writer's strike

With a May 2 negotiating deadline right around the corner, a push from plenty of writers via social media, and an overwhelming vote yesterday in favor of authorizing a strike, it’s safe to assume that the Writers Guild of America (WGA) may again go on the picket line, aiming for fairer wages and a better health care plan. If you want more the details on why the guild is prepared to strike, we wrote a primer on everything you need to know.

WGA strikes aren’t entirely uncommon: in the last 60 years, they’ve gone on strike four times, the longest one taking 155 days in 1988. Most recently, the WGA went on strike for 100 days between November 2007 and February 2008. Because the landscape of film and TV had changed drastically since the 1988 strike, the impact on audiences was felt a little bit more notably. Relative to the current situation, looking back at the 2007-08 strike may offer a peek into what we can expect as audience members, presuming that the WGA goes on strike again next week.

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Netflix in theaters

Amazon made a big splash at this year’s Academy Awards, with Manchester by the Sea winning Oscars for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. Pundits cited Amazon’s theatrical model as having a big impact on that film’s wins, while another major streaming site, Netflix, has struggled to achieve similar awards outside of the documentary categories – perhaps due to its more limited theatrical distribution.

But Netflix’s new quarterly earnings report implies that changes could be brewing, and audiences may have the chance to see Netflix original movies on the big screen as well as at home.
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writer's strike.pngAt this point, your memories of the 2007-2008 WGA strike might be fuzzy. You might remember Tina Fey holding a picket sign, or Conan O’Brien spinning his wedding ring on television after his writing staff walked away. But otherwise? That was ten years ago. We had just gotten iPhones for the first time, the last Harry Potter book was out, and honestly, everything else is kind of a blur.

But those memories are about to come flooding back as the Writers Guild of America considers another potential strike. Today, the WGA will finalize a strike-authorization vote. If its members vote to authorize, the guild has the power to call a strike. It’ll do just that if ongoing contract negotiations break down between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP). Should that happen, the strike would commence as early as May 2.

Now what does all that mean, exactly? We’re glad you asked. Here’s a basic rundown. 

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Demolition Man Lawsuit

This fall will mark 24 years since the sci-fi action flick Demolition Man hit theaters, but Sylvester Stallone has just filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. Pictures for “intentional dishonesty” in their accounting, thereby keeping some of the profits that are owed to the actor and his loan-out company Rogue Marble.

Why is this lawsuit being raised so long after the movie was released? Sylvester Stallone thinks the time is right to make a stink about this that will hopefully set a precedent to force reportedly notoriously dishonest “Hollywood Accounting” to give talent and production companies what’s owed to them.
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Could Apple Buy Disney For $200 Billion?

Disney Franchise Timeline

At some point, we’ll be living in a future where only six companies exist and they rule the world with an iron fist, going to war to claim territory and forcibly win the loyalty of their customers. I’ve joked before about about joining the Disney army when that day comes (I don’t want to get forcibly conscripted into the Spectrum army, for God’s sake), but if a new rumor carries any weight, it looks like I’ll actually have to join Apple‘s military forces to make that happen.

Because according to a story circulating the internet, Apple is weighing the option of buying Disney. For $200 billion.

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$30 Home movie rentals Theater

One of the most intense business challenges Hollywood has faced during the past few years is dealing with the way the home video market has evolved. In an effort to breathe new life into it, some studios are now reportedly considering the idea of offering $30 home movie rentals after a film plays in theaters for a few weeks. But would you pay that price to watch a movie at home? Read More »

Movie Theater - Smaller Theatrical Release Window

As the playing field for media has changed in recent years, with exponentially much more content becoming available to stream by way of the internet, the distribution model for theatrical releases has been a hotly debated topic between movie studios and movie theaters. While movie studios have expressed interest in making movies available on VOD much sooner than usual, movie theater chains have pushed back with threats of refusing to show movies on their screens. But that may be changing in the future.

A new report indicates that movie studios are currently having discussions with some movie theater chains about the creation of a premium VOD service that would make some movies available to watch at home just 17 days after they hit theaters. Find out more about the smaller theatrical release window after the jump. Read More »

2016 National Film Registry Movies

Every year since 1989, the National Film Registry has added films to its roll that “represent important cultural, artistic and historic achievements in filmmaking” and will be preserved in the Library of Congress. They’ve announced their picks from this year, including staples from John Hughes, Wes Anderson, Alfred Hitchcock, Rob Reiner, Robert Zemeckis and much more.

Get the full list of 2016 National Film Registry movies after the jump. Read More »

disney buying netflix

I don’t know about you, but when the governments of the world collapse and civilization dissolves into chaos, and we’re reduced to living in a world where the biggest corporations battle for control of the surviving population, I’ll probably end up joining Team Disney. Because if I’m going to die for the glory of a corporate entity, it might as well be for Marvel and Star Wars. I’ll lie there, bleeding out on the battlefield, and look at the Mickey Mouse patch on my uniform and think “Well, at least I didn’t die for AT&T/Time Warner. Screw those guys!”

Anyway, Disney’s next step in becoming the domineering force of the dystopian future involves them possibly acquiring Netflix, a move that would be nothing short of huge for both companies.

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robert redford retiring

Robert Redford is on the short list of actors you can call a legend without anyone in the near vicinity having a word to say otherwise. He’s an icon, a powerful leading man who aged with grace, transforming into a powerhouse director, producer, and champion of independent film. And at 80 years old, it looks like we’ll see Robert Redford retiring sooner than later.

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