Discover more from The Ankler.
MATRIX 4 is game-over at Box Office as SPIDEY & SING 2 dominate end of Dec
Things to know about 2021 Box office / The 2022 streaming biz battleground is not in the US
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on MONDAY January 3, 2022.
Where Bob Chapek is now finally running DISNEY solo. 22 months after Bob Iger publicly announced his intentions to leave the company.
At least Iger didn’t choose the “take your shirt off mid-board meeting and walk off the DISNEY lot” approach like… a certain someone yesterday.
BUT: It was definitely Jeff Bezos… ftw (🤷♂️?) on New Years Eve 🥳🕺.
AND: Congrats hipsters! You did it! Vinyl albums had their best sales week of the modern sales-tracking era (since 1991), moving 2.1 Million units Christmas week.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” : $53 Million ($610 Million US, $1.37 Billion global)
A relatively low 38% drop from last weekend
50 Million tickets have been sold in the US alone, according to industry tracking firm EntTelligence
Still no CHINA date, and it’s just opening in JAPAN this weekend
IMAX is $83 Million of total ($31 Mil in US, only 5% of total)
“Sing 2” - $20 Million ($90 Million US)
Very low 12% drop from last weekend
No new Family film competition ahead for… at least the next 2 months, so “Sing 2” should have a strong run this Winter as the only movie option for parents looking to get out of the house with their kids for a couple hours
“The King’s Man” - $4.5 million ($20 Million US, $48 Million global)
Includes a so-so $4.6 Million total in the UK since Christmas
“American Underdog” - $4 Million ($15 Million US)
“The Matrix Resurrections” - $3.8 Million ($31 Million US)
A 64% drop from last weekend, this movie is done at the box office
But it did have the 2nd best HBOMAX first-5-days viewership tally with 2.8 Million people according to SAMBA TV (“Godzilla vs Kong” is still tops). But unlike “G vs K”… just 2.6 Million people have chosen to go to the movies to see it in its first 10 days.
“Dune” & “Godzilla vs Kong” were the only WB Project Popcorn (HBOMAX dual release project codename) movies to make more than $70 Million at the US Box Office all year.
ELSEWHERE AT THE BOX OFFICE
“A Journal for Jordan” is done as well: $1.2 Million this weekend, just a $4.7 Million total.
“Licorice Pizza” dropped 35% in weekend 2, with $1.2 Million, now at $6.3 Million total, still in just 780 theaters. Won’t go wider until mid-January. Maybe.
Failing any potential late OSCAR nomination Box Office bumps…
“West Side Story” will probably top out close to $40 Million US ($100+ Million shoot budget). Currently at $30 Million
“Nightmare Alley” will probably top out around $10 Million ($60 Million shoot budget). Currently at $7.6 Million
“Ghostbusters Afterlife” looking at about a $130 Million US run. (approx $75 Million shoot budget).
BUT: This franchise just doesn’t have the global appeal it needs… with just a $56 Million International total, so gotta think a sequel is again very budget size-dependent.
🎤 IN OTHER WORDS…
“VIN (DIESEL)'s recent public post was an example of his manipulation. I didn't like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker's death. Leave them out of it.”
- DWAYNE JOHNSON re-confirming to CNN that he is never going to return to a “Fast & Furuious” movie with Vin, and sharing that he also told this to Vin… in person… to his face back in June, and to UNIVERSAL as well (who totally understood). 5 months prior to Vin’s weird November IG post asking The Rock to come back.
The 2021 US BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN
The US Box Office topped out at $4.55 Billion.
2X the 2020 total. But only 40% of the 2019 total. A headline you might have seen a lot over the break… with 0 context. Consider:
Wide theatrical-only releases in 2021: 63 (approx)
Plus 26 Theatrical + Streaming combo releases (WB and select DISNEY & PARAMOUNT pics).
All-in 2021 still only had 75% of the 2019 release count total.
AND: All theaters were not open for the full year like in 2019.
Not to mention… Remember just how bleak the movie business started the year? This is the list of Theatrical-Only releases from the first 4 months of 2021:
9 Movies over 16 weekends: “The Marksman”, “Land”, “Boogie”, “Chaos Walking”, “The Father”, “The Courier”, “The Unholy”, “Voyagers”, “Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train”. Not exactly a list of Hollywood’s A-game.
The other 7 releases in the first 1/3 of 2021 which had bigger names / profiles (“Tom & Jerry”, “Mortal Kombat”) but were also avail for home streaming.
What to take away from the 2021 box office? Very little. The year was a mess.
Winter/Spring - see above.
Summer - was “F9”, “Free Guy” and DISNEY putting its big 3 titles on DISNEY+ PREMIUM ACCESS at the same time.
Fall / End of Year - The only normal-ish time period with (mostly) exclusive theatrical releases.
Will the Box Office ever return to its 2010s heights on a consistent basis? No. But no one believed that before Covid, and frankly with the right mix of titles… there’s no reason why it still couldn’t hit the $11+ Billion mark again in a given year at some point… assuming a major / Top 3 movie chain doesn’t entirely collapse .
Are “Movies For Adults” in real trouble? Yeah. This genre could use a hit to say the least. Fall 2021 was a complete disaster, and I don’t think “optimism” is the sentiment around this year’s OSCARS show audience….on March 27. Four months after the movies were in theaters.
Now Hollywood is taking a Box Office break in this genre for 2.5 months: The next major release with a decidedly adult target demo is the “Downton Abbey” sequel in mid-March (save for how you view “Cyrano” in late Jan).
But is Kara Swisher’s “Sorry, We’re Not Going Back to the Movies” NY TIMES assessment from June true either? No. “No Time To Die”, “Dune” and “Spider-Man” clearly indicate otherwise. Plus original film “Free Guy” rang up $120 Million in the US. Hell even Kara said she went to go see “F9” in the theater in the very same piece.
2022 will be the first year where comps to 2019 will be anywhere near applicable… barring any major new virus development naturally. So while 2021 is now fully on the books… looking for long-lasting lessons is a fool’s errand.
6 THINGS OF NOTE OVER THE BREAK
Will Arnett replaces Armie Hammer in the already-shot SEARCHLIGHT pic from Taika Waititi “Next Goal Wins”, starring Michael Fassbender. Currently undergoing reshoots… likely to replace all of Hammer’s scenes (it’s described as a relatively minimal supporting role). /Deadline
NFL took 39 slots, SUMMER OLYMPICS took 17 slots (56 of the 100).
Oprah + Meghan + Harry was the highest rated non-sports event of 2021.
“NCIS” was the only scripted Broadcast TV show to make the top 70.
”Yellowstone” was the only Cable show to make the list. /Variety
“Impractical Jokers” member Joe Gatto is leaving the group. He and his wife are divorcing and he wants to focus on taking care of his kids. The show has already been renewed for a 10th season. /Deadline
PALM SPRINGS FILM FEST is canceled due to covid. Was set for Jan 7-17 (the big gala event had already been canceled).
“Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations” is closing Jan 16 on BROADWAY.
🎤🎤 MORE OTHER WORDS…
"I'm not looking forward to it. I'm going to leave it at that."
- MAGIC JOHNSON on the upcoming HBO series “Winning Time” about the 80’s LAKERS. He says he has his own LAKERS project he’s trying to get made, and that Jeanie Buss has her own at SHOWTIME as well. So - his enthusiasm for the HBO show where he’s not getting a payday is… low.
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
Spoiler: No one knows anything.
Sure LIONSGATE and AMC NETWORKS are in-play to be bought. As they were a year ago.
And the “VIACOM can’t go it alone” narrative is… also the same as it was a year ago.
And I’m sure that PODCASTING $$ growth boom is still just around the corner…
But I will offer - the one thing not mentioned anywhere in 2022 pieces I saw… was INDIA. It’s in play, and will likely have a sizable impact in quarterly streaming subscriber reports as 2022 goes on.
I put together a brief read why for any fellow media nerds here.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
ABC “The Bachelor” - New season premieres at 8p. Jesse Palmer hosts
FOX “911: Lone Star” - Season 3 premiere at 8p
FOX ”The Cleaning Lady” - Series premiere at 9p
NBC “Kenan” - Season 2 premieres at 8p (2 episodes)
NBC “That’s My Jam” - Premieres at 9p
STREAMING PREMIERES FROM NEW YEARS WEEKEND
NETFLIX “Cobra Kai” Season 4 - Stream or Add to Your List Here
NETFLIX ”The Lost Daughter” - Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Stream or Add to Your List Here
NETFLIX “Queer Eye” Season 6 - Stream or Add to Your List Here
PEACOCK “All Madden” doc - Stream or Add to Your List Here
HBOMAX ”Harry Potter” cast reunion special - Stream or Add to Your List Here
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
THE WEEK AHEAD
TUE - “This Is Us” final season premiere on NBC
WED - A… version of CES begins in Vegas
Chip & Joanna’s MAGNOLIA NETWORK launches on cable TV
THU - Anniversary of 1/6 Insurrection at the US Capitol
ABC premieres “Women of the Movement” …while FOX premieres ”Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer”
FRI - “The 355” hits theaters
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
HBOMAX “Peacemaker” red band trailer. Series premieres Thu Jan 13
NETFLIX “After Life” Season 3 trailer. This final season premieres Fri Jan 14
BBC/NETFLIX “Peaky Blinders” Season 6 trailer. No word on a premiere date
WB “The Batman” new trailer - In Theaters Fri Mar 4
NETFLIX “Cheer” Season 2 trailer - premieres Wed Jan 12
AMC+ / BBC AMERICA “Killing Eve” Season 4 teaser promo - Premieres Feb 27
PEACOCK “Joe Montana: Cool Under Pressure” promo - 6 part docuseries from NFL FILMS. Drops Thu Jan 6
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
New song cupboard is empty! Got a song your digging? Email me!
So instead - a nice read to go out on. Well sad but nice: Lee Kaufman died at 99 over the holidays. She and her husband Morty were the unexpected stars of an early memorable 2010s SWIFFER TV ad campaign, and the read is just a great reminder to #JustKeepLivin as we see wherever 2022 takes us.
“The bottom line is, don’t die young,” she said. “There are too many things that can happen.”
Email me anytime - just reply to this email, or connect here on LINKED IN.
@theseanmac on TWITTER
@TheWakeupNews on INSTAGRAM