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Hollywood Breakdown


Kim Masters, host of KCRW’s The Business, breaks down Hollywood's top stories.

Kim Masters, host of KCRW’s The Business, breaks down Hollywood's top stories.


Santa Monica, CA




Kim Masters, host of KCRW’s The Business, breaks down Hollywood's top stories.






1900 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405 310-450-5183


With ‘Godzilla vs. Kong,’ box office shows signs of life

“Godzilla vs. Kong” made $9.6 million at the box office on opening day — a record for the pandemic. The action film that has two famous monsters battling is expected to make $30 million over the weekend, which would be a much-needed boost to the movie theater industry that was wiped out over the past year.


Disney pushes ‘Black Widow’ to July, will put it and ‘Cruella’ on Disney+ for a premium fee

The Marvel movie “Black Widow” was set to be the first big movie to premiere exclusively in theaters once they reopened. But Disney announced it’s pushing “Black Widow” from May to July and will put it on Disney+ at the same time, where subscribers will be able to watch for a $30 fee. “Cruella” will hold its May 28 release date, but will also be available via premium video on demand.


Awards shows in freefall as viewers abandon Golden Globes and Grammys

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is worried about the Oscars telecast, and they have every right to be. Both major televised awards shows this year — the Golden Globes and the Grammys — have been ratings disasters. Why are viewers turning away from awards shows?


Independent movie theaters get help from next stimulus bill

The $1.9 trillion relief package President Biden signed on Thursday provides some help for small theaters and other entertainment venues. The American Rescue Plan includes an additional $1.25 billion for a grant program created last December for venue owners. The money may make it possible for some independent theaters to stay afloat until places are able to open to full capacity again.


Movie studios are anticipating a return to theaters

With vaccines rolling out and business reopenings on the horizon, heads of movie studios are making it clear they have not given up on theaters. Several studios have now announced big theatrical releases in May and June, and have said that while exclusive theatrical windows may be shortening, they’re not ditching them altogether.


The Golden Globes are under scrutiny again following an LA Times exposé

The Golden Globes are this weekend, and the days of the awards ceremony being a small funky party are long gone. Now the Globes are big business, but a recent LA Times investigation reveals some problematic practices at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the small group that votes on the winners.


Netflix, HBO Max and Apple seek out kids’ programming to hang on to subscribers

Streaming services are constantly looking for ways to fight churn, which is when viewers sign up for a service and then drop it after they’ve watched a particular show. Kids’ shows and movies seem to be the most churn-proof content, so streamers are making big investments in that department.


Agencies drop Armie Hammer, Gina Carano, Marilyn Manson, Morgan Wallen

In a recent spate of actors and singers — including Armie Hammer, Gina Carano, Marilyn Manson — getting in trouble for past or current behavior, talent agencies are figuring out how to deal. In some cases, the agencies are dropping clients entirely, and in others, like with Shia LaBeouf at CAA, the relationship is being put on hold.


Fox News falls to third place in cable rankings after years of dominance

Fox News ratings soared during a Trump presidency, but viewership numbers went down when Trump attacked the network. With a new Biden administration, Fox ratings continue to dip as viewers seek more right-wing content. The network is now behind CNN and MSNBC.


Sundance goes virtual for a different kind of film festival

The Sundance Film Festival kicked off this week, but there will be no crowded screenings in Park City movie theaters. Instead the famous festival will be mostly virtual, with some screenings around the country where theaters are allowed to be open.


Netflix celebrates 200 million subscribers, moving closer to global streaming domination

Netflix officially has 200 million subscribers as it exponentially grows during the pandemic. The streamer, which holds more than $15 billion of debt, also says it no longer needs to borrow money. However, all streaming services share the fear of churn, where customers sign up for a service to watch one or two things and then unsubscribe.


For most-streamed shows, ‘The Office’ on Netflix reigned supreme in 2020

Nielsen released year-end streaming data for 2020, and more minutes were spent watching “The Office” on Netflix than any other show. The top 10 most-watched original series were all on Netflix, except for the Disney+ show “The Mandalorian.” When it came to movies, kids’ movies on Disney+ dominated, with “Frozen II” coming in at number one.


Facebook and Twitter go tough on Trump after US Capitol assault

Facebook has banned President Trump, at least until his term is over. Twitter issued a 12-hour suspension of his account on Wednesday. It’s a fraught time for social media companies as their platforms were used to organize the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.


Roku and HBO Max finally cut a deal

Nearly seven months after WarnerMedia launched HBO Max, Roku users finally have access to the streaming service. Roku has 46 million users, so WarnerMedia was desperate to make a deal with the digital media player before the release of “Wonder Woman 1984” on Christmas Day.


Hollywood fumes at WarnerMedia’s big HBO Max move, guilds and agencies start to speak out

When WarnerMedia announced all of its 2021 movies would stream on HBO Max the same day they open in theaters, Hollywood was completely blindsided. Now the industry is starting to speak out. Christopher Nolan blasted Warner Bros. Then the Directors Guild of America and the powerful agency CAA both sent angry letters to the studio.


Warner Bros. sends entire slate of 17 movies to HBOMax in 2021

WarnerMedia announced all 17 of its 2021 Warner Bros. movies would debut in theaters and stream on HBOMax at the same time. This shatters the traditional window between theatrical release and streaming that is the foundation of the movie theater business.


Mark Burnett was supposed to bring hits to MGM. Instead he’s brought chaos

Mark Burnett is best known for reality TV hits like “Survivor,” “The Voice,” and “The Apprentice,” which gave Donald Trump a national audience. Five years ago, he joined MGM Studios as the chairman of worldwide television. His management style hasn’t won him many fans as it’s proved to be much like the outgoing president he once promoted.


‘Wonder Woman 1984’ will land in theaters and HBOMax on Christmas Day

Throughout the pandemic, movie studios have struggled to decide whether to move big films to streaming services or risk putting them in theaters. With “Wonder Woman 1984,” WarnerMedia is going to try doing both. The superhero sequel will open in theaters (those that are actually open, that is) on December 25, 2020 and also be available to stream on HBOMax the same day.


As Trump attacks Fox News, more conservative networks get a ratings boost

Fox News flourished under a Trump presidency, but trouble in paradise began on Election Night, when the network made an early call for Joe Biden to win Arizona. The call ended up being correct, but Trump was upset that their announcement changed the momentum. Now the President’s most hardcore fans are turning to Newsmax, a network that’s even further to the right than Fox.


Fox News leads cable news ratings on election night, slips on Nov. 4

Broadcast news ratings were down this year compared to 2016. Cable news ratings remained stable compared to the last election, led by a strong showing from Fox News viewers.