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Entertainment

Sony Pictures Entertainment Swings To $628M In Full Year Profits, Up 28% Pre-Coronavirus

Spider-Man in Columbia Pictures’ SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME

UPDATE, writethru: Sony Corp reported its full year 2019 earnings from Tokyo this morning with a 28.4% dollar increase in profits at Sony Pictures Entertainment. The division recorded $628M in operating income, up from $489M the previous year. The significant hike, which is through March 31, 2020, just after the coronavirus pandemic had shuttered cinemas globally, is due to higher worldwide theatrical sales versus 2018 which included the strong performances of last summer’s Spider-Man: Far From Home and the later releases of Jumanji: The Next Level and Bad Boys For Life. Revenues in the Pictures segment were $9.32B in fiscal year 2019, versus $8.87B in the previous comparable period.

Sony/Marvel’s latest Spider-Man weaved a $1.31B web at the global box office while holiday sequel Jumanji: The Next Level scored $797M worldwide, and early 2020 threequel Bad Boys For Life cruised to $419M.

Also contributing are higher licensing revenues for TV productions, though all increases were partially offset by a decrease in sales for Media Networks primarily due to the impact of the channel portfolio review that was undertaken in the previous fiscal year. An increase in charges related to that review totaled 17B yen in the current fiscal year as compared to 12.8B in 2018. If removing the one time cost, profit at the Pictures division would have been $784M.

In reporting its full year figures, Sony noted that box office revenue has been severely impacted by the closure of movie theaters around the world amid the COVID-19crisis. The studio has not been able to release a portion of its already completed titles in theaters, moving a host of the slate into 2021. Production schedules of new features and TV shows are significantly delayed, and as a result, box office and revenues generated after theatrical release, including home entertainment and TV licensing sales, are expected to decrease over the next months.

Looking ahead, Sony said on an earnings call, “Theatrical release is always very important and because of the coronavirus impact, once the situation settles and we restart theatrical operations people may not come to theaters to view pictures so it may take some time. If that happens, we have to discuss new ways of releasing pictures and also we can use online and more technologies for live performances going forward.”

Overall, net income attributable to Sony Corporation’s stockholders was down 36% to 582.2B yen for the fiscal year. Given the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus situation, Sony did not make a forecast for consolidated and business segment results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. On the earnings call, a representative said a forecast can be expected in August this year, but that based on assumptions about the COVID-19 curve, each segment’s operating income may decline by at least 30%.

Sony said it has no loans due in 2020 and plenty of cash on hand (960B yen). On the call, Sony maintained it has sufficient liquidity to operate soundly and is looking at potential strategic investment opportunities in a post-coronavirus world.

Bye-Bye Coffins! These Organic Burial Pods Will Turn You Into A Tree When You Die

Coffins, tombstones, and orthodox funeral proceedings are the norm, but a company called Capsula Mundi is completely changing the way we look at burials.

When we originally wrote about this project (about a year ago), Capsula Mundi, a unique burial method, was in the early stages of development. Capsula Mundi is essentially a cultural project founded by Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel in Italy, who approach death and design in very different ways.

The designers wanted to emphasize “Nature’s cycle of transformation” and created an organic, biodegradable pod that actually transforms the body of the deceased into a tree. (Yes, you can now become a tree when you die!)

Once in the burial pod, the human body transforms into nutrients for the tree to help it grow. It basically works like this: first, the body is encapsulated in a fetal position and then buried in one of the pods, where either a tree seed or an actual tree is planted above the pod.

You would then pick the type of tree you want to become, similar to picking out your own coffin for you funeral, but better (morbid thoughts, I know).

Burial Pod

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“The body will be laid down in the Capsula in a fetal position before rigor mortis set in or after it passes,” said Capsula Mundi.

Rigor mortis arises at different times for each individual and has a duration of a few hours. After rigor mortis passes, the body will again become soft and malleable. Once the body is laid within the Capsula, it will be planted in the earth like a seed.”

The burial pod would then be planted in soil like a seed

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The burial pods are made from a starch plastic which does not prevent the natural decomposition of the capsule and allows the organic matter to transform into minerals, that will provide the earth with nutrients for vegetative organisms.

Essentially, these pods will transform cemeteries into forests where there would be entire memorial parks of trees rather than tombstones.

You would then be able to visit and care for the tree of your loved one. There are actually places in the US and in England where this type of green burial is catching on.

Here’s the process

The capsule is made from a starch plastic which is 100% biodegradable

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Once the pods and trees are planted, it’s creates a “memory forest.”

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Your loved ones would then be able to take care of your tree

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Manufacturing of the prototype of the Capsula for the body

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Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel with the artistic moke up of the Capsula for the body

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They are currently producing the Capsula Mundi urns for the ashes, while they need more time to verify and test the Capsula for the body. The urns are currently on sale on our web-site below.

Capsula Mundi Urn

How the Urn works

The urns are currently on sale on their website, and you can also check out more from this project over at their Facebook page.

Hopefully, within the next few years, graveyards will start to look like forests! You can check out even more cool burial methods here.

Mike Tyson declares ‘I’m back’ as he shows off hand speed and punching power

The rumors and call-outs have been flying since 53-year-old Mike Tyson announced his intention to return to the boxing ring to take part in exhibition fights. Everyone from New Zealand rugby star Sonny Bill Williams to Tyson Fury’s father to former Tyson rival Evander Holyfield have put their names in the mix as potential opponents. Tyson said he hopes the fights will raise money to “help some homeless and drug-affected motherf—– like me.”

Now, Tyson shared footage of some mitt work and the former heavyweight champion looks to still have a terrifying combination of speed and power.

Tyson concludes the video with a simple message, stating, “I’m back.”

Holyfield has been the most interesting potential opponent for Tyson’s exhibition return. The 57-year-old has also been pushing to get back in the ring for similar charitable fights and told Sky Sports, “I don’t know, you would have to ask him! I wouldn’t ask nobody to do anything they don’t want to do. But it’s for charity. If we can work something out that works for everybody, then it’s a win-win-win.”

Holyfield won the first meeting between the two by TKO in November 1996, a fight where he opened as a 25-1 underdog. Their rematch is the more famous of the pair of fights, with Tyson biting both of Holyfield’s ears before ultimately being disqualified.

SINGER BETTY WRIGHT DEAD AT 66

Betty Wright, a supremely talented R&B singer who popularized the phrase, “No pain, no gain,” has died. 𝕮𝖍𝖆𝖐𝖆 𝕶𝖍𝖆𝖓 @ChakaKhan

Calling all my #PrayWarriors | My beloved sister, Betty Wright @MsBettyWright, is now in need of all your prays.
“Que Sera, Sera | Whatever Will Be, Will Be”
In Jesus Name We Pray for Sister Betty
All My Love Chaka

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Wright’s cause of death was not announced when her niece confirmed the passing. Something was clearly wrong though because 2 days ago, Chaka Khan made a plea … “Calling all my #PrayWarriors. My beloved sister, Betty Wright @MsBettyWright, is now in need of all your prayers.”

Wright, whom some in the music industry called one of the most underrated singers of her time, was recently honored on TV One’s, “Unsung.”

Betty recorded so many songs, including her 1971 hit, “Clean Up Woman. She was only 18 when the song was released, and it turned out to be her biggest song ever. Other hits included “Let Me Be Your Lovermaker,” “Shoorah Shoorah,” “Tonight is the Night,” and “Where is the Love.”

Betty made a bold move in the ’80s, launching her own independent label … it had not been done before by a female artist. That’s when she recorded “No Pain (No Gain).” Ever heard that phrase? Later she recorded “Mother Wit,” and it went gold — the first time an African-American female singer went gold on her own record label.

Wright became an inspiration to so many singers, including Mary J. Blige, The Roots and Joss Stone. Wright performed with Joss on her song, “The Art of Love and War.”

In 2005 her 21-year-old son, Patrick, was shot and killed to death. She had 4 other children.

Betty was 66.

RIP

COVID-19 Got You (Locked) Down? Film Maker resource links to the rescue!

With the country deep into the COVID-19 lockdown, Heather Hale shares advice and links to emergency artist grants, free screenplay download resources and extended free-trial codes for streaming shows.

HEATHER HALE. posted APR 14, 2020

covid quarantine writer resources

Has the Virus Attacked Your Income?

Budget suddenly tightened because you’re sheltering in place?

The New York Foundation for the Arts has curated an exhaustive list of generous viral-crisis emergency grants for writers, actors, directors, artists, dancers, musicians and other artists. Check ’em out and see if you (or anyone you know) might be eligible for any of these financial sustenance resources.

Stir Crazy with Cabin Fever? Chompin’ at the bit to do something to further improve your craft? 

How about making the most of this “down time” by targeting your quarantine binge-watching and screenplay reading? Below are links to everything from development resources and entertainment industry education to just pure leisure distraction.

We write scripts because we love something (or many things) about storytelling, right? Now’s a great time to really discern and hone what you’re striving to capture and express by studying your project’s comparables and researching your genre(s). 

Note: None of these are affiliate links, they’re just here as a courtesy for your convenience.

Netflix: Fan Favorite Must See biopic ‘QUINCY’ Is Back

If you are an aspiring artist of any kind this is a must see. The film chronicles Quincy Jones humble beginnings to super stardom. He is a legend in every sense of the word. Check it out!

Little Richard, Founding Father of Rock Who Broke Musical Barriers, Dead at 87

Pianist-singer behind “Tutti Frutti,” “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “Long Tall Sally” set the template that a generation of musicians would follow

Little Richard, a founding father of rock and roll whose fervent shrieks, flamboyant garb, and joyful, gender-bending persona embodied the spirit and sound of that new art form, died Saturday. He was 87. The musician’s son, Danny Penniman, confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone, but said the cause of death was unknown. 

Starting with “Tutti Frutti” in 1956, Little Richard cut a series of unstoppable hits – “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up” that same year, “Lucille” in 1957, and “Good Golly Miss Molly” in 1958 – driven by his simple, pumping piano, gospel-influenced vocal exclamations and sexually charged (often gibberish) lyrics. “I heard Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, and that was it,” Elton John told Rolling Stone in 1973. “I didn’t ever want to be anything else. I’m more of a Little Richard stylist than a Jerry Lee Lewis, I think. Jerry Lee is a very intricate piano player and very skillful, but Little Richard is more of a pounder.” 

Although he never hit the top 10 again after 1958, Little Richard’s influence was massive. The Beatles recorded several of his songs, including “Long Tall Sally,” and Paul McCartney’s singing on those tracks – and the Beatles’ own “I’m Down” – paid tribute to Little Richard’s shredded-throat style. His songs became part of the rock and roll canon, covered over the decades by everyone from the Everly Brothers, the Kinks, and Creedence Clearwater Revival to Elvis Costello and the Scorpions.

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