Business briefing

The daily business briefing: February 26, 2018

Weinstein Co. plans to file for bankruptcy protection, Black Panther scores one of the best second weekends ever, and more

1

Weinstein Co. plans to file for bankruptcy protection

The Weinstein Company announced Sunday that it would have to file for bankruptcy protection after a $500 million deal to sell the company to an investment group fell through. The board of the once-powerful film studio reportedly cut off negotiations when the investor group declined to offer enough interim financing to keep the struggling company afloat. The Weinstein Company was already struggling due to mismanagement and a lack of entertainment hits when sexual assault and harassment allegations against co-founder Harvey Weinstein thrust it into turmoil. The board said bankruptcy was "an extremely unfortunate outcome for our employees, our creditors, and any victims," but the "only viable option to maximize the company's remaining value."

2

Black Panther scores one of best second weekends ever

Black Panther had one of the best second weekends ever, collecting about $108 million in ticket sales. The Marvel blockbuster, directed by Ryan Coogler, is only the fourth film in history to make more than $100 million in its second weekend. Only Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought in more, with a $149.2 million haul in its second weekend. Jurassic World made $107 million, and The Avengers brought in $103 million. After making $202 million in its opening weekend, Black Panther is on track to be one of the highest-grossing blockbusters ever. It has already grossed $400 million domestically and $704 million worldwide. Its debut in China, the second largest film market, is scheduled for March 9.

3

Boeing to get 51 percent stake in venture with Embraer

Boeing will acquire a 51 percent stake in a joint company it is negotiating with Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer, the Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported on Sunday. The Brazilian government insisted that Boeing settle for just a 51 percent controlling stake, and the U.S. aircraft maker agreed, O Globo columnist Lauro Jardim reported, without citing specific sources. Boeing has been seeking the Brazilian government's approval for a partnership with Embraer's commercial business, excluding its defense unit. Another Brazilian newspaper, Valor Economico, reported in early February that Boeing would get an 80 percent to 90 percent stake in the new commercial jet venture.

4

Stock futures rise as comments from Fed leaders loom

Global stocks rose on Monday, buoyed by strong Friday gains in the U.S. Futures for the three major U.S. indexes also rose early Monday. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose by 0.6 percent, while S&P 500 futures were up by 0.3 percent and Nasdaq-100 futures inched up by about 1 percent. Friday's gains were fueled by the Federal Reserve's semiannual monetary policy report, which reflected a mostly upbeat view on the U.S. economy and gave no clear signals that the central bank's policy makers planned to hike interest rates more aggressively than previously expected. Investors will be looking for further clues about the Fed's plans when two high-ranking Fed officials speak on Monday, and when Fed Chairman Jerome Powell appears on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

5

Supreme Court will hear case likely to hit unions, Democrats

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Monday in Janus v. AFSCME, a case challenging the fees non-union public sector workers pay to unions to bargain on their behalf. If the five conservative justices side with the plaintiff, Illinois public employee Mark Janus, as expected, the projected loss in union funds and membership would significantly harm both the unions and the Democratic politicians they mostly support, according to political science research. A recent paper by Columbia's Alexander Hertel-Fernandez and two colleagues found that the Democratic share of the presidential vote dropped an average of 3.5 percentage points in states that enacted so-called right-to-work laws. Janus is being financed by a handful of well-coordinated conservative groups.

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