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The Town with Matthew Belloni

The Ringer

Puck founding partner Matthew Belloni takes you inside Hollywood, using exclusive reporting and insight to explain the backstories on everything from Marvel movies to streaming wars. Multiple times each week, Matt will touch on what is getting made and why, who is winning and losing, and what people in show business are actually talking about.

Location:

United States

Networks:

The Ringer

Description:

Puck founding partner Matthew Belloni takes you inside Hollywood, using exclusive reporting and insight to explain the backstories on everything from Marvel movies to streaming wars. Multiple times each week, Matt will touch on what is getting made and why, who is winning and losing, and what people in show business are actually talking about.

Language:

English


Episodes
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Is Netflix or YouTube the King in Streaming?

7/22/2024
Matt is joined by Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw to discuss Netflix’s strong second-quarter earnings, and how the company’s strong numbers might weaken in the next few years partially because of their underwhelming advertising revenue. They then ask a larger question: Is the race for streaming now down to two finalists—Netflix and YouTube (2:43)? Matt finishes the show with a prediction for which city will win hosting duties of the 2027 Sundance Film Festival (25:30). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click here. Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Lucas Shaw Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:32:29

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Warner's M&A Options and an NBA Rights Scoop

7/19/2024
Matt is joined by Jessica Reif Ehrlich, a senior media and entertainment analyst at BofA Securities, to discuss the floundering Warner Bros. Discovery and propose several drastic changes she believes are necessary to save the company (02:35). Then, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons joins the show with a new angle on the looming NBA rights deal involving Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery (22:14). Finally, Matt makes an opening weekend box office prediction for ‘Twisters’ (32:15). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guests: Jessica Reif Ehrlich and Bill Simmons Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:39:27

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The 'Star Wars' Ratings Problem and What To Do Next

7/17/2024
Matt is joined by Luminate’s director of business development, Jimmy Doyle, to discuss the state of the 'Star Wars' franchise, its lack of theatrical movies, and what the troubling TV ratings signal for the brand. They talk about the 'Star Wars' properties that are working, the upcoming Mandalorian movie, and whether Disney should ultimately license its content to Netflix (02:43). In light of the recent Emmy nominations, Matt finishes the show with his prediction for Best Drama Series, Best Comedy Series, and Best Limited Series (23:13). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Jimmy Doyle Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:33:01

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Does Hollywood Need Deregulation?

7/15/2024
Matt is joined by Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw to discuss Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s latest comments from the Sun Valley conference, during which he advocated for less regulation in Hollywood. They unpack his statement and speculate how the election results might affect the regulatory environment for media companies, which companies would benefit the most from M&A possibilities, and why a company like Netflix might not mind consolidation (03:07). We finish the show with a mid-year check-in of the 2024 Box Office Draft (23:16). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Lucas Shaw Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:32:25

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Betting on Theaters, Embracing Tech, and ‘Wicked’ With Director Jon M. Chu

7/11/2024
Matt is joined by director Jon M. Chu to discuss how he made it in Hollywood, his career-altering move to pass on Netflix and bet on movie theaters with ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ balancing art and commerce, making films with AI, his upcoming film ‘Wicked,' and much more from his new book, ‘Viewfinder: A Memoir of Seeing and Being Seen’ (02:34). Matt finishes the show with an opening weekend box office prediction for the Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum film, ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ (25:24). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Jon. M Chu Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:32:28

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Burning Questions About the Future of Paramount

7/9/2024
Matt is joined by Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw to look at what the future holds for Paramount now that David Ellison has purchased the legacy media company from Shari Redstone. They discuss what will happen to Paramount's assets, including CBS, Pluto, Paramount+, as well as their movie strategy, and ultimately if a new, young, tech-focused CEO can not only keep Paramount alive, but help it flourish (02:22). Matt finishes the show with a prediction about the upcoming criminal trial of Alec Baldwin in the ‘Rust’ case (25:57). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Lucas Shaw Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:32:24

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Skydance’s David Ellison on His Plans for Paramount

7/8/2024
Matt is joined by Skydance CEO David Ellison and RedBird Capital's Gerry Cardinale to discuss Ellison’s acquisition of Shari Redstone’s family company and the merger of Paramount Global with Skydance Media. David and Gerry outline what the future holds for Paramount as a media company, including what they intend to do with Paramount+, their thoughts on the theatrical business, and how tech will help shape the future of storytelling (03:11). Matt finishes the show with a prediction about the 2024 Summer Olympics (32:40). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guests: David Ellison and Gerry Cardinale Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:39:24

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The NFL's $15B Sunday Ticket Problem

7/3/2024
Matt is joined by Puck’s John Ourand to break down the multibillion-dollar NFL ‘Sunday Ticket’ lawsuit when a jury in the U.S. District Court ordered the NFL to pay more than $4.7 billion in damages after the league violated antitrust laws in distributing out-of-market Sunday afternoon games on a premium subscription service, DIRECTV. John explains how this bill could actually balloon to nearly $15 billion under antitrust law, how this will impact Sunday Ticket’s new distributor, YouTube, and whether this could impact the greater sports media rights landscape (03:30). Matt finishes the show with an opening weekend box office prediction for ‘Despicable Me 4’ (24:26). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: John Ourand Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:31:24

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The Biggest Over- and Underreactions of the First Half of 2024

7/1/2024
Matt is joined by Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw to look back on the first half of 2024 and highlight the stories they believe were most over- and undercovered, including the horror movie genre, new Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery bundle Venu, the ScarJo OpenAI fight, Pat McAfee and Norby Williamson, UMG vs. TikTok, and more. For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Lucas Shaw Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:37:25

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Will the Debate Debacle Revive TV News?

6/28/2024
Matt is joined by journalist, podcast host, and cofounder of Semafor, Ben Smith, to discuss how last night's dispiriting debate will affect CNN and the TV news landscape as we move towards the 2024 election. Will the debate revive CNN and give it the story it's been looking for? They also take a look at the broader state of TV news as we exit the cable news era and wonder how many of these waning news networks can survive in the streaming era (03:12). Matt finishes the show with an opening weekend box office prediction for ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ (26:00). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Ben Smith Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:32:25

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How Much Kevin Costner Stands to Win or Lose on ‘Horizon’

6/26/2024
Matt is joined by longtime producer Mark Gill to break down the finances of Kevin Costner’s ‘Horizon: An American Saga—Chapter 1.’ He explains how indie films of this scope and scale are financed, how much the movie needs to make for everyone to survive, and who has the most to lose. They also discuss another ambitious self-financed project, Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Megalopolis’ (02:35). Matt finishes the show with an opening weekend box office prediction for ‘Horizon: An American Saga—Chapter 1’ (25:50). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Mark Gill Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:32:27

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Is Hollywood Really That Effed Up?

6/24/2024
Matt is joined by Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw to discuss if Hollywood is struggling as much as the media says it is. They run through a slew of issues, including traditional Hollywood’s battle with YouTube and TikTok, whether young people should abandon careers in TV and film and instead focus on social media, why Hollywood guilds and studios aren't going after AI together while major music labels are suing AI companies, the efficacy of the strikes, and the current state of Disney (02:40). Matt finishes the show with a prediction about Stephen A. Smith’s future employment (24:54). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Lucas Shaw Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:32:27

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Hollywood’s Big Big Tech Problem

6/20/2024
Matt is joined by Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at the NYU Stern School of Business, author, and podcast host, to look back on the fallout and consequences of the writers strike and discuss how the studios and guilds should be handling the AI infiltration in the entertainment industry. They also discuss the state of the theatrical business, Hollywood’s aging executives, and how the government is handling big tech (01:51). Matt finishes the show with an opening weekend box office prediction for the upcoming film ‘The Bikeriders’ (30:25). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Scott Galloway Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:36:26

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Sony Bought a Movie Theatre Chain. Plus, Pixar’s Big Comeback

6/17/2024
Matt is joined by Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw to discuss Sony Pictures' acquisition of the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater chain, what this move says about Sony’s interest in theatrical moviegoing, whether this experiment was ultimately a smart move, and whether any other studios or streamers should be in the theater-buying business (02:54). Matt finishes the show with a prediction about the future of casting animated movies (24:33). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Lucas Shaw Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:32:08

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Jon Stewart on AI Fears, Election Plans, and ‘Daily Show’ End Date

6/14/2024
Matt is back with the second half of his conversation with Jon Stewart to discuss how Hollywood should handle the AI issue, how Viacom let John Oliver go to HBO, whom Stewart consulted before agreeing to come back to the show, whether Stewart might stay beyond his planned exit from ‘The Daily Show’ in November, and the media he is consuming these days (01:22). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Jon Stewart Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:28:57

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Jon Stewart Talks Apple Split, Corporate Constraints, and Media’s Regression

6/13/2024
Matt is joined by Jon Stewart to discuss his return to ‘The Daily Show,’ why he and Apple were not a great fit, and how the media, political, and comedy landscape has changed in the nine years since he left ‘The Daily Show’ (02:38). Matt finishes the show with an opening weekend box office prediction for the newest Pixar film, ‘Inside Out 2’ (26:44). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Jon Stewart Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:34:24

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Paramount-Skydance Is Dead. What Now?

6/12/2024
Matt and Lightshed media analyst Rich Greenfield react to Shari Redstone calling off the Paramount-Skydance deal at the eleventh hour after a sale seemed imminent. They discuss why Shari killed the deal, how one man is potentially responsible for convincing Shari to back out, what’s next for Paramount Global, and much more (03:08). Matt finishes the show with an opening weekend box office prediction for the newest Pixar film, ‘Inside Out 2’ (30:44). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Rich Greenfield Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:36:39

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Will Smith’s Comeback and the Butts-in-Seats Star Ranking

6/10/2024
Matt is joined by Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw to discuss Will Smith’s return to box office stardom after the success of ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ and if this marks the official return for Will Smith as one of Hollywood's most dependable theatrical movie stars. They then discuss which movie stars can reliably open an original movie in theaters, and whether directors are more bankable than actors (03:01). Matt finishes the show with a prediction about the NBA Finals ratings (25:18). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Lucas Shaw Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:32:22

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The Science of Green-Lighting Movies

6/7/2024
Matt is joined by Joshua Lynn, the president of Piedmont Media Research, to discuss the research studios use to determine what people want out of their movies and how to give it to him. Before the movie is green-lit, studios use research to know if people want a new tornado movie, or a biopic about Robert Oppenheimer, or how Denzel Washington will elevate a project's box office potential (02:43). Matt finishes the show with a prediction about Netflix’s stock price (25:32). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Joshua Lynn Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:32:17

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Is Netflix Fumbling Ads?

6/5/2024
Matt is joined by ad industry insider Michael Kassan to discuss the newest frontier in streaming: advertising! Michael and Matt take a look specifically at Netflix and give their report card on the streamer's initial push into the ad space. They also look more broadly at the streaming ad ecosystem and wonder whether the influx of live events as well as the Great Rebundling of services will help kick-start the ad market (03:04). Matt finishes the show with an opening-weekend box office prediction for the fourth installment in the 'Bad Boys' franchise, 'Bad Boys: Ride or Die' (26:00). For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click this link: puck.news/thetown Email us your thoughts! thetown@spotify.com Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Michael Kassan Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:32:27