Disney+ has been in American homes since last fall, but the House of Mouse’s streaming service is only just now starting to expand to international territories.
It’s been one week since Disney+ arrived in Europe, turning The Mandalorian into quite the sensation among viewers in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spin, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland. Now even more international markets are getting a taste of the live-action Star Wars series, with Disney+ launch in India, which was previously delayed from debuting on March 29, starting today.
Deadline has word on the India launch of Disney+ happening today. The debut of the streaming service was pushed back due to complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but the delay ended up not being extensive at all, which is good news for viewers in India who are anxious to start streaming.
In India, Disney’s streaming service will actually be called Disney+ Hotstar. That’s because Disney acquired Hotstar, India’s biggest streaming service, when they picked up Fox’s entertainment assets in their big merger. This will make India’s version of Disney+ significantly different from others.
Disney+ Hotstar will have three different subscription tiers for viewers to sign up for: Disney+ Hotstar VIP, Disney+ Hotstar Premium, and an ad-supported basic version of Disney+ Hotstar. Depending on your subscription tier, viewers will get access to not only Disney+ original programming and the movies of Marvel Studios, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation, but also Bollywood movies and even US shows from HBO, Fox and Showtime.The Mandalorian Launches Big on Disney+ in Europe
While Disney+ is just launching in India, it’s already comfortable across Europe after launching a week and a half ago. The service is now available in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spin, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland, and The Mandalorian is already a huge hit, based on what TV research company Parrot Analytics calls “demand expressions.”
Deadline has word from Parrot Analytics that the premiere of the first two episodes of The Mandalorian resulted in 33 million demand expressions, which comes from looking at data across social media, video streaming, photo sharing, blogging and research platforms. And that was just on March 24 when Disney+ launched in those territories. That’s not bad considering they’ve had months to pirate the series following its debut in the United States.
However, it should be noted that some demand expressions are not as valuable in measuring the impact of a television series. That’s because social media engagements aren’t indicative of engagement with a series, as in actually watching the show in question. But even so, the fact that so many people are talking about the series...
Disney+ may benefit from further delays with the studio's theatrical releases as more movies may be going directly to the streaming service in the future. This, according to former Disney CEO and current Executive Chairman Bob Iger. It was recently revealed that Artemis Fowl will debut on Disney+ sometime this year, skipping a theatrical release. As Iger explains, that may not be the only title to make the move from theatrical to streaming, but don't expect to see it happen with the studio's upcoming tentpole releases.
Given what's going on in the world right now, most movie theaters are shut down entirely and virtually all major releases through June have been delayed. Some have wondered if Disney might put movies like Black Widow or Mulan on Disney+ instead. While that won't be happening, Bob Iger isn't ruling out other movies making the shift. Here's what Iger had to say about it in a recent interview.'There are some we've decided to put on Disney+. We already announced one, Artemis Fowl, that would have been released in theaters. Others we've simply delayed. In some cases we've moved things onto Disney+ faster than we would have. Frozen 2 was one of them, but Onward would be the biggest example. It was in theaters when this happened.' 'We moved to a pay-per-view period for a couple of weeks where people could buy it and own it. And then we ended up putting it on Disney+. In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney+, but for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we'll simply wait for slots. In some cases we've announced new ones already, but later on in the calendar.'
There is a lot to unpack here. Black Widow and several other delayed movies were recently given new release dates as Disney reshuffled its 2020/2021 calendar. Black Widow and other big-budget tentpoles stand to make far more money in theaters, even with a relatively uncertain future ahead, than they could possibly generate via streaming. So putting movies like them directly on Disney+ doesn't make that much business sense.
In the meantime, taking riskier projects such as Artemis Fowl and giving Disney+ subscribers something flashy and exclusive is helpful. But what other movies might fit the bill for streaming debuts? The New Mutants perhaps? Whatever the case, as Bob Iger points out, the studio is content to wait until things return to normal. Disney, more than any other studio in Hollywood, is capable of raking in big dollars at the box office. So this truly isn't that surprising.
Other studios, on the other hand, may see value in doing a VOD/Digital release. Universal kicked that door wide open a couple of weeks back by putting recent releases such as The Invisible Man and The Hunt online. Trolls: World Tour, which was destined for theaters, will arrive digitally this month. Disney has not yet set a premiere date for Artemis Fowl, but it's...
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox TV is developing an adaptation of Michael Arceneaux's memoir I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyonce with Jerrod Carmichael, Lee Daniels and Marc Velez.
Deadline understands that the project is set to hit the cable and streaming market as a half-hour series.
The book, which was published by Simon & Schuster in July 2018, is a collection of 17 autobiographical essays from Arceneaux. The deal comes as Arceneaux’s second book, I Don't Want to Die Poor, an essay collection which chronicles his struggles with private student loans and economic anxiety, is published today April 7 by Simon & Schuster.Simon & Schuster
Arceneaux will adapt and executive produce alongside Carmichael, and Lee Daniels and Marc Velez of Lee Daniels Entertainment. UTA brokered the deal on Arceneaux's behalf.
The book looks at life in today's America with Arceneaux learning to embrace his identity when the world told him to do the opposite, leaving no bigoted or ignorant stone unturned. He discusses coming out to his mother, growing up in Houston, Texas, being approached for the priesthood, his obstacles in embracing intimacy that occasionally led to unfortunate fights with fire ants, and the persistent challenges of young people who feel marginalized and denied the chance to pursue their dreams.
Arceneaux is represented by UTA, Jermaine Johnson at 3Arts, attorney Loan Dang, and Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourrett. Carmichael is represented by UTA and attorney PJ Shapiro at Ziffren Brittenham. Daniels is represented by WME, Alex Kovacs at Untitled Entertainment, and attorney Matthew Levy at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman.
Comcast has also committed $500 million to support employees impacted by the pandemic.
NBCUniversal and other parts of the Comcast family on Wednesday internally unveiled measures to support employees and others impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Top executives, including Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, CFO Mike Cavanagh, Comcast Cable CEO Dave Watson, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch, are donating their salaries to charities engaged in coronavirus relief until the virus crisis passes.
Roberts, in a memo obtained by THR, also said that Comcast was committing $500 million to help staff with pay and benefits if their business units have been shut down due to the pandemic.
"Across our businesses, we have committed $500 million to support our employees through continued pay and benefits where operations have been paused or impacted, and we have committed significant resources to support our customers," Roberts wrote. "Additionally, effective today, and for the duration of this situation, our senior leaders, Mike Cavanagh, Dave Watson, Jeff Shell, Jeremy Darroch and I have chosen to donate 100 percent of our salaries to charities that support COVID-19 relief efforts," Roberts wrote.
Roberts' 2018 salary came to $3.2 million, while CFO Cavanagh's salary was $1.95 million that year and then-NBCUniversal CEO Stephen Burke took home a salary of $2.96 million in 2018. Comcast has yet to announce its executive compensation for 2019.
Roberts, his wife Aileen and their family previously said they were donating $5 million for the Philadelphia public school system to buy laptops for students doing online learning as local schools closed down during the coronavirus crisis.
Comcast is the latest media and entertainment company to unveil that top executives were forging their salaries amid the virus crisis, following the likes of the Walt Disney Co.
Read Comcast chairman and CEO Roberts' full memo to Comcast staff below:
As our world changes by the minute with the new reality that COVID-19 brings, I continue to be amazed and inspired by our people and the human spirit at Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky. This is obviously an incredibly difficult time for our society. None of us has ever experienced anything like this before, and while it is easy to get mired in the many challenges we are all facing, I think that in uncertain times like these it is incumbent upon us to remain optimistic and look for the good, even if it can be elusive.
One of the bright spots for me has been watching our employees on the frontlines go above and beyond. Our Comcast and Sky engineers, technicians and call center representatives are working around the clock to keep our network running and make sure our customers maintain their vital internet connectivity. Our NBC and Sky news organizations are keeping our world informed — setting up remote...