Mary Daily Out at Paramount Pictures in Restructuring Move

Mary Daily, a home entertainment veteran who rose to co-president of marketing and distribution at Paramount Pictures, reportedly is out as the studio restructures internal operations. Marc Weinstock has been upped to head of global distribution.

Separately, Pam Kaufman, president of global consumer products for ViacomCBS, saw her duties expanded to include the studio’s entertainment division. She replaces Kevin Suh, who is reportedly stepping down.

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Daily, a former longtime home entertainment executive at 20th Century Fox, joined Paramount in 2017. She played a key role in marketing efforts for A Quiet Place, A Quiet Place Part II, Bumblebee, Rocket Man and Mission: Impossible — Fallout, among other movies.

Paramount continues to rebrand itself as a streaming property while maintaining a legacy film and TV content production studio. While the studio has succeeded in licensing content to third party platforms, in addition to Paramount+, success at the box office has been fleeting.

The studio realized just $67 million in theatrical revenue in the most-recent fiscal period, which was up from $6 million recorded in the previous-year period when most theaters were shuttered due to the pandemic.

Disney/Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ Holds Off Paramount’s ‘Big Red Dog’ at Weekend Box Office

Disney/Marvel Studios’ latest superhero movie, Eternals, is expected to finish atop the Nov. 14 domestic weekend box office with estimated revenue of $27.5 million across more than 4,000 North American screens, its second week on top. The revenue projection tops Paramount Pictures’ live-action family film Clifford the Big Red Dog with $22 million, when including the film’s Wednesday opening.

Clifford, the first live-action adaptation of the children’s book series, is also streaming for free on Paramount+.

Eternals, which generated another $48 million in foreign ticket sales, has now generated more than $281 million globally. The film’s 61% second-weekend box office drop falls between other 2021 Marvel tentpole releases Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (52%) and Black Widow at 67%.

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures’ Venom: Let There Be Carnage became the second movie after Shang-Chi to top $200 million at the domestic box office in the COVID era with $4 million in ticket sales.

Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures’ sci-fi reboot of Dune added $5.5 million across 3,200 screens to reach $93 million at the domestic box office. The movie is also streaming for free on HBO Max.

Paramount Q3 Licensing, Home Entertainment Dwarfs Theatrical Revenue

Paramount Pictures Nov. 4 disclosed third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) licensing and home entertainment revenue from movies of $513 million, which was down about 12% from revenue of $584 million in the previous-year period. When including television production, the “licensing and other” segment totaled more than $1.5 billion — up nearly 18% from revenue of $1.28 billion a year earlier.

Paramount, like other studios, no longer calls out home entertainment sales of packaged and digital media separately. The segment is now included in the studio’s licensing business.

That said, the studio’s wholesale distribution of movies dwarfs its box office. Paramount saw just $67 million in quarterly theatrical revenue, which was up from $6 million recorded in the previous-year period when most theaters were shuttered due to the pandemic.

So, while A Quiet Place Part II and Paw Patrol: The Movie performed relatively well at the pandemic box office, Paramount’s underwhelming year-to-date theatrical revenue of $202 million is attributed to just three movies, when including “G.I. Joe” spin-off Snake Eyes.

Major Tom Cruise tentpole theatrical titles Mission: Impossible 7 and Top Gun: Maverick, in addition to a relaunch of the “Scream” franchise, have been pushed back to 2022.

Meanwhile, the studio remains a major producer of TV programming, while also aggressively licensing content to third-party distribution channels, led by streaming, which include Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, as well the branded Paramount+ platform and sister service Showtime OTT.

Paramount generated $893 million in quarterly revenue licensing TV product to third-parties and retail channels. That’s up almost 80% from revenue of $498 million in the previous-year period.

ViacomCBS CEO: Paramount Sticking With Multiple Theatrical Windows

With accelerated access to Paramount Pictures’ theatrical releases driving subscriber growth at Paramount+, the studio might appear eager to shorten the theatrical window to as little as 17 days (three weekends) as Universal Pictures does on select movies.

That was the question posed to ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish on the media giant’s Nov. 4 fiscal call. Bakish, who is staking much of the company’s future on streaming, including ad-supported VOD and free ad-supported streaming television (FAST), said the popularity of streaming and a resurging box office underscore the need to apply a multiple-release strategy on theatrical movies.

Paramount is employing the new industry standard 45-day theatrical window on most releases (shortened from 90 days), while mixing in shorter windows for select titles (i.e. A Quiet Place Part II), and concurrent streaming access on Paramount+ for others (Paw Patrol: The Movie).

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A Quiet Place Part II generated almost $300 million at the global box office, including $160 million at domestic screens, while being offered early on Paramount+. Paw Patrol: The Movie generated $128 million globally, including $40 million domestically, while streaming concurrently on the SVOD since its box office debut.

In the third quarter, Paramount deployed three different release models for theatrical titles, including “exclusive premier,” “day-and-date,” and “45-day window.”

“We’re experimenting with a bunch of [release] models on the Paramount+ side based on what we think is best for a specific film, obviously keeping in mind all the constituents involved in that,” Bakish said.

“The reality is, we see them all work,” he said. “So, it’s not a question of moving away one [window] or the other. We’re going to continue to optimize on a per-film basis. We’re definitely not moving off the ’45-day fast fall.'”

Bakish reiterated that the Quiet Place sequel performed well at the box office, despite the pandemic, while also driving Paramount+ subs. The executive said this weekend’s (Nov. 5) theatrical release, Clifford the Big Red Dog, would stream concurrently on Paramount+.

“We think [the] kids and family [market] in this continued COVID time, [that] these films are right for day-and-date release,” he said.

Paramount’s ‘Paw Patrol’ Climbs Atop U.K. Home Entertainment Chart

Paramount Pictures’ Paw Patrol: The Movie entered the Official Film Chart No. 1 for the retail week ended Nov. 3. The animated feature wrested control of the U.K. home entertainment chart from Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga, which fell to the No. 4 spot.

The big-screen adaptation of the hugely popular kids’ TV series topped the chart based exclusively on digital downloads. With Tyler Perry and Ron Pardo heading up the main voice cast, the movie features star cameos from Jimmy Kimmel, who plays newscaster Marty Muckraker, and Kim Kardashian, who takes on the role of Delores, the sassy poodle.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Space Jam: A New Legacy leaped seven spots to No. 2, following its release on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD. DC Comics’ 2021 film The Suicide Squad bowed at No. 3, with its sales only from digital transactions.

Disney’s Jungle Cruise finished No. 5, and Universal Pictures’ animated adventure The Croods: A New Age finished No. 6. M. Night Shyamalan’s Old (Universal) climbed one spot to No. 7, following its release on disc, while 20th Century Studios’ Free Guy dropped four spots to No. 8.

Sony Pictures’ Venom fell four spots to No. 9, and Disney’s Black Widow rounded off the chart at No. 10.

The Official Film Chart Top 10 – Nov. 3, 2021

Rank Previous Week Movie Distributor

© Official Charts Company 2021

Shari Redstone, Bob Bakish Credit Late Hasbro CEO for Viacom, CBS Merger, ‘Transformers’ Movies Success

Following the death of Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, Shari Redstone, non-executive chair of the ViacomCBS board of directors, late Tuesday hailed Goldner for his efforts in helping her re-unite Viacom and CBS Corp. in 2019.

Goldner, who died Oct. 12 at the age of 58 following a seven-year battle with cancer, had served on the ViacomCBS board. He was instrumental in transforming toy properties “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” into movie franchises

Brian Goldner

Redstone said Goldner’s “guidance and leadership” not only contributed to the ViacomCBS merger, but also in the execution of a “vision that has significantly shaped the company and will take us well into the future.”

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“While I will always be grateful for the incredible contributions Brian made to this company, what we will all miss the most is his wisdom, his kindness, his commitment, and his friendship,” Redstone said in a statement. “He will always hold a special place in our hearts and he will be forever missed.”

Bob Bakish, CEO of ViacomCBS, said Goldner not only transformed Hasbro from its traditional roots in toys and games into a multi-platform content creator, as a member of the ViacomCBS board, he was an “essential voice” guiding the evolution movies, toys and consumer goods, in addition to championing “our commitment to sustainability.”

Across seven movies, the “Transformers” franchise has generated $5.8 billion at the global box office, in addition to hundreds of millions more in home entertainment and consumer products revenue.

“[Goldner’s] passion for delighting consumers also shone through in his long-time partnership with Paramount Pictures that helped build Transformers into an iconic film franchise,” Bakish said. “We extend our deepest sympathies to Brian’s family and to the entire Hasbro community during this difficult time.”

Bob Bakish: Paramount Theatrical/Streaming Co-Releases Limited to Family Movies

Paramount Pictures’ theatrical release Paw Patrol: The Movie was the studio’s first concurrent box office/Paramount+ streaming debut — a strategy the studio plans to employ going forward on family movies, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish told an investor group.

Speaking Sept. 22 on the virtual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, Bakish said Paramount would stick to a shortened 45-day exclusive window for major releases such as A Quiet Place Part II, Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible 7.

The executive said the simultaneous release of Paw Patrol on Paramount+ made the movie the most-watched original title on the platform, and helped drive box office. The animated movie has generated $37.2 million in U.S. theaters, $103.3 million worldwide.

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“The combined release strategy drove incremental performance,” Bakish said. “We think that’s actually a good [distribution] model for kids and family films, particularly in these COVID times. It gives consumers optionality, where they feel most comfortable. We did a bunch of research on that.”

The CEO said Paw Patrol outperformed The Green Knight at the box office, despite the latter releasing exclusively in theaters. He said the concurrent release also helped Paramount “eventize” the movie’s release across ViacomCBS properties, including consumer products.

“We promoted Paw Patrol both in theaters and on Paramount+ on over 2 million [consumer product items] at retail,” Bakish said. “That, too, built excitement around it.”

The studio is also releasing the upcoming Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin and The Space Between exclusivity to Paramount+. The studio is also releasing the first two episodes of original Paramount+ crime drama “Mayor of Kingstown” on the Paramount Network before reverting exclusively to the streaming platform.

“We think exclusive availability, particularly at lower budget level movies, is a compelling value creation opportunity for streaming,” Bakish said.

ViacomCBS Announces Leadership Transition, Business Split at Paramount Pictures

ViacomCBS is splitting Paramount Pictures into separate movie and TV production operating units, while also naming a new studio chief executive.

Jim Gianopulos, chairman/CEO of Paramount Pictures, will transition oversight of the venerable movie studio to newly named president/CEO Brian Robbins, who maintains his current responsibilities leading Nickelodeon. Gianopulos will serve in an advisory role at Paramount through the end of the year to help ensure a smooth transition.

Separately, Paramount Television Studios will now become part of the premium network group under the leadership of David Nevins, chairman/CEO of Showtime Networks, bringing together the divisions’ scripted content capabilities. Nicole Clemens will continue to lead PTVS in her capacity as president, PTVS, reporting directly to Nevins.

No other organizational changes with the studio were announced.

As part of this transition, and in line with ViacomCBS’s previously announced streaming content leadership structure, Robbins will assume oversight of movies produced for Paramount+, as well as continue to be responsible for kids and family content globally for the streaming service. Nevins and Clemens will also continue to serve in their current Paramount+ roles of chief content officer of scripted originals, and president of original scripted series, respectively.

“A passionate storyteller who takes a holistic view of the entertainment ecosystem, Brian is an expert at building powerhouse global franchises by leaning into the unique strengths of new and established platforms – including theatrical releases, streaming, linear, consumer products and more,” Bob Bakish, president/CEO of ViacomCBS, said in a statement. “With Brian drawing on his extensive experiences across animation and live action, and David overseeing Paramount Television Studios, we will build on Paramount’s incredible legacy and chart a new path for the studio.”

Bakish hailed Gianopulos as “a towering figure in Hollywood” who successfully led Paramount from the success of the “A Quiet Place” franchise to the Oscar-winning Rocketman, to Sonic the Hedgehog and Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

Gianopulos’s career in the global entertainment industry spans nearly 40 years. He took the reins of the studio in April 2017, revitalizing the studio and restoring profitability consistently throughout his tenure.

“Gianopulos has overseen the creation of films that have achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success,” Bakish said. “I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Jim for his leadership in establishing a revitalized Paramount.”

As President of Nickelodeon since October 2018, Robbins has overseen the evolution of content and franchises at one of the top entertainment brands for kids across theatrical, streaming and linear TV. Franchises such as “Paw Patrol” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” reach hundreds of millions of young people around the world through TV shows, movies and consumer products, while SpongeBob SquarePants has become one of the most popular animated characters of all time.

Under Robbins’ leadership, Nickelodeon has become a driver of subscribers and engagement at Paramount+ since its launch in March 2021. Programming for young audiences, such as Paw Patrol: The Movie and the series and films in the “SpongeBob SquarePants” universe, account for a double-digit share of total streams, and the platform’s slate includes numerous highly anticipated releases from the likes of Nickelodeon’s Avatar Studios.

Prior to his appointment at Nickelodeon, Robbins served as president of Paramount Pictures’ Paramount Players division, where he worked closely with legacy-Viacom brands to identify talent and properties to be developed into co-branded feature films. Previously, Robbins co-founded the multiplatform media company Awesomeness in 2012 and served as its CEO. He also co-founded Tollin/Robbins Productions and was the Founder and president of Varsity Pictures.

Robbins has executive-produced numerous television and movie hits, including “Kenan and Kel” and “All That,” the latter of which Robbins adapted into the Nickelodeon feature film Good Burger; directed the Paramount films Varsity Blues and Hardball; executive produced “Blue Mountain State” for Spike TV (now Paramount Network); and also produced the television series “Smallville” and “One Tree Hill,” among others.

Robbins is the recipient of a Directors Guild Award, a Peabody Award and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Pioneer Prize. He is also an Emmy Award nominee.

Prior to joining Paramount, Gianopulos served as the chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment from 2000 to September 2016. In this role, he was responsible for feature film production, marketing, and global distribution of film and television content in all media. During his time as Chairman and CEO of Fox, the studio had its most profitable years ever, and in 2014, 20th Century Fox broke the all-time industry global box-office record, earning more than $5.5 billion. Gianopulos also has the distinction of having championed two of the biggest film successes in history, Titanic and Avatar.

‘A Quiet Place Part II’ Scores Third Week Atop U.K. Home Entertainment Chart

Paramount Pictures’ A Quiet Place Part II held on to score a third week at No. 1 on the U.K. Official Film Chart through Sept. 8, following its release on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

With 71% of its total this week made up of physical copies, A Quiet Place Part II denied Warner Home Video’s The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It the top spot, though the horror sequel did take the title of the week’s biggest digital download.

Oscar-winner The Father (Lionsgate) climbed four places to No. 3, thanks to its release on disc, landing just ahead of the highest new chart entry, Universal Pictures’ Nobody at No. 4.

The actioner stars Bob Odenkirk as Hutch Mansell, a dad who finds himself the target of a vengeful drug lord after he intervenes to help a woman being harassed by a group of men. The formerly non-confrontational father is then forced to head down a brutal path in order to save his family.

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David Lynch’s original 1984 Dune (Sanctuary) made a top 10 debut at No. 6 thanks to its re-release via a new 4K Ultra HD package. Finally, A Quiet Place:2-Movie Collection soared 23 places to a new peak at No. 8 thanks to its release on physical formats.

This week’s Official Film Chart online show features a preview of crime thriller The Birthday Cake starring Ewan McGregor, available to download and keep from Sept. 13.

The Official Film Chart Top 10 – Sept. 8, 2021

Rank Previous Week Movie Distributor

© Official Charts Company 2021

‘Free Guy’ Reigns Supreme Again at Weekend Box Office

Disney/20th Century Studio’s action comedy Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds, held off cute animated puppies and Hugh Jackman at the domestic box office, generating an estimated $18.8 million in revenue across more than 4,000 North American screens through Aug. 22. The tally is about 34% less than the movie’s previous weekend opening of $28.4 million. To date, the movie has generated more than $63 million in the U.S., and $112 million worldwide.

The resilient showing masked a weak overall box office that saw less than $60 million in ticket sales — the lowest weekend tally since June 20.

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In the second spot, with almost $13 million in revenue across 3,100 screens ($34.5 million globally), was Paramount Pictures’ Paw Patrol: The Movie, an impressive debut considering the target audience is under the age of 12. The animated feature crushed Warner Bros. Pictures’ Reminiscence, starring Hugh Jackman, with just $2 million in reported revenue across 3,200 screens. The movie, along with Warner’s entire 2021 theatrical slate, is streaming for free to HBO Max subscribers for the first 31 days of release.

How bad did it get for Warner? Reminiscence revenue finished behind a pack of repeat showings, including Disney’s Jungle Cruise with $6.2 million ($92.5 million worldwide); Sony Pictures’ Don’t Breathe 2 with $5 million ($19.6 million); MGM’s Respect ($3.8 million, $15.1 million); The Suicide Squad ($3.4 million, $49.2 million); Lionsgate new release The Protege ($2.9 million) and Searchlight Pictures’ opening weekend bow of The Night House at $2.8 million.