HBOMAX adds 3.5 Million global users in 2nd Qtr, 80% US based
THE SHIELD creator doing NETFLIX political thriller / HBOMAX casts BATGIRL / CLUBHOUSE opens to everyone
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on THURSDAY July 22, 2021.
Where a big thanks goes out from me to the couple of readers yesterday who clarified that indeed… yeah this guy is not from “Dear Evan Hansen” (even if the clip is tagged that way) but rather from “Spongebob”. Well - as far as we know. I mean maybe the movie takes some unique creative liberties 🤷♂️?
ALSO: On the East Coast… GAGA & TONY BENNETT are doing their final 2 shows together, at Radio City Music Hall on Aug 3 and 5. Tix go on sale today here.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Michaela Coel joins “Black Panther” sequel
As you can probably guess… no word on what the “I May Destroy You” star’s role is in the movie, officially called “Black Panther : Wakanda Forever”, and currently shooting in Atlanta. /Variety
HBOMAX casts Leslie Grace from “In The Heights” as “Batgirl” for upcoming movie
Will be directed by the guys who did “Bad Boys For Life”, written by “Birds of Prey” writer. No official release timeline, but likely sometime in 2023. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
Parker Posey, Zoe Lister-Jones and more join Joaquin Phoenix in director Ari Aster’s (“Midsommar”) next movie at A24 - “Disappointment Blvd”. Michael Gandolfini (“The Many Saints of Newark”) also among the additional names. /Deadline
NETFLIX cements Zack Snyder relationship - Sets 2-year, first-look film deal with his production company, which was previously at WB until 2019. Zack already has his next project set up there, an ambitious sci-fi movie called “Rebel Moon” . /THR
California approves $330 Million more in production tax credits. Ups total to $660 Million, in effect for at least the next 2 years. /Deadline
📺 THE TV SET
NETFLIX orders political-thriller series from “The Shield” creator Shawn Ryan
Called “The Night Agent”, inspired by a 2019 best-selling novel. It’s about a low-level FBI agent manning a phone that never rings in the basement of the White House. Until - well, it does. A dangerous conspiracy ensues. Does the White House not have caller ID?
10 episodes, Seth Gordon (“Horrible Bosses”, “For All Mankind”) directing, and SONY TV producing. /Deadline
AMAZON PRIME orders new Neil Gaiman series, “Anansi Boys”
Based on Neil’s fantasy novel, a young man who’s often embarrassed by his estranged dad, finds out that dad was a “trickster god of stories” after he passes, and that he also has a brother which leads to a more interesting but dangerous life.
6 episodes, will shoot in Scotland later this year. AMAZON is also home to Neil’s other series “Good Omens”. While there is a character in common with Neil’s now cancelled STARZ series “American Gods”, the projects are pretty much unrelated. /THR
ALSO IN TV
APPLE TV+ adds America Ferrera to their WE WORK limited series “We Crashed” with Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway. She’ll play Elishia Kennedy, a young entrepreneur whose life falls into turmoil after joining the company. Wasn’t clear to me from the announcement if this is an actual person or a composite... but either way the project is currently shooting. /THR
HBO reportedly spending “Game of Thrones” kinda money (up to $10 Million an episode) on their upcoming post-apocalyptic series “The Last of Us” starring Pedro Pascal and based on the popular video game. It’s in the midst of a year-long shoot up in Alberta, Canada. /Collider
NBA FINALS Game 6 gets about 12.5 Million viewers for ABC - Obviously way up from the Bubble FINALS of 2020, but still down about 30% from the last game in the 2019 FINALS, and down even more compared to most FINALS of the 2010’s. NFL you’re up next. /THR
NETFLIX creates North American in-house Casting division.The group will be in charge of working with external casting agencies on all projects, managing diversity / representation across NETFLIX series, and finding ways to keep up-and-coming talent in the NETFLIX family. /THR
DISNEY+ adds Josh Segarra (“Arrow”, “The Other Two”) to “She Hulk” legal comedy series starring Tatiana Maslany. /Deadline
EMMYS cancel Governors Ball events in September. The EMMYS ceremony itself will have a limited audience. /THR
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
HBOMAX adds 2.8 Million US subscribers from April to June, and 700k internationally
Ok here’s today’s #MediaNerd 🤓 dive, or - just scroll down to the new Trailers, couple good ones in there!
New HBO + HBOMAX subscriber totals: 47 Million paying subscribers in the US, putting it solidly in the #2 slot behind NETFLIX (albeit about 27 Million behind). This excludes AMAZON PRIME because they never disclose US-only users.
TO NOTE: AT&T is no longer releasing how many people actively use their HBOMAX accounts. Last indication was about 17 million active accounts back in January. The 47 Million is just the number that pay for HBOMAX either directly, or have access to it by paying for HBO through their cable provider. Which… from a business perspective is what matters.
HBO / HBOMAX Avg Revenue Per User/ARPU is $11.90 in the US.
NETFLIX’s is over $14 in the US.
DISNEY+ is just under $4 globally (they haven’t broken out a US-only #).
But - if you have an HBOMAX Original show and are wondering how many people could likely see it… you’re on your own. However some back of the napkin math:
17 Million active accounts in Dec 2020
+ 5.5 Million new subscriber adds since
and figure some more HBO subscribers figured out they get HBOMAX for free in the past 6 months…
Minimum of 23 Million, but maybe like 25 to 28 million active US HBOMAX accounts?
GLOBALLY… HBO / HBOMAX has 67.5 Million total subscribers, adding 700k international users from April to June. Basically reinforces that Global growth is gonna be job #1.. for 2022. They only meaningfully expanded HBOMAX outside the US at the end of June, into about 39 LATAM countries.
They’re now targeting to end the year with 70 - 73 Million total global users, (which is a… pretty broad range for a December forecast released at the end of July no?)
This puts HBOMAX well behind the top 3 of NETFLIX, AMAZON PRIME and DISNEY+ on a global basis (I’m leaving APPLE TV+ out as they never reveal any numbers).
IS THIS GOOD? Overall yes, although perhaps consistent is the word. HBOMAX added 2.7 Million from Jan to Feb, so this 2.8 Million April to June # is solid, but hard to argue any tentpole content (“Mortal Kombat”, “Friends”, “In The Heights” etc) caused a huge bump. But it beat Wall Street forecasts, and considering NETFLIX lost 430k US subscribers in the same time period… yeah it’s positive. 👍👍
OTHER: WARNER MEDIA had $8.8 Billion of revenue from April thru June (NETFLIX was $7.3 Billion, although the WM # is across everything globally - cable networks, movie releases, advertising, etc - not just streaming). For perspective… AT&T Mobile brought in about $19 Billion. $28 Billion if you include the wireline business.
AT&T still has about $155 Billion dollars worth of debt, an increase of $2 Billion from end of 2021 😳 (official DIRECTV offloading should adjust this next quarter TBD).
ALSO IN MEDIA
CLUBHOUSE is no longer invite-only to join - Finally the common man has a place to voice their thoughts online. /THR
VERIZON FIOS continues recent subscriber trends - Lost another 62k video subscribers (down to about 3.6 Million), added 92k broadband subscribers (up to about 6.4 Million). /THR
Eric Clapton continues his anti-vaxx behavior, saying he won’t play venues that ask for proof of vaccination for attendees. /Variety
BLOOMBERG cancels plans for a Prof. Scott Galloway show on their QUICKTAKES streaming service after he shared what sounds like a… questionable promo. /Daily Beast
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
NETFLIX ended yesterday down 3% based on their earnings report.
AMC MOVIE THEATERS -5%
CINEMARK THEATERS +7%
CINEWORLD (REGAL Theaters) +12%
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
No new TV or Movies but TWITTER and SNAP report 2Q earnings beginning around 4pm, so I’m gonna have a lotta “Daily Active User” talk tomorrow. Do I know how to create a hook or what?
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
Busy day! And a wide variety of projects…
NETFLIX “The Chair” series trailer - Comedy series starring Sandra Oh as the newly installed chair of a university English department who… soon finds herself embroiled in a scandal of some sort. 6 episodes, written by Amanda Peet who’s also the showrunner. Premeires Fri Aug 20.
HBOMAX “Malignant” trailer - Annabelle Wallis sees visions of murders as they happen, thanks to the return of an “imaginary” childhood friend. Why isn’t it ever good news when one of those comes back? Directed by James Wan (“Saw”, “The Conjuring”). Hits movie theaters and HBOMAX on Fri Sept 10.
HBO “Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union” docu trailer - 3 part documentary on our former President, rolling out across 3 consecutive nights on HBO, Starting Tue Aug 3.
COMEDY CENTRAL “Tha God’s Honest Truth” teaser promo - New weekly 30-minute Late Night show with radio personality Charlamagne Tha God, produced by fellow South Carolina native, Stephen Colbert (who is featured prominently in the promo). Premieres Fri Sept 17 at 10p
PEACOCK “Ex Rated” trailer - Dating game show were ex’s share what really happened from their POV in the relationship, and rate each other on various metrics. And from the trailer… it’s mostly sex metrics. Hosted by Andy Cohen. Premieres Thu Aug 12.
HBOMAX “Small Town News: KPVM Parhump” trailer - Docuseries about an eccentric small town Nevada TV affiliate station who makes moves into the Vegas marketplace. Premieres Mon Aug 2.
🥳 TODAY’S FUN READ
Ok this is really a “the more you know” kinda read… but looks like the LAGUARDIA AIRPORT Airtrain from LGA to Willets Point, Queens (CITI FIELD, home to a 7 Train stop and an LIRR stop) will begin construction by the Fall. The FAA gave its official approval yesterday. Expected completion is 2025. So figure by 2027 we’ll be good to go.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
New BRANDI CARLILE- “Right on Time”. From her upcoming new album out Oct 1. Video directed by Courtney Cox.
Listen to the song here on Spotify or:
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