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Zamm Columns

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 4/15/18

Fox Searchlight's plan to produce content for TV and streaming could turn the Emmys into the new Oscars. By moving into the business of creating content for viewing at home or on mobile devices, FS points the way to a future where critically driven "films," series and documentaries could reach a much larger audience. FS's best picture Oscar success – most recently with "THE SHAPE OF WATER" (pictured – director Guillermo del Toro) -- could easily translate into Emmys gold with streaming partners like the one Disney's launching or Hulu, which Disney will own 60% of after acquiring Fox. By leveraging its high profile prestige movie brand via Searchlight TV, FS should emerge as a driving force on the Emmys front – a great place to be in the Disney-Fox universe. FS isn't getting out of theatrical movies, but the marketplace has... More >>

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 4/8/18

Last week's MPAA analysis of global moviegoing in 2017 was so overloaded with content that some key info was buried. With so much detail about percentages up and down – like up 5% to $40.6B in worldwide ticket sales vs. $38.6B in 2016, but down 2% domestically to $11.1B from $11.4B – it's easy to miss some valuable insights provided by the studios' lobbying group. The spotlight was on moviegoing's international strength last year -- $29.5B in ticket sales, up 7% from 2016's $27.2B – because that offset domestic's disappointing results. But what's really worth noting is that domestic's shortfall from 2016 was only about $300M -- and that would have been wiped out if Hollywood had had just one more blockbuster like "IT" (pictured), which did $327.5M, or managed to get an extra $150M in ticket sales from, say, two under-performers. So domestic would have been neck-and-neck with 2016 if "TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT" had done $280.2M instead of $130.2M and if "THE MUMMY" did $230.2M instead of $80.2M. Looking at it this way, the decline in domestic moviegoing... More >>

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 4/1/18

After turning moviegoing into an event-films-only business, streaming video now has Hollywood cutting commercials on its broadcast networks. Streaming's impact on TV is in addition to giving moviegoers a cheaper and more convenient way to see non-event films. Unfortunately, that tends to include most of what's not coming from Disney's Marvel (pictured – "AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR"), Pixar or Lucasfilm labels. Thanks to Netflix and Amazon, viewers have gotten used to seeing content at home without having to watch commercials or even fast-forward through ads on their DVRs. Last week brought word that NBC and Fox plan to cut back on the amount of commercial time in their shows this fall, hoping viewers will sit through shorter breaks and advertisers will pay as much or even more because there's less clutter. More >>

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 3/25/18

Now that Washington's launched a trade war with China, Hollywood may need to rethink its strategy of making films designed to perform well in China. If China's response to the tariffs includes a reduction in how many US films can be distributed in China or on how much money US studios can take out of China, Hollywood could be in serious trouble. "PACIFIC RIM UPRISING" (discussed in today's boxoffice comments) and "TOMB RAIDER" (pictured – Alicia Vikander) are examples of how Hollywood hopes to crunch its numbers by appealing to moviegoers in China. "TR," which reportedly cost $90M, opened a week ago in second place to $23.6M domestic. In China, however, it topped the boxoffice More >>

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 3/18/18

There already are too many awards shows, but I think we need one more. It's not realistic to think Oscar voters will suddenly start including big budget, mainstream hits in the best picture race. "BLACK PANTHER" (pictured) getting a best picture nom next year is a long shot given Academy members' love affair with small indie dramas. "BP" may be 97% Certified Fresh on RT with $605.4M domestic and $1.18B globally, but it's likely to wind up snubbed just like "WONDER... More >>

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 3/11/18

Oscar turned 90 last week, but it's anybody's guess if he'll make it to 100! Lower ratings were likely since the best picture nominees weren't widely seen, but 26.5M average viewers is grim -- the lowest in 9 years and down 19% from 32.9M in 2017. Clearly, the Academy must fix a few things. First, it's absurd to ignore popcorn movies like "WONDER WOMAN"... More >>

MARTIN GROVE’S HOLLYWOOD REPORT - 3/4/18

Movie critics are more influential than ever in Hollywood despite their dwindling readership and media outlets jettisoning some of them to save money. In the 1960s and '70s, prominent publications prized having brand name critics whose strong opinions could make a difference at the boxoffice. Among the best: Judith... More >>


ZAMM News

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 2/11/18

There's a new category in France's Cesar Awards and it's an idea Oscar should kick around. What the French Academy just did is create an award honoring the French film that sold the year's most tickets. In France, those are usually broad appeal comedies that moviegoers love. It's not a competitive Cesar category, but turning it into one would... More >>

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 2/4/18

The Grammys' 19.8M viewers on CBS was the worst in 9 years. It fell 24% from 2017's 26.1M. In the 18-49 demo it had a 5.9 rating vs. last year's 7.8. Awards shows in general are finding viewers just aren't as excited as they once were. NBC's Golden Globes drew 19M viewers (-5%) and a 5.0 18-49 rating (-11%). The SAG Awards on TNT/TBS had 2.7M viewers (-31%) and a 0.8 18-49 rating (-33%)... More >>

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 1/28/18

There may be 9 best picture Oscar nominees, but they don't all have an equal chance of winning. Only two contenders also have directing and film editing noms, long considered essential to win best picture. And only one of those also has acting noms, a big help since 17% of Academy members belong to the actors branch. "THE SHAPE OF WATER's" 13 noms reflect across-the-board Academy support – including directing (pictured -- Guillermo del Toro), editing, original screenplay, lead and supporting actress and... More >>

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 1/21/18

Hollywood's still fighting the boxoffice blahs as moviegoers find other ways to keep busy during a bleak January. Boxoffice temps remained chilly. "JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE" held on to first place for a third week with $20M ($317M cume). "12 STRONG" opened second to $16.5M. "DEN OF THIEVES" opened third to $15.3M. "PHANTOM THREAD" (pictured) expanded to 896 theatres in 12th place with $3.4M ($6.2M cume). Last weekend, per... More >>

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 1/14/18

It was a merry enough MLK holiday boxoffice weekend to keep January's boxoffice momentum going. comScore's Paul Dergarabedian projected a 4-day boxoffice take of $187M to $190M through Monday. Anything better than last year's $187.371M will make this the 6th best MLK weekend ever on comScore's chart. Topping that list is 2015's $250.2M. Insiders were estimating good 4-day showings for: Sony's "JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE" ($34.5M/$290.6M cume); Fox's "THE POST" (opening to $22.2M/$26.7M cume); Lionsgate's "THE COMMUTER" (pictured – Liam Neeson/opening to $16M); "STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI" ($14.7M/$595M cume); Fox's "THE GREATEST SHOWMAN" ($14.5M/$97.3 cume); and WB's "PADDINGTON 2"... More >>


Zamm News

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 1/7/18

It was a lot hotter at the boxoffice last weekend than in multiplex parking lots in many parts of the country. Moviegoers braved deep freeze temps to see the holdover hits "JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE" ($36M) and "STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI" ($23.6M) as well as Universal/Blumhouse's horror thriller "INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY" (pictured), opening to $29.3M (costing about $10M) even with just 27% on RT! "KEY's" better than expected... More >>

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 12/31/17

2017 wasn't the best of times for Hollywood, but with over $11B in ticket sales it also wasn't the worst of times. 2017 through 12/31 is down 2.3% from 2016, per comScore's Paul Dergarabedian -- $11.12B vs. a record setting $11.38B. Franchise fatigue and retread rejects ruined last summer, but 2017's top hits were all sequels, remakes or spinoffs. Moviegoers embraced familiarity and fresh RT scores:(1) "STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI" (Disney): $517.1M through 12/31... More >>

MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 12/24/17

Holiday hits are making up for last summer's boxoffice drought. Disney's "STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI" will do about $100.7M through Christmas, making its domestic cume about $397.3M, per comScore. Sony's "JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE" opened Wednesday to about $64M (6 days). Universal's "PITCH PERFECT 3" (pictured) opened Friday to about $27M (4 days). Fox's "THE GREATEST SHOWMAN" opened Wednesday to about $18.2M (6 days). Disney said "JEDI's" holiday gross will "place it as the #3 release of 2017 after only 11 days of playtime." Disney has 3 of 2017's top 4 domestic releases: "BEAUTY AND THE BEAST' (#1), "JEDI" (#3) and "GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2" (#4)... More >>

HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- 12/17/17

"STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI's" $220M launch is the latest reminder that movies are a product driven business. Last weekend's ticket sales of $280M, per comScore, were up 237.9% from the prior week when no big studio films opened and moviegoers spent just $82.9M. Despite fears since Hollywood's soft summer that moviegoing's on its last legs, it's clear that when there's a film people really want to see, they'll make time and spend the money. So much for doom and... More >>