News aggregator

Box Office: ‘Thor: Ragnorak’ Reigns Worldwide With $151 Million International Weekend

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 17:45
It’s Thor’s world as “Thor: Ragnarok” dominates the international box office with $151.4 million, including a stellar $55.6 million launch in China. The Disney-Marvel tentpole, which opened in 52% of foreign markets last weekend, has now grossed $306 million internationally and $427 million worldwide. The opening in China set a record for a November launch […]

Gloria Fallon, Mother of ‘Tonight Show’ Host Jimmy Fallon, Dies

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 17:45
Gloria Fallon, mother of “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, died Saturday at a hospital in New York, Variety has confirmed. Her death came one day after NBC canceled a taping of “The Tonight Show” due to Gloria Fallon’s illness. “Jimmy Fallon’s mother, Gloria, died peacefully on Saturday,” a Fallon family spokesperson said in a press statement. “Jimmy […]

Vive Studios Leads South Korea’s VR Business

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 17:15
In the new but burgeoning virtual reality business, Vive Studios is a name that stands out in South Korea. Established in 2003, the company has been better known for its visual effects and CGI work for other companies’ feature productions and commercials. “Volt: Chain City” was its first self-produced work. The four-minute film was invited […]

China Box Office: ‘Thor’ Opens With $54 Million Weekend

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 17:06
“Thor: Ragnarok” opened in Chinese theaters with a hefty $54 million over the weekend. It accounted for 69% of nationwide revenues. The Disney/Marvel picture opened wide on Friday in a day-and-date release coordinated with its outing in North America, and earned $15.9 million on its first day, according to Chinese data tracker Ent Group. It […]

Korea’s Showbiz Giants Seek to Expand Outside the Country

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 17:00
The growth bug has hit South Korea’s three leading entertainment companies: CJ Entertainment, Lotte Entertainment and Showbox. They’re all participating in the American Film Market as sellers of Korean films. That’s to be expected. But the real story here is that the trio are also setting out to expand globally and dive deeper into international […]

AFM: Mid-Market Generating Mix of Optimism and Uncertainty

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 16:32
As the 38th American Film Market reaches the half-way point, a mixed picture has emerged that reflects the profound changes in the movie industry. Buyers offer the usual refrain about the seeming lack of big buzz titles as the industry continues to reel from fresh revelations in Hollywood’s sexual assault scandal — a topic that […]

Chinese Director Feng Xiaogang Survives Attacks on His Reputation

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 16:30
For a man with a reputation as a critical voice, leading Chinese director Feng Xiaogang has been remarkably quiet of late. His latest film “Youth” premiered in Toronto, but at the end of September was removed from the releasing calendar in China at the last minute. There was barely a murmur, either from the industry […]

Box Office: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Rules With $121 Million Weekend

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 16:21
Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” is heading for a stellar opening weekend with $121 million at 4,080 North American locations — the fourth best launch of 2017. The third Thor movie is also putting an emphatic end to the month-long box office slump that saw the worst October in a decade. Among 2017 titles, its debut weekend […]

China’s Entertainment Giants Create Digital Platforms Encompassing Production, Distrubution and Ticketing

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 16:15
The recent merger of China’s online ticketing systems and their ventures into other parts of the showbiz’s value chain will contribute to the growth of what many call “pan entertainment,” or an all-encompassing entertainment experience, leading to the domination of few big players and potentially fewer consumer choices. China’s online movie ticketing accounted for nearly […]

Chinese Audiences Move Away From Hollywood Pictures

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 16:00
Hollywood blockbusters are still leading the way in China’s box office, but audiences living in the world’s second-largest film market have displayed signs of hunger for more diverse movie imports. Indeed, foreign films from outside Hollywood have proved to be popular in China over the past year. The most recent example is Thai picture “Bad […]

AFM: WellGo Takes on Yuen Woo-ping’s ‘Thousand Faces of Dunija’

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 15:05
WellGo USA has acquired North American rights to “The Thousand Faces of Dunija,” the Yuen Woo-ping-directed fantasy action picture that is expected to be one of the largest Chinese films of the year. Rights were acquired from Hong Kong-based Distribution Workshop, which is representing the film at the American Film Market this week. The story […]

AFM: China’s Film Sales Firms Joining IFTA Global Trade Organization

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 15:01
For the first time ever, companies from mainland China are joining the Independent Film & Television Alliance. IFTA is the non-government organization that runs the American Film Market and sets codes of conduct between film sellers and buyers. Five Chinese firms CMC Pictures, Fantawild, Yi Animation, Holly Skywalk Film Investment, and newly formed Saga Films […]

AFM: Diego Hallivis Directing Action-Thriller ‘Borderline’

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 15:00
“Curvature” director Diego Hallivis has come on board to helm the action-thriller “Borderline” from Phillip Tarl Denson’s script, Variety has learned exclusively. The plot for the film is currently being kept under wraps, but it is described as a cross between “Hell or High Water” and “John Wick.” Julio Hallivis, brother to Diego Hallivis, is […]

Markets Brace for Potential Fallout From Arrest of Billionaire Investor Saudi Prince

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 14:58
Financial markets are bracing for the potential fallout Monday from the surprising arrest of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire and global investor who holds stakes in entertainment and digital companies such as 21st Century Fox, Twitter, Apple, and Euro Disney. Alwaleed is among 11 princes and 38 current or former senior Saudi officials who […]

AFM: Swen Gives Lee Min-ho’s ‘Mysterious Fighter’ Early Sequel

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 14:00
Multinational rights firm, Swen Group has green-lighted “Mysterious Fighter Project B,” a sequel to its Lee Min-ho starring action comedy “Mysterious Fighter Project A” – even before “Project A” hits theaters. The film is set up as a co-venture between Fame and Swen and will see the return of Australia’s Wade Muller on the Chinese-language […]

‘Saturday Night Live’: Larry David Resurrects Bernie Sanders Impression for ‘Price is Right’ Sketch

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 04:02
Larry David hosted the Nov. 5 episode of “Saturday Night Live” and it didn’t take long for him to bust out his Bernie Sanders impression. In the first sketch after his opening monologue, David embodied the politician once again, though not for a skewer of hot button topics but instead a turn on a celebrity […]

‘Saturday Night Live’s’ Donald Trump Calls Harvey Weinstein an ‘Idiot’

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 03:49
After a week on hiatus, “Saturday Night Live” returned with a new episode that once again started with Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump taking on the latest in political news — and throwing a jab in at Harvey Weinstein for good measure. “What an idiot that Harvey Weinstein is. He could have gotten away with all of […]

Some Thoughts on Fixing Obamacare – Shoot Holes in this Please

Blog Maverick - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 22:29

I’m not a healthcare policy expert. Not by a long shot.  The challenges facing healthcare in this country are enormous. While I may not have answers, there is no downside to generating discussion on alternatives.  Feel free to comment on anything you feel is wrong with my suggestion.

The problem legislators are facing in their attempts to “Repeal and Replace” or even modify Obamacare in a manner that will make their constituents happy is that they can’t answer one very important question-

“Who takes less ?”

The stakeholders in Obamacare are the Insurance Companies, Health Care Providers and Consumers.

Will Insurance Companies be willing to take lower profits ?

Will Health Care Providers be willing to charge less for the services they are providing or take less reimbursement ?

Will Consumers have to accept fewer services and lesser quality of care ?

No stakeholder is willing to take less. Which is why it will be near impossible to “fix Obamacare” in a way that makes consumers, also known as voters, insurers and healthcare providers happy.

Politicians can deflect and promote the benefits of a free market, but the free market shows itself every day in the profits of insurers and healthcare providers. I have yet to see a single public company in these spaces make an announcement that they are willing to or expect to take less because of changes to Obamacare. Have you ?

So what should happen ?

There are 2 risks that every single citizen of the United States shares:

1. We all can lose the genetic lottery and find ourselves getting seriously ill or worse. 

2. We all can lose the “wrong place, wrong time” lottery and find ourselves facing a significant or life threatening injury.

We all can take steps to reduce those risks, but it is literally impossible to eliminate them. On any given morning, every single person can wake up, feel a little off and soon come to find they are sick. 

At any given moment we can be in the wrong place and something catastrophic happens. A car. A bus. A baseball bat. A knife. A bullet.  etc.  All of the sudden our loved ones are praying for us.

Today, we deal with those fears by doing our own versions of risk management.  Most of us try to get a job that offers health insurance. Even if its a job we don’t like, we realize that if we lose in either of these lotteries we won’t be able to afford the health care we need.

Some of us do our best to afford the least expensive health care insurance with high deductibles and lie to ourselves that we will be able to save enough to cover the deductible or we can keep enough open on our credit cards to survive a disaster. Unfortunately,when disaster hits, we rarely have enough.

Some of us, like I did in my 20s feel invincible and think it won’t happen to us. Until it does.

Which leads to my suggestion.

Not one single person in this country is immune to losing the Genetic or Randomness of Life Lottery. Not one. Doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, white, black or whatever religion you are, if any. We all have close to the same odds of getting ill or being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It’s time we recognize these facts and deal with them accordingly.

Whether its Medicaid or a new program, every single person in this country should be covered 100pct for chronic physical or mental illness and for any life threatening injury.  

The premiums that we are paying to insurance companies as individuals or as company coverage for these significant risks would go from the insurance companies to the IRS. Only the cost of covering the what’s left would continue being paid to the insurance companies.

It would not be hard to do the math. Every insurance company does this analysis already. The government does this analysis already. We all would end up paying  more in taxes, but less in insurance and healthcare costs over time.

There would be no mandates. There would be no individual penalties.  No Tax Credits. No subsidies. No Offsets or deductions for buying higher end insurance. This will be single payer (yes i know its a dirty phrase in this country) for chronic physical or mental illness and for any life threatening injury.

Everything not covered by the above can be covered by insurance sold on the Free Market, managed by the states, sold across state lines, without government interference.

There will be unique opportunities for insurance companies to innovate knowing they wont have to face the most expensive healthcare problems and they can have the cushion of knowing that illnesses and injuries that they covered that transition to those covered by Single Payer Advanced will be reimbursed.

We all share the same risks, we all can share the costs of our greatest risks.

The  peace of mind this would bring to every family would make our country stronger. I know with certainty it won’t reduce innovation in healthcare. Technology is going to continue to boom and change our future.

There is something for everyone to hate in this. It doesn’t cover as wide a range of healthcare options as Obamacare, but it covers everyone. Immediately. No paperwork required. It is more humane, cost effective and fair than what the Republicans have proposed so far.

Which means everyone can rip it to pieces. Which is exactly what I want everyone to try to do in the comments so we can see how to make the concept better

PS – On the issue of drug prices, I would include an MFN for pricing for this government pricing.  Whatever the best price is you give to anyone, you have to give to this program.







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