The daily business briefing: March 25, 2019

1.

Us, filmmaker Jordan Peele’s follow-up to Get Out, smashed expectations and brought in $70.3 million to dominate the box office in its debut weekend. Us‘ haul was the biggest ever for an original horror film, and the third biggest debut for any horror film, behind It ($123.4 million) and last year’s Halloween sequel ($76.2 million). Lupita Nyong’o stars as Adelaide Wilson, an African-American woman who returns to her childhood home with her two children and her husband, played by Winston Duke (Black Panther). The family comes up against their own doppelgangers. The critically acclaimed film hit theaters just over two years after Peele made his directorial debut with Get OutCaptain Marvel fell to No. 2 at the box office with $35 million after holding the top spot in its first two weeks. [The Hollywood Reporter, The Associated Press]

2.

Uber plans to buy Dubai-based rival Careem in a deal that could be signed as early as Monday,Bloomberg News and the Financial Times reported Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter. The U.S. ride-hailing powerhouse reportedly will pay $1.4 billion in cash and $1.7 billion in notes convertible into Uber shares at $55 per share. Neither company’s spokespeople offered comment to Bloomberg. Careem was valued at $2 billion last year. It operates in 15 countries, with more than 30 million users in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. [Bloomberg News, Financial Times]

3.

U.S. stock futures edged down early Monday, adding to Friday’s big losses on fresh concerns about the global economy. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down by less than 0.1 percent, while those of the Nasdaq dropped by nearly 0.3 percent. Futures had been up overnight after Attorney General William Barr said in a letter that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling found no collusion by President Trump or his associates. “This cloud has now dissipated and this should allow markets to breathe a sigh of relief,” said Jeff Kilburg, CEO of KKM Financial. “This could be a real positive for the market if it allows Trump to focus on getting the Chinese trade deal concluded.” [MarketWatch, CNBC]

4.

A German family whose company owns a controlling stake in Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Panera Bread, Pret a Manger, and other well-known businesses plans to donate $11.3 million to charity as a gesture after learning of their ancestors’ enthusiastic support of Adolf Hitler, according to a Sunday report in Germany’s Bild newspaper. Documents uncovered in Germany, France, and the U.S. showed that the late Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr. used war prisoners as forced laborers, according to the report. “It is all correct,” family spokesman Peter Harf, a managing partner of the billionaire Reimann family’s JAB Holding Company, said of the findings, which were confirmed by research commissioned by the family’s younger generation. “Reimann senior and Reimann junior were guilty … they belonged in jail.” [The Associated Press]

5.

Apple on Monday is expected to announce its plan for launching a video service to challenge streaming powerhouses Netflix and Amazon. The new service will likely feature original TV shows and movies to rival the original content that have fueled the success of Netflix and Amazon streaming services. The move comes as sales of the iPhone, Apple’s key moneymaker, have started falling, and the company is pushing digital subscriptions as a potential source of new growth. Apple has long been focused on gadgets, although late co-founder Steve Jobs looked at trying to break into TV offerings. “Apple is very late to this game,” eMarketer analyst Paul Verna said. [The Associated Press]

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