Action Thriller ‘Into the Deep’ Available Via On Demand and Digital Aug. 26

The action-thriller Into the Deep will be available in select theaters, via on demand and on digital Aug. 26 from Lionsgate.

From first time director Kate Cox, the film stars Matthew Daddario (“Shadowhunters”), Ella-Rae Smith and Jessica Alexander.

A young woman desperate for an escape, meets a mysterious and attractive stranger who promises a romantic trip. What follows is deceit, mistrust, and violence. Jess (Ella-Rae Smith) is swept off her feet by Ben (Matthew Daddario), who takes her to his boat docked nearby. Dangerously adrift miles from shore, their romance is interrupted when Lexie (Jessica Alexander) shows up, and soon the three get wasted and play sexy games. When the party takes a sudden turn for the worse, it’s clear that either Ben or Lexie is a dangerous liar.

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Doc ‘Fair Play’ Available On Demand From Gravitas Ventures July 8

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to distribute Hello Sunshine’s documentary Fair Play and will release it in select theaters and on demand on July 8.

About the unequal division of labor in the home, the documentary is based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name from author Eve Rodsky.

Directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom and featuring interviews with Melinda Gates, C. Nicole Mason and Congresswoman Katie Porter, Fair Play takes viewers into the homes of real families that are on a journey to balance their home life. It doesn’t take long to realize that they aren’t really fighting about dishes in the sink. They are fighting about much bigger issues, problems that affect millions of couples and families across the globe. Immersed in these couples’ lives, the viewer sees their struggles, but also their triumphs. They learn how communication and a plan can have a life-changing impact, creating more connectedness with the most important people in their lives — their families.

“The home presents so small but it speaks to a much larger issue which is about reframing the value of time,” said the book’s author Rodsky in a statement. “Is an hour holding your child’s hand in the pediatrician’s office as valuable as an hour in the boardroom? We believe it is. This film aims to spark a conversation that fosters true fairness and healthy partnerships, starting with our most important organization, the home.”

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“Gravitas is proud to partner with Hello Sunshine in the release of Fair Play in theaters and on VOD this summer,” Bill Guentzler, senior director of acquisitions, said in a statement. “We feel that this documentary can be a game-changer for many people by smartly and entertainingly digging into the dilemma facing many households today, balancing tasks and responsibilities.”

Report: Pre-Pandemic Consumer Movie Spending Won’t Return Until 2023

With ongoing efforts to inoculate Americans against the coronavirus, theater operators hope to see a return of moviegoers. New data from Omdia finds consumer spending won’t return to pre-COVID-19 levels until 2023.

Before the pandemic, the average household spend for movies in the United States was more than $80 per year. However, due to the global lockdown restrictions caused by the pandemic, cinema spending has suffered, box office revenue was down $30 billion in 2020 (from almost $42 billion), compared with 2019.

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Omdia predicts that it will take up to three years for moviegoing spending to return to pre COVID-19 levels. Studios will continue to delay large tentpole releases such as the newest James Bond release No Time to Die as they wait out the pandemic to capitalize on consumer’s eventual return to the cinema, according to Omdia.

In the meantime, consumers will look to other windows for premium content and Omdia expects models such as online video subscriptions to benefit from the advances in their spending habits.

The report found moviegoers are subscribed to 50% more SVOD services than infrequent moviegoers, rent twice as many new movie releases (both physical and digital), purchase three times as many new releases and are around three times as likely to pirate content from unauthorized sources.

The report found moviegoers present the greatest growth opportunity for studios across all content access points, particularly through paid subscription channels with 13.9% growth year-over-year in subscriptions per household to SVOD services.

“Whilst Cinema closures have effectively halted box office revenue, they have not hampered consumer demand for new content, especially in cases of government mandated lockdowns,” Max Signorelli, senior analyst for media and entertainment at Omdia, said in a statement. “We are seeing consumers look to all subsequent video options to access premium entertainment with an increasingly appetite that will remain post pandemic. As movie release delays show, content producers can reliably bet on people returning to the cinema when able to do so.”

‘Mulan’ to Stream for Free on Disney+ in December?

With Disney’s inaugural premium VOD launch of the live-action remake Mulan set for Sept. 4, the movie reportedly could be available for free to Disney+ subscribers three months later on Dec. 4.

The later release date was observed on a screen shot for the movie’s $29.99 Premium Access purchase price in the United States on the Disney+ app and first reported by ScreenRant. The December date has subsequently been removed from the purchase link. Scuttlebutt has long suggested Mulan would not be available for free (with a Disney+ subscription) until 2021.

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Disney earlier in August announced the controversial decision to forgo a theatrical debut for Mulan after repeated exhibitor re-opening delays prevented the $200 million budget movie from releasing. The title was initially slated to debut in theaters on March 27, then pushed back to July and again to this month before being removed from the release schedule. The movie will still have a theatrical presence in markets without Disney+ access.

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While studios such as Universal Pictures have embraced PVOD and transactional VOD in response to the pandemic, Disney has steadfastly supported the 90-day theatrical window  underscored by the studio’s global box dominance in recent years through Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm (Star Wars) and Pixar Animation titles.

Netflix Gives $620,000 to Aid Unemployed British Stage/Theater Workers

Subscription streaming video pioneer Netflix has heeded the call from Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) to financially assist unemployed British stage/theater workers due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — jumpstarting a non-government aid campaign with $620,000 (£500,000) in seed money.

The fund, which includes fiscal input from Mendes, The Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, offers upwards of £1,000 to anyone who worked in British theater from 2019 through March 31, 2020.

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The funding seeks to assist personnel not covered by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s $2 billion (£1.57 billion) cultural relief program, which includes independent movie theaters.

“Playwrights and directors, theater artists and performers, composers and comedians, are the lifeblood of our industry too and, while Netflix has been more fortunate than many, in the end we are only as strong as the people we work with,” Anne Mensah,VP of original series at Netflix, said in a statement.

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Before joining Netflix in 2018, Mensah was director of drama at Sky Studios in the U.K. She also was head of independent drama at the BBC in a previous position.

Indeed, Netflix has profited during the COVID-19 pandemic, generating record first-quarter (ended March 31) subscription growth and users with much of the entertainment industry shutdown. The streamer reports Q2 (ended June 30) results on July 16.

Mendes, in an op-ed last month in The Financial Times, implored entertainment businesses doing well during the pandemic to contribute.

“It would be deeply ironic if the streaming services —Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, et al — should be making lockdown millions from our finest acting, producing, writing and directing talent, while the very arts culture that nurtured that talent pool is allowed to die,” Mendes wrote. “Is there anyone among those people willing to use a fraction of their COVID-19 windfall to help those who have been mortally wounded?”