A lot of speculation is around what Disney’s plans are with Hulu.
One idea is to bring Hulu in as a hub inside Disney+, similar to how Amazon Prime and Hulu already have subscribed add-on channels. This would make Disney+ even more like a streaming TV station with various channels.
Adding a Hulu hub within Disney+, would be away round adding more mature content to Disney+ and ideally increase. subscriptions to Hulu, raising more revenue for Disney. While many including myself would prefer just one streaming service with everything, Disney is still cautious about associating some brands with the Disney name and also Disney+ wouldn’t be able to continue at its current price point with double or treble the amount of content.
Disney also was once going to take Hulu internationally, but it seems those plans have stalled. In part, perhaps they don’t want to make Hulu too valuable, because Comcast still owns a stake and the more valuable it is, the more Disney will need to pay Comcast by 2024 to buyout their stake.
We’ve enjoyed Hulu, it’s one of the better streaming channels. For new content, anyway, if you strip away the main IP that Disney+ has (Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, The Simpsons, Disney animation etc), it’s a better streaming service than Disney+. It seems like Disney+ strategy was to assemble and offer their legacy content and not add much new in the first year. They have season two of The Mandalorian coming and some notable movies, but more new content comes regularly to Hulu. Also, Hulu is more adult-oriented.
So, does it make sense to fold Hulu into Disney+? I’m not sure on this one. It might turn off Hulu subscribers who don’t see Hulu as Disney, then again it might add an edge to Disney+ that it is more than (mostly) family-friendly content. I kind of like the idea of keeping the services separate and standalone, but can see this would make Disney+ more robust, particularly in the adding new content portion of the service, which is a current weakness.
What do you think? Leave Hulu standalone or should it be folded into Disney+?
If I see another movie star say that we’re facing the end of art culture as we know it, I might just throw up all over the screen.
Maybe grossly overpaid actors and actresses — in fairness, most of them aren’t, it’s just a small subset of movie stars that command large salaries — should wake up and do more like Jim Carrey did when he was in a career slump.
Yes, Man wasn’t a great movie, but performed well at the box office. It’s also an example of how movie stars can earn a bunch of money betting on a movie doing well vs. taking a higher upfront salary.
Following his previous movies such as Fun with Dick and Jane having flopped, Carrey felt that he didn’t need to get paid an upfront salary. He, therefore, declined any payment before filming. He instead chose to negotiate for 36.2% of the movie’s profits.
At the time, Carrey’s move was considered a risky affair. However, the risk paid off when Yes Man grossed $223 million worldwide at the Box Office. Carrey eventually had the last laugh and took home $30 million, making it one of his biggest paydays.
Now, understandably most actors won’t be able to negotiate that kind of percentage of profits, nor in these current bleak movie sales times generate larger sales, but there is a reasonable salary number between $0 and millions per film for actors to consider so that the film budget can be reduced.
The high paying actors we see crying in the media about the death of art being upon us, when the closer reality is they’ll be seeing the reduction of the giant cash cow they’ve been milking.
Before striking back in the comments below or dismissing what I’m saying, it’s not that I’m against actors and actresses making all the cheddar they can. I’m suggesting if the movie is good that they should enjoy the financial success of it, but if it’s not, they shouldn’t be paid more money than the film earned. For six months work making hundreds of thousands of dollars may not pay the mansion mortgage, but it’s a lot of money to the average family that make like $50-75k a year.
This wage disparity turns off the vast majority of people out there working their tails off to pay the bills.
In other Jim Carrey news, he is under some fire over his current Joe Biden impression.
Carrey is trending on Twitter after the latest episode of the sketch comedy show as SNL fans call for his replacement as Vice President Biden. Carrey debuted in the role in SNL’s high-rated 46th season premiere, replacing Woody Harrelson. Some took instant offense to the casting as part of a recent SNL trend of handing high-profile impersonations to outside celebrities instead of regular cast members. Carrey’s performance has received mixed reviews, but it seems his third episode was the breaking point for many viewers.
I think the problem with Jim Carrey is his style is too over the top energetic playing Biden. Carrey just overacts all the time kind of like Nic Cage. Some of what Carrey does is funny but often he goes too far. His Biden impression is weak for that reason, in my opinion. The bit above should be funny, but it’s … not.
About 25% are dropping Live TV according to the study below. It’s not just Cable and Satellite either, subscriptions to the streaming Live TV options are on the downward slide.
These numbers come from The Diffusion Group, a syndicated research company. TDG analysts had previously forecasted US households with pay-TV subscriptions to fall in the 83.5 million to 87 million range by 2020, but the actual numbers are lower than that with pay-TV households falling to 81 million at the end of 2019.
And it’s not just cable subscriptions that are falling short of TDG’s projections. Live streaming options like Fubo, Sling, YouTube TV, Philo, and others are also unexpectedly dwindling. It seems like consumers are less concerned with watching TV live as it happens and leaning more toward video-on-demand options.
Why we don’t watch more is a more lengthy question and it probably boils down to the amount of commercial breaks. There’s no reason to watch something you can’t fast forward. Yes, you can DVR live TV and we were into that for awhile with TiVo (loved the Tivo many years ago), but if the point is to watch something live, well, fast forward isn’t an option.
Kara watches almost zero and I watch the Seahawks play football on Sunday sometimes, streaming through Locast.org and sometimes other Sunday NFL games. I haven’t watched a professional baseball or basketball game in quite some time. I’ll watch some boxing matches live. Last year, I paid for the boxing match between Conor Mcgregor and Floyd Mayweather. I’m also likely to pay for and watch Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. fight (see: Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition fight needs more time — delayed until November 28).
Beyond watching live sports, I’m also interested in some news programs and election coverage every four years. Since we’re in the election cycle, I’ll be tuning in to live TV a little more over the next 30 days or so. After that, live TV will be reserved for special events here and there.
Maybe the Oscars in 2021, particularly because it’s going to be more than interesting pondering what the Academy will vote for. Something tells me they will delay that until 2022 and incorporate 2020 and 2021 films. There just haven’t been enough award-winning type films released so far this year. Given we’ve just entered the main awards season, but the selection is thin right now and doesn’t appear to be improving much.
Put me in the crowd that enjoyed Halloween III: Season of the Witch. It wasn’t on par with the first film, of course. The first one is iconic, the second is sort of typical also-ran horror sequel fare, but the third movie took a totally different and potentially fresh direction. I thought what those masks did were horrific — and loved it!
(even if the tech made like zero sense, it was freaky to see snakes and other creepy crawlies emerge from a “fun” mask)
John Carpenter thought we were done with Michael Myers, The Shape and wanted to give us a new Halloween movie every year without the knife-slashing psycho. Alas, Halloween III was panned for not having Michael in it. Seems ironic, but Halloween III historically has earned a warmer cult following.
There was a story for a Halloween movie that dealt with where Michael Myers was at during Halloween III and it sounded promising.
“The concept was this: If Halloween is ‘The Night He Came Home’, I started to think – ‘Wait a minute. Yeah, okay, that’s the night he came home. But his real home was the asylum. That’s where he really grew up.’ So the concept of The Missing Years was to begin the film by exploring a bit of his childhood in the asylum, and kind of fill in some of the pieces we didn’t know about him. Like, ‘Why specifically that mask?’, and just kind of fill in some of the fun lore that came specifically from that institution. So then the concept would be – cut to the present (back then, of course) when Season of the Witch is unfolding. I never did address it specifically, that film, but I filled in that there was a missing year that he didn’t come home, so where did he go? He went to Smith’s Grove. He went to his real home. He was returning back to what was essentially the place he grew up during his formative years. It was basically going to be him wreaking havoc on this asylum.
This was to be Halloween 9, would you have dug this? I mean assuming it was done better than an average ninth horror movie sequel? I’m thinking horrifically bad sequels like Jason In Space (ok, maybe for comedic value).
Horror sequels have a long history of being mostly embarrassingly bad. For me, horror sequels that try to take the story a fresh direction are worth more serious consideration. Maybe it’s too late for the idea above, but you never know in this era of streaming. Maybe somebody finances and makes this film someday. Maybe I’m just one horror movie fan, but I’d be interested. You?
Let me start this by saying that I didn’t think any actress could ever replace Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. I mean, she was Wonder Woman in the comics and in live action in the 70s.
Just like I doubted — and still do — that Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner and Lou Ferigno can be replaced as Hulk. And, all due respect to Mark Ruffalo, Edward Norton, they have not done a better job than Bixby. Comparable? Sorry, no.
But Gal Gadot changed my mind with her portrayal as Wonder Woman. She could and did successfully fill the giant shoes of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman and I can’t wait to see WW1984, hopefully on the big screen.
So, when I read that the Wonder Woman combo of director Patty Jenkins and actress Gal Gadot are teaming up to remake Cleopatra, my initial reaction was, “yeah, that fits. I could see her in that role.”
Casting-wise, isn’t this the criteria? I’ve never done casting for a movie, so am looking at this totally without any professional standing. Pure amateur viewpoint. But from an experienced moviegoer, if you will. Someone who wants to see movies with proper casting, of course.
Perhaps a simplification, but you also want to cast an actress that will draw interest to a film, so the more unknown actors/actresses you fill the roles in a film, the less likely it will be to garner initial moviegoer interest. That doesn’t mean a film with unknowns can’t be awesome, it simply means initial interest in the film can be affected negatively by not having a star attached. I think even newbies to the movie business understand this as a basic casting premise.
Gadot is a pretty big name right now for actresses and if you want your film to do well, and want a bigger budget for the film, an all star director and actress for this picture helps. Patty Jenkins might not have a huge portfolio of movies, but the ones she’s done to date have been outstanding. She’s a very skilled director and I look forward to her movies.
Am not sure I’m looking that forward to the actual movie in concept, however — I’m very jaded on remakes, the casting and director have nothing to do with it — yet will hold judgment once more on the story and perhaps a trailer are released. It could be something I’m very, very interested in seeing. Regardless, if it’s a wide release in a movie theater and I’m not somehow prevented from seeing (health, theaters closed, etc), I’ll be watching that movie someday in the future. It’s the movies I’m most interested in, the stories. All I ask of casting is that if it is based on a real person, does the person resemble the person, or could prosthetics make that person look similarly. This helps the suspension of disbelief.
I mean, Gadot goes from a DC superhero character of an Amazonian goddess to Cleopatra? Seems like a fitting role for the actress.
And yet there are detractors to the choice. Some who want the role to go to a black actress.
Even The National in the UAE critiqued the choice of Gadot. In an article about five actresses of Arab descent who could play Cleopatra, the author notes that she was actually of “Macedonia-Greek heritage.” The author notes “it also raises the theoretical question: If Gadot wasn’t in the frame, does the Arab world have stars of its own with sufficient stature to be considered for such an ambitious project?” The article admits that since Cleopatra was of Greek background, “the casting call could have been spread far and wide.”
This discussion seems out of bounds to me. Can you imagine a job interview in any other job except Hollywood where a person’s race would have anything whatsoever with getting the job? It is making me think of job discrimination in the hiring process.
Lest we forget that acting is a job. It might be at a higher level (not extras, not small supporting roles) a very specialized job with extremely great pay — in high profile cases like Gadot’s anyway (she was paid $10 million for her role in WW1984), but it’s still a job.
Casting decisions are not like hiring someone for long term employment, it’s for a project, but actors aren’t viewed as independent contractors.
They have to show up on set at set times and they have to follow the instructions in the script (yeah, there are exceptions) and the instructions of a director. It stands to reason that normal employment hiring laws should at least somewhat follow casting. I don’t know for certain that’s the case, but when I read “a black actress should be hired” it makes me feel the same as “a white actress should be hired.” Neither statement sounds like a viable or even legal hiring criteria.
Do you like Gal Gadot being cast as Cleopatra? Why? Why not?
Comcast is doing well with their internet business in the pandemic. Owning a high speed internet service, especially during the pandemic, is a great business. Just having any significant stake in major internet-related access is a worthwhile — at least as long as end consumers are paying for it.
There have been various degrees of “let’s make free internet access everywhere a reality” but the logistics of “free” are a subject beyond the scope of this post. I will say anything labeled as “free” is a business illusion. There are no truly, completely free lunches in this world, unless maybe we’re talking about air and you might remember in Total Recall the antagonist Vilos Cohaagen (Ronnie Cox) profited from the air on Mars.
It’s a different story, though, for Comcast’s legacy business. Surging use of streaming-video services and the rising number of smart devices per household are driving more people to seek internet service and faster speeds. Comcast signed up 800,000 internet subscribers in the first half of the year, nearly offsetting the 815,000 residential pay-TV customers it lost in that span. The unit generated 61% of Comcast’s revenue in the June quarter and 77% of its adjusted Ebitda.
Those who are cutting the cord in mass exodus from traditional cable might think Comcast is hemorrhaging cash. It would seem Comcast understood this by the launch of Peacock, their Flex box and $100 million acquisition of Xumo (which now has 24+ million subscribers) in early 2020. They seem to be pivoting to that business vs. losing their customers completely — those that don’t have/need their internet service.
Whether or not the Flex box is any kind of contender vs. Roku, Amazon Fire and the new Google Chromecast + TV remains to be seen. The logical bet would be on Amazon on Google, although I’d like to see Roku continue to be the leader in the space simply because they are not Amazon or Google. A business should only get so big in the tech space before it is too big. There should be no argument, except from those investing in these two tech goliath’s, that they are too big.
So … what does this mean?
Unless you are looking for a future where free Wi-Fi is everywhere, probably controlled by ads (sigh), having your own home internet service will remain a staple utility like water, sewer and garbage service. Yes, you could be on a well and use nature to avoid those as well. I almost mentioned electricity, but in the move to go green, solar increasingly is looking like the way to go there.
We’re in a seismic shift from the old guards to new guards. Those in the tech sector are familiar with this activity and some even embracing it.
Whatever you’re reading out there about Comcast possibly being in some kind of trouble, articles like the one above are much closer to the reality, or so at least this early adopter, once upon a time horror novelist techie thinks. Sure, their customer base needs are changing, but then that writing has been on the wall for years now.
Jenkins is among dozens of top Hollywood directors appealing to the U.S. government to provide a financial lifeline to cinemas. Without it, she warned, the century-old tradition of going to the movies could disappear from American culture.
No, no, no, no. A thousand more nos. Horrible idea.
Here’s the thing, the government are people. All of us. We’re the taxpayers and we pay the taxes. So anything the government does, probably through printing money it doesn’t have since we’re multiple dozen trillions in debt, becomes a further burden on US taxpayers.
Now look at the current debt clock taken from seconds ago, showing an increase of almost $4 trillion dollars.
We’re huge fans of watching movies at the theater, having paid for and watched over 100 movies in theaters the last year (see 2019 watched in theaters and 2020) — despite the pandemic wiping out most of the last six months.
If it comes down to a taxpayer bailout for cinemas to keep them from going out of business, then my answer at this point is blunt, but practical and necessary: let them go out of business. That wouldn’t be some major catastrophic failure. It’s not like the ozone layer depleted and life on earth as we know it will die. I believe that other savvy business people will rise up and seize the cinema experience, making some new, different experience. That’s America.
The whining about us not getting any or as many big budget movies? So what! (see: $100+ Million Movie Budgets Are Stupid) Great movies have been created on very modest budgets by today’s standards. Hollywood elites threatening us from their million dollar mansions is neither compelling or convincing.
Movies will still be made. Good movies will still be financed and made. Hollywood doesn’t need taxpayer funding.
I am concerned about the tens of thousands of underpaid workers who can’t work in the cinema business while they remain closed. We should have had a second stimulus plan that would have helped these people directly, but our government is too possessed with arguing over who will be president the next four years to concern themselves with helping the unemployed.
Or maybe — and this is definitely just me thinking out loud — if there was a stimulus plan before the election, then it looks like the current government did their job, that would be helpful to the current political party in power. My guess is there will be a stimulus plan, miraculous as it will be passed not too long after the result of the presidential election. Just as the Supreme Court vacancy will be filled. Movie theaters will either reopen or die. Life will go on. An asteroid hasn’t struck the earth if Hollywood has to restructure the way it works.
Perspective in life isn’t something, it’s everything.
These are the things the political powers that be are consumed by, not movie theaters. Not the majority of unemployed taxpayers. Not the people. Not us.
That’s probably the source of what Jenkins and her director group are focusing on, but these people will get jobs in some other business sector and/or maybe work in the new cinemas that pop up if/when the big three theater chains go out of business. And if some of these directors lose their mansions and luxurious lifestyle, sorry. You earned those benefits off the backs of millions of middle and lower income people paying to see your movies for escapism and entertainment. If people can’t/won’t afford to go in as large numbers to finance your next mansion, again, sorry.
It’s not just a rich vs. middle income and poor discussion though. Going out of business — or severe disruption impacting business — happens sooner or later to virtually every type of business. The same could be said of taxi drivers being disrupted over Lyft and Uber and countless other businesses through time that have been disrupted due to changing times and business. This isn’t personal, it’s just the way it is.
Bailouts are a bad idea for the entertainment sector, period. A sector that may give many of us pleasure, but isn’t a necessity. It’s entertainment, people. Pleasure. That can and will be had in a variety of other places if it goes away — and just so it’s clear, I don’t believe it will ever completely go away.
Go back to working on your next project, Mrs. Jenkins. If we can afford it, we might be interested in that.
We last talked about an ad-supported HBO Max that is planned to launch at some point in 2021, maybe, here: Does an ad-supported HBO Max make sense, really?. Plans can change, especially in the current times, but I missed this article which is about a month old now that mentions more specifics of how these ads could actually impact subscribers.
Emphasis in the quote is ours.
In a marketing survey sent to consumers last week, WarnerMedia explained that an ad-supported version of its HBO Max streaming service could potentially carry just two to four minutes of advertising per viewing hour, a figure that would be less than the five minutes per hour that runs on NBCUniversal’s Peacock and the nine minutes per hour often utilized on Disney’s Hulu.
We currently subscribe to Hulu with ads. Definitely notice the ads, but didn’t realize they were 9 minutes per hour. They are much more noticeable with the TV series content than movies.
In fact, I don’t remember movies being interrupted to show ads in the middle, which is my overall concern with ads. Don’t show me ads in the middle of movies, please. I realize Live TV movies have commercials every 20-30 minutes or so. They end up adding an additional 15 minutes at least to a movie. I don’t like that and would rather pay a few bucks more a month to avoid that sort of movie watching intrusion.
Leaving our experience currently with Hulu aside for a moment, I’m not sure even if they cut the price in half for HBO Max with ads, that we’ll be interested. We like Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max and Disney+ currently having zero ads. CBS All Access, another streaming service we subscribe to has ads, but at least with movies, aren’t intrusive. Understandable for live TV having commercials. Am OK with those there.
It should be noted we are not fans of the vast majority of remakes, especially when it comes to classic movies. If the movie was great to begin with, if it’s a classic, then why to try to redo it … except for money. That’s not a good enough reason to try. There has to be something else gained besides money.
Not saying that no remakes should ever be made. There are cases, a very small percentage, where a remake is justified.
Also, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a remake like Greta Gerwig’s take on Little Women in 2019, but there are some movies where the star is so utterly iconic that there is no suitable replacement for the role.
Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon is one of those people.
Seriously, who can possibly ever replace the martial arts sensation? I don’t like to use the word “never” very often, but Lee was an extremely rare individual and there will never be another Bruce Lee.
There is also the time era that the movie was made, the early 70s, the fact that Bruce Lee fought to make his first film to show the Asian culture and fought against Hollywood racism and intolerance. Lee fought to change a ton of things in the film.
There is a really insightful podcast by Lee’s daughter, Shannon with a guest of Bruce Lee’s wife Linda Lee Cadwell where they discuss the making of Enter The Dragon (see: Linda Lee Caldwell: Making “Enter The Dragon” – October 2018). You’ll most certainly learn things, as I did, behind the scenes of this movie that you didn’t know about. It’s quite a story.
The article quoted below is from 2018, so no idea where things are at two years later. Most production of movies have been impacted by the current events of 2020 — and not for the positive. Heck, even Netflix is canceling production of projects that I had previously greenlit. Something tells me if there is an Enter The Dragon remake on somebody’s table, it’s gathering significant dust.
Some films are sacrosanct that ought to be left untouched and for many, Enter the Dragon falls into that category. Despite the purists’ argument that both Fist of Fury (1973) or The Big Boss (1971) probably have better character arcs or narrative, it’s unquestionably Enter the Dragon that brings greater joy. A large part of the audiences’ connection with Enter the Dragon is essentially emotional as this was the film that Lee never lived to see. Irrespective, a remake of the film might ultimately not be as controversial as ‘who would play Lee’s character’ in it.
This leads to the question asked in the headline: should Enter The Dragon ever be remade?
My answer is no.
Probably not in my lifetime, anyway, am I interested unless some young martial arts sensation comes along that could fill the role not only on talent but also the cultural history, importance and raw passion that Lee brought to the project. Bruce Lee’s name literally means “little dragon” and the title refers to him. It’s not only professional, it’s personal.
Jackie Chan is far too old — and he was already in the original film anyway. Jet Li comes to mind, but not sure he’s young enough either. I think the youth, although this sounds ageist, matters quite a bit. Could Shannon Lee be in it? She says no in the podcast, but that is kind of an unusual and somewhat intriguing concept. Too bad her brother Brandon didn’t survive because he could have been an interesting choice to star in his dad’s place. We’ll never know.
What do you think? Is Enter The Dragon one of those rare films that should probably never be remade?
While a fourth Back To The Future movie remains very unlikely, there continue to be licensed franchise products like this board game: Back to the Future: Dice Through Time.
Designed for two to four players, Back to the Future: Dice Through Time’s board has four horizontal time streams – 1885, 1955, 1985, and 2015. Every item Biff has stolen will be spread between them, but iconic events from the movie (such as Marty and Biff’s skateboard chase) must be cleared before you can collect each one. You do this by matching dice rolls to the symbols for each event. So far, so simple.
$29.99 USD, for 2-4 players. We don’t play many board games these days, but this one looks like fun and sports a play time that doesn’t exceed an hour, which is just about right. I like Monopoly but man, some of those games can go painfully long. Also like Trivia Pursuit.
Looked online and saw this at Target. Not sure if they have this one inside the actual stores or it’s an online only option. Any board game fans reading? What sort of movie-related board or card games can you recommend?