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Today's Topics

Thanks for stopping by, today we explore:

  • How does the latest Star Wars trilogy stack up vs. its predecessors?
  • Netflix is still writing big cheques for content, they'll probably ask you to cough up more money too.
  • Walking isn't as safe as it used to be, why?

The numbers behind the numbers:
3 charts, 744 words, 4 mins 20 seconds to read.

The final chapter of the latest Star Wars saga is officially on its way, with the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker released this week. Ahead of its arrival we've plotted all of the main Star Wars movies IMDB rating and box office performance (adjusted for inflation) to see how this latest trilogy stacks up vs. the originals and the prequels. 

So far the sequels have been... okay. The Force Awakens, which was basically the exact same plot as A New Hope, was actually a major hit with fans at the box office and in their ratings, but it was followed up by The Last Jedi, which fared only slightly better than the worst of the prequels... which had a lot of Jar Jar Binks in.

The Rise of Skywalker could swing it either way. If it's a classic it will probably cement the sequels as a great addition to the universe, if it's terrible it'll just confirm what everyone probably already knows - that you can't recreate the magic of the originals.

If you're a Star Wars fan who hates the sequels the good news is you probably won't have to wait very long for another rebooted trilogy. It took George Lucas and his team 28 years to make 6 Star Wars films (the originals and the prequels). But since selling Lucasfilm to Disney, production has made the jump to lightspeed, with Disney releasing some kind of Star Wars movie every single year since 2015. ✨
Content is king, and great content is never free (except this newsletter of course). Netflix knows that better than any organisation. We've been tracking the cash that Netflix spends on content for some time now and in their latest quarterly numbers, reported last week, they spent a whopping total of $3.7bn on tv shows and movies. That's roughly double the amount they spent just 3 years ago.

Spending big now might be the right play for Netflix ahead of the upcoming "streaming wars". By the time Netflix reports its next quarterly update, both Disney and Apple will have launched their streaming services, with NBCUniversal and HBO right behind them at the start of 2020. 

In one of our first newsletters we charted about Netflix after they raised prices 15-20%, which hurt their subscriber numbers. Given that the battle for content is likely to only intensify from here, how much you pay for that Netflix account is probably going to go up again. Of course if you're leeching it off your parents, ex or your old housemate you probably don't care. 📺 

After falling for much of the 1990s and early 2000s the number of pedestrian fatalities in the US has been rising for the last 10 years. The latest data for 2018 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that 2018 was the worst year for pedestrian fatalities for almost 30 years.

So why is this happening?

Honestly, it's not obvious. Urbanisation, and more densely packed cities, could potentially be behind some of the increase, as could the shift in US vehicle sales towards light trucks, away from passenger cars, with light trucks generally causing more severe injuries to pedestrians.

Another explanation however is smartphones, which have obviously exploded in the last decade and can be distracting for all users of the road, driving or walking. That theory may hold some weight considering a majority of the increase in fatalities has come from nighttime incidents, where visibility is reduced, car safety systems are less effective and smartphone screens are even brighter.📱🚦

Data Snacks

1) The WeWork saga has concluded for its ex-CEO and founder Adam Neumann. He's walking away with a $1.7bn severance package, or roughly $850k for every employee that is about to be made redundant. 

2) "Dark Mode" is hitting the mainstream with Apple and Google implementing it into their latest operating software. If your battery life is terrible give it a try - some studies have reported getting 30% more use out of their phones.

3) A school district in the US has decided that if kids have more than $75 of lunch debt then they can't go on field trips, or even go to prom.

4) It was a very different tale for 2 tech titans this week after their quarterly results; Tesla shares were up 18% while Twitter shares were down 21%

5) The bodies of 39 individuals, all of whom were believed to be Chinese nationals, were tragically found this week in a lorry in England.

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