Movie posters from summer 2018 releases. Photo: Eric Lafforgue/Art In All Of Us/Corbis via Getty Images.

The U.S. box office is projected to hit a record-breaking $12 billion in 2018, proving past critiques wrong of how movie theaters cannot sustain in the age of streaming and home viewing, per the Hollywood Reporter.

Why it matters: Studios are realizing there is more attendance potential in the off-seasons of fall and spring than being part of summer's blockbuster lineup. Box office totals are expected to be up 10% from 2017. Marvel's "Venom" had an $80 million debut from the weekend of Oct. 5–7 — the best opening ever for that month.

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Parties trade election influence accusations at Big Tech hearing

Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

A Senate hearing Wednesday with Big Tech CEOs became the backdrop for Democrats and Republicans to swap accusations of inappropriate electioneering.

Why it matters: Once staid tech policy debates are quickly becoming a major focal point of American culture and political wars, as both parties fret about the impact of massive social networks being the new public square.

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Germany goes back into lockdown

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel will enact one of Europe's strictest coronavirus lockdowns since spring, closing bars and restaurants nationwide for most of November, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Germany is the latest European country to reimpose some form of lockdown measures amid a surge in cases across the continent.

How overhyping became an election meddling tool

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As online platforms and intelligence officials get more sophisticated about detecting and stamping out election meddling campaigns, bad actors are increasingly seeing the appeal of instead exaggerating their own interference capabilities to shake Americans' confidence in democracy.

Why it matters: It doesn't take a sophisticated operation to sow seeds of doubt in an already fractious and factionalized U.S. Russia proved that in 2016, and fresh schemes aimed at the 2020 election may already be proving it anew.