Pinewood studio blockbuster visitor attraction set to create 3,500 jobs

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Thur, 17th Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

The company said the strategy comes at a time when the need for investment in economic recovery has never been higher.

Film studio Pinewood has announced a £450m expansion, including a blockbuster visitor attraction, which it says could create around 3,500 new jobs.

The announcement, details of which were first reported by Sky News, “comes at a time when the need for investment in economic recovery has never been higher”, the company said.

Pinewood, which has played host to many instalments of the James Bond and Star Wars franchises, will open Screen Hub UK on a 77-acre site next to the existing studio.

It will include a 350,000 sq ft “film-inspired international visitor attraction” called Pinewood Studio Experience.

Pinewood group chairman Paul Golding said: “We have been looking at a visitor experience for some time and feel that now is the right moment to bring it forward.

“The project will strengthen UK film and bring much needed jobs and spending.”

Pinewood said it would start consultation on its planning application for the scheme next week.

Its new visitor attraction is likely to feature many of the most famous films made at the site during its 84-year history.

Among those at least partly shot at Pinewood during the last year have been Rocketman, Mary Poppins Returns, 1917, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and the 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die, which is due to be Daniel Craig's final outing as 007.

The latest instalment of the Jurassic World series is currently filming at the Buckinghamshire studio.

Pinewood's plans will deliver a huge shot in the arm to a film industry which, like many others, has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Filming across the television and movie sectors has been postponed or cancelled during the last six months, resulting in substantial delays to film releases and in turn dealing a heavy blow to the finances of cinema chains around the world.

Other big investments in UK film production capacity include a state-of-the-art film and TV studio being developed by Sky, the immediate owner of Sky News, at Elstree.

UK Broadcaster ITV set to be expelled from the FTSE 100 after its shares dropped

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Mon, 31st Aug 2020) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – British broadcaster ITV (ITV.L) is set to be expelled from the FTSE 100 .FTSE blue-chip index after its shares have fallen by about 60% this year, hit hard by an advertising slump triggered by the coronavirus crisis.

Index manager FTSE Russell placed ITV on its “indicative FTSE 100 deletions” list on Aug. 26 and said it would make a final announcement on Wednesday, based on the data collected at Tuesday’s close.

ITV's market capitalisation, by far the weakest in the benchmark index, amounts to 2.4 billion pounds ($3.19 billion) and is smaller than those of dozens of companies in the mid-cap FTSE 250 index .FTMC.

Given the huge valuation gap between ITV and its FTSE 100 peers, there is little doubt the broadcaster will be demoted to the FTSE 250.

Retailer B&M European Value Retail (BMEB.L), worth 4.7 billion pounds on the London stock market, was indicated as the only likely entrant to the FTSE 100 by FTSE Russell.

ITV, the UK’s biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, this month reported a 43% decline in advertising revenue in the second quarter. That fuelled a 17% decline in external revenue in the first six months of the year.

Advertising revenue in July was down 23%. While that represented an improvement from the 42% drop in June, the outlook remains uncertain, ITV said.

The broadcaster, the studios unit of which produces popular dramas such as “Coronation Street” and “Emmerdale”, did not provide financial guidance for the year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic limits the company’s ability to create and show new content and thus attract advertising, although the longer-term trend of competition from streaming services and rival broadcast technologies is a huge factor as well”, Russ Mould, an analyst at broker AJ Bell, said in a note last week.

Shares in ITV were not trading on Monday because of a UK public holiday but closed at 60.72 pence on Friday.

Reporting by Julien Ponthus

=

Chadwick Boseman “Don’t GIVE UP on Your DREAMS!” – Top 10 Rules for Success

Source: Evan Carmichael

Grab a snack and chew on today's lessons from a man who went from writing a play in high school after a classmate was shot and killed to playing Jackie Robinson in movie 42 and being the Black Panther. He's Chadwick Boseman and here's my take on his Top 10 Rules for Success!

==

How The Super Rich Do Horse Racing On Another Level

Source: CNBC

The super rich do everything differently – especially when it comes to horse racing. The Breeders’ Cup is “the richest two days in sports,” with $27 million in prize money up for grabs!

About Secret Lives of the Super Rich: The series unlocks the mansion gates and lifts the velvet ropes to score your exclusive VIP access to a world inhabited by the wealthiest people on the planet. Secret Lives of the Super Rich… you can't afford to miss it!

William Hill to repay £24m in furlough funds and shut 119 stores

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 5th Aug 2020) London, Uk – –

Bookmaker reports first-half profit of £141m and fast recovery in takings from sports betting

The bookmaker William Hill has seen a fast recovery in takings after sports betting resumed, but announced it would not reopen 119 branches closed during the coronavirus lockdown.

The group said it had redeployed the majority of staff at the branches that are closing and only 16 redundancies were expected. The latest closures, representing about 8% of stores, leave William Hill with 1,414 branches.

It plans to repay the government £24.5m in funds claimed to support furloughed workers’ wages, after revealing profits of £141m in the first six months of 2020, thanks to a £200m VAT refund.

Investors were encouraged by the results, with William Hill’s share price closing up 9% 128p.

Bookmakers were forced to close all their branches during the lockdown, with William Hill furloughing 7,000 staff. The absence of major sport around the world led to a big drop in betting activity, and William Hill’s revenues more than halved in the opening weeks of the UK lockdown.

However, large bookmakers’ online operations helped to cushion the blow. People who gamble regularly online did so just as often or more frequently during the lockdown, despite the lack of sporting fixtures, according to a survey by the polling company Survation in April.

The return of sporting competition such as Premier League football on 17 June meant much of the revenue affected by lockdown was delayed rather than lost, William Hill said.

Total revenues for the half-year were down by nearly a third to £554m, but revenues were flat year on year when adjusting for closed stores in the last two weeks of June. Favourable sporting results such as the outsider victory in the Derby also helped boost profits.

Ulrik Bengtsson, William Hill’s chief executive, said he was delighted by the company’s performance and wanted to pursue further growth for the business, particularly in the US as sports betting is deregulated there.

“Our trading was strong before Covid-19, we controlled costs effectively during lockdown and we have recovered well post-lockdown, with good performances in our online businesses throughout the first half,” Bengtsson said.

By Jasper Jolly

==

How Nintendo Switch became one of the most popular consoles on the market

Source: CNBC

Over the last 40 years, Nintendo has provided countless hours of video gaming entertainment. But with the rise of the Switch, the company took a huge step forward. And during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, finding one was harder than finding toilet paper. Here’s how the Nintendo Switch took the gaming world by surprise and became one of the most popular consoles on the market.

Why The New Media Loves Fortnite

Source: Alux

This Alux video we'll try to answer the following questions: What is Fortnite? How do you spell Fortnight? Why the new media loves fortnite? Why do guys like fortnite so much? Why is fortnite so bad? Why fortnite is good for your brain? Why is fortnite addicting? Is fortnite a sin? Does fortnite make you dumber? Is fortnite ok for 10 year olds? Should fortnite be banned? Is fortnite OK for 7 year old? Can fortnite damage your brain? Is fortnite OK for 9 year olds? Does fortnite make you smarter? Is fortnite OK for kids? Who is the best fortnite player? How long should you play fortnite a day? Why is fortnite bad for kids? What game is the most addictive? How do I quit fortnite? Is fortnite dying? Is fortnite game Dangerous? s Minecraft better than fortnite? What does fortnite stand for? Is fortnite suitable for 12 year olds? Is fortnite appropriate for 11 year olds? Why is fortnite so successful? Is Roblox bad for kids? Why is fortnite a 12? What is the concept of fortnite? What is the point of fortnite? Is fortnite OK for kids? What kind of game is fortnite? Should a 7 year old play fortnite? Is fortnite shutting down in 2020? Why is fortnite so addictive? Is fortnite dying? How do you get free V bucks? Is fortnite good for your brain? Why is fortnite shut down? What does whisper mean in fortnite? Is Roblox better than fortnite? Why is fortnite a 12? Is Roblox bad for kids? Is fortnite OK for 9 year olds? What is fortnite's birthday? How can you tell a fortnite bot? Is Ninja still good at fortnite? How much does Ninja make a year? How much is the Ninja skin on fortnite? What is Ninja's fortnite name? Who is best fortnite Player 2020? Does Fortnite pay ninja? Who is the richest gamer? Who is the highest paid gamer? How much is Ninja worth? Is Ninja still making money? How much did Microsoft pay for ninja? Who is the best fortnite player? Is fortnite losing popularity? Does Ninja play warzone? What team is Ninja on in fortnite? Why is fortnite banned in China? What country is fortnite banned in? Who has the most kills in fortnite?

Virgin Media and O2 join forces to create a £31bn telecoms giant

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Thur, 7th May 2020) London, Uk – –

The companies expect to make big savings through the new joint venture and plan to invest £10bn over five years.

Virgin Media and O2 are to join forces in a UK merger that will create a £31bn company, their parent firms have announced.

US media firm Liberty Global, the owner of the Virgin Media cable TV and broadband provider, said the agreement would unlock a £10bn investment in the UK market over five years once completed.

That was anticipated next year, subject to regulatory clearances.Why O2 and Virgin Media are connectingWhy O2 and Virgin Media are connecting

Mobile provider O2 is part of the Spanish firm Telefonica.

Its chief executive, Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, said: “Combining O2's number one mobile business with Virgin Media's superfast broadband network and entertainment services will be a game-changer in the UK, at a time when demand for connectivity has never been greater or more critical.

“We are creating a strong competitor with significant scale and financial strength to invest in UK digital infrastructure and give millions of consumer, business and public sector customers more choice and value.”

Telefonica and Liberty, which will have an equal share in the new joint venture, told investors that the tie-up would also realise savings of more than £6bn a year by the fifth year.

There was no detail on whether that signalled job losses ahead.

Both expect to receive net cash proceeds on completion of the deal – with almost £6m for Telefonica and £1.4bn for Liberty.

It allows the Spanish firm to squeeze cash from O2 and keep a presence in Britain, while Virgin gains access to its own wireless network, saving the money it has spent until now on leasing capacity for its mobile operations.

Telefonica shares were 3% up in early Thursday deals.

O2, which sponsors the England rugby team and several major music venues, has more than 34 million connections to its network.

Apart from the core O2 brand, it also partners with mobile virtual network operators Sky Mobile – which has common ownership with Sky News – giffgaff and Lyca Mobile, as well as owning half of Tesco Mobile.

Virgin Media has some 5.3 million broadband customers – many of whom also buy mobile and pay-television services from the company.

By James Sillars

Netflix new subscribers double amid Covid-19 lockdown

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 22nd Apr, 2020) London, Uk – –

The streaming giant added 15.77 million new customers, with shows such as Tiger King and Love Is Blind drawing big audiences

Dominic Rushe and Benjamin Lee in New York

Netflix has more than doubled the number of new subscribers it expected in the last three months as more people signed up amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The streaming giant announced on Tuesday that it added 15.77 million new paid subscribers globally, well above the 7 million it had expected, as people worldwide sought ways to entertain themselves during the lockdowns.

The boost led to huge audiences for the service’s hit shows. About 64 million subscribers watched Netflix’s Tiger King documentary as much of the world went into lockdown to avoid the pandemic. Other hits included the reality show Love Is Blind, which attracted 30 million subscribers in the last three months, and its original film Spenser Confidential (85 million).

The company acknowledged that the huge surge in membership and audience was probably temporary.

“In our 20+ year history, we have never seen a future more uncertain or unsettling. The coronavirus has reached every corner of the world and, in the absence of a widespread treatment or vaccine, no one knows how or when this terrible crisis will end,” the company said in a statement.

“At Netflix, we’re acutely aware that we are fortunate to have a service that is even more meaningful to people confined at home, and which we can operate remotely with minimal disruption in the short to medium term. Like other home entertainment services, we’re seeing temporarily higher viewing and increased membership growth.”

Mihir Haria Shah, head of broadcast at Total Media, said the long-term impact of the coronavirus on Netflix’s business remained to be seen.

“There is no doubt that Netflix has been helped by the viral sensation that is Tiger King and also new seasons of Narcos Mexico, Ozark and Money Heist – which are all Netflix originals favourites. The challenge in continuing to grow and also preventing churn is likely to be how long they can sustain dripping in new series with production studios shut for the foreseeable future,” he said.

Netflix, like many other studios and networks, has shut down production on original content since 13 March. The streamer has since set up a $100m fund for workers whose jobs have been directly affected. Recent weeks have seen a number of large acquisitions, including the Paramount action comedy The Lovebirds and Enola Holmes, with Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown as the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes.

“While we’re certainly impacted by the global production pause, we expect to continue to be able to provide a terrific variety of new titles throughout 2020 and 2021,” the statement said.

UK Tourism Industry Brace For £2bn Hit From Coronavirus Lockdown Over Easter

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Fri, 10th April 2020) London, Uk – –

Destinations such as Weston-Super-Mare would normally expect a surge in visitors over the four-day Easter weekend.

The UK tourism industry is braced for a £2bn hit from the coronavirus lockdown over the Easter holidays as popular destinations urge people to stay away despite the devastating impact their absence will have on businesses.

Hotels, holiday parks, pubs, restaurants and leisure destinations have all been forced to close to comply with lockdown regulations that will cover the Easter weekend, and are expected to continue for what remains of the school holidays.

Tourists, including second home-owners have been urged to stay away from coastal towns and national parks in order to reduce the risk of spreading infection and putting pressure on local health services.

In Weston-Super-Mare, which would expect up to 200,000 additional visitors a day over Easter, officials are urging people to stay away despite the damage it will do to the local economy.

Caroline Darlington, tourism manager of the local council, said: “My job and my colleagues is to get people to come here, so it goes against every bone in our body to say stay away, but we have to.

“And then we're going to have to think in the future about how we're going to help businesses get back on our feet.”

The lockdown measures will have a disastrous economic impact for many, particularly in coastal and rural areas that rely on tourism, an industry estimated to support 200,000 businesses employing 3.1 million people.

Figures compiled by VisitBritain for Sky News show that domestic tourism generated an average of more than £2bn in March and April, the months that cover the Easter holidays, in the last five years, with £2.1bn spent in 2019.

That level of spending was likely to have been repeated this year.

The Easter holiday weekend is typically a peak for UK travel and, with good weather forecast and the four-day weekend falling in the middle of the two-week state-school holiday, millions of people would have been on the move.

Last year 7.4 million people said they were considering travelling over the Easter weekend, and VisitBritain data shows that on average more than 9 million took a domestic holiday during March and April in each of the last five years.

In 2019, 10.1 million people took a UK break during the two months.

Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset, famous for its vast expanse of sands, is the site of the second-largest number of static caravans in the UK after Skegness.

Alan House, director of the family-owned Unity Holiday Park, said the lockdown has had “horrendous” consequences for his business.

He has six-figure monthly outgoings before wages and no revenue for the foreseeable future.

The park has been in the family for three generations but none has faced a challenge like this.

“We have had to furlough 170 staff, but I have 200 acres of grounds and a golf course that need cutting, and privately-owned caravans that need security,” Mr House said.

“This has come at the worst possible time, Easter can be our busiest week of the year.

“Clearly, we can't keep going forever, obviously we're grateful for what support there is but we're going to need more support, the tourism industry is going to need more support, it's vitally important to the UK economy.”

A government spokesperson said support was on offer to tourist businesses.

“We are supporting the tourism industry through this challenging period through the huge government support package for businesses and workers that includes a twelve-month business rates holiday and grants for companies,” the spokesperson said.

“We are also in regular contact with the industry to help inform our ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“As soon as it is safe to do so we will encourage people to book a great British holiday.

“However at the moment it is of critical importance for people to stay at home – especially over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend – to protect the NHS and save lives.”

By Paul Kelso

Disney’s new video streaming service racks up 50m subscribers in five months

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Thur, 9th April 2020) London, Uk – –

By Justin Harper Business Reporter

Disney's new video streaming service has reached more than 50 million subscribers since its launch five months ago.

When Disney Plus last announced viewing figures in February it had reached 26.5 million subscribers.

Since then, this has almost doubled as more people are online and stuck at home due to virus clampdowns.

Disney Plus, which rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime, rolled out to the UK and other parts of Europe last month.

All three streaming platforms are enjoying a huge boost in viewing figures as cinemas remain closed and people are forced to stay indoors.

Disney Plus originally set a target of 60 million to 90 million subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024, when it was first launched in the US in November.

“We're truly humbled that Disney Plus is resonating with millions around the globe,” said Kevin Mayer, a Disney spokesman. When asked what effect lockdowns and stay-at-home restrictions were having on subscription numbers, Disney refused to comment.

“With movie theatres closed across many key international markets, streaming has instantly become a go-to source for quality in-home entertainment and these services will continue to benefit with a boost in subscribers for a significant time to come as many consumers alter their habits,” predicts Gitesh Pandya, editor of BoxOfficeGuru.com.

Disney Plus subscription figures were given a boost by its audience in India, where the streaming service was launched last week. Disney reported eight million new subscribers in India.

After the announcement on Wednesday evening, shares in Disney jumped 7% on Wall Street. The entertainment group has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, having to close its theme parks across the globe.

It has also had to stop production on new content and delay releases for potential blockbusters like Mulan and Black Widow.

Disney Plus is still behind both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in terms of global subscriptions. Netflix added almost nine million net global subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2019. At the end of last year, it had over 167 million paying subscribers globally. Amazon now has more than 150 million viewers.

But Disney Plus, which includes films and TV shows from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic, has grown much faster than its rivals.

“What Disney Plus has achieved in five months took Netflix seven years,” said Chris Fenton, a movie industry analyst. “Disney Plus possesses all the ammunition needed to surpass Netflix, and it also has the potential bazooka of China. If any American streaming service can gain access to the 1.4 billion people of China, it's Disney Plus.”

15 Luxury Services RICH PEOPLE Use

Source: Alux

This Alux video we'll try to answer the following questions: Why do the rich have personal assistants? What services do rich people use? What are some services rich only rich people can afford? What are some things only rich people have access to? What luxury services do rich people use daily? Why do the rich have executive assistants? Why do the rich need assistants? Why do the rich have personal chefs? Do rich people need private security? Why do the rich have private security? Do rich people have their own PR? How do rich people handle cyber security? Do rich people have their Wealth managed by private companies? Do rich people have private jets? Why do rich people need private jets? Do Rich people have access to private airstrips? What is a personal item tracker? Who needs a personal item tracker? How do rich people get their own personal item tracker? What does a personal item tracker dor? Do rich people have personal trainers? Do riche people have personal doctors? Do rich people have private ambulances? How do rich people get medical care? Do rich people meditate? Do rich people have their own private coach? Why do rich people go to country clubs? Only rich people have access to coutry clubs? Why do rich people need private groups and country clubs? There are any elite nannies for the rich? How can one be a elite nanny? Why do rich people get elite nannies? Do rich people have secret identitties? Do rich people have multiple passports? Do rich people have multiple identitties? How do rich people date? How do rich people get a personal life? Do rich people only date rich people? Do i need to be rich to date a rich person? Why do rich people only date other rich people? What services do the rich need? What do you need when you're rich? How can you tell if someone is rich? What is the most expensive service for the rich? What services billionaires need?

Chief Cineworld shareholder sells partial stake as stock slumps

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Mon, 9th Mar 2020) London, UK —

(Reuters) – Cineworld said on Monday its biggest shareholder would sell almost a third of its stake in the British cinema operator to refinance a margin loan, after shares in the company sank to a 7-year low on bets audiences would collapse in the coronavirus crisis.

Shares in the company (CINE.L) sank by a fifth in value in early trading, following news of the sale by Global City Theatres (GCT) of a 7.9% stake for about 116 million pounds to buyers including Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.

Cineworld, whose shares have sunk 50% this year amid a surge in bets by stock market short sellers against it, said the proceeds of the sale would be used to restructure GCT’s existing margin loan facility with Barclays and HSBC into a new secured corporate loan.

The new secured facility had no margining provisions or connection to the price of the company’s shares, it said.

Shares in both GCT and its parent company Global City Holdings B.V. are held in trusts for the children of Cineworld Chief Executive Officer Moshe Greidinger and deputy CEO Israel Greidinger.

Cineworld stressed that both men remained committed to Cineworld as members of its management team. After the sale GCT will still hold 275 million shares, or 20% of the company.

According to Reuters calculations based on the details given by the company, GCT sold its stake at around 107.4 pence per share, already a discount to Friday’s close, after the company’s stock was hammered by news that the latest James Bond premiere would be delayed by seven months.

By 0814 GMT on Monday, shares were trading down 23% from the previous close at 87 pence.

An affiliate of GIC bought 62 million of the 108 million shares sold in the deal, representing around 4.5% of Cineworld’s share capital, the company said.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar

Sky struck deal with Disney+ to offer streaming service to millions of homes

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 3rd Mar 2020) London, Uk – –

Service to launch in Europe this month will be integrated into Sky Q’s set top box

Disney has struck a deal with Sky to make its new streaming service available to more than 13m UK households.

Disney+, which is due to launch in the UK and much of western Europe on 24 March, is to be integrated into the Sky Q box, to be followed by Sky’s streaming service Now TV in the coming months. Disney+ is also being made available as a standalone app.

The multi-year deal is structured in a similar way to Sky’s deal with Netflix, which includes Netflix programming being included in the Sky TV and on-demand service that was renewed last month.

As part of the new deal, content from Fox, such as The Simpsons, and Hollywood films including Le Mans ’66 and Terminator: Dark Fate, will continue to be available on Sky TV and Sky Cinema as well as Disney+. Disney paid $71bn (£55bn) for Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox last year.

“We’ve built a strong partnership with Disney over three decades and we’re pleased that our customers in the UK and Ireland can continue to enjoy their world-class content – all in one place on Sky Q,” said Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive of Sky.

Sky’s deal with Disney is non-exclusive, meaning Sky’s rivals Virgin Media and BT will be able to strike distribution deals.

“We are delighted that Sky is selling the Disney+ service on their platform and, along with our other distribution partners, will deliver exceptional reach at launch,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman of Walt Disney Company’s direct-to-consumer and international business.

BT-owned telecoms company EE is expected to strike a deal to be the exclusive mobile operator to offer Disney+.

“EE looks to be in prime position given its track record in securing key premium content partnerships,” says Paolo Pescatore, media and tech analyst at PP Foresight.

Disney+, which has been cut to £49.99 for an annual subscription as an introductory offer ahead of launch, will offer content including the $100m Star Wars spin-off series The Mandalorian, Pixar hits such as Toy Story and family favourites such as Frozen 2.

The initial Disney+ offering is significantly cheaper than Netflix, which charges £7.99 a month for its most popular package, and Prime Video, which costs £79 a year.

By Mark Sweney

3,000 jobs to be created by Blackhall film and TV studio in Berkshire

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com–Wed, 19th Feb 2020) London, Uk – –

A US-based firm says its first investment in the UK will be located outside Reading in Berkshire and operational in 2022.

A US company has announced plans to build a new film and TV studio in Berkshire, saying the £150m facility will create up to 3,000 jobs.

Blackhall Studios – based in Atlanta, Georgia – said its first foray overseas and into the UK market would deliver “the largest purpose-built film studio and digital creative hub complex in the UK”.

It added that several other opportunities were being considered in the country as clients including Disney and Universal – part of Sky News parent company Comcast – seek additional studio space.

The announcement was made two months after Sky revealed its own plans for a new 14-stage site beside the current Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire in a boost for the creative economy.

Netflix completed an agreement last year to create a production hub at Shepperton Studios.

Blackhall, which has hosted production on movies including Godzilla: King of Monsters' and Venom, said its planned UK studio space would be on the University of Reading-owned Thames Valley Science Park and be worth £500m to the economy once completed.

Of the 3,000 jobs it expects the project to create, half the number could be based at the new studios.

Chief executive Ryan Millsap said: “We are excited to be establishing a base in the UK.

“Blackhall is the global standard for entertainment production space and our US-based clients like Disney, Universal and Sony are all asking us to expand into the UK to meet their desire to create productions here.

“We are very excited about the prospect of investing in the UK creative industries as one of the most vibrant markets in the world.”

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “The UK and the US are each other's largest investors, and this announcement demonstrates the strength of our trading relationship, which benefits all sectors and regions in
the UK.

“Blackhall's commitment is a strong endorsement of our creative industry and the great creatives that work in UK film, and is set to deliver hundreds of new jobs in the area.”

By James Sillars

Cameo by Spanish crisp firm in Oscar-winning comedy thriller Parasite leads to sales boom

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 12th Feb 2020) London, Uk – –

Bonilla a la vista sees sales surge after its distinctive tins feature in Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar-winning comedy thriller

Parasite’s Oscar-night triumphs may have been celebrated mainly in its native South Korea and in the many outposts of the country’s diaspora, but the film has also been toasted on an industrial estate in north-west Spain.

The Galician town of Arteixo is home to a family-owned business that exports 40 tonnes of its crisps to South Korea each year, and whose products have won over more mouths thanks to an unexpected cameo role in Bong Joon-ho’s comedy thriller.

Bonilla a la vista, which has been making crisps and churros for almost a century, first realised something odd was going on last month when people began posting screen grabs of one of its distinctive blue-and-white crisp tins on social media.

It soon emerged that their products had cropped up in Parasite, appearing in a scene in which the infiltrating Kim family eat snacks and drink whisky in the living room of their wealthy employers, the Parks.

Bonilla’s crisps were already popular in South Korea, but their brief role in Parasite has led to them being feted by social media influencers. It has also resulted in a 150% surge in online sales, meaning more work for the company’s 100 employees.

“It was a total coincidence that the tin of crisps appeared in the film,” said a spokeswoman for Bonilla.

“We actually only found our about the tin being in the film through friends and customers who clocked it. It was a complete surprise, but rather a lovely one. Sales have gone up a lot but, oddly, it’s mainly been in Spain. Our distributors have asked us for more merchandise to meet the demand.”

Bonilla a la vista was founded in 1932 when Salvador Bonilla began travelling around Galicia to sell his crisps and churros at fairs.

Today, it produces about 540 tonnes of crisps each year, of which 60 tonnes are sold overseas – two-thirds in South Korea. A 500g tin costs €13 in Spain and €23 in South Korea.

Salvador’s son César, who started off frying crisps and churros and delivering them by motorbike, still heads the family business at the age of 87.

Things have changed since the days when he would be up all night frying before heading out first thing the next day to drop off the snacks at bars and cafes.

But even if Bonilla is as startled by his firm’s Oscar boost as anyone, he says his crisps have always spoken for themselves.

“We’ve always used good potatoes, good olive oil and sea salt – that gives them a great taste and texture,” he said.Advertisement

“Still, it was a huge surprise and you just can’t get better publicity than being in an Oscar-winning film. We export to 20 countries but we’ve never had a boom like this.”

The company’s Korean market opened up four years ago following a few fact-finding missions from would-be importers.

“They came over three or four times and we chatted and negotiated,” said Bonilla. “They visited a few factories but in the end, they went for this one. Ours were the crisps they liked and we became friends almost before we started doing business.”

Between colds and dialysis appointments, the businessman has not managed to see Parasite yet, but insists that he will. “I have to because it’ll be such a great moment.”

There are also plans to send “Mr Bong Joon-ho” a blue-and-white can or two to sit alongside his golden statues. “He certainly deserves them,” said Bonilla.

By Sam Jones in Madrid