Latest Business News

Disney Accelerator Hits Gas For Round Two Of Startup Applications

Disney Accelerators logo and Iron Man

Disney Accelerator, the program designed to jump-start a group of technology firms focused on entertainment and media, has begun accepting applications for its second round of 10 companies. Winning teams will be mentored by top Disney execs, entrepreneurs, investors and others for three months and receive $120,000 in startup capital each. The program begins July 6 and concludes with a Demo Day on Oct. 6. The accelerator is a partnership between TechStars, which runs… Read

Will Smith’s ‘Concussion’ To Hit Theaters Christmas Day

2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Arrivals

Sony Pictures announced today that it has scheduled the Will Smith drama Concussion for a Christmas Day release. The film is opening at a prime time, not only because of the holiday movie season but also just as the NFL will be preparing for the playoffs. Concussion follows Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of football-related brain trauma in a pro player and fought to bring awareness to the public. In his search for the truth… Read

Indie Filmmakers Often Get Stiffed By Distributors, Study Says


These may be the best of times and the worst of times for independent filmmakers, many of whom are amassed right now in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival. With all the new forms of distribution, digital and otherwise, there are now more outlets for their work than ever before. Getting paid, however, is another matter. A new survey by the WGA East of 100 active indie filmmakers found that more than 60% of them reported they've had problems receiving initial… Read

Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler On “Exchange Of Value” And Financing Sundance Films

Yancey Strickler Kickstarter DeadlineNow

Kickstarter’s CEO Yancey Strickler sat down with me at the DeadlineNow studios at the Sundance Film Festival this week to talk on video about the booming business of crowdfunding, “exchange of value” and the millions of dollars that have been raised through his company to finance thousands of movies, including 10% of this year’s Sundance offerings. It’s been a great year for even name-brand filmmakers to tap Kickstarter and its crowd-funding competitors to help get their… Read

Apple Q1 Earnings Wallop Expectations, Shares Skyrocket After Hours

Apple Logo With Dollar Signs

Apple had a whale of a Christmas quarter, thanks to record sales of its latest iPhones, and Wall Street took notice, sending shares jumping 5 percent in after-hours trading after it handily beat analyst expectations. The company reported earnings of $3.06 a share on revenue of $74.6 billion for the quarter ending Dec. 31, up $13 billion from 2014, despite the serious complications of significant currency exchange “headwinds,” the company’s CFO Luca Maestri said. That far… Read

Yahoo’s $40B Gift To Shareholders: It Will Spin Off Alibaba Holdings

Yahoo’s up about 7% in post market trading after the company said that it will give its investors stock in a new company that will hold $40 billion worth of Alibaba shares it owns, about 15.4% of the total. The new entity will have no debt. The change will leave Yahoo with its mostly ad-supported Web businesses plus a 35.5% stake in Yahoo Japan. The spin off is expected to take place toward the end of 2015, after a one-year lock up agreement expires. Yahoo had earlier… Read

WWE Network Pins 1M Subs, Taking Company Shares Off The Ropes

Daniel Bryan

Investors thought they’d see this milestone earlier, but they appear grateful at its indication that the slow-growing service hasn’t stalled. WWE shares rocketed 15% in afternoon trading after it announced that its subscription streaming service signed its 1 millionth customer. That’s up 37% globally and 24% domestically from the end of Q3. “We remain focused on delivering an outstanding value proposition for our fans by adding new content and new features in the coming… Read

Sony Animation Taps DreamWorks Animation’s Kristine Belson New Boss

Sony Pictures Animation

Sony Pictures Entertainment today named Oscar nominee Kristine Belson as President, Sony Pictures Animation in the wake of Michelle Raimo Kouyate’s departure from the post last week.  Belson comes from DreamWorks Animation where she spent nearly a decade, specifically serving as executive producer on the studio’s Oscar-nominated titles The Croods and How to Train Your Dragon.  Belson will lead the development and production of original material as well as current and… Read

Broadway Shows Return But Jasmine, Simba Get Extra Snow Day

Aladdin, Toronto 2013

2nd UPDATE, 11:15 A.M.: The nearly sold-out Jake Gyllenhaal/Ruth Wilson 70-minute two-hander Constellations also has jumped on the inclement-weather discount bandwagon. At Tuesday’s 7 P.M. and Wednesday’s 2 P.M. matinee, select seats will be available for $100 when you say the secret passwords “Winter Weather Discount” at the box office, or via by using code CLSNW15, or by calling 212-947-8844. UPDATE, 10:15 A.M.: Shows are beginning to promote “snow… Read

FilmsDistribution Picks ‘An Italian Name'; Content Has ‘Pandemic': Berlin Briefs

Il Nome Del Figlio

Refresh for latest… Ahead of the EFM next week, Paris-based Films Distribution has picks up Italian box-office success An Italian Name (Il Nome Del Figlio) by Francesca Archibugi. The sales company will handle world rights on the film which is based on Pathé's French hit What's In A Name?. It tells the story of extrovert Paolo and the beautiful Simona who are expecting a child. At a dinner with friends, one question will lead to an argument that will shake the night: the… Read

IMAX Stock Buoyed By ‘Mission: Impossible’ Switch And Box Office Sales

Imax Theatre

What’s up with IMAX? Just about everything over the last week or so, it seems — contributing to an 11.7% spike in the stock price since last Wednesday. It touched a 52-week high this morning ($33.88) bringing it to its highest level since mid-2011. IMAX likely will benefit from Paramount’s announcement yesterday that it will release Mission:Impossible 5 on July 31, ahead of the previous plan for Christmas Day. The move takes the Paramount action film out of the way of Star… Read

Actress Zhao Wei Helps Alibaba Pictures Regain Ground Despite Profit Warning


A box office star in Asia whose directorial debut, So Young, broke Chinese records in 2013, Vicki Zhao Wei has helped Alibaba Pictures Group regain some ground after it stumbled following revelations of accounting irregularities last year. The actress and helmer has taken a 9.18% stake in the Hong Kong-based film division of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings. The $400M investment reportedly makes Zhao the second largest shareholder and is seen as good news for a… Read