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International Insider: Queen Elizabeth Laid To Rest; TF1 & M6 Union Collapses; Spiky In San Sebastian



Come in quickly, Insiders. It’s getting colder out there. Jesse Whittock here with a rundown of this week’s top news and analysis, coming to you from across Europe.

Queen Elizabeth Laid To Rest

The Queen

The world says goodbye: Following Queen Elizabeth II’s passing on September 8, the mourning period that came after and the thousands of stories about to the never-ending queue to see her laying in state in central London, the monarch’s funeral was held on Monday. The likes of Joe Biden, Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh and even Bear Grylls joined the Royal Family to pay respect to the UK’s longest-serving monarch. Caroline Frost was on hand to keep you informed. Following the religious service at Westminster Abbey, the funeral procession stretched more than a mile long. When the Queen was finally laid to rest at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, the world saw for the first time the symbolic breaking of the Wand of Office on television — a moment representing the end of her era and the beginning of King Charles III’s reign.

Procession in numbers: Max dug into the ratings and found a massive 37.5M watched the funeral across the day, with 27M tuning in for the procession — more than those who watched Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. In the UK, most watched on BBC One, as the public service broadcasters once again proved their worth at a time national unity was required. With new Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan set to review the government’s plan to scrap the BBC license fee and the sale of Channel 4 into private hands beginning to sound, the PSBs will feel their work this week was a triumph, albeit in solemn circumstances. The events were no cash cow for Britain’s commercial broadcasters, however, as they all dropped advertising during the televised events as a mark of respect. Find all of our coverage here and here.


TF1 & M6 Union Collapses

Thomas Rabe
Bernd von Jutrczenka / Getty

Do not merge: The signs French broadcasters TF1 and M6’s planned merger was on the rocks began when TF1 CEO Gilles Pelisson said the “dream” wasn’t shared by the competition authorities back in July. That prophecy became reality this week, when it emerged the deal had collapsed, with French competition authorities apparently unconvinced a pairing would not materially impact the local TV advertising market. A joint statement from TF1 and M6 said the French Competition Authority would only have been satisfied by the sale of the one of the broadcasters’ channels — and there was never a realistic chance that could happen. M6 owner Bertelsmann, whose CEO Thomas Rabe is pictured, reacted by putting M6 up for sale, with Banijay owner Stéphane Courbit, Vivendi, Mediawan and MediaForEurope all connected with potential bids. TF1 has moved for a succession plan, with French media veteran Rodolphe Belmer set to replace Pelisson as CEO, with the latter moving upstairs to parent Bouygues Group. For now, though, M6 and TF1 must lick their wounds as they wish each other ‘adieu’ and ‘bon chance.’

Creative Investors Get Spiky In San Sebastian

Vincent Maraval.
Clemens Bilan/Getty Images

‘Venice sold its soul’: Over to Zac Ntim with this exclusive report from Spain — As always, San Sebastian boasted a bumper lineup of intriguing titles such as Sebastián Lelio’s The Wonder, starring Florence Pugh, and the newly re-edited version of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths. However, on the ground, all eyes were on the festival’s inaugural Creative Investors’ Conference, organized with CAA Media Finance. The conference was held at the imposing Tabakalera cultural arts centre and featured a series of keynotes by industry stalwarts. The hottest session of the conference featured a discussion between Wild Bunch co-founder Vincent Maraval and CAA Media Finance’s Roeg Sutherland. During the lengthy session, the pair discussed the current state of the industry, during which Maraval gave his take on Netflix and its relationship with the Cannes and Venice film festivals. Calling out a “mistake”, he claimed “the four first days of Venice look like the Netflix Film Festival — Ted Sarandos is on the red carpet welcoming people. I think Venice sold its soul to Netflix.” Overall, the sessions were lengthy but dynamic and often spawned innovative discussions on the issues hitting the film industry hard today. Read on.

Corralling opinion: Elsewhere, Deadline sat down with Domingo Corral, Director of Original Fiction at Movistar Plus+, Spain’s biggest pay-TV/SVOD operator. This year, the Telefonica-owned streamer had two original TV series and one feature film screening at San Sebastian. Corral spoke about the company’s production strategy and how he competes with global streamers like Netflix and Disney+. Go deeper.

Counting The Cost Of Living

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng
Leon Neal/Getty

Helping hands required: Britain, it’s fair to say, is facing the worst cost-of-living conditions in recent memory, with interest rates shooting up as wages stagnate. That is translating to the TV production sector, where costs have been spiking — creatives are understandably worried about making ends meet and are looking for reassurance. My international TV partner-in-crime Max decided to push the UK’s broadcasters on what they’re doing to help, after Pact CEO John McVay said they needed to be “sympathetic.” So, what did Max find? Well, Channel 4 is reviewing its commissioning tariffs and has increased its content budget by more than £50M ($56M), while ITV and Paramount-owned Channel 5 said they were working closely with their suppliers to ensure funding was sufficient. The BBC wouldn’t go on the record but appears to be subscribing to a flexible cost model, which sits alongside its Small Indie and Production Management Funds. More.

Na’vigating ‘Avatar’s Re-release


The way of watchers: Disney began the global re-release of the original Avatar this week, launching the James Cameron mega-bucks spinner in several European countries, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Australia among others. Results were pretty good, as Nancy Tartaglione flagged: in France, the 4k high dynamic range version was No. 1, bringing in $513,000 and also took decent money in Saudi and Korea. Number one rankings were achieved in Belgium and the Philippines, as the film gears up to play in 8,000 offshore screens and in North America this month. How much of this was driven by the revelation footage from the long-gestating sequel Avatar: The Way of Water appears at the end of the film can’t be known but it certainly won’t have hurt. The Way of Water begins rolling out on December 14, landing in North America two days later. More on the return to Pandora here.

And Finally…

RIP Hilary Mantel: The much-loved author behind BBC period drama Wolf Hall has passed away aged 70, it emerged this morning. The writer of several historical fiction books was made a Dame in 2014 for her contributions to literature and is the only woman to have won the Booker Prize twice. She will be sadly missed.

The Essentials

SS Rajamouli

🌶️ Hot One: CAA scored a coup by signing hot director SS Rajamouli, whose box office RRR (Rise Roar Revolt) has been India’s biggest hit of the year. Andreas broke this one.

🌶️ Another One: Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz) and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) are set to re-team for comedic thriller Svalta, after they starred together in Fighting With My Family.

🌶️ Very spicy: Alice Diop’s hotly tipped French feature Saint Omer secured distribution in numerous territories for Wild Bunch International. Melanie had the exclusive.

🌶️ More fire: Eight-figure action here, as Open Road Films buys U.S. rights to Gerard Butler thriller Kandahar. Andreas with this one.

👩🏻‍💼 New job: Vice Studios boss Kate Ward heads to BBC Studios to lead factual content.


🛫 Mipcom-bound: Keshet International bags rights to ambitious Portuguese period drama Cuba Libre, I revealed Tuesday.

❌ Rejected: Bulgaria’s Oscars submission Mother, as Deadline TV Editor-in-Chief Nellie Andreeva wrote this week.

✅ Accepted: Iceland’s submission Beautiful Beings, India’s Last Film Show and Israel’s Cinema Sabaya.

Zachary Ntim contributed to this week’s Insider.

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Cineworld Sets Timing Of Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan; Cineplex Denied Hearing Over Scuttled Merger But May Be Eyeing Regal



Cineworld plans to file its reorganization plan by Oct. 31, an attorney for the giant chain said today at a hearing. It also won’t be forced to state its case in a Canadian appeals court next month for reneging on a merger agreement with Cineplex.

Judge Marvin Isgur of the Southern District of Texas, who is leading bankruptcy proceedings for the U.K.-based exhibitor, declined a motion by Cineplex to move forward with the hearing in an Ontario appeals court. Cineplex won a $1.29 billion Candadian dollars (about $1B US) judgement against Cineworld for the latter’s pulling out of their 2019 merger deal. Cineworld had agreed to buy Cineplex for about $3 billion.

Cineworld appealed and arguments were set for Oct. 12 and 13.

Cineworld’s Sept. 7 bankruptcy filing, with just $4 million of cash on hand and $5 billion in debt, resulted in a stay on most proceedings with the company focused on financing, keeping its business running and putting together the plan for its post-Chapter 11 era.


Cineplex had filed a motion for relief of the stay to keep the appeal court dates, which Isgur denied after hearing from attorneys on both sides. He apologized to the Canadian court. “It’s unfortunate that what I am doing today may inconvenience that court, and I recognize that it might, and I regret that, and I send them my regrets.”

He spoke at a scheduled hearing that followed a report earlier today in the Wall Street Journal that Cineplex has approached lenders of Cineworld about reviving a merger, with Regal.

“I read the story as I was eating my cheerios that Cineplex has engaged with lenders of Regal Cinemas about a potential merger. That was news to me. We obviously have had merger talks with Cineplex on and off,” said Cineworld attorney Joshua Sussberg of Kirkland & Ellis. “In fact, there were conversations over the course of the summer before we had an acute liquidity problem.”

He said Cineplex wants “to lock in the claim. I think they’d like to avoid the claim process in bankruptcy court.”

He said Cineworld’s reorganization plans was on a fast track and should be ready before a key hearing date of Oct. 31.

The company is running with most theaters open thanks to a financing agreement reached after a marathon hearing the day after its bankruptcy filing. Isgur granted Cineworld immediate access to $785 million to meet ongoing obligations to vendors and suppliers — including all major Hollywood studios — as well as employee salaries and benefits.


The remainder of the total $1.9 billion DIP, or debtor-in-possession facility will become available upon court approval.

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‘Avatar’ Rerelease Sees $3.5M Across Two Days Offshore – International Box Office



FRIDAY UPDATE: With its Thursday figures tallied, Disney’s rerelease of James Cameron’s Avatar has grossed $3.5M from 37 international box office markets. On a like-for-like overseas basis, that two-day number places the return to Pandora 57% ahead of the 2012 3D reissue of Star Wars: Episode I and 29% below the 2012 3D version of Cameron’s own Titanic which had an Easter holiday bow.

The Avatar rerelease comes a little under three months ahead of the launch of Avatar: The Way of Water, and acts as a refresher on the world of the Na’vi and the immersive 3D visuals — 50% of offshore screens are showing it in 3D this weekend with strong uptake in Korea, France, Germany and other majors. There’s also sneak footage from Way of Water tagged onto the Avatar reissue, giving audiences a taste of what’s to come for the highly-anticipated sequel.

On Thursday, key markets Italy ($300K), Germany and Mexico ($200K apiece) each saw No. 1 launches for the remastered /20th Century Studios title. Other No. 1s were in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Ukraine, Singapore, Thailand, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Australia, where the film started at No. 3 on Thursday, had a $400K opening day, 36% ahead of the 2012 Titanic reissue. 3D repped 69% of the box office.


Leading the charge so far on the rerelease is France at $700K from two days, followed by Australia, Italy, Saudi Arabia ($300K/two days) and Korea ($300K/two days/$446K through today). Notably in the latter, whose Friday number is not included in the overall total above, audience reactions are very positive with a Naver score of 9.82 and a CGV score of 98%.

North America releases today (coming in with about $2.5M in presales) as well as the UK, Japan and India among key markets.

We’ll have more updates throughout the weekend.

PREVIOUS, THURSDAY: Disney yesterday began overseas rollout on the remastered rerelease of James Cameron’s Avatar in five early markets with the Na’vi seeing a collective $877K gross. The 4K high dynamic range version was No. 1 in France at $513K, coming in 8% ahead of the comparable 3D rerelease of Titanic in 2012.

In Korea, the 20th Century Studios film was No. 3 behind two local titles (through Thursday, it’s taken in $277K). Elsewhere, Avatar came in No. 2 in Saudi Arabia and No. 1 in both Belgium and Philippines.

Today adds such markets as Germany, Italy, Australia, Brazil and Mexico. In total, Avatar will play on over 8,000 offshore screens and in North America this weekend.


As we reported on Wednesday, social media was abuzz as it emerged that sneak footage of the upcoming sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, was tagged onto the end of the film. Reactions were highly positive.


Meanwhile, Disney is pulling out the stops when it comes to Avatar and China. To coincide with the opening of Shanghai Disney Resort’s Avatar: Explore Pandora immersive exhibition, the park held a special screening of the movie, replete with a message from the filmmaker.

In China, the one-off screening utilized the CINITY technology that was developed in the country. Avatar is not rereleasing wide in the market as it was already in cinemas there last year.

The news follows word that executives from China Film Group were recently treated to a screening of footage from the upcoming Way of Water, receiving a surprise greeting from Cameron.

It’s too early for word of an Avatar 2 release in China, though it’s a massive market for the franchise with the first film doing over $200M there way back in 2010, and the rerelease adding $58M. That pushed the Na’vi past Avengers: Endgame to reclaim the crown of highest-grossing film of all time at the global box office.

Shanghai Disney’s Explore Pandora, a temporary installation slated for a six-month engagement, will be the first Avatar-themed touring exhibition hosted in a Disney park worldwide. Designed in collaboration with Lightstorm Entertainment and Disney Location-Based Experiences, the walkthrough exhibition offers guests an exploration of the fantastical alien moon of Pandora, the culture of the Na’vi and their bioluminescent environments.

Set across 1,400-square meters, it features life-sized recreations of iconic landmarks from the film, including the Tree of Voices. Standing six meters in height, the centerpiece is a glowing recreation of the movie’s sacred place of connection containing whispers from the ancestors of the Na’vi.


High-tech interactives include the Amplified Mobility Platform (AMP) suit simulator, as well as an opportunity to be “Avatarized.” There’s also a shopping experience.

Avatar: The Way of Water begins overseas rollout on December 14 this year and lands in North America on December 16.

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Dino-Might: ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Crosses $1B At Worldwide Box Office



The dinosaurs have done it as Universal/Amblin’s Jurassic World Dominion crossed the $1B mark at the global box office with Thursday’s business included. It took a little while, but that shouldn’t diminish that this makes the Colin Trevorrow-directed installment, one of only three films to the milestone since the beginning of the pandemic. It is the No. 2 film of 2022 behind Top Gun: Maverick.

The split through Thursday is just over $376M domestic and also just over $624M at the international box office.

JWD is the 7th Universal title to reach $1B worldwide, and the 3rd in the Jurassic World franchise whose total global box office now stands at $6.02B.

The film, hatched from the Michael Crichton novel and starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum, kicked off early overseas rollout at the beginning of June, topping $500M global in its first two weeks (one of only 10 Hollywood movies to the mark during the pandemic and one of six in 2022).


Also in June, it passed $600M internationally, becoming one of five Hollywood films to do so in the pandemic and one of only two in 2022.

JWD further snagged an increasingly elusive China release, going on to gross $158M for the title of biggest import in 2022 and 3rd biggest Hollywood movie of the Covid era.

Along with Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru, Blumhouse’s The Black Phone, DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys and Jordan Peele’s Nope, JWD also helped propel Universal’s 2022 worldwide haul past $3B last month, becoming the first studio to get there since 2019.

Upcoming titles from Universal include Billy Eichner-starrer Bros; Ticket to Paradise with George Clooney and Julia Roberts — already doing well in offshore release; She Said about New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor; Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical The Fablemans which recently won the Toronto Film Festival People’s Choice Award; and DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.

On deck from Focus are Tar starring Cate Blanchett who won the Best Actress prize at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month; and James Gray’s Armageddon Time, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May.


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