New Jersey wants to be in business with Hollywood.
The state’s governor, Phil Murphy, sent a letter to major Hollywood studios like Disney, Warner Bros., and Netflix on Thursday in an attempt to lure business away from Georgia after it passed a controversial voting law, according to several outlets that obtained the letter, including The Wall Street Journal and The Hollywood Reporter.
Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, signed the sweeping elections bill into law on March 25, which has been met with backlash from Democrats and civil-rights groups who say it targets Black communities. Among the most controversial aspects of the bill are changes to absentee voting and banning volunteers from delivering food, water, and other items to people waiting in long voting lines.
Murphy wrote that “restricting the right to vote is more than just wrong, it’s un-American” and that the “vast majority” see the law as “an attack on people of color by a Governor and Legislature willing to do anything to stay in power.”
Georgia offers attractive tax incentives that have made it a major Hollywood production hub. Murphy emphasized New Jersey’s 30% tax credit on film projects and a 40% subsidy for any brick-and-mortar studio development, according to THR.
“Our new $14.5 billion economic incentive package makes the Garden State just as competitive as Georgia to attract film and television production businesses,” Murphy wrote. “One thing is clear: when it comes to social policies, corporate responsibility, and – not to be overlooked – economic opportunity, New Jersey is now a top contender for your business.”
ViacomCBS, the parent company of Paramount Pictures, was the first major media company to speak out: “We unequivocally believe in the importance of all Americans having an equal right to vote and oppose the recent Georgia voting rights law or any effort that impedes the ability to exercise this vital constitutional right.”
Comcast, NBCUniversal’s corporate parent, and AT&T, which owns WarnerMedia, Warner Bros., and Atlanta-based CNN, followed with their own statements.
Comcast said: “Voting is fundamental to our democracy. We believe that all Americans should enjoy equitable access to secure elections and we have long supported and promoted voter education, registration and participation campaigns across the country to achieve that goal. Efforts to limit or impede access to this vital constitutional right for any citizen are not consistent with our values.”
AT&T’s CEO John Stankey said in part: “We believe the right to vote is sacred and we support voting laws that make it easier for more Americans to vote in free, fair and secure elections. We understand that election laws are complicated, not our company’s expertise and ultimately the responsibility of elected officials. But, as a company, we have a responsibility to engage.”
Disney and Netflix have not released statements regarding the Georgia voting law.
But those strategies don’t eliminate the theatrical experience. Studios and movie theaters will just have a very different relationship going forward and consumers will have more options to watch movies than ever before.
Day-and-date releases, in which a movie is available to rent or stream the same day it hits theaters, may not be a regular occurrence after the pandemic like they are now. But the traditional theatrical window, in which theaters played movies exclusively for 75 to 90 days, will no longer be the industry standard for many movies. Some studios have already struck deals with major theater chains to considerably shrink the window and release movies to streaming or digital-rental platforms earlier.
“I think the old window concept was so outdated,” Harold Mintz, the president of the movie-grading company CinemaScore, told Insider last month. “The pandemic forced it [to evolve], but it was bound to happen eventually … most movies are played out [in theaters] after three weeks so it just makes sense.”
Here’s where each of the five major movie studios stand on the post-pandemic theatrical window:
Warner Bros. and Cineworld struck a deal for a 45-day window.
Last week, Warner Bros. and the theater chain Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas, announced a multiyear agreement beginning in 2022 that Warner Bros. movies will play exclusively at Cineworld theaters for 45 days before being made available to stream or rent online.
The deal follows other studio/theater agreements that hint at the new normal.
Warner Bros. did not return a request for comment on whether it is negotiating with other theater chains to shrink the window. Cineworld, for its part, said on Thursday that it’s in active talks with with other studios about the evolving window.
Adam Aron, the CEO of the world’s largest chain, AMC Theatres, said in December that AMC “will aggressively pursue economic terms that preserve our business” in response to Warner Bros.’ 2021 distribution strategy.
Universal was the first to shrink the window after a feud with AMC Theatres.
Universal was ahead of other studios at nearly every step throughout the pandemic. It was the first to move a major tentpole release, “Fast and Furious 9,” by an entire year. It was the first to release a movie, “Trolls: World Tour,” straight to digital-rental platforms.
And it was the first to strike a deal with a major theater chain to shrink the theatrical window for all of its movies.
Universal’s “Trolls: World Tour” decision rubbed AMC Theatres the wrong way after NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said in April last year that the studio would release movies to both theaters and digital platforms after theaters reopened. Aron, the AMC CEO, said in a statement after Shell’s comments that the chain would not be playing future Universal movies.
The feud was short-lived.
In July, Universal and AMC reached an agreement to shorten the window to just 17 days, at which point Universal can choose to release movies to digital-rental platforms. It has since reached a similar agreement with Cinemark (movies that gross $50 million or more in their opening weekends will have 31-day windows under this agreement).
Paramount will stream some tentpole movies after 45 days in theaters.
Paramount’s parent company, ViacomCBS, launched the rebranded and expanded version of CBS All Access this month called Paramount Plus. And with it came a look at the company’s future plans for the theatrical window.
Paramount will move upcoming tentpoles “A Quite Place Part II” (in theaters May 28), “Top Gun: Maverick” (July 2), and “Mission: Impossible 7” (November 29) to Paramount Plus after a 45-day theatrical window. Other titles will have a 30-day window.
A Morning Consult and Hollywood Reporter survey of 2,200 US adults, conducted from February 18 to February 21, found that 29% of respondents were likely to subscribe to Paramount Plus. But 35% of respondents would be more likely to subscribe to Paramount Plus to watch “Mission: Impossible 7.”
Disney and Sony have yet to announce new theatrical-window deals with exhibitors.
Disney has reorganized around its streaming business amid the pandemic and Disney Plus, which has surpassed 100 million subscribers since launching in November 2019, will be a major part of the company moving forward.
But Disney hasn’t announced any new windowing agreements with theater chains beyond its decision to release some movies, like “Black Widow,” to Disney Plus and theaters simultaneously. The company has said that theaters will still be a major part of its business going forward, but has hinted at shorter windows in the future.
“The consumer is probably more impatient than they’ve ever been before, particularly since now they’ve had the luxury of an entire year of getting titles at home pretty much when they want them,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said earlier this month. “So, I’m not sure there’s going back. But we certainly don’t want to do anything like cut the legs off a theatrical exhibition run.”
Disney declined to comment for this story on its future windowing plans.
Sony is the other major studio that has not announced any new windowing deals. It doesn’t have a streaming component like the other major studios, but has embraced streaming in some cases (it sold the Tom Hanks movie “Greyhound” to Apple last year).
But the studio doesn’t see the traditional window as outdated, according to a person familiar with Sony’s thinking. The studio isn’t having wide-ranging conversations with theaters at this time, the person said, and plans to evaluate movies on a case-by-case basis.
In other words, if a Sony tentpole like “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is a box-office smash, it may not leave theaters early.
Last year’s “The Last Blockbuster” documentary, about the fall of Blockbuster and its last remaining location, is now on Netflix and it didn’t take long for the movie to become one of the streamer’s most popular titles.
The new Netflix original “Yes Day,” starring Jennifer Garner, was also a hit.
Every week, the streaming search engine Reelgood compiles for Insider a list of which movies have been most prominent on Netflix’s daily top-10 lists that week. On Reelgood, users can browse Netflix’s entire movie library and sort by IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes ratings.
Netflix counts a view if an account watches a movie or TV show for at least two minutes. Netflix’s daily lists are based on the previous 24 hours.
Below are Netflix’s 9 most popular movies of the week in the US:
9. “Training Day” (2001)
Description: “A rookie cop with one day to prove himself to a veteran LAPD narcotics officer receives a crash course in his mentor’s questionable brand of justice.”
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 73%
What critics said: “Marred slightly by an unsatisfactory climax, this is a cracking cop drama anchored by great performances and intelligent direction from Fuqua.” — Empire
8. “Safe Haven’ (2013)
Description: “When a mysterious woman arrives in a small North Carolina town, she begins a new life but remains haunted by a terrifying secret.”
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 14%
What critics said: “Keeping up with the movie’s inane plot twists makes for a capricious good time, but an unimaginative denouement turns the whole thing into a fool’s errand.” — Chicago Reader
7. “The Last Blockbuster” (2020)
Description: “This nostalgic documentary reveals the real story of Blockbuster’s demise, and how one last location in Oregon keeps the spirit of a bygone era alive.”
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 70%
What critics said: “The film proves timely in its warning about how a brave new digital world can claim casualties in terms of existing businesses and social interaction.” — CNN
6. “I Care A Lot” (2021, Netflix original)
Description: “A court-appointed legal guardian defrauds her older clients and traps them under her care. But her latest mark comes with some unexpected baggage.”
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 81%
What critics said: “The trouble with ‘I Care a Lot’ is not how cynical it seems but how pleased it is with that cynicism, forever straining to top its own tastelessness.” — New Yorker
5. “Savages” (2012)
Description: “With the help of a shady DEA agent, two weed entrepreneurs take on a merciless cartel leader who wants in on their business and kidnaps their lover.”
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 50%
What critics said: “While Savages aims for provocative and dynamic, it comes off as predictable and strained.” — USA Today
4. “The Dark Knight” (2008)
Description: “As Batman, Lt. Gordon and the district attorney continue to dismantle Gotham’s criminal underground, a new villain threatens to undo their good work.”
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%
What critics said: “Watching the first dizzying, vertiginous overhead shot of the glittering skyscrapers and minuscule streets, I literally forgot to breathe for a second or two, and found myself teetering forward on my seat.” — Guardian
3. “Bigfoot Family” (2021, Netflix original)
Description: “Bigfoot’s now a big deal. So when he goes missing, his shy but tech-savvy teen son must take on an evil CEO to save his family and a wildlife preserve.”
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A
What critics said: N/A
2. “Parker” (2013)
Description: “Parker is a thief — but he has scruples. So when his crew double-crosses him, Parker teams up with an unlikely partner to even the score.”
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 40%
What critics said: “A B-picture in the classic mold: unambitious but precise.” — ScreenCrush
1. “Yes Day” (2021, Netflix original)
Description: “A mom and dad who usually say no decide to say yes to their kids’ wildest requests — with a few ground rules — on a whirlwind day of fun and adventure.”
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 44%
What critics said: “Dad is chased by vindictive birds, Mom picks a fight at a theme park and the kids come to appreciate that, sometimes, adults are right to say no to things — like this movie.” — New York Times
United Talent Agency did not immediately respond to Insider’s request to confirm the news about Rogozinski. With UTA, Rogozinski may appear in podcasts and speak at a conference in the fall, Bloomberg reported.
Hollywood has been picking up on the GameStop frenzy. MGM, for example, bought the film rights to a proposed book that will cover the saga. And last month, Deadline reported that Netflix is in talks to make a movie about what happened. That’s just two of the nine projects already in the works about GameStop, Bloomberg reported.
Rogozinski founded the Reddit group, r/wallstreetbets, in 2012, while he was working as an IT consultant. But the group only recently became popularized, as its members have helped pave the way for a frenzy in meme stocks, such as GameStop, AMC Entertainment, Blackberry, and Bed Bath & Beyond. In an interview, Rogozinski said seeing the GameStop rally was like watching a trainwreck in real-time.
When Ayman Hariri walked onto the set of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” in 2015, he had no idea what the experience would mean for the next six years of his life.
Hariri is the founder and CEO of the social platform Vero, which played an essential role in making “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” a reality. The movie, which debuts on HBO Max on Thursday, was born out of calls from Snyder’s devoted fans to see his version on screen after the theatrical cut of “Justice League” disappointed financially and critically in 2017. Vero was Snyder’s go-to platform to connect with those fans.
But when Hariri won a role as an extra in Snyder’s “Batman v Superman” in 2015 through a charity auction, Vero hadn’t launched yet (it would launch later that year).
After meeting Snyder, though, Hariri gave him a peek at the app and the two quickly formed a close friendship (a representative for Snyder confirmed this account). After Vero launched, Zack became one of its biggest users, and his passionate fanbase followed him.
Snyder exited “Justice League” late into production after his daughter Autumn died by suicide in March 2017. Joss Whedon was brought in for significant reshoots, which fans say altered Snyder’s original vision. Fans’ appetite for the “Snyder Cut” intensified as Snyder regularly teased behind-the-scenes images and concept art on Vero, and the “Release the Snyder Cut” movement was born.
For instance, in October 2019, Snyder confirmed on Vero that his initial plan for actor Harry Lennix’s character was for him to become the superhero Martian Manhunter. That December, he fanned the flames even more by posting an image on Vero that said “Is it real? Does it exist? Of course it does” referring to his cut of “Justice League.”
“I choose to be on Vero because it allows me an honest and real interaction with my fans,” Snyder told Insider through a representative.
Users can choose to publish individual posts to Vero publicly, in which all of a person’s followers can see that content. They can also label connections as close friends, who can see everything, or friends and acquaintances, who see less. Hariri said that Vero also has a chronological feed rather than one based on an algorithm, which he said attracted Snyder.
Hariri said that Vero has over 5 million users. It’s a small platform compared to social giants like Facebook and Twitter. But Hariri pushed back on the notion that it’s a “niche” platform. He said it’s not being built as a niche app, but “with niches in mind.”
“I’d love to have more creators, whether filmmakers or other, come on Vero,” Hariri said. “It’s a part of how we think and the strategy of the company.”
But even if Vero caters to creators, couldn’t Snyder have just brought his audience to another platform and reached more people?
“I think there is a lot of noise on a lot of different platforms,” Hariri said. “Those would present challenges for somebody wanting to create a certain momentum … All I know is that Zack and [his wife and producing partner] Deborah both believe that Vero played a role in getting [‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’] made.”
A representative for Snyder confirmed to Insider that the filmmaker regards Vero as being essential in getting “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” off the ground.
Warner Bros., the studio behind “Justice League,” repeatedly denied the movie’s existence or that a cut would be released. But in May 2020, Snyder announced after a “Man of Steel” watch party on Vero that his cut of the film would debut in 2021.
Now the four-hour movie, which Snyder assembled from footage he shot before departing the project, will premiere on HBO Max on Thursday.
“It’s very exciting to see him achieve his vision, especially after what he and his family have gone through,” Hariri said.
Hariri said he hasn’t seen the movie yet and is waiting to watch it with his kids. In the meantime, Vero is celebrating the movie’s release with a cosplay contest judged by Snyder and “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” costume designer Michael Wilkinson that runs through April 22.
But even with the release of the movie, fans are still clamoring for more.
The “#RestoretheSnyderVerse” hashtag has made the rounds on social media, referring to Snyder’s original vision that his “Justice League” be a two-part movie and lay the groundwork for the rest of the “DC Extended Universe.” “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” even ends on a cliffhanger.
But Warner Bros. and parent company WarnerMedia have moved in a different direction with its DC movie franchise, and Snyder has expressed in interviews that he won’t be involved in anymore DC movies.
“They [WarnerMedia] are 100% moving away,” Snyder told The New York Times. “They consider the theatrical cut of ‘Justice League’ as canon. That’s their decision. I wish them all the best, and I hope the whole thing is a giant blockbuster on top of blockbuster on top of blockbuster.”
Hariri isn’t sure what Vero’s involvement in any sort of continued movement would be. But as a fan, he wants to see more.
“Zack would be in charge of how he wants to move forward, but as a fan, I hope he continues because he has a vision and I’d love to see that vision continue,” Hariri said.
When comedian Gina Yashere was first brought in as a consultant on the CBS show Bob Hearts Abishola she was skeptical, even after her first meeting with series creator Chuck Lorre.
The show is about a middle-aged white man who falls in love with his Nigerian immigrant nurse, Abishola, while recovering from a heart attack. Lorre, who created the mega-hit shows Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, needed someone to help bring authenticity to his show idea and Abishola’s character.
Lorre googled “female Nigerian comedian” and discovered Yashere on YouTube. She’s well known in the United Kingdom as a comedian whose bits cover her experience as a Nigerian lesbian woman who left her native U.K. for the United States. Lorre watched her set as host of Live at The Apollo in London, and wanted to meet her.
“So, originally, I was brought on as a consultant on all things African. It sounded weird to me,” Yashere told Insider, recalling her meeting with Lorre. “Once I got in the room with the guys, I began to really like them. I could see that they were trying to make a really good show, and it wasn’t really an exploitative thing.”
The pairing worked, and she was promoted to co-creator of the show after two days.
“She flew over from England to spend a couple days with us to just talk us through what she thought we could be doing,” Lorre said during a panel discussion promoting the show “And after a couple days, we just went, let’s see if she’ll stay with us… Don’t leave!”
She eventually became an executive producer, writer, and actress — playing Yemi, Abishola’s best friend. “I got in the room with them and just started helping them create an overall sort of template for the sitcom, giving them character names,” she said.
Bringing her in could easily be the best decision Lorre and his other co-creators, Eddie Gorodetsky and Alan Higgins, made when creating the show. In its first season, Bob Hearts Abishola, was CBS’s highest-rated new sitcom with over 5 million viewers consistently every week, though reviews have been mixed. Now in its second season, the ratings are still consistent, and the show was renewed for a third season in February.
But Yashere, who has been living in the U.S. for over 13 years, isn’t an overnight success. Her IMDB page is proof of that with acting, producing, and writing credits starting back in the early 2000s. Her self-funded comedy specials Skinny B*tch and Laughing to America were sold to Netflix and are available now. She became a regular on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah as the show’s British correspondent in 2017.
“THIS IS A BLACK SHOW NOW”
Yashere was able to have an impact from early on. “I know you’re used to doing things a certain way, but technically in the eyes of the world, and in the eyes of CBS, this is a Black show now.” The storyline of Abishola and her family, which is based on Yashere’s life, naturally meant at least half of the cast, and a number of writers would need to be African and Black.
“Abishola’s life story is based on my mother’s story,” Yashere said “My mother had us kids in England with my dad, then my dad couldn’t get good work in England. He was a qualified lawyer, my mom was a qualified teacher, but they couldn’t get work because England in the 60s and 70s was super racist.”
Like Abishola’s husband in the show, Yashere’s dad moved back to Nigeria when she was a child, leaving her mom in East London as a single mother. Yashere based the character she plays, Kemi, on her aunt and aspects of her mother.
“Kemi is was kind of an amalgamation of those two, the fun side, the outspoken, you know, not giving a crap side, and does what she wants to do,” she said about the comic relief character she created for herself.
Yashere also had a hand in choosing which actors to cast, and said she was mindful of her own experience auditioning for black and African roles in Hollywood and how demoralizing it can be. “I made sure I was in all the auditions to make sure that, when those black actors walked in that room and saw me, they could relax and enjoy the audition knowing that they’re not going to be asked to do any kind of coonery.”
She was also adamant that they cast a dark-complexioned, Nigerian actress to play Abishola, knowing that proximity to whiteness is usually the Hollywood standard, even with African roles.
“You’d watch movies with African characters, and the actors were completely wrong,” Yashere said. “Their style of dress was completely wrong, or you have an entire family and every one of them has got a different accent from a different country within Africa.”
They ended up casting the actress Folake Olowofoyeku to play Abishola, a Nigerian nurse with braids, who has created a life for herself and her son, while being estranged from her husband, with the help of friends, family, and community in Detroit. The show’s fluency with Nigerian and Black American culture makes it stand out among other sitcoms.
“You can tell research was done, and it speaks to what actually happens in a Yoruba family. It’s refreshing,” said Dolapo Adedapo, a Nigerian nonprofit consultant and radio show host, who was included in an NPR story about the show when it first aired.
Yashere was also a force behind making sure that half of the show’s eight-person writer’s room was Black. She invited Lorre, Gorodetsky, and Higgins to comedy shows around Hollywood to intro uce them to other Black comics. “She’s a writer too, you should hire them,” she would tell them whenever she noticed an act had gone over well.
All of this has brought positive attention to CBS, which has been criticized for its lack of diversity in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Last summer, the network announced that by 2022-23 season, half of its writers would be non-white. The announcement came after the Writers Guild of America West’s Committee of Black Writers released an open letter calling on the industry to “revolutionize the way our industry hires writers.”
“A LOT MORE ME’S OUT THERE WAITING”
Yashere’s success with Bob Hearts Abishola has left her convinced she can do more. “Being able to book black actors and book black writers has given me a new passion. So moving forward, I want to carry on executive producing and bringing through other talent,” she said.
As her career continues to unfold it never escapes her that there are more people like her- women, black, LGBTQIA, immigrant, etc- waiting for an opportunity to break into the business. Understanding that she can’t do it alone she also plants seeds to the people in power around her.
“You know, I said to Chuck, recently, you guys discovered me, but there’s a lot more me’s out there waiting for a good opportunity.”
She is also a new author. Her book Cack-handed, a memoir about her life before she moved to the U.S., hits bookshelves in June. Cack-handed, which means left-handed, and hence awkward and clumsy, in British slang, represents for Yashere how non-traditional her rise in Hollywood has been. She started off as an engineer, a path that she says delighted her immigrant mother, but decided to become a comedian after taking off a summer to act in a community play.
Now with “Bob Hearts Abishola” she’s showing that a left-handed professional can hold sway in a world built for right-handers.
“I’ve never wanted to push myself into a box that they put me in. I’ve never wanted to do things that are against my core principles,” she said. So because of that, it took me a lot longer to make it. But it feels a lot sweeter now because I’m making it on my own terms.”
A recent study conducted by the consulting firm McKinsey found that Hollywood could see a boost in annual revenue by $10 billion, bringing revenues to more than $150 billion every year, if the industry addresses the racial inequalities that persist in film and television.
The McKinsey study found that “fewer Black-led stories get told, and when they are, these projects have been consistently underfunded and undervalued, despite often earning higher relative returns than other properties.”
For many black creatives in Hollywood there is an ongoing struggle that persists when it comes to being equally represented on-screen and behind the camera. The McKinsey study found that from 2015-2019 only 11% of leads/co-leads in movies were portrayed by Black people. In comparison to 89% of those roles portrayed by other races.
There are “financial and social barriers, as well as racial bias” that contribute to the ongoing disparities, McKinsey found, with economic inequality being one of the main reasons for less Black representation in Hollywood.
For Black families in the US, they typically earn $150,000 less than the median income for white families, according to McKinsey. “The result: low or no pay excludes many Black Americans from Hollywood from the start,” the study said.
Those biases and inequalities affect Black people seeking management and leadership roles within the TV and film industry, not just those on screen or behind the camera.
“I was one of few women and definitely few Black women there period, let alone in leadership, so there was no one to look up to,” one Black agent told McKinsey. “You learn to try not to take up too much space and speak only when you have something important to say. But then peers and others behind you get promoted ahead of you even when you are bringing more in.”
Black creatives within the TV and film industry have shifted their talents in recent years from traditional network television to streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. Producer Shonda Rhimes reportedly ended her $10 million deal with ABC in 2018 to sign a four-year deal with Netflix, worth an estimated $150 million. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay signed a deal with Netflix that same year for an estimated $100 million, The Guardian reported.
Despite the influx of Black creators, Netflix still struggles with diversity on and off screen, though it has made some progress. In Netflix’s first diversity and inclusion study, released in February, the company revealed that the percentage of underrepresented leads/co leads overall increased from 26.4% in 2018 to 37.3% in 2019. The study also found that Black women represented just 6.2% of the 23.6% of women directors in the company’s projects.
Los Angeles isn’t just where movies are made, it’s also the largest movie-going market in America.
And during the last 12 months, LA movie theaters have been closed due to the ongoing pandemic. That could finally end this weekend, according to California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
If Los Angeles County meets two critical metrics for new cases and vaccinations, Los Angeles movie theaters will be able to re-open with 25% capacity starting this Saturday.
In order to meet the criteria, LA County would need to have fewer than 1,000 new cases per day, CNBC reported. Additionally, statewide, 2 million vaccine doses must be administered to underserved populations.
During an address on Wednesday, Newsom said both metrics were on track to be met before the weekend.
Movie theaters in other parts of the US have already begun reopening as vaccines protecting against COVID have begun to roll out. New York City, for instance, reopened theaters last week at 25% capacity.
And some states, including Texas and Connecticut, have cleared theaters and other businesses for even larger reopenings without low capacity requirements.
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Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” earned $8.6 million at the US box office over the weekend in its debut (and $26 million worldwide), a disappointing total even amid the pandemic for a Disney animated movie – more so considering Warner Bros.’ “Tom and Jerry” earned $14 million the weekend prior.
“There is always a spotlight and high expectations placed on any Disney release, but ‘Raya’ entered a marketplace that already had two PG-rated animated films, ‘Tom & Jerry’ and ‘Croods 2,'” said Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore senior media analyst.
There’s a couple more factors that could have contributed to the movie’s underwhelming performance. Notably, it didn’t play at Cinemark venues and some other chains because they didn’t reach a licensing deal with Disney (it did play at AMC). The movie played on around 400 fewer screens than “Tom and Jerry” did in its opening weekend.
“In the current operating environment, we are making near-term booking decisions on a discrete, film-by-film basis, focusing on the long-term benefit of exhibitors, studios, and moviegoers,” Cinemark told Deadline. “While we are having conversations with The Walt Disney Company, we have not yet reached agreeable licensing terms for ‘Raya and the Last Dragon.'”
“[Theaters] need Disney a lot more than Disney needs them right now,” said Jeff Bock, the Exhibitor Relations senior media analyst. “Hopefully a deal will be worked out for the sake of theatrical exhibition.”
The movie also debuted on Disney Plus simultaneously with theaters at an additional “Premier Access” $30 fee for subscribers. In contrast, “Tom and Jerry” is available on HBO Max for no additional cost.
“$30 for a family of 4 is still a very good deal for blockbuster entertainment,” Bock said.
We don’t know exactly how “Raya and the Last Dragon” performed on Disney Plus. The first movie Disney utilized the Premier Access strategy with, last year’s live-action “Mulan” remake, performed well enough that Disney promised to experiment with it on other titles. “Raya and the Last Dragon” was No. 4 in Disney Plus’ “trending” category on Monday, behind Marvel’s “WandaVision,” “The Simpsons,” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” (though it’s unclear how Disney calculates this list).
Bock said that we’ll know how successful the movie was on Disney Plus if Disney implements a similar strategy with upcoming tentpole releases still slated for theaters, like “Black Widow” and “Cruella.”
But even though the “Raya and the Last Dragon” underperformed, the US box office earned a total of $25 million over the weekend, giving analysts reason to be hopeful for the future of the theatrical industry.
It was down 76% compared to the same weekend last year, Bock said. But when compared to the average of a 90% decrease since theaters reopened in August, it’s a noticeable improvement.
New York City movie theaters reopened on Friday at limited capacity, which likely gave the box office a slight boost.
“The bottom line is that while the film’s debut may not have been as strong as some might have hoped, it was a building block in one of the top-grossing overall weekends since the movie-theater shutdown in mid-March [last year],” Dergarabedian said.
To find out which movies film critics have been collectively hated the most, Insider turned to the reviews aggregator Metacritic to compile this list of the most critically panned movies in history.
From ill-advised sequels like “Scary Movie 5” and “Caddyshack II,” to two dubious political documentaries by conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, these films drew the ire of critics and provoked the repulsion of many.
Most recently, 2019’s critically panned “Haunting of Sharon Tate,” starring Hilary Duff, made the list, as did “Grizzly II: Revenge,” which was originally filmed in 1983 but didn’t debut until this year.
Here are the 75 worst movies of all time, according to critics:
Note: Only movies with seven or more online reviews appear in the ranking, so it skews toward more recent films.
John Lynch contributed to a previous version of this post.
What critics said: “Only old pros James Brolin and Jane Seymour, as Eva’s colorfully squabbling parents, occasionally rouse the film beyond its fate as fodder for a Snuggie-wrapped slumber.” — Time Out
What critics said: “Filling in for Eddie Murphy in a septically humored kiddie sequel to ‘Daddy Day Care,’ Gooding gives a mug-job performance that consists mainly of reacting (again and again) to nasty smells.” — Entertainment Weekly
What critics said: “The movie is simply not professional. It’s not, even by the lowest standards of Republic B-westerns in the ’30s or bad, cheap horror films in the ’50s, releasable.” — The Washington Post
What critics said: “While the original was no classic, it had a few mild laughs and the plus-sized actor displayed a certain buffoonish charm. Such is not the case with this painfully unfunny, slapdash follow-up in which the title character is so relentlessly obnoxious that you’ll be cheering for the villains.” — The Hollywood Reporter
What critics said: “The confusion it mistakes for true soul-searching is about as realistic a look at the politics of youthful attraction as one of those ‘Did somebody say McDonald’s?’ commercials is a look at mainstream American family values. Did somebody say McCheese?” — Austin Chronicle
61. “Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood” (1988)
What critics said: “Only a mote of humor graces the film, and that is Jason’s cunning ability to come up with ever more dreadful weapons for each successive crime, graduating from stake to machete to circular saw. Dare we hope, in Part VIII, for a neutron bomb to obliterate the series altogether?” — Chicago Tribune
What critics said: “Burt Reynolds and a host of notable performers seem to be having a hell of a good time wandering through this meandering, episodic farce, but rarely is their good mood shared by the viewer.” — TV Guide
What critics said: “Unfortunately this isn’t even half as fun as the shortest bumper-car ride, with the cast lost in a sea of unfunny situations and badly executed antique jokes on loan from The Munsters all obviously puzzled about why they are actually there.” — Empire
What critics said: “Aside from the waste of a talented cast, the only thing that really caught my attention was the tomblike silence of the audience–at least until the bong jokes started.” — Chicago Reader
What critics said: “There isn’t a scene in ‘Cocktail’ that isn’t cheap and dumb, and whether its camp entertainment value compensates for its contempt for women is a question. ‘Cocktail’ makes beer commercials look deep, makes ‘Top Gun’ look like ‘Hamlet.'” — Boston Globe
What critics said: “This failed epic — really, an epic failure — would barely be noticed, were it not for former Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage taking on a ‘Sharknado’-quality remake of a Kirk Cameron movie.” — New York Daily News
What critics said: “A work so completely devoid of wit, style, intelligence or basic entertainment value that it makes that movie based on the Angry Birds app seem like a pure artistic statement by comparison.” — RogerEbert.com
What critics said: “The individual scenes are just random, uninspired riffs by Carvey or awkwardly flat cameos by the likes of Jesse Ventura and Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson.” — New York Daily News
What critics said: “Generic hip-hop soundtrack? Check. Aerial stock footage of milieu? Check. Hardy-har homophobia and misogyny? Check. Emasculated sub-Gump white dude played by Jay Mohr? Double check.” — Entertainment Weekly
What critics said: “This terrible attempt at a political thriller for the religious right is aimed not at Christians in general but at a certain breed of them, the kind who feel as if the rest of the world were engaged in a giant conspiracy against their interpretation of good and truth.” — The New York Times
What critics said: “It’s an oddity that will be avoided by millions of people, this new Pinocchio. Osama bin Laden could attend a showing in Times Square and be confident of remaining hidden.” — The New York Times
What critics said: “The shamelessly rehashed Death Wish II finds Kersey in L.A., methodically hunting down those responsible for his daughter’s death (just as she’s recovering from her assault in the first Death Wish).” — EW
What critics said: “Unplanned isn’t a good movie, but it’s effective propaganda — or, at least, it is if you belong to the group it’s targeting: those who believe that abortion in America, though a legal right, is really a crime. It’s hard to imagine the movie drawing many viewers outside that self-selected demographic.” — Variety
36. “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers” (1995)
What critics said: “The level of intelligence of the screenplay of ‘Saturn 3’ is shockingly low – the story is so dumb it would be laughed out of any junior high school class in the country – and yet the movie was financed. Why?” — Chicago Sun-Times
What critics said: “The movie’s so slipshod and half-assed that I almost feel for Rand, whose ideas have proved enduring enough that they at least deserve a fair representation, if only for the sake of refutation.” — Village Voice
What critics said: “Gamely alternates between unfunny gay jokes and violent pratfalls for a good 80 minutes, finding time for not one, but two musical dance numbers set to ‘I Will Survive.'” — The AV Club
What critics said: “It is not a compliment to suggest that a demonically possessed piece of machinery embarked on a bloodthirsty rampage has more personality than most of the flesh-and-blood characters in ‘The Mangler,’ a horror movie based on a Stephen King story.” — The New York Times
22. “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” (2019)
User score: 2.9/10
What critics said: “A run-of-the-mill home invasion thriller, and while Farrands is a solid genre craftsman — as evidenced by his similarly creepy true-crime film from earlier this year, The Amityville Murders — his taste remains suspect.” — Los Angeles Times
What critics said: “Featuring unlikeable characters, preposterously contrived plotting, ham-fisted dialogue and strained attempts at poeticism, Among Ravens is a misfire on every level.” — The Hollywood Reporter
What critics said: “‘Caddyshack II,’ a feeble follow-up to the 1980 laff riot, is lamer than a duck with bunions, and dumber than grubs. It’s patronizing and clumsily manipulative, and top banana Jackie Mason is upstaged by the gopher puppet.” — The Washington Post
What critics said: “So stupefyingly hideous that after watching it, you’ll need to bathe in 10 gallons of disinfectant, get a full-body scrub and shampoo with vinegar to remove the scummy residue that remains.” — The Washington Post
10. “The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)” (2015)
What critics said: “Sure to appear in everyone’s worst-of lists at year’s end, to say nothing of a few bad dreams, Bryan Johnson’s Vulgar is an unclassifiably awful study in self- and audience-abuse.” — Village Voice
What critics said: “‘The Singing Forest’ was written and directed by Jorge Ameer, whose film ‘Strippers’ opened three years ago and remained the single worst movie I had ever reviewed — until now.” — The New York Times
What critics said: “Imagine parents sitting in the audience with their naughty children (who used their Cabbage Patch dolls as driveway obstructions for their Big Wheel obstacle courses) and feeling ruefully double-crassed.” — Slant
What critics said: “As propaganda, ‘United Passions’ is as subtle as an anvil to the temple. As drama, it’s not merely ham-fisted, but pork-shouldered, bacon-wristed, and sausage-elbowed.” — Village Voice
What critics said: “The sheer ineptitude of the movie is supposed to be funny, but there’s no lunacy behind it: Shore and his writers are like comedians on Prozac, smiling through the fart jokes without a hint of desperation.” — The New Yorker
What critics said: “D’Souza fans and Trump apologists will flock to this, misguided moths to a misleading flame. In that way, it’s a perfect representation of the current climate. In every other way, it’s a mess.” — Arizona Republic