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The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The all-new Hollywood Reporter offers unprecedented access to the people, studios, networks and agencies that create the magic in Hollywood. Published weekly, the oversized format includes exceptional photography and rich features.

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48 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
heat index

Reed Hastings The Netflix CEO beats Wall Street expectations as the streamer brings its subscriber total to 167 million, up 20 percent from the same period last year. Deborah Dugan The Recording Academy chief lawyers up and sues after being placed on leave over “serious concerns” by the Grammys organization days before the Jan. 26 event. Tom Rothman The Sony Pictures chairman enjoys a box office hot streak as Bad Boys for Life opens to $62.2 million in the wake of Jumanji: The Next Level and Little Women. Robert Downey Jr. The star and producer of Dolittle suffers a financial and critical trashing of his Universal film, which debuts with a $28.3 million MLK weekend against a $175 million budget. Showbiz Stocks $136.63 (+2%) ROKU (ROKU) The streaming-media firm says it has launched in Brazil, an indication to investors that more…

6 min.
‘peacock will be nbc in three to five years’

We’re all in,” WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey declared in October as he unveiled a multibillion-dollar bet on streaming with HBO Max. His pronouncement followed similar remarks by Disney CEO Bob Iger that the entertainment giant is reorienting its business around direct-to-consumer offering Disney+. Yet outgoing NBCUniversal chairman Steve Burke made no such declaration when he took the stage at 30 Rock’s Studio 8H on Jan. 16 to unveil new streamer Peacock, in which the conglomerate will invest $2 billion through 2021. “We think we’ve identified a very unique approach,” Burke instead told the assembled investors of Peacock, which unlike its streaming peers must thread the needle between NBCU owner Comcast’s cable business while also stanching the loss of viewers to the company’s portfolio of linear TV networks as audiences flee to…

1 min.
how streaming’s new entrants stack up

Major entertainment companies are finally taking on Netflix in the world of streaming video, but the strategies, investments and goals vary. While NBCUniversal’s Peacock is leaning on a low price, large library and advanced advertising to bolster its business, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max is betting on a massive content library and slate of originals, with a higher monthly price tag. Disney+, meanwhile, is focusing on a smaller slate of programming, but with a tight focus on family-friendly fare built around its well-established IP.…

3 min.
a studio’s #metoo misfire: fired exec awarded millions

Former Universal Pictures marketing chief Josh Goldstine has won a multimillion-dollar legal ruling against the studio in a case that an arbitrator appears to have deemed a devastating misfire of the #MeToo era. In February 2018, top NBCUniversal executives Jeff Shell and Donna Langley sent a memo to staff announcing that the film studio’s president of worldwide marketing was being suspended and investigated for “inappropriate conduct.” No details were given, but the strong implication was that Goldstine had committed a #MeToo offense. In March 2018, Goldstine was fired; the episode was widely reported. (Sister division NBC News had fired Matt Lauer for alleged misconduct a few months earlier, in November 2017.) Finding himself unemployable, Goldstine initiated legal action. Now, thanks to an arbitration award this month said to be in the…

1 min.
movie theater attendance woes worsen: ‘a huge issue for a long time’

For years, growth at the North America box office has been fueled by rising ticket prices versus attendance. While revenue in 2019 fell 4 percent behind 2018’s record $11.88 billion, it was still the second-best figure of all time. Attendance was another story. The number of tickets sold fell to 1.244 billion, the second-lowest turnout since 1995 behind 2017’s 1.236 billion. The last time 1.5 billion or more tickets were sold was in 2002. Notes Paramount domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson, “It’s been a huge issue for a long time.” For its part, the John Fithian-led National Association of Theatre Owners is looking for a comeback in theatergoers because of a greater number of midrange movies — but that could be a tall order given the lack of prebranded Disney…

3 min.
cbs’ post-merger executive housecleaning

When ViacomCBS was formed Dec. 4, some insiders predicted that Joe Ianniello, the CBS chief executive who was suddenly second fiddle to CEO Bob Bakish, wouldn’t be long for the gig. On Jan. 14, those prognostications became more real when it leaked that George Cheeks, the 55-year-old co-chairman at NBC Entertainment, would jump ship to CBS and likely be groomed as Ianniello’s successor. That Ianniello is on his way out shouldn’t be surprising given Bakish’s desire to form his own leadership team — not to mention that Ianniello was a longtime ally of former CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, who departed in September 2018 amid a sexual misconduct scandal after going to war with Shari Redstone, who controls ViacomCBS via her National Amusements. But Cheeks’ move is a bit of a head-scratcher…