Tag Archives: Finance

Disney Buys 20th Century Fox & 20th Century Fox Television

The Walt Disney Company has purchased 21st Century Fox, including the 20th Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and international TV businesses. The deal includes 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000, 20th Century Fox Television, FX Productions, Fox21, FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky, and Endemol Shine Group.

The deal doesn’t include the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network. Those will be spun off into a newly-listed company.

The acquisition will include popular entertainment properties including X-Men, Deadpool, The Fantastic Four, Avatar, and The Simpsons.

It has also been revealed that The Walt Disney Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger has agreed to continue in the position through the end of calendar year 2021.

You can read the full press release HERE.

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How To Be Entertained On A Budget

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We spend a lot of money each year in our efforts to be entertained. According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spent $2,482 on entertainment in 2013. That figure seems pretty steep, but there are some things that we can do in order to reduce the amount of money we spend in our own households.

Discounted Movie Tickets

Everyone wants to see the hot, new movie as soon as it premieres on the weekend, but that is also the most expensive time to see a film at the cinema. You can save a little cash by waiting until the weekend is over, as midweek prices are generally quite a bit lower. Most movie theaters also offer “early bird specials” wherein you can get a deeply discounted ticket for the first showing of the day.

An added benefit of going to the movies early in the day is that you have your choice of seating since the theaters aren’t as packed as the more popular late night showings. You can even get these savings when you purchase your tickets in advance through sites like Fandango.

Have a Lunch Date

Another benefit of going to the movies early is that you can hit your favorite restaurants for lunch instead of dinner. The lunch menu at restaurants is typically much more affordable than the dinner menu. Impress your date by taking her to a “fancy” restaurant during lunch hours, it won’t be as expensive as dinner, but you still get the brownie points of taking her somewhere nice. You also get to experience trying new cuisine that you may not have been able to otherwise afford.

Local Performance Theaters

You don’t have to see a show on Broadway to enjoy a live performance. May towns and cities have local theaters with affordable ticket prices; some are even free to attend! Look up your town’s community theater and see what they’re offering. They usually have several different performances to choose from, some of which are specifically geared towards families and children. Local performances can be a great, inexpensive way to get in some entertainment as a family. If you’re lucky enough to live near a major city, you can also look on Ticketmaster for events near you.

Decide to Stay In

Nowadays you don’t have to even leave the house to be entertained. Cable and satellite companies have comprehensive packages with hundreds of channels available. It is also less expensive than seeing new movies at the cinema when they come out.

Services like Directv on demand allow your whole family to rent new movies at one low price, which certainly saves over purchasing four separate tickets at the cinema. Plus, it’s very flexible. Unlike with theaters, where you have to work around their show times, with on demand you choose the time that is convenient for you and your family. There are often discounts online that can save you money on the overall service as well.

It just goes to show that you don’t need to break the bank in order to be entertained. There are many ways to save money on entertainment, like going to early bird movies, and eating out for lunch instead of dinner. Utilize your community for inexpensive and family friendly entertainment in the form of live performances, or small art galleries. Or stay in and enjoy entertainment from the comfort of your own home, surrounded by your friends and family. The choice is yours.

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Businessweek Cover Story: The Pow! Bang! Bam! Plan to Save Marvel, Starring B-List Heroes

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Kevin Feige is one of the more shrewd and successful studio heads of his generation. Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens today and is likely to do better at the box office than Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel’s first film about the patriotic superhero, which grossed $370 million.

He produced them both. And he’s considering a third. Feige’s films aren’t groundbreaking—they rely on epic showdowns at major landmarks, set to Carmina Burana-style angelic choruses, and the force of computer-generated graphics is strong within them. Still, they feel like a refreshment of the genre, so much so that instead of diminishing returns, Marvel’s sequels make progressively more money.

Read more of the Businessweek cover story HERE.

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Square Introduces New Thinner Credit Card Reader

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Today Square released the latest generation of the pioneering credit card reader that empowers millions of people to accept credit cards. The all-new Square Reader is built with custom-designed components for better performance, easier use and an elegant, thinner design.

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Features of the new Square Reader include:

– A custom magnetic readhead and spring. Thinner and more accurate than the alternatives, the readhead parses redundant data from credit cards to ensure successful swipes.

– Custom electronics in a single chip. The reader is powered by the phone into which it is plugged, eliminating the need for a bulky battery and increasing life and reliability.

– Improved communications protocols and a custom audio plug. The Square Reader is compatible with more devices than ever before.

– The thinnest mobile card reader on the market.

The new Square Reader is available today and is free to anyone that signs up for a Square account.

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Coin

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We carry tons of cards in our wallets — multiple credit cards, debit cards, bank cards, loyalty cards, membership cards, gift cards but Coin ($100) is looking to alleviate that.

This connected device (shaped and sized like a credit card) lets you scan all the cards you typically carry in your wallet, and then leave them at home.

Coin works just like a regular card, letting you swipe it the same way you normally would, and lets you easily swap which card you’re using at any given moment. Manage your collection of cards with their mobile app, and never lose track of your Coin thanks to low-energy Bluetooth alerts.


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Square Cash, New Service Enables Peer-to-Peer Payments Directly To And From Customers’ Debit Cards

Square, the company making commerce easy for everyone, introduced Square Cash; a new service that makes sending money as simple as sending an email.

With Square Cash, individuals no longer need to write checks, pay ATM fees or wait for forgotten loans from friends. Customers simply send an e-mail to the person they’re paying, and after the recipient enters their debit card number, money is directly transferred to their bank account.

Square Cash is free to send and receive, and there is no signup process. Funds are directly deposited into the recipient’s bank account, rather than held in a stored balance account.

To send their first payment, customers simply compose an email by filling in the following fields:

– To: [email address]
– Cc: cash@square.com
– Subject: $ [amount]
– Send!

Customers then receive an email prompting them to link a debit card to fund their first payment. To accept a payment, the recipient enters their debit card number once, and will automatically receive funds to their debit card thereafter.

Square Cash works from any e-mail client (such as Gmail, Yahoo, Mac Mail, Android Mail and Outlook), whether on a phone, tablet, or desktop. In addition to the e-mail service, Square also created a Square Cash app for iOS and Android. The app enables customers to keep Square Cash on their homescreen and send e-mail payments from a simple, customized interface.

Square Cash is only available in the U.S., visit www.square.com/cash for more information.

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Living Wallet

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The Living Wallet looks like a regular wallet — except for the small wheels on its sides. According to its official website, the wallet pairs with a bookkeeping app called Zaim, which works on the iPhone, Android, iPad and on the web.

Zaim has two modes, ‘Save Mode’ and ‘Consumption Mode’, depending on your balance and it does its part to see that you save money. If you spend too much, the “Living Wallet” will walk away from you to discourage excess spending and thus helps you save money.

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Apple iPhone Reuse + Recycle Program Starts August 30th

Apple’s new iPhone trade-in program, the iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program, will roll out in select Apple stores this Friday, August 30.

The program will roll out on a larger scale in September. Apple store employees will offer a value for an old iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S or 5 based on display and button quality, hardware and liquid damage, engraving, and if the device powers on and works normally. When trading in the device, customers will receive a gift card with the determined value amount to go toward the new iPhone. Customers will receive the old SIM card and employees will offer to setup the new iPhone.

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The Top-Earning Authors of 2013

Forbes’ just released this list of the world’s highest-paid authors. The top 10 are as follows. Click HERE to see more.

 1. E.L. James: $95 million

E L James - Book Signing

In addition to record sales from her sultry Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (bolstered by strong e-book sales), James earned an extra $5 million for the movie rights to the book, Forbes says. The film is slated to release in 2014.

2. James Patterson: $91 million

The world's best-selling author James Patterson

The prolific thriller author can boast that one out of every 17 hardcover books sold in the U.S. bears his name. Part of his secret to success? Releasing around 10 new books a year—often with the help of cowriters. When collaborating on a book, Patterson creates an outline, a cowriter does the first draft, and he finishes up with whatever other drafts are necessary. “Some people can’t get past the word cowriter,’’  Patterson told Parade last year. “Lots of shows and movies are written by teams, so it’s not such a strange thing.” But the Maximum Ride and Alex Cross author is no laggard: “I write seven days a week,” he said.

3. Suzanne Collins: $55 million

"The Hunger Games" Premiere - Los Angeles

Her Hunger Games series was already popular before the film starring Jennifer Lawrence became a sensation. But now, the former children’s television writer has reached the “Olympian heights of J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer,” Forbes writes.

4. Bill O’Reilly: $28 million

Political Commentator BILL O'REILLY

Who knew the Fox News pundit had become such a successful writer? His nonfiction books Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy soared to the top of best seller lists, and Forbes predicts his next, Killing Jesus, could be even bigger.

5. Danielle Steel: $26 million

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The romance novelist publishes an average of more than three books per year, totaling more than 600 million copies.

6. Jeff Kinney: $24 million

Wimpy Kid Author

Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is one of the most popular kids’ titles in recent memory. Plus, there have been three movie versions adapted from the books.

7. Janet Evanovich: $24 million

Janet Evanovich

The writer made her millions thanks to the New York Times bestselling Stephanie Plum detective series, as well as twelve romance novels and the Alexandra Barnaby books and graphic novels.

8. Nora Roberts: $23 million

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The longtime romance novelist has become “the queen of the e-book,” Forbes writes, with the 3.2 million digital copies sold in 2012 (she’s second only to E.L. James).

9. Dan Brown: $22 million

Dan Brown 'Inferno' Book Launch Event


Though Inferno, Brown’s latest Robert Langdon novel, didn’t reach the kind of success The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol achieved, it was still the best-selling book of the first half of 2013.

10. Stephen King: $20 million

Apple Store Soho Presents Meet The Creators: Stephen King, John Mellencamp And T Bone Burnett

The master storyteller has written best sellers and literary fiction that have made the leap to film, TV, and the stage. Still, he says it’s not the monetary rewards that keep him writing. “The major job is still to entertain people,” he told Parade in May. “That’s what we’re supposed to do—writers, filmmakers, all of us.”

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Twinkies & Other Hostess Snacks To Return To Store Shelves On July 15th

Twinkies Comeback

Hostess Brands, which is emerging from bankruptcy after the sale of its snack and bread brands, said last week it plans to resume the sale of its iconic Twinkies and other snacks next month.

Private equity firms Apollo Global Management (APO) and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. partnered to buy some of the bakery’s snack cakes for $410 million. The scaled-down Hostess Brands LLC includes Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, CupCakes and others.

When Twinkies went out of production and store shelves ran empty, boxes of the spongy yellow cake were the subject of bidding wars on auction sites like eBay.

In March Daren Metropoulos, principal of Metropoulos & Co., calmed fears of a long-term Twinkies shortage by saying the firm expected to have the cakes back on U.S. store shelves by the summer.

Hostess now expects to have its brands back on sale nationwide on July 15, calling it “the sweetest comeback in the history of ever.”

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“America wanted Hostess back—they wanted the original. Very soon consumers will once again be able to enjoy Twinkies, CupCakes and other great Hostess snack cakes,” Daren Metropoulos said in a statement. “A comeback by any other name could never be as sweet.”

On its website, Hostess has a digital clock counting down until the return of its snack icons.

Prices for the cakes will remain the same, company spokeswoman Hannah Arnold said. A box of 10 Twinkies was previously sold for $3.99.

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