MCN Commentary & Analysis

THB #76: 9 Weeks To Oscar

January 26, 2022

THB #73: Netflix Is Chilled

January 24, 2022

Why are these men so happy? When Netflix Masters of the Universe Reed Hastings, Ted Sarandos and Spencer Neumann released their quarterly investors video interview two hours after their quarterly results were released, they came off as giddy. (The images are from the first appearance of each man yesterday.) The stock had already dropped 20%. […]

Michael Wilmington, 1946-2022

January 7, 2022

Michael Wilmington was a singularity. I’ve knew him for roughly 25 years. But I don’t know how well I ever really knew him. I saw him. I talked to him about movies and his beloved mom, Edna, and his vision of the future, for all of us. We talked a lot about his frustrations. Michael’s […]

Reviewing Nightmare Alley From The MIdway

December 9, 2021

Welcome to the show, mother chuckers! For the mere price of a month of Netflix, we will show you the history of man. But not just any man. A man of mystery. A man of beauty. A man born to be a star, born to be hungover, born to hustle and snipe and find your […]

THB #26: 20 Weeks To Oscar – Pizza’s Here!

November 11, 2021

Licorice Pizza. This is the most laid-back Paul Thomas Anderson film ever. Which is to say that you can feel Paul’s willingness to just let it rip. Obviously, there is structure. Obviously, there are clearly considered ideas brought to fruition visually. But there will be no frogs. There will be no surrealism. No milkshakes or […]

THB #16: For The Love of Personal Filmmaking

October 26, 2021

Through this month of October, I have been overwhelmed with 14 in-theater screenings and one “premiere” online. Some have been better. Some worse. But what has struck me, after a year of endless conversation about the financial realities of the film industry going forward, is that almost every single one of these films has been […]

THB #13: 23 Weeks To Oscar

October 20, 2021

In the six weeks since my last Oscar column, here is what has happened Okay… I’m exaggerating a little. We have now had it confirmed that The Last Duel isn’t going anywhere. And Soggy Bottom turned into Licorice Pizza. And oh yes… The Tragedy of Macbeth landed at New York Film Festival and is still […]

What Is The Academy? Where Is It Going? (4/5/21)

October 19, 2021

I wrote this piece back in April 2021 and I never published it because I feared the repercussions. I honor of Dawn Hudson’s exit from the CEO slot – however long it takes – here it comes… unedited since April and without a closing graph or two.) There is a contingent in The Academy of […]

When Will Theatrical Find Its New Normal? (as of Sept. 2021)

September 22, 2021

I was pleased to hear Jeffrey Katzenberg interviewed by angry, middle-aged onanist Kara Swisher and saying, “I think for anybody to sit here today and think that they have a crystal ball, and they can see what this looks like three years from now or five years from now–I’m certainly not capable of doing it. […]

27 Weeks To Oscar: The Trouble With Award Shows (Emmy Edition)

September 20, 2021

Once again, after a forgettable evening of “thank you”s and whining by the permanently aggrieved, Hollywood’s media tries to figure out what went wrong with an awards show. Ans here is my obnoxious, but accurate, answer. Nothing went wrong. Everyone did their part. The Emmys have kept expanding to, now, 117 awarded categories so that […]

29 Weeks To Oscar: The Oscar Season Starts… Or Does It?

September 5, 2021

Venice and Telluride are off to rip-roaring starts. Well… Here are the films that survived the weekend, between the two festivals. Not frontrunners. Not a one of them. But well-liked and in the game… in order… 1. King Richard2. The Power of the Dog (both festivals)3. Belfast 4. Spencer (both festivals)5. Dune 6. Cyrano Half […]

Tweeted: Academy & Oscar (September 3)

September 5, 2021

The problem with The Academy Awards, as a popular TV event, is not the difference between a 2hr 30min show and a 3hr 15min show. It’s about a failure to understand the brand that has been going on for years and years now. If this Matt Belloni report is true, it is profoundly idiotic. “I’m […]

When Chaos Came To Town – Episode II: If 100 Million People Watch A Tree Fall For Two Minutes, Does It Make A Sound?

August 28, 2021

Monday, I looked at what the studios are chasing in streaming (the world)… and the long road ahead. Today, a little about how they are chasing it and the unexpected consequences that are still being mostly unexamined outside of the deep, dark rooms inside the offices of the streamers. A cottage industry has quickly grown, […]

When Chaos Came To Town – Episode I: Everybody Wants To Rule The World

August 23, 2021

There once was a time in this business when they had the eyes of the whole world in theaters! But that wasn’t good enough for them, oh no! They had to have control of the homes of the whole world, too. So they opened their big libraries and out came VHS. DVD! STREAMING! — apologies […]

Uncle David’s House Of Box Office: Reboot

August 2, 2021

I haven’t written about weekly box office in a really long time. Even before the pandemic, it became an overwrought exercise. But Disney has triggered me. I’m not even clear in my own head about what it is that so worries me about their behavior around Black Widow and Jungle Cruise. Even when they announced […]

A Year Later… Movie Content Scoreboard

July 7, 2021

Last year, on July 23, I wrote the first “Movie Content Scoreboard.” I am a little early with this final look at the pandemic effect on choices made on theatrical releases. Front-and-center in the column was a list of The Untouchables… films that seemed, at that point, too significant throw to the whims of exclusive […]

When Netflix Met Cinemark… And Nothing Happened

May 4, 2021

So news today, on May The 4th Be (fill in your favorite), that Cinemark and a bunch of the smaller chains will unite for a 600-screen run for Zack Snyder’s latest masterwork, Army of the Dead, opening in 17 days. There are a lot of ways to look at this. Of course, the expected “they […]

The Little *Oscar Show That Couldn’t

April 26, 2021

“A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The restClung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast;They thought, ‘If only Casey could but get a whack at that—We’d put up even money now, with Casey at the bat.’” “Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,The band […]

Gurus o’ Gold Pull Into the Station

April 23, 2021

A handful of dead certs, say the Gurus, taking a nod from the last of the guilds voting.

MCN Commentary & Analysis See All

THB #93: The Batman (no spoilers)

David Poland | March 6, 2022

THB #76: 9 Weeks To Oscar

David Poland | January 26, 2022

THB #73: Netflix Is Chilled

David Poland | January 24, 2022

The News Curated by Ray Pride See All

The New York Times

"Netflix, the great disrupter whose algorithms and direct-to-consumer platform have forced powerful media incumbents to rethink their economic models, now seems to need a big strategy change itself. It got me thinking about the simple idea that my film and TV production company Blumhouse is built on: If you give artists a lot of creative freedom and a little money upfront but a big stake in the movie’s or TV show’s commercial success, more often than not the result will be both commercial (the filmmakers are incentivized to make films that will resonate with audiences) and artistically interesting (creative freedom!). This approach has yielded movies as varied as Get Out (made for $4.5 million, with worldwide box office receipts of more than $250 million), Whiplash (made for $3.3 million, winner of three Academy Awards), The Invisible Man (made for $7 million, earned more than $140 million) and Paranormal Activity (made for $15,000, grossed more than $190 million).From the beginning, the most important strategy I used to persuade artists to work with me was to make radically transparent deals: We usually paid the artists (“participants” in Hollywood lingo) the absolute minimum allowable by union contracts upfront, with the promise of healthy bonuses based on actual box office results—instead of the opaque 'percentage points' that artists are usually offered. Anyone can see box office results immediately, so creators don’t quarrel with the payouts. In fact, when it comes time for an artist to collect a bonus based on box office receipts, I email a video clip of myself dropping the check off at FedEx to the recipient."
Jason Blum Sees Room For "Scrappier" Netflix

The New York Times | April 30, 2022

"As a critic Gavin was entertaining, wry, questioning, sensitive, perceptive"
Critic-Filmmaker Gavin Millar Was 84; Films Include Cream In My Coffee, Dreamchild

April 29, 2022

The New York Times

Disney Executive Geoff Morrell Out After Less Than Four Months

The New York Times | April 29, 2022

LA Times

"Responding to its dramatic slowdown, Netflix said it would test ways to encourage people to pay for sharing passwords; put out better shows, films and games; and explore a lower-cost, ad-supported version of Netflix — an option the company had long resisted. But the bleak subscriber numbers and the company’s response have stirred a mix of angst and uncertainty among many rank-and-file workers. Some are worried that the streaming heavyweight may have hired too fast and grown complacent as subscriber growth skyrocketed in the early days of the pandemic. Others are skeptical about strategic shifts and concerned that Netflix’s distinct culture is fundamentally changing, according to former employees who spoke with The Times and comments posted on a private Netflix group on Blind, an anonymous forum for people with company-verified email addresses."

LA Times | April 29, 2022

The Video Section See All

Mike Mills, C’mon C’mon

David Poland | January 24, 2022

The Podcast Section See All