MoviePass Continues Rapid Ascent, Tops 1 Million Subscribers

MoviePass is a service that lets subscribers attend up to one 2D movie screening per day in theaters for a monthly charge. Shortly after a price drop to $9.95 per month in August (from a tiered $15-$50 model), the New York-based company announced it had jumped to 400,000 customers. By October, that number increased to 600,000. Last month, MoviePass dropped its monthly fee again for a limited time offer of about $6.95 per month for those willing to pay up front for a year. Now the company announced it “has since reached one million subscribers in less time than Spotify, Hulu, and Netflix.” Continue reading MoviePass Continues Rapid Ascent, Tops 1 Million Subscribers

Judge Rules Against Netflix Bid to Offer Relativity Films Early

Netflix had been fighting to stream two movies produced by Relativity Media ahead of their planned theatrical releases, but a judge on Friday issued an order preventing Netflix from doing so. According to Judge Michael Wiles of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, an early release of the comedy “Masterminds” and horror film “The Disappointments Room” could be “devastating” for Relativity, the studio he recently released from chapter 11. Ruling in favor of Netflix “would threaten the bankruptcy process… with devastating consequences to the plan and distributions” to creditors, the judge said. Continue reading Judge Rules Against Netflix Bid to Offer Relativity Films Early

Netflix to Offer Original Programming Produced for Teenagers

As part of its effort to meet the entertainment needs of the postmillennial generation, Netflix is adding exclusive films and TV series to its service that target teenagers and tweens. Netflix has picked up a half-hour original series about a group of musicians called “Lost & Found Music Studios,” a series called “Degrassi: Next Class” that addresses the issues teens face as they get ready to enter adulthood, and “Fuller House,” the sequel to the popular 90s sitcom “Full House.” Netflix has also licensed two movies featuring YouTube stars — “Smosh: The Movie” and “Bad Night.” Continue reading Netflix to Offer Original Programming Produced for Teenagers

Oculus Story Studio Explores Ways to Make VR More Social

Oculus Story Studio, a lab program within Oculus VR dedicated to experimentation with the goal of helping virtual reality grow as a platform, is using “Lost Director’s Cut,” a new version of the studio’s short VR film as the basis for a new social experience that promises to change the paradigm of VR experiences from solitary to shared. The purpose of the new demonstration is to show filmmakers and other creatives how far they can push virtual reality beyond current single-person, isolated experiences. Continue reading Oculus Story Studio Explores Ways to Make VR More Social

ISTS Calls for New Take on ‘Ineffective’ Copyright Alert System

The Internet Security Task Force (ISTS), a consortium comprised of motion picture companies, is requesting that U.S. Internet service providers abandon the Copyright Alert System (CAS), which ISTS views as “ineffective.” The system forwards up to six warnings to Internet users who are identified as sharing copyrighted material via BitTorrent and other resources, before potentially taking action. ISTS is calling for a new system with stronger measures, possibly modeled after Canada’s Copyright Modernization Act. Continue reading ISTS Calls for New Take on ‘Ineffective’ Copyright Alert System

YouTube to Back Long-Form Content From its Popular Creators

Amid growing competition in the online video space, Google’s YouTube is trying to hang onto its lead by supporting some of the platform’s biggest stars. The platform will back long-form original series from the Fine Brothers, Prank vs. Prank, Joey Graceffa and SMOSH. YouTube and AwesomenessTV have also paired up to create several feature-length films that will debut online and feature YouTube stars. The Google subsidiary is facing competition from Facebook, Yahoo, and even Netflix. Continue reading YouTube to Back Long-Form Content From its Popular Creators

Fandango to Feature Scannable Movie Tickets via Apple Watch

Ticketing company Fandango plans to launch one of the Apple Watch’s first entertainment apps this Friday when the wearable starts its initial shipments. Similar to its mobile app, Fandango’s watch app will feature scannable movie tickets. The app also offers movie trivia and helpful screening information such as theater directions, seat details and a countdown clock to showtimes. Fandango, which developed an early iPhone app and was one of the first Passbook app partners, already has more than 36 million monthly online visitors. Continue reading Fandango to Feature Scannable Movie Tickets via Apple Watch

Survey Says Viewers Won’t Pay More Than $10 to Stream Movie

A survey by RBC Capital Markets found that consumers are not willing to pay any more than they already do to stream a movie on opening weekend. Eighty-seven percent of consumers will not pay more than $10 to stream a movie on the same day it is released in theaters. That’s bad news for Hollywood studios that are trying to make more money with same-day video-on-demand releases. Most of the survey respondents also said that a VOD release would have no effect on their choice to go to theaters. Continue reading Survey Says Viewers Won’t Pay More Than $10 to Stream Movie

Pirates and the Wealthy Watching Theatrical Releases at Home

“Furious 7,” the latest installment in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, broke box office records last weekend, and that’s not even counting the people who watched the movie at home. From Thursday to Monday, the film had been illegally downloaded 2.59 million times on torrent networks. Meanwhile, fans could legally stream the movie on PRIMA, a streaming set-top box. For the luxury of streaming movies opening weekend, PRIMA users would have to shell out $500 for the 24-hour rental. Continue reading Pirates and the Wealthy Watching Theatrical Releases at Home

Roku Announces Refresh for Streaming Box and Updates Search

Roku has updated its Roku 2 streaming box and is introducing platform enhancements that make it easier to find video content across multiple apps. The new Roku Search allows users to search for movies, TV shows, actors and directors across all apps via the interface. Since the company does not produce any of its own content, it does not include any bias when displaying content on its UI, something that cannot be said of rival streaming platforms. This may be appealing to television manufacturers looking for platform partnerhips. Continue reading Roku Announces Refresh for Streaming Box and Updates Search

Sparked by Growth in China, Worldwide Ticket Sales Increase

According to the Motion Picture Association of America, global box office numbers were up 1 percent in 2014 over 2013, but ticket sales in North America dropped about 5 percent. The MPAA notes that China saw significant growth, a 34 percent increase year-over-year. Global ticket sales climbed to $36.4 billion last year — with $10.4 billion recorded for the U.S. and Canada and $4.8 billion in China. While domestic per capita ticket sales increased among moviegoers 50 to 59 and slightly among those 40 to 49, sales among viewers younger than 40 dropped. Continue reading Sparked by Growth in China, Worldwide Ticket Sales Increase

Social Marketing: The Impact of Tweets on Today’s Box Office

When it comes to movie marketing and box office numbers, not all tweets carry the same weight. On average, a single tweet results in more box office revenue when posted four weeks prior to a film’s release date than the week before. The value of a single tweet can fluctuate based on variables such as a movie’s genre or spread of brand awareness from ads aired in weeks prior to the film’s release. Studios can also use Twitter to monitor the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Continue reading Social Marketing: The Impact of Tweets on Today’s Box Office

Academy Award Nominations Lead to Spike in Pirated Downloads

Digital piracy tracking firm Irdeto reports that global downloads of pirated Oscar-nominated films jumped 385 percent in the 30 days following the nomination announcements on January 15. Irdeto suggests the pirated downloads represent about $41 million in lost revenue. While Hollywood studios and motion picture companies continue to struggle with the problem of piracy, some have recommended embracing the Internet for initial releases, making films available theatrically and online at the same time. Continue reading Academy Award Nominations Lead to Spike in Pirated Downloads

Nearly 90 Percent of World’s Cinema Screens are Now Digital

London-based IHS Cinema Intelligence reports that 89.8 percent of theatrical movie screens worldwide have completed the conversion to digital cinema. The global digital cinema footprint reached 127,688 screens in 2014, a 14.7 percent increase over the previous year. The largest increase was seen in the Asia Pacific region, followed by South and Central America. Additionally, digital penetration climbed to 96 percent in Western Europe, matching that of North America for the first time. Continue reading Nearly 90 Percent of World’s Cinema Screens are Now Digital

Fandometrics: Tumblr Launches Hub for All Things Pop Culture

Yahoo-owned blogging platform Tumblr launched a new pop culture hub yesterday that highlights top conversations from its community related to categories such as celebrities, TV shows, movies, music and video games. Since Tumblr blends online publishing tools with social features, the platform has grown popular for those who like to follow blogs and share posts. It has also become popular with fan communities, which makes the Fandometrics hub a natural fit for Tumblr — and a potential new marketing opportunity for brands. Continue reading Fandometrics: Tumblr Launches Hub for All Things Pop Culture

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