LOKI finale beating WANDA and WINTER SOLDIER DIS+ viewership
COMCAST & VIACOM held Int’l deal talks / MARVEL's BLADE pic gets director / ESPN signs Manning Bros to call MNF games
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on TUESDAY July 20, 2021.
Where #MediaNerds unite 🤓 - It’s officially 2nd Quarter earnings call season! 🥳 So… everyone else just a heads up you’ll be getting a lot of subscriber count updates and seeing the acronyms DAU and ARPU quite a bit between A-List Actor news for the next week or 2.
NETFLIX announces their updates starting at 4p today, and I’ll get right to work with my new intern to get the analysis ready for tomorrow AM.
ALSO: New KANYE music may not be that far off… he reportedly held a listening party in Vegas this weekend for a few tracks. /Variety
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
LIONSGATE buys global rights to “Clerks III”
All main original cast returning plus Rosario Dawson from Part II. Meta-plot revolves around a post-heart attack Randall attempting to make a movie immortalizing his convenience store existence.
No price disclosed, will shoot next month about 15 minutes from where I grew up. #JerseyShore
MARVEL sets director for “Blade” movie starring Mahershala Ali
Bassam Tariq, who did the 2020 rap drama “Mogul Mowgli” (starring and co-written by Riz Ahmed - IMDB movie page here) will take the reins, although his deal is not officially done - still finishing negotiations. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
Adrien Brody joining Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray for Wes Anderson’s next movie shooting next month in Spain. /Deadline
AMC THEATERS cuts deal to operate / take over the leases of The Grove theater in LA and The Americana multiplex in Glendale. Both were among the top 5 highest grossing theaters in LA pre-covid. Theaters will re-open next month after AMC renovates the spaces, adding IMAX screens.
AMC also still in negotiations to take over PACIFIC THEATERS (The Arclight etc).
📺 THE TV SET
ESPN signs Peyton & Eli Manning to call MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL games on ESPN2
They’ll do their commentating remotely for 30 games over the next 3 seasons (will not be for every MNF game each season), and you can probably expect to find the GIANTS, COLTS, & BRONCOS playing on Monday nights a bit more than before.
ESPN main channel MNF broadcast team will still do their usual call/broadcast of the games.
The Manning Bros will be joined by a 3rd TBD host, as well as various celeb & athlete surprise guests each week. No 💰💰 reported, and feed will likely also be added to ESPN+. /Deadline
DISNEY+ “Loki” finale watched by 1.9 Million US accounts in first 4 days according to SAMBA TV
SAMBA’s #s were pretty accurate on “Black Widow” purchases (see below) so their tracking software seems to have a good line on this, although to note - it only tracks connected TV viewing, not mobile phone or desktop browser viewing. The “Loki” #s beat both “WandaVision” (1.4 Million) and “Winter Soldier” finales (1.7 Million) in their first 4-day totals.
DISNEY+ has about 38 Million US subscribers total. /Deadline
SPEAKING OF SAMBA TV: They reported that the “Black Widow” $30 Rental numbers rose to 2 million accounts through Sunday. Their opening weekend number was about 1.2 Million accounts which tracked well with the official data released by DISNEY. /Deadline
So - that would put total DISNEY+ “Black Widow” US streaming revenue at about $60 Million so far. US Theatrical cume is about $130 Million in that timeframe (does not account for the 20% streaming cut that goes to APPLE/GOOGLE/ROKU etc, and the 40% theatrical cut that goes to movie theaters).
Jerrod Carmichael, Carrie Brownstein join HBO’s Alicia Vikander series “Irma Vep”
Limited series is about a disillusioned American actress who comes to France to remake a French silent crime thriller film, and distinctions between her and her character begin to blur.
Adria Arjona (“6 Underground”), Fala Chen (“The Undoing”) also joining the project. /Variety
ALSO IN TV
Nick Cannon’s daily syndicated show “Nick Cannon” will premiere Mon Sept 27. Will shoot in a studio in Harlem, and air mostly on local FOX stations. /NextTV
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
AT&T lost 473k DIRECTV / U-VERSE subscribers from April thru June
AT&T’s total video subscriber base now stands at 15.4 Million combined, down from 17.7 Million just one year ago (-13% drop).
This puts DIRECTV now well below 13 Million subscribers, and U-VERSE below 3 Million video subscribers, but we may get more specific numbers on AT&T’s Thursday earnings call.
AT&T’s DIRECTV spinoff was also officially approved yesterday by the FCC.
While the ever-mounting DIRECTV losses will now be off AT&T’s official books, they still own 70% of the new company (a private equity firm owns the other 30%). /NextTV
ALSO: Probably unrelated but… DIRECTV’s competior in the satellite TV biz, DISH is switching to AT&T to power their mobile phone services (BOOST MOBILE & TING MOBILE being the most prominent brands). T-MOBILE had been the services provider before.
DISH is paying AT&T $5 Billion over 10 years for providing the service for their mobile brands, and DISH is also launching their own supplemental 5G service using their own spectrum, although AT&T will offer some supplemental backup here too. /THR
NBC NEWS gets 1 million viewers a day on SNAP
Just a little window into content #s on SNAP’s DISCOVERY area - NBC NEWS’s twice-daily SNAP show “Stay Tuned” averages about 1 million unique viewers daily, and 50% watch at least 3X a week.
The channel has about 10 million overall subscribers, and to note - the length of a “view” was not quantified. /Digiday
CNN+ streaming service launching in 1st Quarter 2022
No details on pricing or a more precise timeline… but will have 8 to 12 hours of live-streaming news daily, plus the library of CNN docuseries (Bourdain’s show, W Kamau Bell’s show, the Tucci Italy show, etc).
Will also have TBD CNN+ ORIGINALS, and feature a mix of CNN on-air talent and new faces.
US-only to start, and ad-free. Will not be bundled with HBOMAX… as of now. But obviously a CNN+ / DISCOVERY+ / HBOMAX bundle seems likely once the merger goes through in about a year.
ALSO: For some reason CNN+ won’t be it’s own app… but rather you’ll have to access it within the main CNN app. Which won’t be confusing at all for its target cord-cutter demographic.
As for the WHY here… and the real challenges for the success of a product like CNN+, I wrote up a bit of a dive into what they face here for anyone inclined.
ALSO IN MEDIA
Heads of COMCAST & VIACOM held (still holding?) talks about an international streaming partnership. To consider:
PEACOCK still has no stated specific international plans
PAR+ plans to be in 25-ish countries by end of this year, 45 by end of 2022.
UNIVERSAL PICS held onto international streaming rights to their movies in their recent NETFLIX and AMAZON deals
Still unclear how/if COMCAST plans to use their $39 Billion 2018 acquisition SKY for international expansion of their US businesses. /WSJ
Prince Harry publishing a memoir in late 2022 at PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE. He’ll donate his proceeds to charity. /Variety
PELOTON rolling out an in-app pedaling game later this year (pick your own music / playlist to ride to) 🚴♀️. Lot of potential here… rewards for hitting usage & speed marks, tie-ins with brands for discount codes as prizes, in game advertising etc. /The Verge
Andrew Lloyd Weber indefinitely closes his new “Cinderella” musical in the UK, the day before it’s official opening. A cast member had tested positive for covid over the weekend which led to the decision given current protocols. /Deadline
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER hires new Executive Editor - Patricia Mays, former Exec Editor of ESPN DIGITAL, with a primary focus on “SportsCenter”. She’ll led THR’s digital strategy and staff, starts mid-August. /THR
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
The street continues to tumble on rising fears of covid putting a pin in the economic recovery. Well… except PELOTON stock which was +7%. 😳
Media Stocks again down mildly (1-4%), 2 movie theater stocks down more than that - CINEMARK down about 5%, CINEMARK over 7% (AMC was flat).
The US State department putting the UK on the “Do Not Travel” list yesterday as average new cases surge there to over 50k a day… probably not helping things. Nor helping their just re-opened movie theaters.
Although Canada is now cool with vaccinated Americans again as of August 9th which… certainly is a plus for the TORONTO FILM FEST in Sept. Assuming the policy holds.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
ABC NBA Finals Game 6 - Milwaukee up 3-2 in the best of 7 series. Game is in Milwaukee, starts at 9p.
🥳 TODAY’S FUN READ
Ok this one isn’t fun per se… may need to rethink the name for this - but a good NY TIMES read about how NYC street food carts are faring as Midtown is… still pretty desolate.
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
STARZ “Heels” series trailer. Centered on a small town, family-run wrestling league whose brothers… don’t seem to get along too well, in or out of the ring. Premieres Sun Aug 15.
NETFLIX “Family Reunion Part 4” trailer - Return of the Loretta Devine, Tia Mowry-Hardrict led sitcom. Premieres Thu Aug 26.
NETFLIX “Sex Education” Season 3 teaser - Faux “Moordale Secondary” school promo ad - if you’re a fan of the show thinking you’ll dig this. Jemima Kirke joining as new head of the school. Premieres Fri Sept 17.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
New JOHN MAYER - “Shot in the Dark”. Another track off his just released album “Sob Rock” which A) Has to be a contender for title of the year, and B) Answers the question what would John Mayer sound like if he was a mid/late 80’s artist. Bonus points for the vintage 80’s “The Nice Price” sticker on the cover 🙌.
It’s definitely has grown on me a bit over the weekend, esp as a child of the 80’s, but see for yourself:
Listen to the song here on Spotify or:
If you need new tunes:
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