Tag Archives: in-flight entertainment

APEX Hollywood Shortlist: Fifty Shades’ BO Domination Wanes

The DUFF, Lion's Gate
The DUFF, Lionsgate

Despite a steeper than expected drop, Universal’s Fifty Shades of Grey easily whipped up the stamina for another first place finish at the weekend box office. Adding another $22M to it’s impressive $129M domestic haul, Fifty Shades is proving to be an even bigger hit overseas where it’s closing in on the $300M mark  just 10 days in theaters. And though sequel plans remain foggier than the view from Christian Grey’s penthouse at the moment – word on the street is that Fifty Shades author E.L. James is hoping to pen the script for Fifty Shades Darker herself. Fans should expect to see many more shades of grey in the years ahead.

Also hanging tight in second and third place were Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service and Paramount/Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Squarepants: Sponge out of Water which raked in another $18M and $16.5M, respectively.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Paramount Pictures
Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Paramount Pictures

But the biggest shocker of the weekend – aside from John Travolta’s strange face-touching antics at the Oscars – was the fact that a tiny, female-driven teen comedy, with no major stars to speak of landed in fifth place with $10.8M. Lionsgate and CBS Films’ girl-powered The DUFF, definitely surpassed expectations. Paramount’s Hot Tub Time Machine 2, the  sequel to one of the buzziest cult hits of the past decade, floated to the weekend’s seventh spot with $5.9M.

Based on Kody Keplinger’s darkly funny 2010 young adult novel of the same name, The DUFF (which stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend) is striking a chord with young female audiences and should prove to be a modest word-of-mouth hit for Lionsgate and CBS Films over the next few weeks.

McFarland USA_Disney
McFarland USA, Disney

Also opening wide over the weekend was Disney’s cross country racing drama McFarland, USA. Featuring the unofficial king of all sports movies Kevin Costner doing what he does best – inspiring a team of underdogs to victory despite the odds – McFarland took in $11M over the weekend. Directed by Whale Rider writer/director Niki Caro, McFarland is proving to be something of a sleeper hit and should have strong legs, both onscreen and at the box office, for a while.

Complete Box Office Results – February 20-22, 2015

Title/Studio Weekend/Total Gross
1. Fifty Shades of Grey/Universal $22M / $129M
2. Kingsman: The Secret Service/Fox $18M / $67.9M
3. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water/Paramount Pictures $16.5M / $126M
4. McFarland, USA/Disney $11M
5. The DUFF/Lionsgate $10.8M
6. American Sniper/Warner Bros. $10M / $320M
7. Hot Tub Time Machine 2/Paramount $5.9M
8. Jupiter Ascending/Warner Bros. $3.8M / $39.6M
9. The Imitation Game/The Weinstein Company $2.5M / $83.8M
10. Paddington/The Weinstein Company $2M / $67.8M

More TV Trivia and Tidbits

Didn’t get enough TV trivia from our “Around the World in 43 Episodes” article in The Education Issue? We’ve got bonus  trivia and factoids to satisfy your TV-loving soul.

Parks and Recreation (2009- )

Parks and Recreation

Number of Seasons: 6
Number of Episodes: 112
Time Needed: Approximately 1 day, 16 hours and 18 minutes

Fun fact: Nick Offerman originally auditioned for the role of Mark Brendanawicz before being cast as Ron Swanson.

Game of Thrones (2011- )


Number of Seasons: 4
Number of Episodes: 40
Time Needed: Approximately 1 day, 8 hours and 56 minutes

Fun fact: After the show aired, Jack Gleeson, the actor who plays Joffrey, received a letter from author George R. R. Martin saying: “Congratulations, everyone hates you!”

Portlandia (2011- )


Number of Seasons: 4
Number of Episodes: 38
Time Needed: Approximately 14 hours and 21 minutes

Fun fact: The feminist bookstore scenes are actually shot at the very same non-profit bookstore that inspired the characters.

Twin Peaks (1990-1991)


Number of Seasons: 2
Number of Episodes: 30
Time Needed: Approximately 24 hours and 53 minutes

Fun fact:  Entertainment Weekly included this show in its “25 Greatest Cult TV Shows Ever” list at position #5 in the September 29, 2009.

Travel Tips for TV Lovers

  1. Looking for a new show to distract your for hours on your next long-haul flight? Check out these binge-worthy TV shows to watch from your personal device.
  2. Verify your flight’s IFE offerings before takeoff. Several airlines provide this information directly on their website.
  3. Can’t decide what to watch in-flight? Download the Quicket app and gain access to IFE ratings.
  4. If you’re flying Qantas, be sure to check out the 100 + hours of new content available onboard to fulfill all your binge-watching needs.


APEX in Profile: Christelle Cuenca

Christelle Cuenca
Vice-president, Content Programming & Acquisitions
Global Eagle Entertainment Inc.

Cuenca started her career in IFE in 2000 at DMX and joined Post Modern Group in 2007 to launch AMP International, acquired by GEE in 2013. During her 15 years in IFE, Cuenca has managed video programming and operations for over 40 airline accounts.

Did you choose the airline industry or did it choose you?
I started my career in entertainment working for an independent production and distribution company. I was not aware of the inflight entertainment business until a friend of mine got a job at DMX and recommended me for a position. I was very excited about joining the IFE industry as I saw many opportunities to improve the airline content offering.

Fifteen years later, I am still convinced I have the coolest job on the planet.

Something that never ceases to amaze you in your industry?
When I stepped into IFE, I was amazed by how friendly people are in this industry, and how supportive our business partners and clients have been over the years. These relationships are the cement of our business.

Where do you see the entertainment industry headed in the next year?
The entertainment industry has already started to go through a transformation with the transition to digital media; however, it will continue to be reshaped by innovations and disruptive digital media outlets. This will in turn force more traditional forms of media to adapt themselves to changing consumer habits, which is another trend that will continue to impact and transform the media industry, with targeted and curated media growing in popularity.

The career path you considered but never followed?
I grew up convinced I would be a flight attendant and once I turned 21, I applied at an airline. I was turned down and immediately realized it was for the best.

What’s the one item you can’t travel without?
My credit card. I love to shop in exotic locations and my most exciting memories while traveling for business involve a visit to local malls and markets.

Two things that you miss most about home when you’re traveling?
My family and my cooking. I am not a fan of eating out for the sake of eating so I prefer taking a trip to the local supermarket and buy a few groceries.

Musical instrument you wish you could play?
The castanets. I have not said my last word and will take a class someday.

Luckiest moment of your life?
Every day is a lucky day for me. I always seem to be in the right place at the right time.

Listen Up: The Story Behind Bose Headphones

In The Architecture Issue author Jordan Yerman looks at the high-tech advances in headphones, but the history behind these advances is interesting too. 

In 1978, professor and electrical engineer Amar Bose was so disatisfied by the headphones supplied during his flight he immediately started designing a set that would prevent him from going berserk due to the dull roar of ambient noise.

The Bose Corporation has partnered with several airlines since that fateful day. First up was American Airlines in 1999 – if you didn’t notice, it’s because you’ve been flying coach. Since then, carriers such as American Airlines, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Korean Air have all partnered with the headphone giant.

This is in line with the hospitality-industry mentality, which is rapidly becoming the norm in the airline world. It’s the little things that build brand loyalty, like tuning out the hours-long rumbling that’s part and parcel of air travel.

Bose's QuietComfort® 25 headphones. Photo courtesy of Bose.

Bose’s QuietComfort® 25 headphones. Photo courtesy of Bose.

If you’re flying with an airline that’s not spoiling your eardrums (in a good way), there are plenty of options available at your nearest electronics shop. However, those options aren’t cheap: A passable set of noise-canceling headphones will run you $100 USD, and as much as $400 for a set of Beats. The Bose QC headphones, a perennial favorite, go for roughly $300. So, if your knees can’t get a first-class upgrade, perhaps your ears can.

Read about Soundchip and Panasonic’s HD-AUDIO headphones, here.