Dark Day in Mousetown

This is a preview of today’s edition of The Ankler, the entertainment industry’s most feared newsletter. Remember all the way back to yesterday morning when a mere disappointment was the worst thing that could happen to a company like Disney? What a difference a Tweet makes! Remember last week when all CEO IP Bob had to worry about was his still uncertain path to victory against Netflix in the Great Entertainment Semi-Finals, how to finesse a Lasseter return, and Comcast’s challenge to his Fox acquisition? As of this week, you can add to that: canceling his network’s top-rated show and suddenly, concerns about one of the major tentpoles of his whole corporate strategy, Lucasfilm. (Okay, if you want to really get mean, you can throw in that once we get past the Incredibles 2, Disney has a suddenly very iffy release calendar for the next 12 months). That’s a lot

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A NETFLIXONIMICS CASE STUDY: THE BEN-GLE HAS LANDED

THE LATEST VERY SPECIAL ISSUE OF THE ANKLER FEATURES TRUE TALES FROM THE STREETS OF HOLLYWOOD IN THE TIME OF THE APP.  BELOW IS A BRIEF PREVIEW OF ONE OF THESE STORIES: Who doesn’t love a good bonfire? And a bonfire of cash! Well, that’s not just entertainment, that’s an accomplishment. Which seems to be the working frame of reference for the entire world when talking about Netflix. Look at the mountains of cash they are willing to set on fire – now thatis a company! (Especially if somewhere in those mountains of cash are bags full of FYC advertising dollars). They made a hundred movies to no discernible effect or public response…Well, let’s watch them make 200!  200 bigger movies! We’ll let directors spend more money than they ever dreamed of! As Mike Fleming put it yesterday, Netflix “is doing too many risky things on the feature front to be defined derogatorily

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France Like No One is Watching

In another age, if Hollywood’s priciest annual boondoggle turned into a turgid public debacle, it might not have been such a big deal. Back in the 90’s, to send half the industry around the world for two weeks of grim headlines about the collapse of the international film world might not have been so bad – hey, what’s a few tens of millions if the troops had fun. But the incongruity becomes glaring in these days of austerities and cutbacks and housekeeping deals sent packing, for Hollywood to still spend millions  on an event that gets headlines, from the Trade. Press no less..like this:   “It wasn’t just the shadow of disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein casting a pall over the proceedings. Everywhere you looked, there were clear signs that the old thrill is gone.”  When THR says thrill is gone from a Hollywood mega-event, you can put your money that the thrill has cleaned

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Robert Iger: The People’s Choice?

Since the 2016 election, there can’t be a tycoon left in America who doesn’t wake up, look in the mirror and see the 46th President of the United States. In Hollywood, the name of one CEO has seemed to many such an obvious leader of the free world, that no less an august personage than Oprah, a President in waiting in her own right, reported that she begged him to run.  By her account she “really, really pushed him to run for president, so much so that I said to him, ‘Gee, if you ever decide to run for office, I will go door to door carrying leaflets. I will go sit and have tea with people.’” It’s easy to see why Hollywood believes the Iger coronation as close to inevitable as politics can get.  A man who could imagineer the acquisitions of Marvel, Pixar and Lucas and lead the company to

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WHAT HAPPENED IN VEGAS

It’s been almost a week since I said farewell to CinemaCon, having departed Wednesday afternoon, post-the Universal presentation. I’ve had some time now to digest all I saw, heard and of course, ate and before we turn the page, having heard the theatrical industry’s vigorous defense of the theatrical experience, I had  some final reflections: • In recent years, CinemaCon has been the scene of some dramatic squabbles about the window, formats and where this industry is headed – all the issues roiling the film world. This year: not a bit of that: No fighting, no disagreement, no reference to any of the questions or issues looming over the industry. Apart from the Fox presentation, where it would’ve been slightly odd not to make some reference, not even a nod of the head to the fact that one-sixth of our studios have disappeared since the last gathering and that another

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