STARZ streaming subscriber growth flatlines in 2nd quarter
Neil Patrick Harris doing NETFLIX comedy series / PAR+ getting 14 SOUTH PARK movies / Weekend MOVIE + TV preview
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on FRIDAY Aug 6, 2021.
Where… I think I broke my brain counting things this week. And I was so busy dividing subscriber numbers that I totally missed out on buying Channing Tatum & Jenna Dewan’s old house in Beverly Hills for $5.9 Million. See what I do for you people?
ALSO: AMAZON revises return to office policy for execs from September (which they just re-confirmed last week) to…. January.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
NETFLIX buys Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut “The Lost Daughter”
Olivia Colman as a woman on a beach vacation, that takes a dark turn when she begins to confront things from her past. Dakota Johnson and Peter Sarsgaard also among the cast.
Premiering at VENICE FILM FEST next month, no acquisition price revealed. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
Rob Lowe doing NETFLIX movie “Dog Gone” about… well see title 👈. Dog goes missing in the Appalachians, father and son embark on journey to find him. Based on a book, Stephen Herek (“Mr Holland’s Opus”) directing. /Deadline
Former UNIVERSAL chairman Ron Meyer reportedly getting $6 Million a year to advise / represent Qatar and the DOHA FILM INSTITUTE in Hollywood. Advising on investment opportunities and potentially bringing production to the country. /THR
Lebron James producing NETFLIX high school basketball movie called “Rez Ball”, described as a Native American “Hoosiers” meets “Friday Night Lights” set in New Mexico. /THR
GOTHAM FILM AWARDS dropping terms “actor” and “actress” from award names, will now be referred to as “performer”. /Deadline
📺 THE TV SET
PARAMOUNT+ sets $900 Million, 6 year deal with “South Park” creators for 14 movies
Includes 14 movies, the first 2 of which will premiere on PAR+ by the end of this year. Then the plan is 2 a year for the next 6 years. The show is also thus renewed on COMEDY CENTRAL thru 2027.
However the streaming home for “South Park” episodes remains… on HBOMAX, who gets new episodes of the show one day after they air, thru the next 2 seasons. In addition to streaming the previous 24 seasons. Of note: that’s US rights only.
After that… (2023-24 ish?) one would think PAR+ will become the streaming home for at least new episodes but not much clarified here, including if PAR+ is gonna take international streaming rights to the show (if they’re available). /Bloomberg
NETFLIX sets Neil Patrick Harris to star in new Darren Star co-created series “Uncoupled”
A guy’s husband of 17 years walks out on him, and he must navigate being a single gay man in his mid-40s in NYC. Let me know if he needs a tall straight friend as comedic relief 🙋♂️. No word on a timeline. /Deadline
Cobie Smulders replaces Betty Gilpin in playing Ann Coulter in FX’s “Impeachment: American Crime story”
Betty’s departure blamed on scheduling conflicts due to the pandemic, which she personally shared back in June on “Kimmel”. Limited series premieres in about a month on September 7. /Variety
ALSO IN TV
Keegan-Michael Key and Johnny Knoxville starring in HULU pilot from Steven Levitan (“Modern Family”). Called “Reboot” - Meta plot involves HULU rebooting an early 2000’s sitcom, reuniting the original cast and… I’m already in with that concept and talent. I usually don’t mention pilots cuz, ya know - but this one seems pretty killer. Only question is why isn’t this a series order with all of the above HULU?? Come on buddy. /Variety
“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” getting holiday movie at ROKU. Cast of the cancelled NBC series is nearing deals to return. If a success on the platform… a Festivus Miracle season 3 isn’t out of the question. /Deadline
DISNEY+ renews “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” for Season 2. Will premiere in 2022 TBD. /Variety
DISCOVERY’s OWN network upping their presence on DISCOVERY+ with 5 series for the streaming service produced by…. talent from other networks also on DISCOVERY+ . FOOD NETWORK’s Guy Fieri, HGTV’s the Property Brothers both producing shows, as is Tina Knowles-Lawson. The 5 OWN DISCO+ series will have a “high-profile focus on Black personalities and subject matter”. /Variety
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
STARZ global streaming subscribers flat at LIONSGATE in Q2
Still at 16.7 Million streaming subscribers, same number as end of March. LIONSGATE points out this is still 60% growth over depth-of-the-pandemic one year ago period, if that helps.
US STARZ streaming customers fell a bit from 10 Million at the end of March, likely by about 300k. International STARZPLAY subscribers now at 7 Million.
However - STARZ’s international Streaming business accounts for 42% of the total streaming subscriber base… but their whole International business represents just 6% of STARZ income.
LIONSGATE’s money - revenue was $908 Million in Q2 - is still made mostly from the STARZ US Cable network & streaming business, and the LIONSGATE movie library licensing business. /Starz Earnings Report
ALSO: LIONSGATE joins chorus of return to office delays, pushing back to October 4 and requiring all who enter their offices to be vaxx’d.
SONY’s PLAYSTATION NETWORK has 100 Million Monthly Active Users, Avg monthly spend: $13+
I don’t usually get too deep into gaming… but that number is impressive. That Avg Revenue Per Month / ARPU is about equal to HBOMAX, but ahead of every other US streaming service’s ARPU (DISNEY+, HULU, DISCOVERY+ etc).
AND: SONY’S PS NETWORK has several tens of millions more users a month than any of them, except for NETFLIX, whose US ARPU is not only a buck higher, but has over 2X the global footprint.
That $13/month spend is across digital games, services and in-game add-on purchases. Not sure if there are revenue splits involved with game producers… but either way - it shows people spend real money on games on a consistent basis monthly.
SONY sold 10 Million PS5’s since Nov, and is now making $$ on each sale.
PS4 has sold 116 million units in it’s lifetime. /The Verge
ALSO: SONY MUSIC streaming revenue up 50% in the 2nd quarter vs last year, hitting nearly $1 Billion. People do love that Harry Styles… /MBW
STX FILMS’s India parent company EROS wants to sell STX 46 film library to raise $150 Million
More info on this brief item from yesterday: EROS is doing this fire sale to raise cash fast, likely to pay off an impending large debt payment they have in October… which apparently they don’t have the cash to pay for otherwise.
EROS STX would keep the rights to develop and produce sequels and remakes based on the films. “Hustlers: One More Dance” anyone? 🙏 TBD who they’re talking about selling to.
It’s a low price for someone like AMAZON obviously, but could also see someone like LIONSGATE biting to add to their library & STARZ (eventually). /Variety
ALSO IN MEDIA
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL added 97k digital subscriptions from April thru June (NY TIMES # was 77k). Now at 2.7 Million, which is 80% of their total subscriptions. NY TIMES has over 2X the # of subscribers to their main news product. /WSJ Earnings Report
AMC NETWORKS Ad revenue +13% in 2nd quarter… but pretty much due to charging more for TV ads, and selling more ads on their streaming services. Speaking of which, Streaming subscription revenue was +17%. /THR
Streaming subscribers are 9 Million total… but still no breakout for AMC+ subscribers (or smaller services like SHUDDER, ACORN etc).
AMC NETWORKS took in about $770 Million from April to July, while up from 2020, it’s the same amount they took in during that period in 2019.
CNN fires 3 un-named employees who were coming into work unvaxxed. Jeff Zucker issues “zero tolerance” policy on vaccinations in the CNN offices, while saying their official office return won’t happen until sometime in October, keepng flexible depending how the early Fall goes with covid. /NY TIMES
JEZEBEL’s Editor in Chief Julianne Escobedo Shepherd is departing the company. Apparently alongside the recent departures of quite a few execs at its private equity owned parent company G/O MEDIA, home of THE ONION, GIZMODO and others. /The Daily Beast
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
VIACOMCBS +7% on their overall subscriber growth slighly surpassing Q1 numbers. Despite the company declining to say how many people specifically subscribe to the streaming service they’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars launching this year. But the PAR+ SKY partnership does sound promising, as does their entry into Europe in 2022 overall.
MOVIE THEATER STOCKS rebound after a tough week because… ya know people can’t resist. AMC + 12%, CINEMARK +7%, CINEWORLD (Regal Theaters) +4.5%
👩💻 THE FSS FEED:
(new Stuff to Watch this weekend)
WB/HBOMAX “The Suicide Squad” - In theaters or Watch here on HBOMAX
In limited release… AMAZON’s provocative (?) musical that opened CANNES last month, “Annette”, starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver.
AMAZON PRIME “Val” - The Val Kilmer documentary hits streaming, Watch or Add to your List here
NETFLIX “Vivo” - Animated movie with Lin Manuel Miranda and Gloria Estefan. Watch or Add to your List here.
APPLE TV+ “Mr Corman”. Joseph Gordon Levitt 10 episode dramedy about a recently single elementary school music teacher. Trailer looked good! JGL also directing. First 3 eps are up today here.
SHOWTIME “The L Word: Generation Q” - Premieres on the streaming app today (watch or add to your List here), and on Showtime Sunday at 10pm
IMDBTV “Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary” - 5 part docuseries, all eps up today. Watch for free here
The OLYMPICS continue.
The OLYMPICS end.
And… NBC’s “Famly Game Fight!” begins! Hosted by Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, 2 families compete against each other in games for cash prizes, with Kristen joining one, and Dax the other. Each taking their customary 30% cut of each family’s winnings naturally. #AppleAppStoreRules
SHOWTIME “UFO” - 4 part docuseries exec produced by JJ Abrams. Premieres at 9p.
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🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
FX ON HULU “Y: The Last Man” series trailer. All the men in the world mysteriously drop dead at the same time. Except one (don’t worry, he’s 🔥). Diane Lane stars as the new President of the US, and overall just a lotta apocalyptic stuff going on here, looks cool. Premieres Tue Sept 13 on HULU.
NETFLIX “Cobra Kai” Season 4 teaser. Season premieres in December, exact date TBD. $20 it’s slated for post Christmas binge viewing - any takers? Uh NETFLIX folks, not you...
HBOMAX “Marlon Wayans: You Know What It Is” stand up special trailer. Premieres Thu Aug 19.
WB / HBOMAX “Cry Macho” trailer. Clint Eastwood stars and directs as a former rodeo champion who pays back a favor to a friend by going to Mexico to bring his son back. I kinda had this face watching it 😮… but maybe you’ll see it differently. Hits theaters and HBOMAX on Fri Sept 17.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
New SILK SONIC - “Skate”. Anderson .Paak & Bruno Mars bringing some fun upbeat retro vibes, perfect for a Summer Friday.
If you need new tunes:
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