What Matters in Hollywood Today

7:27 AM 3/5/2018

by Ray Rahman

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

What's news: Everything at the Oscars you didn't see on TV. Plus: Black Panther tries to woo China, Get Out rules the Spirit Awards, Alec Baldwin's new talk show debuts on ABC and YouTube unwittingly incites Alex Jones. — Ray Rahman

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  • Oscars Ratings

    Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    The early numbers are in...

    Not great so far: Per the early ratings, the Oscars are eyeing a new low: Overnight returns give the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 overnight rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Compared to the same stat for 2017, the night the wrong best picture winner was named, that's down a significant 16 percent. However, the 2018 number doesn't yet reflect the hour of the show where the biggest awards were handed out. Read more.

    Daniel Fienberg's review: It probably should have been clear from Kimmel's often amusing, but thoroughly all-over-the-map opening monologue that this was going to attempt to be an all-things-for-all-people night for the Academy.

    Over roughly 220 minutes, it was a show that featured hilarious moments that could have gone on for twice as long and extended dead-air comic bits that should have been cut in dress rehearsal. It was a show in which nearly every winner had been exhaustively pre-ordained by the endless awards season, but one in which first-time and long-overdue winners still brought the crowd to its feet. It was a show of empowering and emotional speeches and inspirational recipients often back-to-back with figures whose embrace went against everything the show's politics seemed to stand for. Full review.

    What the cameras missed: Some of the best parts of last night weren't shown on TV. There was an impromptu reunion of The Help, for instance, as well as a Lin-Manuel Miranda-Timothee Chalamet photo shoot and a jumping-for-joy Keegan-Michael Key. See them all.

    Mistakes were made: Every year, the Oscars in memoriam tribute leaves out some beloved names — and this year was no different, as Adam West, Glen Campbell, Della Reese, Robert Guillaume and John Mahoney were among the late stars that were skipped. See the full list.

    The parties: Jamie Foxx dancing at the Mercedes Benz event. Kobe Bryant getting his trophy engraved. Sam Rockwell celebrating with Richard Jenkins while Wolfgang Puck serves up Oscar-shaped smoked salmon. That's just some of what happened last night. Oscars party diary.

    Studio wins, by the numbers: Fox Searchlight, 6; Warner Bros., 5; Focus Features, 3; Disney, 2; Sony, 2 (shared with Warner Bros. for co-producing Blade Runner 2049); Sony Pictures Classics, 2, Universal, 1; Neon/30 West, 1, Netflix, 1.

    Oscars box-office tally: Shape of Water happens to be the highest-grossing best-picture winner since Argo won five years ago. Shape, to date, has grossed  $57.4 million domestically and $126.4 million worldwide — a solid sum for a specialty player, though not as big as Argo, a major studio release that earned $136 million domestically and $232 million worldwide for Warner Bros.

    (Miss last night's special edition Oscars newsletter? There's much more red carpet, ceremony and party details here.)

    Meanwhile, at the weekend box office ...

    Black Panther reigns: The Marvel movie amassed another $65.7 million in its third outing to leap past the $500 million mark in North America and has earned nearly $900 million worldwide, making it the top movie for a third weekend in a row.

    More records: Black Panther now claims the titles for the tenth biggest picture of all time domestically, not adjusted for inflation; third-biggest weekend in history behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($90.2 million) and Avatar ($68.5 million); and the No. 3 superhero pic of all time behind The Dark Knight ($534.9M), which it will soon pass, and fellow Marvel title The Avengers ($623.4M), which it could also ultimately top.

    The rest: Jennifer Lawrence’s Red Sparrow took in an estimated $17 million, while Bruce Willis’ Death Wish opened to an estimated $13 million. Full story.

    The Spirit Awards happened, too ...

    Best moments: One day before the Oscars, the 33rd annual Film Independent Spirit Awards took place in Santa Monica, where returning hosts Nick Kroll and John Mulaney told provocative Harvey Weinstein and Brett Ratner stories, while Andy Samberg sang a fake memorandum dressed as Judd Nelson's character from The Breakfast Club. On top of that, there was a Kumail Nanjiani teleprompter mishap, and Kristen Wiig in a skit as an old lady. Highlights | MonologueWhat the cameras missed.

    The winners: Get Out was the day's big victor, taking home best feature and best director for Jordan Peele, while Lady Bird, Three Billboards and Call Me By Your Name also performed well. Winners list | All the speeches.

    Salma Hayek pulls no punches: “I should mention this award has never gone to a shithole nation because there are no shithole nations,” Hayek yelled into the mic to a crowd of cheers as she introduced the best international film award. Read more.

    Elsewhere in film ...

    Mary Poppins is coming: The first trailer for Mary Poppins Returns debuted during the Oscars last night, finally giving fans an extended peek at what the remake — starring Emily Blunt alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep and Ben Whishaw in a sharp green cardigan — will look like. Watch.

    The Razzies: During the other other awards show this weekend, the producers put on a special "in memoriam" segment — not for those who died but for Hollywood men accused of sexual misconduct, including Woody Allen, Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein. Watch.

    Watch THR's first-ever live roundtable with Margot Robbie, Bryan Cranston, Octavia Spencer and more. Video.

  • Baldwin's Big Weekend

    Heidi Gutman/ABC

    You couldn't miss a certain Trump impressionist if you tried the last couple days ...

    Debut: Throughout last night's hourlong premiere of Sundays With Alec Baldwin on ABC, the actor engaged in in-depth conversations with both Jerry Seinfeld and Kate McKinnon as they touched on topics that ranged from pivotal moments in their career, the #MeToo movement and Harvey Weinstein, whom the pair joked was "perfectly cast in the role," a jab at the disgraced mogul's appearance. Read more.

    Baldwin on Spacey: "It’s always so sad to watch people self-destruct. Even though they’re horrible people, some of them. Like Kevin Spacey," Baldwin said at one point. "I love Kevin, but Kevin was a big fan of [Kevin]. Kevin was the president of Kevin’s fan club."

    SNL return: After telling THR that playing Trump was "agony" — and then getting in a subsequent Twitter battle with the president over it — Baldwin nonetheless revived the impersonation on Saturday, flanked by Alex Moffat's Mike Pence and Cecily Strong's Dianne Feinstein for a cold-open sketch zinging Trump's gun-control meeting. Watch.

    Elsewhere on SNL ...

    The Grabbies: The show once again targeted Hollywood’s sexual harassment scandals with an awards ceremony sketch called "Harassment Awards." Presented by the so-called "Academy of Sexual Harassment in Hollywood," the ceremony — dubbed the Grabbies — honored the industry's top harassers, complete with awards made up of golden groping hands. Video.

    YouTube's Alex Jones snafu ...

    Pulled: Paramount Network and 20th Century Fox have pulled ads for their companies that appeared on the YouTube channels of Alex Jones' conspiracy-happy right-wing website Infowars without their knowledge. Fox has asked YouTube for a refund of money made from the advertisements. Paramount Network says it is adjusting its "brand safety filters" to prevent ads from appearing on channels like Infowars' again.

    Fox: “We were unaware of this ad placement and upon learning of it, immediately had it taken down. Our existing YouTube ad filters should have prevented this placement and we are having further conversations with YouTube now to make sure this never happens again.”

    Paramount: “It was not the intent of Paramount or its media agency to run within that specific YouTube channel. Though the media inventory that ran was minimal (estimated to be less than $20 dollars), we have pulled all advertising from the channel and have adjusted our campaign’s brand safety filters to ensure channels such as this are not included in our campaigns.”

    And then: As advertisers fled, Alex Jones started telling his followers that "YouTube was planning on deleting his channel, which has nearly 2.3 million subscribers and thousands of videos," Gizmodo reported — but his claims seem to be false. YouTube denied the charges; the channel is still up.

    Elsewhere in TV ...

    Sky calls 9-1-1: The European pay TV giant has acquired Ryan Murphy's Fox procedural for its Sky Living and Now TV streaming service in the U.K. and Ireland. 

    House of Cards, sans Spacey: The Netflix series dropped its first look at the upcoming sixth and final season, and, as expected, Robin Wright takes her place in the Oval Office with defiance in the trailer — with no mention or sight of Kevin Spacey. Watch.

    Walking Dead: Some stuff went down on last night's episode. What's next for Rick and Negan after all of this? Josh Wigler forecasts the future of these foes. 

    ► Rep Sheet Roundup: Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner have left UTA for CAA. … Sienna Miller has returned to WME after a year at CAA. … Cultural critic Ira Madison III has signed with WME, as has Chinese actress Yu Nan. … Oscar-nominated Last Men in Aleppo documentarian Feras Fayyad has signed with Black Box Management. … GLOW's Betty Gilpin has signed with Anonymous Content. … Tyrese Gibson has signed with Joanne Horowitz Management. More here.

  • Can 'Black Panther' Conquer China?

    At nearly $900 million worldwide and counting, Ryan Coogler's blockbuster faces a final challenge to “conventional wisdom” in the world's second-largest film market. Patrick Brzeski writes:

    As it's prowled the globe, Panther has tracked down and slain Hollywood's conventional “wisdom” that movies led by black casts don't sell well overseas. Following a strong $12.9 million first week in Russia, it opened way ahead of Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy in Japan with $4.2 million, while also adding to hefty totals in South Korea ($36 million) and most of Southeast Asia. But before its high-stakes China bow, some analysts are still wondering if race could play a role in Panther's performance in the Middle Kingdom.

    Latent tensions over this question came to the fore days before the film's U.S. release, when a Chinese-language character poster for Panther emerged online showing Chadwick Boseman's hero with his face concealed by his character's headgear. Since the U.S. version of the same poster showed Boseman both masked and unmasked, some observers naturally began to speculate that Disney might be trying to downplay the film's African origins in China because of assumptions about the local audience.

    The allegation proved to be false, however: Disney quickly pointed out that it had nothing to do with the poster — the image was unofficial fan art generated during a pitching competition held by a media agency in Taiwan. But the incident highlighted the scrutiny that was sure to follow the film's rollout and reception overseas. Read more.

    What else we're reading, Oscars edition ...

    — "In the new world of the Oscars, surprises are a thing of the past." Kenneth Turan writes: "A night like this has been headed our way for quite some time as the world of Oscar prognostication has grown over the years from a genial hobby to a serious business practiced by crack teams of experts." [L.A. Times]

    — "The Oscars were a mess, but they (eventually) found a message." Mark Harris writes: "For a while — almost its entire first half — these Academy Awards felt like they were tonally nothing." [Vulture]

    — "Hollywood's brazen self-celebration." Richard Brody writes: "The most prominent intersectionality reflected in this year’s awards is the one that [Kumail] Nanjiani suggests, the intersection of doing good while getting rich." [New Yorker]

    — "Some self-examination among the self-celebration." James Poniewozik writes: "Despite the recent upheaval in Hollywood, the ceremony at large still focused mainly on celebration and glitter literally, in the case of the blinding set, which looked as if the ceremony were encased in an enormous geode." [New York Times]

    — "Inclusivity reigned at the Oscars. Except when it didn't." Dan D'Addario writes: "The fundamentals of the ceremony, despite dashes of energy that felt risky and daring, had changed little even as the industry the ceremony honored had begun to change a lot." [Time]

    — "The Academy reckons with the #MeToo moment in a long, charged Oscars ceremony." Richard Lawson writes: "For a show that was so urgent, so pointed, so charged, it did conclude with something of a whimper." [Vanity Fair]

    — "A long, cheerful Oscars celebrated new generations." Darren Franich writes: "My controversial opinion, I guess, is that the Oscars should always be long." [EW]

    — "A year after envelope pandemonium, a ho-hum night is just what the Oscars ordered." Linda Holmes writes: "For the most part, it turned out to be a predictable evening, with nothing that qualified as much of a surprise." [NPR]

    The week ahead ...

    Tuesday: Oprah at the Apollo airs on OWN.

    Wednesday: Hard Sun debuts on Hulu. ... Life Sentence debuts on The CW.

    Thursday: Jessica Jones season two drops on Netflix.

    Friday: A Wrinkle in Time, Gringo and The Hurricane Heist hit theaters nationwide ... Love season three drops on Netflix. ... Sneaky Pete season two drops on Amazon.

    Today's birthdays: Riki Lindhome, 39, Eva Mendes, 44, Aasif Mandvi, 52, Penn Jillette, 63.