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.
Netflix announce a new movie for every week
ALSO: Netflix viewership is dropping. AND: Ken Jennings hosts Jeopardy!
Netflix has the movies. Every darn week.
Netflix promise a new movie will launch every week on the service through 2021. The entire 2021 slate will feature 70 original movies.
Netflix has partnered with notable filmmakers including Jane Campion, Paolo Sorrentino and Adam McKay. Movies on the film slate includes one of the streamer’s most expensive films to date—Red Notice, an action movie helmed by Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot. The final installations of To All the Boys and The Kissing Booth will also make their bow and Netflix will introduce the Fear Street trilogy.
Army of the Dead, The Harder They Fall, Concrete Cowboy, Red Notice, and Sweet Girl, Kate are a few of the films listed to premiere on the platform. Netflix has gleaned some of Hollywood’s most elite talent including Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock, Dwayne Johnson, Idris Elba, Meryl Streep, Zendaya, Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Reynolds, Jennifer Garner among a hoard of others.
I understand that Netflix are all about user-driven self-discovery on the platform, but I really do wish they would spotlight the new content on platform every week. Without Netflix putting editorial emphasis on any of their content, none of their movies or TV shows feel like events - they’re just stuff to watch.
Netflix loses streaming share
What has been the impact of Disney+ and HBO Max launching with their considerably large libraries? Well, fewer people are watching Netflix and Hulu in the US.
The big winner over the period was HBO Max. Its share of video streams rose from 9% in Q2 and Q3 to 15% in Q4. A big part of the reason for the sizable gain in Q4 could have been Wonder Woman 1984. The movie premiered on HBO Max on December 25th and was the number one streamed movie, according to Reelgood.
Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ didn’t get quite as much help from their big movies as HBO Max. Amazon’s Borat Subsequent Moviefilm did well – it was the third most popular movie in Q4, but Prime Video lost 2% streaming share in Q4. Soul on Disney+ was the second most popular movie in Q4, but the service’s share remained mostly flat at 6% over the period.
It’s very easy to ignore what people are actually watching out there in the real world. And by that, I mean folks watching streams on the gamer streaming site Twitch. A new record has been broken with David “TheGrefg” Martinez announcing a new Fortnite skin on his live stream which was watched by 2.4 million concurrent viewers.
“One of the big takeaways of TheGrefg’s stream is that it illustrated the global appeal of the medium,” says StreamElements CEO Doron Nir in a statement to IGN on why the record is such a milestone. “All of the major live streaming platforms have sizable international bases, but having a milestone like this set by a Spanish language streamer helps put a spotlight on the broad appeal of the industry.”
Curious to know how Jennings did as the guest host of Jeopardy! - the first guest host to appear, replacing the late Alex Trebek? The kid did just fine.
Above all, a host’s job is to maintain flow and appear personable. Viewers loved Trebek for his wit and his often deadpan humor, especially when he engaged in gentle ribbing of the contestants — both during the interview segment and during the game itself. Jennings pulled it all off admirably, perhaps aided by his years of experience as a player.
In 2018 Chris Rock’s comedy special Tamborine was released. The special was directed by fellow comic Bo Burnham (currently seen acting in the excellent film Promising Young Woman).
Today Rock’s special is being re-released as Total Blackout: The Tamborine Extended Cut. There’s a fascinating Jason Zinoman piece in the New York Times about the new special. It examines how a directors choices in directing a filmed stand-up comedy show can dramatically change what is being presented on screen - it’s different from the power of a director with a regular movie as stand-up is seen generally with a singular vision of the performer on stage.
“Total Blackout: The Tamborine Extended Cut,” released on Netflix on Tuesday, will be fascinating for comedy nerds, not just because it adds new jokes, with almost 40 minutes of extra material from arguably the greatest living comic. It also represents a key turning point in the balance of power between comic and director, with Rock reclaiming control. He effectively erases the stamp of the director, even replacing Burnham in the credits with his own name, and produces a new special with most of the same shots, whose differences are subtle but significant.
Indie studio wiip is producing a TV series based on the stage play adaptation of the book 1984. Read: Variety
Legendary US sitcom All In The Family marked the 50th anniversary of its first episode. It aired on 12 January 1971. Read: Variety
Global box office revenue fell 70% in 2021. Read: Variety
The Pembrokeshire Murders, from the producers of Bodyguard, was UK network ITV’s most-watched launch in 5 years. Read: Deadline
Univision is launching a Spanish-language streaming service - PrendeTV. Read: Axios
I don’t understand how many fans of the board game Risk are interested in seeing it adapted into a scripted TV series, but it’s happening. Read: Indiewire
Disneyland in LA is being turned into a mass COVID vaccination site. There’s something that feels very comforting about that as an idea as opposed to a standard convention center. Read: The AV Club
Sony is pushing its Marvel movie Morbius from March to October. Read: Deadline
RIP linear streaming service AT&T Now. Read: Deadline
Charles Soulle is the author responsible for writing the novel and comic series kicking off the Star Wars: The High Republic multimedia series that will eventually lead up to a new Disney+ series. He speaks about the first book with Polygon.
The Last Paradiso debuts on Netflix Feb 5.
In 1950s Italy, a passionate free spirit dreams of love, justice and a better life till a forbidden affair threatens everything.
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