Universal Pictures has struck another deal with a major theater chain to shorten the theatrical window from three months to as little as 17 days in an effort to adapt to the new business realities of moviegoing.

Universal and Cinemark announced Monday a multiyear agreement that guarantees three full weekends, or 17 days, of theatrical exclusivity for Universal and Focus Feature titles before a film can become available to rent on demand. Films that open to $50 million or more, however, will stay in theaters exclusively for at least five full weekends, or 31 days.

The Hollywood studio behind the “Fast & Furious” and “Jurassic World” franchises is the only major player to reach this kind of agreement with major exhibitors, who have until now clung to the standard 90-day theatrical window, but it is likely not the last.

Earlier this summer, Universal made a similar agreement with the nation’s Read the rest

Crowdfunding investors are flocking to back the launch of a revolutionary virtual networking platform, meeow.

The idea for meeow – where four businesspeople are brought together online and at random – was born during the first national lockdown.

The concept for safe, sustainable and accessible networking was proved after a UK launch in May and this month a Crowdfunder has been launched with a target of £150,000.

In less than two weeks almost £60,000 has been pledged by investors keen to launch meeow to a global networking market worth billions.

Meeow hosts four-person virtual hour-long meet-ups, known as meeows. The four participants are selected at random and come from a variety of SME business backgrounds.

Co-founders Chris Rabbitt and Simon Glenn launched meeow in response to demand from networkers who still wanted to connect with like-minded businesses and take advantage of new opportunities.

Chris said: “The success and enthusiasm … Read the rest

The second wave, as predicted, is here. With the recent surge in new ‘positive’ cases in the US and Canada, we are all taking a step back–about 6 feet to be precise. Dutiful citizens and responsible business are doing their part in fighting a pandemic. Enforcement is something none of us wants so the onus is on ‘we the people’ to do our part to minimize the spread of a persistent virus. One company making significant progress in helping to stem the spread of harmful pathogens, after its acquisition target acquisition, CleanGo GreenGo Inc (CGGG) received approvals for its bacterial cleaning and emulsification products, is Softlab9 Technologies Inc. (CSE: SOFT; OTC: SOFSF; Frankfurt: APO2).

The products are completed and approved, the manufacturing facilities are in place and distribution channels are lined up. Once the CGGG acquisition is completed in the next few weeks, SOFT is ready to hit ground running … Read the rest

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has some advice for how the Biden administration can work with state leaders, three Korean-American women are headed to Congress, and Kim Ng makes history in Major League Baseball. Have a powerful Monday.

– Home run . If you’re not a baseball fan, you may have missed a milestone piece of news on Friday: the Miami Marlins named Kim Ng their new general manager, making her the first female GM in the Major League Baseball.

By all accounts, it’s an appointment that has been a long time coming. Ng, who began her career in the sport as a Chicago White Sox intern 30 years ago, is the league’s longtime SVP of baseball operations and has three World Series titles and eight playoffs under her belt as an associate GM. She first interviewed for a GM job 15 years ago and has reportedly … Read the rest

Ireland is warning that no post-Brexit trade deal will be struck if the UK pushes on with a plan to break international law.

Tensions have ratcheted up following comments by senior figures in both governments ahead of another crucial week for negotiations.

Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney told Sky News that should Boris Johnson persist with trying to override parts of the EU divorce deal, then a new treaty on the future relationship will be off the table.

“This is move week,” he said. “We’ve got to make big progress.”

But a senior minister in the UK confirmed that Mr Johnson will stick to his plan and keep the controversial parts of the draft legislation in place.

Peers have removed the offending bits of the Internal Market Bill, which included giving ministers the power to “disapply” parts of the with withdrawal agreement relating to goods moving between Northern Ireland and … Read the rest

Stocks throughout North America finished Friday much the way they started it, with booming gains pretty much up and down the board.

The TSX recovered 93.46 points to close Friday at 16,675.64. On the week, the index vaulted 392 points, or 2.41%.

The Canadian dollar backtracked 0.03 cents to 76.08 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks carried much of the load Friday, with Trillium Pharmaceuticals picking up $1.96, or 10.6%, to $20.43, and Aphria triumphing 37 cents, or 5.2%, to $7.50.

Energy stocks were the next largest gainer, with Husky Energy up 21 cents, or 4.9%, to $4.51, while Cenovus Energy gained 25 cents, or 4.7%, to $5.62.

In the consumer discretionary sector, Linamar Corp. improved $1.69, or 3%, to $58.15, while Spin Master Corp. advanced 82 cents, or 2.7%, to $31.15.

Consumer staples, particularly grocers, did not fare so well, as Loblaw dumped $1.90, or 2.8%, to $65.70, while Empire Company … Read the rest

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Mike Angevine lives in constant pain. For a decade the 37-year-old has relied on opioids to manage his chronic pancreatitis, a disease with no known cure.

But in January, Angevine’s pharmacy on Long Island ran out of oxymorphone and he couldn’t find it at other drugstores. He fell into withdrawal and had to be hospitalized.

“You just keep thinking: Am I going to get sick? Am I going to get sick?” Angevine said in a phone interview. “Am I going to be able to live off the pills I have? Am I going to be able to get them on time?”

His pharmacy did not tell him the reason for the shortage. But Angevine isn’t the only pain patient in New York to lose access to vital medicine … Read the rest

* This weekend's Barron's cover offers a low-risk strategy for investors optimistic about an ecomomic recovery. * Other featured articles discuss what a COVID-19 vaccine would mean for the stock market and how it could shake up the pharmaceutical industry. * Also, the prospects for semiconductor stocks, a leading retailer, a financial services giant and more."A Low-Risk Strategy for Those Optimistic About a Recovery" by Daren Fonda suggests that small companies typically outperform over the long term, even more so at the beginning of an economic rebound. With a coronavirus vaccine on the horizon, Barron's believes Acme United Corporation (NYSE: ACU) is among the small cap stocks worth a look.Max A. Cherney's "Intel Can Shine Again" looks at how repeated manufacturing delays have dented the reputation of chip giant Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC). In addition, Apple now has ditched Intel's products. Discover why Barron's thinks the stock is down but … Read the rest