Coronavirus Updates: Lockdowns Accelerate Activision Earnings; Tom Cruise Teams Up With Elon Musk

Coronavirus Updates: Lockdowns Accelerate Activision Earnings; Tom Cruise Teams Up With Elon Musk

Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.

  • Activision trounces earnings expectations as world turns to video games amid lockdown
  • Tom Cruise, Elon Musk: There's no coronavirus restrictions filming in space

    Activision trounces earnings expectations as world turns to video games amid lockdown

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    Activision Blizzard, the video game juggernaut behind the Call of Duty franchise, reported first-quarter earnings that sailed past expectations. It wasn't totally unexpected, given the effects the coronavirus lockdown has had on everything from video game publishers to streaming services. The Santa Monica-based company posted earnings of 65 cents a share on revenue of $1.8 billion. Shares soared 5% in after-hours trading.


    "Our goal to connect the world through epic entertainment is more important to our players than ever before," said Chief Executive Bobby Kotick in a statement. "We delivered strong financial results for the first quarter, and are raising our full-year outlook. I have been awestruck by the strength of our employees and their families during this difficult time."

    Kotick also raised the company's full-year outlook, pinning the robust earnings prediction on an increase in video game downloads and purchases. The surge in video gaming comes amid a dearth of options for Americans looking for entertainment with theaters shuttered and restaurants/bars still a long way off from re-opening.

    Tom Cruise, Elon Musk: There's no coronavirus restrictions filming in space

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    Hollywood is having some issues with how to film blockbusters in the U.S. with the coronavirus shutting down productions. Tom Cruise, who has done most of his own stunts, has an idea. Go to space.

    The actor is partnering with NASA to make his next action movie shot on board the National Space Station, according to Deadline Hollywood. The Hollywood trade reported that Cruise and Elon Musk's SpaceX were in the early stages of teaming up with the U.S. space agency for an action-adventure feature film that would be shot in outer space. No word on the plot yet. "NASA is excited to work with @TomCruise on a film aboard the @Space_Station," NASA administrator Jim Bridentsine tweeted on Tuesday. "We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA's ambitious plans a reality."

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    It's never been a better time to "murder your thirst."

    Seven months after raising more than $9 million in Series A funding, Santa Monica-based canned water startup Liquid Death has raised $23 million in Series B funding.

    The round was led by an unnamed consumer-focused family office and participated in by Convivialité Ventures, Fat Mike (NOFX), Pat McAfee, existing investor in Velvet Sea Ventures and others.

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    Fred Turner, the 25-year-old founder of Curative Inc., is the man behind L.A.'s push to bring universal testing to the region. But, he has bigger plans.

    Turner, an Oxford dropout, just landed a deal with the Air Force to test military worldwide and he's now eyeing national expansion for his startup. By the end of this month, the company he started months ago is expected to pump out more than a million test kits a week.

    "We are a strange company because our goal is to essentially put ourselves out of business," Turner said.

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