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- 12/19/18--08:43: _'Aquaman' has alrea...
- 12/19/18--10:29: _This might be Sony'...
- 12/19/18--11:16: _Google released a '...
- 12/19/18--12:00: _Here's how 'Mary Po...
- 12/19/18--12:46: _Marvel leads the mo...
- 12/19/18--21:00: _She helped SurveyMo...
- 12/20/18--03:00: _Ad-tech companies a...
- 12/20/18--07:31: _'Aquaman' director ...
- 12/20/18--09:11: _The 'Spider-Man' su...
- 12/20/18--10:27: _Alamo Drafthouse's ...
- 12/20/18--10:36: _The 9 most popular ...
- 12/20/18--13:09: _Stephen King was 'r...
- 12/20/18--13:24: _'Fortnite' maker Ep...
- 12/20/18--15:44: _The founder of one ...
- 12/21/18--06:00: _Some upset MoviePas...
- 12/21/18--06:26: _Sebastian Stan talk...
- 12/21/18--08:06: _Here's why HDR, not...
- 12/21/18--08:37: _'Aquaman' is alread...
- 12/21/18--08:43: _Why is the guy who ...
- 12/21/18--10:43: _Business Insider ra...
- "Aquaman" has already made over $266 million at the international box office, more than its estimated production budget of $160 million.
- Some of the pressure is off the movie as it enters its opening weekend in the US.
- 12/19/18--10:29: This might be Sony's first teaser for the PlayStation 5 (SNE)
- Sony's next PlayStation console is in the works. It's still unannounced, but all signs point to it being named "PlayStation 5."
- PlayStation fans spotted a new theme on the PlayStation 4 that they say teases a PlayStation 5.
- The tease, they contend, is in a tiny detail: The "S" in PlayStation looks a lot like a "5," but it looks different in the word "Holidays."
- Google has released the perfect holiday ad: a "Home Alone" remake featuring a 38-year-old Macaulay Culkin.
- The ad includes a series of nostalgic scenes from the '90s classic movie.
- Of course there were updates in the 2018 rendition featuring Google Home products and their capabilities.
- 12/19/18--12:00: Here's how 'Mary Poppins' changed the course of film history forever
- "Mary Poppins," the 1964 Disney film about a flying, magical nanny isn't just a beloved classic — it's a monumental movie in the history of filmmaking.
- The film is regarded as Walt Disney's crowning live-action achievement, as the only Disney film to ever be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in his lifetime.
- What's often overlooked is that the film was also that year's Oscar winner for Best Visual Effects.
- To bring "Mary Poppins" to life, Disney hired the engineer and inventor, Petro Vlahos. His innovation eventually became the basis of the modern green screen.
- IMDb released its list of the most anticipated movies of 2019.
- The list includes Marvel blockbusters "Captain Marvel" and "Avengers: Endgame," as well as the next films from acclaimed filmmakers Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese.
- Teresa Brewer is joining Roblox as its new VP of corporate communications.
- Brewer is most recently of SurveyMonkey, where she helped guide it to IPO. Before that, she had a 12-year stint at Apple that included the launch of the iPhone and App Store.
- Roblox, a gaming platform with 70 million monthly active users, was most recently valued at $2.5 billion in a funding round in September.
- Brewer says she's excited to work with the mostly-younger developers who make games for Roblox.
- OTT advertising is hot for ad-tech companies vying for big budgets as marketers shift dollars from linear TV to connected TV devices.
- But there are also a growing number of challenges that advertisers are still trying to solve like ad fraud, frequency capping, and low-quality creative.
- Analytics firm Pixalate estimates that 19% of OTT ads are fraudulent.
- These challenges threaten to limit the $70 billion TV industry's ability to capitalize on shifting viewing habits.
- They serve a video ad using real-time bidding so that an ad plays during a break in the content, much like how programmatic display advertising works.
- They use server-side ad insertion (or SSAI), which queues up ads to a server as soon as someone starts watching a video so there's no buffering or lag time waiting for an ad to load.
- One entertaining moment of "Aquaman" is when the Pitbull song "Ocean to Ocean" appears as actors Jason Momoa and Amber Heard walk out of the ocean in slow motion.
- Director James Wan told Business Insider why the song, which features a cover of Toto's "Africa" in the hook, was placed in that scene.
- The smash-hit "Spider-Man" game for the PlayStation 4 offers a ton of different suits for Spider-Man to wear while beating up bad guys and swinging through Manhattan.
- Despite this, fans have been clamoring for one particular suit for months: The suit worn by Spidey in the "Spider-Man" films starring Tobey Maguire.
- The suit — known as the "Raimi suit" because of film director Sam Raimi — was added to the game on Thursday. It's a free addition for anyone who owns the game.
- Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League talked to Business Insider about his Drafthouse Recommends series, which has given a box-office bump to some of the most popular independent films of the last year.
- The last six titles that have received the "Recommends" tag, including "Eighth Grade" and "Won't You Be My Neighbor?," had a dramatic increase in per-theater average box-office gross at Drafthouse theaters compared to the national per-theater average.
- The latest Recommends title, "The Favourite," is continuing that trend as Drafthouse's per-theater average is +123% compared to the national per-theater average, according to figures Drafthouse provided to Business Insider.
- 12/20/18--10:36: The 9 most popular TV shows of 2018, according to Nielsen ratings
- Nielsen released its list of the year's highest-rated shows this week.
- "Roseanne" reigned supreme despite controversy surrounding the show's star, Roseanne Barr, earlier this year.
- "The Big Bang Theory" and "This Is Us" also made the list, as did newcomers like NBC's "Manifest."
- Stephen King praised Netflix's new thriller, "Bird Box," on Thursday, and said he was "riveted" by the movie.
- He also called out critics for having what he called "Netflix Prejudice," as the movie has a 63% Rotten Tomatoes critic score.
- Critics have given positive reviews to other Netflix movies this year, including "Cam," "Roma," and "Private Life."
- "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star Alfonso Ribeiro — along with rapper 2Milly and Russell "Backpack Kid" Horning — is suing Epic Games.
- At the heart of the litigation are accusations that "Fortnite" stole dance moves from each of the three.
- It sounds like the trio of lawsuits is just the beginning. "Every day we're getting calls about what's going on," David Hecht, the lawyer representing three celebrities in their suits against Epic Games, told Business Insider on Thursday.
- Popdog is a new company focused on building partnerships within the video gaming, live streaming and esports industries.
- The company is led by CEO Alexander Garfield, the former owner of GoodGame, one of the most successful esports companies in the industry's brief history.
- Popdog will consolidate top gaming influencer brand Loaded, the eSports division of Catalyst Sports & Media, and Twitch analytics platform NoScope.
- Popdog is launching with a $9 million Series A funding round led by Makers Fund, with participation by Korea Investment Partners.
- Some MoviePass users have found it difficult to cancel the service.
- Business Insider has been contacted by 17 MoviePass users since the beginning of November who have complained they are having trouble canceling, with some receiving an error message when attempting it.
- "We identified and resolved an issue impacting a small number of users who are facing difficulty canceling their subscriptions," MoviePass said when asked to comment for this story.
- Sebastian Stan talked to Business Insider about playing opposite Nicole Kidman in the crime thriller, "Destroyer."
- This follows the strong supporting role he did in last year's Oscar-winning movie, "I, Tonya."
- Stan opened up about the challenge of finding good leading-man roles.
- And he had some fun with us when we brought up his Marvel Cinematic Universe character, Bucky Barnes.
- "4K" is the latest buzzword with TVs.
- Most advertising would have you think that 4K is akin to the leap we made from standard to high-definition TVs, but that's not totally true.
- Instead, when you're buying your next TV, there's another feature you should be more focused on: HDR.
- "Aquaman" made $9 million in Thursday night previews and has made a total of $13.7 million in preview screenings in the US.
- That's on par with the Thursday previews of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and "Doctor Strange," and slightly behind "Venom" and "Wonder Woman."
- "Aquaman" will get a boost from the five-day holiday weekend, and looks to lead the competition of "Mary Poppins Returns" and "Bumblebee."
- "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" actor Alfonso Ribeiro is suing "Fortnite" maker Epic Games.
- The lawsuit accuses Epic Games of misappropriating Ribeiro's iconic dance from the "Fresh Prince," often known as "The Carlton."
- "The right of publicity claim that we have is that these celebrities have the right to control their likeness commercially," Ribeiro's lawyer told Business Insider. "This is the kind of movement — a dance — that is inextricably linked to individual artists."
- 12/21/18--10:43: Business Insider ranks the 11 best movies of 2018
Warner Bros. bet that its latest DC Comics superhero movie, "Aquaman," would make a splash in China, and that bet paid off.
"Aquaman" has grossed more than $266 million internationally, and its estimated production budget was $160 million, according to IMDb Pro. The movie opens in the US this weekend and is already outpacing "Wonder Woman" in Fandango presale tickets.
"Wonder Woman" opened with $103 million in the US, and while Warner Bros. is estimating $65 million for "Aquaman," industry projections put it at $120 million over the five-day holiday from Friday to Christmas, according to Box Office Mojo.
When "Aquaman" premiered in China two weeks ago, it made $94 million in its opening weekend and was the biggest movie in the world. Since then, it has since grossed a total of $189 million there, according to Box Office Mojo. The following week, the movie rolled out to more than 40 more international markets, including the UK, Russia, Mexico, and Brazil.
It's rare for a Hollywood movie to open in China before the US, but the international box office, particularly China, has become essential for blockbusters. And China has shown a willingness this month to approve more imported movies as it looks to reach its box-office goal by the end of the year.
"I'm a little bit surprised," director James Wan told Business Insider of the movie's success in China. "But I knew the movie was designed to be a movie that is one for the whole family. And it's an action movie, it's fantasy — it's got all these elements that I think travel well internationally. So from that respect, I'm not surprised. But I am surprised by how incredible the word of mouth has been over there. It's been amazing."
After the disappointing performance of "Justice League," the pressure was suddenly on "Aquaman" to steer Warner Bros.' DC Comics franchise in a new direction, and rolling the movie out in a nontraditional way has certainly helped raise its profile.
As Exhibitor Relations tweeted following the movie's China premiere, "Monsters and mayhem—just the sort of movie that slays in China." Other examples this year include two movies starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson — "Rampage" and "Skyscraper" — which were labeled as failures in the US but became success stories after opening in China.
Now, some of that pressure is off "Aquaman." The movie is entering its US opening weekend with already more than $250 million to its name and a 68% Rotten Tomatoes critic score — decent compared to the 40% "Justice League" garnered.
Is Sony beginning to tease the PlayStation 5? Maybe.
PlayStation fans certainly seem to think so, and they're pointing to a very specific clue as evidence. It all starts with the annual holiday theme that Sony sent out to PlayStation 4 owners:
The theme is free for PlayStation 4 owners who opt in to Sony's "special offers and promos" emails — a little bonus for attentive Sony fans.
Notably, the "S" in "Holidays" looks like a pretty normal version of the letter "S." Keep that in mind, as it's the central argument that Sony is teasing the PlayStation 5 with its 2018 holiday theme.
Now, let's look closer at the other element of the theme:
The "S" in "PlayStation" looks a lot more like the number "5" than the other version of the letter "S" in the word "Holidays."
That's pretty much it!
Whether this directly teases the PlayStation 5 is unknown — 2018 is also the five-year anniversary of the PlayStation 4's launch in 2013. What is clear is that the "S" in PlayStation looks a lot like the number five, and it's not just a measure of the typeface being used.
Sony has yet to officially announce a successor to the PlayStation 4, but Sony execs have spoken about one being in the works.
"It's necessary to have a next-generation hardware," Sony president Kenichiro Yoshida said in an interview in October. Previously, in May, PlayStation head John Kodera spoke of ongoing work on the next PlayStation console that would take another several years to complete — that would put the PlayStation 5 in a 2021 launch window.
Representatives for Sony didn't respond to a request for comment as of publishing.
The ad starts off with Culkin, who plays the infamous Kevin McCallister, checking his Google Home Hub for the day's schedule.
"Hey, Google. What's on my calendar today?" Culkin asks.
Google Assistant replies: "You have one event called, 'House to yourself.'"
That sets off a series of nostalgic scenes from the '90s classic that Culkin and Google nailed, from the pizza delivery ("Keep the change, ya filthy animal!") to "Operation Kevin" with mannequins dancing in the living room.
Of course the updated 2018 version had a cardboard cutout of Kevin Durant instead of Michael Jordan, and the cutout was moving around on a Roomba, not an electric toy train.
Here's a look at "Home Alone Again."
Also, here's a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the ad that shows how many details the Google remake got right.
The scene you're about to watch is perhaps one of the most important and influential sequences in the history of cinema. Okay, this could use some explanation. This is a scene from "Mary Poppins," a 1964 classic directed by Robert Stevenson. It's a film often regarded as Walt Disney's crowning live-action achievement, being the only Disney film to ever be nominated for Best Picture in his lifetime. But there's something else that's often overlooked about this film. It was also that year's winner for Best Visual Effects. Now for a film featuring a magical flying nanny, you might not find that to be surprising at all. But it's this overlooked achievement that helped "Mary Poppins" change the course of film history forever.
Like all forms of art, films have always relied heavily on bringing our imaginations to life. As films evolved, this posed a great challenge for early filmmakers. Imagination had no boundaries but film did. At the time at least. Early on, simple camera tricks were used to make the impossible look possible. George Méliès, one of the first pioneers in visual effects used a technique known as double exposure mattes to achieve this feat over a hundred years ago. A man with multiple heads. He did it by putting a glass panel in front of the camera and painting black marks over specific sections to block the light. He would then rewind the film, and set up an opposite matte to fill in these blanks individually. Then voila! Despite its many limitations, the double exposure mattes were used for many years, until something a little more familiar to us arrived on the scene.
This is the blue screen, developed by Lawrence Butler and it looks and works similar to the green screen we use today. With the arrival of color films, Butler realized he could put a subject in front of a specific color, then remove that exact color to isolate a subject from its background. The isolated subjects would then be placed on top of a pre-shot background known as a plate to create a single seamless image. This is the start of what we now commonly know as chroma key. This method was first used in 1940 for the film "Thief of Baghdad" but it also came with many issues. The color blue was selected mainly because it was a color farthest from the skin tone. But this meant that any costumes or props with a blue hue would simply blend in and disappear with the background. And if the lighting wasn't perfect, it would end in these blue halos that you see around the actors.
So when Walt Disney acquired the live-action film rights to "Mary Poppins," they wanted to take the opportunity to push the technology even further. Especially for one particular sequence, where live-action footage merges with Disney's classic hand-drawn animations for over 16 minutes. But instead of hiring a special effects artist for the job, Disney instead asked for help from the engineer and inventor Petro Vlahos.
So, what did Vlahos do to begin? Well he got rid of the blue screen. Fully aware of its limitations, he sought for another color to replace it. His answer? Yellow! Well, more specifically, the yellow hue from sodium gas. The same light you see in street lamps. Vlahos knew that sodium gas produces light at a very exact wavelength, 589 nanometers. In comparison the blue used in blue screen ranges from 435 to 500 nanometers. By shrinking the range of wavelengths, Vlahos knew he could greatly improve the accuracy when isolating a subject. This already solved many problems from its predecessor. For one, things didn't have to be lit as perfectly. And there were no limitations on the colors of props or costumes. For example, Dick Van Dyke could wear this blue bow tie and socks, and because sodium gas emits a very specific hue of yellow, he was also able to wear a blazer with yellow stripes. To achieve the effect, the actors would stand in front of a white screen lit by a yellow hue from sodium vapor lights, hence its name, the sodium vapor process. Unlike the blue screen, which required tampering with actual film strips to achieve the effect, Vlahos' method was completely within the camera. He did this by creating a unique prism that was designed to isolate the 589 nanometer hue from the rest of the colors. This simplified the process of creating a more accurate matte, the silhouette image that's vital to the process. The result was astounding. Even by today's standards, it's difficult to find a fault. Isolating a more specific range of wavelength allowed for a crisper image, practically eliminating the halo effect of the blue screens. You need to look no further than this veil that Julie Andrews is wearing to see how impressive this technology really was. Up until then, isolating a material as fine as a veil was deemed impossible until Vlahos' new invention. And it was this technological marvel that earned Vlahos the Oscar for Visual Effects. There was an issue, however. Despite multiple attempts to replicate it, Vlahos could only create just one working prism which meant there was only one sodium vapor camera, in the entire world. After showing its capabilities in "Mary Poppins," other studios and filmmakers fought to use it. And this single technique would go on to be used for almost 40 years, in notable films like Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and the original "Pete's Dragon."
After the success of "Mary Poppins," Vlahos would go on to further develop and improve the chroma key process. The result was what eventually became the basis of the modern green screen. For this reason, Vlahos is often regarded as the man who made the modern blockbuster possible. Without Disney's gamble and Vlahos' ingenuity and innovation, we might have never seen "Mary Poppins" on the silver screen, not to mention films like "Star Wars" or "Jurassic Park." With "Mary Poppins," Vlahos not only gifted generations of people with one of the most beloved classics of our time, but a legacy that can make all of our wildest imaginations come true.
2018 has been a record year at the box office, which has hit $11 billion in the US. That will be hard to top, but some highly anticipated blockbusters await audiences in 2019.
IMDb released its list of the 10 most anticipated movies of 2019 this week, and the next entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, "Captain Marvel" and "Avengers: Endgame," top it.
IMDb said that these 10 movies were "consistently most popular with IMDb users as determined by the actual page views of the more than 250 million monthly unique visitors to IMDb worldwide."
The list also includes the long-awaited new movies from acclaimed filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino.
Notably absent from the list, though, are movies expected to be major hits, like Disney's live-action remake of "The Lion King" and "Star Wars: Episode IX."
Below are IMDb's 10 most anticipated movies of 2019:
10. "Hellboy" — April 12
Director Guillermo del Toro and star Ron Perlman served fans two movies in 2004 and 2008 based on Dark Horse Comics' most popular property, about a demon summoned to Earth by Nazis. In 2019, director Neil Marshall and "Stranger Things" actor David Harbour will take the character by the horns for a fresh reboot.
9. "Aladdin" — May 24
Disney is releasing three live-action remakes of animated classics in 2019, but one made the cut on this list: "Aladdin." Mena Massoud plays Aladdin, Naomi Scott plays Jasmine, and Will Smith takes over the role of the Genie, voiced by Robin Williams in the 1992 original.
8. "Joker" — October 4
Joaquin Phoenix will play Batman's greatest foe in this origin story directed by "The Hangover" director Todd Phillips. The movie has no connection to the larger DC Extended Universe, where Jared Leto played the Joker most recently in "Suicide Squad."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
When Teresa Brewer told her 7-year-old son that she was joining Roblox as its new VP of corporate communications, his reaction was memorable.
"His look was — I'm going to categorize it as 'pride,'" Brewer told Business Insider. "That, in a nutshell, is how I'm feeling about [the new job]."
Brewer is joining Roblox after a two-year stint at SurveyMonkey— the well-known online polling company, which she helped guide towards a blockbuster debut on the public markets in September. Before that, Brewer was at Apple for 12 years, where she was a senior PR manager involved with the launch of the iPhone, and, later, the App Store.
If you're unfamiliar with Roblox, it's likely that you don't have any kids in your life. At last count, Roblox had 70 million active monthly players, many of whom skew on the under-18 side, putting it in a league with juggernauts like "Minecraft" and "Fortnite." In September, Roblox raised a round of funding valuing the company at $2.5 billion.
Unlike its peers, however, Roblox is almost entirely created by its users. All 40 million Roblox games, including huge hits like "MeepCity," were made by its base of mostly younger independent developers. If a player chooses to spend the premium virtual Robux currency — which costs real money — in a game, the developer gets a cut. Some of those young developers have become millionaires and moguls in their own right.
Brewer says that it's this element that ultimately drew her towards Roblox. During her time at Apple, she says, she crossed paths with plenty of developers who were energized to be working with its platform. Thanks to the "great growth" of Roblox, she now has a similar opportunity to work with passionate independent developers, she says. Besides, she notes, before she went to Apple, she spent some time in Sony's PlayStation video gaming division.
"It really extends what you get to work on as a communications professional," says Brewer. "I love to see the creativity that you see in developers."
Ultimately, she says, she appreciates that Roblox is mature enough to be an established brand with a seasoned leadership team, but also, at a moment where it's seeing user growth and investor interest. It's an opportunity she likens to the atmosphere at SurveyMonkey when she joined in 2016.
"It's an opportunity to really build something out," says Brewer.
When Brewer officially starts in the role in early January, she says she already has at least one priority mapped out: Working with parents. She says that her own son loves Roblox so much, it's made him want to code his own iPhone games. In an effort to understand it better, she says she did her own research into Roblox — research that made her more excited about the game. In that same way, she wants to work on spreading the word to more parents.
"As I became educated about [Roblox], I thought, there's a lot of opportunity here," says Brewer.
Ad-tech companies are scrambling to get into over-the-top advertising and chasing marketers' lucrative TV ad budgets. But OTT isn't quite ready for primetime with advertisers.
Tech companies are aggressively pushing into TV and view the $70 billion industry as ripe for changes in using digital data to better target and measure TV ads. For example, The Trade Desk has hooked its programmatic pipes into Hulu, Roku and Sony's Crackle to sell automated ads. And Pixalate has shifted focus from sniffing out fraud on websites and apps to connected devices. All told, ad-buying firm Magna Global expects OTT to generate $2 billion this year, up 40% from last year.
However, a growing number of challenges — supply shortage, fraud, brand safety, limited data, a lack of production standards — threaten to limit the flow of ad dollars into streaming TV.
“We've definitely seen an increase in fraud being mentioned — either detection methods or ways of preventing than we have in years past,” Eric Kirtcheff, SVP of global ad operations at Essence, told Business Insider. “There's been more light shined on the darker places of the internet, especially this quarter. There's still some work to be done."
At stake are big dollars for TV networks and publishers. Cord-cutting continues to grow and advertisers are increasingly asking for new tools to measure how effective their TV commercials are. As more viewing moves to connected TVs, media companies like Hulu and NBCUniversal are increasingly selling ads programatically.
OTT has a scale problem
Some agencies say that the demand for OTT inventory is outpacing supply, which is bad for advertisers and viewers alike — at least when it comes to high-quality, TV-like shows.
Kirtcheff said sellers try to make the most out of their premium video by bundling it with inventory that doesn't sell as well. The result is that OTT inventory is typically sold in bundles of web video packages that run across devices, web and mobile, so advertisers can't pinpoint the OTT inventory they're buying.
"We have all this sophisticated technology — pacing algorithms, frequency capping, audience targeting — but still my friends and family ask, 'Why do I see the same ad over and over on my OTT device?'" said Lexie Pike, product marketing manager at Brightcove, during the IAB Tech Lab's Video Summit conference in New York last week. Brightcove provides cloud software to publishers for serving video ads.
Targeting is harder with OTT advertising than display ads
With digital advertising, ad-tech companies target ads based on anonymous device IDs that house information on viewers' location, browsing history and interest. The targeting parameters are only based on data pulled from one device, meaning that advertisers can try to tailor specific messaging and creative to specific users.
OTT gets more complicated because website-tracking cookies are not as commonly used. Third-party data companies like Acxiom, Neustar and Nielsen Catalina power a large bulk of digital ads, but OTT advertisers can only use some of this data, according to the IAB.
Plus, people watch TV together, which can thwart precise one-to-one targeting.
"There isn't always a one-to-one match between device and person," said Craig Berlingo, vice president of product at Telaria, which provides software for publishers to use to manage and monetize their video content. "When you're on the phone, a device is a person. If there's three people sitting on the couch watching Roku, that is lost on keeping that device ID as one person."
Content is getting tougher to police
Similar to how advertisers have struggled to control ad placements and fraud in digital advertising, they're having the same challenge in OTT. Several sources said it's hard to say how big of a problem brand safety is in OTT because of how big the space is becoming. Roku's app store, for example, has more than 5,000 channels, up from 4,500 channels in 2017. In addition to channels from major broadcasters like CBS, Bravo and Fox, there are also channels that only only stream belly-dancing content or DogTV, which describes itself as a "TV channel for dogs when home alone."
That makes OTT a bit of a black box for advertisers.
“Given the fragmented nature of inventory and the lack of serving standards, consistent measurement is still challenging within OTT,” said Rob Auger, SVP of media technology at Digitas. "It’s less likely that bots are taking over your Hulu account, and more likely that fraudsters are mislabeling low-quality web impressions as premium CTV inventory.”
With linear TV, publishers control the order and frequency that commercials run since they're organized into so-called pods. Similar to display advertising, streaming TV ads are purchased programmatically, making it harder for advertisers to control where their ads run.
Telaria's Berlingo said the lack of control means that his firm and others will often call publishers to hash out which ads run where — much like how TV ad pods are put together. Ironically, the back-and-forth defeats the idea that digital streaming ads are easier to target than TV ads.
"If you have a high-quality show, you don't want to have an ad that doesn't match," he said. "And from an advertiser perspective, you don't want your ad to be shown next to a competitors.' There's a lot of passing back and forth."
OTT has an ad-fraud problem
OTT is lucrative for media sellers and ad-tech companies. Programmatic OTT ad rates can range from $18 to $40, said Mark Douglas, CEO of SteelHouse, an ad-tech firm that provides self-service media-buying tools to brands. Those rates are nearly double what networks charge in direct deals because they charge additional fees to move the ads into connected devices, and buyers are willing to pay up for the promise to better target TV ads.
The high rates are seen as temporary because networks are still figuring out how to serve ads within connected devices.
"When you buy CTV and OTT inventory, there's a network, theres a supply-side platform, there's a demand-side platform, there are a bunch of additional charges," he said. "I think that's a temporary blip and those additional layers are getting ejected to bring the price back in line with closer to what the network is actually charging."
Meantime, these high CPMs attract fraudsters, said Amy King, VP of product at Pixalate, an analytics firm that specializes in uncovering ad fraud. The company estimates that 19% of OTT ads sold through programmatic pipes are invalid.
Fraudsters steal ad dollars two main ways, according to King:
Different methods are needed to detect fraud in SSAI than they are in the rest of OTT and the display, video, mobile world, she said.
For example, fraudsters can create fake IP addresses to create a spike in video ad impressions, or "device farms," which are similar to click farms that generate non-human traffic to devices. Even with TVs turned off, ads in the background can continuously load in the background for hours.
Thousands of apps are ripe for fraud because fraudsters can change the names and IDs of their apps. For example, if a marketer wants to advertise in an app, it's hard to know if the app is actually the same from one device to the next, King said.
OTT shrinks ads into digital formats
While TV ads are full-screen, OTT ads are often digital ads repurposed for streaming TV and don't render well on bigger screens.
"If it's pixelated or if an advertiser used an ad that's meant for a phone and then it's three feet tall [on a screen], that's not going to work," said Telaria's Berlingo.
Likewise, OTT's lack of standards frustrates production companies.
People who work in post-production roles are often the last set of eyes to see a commercial or show before it is sent to a network or streaming service. Then the media distributor will work with the post-production company on edits before it runs. With OTT, the same piece of work is often sent to multiple distributors, each with its own requirements for specs like the size of a pixel or audio level.
Trade organizations like the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Ad-ID are working to create standards for production companies. The goal is to create a digital version of a "mezzanine" file, which serves as a master file format for all television content.
Danny Rosenbloom, vp of post production and digital affairs at the AICP, called during the IAB event for industry-wide production standards. AICP represents post-production companies like MediaMonks, Bob Industries and Epoch Media Group.
"Often in the process of delivering work, our members will receive two or three different audio files, one based on on one standard, one based on another, and the reliance is on the people on the receiving end of those files to figure out which one goes with which," he said. "That's a recipe for disaster — if someone puts a web [audio] mix on a spot for broadcast, it's going to be too high."
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“Aquaman” is being praised the world over for bringing the DC Comic superhero to the big screen in a fun, CGI-fueled way. But the cherry on top is the out-of-left-field drop of the Pitbull song “Ocean to Ocean” in the middle of the movie.
In a shot that you can’t help but howl with laughter at, Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) emerge out of the crashing waves from the depths of the sea in slow motion while the bass-heavy “Ocean to Ocean” track plays. In the song, Pitbull raps about the plot of the movie (“They tried to get rid of me, but from ocean to ocean, they gonna have to deal with me”) followed by the hook which is a cover of Toto’s classic “Africa.”
But the song leaves as quickly as it appears, with Aquaman and Mera setting off in search of the Trident of Atlan. And the audience is left wondering what just happened.
Business Insider got a little insight on the origin of the “Ocean to Ocean” sequence from "Aquaman" director, James Wan, who said it was written for the movie before Pitbull signed on to record it.
“And putting the song in the sequence where Aquaman and Mera walk out of the water in slow motion, I felt: For f---'s sake, let's have fun with it! It's something out of ‘Fast and Furious.’”
That's a tone Wan is very familiar with. He directed 2015’s “Furious 7,” which to date is the highest-grossing movie of that franchise.
“Pitbull was in there very early on,” Wan said of signing on to do the song. “He was really excited to do something for the film. That sequence is very tongue-in-cheek, and we just wanted to have fun with it. And we wanted a cheeky song at that point of the movie. I just wasn't sure what song it was going to be.”
But when he heard the Pitbull song, featuring the hook sung by Rhea, he knew right away he had his song.
“Aquaman” opens in theaters on Friday.
The wait is over, "Spider-Man" fans: The suit from the Spidey films starring Tobey Maguire is now part of "Spider-Man" on PlayStation 4.
Moreover, the suit is outright free for anyone who already purchased the game. The game's maker, Insomniac Games, calls it "a special holiday gift" for the millions of people who purchased "Spider-Man" on PlayStation 4.
Here's how it looked on Mr. Maguire way back in the early 2000s:
And here's how it looks in "Spider-Man" on PlayStation 4:
The suit is one of dozens that Spidey can wear in the game, but this particular one — known as the "Raimi suit" due to its origin in director Sam Raimi's trilogy of "Spider-Man" films — has been a point of contention among fans.
As recently as two weeks ago, fans were demanding answers from the game's developer on Twitter about the whereabouts of the suit.
"Come on, Insomniac. You said you were listening," one Twitter user wrote with an image of Maguire's "Spider-Man" attached. "Listening doesn’t mean we always will do what people tell us to," the Insomniac Games Twitter account responded. "We hear you. Hearing doesn’t mean we always act or follow."
The vocal demand for the Raimi suit in "Spider-Man" on PS4 has become the most recent example of game fans making demands of game makers. It's especially stark in the case of "Spider-Man," given the game's popularity among both critics and consumers — the game is a rare example of overdelivering on value.
Since it launched in September, there have been several free additions made to "Spider-Man." The latest addition is the so-called Raimi suit.
"Just know things take a LONG time sometimes (months and months!) and even then go down to the literal wire," Insomniac Games community director James Stevenson tweeted on Thursday. "We obviously never stopped listening."
The new suit is said to be available in an update on Thursday.
Theaters recommending movies to patrons is nothing new. But like most things done by the independently owned movie chain, Alamo Drafthouse, its recommendations have proven to be a major success. Drafthouse's recommendations initiative has led to a nice spike in business and more box-office coin in the pockets of distributors releasing the movies.
"Drafthouse Recommends" was the brainchild of the chain’s founder and CEO, Tim League. In the last two decades, League has expanded the company to 36 locations in 10 states. But he said he wanted to keep a sense of authenticity and give independent films more exposure, like when Drafthouse was just a single theater in Austin, Texas.
"Drafthouse Recommends is the driving factor of me feeling comfortable and getting excited about expanding Alamo beyond Austin," League told Business Insider.
In those early days in Austin in the late 1990s, League said the goal was just getting the distributors of smaller films to do more than play a one-week run of the movie. But as Drafthouse began expanding to other states, so did League's ambition. In 2012, he said he was so knocked out by the mix of insanity and beauty in Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers” that it inspired him to finally pull the trigger and start a series in which the chain put its stamp of approval on unique titles.
“It was coming up with a brand that hopefully would be meaningful over the years," League said. "Only movies that we were passionate about and thought were special would ever have that branding."
Since then, the handpicked Drafthouse Recommends tag has grown to become a sign of cinematic excellence to the rabid Drafthouse patrons across the country.
Titles that have gotten the honor over the years include "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Boyhood," "Anomalisa," "Swiss Army Man," "Get Out," and "The Florida Project."
And the last six straight Drafthouse Recommends titles have performed better on a per-theater average than the national per-theater average, according to box office figures Drafthouse provided Business Insider.
Here’s a breakdown, starting with the Oscar-winning "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" and ending with Amazon's "Suspiria."
League attributed the success of Recommends in the last year to the authentic way the brand has been built. There are no dedicated times a Recommends title is chosen. It's only when League and the five others who make up the selection group are passionate about an upcoming release and believe it's worthy. Drafthouse has certified about half a dozen titles on average the last few years.
"We haven't led them astray," he said of Drafthouse's patrons. "It's like, 'I trusted them on "Anomalisa," so I'm going to trust them now.'"
That seems to be the case with the most recent title given the Recommends stamp, "The Favourite." Yorgos Lanthimos' Oscar contender starring Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz has brought in a $34,644 per-theater average at Drafthouse versus the $15,537 national per-theater average (that's +123%), according to figures sent to Business Insider by Drafthouse.
League said he hopes going forward this continued trust will lead to Drafthouse audiences extending further from their comfort zones. The one type of film League wants to champion more with Recommends is foreign-language films.
"I think those are the toughest films we do," he said. "I'm passionate about getting a younger audience into foreign-language films."
Despite its cancellation earlier this year, the short-lived "Roseanne" reboot still came out on top as 2018's biggest show.
Nielsen released its list of the year's highest-rated shows this week, and the usual suspects like "This Is Us and "The Big Bang Theory" were also included. NBC's new drama, "Manifest," which premiered in September, also crept onto the list.
"Roseanne" held tight the entire year as the biggest show of 2018 since it premiered in March. The revival was quickly canceled after one season after the show's star Roseanne Barr tweeted a racist remark at former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. It was replaced with a spin-off named "The Conners," which premiered in October to lower, but not bad, ratings.
Meanwhile, "The Big Bang Theory" entered its 12th and final season this year with the usual strong numbers, and its prequel, "Young Sheldon," continued to be a hit for CBS, as well.
We did not include NBC's Sunday Night Football in this list, which ranked second in Nielsen's list of top 10 shows.
Below are the nine biggest shows of 2018, according to Nielsen ratings:
9. "Bull" — CBS
Average viewers: 13.5 million
Summary: "Stars Michael Weatherly as Dr. Jason Bull in a drama inspired by the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw, the founder of one of the most prolific trial consulting firms of all time."
8. "America's Got Talent" (Tuesdays) — NBC
Average viewers: 14.3 million
Summary: "The all-new winter edition of TV’s No. 1 alternative series, "America's Got Talent: The Champions," premieres Monday, January 7 at 8/7c.
The series, from NBC, Fremantle and Syco Entertainment, will feature the star-studded judges panel from "America's Got Talent" - Executive Producer Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel - as well as Host Terry Crews, co-star of NBC’s "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."
7. "The Good Doctor" — ABC
Average viewers: 14.5 million
Summary: "Freddie Highmore plays Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital's surgical unit."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Stephen King praised Netflix's latest thriller, "Bird Box," on Thursday, but he had less kind things to say about critics reviewing the movie.
King tweeted, "I was absolutely riveted by BIRD BOX (Netflix). Don’t believe the lukewarm reviews, which may in part have been caused by reviewers' ambivalence to the streaming platform, as opposed to theatrical releases."
He added, "One might say movie reviewers suffer from the dread NP syndrome: Netflix Prejudice."
"Bird Box," which is available to stream on Friday, stars Sandra Bullock as a mother trying to protect her two children in the aftermath of a deadly force wiping out much of society. The catch: If you see it, you die.
King has praised other Netflix shows and movies this year, such as the hit horror series, "The Haunting of Hill House," which he called "close to a work of genius," and Blumhouse's psychological-thriller movie, "Cam," which has a 93% Rotten Tomatoes critic score.
"Bird Box" has a less impressive 63% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, but besides "Cam," critics have been generous to other Netflix movies this year, as well. Alfonso Cuarón's Oscar hopeful "Roma" is one of the best reviewed films of the year with a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. "The Kindergarten Teacher" and "Private Life" have 89% and 94%, respectively.
As it seeks to compete during awards season, Netflix gave an exclusive theatrical run to "Bird Box," "Roma," and the Coen Brothers' "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" earlier this year before they became available to stream. It was a rare move for Netflix, as the company's original-film strategy is usually "day and date," meaning the movies become available to stream on the same day they are released to theaters.
A trio of celebrities are each suing "Fortnite" maker Epic Games for what they say is intellectual property theft.
At the heart of the litigation is dance moves: Many of the in-game dances that have become a signature of "Fortnite" are based on existing dances. And the three people suing Epic Games claim to have created some of the dances that are in the game.
Most iconic of all is Alfonso Ribeiro's dance from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" — often known as "The Carlton" — which shows up in "Fortnite" as "Fresh."
And it sounds like Ribeiro, rapper 2Milly, and Instagram star Russell "Backpack Kid" Horning aren't the only three celebrities looking askance at "Fortnite" maker Epic Games, according to the lawyer representing all three.
"Every day we're getting calls about what's going on," David Hecht of law firm Pierce Bainbridge told Business Insider in a phone interview on Thursday. "From artists, from other types of people — obviously from people whose likeness appears in the game ['Fortnite']."
It's not clear who Hecht is referring to, but a quick look through the many dances in "Fortnite" offers a few potential examples.
Should I Sue Fortnite Or Nah🤔— BlocBoy JB (@BlocBoy_JB) December 20, 2018
Rapper BlocBoy JB, whose dance moves in his video "Shoot" seemingly influenced the "Hype" emote, is openly considering litigation.
Whether celebrities like Julia Louis-Dreyfus (whose famous dance appears to have inspired "Jubilation" in "Fortnite") and Psy (whose "Gangnam Style" dance bears a striking resemblance to "Ride the Pony") will pursue litigation with Epic Games remains to be seen, but Hecht says his firm is focusing primarily on two groups: "African-American talent, as well as Korean (K-pop) talent — those are the main groups."
For now, with potential litigation still pending, Hecht isn't discussing potential clients. "We're evaluating many, many different claims. And it's been very interesting, because people feel very wronged."
For its part, Epic Games isn't commenting on the ongoing litigation.
Three premiere esports entities have combined to form Popdog, a new company focused to build custom technology that suit the complex needs of the esports and live streaming industries.
The company is led by founder and CEO Alexander Garfield — best known for building two esports teams, Evil Geniuses and Alliance, into global powerhouses. Both teams were subsidiaries of Garfield's Good Game Agency, and helped him earn more prize money than any other individual owner in esports history. Garfield is making his return to esports after selling Good Game Agency to Twitch, a subsidiary of Amazon, in 2014.
In a letter on Popdog's website shared this week Garfield shared his reasoning for departing Twitch and founding Popdog. After working with Twitch for 18 months, Garfield says that he found himself unable to tackle the biggest issues that plagued the video game streaming space.
"So much about esports and live streaming has changed in the past four years, but so much still remains the same," Garfield said. "We're finally getting the attention we deserve, with record-breaking viewership numbers, countless societal figures participating and making investments, and more money flowing through the space than ever. And yet, despite this growth, our core problems persist. Industry businesses haven't found themselves yet, and still struggle to find focus in a world where the ground is shifting beneath their feet."
Popdog is launching with a $9 million Series A funding round led by Makers Fund, with participation by Korea Investment Partners.
“Makers Fund believes gaming influencers will usher a new era of growth and engagement in live, interactive entertainment,” Jay Chi, Founding Partner of Makers Fund, said in a statement. “Popdog is well positioned to pioneer new methods of engaging users and creating value for influencers and ecosystem stakeholders across the globe.”
This is the first institutional round of funding for Popdog. The funds will be used to support a number of key areas for Popdog, including new hires in technology, services, and product development, helping the company continue to innovate and expand its team and technology offerings for the gaming and entertainment industries.
Who is Popdog?
Ultimately, Popdog is a consultancy to help esports teams, companies, and influencers adopt new technology and make more money
The company features three key components at the outset: Loaded – a sales, creative and merchandising services brand representing popular players like Tyler "Ninja" Blevins and Guy "Dr. DisRespect" Beahm, and NoScope – an enterprise Twitch discovery and analytics solution team, are both now part of the Popdog ecosystem. Additionally, the esports division of advisory firm Catalyst Sports & Media is now also a part of Popdog.
The company co-founders and leadership team include several more esports industry experts and influencers.
Among them: Andreas Thorstensson, Popdog’s CTO and CPO, is a former Counter-Strike world champion who cofounded SK Gaming and SoGamed, a massively successful esports organization and social platform. Niles Heron, Popdog’s CSO, is a serial entrepreneur and startup consultant who has taught and mentored at startup accelerators likeTechStars, Gener8tor and Detroit’s TechTown. Colin DeShong, Popdog’s CCO and Garfield’s long-time business partner, is the former COO of GoodGame, Evil Geniuses, and Alliance.
“We’re building our company around the core belief that esports and gaming video content, born more from technology than any other sports or entertainment verticals we’ve seen, need better technology in order to be properly understood, monetized, and optimized," Garfield said in a statement.
"The industry needs a backend, and our mission is to be that backend by supporting the ecosystem as a whole with a comprehensive offering of technology and services."
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MoviePass, the embattled movie-ticket subscription service, sent out a bizarre apology email to customers last month (sent in the voice of a dog) promising to make the service "better and better," and saying it was listening to customer feedback.
Still, the company has been altering its product so much recently that some users have had enough, and are ready to cancel. And for some users who are simply fed up, canceling has proven difficult.
Business Insider has been contacted by 17 upset MoviePass customers since the beginning of November complaining that they were having problems canceling the service.
"We identified and resolved an issue impacting a small number of users who are facing difficulty canceling their subscriptions," MoviePass said in a statement when asked to comment for this story. "As always, we offer many other avenues for canceling your subscription including contacting customer service through the chat feature in our app or website or calling our customer service phone number located on the back of a user's MoviePass card."
Nine of the MoviePass users who reached out to Business Insider said they received an error message when they tried to cancel their subscription, as seen below:
In August, Business Insider reminded users who were having trouble canceling that they had to select a "Reason for cancellation" from the drop-down menu, which was a common reason for an error message. Since then, Business Insider has periodically received complaints from users who say they can't cancel, but the messages have been more consistent over the last month, as users are reaching out for further suggestions and claiming MoviePass has not been responsive.
Some users who reached out said they followed the steps recommended by Business Insider in the August article, but still had not been able to cancel.
"I’m on the MoviePass app and after I choose the reason for canceling and hit 'Cancel Membership' I get an error stating 'The operation couldn’t be completed,'" one user said.
"I've tried to cancel following all the steps listed in your article," another said. "Absolutely nothing happens. And I just got billed again today. I am ready to contact my bank and block further payments or even request a new card if that doesn't work."
MoviePass has faced controversy before regarding cancellations.
In August, some users who had canceled were finding themselves re-enrolled into the service, and couldn't cancel again when they tried. Some of those users received an email stating they had "confirmed" their new plan, and that their "opt-in to the new plan will take priority" over cancelling. At the time, MoviePass was implementing a new plan that kept the monthly price at $9.95, but limited users to three movies a month.
If you have a MoviePass story, contact the author at email@example.com.
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You know him best as Bucky Barnes (aka the Winter Soldier) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Sebastian Stan hopes you'll think of him as much more than that.
Stan already wowed audiences last year when he played Tonya Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, and he’s about to do it again playing a very different character in the crime drama, “Destroyer” (in theaters on Christmas Day).
Starring opposite Nicole Kidman, the two play young detectives who get carried away while working undercover, leading to a second act that focuses on Kidman's character years later. Sporting a super short haircut and tattoos, Stan once more plays a strong supporting role, and proves he can do more in movies than look mean fighting alongside the Avengers.
So when are the big leading man roles coming Stan’s way?
Business Insider talked to Stan about that, the steps he took to get in the role for "Destroyer," and “Avengers: Endgame.”
Jason Guerrasio: Were you as shocked to see how Nicole looks in the present day "Destroyer" footage as we were when that still of the movie came out?
Sebastian Stan: Yeah. I didn't have any scenes where she transformed. I didn't experience that firsthand. I only saw that photo once on the internet. It's really impressive. You are always inspired by those things. And now that we are doing press it's fascinating to listen to Nicole talk about her process and finding her way into the character. The whole thing to me is a science project. Not one choice wasn't well thought out. Those are my favorite kind of roles, when you can see someone extremely recognizable and you lose them in the role.
Guerrasio: Well, how was your process for this? You also had to get into a certain mindset.
Stan: On a much smaller scale than her, but it was a little similar. The great thing about the script is it didn't spell out who these people were. It didn't tell you much about where they came from or what their lives were outside of the job. So it allowed me to build a whole backstory on my own based on what the guy was doing in the story. Figuring out what kind of guy would lose himself in this scenario.
Guerrasio: Does that include going back and watching old cop movies?
Stan: On something like this you get a good excuse to go back and revisit projects that are inspiring. And I also met with an FBI agent in New York who is a family friend and was able to go through the script with him. That was really helpful because I really wanted to understand what it takes to become an undercover agent and what sort of training you would need. A lot of these guys sometimes have military training, other times they have training on the street. That was one of the decisions I was making with my guy. Ultimately he's somebody who is more at home while on the job rather than his real life. That's how it appeared to me. So I kind of created this backstory that he had a bad history with the law when he was younger and then wanting more structure in his life decided to join this line of work using his experience from his past. ["Destroyer" director] Karyn [Kusama] suggested I shave my head and we talked about the tattoos and finding a look for the guy. That was exciting, too.
Guerrasio: How you all play off each other in this movie is one of the thrills. Do things get competitive on set between actors on a movie as intense as this? Will seeing an actor really bringing it across from you make you pick up your game?
Stan: It happens on set. It happens in a way that can be healthy for the movie, and it can also happen in a way that's not healthy for the movie. We did not have that on this. And I think it's because you have good actors. This cast, the work speaks for itself. But when it's an intense scene some of us may keep our distance, but that's a level of respect. You're always coming from a level of honoring the other person and their process.
Guerrasio: This is the kind of story that's not told in movie form anymore. These crime thrillers are more and more finding their way to TV. So how bad did you want this role because on the movie side it's becoming more rare to do.
Stan: I wanted it very badly. I had done "I, Tonya," and that was a great experience and I loved every minute of it. I wanted to find a collaborative effort similar to that. But I really thought I wasn't going to find it. Then I found it with this. I wanted to be a part of it because I respected Karyn and Nicole and I just knew this was going to be a very specific movie.
Guerrasio: You've done some great supporting roles, are you gunning for lead actor parts?
Stan: Always. There were a couple of things that almost came my way that would have been great. The opportunity is there. I'm much more interested right now in working with a great director and on a great script and that's been a priority for me. But I'm looking all the time. Down the line I want to be remembered for being a part of specific works and visions of directors rather than a group of characters. I'm still figuring that out.
Guerrasio: Have to throw out some Bucky questions before I go. (Note: This interview was conducted before the “Avengers: Endgame” trailer was released.) Have you wrapped all your stuff on "Avengers 4"?
Stan: I haven't worked on anything since two years ago, so no. My character died in the last film. [laughs]
Guerrasio: Ok? How about this one: Are the reports true that you and Anthony Mackie are going to team up for a Winter Soldier/Falcon limited series on Disney+?
Stan: Anthony Mackie and I are going to try to revive "Beverly Hills Cop." We're trying to get Eddie Murphy, but he’s not calling us back. It's been difficult, but hey, you have to keep trying, right?
Guerrasio: I'm getting nowhere with you, am I?
SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know about HDR TV
First, it's important to understand what 4K really means.
Standard definition (SD), high definition (HD), and 4K (or Ultra HD) refer to a characteristic called resolution, or the number of pixels (or tiny display bits) that make up a display.
A common HDTV has a resolution of 1080p. In simple terms, it's 1,920 x 1,080 pixels: 1,920 pixels going across the display horizontally, and 1,080 pixels going across it vertically.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
"Aquaman" has already made more money than its production budget thanks to the international box office, and the DC Comics superhero movie is on its way to a big opening in the US, as well.
"Aquaman" made $9 million in Thursday night previews, and has made a total of $13.7 million in preview screenings in the US, according to the studio, Warner Bros.
For comparison, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" made $8.7 million on Thursday, and Marvel's "Doctor Strange" made $9.4 million. Those movies made $91.6 million and $85 million in their opening weekends, respectively.
"Aquaman" landed just behind other big superhero movies like "Venom" and "Wonder Woman" in Thursday night previews. "Venom" made $10 million on Thursday and went on to an $80 million opening weekend. "Wonder Woman" grossed $11 million in Thursday previews, and made $103 million in its opening.
But "Aquaman" will get a boost from the extended, five-day holiday weekend, and industry projections place it at $120 million. It's expected to win a competitive weekend against other big new releases like Disney's "Mary Poppins Returns" and the latest "Transformers" movie, "Bumblebee."
Warner Bros. released "Aquaman" two weeks ago in China, a rare move that has paid off. The movie has grossed $266 million internationally, $189 million of which has come from China.
"Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" actor Alfonso Ribeiro is one of three celebrities currently suing "Fortnite" maker Epic Games over dance moves.
All three claim that Epic Games took dances from them, re-created said dances in "Fortnite" as emotes, and profited from the sale of those emotes without compensating the original creators of the dance moves. In the case of Ribeiro, his dance from "Fresh Prince" is often referred to as "The Carlton" — a reference to the name of his character on the classic NBC sitcom.
Ribeiro has become associated with the dance, and even performed it in 2014 when he was on "Dancing With the Stars":
But it's not just about the dance, Ribeiro's lawyer David Hecht said in a phone interview with Business Insider on Thursday.
"The right of publicity claim that we have is that these celebrities have the right to control their likeness commercially," Hecht said. "This is the kind of movement — a dance — that is inextricably linked to individual artists."
More specifically: Ribeiro's legal claim isn't just to the choreographed dance moves, but to the performance of that dance being tied to his likeness as a celebrity.
That the dance is known in "Fortnite" as the "Fresh" certainly doesn't hurt Ribeiro's argument.
To buy the "Fresh" emote, you need 800 V-bucks. That's $8 of real money, but V-bucks can also be earned through playing the game.
That the emote is sold directly — making it a quantifiable, unique revenue stream — is part of why Hecht is confident that Ribeiro's claim is sound. "These are dances that are sold with a dollar tag associated with them," Hecht said. "That to me stands out. That is why they essentially had targets on their backs. Not only were they doing it brazenly, but they're putting a dollar price tag on it. It was V-bucks, but to do that — to copy something frame-by-frame and then to just sell it — that's the issue."
In addition to Ribeiro, Hecht's firm represents rapper 2Milly and Instagram star Russell "Backpack Kid" Horning in suits against Epic Games. And more suits may be coming. In each case, the damages being sought are unknown; Hecht said that's a measure of limited public information on how much money "Fortnite" is making.
"We're flying blind at this point," he said. "We know generally from public statistics how much 'Fortnite' has made off of these dances, but we don't have a specific dollar amount until we have that information."
One demand is clear in all three cases: "The artists wanna be credited. Without that, it's very much cultural misappropriation."
It was an amazing year in movies, and not just because of the countless record-breaking box office figures throughout it, but also because of the quality of the work.
So, needless to say, it was tough to come up with a list of my best movies of the year. (Guess it's a good problem to have.)
So after days of putting in, taking out, shifting in ranking — and at one moment wondering why I don't just make a top 15 list this year and make my life easier — here are my 11 favorite movies of 2018.
I seriously laughed more watching this movie than any other this year. And not just at the disses in the battle rap scenes, but also because the reaction shots are so well done. Joseph Kahn taps into the country’s oversensitiveness about practically everything to tell a fantastic story and showcases an art form that (outside of “8 Mile”) has never really gotten its due on screen.
Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs are an incredible one-two punch playing best friends on two very different paths. The movie explores Oakland gentrification, race, Black Lives Matter, and other topics. There’s a lot to absorb, but director Carlos López Estrada shapes the story (penned by Casal and Diggs) in a way that flows perfectly. This results in one of the most unique movies of the year.
After coming on the scene at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival in September, “Icebox” didn’t get a release until HBO aired it in early December (sadly, it never got a theatrical release for an Oscar push). Despite the time past, the timeliness of this movie is scary. Looking at a 12-year-old’s journey from Honduras to the US border, it mirrors the plight of many who have tried to find a better life in the US. “Coco” star Anthony Gonzalez gives an incredible performance in the lead role, and director Daniel Sawka shows why he’s one to watch.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider