Apple iTunes Losing Market Share for Movie Rentals, Sales

Apple’s iTunes Store continues to lose market share for video viewers. In 2012, say sources, the company was responsible for well over 50 percent of movie rentals and sales; that figure has now decreased to between 20 percent and 35 percent. The figures are uncertain because no trade group or company tracks market share of digital movies, but several Hollywood studios have reported a decline in the amount of business with iTunes. An Apple spokeswoman said the company is targeting subscription services, an area experiencing significant growth. Continue reading Apple iTunes Losing Market Share for Movie Rentals, Sales

Sony Expands Scope of VR Innovation Program This Summer

The ETC@USC helped Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment establish their summer 2016 VR Innovation Program. Over the course of 10 weeks, 14 USC student associates pitched, rapid-prototyped, and delivered seven proof-of-concept projects of interest to Sony executives. The students worked under the supervision of Sony execs and two advisors from the USC faculty. Sony generously supplied a presentation deck describing the program’s goals and process for distribution by the ETC. Building on their positive experience, Sony is currently running a 2017 summer program with the scope expanded to include AR and live action narrative VR. Continue reading Sony Expands Scope of VR Innovation Program This Summer

Entertainment Companies Join Forces to Battle Online Piracy

A group of media and entertainment companies — including Amazon, AMC Networks, CBS, Disney, HBO, Hulu, Lionsgate, MGM, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. — has formed a new coalition, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), to combat online piracy. “ACE will draw on the anti-piracy resources of the MPAA,” reports Variety. “The group plans to conduct research, work with law enforcement to curtail illegal pirate enterprises and ‘pursue voluntary agreements with responsible parties across the Internet ecosystem.’” The coalition also plans “to file civil litigation in their fight against copyright infringement.” Continue reading Entertainment Companies Join Forces to Battle Online Piracy

Comcast Signs Deals with Four Studios to Offer Movie Extras

Comcast inked deals with Universal Pictures (which it owns), Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment for “movie extras” to accompany those studios’ film titles. The cable company, which will offer a free sample of the enhanced extras during the 10 days leading up to Christmas, says it is working on adding more studios and movies in the coming year. With the extra content, Comcast hopes to better compete with other digital movie providers, including Apple, which added extra content two years ago. Continue reading Comcast Signs Deals with Four Studios to Offer Movie Extras

Amblin and Alibaba Ink Mutually Beneficial Moviemaking Deal

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment just inked a deal with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group to produce, finance and distribute movies. The relationship gives Alibaba an entrée into the Hollywood moviemaking industry, and Amblin a pipeline to distribution in China. Although the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, Alibaba will now have a minority equity stake in Amblin and a seat on its board, and Amblin will have access to the Chinese company’s massive database on consumers there. Continue reading Amblin and Alibaba Ink Mutually Beneficial Moviemaking Deal

Sony Debuts Immersive Video to Promote Movie on Snapchat

To promote its new thriller “Don’t Breathe,” Sony Pictures Entertainment created the first immersive, 360-degree video ad for the social media platform Snapchat, with its more than 150 million mainly young users. The campaign is a 10-second video that lets users “swipe up” to see the 90-second 360-degree video on a Web page in the app. “Don’t Breathe,” about three burglars who invade the home of a blind military veteran and find themselves trapped and fighting for their lives, opens in theaters August 26. Continue reading Sony Debuts Immersive Video to Promote Movie on Snapchat

Hollywood Studios Weigh Impact of Rotten Tomatoes Scores

To understand why some movies bomb, Hollywood studio executives are increasingly focused on Rotten Tomatoes and other platforms that aggregate hundreds of views into a single score. This switch is a marked difference from past decades when high-profile movie critics at big newspapers were the most important judges of a movie’s merit. Those critics still exist, but primarily seem to hold sway with a small group of older viewers. Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores, meanwhile, show up in today’s search results and social media conversations. Continue reading Hollywood Studios Weigh Impact of Rotten Tomatoes Scores

Rovio Self-Finances ‘Angry Birds’ Movie to Control Franchise

Finnish company Rovio Entertainment decided four years ago that, rather than license the “Angry Birds” characters to a Hollywood studio, it would finance its own $73 million movie. Since opening on Friday in some territories, Rovio’s gamble has thus far resulted in a $43 million gross. Companies such as Lego A/S and Hasbro turned to studios to finance their films, but Rovio took the same path Marvel did when it made “Iron Man,” with the goal of controlling the franchise over the long term. Continue reading Rovio Self-Finances ‘Angry Birds’ Movie to Control Franchise

NAB: Immersive Films Present Possibilities, Face Challenges

When Ang Lee was asked about his opinion of VR, at the conclusion of a panel at the NAB Show focused on the technical aspects of making “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” he demurred that he was still very focused on making his way through the highly experimental process of creating a movie that combines 3D stereoscopy with 4K and 120 fps. The result, as seen in an 11-minute clip, is so immersive that some viewers compared it to VR. Lee didn’t dismiss VR, and believes it might eventually encompass theatrical experiences. Continue reading NAB: Immersive Films Present Possibilities, Face Challenges

Snapchat Tests Sponsored Discover Channel with James Bond

Snapchat launched a temporary Discover channel yesterday featuring advertiser-created content. Sony Pictures Entertainment paid for a “sponsored” Discover channel to promote its new James Bond film “Spectre,” which opened on Monday in the U.K. The Discover section currently includes 15 media partners, but the 007 channel (which is sharing multimedia content for the film such as behind-the-scenes footage, cast member testimonials and Bond trivia questions) represents the first time a brand has paid to be featured this way on Snapchat Discover. Continue reading Snapchat Tests Sponsored Discover Channel with James Bond

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