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January 24, 2018

January 19th News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

Once again this week, industry media devoted much ink (and many pixels) to the current awards season. Congratulations to the many Ontario stakeholders nominated for Visual Effects Society Awards this week. I also want to give a shout out to Canadian co-production and OMDC-supported feature film The Breadwinner. I neglected to mention last week that it received a 2018 Golden Globe nomination for best animated feature.

Movie-going statistics for 2017 are still being reported and what they showed this week was not good news. As detailed in The Wrap below, the National Alliance of Theater Owners (NATO) announced Wednesday that while estimated ticket sales were the lowest since 1993, the average ticket price for 2017 rose 3.7 percent year-over-year to a record $8.93, up from $8.65 last year.
https://www.thewrap.com/movie-theater-attendance-hits-24-year-low-ticket-prices-rise-nearly-4-percent/

Whether rising ticket prices can continue to subsidize falling sales is just one issue studios and theater owners are grappling with: another is continuing consolidation in the wake of increasing competition from streaming distributors. As reported in Variety below, Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Tony Vinciquerra spoke candidly this week about how the drive for global scale in creating and distributing entertainment content is forcing companies to look for ways to bulk up in market share and reach.
http://variety.com/2018/biz/news/sony-pictures-chief-studio-tony-vinciquerra-natpe-1202666886/

Maybe his comments were informed by news this week that Apple is about to become Sony's new neighbor. As detailed in the Los Angeles Times below, as it forges ahead into original programming, Apple Inc. is boosting its physical presence in Hollywood by leasing an entire building in Culver City, just down the street from Sony Studios.
http://beta.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-apple-culver-city-20180118-story.html

Although it hasn't grabbed too many headlines lately, the issue of piracy is a perennial one in Hollywood. Prolific independent producer Cassian Elwes wrote movingly about it in a Newsweek opinion piece this week, featuring an eye-catching headline: How Google is Killing the Independent Movie Industry.
http://www.newsweek.com/how-google-killing-independent-movie-industry-781640

Finally this week, closer to home the Ottawa Business Journal had an in-depth interview with Gusto TV founder Chris Knight who has built a state-of-the-art TV production studio in the city. As reported below, the new step for Ottawa is a sound stage to service bigger budget feature productions.
http://www.obj.ca/article/gusto-founder-brings-new-studio-ottawas-fledgling-film-and-tv-sector

Warmest regards,
Kelly

Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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