If sequels are doing their job, ticket sales go up: Existing fans come back, new crowds come in. At the very least, sequels are expected to tread box office water.
But only three managed to deliver significantly improved results, compared with their series predecessor: “22 Jump Street,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” One, “The Purge: Anarchy,” was approximately flat.
That left eight sequels to nose-dive in North America. Ticket sales for Paramount’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction” totaled $243.9 million, a 35 percent decline from results for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” three years ago. (“Age of Extinction” was nonetheless the summer’s second-biggest film.) “Planes: Fire & Rescue” dropped 38 percent, and “Think Like a Man Too” came in 31 percent lower. Sony’s “Amazing Spider-Man 2” was down 25 percent.
Obviously it’s piracy, it’s not as if there are now thousands of other things to do than watch Hollywood BSU.
You’re both white men- is this some kind of pro-whitey project?
No. The SJWs have set up a “white straight cis male” bogey man to rally against and we are not here to defend their fictional creation. We welcome persons of all genders, races, sexual orientations and nationalities to be a part of this project.
Are you guys MRAs?
No. We are not MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists.) We reject their stance and ideology along with the binary notion that anyone who disagrees with the SJWs is an MRA by default.
Are you guys just doing this to harass Anita Sarkeesian?
No. Anita Sarkeesian and her campaign of misinformation will be central to our film but everything we do will be safe, professional, and above all, legal. The lie that Ms. Sarkeesian has perpetuated is that there is no legitimate criticism of her views whatsoever and that anyone who disagrees with her is harassing her. This, among many other falsehoods, will be debunked in our film.
Because, you see, the Video Gaming Internet can be a horrible place. Hiding behind infinite fake Twitter accounts and message-board anonymity are some of the worst examples of humanity. The abuse gushes forth in such torrents that reporting tweets becomes almost useless. You block or report one anonymous, anime-avatared account, and fifteen more take its place: fifteen more slackly flapping mouthpieces for cowardly, whining crybaby manchildren. (Because they are always, always men.)
Piketty goes on to show that this dramatic rise in income inequality hasn’t happened in all rich economies, and, oddly, does not really have much to do with capital. Even in the US, it has been driven by soaring salaries at the top end of the pay scale, not rising incomes from capital.
That rather large complication to the story does not stop Piketty focusing the rest of the book on capital, which he says has also become more unequally distributed since the 1970s, not just in the US but in Europe too. He believes this trend toward greater wealth inequality is very likely to continue, because the returns from capital are likely to grow faster than the economy itself, and faster than the owners of that wealth are likely to be able to spend it.
This is the “central contradiction of capitalism”, which he summarises with a Marxian turn of phrase: “the entrepreneur inevitably tends to become a rentier, more and more dominant over those who own nothing but their labour. Once constituted, capital reproduces itself faster than output increases. The past devours the future.”
I’ve come across two interesting things this morning:
1) Snapchat apparently now has 100m monthly users and is valued at $10bn
2) I heard an ad for a free conference calling service on the radio
Oh, and thirdly, I saw a TV ad for Amazon Kindle the other day, featuring its Mayday live-help service.
Common theme? WebRTC, but not in generic “video calls in your browser” style, nor for greenfield “standalone” communications, but to add a feature to an existing product.
A new political science study that’s gone viral finds that majority-rule democracy exists only in theory in the United States — not so much in practice. The government caters to the affluent few and organized interest groups, the researchers find, while the average citizen’s influence on policy is “near zero.” “[T]he preferences of economic elites,” conclude Princeton’s Martin Gilens and Northwestern’s Benjamin I. Page, who work with the nonprofit Scholars Strategy Network, “have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do.” TPM spoke to Gilens about the study, its main findings and its lessons.