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Jan 13, 2015

Amazon lures Woody Allen to write, direct new TV series

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Director Woody Allen will make his first foray onto the small screen, writing and directing an online series for, the latest coup by deep-pocketed cable and streaming companies in luring the biggest names in film to television.

The Internet retailer rolled out the news of Allen’s series on Tuesday, two days after winning its first major awards at the Golden Globes following years of experimentation with streaming original programming.

Jan 11, 2015

Liam Neeson wins U.S. box office again with ‘Taken 3′

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. and Canadian filmgoers turned out for a third time to see Liam Neeson in his action movie franchise “Taken,” which led box office charts over the weekend with $40.4 million in ticket sales.

Civil rights film “Selma” finished in second place with $11.2 million from Friday through Sunday as the awards contender expanded to more theaters.

Jan 9, 2015

Pay TV revamps clunky guides in battle with Internet services

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – U.S. cable and satellite TV providers are rolling out new services to solve a problem that drives customers crazy – which channel is HBO? And how do I find the latest episode of “The Walking Dead?”

Faced with competition from Internet upstarts with graphical guides that are relatively painless to use, traditional media companies are adding voice control to remotes, cutting the number of buttons, and reducing clutter from screens.

Jan 8, 2015

Media embracing digital TV with strings attached

NEW YORK/LAS VEGAS Jan 8 (Reuters) – Media companies that
are starting to allow their programs onto Internet-delivered TV
and mobile devices are putting limits on digital rights as a
safety hatch if problems arise with the new distribution
systems, executives say.

The debate over digital rights that determine how and when
content is consumed is adding a new layer of complexity to
negotiations between media companies and distributors, leading
to drawn-out wrangling and programming blackouts in some cases.

Jan 7, 2015

Off to the races! Disney park runs mix fitness, fantasy

ANAHEIM, California, Jan 7 (Reuters) – At 5 a.m. on a
Sunday, thousands of people stream down Disneyland Drive dressed
in a mix of running gear, homemade costumes and face paint as
Captain America, Thor or The Hulk.

It’s the first Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, a
13.1-mile contest that is part of an expanding slate of sold-out
races at Walt Disney’s theme parks in California and

Jan 5, 2015

Dish unveils Sling TV video streaming service

Jan 5 (Reuters) – Dish Network Corp on Monday took
the wraps off its long-anticipated video streaming service,
named Sling TV, targeted to younger consumers who shun pricey
cable and satellite subscriptions.

The $20 a month service, the first from a distributor, will
be available through Internet-connected devices such as Amazon
Fire TV, Roku and Google Nexus Player for TVs, tablets,
computers and smartphones. It will include television
programming and sports events from Walt Disney’s ABC,
ESPN and Maker Studios, Time Warner’s TNT, CNN, TBS,
Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, and Food Network, HGTV and
Travel Channel.

Dec 31, 2014

Sony’s ‘Interview’ lands on pay TV and in 580 theaters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Sony Pictures Entertainment added more viewing options for its provocative comedy “The Interview,” making the film available through U.S. pay television operators and nearly doubling the number of independent theaters that will show the movie.

The film, blamed for triggering a massive cyberattack on Sony’s movie studio, will also be sold through Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s digital on-demand service, Vudu, and on Sony’s PlayStation Network, Sony said in a statement on Wednesday.

Dec 30, 2014

As ‘Interview’ takes streaming plunge, Hollywood tests waters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Consumers paid $15 million in just four days to watch “The Interview” from the comfort of their couches, building expectations that other hot, new films might also make their debut online.

But Hollywood is not quite ready to give that to viewers, experts say. Even so, Sony Pictures’ initial success streaming its controversial comedy will add momentum to the industry’s slow adoption of same-day theater and video-on-demand (VOD) release.

Dec 21, 2014

Final ‘Hobbit’ film draws holiday season crowds at box office

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The last movie of Peter Jackson’s three “Hobbit” films rode to the top of U.S. and Canadian weekend box office charts, selling an estimated $56.2 million worth of tickets and boosting the holiday movie season that is crucial to Hollywood.

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” grabbed another $34.4 million from Wednesday and Thursday screenings for a combined debut of $90.6 million over its first five days, distributor Warner Bros. said on Sunday.

Dec 17, 2014

Lions Gate tried to discuss merger with Sony, leaked emails show

LOS ANGELES, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Movie maker Lions Gate
Entertainment Corp executives last summer tried to meet
with Sony Corp CEO Kazuo Hirai to discuss a possible
merger or acquisition, according to emails found in documents
stolen by hackers.

Hirai eventually declined a meeting although he expressed
interest in possible cooperation on operational matters, the
documents showed.