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06-14-2021 Daily Edition June 13, 2021

Daily Edition

Ned Beatty, Acclaimed Character Actor in ‘Deliverance,’ ‘Network’ and ‘Homicide: Life on the Street,’ Dies at 83

Ned Beatty, who made a sparkling feature film debut in Deliverance before turning in noteworthy efforts in Nashville, Network and Homicide: Life on the Street as one of the most respected character actors of his time, has died. He was 83. Beatty died Sunday of natural causes at his Los Angeles home, his daughter Blossom Beatty […]

Ned Beatty, who made a sparkling feature film debut in Deliverance before turning in noteworthy efforts in Nashville, Network and Homicide: Life on the Street as one of the most respected character actors of his time, has died. He was 83.

Beatty died Sunday of natural causes at his Los Angeles home, his daughter Blossom Beatty told The Hollywood Reporter.

The Kentucky native also portrayed Lily Tomlin’s good ol’ boy hustler-lawyer husband in Robert Altman’s Nashville (1975), was a slippery Miami district attorney in Alan J. Pakula’s All the President’s Men (1976) and elicited laughs as Lex Luthor’s (Gene Hackman) bumbling sidekick Otis in Superman (1978) and its 1980 sequel.

On television, Beatty was at his best as Det. Stanley “The Big Man” Bolander on NBC’s Homicide: Life on the Street and as the chaplain assigned to an American private (Martin Sheen) in his final hours on the somber 1974 NBC telefilm The Execution of Private Slovik.

Beatty had an excellent basso profundo singing voice, and his goal as a teenager was to have a career in the musical theater. One of his rare performances as a leading man came while portraying the great Irish tenor Josef Locke in Hear My Song (1991).

The harrowing survival saga Deliverance (1972), directed by John Boorman, starred Beatty, Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight and Ronny Cox as buddies from Atlanta who take a trip to hillbilly country to canoe down a river.

Beatty said he doubted he was going to get a part in the picture when he sat down with Boorman, his assistant and their wives for lunch in New York. A veteran of the local theater, he had never been in a feature film.

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“There was a very attractive lady [the wife of Boorman’s assistant] sitting next to me to my left,” he recalled in a 1992 interview with the CBC, “and I spent the whole time giving her my best shot. … I was terribly married [but still] terribly flirtatious.

“I was quite the heel, and I think that’s what John Boorman liked. He said he thought I was the rudest person he had ever met.”

Deliverance, of course, has become infamous for its uncut 10-minute male rape sequence (“Squeal like a pig!”) in which Beatty, as pudgy businessman Bobby Trippe, is the victim. It’s a scene that viewers have difficulty stomaching.

Years later, The New York Times called upon Beatty to write an article about rape for the newspaper’s op-ed section. “The bottom line [of his piece] and the bad news,” he said, “was that a man would rather be a rapist than have to identify with the victim of a rape.”

In other Reynolds starrers, Beatty portrayed the lawbreaking sheriff J.C. Connors in White Lightning (1973) and Gator (1976) and a country music singer-songwriter in W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975). The two also worked together in Stroker Ace (1983), Switching Channels (1988) and on a 1989 episode of ABC’s B.L. Stryker.

In Network (1977), directed by Sidney Lumet and written by Paddy Chayefsky, Beatty spent just one day on the set and was seen onscreen for less than six minutes. Yet few could argue that he didn’t deserve his lone Oscar nomination for his commanding performance as Arthur Jensen, the bombastic bigwig of UBS’ parent conglomerate who convinces anchorman Howard Beale (Peter Finch) to see things his way.

“You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it!” Jensen bellows in a dimly lit boardroom.

Beatty, who often played Southern yokels and was at ease doing comedy as well as drama, never seemed to harbor any regrets about not having more leading-man roles. “They’re more trouble than they’re worth,” he once told People magazine. “I feel sorry for people in a star position — it’s unnatural.”

Ned Beatty was born on July 6, 1937, in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of a traveling salesman who pitched a system of fire hydrants to officials in small towns. He said his voice broke when he was 10, and he sung in barbershop quartets and at Baptist revivals and weddings as a teenager.

Beatty graduated from Eastern High School in 1955 and then earned a scholarship to attend Transylvania University, a Christian Private school, in Lexington, Kentucky; while in college, he made ends meet by working as a butcher.

When he was about 19, he got a singing part in the play Wilderness Road. “It was an outdoor play about the two counties in Kentucky in the Civil War — one had a lot of slave owners, and the other was very abolitionist,” he told the Chicago Tribute in 1992. “Because my voice was so loud, they gave me some [speaking] lines.”

The experience got him hooked on acting, and in 1957 he joined the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. (Ernest Borgnine, Hume Cronyn and Larry Linville also performed there early in their careers), moving about the country and performing.

That was followed by a stint in Washington, D.C., with the Arena Stage Company, where he appeared in the original production of The Great White Hope, starring James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander. He eventually made his Broadway debut in the play after it came to New York in 1968.

Around this time, Beatty also landed a job as a bank robber in an FBI training film.

“About a year later, I started getting arrested,” he told Backstage in 2001. “If I went into a small town somewhere, I’d get arrested. I’m serious. That’s the way cops work. They’re used to seeing pictures of bad guys. If they see you and they know that you’re a bad guy, they arrest you. So that went on for a little while, until I started getting known as a film actor.”

Beatty sure was known after Deliverance. He went on to play a thief turned marshal in John Huston’s The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), a rube salesman in Silver Streak (1976), the father of a terminally ill child in Promises in the Dark (1979), the head of an American spy organization in Hopscotch (1980) and the father of an unlikely football hero in Rudy (1993).

His film résumé also included John Cassavetes’ Mikey and Nicky (1976), Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), Gray Lady Down (1978), Steven Spielberg’s 1941 (1979), Huston’s Wise Blood (1979), Radioland Murders (1994), He Got Game (1998), Cookie’s Fortune (1999) with Altman again, Just Cause (1995), Spring Forward (1999), Thunderpants (2002) and Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), and he was the voice of the deceivingly cuddly Lotso in Toy Story 3 (2010).

Beatty also starred as an ex-Marine in charge of a D.C. community center on the short-lived 1977-78 CBS sitcom Szysznyk and played John Goodman’s father in a recurring role on ABC’s Roseanne.

The actor returned to the stage and Broadway in 2003 to portray Big Daddy in a revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, winning a Drama Desk Award, then spent more than a year touring in a production of Showboat.

Survivors include his fourth wife, Sandy, and children Blossom, Doug, twins Charles and Lennis, Wally, Jon, Thomas and Dorothy.

Duane Byrge contributed to this report.

Box Office Upset: ‘In the Heights’ Loses to ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ With Tepid $11.4M Bow

Warner Bros.’ In the Heights sang off key in its box office opening with $11.4 million, well below expectations and putting the musical at No. 2 behind holdover A Quiet Place Part II in a surprise upset. Heading into the weekend, Jon M. Chu’s big screen adaptation of the musical that put Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel […]

Warner Bros.’ In the Heights sang off key in its box office opening with $11.4 million, well below expectations and putting the musical at No. 2 behind holdover A Quiet Place Part II in a surprise upset.

Heading into the weekend, Jon M. Chu’s big screen adaptation of the musical that put Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda on the map, was widely expected to top the chart with anywhere from $15 million to $20 million.

Instead, Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II sequel shot back up to No. 1 in its third weekend with an estimated $11.7 million for a domestic total of nearly $109 million. The horror-thriller is the first film in the pandemic era to cross the $100 million mark domestically in a victory for exclusive theatrical releases. Overseas, the sequel has hit $78.5 million for a global cume of nearly $188 million.

Like all 2021 Warner Bros. titles, In the Heights is debuting simultaneously on HBO Max because of the challenges posed by the pandemic. It is impossible to know exactly how much business that is taking away in terms of box office grosses, but the feel-good pic may be more impacted than other genres since musicals often play to older adults, and especially older females. Consumers over 35 are the most reluctant to return to the multiplex, according to NRG surveys. At the same, musicals have a decidedly mixed track record at the office.

The hope now is that glowing reviews and strong exits lead to increased grosses. “We’re incredibly proud of this movie, and hope audiences find it over time,” says Warners president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein.

Per normal practice, HBO Max isn’t releasing viewership numbers for In the Heights.

Anthony Ramos and Corey Hawkins led the ensemble cast in this tale of a corner in Upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights where different members of the close-knit Latinx community pursue their dreams. Leslie Grace, Melisa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV and Jimmy Smits also star in the critically acclaimed film, which received an A CinemaScore from audiences.

The film over-indexed on both Coasts, and particularly on the East Coast, where five of the top 10 theaters on Friday came from New York City alone. It also over-indexed among Latinos, who made up 40 percent of ticket buyers.

Sony’s family pic Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, the weekend’s other new offering, also came in behind expectations — although not as dramatically — with an estimated domestic debut of $10.4 million. The film received an A CinemaScore.

Overseas, where Peter Rabbit 2 had already opened in select markets, the family film took in another $10.7 million from 11 territories for a foreign tally of $57.9 million and $68.3 million globally.

The summer season is fully underway at the U.S. box office as the pandemic recovery continues, although grosses are still more tepid than in past years because of ongoing challenges facing the marketplace, including major theater closures in Canada, and hesitancy among some consumers. (There’s also cannibalization from streamers, such as HBO Max.)

“Another impressive performance for A Quiet Place Part II, a film that continues to enthrall audiences in its ‘theatrical first’ release and even in its third weekend, was able to grab the top spot despite the arrival of well-reviewed competition that also offered a streaming option for consumers,” says Comscore’s Paul Dergarabedian. “Is this enough?”

Warner Bros.’ The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It declined 58 percent in its second weekend to $10 million for a 10-day domestic total of $43.8 million. Globally, the horror threequel cleared the $100 million mark to finish Sunday with a foreign cume of $68 million and $111.8 million globally.

Disney’s Cruella — which is also available on Disney+ Premier Access for $30 — rounded out the top five with $6.7 million in its third weekend for a domestic total of $56 million and global haul of $129.3 million.

June 13, 8:35 a.m. Updated with revised estimates.
June 13, 8:48 a.m. Updated with revised estimates.

Box Office Milestone: ‘Quiet Place II’ Crosses $100M Domestically in Pandemic-Era First

A Quiet Place Part II continues to make plenty of noise at the North American box office. The Paramount pic — in which John Krasinski returns to the directors’ chair — on Friday became the first movie in the pandemic era to cross the $100 million mark domestically upon finishing the day with $101 million […]

A Quiet Place Part II continues to make plenty of noise at the North American box office.

The Paramount pic — in which John Krasinski returns to the directors’ chair — on Friday became the first movie in the pandemic era to cross the $100 million mark domestically upon finishing the day with $101 million in ticket sales.

Starring Emily Blunt, the movie accomplished the feat in 15 days. It also set a pandemic-era record when posting a four-day debut of $57 million over Memorial Day weekend.

“If we jumped into a time machine and went back a year, the once-commonplace milestone of crossing $100 million dollars almost overnight became a pipe dream for the beleaguered movie theater industry,” says Comscore’s Paul Dergarabedian.

Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong should also reach the milestone in the next several days, albeit nearly three months into its theatrical run. Heading into the weekend, the film’s North American total was $99.4 million (that could grow to $99.8 million by the end of Sunday).

The major caveat — Godzilla vs. Kong opened in late March, when the box office office recovery in North America had yet to commence in earnest. Many theaters still hadn’t reopened after virtually all indoor cinemas flipped off the lights in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Also, Godzilla vs. Kong, like all 2021 titles from Warners, launched simultaneously in cinemas and on HBO Max in a bid to boost WarnerMedia’s relatively new streaming service during a time of uncertainty regarding moviegoing habits.

A Quiet Place II is getting a traditional theatrical release, and won’t be available in the home via Paramount+ until 45 days after it first hit the big screen.

“This makes the stellar performance of A Quiet Place Part II even more impressive having reached this $100 million mark at a pre-pandemic pace,” says Dergarabedian. “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.”

Now in its third weekend, A Quiet Place II is pacing ahead of expectations and could come close to matching — or surpassing — the debut of Jon M. Chu’s musical In the Heights in a surprise upset. (From Warners, In the Heights is available on HBO Max).

Both titles are estimated to earn $12 million to $13 million for the weekend. In the Heights was widely expected to take the crown with an opening in the mid-teens, or even $20 million, but needed to win over plenty of older customers. Polls show that moviegoers over the age of 35, and especially females, are far more reluctant to return to the multiplex for the time being.

So far, the genres that have done the best in recent weeks, as the box office recovery progresses, are horror and action.

The last film to earn north of $100 million in North America was Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog, which debuted in mid-February of 2020.

Kurt Cobain’s Self-Portrait, Elton John’s Piano, Prince’s Guitar and More Items Nab Nearly $5M at 3-Day Music-Themed Auction

A slew of items once owned by industry icons nabbed a total of nearly $5 million during a three-day auction organized by Julien’s Auctions, including Kurt Cobain’s self-portrait caricature, Elton John’s grand piano and Prince’s electric guitar. More than 1,000 were on the block during the event, which took place from Friday-Sunday, including instruments, memorabilia, […]

A slew of items once owned by industry icons nabbed a total of nearly $5 million during a three-day auction organized by Julien’s Auctions, including Kurt Cobain’s self-portrait caricature, Elton John’s grand piano and Prince’s electric guitar.

More than 1,000 were on the block during the event, which took place from Friday-Sunday, including instruments, memorabilia, wardrobe and personal property owned and used by recording artists from all genres. Other artists represented in the auction included Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Cher, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Jimi Hendrix, Bernie Taupin, Tom Petty, Tupac Shakur, Whitney Houston, The Doors and Little Richard.

Cobain’s drawing, which was created during the band’s 1992 promotional tour for Nevermind, sold for $281,250, which was 28 times its original estimate of $10,000.

A 1994 blue Cloud guitar commissioned and owned by Prince sold for $281,250, nearly five times its original estimate of $60,000.

A glossy red Yamaha Elton John Signature Series C-1 Baby Grand Piano signed by John, together with a matching high-gloss red bench, sold for $150,000. Meanwhile, the signed, handwritten lyrics by Bernie Taupin for John’s hit single “Candle in the Wind” sold for $76,800.

Elsewhere, the black jersey and net cutout bodysuit and matching black motorcycle jacket that Cher wore in the music video for “If I Could Turn Back Time” sold for $115,200.

Alex Van Halen’s custom designed Ludwig drum kit which sold for $230,400, while five Charvel EVH Art Series electric guitars designed, hand striped and played by Eddie Van Halen also were on the block. Among them was the “Last One!” Stealth black body with a silver hand-striped designed by Van Halen, possibly in tribute to his EVH Wolfgang guitar, sold for $51,200.

A custom-made Pearl drum kit that was used by KISS drummer Eric Singer sold for $75,000.

To see all the items and what they sold for, click here.

Global, U.S. Ad Spending to Hit Records on COVID Rebound: Forecast

The economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will lead to a record 14 percent gain in global advertising spending this year to a record $657 billion, according to the latest forecast from media investment and intelligence company Magna. That would be above the 12.5 percent gain recorded in 2000, and a significant increase from Magna’s […]

The economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will lead to a record 14 percent gain in global advertising spending this year to a record $657 billion, according to the latest forecast from media investment and intelligence company Magna.

That would be above the 12.5 percent gain recorded in 2000, and a significant increase from Magna’s previous forecast for an 8 percent increase.

“In the U.S., media companies’ net advertising revenues will reach a new all-time high of $259 billion in 2021,” growing 15 percent, the strongest growth rate in 40 years, the firm said in a summary of its projections.

The predicted global ad gain of $78 billion in 2021 follows a decline of 2.5 percent in 2020. “The marketplace will continue to grow in 2022,” Magna said, estimating a 7 percent gain. “Advertising activity is fueled by economic recovery (global GDP +6.4 percent) benefitting key ad-spending verticals severely hit by COVID-19 last year (automotive, travel, entertainment, restaurants),  stronger-than-ever organic drivers to digital marketing and international sports events (Tokyo Olympics, UEFA Euro).”

Digital ad formats will capture most of the growth with ad sales here expected to rise 20 percent to $419 billion, 64 percent of total ad sales, according to Magna’s report. “Linear ad sales are slower to recover but will stabilize full-year (+3 percent to $238 billion).”

All 70 ad markets it monitors will grow this year, with expected increases in China (16 percent) and the UK (17 percent) being among the largest, Magna said.

The U.S. ad gain of $34 billion this year will come as digital ad sales will grow 20 percent and non-political linear ad sales will rise 4 percent, Magna said. In 2022, it expects further U.S. growth of 8 percent to $280 billion,” thanks to continued economic growth (GDP growth between 3.5 and 4.3 percent) and more cyclical drivers (Winter Olympics in the first quarter, mid-term elections in the fourth quarter 2022).”

“As economic recovery is stronger and faster than anticipated in several of the world’s largest ad markets – U.S., U.K. and China, in particular – and consumption accelerates, brands need to reconnect with consumers,” explained Vincent Létang, executive vp, global market research at Magna. “At the same time, the acceleration in e-commerce and digital marketing adoption that started during COVID, continues full speed into 2021, fueling digital advertising spending from consumer brands as well as small and direct-to-consumer businesses. This unique combination of cyclical, organic and structural drivers will lead to the strongest advertising annual growth ever monitored by Magna.”

The firm also addressed recent media mega-mergers. “Linear ad sales still represent the bulk of ad revenues for traditional media owners and their continued stagnation will trigger a wave of consolidation in the media industry, aimed at competing with digital media players,” it said. “Traditional media companies have no choice but to grow in scale in order to compete with digital media giants and invest in cross-platform advertising solutions. Traditional media owners are moving now as they believe antitrust authorities are ready to consider market shares in the broader media market and thus approve horizontal consolidations that would have been unthinkable just five years ago.:

Added Magna: “The U.S. TV market remains relatively fragmented following the merger of Warner and Discovery: The top three TV ad vendors (currently NBC, ViacomCBS and Warner/Discovery) will control just 60 percent of the U.S. TV advertising market, compared to 90 percent-plus for the top three broadcasters in most other advanced markets. Moreover, they will control only 15 percent of the broader, cross-platform ad market compared to 30 percent for Google or 16 percent for Facebook. Media consolidation is global, and international markets remain a step ahead as the top two French broadcasters (combined market share 90 percent) just announced their own merger plans.”

John Gabriel, Actor on ‘Ryan’s Hope,’ Dies at 90

John Gabriel, the actor and singer who portrayed the controlling Dr. Seneca Beaulac for the first 10 years of the ABC soap opera Ryan’s Hope, has died. He was 90. Gabriel died Friday at his home in New York of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, his actress daughter Andrea Gabriel (Lost) told The Hollywood Reporter. On Instagram, she […]

John Gabriel, the actor and singer who portrayed the controlling Dr. Seneca Beaulac for the first 10 years of the ABC soap opera Ryan’s Hope, has died. He was 90.

Gabriel died Friday at his home in New York of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, his actress daughter Andrea Gabriel (Lost) told The Hollywood Reporter.

On Instagram, she wrote: “It is with an unspeakably heavy heart that I share the news of my father’s passing. John Gabriel was my hero, my role model, and my champion, but above all, my daddy. … I will love you forever.”

Gabriel appeared in the John Wayne starrer El Dorado (1966) — and co-wrote the film’s title song with Nelson Riddle — and had a recurring role as WJM-TV sportscaster Andy Rivers on CBS’ The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

He played The Professor on the original pilot for CBS’ Gilligan’s Island, filmed on the Hawaiian island of Kauai in November 1963, but Russell Johnson wound up with the part when the show made it to the air the following September. (Two other actors, Nancy McCarthy and Kit Smythe, were dumped as well.)

“It was the first time in my adult life that I remember weeping,” he once said. “And I think part of that has to do with the fact that I built this thing up to such a degree it was going to be my breakthrough.”

Gabriel portrayed Seneca, chief of staff at New York’s Riverside Hospital, on Ryan’s Hope from 1975 through 1985, then returned as the show was wrapping up in 1988-89. He received an Emmy nomination for outstanding actor in a daytime drama series in 1980.

At the start of the show, Seneca had come to New York in pursuit of his wife, Nell (Diana Van der Vlis), who had left him. After he participated in her mercy killing, he married attorney Jill Coleridge (Nancy Addison Altman), who had defended him in the murder trial.

Gabriel was born on May 25, 1931, in Niagara Falls, New York. His parents owned a grocery store. He acted in plays at UCLA and, after a stint in the U.S. Air Force, was signed to a contract at 20th Century Fox, where he was given small roles in the 1958 films The Young Lions and The Hunters.

He appeared on such TV series as Surfside 6, Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip and The Flying Nun and worked on Broadway in The Happy Time — as Robert Goulet’s standby — and Applause before landing on Ryan’s Hope.

Gabriel acted on other soaps, too, including Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, Loving, The Bold and the Beautiful and Generations, and on other shows like Murder, She Wrote, Seinfeld and Law & Order.

He also produced Charles Grodin‘s talk show for CNBC in 1995 and released an album of pop standards, From John With Love, in 1998. (He served as an opening nightclub act for Joan Rivers.)

In addition to Andrea, survivors include his wife of 52 years, actress Sandy Gabriel, who played Edna Thornton on ABC’s All My Children; another actress daughter, Melissa; sons-in-law Greg and Chris; and grandsons Michael and Brendan.

June 14 Updated with details of John Gabriel’s death and other survivors.