Diversity and Setbacks: Oscar Nominations Make History
The nominations for the 95th Academy Awards in March have been released, and this year’s batch of nominees has made Oscar history with the inclusion of a total of four Asian actors: Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once), and Hong Chau (The Whale). The previous record set in 2004 saw three actors of Asian heritage nominated in an acting category. Everything Everywhere All at Once received a total of 11 nominations, including the Oscar hat trick—nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. The film was helmed by the writing and directing duo of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. Kwan’s nomination makes him the thirteenth Asian filmmaker nominated and third Asian director to be considered. Michelle Yeoh is the second Asian women in Oscar history to be nominated for Best Actress. Of the 10 women nominated in acting categories, five are women of color. Ana de Armas (Blonde) and Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) are also in the mix. Only two actors of color were nominated in the supporting category—Ke Huy Quan and Briann Tyree Henry—and no people of color are represented in the lead acting category. Another setback in representation includes this year’s lack of gender diversity in the Best Director category. Of the five films (and six directors) nominated, none are women. Only one woman was nominated in the two screenplay categories (Best Original and Best Adapted Screenplay), with a nod going to Sarah Polley for Women Talking (a film that is also up for Best Picture). Lastly, Mandy Walker’s nomination for Elvis makes her the third women to be up for the Best Cinematography category in Oscar history.
Company Moves: Dick Clark Productions Gets a New Owner
The shingle behind some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrations and unscripted content now falls under a new parent company. Dick Clark Productions, known for the Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve broadcast, has been acquired by Penske Media Eldridge (PME), the live content brand of Penske Media Corporation. Penske’s parent conglomerate, PMC, owns various media and news outlets, including IndieWire, Variety, and Rolling Stone. And now, PME owns the Golden Globes Awards, American Music Awards, and FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance. CEO of Penske Media, Jay Penske, believes this new ownership with help grow and expand “DCP’s footprint and legacy for future audiences across all platforms.” And Todd Boehly, Chairman and CEO of Eldridge Industries agrees. Dick Clark Productions was taken over by Eldridge Industries back in August of 2022 due to media assets being split from Media Rights Capital (MRC). The company, which was previously known as MRC Live, was created back in 1957 by acclaimed TV presented Dick Clark. Its original name was restored last year after the MRC rebrand in 2018. Todd Boehly acts as CEO of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the body behind the Golden Globes. Eldridge Industries is a big name in Hollywood, with stakes in A24, Fullwell Productions, Film Expo Group, and the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise.
Battle for the Bears: Berlin International Film Festivals Announces Competition Titles
Competition is already heating up for next month’s 73rd Berlin International Film Festival with the announcement of the films competing for this year’s Gold and Silver Bears. The lineup for this year’s festival, which takes place from Thursday, February 16 to Sunday, February 26, was announced by Executive Director Mariette Rissenbeek and Artistic Director Carlo Chatrain. The international lineup is set to embrace political themes, as with the documentary Superpower by Sean Penn and Aaron Kaufman. The nonfiction project, which is being sold internationally by Fifth Season, focuses on Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Russian invasion. Ukraine will hold major focus at this year's festival, as it starts a year after the invasion began. The festival’s official pin will be decorated with Ukraine’s blue and gold colors. German filmmaker Christian Petzold, who won the critics prize back in 2020 and the Best Director Silver Bear with the movie Barbara in 2012, is entering his sixth year of competition with Afire. Other German filmmaking pioneers who will premiere their latest films and be in competition include Margarethe von Trotta and Christoph Hochhäusle. Berlinale will host the international premieres of several films, including Celine Song’s Past Lives, which was previously shown at Sundance. Prolific South African, Canadian, and Australian projects are also included in the lineup and hope to make an impact in Berlin. The Japanese film Your Name (which already has a distribution deal through streamer Crunchyroll in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Wild Bunch International, and Eurozoom) will become the first animated film to screen at the festival since Spirited Away won the top prize in 2001. 2022’s Venice and Cannes film festivals were able to successfully bounce back from pandemic restrictions, so all eyes are on Berlin as 2023 kicks off.
Growth Ahead: Omdia Foresees More Subscriptions in 2023
Global research company Omdia tracked total online video subscription growth in 2022 and shared their findings and forecasts at Content Americas in Miami this week. According to their research, over 171 million subscriptions were added to all online services in 2022, and 2023 will bring in an additional 143 million people. The Omdia forecast extends to 2027, predicting that a total of a half billion new subscriptions will be created in the next five years. While the forecast for 2023 still sits below 2020 levels, it’s hard to top the massive 280 million subscription spike created at the pandemic’s peak over two years ago. That looks more and more like an anomaly. The 2023 numbers seem to be on par with the 2017-2019 period, which added an average of 175 million subscribers per year. According to Omdia’s Maria Rua Aguete, who presented this information, “10% of net additional subscribers came from Latin America, this is set to represent 14% in 2023.” This added information shows Latin America as a strong market for opportunity, likely aided by the increase of Latin American content being created and distributed by big international players. While only 60 Latin American productions were on platforms back in 2019, the number skyrocketed to 127 productions in 2022. Another big area for growth is advertising, as Omdia predicts it will overtake other media segments with a total revenue of $221 billion in 2023. YouTube will continue its reign in advertising for Spanish-speaking audiences in the U.S., Mexico, and Brazil, though TikTok is not far behind. The last thing Omdia presented was the FAST (Free Ad Supported Television) sector, which made $4 billion just in 2022 with over 1,500 channels in the U.S. This revenue is anticipated to grow to $12 billion in the next five years. And Brazil’s FAST market will grow to $100 million and make up half the total Latin American market by 2027.
Super Bowl Sneak Peek: How This Year’s Ads Are Shaping Up
Teasers for this year’s Super Bowl ads are starting to be released in advance of the game on February 19. While last year's ads made a big impression with several star-studded commercials and crypto companies getting tons of airtime, this year seems to be taking a slightly different approach. Even though companies may produce more conservative ads, some appearances from popular movie and TV shows characters have already been announced. Characters from Breaking Bad (which was last aired in 2013) will be back on the screen to represent a snack food company, and celebrities like Serena Williams and Brian Cox will represent beer brands. In a big campaign shakeup, M&M’s announced they will no longer use animated characters in their ads in a response to the backlash they received from Fox News and other online commentators. Actor Maya Rudolph has been tapped as the company's new spokesperson and will appear at the Super Bowl. Paul Rudd’s “Ant-Man” will also get attention this year for promoting non-alcoholic Heineken in an ad created in collaboration with Disney. Other snack giants who often make a mark during the big game are using this year’s Super Bowl to advertise some of their “healthier” food options, like Frito-Lay's PopCorners with Walter White. Hellmann’s Mayonnaise is using their ad spot to debut a new environmentalism campaign. Although familiar faces will still be included this year with brands like Budweiser and Michelob Ultra, experts believe the big surprises that have yet to be announced may win the day with timely advertisements.
High five! Another Friday Five is going live next week—same time, same place. We know what caught our eyes, but we’re all ears. Tell us what you’d like to learn more about in our upcoming editions by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Be sure to tag #FridayFive in your comments.
Want an even more convenient way to stay in the know? Get Friday Five sent right to your inbox each week by signing up for our direct newsletter below.
See you next Friday at 10 a.m. (PT).