ELLEN DEGENERES DOG DRAMA
Not usually the site to talk about stories like this, but today WILDsound couldn't help itself. Another version of what people try to pull when they have their own TV show.
Ellen DeGeneres' doggy drama intensified Tuesday when the agency that took the talk show host's adopted dog back said they were keeping it.
The dog adopted by DeGeneres and later given to her hairstylist's family in violation of an animal rescue agency's rules will not be going back to the family, a spokesman said, amid threats of violence against the agency.
DeGeneres made a tearful plea on her talk show that aired Tuesday for the owners of Mutts and Moms to give Iggy, a Brussels Griffon mix terrier, back to her hairstylist's family. She went on for minutes crying and feeling sorry for herself on national TV about some dog. If only people were as concerned about humans!
The dog was removed from the hairstylist's home Sunday. The owners of Mutts and Moms claimed that DeGeneres violated the adoption agreement by not informing them that she was giving the dog away.
Mutts and Moms owners Marina Batkis and Vanessa Chekroun were in possession of the dog and will not be giving it back, attorney Keith A. Fink told The Associated Press.
"She (Marina) is not going to give them the dog," said Fink, who is not legally representing the owners but is authorized to speak on their behalf.
"She doesn't think this is the type of family that should have the dog. She is adamant that she is not going to be bullied around by the Ellen DeGenereses of the world ... They are using their power, position and wealth to try to get what it is they want."
DeGeneres' attorney, Kevin Yorn, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
However, on her talk show taped Tuesday and airing Wednesday, a serious DeGeneres reiterated to her audience that "the dog needs to go to the family."
It "just needs to be in a good home," she continued, according to a transcript given to the AP. "All that you're supposed to do is put a dog in a loving home."
MOVIE GALLERY FILES FOR CHAPTER 11
Devastated by online competition and buried beneath debt, Movie Gallery said Tuesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Movie Gallery, which took on at least $1.1 billion in debt two years ago when it purchased Hollywood Video, lists about $892 million in assets and $1.4 billion in debt.
It hasn't yet been determined how much money Movie Gallery owes to the film studios that provide DVDs to its stores. The company, however, said that it is "in advanced negotiations with a number of the major motion picture studios." It added that it has sought "permission from the bankruptcy court to enter into agreements with the studios to restore normal credit terms."
Its bankruptcy plan will convert $400 million in debt to equity and has investment fund Sopris Capital Advisors financing a reorganization of debt. Plus, outstanding shares in the company would be canceled and existing holders of equity would receive about 2% of the company's new equity.
Late on Monday, Movie Gallery also got interim bankruptcy court approval to access $140 million of $150 million in debtor-in-possession financing arranged by Goldman Sachs, which will help Movie Gallery to continue managing its business and pay its bills.
Movie Gallery operates 4,430 stores in U.S. and Canada under the names Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video and Game Crazy, though the Canadian operations are not included in the bankruptcy plan.
In announcing the plan, which had been expected for the past week, Movie Gallery said that "vendors should expect to be paid for postpetition purchases of goods and services in the ordinary course of business." The company also has asked for court permission "to continue to honor its current customer policies regarding merchandise returns and outstanding gift cards and customer loyalty programs."
DIE HARD WITH A BONUS
In an industry first, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is expected to announce Tuesday that the special-edition DVD of "Live Free or Die Hard" will come with an electronic copy of the movie that can be played on a computer and select portable video players.
"This may be the killer app, where you have physical media that allows you to have a big-screen experience and at the same time move the file around to other devices and have a great experience there as well," said Mike Dunn, the division's worldwide president.
The summer theatrical hit, the fourth in the "Die Hard" franchise and first since 1995, comes to DVD on Nov. 20 after a boxoffice run that yielded $134.4 million in domestic ticket receipts. The release precedes by nearly a month Warner Home Video's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," which also will let DVD buyers download a copy of the movie to a PC or portable video device.
The Digital Copy feature also will be included on select other Fox DVDs down the road, though no titles have been announced. The DRM-free feature allows consumers to quickly and easily transfer the movie file to Windows-based computers or portable video players equipped with Microsoft Windows' PlaysForSure feature, available from such manufacturers as Archos, Toshiba, Samsung, RCA, Dell and Creative Labs.
"The industry has sold nearly 12 billion DVDs to date, and the release of 'Live Free or Die Hard' is the first one that allows consumers to move their content to other devices," Dunn said. "With the myriad of viewing options available to consumers in our rapidly evolving digital world, a DVD with Digital Copy offers a simple way for consumers to satisfy their growing desire to watch what they want, when they want and, most importantly, how and where they want."
To utilize the Digital Copy feature, consumers can insert Disc 2 of the "Live Free" DVD into their computer. A menu will pop up, giving users the choice of either executing the Digital Copy application or launching the DVD special features. If the Digital Copy application is selected, the computer will verify the proper requirements and ask the user to enter a 16-digit serial code, found inside the DVD case. After selecting a destination -- either the computer's hard drive or a connected PlaysForSure video player -- the transfer will begin, and the program will be ready for playback after about five minutes.
"We're looking at this as giving the consumer a whole other experience, with an emphasis on choice and ease of use," Dunn said. "There's downloading, which takes 45 minutes to an hour, and managed copy, which I never liked because it involves moving the movie off the disc and onto something else, which also takes forever. With Digital Copy, the file is formatted to go across and onto your computer and mobile device, so it's already a small file -- a rocket file that plays beautifully."