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Disney and Paramount Push Back Release Dates for Upcoming Films

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  • Disney has made major changes to its film release schedule, leaving “Mulan,” which was supposed to hit theaters in a month, with an unknown date. Their changes also involve pushing upcoming “Avatar” and “Star Wars” sequels back a year.
  • Likewise, Paramount also shook up their calendar. “A Quiet Place II” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” which were supposed to come out in September and December respectively, are now shelved until 2021.
  • This comes as AMC delayed its opening for a third time, now opting to let audiences back in mid-late August instead of in July. With this slew of movies now being further delayed, it is unclear if AMC will have to postpone its plans yet again.

Disney’s Delays

If the summer box office wasn’t already dead on arrival, it certainly is now. Both Disney and Paramount have shuffled their release schedules, tossing some pictures miles down the road, and blockbusters like “Mulan” into the complete unknown. 

The postponement of “Mulan” is the biggest blow to movie theaters right now. Previously slated to hit screens on August 21, it now has no release date, as Disney does not want to keep assigning dates to films it knows may likely need to be pushed again. This comes just a few days after Warner Brothers also decided to delay “Tenet” indefinitely. The two films would have been the first big blockbusters for audiences to see once theaters opened back up after closing because of the pandemic. 

“Over the last few months, it’s become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis, and today that means pausing our release plans for ‘Mulan’ as we assess how we can most effectively bring this film to audiences around the world,” a Disney spokesperson told Deadline

Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” which was going to be a fall release, has also been pushed back to an unknown date. Disney has also opted to further delay major franchises, including its upcoming “Avatar” and “Star Wars” movies each by a year. Now, new “Avatar” sequels will be released in December every other year between 2022 and 2028. The new “Star Wars” films will hit screens in those off-years. 

Other delayed Disney projects include “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” which will now come out on August 28; “Death on the Nile,” which will hit theaters on October 23; “Black Widow,” which releases on November 6, “Antlers,” which will debut on February 19, 2021; “The Last Duel,” which will arrive October 15, 2021; and an untitled live action movie will be coming out on December 16, 2021. 

Paramount Pushes Big Projects

Disney is not the only studio making major changes to their release schedule. Paramount also shook up their calendar, moving “A Quiet Place II” from this September to April 23, 2021. “Top Gun: Maverick” is also getting bumped to next year, with a release date set for July 2, 2021 as opposed to this Christmas. 

Paramount additionally announced that a new “Jackass” movie is getting pushed to September 2021 while “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is moving to April 2022. “The Tiger’s Apprentice” is getting delayed a full year, going from February 11, 2022 to February 10, 2023.

“We truly believe that there is no movie-viewing experience like the one enjoyed in theatres,” Paramount’s president of domestic distribution Chris Aronson, and president of international theatrical distribution Mark Viane told Variety. “We are committed to the theatrical experience and our exhibition partners, and want to stress that we are confident that, when the time comes, audiences everywhere will once again enjoy the singular joy of seeing Paramount films on the big screen.”

Sony joined Disney and Paramount in these schedule shifts by nudging the latest Tom Holland-led “Spider-Man” movie by one month to December 2021.

AMC Postpones Reopening

These hold ups come as movie theaters are suffering from mass pandemic closures. Major chains have announced their plans to reopen, but have been forced to change them. On Thursday, AMC, the largest chain in the United States, delayed its opening for a third time. 

AMC now plans to open its doors in “mid to late August” instead of in July. When they made this announcement, “Mulan” was expected to be released in August. Now that its release is unclear, AMC may be forced to push their reopening once more. Right now, there would be little new content for theatergoers to see in August. 

New York and Los Angeles, the biggest movie markets in the country, also have yet to announce their intent to reopen theaters. While New York is walking through its phases of reopening, Los Angeles is facing the potential of a second lockdown. This could further jeopardize the movie theater industry. 

See what others are saying: (Deadline) (Variety) (Wall Street Journal)

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Senators Introduce Legislation Requiring Radios to Pay Royalties to Artists

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Sen. Padilla argued the bill is necessary to give artists the “dignity and respect they deserve.”


The American Music Fairness Act

Sens. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the American Music Fairness Act to the Senate on Thursday, a bill that would require radio stations to pay royalties to performers and rights holders. 

The bill was previously introduced to the House last year. According to a release, the United States is the only democratic country where artists are not compensated for their music’s use on AM or FM radio. While songwriters and publishers receive payment, these stations have never been required to give a slice of the pie to performers and copyright holders. 

On streaming and satellite radio, however, both groups receive royalty payments. 

In a statement, Padilla said it is time the country starts treating “our musical artists with the dignity and respect they deserve for the music they produce and we enjoy every day.”

“California’s artists have played a pivotal role in enriching and diversifying our country’s music scene,” he added. “That is why passing the American Music Fairness Act is so important.”

“From Beale Street to Music Row to the hills of East Tennessee, the Volunteer State’s songwriters have undeniably made their mark,” Blackburn echoed. “Tennessee’s creators deserve to be compensated for their work. This legislation will ensure that they receive fair payment and can keep the great hits coming.”

The American Music Fairness Act would require terrestrial radio broadcasters to pay royalties to music creators when their songs are played. It would also protect smaller stations that either make less than $1.5 million in annual revenue or who have a parent company that makes less than $10 million in annual revenue by letting them play unlimited music for under $500 a year. 

The bill would also require other countries to pay American artists for the use of their work.

Support From Major Music Groups

The legislation is endorsed by a number of groups, including the Recording Academy, SAG-AFTRA, and the American Federation of Musicians. 

If passed, the bill could move a lot of money into the pockets of performers. According to the Recording Academy, when American music gets international airplay, other countries collect royalties for American artists, amounting to around $200 million every year. However, they “never pay those royalties because the U.S. does not reciprocate with our own performance right.”

Fran Drescher, President of SAG-AFTRA, argues that the money belongs to the artists. 

“Broadcast companies profit from advertising sales because of the creative content musicians and singers record. It stands to reason that the performers who create the content deserve to be compensated just as songwriters are now,” Drescher said in a statement. “The reason it’s called the American Music Fairness Act is because the current situation is wholly unfair and it’s up to Congress to make it fair NOW!”

Last year, Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) introduced the Local Radio Freedom Act, a bill with essentially the opposite agenda. It aims to reserve radio’s royalty-free status. The American Music Fairness Act is being viewed as a counter-response to this bill.

See what others are saying: (Variety) (Billboard)

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Kanye West Says Catalog Is Potentially Being Sold Without His Permission: “Just Like Taylor Swift”

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After Swift lost the rights to her life’s work, she took on the endeavor of re-recording her first six albums. 


Kanye’s Catalog Potentially Up For Grabs

Following reports that Kanye West was considering selling his catalog, the artist took to Instagram on Tuesday to claim his work is potentially being sold without his approval.

On Monday, Billboard reported that West had been “quietly and intermittently shopping his publishing catalog.”

While the outlet’s sources did not reveal what price West was aiming for, Billboard estimated that West might be looking at a $175 million valuation for his discography. Some of Billboard’s sources seemingly suggested that West and his team were specifically behind the effort to sell his work, but others claimed the “catalog was never actively shopped” and instead, West had been receiving offers from potential buyers. 

Not long after, several news outlets picked the story up and reported that West was gearing up to sell his catalog. West responded by writing on his Instagram story that this was not the case. 

“Not For Sale”

“Just like Taylor Swift,” he said, referencing music mogul Scooter Braun purchasing Swift’s masters with Big Machine Records without her approval. “My publishing is being put up for my sale without my knowledge. Not for sale.”

Swift referred to the sale of her masters to Braun as her “worst case scenario.” In order to regain ownership of her work, she is in the process of re-recording her first six albums, all of which she originally made under Big Machine. Two have already been released and proved to be wildly commercially successful. 

According to Forbes, it is unclear which of his albums West owns the masters to, if he owns any at all. Because of this, it is unknown what kind of position he would be put in if his catalog, which is currently managed by Sony, was sold.

The status of any potential for his work to be sold became foggier later on Tuesday when West shared screenshots of a text exchange he had. He asked an unidentified person what was happening with the catalog sale, and that person responded by calling it “fake news.”

“Of course every publisher wants to pitch [their] hardest buy, smh,” the text continued. 

West did not further indicate if those texts were meant to clarify that his catalog was, in fact, not up for sale, or just further distance himself from any potential acquisition.

See what others are saying: (Billboard) (Forbes) (Complex)

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“Squid Game” Director Defends Reality Spinoff of Hit Series Amid Backlash

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“When you take things too seriously, that’s really not the best way to go for the entertainment industry,” the Emmy-winner said. 


“Squid Game” To Get Reality Treatment

Emmy Award-winning “Squid Game” director Hwang Dong-hyuk addressed the mounting backlash a reality spinoff of the popular series is facing while speaking to reporters at the Emmy Awards on Monday night. 

“Squid Game” quickly became Netflix’s most-watched series following its release last fall. In a searing examination of capitalism and class division, the South Korean drama follows people who choose to compete in schoolyard-style games with life or death stakes in hopes of winning enough money to pay their debts off. 

Over the summer, Netflix announced plans to make a reality series based on the games featured in the show called “Squid Game: The Challenge.” Just like in “Squid Game,” 456 contestants will compete for a prize of $4.56 million. Though in this case, losers will not be executed. Netflix is billing the program as “the biggest reality competition ever.”

The announcement of the show was met with swift backlash from those who felt a reality adaptation of these games missed the point of the original series. Some even argued it felt dystopian to have real people participate in a cash-grab game based on media meant to highlight the tragedies surrounding poverty and desperation. 

Hwang Responds to Criticism

While speaking in the Emmy’s press room following a successful night for the breakout series, Hwang said he understood where some of the criticisms were coming from but defended the reality series. 

“I think that even though our show does carry quite a heavy message — and I know that there are some concerns of taking that message and creating it into a reality show with a cash prize,” he said via Variety. “However, I feel like when you take things too seriously, that’s really not the best way to go for the entertainment industry. It doesn’t really set a great precedent.”

“I would say that reproductions of such efforts are going to bring new meaning to the industry, and I hope that this is going to be a great new direction for the industry overall,” the director continued.

“Squid Game” won six Emmy awards including Hwang’s trophy for Outstanding Directing For a Drama Series and Lee Jung-jae’s victory for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series. 

No release date for “Squid Game: The Challenge” has been released yet, but it is set to film in the United Kingdom.

See what others are saying: (Variety) (IndieWire) (Entertainment Weekly)

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