December 31, 2011 |
Penetrating the Chinese movie market has long presented any number of challenges to Hollywood studios, from quotas to censorship to cultural sensitivities Add raising money to the list of potential problems. Legendary East, the Chinese film venture established this summer by film finance and production company Legendary Entertainment and its chairman, budding Hollywood mogul Thomas Tull, has canceled plans to raise $220.5 million on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this year after it was unable to find enough investors.
November 7, 2011 |
Best Buy Co. said Monday that it will shut down its 11 big-box stores in Britain and buy out Carphone Warehouse's interest in a joint profit-sharing agreement for $1.3 billion. The Richfield, Minn., company also said it will launch a venture with Carphone Warehouse called Global Connections that will advise retailers around the world on how to boost performance of their mobile products businesses and services, in the mold of Best Buy Mobile. Best Buy's announcement is a tacit admission that its $2.1-billion joint venture with Carphone Warehouse, first announced in 2009, has not lived up to expectations.
October 28, 2011 |
Walt Disney Co. says it plans to launch a broadcast version of Disney Channel in Russia next year, enabling the entertainment giant to deliver its family programming to about 40 million households in the increasingly important market. Disney will acquire a 49% stake in Seven TV network, a national TV network in Russia, enabling it to air Disney Channel programming on broadcast stations in 54 urban markets, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as in rural areas. The company did not disclose financial terms.
September 20, 2011 |
Bringing commercial spaceflight a step closer to reality, a privately funded aerospace firm has built a production plant where it will assemble the world's first fleet of passenger-ready spaceships. The 68,000-square-foot facility next to a runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port about 100 miles north of Los Angeles is one of the first aircraft assembly plants to be built in the region in decades. It'll be home to Spaceship Co. — a joint venture of Mojave-based Scaled Composites and British billionaire Richard Branson's space tourism company, Virgin Galactic.
September 20, 2011 |
Universal Music Group Inc., the largest music company in the world, is forming a joint venture to manage musicians with Live Nation Entertainment Inc., the world's biggest ticketing, concerts promotions and artist management firm. The deal puts Universal's small cluster of four management companies under Live Nation's Front Line Management Group, whose 90 executives manage 250 artists, including the Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney and Christina Aguilera. Under the agreement, Front Line will oversee the joint venture.
August 30, 2011 |
Exxon Mobil Corp. and Rosneft announced a pact to extract oil and natural gas from the Russian Arctic, the most significant U.S.-Russian corporate deal since President Obama's push to improve ties. The announcement ended any hope that Britain's BP had of reviving its deal with state-owned Rosneft to develop the same Arctic territory. That deal was blocked in May by the billionaire partners in another BP Russian venture. For Exxon, the pact gives the largest U.S. oil company access to substantial reserves in Russia, the world's largest oil producer.
August 22, 2011 |
Legendary Pictures' new Chinese film venture will trade publicly on the Hong Kong stock market in an agreement that initially values the company at $441 million and provides it with a $220.5-million cash infusion. Legendary East, which intends to produce one or two English language movies based on Chinese history and culture per year to be distributed globally, is raising the money through Paul Y. Engineering Group, a shell company that already trades on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
August 11, 2011 |
Paddle wheel tours and wine tastings will be part of the second annual Sample the Sierra festival in South Lake Tahoe on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend (Sept. 4) . . . . Ceiba del Mar, near Cancun, is touting 24-hour room service, including “breakfast discreetly delivered to each room through a hidden door ” . . . . Sand Masters (Rusty, Kirk and the team) jump into the deep end at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach on the Travel Channel, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. . . . Tickets start at $19.95 for Herman's Hermits and the Turtles , at the Cannery Casino in Las Vegas, Sept.
June 17, 2011 |
Dorothy Rutherford is anxiously typing at her home computer, filling in answers to an online spelling game. "I hate it when I can't get this last word," the 86-year-old retiree says as she studies the jumbled letters "nadobna. " Rutherford tries "banana," then "bandana," to no avail. She smiles broadly when the computer beeps its approval of "abandon" a few moments later. Rutherford isn't just whiling away the hours in retirement. She is on the front lines of an initiative to help elderly Americans stay in their homes as long as they can — a concept called aging in place.
June 16, 2011 |
In the latest sign of Hollywood's accelerated efforts to expand its presence in the fast-growing Chinese market, Warner Bros. Entertainment has announced plans to offer its movies via cable television there, the first such venture by a major studio. Warner Bros. expects as many as 3 million Chinese households to have access to its recently released films and older titles as early as this summer through pay-per-view and on-demand services. Ultimately, the studio, a division of Time Warner Inc., is hoping to reach 200 million homes in a country where access to Hollywood entertainment has been undermined by government control and censorship.