Numlock News: June 18, 2018
2018 Box Office Is Incredible
The year-to-date box office is up 5.9 percent year over year, bolstered by strong performances from movies like "Black Panther," "Avengers: Infinity War" and new smash hit "Incredibles 2." That last entry pulled in $180 million domestic this past weekend, breaking a whole lot of records when you ignore the concept of currency inflation.
Rebecca Rubin, Variety
Attendance at U.S. comedy clubs is on the rise, in many ways fueled by Netflix's investment in paying for stand-up specials. Comedy club attendance — just 14.62 million in 2008 — has climbed to 18.32 million in 2017. Comedy talent scouts trying to find the next big streaming special have been scouring the club circuit as live comedy becomes a legitimately billion-dollar business.
Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter
Worst Defeated Season Ever
The Overwatch League is a professional esports league in its first season with 12 teams, each backed by an investment group that put up at least $20 million to field a promising squad. The regular season came to a close this weekend, but while the inaugural season has been extremely entertaining, one unfortunate record has already been set. The Shanghai Dragons notched the worst season in all of professional sports, a 0 win 40 loss debacle where they lost 120 more rounds than they won.
Samuel Lingle, Dot Esports, Dennis Young, Kotaku
Amazon appears to be singlehandedly dominating an entire new medium, with subsidiary Twitch blowing rivals out of the water when it comes to streaming live video game plays. Last quarter, according to a third-party analyst, the average number of people watching a stream on Twitch rose to 953,000 viewers from 788,000 the previous quarter. The closest rival to Twitch is YouTube Gaming, which averaged 272,000 concurrent viewers. According to Streamlabs, that is actually down from the previous quarter, when YouTube's figure was 308,000 average concurrent viewers.
John Herrman, The New York Times
Congratulations to Cristiano Ronaldo both on his World Cup hat trick and also for settling a Spanish tax evasion case by paying €18.8 million (about $21.8 million). The outcomes (respectively) ensured a 3-3 tie in Portugal's opening match against Spain and also definitively settled an accusation that Ronaldo evaded €14.7 million in taxes. Ronaldo will be both key to Portugal's chances of making a run for the cup and will also likely serve the two-year accompanying jail sentence on probation.
Emma Pinedo, Reuters
Federal prosecutors have brought criminal charges against Elizabeth Holmes, charlatan and founder of Theranos, the company that claimed to be a blood testing company but in the end was definitely actually not. She and her No. 2 Ramesh Balwani have been charged with defrauding investors, who collectively lost almost $1 billion on the allegedly bogus blood testing company. The criminal charges come three months after civil fraud charges against Holmes, Balwani and Theranos from the SEC led to Holmes neither admitting nor denying wrongdoing but agreeing to a ban from being a director of a public company for 10 years.
John Carreyrou, The Wall Street Journal
The NIH canceled a 10-year $100 million study on the effects of moderate drinking. The integrity of the study was jeopardized because $67.7 million in private funding overwhelmingly came from the alcohol industry. Given that the liquor business got a chance to weigh in on the design of the study and was convinced to pay for most of it, the NIH elected to scrap the whole endeavor.
William Wan and Lenny Bernstein, The Washington Post
It's actually very difficult if not entirely impossible to get DNA testing companies to delete or erase their customers' DNA samples from their databases. The direct-to-consumer DNA testing business is poised for a massive growth spurt according to industry forecasts, growing from $15 million in sales in 2010 to $99 million in 2017 and tripling to $310 million by 2022. There's gold in them there salivary glands.
Kristen V Brown, Bloomberg