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- 04/20/18--09:46: _Netflix has rejecte...
- 04/21/18--07:00: _MoviePass is losing...
- 04/21/18--07:45: _The 22 top Marvel C...
- 04/21/18--08:10: _The 17 worst sequel...
- 04/21/18--09:00: _This luxurious hote...
- 04/21/18--09:12: _14 movies playing a...
- 04/21/18--10:10: _How The Rock conque...
- 04/21/18--10:58: _Disneyland is home ...
- 04/21/18--11:04: _The eSports competi...
- 04/21/18--14:26: _A Wall Street analy...
- 04/21/18--17:08: _8 common words you ...
- 04/21/18--17:18: _Inside the 'storybo...
- 04/22/18--05:30: _Amazon's cloud busi...
- 04/22/18--07:59: _On Earth Day, Natio...
- 04/22/18--08:14: _'A Quiet Place' con...
- 04/22/18--10:08: _How to find the sec...
- 04/22/18--12:07: _Surreal photos from...
- 04/22/18--12:08: _Netflix's 'Amateur'...
- 04/22/18--19:14: _All the biggest mom...
- Netflix briefly considered acquiring Landmark Theatres, according to the Los Angeles Times.
- The move would have allowed the streaming giant to get their prestige titles better award seasons consideration.
- However, numerous sources told Business Insider that Netflix has the opportunity to screen its movies at more theaters but has declined some offers.
- One of the lessons of the dot-com bust was that services that seem too good to be true probably are.
- Since it dropped its price to $10 a month, MoviePass, the subscription movie ticket service, has seemed to be just that — too good to be true.
- Executives insisted the service was rationally priced and the company was developing a valuable asset in its large and growing subscriber base.
- But documents released showed the company is doing just what skeptics suspected — losing gobs of money.
- 04/21/18--08:10: The 17 worst sequels to great movies, ranked
- With its $55 million opening-weekend take in China, Dwayne Johnson's latest movie, "Rampage," is further evidence he's one of the few actors who can bring in major coin across the world.
- But his dominance in China, the world's second-largest movie market, has been years in the making.
- Disneyland has a not-so-secret squad of feral cats wandering the park.
- The company doesn't encourage people to feed or go near the cats, as they're feral.
- Still, the cats have earned plenty of fans on Facebook and Instagram — and even captured the attention of Hollywood star Ryan Gosling.
- eSports is a still nascent industry filled with commercial opportunity.
- There are a variety of revenue streams that companies can tap into.
- The market is presently undervalued and has significant room to grow.
- The dynamism of this market distinguishes it from traditional sports.
- The audience is high-value and global, and its numbers are rising.
- Brands can prosper in eSports by following the appropriate game plan.
- Game publishers approach their Esport ecosystems in different ways.
- Successful esport games are comprised of the same basic ingredients.
- Digital streaming platforms are spearheading the popularity of eSports.
- Legacy media are investing into eSports, and seeing encouraging results.
- Traditional sports franchises have a clear opportunity to seize in eSports.
- Virtual and augmented reality firms also stand to benefit from eSports.
- The gaming nucleus of eSports, including an overview of popular esport genres and games; the influence of game publishers, and the spectrum of strategies they adopt toward their respective esport scenes; the role of eSports event producers and the tournaments they operate.
- The eSports audience profile, its size, global reach, and demographic, psychographic, and behavioral attributes; the underlying factors driving its growth; why they are an attractive target for brands and broadcasters; and the significant audience and commercial crossover with traditional sports.
- eSports media broadcasters, including digital avant-garde like Twitch and YouTube, newer digital entrants like Facebook and traditional media outlets like Turner’s TBS Network, ESPN, and Canal Plus; their strategies and successes in this space; and the virtual reality opportunity.
- eSports market economics, with a market sizing, growth forecasts, and regional analyses; an evaluation of the eSports spectacle and its revenue generators, some of which are idiosyncratic to this industry; strategic planning for brand marketers, with case studies; and an exploration of the infinite dynamism and immense potential of the eSports economy.
- The Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter on Tuesday reiterated his "underperform" rating on Netflix's shares.
- His bearish view comes despite the company's earnings report Monday that said it added about 1 million more subscribers in the first quarter than analysts had expected.
- Pachter is concerned about Netflix's cash burn and thinks the company can't turn that around and post significantly positive cash flow without raising prices to the point that it curtails growth.
- 04/21/18--17:08: 8 common words you probably didn't know came from TV shows
- TV shows like "Friends," "Saturday Night Live," "The Simpsons," and "Seinfeld" have made a lasting cultural impact.
- They even added words to the dictionary.
- Words like "spam," "regifting," and "going commando" have become part of common parlance.
- AWS is launching a new blockchain product that will make it easier for engineers to use blockchains without building a network from scratch.
- AWS evangelist Jeff Barr illustrated the benefits of this product with an apt analogy found in a 1976 Saturday Night Live skit.
- In the skit, a couple is fighting over whether a product is a dessert topping or a floor wax. It might not be obvious, but it's actually both things at once.
- Paramount's "A Quiet Place" is back on top of the domestic box office with $22 million this weekend.
- It's now made $132 million domestically (with only a $17 million budget).
- "I Feel Pretty" ($16.2 million) and "Super Troopers 2" ($14.7 million) had solid opening weekends.
- The new "God of War" game has a secret ending.
- It's easy to miss, but it's not hard to find after you finish the game's main storyline.
- Here are spoiler-free instructions for how to see the ending.
- 04/22/18--19:14: All the biggest moments from the 'Westworld' season 2 premiere
It seems that, for at least a fleeting moment, Netflix was interested in buying movie theaters that would play its movies on the big screen.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the streaming giant “explored” the idea of acquiring Landmark Theatres, the 53-theater chain with locations in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, and San Francisco (among others).
Netflix eventually decided the price was too high, according to the paper (a source familiar with the situation confirmed to Business Insider that Netflix is not buying Landmark). But the news has puzzled many in the movie theater community because for years Netflix has been playing a cat-and-mouse game with exhibitors, especially arthouses.
On one hand, Netflix paints itself as the ultimate Hollywood disrupter — releasing movies simultaneously across the world on its streaming service, from blockbusters to award-season bait. However, on the other hand, Netflix craves prestige from Hollywood and wants its movies to be recognized with multiple Oscar nominations, just like how its TV shows are received by the Emmys.
But the big problem is movie theaters still hold some strong cards. Specifically, no movie can receive Oscar consideration unless it plays in movie theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a specific time. Because Netflix rarely gives its moves theatrical releases, and when it does they are "day-and-date" (playing in theaters when the movies are already streaming), the major movie chains refuse to show them.
This hasn’t stopped Netflix from getting acclaimed documentaries recognized (Netflix’s documentary “Icarus” recently won the best documentary Oscar), but when it comes to its narrative titles they are all but ignored. The acclaimed “Mudbound” received four nominations at this year’s Oscars, but none were for any of the major categories.
So Netflix considering buying its own movie theaters to show its titles makes sense.
“They are looking for awards to boost subscription revenue and buying a theater chain would potentially allow them greater access to awards through key theatrical runs in target markets,” a source who works in exhibition told Business Insider.
However, some in the business are wondering why they just don’t play on more arthouse screens.
“Wouldn’t it be infinitely cheaper to just exhibit their movies like everyone else?” asked one source.
Despite the major multiplexes like AMC and Cinemark blocking Netflix movies because it does day-and-date, independent theaters want them.
Multiple sources in the arthouse community told Business Insider that Netflix has refused theaters that have asked to show its movies. Alamo Drafthouse, which has screened Netflix titles in the past, asked to screen “Mudbound” and Netflix declined, according to numerous sources.
“Netflix has specifically chosen not to make its films available,” a source said.
And there’s another reason why Netflix may have decided owning theaters wasn’t worth it: They would have finally have had to reveal to the public how their titles perform.
“Netflix movies do not report their grosses through comScore, which would likely have to end if they owned a theater company,” one industry source said. “It would look very bad for Netflix movies to underperform against traditional releases in their own theaters.”
Netflix declined to comment for this story.
Of all the companies that came and went in the dot-com boom and bust, the one I most regret not using before it died was Kozmo.com.
Kozmo was essentially an online convenience store. At just about any hour, you could place an order for whatever it was you were in need of at that moment, and the company would deliver it — quickly and for free.
Because it didn't have a minimum order size, you could get away with ordering a single candy bar or a pack of gum. A buddy of mine, after getting a song stuck in his head, would go on Kozmo and order a single CD to be delivered to his house.
The service was so amazing at the time, it sounded too good to be true.
It turned out that once you factored in delivery costs, Kozmo was losing money on every sale. Its net loss in 1999, the last year it publicly disclosed, was $29 million which was 8 times the size of its meager total revenue for that year. By the time Kozmo shut down in 2001 — four years after it launched — it had burned through $250 million in venture capital funding and had little left to show for it.
The lessons of Kozmo and other, similar dot-com busts have kept coming back to me repeatedly in recent months, particularly as the craze over MoviePass continues.
MoviePass has been a big hit with consumers — but that's its problem
By now, you've probably heard about MoviePass. It's the company that offers a subscription service that allows you to attend one movie each day in the theaters for only $10 a month.
MoviePass has actually been around since 2011, but barely made a stir with the general public until it cut its rates to the $10 price in August. Since then, its service has taken off, hitting 1 million subscribers before the end of last year and 2 million by February. Just by itself, MoviePass bought 1 million tickets to "Black Panther" for subscribers.
But ever since MoviePass made a splash by announcing its $10 a month plan, I've thought there was something very Kozmo-like about it. The company's service sounded just too good to be true.
The average price of a single movie ticket was almost $9 last year, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners. At that price, MoviePass subscribers starts saving money by using the service with the second movie they see each month. Each movie they see after that each month is essentially free.
Things are even better for customers in areas such as New York and San Francisco, where ticket prices are generally significantly more than the average, and often top $10. Subscribers in those areas can often save money on the very first movie ticket they buy each month if they use MoviePass. And if customers signed up for the annual plan that MoviePass temporarily offered — which averaged about $7.50 a month— they can save even more money.
That's a great deal for consumers. But it's a recipe for disaster for a company. The whole thinking behind MoviePass is to encourage consumers to get back into the habit of watching movies in theaters. But it loses money on anyone who sees more than one movie in a month. And the customers that use the service the most are the ones that cost the company the most money.
MoviePass has been publicly dismissing concerns
MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, a former Netflix executive, has been shrugging off these concerns. Instead of the price being irrationally low, Lowe has argued that the service is priced just right. The average casual moviegoer only sees about one movie a month, meaning that the service is priced at around breakeven for them and for the company.
Meanwhile, MoviePass is building up a valuable asset in the form of its large and growing subscriber base, Lowe has argued. Theaters and other companies will pay to advertise to them, he's predicted. And theater chains will end up offering the company discounted tickets and a cut of concession sales, figuring that MoviePass is helping to bring in more viewers to their venues than they'd otherwise have, he's said.
That's a nice dream, but as MoviePass' parent company made clear this week, its reality is much closer to what I believed it to be — MoviePass is losing money hand over fist.
But the company's business model looks a lot like a dot-com bust
The company's annual report indicates that MoviePass is spending far more money buying tickets than it's getting in subscription revenues, a business model that Kozmo would have been familiar with.
Thanks to that, as Business Insider reported, MoviePass has been burning through about $20 million a month since September. Just between December 19 and February 20, parent company Helios and Matheson, which only took control of MoviePass on December 11, advanced MoviePass nearly $56 million to support its operations, Helios disclosed in its annual report this week. Helios gave MoviePass another $35 million between March 1 and April 12.
In fact, MoviePass is burning through money so quickly that Helios had to go to the public markets to raise more funds. And even after raising $30 million this week, it warned investors that it would need to keep raising money.
MoviePass has become such an albatross for Helios that the company's auditors issued a warning in its annual report that there was substantial doubt it would remain in business over the next year.
That too was familiar. We saw a lot of similar "going concern" warnings during the dot-com bust.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Lowe and MoviePass will pull this out. Maybe the company won't be our era's version of Kozmo.
But right now, I feel like I've seen this movie before, and I know the ending.
NOW WATCH: How does MoviePass make money?
When you think about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, popular heroes like Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Panther probably spring to mind first. Or you might even think about the notable villains like Loki and Killmonger.
But the MCU is also rich with memorable supporting characters that have made their mark on their respective movies. Standouts like the rock-man Korg in "Thor: Ragnarok" or Black Panther's technologically savvy sister Shuri stole the show in great movies.
Business Insider has gathered 22 of the most memorable (some more than others) supporting heroes and "sidekicks" in the MCU and ranked them worst to best. These are the characters that aren't necessarily "Avengers" (yet) but could be; or they are regular people who have provided immense support.
Love interests like Natalie Portman's character in "Thor" and Rachel McAdams in "Doctor Strange" were left off the list because the MCU unfortunately casts talented actresses in wasted, underwritten roles. There are, though, a couple exceptions, like Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts in the "Iron Man" movies and Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia in "Black Panther," who have memorable roles that stand apart from the main character.
Below are 22 notable supporting heroes and sidekicks in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ranked:
22. Ned ("Spider-Man: Homecoming")
Played by Jacob Batalon
Ned, Peter Parker's best friend, doesn't really do much in "Homecoming" aside from providing comic relief. He does help Parker unlock some cool features in his Spider suit, but that's about it.
21. Erik Selvig ("Thor" and "The Avengers")
Played by Stellan Skarsgård
The astrophysicist Selvig was first introduced in 2011 in "Thor" and reprised his role in "The Avengers," and then the sequels to both of those movies. You probably wouldn't realize that he's shown up that much in the MCU, even though he's been a big help to Thor and the Avengers, because he's kind of forgettable. And he spends much of "The Avengers" brainwashed.
20. Harley ("Iron Man 3")
Played by Ty Simpkins
Harley is a very, very supporting character who shows up in "Iron Man 3" and helps Tony Stark after his armor shuts down and leaves him stranded. The movie is so divisive, though, that perhaps the one thing most people can agree on is that this kid is the best part of the movie.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Whenever a critically acclaimed movie does well at the box office, Hollywood studios are eager to throw money into a follow-up picture or even a series of sequels.
But some movie premises aren't meant to be extended.
And many, many sequels aren't executed with the thought or care of their far-superior original films, especially in series that have stretched over many years — as one sees in the chasm of quality between "The Terminator" (1984) and "Terminator Genisys" (2015).
We adapted this ranking from our list of the worst sequels of all time, selecting the films that had a vast discrepancy in Rotten Tomatoes critic scores between their terrible sequels and great originals.
Here are 17 of the worst sequels to great movies, ranked by the increasing discrepancies in their critical reception:
17. "Friday After Next" (2002)
Critic score: 26%
Sequel to: "Friday" (1995) — 74%
What critics said: "The jokes are sophomoric, stereotypes are sprinkled everywhere and the acting ranges from bad to bodacious." — San Francisco Chronicle
16. "Batman & Robin"
Critic score: 10%
Sequel to: "Batman" (1989) — 72%
What critics said: "A sniggering, exhausting, overproduced extravaganza that has virtually all of the humanity pounded out of it in the name of an endless parade of stunt sequences." — Chicago Tribune
15. "The Fly II" (1989)
Critic score: 27%
Sequel to: "The Fly" (1986) — 91%
What critics said: "It's got nothing on Cronenberg's original - or the Vincent Price classic" — Sunday Times
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Panama City has a lot to offer tourists. Gorgeous beaches, historic sites, and a lively downtown area are just a few of the many attractions that bring millions of tourists from all over the world to the Central American city every year.
But if you're not into any of that outdoorsy stuff, you might enjoy a stay in this crazy hotel room, designed to be a gamer's paradise, at the Panama City Hilton Hotel. The room was created by the Latin American division of PC company Alienware — a subsidiary of Dell — and showcased in a video this week touting the room in all its glory.
The room is decked out with Alienware gaming tech, and it's like nothing you've ever seen:
A high-end Alienware PC and VR-gaming setup dominates the room, all centered around a racing-style gamer chair, pointed at a massive 65-inch TV. It reportedly costs $349 a night.
The room also features the usual hotel stuff: Two queen beds, cable access, full bathroom, and so on.
A close up of the battle station shows an Alienware Aurora desktop, a high-end gaming PC that starts at $899.99, and a color-changing backlit gaming keyboard, complimented with two Xbox controllers and an Oculus Rift VR headset.
The equipment in this photo is worth at least $1,500, by even the most modest of estimates.
If you happen to bring a guest with you and want to play a few rounds of "Fortnite: Battle Royale," they can use the Alienware gaming laptop conveniently right behind the main chair.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Beginning on Wednesday, the Tribeca Film Festival kicks off another year of spotlighting fascinating movies, TV shows, and the latest projects from the world of virtual reality.
That isn't even mentioning the anniversary screenings of treasured classics like “Schindler’s List" and “Scarface,” accompanied by talks with the legends behind the works.
But not everyone can make it to New York City to take in all the fun. Here are 14 movies showing at the fest that you should seek out when they are eventually released in theaters and streaming.
“The American Meme”
This documentary looks at the people who are famous for being famous — Paris Hilton, The Fat Jew, Emily Ratajkowski, among others — and dissects what you really have to do to become a social media brand. [Seeking distribution]
Following up his best foreign film Oscar for “A Fantastic Woman,” Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio gives us the story of a taboo romance set in North London’s Orthodox Jewish community, starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams. [Released by Bleecker Street on April 27]
“The Fourth Estate”
Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus (“What Happened, Miss Simone?”) looks at the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency from inside one of the papers he criticizes the most: The New York Times. [Airing on Showtime May 27]
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
For many studio heads these days, glancing at how their latest movie did in China is in some ways more important than seeing how it did in North America. That is because things are changing drastically for an industry in which the domestic box office had been considered the true indicator of a movie's worth for over a century.
Since the early 2000s, the movie market in China has gone from almost nonexistent to second behind only the US. And it could become No. 1 by 2020, as movie theaters continue to be built at a hurried pace to feed the interest of not just the Hollywood titles but those made by the country's burgeoning homegrown production industry.
Everyone in Hollywood is trying to figure out how to navigate this sea change. Which stories work best? Which are duds? And which movie stars can rake in the cash?
That last one has become an easy answer: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
His latest CGI (and testosterone) heavy blockbuster, "Rampage," won the US box office over the weekend with a $35.8 million take for its studio Warner Bros. But what the movie did in China has the studio ecstatic, as it took in $55.2 million there as part of a $115.7 million international gross.
But this is far from an overnight success. The Rock has been big in China for a while.
Dominance years in the making
Johnson's elevation to a global box-office draw came when he joined the "Fast and the Furious" franchise with 2011's "Fast Five." But his potential worth in China expanded dramatically over the next few years.
In 2013, "Fast & Furious 6" became the first movie in the Universal franchise to play in China (though years' worth of bootlegs of the previous movies were undoubtedly floating around the country). It took in a respectable $66.5 million there. But when "Furious 7" played there in 2015, it went gangbusters, taking in $391 million in China. A few months later, Johnson showed he didn't need the "Fast" fam to make it in China, where "San Andreas" went on to earn $103.2 million.
The next movie starring Johnson that went to China was the 2016 animated film "Moana" ($32.7 million), and then in 2017 "The Fate of the Furious" found incredible success there with $392.8 million, helping the movie earn $1.2 billion worldwide.
With audiences in China already getting a glimpse of Johnson this year when "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" opened there in January ($78 million), the $55 million "Rampage" opening suggests it doesn't matter whether he's with an ensemble or solo: They want to see Johnson.
"Johnson continues to prove that he is the most bankable star in the world with his growing global appeal," the comScore box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Business Insider. "It's hard to imagine any other star who could have catapulted 'Rampage' to a nearly $150 million worldwide debut."
But in an indication of just how important China is, The Rock made sure to spend some time there before "Rampage" opened.
Mr. Johnson goes to Shanghai
It's pretty standard to tour the globe for publicity on a major Hollywood release, but when you're a huge star like Dwayne Johnson, the hustle can be narrowed down to some key regions. And Warner Bros. made sure one of Johnson's stops was in China.
Johnson went on a promotional tour in Shanghai for "Rampage," his first time visiting the country's largest city, a studio source told Business Insider.
And the way he was treated, he's certain to return.
The movie's press conference in the city was live-streamed through multiple partners across the country, there was a fan screening in Shanghai's biggest theater, and Johnson extended his likability across all ages after he befriended three kids who were dressed as the three monsters from the movie during the press conference (the movie is based on a popular video game in which giant monsters destroy cities).
It’s all in my charm.. and bribery. Huge RAMPAGE press conference in Shanghai and they bring out these adorable little humans dressed as our three Rampage monsters. They were terrified of me until I said “BIG HUG” in Mandarin, then the hugs commenced. Truth is I bribed these kids with chocolate, candy and free college tuition to not embarrass me in front of the press. It worked. #SHANGHAI #RAMPAGE #WorldTour #BriningLittleHumans
"Dwayne, or 'Johnson' as they call him in China, was in great spirits and charmed all of the audiences with his signature enthusiasm and humor," the source said.
Along with the $55 million opening weekend, "Rampage" took in $15.7 million on its opening day in China, the third-highest opening day ever for a Warner Bros. movie in the country.
"Dwayne Johnson and giant monsters — that's the perfect recipe for a hit in China these days," Jeff Bock, a senior analyst for Exhibitor Relations, told Business Insider. "In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if that was the tipping point for 'Rampage' getting green-lit in the first place."
In an era when the mega movie stars are considered less of a draw than a good superhero movie with "regular" stars, Johnson is showing he's an exception to the trend. He is already a household name in the US, and he's ahead of most stars in conquering China.
Disneyland is home to some unexpected residents that might give Mickey Mouse pause.
The famous park is home to dozens of feral cats.
Mike Fox, author of "The Hidden Secrets & Stories of Walt Disney World," "Disneyland Details: The Magical Hidden Secrets & Story Elements of Disneyland," and "Disneyland In-Depth" and founder of the site Disney-Secrets.com told Business Insider that the park houses "cats members" who "roam the park day and night keeping any rodents in check."
"Guests love them, and they even have their own fan pages," he told Business Insider. "The fact their title is a play on the title of 'cast members' makes it that much more interesting."
Here's a look at how the wild cats earned free rein of Disneyland:
DON'T MISS: 20 cities are left in the running for Amazon's second headquarters — and the story of Disney's secret hunt for land nearly 60 years ago could predict how Amazon's HQ2 will change its home city
According to the cats' fan site, the feline invasion of Disneyland began in 1955, when the Walt Disney Company had to evict them from Sleeping Beauty Castle. Those cats were adopted by cast members.
The cats that live in the resort today are not part of a concerted park effort to manage pests.
DisneylandCats.com said that a team of Disney cast members is assigned to ensure the park-wide clowder is healthy.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.
What is eSports? History & Rise of Video Game Tournaments
Years ago, eSports was a community of video gamers who would gather at conventions to play Counter Strike, Call of Duty, or League of Legends.
These multiplayer video game competitions would determine League of Legends champions, the greatest shooters in Call of Duty, the cream of the crop of Street Fighter players, the elite Dota 2 competitors, and more.
But today, as the history of eSports continue to unfold, media giants such as ESPN and Turner are broadcasting eSports tournaments and competitions. And in 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch, the live streaming video platform that has been and continues to be the leader in online gaming broadcasts. And YouTube also wanted to jump on the live streaming gaming community with the creation of YouTube Gaming.
eSports Market Growth Booming
To put in perspective how big eSports is becoming, a Google search for "lol" does not produce "laughing out loud" as the top result. Instead, it points to League of Legends, one of the most popular competitive games in existence. The game has spawned a worldwide community called the League of Legends Championship Series, more commonly known as LCS or LOL eSports.
What started as friends gathering in each other's homes to host LAN parties and play into the night has become an official network of pro gaming tournaments and leagues with legitimate teams, some of which are even sponsored and have international reach. Organizations such as Denial, AHQ, and MLG have multiple eSports leagues.
And to really understand the scope of all this, consider that the prize pool for the latest Dota 2 tournament was more than $20 million.
Websites even exist for eSports live scores to let people track the competitions in real time if they are unable to watch. There are even fantasy eSports leagues similar to fantasy football, along with the large and growing scene of eSports betting and gambling.
So it's understandable why traditional media companies would want to capitalize on this growing trend just before it floods into the mainstream. Approximately 300 million people worldwide tune in to eSports today, and that number is growing rapidly. By 2020, that number will be closer to 500 million.
eSports Industry Analysis - The Future of the Competitive Gaming Market
Financial institutions are starting to take notice. Goldman Sachs valued eSports at $500 million in 2016 and expects the market will grow at 22% annually compounded over the next three years into a more than $1 billion opportunity.
And industry statistics are already backing this valuation and demonstrating the potential for massive earnings. To illustrate the market value, market growth, and potential earnings for eSports, consider Swedish media company Modern Times Group's $87 million acquisition of Turtle Entertainment, the holding company for ESL. YouTube has made its biggest eSports investment to date by signing a multiyear broadcasting deal with Faceit to stream the latter's Esports Championship Series. And the NBA will launch its own eSports league in 2018.
Of course, as with any growing phenomenon, the question becomes: How do advertisers capitalize? This is especially tricky for eSports because of its audience demographics, which is young, passionate, male-dominated, and digital-first. They live online and on social media, are avid ad-blockers, and don't watch traditional TV or respond to conventional advertising.
So what will the future of eSports look like? How high can it climb? Could it reach the mainstream popularity of baseball or football? How will advertisers be able to reach an audience that does its best to shield itself from advertising?
Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled an unparalleled report on the eSports ecosystem that dissects the growing market for competitive gaming. This comprehensive, industry-defining report contains more than 30 charts and figures that forecast audience growth, average revenue per user, and revenue growth.
Companies and organizations mentioned in the report include: NFL, NBA, English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, NHL, Paris Saint-Germain, Ligue 1, Ligue de Football, Twitch, Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, Electronic Arts, EA Sports, Valve, Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, ESL, Turtle Entertainment, Dreamhack, Modern Times Group, Turner Broadcasting, TBS Network, Vivendi, Canal Plus, Dailymotion, Disney, BAMTech, Intel, Coca Cola, Red Bull, HTC, Mikonet
Here are some eSports industry facts and statistics from the report:
In full, the report illuminates the business of eSports from four angles:
When it comes to Netflix, Michael Pachter remains a bear — even after seeing the company post standout quarterly results on Monday.
Long skeptical of the streaming-video company's business model and its ability to generate meaningful returns for investors, the Wedbush analyst on Tuesday reiterated his "underperform" rating on Netflix's shares.
He did increase his price target to $125 a share from $110, but that only underlines his pessimism; in recent trading, Netflix shares were trading at $336.92, up $29.14 a share, or about 9%.
In explaining his rating, Pachter pointed to Netflix's ongoing cash burn. The company had a net outflow of about $284 million in its latest quarter, stemming from its operations and its investments in equipment and DVDs for its legacy business.
The company said Monday that it expected to continue burning through cash for the "several more years," Pachter noted. Realistically, the company won't be able to stanch the bleeding unless it dramatically raises prices — a move that could severely crimp its growth, he said.
"Until we see evidence that it can successfully deliver positive free cash flow, we advise investors to seek more compelling investment opportunities," Pachter said in a research note. "We believe that Netflix's valuation is unwarranted."
While Netflix's reported Q1 revenue and profits were in line with Wall Street's expectations, it added 7.4 million subscribers, about 1 million more than analysts had forecast. Many of Pachter's colleagues on the Street used Netflix's results to issue bullish reports on the company and raise their price targets to the stock's current level or beyond.
Even Pachter was impressed with that kind of subscriber growth.
"Netflix is absolutely delivering on its growth goals," Pachter said, adding that the company "is clearly doing something right."
But Netflix is essentially boosting its subscriber growth by underpricing its service, he said.
While the company posts a profit on its income statement, that accounting ledger accounts for only a portion of what it's spending on producing and licensing movies and TV shows. Once you factor in all the money Netflix is sending out the door, the company's cash flow is deeply in the red and getting worse.
Last year, the company's free cash flow — which takes into account operating expenses and investments in property and equipment and other long-lived assets — was in the red by $2 billion. This year, the company expects an outflow of $3 billion to $4 billion.
To break even from a cash flow perspective, Netflix would have to raise its prices to about $15 a month globally, Pachter estimated; right now, it charges $11 a month in the US and about $9 internationally.
To be a significantly profitable business, he said, it would have to charge about $20 a month.
At that level, Netflix's growth rate would almost certainly slow to a crawl, given the increasing number of competitors, all of which offer their services at significantly lower prices.
"In conclusion, we aren't yet ready to drink the Netflix Kool-Aid," Pachter said.
Television plays an important role in society — it educates, connects with us emotionally, offers cultural commentary, and makes us laugh.
But TV plays an important linguistic role as well. Language experts play close attention to the ways TV shows influence the way we talk, and some of the most interesting linguistic developments are associated with TV.
Take the word "spam," for instance. Once just a canned lunch meat, spam now refers to junk email — all because of a 1970 Monty Python sketch.
There are plenty of other examples too, from shows like "Friends," "Saturday Night Live," "The Simpsons," and "Seinfeld."
Read on to learn about some of the most enduring words that got their starts on popular TV shows.
It's hard to believe that one of the most basic joke constructions got its start on "SNL," but that's exactly the case here.
The joke debuted in a well-known 1990 "Wayne's World" sketch featuring the cast members Mike Myers and Dana Carvey and the host Tom Hanks. At one point, Myers turned to Hanks and said, "Anyways, Barry, that was really interesting," before looking into the camera and adding, "Not!"
The joke turned into one of the sketch's many catchphrases and had such staying power that "Not!" was named the American Dialect Society's Word of the Year in 1992.
In the years before that sketch, the word floated around in the vernacular of UCLA college students according to the Orlando Sentinel. And before that, Steve Martin ad-libbed a similar line in a 1978 "SNL" sketch.
But we can thank "Wayne's World" for bringing the "Not!" joke into the mainstream — and for inspiring one of the more memorable scenes in "Borat."
Canned Spam has been around since the 1930s, but we can thank a 1970 Monty Python sketch for its alternate internet-related definition.
The sketch is set in a cafe where nearly every menu item contains Spam. The references to the canned lunchmeat increase until all the dialogue is drowned out by a chorus of Vikings singing "Spam!" repeatedly.
As chatting on the internet became possible in the '80s and '90s, some early netizens flooded online message boards with lyrics to the song, drowning out other conversations, much like the Vikings in the sketch.
The practice of giving someone a gift you had previously received has been around as long as gifts have been given.
But calling it "regifting" became popular thanks to a 1995 episode of "Seinfeld" in which a regifted label-maker becomes a topic of concern among the show's characters.
Merriam-Webster also indicates the episode was the first use of the term, saying it emerged in 1995.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Former first lady Barbara Bush died on Tuesday at age 92.
She had been battling Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and congestive heart failure, and was hospitalized several times over the last year.
Bush, who resided in the White House for four years while her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, served as Commander in Chief, had been married to the 41st president of the United States for 73 years.
Described as a true love story, here is an inside look at the longest marriage in US presidential history:
Barbara Pierce and George Bush met at a dance over Christmas vacation in 1942. She was 16 and he was 17, and Barbara claimed that George was the first boy she ever kissed.
Source: Associated Press
After dating for a year and a half, the two became engaged and planned to get married before George went off to serve in World War II as a Navy pilot. He famously named three of his Navy planes after her, and the two shared love letters while he was away.
On January 6, 1945, the couple married at the First Presbyterian Church in Rye, New York while George was on leave from war. He was 20 and she was 19.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Amazon Web Services announced a new product on Thursday that will make it easier to use blockchains.
AWS isn't the first to market with this kind blockchain product. IBM has led the way with enterprise-grade platforms for building on top of blockchains. Oracle also has an offering, and Google Cloud has been experimenting with their own products.
What is new, however, is how AWS has chosen to illustrate the uses of blockchain: with a 'Saturday Night Live' skit from 1976.
The Shimmer Floor Wax skit shows a husband and wife fighting over whether a product is meant to be used as a dessert topping or as floor wax. It's kind of funny and kind of gross, but it also demonstrates how blockchain experts can sometimes talk past each other when it comes to explaining the benefits of the emerging technology.
"Some of the people that I talk to see blockchains as the foundation of a new monetary system and a way to facilitate international payments," AWS evangelist Jeff Barr wrote in a blog post. "Others see blockchains as a distributed ledger and immutable data source that can be applied to logistics, supply chain, land registration, crowdfunding, and other use cases."
"Either way, it is clear that there are a lot of intriguing possibilities and we are working to help our customers use this technology more effectively," he said.
AWS said its new Blockchain Templates will simplify the process of launching an Ethereum or Hyperledger Fabric network, getting it done "in a matter of minutes and with just a few clicks."
It will make it easier for engineer to build platforms that benefit from blockchain technology's contracts and immutable ledgers, without needing to know how to build them from scratch.
Earth Day is one of the world's largest celebrations of our environment.
To commemorate the holiday, National Geographic is debuting a "Symphony for our World": a television event that will pair a slideshow of National Geographic's stunning wildlife photography with a five-part symphony.
The music is created by Bleeding Fingers Music and performed by a full orchestra and choir. The symphony-and-photo pairing will air on National Geographic Wild on Sunday, April 22 at 7 p.m. EST.
A touring, 90-minute live symphony event with projections of the photos will also debut in San Francisco, California on April 22 (Earth Day), then tour around the US and Canada.
Below are some of the most spectacular wildlife images from "Symphony for our World," which were previously unreleased from National Geographic's archive.
The live symphony performances will take place in cities around the US and Canada. After starting in San Francisco on Sunday, the event will then travel to Austin, Texas in July.
The music and images are divided into five parts that correspond with different ecosystems: the sea, coastlines, land, mountains, and sky.
Images from each of those environments will be accompanied by a different chapter of music that's tailored to the ecosystem.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
This weekend marks the last before Disney/Marvel Studio's "Avengers: Infinity War" opens and pretty much sucks up the majority of the box office for the next few weeks, so the rest of Hollywood tried to get its dollars in now before the faucet is turned off.
For the most part, they were successful.
After the worldwide success of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's latest movie "Rampage" last weekend, Paramount's surprise hit "A Quiet Place" continues to amaze as it's back on top of the domestic box office in its third weekend in theaters. The movie earned an estimated $22 million this weekend, according to Exhibitor Relations.
That now puts its domestic total at $132 million (it was made for just $17 million).
"Rampage" came in second with $21 million. The Warner Bros.' hit dropped under 50% domestically this weekend to land in third place, a respectable drop and even more impressive seeing the movie is based on a video game, a genre that historically isn't a big draw past the first weekend. The movie has made over $192 million worldwide.
But the big surprise of the weekend was the performance of "Super Troopers 2."
The sequel to the now cult classic 2002 release from comedy troupe Broken Lizard that follows the antics of five Vermont state troopers took in $14.7 million this weekend. That's far above its $5 million to $7 million projection for the weekend.
The movie, released by Fox Searchlight, won Friday with a $7.9 million take (pretty much making up its $5 million production budget in one day). It also didn't hurt that the date on Friday was 4/20, a marketing godsend for a marijuana-focused franchise.
"I Feel Pretty," released by STX Films/Voltage/Wonderland Sound, also exceeded its industry projections ($11 million to $14 million), which is a major rebound for Schumer, who lost a lot of points with audiences and critics with the disappointing comedy "Snatched" last year.
Warner Bros. is also happy to see its Steven Spielberg hit, "Ready Player One," cross the $500 million milestone at the worldwide box office. That includes over $200 million in China, making it the 10th-highest grossing US-made release in the Middle Kingdom all-time.
The new "God of War" game is so much fun to play, you may have missed its secret ending.
The PlayStation 4-exclusive is a triumph of storytelling and design, offering dozens of hours of gameplay within its gorgeous version of the mythological Norse realm of Midgard. After the game's story comes to an end, you may think that's all there is. And it's understandable — it's a satisfying conclusion.
But "God of War" has a Marvel-esque hidden ending, one that you can only unlock after you complete the game's final story mission and the credits roll. If you were paying attention to the game's story at all, you'll be eager to see the secret finale.
Without saying anything about the secret ending itself (no spoilers!), here's how to unlock it:
After the credits roll, the game informs you that you can return to the open world and continue exploring. But you have another option: Return to the house you started in at the beginning of the game.
When you get to the house, enter through the front door. Inside, you'll find a button prompt near the beds of Kratos and Atreus. It's a small house, so the prompt isn't hard to find.
Once there, you can choose to go to sleep for the first time since your adventure began. Doing so will trigger the secret ending.
If you care at all about the future of the "God of War" franchise, you'll be excited to see the hidden finale. Enjoy!
NOW WATCH: How gross are your earbuds?
Coachella may be having its greatest year on record.
Fans are losing their minds over one jaw-dropping show after the next at the annual music-and-arts festival hosted in Indio, California.
Many on Twitter are even calling it "Beychella" after Beyoncé delivered not one but two headliner performances of a lifetime on consecutive Saturday nights.
Here's what you're missing at Coachella 2018:
Let's just jump right in: Beyoncé slayed Coachella better than any artist in history.
Queen Bey brought out Destiny's Child, Solange, and Jay-Z for a truly inspired set.
It took no few than 100 backup performers, three months of rehearsals, and five costume changes. Critics and entertainers are calling it the GOAT Coachella show.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Director Ryan Koo got himself the golden ticket when his directorial debut “Amateur” was bought by Netflix in the script stage to be one of its original movies. But the journey the movie took to get to the streaming giant’s millions of viewers was a challenging one.
It’s a struggle to make every movie, but Koo can make the argument that he took on obstacles that most first-time filmmakers don’t.
In “Amateur” (currently available on Netflix) we get a look inside what young basketball phenoms go through to get the attention of a big-time Division I NCAA school. Main character 14-year-old Terron Forte is a star on his school basketball team, but to get to the next level his family enrolls him in a shady prep-school. In doing so, we see firsthand the corruption behind youth athletics where the kids no longer play for the coach, or to get into college, or even the NBA — they play for the brands.
To capture that authentic feel, Koo cast 15-year-old actor Michael Rainey Jr. in the role of Terron. And as he explained to Business Insider, what came with that decision were a lot of restrictions that, if navigated incorrectly, could have crippled the entire movie.
The frustrations behind finding a lead actor
Koo said a big reason why it took years for “Amateur” to get made was because of his insistence on having a real teen for the lead role.
Not only would that mean that there would be production restrictions laid on him because he was working with a minor (more on that below), but he would have to find a kid who wasn’t just skilled at basketball, but had top acting skills to carry a feature film.
“In basketball films you are working with an actor who probably had to learn how to play the sport for the role rather than come from a starting point of being a great basketball player themselves,” Koo said. “So I always assumed I was going to need to cast a basketball player who had never acted before.”
The problem Koo found in his research is a skilled high school basketball player could potentially play in college. If he were to pay that person for being in the movie that person would lose his eligibility to play basketball in college, according to the rules by the NCAA which does not allow its student athletes to be paid.
“You're talking about a weeks-long movie shoot as a full time job, which you can't pay your lead actor,” Koo said. “So we were on the phone with the NCAA a few times about this to try to figure out what we could and couldn't do and who we could cast.”
Eventually Koo got extremely lucky and found an actor who had been a talented basketball player for years.
Michael Rainey Jr. had been a working actor since 8 years old, starring along side Common in the 2012 movie “Luv” and the son of Sophia Burset in “Orange is the New Black.” But Koo learned that he had also played basketball as well, even running point on an AAU team.
Rainey got the part and Koo teamed him with a basketball trainer to hone the moves he would show off in the movie.
But things didn’t get easier for Koo going into production.
The crew’s worst nightmare: Shooting a movie in “splits”
It’s a term that gives movie crews the chills — splits. That’s when a production’s shooting day is split up between a daytime block and a night block. The “Amateur” production had to do this because it was shooting a movie with a minor, so he could only work 8-and-a-half hours per day with production required to stop at 12:30 am. And because high-school basketball games are played in the evening, there would be a lot of evening scenes.
“That gives you very little flexibility to swap things,” Koo said. “You have to make the first half of your day because you're racing daylight, and we had a hard out every night at 12:30.”
So most days would start with the production getting set up at noon on its Denver set, Rainey would show up on set at 3 p.m. and they would immediately begin shooting. They would break for lunch at 8 p.m., wait until it got dark, and then shoot the evening scenes until Rainey had to wrap at 12:30.
And because Koo and his production were racing the clock daily, the “Amateur” production never had a company move (meaning packing everything up and moving to another location). That's a rarity for any movie.
“We had no time,” Koo said. “So what we ended up doing was finding locations that we could use for many locations. In the movie it looks like Terron goes from this less well-off public school to a much nicer, posh private school. There's one school I used for at least four schools. In the gym we did painting and made it into different colors to make it look like they played in different gyms.”
A 15 year old’s remarkable poise during the drama to get the movie’s final shot
“Amateur” ends with a powerful scene where Terron breaks down and cries after thinking back on the experience he’s just gone through and what the future may bring.
For the scene, Koo wanted Rainey to show real emotion and not have him do it with fake tears. Rainey was up for it, and everyone was set up to start the scene once he gave the sign to Koo that he was ready. Koo said all was going according to plan and he thought the scene was perfect when he said “cut.” However, there was one problem.
“Our cameras didn’t work,” he said.
They tried another take, and again, the cameras didn’t work. Though Koo said both he and Rainey were upset about what was happening, the director commends his young lead actor’s composure.
“We got it on the third take,” Koo said.
Looking back Koo can’t believe they pulled it off with all the restrictions against them. But he admits he would absolutely work with a teen as the lead in his movie again.
“There is no substitute for the very real, very unique, emotions of youth,” he said. “I think that's why audiences respond to coming-of-age stories — we are aware, especially later in life, of how fleeting those moments were. We'll never be the same age again and we'll never get those feelings back. When I look at Michael in the film I feel privileged to have captured, and preserved, those emotions on-screen.”
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Warning: Huge spoilers for "Westworld" season two. If you aren't caught up on the series, read at your own risk.
"Westworld" aired its season one finale in 2016, and for the last year and a half fans have been trying to answer a lot of questions. Some of them got answered in the season two premiere Sunday night, but as always with "Westworld," the show raised even more.
The season two premiere, called "Journey Into Night," is a bit slow-paced as it does more set-up than a typical episode of "Westworld." But it still throws in some action and promises some excellent (if confusing) storylines for season two.
The premiere sets up some exciting pairings (like Maeve and Lee Sizemore), introduces new characters, and opens the possibility of showing off other parks beyond Westworld.
Here's our recap of the the season 2 premiere of "Westworld":
We still can’t trust a "Westworld" timeline.
This episode might seem straightforward, but most scenes are told from Dolores or Bernard’s perspective. Since they’re both hosts, we might think we know what we’re seeing (or more importantly, when), but we can’t be too sure based on what the show pulled on us in season one.
The premiere picks up right where season one left off: after the host massacre Ford initiated.
According to Karl Strand, a new character and the Head of Operations, the parks within Delos Destinations lost communication for about two weeks.
We get an idea of where Westworld and the other parks are located.
If you watched closely, you’d know that Delos has jurisdiction over an entire island. When Bernard is observing Strand talking to a man in a military uniform, Strand tells the man that Delos has “authority over this entire island.” This gives us a better idea of where and what exactly this land of expansive parks is.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider