Hollywood’s Apocalypse Next

Sometimes it’s not a question of how many apocalypses (apocalyii?) you want, it’s how many apocalyii you can carry. As if we don’t have enough disruption, turmoil and threats to the very fundaments of our business to keep us busy, get ready to take a wrecking ball to this hellscape. Remember back in 2017, when to back away from the strike precipice, the WGA signed a short-term contract kicking the can down the road on the major issues for just a few years? Well, welcome to down the road, and as often happens when we plan to meet here, the problems are now more intractable then we left them, and the positions of the various parties are harder, tougher, and more insecure than they were two years ago. Which makes this a good moment to kick off ANKLER STRIKEWATCH 2020!™ You thought the WGA/ATA stuff was kerfuffle enough for one

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Bullets Over the Box Office: Spidey, Spidey, Spidey Ho

Once again, sequelitis lays waste to all who dare stand before it. If there’s one thing you don’t want to do while franchise fatigue is raging across the land, it’s opening the first sequel of the third iteration of a superhero in a decade. What chance could that possibly have in this environment? Especially coming up against an original, fresh, non-franchise like Toy Story 4 . . . . In looking over this summer’s box office, I keep coming back to reversion to the mean. Now and then you get a movie you might have expected to do better, where a different date would’ve helped, where a better campaign could’ve connected, maybe, possibly. But by and large, if you step back, most things end up doing just about what you’d expect a movie like that to do. Far From Home is the follow-up to a tremendously well-liked rethinking of the character who remains, arguably,

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BULLETS OVER THE BOX OFFICE: DEATH TO ALL NARRATIVES!

• The Sequelitis-addled, opening weekend-disappointer—Toy Story 4—just crossed half a billion in a week. • That’s for an animated film that not only were today’s animated audiences not alive for the debut of but many of them also weren’t even around for the last installment. • When we think about the power of Disney’s streaming service, think about how the ongoing life that many of its properties clearly enjoy and the long long afterlife of its features and how it’s like nothing else in the popular culture. • Sequelitis also apparently missed the sixth Annabelle. $31 million in five days on the sixth installment of a low-budget horror franchise. So are we ready to put an asterisk on the sequelitis talk saying *not including horror? • It’s also a positive blip for Warners, before the “Can’t open a movie” narrative hardened into gospel. • When you’re stressing about the third Annabelle film, and

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