I owe Netflix an apology
And Disney axes historic Star Wars experience
What to know
Netflix gives Ginny & Georgia two more seasons, Virgin River an early season 6 renewal… I like to chide Netflix for no longer giving shows more than 2 seasons, but it seems I owe the streamer an apology, as it apparently does let shows run longer on occasion. Particularly when they’re big hits. Ginny & Georgia is a massive one for the streamer spending weeks at the top of the charts, so no surprises it got a two-season renewal, but Virgin River seems to have slipped by me. I guess it’s something a lot of people watch, otherwise it definitely wouldn’t have made it this long on the ol’ Netflix. 🍿
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Disney World is closing the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel… It was supposed to be a revolution in immersive theme park experiences and luxury vacationing, but after a little more than a year of operation the Star Wars hotel is shutting down. Occupancy started out promisingly but supply quickly outgrew the demand, and it ain’t cheap to operate a fully interactive, theatrically acted, high-end operational hotel when you’ve got empty beds and empty dining tables. Maybe it was the obscene $5,000+ price tag that turned people away?! From all the reviews and reports, the Starcruiser seemed like an amazing experience, especially for Star Wars fans, and it’s a shame something this novel will no longer exist in the theme park space. Hopefully the “real” lightsaber featured in the grand finale show will pop up elsewhere in the parks. That said, it’s not surprising that the economics of the hotel just didn’t work for the company. ✨
Fast X eyes $60 million U.S. opening weekend, far below previous installments… 6 did $97M, 7 did $148M, F8 did $98M, even 2021’s pandemic-era F9 did $70M. So yes, diminishing returns in the states, but this isn’t as bad as it seems. These movies do huge business overseas — and Fast X is looking at a potential $280M total worldwide this weekend. Which is good considering it cost $440 million to make and market. I think it will be able to break even at least, don’t you? Meanwhile, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is projected to make $68M in June. Transformers topping the Fast family? I’m surprised. 🚗
SAG-AFTRA calls for strike authorization vote ahead of June 7 negotiations with the studios… The writers are on strike, the directors are currently negotiating, and the actors head to the table in June — and they’re clearly getting serious. Should the directors or actors join the writers in striking, well that would be a total shutdown for Hollywood and hopefully put pressure on the studios to give the unions fair deals. 🪧
Librarians sequel series ordered at The CW… OK, I think I’ve figured out the new CW’s brand strategy. It’s following the old Netflix playbook and saving/reviving niche properties that have some fanbase and name recognition. Between this, FBoy Island, and the Courtney B. Vance drama, The CW is trying to scoop up what it can on the cheap. 🧐
The Squid Game reality show will premiere on Netflix in November… Right in time to catch the Thanksgiving crowd. As you’ll recall, this is the production that allegedly endangered contestants by having them play Red Light, Green Light in the London cold for hours. My guess is this, like its fictional predecessor, will be a substantial hit. 🦑
YouTube TV back to normal after trapping NBA viewers in Little Mermaid loop… Imagine trying to watch the NBA playoffs but instead getting an ad for The Little Mermaid on repeat. Thanks YouTube TV! Expensive and on occasion, broken! ⏯
ESPN plans to stream flagship channel, sounding cable’s death knell… Live sports are one of the last things you can only see on cable. With Disney looking to offer live ESPN via streaming, that could be the ball game. 🪦
High Desert — May 17 | Apple comedy series | 🍅 65%
XO, Kitty — May 18 | Netflix comedy series | 🍅 80%
White Men Can’t Jump — May 19 | Hulu comedy film | 🍅 23%
Primo — May 19 | Amazon Freevee comedy series | 🍅
Fast X — May 19 | Action film in theaters | 🍅 56%
What to watch
Trailer: Killers of the Flower Moon — Oct 6 in theaters
Directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Eric Roth and Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Brendan Fraser, Tantoo Cardinal, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, Jillian Dion, William Belleau, Louis Cancelmi, Tatanka Means, Michael Abbot Jr., Pat Healy, Scott Shepherd, Jason Isbell, and Sturgill Simpson.
Talk to any movie fan about their most anticipated films of the year and this one is guaranteed to come up. Scorsese, DiCaprio, and De Niro seems to be delivering the Scorsese, DiCaprio, and De Niro-ness we all expect, but beyond the tense mood and big set pieces, I’m excited for the themes at hand here. Set in 1920s Oklahoma, the story is about “the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror.” The trailer puts the subjugation and persecution of Indigenous people front and center, but the way it hints at themes of greed, environmental destruction, and white supremacy is really tantalizing and fascinating. With its use of “wolves,” the mind immediately goes to The Wolf of Wall Street, a story that couldn’t be farther away in time and space, but might seemingly be connected thematically.