Market Overview

Global Entertainment Market Expands With Robust International Growth


Global Entertainment Market Expands With Robust International Growth News Commentary

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, September 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to a report published by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the global entertainment market is expanding rapidly. Consumer spending for theatrical and home entertainment markets increased to USD 88.4 Billion worldwide. The global box office reached a record high of USD 40.6 Billion in 2017, driven by robust growth in international markets. Box office in the international market accounted for USD 29.5 Billion, due in part to the strong growth in China. The United States and Canada are the world's largest box office markets and are more mature than other markets. The report found that more than three-quarters of the population in U.S. and Canada went to the cinema at least once in 2017. The Wonderfilm Media Corporation (OTC:WDRFF), Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF), DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH), TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNK)

MPAA Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin said: "With more stories and more storytelling mediums than ever, our industry continues to adapt to an ever-changing world. The global entertainment market is expanding on multiple fronts, constantly innovating to deliver an unparalleled experience to audiences worldwide. In 2017, not only did the global box office hit yet another record high, the number of subscriptions to online video services around the world jumped 33 percent to reach 446.8 million."

The Wonderfilm Media Corporation (OTC:WDRFF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol (TSX-V: WNDR). Last week, the Company announced, "the acquisition of the bestselling book, "Merchant of Death," written by Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Braun and Douglas Farah. This acclaimed page-turner discloses the incredible real-life story of infamous international Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout. To develop this new high-profile series, Wonderfilm has partnered with Anthony Zuiker, creator of the CSI franchise and Jason Hervey through the new company, Zentraoquist LLC, along with Craig Piligian from Pilgrim Studios, a Lionsgate company (NYSE:LGF).

Emmy Award winning producer/executive and one of the four founding producers of Wonderfilm, Jeff Bowler, has packaged "Merchant of Death" and will be serving as Executive Producer, alongside his Wonderfilm partners, Bret Saxon, Kirk Shaw and Dan Grodnik. "Merchant of Death" also marks the return of Anthony Zuiker as he joins his first new series since he created and produced CSI, which ran on CBS from October 6, 2000 to September 27, 2015 and spanned 15 seasons with multiple franchise additions. Jason Hervey, a previous executive producer for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), alongside many other reality TV shows, is included in the impressive production team alongside Craig Piligian, who as Executive Producer, is best known for creating "The Ultimate Fighter", "American Chopper" and "Dirty Jobs", while winning an Emmy Award as co-Executive Producer of "Survivor". The production team is rounded out by Joseph Giallombardo and Alexandre Coscas.

'Wonderfilm is thrilled to be working with television legends Jason Hervey, Craig Piligian and Anthony Zuiker on such iconic material,' said Jeff Bowler, Founding Producer of Wonderfilm. "Merchant of Death" has all the hallmarks of a long-standing and era defining TV series and adaptation that the industry is craving. Working with such a talented and successful production team is an honour and a great sign that we have found TV's next epic series, as it has all of the hallmark traits of a major international success. We could not be more excited to bring this fascinating story to the masses in the form of a riveting and suspenseful TV series that quenches viewers thirst for original, emotionally charged content."

Published by John Wiley & Sons, "Merchant of Death" is a gripping, suspenseful and thrilling real-life account of the investigations into one of the world's most notorious arms dealers, Viktor Bout. Some of Victor Bout's exploits were immortalized in the hit 2005 film, "Lord of War" starring Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke and Jared Leto. The producers are currently meeting with showrunners, networks and will provide Wonderfilm shareholders with updates as they occur.

About Wonderfilm Media: Wonderfilm is a leading publicly traded (TSX Venture Exchange) entertainment company with offices in Beverly Hills, Vancouver, Canada and Seoul, South Korea. Wonderfilm's main business is the production of high-quality feature films and episodic television that offer international appeal through the Company's guiding philosophy of bringing new financing solutions to an entertainment industry increasingly looking for funding and co-production alternatives. Wonderfilm is a producer and distributor only for the projects disclosed. The legal ownership of movie productions are held in a special purpose legal entity held at arm's length to the Company to facilitate for the qualification of various levels of domestic and foreign government tax credit incentives that are customary in the film and production business."

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF) is a global content platform whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world. Global content leader Lionsgate recently signed an overall television deal with Emmy® and Golden Globe® winning writer-producer Jenny Bicks to develop and produce original television series. The deal was announced by Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs. Bicks has written and produced a string of notable television series including the multiple Emmy® and Golden Globe® winning phenomenon "Sex and the City" as well as "The Big C." She's also currently shepherding the HBO series "Divorce," reuniting her with Golden Globe® winner Sarah Jessica Parker. Other credits include creating the ABC series "Men in Trees," producing and writing "Dawson's Creek" and films like the Oscar® nominated The Greatest Showman and Rio 2, serving as a writer for both films. "Jenny has helmed some of the most iconic television series and we couldn't be more excited to welcome her to our creative team," said Lionsgate Executive Vice President and Head of Worldwide Scripted Television Chris Selak. "She's an incredibly talented multi-hyphenate, and we look forward to working with her on premium, breakthrough original programming for our television slate."

DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) has served as the disruptive force in pay-TV, driving innovation and value on behalf of consumers. DISH recently announced it is advancing in-room entertainment by integrating Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) into its EVOLVE® television solution for hotels in the coming months. Guests staying in hotels powered by EVOLVE will be able to access their personal Netflix account directly from their room's TV. DISH is the first major pay-TV provider in the U.S. to integrate Netflix into a customized TV solution for the hotel industry. Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 125 Million memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. "With DISH's EVOLVE, Netflix members can sign into their Netflix account on the hotel room TV in the coming months to watch their favorite Netflix series, documentaries and feature films, or discover new ones, just like they do at home," said Paul Perryman, Vice President of Business Development at Netflix. "Hotel guests who don't have a Netflix subscription can easily subscribe via the Netflix app on EVOLVE and immediately begin enjoying titles from our wide assortment of content."

TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA) is an innovative media company that serves the greater good of its communities. TEGNA Inc.'s "Daily Blast LIVE" recently announced that new hosts Beau Davidson, Stefanie Jones and Brandon London have joined first-year hosts Erica Cobb, Al Jackson, Sam Schacher, Jeff Schroeder and Tory Shulman on the daily news and entertainment program. DBL has also picked up a new TEGNA station, KFMB in San Diego, along with 14 additional non-TEGNA markets, including WMUR in Boston, WMYD in Detroit, WMAR in Baltimore, WRTV in Indianapolis, KMCI in Kansas City, WTMJ in Milwaukee and WWBT in Richmond. Beginning Sept. 10th, 2018, DBL will be available in a total of 50 markets. "'Daily Blast LIVE' is singular in the daytime U.S. television landscape. No other show reflects what's happening in the world around us live and in real time through social crowdsourcing and engagement with our 'DBL Nation' throughout each day," said Lisa Kridos, Vice President of Original Programming and Development, TEGNA. "We're excited to add three dynamic hosts to our charismatic first-year cast. Each one of our hosts is fearless in their ability to keep track of what's trending while broadcasting live across platforms. It's challenging, and they make it look easy."

Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNK) is a leading domestic and international motion picture exhibitor, operating 539 theatres with 5,998 screens in 41 U.S. states, Brazil, Argentina and 13 other Latin American countries as of June 30th, 2018. Cinemark Holdings, Inc. recently announced that Sept. 22 will be the opening date of its in-theatre, hyper-reality experience in partnership with The VOID, the critically acclaimed global leader of fully immersive location-based experiences, and ILMxLAB. "Imagine physically stepping into a new world, being transported into a story you see on screen. Now at Cinemark with The VOID, you can," said Craig Watson, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of The VOID. "We are excited to open our first in-theatre location in the U.S. with Cinemark, allowing guests to go from enjoying a film in the theatre, to playing an active, starring role in one of The VOID's immersive experiences."

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