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Business Features

Streaming Giants Weigh Costs of Big Licensed TV and Movie Libraries

As the streaming industry has come down from its blank-check era, it has rediscovered a time-honored way to keep revenue flowing: licensing TV series and movies to other outlets. Acquired shows are among the most watched programming on streaming — it’s the year of Suits, after all — and shows with high episode counts help […]

See You in 2025? Box Office May Take $2B Hit Next Year Amid Delays

Don’t be surprised if top Hollywood studio executives and theater owners aren’t feeling the Christmas spirit this year. They’re bracing for a tumultuous 2024 ride at the domestic box office after a slew of high-profile tentpoles were pushed to 2025 because of the lengthy writers and actors strikes. In a major blow to the post-pandemic […]

“For Sale” Sign on Paramount Will Shape Shari Redstone’s Legacy

The entertainment company that everyone in Hollywood is talking about is based in a nondescript three-story office building in the Boston suburb of Norwood, Massachusetts. Nestled between an indoor ice-skating rink and a Home Depot distribution center is the headquarters of National Amusements, Inc., a movie theater operator with 22 cinemas in the U.S., almost […]

Sports Rights Arms Race Reshapes the Streaming Wars

To understand the connection between sports and streaming video, consider this: Amazon’s $1 billion per year deal to stream Thursday Night Football is literally changing U.S. internet habits. Comcast president Mike Cavanagh, speaking Dec. 4 at a UBS conference, said Amazon’s TNF game “comprises roughly 25 percent of all internet traffic on Thursday nights” and that it single-handedly […]

Give Me a Break: Why Cinemas Want to Bring Back Intermissions

In the days leading up to the Oct. 20 release of Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, The Lyric cinema in Fort Collins, Colorado, fielded some unusual calls from customers. They all wanted to know if the Western crime epic, which runs three hours and 26 minutes, would have an intermission. And, if not, could […]

It’s Quiet, Too Quiet, in Hollywood: Where Are the Deals?

Once the writers strike ended in late September, president of FX Entertainment Nick Grad and his colleagues began to clear their schedules. After a 148-day stoppage, the second longest in Writers Guild of America history, surely there would be a deluge of writers with fresh ideas and new spec scripts coming through, and Grad and […]

Ike’s Revenge? Ousted Marvel Mogul Looms As Disney Proxy Fight Heats Up

The last time Nelson Peltz and his firm Trian Partners waged a proxy battle against Disney, less than a year ago, they laid out their concerns in a PowerPoint presentation. Disney needed to cut costs, Trian said. It needed to bring back its dividend and get its free cash flow back on track. Disney was […]

The Rise of AI-Powered Stars: Big Money and Risks

The voice is unmistakable. As the video of a woman wading into the ocean during sunset played, a melodic tune was overlaid: “I woke up, woke up, woke up in a sunshine stattte, that’s livin’ up to me.” The voice was clearly that of T-Pain, including his signature Auto-Tune eccentricities. The catch? The lyrics — […]

Linda Yaccarino’s Very Unmerry X Mess

When Elon Musk announced last May that he was naming Linda Yaccarino the CEO of the company that I will always call Twitter, few people outside of the media business had any idea who she was. By now, just a few months later, the former head of advertising at NBCUniversal has become a lightning rod […]

Inside the Battle Over Fran Drescher’s “Robin Hood Fund”

In the final days of the SAG-AFTRA contract negotiations, when pressure was closing in on the guild to end what had been a crippling, nearly six month work stoppage, union president Fran Drescher was holding onto an unusual demand, one that most guild members knew nothing about.  Drescher wanted a fund over which SAG had […]

Why the Dying DVD Business Could Be Headed for a Resurrection

This year has been a melancholic one for collectors of physical media. DVDs and Blu-ray discs, once a source of billions in revenue for Hollywood companies, are at risk of becoming obsolete, or at least irrelevant. The first blow came at the end of September, when Netflix mailed its last DVD (a copy of the […]

“It’s a Dead End”: TV Writers Assistants Lose Hope for Post-Strike Career Advancement

Although landing any Hollywood gig will always be a challenge, those who work as writers assistants and in other support staff roles within the television-writing ecosystem have found this moment particularly dire. The writers strike is over, and rooms for broadcast hits have reopened, but few jobs in this space have surfaced since then, and […]