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Thompson on Hollywood

Media Watch: LATimes.com Traffic Rises, Facebook Hides Google+ Invites, Netflix targets Kids & Asia

Netflix is creating a Just-for-Kids streaming option, the company reported yesterday. Aimed at the 12-and-unders, it offers content like Dora the Explorer or SpongeBob SquarePants, and groups its elements into categories that operate with total child-logic: "Dinosaurs," "Girl Power," "Princesses," and "Superheroes." Meanwhile, Netflix is also aiming to distribute in select Asian locations, like Japan or South Korea, by the end of 2012.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 17, 2011 11:45 AM
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Sundance Institute Pushes Deeper Into Digital Distribution Alternatives--Analysis

Sundance Institute Pushes Deeper Into Digital Distribution Alternatives--Analysis
Two things pop from this week's announcement from Robert Redford's Sundance Institute about their "Artists Services Initiative." First, who it's for--Sundance Institute filmmakers only--and second, how it contrasts with Robert De Niro's for-profit New York-based Tribeca Films, which picks up films to release, some of them from its own festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 29, 2011 8:51 AM
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Media Watch: Amazon Streaming Goes Universal, Netflix vs. Hulu User Behavior, Fighting Piracy

Amazon is teaming up with NBC Universal to stream movies to subscribers, continuing its direct competition with Netflix. THR reports that Amazon now offers 9,000 movies and TV shows to its subscribers—Prime customers who pay $79.00 a year (compared to Netflix’s annual $96, for many more options). This after Amazon struck a similar deal with CBS last week. Movies and TV shows to stream include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Fletch, Cheers, Frasier, and Star Trek.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 29, 2011 5:42 AM
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Media Watch: Vogue Sells, Netflix Streams Southward, StumbleUpon Challenges Facebook's Media Command

Anna Wintour still rules the fashion roost. Vogue keeps flying off newsstands, leaving other high-end women's mags to wallow in slow sales. According to Adweek, Vogue’s sales are up 16% since last year’s first-half average, selling about 370,000 per month. Other fashion rags, including Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire, have faced a decrease in sales by 21%.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 6, 2011 4:01 AM
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News Wrap: Abrams Opens Up on Super 8 Secrets, Apple Threatens Cable, Boondock Saints Web Sequel

During production on Super 8, director J. J. Abrams was notably secretive--as producer Steven Spielberg likes to be as well, preserving the mystery, hiding the alien. Now that the film has delivered a strong $35.5 million opening weekend, he is being less tight-lipped. [SPOILER ALERT] In an interview with MTV, Abrams was open about the many-limbed, mysterious monster in the film. He noted that Neville Page, the same man who created the monster in his 2008 film, Cloverfield, designed the creature for Super 8, but there was no “same-universe” connection. “They actually look very different,” he said, “but they both have two eyes, a nose and a mouth. So, in that regard, it also looks a lot like Laurence Olivier!" He said creating the creature was a balance; the alien needed to be scary, but also relatable, something that could be “full of rage and also could be emotional and nuanced.” (The bar for scary/relatable alien design was really set by District 9.)
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 15, 2011 3:58 AM
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Netflix Lands Streaming Rights to Mad Men Reruns

Netflix has scored another coup, landing exclusive streaming rights to Mad Men reruns from Lionsgate TV, reports Variety:Episodes from the AMC drama's first four seasons will bow July 27. Deal covers all seven seasons of the Emmy-winning drama. Pact is believed to be worth nearly $1 million an episode for the series. It's believed that Netflix will be the primary off-net window for the series, given the high price tag.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 5, 2011 11:20 AM
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Fandor Streams Indie Video: Sundance Meets Netflix

Fandor Streams Indie Video: Sundance Meets Netflix
Finally, the promise of streaming movies has become a practical reality, from Amazon to Netflix. But as multiple indie sites come and go (from Jaman and Mubi to Spout), on the eve of SXSW, a new indie site launches Wednesday, Fandor, that promises a better subscription indie streaming service via its website and Facebook. For $10 a month, you can browse, sample, clip and stream its library of 2500 films, from Fritz Lang and Maya Deren classics to Alex Cox and Derek Jarman indies or Sundance docs. (Shorts are in the mix too, especially as a mobile app comes online.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 9, 2011 4:58 AM
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Six Reasons Why Hollywood Box Office is Dipping, from Avatar vs. Tron to Snow vs. Netflix

Six Reasons Why Hollywood Box Office is Dipping, from Avatar vs. Tron to Snow vs. Netflix
After the MPAA released its latest figures Wednesday, in a conference call acting chief Bob Pisano and National Association of Theater Owners chief John Fithian tried to make the best of a bad situation. As usual, the MPAA blamed piracy on declining admissions (down 5% to 1.3 billion in 2010), while both hailed premium digital 3-D revenues and the continued expansion of 3-D screens and production. Sure, with 25 films released in 3-D in 2010, up from 20 in 2009, 3-D has temporarily staved off disaster at the box office. But despite Fithian's insistence that revenues are what count, a downward slide on admissions is not a good thing.
  • By Anne Thompson and Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • February 24, 2011 11:38 AM
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Video: Hulu Pacts with Criterion--And Netflix Couldn't Care Less

Reaction is mixed to news that Hulu and Criterion Collection have announced an exclusive new content partnership that will bring more than 800 titles to the Hulu Plus subscription service, including works from such auteurs as Ingmar Bergman, Charlie Chaplin, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Akira Kurosawa, François Truffaut and Orson Welles.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 17, 2011 6:19 AM
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Digital Viewing Transition: The Rise of Netflix

Digital Viewing Transition: The Rise of Netflix
In their excellent year-ahead discussion on KCRW's The Business, host Kim Masters and guests John Horn (the LAT) and Michael Schneider (Variety) agreed that 2011 marks a watershed year in the transition from traditional to digital viewing choices. They think the shift will come faster for movies than television. "The studios are burning along with huge overhead and a lot of movies that aren't working," says Masters, a confessed Luddite who defends theater-going.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2011 2:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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