Warner’s ‘DC League of Super-Pets’ Tops Weekend Box Office with $23 Million Debut

Warner Bros. Animation’s DC League of Super-Pets performed as expected, generating an estimated $23 million in revenue across more than 4,300 North American screens to top the weekend box office through July 31.

The movie, featuring a voice cast led by Dwayne Johnson, held off last weekend’s theatrical champion, Nope, which generated about $18.8 million, bringing director Jordan Peele’s sci-fi drama $80 million in revenue after two weekends.

With a solid ‘A-‘ CinemaScore rating and scant new competition in the coming weeks, Super-Pets could indeed meet its steep $90 million production budget.

Rounding out the podium was Disney/Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love and Thunder, which realized more than $13 million in ticket sales to bring its domestic four-week total past $301 million, $624 million worldwide.

Universal/Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru finished No. 4, adding a projected $10.8 million in ticket sales to bring its domestic total past $320 million ($710 million globally) after five weekends.

HBO Max, Hulu to Share Exclusive Streaming Rights to Sitcom ‘Abbott Elementary’

HBO Max and Hulu will share exclusive streaming rights to complete seasons of the Emmy Award–nominated comedy series “Abbott Elementary.”

Created by and starring Quinta Brunson from Warner Bros. Television and 20th Television, the full 13-episode first season will debut Aug. 20 on HBO Max; it’s streaming now on Hulu. 

Season two of the series debuts Sept. 21 on ABC. As part of an existing agreement with ABC, Hulu will continue to make current season episodes available the day after each broadcast premiere. These new episodes plus prior seasons will remain on Hulu and complete future seasons will be available to stream on HBO Max before the next season premieres on ABC. 
 
“Abbott Elementary” was recently nominated for seven Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series, lead acting and writing nominations for Quinta Brunson, supporting acting nominations for Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, and Sheryl Lee Ralph, and for casting. 
 
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The workplace comedy follows a group of dedicated, passionate teachers — and a slightly tone-deaf principal — who are brought together in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life. Though they may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do — even if they don’t love the school district’s less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children. 
 
Brunson stars as Janine Teagues in the series, and she serves as executive producer of the series alongside Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker of Delicious Non-Sequitur Productions, and Randall Einhorn. In addition to Brunson, the cast includes Tyler James Williams as Gregory Eddie, Janelle James as Ava Coleman, Lisa Ann Walter as Melissa Schemmenti, Chris Perfetti as Jacob Hill, William Stanford Davis as Mr. Johnson, and Sheryl Lee Ralph as Barbara Howard. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television and 20th Television, a part of Disney Television Studios. 

Movies Anywhere: ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Most Popular Movie in Q2

The most popular movie on the Movies Anywhere platform in Q2 2022 was Spider-Man: No Way Home, followed in a close second by Sing 2, and Uncharted, in a close third, according to the digital library platform.

The findings were based on the number of Movies Anywhere users who watched a movie.

The top watched movie, however — based on the total number of hours watched — was Sing 2, followed by Uncharted with Ghostbusters: Afterlife in third.

The top three actors watched on the platform in Q2 based on the number of users who watched their movies were Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch and Zendaya.

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The most watched new release movie genre on the platform in Q2 based on the total number of hours watched was the action genre led by Spider-Man: No Way Home. Runner up was the animated genre, followed by comedies, with the top movie being Sing 2 in both categories.

The most purchased and redeemed movie in Q2 based on total number of transactions was Uncharted, followed closely by Spider-Man: No Way Home, followed by Morbius.

The most shared movie on the platform (using the app’s Screen Pass feature) was Sing.

The most re-watched new release movie in Q2, based on the number of times the movie was watched or the number of platform users who re-watched the movie, was Sing 2. Coincidentally, if looking at catalog titles, for Q2, the original Sing was the most re-watched movie.  (Note: Re-watched means the movie was watched two or more times with at least 30% completion.)

Reelgood: Netflix’s ‘The Gray Man’ Topped Streaming Content Through July 27

Netflix’s $200 million spy thriller The Gray Man led all streamed movies and TV shows for the week, ended July 27, according to new data from Reelgood. Netflix once again had five titles in the Top 10 with Persuasion, The Sea Beast, Incantation and series “Virgin River”.

Apple TV+ prison drama “Black Bird” debuted at No. 5, while other holdovers included “Better Call Saul” on AMC+, “The Old Man,” “The Bear,” and “Only Murders in the Building” on Hulu.

The Reelgood Top 10 ranking uses first-party data from how its five 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 Gray Man (Netflix)
2. “Better Call Saul” (AMC+)
3. “The Old Man” (Hulu)
4. Persuasion (Netflix)
5. “Black Bird” (Apple TV+)
6. The Sea Beast (Netflix)
7. “The Bear” (Hulu)
8. Incantation (Netflix)
9. “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)
10. “Virgin River” (Netflix)

Warner Bros. Banking on Animated ‘DC League of Super-Pets’ to Top Weekend Box Office

In a summer of animation movies at the box office, Warner Bros. Pictures is adding to the fray with the theatrical release of DC League of Super-Pets — the third major animated movie to hit the big screen in July after Universal Pictures’ Minions: The Rise of Gru and Paramount Pictures’ Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank.

“Super-Pets” is directed by first-time helmer Jared Stern and features the voices of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Olivia Wilde, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Schwartz, and Keanu Reeves, among others.

The movie is expected to generate upwards of $30 million in ticket sales through the three-day weekend ending July 31. The movie generated $2.2 million in revenue in Thursday screenings. That should be enough to pass the second week release of Universal Pictures’ sci-fi drama Nope from director Jordan Peele. That film is projected to sell $20 million worth of tickets, bringing its North American revenue haul past $82 million.

Other box office holdovers include “Minions,” which is projected to sell more than $10 million worth of tickets, bringing its North American tally past $319 million. Disney/Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love and Thunder with $13.5 million ($302.7 million total), and Paramount’s enduring Top Gun: Maverick at $9 million. The Tom Cruise actioner is set to pass $650 million at the North American box office — edging closer to the original Jurassic World, the No. 8 all-time top-grossing domestic movie with $652.2 million in revenue.

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Special Media Play News Podcast: Last Look at Comic-Con 2022!

In this special episode of the Media Play News podcast, hosts Charles Parkman and Charlie Showley talk about their experience at the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con. The main floor was bustling, the lines stretched for miles, and the surrounding downtown area was transformed by studios’ promotional booths for upcoming movies and shows — although the crowds at the Gaslamp Quarter appeared much lighter than in the past.
 
Friday had the duo exploring the show floor and catching an early screening of the next season of Archer. Saturday and Sunday, Charles returned to the convention to see multiple live podcast recordings of pop culture reactions, behind-the-scenes Q&As of classic superhero cartoons, and cultural analyses of Justice League characters.
 
Yeah, we know Comic-Con’s a visual thing — but sometimes a word is worth a thousand pictures (and even if that’s not even remotely true, give our podcast a listen!).
 

Paramount Global Ups Pamela Kaufman to CEO of International Markets, Global Consumer Products & Experiences

Paramount Global has promoted Pamela Kaufman to CEO of International Markets, Global Consumer Products & Experiences, effective immediately. Kaufman, who has been president of Global Consumer Products and Experiences for the media giant, replaces Raffaele Annecchino, who, earlier this year left his position for undisclosed reasons as CEO of Paramount International Networks, Studios and Streaming.

This newly created position reports to Bob Bakish, CEO of Paramount Global, and reflects Paramount’s ongoing strategy of globalizing its operations.

Pamela Kaufman

In her expanded role, Kaufman will be responsible for driving the continued growth of Paramount’s international business and ensuring the strength of the company’s international operations across six continents, including broadcast and cable networks, streaming and studios, and the company’s commercial capabilities. She will work closely with Paramount’s international leadership team, as well as the global content and streaming organization to do so, including helping to guide the continued international rollout of Paramount+ and Pluto TV. Kaufman will maintain her current responsibilities overseeing the global multi-billion-dollar consumer products and experiences organization.

“Pam has been the strategic force behind growing and expanding some of the most iconic global franchises and properties in entertainment,” Bakish said in a statement. “She is a proven and trusted, visionary leader who has transformed our consumer products organization by driving innovation and operating as a global business. Pam is uniquely qualified to lead our international business as we expand and diversify our worldwide footprint and accelerate Paramount’s transformation to operating with a truly global approach.”

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Bakish extended his appreciation to Annecchino for the “critical role” he played in building Paramount’s international business and expanding its global footprint.

“I am grateful for the dedication he has shown throughout his 25 years at Paramount and wish him well in the future,” Bakish said.

In November 2021, Kaufman assumed the role of president of Global Consumer Products and Experiences for Paramount, overseeing worldwide product and business development, marketing, franchise planning, creative strategy, retail sales and consumer insights for all brands in the portfolio.

In less than a year, Kaufman led the transformation of the consumer products business, unifying the organization by placing the full power of the Paramount ecosystem behind its most valuable IP. Her commitment to transformation, innovation and brand building has led to some of the most groundbreaking partnerships in the company’s history, including cutting-edge co-branded collaborations with the biggest names in social media. Kaufman was also responsible for Viacom’s first direct-to-consumer e-commerce site in 2019 – The SpongeBob Shop – and has since led the expansion to additional online direct-to-consumer business for merchandise tied to various top CBS and Showtime programming, including similar standalone initiatives for brands such as Star Trek, South Park and MTV.

Previously, Kaufman served as president of Consumer Products & Chief Marketing Officer for Nickelodeon where she was responsible for building some of Nickelodeon’s most memorable franchises ranging from PAW Patrol to SpongeBob SquarePants, shepherding them through important tentpole campaigns and milestone celebrations.

Before joining Nickelodeon in 1997, Kaufman held positions at Turner International, Equity Marketing and Grey Advertising. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Public Communication from The American University in Washington D.C. and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from The American University in 2019. A committed advocate for gender equality and diversity and inclusion, Kaufman serves on the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, as well as Bottomless Closet, a nonprofit that prepares women for workplace success, and the Pace Women’s Justice Center.

About Paramount

Charter/Spectrum Loses High-Speed Internet Subscribers in Q2

In a switch, cable pay-TV operator Charter Communications July 29 disclosed it lost 42,000 high-speed internet subscribers in the second quarter, ended June 30. With the rise in over-the-top video distributors, consumers have been migrating to broadband in order to receive streaming service.

Charter, which operates under the Spectrum brand, still saw a spike in overall residential and small business broadband subs, ending the period with 30.2 million subs compared with 29.6 million subs in the previous-year period.

CEO Tom Rutledge

Meanwhile, the pay-TV subscriber attrition continues. Spectrum lost 240,000 video subs in the quarter — a decline softened slightly by the addition of 642,000 small business accounts. Still, the pay-TV sub loss dwarfed last year’s decline of 63,000 video subs. Spectrum ended the period with almost 15.5 million video subs, down from 16 million a year ago.

CEO Tom Rutledge believes the company can continue to grow its overall business by melding fixed and mobile broadband service at a reduced price to customers.

“Our growth has always been driven by offering value-rich packages at prices customers can afford,” Rutledge said in a statement. “Looking forward, we remain well-positioned to grow our business using that same strategy.”

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Warner Bros. Discovery Names Asif Sadiq Chief Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

Warner Bros. Discovery has appointed Asif Sadiq to the position of chief global diversity, equity and inclusion officer. Sadiq will lead the media company’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) strategy and global team, expanding on initiatives from both legacy Discovery and legacy WarnerMedia.

Sadiq reports to CEO David Zaslav and Adria Alpert Romm, chief people and culture officer.

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Sadiq most recently served as the head of diversity, equity and inclusion, international for WarnerMedia, and was a key architect of many of the company’s internal and content-focused initiatives on which WBD plans to build. Earlier, Sadiq held senior diversity positions at adidas, The Telegraph Media Group, EY Financial Services and the City of London Police.

In his role, Sadiq will chair WBD’s new business diversity council, a senior advisory board comprised of global leaders from the company’s sports, games, technology, revenue, and corporate groups. The council will assist in developing and instituting enterprise-wide diversity programs for employees across businesses.

“We want our employees to be able to thrive as their authentic selves, while using the power of storytelling to not only entertain audiences around the world, but also open minds and inspire action,” Zaslav said in a statement. “And I can think of no better leader than Asif to ensure that we champion the most thoughtful and impactful diversity, equity and inclusion program.”

In addition, WBD is establishing a creative diversity council, which includes Channing Dungey, chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group; Pamela Abdy, chairperson and CEO of Warner Bros. Film Group; Mike DeLuca, chairperson and CEO of Warner Bros. Film Group; Casey Bloys, chairman and CEO, HBO and HBO Max Content; and Kathleen Finch, chairman and chief content officer for U.S. Networks Group. Together these senior creative leaders will help ensure that DE&I is woven into the development, production and distribution process.

Sadiq is a member of the board of The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Middlesex University, WORK180 and Hedley May. In addition, he is a chartered companion of the Chartered Management Institute and an executive member of World 50. Sadiq has been recognized as one of the most influential global D&I Leaders by Hive Learning and listed on People Management’s D&I Power List. He has won numerous awards and has been honored for his work with an MBE by the Queen.

Sony PlayStation Q1 Hardware Sales Increased 12%, Software Revenue Fell 13%

Consumer demand for the Sony PlayStation 5 and 4 video game consoles remains strong, with first-quarter FY 2023 (ended June 30) hardware revenue topping $134.6 million, up almost 13% from $120.6 million in the previous-year period.

At the same time demand for Sony-branded video game software dropped 13% at $303.4 million from revenue of $346 million during the previous-year period. The software sales decline included a 35% drop in packaged media sales to $16.5 million from $25.6 million. Digital sales of games dipped almost 12% to $101 million from $114.4 million.

Digital sales represented 79% of quarterly software sales, up from 71% in the previous-year period. PlayStation Plus subscription membership increased by 1 million to 47.3 million, while monthly average users of the platform dipped less than 3% to 102 million from 105 million.

Sony sold 2.4 million PlayStation 5 consoles in the quarter, up 4.3% from 2.3-million-unit sales last year.

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