Paramount+ Cutting Losses, Hasbro’s FAST Dungeons & Dragons, Disney stake in Hulu, AFM Highlights and more

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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Entertainment Supply Chain Digest. Some highlights include Paramount+ slashing losses, Hasbro revolutionizing streaming with FAST Dungeons & Dragons, and Disney securing its stake in Hulu. AFM too offers a global perspective on industry trends.

Attend our webinar to explore hot trends in productions and acquisitions during the current deal season.๐ŸŒŸ

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IP Deals

Hottest IP Stories, Formats, Books, Games, Podcasts to be turned into the next big blockbuster
  • Amazon MGM Studios secures rights to James Ponti’s “City Spies” kids’ book series, and plans a global film franchise. The story revolves around a 12-year-old coding prodigy recruited into the City Spies, a team of overlooked kids worldwide, promising an exciting, age-diverse adventure. (๐ŸŒ)
  • Paramount+ to collaborate with BBC Studios Australia for a local version of “Top Gear”, set to debut on Paramount+ Australia in 2024. The eight-part series, produced by BBC Studios, kicks off filming later this year. (๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ)
  • Netflix greenlights “Mercy for None,” a Korean noir series starring So Ji-sub as a vengeful gang member seeking revenge for his brother’s mysterious death. Adapted from a webtoon, the K-drama promises a gripping narrative set in the crime underworld.(๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท)ย 
  • UK based Saffron Cherry Productions, secures the TV adaptation rights to Chris Heath’s audio sitcom “Cat/Person”. The series follows Matthew, navigating post-divorce life with a witty rescue cat named Hobson, and promises a humorous exploration of human-feline dynamics. (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)
  • Bongo, the Bangladeshi streaming service, partners with Sony Pictures Television to produce a local version of the reality series, “Shark Tank”. (๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ)

Production Deals

Sneak peak into recently announced production projects worldwide
  • S4C partners with Whisper Cymru for “From Street to Scrum,” a six-part rugby docuseries featuring T1 rugby, a new non-contact game by World Rugby. Inexperienced players from diverse backgrounds are guided by former Welsh Rugby Union star Scott Quinnell, and embark on a journey to learn the sport. (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)
  • Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) in the UK and Ireland announces “Victorian Murder Files,” a true-crime series by Plimsoll Productions. The show explores historical murder cases with a unique blend of present-day expert insights and scripted performances, drawing parallels between past and present crimes. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)
  • Rohit Shetty Picturez, Jio Studios, Ajay Devgn FFilms, Reliance Entertainment, and Cinergy Pictures join forces for “Singham Again,” expanding the action-packed cop universe. Introducing new characters played by Deepika Padukone and Tiger Shroff, the film features Ranveer Singh reprising his role as Simbha. (๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ)”
  • BBC Northern Ireland unveils “Tara Mills: Life After Loss,” a documentary where presenter Tara Mills explores the impact of her brother Richard’s suicide, shedding light on the mental health crisis in Northern Ireland. (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)
  • Japanese director Kurosawa Kiyoshi is adapting his 1998 film with a French version, “Le Chemin du Serpent,” currently in post-production. The story follows a woman and a grieving father seeking revenge, teaming up to kidnap and interrogate members of an organization. (๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท)

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Webinar Highlights:

  • Tracking hot trends in productions and acquisitions during the current deal season.
  • A global perspective on what the world is producing and acquiring.
  • Insights into noteworthy developments from events like AFM and MIPCOM.
  • Deep dive into production and acquisition activities by major players such as Freemantle, Disney, Prime, Netflix, and more.
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Vitrina tracks deals and transactions in Entertainment for Content IP, Development, Productions, Acquisitions and Collaborations. Across 60+ countries.

Season Renewals

More episodes on the way! Season Renewal Announcements
  • RTVE renews ‘MasterChef’ for its S12. Produced by Shine Iberia, it has opened casting to discover the next best amateur chef in the country. (๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • Hulu and Peacock announce the renewal of animated horror series “Fright Krewe” for S02, set to premiere in 2024. Created by Eli Roth and James Frey in collaboration with DreamWorks Animation, the show continues to terrify audiences with its dark and captivating narrative. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • SBS renews “Great Australian Walks With Julia Zemiro” for a 2nd season, offering premium guided multi-day walks to explore Australia’s stunning regions in comfort. The series continues to showcase the beauty of the country through enriching outdoor experiences. (๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ)
  • Sky Kids orders a 2nd season of “BooSnoo!” the original series designed for neurodiverse audiences, featuring a 41 x seven-minute format showcasing a ball traversing various landscapes through a blend of live action, CG animation, and stop motion. Produced by Visionality and Julian Bashford’s BooSnoo! creator, in collaboration with Mackinnon & Saunders. (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)
  • Crave announces the renewal of the Letterkenny spin-off, “Shoresy”, for its 3rd season, consisting of six episodes. Produced by New Metric Media in collaboration with Play Fun Games and Crave, production is set to begin in Sudbury, Ontario, in November. (๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ)

Distribution Deals

Distributors securing worldwide content across different genres, languages and format types
  • Cornerstone seals global sales for Daniel Kokotajlo’s folk horror film ‘Starve Acre,’ post-BFI London Film Festival premiere. Brainstorm Media secures distribution rights, and Cornerstone closes deals with various international distributors.(North America ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Ex-Yugoslavia ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Middle East, ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต)
  • Filmax secures international sales for “A Moroccan Affair,” the third installment in Spain’s most successful movie franchise, at AFM. Produced by Telecinco Cinema and Lazona, the film follows a comedic family journey to Morocco, revealing cultural clashes and a hidden family secret. (๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • Autumn Sun acquires worldwide distribution rights to Chinese animated film “I am T-Rex,” directed by Shang Ming and Si Lin. It narrates the coming-of-age journey of young T-Rex Didi, who must reclaim her father’s crown with the help of her uncle and a supportive friend, coinciding with a theatrical re-release in China before the AFM. (๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ)
  • A24 secures an exclusive output deal with Happinet Phantom Studios for the distribution of its upcoming releases in Japan, including Alex Garland’s “Civil War,” set to debut at AFM. This marks A24’s first major international theatrical output deal, encompassing a diverse lineup of highly anticipated titles such as “The Iron Claw,” “Wizards!,” and “Love Lies Bleeding.” (๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • Lionsgate secures North American and UK rights for the Indian action movie “Kill,” marking a rare collaboration for a mainstream Hindi-language film with a Hollywood studio. Directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat, the film is produced by Karan Johar and Apoorva Mehta for Dharma Productions, and the deal is brokered by WME Independent. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ)

Acquisition Deals

Streamers & channels acquiring latest content across the world

Partnerships/M&A

Cross-Border Collaborations, Joint Ventures, M&A and Partnerships!
  • Warner Bros. Discovery has partnered with Taiwan Mobile and TAICCA to produce and distribute Taiwanese original content locally and globally, aiming to develop and share Taiwanese intellectual property (IP) and content in a multi-year agreement. (๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ)ย 
  • Disney to purchase Comcast’s one-third stake in Hulu for an expected $8.6 billion, solidifying Disney’s control over the streaming service, pending a 2024 fair value appraisal. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • KKR has acquired Simon & Schuster from Paramount in a $1.62 billion all-cash deal, making it the sole independent major trade publisher in the U.S., aiming to enhance its industry presence while preserving editorial excellence and author-centric focus.(๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • Little Dot Studios and History Hit have secured an exclusive multiyear content deal with Rishi Sharma, a WWII veteran interviewer and documentarian. Sharma’s extensive archive of over 2,000 frontline veteran interviews will be shared across platforms to preserve their stories as the surviving veterans’ numbers dwindle. (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)
  • Banijay UK has acquired The Forge, a prominent scripted TV producer known for shows like “The Marriage” and “Becoming Elizabeth,” enhancing Banijay UK’s scripted portfolio with a total of nine labels, including Kudos and Tiger Aspect. (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)

Companies Making Headlines

Launch and Expansions of facilities, studios, services & technologies
  • Japan’s new $6.7 million production incentives scheme, launched in September, garnered attention at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Although smaller than some other countries’ incentives, it has attracted significant interest, with the current fiscal year’s application deadline closed, and the possibility of renewal in April. (๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต)
  • CJ ENM and Manga Productions have signed an MOU for a content partnership to collaborate on producing and distributing media content, spanning animation, TV, films, webtoons, and talent development. (๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ)
  • Bell Media and FOX Entertainment Global have joined forces in a licensing and distribution pact, supporting Canadian original productions for Bell Media platforms and FOX in the US. Covering various genres, the Originals will be produced by Neshama Entertainment (๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ)
  • Paramount Global exceeded Q3 revenue expectations with strong streaming growth, adding 2.7 million subscribers to Paramount+. Despite increased streaming expenses, the company reduced losses and anticipates improved earnings from streaming in the next year.(๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • Freedom Scripted, a Glasgow indie prodco, is expanding with offices in London and Berlin and forging partnerships in these cities. The company, which received investment from Channel 4 Indie Growth Fund in 2022 and a first look deal with All3Media International in 2023, has experienced substantial growth, promoting key personnel for its expansion. (๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง)

Featured Specializations

Global innovations & breakthroughs in Entertainment supply-chain!
  • Videocraft partners with EVS for cutting-edge live production solution, LiveCeption. This strategic move marks Videocraft’s significant step in upgrading its broadcast and new media productions. (๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ)
  • Australian company White Spark Pictures has unveiled Surround Sync, a new tech business focused on deploying their groundbreaking VR technology in cinemas worldwide, facilitating VR cinema experiences and distributing third-party VR content. (๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ)
  • DataCore Software expands its portfolio by acquiring Workflow Intelligence Nexus (WIN), a leading workflow services and software firm specializing in cloud-based and AI-powered media workflows. This strategic move strengthens DataCoreโ€™s Perifery business unit, focusing on efficient data management. (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • Acon Digital launches Acoustica 7.5 – the latest version of the audio editor for Windows and Mac introduces automatic speech recognition, new processing tools, and enhanced usability. (๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด)
  • Kaiber, the creative powerhouse behind Kid Cudi and Linkin Park’s music videos, unveils a mobile app offering AI tools like text-to-video, image-to-video, and video-to-video for creators and musicians, empowering artistic expression. (๐ŸŒ)

Spotlight: Featured Companies on Vitrina

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Localization & Post-Production

Featured specialist companies in the world of content Localization & Post-Production

Animation, VFX & Virtual Production

Featured specialist companies in Animation, Visual Effects VFX & Virtual Production
  • Mango Animate, a leading digital platform, introduces Mango Animation Maker (Mango AM), a revolutionary animated video maker. This innovative software offers a comprehensive solution for creating cartoon animation videos, providing access to a vast library of free media assets, enhancing creative possibilities. (๐ŸŒ)
  • Canva and LottieFiles join forces and now, Canva users can access over 100,000 animations seamlessly. This groundbreaking integration merges LottieFiles’ vast animation library with Canva’s design platform, unlocking the transformative potential of motion in design. (๐ŸŒ)
  • Rodeo FX continues its enchanting work on Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’ Season 3. The VFX team, led by Sebastien Francoeur and Graeme Marshall, crafted 236 shots across 20 sequences with a dedicated crew of 503. (๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
  • 20th Century Studios unveils teaser trailer and poster for ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.’ The latest installment in the franchise arrives in theaters on May 24, 2024, featuring breathtaking visual effects by Wฤ“tฤ FX and supervised by industry experts Erik Winquist, Danielle Immerman, and Paul Story.

Fast Channels

World of FAST channels & related market moves

New Global Film and Series Arrivals

Recent biggest releases across the globe!
  • Movie buffs are enjoying the cinematic brilliance of Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited masterpiece, ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ which recently released worldwide. (๐ŸŒ)ย 
  • Indian superstar Shahrukh Khan’s “Jawan”, a US$140 million grosser film, gets its OTT realase on Netflix. (๐ŸŒ)
  • StudioCanal and Universal Pictures are set to globally re-release Richard Curtis’ iconic holiday film, “Love Actually,” in a new 4K restoration. Originally launched during the 2003 holiday season, the movie has since achieved classic status as a beloved modern Christmas favorite over the past 20 years.(๐ŸŒ)
  • The film “Brave Citizen,” featuring Shin Hye Sun and Lee Jun Young in lead roles, premiered in South Korean theaters on October 25. The webtoon-based movie is now gearing up for a worldwide release. (๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท)
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