Universal Signs New Streaming Deals with Peacock, Amazon

Starting next year, Comcast’s streaming service Peacock will begin to show movies from sister company Universal Pictures, sidestepping a long-time deal with HBO for initial TV rights. The 2022 movies — which will reach Peacock no more than four months after theatrical release — include the next “Jurassic World” and the new “Halloween” movies. In addition, Amazon has signed a multiyear deal with Universal to bring the studio’s movies to Prime Video and IMDb TV following their four-month runs on Peacock. Under the new deal, Universal movies will be available on Amazon for 10 months and then return to Peacock for another four months. Continue reading Universal Signs New Streaming Deals with Peacock, Amazon

Comcast to Purchase DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 Billion

The rumors are true. Comcast announced yesterday that it would acquire DreamWorks Animation SKG in a deal valued at $3.8 billion. The move reflects a significant change in entertainment media as companies seek new ways to address the impact of evolving trends such as streaming video and cord-cutting. Since animation performs well in foreign markets and helps drive consumer product sales, DreamWorks could serve as a vital resource for NBCUniversal. The animation studio could also become a launch pad for the Universal theme parks unit, which is currently planning a new park in Beijing. Continue reading Comcast to Purchase DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 Billion

ILM and Disney Unveil Compelling VR Experiences for Movies

Industrial Light & Magic’s Experience Lab (ILMxLAB), the Lucasfilm R&D division that prototypes interactive, immersive cinema for VR, augmented reality and theme park attractions, debuted a VR experience of “Jurassic World” at Sundance. Now, it’s rolling out “Trials on Tatooine,” a VR demo using the same CG models created for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Lucasfilm’s parent company Disney also just released a new 360-degree video, “Cold Lairs,” to tease its upcoming “Jungle Book” remake. Continue reading ILM and Disney Unveil Compelling VR Experiences for Movies

Wanda Cinemas Plans to Launch 100 Dolby Cinemas in China

Wanda Cinema Line Corporation partnered with Dolby Laboratories to open 100 Dolby Cinema locations in China in the next five years. The first location — as of now unnamed — will open this spring. Dolby Labs combined its Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos to create what it calls a “premium cinema offering for exhibitors and moviegoers that combines spectacular image and sound technologies with inspired design.” Wanda will be the first cinema chain in China to install Dolby Cinema theaters. Continue reading Wanda Cinemas Plans to Launch 100 Dolby Cinemas in China

Chinese Company Buys Legendary Entertainment for $3.5B

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group paid $3.5 billion in cash to purchase Legendary Entertainment, one of Hollywood’s largest independent movie companies, making it the largest such deal between Hollywood and China. Dalian Wanda’s other Hollywood holdings include AMC Entertainment, the second largest cinema chain in the U.S. The company, which got its start in real estate, also owns theaters and produces movies in China. Legendary has co-financed numerous movies, produced its own and has TV and digital divisions. Continue reading Chinese Company Buys Legendary Entertainment for $3.5B

Digital and Physical Home Entertainment Dips Again in 2015

Home entertainment sales dipped last year, especially for DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, which fell 12 percent, one percent more than the drop in 2014. But the numbers, as compiled by the Digital Entertainment Group, aren’t easy to parse, as revealed in competing interpretations of the data. Two things are clear: physical media’s dip is linked to digital media’s rise. And, with revenues of $18 billion, home entertainment is still larger than theatrical box office, which clocked in at $11.1 billion last year. Continue reading Digital and Physical Home Entertainment Dips Again in 2015

‘Star Wars’ Smashes Box Office, Rallies Blockbuster Strategy

On its opening weekend, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” demolished box office records — as well as the trope that crowds no longer throng to movie theaters, even in the first days. The Walt Disney Company’s latest “Star Wars” movie brought in about $517 million globally, a success that is stunning in its size and scope, and that underscores Hollywood studios’ efforts to focus on repurposing the blockbuster, from “Avatar” to “Frozen.” According to Disney, 3D screenings account for 47 percent of the gross. Continue reading ‘Star Wars’ Smashes Box Office, Rallies Blockbuster Strategy

Hollywood to Target Older Audience with Large Format Films

Large-screen format theaters have typically played action-adventure blockbusters aimed at the younger crowd. This fall, however, Hollywood plans to release more adult-oriented stories on the bigger screens, and often in 3D. Proof of that trend can be found in the films chosen to open recent festivals, including the 3D “Everest” at the Venice Film Festival and Robert Zemeckis’ 3D “The Walk” at the New York Film Festival. Exhibitors and their partners are also wooing adults to watch 3D films, which peaked in 2013 with “Gravity.” Continue reading Hollywood to Target Older Audience with Large Format Films

SIGGRAPH 2015: XRoad of Discovery; Emerging Tech Conference Opens in LA

SIGGRAPH 2015, the interdisciplinary conference on the latest computer graphics and interactive techniques, is underway at the LA Convention Center and runs through August 13. SIGGRAPHis unique as a trade event because it showcases both the state of the art in professional production as well as being one of the best places in the world to see and experience emerging technologies, talent and academic research. The conference theme, “XRoads of Discovery,” and the selection of Joichi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab as the conference keynote speaker, underscore the future look. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2015: XRoad of Discovery; Emerging Tech Conference Opens in LA

Movie Trailers Popular on YouTube, Mobile Viewing on the Rise

According to an Ipsos study commissioned by Google, younger moviegoers are more inclined to watch movie trailers on YouTube than on television. While 54 percent of respondents age 13-24 indicated they are more likely to watch trailers via YouTube, an impressive 65 percent said that trailers they watch on YouTube will influence what films they end up seeing in theaters. In addition, a related study from Google and Millward Brown Digital found that 81 percent of moviegoers age 18-64 who watch movie trailers online turn to YouTube as well. Continue reading Movie Trailers Popular on YouTube, Mobile Viewing on the Rise