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Sep 29, 2014

DreamWorks-SoftBank talks may augur Hollywood dealmaking wave

LOS ANGELES, Sept 29 (Reuters) – DreamWorks Animation SKG
Inc could soon have a new Japanese owner in a deal that
highlights the challenges facing Hollywood’s smaller studios in
remaining independent and could prompt a string of other deals.

Over the weekend, a source said DreamWorks, the studio best
known for movie franchises including “Shrek” and “Madagascar,”
was in talks about a possible sale to SoftBank Corp,
the cash-rich Japanese communications and media company.

Sep 23, 2014

Movies bust out of screen with panoramic, virtual technology

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Tyrannosaurus rex lumbers forward, belts out a deafening roar, then stomps overhead, and a viewer watching inside a virtual reality headset turns around to see the beast walking away.

The lifelike run-in with a prehistoric monster comes courtesy of prototype Oculus Rift goggles, giving a glimpse of a future that breaks movies out of the flat screen.

Sep 22, 2014

AT&T, Chernin venture to buy majority stake in Fullscreen

LOS ANGELES, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Otter Media, a joint
venture between telecom giant AT&T Inc and The Chernin
Group, has agreed to buy a majority stake in Fullscreen, one of
the largest networks on YouTube, the companies announced on
Monday.

The deal values Fullscreen at between $200 million and $300
million, a person with knowledge of the transaction said.
Fullscreen founder and Chief Executive George Strompolos will
remain CEO and keep an ownership stake in the company.

Sep 10, 2014

CBS, Time Warner CEOs warm to stand-alone Showtime, HBO

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Time Warner Inc
and CBS Corp signaled on Wednesday that they
were increasingly open to one day making HBO and Showtime
available directly to consumers over the Internet without a
subscription to a cable television service.

Separate comments by CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie
Moonves and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes at an investor
conference were the latest sign that pressure from rival
services such as Netflix Inc could make streaming cable
TV delivered via broadband a reality.

Aug 31, 2014

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ wins weekend, tops this year’s box office universe

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Aug 31 (Reuters) – The “Guardians of
the Galaxy” misfits reached a new box office stratosphere over
the U.S. Labor Day weekend, soaring past fellow Marvel hero
“Captain America” to become the highest-grossing domestic movie
of 2014.

“Guardians” rang up $16.3 million in U.S. and Canadian
ticket sales from Friday through Sunday, topping weekend charts
for the third time since its Aug. 1 debut, according to
estimates from tracking firm Rentrak. Total domestic sales
climbed to $274.6 million, surpassing the $259.8 million earned
by April release, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

Aug 26, 2014

Broadcasters and basic cable prove staying power at Emmys

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Basic cable channel AMC was rewarded at the Primetime Emmy awards for “Breaking Bad” and broadcasters landed top honors, while pioneering streaming service Netflix Inc (NFLX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) was shut out of the major categories on Monday.

Premium cable channel network HBO again dominated with 19 awards in total, 15 of them in creative arts categories handed out earlier this month. Its only major acting award on Monday went to Julia Louis-Dreyfus for political comedy “Veep.”

Aug 26, 2014

Twitch gamers lead online march to live video streaming

SAN FRANCISCO/LOS ANGELES, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc
tracked Twitch’s evolution from scrappy guerrilla
startup to one of the Internet’s hottest media properties. On
Monday, it announced a near-$1 billion acquisition to get into
one of the fastest-growing online arenas: live-streaming video.

Amazon’s $970 million bet – its largest ever – underscores
how a loyal and fast-growing following for live-streaming video
has grabbed the attention of big brands. Some believe live and
interactive streaming, in which Twitch is a pioneer, is the new
frontier in online video.

Aug 21, 2014

Disney brings the Force with ‘Star Wars’ game, TV show push

LOS ANGELES, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co is
ramping up its first major push to promote the “Star Wars”
franchise it purchased from George Lucas in 2012, blitzing
consumers this year with a mobile game, animated TV show and an
expanded line of toys and clothes.

The anticipated rush of light sabers, Wookiees and other
“Star Wars” mainstays is Disney’s attempt to cash in on its
$4.05 billion acquisition of LucasFilm, which gave the company a
popular yet aging franchise that has not produced a new feature
film in nine years.

Aug 20, 2014

Online video stars mobilize for U.S. net neutrality

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Online video personalities are joining together to advocate for equal treatment of Internet traffic, aiming to stop the U.S. government from allowing what they worry will be fast and slow lanes for delivering content.

The video creators are signing an online petition that will be submitted to the Federal Communications Commission, which is now considering new “net neutrality” rules governing how broadband providers route Internet traffic. Some stars have posted videos about the issue to rally their legions of fans.

Aug 10, 2014

‘Turtles’ beats Marvel’s ‘Guardians’ at US, Canada box office

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Aug 10 (Reuters) – The return of the
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” earned $65 million in ticket
sales at U.S. and Canadian movie theaters over the weekend,
easily winning a box office battle with Marvel’s outer space hit
“Guardians of the Galaxy.”

“Ninja Turtles,” a reboot of a franchise born in 1980s comic
books and popularized in TV cartoons, rang up another $28.7
million in international markets for a global debut of $93.7
million, according to distributor Paramount Pictures which
wasted no time in announcing a sequel, set to open June 3, 2016.