Hollywood Executives Discuss Viewership Reporting Standards from Streaming to Box Office | Close Up

Hollywood Executives Discuss Viewership Reporting Standards from Streaming to Box Office | Close Up


(upbeat music) – Netflix has really thrived
by putting the customer first, and doing everything for the customer. But I will say one thing that the customer likes is to know what movies are hits, and what movies aren’t. And Netflix has been adamant about not releasing viewership numbers. Why will Netflix not do that? Why is that important?
– Well, we’re moving towards it. I mean now, since I’ve been there, we tell all the filmmakers. But I also think part of it was just the aspirational way that Ted
and Cindy built the TV side, which Jenn understands
coming from Network TV. When they built it, it was
for television creators to get out of ratings, and get out of standards and practices and actually free up their narrative form. So that they could actually tell stories that they weren’t completely every week, night after night those numbers. So the methodology was right,
and now as we’ve grown, and we see that people want it, particularly in our
business, we’re used to it, every newscast and every
local market it’s top five, it’s what we strive for, and frankly I think we all
get better through failure. It makes you sharper,
it makes you you win, so we’re okay with it. We don’t like it, but it
makes us all come back so we’re definitely, as
a company, moving more and you’ll see more of it. We do it in some of our earnings reports and we’re gonna be doing it more and more because that creator and
that filmmaker and that actor and that actress wanna know
that their movie got out there globally, in a big way. – So, I’ll ask some of the others, why is it so important to
release box office numbers? – (laughing) I think
there’s a number of reasons why it’s helpful, I mean,
it is helpful as a measure, it’s helpful as an industry measure, it’s helpful to, I think,
sort of keep us all honest in terms of what we’re making movies for and really what they’re doing. I think it’s helpful for the
creative talent, you know, for that narrative to be out there. – I can’t stand it, you know? – Yeah, I mean that’s why– (speakers talk over each other) I don’t love it either.
– It’s not by choice, so if you guys would like
to stop reporting on it, (laughing)
I’d be very happy. – Well there’s a (mumbles) party here, in the theaters and– – I’d be very happy to
stop reading about it. I think it reinforces,
going to something earlier, I think that popularity
and quality are not always, go hand in hand and I also
think, to tell you the truth, many times the obsession
that the media has, and we’re guilty too ’cause
we feed it when it suits us, of what movie is first
and what movie is second and what movie is third,
is very unhealthy. – [Donna] That’s what I was gonna say. – It bounces, did people go
and did the audience like it? That’s what matters. – I think this obsession with the ranking, like what opened number one, which feels like a
relatively new phenomenon, is ridiculous, because we all
know the economics of a movie or the story of a movie,
success or failure, is not born on opening weekend, you know? – It also takes you back to, you know, network television isn’t
involved in the overnight ratings that send so many
reporting on those numbers that when the viewing habits are changed, and these shows were
being watched globally and were hugely popular,
but they were being given a report card every
morning that they were DOA. Which then creates perception and then the company starts
worrying about, you know, how solvent the show is
and it sent a lot of shows to an early graveyard, reporting that way, when you learnt later of
course, they were all being pirated all over the world, now we can monetize those things, so the tail end, the
tail on all the success of these things, whether it be a movie or a television series, is years long. Look at your own
intentions inside your head of everything you wanna engage with, we’ll be lucky if we’re all alive to be able to see half of it. So, I think it’s just hard
to really be a judge and jury on the success of things– – When we dated the Quinton movie, I knew a year in advance,
because it was the second week of Lion King, that absolutely,
positively that movie would not be number one. – Number one, right. – And the conversation we had
to have with the filmmakers was, “Understand, you won’t be number one. “We’ll try to get your
biggest opening ever, “but even if we get your
biggest opening ever, “I promise you, you will not be number one “but I also promise you it’s
a great day for the movie. “And we need to ignore that
and put the movie on–” (speaker is drowned out) – It’s also a competition between things that are not the same thing, it’s like having a best animal contest around a waterhole and where an elephant couldn’t be more different from a giraffe. There’s nothing similar
about some of these movies we’re releasing. His film was very different
from our Lion King film, and we have films that go out on a weekend and then we’ve paid hundreds
of millions of dollars to make it in the first place, we’re competing against something that cost 20 million dollars
and yet they ranked it, this obsession with ranking
and box office and all that, I think it comes not from
us, I think it comes to us. – Our slates are all gonna be judged, we all work for public companies that we’re judged on a
quarterly and an annual basis, but the short term focus
on it can sort of often not give movies the chance,
the platform release has kind of gone away,
which was another way to give films a chance, so
it’s just making it harder and harder, and even when they talk about, a lot of the press, tries to
focus on the profitability of films, which makes sense,
but not to the consumer. The consumer’s paying the
same price for a ticket, whether it’s a 30
million dollar movie or a 300 million dollar movie. – And of course, the thing
that matters in profitability is where you finish, not where you start. – Yeah.
– Right. – But the obsession is
all about where you start. To me, a much bigger story
and it’s a great credit to Tobie and his team, a much bigger story is the hold on the
second weekend (mumbles) than the first weekend,
’cause that’s gonna dictate where it’s gonna end up
in the end of the day. So, I think we would all say, notwithstanding we may run ads, let’s say the number one
movie, we’ve gotten better. – You can do that less (laughing). – You didn’t do a high five when the Tarantino movie opened and– – I was thrilled. – But you weren’t excited that everyone around town knew it. – No, no, I was thrilled. My point, that’s my point exactly, and that movie was not number one. – Right. – We were number two, (laughing) we were number two and I was
the happiest Jew in Hollywood. (laughing) – We had a great multiple. – And it’s not to blame
the press, you know, I mean obviously, when
it stalls the success we all benefit from it. One of the things we have
to manage is expectations. ‘Cause you come up to a release date and the press says, it’s gonna
open to 50 million dollars and you open to 43, and
it’s a disappointment. We never said it was gonna open to 50. We may have had our own research or tracking our own things but, you know, I think sometimes managing expectations can make a movie appear or
having excessive expectations can have something that’s quite successful look less so. (upbeat music)

23 COMMENTS

    This panel discussion is very informative. I'm glad these studio execs/heads are very frank about the true state of the movie industry.

    I’m glad that even studio execs know that sometimes trends don’t always equal quality. For example: Superhero movies.

    Fucking tom rothman takes risks only when its absolutely not a risk. The moment i saw his face , i knew that he is here to suck tarantino’s dick and prop up his movie for oscars.He is the worst guy on the panel to artists. Make no mistake. Other executives are quite upfront about making a movie or not. But that fucking snake is backstabbing motherfucker. He will keep projects on hold just so he can scrap them after 5 years.

    When I heard they filmed this roundtable, my initial thought was "why the fuck would I waste my time listening to a bunch of suits talk about films? I love art and the artists involved in filmmaking, I don't care about executives." But after watching this clip I really want to watch the entire roundtable.

    They on the low talking shit about Disney , In Alan Horn face ,but Alan got them clapbacks… This is Actually a debate

    I think the box office numbers matters because of movies like *THE JOKER*, where media tried to kill it before it was released, now it's the most profitable movie ever.

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