NETFLIX has notable US subscriber drop, adds 1.5 Million globally
TIFF lineup announced / Jason Momoa doing HBOMAX rock climbing show / VICE hits trouble going public
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY July 21, 2021.
Where sadly there are no multi-billionaires spending their fortunes on going into space for a few minutes today - Wednesdays amirite?
But uh… hey PEARL JAM is gonna headline a just announced 2nd weekend of concerts for the OHANA FESTIVAL in Dana Point, Orange County CA. Playing both nights, Oct 1 and 2, tix on sale if you have a special code here now, otherwise on Friday.
AND: Lo and behold… KANYE’s next album “Donda” will drop Friday. Or - there is a livestream event on APPLE MUSIC for the album tomorrow at 8pm if you just can’t wait.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
UNIVERSAL’s “Dear Evan Hansen” opening TORONTO FILM FEST - rest of lineup revealed
SEARCHLIGHT’s “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”, PARAMOUNT’s “Clifford the Big Red Dog”, FOCUS’s Kenneth Branagh film “Belfast” among those with Gala screenings. Full list of films here. Fest begins on Thu Sept 9. /THR
ALSO: NEON bought US rights to director Zhang Yimou’s new movie “One Second” which will be the TIFF closing night film. Price not disclosed. Film debuted in China last November. /Variety
AND: VENICE FILM FEST sets Competition Jury under head Bong Joon Ho, including Chloe Zhou and Cynthia Erivo. /Deadline
NETFLIX sets David Harbour, Anthony Mackie, Tig Notaro for family adventure pic “We Have a Ghost”
Innovative horror director Christopher Landon (“Freaky”, “Happy Death Day”) writing & directing here. Family finds a ghost named “Ernest” hiding in their house, they all become social media sensations, and then dad & Ernest attempt to figure out Ernie’s past and… things go down.
Now if there’s no Vern character… I’m gonna be a little disappointed. No shoot timeline indicated. /THR
ALSO IN MOVIES
DISNEY+’s upcoming Giannis Antetokounmpo biopic “Greek Freak” just got it’s ending… as the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA Championship last night for the first time in over 50 years, led by Giannis’s 50 points - about half of Milwaukee’s total.
EXECUTIVE SUITE NOTE: Longtime DISNEY PR exec Darrell Borquez joining SHELTER PR as VP of Publicity. /THR
📺 THE TV SET
Jason Momoa producing amateur rock climbing competition show for HBOMAX called “The Climb”
He’ll also co-host (I think? Announcement said ‘appear’ so take that as you will). /THR
ALSO IN TV
PARAMOUNT+ renews “The Good Fight” for season 6. /Deadline
HBOMAX adds SNL’s Punkie Johnson & Ego Nwodim, and Leslie Bibb to season 2 of “Love Life”, starring Jessica Williams.
HBOMAX putting pilot episodes on SNAPCHAT for free viewing. Includes“Euphoria”, “Gossip Girl”, “The Flight Attendant”, “Warrior” and others: age-gating / verification required. /THR
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
NETFLIX adds 1.5 Million Global subscribers from April thru June, to hit global total of 209 Million
1 Million of the new adds were from the Asia-Pacific region (Avg Revenue Per User/ARPU: $9.72, +50 cents from end of 2020).
Latin America made up most of the remaining subscriber growth (ARPU stagnant at $7.45)
BUT: The US / Canada region lost 430k subscribers, going from 74.3 Million to 73.9 Million: US / CAN lost about 100k subscribers in early 2019, but this is the largest quarterly NETFLIX US decline in the modern streaming era (at least back to 2014).
US / CAN ARPU is up a buck from end of 2020 to $14.40
DISNEY+’s global ARPU is just under $4
HOWEVER: Overall Revenue is doing great, up 19% vs. this time last year, to $7.3 Billion for the 3 month period. This is due to 11% year-over-year subscriber growth, and a 4% price increase. And I think about 1% because their CEO didn’t spend money to send himself into space for 3 minutes.
They expect to add 3.5 Million subs in the 3rd Quarter, and their Earnings Per Share is on track to double the 2020 number.
Basically - while subscriber growth is no longer in explosive mode, and stagnating in the US and Europe… NETFLIX has reached the more important Making 💰💰 mode. Something DISNEY+ is very far away from. And it’s money that can be used to fund 👇
NETFLIX will add gaming to the all-in-one price for NETFLIX (not as an additional cost) in a… TBD timeframe. Also no in-game ads, or additional in-game purchases / V-Bucks etc. Everything will be included. Initial focus will be on Mobile Games.
Some games will be based on existing NETFLIX IP, some will be new entirely, and they will also license games from external sources whenever NETFLIX GAMES launches… TBD. /Deadline
GLOBAL VIEWING NUMBERS in First 28 Days
“Army of the Dead” - 75 Million accounts
“Fatherhood” - 74 Million (SONY acquisition)
“Sweet Tooth” series - 60 Million
“The Mitchell’s vs The Machines” - 53 Million (SONY acquisition)
“Too Hot to Handle” Season 2 - 29 Million (Season 1 had 51 Million)
“Extraction” remains the movie to beat at 99 Million, “Bridgerton” the series to beat at 82 Million.
NETFLIX counts a view as someone who watched the first 2 minutes of a movie or show. Here’s a list of the current all-time Top 10 Movies & Top 10 TV Shows for anyone inclined.
VICE hitting trouble in efforts to go public
Was hoping to (finally) go public via a SPAC at a $2.5 Billion valuation but now… even a $2 Billion valuation looks optimistic given BUZZFEED’s valuation in their recent move to go public via a SPAC. VICE was valued at $5.7 Billion 4 years ago. /The Information
Ron Howard & Brian Grazer’s IMAGINE ENTERTAINMENT getting sale offers
Valuing the company at around $800 Million as Wall Street bankers look for… frankly anything else they can get their hands on to sell after the huge $8+ Billion MGM / AMAZON deal. /Variety
ALSO IN MEDIA
YOUTUBE launches “Super Tipping” feature for people to tip videos in a range from $2 to $50 bucks. Still in testing/beta but expected to be launched across the platform soon. Sadly I’m still a cash-only business. /The Verge
APPLE delays return to offices until October 1 “at the earliest”. /Deadline
But APPLE is looking to lease a large production facility in LA according to the WSJ.
CNN+ looking to hire about 200 journalism roles, and 250 product / engineering / marketing roles to launch CNN+ next year (it has about 150 working on it now according to AXIOS). Will operate as a standalone unit in CNN vs people working on CNN+ and other digital efforts.
FACEBOOK paying 31 more notable writers to join / use their new Bulletin newsletter feature. They basically get a (tbd) licensing fee - all authors keep the rights to their newsletters and mailing lists. More prominent names include Malala Yousafzai and former Obama official Robert Gibbs. FB will hire swath of local news-focused journalists “in the coming weeks”. /Axios
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
A positive day on Wall Street, with Media Stocks going positive but nothing dramatically so… except for PELOTON which went up another almost 7%.
Oh and AMC THEATERS which went up 24% because Reddit Traders never die.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
DISNEY+ “Turner & Hooch” reboot as a series - Watch or Add to your List here
NETFLIX “Sexy Beasts” - Dating show where contestants are made-up as animals courtesy of professional prosthetics. Guessing the title “Animal Husbandry” was taken. Watch or Add to your List here
NBC “Olympic Dreams“ - Jonas Brothers try to become Olympic athletes. Eh I could see Nick doing it. Kevin not so much. Airs at 8p
🥳 TODAY’S FUN READ
NY Times read on what’s happened since MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL started cracking down on pitchers using illegal “sticky stuff” to increase rotation on pitches in early June. The decreases in no-hitters and strike-outs in the piece are pretty striking, as is this graph.
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
DISNEYFOX “The Last Duel” trailer - Damon, Affleck, Driver, Ridley. Ok yes one of those is a first name but I can’t put just “Scott” in there. Period piece about a duel over contested allegations of a sexual assault involving the character played by Jodie Comer, based on a true story. Only In Theaters Fri October 15.
PARAMOUNT “Jackass Forever” trailer - Movie hits theaters October 22.
HULU“Homeroom” trailer. Documentary produced by Ryan Coogler about Oakland High School’s class of 2020 as they start the year trying to eliminate the persistent police force at the school… and then obviously the year takes a turn around March. Really well done spot HULU Marketing 👏. Premieres Thu Aug 12.
PEACOCK “One of Us Is Lying” teaser trailer - In a… very different take on high school - 5 kids go to detention, 4 come out alive. Even if they were all in there for failing Algebra… that math ain’t good. Nor is that English. “Coming Soon”
And… Jon Stewart did a “Jason Alexander as a Jeff Bezos-ish character” going into space on a “Space Dick” video, disguised as a pseudo-promo for his new show “The Problem with Jon Stewart” - officially Coming this September.
Notably - APPLE TV+ did not also put this on their YouTube page.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
New MAHALIA - “Whenever You’re Ready”. British singer with some Jamaican roots, sampling some OG 90’s MONTELL JORDAN “Get It On Tonight” from 1999… who sampled CLAUDJA BARRY “Love For the Sake of Love” from 1976.
Good to see the music biz is sticking to the once every 22 years (ish) Sampling rule.
Listen to the song here on Spotify or:
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