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.

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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.

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Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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