Nielsen confirms: ‘Bird Box’ really was big for Netflix

Entertainment News  Nielsen confirms: 'Bird Box' really was big for Netflix


Sayeed Adyani/Netflix(NEW YORK) — While Netflix often doesn’t reveal the numbers for its projects for various reasons, it was quick to crow about Bird Box. The Sandra Bullock thriller was said to have been watched by “45 million Netflix accounts,” according to the streaming service.

That number is a little tough to translate into traditional viewership numbers, though, since, for example, people often share Netflix accounts. But Nielsen Media Research, which ranks traditional TV and cable shows — and, increasingly, streaming networks like Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix — has managed to put an actual number to Bird Box‘s audience.

The thriller had an “unduplicated audience of nearly 26 million viewers within its first seven days of availability (Dec. 21 to Dec. 27),” according to NMR numbers cited by Variety.  But Nielsen’s methodology differs from that of Netflix.

Neilsen’s numbers, for example, don’t take into account overseas audiences, nor do they rank shows if they’re watched on phones — something millions of people do.

Long story short, the two company’s numbers aren’t an apples to apples comparison, but Nielsen points out some other data points. Compared to another Netflix hit — the Will Smith thriller Bright — Bird Box attracted fewer viewers on its premiere day, but its audience then grew compared to Bright.

The Bullock movie’s debut day attracted 3.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen, but thanks to good word of mouth, Bird Box‘s audience kept growing, and outpaced Bright‘s audience in its first week by more than eight million people.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Jan 2019

Russian lawyer under scrutiny in Trump Tower meeting charged in Kremlin-connected obstruction case

WORLD NEWS Russian lawyer under scrutiny in Trump Tower meeting charged in Kremlin-connected obstruction case

koromelena/iStock(NEW YORK) — The Russian lawyer that met with President Donald Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign chairman in June, 2016 at Trump Tower has been charged by federal prosecutors in New York in a separate case that highlights the attorney’s apparent ties to the Kremlin.

Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, 43, is charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly submitting a “intentionally misleading declaration” that sought to exonerate her client, a wealthy Russian businessman, in a civil forfeiture case in Manhattan.

The document she allegedly submitted in court included the findings of a supposedly independent Russian government investigation – when in fact, according to prosecutors, Veselnitskaya “concealed from the Court that she, as a member of the defense team … had participated in drafting those supposed exculpatory investigative findings in secret cooperation with a senior Russian prosecutor.”

 “Emails from an account used by Veselnitskaya reveal that she sent multiple drafts of the document to the personal email account of a Russian prosecutor in the Prosecutor General’s Office,” the indictment states.

It was not immediately clear whether Veselnitskaya has retained a defense attorney. Federal prosecutors in New York said they were not aware of any defense attorney retained by Veselnitskaya, and ABC News requests for comment from her Russian office were not immediately returned.

The case is unrelated to the now-infamous 2016 meeting, in which Donald Trump Jr., his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Trump Jr. initially suggested that the meeting was primarily about international adoption issues, when in fact subsequent emails revealed that the younger Trump met with the Russian attorney in the hopes of receiving information that he thought would be helpful to his father’s presidential campaign.

 In the meeting, Veselnitskaya sought to discuss U.S. sanctions against Russia, a policy staunchly opposed by Putin’s government, and the Kremlin’s response prohibiting Americans from adopting Russian children. Trump’s team of aides in the meeting appeared to be baffled by her focus on this, instead of the promised dirt on Clinton, according to testimony released by the Senate Judiciary Committee about the meeting.

Veselnitskaya is based in Moscow at the law firm Camerton Consulting. In the past four years, she has lobbied against the Magnitsky Act, passed by Congress in 2012 to impose sanctions on certain Russian officials accused of human rights abuses, and waged a public relations campaign against a key person who backed the law.

Yet in July, 2017, Kremlin officials said they don’t know Veselnitskaya.

“No, we do not know who it is, and, of course, we cannot track the meetings of all Russian lawyers, both inside the country and abroad,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters at the time, when asked if her meeting at Trump Tower was coordinated with Russian authorities.

The Magnitsky Act was enacted in response to the death of a Russian lawyer and auditor, Sergei Magnitsky. It has become a major issue for the Russian government, which is critical of the law.

In 2007 and 2008, Magnitsky uncovered an alleged vast corruption scheme involving about $230 million, according to a federal indictment by the U.S. Southern District of New York in 2013. The alleged tax fraud scheme came at the expense of an investment firm, Hermitage Capital, owned by an American investor, Bill Browder, according to a U.S. indictment.

After Magnitsky discovered the alleged fraud, he was arrested and held for almost a year in pretrial detention in Moscow, where he eventually died at age 37, the U.S. indictment filed at the time alleges. A Russian government spokesperson said at the time that he died of heart failure, but a Russian human rights council found that his detention was unlawful and that he was beaten by guards with rubber batons on the last day of his life and then denied medical care, the indictment says.

Russian authorities took a different course and later accused him of having participated in the fraud scheme himself. Browder launched a campaign to have those allegedly involved in his death blacklisted by the U.S.

Veselnitskaya also represented a man accused of involvement in the alleged fraud scheme uncovered by Magnitsky.

In the obstruction of justice case, Veselnitskaya acted as the lawyer for Denis Katsyv, a key figure in the earlier U.S. indictment. The son of a former Moscow regional transport minister, he was sole owner of Prevezon Holdings, which was named in the U.S. indictment alleging that some proceeds from the tax fraud scheme were laundered through the purchase of New York City real estate. The case was settled in 2017 with Prevezon agreeing to pay $5.9 million in fines.

In 2016, Congress expanded the Magnitsky Act was expanded globally to cover any officials involved in human rights abuses.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Jan 2019

Watch now: Marvel drops surprise ‘Captain Marvel’ “special look” footage

Entertainment News  Watch now: Marvel drops surprise 'Captain Marvel' "special look" footage


Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) — We got our second trailer just one month ago.  Now Marvel’s treated us to a surprise “special look” at Captain Marvel.

The mini-trailer gives us even more glimpses of the superhero star’s powers and also plays up the relationship between Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and Nick Fury, played as always by Samuel L. Jackson, who’s impressively age-regressed thanks to digital magic.

“Grunge is a good look for you” Fury comments in the ’90s-set movie, when Danvers shows up in a black leather jacket and vintage Nine Inch Nails t-shirt. Not long after that, she impress Fury by blowing up a jukebox with a “photon blast” from her fist, insisting she’s not a bad guy because apparently bad guys can’t do that.

There’s also more footage of Jude Law’s character, Walter Lawson/Mar-Vell, though whether he’s ultimately a good guy or bad remains to be seen.

Captain Marvel, also starring Clark Gregg, Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Lee Pace, Djimon Hounsou and Gemma Chan, opens nationally March 8.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Jan 2019

Home of former Russian spy to be dismantled following Novichok attack

WORLD NEWS Home of former Russian spy to be dismantled following Novichok attack

caracterdesign/iStock(LONDON) — Decontamination work in the home of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia has resumed with military teams dismantling the property after the pair were exposed to Novichok nerve agent in their home.

Wiltshire Council in Salisbury, England, informed residents that clean-up work on the property will cause disruption for the next four months as military teams remove the house and garage roof from the property, according to a letter reviewed by the Press Association.

“All materials will be wrapped and sealed on site before being removed safely from the premises,” the letter reads. “The priority is to make sure that the two remaining sites affected by the 2018 incidents are thoroughly cleaned and returned to normal use as soon as possible.”

Skripal was a former colonel in GRU, the Russian military intelligence agency, but was then discovered to be a double agent — also working for Britain’s foreign intelligence service, MI6. He was convicted in Russia for treason in 2006.

Last March, Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who was visiting her father in Salisbury, England, fell ill after being exposed to Novichok agent. Detectives believe they were first exposed to the poison after it was sprayed on the door handle of the residence.

Decontamination work has been ongoing in the property since the former spy and his daughter first fell ill on March 5, 2018, but was put on hold during the Christmas season.

Alistair Cunningham, chair of the South Wiltshire Recovery Coordinating Group, told ABC News in a statement that only two residential sites, including Skripal’s home in Salisbury, were still undergoing clean-up, which was paused over the holiday season but resumed on Monday.

“We are in regular contact with the residents and they are aware that the clean-up recommenced yesterday,” Cunningham said. “It has been a thorough and complicated process and while there is still work to be undertaken, the end is in sight, which I’m sure everyone will welcome.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Jan 2019

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to unveil health care program for city residents, including undocumented immigrants

SARINYAPINNGAM/iStock(NEW YORK) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday will unveil a plan that provides health care to all city residents, regardless of their ability to pay or their immigration status.

The new program, NYC Care, will guarantee health care for the estimated 600,000 New Yorkers who do not currently have health insurance, according to the mayor’s office. Undocumented immigrants will also be included in the plan.

“We recognized that obviously health care is not just in theory a right,” de Blasio said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe ahead of the official announcement. “We have to make it in practice a right.”

The mayor said the plan would encompass primary and specialty care as well as maternity and pediatric care and mental health services.

Of the 600,000 uninsured New Yorkers, many are “young invincibles,” de Blasio noted, including young people who can afford insurance but choose not to get it. De Blasio said NYC Care would work on a “sliding scale” where “people will pay what they can” for care.

He added, “We also have a way to provide direct health care to a lot of our neighbors who happen to be undocumented. They’re still part of our community. They need health care; their families need health care.”

New York City has a public option for insurance already but NYC Care will pay “for direct comprehensive care” for people who can’t afford insurance or are not on Medicaid, de Blasio press secretary Eric Phillips said on Twitter.

The program comes with a hefty price tag for the city but de Blasio said he believes it will ultimately save New York money.

“If we don’t help people get their health care, we’re going pay plenty on the back end when people get really sick,” he said.

It will be available to New York residents through the NYC website or by calling 311.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Woman finds love with her sperm donor more than a decade after having his baby

ABC News(NEW YORK) — More than a decade after giving birth, one woman met her daughter’s biological father and ended up falling in love with him.

Jessica Share told Good Morning America that she started dating her boyfriend, Aaron Long, last year, but more than 10 years ago the two were first connected when she chose him as a sperm donor for her now 13-year-old daughter, Alice.

“It’s kind of like I’m living in a science fiction story,” Long told GMA of their relationship.

Long was a sperm donor in the mid-90s, and in 2005, Share selected his sperm to have her daughter with her female partner in Ohio, saying she was initially attracted to his sperm donor profile.

“You do treat it like a dating profile and you build this story in your head of the values that you have and sort of put them on,” Share said. “What kind of person might not just share our values because I don’t think those are genetic, but being drawn to the same kinds of things that we’re drawn to so that we can all have, you know, fun family outings on Saturday.”

Share and her wife split up a couple of years ago, and at around the same time she says her daughter started poking around on the DNA testing site 23 and Me. There, Alice connected with her biological father, who soon began talking to her mother.

Eventually, Long and Share decided to meet.

“When we met in person. I don’t know, the attraction’s even harder for either of us to deny,” Long said.

Share said she still felt reserved, however, saying, “This was not my relationship or my journey to jump into and mess up forever.”

Share, Long and Alice all currently live in the same communal home in Seattle. Long, however, has even more biological children, though he says it’s “very hard to say” how many he may be the father of.

“I did a little bit of pretty shoddy maths and came up with a figure of 67 as a maximum,” he admitted. “It’s hard to say.”

Several of Long’s children will be featured in the upcoming documentary, “Forty Dollars a Pop,” including his son Bryce, whose now in the military, and his daughter Maddie, who also resides in the communal home.

“I feel like you know I’m not going to be these kids parents, but I feel like I can be their friends, and I can be, I don’t know, just someone for them to look at and think about when they contemplate nurture and nature questions,” Long said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Report: Packers to hire Matt LaFleur as next head coach

Sports News Report: Packers to hire Matt LaFleur as next head coach

33ft/iStock(GREEN BAY, Wis.) — The Green Bay Packers have reportedly chosen their next head coach.

Citing sources, ESPN reports the Packers will hire Matt LaFleur, the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, to lead the team.

LaFleur, 39, would succeed Mike McCarthy, who was fired mid-season by Green Bay. Joe Philbin stepped in as the interim head coach, and the team finished the season 6-9-1.

A source tells ESPN LaFleur will likely consider keeping Philbin on staff as well as defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Jan 2019