Netflix Continues Push to Become the First Global TV Network

Journalists were recently invited to the Silicon Valley offices of Netflix for a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s distribution efforts for its latest Marvel series, “Iron Fist.” Through a series of talks that emphasized how the streaming service is essentially becoming a global Internet-based television network for more than 93 million subscribers, the “Netflix Lab Days” event addressed the tech and business considerations involved with programming for an international audience, creating “taste communities” for recommendations and personalization, initiating deals with TV operators and ISPs around the world, language translations for original content, and translating the Netflix apps and catalog into multiple languages. Continue reading Netflix Continues Push to Become the First Global TV Network

IMAX Plans to Create Big Screen Immersive VR Experiences

The 45+ year-old IMAX is now setting its sights on virtual reality, with the company’s chief executive Richard Gelfond seeing VR as the future of movies. In fact, IMAX is hoping to lead the charge into this new medium for storytelling, investing $50 million into VR content. The plan is to finance more than 25 VR experiences in the next three years; the company is already in discussions with directors and studios. IMAX also inked a deal with Google to build a new and improved VR camera, which it plans to unveil in 2018. Continue reading IMAX Plans to Create Big Screen Immersive VR Experiences

DEG Report: Streaming Exceeds Disc Sales in Industry First

The Digital Entertainment Group reports that, for the first time, subscription streaming has surpassed disc sales, further evidence that Hollywood may need to reconsider traditional windows for theatrical distribution. While total home entertainment spending increased 1.36 percent, “the $5.4 billion in disc sales fell well short of the $6.2 billion tabulated from SVOD providers like Netflix,” notes Variety. Subscription streaming jumped nearly 23 percent in 2016 (although figures do not include Amazon Prime), while disc sales dropped almost 10 percent. In another first, “spending on electronic-sell-through, or EST, which totaled just over $2 billion, was edged by VOD by just $67 million.” Continue reading DEG Report: Streaming Exceeds Disc Sales in Industry First

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

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

Amazon Studios Looks Beyond Original Series to the Big Screen

Amazon announced yesterday that it plans to expand its original programming efforts by producing and acquiring movies for theatrical release and distribution via Prime Instant Video. In a significant departure from the traditional windowing system, the films are expected to be available for streaming in the U.S. 4-8 weeks following their theatrical debuts (movies normally have to wait 39-52 weeks before streaming). The move is part of Amazon’s plan to grow its entertainment arsenal while competing with Netflix. Continue reading Amazon Studios Looks Beyond Original Series to the Big Screen

Nielsen: Streaming Impacts Theater Attendance Among Digitals

Nielsen’s 2014 report for movie theater attendance shows that moviegoers aged 12-24 are making fewer trips to the theater compared to previous years. This year’s summer box office was reportedly the weakest of any summer for the past eight years. Nielsen’s numbers also reveal that streaming movies and TV shows has become the preferred alternative for Hollywood’s most coveted demographic. Americans 12-24 told Nielsen they saw 15 percent fewer films in theaters compared to 2013. Continue reading Nielsen: Streaming Impacts Theater Attendance Among Digitals

NATO, MPAA Update Anti-Piracy Policy to Include Wearables

The National Association of Theatre Owners, which currently maintains 32,000 U.S. screens, and the Motion Picture Association of America announced in a joint statement yesterday that their anti-piracy policies would now include powering off wearable devices. “As part of our continued efforts to ensure movies are not recorded in theaters,” the groups explained, “we maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown.” Continue reading NATO, MPAA Update Anti-Piracy Policy to Include Wearables

U.S. Spends More on Digital Video Than the Rest of the World

The U.S. video entertainment market — including pay TV, box office, Blu-ray, DVD, video-on-demand, and paid-for online video — is getting ready to reach an all-time high. According to a new report from researcher Futuresource Consulting, the market is expected to make $123 billion in retail value in 2015. Futuresource notes that the video market reached $120 billion in 2013, a 2 percent increase over the previous year. Per household spending on video in the U.S. is the highest in the world. Continue reading U.S. Spends More on Digital Video Than the Rest of the World

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

“Veronica Mars” To Be Released in Theaters, VOD on Same Day

Warner Bros. is planning to release its Kickstarter-initiated “Veronica Mars” movie, starring Kristen Bell, in 270 theaters on March 14, the same day the film will be made available to rent or purchase online. While independent studios and theaters have been experimenting with same-day releases in recent years, the move will mark the first time that a major Hollywood studio has distributed a movie theatrically and for home viewing simultaneously in the U.S. Continue reading “Veronica Mars” To Be Released in Theaters, VOD on Same Day

Mark Duplass Offers Advice to New Filmmakers: Get on Netflix

During a talk at the Variety Studio at the Sundance Film Festival, director/producer/actor Mark Duplass offered some straightforward advice to peers and young filmmakers navigating the world of distribution. He stressed the importance of making films available on Netflix, saying the release of his first movie on the streaming media service “made his career.” Duplass, who has debuted nearly 10 films at Sundance, was there to premiere his new project, “The One I Love.” Continue reading Mark Duplass Offers Advice to New Filmmakers: Get on Netflix

Paramount: First Studio to Go Digital-Only with Movie Releases

In a move toward all-digital formats, Paramount Pictures announced it will stop distributing major motion pictures in the U.S. using 35mm film. The Adam McKay-helmed “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” was the studio’s last film to be distributed in 35mm, while Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” became Paramount’s first wide release to be made available theatrically only in digital format. This year could mark a complete phase-out of film by major Hollywood studios. Continue reading Paramount: First Studio to Go Digital-Only with Movie Releases

Will Consumers See Any Real Need for a Curved TV Display?

Curved TVs were a hot topic at this year’s CES, and many of them were promoted as giving a “3D-like” effect — more theatrical and cinematic. But some analysts are questioning whether there is a need for a curved display. “3D-like” may not serve as an accurate description of the experience for average viewers. Some say it even alters the experience in a way a director might not intend, as the effect could easily be achieved by a special camera lens instead. Continue reading Will Consumers See Any Real Need for a Curved TV Display?

Social Media and Digital Marketing Show Box Office Impact

Digital marketing had a significant presence in 2013, when some of the biggest viral campaigns were rolled out and more money was flooding into Hollywood’s digital marketing budgets. Intent, interest and awareness levels among consumers could be accurately measured by sites such as Google, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, specifically allowing for box office predictions — often predictions of great accuracy — in the early stages before films were released. Continue reading Social Media and Digital Marketing Show Box Office Impact

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