Roundup: Barbenheimer beats blockbusters at box office, ChatGPT gets blocked, Mischa Barton talks Neighbours


How much news is worth to Google, Can Mark Thomson revive CNN, Coles revamps campaign, Media giants pitch at Upfronts

Business of Media

‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ Trounce Franchise Films to Jolt a Slow Summer at the Box Office

“Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” revived the summer box office this year, as unusual blockbusters that lifted theater sales to their highest level since 2019, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Robbie Whelan.

In each of the past 10 years, the highest-grossing summer movie in America has been part of a franchise, from Universal Pictures’ “Jurassic” series to Pixar’s distinctive animated films. Other years it was a superhero movie based on Marvel and DC comic books or 2022’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” a sequel to the Tom Cruise-led 1986 aerial combat drama. 


See Also: Box Office: Yer a wizard Barbie! Barbie set to break box office record set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

How much is news content worth to Google? Swiss researchers found out

Each year, Google pays more than $100 million to Australian news publishers under the News Media Bargaining Code. Under the threat of being forced to pay up, the law encourages Google and Facebook to negotiate commercial deals with publishers to use their content. And they have – the two companies pay north of $200 million a year between them, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

But a new study from Switzerland suggests Google snagged a bargain – local journalistic content could be worth eight times more for a search engine. In 2022, Google made $US162 billion ($252 billion) from advertising on its search pages, and as much as $5.5 billion, on one estimate, from searches in Australia. And at the end of next year, the first of the three-year deals Google negotiated with media companies will come up for renewal.

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Coles listens to shopper feedback and revamps sales campaigns

New Coles boss Leah Weckert has started to unpick some of the strategies developed by her predecessor Steven Cain, after shopper feedback indicated confused messaging on value and an inconsistent online offer, reports News Corp’s Eli Greenblat.

As part of a slimmed-down and more focused pitch to shoppers, Ms Weckert, a former director of strategy, chief financial officer and supermarkets boss for Coles, has sidelined the “Dropped and Locked” sales campaign launched only last year to present consumers with three core campaigns: “Everyday”, “Down Down” and “Specials”.

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Media giants line up to pitch to advertisers at this year’s Upfronts

In the three weeks since its full-year results, Seven West Media’s share price has fallen roughly 25 per cent to 31c. It wasn’t that its results were bad – they were more or less in line with analysts’ expectations, in fact, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones and Mark Di Stefano.

And yet, it was still a disappointing results season for most media companies, many of which have since been punished by the market. They are being “tarred as legacy businesses despite most of them having a digital growth angle,” Spheria Asset Management co-founder Matt Booker says. The market is massively undervaluing media firms, he reckons, but “there is no obvious catalyst on the near-term horizon for this to change”.

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Why Mischa Barton said yes to surprise role on Neighbours

After starring in the hottest teen drama of the noughties and being idolised for her every fashionable move, Mischa Barton surprised everyone when she signed up for some suburban drama on Australia’s most famous cul-de-sac in a revival of Neighbours, reports News Corp’s Siobhan Duck.

But then the British-born, US-based actor – who started her career on the stage and in soap operas – has never relished the role Hollywood chose for her. In an exclusive interview with Stellar, the 37-year-old recalls being cast in The O.C. because she “wasn’t anything like the other young blonde girls going in and trying out” and reveals how she’s taken charge of her own narrative.

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See also: Mischa Barton Joins the New Chapter of Neighbours

News Brands

The Guardian blocks ChatGPT owner OpenAI from trawling its content

The Guardian has blocked OpenAI from using its content to power artificial intelligence products such as ChatGPT. Concerns that OpenAI is using unlicensed content to create its AI tools have led to writers bringing lawsuits against the company and creative industries calling for safeguards to protect their intellectual property, reports The Guardian’s Dan Milmo.

The Guardian has confirmed that it has prevented OpenAI from deploying software that harvests its content.

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Can Mark Thompson revive CNN’s struggling fortunes?

In late summer, CNN found itself in crisis. Under the disastrous tenure of chief executive Chris Licht, the news channel had seen top anchors leave and ratings plunge, reports The Guardian’s Adam Gabbatt.

Behind the scenes, CNN staff were grumbling about an apparent attempt to move the network’s political coverage to a rapidly disappearing center – an effort typified by the widely criticized decision to host a town hall with Donald Trump in May.

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