THB Headlines, August 1
First, Box Office…
There’s nothing okay, much less good, about the DC League of Super-Pets ($23m, probably a little less) opening. The studio simply failed to convert. The movie, which is kind of a tweener between a children’s film and Bullwinkle subversively mature comedy, really isn’t the issue on opening weekend. Would a teenager like it? Anyone older than that? And is it safe for the little kids?
There were 2 other anthropomorphic talking animal animated wide-release movies this year. Paws of Fury sunk like a stone ($6.3m), but it felt like Paramount was letting it escape, rather than releasing it. On the other hand, The Bad Guys seemed a bit more focused in the marketing and opened to $24m, which seemed a little stronger than expected. The IP-branded DC Superpets opened just behind Bad Guys, which had no real IP, just what Universal sold potential ticket buyers.
Nope isn’t doing as well as Jordan Peele’s first 2 films, but it’s still doing pretty well. It will pass $100m domestic next weekend.
The weekend slipped back under $100m domestic, even with all but 1 of the 8 Top 10 holds being under 43%, half of them under 30%.
Fingers crossed for Bullet Train taking us back over $100m next weekend and the weekend after… but probably only next weekend.
TAKE ME AWAY FROM ALL THIS DEATH…
THE OY OF THE TIGER
There is little real news this time of year… so thanks Sylvester Stallone for behaving like the drunken fool in the country club clubhouse, beyond comfortable, but complaining about the business decisions that got him where he is.
Seriously… what would Sly say if someone called his kids “moronic vulture children” as opposed to,say, “overpampered spoiled rich kids?”
But the punch drunk king of The Expendables didn’t stop there. Whatever enabling idiot that feeds Stallone bad Photoshop came up with a new doozy.
“These bloosdsuckers who have destroyed so many families.”
What the FFFF are you talking about, Sylvester?
Perhaps it is time to point to Sly’s magnificent producing record.
Creed II (producer - produced by, p.g.a.)
Ultimate Beastmaster (TV Series) (producer - 1 episode, 2017)
S.T.R.O.N.G. (TV Series) (executive producer - 3 episodes)
The Contender (TV Series) (executive producer - 21 episodes)
Father Lefty (TV Movie) (executive producer)
Heart of a Champion: The Ray Mancini Story (TV Movie) (executive producer)
Staying Alive (producer)
How would anyone dare to compare their producing experience with his… least of all Irwin Winkler?!?!?
The Wolf of Wall Street (executive producer)
'Round Midnight (producer)
The Right Stuff (producer)
Raging Bull (producer)
Comes a Horseman (executive producer)
New York, New York (producer)
The Gambler (producer)
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (producer)
Point Blank (producer - uncredited)
What a hack!!!! He’s only been Oscar nominated 3 times!!!!
And that doesn’t include the 9 Rocky titles…
Creed III (producer)
Creed II (producer)
Rocky Balboa (executive producer)
Rocky V (producer)
Rocky IV (producer)
Rocky III (producer)
Rocky II (producer)
Mocking the producer that made you into a movie star for being 94 (at 76 yourself) is not a winning strategy. Samaritan is already going direct-to-Amazon and if I was Paramount+, even with Taylor Sheridan and Terence Winter running things, I would be nervous about the series to come, Tulsa King. You really want your “Costner” pulling a Will Smith on a 94-year-old producer of 4 Oscar-nominated films?
OK, I'm gonna tell ya! Sly has the history to be a legendary talent, but instead of that, he’s becoming a legbreaker to some cheap, second rate film shark! Himself.
Take the win and shut up, Rock.
WSJ & The Stat That Misleads
So The Wall Street Journal ran this story - Marvel Studios Box-Office Slump Shows Limits of Disney’s Superhero Universe - that includes this doozy of a misleading quote:
”Since the beginning of 2021, the average global box-office gross of the six films produced by Marvel has fallen to $773.6 million—roughly half the $1.5 billion average of the previous six films.”
The author, Robbie Whelan, may be new to the beat, thus prone to playing himself with a silly and misleading analysis.
The last 6 “Marvel produced” movies have grossed $4.73 billion with money still coming in on Thor: Love & Thunder.
The 6 before that, which included both of the conclusion of the saga of the previous decade of films, grossed $9.08 billion. (Let’s put aside rounding down by $380m… peanuts!)
The 6 before that grossed $4.95 billion OR about the same (give or take $380 million) as the most recent 6 Marvel produced movies.
As announced at ComicCon, the next 6 Marvel produced films over the next 3 years (not yet including a new Spider-Man film), will not include “culminating” films either.
The two culminating Avengers films in 2018 and 2019 represented, on their own, $4.85 billion in ticket sales. If you take them out of the mix, the 3 groupings of Marvel produced titles average
Group 1 - $824 million - Ant-Man to Thor: Ragnarok
Group 2 - $1.1 billion - Black Panther to Spider-Man: Far From Home
Group 3 - $788.5 million Black Widow to Thor: Love & Thunder
It is true that Group 2, even without the 2 Avengers movies, is strongest… with the hugely successful introduction of Black Panther, Captain Marvel, the first Marvel-crossed over Spider-Man, and the modest ($623m ww) Ant-Man 2.
However, the last 6 titles were down 28%, not 50% and the first 2 titles (or 3) were clearly slowed significantly by COVID in July and September 2021. Black Widow’s number was lower than any Marvel film since 2011.
I agree that Marvel is not shooting its biggest bullets anymore. Maybe Hemsworh will come back for one more Thor… or maybe they will go with Portman as Thor, somehow. But the hugely popular Downey Iron Man, Johansson Black Widow, and Evans Captain America are done. So the challenge to engage audiences with “new” heroes and new people in the old suits is real. But also, overstated by many. Time will tell… always. But everyone should be a little more patient, either way.
Sam Bee Viewership (June) 466k / Bill Maher Viewership (June) 817k
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The streamer is making a belated localization push in the region's three biggest entertainment markets — Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Bloomberg pissing in the Zaslav swimming pool out of Boredom
Warner Bros. Discovery Leadership Team Draws Ire Over Diversity
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