Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Grand Theft Auto V’ Earns $800 Million in a Day - cost $265 Million to make - 

The release of Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto V” generated $800 million sales in 24 hours around the world, a record for any game from Take-Two Interactive, and the “GTA” franchise itself.
Success of the game bodes well for other tentpole game releases debuting this fall including the next “Call of Duty,” “Assassin’s Creed” and “Battlefield” sequels, as well as “Batman: Arkham Origins” and newcomer “Watch Dogs.”

The release of “GTAV” is certainly impressive, especially when compared to film releases.

The top three earners at the box office this year are Disney’s “Iron Man 3,” which generated $1.2 billion; Universal’s “Despicable Me 2,” at $840 million; and Warner Bros.’ “Man of Steel,” at $663 million.

“GTAV” boasted a budget just as lofty as most tentpoles, with Rockstar spending around $115 million to make the game and Take-Two another $150 million to market it throughout the year.

Of course, games are more expensive than movie tickets: “GTAV” is priced at $59.99 for the standard edition, $79.99 for a Special Edition and $150 for an exclusive GameStop edition.

“We are incredibly proud of Rockstar Games’ creative achievement and could not be more pleased with the success of this launch,” said Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick in a statement of the game which has generated high scores from game critics. It has a 98 on Metacritic.

Activision’s bestselling “Call of Duty” franchise earned $500 million in a day when “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” was released in the U.S. last year.

It went on to earn $1 billion in 15 days, setting a record for the ‘Call of Duty’ franchise and the videogames biz. That figure was a record for the franchise, one day faster than 2011′s “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.”

The results of “Grand Theft Auto V” don’t come as a surprise and follow reports from several analysts that predicted the game would make $1 billion in its first month of release, and move 20 million copies by Take-Two’s fiscal year that ends March 2014. The first “Grand Theft Auto IV” shipped nearly 25 million units after its release in 2008.

However the final numbers blew away even some analysts’ expectations, with hundreds of people waiting in lines in cities around the country to get their hands on the first copies of the new game on Tuesday.

“We see potential for worldwide day-one sell-through of 6.5 million units [and] $400 million for GTA V,” said analysts Arvind Bhatia and Brett Strauser of Sterne Agee.

The fifth installment of the “Grand Theft Auto” series has yet to launch in Japan and Brazil.

Game revolves around a trio of criminals as they pull off heists in a fictional version of Los Angeles, known as Los Santos. Appeal of the franchise over the years has been the ability to veer off and explore the city, stealing cars and causing mayhem.

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STUDY: Cell Phone-Related Injuries Dramatically On Rise... -

STUDY: Cell Phone-Related Injuries Dramatically On Rise... - 

A new study shows pedestrian cell phone related injuries have nearly doubled since 2005. The age group most at risk is 16 to 25 year olds.

Some find it funny, such as YouTube videos showing teens falling in water fountains, but it can be dangerous (SEE RELATED STORY.)

Aaron Mandelbaum, a student, said “it’s part of the youth culture, we’re always on our phones.”

CBS 3 went to University City and saw many people preoccupied on their phone, some even crossing the street while texting.

Lauren Kelly of University City, said, “It’s something that happens quite frequently.”

Maureen Rush is the Vice President of Public Safety at the University of Pennsylvania, and she said it is common to see young adults attached to their phones while walking around.

She said, “We’re seeing people totally unaware of their surroundings, walking around streets with ear buds something in their face totally in a different zone.”

That can cause injuries include tripping, falling off of walkways, even walking in front of moving traffic.

“Our hospital, University of Pennsylvania, has seen many a broken ankle because of people not realizing they’re walking off the curb.”

UPenn kicked off their “Share the Road” program this week. It focuses on cell phone use among drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Rush observed, “People in cars texting, speaking on the phone, you see bicyclists one handed driving down the street, you see pedestrians waking out off the curb.”

Unsurprisingly, most people who we caught texting and walking did not want to speak on camera, but some confessed and acknowledged the dangers.

Eric Dannenbaum, a student said, “I find myself tripping on the ground from not really looking. I’ve been in situations where I’ve nearly bumped into somebody. I do walk and text and sometimes trip up a little.”

Rush offers this piece of advice, “People are totally unaware of a perpetrator who may be watching everything their doing waiting for that moment to grab that phone out of their hand. The best way to stay safe on the sidewalk is to put away your phone!”


Half The World's Richest Women Are Chinese -

Half The World's Richest Women Are Chinese - 

While Chinese stocks are underperforming their Japanese neighbors', the decision of which Asian language to learn (in order to potentially better your future) is clear. As Hurun Research notes, half of the richest women in the world (with assets in excess of $1 billion) are from China - including 3 from the Top 5 and 6 of the Top 10. Asia was home to the highest number of billionaires this year with most of them operating in real estate sector.  The total wealth of the 1453 billionaires amounted to a staggering US$5.5 trillion, the equivalent of China’s GDP and the so-called 'Ten-Zero-Club' - individuals with over USD10bn - grew by 25 to 108 people. The USA still ranks #1 (exceptionally) for the country with the most billionaires - at 409!

Via Shanghai Daily,

One out of four on the list of 50 richest women in China is involved in real estate business. And 18 percent of them are in the financial sector.

Also from the real estate sector is Chen Lihua, 72, of Fu Wah International, who ranks No. 2 on the list with 37 billion yuan of self-earned wealth.

According to Hurun, half of the richest women in the world with assets valued in excess of US$1 billion are from China, including three among the top five and six among the top ten.

Rupert Hoogewerf, founder of Hurun Research Institute, said: "This generation of Chinese women entrepreneurs have not only earned themselves a high status in their country, but also secured an unshakable position on the global stage.”
And if you are shooting for the moon, dust off the James Bond tuxedo and head over to meet Yang Huiyan. At 32, she is the heiress to property developer Country Garden, and has retaken the title of China’s richest woman from another property tycoon Wu Yajun, 49, this year, according to the Hurun List of Richest Women in China 2013 released today.

Via Hurun.net,

On the 2013 list, Hurun Report has ranked 1453 individuals with personal wealth of US$1 billion or more.

Asia was home to the highest number of billionaires this year with most of them operating in real estate sector.  The total wealth of the 1453 billionaires amounted to a staggering US$5.5 trillion, the equivalent of China’s GDP.

The average age is 63. One in ten is female.

This past year has seen a rebound in the wealth of private sector.  Stock markets in the US have risen and the US dollar has got stronger, rising against the Brazilian Real by 19%, Indian Rupee by 12% and Japanese Yen by 6%, making it harder for locals to make the cut-off.

The Hurun Global Top Ten grew by 26% on average.

The so-called ‘Ten-Zero Club’ – individuals with US$10bn – grew by 25 individuals to 108 billionaires.

Real Estate produced the most billionaires – 219, accounting for 16% of the entire list.

The USA:Ranks No 1 with 409 billionaires.  Investments, TMT and retail are the top three sources of wealth for American billionaires, with 102, 88 and 40 billionaires respectively. The combined wealth of the US billionaires is US$1712bn, with New York as their capital.
Countries with Highest Number Of Billionaires


Facebook sorry for ad showing photo of dead girl - in a dating ad -

Facebook sorry for ad showing photo of dead girl - in a dating ad - 

Facebook has apologized after a dating ad featuring the photo of a Canada teen who died after months of bullying was posted on its site.
A spokesperson for the company issued a statement late Tuesday saying the ad was a "gross violation" of the company's policies and has been removed.
Facebook said the dating website, Ionechat.com, has been banned. The site could not be reached for comment.
Rehtaeh Parsons died after she was taken off life support following a suicide attempt in April. Her family says the 17-year-old was bullied for months after an alleged sexual assault.
Parsons' father, Glen Canning, says he was disgusted to see the photo.
The ad featured the heading, "Find Love in Canada! Meet Canadian girls and women for friendship, dating or relationships."


The Treasury Secretary on How Unstable U.S. Government Finances Are

The Treasury Secretary on How Unstable U.S. Government Finances Are

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew made the following statement during remarks today before the Economic Club of Washington D.C.:

[W]e are relying on investors from all over the world to continue to hold U.S. bonds.  Every Thursday, we roll-over approximately $100 billion in U.S. bills.  If U.S. bond holders decided that they wanted to be repaid rather than continuing to roll-over their investments, we could unexpectedly dissipate our entire cash balance. 

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