HBO MAX HAS STRONG Q1 2021, CHINA CENSORS OSCARS, TOP GUN MAVERICK MOVES FROM SUMMER
FILM INDUSTRY NEWS WEEKLY DIGEST, SUNDAY APRIL 4TH
US Streaming Numbers Q1 2021
According to streaming guide Just Watch, HBO Max claims a 8% market share in the U.S. among SVOD services for Q1 of 2021. Peacock is at 5%. Of the two, HBO Max has both the stronger slate of existing and upcoming originals and the more impressive overall library. In March, Disney+ overtook Hulu to become the third largest streaming service in the US. Peacock and Disney+ were the only streaming services to gain market share or remain the same through Q1, while all of the others decreased...
As of Jan. 27, HBO Max had 17.2 million activations. It is believed that the release of recent blockbuster Godzilla vs. Kong as well as features such as Zack Snyder’s Justice League have contributed to additional growth. After one year, Peacock has signed up 33 million accounts. However, NBCU has not clarified what percentage of those accounts subscribe to Peacock’s free tier versus the subscription fee-fueled Premium tier. The streamer also recently absorbed WWE Network and its 1.1 million subscribers. https://observer.com/2021/04/warnermedia-nbcu-merger-streaming-box-office-peacock-hbo-max/
‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Helps HBO Max Punch Into Top 10 Most-Downloaded Apps for Q1
For the first time, HBO Max landed on the quarterly rankings of the top 10 most-downloaded apps in the U.S. for the first quarter of 2021, as tracked by research firm App Annie. The subscription-streaming app stood at No. 9 for the period, just behind Netflix, among perennial top-charters like TikTok, YouTube and Facebook (see full list below). Undoubtedly, HBO Max got a roaring boost by the March 31 premiere of “Godzilla vs. Kong.” In addition, HBO Max also ranked No. 5 overall in the U.S. on consumer in-app spending for Q1, behind YouTube, Tinder, Disney Plus and Twitch, according to App Annie. (Note that Netflix and Spotify are among the streaming services that do not let customers subscribe via in-app payments.)
There’s other evidence that the creature feature provided a significant lift to HBO Max. For the week of March 28, HBO Max registered its third-highest total time spent viewing following the Dec. 25 bow of “Wonder Woman 1984” and after its May 2020 debut..
HBO Max won’t launch in UK, Germany or Italy until Sky deal ends in 2025
WarnerMedia’s streamer HBO Max will not be launched in the UK, Germany or Italy until existing output deals with European pay giant Sky run out in 2025, the company has confirmed.
Netflix Nabs Post-PVOD Streaming Rights to Sony's Feature Films in Multiyear Deal
The exclusive first-pay-window licensing deal in the U.S. will begin with the studio's film slate next year, which includes anticipated titles like 'Morbius' and 'Uncharted.'..Sony has inked a multiyear, exclusive first-pay-window licensing deal in the U.S. that will allow Netflix first-pay-window rights to Sony Pictures titles following their theatrical and home entertainment windows, the studio announced Thursday.
Amazon Studios acquires Chris Pratt sci-fi 'The Tomorrow War', sets July debut
Amazon Studios has acquired worldwide rights to Skydance Media’s sci-fi The Tomorrow War and will debut the Chris Pratt vehicle on Prime Video on July 2. Chris McKay directed the story about a high school teacher enlisted to fight in a war against aliens that takes place 30 years in the future.
France’s Windowing Will Be Revamped by July 1 With Shorter Windows for Generous Streamers
The proposals submitted by the film orgs would give a six-month window to pay TV groups, including Canal Plus Group, as well as streaming services that invest at least 75% of their annual revenue in France in films that will premiere in French theaters. Other subscription-based streaming services would access films at 12 months and 15 months, depending on their investments.
Netflix & Disney+ Hotstar account for 78% of SVOD revenues in India, after surge in subs
Omdia’s latest 2021 Online Video Market and Consumer Trends Report, found that online video subscriptions revenue grew by 142% in India in 2020 primarily due to the global pandemic, with SVOD revenues rising from $265m in 2019 to $639million at the end of last year. Disney+ Hotstar and Netflix accounted for 78% of the total online video subscription market revenues. Omdia said Disney+ Hotstar had tripled its subscriber base from 8 million to 25.6 million subscribers in the past year, with growth partly due to the bundling of Disney+ and Hotstar.
Netflix and Amazon Prime, which has launched shows including Made In Heaven, will spend around $340m on original Indian content, Omdia said, representing 52% of the total investment in 2021. The research also predicts that close to 400 original titles (mostly series and films) will be produced in 2021 by the global and Indian OTT services.
Top Gun: Maverick,’ ‘Mission: Impossible 7’ Among Latest Paramount Delays
Paramount has delayed the release dates for several major films, including “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Mission: Impossible 7,” “Dungeons & Dragons” and more. In total, 10 films had their release dates shuffled, with three of them starring Tom Cruise. “Top Gun: Maverick” is flying to November 19, 2021, from its previous date of July 2, 2021. “Mission: Impossible 7,” which had its spot taken by “Top Gun,” is getting pushed to next year, from November 19, 2021, to May 27, 2022. Its sequel “Mission: Impossible 8,” originally dated for November 4, 2022, is moving to July 7, 2023.
The “G.I. Joe” spinoff “Snake Eyes” starring Henry Golding is the lone movie to jump forward. It will release three months earlier on July 23, 2021, instead of October 22, 2021.
‘Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway’ Moves Up Two Weeks Amid Release-Date Shuffle
Sony said today that its Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway is moving up two weeks from Fourth of July weekend to June 18. The move comes just hours after after Paramount announced that its Top Gun: Maverick exited its July 2 slot and Blumhouse’s The Forever Purge is taking that date.
Blumhouse’s ‘The Forever Purge’ Takes Over ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Independence Day Weekend Slot
The Forever Purge moves up from July 9 to become the lone Independence Day weekend release in the wake of Uni’s June 25 launch of F9 and ahead of Disney’s July 9 release of Marvel’s Black Widow (which now has an easy grab at Imax screens after Top Gun 2‘s flight to November).
Indian Government Quietly Scraps Censorship Appeals Body
The Indian federal government has passed an order that scraps the Information and Broadcasting ministry’s Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), the first avenue of appeal if a filmmaker disagrees with a certification decision. Instead, filmmakers will have to go to court.
China’s Douban Censors the Oscars From Its Platform
China’s influential Douban review and culture online platform has wiped the 2021 Oscars from its site, the latest indication that this year’s Academy Awards have become a political flashpoint in the world’s largest film market. Douban’s decision to wipe the 2021 Academy Awards comes after Chinese authorities last month ordered local media channels not to transmit live coverage of the event and to otherwise downplay the ceremony. Soon after, Hong Kong’s top free-to-air TV network Television Broadcasts said it would drop its coverage as well, despite having carried the event every year since 1969.
The Academy nominated Norwegian director Anders Hammer’s 35-minute film “Do Not Split,” which chronicles Hong Kong’s intense street protests against closer ties with Beijing, to run in the best documentary short subject race. Chinese authorities would never allow footage of such a film being discussed or celebrated to screen in the country.
Italy scraps film censorship as new classification commission launched
Italy has abolished film censorship, ending legislation that has been in place since 1962, and will instead allow distributors to classify their own features…These decisions will be reviewed by a Film Classification Commission of 49 members, led by a government-appointed president. The commission will include film industry figures as well as sociologists, psychologists, lawyers and experts on the protection of children and animals.
France’s Brut Launches Streamer
Brut., a leading digital media startup skewing millennials, has launched a subscription-based service, BrutX, which is dedicated to series, documentaries and films. Priced at €4.99 per month, BrutX offers content reflecting social or political issues, including the environment, women’s rights, the fight against all forms of discrimination, gender and diversity. Launched in France in 2016, Brut. delivers sharp, concise video news, often interviews with a conversational and authentic tone that are shared on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch and Snapchat
EU Parliament Wants Pirated Sports Streams Taken Down Within 30 Minutes
Next week, the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament will vote on a draft resolution. According to the draft, prepared by rapporteur Angel Dzhambazki, sports event organizers face significant challenges in the digital environment due to piracy. To help combat this problem, online services should remove infringing content as soon as possible, within minutes of an event beginning. Specifically, this means that current legislation should be updated to “specify that the removal of the illegal content should take place immediately after reception of the notice and no later than 30 minutes after the event started.”
These takedowns could be sent to streaming services such as YouTube, but they may also be targeted at hosting providers. A similar system is already in play in the UK, where sports streams can be taken down in real-time, with proper court approval.
Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s Archewell Productions Scores First Netflix Order With Invictus Docuseries
Benedict Cumberbatch to Star in Netflix’s ’39 Steps’ Limited Series
‘The Real Magic Mike’ Competition Series From Channing Tatum and Steven Soderbergh Set at HBO Max
Naomi Watts to Lead Amazon’s Remake of Cult Hit ‘Goodnight Mommy’
Kanye West Documentary Lands at Netflix