UPDATE from Ontario Film Office Los Angeles Rep – December 22, 2017

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s been a relatively quiet week, though Hollywood is still reverberating with last week’s Disney-Fox merger announcement. The L.A. Times this week had an interesting feature examining whether Disney’s family friendly image would clash with the edgier, racier identity that Fox has cultivated over the years.



The Times also took a look at whether the Disney-Fox consolidation would create pressure for other studios to bulk up in order to compete. The story below looks at possible future consolidations and quotes one industry insider saying “This is clearly an arms race and these companies need to step up their game”.



It is widely believed that Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s assets was a hedge against the rising power of digital streaming services like Netflix and Amazon which are heavily vested in original content. Now it seems that Apple is not far behind: as detailed in Deadline below, three of Amazon’s top executives announced this week that they are leaving to help rival Apple continue to lay the groundwork for original programming.



The issue of diversity – or Hollywood’s lack thereof – continues to generate headlines and advocates for change were stunned this week when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have linked the state’s film incentives to diversity hiring by allocating up to $5 million for companies that hire female and minority TV writers and directors. As reported in Deadline below, Governor Cuomo called the state’s $420 million film incentives program “extremely oversubscribed” and noted that there is nothing in the budget to pay for the additional $5 million in spending called for in the diversity bill.



Finally this week, it looks like 2017’s box office numbers will fall about 2% short of 2016’s record setting $11.38 billion in ticket sales. As detailed in Variety below, the final numbers for 2017 are expected to come in between $11.1 billion and $11.2 billion.