Morning Consult Entertainment: Netflix Said to Be 1st Studio to Impose Vaccine Mandate for U.S. Productions
 

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July 29, 2021
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As Movie Theaters Recover, They Can Win Over Gen Zers With Free Tickets, Food 

As movie theaters continue to reopen, young moviegoers who are ready to visit cinemas again are an essential component of that comeback. But exhibitors have their work cut out for them as concerns about the delta variant grow and new films continue to debut on streaming services. However, Morning Consult data suggests that theaters can win over the demographic with free tickets and food, and as one analyst suggests, by extending the moviegoing experience beyond buying a ticket and popcorn. Read more here: Gen Zers Are Vital to Movie Theaters’ Recovery. Here’s How Theaters Can Win Them Over

 

Top Stories

  • Netflix Inc. will reportedly require casts and “Zone A” crew members working on U.S. productions to be vaccinated for coronavirus, becoming the first major studio to mandate vaccinations. The studio will reportedly allow limited exemptions for medical, religious or age reasons, as well as potential exemptions for projects that are currently filming. (Deadline)
  • Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal saw adjusted earnings climb 13 percent in the second quarter, even with a $363 million Peacock-related loss, with the service now hitting 50 million sign-ups, up from 42 million in April, and more than 20 million monthly users, which the company said was due to the premiere of both “The Boss Baby: Family Business” and “Dr. Death,” as well as the start of the Olympics. Revenue for NBCU’s studios unit climbed 8.4 percent to $2.2 billion, which the company attributed to an increase in theatrical revenue, while theme park revenue increased to $1.1 billion. (The Hollywood Reporter
  • Fox News’ Fox Nation streaming service inked a deal with Warner Bros. to stream six Clint Eastwood films, including “Dirty Harry” and “Pale Rider,” next month, with additional Warner Bros. titles debuting on the service in January. The pact comes as Fox News continues to expand its streaming offerings, with an international streamer and a planned weather news service. (Variety
  • Walt Disney Co. is reinstating an indoor mask mandate for guests in both its California and Florida theme parks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended all Americans, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in certain indoor settings. Disney’s new masking guidelines will go into effect tomorrow. (Bloomberg
 

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What Else You Need to Know

General
 

Hollywood Wanted to Go Back to Business as Usual. The Delta Variant Had Other Plans

Brent Lang and Marc Malkin, Variety 

On Monday night, as the sun set in New York City, 200 people gathered at the Directors Guild of America screening room to watch Ryan Murphy’s “Impeachment: American Crime Story” before heading to an exclusive dinner at The Pool restaurant.

 

Hollywood Productions Halted as Covid-19 Emerges on Sets Again

Joe Flint and R.T. Watson, The Wall Street Journal 

Production of movies and TV shows is getting disrupted again because of Covid-19 and uncertainty over vaccination protocols, a setback as networks and streaming services remain hungry for fresh content.

 

Hungarian HFPA Member Admits Plagiarizing, Recycling Quotes in Scarlett Johansson Profile

Beatrice Verhoeven, The Wrap Pro 

Hungarian journalist and longtime Hollywood Foreign Press Association member Anikó Navai has admitted to plagiarizing and recycling quotes for an unauthorized Scarlett Johansson interview published last month in a Hungarian magazine, TheWrap has learned.

 

Delta variant haunts Halloween plans

Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times

Despite a resurgence in coronavirus cases, Halloween celebrations are back on the calendar. How scary is that?

 
Film
 

Sony Extends Tom Rothman’s Contract, Adds CEO to Chairman Title

Beatrice Verhoeven, The Wrap 

Sony Pictures’ Tom Rothman has added CEO to his chairman title and has also extended his contract with the studio to continue oversight of the film division, the studio announced Wednesday.

 

Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi to Retire at End of Year

Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter 

Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi is set to retire at the end of the year, with Sean Gamble, CFO & COO, named as Zoradi’s successor from Jan. 1, 2022.

 

Will Dwayne Johnson and ‘Jungle Cruise’ Give the Box Office a Much-Needed Jolt?

Jeremy Fuster, The Wrap 

After releasing multiple blockbusters per year for much of the 2010s, Dwayne Johnson hasn’t been seen in theaters for over 18 months. But that dry spell comes to an end this weekend with his Disney adventure film “Jungle Cruise,” his first film since “Jumanji: The Next Level” in December 2019.

 

‘Stillwater’ Was Delayed for Almost a Year—Here’s Why the Director Is Grateful

Don Steinberg, The Wall Street Journal 

Covid-19 may have created a disaster for theatrical releases and movie theaters, but it turns out the disruption worked out for Tom McCarthy. The director of “Stillwater,” starring Matt Damon as a father trying to get his daughter out of a French prison, says the pandemic delay gave him a chance that studio-backed filmmakers rarely get—to step away from the film for months and come back to sharpen it with fresh eyes.

 

New York City’s Paris Theater to Reopen in August

Rebecca Rubin, Variety 

The Paris Theater, a beloved arthouse cinema in New York City, is reopening its doors next month.

 

Why Are There Suddenly So Many Music Documentaries?

Josh Terry, Vice 

If you were to rattle off even a partial list of all the music documentaries that are out right now, you’d sound insufferable: Have you seen the new HBO Max film, “Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage?” What about Netflix’s “Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell?”

 

Focus Features to Hold First Oscars FYC In-Person Screening Event for ‘Stillwater’ With Matt Damon in 350-Seat Theater

Clayton Davis, Variety 

No rest for the weary, especially when it comes to Oscar campaigning. Focus Features has set up the first Oscars FYC special screening and conversation of the awards season for Tom McCarthy’s “Stillwater” with star Matt Damon and the writer and director scheduled to attend in-person at the 350-seat Harmony Gold Theater in Los Angeles.

 
Television
 

Hallmark’s Mahogany Card Brand to Be Adapted Into TV Movies Beginning in 2022

Angelique Jackson, Variety 

For more than 30 years, Black families have celebrated occasions big and small with Hallmark’s Mahogany cards, a line designed with those consumers in mind. Now, Mahogany will launch on the small screen, with a quarterly slate of original movies coming to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries in early 2022.

 

TV Lags Far Behind Film in Disability Representation, Nielsen/RespectAbility Study Reveals

Michael Schneider, Variety

Television still falls far behind film in depicting characters with disabilities, according to a new study released on Wednesday by Nielsen and the nonprofit org RespectAbility.

 

People’s Choice Awards Expand to NBC

Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter

The People’s Choice Awards is expanding its TV footprint. The annual awards will air on NBC as well as cable sibling E! in 2021, marking the show’s return to a broadcast network since 2017.

 
Technology and New Media
 

Lionsgate Play Reveals Southeast Asia Expansion Plans, Slate

Naman Ramachandran, Variety 

Starz-backed streamer Lionsgate Play has revealed ambitious expansion plans in Southeast Asia, local commissions in India and a 60-strong English-language programming slate.

 

Black TikTok Creators Grapple With How Far to Take Strike: “Why Should We Have to Leave?”

J. Clara Chan, The Hollywood Reporter

Megan Thee Stallion’s “Thot S—” is a near perfect blueprint for a viral TikTok dance and sound. The beat is catchy, the chorus is easy to remember, and the lyrics offer clear — and fun — instructions for listeners.

 

Activision Blizzard employees say CEO’s letter ‘fails to address’ key concerns

Jay Peters, The Verge 

In a new letter, Activision Blizzard employees said that CEO Bobby Kotick’s note addressing allegations of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination at the company “fails to address critical elements at the heart of employee concerns.”

 

NBA Plans Daily, Weekly Podcasts in New Deal With IHeartMedia

Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg 

The National Basketball Association is developing a slate of original podcasts about the league’s greatest moments and players, part of a new deal with IHeart Media Inc., the largest radio station owner in the U.S.

 

The Future of Social Audio Is Bite-Size

Antoinette Siu, The Wrap Pro 

Since Clubhouse pushed the concept of social audio, there has been gaining interest from upstart companies and social media giants to get ahead of the next big trend in audio apps. Now the content economy is carving out a new market: the creation of bite-size audio recordings or micro-podcasts that run anywhere from 90 seconds to a few minutes.

 

Netflix, Beware: YouTube Could Bring in More Money in 2021

Sean Burch, The Wrap Pro

The fast-approaching object in Netflix’s rearview mirror? That’s YouTube.

 

Facebook Ad Revenue Jumps to $28B In Second Quarter

J. Clara Chan, The Hollywood Reporter

Facebook’s ad revenue increased 56 percent year over year for a total of $28.58 billion in the second quarter of this year, according to earnings reported on Wednesday.

 
Music
 

Music labels split over Spotify’s push to promote songs for lower royalties

Anna Nicolaou, Financial Times

Executives complain new Discovery Mode is ‘payola’ but one Texas frontman sees it as the future. 

 

Universal Music Posts $1.8B in Quarterly Revenue Ahead of Public Listing

Ed Christman, Billboard 

Ahead of its upcoming public listing this fall, Universal Music Group’s revenue skyrocketed to 2.022 billion euros ($2.438 billion) during the second quarter, up 19.6% from 1.69 billion euros ($1.833 billion) in Q2 of 2020.

 

How Safe Is a Big Fest Like Lollapalooza During the Covid Era?

Althea Legaspi, Rolling Stone 

Lollapalooza is set to take place this week despite an uptick in Covid-19 cases and growing concern and criticism, including from a prominent Chicago infectious disease expert. So just how safe is it to attend?

 
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