26-year-old CEO completes SPAC deal and brings his autonomous trucking start-up Embark public

25 year old Embark CEO and co-founder Alex Rodrigues

According to Alex Rodrigues, CEO of Embark Trucks, the congestion in US ports, the shortage of trucks and the rise in e-commerce have created a unique opportunity for autonomous trucking has completed its SPAC merger and is trading on Thursday under the ticker EMBK on the Nasdaq.

“What we’ve heard from investors is that people really understand the need here and there’s a lot of excitement about the potential to revolutionize the way logistics work,” Rodrigues told CNBC. “We’re really at a tipping point now where it really starts to affect everyday people and when people don’t get their Christmas presents the need for a solution becomes much more urgent.”

Embark was founded in 2016 by 20-year-old Rodrigues and Brandon Moak and focuses on software and assistive technology for autonomous trucking. Embark can convert existing truck fleets into autonomous fleets and works with hauliers and truck manufacturers instead of developing their own vehicles. According to the Embark website, The company’s autonomous technology can improve fuel efficiency by 10%, reduce delivery time by 40%, and increase sales per truck by 300%.

In June, Embark announced that it would be using Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp II, a special purpose acquisition company, in a $ 5.2 billion deal.

As of Thursday, Embark expects to generate gross cash proceeds of approximately $ 614 million, including a private investment of $ 200 million from Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings, the largest trucker in the country, along with venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global. Rodrigues also becomes one of the youngest CEOs of a US public company at the age of 26.

Embark is the latest in a wave of autonomous freight forwarders to go public in 2021. TuSimple‘s IPO was in April, and it works with now UPS on railways for autonomous parcel delivery. Aurora innovation went public this month in a SPAC merger.

Wedbush predicts that approximately $ 750 billion will be spent on autonomous commercial vehicles over the next five years. Embark is partnered with AB InBev, Budweiser brewer, Werner company, a trucker for large retail stores, Ryder and DHL, and others, as all industries are looking to reduce supply chain spending.

“I think we are really excited that the industry recognizes that we are here as a quality partner and that we have been able to partner with some of the best in the business,” said Rodrigues.

Walmart announced this week it is with fully autonomous trucking to move online food orders through a partnership with the start-up Gatik.

Rodrigues believes it is another tailwind for his company and its autonomous logistics. “Large established players understand the urgency and necessity of this technology. We see that as a big plus. “

Correction: Plus and Hennessy Capital Investment Corp V have terminated their merger agreement. In a previous version, the status of the deal was incorrectly stated.

NHL began its $1 billion take care of ESPN and Turner Sports activities – this is how many individuals watched the season openers

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evan Rodrigues (9) takes a break and Tampa Bay Lightning goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) stops during the NHL hockey game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins on October 12, 2021 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL , a parade.

Andrew Bershaw | Sportswire icon | Getty Images

The National Hockey League started its 2021/22 season on Tuesday. It’s also the first year of its $ 1 billion media rights package with ESPN and Turner Sports.

The networks told the NHL an average of 884,000 Viewers for ESPN’s double headers on Tuesday, and Turner drew around 669,500 viewers for its national slot on Wednesday. Both numbers are above the NHL average for the last two season openers.

In ESPN’s first game, the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated reigning Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2. That game averaged 984,000 viewers on Tuesday and peaked at over a million viewers, according to ESPN, which used metrics from research firm Nielsen.

the Disney– Own network added that the 2021 contest surpassed its last highly rated NHL opener in October 2001 between the Penguins and Colorado Avalanche. This kick-off in 2001 drew 927,000 spectators.

ESPN also made its debut with the expanding franchise Seattle Kraken, which fell 4-3 against the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The game reached an average of 782,000 viewers and also peaked at over a million viewers. The network said that ESPN + streaming metrics are not included in viewership.

For comparison: the first game of the 2020-21 NHL season opener an average of 972,000 Total number of viewers on NBC’s sports network. This competition featured the Philadelphia Flyers and Penguins and was the most watched regular season game on NBCSN.

Other games from last season’s triple header were the Chicago Blackhawks against the Lightning and Avalanche against the St. Louis Blues. The combined television show had an average of 774,000 viewers, up from 600,000 viewers the previous season.

Alex Ovechkin # 8 of the Washington Capitals shoots the puck against the New York Rangers during the second period at Capital One Arena on October 13, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Patrick Smith | Getty Images

The NHL ended its 16-year partnership with NBC Sports, reaching a $ 1 billion package with ESPN and Turner Sports last April.

On Wednesday TNT released its national double header package and added some crossover appeal. The network featured star NBA commentator Charles Barkley on the pregame show of the Washington Capitals 5-1 victory over the New York Rangers. The game averaged 817,000 viewers and peaked at 920,000 between 9:00 PM and 9:15 PM ET.

In the competition, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin scored two goals to move up to fifth place all-time. The 36-year-old Ovechkin has 732 career goals and still needs 163 to break Wayne Gretzky’s NHL record 894 goals. TNT said there was an average of 522,000 viewers for the second competition in which the Avalanche beat the Blackhawks 4-2.

On the ad front, metrics company EDO estimates that the automotive category leads with 15.4% of ad spend for this season’s NHL opening games. Restaurants accounted for 12.9% and insurance for 11.9% of advertising spending. EDO added Apple Commercials led to search engagement. It’s a metric the company uses to measure online brand search activity in the minutes after a TV ad is broadcast.

If on the lookout for a lodge deal, it would pay to attend till the final minute

d3sign | Moment | Getty Images

When it comes to hotel reservation reservations, Aesop and its fabled ants may have done it backwards – it may actually be worth waiting until the last minute to book.

While it is popular belief that booking early will provide travelers with better prices on accommodation, flights, and other vacation components, Research by NerdWallet found that waiting to book a hotel room up to 15 days before arrival would save them more time 66% of the time, compared to four months.

With the idea that it is better to book early, it was actually more about the choice, said Sally French, a travel expert at NerdWallet.

“It’s less about ‘buy early for better deals’ and more about the opportunity cost of not booking early – you could limit your options a lot by waiting,” she said. “Booking in advance gives you more choice to book the hotel that really fits your budget.”

More from Personal Finance:
How travelers could benefit from the hotel industry struggles
Travel app offers nervous hotel guests the ability to freeze prices
Hotel prices rise as travel resumes

In 2019, 2020 and the first half of 2021, NerdWallet examined more than 2,500 hotel room prices in hotels worldwide by price range and brand and compared the prices for nights for 15 days and four months.

From 2019 to 2021, the average room rate in North America booked on 15 days was $ 203 while that for a unit booked four months outside was $ 233, NerdWallet found, a difference of 12. 7%. Internationally, the respective rates and differences were similar at USD 201 and USD 232, which corresponds to a difference of 13.5%.

“International trends largely coincide with domestic trends,” said French, adding that it was “comforting to know that you are not missing out on even better international deals.”

Meanwhile, the average price across all high-end hotels was $ 302 when booked 15 days in advance, compared to $ 386 four months in advance – a 21.6% difference. The difference is even bigger – 50%, NerdWallet found – when comparing prices for 15 days in advance to 11 months ago.

However, “cheaper” is a relative term, French noted. As an example, she cited pre-pandemic nightly rates at the JW Marriott Los Angeles LA LIVE, which were $ 1,110 when booked 11 months ago and $ 450 just 15 days earlier.

“Still, $ 450 is more than most people pay for a night in a hotel,” said French. “Although you get a ‘better’ price at this hotel, it is often still more expensive than a mid-range option.”

The savings in hotels in the middle and lower price range were rather meager at 9.4% and 5.5%, respectively. French said NerdWallet found that “budget-friendly” hotels like the Best Western Market Center in Dallas for $ 100 a night – which never deviated from that price over the course of the study – are less likely to fluctuate in price even until the last Minute.

“But what if you think it’s okay to hesitate and then all the budget hotels are sold out because there was a huge festival or conference in town?” French said. “Maybe you have no choice but to book the Ritz-Carlton, which is often over $ 1,000.

“That’s a $ 900 mistake if you wait until the last minute,” she said.

Now, if you are comfortable traveling, grab deals while you can because I don’t expect them to stay.

Sally French

Travel expert at NerdWallet

Did the pandemic and the resulting drop in travel help keep prices down? French said prices were down about 33% year-over-year in 2020 but are now 30% cheaper than in 2019, which means they are rising.

“As more people get vaccinated and countries open up to tourists, I expect this trend to continue,” she noted. “Now if you are comfortable traveling, grab deals while you can because I don’t expect them to stay.”

Travelers should consider booking direct with their hotel of choice, be it online or by phone. According to French, it’s less about price and more about flexibility. “Many Hotels have super generous cancellation policies Nowadays, however, this is often only taken into account once the reservation has been made with them.

In addition, according to French, most hotels will offer lower rates for the same room and travel dates, or travelers with reservations at hotels with flexible cancellation policies will be able to cancel more expensive reservations and rebook them at lower rates. However, booking on online sites is “certainly faster and more convenient,” she added.

Destinations with cheaper hotel prices include Bangkok and Tokyo abroad – where prices are still more than 50% below 2019 prices – and in the US business centers like New York and Philadelphia, according to French.

Where to avoid

“I see a lot of hotels – especially in more remote, domestic destinations – whose prices have actually increased,” she said. “Two different luxury hotels in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch and the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows, averaged 80% more than their 2019 rates in 2021.”

Ford indicators cope with Redwood Supplies to recycle EV Batteries 

Dane Hardware (right), Ford Design and Release Engineer, and Mary Fredrick, Ford Battery Validation Engineer, measure the voltage of a battery with a digital multimeter at the Ford Battery Benchmarking and Test Laboratory in Allen Park, Michigan.

ford

ford works with the battery recycling start-up Redwood Materials to reuse the raw materials from EV battery packs.

The agreement, which initially begins with recycling scrap from battery manufacturing, is the latest indication that automakers are taking steps to control the supply and cost of raw materials required to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles receive.

“It will help us reduce our reliance on importing many of the materials we use today in building the batteries, and then it will reduce the depletion of raw materials, which will be incredibly important in the future when we start.” to scale, “said Lisa Drake, Ford’s chief operating officer.” Creating this domestic supply chain is really an important step in making electric vehicles more affordable and accessible to all. “

With electric vehicle sales in the US expected to grow from an estimated 350,000 cars in 2021 to over a million annually by 2025, according to research firm LMC Automotive, automakers are increasingly focusing on the life cycle of electric vehicle batteries.

Tesla, which recycles batteries from its vehicles, addresses the problem on its website and says, “None of our discarded lithium-ion batteries end up in landfills and are 100% recycled.” GM works with Li-Cycle of Canada to remove scrap from manufacturing. to recycle Ultium battery cells.

Ford’s deal with Redwood Materials could benefit both companies as the number of electric vehicles continues to grow. Ford and its battery manufacturing partner SK Innovations will ensure a steady and potentially growing supply of key materials such as lithium, nickel and copper, which are important for the manufacture of EV battery packs. Redwood Materials will receive recycled battery packs, with the key elements then being returned to Ford for reuse in future electric vehicles.

“We build and put around 2,000 batteries on the streets in America every day,” said JB Straubel, founder and CEO of Redwood Materials. “We must at least plan how we can recycle and dismantle a similar number of batteries very efficiently and sustainably.”

Initially, Redwood will recycle waste it receives from Ford at its Carson City, Nevada facilities. Over time, as Ford and SK Innovation add new plants, it is possible that Redwood Materials will build new recycling centers closer to the battery factories.

On paper, Ford’s battery recycling plan makes sense. However, to ensure there is a continuous loop, Ford needs to keep track of what happens to its electric vehicles long after the sale. A big job as vehicles usually have two or three owners before they reach the end of their lifespan and if that happens the electric vehicle will likely end up in a junkyard. The answer could be that automakers need to track EV batteries.

“It is definitely possible for the automaker to protect this battery for its entire life and bring it to the recycling center,” said Sam Jaffe, Managing Director of Cairn Energy Research Advisors.

Jaffe, who follows the EV battery market, says recycling is coming to Europe because of the legal obligation for automakers to guarantee that the battery is recycled. “The batteries go to the scrapyards, the automaker picks them up and takes them to centralization and then to recycling,” he said. The push to increase recycling in the EU is one of the reasons Volkswagen and Peugeot have introduced small recycling operations on the continent.

At this point in time, Ford has not yet put in place a final plan to ensure that battery packs are recycled at the end of their life, but Drake admits that the financial benefit of recycling batteries is significant. “If we can regain this value and not have to reduce it again and have a certain security of supply domestically, that is incredibly valuable for us,” she said during a briefing on the announcement of the partnership.

In the United States, recycling of EV batteries has, in large part, not received significant attention because the number of end-of-life electric vehicles remains relatively small. That will change in the next 10 years when the industry ramped up electric car production.

AlixPartners, an automotive consultancy, says investments in battery production will account for nearly a quarter of the $ 330 billion spent on developing and building electric vehicles from 2021 to 2025. Ford is committed to spending $ 22 billion on developing electric vehicles, including the F-150 Blitz, by 2025. The first deliveries of the fully electric pickup are planned for the beginning of next year.

Ford is among several companies that have invested in Redwood Materials, which raised more than $ 800 million in three funding rounds. According to Straubel, the demand for raw materials will continue to rise, making recycling instead of mining a smart move for car manufacturers.

“It can reduce the need to import more of these materials from overseas and can reduce the need for and pressures on mining expansion,” he said.

– CNBCs Meghan Shipowner contributed to this report

France and Australia agree submarines will not cease commerce deal | Your Cash

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) –

French and Australian officials said Monday that France’s anger over a canceled submarine treaty will not bring down negotiations on a free trade agreement between Australia and the European Union.

France withdrew its ambassadors to the United States and Australia after President Joe Biden announced a new alliance with Australia and Britain last week that would supply an Australian fleet of at least eight nuclear submarines.

The deal resulted in a $ 90 billion ($ 66 billion) contract for the French state-owned Naval Group to build 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines for Australia. The money would have been spent over 35 years.

The French ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault denied media reports that France had been lobbying the European Union not to sign the trade agreement with Australia that had been negotiated since 2018.

“Negotiations are continuing at this stage and there is a strong interest … for Australia in signing a free trade agreement with the EU,” Thebault told Australian Broadcasting Corp. from Paris.

Such a deal “has the potential to bring tremendous benefits to Australia,” added Thebault.

Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said he would be traveling to Paris within weeks for trade negotiations and was “very interested in contacting my French counterpart,” Franck Riester.

“My recent trip to Europe to discuss the EU Free Trade Agreement is a strong understanding that this is in the mutual interest of both Australia and Europe,” said Tehan, referring to a visit in April.

“I see no reason why these discussions should not continue,” added Tehan.

French President Emmanuel Macron will speak to Biden in the coming days on their first contact since the diplomatic crisis broke out.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison flew to the United States on Monday to meet with Biden and the leaders of India and Japan who make up the Quad Security Forum.

“The point here is always to ensure that the sovereign interests of Australia come first so that Australians can live here peacefully with the many others in our region, because that is what we want as a peaceful and free nation”, said Morrison before leaving Sydney.

Home Secretary signs Montana Tribal Water Rights Treaty

US body only supports COVID-19 boosters for high risk seniors

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Hong Kong biotech start-up Prenetics to checklist in US by means of SPAC deal

Hong Kong biotech company Prenetics is going public through a merger with Artisan Acquisition – a special purpose vehicle for acquisitions, or SPAC – to value the combined company at $ 1.7 billion, the companies announced Thursday.

Confirm CNBC’s previous report, the two companies said the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

This makes Prenetics the first Hong Kong unicorn or multi-billion dollar start-up to become a publicly traded company.

Prenetics CEO Danny Yeung (left) and Artisan Acquisitions founder Adrian Cheng, who is also CEO and Executive Vice Chairman of New World Development. Prenetics goes public through a SPAC merger with Artisan Acquisition that will value the combined company at $ 1.7 billion.

Source: Prenetics

The merged company will trade on the Nasdaq under a new ticker symbol PRE when it closes.

The merger is expected to generate up to $ 459 million in cash revenue that will be used for strategic acquisitions, geographic expansion, and research and development.

Artisan Acquisition is supported by Adrian Cheng, CEO and Executive Vice Chairman of Hong Kong-listed Development of the new world. Prenetics – a diagnostics and genetic testing company in 10 countries – wants to leverage Cheng’s business portfolio that includes retail, hospitality, healthcare and real estate.

Invest in M&A

According to Ben Cheng, CEO of Artisan Acquisition, Prenetics was chosen for a number of reasons.

The Hong Kong-based startup is a high-growth company that is revolutionizing the healthcare industry and is led by an established entrepreneur, Cheng told CNBC.Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday.

He was referring to Artisan’s CEO and co-founder, Danny Yeung, who previously worked at Groupon.

“We are very confident about his track record,” said Cheng.

For his part, Yeung told CNBC that using the cash proceeds from the deal for mergers and acquisitions is a top priority for Prenetics.

“The US is a priority market for us, Southeast Asia and the rest of Europe – we will certainly invest in growth, manufacturing, product development and research and development again,” he said on Thursday.

To date, Prenetics has performed more than 5 million Covid-19 tests for customers including the Hong Kong government and London Heathrow Airport.

It counts names like Chinese internet company Alibaba, as well as the insurers Ping An and Prudential as strategic investors.

The company has grown significantly since it was founded in 2014. Revenue is expected to triple year-on-year to $ 205 million in 2021 and to increase to $ 600 million by 2025.

– CNBC’s Saheli Roy Choudhury contributed to this report.

Drone Racing League lands $100 million take care of crypto platform Algorand

Drone Racing League

Source: Drone Racing League

The New York-based Drone Racing League has signed its most significant sponsorship agreement to date with the cryptocurrency platform Algorand, the company announced on Tuesday.

DRL is a first-person view racing league in which drone pilots race devices through neon-lit courses and compete for prize money. The company was founded in 2015 and is now valued at $ 200 million, according to PitchBook.

The terms of the deal with Algorand weren’t released, but people who knew about the deal told CNBC that it was a five-year pact worth $ 100 million. The league partner remains the German financial services company Allianz, which has held the title rights since the beginning of the DRL. Excel Sports Management has negotiated the deal with Algorand.

In an interview with CNBC last week, DRL President Rachel Jacobson called the pact with Algorand “transformative” and the “perfect marriage”. She added the crypto platform and DRL is aimed at a “tech-setter” fan base.

Jacobson described Gen Z audiences as digitally savvy, early adopters, “who are just as interested in an Apple iPhone launch as they are in sports and entertainment.”

“When you look at what’s going on with crypto and blockchain, you need to make sure you’re targeting the right audience,” she added.

Boston-based Algorand has a blockchain or digital ledger and is traded on the cryptocurrency exchange under the ticker symbol SOME. As crypto continues to evolve in the financial sector, companies are positioning themselves to attract more digital consumers by using sports sponsorship to create awareness.

This year, crypto companies took over the sport Naming rights assets in the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball, and one company achieved a $ 100 million deal with Freedom media– own Formula 1.

Drone Racing League

Source: Drone Racing League

Jacobson, a former NBA executive, said sports help newer companies gain brand awareness, but added that crypto firms still need to educate younger audiences about the field and use engaging platforms to get their message across. According to DRL, it reaches around 75 million fans worldwide

“You have to put in the right programming so it doesn’t just be a logo slap,” Jacobson said. “The crypto community is too smart – they only see through a jersey patch or signage. They want to know, ‘How can I get involved? And how will that change my sports experience?'”

DRL starts its sixth season on September 29th. The league has media rights deals with NBCUniversal and a streaming deal with Twitter. miscellaneous Include sponsorships Agreements with Draft kings, T-Mobile, Body armor that US Air Force. DRL is helping the Air Force recruit and train future drone drivers.

Drones used in racing events are designed and built by DRL who build models for each race. The drones are worth around $ 2,000 and can fly up to 90 miles per hour.

The global drone market – described as the “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle” sector – is expected to become $ 58 billion by 2026, by markets and markets. Since DRL also acts as a drone manufacturer, Jacobson said it wants to use products to generate more revenue.

“The possibilities are endless,” Jacobson said, noting that more and more companies are testing deliveries with drones. “We build our drones and when we think of other lines of business it could be anything. We’re just getting started.”

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the year DRL was introduced.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.

Shang-Chi would not have a launch date in China, why that is an enormous deal

Simu Liu plays Shang-Chi in Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”.

Disney

When “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” hits theaters on Friday, it will be the first time since the pandemic began that a Marvel film will be shown exclusively in theaters, but it’s its absence on a major one international market, the box office analysts in conversation.

“Shang-Chi” is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe not to be released in China and only the second not to be released in China. The underlying controversy seems to stem from the cast of the film and perception of the comic book series on which “Shang-Chi” is based.

The absence from the Chinese box office means that “Shang-Chi” is leaving a large sum of money on the table. China has been the second highest box office of all Marvel films since 2012, just behind the US and Canada.

With a theatrical-only release and connections to a 24-movie blockbuster franchise, There is no doubt that “Shang-Chi” will top the box office this weekend in the US and Canada. It could even claim to be the highest Labor Day weekend opening ever.

But China is a key market for its size. Before the pandemic, China was the second largest box office in the world, according to Comscore data, with annual ticket sales of $ 8.67 billion. In addition, delays in the release of popular films in China often expose a film to higher levels of piracy.

“Marvel is an immensely popular franchise practically everywhere, and these films owe a significant portion of their international box office success to the ticket sales that China generates,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com. “Anywhere, 10 to 20% of the global gross sales of a Marvel film can come from the Middle Kingdom alone.”

Marvel has achieved this benchmark since 2013. In the early years of the Marvel franchise, China accounted for between 2% and 6% of total theatrical sales.

For the 2019 release of Avengers: Endgame Disney planned to debut for domestic and Chinese audiences on the same weekend. The result was that highest opening weekend in film history. During its lifetime, 22% of ticket sales came from China.

“The growth of the Chinese theatrical market over the past decade has been impressive; in essence, sales have tripled since 2012 and have become a major target for many American blockbusters, who often rely on the country’s box office earning power to help them to bring it to the next round. ” Level, “said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

“Shang-Chi” will not benefit from these ticket sales until its domestic debut as it has not yet been approved by government officials for release in China. The region does not operate a free cinema market and all films produced abroad have to pass the censorship in order to be distributed locally.

China has strict rules on the content and suppresses everything it believes violates his basic socialist values ​​or affects his nationalist image. The country recently stepped up crackdown on its own entertainment industry, urging broadcasters to ban artists with “wrong political positions” and effeminate styles from shows in order to create a “more patriotic atmosphere”.

“Black Widow” was allowed to display in the country, but the release date coincided with a lockdown period in China. In July, the country leaves cinemas open for local productions and shows foreign films. This year, the planning for non-Chinese films was additionally influenced by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Communist Party. The occasion led to months of censorship in all media.

Unfortunately, the rampant piracy of “Black Widow” after its release in domestic cinemas and via streaming means that it will never get a run in China.

“Having near-perfect pirated copies of a major motion picture floating around is never good for business and is understandably a concern for the entire film industry,” said Dergarabedian.

Box office analysts have speculated that “Shang-Chi” would be removed from the file because of its source material. The comics on which the film is based are considered racist and full of reductive stereotypes. While Marvel boss Kevin Feige has gone to great lengths to allay any concerns about the portrayals in the upcoming film, it may not be enough to get it working in Chinese theaters.

Marvel’s “Eternals” could suffer a similar fate, although the reason for the rejection is very different. The film is directed by Chloe Zhao, who recently became a persona non grata in China after previous remarks she made about the country surfaced online. The backlash resulted in her name and accomplishments being deleted from much of the Chinese internet.

That leaves “Spider-Man: No Way Home” as the next potential Marvel film to hit theaters in the country. The last two standalone Spider-Man films have done well in China, generating sales of $ 117.5 million in 2017 and 2019.

The pent-up demand to see a Marvel movie on the big screen could lead to audiences flocking to theaters when it is released in December.

Correction: Avengers: Endgame generated 22% of its $ 2.8 billion or $ 627.2 million in ticket sales from China. An earlier version of this story misrepresented the value of sales in China.

MLB will finish 70-year cope with buying and selling card firm Topps

Major League Baseball will abandon Topps as a trading card partner, ending a relationship that has existed since 1952.

Fanatics, the sportswear company, is set to get the trading card deal instead, according to two people familiar with the matter. Fanatics and MLB declined to comment.

The MLB extended their deal with Topps in 2018, and the existing deal ends in 2025. The MLB Players Association’s deal also aligns with the league, so the deal would end too.

The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle Rookie Card from the Marshall Fogel collection arrives at the Rally Hotel in McGregor Square.

Matt Dirksen | Colorado Rockies | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images

In the agreement with Topps, MLB receives a license fee for products that are sold with its intellectual property. Baseball’s exit is a blow to Topps as the powerhouse announced last April that it would go public. The trading card company went with a SPAC merger. a Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corp. II, which is listed on the Nasdaq and valued Topps at $ 1.3 billion.

Topps was a publicly traded company before it was privatized in 2007 after a $ 385 million deal. Founded in 1938, the company became known for selling trading cards, including the 1952 Mickey Mantle card, which sold for $ 5.2 million last January. With the departure of the MLB, Topps is left with license agreements with leagues such as the Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League.

In the meantime, MLB will in some way turn to Fanatics to make physical trading cards. Fanatics plans to start a new trading card company and will give MLB and the MLB Players Association holdings in the company.

MLB already owns shares in Fanatics and recently sold its NFT rights to Candy Digital, which is owned by Fanatics. In addition, Fanatics already owns all of MLB’s e-commerce rights and is looking to expand its business outside of sports merchandising, including sports betting.

Earlier this month, Fanatics secured a $ 325 million raise to expand and is now valued at $ 18 billion.

AMC reaches take care of Warner Bros. for 45 days theatrical exclusivity

AMC entertainment made an agreement with Warner bros. to present the studio’s entire Slate 2022 in cinemas for 45 days.

The world’s largest theater chain had shied away from Warner Bros. ‘ Decision to bring this year’s films to cinemas and via the streaming service HBO Max on the same day. These films included “Godzilla vs. Kong”, “Space Jam: A New Legacy” and most recently “The Suicide Squad”. It also includes the upcoming releases of “Matrix 4” and “Dune”.

AMC a similar contract with Owned by Comcast Universal last year, which guaranteed cinema exclusivity for at least 17 days before films could be streamed or made available on-demand.

“It is particularly gratifying to see Warner Bros hugging a theater window yet again,” said CEO Adam Aron during the conference call on Monday. “For us at AMC, it is particularly gratifying to be working so harmoniously with Warner Bros. again.”

Warner Bros. had already announced that it would return to pure theatrical releases in 2022 during last month’s conference call from parent company AT&T. It had also signed similar deals with Cineworld, the owner of Regal Cinemas, in April Cinemark in May. The financial details of these contracts have not been made public.

Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia, said during a conference call in July that theatrical releases will continue to matter to the company even if it only creates streaming content in the future.

While the hybrid release model was a necessity during the pandemic, there is no doubt that the strategy has eaten the box office revenue of all studios across the board. Big budget films made only a fraction of what they did in pre-pandemic times.

Having exclusive content in theaters can Help AMC to become profitable again. The company is aiming for the fourth quarter, but will only achieve that goal if the total domestic box office reaches $ 5.2 billion, said Aron.

While the theater chain reported revenue of $ 444.7 million in the second quarter, which was above analysts’ expectations, it nonetheless posted a net loss of $ 344 million. It’s an improvement over the $ 561.2 million loss recorded a year ago.