Discover more from The Ankler.
Natalie Portman & Julianne Moore team up for new movie
CALL HER DADDY pod going to SPOTIFY / IN THE HEIGHTS underwhelms / AMAZON in-office policy revised / CBS's CLARICE likely over
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on MONDAY June 14, 2021.
Where apparently my coverage of HBOMAX’s “FBoy Island” did not win me a PULITZER as hoped this weekend… but the open seat on the BLUE ORIGIN Bezos space trip was auctioned off for $28 Million. The person who’ll be competing for the arm rest next to Jeff wasn’t revealed… but let’s just say if the newsletter comes out a little late on July 20th, you’ll know why.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Natalie Portman & Juilanne Moore to star in next movie from director Todd Haynes (“Carol”, “Far From Heaven”)
Called “May December”, a Hollywood actress spends time with a family as she prepares to play the mother in a movie about the tabloid romance that the couple had 20 years ago and… things start to unravel a bit.
Project will go out to buyers at CANNES. /THR
UPDATE: The CANNES movie market project announced last week about the aftermath of the 2019 New Zealand mosque shooting with Rose Byrne playing NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is hitting some trouble. One of the producers has dropped out and Ardern herself basically said yeah… too soon. /Deadline
“A Quiet Place 2” : $11.7 Million, ($109 Million US, $185 Million Global)
First movie to cross $100 Million mark in the US in 16 months. “Godzilla vs. Kong” - so close! #99million (“Sonic The Hedgehog” was the last release to do so, Feb 2020).
“In The Heights” : $11.4 Million
“Peter Rabbit” : $10.4 Million (now at $68 Million Globally)
First major SONY US release since the pandemic, has already been rolling out internationally for weeks.
“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” : $10 Million ($44 Million US, $112 Million Global)
“Cruella” : $6.7 Million ($56 Million US, $129 Million Globally)
WHAT HAPPENED TO “In The Heights”? (aka today’s most popular hot take topic. Who says I don’t love a bandwagon?)
A+ marketing campaign from WB… Huge Ad spend… Top notch reviews and…🤔. Some Monday Morning Quarterback factors:
Relatively unknown IP/songs (outside of real musical enthusiasts)
Possibly regional story appeal (opened big in NYC theaters where the buzz was everywhere… but not so much in the South/Southwest)
No known movie stars (the director Jon M. Chu and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who only has a very small part on-screen, were the ones doing the heavy lifting on big national press).
Also important to keep in mind - even musicals with known IP generally don’t open huge:
“Mamma Mia”: $27 Million (19% of final US gross)
“Les Miz”: $24 Million (18% of final US gross)
And something original like “The Greatest Showman”, which also had Hugh Jackman, only opened to $9 Million (it finished with $174 Million US).
Not to mention the core appeal for “In The Heights” was a demo that… is more likely to stream it (50% of the theatrical audience was under 35 years-old according to CINEMASCORE).
Unrelated factor: The “Friends” reunion gave HBOMAX it’s biggest new sign-up event of 2021 just 2 weeks ago (according to tracking firm ANTENNA). Perhaps a not-insignificant portion of people decided to put their new HBOMAX subscription to use at home vs. seeing “In The Heights” in the theater… although obviously WARNER MEDIA is the only one with those streaming #s. (Even 500k subscribers x $10/ticket = $5 Million in box office)
Either way, for a film that was tracking at a $20+ Million opening, a shock nevertheless. Given positive word of mouth and the only major new theatrical release this weekend is a movie in a very different genre (“Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard”), here’s 🙏 for some legs, and becoming the comeback story of the Summer.
ALSO IN MOVIES
Michael Peña joining Owen Wilson for Bruckheimer PARAMOUNT family action comedy “Secret Headquarters”. Kid finds secret headquarters of a superhero beneath his house and defends it with his friends when it comes under attack. Will hit theaters next Summer. /Deadline
MGM buys US rights to “Flag Day”, directed by Sean Penn who co-stars with his daughter Dylan Penn. Playwright Jez Butterworth wrote the script, a true story of a daughter who must come to terms with her relationship with her criminal, counterfeiter father. No word on a deal price or release plan, but movie will play CANNES next month. /THR
📺 THE TV SET
Negotiations with series producer MGM to bring the show to PARAMOUNT+ seem to have hit a wall that… is unlikely to resolve. /Deadline
10 half-hour episodes, about people coming together to compete in a reality singing contest for young teens. /Deadline
ALSO IN TV
THR goes inside the cost overruns, troubled production and reasons why “Jupiter’s Legacy” was cancelled at NETFLIX. /THR
NETFLIX announces cast for “Resident Evil” TV series, led by Lance Reddick (“John Wick”, “Bosch”). 8 episodes, showrunner is Andrew Dabb (“Supernatural”). Some plot details in the link for the inclined. /Deadline
AMAZON rounds out cast for new rom-com show from “One Day at a Time” reboot creator Gloria Calderón Kellett called “With/Love”, about a brother and sister determined to find purpose and love in life. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
Shifts to 3 days in the office, and 2 days can be remote vs. their earlier “we’re going back to the way it was” stance. Some can work remotely for up to 4 weeks out of the year.
Essentially, flexible policies at competitors for tech talent (APPLE, GOOGLE etc) caused the change in spirit. Obviously this does not extend to the majority of AMAZON’s employees - the warehouse workers and drivers. /CNBC
ALSO: AMAZON added rights to French Soccer’s LIGUE 1 to their increasing sports streaming war chest. Will pay about $300 Million/year for the next 3 years to stream about 80% of league games each season. CANAL+ was going to get the other package of games… but abruptly dropped out on Friday in protest of the decision to give games to AMAZON. The new season begins in 2 months. /France24
ALSO IN MEDIA
SPOTIFY looking to make “Call Her Daddy” BARSTOOL podcast exclusive to SPOTIFY for $20 Million. No word on deal duration for the licensing agreement, but the podcast and previous episodes could become SPOTIFY-only as soon as July. /WSJ
TWITTER adds direct links to newsletters on the profiles of accounts that use TWITTER-owned REVUE to run their newsletters. (images in the story link). /Engadget
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
AMC THEATERS was back to its usual antics on Friday, +15%. Very curious to see where it goes today…
Otherwise pretty quiet Friday.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
CBS “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” - Returns to the Ed Sullivan Theater with a live audience. And with Jon Stewart. Also Dana Carvey, and H.E.R. performs 🎤.
If you were sent this email or… just kinda found it:
And if you wanna send the newsletter to someone:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
Ok last week was super busy with trailers, so a few more from the end of the week to catch up:
HULU “Nine Perfect Strangers” extended tease - From the team behind “Big Little Lies”, nine strangers go some sort of a mental health wellness retreat led by Nicole Kidman’s character and… well the “lie in your own grave” thing seems a bit much. But cool teaser - premieres Wed Aug 18.
DISNEY+ “Monsters At Work” trailer - New series based on the PIXAR movie, Premieres Wed July 7.
NETFLIX “Virgin River” Season 3 trailer - Premieres Fri July 9.
NETFLIX “Masters of the Universe: Revelation” teaser. See He-Man through the eyes of Kevin Smith. There better be one Jersey reference in this somewhere. Part 1 of Season 1 (5 episodes) drops on Fri July 23.
STARZ “Power Book III: Kanan” trailer - Premieres Sun July 18.
NETFLIX “Fear Street” trilogy trailer. Based on RL Styne books, 3 horror movies telling one story across 3 different time periods. Movie 1 premieres Fri July 2.
🕵️♂️ THE WEEK AHEAD
TUE - APPLE PODCASTS add subscription function
WED - FXX “Dave” Season 2 premiere
THU - “iCarly” reboot hits PARAMOUNT+
FRI - PIXAR’s “Luca” hits DISNEY+
SAT - JUNETEENTH commemorations
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
As H.E.R is welcoming Colbert and NYC back to the Ed Sullivan Theater tonight, this duet with Chris Stapleton at the CMA’s last week is a pretty great way to start off this week.
If you need new tunes:
RIP Ned Beatty. While most will remember you from “Network” and “Superman”… you’ll always be “Dean Martin” to me #BackToSchool 🎓
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