We’ll have a relatively abbreviated Monday due to Labor Day here at GP but that doesn’t mean we don’t have lots of articles coming at you. Stay tuned throughout the day! And while you hopefully have a relaxing day, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.
In a more intense, more desperate Season 2 of The Boys, Butcher, Hughie, and the team reel from their losses in Season 1. On the run from the law, they struggle to fight back against the Superheroes. As Vought, the company that manages the heroes, cashes in on the panic over the threat of Supervillains, and a new hero, Stormfront, shakes up the company and challenges an already unstable Homelander.
Amazon Prime Video has released the official teaser trailer for the second season of The Boys, the first three episodes of which will premiere on Prime Video on Friday, September 4, 2020.New episodes will be available each Friday following, culminating in an epic season finale on October 9. The second season features eight brand new episodes.
The even more intense, more insane Season 2 finds The Boys on the run from the law, hunted by the Supes, and desperately trying to regroup and fight back against Vought. In hiding, Hughie (Jack Quaid), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Frenchie (Tomer Capon) and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) try to adjust to a new normal, with Butcher (Karl Urban) nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Starlight (Erin Moriarty) must navigate her place in The Seven as Homelander (Antony Starr) sets his sights on taking complete control. His power is threatened with the addition of Stormfront (Aya Cash), a social media-savvy new Supe, who has an agenda of her own. On top of that, the Supervillain threat takes center stage and makes waves as Vought seeks to capitalize on the nation’s paranoia.
The Supes of The Seven also include Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), The Deep (Chace Crawford) and Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell). Recurring stars in season two include Claudia Doumit, Goran Visnijc, Malcolm Barrett, Colby Minifie, Shantel VanSanten, Cameron Crovetti, PJ Byrne, Laila Robbins and Giancarlo Esposito returning as Vought boss Stan Edgar, among others.
The Boys is based on the comic series created by Garth Ennis and Darrick Robertson.
Could Amazon buy AMC Entertainment? A rumor is going around that may be the case which caused AMC’s shares to spike on Monday. The shares were up over 34% based as of this post on the rumor driven by The Daily Mail, so take it with a grain of salt.
Of course neither company has a comment.
The rumors have met heavy doubts but would be an intriguing move.
Amazon is investing in its own original series with Amazon Studios releasing films and television shows. It would create an integration harkening back to movie studio ownership which ended due to the 1948 court case United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. which affirmed the ownership of theaters by studios violated antitrust law.
There has been talk of allowing such ownership to resume.
What it also provides is a possible avenue for Amazon to further integrate selling related merchandise for releases creating pop up shops.
For now, chalk this one up to a rumor, but an intriguing one.
We’re gearing up for comics to really get going but teasing us with what will be is new DC Comics today! While you check that out and wait for more to come, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.
Things are getting testy between theaters and studios as the opening of theaters looms on the horizon and studios are rethinking releases. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous studios pulled their films choosing instead to release them video on demand or shrinking the release windows from theaters to digital.
The most high profile release so far was Universal‘s Trolls World Tour. Things escalated after a Wall Street Journal report says the film earned $95 million domestically in its first 19 days. The original film earned $153.7 million domestically for its entire run and $120.9 million after 19 days.
The National Association of Theatre Owners sent out a statement:
This performance is indicative of hundreds of millions of people isolated in their homes seeking entertainment, not a shift in consumer movie viewing preferences. It is not surprising that people under shelter-in-home ordinances for weeks on end with increasingly limited entertainment options would take advantage of the movie’s direct-to-VOD move to keep children entertained, even at a premium price.
We’ll ignore the blatant falacy of “increasingly limited entertainment options.”
They also emphasized:
Universal heavily marketed the title as a theatrical release, in theaters and elsewhere, for weeks on end. That is unlikely to recur in normal times, and those costs haven’t been disclosed. While Universal may be pleased with the PVOD results of Trolls World Tour, this outcome should not be interpreted as a sign of a ‘new normal’ for Hollywood.
We’ll also ignore the weird tangent about marketing. As marketing is marketing and there might be a stronger marketing plan to be made emphasizing its exclusiveness to video on demand.
After the success of Trolls World Tour, Universal decided to release the Judd Apatow/Pete Davidson comedy The King of Staten Island in homes June 12, skipping its original June 19 theatrical release.
Warner Bros. is skipping theaters as well with Scoob! going digital on May 15, STX is taking My Spy to Amazon, Paramount/MRC‘s The Lovebirds is going to Netflix, and Artemis Fowl is releasing on Disney+. None of these films would likely have been blockbusters and will likely play well to their niche audiences on demand.
NATO also argued that the optimum price point for movie rentals are $5-$8 with $6 being the sweet spot and transactional video has been declining since 2004 with sales and rentals of individual titles at home dropping from $24.9 billion to $9.3 billion in 2019.
What’s interesting is, that $6 rental isn’t that much different from what studios get currently. With an $10 ticket at the American box office, they’d get about 60% or $6. Overseas it can be 20% to 40% depending on the arrangement. Movies begin with fees up to 90% and the fees go down. This article from The Week has an excellent explanation. So, NATO has shown studios would potentially make the same and possibly more with video on demand.
Things have ramped up further with AMC Theatres saying they will no longer play any Universal Pictures after NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell promising to “open titles on premium and in theaters at the same time.”
AMC Theaters chairman-CEO Adam Aron went on the attack in a letter to Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley saying:
It is disappointing to us, but Jeff’s comments as to Universal’s unilateral actions and intentions have left us with no choice. Therefore, effectively immediately AMC will no longer play any Universal movies in any of our theaters in the United States, Europe or the Middle East.
This policy affects any and all Universal movies per se, goes into effect today and as our theaters reopen, and is not some hollow or ill-considered threat. Incidentally, this policy is not aimed solely at Universal out of pique or to be punitive in any way, it also extends to any movie maker who unilaterally abandons current windowing practices absent good faith negotiations between us, so that they as distributor and we as exhibitor both benefit and neither are hurt from such changes. Currently, with the press comment today, Universal is the only studio contemplating a wholesale change to the status quo. Hence, this immediate communication in response.
Universal’s unilateral pronouncements on this issue are unpalatable to us, as has always been the case, AMC is willing to sit down with Universal to discuss different windows strategies and different economic models between your company and ours. However, in the absence of such discussions, and an acceptable conclusion thereto, our decades of incredibly successful business activity together has sadly come to an end.
Theaters are in a tough position as they need studios more than studios need them. With months of revenue lost, they need guaranteed blockbusters like Universal’s Fast and Furious 9 which has been pushed back to April 2, 2021 and Disney’s Mulan which is currently set to open July 24, 2020. Both of which would be billion-dollar films in normal environments. With more digital services being released with “captive audiences,” studios will need theaters less and less. Disney+ has over 50 million subscribers already as an example and at $7(ish) a month, that’s over 350 million reasons a month and 4.2 billion reasons yearly.
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Mondo Music and Madison Gate Records have announced they’ll be releasing the vinyl record of the original soundtrack to Amazon‘s The Boys. The soundtrack is by Christopher Lennertz. The vinyl goes on sale at noon on Wednesday.
Based on the graphic novel of the same name, The Boys tackles our modern obsession with superheroes in media with a biting satire of modern politics and the abuse of power from a fictional League of Heroes who may need to be taken down a peg. Christopher Lennertz has composed a blistering, propulsive score for the darkly comedic series that adeptly parodies the musical landscape of propoganda, all while being a terrific soundtrack to the ensuing action drama that unfolds when the “Supes” collide with the titular anti-heroes tasked with being their checks and balances.
The album feature osriginal artwork by Jack Hughes, liner notes by composer Christopher Lennertz, series creators Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, and showrunner Eric Kripke, and pressed on 2X 180 Gram “Compound V” colored vinyl (also available on 2X 180 Gram Black vinyl).
They also are offering free vinyl shipping domestically with a flat $10 fee for international. That runs until 11:59 PM on Wednesday.
THE BOYS – Music From The Amazon Original Series 2XLP. Music by Christopher Lennertz. Artwork by Jack Hughes. Featuring liner notes by composer Christopher Lennerts, series creators Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, and showrunner Eric Kripke. Pressed on 2X 180 Gram “Compound V” colored vinyl. Also available on 2X 180 Gram Black vinyl. Expected to Ship in November 2019. Ships Worldwide. $35
Amazon‘s Prime Video OriginalThe Expanse experience will bring New York Comic Con-goers and fans on an interstellar experience during NYCC to celebrate the show’s new home at Amazon Prime Video and the premiere of its fourth season.
Upon arrival, fans will transform into fearless explorers as they join the crew of the show’s Rocinante spaceship. Attendees will step aboard the Hollywood-level spacecraft to journey to the upcoming season’s distant new setting. Guests will star in their own recreations of the Season 4 artwork, as they dramatically alight to take their first steps on New Terra – or Ilus, depending on your allegiance – in a highly sharable photo booth experience.
The show’s far-away journey becomes reality at NYCC 2019 courtesy of Prime Video. As our rookie adventurers line up and embark, The Expanse ambassadors instruct them on what to expect inside the ship, briefing these brave explorers on their one-way mission to boldly step out into the unknown. Amidst the authentic props and flickering screens, an array of Easter eggs, show references, and Snapchat-enabled Belter tattoos draw everyone deeper into The Expanse’s distinctive universe.
A group of artists, writers, publishers, volunteers, and others have posted an open letter to Medium calling on comic festivals to stop accepting sponsorship money from comiXology.
ComiXology is the digital comic platform owned by Amazon and the group is concerned over numerous issues regarding that parent company.
Listed as to reasons why sponsorships should be rejected include Amazon’s labor abuses and the company’s hosting of Palantir the company that provides ICE with information to use in the arrest of undocumented individuals as well as surveillance against unions.
The group is calling for the comic community to “consider alternate sources of funding” and for conventions to make a “public statement announcing their decision” regarding future commitments.
Further mentioned is the singling out of CXC and Thought Bubble to sever ties, a public pledge to not accept further partnerships and transparency regarding sponsorships and money allocation.
Signing the letter are Aaron Renier, ABO Comix, Aim Ren Beland, Alex Degen, Alex Hoffman, Alex Nall, Ann Xu, Becca Tobin, Birdcage Bottom Books, Cathy G. Johnson, Chris Kuzma, Cleopatria Peterson, Colleen Tighe, Conor Stechschulte, Courtney Menard, David Ziggy Greene, Dean Sudarsky, Dresden Douglas, Eleanor Davis, Eli Valley, Elisha Lim, Entropy Editions, Ethan Heitner, Evan Dahm, Festival Workers Association, Flynn Nicholls, Frankie Johnson, Garrett Young, Gianluca Costantini, Gina Wynbrandt, Gloria Rivera, Ilan Manouach, Io Ascarium, Jack Hayden, Jackie Roche, Jade Armstrong, Jen Wang, Jesse Jacobs, Jesse DeNobrega, Jessica Campbell, Jillian Tamaki, Jonathan Dyck, Jordan Crane, J.T. Yost, Jules Zuckerberg, Julian Glander, Katie Fricas, Kevin Budnik, Kevin Czap, Kimball Anderson, Kori, Michele Handwerker, Kris Mukai, Kurt Ankeny, Lala Albert, Laura Knetzger, Laura Lannes, Laurel Lynn Leake, Leela Corman, Liz Suburbia, M. Sabine Rear, Maria Photinakis, Marnie Galloway, Melanie Gillman, Meredith Smallwood, Michael DeForge, Mickey Zacchilli, O.K. Fox, Paloma Hernando, Patrick Kyle, Phil McAndrew, Priya Huq, Rebecca Mock, Reilly Hadden, Remus Jackson, RJ Casey, Roxanne Palmer, Ryan Sands, Sabrina Scott, Sage Persing, Simon Moreton, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Sophie Yanow, Sunmi, Tom Whalen, Victor Martins, Vinnie Neuberg, and Zach Hazard Vaupen.