UNIVERSAL buys new EXORCIST trilogy for $400 Million
STARZ vs DISNEY in Int'l trademark courts / WWE sets PEACOCK New Years event / PEACOCK expanding into Soaps genre
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on TUESDAY July 27, 2021.
Where we haven’t surprised anyone at their house for morning coffee lately… so in the spirit of The OLYMPICS, let’s pop by Tara Lipinski’s new house in the Pacific Palisades that she picked up this Summer for an ice cold $8.4 Million. I’m not seeing a skating rink… but maybe we can find a guy to freeze the pool over? I mean if“Real Genius” could do it in the 80s…
ALSO: A congrats goes out to Issa Rae who got married in France over the weekend - anyone who’s met me knows fashion maven is not on my resume… but even I know that dress is 💯 🙌.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
It’s a continuation of the original’s story (vs. a reboot), and the first one will find Ellen Burstyn will reprising her role and Leslie Odom Jr. will star as the dad of a possessed kid, who seeks out Burstyn’s character… so sounds like they’ll pretty much forget the 2 Exorcist sequels and prequel that followed the original.
David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express”, the 2018 “Halloween” reboot) will direct and write the movies, and BLUMHOUSE is among the producers.
The first movie is due out in theaters in October 2023. The 2nd & / or 3rd films could premiere on PEACOCK… but even if they go theatrical too, PEACOCK will get the movies within 4 months of their theatrical release due to their recent UNIVERSAL PICS deal. /NY Times
📺 THE TV SET
They’re currently looking for a writer for the story, which will be set and shot in Nashville if it goes forward, but no other pitch/plot items released. Essentially if FOX likes the script(s) that the TBD writer delivers, it’ll get a series order.
Heaton producing with Aaron Kaplan / KAPLAN ENT, who did her last sitcom, CBS’s “Carol’s Second Act”, so if you have a writer with a strong feel for Nashville, give em a call! /Deadline
Which also now has a title - “The Premise”, and each episode (written & hosted by BJ) will use a comedic lens to look at societal issues (social justice, gun violence, etc).
The first 2 of the 5 episodes premiere on Thu Sept 16. Descriptions for all episodes, are in the link for the inclined. /Deadline
ALSO IN TV
PEACOCK expanding to Soaps genre to build audience, ordering a 5-part limited series “Days Of Our Lives: Beyond Salem”. Will feature cast from the show past & present - Lisa Rinna is the only name from the past thus far. No premiere timeline yet, and presumably this will be a PEACOCK PREMIUM project 💵 . /THR
FOX joins NBC and ABC in premiering pretty much all of their Fall shows all during the week of Sept 20. CBS sticking to the more "let’s not compete with making noise amongst 15 shows in one week” approach, and will stagger their premieres over a 3-4 week period starting the week of Sept 20. /THR
PEACOCK will hold WWE PPV New Years Day event this Jan 1 in Atlanta. Quite a pivot from the NHL Winter Classic… 🥅 but if you’re good with swapping slamming into the boards with slamming into the mat - I think your hit quotient will be similar. /WWE
IN THE HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE SUITE
Kevin Hart’s HARTBEAT PRODUCTIONS makes a series of promotions and hires 2 new high level execs as they prepare to ramp-up output with their new NETFLIX film deal. Names and details and such in the link for the inclined. /Deadline
NETFLIX TV exec ranks continue their changes, this time at the director level as 2 execs from ABC SIGNATURE join the company - Amanda Barclay as Director of Comedy Originals, and Lisa Lang McMullen and Director of Drama. Also Comedy exec Robert Prinz has left the company after 4 years. /THR
And another ABC exec Vicky Dummer is now the EVP of Current TV Series at WB TV. She exited DISNEY in their re-org / layoffs back in December after 24 years there, and will now report into her old ABC boss who’s now head of WB TV, Channing Dungey. /Variety
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
STAR is essentially the international version of HULU but offered as a brand / tab / area within the DISNEY+ app, although it’s sometimes offered in some markets as its own separate streaming service STAR+.
This aspect seems to be the primary cause of dispute here, especially in Latin America where STARZ has already launched their STARZPLAY international streaming service.
A Brazil judge issued a temp restraining order against DISNEY using the STAR brand yesterday, but Argentina already ruled in favor of DISNEY, and there’s also a case pending in Mexico, so more to come here… /Variety
They announced a lineup of 16 new original series and 4 movies for their upcoming slate, and are adjusting pricing as of Sept 1 to three tiers, all of which will have access to all DISNEY content:
$6.70 a year for 1 mobile-only account. Or… about 50 cents a month.
$12 a year for 2 devices across mobile, web & TV. Or… about $1/month
$20 a year for 4 devices across mobile, web & TV. Or… about $1.70/month
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT: About 1/3 of DISNEY+’s over 100 Million subscriber base comes from India (roughly estimated around 30 Million accounts), so this is a major part of their business… that is priced way different than DISNEY+ the rest of the world.
ALSO OF NOTE:“Black Widow” is not available to subscribers there, likely not until October. Basically DISNEY+ PREMIERE ACCESS is not available there, so about 1/3 of DISNEY+ global subscribers have to wait about 3 months post-release for the tentpole movies (ie “Cruella” will hit the service at the end of August).
However their total remains the same at 34.5 Million, as they lost 378k “paid promotional” subscribers (mostly free trial subs). So for context, their reach is just slightly under the size of HULU and DISNEY+ respectively. /THR
Revenue was up 15% vs last year to $2.15 Billion for the 2nd quarter, or about 30% of what NETFLIX brings in for some context.
Subsidiary PANDORA gained 118k paying subs to hit 6.5 Million.
ALSO IN MEDIA
JUST FOR LAUGHS comedy festival sets lineups for “New Faces” showcases in LA & Montreal (all 4 showcases will be avail to stream for fest pass holders). Festival kicked off yesterday. /Deadline
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
AMC NETWORKS up 4.5%, but that was about it outside of our drunk uncles aka the movie theater stocks, who somehow found a way to have a good Monday after the soft weekend at the box office.
AMC THEATERS +9%
CINEWORLD (aka REGAL) +6%
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
NETFLIX “Plastic Cup Boyz: Laughing My Mask Off!” - 3 stand-up specials featuring members of Kev Hart’s BFF entourage. Watch or Add to your List here
GOOGLE has their earnings call today at 430p and APPLE is at 5p, so expect the word Billion to appear a lot in tomorrow’s email.
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
HBO “Music Box” teaser trailer. Although… the first doc in this “30 for 30 for Music” series exec produced by Bill Simmons already premiered last week (the thing on Woodstock ‘99). So - I’m not really sure what’s going on with the timing here… among some other things tbh 🤔 .
PEACOCK “Departure” Season 2 trailer. Thriller-mystery starring Archie Panjabi about a train crash and escaped prisoner but… this crash looks a lot more planned than the one in “The Fugitive” 🧐. Premieres Thu Aug 5.
NETFLIX “Love is Blind: After the Altar” trailer. 3 part reunion special for the series, 2 years after a few of the couples got married. Premieres tomorrow.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
MIRANDA LAMBERT - “Settling Down”. Not brand new by any means, but it’s her latest single that’s both fun but poignant and I was really digging in the car yesterday driving back into the city - so if it’s new to you too, high recommend to check it out.
If you need new tunes:
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