Posts tagged with "Pixar"

Bob Iger, eBay, Rich Paul, and Chernin Group team up to buy 25% stake in toy maker Funko

Nay 9, 2022

A consortium including former Disney CEO Bob Iger, sports agent Rich Paul,  eBay, and the  film and television production company Chernin Group is buying a 25% stake in toy maker Funko, reports CNBC.

The investment, which is worth $263 million, or $21 per share, means Chernin will add two directors to Funko’s board. Chernin Group CEO Peter Chernin and Iger will serve as advisors to the board.

Shares of Funko were initially halted on the news, but late on Thursday, May 5, resumed trading after hours—jumping more than 20% to around $21 per share.

“We believe Funko is significantly undervalued in the public markets and at this highly attractive entry price provides a runway of opportunity and growth potential,” Chernin said in a statement Thursday. “There are many areas of identifiable growth across content, commerce, marketplaces, consumer products and technology that should drive substantial increases to Funko’s performance.”

In addition to his investment business, Chernin produces television and films through Chernin Entertainment, which launched titles such as “New Girl,” “Hidden Figures,” “The Greatest Showman” and “Ford v Ferrari.” Previously, he served as president and COO of News Corp; and chair and CEO of the Fox Group, where he helped greenlight “Titanic” and “Avatar,” two of the highest-grossing films of all time.

Iger is well-known in the entertainment industry for leading the charge at Disney to acquire Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and, most recently, 20th Century Fox. Many of the characters from franchises within these brands can be found as part of Funko’s product line.

Paul, CEO and founder of Klutch Sports Group and head of sports at United Talent Agency, is expected to bring his expertise in the sports and music sectors to help advance Funko’s product expansion in those areas. He represents LeBron James.

As part of the investment, eBay and Funko agreed to make eBay the preferred secondary market for Funko products. They will also team up for exclusive product releases.

“Funko sits at the intersection of pop culture, passion and collectibles, with one of the most engaged communities of enthusiasts,” said Stefanie Jay, eBay chief business and strategy officer, in a statement. “Building on the incredible appetite for Funko products on eBay, we look forward to what our companies can do together.”

Research contact: @CNBC

Layla the goldendoodle goes viral for her uncanny resemblance to Will Ferrell

February 10, 2022

Layla the goldendoodle has gone viral and, frankly, it’s for all the right reasons: The Houston doodle has taken Twitter by storm after her human, Twitter user @thomasthesquare, posted a photo of Layla in the car with the caption, “Someone said my dog looks like Will Ferrell and I can’t unsee it now,” reports Daily Paws.

se, Layla isn’t the first time Will Farrell has found a doppelganger. Back in 2014 someone pointed out the uncanny resemblance between the SNL alum and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, which culminated in a drum-off on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. And while that resulted in a nationally televised payoff, it’s not cuter than an adorable goldendoodle.

Thomasthesquare’s original tweet has been liked more than 264,100 times and earned 23,100 retweets, making Layla a star and prompting people to post photos of their own celebrity lookalike dogs and even casting a new Pixar film.

We don’t know about you, but we’re definitely here for Celebrity Dog Twitter. Keep ’em coming.

Research contact: @dailypaws

Nearly 200 companies join Time’s Up to reimagine the U.S. caregiving economy

May 24, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic revealed some alarming deficiencies in U.S. infrastructure—including caregiving policy. When schools across the country closed their doors, nearly 75 million children were suddenly stuck at home. And with quarantines limiting contact to close family members, the burden of caregiving was largely shouldered by mothers—over 2 million of them, many of whom were juggling full-time jobs, Fast Company reports.

But 24/7 motherhood is a full-time job, and that’s a lot to balance. According to a report from Harvard Business School, 33% of all U.S. employees have left a job during their career to handle a caregiving responsibility—a dire statistic backed up by the experience of families during the pandemic.

The National Women’s Law Center reported that women have lost more than three decades of progress in labor participation in just one year—and just the first month of the pandemic erased a decade of gains following the Great Recession.

In an effort to rewrite the story, the Washington, D.C.-based Time’s Up Foundation—which advocates for “safe, fair, and dignified work for women of all kinds”—is partnering with a coalition of nearly 200 companies to better support working caregivers. Major names include Spotify, Pixar, Levi Strauss, Verizon, JPMorgan Chase, and Care.com.

Together they’re forming the Care Economy Business Council, with the goal of reshaping workplace practices and cultural norms that force women to choose between flourishing professionally and tending to family. Members will also advocate for public policy that offers federally funded family and medical leave and affordable child and elder care.

“Monolithic solutions built for a 9-5 era must be replaced with flexible care options accessible to all regardless of where, when or how a family lives and works,” Care.com CEO Tim Allen said in a statement. “More than [$11 trillion] of unpaid care work is done annually, primarily by women and women of color, and the lack of care solutions is driving them from the workforce. To stem that tide and fuel female workforce participation, the government and business communities must work together to drive the change we need.”

For businesses, Fast Company notes, it’s not just ideological; it’s a matter of cold, hard cash. During the pandemic, nearly 50% of manufacturing companies struggled to reassemble staff—whether furloughed or new hires—because workers had to stay home to watch their kids.

And when employees are denied caregiving benefits, employers pay hidden costs in turnover and absenteeism, impacting the broader economy. According to a Time’s Up report, a $77.5 billion annual investment in paid leave over 10 years would translate to 22.5 million new jobs and $220 billion in new economic activity.

“Sadly, we saw millions of women downshift their careers during the pandemic as daycares and schools were closed or disrupted,” Christy Pambianchi, the chief human resources officer at Verizon, said in a statement. “Together, we can build a brighter future with a caregiver framework that works for all and allows women to reach their full potential, personally and professionally. Because when women rise, so does the world.”

Research contact: @FastCompany

Disney+ to come out of the starting gates in November

April 15, 2019

Disney’s bold new foray into subscription streaming with Disney+ got a thumbs-up from investors on April 12—pushing shares up over 10% in morning trading ,  while Netflix’s stock was down more than 3%, Variety reported.

The global entertainment and theme park company announced that its Disney+ subscription video on demand (SVOD) service would cost $6.99 per month, which is nearly half the price of Netflix’s standard $13 monthly plan.

Disney is investing heavily in Disney+’s U.S. launch, slated for November 12, the news outlet said. In fiscal 2020, the Mouse House will spend $1 billion in cash on original programming for Disney+, while it will have just under $1 billion in operating expenses, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy told analysts.

The platform will be supported by subscriptions; not advertising. Indeed, Disney’s projections for Disney+ — to reach 60 million-90 million subs by fiscal year 2024—were far above Wall Street expectations. The breakeven point for the SVOD service of FY 2024 also is more aggressive than analysts predicted, Variety said.

Out of the gate, the news outlet reported, Disney+ will be the exclusive U.S. SVOD streaming home for Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm films—starting with 2019 releases, which include “Captain Marvel,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Aladdin,” “Toy Story 4,” “The Lion King,” “Frozen 2,” and “Star Wars: Episode IX.”

All told, Disney+ will include 25 original series, including Jon Favreau’s Stars Wars-set “The Mandalorian” and a “High School Musical” series; along with ten original films and specials. In addition, it will be stocked with 400 library films — including 18 Pixar titles, nearly all Marvel movies and, within the first year, all the movies in the Star Wars franchise — and 100 recent movie releases from the Disney portfolio.

Also, it will feature 7,500 episodes of current a past TV shows; that includes 30 full seasons of “The Simpsons,” which are moving from FX’s Simpsons World app to the new service — one tangible result of Disney’s Fox takeover.

Disney will “likely” intro a discounted bundle of Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu, Kevin Mayer, chairman of the company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International segment said on April 11 — which will give the company additional levers to play with. In addition, Disney’s absorption of Fox’s entertainment assets provides “an unparalleled arsenal of IP to support its streaming services,” Patrice Cucinello, a director at Fitch Ratings, told Variety.

The announcement of the $6.99 monthly price point “generated a collective gasp in the room,” MoffettNathanson principal analyst Michael Nathanson said in a note published Friday. The service “looks like a bargain compared to other entertainment options.” Nathanson reiterated a “buy” rating on Disney stock and boosted his target price to $141 per share (up $7).

Research contact: @Variety