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May 19, 2014

‘Godzilla’ tramples rivals with monster $93 mln debut

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, May 18 (Reuters) – “Godzilla,” a
remake of the classic Japanese monster movie, crushed its box
office competitors over the weekend, devouring $93.2 million in
the United States and Canada for the year’s second-biggest debut
and spawning talk of a sequel.

The smashing performance makes the film a hit for Legendary
Pictures, the independent studio headed by Thomas Tull that
financed 75 percent of the $160 million production, and its
partner Warner Bros., which said the new take on “Godzilla” was
on its way to becoming a franchise.

May 18, 2014

‘Godzilla’ tramples rivals with summer season’s first monster hit

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, May 18 (Reuters) – Monster movie
remake “Godzilla” crushed its competitors at U.S. and Canadian
theaters over the weekend, stomping its way to the top of box
office charts with an estimated $93.2 million in ticket sales
for the year’s second-biggest debut.

The giant lizard trounced second-place finisher, adult
comedy “Neighbors” which led sales a week ago and earned $26
million from Friday through Sunday, ahead of superhero sequel
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ with $16.8 million, according to
estimates from tracking firm Rentrak.

May 13, 2014

Disney throws another feel-good pitch with ‘Million Dollar Arm’

LOS ANGELES, May 13 (Reuters) – In the new Disney film
“Million Dollar Arm,” Jon Hamm is soaked in perspiration, not
the alcohol-induced sweat of his “Mad Men” character Don Draper,
but the kind that comes from filming a modest production in
India in the hottest part of the year.

Despite working in conditions he calls “remarkably warm and
challenging,” the baseball tale with a global twist gave Hamm
not only his first lead role in film but one that was decidedly
more upbeat than the ad man that made him famous on television.

May 11, 2014

‘Neighbors’ knocks ‘Spider-Man’ from U.S. box office perch

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Raunchy adult comedy “Neighbors”, starring Seth Rogen as a family man who moves next to a frat house, kicked superhero movie “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ off the top spot on U.S. and Canadian box office charts over the weekend.

“Neighbors” earned $51.1 million in ticket sales to lead all movies from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from tracking firm Rentrak.

Apr 27, 2014

‘Captain America,’ ‘Rio’ bring early summer heat to Hollywood

LOS ANGELES, April 27 (Reuters) – Hollywood is remaking one
of its most cherished traditions: the summer blockbuster.

Unlike last year, when every summer weekend seemed to bring
one or more mega-budget films, this year studios have spread out
their most expensive entries for the warm weather months that
traditionally make up roughly 40 percent of annual ticket sales.

Apr 25, 2014

Netflix makes deals to appear on first U.S. cable boxes

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, April 24 (Reuters) – Netflix Inc’s
streaming video subscription service will be integrated
into TiVo Inc set-top boxes for customers of three of
the smaller U.S. cable operators, the companies said on

The deals with Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications and
RCN Telecom Services are the first in the United States to bring
Netflix as an app to cable set-top boxes. The arrangements make
it easier for consumers to access Netflix movies and TV shows on
their television sets because they don’t have to switch to
another device like an Apple TV or Roku box.

Apr 24, 2014

Corrected – AOL, Microsoft lure advertisers with TV-style shows

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – (Corrects Internet Advertising Bureau to Interactive Advertising Bureau)

Technology powerhouses like Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and AOL Inc (AOL.N: Quote, Profile, Research) are flexing their muscles as storytellers, parading TV network-style shows before advertisers at an annual digital content showcase in New York next week.

Apr 23, 2014

AOL, Microsoft lure advertisers with TV-style shows

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES, April 23 (Reuters) – Technology
powerhouses like Microsoft Corp and AOL Inc are
flexing their muscles as storytellers, parading TV network-style
shows before advertisers at an annual digital content showcase
in New York next week.

With an eye on the big bucks such shows can command,
Microsoft will trot out a soccer reality show called “Every
Street United.” Sony Corp’s digital network Crackle
will serve up Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting
Coffee” and AOL is presenting a documentary drama about five New
Yorkers called “Connected.”

Apr 23, 2014

Amazon grabs rights to stream older HBO shows

By Liana B. Baker and Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) –’s streaming video service will offer some older shows from premium-cable channel HBO starting next month, a deal that intensifies both companies’ competition with subscription-video service Netflix.

This is the first time HBO, owned by Time Warner Inc, has licensed its award-winning programming to an online subscription streaming service, the companies said in a statement on Wednesday.

Apr 22, 2014

Netflix plans price raise as streaming subscribers grow

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Video streaming service Netflix Inc said it intends to raise its subscription price for new customers by $1 or $2 a month to help the company buy more movies and TV shows and improve service for its 48 million global subscribers.

Investors welcomed the announcement on Monday by Netflix, which had suffered from a consumer exodus and stock plunge after it announced an unpopular price increase in July 2011. The company’s shares jumped 6.7 percent in after-hours trading to $371.97, after the company released plans for price hikes and posted a rise in first-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations.