Function Magazine

Art, Fashion and Entertainment

Archive for January, 2013

Apple co-founder to highlight at the Sundance Film Festival

Posted by elegant On January - 17 - 2013

The Sundance Film Festival takes place in Park City, Utah from January 17 through 27, 2013.  Each year the festival organizers select 200 exhibits from more than 12,000 submissions.  More than 50,000 attend the event each year.  Started in 1978, the festival is considered to be one of the largest gatherings of independent films.  It showcases American as well as international independent film makers.  Entries include both feature length as well as short films.  The event spread over Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance Resort.

One of the films that were chosen for this year’s festival is “jOBS” starring Ashton Kutcher.  It is a feature film about the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs who died in 2011 at age 56.  The film will be released in the U.S. in April.  Even though not at the festival, another movie about Steve Jobs is also in the making.  Few of the films that will be screened at the festival are getting lot of criticism before they are screened.  However, the festival provides an opportunity for up and coming directors showcase their talent.  Many mainstream actors and actresses, directors and others also attend the two-week long festival.

Les Misérables setting records at awards

Posted by elegant On January - 9 - 2013

Victor Hugo wrote a novel about the revolutionaries in Paris, a stage musical was developed from it and Universal made a film adaptation that came out in December 2012 as Les Misérables. At the just concluded Golden Globe Awards, which is a group of 80 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, it won three awards for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy; Hugh Jackman for Best Actor; and Anne Hathaway for Best Supporting Actress. The 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) honors will be held on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and Les Misérables has been nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in Supporting Role, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture categories. SAG Awards traditionally set the stage for Oscars. Les Misérables has been nominated for eight awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hugh Jackman) and Best Supporting Actress (Ann Hathaway) again at the Oscars. It is also making history at the box office earning more than $187 million by the first week of January 2013. Undoubtedly, it will make more in coming weeks and months.

A new on-demand streaming movie service from Redbox

Posted by elegant On January - 8 - 2013

Supermarket and drug store movie rental kiosk operator Redbox is introducing a new service called Redbox Instant by Verizon.  For a monthly fee of $8, subscribers can access movies online.  Redbox will be competing with Netflix, Instant Video of, Apple’s iTunes, and Vudu by Wal-Mart and expect to roll out the new service within next three months.  Subscribers will also receive credit to rent four recent releases from kiosks operated by Redbox at supermarkets and drug stores.

Redbox operates over 42,000 DVD rental kiosks in the U.S.  It introduced its new Redbox Instant service at the just concluded Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.   On-demand movie streaming expanding rapidly and Redbox believe the new service will enhance its current business model of DVD movie rentals.  Movie studios such as NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures and Lionsgate have already signed on to the new service to provide with on-demand movies.  Verizon partnership is also beneficial to Redbox.  Verizon has FiOS; a TV, phone and Internet service in many communities including the state of New York.  Competitors are also gearing up their offerings to customers in anticipation of the launch of the new service.

Who is running the U.S. movie theaters?

Posted by elegant On January - 3 - 2013

The U.S. has 40,000 movie screens.  Half of these screens are run by four major movie theater companies.  They are Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark Holdings, Carmike Cinemas and AMC Theaters.  The other half of the screens are owned by smaller theaters.  In 2012, the box-office receipts totaled a record $10.8 billion.  The Dark Knight Rises, Hunger Games and the Avengers alone brought in $1.5 billion in ticket sales.

The Regal Entertainment Group controls nearly 7,000 screens.  Cinemark Holdings has 5,200 screens worldwide.  1,300 of those screens are in Latin America.  The smaller Carmike Cinemas has 2,200 screens and expect to reach 3,000 screens soon by concentrating in smaller cities such as Allentown, Pa.; Athens, Ga.; and Chattanooga, Tenn.  AMC Theaters were sold to a Chinese outfit in 2012 but is a big player in the U.S. movie theater business.  The smaller theater operators don’t have the financial capacity to upgrade and may eventually bought by the main players.

Conversion of movie theaters to digital format helps the four big players to screen movies with 30 minute in between start times and show live events.  Added new seats provide the same comfort of watching a movie at home.  Some theaters even serve gourmet food and cocktails.