Morning Consult Entertainment: Walmart to Host Drive-In Movie Screenings in Partnership With Tribeca Enterprises

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  • Walmart Inc. and Tribeca Enterprises are partnering to turn 160 Walmart parking lots into contact-free, drive-in movie theaters. The Tribeca Drive-in team will help the retailer host 320 screenings, beginning in August and running through October. (Los Angeles Times)  
  • Peacock has inked a non-exclusive deal with ViacomCBS Inc. that will see films and television shows from the ViacomCBS library — such as “The Godfather” and “Ray Donovan” — stream on the Comcast Corp.-owned streaming service. The programs will be available across Peacock’s free and premium tiers, according to a person familiar with the matter. (CNBC)
  • The Screen Actors Guild is postponing its awards ceremony, shifting the date from Jan. 24, 2021, to March 14, 2021, after both the Oscars and Golden Globes rescheduled their ceremonies. The guild is also extending the eligibility window for films and television shows by two months. (The Hollywood Reporter)

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Variety Streaming Room: An Exclusive Q&A And Screening With The Creators & Star Of Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet 8:00 pm
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Variety Streaming Room: An Exclusive Pilot Screening And Q&A With Creators & Star of David Makes Man 7:00 pm
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Variety Streaming Room: An Exclusive Finale Screening And Q&A With Creators & Stars of Homeland 5:00 pm
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New Report: How the Pandemic Has Altered Expectations of Remote Work

COVID-19 is reshaping the future of work more rapidly than employers could have planned for.

As balancing business and safety needs becomes more complex and talent expectations evolve, employee work preferences and habits are also changing. Download the full report to learn what employers can do and expect as the new norm takes place.


Hollywood’s C-suites are overwhelmingly white. What are studios doing about it?
Ryan Faughnder and Meg James, Los Angeles Times 

Protests against police brutality prompted leading entertainment companies to declare their support for social justice causes and diversity. But those same companies have a poor track record when it comes to hiring and promoting Black executives into their highest levels, critics say. 

U.K. Allows Film, TV Productions to Be Exempt From Quarantine Rules
Lexy Perez, The Hollywood Reporter 

The U.K. Government will allow a number of film and television productions to be exempt from following quarantine rules and resume filming safely this summer. The government announced the exemption Sunday in hopes of allowing production of international blockbusters to get underway. 

Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Among Projects Granted COVID-19 Exemption by New Zealand
Jeremy Fuster, The Wrap 

New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment announced this weekend that five more international film and TV productions, including Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” adaptation, have been granted exemptions from the country’s COVID-19 travel ban, allowing crew members from outside the country to work there pending COVID testing and a quarantine period.

How Disney could be facing a lot more than a lost summer
Steven Zeitchik, The Washington Post 

Disney, the quintessentially American entertainment company, has long owned July 4. As the nation celebrated its independence last year, the firm was behind three of the country’s top five movies, including new installments of Spider-Man and Toy Story; dominated cable ratings with tennis and a hot dog-eating contest; and drew large crowds to its new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme area in Anaheim. 

How Georgia Hopes to Lead Hollywood’s Return to Production
Bryn Elise Sandberg, The Hollywood Reporter 

As the film and TV industry attempts to restart after a COVID-19 shutdown, some states like Georgia hope to be trailblazers. Home to Tyler Perry’s sprawling film studio, Pinewood’s Atlanta outpost and other production facilities, the Peach State is establishing itself as a pioneer in the industry’s quest to get back to work.

Hollywood and the Police: A Deep, Complicated and Now Strained Relationship
Tatiana Siegel, The Hollywood Reporter 

In the weeks leading up to June 23, Kendrick Sampson was sleeping at most five hours a night and marching in a Black Lives Matter protest every other day. At one rally in Los Angeles, he was hit by the police’s rubber bullets multiple times.

The WGA Reaches Tentative Agreement With Major Studios, Combats ‘Rollbacks’ for Writers
Chris Murphy, Vulture 

On Wednesday afternoon, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) fought off “significant writer-centric rollbacks” and reached a deal with the major studios on a new contract, potentially avoiding a WGA strike that befell the entertainment industry in 2007. 

Kanye West announced on Twitter he’s running for president, but it’s too late for him to appear on the ballot in 6 states
Connor Perrett, Business Insider 

On Saturday night, Kanye West announced in a tweet his intention to run for president. But it’s too late for him to file as an Independent candidate in six states and it doesn’t appear that he has registered with the Federal Election Committee, either.

‘Justice League’ star Ray Fisher accuses Joss Whedon of ‘gross, abusive’ behavior on set
Tracy Brown, Los Angeles Times

“Justice League” actor Ray Fisher is speaking out about his experiences while working on the 2017 superhero film. In a Wednesday tweet, Fisher claimed that director Joss Whedon’s “on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable.”


Why Movie Theater Chains Are Unlikely to Reopen Anytime Soon
Trey Williams, The Wrap Pro 

As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the U.S., the roadmap for theaters to draw the curtains and turn the lights on again is looking more and more precarious. AMC Theaters, Regal, and Cinemark all this week pushed back the planned reopening dates for their theaters from early July to later in the month.

Alamo Drafthouse Moves Into Large-Scale Layoffs, Including Creative Director Mike Sampson
Tom Brueggemann, IndieWire 

Alamo Drafthouse is converting furloughs to layoffs, a move that includes key staff, a company spokesman has confirmed.

Studios Keep Delaying Movies. What’s the Cost?
Rebecca Rubin, Variety 

Over the past few months, it’s become something of a predicable game: Studios announce plans to release a new film in theaters, the pandemic upends those plans, and said studio delays the movie again. Rinse, wash, repeat.

Cineplex Starts Litigation Against Cineworld Over Failed Merger
Greg Chang and Divya Balji, Bloomberg 

Cineplex Inc. has begun legal proceedings against Cineworld Group Plc after the latter backed out of a deal that would have created the biggest operator of movie theaters in North America.


Conan O’Brien To Film TBS Show At Largo, Observing Health & Safety Protocols, Becomes First Late-Night Host To Make Move
Peter White, Deadline Hollywood 

Conan O’Brien is heading to Largo at The Coronet to shoot his TBS talk show, becoming the first of the late-night hosts to move his show out of his house and make tentative steps to a return to full production. Conan will begin filming at the LA comedy club from Monday July 6, in accordance with government and industry health and safety protocols.

Fox News Fires Anchor Ed Henry After Sexual-Misconduct Investigation
Benjamin Mullin, The Wall Street Journal 

Fox News fired Ed Henry, the co-anchor of its weekday morning program “America’s Newsroom,” after receiving a sexual-misconduct complaint against him from a former employee, the network’s executives said.

Production Cliff-Edge Forces TV Industry to Plunder The Past
Thomas Pfeiffer, Bloomberg 

Broadcasters are having a hard time trying to replace canceled sporting events and live-action TV with something people want to watch. Their plight will only worsen in coming months, when documentaries and scripted programs that couldn’t be made because of the coronavirus would normally begin to hit screens.

Cable network FX had to fuse with Hulu to survive the streaming era
Adam Epstein, Quartz

Four months after FX began debuting some of its original series on Hulu rather than cable TV, the companies say the new arrangement is going swimmingly. FX’s reach expanded by 130% after the “FX on Hulu” hub was launched in March, Hulu announced this month. 

Why Sports Documentaries are Seeing a Boom Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
Daniel Holloway, Variety 

Rarely in recent memory has a TV show been so propitiously timed as “The Last Dance.” The 10-episode documentary series about the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls premiered in May, weeks after the coronavirus pandemic caused the shutdown of all major live sports events, leaving fans bereft.

Technology and New Media

A Month After HBO Max Launched, Why Is It Still Not on Roku or Amazon?
Tim Baysinger and Sean Burch, The Wrap Pro 

HBO Max remains off of the two most-used streaming platforms in the country more than a month after its launch. The impasse between WarnerMedia and Roku and Amazon Fire TV is indicative of the evolving fight between those who make the content and those who distribute it. 

Ready to Watch More Theatrical Releases From Home? How COVID-19 Could Spark a Tectonic Shift to Premium VOD
Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter 

The news that Warner Bros. and Disney have again delayed the releases of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and the live-action remake of Mulan, respectively, amid the coronavirus pandemic was a blow to hopes that the movie business could soon return to normal ­— and a surge in on-demand and streaming viewership has experts questioning whether short-term solutions could lead to lasting changes in distribution models.

‘Mad Men’ Sets Free Streaming Return, with Disclaimer Explaining 2009 Blackface Episode
Zack Sharf, IndieWire 

“Mad Men” ended its longtime streaming run on Netflix last month, but the wait to stream the Emmy-winning drama series isn’t going to last much longer. Distribution rights to all seven seasons of “Mad Men” have returned to AMC Networks, which has struck a deal to allow the Jon Hamm-led series to stream on Amazon’s free, ad-supported IMDb TV service.

‘Hamilton’ Is a Hit For Disney+. Will More Broadway Follow?
Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg 

A recording of a five-year-old Broadway musical is the most talked about new movie in the U.S. during July 4 weekend – a time typically ruled by blockbusters like “Apollo 13,” “Back to the Future” and “Men In Black.

Facebook Boycott Leaders Call Out Hollywood Studios for Lack of Support
Sharon Waxman, The Wrap Pro 

While some 800 companies have joined in on the Facebook boycott #StopHateforProfit, thus far Hollywood – among the largest advertisers on the tech platform – has remained absent from the cause, according to the organizers of the ban.

Netflix’s Adaptation of ‘The Baby-Sitters Club’ Aims at Homebound Families
Kelly Gilblom, Bloomberg 

When producer Naia Cucukov was in the sixth grade, “The Baby-Sitters Club” book series about preteen girls and their adventures in entrepreneurship helped her survive an awkward stretch of adolescence. Now, decades later, Cucukov is helping “The Baby-Sitters Club” get through an uncomfortable time in the entertainment industry. 

Would You Pay More for Netflix? Growing Number of Its U.S. Subscribers Are OK With Higher Prices
Todd Spangler, Variety 

For American consumers, Netflix’s value proposition has escalated during the coronavirus pandemic — and the question for the No. 1 subscription streamer is when, not if, it’s going to next raise prices.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

How Netflix Beat Hollywood to a Generation of Black Content
Ben Smith, The New York Times 

The Black documentarian Stanley Nelson says his phone has been “ringing off the hook” as America is looking again at racism and the Black experience. Justin Simien, the creator of “Dear White People,” says the reactions to his pitches have grown warmer.

Kilar’s Radical Vision for WarnerMedia: Putting Consumers First
Jessica Toonkel, The Information 

A few weeks ago, WarnerMedia’s new CEO, Jason Kilar, met with a group of executives developing a version of the company’s HBO Max streaming service that would carry commercials. WarnerMedia plans to make this version cheaper than the $15 a month commercial-free offering that debuted last month.

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