Welcome to the European Product Placement Newsletter, a round-up of global stories and industry news from across the last few weeks!
Some highlights this month include:
- Following its second weekend, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny racks up a total of £13.1 million at the U.K. and Ireland box office.
- Louis Theroux will deliver this year’s Mactaggart lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival.
- The BBC posts a record income of £5.7 billion ($7.2 billion) for the 2022/23 period.
- Disney+ launches Asia originals slate.
- ‘AMC Networks International launches new content group across UK & EMEA
‘INDIANA JONES,’ ‘ELEMENTAL’ BATTLE ATOP U.K. BOX OFFICE AS ‘MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7’ DEBUTS
Disney releases Elemental and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny were locked in a near-dead heat at the U.K. and Ireland box office, with the animated elements edging out the veteran archaeologist. Elemental debuted with £3.049 million ($3.876 million), according to numbers from Comscore. In its second weekend, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny whipped up £3.046 million ($3.873 million) for a close second and now has a total of £13.1 million. If looking at weekend numbers alone, Harrison Ford’s last adventure as the man in the hat won the race as the “Elemental” numbers include “limited secret sneak previews from across the market,” according to Disney. READ MORE
LOUIS THEROUX TO DELIVER EDINBURGH TV FESTIVAL MACTAGGART LECTURE
Louis Theroux will deliver this year’s James MacTaggart memorial lecture, the flagship address at the Edinburgh TV Festival. The documentary maker, who also founded unscripted production company Mindhouse in 2019, has examined everything from Scientology to porn to neo-Nazis in his films. He has also turned his hand to social media, podcasting and streaming. Theroux will address the challenges broadcasters face in today’s “multi-platform universe,” how he has maintained longevity after a quarter of a century in the broadcasting industry and the pros and cons of the tech revolution we are all living through. READ MORE
NETFLIX STRIKES WIDE-RANGING DEAL WITH GERMANY’S CONSTANTIN FILM
Netflix and Constantin Film are expanding their business relationship. The pair have entered into an exclusive long-term partnership for Constantin’s theatrical releases in German-speaking Europe. This includes national and international Constantin originals and co-produced films, as well as films acquired for cinema or straight-to-video release. Big-ticket German and international productions will be made available to Netflix subscribers 10-12 months after their theatrical release. In return, Netflix will contribute “significantly” to their financing of these productions. READ MORE
AMC NETWORKS INTERNATIONAL LAUNCHES NEW CONTENT GROUP ACROSS UK & EMEA
AMC Networks International UK (AMCNI0UK) has forged a new Content Group across the UK and EMEA and promoted Sam Rowden to run it. Rowden, who currently oversees the company’s programming strategy for the CBS channel portfolio, becomes VP of the Content Group. She will oversee linear and content strategies across the UK and EMEA with oversight of joint venture channels CBS Justice, CBS Europa, CBS Reality, RealityXtra, Legend, HorrorXtra as well as channel brands AMC and SundanceTV. READ MORE
UK TV INDUSTRY SEES ALARMING DIP IN WOMEN IN SENIOR ROLES
The proportion of women in senior roles in UK TV has dipped alarmingly since the Covid-19 pandemic, with women making up just a quarter of writers and one-third of directors during the past year. In eyebrow-raising stats unveiled in diversity data monitor Diamond’s latest report, representation of women in senior roles was shown to have dropped every year for the past four years to 45.4%, with the largest fall coming during the main pandemic year while male representation remained pretty stable. “This suggests that men were less likely to be leaving the workforce during the pandemic, and that women have failed to return to senior roles,” said the Sixth Cut report from the UK’s Creative Diversity Network (CDN), which publishes Diamond. READ MORE
$108 BILLION U.K. MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT MARKET WILL REMAIN EUROPEAN LEADER, PWC REPORT FORECASTS
The U.K. will maintain its position as the leading entertainment and media market in Europe over the next four years, ahead of Germany and France, according to PwC’s Global Entertainment & Media (E&M) Outlook 2023-2027 report. U.K. E&M revenue is expected to reach £85 billion ($108 billion) this year with growth forecast at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% over the next four years to generate revenue of £100 billion overall by 2027. The report predicts that the next biggest European E&M markets – Germany, which is expected to reach £83.1 billion in 2023 and France, set to touch £54.6 billion in 2023 – will grow to £90.8 billion and £61.1 billion by 2027 respectively. READ MORE
BBC POSTS INCOME OF $7.2 BILLION, BUT FROZEN LICENSE FEE, HIGH OPERATING COSTS CAUSE DEFICIT
The BBC has posted a record income of £5.7 billion ($7.2 billion) for the 2022/23 period, up from £5.33 billion last year, but is in deficit by £120 million. In the corporation’s annual report, which was published on Tuesday, it was revealed that the bulk of the income was from the license fee paid for by the public, which accounted for £3.74 billion, £60 million down from last year. The licence fee has been frozen for two years. The BBC had a record commercial performance that contributed to 30% revenue growth, climbing from £1.7 billion to £2.1 billion. The corporation’s commercial arm BBC Studios delivered record-breaking results, achieving over £2 billion in sales for the first time, with profits of £240 million, up 6%. READ MORE
DISNEY+ LAUNCHES ASIA ORIGINALS SLATE, HEADED BY ‘MOVING’, BTS DOCU-SERIES & ‘TOKYO REVENGERS’
Disney+ has announced a slate of Asia originals for the second half of 2023, including Korean dramas Moving and The Worst Of Evil and the latest project in its collaboration with Hybe, BTS Monuments: Beyond The Star. The packed slate of originals also includes Japanese anime Tokyo Revengers: Teknik Arc, part of Disney’s collaboration with publishing house Kodansha, and hybrid live-action and anime series Dragons Of Wonderhatch. Set to premiere on August 9, Korean drama Moving is based on Kangfull’s webtoon about a group of superpowered individuals on the run from government forces and a mysterious assassin. Ryu Seungryong, Han Hyojoo and Zo Insung head the cast. READ MORE
PARAMOUNT+ ISN’T ‘WRITING OFF’ INTERNATIONAL SHOWS ANYTIME SOON AS IT MARKS ONE YEAR OF GLOBAL ORIGINALS
Last June, Paramount Global pulled out all the stops at London’s spacey Outernet venue for its streaming launch in the U.K. The studio flew in 21 stars including Michelle Pfeiffer and Sylvester Stallone to pitch their Paramount+ originals to a wide-eyed audience. No expense, it seemed, was spared for the service’s splashy kick-off. One year later, as Paramount Global sheds assets Stateside and offloads original programs in a bid to save money, that investment in international seems to be paying off. The company’s most robust signs of growth appear to be from its international streaming division, which has penetrated more than 35 markets to date, spanning Western Europe, Australia, South America, and Canada. Currently, 85 local originals have been earmarked for the platform (some are already on the service, while others are in production or recently greenlit) — and those commissions aren’t going anywhere, according to top brass. READ MORE
‘STAR WARS’ STUDIO ELSTREE AT RISK OVER $250 MILLION FUNDING GAP, OWNER CONSIDERING ALL OPTIONS
A report has laid bare the challenges faced by Elstree Film Studios, best known as the home of the original Star Wars films. The studio, which is owned and operated by Hertsmere Council, requires a cash injection of £150 million to £200 million (up to $255 million) to “replace life expired buildings and ensure its competitiveness beyond the 21st century.” Last summer, during the replacement of some studio doors, asbestos was found in three soundstages as well as other buildings, which required remediation work. During that work, the contractor reported that some of the roof structures and walls were in a “dangerous” state, with some concrete beams dating back to the 1960s and ‘80s having already snapped. READ MORE
Special thanks to Hannah Butters for her contributions to this newsletter.