Jodie Foster to lead TRUE DETECTIVE 4 on HBO, set in Alaska
LIONSGATE to spin-off or sell STARZ this Summer / Jude Law joins STAR WARS series / Ray Liotta Rest in Peace
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on FRIDAY May 27, 2022.
Where your inboxes and social media feeds will finally be getting a break after today… yes, Johnny v. Amber finally reaches the Closing Arguments stage 🙏.
ALSO: Kevin Spacey was charged with sexual assault on 3 men in the UK. The incidents allegedly happened between 2005 and 2013. He’s currently in the US dealing with the civil case against him from Anthony Rapp, no word on extradition.
AND: In theaters, June 30, 2023 👇.
Is it odd that “Flashdance” very briefly came to mind when I first looked at this? Yeah I thought so.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
“I can be anywhere in the world & people will come up & tell me their favorite movie is Goodfellas.
Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My response has always been the same…Ray Liotta.”
- LORRAINE BRACCO remembering her co-star RAY LIOTTA.
Ray’s final completed TV project, the APPLE TV+ psychological thriller limited series “Black Bird” starring Taron Egerton from Dennis Lehane, premieres July 8.
And he’ll be in the Elizabeth Banks UNI movie “Cocaine Bear”, release Feb 2023.
If you’d like to share this newsletter 🤝 - here’s a handy button:
📺 THE TV SET
Jude Law to star in STAR WARS series “Skeleton Crew”
This is the one from Jon Watts (“Spider-Man: Far From Home”) whose involvement in the SW universe was reported earlier this month after leaving the "Fantastic Four” reboot.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” writer Christopher Ford also involved (which Watts also directed).
Project was nicknamed “Grammar Rodeo” and I’m not so sure they’re making the right call here in changing it.
Set in the New Republic era if that does somethin’ for ya, and it’s about a group of kids lost in the Star Wars galaxy trying to get home. /THR
HBO sets Jodie Foster to star in “True Detective” Season 4
Called “True Detective: Night Country”, will center on 2 detectives investigating the disappearance of 6 men who operate the Tsalal Arctic Research Station in Ennis, ALASKA… right at the dead dark of Winter. Well that’ll be a fun shoot.
No word on who Jodie’s co-star might be. Barry Jenkins is an Exec Producer. /THR
ALSO IN TV
Anthony Anderson not returning to “Law & Order” on NBC next year. He had only signed a one year deal for this year. /Deadline
NETFLIX star Omar Sy signs first look TV development deal with… HBOMAX. /THR
📝 IN OTHER OTHER WORDS…
“I don’t have any plans to leave just yet.”
- MICHAEL CHE on The Bill Simmons Podcast about whether he’ll be back on SNL this Fall. Nothing final… but sounds likely.
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
#medianerd 🤓 returns!
STARZ grows big in Q1… in the wrong region. Sale or spin-off will happen by end of Summer
GLOBAL STARZ SUBSCRIBER total: 35.8 Million (+4.4 Million in Q1)
US Streaming: 11.5 Million, +500k in Q1
US Linear: 9.5 Million, -400k in Q1
INT’L streaming: 11 Million, +4.3 Million in Q1
INT’L Linear: 1.8 Million (flat in Q1)
Plus 2 Million STARZPLAY ARABIA subs (flat in Q1)
STARZ US biz has not had material subscriber growth in 18 months, stuck at around 21 Million (linear & streaming combined).
Streaming has grown at pretty much the same rate…. that Linear has declined since Sept 2020.
Q1 2022 was net +100k subscribers
STARZ INT’L streaming killed it in Q1 - their biggest quarterly growth # ever.
HOWEVER… STARZ makes basically no money from those fast-growing International subscribers (aka the DISNEY+ INDIA problem).
In fact, they keep losing money.
STARZ Q1 REVENUE:
STARZ US (incl Streaming and Linear TV): $350 Million
STARZ INTERNATIONAL: $30.5 Million
Q1 Loss = $45 Million
Annual Loss = $165 Million, up 18% from 2020 FY
A rough AvgRevenuePerUser #ARPU of $0.78 a month
Meaning 50% of STARZ subscribers (its US biz) create 90% of its Revenue. The other 50% are kinda useless. (note: NETFLIX does not have this problem. at all).
While STARZ still turns a profit ($33 Million in Q1) thanks to the US business, the Linear business that still makes up most of STARZ revenue… continues to die off, losing several hundred thousand customers each quarter.
STARZ US Revenue: $350 Million
$165 Million from Linear (9.5 Million subs)
$135 Million from Streaming (11.5 Million subs)
this is approx, based on a rough $5.75 US Linear ARPU given on the earnings call.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT:
With LIONSGATE actively working to sell or spin-off STARZ by sometime this Summer, question is - what are people potentially buying?
The big total global 35.8 Million subscriber number sounds impressive, but when you look under the hood - it’s hard to find a positive 💰 story to go with it.
STARZ also doesn’t really own most of the programming it airs (parent co LIONSGATE does). Granted this could change in a sale or spinoff deal, and/or I’m sure any big buyer or investor would insist on a clause that LIONSGATE will continue to supply STARZ with its marquee programming
But - in terms of what they’re actually getting with STARZ… it’s not ownership of “Power” or “Outlander” IP.
Very little meaningful IP
a Declining core business (Linear TV subs)
a Growing business but in a maturing market (US streaming)
a High user growth business… that’s increasingly unprofitable with extremely low #ARPU (International streaming)
AND: Fiscal Year Annual Profit for STARZ was -53% vs the previous year.
So. The Summer should be interesting. Of note - any deal that happens by end of Summer likely won’t close until early 2023.
The TV group went 15 for 15 in renewals this Spring! 👏
But… the company lost $107 Million in Q1, and slightly missed their revenue forecast at $930 Million.
But Wall Street was being Wall Street - missed Revenue exepctations?? pffft. Did you see that big Subscriber number add??? totally boss. The stock was +4% after hours.
ALSO IN MEDIA
NBC had 950k viewers for PREMIERE LEAGUE season finale match last Sat.
12 matches got over 1 Million viewers this season, highest total ever for NBCU’s deal which started in 2013.
2021-22 season Matches averaged 500k viewers across NBC & the 3 cable networks they aired on - 2nd best year of NBCU’s deal.
So - small-ish, but growing, and Zero PEACOCK info offered. /AP
DAZN lays off 50 in UK office, about 2% of global workforce as the company focuses growth efforts on other Euro territories. /Deadline
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
TWITTER +6% ($39.52) and otherwise a rather positive day for almost all.
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👩💻 THE FSS FEED:
(new Stuff to Watch this weekend, Friday - Saturday - Sunday)
WEEKEND READS + LISTENS
“Elvis” star Austin Butler gets the NY TIMES profile treatment as he sits on the cusp of a potentially life-altering Summer, getting many positive nods in CANNES this week.
How much did the original “Top Gun” make in the US? I’ll even give you an over/under of $200 Million. Answer at the bottom.
PARAMOUNT “Top Gun: Maverick”
DISNEYFOX “Bob’s Burgers: The Movie”
NETFLIX “Stranger Things” Season 4, vol 1 - STREAM HERE
DISNEY+ “Obi-Wan Kenobi” 2 episodes drop - STREAM HERE
APPLE TV+ “Carpool Karaoke” Season 5 - STREAM HERE
DISNEY+ “We Feed People” - Ron Howard docu on chef José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen efforts around the world. No Google-able link
CNN “Julia” - Julia Child docu 8p
NETFLIX “Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special” - STREAM HERE
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
DISNEY+ STAR WARS “Andor” teaser trailer - Premieres Wed Aug 31 (and new “Mandalorian” season coming Feb 2023 for those keeping track)
DISNEY+ “Willow” teaser trailer - Premieres Nov 30
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
Going out with a brand new ED SHEERAN song, “Welcome to the World” - i’ll leave the interpretation of the inspiration up to you.
Hope you took the under… “Top Gun” made $180 Million in the US in 1986.
Global total was $357 Million, which accounting for inflation would be about $950 Million today.
If you need some new tunes:
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