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- 01/04/19--06:06: _Grammy-winning DJ A...
- 01/04/19--06:24: _Netflix is testing ...
- 01/04/19--06:39: _A MoviePass product...
- 01/04/19--07:09: _The 5 most anticipa...
- 01/04/19--07:33: _The original 'Legen...
- 01/04/19--08:08: _Fox's new singing c...
- 01/04/19--10:33: _'Aquaman' director ...
- 01/04/19--11:34: _Channel blackouts h...
- 01/04/19--11:56: _A bootleg version o...
- 01/04/19--13:26: _Disney won't make b...
- 01/04/19--14:45: _New York City’s fir...
- 01/04/19--15:13: _A 2009 song skyrock...
- 01/05/19--06:30: _A gorgeous remake o...
- 01/05/19--07:45: _The 13 most hilario...
- 01/06/19--04:59: _A billionaire movie...
- 01/06/19--07:00: _The amazing video g...
- 01/06/19--07:45: _The top 7 shows on ...
- 01/06/19--08:22: _Robert De Niro just...
- 01/06/19--08:57: _'Aquaman' is now th...
- 01/06/19--09:24: _Basketball season i...
- Afrojack is one of the world's most famous DJs and has been making electronic music since he was a young teenager.
- He's the CEO of a large talent-management company and runs his own record label.
- He said separating his ego from his decision-making allowed him to progress in his career.
- Netflix has been testing a "Show Me That Scene Again" feature, an on-screen prompt that allows users to go back to the beginning of a particular scene.
- Reaction on social media so far has been fairly negative, with some saying it disrupts the viewing experience.
- A Netflix spokesperson said the streaming company is "just looking to learn" from the test and may roll it out more broadly in the future.
- On Wednesday, a MoviePass product manager, Eric Jeng, resigned after one year at the company.
- In a 704-word letter sent to the entire company and obtained by Business Insider, Jeng accused MoviePass executives of fostering "such a perilous work environment for their employees."
- He also said he was "disappointed" in the company's response to employee allegations of inappropriate conduct. Jeng did not say whom the allegations were against.
- Jeng closed by saying that team morale at MoviePass "worsens and worsens, with no end in sight."
- 01/04/19--07:09: The 5 most anticipated TV shows returning in January
- Every month, Business Insider looks at the most anticipated returning shows thanks to data from TV Time.
- "True Detective" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" return in January.
- In 1986, the original "Legend of Zelda" arrived on the Nintendo Entertainment System and, subsequently, spawned a decades-long blockbuster franchise.
- The original game's open-world environment was massive at the time, and half of that world was hidden from players — it's known as the "minus world."
- One intrepid YouTube creator managed to access to the game's minus world recently. What he found is fascinating and bizarre.
- Fox's "The Masked Singer" scored over 9 million viewers in its premiere on Wednesday, the biggest ratings debut for an unscripted series in seven years.
- The singing competition finds six celebrities singing while disguised in outlandish masks, and four panelists must guess who they are.
- The premiere was also the biggest unscripted telecast on any broadcast network in two seasons.
- "Aquaman," which has made nearly $850 million worldwide, was snubbed from the Oscars visual effects shortlist, and director James Wan was not pleased.
- "The fact that your VFX peers in the Academy aren’t recognizing or appreciating what we/you’ve all contributed to the film and cinema is a f---ing disgrace," Wan said in a Facebook reply to "Aquaman" effects supervisor Kelvin McIlwain.
- Wan told Business Insider last month that "Aquaman" has over 2,000 visual effects shots.
- "Ant-Man and the Wasp"
- "Avengers: Infinity War"
- "Black Panther"
- "Christopher Robin"
- "First Man"
- "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom"
- "Mary Poppins Returns"
- "Ready Player One"
- "Solo: A Star Wars Story"
- "Welcome to Marwen"
- Channel blackouts have exploded from eight in 2010 to 140 in 2018.
- Charter is embroiled in a dispute with Tribune Media over retransmission fees, and some customers may not be able to access NFL playoff games this weekend.
- But the dynamics of distribution battles have changed due to OTT, and customers can quickly drop their TV provider when blackouts occur.
- Japanese zombie movie "One Cut of the Dead" has become a box-office hit in Japan but is still seeking US distribution.
- A bootleg version of the movie was uploaded to Amazon Prime in the US and UK just before the new year by a US user with a Prime Video Direct account, the movie's distributor told Business Insider.
- Prime Video Direct is the company's self-distribution arm that allows content to be uploaded for free and then made available on Amazon Prime.
- Movie distribution sources told Business Insider that the movie now faces an uphill battle to get released in the US.
- Disney won't make big-budget original movies exclusively for its upcoming streaming service, Disney+, Bob Iger told Barron's on Friday.
- Iger said that movies that exceed budgets of $100 million will be made for the big screen and eventually make their way to Disney+, which will launch later this year.
- That means a "Star Wars" movie won't be made for Disney+, Iger said.
- Original movies being developed for the service include a live-action "Lady and the Tramp" remake and a comedy called "Noelle" starring Anna Kendrick.
- New York Excelsior (NYXL) is a team of professional gamers playing in the Overwatch League.
- The esports organization recently took over a retail space in Brooklyn, New York for a 6-week pop-up event.
- In addition to letting fans meet the team in person, the pop-up shop offered weekly competitions, the chance to get up close and personal with Grammy-nominated artist Zedd, and NYXL swag from exclusive brands.
- On Thursday, a viral tweet criticized Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for dancing.
- The tweet included a clip of a 2010 video she made with friends that features her dancing to "Lisztomania" by the French band Phoenix, a popular song when she was in college.
- The 2009 song has seen a surge in popularity on Spotify, the company has confirmed to Business Insider.
- Over 20 years ago, an iconic PlayStation game launched: "Resident Evil 2."
- In late January, that game is getting a majorly updated re-release for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
- Besides looking significantly better, the remastered game is also updating the control system to feel more modern.
- 01/05/19--07:45: The 13 most hilarious Amazon movie reviews from 2018
- A billionaire who has produced movies including "Crazy Rich Asians" is selling a one-bedroom apartment in New York City for $39.5 million.
- It takes up an entire floor of Manhattan's iconic Ritz-Carlton building and is one of just 11 homes at the Ritz-Carlton Residences.
- The 8,000-square-foot home includes a 2,000-square-foot master suite, onyx and marble bathrooms, and a 53-foot terrace with front-and-center views of Central Park.
- Awesome Games Done Quick, a charity video game marathon, begins on January 6th and will run until midnight on January 13th.
- The event runs nonstop all week — all told, it'll run for 168 consecutive hours of gameplay, with players and games swapping out over the course of the marathon.
- Players will be speedrunning dozens of different games, and can earn extra money for charity by beating them as quickly as possible.
- Games Done Quick, the organization behind AGDQ, has helped raise nearly $17 million for charity since it started the event in 2011.
- 01/06/19--07:45: The top 7 shows on Netflix and other streaming services this week
- Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider the most in-demand TV shows on streaming services.
- This week includes DC Universe's "Titans" and Netflix's "Stranger Things."
- In an interview with The Guardian, actor Robert De Niro referred to President Donald Trump as a "real racist" and "white supremacist."
- De Niro, who tends to refrain from public commentary, has been a vocal critic of the president.
- In October, he was one of several public figures who received a pipe bomb from an extreme Trump supporter.
- The actor has been criticized for lobbing insults at Trump, but he doubled down in The Guardian interview, saying Democrats have to be "more aggressive."
- With a worldwide box office total of $940.7 million, "Aquaman" is now the biggest global earner ever of any DC Comics Extended Universe release.
- The movie passes previous leader, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" ($873.6 million).
- "Aquaman" isn't doing bad domestically either, with a $30.7 million take this weekend it has won the box office for three-straight weeks.
As a teenager growing up in the Netherlands, Nick van de Wall just wanted to play music for big crowds. When his career as the DJ Afrojack took off, he not only had crowds to play to around the world, he had a team to take care of, to ensure that his passion could also be a lucrative business.
The transition from an underground DJ doing his own thing in the late aughts to an international superstar in the the 2010s wasn't simple. "I did have to learn to trust some people, and it was very, very difficult sometimes, but the only reason it worked out is we were completely honest and open with each other" Afrojack said in an episode of Business Insider's podcast "This Is Success."
The key insight that allowed him to take the next steps in his career, including forming his own record label and running the talent agency LDH Europe, was learning to separate ego from decision-making. Afrojack said that "what I keep saying to myself and to my team, my management team, and my CEOs is be neutral." That is, don't act impulsively or selfishly.
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On a related note, Afrojack said that the biggest mistake of his career was declining a credit beyond the liner notes, which barely anyone reads, for a collaboration with David Guetta and Sia back in 2011 because he didn't want to look like he was "selling out" by becoming a pop star. The song, "Titanium," went on to go multi-platinum in 12 countries and became one of the biggest songs he ever worked on. His career worked out, obviously, but he missed an opportunity to expand his audience and risked insulting his collaborators.
He said that he learned to apply that same lesson, "stop peacocking," to his business decisions. "And that's the thing: The more you are involved with it personally," he said, referring to attaching your ego to decisions, "the sillier you look."
At this point, this insight is even more important, because his decisions not only affect him, but everyone signed to his label and working for his agency.
"Now I have all these artists signed to me and people with lives, with families," he said. "We're providing for them. They took a risk by working for a new company; it's not going to look good on a résumé if the company fails. So then we're responsible for all of these people."
Subscribe to "This Is Success" on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen. You can find the full Afrojack episode below.
Netflix has been testing out a rewind-type feature where a prompt pops up in the lefthand corner of the screen to "Show Me That Scene Again" — usually after the conclusion of an epic fight scene or a particularly emotional moment.
This feature is similar to the "Skip Intro" pop-up button for TV title sequences, which Netflix rolled out in May 2018.
But the jury's still out whether most people are a fan of the new feature. As early as Dec. 11, Netflix users have expressed concern about the test, with some turning to social media to voice just how vehemently unhappy they are about it. So far, it seems, the test has only been partially rolled out in the US.
Currently, it seems as though the feature is only showing up on TVs. We tried to replicate the pop-up seen near the 25 minute mark during "Avengers: Infinity War" on computer and mobile without any luck, while it consistently showed up when watched on a TV.
According to Los Angeles Times, the feature is only accessible on Netflix’s "original and licensed content." This means the "Show Me That Scene Again" button could start popping up during shows like "Stranger Things" and movies like "Bird Box" — something some users who already experienced the feature have found to be disruptive to the viewing experience.
Dear @netflix,— Josh Green (@askjosh32) December 29, 2018
What is this hot garbage “watch that scene again” that’s been interrupting my film watching?
@netflix i love Netflix, but please get rid of the "watch that scene again" feature. If I want to re-watch a scene, I'll just rewind it. I don't want pop ups during my movies and shows.— Casey (@Lateralus982) December 26, 2018
The pop-up has been seen on "Mowgli", "Dumplin'" and even "Shrek".
What makes a movie, TV show or scene eligible for the feature is not known and was not specified when Business Insider reached out to Netflix for comment.
How long this test feature will last is also unclear, as is whether or not the streaming service will provide it to all of its 137 million users.
A Netflix spokesperson told Business Insider that Netflix is "just looking to learn from it and may or may not roll it out more broadly in the future."
If you hate when the "Show Me That Scene Again" pops up on your screen, or you just want to preemptively stop it, here's how in just two simple steps:
First, go to your account. Under settings, click "Test participation"
Next, turn off "Include me in tests and previews" then press done. Voila! No more unprompted pop-ups while watching!
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
On Wednesday, as MoviePass staff members settled in to begin work in the new year, they received an announcement in their inboxes from one of the startup's product managers, Eric Jeng.
In an all-staff email, Jeng resigned from the company after working there for one year.
In the 704-word letter, obtained by Business Insider from several sources, Jeng set out his reasons for leaving, the biggest of which was that he could no longer "in good conscience work for people who foster such a perilous work environment for their employees."
Jeng said that he was "disappointed" in the company's response to employee allegations of inappropriate behavior and that MoviePass "leadership chose their own personal friendships over the reputation of the company and the safety of MoviePass employees who have been working so hard to improve the position of our company every single day."
Though it's unclear what allegations Jeng was referring to or whom they were against, eight current and former employees previously told Business Insider that a MoviePass marketing consultant, Bob Ellis, had a reputation among some in the company for inappropriate behavior toward female employees.
Four current and former MoviePass employees told Business Insider they believed Jeng was referring to Ellis.
Business Insider reported in December that four formal complaints had been filed with human resources about Ellis' behavior toward women at the company since he started working for MoviePass in April. A June announcement at an all-hands meeting by MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe was widely interpreted by staff to mean Ellis was gone, according to five sources who were on the call, but he'd kept popping up at business events. Ellis is good friends with Ted Farnsworth, the CEO of MoviePass' parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, according to three sources.
Jeng wrote in his resignation letter that he "applaud[ed] those who stood up" for what was right, citing "the threat of resignation from certain leaders for MoviePass" and "many formal complaints."
Business Insider reported in December that three executives threatened to quit in June if nothing was done about Ellis.
"It takes courage to stand up and act for what is right," Jeng wrote.
Business Insider attempted to contact Ellis by email, phone, and text to comment for this story but did not get a response.
MoviePass declined to comment for this story.
Ellis was at executive functions as recently as early December, when executives from MoviePass and Helios and Matheson appeared together on a yacht in Miami. Khalid Itum, a MoviePass executive vice president, said at an all-hands meeting days after the outing that despite how it looked, "business took place on the boat."
Jeng said in his letter that the social-media post showing the yacht outing "was not only completely thoughtless, but also incredibly tone deaf."
Jeng continued: "Our employees are working late hours, sometimes until 1 a.m. and on holidays to build, develop, and release new MoviePass features and products, while fearful of the financial future and stability of the company. It sends an incredibly selfish message to MoviePass employees that members of management are living lavishly and seemingly carefree, with no concern for the company or its employees."
Jeng also implored MoviePass to get a "functional and qualified HR department." In November, the two-person human-resources team was fired, leaving the duties to Jake Petersen, a senior vice president at the company.
"When leadership decided to fire our only qualified HR employees, they sent a very clear message that they care very little about employee safety and security," Jeng wrote. "There currently is no effective outlet for employees to discuss issues about their comfort and safety in the workplace."
Jeng closed his letter by saying that team morale at MoviePass "worsens and worsens, with no end in sight."
"It is clear to me that our work environment has become simply too dangerous and toxic, and that we as employees cannot depend on Ted, Mitch, and Khalid," he wrote.
The unrest comes as Helios and Matheson faces the possibility of being delisted from the Nasdaq, as its stock has not traded above $1 since July. In late December, according to a document filed by Helios and Matheson with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Nasdaq warned the company it would move to delist it. Helios and Matheson said it would appeal the decision.
As of Friday, Helios and Matheson was still trading on the Nasdaq, at under $0.02.
After a nearly four year hiatus, HBO's "True Detective" returns this month with Mahershala Ali in the lead role.
"True Detective," an anthology drama with a new cast and story each season, debuted in 2014 to critical acclaim, particularly for the performances of its two leads, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. The first season gained an 87% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, and was nominated for a dozen Emmys, including best drama.
The second season in 2015 didn't fare as well, with a 63% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. It was largely deemed a disappointing follow-up, but the third season has received more positive reactions. It currently has an 81% critic score. Indiewire's Ben Travers wrote that "True Detective" season three is a "big step up" from season two.
Every month, Business Insider looks at the most anticipated returning shows thanks to data from television-tracking app TV Time, based on its 13 million global users.
"Young Justice" also returns in January on DC Universe, and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" makes a comeback at its new home, NBC.
5. "The Blacklist" (Season 6) — NBC, January 3
Description:"Following the startling revelation that Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader) isn't who he says he is, Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) is torn between the relationship she's developed with the man assumed to be her father and her desire to get to the bottom of years of secrets and lies. Meanwhile, Red leads Liz and the FBI to some of the most strange and dangerous criminals yet, growing his empire and eliminating rivals in the process. All throughout, Liz and Red engage in an uneasy cat-and-mouse game in which lines will be crossed and the truth will be revealed."
4. "Young Justice: Outsiders" (Season 3) — DC Universe, January 4
Description:"DC's teenage Super Heroes come of age in an animated world of super-powers, Super-Villains and super secrets as the team faces its greatest challenge yet as it takes on meta-human trafficking and the terrifying threat it creates for a society caught in the crossfire of a global and galaxy-wide genetic arms race."
3. "Gotham" (Season 5) — Fox, January 3
Description:"GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer and writer Bruno Heller and executive producers Danny Cannon and John Stephens, GOTHAM follows the rise of Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) through a dangerously corrupt city teetering between good and evil, and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time. Beginning in Winter 2019, GOTHAM will air its fifth and final season, wrapping up this beloved series in a farewell event that will focus on Bruce Wayne’s (David Mazouz) transformation into the caped crusader."
2. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (Season 6) — NBC, January 10
Description:"The hilarious heroics of New York's funniest police precinct continue for a new season, with a brand-new home: NBC. SNL alum Andy Samberg and Emmy winner Andre Braugher lead this diverse, critically acclaimed ensemble that solves crimes like only they can - with tons of humor and the heart to match. Winner of a Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy Series and from Executive Producers Michael Schur and Dan Goor, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" has captured the hearts of millions, and NBC is proud to be a part of the story."
1. "True Detective" (Season 3) — HBO, January 13
Description:"Partner detectives investigate a macabre crime involving two missing children in the heart of the Ozarks, Arkansas. The story spans three decades."
The original "Legend of Zelda" for the Nintendo Entertainment System is a massive, open-world game — and it could've been even bigger.
That's because the game's voluminous open world was actually cut in half before the game's release; the lower half is known as the game's "minus world," where elements of the game could be tested by its developers at Nintendo.
Here's a look at what that means in practice:
The concept of an unplayable section of a game has been around for decades.
The original "Super Mario Bros." is known to have a glitch enabling players to access hundreds of hidden levels— many of which are full of bizarre, often broken elements — and it's far from the only one. Even modern games often contain elements that are hidden from players. Entire levels, enemies, bosses, and sections of story are relegated to these hidden places.
In the case of the original "Legend of Zelda," a full half of the game's open-world environment was employed as a minus world.
Through some code manipulation across several hours, one intrepid YouTube creator managed to break through the game's barriers and access the massive section of the game.
What he found, unsurprisingly, is mostly a mess.
That's because the minus world was never intended for players — it was an area where code could be tested before being implemented into the playable game. As such, enemies glitch into existence, text is often garbled, and some of the areas look like replicas of areas you may have seen in the game (albeit with weird aberrations). You probably don't want to play this stuff, as interesting as it looks.
That said, it's a fascinating look into a gaming classic during its creation — check out the full video right here:
The new celebrity singing competition, "The Masked Singer," premiered this week to huge ratings and is a big win so far for Fox.
The show, in which celebrities sing while hiding behind outlandish masks, scored the biggest ratings debut for an unscripted series on Wednesday since 2011's "The X-Factor" premiere with 9.36 million viewers, according to Deadline. It's also the biggest unscripted telecast on any broadcast network in two seasons.
The show is hosted by Nick Cannon and includes panelists Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, and Robin Thicke, who attempt to guess the identity of six celebrity singers.
During the premiere, the first of the celebrities was unmasked to be Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, who wore a hippo mask.
The show's biggest competition on Wednesday was a repeat episode of "The Big Bang Theory" on CBS with 6.91 million viewers, according to Deadline.
"The Masked Singer" followed the season two premiere of Gordon Ramsay's "24 Hours to Hell and Back," which pulled in 4 million viewers, according to Deadline.
NBC and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's new competition show, "The Titan Games," premiered on Thursday to solid numbers, but not as big as "The Masked Singer. It reeled in 6.5 million viewers, according to The Wrap. "America's Got Talent: The Champions" premieres January 7.
Audiences around the world are responding well to the underwater adventures of "Aquaman," and the movie has made $846 million globally. But the Oscars are another story.
"Aquaman" was excluded from the visual effects Oscars shortlist, which includes ten movies that will be shaved down to five nominees when nominations are announced on January 22. The shortlist includes other superhero blockbusters like "Black Panther" and "Avengers: Infinity War."
The movie's director, James Wan, voiced his displeasure with this via a comment on an old Facebook post, as first noticed by The Wrap this week. "Aquaman" visual effects supervisor Kelvin McIlwain responded to Wan's post from December 20, when "Aquaman" was released, with "Congrats James, It was such an honor to be a part of this creative endeavor and to work with you again. Cheers!!!!"
Wan replied on December 21, "Kelvin, you and your department are the unsung heroes of this film. The fact that your VFX peers in the Academy aren’t recognizing or appreciating what we/you’ve all contributed to the film and cinema is a f---ing disgrace."
Wan talked to Business Insider last month about the visual effects in "Aquaman," and said that the underwater shots were "a big part of the film we had to get right. If we didn't get the underwater stuff looking correct, we pretty much don't have a film."
"The visual-effects process was very organic," Wan added. "We continued to discover new things that worked, or things that didn't work, literally up until the very last minute that they took it from us."
Wan told Business Insider that there are over 2,000 visual effects shots in "Aquaman," and "every single shot has a visual-effects component to it."
Below are the 10 movies on the Oscars visual effects shortlist:
For pay-TV subscribers, service blackouts are the new norm.
In front of the NFL playoffs this weekend, about 6 million Charter Spectrum customers have lost Tribune Media broadcasting stations. If the blackout isn't resolved, Spectrum customers in certain markets won't have access to playoff games on CBS and Fox. On top of that, 14 million Spectrum customers lost access to WGN America.
The dispute relates to the negotiation of retransmission fees, or the fee paid to a broadcaster to distribute its content.
And blackouts sometimes force distributors to work against their own interests. Charter directed its customers to free OTT streaming options to access NFL content this weekend as it works through its dispute with Tribune. The nation's second-largest cable provider posted a note online indicating customers can watch playoff games this weekend for free on the NFL app or Verizon-owned Yahoo Sports app. Verizon's $2.5 billion 5-year streaming deal with the NFL is even sweeter in the face of content blackouts.
"Verizon is a winner in this case for sure," Daniel Cohen, SVP at sports and entertainment agency Octagon, told Business Insider. "It's a shame they don't have exclusivity anymore."
The wireless provider streams all in-market games and the Super Bowl for free on phones and tablets, regardless of whether a streamer is a Verizon customer or not. Verizon's previous deal with the NFL before the one signed in 2017 was offered only to Verizon customers.
Digital consumption trends for the NFL increase
Another boon to Verizon's NFL streaming deal is that digital consumption for the NFL continues to rise.
The number of audiences streaming NFL games on their phone increased 147% through week four of the 2018 season compared to the 2017 season, the NFL reported. And across all digital streaming options, viewership has increased 86% from the 2018 regular season versus the previous year, the NFL tweeted in January.
This change in viewing habits affects retransmission disputes.
"The dynamics of distribution battles have changed due to OTT and the internet," Lee Berke, CEO of LHB Sports, Entertainment & Media, told Business Insider. "If networks are dropped by a linear distributor, subscribers could pick them up from a vMVPD with a couple of keystrokes."
The ease of switching places pressure on broadcasters and distributors to reach an agreement quickly. But some retransmission disputes lag for months or longer, and across the US, linear cable and satellite customers are deciding whether to cut the cord with their TV distributors.
"I am extremely frustrated with the dispute that continues for months between DirecTV and the local NBC affiliate," DirecTV subscriber Peter Levinson told Business Insider.
Levinson lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where a dispute between AT&T's DirectTV and KSL 5 TV, an NBC-affiliate, have been locked in a dispute since August. Levinson paused his DirecTV subscription and picked up Hulu with Live TV for the NFL season. He's planning to cancel DirecTV in the next six months if the dispute isn't resolved.
Pay-TV experienced its worst quarter to date in the third quarter of 2018. AT&T lost 346,000 traditional video subscribers in the third quarter and added 49,000 DirecTV Now subscribers. Charter lost 66,000 video subscribers.
"If I'm Charter, I am livid and anxious about the fact that anyone can go and watch this on the Verizon app," Cohen said. "I'd want to try to close the gap as quickly as possible."
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Japan's “One Cut of the Dead” is the latest micro-budget indie film success story, but it's faced a big setback in getting distribution in the US.
The darkly comedic horror movie, set around a zombie apocalypse, was made for just 3 million yen ($27,800), features an unknown cast, and opens with a 37-minute single take. It has amazed audiences in its home country — where it has taken in around 800 million yen ($7.2 million) — and at film festivals around the globe.
But because a bootleg version suddenly appeared on Amazon for a few days before the new year, there’s serious concern that the movie might not get as good a release in the US as originally hoped for.
The drama started when Adam Torel, owner of UK-based distribution company Third Window Films, which is also the movie's global sales agent, noticed tweets December 30 saying that “One Cut of the Dead” was available on Amazon Prime in the US and the UK. But the movie had no US distribution yet and wasn't being theatrically released in the UK until January 4. So it should not have been available on Amazon.
“I was in Japan, nine hours ahead of the UK, and right in the middle of the holiday season, meaning it was impossible to reach anyone,” Torel told Business Insider from Japan via email.
So while Torel was trying to get in contact with anyone who could get the movie off Amazon, he sent out a tweet alerting people to the bootleg release. By then, word was spreading fast on social media that one of the most talked-about genre movies of the year was finally available to stream.
The @amazon and @AmazonUK PRIME version of ONE CUT OF THE DEAD is an unauthorized bootleg release of the film. As the film’s world sales agent and distributor, we didn’t put it on there and it shouldn’t be there. Please watch in UK cinemas from Jan 4!!— Third Window Films (@thirdwindow) December 31, 2018
“There were even news articles announcing its release on Prime. It spread like wildfire,” Torel said.
It took two days, but with the help of another company Third Window Films was using to release the movie in the UK, Arrow Films, Amazon finally took down the “One Cut of the Dead” bootleg.
But who had uploaded it in the first place? The movie had played all over the world at film festivals. Could someone at a festival have put it on Amazon? Or was it a mistake by a distributor who was releasing the movie in another region of the world and then entered the metadata incorrectly, causing it to be available worldwide? That last possibility occasionally happens to some movies, sources in the distribution world told Business Insider.
But it turned out to be Torel’s worst fear: Someone with a bootleg copy.
How a bootleg copy of a global hit found its way on Amazon
Torel couldn’t see the movie when it was on Amazon because of geo-blocking. Friends in the UK and US were sending him updates, and Torel came to the conclusion that the upload couldn’t have been an official version of the movie that played at festivals since it didn't carry the Third Window Films logo. And the upload couldn’t have been an official version of the DVD, which is currently available in parts of Asia, since it was showing on Amazon with English subtitles.
Given the version being streamed was of poor quality and had English subtitles, Torel strongly suspected it was a bootleg copy. On Thursday, Torel told Business Insider that Amazon contacted him this week and informed him that the movie was uploaded by a user based in the US through Amazon's Prime Video Direct service. Amazon did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Business Insider.
Prime Video Direct, which in the past went by the name Amazon Video Direct, is the company’s self-distribution arm. Its purpose is to allow filmmakers to upload their feature films, TV series, and short films free of charge for people to watch, buy, and rent on Prime.
“Amazon didn’t offer any apology or any other details, as I really want to know how many people downloaded and streamed it over the two countries,” Torel said. “Amazon would have made money on it, too. So I’d like to know how much.”
All of this has led to uncertainty about the chances "One Cut of the Dead" gets seen the right way in the US.
Will the movie get a US release?
Torel said talks have been ongoing for a US distribution deal, as well as offers to remake the movie in the US (there are also offers to remake it as a China production and in India, according to Torel). He’s not sure if the bootleg version has hurt any of the talks as he’s been focused on the UK release of the movie. But he’s certainly concerned.
“With this allowing people to not just see, but also download a film before its release, could it be that the value of the film could drop?” Torel said. “I don’t know how many people saw and downloaded the film, but considering how many subscribers of Amazon Prime are out there and this also happening at a time when many were off work and in front of the TV, it could have been seen by a huge amount of people.”
Sources Business Insider spoke to who work in the distribution world were split on the chances of “One Cut of the Dead” getting a US release. Some said the movie could rebound from the incident but that it might no longer be attractive to the major distributors. Others said they thought the movie wouldn't get a deal.
“By digitally releasing a bootleg version of a film, Amazon has effectively killed any pending sales for that title,” a producer told Business Insider, noting that the movie is probably on many torrent sites now. “While we want to believe that consumers will wait until it becomes available legally, the truth is that most will not. It's also common practice for distributors — especially in parts of the world where bootlegs run rampant — to check online for torrents before picking up a title. If they see it's already out there for free, there's nearly no incentive to distribute it in those territories.”
As Torel charges on to get “One Cut of the Dead” out to audiences legitimately, when asked how he’ll better protect the films he handles in the future, or for any advice he'd give to other filmmakers after going through this, he admits he doesn’t really have any answers.
“People know that they’re watching pirated films when they show up on YouTube, but don’t expect the same on Amazon as it’s a paid, subscription service,” he said. “In that respect, I don’t really know how to give advice to this not happening again or how to stop it.”
The "One Cut of the Dead" bootleg upload reveals how just as with other open platforms, unauthorized content can find its way onto Amazon's Prime Video Direct. (Just imagine the uproar by Hollywood studios if one of its upcoming releases was suddenly available on Amazon Prime). But as the producer we spoke to pointed out, viewers have higher expectations for Amazon's offerings because it is a paid service.
“YouTube has long been home to pirated films; it's the Wild West compared to Amazon, where a certain level of quality control is expected by not just distributors, but viewers,” the producer said. “The fact that a bootleg version of a film was so easily uploaded and made available is something that all parties — from filmmakers to film consumers — should be deeply concerned about.”
NOW WATCH: 7 things you shouldn't buy on Black Friday
Don't expect Disney's upcoming Netflix competitor, Disney+, to include original movies with enormous budgets made exclusively for the service. Those will be saved for the theaters (but eventually make their way to Disney+), according to Disney CEO Bob Iger.
In an interview with Barron's, Iger said that original movies exceeding budgets of $100 million won't be made for the streaming service, which is expected to arrive late this year. Movies like a live-action "Lady and the Tramp" remake will be made exclusively for Disney+, which apparently won't require an extravagant budget.
"Our studio makes between eight and 10 movies a year, and they’re big budget, hopefully big box-office films, that really belong, we believe, on the big screen," Iger told Barron's. "We’re not looking to take one of those and put it on this platform. When we made the announcement, we said we’re going to make original movies for the platform. A number of ideas were pitched. Other than one, which was being contemplated for the big screen but wasn’t a big movie, none of them were in development as big-screen movies. One of them that we’re making for the platform is a remake of Lady and the Tramp. There was not one discussion about whether we should make that for the big screen. Everybody said this is a great story, would love to make it again, let’s make it for what we call 'the service' internally."
That means that new "Star Wars" movies will be made for the big screen, as opposed to exclusively for Disney+. Disney is, however, developing "Star Wars" live-action shows such as "The Mandalorian" and a "Rogue One" prequel. A Marvel series starring Tom Hiddleston's Loki is also in development.
"Almost every movie the studio makes is a $100 million-plus movie, and we’re not looking to make movies at that level for the service," Iger continued. "We’re looking to invest significantly in television series on a per-episode business, and we’re looking to make movies that are higher budget, but nothing like that. We wouldn’t make a 'Star Wars' movie for this platform. When everybody goes out on the weekend and you have a movie that opens up to $200 million, there’s a buzz that creates that enhances value. We like that. And eventually the movies we’re making are going to [end up on] the service."
Other movies in development for Disney+ include "Noelle," a fantasy comedy starring Anna Kendrick; "Togo," a historical movie about sled dogs starring Willem Dafoe; and "3 Men and a Baby" and "Sword and the Stone" remakes, according to Deadline.
For six weekends in a row, fans of the New York Excelsior (NYXL) stormed the Brooklyn storefront hosting the esports team's pop-up shop.
Each weekend brought something new to the space: Visitors were treated to meet-and-greets with the team, an exhibition match with musical artist Zedd, cosplay competitions, exclusive fashion, and, of course, lots of video games.
Excelsior is New York City's first official esports franchise, and the team will begin their second season of competition in the Overwatch League this February.
While Overwatch League matches are played in Los Angeles, the team enjoys a dedicated fanbase at home. It shouldn't be surprising; NYXL had the best record during the league's inaugural season, and the pop-up helped build even more excitement for the year to come.
Here's what it was like on the scene at the New York Excelsior's Brooklyn pop-up shop:
NYXL's pop-up took over this Atlantic Avenue retail space, near Brooklyn's Barclays Center.
Each weekend, fans of the Excelsior piled in to play "Overwatch" (and other games, like "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate), and participate in special events.
Stopped by the @NYXL Pop-Up on its last day and it’s PACKED for Overwatch and Smash. Credit to the NYXL crew for doing it right for the NY esports/gaming community.
I wish we could have a place like this every weekend to hang out. #NYXLPopUppic.twitter.com/e2Xw6vCXrf
All 10 players on the NYXL roster are from South Korea...
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
A viral video is breathing new life into a decade-old pop song.
On Thursday, a viral tweet criticized Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for dancing. It tried to embarrass her by displaying her indiscriminate dancing in an edited clip from a video she made when she was a student at Boston University.
Both the tweet and its corresponding account are now deleted, but its legacy lives on.
Originally, the video was part of a meme that featured students dancing to "Lisztomania" by the French band Phoenix. The song was popular when Ocasio-Cortez was in college in 2010 and filmed the video. It was produced by the student union, which Ocasio-Cortez was involved in, and was supposed to be emulating the dance scene from the 1985 film "The Breakfast Club."
Now, the hit 2009 song has seen a surge in popularity, according to Spotify's metrics. The song saw an 116% increase in streams from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. EST on Friday over the same hour in the previous week, the company told Business Insider. A representative for Spotify said the figure represented a "significant increase" in streams.
Ocasio-Cortez seems to be taking the criticism in stride. On Friday afternoon, she tweeted a video of herself dancing outside of her new congressional office.
"I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous," she tweeted. "Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too!"
I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 4, 2019
Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too! 💃🏽
Have a great weekend everyone :) pic.twitter.com/9y6ALOw4F6
See the full video of college-aged Ocasio-Cortez dancing below:
Over 20 years ago, in 1998, a blockbuster debut game on the PlayStation turned into a blockbuster franchise with the launch of "Resident Evil 2."
Unlike the first game in Capcom's horror franchise, "Resident Evil 2" took players out of the confines of a nightmare-ridden mansion and into the chaotic streets of Raccoon City. It introduced major new players in the franchise — both Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong — in addition to expanding the concept of what a horror game could be.
And now, in 2019, "Resident Evil 2" is getting gorgeously remastered for modern consoles.
Here's the deal:
The game is called "Resident Evil 2," just like the original:
This isn't a re-imagining or a spiritual sequel or whatever else — this is a direct remaster of the original "Resident Evil 2," which launched in 1998 on the PlayStation 1. That means it's the same game — with the same story, the same characters, and the same setting — albeit with dramatically improved visuals.
"Resident Evil 2" stars two main playable characters — here is Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie cop who's struggling to figure out what's going on in Raccoon City.
The other playable character is Claire Redfield — a woman from out of town who arrives in Raccoon City looking for her brother, Chris Redfield (who stars in the original "Resident Evil").
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Joe Grabinski has amassed a big following on social media through his Twitter account, Amazon Movie Reviews, over the last few years. The account, where Grabinski collects the most hilariously bad reviews of hit movies from Amazon, currently has 206,000 followers.
Grabinski provided Business Insider his favorite reviews written in 2018. They include bizarre takes on a wide range of movies, from recent horror hit, "A Quiet Place," to Marvel blockbusters "Thor: Ragnarok" and "Spider-Man: Homecoming," to "The Perfect Storm."
Below are 13 of the best Amazon Movie Reviews from 2018:
"A Quiet Place" (2018)
"Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" (2018)
"Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017)
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
A lavish one-bedroom apartment in New York City's iconic Ritz-Carlton building has hit the market for $39.5 million.
The seller is Sidney Kimmel, a billionaire movie producer worth an estimated $1.3 billion, according to Forbes.
His New York City apartment, one of just 11 residences in the Ritz-Carlton across the street from Central Park, is on the market for $39.5 million, listed by Corcoran. Kimmel and his wife bought the apartment in 2001 for $22.3 million, according to Curbed, and commissioned architect Thierry Despont to redesign the space, which includes a 2,000-square-foot master suite, two terraces, two elegant dressing rooms, a full gym, and two onyx and marble bathrooms.
Kimmel made his fortune in retail by founding Jones Group, an apparel company, that went on to sell brands including Stuart Weitzman and Nine West. More recently, he founded SK Global, an entertainment company, through which he was a producer for movies including the 2018 hit film "Crazy Rich Asians" along with "Moneyball" and "The Kite Runner."
Here's a look inside the opulent home, with its unbeatable views of Central Park.
The one-bedroom apartment is in the iconic and historic Ritz-Carlton building, a luxury hotel that includes 11 permanent residences.
The building at 50 Central Park South was originally the St. Moritz Hotel from 1930 to 1999. After extensive renovations, the hotel reopened in 2002 as the Ritz Carlton.
Source: Ritz Carlton
Sidney Kimmel's one-bedroom apartment takes up the entire 27th floor of the building, spanning more than 8,000 square feet. The grand entryway offers an elegant welcome to the home.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Awesome Games Done Quick, a charity speedrunning marathon, begins today, January 6th, and will run for 168 consecutive hours until midnight on January 13th. The week-long event will benefit Doctors without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and is the largest single global fundraising event for both organizations.
Hundreds of players and video game fans will fill the Marriot Bethesda North Hotel in Rockville, Maryland for AGDQ this week, and hundreds of thousands more will tune in to watch on Amazon's Twitch.
Games Done Quick, the organization behind the marathon, has raised more than $17 million for charity since 2011. Along with AGDQ, the organization hosts Summer Games Done Quick, and has put together smaller fundraisers for specific causes, like 2017's Harvey Relief Done Quick.
The speedrunning community is a group of hardcore video game players dedicated to beating specific games as quickly as possible. Dedicated players spend hours studying the fastest routes and techniques to shave fractions of seconds off their times, and share video and strategy of their runs online. Speed Demos Archive, a sister site to Games Done Quick, archives videos of record speed runs, and serves as an organizing base for the community.
The selection of games this year spans every console generation, from the original "Sonic the Hedgehog" to more recent hits like "Super Mario Odyssey" and "Dead Cells."
Viewers at home can tune in and donate throughout the week-long event, and messages attached to their donations are read live on the broadcast. AGDQ 2018 peaked at 198,744 concurrent viewers and brought in a record $2.295 million from 32,368 different donors. The largest individual donation was $108.092.32.
As one of the community's premiere events, Awesome Games Done Quick has been home to multiple world record runs, too. Some players offer additional donation incentives, like completing their game on a harder difficulty if a viewer donates more than $100 during their session.
Below you can watch AGDQ starting at 11:30 a.m. PT on January, 6th; be sure to check the schedule to find specific times for each game, including how long the run will take.
Awesome Games Done Quick mobilizes a unique community that is also crazy entertaining to help raise millions for great causes. No matter how the gaming actually goes, everybody winds up a winner.
Netflix announced on New Year's Day that "Stranger Things" will return on July 4, pushing up audience interest.
Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider with a list of the seven most "in-demand" TV shows on streaming services. The data is based on "demand expressions," the globally standardized TV demand measurement unit from Parrot Analytics. Audience demand reflects the desire, engagement, and viewership weighted by importance, so a stream or download is a higher expression of demand than a "like" or comment on social media.
Below are this week's seven most popular shows on Netflix and other streaming services:
7. "Voltron: Legendary Defender" (Netflix)
Average demand expressions: 21,834,399
Description: "In an all-new series, five unlikely heroes and their flying robot lions unite to form the megapowerfulVoltron and defend the universe from evil."
Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 8): N/A
What critics said: "This feels like a series that could have lasted several more seasons, at least. But if it has to end now, at least it's going out in top form." — Jesse Schedeen, IGN
Season 8 premiered on Netflix December 14.
6. "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" (Netflix)
Average demand expressions: 25,102,990
Description: "Magic and mischief collide as half-human, half-witch Sabrina navigates between two worlds: mortal teen life and her family's legacy, the Church of Night."
Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 1): 90%
What critics said: "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is great television for the seriousness with which it engages in the subtext of its horror trappings. Curses, demons, spirits, and hauntings-they're supernatural analogues that largely stem from old injustices." — Joshua Rivera, GQ
Season 1 premiered on Netflix October 26.
5. "Marvel's Daredevil" (Netflix)
Average demand expressions: 25,209,685
Description: "Blinded as a young boy, Matt Murdock fights injustice by day as a lawyer and by night as the Super Hero Daredevil in Hell's Kitchen, New York City."
Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 3): 96%
What critics said: "Every Netflix MCU show has sought to imitate the first season of Daredevil in some way, with decidedly mixed results. Season 3 shows that Daredevil still does Daredevil best." — Samantha Nelson, The Verge
Season 3 premiered on Netflix October 19. The show was recently canceled.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
"Con artist," "pig," "blowhard," "buffoon" — all are terms used by Robert De Niro to describe President Donald Trump.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, De Niro doubled down on his longstanding criticism of the president, calling Trump him a "real racist" and "white supremacist."
"When you see someone like [Trump] becoming president, I thought, well, OK, let's see what he does — maybe he'll change. But he just got worse," said De Niro. "It showed me that he is a real racist. I thought maybe as a New Yorker he understands the diversity in the city but he's as bad as I thought he was before — and much worse."
In October, De Niro was one of many public figures who received a pipe bomb from an extreme Trump supporter. The bomb was intercepted, and the culprit later arrested.
The comments represent De Niro's harshest denunciation of the president thus far. Ahead of the 2016 presidential election, the actor released a video calling Trump "a national disaster" and "an embarrassment to this country."
"I'd like to punch him in the face," De Niro said.
Trump in return has called De Niro a "low IQ individual" who received "too many shots to the head."
Now, the actor said he fears for his children growing up in Trump's America.
"One of my kids is gay, and he worries about being treated a certain way," he told The Guardian.
When asked whether he considers Trump a fascist, De Niro responded: "I guess that's what it leads to. If he had his way, we'd wind up in a very bad state in this country. I mean, the way I understand it, they laughed at Hitler. They all look funny. Hitler looked funny, Mussolini looked funny and other dictators and despots look funny."
De Niro's abrasive language has been criticized by members of the public, including New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, who argue that angry tirades simply mirror Trump's behavior.
For De Niro, it's part of his opposition strategy.
"Democrats have to be more aggressive," he told The Guardian. "You have to fight fire with fire."
According to the actor, Trump's most effective challenger in the 2020 election will be "strong enough to out-mouth him."
He pointed to former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, Democratic nominee for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams, and Democratic nominee for Florida governor Andrew Gillum, as politicians who might fit the bill. All three candidates lost in the 2018 midterm elections.
Though De Niro is worried about Trump paving the way for a politician with "the same values as he has but able to get much further and do more damage," he's also optimistic about the future.
"There has to be a way for people to come together and work it out and help the people who are in pain now in certain parts of the country," he told The Guardian, adding: "It ain't over till it's over as far as I'm concerned."
Warner Bros. is finally cashing in on its DC Comics Extended Universe (DCEU) — and it's the most unlikely superhero that's bringing home the bacon.
After making chum of Disney's "Mary Poppins Returns" and Paramount's "Bumblebee" over the holidays, "Aquaman" has continued its dominance as we go into the new year. The superhero that controls the oceans has won the domestic box office for the third-straight weekend with a strong estimated $30.7 million. That puts the movie's domestic total at $259.7 million. But its worldwide take is even more impressive.
With a global gross of $940.7 million, "Aquaman" is now the highest-grossing movie in the DCEU, blowing past previous worldwide leader "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" ($873.6 million).
The next step for James Wan's hit movie is to become the first DCEU movie to make $1 billion at the worldwide box office. The milestone seems inevitable.
That would then put it in the stratosphere of the top-earning DC movies ever, a category that includes Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" and "The Dark Knight Rises," which both earned over $1 billion worldwide in their theatrical runs.
With little competition at the multiplex in January until M. Night Shyamalan's highly anticipated "Glass" opens January 18, expect another win for "Aquaman" next week.
Meanwhile, the only major new release in theaters this weekend didn't do poorly despite "Aquaman's" success.
Sony's "Escape Room" took in $18 million to come in second place this weekend at the domestic box office. The thriller was only made for $9 million.
With the start of the new year we're close to the halfway point of the 2018-19 NBA season, and the league's best players are reaching their peak as the all-star break approaches.
Every year, fans vote for their favorite players to participate in All-Star Weekend, but the voting process is a better judge of popularity than actual skill. So where can NBA faithfuls find more objective ratings of the league's top talent? In video games; "NBA 2K19" is the world's most meticulously-crafted basketball simulation and uses statistics to adjust ratings for more than 350 NBA players throughout the season.
Basketball fans and players alike have always had a strong response to the 2K ratings, which take player tendencies, consistency, and overall efficiency into account to come up with a final number. Players are given an overall rating on a 0-100 scale based on 30 different attributes. During the season the ratings are regularly adjusted to match the real-life performance of the players, to keep it as close to real life as possible.
2k rating is disrespectful. Y’all will learn though 💪🏽👊🏽— kuz (@kylekuzma) July 20, 2018
While the players at the top of the overall rankings are household names, things start to get a bit more unpredictable as the list goes on. Without further ado, here are the 10 best players in the NBA right now, according to "NBA 2K19."
10) Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers - 92 Overall
After making the All-NBA 1st Team in 2018, the former Rookie of the Year looks to be in peak form this season. Portland is once again in the center of the Western Conference playoff hunt and Lillard is leading the team in scoring, assists, and minutes played per game.
Prior to the start of the season, the Lakers were rumored to be exploring trades to pair Lillard with LeBron James in Los Angeles. Lillard is originally from Oakland, but signed with the Trail Blazers through the 2020-21 season.
9) Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder - 92 Overall
Russell Westbrook followed up his MVP 2016-17 season by averaging a triple-double for the second consecutive year with 25.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 10.3 assists per game. The last player to average a triple-double for the entire season was Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson in 1962.
After exiting the playoffs in the first round the past two seasons, Oklahoma City is one of the leading contenders in the Western Conference as the all-star break approaches.
8) Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics - 92 Overall
Despite missing most of the 2017-18 season due to an injury, Irving remains one of the most explosive offensive players in the NBA and returned to a Celtics team that reached the East Conference Finals without his help. While the star has struggled to stay healthy over the course of the last three years, he has shown that he has what it takes to push a team into championship territory.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider