6-10 Jan: Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.

Warner Bros to use AI tech in commissioning process

Hollywood studio Warner Bros. has signed a deal with LA startup Cinelytic to use its artificial intelligence and machine learning tech to predict the success of its films.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, WB will use Cinelytic’s algorithms to “guide decision-making at the greenlight stage” as algorithmic insights for filmmaking goes mainstream.

Cinelytic launched its project management system last year. Warner will use the system’s data and predictive analytics to assess the value of a star in  given territory, for example, or predict how much a film is expected to make across various platforms.

Awards season raises diversity questions

It’s Awards season for the industry, but Bafta has come under fire after no actors of colour received nominations in acting categories for a 2020 gong.

The Bafta shortlist came out earlier this week, with Joker leading the way with 11 nominations. However, the nominations were criticised for a lack of diversity.

Alongside the Baftas, the shortlist for the 18th Annual Visual Effects Society Awards was also revealed this week, with five nominations each for Alita: Battle Angel and The Lion King.

Game of Thrones and The Mandalorian lead the broadcast categories with six nominations each.

And the winners of the Golden Globes were revealed, with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and 1917 among the big winners.

France approves 40% tax rebate for VFX productions

The French Parliament has agreed to raise an international tax rebate for large-scale VFX productions from 30% to 40%.

The incentive, which will come into place this year, means productions that spend over €2 million on VFX will be able to claim a 40% rebate on spending in France, subject to certain terms.

Variety, which reported the news, notes that a number of French producers, including John Bernard and Raphael Benoliel had joined organisations such as Film France to lobby the French Parliament for the incentive. However, the Parliament did not agree to a bill which proposed aplying the rebate to above-the-line expenditures such as actors’ salaries. 

Game of Thrones most pirated show in 2019

Game of Thrones has topped TorrentFreak’s list of most pirated TV shows for the seventh time.

The HBO behemoth’s eighth and final season was torrented more than any other show in 2019 in the poll, which was topped by The Walking Dead the previous year.

HBO and Sky’s Chernobyl, was second followed by Disney’s The Mandalorian - a Star Wars TV show that aired on Disney’s new OTT platform.

The ranking is based on on BitTorrent downloads, which makes up only a small portion of piracy traffic and does not include streaming.

Rounding out the top 10 were The Big Bang TheoryVikings, The Walking DeadThe Flash, Rick and Morty, Supergirl and Arrow.