Morning Consult Entertainment: Disney Shifts Release Dates for ‘Mulan’ and ‘Black Widow,’ Will Send ‘Artemis Fowl’ Directly to Disney+

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  • Walt Disney Co. announced new dates for several of its theatrical releases, with “Mulan,” which was initially set to debut in March, now scheduled to premiere in theaters on July 24, and “Black Widow” and “Eternals” now respectively slated for Nov. 6, 2020, and Feb. 12, 2021. The studio also said it will send “Artemis Fowl,” which was scheduled for a May 29 theatrical release, directly to Disney+. (Los Angeles Times)
  • ViacomCBS Inc. finalized its acquisition of a 49 percent stake in Miramax and entered an exclusive distribution agreement via Paramount Pictures for Miramax’s film library, as well as an exclusive first-look deal to work on projects based on Miramax’s intellectual property. The company paid approximately $150 million at closing and will make an annual investment of $45 million over the next five years, totaling $225 million, to fund new film and television productions. (The Hollywood Reporter)
  • Quibi, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s short-form streaming service that has drawn nearly $1.8 billion in investments, launches today with 50 shows, with monthly subscriptions priced at $5 for an ad-supported version and $8 for an ad-free version. Whitman said she doesn’t think the coronavirus pandemic will affect Quibi’s chances for success, noting that homebound consumers “would really like a 10-minute break.” (The New York Times)

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Former CBS CEO Joseph Ianniello Earned $125 Million Last Year
Tim Baysinger, The Wrap 

Former CBS CEO Joe Ianniello earned $125.4 million in compensation and severance pay in 2019, according to an SEC filing on Friday. Of that $125 million, Ianniello brought in $84.7 million in severance pay.

Disney Executives Pushing Back Over Terms of Pay Cuts
Tatiana Siegel, The Hollywood Reporter 

A battle is brewing between Disney executives and senior leadership over the company’s pay cuts that were disclosed Monday. Multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the affected executives at the vp, senior vp and executive vp level are upset that the salary cuts were decided unilaterally and represent a 20 percent to 30 percent slash in their earnings. 

China’s Film and TV Production Makes Partial Restart After Coronavirus Hiatus
Patrick Frater, Variety 

Filming of movie and TV series is underway in China following a months-long shutdown forced by the coronavirus outbreak. But not the whole country is back at work, or working at the same speed.

Film Academy Pledges $6 Million to Help Industry Workers Impacted by Virus Crisis
Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter 

Contrary to popular opinion, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gives out more than just Oscars. On Friday, Hollywood’s most elite organization announced that it will be donating $6 million to “help support motion picture employees and their families facing severe financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with institutions focused on supporting diverse filmmakers.”

Gersh Agency Implements Pay Cuts Amid Deepening COVID-19 Health Crisis
Nellie Andreeva, Deadline Hollywood 

Gersh has become the latest Hollywood talent agency to impose salary reductions in an effort to mitigate the devastating impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the entertainment business as the death toll worldwide continues to rise.

Why working actors are anxious about paying their next bills too
Stacy Perman, Los Angeles Times 

Actress Kathleen Wise had just started dress rehearsals for a play she was directing at the Clark Studio Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City when she was given three hours to shut down the production and vacate the theater.

Hollywood Is Flocking to Agent Richard Weitz’s Private Pandemic Parties
Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter

What started as a few friends hanging out has quickly become Hollywood’s most coveted invitation — and no one has to leave home to get in.

As celebs shelter at home, paparazzi hustle to find new angles
Josh Rottenberg, Los Angeles Times 

In his more than two decades working as a paparazzi photographer, Giles Harrison has gone to some wild extremes to get the shots he wanted. He was once chased across the Gulf of Mexico by law enforcement personnel in gunboats while trying to photograph Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston on vacation. 

Directors Guild of America Members Ratify Film-TV Contract by ‘Overwhelming’ Margin
Dave McNary, Variety 

Members of the Directors Guild of America have approved a three-year successor deal to the DGA master contract covering feature film and primetime television. The DGA made the announcement Friday, saying its members had backed the agreement by an “overwhelming” margin. 


Venice Film Festival Rules Out Digital Option
Nick Vivarelli, Variety 

The Venice Film Festival is forging ahead with preparations for the September 2-12 event despite coronavirus concerns, and ruling out the possibility that the fest could go digital — at least not in its entirety. “The Venice Film Festival cannot be replaced by an online event,” a Venice spokesman told Variety on Monday.

Jordan Peele’s ‘Candyman’ Postponed Until September
Rebecca Rubin, Variety 

“Candyman,” a reboot of the 1992 slasher film, has pushed its June 12 release date because theaters are still closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It will now open on Sept. 25, 2020.

Tribeca 2020 to Offer Select Online Programming, but Still Hopes for a Live Festival
Kate Erbland, IndieWire 

Postponed just weeks before it was set to roll out in New York City, the Tribeca Film Festival has announced plans to offer select programming from its 19th annual festival to be presented online. Festival director Cara Cusumano told IndieWire that the new initiative is just one new facet of a rapidly changing landscape, though the hope still remains to hold a traditional festival in the coming months.

No Light For China’s Cinemas As National Film Bureau Emphasizes Streaming Over Theatrical
Rebecca Davis, Variety 

China’s National Film Bureau issued its first public statement in months on Friday in which it emphasized ensuring a strong supply of online streaming content, rather than getting cinemas back to work. 

Oscar Contenders in 2020 Must Face a Complex and Uncertain Path to Success
Anne Thompson, IndieWire 

Every studio is juggling: When will their movies be finished, and when can theaters reopen? If we are to believe the National Association of Theater Owners spokesman John Fithian, this moving, 3D jigsaw puzzle will come together as early as June. 


‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’, ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ & ‘Rachael Ray’ Return To Television
Nellie Andreeva, Deadline Hollywood 

Another talk show, whose production had been shut down over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, is returning to television. The Ellen DeGeneres Show will be back on Monday, April 6, with remotely produced new episodes filmed at DeGeneres’ home amid the health crisis.

TV Productions May Have Shut Down, But Some Postproduction Jobs Remain
Margeaux Sippell, The Wrap Pro

When the coronavirus pandemic first forced Lane and Rodney Holland to start doing their jobs in postproduction from home, they felt lucky to be spending more time with their children — and to have work at all. But for the first time since they started working in the television industry more than 10 years ago, the married couple isn’t sure when they’ll find their next job.

Fox Sports Helps Advertisers Plan for NFL and MLB’s Return Following Pandemic
Jason Lynch, Adweek 

It’s been three weeks since the en masse cancellation of every major sports league left TV in “uncharted territory,” with networks and advertisers scrambling to navigate the ad sales fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brooke Baldwin is second CNN anchor to test positive for coronavirus
Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times 

Brooke Baldwin has joined Chris Cuomo on the roster of CNN on-air talent testing positive for the coronavirus.

Local TV Sees Spike in Viewers, Drop in Ads in Coronavirus Crisis
Lillian Rizzo, The Wall Street Journal 

Local television stations are experiencing a rare surge in viewership as more Americans tune in for coronavirus updates. But the stations are unlikely to benefit financially because of a cutback in advertising spending.

Comedy Central to Shop David Spade’s ‘Lights Out’; Show Won’t Return to ViacomCBS Cabler
Daniel Holloway, Variety 

“Lights Out With David Spade,” which halted production last month due to the coronavirus pandemic, will not return to Comedy Central, Variety has learned. Instead, the ViacomCBS-owned brand is preparing to shop the late-night talker — which it produces through its Comedy Central Productions — to outside networks and platforms.

Technology and New Media

Netflix Adding New Tiger King Episode
Nick Caruso, TVLine

Heads up, Tiger King fans: We haven’t seen the last of Joe Exotic. According to Jeff Lowe, one of the show’s infamous zoo owners, Netflix is adding one more episode of the docuseries that took the Internet by storm.

Sales of video games soar as the coronavirus leaves millions trapped in their homes
Eustance Huang, CNBC 

Sales of the latest video games have smashed records as millions are stuck at home after governments around the world locked down entire cities and pushed for social distancing measures to stop the coronavirus from spreading.

Music streaming subscriptions grew by nearly a third in 2019
Jon Fingas, Engadget

Streaming music still has a lot of room to grow, it appears. Counterpoint Research has determined that paid music subscriptions jumped 32 percent in 2019 to reach 358 million thanks to a mix of exclusives, phone service bundles, regional price cuts and extended trial periods.

With Sports on Hold, Restless Gamblers Turn to Videogames
Cecilia D’Anastasio, Wired 

If there’s one word to describe hardcore sports fanatics right now, it’s “desperation.” With coronavirus-related season suspensions hitting the NBA, NCAA, MLB, NHL, and more, habitual sports-watchers are turning to marble racing, binge-watching Netflix, and asking sportscaster Joe Buck to narrate their sex tapes.

E3 will return June 15th, 2021
Jon Fingas, Engadget 

The Entertainment Software Association may have cancelled E3 2020 due to COVID-19, but it’s still committed to holding an event next year. The organization has announced that E3 will return between June 15th and June 17th, 2021.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

Americans Don’t Trust the Media Anymore. So Why Do They Trust the Cuomos?
Ben Smith, The New York Times 

At the end of 2013, CNN executives sent word to Chris Cuomo: No more interviewing your brother on television. The CNN host had taken a little heat when he addressed his older brother, Andrew Cuomo, deferentially as “governor” in an interview about a train accident in New York. 

What WarnerMedia’s Bold New Hire Means for Its Future
Josef Adalian, Vulture 

The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t anywhere close to being over; hardly anything feels close to normal right now. But things not related to the crisis are still happening, especially in the business world.

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