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THB Headlines, August 24, 2022
I try to focus on real news. My Twitter feed is where I drop silliness about silliness. But it’s dry season for movie news. Buzzards are lazily flying over my computer. People are on vacation or about to leave for their last vacation of the summer. The Fall Festivals start popping next week.
So I am going to do headlines today like I haven’t before and just plow through what there is and add commentary. We’ll see how it goes.
I’m trying to stay away discussing the Olivia Wilde cover story in Variety. I just keep thinking…
JUST PERSONAL THOUGHTS… NOT NEWS…
…how would people be treating the 38-year-old male director who left his wife for the sexy 28-year-old pop star/wanna-be actor? And I suppose the answer would be, “What’s new? Ten years is nothing in this misshappen business.”
I hope the movie is great. I have liked Ms. Wilde in the brief moments I have had with her as press. I wish her and her family and her boy toy and her ex all the best moving forward. But I don’t really want to be in her mess, whether it’s her fault or not. Don’t need to debate how Florence Push feels about her mess either. Only thing I want to know about J-Lo and B-Af’s wedding is if Marty Brest was in attendance.
If Ms. Wilde is sincerely worried about her kids being aware of her being served papers at CinemaCon, she should be a lot more worried about them being aware of her sharply dissing her ex in an gossip girl Variety cover story. Why is this a part of selling a movie at all?
Make it about the work. The work is what is important.
I guess I had something I wanted to say. But I shouldn’t have an opinion. It’s none of my f-ing business. Seriously. But it is the top story at Variety and on the top of pages, from various aspects, in all the Penske trades, as well as other media. My work is about being aware of everything going on around me. But this is not news. If we in the media are honest, what we know is actually paper thin. (I know… what’s paper?) We know what we have been told by publicists and professional actors taking reasonably self-serving positions. The writing about all this nothing presses readers to take sides. This is my stop. Getting off the bus. ding-ding.
And here we have Sam Mendes coming for his next Oscar… if you want it instead of him, you’re going to have to pry it out of Warren Beatty’s warm, aging fingers…
When I say Sam is coming… I hear this now old animated short by Brad Neely whose song that has George Washington coming to get the Brits still sticks with me… sometimes NSFW in lyrics… really about how we overstate the truth about heroes in this culture. Almost embarrassed that it makes me laugh every time.
I have nothing against Ms. Campbell and this is the right time of year for a puffy interview in which almost no hard questions are answered directly. Peacock is still at 27 million subs, which means they can do silly stuff like day-n-dating Halloween Kills and not lose more than $10 million or so off the gross.
Personally, I am fascinated with where the numbers are for the day-n-dating Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. Black audiences are loyal audiences. They tend to show up for those opening weekends. Perhaps Peacock is looking for more Black people to sign up and this bait. But I have an odd feeling this film will overperform expectations in theaters, even with the day-n-date. We will see in 10 days.
One thing Campbell points out - without being asked - is that the Universal titles are converting to Pay-1 on Peacock instead of HBO, which started for the big studio with The 355, released in January and on Peacock in February. The Black Phone was released in theaters in June and on Peacock in August. And their biggest title so far, June’s Jurassic World: Dominion lands on Peacock next month, Minions: The Rise of Gru and Nope to follow.
And she is loving the following for the Premier League. (That’s soccer, for those of you who don’t care about futbol.)
But Comcast’s annual content spend for Peacock is still under $5 billion and not pushing that anytime soon. As a believer that streamer content spending has become insane with most streamers, I am loathe to complain that they are being painfully conservative. But they are being painfully conservative. I’m not even saying they have to spend just to spend. But the reason Peacock does not feel like a streaming aggressor is because it has not been one. It’s not an irrational feeling.
Things will improve with the Pay-1 and no question, Ms. Campbell can lead them to better days… if they let her.
In the meanwhile, a puff piece in a Penske trade is always lovely. And it’s not even on Christmas Day.
Another expert in the field of speaking a lot and saying (almost) nothing…
NYT - ‘Cable Cowboy’ John Malone Sees More Streaming Bundles Ahead
I’ve watched this thing 4 times and I am still not completely sure what to make of it. It is very cool looking at the Disney animated version of Pinocchio come to life in a live setting. But from this trailer, it is hard to know what the film is hiding… or whether the trailer is just trying to get too much in.
If it works, then pushing it to Disney+ is going to be the streaming blunder of 2022 (a title currently held by the direct-to-D+ release of Turning Red). If it doesn’t work, I will be sad for myself and everyone involved, starting with Zemeckis, who has a few shots in the trailer that look like an improvement on Roger Rabbit.
Meanwhile, Netflix has this stop-motion version of Pinocchio in the wings…
Nicole LaPorte goes deep…
Royals, Obamas and the End of the $100M Vanity Deal
The parody-named “Vulture” does a nice job laying out the history of A24... but can’t help but mock the distrib because, you know, mocking success is the coolest!
Vulture - The Cult of A24
I guess the new version of the phrase is “tallest ant?”
Paramount+ Says ‘Secret Headquarters’ Is Its Most-Watched Movie Launch, But Offers No Numbers
“When you scream, you scream louder when people are near you. When you feel something, you feel deeper when other people are right next to you,” Jamie Lee Curtis told the CinemaCon crowd. “You don’t get that experience with movies in your living room. You get it in movie theaters.”
Theater Owners Expected to Play ‘Halloween Ends’ Despite Simultaneous Release on Peacock
Oh… that spirit in making a $30 million independent! Fewer than 100,000 people watch the Independent Spirit Awards this March… so instead of trying to make the show more about indies and rebuilding their niche, they sell out to bigger movies and also go the full woke. Will we be watching the show on Tik Tok by 2025?
Deadline - Spirit Awards Set 2023 Date, Go Gender-Neutral And Increase Budget Cap
And I’m out of ammo… so here are a few “classic” (aka “old”) THB newsletters that you might want to take a look at if you are a new subscriber… interesting for me to look back to last year…
Nov 16, 2021 • THB #30: Why Streaming Is In Stasis
Nov 3, 2021 • THB #21: The Globes Troubles - Some Financials
Oct 19, 2021 • THB #12: How Can The Academy Save Itself?
And here are some long-ago interviews from DP/30… in glorious 1080p!