TIKTOK owner BYTE DANCE's revenue soars, now over half of FACEBOOK's
ADELE gets 60% of MEGHAN & HARRY audience / WME revenue +38% vs Fall 2020 / Mel Gibson says he's directing LETHAL WEAPON 5
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on TUESDAY November 16, 2021.
Where crowds will be back in Times Square this New Years Eve - proof of vaxx or negative covid test required… as of now. Proof of sanity for standing outside for several hours in late December NYC weather still optional. 🥳
AND: The new AMAZON FIRE TV sets are using a… NETFLIX series to sell their products / promote ALEXA this holiday season. Huh.
ALSO: The ad-supported version of PEACOCK launches in the UK and IRELAND today as a free add-on for COMCAST’s SKY and NOW TV customers - that’s the SKY streaming OTT bundle service. Will roll out to SKY subscribers in other major Euro markets (GERMANY, FRANCE etc) “in the coming months”.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Mel Gibson directing “Lethal Weapon 5”
Or at least he says he is. Mel said he will fulfill a promise he made based on the wishes of recently deceased franchise director Richard Donner.
This 5th film does not have a greenlight, or a final script (franchise creator Shane Black also not currently involved), and no word if 75 year-old Danny Glover is joining or is too old for this shit.
“Lethal Weapon 4” came out the year after I graduated college. I went to college in the 90’s. /THR
4.2 Million of the 74 Million US NETFLIX accounts watched “Red Notice” this weekend according to SAMBA TV
SAMBA #s are based on a sample of streaming viewership… but a very large sample - so typically this is the best-guess metric and has proven to be very accurate with DISNEY+ numbers.
Which segues to… “Shang Chi” was watched by 1.7 Million DISNEY+ accounts this weekend, it’s debut on the service - also according to SAMBA data. /Deadline
Although given that NETFLIX has a good 40+% more subscribers in the US than closest competitors DISNEY+ and HBOMAX, direct comparisons of viewing totals are totally #fwiw given the varying potential audiences.
ALSO IN MOVIES
IATSE Union members ratify 3-year deal with Studios. Definitley some close margins in some local guilds, so not a resounding victory by any measure - but deal’s a deal. Til end of 2024. /Variety
WGA adds an additional movie credit starting next year - “Additional Literary Material by” to recognize contributions of writers who don’t get any final credit but contributed to projects. /Deadline
PARAMOUNT PICS names Marc Weinstock as sole Prez of Global Marketing and Distribution. Marketing co-Prez Mary Daily, who focused more on International markets is leaving the company. /THR
📺 THE TV SET
CBS’s ADELE special gets 10 Million viewers Sunday night
That’s 7 Million behind MEGHAN & HARRY’s 17+ Million audience on CBS back in March, but obviously the patio furniture sales comparison numbers will still take a while to come in.
ADELE’s audience number will also likely rise a little bit when final #s are tallied up today and will probably beat THE OSCARS. Also worth noting MEGHAN & HARRY didn’t have NFL competition… although dealers choice how much that really factored in here with the ADELE crowd.
NBC’s blowout SNF game had 12.6 Million viewers in their initial numbers which will rise significantly today with final #s. /Deadline
EPIX picks up limited series from “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight
6 episodes, called “SAS: Rogue Heroes” about the formation of the British special forces division in WWII. /Variety
Lena Waithe moves her production deal from AMAZON to WB TV, developing a “Hoop Dreams” show
Lena was at AMAZON for 2 years where she produced the series “Them” this Summer, and she was at SHOWTIME prior to AMAZON.
“Hoop Dreams” is of course the landmark mid-90’s documentary about 2 high school basketball players in Chicago. This scripted series will keep that same theme, and will be written by Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (showrunner on CBS’s “SWAT”), no network or streaming home yet. /THR
ALSO IN TV
NBCU signs Julie Bowen to production deal at UNIVERSAL TV, will star in a “put pilot” this development season. /Variety
HULU renews “The D’Amelio Show” for a Season 2. /Deadline
ESPN hires former CBS NEWS exec and SVP of News at VICE MEDIA Marsha Cooke as their new VP & Exec Producer of ESPN FILMS / “30 for 30”. /Variety
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
ENDEAVOR swings to $63 Million profit in Q3 on $1.4 Billion of revenue
Revenue by division:
UFC + PBR (bull riding): $288 Million
EVENTS + EXPERIENCES + RIGHTS: $446 Million (IMG, sports & betting related subdivisions etc)
WME AGENCY: $664 Million (up from $481 Million this time last year, with the return of the music touring business and increased TV & Movie production, plus more sales for ENDEAVOR CONTENT projects)
Speaking of which - still no deal for 80% (or more) of said ENDEAVOR CONTENT production division… but apparently there’s now a TBD “short list” of buyers in the hunt.
ENDEAVOR still has $5.1 Billion of debt, but they chipped $250 Million off the total since the end of June, and increased their Cash reserves to $1 Billion. 💰💰👍
Revenue guidance for Q4 was slightly increased, stock up a decent 4% after hours last night, so - a positive report on a continued large rebound from 2020.
Revenue at TIKTOK’s parent company BYTEDANCE to hit $63 Billion in 2021, +60% from 2020
That’s now over half of what META / FACEBOOK will likely take in for 2021 (circa $116 Billion). Of course no word on profitability or… anything else #ThanksChina, but considering the company has only been a meaningful global business concern for 2-3 years… this is a whole different kind of competitor than SNAP, PINTEREST, or TWITTER will ever be for FACEBOOK and YT, hence all the copycat products.
As evidenced by BYTE DANCE now likely joining the top 5 online ad sellers in the world by end of year, cementing their presence among META, ALPHABET and AMAZON - but let’s face it with a a far cooler name. Come on America! /The Information
WARNER MUSIC boosts digital revenue 19% since last Fall…
But only makes $30 Million in Profit on $1.4 Billion of Q3 Revenue. SPOTIFY silently nods in the corner at the Soaring Revenue but Small Profit Margin issue in the 2020s music biz model.
68% of revenue comes from Digital (streaming licensing revenue from SPOTIFY, TIKTOK, PELOTON etc, plus digital music sales & publishing), which is about the same as last year.
Stock was down over 7% as the numbers were barely below expectations 🤬 - the lack of meaningful profits as Streaming revenue soars also not helping. /THR
ALSO: SNAP signs licensing deal with SONY MUSIC to allow users to include their songs in their posts. SNAP now has deals with all 3 major labels. /MBW
CBS & ESPN teaming up on US TV rights bid for PREMIERE LEAGUE SOCCER, all bids due on Thurs
PREMIERE LEAGUE looking to double their Revenue in a 6-year deal. NBCU currently pays about $150 Million a year, but the league is looking for bids in the $1.8 to $2 Billion range ($300+ Million a year) for the new rights deal, which begins with the Fall 2022 season.
NBC (PEACOCK) and the combo CBS / ESPN bids are thought to have the best shot, but WARNER MEDIA, FOX and likely AMAZON also submitting.
PREMIERE LEAGUE supposedly looking for a partner with a TV presence so AMAZON bid may need help - but they do have streaming rights in the UK which could help. /Sports Business Journal
For reference - with all TV networks & AMAZON football deals combined… the NFL is getting about $10 Billion a year for the US rights in their new deal.
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ALSO IN MEDIA
Morgan Wallen sets massive 7 month US tour starting in February, ending in LA at the end of Sept. LIVE NATION is promoting, his former WME agent… is now his current agent again as he’s about to leave the agency according to PUCK. Morgan still has the best selling album of 2021. /Variety
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
AMC THEATERS and CINEWORLD both up about 6% on CINEWORLD echoing CINEMARK’s sentiment that October was a good month for movie theaters… again as if this is a new thing discovered this week 🥸.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
NETFLIX “Michael Che: Shame the Devil” special - Stream or Add to Your List Here
PEACOCK “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip” - First 3 episodes hit Premium today, or watch episode 1 free - Stream or Add to your List here
ESPN+ “Man In the Arena: Tom Brady” - 1st episode goes up today, new episodes will drop on Tuesdays for the Tom Brady docuseries… produced by Tom Brady. No link avail on Google. Kinda like Brady’s 2008 & 2012 Super Bowl rings. #GiantsRule
DISCOVERY+ “Well Done With Sebastian Maniscalco” Season 2 - Stream or Add to Your List Here
And George Clooney joined Marc Maron for the WTF Podcast - talking about the “Rust” tragedy, and the ones that befell his friend Brandon Lee in the 90’s, and Jon-Erik Hexum in the 80s.
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
FOCUS FEATURES “Downton Abbey: A New Era” teaser trailer. In theaters March 18.
HULU “Crossing Swords” Season 2 trailer - New season from the “Robot Chicken” folks Premieres Fri Dec 10.
PARAMOUNT+ “Halo” brief teaser - 20 second spot for any fanboys & girls out there. Premieres… TBD 2022.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
ADELE “Hold On” - One new song she performed in her CBS Special on Sunday that… for some reason was not concurrently officially dropped online right after the show .
If you need new tunes:
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