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NIGHTMARE ALLEY tanks as SPIDER-MAN beats every STAR WARS opening weekend
The Spidey CHRISTMAS box office logjam / NETFLIX orders MI6 spy series / YOUTUBE TV & DISNEY settle differences
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on MONDAY December 20, 2021.
Where SNL had another Covid-era first - No audience, No musical guest, 1 band member, 2 cast members and essentially 3 hosts as Tom Hanks and Tina Fey helped out Paul Rudd in his “4 and a half” timers club hosting gig.
And while there was no actual Weekend Update desk, always great to have Tina back doing the news.
AND: Here is your list of LA FILM CRITICS Award winners. #DriveMyCar
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” : $253 Million ($587 Million global)
An estimated 20 Million people bought tickets for it in the US.
It’s already the highest grossing movie of the past 2 years at the US Box Office
Should overtake “No Time to Die” as the highest grossing US film of the past 2 years globally next weekend, and it’s not even playing in CHINA
When final numbers arrive today including official Sunday night #s, expected to hit close to $260 Million to become #2 US Movie opening of all-time… topping “Avengers: Infinity War” $257.7 Million
Almost 3X as big as the previous biggest weekend of the Covid-era ($90 Million for another SONY pic, the “Venom” sequel)
And remember… 25% of the money goes to DISNEY/MARVEL. And sounds like they could use it (see 5th place)
“Encanto” : $6.5 Million ($81 Million US)
Still at a low 34% drop-rate from last weekend
“West Side Story” : $3.4 Million ($18 Million US)
68% drop from opening weekend
“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” : $3.4 Million ($117 Million US)
“Nightmare Alley” : $3 Million
Thought to have a $60 Million production budget alone, as the 2021 DISNEYFOX losses continue well into the hundreds of millions.
The wide release was on 2100 screens vs Spidey’s 4300 and even “West Side Story” is still on more at 2800 but… given the heavy marketing spend on this, still a major disappointment.
Guillermo’s last movie “The Shape of Water” hit $63 Million in 2017 - but with an extended limited rollout, where the movie didn’t cross a $4 Million weekend until several weeks into its run in late January.
ELSEWHERE AT THE BOX OFFICE
“Red Rocket” gets $80k from 165 screens ($5k per), now at $200k total
“Licorice Pizza” stayed in just 4 theaters (1 LA, 3 NYC), but it’s per-screen average fell 50%, down to $22k per screen. Now at $1.3 Million as it goes into wide release on CHRISTMAS
THE OSCAR PICS PROBLEM
It’s a light day otherwise, so for anyone inclined - a look at what the Fall box-office has shown. Namely - The prognosis for the future for big budget “OSCAR” pics earning back their budgets at the post-covid box-office is scarily daunting, as most have been DOA at the Box Office.
From“The Last Duel” to “Last Night In Soho” to “King Richard” to “West Side Story” and now to “Nightmare Alley”…. adult audiences have just not come out to to the movie theater for “prestige” dramas, no matter how positively reviewed.
“Belfast” and “Spencer” both did OK but with more modest releases (and budgets), topping out around $7 Million. But each also expanded to PVOD as of their 3rd weekend in theaters (revenue unknown).
Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” is the only “prestige” title to have done decently… with $16 Million in the US, and a $40 Million global total - given the $25 Million budget, it’ll do ok.
CHRISTMAS WEEKEND BOX OFFICE LOGJAM
As ”Spider-Man” is now very likely looking at well over a $100+ Million CHRISTMAS weekend (especially with an A+ Cinemascore)… the resulting Box Office pie everyone else will be fighting over likely just got a bit smaller.
UNI has the the best shot at the majority of the $$, with family movie “Sing 2” - a genre that’s been resilient throughout covid. Plus its only current competition “Encanto” hits DISNEY+ this week and will be 5 weeks old at the box office.
SONY won the Fall (“Venom”, “Ghostbusters”, “Spider-Man”), but“Journal for Jordan” faces a similar “adult-skewing” genre challenge this weekend - although the budget exposure shouldn’t be large as the other adult-skewing entries below (And BRON is a production partner on it).
DISNEYFOX has yet another (I think) approx $100 Million budgeted movie on its hands… with yet another large ?? over its head in “The King’s Man”. Thankfully this one is from a franchise with a track record, and has a large international fanbase… not that the UK/EUROPE is looking that promising right now.
MGM has to be concerned going from 4 screens into a Wide release with “Licorice Pizza” despite its successful limited run (and they also have the bigger-budgeted “Cyrano” still on deck in late January).
But WARNER BROS has the biggest 💰💰 bet / budget on the line with “Matrix Resurrections”, especially with the HBOMAX factor, and the early reviews not exactly screaming “must see”…
😶 IN OTHER WORDS…
“The pandemic is like a TV show you thought was cancelled… and then it got picked up by NETFLIX”
-Jim Gaffigan in his new NETFLIX comedy special out tomorrow (trailer is below in the TRAILER HOUSE).
📺 THE TV SET
Called “Treason”, will star Charlie Cox (“Daredevil”), Olga Kurylenko (“Quantum of Solace”), and Oona Chaplin (“GOT”).
About an MI6 agent (Cox) whose life and marriage are complicated when a Russian spy from his past (Kurylenko) shows up. Yeah that’ll do it. Matt Charman will write and showrun, Louise Hooper (“The Witcher”) will direct. /Deadline
ALSO IN TV
PEACOCK reuniniting Kev Hart & Snoop Dogg for a year-ending special “2021 and Done”, will drop Tue Dec 28. /Deadline
Chris Noth dropped by his agency A3. /Variety
HBO/MAX sets 3 year first-look deal with respected publication TEXAS MONTHLY. /THR
AMC Networks Prez of Marketing Linda Schupack is departing after 20 year run at the company, adding to the list of longtime top-level execs who have left the company this year. No word on a replacement. /THR
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
Lo and behold… I guess it’s reassuring to know these carriage dispute stories are as predictable as they were in the 90s?
DISNEY networks like ESPN, ABC etc went dark on the streaming cable TV bundle at Midnight on Friday… but restored 36 hours later. No word of details on the new deal. /Deadline
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
ROKU +8% ($236.46) again as folks continue to scoff at MORGAN STANLEY’s stance on the stock.
AMC THEATERS +19% ($29.12) in a lot of excitement for “Spider-Man” going into the weekend.
ROBLOX +7% as the stock returns over $100 ($102.40)
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
ABC & ESPN Monday Night Football - VIKINGS at BEARS, Starts at 815p
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
NETFLIX “Jim Gaffigan: Comedy Monster” trailer - Special drops tomorrow, looks funny!
“Drive My Car” trailer - For anyone else curious about this Japanese movie that’s getting all the year-end critics awards (NY, LA, Boston, NY Times, etc).
🎅 THE WEEK AHEAD
TUE - “Being the Ricardos” hits AMAZON PRIME
WED - “The Matrix” returns to theaters, “Sing 2” and “The King’s Man” sequels drop as well
THU - I’m kinda curious to see what NYC is like by Thursday this week personally. (The NBA has already postponed the NETS next 2 home games)
FRI - “Don’t Look Up” hits NETFLIX, “Encanto” hits DISNEY+; Take at-home covid test to clear quarantine. Sorry that one’s just for me.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
4 days… no new music releases in sight - OK Christmas Music week it is 🎄. Dipping back into this soundtrack for what may be my favorite rendition of “Winter Wonderland” - just EMELI SANDE and a piano.
If you need new tunes:
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