Yes, Dan, they contacted me each year for the voting reminder. Perhaps you have to own a certain amount of shares before you get the call? Outlaw, you must own a bunch more for them to ask your opinion on splitting the last Divergent book into two films!
Thanks for the head up on watching Houdini. I plan to see #2 tonight. I enjoyed it! Entertainment Weekly says it is the most watched "cable" miniseries of the year. You can't have every series become a blockbuster like Hatfield or The Bible:
Part one of Houdini garnered 3.7 million viewers last night, making it the most-viewed cable miniseries of this year. History Channel’s take on the storied magician chronicles his life of fame, espionage, and infamous stunts, and is based on the book Houdini: A Mind in Chains: A Psychoanalytic Portrait by Bernard C. Meyer.
Houdini’s premiere is a soft opening in comparison to the History Channel’s previous slate of miniseries, which have reached ratings peaks. In 2012, Hatfields & McCoys garnered 13.9 million viewers over a Memorial Day weekend, drawing one of the largest ratings in cable television, and in 2013, The Bible attracted 10.8 million viewers.
Outlaw, thanks for posting...I am going to copy this to the Alibaba thread, too. Let's hope this quoted statement does not change in China:
Gong noted that the Chinese quota system limiting the number of foreign films coming into the country applies to theatrical releases but not to online distribution.
Restaurants now want to capitalize on this gaming sensation:
Buffalo Wild Wings® Launches GameBreak™, Feature-Rich Multi-Platform Fantasy Sports and Competitive Gaming ExperienceGameBreak is available at all U.S. Buffalo Wild Wings locations, on the web and via an app for Android and Apple iOS devices
BUSINESS WIRE 10:00 AM ET 9/2/2014
MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Today, Buffalo Wild Wings®, Inc. announced it is launching GameBreak™, a single sign-on, multi-platform gaming experience allowing consumers to play a wide range of fantasy-style and competitive sports games in restaurant (via tablet), online and on a mobile app for Android and iOS devices. The company is offering weekly prizes and season-long prize packs to winners, in addition to a $10,000 “Ultimate VIP Ticket Experience” for one winner.
GameBreak allows guests to compete when and where they want, through daily and season-long games, special event competitions and exclusive games that interact with live sporting events. At launch, GameBreak offers three games, with additional games tied to different sports and sporting events slated to be rolled out in the coming months.
“Launching GameBreak is another way Buffalo Wild Wings(BWLD) is creating the ultimate social experience for our sports fans,” said Sally Smith, CEO and president, Buffalo Wild Wings(BWLD). “GameBreak elevates the sports experience, making it more interactive and immersing guests into the action. It also supports our strategy and helps extend the Buffalo Wild Wings(BWLD) experience beyond the restaurant to further differentiate ourselves in the marketplace and strengthen guest loyalty.”
Users can earn points each time they play to win weekly and season-long prizes based on their performance against an ongoing leaderboard. In addition, GameBreak serves as a destination for guests to access sports content, track their performance, share game play information through social media and create leagues to challenge their friends.
“Buffalo Wild Wings is known for providing the ultimate sports-viewing atmosphere, and we believe with this new gaming platform we can extend the experience beyond the restaurant and reach our guests wherever they want to compete,” stated Ben Nelsen, vice president of guest experience and innovation, Buffalo Wild Wings(BWLD). “Guests can play in the restaurant, but can also access our games via the web and through the GameBreak app on their smart phones.”
The three featured launch games are:
GameBreak Live – an exclusive in-restaurant game testing sports knowledge by offering up questions on live sporting events in real-time;
Pro-Football Salary Cap Challenge – a fantasy football-style weekly game where users are challenged to create a roster of eight pro-football players within a predetermined virtual budget, and;
Pro-Football Pick’em Challenge – a traditional pick’em game designed to test a user’s skill in correctly selecting the winner of each pro-football weekly match-up.
Guests are playing for a chance to win weekly prizes including Buffalo Wild Wings(BWLD) gift cards for the top scorers (up to $50 in value), with thousands of prizes awarded throughout the football season. In addition, two season-long prize packs valued at $2,000 will be awarded to players who stay on top of the leader board. For the GameBreak Live game, at the end of the season, one guest could win the “Ultimate VIP Season Ticket Experience” for the football team of their choice. The $10,000 prize pack includes two premium seats to every home game, B-Dubs® gift cards and perks for pre-game tablegating, game day swag or an in-stadium experience or other exclusive perks depending on the team.
RAJ...for companies paying 30% + in Federal taxes, LGF's 15.5% tax rate would be an instant gain of 15%+ annually. Not too hard to sell to any business IMO.
Outlaw, I am not sure if EPIX is available outside of the U.S to my knowledge, but perhaps it is via Xbox subscriptions. They have greatly expanded their reach here with the recent TWC deal. Blockbuster movies like transformers will keep subscribers happy so it is good to know that Paramount is doing well in the Box office.
Domestic Total Gross: $101,200,044
Distributor: Paramount Release Date: March 28, 2014
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $101,200,044 28.2%
+ Foreign: $258,000,000 71.8%
= Worldwide: $359,200,044
I didn't realize that Noah did so well overseas. I am not sure if it the Bible Story that is sticky with overseas or more because of the action component of the movie. What every happened to LGF's movie Mary??? Last I read, there were some legal issues that were being disputed and that it was slated for early 2015/
This is also Paramount:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Domestic Total as of Aug. 28, 2014: $150,655,980
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $150,655,980 61.8%
+ Foreign: $93,200,000 38.2%
= Worldwide: $243,855,980
Hopefully, the current market holds and we get the same reception for Power Rangers.
Wow..look at these stats:
Age of Extinction
Domestic Total as of Aug. 28, 2014: $243,950,966
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $243,950,966 22.9%
+ Foreign: $821,300,000 77.1%
= Worldwide: $1,065,250,966
China is $301M of the Foreign total. Glad to know that LGF shares a little bit in this via our EPIX partnership
I guess Alibaba has to be skeptical when acquiring other Chinese companies:
One of Alibaba's recent acquisitions, film producer Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd., said this month its new management uncovered accounting flaws and won't be able to publish results on time. Alibaba acquired 60 percent of the company for about $800 million in June.
In the earnings filing, Alibaba said it has made provisions to the value of the assets, noting that the issues at Alibaba Pictures won't materially affect its overall financial position.
Dan, LOL....I was going to respond the same, but decided it wasn't worth a response post. Glad to see posters like us and others continue to post valuable Due Diligence and ignore the riff raff.
Dan, thanks for sharing. I also tried to post it several times from several different sites at various times and Yahoo deleted all of my posts as well. Makes you wonder what kind of filter Yahoo uses to delete.
By Telis Demos, Matt Jarzemsky and Michael Calia
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. reported a surge in revenue and earnings for its latest quarter, driven in part by increased activity on mobile devices, though its profit margin narrowed.
The results were included in an updated regulatory filing as the company is gearing up to launch its U.S. IPO next month, which could set records by raising more than $20 billion, according to people familiar with the company's plans.
Alibaba's mobile user base--a key point of emphasis in the ever-evolving e-commerce industry--continued to grow, with mobile monthly active users rising to 188 million for the quarter ended June 30, an increase of 25 million from the prior quarter.
Mobile volume accounted for 32.8% of total gross merchandise volume in the period, up from 27.4% at the end of the prior period and 12% at the end of the year-earlier quarter, a key statistic the company will likely aim to tout to investors when it begins shopping the deal to them.
Mobile merchandise sales nearly quadrupled to CNY164 billion.
"They are highlighting their strong mobile results and dominating...market share as smart phones play a bigger role in e-commerce in China than the U.S.," said Brendan Ahern, managing director at KraneShares, which sponsors exchange- traded funds focused on China, including the $108 million KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF.
Total revenue jumped 46% to CNY15.77 billion ($2.54 billion) in the fiscal first quarter ended June 30 versus the same period a year ago.
Its gross merchandise volume, or total sales across its online and mobile platforms, jumped to CNY501 billion ($81 billion) in the quarter, up 16% from the previous quarter, and 45% from the same period a year earlier.
By contrast, Amazon Inc., the U.S. online retailer, generated about $100 billion in total sales last year, according to Forrester Research. Alibaba generates its sales only by matching buyers and sellers, unlike Amazon, which also owns warehwarehouses of goods and sells directly to customers.
The company will be wary of any investor doubts about mobile growth after what happened when Facebook Inc.(FB) went public in a $16 billion IPO in May 2012. The company warned about potentially slowing growth due to a shift from web browsing to mobile devices, and the stock tumbled after the IPO. The stock recovered, however, as the company reported strong mobile results in subsequent quarters.
"I believe Alibaba's management saw the results of Facebook's(FB) IPO and the questions raised due to the perception they lacked a mobile strategy, " Mr. Ahern said.
Analysts will also be keeping a close eye on Alibaba's spending as it aims to boost its mobile penetration and fend off competitors such as Tencent.
Though earnings surged to CNY12.34 billion ($1.99 billion) from CNY4.38 billion a year earlier, the company's costs also rose sharply in the quarter, up 68% to CNY4.59 billion ($739 million) from a year earlier.
The result was an operating profit margin drop to 43.4% from 50.3% a year earlier.
Despite its looming IPO, Alibaba has made a string of acquisitions and other investments to bolster its mobile presence, including acquiring Chinese mobile web browser UCWeb. Alibaba even considered an investment in Snapchat Inc., the U.S. chat mobile app, but ultimately passed on it, a person familiar with the talks said.
The company said in its filing that "we expect to continue to make strategic investments and acquisitions" related to mobile, digital media, and other services, which "may affect our future financial results, including by decreasing our margins and net income."
One acquisition this year, of a Hong Kong-listed film-production company, raised questions about the pace of dealmaking when Alibaba disclosed that it discovered accounting irregularities at Alibaba Pictures after the deal.
A decline in a measure of profitability may add doubts about how Alibaba's efforts to grow will affect its bottom line, said Grace Su, a senior research analyst at ClearBridge Investments. She said she hopes to learn more about Alibaba's expectations for profit margins during the company's IPO road show.
But, she added, investors will be "encouraged that basically a third of their users are on mobile. That's phenomenal." She said investors may give Alibaba "the benefit of the doubt" that increased mobile activity will generate more advertising revenue, given the experience of U.S. firms making the same transition.
The road show process could begin after the U.S. Sept . 1 Labor Day holiday, the people familiar with the plans said. The company will first set a valuation range on the company and then begin a two-week process of holding meetings with investors in Asia, Europe and the U.S. The stock, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol " BABA," would begin trading in mid-September under that timeline.
Things are getting heated globally:
(From Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper, Aug. 27 edition.)
By James Bradshaw and Christine Dobby
Of THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Two of the most powerful distributors in Canadian television have joined forces to launch a video-streaming platform, hoping to gain a foothold in the same online TV market that's threatening their business models.
The long-rumoured streaming service for television shows and movies, dubbed Shomi, was unveiled Tuesday by Rogers Communications Inc.(RCIAF) and Shaw Communications Inc.(SJRWF), which jointly built the new venture to take on competitors like U.S.- based Netflix Inc.(NFLX)
When it launches in November, Shomi will cost C$8.99 a month -- the same price Netflix(NFLX) charges new customers -- and will include 11,000 hours of television from 340 series, as well as 1,200 movies.
For now, it will be available only to Rogers and Shaw Internet or television customers for use on tablets, smartphones, Web browsers, Xbox consoles and cable boxes. But the friendly rivals are in talks with other distributors to make the service more widely available.
Television distributors and cable broadcasters have faced intense pressure from new competitors, with Netflix(NFLX) and its massive content catalogue attracting an estimated four million-plus subscribers in Canada since launching in 2010. Another major Canadian player, BCE Inc., wrote in a recent regulatory submission: "The system is threatened like never before."
But Shomi executives are pitching the service less as a Netflix(NFLX) killer than as a parallel service that leverages the companies' large combined stable of television rights to give viewers the more personalized experience they increasingly crave.
"We knew that we had to get [a streaming] offering out there that was an option for people," said Barbara Williams, senior vice-president of content at Shaw Media. "And I think we will see lots of different people use this in lots of different ways."
At launch, Shomi will feature back catalogues of popular shows such as Modern Family, New Girl and American Horror Story. Rogers and Shaw will continue to offer new episodes of current seasons through their existing on-demand services. Thirty per cent of the content will be Canadian, and creating original programming is also "definitely on our road map," Rogers Media president Keith Pelley said.
Even so, observers on social media were quick to say the service appeared to offer little that would lead them to abandon Netflix(NFLX). Mr. Pelley countered that Shomi will give users curated, expert recommendations with a human touch and a dash of "attitude," and expects many households will add the service alongside other streaming subscriptions.
"Our research show that, undeniably, consumers can support two, three, even four [subscription video-on-demand] services," Mr. Pelley said.
Even as many Canadians complain about the high cost of traditional TV service, Kaan Yigit, president of Solutions Research Group, says there is ample room in Canada's streaming marketplace.
"As much as there's some element of competition with Netflix(NFLX), I think broadly speaking we're seeing a multiple- subscription world evolving here," Mr. Yigit said.
BCE's Bell Media participated in initial discussions about joining the Shomi project but elected not to. A Bell spokesman declined to comment on rumours that the company will launch its own streaming service in the coming months. (BCE owns 15 per cent of The Globe and Mail).
Shomi is also an attempt to stem the growing rate of cord cutting -- cancelling television subscriptions, often in favour of online alternatives -- in Canada. According to regulatory figures, total cable and satellite subscribers declined for the first time in the year ending Aug. 31, 2013.
Toronto-based Rogers and Western cable giant Shaw have both been steadily losing television subscribers in recent quarters while making modest gains on the Internet front.
The American broadcasting landscape is also under pressure, owing to falling ratings and advertising revenues. On Tuesday, Turner Broadcasting System Inc., which owns U.S. television networks such as CNN, announced it is offering buyouts to some 600 employees, with layoffs and other cost cutting to follow.
In the face of such challenges, observers have questioned why a Canadian-made competitor to Netflix(NFLX) didn't emerge sooner and why, even after more than a year in development, Shomi is launching in a "beta" test phase expected to last six to 12 months.
Both companies said they felt they had to get into the streaming game before it was too late: "There comes a point where you just have to get at it," Ms. Williams said
SAN FRANCISCO/LOS ANGELES, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Amazon Inc(AMZN) tracked Twitch's evolution from scrappy guerrilla startup to one of the Internet's hottest media properties. On Monday, it announced a near-$1 billion acquisition to get into one of the fastest-growing online arenas: live-streaming.
Amazon's (AMZN) $970 million bet - its largest ever - underscores how a loyal and fast-growing following for live-streaming has grabbed the attention of big brands. Some believe live and interactive streaming, in which Twitch is a pioneer, is the new frontier in online video.
Bessemer Ventures' Ethan Kurzweil admitted on Monday he got blank stares from people he described Twitch to initially. The San Francisco-based startup lets gamers livecast their play while responding to cheers, tips and random musings from online viewers in real time.
In three years, Twitch has become the fourth largest U.S. producer of peak Internet traffic, ahead of Facebook and Hulu, according to Bessemer, a backer.
"It's a captive audience and one that is loyal," said Adam Shlachter, head of media activation at marketing agency DigitasLBi. "Where you have like-minded people..all aggregated in one place, kind of holed up around the same thing and participating in the same experiences, that offers a really unique environment to target (ads) against."
Live-streaming draws a following partly because of its immediacy: fans message their favorite personalities and can evoke a response during livecasts. Twitch and other live-stream networks like Livestream also cater to niches, featuring content such as offbeat sports to videogames that mainstream outlets eschew.
Twitch had 55 million monthly viewers in July, up about 45 percent from a year earlier. That growth caught the attention of advertisers, who spotted the chance to reach younger viewers who watch less television.
Brands will spend $6 billion this year on digital video advertising in the United States, according to research firm eMarketer.
Thanks for the links Outlaw...good reading and very relevant to LGF. The analysts made a very clear point on the last conference call to understand that their 15.5% effective tax rate is transferable to acquirers OR would still be in effect if LGF makes any acquisitions.
By Grant Brunner on August 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm0 Comments
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After weeks of uncertainty and user revolt, the story surrounding Twitch just got more bizarre. Reports are coming in today claiming that Amazon will be acquiring the popular video streaming service, and that only adds to the confusion of the last month or so. This is an unexpected development, but considering other recent acquisitions, buying Twitch makes a lot of sense for Amazon.
Last month, it was widely reported that Google had purchased Twitch for upwards of one billion dollars. Not long after, Twitch began rolling out a number of unpopular changes including the introduction of an automated audio matching algorithm intended to silence copyrighted music on archived videos. In the wake of these sweeping changes, some people started questioning whether or not the Google acquisition actually happened.
Amazon Fire TV Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon — not Google — will be acquiring Twitch Interactive for more than one billion dollars. The WSJ’s source claims that the Google deal went sideways over the last few weeks, so the original reports weren’t entirely unfounded. It seems that Google did plan on buying Twitch, but negotiations soured before contracts were signed.
So, why would this online retailer want to get into the video game live-streaming business? Simply put, it thrusts Amazon’s gaming products into the spotlight. Twitch is wildly popular among the gaming community, and controlling Twitch gives Amazon the legitimacy it seems to so desperately want.
Not only does Amazon sell a (half-hearted) game console, but it’s made a number of strategic gaming acquisitions over the last few months as well. Double Helix, the studio best-known for the 2013 Killer Instinct reboot on the Xbox One, was snatched up in February. Kim Swift (Portal) and Clint Hocking (Far Cry 2, Splinter Cell) quickly joined Amazon Game Studios as well.