Category Archives: Etc.

Netflix, Amazon and Oscars

The Polish period romance “Cold War,” for instance, has played in 217 theaters in the United States since arriving on Dec. 21, generating $2.1 million in ticket sales. The film will expand to roughly 275 locations on Friday. (“Cold War,” nominated for three Oscars, comes from Amazon Studios, which adheres to traditional Hollywood release patterns; it will not be available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video until March 22.)

Netflix cobbled together a theatrical run for “Roma” despite opposition from the biggest theater owners, including AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas. Most movies still arrive in the same way they have for decades: first in theaters, for an exclusive run of about 90 days, and then in homes. AMC, Regal and other theater companies worry that shortening that period will hurt their already-fragile business.

More at NY Times

The World’s Most Successful Caviar Entrepreneur….

…Is A Scrapyard Operator In Wisconsin.

A long State Road 35 on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River, there’s a junkyard filled with old boats, cars and refrigerators, where 20,000 pounds of aluminum gets melted down every day. A handwritten sign tacked onto the front door reminds all those who enter: Put Shirts On. Inside sits Bill Holst, the 69-year-old blue-jeaned, third-generation corn farmer who started this scrap-metal business 12 years ago. “I see value in things that other people don’t see value in,” he says. “I’m more of a risk-taker.”

All of which explains one of Holst’s more exotic businesses: Hangzhou Qiandaohu Xunlong Sci-Tech, a sprawling sturgeon farm and caviar-processing company based 7,000 miles away at a man-made lake in eastern China. Hangzhou is now the largest caviar company in the world: It controls 30% of the global market and will bring in an estimated $35 million in revenue this year. That scale, combined with low labor costs and high retail prices—an ounce can cost upwards of $150—gives the company an estimated 25% profit margin. Holst owns about 24% of the joint venture and is its single largest (and only American) investor.

More at Forbes.com