Amazon’s New Co-HQs: Arlington, Virginia, and New York City

Amazon on Nov. 13 announced that it has selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the locations for the company’s new co-headquarters.

Amazon, in a news release, says it will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington.

The new locations will join Seattle as the company’s three headquarters in North America.

In addition, Amazon said it has selected Nashville for a new Center of Excellence for its Operations business, which is responsible for the company’s customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities. The Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville will create more than 5,000 jobs.

The new Arlington headquarters, in the Washington, D.C., metro area, will be located in National Landing, while the New York City headquarters will be located in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens.

Amazon says its investments in each new headquarters will spur the creation of tens of thousands of additional jobs in the surrounding communities. Hiring at both the new headquarters will begin in 2019.

The Operations Center of Excellence will be located in downtown Nashville as part of a new development site just north of the Gulch, and hiring will also begin in 2019.

“We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said in a statement. “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come. The team did a great job selecting these sites, and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of these communities.”

New York City

In New York City, Amazon says the city will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time jobs; approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment; 4 million square feet of energy-efficient office space with an opportunity to expand to 8 million square feet; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $10 billion over the next 20 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of $1.525 billion based on the company creating 25,000 jobs in Long Island City. This includes a refundable tax credit through New York state’s Excelsior Program of up to $1.2 billion calculated as a percentage of the salaries Amazon expects to pay employees over the next 10 years, which equates to $48,000 per job for 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000; and a cash grant from Empire State Development of $325 million based on the square footage of buildings occupied in the next 10 years.

Amazon will receive these incentives over the next decade based on the incremental jobs it creates each year and as it reaches building occupancy targets. The company will separately apply for as-of-right incentives including New York City’s Industrial & Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) and New York City’s Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP).

Amazon says the community will benefit from New York City providing funding through a Payment In Lieu Of Tax (PILOT) program based on Amazon’s property taxes on a portion of the development site to fund community infrastructure improvements developed through input from residents during the planning process. Amazon has agreed to donate space on its campus for a tech startup incubator and for use by artists and industrial businesses, and Amazon will donate a site for a new primary or intermediary public school. The company will also invest in infrastructure improvements and new green spaces.

Arlington, Virginia

In Arlington, Virginia, the National Landing site is an urban community less than 3 miles from downtown Washington, D.C. The area is served by three Metro stations, commuter rail access, and Reagan National Airport – all within walking distance. Amazon says Virginia and Arlington will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time high-paying jobs; approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment; 4 million square feet of energy-efficient office space with the opportunity to expand to 8 million square feet; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of $3.2 billion over the next 20 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of $573 million based on the company creating 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Arlington. This includes a workforce cash grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia of up to $550 million based on $22,000 for each job created over the next 12 years. Amazon will only receive this incentive if it creates the forecasted high-paying jobs. The company will also receive a cash grant from Arlington of $23 million over 15 years based on the incremental growth of the existing local Transient Occupancy Tax, a tax on hotel rooms.

Amazon says the Arlington community and Amazon employees will benefit from the Commonwealth investing $195 million in infrastructure in the neighborhood, including improvements to the Crystal City and the Potomac Yards Metro stations; a pedestrian bridge connecting National Landing and Reagan National Airport; and work to improve safety, accessibility, and the pedestrian experience crossing Route 1 over the next 10 years. Arlington will also dedicate an estimated $28 million based on 12% of future property tax revenues earned from an existing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district for on-site infrastructure and open space in National Landing.

Nashville

The Nashville Center of Excellence will be located in downtown, along the Cumberland River, Amazon says. As part of Amazon’s investment, Tennessee, Davidson County and the city of Nashville will benefit from 5,000 full-time, high-paying jobs; over $230 million in investment; 1 million square feet of energy-efficient office space; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $1 billion over the next 10 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of up to $102 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Nashville. This includes a cash grant for capital expenditures from the state of Tennessee of $65 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs over the next seven years, which is equivalent to $13,000 per job; a cash grant from the city of Nashville of up to $15 million based on $500 for each job created over the next seven years; and a job tax credit to offset franchise and excise taxes from the state of Tennessee of $21.7 million based on $4,500 per new job over the next seven years.

MoviePass Parent Cancels Special Shareholder Meeting Seeking Second Reverse Stock Split

Helios and Matheson Analytics shareholders have been to this rodeo before.

The corporate parent to fiscally challenged ticket subscription service MoviePass Nov. 13 disclosed that a planned special shareholder meeting regarding a proposed second reverse-stock split has been cancelled due to a lack of requisite stockholder votes.

The meeting, previously scheduled for Oct. 18 and then delayed to Nov. 14, had sought to gain approvalfor 1-for-500 shares reverse-stock split. With shares currently hovering around 1.7 cents per share – 98.3 cents below the mandated $1 per share Nasdaq minimum – HMNY sought to artificially prop up the stock to meet compliance.

Shareholders were perhaps skeptical considering less than six months ago HMNY received approval for a 1-for-250 shares reverse-stock split.

While the split briefly resulted in stock reaching $22.50 per share, in less than five days the stock had again fallen below the $1 minimum – and continued to fall.

Nasdaq has stipulated HMNY has until Dec. 18 to meet compliance. HMNY, in a regulatory filing, said it hopes Nasdaq affords it a second 180-calendar day period to regain compliance.

To qualify for the extension, HMNY would have to demonstrate a realistic path toward elevating the stock price – a strategy it (incredulously) says would likely depend on another reverse-stock split.

The other strategy apparently involves appeals and denial.

“If the company does not regain compliance and is either not eligible for an additional compliance period … the company may appeal the delisting,” it wrote.

Indeed, HMNY would remain listed pending Nasdaq appeals panel’s decision.

 

Online TV Growth Slows Despite Record Q3 Pay-TV Subscriber Exodus

The most-recent fiscal quarter (ended Sept. 30) was not a good one for pay-TV operators, which continue to see increasing numbers of subscribers exit for video alternatives online.

Or not.

It was also a wake-up call to multi-video program distributors who think online TV is the answer to fickle pay-TV consumers.

 The cable, satellite and telecom operators lost a combined 1.2 million video subs, ending the quarter at 91 million, including 88.2 million residential customers, according to new data from Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Meanwhile, while many pay-TV subs are becoming cord-cutters, they’re not all migrating to online TV platforms such as Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV and PlayStation Vue.

Kagan found that online TV services gained an estimated 2.1 million subs in the past nine months – not enough to offset a decline of 2.8 million pay-TV subs.

Indeed,Dish Network-owned Sling TV and DirecTV Now added just 75,000 subs in 3Q, compared to about 530,000 additions in the previous-year period. The additions were the lowest since the market’s launch in 2015.

Satellite had its worst quarter on record with a loss of 726,000 subs, according to Leichtman Research Group. Cable lost nearly 1.1 million subs – the worst performance since 2014.Telco subs fell by 94,000, led by Verizon, which jettisoned 63,000 subs.

Telephone providers lost about 80,000 video subs compared to a loss of 180,000 subs last year. Pay-TV services (excluding online TV) lost 1.05 million subs compared to a loss of about 940,000 subs in 2017.

“This marked the most net losses ever in a quarter for the pay-TV industry,” Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, said in a statement. “Satellite TV had more combined net losses in than in any previous quarter.  These net losses were largely driven by corporate strategies focused on acquiring and retaining more profitable subscribers.”

Leichtman attributed some of the online TV sub growth slowdown to corporate parents’ emphasis on improving the profitability of the Internet-delivered flanker brands.

“[This] reduced net quarterly adds in the segment, resulting in [online TV] not helping to mitigate overall pay-TV losses to the degree they had in recent quarters,” he said.

Pay-TV Providers Subscribers at end of 3Q 2018 Net Adds in 3Q 2018
Cable Companies
Comcast 22,015,000 (106,000)
Charter 16,628,000 (54,000)
Cox* 4,035,000 (30,000)
Altice 3,322,800 (28,100)
Mediacom 793,000 (15,000)
Cable ONE 328,921 (11,191)
Total Top Cable 47,122,721 (244,291)
Satellite Services (DBS)
DIRECTV 19,625,000 (359,000)
DISH TV 10,286,000 (367,000)
Total DBS 29,911,000 (726,000)
Phone Companies
Verizon FiOS 4,497,000 (63,000)
AT&T U-verse 3,693,000 13,000
Frontier 873,000 (29,000)
Total Top Phone 9,063,000 (79,000)
Internet-Delivered (vMVPD)
Sling TV^ 2,370,000 26,000
DIRECTV NOW 1,858,000 49,000
Total Top vMVPD^ 4,228,000 75,000
Total Top Providers 90,324,721 (974,291)

 

 

AT&T CEO Calls on Congress to Restore Net Neutrality

AT&T chairman/CEO Randall Stephenson apparently believes in miracles.

Speaking Nov. 12 at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Tech D. Live confab in Laguna Beach, Calif., Stephenson called on politically-divided Congress to enact net neutrality guidelines for the nation’s Internet service providers.

It was wishful thinking, Stephenson agreed, joking the lawmakers can’t agree on the freezing temperature of water.

“I get fatigued every time the President changes, the head of the FCC changes, and regulations swing from left to right,” he said.

Indeed, with politics driving the Obama-era net neutrality guidelines enacted in 2015 by the Federal Communications Commission, a slightly revamped FCC three years later under President Trump rescinded the provisions that sought to treat the Internet as a utility, safeguarding content distribution against ISPs throttling, denying access, and charging higher prices for faster streaming speeds, among other issues.

To Stephenson, whose telecom is both an ISP and streaming content distributor and creator through subsidiary WarnerMedia, the lack of clear regulation will only encourage individual states to employ their own versions of net neutrality – as California lawmakers voted to do this year.

“What would be at total disaster for the innovation we see in Silicon Valley is to pick our head up and have 50 different sets of rules across the U.S.,” Stephenson said.

Current FCC chairman Ajit Pai – an Obama nominee upped to head the agency by Trump – has argued that net neutrality is regulation in search of an industry.

“It is not the job of the government to pick the winners and losers of the internet … We should have a level playing field [via market forces],” Pai said earlier this year.

Critics contend the lack of regulation hurts consumers. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel – a Democrat – said reversing net neutrality put the FCC “on the wrong side of the American public.”

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month declined to hear a case brought by the telecommunications industry and the Department of Justice seeking to reverse a lower appeals court ruling upholding net neutrality.

The Supreme Court’s lack of action does not reverse the repeal of the net neutrality guidelines, and leaves the door open to future litigation.

 

 

The Meg

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 11/13/18;
Warner;
Action Thriller;
Box Office $143.01 million;
$28.98 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray, $44.95 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for action/peril, bloody images and some language.
Stars Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Page Kennedy, Robert Taylor, Sophia Cai, Jessica McNamee, Masi Oka, Cliff Curtis.

Despite its general faithfulness to the man-versus-monster formula, The Meg turns out to be a fun romp thanks to a likeable cast and the filmmakers treating the absurd premise with the appropriate level of gravitas without going over the top.

The film is based on a 1997 novel about a long-extinct giant shark called a megalodon emerging from an isolated section of the ocean to terrorize modern times. In adapting the story, director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) manages to blend the research premise of Deep Blue Sea with the imperiled tourist angle of Jaws, and add a healthy dose of modern visual effects to deliver an effective if not always engrossing action thriller. The film looks great, and the Blu-ray really nails the beautiful blues of the ocean vistas, even if the CGI becomes a bit too noticeable at times.

The plot involves a deep-sea research platform sending a submarine to explore a hidden realm of the Marianas Trench previously cut off from the rest of the ocean thanks to some mostly convincing pseudo-science. Soon enough, the sub is attacked by a large creature and trapped, leading the station to call in deep-sea rescue specialist Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham). There’s some rumbling about Jonas being nuts because he claims a giant creature screwed up a previous rescue, but that’s mostly some conflict to build tension among the human crew.

Suffice it to say, Jonas’ rescue attempt allows the creature to get past the trench’s natural barrier, which let it evolve in its own unique ecosystem for millions of years, and up to the surface, where there are plenty of delicious boats and beachgoers it can play with. And since the megalodon is basically a giant shark 10 times bigger than a great white and capable of biting a humpback whale in half with one chomp, the platform’s financier (Rainn Wilson) and his team are eager to blow it up before it can do much harm.

The Meg isn’t overly reverential of previous shark movies, though audiences familiar with them will certainly recognize the foibles of this crew’s attempts to stop the threat. Attacks are played for either shock or humor, depending on who is getting swallowed whole, and there are even quieter moments that allow the characters to express some emotion as they deal with their colleagues, friends and family members getting killed.

Statham’s Jonas character is of a certain aquatic adventurer archetype that one could imagine another franchise entry subjecting him to any number of quests along the bottom of the ocean that don’t necessarily involve him fighting giant sea monsters, though it’s pretty much a given that any sequel would put him up against another menacing beast. The original book’s author, Steve Alten, has written a series of sequel and prequel novels about prehistoric carnivores, so when the time comes to cash in on The Meg’s box office success with a follow-up movie, the filmmakers will have no shortage of source material from which to pick.

The Blu-ray arrives rather light on bonus materials, sporting just two decent featurettes: the 12-minute “Chomp on This: The Making of The Meg,” covering the production as a whole, and the 10-and-a-half-minute “Creating the Beast,” which focuses on the shark.

Movies Anywhere also offers a two-minute promotional video about filming in New Zealand.

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ Reigned in September

Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom topped the list of combined Blu-ray Disc and DVD units sold in September 2018 according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.

The dinosaurs-run-amok sequel, which was released on disc Sept. 18, finished the month ahead of a prequel, Walt Disney Studios’ Solo: A Star Wars Story, which was released a week later.

Coming in at No. 3 for the month was Disney’s Hocus Pocus, a perennial Halloween favorite buoyed by a new 25th Anniversary Blu-ray edition released at the beginning of the month to take advantage of the Halloween shopping season. Another Disney family favorite with a Halloween theme and a 25th Anniversary Blu-ray re-release, The Nightmare Before Christmas, landed at No. 8 for the month.

Deadpool 2, from 20th Century Fox, slipped to No. 4 for the month, while the August top seller, Disney’s Avengers: Infinity War, came in at No. 5 in September.

Other September disc releases debuting in the monthly top 10 included Warner’s Ocean’s 8 (released Sept. 11) at No. 6 and Lionsgate’s Hereditary (released Sept. 4) at No. 9.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom entered the year-to-date top 10 chart as 2018’s 10th-best seller, with Deadpool 2 moving up to No. 9. The arrival of Fallen Kingdom pushed Warner’s It off the top 10.

The year’s top five titles, all Disney releases, remained the same from the previous month, though their positions jostled a bit. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still the No. 1 seller for the year, according to NPD, followed by Black Panther at No. 2.

Avengers: Infinity War moved up to No. 3, with Thor: Ragnarok holding steady at No. 4 and Pixar’s Coco slipping to No. 5.

According to NPD, the September 2018 top 10 by units sold were:

  1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal)
  2. Solo: A Star Wars Story (Disney)
  3. Hocus Pocus (Disney)
  4. Deadpool 2 (Fox)
  5. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney)
  6. Ocean’s 8 (Warner)
  7. Book Club (Paramount)
  8. The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney)
  9. Hereditary (Lionsgate)
  10. Tag (Warner)

 

Year-to-date Top 10 (through September 2018):

  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Disney)
  2. Black Panther (Disney)
  3. Coco (Disney)
  4. Thor: Ragnarok (Disney)
  5. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney)
  6. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Sony Pictures)
  7. The Greatest Showman (Fox)
  8. Justice League (Warner)
  9. Deadpool 2 (Fox)
  10. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal)

 

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Was Top Disc Seller in August, Outpacing ‘Deadpool 2’

‘The House That Never Dies: Reawakening’ Coming on DVD and Digital Dec. 4 From Well Go

The Chinese sequel The House That Never Dies: Reawakening will come out on DVD and digital Dec. 4 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Based on true events at one of Beijing’s haunted houses, the film stars Joan Chen (The Last Emperor, Judge Dredd), Julian Cheung (The Grandmaster), Mei Ting (Blind Massage) and Gillian Chung (Ip Man: The Final Fight) in a story that takes place a hundred years after a mutiny by warlords in Beijing when an expert in cultural relics encounters supernatural phenomena at the mansion on 81 Chaoyangmennei Street. The discovery of baby skeletons and weird spells reveal a haunting tale of the wrongly deceased still seeking justice from the living world.

Thanks, Stan Lee, and Excelsior!

Stanley Martin Lieber, otherwise known to the world as Stan Lee, passed away Nov. 12 at the age of 95.

In the 1960s, he helped grow Marvel Comics into one of the two major comic book publishers (alongside DC Comics), having a hand in the creation of such characters as Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Black Panther, Ant-Man, Iron Man, Thor, The Fantastic Four and The X-Men. Lee wrote for “Captain America” in the 1940s and helped resurrect the character in the ’60s as a member of The Avengers.

His work in the genre helped spur a turn toward more-thoughtful, message-driven comic book storytelling based on the humanity of his characters. Spider-Man was plagued by the same problems as other teens. The X-Men were a metaphor for the Civil Rights movement. Iron Man became an alcoholic. And so on.

In his later years, Lee became an icon of the comic book industry and an ambassador of the medium like no other, always greeting fans with an enthusiastic smile and delighting crowds with the recitation of his catchphrase, “Excelsior!,” a Latin word that translates to “ever upward.”

While he stepped back from a creative role at Marvel, he remained connected to the company as Chairman Emeritus, while also working on new superhero projects on his own. In this capacity, he made countless appearances at comic book conventions and served as executive producer for many movies and TV shows based on Marvel Comics properties.

“Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created.  A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, in a statement posted on the Disney website. Disney bought Marvel Comics in 2009.

In the past two decades, Lee’s frequent appearances in Marvel films helped expand his legend further. His cameos became a staple of the genre as audiences began to keep an eye on where he would show up next.

In 2005’s Fantastic Four, Lee appeared as mailman Willie Lumpkin, the first time he played a character he created. And his appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe became so popular that they spawned a fan theory that he was actually a supernatural observer for a celestial race known as The Watchers, an idea that finally took root in 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

But his ubiquitousness was not limited to Marvel movies, including notable guest spots in Kevin Smith’s Mallrats, “The Simpsons,” “Heroes,” “The Big Bang Theory” and, most recently, voicing himself in Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, his first cameo for a project based on rival DC. He also reportedly recorded a voiceover cameo for Disney’s upcoming Ralph Breaks the Internet.

His cameos became such a calling card of his that there’s now a separate Wikipedia page dedicated to tracking all of them.

From 2006 to 2007, Lee hosted the Sci-Fi Channel reality competition show “Who Wants to Be a Superhero?,” in which contestants would dress up as superheroes of their own creation and perform tasks to be judged by Lee.

In 2012 Lee’s life story was the subject of the documentary With Great Power … The Stan Lee Story, re-released on DVD last year by Well Go USA.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lee twice for various projects about 10 years ago, and he was never shy about his love of comic books, superheroes and the storytelling potential they represented. He even joked about setting up a “Stan Lee for Hire” billboard in Hollywood in hopes of getting more offers for cameos.

Lee’s most recent Marvel cameo came in Sony’s Venom, and he reportedly already shot a cameo for the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4. We don’t yet know to what capacity, if any, Lee would have appeared in the 2019 MCU films Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home, or even Fox’s latest “X-Men” chapter, Dark Phoenix, though those films will almost certainly be dedicated to his memory.

In the meantime, as long as we are graced with the thousands of comic books, characters and stories that represent Stan Lee’s enduring legacy, there can never be “’Nuff said.”

Excelsior.

Team Behind ‘The Room’ Returns in ‘Best Friends’

Lionsgate Jan. 22 will release the Blu-ray of Best Friends Vol. 1 & 2, the latest project from Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero, the duo responsible for the 2003 independent film The Room.

The story of the making of The Room, a film widely considered so bizarrely bad that it inspired a cult following, subsequently inspired the 2017 film The Disaster Artist.

In Best Friends, Wiseau and Sestero play unlikely friends torn apart by greed, hatred, jealousy and gold teeth, with devastating and mysterious consequences.

Best Friends Vol. 1 is available now digitally and on demand. Vol. 2 will be available digitally and on demand Jan. 22.

The Blu-ray will include a commentary with Wiseau and Sestero, eight deleted scenes, and the featurettes “Welcome to My Paradise,” “Tommy and Greg: Best F(r)iends Forever” and “The Tommy Diaries.”

Home Entertainment Execs Impacted by Southern California Wildfires

Home entertainment executives are among those impacted by the Hill and Woolsey Fires that broke out in Southern California on the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 8, near the Ventura and Los Angeles county line.

The fires are fueled by strong Santa Ana winds and parched vegetation that is the result of a rainy 2017 followed by a dry 2018.

As of noon Monday, Nov. 12, the Woolsey Fire was still raging, having spread to more than 91,500 acres from Thousand Oaks south to Malibu. Officials said at least 370 structures have been destroyed and two people have died in the fire.

Among the celebrities who have lost homes in the fire are Gerard Butler, Miley Cyrus and Neil Young, all in the Malibu area.

Butler on Sunday morning tweeted a photo of himself in front of his destroyed home, writing, “Returned to my house in Malibu after evacuating. Heartbreaking time across California. Inspired as ever by the courage, spirit and sacrifice of firefighters.”

A number of home entertainment executives were evacuated, including Steve Apple, VP of industry sales at the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA). Apple and his family were evacuated from their Agoura Hills home on Thursday afternoon, shortly after the blaze broke out in the hills south of Simi Valley. They spent the weekend in a hotel in Ventura but were able to return home on Sunday afternoon. “House, animals and family are safe,” Apple said.

A studio executive who lives in Calabasas and was evacuated wrote in an email, “I am very close to the fires. We got a hotel in the city.  It’s so surreal to see these fires that are right near your house!”

Paul Culberg, former EVP of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, lives in Agoura Hills and lost his garage, according to a Saturday Facebook post. “We are all OK,” he wrote. “House and pool house survived. Garage burned. We are better off than neighbors. So sad.”

According to a Monday morning update from Cal Fire, the Woolsey fire is now 20% contained. Fire officials said the weather is beginning to look more favorable in the fire zone and expected increased containment today. Cal Fire officials say they project full containment by Thursday, Nov. 15.

Meanwhile, the Hill Fire, which also broke out Thursday afternoon, charred about 4,500 acres in the Ventura County coastal areas and led to the evacuation of residents in Camarillo Springs, Dos Vientos, the Vallecito Mobile Home Park, the Cal State Channel Islands area, Simi Valley, Wood Ranch and Long Canyon and portions of Thousand Oaks, officials said. By Saturday evening, Nov. 10, the Ventura County Fire Department announced most evacuations were lifted.

Bill Perrault, SVP of marketing and brand management at Cinedigm, lives in Camarillo, off Santa Rosa Road, near where the Hill Fire started. He was prepared to evacuate, but fortunately the wind shifted direction.

“We’re right on the edge, the fire went right over us,” Perrault says. “We were ready to go at a moment’s notice, but as the night wore on the wind was pushing it to the east of us.”

On Monday, as the dreaded Santa Ana winds picked up again, fire officials said two new fires broke out within five minutes of each other near the  Woolsey Fire. One, the Peak Fire, was in the Santa Susana Pass just off the 118 freeway and the other, the Lynn Fire, was in Thousand Oaks.

The Peak Fire briefly led to the shutdown of the 118 and also prompted MetroLink to suspend rail service, but by 1 p.m. fire crews were able to stop progress after the fire had burned about 105 acres.

The Lynn Fire was contained shortly after 1 p.m. and had only burned about 5 acres.

This story was last updated at 4:08 p.m.