WEEKLY FILM INDUSTRY NEWS DIGEST, UPDATED MONDAY NOVEMBER 16
Disney+ Tops 73 Million Subscribers
Disney+ is available in more than 20 countries around the world and will launch in Latin American markets including Brazil later this month. On the with investors, CFO Christine McCarthy said that Indian streamer Hotstar accounted for a quarter of Disney+'s subscribers. That equates to around 18 million of the service's total paid members.
‘Mulan’ PVOD Results: Disney CEO Bob Chapek “Pleased”, But Stays Mum On Numbers
Disney CEO Bob Chapek said on Thursday’s Q4 and year-end earning call that he was “pleased with the results of Mulan as a premiere access title,” which repped the studio’s foray in providing an extra tier PVOD access to Disney+ subscribers to a premium title, this one originally intended for a worldwide theatrical release.
Industry buzz has been that the Mulan experiment, at least on the streaming side, was not a success, given how quiet the studio has been about reporting revenue and viewership figures.
Disney Analysts Boost Stock Price Targets as Streaming "Is What Matters"
Streaming service Disney+ again was one of the bright spots when the Walt Disney Co. reported its latest quarterly results after the Thursday market close, with Wall Street analysts giving the Hollywood giant credit for that along with better-than-expected financials in other units. Several on Friday raised their stock price targets on Disney, with some increasing their valuation of the direct-to-consumer (DTC) business.
‘WandaVision’: Disney+’s Marvel Series Gets 2021 Premiere Date
WandaVision, the first series from Marvel Studios to launch on Disney+, will premiere on Jan. 15, 2021 on the streaming service. There was an anticipation that we’d see WandaVision as soon as December, but it appears that Disney+ is spacing out new product during the pandemic, particularly with the Christmas Day drop of Pixar’s Soul and the mid-December wrap-up of Mandalorian season 2.
'Wonder Woman 1984’ & All The Theatrical Release Date-HBO Max Madness At Warner Bros
The internet is in a tizzy over a Bloomberg article tonight that the sequel to the $821M-plus grossing 2017 DC hit, which broke several records for women at the box office, is headed for an HBO Max play a week or two following its Christmas Day theatrical run. I hear that’s not the option the studio is careening toward. However, according to exhibition sources, I understand that WarnerMedia brass have kicked around the idea of a simultaneous theatrical and HBO Max release on Christmas Day, particularly given how the pandemic is poised to shut down California exhibition in two weeks as more counties move from red to purple tier, with other U.S. cities imposing curfews. Oh, yeah, and Western European theaters are closed.
AFM: Local Titles Fill the Studio Gap, But Can They Replace Blockbuster Box Office?
"Countries that had a strong local-language market before COVID have been much more resilient, audiences have come back to see those [home-grown] movies," says Claude-Eric Poiroux, general director of pan-European art-house cinema network Europa Cinemas.
The situation in South Korea, the world's fifth-largest theatrical market, is instructive..."The nature of our market is that it usually consists of two halves — Hollywood film and Korean film — and they each usually take around 50 percent," says Kim Jin-sun, CEO of South Korean film studio and exhibitor Megabox Plus M. "Just because one half disappears, it doesn't mean the other 50 percent will suddenly grow...The market can only thrive when there is healthy, positive competition between [local language] and Hollywood films."
AFM: Streaming Sales Provide Bright Spot for Indies
"During lockdown, people as captive audiences binge-watched more, but also started getting tired with their big mainstream services," says Wendy Bernfeld, CEO of Rights Stuff, a digital services consultancy which also buys films for international VOD platforms. "They had time to look at more niche or thematic services such as [arthouse specialist] Mubi, [LGBTQ+ platform] OutTV, or [horror-focused] Shudder. Things that they'd normally either not have found or had time to try...That's meant a much larger audience for these niche players."
A larger audience has meant more cash for acquisitions, and more binge-watching has meant more buyer demand at AFM. And not just for the bigger budget projects that typically dominate the market. Smaller movies are also getting snatched up.
Why Netflix Is Experimenting With Linear Programming in France
The linear channel, named Direct, will offer a mix of French, international and U.S. feature films and TV series that are available on the streaming service...the Netflix audience is shifting and their fastest growing demographic group is in the 45-plus and 55-plus age bracket.
As to why the service is being trialed in France, Netflix’s website states: “In France, watching traditional TV remains hugely popular with people who just want a ‘lean back’ experience where they don’t have to choose shows.