Motion picture entertainment is always shifting. It went from theaters to TV to cable and now to digital streaming. Each change has given consumers’ new advantages. The latest, streaming services, offer users the ultimate flexibility to watch movies when and where they want.
Major entertainment distributors are taking note and adjusting accordingly. HBO Now is a streaming service of the cable channel. Disney Plus is a streaming service that allows an entertainment conglomerate to control content from all its subsidiaries and CBS All Access is a streaming service for a traditional TV network.
Monthly Plan Prices
- HBO Now | $14.99
- Netflix HD Quality Plan | $12.99
- Disney Plus | $12.99
- Hulu (without ads) | $11.99
- Showtime | $10.99
- Prime Video only | $8.99
- Hulu (with ads) | $5.99
- CBS All Access | $5.99
- Prime Video | 14,210
- Netflix | 3,803
- Hulu | 1,437
- HBO | 926
- Showtime | 489
- Prime Video | 2,317
- Netflix | 1,966
- Hulu | 1,931
- HBO | 189
- Showtime | 70
Quantity doesn’t always mean quality. Just because Prime Video has the most movies and TV shows does not mean it has the best titles. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are nearly equal when it comes to the number of “high quality” movies offered as defined by Reelgood – a “high quality” movie as has an IMDB rating of 7.5 or higher.
High Quality Movies
- Prime Video | 125
- Netflix | 124
- Hulu | 52
- HBO | 32
- Showtime | 32
With this information, you can make an informed decision about where to spend your entertainment dollars.
British actor Sacha Baron Cohen has been known throughout his career for playing silly, politically incorrect and at times extremely controversial characters. In his self-created films such as Borat and Bruno and in his role in Talladega Nights as well as in his TV work as Ali-G and on his recent show Who is America,
his hilarious, yet slightly disturbing roles define Cohen.
Resume aside, Sacha is returning in a new Netflix, 6-episode mini series, The Spy
that is a very serious role.
The series is based on true events. Cohen plays the role of Eli Cohen (not related), an Israeli accountant who infiltrated Syria as a deep cover Mossad agent for six years in the 60’s. The older Cohen was behind enemy lines gathering information about Syria’s military plans while posing as Kamel Amin Thaabet, a patriotic Syrian shipping magnate. Like Sacha Baron Cohen’s movie characters, Eli Cohen got results by going deep into character, but for real. Cohen playing the role of a undercover spy is rather poetic. The Spy
is now available on Netflix.
In a significant increase, Netflix has announced that it will release ten films in theaters this fall with the intention of competing for the Oscars. The service has made movies for the Oscars before including well respected films Beasts of No Nation in 2015, then Roma, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Mowgli in 2018. The schedule for 2019 follows (First Date is Theatre Date, Second Date is Netflix Date):
- The Launderette with Meryl Streep – Sep 7 | Oct 18
- Dolemite Is My Name with Eddie Murphy – Oct 4 | Oct 25
- The King with Robert Pattinson – Oct 11 | Nov 1
- Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman with Robert de Niro – Nov 1 | Nov 27
- Earthquake Bird with Alicia Vikander –
Nov 1 | Nov 15
- Marriage Story with Scarlett Johansson – Nov 6 | Dec 6
- Klaus -animated – Nov 8 |Nov 15
- I Lost My Body – French animated – Nov 15 | Nov 29
- Atlantics – French drama – Nov 15 | Nov 29
- The Two Popes with Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce – Nov 27 | Dec 20
We have been learning more and more about Disney+ weekly as the company continues to release new information ahead of its November 12th release date. We reported a ton of announcements regarding content last week and now we have some information on their streaming limits.
One Disney+ account will be given permission to stream on up to 10 devices – sounds like a generous offer next to Netflix, which allows permission for only 1, 2, or 4 devices. Example: If you have a Disney+ account on your TV, your iPhone, and iPad, you’re at three right off the bat. Let’s assume a family of four has Disney+ on each of their phones and on a TV in each of their bedrooms, that’s 7. Throw the family room into the mix and it’s up to 8.
Disney’s Special Labor Day Weekend Offer:
Disney Club members can sign up for a 3-year package of Disney+ over Labor Day Weekend for a cost of $141, a package that will cost regular folks $70 a year or $210 for 3-years.
On its November 12th
US launch, Disney + will offer 300 movie titles, a number that will grow to 500 in the first year, and 7,500 TV episodes. The service will be the exclusive home for all Disney theatrical releases going forward. At launch you’ll see Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World
as well as Star Wars films The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back
and Return of the Jedi
, The Force Awakens
and Rogue One
. Avengers: Endgame
will come on December 11th
Also coming are several original series: a live-action Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian, an Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor, three Marvel series called Ms Marvel, Moon Knight and She-Hulk. Then there’s Muppets Now and a Lizzy McGuire revival.
Other New Shows at Launch
Forky Asks a Question
Marvel’s Hero Project
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
The Imagineering Story
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
Year One Movies
Ant-man and the Wasp
Avengers: Infinity War
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Guardians of the Galaxy
Iron Man 2
From Star Wars
The Last Jedi,
Solo and The Rise of Skywalker
Toy Story 4
Year One Original Shows
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Monsters at Work
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2
Be Our Chef
Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies (working title)
Diary of a Female President
Magic of Animal Kingdom
Shop Class (working title)
Year One Original Movies
The Phineas and Ferb Movie (working title)
Day One Film Library
A Bug’s Life
A Goofy Movie
An Extremely Goofy Movie
Big Hero 6
Born in China
Fun and Fancy Free
High School Musical
Honey I Shrunk the Kids
Lady and the Tramp
Lilo & Stitch
Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Pixar Short Films Collection Vol 1
Remember the Titans
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens
The Good Dinosaur
The Little Mermaid
The Parent Trap (1961)
The Prince & The Pauper (1990)
The Princess Diaries
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (short)
The Sword in the Stone
The Three Caballeros
Thor: The Dark World
Day One TV Library
Andi Mack (seasons one-three)
Boy Meets World
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan
Dr. K’s Exotic Animals
Dr. Oakley Yukon Vet
Drain the Ocean
DuckTales (2016, season one)
Howie Mandel’s Animals Doing Things
Malcolm in the Middle
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (animated series)
Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man (animated series)
Mickey and the Roadster Racers (seasons one and two)
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Mickey Mouse Shorts
One Strange Rock
Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue
Star Wars Rebels
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (series)
That’s So Raven
The Incredible Dr. Pol
Unlikely Animal Friends
After much speculation from the fan base, Disney finally unveiled something at the D23 Expo 2019: a self-promoting documentary series titled “One Day at Disney.” This series will take viewers behind the scenes with the Walt Disney Company performers who bring the magic to life in Disney Parks, Disney Theaters and Walt Disney Imagining. Those featured in the Disney documentary are:
● Eric Baker – a Walt Disney Imagineer who has overseen the creation of detailed props within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the newest land at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.
● Ashley Girdich – a Research and Development Project Manager who helps teams execute innovative robotics technology projects at Disney parks.
● Eric Goldberg – an animator known for creating the Genie in Aladdin, Phil in Hercules, and animating Mickey Mouse in the short film Get a Horse! directing “Pocahontas”
● Mark Gonzales – a worker on the world-famous Disneyland Railroad.
● Grace Lee – a Senior Illustration Manager at Disney Worldwide Publishing.
● Zamavus “Zama” Magudulela – a South African actor currently playing Rafiki in The Lion King.
● Ryan Meinerding – Marvel Studio’s Head of Visual Development.
● Dr. Natalie Mylniczenko – a Veterinarian who cares for creatures large and small at Walt Disney World Resort.
● Jerome Ranft – a Pixar artist who created detailed sculptures for animators to use in films including Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3 and Ratatouille.
● Robin Roberts – a former ESPN sportscaster who has been co-anchoring on Good Morning America since 2005.
The Roku Channel is a two-year-old streaming service with 30.5 million users is offering a new Kids and Family portal, which is going live the week of August 19th.
Rob Holmes, VP of programming and engagement for Roku said, “We recognize that it can be a challenge to find quality kids and family entertainment across multiple streaming channels, particularly free, ad-supported options.”
With that in mind, Roku has bundled 7,000 free, ad-supported movies and TV episodes and they promise the ad intrusions will be 60% less than on standard TV. Participating programmers include: Hasbro Company, DHX Media, Happy Kids TV, Lionsgate, Mattel, Moonbug and pocket.watch, among others. Brands include: Care Bears, The Cat in the Hat, Leapfrog, Little Baby Bum, My Little Pony, Rev & Roll, Super Mario Brothers and Thomas and Friends. Premium channel viewers will see even more options.
Roku’s new family friendly portal includes a PIN-based system for parents to monitor the content their children watch. The free-to-consumer, ad-supported content is the advantage Roku brings to the market against some fierce completion from the paid offerings of Netflix and Disney+.
If money equals success, our friends at Apple are going for it. The Financial Times reports that the company is increasing its budget for content from $1 billion – which sounds a lot like Netflix’s reported budget for this year – to $5 billion. With that bankroll they’ll assure themselves of a competitive position against Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Hulu and Disney +.
One particular Apple program, The Morning Show, is reportedly budgeted at $300 million for just the first two seasons, which makes it more expensive than HBO’s Games of Thrones that is estimated to have cost a mere $15 million a season. The math says one season of The Morning Show will cost more than the entire run of Thrones. Nuts.
Apple is throwing big money and a-list talent into its efforts to establish a dominant position in the streaming industry. Jennifer Anniston, Steve Carell and Reese Witherspoon lead in The Morning Show cast while producing talent like Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg are also contributing content. An interesting side story that comes out of all this content expansion is the need for lots of talent, both back stage and in front of the camera. There will be fewer starving actors in the future.
Companies such as Comcast, Warner Media and Walt Disney are trying to compete with Netflix in their video streaming services. In order to do this, they are looking at the rights to use Seinfeld
, a hugely famous retired comedy show which is has its streaming rights up for sale again. Seinfeld
has been available for streaming on Hulu since 2015. Retired shows with well-established fame are heavily competed over between streaming companies; these shows include not only Seinfeld
, but also the Office
. Netflix has given much trouble to the traditional TV industry by offering a streaming alternative to the traditional method of distribution.
Hulu’s ownership of streaming rights to Seinfeld
ends in 2021. Sony Pictures Television handles the distribution of streaming rights to Seinfeld
. The company is already getting calls about these rights. The bidding process for the Seinfeld
streaming rights is expected to begin in the next few weeks. Netflix has already been beat by competition for streaming rights for the Office
. NBCUniversal bought streaming rights for the Office
for the next five years for $500 million. Warner Media paid $425 million for five years of streaming rights over Friends
. The future will show how much profit these streaming rights will generate for these massive companies.
Friends is looking to celebrate the big quarter century anniversary in a big way. The famous television series will release some never before seen footage and episodes in a select number of theaters across the globe. On the 23rd and 28th of September, and the 2nd of October the cinemas will air four episodes per night, each night.
Tickets and participating theaters lists are out, and ticket sales will begin on August 16th. For the Friends fan who has seen every episode time and time again, the time for new content has finally come!