Posts tagged with "Disney"

James Bond, meet Jeff Bezos: Amazon just bought MGM Studios for $8.45 billion

May 27, 2021

Jeff Bezos has a new pet lion, Fast Company reports.

Amazon has reached a deal to acquire the storied MGM Studios for $8.45 billion—a move that will significantly bulk up its content library and entertainment intellectual property (IP) in the escalating war between premium streaming services, reports Fast Company.

In a joint announcement on Wednesday, May 26, the companies said MGM’s arsenal of more than 4,000 titles—including franchises ranging from James Bond and The Pink Panther to the Rocky and Poltergeist movies—will complement the Seattle e-commerce giant’s existing Amazon Studios, which is largely focused on TV series.

For Amazon, the acquisition is the largest since it scooped up Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion in 2017, Fast Company says. It comes as competing firms such as Disney and Netflix are spending more and more each year to keep their streaming services replenished with fresh movies, TV series, and familiar franchises.

“The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team,”

Research contact: @FastCompany

You can now transform your dog into a cartoon character using a new Snapchat filter

August 20, 2020

If you think your pet simply couldn’t be any cuter, try the new cartoon face filter on Snapchat. Suddenly, your “fur-ever friend” will look like a character out of a Disney animated film.

After the filter was discovered by a dog owner named Danielle Sugdenm, she took  took to the Facebook group, Dogspotting Society, to share the news, the UK’s Daily Mirror reports

Sugdenm wrote: “For those that don’t know… Snapchat has a new filter and it basically Disneyfies your dog. YOU ARE WELCOME. Plz post your Disney dawgs here.”

People went wild over her post and it quickly garnered over 9,000 likes and more than 3,000 comments. What’s more, her fellow dog lovers soon began sharing their own photos.

“Aww omg,” replied one user.

Another said: “So I guess I’m getting Snapchat now.”

A third added: “I just woke the baby from laughing so loud.”

The filter seemed to work on most pups – but there were a few users who couldn’t use it on their dogs. In one hilarious instance, the filter was applied only on the end of the dog’s nose. Its owner joked: “He looks just like a prince now from Disney.”

Research contact: @DailyMirror

A ‘Mandalorian’ PEZ dispenser gift set is coming and it will be an instant collectible

July 21, 2020

While the hype around Baby Yoda feels like it was years ago, it’s safe to say that everyone still has a soft spot for the breakout character of Disney+’s The MandalorianPeople may not be actively obsessing over the cute creature as much as they once were, but he’s still popping up as toys, a cereal, and now, as a PEZ dispenser, Delish reports.

If you’re a PEZ dispenser collector or just like eating the chewy little candies, this is huge news. PEZ dispensers are a phenomenon themselves, with new characters constantly coming out and super rare dispensers going for steep prices on resale sites like eBay.

The Baby Yoda dispenser might see a similar fate after it comes out because of the sheer popularity of the character and the fact that the other Yoda dispensers have been retired in years past. News of the candy was spotted by @DadBodSnacks on Instagram—at which a Baby Yoda plush and candy combo as well as new Harry Potter PEZ dispensers are heralded, as well.

The Baby Yoda dispenser comes in a set along with a Mandalorian dispenser and grape, lemon, and strawberry PEZ candy. The new Harry Potter dispensers already are available on the PEZ site, but the Mandalorian candy set is not, Delish reports; so it’s unclear when exactly these will be available online or if they’ll be available in stores as well.

Research contact: @DelishDotCom

Disney+ to come out of the starting gates in November

April 15, 2019

Disney’s bold new foray into subscription streaming with Disney+ got a thumbs-up from investors on April 12—pushing shares up over 10% in morning trading ,  while Netflix’s stock was down more than 3%, Variety reported.

The global entertainment and theme park company announced that its Disney+ subscription video on demand (SVOD) service would cost $6.99 per month, which is nearly half the price of Netflix’s standard $13 monthly plan.

Disney is investing heavily in Disney+’s U.S. launch, slated for November 12, the news outlet said. In fiscal 2020, the Mouse House will spend $1 billion in cash on original programming for Disney+, while it will have just under $1 billion in operating expenses, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy told analysts.

The platform will be supported by subscriptions; not advertising. Indeed, Disney’s projections for Disney+ — to reach 60 million-90 million subs by fiscal year 2024—were far above Wall Street expectations. The breakeven point for the SVOD service of FY 2024 also is more aggressive than analysts predicted, Variety said.

Out of the gate, the news outlet reported, Disney+ will be the exclusive U.S. SVOD streaming home for Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm films—starting with 2019 releases, which include “Captain Marvel,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Aladdin,” “Toy Story 4,” “The Lion King,” “Frozen 2,” and “Star Wars: Episode IX.”

All told, Disney+ will include 25 original series, including Jon Favreau’s Stars Wars-set “The Mandalorian” and a “High School Musical” series; along with ten original films and specials. In addition, it will be stocked with 400 library films — including 18 Pixar titles, nearly all Marvel movies and, within the first year, all the movies in the Star Wars franchise — and 100 recent movie releases from the Disney portfolio.

Also, it will feature 7,500 episodes of current a past TV shows; that includes 30 full seasons of “The Simpsons,” which are moving from FX’s Simpsons World app to the new service — one tangible result of Disney’s Fox takeover.

Disney will “likely” intro a discounted bundle of Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu, Kevin Mayer, chairman of the company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International segment said on April 11 — which will give the company additional levers to play with. In addition, Disney’s absorption of Fox’s entertainment assets provides “an unparalleled arsenal of IP to support its streaming services,” Patrice Cucinello, a director at Fitch Ratings, told Variety.

The announcement of the $6.99 monthly price point “generated a collective gasp in the room,” MoffettNathanson principal analyst Michael Nathanson said in a note published Friday. The service “looks like a bargain compared to other entertainment options.” Nathanson reiterated a “buy” rating on Disney stock and boosted his target price to $141 per share (up $7).

Research contact: @Variety

Big media and technology companies bankroll a $1 billion small-screen TV venture

August 8, 2018

Disney, Alibaba and NBCUniversal are participating in a $1 billion financing round for a new video streaming service—led by ex-Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman and ex-Walt Disney Studios Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg; and designed specifically for mobile viewing, CNBC reported on August 6.

The product, dubbed NewTV for now, will “access the best talent and intellectual property for this next era in entertainment,” Katzenberg, who will be chairman and founder of the initiative, said in a statement.

Katzenberg and his investors—which also include Fox, Viacom, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, and MGM— are banking on an untapped audience that craves high-quality content designed for smartphones and tablets.

Variety revealed this week that NewTV is aiming to launch by the end of 2019, with a premium lineup of original, short-form series comprising episodes of 10 minutes each. The service will have two subscription tiers: an advertising-free plan and an “advertising-light” option (a la Hulu), according to Whitman. Each series will cost between $5 million  and $6 million per hour to produce.

“With NewTV, we’ll give consumers a user-friendly platform, built for mobile, that delivers the best stories, created by the world’s top talent, allowing users to make the most of every moment of their day,” said Whitman, NewTV’s CEO, in a formal company statement on August 7.

NewTV’s platform is owned by Katzenberg’s holding company WndrCo.

More than half of all video viewing is now happening on mobile, and most of those views come from phones, not tablets, according to a study by : That’s video platform provider Ooyala.

Research contact: howard@wavekilo.com