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Split between studios & movie theaters intensifies

Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures are negotiating a deal with Apple and Comcast to offer audiences digital versions of movies two weeks after their theatre releases, Bloomberg reports. The theater chain and studio businesses have been unable to reach a deal that would let studios distribute more expensive ($30+) digital movies to viewers at home shortly after their release in theaters.

Data: PricewaterhouseCoopers; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Why it matters: Studios were hoping to work with the theaters chains on a revenue deal, but now seem to be charging ahead without their blessing, despite the fact that theaters still hold power distributing movies and driving revenue. Noticeably missing from the reported negotiations is Disney, which announced it would build its own entertainment streaming package in 2019.

Bottom line: The movie business is changing quickly and its becoming more reliant on digital distribution than ever (shocking). Cinema revenues are rising, but are being outpaced by digital video rentals and the DVD business is dying, as expected. "Theaters have to focus on providing an experience that goes well beyond what's available at home — hence all the focus on luxury seating, 4DX, live event programming, VR, and better food and beverage options," says Chris Vollmer, Global Advisory Leader, Entertainment and Media at PwC.

Zachary Basu 3 hours ago
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Trump wants to meet Putin in "not too distant future"

Putin Trump

In an Oval Office meeting with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman Tuesday, President Trump said he wants to meet Vladimir Putin in the "not too distant future" to discuss the "arms race" and North Korea. Trump also said he spoke with the Russian president earlier today and congratulated him on his recent election victory.

Ina Fried 15 mins ago
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Facebook employees got to ask questions, but not of Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the F8 conference in 2017.
Zuckerberg, speaking at the F8 conference in 2017. Photo: Facebook

Facebook held a meeting Tuesday where employees could ask questions about the Cambridge Analytica issue, but neither CEO Mark Zuckerberg nor COO Sheryl Sandberg were there to offer answers, according to The Daily Beast and Bloomberg. Rather, the meeting was run by deputy general counsel Paul Grewal.

Why it matters: Lots of people want answers, including Facebook's employees, and the company's top two executives have remained conspicuously silent thus far.