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Erasing Spacey

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BYOGG

Here come the Globes: The august members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association says Get Out is a comedy.

What’s going to be the next strange moment in the unfolding awards season?

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Weekend Estimates

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Friday Estimates

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Kristen Stewart’s COME SWIM (17’58”) From Refinery 29

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BYOB: It’s Not Just For Harvey Anymore

byob ck moore

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Rian Johnson Gets His Own Trilogy

Good, right?

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Fresh Ideas In Hollywood? Start With Executives!

I was in the middle of writing a piece about the studio landscape this week and BOOM!, down goes Megan Colligan.

I expect that she leapt before she got whacked. Not shocking. New chiefs tend to clear the decks and bring in people who were part of the success that got them the job. Plus, Colligan was stuck with Brad Grey’s decade of horrible decisions, reaping the benefit of Grey overspending on Paramount Vantage, over-delivering on movies that didn’t deserve so much attention but which got it because there was so little on the slate, and smashing into walls trying sell Shinola, pretending all the time that it wasn’t really shit. Rise and fall… and she will rise again soon enough.

So. For new chief Jim Gianopulos, the marketer with whom he had great success would be…

Anyone? Anyone?

And there is the problem.

Who is in the top slot overseeing film at the six majors?

Tom Rothman, Jim Gianopulos, Stacey Snider, Alan Horn, Donna Langley and Kevin Tsujihara.

Donna Langley has survived many sales and nukes at Universal and has been there a long time. Kevin Tsujihara is the newbie, has been on shaky ground from Day One and It isn’t enough to change that, and is about to face a new owner.

And then, you have the history of leadership in the film business going back over 20 years still running four of the majors.

And when there might be an open slot, who do the owners cling to?

Oren Aviv, Peter Chernin, Dick Cook, Brad Grey, Sherry Lansing, Bill Mechanic, Barry Meyer, Amy Pascal.

New Business, Mogul-ing, Retired, Dead, Retired, Producing, Retired, Producing.

Who is the one person who hasn’t run a big show that people are still obsessed with? Elizabeth Gabler… because she keeps saying, “no.”

Scott Stuber is at Netflix. Mary Parent is at Legendary (for now). Where did Donald Tang go when he wanted to reboot Open Road? Rob Friedman.  And where did Friedman go for a head of marketing? His old young EVP from Summit, Jack Pan.

In the immortal words of The Joker, “This town needs an enema.”

With due respect to an excellent career by Jim G, he’s never had success in the top job as a solo act, so why assume that he will be able to fix all that is wrong with Paramount? Remember, they are cash poor and every time some company goes on an asset search, it’s “thumbs down” on the Paramount/Viacom B asset base. Paramount has a wonderful history, but a lot of their assets don’t seem ready to convert to The Now. Library is excellent, but probably the fourth or fifth best out there. The cable networks are tired. TV is not the powerhouse it once was. And Jim G’s boss wants to spin straw into gold. Is Jim G going to take a big swing, chancing a strike out?

Wyck Godfrey: The Hire says, “No.” It says that Paramount is going to be chasing what didn’t work out for Jim G at Fox. This is not an indictment of Wyck Godfrey. He is a producer of significance. But will his Paramount slate ever hit anything better than a double? Can a studio thrive on that?

We are at the very beginning of Fox demonstrating Stacey Snider’s voice. The biggest thing she can bring is stability and a safer work environment (which the Murdochs will have to support… and should).

Horn is overseeing the multi-pronged Disney IP machine. And the new chatter about Disney buying Fox would put Stacey Snider in place to fill Alan Horn’s space on retirement, which would kinda be perfect for another decade-plus.

Warner Bros is a troubled studio, even with a run of success in the last few months. Some people on top are incredibly talented, but internal politics have overwhelmed any vision for years now and it shows. And now, the shadow of AT&T is hanging over what, just a decade ago, was the Big Movie capital of Hollywood that also played well to the middle movie range of comedies and dramas… with much of the same executive talent making that happen.

I was not a huge Jeff Robinov fan, but at least he knew where he wanted to go.

Tom Rothman is in “prove it” space at Sony and Jumani better kill. I am not telling you anything that everyone doesn’t know… though some assumed his career dead months ago. Rothman has a vision. Lots of people don’t like his vision. But he has a real track record and he hasn’t tended to lose a lot of money. But he has over this last year… so we will see.

And Universal is pretty much golden about now. The internal ranks, with as much change has happened, have been remarkably stable through five ownership changes. Comcast isn’t going anywhere. The studio plays to all fields. Marketing is like a rock (not without flaws, but solid). And aside from the now-stalled monsters relaunch, they have avoided disaster for a number of years now. And it seems that the bosses at Comcast are happy with what they own.

With Colligan’s exit, the 3/3 balance of male/female marketing chiefs is in play. Strauss and Goldstine aren’t going anywhere. Pam Levine is freshly set at Fox. Blair Rich is good at WB for now… always a potential “it was marketing” target if things go flat again over there. And Josh Greenstein lasts if Rothman lasts… JUMANJI!

Who is left for Jim G?

Tony Sella? Tomas Jegeus? Paul Hanneman?

It’s funny. Because every once in a while, Hollywood reaches for something new. And you get MT Carney… an everyone goes back into the same hot tub for a decade or so.

And that is why change is hard. It’ is hard. It’s risky. And this industry loves playing the same record over and over and over again.

Meanwhile, the media is OBSESSED with change. Change is good. Not change is bad. To the point of dementia.

Somewhere in the middle lies sanity.

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Weekend Estimates by Sore: Kladnarok

Weekend Estimates 2017-11-05 at 10.02.10 AM

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Friday Estimates

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Jodie Foster on “The Silence Of The Lambs” at BFI Southbank (38’42”)

Pretty much covers the subject in a rich 40 minutes.

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A THOR: RAGNAROK Thread, Not Limited To Spoilers

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BYOTreasure

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Three movies that you could go to on the darkest day in the darkest mood and come out all better. Go…

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Weekend Estimates by Toothless Saw Klady

Weekend Estimates 2017-10-29 at 11.12.30 AM

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Friday Estimates by Is October Over Klady

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Jigsaw will not be the lowest opening by a Saw movie, but it will be right there at the bottom where the franchise died out.

What made this Saw movie a Saw for now instead of a Saw for then? I never learned that from the ads, trailers and outdoor. As a non-fan of the series, I didn’t make the leap to realizing this was even a Saw movie until late in the game. Don’t get me wrong… I love some of the imagery of the campaign. But I didn’t get any sense of why I. or anyone needed to see it.

In the passion of youth, the energy and excitement we bring to our work seems natural and as we get older, we feel like we are putting out the same levels of energy and excitement, but really, we’re not. As mature people in our fields, we carry the weight of the past, in positive and negative ways. When the generation of 45+ year-old marketers talk about how “you can’t just throw this stuff in the market and expect it to open” anymore, they have forgotten that they didn’t just throw this stuff into the market back when… it felt like a natural, effortless event. I’m not suggesting that an aging marketer is a weaker marketer, but rather that we all need to keep a check on ourselves as we mature to make sure that we are still finding the raw enthusiasm and hunger for variety that we had as “kids.” Decade after decade, how movies have been sold has changed. And the best marketers have changed as well. But when we think we are going into our old bag of tricks… well, there has never been a generation that couldn’t smell that a mile away.

Thank You For Your Service should have been released in January or February. The most successful movie targeting the stars & stripes audience in October was Flags of Our Fathers, which had the power of Spielberg and Eastwood behind it and opened to $10m and grossed $34m domestic. This film started with Spielberg, who gave the book to Jason Hall when they were working on American Sniper, but he was not there in the end and the film – which isn’t a light romp or a star vehicle – could have opened in October if there was sme big expenditure of energy by the studio… but it feels like it was not expected to do business.

Suburbicon has the earmarks of a movie that a studio could have gotten excited about selling… if the movie had only turned out well. But it didn’t. Another Coens script that wasn’t a Coens movie. And so, the old dump-a-roo. Another problem is that Matt Damon, for most of the movie, gives a performance not so different in tone from his performance in the vastly superior Downsizing, which is from director Alexander Payne, who gave Clooney his last great leading role in The Descendants (meaning most recent, not last ever). This seems to be just timing and coincidence, as Damon has greater range than this. It’s unfortunate for Paramount to have two films with the same lead within two months and for them not to be wildly distinct from one another. It’s better for Downsizing that Suburbicon just disappears quickly… not that anyone intended that to be the case.

As for the marketing… it was murky. Trying not to give away the turn to darkness in the film meant not really exploiting in the schizophrenia of the tones in the movie. This also was true, unfortunately, of the movie.

Nice open for The Square on four.

Bring on the God of Thunder.

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The Hot Blog

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“Would I like to see Wormwood in a theater on a big screen? You betcha. I’d be disingenuous to argue otherwise. But we’re all part of, like it or not, an industry, and what Netflix offers is an opportunity to do different kinds of films in different ways. Maybe part of what is being sacrificed is that they no longer go into theaters. If the choice is between not doing it at all and having it not go to theaters, it’s an easy choice to make.”
~ Errol Morris

“As these stories continue to break, in the weeks since women have said they were harassed and abused by Harvey Weinstein, which was not the birth of a movement but an easy and highly visible shorthand for decades of organizing against sexual harassment that preceded this moment, I hope to gain back my time, my work. Lately, though, I have noticed a drift in the discourse from violated rights to violated feelings: the swelled number of reporters on the beat, the burden on each woman’s story to concern a man “important” enough to report on, the detailed accounting of hotel robes and incriminating texts along with a careful description of what was grabbed, who exposed what, and how many times. What I remember most, from “my story” is how small the sex talk felt, almost dull. I did not feel hurt. I had no pain to confess in public. As more stories come out, I like to think that we would also believe a woman who said, for example, that the sight of the penis of the man who promised her work did not wound her, and that the loss she felt was not some loss of herself but of her time, energy, power.”
~ “The Unsexy Truth About Harassment,” by Melissa Gira Grant