New releases baffle analysts, ‘Business Insider’ tells all on Moviepass

As expected, Hobbs & Shaw spent the second of what could be many weekends atop the box office with $25.3 million, but the bevy of new wide releases surprised analysts last weekend. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark led new releases with$20.9 million, a huge overperformance that secured a no. 2 finish, while Dora the Explorer fell to fourth place with $17.4 million behind The Lion King in its fourth weekend. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in its third weekend finished at no. 5, newcomer The Art of Racing in the Rain came in at no. 6 with $8.1 million, about as expected, and The Kitchen dramatically underperformed, falling to no. 7 with just $5.5 million- Box Office Mojo

Over a long career as a beloved director that seems mostly defined by yearning for rumored projects that never panned out, Scary Stories producer Guillermo del Toro has begun to pass the director’s chair more often and is beginning to see more of his projects come to fruition- Variety

Universal has cancelled the release of The Hunt, which had been scheduled for Sept. 27, in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. The satire/comedy film featurs wealthy elites who kidnapped Americans and hunt them for sport- The New York Times

Director/actor Nate Parker’s second feature, American Skin, will premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Parker’s debut film, Birth of a Nation, which earned audience awards and the richest distribution deal in Sundance Film Festival history in January 2016, was marred before its release that August when sexual assault allegations against Parker resurfaced. The film was a box office failure- Variety

Disney has announced it will bundle its new streaming service, Disney+, with ESPN+ and Hulu for $12.99 when it launches on Nov. 12. That’s the exact same price as the standard, two-screens Netflix package. Begun, the streaming war has- The Verge

In just as important a volley, Netflix signed Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to produce content, beating out Amazon, HBO and Disney for their services- The New York Times

A new study finds that the number of American households with a cable television subscription is shrinking rapidly and may dip below 50% within the next few years- The Hollywood Reporter

And finally, the astonishing true story of Moviepass, from its boom from 20,000 to 100,000 subscribers over just two days in July 2017 to its collapse from 3 million to just 225,000 starting in July 2018. This modern-day business epic of ambition, corporate takeover and fraud is well worth the price of the premium article- Business Insider

Moviepass is all but gone now, but its booming year of 2018 coincided with record box office highs while being sandwiched between the 25-year low of 2017 and a 2019 that isn’t doing too hot, and theaters understand that’s no coincidence. All three major theater chains have developed comparable subscription services, with Cinemark and AMC reporting a significant amount of business through their plan- The Hollywood Reporter

Leopold Knopp is a UNT graduate. If you liked this post, you can donate to Reel Entropy here. Like Reel Entropy on Facebook and reach out to me at

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