‘Maverick,’ ‘Elvis’ in Weekend Box Office Tie as ‘Top Gun’ Sequel Passes $1 Billion in Global Revenue

The theatrical debut of Warner Bros. Pictures’ biopic Elvis took in an estimated $30.5 million in revenue in its debut weekend box office through June 26 — equal to the revenue generated by Paramount Pictures’ Top Gun: Maverick in its 31st day in theaters.

The sequel to the 1986 Top Gun has generated lead actor Tom Cruise his biggest-grossing movie across a 40-year career at $1 billion worldwide.

Meanwhile, Elvis, from director Baz Luhrman, starring Austin Butler as “The King of Rock & Roll,” and Tom Hanks as his overbearing manager Colonel Tom Parker, surpassed Warner’s estimates, underscoring the enduring consumer demand for anything related to Elvis Presley.

Filling out the box office podium is Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World: Dominion, the sixth movie in the franchise (when excluding short film Battle at Short Rock), which generated about $26.4 million in ticket sales. The tally was enough to top $300 million in cumulative North America ticket sales, and $747 million worldwide after its June 1 global debut.

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Universal/Blumhouse debut of Ethan Hawke horror film The Black Phone realized an estimated $23.3 million in ticket sales across more than 3,000 screens — topping previous expectations and underscoring the reality that the post-pandemic box office can handle more than one or two major releases at the same time.

Finally, Disney/Pixar’s Lightyear generated $17.7 million in revenue to bring the Toy Story spin-off movie’s North American revenue total to $88 million, and $152.4 million worldwide.

Crowded Weekend Box Office Features ‘Elvis’ and ‘The Black Phone’ Debuts

The June 26 weekend box office is set to take on a pre-pandemic look with five major theatrical releases competing for consumers’ spending.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ high-profile biopic Elvis generated $3.5 million in June 23 pre-screening revenue to cement itself as the weekend pole sitter. The Baz Luhrmann-directed movie features Austin Butler as “The King of Rock & Roll,” and Tom Hanks as the Elvis Presley’s overbearing manager Colonel Tom Parker.

The movie, which generated a 83% Rotten Tomatoes score from 95 critics through June 22, is projected to generate around from $25 million to $38 million in North American ticket sales, putting it ahead of Universal Pictures’ new Blumhouse horror flick, The Black Phone, starring Ethan Hawke, at $20.3 million in projected revenue. The movie has a 86% Rotten Tomatoes score from 57 critics.

The new releases buttress theatrical holdovers Jurassic World: Dominion (Universal) with $31.5 million in projected revenue, Paramount Pictures’ enduring Top Gun: Maverick ($30 million), and Disney/Pixar Animation’s Lightyear with $23 million is estimated revenue in its second weekend of release.

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Kino Lorber Preps 1955 Classic ‘Marty’ for July 19 Blu-ray Disc Release

Kino Lorber is giving the 1955 classic Marty the special edition treatment, celebrating the first film to win both a best picture Oscar and a Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm award.

Marty will be released July 19 on Blu-ray Disc, at a suggested retail price of $29.95, under Kino Lorber’s Studio Classics banner.

Directed by Delbert Mann, Marty stars Ernest Borgnine as Marty Piletti, a 34-year-old Bronx butcher who has always been shy and uncomfortable around women.  So when he meets Clara (Betsy Blair), a lonely schoolteacher who’s just as smitten with him as he is with her, Marty’s on top of the world. But not everyone around him shares Marty’s joy. And when his friends and family continually find fault with Clara, even Marty begins to question his newfound love — until he discovers, in an extraordinary way, the strength and courage to follow his heart.

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Marty was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won four, including Best Actor for Borgnine, Best Director for Mann and Best Screenplay for Paddy Chayefsky.

Marty arrives on disc from a brand-new 4K master. The Blu-ray Disc special edition includes a new audio commentary track by entertainment journalists and authors Bryan Reesman and Max Evry. The disc includes both the 1.85:1 and 1.37:1 versions of the film.

Reelgood: Hulu Drama Series ‘The Old Man’ Topped Weekly Streaming Through June 22

After weeks of Paramount Pictures’ Top Gun taking the first spots in the ranking, Reelgood June 24 announced a surprise new champion: Hulu’s
latest drama series, “The Old Man,” starring Oscar winner Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) as a former CIA agent who absconded from the spy agency decades ago and has been living off the grid since. When an assassin arrives and tries to take him out, the old operative learns that to ensure his future he now must reconcile his past.

Another surprise hitting the Top 10 is Spiderhead, a Netflix feature-length movie adaptation of a George Saunders short story in The New Yorker. The steamy movie Good Luck to You, Leo debuts at No.5, and right behind is Amazon Prime Video series, “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” at No. 6.

The Reelgood Top 10 ranking uses first-party data from how its 5 million users in the U.S. interact with movies and TV shows on the platform in real-time.

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Top 10 Shows and Movies of the Week

1. “The Old Man” (Hulu)
2. Spiderhead (Netflix)
3. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)
4. Top Gun (Paramount+ and Amazon Prime Video)
5. Good Luck to You, Leo (Hulu)
6. “The Summer I Turned Pretty” Amazon Prime Video
7. “Stranger Things” (Netflix)
8. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (FuboTV)
9. “The Boys” (Amazon Prime Video)
10. Hustle (Netflix)

Deluxe Expands in Southeast Asia with Hire of Former Netflix Executive

Deluxe, the big global provider of digital and cloud-based solutions to content production studios and distributors, on June 23 announced that Samantha Kim has been appointed to the role of managing director, business development, APAC.

Samantha King

Kim, who will be based in Seoul, will report to Chris Reynolds, EVP and GM of worldwide localization and fulfillment. She will oversee Deluxe’s efforts to implement growth in localization and mastering in Southeast Asia, notably Korea, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan and Malaysia. 

“As content production becomes more global and stories and voices are resonating both locally and universally, the need for premium localization capabilities that address both the nuances and authenticities of any language has become critical,” Deluxe’s chief strategy officer, Anna Lee, said in a statement. “I am thrilled that Samantha will be spearheading our expansion in Southeast Asia, where she will continue to collaborate with our global and local clients across our studio and streaming partnerships to scale to their growing needs while delivering the highest caliber services across our end to end supply chain.”

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Kim comes to Deluxe from Netflix, where she helped establish the Korean team and drove operational strategy and execution of Korean content for global audiences. She also contributed to the successful global launch of Korean original content worldwide and built a competitive operational pipeline to introduce the streamer as a premiere destination for Korean content. In addition to her tenure at Netflix, Kim has over a decade of experience in the APAC media industry across traditional media, cable production, localization and OTT, having worked at Discovery, Iyuno and Samsung.

Netflix Renews Realtor Soap ‘Selling Sunset’ for Two More Seasons as Christine Quinn Returns

Netflix has gone all in on the Southern California real estate market.

The streamer renewed the Emmy-nominated docusoap “Selling Sunset” for two more seasons, with production on seasons six and seven set to begin later this summer. 

Set in the world of LA’s high-end real estate, the series follows a team of successful female realtors who all work under the same roof at The Oppenheim Group, which claims to be the No. 1 agency in the Hollywood Hills and the Sunset Strip. The agents work hard and play harder, as they attempt to co-exist in the competitive LA market without backstabbing each other — too much.

The show elevated the profiles of several actor/realtors, including Christine Quinn, Jason Oppenheim, Mary Fitzgerald, her French-born husband Romain Bonnett, Heather Rae El Moussa (who is married to “Flip or Flop” star Tarek El Moussa), and Chrishell Stause, according to an online survey.

Indeed, Tarek and Heather just signed to appear in their own HGTV reality show, “The Flipping El Moussas,” which is sure to complicate matters, while Quinn launched an online realtor service with her husband based on cryptocurrency. Quinn, who masterfully played co-workers against each other for personal gain, was a no-show at the end of season 5 following allegations that she attempted to bribe the client of a follow agent (Emma Hernan) to list with her.

Netflix is set to bow a “Selling Sunset” spin-off show called “Selling the OC,” which features a separate cast of female and male realtors fighting each other under The Oppenheim Group shingle in Orange County. The eight-episode series launches Aug. 24.

Both series are created by Done and Done Productions and Lionsgate, with executive producers Adam DiVello, Sundee Manusakis, Kristofer Lindquist, Skyler Wakil and Jason Oppenheim, among others.

Interestingly, Netflix will also premiere “Buying Beverly Hills,” a real estate soap that follows the agents and clients within Mauricio Umansky’s The Agency in Beverly Hills, Calif., over eight episodes. Mauricio, his daughters, Farrah Brittany and Alexia Umansky, and the talented group of agents highlight the high stakes world of luxury real estate in Los Angeles. The series debuts Aug. 24.

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Separately, Netflix revealed the July 8 premiere of “How to Build a Sex Room,” an eight-episode show based around interior designer Melanie Rose who caters to couples looking for more spice in the bedroom.

How To Build a Sex Room. Episode 105 of How To Build a Sex Room. Cr. Caleb Alvarado/Netflix © 2022

The streamer also announced the  July 27 debut of “Dream Home Makeover Season 3,” “Instant Dream Home,” which premieres Aug. 10, “Designing Miami,” which premieres on Sept. 21.

Finally, “Buy My House” is set to premiere this fall featuring homeowners from across America selling their properties, on the spot, to one of four real-estate tycoons, including Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman, Corcoran Group CEO Pamela Liebman, NFL Linebacker Brandon Copeland, and investment property magnate Danisha Wrighster.

The unique homes are up for grabs as the owners share heartfelt backstories and engage in heart pounding negotiations with the tycoons. 

NPD: Streaming Video Consumers Becoming More Price Sensitive

With a slew of subscription streaming video services available on the market, new data from The NPD Group finds that the cost of streaming has begun to impact consumer choice on SVOD platforms.

The Port Washington, N.Y.-based research firm found that the cost of streaming had risen to the No. 2 reason (from No. 4) for canceling a SVOD service. The data is based on online consumer surveys fielded from April 5- 21 of more than 5,000 U.S. respondents, aged 18+ from diverse regions and demographical backgrounds.

Based on the study, consumers are also increasingly signing up for services based on promotional or discounted offers.

“In the last several months consumers have had to navigate rising prices in many facets of their lives and SVOD services are part of that mix with companies like Netflix and Amazon raising their subscription rates,” John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst at NPD, said in a statement.

Buffone said that while cost considerations in SVOD services are still dramatically lower than in cable and satellite TV, it is important for providers to recognize that price sensitivity is growing so they can adjust their offerings to retain their subscriber base.

Indeed, as of April 2022, promotional offers and discounted fees were more heavily influencing not only if consumers signed up for a SVOD service, but also their preferred method of sign-up (e.g., direct from the provider). In the survey period, the No. 1 reason cited for SVOD users signing up for a service was because of a free trial offering. At the same time, promotion/discount offers became the top reason driving preferred sign-up method, moving up four spots from October 2021 (among viewers extremely or very likely to subscribe to a SVOD service in the next six months).

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But while price and promotions/discounts play increasingly important roles, content remains critical to the consumer consideration set. Knowing that a specific TV show or movie was on a service drove one-third of SVOD users to sign-up, an increase versus six months ago, driven by younger viewers (up six percentage points).

“Consumers are creating a value equation to determine what services they ‘need’ versus those they cancel, especially as they return to experiential activities,” said Buffone. “For some consumers ad supported tiers can be a way to cut costs without losing access to content. As we look to the future – including potential AVOD offerings from Netflix and Disney – understanding the differing consumer value propositions will be key in determining tier structure and pricing strategies.”

When pricing tiers are available, survey results indicate that a customer who pays a premium for an ad-free experience is engaging with the service more frequently, with 28% reporting using the service every day or most days vs. 20% of the ad-supported subscribers reporting the same. Consumers who pay a premium for ad-free viewing also place significantly more value in content availability, exclusivity, search, discovery, and user interface, indicating they are a more engaged consumer.

‘Morbius’ Debuts at No. 1 on DVD and Blu-ray Sales Charts

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Morbius captured the top spot on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended June 18.

Morbius is an adaptation of the Marvel Comics Spider-Man villain, with Jared Leto in the title role, a doctor whose attempts to cure his own blood disease gives him vampire-like powers. It earned $73.9 million at the domestic box office.

The No. 2 seller on both charts, Warner’s The Batman, sold about one-third as many copies in its fourth week as Morbius in its first.

No. 3 on both charts was 1986’s Top Gun, from Paramount, still coasting off the theatrical success of its sequel.

Rounding out the top five overall disc sellers were two more newcomers. No. 4 on both charts was Universal Pictures’ Ambulance, an actioner from director Michael Bay about two desperate brothers who steal an ambulance during their escape after a heist.

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No. 5 on the overall disc chart, and No. 9 on the Blu-ray chart, was Sony Pictures’ Father Stu, a drama starring Mark Wahlberg as a former boxer who decides to become a priest after a motorcycle accident.

The No. 5 Blu-ray Disc seller was Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home, which was No. 6 on the overall chart.

The previous week’s top seller, Universal’s The Northman, dropped to No. 7 on both charts.

Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 67% of total Morbius sales, with 41% from the regular Blu-ray and 26% from the 4K Ultra HD version. Ambulance also had 41% of its sales from regular Blu-ray, and 22% from 4K Blu-ray, for an HD sales share of 63%. Father Stu, which wasn’t released in 4K, had a 40% Blu-ray sales share.

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended June 19 had Morbius at No. 1, with Ambulance at No. 2 and Father Stu at No. 3.

The Northman dropped to No. 4, and Sony Pictures’ Uncharted was No. 5, each down two spots from a week earlier.

The previous week’s top rental, Paramount’s The Contractor, dropped to No. 6.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 6-18-22
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 6-19-22
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 6-18-22
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 6-18-22

Cinedigm Ups Scripted Audio Drama Podcasts with Two New Original Series

Cinedigm June 23 announced that its podcast network has reached 50 million downloads, with plans to triple its podcast lineup to 75 titles by the end of its fiscal year on March 31, 2023. 

To date, Cinedigm owns or distributes 25 podcasts through its Bloody Disgusting and Fandor brands, up 127% from 11 podcast on March 31, 2022. 

In addition to the recently signed popular horror fiction podcasts such as Scare You to Sleep with Shelby Scott, two new scripted fictional podcasts in development via Bloody Disgusting — which represents the largest share and fastest-growing segment of Cinedigm’s Podcast Network — are Skin Crawl and the Mayfair Watcher’s Society

Cinedigm continues to expand its podcast team across its entire channel portfolio to produce more audio dramas, or original scripted series for podcasts, which is the fastest-growing segment of the podcast business.

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“Cinedigm is committed to growing its footprint within the podcast space,” Erick Opeka, president & chief strategy officer at Cinedigm. “The audio drama segment is not only heavily in demand for advertisers, but it also creates and validates valuable IP that can expand into feature films and series.”

This expansion mirrors the medium itself, with a booming number of podcast listeners eager for content. Statista reported that around 120 million Americans listened to podcasts last year with 62% of the population 12+ having listened to a podcast this year. By the end of 2023, Statista is expecting the number of podcast listeners to grow to around 160 million. 

Based on the popular magazine, Skin Crawl is a horror anthology inspired by the comics series created by legendary gore artist, Skinner. The podcast will be produced as a full-cast drama, and feature select stories from the comic series as well as some original content. The collaboration with Bloody Disgusting marks the next stage of Skinner’s prolific career, who previously was known for working on everything from animation to film to illustrations to music videos. The radio drama will feature surprise voice actors, terrifying tales and incredible sound design when it launches this September. 

Mayfair Watcher’s Society is based on the work of fellow horror artist and influencer, Trevor Henderson. Venturing into the found footage sub-genre, the podcast will be presented as a community message board where small-town residents report sightings of unusual creatures. Henderson has a huge following within the horror community, with over a million followers on Twitter and Instagram alone. The found footage-esq podcast is currently targeting a pilot release timed to Halloween.  

“The evolution of the medium has made it possible for visual artists to reach an entirely new audience,” Trevor Henderson said. “Podcasts allow us to think beyond the conventional story template and push the boundaries of art as a whole.”

Disney+ to Bow ‘Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation’ Animated Special Aug. 5

The Disney+ streaming service Aug. 5 will premiere Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation, a new animated special from Lucasfilm and the Lego Group.

Set shortly after the events of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Summer Vacation finds Finn arranging a surprise vacation for his friends Rey, Poe, Rose, Chewie, BB-8, R2-D2 and C-3PO aboard the Galactic Starcruiser, the Halcyon. But when Finn is separated from the group, he encounters three Force ghosts: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Leia Organa, who each share their own unexpected stories of vacations gone wrong, helping him to understand that holidays are about more than just having fun.

Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation features the voices of “Weird Al” Yankovic as Vic Vankoh; Yvette Nicole Brown as Colvett Valeria; Thomas Lennon as Wick Cooper; Paul F. Tompkins as Rad; Dee Bradley Baker as Boba Fett; Ashly Burch as the Tour Droid; Kyliegh Curran as Sidero; Anthony Daniels as C-3PO; Trevor Devall as Emperor Palpatine; Allie Feder as Sy Snootles; Jake Green as Poe Dameron; Matt Lanter as Anakin Skywalker; Ross Marquand as Han Solo; Omar Miller as Finn; Kevin Michael Richardson as Jabba the Hutt; Matt Sloan as Darth Vader; James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan Kenobi; Kelly Marie Tran as Rose; Helen Sadler as Rey Skywalker; Billy Dee Williams as Lando; Matthew Wood as Ben Solo; and Shelby Young as Leia Organa.

In addition, the special includes the new original song “Scarif Beach Party” performed by Yankovic. A trailer for the special debuted June 21 and features the new song.

This will be the third Disney+ “Lego Star Wars” episode, following 2020’s Lego Star Wars Holiday Special and 2021’s Lego Star Wars Terrifying Tales.

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