If you saw the space thriller "Gravity" in one of 300 theaters designed with Dolby's Atmos technology, you heard the movie exactly as its makers intended, according to Quartz. The film won the Oscar for sound mixing on Sunday night.
Every weekday, we compile a list of interesting business stories in the region on "The Breakdown," KPCC's business blog.
- The space thriller "Gravity" won the Oscar for sound mixing Sunday night, and if you saw the film in one of 300 theaters designed with Dolby's Atmos technology, you heard the movie exactly as its makers intended, according to Quartz.
- Boasting the best-picture winner, "12 Years A Slave," specialty distributor Fox Searchlight claimed three Oscar statuettes, but rival Warner Bros. took home the most gold, a whopping 10 awards, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
- Apple announced Monday that car makers will begin offering a new technology called CarPlay, which aims to keep drivers from fumbling with their iPhones while they're behind the wheel, reports NPR.
- California’s largest fiscal issue is the $80 billion unfunded liability of its teacher pension system, which is accumulating debt at a rate of $22 million per day, according to David Crane, Bloomberg View contributor.
- Freedom Communications on Sunday announced the sale of its Victorville and Barstow daily newspapers to New Media Investment Group Inc. for $8 million, according to the OC Register.
Mattel makes a move into Lego's playing field by agreeing to acquire Mega Brands.
Mattel is the world’s largest toy maker by sales, but it doesn’t really play in the construction toy category. Lego is the powerhouse there, but Mega Brands, with its Mega Bloks, is number two. Mattel CEO Bryan Stockton said for the past few years, “construction” has been one of the fastest growing toy categories.
"It’s not just a boy’s toy anymore," Stockton told investors in a conference call announcing the deal. "It really crosses gender and ages. So we think it’s a great opportunity to expand our brands like Barbie and Hot Wheels into this important category."
Stockton added that acquiring Mega Brands will help Mattel build on its entertainment partnerships. Mattel has some licensing deals with companies like Viacom, owner of Nickelodeon and Disney, owner of Pixar and Marvel, but in the construction toy segment, again, Lego dominates. Sean McGowan, Toy Industry analyst with Needham and Company said with Mega Brand, Mattel could make a stronger play for more licenses.
Silver Linings Playbook
Jackie Weaver and Robert DeNiro star in "Silver Linings Playbook." Research firm IBISWorld said more than 50 percent of the movie's ticket sales came from the six weeks between its nomination and the 2013 Academy Awards.
This Sunday at the Academy Awards, when the best motion picture is announced, the winning team will earn more than just gold statues.
The "best picture" winner generates $13.8 million more in sales than their fellow nominees at the box office after their win, according to research firm IBISWorld Inc., which analyzed five years worth of data.
The additional revenue is because of the increased marketing push the winning movie will receive.
"As one of the most coveted Oscar awards, winners not only benefit from free airtime that major companies pay millions for, but are covered in nearly all major news publications the following day," wrote IBISWorld industry analyst Britanny Carter to KPCC in an e-mail.
Nominees win too
Just being nominated can also be lucrative for movies. Films that are nominated for best picture in the 2008 to 2012 Academy Awards on average had $127.7 million in sales at the box office, with an average budget of $56.9 million, according to IBISWorld.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
The Academy Awards is expected to draw a large crowd of viewers at home and advertisers are willing to pay a lot of money to market to them.
Happy Friday! Welcome to KPCC's business blog, The Breakdown. Every weekday, we compile a list of interesting business stories in the region.
Cable company Cox Communications plans to lay off up to 650 people in San Diego and Rancho Santa Margarita, according to the Orange County Register. The job cuts are part of an effort to consolidate its call centers, the OC Register reports.
El Segundo-based toymaker Mattel plans to buy Lego competitor Mega Brands Inc. for $460 million, according to Bloomberg.
California could lose its status as entertainment industry leader, an economist warns. Kevin Klowden, a managing economist at non-partisan think tank the Milken Institute, said California has lost thousands of film production jobs that have been lured away to other states that offer more tax incentives. He spoke at an event moderated by KPCC's Larry Mantle. Check out my recap of the event here.
IMAX is moving its west coast headquarters down the coast of Silicon Beach.
The big-screen entertainment technology company broke ground Thursday on a 66,000 square foot office building in Playa Vista's commercial campus. The building is expected to take one year to complete.
IMAX currently has 120 employees working in a Santa Monica office. But IMAX Entertainment CEO Greg Foster says the company is just a tenant there. It will own the Playa Vista facility, creating a shareholder asset. Plus, over in Santa Monica, there's a a potentially noisy neighbor coming in.
"The new Expo Line is coming literally right into the back yard of the building we’re in," Foster told KPCC. "We do a lot of production work, a lot of sound work, and from a practical point of view, with the noise it wasn’t really possible."