Sound: “I’m so glad that you’ve lost your jobs”
Jonathan: Republicans in Congress just grilled former Twitter execs over what they say is censorship. Angie is in Washington with the story. Plus – how movie theater chains are getting creative to get you back at the movies.
Those stories and more today on Notice News.
Congress Grills Former Twitter Executives
Jonathan: Hey guys and happy Monday, I’m Jonathan here at Notice HQ in Brooklyn. Our top story today: last week, Republicans in Congress grilled former Twitter execs over a story they say Twitter unfairly censored, just weeks before the 2020 election. Our Washington correspondent Angie has the details.
Sound: “America witnessed a coordinated campaign by social media companies, mainstream news and the intelligence community to suppress and de-legitimize the existence of Hunter Biden’s laptop and its contents.”
Angie: that’s the top Republican on the House of Representatives’ oversight committee, laying into former Twitter executives at a hearing last week. They say Twitter unfairly censored a story from the New York Post just days before the 2020 election about a laptop allegedly owned by President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
The laptop apparently contained damaging emails and photos about Hunter’s business dealings and personal life. Both Twitter and Facebook at first banned or restricted the story, fearing the information from the laptop was hacked or was misformation, but both platforms later reversed that decision.
Sound: “And we had to decide what to do. And in that moment, with limited information, Twitter made a mistake.”
Democrats called the hearings a waste of time.
Sound: “It’s just an abuse of public resources and abuse of public time. We could be talking about healthcare, but instead, we’re talking about Hunter Biden’s half fake laptop story. I mean, this is an embarrassment.”
But – Hunter Biden is under investigation by the Department of Justice. There are questions if he violated tax laws or other laws when he lobbied the U.S. government on behalf of other nations.
Only the Justice Department could potentially bring criminal charges against Hunter Biden. Congress can only investigate – and as of right now, no charges have been filed.
Jonathan: Here’s what else is making news right now.
The death toll in that massive earthquake in the Middle East continued to rise over the weekend as hope fades for finding any more survivors. It’s now deadlier than the 2011 earthquake that hit Japan, which triggered a massive tsunami and killed over 18,000 people.
The Church of England is considering how to talk about God – without using gender. A church spokesman said this is nothing new, that Christians since ancient times have recognized God is neither male nor female.
And, this is something you don’t see every day. Watch as this man gets not one, not five, not ten, but *14 dogs* to stand up in a conga line. and yes – that is a new world record.
Movie Theaters Get Creative
Jonathan: You may love the recent changes when it comes to in-home entertainment – thanks to Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming services, more and more movies are available to watch at home in the comfort of your own living room.
But all that comes at a cost – especially for big movie theater chains – who are now struggling to bring in audiences. Since 2019, before the pandemic, more than 3,000 movie theaters have closed in North America, according to comscore, and only 54% of people went to a movie theater between April and October of 2022.
Theaters say their biggest problem is lack of content. Movie theater releases have fallen by 50% since 2019. While theaters obviously want to boost their ticket sales, there is another way for them to make money: food. On average, concessions make up about 40% of the total revenue for major movie theater chains. Theaters have implemented creative ways to boost concession sales like mobile ordering and pick-up, upscale items like flatbreads, lobster grilled cheese, and cocktails,and even themed menu items to match certain movies.
In some cases, this appears to be working. Some theaters report that the per-person concession average is higher now than it was in 2019, even though overall ticket sales are down. Even with these creative approaches, it’s predicted that the movie theater industry won’t be able to return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2025.
That’s it for today but you can learn more about the challenges facing movie theaters on our website, noticenews.com.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more from us, Notice News.