PIRATE STREAMING SITE REVENUE DOWN, BUT OSCAR TITLES UNDER THREAT.
Updated: 6 days ago
FLM INDUSTRY NEWS WEEKLY DIGEST, SUNDAY APRIL 4TH
Pirate Streaming Site Revenue Down, Despite Audience Growth & Innovation
Revenue generated by pirate site operators in Russia is down for the third successive year. According to a new report by cybersecurity firm Group-IB, the market is now worth around $59m, down from a high of $87m in 2018. Enforcement action by BREIN, the MPA and ACE in 2019 disrupted the market but pirates have been quick to adapt, offering new systems and deploying countermeasures.
Citing research carried out by TMT Consulting, Group-IB says that during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the number of people using legal streaming services reached 63 million viewers, an increase of 17% over the previous year. This led to legal streaming services generating revenues of around $365.7 million.
And the Winner is...Predictive MUSO Piracy Data and the 2021 Oscars
The pandemic has had a major impact on film releases, wiping out most of the films slated for 2020. The lack of a Joker or Once Upon A Time in Hollywood has cleared the way for a more diverse slate of movies to make it into the 2021 Academy Awards nominations. A varied list of titles like Promising Young Woman, Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank and Nomadland take up this year’s nominations for the Best Picture category. Despite Promising Young Woman’s writer, director and producer Emerald Fennell and lead actor Carey Mulligan both being British, the title is not available to watch in the UK and at the time of writing is still listed as ‘coming soon/ May'. When a title is not available in a country or region, the audience will find it via piracy because piracy is often driven by access
When the 2020 Best Picture winner, Parasite, was nominated for an Oscar, MUSO’s piracy demand showed a massive increase for the title, peaking in both unlicensed streaming and P2P/torrenting on the night of the Oscars, February 10th 2020. If Parasite, which was widely released prior to the Oscar ceremony on February 10th, experienced significant piracy after its nomination, MUSO data suggests that 2021’s nominees will experience similar piracy demand. This demand will be magnified by the lack of availability in some countries.
It is hard to place a monetary loss on piracy, because of the many variables associated with each release, but assuming Promising Young Woman or the other nominated titles that are not widely available follows a similar trajectory to Parasite, then we might expect around 25-30m downloads and streams for these titles. At a $10-$20 ticket or VoD price, this is a lot of lost revenue due to a windowing decision.
1.25 Billion Streaming Subscribers Expected by 2024
According to a new forecast from Lightshed Partners, SVOD subscribers will nearly double from roughly 650 million worldwide at the end of 2020 to 1.25 billion by the end of 2024. For comparison, the number of global pay TV subscribers surpassed 1 billion in 2018, per Business Wire. It’s worth noting that Lightshed’s projection excludes Apple TV+ and treated all Amazon Prime subscribers as Prime Video users. Regardless, the reality is clear: the crowded SVOD field has only expedited the exodus away from pay-TV rather than cannibalize one another.
Three million U.S. pay-TV customers opted out of a traditional bundle in 2018, followed by six million in 2019 and 6.6 million last year. By 2024, an estimated 46.6 million U.S. households will have cut the cord, per eMarketer. While we maintain serious reservations about the long-term viability of certain SVOD platforms such as Paramount+ and Apple TV+, the truth is that streaming has a far greater impact on linear television and theatrical windows than it does on fellow streamers.
'Coming 2 America' Scores Big Debut on Amazon, Nielsen Says
Eddie Murphy's Coming 2 America debuted to a big audience on Amazon. The sequel to 1988's Coming to America leads Nielsen's streaming rankings for the week of March 1-7 with 1.41 billion minutes of viewing time — making it one of the most watched films to debut on a streaming service in the six months Nielsen has been releasing weekly rankings. Only Wonder Woman 1984 (2.25 billion minutes on HBO Max), Soul (1.67 billion on Disney+) and The Christmas Chronicles 2 (1.52 billion on Netflix) have had bigger streaming openings since Nielsen started tracking weekly viewing time in August 2020.
Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon — which was a premium release on Disney+, costing an extra $30 to view — also made the top 10 movies. Users watched 355 million minutes of the film, or about 3.32 million full showings based on a 107-minute run time.
‘Godzilla Vs. Kong’ Eyes Biggest Domestic B.O. Opening During Pandemic After Setting Hollywood Records Abroad
Even though Warner Bros has the Legendary title Godzilla vs. Kong on its streaming service HBO Max (in its first 31 days) and in theaters starting Wednesday, the movie is set to deliver a sum of cash to exhibition as they look for a comeback, especially with Los Angeles and New York reopened. Godzilla vs. Kong set pandemic offshore opening records for a Hollywood movie this past weekend with $123 million, and the Legendary monster mash is expected to deliver the biggest domestic debut for a major studio movie during this span (since late March 2020) with an estimated $20M-$30M over Wednesday through Sunday.
International box office: ‘Godzilla Vs. Kong’ delivers top pandemic debut for US film
Warner Bros and Legendary are celebrating the international debut of Godzilla Vs. Kong, robustly grossing a confirmed $123.1m, and topping the box office in all 38 of its opening markets. The “monsterverse” mash-up delivered the biggest opening for a Hollywood title in the pandemic era. In like for like markets, advises Warner Bros, the film is tracking 13% ahead of Godzilla: King Of The Monsters (2019) at the same stage of its run, and 61% ahead of Godzilla (2014).
Imax punched above its weight, delivering $12.5m, which is nearly 10% of the global total and is the biggest Imax opening for a US film since December 2019. The $9.5m haul from China accounted for 14% of the total, from just 1% of the screens playing Godzilla Vs. Kong.
Hong Kong Film Festival's Opening Movie Canceled Due to Suspected Censorship
The Hong Kong International Film Festival has scrapped its opening-night world premiere of Where the Wind Blows, a widely anticipated crime thriller directed by local industry veteran Philip Yung. The festival said in a statement that the cancellation was made "upon request from the film owner" due to "technical reasons." Over the past several years, such references to vague "technical problems" have become a common euphemism for last-minute censorship complaints by China's increasingly repressive film regulators.
Saudi Cinema Chain Muvi Outlines Rapid Expansion Plans
Muvi Cinemas KSA, the first homegrown cinema brand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, says it is on target to reach 307 screens across the country over the next 12 months. The firm added eight new multiplexes to the brand’s portfolio in 2020. Within the next 12 months, Muvi aims to launch 23 new sites across eight key regions in Saudi Arabia, adding 204 screens and 22,872 seats. The expansion will include nine new sites added in Riyadh; seven in Jeddah; and two in Taif. The fleet will include 15 premium large format screens. The expansion will bring the brand’s total number of seats available for moviegoers to more than 35,000.
Muvi, which opened its first location in 2019 at the Mall Of Arabia, in Jeddah, today owns and operates ten cinemas—with 103 screens—across the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Damman, Dhahran, Hofuf and Jubail. The company also has secured eight additional locations (currently in the design phase) for opening in 2023 and 2024, putting the company on track to exceed 600 total screens by the end of 2024. The total investment will stretch into hundreds of millions of dollars, claims the company.
Nordic families preferring Disney+ over Netflix
New analysis by Stockholm-based consultancy Mediavision has found Disney+ already has a “very strong” position among families with children. Just two weeks after its debut on the Swedish market, Disney had already attracted a subscriber base of 450,000, a point that it took Netflix more than a year to reach.
Mediavision puts the position of Disney+ down to its strong consumer segment among families with children. In total, kids content accounts for 13% of the total runtime (hours of content) across the Swedish VOD streaming market in Q1 2021. The share of kids content is higher for Disney+ than other streaming services included in the analysis, excluding services solely providing kids conten). However, in absolute terms – Netflix has the market’s largest kids content library in number of titles and total runtime.
Barry Jenkins Moves Overall TV Deal to HBO/HBO Max
The 'Moonlight' filmmaker and his Pastel banner were previously housed at Amazon, where he has had 'Underground Railroad' in the works since 2017.
Dave Franco, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Steve Howey, More Join Jamie Foxx In Netflix’s ‘Day Shift’
Dave Franco, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Oliver Masucci, Steve Howey and C.S. Lee are set to join Jamie Foxx in Netflix’s Day Shift. J.J. Perry, best known for his work as a second unit director and stunt coordinator on films like The Fast and the Furious and Bloodshot, will make his directorial debut on the film.
Peter Berg’s Film 44 Sets First-Look Deal With Netflix
The new deal follows the success of last year’s “Spenser Confidential,” which Berg produced and directed at Netflix. The action film, starring Mark Wahlberg and Winston Duke, was a massive hit, with Netflix reporting 85 million members watching the film in its first four weeks. The filmmaker and his scripted entertainment banner Film 44 have produced films such as “Lone Survivor,” “Deepwater Horizon,” “Mile 22,” “The Rundown,” “Hancock” and “Friday Night Lights” (both the 2004 feature film and the Emmy-winning television adaptation).
Nate Mann Joins Cast For ‘Band Of Brothers’ Sequel At Apple
Nate Mann is set to join the ensemble cast for Apple Studios’ Masters of the Air, from Playtone and Amblin Television. Austin Butler, Anthony Boyle and Callum Turner are already on board to star. The limited series, which will be produced by the companies, reunites Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman following their Emmy-winning work on Band of Brothers and The Pacific. In the series, which will make its global debut on Apple TV+, Mann will play the lead role of Major Rosie Rosenthal.
Netflix Near $400M+ Deal For ‘Knives Out’ 2 & 3
Netflix is closing in on a deal to make two sequels to the 2019 hit whodunit Knives Out, which Rian Johnson will direct with Daniel Craig reprising his role as super sleuth Benoit Blanc. Johnson, who wrote the original, has written the sequels and is producing with partner Ram Bergman. Sources said the deal will be worth north of $400 million, making it one of the biggest streamer movie deals in history.
A sequel was expected, but the recent discreet auction that went on between three streamers — Apple and Amazon were the others — was a surprise. How was it possible? The original was acquired in a single picture deal by MRC, which distributed the film through Lionsgate. The first film cost $40 million and turned in a global gross north of $311 million.
‘To All The Boys’ Spinoff Series Starring Anna Cathcart Eyed By Netflix
The 2018 To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before spawned a successful movie trilogy for Netflix that helped revitalize the romantic comedy genre. Now the screen franchise from Awesomeness and ACE Entertainment is eying a future behind the final movie To All the Boys: Always and Forever with a TV series spinoff.
Netflix Lands ‘Every House Is Haunted’
Netflix has landed Every House is Haunted, a script by Jason Pagan & Andrew Deutschman that will be directed by Corin Hardy, helmer of The Nun and Gangs of London. An insurance investigator tries to debunk claims that a couple’s death was caused by a haunted house, but his doubts are challenged by a psychic and the mysterious occurrences he witnesses with his own eyes.
Sarah Michelle Gellar To Star In Amazon Studios YA Pilot ‘Hot Pink’
If ordered to series, Hot Pink would join Amazon Studios’ growing YA series slate, which includes The Wilds, already renewed for a second season, and the upcoming Panic.
'Head of the Class' Reboot Lands Series Order at HBO Max
HBO Max is ringing the bell on a Head of the Class reboot. The streamer has handed out a series order to the multicamera comedy from writers Amy Pocha and Seth Cohen and executive producer Bill Lawrence. The show is based on the former ABC comedy of the same name, which ran from 1986-91. Like the original, the new Head of the Class is a multicamera comedy about a group of overachieving high school students who meet their greatest challenge: a teacher, played by Isabella Gomez (One Day at a Time), who wants them to focus less on grades and more on experiencing life.
Jack Reynor Joins William Gibson Adaptation 'The Peripheral' for Amazon
ack Reynor, who co-starred with Florence Pugh in Midsommar, has landed a leading role in The Peripheral, a sci-fi mystery show that Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are making for Amazon. The project adapts the novel by Cyperpunk author William Gibson and involves the usual concoction of Nolan-Joy and Gibson ideas, ranging from multiple timelines to cyber and nano-technology.