|AMAZON STUDIOSTHE AERONAUTSTHE CONTENDERTHE REPORTDEEP STATEAERONAUTSHONEY BOYAMAZON|
EXCLUSIVE: At this evening hour, we’re hearing that Amazon Studios is pulling out of this year’s SXSW, ten days before the festival kicks off in Austin, TX on March 13.
This includes all Amazon related activities at the festival, including two world episodic premieres including Greg Daniels’ sci-fi show Upload and Matt Reeves and Nathaniel Halpern’s Tales From the Loop.
In addition, Amazon Prime Video had a marketing activation with Entertainment Weekly, specifically their Blue Room photo/video studio and a party on Saturday night. Those aren’t happening now. Amazon Studios’ film side didn’t have any product scheduled for SXSW.
Upload takes place in the future, where people who are near death can be “Uploaded” into a virtual afterlife of their choice. The ten episode series stars Robbie Amell, Andy Allo, Allegra Edwards, Zainab Johnson, and Kevin Bigley.Amazon
Tales from the Loop is based on the acclaimed art of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag and explores the town and people who live above “The Loop” a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe. Series stars Rebecca Hall, Paul Schneider, Duncan Joiner, Daniel Zolghardi and Jonathan Pryce. The series premieres on April 3.
Below is the note that was sent around to various press and PR folk tonight about the cancellation of Amazon Prime’s marketing activation with EW:
Due to health concerns Amazon Prime Video has decided to pull back from the festival and will be cancelling all activities including the Blue Room Photo/Video Studio over the weekend and the Entertainment Weekly party on Sat evening. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. The health of our team members and guests is our priority.
Thank you for your understanding,
Amazon joins such companies as Twitter, Facebook, Intel, China Gathering, Mashable and TikTok who are also holding back on travel during this time to protect the health of their employees. Word is that IMDB has also cancelled its video studio presence at the festival this year in the wake of coronavirus concerns.
Previously tonight it was confirmed by Deadline that a worker at an Amazon office in Seattle had tested positive for the coronavirus.
“The employee went home feeling unwell on Tuesday, February 25 and has not entered Amazon offices since that time,” Amazon said in a memo to staff. The company asked anyone experiencing symptoms to stay home and seek medical attention. To date, the death toll in Washington State has risen to nine reportedly, all within the city of Seattle.
Despite rumors around the city of Austin that SXSW would cancel or postpone, the festival will firmly go on.
Says the festival...
The successful specialized season chugs ahead as the top-tier hits add to their impressive totals. “Harriet” Focus, “Parasite” Neon, and “Jojo Rabbit” Fox Searchlight still hold the lead as recent titles haven’t reached the same levels. Three Netflix awards contenders, “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story” and “The Two Popes” are not getting major theater play, although Martin Scorsese’s film might get close to $10 million. With no new films in the last couple weeks likely to explode over Christmas, that means that unlike most years, some of the strong earlier performers have more chances to thrive during Christmas.
They are competing with other well-reviewed, Oscar and adult friendly studio releases like “Ford v Ferrari” 20th Century Fox, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” Sony, and “Knives Out” Lionsgate, all competing for the same audience.
This week brought a preview of what will be an early 2020 specialized top film. Neon released high-end acclaimed French romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” in two theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a one-week awards-qualifying run, which yielded excellent grosses for a subtitled film. They should do well after New Years when the current films are played out.
Meantime, Amazon’s pre-Prime release of “The Aeronauts” received very little interest in a national big market release.Opening
Portrait of a Lady on Fire Neon – Metacritic: 95; Festivals include: Cannes, Telluride, Toronto, New York 2019
$67,105 in 2 theaters; PTA per theater average: $33,552
When you got it, flaunt it. Every year December sees a number of films open for one week to qualify for awards, then return in the new year for regular dates. And the grosses for these brief dates aren’t reported. Neon is releasing the numbers on Celine Sciamma’s Cannes and New York Film Critics’ and European Film Award winner, a period drama about a brief, intense relationship between a wealthy bride-to-be and the woman hired to paint her portrait. This is a French, subtitled film, more chamber drama than epic, with reviews at the top end of any releases this year ahead of crowdpleaser “Les Miserables,” which was selected by France.
As a subtitled film, it doesn’t rank with the staggering initial results for Neon’s “Parasite.” But compared to nearly all other foreign language titles, this is at the high end, more so with an relatively unknown director to American audiences and stars. These are huge numbers compared to most–the lesbian romance also carries strong queer appeal.
What comes next: This will return in initial dates on February 14.
The door slams shut today on applications for one of the biggest jobs in global broadcasting: running the BBC. Resumes have been dusted off and the BBC’s headhunters have been courting interest as the corporation seeks to replace Tony Hall as director general after he announced his departure in January.
It’s not been the most electrifying of races to date, with a number of industry insiders observing that the recruitment process has been quiet. There have been no shock candidates, no big pitches for the job. But that could all change in an instant as the BBC chairman Sir David Clementi edges closer to a decision.
Hall’s successor faces a gargantuan task. The to-do list includes, but is not limited to: Grappling with a government that seems determined to undermine the BBC’s funding, slashing costs, securing the success of commercial arm BBC Studios, cleaning up a rumbling equal pay dispute, closing the diversity gap, and bringing a new generation of young audiences to the BBC’s output. All of this, while there are unprecedented threats from U.S. media giants like Netflix, Amazon and Apple.
Below is a run-down of how things are shaping up in the battle to become the BBC’s next director general. It is by no means an exhaustive list of candidates as there may be other names yet to emerge. We will keep this post updated as things develop, so check back for updates.
POTENTIALLY IN PLAY
Tim Davie: Sources have told Deadline that the BBC Studios CEO is sweet on the idea of succeeding Tony Hall having done the job on an interim basis in 2012. He has so far declined to comment on the process. Bizarrely, he would probably have to take a salary cut to step up: His total pay was £642,000 $826,000 last year, while Hall took home £450,000.
Charlotte Moore: The BBC’s director of content remains a much-fancied internal candidate, but according to BBC insiders, she is keeping her cards close to her chest about whether she is gunning for the top job. Many have pointed to her content credentials, but others have questioned whether she has the political and strategic nous to handle a hostile government.
Jay Hunt: Apple’s creative director of worldwide video has a healthy level of support from certain BBC insiders, with her ability to make tough decisions seen as an advantage. Sources have suggested that she will only commit to the recruitment process if asked. Hunt declined to comment when approached by Deadline.
Alex Mahon: Channel 4’s CEO has joined a long line of predecessors in being linked with a move to the BBC. A source said she is “fully committed” to Channel 4, but did not gone as far as ruling her out of the running.
Jane Turton: All3Media’s chief executive has been contacted by headhunters for the BBC....
AMC has unveiled a slew of developments including scripted projects from Katie Couric, The Report's Scott Z. Burns, Broad City's Ilana Glazer and Owen and Stephen King.
The majority of the projects are being developed for its networks but there are also projects set up for AMC Studios to sell to third party broadcasters and digital platforms.
The well-stocked development pipeline was announced at the Winter TCA Press Tour.
AMC Networks Entertainment Group is developing More As This Story Develops from Katie Couric and Wendy Walker, National Anthem from Scott Z. Burns and Mark Johnson, an adaptation of Owen and Stephen King's novel Sleeping Beauties, Bunny from Megan Mostyn Brown, Pantheon from Craig Silverstein, Nigeria 2099 from Ahmadu Garba and Silverbird from Scott Gold.
More As This Story Develops is inspired by the friendship between Couric and Walker, two young women begin their careers in broadcast news in the '80s.
National Anthem, with music and lyrics from The Hold Steady and music from T Bone Burnett, is a musical dramedy following the Nordstrom Family who, after falling down the ladder of American life, need to figure out what actually makes life worth living.
Sleeping Beauties, which is exec produced by the Kings and Michael Sugar and Ashley Zalta for Sugar23, is set in a small Appalachian town, there's a strange mystical occurrence that causes all the women to fall asleep, leaving the men to try and rescue them. But do the women want to be rescued?
Mostyn Brown's Bunny is based on the novel by Mona Awad and follows a lonely student, who is drawn into a mysterious clique of girls called The Bunnies and begins to partake in their strange off-campus ritual – conjuring boys from rabbits, where the good ones stay as romantic partners and the bad ones are mercilessly axed.
Pantheon is a one-hour animated drama series written by Turn's Silverstein and based on short stories by sci-fi writer Ken Liu Titmouse will serve as the animation production company and is also producing a 10-minute animated short. It is set in a world where uploaded consciousness is not just science fiction, a young woman begins receiving messages from an unknown number that claims to be her deceased father. Trying to uncover the truth, she stumbles upon a larger conspiracy involving the singularity.
Nigeria 2099 from The Sinner's Garba, who write and Mo Abudu and Heidi Uys of Nigeria's EbonyLife TV will executive produce, is set in a futuristic world and tells the story of Sgt. Charles Opkara, a local police officer in a poor district of Lagos. Assigned to protect a visiting American businessman staking out his district, Sgt. Charles begins to unravel a global conspiracy over depleting resources.