Advertisements


From "The Rehearsal" to "Pinocchio," here are the films getting Oregon production incentives

During the pandemic, entertainment productions adapted and kept running last year......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsAug 5th, 2022

Hollywood Pours Billions Into Anti-Abortion States It Condemns

Hollywood is still pouring money into film and TV productions in states seeking to restrict or even outlaw abortion. Media companies and movie stars have decried the overturning of Roe v. Wade, but Hollywood is still pouring money into film and TV productions in states seeking to restrict or even outlaw abortion. Officials from Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma and other states that generate billions of dollars a year from the film-and-television business, said they haven’t seen a slowdown in the sector since the ruling was overturned. The companies that own the biggest studios said they will cover abortion-related travel as part of employee health benefits, but haven’t said they’ll alter investment plans. That reflects the cold economic reality facing celebrities and filmmakers, many of whom have hosted roundtable discussions, attended protests and written editorials urging action to protect abortion rights. Their economic fates are tied to those of states that have been successful in both luring major film-and-television projects with generous tax incentives, and restricting access to abortion. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Read More: Planned Parenthood CEO Discusses The Post-Roe Fight For Abortion Access–And The “Opportunity to Reimagine… Something Better” “We have to wait and see, at some level, if this is a tipping point,” said Paul Swanson, an attorney who chairs the entertainment finance practice at Loeb & Loeb. “Once you start production somewhere, and you have your crew, and you have your locations, it’s a complete nightmare and it’s going to cost you a lot of money to pick up and leave.” Hollywood’s response to the overturning of Roe is similar to what happened in 2019, when Georgia passed a law criminalizing abortions after fetal heart cells first form a detectable electric signal. Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc., and a number of popular actors, threatened to stop working there. For the most part, they didn’t. Georgia gives qualifying film companies a 20% tax credit when they spend $500,000 or more in the state, which can shave millions of the cost of a movie. Further, it has spent decades encouraging the construction of studio space and building up a workforce that filmmakers need. As a result, it hosts the highest number of feature film projects outside of California and New York, according to research from FilmLA. The entertainment industry generates about $3.8 billion a year in wages in Georgia, data from the Motion Picture Association shows. Read More: Kansas Abortion Vote Offers First Test of New Post-Roe Battleground: State Constitutions Disney, Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, Netflix and Amazon.com Inc. are among the companies shooting movies and TV shows in the state. Productions being shot there include the Disney film “Dashing Through the Snow” and Netflix’s reality series “Hack My Home,” according to the Georgia film office. All four companies cover abortion-related travel for employees. None of the companies said they’ll alter filming plans. The views on whether to stop doing business in places with abortion bans are mixed. Stacey Abrams, the Georgia gubernatorial candidate who is a prominent advocate of abortion access, has said pulling investment from the state mostly hurts entertainment workers who can’t control laws. Some stars have publicly said they won’t work in states where the laws don’t align with their values because it sends a message. Productions can more easily move before the cameras start rolling, which suggests projects in early development are the ones most likely to be affected. “Eric Larue,” a film based on a play about a school shooting was due to start filming in Arkansas in early July. The state film office received an email from director Michael Shannon’s publicist on July 5 with a press release attached. Citing a state law banning nearly all abortions in Arkansas, including cases of rape and incest, the release said, “The filmmakers have withdrawn production from the state and will now be shooting in and around Wilmington, North Carolina,” which is less restrictive. Officials at the Arkansas film office said they hadn’t heard of any other films being pulled in response to the abortion rules. Guy Gaster, director of the North Carolina Film Office, said his department hasn’t seen a surge in moviemakers applying to work in the state and had only heard about the “Eric Larue” move from press reports. “It’s been business as usual for us,” Gaster said by email. Companies have faced unintended consequences weighing in on political issues. Earlier this year, when Disney criticized a Florida law restricting discussion of sexual orientation in primary schools, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis terminated a special municipal district the company had operated since the 1960s. Disney hasn’t commented publicly on the situation since. Bloomberg News reached out to movie studios, talent agencies and press representatives for heavyweight producers and stars to see what they had to say about filming in more-restrictive states. None would discuss what they’re planning or what they think will happen. Some state entertainment offices said filmmakers seeking to submit applications have been bringing up abortion rules, but all said that with the exception of “Eric Larue,” there was no other clear impact. Leading Hollywood producers and actresses have hosted at least four roundtable discussions, where they talked about how to react to the new abortion rules. Those conversations have mostly centered on donating to groups like Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, and encouraging voting. Additionally, they’ve urged celebrities to draw attention to the issue and engage in attention-grabbing acts, like virtual walkouts. There still may be a long-term impact on the entertainment sector of anti-abortion states, said Swanson, the entertainment lawyer. Other states, and other countries including the UK, Australia and Canada, have strong tax incentive programs that could lure new projects. But that will probably only happen if stars and workers apply pressure. “These companies, they’ll say what they want to say and a month later we move on to some other thing in the news, the war in Ukraine, or something else, and people move on and that’s it,” he said. “They save the money and they don’t have to change anything.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeJul 27th, 2022

Thanos Was Wrong: From Currency Resets To Limiting Infinite Growth

Thanos Was Wrong: From Currency Resets To Limiting Infinite Growth Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog, A couple of weeks ago, RT ran a story purporting to explain the mystery behind the rise in exchange rate of the Russian ruble. It touched on a concept I’ve talked about vis a vis Russia for years: the disparity between nominal GDP which yields a number roughly the size of Canada and Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) GDP which puts Russia on par with Germany. While everything quoted here I feel is worth considering seriously, that GDP disparity that is what is important. … the West had defaulted on its obligations to Russia when it froze the assets of the country’s central bank. “This is the abolition (something like cancel culture) of the rules of international financial relations based on global total return swaps, redistribution of risk, guarantees of property rights and distribution of seigniorage.” It was these rules that determined the old ruble exchange rate and the approaches to its establishment that we are accustomed to, the expert said, adding that those rules “no longer apply.” Kopylov explained that the strengthening of the ruble is due to the fact that it is now based purely on exports and imports, and its value is determined by its purchasing power parity (PPP). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated the Russian currency’s PPP at the end of 2021 at 29.127 rubles per one dollar. According to the Big Mac Index, that rate stood at 23.24 rubles to the dollar. I have pointed out for years that all discussions of the Russian economy in terms of nominal GDP are bogus.  Nominal GDP is spending within the Russian economy converted through the RUB/USD exchange rate. But that metric is irrelevant.  It doesn’t say anything about what that spending buys the average Russian. GDP is a stupid metric.  It should be called GNS, Gross National Spending. It is a dumb way to measure the ‘output’ of a society.  It’s at best a very gross approximation but it is, again, just aggregated spending. This is the fundamental fallacy of Keynesian demand-side economics and all theories about which economies are expanding or contracting based on spending are literally bogus. But we have all been trained to believe in GDP as some all-powerful measure of growth and power.  It’s not anything of the sort.  When you have the ability to print money at will to bid up the cost of the goods purchased with that money, how is that telling you anything about the health of the country, the people… or frankly anything at all? What it’s telling you is that spent money, but did you take that money from the pool of real savings and deploy it into sustainable economic projects? Or did you print the money out of thin air, issue debt that borrows against the future labor of the country’s citizens (or their kids…. or their grandkids) and pay someone to fulfill a ‘shovel-ready’ job of digging a hole and filling it back in? GDP, in statistical terms, is NOT an independent variable because of this. It’s value is dependent completely on the people controlling the inputs to it.  Therefore, as data, it is worthless.  As a scientist, I would throw it out of any discussion because it can’t be controlled for.   This is why the discrepancy between the ruble’s purchasing power internally is so much higher than its purchasing power externally.  Pre-war the ruble traded at 75 or so versus the dollar. But it’s PPP value was less than 30?  This means Russian GDP is at least (by this flawed metric) 2.5 higher than the nominal value. This is how the Russian economy in PPP terms is actually larger than Germany’s. But even then, PPP GDP is still a terminally flawed metric as a measure of output. It gets us closer to fair comparisons between country’s but it still says nothing about the economic value of the things the country spent their money on. The funny thing is Russia’s economy shouldn’t be larger than Germany’s in real terms, since most of Russia’s output is base commodities, which have the lowest value-added component of any good in a market.  The whole point of a sophisticated division of labor and economic system is to build up value through each stage in the production chain. Cars, for example, should have more ‘value’ associated with them than the iron ore that went into making the frame. This tells you how out of whack the world is in terms of the diversion of capital to unsustainable activity it actually is if a commodity producer is leading a manufacturing giant in wealth generation.  This is exactly why the currency shift from debt-based to commodity-based money is going to be so painful. And why the debt issuers are willing to risk nuclear war over it occurring. To them this is the end state of their power.   From Finite World to Infinite Growth In a recent article on this blog, I did a quick and dirty takedown of the globalist talking point about infinite growth in a finite world. That gaslighting was at the core of the conflict in the big story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe of films, which centered on Thanos coming to bring balance by destroying half of the life in the Universe. Davos has gaslit two entire generations of westerners in the Malthusian talking point that you can’t have infinite growth in a finite world. All of their economic dogma is predicated on this. It doesn’t matter that this talking point is predicated on an inane premise, truth is, after all treason, at this point in the economic and cultural cycle. But, to try and explain quickly for the slow-witted. GDP growth is not necessarily real growth. It’s just spending. It says nothing for the quality of the spending or whether, in real terms, the people spending the money are materially better off than they were at a previous point in time. What isn’t measured by GDP is VALUE. Value is what we crave, the ability to plan further into the future, using our ingenuity to find better mousetraps to build and more efficient, and yes sustainable, ways of deploying scarce capital and time. When you have a monetary system and regulatory regime designed to thwart that to stop growth then you have the world we live in today. That infinite growth is a subjective, not objective, measure…. not in GDP terms but in the ‘alleviation of human misery’ terms. Davos absolutely doesn’t want this because a world where everyone gets maximal value for their time is a world without our need for them. But in order for us to have a discussion about this, I need to lay out some base assumptions. First, that we have owners who agree with Julian Huxley that growth will lead to destruction of the planet, therefore we should not have any more meaningful growth. Second, only those who are currently with power have the will, intelligence and expertise to guide us to this next phase of humanity’s existence. In service of these controlling ideas: They have erected systems and barricades to real growth for decades in real terms, i.e. energy usage per unit ‘wealth’ … some call this EROEI = Energy Returned over Energy Invested.   They have stymied more efficient use of human capital by running us around in mazes which are dead ends — Light Water Nuclear Reactors vs. oil, replacing both with Solar, Wind, Electric Vehicles, etc. They foment wars to divert capital to useless weapons rather than applying it things which make our lives better, more predictable.  They specifically divert spending (GDP) to humans building systems which increase chaos and unpredictability rather than decrease it. They empower and expand bureaucracy to keep otherwise ‘useless people’ employed with meaningless jobs They have supported cultural degradation which undermined the nuclear family and local culture by promoting women into the workforce, divorcing them from their core strength as mothers and caregivers and putting them effectively on welfare, UBI. These are all the basic distractions which force us to waste most of our productive time running around on a hamster wheel of arbitrary obstacles in order to eke out some small measure of comfort. The basic reason for Human Action, as defined by Mises, is to alleviate future uncertainty.  Man acts purposefully towards that end, otherwise he wouldn’t act or he would act differently.   That said, we can have our rationality diverted to purposes which do not serve our better interests because of the perverse incentives placed in front of us through artificial barriers to capital formation.   Therefore, if we were acting with purpose towards our most efficient and creative ends to a more predictable future, infinite GDP growth would be a no-brainer. This isn’t to say infinite GDP growth is infinite resource utilization.   Because as you travel up the production chain to higher order goods, you produce more value relative to the input commodities… if you didn’t, then you wouldn’t do it. You would do something that did. What’s more valuable a tree growing on your property or the lumber you turn it into and then use to build a shelter? For an even more idiotic example, is there really $10,000 difference between a BMW 230i starting at $37.5k and a Ford Mustang in terms of raw input commodities, especially when, in the real world we’re talking more like $15,000?  No.  Both are roughly 3500 lbs of aluminum, steel, leather and plastic. So, where’s the value difference?  In the materials?  Again, not really.  It’s in the intellectual property of the engineering, the final driving experience and the perception of value by the consumer.   But in terms of them being a tool for potential wealth creation, the two care are, really fungible.  They can transport up to 3 people (realistically) and a little bit of cargo somewhere to do whatever it is that they do. Is that reflected in the purchasing price of these cars?  No.  Not at all.  But, if we sell more BMW’s as a percentage of Mustangs sold, are we expected to impute a higher capability of sustaining wealth production because of higher overall spending as measured by GDP? Sadly yes. And that’s where the disconnect is.   This is why, fundamentally, GDP is a poor measure of ‘growth.’   That said, absent the diversion of capital to the unsustainable as practiced by Davos you can have constant ‘growth’ in value terms. It is better stated that ‘growth’ is the alleviation of human suffering and/or uncertainty, which is what value is.   This is true because if we’re driving costs down to utilize natural resources ever more efficiently thanks to proper pricing of the money used to procure the input commodities, then we can move more of our spending out of base commodities into higher order goods with higher returns of perceived value. Moreover, the Malthusian/Huxleyian argument presupposes somehow that the Universe isn’t governed by the Laws of Conservation. Iron isn’t destroyed when a car is trashed, we just store it in a junkyard. The same goes for landfills and plastic. The problem we have today is that we act within a system which skims all the wealth created by our actions to the betterment of the people who produce nothing at all. All they produce is money and bad ideas, the former of which is based on your future labor and the latter sustained by it. Then they dupe you into selling your future labor back to you at a vig while trying to take all the intellectual property rights for your innovation and skill. We call these people Venture Capitalists. No wonder the Marxists see this system as exploitative. It is! But it’s also not the only way things can and/or should be organized. This isn’t a fault of capitalism and property but of our not properly pricing the cost of the State and all of its enforcement of our ‘rights.’ This is what leads to the concentration of power in the hands of rent-seeking douchebags and vandals. Sustainable growth where all factors of production are properly priced up the value-adding chain is the first step. That will lead to the rewards being shared more equitably by all involved. That model is not only possible, it’s the only system that is inevitable. Davos decided if we were not controlled and forced onto low-margin hamster wheels we would strip-mine the planet and destroy it.  That’s why it needs to be controlled and real growth curtailed.   What we have now is a system of maximal wastage of natural resources with minimal returns: cheap money begetting conspicuous consumption of resources while erecting barriers to new, competitive technologies at the expense of the producers of those input commodities. Thanos in the Marvel films makes the same mistake Davos and Huxley made, deciding in their hubris and arrogance that because they couldn’t see a solution to a problem they’d defined, that solution did not exist. This justified their acquisition of power unlimited to re-make the world in their image. The truly despicable nature of the Marvel films is that they spend so much time trying to make Thanos’ quest a noble one, a sympathetic one, rather than the rantings of a small-minded homunculus. I wonder who ordered that rewrite of the script to Infinity War? The Return of the Commodity King This is why the ruble is so undervalued, up until recently commodities had been driven below their cost of production through the corruption of all of us into the land of cheap money. It is why now, with the changes coming to the monetary architecture of the world, the ruble’s real purchasing power will finally be expressed, forcing commodity inflation in real terms on those whose currencies are overvalued. Gresham’s Law has never been wrong. Overvalued money circulates to procure unearned goods in the real world. Undervalued money is hoarded because savings is the pre-requisite of capital deployment. We are at the end of the cycle where the pile of real wealth has built up for decades unable to express itself while the ultimate psy-op fuels the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. When the confidence in the overvalued money (debt) falls, inflation rises rapidly as people demand goods and eschew money.  This will raise the prospect of the undervalued money (commodities) entering into circulation as its true value is finally expressed in the market. At that point you will then see what the real growth rate of the world is.  Gary North used to say that prior to the early 1800’s the real rate at which wealth compounded was ~1% annually.  Then something changed and it doubled to 2% and that scared the bejeesus out of the elites because too many people were getting rich too quickly to need them to look out for their interests.   Now you know why the Club of Rome began in the 1850’s, why central banking was so bitterly fought over here in the US then. It’s why Marx’s insane ideas were adopted by those with generational power.  It was to STOP our growth as a species, not keep it from destroying the planet, but their system of unearned privilege. *  *  * Join my Patreon if you like earning things Tyler Durden Sat, 05/21/2022 - 07:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 21st, 2022

13 shows and movies to stream if you liked Netflix"s "Heartstopper"

If you liked the coming-of-age plot and LGBTQ themes in Netflix's "Heartstopper," check out these similar shows and movies you can stream right now. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Kit Connor (Nick) and Joe Locke (Charlie) in "HeartstopperNetflix "Heartstopper" is a sweet coming-of-age romance series about two high school boys. If you just finished the series on Netflix, you might be looking for similar shows and films to stream. We recommend fans check out movies like "Love, Simon" and series like "Julie and the Phantoms." "Heartstopper" is one of the most popular new shows on Netflix; in the time since the series premiered, it has spent three weeks in Netflix's global top 10 and has been viewed for over 14,000,000 hours. It's also one of Netflix's best-reviewed series, with a "100% Certified Fresh" rating on review-aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. The show centers around a friendship between two high school boys that quickly blossoms into something more. "Heartstopper" is noteworthy for offering a really realistic portrayal of bisexuality and coming out. If you've already watched all eight episodes of "Heartstopper" and you're looking for something else like it, we've rounded up 13 shows and movies to check out next. Our picks range from sitcoms to dramas, and they all feature LGBTQ themes and school settings. All of our recommendations are also fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.Check out 13 shows and movies to stream if you liked 'Heartstopper''Love, Simon' (2018)Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Nick Robinson, and Alexandra Shipp in "Love, Simon."FoxStream "Love, Simon" on Hulu"Love, Simon" is the first movie from a major studio to focus on a romance between two gay teenagers. The film is adapted from the young adult novel "Simon vs. the Homo-Sapien's Agenda" by Becky Albertalli, and it follows a closeted high schooler, Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), who finds himself falling for a closeted classmate as they exchange anonymous emails. 'Love, Victor' (2020-2022)Michael Cimino and George Sear in "Love, Victor."Greg Gayne/HuluStream "Love, Victor" on HuluSet in the same universe as the "Love, Simon" movie, "Love, Victor" is a Hulu spinoff series that follows another teenager on a journey of self-discovery. Victor Salazar (Michael Cimino) is a new student who reaches out to Simon for advice about navigating school while also trying to understand his sexuality. The show deals with Victor's decision to come out, and the multiple challenges he has to overcome as he begins a relationship with his classmate Benji. The third and final season of "Love, Victor" is slated to premiere on June 15; additionally, on that day, the show will be made available in its entirety on Disney Plus. 'Crush' (2022)Rowan Blanchard and Auli'i Cravahlo in "Crush."HuluStream "Crush" on HuluIn "Crush," Paige (Rowan Blanchard) joins the track team at her high school to get closer to the girl she has a crush on. When it's clear Paige has no athletic ability, the coach pairs her with a girl named AJ (Auli'i Cravalho) to train her. Paige doesn't expect to fall for AJ, but a romance develops.The new movie has been really well received, with critics noting the diversity of the cast and the positive queer representation that focuses more on coming-of-age than coming out.'Atypical' (2017-2021)Brigette Lundy-Paine and Fivel Stewart in "Atypical."NetflixStream "Atypical" on Netflix"Atypical" primarily focuses on an 18-year-old named Sam who is on the autism spectrum. The show is also home to several LGBTQ plotlines that have been praised by critics and fans.Nonbinary actor Brigette Lundy-Paine plays Casey, Sam's sister. Throughout the course of the series, Casey develops feelings for another girl and works through what that means. This storyline presents similarities to Nick's journey in "Heartstopper."'Dating Amber' (2020)Lola Petticrew and Fionn O'Shea in "Dating Amber."Samuel Goldwyn FilmsStream "Dating Amber" on HBO MaxIn "Dating Amber," two closeted gay teens start a fake relationship. Set in 1990s Ireland, Eddie and Amber hide their sexuality due to persistent homophobia. To convince those around them, they decide to start "dating" each other.Both of them are at different points in their own identity journeys. The fake relationship leads them to travel outside of their small hometown to the bigger city of Dublin where they can be unknown and experience a larger gay community.'Sex Education' (2019—)Tanya Reynolds and Patricia Allison in "Sex Education"NetflixStream "Sex Education" on NetflixThough "Sex Education" is aimed at viewers who are a little older than the target audience of "Heartstopper," it's unmatched in the kind of representation it offers in the young adult genre. One of the greatest things about "Sex Education" is that it really shows viewers that there's not just one way to be queer, and we see that with a range of characters across the LGBTQ spectrum. There's Eric, who is openly gay and incredibly confident; Adam, whose storylines often revolve around his identity struggles; Ola, who is pansexual; and Florence, an asexual teen. In season three, the show also introduces Cal, a new non-binary student at Moordale Secondary.'The Way He Looks' (2014)Ghilherme Lobo and Fábio Audi in "The Way He Looks."Vitrine FilmsRent "The Way He Looks" for $4 on Prime Video and Vudu"The Way He Looks" is a Portuguese-language movie that was expanded from a short film titled "I Don't Want to Go Back Alone." It follows Leonardo, a blind student at a Brazilian high school, and the friendship he strikes up with a new student, Gabriel, which leads to some self discovery.'Never Have I Ever' (2020—)Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Ramona Young, and Lee Rodriguez in "Never Have I Ever."Lara Solanki/NetflixStream "Never Have I Ever" on Netflix"Never Have I Ever" is a coming-of-age comedy that follows an Indian-American girl in high school. Like "Atypical," "Never Have I Ever" isn't primarily focused on an LGBTQ protagonist, but it does have representation in its side characters.Most notably, this is the case in the storyline for Fabiola, one of the main character's best friends. Fabiola's plot deals with what happens after you accept your identity and realize that you don't have to change everything about your life because of it. The show is created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher. Kaling is best known for her work on "The Office" and "The Mindy Project."'The Half of It' (2020)Leah Lewis and Alexxis Lemire in "The Half of It."NetflixStream "The Half of It" on Netflix"The Half of It" is a modern-day queer retelling of "Cyrano de Bergerac." In it, high schooler Ellie Chu occupies the Cyrano role, when she is asked to write love letters to popular girl Aster Flores on behalf of an inarticulate football player. Things get complicated when Ellie herself develops feelings for Aster through their correspondence.'Julie and the Phantoms' (2020)Owen Patrick Joyner and Booboo Stewart in "Julie and the Phantoms."Eike Schroter/NetflixStream "Julie and the Phantoms" on Netflix"Julie and the Phantoms" is a Netflix original series that comes from iconic director/choreographer Kenny Ortega ("Dirty Dancing," "High School Musical"). Julie is a high school student and musician struggling after her mother's death. When she finally starts making music again, she accidentally summons the spirits of three teenage bandmates who died in 1995. As the only living person who can see them, Julie strikes a bond with the bandmates and ends up helping all of them cope with various losses. One of the band members, Alex, is openly gay and has been since he was still alive in the early '90s. There's a brief line that explains how his family wasn't accepting, but Alex's main plotline focuses on joy; he meets another ghost, Willie, and the two of them begin a relationship.'Diary of a Future President' (2020-2021)Charlie Bushnell and Brandon Severs in "Diary of a Future President."Disney PlusStream "Diary of a Future President" on Disney PlusThis Disney Plus original series is about a 13-year-old Cuban-American girl named Elena who dreams of becoming president of the US. The show also has flashforward scenes that feature Elena as the President when she's an adult.In addition to Elena's story, the show takes viewers on a journey of self discovery alongside one of its main characters. Unlike the other shows on this list that feature queer plotlines in high school, this series features an LGBTQ storyline in middle school.'Young Royals' (2021—)Edvin Ryding (center) plays Prince Wilhelm in "Young Royals."NetflixStream "Young Royals" on Netflix"Young Royals" is set at a fictional elite boarding school in Sweden. A Swedish prince is sent away to the school as punishment after getting into a public altercation at a club, and there he meets a non-boarding student named Simon.The prince begins spending a lot of time with Simon and the two develop a connection as Simon shows him a more laid back kind of life in the countryside.'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' (2019—)Frankie J. Rodriguez in "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series."Disney PlusStream "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" on Disney Plus"High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" is a love letter to theater kids, which also takes great care in telling a queer story that doesn't feel too cliché. The show centers around a group of drama students putting on a production of "High School Musical."The ensemble cast includes two gay characters, Carlos and Seb, whose friendship evolves into a romance over the rehearsal period. In season two, their relationship gets to be at the forefront of multiple episodes and musical moments.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 20th, 2022

The Real Reason Behind The EU"s Drive To Embargo Russian Oil

The Real Reason Behind The EU's Drive To Embargo Russian Oil Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog, This week the European Union is expected to announce a complete import ban on Russian oil. Hungary, in its first real act of defiance, is threatening to veto this; Germany, after some hemming and hawing, has finally decided it can survive such a ban. Assuming Hungary’s objections are eventually overcome, at first blush this looks like yet another energy “own goal” by the people obsessed with soccer. The U.S. has already issued this ban. Because European industry is heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas, the conventional wisdom is that the EU Commission is just petulant and incompetent. Are they petulant? Yes. Incompetent? Possibly? But only if you think in conventional terms of doing the right thing for their people. What is clear to any serious observer of EU politics is that they are not interested in what their people have to say or want. Theirs is an agenda which will brook no opposition, even if it means destroying its own economy to bring a rival to its knees. That said, I sincerely doubt there will be a “buyers embargo” on natural gas because there is no viable substitute for it. Hungary is using the need for unanimous consent within the European Council to block any ‘gas ban’ in any new economic sanctions package. There are at least three other countries which are happy Hungary is willing to suffer Brussels’ wrath. But banning Russian oil, on the other hand, is different. So, it is interesting that Hungary would do this, given they import no oil from Russia. {Ed. this is wrong, Hungary imports 65% of its oil through the Druzhba pipeline} This veto was predicted by me the morning after the Hungarians overwhelmingly rejected George Soros’s anti-Viktor Orban coalition and handed it an ignominious defeat. Hungary, on the other hand, has energy independence from Brussels by having contracted directly with Gazprom for natural gas via Turkstream’s train that goes into Serbia and Hungary. This should give you some context as to why the EU is trying to sanction Serbia and cut off the flows of that pipeline where it crosses EU territory in Bulgaria. With a fiscally, monetarily (they are not on the euro) and energy independent Hungary there is little argument for them staying in the EU if Brussels is going to treat them as second class members. Orban and his government have been resolute in their refusal to get involved in the Russia/Ukraine conflict even though there has been serious pressure applied by NATO. It is almost as if Orban and the Hungarians are now daring the EU to advance Article 7 procedures to kick them out. The problem with that is, if they do, it would begin the fracturing of the EU. So, what is more likely to happen now is Hungary will use this veto to get the EU to back off on the ‘rule-of-law’ violations which are justifying cutting off Hungary from its EU budget distributions. The horse trade here should be obvious. Because Brussels and their behind-the-scenes backers absolutely want this ban on Russian oil as much as the U.S. and the UK want it. It is part of their long-term strategy to bleed Russia out, after turning Ukraine into Afghanistan 2.0. And it is in the differences between the oil industry and the natural gas industry where they think they can achieve this goal. Of Pipes and Populi In both the oil and gas industries, pressurizing a well is, for the most part, a one-way process. You dig a well and pull the oil and/or gas out. It produces until the well is depleted. You replace the well’s natural decay in production by drilling a new well. But even if there is a big demand shock to the downside, rarely an issue in the oil industry in the aggregate, then those wells keep producing. The market is temporarily glutted with oil, the price drops and old wells are not replaced until such time as supply-and-demand balance is restored. Oil futures curves get constructed by traders to anticipate these effects on prices. And for normal volatility of oil demand, these curves should be reasonably predictable. Unfortunately, we are living through a time where the most powerful people in the world (at least in their minds) are openly trying to destroy the petroleum market for their own purposes and agenda. They are actively working to make oil and gas prices volatile to the point of destroying investment in the industry. They make no bones about this. Oil is the bane of the planet! I call these people The Davos Crowd (for a description of them see my podcast, Episodes 75, 76, and 77 for the background information). They are the unelected oligarchs, bankers, hereditary power and newly Made Men (in the mafia sense) who gather at Davos, Switzerland, every year to decide on the future of humanity. And it is their agenda, using Climate Change and international threats like biowarfare and terrorism as their justifications for a massive expansion of the surveillance state and their control over all things, but especially money. Russia’s massive natural resource pile and sovereigntist-minded government stands wholly in the way of that. If you believe otherwise, you have been gaslit by Davos propaganda. I urge you to put away childish things, some rabbit holes are just holes, not warrens. Back to the oil industry. Capping either a gas or oil well is dangerous because there is no guarantee it can be re-opened. Wells can be damaged and the oil/gas they contain lost without drilling a new one. With gas you can just “flare it off” by burning the excess if your storage is full, rather than capping the well and wait for demand to return. With oil, on the other hand, you cannot really do that. You have to store the stuff somewhere. From all accounts so far, Russia’s oil storage capacity is already full, if not overflowing. The oil industry in general is not geared for massive long-term storage due to supply/demand shocks because there is literally no need for it. What expands is the capacity to move oil around to consume it, not store it in big tanks hoping someone will buy it. The industry has all the spare capacity it needs to coordinate supply and demand within pretty tight tolerances. It is not “just in time” delivery tight, but it is not capable of absorbing a 20% demand shock. And this is where the West thinks it has a big lever to use against Russia right now. By all accounts, Europe is one of Russia’s biggest oil customers, with the port at Rotterdam taking in and refining as much as 1.4 million barrels per day before the war. Believe it or not, The Washington Post had a decent article breaking down where Russia’s exports go. Of the approximately 7.2 million barrels per day Russia exports to the world, 4.8 million go to countries, most of them in Europe, that say they no longer want to buy it from there. Lack of storage capacity should not be a big deal if Russia exported most of the oil to Europe by ship, which it does. According to a recent report by Transport & Environment, an NGO which is wholly geared to convincing Europe to get off Russian energy, the Druzhba pipeline only supplies around 10% of Russian oil to the European market. This is a paltry 250,000 barrels per day. The U.S. embargo is more dangerous to the Russian economy, where in 2021 the U.S., having to replace barrels sanctioned from Venezuela by former President Trump, imported an average of 600,000 barrels per day. Those imports began drying up in 2022, well before Russia invaded Ukraine, so chalk that up as another data point that this war between the West and Russia was planned well in advance of the actual start date back in late February. The point is that the talking point going around the press today is that Russia does not have the storage capacity to deal with a European embargo and as such will have to cut production. Estimates of production cuts from Russia are around 1.8 million barrels per day, while the West is hoping for 3 million. Similar to what Trump did in 2018 against Iran, the shock-and-awe campaign of sanctions froze many oil trading firms in their tracks, not knowing what the future would hold, and refused to do business with Russia for fear of running afoul of sanctions. From Shell to Glencore to Trafigura, Russian oil tenders have become persona non grata and it created a complete mess of their trading books and the commodities-trading industry as a whole, as Credit Suisse’s Zoltan Pozsar’s note from last month described. Because of this financial dislocation in what should be a boring, brain-dead stable industry—trading the most important commodity in the world with the biggest infrastructure to service it—chaos ensued. The collective West, following Davos’s game plan, is hoping for even more. Pozsar’s conclusion was that all these firms will either need a bailout at some point (with possible nationalization the price they pay) or be allowed to go bankrupt to serve the plan of radically overhauling the global energy economy away from petroleum of Davos. At the same time, they would put a major dent in Russia’s economic prospects. Viewed that way, this is a kind of Evil Mastermind Two-fer. But, if backing up the pipeline oil is not that big a hit to Russia’s production, what is the EU trying to accomplish here? By disrupting the routes oil normally takes around the world, there is now a structural shortage of tankers to move oil demanded. Since many of those barrels, more than 2 million per day, now must go on much longer voyages. Instead of the coffee and cake run from St. Petersburg to Rotterdam, those same ships now, at a minimum, must go to storage facilities in the Bahamas and the Caribbean, if not all the way to China or India, their final destination. Read Pozsar’s post, or the ZeroHedge article linked above, to get a sense of the scale of the disruption. This supply shock within the tanker market and the downstream effects of the added costs to the voyages, it is hoped, will create a cascading back-up within the Russian oil industry, forcing the forecasted production hits. This will, in turn, eat into its positive trade balance which is “fueling Putin’s war machine.” It will also present the opportunity for Russia’s competitors to come in and steal market share from them. Through this mechanism and efforts in the West to change Europe’s energy usage, the long-term effect is to destroy Russia’s ability to continue the war by starving it of needed capital. Davos Rhymes with Thanos The U.S. is happy to push Europe to this point and many commentators are happy to end the conversation there: Pick your epithet, but the line is the “Empire of Lies” or “Zone A” or whomever, feels their hegemony is threatened and they are bullying everyone, especially Europe, into their preferred strategy. But I think that story is more of the “Made for TV” version than it is an accurate representation of reality. It leaves out the larger goal structure of the people behind this mess in the first place. Rather than be captives of a hyper-belligerent U.S., the EU nations are absolutely willing partners in this. Davos’s Great Reset strategy is built on the same mistakes about resource scarcity that Thomas Malthus made back in the early 19th century. Theirs is an economic model which does not believe people respond in real time to incentives, pro and con, which moderate their behavior. Rather, they see humans as a virus unleashed upon the world that needs to be controlled. The entire Great Reset can be boiled down to the same argument the villain in the Marvel films, Thanos, made about having to kill off half the life in the Universe to make things “sustainable.” And the power center of this type of thinking is not in the U.S. and the U.S. Empire. We are the hyper-capitalists growing the virus in our Petri dish of individualism. No, this thinking comes squarely out of European critiques of capitalism. To be reductionist it is just Marxism warmed over and given a fresh gloss of rhetorical paint—sustainability, stakeholder capitalism, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), shared purpose, etc. The proof that the EU is just as happy with war in Ukraine as neoconservative forces in the U.S. and UK is evident in their unwillingness to end the war through diplomacy. But Europeans are the ones who will suffer the most from this strategy. Bad Scripts Beget Bad Policy If EU leadership, owned by Davos, were acting on average Europeans’ behalf, they would be using the obvious costs of cutting Europe off from Russian energy to tell the US and U.K. to go scratch. Instead, all we hear from them is how Germany can wean itself off Russian energy completely within a year. It does not matter that this is not good for German industry or the German people in the long run. Russian energy is by far the cheapest solution for them, making their labor the most competitive it can be. Instead, after helping manufacture the crisis in Ukraine, they now uphold the notion that it is a moral imperative for Germans to suffer without food, heat and other basic necessities of a supposed advanced first-world society to defeat the evil Russians. In the years leading up to this conflict they would have worked to implement the Minsk Accords. They would have lifted the economic sanctions on Russia and come to an agreement about Crimea and the Donbas politically, and let the U.S. and the UK twist in the wind. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron did the opposite. They blew smoke up Putin’s ass while running the clock out until Macron was re-elected and Merkel could exit the scene, leaving a weak Davos-approved coalition to blame the collapse on. Deepened trade between Russia and the EU would have eventually ground out the animosity and the U.S.’s insistence on arming Ukraine would have become an albatross politically while Europe would be staring at a potential renaissance, instead of an economic black hole. France and Germany would not have betrayed their own attempts at diplomacy. This, I believe, is much closer to the real story of the conflict, which serves a far larger purpose clearly stated by the architects of our misery than the simplistic framework of just blaming the U.S. for everything. The idea that Europe fears a Russian invasion of Poland or even Germany, which necessitates NATO’s expansion to its border in the Donbas, is ludicrous. Russia’s military is not built along these lines nor is its performance in Ukraine evidence it is capable of such an operation. What is unfolding now is a script that was written a long time ago. The war by the West against Russia has long been in the planning stages. The Russians understand this better than many are willing to accept. Their leadership, Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, have articulated this very clearly at every stage of the war to date. They are under no illusions about where the West and Davos are willing to take this conflict, which is why they have made serious threats about striking out at the real “decision centers” who give the Ukrainian Armed Forces their marching orders. These are warnings not to our politicians, but to us. This is where things lead. They have asked for a parting of the ways, peaceably, between East and West, but that is not part of the agenda. Like classic narcissists with the burning need to control everything, Russia and the rest of Asia will not be allowed to walk away from Davos and their Eurocrat quislings, because they are the righteous saviors of humanity. And we are just, at best, “the help” and at worst an inconvenience. The bigger Davos plan of destroying the old global order to Build it Back Better, where they own everything and you will own nothing and like it or else, is the script. They are now committed to this plan. It does not matter now whether it will work or not. This is what we have to realize in all of our analyses. Do the Russians and their friends in Asia and across the Global South have the means and the tools to come out on top? Possibly. But the bigger question is whether or not this conflict escalates to the point where winning is an irrelevant concept. When you see a bloc as powerful as the European Union willing to commit acts of domestic vandalism this big—and blaming the victim of their unbridled aggression—it tells you we are far past the point of rational settlement. *  *  * Join My Patreon if you like real reasons Tyler Durden Sat, 05/14/2022 - 07:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 14th, 2022

Visualizing 10 Years Of Global EV Sales By Country

Visualizing 10 Years Of Global EV Sales By Country In 2011, around 55,000 electric vehicles (EVs) were sold around the world. 10 years later in 2021, that figure had grown close to 7 million vehicles. With many countries getting plugged into electrification, the global EV market has seen exponential growth over the last decade. Using data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), Visual Capitalist's Govind Bhutada shows in the infographic below, the explosion in global EV sales since 2011, highlighting the countries that have grown into the biggest EV markets. The Early EV Days From 2011 to 2015, global EV sales grew at an average annual rate of 89%, with roughly one-third of global sales occurring in the U.S. alone. In 2014, the U.S. was the largest EV market followed by China, the Netherlands, Norway, and France. But things changed in 2015, when China’s EV sales grew by 238% relative to 2014, propelling it to the top spot. China’s growth had been years in the making, with the government offering generous subsidies for electrified cars, in addition to incentives and policies that encouraged production. In 2016, Chinese consumers bought more EVs than the rest of the world combined—and the country hasn’t looked back, accounting for over half of global sales in 2021. EV Sales by Country in 2021 After remaining fairly flat in 2019, global EV sales grew by 38% in 2020, and then more than doubled in 2021. China was the driver of the growth—the country sold more EVs in 2021 than the rest of the world combined in 2020. China has nearly 300 EV models available for purchase, more than any other country, and it’s also home to four of the world’s 10 largest battery manufacturers. Moreover, the median price of electric cars in China is just 10% more than conventional cars, compared to 45-50% on average in other major markets. Germany, Europe’s biggest auto market, sold nearly 700,000 EVs in 2021, up 72% from 2020. The country hosts some of the biggest EV factories in Europe, with Tesla, Volkswagen, and Chinese battery giant CATL either planning or operating ‘gigafactories’ there. Overall, sales in Europe increased by 65% in 2021, as evidenced by the seven European countries in the above list. The U.S. also made a comeback after a two-year drop, with EV sales more than doubling in 2021. The growth was supported by a 24% increase in EV model availability, and also by an increase in production of Tesla models, which accounted for half of U.S. EV sales. Tesla’s Dominance in the U.S. Tesla is the world’s most renowned electric car company and its dominance in the U.S. is unmatched. Between 2011 and 2019, Tesla accounted for 40% of all EVs sold in the United States. Furthermore, Tesla cars have been the top-selling EV models in the U.S. in every year since 2015. *Estimates Share of total sales calculated using total U.S. EV sales of 631,152 units, based on data from the IEA. Source: Cleantechnica Tesla accounted for over 50% of EV sales in the U.S. in 2021 with the Model Y—launched in 2019—taking the top spot. Furthermore, the Model Y remained the bestselling EV in the first quarter of 2022, with Tesla taking up a massive 75% of the EV market share. Despite Tesla’s popularity, it could face a challenge as other automakers roll out new models and expand EV production. For example, General Motors aims to make 20 EV models available by 2025, and Ford expects to produce at least 2 million EVs annually by 2026. This increase in competition from incumbents and new entrants could eat away at Tesla’s market share in the coming years. Tyler Durden Thu, 08/11/2022 - 04:15.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt3 hr. 43 min. ago

Disney Soars After Smashing Subscriber Expectations, Hikes Streaming Price By 38%

Disney Soars After Smashing Subscriber Expectations, Hikes Streaming Price By 38% Update (5pm ET): it wasn't all good news, however, because while the price hike will surely lead to a significant drop in users, even the current status quo is leading to a slowdown in growth, with the company now forecasting 135-165 million core Disney+ subs, slashing its previous 2024 subscriber forecast: *DISNEY LOWERS 2024 SUBSCRIBER FORECAST *DISNEY SEES 135M TO 165M 'CORE' DISNEY+ SUBS BY 2024 * * * Earlier: A few weeks after Netflix finally surprised with an earnings beat after what seemed like an eternity of misses, moments ago Disney also came out of the Q2 earnings gate blazing, with numbers that smashed expectations (the company added 14.4 million new Disney+ subs, smashing estimates of 9.8 million) and announcing that it is raising the price of its flagship Disney+ streaming service by 38% to $11, part of a plan to generate more revenue for its money-losing online businesses and build on third-quarter results that beat estimates for sales, profit and subscriber growth. Prices for some packages that include Hulu and ESPN+ will also rise. The uber-woke mouse also took a page out of the NFLX playbook and said that on Dec. 8, Disney will introduce an ad-supported version of the flagship streaming service. Here are the details: Adjusted EPS $1.09 vs. 80c y/y, estimate 96c Disney+ subscribers 152.1 million, +31% y/y, beating estimate 148.4 million ESPN+ subscribers 22.8 million, +53% y/y, estimate 23.2 million Hulu & Live TV subscribers 4.0 million, estimate 4.1 million Total Hulu subscribers 46.2 million, +7.9% y/y, estimate 46.4 million Revenue $21.50 billion, +26% y/y, estimate $21 billion Media and entertainment distribution revenue $14.11 billion, +11% y/y, estimate $14.33 billion Parks, experiences and products revenue $7.39 billion, +70% y/y, estimate $6.65 billion Total segment operating income $3.57 billion, +50% y/y, estimate $3.36 billion Media and entertainment distribution operating income $1.38 billion, -32% y/y, estimate $1.51 billion Parks, experiences and products operating income $2.19 billion vs. $356 million y/y, estimate $1.71 billion ESPN+ ARPU $4.55, missing estimate $4.98 Hulu SVOD ARPU $12.92, estimate $13.29 Despite the solid top-line results, operating losses at the direct-to-consumer business, which includes the streaming services, more than tripled to $1.06 billion as the company continues to invest in new programming and expand to new territories. That was worse than the $697 million analysts expected. Profit in Disney's traditional TV business, which includes the ABC and ESPN networks, rose 13% to $2.47 billion, thanks to higher ad revenue and fees from cable distributors. Programming costs were flat to down. Profit at the company’s theme parks, a star in recent months as consumers went on vacations again after two years of the pandemic, rose sixfold to $2.19 billion. US resorts were the main driver, while international parks lost money and consumer products delivered only a modest increase. The company reported a 26% jump in sales for its film studio to $2.11 billion, but suffered a loss of $27 million as the strong performance of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” in theaters was offset by lower home-entertainment revenue. The breakdown of the company's new pricing tiers will be as follows, including the ad-free version: The introduction of an ad-supported tier is meant to boost subscribers and generate more revenue by giving customers options for how much they want to pay for the service. Disney said last month it sold $9 billion of ads for the upcoming TV season, with 40% of that going to its online offerings. Current Disney+ subscribers will begin seeing the ad-supported version unless they agree to pay more for the commercial-free plan. Some comments from embattled CEO Bob Chapek: "With 14.4 million Disney+ subscribers added in the fiscal third quarter, we now have 221 million total subscriptions across our streaming offerings” "In fiscal 2020 and 2021, we delayed, or in some cases, shortened or canceled, theatrical releases. In addition, we experienced significant disruptions in the production and availability ofcontent, including the delay of key live sports programming during fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021" "Thus far, we have generally been able to release our films theatrically in fiscal 2022, although certain markets continue to impose restrictions on theater openings and capacity" "We have incurred, and will continue to incur, costs to address government regulations and the safety of our employees, guests and talent, of which certain costs are capitalized and will be amortized over future periods" In the current quarter, the Company recognized charges of $42 million primarily due to asset impairments related to our businesses "in Russia According to Bloomberg, the price increases, subscriber gains and the strong Q3 performance from theme parks may help reverse investor sentiment that sent the shares down 27% this year through Wednesday’s close. Disney - the world’s largest entertainment company - has been trying to stem losses in its direct-to-consumer business as it navigates a transition from traditional TV viewing to online options. Disney+, which launched in November 2019, and includes films and TV shows from the company’s vast library, as well as new series tied to company brands such as Marvel and “Star Wars" remains unprofitable. Disney has said it expects Disney+ to be profitable in fiscal 2024. Shares of Disney rose as much as 6.1% to $119.33 in extended trading after the announcement. Tyler Durden Wed, 08/10/2022 - 16:56.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt13 hr. 25 min. ago

25 Great Directors With the Most Box Office Bombs

Its stars are a major reason why people attend a certain motion picture, but the real stars of cinema are the directors. That’s why their name is almost always the last credit on the screen before the movie begins.  Directors have to balance their vision of the film with actors’ interpretation of their roles, determine […] Its stars are a major reason why people attend a certain motion picture, but the real stars of cinema are the directors. That’s why their name is almost always the last credit on the screen before the movie begins.  Directors have to balance their vision of the film with actors’ interpretation of their roles, determine shooting locations and schedules, monitor budgets, and manage studio expectations. Because so many things can go wrong, making a profitable film is a daunting task. And in the end, whether a movie is a hit or not depends not on the critics but on the opinion of the filmgoing public, expressed at the box office.   To determine the directors with the most movie flops, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on worldwide box office and production budget from film industry site The Numbers, a subsidiary of Nash Information Services. Directors were ranked based on the percentage of movies in their filmography that earned less than their production budget at the global box office.  Only directors with at least 10 movies for which production budget and worldwide box office data were available were considered. Biggest hits and flops are based on the average return on investment of $1 of production budget to money earned at the global box office.   Even though they have all basked in Oscar glory, directors Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Ron Howard, Steven Soderbergh, and Ang Lee have all had flops. And despite critical recognition for the films “Stronger,” (David Gordon Green) “Me and Orson Welles,” (Richard Linklater), “Blow Out” (Brian De Palma), audiences mostly stayed away. (Here are some classic movies that flopped when they first came out.) Click here to see a list of the directors with the most movie flops At least 20% of the films directed by each of the directors on this list have brought in less than what they cost to produce – sometimes by a considerable margin. To be fair, all these directors have had more hits than misses, and across their careers have earned an average return on investment that exceeds their films’ total production costs. (Stars can be blamed for movie failures, too. Consider these A-list actors’ biggest box office flops.) Sponsored: Tips for Investing A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallst15 hr. 40 min. ago

Turner’s Take: Crop Ratings Lower Than Expected

The latest commentary on crop ratings from Craig Turner, senior commodities broker with StoneX Financial Inc., Daniels Trading Division. Grains Corn ratings fell 3% to 58% GD/EX with 16% rated poor/very poor Corn is leading the grain markets higher today as analysts adjust yields lower US spring wheat GD/EX ratings fell 6% to 64% yesterday […] The latest commentary on crop ratings from Craig Turner, senior commodities broker with StoneX Financial Inc., Daniels Trading Division. Grains Corn ratings fell 3% to 58% GD/EX with 16% rated poor/very poor Corn is leading the grain markets higher today as analysts adjust yields lower US spring wheat GD/EX ratings fell 6% to 64% yesterday due to drought conditions in ND and SD Trade estimates are coming out for Friday’s WASDE with the average corn yield at 175.9 bpa The N. Plains are drying in the 6-10 day models but the SE is wetter The eastern corn belt (ECB) continues to get rain and will boost yields in IL, IN, and OH Corn should lead wheat higher today on weather and yield concerns in the US western corn belt (WCB). .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Ships exporting Ukraine grain through the Black Sea will be protected by a 10 nautical mile buffer zone, according to the agreement by Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN All parties are now working out written procedures for shipping and insurance companies to resume operations in the Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Yuzhny. Since the grain corridor opened, 10 ships have left with corn, soybeans, sunflower oil and meal. More importantly, two empty vessels have traveled to Ukraine to collect shipments It will be interesting to see if the USDA reduces US/EU production while increasing Black Sea exports in the WASDE report on Friday. Oilseeds The US soybean crop is rated 59% GD/EX, down 1% from last week The trade is looking for a 51.1 bpa in the WASDE on Friday and stocks to tighten Soy is leading canola and palm higher this morning. Crude is also stronger and testing $92 Reports from the field suggest larger than trend bumper crop but frost risk remains until harvest Soy should lead oilseeds higher today due to yesterday's crop ratings decline and continued hot/dry weather for the US N. Plains and WCB. The US Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act yesterday and it should be supportive for vegetable oil for years to come The spending bill includes $369 billion for energy and extends the existing biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentives through 2024 The bill also funds new biofuel infrastructure and agriculture project market expansion through 2031   Vegetable oil for renewable biodiesel is alive and well and should continue to be supportive for oilseeds globally Traders should look to buy the breaks in vegetable oil or look for long-term plays farther out in the curve where prices are lower. Updated on Aug 9, 2022, 2:41 pm.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkAug 10th, 2022

BenQ Materials expands production capacity for Li-ion battery separator films

Polarizer maker BenQ Materials is expanding production capacity for separator films used in EV Li-ion batteries at its factory in central China, with completion scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2022, according to company president Ray Liu......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesAug 9th, 2022

Dow Jones Newswires: China car sales keep rebounding as production revs up

Car sales in the world's biggest auto market continued to recover in July as production was ramped up following earlier disruptions caused by COVID-19 lockdowns and Chinese authorities offered incentives to boost consumption......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchAug 8th, 2022

Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries sign agreement to double chip manufacturing

Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries signed an agreement this week to more than double their chip manufacturing as the U.S. Senate approves $52 billion in chip manufacturing subsidies. Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries signed an agreement on Monday to more than double their existing long-term manufacturing agreement for chips used in 5G transceivers, Wi-Fi, automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity. Under a multi-billion dollar revenue agreement, the chips will be produced in GlobalFoundries' factories in the United States, Germany, Singapore and France. The companies committed to support U.S.-based manufacturing by expanding capacity at GlobalFoundries' most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility, in Malta, New York. TIME TO DITCH COMMUNIST CHINA'S TECHNOLOGY, OR ELSE U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm was one of GlobalFoundries' first customers to sign a long-term agreement in 2021 to cover multiple geographies and technologies. GlobalFoundries Chief Executive Thomas Caulfield said in a statement that having Qualcomm as a long-term customer of its upstate New York factory through 2028 would help, along with federal and state funding, to expand the company's U.S. manufacturing footprint. The U.S. Senate last month passed sweeping legislation to subsidise the domestic semiconductor industry, providing about $52 billion in government subsidies for semiconductor production and an investment tax credit for chip plants estimated to be worth $24 billion. "With major new federal incentives for microchip manufacturing in the United States, I look forward to many more announcements like this to come," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The European Union has also eased funding rules for innovative semiconductor plants to boost its chip industry and cut dependence on U.S. and Asian suppliers. GABBARD SAYS 'SYSTEM IS RIGGED' AFTER PUBLIC CONJECTURE OVER PAUL PELOSI STOCK BUY Intel and GlobalFoundries have announced expansion plans on both continents to benefit from the subsidies, with GlobalFoundries partnering with STMicroelectronics to build a $5.7 billion semiconductor factory in France......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsAug 8th, 2022

Senate Passes $740 Billion Tax, Climate Package -- Will Go To House Next

Senate Passes $740 Billion Tax, Climate Package -- Will Go To House Next Update (1532ET): After much wrangling, the Democrats finally passed their sweeping economic package through the Senate on Sunday. The estimated $740 billion "Inflation Reduction Act" - far less ambitious than their original $3.5 trillion vision - next heads to the House, where its passage is a foregone conclusion. According to Axios, a vote could come as early as Friday before it heads to President Biden's desk. The package includes provisions to address climate change, pharmaceutical costs, and a supercharged IRS. "It’s been a long, tough and winding road, but at last, at last we have arrived," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). "The Senate is making history. I am confident the Inflation Reduction Act will endure as one of the defining legislative measures of the 21st century." WATCH: Kamala Harris and Senate Democrats cheer as they pass a bill to raise taxes on the middle class. pic.twitter.com/NPpPMGV7Wj — RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 7, 2022 As the Washington Post notes, "Senators engaged in a round-the-clock marathon of voting that began Saturday and stretched late into Sunday afternoon. Democrats swatted down some three dozen Republican amendments designed to torpedo the legislation. Confronting unanimous GOP opposition, Democratic unity in the 50-50 chamber held, keeping the party on track for a morale-boosting victory three months from elections when congressional control is at stake." And as Axios reports, The Senate returned to the Capitol Saturday afternoon, and began voting late Saturday night and into Sunday on a series of amendments — part of the process known as "vote-a-rama." Senate Republicans offered dozens of amendments aimed at minimizing the bill, including stripping out funding for the Internal Revenue Service and eliminating COVID-19-related school mandates. Democrats held firm in their unity, with the help of Harris, of preserving the core elements of the package and voting down each GOP amendment. .  .  . The bill includes: $370 billion for climate change - the largest investment in clean energy and emissions cuts the Senate has ever passed. Allows the federal health secretary to negotiate the prices of certain expensive drugs for Medicare. Three-year extension on healthcare subsidies in the Affordable Care Act. 15% minimum tax on corporations making $1 billion or more in income. The provision offers more than $300 billion in revenue. IRS tax enforcement. 1% excise tax on stock buybacks. Drilling down on the climate portion - Axios' Andrew Freedman writes: This includes tax incentives to manufacture and purchase electric vehicles, generate more wind and solar electricity and support fledgling technology such as direct air capture and hydrogen production.  Independent analyses show the bill, combined with other ongoing emissions reductions, would cut as much as 40% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, short of the White House's 50% reduction target. However, if enacted into law, it would reestablish U.S. credibility in international climate talks, which had been flagging due in part to congressional gridlock.  As part of Democrats' concessions to Sen. Manchin, the bill also contains provisions calling for offshore oil lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska, and a commitment to take up a separate measure to ease the permitting of new energy projects.  *  *  * Senate Democrats late on Aug. 6 advanced a mammoth spending bill on climate and energy, health care, and taxes, after overcoming unanimous Republican opposition in the evenly divided chamber. The procedural vote to advance the Democratic bill - which authorizes over $400 billion in new spending - was 51–50 after Vice President Kamala Harris arrived at the Capitol to cast a vote, breaking the deadlock in the Senate over the measure that Democrats say would reform the tax code, lower the cost of prescription drugs, invest in energy and climate change programs, all while lowering the federal deficit. The vote means that senators will have 20 hours to debate on the measure, followed by a vote-a-rama, a marathon open-ended series of amendment votes that has no time limit. After that, the bill will head to a final vote. The measure is anticipated to pass the chamber as early as this weekend. The House, where Democrats have a majority, could give the legislation final approval on Aug. 12, when lawmakers are scheduled to return to Washington. The vote came after the Senate parliamentarian - the chamber’s nonpartisan rules arbiter - gave a thumbs-up to most of the Democrats’ revised 755-page bill. But Democrats had to drop a significant part of their plan for lowering prescription drug prices, Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough said. The provision would have essentially forced companies not to raise prices higher than inflation. MacDonough said Democrats violated Senate budget rules with language in the bill imposing hefty penalties on drugmakers who raise their prices beyond inflation in the private insurance market. As Mimi Nguyen Ly details at The Epoch Times, while the bill’s final costs are still being determined, it includes about $370 billion on energy and climate programs over the next 10 years, and about $64 billion to extend subsidies for Affordable Care Act program for federal subsidies of health insurance for three years through 2025. It also seeks generate about $700 billion in new revenue over the next 10 years, which would leave roughly $300 billion in deficit reduction over the coming decade, which would represent just a tiny proportion of the next 10 year’s projected $16 trillion in budget shortfalls. A large portion of the $700 billion—an estimated $313 billion—is expected to be generated by increasing the corporate minimum tax to 15 percent, while the remaining amounts include $288 billion in prescription drug pricing reform and $124 billion in Internal Revenue Service tax enforcement. According to the current version of the bill, the new 15 percent minimum tax would be imposed on some corporations that earn over $1 billion annually but pay far less than the current 21 percent corporate tax. Companies buying back their own stock would be taxed 1 percent for those transactions, swapped in after Sinema refused to support higher taxes on private equity firm executives and hedge fund managers. The IRS budget would be increased to strengthen its tax collections. The White House said in a statement of administrative policy on Aug. 6 that it “strongly supports passage” of the bill. “This legislation would lower health care, prescription drug, and energy costs, invest in energy security, and make our tax code fairer—all while fighting inflation and reducing the deficit,” the statement reads. “This historic legislation would help tackle today’s most pressing economic challenges, make our economy stronger for decades to come, and position the United States to be the world’s leader in clean energy.” Republicans say the legislation is simply an alternate, dwindled version to the Democrat’s earlier Build Back Better bill—a multitrillion-dollar social spending package that was a major agenda of President Joe Biden—that Democrats have now dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Democrats “are misreading the American people’s outrage as a mandate for yet another reckless taxing and spending spree.” He said Democrats “have already robbed American families once through inflation and now their solution is to rob American families yet a second time.” “There is no working family in America whose top priorities are doubling the size of the IRS and giving rich people money to buy $80,000 electric cars,” McConnell said in a separate statement on Twitter. “Americans want Washington to address inflation, crime, and the border—not another reckless liberal taxing and spending spree.” Democrats have said the measure would “address record inflation by paying down our national debt, lowering energy costs, and lowering healthcare costs,” but Republicans have criticized the measure as having no potential other than to make matters worse, nicknaming the legislation “Build Back Broke,” in part because the bill would fulfill many parts of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. “The time is now to move forward with a big, bold package for the American people,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “This historic bill will reduce inflation, lower costs, fight climate change. It’s time to move this nation forward.” But not every Democrat is buying what Chuck is selling... As John Solomon reports at JustTheNews.com, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the former presidential candidate and proud socialist, on Saturday attacked President Joe Biden‘s Inflation Reduction Act for failing to live up to its name, after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office declared it would have a minimal impact on surging prices. “I want to take a moment to say a few words about the so-called Inflation Reduction Act that we are debating this evening," Sanders said just after voting with Democrats to advance the bill to debate on the Senate floor. "I say so-called because according to the CBO and other economic organizations that have studied this bill, it will in fact have a minimal impact on inflation." CBO declared this week that the $740 billion piece of legislation would only affect inflation by 0.1% in either direction. "I don't find myself saying this very often. But on that point, I agree with Bernie," Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., told Insider. Overall, economic analysts are divided on the measure, with some having predicted that the bill will worsen inflation and lead to stagnation in growth. As Will Cain explained in an excellent monologue reality check, "look at the name of the bill, whatever it is, you can be sure the legislation will do the opposite." Finally, as Goldman details in a new notes, the net fiscal impact of these policies continues to look very modest, likely less than 0.1% of GDP for the next several years... While the final outcome may still yet differ in details, the fiscal impact is likely to be similar. Tyler Durden Sun, 08/07/2022 - 15:32.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytAug 7th, 2022

What Is ESG? It"s A Leveraging Tool For The Woke Communist Takeover

What Is ESG? It's A Leveraging Tool For The Woke Communist Takeover The corporate dynamic when it comes to politics has been rather bizarre the past five years.  The general rule for decades in the US was that companies would avoid public sparring over political agendas whenever possible and if they did contribute to election campaigns they would spend money discreetly on candidates in both parties to hedge their bets.  Something changed around 2015-2016, however.   Was it the surprise election of Donald Trump?  Trump was probably incidental.  It was more likely the dramatic shift among conservatives away from the controlled Neo-con paradigm and into a more liberty oriented standing.  Ron Paul's 2008 and 2012 campaigns had a lot to do with this change among Republican voters.  Conservatives and liberty minded independents were returning to their foundations of small government, constitutionalism, independent thought, meritocracy and decentralization.  This is when the corporate world decided (or was perhaps guided) to go full bore leftist. That is to say, the leftist cult couldn't stifle the rise of conservative liberty advocates without consolidating their control in the open, and corporations are a big part of that strategy.    Wall Street, Entertainment Media and Big Tech companies donated FAR more to Democrat candidates in recent years compared to Republican candidates.  In the 2020 presidential election, they spent 250% more on Joe Biden's campaign than Donald Trump's.  But beyond that, many companies have gone aggressively and openly woke.   Social Justice narratives of “equity, diversity and inclusion” are dominating corporate culture, and though leftist bias has always been a problem among Hollywood elitists and the entertainment media, things got a lot worse after 2016. Part of this aggressive leftism could be attributed to the ESG movement (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance), a clear appendage or tool for globalist foundations like the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Economic Forum.  It is also referred to as “stakeholder capitalism” and “mission related investing.”  Stakeholder capitalism is just another term for socialism/communism, and ESG is a related control methodology for dictating how businesses behave politically.   The term “ESG” was originally coined by the United Nations Environment Program Initiative in 2005, but the methodology was not fully applied to the corporate world until the past six years when ESG investment skyrocketed.  There are some people that will argue that ESG is not a true “communist” mechanism because communism technically involves the state taking control of the means of production.  These people are either ignorant or they are acting deliberately obtuse.  Communism is about controlling culture just as much as it is about controlling the economy.     Corporations are at bottom creations of government; they are chartered by governments, receive special legal advantages including corporate personhood, and they often receive special protections from governments including central bank stimulus and a shield from civil litigation.  They call it “too big to fail” because the government and the corporate world work hand in hand to keep certain institutions alive.   One could call this an odd mix of communism and fascism; the point is, the lines have blurred beyond all recognition and the ideology of the people in power is specifically leftist/communist/globalist. Corporations already have government incentives to protect the corrupt status quo, but ESG is designed to lure them into supporting vocal political alignment even at the cost of normal profits. ESG is about money; loans given out by top banks and foundations to companies that meet the guidelines of “stakeholder capitalism.”  Companies must show that they are actively pursuing a business environment that prioritizes woke virtues and climate change restrictions.  These loans are not an all prevailing income source, but ESG loans are highly targeted, they are growing in size (for now) and they are very easy to get as long as a company is willing to preach the social justice gospel as loudly as possible. Deloitte's Insights studies show that ESG assets compounded at 16% p.a. between 2014 and 2018, now account for 25% of total market assets, and they believe that ESG could account for 50% of market share globally by 2024.  These loans become a form of leverage over the business world – Once they get a taste of that easy money they keep coming back.  Many of the loan targets attached to ESG are rarely enforced and penalties are few and far between.  Primarily, an ESG funded company must propagandize, that is all.  They must propagandize their employees and they must propagandize their customers.  As long as they do this, that sweet loan capital keeps flowing.   It's enough to keep corporations addicted, but not enough to keep them satiated.  Diversity hiring quotas based on skin color and sexual orientation rather than merit help make the overlords happy.  Pushing critical race theory smooths the way for more cash.  Carbon controls and climate change narratives really makes them happy.  And, promoting trans-trenders and gender fluidity makes them ecstatic.  Each participating company gets it's own ESG rating and the more woke they go, the higher their rating climbs and the more money they can get. The list of companies heavily involved in ESG includes some of the largest in the world, with influence over thousands of smaller businesses.  The ESG rating system is much like the social credit scoring system used in communist China to oppress the citizenry.  The tactic is pretty straightforward – Banking elites are centralizing control of social narratives by incentivising businesses to embrace social justice and globalist ideals.  They control who gets the money and anyone who doesn't play ball will be at a distinct disadvantage compared to companies that do.   They figure, if the corporate world can be pushed to go full woke, then this will trickle down to the general public and influence our behaviors and thinking.  Except, it hasn't exactly worked out that way.  Resistance to woke propaganda is growing exponentially and many of these companies are losing a huge portion of their customer base.  They cannot survive on ESG alone.                The thing is, even ESG money has limits. With central banks around the world now raising interest rates these kind of loans will become more expensive and will likely start to phase out.  This is why the most woke corporations out there are also some of the most desperate for revenues this year, and why many of these companies are edging closer and closer to mass layoffs.  The venture capital is gone and the ESG money is going to dry up also unless rates go back to zero and the bailout firehose is turned back on.  Getting woke was once a backdoor tactic of gaining easy wealth.  Now, getting woke really does mean going broke.    Tyler Durden Sat, 08/06/2022 - 21:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 6th, 2022

The 50 best places to live in America, ranked

US News ranked the best places to live based on each city's quality of life, value, desirability, and job market. Huntsville, Alabama, was named the best place to live in America in 2022.Rob Hainer/Shutterstock U.S. News & World Report releases a list of the best places to live in America every year. Its 2022 ranking for the best places to live looked at five metrics: job market, value, quality of life, desirability, and net migration. The best place to live in America is Huntsville, Alabama, followed by Colorado Springs, Colorado. When deciding where to put down roots, many factors are in the eye of the beholder, such as climate, politics, or proximity to extended family.Other aspects are desirable to nearly everyone: affordable housing, access to well-paying jobs, a low cost of living, good schools, and quality healthcare. In its ranking of the best places to live in America for 2022, U.S. News & World Report gathered data on these crucial components for more than 100 US cities.U.S. News categorized the data into five indexes for each city — job market, value, quality of life, desirability, and net migration — to definitively rank these major metro areas. You can read U.S. News' full methodology here.Scores for "value," a blend of annual household income and cost of living, and "quality of life," which accounts for crime, college readiness, commute, and other factors, are included below on a 10-point scale, as well as the city's population and average annual salary.Huntsville, Alabama, came out on top, while Colorado Springs trailed close behind.Keep reading to discover the 50 best places to live in America.50. Peoria, IllinoisHenryk Sadura/Getty ImagesPeoria is quickly becoming a place where families comfortably occupy the suburbs while the youth can enjoy new entertainment districts.In the warmer months, festivals pop up around the city each weekend, and nature lovers have access to trails for hiking, hunting, and biking.Population: 403,747Average annual salary: $54,330Quality of life: 6.6 (out of 10)Value index: 8.249. Charleston, South CarolinaCharleston, South Carolina.ShutterstockCharleston's charming, historic, and sophisticated ambiance is exemplary of southern culture. "Not only is the area overflowing with entertainment and good food, but this low country locale is also gorgeous," said a local expert.Tourism is booming in Charleston, creating plenty of jobs, especially in the summer months. Year-round, jobs in tech, sales, marketing, and advertising keep the city's economy strong.Population: 790,955Average annual salary: $50,810Quality of life: 6.4Value index: 6.1 48. Fort Wayne, IndianaFort Wayne, Indiana.Shutterstock/Travis EckertThe Rust Belt hub of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is being revitalized as of late. Manufacturers including General Motors and BAE Systems have brought jobs to the area, while its economy is seeing a spike from young people eager to move downtown from the suburbs."With its low cost of living and quiet neighborhoods, Fort Wayne, Indiana, is an excellent place to buy a house, start a career, launch a business and raise children," a local expert said.Population: 409,419Average annual salary: $48,060Quality of life: 6.4Value index: 8.4 47. Hartford, ConnecticutHartford, Connecticut.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockLocated in the Connecticut River Valley, Hartford was once the home to notable historic figures, including Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Among the city's historic attractions, today it offers nearby entertainment venues, ski slopes, state parks.The aerospace, healthcare, and financial services industries dominate the job market in Hartford, which is home to Aetna Inc., United Technologies Corp., and Hartford Hospital.Population: 1,205,842Average annual salary: $65,750Quality of life: 7.2Value index: 6.1  46. Asheville, North CarolinaAsheville, North Carolina.MilesbeforeIsleep / Shutterstock.comIt's no surprise why the mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina, is beloved by tourists and residents alike. Nestled in between the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains, Asheville is a magnet for outdoor lovers as well as fans of music, art, and craft beer.Population: 459,344Average annual salary: $46,310Quality of life: 6.7Value index: 6.7  45. Buffalo, New YorkSkyline of Buffalo, New York.Getty ImagesLocated only 20 miles away from the tourist destination, Niagara Falls, Buffalo offers a more tight-knit community. Residents of Buffalo can enjoy a game of two of their beloved professional sports teams or ski the slopes in the winter.Nearby are the Allegheny National Forest and Letchworth State Park for nature enthusiasts, and art lovers can enjoy cultural attractions as well.Population: 1,129,018Average annual salary: $53,300Quality of life: 6.8Value index: 7.844. Pensacola, FloridaPensacola, Florida.Andrew Zarivny/ShutterstockThis diverse area is home to a 10-day fiesta, gorgeous beaches facing the Gulf of Mexico, and great areas for fishing. Pensacola received high marks for desirability and net migration, meaning more and more people are interested in moving to this beautiful part of the country. Population: 496,278Average annual salary: $45,170Quality of life: 6.6Value index: 6.5 43. Greenville, South CarolinaGreenville, South Carolina.Shutterstock/Sean PavoneOnce a sleepy small town, Greenville has witnessed a cultural revival in recent years, complete with an influx of new restaurants and businesses. Though the summers can get hot, the city's typically mild weather makes it possible to explore downtown on foot any time of the year.An influx of manufacturing jobs has also boosted Greenville's economy, with brand-name companies, such as GE and Michelin, setting up shop in town.Population: 908,680Average annual salary: $47,100Quality of life: 6.1Value index: 8.0  42. Rochester, New YorkRochester, New York skyline.Roland Shainidze Photography/Getty Images.History meets modernity in Rochester as the city has made strides to preserve its roots while updating its downtown to make it more attractive to suburban residents.In the winter, Rochester offers ski slopes and sledding hills while they have access to Lake Ontario during the summer for boating and fishing.Population: 1,071,784Average annual salary: $54,550Quality of life: 7.1Value index: 7.041. Cincinnati, OhioCincinnati, Ohio.Checubus/ShutterstockCincinnati is a city that loves its food, sports, and culture. There's something for everyone in the Midwest's Queen City, from a strong job market to a busy event calendar filled with museums, baseball, and local heritage events.Residents appreciate the city's affordability — housing there is cheaper than the national average, despite Cincinnati being one of the 30 biggest metro areas in the US.Population: 2,214,265Average annual salary: $53,650Quality of life: 6.7Value: 7.8 40. Kalamazoo, MichiganSean Pavone/Getty ImagesThe small-town atmosphere of Kalamazoo calls to anyone intrigued by chili cook-offs and farmers markets. It's a hot spot for lovers of arts and culture.Visitors of the city can enjoy craft breweries, museums, and live music during their time in Kalamazoo.Population: 264,322Average annual salary: $51,480Quality of life: 6.5Value index: 8.039. Tampa, FloridaBusà Photography/Getty ImagesTampa residents can enjoy the laid-back vibes of the beach while maintaining access to a metropolitan area full of entertainment options — including an NFL team.It was once home to the "Cigar Capital of the World" and the Tampa Bay metro area includes the beaches of St. Petersburg.Population: 3,152,928Average annual salary: $51,770Quality of life: 6.9Value index: 5.938. Syracuse, New YorkSyracuse, New York.Denis Tangney Jr/Getty ImagesSyracuse is a haven for lovers of winter, but this central New York city is one of the most affordable metropolitan areas in the US. Wine lovers will delight in its proximity to the Finger Lakes where they can enjoy some of the best wine the region has to offer.The city offers a city center that's only a short distance from surrounding suburbs, and it's only four hours away from New York City.Population: 650,211Average annual salary: $54,890Quality of life: 7.7Value index: 7.037. Myrtle Beach, South CarolinaMyrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a popular vacation destination.ShutterstockPopular vacation destination Myrtle Beach is rife with job opportunities in the hospitality industry thanks to tourism from beachgoers. The tourist hot spot offers recreational activities, quality restaurants, and mild weather.The low income taxes and company incentives make an ideal home for small business owners.Population: 481,489Average annual salary: $39,250Quality of life: 6.0Value index: 6.436. Seattle, WashingtonSeattle, Washington.Asif Islam/ShutterstockSeattle is sandwiched between water and mountains and doesn't get as much rain as you'd think, said one local expert. The city's residents are drawn to the area for its atmosphere of "calm and patience" and its close proximity to nature. Jobs in Seattle are concentrated in tech, healthcare, and maritime industries, but the city is also a huge manufacturing center for companies like Boeing.Population: 3,928,498Average annual salary: $74,330Quality of life: 6.6Value index: 5.4  35. Harrisburg, PennsylvaniaHarrisburg, Pennsylvania.Shutterstock/Jon BilousLocated on the banks of the Susquehanna River and the foothills of the Appalachian Trail, Harrisburg offers residents unlimited access to the outdoors.Many are employed by the state and federal government in Harrisburg, but there's also several large private-sector companies that are top employers, including Hershey's, Rite Aid, and D&H Distributing.Population: 574,691Average annual salary: $52,700Quality of life: 6.9Value index: 7.6 34. Lexington-Fayette, KentuckyLexington, Kentucky.Katie Warren/Business InsiderLexington, Kentucky, is known as the horse capital of the world, and residents are especially proud of their city's reputation for equestrian. On top of world-famous horse parks and racecourses, the area has more than 1,000 horse farms, not to mention streets named after Triple Crown winners and a bevy of horse statues in parks around the city. But love of equestrian activities isn't the only thing Lexington offers.Younger residents move there for its college-town feel and appreciation for local sports and music. And the area is a haven for fans of the outdoors — the nearby Red River Gorge and Cumberland Falls are scenic places for residents to explore their surroundings.Population: 514,273Average annual salary: $48,150Quality of life: 6.9Value index: 7.6  33. Knoxville, TennesseeKnoxville, Tennessee.iStock / Sean PavoneFor sports enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts alike, Knoxville, Tennessee, is a great place to call home. Close to the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Ijams Nature Center, getting outdoors and enjoying nature is a breeze in this Southern city. Population: 861,872Average annual salary: $47,740Quality of life: 6.1Value index: 7.9 32. Dallas-Fort Worth, TexasDallas-Fort Worth, Texas.Philip Lange/ShutterstockA healthy balance of urban and rural, Dallas offers residents "big-city excitement and quiet, suburban living," shared one local expert. There's local bars, retail shops, and plenty of sports spirit to satisfy the huge population. The city — with large employers in business, finance, and education — is teeming with young professionals.Population: 7,451,858Average annual salary: $56,190Quality of life: 6.4Value index: 6.7 31. Hickory, North CarolinaJeff Yount/Getty ImagesLocated just an hour outside of Charlotte, Hickory is garnering attention from young professionals after being home to mostly retirees and families. Residents have access to the mountains of Asheville an hour west and local art around town by way of outdoor sculptures and art galleries. Tech giants Apple and Google each have data centers here.Population: 367,982Average annual salary: $43,630Quality of life: 6.1Value index: 8.930. Charlotte, North CarolinaCharlotte, North Carolina.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockA "melting pot effect" draws all types of people to Charlotte, a place with "equal parts old-fashioned southern charm and high-energy cosmopolitan bustle," touted one local expert. NASCAR and motorsports are a cultural cornerstone of Charlotte.The Queen City houses Bank of America's headquarters and major offices for Wells Fargo, making it one of the largest financial hubs in the country.Population: 2,595,027Average annual salary: $55,330Quality of life: 6.1Value index: 7.1  29. Omaha, Nebraska29. Omaha, Nebraska.Esme/ShutterstockDue to a combination of Omaha's history of cattle ranching and its current landscape of bustling tech startups, the city has earned the nickname "Silicon Prairie." Plus, eight Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Omaha, including Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific Railroad, and Mutual of Omaha.Young professionals and families are attracted to the city primarily for its affordability, safety, and strong economy.Population: 940,163Average annual salary: $53,050Quality of life: 6.6Value index: 7.7  28. Lincoln, NebraskaJohn Coletti/Getty ImagesLincoln is the capital city of Nebraska and home to the Cornhuskers of University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Although the city attracts thousands of college football fans and students in the fall, the low cost of living keeps people around.It's home to large tech companies – such as Hudl and Spreetail – as part of the Midwest "Silicon Prairie."Population: 333,193Average annual salary: $50,240Quality of life: 6.7Value index: 7.727. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MinnesotaSt. Paul, Minnesota.Sam Wagner/ShutterstockThe Twin Cities have "big-city amenities like museums and sports stadiums, but also have an approachable, Midwestern feel," according to a local expert. Residents are accustomed to the area's changing seasons, participating in ice fishing and cross-country skiing in the winter and music festivals and baseball games in the spring and summer.Jobs are available in science-focused fields at companies like Xcel Energy and Medtronic as well as retail corporations like Best Buy and Target.Population: 3,605,450Average annual salary: $62,560Quality of life: 6.7Value index: 7.2  26. Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaPittsburgh, Pennsylvania.ESB Professional/ShutterstockPittsburgh is taking steps to rehabilitate its industrial reputation with increasing amounts of green spaces and state parks.Local expert Cheryl Werber also explains that more and more companies are also migrating to the Steel City, bringing exciting job opportunities to the area. Housing in Pittsburgh is also more affordable than other major cities, despite rates slowly beginning to rise.Population: 2,234,447Average annual salary: $54,300Quality of life: 6.6Value: 8.325. Nashville, TennesseeNashville, Tennessee.Scott Heaney/ShutterstockHonky-tonk culture and an entrepreneurial spirit define Nashville."A blossoming job market and an exploding entertainment scene [are] fueling an appetite (and thirst) for all things locally sourced and artisanal in craft," a local expert said. Thousands of residents work in healthcare at the area's large hospitals and research centers, small startups, and business accelerator programs.Population: 1,904,186Average annual salary: $52,170Quality of life: 6.1Value index: 6.7 24. Jacksonville, FloridaJacksonville, Florida.ShutterstockJacksonville's beach-adjacent location makes it ideal for outdoor activities. In addition to spending lazy days in the sand, residents can also visit the area's prime golf courses or go hiking, camping, and kayaking in the nearby parks. Jacksonville also continues to grow, with burgeoning art and music scenes, as well as new business development, according to a local expert.Population: 1,533,796Average annual salary: $49,940Quality of life: 6.7Value index: 6.1  23. Salt Lake City, UtahSalt Lake City, Utah.Maciej Bledowski/ShutterstockSalt Lake City might experience some of the snowiest weather in the country, but residents make the most of it through the multitude of ski resorts perched in the city's backyard. In warmer weather, residents can take advantage of Salt Lake's more than 900 acres of public parks and enjoy outdoor performances from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Temple Square.Population: 2,522,032Average annual salary: $52,094Quality of life: 6.8Value index: 7.0 22. Portland, OregonPortland, Oregon.Nadia Yong/ShutterstockPortland isn't for everybody — its slogan is "Keep Portland Weird," after all. But one local expert asserts that it's a "well-rounded city with more than just the offbeat shops and events" and a population that has "more academic degrees than the national average."Major employer Intel Corporation calls Portland home, as well as the headquarters for Nike, located about seven miles outside of Portland.Population: 2,472,774Average annual salary: $61,860Quality of life: 6.7Value index: 5.6  21. Albany, New YorkAlbany, New York.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockDespite the snowy winters, living in Albany comes with several advantages. Albany offers a cost of living lower than the national average and the cost of housing sits well below the rest of the US as a whole. In terms of jobs, the city's state government and health care companies are Albany's primary industries for residents there.Albany's downtown is lined with art galleries, wine shops, and churches for visitors to peruse. In keeping with the city's cold climate, hockey is the sport of choice for residents.Population: 880,766Average annual salary: $58,880Quality of life: 6.9Value index: 7.5  20. Melbourne, FloridaMelbourne, Florida.Jesse Kunerth/ShutterstockBetween fishing, boating, and a plethora of bars and restaurants, there's never a shortage of things to do in the Melbourne area. The city's ripe with retirees and "snowbirds" — people who split their time between colder climates in the summer and Florida in the winter — who can enjoy days on one of the many nearby golf courses and nights out exploring the local shops and art galleries.Population: 594,001Average annual salary: $51,740Quality of life: 7.0Value index: 6.6  19. Washington, DCWashington, DC.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockThe District's neighborhoods each give off their own vibe, but across the city residents often "gather for block parties, mingle at dog parks, and converse at coffee shops," explained a local expert. While Washington, DC, is known as a hub for politics, there's also a strong job market for education and health services.Population: 6,250,309Average annual salary: $77,210Quality of life: 7.0Value index: 5.8  18. Boston, MassachusettsBoston, Massachusetts.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockBoston attracts a diverse group of residents, including everyone from recent college graduates to retirees and musicians to engineers. The historical city — often referred to as the "Cradle of Liberty," according to one local expert — also overflows with team spirit for the Red Sox and 2017 Super Bowl champions, the Patriots.Population: 4,854,808Average annual salary: $73,850Quality of life: 7.2Value index: 5.2  17. Madison, WisconsinMadison, Wisconsin.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockWisconsin's capital is a "hotbed of the healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing industries," said a local expert. The area is also home to the University of Wisconsin at Madison, providing hundreds of jobs in education. Madison has a unique food culture that's a blend of fine dining and farmer's markets catering to the city's college students, young professionals, and families.Population: 660,212Average annual salary: $57,680Quality of life: 7.3Value index: 6.8  16. Grand Rapids, MichiganGrand Rapids, Michigan.Suzanne Tucker/ShutterstockGrand Rapids attracts "college students and young families with its healthy job market, affordable housing, and outdoor recreational activities," said a local expert. The self-proclaimed "Beer City USA" has more than 80 breweries as well as dynamic public art and music scenes.Once a hub for furniture production, Grand Rapids' job market is now dominated by education and healthcare, with many opportunities for workers without a college degree.Population: 1,069,696Average annual salary: $49,700Quality of life: 7.1Value index: 8.2  15. Boise, IdahoBoise, Idaho.Charles Knowles/ShutterstockIdaho's capital city is "a recreationalist's paradise," according to one local expert, who also said Boise sits "squarely on the boundary of urban and rural, civilized and wild, refined and raw." The region is home to more than 25,000 Boise State University students and provides jobs at government agencies as well as in tech and healthcare.Population: 730,483Average annual salary:$49,010Quality of life: 7.1Value index: 7.0  14. Des Moines, IowaDes Moines, Iowa.f11photo/ShutterstockDes Moines is drawing millennials and young families alike for its "one-of-a-kind shops, locally-owned restaurants, and hip bars" as well as its historical residences in quiet neighborhoods, said a local expert. Home to more than 80 insurance companies including giants Allied Insurance and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, the job market is thriving.Population: 690,585Average annual salary: $55,660Quality of life: 6.6Value index: 8.0 13. Austin, TexasMagalie L'AbbT/Getty ImagesThe capital of Texas gains about 150 new residents daily, many seeking out the city's "music, outdoor spaces, and cultural institutions," said a local expert.Austin is beloved for its live music scene and is host to some of the country's biggest music and culture festivals, including South by Southwest and Austin City Limits. The city was nicknamed "Silicon Hills" in the 1990s for its status as "among the top areas for venture capital investment in the country."Population: 2,173,804Average annual salary: $57,830Quality of life: 6.6Value index: 6.3 12. Naples, FloridaShutterstockNaples sits between the Everglades and the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. With its sunny beaches, fine dining, and golf courses, it attracts many older, wealthy residents, including retirees and snowbirds. Tourism and frequent development means jobs in the hospitality and construction industries dominate.Population: 379,345Average annual salary: $50,040Quality of life: 7.4Value index: 5.211. Ann Arbor, MichiganBarry Winiker/Getty ImagesHome to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is primarily known as a college town but is attracting more full-time residents downtown and along its outskirts. Born in the mid-1800s, the city is set among hills, with the Huron River running through it.Residents will find plenty to do outdoors throughout the year, from kayaking to ice skating. More than 90% of residents live within 10 minutes of a public park by walk, according to the Trust for Public Land.Population: 368,385Average annual salary: $59,200Quality of life: 8.0Value index: 6.510. San Francisco, CaliforniaSan Francisco, California.Travel Stock/ShutterstockA local expert described San Francisco as "the heart of the bohemian lifestyle, the epicenter of the LGBT rights movement, and the launching point of the technology era." In the last decade, thousands of tech companies have raced to set up shop in the Bay Area, sending the cost of living through the roof.But despite all the focus on the tech and startup scene, the city also has plenty of business jobs available with more than 30 international finance headquarters.Population: 4,709,220Average annual salary: $81,840Quality of life: 6.8Value index: 5.1 9. Sarasota, FloridaSarasota, Florida.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockSarasota boasts "warm temperatures year-round, award-winning beaches, and a thriving arts and cultural scene," said a local expert. The biggest employers in Sarasota are in education, trade, and transportation, and the leisure and hospitality sector touts a low unemployment rate powered by a recent increase in tourism and a flood of new residents.Population: 821,613Average annual salary:$48,180Quality of life: 7.0Value index: 6.2  8. Portland, MainePortland, Maine.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockLocated right on the water at Casco Bay and lined with cobblestone streets, Portland immediately evokes the quaintness of a much smaller town. Between fishing, sailing, cross-country skiing, and exploring the city's buzzing nightlife, there's no shortage of things to do. Seafood lovers can nosh on fresh catches at the city's modern oyster bars and or grab one of Maine's signature lobster rolls.Population: 536,314Average annual salary: $55,790Quality of life: 7.2Value index: 6.6  7. Fayetteville, ArkansasFayetteville, Arkansas.shuttersv/ShutterstockFayetteville sits among the Ozark Mountains and is home to the University of Arkansas' flagship campus. The surrounding area of northwest Arkansas is home to headquarters for seven Fortune 500 companies including Walmart and Tyson Foods.The city has experienced immense growth, according to a local expert, who said the region has evolved "from a small town to a center of higher education, culture, commerce, and entrepreneurialism."Population: 526,101Average annual salary: $50,470Quality of life: 6.8Value index: 8.3 6. Raleigh-Durham, North CarolinaRaleigh, North Carolina.Sharkshock/ShutterstockRaleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill are collectively known as the Triangle, an area anchored by its foundation in research and tech. The Triangle employs nearly 40,000 residents at companies like IBM, SAS Institute Inc., and Cisco Systems as well as surrounding colleges Duke, North Carolina State, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.A strong job market coupled with a burgeoning microbrewery and dining scene draws new residents every day, said a local expert.Population: 1,999,253Average annual salary: $59,174Quality of life: 6.8Value index: 7.15. San Jose, CaliforniaSan Jose, California.stellamc / ShutterstockThe sprawling city of San Jose is "as much defined by its suburban neighborhoods and large tech campuses as it is by the high-rises in its business district," said a local expert. Young residents and recent graduates of nearby Stanford and UC Berkeley have no trouble finding jobs in the area, which touts Facebook, Google, and Apple as its largest private-sector employers.Population: 1,985,926Average annual salary: $93,450Quality of life: 7.6Value index: 5.5  4. Boulder, ColoradoShutterstockThere's never a shortage of outdoor fun to be had in Boulder, with more than 60 parks and 155 miles of hiking trails at residents' disposal. Downtown, locals enjoy the prominent arts scene, craft breweries, and farmer's markets. Major employers in Boulder include companies in the technology, aerospace, and bioscience industries.Population: 324,682Average annual salary: $70,450Quality of life: 7.7Value index: 5.1 3. Green Bay, WisconsinJamesBrey/Getty ImagesThe oldest settlement in Wisconsin, Green Bay used to be a key shipping center. Today, it's better known as the home of the Green Bay Packers. Residents can enjoy craft breweries and wineries, boutique shopping, museums and art galleries, and outdoor fun on trails and the Fox River.Some of Green Bay's largest employers include insurance companies like UnitedHealth Group and Humana and shipping firms like Georgia-Pacific.Population: 320,827Average annual salary: $50,020Quality of life: 7.1Value index: 8.5 2. Colorado Springs, ColoradoColorado Springs, Colorado.John Coletti/Getty ImagesColorado Springs is "booming, with new residences popping up alongside quality schools, parks, and cultural attractions," touts a local expert. The city is just an hour's drive from Denver and in close proximity to Aspen and Vail's world-class ski resorts. Military jobs influence Colorado Springs' culture and economy, but jobs are also available in medical innovation and tech.Population: 735,480Average annual salary: $55,540Quality of life: 6.4Value index: 5.7  1. Huntsville, AlabamaHuntsville, Alabama.ShutterstockThe once-sleepy town of Huntsville, Alabama, gained fame in the 1960s when it became a hub for NASA. Now Huntsville is undergoing another renaissance, with tech companies, craft breweries, and artists all flocking to the town in recent years.Huntsville is the fastest-growing city in Alabama, and residents are enjoying an emerging downtown shopping and dining scene even as the city maintains a low cost of living. If you can handle the heat and humidity, you might find yourself at home there.Population: 464,607Average annual salary: $58,730Quality of life: 6.8Value index: 8.5  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytAug 6th, 2022

The chaotic road of DC movies over the last decade, as the company embarks on a bold 10-year plan to compete with Marvel

Warner Bros. Discovery wants DC to better compete with Marvel after a tumultuous decade of hits, misses, and controversies. "The Batman."Warner Bros. Warner Bros. Discovery said on Thursday that it has a "10-year plan" for DC movies similar to Marvel. The company has made it a priority to get the franchise on the right track to compete with the MCU. Here's how the DC movie universe has evolved over the last decade. Warner Bros. Discovery, DC's new parent company, said during an investor call on Thursday that it is working on a "10-year plan" for the superhero movie universe.Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav speaks onstage during the Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront 2022 show at MSG Studios on May 18, 2022 in New York CityKevin Mazur/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery"We have done a reset," Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said. "We've restructured the business where there will be a team with a 10-year plan focusing just on DC. It's very similar to the structure that Alan Horn and Bob Iger put together very effectively with Kevin Feige at Disney."It's not the first time that Warner Bros. and DC have rethought their movie strategy. DC movies have been on a winding road over the last decade, ever since Christopher Nolan wrapped up his Dark Knight Trilogy with "The Dark Knight Rises" in 2012."The Dark Knight Rises."Warner Bros.2013: "Man of Steel" was released, starring Henry Cavill as Superman and directed by Zack Snyder. It rebooted the character with a more edgy take following the success of Nolan's Batman movies.Warner Bros.The movie was largely a flop with critics and has a 58% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. It earned $668 million worldwide off of a $225 million production budget.March 2016: "Man of Steel" was the launching point for a potential DC movie universe, akin to the MCU. Snyder directed a followup, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," that brought Cavill back, and introduced Ben Affleck's Batman and Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman.Warner Bros."Batman v Superman" grossed $873 million worldwide, but was another project with a hefty budget of $250 million. It was also a critical dud with a 29% Rotten Tomatoes critic score, and a B grade from CinemaScore, which surveys audiences on a movie's opening night (that's low for a superhero movie).Overall, the movie wasn't the global phenomenon Warner Bros. had hoped it would be, given that it starred its two flagship superheroes. In other words, it didn't break $1 billion, unlike "Captain America: Civil War" later that year, which also pitted Marvel's two heavyweight characters of Iron Man and Captain America against each other.August 2016: "Suicide Squad" was also released. It was a modest box-office success with over $700 million worldwide, but another critical failure.Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in "Suicide Squad."Warner Bros.The "DC Extended Universe," as it was dubbed by fans online and stuck, had produced three misfires with critics in a row. "Suicide Squad" had a 26% Rotten Tomatoes critic score.And while the movies had performed well at the global box office, they weren't mega hits, especially given their bloated budgets. And, adding insult to injury, they weren't reaching the same heights as Marvel movies.June 2017: Some hope emerged with "Wonder Woman.""Wonder Woman."Warner Bros. PicturesThe movie, directed by Patty Jenkins, was everything Warner Bros. had been looking for in its new DC movies.It cost less than the other movies to make and earned $822 million globally, on par with "Batman v Superman." And unlike the other DCEU movies, it was a hit with critics, receiving a 93% critic score.November 2017: Disaster struck with the theatrical release of "Justice League." What was supposed to be DC's answer to Marvel's "Avengers" was a critical and financial dud."Justice League"Warner Bros.It grossed just $657 million worldwide, a disappointing figure considering it was DC's big superhero team-up movie and it cost $300 million to make after extensive reshoots ballooned the budget.  2017: "Justice League" had gone through extensive reshoots leading up to its release, after Snyder exited as director following a family tragedy and was replaced by "Avengers" director Joss Whedon. The poor response to the theatrical release launched the controversial "Release the Snyder Cut" movement.Warner Bros.After "Batman v Superman" was criticized for being too dark and brooding, and after the success of "Wonder Woman," Warner Bros. opted to retool "Justice League."Fans of Zack Snyder took to social media to try to convince Warner Bros. to release Snyder's version of the movie as he intended, which they called the "Snyder Cut." Snyder fans claimed the theatrical cut differed drastically from Snyder's original vision. 2017: The failure of the "DCEU" prompted Warner Bros. and DC to rethink its strategy. Instead of trying to replicate Marvel's shared universe, it would instead focus on standalone stories, Vulture reported in an extensive feature in July 2017.Warner Bros.Vulture's feature landed after the release of "Wonder Woman" and ahead of "Justice League," suggesting the company had already accepted defeat on the latter.The former, however, was largely a standalone story, even though Gadot reprised her role from "Batman v Superman" and would appear again in "Justice League.""Our intention, certainly, moving forward is using the continuity to help make sure nothing is diverging in a way that doesn't make sense, but there's no insistence upon an overall story line or interconnectivity in that universe," Diane Nelson, the former head of DC Entertainment, told Vulture. 2018: DC's first test for the new strategy was "Aquaman." While Jason Momoa reprised his role as the title character after "Justice League," it largely didn't connect to any previous movies. It also heavily diverged from the tone of Snyder's films. It grossed over $1 billion worldwide."Aquaman"Warner Bros.2019: "Joker," a standalone origin story of Batman's famous foe, earned over $1 billion and was nominated for 11 Oscars, including best picture. That same year, "Shazam!" grossed a much more underwhelming $366 million, but was a hit with critics."Joker"Warner Bros.2020: "Birds of Prey" and "Wonder Woman 1984" struggled to maintain DC's post-"Justice League" momentum on the big screen.Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in "Birds of Prey"Warner Bros."Birds of Prey" grossed just $205 million worldwide, but cost $85 million, far less than most superhero blockbusters. It found another life on HBO Max after its theatrical run. "Wonder Woman 1984," the sequel to 2017's "Wonder Woman," was released simultaneously on Max and in theaters amid the coronavirus pandemic. It grossed only $170 million globally, but was hindered by the ongoing pandemic and online piracy.The movie wasn't the critical hit its predecessor was, and has a 58% on Rotten Tomatoes.May 2020: Just as DC movies seemed to be getting on the right track, HBO Max announced that "Zack Snyder's Justice League" would be coming to the service the following year."Zack Snyder's Justice League"HBO MaxThe Wrap reported later that year that the director's cut would cost $70 million to finish, as it included additional footage and ultimately clocked in at four hours in length.While the "Release the Snyder Cut" movement won, the movie is still a cloud over Warner Bros.' head. Rolling Stone reported recently that the movement was fueled by fake Twitter accounts, and that Snyder himself had hired a digital marketing firm to boost fan engagement in 2016 after the release of "Batman v Superman," which contributed to the cult-like following of his fans (Snyder denied this).June 2020: "Justice League" actor Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg, accuses Joss Whedon in a tweet of "gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable" behavior on the set of the movie during reshoots (Whedon has denied this).Warner Bros.August 2021: "The Suicide Squad" was a soft reboot of the 2016 movie. It was a hit with critics, with a 90% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, but underwhelmed at the box office amid the pandemic.Warner Bros.The movie, which was released simultaneously on HBO Max, earned $168 million at the global box office.DC and Warner Bros. had poached "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn from Marvel after he was briefly fired. Gunn followed the movie up with a TV spinoff on Max called "Peacemaker," starring John Cena, which was a hit. A second season is in the works.March 2022: "The Batman," a reboot of DC's most popular character starring Robert Pattinson and directed by Matt Reeves, landed after being delayed due to the pandemic. It earned over $700 million globally and a sequel is in the works.Robert Pattinson as Batman in "The Batman."Warner Bros.April 2022: WarnerMedia and Discovery close their blockbuster merger to form Warner Bros. Discovery, with David Zaslav as its CEO.Getty / Scott Olson August 2022: Warner Bros. Discovery cancels the release of "Batgirl," which had been greenlit by WarnerMedia as an HBO Max-exclusive movie, signaling another strategy shift.Leslie Grace as Batgirl.Warner Bros.The $90 million movie was nearly complete, but Warner Bros. Discovery opted to not release it in favor of a tax writeoff as it looks to save costs, according to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.Zaslav defended the decision during this week's earnings call."The objective is to grow the DC brand, to grow the DC characters," he said. "But also, our job is to protect the DC brand, and that's what we're going to do."The company is also focusing on theatrical releases, a pivot from the WarnerMedia regime, and "Batgirl" was developed as a straight-to-streaming release."We can't find an economic case for it," Zaslav said. The future: There are few DC movies on the horizon that Zaslav seemed optimistic about during the investor call on Thursday. Beyond that, the company intends to build a team dedicated specifically to the DC movie universe that will develop a 10-year plan similar to Marvel.Dwayne Johnson in "Black Adam."Warner Bros.Upcoming DC releases include:"Black Adam" — October 21, 2022"Shazam! Fury of the Gods" — December 21, 2022"Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" — March 17, 2023"The Flash" — June 23, 2023"The Flash is moving forward despite controversy surrounding its star Ezra Miller."We have seen 'The Flash,' 'Black Adam' and 'Shazam 2,'" Zaslav said on Thursday. "We are very excited about them. We've seen them. We think they are terrific, and we think we can make them even better."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 6th, 2022

Real Growth Depends on Innovation, Not Intervention

For weekend reading, Gary Alexander, senior writer at Navellier & Associates, offers the following commentary: We got the bad news last week. Real U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter decreased at an annual rate of 0.9 percent, according to the first (“advance”) estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). After an official […] For weekend reading, Gary Alexander, senior writer at Navellier & Associates, offers the following commentary: We got the bad news last week. Real U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter decreased at an annual rate of 0.9 percent, according to the first (“advance”) estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). After an official -1.6 percent decline in the first quarter, that means we MAY be officially in a recession, if the second-quarter figure holds up in the next two releases. (The second estimate will be released on August 25, while the third and final release will arrive in late September.) if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   This first-half decline is a shocker since it follows a 5.7% real increase in 2021 – the best calendar year since 1984. The good news – if you can call it that – is that “current-dollar” (or nominal) GDP rose 7.8 percent, or $465 billion, to a nearly $25 trillion annual rate, due entirely to inflation. That is noticeably faster than the 6.6 percent nominal growth rate of the first quarter. Now, if we can just get inflation down in the second half while maintaining that peppy nominal growth rate, then real growth will return. Our main global competitor is doing no better. On the same day our GDP came out, China acknowledged it would miss its annual growth target of +5.5% – by a mile. China’s Politburo said Thursday that their lowest GDP target in decades was an opium pipe dream since second-quarter growth was just +0.4%. With China, the main GDP drag seems to be their draconian COVID lockdowns in several major cities. (They apparently closed down businesses serving one million people in Wuhan due to four cases without symptoms.) With the U.S. and Europe, the main culprit seems to be extreme Green policies, resembling a cult. The Biden Administration’s drive toward solar and wind, and the push toward 50% electric cars by 2030, has fueled (pardon the puns) a purposeful policy to drive up the price of gasoline to make electric cars, plus solar and wind, more attractive. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said as much when he told a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, “The more pain we are all experiencing from the high price of gas, the more benefit there is for those who can access electric vehicles.” Gee, thanks! There is no free lunch with electric cars. The batteries alone require deep mining damage to planet earth, and the electric grid is in danger of overloading and shortages. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation recently warned that two-thirds of the U.S. could experience blackouts this summer. With wind and solar, we all know the limits: The sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow. Due to the current heat wave, Texas grid operators told residents not to use major appliances to avoid rolling blackouts and some grid operators are keeping coal-fired plants scheduled to be shut down on tap. The same thing is happening in Europe. Germany has had to resort to burning oil and coal because its trillion-dollar investment in wind and solar can’t make up for the loss of Russia’s natural gas. There was also an electrical power crisis in Australia last month (their winter) due to too many coal plant closures. Innovation - Not Intervention - Is the Solution Fossil fuels were once the “clean” solution to the horse manure that littered our city streets and rural highways. Dead dinosaur bones were also the ecological salvation for killing whales for their oil. John D. Rockefeller “saved the whales” when he developed very low-cost kerosene for middle-class families. Innovation and the demands of the market provide a better solution than forcing some dictator’s idea of a more elegant solution down our collective throats. At Freedom Fest, one of my roles is “senior judge” (in both age and time served) at Anthem Film Festival. I recently commented on three films on lockdowns here (July 12). Two other featured films are relevant to innovation and the risks to our electrical grid. America has been the world’s premier innovator for over two centuries, since our establishment of patents in 1641 (and officially in 1792) and copyrights in 1790, allowing inventors to own the fruits of their creativity. But our hold on innovation is fading fast due to outright theft from China and weak protection by U.S. courts, according to “Innovation Race,” a film by director/writers Luke and Jo Anne Livingston. I was in 7th grade when Russia launched Sputnik, and our science and math classes went into overdrive since it was the first time our adversaries beat us in technology, so my “rocket scientist” dad and other engineers put a man on the moon less than 12 years later, and America got back on top in technology. Just think of companies founded by Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Michael Dell, Larry Page, and Sergei Brin. Even those born overseas (Musk and Brin) came to America for patent protection. Along came Japan, who mainly copied U.S. technology, then improved it (think cars or cameras), and then came China, which so far has stolen U.S. technology or forced deals whereby U.S. companies may not operate within China unless we share our unique technology so that China can “reverse engineer” it. China steals about $600 billion per year of U.S. technology, according to our Department of Justice. In his recent memoir, former Attorney General Bill Barr wrote, “In recent years, about 80 percent of all federal economic espionage prosecutions have alleged conduct that would benefit the Chinese state.” Now, China has stepped up its game by copying our patent system and surpassing America in new patent production, while at home big tech companies are front-running new ideas by small inventors, to the point that the Patent Office has become a “patent death squad,” whereby big money crowds out small inventors. That’s why we’re now losing the “Innovation Race,” says this film, and we need to get back in that race. “Grid Down, Power Up” (a film by David Tice) frankly scares me, since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has said that a terrorist attack on just nine substations could plunge the U.S. into a nationwide blackout for 18 months. Since electricity runs our life – including access to food, water, heat, cooling, and medicine – it is credibly estimated that over 80% of us could perish within those 18 months. Congress has ignored calls for grid expansion and security. Even without a terrorist act or natural event (a sunburst or electromagnetic pulse, EMP), we are stretching our existing grid to the breaking point, even before pushing the world toward 100% electric automobiles. Our devices, even bitcoins, gobble up huge amounts of juice, as do air conditioning in summer and heating in winter for our much larger homes. I’m not sure what the solution is, but I’m sure that by rewarding innovators we will find a solution. Here are three outliers that need funding. I can’t vouch for any one of them, but VC’s usually find the winners. Solar satellite power. My friend and former neighbor, the late engineer Ralph Nansen, wrote “Sun Power,” about harnessing the sun’s energy from satellites rather than solar panels on earth. Huge satellite panels can relay solar power to earth 24/7, no matter cloud cover, for as long as the sun lives. Green hydrogen is produced from water and burns very clean. It may be an alternative to natural gas. Small nuclear engines or power stations could provide clean electricity or back-up wind or solar. There are probably far more solutions under development that we haven’t heard about, but developing these sorts of solutions is expensive. That’s where venture capital and patent protection come in. Beyond that cost, we need the government to get out of the business of picking winners by funding bad ideas. Doing economic damage in the name of fighting climate change is hurting our search for the best solutions. Updated on Aug 5, 2022, 5:34 pm.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkAug 5th, 2022

The Climate Cult Is Eager To Take Advantage Of Europe"s Energy Crisis

The Climate Cult Is Eager To Take Advantage Of Europe's Energy Crisis The climate cult never sleeps, and when they see a nations in crisis they are always quick to try to exploit the situation by misrepresenting the root problem.   A heat wave is currently hitting Europe along with wild fires and the mainstream media is beating the global warming drum hard.  This is nothing new; every time the weather gets hot they cry “climate change!”  Every time the weather is extra cold they once again cry “climate change!”  The evidence?  What about the “record heat” in parts of UK, Spain and Portugal?  This is surely proof that the weather is being ruined by that terrible menace known as man-made carbon? Of course, what they don't tell you is that the official record for weather and temperatures used by climate scientists only goes back about 140 years (it started in the 1880s).  So, millions upon millions of years of Earth weather, and they only count 140 years of it to determine “record temps?”  They tend to ignore ice core and tree ring data from centuries ago that indicate much hotter warming periods in our planet's history (none of which were caused by man-made carbon emissions).  In comparison, today's temperatures are rather tame. The Earth's overall temperatures have only risen by 1° Celsius in the past century; this was actually the peak and currently temps have evened out to an increase of 0.8°C.  This is the great climate doomsday we are all supposed to be terrified of.  This is the looming threat we are supposed to sacrifice all fossil fuel based energy production for – Less than a single degree of heat.   It's important to put the frantic climate change narrative into concrete perspective because the vast majority of climate science is paid for by governments and special interest organizations like the UN, the World Economic Forum and many other globalist groups with an agenda in mind.  On average, these governments and institutions spend around $632 billion per year on climate research funding and climate policy initiatives (which they call “meager”).  Their goal is to increase this cash flow to $4 trillion by the year 2030.  The incentives to jump on the man-made climate change train are MASSIVE; there is almost no monetary incentive for scientists that want to study other potential causes for climate events.  The notion of the stalwart and incorruptible scientist that seeks objective truth rather than cash and notoriety is long dead.  Honest scientists are few and far between these days (especially in the medical and climate science fields), and perhaps it has always been that way.  The “experts” cannot be blindly trusted because they are just as susceptible to bias and corruption as anyone else.   Climate change hysteria is a nothing burger, but it is being actively promoted by the media to obscure very real threats that the public faces in the near term.  One of those threats  is energy shortages, and climate regulations have put a stranglehold on many nations and their ability to adapt.  The EU is now implementing carbon policies that call for a 55% reduction of emissions by 2030.  Meaning, no new fossil fuel sources are supposed to be utilized.  Only reductions are allowed.     Climate scientists and global elitists claim that climate change is the paramount issue of the century and must be dealt with immediately and by any means necessary.  They haven't presented a single shred of hard evidence to support this assertion, but they dictate the policies of most western governments so they don't really need to.  They just initiate restrictions without public input.   In reality, perhaps the greatest threat since WWII is about to land like a hydrogen bomb in the laps of the European public.  Panic is beginning to take shape as Russia cuts natural gas supplies to the EU down to 20% of their original capacity and alternative sources simply do not exist on a scale that can take up the slack.  A large portion of oil exports have also been shut down, and European governments are NOT informing the citizenry of the true gravity of the situation.  At current energy import rates, at least 40% of Europe will not be able to heat their homes in the winter.    EU plans to replace Russian energy sources in the near term have also been deemed “wildly optimistic.”  In other words, the EU public is screwed, and many of them still don't realize it yet because the government won't admit it.  A disaster of epic proportions is about to strike and this isn't even counting the enormous price hikes that are coming for the other 60% of people that will still have gas supplies available.   But the climate cult is not letting this visceral reality get in their way.  To them, the crisis is an opportunity.  A new narrative is rising among intergovernmental bodies, the media and among climate activists; they say this impending disaster is actually “good for Europe” in the long run, because it forces citizens to accept energy reduction policies and carbon controls which climate scientists and globalists have been demanding for years.  Inflation in prices means shrinking demand and cuts in the supply chain mean resources are quashed even if demand remains high.  Energy is being suffocated slowly leaving room for a "Green New Deal" of sorts.    So, it's good for the globalists and their agenda, but not really good for anyone else that has to live through harsh winter months with no heat and limited electricity.  If the current trend continues without a dramatic change in the way Europe throttles fossil fuel energy, then there is the very real potential for mass deaths this winter.  This is not hyperbole, this is a mathematical certainty.  The continued push for even more climate restrictions at this time is making the situation much worse.   There is no impending threat due to climate change, but there is an impending threat due to energy shortages.  Europeans need to ask themselves – Why are their governments setting them up for calamity over a non-existent climate bogeyman?  Without increased fossil fuel energy from numerous sources including coal and oil the EU is on the path to a historic tragedy this winter.       Tyler Durden Fri, 08/05/2022 - 02:45.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 5th, 2022

California Gov. Gavin Newsom took out an ad in Variety to urge Hollywood to "walk the walk" on their values and stop filming in conservative states like Georgia and Oklahoma

Georgia, which has a 6-week abortion ban, is a popular shooting location for film and television due to its "production-friendly" tax program. California Gov. Gavin Newsom answers questions at a news conference in Los Angeles, on June 9, 2022.Richard Vogel, File/Associated Press CA Gov. Gavin Newsom put out a full-page ad in Variety on Wednesday calling out Hollywood. Newsom said the industry should reconsider shooting in states that limit abortion and LGBTQ rights. Newsom also announced support for extending California's Film & Television Tax Credit Program.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday took out a full-page ad in Variety to urge Hollywood to "walk the walk" on its value and avoid shooting in states waging a "cruel assault on essential rights.""Hollywood: your values, you choice," the ad begins, touting California as the "best place in America to create" and the "home for storytelling and story tellers" for over 100 years. It mentions the "robust tax incentives" and "the best culture" for creators, adding: "Most importantly, we share your values.""Over the past several years, the legislatures of states like Georgia and Oklahoma have waged a cruel assault on essential rights," the ad says, adding that those states have now moved to limit abortion rights in the wake of Roe v. Wade's reversal."Today more than ever, you have a responsibility to take stock of your values — and those of your employees — when doing business in those states," it continues, adding that California is a "freedom state" that supports access to abortion and LGBTQ+ rights."So to those in power to make decisions about where to film, where to hire, where to open new offices, we in California say: Walk the walk," the ad finishes. "Choose freedom. Choose creativity. Choose California."Newsom shared the ad, which was paid for by the governor's PAC, alongside an announcement of his support for extending tax incentives for the film and television industry.The full-page ad Gov. Gavin Newsom ran in Variety.Gov. Gavin NewsomThe bill he endorsed, SB 485, would invest $1.65 billion in California's Film & Television Tax Credit Program to extend it through 2030. Under the program, the industry receives $330 million per year in tax credits. Newsom said extending the program would "help ensure California's world-renowned entertainment industry continues to drive economic growth with good jobs and a diverse, inclusive workforce."Hollywood unions praised Newsom's support for the bill, which has already passed the state Senate and will go to the full Assembly before landing on the governor's desk for signing.More film and television productions are shot in California than any other state, followed by New York and Texas, but some relatively unexpected states are high up on the list. Georgia, for instance, has become a major shooting location, largely due to its "production-friendly" tax program. It's also among the red states cracking down on abortion, with a six-week ban in the state that took effect last month.Newsom's ad is just the latest example of him targeting Republican states. In an television ad that aired in Florida last month, the California Democrat said "freedom is under attack in your state" and urged residents to come to California.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 4th, 2022

‘Batgirl’ movie killed by Warner Bros. despite costing nearly $100M

Warner Bros. axed the DC Comics film "Batgirl" starring “In the Heights” star Leslie Grace, and announced the decision was due to a strategic shift relating to the DC universe and HBO Max. Despite having a $70 million budget, the DC Comics film "Batgirl," which was set to feature "In the Heights" star Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, will not be released as originally planned by Warner Bros. on HBO Max. Costs for the film reportedly ended up rising to more than $90 million amid COVID-19 delays and related shutdowns – ranking among the most expensive castoffs to date.  "The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max," a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter.  A representative for Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.  'DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS' EARNS TOP SPOT IN OPENING WEEKEND, BRINGS IN $23 MILLION In January, Grace took to Twitter to share a look at herself in the Batgirl costume, captioned with a quote from the comic book "Batgirl: Year One." "I use their expectations against them. That will be their weakness. Not mine. Let them all underestimate me… And when their guard is down, and their pride is rising, let me kick their butts," Grace posted.  The "Batgirl" cast also included J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly. The movie was directed by "Bad Boys for Life" filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Fans started to speculate about the status of the film, as "Batgirl" was not mentioned at DC’s Comic-Con panel in San Diego, last month. The popular comic book convention focuses on promoting upcoming projects similar to the superhero film.  However, during Marvel’s Comic-Con presentation, an announcement was made that more than a dozen films will be reportedly released in "Phases 5 and 6" in the MCU franchise through fall 2025.  The announcement of the "Batgirl" movie's cancellation comes on the heels of former Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich exiting his own production company in June. Warner Bros. merged with Discovery following the announcement and David Zaslav was appointed the new CEO.  Emmerich was replaced by MGM’s Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS Another Warner Bros. production that got scrapped was the animated sequel "Scoob!: Holiday Haunt," which cost $40 million.  GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE Zaslav reportedly prioritized cost-cutting measures and is planning to refocus the company on creating films for movie theaters instead of working on projects for streaming. .....»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsAug 3rd, 2022

"It"s mind-boggling": The already-filmed "Batgirl" movie won"t be released at all, and it"s the latest headache for DC movies

"Batgirl" will not be released in theaters or on HBO Max, as Warner Bros. Discovery looks to overhaul the DC movie franchise. Leslie Grace as Batgirl.Warner Bros. The "Batgirl" movie has been scrapped by Warner Bros. Discovery after it completed filming. One comics-and-film-industry source called it "mind-boggling." It follows a series of headaches for DC movies, but reflects WBD's overhaul of the franchise. The DC movie franchise was hit with another blow this week."Batgirl," directed by "Bad Boys for Life" filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and starring "In the Heights" actress Leslie Grace, has been scrapped by Warner Bros. Discovery. It won't be released on HBO Max as originally intended, or in theaters.It's an unusual development given that the movie had wrapped filming and was in the test-screening phase, with just finishing touches needed, and had cost $90 million to make after inflated costs due to the pandemic, according to Variety."I haven't seen anything like the cancellation of a completed film ever," said one comics-industry source, who also works in the film industry and wished to remain anonymous to protect business relationships."The fact that it was done with something with the word 'Bat' at the front, which is part of one of their most valuable IP, makes it all the more shocking," the person told Insider. "Bat characters are valuable at every sector of their business. It's mind-boggling in any context."The latest twist since the WarnerMedia-Discovery mergerWarner Bros. Discovery, DC's new parent company after the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger, has been making a lot of cost-saving changes. Variety reported that the movie was scrapped in order to take a tax writedown.In a statement, the company said the decision was "not a reflection" of Grace's performance, but "reflects our leadership's strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max."The company has also made getting DC movies on the right track a priority, and this seems like a long-term play in that regard after years of behind-the-scenes chaos.In April, Variety reported that Warner Bros. Discovery wants to "overhaul" DC, including revitalizing underused characters like Superman and finding an exec to oversee DC's creative strategy, similar to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.DC has had some recent hits, such as "Aquaman" and "Joker," which both grossed over $1 billion worldwide, and some critical favorites, like "The Suicide Squad" and "Shazam!" that didn't wow at the box office. But for the most part, DC movies have struggled to reach the same consistent critical and financial heights of Marvel movies, which Warner Bros. Discovery is looking to change.The company will first have to deal with "The Flash." Star Ezra Miller has been arrested twice this year in Hawaii, first on disorderly conduct and harassment charges, and then again on a second-degree assault charge, prompting Warner Bros. and DC execs to call an emergency meeting about the actor's future in DC movies, according to Rolling Stone.As of now, "The Flash" is slated for theatrical release in June 2023, after getting pushed from this year.It's easy to wonder why Warner Bros. Discovery has been quicker to halt "Batgirl" than "The Flash," given the controversy around the latter. That likely comes down to another strategic shift at the company: CEO David Zaslav is committed to repairing the relationship between Warner Bros. and movie theaters after every WB movie was released simultaneously in theaters and HBO Max last year."The Flash" carries a hefty production budget of $200 million, according to Deadline, more than double "Batgirl's" costs, and was made with a theatrical release in mind. Deadline also reported that Warner Bros. wants characters who appear in "Batgirl" to first make their appearance theatrically in "The Flash" — Michael Keaton was set to reprise his role as Batman in both films.The comics-and-film-industry source said that the "Batgirl" decision is a "bad look," but shows that Warner Bros. Discovery is aiming to "clear the decks" and "establish a distinctive strategy with the DC Universe."If you worked on the "Batgirl" movie or have seen footage, you can reach out to the author at tclark@insider.comRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 3rd, 2022