Netflix Showcases Big-Budget Feature Films at Comic-Con

Netflix had a major presence at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, including an off-site installation to showcase numerous fan favorites, a screening of Adam Wingard’s upcoming supernatural horror-thriller “Death Note” (based on the popular manga series), a well-received trailer for season 2 of “Stranger Things,” and a collection of panels promoting other upcoming projects, including the David Ayer-helmed big-budget feature “Bright,” starring Will Smith. Making such a splash at the 4-day event is a first for Netflix, as the company continues its expansion into feature film projects with larger budgets. Continue reading Netflix Showcases Big-Budget Feature Films at Comic-Con

The Netflix Zone: Virtual Video Store Showcased at Hack Day

One of the more compelling demos during Netflix’s latest Hack Day was a virtual reality showroom using HTC Vive’s room-scale VR. Developers Joey Cato, Marco Caldeira and Adnan Abbas created “The Netflix Zone,” where subscribers can peruse titles on shelf racks arranged by categories and personal recommendations. Movies and original shows such as “Orange Is the New Black” and “House of Cards” appear on shelves as VHS cassettes. When you select certain cassettes, the shop morphs into a setting that reflects the title. Continue reading The Netflix Zone: Virtual Video Store Showcased at Hack Day

Survey: Netflix Subscribers Envision the Service Replacing TV

Netflix continues to invest heavily in its original programming as the company competes with pay TV and rival streaming services. The company has also reduced its U.S. library as licensing costs climb, while adding to its international offerings in markets such as Canada and Great Britain. To get a sense of the brand’s perception in an evolving digital landscape, AllFlicks surveyed 3,000 visitors to its own site and Reddit to learn how the company is faring as compared to pay TV and other entertainment businesses. With this select group, 75.5 percent believe Netflix could replace traditional TV. Continue reading Survey: Netflix Subscribers Envision the Service Replacing TV

NBCUniversal’s Burke: Netflix is Friend, Enemy and Frenemy

NBCUniversal chief executive Steve Burke did not anticipate the big impact of time-shifting and over-the-top services such as Netflix and Hulu on the cable business, he said during CES 2016. Instead, he believed cable entertainment ratings would be stronger than they are today. At the same time, he doesn’t consider Netflix to be just an enemy but, rather, a friend and frenemy as well. More puzzling to him is how advertisers discount television in favor of digital outlets, which, he notes, do not have the reach or emotional impact of TV. Continue reading NBCUniversal’s Burke: Netflix is Friend, Enemy and Frenemy

Movie Trailers Proliferate, Building Fervor, Fan Engagement

The number of trailers for franchise blockbusters has skyrocketed, flooding YouTube, Facebook and other platforms. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” counts 17 trailers, teasers and ads thus far. Today’s trailer looks much more like entertainment than an ad, linking to past franchise chapters, teasing out the identity of shadowy or hooded characters, and generally amping up anticipation and heated fan engagement before the film even opens. The nested teasers and trailers dole out details without giving away plot. Continue reading Movie Trailers Proliferate, Building Fervor, Fan Engagement

CES Panel Discusses HDR as Hollywood’s New Creative Tool

HDR (High Dynamic Range) — which enables a greater range of luminosity that results in enhanced color and contrast — was a feature demonstrated on numerous TV displays at the 2015 CES in Las Vegas. A panel looking at “HDR: Hollywood’s New Creative Tool” brought together studio execs, technologists and display manufacturers to talk about HDR’s advantages and the obstacles in achieving wide adoption. Panelists discussed the new Ultra HD Alliance, the need for standards, and much more. Continue reading CES Panel Discusses HDR as Hollywood’s New Creative Tool

Is the Amazon-Hachette Dispute About More Than Book Sales?

Amazon is making books unavailable for pre-ordering and extending shipping times due to its dispute with one of the country’s largest publishers, Hachette Book Group. These tactics put pressure on Hachette as the two companies negotiate new terms of a deal for Amazon to sell the publisher’s books online. Amazon wants to increase its cut of the sales from Hachette books and e-books. In a statement Tuesday night, the online retailer said it does not expect the dispute to be resolved any time soon. Continue reading Is the Amazon-Hachette Dispute About More Than Book Sales?

Digital Movie Revenue on the Rise While Home Video Sales Fall

According to first quarter reports, revenue from digital movies has grown 43 percent since last year, bringing in $330.25 million for the home entertainment industry. However, that number is still dwarfed by the revenue from disc sales. Even though disc sales dropped 13.7 percent, they still account for $1.82 billion in consumer spending on DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Revenue from subscription streaming is up 26.5 percent to $928.6 million. Continue reading Digital Movie Revenue on the Rise While Home Video Sales Fall

Ourscreen Helps Movie Fans Organize Their Own Screenings

Ourscreen is a service that allows groups of people to arrange private or public film screenings at their local cinema for movies that do not have a regular listing. It is similar to Groupon, in that a showing can be booked (by selecting a film, participating theater, and date/time), but is only confirmed once a certain number of people buy in. You can also search screenings that have been proposed by others and invite your friends. The larger the crowd for a given screening, the more affordable become the ticket prices. Continue reading Ourscreen Helps Movie Fans Organize Their Own Screenings

GameFly Will Take On Netflix with New Movie Rental Service

Video game rental service GameFly is launching a movie rental service (currently in beta) that aims to compete with the Netflix disc-by-mail business. GameFly will offer DVD and Blu-ray discs to subscribers, with the option of renting one or two movies at a time. While Netflix has predicted that shipping costs would bring an end to its own disc-based rental service, this may not be an issue for GameFly since mail rentals remain its core business. Continue reading GameFly Will Take On Netflix with New Movie Rental Service

Blockbuster to Shutter U.S. Stores and DVD by Mail Services

DISH Network announced that its Blockbuster subsidiary will close approximately 300 remaining U.S.-based retail stores and its DVD by mail distribution operations by January 2014. The Blockbuster By Mail service will end mid-December. Blockbuster has recently divested itself of U.S. and international assets, including operations in the UK and Scandinavia. However, DISH plans to continue its support of Blockbuster’s domestic and international franchise operations. Continue reading Blockbuster to Shutter U.S. Stores and DVD by Mail Services

Hollywood Taking Extreme Measures to Keep Scripts Secure

Enhanced security designed to protect scripts is becoming a standard procedure in Hollywood. Filmmakers do not simply worry about piracy, but also about a script being posted online for people to prematurely lambast, potentially compromising success. The strict security measures apply to everyone, and even Hollywood veterans are subject to intense scrutiny before they are permitted to read a script about a potential blockbuster or the sequel to a smash hit. Continue reading Hollywood Taking Extreme Measures to Keep Scripts Secure

EXCLUSIVE: Looking Beyond Summer Box Office as Trends Emerge

With Labor Day the traditional end of summer, pundits survey the uneven landscape of a fickle summer. Disappointing openings and steep weekend-to-weekend drop-offs jarred execs and provided fodder for commentary and soul-searching. It may be easy to find irony in the titles of two financially successful movies — the low-budget “The Purge” and “This Is The End,” which spoofed the end of the world against a backdrop of contemporary Hollywood — to suggest that this summer truly marks the end for movies. But that would only happen if there were a total failure to recognize emerging trends, acknowledge this is not the first time Hollywood has faced a changing market and apply new ideas to shape the future. Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: Looking Beyond Summer Box Office as Trends Emerge

Megaupload Shutdown: MPAA Rejects Findings of Piracy Study

Last week, the MPAA rejected findings of a European study that suggests the shutdown of piracy site Megaupload damaged revenues for theatrical films other than blockbusters. Megaupload was shut down by the FBI in January 2012. While researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that the shutdown boosted legitimate digital sales of movies, a new study from Ludwig Maximilians University Munich and Copenhagen Business School argues that anti-piracy measures may have unintended consequences for different kinds of movies. Continue reading Megaupload Shutdown: MPAA Rejects Findings of Piracy Study

Theater Owners Pursue Guidelines to Shorten Movie Trailers

The National Association of Theater Owners is proposing a new approach to marketing that will include limiting the running time of movie trailers. The controversial move, which is reportedly part of an effort to provide exhibitors with more control over how movies are marketed inside their cinemas, would reduce trailers to two minutes (30 seconds shorter than the norm). Theater owners have argued that trailers can be too long and often reveal too much of a movie’s plot. Continue reading Theater Owners Pursue Guidelines to Shorten Movie Trailers

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