WED Mar 24: A QUIET PLACE 2 now kicks off Summer Movie Theater season
Helen Mirren + WB "Shazam!" sequel / Halle Berry + Wahlberg at NETFLIX / MARCH MADNESS streaming + ratings so far
Mornin! Here’s the Hollywood + MediaBiz news to know on WEDNESDAY March 24, 2021.
Where DISNEY pretty much let the air out of the Summer movie theater business yesterday… moving “Black Widow” to July, putting “Cruella” on DISNEY+ $30 PVOD the same day as its May theatrical release date, and making the PIXAR movie “Luca” a DISNEY+ exclusive in June.
🏦 STOCK NOTES: AMC Theaters stock was down about 15% yesterday afternoon as a result.
Also VIACOM dropped 9% on news they’re issuing $3 Billion of new stock to help pay for PARAMOUNT+.
DISCOVERY also dropped 4% after an analyst rated it a “sell” saying it’s now overvalued.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
MARVEL’s “Black Widow” moves from May 7 to July 9, also going on DISNEY+ $30 PVOD same day
This just… 5 days after DISNEY CEO Bob Chapek said the May 7th “Black Widow” call would be a “last minute decision”.
DISNEY/FOX’s Ryan Reynolds movie “Free Guy” goes from May 18 to Aug 13. “The King's Man” goes to December.
MARVEL’s “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” moving from July 9 to Labor Day weekend.
Also noteworthy - “Death on the Nile” with Armie Hammer in a lead role moves to almost a year from now (Feb 2022).
The 3rd largest US theater chain CINEMARK refused to show “Raya and the Last Dragon” this month because of the $30 PVOD thing - TBD on their stance for the DISNEY Summer Movie slate.
AS A RESULT: No major movie releases are hitting theaters after April 16 (“Mortal Kombat”) to May 28th; Only 2 major movies will be Theatrical-only from now until July 4th weekend: “A Quiet Place 2” Memorial Day weekend, and “F9” June 25th.
2 ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:
A delayed & limited EUROPE re-opening timeline may be a larger factor at play in the DISNEY decision here.
If US vaccinations continue at current rates, expect a lot of encouragement from movie stars to see these films at the theater on their promo tours, and many opening weekend celeb movie theater visits.
Or potentially - get your shot in May, go to the theater/free popcorn in June kinda things. I mean free Krispy Kreme donuts are nice but…
APPLE TV (likely) picking up Peter Farrelly “Greatest Beer Run Ever” movie project
Zac Efron & Russell Crowe in negotiations to star, based on a memoir novel. A guy travels from the US to bring beer to his buddies fighting in Vietnam in 1967. /Deadline
Today in Mark Wahlberg movie news:
More details on his next movie“Father Stu”: It’s about a boxer turned priest who led quite a challenging life, eventually dying of a degenerative muscle disease. Mel Gibson is playing “Stu”/Wahlberg’s father, and it’s written and directed by Gibson’s personal-life partner Rosalind Ross. Shooting mid-April. Good follow-up THR!
Halle Berry is joining Mark’s NETFLIX action movie “Our Man from Jersey”. Described as a blue-collar James Bond. Still needs a director, so Wahlberg has plenty of time to figure out how he’ll somehow play a Giants fan. /THR
ALSO IN MOVIES
Helen Mirren set as villain in next “Shazam!” movie at WB, playing “Hespera” for any comic fans out there. Movie has June 2023 release date. /Variety
NETFLIX sets gay Christmas rom-com “Single all the Way” from Tony-winner Michael Mayer (“Spring Awakening”). Guy brings (male) friend home for Christmas to pretend they’re in a relationship. Parents meddle, etc. What’s up with Hollywood and people lying about relationships for Christmas break? /Variety
Tyler Perry sets next directing effort at NETFLIX, “A Jazzman’s Blues”. It’s the first screenplay he ever wrote - involves murder, forbidden love and a secret held over a 40 year period. I’m thinking it’s about the murder. Tyler of course has a huge overall deal… at VIACOM. /Deadline
LIONSGATE buys US & UK rights to Scott Eastwood genre action pic “Dangerous”. No price disclosed, Mel Gibson and Tyrese Gibson in supporting roles, will get theatrical + PVOD release. /Variety
“Justice League” to get a B&W version release on HBOMAX, in addition to it already being in a 4:3 screen ratio. Personally, I’m waiting for the 3 VHS cassette tape version. #trueFan /TheVerge
📺 THE TV SET
NETFLIX deviating from ‘all episodes at once’ approach for reality shows “The Circle” in April, and “Too Hot to Handle” in June
“Circle” will debut with first 4 eps on Apr 14 - additional episode batches dropped on following Tuesdays for 3 weeks. /THR
68% of MARCH MADNESS streaming in the first 2 days took place on TV’s, up from 48% in 2019
40% of that TV streaming was via ROKU boxes.
AMAZON FIRE had 26%, SAMSUNG SmartTV’s was 10%, and APPLE TV at 8% according to tracking firm Conviva.
Desktop viewing was 18% of all streaming, Mobile was 11%. /TV Technology
On… good ol’ TV - ratings pretty much matching those from 2019. 👏 /THR
ALSO IN TV
SHOWTIME adds Naomie Harris to co-star in “The Man Who Fell to Earth” sci-fi limited series with Chiwetel Ejiofor. Jimmi Simpson (“Westworld”, “House of Cards”) added as well. Will shoot this Spring in London. /THR
HBO / SKY sets David Thewlis to star with Olivia Colman in 4 part limited series “Landscapers” - based on real life story when 2 dead bodies were discovered in backyard of a couple in the UK. Currently shooting. /Deadline
FX orders “Snowfall” Season 5. Season 4 (now airing) is +41% in total viewers. /THR
HULU orders 8 episode animated series “Koala Man” from “Detective Pikachu” writers & “Rick & Morty” co-creator. Dad dresses up as superhero (with no powers) to stop petty crime and restore order. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
ROKU launching Branded Content studio with former FUNNY OR DIE execs
Tasked to create branded video content with advertisers to run on the ROKU CHANNEL. Could be interactive ads, short videos, or even more full length programming (cooking shows with product placement/co-branding etc).
Some content could also be featured on ROKU homepage interface. More details in May at the NewFronts. /THR
ALSO IN MEDIA
PEACOCK updates account signup number to 35 million since launch. Thats +2 Million in the past 6 weeks. Still no official word on active users, or paying subscribers. /CNet
MEDIUM offering buyouts to its 75 journalism/editorial employees. Sounds like they’re shifting to becoming more of a blogging/Substack kinda thing, vs offering their own in house editorial. /Medium
APPLE PODCASTS now hosts over 2 Million podcasts; only About 500k posted a new episode in the past 30 days. /Podnews
AEG (second largest concert promoter behind LIVE NATION) bringing some furloughed employees back April 1, expect to be at full staff by Fall. /Billboard
VIDCON sets Oct 21-24 IRL return to Anaheim for annual conference. /Deadline
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
HBO “The Nevers” new series. A few women get supernatural abilities in 1896 London and some folks aren’t crazy about that. 6 episode Part 1 of the show premieres Sun Apr 11.
BRAVO “RHONY” Season 13 trailer. Premieres Tuesday May 4th.
DISNEY+ “Big Shot” new series from David E. Kelly. John Stamos as disgraced college basketball coach who takes a gig coaching Girls HS Basketball. So…. a GenY private school “Hoosiers” 🤔? Launches Fri April 16.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH
HBO “The Day Sports Stood Still” docu at 9pm - Looks at the sports world from the covid NBA shutdown through the Social Justice movement last Summer and the NBA Bubble.
NBC’s “The Tonight Show” inviting in a 58 person studio audience all week, consisting of fully vacinated first responders.
Producers Guild Awards - livestream here on their YouTube channel tonight at 8pm.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
New CANNONS - “Bad Dream”. If you’re a fan of the “Drive” soundtrack… you’ll dig this - kinda chill 80’s-like synth.
If you need new tunes:
If you’re new to THE WAKEUP and know someone who would dig it:
Rest in peace George Segal! Thanks for the laughs ‘pops’. Live your Wednesday to the fullest 🍻!