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Oct 12, 2014

‘Gone Girl’ retains hold at top of U.S. and Canada box office

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ben Affleck’s movie thriller “Gone Girl” dominated U.S. and Canadian movie charts for a second consecutive weekend, collecting $26.8 million in ticket sales to beat back challenges from four new films that fought for moviegoer dollars.

New action movie “Dracula Untold” finished second with $23.5 million while Walt Disney Co family comedy “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” was third, earning $19.1 million from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from tracking firm Rentrak.

Oct 6, 2014

NBA TV deal allows for ESPN Internet streaming channel

By Liana B. Baker and Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) – The NBA’s agreement on a new more than $20 billion multi-year contract with broadcast partners Walt Disney Co and Time Warner Inc was overshadowed by news that Disney’s ESPN is joining with the basketball league to create an Internet sports channel available without a pay TV subscription.

A new streaming channel planned by ESPN, which sources familiar with the plans said would be widened to include other sports, is an early step that could upend the traditional cable and satellite companies if it leads more consumers cancelling their pay TV service.

Oct 5, 2014

Ben Affleck’s ‘Gone Girl’ snatches U.S. box office title

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Movie thriller “Gone
Girl,” starring Ben Affleck as a man suspected of causing his
wife’s disappearance, overcame a demonic doll named “Annabelle”
to win a tight weekend race at U.S. and Canadian movie box

“Gone Girl” pulled in $38 million over its first three days
in domestic theaters, according to estimates released Sunday by
tracking firm Rentrak. Horror flick “Annabelle” ranked close
behind with $37.2 million.

Oct 2, 2014

Disney extends CEO Iger’s contract through June 2018

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co’s board extended Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger’s contract through June 2018, keeping him at the helm of the media and theme park company two years longer than he previously planned.

Disney announced the contract extension on Thursday but did not say who would succeed Iger, who has led the company to record profits. He plans to name a chief operating officer next year, a person with knowledge of Iger’s thinking said, setting up a likely successor.

Oct 1, 2014

DirecTV keeps NFL Sunday Ticket in $1.5 billion a year deal

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – DirecTV (DTV.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) extended its exclusive contract to sell the Sunday Ticket package of National Football League games, and sources said the company will pay $1.5 billion a year to keep the popular offering that has helped attract subscribers.

The agreement announced on Wednesday removes a potential roadblock to AT&T Inc’s (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) proposed $48.5 billion purchase of the satellite TV provider. AT&T had the right to pull out of the deal if DirecTV was unable to renew its Sunday Ticket pact.

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

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.”