Started by wilder, April 28, 2020, 09:57:53 AM
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QuoteMGM Motion Picture Group chairman Michael De Luca and president Pamela Abdy have stressed that the Hollywood studio remains a home for filmmakers who want to release their movies in the cinema.Speaking at the Zurich Film Festival's industry event, the Zurich Summit – ahead of next week's theatrical launch of "No Time to Die" – the pair were interviewed on stage by CAA Media Finance co-head Roeg Sutherland. He asked how they convinced filmmakers to work with MGM rather than streamers "which are incredibly competitive about pricing.""The good news is we don't really have to do a heavy sales pitch," replied De Luca. "The filmmakers that came with us prefer theatrical so it pitches itself. They're two very distinct experiences."MGM has an impressive slate of films from leading directors coming up, including Ridley Scott's "House of Gucci," George Miller's "Three Thousand Years of Longing," Paul Thomas Anderson's "Licorice Pizza" and Sarah Polley's "Women Talking.""If you're George Miller, Ridley Scott, Paul Thomas Anderson or Sarah Polley, the people that we made movies with, they all to a person prefer that theatrical experience for their movie if given the choice," said De Luca. "And we gave them that choice.""Our slate reflects filmmakers who preferred theatrical, even in the era of the pandemic," added De Luca.When building its slate, Abdy said there was no specific genre that the studio favored. "We try to go after filmmakers first and foremost. That's what attracts us mostly...for us the directors are the IP."De Luca and Abdy's comments come, of course, just four months after streamer Amazon announced it was buying MGM for $8.45 billion.De Luca addressed the deal only to say that because it is under review by the Federal Trade Commission, "we're still operating like two separate companies because until it closes that's just the normal course of business."He added: "Neither of us will know what the integration might look like until we're on the other side of it getting approved and we're so far away from that."Sutherland also asked De Luca and Abdy why they had "doubled down" on making movies during the pandemic while many other studios were stopping production."We're an independent studio, we don't have unlimited resources," explained De Luca. "Whenever you're at a smaller, scrappier company, you look to what the big guys aren't doing. We're very opportunistic about it..."At that time, the word uncertain was being thrown around a lot – like 'theatrical has an uncertain future' – which the streamers definitely exploited to their advantage, which is fine. It's a competitive pitch for them. But we just thought, 'Okay, the studios are throttling back. Let's do the opposite.'"As a result, said Abdy, MGM has been able to "build up an arsenal of films" ready to be released as the world opens up after the pandemic.
Quote...audiences have learned what Netflix has earned on Squid Game and how much they paid to make the show. The numbers are shocking. While the streaming service has declined to comment on the numbers reported, Bloomberg claims a lawyer for Netflix did attempt to dissuade the outlet from sharing the numbers, saying that it was "inappropriate". But share them Bloomberg has. According to their report of the Netflix leak, the streaming service paid $21.4 million to buy Squid Game. They've earned $891 million.It's worth looking at how Netflix came up with that number. For one thing, it's important to note that only the streaming service itself measures their own viewership data, which is something they use when calculating their own show's value. According to the Netflix leak report, they then create a number based on "impact value". Based on subscriber viewing, which includes the number of people watching and how long they watch for, they calculate how much a show was worth to the streaming service.These numbers from the Netflix leak reveal that the streaming service has put the value of Squid Game at more than 40 times what they paid for it. As the show's creator is currently in talks with Netflix for Squid Game season two and possible spinoff shows, hopefully, they can use this information to secure them a much higher payout this time around for their work. With this information made public, it's certainly something that both Netflix and the show's creator, Hwang Dong-hyuk, may be asked about in the future.Reports have suggested that the streaming service has already fired an employee they claim is responsible for the Netflix leak. Reportedly, this employee is one of the trans employees planning a walkout at the streaming service. It's been reported that one of the reasons behind the leak is that the employee wanted audiences to see what the streaming service paid for Squid Game versus The Closer, a controversial stand-up special from comedian Dave Chappelle.The Closer is allegedly a transphobic special. It has caused a great deal of controversy both online and inside the company as employees reportedly brought up issues with the special before it was streamed. According to the Netflix leak, the streaming service paid $21.4 million for season one of Squid Game, which has become their biggest show ever and earned them $891 million in impact value. Meanwhile, they reportedly paid $24.1 million for the Dave Chappelle standup special, meaning they paid nearly $3 million more than they did for the nine episodes of Squid Game.For now, it can't be said that the Netflix leak reveals all of the relevant information or that it is entirely accurate. However, Bloomberg is a respected outlet, and the firing of the employee responsible has been widely reported. It seems as though Squid Game has been an even bigger earner for the streaming service than anyone knew.
QuoteW&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.AW: In Europe we don't have big studios that invest private money to finance movies. We have a system of public funding that includes national film institutes, film commissions and regional funds, which support the films I make — artistic, not exactly targeted at commercial success and huge box office. My film is a co-production between Poland, Italy, and the Czech Republic. The film was initiated in Poland; I'm Polish and so is my main producer, Agnieszka Wasiak of Lava Films. The film was shot entirely in Italy and the post-production was done in the Czech Republic.During our filmmaking journey, we met other great partners: in Italy, Giovanni Pompili at Kino Produzioni, and in the Czech Republic, Jordi Niubo at I/O Post. In Poland, we received support from the Polish Film Institute, Łódź Film Fund, and from Canal+ Poland. In Italy and the Czech Republic the film was supported by their local public funds. In Italy, we also got great logistic help from Sardinia FilmCommission. Our Czech Partner is a post-production studio, so they also invested in the film with their services and facilities. We are supported by European supranational funding, too: Eurimages and Creative Europe Media program.So it's all a patchwork of different funds and partners, and we were financing "Silent Land" for about four years altogether. It's been a long, arduous process but it was an amazing feeling when we finally closed the budget and could greenlight the production.
Quote"If Channel 4 wants to grow at some point it will need cash. It won't be able to compete with the streaming giants..."
QuoteAn analysis of those 200 production companies found that almost 140 relied on Channel 4 for half or more of their TV production work."Regional production companies are more likely to be reliant on Channel 4projects," said Broughton.""A reduction in spend on original productions could jeopardise 50 to 60 small production companies," said Broughton. "And potentially more if a buyer is particularly risk averse and looks to commission more from larger producers."
QuoteAlmost three decades later, Tarantino is bringing the film into the digital age, announcing that he's auctioning off seven uncut and unseen scenes as Secret NFTs (as IndieWire reports). They'll be available via the NFT market OpenSea for anyone wealthy enough to consider buying them. And with Pulp Fiction being probably Tarantino's most beloved film, there should be a lot of eager fans in competition for the seven NFTs.Tarantino's NFTs will also "include the uncut first handwritten scripts of Pulp Fiction and exclusive custom commentary from Tarantino, revealing secrets about the film and its creator."The director released a statement explaining his decision to enter the world of NFTs. "I'm excited to be presenting these exclusive scenes from Pulp Fiction to fans," he said. "Secret Network and Secret NFTs provide a whole new world of connecting fans and artists and I'm thrilled to be a part of that."
QuoteWho knows, maybe one day we'll see a filmmaker create an entire film and sell it off as an NFT. Just imagine being the sole owner of the latest Paul Thomas Anderson or Greta Gerwig film.
QuoteOver the weekend, “No Time to Die” eclipsed $730 million in global ticket sales, making the James Bond sequel both the year’s highest-grossing Hollywood film and the top performing film at the box office since COVID-19 appeared on the scene and nearly shut down the movie business.The action-packed spy spectacle, which endured several coronavirus-related delays, has become the rare pandemic-era box office hit, which is even more impressive considering adult audiences — the core demographic for “No Time to Die” — have been reluctant to return to theaters. However, the movie cost more than $250 million to produce, at least $100 million to promote and tens of millions more to postpone over 16 months. Insiders say “No Time to Die” needs to make closer to $900 million to break even, a feat that would have been realistic had a global health crisis not entirely upended the theater industry. As a result, the film now stands to lose $100 million in its theatrical run, according to sources close to production. Other industry sources suggest the losses wouldn’t quite reach the nine-figure mark though they would still be substantial.MGM, the studio behind Bond’s latest adventure, disputes this math. In a statement to Variety, the company insisted “No Time to Die” didn’t just break even but was a money maker.“Unnamed and uninformed sources suggesting the film will lose money are categorically unfounded and put more simply, not true,” MGM spokesperson said in a statement. “The film has far exceeded our theatrical estimates in this timeframe, becoming the highest grossing Hollywood film in the international marketplace and passing ‘F9’ to become the highest grossing Hollywood film since the pandemic. With the PVOD release of the film already doing stellar home viewing business, all while continuing to hold well theatrically, ‘No Time To Die’ will earn a profit for MGM, both as an individual film title and as part of MGM’s incredible library.”MGM clearly isn’t conceding that “No Time to Die” is a financial disappointment, but their contention is disputed by others with knowledge of Bond’s budget and with a deep understanding of what a film of that scope and scale needs to earn to get into the black.[...]
QuoteAs a teenager growing up in New Jersey, Pamela Abdy danced competitively five to six days a week. Her dream of making it a career was shattered, along with her foot, during her sophomore year at Boston’s Emerson College, but a professor made a compelling connection by comparing cinema to choreography. Abdy had found her new calling: producing movies.Many years later, as the pandemic shut down Hollywood in spring 2020, MGM chief Michael De Luca convinced Abdy to come on board as president of the studio’s motion picture group. Within weeks of her arrival there, where Abdy now oversees eight creative executives, she and De Luca closed deals to pick up Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza (out Nov. 26) and Joe Wright’s musical Cyrano (Dec. 17, qualifying run), while beating out Netflix and another streamer for Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci (Nov. 24). All three films, each shot during the pandemic, will open in cinemas during the heart of awards season.MGM has hardly been Abdy’s first brush with prestige. Before taking on the studio — and its crown jewel, the James Bond franchise, which finally saw the release of No Time to Die — she got her start at Danny DeVito’s Jersey Films (Garden State, Man on the Moon) and went on to a tenure at Paramount Pictures, New Regency and Makeready, working on such esteemed titles as Babel, Birdman, The Big Short and The Revenant. Abdy sat down with THR on a recent Friday afternoon, hours after arriving back in Los Angeles — where she resides with her husband and 9-year-old daughter — from a tour that included a Rocky anniversary event in Philadelphia and House of Gucci‘s London premiere. She opened up about her early days with DeVito, House of Gucci‘s box office prospects and, pending regulatory approval of Amazon’s $8.5 billion purchase of MGM, her studio’s future once it’s part of a tech behemoth.I might as well get this out of the way. Who is going to be the next 007 now that Daniel Craig is done?It’s wide open. We’ve had very early preliminary conversations with Barbara [Broccoli] and Michael [Wilson], but we wanted Daniel to have his last hurrah.What was De Luca’s pitch when he asked you to take this job?I’ve known Mike for years and years. He called me on a Sunday and said, “I want to do this together. We can be filmmaker-driven. We can chase after all the directors that you and I both love.” I said, “Slow down.”Other studios passed on making Licorice Pizza, Cyrano and House of Gucci. Why take the risk?We’re trying to take original swings. If you look at our slate, the one thing in common is that the movies are filmmaker-driven. There are singular voices telling these stories — Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin, Ron Howard, George Miller, Zach Braff, Michael B. Jordan and more.Some box office pundits say the adult drama is a dying genre on the big screen. Can House of Gucci prove them wrong?Lady Gaga is one of the most remarkable superstars out there. She has older fans and younger fans. And it isn’t just an adult drama. There’s so much deliciousness in the film for everyone. I think more movies like that have to get made.[...]What is your stance on guns on set in the wake of the Rust tragedy?I don’t think there should ever be live ammunition on a set, and we also understand creatively the need to not censor a story where a gun is part of the scene. That said, we take on-set safety seriously on every production and aim to utilize visual effects and enhance sound effects wherever possible.How did you get the job at Jersey Films?I saw an advertisement for an internship. That was in 1995. I had seen the Jersey Films logo on Reality Bites and Pulp Fiction. I loved both.
QuoteThe staggering price tag underscores the value — and scarcity — of TV soundstages in Los Angeles as content producers scramble for space to shoot TV shows and movies to stock their streaming services. ViacomCBS disclosed its plan to sell the property last summer.The deal, announced Tuesday, represents one of the largest ever real estate transactions for a TV studio complex in Los Angeles. In addition to the real estate assets, CBS will turn over its lucrative studio operations business, which includes stage rentals, facilities management and production support services on the lot.
QuoteHackman Capital Partners is one of the world's largest providers of entertainment production facilities. It currently owns four studios in the L.A. region, along with facilities in New York, New Orleans, London and Scotland. In 2019, Hackman Capital purchased CBS' other sprawling complex in Los Angeles — the 25-acre Television City that sits adjacent to the Original Farmers Market and the Grove — for $750 million.Hackman Capital recently announced plans for $1.25 billion worth of improvements to Television City that will add soundstages, production support facilities and offices for rent. The company's plans for the Studio City complex have yet to be disclosed.
QuoteEver since Viacom and CBS merged nearly two years ago, the New York company has been casting off signature CBS properties in an effort to generate cash.
QuoteThe Radford complex was the very studio lot that gave rise to the name Studio City.
QuoteBig news: The domestic box office was down 60% (↓ $6.8B) vs. 2019.U.S. movie ticket revenue (YoY growth) according to Box Office Mojo:1) 2012 – $10.8B (↑ 7%)2) 2013 – $10.9B (↑ 1%)3) 2014 – $10.4B (↓ 5%)4) 2015 – $11.1B (↑ 7%)5) 2016 – $11.4B (↑ 2%)6) 2017 – $11.1B (↓ 3%)7) 2018 – $11.9B (↑ 7%)8) 2019 – $11.3B (↓ 5%)9) 2020 – $2.1B (↓ 81%)10) 2021 – $4.5B (↑ 113%)Interesting: There was a big spread between the area with the slowest recovery (Washington, DC) vs. the fastest (Utah).Areas with best recovery:1) Utah2) Idaho3) South Dakota4) Wyoming5) NevadaAreas with worst recovery:1) Washington DC2) Vermont3) Hawaii4) Maryland5) New YorkInteresting: Marvel films accounted for more than ¼ of domestic box office revenue last year.Marvel share of domestic box office according to Matthew Ball1) 2008 – 5%2) 2019 – 15%3) 2021 – 26%