News Round Up: Green Knight UK Release Pulled, HBO Max Does Well Overseas, Netflix Down In U.S.

Green Knight UK Release
Nick Adams
Updated on 25/03/2022

Film Industry News Weekly Digest, Sunday July 25th

‘The Green Knight’ Pulled From U.K. Theatrical Release

Pulled from its scheduled launch on Aug. 6, with cinemas advised by Entertainment Film Distributors — which is handling the U.K. release — to withdraw all trailers and posters until further notice. THR understands that the U.K. decision — which comes just two weeks before the official launch — was made by Entertainment due to COVID-19 concerns in the country, which is currently experiencing a surge in infection rates due to the Delta variant of the virus, a situation that has forced several major productions to pause. Exhibitors now fear that it could lead to a flurry of similar moves by distributors.

‘Black Widow’: Theatre Owners Blast Disney’s Day & Date Strategy For Undermining Marvel Pic’s Box Office & Future Revenues

The National Association of Theatre Owners has finally spoken out about the financial peril involved in Disney’s ambitious day-and-date theatrical Disney+ release of Black Widow. In a press release dropped Sunday afternoon NATO asks how can a well-reviewed, well-received, highly anticipated Marvel title underperform leading to a first weekend Friday-to-Saturday collapse of 41%, and a 67% drop in Weekend 2? The organization comes to the same conclusions as we did...Piracy, and Disney+ at-home cannibalization that impacts not just the box office but the pic’s subsequent home window as well.
The Disney theatrical day-and-date Disney+ model “ignores that Premiere Access revenue is not new-found money, but was pulled forward from a more traditional PVOD window, which is no longer an option,” reports NATO...“Piracy no doubt further affected Black Widow’s performance, and will affect its future performance in international markets where it has yet to open,” says the NATO release, with pristine copies “also available on myriad illegal streaming sites all over the internet.”

HBO Max and HBO Add 2.8M U.S. Subscribers in Second Quarter,

HBO and HBO Max reached 47.0 million U.S. subscribers as of the end of the second quarter, up 2.8 million from 44.2 million as of the end of the first quarter, “driven by HBO Max retail subscriber growth,” WarnerMedia parent and telecom giant AT&T said Thursday morning. That was also up by 10.7 million from the year-ago quarter and exceeded analysts’ expectations for the latest period.
Global HBO and HBO Max subscribers rose from around 63.9 million as of the end of March to about 67.5 million as of the end of June, with international users growing by 760,000 in the latest period. HBO Max launched in Latin America towards the end of the second quarter and also brought to market its advertising-supported service tier that month.

Netflix loses North American customers

Netflix lost 430,000 subscribers in the US and Canada (UCAN) in the second quarter. Although the company puts this mostly down to its “large membership base” in the region “coupled with a seasonally smaller quarter for acquisitions”, industry observers have pointed out that the loss was double what it had previously predicted...Netflix had 73.95 million paying customers in UCAN in Q2, down from 74.38 million in the previous quarter. However, average revenue per membership amounted to $14.54, up from $14.26 in Q1 and $13.25 in the same period last year. Elsewhere, Netflix gained only 190,000 paid net additions in EMEA in Q2, compared to 1.81 million in the first quarter. In the LATAM and APAC regions the figures were 760,000 (360,000) and 1.02 million (1.36 million) respectively. All told, the company added around 1.5 million paid memberships in Q2, which was slightly ahead of its 1 million guidance, with APAC being the main driver for growth. Total global paid memberships in Q2 stood at 209.18 million, up from 207.64 million in the first quarter, with the figure forecast to rise to 21.68 million in Q3. At the same time, Netflix expects the global streaming paid net addition total to more than double from 1.54 million in Q2 to 3.5 million in Q3.

Netflix: “Time Is Right” For Gaming As Streamer Plans Expansion; Video Games To Be Included In Monthly Subscription

The streamer said Tuesday in its second-quarter shareholders’ letter that the “time is right to learn more about how our members value games” and added that original games would be included in the existing subscription cost, rather than as an add-on. Netflix added that it wants to build on what it has done with projects such as Black Mirror:Bandersnatch and its Stranger Things games and that its initial push with be focused on games for mobile devices.

With Lockdowns Lifting, Netflix and Other Streamers Battle Slowing Subscriber Growth Rates

According to newly released research from Kantar Media, only 3.9% of U.S. homes added a new subscription streaming service in the quarter, down from 12.9% a year ago, which marks the largest drop in several years. According to Kantar, 74.6% of U.S. households (about 95.8 million) now have at least one streaming video subscription. Kantar’s research demonstrates that for now, Amazon Prime Video is winning the subscriber acquisition war...Amazon accounted for an estimated 24.2% of new SVOD subscribers in the quarter, followed by HBO Max (12.5%), Disney Plus (11.6%), Discovery Plus (9%) and Netflix (8.4%), per Kantar research.

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