A week with many company earnings announcements, although the most anticipated, Discovery WarnerMedia, which looks set to bring layoffs and more merger news, has not yet been made public.
Here are some of last week’s news from Los Angeles:
DC’s League of Superpets, opening this week, takes No. 1 with $23 million. Not blockbuster and somewhat below expectations, just in line with The Bad Guys. Second place goes to Nope with $18.5 million. Thor comes in third with $13.1 million and a stellar cume of $301.5 million. The Minions is already the first animated film to pass $300 million at the U.S. box office during the Covid era. This week from fourth place, it comes in at a cume of $320 million. The week’s other new release, Vengeance, with $1.8 million stays at number 10 with less than 1,000 screens.
The National Football League (NFL) enters the streaming world with its own platform, NFL+ with two plans, $4.99 and $9.99 per month, although they do not include the major games.
STX chairman Adam Fogelson is leaving the company to go to Lionsgate as vice president. This has intensified rumors of a strategic alliance between the two companies.
The Venice Film Festival has announced the films in competition. As always they will have several US films out of competition with big-name actors bringing light and color to the festival. The lineup can be seen here.
The Toronto Film Festival has also unveiled its lineup for this year.
The HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association), is still in the process of reinventing itself to save the Golden Globes. Thus, they have created an independent entity in conjunction with Eldridge Industries (an investment firm founded and managed by the HFPA’s interim CEO) to run the Golden Globes properties and preserve its philanthropic programs as an independent non-profit entity.
Lionsgate and IMG signed a multi-year agreement for consumer products (merchandising, etc.) including the new installments of The Hunger Games and John Wick sagas.
Sony continues to divest most of its TV channels. This week Banijay acquired the German division.
Searchlight TV is to produce for Hulu a Spanish-language series La Máquina, which will reunite Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna (for the first time since Y tu mamá también).
NBCU has announced results. It has increased earnings by 19.5% and revenue by 18.7%, but with losses at Peacock of $467 million and paid subscribers stagnant at 13 million.
Amazon also announced its results. Revenue improved 7%, with a loss of $2 billion, but as Wall Street’s expectations improve, its shares have risen. They have blamed the losses on inflationary pressures and logistical problems caused by the pandemic. The CEO has announced measures to control costs and that they expect good results in Prime Video in September with the NFL rights and the premiere of the highly anticipated Lord of the Rings series.
Apple also announced results. Apple services (TV+, Music) now have 860 million paying subscribers (up sharply from 825 last quarter), but its revenue appears stagnant at $19.6 billion ($19.8 last quarter). Total revenue is up 2% to $83 billion thanks mainly to the sale of iPhones. Its big bets in audiovisuals will be in sports (it has the rights to baseball and European soccer) and the movie Causeway with Jennifer Lawrence, which will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. Let’s not forget the 52 Emmy nominations led by Ted Lasso and Severance.