Buys rights from Sony for reported $30 million; Boyle still to direct
As a follow-up to a story we reported on last week, Universal Studios has officially bought the rights to the Steve Jobs biopic already in pre-production from Sony, which had placed the project in "turnaround" on Thursday. Universal is said to have paid Sony $30 million to transfer the picture to the latter's control, retaining director Danny Boyle and reportedly confirming actor Michael Fassbender to play the lead role. There is still no firm announcement on when shooting will commence.
Entertainment company 'pulls a Samsung' with similar TV spot
Apple's recent holiday ad, the critically-acclaimed "Misunderstood," apparently also has fans in the advertising community. A new ad for Universal Studios Orlando has taken the premise of the Apple ad -- a teenager on a family vacation who appears to be self-absorbed with their iPhone, but who turns out to have been busily documenting the trip -- and copied it with a sunnier theme park motif that so strongly resembles the original that even the background music is in the same style.
Agreement blocks Netflix from Universal content
HBO has signed a deal with Universal Studios that extends its exclusive rights to Universal Pictures' and Focus Features' films for another ten years. The extension prevents competing video-on-demand services such as Netflix from gaining access to content, keeping it on HBO's TV, mobile, and online services until the year 2022.
Walmart kicks of UltraViolet service, now in beta
Walmart has officially announced its UltraViolet conversion service, letting users digitize their existing DVD and Blu-ray movies. Viewers will have the ability to bring a movie into one of the more than 3,500 participating stores in the US and have their movies added to a Vudu account, after which they can stream it at any time.
Skype to bring first ads to Windows app
Skype, the VoIP and video calling service, has announced on Monday that it will for the first bring advertising to its Windows program. The first markets to do so include the US, the UK and Germany, with early spots coming from Groupon, Nokia, Universal Pictures, and Visa. These companies will advertise daily, and users will have the option to get in touch with the ad producer through a Click & Call button.