Winners & Losers: BlackBerry’s done cutting, Cineplex gives the thumbs-down

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The final cut

John Chen waving BlackBerrys

For the first time in years, BlackBerry employees can stop fearing for their jobs. CEO John Chen sent out a memo this week informing staff that BlackBerry’s long and painful restructuring process, which saw the company shed about 10,000 employees, is finally, mercifully, complete. The company may even start adding to its headcount, according to the memo. That marks a drastic change from the past few years, during which time the company lost more than half its workforce. BlackBerry had no choice but to slim down in order to survive the onslaught from Apple and Samsung. Since Chen came aboard late last year, he’s focused the company on its traditional customer base of business users and outsourced other functions so the company can pay less attention to the consumer market. (Consumers stopped paying attention to BlackBerry a long time ago.) The company also plans to introduce several new products over the coming months. With the looming spectre of unemployment vanquished for now, BlackBerry’s employees might finally be able to focus on what they do best.


Blocks got mildly dented, not busted

Transformers bickering over movie finances

Movie theatre chain Cineplex is blaming this summer’s lousy slate of blockbusters for a 19% drop in profits in the last quarter. Apparently, audiences were not interested in seeing a nearly three-hour-long movie about a robotic alien truck eluding the clutches of an intergalactic bounty hunter by joining forces with prehistoric robot dinosaurs — that would be Transformers: Age of Extinction — or that one where Tom Cruise is repeatedly killed while fending off an alien invasion… or something. What was that one called again? Anyway, Cineplex needs big summer blockbusters to lure people into theatres, and that’s harder to do these days when consumers have so many other ways to watch movies, especially through streaming services like Netflix. Analysts say the rest of the summer isn’t looking too promising for blockbusters, either. But next year could be an improvement, as the creativity of Hollywood will be on full display: a Stars Wars sequel, a James Bond sequel, a Jurassic Park sequel, and a Fast and Furious sequel are all slated for release.

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