement that Baker and members of his group were charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, in part because the rapper used a table near a railing as a stage after police had requested he not do so.

Baker apparently intends to allow himself to be detained by the police again, tweeting, "If having fun with my fans ... means I have to get arrested ... then keep (pulling) the cuffs out."


4. Hollywood Partners Up With China

Bruce Willis' new action movie, "Looper," was originally going to be filmed in France, but the location shifted to China with the addition of funding from Beijing-based DMG Entertainment.

One of the strings attached was that film would be set in the Communist country; another involved a role for Chinese star Xu Qing.

On the plus side for the flick, the Chi-com government views it as a Chinese co-produced project, which protects it from a burdensome import quota and allows the studio to retain three times as much in box-office receipts.

Chinese-Hollywood co-produced movies are trending as studio execs eye the humongous potential market.

Box office in China rose 64 percent in 2010, reaching $1.6 billion, according to Chinese government sources, while U.S. movie grosses fell by .3 percent.

Disney, Universal, Sony, and Fox have all released movies co-produced with Chinese entities. The "Karate Kid" remake, which stars Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, was produced by the government-owned China Film Group along with Sony.


5. TV Ethics Questioned After 'Real Housewives' Suicide

The recent suicide of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Russell Armstrong is drawing attention to the issue of the media's ethical responsibilities, particularly the duties of those involved in casting and producing reality programs.

Reality shows are inexpensive to make, and they can draw huge audiences, infusing the network and cable television industries with mega-profits.

One of the major problems with reality programming is its defining characteristic: With the exception of celebrity-based shows, individuals who play the starring roles are not actors themselves. Rather, they are ordinary folks, usually with a compelling backstory.

Being ordinary folks, they seldom foresee all the pressures of being thrust into the spotlight, regardless of whether or not they have aggressively sought it out. And as we know from some of the more prominent tragic cases that have played out in the media, the downside of celebrity is a very real part of the entire dynamic of sudden fame and fortune, and many times not worth the price that individuals end up paying.

For programs of the "Real Housewives" variety, in order to be successful participants must endure the constant watchful eye of the camera, and life's trials and tribulations when exaggerated make for the best ratings.

Cast members very often are psychologically and emotionally unprepared for the adulation, and more seriously, the negative opinions, scorn, ridicule and the like, which may be components of the programming and its attendant publicity.

Armstrong, a venture capitalist who was found dead at a Mulholland Drive mansion, was distraught about the manner in which he was being portrayed. According to his mother, he worried that the show's producers were "just going to crucify me this season. I don't know what to do. I'll never survive it."

Armstrong was so concerned about his separation from his wife Taylor, which was displayed on the show, that he reportedly sent a legal notice to cast members warning them not to discuss his marital problems during the episodes. The letter was later withdrawn.

Armstrong's mother also revealed that her now-deceased son told her, "All the network cares about are ratings. They don't care if people are hurt, or if it destroys their marriage."

"I watched it slowly destroy their marriage," Armstrong's mother said.

In the hyper-competitive world of television today, ethical considerations may not be a priority, but they should be. Because in reality-show programming, the key word is reality — and what is irrevocably damaged in reality, no amount of entertainment will ever bring back.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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