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

Comcast is Reportedly in Early Discussions to Purchase DWA

Reports have surfaced that Comcast is in talks to purchase DreamWorks Animation SKG for more than $3 billion. The unconfirmed deal would make the cable giant a major player in the family entertainment business, and possibly provide additional leverage for building out theme park and consumer product businesses. According to The Wall Street Journal, “One person with knowledge of the talks said that DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment, Universal’s animation studio, would remain separate brands.” However, a deal could provide Universal with a greater presence in China, where DreamWorks chief exec Jeffrey Katzenberg has focused much of his attention. Continue reading Comcast is Reportedly in Early Discussions to Purchase DWA

Screening Room Proposes Bold Day-and-Date Release Model

Last year, the motion picture box office surpassed $11 billion for the first time in history. But that hasn’t kept distributors and exhibitors from guarding the traditional 90-day window between theatrical release and home entertainment. When major studios attempted to shrink that window five years ago, theater owners fought back. Now, Screening Room, a startup backed by entrepreneur and former Facebook/Napster executive Sean Parker, as well as some Hollywood heavyweights, is trying again — and may succeed by offering anti-piracy tech and revenue sharing. Continue reading Screening Room Proposes Bold Day-and-Date Release Model

MPAA Wins Injunction in MovieTube Suit, But Battle Continues

The owners and operators of the MovieTube websites are in big trouble — whoever they are. The Motion Picture Association of America won a final default judgment, to the tune of $10.5 million, against the sites. But collecting is going to be a problem, since the MPAA has not been able to identify any of the defendants, and no companies have answered the complaint or engaged in any of the proceedings. Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter, however, filed an amicus brief that could trigger subpoenas in the future. Continue reading MPAA Wins Injunction in MovieTube Suit, But Battle Continues

Fox Offers Titles for WD’s Consumer 4K Ultra HD Movie Drive

A new 4K Ultra HD movie drive aimed at consumers is now on offer from WD, Western Digital’s storage company. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is partnering with WD by offering several movies and TV shows on the drive, dubbed My Passport Cinema. The drive plays back 4K/UHD, HD and HDR on Samsung SUHD TVs and a select range of other Vidity-enabled devices. Vidity is a 4K movie service backed by Warner, Universal, LG, SanDisk, Dolby, M-GO, Comcast and others in addition to Fox, WD and Samsung. Continue reading Fox Offers Titles for WD’s Consumer 4K Ultra HD Movie Drive

Facebook Looking to Expand Media Offerings with Music Videos

Facebook has turned its attention to music videos in its latest move to offer more video content to its users. The social media company began moving into video in the last few years, now showing content from BuzzFeed, Vice and other publishers, in addition to its user-generated content. Music videos would continue the trend and up the competition between Facebook and YouTube. Facebook currently has 1.4 billion worldwide users, and adding video is likely to extend the time that viewers stay on the site. Continue reading Facebook Looking to Expand Media Offerings with Music Videos

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

ETC and the Entertainment Tech Industry Honor Vince Roberts

Disney/ABC Television Group Executive VP of Global Operations and Chief Technology Officer Vince Roberts received the Bob Lambert Technology Leadership Award from the Entertainment Technology Center@USC on June 11. ETC’s Studio Technology Leaders Dinner, held at USC’s Town and Gown, brought together influential media, entertainment and technology executives from major studios and leading tech companies. The evening also featured a panel of top studio tech leaders discussing the most pressing trends, challenges and opportunities facing the entertainment industry. Continue reading ETC and the Entertainment Tech Industry Honor Vince Roberts

Vidity to Enable Download of 4K HDR Movies Across Devices

The Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA), the consortium of entertainment and storage companies, announced the final specifications for its new premium content playback technology and gave it a name: Vidity. The solution supports the secure delivery, storage and consumption of movies, including those mastered in 4K and HDR, across multiple devices. Vidity partners include Fox, Warner Bros., Universal, Samsung and Walmart, but neither Disney nor Apple are involved. Compatible products and services are expected to reach market late 2015. Continue reading Vidity to Enable Download of 4K HDR Movies Across Devices

Kim Dotcom Claims Hollywood is to Blame for Piracy Problems

Kim Dotcom, the man accused in the biggest case of copyright infringement in U.S. history, criticizes Hollywood studios for failing to effectively utilize Internet technology to distribute their content. The creator of file-sharing website Megaupload.com predicts that Netflix and other companies “will ultimately take over these dinosaurs.” Currently, studios including 20th Century Fox and Disney are suing Dotcom for $100 million. Dotcom is also facing a civil suit from the U.S. government. Continue reading Kim Dotcom Claims Hollywood is to Blame for Piracy Problems

Nintendo Announces its Theme Park Partnership with Universal

Nintendo recently announced it plans to partner with Universal Parks & Resorts to transform some of its most popular games, characters and worlds into theme park attractions. In partnering with Universal, which owns parks in California, Florida, Osaka and Singapore, Nintendo has an opportunity to further exploit some of its most popular franchises such as Mario, Legends of Zelda and Donkey Kong. Nintendo is expected to announce more details about the Universal partnership soon.  Continue reading Nintendo Announces its Theme Park Partnership with Universal

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

Dish Has Plans to Offer a $200 Advanced Touchscreen Remote

As more people cut the cord and abandon their pay TV plans, Dish Network believes it can retain customers by offering a new remote control that promises to help people find what they want to watch. Startup Ray Enterprises is already working with Dish to make its advanced remote control compatible with Dish Network’s Hopper DVR. The $200 touchscreen remote includes search and recommendation features and the ability to control other devices connected to the TV. Continue reading Dish Has Plans to Offer a $200 Advanced Touchscreen Remote

HPA Tech Retreat: Next-Gen Cloud and Production Workflows

Erik Weaver of the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC@USC) moderated an HPA Tech Retreat panel on “Cloud Demystified: Understanding the Coming Transformation from File- to Network-Based Workflow.” Panelists included DigitalFilm Tree’s Guillaume Aubuchon and Dolby Laboratories’ Christine Thomas. Weaver described ETC’s Project Cloud, which brings together media and cloud-resource leaders to develop guidelines and accelerate innovation and adoption of next-gen cloud-based content creation and production tools and processes. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Next-Gen Cloud and Production Workflows

Online Piracy is Still Going Strong Despite Pirate Bay Closure

According to anti-piracy firm Excipio, the number of global illegally downloaded files has gone relatively unaffected by the recent shut down of The Pirate Bay. During the six-day period following the recent raid of the piracy organization’s data hosting center, illegal downloads slightly dropped, only to go up again a few days later. Even without The Pirate Bay’s active online presence, people have plenty of other alternative sites to visit for pirated movies, music and TV shows. Continue reading Online Piracy is Still Going Strong Despite Pirate Bay Closure

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