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“A Quiet Place Part II” Breaks Pandemic Record While “In The Heights” Falters

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The horror sequel crossed $100 million at the box office. Meanwhile, the New York-set musical raked in only half of what it was projected to gross.


“A Quiet Place Part II” Sets Pandemic Record

“A Quiet Place Part II” hit a major pandemic milestone this weekend while “In The Heights” struggled to get its feet on the box office ground.

John Krasinski’s horror sequel became the first film to cross $100 million domestically since the start of the pandemic, with its haul currently sitting at $108 million after 15 days on the big screen. Prior to COVID-19, this would have been nothing too impressive, but the last films to make at least this much were “Bad Boys For Life” and “Sonic the Hedgehog,” both of which came out in January 2020. 

The success of “A Quiet Place Part II” is a sign that the appetite for moviegoing is returning. It also brings hope that this summer, the box office could begin to recover from the devastating damages and losses that 2020 brought. 

It’s also a win for Paramount regarding its decision to put films exclusively in theaters. Currently, audiences can only see “A Quiet Place Part II” on the big screen. The film is set to be released on Paramount+ 45 days after its initial release, which would have been considered an absurdly quick turnaround a year ago, but now feels like a generous gift from the studio to exhibitors.  

It proves not only the power of the horror genre to draw audiences, but that the prestige and exclusivity of a theatrical-first release is undeniably without peer in terms of its ability to deliver huge financial dividends and long-term rewards,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore, told The Hollywood Reporter.

“In The Heights” Stumbles

“A Quiet Place Part II” made just shy of 12 million this weekend, unexpectedly surpassing Warner Bros.’ big summer title, “In The Heights.” The Lin-Manuel Miranda musical was projected to make $20 million in its opening weekend, but walked away with just $11.4 million. 

The film was released on HBO Max the same day it made its way into theaters, which could be a major factor in its stumbling. While theatergoing does appear to be back in some capacity, it is unclear what titles might be more tempting at home than on the silver screen. It’s possible that many opted to watch “In The Heights” from the comfort of their couches, but HBO Max does not release data on how many users stream a single title, so exactly how many views it received remains unclear. 

This was the exact fear exhibitors had when Warner Bros. first announced its plan to drop all of its 2021 titles on its streaming service the same day those films were released in theaters. The decision faced swift backlash from theater executives and filmmakers alike as many feared it could kill the box office and theatergoing as we knew it prior to the pandemic. The same-day streaming model, however, may not be the only thing that hurt “In The Heights.”

As of late, franchise films like “A Quiet Place Part II” and “Godzilla vs. Kong” have had stronger turnouts than lesser-known material. While Miranda’s “Hamilton” was nothing shy of a major success story, “In The Heights” bares much less name recognition. The songs in it are not widely popular, and the film also starred lesser-known actors in its leading roles. 

So far, “In The Heights” has been a critical success and is expected to be a part of the awards conversation come Oscar season, but without those immediate connections, it seems audiences were not as eager to flock to the theaters for it as analysts anticipated. Its journey is far from over though, and musicals generally have a spotty history. 

“The Greatest Showman,” which ended up being a major box office hit, started off to an incredibly slow run. It had a domestic opening of just $8.8 million, and it came out years before the pandemic when theaters were running at their full capacities. It eventually grossed a domestic total of $174.3 million and $438 million worldwide.

“In The Heights” could similarly have stronger legs further down the road, and its path will be a crucial one to follow, as 2021 is going to be a major year for movie musicals. Highly anticipated projects like “Tick, Tick… Boom!,” “West Side Story,” and “Dear Evan Hanson” will all come out later this year, and while they will enjoy the perks of being released when theatergoing has likely stabilized more, “In The Heights” could serve as a sign for the state of public interest in the genre.

See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (Deadline) (A.V. Club)

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Twitch Faces Backlash After Booking Megan Thee Stallion At TwitchCon Amid Creator Pay Cuts

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The cut in revenue share has ignited severe backlash on Twitch, where users argue pay for creators should be increased, not slashed. 


Revenue Share Shake Up

Twitch users are criticizing the company for hiring artist Megan Thee Stallion to perform at TwitchCon just one week after announcing cutbacks to top creator pay.

Last week, the video and streaming platform said that starting in June of next year, some creators will receive less revenue from their subscriptions. While the standard split for subscription revenue is 50/50, some major streamers previously received a more favorable 70/30 share in premium agreement terms. 

Many creators have long argued that everyone should get that 70/30 share, but Twitch took a step in the opposite direction. In the future, streamers with premium terms will only get the 70/30 slice for their first $100,000 from subscription revenue. After that, they will get bumped down to the regular 50/50 cut. 

The company argued the move was necessary as the premium terms previously lacked transparency and consistency, insisting it tried to modify the policy in a way that impacted the least amount of creators. According to Twitch’s statement, 90% of streamers on standard agreements will not even be impacted by the change.

Still, this move outraged Twitch users who were furious the company was not investing more in the creators that bring so many viewers to its platform. Those frustrations were exacerbated on Wednesday when the company announced Megan Thee Stallion would make an appearance at TwitchCon, a weekend-long event set to take place in San Diego in early October. 

Backlash Continues to Mount

While no details of Megan Thee Stallion’s agreement to perform have been disclosed, one can assume she charges a pretty penny to book at an event of this nature. Critics argued that if Twitch is willing to spend money on her, it should be willing to spend it on its own streamers. 

“So Twitch can’t afford to pay their creators 70/30, can’t fix their media player that crashes after each ad, can’t enforce their policies so people aren’t doing inappropriate things on stream, but they can afford paying celebrities to promote their streaming site?” one person wrote. 

“It’s weird that a company that just announced a bunch of budget cuts due to infrastructure costs goes out and grabs an A-list musician instead of promoting their own musicians that run on their platform,” another person claimed.

“Instead of giving your creators a cut they deserve when they do so much work, this is what you do…?” one user asked. “Maybe give your creators a better deal instead of wasting their hard earned money on things we don’t even want.”

Twitch has not responded to the outrage, but Megan Thee Stallion was not the only music act the Amazon-owned service booked for the event. Kim Petras and Meet Me at the Altar will also take the stage at TwitchCon. 

The backlash comes as concerns have been mounting against Twitch for a plethora of reasons including creator pay, gambling streams, and more. 

In recent months, some of the platform’s biggest names have left Twitch in favor of rival services like YouTube Gaming. 

See what others are saying: (Dexerto) (The Verge) (Metro)

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“Dahmer” Series Breaks Netflix Records Amid Backlash For Exploiting Victims’ Stories

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Family members of some of the murderer’s victims say the program is “retraumatizing.”


“Dahmer” Lands Successful Week on Netflix

While criticisms mount against “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” the true crime series broke Netflix’s record as the most-watched first week for a series debut.

According to data provided by the streaming giant, the Evan Peters-led show was watched for over 196 million hours between its release on Sept. 21 and Sept. 25.

“Dahmer” is the newest of several pieces of fiction and media based on the famous serial killer. Created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, the series quickly generated a lot of attention online, primarily from those concerned the show is exploiting a gruesome true story. 

Critics have echoed those fears, giving the show a mixed 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The “Critic’s Consensus” blurb on the site states that while the show is “seemingly self-aware of the peril in glorifying Jeffrey Dahmer” the story still “tilts this horror story into the realm of queasy exploitation.”

Victims’ Families Speak Out

The family of Errol Lindsey, one of Dahmer’s victims, has also spoken out against the series. In a viral tweet, Lindsey’s cousin Eric Perry said his family is “pissed about the show.”

“It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what?” he wrote. “How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?”

In much of the promotion for the series, Netflix claimed it would be told from the perspective of the victims. Perry slammed that narrative, noting that his family was never even contacted by the streamer about the project.

“So when they say they’re doing this ‘with respect to the victims’ or ‘honoring the dignity of the families’, no one contacts them,” he wrote. “My cousins wake up every few months at this point with a bunch of calls and messages and they know there’s another Dahmer show. It’s cruel.”

Lindsey’s sister, Rita Isbell, echoed that claim in an essay she wrote for Insider, noting that Netflix did not notify her of the show, or ask her any questions about her brother. 

She said that watching the show “felt like reliving it all over again.”

“It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then,” she wrote. 

“It’s sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy. That’s just greed,” she continued. 

Obsession With Dahmer

Controversy has also grown from some of the responses to the series, as many viewers have posted fan edits of the show that romanticize Dahmer. Some pair clips of Peters’ Dahmer with his victims to love songs or pop ballads, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of those who do not understand why someone would make content glorifying the killer. 

Others have responded to the show by calling Dahmer “hot” or posting thirst tweets about his mug shot. This has resulted in a backlash of its own. 

“Jeffrey Dahmer molested and murdered people, mostly black men and boys,” one person wrote. “So to see people making edits and thirst traps of him is a little off putting.”

“if I see anyone tweeting thirst tweets about Jeffrey Dahmer I’m immediately unfollowing,” another person said. “That’s so fuckin nasty.”

Concerns that this kind of media results in more people admiring Dahmer are also mounting in Milwaukee, where many of his crimes took place. According to TMZ, the city is considering creating something to honor the victims, but officials fear a physical memorial would turn into a “mecca” for Dahmer’s fans. 

See what others are saying: (Insider) (IndieWire) (Vox)

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YouTube Removes Age Restriction From Nicki Minaj Video After Singer Calls Company a “Bogus Platform”

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Even though her video can now be viewed by all YouTuber users, Minaj made it clear she was upset that the age-gate tanked its view count in the first 24 hours.


Nicki Minaj Vs. YouTube

Nicki Minaj called out YouTube on Monday after the platform age-restricted her new music video for “Likkle Miss Remix” featuring Skeng. 

By age-restricting a video, YouTube blocks users who are under 18 or not logged into a Google account from viewing the content. 

Minaj’s video features close-up shots of people in skimpy outfits twerking, but several videos on YouTube with similar imagery have not been gated. Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” video is available for everyone, as is Minaj’s own “Anaconda” video. 

In a since-deleted Instagram post, Minaj accused YouTube of being inconsistent and playing favorites. 

“They restricted my fucking video but have things a million fucking times worse on their BOGUS FKNG PLATFORM,” she wrote in a post that included a screenshot of YouTube’s age-restriction notice. “This is what they do to keep you from winning while doing ads for another ppl and posting fake fkng stats. Because the same ppl who run YouTube are in bed with a certain record label and mngmnt company.”

Minaj further alleged that YouTube’s actions were done to prevent her from getting a significant number of views in the video’s first 24 hours, which is often the most crucial timeframe for a video’s success. She continued to assert that the Google-owned company has a bias toward certain music labels.

YouTube Walks Back Restriction

“How long have yall been playing the numbers game to lie & pretend ppl r doing ‘good’ when they r not?!?!!” Minaj continued in another post. “How much ad space did these duds purchase to be promoted on my channel in the last 5 years?!??!!!!”

Later on Monday, YouTube removed the restriction from Minaj’s video, per Variety. The company said the content in it did not violate its rules and guidelines. 

While Minaj ended up deleting her Instagram posts calling YouTube out, she made it clear she was still frustrated by the debacle. 

“FUCK THEM DUDS,” she tweeted. “THEY CANT GIVE US BACK OUR FIRST 24 HOURS CAN THEY?!?!!!”

As of Monday afternoon, her video had been viewed over one million times.

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

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