The Evolution of Jennifer Lawrence, From ‘Winter’s Bone’ to ‘Red Sparrow’ (Photos)

Jennifer Lawrence has come a long way from her showbiz beginnings on TBS’ “The Bill Engvall Show” in 2007.

JLaw made one of her first red carpet appearances at the premiere of “The Burning Plain” at the 2008 Venice Film Festival.

Lawrence won critical raves as Ree Dolly in the 2010 independent film “Winter’s Bone,” for which she earned her first Oscar nomination.

Here’s Lawrence at the 2011 Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala.

Lawrence scored a nomination for “Winter’s Bone” at the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Lawrence arrived at the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards, where she was also nominated for “Winter’s Bone.”

Lawrence snagged her first Oscar nomination at the 2011 Academy Awards, getting the nod for Best Actress in a Leading Role for “Winter’s Bone.”

Lawrence as Mystique in 2011’s “X-Men: First Class.”

Jennifer Lawrence mesmerized in an undulating blue dress at the 2012 People’s Choice Award, where she scored two nominations for “X-Men: First Class.”

Lawrence went with a two-tone look at the 2012 Academy Awards announcement, one year before winning her first  Oscar for “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Lawrence became a box office sensation playing bow-and-arrow wielding heroine Katniss Everdeen in 2012’s “The Hunger Games.”

Lawrence was solid gold at the 2012 Los Angeles premiere of “The Hunger Games,” one of the roles that catapulted her to worldwide stardom.

Lawrence crossed the pond for the European premiere of “Hunger Games” in style.

And she sparkled in emerald at a 2012 screening of “The Hunger Games” in New York City.

JLaw greeted adoring admirers at a “Hunger Games” fan event in Madrid.

Lawrence in her Oscar-winning role as the troubled Tiffany Maxwell opposite Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Lawrence stepped out at the New York premiere of “Silver Linings Playbook.”

JLaw sizzled in a cutout dress at the 2013 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, where she snagged two Best Actress awards for “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Hunger Games.”

She plays a secret agent seeking her own agency — as in, self-determination — in the new thriller “Red Sparrow.”

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Jennifer Lawrence has come a long way from her showbiz beginnings on TBS’ “The Bill Engvall Show” in 2007.

JLaw made one of her first red carpet appearances at the premiere of “The Burning Plain” at the 2008 Venice Film Festival.

Lawrence won critical raves as Ree Dolly in the 2010 independent film “Winter’s Bone,” for which she earned her first Oscar nomination.

Here’s Lawrence at the 2011 Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala.

Lawrence scored a nomination for “Winter’s Bone” at the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Lawrence arrived at the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards, where she was also nominated for “Winter’s Bone.”

Lawrence snagged her first Oscar nomination at the 2011 Academy Awards, getting the nod for Best Actress in a Leading Role for “Winter’s Bone.”

Lawrence as Mystique in 2011’s “X-Men: First Class.”

Jennifer Lawrence mesmerized in an undulating blue dress at the 2012 People’s Choice Award, where she scored two nominations for “X-Men: First Class.”

Lawrence went with a two-tone look at the 2012 Academy Awards announcement, one year before winning her first  Oscar for “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Lawrence became a box office sensation playing bow-and-arrow wielding heroine Katniss Everdeen in 2012’s “The Hunger Games.”

Lawrence was solid gold at the 2012 Los Angeles premiere of “The Hunger Games,” one of the roles that catapulted her to worldwide stardom.

Lawrence crossed the pond for the European premiere of “Hunger Games” in style.

And she sparkled in emerald at a 2012 screening of “The Hunger Games” in New York City.

JLaw greeted adoring admirers at a “Hunger Games” fan event in Madrid.

Lawrence in her Oscar-winning role as the troubled Tiffany Maxwell opposite Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Lawrence stepped out at the New York premiere of “Silver Linings Playbook.”

JLaw sizzled in a cutout dress at the 2013 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, where she snagged two Best Actress awards for “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Hunger Games.”

She plays a secret agent seeking her own agency — as in, self-determination — in the new thriller “Red Sparrow.”

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9 Biggest Billion-Dollar Entertainment and Media Deals in 2017 (Photos)

While all eyes were on AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, which would change the face of entertainment — and is facing down an antitrust lawsuit from the Justice Department, there were plenty of other megadeals in media, tech and entertainment that kept investment bankers busy in 2017.

Here are some of the biggest deals of the year:

Discovery Communications agrees to buy Scripps Networks Interactive for $11.9 billion

The merger of two cable powerhouses brings together channels including Discovery, Science, Food Network and HGTV – and could give the combined company a stronger position as pay-TV continues to migrate to the internet.

Sinclair Broadcast Group agrees to buy Tribune Media for $3.8 billion

This deal, if approved, would give conservative-leaning Sinclair control of 223 stations in 108 markets, including 39 of the top 50, covering 72 percent of households in the country. And it’s only possible under rule changes implemented by new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

Cineworld offers to buy Regal Cinemas for more than $3 billion

After a string of movie theater mergers last year, the sector has quieted down – along with the box office. And while this isn’t a done deal – or even an accepted offer – yet,  British chain Cineworld made a late November bid of $23 a share for the U.S.’s No. 2 cinema chain.

Meredith Corp. acquires Time Inc. for $2.8 billion

The magazine megadeal is a sign of changing times in the publishing industry, with the owner of esteemed brands like Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated selling to the parent of Better Homes and Gardens and Country Life – backed by $650 million from big time conservative donors the Koch brothers.

Verizon acquires Straight Path Communications for $2.3 billion

Straight Path may not be a household name, but it was the subject of a bidding war between AT&T and Verizon. The company is one of the largest owners of millimeter wave spectrum, seen as key to the buildout of 5G networks, which should power much faster mobile internet – better for video – in the near future.

Disney buys the rest of BAMTech for $1.6 billion

The Mouse House jumped into internet TV in a major way in 2017, announcing upcoming Disney and ESPN-branded streaming services and acquiring the rest of streaming tech company BAMTech to power those products.

Entercom buys CBS Radio for $1.5 billion

CBS Radio was intended to be spun off from its broadcast parent in an IPO, but instead it was scooped up by a competitor. The combined company, now the second largest radio business in the country, owns and operates 244 stations in 47 markets.

MGM buys the rest of Epix for $1 billion

The independent studio went all in on the pay-TV business, buying the rest of the premium cable network from Viacom and Lionsgate. And that’s paid immediate dividends, as MGM’s media networks division propelled it to a strong third quarter.

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Discovery’s Scripps Deal Is All About Streaming TV (Analysis)

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Here’s the Real Reason Disney Is Buying Most of Fox

While all eyes were on AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, which would change the face of entertainment — and is facing down an antitrust lawsuit from the Justice Department, there were plenty of other megadeals in media, tech and entertainment that kept investment bankers busy in 2017.

Here are some of the biggest deals of the year:

Discovery Communications agrees to buy Scripps Networks Interactive for $11.9 billion

The merger of two cable powerhouses brings together channels including Discovery, Science, Food Network and HGTV – and could give the combined company a stronger position as pay-TV continues to migrate to the internet.

Sinclair Broadcast Group agrees to buy Tribune Media for $3.8 billion

This deal, if approved, would give conservative-leaning Sinclair control of 223 stations in 108 markets, including 39 of the top 50, covering 72 percent of households in the country. And it’s only possible under rule changes implemented by new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

Cineworld offers to buy Regal Cinemas for more than $3 billion

After a string of movie theater mergers last year, the sector has quieted down – along with the box office. And while this isn’t a done deal – or even an accepted offer – yet,  British chain Cineworld made a late November bid of $23 a share for the U.S.’s No. 2 cinema chain.

Meredith Corp. acquires Time Inc. for $2.8 billion

The magazine megadeal is a sign of changing times in the publishing industry, with the owner of esteemed brands like Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated selling to the parent of Better Homes and Gardens and Country Life – backed by $650 million from big time conservative donors the Koch brothers.

Verizon acquires Straight Path Communications for $2.3 billion

Straight Path may not be a household name, but it was the subject of a bidding war between AT&T and Verizon. The company is one of the largest owners of millimeter wave spectrum, seen as key to the buildout of 5G networks, which should power much faster mobile internet – better for video – in the near future.

Disney buys the rest of BAMTech for $1.6 billion

The Mouse House jumped into internet TV in a major way in 2017, announcing upcoming Disney and ESPN-branded streaming services and acquiring the rest of streaming tech company BAMTech to power those products.

Entercom buys CBS Radio for $1.5 billion

CBS Radio was intended to be spun off from its broadcast parent in an IPO, but instead it was scooped up by a competitor. The combined company, now the second largest radio business in the country, owns and operates 244 stations in 47 markets.

MGM buys the rest of Epix for $1 billion

The independent studio went all in on the pay-TV business, buying the rest of the premium cable network from Viacom and Lionsgate. And that’s paid immediate dividends, as MGM’s media networks division propelled it to a strong third quarter.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Discovery's Scripps Deal Is All About Streaming TV (Analysis)

Meredith Buys Time Inc. in $2.8 Billion 'All-Cash' Deal

Will Disney-Fox Deal Face Antitrust Challenge From Trump Administration Like AT&T-Time Warner?

Here's the Real Reason Disney Is Buying Most of Fox

Fox Halts Production on ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Due to Bryan Singer’s ‘Unexpected Unavailability’

Fox has suspended production on Bryan Singer’s Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” due to the director’s “unexpected unavailability.”

“Twentieth Century Fox Film has temporarily halted production on Bohemian Rhapsody due to the unexpected unavailability of Bryan Singer,” a Twentieth Century Fox Film spokesperson told TheWrap in a statement.

A representative for Singer told the BBC the absence was due to “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family,” which was confirmed by an individual with knowledge of the situation.

Also Read: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’: Rami Malek Stuns as Freddie Mercury in New On-Set Photo

“Bohemian Rhapsody” follows Queen from the band’s inception in 1970, when Mercury teamed with Brian May and Roger Taylor, until their famous 1985 Live Aid performance.

Malek joined the project from Graham King of GK Films last November, replacing Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Whishaw, who had both previously been attached to play Mercury. Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee, Joe Mazzello and Lucy Boynton also star in the film.

Justin Haythe (“Red Sparrow”) wrote the script with King, Beach and Singer producing. Denis O’Sullivan, Arnon Milchan and Jane Rosenthal are executive producers.

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Fox has suspended production on Bryan Singer’s Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” due to the director’s “unexpected unavailability.”

“Twentieth Century Fox Film has temporarily halted production on Bohemian Rhapsody due to the unexpected unavailability of Bryan Singer,” a Twentieth Century Fox Film spokesperson told TheWrap in a statement.

A representative for Singer told the BBC the absence was due to “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family,” which was confirmed by an individual with knowledge of the situation.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” follows Queen from the band’s inception in 1970, when Mercury teamed with Brian May and Roger Taylor, until their famous 1985 Live Aid performance.

Malek joined the project from Graham King of GK Films last November, replacing Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Whishaw, who had both previously been attached to play Mercury. Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee, Joe Mazzello and Lucy Boynton also star in the film.

Justin Haythe (“Red Sparrow”) wrote the script with King, Beach and Singer producing. Denis O’Sullivan, Arnon Milchan and Jane Rosenthal are executive producers.

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Bryan Singer to Direct Fox's X-Men Pilot

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Inside Fox Sports’ World Cup Draw Broadcast

The eyes of much of the world Friday were on the FIFA World Cup draw held in Moscow, Russia, but those watching Fox Sports’ live broadcast of on the West coast were a little bleary-eyed: the show kicked off at 6:30 a.m. local time.

And with the United States missing out on its first World Cup in more than 30 years, the mood going in was a little different this year. Stars and Stripes fans weren’t gathered at bars across the country waiting to see who they’d take on in the world’s biggest sporting event. Many of them probably wanted to forget the draw was even happening.

Russian President Vladimir Putin presided over the ceremony, which began with a couple bizarre dance numbers that were followed by a group of tuxedo-clad soccer luminaries including Argentina’s Diego Maradona and Brazil’s Cafu picking slips of paper contained in tiny balls from glass jars to determine which teams play in which groups. And in the Fox studio in Los Angeles, former U.S. national team stars Landon Donovan and Alexi Lalas, former Mexican national teamer Mariano Trujillo and hosts Rob Stone and Kate Abdo tried to figure out what it all meant — and immediately started predicting the tournament.

Also Read: Fox Sports Rallies Viewers for Men’s World Cup Without US: ‘Greatest Sporting Event on Earth’

The U.S.’s absence has to be disappointing for Fox, which will be broadcasting the World Cup for the first time (and plans to put as many matches on the big Fox broadcast channel as possible), but the draw brought the network a few lucky breaks.

One of those came early, as Spain and Portugal — the last two European World Cup champions — were drawn as the top two teams in Group B and will face off in the final game of the tournament’s first Friday.

Mexico, which has a massive fan base in the U.S., landed in the “Group of Death,” along with defending champions Germany, Sweden and South Korea, which caused Trujillo to grimace when the country’s name was plucked from the jar. Even if Mexico manages to advance, El Tri is likely staring down a matchup with Brazil.

Also Read: USA Eliminated From Men’s World Cup for First Time Since 1986 and Fans Are Crushed

Hosts Russia found themselves in the opposite situation, ending up in a group with Uruguay and relative minnows Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

“Is this the worst World Cup group ever?” Donovan wondered aloud to those on the set when Saudi Arabia was announced as the fourth team in the group. He doubled down on that sentiment on air, sarcastically wondering how Russia could have managed such an easy draw.

Immediately after the matchups were announced and before the broadcast cut away from Moscow and back to Los Angeles, a team of researchers descended on the stage with copious notes about the teams, their prior meetings and any other pertinent information. For example, while the rivalry between Spain and Portugal needs little explanation, the crew pointed out that fellow Group B member Morocco also has history with Spain. There was also plenty of talk about Group D, which includes Argentina, Croatia, Nigeria and Euro 2016 darlings, Iceland.

Also Read: How Telemundo Is Trying to Score With One of TV’s Growing Audiences: Bilingual Soccer Fans

And while the hosts had plenty of information to digest, they had to quickly pivot to projecting the tournament’s knockout round in order to get their individual brackets ready to be shown during the next segment. Nobody picked Germany to repeat and Lalas went with a surprise choice, Belgium, which raised some of eyebrows on stage despite the country’s No. 5 FIFA ranking.

Lalas was proud of his choice, taking a selfie in front of his bracket projected on a wall-sized monitor during the next commercial break and enduring some light ribbing from TheWrap about his bold prediction.

“Keep walking,” Lalas said with a smile.

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The eyes of much of the world Friday were on the FIFA World Cup draw held in Moscow, Russia, but those watching Fox Sports’ live broadcast of on the West coast were a little bleary-eyed: the show kicked off at 6:30 a.m. local time.

And with the United States missing out on its first World Cup in more than 30 years, the mood going in was a little different this year. Stars and Stripes fans weren’t gathered at bars across the country waiting to see who they’d take on in the world’s biggest sporting event. Many of them probably wanted to forget the draw was even happening.

Russian President Vladimir Putin presided over the ceremony, which began with a couple bizarre dance numbers that were followed by a group of tuxedo-clad soccer luminaries including Argentina’s Diego Maradona and Brazil’s Cafu picking slips of paper contained in tiny balls from glass jars to determine which teams play in which groups. And in the Fox studio in Los Angeles, former U.S. national team stars Landon Donovan and Alexi Lalas, former Mexican national teamer Mariano Trujillo and hosts Rob Stone and Kate Abdo tried to figure out what it all meant — and immediately started predicting the tournament.

The U.S.’s absence has to be disappointing for Fox, which will be broadcasting the World Cup for the first time (and plans to put as many matches on the big Fox broadcast channel as possible), but the draw brought the network a few lucky breaks.

One of those came early, as Spain and Portugal — the last two European World Cup champions — were drawn as the top two teams in Group B and will face off in the final game of the tournament’s first Friday.

Mexico, which has a massive fan base in the U.S., landed in the “Group of Death,” along with defending champions Germany, Sweden and South Korea, which caused Trujillo to grimace when the country’s name was plucked from the jar. Even if Mexico manages to advance, El Tri is likely staring down a matchup with Brazil.

Hosts Russia found themselves in the opposite situation, ending up in a group with Uruguay and relative minnows Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

“Is this the worst World Cup group ever?” Donovan wondered aloud to those on the set when Saudi Arabia was announced as the fourth team in the group. He doubled down on that sentiment on air, sarcastically wondering how Russia could have managed such an easy draw.

Immediately after the matchups were announced and before the broadcast cut away from Moscow and back to Los Angeles, a team of researchers descended on the stage with copious notes about the teams, their prior meetings and any other pertinent information. For example, while the rivalry between Spain and Portugal needs little explanation, the crew pointed out that fellow Group B member Morocco also has history with Spain. There was also plenty of talk about Group D, which includes Argentina, Croatia, Nigeria and Euro 2016 darlings, Iceland.

And while the hosts had plenty of information to digest, they had to quickly pivot to projecting the tournament’s knockout round in order to get their individual brackets ready to be shown during the next segment. Nobody picked Germany to repeat and Lalas went with a surprise choice, Belgium, which raised some of eyebrows on stage despite the country’s No. 5 FIFA ranking.

Lalas was proud of his choice, taking a selfie in front of his bracket projected on a wall-sized monitor during the next commercial break and enduring some light ribbing from TheWrap about his bold prediction.

“Keep walking,” Lalas said with a smile.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox Sports Rallies Viewers for Men's World Cup Without US: 'Greatest Sporting Event on Earth'

USA Eliminated From Men's World Cup for First Time Since 1986 and Fans Are Crushed

US, Canada and Mexico Submit Joint Bid for 2026 World Cup

Quentin Tarantino’s Manson Film to Premiere on 50th Anniversary of Sharon Tate’s Death

Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film will be released on August 9, 2019, TheWrap has learned.

The untitled film is set in Los Angeles in the 1960s and ’70s and is believed to involve the actress and model Sharon Tate, who was murdered by members of Charles Manson’s notorious “family” in 1969.

Perhaps not coincidentally, August 9, 2019, will mark the 50th anniversary of Tate’s death.

The movie, which will be the first for Tarantino without his longtime producer-distributor Harvey Weinstein, does not yet have a cast. Tarantino will produce along with David Heyman and Shannon McIntosh. Georgia Kacandes will serve as executive producer.

Also Read: Quentin Tarantino’s Next Movie Lands at Sony

Sony studio boss Tom Rothman, working with marketing and distribution president Josh Greenstein, beat out virtually every major studio (save for Disney, which didn’t bid on it) for rights to the film, the ninth feature by the acclaimed director and his first since the 2015 Western “The Hateful Eight.” Sony handled the international distribution for Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.”
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Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film will be released on August 9, 2019, TheWrap has learned.

The untitled film is set in Los Angeles in the 1960s and ’70s and is believed to involve the actress and model Sharon Tate, who was murdered by members of Charles Manson’s notorious “family” in 1969.

Perhaps not coincidentally, August 9, 2019, will mark the 50th anniversary of Tate’s death.

The movie, which will be the first for Tarantino without his longtime producer-distributor Harvey Weinstein, does not yet have a cast. Tarantino will produce along with David Heyman and Shannon McIntosh. Georgia Kacandes will serve as executive producer.

Sony studio boss Tom Rothman, working with marketing and distribution president Josh Greenstein, beat out virtually every major studio (save for Disney, which didn’t bid on it) for rights to the film, the ninth feature by the acclaimed director and his first since the 2015 Western “The Hateful Eight.” Sony handled the international distribution for Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.”
Related stories from TheWrap:

Quentin Tarantino's Next Movie, 'Call of the Wild' Snag California Tax Credits

Quentin Tarantino's Next Movie Lands at Sony

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‘Wolf Warrior 2’ Star and Director Says He ‘Almost Died Twice’ Making the Biggest Chinese Movie Ever

“Wolf Warrior 2” might not mean much to average American audiences, but the biggest Chinese movie of all-time – and No. 5 on this year’s global box office so far – ended up making more than $870 million worldwide, which is more than superhero smash hits “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Wonder Woman.”

And that runaway success came as a surprise to the movie’s writer, director, financier and star, Wu Jing.

“I didn’t expect that my film could be this big and this huge and this successful,” Wu told TheWrap’s Matt Donnelly through a translator at a screening of the film in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Also Read: See China Smash Hit ‘Wolf Warrior 2’ at US-China Film Summit

But the big bucks didn’t come without some major risks, as Wu put himself in legitimate danger starring in the movie’s high-octane action sequences. A scene at the start of the film where he engages in hand-to-hand combat with pirates while submerged in the ocean was particularly perilous.

“I almost died twice during the making of this film,” he said. “One of the moments when I was shooting the underwater [fighting] montage. I almost died in the water. That’s quite an experience for me.”

Wu stars as former Chinese special forces soldier Leng Feng, who is working as a mercenary in an unnamed African country, when he takes on a mission to evacuate Chinese nationals trapped in a factory surrounded by rebels. While “Wolf Warrior 2’s” perspective is unmistakably Chinese, the movie’s action scenes and cinematography were inspired by Hollywood action blockbusters.

Also Read: China Wins by Making Movies For China – Should the U.S. Make More Movies for Americans?

“You see a lot of influences on this film from Hollywood,” Wu said. “Film-making technology and style. Just like the young filmmakers of my generation in China, we learned a lot from Hollywood.”

“I watch American films most,” he added. “I learn from them the most. That’s why you can see a lot of U.S. and Hollywood influences on my film.”

China has been an increasingly important market for Hollywood films, as the country’s hundreds of millions of moviegoers can make the difference in a major tentpole’s success. Franchise hits like “Furious 7” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction” both cleared $300 million in China alone, but China hasn’t really been able to create a crossover hit that’s originated there.

Also Read: Why ‘Wolf Warriors 2’ Had a Record-Setting Roar in China

Wu also enlisted pros from the U.S. and New Zealand to bring global best practices to the film. That paid off big-time, and Wu said he plans to continue working even more closely with Hollywood as he strives to make even bigger movies. And studios have been calling.

“It’s like starting a relationship. It could be bumpy, it could be tears and laughter. I’m getting married to Hollywood and the creative resources around the world. That’s what I have to do.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

See China Smash Hit ‘Wolf Warrior 2’ at US-China Film Summit

Why ‘Wolf Warriors 2’ Had a Record-Setting Roar in China

3 Reasons China’s Box Office Soared This Summer While the US Flopped

“Wolf Warrior 2” might not mean much to average American audiences, but the biggest Chinese movie of all-time – and No. 5 on this year’s global box office so far – ended up making more than $870 million worldwide, which is more than superhero smash hits “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Wonder Woman.”

And that runaway success came as a surprise to the movie’s writer, director, financier and star, Wu Jing.

“I didn’t expect that my film could be this big and this huge and this successful,” Wu told TheWrap’s Matt Donnelly through a translator at a screening of the film in Los Angeles on Thursday.

But the big bucks didn’t come without some major risks, as Wu put himself in legitimate danger starring in the movie’s high-octane action sequences. A scene at the start of the film where he engages in hand-to-hand combat with pirates while submerged in the ocean was particularly perilous.

“I almost died twice during the making of this film,” he said. “One of the moments when I was shooting the underwater [fighting] montage. I almost died in the water. That’s quite an experience for me.”

Wu stars as former Chinese special forces soldier Leng Feng, who is working as a mercenary in an unnamed African country, when he takes on a mission to evacuate Chinese nationals trapped in a factory surrounded by rebels. While “Wolf Warrior 2’s” perspective is unmistakably Chinese, the movie’s action scenes and cinematography were inspired by Hollywood action blockbusters.

“You see a lot of influences on this film from Hollywood,” Wu said. “Film-making technology and style. Just like the young filmmakers of my generation in China, we learned a lot from Hollywood.”

“I watch American films most,” he added. “I learn from them the most. That’s why you can see a lot of U.S. and Hollywood influences on my film.”

China has been an increasingly important market for Hollywood films, as the country’s hundreds of millions of moviegoers can make the difference in a major tentpole’s success. Franchise hits like “Furious 7” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction” both cleared $300 million in China alone, but China hasn’t really been able to create a crossover hit that’s originated there.

Wu also enlisted pros from the U.S. and New Zealand to bring global best practices to the film. That paid off big-time, and Wu said he plans to continue working even more closely with Hollywood as he strives to make even bigger movies. And studios have been calling.

“It’s like starting a relationship. It could be bumpy, it could be tears and laughter. I’m getting married to Hollywood and the creative resources around the world. That’s what I have to do.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

See China Smash Hit 'Wolf Warrior 2' at US-China Film Summit

Why 'Wolf Warriors 2' Had a Record-Setting Roar in China

3 Reasons China's Box Office Soared This Summer While the US Flopped

STX Gets Investment From John Malone’s Telecom Giant Liberty Global

Independent distributor STX, which is heading toward a Hong Kong IPO, has secured an investment from telecom giant Liberty Global, the company announced Thursday.

Bruce Mann, Liberty’s chief programming officer, will join the STX board concurrent with the investment.

“Having one of the world’s biggest content distributors incentivized in STX’s continued success is gratifying confirmation of our brand and business strategy,” STX Chairman and CEO Robert Simonds said in a statement. “We look forward to benefiting from Bruce and Liberty Global’s counsel to accelerate our plans for expansion.”

Also Read: ‘Bad Moms’ Studio STX Plans 2018 IPO on Hong Kong Stock Exchange

“I am so pleased to be part of the team that made this investment in STX,” Mann said in a statement. “In this unprecedented and transformative time in our industry, it is more imperative than ever to align with the best partners and most forward-looking leaders. With Bob, the STX team and its other sophisticated investors, I can’t think of a more proven group to chart the course for the future of entertainment.”

STX, which counts Chinese tech powerhouse Tencent among its investors, recently released Jackie Chan’s “The Foreigner,” a U.S.-China co-production and “A Bad Moms Christmas.” The studio will release Aaron Sorkin’s “Molly’s Game,” starring Jessica Chastain, in December. The company, which is planning an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, is also involved television, virtual reality, digital video, music and live entertainment.

Liberty Global, whose chairman is media mogul John Malone, operates in more than 30 countries across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and counts more than 24 million TV, broadband and landline customers, as well as over 10 million mobile subscribers.

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‘Bad Moms’ Studio STX Plans 2018 IPO on Hong Kong Stock Exchange

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Independent distributor STX, which is heading toward a Hong Kong IPO, has secured an investment from telecom giant Liberty Global, the company announced Thursday.

Bruce Mann, Liberty’s chief programming officer, will join the STX board concurrent with the investment.

“Having one of the world’s biggest content distributors incentivized in STX’s continued success is gratifying confirmation of our brand and business strategy,” STX Chairman and CEO Robert Simonds said in a statement. “We look forward to benefiting from Bruce and Liberty Global’s counsel to accelerate our plans for expansion.”

“I am so pleased to be part of the team that made this investment in STX,” Mann said in a statement. “In this unprecedented and transformative time in our industry, it is more imperative than ever to align with the best partners and most forward-looking leaders. With Bob, the STX team and its other sophisticated investors, I can’t think of a more proven group to chart the course for the future of entertainment.”

STX, which counts Chinese tech powerhouse Tencent among its investors, recently released Jackie Chan’s “The Foreigner,” a U.S.-China co-production and “A Bad Moms Christmas.” The studio will release Aaron Sorkin’s “Molly’s Game,” starring Jessica Chastain, in December. The company, which is planning an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, is also involved television, virtual reality, digital video, music and live entertainment.

Liberty Global, whose chairman is media mogul John Malone, operates in more than 30 countries across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and counts more than 24 million TV, broadband and landline customers, as well as over 10 million mobile subscribers.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Bad Moms' Studio STX Plans 2018 IPO on Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Maya Rudolph to Reunite With Melissa McCarthy for 'Happytime Murders' at STX

Jennifer Aniston in Talks to Headline Parenting Comedy for STX

Summit’s ‘Hellboy’ Set for 2019, ‘Kin’ to Open Next August

Lionsgate will open 2019 with a superhero film, as the studio’s Summit imprint has dated “Hellboy,” featuring “Stranger Things” star David Harbour in the title role, for Jan. 11.

Summit will also release “Kin,” a sci-fi crime thriller starring “The Disaster Artist” headliner James Franco, on Aug. 31, 2018.

Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin and Mike Richardson are producing “Hellboy,” which also stars Milla Jovovich and Daniel Dae Kim. Ed Skrein was originally cast in Kim’s role as Ben Daimio, who is written as Japanese-American in the comic books the film is based on.

Also Read: ‘Hellboy’: First Look at ‘Stranger Things’ Star David Harbour as Hero in Reboot (Photo)

In April, “Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola announced the R-rated reboot of the franchise with Neil Marshall (“The Descent”) as the helmer of the project. Andrew Cosby, Christopher Golden and Mignola are writing the script.

The news came two months after Guillermo del Toro, who directed 2004’s “Hellboy” and 2008’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” with Ron Perlman playing the titular character, announced “Hellboy 3” would not happen.

The first “Hellboy” earned a worldwide total of $99 million at the box office and starred Perlman and Selma Blair. Its sequel performed better, earning $160 million worldwide. Although the movies weren’t runaway smash hits, critics loved them, both earning a score in the 80s on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Kin” was directed by Jonathan Baker and Josh Baker and also stars Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Zoe Kravitz and Dennis Quaid. Baker and Baker wrote the screenplay along with Daniel Casey.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ron Perlman Shuts Down ‘Hellboy’ Reboot Questions During Reddit AMA Session

‘Hellboy’: First Look at ‘Stranger Things’ Star David Harbour as Hero in Reboot (Photo)

Daniel Dae Kim Will Replace Ed Skrein in ‘Hellboy’ Reboot: ‘It’s Official,’ Kim Says

Lionsgate will open 2019 with a superhero film, as the studio’s Summit imprint has dated “Hellboy,” featuring “Stranger Things” star David Harbour in the title role, for Jan. 11.

Summit will also release “Kin,” a sci-fi crime thriller starring “The Disaster Artist” headliner James Franco, on Aug. 31, 2018.

Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin and Mike Richardson are producing “Hellboy,” which also stars Milla Jovovich and Daniel Dae Kim. Ed Skrein was originally cast in Kim’s role as Ben Daimio, who is written as Japanese-American in the comic books the film is based on.

In April, “Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola announced the R-rated reboot of the franchise with Neil Marshall (“The Descent”) as the helmer of the project. Andrew Cosby, Christopher Golden and Mignola are writing the script.

The news came two months after Guillermo del Toro, who directed 2004’s “Hellboy” and 2008’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” with Ron Perlman playing the titular character, announced “Hellboy 3” would not happen.

The first “Hellboy” earned a worldwide total of $99 million at the box office and starred Perlman and Selma Blair. Its sequel performed better, earning $160 million worldwide. Although the movies weren’t runaway smash hits, critics loved them, both earning a score in the 80s on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Kin” was directed by Jonathan Baker and Josh Baker and also stars Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Zoe Kravitz and Dennis Quaid. Baker and Baker wrote the screenplay along with Daniel Casey.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ron Perlman Shuts Down 'Hellboy' Reboot Questions During Reddit AMA Session

'Hellboy': First Look at 'Stranger Things' Star David Harbour as Hero in Reboot (Photo)

Daniel Dae Kim Will Replace Ed Skrein in 'Hellboy' Reboot: 'It's Official,' Kim Says

AT&T Wants Time Warner Merger Antitrust Trial to Start in February

AT&T responded at length to the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit that seeks to block its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, calling for a 10-day trial set to begin on February 20, 2018.

The DOJ had targeted a May 7 trial date, which would prolong by months a transaction that was agreed upon last October — and would come after April 22, which the companies agreed to set as a new termination date for the deal this week. The transaction was originally scheduled to terminate in October, but was extended temporarily to work through regulatory issues.

But with the DOJ’s decision to try to stop the deal in the courts, that timeline has changed — and AT&T and Time Warner are looking for a resolution sooner than later.

Also Read: AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson: DOJ Antitrust Suit ‘Defies Logic and Is Unprecedented’

“Defendants’ proposed schedule will not prejudice the Government, which has had ample time already to investigate its case,” AT&T’s lawyer Daniel Petrocelli said in the filing. “Further delay is unwarranted and unfair to the Defendants, their shareholders, and their customers. As the attached chronology demonstrates, the Government has already obtained substantial discovery from the parties and, indeed, has had much of it since earlier this year.”

In the filing, AT&T said the two companies have already handed over 25 million pages of documents to government officials and 200 pages of written responses to questions from the Justice Department. In the spring, 17 executives from AT&T and Time Warner at for depositions that took 19 days.

The union of AT&T and Time Warner would create a media behemoth with assets including the Warner Bros. studio, CNN, HBO, the Turner networks, AT&T’s wireless business and DirecTV. However, President Donald Trump has repeatedly bashed the merger on the campaign trail and in office, and has started a vendetta against CNN, which he has branded “fake news.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson: DOJ Antitrust Suit ‘Defies Logic and Is Unprecedented’

Justice Department to Sue to Prevent AT&T-Time Warner Merger

AT&T-Time Warner Merger in Jeopardy: 5 Scenarios for What Happens Next

AT&T responded at length to the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit that seeks to block its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, calling for a 10-day trial set to begin on February 20, 2018.

The DOJ had targeted a May 7 trial date, which would prolong by months a transaction that was agreed upon last October — and would come after April 22, which the companies agreed to set as a new termination date for the deal this week. The transaction was originally scheduled to terminate in October, but was extended temporarily to work through regulatory issues.

But with the DOJ’s decision to try to stop the deal in the courts, that timeline has changed — and AT&T and Time Warner are looking for a resolution sooner than later.

“Defendants’ proposed schedule will not prejudice the Government, which has had ample time already to investigate its case,” AT&T’s lawyer Daniel Petrocelli said in the filing. “Further delay is unwarranted and unfair to the Defendants, their shareholders, and their customers. As the attached chronology demonstrates, the Government has already obtained substantial discovery from the parties and, indeed, has had much of it since earlier this year.”

In the filing, AT&T said the two companies have already handed over 25 million pages of documents to government officials and 200 pages of written responses to questions from the Justice Department. In the spring, 17 executives from AT&T and Time Warner at for depositions that took 19 days.

The union of AT&T and Time Warner would create a media behemoth with assets including the Warner Bros. studio, CNN, HBO, the Turner networks, AT&T’s wireless business and DirecTV. However, President Donald Trump has repeatedly bashed the merger on the campaign trail and in office, and has started a vendetta against CNN, which he has branded “fake news.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson: DOJ Antitrust Suit 'Defies Logic and Is Unprecedented'

Justice Department to Sue to Prevent AT&T-Time Warner Merger

AT&T-Time Warner Merger in Jeopardy: 5 Scenarios for What Happens Next

CAA Promotes Risa Gertner and Sherrie Sage Schwartz to Management Committee

Creative Artists Agency has elevated Risa Gertner and Sherrie Sage Schwartz to its management committee, the agency announced Monday.

Gertner, who joined CAA in 1996, has helped guide the agency’s motion picture literary business for nearly 20 years, serving as the practice’s co-head alongside  Todd Feldman. She personally represents filmmakers including Ron Howard, Simon Kinberg, Seth MacFarlane, Alex Kurtzman, Susannah Grant, Tony Gilroy, and J.C. Chandor, among others.

Schwartz is agency’s Global Chief Human Resources Officer.  Before joining the agency in February 2015, she was the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Activision Publishing, a division of Activision Blizzard.  She has worked in other executive HR roles at Levi Strauss & Co., Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert Company, and Kraft Foods.

Also Read: Singapore’s Temasek Buys Stake in CAA

“I am proud to have held a leadership role at CAA for nearly 20 years, and to work with so many talented and smart colleagues in our department and around the agency,” Gertner said in a statement.  “Our company leaders have demonstrated exceptional stewardship and I am excited to play an even larger role in ensuring that CAA remains the best in the business.”

“I’ve been fortunate in my role to work with a superb management team who lead the agency with vision, purpose, and dignity,” Schwartz said in a statement. “They have been clear about, and enormously supportive of, the HR’s team’s efforts to make sure CAA is always the best place one could choose to work, at all experience levels and from any background. We believe a diverse environment of intelligent, energized, thoughtful and empowered employees brings out the best in everyone and creates the finest possible service for our clients.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Sherrie and Risa to the management team, and are enormously excited about their important contributions in this new role,” CAA President Richard Lovett said in a statement. “Risa is not only a fantastically talented agent, but a proven and respected business leader with an acute understanding of our company, our clients and the marketplace. Sherrie has been an outstanding leader of our people efforts companywide, building a first-class global human resources infrastructure and initiating successful strategic initiatives to improve hiring, training, development, benefits, and ways of working. Risa and Sherrie are extraordinary executives whose voices at the company leadership level will have lasting impact.”

Also Read: CSA to Honor Barry Levinson at Artios Awards

Also on Monday, CAA also unveiled a pair of operational groups, Finance and People & Culture, comprised of 35 women and men, including many existing department heads and next-generation leaders, who reporting directly to the Management Committee.

“We have industry thought leaders and executives across all divisions and around the world,” Lovett said.  “As our company continues its rapid and successful growth, the new operating groups provide a more structured approach to capitalizing on this unique business advantage, to create greater opportunity for our company and clients. With a rich diversity of voices represented by senior and emerging leaders from a wide variety of professional and personal backgrounds, we will be that much stronger on all operational fronts.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

CAA Fires Agent Accused by Actress of Sexual Harassment and Assault

Kevin Spacey Dropped by CAA, Publicist Staci Wolfe

CAA and Youku Tudou Discuss What’s Next for Streaming in China

Creative Artists Agency has elevated Risa Gertner and Sherrie Sage Schwartz to its management committee, the agency announced Monday.

Gertner, who joined CAA in 1996, has helped guide the agency’s motion picture literary business for nearly 20 years, serving as the practice’s co-head alongside  Todd Feldman. She personally represents filmmakers including Ron Howard, Simon Kinberg, Seth MacFarlane, Alex Kurtzman, Susannah Grant, Tony Gilroy, and J.C. Chandor, among others.

Schwartz is agency’s Global Chief Human Resources Officer.  Before joining the agency in February 2015, she was the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Activision Publishing, a division of Activision Blizzard.  She has worked in other executive HR roles at Levi Strauss & Co., Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert Company, and Kraft Foods.

“I am proud to have held a leadership role at CAA for nearly 20 years, and to work with so many talented and smart colleagues in our department and around the agency,” Gertner said in a statement.  “Our company leaders have demonstrated exceptional stewardship and I am excited to play an even larger role in ensuring that CAA remains the best in the business.”

“I’ve been fortunate in my role to work with a superb management team who lead the agency with vision, purpose, and dignity,” Schwartz said in a statement. “They have been clear about, and enormously supportive of, the HR’s team’s efforts to make sure CAA is always the best place one could choose to work, at all experience levels and from any background. We believe a diverse environment of intelligent, energized, thoughtful and empowered employees brings out the best in everyone and creates the finest possible service for our clients.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Sherrie and Risa to the management team, and are enormously excited about their important contributions in this new role,” CAA President Richard Lovett said in a statement. “Risa is not only a fantastically talented agent, but a proven and respected business leader with an acute understanding of our company, our clients and the marketplace. Sherrie has been an outstanding leader of our people efforts companywide, building a first-class global human resources infrastructure and initiating successful strategic initiatives to improve hiring, training, development, benefits, and ways of working. Risa and Sherrie are extraordinary executives whose voices at the company leadership level will have lasting impact.”

Also on Monday, CAA also unveiled a pair of operational groups, Finance and People & Culture, comprised of 35 women and men, including many existing department heads and next-generation leaders, who reporting directly to the Management Committee.

“We have industry thought leaders and executives across all divisions and around the world,” Lovett said.  “As our company continues its rapid and successful growth, the new operating groups provide a more structured approach to capitalizing on this unique business advantage, to create greater opportunity for our company and clients. With a rich diversity of voices represented by senior and emerging leaders from a wide variety of professional and personal backgrounds, we will be that much stronger on all operational fronts.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

CAA Fires Agent Accused by Actress of Sexual Harassment and Assault

Kevin Spacey Dropped by CAA, Publicist Staci Wolfe

CAA and Youku Tudou Discuss What's Next for Streaming in China

Thanksgiving Football Streaming Guide, From the Lions-Vikings NFL Matchup to the Iron Bowl

Vikings versus Lions. Ohio State versus Michigan. Alabama versus Auburn. It’s Thanksgiving week football (college or pro) — and this year, you won’t need a TV to watch almost all of it.

There is an increasing number of cord cutters who love football, but don’t love fat cable bills. That’s taken a toll on pay-TV companies, and football ratings as a result.

But more and more streaming services have come online in recent years and are winning over disenchanted subscribers – and sports leagues are noticing. The NFL has a deal with Amazon to stream several Thursday Night Football games, and the league broadcast a game on Verizon’s Yahoo earlier this year.

This holiday weekend, almost every football game of note is easily available to those without cable. Now that is definitely something to be thankful for!

Also Read: ‘Monday Night Football’ Ratings Soar 63 Percent With National Anthem Protest

Here’s a quick guide to watching some of this weekend’s games online:

THURSDAY
NFL:

Vikings at Lions (12:30 pm ET, FOX)

Chargers at Cowboys (4:30 pm ET, CBS)

Giants at Redskins (8:30 pm ET, NBC)

Also Read: Ratings: NBC Tops Primetime With ‘Thursday Night Football’ Kickoff Game

CBS, Fox and NBC are also available on practically every major streaming service, including YouTube TVHulu with Live TVSling TVPlayStation Vue and Fubo TV, with varying local markets and degrees of coverage.

It’s best to go to their sites to check which channels are available in which cities, but fans in major markets and an increasing number of not-so-major ones can get those three broadcast networks without a cable subscription or antenna.

CBS is also available direct-to-consumer with its CBS All Access product, which costs $5.99/month for a commercial-lite package and $9.99 a month for commercial free (although live broadcasts of local affiliates – where football games will be aired – still have commercial breaks).

There’s one huge catch, though: with Verizon having exclusive mobile rights to the NFL, cord-cutters can’t stream NFL games on CBS or Fox on non-Verizon Wireless mobile devices. Verizon customers can stream the games using the NFL Mobile app, but fans with other carriers are out of luck.

Also Read: Thanksgiving Viewing Guide 2017: What’s on TV (Photos)

College:

Mississippi at (14) Mississippi State (7:30 pm ET, ESPN)

For those who prefer the college game (or if the end of the battle between the Chargers and Cowboys isn’t particularly compelling), the two Mississippi schools will face off in the annual Egg Bowl. Mississippi State, which is still in the hunt for a major bowl bid, will be going for its ninth win of the year.

The game is on ESPN and streamable on the WatchESPN app for pay-TV subscribers, as well as on most major standalone streaming services, including YouTube TV and Sling’s Orange package. And unlike NFL games, there’s no restrictions in streaming college football on mobile devices.

Also Read: How to Watch or Live Stream Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Video)

FRIDAY:

(2) Miami at Pittsburgh (noon ET, ABC)

South Florida at (15) Central Florida (3:30 pm ET, ABC)

There’s a relatively light slate of games Friday, but the Miami Hurricanes — on track for a meeting with No. 3 Clemson next week — face a tricky game at Pittsburgh, which tripped up then-undefeated Clemson late last season. Later that day, Central Florida tries to stay undefeated and in line for a New Year’s Day bowl game when the Knights take on rival South Florida.

Also Read: Thanksgiving Box Office Preview: Will ‘Coco’ Be Hurt by John Lasseter Accusations?

SATURDAY:

(9) Ohio State at Michigan (noon ET, FOX)

(1) Alabama at (6) Auburn (3:30 pm ET, CBS)

(8) Notre Dame at (21) Stanford (8 pm ET, ABC)

Saturday’s three marquee matchups — the first two pitting longtime rivals against each other and the last featuring potential Heisman Trophy finalist Bryce Love of Stanford — are spread across the three broadcast networks and in three different time slots, meaning college football fans don’t have to choose. Michigan recently fell out of the top 25, giving its battle with Ohio State a bit less luster, but Jim Harbaugh versus Urban Meyer is always worth watching. Later that day, Alabama looks to hold off hated Auburn in the Iron Bowl, while Notre Dame attempts to keep its playoff hopes alive against Stanford in the nightcap.

Also Read: 21 Shows You Can Binge Watch Over the Thanksgiving Holiday (Photos)

SUNDAY:

Dolphins at Patriots (1 pm ET, CBS)

Bills at Chiefs (1 pm ET, CBS)

Bears at Eagles (1 pm ET, Fox)

Saints at Rams (4:25 pm ET, CBS)

Packers at Steelers (8:30 pm ET, NBC)

The long weekend ends with a lighter-than-usual Sunday NFL slate, given the three Thanksgiving Day games. And while last week was full of marquee matchups like the clash of unlikely division leaders Los Angeles Rams and Minnesota Vikings and the NFC East rivalry between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, Thanksgiving Sunday is more subdued.

L.A.s’ second-newest football team will take center stage, as the Rams return to the Coliseum to take on the 8-2 New Orleans Saints in an afternoon tilt airing in most of the country on CBS (and CBS All Access), while the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers face off with the AFC North-leading Pittsburgh Steelers in a national prime time showdown.

Sunday’s early slate of regional games is highlighted by a divisional battle between Miami and New England, and MVP candidate Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles taking on the Chicago Bears. Cord cutters with access to Fox and CBS can get the local game in their market — or can watch the Red Zone channel, which shows cut-ins of live games, as an add-on to streaming services including Sling and Fubo TV. But Thanksgiving weekend football no longer requires a seat on the couch in front of the TV, which might improve some family harmony this holiday season.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Streaming Helps CBS to Solid Q3 Despite NFL Ratings Dip

A Cord Cutters Guide to the 2017 Football Season

Why Streaming NFL Games on Your Phone Is So Complicated – And Why That May Change

Vikings versus Lions. Ohio State versus Michigan. Alabama versus Auburn. It’s Thanksgiving week football (college or pro) — and this year, you won’t need a TV to watch almost all of it.

There is an increasing number of cord cutters who love football, but don’t love fat cable bills. That’s taken a toll on pay-TV companies, and football ratings as a result.

But more and more streaming services have come online in recent years and are winning over disenchanted subscribers – and sports leagues are noticing. The NFL has a deal with Amazon to stream several Thursday Night Football games, and the league broadcast a game on Verizon’s Yahoo earlier this year.

This holiday weekend, almost every football game of note is easily available to those without cable. Now that is definitely something to be thankful for!

Here’s a quick guide to watching some of this weekend’s games online:

THURSDAY
NFL:

Vikings at Lions (12:30 pm ET, FOX)

Chargers at Cowboys (4:30 pm ET, CBS)

Giants at Redskins (8:30 pm ET, NBC)

CBS, Fox and NBC are also available on practically every major streaming service, including YouTube TVHulu with Live TVSling TVPlayStation Vue and Fubo TV, with varying local markets and degrees of coverage.

It’s best to go to their sites to check which channels are available in which cities, but fans in major markets and an increasing number of not-so-major ones can get those three broadcast networks without a cable subscription or antenna.

CBS is also available direct-to-consumer with its CBS All Access product, which costs $5.99/month for a commercial-lite package and $9.99 a month for commercial free (although live broadcasts of local affiliates – where football games will be aired – still have commercial breaks).

There’s one huge catch, though: with Verizon having exclusive mobile rights to the NFL, cord-cutters can’t stream NFL games on CBS or Fox on non-Verizon Wireless mobile devices. Verizon customers can stream the games using the NFL Mobile app, but fans with other carriers are out of luck.

College:

Mississippi at (14) Mississippi State (7:30 pm ET, ESPN)

For those who prefer the college game (or if the end of the battle between the Chargers and Cowboys isn’t particularly compelling), the two Mississippi schools will face off in the annual Egg Bowl. Mississippi State, which is still in the hunt for a major bowl bid, will be going for its ninth win of the year.

The game is on ESPN and streamable on the WatchESPN app for pay-TV subscribers, as well as on most major standalone streaming services, including YouTube TV and Sling’s Orange package. And unlike NFL games, there’s no restrictions in streaming college football on mobile devices.

FRIDAY:

(2) Miami at Pittsburgh (noon ET, ABC)

South Florida at (15) Central Florida (3:30 pm ET, ABC)

There’s a relatively light slate of games Friday, but the Miami Hurricanes — on track for a meeting with No. 3 Clemson next week — face a tricky game at Pittsburgh, which tripped up then-undefeated Clemson late last season. Later that day, Central Florida tries to stay undefeated and in line for a New Year’s Day bowl game when the Knights take on rival South Florida.

SATURDAY:

(9) Ohio State at Michigan (noon ET, FOX)

(1) Alabama at (6) Auburn (3:30 pm ET, CBS)

(8) Notre Dame at (21) Stanford (8 pm ET, ABC)

Saturday’s three marquee matchups — the first two pitting longtime rivals against each other and the last featuring potential Heisman Trophy finalist Bryce Love of Stanford — are spread across the three broadcast networks and in three different time slots, meaning college football fans don’t have to choose. Michigan recently fell out of the top 25, giving its battle with Ohio State a bit less luster, but Jim Harbaugh versus Urban Meyer is always worth watching. Later that day, Alabama looks to hold off hated Auburn in the Iron Bowl, while Notre Dame attempts to keep its playoff hopes alive against Stanford in the nightcap.

SUNDAY:

Dolphins at Patriots (1 pm ET, CBS)

Bills at Chiefs (1 pm ET, CBS)

Bears at Eagles (1 pm ET, Fox)

Saints at Rams (4:25 pm ET, CBS)

Packers at Steelers (8:30 pm ET, NBC)

The long weekend ends with a lighter-than-usual Sunday NFL slate, given the three Thanksgiving Day games. And while last week was full of marquee matchups like the clash of unlikely division leaders Los Angeles Rams and Minnesota Vikings and the NFC East rivalry between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, Thanksgiving Sunday is more subdued.

L.A.s’ second-newest football team will take center stage, as the Rams return to the Coliseum to take on the 8-2 New Orleans Saints in an afternoon tilt airing in most of the country on CBS (and CBS All Access), while the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers face off with the AFC North-leading Pittsburgh Steelers in a national prime time showdown.

Sunday’s early slate of regional games is highlighted by a divisional battle between Miami and New England, and MVP candidate Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles taking on the Chicago Bears. Cord cutters with access to Fox and CBS can get the local game in their market — or can watch the Red Zone channel, which shows cut-ins of live games, as an add-on to streaming services including Sling and Fubo TV. But Thanksgiving weekend football no longer requires a seat on the couch in front of the TV, which might improve some family harmony this holiday season.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Streaming Helps CBS to Solid Q3 Despite NFL Ratings Dip

A Cord Cutters Guide to the 2017 Football Season

Why Streaming NFL Games on Your Phone Is So Complicated – And Why That May Change

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson: DOJ Antitrust Suit ‘Defies Logic and Is Unprecedented’

AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson struck a defiant tone in a Monday afternoon press call, saying he was “troubled” by the Justice Department’s plans to file an antitrust suit seeking to block AT&T’s $85 billion merger with Time Warner, and that the government’s decision “defies logic.”

“We’re surprised to be here and candidly I’m a bit troubled by it,” Stephenson said at the start of the call. “[Time Warner CEO] Jeff Bewkes and I entered into this deal with clear legal precedent.”

Stephenson said “the best legal minds in the country” agreed the deal, announced last October, would go through “because our companies don’t compete with each other.”

Also Read: Justice Department to Sue to Prevent AT&T-Time Warner Merger

“This defies logic and is unprecedented,” Stephenson said. “I’ve done a lot of deals in my career but I’ve never done one which I’ve disagreed with the Department of Justice on so many facts.”

Stephenson also mounted a defense of CNN, saying that AT&T was not interested in any solution that would call into question CNN’s First Amendment-guaranteed journalistic independence. However, he did not discount the possibility that the network — which the president has repeatedly blasted as “fake news” — could have played a role in the antitrust decision.

“There’s been a lot of reporting and speculation whether this is all about CNN,” he said. “And frankly I don’t know. Nobody should be surprised the question keeps coming up.”

Also Read: AT&T-Time Warner Merger in Jeopardy: 5 Scenarios for What Happens Next

“Any agreement that results in us forfeiting control of CNN, whether directly or indirectly, is a non-starter,” Stephenson added.

After Stephenson spoke, AT&T outside counsel Daniel Petrocelli played a tape of antitrust chief Makan Delrahim, who is heading the government’s review, appearing on business news before his appointment saying that while the size of the deal is sure to attract attention, “I don’t see this as a major antitrust problem.”

Petrocelli said the company is ready to go on trial and will ask the court for the earliest possible date, possibly as early as 60 days. Stephenson said AT&T intends to win, and there’s no thought about cutting losses. He added that the DOJ’s decision throws other mergers into uncertainty and can have a “freezing effect on commerce in general.”

“We do not intend to settle this matter out of simple expediency,” Stephenson said. “Because the rule of law is an issue here.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Justice Department to Sue to Prevent AT&T-Time Warner Merger

AT&T-Time Warner Merger in Jeopardy: 5 Scenarios for What Happens Next

AT&T Chief: Government Has Not Pushed Me to Sell CNN, ‘Period’

AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson struck a defiant tone in a Monday afternoon press call, saying he was “troubled” by the Justice Department’s plans to file an antitrust suit seeking to block AT&T’s $85 billion merger with Time Warner, and that the government’s decision “defies logic.”

“We’re surprised to be here and candidly I’m a bit troubled by it,” Stephenson said at the start of the call. “[Time Warner CEO] Jeff Bewkes and I entered into this deal with clear legal precedent.”

Stephenson said “the best legal minds in the country” agreed the deal, announced last October, would go through “because our companies don’t compete with each other.”

“This defies logic and is unprecedented,” Stephenson said. “I’ve done a lot of deals in my career but I’ve never done one which I’ve disagreed with the Department of Justice on so many facts.”

Stephenson also mounted a defense of CNN, saying that AT&T was not interested in any solution that would call into question CNN’s First Amendment-guaranteed journalistic independence. However, he did not discount the possibility that the network — which the president has repeatedly blasted as “fake news” — could have played a role in the antitrust decision.

“There’s been a lot of reporting and speculation whether this is all about CNN,” he said. “And frankly I don’t know. Nobody should be surprised the question keeps coming up.”

“Any agreement that results in us forfeiting control of CNN, whether directly or indirectly, is a non-starter,” Stephenson added.

After Stephenson spoke, AT&T outside counsel Daniel Petrocelli played a tape of antitrust chief Makan Delrahim, who is heading the government’s review, appearing on business news before his appointment saying that while the size of the deal is sure to attract attention, “I don’t see this as a major antitrust problem.”

Petrocelli said the company is ready to go on trial and will ask the court for the earliest possible date, possibly as early as 60 days. Stephenson said AT&T intends to win, and there’s no thought about cutting losses. He added that the DOJ’s decision throws other mergers into uncertainty and can have a “freezing effect on commerce in general.”

“We do not intend to settle this matter out of simple expediency,” Stephenson said. “Because the rule of law is an issue here.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Justice Department to Sue to Prevent AT&T-Time Warner Merger

AT&T-Time Warner Merger in Jeopardy: 5 Scenarios for What Happens Next

AT&T Chief: Government Has Not Pushed Me to Sell CNN, 'Period'

Justice Department to Sue to Prevent AT&T-Time Warner Merger

The Justice Department will file a lawsuit seeking to block the $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner, Bloomberg reported Monday afternoon.

The deal, announced last October, would create a media behemoth with assets including the Warner Bros. studio, CNN, HBO, the Turner networks, AT&T’s wireless business and DirecTV. However, President Donald Trump has taken aim at the mega-merger on the campaign trail and repeatedly branded CNN as “fake news.”

The Financial Times reported earlier this month that AT&T would have to sacrifice CNN to gain antitrust approval for the deal, which AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson declined he had proposed or had been asked to do. New antitrust chief Makan Delrahim said in October that the deal did not pose a “major antitrust problem,” but his thinking has evidently shifted.

Also Read: AT&T-Time Warner Merger in Jeopardy: 5 Scenarios for What Happens Next

“Today’s DOJ lawsuit is a radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent,” David R. McAtee II, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel, AT&T Inc., said in a statement. “Vertical mergers like this one are routinely approved because they benefit consumers without removing any competitor from the market. We see no legitimate reason for our merger to be treated differently.

“Our merger combines Time Warner’s content and talent with AT&T’s TV, wireless and broadband distribution platforms,” McAtee continued. “The result will help make television more affordable, innovative, interactive and mobile. Fortunately, the Department of Justice doesn’t have the final say in this matter. Rather, it bears the burden of proving to the U.S. District Court that the transaction violates the law. We are confident that the Court will reject the Government’s claims and permit this merger under longstanding legal precedent.”

At an investor conference earlier this month, AT&T CFO John Stephens said that while he still expects the deal to go through, the finish line is not imminent.

Also Read: AT&T Chief: Government Has Not Pushed Me to Sell CNN, ‘Period’

“All approvals have been received, but for the [Department of Justice],” Stephens said. “We are in active discussions with the DOJ. Those are continuing on. I can’t comment on those discussions, but with those discussions, I can now say that the timing of the closing of the deal is now uncertain.”

“With regard to the transaction, everything continues as we’ve expressed in the past,” he continued. “If you look at this vertical merger, you can see that these types of mergers bring benefits to customers, and have very routinely been approved by the DOJ and the federal government. In fact, a vertical integration — vertical merger like this hasn’t been blocked for over 40 years.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

AT&T-Time Warner Merger in Jeopardy: 5 Scenarios for What Happens Next

AT&T Chief: Government Has Not Pushed Me to Sell CNN, ‘Period’

AT&T CEO: I ‘Have No Intention’ of Selling CNN

The Justice Department will file a lawsuit seeking to block the $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner, Bloomberg reported Monday afternoon.

The deal, announced last October, would create a media behemoth with assets including the Warner Bros. studio, CNN, HBO, the Turner networks, AT&T’s wireless business and DirecTV. However, President Donald Trump has taken aim at the mega-merger on the campaign trail and repeatedly branded CNN as “fake news.”

The Financial Times reported earlier this month that AT&T would have to sacrifice CNN to gain antitrust approval for the deal, which AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson declined he had proposed or had been asked to do. New antitrust chief Makan Delrahim said in October that the deal did not pose a “major antitrust problem,” but his thinking has evidently shifted.

“Today’s DOJ lawsuit is a radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent,” David R. McAtee II, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel, AT&T Inc., said in a statement. “Vertical mergers like this one are routinely approved because they benefit consumers without removing any competitor from the market. We see no legitimate reason for our merger to be treated differently.

“Our merger combines Time Warner’s content and talent with AT&T’s TV, wireless and broadband distribution platforms,” McAtee continued. “The result will help make television more affordable, innovative, interactive and mobile. Fortunately, the Department of Justice doesn’t have the final say in this matter. Rather, it bears the burden of proving to the U.S. District Court that the transaction violates the law. We are confident that the Court will reject the Government’s claims and permit this merger under longstanding legal precedent.”

At an investor conference earlier this month, AT&T CFO John Stephens said that while he still expects the deal to go through, the finish line is not imminent.

“All approvals have been received, but for the [Department of Justice],” Stephens said. “We are in active discussions with the DOJ. Those are continuing on. I can’t comment on those discussions, but with those discussions, I can now say that the timing of the closing of the deal is now uncertain.”

“With regard to the transaction, everything continues as we’ve expressed in the past,” he continued. “If you look at this vertical merger, you can see that these types of mergers bring benefits to customers, and have very routinely been approved by the DOJ and the federal government. In fact, a vertical integration — vertical merger like this hasn’t been blocked for over 40 years.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

AT&T-Time Warner Merger in Jeopardy: 5 Scenarios for What Happens Next

AT&T Chief: Government Has Not Pushed Me to Sell CNN, 'Period'

AT&T CEO: I 'Have No Intention' of Selling CNN

Comcast Approached 21st Century Fox About Potential Acquisition (Report)

Comcast has discussed a potential acquisition of 21st Century Fox, according to a Thursday report from CNBC.

The deal appears to be along similar parameters as talks recently held between Disney and Fox, in which the Mouse House would have acquired Fox’s TV and film production business and several cable channels. Like Disney, which owns ABC, NBC owner Comcast is not allowed to own two broadcast networks.

Also, any acquisition of Fox assets by a fellow media giant would not include Fox News or Fox Sports due to antitrust issues.

Also Read: Fox Rides Cable Networks to Strong Q1, Revenue Jumps 8 Percent

A Comcast-Fox union would create an entity owning popular cable channels including Bravo and FX, as well as the Universal and Fox studios. It could also give Comcast more owned-and-operated content for its pay-TV services, as well as its new Instant TV streaming platform — and any other internet television services it may develop. Disney, which is launching a Disney-branded streaming service — which will also serve as the home of its upcoming Marvel and “Star Wars” movies — could have also used Fox’s content to bolster that offering.

And once Disney’s interest in Fox — and Fox’s willingness to hold talks — emerged earlier this month, it naturally opened the floodgates for other potential buyers as media companies continue to consolidate. AT&T agreed to buy Time Warner in an $85 billion deal more than a year ago, which has still not been approved and may face a looming antitrust suit, while Discovery acquired Scripps earlier this year in an $11.9 billion deal.

Shares of Fox are up more than eight percent in after-hours trading.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox Rides Cable Networks to Strong Q1, Revenue Jumps 8 Percent

Here’s the Real Reason Disney Wants to Buy Most of Fox

Disney Held Talks to Buy Most of Fox (Report)

Comcast has discussed a potential acquisition of 21st Century Fox, according to a Thursday report from CNBC.

The deal appears to be along similar parameters as talks recently held between Disney and Fox, in which the Mouse House would have acquired Fox’s TV and film production business and several cable channels. Like Disney, which owns ABC, NBC owner Comcast is not allowed to own two broadcast networks.

Also, any acquisition of Fox assets by a fellow media giant would not include Fox News or Fox Sports due to antitrust issues.

A Comcast-Fox union would create an entity owning popular cable channels including Bravo and FX, as well as the Universal and Fox studios. It could also give Comcast more owned-and-operated content for its pay-TV services, as well as its new Instant TV streaming platform — and any other internet television services it may develop. Disney, which is launching a Disney-branded streaming service — which will also serve as the home of its upcoming Marvel and “Star Wars” movies — could have also used Fox’s content to bolster that offering.

And once Disney’s interest in Fox — and Fox’s willingness to hold talks — emerged earlier this month, it naturally opened the floodgates for other potential buyers as media companies continue to consolidate. AT&T agreed to buy Time Warner in an $85 billion deal more than a year ago, which has still not been approved and may face a looming antitrust suit, while Discovery acquired Scripps earlier this year in an $11.9 billion deal.

Shares of Fox are up more than eight percent in after-hours trading.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox Rides Cable Networks to Strong Q1, Revenue Jumps 8 Percent

Here's the Real Reason Disney Wants to Buy Most of Fox

Disney Held Talks to Buy Most of Fox (Report)

Is Virtual Reality’s Steven Spielberg Still in College?

Virtual reality, which thousands of people are betting billions of dollars it will be a big part of the future of entertainment, is at a crossroads.

Equipment sales have hit a plateau despite price chops, and even for those who shell out hundreds of dollars for an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and a gaming PC, there’s not exactly a Netflix-sized pool of premium content to wade their way through.

That shouldn’t be too surprising – after all, the entire technology is only a few years old. But fortunately, the next generation of potential VR impresarios – and maybe even its first Steven Spielberg or James Cameron – is already working on it, with the help of one California university who’s placed a big bet on virtual reality.

Chapman University in Orange, California, is the alma mater of Hollywood power players like “Stranger Things” creators the Duffer Brothers – who recently appeared at an event on campus. And its Dodge College of Film and Media Arts also has a virtual reality program where students are producing legitimately professional work. In an industry far on entertainment’s frontier without an establishment of any kind, there’s plenty of room for upstarts to reach the top.

Also Read: Is This How Virtual Reality Goes Mainstream?

Luke Snedecor, a sophomore in the school’s digital arts program, showed TheWrap a VR experience he created called “At Sea” where the user interacted with a fisherman on a raft. Bending your knees allowed you to look underwater, where you could grab fish using the Oculus hand controllers and toss them to the lone mariner. There was also an underwater mine to which TheWrap led a shark, using fish as bait, keeping the fisherman out of danger.

While the project did not have the budget of some of the virtual reality experiences that are coming out of massive brands or major studios, it was hardly amateur in comparison – and was more intuitive to play with than many commercial applications. As it turns out, professional-quality VR isn’t yet exclusive to any kind of professional class.

Snedecor, who’s only been developing in virtual reality for about a year, likes the idea of working in an industry without an establishment, especially as traditional media companies are still navigating their way through digital disruption.

Also Read: Facebook Unveils $199 Standalone Oculus Virtual Reality Headset

“There’s hope,” he said.

Bill Kroyer, a veteran animation director who helmed “FernGully: The Last Rainforest” and currently serves as the director of the Digital Arts Program, showed TheWrap “The Harvest,” Chapman’s capstone – at least, to date – virtual reality project.

While too many virtual reality experiences TheWrap has seen seem like they were in VR for VR’s sake, “The Harvest,” in which the user is shackled to a chair in a barn – is ideal for the technology. The experience was made possible by sponsorship from chip giant AMD.

Also Read: Enter a 3-D Jungle With ‘Jumanji’ in Virtual Reality This December

“There was a legitimate reason to put it in a VR experience and design elements to match that,” Kroyer said.

Rather than rely on CGI, the experience was filmed with real actors inside a 75-year-old barn at the Burbank Equestrian Center that hadn’t been cleaned in years.

“It looked like a demented guy would own this,” Kroyer said.

Also Read: AMC Theatres Makes $20 Million Bet on Virtual Reality With Dreamscape Immersive

The rats, bats and spiders were all computer-generated, however. It was shot with one camera on a nodal axis. And there was also a VR game type experience and AR demo in addition with the main “Harvest” narrative piece.

Madeline Warren, an associate professor on the artistic faculty, said that while most schools are focusing their forays into VR on the engineering departments, Chapman has made a deliberate decision to base it out of the film school.

“A lot of the VR development has been siloed in engineering,” she said. “They don’t have the storytelling skills.”

Also Read: Virtual Reality Leaders on What It’ll Take to Bring VR to the Mainstream

And even though Kroyer is a Hollywood lifer, he thinks entertainment will be only a small part of VR’s eventual impact, paling in comparison to medical and educational uses. However, entertainment is likely to be the first way most people experience the technology, so there’s a lot at stake in creating compelling and engaging stuff.

Kroyer credits Chapman’s “salon” model for encouraging a cross-disciplinary look at VR – a technology that needs storytellers arguably as much as it needs engineers to build those experiences. After all, if we want people to dedicate more and more time to immersive experiences, those virtual worlds have to be interesting – and creatives can certainly help with that.

“This is a technology that would benefit from that thinking,” Warren said.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Is This How Virtual Reality Goes Mainstream?

Facebook Unveils $199 Standalone Oculus Virtual Reality Headset

AMC Theatres Makes $20 Million Bet on Virtual Reality With Dreamscape Immersive

Virtual reality, which thousands of people are betting billions of dollars it will be a big part of the future of entertainment, is at a crossroads.

Equipment sales have hit a plateau despite price chops, and even for those who shell out hundreds of dollars for an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and a gaming PC, there’s not exactly a Netflix-sized pool of premium content to wade their way through.

That shouldn’t be too surprising – after all, the entire technology is only a few years old. But fortunately, the next generation of potential VR impresarios – and maybe even its first Steven Spielberg or James Cameron – is already working on it, with the help of one California university who’s placed a big bet on virtual reality.

Chapman University in Orange, California, is the alma mater of Hollywood power players like “Stranger Things” creators the Duffer Brothers – who recently appeared at an event on campus. And its Dodge College of Film and Media Arts also has a virtual reality program where students are producing legitimately professional work. In an industry far on entertainment’s frontier without an establishment of any kind, there’s plenty of room for upstarts to reach the top.

Luke Snedecor, a sophomore in the school’s digital arts program, showed TheWrap a VR experience he created called “At Sea” where the user interacted with a fisherman on a raft. Bending your knees allowed you to look underwater, where you could grab fish using the Oculus hand controllers and toss them to the lone mariner. There was also an underwater mine to which TheWrap led a shark, using fish as bait, keeping the fisherman out of danger.

While the project did not have the budget of some of the virtual reality experiences that are coming out of massive brands or major studios, it was hardly amateur in comparison – and was more intuitive to play with than many commercial applications. As it turns out, professional-quality VR isn’t yet exclusive to any kind of professional class.

Snedecor, who’s only been developing in virtual reality for about a year, likes the idea of working in an industry without an establishment, especially as traditional media companies are still navigating their way through digital disruption.

“There’s hope,” he said.

Bill Kroyer, a veteran animation director who helmed “FernGully: The Last Rainforest” and currently serves as the director of the Digital Arts Program, showed TheWrap “The Harvest,” Chapman’s capstone – at least, to date – virtual reality project.

While too many virtual reality experiences TheWrap has seen seem like they were in VR for VR’s sake, “The Harvest,” in which the user is shackled to a chair in a barn – is ideal for the technology. The experience was made possible by sponsorship from chip giant AMD.

“There was a legitimate reason to put it in a VR experience and design elements to match that,” Kroyer said.

Rather than rely on CGI, the experience was filmed with real actors inside a 75-year-old barn at the Burbank Equestrian Center that hadn’t been cleaned in years.

“It looked like a demented guy would own this,” Kroyer said.

The rats, bats and spiders were all computer-generated, however. It was shot with one camera on a nodal axis. And there was also a VR game type experience and AR demo in addition with the main “Harvest” narrative piece.

Madeline Warren, an associate professor on the artistic faculty, said that while most schools are focusing their forays into VR on the engineering departments, Chapman has made a deliberate decision to base it out of the film school.

“A lot of the VR development has been siloed in engineering,” she said. “They don’t have the storytelling skills.”

And even though Kroyer is a Hollywood lifer, he thinks entertainment will be only a small part of VR’s eventual impact, paling in comparison to medical and educational uses. However, entertainment is likely to be the first way most people experience the technology, so there’s a lot at stake in creating compelling and engaging stuff.

Kroyer credits Chapman’s “salon” model for encouraging a cross-disciplinary look at VR – a technology that needs storytellers arguably as much as it needs engineers to build those experiences. After all, if we want people to dedicate more and more time to immersive experiences, those virtual worlds have to be interesting – and creatives can certainly help with that.

“This is a technology that would benefit from that thinking,” Warren said.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Is This How Virtual Reality Goes Mainstream?

Facebook Unveils $199 Standalone Oculus Virtual Reality Headset

AMC Theatres Makes $20 Million Bet on Virtual Reality With Dreamscape Immersive

Democratic Senators Call for Investigation of FCC Review of Sinclair-Tribune Merger

A group of 15 Democratic senators have requested the inspector general of the Federal Communications Commission open an investigation into the agency’s review of the proposed $3.9 billion merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media, questioning whether FCC Chairman is “free from influences that compromise his objectivity and impartiality.”

“We have strong concerns that the FCC’s ongoing review of the proposed merger of Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media may be tainted by a series of actions and events that raise questions about the independence and impartiality of the FCC,” said a letter sent by the group, whose top two signatories were Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico. The senators have asked that Pai be recused from all matters related to the merger, and that the review of the deal be placed on hold until the investigation is completed.

The letter cited a “series of actions to overturn decades-long, settled legal precedent undertaken by Chairman Pai since he assumed the helm of the FCC in January” that made the TV mega-merger possible. The deal, if approved, would create a company with 223 stations in 108 markets, including 39 of the top 50, covering 72 percent of households in the country.

Also Read: Sinclair Broadcast Group Acquires Tribune Media for $3.9 Billion

The senators proceeded to detail those actions, including several meetings with Sinclair officials and President Donald Trump, as well as Pai voting to reinstate the UHF discount, without which a Sinclair-Tribune merger would have been legal.

“Put simply, this timeline suggests a disturbing pattern of a three way quid-pro-quo involving Sinclair, the Trump Administration and Ajit Pai,” the senators wrote. “Because of these facts, we are gravely concerned that Chairman Pai may have engaged in a pattern and practice of activity related to the Sinclair-Tribune transaction in a way that imperils the independence and public interest mission of the FCC.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sinclair Broadcast Group Acquires Tribune Media for $3.9 Billion

Sinclair Broadcast Group to Buy Tribune Media for $4 Billion (Report)

Fox, Blackstone in Talks to Jointly Outbid Sinclair for Tribune

A group of 15 Democratic senators have requested the inspector general of the Federal Communications Commission open an investigation into the agency’s review of the proposed $3.9 billion merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media, questioning whether FCC Chairman is “free from influences that compromise his objectivity and impartiality.”

“We have strong concerns that the FCC’s ongoing review of the proposed merger of Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media may be tainted by a series of actions and events that raise questions about the independence and impartiality of the FCC,” said a letter sent by the group, whose top two signatories were Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico. The senators have asked that Pai be recused from all matters related to the merger, and that the review of the deal be placed on hold until the investigation is completed.

The letter cited a “series of actions to overturn decades-long, settled legal precedent undertaken by Chairman Pai since he assumed the helm of the FCC in January” that made the TV mega-merger possible. The deal, if approved, would create a company with 223 stations in 108 markets, including 39 of the top 50, covering 72 percent of households in the country.

The senators proceeded to detail those actions, including several meetings with Sinclair officials and President Donald Trump, as well as Pai voting to reinstate the UHF discount, without which a Sinclair-Tribune merger would have been legal.

“Put simply, this timeline suggests a disturbing pattern of a three way quid-pro-quo involving Sinclair, the Trump Administration and Ajit Pai,” the senators wrote. “Because of these facts, we are gravely concerned that Chairman Pai may have engaged in a pattern and practice of activity related to the Sinclair-Tribune transaction in a way that imperils the independence and public interest mission of the FCC.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sinclair Broadcast Group Acquires Tribune Media for $3.9 Billion

Sinclair Broadcast Group to Buy Tribune Media for $4 Billion (Report)

Fox, Blackstone in Talks to Jointly Outbid Sinclair for Tribune

MGM Says James Bond Rights Still Up in the Air, Boasts Strong Q3 After Epix Acquisition

MGM’s foray into premium television helped it to a strong third quarter, but the independent studio still hasn’t landed on a home for the 25th James Bond film.

For the three months ended September 30, MGM reported $267.7 million in revenue and $90.7 million in adjusted EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a common measure of profitability.

That compares with the revenue of $298.7 million and EBITDA of $53.1 million the company reported for the corresponding quarter of last year. The company’s media networks division — essentially premium cable network Epix, which MGM bought for $1 billion earlier this year — contributed $114 million of that revenue.

On a conference call discussing the earnings, MGM CEO Gary Barber said the company is still in talks with several distributors for the 25th Bond movie, but had not yet settled on a partner.

The last four installments in the franchise were distributed by Sony, but MGM last month signed a deal with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures for a joint marketing and distribution venture covering much of MGM’s film slate starting in 2018.

Also Read: MGM Teams With Annapurna for Joint Distribution Deal

“Distribution plans for Bond 25 still have not been announced and we are continuing discussions with a variety of potential partners,” Barber said on the call. “We look forward to sharing more details on Bond 25 on future calls.”

Also on the film side, MGM announced in September that it is relaunching Orion Pictures, with Maria Bello’s “Every Day” set to hit theaters in April. The company’s theatrical revenue jumped 49 percent compared with the previous quarter, but at just $2.9 million, wasn’t a big contributor to the overall picture.

The company’s television licensing revenue for film content fell 39 percent year-over-year, largely due to distribution revenue realized last year from “Spectre” and “Creed” that did not have an equivalent this season. Licensing revenue for TV content also dipped 68 percent, reflecting the lack of deliveries of some of its most popular shows like “The Voice” and “Survivor.”

Also Read: MGM Extends CEO and Chairman Gary Barber Through 2022

During the quarter, MGM also acquired Evolution Film & Tape, which produces reality hits like “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “Vanderpump Rules,” for $24 million plus an additional earnout for the sellers, as it continues to expand its reality TV business under MGM Television President and pioneer of the genre Mark Burnett.

Related stories from TheWrap:

MGM Teams With Annapurna for Joint Distribution Deal

MGM Extends CEO and Chairman Gary Barber Through 2022

MGM to Relaunch Orion Pictures, Sets February Release for Maria Bello’s ‘Every Day’

MGM’s foray into premium television helped it to a strong third quarter, but the independent studio still hasn’t landed on a home for the 25th James Bond film.

For the three months ended September 30, MGM reported $267.7 million in revenue and $90.7 million in adjusted EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a common measure of profitability.

That compares with the revenue of $298.7 million and EBITDA of $53.1 million the company reported for the corresponding quarter of last year. The company’s media networks division — essentially premium cable network Epix, which MGM bought for $1 billion earlier this year — contributed $114 million of that revenue.

On a conference call discussing the earnings, MGM CEO Gary Barber said the company is still in talks with several distributors for the 25th Bond movie, but had not yet settled on a partner.

The last four installments in the franchise were distributed by Sony, but MGM last month signed a deal with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures for a joint marketing and distribution venture covering much of MGM’s film slate starting in 2018.

“Distribution plans for Bond 25 still have not been announced and we are continuing discussions with a variety of potential partners,” Barber said on the call. “We look forward to sharing more details on Bond 25 on future calls.”

Also on the film side, MGM announced in September that it is relaunching Orion Pictures, with Maria Bello’s “Every Day” set to hit theaters in April. The company’s theatrical revenue jumped 49 percent compared with the previous quarter, but at just $2.9 million, wasn’t a big contributor to the overall picture.

The company’s television licensing revenue for film content fell 39 percent year-over-year, largely due to distribution revenue realized last year from “Spectre” and “Creed” that did not have an equivalent this season. Licensing revenue for TV content also dipped 68 percent, reflecting the lack of deliveries of some of its most popular shows like “The Voice” and “Survivor.”

During the quarter, MGM also acquired Evolution Film & Tape, which produces reality hits like “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “Vanderpump Rules,” for $24 million plus an additional earnout for the sellers, as it continues to expand its reality TV business under MGM Television President and pioneer of the genre Mark Burnett.

Related stories from TheWrap:

MGM Teams With Annapurna for Joint Distribution Deal

MGM Extends CEO and Chairman Gary Barber Through 2022

MGM to Relaunch Orion Pictures, Sets February Release for Maria Bello's 'Every Day'

Can 4DX Breathe New Life Into Movie Theaters?

Disney’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” a colorful and fun superhero spectacle from Taika Waititi, is a rollicking good time. And in 4DX — where the seat moves along with the movie — it literally is.

This past weekend, TheWrap attended a showing of the Marvel superhero film, which has already rocketed past $500 million worldwide, in a 4DX-equipped auditorium at the Regal L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.

Seating is assigned, and the chairs, which look like a cross between a beefed up airline seat and a recliner, come in independently moving pods of four. At about $30 a ticket, it’s not cheap — but you get a lot more than a traditional movie experience. It’s more comparable to amusement park simulator rides like the old “Back to the Future” at Universal Studios than anything you’ll see at a multiplex.

Also Read: ‘Thor’ Repeats at No. 1 With $56 Million, ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ Edges ‘Orient Express’

4DX was developed by Korean company CJ 4DPLEX. Each 4DX theater incorporates motion-based seating with more than 20 different effects, including blasts of air and jets of water, optimized by a team of editors. Since 2009, more than 460 Hollywood and local titles have been screened in 4DX. As of November 2017, there are more than 51,000 4DX seats in 422 auditoriums in 50 countries.

This week, the company also rolled out a virtual reality product, the 4DX VR Disk, which allows users to explore 360 degrees of VR without having to place their feet on the floor.

“Thor: Ragnarok” has some high-intensity action right from the top, which gives fans the full 4DX experience right away. Moving along with the fight scenes was gripping and not nearly as annoying as TheWrap thought it might be after a preview of the technology featuring a car chase scene. And the scents were nice touch too – you could smell something smoldering when something was on fire in the movie, but it wasn’t distracting.

Also Read: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Passes $500 Million at Global Box Office

Some of the effects were more pronounced than others: When Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk smashed into Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, the audience felt a thwack in the back of their seats that might be uncomfortable for some viewers.

The 4DX seats also include jets that spray water — so be warned if you are the type of person who keeps your cell phone on your lap. It was a neat effect, but after a few particularly splashy scenes, TheWrap decided to press the “water off” button.

And while the motion adds a whole new element to the theatergoing experience, it may detract from one of the oldest ones — tossing back plenty of unhealthy snacks. Several attendees at the showing TheWrap went to came into the theater with large buckets of popcorn, but didn’t finish them. Turns out, it’s not that easy to balance food on your lap or reach for it under the seat while getting thrown around in your seat. On the other hand, the 4DX chairs do include cup holders to keep beverages handy — as long as they’re not overfilled.

Also Read: ‘Thor’ Stays Atop Box Office While ‘Orient Express,’ ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ Fight for No. 2

4DX certainly isn’t for everyone — and there’s a laundry list of health-related warnings when you enter — but at a time when theater chains are coming off one of the worst summers in years and are adding bells and whistles like recliners and virtual reality to attract customers, there’s an apparent natural market for something like this. And the types of blockbusters studios and theater chains are increasingly dependent on — like “Thor: Ragnarok” — are generally good fits.

Maybe going “Back to the Future” in a simulator ride-type experience is the future of theaters, after all.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Thor’ Repeats at No. 1 With $56 Million, ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ Edges ‘Orient Express’

‘Thor’ Stays Atop Box Office While ‘Orient Express,’ ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ Fight for No. 2

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Passes $500 Million at Global Box Office

Disney’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” a colorful and fun superhero spectacle from Taika Waititi, is a rollicking good time. And in 4DX — where the seat moves along with the movie — it literally is.

This past weekend, TheWrap attended a showing of the Marvel superhero film, which has already rocketed past $500 million worldwide, in a 4DX-equipped auditorium at the Regal L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.

Seating is assigned, and the chairs, which look like a cross between a beefed up airline seat and a recliner, come in independently moving pods of four. At about $30 a ticket, it’s not cheap — but you get a lot more than a traditional movie experience. It’s more comparable to amusement park simulator rides like the old “Back to the Future” at Universal Studios than anything you’ll see at a multiplex.

4DX was developed by Korean company CJ 4DPLEX. Each 4DX theater incorporates motion-based seating with more than 20 different effects, including blasts of air and jets of water, optimized by a team of editors. Since 2009, more than 460 Hollywood and local titles have been screened in 4DX. As of November 2017, there are more than 51,000 4DX seats in 422 auditoriums in 50 countries.

This week, the company also rolled out a virtual reality product, the 4DX VR Disk, which allows users to explore 360 degrees of VR without having to place their feet on the floor.

“Thor: Ragnarok” has some high-intensity action right from the top, which gives fans the full 4DX experience right away. Moving along with the fight scenes was gripping and not nearly as annoying as TheWrap thought it might be after a preview of the technology featuring a car chase scene. And the scents were nice touch too – you could smell something smoldering when something was on fire in the movie, but it wasn’t distracting.

Some of the effects were more pronounced than others: When Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk smashed into Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, the audience felt a thwack in the back of their seats that might be uncomfortable for some viewers.

The 4DX seats also include jets that spray water — so be warned if you are the type of person who keeps your cell phone on your lap. It was a neat effect, but after a few particularly splashy scenes, TheWrap decided to press the “water off” button.

And while the motion adds a whole new element to the theatergoing experience, it may detract from one of the oldest ones — tossing back plenty of unhealthy snacks. Several attendees at the showing TheWrap went to came into the theater with large buckets of popcorn, but didn’t finish them. Turns out, it’s not that easy to balance food on your lap or reach for it under the seat while getting thrown around in your seat. On the other hand, the 4DX chairs do include cup holders to keep beverages handy — as long as they’re not overfilled.

4DX certainly isn’t for everyone — and there’s a laundry list of health-related warnings when you enter — but at a time when theater chains are coming off one of the worst summers in years and are adding bells and whistles like recliners and virtual reality to attract customers, there’s an apparent natural market for something like this. And the types of blockbusters studios and theater chains are increasingly dependent on — like “Thor: Ragnarok” — are generally good fits.

Maybe going “Back to the Future” in a simulator ride-type experience is the future of theaters, after all.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Thor' Repeats at No. 1 With $56 Million, 'Daddy's Home 2' Edges 'Orient Express'

'Thor' Stays Atop Box Office While 'Orient Express,' 'Daddy's Home 2' Fight for No. 2

'Thor: Ragnarok' Passes $500 Million at Global Box Office

Philo Wants to Make TV More Like Facebook

Algorithms, like Netflix’s recommendation engine, have been the secret sauce for streaming television, turning viewers on to shows they never knew they liked. But the power of human suggestions — or what used to be known as the water cooler — might be coming back, thanks to a new streaming service started by an ex-Facebook founder that’s launching Tuesday.

Philo costs $16 a month and includes more than 35 channels from A+E, AMC Networks, Discovery, Scripps and Viacom — who are also strategic investors in the company. The service is available nationwide and on most major streaming platforms, including iOS, Android (through the Chrome browser, for now), Apple TV and Roku.

“That’s really something we learned at Facebook,” Philo CEO Andrew McCollum, a college classmate of Mark Zuckerberg and member of the social network’s founding team, told TheWrap. “Social connection brings this powerful new context. Even if the information is the same, I have a different way to connect to it rather than some algorithm spitting it out.”

Also Read: Is the Portland Trail Blazers’ Standalone Streaming Package the Future of Regional Sports Broadcasting?

Philo started as an internet TV service for college campuses, where McCollum said the company was able to cobble together own packages without having to negotiate a complex web of rights — and get a firsthand look into consumer behavior from the prime cord-cutting demographic.

“We created these little [over-the-top] bundles on campus,” he said.

Philo used the data and feedback from that experience to launch its national service, deciding to start with an entertainment-focused bundle that isn’t duplicated by other internet TV offerings like Sling TV and YouTube TV. And no surprise given McCollum’s Facebook background — there’s a big social element in Philo’s content discovery system.

Also Read: Disney Streaming Service Will Be Priced ‘Substantially Below’ Netflix, Says Bob Iger

“We wanted to build the first social TV experience,” McCollum said. “Television is the most social form of media out there.”

However, there’s no social functionality available on Philo just yet. For now, it looks like most other streaming services, albeit with a channel guide rotated 90 degrees from the traditional perspective and a relatively minimalist interface. Social features will launch early next year, but the company won’t roll them all out at once though – McCollum wants to wait to build up a more substantial user base.

One of those features lets friends see what shows you’re watching – and even where you’re at in the program, allowing friends to sync up and watch a “Daily Show” sketch together. It might seem like too much information at first, but then again, we share a lot more about much more personal things on social media all the time. And who knows – maybe seeing your “all business” friend catching up on reality TV makes guilty pleasures feel a little less guilty.

Also Read: ‘Star Wars’: Live-Action TV Series Coming to Disney Streaming Service

That level of sharing might be shockingly new for TV, but kind of natural from a team that mostly got its start outside the traditional establishment.

“A significant majority of people in the company had no TV background when they joined,” McCollum said. “We come from a new perspective in that way.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Is the Portland Trail Blazers’ Standalone Streaming Package the Future of Regional Sports Broadcasting?

Disney Streaming Service Will Be Priced ‘Substantially Below’ Netflix, Says Bob Iger

Streaming Helps CBS to Solid Q3 Despite NFL Ratings Dip

Algorithms, like Netflix’s recommendation engine, have been the secret sauce for streaming television, turning viewers on to shows they never knew they liked. But the power of human suggestions — or what used to be known as the water cooler — might be coming back, thanks to a new streaming service started by an ex-Facebook founder that’s launching Tuesday.

Philo costs $16 a month and includes more than 35 channels from A+E, AMC Networks, Discovery, Scripps and Viacom — who are also strategic investors in the company. The service is available nationwide and on most major streaming platforms, including iOS, Android (through the Chrome browser, for now), Apple TV and Roku.

“That’s really something we learned at Facebook,” Philo CEO Andrew McCollum, a college classmate of Mark Zuckerberg and member of the social network’s founding team, told TheWrap. “Social connection brings this powerful new context. Even if the information is the same, I have a different way to connect to it rather than some algorithm spitting it out.”

Philo started as an internet TV service for college campuses, where McCollum said the company was able to cobble together own packages without having to negotiate a complex web of rights — and get a firsthand look into consumer behavior from the prime cord-cutting demographic.

“We created these little [over-the-top] bundles on campus,” he said.

Philo used the data and feedback from that experience to launch its national service, deciding to start with an entertainment-focused bundle that isn’t duplicated by other internet TV offerings like Sling TV and YouTube TV. And no surprise given McCollum’s Facebook background — there’s a big social element in Philo’s content discovery system.

“We wanted to build the first social TV experience,” McCollum said. “Television is the most social form of media out there.”

However, there’s no social functionality available on Philo just yet. For now, it looks like most other streaming services, albeit with a channel guide rotated 90 degrees from the traditional perspective and a relatively minimalist interface. Social features will launch early next year, but the company won’t roll them all out at once though – McCollum wants to wait to build up a more substantial user base.

One of those features lets friends see what shows you’re watching – and even where you’re at in the program, allowing friends to sync up and watch a “Daily Show” sketch together. It might seem like too much information at first, but then again, we share a lot more about much more personal things on social media all the time. And who knows – maybe seeing your “all business” friend catching up on reality TV makes guilty pleasures feel a little less guilty.

That level of sharing might be shockingly new for TV, but kind of natural from a team that mostly got its start outside the traditional establishment.

“A significant majority of people in the company had no TV background when they joined,” McCollum said. “We come from a new perspective in that way.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Is the Portland Trail Blazers' Standalone Streaming Package the Future of Regional Sports Broadcasting?

Disney Streaming Service Will Be Priced 'Substantially Below' Netflix, Says Bob Iger

Streaming Helps CBS to Solid Q3 Despite NFL Ratings Dip

Fullscreen to Shut Down Streaming Service, Lay Off About 25

Fullscreen Media is shutting down its self-titled streaming service and laying off about 25 employees, the company announced Monday.

CEO George Strompolos announced the decision to pull the streaming service in an email to staffers that was subsequently shared on Medium. The teen-focused subscription streaming service, which costs $5 a month, will stop airing during the first quarter of 2018.

Fullscreen is owned by Otter Media, a joint venture between AT&T and the Chernin Group. The company launched its streaming service last spring with the intention of becoming a Netflix-type destination for the younger demographic.

Also Read: Fullscreen Launches Paid Service With Original Shows, the Latest to Chase the Netflix Dream

But according to Strompolos’ memo, the investment required to fund a full-fledged streaming video service curtailed Fullscreen’s ability to devote resources to other lines of business with more “established scale,” like its creator and brand divisions.

Here is Strompolos’ memo:

Team:
When we set out to launch our own SVOD service, we knew it would be a huge challenge. We wanted to provide a new platform for the breakthrough creators, personalities and storytellers of social entertainment — and the fans who love them.

A lot went right. Our talented team built and launched a best-in-class OTT product experience from scratch. We created bold, first-of-its-kind original programming that resonated with young fans. Millions downloaded our app and hundreds of thousands became paying subscribers.

Despite our momentum, we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down the Fullscreen SVOD service in Q1 2018. We came to the conclusion that funding SVOD — a longer-term investment — was limiting our ability to invest in our Creator, Brand, and Rooster Teeth divisions that have more established scale and immediate impact. I shared this news in person with the core SVOD team earlier today.

Many smart, creative people gave so much in pursuit of this ambitious project, from our staff to our talent and partners. In addition, many young fans supported us by subscribing with their own hard-earned money. We thank you all for giving us a chance.

Going forward, we will double-down on our mission to empower creators and bring brands closer to fans. The award-winning product experience and technology we’ve developed over the past two years will be valuable as we build new brands and content offerings in the future. We will continue to identify and invest in talented creators and make ambitious bets to push the space forward. It’s in our DNA. I will share more details about our evolving strategy at the December all-hands meeting.

Onward,

George
Related stories from TheWrap:

Peter Chernin’s Fullscreen Revamps, Launches New Division for Product-Placement Videos

Fullscreen Launches Paid Service With Original Shows, the Latest to Chase the Netflix Dream

Fullscreen Online Video Network Buys StageBloc

Fullscreen Media is shutting down its self-titled streaming service and laying off about 25 employees, the company announced Monday.

CEO George Strompolos announced the decision to pull the streaming service in an email to staffers that was subsequently shared on Medium. The teen-focused subscription streaming service, which costs $5 a month, will stop airing during the first quarter of 2018.

Fullscreen is owned by Otter Media, a joint venture between AT&T and the Chernin Group. The company launched its streaming service last spring with the intention of becoming a Netflix-type destination for the younger demographic.

But according to Strompolos’ memo, the investment required to fund a full-fledged streaming video service curtailed Fullscreen’s ability to devote resources to other lines of business with more “established scale,” like its creator and brand divisions.

Here is Strompolos’ memo:

Team:
When we set out to launch our own SVOD service, we knew it would be a huge challenge. We wanted to provide a new platform for the breakthrough creators, personalities and storytellers of social entertainment — and the fans who love them.

A lot went right. Our talented team built and launched a best-in-class OTT product experience from scratch. We created bold, first-of-its-kind original programming that resonated with young fans. Millions downloaded our app and hundreds of thousands became paying subscribers.

Despite our momentum, we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down the Fullscreen SVOD service in Q1 2018. We came to the conclusion that funding SVOD — a longer-term investment — was limiting our ability to invest in our Creator, Brand, and Rooster Teeth divisions that have more established scale and immediate impact. I shared this news in person with the core SVOD team earlier today.

Many smart, creative people gave so much in pursuit of this ambitious project, from our staff to our talent and partners. In addition, many young fans supported us by subscribing with their own hard-earned money. We thank you all for giving us a chance.

Going forward, we will double-down on our mission to empower creators and bring brands closer to fans. The award-winning product experience and technology we’ve developed over the past two years will be valuable as we build new brands and content offerings in the future. We will continue to identify and invest in talented creators and make ambitious bets to push the space forward. It’s in our DNA. I will share more details about our evolving strategy at the December all-hands meeting.

Onward,

George
Related stories from TheWrap:

Peter Chernin's Fullscreen Revamps, Launches New Division for Product-Placement Videos

Fullscreen Launches Paid Service With Original Shows, the Latest to Chase the Netflix Dream

Fullscreen Online Video Network Buys StageBloc

Producer Gary Goddard’s ‘Broadway 4D’ Project Stalled for 5 Years – Even Before Molestation Accusations

Actor Anthony Edwards published a statement Friday accusing producer Gary Goddard, whom he first met at the age of 12, of sexual molestation over a multi-year period. But even before those allegations emerged — and prior to a previous accusation in 2014 — Goddard’s big-ticket Broadway 4D project, which would have brought newfound technological bells and whistles to the stage, had apparently stalled out.

Goddard announced Broadway 4D in March 2012, which was described in a 2013 press release as “a 3-D film-enhanced show incorporating in-theater special effects,” but it went off the rails in 2014 due to financial and theater renovation issues, according to an October report from Broadway World.

Goddard and partners had inked a 49-year lease with New 42nd Street to restore the long-abandoned Times Square Theatre as a venue for its new theatrical vision, built elaborate sets, and hired big name actors like Hugh Jackman and Christina Aguilera, the latter of whom was brought on to sing the iconic “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” song from “Evita.”

Also Read: Anthony Edwards Says He Was Molested by Producer Gary Goddard as a Child

Alas, Goddard and partner Robert Kory closed up shop in the middle of that year, with Broadway 4D resurfacing a year later when Elie Samaha and Donald Kushner, who had renovated Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, put out a statement announcing that they had acquired the assets. But there’s been radio silence since, even though the director brought in to oversee Broadway 4D’s creative decisions still believes it would have been a worthwhile endeavor.

“I was certainly enthusiastic about it,” Richard Maltby, Jr. told Broadway World. “I think it is a lovely tribute to Broadway. Those iconic numbers. It wouldn’t take ticket buyers from ‘Wicked,’ it would inspire people to see ‘Wicked.’ People would develop a love of musicals from watching this film. Broadway is about not only the shows that are there now, but everything before. This film is a tribute to that.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Anthony Edwards Says He Was Molested by Producer Gary Goddard as a Child

Gary Goddard Files Declaration Demanding Dismissal in Anonymous Sexual Abuse Case

Gary Goddard Files Objection to Potential John Doe Lawyer Citing ‘Bad Moral Character’

Actor Anthony Edwards published a statement Friday accusing producer Gary Goddard, whom he first met at the age of 12, of sexual molestation over a multi-year period. But even before those allegations emerged — and prior to a previous accusation in 2014 — Goddard’s big-ticket Broadway 4D project, which would have brought newfound technological bells and whistles to the stage, had apparently stalled out.

Goddard announced Broadway 4D in March 2012, which was described in a 2013 press release as “a 3-D film-enhanced show incorporating in-theater special effects,” but it went off the rails in 2014 due to financial and theater renovation issues, according to an October report from Broadway World.

Goddard and partners had inked a 49-year lease with New 42nd Street to restore the long-abandoned Times Square Theatre as a venue for its new theatrical vision, built elaborate sets, and hired big name actors like Hugh Jackman and Christina Aguilera, the latter of whom was brought on to sing the iconic “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” song from “Evita.”

Alas, Goddard and partner Robert Kory closed up shop in the middle of that year, with Broadway 4D resurfacing a year later when Elie Samaha and Donald Kushner, who had renovated Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, put out a statement announcing that they had acquired the assets. But there’s been radio silence since, even though the director brought in to oversee Broadway 4D’s creative decisions still believes it would have been a worthwhile endeavor.

“I was certainly enthusiastic about it,” Richard Maltby, Jr. told Broadway World. “I think it is a lovely tribute to Broadway. Those iconic numbers. It wouldn’t take ticket buyers from ‘Wicked,’ it would inspire people to see ‘Wicked.’ People would develop a love of musicals from watching this film. Broadway is about not only the shows that are there now, but everything before. This film is a tribute to that.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Anthony Edwards Says He Was Molested by Producer Gary Goddard as a Child

Gary Goddard Files Declaration Demanding Dismissal in Anonymous Sexual Abuse Case

Gary Goddard Files Objection to Potential John Doe Lawyer Citing 'Bad Moral Character'