THB Headlines, July 11
Wow… have the summer doldrums ever started. It will be an interesting next month as the garbage studies and analysis that usually gets trade play only in August are now getting play every week of the year. I wonder how far we will stoop (see below).
I guess I could start today by pointing to a late night entry last night about the HFPA and their latest angle of looking legit. This follows close on the heels of a more elaborate piece last Thursday. I hope to never have to do an explainer on them again.
Box Office Monday
Thor: Love & Thunder hammered Sunday estimates with $143m domestic and $159m worldwide. That Tops Thor: Ragnarok’s openings of $122m domestic and $107m international.
‘Thor: Love And Thunder’ Nails $302M Global Debut; ‘Minions’ Gru-ving To $400M WW – International Box Office
As you can see on my chart, this was the biggest weekend of 2022 to date and 1 of 3 to crack the $200m ceiling… which is how many $200m+ weekends we had in 2019 by this date.
In 2019, there would be 3 more… the opening weekends of The Lion King later in the summer and Frozen II then Star Wars IX in November and December.
Nope, D.C. Superpets, and Bullet Train seem likely to help the domestic market to the $2.9 billion summer that I predicted in April. The long hold of Top Gun Maverick could push the summer just past that mark. Still, matching 2019’s $4.3m domestic summer was the dream.
What is holding back the theatrical market, which seems to be working on all cylinders? If you’ve been reading me, you know… the number of movies being released widely into theaters.
The question of whether COVID slowed production so much that there could not have been more movies in theaters this summer. That will be proven or disproven by next summer. It is true that all but one film in the summer Top 10 was started before or in the early days of COVID 2020 (3 are animated and The Black Phone is the outlier, starting production in 2021).
I’m The Greatest Star
From Beanie Feldstein…
What’s odd about the rolling in of the new cast, which was announced and rolled out today, is that none of the pieces I have seen - including the traditionally nasty NY Post - mention that Funny Girl’s box office dropped under $1m a week for the first time on the weekend ending July 3 and not by a little. They hit $734k. This was 2 weeks after announcing that Beanie Feldstein and Jane Lynch would be leaving in September. They got a small box office bump the week after that announcement, but then the drop. The box office result from last week is not yet public, but Beanie announced her early exit 2 days ago and now, the new casting.
The show will fight its way through August, as the next team gets rehearsed.
Variety smartly assembles the Glee-d version of Ms. Michelle singing 9 songs from Funny Girl’s score.
Watch Lea Michele Perform ‘Funny Girl’s’ Biggest Songs on ‘Glee’
Old Boss, Same As The Old Boss?
Is Bill Kramer aware of the message he is sending to the 10,000+ Academy members worldwide at a time when the Oscars have had their worst ratings in history for 5 years running?
Today, a perfectly good hire was announced.
Motion Picture Academy Names Jeanell English EVP For Newly Created Impact & Inclusion Position
But here is the problem… and to clarify it, I will quote Pete “I Heart The Academy” Hammond’s lead: “In an attempt to further cement its dedication to diversity across all activities, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences…”
The first 3 public acts by Bill Kramer during his CEO tenure were dealing with 3 African-American women. First, he dropped the $400,000 a year COO role of non-movie person, Christine Simmons. Then, not unexpectedly, he pushed well-liked and very agenda driven Jacqueline Stewart to the Museum president’s job he had held. And now, somewhat replacing a wide range of Simmons’s responsibilities, he hired Ms. English.
There is nothing inherently wrong with any of this. But as the new CEO, Kramer has an opportunity to embrace and reinvigorate The Academy’s entire membership, not just those who want to make it into The Academy of Inclusion Arts & Sciences.
I have great sympathy for those who feel, fairly, that The Academy was a closed club for white men for a long time. It was. But in the last 6 years, The Academy has been more focused on apologizing for its past than being what it is… a closed club that now has almost half women and still-less-than-a-societally-balanced mix of races… which, to the public, is meant to be an organization celebrating film... not just TV.
I am open to Bill Kramer, even though my first reaction was that him being hired was just a failure of imagination. (Maybe, like Oscar hosts and producers, no one more qualified really wants to do it, even - in this case - with the giant salary.) Maybe he will be a breath of fresh air. One of the credentials I keep getting thrown at me is that he quit Dawn Hudson’s regime early. But that was a long time and a half-billion dollars ago.
I hope he will soon open his eyes and understand that as important as the mission of making The Academy look more like real life is, the bigger goal has to be finding a way to make The Academy relevant again. That is going to take everyone involved. Every single member.
And Now, Silly Gossip…
Alec Baldwin Can’t Stop… Won’t Stop…
World population to reach 8 billion by November even as growth slows
RIP: Elspeth Tavares, Founding Journalist Behind ‘The Business of Film,’ Dies at 73
Netflix Interviewing Multiple External Candidates for New Senior Role Overseeing Ad-Supported Tier
Minor Story At Worst… Netflix probably expected to hire more, plans changed, and office space gets sublet. But N would likely still love to buy more stage space in Los Angeles.
Netflix to sublease 180K sf of offices in Burbank
I just canceled cable — here’s how much I saved and my new replacement
Yes, Virginia, The Marvel Heroes Are Spending More Time Whining…
MCU Producer Confirms Phase 4's Central Theme