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☀️ ROKU's Surprise Spend; Ridley's 4hr 'Napoleon' APPLE cut
ABC delivers big bump for MNF / 'Sound of Freedom' sets Streaming plan / IMAX abandons CHINA biz deal
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty (connect with me on LinkedIn here if ya like), and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on TUESDAY Oct. 10, 2023.
Where an official congrats goes out to the writers & Hollywood as a whole, as one 2023 strike is now officially history, with a new member-ratified WGA deal - getting a 99% YES vote (8,435) and 1% (90) NO vote response.
SAG-AMPTP talks will continue their every-other-day cadence, resuming tomorrow.
IN TODAY’S EDITION:
It’s basically a Wakeup Lite day - just a few things of note (feels like some folks were on holiday yesterday?), so this’ll be quick, and a free edition for all readers!
BUT: Taking a moment to give a shout out today to Charles F. Feeney, a billionaire whose name I’m guessing you don’t know — the name certainly was not on my radar — who was an Irish guy from Jersey (no, we don’t all know each other).
He died this week at age 92, after serving in the Air Force as a young man, and then going on to amass a personal fortune though the duty-free business he built. over three decades of work.
Then in the early 1980’s, he simply started… giving it all away. Stopped going to black tie galas, shed his seven homes around the world by giving them to his ex-wife in the 1990s, started taking cabs and the subway instead of a private driver, and eventually… he gave away his entire fortune, totaling about $8 billion over roughly the past 40 years before he died (living in a two-bedroom rental).
A huge $2.7 billion alone went to build more than 1,000 buildings on five continents, and he give significant funds to global health crises — most with no attribution, as gifts were made anonymously. Quite a story, worth a few minutes of time today.
“I cannot think of a more personally rewarding and appropriate use of wealth than to give while one is living, to personally devote oneself to meaningful efforts to improve the human condition.”
Rest in Peace Charles. Thanks for giving folks a model for how it’s done.
📽 THE SILVER TV
JUST A FEW THINGS TO NOTE
Ridley says he has his cut down to a paltry 4 hours at the moment 😳. /Total Film
ANGEL STUDIOS will keep the initial streaming rights for Sound of Freedom, premiering it on Oct. 13 for its ANGEL GUILD streaming subscribers exclusively for 3 weeks ($20 a month pricetag).
It’ll hit digital download for everyone else on Nov. 3. /IndieWire
BLEECKER STREET picked up U.S. rights for One Life, the biopic starring Anthony Hopkins as Sir Nicholas Winton, a man who helped free several children before Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in WWII.
CAA Media Finance handled the sale, no price disclosed. /Variety
No word on a pricetag or deal duration, but a curious move for ROKU given its general austerity moves of late.
Then again, for the right price… a good deal can always be had, and nice to see that that an already-shot TV series axed in DISNEY austerity moves will see the light of day for an audience. /Deadline
Nov 16: Four episodes
Dec 14: Six episodes
Both will be in Q4…. so it’s definitely not pulling the ‘split between quarters’ technique. /Variety
A 40-second teaser with Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth is here.
Ahoska episode 1 got 14 million… in five days.
Apparently DISNEY+ is having difficulty settling on a unified reporting metric. Call me if you need help folks, not too hard. /THR
Adding ABC to the NFL ESPN MNF mix this year has boosted viewership +30% vs. last year so far, to a 21 million average (likely surpassing or at least very close to NBC SNF - NBC if you have an average after this past Sunday’s numbers, drop me a note firstname.lastname@example.org).
BUT: MLB Wildcard Playoff week on ESPN was a bust this year, -18% in ratings, averaging 2.25 million viewers. /SBJ
IN THE HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE SUITE
DISNEY promoted Lylle Breier to EVP of Marketing Partnerships & Special Events. She’ll run promotions for Films & Streaming service content, plus multi-platform brand campaigns, product placement and more, reporting into marketing head Asad Ayaz. /THR
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📝 IN OTHER WORDS…
"Conventional TV will remain critical, but it can no longer define us. It's one platform in a growing portfolio of platforms."
"TV is vital ... but TV is also too dominant at CNN and digital too marginal."
- New CNN leader Mark Thompson in his opening message to CNN employees.
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
Ah, the name we all didn’t miss is back! Can’t wait for his new PowerPoint presentation on how to fix DISNEY - sure he has great thoughts on AI.
His firm TRIAD has amassed a $2.5 billion DISNEY stake and is looking for multiple seats on the board come 2024, including for Nelson. I mean, if at first you don’t succeed… try again at the next annual DISNEY spring board meeting.
Although Nelson’s requests this time out, that DISNEY “needs a board that is more focused, aligned with shareholders and accountable,” sounds like it’ll bring just the kind of fresh thinking to turn around a business still heavily dependent upon a melting cable TV bundle. But hey, maybe he has some good animated movie ideas? /WSJ
ALSO IN MEDIA
NETFLIX UK revenue rose 12% last year, to $1.9 billion. Profits (pre-tax) were about $40 million. NETFLIX made about $31 billion total in 2022.
ARPU was +14%, and total subs +4% but not total was given (the UK’s BARB has it at 17.2 mil). /Deadline
IMAX will not be buying out the rest of IMAX CHINA it doesn’t own (about 29%), as shareholders failed to approve the deal. /Deadline
Tom Brady has a personal brand/content company called SHADOW LION, which has now expanded from Tom-centric ads & social content into other brand work not involving Tom… working with clients like UNDER ARMOUR, PEPSI and HASBRO. /THR
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🏦 STOCK NOTES
AMC NETWORKS +5% ($12.36)
AMC THEATERS +6% ($9.82)
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
ESPN NHL season begins at 5:30 p.m. with a tripleheader (NHL hits MAX tomorrow via TNT / BR)
HULU Moonlighting all seasons
AMAZON PRIME Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe
PEACOCK LEGO Jurassic Park: The Unofficial Retelling special
HBO No Reason - 2017 Charlottesville white supremacy riot court case docu at 9 p.m.
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
WB The Color Purple trailer 2 - Well done! Nice edit, trailer house. IN THEATERS CHRISTMAS
UNI / BLUMHOUSE / ATOMIC MONSTER Night Swim trailer - The new January horror pic.
PAR+ Lawmen: Bass Reeves series trailer - Nice spot! Could see this playing with the 1883 crowd. PREMIERES NOV 5
NETFLIX Pain Hustlers movie trailer - Kind of The Wolf of Pharma vibes… woman down on her luck joins a FLORIDA pharma firm and finds great success in pushing drugs… with not great consequences. PREMIERES OCT 27
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
Huey also comes to my mind whenever I visit the West Coast…
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