Disney Classifying Streaming as “Home Video” to keep 80% of Older Show Royalties

Is it just us or does it seem like Disney’s accounting department, especially when it comes to royalty payments takes creativity very seriously? Remember the issue recently with author Alan Dean Foster and others (see: Alan Dean Foster Isn’t The Only Author Not Receiving Royalties from Disney says The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America)

Get this:

For years, Disney has been keeping 80% of the revenue from older shows that it distributes to streaming platforms, leaving only 20% to be available to stars and other profit participants. It does so by classifying the revenue as “home video.” Under a formula dating from the introduction of the VCR, Disney subtracts an 80% royalty to its in-house distributor to cover the costs of distribution.

Disney Takes 80% of Streaming Revenue by Calling It ‘Home Video’ – Variety

No false illusions, Disney is a business and it seeks to make deals that benefits their business. It’s too bad that so much money is made off the backs of creative people. New technology rolls in, creative works seem to become less valuable except the biggest corporations that “own” the publishing rights.

I can see why creative people are fighting back, but it just bolsters the idea the only way to get around this is to keep your publishing rights. Self-publish. The minute you sign a pact with one of these major studios you’re giving up the lion’s share of profits from the publishing and distribution. Some deals these companies make benefit the creative people, but the older contracts don’t seem to have a way of dealing with new technology.

In time this will change.

Yes, AOC: “Sex work is work” – Maybe AMC Should Be More Desperate

AMC theaters in our area — Washington State — are closed until January 4, 2021 at the earliest

Sure, the title is hyperbolic and ridiculous. But maybe AMC needs to be as desperate as some Americans are right now with their own financial situation.

It’s maddening to me that we think of helping companies sometimes more than helping people. There are homeless people out in the cold right now and I doubt many of them tonight when the temperature drops below freezing care one iota what happens to AMC.

No, I don’ think anything as ludicrous as AMC promoting XXX movies at their theaters. Turning to showing XXX movies isn’t their salvation, but sometimes creativity and desperation are similar bedfellows.

Most of what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, says and does I don’t agree with, but strongly agree with her on this story about a 23 year old woman paramedic who supplemented her income with sex work on a website.

While the woman didn’t turn to prostitution — not judging, it’s a profession that is legal in some parts of the world, including parts of Nevada — she did turn to selling something that has sold for a long, long time: sex.

Is sex legitimate work? Of course it is. AOC is right to admonish the press calling out this woman who supplemented her income with sex-related work.

“Keep the focus of shame there,” Ocasio-Cortez added, “not on marginalizing people surviving a pandemic without help.” Earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez found herself agreeing with Republican U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who has also called for stimulus checks for ordinary Americans to be part of the next coronavirus relief bill.

AOC responds ‘Sex work is work,’ to report of NYC paramedic posting racy photos for cash | Fox News

The more important issue isn’t shaming a woman for turning to supplemental sex money is doing something in congress to get another stimulus check out to people. It bothers me that the focus of the government continues to be on helping businesses.

Every time I see another article that AMC is about to go bankrupt, I’m somewhat annoyed. Stop fear shaming us that a “100 year old company is about to go bankrupt.”

If that’s the reality, just go bankrupt. Sell assets and let others come in and buy what’s left or they should be doing something to try and save the business from crashing.

The reality is that AMC was in financial trouble before the pandemic. I wish more of these “oh no, poor AMC” articles would focus on that. This company sucked financially before any of 2020 happened and yet we’re supposed to cry for them now? No.

I’ll cry for the paramedic woman being needlessly shamed. Unlike AMC that couldn’t run their business profitably, she deserves our respect for working. Sex work? So what. She’s working.

Don’t expect the morality police to agree, but hey, it is what it is. Although there are limits of how far I’d go personally, when you have to eat, you have to eat. Good for this paramedic. Is this a bit sexist, too? If a man turned to sex to feed his family out of necessity, would he face similar backlash?

Just How Much Every Month Will You Spend on Streaming Channels?

Unless you are rich — and maybe still some of the wealthy, too — must have some sort of monthly budget for expenses.

In these troubled times, but hopefully soon improving as vaccines travel the world, we must look at whatever money we’re making and budget accordingly. Streaming channels are part of the overall entertainment budget and the cost of them is and will continue to rise.

Netflix has been not so quietly increasing its monthly subscription prices over the past few years (see: ) and in Disney’s recent earnings call, they announced plans to increase Disney+ pricing by a $1/month in March ($7.99/month instead of $6.99).

Disney plans on spending between $14 billion and $16 billion across its streaming ventures to make all those shows and movies. Someone has to pay for all that content — and that someone is probably you, the customer. If Disney wants to achieve its forecast of hitting profitability in fiscal 2024, it has to raise prices.

Streaming is about to get a lot more expensive – CNN

From time to time we analyze what we’re spending on entertainment. If you figure we can’t have our $44/month for the unlimited theater budget at the moment (see: ), that leaves an additional $44 for streaming channels.

Here’s what we’re spending and where (from most expensive to least):

  1. Netflix ($17/month + tax) $18.70
  2. HBO Max ($72 + tax, bi-annual) $13.20
  3. Amazon Prime ($120 + tax, annual) $11
  4. Disney+ ($80 + tax, annual) $7.33
  5. Hulu ($5.99/month + tax) $6.60
  6. CBS All Access ($5.99/month + tax) $6.60
  7. Peacock premium (Free, included with XFinity High Speed Internet)

= $63.43/month

All things considered, we feel like that $63.43 is reasonable. Do we want to see it rise to over $100/month? No, but something tells me in 5-10 years, perhaps sooner, the costs will continue to rise under the guise of, “hey, look how much content we have!”

Unless more of the channels we watch opt for advertising to pay the difference. CBS All Access and Hulu both have ads. HBO Max is going to add ads, but hopefully not to the subscription we’re on. The rest of the streaming channels we subscribe to don’t have ads at this time, including the most expensive: Netflix.

How much are you spending monthly on streaming? How much are you willing to spend going forward?

Quibi Reportedly Exploring More Cash, Merger, Or Being Acquired

Meg Whitman promised cast to TV would “accelerate its road map” months ago …

Thought we wouldn’t be writing any more posts here about Quibi until they enabled a promised cast to TV option. To my knowledge, they still haven’t done that, but here we return again to the black sheep of the streaming family.

Their new plans, if true, might be more egregious than launching without a necessary basic streaming function.

Quibi launched April 6 as COVID-19 was sweeping across the U.S. and much of the world. It was aiming to bring high-end, Netflix-like programming to mobile phones as people were stuck in shelter at home mode. The Journal said Quibi is also considering raising additional cash or merging with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, a popular financial vehicle of late.

Quibi Exploring Options, Including Potential Sale – Report – Deadline

The tech bubble burst on company after company essentially using this same playbook. Launching onto the scene with some minor “new” feature/service/site in tech, only to gain a lot of attention, then selling on that attention, finding the startup owner(s) moving onto other startups to commit the same offense again. The new owners of the purchased site/service would often later either bury the tech or resell it at a loss — sometimes a large one — years later.

The goal, therefore, from the original owners didn’t appear to be running a successful business (a lot of times the original service was “FREE” with zero idea of how it would actually make any money), it was to raise enough buzz and attention to sell to the highest bidder.

Is this all Quibi was about for Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman? A binge and purge tech exit plan in the streaming space? Or are they legitimately licking wounds of a specialty mobile streaming service few wanted to subscribe to (see: Less than 10% of Quibi FREE 90 day trials converted to paid subscribers)?

(We’ve suggested here in the past that AppleTV+ could be a viable suitor for buying Quibi to strip the creative content for its relatively empty cupboards service and dump the unnecessary tech)

What do you think is going on here? Do you even care? Is this the streaming space equivalent of slowing down to see an accident scene?

MSN List of 7 Things We Can Give Up To Save Thousands of Dollars Including Movie Theater Tickets

Theaters have attempted to address accessibility concerns in theaters, but have they done enough?


We don’t usually link to slideshows articles, because they are blatant ad clickbait. The more times you click on web pages this generates more ad impressions, the more ads showing, meaning the site makes more money. It’s an old, obvious technique to artificially inflate page views and ad impressions, but hey, you didn’t hear that from us (!)

However, this slideshow article caught out attention because it’s about ways to save “thousands” every year. Admittedly, there are some good suggestions on the list of 7, but the last one is movie theater tickets. They always seem to save the most interesting click until the end (another obvious technique).

Is MSN really advocating we give up movie theaters? Sort of.

7. Movie tickets The cost of a movie ticket averaged $9.16 in 2019, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. Prices have been creeping steadily up at least since 1969, when a movie ticket cost $1.42, on average.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

Since the average moviegoer only sees 2-3 movies a year, the stats in this article are woefully misrepresenting reality.

In our case, however, thousands of dollars saved would be almost correct. If you add in the concessions, transportation costs, but the tickets are “only” costing us $44/month. At least the 2D ones are. The 3D, IMAX and other special formats require an upcharge. Even we add those, it probably still doesn’t make it to $1,000 USD annually for us for ticket prices alone and we see every new wide release movie released that screens near us. That’s on average 2-4 new movies every week in the theater, but during these pandemic times has been reduced to 1 new movie per week.

But let’s put the “thousands a year” aside, since that figure represents the most ardent moviegoers like us and ask if we’d give it up just to save money?

Obviously, it’s a big NO. We’re not giving up movie theaters any time soon. Like in this lifetime. We might reduce how much we patronize theaters if they start to die out in favor of streaming, but we don’t believe that’s happening any time soon.

Someday, movie theaters could go the way of drive-in theaters and become more of a niche activity, but those thinking that even with a pandemic and bankruptcies for the major theater chains that movie theaters will be gone in the near future are, respectfully, wrong.

A more likely scenario is the the number of big chains and corporate entities decreases. That’s good for independent theater owners. More of those, please. Yeah, it might drive up our ticket prices, but as the article states, those prices have been driven up anyway.

I’m in favor of a new kind of theater experience, whatever that is. Something fancy and technology-infused that brings in the internet and more social activities. The current theater watching system is dated and needs to change to something more modern. They are flirting around the edges of tech with motion-controlled seating like Regal’s 4DX (see: Have You Checked Out 4DX Yet? 2019 Was Record Year) and ScreenX (Is ScreenX the Perfect Way to Watch Ford v Ferrari?) viewing experiences.

Maybe when Avatar 2 and its other sequels are released, James Cameron will get theaters thinking about a more futuristic viewing experience. That will keep moviegoers coming for years and years to come./

Apple is #1 most valuable publicly traded company, fighting antitrust complaints, and now AppleTV+ somewhat on American Airlines

This blog might be approaching its first birthday, but feel like I’ve been writing about Apple since 2000 (I have, but that’s the past).

It’s not surprising how they’ve become the most valuable publicly traded company.

Apple is now the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, passing Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco. As of close of business Friday, Apple has a market valuation of $1.84 trillion, while Saudi Aramco’s is $1.76 trillion, according to CNBC.

Apple is now the world’s most valuable publicly traded company – The Verge

They usually find a way to position themselves in a place where they can collect money for something — and usually are “cool” while doing so. Whether it be the iTunes store or today, the iPhone and app store with the increasingly onerous 30% commission. That very commission is what led them to loggerheads with Spotify and current antitrust complaints.

If only Apple TV+ was a better streaming service

They have some good content, but their cupboards are mostly bare. They need more content — and fast. I’ve brought this up before, but it bears repeating in light of their current financial success.

They have the money — plenty of money — to be a major streaming player if they want to be.

Their streaming strategy is puzzling. They want to buy originals and stock with primarily exclusives, but they are way too late to the game and not buying enough volume to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon. Heck, they aren’t even competing with CBS All Access, nevermind Hulu. I’d put Apple TV+ just above Quibi for original and/or purchased quality movie and TV content. That’s alligator piss low.

Enter American Airlines.

I guess the airline wants a piece of what Delta is doing for their customer passengers, only they aren’t offering new movies people want to see. I’m talking the VOD titles for no charge (very attractive deal), instead they’re offering the ability to see some of the Apple TV+ content. No subscription or login required, sure, but … it’s like offering to eat anything in a fridge that is mostly empty.

While the entire Apple TV+ library isn’t available on AA flights, there are some originals up for streaming you can kill time with while in the air. But there are no complete seasons as of now. For instance, Apple’s The Morning Show only has two episodes available to stream inflight, just enough to give you a sampling of the show, pass the time during travel, and maybe even draw you in enough to persuade you into a subscription.

Apple TV+ is Now Available on American Airlines Flights

Let’s compute. They aren’t even offering the entire experience (why would AppleTV want to do that? That would just expose they are lacking any real content depth and value for $4.99/month), it’s more a teaser, a not so clever facade, for the already slim offerings of AppleTV+. This deal makes very little sense for American Airlines. They could have gone to, I don’t know, Netflix? HBO Max, maybe? Heck, even Peacock would have been a superior choice.

Nope, they choose Apple TV+. It’s no wonder some airlines go out of business.

Can AppleTV+ improve their service? Sure. Again, they have plenty of $$$.

Just start licensing some legacy movie and TV content from others. I’m talking movies and TV shows that aren’t available on other streaming services, which fits their exclusivity model, but puts more inventory on their virtual shelves. Those that are selling anyway. Amazon has found a way, I’m sure Apple can do the same. They have the money. The fact that they’d rather spend $80-100 million on Tom Hanks next movie (see: Apple Wants To Buy 2-4 Greyhound-like Movies for AppleTV+ Every Year, says Fast Company) vs. paying to license any other movies and TV shows is promising activity, but it’s not going to be enough.

I wish them the best catching up. With their current strategy? Not in my lifetime.

Amazon doesn’t need AMC, but they could use some more movie theaters

Don’t buy the hype that Amazon might actually buy AMC. Look at AMC’s burning balance sheet. It’s a huge money-making business, but not a very profitable one for movie theater owners.

Yesterday, we saw the news that Amazon is reportedly talking with AMC about a possible buyout. Maybe by now you’ve seen and heard the reports too.

It sounds enticing. Amazon Studios wanting to get more of their movies on the big screens being suddenly the #1 biggest movie chain in the world? Oh, the possibilities. The extra income …

… until you hear the price tag. That brutal thing known as overhead.

Amazon thrives on reducing overhead. Seeing them in a business where they can’t use drones instead of people to deliver popcorn to moviegoers? Don’t laugh. It might be possible someday to have drones deliver concessions in movie theaters 😉

Right now, today, I don’t see how or why it makes any business or financial sense for a hugely profitable company like Amazon to absorb billions in AMC debt. Instead, they could, should and probably will let them fold and buy the theaters — the actual physical locations — they want in a fire sale. Some AMC theaters are in locations that might need immediate shutdown (see: Florida Landlord Sues AMC for Rent – 7.5 million – Meanwhile, they won’t open until there are “new” movies to show?)

AMC needs Amazon’s help much more. Of course the stocks of both companies are jumping on the mere mention of talks.

Shares of AMC were up more than 18% in premarket trading on Monday after the U.K.’s Daily Mail newspaper reported that Amazon has held talks with the world’s largest cinema-chain owner, which runs movie theaters globally under the AMC and Odeon names in the U.K., the U.S. and Canada, among other locations.

Amazon Reportedly Expresses Buyout Interest in AMC – TheStreet

Amazon already owns some smaller theaters and it makes total sense for them to expand their movie theater presence — assuming they believe in physical movie theaters — just as they bought Whole Foods to expand their grocery business.

I’m not sure Amazon believes, at least on a giant, global scale, that movie theaters will be as dominant in the future as they’ve been in the past. That’s the billion dollar question. I’m not arguing that movie theaters won’t continue to play some important part in the future of movie watching and that Amazon would like to have that distribution arm for their films being friendlier (say goodbye to most if not all of the theatrical window if Amazon buys AMC).

A more wise business decision for Amazon is to wait and see what happens.

Let the big three movie chains suffer financially and then swoop in and cherry pick the physical locations. They don’t need AMC corporate and NATO (National Association of Theater Owners), but could benefit from owning some of the better physical locations. Those will be for sale without the beleaguered companies and their obsoleted theatrical window rules.

My guess is that’s what Jeff Bezos and company said in their talks, if they even had any according to the rumor and alleged news reports. We’ll buy some of your locations but we want to run them our way. Yes, our way or the highway, AMC. Indeed, that’s what a business overflowing with cash in the black says to a company deep in the red.

AMC, if they have any choice, will not slice up their company for Amazon. I don’t see a deal happening yet. Could it happen someday? Sure, but it isn’t in Amazon’s favor at the present time. Regardless the outcome, I do see Amazon picking up more physical theaters. In fact, I’ve already said this was a strong possibility in past posts here.

And while we’re speculating. Disney, Universal, all the major studios should be staking claim to buying more movie theaters that may soon be on the market. Since the age old laws were lifted preventing them from doing so (see: Studios To Regain Powers Due to 1948 Paramount Consent Being Overturned), it’s a golden opportunity for them to own locations they can exhibit their movies. Competition is good and I don’t see how any three giant corporations owning almost all the movie theaters is as good as a half dozen major studios owning chains of theaters.

Strap in, grab your popcorn, the future of movie theater ownership is headed for change.

Martin Scorsese – Great Director Struggling Staying Within Budget

The Irishman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Martin Scorsese has earned the title of genius director, but from a budgetary standpoint he’s starting to sound like James Cameron. His newest movie budget is going over $200 million.

Bypass the $100 million club (see $100+ Million Movie Budgets Are Stupid), and go straight to the big time.


This is not the time to be pushing budgetary limits, even if the changes make for a better film in the end.

Maybe these great directors have some issue with staying on budget because they are perfectionists of the craft and want to reshoot or fiddle and fix (George Lucas went back to the Star Wars re-editing well too much — Gredo shot first!).

We already know Scorsese lingers too much at time in his movie’s runtimes (The Irishman was too freaking long — great movie, but too long), so maybe staying on budget is another downfall.

Whatever the case, Paramount is crying uncle on Scorsese’s current project.

Ultimately, Paramount signed on to produce the movie, but now reports are indicating Killers of The Flower Moon has now ballooned way over its initial budget and Paramount has asked Martin Scorsese to find another distributing partner.

Martin Scorsese’s New Movie Is Way Over Budget, Will Netflix Step In? – CINEMABLEND

Robert DeNiro and Leonardo DiCaprio are starring in this movie and a walk-in role is being offered as a bonus for those who contribute to charity setup by the actor. Also, Scorsese is talking to Apple and Netflix about possibly financing the film and/or sharing with Paramount.

$2 trillion deal stimulus package receives bipartisan support, movie theater chains likely included

The world debt clock is a pretty sobering reminder of the money America does not have

As stated before, I prefer to stay out of politics here on this blog, however, the crossover with the pandemic, financing and government is nearly impossible to avoid.

The full details have yet to be released. But over the last 24 hours, the elements of the proposal have come into sharper focus, with $250 billion set aside for direct payments to individuals and families, $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.

Stimulus package: White House, Senate reach historic $2 trillion deal amid growing coronavirus fears – CNNPolitics

There has been some bi-partisan support in the U.S government for a $2 trillion dollar deal that will provide support for “distressed companies” presumably movie theater chains will be on this list.

Those couples with adjusted gross income of $150,000 or less will get a check for $1,200 each and $500 per child. Our national debt will soon rise to over $25 trillion dollars. See the debt clock linked above.

I get why we’re sending stimulus checks to people, not so sure about all the businesses getting help, but that’s a rabbit hole I probably shouldn’t get into. It’s not like these businesses are going to be out for a long time, and the fact that we setup bailouts for businesses under the fear of them not wanting them to go out of business is a bit vexing to me.

I’m all for helping individuals, families and small businesses, but less interested in helping big businesses (most don’t need the help, although they are opportunistic and holding their hands out). Especially when we’re bound to see executive golden parachutes and high salaries continuing to permeate the headlines.

Not even sure how I feel about helping out the movie theaters. Is this something a country deep in debt should be doing?

If you’re business is failing and you’re an executive or high level senior manager you shouldn’t be getting some multi-million dollar deal, you should be worried about keeping your job. Instead, it’s the lower level employees getting laid off, the business gets bailed and the executives get raises. That’s a pretty broad sweeping comment, so it obviously doesn’t apply to every business, but that’s my take from watching time and again the government screw over the regular workers and the corporation gets “help” from taxpayers. That’s all of us helping the wrong people.

Look at the debt. I’ll be dead and gone before that 25+ trillion dollars is likely the major issue it should be, but for my children and grandchildren, we’re leaving an awfully big bill they will need to worry about paying.

Forget the pandemic, the real disease is financial. It’s called debt and interest. And it’s just a matter of time before there is 100% infection in every taxpayer’s bank account.

The Ten Most Profitable Movies of All Time

Movies with the highest return on investment (ROI)

Looking back at the movies which had the biggest return on investment—or the movies which made the most profit in proportion to their budget—it’s evident that horror movies have always had money-spinning potential.

The Ten Most Profitable Movies of All Time

As of this writing, only one I’ve reviewed so far (click title for review), but. I’ve seen all except The Devil Inside and The Gallows. Link courtesy of PartyCasino (and no, this link doesn’t lead to some spammy casino gambling page, it goes to a searchable database on movie ROI):

  1. Paranormal Activity
  2. The Blair Witch Project ⭐️⭐️
  3. Open Water
  4. The Gallows
  5. Napolean Dynamite
  6. Friday The 13th (1980)
  7. The Devil Inside
  8. Fireproof
  9. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  10. Saw

Of the horror films I’ve seen, Friday the 13th (1980) is my most favorite. Jason Vorhees with a machete and a hockey mask scared the crap out of me the first time I watched. When it comes to sharks, nothing since has touched Peter Benchley’s Jaws. If you enjoy torture horror movies, Saw, is worth watching. Didn’t really care for the whole faux-real jittery home cam low budget movies like Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity.. So, those are my quick thoughts from memory, and when/if I rewatch them someday, maybe, I’m sure I’ll conjure more.

Am curious if you have any favorite of these 10 movies and/or how many others have seen?