Emilia Clarke joins MARVEL DISNEY+ series
New TED LASSO & MORTAL KOMBAT previews / Top ENDEAVOR execs to be worth $900 Million / NETFLIX -9% on missed subscriber #s
Mornin! I’m Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY April 21, 2021.
Where in addition to being a historic day for justice in America 🙌, it looks like this week is going to be a historic disaster for the European soccer SUPER LEAGUE, which will have about the same lifespan as QWIKSTER (sorry NETFLIX, couldn’t pass that one up). Many reports indicate the $6 Billion League is being abandoned after the… totally foreseeable backlash. Although maybe if they hired this guy as their spokesperson things would have gone differently.
In case you work with someone who would dig THE WAKEUP - here’s a handy button:
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
NETFLIX sets Dakota Johnson to star in Jane Austen adaptation “Persuaion”
Woman living with her snobby family on the brink of bankruptcy must decide what to do when an Ex re-enters her life. But with a name like Frederick Wentworth… I gotta think it’ll work out.
MRC producing, theater director Carrie Cracknell making her movie directorial debut, will shoot in May. /THR
50 Cent starring in LIONSGATE movie “Free Agents”
It’s a Victorian period drama about forbidden love… oh wait sorry wrong story - it’s a sports-heist thriller where a group of football players team up to steal from the owners. We’ll put a pin in the NFL endorsement.
Deon Cole (“Fatale”) writing and directing. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
Indie studio A24 ends relationship with Producer Scott Rudin, who will now be “stepping back” from his film projects as well. There was no exclusive deal between the two but most of his upcoming projects were at A24. /Variety
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL film lineup released. HULU’s Ilana Glazer/Justin Theroux thriller “False Positive” and SPC’s Luke Wilson/Martin Sheen 1930’s football movie “12 Mighty Orphans” lead the way. Kicks off Wed June 9th with “In the Heights”. /THR
HULU buys docu “Homeroom” exec produced by Ryan Coogler. Looks at Oakland’s public school system and calls for change. Price N/A, airdate TBD. /THR
In the HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE SUITE:
SEARCHLIGHT heads Steve Gulia & Nancy Utley retiring at DISNEY. Caps a 21 year career at (Fox) SEARCHLIGHT for both. Production heads Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum promoted to Co-Presidents, will report into the Alan’s. /Variety
Here’s an exit interview with both in the NYT.
Former 8-term president of GOLDEN GLOBE parent HFPA Philip Berk expelled for racist emails that surfaced. Same guy accused of feeling up Brendan Fraser’s butt in 2003. /THR
📺 THE TV SET
Emilia Clarke joining MARVEL DISNEY+ Sam Jackson series “Secret Invasion”
Olivia Colman announced as (likely) joining cast yesterday. Story builds off of “Captain Marvel” with Ben Mendelsohn reprising his “Skrull Talos” role. /Variety
ALSO IN TV
NFL NETWORK & RED ZONE coming to HULU LIVE TV this Fall. NFL NET’s football games go to AMAZON in 2023. HULU LIVE TV has about 4 Million subscribers. /THR
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
NETFLIX misses Q1 2021 subscriber growth estimates…. by a wide margin
Added 4 Million global subscribers from Jan thru March: they were projecting 6 Million. That’s the lowest Q1 new subscriber increase since 2013.
However Revenue grew 24% vs this time last year to $7.2 Billion for the 3 month period, matching expectations, as most of the growth came from EUROPE and AFRICA where they have a high Avg Revenue Per User.
NETFLIX now has 207.6 Million subscribers worldwide.
74 Million are in US/Canada (+500k subs in Q1, ARPU: $14.25)
68.5 Million in Europe, Middle East & Africa (+1.8 Million subs, ARPU: $11.56)
38 Million in LATAM (+350k subs, ARPU: $7.39)
27 Million in Asia Pacific (+1.3 Milion subs, ARPU: $9.71)
Lack of marquee programming (“Bridgerton”, “Queens Gambit” were in Q4, and there’s only so much audience diversity that “Ginny and Georgia” and “Firefly Lane” can deliver), plus the fact that they added so many subs in 2020 also a bit of a factor.
Anthony Mackie’s “Outside the Wire” and Jen Garner’s “Yes Day” were the 2 most popular films in the quarter. “Lupin” was the most popular series by far.
They’ll spend $17 Billion on content this year, but - they’re only projecting to add 1 Million subscribers total in Q2 which isn’t a great look. Stock down almost 9% in after hours trading.
APPLE News (uh not the article kind, the corporate kind):
APPLE TV - releasing a refresh of their streaming box with new chip for maximum 4K effectiveness, and a new somewhat improved remote (no more touchpad) plus a Siri button on the side. Base price $180. That sound you hear is ROKU and AMAZON FIRE laughing in the background.
APPLE PODCASTS - adding Paid Subscription function, either as a full paywall, or for access to bonus eps or early access to new episodes or an ad-free experience. APPLE taking a 30% cut of each subscription for its 1st Year, but drops to 15% if the person is still subscribing after that. That’s after APPLE charges you $20 a year to set up/maintain your subscription account in the first place.
Podcasters can also distribute their content as they like on other platforms. But - if you’re charging for it on APPLE, hard to justify giving it away for free on other platforms. So - gives APPLE de-facto Original/Exclusive podcasts… without APPLE having to pay for them; Or if you put just some content behind the paywall, APPLE PODCASTS will likely get free promotion in your regular podcasts that go on all platforms, as APPLE will be the only place where your exclusive content/episodes reside which podcasters obviously will want to promote. #Smart
Podcast App itself also getting a re-design.
AIR TAGS - small sensors you can attach to things like a keychain ring or a remote, will make a noise when you ask your phone to find them. $29 for 1, $99 for 4. Plus an additional cost to buy gear to ya know, actually attach the Tags to many kinds of things. Ah APPLE… never change buddy. But hey - free engraving!
APPLE CREDIT CARD now allows you to add users 13 years old+ to your account and set spending limits on each account.
Plus new iPAD PRO’s and iMAC’s which look kinda cool (specific details here for the inclined). And the new iOS 14.5 which severely limits user tracking in apps hits next week.
Top ENDEAVOR execs (Emanuel & Whitesell) set to be worth $900 Million via company IPO
ENDEAVOR will go public with a $10 Billion valuation. Was valued at $6.5 Billion back in their failed 2019 IPO attempt… so somehow they’ve added 66% more value during the pandemic.
Granted the company will now own 100% of UFC this time out vs 50%, but they also have to sell off 80% of their ENDEAVOR CONTENT production arm in the next couple years due to new WGA deal.
The company lost $625 Million in 2020 and has about $6 Billion in debt. Will go public at around $24/share, looking to raise $511 Million by doing so.
WME Talent Agency division being played down, UFC and Professional Bull Riding getting prominence in positioning to Wall Street (#SportsBetting).
VC Firm SILVER LAKE will own the most of any stakeholder at $4 Billion. No date given for the IPO yet. Ticker will be EDR. /Deadline
ALSO IN MEDIA
Kobe Bryant estate splits with NIKE after 18 years. Takes the MAMBA brand with them… no word on next destination. /FOS
Canada will collect 3% Digital Tax on streaming services beginning in 2022. TBD if companies like NETFLIX and SPOTIFY will eat it, or pass the burden onto Canadians eh. Canada expects to collect about $544 million annually. /THR
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
AT&T has their earning call tomorrow AM so we’ll get our latest look at HBOMAX subscriber info. I’ll likely hold the email tomorrow until the info is out so apologies if its a little past 830am.
SNAP also reporting earnings/user updates tomorrow too.
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
APPLE TV+ “Ted Lasso” Season 2, trailer 1. Premieres July 23.
On the other end of the spectrum… WARNER BROS released the first 7 minutes of “Mortal Kombat” in advance of Friday’s release.
NETFLIX “The Upshaws” trailer - sitcom about a working class Black family, created by Regina Hicks and Wanda Sykes. Premieres May 12
And HBO gives us a trailer for “The Crime of the Century” - director Alex Gibney’s 2 part docu on the opioid crisis and PURDUE PHARMA. This looks really good. Premieres Mon May 10
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
Hey how bout you give us something to watch today? Mmmkay? Ok yeah we got nuthin. 🙇♂️
But that gives you a chance to Subscribe to THE WAKEUP if you do not already.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
New ERIC CHURCH - The well-respected Country star dropped 5 more new songs on Friday from his new kinda dual-album project.
And gotta say watching the same 15 second VERIZON ad 8 times in a row while listening to the songs on YOUTUBE was a super great ad experience #DigitalAdvertisingIsSoEffective.
Anyway here’s a song I was really into - “Bunch of Nothing” :
If you need new tunes:
Enjoy your Wednesday! Email me anytime - just reply to this email, or connect on LINKED IN - my name below goes to my profile.