Ankler Preview: Power Patch Kids

Dissecting the THR 100

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  When the Awards trail is still fresh and full of hope.  When the major releases that are going to change everything are just looming on the horizon.  When quarterly earnings statements can be taken as opportunities to adjust, and there’s still plenty of time to goose those bonus metrics.

And it’s the time when the folks at THR pull together the brain trust and take stock of where the power lies and who’s power is bigger than whose.  It’s the season when those clinging to the cusps of power learn that it’s time to take your menswear line side hustle a little more seriously, and when everyone gets to find out just exactly how far they are from #1, the golden-greenlight of all power which warms every restaurant seating in our world.

But you know what they say about list-making.  When you make a list, you stare into the list and find yourself staring back.  What does the THR Power List tell us about Power in Hollywood, compared to what it says about how we think about power in Hollywood, our what we think about the people who spend their time thinking about lists of power in Hollywood.   

It’s all here in the THR 100.   So much to consider, we’ve broken it into two parts.  Here is our considered review of the top half, the other side of the tracks if you will, of 2019’s power ranking by the editors of THR.

100. Taika Waititi

YOU FIND BOB IGER'S IPHONE. WHICH CONTACT DO YOU CALL?
"I'd call his business manager and get him to pay off that house I bought."

One entry in, this gag question is already wearing thin.

99. Margot Robbie

And Margot Robie’s Iger phone answer didn’t save it:

YOU FIND BOB IGER'S IPHONE. WHICH CONTACT DO YOU CALL?: I'd probably just return it to him and see what Disney IP I could get my hands on.

Awkward qualifier alert on the category: A TOP TALENT (NOT ON YOUR PLATFORM) WHOM YOU ADMIRE

Does every powerful person now have a platform of their own? Where is Jeremy Zimmers’s platform?

98. Dan Lin 

Warning sign that someone got off the bus in the wrong industry:

“The worst thing is the culture of fear."

You don’t like the culture of fear?  What else don’t you like about Hollywood? Popcorn in movie theaters? Movie stars with perfect hair? Keeping assistants chained in basement dungeons?

LAST BIG SPLURGE: Finally bought my wife the Jeep Wrangler she has always wanted since high school.

Since 2009, Dan Lin has produced a Terminator movie, Sherlock Holmes, Gangster Squad,  the first Lego and It, among other things. And his wife had to wait until this year to get a lousy Wrangler!?  

God help her if she should ever want a pair of Ugg slippers..

97.  Tiffany Haddish

THR editors discover a new definition of “hit series.”

But the 39-year-old has a hit series (The Last O.G.'s debut in April 2018 was TBS' strongest ever for an original), 

96. Josh Grode and Mary Parent

Here’s a heroic portrait in Hollywood power moves. Look how Grode swashbuckled his way onto the 100:

“With Legendary's owner, Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, looking to exit Hollywood, Grode, 54, restructured the company's balance sheet.”

Beware The Mad Restructurer of the North Valley!

Hollywood: a place where dreams are made and quarterly debt calculations are carried over into the new fiscal EBITDA’s restructured P and L sheet based on aggregated unfixed revenue.

A TOP TALENT (NOT ON YOUR PLATFORM) WHOM YOU ADMIRE:
Parent: Diedrick Brackens

That sound you hear is 99 executives calling their publicists demanding to know: “WHY WASN’T I TOLD WE WERE ALLOWED TO NAME OBSCURE 30 YEAR OLD INNER CITY YARN ARTISTS!  I WOULD’VE SAID HIM!  I THOUGHT IT HAD TO BE SOMEONE WITH AN EMMY!”

94.  Megan Ellison

After a “rough year”, Ellison is: “focusing on growth in the coming year with more homegrown fare.”

“Focusing on growth with more homegrown fare” = Hollywood-speak for “Spending more time with my family.”

Another glaring danger sign for people wondering about the future of Annapurna: Megan Ellison deigning to answer THR’s zany power list survey.

LAST BIG SPLURGE:"I don't buy a lot of things, but I spend a lot on travel and real estate."

Did I mention I already own the world?  What am I going to splurge on?  Buying Jupiter?

Alt Answer: Does paying Adam McKay $20 million to make a Dick Cheney biopic count?

93. David Young

This answer pretty much tells you everything you need to know about why WGA ATA negotiations are where they are:

GO-TO PODCAST FOR A LONG DRIVE : "Rock or salsa music, no podcast."

Pulling up outside WME, Blue Oyster Cult blaring, parking on the sidewalk.  Young kicks his car door shut and marches into the conference room to stare down Ari and Jeremy Zimmer.  

“Let’s get one thing straight. I don’t take no for an answer . . . . And I don’t listen to no damn podcasts” 

LAST BIG SPLURGE:  Making payments on kid's college debt.

Really! A month’s debt payments still counts as a big splurge when you make $1.4 million a year as a union negotiator? I guess the bill on those salsa lessons adds up!

92. Jennifer Lopez

What becomes a legend most?  Not answering zany questionnaires about what you would do if you found Robert Iger’s phone.

91.  Robert Simonds

What becomes a man trying to keep his company afloat most? Not answering zany questionnaires about what you would do if you found Robert Iger’s phone.

Asking other heads of companies to answer a question about how they would feel if they ever had the good fortune to lay hands a piece of Iger detritus is about the cruelest torture THR could devise.  

90. Issa Rae

Amazing how diverse this list is in the 80’s and 90’s. And amazing how once you go below 70, the non-white faces suddenly vanish.

88. Charles King

THE LAST APP SOMEONE UNDER 13 HAD TO EXPLAIN TO YOU:My two sons, Noah and Julian, hipped me to TikTok many months ago.

Not months ago, but MANY months ago. Someone give Noah and Julian a VC fund.

WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED WITH ON DAVID GEFFEN'S INSTAGRAM?:Why not David Geffen? He's a living legend and trailblazer in our industry."

King pulls off the double Geffen bear hug. Not only, being apparently the first one on the list willing to answer the question but then making clear, the only person one would want to be with on the boat is the Great Man himself. What, are Oprah and Iger on board? Who even noticed in the glare of the Sun King’s dazzling light.  

Mr. King, your invitation to come aboard at Malta is on its way.

86. Benioff and Weiss

A TOP TALENT (NOT ON YOUR PLATFORM) WHOM YOU ADMIRE
Both: "Thomasin McKenzie from JoJo Rabbit. What a talent." 

Do Benioff and Weiss always speak in unison? All together now!

THE LAST APP SOMEONE UNDER 13 HAD TO EXPLAIN TO YOU
Both: "Houseparty. Apparently it has nothing to do with the Kid 'n Play movie."

Life gets competitive in these giant, ten-figure writing teams. So much so that when the creative process births a gem of a Kid ’n Play joke, neither is willing to surrender credit without the intervention of teams of lawyers, agents, managers and life coaches.

ANKLER EXTRA - DELETED LINE:

SIGNATURE ACCOMPLISHMENT: Crash landed their own major series so they could get the hell out of it and start working on other stuff.

85. Adam McKay

IF YOU COULD CONTROL ONE PIECE OF IP, WHAT WOULD IT BE?: Kleenex. They've been keeping our noses dry and clean for years. It's time there was a Kleenex movie.

Suddenly it makes sense why McKay got out of comedy . . . .

ANKLER EXTRA - DELETED LINE:

SIGNATURE ACCOMPLISHMENT: Taking enough money in directing fees on a vanity project to run Annapurna out of business while railing against capitalism by the hour on Twitter.

84. David Ellison

IF YOU COULD CONTROL ONE PIECE OF IP, WHAT WOULD IT BE?: It'd be really hard not to say Star WarsEmpire Strikes Back is one of my favorite movies of all time and personally, as a fan, I can't wait to see what J.J. [Abrams] does with Episode IX. I think I'll leave the rest up to [Lucasfilm's] Kathy [Kennedy] and her team."

It’s good to have the help on board to flesh out the details . . . .

ANKLER EXTRA - DELETED LINES:

UNSOLVED MYSTERY: Why Viacom is in the movie business if they are selling off pieces of their biggest projects to the first rich kid who walks onto the lot.

SIGNATURE ACCOMPLISHMENT: In 2019, officially became the most successful Ellison in Hollywood.

83. Donald Glover

“It’s been a quiet year for…”

So you can get as high as 83 on the THR Power List without actually doing anything—apart from releasing a widely unwatched Amazon movie. There’s hope for us all! 

But if doing nothing gets you to 83, if he had actually done something, would he have automatically catapulted to the Top 5 Most Powerful in Hollywood?

Or is 83 the Gentleman’s C of Power List rankings?

82 Jon Glickman and Mark Burnett

IF YOU COULD CONTROL ONE PIECE OF IP, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Burnett: The Bible

When do the rights for that come back on the market anyway? Think of the money you could make just suing for unlicensed use!

ANKLER EXTRA - DELETED LINE

SIGNATURE ACCOMPLISHMENT: 
BURNETT: Sitting on the tapes that could bring down the Presidency while living and working in the nest of The Resistance.

80. James Wan

Why does THR’s illustrated Wan look so much cooler than photographed Wan? What sort of editorial oversight was there over the illustrating process here? Red streaks in hair appear to have multiplied in the drawing by tenfold, for starters.

79. Mark Pedowitz

Immune from the ratings scrutiny suffered by his broadcast peers

Well that takes the sting out of being 30 to 70 spots lower on the list than his broadcast peers. Also how good must it feel to be immune from the worries about where to put your money after every closet in the house is full; the burdens that plague his broadcast peers!

And since each series is owned by co-parent Warner Bros. or CBS Corp., those that don't land well linearly or on the ad-supported streamer can find an audience on the current output deal with Netflix

And immune from the pressures of having to create shows that “land well” . . . because we can always dump them!  It’s good to be #79!

78.  Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

IF YOU COULD CONTROL ONE PIECE OF IP, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Goldberg: "The Bible. Big pre-existing fanbase."

Ummm…Can someone race over to MGM and cut the 70’s page out of Mark Burnett’s copy?

ANKLER EXTRA - DELETED LINE

SHOCK OF THE YEAR: Learning that audiences have not been dreaming of a romantic pairing of Rogen with Charlize Theron.

77. Charlie Collier

IF YOU COULD CONTROL ONE PIECE OF IP, WHAT WOULD IT BE?"I. No, wait: P."

The greatest divide in Hollywood is between those who take THR’s power list questions seriously and those who don’t.

BEST OR WORST THING ABOUT HOLLYWOOD'S MERGER MANIA: "I'm now sort of FX's landlord."

. . . Lest they think they’ve escaped . . . 

But if Landgraf has any ideas that he can dry his laundry out his office window, he’s going to be getting a visit from Mr Collier!

75. Kelly Kahl and Thom Sherman

Post-merger, it’s matching goatees for everyone! On the house!

THE LAST APP SOMEONE UNDER 13 HAD TO EXPLAIN TO YOU
Sherman: "They weren't under 13, but during casting many Love Island contestants explained Hinge to Kelly and me."

Post-Moonves, the topic for CBS execs to never ever mention: Love Island casting sessions.

ANKLER EXTRA - DELETED LINE

SIGNATURE ACHIEVEMENT: Shrugging off 20 years of horror stories from the Moonves reign without any non-Les person being called to account.

74. Chris Silbermann

Silbermann recently reorganized ICM's senior management team to free him up to focus on the agency's growth strategy, indicating that ICM may be making more aggressive moves in the near future.

Or . . . maybe not! It’s not for lack of planning time that agencies are forced to grapple with being agencies—and all the problems inherent in that—in this era.

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