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Box Office Mojo


Wanted to come back to this. When Hateful Eight came out a couple years ago, one of the 70mm theaters was near me. So I took the opportunity to see the special edition. It was actually kind of disappointing. The color was not as vivid and the picture was not as crisp as a corresponding digital projection. I’m not sad that I gave it a try but what was sold as a superior experience was really kind of inferior.


You know what’s a superior movie viewing experience. Watching a movie on your couch at home with your fridge full of food and drink close by, with your pants unbuckled if that’s your thing. And I don’t see any amount of technology changing that.


A lot of the artier film venues in London make a big deal about showing “film”, not just large format but the old school 35mm which was the standard, non-special size for decades.

There are movies fans who have an attachment to the idea of film, and I say idea because it applies even when the film print being screened is old, scratched, faded or discoloured.

They’d rather see a less than perfect film print than a digital projection.

I wouldn’t. I want to enjoy the content, not the delivery system.

The difference (for me) is the venue; a cinema, especially a theatre full of people, is a different experience than watching at home. I’m willing to pay to see some movies that way, but only if the quality is good enough.


This is doubly true for comedies, and probably horror (which I’ve only ever seen one or two of in theater)!


Aye, and when it comes to horror I only go to the really cheap and small theatre a mile away.

It’s great for atmosphere and audience banter.


Who the heck keeps their pants buckled at the theater?


Pee Wee Herman.


I don’t go in for many horror movies, but they end up being some of the most memorable theatre experiences. You don’t usually need a particularly big screen for them either (the kind that you’d bemoan the lack of for the $150 million flicks), it’s more about having a good crowd. The Visit is one screening that really stuck it out in my mind. People were laughing and being scared and having a great time. I’m kicking myself for only finding Don’t Breathe on home video. I bet that would have been a great one.


As the article says, this has wider implications and could effect the Oscar for VFX;

‘Beauty and the Beast’ VFX Presentation Canceled for “Legal Reasons”

The participants in a scheduled session on the making of Beauty and the Beauty at SIGGRAPH, the CG and VFX confab currently taking place in Los Angeles, quietly canceled Monday’s panel for “legal reasons,” according to a representative from the conference committee.

While the scheduled participants — which included speakers from Disney and VFX house Digital Domain 3.0 — didn’t elaborate on their reasons for the cancellation, legal issues surround the facial capture system MOVA, which was used to create the Beast.

A year ago, Digital Domain lost the right to use the facial capture system when Rearden LLC (the company that invented the system) secured an injunction against two Chinese firms that purchased allegedly stolen MOVA technology, which was being licensed by Digital Domain.

On July 17, Rearden took it a step further, seeking an injunction prohibiting Disney from distributing Beauty and the Beast, as well as Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron, which it claimed “used the stolen MOVA Contour systems and methods, made derivative works and reproduced, distributed, performed and displayed at least Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Beauty and the Beast, in knowing or willfully blind violation of Rearden Mova LLC’s intellectual property rights." Disney hasn’t responded to requests for comment on the injunction, and Digital Domain has declined comment.

The decision not to present its work at SIGGRAPH also signals a potentially tricky predicament that Disney and Digital Domain (as well as Beauty and the Beast’s additional VFX vendors such as Framestore) could face as Hollywood’s awards season approaches. Disney presumably planned to campaign Beauty and the Beast for the VFX Oscar on the strength of work that, notably, included a performance capture-based Beast, as well as many effects including CG environments and a supporting cast of anthropomorphic household items.

An attorney representing Rearden head Steve Perlman tells The Hollywood Reporter that the suit against the studios is the second phase of Rearden’s ongoing litigation against the companies it feels stole and then illegally used and profited from its MOVA technology. “This was the other shoe dropping,” says Mark Carlson, an attorney at Hagens Berman in Seattle. “There was the original group that essentially stole the technology and began offering it. This suit picks up and addresses the studios that have used the technology and incorporated it into their pictures.”

The legal tussle between Perlman and his former employee Greg LaSalle went to court last year and resulted in a trial over a single issue: ownership. The judge has yet to issue a ruling in that case. As a result, Carlson contends, the studios have little excuse for using a technology they knew had been mired in legal trouble. “An IP due diligence search, competently done, would have shown there were issues with the assignments,” says Carlson, “They’d worked with Perlman before and could have asked questions. They didn’t do that.”

A week after Rearden demanded an injunction on the Disney films, it filed similar lawsuits aimed at Fox and Paramount.


Pretty good article on Netflix, much longer than this excerpt (bolded part mine)


Given that they have to be at or near peak subscribers, and the market is slowly being flooded with competitors, I don’t know what happens from here from here. Clearly they disagree with my first point, but I think things could start sliding backwards on them in a hurry.

More in link:


It does seem like Hollywood studios could be hard bitten by the same sort of stringent IP litigiousness from tech firms that they use with copyright infringement. This technology is not free or easy and studios and production companies have been strangling the VFX industry expecting everything for practically nothing.

I wonder if studios really had to pay what the technology is really worth, would we have less special effects or less CGI/more practical effects in films? I imagine we’d certainly have better planning before production and post production.


They may well be at peak in the US or UK but they only launched to the vast majority of countries last year. So there’s huge scope for them grow internationally.

Whether that’s enough is another matter.


Netflix has a steady installed base and looks to grow internationally. I could easily see 500 million subscribers happen in the next few years. And the short term debt to develop original content pays off for years in maintaining their presence. They’ll be like a library card, a virtual DVD collection, something you have by default.

Debt is good so long as you grow faster than the interest rate and your payments aren’t destabilizing. The main number doesn’t matter - Netflix should be fine. Money is so cheap these days every company should be building up debt.


The biggest problem for Netflix seems to be that their revenue stream is fixed to the number of subscribers they have. I’m not sure if tney still do the DVD-by-mail thing, but that would seem to be a money loser at this point.

At some point they’ll max out on subscribers and they’ll have to start raising their rates to maintain and grow revenue. Or coming up with a payAper-view scheme or some kind of “premium” or tiered service.

And, right now, they’re the big streamer, but streaming is going to become a very competitive field. Amazon Prime is already putting out original content, and the other big players will probably want in on the action, too. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are obvious ones, and the old media giants are going to be wading in, too. They will stop licensing their own content out in favor of putting it on their own streaming platforms. So on in order to watch everything that’s available you’ll need to susbscribe to probably ten or more of these, and then you’re right back at paying $100+ a month for cable.


They’re unable to expand into China so there is a cap there however.

I suspect the amount of content they have will go backwards, not forward, as studios and networks start pulling their content out to offer their own services.


I think their intention is to dominate before that point, that’s why the huge spend and the simultaneous launch into 120 countries which must have taken years to plan even though they dropped it as a surprise. As with Amazon anyone else can set up an online store but they now have 56% of all US online sales, or Google couldn’t sell a social media platform with Google + because too many people were on Facebook.

So in Jason’s scenario of every content provider setting up a streaming service for $10, people won’t want to pay that and it could be a lot of them will flounder and go running back. Not saying that will happen but it’s an alternative scenario and I think the one they are probably working towards.


Based on the current subscriber numbers, and if the monthly fee is ~A$10 like it is here (notwithstanding the premium accounts), Netflix bring in US$12.48 billion per year.

Except that it’s on demand, and allows for multiple viewing devices at once which is a far better offer than what cable used to be. Ideally you’d want to be able to access all the streaming services through the one interface; they’ll be resistant to that but anything else will be too cumbersome.

(It’s already annoying; we have two paid streaming services subs, plus the two services available from public broadcasters here, and premium cable on top of that…)


Netflix have a window to remain dominant and they’ll do everything they can to keep it. Hulu is no threat. Amazon don’t have a smash hit yet - they’re basically ACME at this point so I have no faith they’ll make consistent quality programming. All Netflix does every day is make quality streaming TV. And their model is the future of TV. Soon they’ll be making lots of big budget movies, and eventually they’ll get into live TV including sports. I don’t see them fading away.

Their stock price growth over the last few years is incredible.


Netflix’s biggest stumbling block will be Asia. Just like so many other western companies, they really just don’t seem to get Asia, and they’re actually a bit late to the game anyway. They still have a shot, but it’ll require a ton of promotion across cultures and languages, and partnerships with creative talents that produce quite different types of content from what Netflix had focused on so far.


Luckily there’s a few billion Asians willing to work for Netflix to help them out.