DISCOVERY+ growth rate slows; Tom Brady gets into movie biz
IMAX sets $$ record / Sacha Baron Cohen joins APPLE TV+ Cuaron series / CNN+ sets launch lineup
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on THURSDAY February 24, 2022.
Where let’s face it, I wish there was something else to lead off with here today but world events took a pretty grim turn late last night, so probably best to just get on our way.
A light-ish day in MOVIES and TV, but heavy-lift day in the MEDIA BIZ.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Tom Brady producing, appearing in pic at PARAMOUNT
Called “80 for Brady”, inspired by a true story about a group of best friend New England Patriots fans taking a road trip to the 2017 SUPER BOWL.
Starring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field. ENDEAVOR CONTENT producing, shooting this Spring. /THR
ALSO IN MOVIES
Apparently PARAMOUNT’s “surprise” new “Star Trek” movie announcement last week that original Chris Pine-era cast is reuniting surprised even their talent reps. Negotiations were just starting with Pine, with the rest yet to follow. Then like, they have to finish the script and stuff, and shoot and edit it, all by Dec 2023. Yeah this is gonna be pricey. /THR
📺 THE TV SET
APPLE TV+ adds Sasha Baron Cohen to Alfonso Cuaron series “Disclaimer”
Based on a book and Cate Blanchett & Kevin Kline already set.
About a muckraking TV docu journalist (Blanchett) who has an intriguing novel written by a widower (Kline) show up on her bedside table… in which she is a key character in a story centering on a story that reveals her darkest secret from the past.
Sasha’s role undisclosed. /Deadline
ALSO IN TV
“Love Island” moves from CBS to PEACOCK, giving ita 2 season order. Next will air this Summer. Sounds like CBS was looking to cut the episode count, and the producers looked elsewhere. /THR
PEACOCK & SKY set Jim Sheridan & daughter Kristin (2002’s “In America”) to write 5 part mini-series on the 1988 Lockerbie, Scotland PAN AM plane explosion. To air next year, 35 years after the tragedy. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
Reese Witherspoon’s HELLO SUNSHINE buys THE HOME EDIT lifestyle brand
SUNSHINE already produced the brand’s NETFLIX show”Get Organized With The Home Edit”, so presumably expect a lot more of that kinda stuff. No price disclosed.
HOME EDIT also has retail product lines, books, and a “home organizing” busines in 9 cities. /THR
DISCOVERY+ hits 22 Million global subscribers, growth rate continues to slow
Marks the 1 year point in terms of reporting numbers (DISC+ launched Jan 2, 2021). End of quarters subscriber counts this year:
Q1: 13 Million
Q2: 17 Million (+4 Million)
Q3: 20 Million (+3 Million)
Q4: 22 Million (+2 Million)
No breakdowns on US vs Int’l subscribers, or Ad-Supported vs. Ad-Free subscribers.
The 22 Million DISC+ total is basically on par with ESPN+ (21.3 Million)
BIG PICTURE: 2021 DISCOVERY revenue was +14%, with Ad Sales +5% in Q4… mainly due to charging more and increasing Ad load to offset lower ratings, and lower subscriber base:
DISCOVERY Networks lost 5% of their subscriber base in 2021, likely mainly due to cord cutting.
But 2021 Profit was -10%… most of that deficit coming from Q4 (-86% from Q4 2020).
Nothing new on the WARNER DISCO that will be closing soon, but Zazlav hints at a Free streaming service utilizing WARNER assets somewhere in their future, in addition to the Subscription products.
IMAX has biggest Q4 ever, first profitable quarter of the pandemic
Essentially… #ThanksDune+SpiderMan. The $277 Million Q4 revenue beat 2019’s Q4 revenue of $244 Million. /THR
ALSO IN MEDIA
Troy Aikman reportedly leaving FOX SPORTS to be lead analyst for MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL on ESPN. Likely a 5 year deal, and nearing Romo #s ($17.5 Million a year). /NY Post
CNN+ released the full list of daily, weekly, and specials programming that the service will launch with on…. who knows. Still no actual date indicated, even though WARNER MEDIA has long said it would drop in Q1. 1 month to go... /CNN
PEOPLE Magazine names REAL SIMPLE Editor in Chief Liz Vaccariello as their new EIC. Current EIC Dan Wakeford is leaving the company. /Variety
SINCLAIR will “soft launch” its upcoming sports streaming service from its regional BALLYS SPORTS NETWORKS this Spring, featuring MLB games in 5 markets… assuming the lockout ends by then. /Deadline
NETFLIX adds its mobile-app short comedy clips “Fast Laughs” function to the TV app as well in testing phase. /The Verge
YOUTUBE is taking its upfront ad sales event to the Broadcast week in mid-May. Newfronts! Will take place in the evening on Tue May 17. /THR
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
AMC NETWORKS +6% ($40.03) as the sale speculators continue to creep back in.
LIONSGATE +5% ($13.85), creeping back in here too.
Otherwise another generally somewhat down day for most (-1% to 4%), with likely a pretty grim day ahead.
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
NBC “Law & Order”… reboot? premieres at 8p
ABC “Big Sky” - New season at 10p
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
NETFLIX “Ozark” Final Season Pt2 teaser spot - The end drops on April 29.
AMAZON PRIME “Upload” Season 2 trailer - Premieres March 11
FX ON HULU “Under the Banner of Heaven” teaser trailer - Andrew Garfield stars as a detective in this limited series from Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”) that’s “inspired by” the true crime bestseller by Jon Krakauer. “Coming Soon”
UNIVERSAL “The Bad Guys” trailer #2 - A crime gang is forced to “go good”, from DREAMWORKS. In Theaters April 22
NETFLIX “The Andy Warhol Diaries” docuseries trailer - 6 episodes, exec produced by Ryan Murphy, looking at Andy’s life through his posthumously published diaries. Premieres Wed March 9
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
THE KNOCKS with DRAGONETTE “Slow Song” - New pop tune with a low key but catchy vibe .
If you need some new tunes:
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