Archive for July, 2013

IMAX Dominating in Movie Theaters

IMAX Corporation has expanded its partnership with both Wanda Cinema Line Corporation, as well as AMC Theaters. The renewal of joint venture with Wanda includes an addition of up to 120 new IMAX Theaters in China, making Wanda the largest international partnership for IMAX. Similarly, AMC’s  (owned by Wanda Group) deal with IMAX includes up to 10 new IMAX theatres in the US, making them the largest IMAX exhibition partners in North America. These new commitments of expansion reflect IMAX’s goals for their development in the next-generation laser projection system, and showcase their confidence in bringing premiere cinematic experiences for everyone in entertainment. 

Read more on: IMAX Super-Sizes Partnership Deals With AMC Theaters And Wanda

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Disney Fans, Rejoice!

For all you Disney fans out there…get excited! Walt Disney Records and Amazon have just signed a deal to release out-of print titles and certain Disney classic films. These soundtracks and songs will be released through Amazon’s service – CreateSpace.

Although the terms of negotiation is not available to the public, we know that there are already 18 titles in the DIsney CD Rarities section on Amazon.com as of now. Now stay in tune, as new titles will be added to the Disney Music Store every month, from the most recent films such as “The Avengers” to classic films from the 90s!

So Disney fans of all ages, you will now have the convenience of Amazon.com to reconnect with your childhood Disney memories, or stay connected with the current Disney music!

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Italian Film Industry’s Tax Credit Troubles

Back in 2009, the Italian government proposed to implement tax incentive cuts to the cinema industry under a new budget strategy to combat recession. As soon as the news came out, the Italian film industry threatened this new budget law with strikes and protests to protect the major tax credits that supported film productions. At the end, the issue was resolved after rigorous negotiation processes, and tax credits continued to be funded.

However, the Italian administration has just announced this year that tax credits for the entertainment industry will not be funded after the end of 2014. Instead of budgeting the tax credit for lower, the administration has decided to eliminate tax credits as a whole. This economic decision was made to help Italy reduce debt, and climb out of the European debt crisis. In fact, as of last year, Italy’s debt was 127% of the entire country’s GDP, making it the second highest debt-to-GDP country in Europe, right behind Greece. Due to this, the Italian government is making wide-range government spending cuts to various industries, including the cinema and television sector.

This decision clearly has implications not only on the Italian films, but also international movies co-filmed in Italy. Italy’s tax incentives have always ben a major attraction for production companies worldwide to film their productions in this country. The original tax credits not only provide up to $6.6 million dollars for every Italian cinema/TV as production costs; but it it also provide up to $4.6 million dollars for co-productions shot in Italy, making the country an idea place for many US films to be made. Just as a few examples, past US filmed that have been co-produced there include The Bank Job, The Tourist, Letters to Juliet, and The Godfather. The elimination of these tax credit will not only take away the appeal for foreign production companies to film in Italy, but it will also result in the fall of production as a whole. Major Italian films that require a high budget will no longer have the support they need, and the reduction of films being made can ultimately lead to an estimate of 2,500 job losses in the near future (including those of distributors and indirectly related positions).

Upon receiving Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s  statement on the tax credits elimination, many Italian film associations have responded vigorously to this change. Last Thursday, about thirty film associations- including ANICA, ANEC, AGIS, 100autori Writers’ Association and various unions, have released a statement that threatens to block the Venice Film Festival’s July 25th conference and all major events if the tax credits is not reinstated by then. They have asked the government to at least provide $118 million funding per year. Despite Letta’s efforts to reassure the industry that the government is committed to locate the tax credits from resources elsewhere after next year, these film associations are looking to be less lenient than they were in 2009.

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Changes in Music Consumption

Since Billboard introduced a new formula to determine rankings on the Hot 100 singles chart earlier this year, it immediately made an enormous impact in the music business. Regardless of the backlashes this change received from labels, or the approval from other parties, this change has been a positive influence for many artists; particularly new and unknown artists.

Billboard has always been validated as the source to go to for determining top selling music. Their rankings are often where people look at to find out what is popular, and are also how people determine what music to purchase. The formula that generates the rankings, created by Nielsen SounsScan, has traditionally included physical CD sales, digital downloads, radio airplay as well as online radio streaming. But YouTube video streaming data has now been incorporated into this formula, changing the major players that are on top of that list. For instance, for an unknown artists such as Baauer, this updated formula immediately pushed his song “Harlem Shake” to the number one spot due to thousands of YouTube videos generated on this viral song. Similarly, “Gangnam Style” by Korean sensation Psy, which went viral on YouTube with its fascinating dance moves, also jumped to the No. 1 spot on the Rap Songs chart (even though he has not been fully embraced by the American audience as a genuine rapper).

All of this is good news for artists such as Baauer and Psy, who otherwise would not have garnered the amount of attention they needed to top the charts through the traditional platforms. Getting your music on radio and making your name well known often requires a lot of promotional money and marketing efforts from record labels. Billboard charts are therefore often to predict, based on the major labels that are behind the artists on the charts and the type of music they release (generally pop). But this change in the Billboard formula give artists a chance to reach fame even without being backed financially by a record label, or signed to any deal. In addition, it shifts the attention away from mainstream pop and rap, giving other genres, such as indie or country, a chance to climb onto the Billboard chart based on their online audience base. Sure, there are still debates on whether this change in formula really reflects the consumption of music or the money flw in the business. Record labels can possibly manipulate the views on YouTube and generate unauthentic “hits” for their major talents. But the Billboard chart with its with formula is created to reflect what the public is currently listening to on a week-to-week basis, regardless of the actual money it brings in. So if you’re a new artist, pay close attention. Billboard might have just provided a new model for you to break into the industry.

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