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Friday, July 23 2021

OPENERS “OLD” AND “SNAKE EYES” POISED TO PACE THE WEEKEND BOX OFFICE

PREVIEWS THURSDAY NIGHT FOR UNIVERSAL'S "OLD" & PARAMOUNT'S "SNAKE EYES: G.I. JOE ORIGINS" SHOW BOTH FILMS ON TRACK FOR MID-TEENS OPENINGS, AS EXHIBITORS & MEDIA ANALYSTS ANTICIPATE. "OLD" TOOK IN ABOUT $1.5M AT 2,750 LOCATIONS WHILE "SNAKE" DID $1.4M AT 2,662 THEATRES. CLOSE RACE LIKELY BETWEEN TWO TITLES. WILL HELP THAT NEITHER IS STREAMING DAY & DATE. WILD CARDS: WB'S "SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY" & DISNEY/MARVEL'S "BLACK WIDOW," BOTH OF WHICH COULD ALSO WIND UP IN MID-TEENS, DEPENDING ON HOW THEY HOLD.

“OLD” TRACKS WELL WITH OVER 25 FEMALE AUDIENCE

THURSDAY TRACKING GIVES AVERAGE FIRST CHOICE EDGE TO "OLD" (EQUAL TO NORM) VS. "SNAKE" (TWO POINTS UNDER NORM). TOP DEMO FOR "OLD" IS +25F (TWO POINTS OVER NORM). "SNAKE'S" TOP DEMO IS -25M (EQUAL TO NORM). ALL ARE SINGE DIGIT SCORES, NOT PACKING SAME DOUBLE DIGIT PUNCH AS RECENT HITS LIKE "F9," "BLACK WIDOW" OR "SPACE JAM."

"JUNGLE CRUISE" WILL PICK UP THE BOX OFFICE BATON FOR THE FOLLOWING WEEKEND

DISNEY'S "JUNGLE CRUISE," OPENING 7/30, SHOWING GOOD TRACKING STRENGTH WITH AVERAGE FIRST CHOICE SCORE TWO POINTS OVER NORM. STRONGEST DEMO IS +25F WITH DOUBLE DIGIT SCORE THAT'S TWICE NORM. -25F ARE NEXT BEST DEMO (TWO POINTS OVER NORM).

NY FILM FESTIVAL TURNS TO SHAKESPEARE

59TH ANNUAL NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL'S OPENING NIGHT SELECTION WILL BE A24'S R RATED OSCAR CONTENDER "THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH," DIRECTED BY JOEL COEN ("FARGO") & STARRING DENZEL WASHINGTON & FRANCES MC DORMAND. "MACBETH" WILL SCREEN 9/24 AT LINCOLN CENTER'S ALICE TULLY HALL, WHERE NYFF RETURNS THIS FALL AFTER 2020 VIRTUAL SCREENINGS DURING PANDEMIC. DOMESTIC LAUNCH VIA A24 WILL ALSO BE 9/24.

SPIRIT AWARDS WILL STEP INTO 2022 PRE-OSCAR VACUUM

FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS, FAMOUS FOR HOLDING FORTH IN TENTED SANTA MONICA BEACH PARTY SETTING OSCAR WEEKEND, ARE RE-POSITIONING THEMSELVES TO HAVE MORE POTENTIAL INFLUENCE ON ACADEMY VOTERS. 37TH ANNUAL SPIRITS WILL TAKE PLACE EARLIER IN 2022 -- ON SUNDAY, 3/6, THREE WEEKS BEFORE OSCARS. MORE SIGNIFICANTLY, SPIRIT WINS WILL BE ANNOUNCED BEFORE ACADEMY MEMBERS START FINAL BALLOTING 3/17.

SPIRITS ARE INFLUENTIAL WITH FILMMAKER CONTINGENT AMONG OSCAR VOTERS

SPIRITS HAVE HAD SIX BEST PICTURE MATCHES WITH OSCAR OVER PAST TEN YEARS: "THE ARTIST" (2012), "12 YEARS A SLAVE" (2014), "BIRDMAN" (2015), "SPOTLIGHT" (2016), "MOONLIGHT" (2017) & "NOMADLAND" ( 2021). WITH ACADEMY'S EFFORTS IN RECENT YEARS TO BROADEN MEMBERSHIP BASE, MORE INDIE FILMMAKERS ARE NOW VOTING FOR OSCARS AND SPIRITS ARE MEANINGFUL TO THEM.

WARNERMEDIA CEO TOUTS VITALITY OF MOTION PICTURE FORMAT

AT&T EARNINGS CALL WITH WALL STREET ANALYSTS INCLUDED REASSURANCES FROM OUTGOING WARNERMEDIA CEO JASON KILAR THAT "THE MOTION PICTURE FORMAT ABSOLUTELY MATTERS." AT&T TOLD INVESTORS HBO MAX & ORIGINAL HBO HAD STRONG SECOND QUARTER, PICKING UP 2.8M NEW SUBSCRIBERS BETWEEN THEM. THEIR COMBINED U.S. TOTAL IS NOW 47M SUBS.

HOWEVER, THEATRICAL WINDOWS NOT GO BACK TO WHAT THEY ONCE WERE

"I CERTAINLY DON'T SEE US GOING BACK TO THE WAY THE WORLD WAS IN 2015 OR '16 OR '17, WHERE WINDOWS WERE QUITE LENGTHY," KILAR NOTED. "I THINK WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO SEE IS THIS INDUSTRY CONTINUE TO EVOLVE AND TO CONTINUE TO INNOVATE IN A WAY THAT NOT ONLY WORKS FOR CONSUMERS AND FANS BUT ALSO WORKS FOR OUR BUSINESS PARTNERS."