FACEBOOK user growth stops, stock drops 22%
SPOTIFY forecasts low Q1, stock -10% / MASKED SINGER judges walk-off for Giuliani casting / AMC casts TWD anthology spinoff
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on THURSDAY February 3, 2022.
Where dealmaking was pretty quiet in Hollywood as everyone was too busy reading about Jeff Zucker’s CNN resignation disaster-area yesterday (this VARIETY read is a good catchup on the history of the situation if inclined).
FWIW 3 execs were named to lead in the interim until the WARNER DISCO deal closes… but sounds like a lotta people inside CNN have a far more positive view of Zucker than those outside, with many questioning Kilar’s decision on a call last night (that’s a WSJ read fyi).
Oh and then FACEBOOK faceplanted. Fun day.
AND: SXSW revealed the Films lineup, kicking off March 11. Premieres include:
Bullock-Tatum pic “Lost City of D”
Nic Cage pic “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent”
Pete Davidson A24 horror pic “Bodies, Bodies, Bodies”
Season 3 premiere of FX’s “Atlanta”
PLUS: Here are your BAFTA nominees, where I really gotta check their definition of “British” film #HouseOfGucci - I mean yes, directed by a “Sir”… but 🤔.
ALSO: Only FOX would think it was a good idea to have Rudy Giuliani on as a “Masked Singer” guest. Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke didn’t quite agree… and walked off set when he was revealed.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Based on an upcoming book called “The End of Getting Lost”. Time-shifting mystery about a young married couple in 1990’s EUROPE on their honeymoon when the wife has a mysterious accident and… the plot thickens from there I’m thinking.
This is the 2nd lead film role for Qualley (“Maid”) in a week (previously set to costar in a pic with Demi Moore at UNIVERSAL / WORKING TITLE). /THR
ALSO IN MOVIES
CHINA Box Office running 20% behind 2020 New Year week in first 2 days, but is even with 2019 oddly enough. OLYMPICS may be a culprit, or the fact that the lead movie is a sequel to a blockbuster film that came out… less than a year ago. Make ‘em wait for it CHINA! /Deadline
📺 THE TV SET
Anthology show called”Tales of the Walking Dead” and will feature both new and established characters from the “TWD” world.
Premieres this Summer on AMC. /Deadline
Called “The Brothers Sun”, Brad Falchuk created with Byron Wu, will have an all Asian cast and writers room, but Wu is writing all 8 scripts.
About a Taipei gangster whose father is shot by an assassin, causing him to go to LA to protect his mom and younger brother. Will be set in both LA and TAIWAN. /THR
ALSO IN TV
4 men arrested in the death of Michael K. Williams, part of a syndicate selling fentanyl-laced heroin. /Variety
ESPN sets Spike Lee to direct Colin Kapernick docuseries. Jemele Hill also a producer on the project (though this doesn’t seem to be under the 30 for 30 banner). /THR
IN THE HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE SUITE
Longtime AMC Networks exec Jennifer Caserta departs. She used to run IFC but was now head of HR for all AMC NETWORKS. Follows departures of CEO, COO, and Head of Marketing that began with Josh Sapan’s exit at the end of Summer. Head of DEI Aisha Thomas-Petit will take over her role. /THR
Former ICM Agent JR Ringer joins VERVE, brings clients Josh Hartnett, Sean Bean and more in tow. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
Basically FACEBOOK is no longer killing it in the Actualverse while planning for the Metaverse.
TIKTOK is now stealing everyone’s lunch, with Zuck declaring:
“Short-form video will be an increasing part of how people consume video going forward.”
HOWEVER… In attempting to compete, FB makes less $$ on IG Reels than it does on Feed or Stories, with Zuck also saying:
“Our ad system and service are not tuned to the new (short video) formats.”
“But hey have you seen my new Metaverse Avatar??” - Ok fake quote but meanwhile their VR/Metaverse gear division (headsets, Glasses etc) lost $10 Billion in 2021 with R&D costs.
As for the reasons on the immediate 23% dip: Earnings Per Share came in low, and Revenue guidance for Q1 2022 was below Wall Street estimates, not instilling confidence.
Also FACEBOOK user growth has stopped (at least from Q3 to Q4) and they had their lowest percentage year-to-year growth to date:
DAILY ACTIVE GLOBAL USERS: 1.93 Billion, +5% vs end of 2020… but Actually down just a hair technically vs Q3.
MONTHLY ACTIVE USERS: 2.91 Billion, +4% vs end of 2020… but Flat vs Q3.
But the money is still coming in - Q4 Revenue was +20% from Q4 2020 at $33.6 Billion. 71% of that comes from the US & EUROPE.
$10 Billion of that was Profit… but that was down from $11 Billion the same time in 2020 #CostsGoinUp.
AND: They project they’ll lose $10 Billion of revenue in 2022 due to the APPLE iOS privacy changes last year.
SNAPCHAT is up next in Social Media earnings today. It’s stock was down 17% last night already.
Pretty solid numbers… new TOTALS:
PAYING SUBSCRIBERS: 180 Million (40% in Europe, 29% North America, 20% Latin America, 11% “other’')
#ARPU: $4.98, +3% vs end of 2020. And close to a $1 more than DISNEY+’s.
MONTHLY FREELOADERS: 236 Million (33% in Europe, 23% North America, 21% Latin America, 22% “other”)
BUT… They forecast adding just 3 Million paying subs in Q1, plus a loss of $75 Million, and stock dropped 10% after hours #NetflixReactionPartDeux.
Although - from their earnings call, it really sounds like they have no more of an idea as we do as to how the whole Rogan controversy will shake out, so they’re keeping it modest.
Q4 Revenue was $3 Billion, +24% year over year. Handily beats their 17% growth at the end of 2020… but the company still lost about $9 Million in the quarter. #MusicStreamingMath
While a new high mark, still just 15% of revenue comes from Advertising. Impressive +40% growth vs Q4 2020 though.
No info on Podcasts other than an update on Number of Podcasts available which… is not a great look.
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
This list is likely gonna be even busier today…
PINTEREST -9% ($27.33)
AMC THEATERS -8% (15.42)
NETFLIX -6% ($429.48)
LIONSGATE -6% ($15.00)
SPOTIFY -6% ($191.82)
ROKU -5% ($156.90)
SNAP -5% ($32.07)
IMAX -5% ($17.63)
BUZZFEED -5% ($4.18)
GOOGLE +7% ($2960.73) and of course CINEWORLD (Regal Cinemas) +5% ($0.52)
If you don’t already SUBSCRIBE - here’s where you do it:
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
HBOMAX “Raised by Wolves” Season 2 - Stream Here
NBC Primetime OLYMPICS coverage begins.
HBOMAX “Tacoma FD” Season 3 hits the service - Stream Here
SNAP, WWE, LIONSGATE and AMAZON earnings after the bell so… yeah another big email tomorrow to finish Earnings Week properly. As well as my brain.
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
STARZ “Gaslit” limited series teaser - WATERGATE story centered on the role the wife of US Attorney General John Mitchell played in the whole thing as the first person to publicly allude to Nixon’s involvement. Starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn. Premieres Sun April 24
NBC “The Thing About Pam” limited series trailer - The Renee Zelwegger-led project based on the famous “Dateline” story and podcast Premieres Tue Mar 8
PEACOCK “Killing It” series teaser - New Craig Robinson comedy, Premieres in April TBD.
NETFLIX “Love is Blind” Season 2 trailer - Premieres Fri Feb 11
NETFLIX “Downfall: The Case Against Boeing” docu trailer - Looks at the disastrious 737 MAX aircraft crashes, and how the plane was somehow certified by the FAA. Premieres Fri Feb 18
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
While he sadly doesn’t sing… here’s Letterman’s visit to Seth Meyers last night for the “Late Night” 40th Anniversary. This story about Dave’s “Animal Guy” is pretty hilarious.
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