HBO retooling THE WEEKND drama series from EUPHORIA creator mid-shoot
DISCO+ adds 2 Million subs in 2022 / BAD BUNNY to star in SONY Spider-Man pic / JJ ABRAMS joins Hot Wheels Pic at WB
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on TUESDAY April 26, 2022.
Monty Burns Elon Musk has of course succeeded in his quest to buy TWITTER for $44 Billion (pending regulatory & shareholder approval TBD this year)… which based on Elon’s early indications about his intentions about less content moderation, will now thankfully solve the platform’s longstanding problem of “not enough trolls” .
But either way the TWITTER earnings call on Thursday just went up a notch.
And hey if you bought 100 shares of TWTR when it went public in 2013 - your $4490 investment would now be worth… $5420 nine years later 😕.
AND: Jack Dorsey is looking at about a $1 Billion payout for his 2.4% ownership stake.
SEPARATELY: Elon & TESLA will be the subject of the next NY TIMES INVESTIGATES docu for FX on HULU on May 20, specifically about the unreported issues around TESLA’s self driving development with the title of “Elon Musk’s Crash Course” 😳 .
ALSO: Non-TWITTER fan LIZZO is going on tour this Fall starting in late September. Credit card-perk folks get access today here at 10a EST - crypto & cash folks need to wait til Friday.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
JJ ABRAMS joins WB’s “Hot Wheels” pic as producer
Not much known other than it’ll be a live-action pic… and be compared to “Fast & Furious” numerous times. No writer mentioned as being involved yet.
MATTEL and WB are of course already in business on “Barbie” in production now. /Deadline
SONY developing “Spider-Man” universe pic with BAD BUNNY playing “El Muerto”
(Mr.?) Bunny has a role in the SONY Brad Pitt Summer action pic “Bullet Train”, and SONY is apparently keen to get one of SPOTIFY’s top global streaming artists into a leading role, so here we are.
If you’re also in the boat of “um, who’s El Muerto??” : a super powered wrestler who was stung with a paralyzing element by Spider-Man in a charity wrestling match… although Spider-Man eventually saved his life and they teamed up to defeat someone named El Dorado. SONY’s really mining that “Spider-Man” library huh?
No details on a writer or much else here. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
UNIVERSAL moves “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” from September to Dec 21 (takes the place of the animated “Super Mario” movie which moved to Easter 2023). /Deadline
SONY also set Sept 16 for their Viola Davis 19th Century African leader / warrior pic “The Woman King”. /Deadline
SAMBA TV puts “The Batman” first week HBOMAX viewership at 4.1 Million, making it HBOMAX’s 2nd most watched opening week movie (“Godzilla vs Kong” is still tops at 4.5 Million, which was added day & date of course… not 45 days later).
SAMBA TV measures connected TV viewing (mobile not counted), mostly just in the US.
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📺 THE TV SET
HBO is retooling The Weeknd / Sam Levinson (“Euphoria”) series “The Idol” mid-way through production
Unspecified cast and crew changes lie ahead as the show’s production hits pause… but no real details on what was going wrong… or what direction they’re taking it in.
The Overall story was about an LA club owner (Weeknd) and/or self-help guru (descriptions varied as the casting process went on) who also leads a secret cult as you do, and then falls in love with a rising pop star played by Lily-Rose Depp. /Deadline
PARAMOUNT+ re-enlists John Leguizamo, adds Giovanni Ribisi to “Waco” sequel limited series
This was the 2018 limited series with Taylor Kitsch as David Koresh. Taylor is not listed as appearing in this, which is called ”American Tragedies: Waco – The Trials”.
Michael Shannon is also reprising his role, with this series looking at the ensuing trial, and how this movement helped influence the growing “Patriot” movement in the country. /Deadline
ALSO IN TV
Former “Ray Donovan” showrunner David Hollander is also ax’d from CBS’s sitcom “How We Roll” if it is renewed for a season 2, after he got booted from SHO’s upcoming “American Gigolo” series yesterday over alleged misconduct. /Deadline
If unlike me, you’ve finished “Russian Doll” Season 2 - Natasha offers some insight into the end if of interest. /THR
Jared Padalecki was apparently the passenger in a bad car accident, according to his former co-star Jensen Ackles who says Jared is doing ok - but no further details avail. /Variety
ROKU CHANNEL orders 2 dating series, and an unscripted.. reality/dating ‘movie’ (?) from Reese Witherspoon & Zoe Saldana’s companies. /THR
DISCO+ doing 4pt Black food history docuseries “Hungry for Answers”, exec produced by Viola Davis, hosted by author Caroline Randall Williams. /Variety
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
#medianerd getting warmed up
DISCOVERY+ adds 2 Million subscribers from Jan thru March, now at 24 Million
Although the number we’d all love to know is how many of them also subscribe to HBO/MAX… But that’s a story for a future date whenever they start talking about adding DISCO+ into the HBOMAX app specifically (no time horizon indicated).
The 2 million DISCOVERY+ Q1 subscriber adds matches the number from Q4, so steady is the word as they enter the WBD era.
Although no word how many were:
New subscribers were Domestic vs. International
Ad-free vs ad-supported, or
Disclosure of an #ARPU so… not a lotta insight here. Take that fwiw.
But they did share that HBOMAX password sharing was not a rampant problem… but that subscriber churn there sounded significant and something they’ll be focusing on reducing..
REVENUE: Hit $3.1 Billion, +13% vs this time last year… but for a company that makes 50% of revenue from advertising… any comps to 2021 come with a covid*.
They also got a nice one-time payment for sub-licensing International WINTER OLYMPICS rights (looks like roughly $200 Million).
And the biggest Revenue boost looks like it came just from $$ that cable companies pay DISCOVERY to carry their networks, and the increased DISCO+ subscriber revenue (Ad revenue increase was +5%, mainly due to charging higher prices).
PROFIT increased to $456 Million for Q1, as the free cash flow was also healthy. Overall - a fine quarter if not unremarkable, but really just the quiet before the change now happening.
ALSO IN MEDIA
Kev Hart merges his 2 companies HARTBEAT Prods & LAUGH OUT LOUD into one HARTBEAT company, fresh with $100 Million in private equity funding, with PEACOCK / NBCU also holding some equity that came from a 2020 production deal. /Deadline
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
TWITTER was +5% but it was a relatively quiet day.
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👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
NETFLIX “Nothing Personal” - David Spade comedy special - STREAM HERE
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
HULU “Fire Island” movie trailer - Summer friends / share house pic set on… well I think the title has ya looped in here. Premieres Fri June 3
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
HATCHIE “The Rhythm” - If you’re into SOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES… this kinda reminded me of them.
If you need some new tunes:
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