UPDATE from Ontario Film Office Los Angeles Rep – April 6, 2018

Hollywood was abuzz this week over a visit from Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, in town to pitch the desert nation as a massive untapped opportunity, with a population of 32 million people, who are predominantly young, technologically savvy and largely deprived of local entertainment options. As detailed in the Los Angeles Times below, a number of deals were announced during the visit, including the announcement that AMC Theatres plans to open up to 100 theaters in 25 Saudi Arabian cities by 2030.



The tension level in CBS and Viacom merger discussions spiked dramatically this week. As reported in Variety below, both sides have staked out their positions on the valuation of Viacom and management plans for the combined company.



The MPAA released a wide-ranging study on world box office this week that showed global numbers for all films produced in every country reached a record high of $40.6 billion in 2017, up 5% from 2016. As detailed in Deadline below the study also found that domestic box office in the U.S. and Canada slumped 2% to $11.1 billion, down $300 million – or one solid blockbuster – from the year before.



Ontario stakeholders have had a lot of good news lately and this week was no exception.


Fresh from the success of The Shape of Water, Toronto’s favorite filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has signed a broad deal with Fox Searchlight. As detailed in the Hollywood Reporter below, the deal will see the filmmaker write, produce and direct live-action feature projects,including first up, The Quiet Boy, on which he will collaborate with local Oscar-winning producer J. Miles Dale.



Finally this week, additional details emerged on Bell Media’s acquisition of a majority stake in Toronto’s Pinewood Studios and the deal was lauded as an industry game-changer by Playback magazine. As detailed below, Pinewood will add five new stages – two at 15,000-square-feet, two at 18,000-square-feet and a 30,000 square-foot stage – as well as additional support facilities and production offices.