Update: Despite this information coming from a countdown clock on Marvel’s official website, we’ve heard whispers that Disney+ may not be debuting at 9am EST after all. We’ll update this article again if we get more information, but in the meantime, I guess this is a “wait and see” situation. Our original article continues.
You won’t have to stay up late to watch the first episode of The Mandalorian. The Disney+ launch time has been revealed, thanks to an official countdown clock that is counting down the hours to the debut of the highly-anticipated Disney streaming platform. Contrary to the widely accepted belief that Disney+ would launch at midnight on November 12, 2019, it will actually debut a few hours later.
Disney+ will officially launch on Tuesday, November 12 at 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT. This reveal comes from the official Marvel website, which recently started a countdown clock for the launch of the Disney streaming platform, which will feature its inspirational kid-focused reality series The Marvel Hero Project as part of its Day One lineup.
From the “cutting it close” file: Disney and Amazon have just now struck a deal to make Disney+ available on Amazon Fire TV. Disney and Amazon have had a less-than-friendly relationship in the past, with the online retailer blocking Disney and Marvel movies from pre-orders, and even restricting sales of some Disney titles. When Disney announced plans to release Disney+ over the summer, they listed several platforms the streaming service would be available – and Amazon was not among them. But they’ve decided to put their differences aside. For now.
In August, Disney announced that Disney+, its upcoming streaming service, would be available on devices from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Sony, and Roku. Notably absent: Amazon. This wasn’t a complete surprise: Disney and Amazon have had a bumpy relationship, with Amazon often restricting access to Disney products. There’s no personal vendetta here – rather, Amazon is likely trying to put Disney’s feet to the fire to get better contracts and deals with the mega-studio. As the WSJ reported last month:
Amazon is pushing for the right to sell a substantial percentage of the ad space on Disney apps, and Disney has so far resisted, according to people familiar with the situation. Some of these people say they are optimistic the companies will reach an agreement. If they don’t, Disney apps could be removed from Fire TV, the second-largest distributor of streaming TV apps. Disney has several apps, including for networks such as ABC, ESPN and Disney Channel.
If you have an Amazon device and were worried you wouldn’t be able to access Disney+ when it launches next week, worry no more. Variety says that Disney and Amazon have worked out a deal to have Disney+ available on Fire TV streaming devices, Fire TV Edition smart TVs, and compatible Fire Tablets. This means Amazon and Disney have worked out some sort of deal, but the specifics aren’t available at this time.
Ultimately, this makes sense. Amazon Fire TV is one of the world’s largest streaming platforms, so for Disney to not work out some sort of deal with them would be foolish and lose them lots of potential customers. And since Disney and Amazon are both giant billion-dollar companies that only care about making more money, it’s okay to let them duke it out like a pair of monstrous Kaiju and not get too bent out of shape in the process.
As Disney CEO Bob Iger introduced former Fox properties to the Disney discipline, Fox Searchlight appeared to be an outlier. Earlier this year, co-chairmen Claudia Lewis and Steve Giulula said things were “business as usual;” indeed, the label will release new films by Wes Anderson and Armando Iannucci in 2020, and production began this week on the Michael Showalter’s “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”
However, on Thursday Iger revealed that he plans to tap Fox Searchlight to create original content for Hulu — showing there’s no such thing as “business as usual” as the streaming wars accelerate.
Searchlight is developing “original content” that will land on Hulu, Iger said, offering no details about what that might include. But it’s likely such productions could go straight-to-streaming, which would push Searchlight — known for its awards titles — in an adjacent path to Disney’s other film efforts.
There’s no suggestion that Searchlight would abandon its awards-fodder bread and butter. The studio has earned an impressive four Best Picture Oscars in 25 years, most recently Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” in 2017. Disney’s film output is almost entirely devoted to tentpoles; Searchlight could be its counter to the creative environment developed by chief streaming competitor Netflix, which is spending big on awards contenders like “Marriage Story” and “The Irishman.”
During Disney’s Q4 earnings call Thursday, Iger said his company acquired 20th Century Fox for the value it brings to the company’s direct-to-consumer streaming strategy: the family-oriented Disney+, which launches next week; the more adult-skewing Hulu; and ESPN+, the definitive subscription for cord-cutting sports fans.
Although the Disney+ debut is less than a week away, on the call Iger brought much of his energy to Hulu. It’s part of a $13 bundle that includes Disney+ and ESPN+, as part of the company’s Netflix-killing strategy. However, the Hulu in that package comes with commercials.
“Hulu is a significant driver of advertising revenue and continues to be,” Iger said. “The value of an ad-supported Hulu subscriber, given the ad revenue that it drives, is very, very high.”
Disney plans to entice audiences with exclusive and library content from FX, the network that airs edgy shows like “American Horror Story,” as well as Fox Searchlight, which released everything from “Napoleon Dynamite” to “Slumdog Millionaire.”
Fox currently has an HBO output deal, which means that Searchlight’s 200-film library won’t be available for Disney’s Hulu until 2022; a previous iteration of the pact was worth $1 billion over 10 years. It would be natural for those movies to head to Hulu when the deal expires; on the other hand, thats a a lot of money. On the call, Iger said it was “premature to speculate.”
Hulu currently has output deals with Annapurna, Neon, IFC Films, and Bleecker Street, making it a go-to place for indies like “I, Tonya,” and “Sorry to Bother You” — films that would be right at home alongside episodes of FX’s “Pose” and “Archer.”
Fox Searchlight also has been on a buying spree of short films this year, including the Oscar-nominated “Skin.” Co-president Nancy Utley told IndieWire in February that the shorts would play well on the studio’s YouTube channel, playing down any connection between the buys and possible subscription streaming placement.
Of course, it’s even more likely that short films could succeed on Hulu. But that was before the acquisition, when things looked much different in Hollywood.
Well, it’s happened. There are so many streaming services now we have to round-up the news about them into one big post. I hope you’re happy. Here’s what’s new on the streaming service front: Apple TV+ has launched, but no one seems to care. But hey, Apple just renewed a bunch of shows anyway. Disney+, meanwhile, is about to kick-off in the U.S., but won’t arrive in the U.K. until March. And finally, if you have an older Samsung Smart TV, you might not be able to watch Netflix in December.
Apple TV+’s Soft Launch
Hey, did you know Apple TV+ is live? More than a few people seem to be unaware of this fact, and it’s showing. Parrot Analytics examined the 24-hour period following the Apple TV+ launch, then compared it against the same demand levels following the release of all the other new streaming titles debuting in 2019 via Variety. The results weren’t great. Of all the Apple TV+ shows, only one – See – cracked the top 20.
The Morning Show, perhaps the most high-profile series on Apple TV+, seems to have performed the worst. Ouch. Despite all this, Apple has gone ahead and renewed almost everything. They actually revealed this news weeks ago, but for some reason, it’s making the rounds again today. According to THR, Dickinson, See, and For All Mankind and The Morning Show have all been given second seasons.
Disney+ Across the Pond and Beyond
Disney+ goes live in the U.S. on November 12, but there’s been no word about other countries – until now. Disney has confirmed that on March 31 the service will be live in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, with more locations announced soon.
Just announced: #DisneyPlus will be available in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and more to be announced soon starting on March 31st. Please note: Titles may vary by territory. pic.twitter.com/lE6nzBeaXy
— Disney+ @disneyplus November 7, 2019
Netflix Woes for Smart TVs
Do you have a Samsung Smart TV from 2010 and 2011? If so, you might run into some trouble next month trying to watch Netflix. Samsung has announced that “Due to technical limitations, Netflix will no longer be supported on 2010 and 2011 TVs beginning on December 1st, 2019.” They add:
If you have one of the affected models, you may see a message on your TV indicating that Netflix will no longer be available on this device. You’ll still be able to watch Netflix on your TV by connecting another device with Netflix on it.
Although some of our older TV’s 2010 and 2011 models, with C or D after the screen size in the model code will no longer support Netflix directly beginning December 1st, 2019, many other devices you may have connected to your TV are still supported. You can find a list from Netflix at netflix.com/compatibledevices. As long as you have one of the supported devices, like a game console, streaming media player, or set-top box, you’ll still be able to watch Netflix on your TV
So head’s up. And hey, Black Friday deals are coming. Why not splurge on a new TV anyway? That’s how capitalism works, baby!
On the November 7, 2019 episode of /Film Daily, /Film editor-in-chief Peter Sciretta is joined by /Film managing editor Jacob Hall, weekend editor Brad Oman, senior writer Ben Pearson and writers Hoai-Tran Bui and Chris Evangelista to discuss what they’ve been up to at the Water Cooler.
>At The Water Cooler: What we’ve been Doing: Peter went to the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival, and you can watch it on video. He also went to Disneyland to check out all the new Christmas merch and Kitra built a BB-unit droid in Galaxy’s Edge. Jacob bought a new hat. Ben saw a Live Read of Brian K. Vaughan’s Roundtable and attended a Q&A for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood What we’ve been Reading: Ben read The Photography of Game of Thrones Hoai-Tran read a webcomic Lore Olympus. What we’ve been Watching: Peter and Brad watched the first episodes of The Imagineering Story, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and Marvel Hero Project. Brad watched the first episodes of High School Musical: The Musical, The Series, and Encore! Peter and Brad caught up on Watchmen. Jacob watched The Gallows Act II and the new Jeopardy! collections on Netflix Chris finally saw Parasite and also Midway. Ben did the strangest double feature ever with The Haunting and Little Women 1994, watched the first two episodes of Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, and saw Last Christmas Peter watched a lot of AppleTV+ screeners. First he wants to talk about the poll and the horrible UI. He watched the entire season of The Morning Show, saw all but the last two episodes of For All Mankind, and tried to watch See. He also started watching Danny Elfman’s Masterclass. He’s also watching Survivor, where the last episode had a heated argument over the sexism of the idea of an all-woman alliance. Brad also watched first episode of Queer Eye: We’re In Japan, Little Mermaid Live. Caught The Lighthouse, Countdown and Terminator: Dark Fate. Hoai-Tran did a Halloween double feature of Dial M for Murder and Train to Busan, watched The Apartment, Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2U, and rewatched His Girl Friday. What we’ve been Eating: Brad tried Fried Onion Ring flavored Pringles, Sweet Cinnamon Kit Kats, Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream, Krispy Kreme Pie Donuts, and is glad Merry Mash-Up Mountain Dew and White Fudge Covered Oreos are back. What we’ve been Playing: Peter is trying to give 1.5x speed Podcast listening another chance. Jacob only wants to play Crokinole right now.
All the other stuff you need to know:
You can find more about all the stories we mentioned on today’s show at slashfilm.com, and linked inside the show notes. /Film Daily is published every weekday, bringing you the most exciting news from the world of movies and television as well as deeper dives into the great features from slashfilm.com. You can subscribe to /Film Daily on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the popular podcast apps RSS. Send your feedback, questions, comments and concerns to us at [email protected] Please leave your name and general geographic location in case we mention the e-mail on the air. Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes, tell your friends and spread the word! Thanks to Sam Hume for our logo. Source: Slashfilm.com
Not too long ago, Disney put up their awards consideration pages for the films they hope will land some nominations from the Oscars, Golden Globes and other important Hollywood organizations. When it came to Avengers: Endgame, the usual ambition was there for Best Picture, Best Director, and a slew of technical awards. But there was one surprising exclusion.
Robert Downey Jr. previously confirmed that he opted not to campaign for any acting awards for his farewell performance as Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame. This was surprising to fans since his final turn as the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist and superhero felt like a performance that may have been worthy of at least a nomination. It appears Disney agreed and whether or not Downey intends to campaign for an Oscar, they’re going to do it for him. Robert Downey Jr. is included in the addition of consideration for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories that feature several other Avengers: Endgame cast members too.
Here’s Disney’s updated list of hopeful nominees that will be up for awards consideration this season:
As you can see, none of the Avengers: Endgame cast members were put up in the lead actor or lead actress categories. That makes perfect sense since the ensemble cast is so big that they all have a pretty even amount of screentime. Plus, the competition will likely be less fierce in those categories. However, just because Disney is putting forth these names for nominations doesn’t mean that any of them have a good chance at landing a nomination. But let’s talk about which ones could possibly be contenders.
Not to be disrespectful to any of these actors and actresses, but right out of the gate, I don’t think there’s any chance that Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Brie Larson, Zoe Saldana, or Gwyneth Paltrow will be getting nominations. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all great in their respective roles, and each has a solid emotional beat in the movie, but none of them feel like Oscar worthy performances as a whole. Plus, Ruffalo and Brolin have the disadvantage of playing motion capture characters, and the Academy still hasn’t figured out how to properly register those performances alongside traditional roles on film.
Somewhat more likely but still almost certainly not getting Oscar nominations are Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner. Though the two share some of the most touching and heartwrenching moments in Endgame, Renner is currently dealing with some peculiar personal issues and likely won’t be at the forefront of any Oscar campaigning. Furthermore, if Scarlett Johansson is going to get any Oscar nominations this year, it will probably be for Jojo Rabbit or Marriage Story.
However, there are four Avengers: Endgame cast members that I could see being worthy of a nomination, even if they’re still unlikely to end up with one. Robert Downey Jr. is one of them for obvious reasons, but I think we’re all forgetting just how great Chris Hemsworth is in this movie. He shows an incredible range of emotion as a superhero suffering from PTSD, often turning his emotions on a dime, and I would be psyched if he ended up earning at least a nomination. Meanwhile, both Chris Evans and Karen Gillan turned in admirable performances. The latter has a surprisingly integral and emotional character arc in this movie, and the former continues to be the backbone of this entire franchise. Either one of them could have enough standout moments to land a nomination, but I’m not sure
Of course, the Oscars are very competitive, and they’re not always about who really gave the best performance. Furthermore, The Academy hasn’t fully embraced superhero movies as being award worthy just yet. That tradition wavered a bit for Black Panther, but that felt like a unique circumstance in which the achievement for bringing such a culturally diverse superhero movie to the table was likely what drew voters to support the movie.
Then again, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King ended up getting some awards love and sweeping every award it was nominated for, largely in support of the overall achievement of the entire trilogy from Peter Jackson. Perhaps something similar could happen here as a way of paying tribute to the success of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’ll find out over the next few months.