Archive for April, 2015

What’s The Verdict: Is Jay-Z’s Tidal Streaming Service in Trouble?

Jay-Z Speaks Out: Is Tidal Streaming Service in Trouble?

In response to minor backlash and rumors, Jay-Z sent out a series of messages via Twitter defending his latest business venture Tidal. Although the music streaming service launched under a month ago, there have been reports claiming that the service is “struggling.” The app has fallen out of Apple’s top 750 app charts after peaking at #83 on April 7th.  Additionally, other artists including Lorde have publicly criticized the company; not to mention the CEO was recently fired. Clearly, there have been some bumps in the road, but what company doesn’t have a few in the beginning? Jay-Z has come to the defense of Tidal via social media using the hashtag #TidalFacts. One statement put forth says: “The iTunes Store wasn’t built in a day. It took Spotify 9 years to be successful.”  Despite reports that the service is failing, Jay-Z says that Tidal has over 770,000 subscribers and is reminding everyone that “Tidal is doing just fine.” In other words, they are right were they are supposed to be. Many of the subscribers are within their first month, which means that it’s possible some will unsubscribe once that 30 day trial is up. I wonder how much that number will drop in the next couple weeks.

I find Jay-Z’s response to be quite interesting considering that he hardly ever tweets! Since joining Twitter back in 2008, he’s only tweeted 231 times and does not follow a single person.  The marketing campaign for Tidal has featured lots of social media promotion, so it was no surprise that #TidalFacts began trending amongst affiliated artists as well as fans. Jay-Z both defended his company and reiterated what separates Tidal from competitors, which is its value on music as an art and artists being fairly compensated. Check out his stream of consciousness here!

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Avengers: Age of Ultron hit the Lottery?

Avengers: Age of Ultron hit the Lottery?

Avengers: Age of Ultron has hit IMAX records! The film dominated overseas after bringing in $200.2 million.  This surpasses the opening of the first Avengers film by 44% and Iron Man 3 by 24%. Check out some stats on the overseas contributors: Korea hit $28.2 million followed by the UK at $27.5 million, Russia at $16.2 million, Brazil at $13.1 million, and Australia at $13.1 million.  The film will be released at the North American box office along with Spain, Mexico, Turkey, and Thailand this coming weekend.  Mad Max: Fury Road will be a competitor for Ultron; however it will not be released until May 13. In the meantime, Ultron has room to continue bringing in high box office numbers!

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How Did Bruce Jenner Break Social Media Records?

How Did Bruce Jenner Break Social Media Records?

Almost everyone had something to say on social media after Diane Sawyer sat down with Bruce Jenner for a 2-hour interview, which covered the rumors that he was transitioning into a woman.  The exclusive interview on ABC’s 20/20 brought the highest ratings it has seen for a non-awards show and non-sports event.  The special scored almost 17 million viewers! With that, Jenner was a worldwide trend on Twitter throughout the broadcast and the numbers make the show “the most social Friday telecast of all time, excluding sports.”  According to Nielsen Social,  about 8.1 million people saw one or more of the 972,000 tweets about the program, those tweets were sent by 403,000 people and viewed 139 million times. These conversations were filled with support for Jenner and his story. More importantly, the interview was a historic moment for the transgender community. If you didn’t watch the interview, I commend Diane Sawyer for the way she carried this sensitive matter.  Sawyer asked the questions we all wanted to ask, but did so in a way that was non-invasive. It has been confirmed that Jenner will star in his own docu-series that will cover his transition; the show is set to debut on E! in July.  #BruceJennerInterview

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CAA and UTA in a Tug-of-War over Chris Pratt?

CAA and UTA in a Tug-of-War over Chris Pratt?

Were you thinking that the dust was beginning to settle? Not so fast. Chris Pratt, star of Guardians of the Galaxy, could be in the midst of a heated tug-of-war. Chris Pratt was signed with CAA  when he began working on a film project The Real McCoy. Then, on March 31st, Chris Pratt followed his agent Jason Heyman over to UTA. Pratt was not officially attached to the project until April 16th.  That’s two weeks after the move.  What does this mean for the project? Does it belong to CAA or is it transferred to UTA? It’s unlikely that CAA will easily pass it over to their archenemy.  The question remains…which agency will get the actor’s commission?

CAA can make the claim that they should get commission because the project first started while Pratt was still with the agency.  But UTA could win this given the litigation and arbitration actions pending.  There was no deal in place for Pratt but only an oral attachment agreement.  In this case, UTA would be the sole agency negotiating on behalf on Pratt.

It’s no surprise CAA is fighting for this. Once the project’s pitches began circling Hollywood, every studio showed interest. Universal Studios and Warner Bros. entered an aggressive bidding war and in the end, Universal won.  In addition, Chris Pratt who starred in Guardians of the Galaxy is seen as an up and coming star. He recently turned down offers as high as $6 million and if Jurassic World coming out in June is a success, then there’s no doubt his salary range would hit 8 figures. Who wouldn’t want this actor’s commission!

Stay tuned for more updates!

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What are Aziz Ansari and Netflix Cooking Up?

What are Aziz Ansari and Netflix Cooking Up?

The Ansari-Netflix duo. Comedian Aziz Ansari and Netflix are cooking up a new sitcom to be featured on the streaming service. It will be a 10-episode comedy series starring Aziz Ansari and other notorious comedians including Eric Wareheim (Time and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), Noel Wells (SNL), Kelvin Yu (Popular) amongst others as co-stars. The show has not yet been titled and details have been kept under wraps, but word on the street is that it deals with…dating and relationships. I wonder if there is a connection to Ansari’s book Modern Romance, which will be coming out in June.

The show is being co-created with Alan Yang, executive producer of Parks & Rec.  Both Ansari and Yang will serve as executive producers along with a few others including Michael Schur and David Miner, both of whom are from Parks & Rec. The connection? Aziz Ansari is widely recognized as the star for all seven seasons of the popular TV series. In fact, it was Ansari’s ‘big break’ so to speak.  Supposedly, filming has started in New York but no word on its release.  Anyone whose a comedy fan or a fan of Parks & Rec should definitely keep their eye out for updates. This announcement comes after deals to feature Ansari’s stand-up specials as well as other talks of new sitcoms including a Full House reunion type series. Netflix just keeps on hitting the green light!

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Katie Holmes Going Behind the Camera?

Katie Holmes Going Behind the Camera?

The actress Katie Holmes has partnered with Mike Daniels, former Sons of Anarchy co-executive producer, for a victim advocate drama to be on Cinemax. Daniels will be writing the script and serve as a showrunner, but both Holmes and Daniels are executive producers. What is this ‘character-driven action drama; going to be about? The show will follow a victims’ rights advocate who is attacked by a stalker, but later returns to the dangerous streets of her past all in the name of justice.  I wonder what kind of action this entails.  Although the show has not yet been named, I’m already hooked on the suspense.  The film will be produced via Universal Television studios, which marks their first project for Cinemax. In being a fan of both Katie Holmes and Sons of Anarchy, my expectations are going to be high. Who else is going to watch?

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Warner Bros. Blockbuster Hits Going IMAX?

Warner Bros. Blockbuster Hits Going IMAX?

IMAX Corp and Warner Bros. Pictures have extended their partnership to 2020 with big plans to release up to 30 of the studio’s biggest films in IMAX’s special presentation format.  Some of the films include ‘Batman v Superman,’ Tarzan,’ ‘Jungle Book:Origins,’ and Harry Potter spin-off ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.’  All films will be digitally remastered to fit the new IMAX laser format.  It’s high tech, high quality, and has a higher resolution than 2D or 3D.  Studios and moviegoers love this kind of stuff.  The two companies have been partnered for more than 10 years and have extended for five more years. They’re definitely doing something right. The news comes just a few weeks after Warner Bros’ rival Disney renewed a similar deal with IMAX to release films such as ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ and ‘Captain America’ amongst others.  Whose planning to see these blockbuster hits in IMAX?

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