Posts Tagged ‘year’

‘Breakdown’ tops EFA noms

November 9, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

SEVILLE, Spain – In a surprise, Belgian Felix Van Groeningen’s drama “The Broken Circle Breakdown” led nominations announced Saturday for this year’s 26th European Film Academy Awards – Europe’s equivalent of the Oscars – scoring in five categories. But, in one of the most open EFA races in years, “Breakdown” will face off for best pic with Giuseppe... Read more

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Sun Rises on Digital Domain Name (Exclusive)

November 1, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Sun Innovation, the Hong Kong-listed shell company that earlier this year acquired visual effects firm Digital Domain, is to be renamed Digital Domain Holdings Limited.

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Lockerz, Though Not Quite Dead, Raises $9 Million to Shift Focus to New Shopping Site Ador

October 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In the spring, reports surfaced that social commerce and photo-sharing service Lockerz was behind a new shoppable digital magazine called Ador . Now, a new filing with the SEC published online today sheds more light. Lockerz has rebranded its corporate name to Ador, and has raised $9 million of a possible $25 million round, the filing said. Despite the document’s wording, Lockerz.com is still operational. In an interview, Q Shay, who identified himself as Ador’s chief operating officer, said that the company had considered shutting Lockerz.com completely, but that it currently has enough repeat visitors to justify keeping it up and running. At the same time, the vast majority of spending will be invested into Ador.com going forward, not Lockerz, he said. Shay described the funding as a rights offering to its existing shareholders, which have included Kleiner Perkins and DAG Ventures. The Ador site pulls in images of celebrities and models from fashion blogs and then surfaces either the exact clothes and accessories worn in the photos or ones similar to them. Ador users can then click through to the site where the product is sold to purchase the item, with Ador getting a cut through affiliate networks. The service joins a crowded field of startups focused on creating a browsable shopping experience for the digital age. “In our case, we are taking a far different approach and really focusing on a specific audience … those primarily interested in fashion,” said product chief Max Ciccotosto. Shay acknowledged that there were layoffs earlier this year, but said the company has been hiring recently as it readied for Ador’s public launch earlier this month

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Katy Perry Debuts at No. 1 on the Album Chart

October 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Katy Perry claimed the No. 1 slot on the U.S. album chart this week with the biggest tally for a female artist to date this year. Pumped by the No. 1 single “Roar,” the California pop singer’s Capitol set “Prism” debuted at the top with out-of-the-box sales of 286,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan data... Read more

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Cable Upfront Haul Passes the $10 Billion Mark

October 21, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While the national cable TV networks continue to siphon off upfront dollars from the broadcasters, the days of torrid double-digit volume increases appear to be a thing of the past. According to calculations made by the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau , ad-supported cable networks generated a record $10.2 billion in 2013-14 upfront commitments, marking a 4 percent uptick versus the year-ago period. And while that’s hardly what anyone would characterize as chump change, it is the smallest year-to-year increase in five years. (The recession-wracked 2009-10 cable bazaar was down 11 percent from a then-record $7.6 billion; that same year, the Big Four broadcasters saw upfront dollars plummet 22 percent to $6.88 billion.) Last year’s cable haul was up 5 percent to $9.8 billion, a “normalized” result that paled in comparison to the 16 percent increase in the 2011-12 upfront and a plus-19 percent result in 2010-11. Cable upfront sales have been on the rise for the last four years, as commitments have increased 52 percent since the last downturn. Ad-supported cable nets have out-earned the English-language broadcasters three years running; this summer, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW stitched together an estimated $9.15 billion in upfront sales. The competitive balance between the two sectors has been shaken up by the sheer amount of quality programming now available on cable as well as the inherent efficiencies of the business. On a CPM basis, prime-time inventory on a top 20 cable net costs about one-third as much as that on the broadcast nets. (Obviously, outliers like TV’s top-rated scripted series, The Walking Dead , and ESPN’s Monday Night Football, don’t conform to the tertiary trend.) CAB president and CEO Sean Cunningham attributes cable’s strong showing to a combination of factors, although the synthesis of TV and on-demand/streaming sales seems to have helped move the needle this year. Over the course of the summer bazaar, cable nets locked in approximately a half-billion dollars in online video revenue. “Throughout our meetings with agencies and advertisers we handed off a ton of proof-points about our brands, our record-breaking original programs, our role as dominant content over five screens (including social TV), and the incredibly high amount of consumer hours spent monthly with ad-supported cable brands—some 94 hours-per-month on TV and the Internet combined,” Cunningham said.

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Wasikowska, Thompson, ‘Skyfall’ Collect Prizes at AIMC

October 19, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The Australian International Movie Convention wrapped on Friday with awards going to Mia Wasikowska, Jack Thompson and Oscar-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie. Wasikowska, who recently starred in “Tracks” was named as AIMC star of the year, while Lesnie claimed the Murray Forrest Award for Film Craft. Veteran actor Thompson received AIMC’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Earlier in... Read more

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Wikileaks Drama Getting Hacked at the Box Office

October 19, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The mystery of Julian Assange continues as DreamWorks’ Wikileaks drama “The Fifth Estate” looks to be all but M.I.A. at the box office. Bill Condon’s tech-themed feature could spill only $2.4 million worth of secrets this weekend, according to insiders, for one of the worst wide openings of the year. The Wikileaks drama, starring Benedict... Read more

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Hulu Names Mike Hopkins CEO, Forssell Out

October 17, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As reported , Hulu has struck a deal to make former Fox Networks Group president of distribution Mike Hopkins its new CEO, effective immediately. Less expectedly, interim CEO Andy Forssell will leave the business he's run for the past six months after serving as the company's head of content. Forssell has overseen quite a few changes at Hulu recently, including the introduction of a broad slate of originals and co-productions unveiled at its upfront earlier this year. Hulu is the most traditional and TV-like of the new wave of digital networks that includes Netflix, over-the-top service (and perpetual litigant) Aereo, and, increasingly, portals like AOL, Yahoo and YouTube. This year's NewFront ad buyer presentation was easily the slickest of a disparate (and disorganized) lot, but speculation about instability among stakeholders has made many in the market wary. If nothing else, the choice of Hopkins to lead the company suggests that Disney and 21st Century might not, in fact, starve trying to order a pizza together (NBCU is barred from making management decisions as a condition of its merger with Comcast)—the appointment from within of a new CEO bodes well for the decision-making abilities of the joint venture's partners. “After an extensive search, Mike was simply the best candidate for the job," said Anne Sweeney, co-chairman, Disney media networks and president, Disney/ABC television group. "He has a strong understanding of programming, digital distribution and consumer behavior, and a great vision for Hulu’s next chapter." What that vision will consist of remains to be seen—the company's The Awesomes premiered recently with a sponsorship (Jack Link's) behind it, and it's set to roll out more originals in the coming months. But the departure of Forssell isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of the original content strategy. “On behalf of the Hulu board I want to thank Andy Forssell for his leadership during this past year, and for the vital role he played in building Hulu into the amazing product it is today," said Fox Networks Group chairman and CEO Peter Rice. "We wish him the best on his next venture." Whatever Hopkins has planned, he'll certainly have the cash to do it: "With the foundation you have built, the significant capital infusion of three quarters of a billion dollars, and our partners aligned and fully supportive of what we need to get it done, the sky is the limit for Hulu," he said in a note to staff made public by the streaming service today.

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Twitter’s Q3: Flat Revenue Growth, Decelerating User Growth

October 16, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Sometimes growing up — and out — is hard to do. Just ask Twitter, which filed its updated IPO documentation with the SEC on Tuesday afternoon. Twitter would like to tell investors that the service’s user base is booming. But it can’t, because Twitter’s user-growth rate has slowed down. In the third quarter of this year, Twitter’s active user base grew by 39 percent over Q3 2012. In Q2, Twitter’s year-over-year growth rate had been 44 percent. That’s a problem for a service that started out the year hoping to double it user base to 400 million but has already had to scale down those ambitions . Meanwhile, Twitter’s revenue growth rate has stayed flat between Q2 and Q3, at 105 percent

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CBS Stems the Bleeding With Monday Comedy Switcheroo

October 15, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In killing off the underperforming We Are Men and shifting 2 Broke Girls to the 8:30 p.m. time slot, CBS appears to have halted its Monday night skid. That said, the year-ago comparisons are a stark reminder of how quickly a prime-time lineup can lose its footing. According to Nielsen fast national data, CBS’ two-hour comedy block showed a slight uptick from a week ago, averaging a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49, an improvement of 9 percent versus a 2.2. How I Met Your Mother started strong with a 3.0 rating, up from last week’s 2.9, while the relocated 2 Broke Girls delivered a 2.5 in the demo, up three-tenths of a point from its final 9 p.m. showing. An encore presentation of The Big Bang Theory drew a 2.2 rating, flat versus 2 Broke Girl’s Oct. 7 performance, while new comedy Mom dipped one-tenth of a point to a series-low 1.9. Hostages remained unchanged at 10 p.m., averaging 5.22 million viewers and a 1.2 in the demo. While these are particularly poor ratings by CBS’ lofty standards, the C3 ratings may very well ensure that Hostages will live to see its entire 13-episode run. (According to the first batch of currency data, the series premiere improved 17 percent upon application of DVR playback and commercial ratings. If Hostages can continue adding viewers who actually watch the ads, it will live to fight another day.) For all that, the year-over-year comparisons are disconcerting. On Oct. 15, 2012, HIMYM, Partners , 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly averaged a 2.9 in the demo, while Hawaii Five-0 delivered a 2.1. All told, CBS last night averaged a preliminary 2.0 rating, down 23 percent from the year-ago 2.6 and making it last among the Big Four.

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