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Netflix Goes All Thumbs: No More Star Ratings

The sun has set on those Netflix stars. The previously announced thumbs up-thumbs down replacement rating system begins rolling out today, ditching the stars that have been with the company since the DVD era. But the change might not be as drastic as many users of the streaming site might think. Contrary to what many Netflix customers might always have thought, the number of stars next to a Netflix title was not a reflection of the title’s popularity or likability, nor… Read

Box Office

‘Rogue One’ Flies Into Homes Via Digital HD On March 24; Blu-ray Date Is April 4

Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Storythe first spinoff feature in the Lucasfilm canon, will be available via Digital HD as early March 24 and on Blu-ray on April 4. To date, the movie has amassed $1.05 billion at the worldwide box office. April is a big month for Lucasfilm: The annual Star Wars Celebration is set for April 13-16 in Orlando, where it’s rumored that a Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer will drop, as well as other details about Episode VIII. Check out the… Read

Business

Home Entertainment Spending Grew Slightly, Or Fell A Lot, In 2016: DEG

Consumer spending for home entertainment either improved slightly in 2016, or fell at an accelerating rate, depending on how you want to tally the year-end data out today from the Digital Entertainment Group. The industry organization includes streaming services such as Netflix, but historically hasn’t included some of its closest competitors such as premium cable channels HBO and Showtime. Subscription streaming spending was up 22.6% in 2016 to $6.23 billion. With that… Read

Business

Comcast Offers “Extras” With Universal, Paramount, Lionsgate & Sony Films

Those watching movies at home who also want to play games, explore maps or look at the sets among other things will have a chance to do so as the result of an agreement between Comcast and its Universal Pictures along with Paramount, Lionsgate and Sony Pictures. The studios have agreed to offer “enhanced extras” — many of them interactive — in some digital download movies that Comcast subscribers buy and watch via its X1 platform. They’ll be available in a sidebar while… Read

Business

Fox Promotes Mike Dunn To Oversee Studio’s Product Strategies And Ventures

20th Century Fox just created a big job for Mike Dunn: He was promoted to President of Product Strategy and Consumer Business Development for the entire studio, up from his previous role as president of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Worldwide and a Director of the Fox Innovation Lab. The change puts Dunn in charge of initiatives for emerging media platforms, distribution models, partnerships with leading consumer electronics and technology companies, and… Read

exclusiveFilm

Film Arcade Inks Domestic Distribution Deal With Universal Home Entertainment

EXCLUSIVE: The Film Arcade and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment have sealed a multi-year distribution deal that will see UPHE handling all U.S. and Canada marketing, sales and distribution services for Blu-ray, DVD, Electronic Sell-through, Video-on-Demand and Television for Film Arcade films. The partnership will begin with Film Arcade’s dramedy Don’t Think Twice, directed by Mike Birbiglia and starring Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs and Birbiglia. The indie had… Read

Business

Home Entertainment Spending Fell 12% In Q3 (Or Did It Grow 4%?)

Home entertainment spending in Q3 was either up 3.8% or down 12.1% — depending on how you want to interpret the numbers out today from the Digital Entertainment Group. The trade group likes the upbeat number, which tallies consumer rental and purchase spending at $4.17 billion, up from $4.02 billion in the period last year. But that includes subscription streaming, primarily from Netflix, which was added to DEG’s calculations in 2011. That category was up 23.9% from last… Read

Business

Redbox Gets New CEO As Investment Group Completes Outerwall Acquisition

DVD rental kiosk company Redbox takes a different spin today as a group of funds from Apollo Global Management closed a $895 million deal (not including debt) to buy the DVD kiosk company’s parent, Outerwall. Apollo divided operations into three separate businesses with Galen Smith, who had been Outerwall’s CFO, becoming Redbox’s CEO. Outerwall CEO Erik Prusch left the company. Smith vows to “continue to provide new movie and video game releases to millions of loyal… Read

Business

Home Entertainment Spending Grew 6.1% In Q2, If You Include Netflix

Home entertainment spending either increased by 6.1% in Q2, or fell 0.3%, based on data out today from The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG). The trade group says that consumers spent $4.33 billion in the quarter, up from $4.08 billion in the same period last year. But DEG includes consumer payments for subscription streaming services led by Netflix — a category that grew 20.6% vs. 2015’s Q2  to $1.5 billion. Some analysts say that these services, which account for 35% of… Read

Business

Redbox Owner To Be Bought By Private Equity Group For $1.6B

Redbox

Apollo Global Management could become the nation’s leading operator of DVD rental kiosks as the result of a $1.6 billion (including debt) agreement announced this morning to buy Outerwall, which owns the struggling Redbox business. The private equity firm has agreed to pay $52 for each Outerwall share, a 6.6% premium over its closing price on Friday — but 51% more than the trading price on March 14 when Outerwall said that it was considering a sale. The companies expect… Read

Business

MGM & 20th Century Fox Renew Home Entertainment Deal

MGM and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment have renewed their existing worldwide agreement through June 2020, the companies said today. Fox will continue to handle marketing and distribution services for Blu-ray and DVD, and manage the operations and marketing of Digital HD and transactional VOD for MGM's film library. Titles included in the deal are MGM’s James Bond movies, the Rocky franchise and discs for History’s Vikings. The latest deal extends the partnership that… Read

Business

Home Entertainment Spending Fell 9% In Q1 Not Including Streaming Services

Depending on how you look at it, home entertainment spending was either stable — or seriously declined — in Q1 based on data out today from the Digital Entertainment Group. The industry organization says that consumers spent $4.55 billion in the period, down just 1.8% from early 2015. In addition to being “in line with the same period 2015,” DEG lauds the number for “outpacing the box office value on video release by nearly 10 percentage points.” But that folds in… Read