Reem With A View

"Names and attributes must be accommodated to the essence of things, and not the essence to the names, since things come first and names afterwards." – Galileo

Why did George Lucas sell Lucasfilm including STAR WARS franchise to Disney?

Yes, all Star Wars Fans are puzzled  (note the F in fans is in capital. This is deliberate as Star Wars Fans are almost like religious believers!)

Why did George Lucas suddenly sell away all rights to  Star Wars to DISNEY? And too add,  Indiana Jones?  And also my favorite visual effects company: Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) ? Just $4 Billion? Sounds small?

Not quite.

Being a cash plus  stock combo sale, Lucas has become the second largest independent shareholder of Disney, holding more than 2% equity. So ALL future profits of Disney from  Star Wars, Indy Jones series will CONTINUE to add to Lucas’ fat wallet, as Disney will make multiple reboots and sequels.

In addition, the sale was a master move by George Lucas in inheritance and estate planning according to experts:

Since none of Lucas’s three adopted children plan to take over his film empire, financial advisers say the strategy will save his heirs the the responsibility of managing their inheritance – and potentially going through the often long and fraught process of dividing it. “Mr. Lucas has obviously surrounded himself for years with world class legal, estate and tax advisers,” Wade Westhoff, a financial adviser based in Danville, Calif., says of the Disney deal. “This is a textbook example of exit planning for a private business owner.” (Lucas and a spokesman for LucasFilm were not immediately available for comment)

That Lucas struck a deal in 2012 may be no accident either, advisers say. Long-term capital gains tax from the sale of assets held more than one year are taxed at a rate of 15% for investors in the 25% income tax bracket or above (Lucas’s level), and zero for investors in the 10% or 15% bracket. Those rates are set to jump to 20% and 10%, respectively in January. “He probably wanted to take advantage of the lower rate on long-term capital gain while it’s certain,” says Bill Smith, managing director at CBIZ MHM, a national accounting and professional services provider.

Source:  Jedi Estate Planning

The Force… is pretty strong in George Lucas!

Filed under: Media & Entertainment, News, Business & Current Affairs, , , , , , , ,

AVATAR breaks TITANIC’S worldwide box office record

Breaking News (3 Feb 2010):  Brandon Gray of Boxofficemojo.com confirms that AVATAR has also broken TITANIC’s Domestic US box office record. Read his comments below:

Avatar has sailed past Titanic to become the highest-grossing movie of all time. In just 47 days, Avatar has grossed $601.1 million, while Titanic made $600.8 million in its entire run and took 252 days to cross the $600 million mark.

With this milestone, Avatar has completed the triple crown of box office gross records: first, it topped the foreign-only chart on Jan. 23, then it reigned over the worldwide chart (foreign plus domestic) on Jan. 25, and now, as of Feb. 2, it resides atop the domestic chart. Its foreign haul has risen to $1.474 billion. Add in domestic, and its worldwide gross stands at an incredible $2.075 billion.

Breaking domestic down, nearly 81 percent of Avatar‘s gross is from 3D presentations. Normal 3D accounts for over 64 percent of the gross, while IMAX 3D accounts for more than 16 percent. That leaves the 2D theaters with an over 19 percent share of the gross.

Check out Brandon Gray’s full report in Boxofficemojo.com here: AVATAR claims Highest Gross of All Time.

Update from Boxofficemojo.com (1 FEB 2010): AVATAR becomes the first movie to cross the $2 Billion mark.

James Cameron’s done it again! 12 years after he created Titanic which grossed an unprecedented $1.843 Billion in the box office, he has beaten his own record with the release of the  3D spctacle,  Avatar. The movie which took 5 years and $300million to complete, beat Titanic’s  “unsinkable” record  on Jan 26th.

Avatar’s global box office collections now stand at a Pandorian $2.039 Billion.

Brandon Gray’s  report with the 3D ticket breakup in Boxofficemojo.com is below:

In a mere 41 days, Avatar overtook Titanic to become the highest-grossing movie ever at the worldwide box office at $1.859 billion ($555 million domestic plus $1.304 billion foreign), compared to Titanic‘s $1.843 billion.

First, the foreign record fell on Saturday, and, by Sunday, Avatar was just $4.4 million behind Titanic. It then added $19.8 million on Monday to push it over the top for the worldwide record. Titanic‘s $600.8 million domestic record is the next in line, and Avatar is poised to pass it within two weeks. What’s more, Avatar is on track to cross the $2 billion mark worldwide by the end of the weekend.

While Titanic still holds the crown in 20 markets, Avatar is the top-grossing movie of all time in 24 markets: China, Russia, Australia, Spain, Hong Kong, Columbia, Czech Republic, Chile, Portugal, Singapore, Ukraine, Hungary, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Dominican Republic, Latvia, Serbia, East and West Africa, Qatar, Jordan, Jamaica and Bahrain. Avatar‘s also on the verge of claiming the all time records in South Korea, Denmark, Austria and New Zealand. However, the countries that are likely out of its reach include India, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Belgium and Finland, and it has a long way to go in France and the United Kingdom.

Avatar‘s 3D presentations have accounted for 72 percent or $1.35 billion of its total gross. Breaking that down, 3D’s domestic share is 80 percent, and its foreign share is 69 percent. That’s far and away the biggest 3D gross ever, and Avatar‘s effectively most people’s first sampling of the new-fangled 3D technology.

Let me add that in India (the land of Bollywood movies, where even big budget summer Hollywood action films usually struggle to get beyond $2-5 million), Avatar has grossed an astonishing $22, 276, 532. This is the biggest collection for any English movie in history of Indian box office. Only Indian movies have done better.

Those interested in Avatar’s country wise break up, please visit Boxofficemojo.com.

Interestingly, only TWO movies in history have crossed $1 Billion in the non-US markets: Titanic & Avatar, both directed by James Cameron. Avatar is on its way to become the 2nd movie after Titanic to gross $600 Million total in the US.

Check out the Boxofficemojo.com report below:

Avatar Box Office Gross

James Cameron's Avatar beats Titanic's box office record

James Cameron seems to be this generation’s George Lucas & Steven Spielberg roller into one!

Am quoting verbatim film critic Scott Mendelson’s blog post in the Huffington Post below, as it captures brilliantly how astonishing a feat this was by James Cameron:

I was sure it would never be done in my lifetime.  I called in the ‘Joe DiMaggio 56-game hitting streak’ of box office records.  But it has been done.  In just 38 days, James Cameron’s Avatar has surpassed the $1.843 billion that James Cameron’s Titanic amassed in its 41 weeks of theatrical play.  We can argue all we want about 3D prices and general ticket price inflation, but this is an incredible feat in in filmgoing era, let alone our splintered generation.  Today’s audiences have far more entertainment options to keep them out of the theaters.  Back in Christmas 1997 and Winter 1998, the Internet was barely in its infancy, bootlegs of any kind were a non-factor, and DVDs barely on the radar.  Just as no one expects the season finale of Lost to match the numbers for the finale of MASH, today’s moviegoers are far more divided and have far more entertainment options that they did even twelve years ago.  I don’t think anyone thought Titanic‘s worldwide record would be topped within a generation.  No one thought it would be done so quickly, and by the same filmmaker no less.  This is absolutely astonishing, all the more so for the fact that it’s not anywhere close to being finished.  While the domestic numbers may be curbed by the inevitable loss of IMAX and 3D screens, the international numbers (which rely far less on 3D and IMAX theaters) have no real ceiling at this point.  Avatar has grossed $1.304 billion in overseas markets alone.  There are only four other movies that have ever grossed even half that in overseas receipts.  Avatar has today grossed $1.859 billion in global grosses.  There are only eight other films that have grossed at least $929 million worldwide, or half that number. Who knows where this movie will stop?  Amazing…

Scott Mendelson

But guess which movies is the greatest in terms of sheer tickets sold (and adjusting for inflation)? Nope, its not Star Wars or ET or even Titanic.  Its the legendary civil war epic ‘Gone With The Wind’ with an estimated 200 Million+ tickets sold!  Check out Kyle Anderson’s quote in MTV.com:

Though “Avatar” takes the raw money title, “Gone With the Wind” remains the sales leader after numbers are adjusted for inflation. According to Box Office Mojo, the numbers become even more dramatic when you take into account the number of tickets sold. Though the statistics are loose, “Gone With the Wind” sold over 202,000,000 tickets during its various theatrical runs, which is 24,000,000 more seats than its nearest competitor moved (that would be the original “Star Wars”). For all its economic success, “Avatar” checks in way down the list with a respectable but not-even-close-to-threatening 76,000,000.

In terms of Inflation Adjusted World wide box office gross, Gone With The Wind’s $ 400 Million (Domestic US: $198,676,459 + Worldwide NonUS: $201,500,000 ) translates into $ 2.99 Billion or more than $1 Billion higher than Titanic and Avatar.

To be fair to James Cameron, Gone With The Wind’s Inflation adjusted number of $2.9 Billion may never be achieved.  Unlike in 1939, modern day audiences have lots of alternative entertainment options like Cable TV, Internet, DVDs, live sports and rock concerts to distract audiences.  Add to this massive piracy thanks to  DVD, VCD, Youtube and Torrent-P2P sites. Taking all these real constraints into account, Avatar’s record is as staggering as Gone With The Wind or Star Wars or ET’s box office record was those days.

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Indiana Jones 4

Its confirmed! Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will faceoff Indy against the Soviets!

Indiana Jones 4Blogged with Flock

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