Did You Hear? is a weekly examination of headlines in the entertainment industry and a take on what they could mean for the future of the industry and (often), the little geeky bubble that we occupy!
Black Widow’s International Opening
The MCU is back and Variety already has a report on how Natasha Romanoff’s solo movie is doing around the world. To the tune of $4.9 million dollars across 11 markets. Given the strain on the film distribution industry since global acknowledgement of the Covid-19 pandemic this is a pretty impressive showing.
Current breakdowns, per Variety, are as follows:
The comic book adaptation, the first Marvel movie to grace cinemas in two years, had the strongest start in the United Kingdom, where it generated $1.7 million on its first day of release. It had an equally promising showing in France with $1.6 million on Wednesday. “Black Widow” also opened in Italy ($700,000), the Netherlands ($300,000) and Sweden ($300,000).
With the United States and Asia coming into play in coming days there’s a good chance Black Widow will be a powerful earner this year. What will be interesting to dissect is how the movie stands up against pre-pandemic Marvel Studios offerings which easily break $1 billion these days.
The Tomorrower War In Development
The Tomorrow War had a huge opening on Amazon Prime and Deadline is already reporting a sequel in the works. Amazon, itself, has not provided actual numbers (as is common across streaming platforms), but the movie is already being marketed as the top movie on the service.
What do we know about a potential sequel? Deadline sums it up as follows:
“I understand discussions are in place to bring the whole creative gang back both in front of and behind the camera including director Chris McKay and screenwriter Zach Dean; and stars Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson, Edwin Hodge and Oscar winner J.K. Simmons. Paramount is also involved in the sequel; the studio originally attached to distribute the first film theatrically.”
The Tomorrow War eked out Coming 2 America for Amazon Prime’s top original content.
Amazon Acquires Universal
It’s not quite the same as one dinosaur eating the other, but yesterday Variety laid out a distribution deal with Amazon Prime and IMDBTv (owned by Amazon), to license Universal Studios content.
TL;DR F9 and Jurassic World will now be streaming via your Amazon Prime app across devices of your choice.
Under the new agreement, Prime Video will will have an exclusive pay-one window for UFEG’s slate of live-action films in the U.S. (starting with the 2022 release slate) and will also receive rights to a package of UFEG’s library movies.
Amidst swirling discussions and concerns about Walt Disney Studios steady march toward monopoly this is a major move from Amazon, although it appears to stick to the distribution side of things. It’s also worth noting Universal isn’t even the first acquisition Amazon has made in this space, as Variety reminds us:
Universal’s pact with Amazon comes after the studio inked a deal with Peacock making the NBCUniversal streaming service the pay-one partner for the initial four months of the post-theatrical period as well as the final four months of the window (with the middle 10 months licensed nonexclusively to other partners). Both Peacock and Universal are owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal.
Reps from Amazon want consumers to be excited:
“We know Prime members love movies and this new deal with UFEG will deliver some of the best films available for our customers. This new slate of UFEG films, including exciting upcoming releases such as ‘Jurassic World: Dominion,’ ‘The 355,’ and ‘Ambulance’ will continue to build upon Prime Video’s catalog and delight Prime members, all at no additional cost to their membership.”
Says Brad Beale, Prime Video VP of worldwide content licensing with Peter Levinsohn, UFEG’s vice chairman and chief distribution officer adding:
“Recognizing that all parties would benefit from a modernized windowing structure, this new agreement allows Prime Video and IMDb TV to benefit from UFEG’s vast library and diverse content like never before. We’re thrilled to team up with Amazon to deliver our titles to its customers. This agreement further delivers on our distribution strategy to monetize our unparalleled movie library across multiple services, while offering customers the most choice, control and flexibility in how, when and where they watch films.”
This deal will definitely streamline many peoples watching experience. Addition costs for content and what this is going to mean for people on the side of making the content won’t be understood for years, but more and more deals of this size always feel a touch ominous.