News Round Up: Strong Opening For Black Widow, Peacock/Universal Movie Deal, Apple TV Free Promo End

Nick Adams
Updated on 25/03/2022

Film Industry News Weekly Digest, Sunday July 11th

‘Black Widow’ Spins $39.5M Friday, Pandemic Opening Record Now At $89M+

Also, for the first time during the pandemic, all films at the weekend box office will exceed $100M, with an estimated $125M per box office sources...Essentially, it’s a big indicator that exhibition is back to some normalcy, even if 80% of 5,88K U.S. and Canadian theaters have reopened...Imax and PLF repped over 30% of Black Widow‘s ticket sales so far.

‘Black Widow’ Advance Ticket Sales Are Fandango’s Best Of The Year To Date

Black Widow advance ticket sales are also besting that of of pre-pandemic Marvel titles Spider-Man: Homecoming (domestic opening B.O. $117M) and Doctor Strange (opening $85M).

‘Black Widow’ To Weave $140M Weekend Around The World

Currently China, the biggest Marvel market in the world, has not yet dated Black Widow. Further, much of South East Asia is closed or not fully operational. That includes Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, India and the Philippines which are largely shuttered as well as Indonesia and Thailand which have about 40% of cinemas open. The region is mad for Marvel and so the current state of things is expected to hamper sky-high opening grossesLatin America is also hot on heroes, but Peru and Chile are shuttered while Argentina is only half open.

Cannes: France Leads European Box Office Revival, Raising Hopes for Business Rebound

France just had its best weekend returns since the start of COVID, with 3.5 million tickets sold from Wednesday June 30 through Sunday, July 4. The result — double the previous weekend and on par with equivalent figures from 2019 — was helped by France’s La Fete du Cinéma promotional event, which sees theaters nationwide offer discounted tickets to kick off the summer season.

Every Movie Theater vs. Streaming Release Is Riddled With Pros and Cons

Every studio recognizes that movies are important drivers of SVOD,” Rich Greenfield, partner at technology, media and telecommunications research firm LightShed, told Observer. “Right now, they love to double dip by getting their box office profits and an SVOD bang. But studios are increasingly realizing that shorter theatrical windows lead to bigger SVOD bangs.”

China Blocks $5.3 Billion Merger of Live Streaming Firms Huya and DouYu

Chinese regulators have formally blocked the proposed merger of Huya and Douyu, two of the country’s largest live streaming operators...“If Huya and Douyu merged, that would… further strengthen Tencent’s dominant position in the video game live-streaming market,” the regulator said. “This has the effect of eliminating or restricting competition, is not conducive to fair market competition. It is not conducive to the healthy and sustainable development of the online gaming and video game live streaming market.”
Chinese regulators have been operating a campaign to rein in the country’s tech giants which are seen as too large and too influential. They also appear to have gone cold on Chinese companies that have U.S. share listings.

Universal Pictures Deepens Ties to Peacock Streaming Service in New Movie Deal

Starting in 2022, theatrical releases from Universal—including the next “Jurassic World” and new “Halloween” movie—will have their TV debut on Peacock, the streamer launched by its parent company last year.The movies will appear on Peacock no later than four months after their theatrical premiere, joining other studios drastically shortening the length of time they typically wait to make their biggest releases available on the small screen. But it also gives Universal a much-needed advantage over its streaming competitors when every studio’s biggest releases are made available as soon as possible.

Amblin Extends Pay-TV Deal With Showtime Through 2024

While Universal releases Amblin’s titles theatrically, those movies won’t be going to Peacock in 2022 like the rest of Uni’s slate after four months in theaters.

Apple Ends Previous Free Apple TV Plus Promotions, New Device Buyers Will Get Three Months Gratis

In a bid to jump-start Apple TV Plus — and boost device sales — Apple has offered one year free to buyers of new iPhones, iPads, Apple TV set-tops and Macs. The company extended the free-streaming offer several times, but as of this month it expects Apple TV Plus users to start paying. And starting July 1, new buyers of products like iPhone or Apple TV 4K will qualify to get only three months free of Apple TV Plus. The question is: How many of the free riders will Apple TV Plus be able to retain? Apple hasn’t disclosed how many Apple TV Plus subscribers — paid or non-paid — it has signed up...At $4.99/month, Apple TV Plus is cheaper than other subscription VOD packages like Netflix, Disney Plus or HBO Max. But compared with rivals, it has a far smaller lineup, currently offering 71 original series, films, documentaries and specials — all original productions, with no licensed library content.

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