Jan 29, 2017

Amazon, Netflix drop major cash at Sundance

  • Netflix screened eight films, breaking its own Sundance record: Hasting's mega-service also purchased a $5 million deal for documentary "Icarus," one the most expensive nonfiction film to date
  • Amazon dropped $12 million for "The Big Sick," as well as distribution rights to three other films, beating out their Oscar-nominated investment in Manchester by the Sea last year for $10 million.

Why it matters: Digital companies investing big dollars in content to distribute marks a major shift for the movie business. Per CNET, streaming companies screened more projects at the festival this year than ever before, and Sundance creatives responded accordingly. This year more than ever, a swell of films with niche creative flooded the scene in Utah, frustrating commercial studios, who rely on broad, thematic pieces to captured large, national audiences.

Who's winning? As of now, Amazon, but that could change given Netflix's big investment this year. Last week, Amazon beat Netflix to become the first streaming company to own a film nominated for an Oscar best picture. Their win followed financial gains over Netflix at the box office in 2016. Amazon released Manchester by the Sea to theaters traditionally, making $36 million at the box office. Hastings released Beasts of No Nation in theatres and on his streaming app simultaneously, bringing in a dismal $91,000 at the box office.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 6,804,044 — Total deaths: 362,678 — Total recoveries — 2,788,806Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,909,077 — Total deaths: 109,497 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight coronavirus, CDC says Fauci: "Very concerned" about spread of virus amid George Floyd protests — Cities offer free testing for protesters.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model as use of robots accelerates.
  5. Business: Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

In photos: George Floyd's North Carolina memorial service

The remains of George Floyd are brought into Cape Fear Conference B Church. Photo: Ed Clemente/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds gathered in Raeford, North Carolina to honor George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis nearly two weeks ago has sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.

The state of play: This is the second memorial for Floyd. A number of his family members remain in Raeford, including his sister. He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, The News and Observer reports.

George Floyd updates

A protester holds a placard reading "Covid kills People, Racism kills Communities" as they attend a demonstration in Manchester, northern England, on June 6, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Paul Ellis/Contributor.

Thousands are gathering for a day of protests in Washington, D.C., almost two weeks after George Floyd's killing. Protesters in Australia and Europe staged anti-racism demonstrations on Saturday as well.

What's happening: A memorial service for Floyd is taking place in Raeford, North Carolina — near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor Floyd until sunset. Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Philadelphia and Chicago.