☀️BEETLE flails, STRAYS tanks as Strike PR woes take toll
AI shot down on copyright protection / AMAZON axes series due to strike delays / NETFLIX sets INDIA bundle deal
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty (connect with me on LinkedIn here if ya like), and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on MONDAY Aug 21, 2023.
Where first, I hope all of our Southern California readers are doing alright this morning on the West Coast. Hurricanes/’super storms’ can be very deceptive in their damage timelines, so stay safe out there in these next couple of days.
But the rain isn’t deterring MCDONALD’S from going HOLLYWOOD in their new Fall ad campaign, tied into their new Loki Season
product placement promotion (let the MCDONALD’S - DISNEY deal think pieces begin).
So, from Seinfeld to The Office to… yes, even Akeem and Semmi - quite an array here of MCDONALD’S in pop culture. Oddly no Michael Keaton clips from The Founder though 🤔.
FYI: The New Yorker’s profile on Elon is out this morning, for the inclined. Seems to center on how between his STARLINK satellite phone service, and national collection of TESLA charging stations… Elon has ingrained himself quite a bit with the US Government.
AND: One good piece of AI news for artists - work solely created by AI cannot be copyrighted, as per a Federal Judge’s ruling.
HOWEVER: No word regarding work where the AI is ‘assisted’ by human talent along the way. The Verge has more in the link.
PLUS: The EU’s game changing regulations on big tech start to roll out this Fall, largely affecting GOOGLE and META, including things like:
Offering iOS users ways to buy/download apps outside of the App Store
Android easily offering different browser choices besides Chrome
User data sharing restrictions for META
Sure we’ll see those things anyday in the US too naturally 🙄.
OH: META is also launching a desktop version of THREADS this week for… anyone still using it.
HUH: TICKETMASTER is now selling “listening-only” seats to the BEYONCE tour, listed for $226 (plus tax+fees naturally… so more like nearly $300) for a recent Atlanta show. So now TICKETMASTER is basically charging you to listen from the parking lot too.
Look - those $52 Million & $139 Million President and CEO one-year pay packages at parent company LIVE NATION don’t pay for themselves people.
JOKE: Did you hear the one about AMAZON reportedly offering ‘creators’ $12,500 to create 500 videos featuring products for sale via their new TIKTOK-ish video Shopping platform… or, uh $25 a video 😂? It’s a doozy.
AMAZON cleared $6.7 Billion in profit in Q2 2023 (also according to Bloomberg, most of the creators had a similar emoji response, perhaps along with this one 🖕).
ALSO: White noise (waves crashing, etc) podcasts account for 3 million listening hours a day on SPOTIFY 🤫, according internal docs reported by Bloomberg. But I mean… the host-read Ads are 🤌.
Wakeup BOX OFFICE POLL
Well… the bears certainly won this weekend. Kudos to:
The 52% of you who had “Under $29 Million” on Blue Beetle
The 39% of you who had “Under $15 Million” on Strays
Both of which came in notably beneath their tracking
While yes, it could just be a coincidence that the 2 films both didn’t interest audiences as much as foretold… these were also the first 2 films to open in the full “talent-less” Film promotion era of the SAG-AFRTRA strike, and both fell short of expectations.
Also challenging - a lack of large-scale audiences gathering on TV for Sports (or anything else for that matter) to advertise in front of here in late August. Thus the one Marketing lever Studios have to pull in this era (outside of perhaps sneak previews, i.e. ‘The Turismo approach’) is also rather impotent.
Looking ahead, Gran Turismo is probably a tough gauge given the campaign launched the majority of materials for its previous Aug 11 date.
Equalizer 3 and Nun 2 are the 2 big titles after that in early Sept, both of which wouldn’t have huge star-driven PR campaigns anyway (Denzel’s social media presence being… uh, muted) and they’re both already tracking at $30+ Million.
But Denzel aside, there’s a lot of other far more social media & press-active talent involved in both of course, and if those films both disappoint as well… perhaps we’re really seeing an effect here as we would enter month 3 of the SAG strike come mid September.
Get the full breakdown of this weekend’s Box Office, including demo breakdowns, audience ratings and more (sorry Mario, Barbie’s gonna take you down…) right here 👇.