Thursday, January 20, 2011

“Amazon Buying Lovefilm To Build European Movie Rentals Business - paidContent.org” plus 1 more

“Amazon Buying Lovefilm To Build European Movie Rentals Business - paidContent.org” plus 1 more


Amazon Buying Lovefilm To Build European Movie Rentals Business - paidContent.org

Posted: 20 Jan 2011 02:01 AM PST

Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) has finally confirmed it's buying the 58 percent of Lovefilm it doesn't already own - its bid to become a major European online movie subscription business.

There's no price disclosed, but someone around the deal had been pumping The Sunday Times with a £200 million price tag for months - likely a ploy to flush out rival bidders before signing papers with Amazon.

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An Amazon acquisition has been pre-destined since 2008, when Amazon gave Lovefilm its own UK and German DVD rental business, which it now supplies back to Amazon customers, in return for a stake in the company. It's been a matter of when, not if.

Lovefilm's pre-tax loss slimmed to £900,000 on a third better revenue in 2009, according to accounts, in which Lovefilm states online is now its "primary" business.

But that's not yet true - though Lovefilm has 1.25 million subscribers, its biggest channel is still DVD, having grown up through the consolidation of a patchwork of smaller web-based DVD rental businesses.

The service operates in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and now offers web streaming, but has been taking this online service to the new and coming wave of connected TVs and boxes, like Samsung Internet@TV, Sony (NYSE: SNE) Internet TV and Playstation 3.

Still, as we reported this month, Lovefilm's online repertoire, like its counterpart Netflix's, is just a tenth of its DVD catalogue, because rights are harder to secure. The company had to raise £10 million in debt to fund its online rights drive…

It's an opportunity that could see Lovefilm's fortunes catapult on these new TV platforms - but only if it can secure an A-grade movie line-up.

An Amazon acquisition is therefore mutually beneficial - Lovefilm gets the money it needs to continue buying rights, Amazon gets the most promising company in the European field, as it looks to become a major movie, not just book, seller on both sides of the Atlantic.

Balderton Capital, DFJ Esprit and Index Ventures had been Lovefilm shareholders, along with many of the founders of the companies on which Lovefilm itself was built over the years.

Posted In: Entertainment, Movies, DVD, Media & Publishing, TV, VOD, Money, M&A & Venture Capital, Mergers & Acquisitions, Companies, Amazon

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Film directors pick nominees for best movie - Reuters

Posted: 10 Jan 2011 02:30 PM PST

(L-R) Nominees for Best Director for the 63rd Directors Guild Award: David O. Russell (''The Fighter''), David Fincher (''The Social Network''), Darren Aronofsky (''Black Swan''), Christopher Nolan (''Inception') and Tom Hooper (''The King's Speech''). REUTERS/Staff/Files

(L-R) Nominees for Best Director for the 63rd Directors Guild Award: David O. Russell (''The Fighter''), David Fincher (''The Social Network''), Darren Aronofsky (''Black Swan''), Christopher Nolan (''Inception') and Tom Hooper (''The King's Speech'').

Credit: Reuters/Staff/Files

LOS ANGELES | Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:32pm EST

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood's Oscar race narrowed further on Monday when a key directors' group picked their top five movies and filmmakers, including David Fincher with his Facebook film "The Social Network."

The Directors Guild of America, which represents men and women who make movies, also put the makers of "Black Swan," "The King's Speech," "The Fighter" and "Inception" on its list of nominees for best directing efforts of 2010.

"Their inspired films radiate the passion and unique vision of each of these filmmakers, who are about to become part of our Guild's rich history. My sincerest congratulations to all five nominees," DGA president Taylor Hackford said in a statement, noting 2011 marks the group's 75th anniversary.

The DGA honor is important because it is one of the most prestigious honors in the U.S. film industry, and because there is a strong correlation between DGA nominees and directors who will vie for Oscars, the world's top movie honors.

In all but six years since the DGA began giving out awards in 1948, its winner of best director has won the Academy Award, and traditionally the winner of best director has often seen his or her film go on to take best movie from Oscar organizers at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Last year's DGA winner, Kathryn Bigelow with "The Hurt Locker," for instance, also claimed the best director Oscar and her Iraq war film took home best motion picture.

"The Social Network," a fast-paced movie that tells of the founding of website Facebook, already has been named best movie by numerous U.S. critics groups and on Saturday, the National Society of Film Critics also named it the No. 1 film.

Numerous other groups have made their choices, and still others like the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with its Golden Globe Awards and the Screen Actors Guild will name their winners later this month. Taken together, the critics and industry groups help narrow pundits' picks for Oscars.

Fincher and his movie face strong competition from drama "Black Swan," directed by Darren Aronofsky and telling of a woman on a journey of self-discovery through her dancing.

Director Tom Hooper's "The King Speech," a period drama detailing how Britain's King George VI worked to overcome his stammering, has strong support among Oscar pundits.

Boxing film "The Fighter," from David O. Russell, also figures prominently in the awards sweepstakes, and the DGA's fifth nominee, Christopher Nolan and thriller "Inception," has a loyal fan base owing to his mega-hit Batman movies.

The DGA gives out its awards on January 29. Oscar nominees are named on January 25, and their ceremony takes place on February 27.

(Editing by Jackie Frank)

AaronIMTV wrote:

True Grit was snubbed again. Inception really isn't that incredible, Black Swan is too messed up, The King's Speech isn't dramatic only comedic, The Fighter is only good because of Christian Bale so that leaves The Social Network as best film of the year!!


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