The battle between Scarlett Johansson and Disney is officially very messy, and all actors are watching this thriller.
Johansson is taking on the multinational giant and her bold move could set a precedent for Hollywood revenue models and major contracts.
So, the battle surrounds the movie Black Widow and the fact it was released in cinemas and streamed on Disney+, at the same time.
“Disney+ has now released in both streaming and in the movies at the same time. And she (Johansson) gets none of the upside of the streaming service despite people paying for the streaming service. So she’s now suing Disney+ and it’s a pretty significant moment for actors worldwide.”JUSTIN JOFFE, FLUX FINANCE
The story is simmering along and Disney has taken it to the next level responding to Johansson’s lawsuit suggesting it’s “especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Strong words indeed. Johansson was reportedly taken aback by the response.
The actors main argument is that her contract guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release.
Johansson’s lawsuit claims Disney wanted to direct audiences toward Disney+ “where it could keep the revenues for itself while simultaneously growing the Disney+ subscriber base, a proven way to boost Disney’s stock price.”
It’s one to keep an eye on.
Reece Witherspoon is another prodigious Hollywood name but she’s enjoying very different fortunes right now.
Witherspoon’s production company (Hello Sunshine) sold for a handy 1.2 billion dollars. Joffe says she has a “very smart” way of sourcing new ideas.
“She’s got a bookclub called ‘Reese’s Bookclub” it’s got over over two million readers. She learns from them (the readers) what stories they like the most, and turns them into movies. It’s genius.”
Ironically two former Disney executives, Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, signed on to run the new venture.
The Legally Blond star, 45, is now worth more than an estimated $500 million.
AUSTRALIAN TECH TAKING ON THE WORLD
Speaking of big money Square is set to acquire Afterpay for 39 billion AUD (US$29 billion) but the bigger picture is what’s most interesting.
Tech writer and angel investor Joan Westenberg says this deal is proof of one thing.
“This is more evidence that brilliant Australian companies can succeed on a global scaler. This acquisition is sign of the strength of our eco-system. Companies like Canva, Atlassian, have shown that we are growing. That we are are force to be reckoned with. Now companies like Afterpay, and the recent acquisition of Invoice2go…Australian companies are showing we can take on the world.”JOAN WESTERNBERG, ANGEL INVESTOR
So with more eyes on the Aussie tech and fintech sectors, which companies are worth watching?
Westenberg says there’s one group in particular.
“I’m seeing a lot of strength in Australian companies that are working in date intelligence, that are working in space and robotics and hardware. So companies that are tackling really difficult problems, but taking them head on.”
And when it comes to specific companies to look out for Westernberg suggests Goterra who specialise in building robots with maggots to bring down food waste.
And SwarmFarm Robotics who’s “robots are empowering farmers to deploy new technology in their fields with customised solutions for challenges faced in their local farming systems.”
Adidas faces potential $320M Yeezy shoe write-off post-Kanye split
Adidas is contemplating a significant financial blow as it considers writing off $320 million worth of Yeezy shoes following its separation from music and fashion icon Kanye West.
The sportswear giant’s decision to sever ties with West’s Yeezy brand has left a mountain of unsold merchandise, threatening to dent the company’s balance sheet.
The partnership between Adidas and Kanye West, which began in 2013, had been immensely successful, with Yeezy shoes becoming a highly sought-after fashion statement.
However, recent controversies and disagreements between West and Adidas prompted the sportswear company to distance itself from the celebrity designer.
The massive inventory of Yeezy shoes now presents a dilemma for Adidas, as it grapples with finding a solution to deal with the surplus stock. A $320 million write-off could significantly impact the company’s financial performance in the short term.
Adidas is currently exploring various options, including discounting, donating, or repurposing the unsold inventory to mitigate the financial hit.
Warner Bros discovery warns of Hollywood’s ‘real risk’ post-strikes’
Warner Bros Discovery, has issued a stark warning regarding the ‘real risk’ that Hollywood faces in the aftermath of the recent strikes that have taken a considerable toll on the industry’s financial health.
The strikes, which disrupted film and television production for several weeks, resulted in substantial financial losses for studios, production companies, and countless industry professionals.
Warner Bros Discovery emphasised the necessity for a resilient and adaptable approach to navigate the ongoing challenges and uncertainties facing the film and television sector.
The conglomerate stressed the importance of implementing measures to mitigate such risks in the future, which include fostering better labour relations and contingency planning to safeguard against potential disruptions.
The message underlined the need for the industry to adapt to the evolving landscape of content creation and distribution, particularly in the digital era.
This warning from Warner Bros Discovery highlights the need for the entertainment industry to recognise the ever-changing dynamics and economic challenges, and the importance of preparedness to maintain its prominent position in the global market.
MrBeast’s monumental 100 African wells sparks controversy
Philanthropic YouTuber MrBeast, known for his outlandish and extravagant charity stunts, recently financed the construction of 100 wells in Africa, providing clean drinking water to thousands of people.
While the philanthropic gesture is commendable on the surface, it has ignited a wave of controversy and criticism from various quarters.
Critics argue that MrBeast’s approach, although well-intentioned, might not be the most sustainable solution to Africa’s water crisis.
They question the long-term viability of these wells, raising concerns about maintenance and local ownership. Some have even labelled it as a publicity stunt, arguing that it merely scratches the surface of a much deeper issue.
On the other hand, MrBeast’s supporters laud his efforts in raising awareness and mobilising his enormous following to contribute to a worthy cause. They argue that any effort to alleviate the water crisis is a step in the right direction.
In the end, whether MrBeast’s 100 wells in Africa are a game-changing philanthropic success or a mere spectacle remains a subject of intense social debate.
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