While Hollywood journalistAt Tuesday’s Power Business Managers event, leading industry negotiators discussed the state of talent negotiations in the era of the pandemic box office and day-to-date streaming releases. The virtual event coincided with the publication of THR 2021 Power Business Managers list.
Ziffren Brittenham co-founder Ken Ziffren, WME COO Dan Limerick and Lionsgate president of business and legal affairs Patricia Laucella offered their views during a conversation with THR business editor Ashley Cullins. They all noted that transparency is what is most needed for negotiations within the current Hollywood ecosystem.
“What I noticed when making deals was that people did not understand, including internally, how the money was flowing through the model and how we could convince the talents that we are trying to be. equitable partners, ”said Laucella. During the pandemic, Lionsgate sold films once linked to cinema as To run to various streamers, while other films like Janelle Monáe starred Antebellum went to PVOD.
Regarding the metrics used to mark a project’s success in the streaming age, Ziffren said, “In the world of feature films, the box office is more important than ever before.” He noted that for an average theatrical release before the pandemic, gross home entertainment revenue was more revenue than box office revenue. Now when movies head to studio streaming services that visibility is lost and it’s hard to decipher what the gross amount of those post-theater revenue streams would be.
Ziffren said: “The problem is then that you can, in effect, negotiate an arm’s length deal with the streamer so that you have an equal chance of making more money and failing that you will end up with bonuses. at the box office that should come close not only to what would happen in the theater, but what is happening in home entertainment and television.
Limerick added that “one of the biggest issues we face today is data.” He noted that each company’s measure of success varies, including things like subscriber acquisitions, streaming minutes, or audience retention. And talent wants access to those metrics to understand personal performance and “where it resonates,” Limerick said.
When asked what could happen in the industry that could bring greater visibility, Ziffren offered two possible paths to data transparency. “One is through collective bargaining from a guild perspective and that is what could happen in 2023 when the contracts of the three guilds expire and the residue is concentrated on,” he said. The second option is a third-party tech company that can provide data to studios and talent.
Also at the event, Andrew Meyer received the 2021 THR Business Manager Icon Award, presented to him by his long-time client, Ellen Pompeo. “While we were building, we thought to ourselves, ‘Maybe we can do something a little different,” said Meyer accepting the honor of ethics behind Freemark Capital, which he founded with Steves Rodriguez.
THR Editorial Director Nekesa Mumbi Moody and Martha Henderson, Executive Vice President of Entertainment Banking at main sponsor City National Bank, delivered the opening remarks for the virtual event.