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Business Features

Give Me a Break: Why Cinemas Want to Bring Back Intermissions

In the days leading up to the Oct. 20 release of Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, The Lyric cinema in Fort Collins, Colorado, fielded some unusual calls from customers. They all wanted to know if the Western crime epic, which runs three hours and 26 minutes, would have an intermission. And, if not, could […]

It’s Quiet, Too Quiet, in Hollywood: Where Are the Deals?

Once the writers strike ended in late September, president of FX Entertainment Nick Grad and his colleagues began to clear their schedules. After a 148-day stoppage, the second longest in Writers Guild of America history, surely there would be a deluge of writers with fresh ideas and new spec scripts coming through, and Grad and […]

Ike’s Revenge? Ousted Marvel Mogul Looms As Disney Proxy Fight Heats Up

The last time Nelson Peltz and his firm Trian Partners waged a proxy battle against Disney, less than a year ago, they laid out their concerns in a PowerPoint presentation. Disney needed to cut costs, Trian said. It needed to bring back its dividend and get its free cash flow back on track. Disney was […]

The Rise of AI-Powered Stars: Big Money and Risks

The voice is unmistakable. As the video of a woman wading into the ocean during sunset played, a melodic tune was overlaid: “I woke up, woke up, woke up in a sunshine stattte, that’s livin’ up to me.” The voice was clearly that of T-Pain, including his signature Auto-Tune eccentricities. The catch? The lyrics — […]

Linda Yaccarino’s Very Unmerry X Mess

When Elon Musk announced last May that he was naming Linda Yaccarino the CEO of the company that I will always call Twitter, few people outside of the media business had any idea who she was. By now, just a few months later, the former head of advertising at NBCUniversal has become a lightning rod […]

Inside the Battle Over Fran Drescher’s “Robin Hood Fund”

In the final days of the SAG-AFTRA contract negotiations, when pressure was closing in on the guild to end what had been a crippling, nearly six month work stoppage, union president Fran Drescher was holding onto an unusual demand, one that most guild members knew nothing about.  Drescher wanted a fund over which SAG had […]

Why the Dying DVD Business Could Be Headed for a Resurrection

This year has been a melancholic one for collectors of physical media. DVDs and Blu-ray discs, once a source of billions in revenue for Hollywood companies, are at risk of becoming obsolete, or at least irrelevant. The first blow came at the end of September, when Netflix mailed its last DVD (a copy of the […]

“It’s a Dead End”: TV Writers Assistants Lose Hope for Post-Strike Career Advancement

Although landing any Hollywood gig will always be a challenge, those who work as writers assistants and in other support staff roles within the television-writing ecosystem have found this moment particularly dire. The writers strike is over, and rooms for broadcast hits have reopened, but few jobs in this space have surfaced since then, and […]

Everyone Wants Their Own ‘Drive to Survive’

If you’re a sports league or a superstar athlete, it used to be that you wanted all eyes to be on the field, court or track. Now, the real action occurs as much after the game’s over, with cameras still rolling. The runaway success of Netflix’s Formula 1 docuseries Drive to Survive and golf docuseries […]

Fran Drescher’s Role of a Lifetime

In the heat of the actors strike that had ground Hollywood to a halt for months, Fran Drescher told the 34 members of SAG-AFTRA’s negotiating committee a story about an aikido student in Japan who gets into a tiff with a drunk on a train. Throughout the strike, it has been Drescher’s practice to often […]

From Private Jets to Security Spending: Breaking Down Hollywood CEO Perks

Everyone in the business knows that CEOs at big media and entertainment companies get lavish pay packages: nearly always eight figures, and sometimes nine if there’s a big deal involved (like Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos’ $38 million haul last year, or WBD CEO David Zaslav’s infamous $246 million haul in 2021). Their compensation has been scrutinized amid […]

Why Hollywood Is in the Throes of an IP Frenzy

In mid-May, with the writers strike still in its infancy, UTA partner and media rights co-head Jason Richman found himself trying to gauge the industry’s appetite for dealmaking. A few years earlier, indie studio A24 had scooped up the rights to his client David Gauvey Herbert’s 2021 Esquire article, “Daddy Ball,” but the option had […]