HBOMAX doubles subscriber gains from Q3 to Q4... sorta
Ridley Scott NAPOLEON movie changes Josephines / YELLOWSTONE finale sets new record / Will & Jada sell part of their company
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY January 5, 2021.
Where “Yellowstone” continues to astound… getting 10.3 Million Live+Same Day linear TV viewers for its finale on Sunday night (highest rated scripted Cable TV event since 2017). Up 81% from Season 3’s finale.
AND: They almost doubled the amount of 18-49 year-olds in the audience to 1.9 Million. I mean, 80% of the audience is still over 50 years old… but growth is growth right?
ALSO: Seth Meyers tested positive for Covid so no “Late Night” shows this week.
Same with Whoopi Goldberg who’s now off “The View” this week.
And ARMANI is pulling out of Men’s Fashion Week in Milan.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Jodie Comer leaves Ridley Scott’s Napoleon pic “Kitbag” at APPLE TV+ starring Joaquin Phoenix
She was set to play Josephine, but says she’s out due to covid-related schedule changes that created a conflict. /THR
AND: Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) has been set as Josephine instead. /Deadline
Chris Evans to play Gene Kelly in a movie based on an original idea from Chris
John Logan (“Gladiator”, “Penny Dreadful”) is writing, conceit is a 12 year-old kid creates an imagined friendship with Gene Kelly while working on the MGM lot in the 1950’s.
Rian Johnson (“Knives Out”) also producing alongside Evans & Logan. No studio/streamer involved yet. /Deadline
CHINA 2021 Box Office comes in 26% below 2019 tally
$7.3 Billion (compared to the US $4.5 Billion total). But their 2019 number was a few billion less than the US number that year so… less of loss to regain there.
Prospect for US movies looks… not great. 2021 revenue was down 70% vs 2019 revenue, and they had just a 12% Box Office share in 2021.
Granted - there were fewer US films released overall, but still the CHINA gold rush is over especially as the US films that are released there are increasingly put in theaters many weeks after their US release… giving piracy a lotta time to take hold so there’s very little appetite once the movies hit theaters. /THR
ALSO IN MOVIES
GOLDEN GLOBES will still “give out” awards on Monday at the Beverly Hilton. Give to whom is the question… as it’ll only be some HFPA members in attendance (and no current plans for a live-stream either). Worst part - it’s BYOB. /THR
The Josh Hartnett renaissance continues - joins Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” pic at UNIVERSAL. Role not disclosed. /Deadline
📺 THE TV SET
NEW YEARS EVE:
ABC still tops, as Dick Clark / Ryan Seacrest gets 6.8 Million viewers
CBS’s Nashville hootenany got 4.8 Million
Miley & Pete got 4.4 Million on NBC
I don’t think the Andy’s on CNN can really be measured in ratings.
Note: These ratings are for the entire broadcasts, not indicative of audience sizes near Midnight. /Deadline
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS:
Combined for the lowest ratings in CFP history.
Bama v Cinci got 16.1 Million
Georgia v Michigan got 16.5 Million
The games last year had around 19 Million viewers, but on New Years Day… which probably helped.
FOX’s “The Cleaning Lady” held 3.6 Million of its 5.2 Million “9-1-1 Lone Star” lead-in audience
ABC’s “The Bachelor” was down quite a bit from last January’s premiere: 3.75 Million vs 5 Million.
NBC’s “Kenan” returned with 2.6 Million viewers, “That’s My Jam” followed with 2.4 Million.
But “NCIS” of course won the night with 6.7 Million on CBS
ALSO IN TV
Production co KAPITAL ENTERTAINMENT hires former ABC head of Drama Brian Morewitz & ABC SIGNATURE Comedy head Melanie Frankel to head up both departments respectively. KAPITAL has 10 series currently airing, incl NBC’s “American Auto” and “The Chi” at SHOWTIME. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
Will & Jada’s OVERBROOK ENTERTAINMENT sells minority stake to Kevin Mayer / Tom Staggs co
THE INFORMATION broke the news yesterday… and more details out this morning in VARIETY (in the link above).
First - the Mayer / Staggs company finally has a name! CANDLE MEDIA.
Ok. Well they’re still the company that’s backed by huge investment firm BLACKSTONE that bought Reese Witherspoon’s HELLO SUNSHINE, the “Cocomelon” company and also just bought the Israeli production co behind “Fauda” for $50 Million
Stake is reportedly 10% for $60 Million, giving WESTBROOK about a $600 Million valuation (Reese’s co was valued close to $1 Billion in that acquisition).
Still no word as to an overarching vision for how this is all gonna work togeteher there at… CANDLE.
HBOMAX hits 73.8 Million subscribers at end of 2021, gain of 4.4 Million from Oct thru Dec
This beats their Q3 addition of 1.9 Million by far… but Q3 was also the quarter HBO left AMAZON PRIME CHANNELS, which left a 3.5+ Million-ish hole to dig out of, skewing the quarter’s subscriber gain picture.
So - still strong and consistent growth numbers for HBOMAX, although no word how much of that was in the US / where the growth is coming from.
They most recently launched in most LATIN AMERICAN countries at the end of June, and in the NORDICS and SPAIN in the Fall.
But it does put HBOMAX slightly ahead of their earlier in the year projections to be at 70 to 73 Million by end of 2021. /Deadline
NY TIMES media columnist Ben Smith leaving to form news company with CEO of BLOOMBERG
Ben just came over from leading BUZZFEED NEWS about a year ago to head up the TIMES’s high profile weekly Media column, and broke the OZY MEDIA story this Summer among others in his tenure.
Justin Smith is leaving as BLOOMBERG NEWS CEO and will head up the business side of the new company, Ben will lead editorial.
No name for the company, or a business plan, or revealed financial backers. Or a timetable.
It’s only described as a “global news organization” looking to break news and experiment with storytelling formats.
The target demo? The 200 Million people globally who went to college and speak English. Well always good to start niche. /NY TIMES
ALSO IN MEDIA
Michael Eisner sells his
baseball cardsbaseball card company TOPPS to FANATICS for about $500 Million. Growing sports merch company FANATICS stole away the trading card rights for the MLB last year starting in 2026 after a 70-year run at TOPPS. So - not much of a choice here for Eisner.
TOPPS was planning to go public via a SPAC last year prior to the surprise MLB deal “yoink!”. /THR
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
Wall Street continues to buy into the 3 biggest Entertainment companies… most likely to be acquired in 2022.
AMC NETWORKS +5% again ($39.19)
LIONSGATE +3.5% ($17.66)
VIACOMCBS +2.5% (33.05)
and DISCOVERY also +5.6% ($26.75)
Losers were PINTEREST -9% ($33.13), SNAP -5% (44.03), VIMEO -7% ($16.64)
And round out with CINEWORLD (REGAL Cinemas) +7.7% because… they’ll have no movies in January? ($0.45)
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
CBS “The Amazing Race” - New season premiere, 2 hrs at 8p
CBS “Good Sam” - Series premiere at 10p, Sophia Bush & Jason Isaacs medical drama
MAGNOLIA NETWORK launches - Replaces DIY channel at 9p
What’s left of CES begins in Vegas
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
NETFLIX “The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window” series trailer. Or as it’s known internally at NETFLIX… TWITHATSFTGITW. The thriller series Premieres Fri Jan 28.
PEACOCK “Wolf Like Me” series trailer - Where I really hope you like the damaged person, mysterious past trailer genre today… this one with Josh Gad and Isla Fisher. Premieres Thu Jan 13.
If you need new tunes:
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