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Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023

Movie Distributor Moves into Digital Comics

Cinedigm Corp. has been on a roll lately as it adds to its ever-growing streaming services. The Sherman Oaks distributor of entertainment content announced at the end of last month its acquisition of ComicBlitz, a digital comic book service that will provide access to about 10,000 digital comic books. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The transaction broadens Cinedigm’s content portfolio and will bring in revenues through licensing, subscriptions, advertising and distribution platform partnerships. Also, it could help accelerate the global expansion of the company’s over-the-top streaming business. The deal could generate more than $5 million in incremental digital revenue within 18 months to two years after it closes, which is expected to happen before the end of the year, the company said in a press release. ComicBlitz Chief Executive Jordan Plosky will join Cinedigm’s Digital Networks team to help execute the strategy. The company distributes comics to more than 130 countries, including such titles as “Star Trek,” “Transformers,” and “Bob’s Burgers.” Cinedigm Chief Executive Chris McGurk said he was confident that the deal will generate a strong internal rate of return. “It propels our business forward by dramatically expanding and strengthening our content and channel offerings across the fast-growing worldwide (streaming) ecosystem,” McGurk said in a statement. In October, the company announced that in early next year it would launch Bambu, a Chinese content streaming channel geared toward viewers ages 16 to 35. The channel will be available in a free, ad-supported version as well as a subscription video-on-demand model for $3.99 a month. Its aim is to expose U.S. audiences to Chinese entertainment beyond typical martial arts and period epics. The programming roster will include contemporary action epics, serial dramas, romantic comedies, music and reality series and educational programming ranging from instructional Chinese language courses to cultural cooking shows. Cinedigm Digital Networks President Erick Opeka said that young Americans are culturally savvy and receptive to the latest global trends. “Bambu allows these modern tastemakers to stay at the cultural forefront, introducing them to a roster of new series and up-and-coming artists that they can discover and show their friends,” Opeka said in a statement. The publicly traded Cinedigm reported for its fiscal second quarter a net loss of $3.5 million (-9 cents a share) on revenue of $13.7 million for the period ending Sept. 30. That compares to a net loss of $7.5 million (-60 cents) on revenue of $16.3 million in the same period a year earlier. Studio Tour The Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood has added props and costumes from two recent hit movies to the Stage 48: Script to Screen section of the tour. Additionally, a costume from the Burbank entertainment company’s upcoming “Aquaman” has also been included on the tour. Guests will see recreated scenes from “Crazy Rich Asians” and “A Star is Born” on Stage 48, a self-guided tour of an interactive soundstage exploring phases of the film and television production process. “Crazy Rich Asians” features the first all Asian-American cast in 25 years in a major studio production. The display features eight costumes and authentic props from the Jon M. Chu film. Fans of “A Star is Born” can see authentic gowns and costumes along with the handwritten lyrics to “I’ll Never Love Again,” the bedazzling guitar from The Bleu Bleu club and other props. “The iconic pieces and sets from our recent smash hits offer guests an intimate view of these important films,” Gary Soloff, director of marketing for the tour, said in a statement. “These additions highlight Warner Bros.’ commitment to providing our guests with an authentic experience that brings them closer to the stories they love on screen.” DC Universe: The Exhibit features the “Aquaman” costume with old-school orange armor. Audio Award Finalists The Cinema Audio Society announced the five finalists for its Student Recognition Award. Society President Mark Ulano said the Burbank organization believse strongly in fostering the next generation of sound professionals. “The Student Recognition Awards Committee diligently reviewed and evaluated all the applications to determine these five outstanding students who represent some of the brightest and the best sound professionals of the future,” Ulano said in a statement. The finalists are Maria Cecilia Ayalde Angel, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogata, Columbia; Allison Ng, USC; Bo Pang, Chapman University in Orange; Anna Wozniewicz, Chapman University; and Kaylee Yacono, Savannah College of Art and Design, in Savannah, Georgia The society chooses students for the award enrolled and in good standing in a bachelor’s or master’s degree program at an accredited college or university The awards ceremony will take place Feb. 16 at the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel. Staff Reporter Mark R. Madler can be reached at (818) 316-3126 or mmadler@sfvbj.com.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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