LIONSGATE looking to spinoff or sell STARZ
WICKED movie sets 2 leads at UNI / PINTEREST US users -10% in year / New TV & Movies to watch this weekend
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on FRIDAY November 5, 2021.
Where the 2021 WORLD SERIES was as expected the least watched ever except for the 2020 Covid series, averaging 12.63 Million viewers across the 6 games, a smidge below the 2012 series… but that one was a 4 game sweep.
Also - this isn’t helping Baseball’s viewership and youth engagement problem.
PLUS: Dwayne Johnson is banning the use of all real guns on his sets going forward - all will be rubber with effects added in post. More expensive yes, but he says he’ll insist on it for any productions involving his production company.
AND: Here is the latest in the Kim Kardashian - Pete Davidson… whatever this is 🤷♂️, a dinner at a NYC “private club” that should probably lose the “private” from their description given the photos here. I mean it’s almost as if… they’re inviting the attention 🤔. Come on over to Queens if you want to be ignored #protip.
ALSO: Jen Garner looks like she might be engaged, or at least was wearing a very fancy ring in an IGTV chat this week.
PEACE AT LAST: Visual previews of your INSTAGRAM posts on TWITTER have returned after a 9 year feud. If a long dive into the origins and history of this is of interest, Casey Newton at PLATFORMER has you covered. But basically both sides finally agreed that Miller Lite tastes great and is less filling, and we’re all moving on.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
UNIVERSAL sets Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo to star in “Wicked” movie
Will play “Glinda” and “Elphaba” respectively. Jon M. Chu (“In the Heights”) directing next Summer. /Variety
ALSO IN MOVIES
MIDDLE EAST countries ban “Eternals” due to homosexual characters. Includes IMAX screens of course - the MIDDLE EAST is one of their most lucrative territories. /THR
Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok”, “Jojo Rabbit”) set to direct indie adaptation of 70’s novel “The Incal” about an Intergalactic detective who finds a mystical artifact called the Incal and must go on a journey to save the universe with a ragtag crew. Supposedly its influence can be seen in movies like “The Matrix” and “Blade Runner”. /Variety
IN THE EXECUTIVE SUITE
ROADSHOW ATTRACTIONS Marketing head Dennis O’Connor departs, as do SVP of Publicity David Pollick, and Head of Field Publicity Ronit Vanderlinden, amid some other cutbacks in those departments. LIONSGATE has a 40% stake in ROADSIDE (wasn’t aware of this myself). /Deadline
WARNER MEDIA promoted Pia Barlow to Head of HBOMAX Originals Marketing as EVP. She reports into HBOMAX & HBO Markeing EVP Zack Enterlin. Pia had tenures at NETFLIX, 20th CENTURY FOX and originally at HBO where we worked together back in the day… so Congrats Pia! /Deadline
APPLE TV+ adds Erin May as Senior TV Creative Exec, she comes over from 20TH TELEVISION where she was VP of Drama. /Deadline
📺 THE TV SET
David E. Kelley sets up… another series, this one based on a Tom Wolfe book at NETFLIX - Regina King directing
Based on the 1998 Wolfe novel “A Man in Full” about an Atlanta real-estate mogul facing bankruptcy whose political and business interests come together as he tries to defend himself from his haters.
6 episode limited series, Regina directing the first 3 episodes.
This is in addition to Kelley’s 2 other series already set up at NETFLIX, a limited HBO series, a PEACOCK series, and of course “Big Sky” at ABC. /Variety
ALSO IN TV
Eve goes on maternity leave from ABC’s “Queens”. She’s having a baby in February, but she lives in the UK and the show shoots in Atlanta so… no more travel. They’ve shot additional scenes already so she should be in most of the 13 episodes. /Deadline
HULU’s “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” ending with its 3rd season next year. /THR
FOX renews “Fantasy Island” for Season 2. Season 1 averaged 3 Million viewers including all DVR #s this Summer. /THR
BET picks up 5 part unscripted series “Klutch Academy” from Kenya Barris, Rich Paul and a couple of producers on “The Last Dance”. About College Basketball prospects as they go thru training at Paul’s KLUTCH SPORTS GROUP before the draft. Will premiere Nov 23. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
LIONSGATE looking to spinoff or sell STARZ
First the numbers:
STARZ now has:
18 Million streaming subscribers globally
12 Million Linear TV subscribers globally
Or - 30 Million people now pay for STARZ around the world
However - STARZ International business makes up just 7% of STARZ total revenue, despite being 42% of it’s total Streaming subscriber base.
Some observations diving into the numbers:
STARZ revenue growth has kinda topped out (down a couple mil from this time last year), and they keep losing US Linear PayTV subscribers (down 11% in a year).
No ARPU reported for either PayTV subscribers or streaming subs.
US STARZ streaming subscribers now surpass TV subscribers, 10.4 Million to 10.2 Million
They are losing more money on STARZPLAY International as its streaming subscriber base grows - quarterly loss was over 2X vs. this time last year, even as Int’l streaming subscriber growth was well over 2X...
PERSPECTIVE: LIONSGATE paid $4.4 Billion for STARZ back in 2016.
CBS offered somewhere around $5 Billion for it back in 2019 - LIONSGATE wanted more like $5.5 Billion and CBS walked away.
LIONSGATE’s total current valuation (including STARZ) is now $2.9 Billion based on its stock price today.
They’re hoping a STARZ spinoff or partial sale will unlock some of the value they believe is not being recognized, while still allowing it to be a longterm home/partner for LIONSGATE MOVIE & TV product.
However there is the danger of it being a company whose Revenue is reliant on its US business… but whose Growth increasingly is coming Internationally where they make little money… or even lose money. Which leads us to….
PINTEREST beats revenue expectations, but lost 10% of US Monthly users in a year
Wall Street loves money 🤯 so the stock went up 4% after hours as Revenue was higher than expectations, at $633 Million from July thru Sept (+43% from a year ago).
And that’s mainly because they’re making more money off of their US user base:
Avg Revenue Per US User is +44% from this time last year, to $5.88 a month.
Unforunately, they’re losing US Monthly users, and all of their user growth is from International users who deliver an ARPU of… 38 Cents. Bit of a difference.
Monthly Active Users
US: 89 Million (down 10% from 98 Million at this time last year)
International: 356 Million (up 4% from 343 Million at this time last year)
So you can see why PAYPAL investors weren’t so crazy at the idea of spending $45-50 Billion on it last month.
ALSO IN MEDIA
ESPN CLASSIC channel going off the air on January 1. Will not be replaced with something else. NBCSN also shutting down Jan 1 as the cable sports gravy train continues to ride off. /SportsBusinessJournal
Kevin Mayer + Tom Staggs’s BLACKSTONE backed, unnamed company (and HELLO SUNSHINE buyer) finishes $3 Billion deal for “Cocomelon” producer MOONBUG ENTERTAINMENT. The company is also behind something called “Blippi” which I’m sure a lot of parents of young kids are nodding their head to right now… to counter my blank stare. /THR
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
VIMEO dropped 30% on their earnings call where they essentially said their previously projected growth was gonna take longer to hit than previously stated.
VIACOM CBS was -4% on their eh earnings call
ROKU dropped almost 8% on slowing user growth rates
DISH dropped 14% on news their business was stagnant
ALTICE (fka CABLEVISION) was down 5%. They lost 13k Broadband subscribers, and 67k Cable TV subscribers. Overall revenue slightly up but another eh earnings call.
👩💻 THE FSS FEED:
(new Stuff to Watch this weekend, Friday - Saturday - Sunday)
DISNEY / MARVEL “Eternals” - Wide release in theaters & IMAX
NEON “Spencer” - Princess Di movie starring Kristen Stewart, in Limited Theaters
APPLE TV+ “Finch” - Tom Hanks post-apocalyptic heartfelt dog and robot movie (formerly a UNI movie made for theatrical release). Stream or Add to Your List here
AMAZON PRIME “The Electrical Live of Louis Wain” - Period piece about a groundbreaking cat painter, with Benedict Cumberbatch. Stream or Add to Your List here
APPLE TV+ “Dickinson” Season 3 / Final Season - Stream or Add to Your List here
NETFLIX “Narcos: Mexico” Season 3 / Final season - Stream or Add to Your List here
HULU “Animaniacs” Season 2 - Stream or Add to Your List here
APPLE TV+ “Hello Jack! The Kindness Show” Season 1 - Stream or Add to Your List here
NETFLIX “Big Mouth” Season 5 - Stream or Add to Your List here
NBC - SNL is Kieran Culkin and ED SHEERAN
SHOWTIME “Attica” - Docu on the infamous 1971 Prison uprising, airs at 9p
New “60 Minutes” at 7p on CBS
PARAMOUNT NETWORK “Yellowstone” - Season premiere, 2 episodes, Starts at 8p
SHOWTIME “Dexter: New Blood” - New Season of the 2000s series, premieres 9p
EPIX “Condor” Season 2 - Two episode Premiere at 9p
NBC Sunday Night Football - TITANS vs RAMS at 8p
If you ever went out in NYC to places like LIFE or BUNGALOW 8 in the late 90’s/early 2000s, or tried to 🙋♂️ - this piece on legendary doorman Disco is a fun read.
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
APPLE TV+ “Swan Song” trailer - Dying man played by Mahershala Ali seems like he clones himself with Glenn Close’s help and his memories go into a new “twin” body to continue living on with his wife and growing family… but I’m not 💯 on that. We’ll find out on Fri Dec 17 (also in select theaters).
NAT GEOGRAPHIC “The First Wave” trailer. Docu looking at the onset and first 4 months of Covid in NYC. Powerful trailer, and looks beautifully shot. In Theaters Fri Nov 19.
NETFLIX “The Power of the Dog” trailer. Latest from Jane Campion, with Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemmons. Premieres Wed Dec 1.
HBOMAX “8-Bit Christmas” trailer. Neil Patrick Harris tells his daughter about the lengths he and his friends went to in the Late 80’s to get a NINTENDO system. Premieres Fri Nov 24
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
Well you can either go back to the 70’s with ABBA’s new album which drops today.
Or drop back to the 60’s with DIANA ROSS’s new album.
Or… just go with a Diana classic to get moving on a Friday:
If you need new tunes:
Email me anytime - just reply to this email, or connect here on LINKED IN.
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