Advertisements

Cinema Chain iPic Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Enter Netflix, Apple Or Amazon?

In a move that surprised many in the movie industry, luxury cinema chain iPic filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this morning and announced it is pursuing either a financial reorganization or a possible sale of the circuit.

iPic indicated in the filing that “the financial restructuring will allow the company to further improve and enhance its theaters and dining experiences, continue to provide an unparalleled guest experience that is evidenced by the over 2 million iPic Access loyalty members, and continue with its expansion plans.”

The circuit currently operates 16 locations in nine states and has expansion plans for several more in the coming years. CEO Hamid Hashemi, who previously founded the Muvico Theatres chain, began iPic in 2007 and has grown the chain from its infancy, purchasing the Village Roadshow chain and transforming it into the circuit at the forefront of the luxury cinema experience.

While the company avowed it would explore restructuring options, what is especially intriguing about the filing is its proclamation that it is actively exploring the sale of the chain. The court filing indicated that several entities have been granted access to the circuit’s financial data.

It would not be surprising to discover that one of those companies might be Netflix. When Landmark Theatres was put up for sale last year, both Amazon and Netflix actively kicked the tires on a possible purchase, striving to secure a theatrical footprint through which it could release its films. At the time, I mentioned in a Forbes article that it was a curious approach as Landmark already played most Netflix films, such as this past December’s multiple-Oscar winner Roma. Why they would want to buy a chain that was already exhibiting Netflix content was baffling.

So far this morning, the name Netflix is the one on most industry observers’ lips, and if the Landmark purchase was head-scratching, then the purchase of a circuit chain that has even fewer locations would be even more peculiar. Perhaps the fact that Netflix already has a marketing partnership with iPic is the genesis of these rumors. For example, if you drive past the iPic Westwood, you’ll see an enormous vertical billboard on the side of the theater not for a current or upcoming film but for Netflix content.

To me, what would make more sense is if an entity such as Amazon or Apple might dip their toe into the exhibition waters. Amazon has hinted that their existing release strategy of adhering to the 80-to-90-day release window might be up for debate. Having their own exhibitor in which to feature their content, especially around awards season, might be extremely beneficial. The same goes for Apple.

But it would behoove any company interested in the circuit to do their due financial diligence. iPic was launched as a luxury cinema brand that would appeal primarily to adults 21 and over. However, with Disney garnering a larger and larger market share the industry can expect more films that appeal to the under-18 crowd for whom iPic has little interest. Five of the top ten films so far for 2019 are films geared toward children, including the aforementioned Lion King, Toy Story 4, and Aladdin, along with the latest installments of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Secret Life of Pets franchises. In both 2017 and 2018, only two of the top ten films for the year were family offerings.

With this shift toward family fare, it’s essential to note that tickets for children at some iPic locations can reach $18-23. That ticket price may be acceptable for a couple on an evening out, but a parent taking their two kids to see Lion King could drop close to $100 before even entering the auditorium. The Korean band BTS has a special event cinema showing this coming Wednesday of their Bring The Soul: The Movie film. The AMC Century City, just down the street from the iPic in Westwood, is showing the film at a ticket price of $15. At the iPic, the cost is $32. It’s not difficult to figure out which theater a parent will take the BTS fan in their family to.

Get the popcorn ready because things are about to get interesting in the movie business.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I have over 20 years of experience in the entertainment business and am the Founder and CEO of Scout 53 Entertainment Consulting, which provides global entertainment business analysis, content distribution and revenue generation opportunities for cinemas, producers and in-theatre tech entities. I previously served as President of Distribution at Sony Pictures as well as in top-level executive positions at both STX Entertainment and Fathom Events. During my time at Sony, I crafted and instituted release plans for over 60 films that grossed over $100 million at the domestic box office and over 100 films that finished first at the box office on their opening weekend. I live in Los Angeles with my wife and 15 rescue animals.

Source: Cinema Chain iPic Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Enter Netflix, Apple Or Amazon?

Advertisements

It’s Alive! Facebook’s Surprising Video Standout Is A Horror Movie Startup

Like a proud parent, Jack Davis has covered the refrigerator in his Wilshire Boulevard office with artwork. But these aren’t crayon-drawn stick figures of Mom and Dad. They’re the stuff of nightmares—a demonic entity with shark teeth, a cannibal with thorns sprouting from his head, a tree that likes to disembowel its victims.

The gruesome creatures crawled out of the imagination of Davis’ Crypt TV, a digital studio that aspires to become the Marvel of monsters for mobile. Davis, 27, has raised $11 million from investors including Hollywood producer Jason Blum (Us, Ma), media mogul Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital, Huffington Post cofounder Kenneth Lerer and NBCUniversal. The four-year-old Los Angeles studio, which creates horror videos for social networks, is on track to bring in about $20 million in revenue this year through production deals, running ads for films like Crawl and selling merchandise.

When he started, “no one was doing scary for mobile,” Davis says. That signaled a missed opportunity. “This is a huge genre. It has a solid fan base, and scary movies are very, very big.”

The Golden Age of streaming has birthed Netflix competitors that cater to nearly every genre, from U.K. shows on Britbox to anime on Crunchyroll and, yes, horror on Shudder and Screambox. At the same time, studios like Elisabeth Murdoch’s Vertical Networks have built audiences that are reached primarily through mobile-first social networks such as Snapchat and Instagram, which more than a billion people visit each month.

Davis and Crypt TV cofounder Eli Roth, the film director and producer who developed Netflix’s first horror series, Hemlock Grove, bet that an audience who loved films like Jordan Peele’s Oscar-nominated Get Out would snap up suspense and horror on the small screen, too.

It’s an intuition that’s paying off. Crypt TV said on Friday that it had reached a deal with Facebook to develop five series exclusively for Facebook Watch, its on-demand video service. The deal extends a partnership started in 2018, when Facebook green-lighted a 15-episode series based on Crypt’s short film The Birch.

Facebook has been paying as much as $25 million for these original shows, though the bulk of them cost $3 to $5 million, according to a person familiar with the matter. Forbes estimates the new Crypt TV deal is valued at less than $20 million. Neither party would disclose the terms of the partnership.

Facebook might seem an unlikely place to screen monster movies for Generation Z and younger Millennials, who make up nearly half of Crypt TV’s audience. One Pew Research Center survey last year found that the world’s largest social network is no longer the most popular hangout for teens, a big drop from earlier in the decade. Plus, Facebook Watch has struggled to gain traction. A year after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched Watch to better compete with Google’s YouTube and Snapchat’s Discover, only half of Facebook users had ever heard of it, says The Diffusion Group, a media research consultancy.

Still, momentum is gathering for shows that capitalize on the network’s power to amass communities to talk about shared interests—say, Jada Pinkett Smith’s talk show, Red Table Talk, or Sorry for Your Loss, a drama on grief starring Elizabeth Olsen. Facebook says more than 140 million people each day spend at least a minute viewing Watch videos.

“It’s very hard to say that a platform … (of) two-plus billion people on it doesn’t have young people on it,” says Matthew Henick, Facebook’s head of content planning and strategy. “What Crypt does incredibly well is—because they’re able to tell their stories through many different modes or, in this case, products—they’re able to find those audiences and pull them in.”

Crypt TV taps into a community that likes to be scared. Horror has been reeling in fans on the big screen: The genre brought in a record $1 billion in box office sales in 2017, according to Comscore.

Some fans want to get their goose bumps for free. Thanks to The Birch, which was viewed 26 million times on Facebook, the studio now has 9.75 million followers, or more than triple its YouTube audience. On Davis’ fridge hang mementos from fans. One shared a photo of her tattoo—it’s of the Look-see, a creature with no eyes and flesh that’s been stitched together.

“Young people have so much emotion,” Davis says. A scary story “provides an amazing, permissive structure to take on deep emotional issues.”

A fortuitous encounter at a dinner party hosted by his parents in West Los Angeles led to the creation of Crypt TV. Then a student at Duke University, Davis found himself sitting next to Roth and began reciting dialogue from Roth’s portrayal of the bat-wielding Nazi killer Donny Donowitz in Inglourious Basterds.

The conversation turned to Davis’ career plans. The sociology and political science major said he hoped to launch his own company, capitalizing on the dramatic shift in media viewing habits he’d observed during his four years in college. Roth had a suggestion.

“I said, ‘You know that audience that’s going to see horror movies now’—because obviously now horror has exploded—‘They’re all on their phones,’” Roth recalls. “What is the next generation of characters? Who is creating the new Freddy Krueger? Is there a way to launch a Freddy? A Jason? A Michael Myers? A Chucky? Just on your phone?”

Roth introduced him to Blum, who became Crypt TV’s earliest investor and served as a mentor to the company’s 23-year-old founder.

An early success was #6SecondScare, an October 2014 online competition that encouraged users of Vine, Twitter’s six-second video service, to upload their scariest videos.

Roth lent his name to the contest and coaxed Hollywood celebrities including Quentin Tarantino and High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens to promote it and serve as judges. #6SecondScare attracted 20,000 submissions and ended up featured on ABC’s Good Morning America.

In the summer of 2015, Davis’ team launched Snapchat Murder Mystery, a show that gathered ten social media influencers to a mansion party, then killed off their characters in an Agatha Christie-styled whodunit. A year later came Crypt TV’s breakthrough moment with The Birch. The four-minute video follows a terrified schoolboy who summons an ancient being in the woods to dispense a particularly bloody form of retribution on the boy’s tormentor.

Davis faces his own monster lurking in the dark: Quibi. The mobile video subscription service comes with a Hollywood pedigree, a $1 billion cash horde and some of the best-known filmmakers in horror, Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth) and Sam Raimi (Evil Dead), as well as Blum, producing original content.

Quibi launches in April—though Crypt TV, in classic horror film fashion, has gotten a running start.

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a Los Angeles-based senior editor for Forbes, writing about the companies and people behind the biggest disruption in entertainment since cable TV: streaming video

Source: It’s Alive! Facebook’s Surprising Video Standout Is A Horror Movie Startup

Fan Bingbing’s Mysterious Disappearance: What It Means For China’s Elite – Steve Rose

1.jpg

Imagine if Jennifer Lawrence or Scarlett Johansson went missing and nobody knew where they had gone – even three months later. That is what happened to Fan Bingbing. Fan is one of China’s best known and highest-paid actors, thanks to a string of domestic hits such as Cell Phone and Double Xposure, and small roles in Iron Man 3 and X-Men: Days of Future Past. The 37-year-old was on the jury of the Cannes film festival last year, and is set to star in a new thriller opposite Jessica Chastain and Penelope Cruz. On 2 July this year she posted details of a visit to a children’s hospital in Tibet on Weibo (China’s answer to Twitter). Then her account went dead, leaving her 63 million followers, and pretty much the rest of China, wondering where she had gone…….

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/oct/04/fan-bingbing-mysterious-disappearance-chinese-film-star-elite

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

The Horror Oscars: The Best Scary Movies of Every Year Since 1978’s Halloween – Sean Fennessey

1.jpg

Here is the number of Oscars that were awarded to Alfred Hitchcock for Best Director: zero. Here is the number for John Carpenter: zero. Wes Craven: zero. James Whale: zero. David Cronenberg: zero. You get the point. In the Academy Awards’ 90-year history, horror films have been nominated for Best Picture just six times, out of a possible 546 nominees. Here they are: The Exorcist, Jaws, The Silence of the Lambs, The Sixth Sense, Black Swan, and last year’s Get Out. Only one took home the prize. (The Silence of the Lambs in 1992.)…..

Read more: https://www.theringer.com/movies/2018/10/1/17921290/horror-movie-academy-awards-halloween-40-alien-shining-nightmare-elm-street-silence-lambs-scream

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

The One Word You Can’t Say on Star Trek – Michele Debczak

1.jpg

When it premiered in 1966, Star Trek presented a world unlike anything else on television at the time. But there was one frontier even its creator wouldn’t venture into: As Entertainment Weekly reports, the word “God” must never be mentioned on the show. The rule originated with Star Trek’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, and will be followed by the makers of the franchise’s newest property, Star Trek: Discovery, which premieres in September. According to the writer Kirsten Beyer, the new series adheres to Roddenberry’s idea of “a science-driven 23rd-century future where religion basically no longer exists……

Read more: http://mentalfloss.com/article/503156/one-word-you-cant-say-star-trek

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you
https://www.paypal.me/ahamidian

Where Does James Bond Go From Here – Miles Surrey

1.jpg

Renowned director Danny Boyle will no longer helm ‘Bond 25’; Daniel Craig is halfway out the door. For one of the most iconic franchises in Hollywood, it appears another shakeup is in order.

The latest mission for James Bond: Find a new director. As the franchise’s official Twitter account announced Tuesday afternoon, the 25th entry in the series will no longer be directed by Danny Boyle, who left the project over “creative differences.” While no further announcements have been made, losing Boyle a few months after he officially signed onto the project will almost assuredly push back the release of the film, which is slated for November 9, 2019.

So goes another turbulent spell for the storied franchise, which is only three years removed from its star, Daniel Craig, saying he’d “rather slash [his] wrists” than do another Bond film. Craig, of course, officially confirmed he’d be back for Bond 25 in 2017. (Hey, must be the money!) The Boyle-Bond marriage felt off from the onset: The man behind movies like Slumdog Millionaire, Sunshine, and 127 Hours, Boyle’s the kind of director you might hire to lead a series down a bold new path, rather than serve as the crescendo of Craig’s five-film stead as 007.

To wit: Boyle wanted to work on his own script for Bond 25 with John Hodge, despite the fact that Neal Purvis and Robert Wade—who’d written all of Craig’s previous Bond films—had already been tasked with penning a draft. MGM and the producers reportedly had the final say between the two scripts; given Boyle’s exit, his script presumably lost out. It’s easy to see how such an arrangement could lead to a split.

While the search is undoubtedly underway for a new director to helm Craig’s final Bond film—Twitter’s got some solid suggestions—the latest shakeup reaffirms what’s become increasingly clear: James Bond is in desperate need of a fresh start.

The good news is that turnover is nothing new to James Bond, a franchise that has spanned six decades, 24 films, and seven different leads. Its ability to adapt and represent different eras has allowed it to remain relevant over such a long period of time. Whether it’s the suave, Mad Men–esque vibe of Sean Connery’s initial films from the ’60s, the campy, sci-fi influences that dotted Roger Moore’s ’70s installments (may we never forget the Moonraker poster), or the Cold War–era thrillers of Timothy Dalton’s turns in the ’80s, the Bond films are excellent blueprints for the evolution of Hollywood.

Plus—and this certainly matters more to the studio—the Bond movies consistently make bank, and when a certain star’s shine begins to fade, they have the ability to hit the reset button. That’s probably what would best suit Bond 25, considering that Craig’s relationship with the franchise is akin to Eric Bledsoe tweeting about the Phoenix Suns. I’ve already floated the notion of Daniel Kaluuya assuming the role of a revitalized James Bond, and I’m still extremely for it.

But even with a solid replacement like Kaluuya, a rebooted 007 would still need to embrace a new tone, one better suited for 2018. It’s been six years since Skyfall, the last good Bond film, and in a Hollywood era when comic books and other gigantic IP reign supreme, six years is a long time to be irrelevant.

Thankfully, audience interest in spy-centric stories hasn’t waned. The Kingsman franchise—which imitates Bond films as much as it pokes fun at them—is going strong. Two successful films in, plans are already in place for more movies, spinoffs, and possibly even a TV series. And then there’s the still-thriving Mission: Impossible franchise, which reached new heights (literally) after July’s critically acclaimed, box office–winning Fallout. Bond might feel stale in comparison with these movies, but they’re of the same ilk, proof of a hungry audience—and Bond go can from stale to fresh quicker than any franchise.

When Casino Royale—the best contemporary Bond film, and Craig’s first foray as 007—dropped in 2006, it was a breath of fresh air featuring a subversive take on the “Bond girl” and a far bleaker and more brutal MI6 agent than Pierce Brosnan could’ve ever hoped to be. While resetting Bond would likely mean shelving the franchise for longer than originally intended, dropping another underwhelming movie like Spectre would be a worse outcome. Wherever James Bond goes next, it needs to be exciting, to feel new—lest it fade into obscurity.

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you
https://www.paypal.me/ahamidian

Crazy Rich Asians: Read the Letter That Convinced Coldplay to Allow “Yellow” in the Movie by Rebecca Sun

 

1.jpg

The song that plays over the final scenes of Crazy Rich Asians had to hit several important notes: It had to strike the right emotional tone for Rachel’s (Constance Wu) departure from Singapore, wistful yet strong; it had to work as an emotional throughline as the film checks in with the other key relationships in the movie — Nick (Henry Golding) and Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), Astrid (Gemma Chan) and Michael (Pierre Png) — and it had to serve as a thematic closing statement for the film, the first studio product in a quarter century to feature an entirely Westernized Asian cast.

To director Jon M. Chu, the only tune that could fit the bill was Coldplay’s 2000 breakthrough single “Yellow.” Warner Bros. was concerned that the song’s title was problematic (the word has been used as an ethnic slur against Asians), but that’s exactly why Chu wanted it. “We’re going to own that term,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in an outtake from THR’s cover story. “If we’re going to be called yellow, we’re going to make it beautiful.”

Initially, Coldplay turned down the request. Jeff Yang, writing for Quartzy, provides a possible explanation for the rejection: The band had previously been criticized for appropriating Asian culture in their 2012 song “Princess of China” and 2016’s “Hymn for the Weekend,” and perhaps wanted to steer clear of Crazy Rich Asians to be safe.

Chu tried other songs in the key spot — including, according to HuffPost, Rihanna’s “Stay” and Sia tracks — but none struck the right tone. “We tried so many other songs,” he told THR, “but everything was about the love story and not about the bigger context of who we are.”

So the filmmaker wrote directly to Coldplay members Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland and Will Champion, laying out his reasons for needing their song, and their song alone, for the film: “[The word ‘yellow’] has always had a negative connotation in my life … until I heard your song.”

“I remember seeing the music video in college for the first time on [MTV’s] TRL,” Chu’s letter continued. “That oner shot with the sun rising was breathtaking for both my filmmaker and music-loving side. It immediately became an anthem for me and my friends and gave us a new sense of pride we never felt before.”

Although Chu can’t say for sure that it was his letter that did the trick, within 24 hours of sending it, the band approved the “Yellow” request. As with several other songs on the Crazy Rich Asians soundtrack, Chu commissioned a Chinese-language cover of the tune — another meta reference to contemporary global identity, remixing culture across continents and generations. The team reached out to young Beijing singer Li Wenqi, who had popularized a Mandarin version, called “Liu Xing,” on China’s edition of The Voice, and when she declined, they found Katherine Ho, a USC freshman who previously competed on season 10 of the U.S. version of The Voice.

Read Chu’s full letter to Coldplay below, then listen to Ho’s Mandarin cover of “Yellow,” from the Crazy Rich Asians soundtrack.

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you
https://www.paypal.me/ahamidian

 

Redefining the Hero: The Extrapolated Costume Design of Wonder Woman — Discover

Wonder Woman was filled with beautiful, powerful costuming, and a rich, detailed culture for the Amazons — and it all came from Lynda Carter and her 1970’s leotard.

via Redefining the Hero: The Extrapolated Costume Design of Wonder Woman — Discover

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you
https://www.paypal.me/ahamidian

 

Lindsay Lohan’s Rise and Fall: From Disney darling to tabloid sensation — INKLING LEAGUE

1.jpg

Lindsay Lohan became a Disney darling after her performance in the 1998 remake of “The Parent Trap” at the ripe age of 12. But after years of success in the movie industry, Lohan’s personal life took a turn. In recent years, Lohan has made headlines for her infamous brushes with the law — some of […]

via Lindsay Lohan’s rise and fall: From Disney darling to tabloid sensation — INKLING LEAGUE

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you
https://www.paypal.me/ahamidian

 

Redefining the Hero: The Extrapolated Costume Design of Wonder Woman — Discover

Wonder Woman was filled with beautiful, powerful costuming, and a rich, detailed culture for the Amazons — and it all came from Lynda Carter and her 1970’s leotard.

via Redefining the Hero: The Extrapolated Costume Design of Wonder Woman — Discover

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you
https://www.paypal.me/ahamidian

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar