A daily newsletter guide to what is happening on your screens - TV, streaming, movies, games, VR, AR
Dan Barrett is an industry commentator & TV critic. He does radio - 4BC & ABC GC and co-hosts the Screen Watching podcast. He's a former Mediaweek deputy editor and content creator for SBS.
Game of Thrones episode leak! The Good Fight CENSORED! Plus: $2 billion for Avengers: Endgame
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett and is on track for its own $2 billion weekend.
Beware of Game of Thrones spoilers today. The episode has leaked early thanks to Amazon Germany accidentally publishing the fourth episode of this final season. *Something* of note happens, so you might want to avoid spending time online if this kind of thing bothers you.
Speaking of Amazon, the film distribution arm of the company had opted to shelve Woody Allen’s most recent film A Rainy Day in New York. News today has it that a number of European territories will receive the film, via distributor Lucky Red. The first announced is Italy.
The trailer for Showtime’s City On a Hill has been released. The show stars Kevin Bacon in a 90s-era Boston crime drama.
Over the next fortnight, US broadcast networks will announce which of its shows have been renewed or cancelled. While interest in broadcast shows has diminished in recent years, there are still a handful of titles people are concerned about. Via its Cancel Bear, TV By The Numbers has a grim prognosis for Lethal Weapon.
On the line is Fox series The Orville. TV Guide has a passionate plea for its renewal, with TV By The Numbers reporting on soft numbers. My assumption will be that Seth MacFarlane’s passion project will only survive if broadcaster Fox isn’t confident in any of its new pilots. With the split of Fox and 20th Century Fox (the latter owned by Disney now), There is far less business incentive for Fox to renew the series.
This week’s episode of The Good Fight had a strange moment midway through. In the episode The One Where Kurt Saves Diane, the series trademark Schoolhouse Rock animated short was interrupted by a black banner telling viewers CBS had banned the content.
Apparently the animated short was:
…going to depict the tactics used by US companies to break into the Chinese market, a subject covered in the episode’s B-story regarding a client, fictional search engine ChumHum.
And what does this have to do with Avengers: Endgame? Read on…
Because I am so interested in the decline of people attending movies theatrically, I’m equally interested in one of the only real success stories we’ve heard in a while - the meteoric box office of Avengers: Endgame.
Over the weekend the movie passes the $2 billion mark comfortably. The fastest that a film has ever done that. For comparisons sake, it took Avatar 41 days to do what Avengers did in 10. Which leads to an interesting question: Can Avengers: Endgame beat Avatar as the highest-grossing movie of all-time? The answer is… maybe.
The reason Avengers: Endgame could get close is because of a changing theatrical industry in the decade since Avatar. China has come online as a significant driver of box office revenue, which has aided Avengers dramatically. I’m not a box office analyst, but my guess would be that it’ll come up short of Avatar (mostly because this weekend there is box office competition from Detective Pickachu). But it’s possible that it might just squeak it in.
While I’m skeptical about Avengers getting past Avatar, there’s a very real chance that The Lion King will do it in a few months time. That film is going to be massive, with longer theatrical staying power, greater potential for audience reach globally, and far greater likelihood of repeat cinema viewings.
Closing the loop: $575 million dollars of Avengers: Endgame’s box office take came from China. That’s approx a third of the entire international box office take. This is why Hollywood is so eager to get its product into China and to play nice with the Government there.
Media companies do not want to create unnecessary hurdles in getting content into China. And so…
Australian broadcaster SBS is set to launch another free-to-air TV network, with a World Movies channel. This will be broadcast in HD, commencing in July. The channel revives the World Movies brand as a linear channel - Foxtel had terminated the linear channel on its pay platform a couple of years ago.
More choice and greater accessibility to foreign cinema is a win for viewers, even if a lot of these movies will likely echo titles already available on the streaming SBS On Demand platform.
The Full House house is up for sale. Currently owned by Full House creator Jeff Franklin, the four bedroom home is expected to go for just under US$6 million.
“Jeff had no idea how iconic the property was unit he toured it for the first time,” Ambuehl said. “After purchasing it, he intended to turn the home into an homage to Full House and replicate the set’s floor plan. He had incredible intentions of getting fans off the street and bringing them in. However, he received pushback from neighbors, who worried about the house attracting larger crowds, and instead decided to renovate the entire home, giving the house a modern feel tailored to current San Francisco buyers.”