“Want a peek at the buzzy new sci-fi novel? Swipe right. Curious if its movie rights have sold? Swipe again. Publishing upstart Inkshares is launching an app, dubbed Properties, to promote its content to Hollywood. It curates selections for each user, offers sample chapters and provides updates on theatrical, TV, audiobook and foreign rights.”
“One person’s existential crisis is another’s opportunity; a period of expanding audiences, creative disruption, and greeting the future. From where I sit, at the helm of New York Public Radio, the news is overwhelmingly positive and the terrain is open for anyone bold enough to embrace what is undoubtedly radio’s next incarnation.”
“What’s the mechanism through which a game can give you an artistic experience?” When we watch a movie or read a novel, he said, we consider characters’ dramatic conflicts and imagine what we’d do; he wanted to replicate that in a game, in which the player could actively participate.
“Sequels have always been a financially driven proposition, and it’s not a revelation that some of them are churned out like sausage … But for the 15 years or so of the post-Star Wars blockbuster era, the bottom-line pragmatism behind sequels did not erase another priority: narrative.” But that was then: “This summer’s sequels are not, for the most part, story continuations but brand extensions.”
Alyssa Rosenberg: “Part of what’s great about a movie like Finding Dory is that there are so many characters with disabilities in it that no single character has to carry the weight of an entire community, or act as an exemplar for it.” And the expectations for the disabled characters aren’t low: “Dory and Nemo have wild, ocean-spanning, out-of-water adventures that most fish never dream of.”
“The largest age group listening to NPR One is 25- to 34-year-olds, according to NPR, with 40 percent of listeners under 35. More than a third of users who answered NPR surveys said they never or only occasionally listen to broadcast radio.”
“Network television used to deficit-finance shows and then make those expenditures back through advertising money. The shows would then generate more revenue by getting lucrative syndication deals. But now, cable shows draw in ad revenues, carriage fees, and international sales to satellite, cable, and streaming or on-demand services. When those various revenue streams add up, a show can be profitable from the get-go.”
“A slyly subversive look at the reclusive state by the Russian filmmaker Vitaly Mansky, [Under the Sun] had been scheduled to be shown at the museum’s 2016 Doc Fortnight festival” in February. But assistant curator Sally Berger, spooked by the Sony Pictures hack allegedly associated with the 2014 satire The Interview, decided to drop Under the Sun from the schedule.
Disney’s rebound has led to increased one-upmanship within the Mouse House. According to one source, “Pixar’s attitude is, ‘We’re Pixar.’ And Disney is like, ‘Well, then, why don’t you have the highest-grossing animated film of all time?’ ”
“The summer blockbuster [in 2016] has gone from something to be enjoyed with popcorn and a Coke to something that may possibly shatter your existential reality. Needless to say, all these blockbusters made for consumption here and abroad have a common theme: the world is ending and (almost) no one can save us, except for an unlikely anti-hero.”
“At the start of 2015, a new Canadian law came into effect called the notice-and-notice system. It requires that all internet service providers forward copyright infringement notices to customers suspected of downloading unauthorized content like movies and TV shows. The purpose of the notice system is to discourage piracy — not to get cash. But right away, some anti-piracy companies started sending letters to suspected pirates, asking them to pay a settlement fee — sometimes hundreds of dollars.”
“At the moment, Netflix has a negative cash flow of almost $1 billion; it regularly needs to go to the debt market to replenish its coffers. Its $6.8 billion in revenue last year pales in comparison to the $28 billion or so at media giants like Time Warner and 21st Century Fox.”
Streaming services would be placed under the sort of obligation to support domestic production that already applies to media companies such as the BBC. If the rules are adopted, a minimum of 20% of the catalogue of Netflix and the like would have to be “European”.
“Dory” will demolish the nine-year-old record for best domestic animated opening, set by “Shrek the Third” in 2007 with $121.6 million. “Minions” was the second largest at $115.7 million, followed by Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 3” with $110 million.
“We crunched the global box office numbers (courtesy of BoxOfficeMojo.com) for series and franchises that have at least three installments and are still ongoing. (Hence, no “Avatar” or “Lord of the Rings.”) Then we factored in more diffuse criteria, like longevity (how many could you conceivably make?) and merchandisability (does anyone want toys?). And what we came up with was our movie franchise power list, or the 25 Most Powerful Franchises in Hollywood.”
“Why the sudden spike? For starters, Hollywood values Vancouver for its trained crews, studio space and a record for handling such major productions as next month’s feature Star Trek Beyond, or the Ryan Reynolds blockbuster Deadpool, which hired more than 2,000 local cast, crew and extras. Geography gives B.C. another upside.”
With gamers watching 144 billion minutes of gaming videos and live streams every month, content creators known as “YouTubers” and “Twitchers” not only have huge social followings, but are also making a lot of money.
“As anyone who has ever used a Game Genie could tell you, there are things that developers don’t want you to see … Recently, I discovered that many of these discarded concepts and ideas not only remain on the cartridge or disc after their release, but that there’s a fairly significant community working to find these missing items, with the goal of bringing them to life.”
“I just think if we look already, we’re seeing a year-on-year decline on text. We’re seeing a massive increase, as I’ve said, on both pictures and video. If I was having a bet, I would say: video, video, video.”
“In a sentence, digital is eating legacy media, mobile is eating digital, and two companies, Facebook and Google, are eating mobile. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing that advertising is declining as a share of the economy if news publishers held a steady or growing percent of the market. But the opposite is happening.”
Joe Nocera: “At the moment, Netflix has a negative cash flow of almost $1 billion; it regularly needs to go to the debt market to replenish its coffers. … And for all the original shows Netflix has underwritten, it remains dependent on the very networks that fear its potential to destroy their longtime business model in the way that internet competitors undermined the newspaper and music industries. Now that so many entertainment companies see it as an existential threat, the question is whether Netflix can continue to thrive in the new TV universe that it has brought into being.”
Warcraft: The Beginning made only $24.4 million on its opening in the States – but more than six times that in China, “a record-breaking five-day total of $156m, the highest ever debut for a foreign release.” And that’s just one example.
” ‘Hamilton’ is a show that will make more than ‘Star Wars.’ Why do they have any incentive to try to be like ‘Star Wars’?” asked one Broadway producer who declined to be identified because they were speaking about a rival production.
“For years, the guilds have complained that they are not adequately involved in the process and that applicants aren’t properly evaluated. The new bill would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide appropriate organizations with copies of the Citizenship and Immigration Services’ O visa application decisions.”
“Pakistani cinema is assumed to have been untouched by the 20th century’s avant-garde film movements. But, with its documentary treatment of village life, labour and capitalist exploitation bearing recognisable traces of socialist realism, Italian neo-realism and Indian parallel cinema, Day Shall Dawn proves otherwise. The intimate involvement of revered poet [Faiz Ahmad] Faiz – credited with story, lyrics and dialogue – adds gravitas to an already intriguing endeavour.”
“Studios are now stuck. They can’t be seen as completely capitulating to the whims of fans, but they also can’t purposefully dampen the enthusiasm of their paying audience. Prepare, then, for a world of creative compromises.”
“To spread the love, we’ve stuck to one movie per director, and don’t take the absence of documentaries as anything but a promise that they’ll have their own Best of the Century list soon. Those are about the only rules we had, and other than that anything predominately in a language other than English qualified.”
Richard Brody: “As it says in the Good e-Book, ‘There is no end to the making of lists, and too much Googling will wear you out.’ Yet one list, published on Wednesday, got me going at once, and the results are below.”
“There’s a silver lining to all this: With more alternative forms of film and TV release available, there are myriad options to showcase independent work. To compete in the children’s movie market, big studios may need an action-adventure spectacle with merchandise; but HBO and Netflix could do for children’s programming what they’ve already done for grown-up shows.”
Nicole Kassell: “Because I’m working on such high-caliber TV shows and getting to direct such great material it does make me very picky about what I’ll take time off to do for a feature. I want it to be a deep, deep passion project. I’m seeking material that grips me personally, emotionally, politically and that lets me do something artistic. But in our culture, very few of those films are getting made.”