BizFeed: Comcast’s NBCUniversal is “Unstoppable” at Box Office

Plus: Obama's overtime plan could backfire; Amazon to pass Macy's as world's largest clothing retailer.


(Boungawa/Wikimedia Commons)

NBC Universal Dominating the Movie Industry Right Now

The News: Whether it’s kids freaking out over Minions, teenagers fascinated by Jurassic World or couples going out to see Amy Schumer in Trainwreck, NBCUniversal is dominating the movie business at the moment — and parent company Comcast is reaping the benefits.

Minions made an estimated $116.4 million from Friday through Sunday, according to FierceCable. Meanwhile, Grantland reports that Jurassic World is has already made more than $1.5 billion and is set to become the No. 3 highest-grossing film of all time. “Universal has reached $5 billion worldwide faster than any other studio, is ready to break Fox’s 2014 record of $5.5 billion soon, and there are still well more than five months of moviegoing left in the year,” said Grantland.

Why It Matters: It’s all part of Comcast’s huge turnaround of NBCUniversal. FierceCable reports that back in 2011 (when Comcast acquired it) NBCUniversal “ranked dead last among major studios two years running, with duds like Land of the LostBruno and Funny People,” and had a 10.2 percent share of the box office. That number now sits at 26.8 percent.

With the purchase of NBC, Comcast became much more diversified, and less reliant on cable and Internet subscribers to thrive.

2. Millions More Could be Eligible for Overtime, but Economists are Skeptical

The News: President Barack Obama has proposed to extend overtime benefits to salaried employees earning less than $970 a week ($50,400 annually). They would be eligible for time-and-a-half after working 40 hours in a given week.

Why It Matters: While the Obama Administration thinks it will strengthen the middle class, economists think it could lead employers to boost low-wage hiring. “Rather than increase the total compensation of salaried managers, companies could limit the hours of higher-paid employees by using more part-time workers,” the Wall Street Journal said. In fact, the WSJ reports that Goldman Sachs economists estimate that “the proposed rule would create about 120,000 new jobs in the year after it goes into effect,” however it “wouldn’t exert any meaningful upward pressure on wages.”

3. Amazon to Become No. 1 Clothing Retailer by 2017

The News: Step aside Macy’s. By 2017, Amazon will become the No. 1 clothing retailer in the world, according to a team of analysts at Cowen.

“We estimate AMZN’s US retail Apparel GMV [gross merchandise value] grows from $16BN in ’15 to $52BN in ’20, with US market share rising from 5% to 14% and comfortably passing Macy’s in ’17,” it said.

Why It MattersBloomberg reports that Cowen is even bullish on Amazon over the likes of Wal-Mart and Target. Over the past six quarters Amazon’s “growth has averaged a 29 percent increase year-over-year, compared with 3 percent and 2 percent declines at Wal-Mart and Target, respectively.”

Fortune says Amazon’s secret is variety. It “sells 343,000 different kinds of items,” much higher than the “292,000 for Walmart,” and “85,000 apiece for Macy’s and Nordstrom.”