* David Geffen has music savvy, movie moxie, and $1 billion with which to frolic. Some say he’ll eventually bid to take over a network or studio. Meanwhile, he seems content to dabble, deal, and twiddle his gold thumbs.
* Eddie Murphy, after a streak of bored performances in bad movies, could have used a big victory. Instead, Boomerang was a draw — neither a career terminator nor a career resuscitator. After his Christmas political comedy, The Distinguished Gentleman, will come Beverly Hills Cop 3, a movie he needs more than we do.
* After Hudson Hawk and The Bonfire of the Vanities, Bruce Willis seemed all smirked out. Instead, he rebounded with the surprisingly not-bad Last Boy Scout, a self-effacing turn in Death Becomes Her, and a zillion-dollar deal for Die Hard 3. Cancel that Moonlighting reunion…for now.
* When The Cosby Show ruled, so did producers Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner. Now, besides Roseanne, all they’ve got is A Different World (sinking), Frannie’s Turn (stinking), and You Bet Your Life (what were they thinking?).
* MGM heads Alan Ladd Jr. and Dennis Stanfill are trying to make the lion roar instead of yawn. After a moribund decade, they promise a 20-film slate (including Madonna’s Body of Evidence), but the studio still suffers from a last-among-equals reputation and wobbly marketing; remember Diggstown?
* Victor A. Kaufman and Lewis J. Korman‘s Savoy Pictures Entertainment will be Hollywood’s next big studio — if all goes well. They’ve got hundreds of millions in capital and a sweet deal with HBO, but film history is littered with the corpses of sure things.
* Tina Brown was a rumored candidate for movie- studio jobs while the editor at Vanity Fair. Now she’s perched atop The New Yorker; prestige aside, in Hollywood, that doesn’t make her Talk of the Town.
* Bob and Harvey Weinstein have made Miramax the premier distributor of little films; in their hands, the tiny, arty Enchanted April has grossed an impressive $9 million. Now, with more than a dozen movies awaiting release, they’re trying to diversify. But is the company’s future really in films like Hellraiser III?