While Apple, Zoom, and Disney made big announcements to cement the future of their business this week, the cinema industry is in its death throes.
Oct. 16, 2020
The Quick Fix
#TakeMyMoney — It’s slightly later than usual but Apple’s fall iPhone launch has finally arrived, though some investors weren’t sold on what it had to offer.
#RIPCinema — AMC’s latest dire forecast joined an already dark wave of clouds that have hovered over the cinema industry since the outbreak of COVID-19.
#JustKeepSwimming — Disney reshuffled its operations this week to focus on its streaming services in a bid to bring the Magic Kingdom into our sitting rooms.
#TurnTheMicOn — Zoom just unveiled its latest update, OnZoom, a new feature where hosts can now charge participants to attend their virtual events.
#AndFinally — As if we needed Elon Musk’s ego to grow any more, it seems that HBO is making a miniseries about the Tesla CEO.
It might be slightly later than ‘that time of year again’, but Apple finally unveiled not one, but four new iPhone models in a range of different prices.
So, what’s new?
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I’m pretty sure that Einstein was here referring to the age-old smartphone wars that still plague society. Yes, the new iPhone 12 series has an incredible camera, and yes it has 5G capabilities, and I’m sure it is much faster and has longer-lasting battery life blah blah, it goes on and on… The lowest range iPhone 12 Mini will be priced at $699, while the Pro Max will cost a whopping $1,099. There was a very mixed reaction to this all-too-familiar showing, with many excited by the new capabilities while others may have just watched one too many iPhone events to be too bothered. What was more exciting to me was the new $99 HomePod Mini. I’ve always felt that having one Siri spying on me from my pocket wasn’t enough, now I want one that I can connect to the whole house.
Bet you didn’t know
Among all this noise, investors failed to notice that last week, a federal judge upheld Apple’s banning of ‘Fortnite’ from the App Store, a massive blow to owner Epic Games considering 73 million play the game exclusively on iOS.
If video killed the radio star, has coronavirus killed the cinema star? It’s starting to look that way as AMC’s latest reports suggest that theater may have had its day.
Is there any hope for cinema?
Only last week I was walking through my hometown and noted the once-again shuttered cinema. This led me to ponder how long the cinema industry could last in the time of COVID. Well, AMC had an answer. The largest cinema chain in the world warned investors on Wednesday that a combination of lackluster attendance and limited new movies has left it in dire need of financial assistance or it will run out of cash by late 2020 or early 2021. And it’s not just AMC unfortunately, it’s a global problem for one of the world’s favorite pastimes. B&B Theatres, the sixth largest cinema chain in the U.S., says it’s a few months away from bankruptcy; Cineworld Group has had to close all 663 of its locations in the U.S. and U.K. again on top of rising debts. With coronavirus cases on the rise once more, it’s hard to see how cinema survives a full year of restrictions without government aid.
Bet you didn’t know
Before COVID, the U.S. cinema industry employed upwards of 456,000 people, the majority of whom are now out of work.
Disney announced a major reconstruction this week as the House of Mouse seeks to put Disney+ front and center, allowing us to enjoy new TV shows and a-DORY-able films from our childhood.
Disney’s flying because it can Neverland
As we can’t be the Belle of the ball at its theme parks, Disney is bringing the magic directly to our homes. The entertainment giant said it will now focus on producing more original content for its streaming services, Disney+, ESPN, and Hulu. Within hours of Monday’s announcement, Disney shares were up by 5%. Now investors must ask themselves: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, will new Disney movies have to wait until next fall?” Given the rate that studios are pushing movie releases; yes! Meanwhile, Disney adventure park sales are almost Frozen, operating at just 25% capacity. Disney’s battle to become King of the Jungle for streaming entertainment could see them taking over the online media sector. Should Netflix be worried? With Disney’s profits slowing, investors might just ask it to Mu-fasa on improving its streaming services…. Okay, I’ll stop now, I’ve had my fun.
Bet you didn’t know
Walt Disney brought live animals onto sets for his animators to study. Two fawns roamed around the filming of ‘Bambi’ and a host of forest critters at the production of ‘Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs’.
On Wednesday, Zoom announced at its Zoomtopia conference a new feature, OnZoom, which will allow its users to host events that people can pay to attend.
Zoom cocktail hour had still better be free
Wait a minute, Zoom isn’t just for my work meetings and virtual quizzes with my family? I promise I am not getting bored of them aunt Mary. The teleconferencing software allows teachers, yoga instructors, musicians and many more individuals to now charge viewers to attend their events. OnZoom brings the company into unfamiliar territory as it vies for market share with the likes of Eventbrite rather than its usual Big Tech competitors. What’s more, it has promised that it won’t even be taking a cut of the action until 2022. Payments are processed via PayPal, and as of now, hosts and participants to virtual events must be based in the U.S and the host must be a paid subscriber to Zoom. The service will become available globally in 2021. Ukulele lesson anyone?
Bet you didn’t know
Zoom is working in partnership with Astia to help address the important issue of the continued underfunding of women-led startups.
“The gauntlet has been thrown down! The prophecy will be fulfilled. Model S price changes to $69,420 tonight!” Whoever made this so-called prophecy could have thrown us a bone and warned us all about the global pandemic, but whatever. I’ll give you just one guess as to who wrote that tweet above. Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter after one of the EV leader’s competitors, Lucid Motors, announced that their luxury electric sedan would start at $77,400, or $69,900 after federal tax cuts. Tesla’s second cut to its flagship vehicle brings its total price reduction this week to $5,570 — and you thought all the best deals were on Amazon this week? Tesla has performed well in recent weeks following a rare dip in September, having announced last week a record-breaking 139,300 deliveries in Q3. It will provide a Q3 earnings report on October 21.
But wait, we Musk talk about something else…
If his ever-growing cult following wasn’t sated enough by Musk’s infamous Twitter performances, perhaps this next bit will do the trick. Elon Musk, the man who’s ego knows no bounds, is getting his own HBO miniseries documentary about his founding of SpaceX. The limited series will focus on Musk’s recruitment of a small team of engineers, and their development of the first SpaceX rocket, following its construction and launch with Hollywood hunk Channing Tatum signed on as an engineer. When this inevitably goes to Elon’s head, then God help us all!
Bet you didn’t know
Elon’s brother, Kimball, keeps an interesting Blogspot site called ‘KWAJALEIN ATOLL AND ROCKETS’ which details some of the process of SpaceX and its early days creating its original launch vehicles. It’s well worth a read.
The Week In Numbers
is how much Cloudflare stock rose on Monday following the launch of its Zero Trust security software, Cloudflare One.
was offered by Twilio this week to purchase customer data infrastructure start-up Segment.
was reportedly made by third-party sellers on Amazon Prime Day according to Amazon itself.
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