Every four years, the world tunes into the World Cup — or at least the most soccer-loving nations do, including pretty much all of Europe and Latin America. As with other major sporting events, this provides a long-lead challenge to distributors with regards to scheduling and counterprogramming at the international box office . With World Cup 2018 kicking off in Russia today, and almost half of the globe’s 7.6B population expected to tune in throughout the tournament, there are some interesting big screen configurations in the weeks ahead. The dinosaur in the room is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom which Universal smartly got off and stomping in the key European majors well ahead, partly in an effort to rack up play before eyeballs are glued to the pitch. This year, versus 2014 when the tournament was in Brazil, is somewhat thorny as Russia is just an hour ahead of the continent (two ahead of the UK). Related Story World Cup 2018: Racism, Political Tension … [Read more...] about World Cup Box Office Impact: Fancy Scheduling Footwork, Possible Breakouts
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EXCLUSIVE: As the coronavirus pandemic gradually releases its grip, Comcast seems to have managed through the worst of it, thanks in large part to its broadband operations. Last week, the company reported better-than-expected earnings. Despite shedding nearly half a million pay-TV customers and reporting some softness at NBCUniversal, the company handily beat Wall Street forecasts by gaining 461,000 broadband customers. And what do those broadband customers want most during these times? Video, naturally. Video accounted for 71% of all downstream internet traffic on Comcast’s network in 2020, the company says, a 70% increase over 2019 levels. Across the Xfinity X1 pay-TV platform and the Flex broadband bundle, OTT viewing was up 73%. Adding in the Stream app for viewing across screens and customers overall watched about three more hours of video a week than they did before the pandemic. Related Story NBCUniversal Telemundo Launching Streaming-Focused Studio, … [Read more...] about Comcast Sizes Up 2020 Video Explosion: 70% Growth In Downstream Internet Traffic, OTT Viewing Up 73% On Xfinity X1 And Flex
Imax ’s first-quarter results met Wall Street analysts’ expectations and showed signs of the movie industry’s rebound from the depths of Covid-19 a year ago. Net losses per share narrowed to 25 cents in the quarter, from 82 cents a year ago, better than analysts’ consensus for 26 cents. Total revenue rose 11% to $38.8 million, a hair lower than the Street’s forecast for $39 million. Box office receipts in Imax venues showed their first year-to-year quarterly increase since the start of the pandemic, reaching $110 million globally. In the year-earlier period, which was when theaters shut down in the U.S., Europe and other regions, box office was $95.2 million. While Imax doesn’t keep all of the box office, of course, the metric is a good way to gauge how fast turnstiles are spinning. Related Story Joe Biden Gives Congress A Speech That Could Have Come Straight From Aaron Sorkin, Or LBJ - Review Addressing analysts on the company’s earnings call, CEO Rich Gelfond … [Read more...] about Imax Q1 Box Office Posts First Year-To-Year Gain Since Start Of Pandemic As Results Hit Wall Street Targets
Heather Stewart, the long-time British Film Institute executive, will step down from her role as Creative Director at the organization in September 2021 and will take up a new position as BFI Director Emeritus. In her new advisory role, she will continue to be an ambassador for the BFI, which awards public money to support UK film across the gamut of production, distribution, and exhibition. Going forward, she will focus on strategic archive development, worldwide fundraising and philanthropic engagement, and will also continue to contribute to the BFI’s cultural program as a guest curator, speaker and writer. The org will be recruiting a replacement Creative Director in due course. Stewart graduated from NYU Film School and started out at the BFI by handling the org’s first ever home entertainment release, paving the way for the BFI’s own DVD label. She has been in the role of Creative Director for a decade, overseeing the strategic leadership of the BFI’s cultural … [Read more...] about BFI Creative Director Heather Stewart To Step Down After 10 Years; Scorsese, McQueen, Nolan Pay Tribute
The end of Ramadan is approaching, and with it the Eid-al-fitr holiday that celebrates the close of the holy month of fasting. For Bollywood , that essentially means one thing: Salman Khan has a movie coming out. The superstar typically owns the frame, and while that’s unlikely to change this year, there are some interesting caveats surrounding this week’s day-and-date release of Bajrangi Bhaijaan (trailer above) which could impact business — in either direction. Khan, who is among the top grossers ever in Bollywood — alongside the likes of Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan — made non-biz headlines in May when he was handed a guilty verdict and a five-year prison sentence in a hit-and-run case that has been wending its way through the Mumbai court system for nearly 14 years. When he was convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, alarm bells went off throughout the industry — Bajrangi was reportedly not yet fully completed. That caused shares in Eros … [Read more...] about Salman Khan’s ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’: Bail & ‘Baahubali’ To Impact B’wd Titan’s Latest?