☀️PAR stock plummets on Q1 results, as Streaming losses grow 12%
ALTICE adds to Cable bundle melt / AMAZON takes NFL Advertising up a notch / Bakish on the Strike & PAR tactics
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty (connect with me on LinkedIn here if ya like), and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on THURSDAY May 4, 2023.
Where the plot definitely seemed to thicken a bit on Day 2 yesterday - as reports of other Unions not crossing picket lines are beginning to emerge. No scripts is one thing - no production… would be another 😲.
AND: Brie Larson and Paul Dano will be on the jury at CANNES this month.
The Still AI-proof WAKEUP BOX OFFICE POLL:
Guardians Vol 3 is tracking at… well let’s call it $115 Million (reports vary between $110 Mil and $120 Mil depending who you ask).
4400 locations: 2900 are 3D, 400 IMAX, 960 PLF and about 370 other premium format screens.
Vol 1 opened to $94 Mil in 2014, Vol 2 did $146 Mil in 2017. The last Ant-Man did $106 Million in it’s 3-day total back in Feb.
IN TODAY’S EDITION:
PARAMOUNT is excited… for the 2nd half of the year to get here. Right now - things aren’t so great as PAR stock drops -25% this morning. A #medianerd🤓 breakdown of the things to know, from PLUTO to PAR+ to what tactics lie ahead to, well, find ways to make more 💰!
ALTICE has more bad news for the Cable Bundle.
DIAMOND SPORTS filed a lawsuit against the owner of the PHOENIX SUNS over new TV deal.
Kelly & Mark gets strong start in syndication.
TOMORROW NOTE: The newsletter will be later than usual again, so I can include WBD and AMC NETWORKS earnings analysis.
🪧 STRIKE UPDATES
The DGA is emphasizing a greater Streaming residuals payment in regards to foreign SVOD platforms when their negotiations begin next Wed, to reflect the fact that the vast majority of Streaming growth will take place Internationally going forward. /Deadline
NBC will pay their Late Night staffs through next week, with Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers paying for an additional week of pay after that.
Benefits have also been extended through September. /Deadline
PARAMOUNT CEO Bob Bakish - when asked about the strike on the Earnings Call this morning (which was only addressed when an analyst asked):
“Writers are an essential part of making content.” thx.
The two sides have “a pretty big gap” right now.
We can pull levers to weather a long storm:
Late Night TV - no one will notice for a while (did you see we just ended one of them?)
Leaning on (cheaper) International Production, but no real details/specifics on what that might look like.
We have strong Sports rights this Fall, and are big in Reality already.
Have you seen our Movie and TV reruns library? Pretty big.
PLUS - I FOUND THIS INTERESTING. AND YES IT’S AI RELATED.
If it makes you feel any better, the Private Equity business could also very well soon face an AI labor disruption problem in the next few years according to Axios.
Turns out AI could very well be good at replacing several long-hours, entry level positions that have been the mainstay of the industry for years - PE loves nothing than finding ways to be more “efficient”…
However - that may cause a vacuum in their executive talent “farm system,” making it much more difficult to foster the next generation of talent to lead PE firms down the road. Who knew Venture Capitalism and Showrunning had so much in common?
Essentially - it seems everyone’s learning the hard way that there’s no replacement for time in the trenches to learning how all of the sausage is made (and yes I realize that’s 2 metaphors, although I’d totally order something called a trench sausage 🌭).
“AI and Chat GPT is a bigger and more profound revolution than all of these in my opinion.”
- Prominent PE fund founder ALAN PATRICOF (GREYCROFT and APIX PARTNERS firms) referring to the Microchip, PC, Mobile Phone, and Internet business revolutions of the past 50 years that he’s witnessed.
IBM saying that they envision cutting/not filling nearly 8,000 jobs in the next 5 years due to AI advancements. That’s 30% of their workforce - and not just ‘tech’ jobs btw… they note HR would be a key area of cuts too.
The “godfather of AI” Dr. Geoffrey Hinton leaving his well-paying GOOGLE job to warn people essentially about his life’s work, worrying it will cause serious harm.
“Look at how it (AI tech) was five years ago and how it is now. Take the difference and propagate it forwards. That’s scary.”
YES: I know AI isn’t “Job 1” in WGA negotiations, nor something that could be ‘resolved’ in Summer 2023 - and that this is an incredibly complicated subject.
Vox also laid out some examples of things that might be worth putting in some WGA protections around - the most practical seems to be related to payment rates when/if Studios ask real writers to make an ‘AI sourced’ script into something that anyone might actually want to watch. Or understand.
AND: At the rate AI is moving… 3 years in AI advancements is going to feel more like a decade’s worth, so leaving this matter absolutely wide open til Summer 2026 is a bit . Although I will say, with all of the AI attention as Summer approaches… Christopher Nolan probably couldn’t have picked a more timely thematic moment to release Oppenheimer.
📝 IN OTHER WORDS…
“I don’t understand how the fuck you get paid off of that shit. Somebody explain to me how you can get a billion streams and not get a million dollars?
That’s the main gripe with a lot of us artists is that we do major numbers… but it don’t add up to the money. Like where the fuck is the money?”
- SNOOP DOGG, rapper, actor, and future WGA negotiator on the Streaming business.