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There really are no new movie stars
And Prime Video might change its name
What to know
Only old movie stars matter… There really are no new movie stars. A recent survey asked people to “name up to five actors that would make them most interested in seeing a movie in a theater.” Here’s who gets butts in seats, the last true movie stars:
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Robert Downey, Jr.
This group has an average age of 57.5 years old. Only four are in their 40s, only one is under 40 (Chris Hemsworth, he’s 39). This list seems like a bastion of the old monoculture days when everyone watched the same content, which allowed most of these 20 A-listers to become ingratiated in the minds and hearts of Americans. Now there’s a two-fold problem preventing newer and younger stars from breaking through. One, the franchises and the IP itself have become the star. You go see Captain America, not Chris Evans or Anthony Mackie. And two, viewing habits have become splintered, no one is watching the same thing anymore. Note, that when you break down the survey into demographics, younger stars do emerge. The Gen Z participants put Tom Holland and Zendaya in their top 20. 😱
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Rumor has it Daisy Ridley won’t be the lead of the 2025 Star Wars movie… Which means John Boyega’s involvement will probably be supporting as well. This feels like Lucasfilm trying to split the difference. On the one hand, it can bring back recognizable characters, while on the other hand, spotlight new characters and put some distance between this new film and the 2010s sequel trilogy (that not everyone loved). A direct sequel to Rise of Skywalker probably wouldn’t have been the best idea — and I wonder how the company will market this new movie as something different while still featuring some of the old characters. ✨
Warner Bros. is reportedly blaming the reboot of DC for Shazam 2’s failure… The thinking goes that news of a new connected universe reduced interest in the old one — but if that’s the case then how do you explain the audience interest in this summer’s The Flash? How will this logic stand up when The Flash does well this summer? Which it probably will. Also if we follow’s WBD’s logic, the studio should be very worried about Aquaman 2, which is slated for December, especially considering how apparently poor the test screenings have gone. 🤔
Why streaming companies and movie theaters are becoming “fast friends”… Except for Netflix, streamers (and legacy studios) are realizing the power of a theatrical run as a marketing tool. This AP quote sums it up, “the splash of a theatrical run can cascade through through every subsequent window. A film dropped straight into a vast digital expanse might go viral or quickly fade into one of a million things you can click on.” 🤝🏻
Theater owners weigh in on the state of the business… With CinemaCon approaching, Variety spoke to some boutique theater chain owners about the apparent movie house bounce back and what owners are still hopeful for from Hollywood. The bottom line is they want more movies, especially smaller and mid-tier ones like family comedies. The owners seem split on whether super hero fatigue is real. Interesting piece worth a read.
How a writers’ strike could hurt a returning theatrical movie biz… Speaking of the theaters wanting more movies, should the writers strike, the opposite might happen. We could see a cascade of shifting release dates. The studios might have to push back some titles scheduled for release late this year into next year to make up for the lack of production that could come from a strike. That said, the writers deserve better and a strike would be good in the long run. 🎟
Early reactions to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are strong, but the movie is still tracking behind its predecessor… Marvel needs something good and successful right now. Hopefully for the studio, those early reactions convert to strong reviews (they don’t always) and audiences start becoming more aware and excited for this movie. Its release date is now under two weeks away, so time is running out. 🦝
The inside story of how BuzzFeed turned down Disney… Bob Iger tried to buy BuzzFeed for as much as $650M in 2013, but the viral hitmaker didn’t take the deal. Considering the state of BuzzFeed now (trading under a dollar, just shuttered its news division), I bet there are some regrets there. 🐭
Amazon might change the name of Prime Video to Amazon TV… And it should because the latter is a much better name more branded name. I tend to refer to Prime Video as “Amazon” anyway, as in, “the new season of Maisel is on Amazon,” so this would be a convenient change. 🏷
Big Mouth renewed for 8th and final season at Netflix… I checked out in the middle of the most recent season because I felt like the show didn’t have much new or fresh to say, but I could see myself returning for the final episodes to see how it wraps up. 👄
Nic Pizzolato developing Magnificent Seven series at Amazon… Sounds interesting. The Hot Mic podcast revealed that the True Detective creator came to Amazon with a Western pitch and they layered the Magnificent Seven IP on top of it — cause everything needs an IP these days. 7️⃣
More Nintendo movies are coming… Of course they are. With Mario approaching $1B, the video game maker and Illumination would be foolish not to pump out as much as they can as fast as they can. 🎮
Twitter verified fake Disney Junior and MTV The Challenge accounts that were then used to tweet racial slurs, profanity, and violent videos… Just another day aboard Elon’s $44B sinking ship. 🐦
Disney to lay off 4,000 people this week… Always a bummer to hear about layoffs, especially of this size. And it won’t be the last, Disney’s final round of layoffs is set to happen this month.
Marvel’s Agatha series will have new songs from Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson Lopez… And they’ll be sung by Kathryn Hahn and Patti Lupone, because when it ain’t broke. 🎶
2024 Oscars will once again be the second week of March… Ensuring another too long award season. 🏆
Richard Lewis retires from stand up amid Parkinson’s diagnosis… May he get the flowers he so deserves. 👏
Lizzy Caplan, Connie Britton, Jesse Plemons join Robert DeNiro in Netflix series Zero Day… Friday Night Lights reunion alert! 🍿
John Mulaney: Baby J — Apr 25 | Netflix comedy special | 🍅
Love & Death — Apr 27 | HBO drama miniseries | 🍅 60%
Citadel — Apr 28 | Amazon spy thriller series | 🍅
Peter Pan & Wendy — Apr 28 | Disney+ fantasy film | 🍅
Fatal Attraction — Apr 30 | Paramount+ drama series | 🍅
Trailer: Smartless: On the Road — May 23 on Max
Directed by Sam Jones, starring Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and guests.
Say what you will about every celebrity having a podcast and all of them doing the same inane chat shows with other celebrities who also have their own podcasts, the Smartless podcast is actually a ton of fun. Arnett, Batman, and Hayes are more interested in joking around, throwing around praise, and telling funny stories rather than plumbing the depths of their guests psyches. Most of the time the three hosts are the main attraction and so a 6-part docuseries following their tour feels like a wonderful extension of this brand. There doesn’t seem to be too much reinventing here and that’s for the best. Not everyone is going to want to hang out with Arnett, Bateman, and Hayes over on Max, but those that do, look like they’re in for a treat.