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ViacomCBS Ad Sales Drop 27% in COVID Quarter, but Revenue From Streaming Subscriptions Rises 52%

ViacomCBS reported its second-quarter 2020 earnings Thursday, revealing that the media giant had seen a 27% drop in sales during the COVID-plagued quarter, but a 52% increase in revenue from streaming subscriptions.

Wall Street forecast earnings per share (EPS) of 93 cents on 6.17 billion in revenue, according to a consensus compiled by Yahoo Finance. ViacomCBS reported adjusted EPS of $1.25 on $6.27 million in revenue.

While the company beat Wall Street’s earnings and revenue forecasts during Q2, the three month period ending June 30 saw theatrical revenue plummet 98%.

Also Read: How ViacomCBS Plans to Reinvent CBS All Access for the Streaming Era

Most media companies were financially rocked in the second quarter of 2020, which is when the greatest impact (thus far, at least) of the coronavirus shutdown was felt.

“ViacomCBS delivered another solid quarter, with clear operational momentum and sequential improvement in key earnings and cash flow metrics,” ViacomCBS president and CEO Bob Bakish said in a prepared statement accompanying the financials. “Despite the impact of COVID-19 on revenue in the quarter, we’re successfully managing through the effects of the pandemic, reaffirming the strength of our combined operations. Our results underscored our strong progress delivering on our value-creation initiatives, including integration cost synergies, expanded and new distribution agreements, as well as the rapid acceleration of our streaming business, where we achieved record users and revenue in free and pay while building toward the relaunch of our diversified super service.”

ViacomCBS stock closed Wednesday at $26.00 share. The regular U.S. stock markets will reopen at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Bakish and other ViacomCBS executives will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail.

More to come…

Related stories from TheWrap:

How ViacomCBS Plans to Reinvent CBS All Access for the Streaming Era

ViacomCBS Laid Off Dozens More Last Month, 672 Jobs Shed in New York This Year (Exclusive)

ViacomCBS Says 'Majority' of Employees Will Work From Home Until 2021


thewrap.com | 06-Aug-2020 13:16

ViacomCBS Q2 Profit Slides on Advertising Declines Amid Coronavirus
ViacomCBS said its second quarter net income tumbled amid declines in advertising revenue at its cable and broadcast outlets, the latest sign of the toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on the operations of U.S. media companies. The New York owner of the CBS broadcast network, the Showtime pay-cable operation and the Nickeodeon kids-media empire […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 13:14

Colin Firth & Stanley Tucci’s ‘Supernova,’ Matt Dillon’s ‘El Gran Fellove’ Set for San Sebastian
Matt Dillon’s “El Gran Fellove,” Julien Temple’s “Crock of Gold” and Harry Macqueen’s “Supernova” have been added to San Sebastian’s Official Selection, along with two other main competition players, from French-Lebanese director Danielle Arbid and Argentina’s Eduardo Crespo. The five new features will all bow at San Sebastian as world premieres, the festival announced Thursday. […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 12:11

Zoe Saldana apologises for playing Nina Simone: 'She deserved better'
The actress says she "should never have played Nina" in the heavily criticised 2016 biopic.
news.bbc.co.uk | 06-Aug-2020 11:28

Cameron Diaz found 'peace' by quitting acting
The star opens up to Gwyneth Paltrow about her decision to quit her Hollywood career in 2018.
news.bbc.co.uk | 06-Aug-2020 11:21

Nearly Half The World’s Cinemas Are Back in Operation, New Data Finds
While resurgent waves of COVID-19 have caused new lockdowns and stay-at-home restrictions in places including California, Hong Kong and Australia’s Victoria State, nearly half of the world’s cinemas are now back in operation, according to data from the U.K.’s Gower Street Analytics. That should come as some relief to exhibitors and distributors who, in addition […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 11:00

Dame Shirley Bassey to release first new album in five years
The Cardiff-born superstar celebrates a 70-year career with her first release in five years.
news.bbc.co.uk | 06-Aug-2020 10:52

ITV Boss Trumpets ‘Good News on Drama Front’ as Productions Resume Shooting
ITV is ramping up its production might post-lockdown, with CEO Carolyn McCall trumpeting the company’s progress in resuming scripted drama production. “It is all good news on the drama front,” said McCall, during a Thursday morning earnings call. Although ITV declared revenue declines across the board in its half-year results, the chief executive was upbeat […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 10:16

‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Expands Gene Roddenberry’s Universe, With Mixed Results: TV Review
“Star Trek: Lower Decks,” the latest series in the franchise kicked off by Gene Roddenberry in 1966, doesn’t take place on the Enterprise, or the Voyager, or any of the similarly inspiringly-named ships in the fleet. This animated show depicts the comings and goings of the support staff on the U.S.S. Cerritos, a ship sharing […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 09:01

Locarno Open Doors Pick ‘Fruit Gathering’ Fronts Same-Sex Desire in Myanmar
The powerful bond between two female factory workers, and the complex desire it ignites, form the starting point of Myanmar director Aung Phyoe’s feature film debut “Fruit Gathering,” which is being presented as part of Locarno’s Open Doors co-production platform. Set in working-class Yangon, the film tells the story of a young woman, San, who […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 09:01

ITV Half-Year Revenues Dip 17% as COVID-19 Impact Bites
U.K. commercial broadcaster ITV’s 2020 half-year earnings have expectedly declined due to the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Total broadcast revenue in the last six months has declined 17% to £824 million ($1.08 billion) from 2019’s $1.3 billion. Similarly, there was a 17% decline in total ITV Studios revenues to £630 million ($830 million) […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 08:25

Detail, Music Producer Known for Beyonce’s ‘Drunk In Love,’ Arrested on Multiple Sexual Assault Charges
Music producer Detail was arrested Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after 15 sexual assault charges and five separate felony assault charges were filed against him five days earlier. The producer is being held on bail of $6.3 million. Detail, whose real name is Noel Fisher, has worked with such artists as Jay-Z, Nicki […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 07:26

Tokyo Film Festival Plans for Physical Edition, Alliance With Filmex  
The Tokyo International Film Festival  (TIFF) will host physical screenings at its 33rd edition, which is on  schedule to be held Oct. 31-Nov. 9, the festival office announced Thursday. It will also collaborate with the Tokyo Filmex festival, normally held later in November. Plans for a festival with live audiences may change, a TIFF representative […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 07:19

Coronavirus: Dancing on Ice coach warns of ice skating concern
Mark Hanretty calls for ice rinks to be opened to elite athletes amid coronavirus restrictions.
news.bbc.co.uk | 06-Aug-2020 07:17

Seth Meyers: ‘Even a Therapist Would Be Too Challenging for Trump’ (Video)

We’re living in an exceedingly political time, with what feels like a million insane new things happening every day. But despite the overzealous news cycle, we can’t help but continue to ponder Donald Trump’s comical and embarrassing interview with Jonathan Swan of Axios from late Monday night. And so Seth Meyers spent his new “A Closer Look” segment Wednesday ripping Trump a new one over it.

Midway through the segment, Meyers wanted to take a, ahem, closer look at the part of the interview when Trump tried to whip out a series of graphs that he thought showed that the United States was handling the pandemic incredibly well. It didn’t go well — Trump didn’t have a graph to counter Swan’s point that the U.S. has had the highest proportion of its population die from COVID-19 of any country in the world.

To which Trump infamously responded: “You can’t do that!”

Also Read: Seth Meyers: 'I'm Almost Certain Trump Has No Idea What TikTok Is' (Video)

“Okay, there is so much unpack here obviously, but my first thought is: generally speaking, when you’re the president reaching for a piece of paper, saying to an interviewer, ‘If you look at death…’ that’s not a great place to be. PowerPoint presentations at the office that start, ‘All right everyone, thanks for coming in, so if you look at death…’ rarely, almost never, end with promotions,” Meyers joked.

“Second, what is this chart? This is the fakest-ass looking chart I’ve ever seen. It’s just four random bars with different colors. Is this the printer test sheet?”

Meyers then joked that the graph “looks like a prop they give a fourth grader playing a businessman in a school play.”

“But the craziest part about this is Trump couldn’t even remember his own bulls—. That’s how fried his brain is,” Meyers continued. “He wanted to say our case fatality rate is the lowest in the world, which would be wrong and misleading anyway, but he couldn’t even remember that.

Also Read: Seth Meyers: Trump Will 'Shred Our Democracy' If We Don't Stop Him Now (Video)

“He just knew someone stuck some papers in his hand with some lines on them that supposedly made the US look good. When he actually had to explain them he froze like a fifth grader who just got the word ‘milieu’ in a spelling bee.”

Then Meyers moved into mocking Trump for what he did afterward — flee to his safe space at Fox News for an interview with Lou Dobbs that Meyers described as “beyond a softball interview.” In which Trump was asked about UFOs.

Meyers also discussed a topic broached by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show: why would Trump do an interview like this with a publication that isn’t on the “friendly side of the aisle.” An idea Meyers thought was very funny.

Also Read: Seth Meyers Can't Get Over the Trump Family's Obsession With Hydroxychloroquine (Video)

“At this point, ‘friendly side of the aisle’ just means anyone who won’t ask a follow-up question. Even a therapist would be too challenging for Trump,” Meyers zinged.

He was also amused by Limbaugh’s choice of words there.

“Think about that word ‘friendly.’ You know it’s bad when even the president’s allies talk about him the way a parent would warn a child to stay away from strangers,” Meyers joked.

Also Read: Seth Meyers: Trump Is 'Obsessed With Proving to Everyone That His Brain Works' (Video)

“They talk about legitimate journalists like they’re pulling up outside the White House in a windowless van.”

You can watch all of the new “A Closer Look” segment from Wednesday’s episode of “Late Night With Seth Meyers” in the video embedded up at the top of this article. Or on YouTube here.


thewrap.com | 06-Aug-2020 06:55

Hip Hop Producer Detail Arrested by LA Sheriffs on Sexual Assault Charges

Grammy winning music producer Detail, real name Noel Fisher, has been arrested by Los Angeles County Sheriffs as part of an investigation into “multiple” accusations of sexual assault, the department announced Wednesday night.

In a statement, the department said it it is investigating accusations related to incidents it said occurred between 2010 and 2018, and that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has filed 15 charges of sexual assault and 5 additional felony assault charges against Fisher.

An arrest warrant was issued against Fisher on July 31 and he was arrested on Wednesday. His bail is set at $6,290,000.

Also Read: Migos Rapper Takeoff Accused of Rape at an LA Party in New Lawsuit

“Based on the nature of the allegations, SVB detectives believe there may be additional potential victims and they are seeking the public’s help in identifying any such victims,” the department said.

The identities of the accusers related to the charges have not been disclosed. However, in 2018 Fisher was accused of rape, and mental and physical abuse by two women who later secured restraining orders. Shortly after, singer Jessie Reyez accused Fisher of attempting to rape her in 2014, and singers Bebe Rexha and Tinashe accused him of similar conduct.

Fisher is best known for producing Beyonce Knowles’ Grammy-winning song “Drunk in Love” as well as her track “7/11.” He has also produced tracks for Ray J, Akon, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne and Jennifer Lopez among others.

Also Read: 'Schooled' Star Bryan Callen Accused of Rape, Sexual Assault

Representatives for Fisher did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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thewrap.com | 06-Aug-2020 06:47

‘The Swamp’ Review: An HBO Documentary About Three ‘Drain the Swamp!’ Republicans Who Can’t See Their Own Swamp
If you want to meet a Republican politician who’s the ultimate poster boy for shameless apple-polishing — the kind of eager conservative loyalist who would crawl across broken glass to shine Donald Trump’s shoes — you should watch “The Swamp,” the new HBO documentary, and get a load of Matt Gaetz, a congressman from Florida […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 06:30

Chad Stahelski To Produce New Line’s ‘The Man From Nowhere’ Remake

“John Wick” co-director Chad Stahelski will produce New Line’s adaptation of the acclaimed South Korean blockbuster “The Man From Nowhere,” according to an individual with knowledge of the project.

Stahelski will also reunite with “John Wick” screenwriter Derek Kolstad who will write the script for the remake. The duo collaborated together on all three “John Wick” movies where each installment has nearly doubled the box office of the previous installment. The franchise has grossed $579 million in worldwide box office.

“The Man From Nowhere” opened #1 at the Korean box office in 2010 and held the number one spot for five weeks ultimately becoming the market’s highest grossing film in 2010. The original South Korean film centers on a quiet pawnshop keeper with a violent past takes on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend.

Also Read: 'Splinter Cell' Animated Series in the Works at Netflix

Stahelski will produce with Jason Spitz through their 87Eleven banner. CJ E&M will also produce. Additionally, 87Eleven Entertainment is in development with the “Highlander” reboot. Stahelski is a self professed “Highlander” fan, who first watched the 1986 action-fantasy film starring Sean Connery when he was in high school.

Stahelski is also in development on the next “John Wick” spin-off titled “Ballerina” with Len Wiseman set to direct, and “The Continental,” the TV series in development at STARZ.

Stahelski is represented by WME and attorney Tara Kole.

Deadline first reported the news.

Related stories from TheWrap:

James Wan to Produce Time Travel Thriller 'Hunting Season' From 'John Wick' Writer Derek Kolstad

'John Wick' Creator Derek Kolstad Boards Marvel's 'Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Limited Series (Exclusive)

'John Wick' Creator Derek Kolstad to Adapt Video Game 'Just Cause' for Constantin Film


thewrap.com | 06-Aug-2020 05:12

‘High Fidelity’ Canceled by Hulu After 1 Season

Hulu has opted against a second season of its “High Fidelity” remake, canceling the Zoe Kravitz-led series after only one season.

The series, an adaption of Nick Hornsby’s novel of the same name, featured Kravitz in the lead role of Rob, who was a man in both the book and the 2000 film starring John Cusack.

“High Fidelity” was originally developed for Disney+ but was rerouted to Hulu due the show’s more mature content. “High Fidelity” was from writers Veronica West and Sarah Kucserka and is an ABC Signature Studios production.

Also Read: Why Hulu's 'High Fidelity' Gender-Flipped John Cusack's 'Hopeless Romantic' Role for Zoe Kravitz

The show also starred Jake Lacy, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and David H. Holmes with recurring appearances by Kingsley Ben-Adir, Rainbow Sun Francks, Nadine Malouf and Edmund Donovan.

“High Fidelity” follows Rob, a struggling record store owner in the process of self destruction and self improvement after a messy breakup. Framed as a series of diary entries — or in the case of the film and TV show, direct addresses to the audience — the story also includes glimpses into several of Rob’s friends and coworkers and their own personal and professional development. The Hulu series essentially adapted the first half of the novel — and alas, now we’ll likely never know if Rob managed to convince Clyde to give her another chance.


thewrap.com | 06-Aug-2020 04:17

The Stokes Twins Charged with False Imprisonment and More After YouTube Stunt
The Stokes Twins are facing prison time following bank robbery pranks they pulled last year for their YouTube channel.
extratv.warnerbros.com | 06-Aug-2020 04:16

Stokes Twins Charged With False Imprisonment, Swatting After Prank Bank Robberies

Alan and Alex Stokes, two brothers known on social media as the Stokes Twins, have each been charged on Wednesday with false imprisonment and swatting after performing two prank bank robberies last October in Orange County.

The brothers each face one felony count of “false imprisonment effected by violence, menace, fraud, or deceit” and one misdemeanor count of “falsely reporting an emergency.” If convicted, the 23-year-old twin brothers — who have over 4.8 million subscribers on YouTube and over 25 million on TikTok — face up to four years in prison.

The fake bank robberies, video of which was posted to YouTube on Oct. 20 last year and garnered over 1.4 million views before being made private on Aug. 5, involved the twins dressing up in all black with ski masks and carrying duffel bags of cash to appear as if they had just robbed a bank. After running through crowds, the twins ordered an Uber, but the driver — who was unaware of the prank — refused to drive the twins. A bystander then called the police after believing the driver was being carjacked, leading Irvine police to arrive at the scene and order the Uber driver out of the car at gunpoint, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Also Read: FBI Raid YouTube Star Jake Paul's California Mansion

The Stokes Twins were issued a warning by the police, according to the District Attorney’s office, before performing a similar fake bank robbery prank at the University of Irvine four hours later. Police then received more emergency calls regarding a supposed bank robbery.

“These were not pranks,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “These are crimes that could have resulted in someone getting seriously injured or even killed. Law enforcement officers are sworn to protect the public and when someone calls 911 to report an active bank robbery they are going to respond to protect lives. Instead, what they found was some kind of twisted attempt to gain more popularity on the internet by unnecessarily putting members of the public and police officers in danger.”

Representatives for the Stokes Twins did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

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thewrap.com | 06-Aug-2020 02:20

Alyssa Milano Details Battle with COVID-19: ‘I Thought I Was Dying’
Actress Alyssa Milano is opening up about battling the coronavirus earlier this year.
extratv.warnerbros.com | 06-Aug-2020 02:19

Facebook, Twitter Order Removal of Trump’s Post Claiming Kids Are ‘Virtually Immune’ From COVID-19

Facebook and Twitter ordered the removal of a video shared by President Trump on Wednesday for violating the companies’ policies around COVID-19 misinformation.

“This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation,” a company spokesperson told TheWrap. Facebook also said this is the first time the company has taken down a post from the president due to COVID-19 misinformation.

A Twitter spokesperson told TheWrap that the video, uploaded by the Trump campaign’s @teamtrump account and then shared by Trump from his personal account, also violated Twitter’s COVID-19 misinformation policies and that the account owner would need to remove the post before it could tweet again. (The video has since been taken down by the @teamtrump account.)

Also Read: Facebook Takes Down Trump's Post Sharing Doctored Video of Two Toddlers

The video in question, which was shared on Trump’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, was a clip from a Wednesday morning phone interview Trump did with Fox News, where he called for schools to reopen, said children were “virtually immune” from COVID-19 and also repeated his claim that the virus would just “go away.”

“It doesn’t have an impact on them,” Trump said of people under the age of 18 in the clip, which was also shared on his Twitter account. “They are virtually immune from this problem and we have to open our schools.”

While COVID-19 does appear to affect young children differently than adults, children can still be infected by the virus and spread the disease.

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Facebook Adds Music Videos, Takes Aim at YouTube

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thewrap.com | 06-Aug-2020 02:11

Bad Boy Chiller Crew: Today Bradford, tomorrow we take over the world
Rappers, comedians, influencers - and they're doing it all from the backstreets of Bradford.
news.bbc.co.uk | 06-Aug-2020 01:58

‘Captain Marvel’ Sequel Lands ‘Candyman’ Director Nia DaCosta

“Candyman” director Nia DaCosta is set to direct the “Captain Marvel” sequel for Marvel Studios, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.

Megan McDonnell (“Wandavision”) wrote the script for the sequel.

Last year’s “Captain Marvel,” starring Brie Larson as the title character, grossed $1.1 billion worldwide.

Also Read: 'Captain Marvel 2': 'Wandavision' Writer Megan McDonnell to Write Sequel Script

Few story details have been made public so far, but Marvel said at 2019’s Comic-Con that the show would lead directly into the events of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” It was also announced at the time that the show would feature Photon, a grown-up version of the “Captain Marvel” character Monica Rambeau.

“Captain Marvel” starred Larson as Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot who was recovered by the Kree after mysterious circumstances and was transformed into the titular superhero at the cost of her memories. After crash-landing back on Earth during the 1990s, Carol must recover her past self and save the planet from getting caught in an intergalactic conflict with the help of future SHIELD director Nick Fury.

Marvel studios head Kevin Feige teased the sequel at last year’s San Diego Comic Con, “We didn’t even mention that we’re making Black Panther 2and we didn’t mention that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is coming. We didn’t even have time to talk about Captain Marvel 2, by the way. I didn’t even have time to talk about the Fantastic Four. And there’s no time left to talk about mutants.”

DaCosta broke out after directing the critically acclaimed “Little Woods” which led to Jordan Peele selecting DaCosta to direct “Candyman.” The film has been delayed

DaCosta is repped by CAA.

Marvel had no comment.

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thewrap.com | 06-Aug-2020 01:58

Chelsea Houska Expecting Baby #4!
Reality star Chelsea Houska is going to be a mom again!
extratv.warnerbros.com | 06-Aug-2020 01:58

Facebook Deletes Trump Post Claiming Kids Are ‘Immune’ From COVID-19
Facebook removed a post from Donald Trump’s page because it violated the social network’s policy banning false claims about the coronavirus. The content in question was a video clip of a Trump interview on Fox News Channel on Wednesday in which he claimed children were “immune” from COVID-19. “This video includes false claims that a […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 01:08

A Joint Interview With 14-Year-Old Jalaiah Harmon, Who Invented the Most Famous Dance on TikTok, and Her Mom
For Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood issue, we interviewed TikTok stars about their lives in quarantine. At 14, Jalaiah Harmon created the most viral dance the internet had ever seen. The only problem? Nobody knew she made it. After a profile in The New York Times, she finally got the credit she deserved.  In an […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 01:07

How Studio Movie Grill Reopened During Coronavirus
As a theater chain whose business model relies on serving food and drinks during movies, the Studio Movie Grill might be facing even more challenges than the rest of the exhibition industry. But Dallas-based Studio Movie Grill is still offering snacks and meals in both the theater auditoriums and lounge areas at the chain’s nine […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 00:45

Live Nation Reports 98% Drop in Second-Quarter Revenue — But Predicts 2021, 2022 ‘Will Be Record Years’
A second-quarter earnings call with Live Nation execs Wednesday was full of hope, promise and even swagger… for 2021-22. Not surprisingly, though, the current numbers were grim, with revenue predictably down by a staggering 98% from year-to-year in the company’s quarterly earnings report. Revenue was $74 million for the quarter, down from $3.2 billion in […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 00:34

Daisy Coleman: Assault survivor in Netflix film takes own life
The 23-year-old featured in the 2016 award-winning documentary on sexual assault, Audrie & Daisy.
news.bbc.co.uk | 06-Aug-2020 00:32

TV News Roundup: HBO Max Announces Selena Gomez’s Quarantine Cooking Show Premiere Date (Watch)
In today’s TV news roundup, HBO Max released the trailer and premiere date for Selena Gomez’s “Selena + Chef,” and CBS announced the Season 2 premiere date for “Love Island.” RENEWALS TruTV has renewed comedy series “Tacoma FD” for a 13-episode third season. The series follows members of a fire department in a city where […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 00:27

Tribeca Film Festival and Walmart Partner for Free Nationwide Drive-In Screening Series
Tribeca and Walmart Drive-In Screenings The Tribeca Film Festival is teaming up with Walmart for a new drive-in series that will take place at 160 Walmart stores across the country. Store parking lots will be turned into outdoor theaters Aug. 14 to Oct. 21 for free screenings of family-friendly films, including classics such as “The […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 00:16

Ava DuVernay Launches Array Drive-In With Free Screenings of ‘Selena,’ ‘Purple Rain’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Though many theaters across the U.S. are still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ava DuVernay is making sure Angelenos can take a safe (and free) trip to the movies. For a special two-night pop-up event, DuVernay’s non-profit cinema and social justice organization Array Alliance will present “Selena” and “Purple Rain” on a 40-foot screen […]
variety.com | 06-Aug-2020 00:14

Drew Drechsel to Be Edited Out of ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Next Season Following Sex Crime Charges

Drew Drechsel will be edited out of next season of “American Ninja Warrior” following his arrest and subsequent child sex crime charges Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the situation tells TheWrap. He was a competitor in the season, which is set to air this fall.

NBC cut ties with the former champion Wednesday as accusations surfaced that he had sex with a 15-year-old girl in 2015 and several more times over the next two years. Drechsel has maintained his innocence via a statement from his lawyer.

“We are shocked and disturbed to learn about the charges alleged against Drew Drechsel. ‘American Ninja Warrior’ is a family show that has inspired countless people, and we will not let the actions of one contestant tarnish the hard work and amazing stories of so many,” NBC and studio A. Smith & Co. said in a joint statement earlier Wednesday. “Moving forward, the ‘American Ninja Warrior’ brand will sever all ties with Mr. Drechsel, including his appearance on future seasons of the show.”

Also Read: 'American Ninja Warrior' Champion Drew Drechsel Charged With Sex Crimes Involving Teen Girl

According to a criminal complaint, the unnamed minor came forward in June 2019 alleging that she had met and exchanged numbers with Drechsel at an “American Ninja Warrior” event in 2014. Their sexual relationship began around her 15th birthday when Drechsel invited her to his gym in Hamden, Connecticut. The TV star, now 31, was 26 years old at the time. The complaint also alleges that Drechsel enticed the minor to send him naked photos and videos, which he kept on an old phone.

In addition to seeking sex with a minor, Drechsel was also charged with manufacturing child pornography, enticing a minor to travel for illicit sexual conduct, traveling with the intent to have sex with a minor, and using interstate commerce to entice a minor, according to a release from the New Jersey District Attorney.

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thewrap.com | 06-Aug-2020 00:09

Jake Paul’s Calabasas Home Raided by the FBI
Early on Wednesday morning, the FBI — including a SWAT team — raided YouTuber Jake Paul’s mansion in Calabasas, Calif., under a federal search warrant as part of an ongoing investigation into Paul. “We understand that a search warrant was executed at Jake’s Calabasas home this morning while Jake was out-of-state. We are still gathering […]
variety.com | 05-Aug-2020 23:53

Roku Adds 43 Million New Accounts in Second Quarter

Device manufacturer Roku saw its revenue increase 42% year-over-year to roughly $356 million, thanks to ongoing shelter-in-place orders accelerating the number of users creating new accounts and an unlikely increase in its ad business as the overall TV ad industry continues on a downturn.

The Los Gatos, California-based content aggregator and smart device manufacturer grew its advertising business in the second quarter despite the ongoing pandemic, and its monetized video ad impressions doubled year-over-year.

There were 43 million new active Roku accounts added in the second quarter, a 41% annual increase from 30.5 million accounts added in second quarter 2019 — the largest net increase in active accounts in Roku’s history outside of a fourth-quarter holiday period, the company said.

Roku users streamed 14.6 billion hours of content this quarter, up from 2.3 billion hours this time last year. Roku said its average revenue per user was roughly $24.92 per account, up 18% annually.

Also Read: WWE Hires CAA Co-Head of TV Nick Khan as President and Chief Revenue Officer

Despite consumer interest in newly-launched streaming apps Peacock from NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, Roku still hasn’t inked any deals to carry Peacock or HBO Max — as of now, neither app is available on a Roku device.

“It is our goal to carry these services, we look for a win-win relationship that will help new content providers get scale in OTT and get economics for Roku,” said Scott Rosenberg, Roku’s general manager of its media business. “We’re not always going to be first, but we think it’s achievable and we’re excited to be a new platform for these services.”

Chief executive Anthony Wood said during Roku’s earnings call that it had the largest share of users watching “Hamilton” when it was released on Disney+ fourth of July weekend. “We’re looking to do more of those types of deals,” Wood said, but he didn’t specify when consumers might be able to use HBO Max and Peacock on their Roku devices.

Roku’s monetized video advertising impressions doubled year-over-year in the second quarter and reported that its count of first-time ad clients was up 40% year-over-year. Its total net loss increased by roughly $33.8 million to $43.1 million according to the earnings report.

“The ad industry outlook remains uncertain for Q3 and Q4, and we believe that total TV ad spend will not recover to pre-COVID-19
levels until well into 2021,” Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood said in an earnings statement Wednesday. “However, we remain confident in our ability to grow our ad business, albeit not as much as we would have expected prior to the pandemic, as marketers re-allocate spend and follow consumers in the shift to streaming.”

Roku’s stock price was down roughly 1.7% at $162.42 per share at market close on August 5.

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Roku Passes 39 Million Accounts, Tops Q1 Revenue Estimates


thewrap.com | 05-Aug-2020 23:48

Win It! A Small-Business Prize Pack
Now more than ever is the time to support small businesses! We’re shining the spotlight on many of the mom-and-pop, Black-owned, and female-owned operators who are working so hard to maintain their businesses during these times of uncertainty.
extratv.warnerbros.com | 05-Aug-2020 23:43

Live Nation Reports $588 Million Loss for Q2 With Absence of Live Concerts

Hobbled by the lack of live concerts due to the pandemic, Live Nation on Wednesday reported an operating loss of $588.1 million for its second quarter.

Revenue for the three months ending June 30 totaled just $74.1 million, a 97% drop from the $3.2 billion in revenue the company recorded during the same quarter last year.

Concert revenue was down 95% year-over-year, coming in at $141.8 million, compared to $2.6 billion last year. But Live Nation reported a loss of $87 million from ticketing and refunds. (The company also pulled in $18.4 million in sponsorship and advertising revenue, down 88%.)

The company’s adjusted operating loss was $432 million.

Also Read: Live Nation Credit Rating Downgraded by S&P With Negative Outlook

“While this is a challenging time for everyone — the live events business in particular – there are a few things that I am confident about: we are well positioned to weather this crisis, and we will get through this; when it is safe to return, we will have an abundance of fans and artists ready to enjoy live music again; and Live Nation will do everything in its power to meet our responsibilities to artists, fans, our employees and everyone else affected by this shutdown by bringing back as much live music as fast as possible when it is responsible to do so,” Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said in a statement.

At the end of the second quarter, the company said it had total cash and cash equivalents of $3.3 billion, which includes $1.8 billion of free cash. That free cash, along with $966 million of available debt capacity, gives Live Nation more than $2.7 billion in available liquidity. Live Nation said in its release that the company’s operational cash burn rate is estimated at $125 million per month.

“Over the past three months, our top priority has been strengthening our financial position to ensure that we have the liquidity and flexibility to get through an extended period with no live events,” Rapino said. “Our expectation is that live events will return at scale in the summer of 2021, with ticket sales ramping up in the quarters leading up to these shows.”

Also Read: Saudi Arabia Pours $500 Million Into Live Nation, Entertainment Giant's Stock Inches Higher

The company also highlighted that it has sold more than 19 million tickets for more than 4,000 concerts and festivals that are scheduled for 2021. Also, Live Nation said 86% of fans have opted to hold on to tickets to shows that have been rescheduled.

“We remain confident that fans will return to live events when it is safe to do so,” Rapino said. “Our strongest indicator of demand is that fans are holding on to their tickets, even when given the option of a refund.”

Live Nation said that during the second quarter it had 67 million fans view more than 18,000 concerts and festivals globally. And over the weekend Live Nation streamed 150 performances for a virtual Lollapalooza Festival.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Zynga Surpasses Earnings Estimates, Acquires Mobile Game Developer Rollic

Daisy Coleman, Sexual Assault Survivor Seen in Netflix Documentary 'Audrie and Daisy,' Dies by Suicide at 23

FBI Raid YouTube Star Jake Paul's California Mansion


thewrap.com | 05-Aug-2020 23:31

Jake Paul: FBI swat team seizes guns at home of YouTube star
The social media star is no stranger to controversy and has had other run-ins with law enforcement.
news.bbc.co.uk | 05-Aug-2020 23:24

‘Taskmaster’ Tossed From CW Schedule After Only One Episode
One task that “Taskmaster” couldn’t quite, erm, master is making it beyond a single episode on the CW. The U.K. panel game show has been dumped from the network’s Sunday schedule after it premiered to terrible numbers last weekend. Sources with knowledge of the situation say the network is in discussions with the show’s producers […]
variety.com | 05-Aug-2020 23:14

Zynga Surpasses Earnings Estimates, Acquires Mobile Game Developer Rollic

San Francisco-based mobile game developer Zynga reported a 47% increase in quarterly revenue in its second quarter, and will use some of that cash to acquire another smaller mobile game developer based in Istanbul called Rollic.

Rollic is the second Turkish game developer Zynga has taken a stake in over the last two months — it bought Peak Games in June for $1.8 billion. Zynga’s president of publishing Bernard Kim told TheWrap at the time of the Peak deal that Zynga is working on expanding its foothold in eastern and Asian markets, particularly in areas like Japan and Turkey where small, indie game development shops are emerging with increasing speed.

Zynga’s popular mobile games include fantasy puzzler “Empires and Puzzles” from Small Giant Games, “Words With Friends 2,” and “Farmville.” It adds eight new games following the Rollic acquisition, including two puzzle games called “Go Knots 3D” and “Tangle Master 3D.” Rollic reports it has roughly 65 million mobile users worldwide that play its games each month.

The acquisition is expected to close October 1, Zynga said.

Zynga’s second quarter revenue surpassed its previously issued guidance and totaled $452 million, up roughly 47% from this time last year. At the same time, the game maker’s net losses during the second quarter more than doubled — it posted a $150 million net loss compared to $56 million in second quarter 2019.

Also Read: Why Are There Still So Few LGBTQ Characters in Gaming? (Guest Blog)

“On a year-over-year basis, our net loss grew by $94 million, primarily due to increased contingent consideration and income tax expense, partially offset by our improved operating performance,” Zynga noted in its earnings report. The company said the net loss posted was actually $10 million better than previously estimated for the quarter and attributed “the increase in contingent consideration expense is a function of Small Giant Games and Gram Games continuing to perform ahead of expectations.”

Zynga’s mobile daily active user count jumped 4% year-over-year in the second quarter, a total of 22 million users. The company also saw user spending increase as in-game purchases were up 38% annually to $518 million for the quarter. During the earlier months of the coronavirus pandemic, Zynga recorded its peak daily active user counts.

“In Q2, we saw our highest mobile daily active users in April and early May as more people sheltered-in-place. Toward the latter half of the quarter, our mobile (daily active users) started to return to levels consistent with Q1 2020,” Zynga said in its earnings report. “We are living in unprecedented times and more people than ever before are turning to games for entertainment and a
sense of community… With so many of us staying at home, we saw heightened levels of player engagement, social
connection and monetization in our portfolio.”

Zynga’s stock was up roughly 4.8% at market close on August 5 to $10.07 per share.

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What Zynga's $1.8 Billion Purchase of Peak Games Means for Global Mobile Games Market

'Words With Friends'-Obsessed? Zynga Mobile Game to Be Adapted as TV Show by MGM

Chris DeWolfe on Building a Social Gaming Giant, Zynga's Problems and Lessons From MySpace

Zynga to Buy Mobile Game Developer Peak for $1.8 Billion


thewrap.com | 05-Aug-2020 22:56

E! Cancels 3 Shows, Including ‘E! News’

E! network has canceled “E! News,” “Pop of the Morning” and “In the Room,” a network spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.

The cancelations of the two New York-based entertainment news programs and “In the Room” come amid a broader restructuring and streamlining effort at parent company NBCUniversal. Studio production for the network will be re-centralized in Los Angeles going forward.

The cancellation comes a year after “E! News” was moved to New York in an August 2019 programming shakeup that also saw the pop culture news show moved from 7 p.m. ET to 7 a.m. ET.

Also Read: E! News' 'The Rundown' Celebrates 500 Episodes With a New Snapchat Show (Exclusive Video)

At the time, the network was pushing to expand its studio productions between to both Los Angeles and New York, an effort led by Tammy Filler, executive vice president and editor in chief of E! News, who joined the company in April of last year.

“In the Room” and “Pop of the Morning” were among a slate of five new programs added to the network’s offerings at that time. “In the Room” took viewers inside celebrity homes for in-depth interviews and conversation around their latest projects, products, and passions. “Pop of the Morning” was designed to be the New York counterpart to the L.A.-based “Daily Pop” and featured. a panel of personalities giving hot takes and unfiltered conversations around daily entertainment news.

E! parent company NBCUniversal recently began making significant cuts to its television and streaming operations ahead of a major reorganization of the unit under Mark Lazarus, who was appointed to oversee the division earlier this year.

Variety first reported the news.

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E! Orders Nick Cannon's 'Celebrity Call Center,' Female Plastic Surgeon Series 'Dr. 90210' – Watch Teasers (Video)

Kevin Hart Game Show Special 'Celebrity Game Face' Picked Up at E!

E! Online Redesigns, Moves from 'Glossier' Look to Highlighting 24-Hour News, Live Events


thewrap.com | 05-Aug-2020 22:51

Daisy Coleman, Sexual Assault Survivor Seen in Netflix Documentary ‘Audrie and Daisy,’ Dies by Suicide at 23

Daisy Coleman, a sexual assault survivor turned activist and one of two subjects in the Netflix documentary “Audrie and Daisy,” has died by suicide. She was 23.

Her mother, Melinda Coleman, shared the news on her Facebook Tuesday night.

“My daughter Catherine Daisy Coleman committed suicide tonight,” Melinda Coleman said on Facebook (via People). “If you saw crazy messages and posts it was because I called the police to check on her. She was my best friend and amazing daughter. I think she had to make it seem like I could live without her. I can’t. I wish I could have taken the pain from her! She never recovered from what those boys did to her and it’s just not fair. My baby girl is gone.”

Also Read: Pete Hamill, Legendary New York Journalist, Dies at 85

The 2016 “Audrie and Daisy” documentary looked at the effects of online bullying. In it, Coleman shared the story of her alleged rape at a house party in Missouri when she was 14. The documentary explores the intense scrutiny and backlash both on the national level and in her small town that Coleman and her family faced after she came forward with her accusation of assault. (The documentary’s other subject, 15-year-old Audrie Pott, was also bullied after an alleged sexual assault and died by suicide eight days later.)

Coleman later founded the organization SafeBAE, which works to educate students in middle school and high school about their Title IX rights and provide resources to victims. The organization also confirmed the news of Coleman’s passing.

“Through our shock and sadness, we are releasing a statement about our loss of Daisy,” SafeBAE posted. “As all of our supporters know, Daisy has fought for many years to both heal from her assault and prevent future sexual violence among teens. She was our sister in this work and much of the driving force behind it. We were not just a non-profit team, but a family.”

See the full statement from SafeBAE below:

Through our shock and sadness, we are releasing a statement about our loss of Daisy. As all of our supporters know, Daisy has fought for many years to both heal from her assault and prevent future sexual violence among teens. She was our sister in this work and much of the driving force behind it. We were not just a non-profit team, but a family. We are shattered and shocked by her passing from suicide. She had been in EMDR therapy for 2 years, working on her triggers and healing from the many traumas in her life. She had many coping demons and had been facing and overcoming them all, but as many of you know, healing is not a straight path or any easy one. She fought longer and harder than we will ever know. But we want to be mindful of all the young survivors who looked up to her. Please know that above ALL ELSE, she did this work for you. She loved talking to young people about changing the culture and taking care of one another. Much of her healing came from each of you. She was so proud of the work we’ve done and loved seeing so many fierce young activists push for change in their schools and among their friends. She would want young survivors to know they are heard, they matter, they are loved, and there are places for them to get the help they need. And she would want everyone else – peer allies, educators, parents, legislators, religious leaders – to come together to help stop sexual violence and help save teen lives. As advocates we know survivors of sexual assault are 10 times more likely to attempt suicide than those who haven’t experienced sexual assault, and that is why we will keep dedicating ourselves to this work in her legacy. There’s no question that is what she would want. #fordaisy All of our love, SafeBAE

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is a free, 24/7 confidential service that can provide people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, or those around them, with support, information and local resources.

The National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) is a free, 24/7 confidential resource for survivors and their loved ones. They also offer online chat support.

As press are beginning to reach out, we wanted to release a statement so that we can all remember her for the legacy of her work: "Through our shock and sadness, we are releasing a statement about our loss of Daisy.

— SafeBAE (@safe_bae) August 5, 2020

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thewrap.com | 05-Aug-2020 22:47

‘Siren’ Canceled After Three Seasons at Freeform
“Siren” has been canceled at Freeform after three seasons, Variety has confirmed. The news comes about two months after the Season 3 finale, which aired at the end of May. The series starred Eline Powell as Ryn Fisher, a mysterious young woman (who happens to be a mermaid) who came ashore looking for her sister, who […]
variety.com | 05-Aug-2020 22:37

FBI Raid YouTube Star Jake Paul’s California Mansion

The FBI carried out a search of YouTube star Jake Paul’s Calabasas, Calif., mansion Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a SWAT — special weapons and tactics — team aided the FBI in the search. The local ABC outlet reported firearms were seized.

No details about the warrant or reason for the search were released.

NEW: The FBI searches YouTuber Jake Paul's Calabasas, California home under a federal search warrant pic.twitter.com/nTSmZgX4N4

— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) August 5, 2020

Also Read: Jake Paul Hit With Criminal Charges After Denying Involvement in Looting Arizona Mall

“The FBI is executing a federal search warrant at a residence in Calabasas in connection with an ongoing investigation. The affidavit in support of the search warrant has been sealed by a judge and I am, therefore, prohibited from commenting as to the nature of the investigation. No arrests are planned,” an FBI representative said in a statement to the Times.

Paul, a popular figure online, has a history of criminal and legal incidents. In June, Paul was charged by Arizona police after the YouTuber denied allegations that he was involved in the looting and vandalism of a Scottsdale mall. He was charged with criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly, both misdemeanors. He denied involvement.

Last December, three Los Angeles music producers sued the YouTube star and his production company, Team 10, for copyright infringement Thursday. They’re accusing the former Viner of stealing the backing track to his 2017 song “Litmas” from their 2015 song “Bad Santa.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Jake Paul Hit With Criminal Charges After Denying Involvement in Looting Arizona Mall

YouTuber Jake Paul Denies Involvement in Looting, Vandalism in Arizona Mall


thewrap.com | 05-Aug-2020 22:29

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