YouTube Power Couple Produces Miniseries for Horror Movie

Producer Legendary Pictures and distributor Universal Pictures tapped YouTube stars Felix Kjellberg and Marzia Bisognin to develop a companion Web series for the horror movie, “As Above, So Below,” which opened in theaters this past weekend. PewDiePie and CutiePieMarzia, as the two are better known on YouTube, shot the series in the movie’s setting, the catacombs of Paris. The six-part Web series has generated about 20 million views, while the film’s trailer has been played 9.7 million times. Continue reading YouTube Power Couple Produces Miniseries for Horror Movie

Disney Bringing ‘Star Wars’ to Games, Cable, and Theme Parks

Disney is making a major push with its “Star Wars”-themed properties. Disney Interactive announced “Star Wars: Commander” yesterday, a new free-to-play game designed for mobile devices. And while construction plans are underway for “Star Wars”-themed “lands” at Disney theme parks, the Disney Channel announced this week it would debut animated movie “Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion” on October 3, and the Disney XD channel plans to premiere its “Star Wars Rebels” series ten days later. Continue reading Disney Bringing ‘Star Wars’ to Games, Cable, and Theme Parks

Survey Finds the Twitter Buzz Around Movies Has Real Impact

Nielsen and Twitter teamed up to study how consumers decide to go see a movie, and they found that Twitter played a major role in that decision. About 87 percent of surveyed moviegoers said that Twitter influenced their choice of movie and 47 percent said that they saw a movie based on recommendations from family or friends on Twitter. The survey also found that in general, 62 percent of moviegoers use the Internet or mobile apps to look up films before their theatrical release. Continue reading Survey Finds the Twitter Buzz Around Movies Has Real Impact

Dealflicks Partners with Movie Theaters to Offer Special Deals

Dealflicks is a company that offers movie and concession discounts in order to fill the empty seats in movie theaters. According to Dealflicks, about 88 percent of seats remain empty on average. The company is partnering with movie theaters to help attract consumers through special deals. Dealflicks has already raised $1.7 million in seed funding in order to offer these discounts through its mobile app. Meanwhile, over 400 theaters have partnered with the company.

Continue reading Dealflicks Partners with Movie Theaters to Offer Special Deals

Radius-TWC is Experimenting with ‘Snowpiercer’ VOD Release

“Snowpiercer,” a sci-fi film starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, was released June 27 in eight theaters. Just weeks following its theatrical release, the Bong Joon-ho helmed movie was made available via video-on-demand. This new distribution model is part of Radius-TWC’s strategy to bring the movie to a larger audience. The Weinstein Co.’s boutique division is hoping that the early VOD release will keep the buzz going as its release expands to additional theaters. Continue reading Radius-TWC is Experimenting with ‘Snowpiercer’ VOD Release

AMC Banks on Quality Over Quantity with New Reclining Seats

AMC, the nation’s second largest movie theater chain, has decided to swap many of its traditional theater seats with reclining models at 1,800 of its 5,000 locations. This switch will remove up to two-thirds of an auditorium’s seating capacity. In the next five years, AMC plans to spend around $600 million to make the renovations, which cost between $350,000 and $500,000 per auditorium. The swap will occur only in locations that need to attract more customers. Continue reading AMC Banks on Quality Over Quantity with New Reclining Seats

Drone Debate Continues as Hollywood Seeks Production Options

Hollywood continues to consider drones for media production since they have the potential to save money, offer creative options and create a safer set. Drone-makers, rigging manufacturers and aerial production companies have joined forces to offer camera-equipped drones and services. However, federal law prohibits the commercial use of unmanned aircrafts. The FAA is currently reviewing a request by the MPAA to allow drones for use by the film and television industry. Continue reading Drone Debate Continues as Hollywood Seeks Production Options

Attention Broadcasters: Mobile Video Viewing is on the Rise

According to a study from Ooyala, mobile devices are increasingly playing a major role in the consumption of online video. The research indicates that during the first quarter of this year, smartphones and tablets were responsible for 21 percent of all online video-plays worldwide, up from 9 percent in 2013 and a mere 3.4 percent two years ago. Considering that mobile and tablet video viewership is up 532 percent since 2012, the data should be of particular interest to broadcasters. Continue reading Attention Broadcasters: Mobile Video Viewing is on the Rise

SK Telecom Introduces New LTE-Advanced Broadband Service

Korea’s largest mobile operator, SK Telecom rolled out its new LTE-Advanced broadband service last week. South Korean customers will now have access to 4G wireless network speeds up to 225Mbps (three times faster than other current mobile connections). This speed will allow users to download 800MB movies in less than half a minute. A new version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be the first to support LTE-A speeds, while LG and Pantech plan to launch compatible devices next month. Continue reading SK Telecom Introduces New LTE-Advanced Broadband Service

SMPTE and HPA Announce New Move Toward Consolidation

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers announced it plans to provide administrative support for the Hollywood Post Alliance. The move is part of a larger plan to eventually combine the two organizations. SMPTE made the announcement yesterday during the Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age conference at Stanford University. A roadmap has been endorsed by both boards that will steer HPA toward consolidation within SMPTE as a separate affiliate organization. Continue reading SMPTE and HPA Announce New Move Toward Consolidation

Latest “Transformers” Film Shot with New IMAX 4K 3D Camera

IMAX announced that it has developed the first fully integrated dual 65mm 4K digital large-format 3D camera. Michael Bay’s latest Paramount Pictures project, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is the first feature film to use the true 4K stereo camera, which captures both left and right eye images at full 4K resolution. According to the company, the new IMAX 3D Digital Camera system is “smaller, lighter and easier to use than other 3D digital camera systems on the market.” Continue reading Latest “Transformers” Film Shot with New IMAX 4K 3D Camera

Half of U.S. Households Now Have an Internet-Connected TV

Leichtman Research Group notes that 47 percent of U.S. households currently subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime or a combination of these services, while 49 percent have at least one Internet-connected TV (up from 24 percent four years ago). Interestingly, as paid streaming services become more accessible, consumers still prefer watching video for free. According to nScreenMedia, YouTube accounted for 48 percent of time people spent watching online video in March. Continue reading Half of U.S. Households Now Have an Internet-Connected TV

Streaming Delay Messages: Verizon Threatens to Sue Netflix

Last week it was reported that Netflix had begun posting on-screen messages blaming Verizon for congestion that was slowing video streams. While Netflix claims the message was simply one step in notifying customers about how an ISP can impact the viewing experience, Verizon described the move as “a PR stunt” and suggested the message “is not only inaccurate, it is deliberately misleading.” Later in the week, Verizon sent a cease and desist letter to Netflix. Continue reading Streaming Delay Messages: Verizon Threatens to Sue Netflix

PwC Study: Electronic Home Video to Top Physical by 2016

According to new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, box office and digital revenue is expected to steadily increase over the next five years, while rentals and sales of discs are projected to sharply decline. PwC predicts that electronic home video revenue will exceed revenue of physical home video by 2016. Not surprisingly, DVDs are facing a questionable future. PwC estimates that physical home entertainment revenue will decline from $12.2 billion in 2013 to $8.7 billion in 2018. Continue reading PwC Study: Electronic Home Video to Top Physical by 2016

FAA Considers Allowing Entertainment Industry to Use Drones

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may lift current restrictions that prohibit the use of drone aircraft for commercial purposes. Seven companies in the film industry filed requests with the help of the Motion Picture Association of America to be able to use small drones at a low altitude in a limited airspace for aerial photography. Drones have already been used in the movie industry despite the ban, but this step could lead to further relaxation of the FAA’s policy. Continue reading FAA Considers Allowing Entertainment Industry to Use Drones

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