🎬 Hollywood strikes a deal

Friday, November 10, 2023 by Snacks
Fewer picket lines, more reading lines (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Fewer picket lines, more reading lines (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Fewer picket lines, more reading lines (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Fewer picket lines, more reading lines (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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Hey Snackers,

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month: tomorrow the US officially observes Veterans Day to honor those who’ve served and defended. We thank you for your service.

Stocks slid yesterday, with the S&P 500 falling short of a nine-day win streak. Investors responded to remarks from Fed Chair Powell, who indicated that future rate hikes are still on the table.

🧠 Top of the class: Take our new Snacks Seven quiz to test how well you’ve been paying attention to the week’s biggest biz stories. If you get a perfect 7/7, tag us on X at @SherwoodSnacks.


1. The actors’ union and Hollywood studios reach a deal, ending SAG’s longest strike

118 days later… SAG-AFTRA struck a tentative deal with Hollywood’s biggest studios, ending the longest movie and television strike in its history. On Wednesday, the actors’ union said it had voted to approve the latest offer from studios including Paramount, Universal, Netflix, and Disney after talks halted in July. The agreement comes more than a month after the Writers Guild signed its new contract with studios, closing out its own protracted strike. 

  • New lines: Full details of the deal haven’t been disclosed, but actors had been asking for better wages, stronger benefits, and clearer guidelines around AI use for TV and film productions.

  • Same stage: Once finalized, the deal will allow America’s $134B TV and movie industry to roll back into action. But it may be a while before audiences see it.

Hollywood strikes back… kind of. Over six months, the Tinseltown strikes cost Southern California’s economy over $6.5B and led to the loss of 45K jobs. Writers went back to work on September 27, leading to the return of popular late-night talk shows and "Saturday Night Live." But hit shows like “Yellowstone,” “Last of Us,” and “Euphoria” — along with highly anticipated flicks like “Dune: Part Two” and “Avatar 3” — have faced delays.


Getting back in character takes time… Now that actors are returning, studios’ll be scrambling to get their production pipelines up and running. It could take a while to return to full star power: this week, Warner Bros. reported bigger-than-expected Q3 losses, partly because of the strikes (on Wednesday the stock had its worst day in over two years). And Sony cut its movie division’s annual operating profit forecast because of the actors’ strike. AMC’s CEO said the strikes would continue to have “collateral damage” on the industry.

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2. Nintendo opens its IP treasure chest to make a live-action “Zelda” movie

High(rule) hopes… Nintendo said it’s making a live-action movie based on its “Legend of Zelda” video games. The stock popped this week after Nintendo’s announcement and earnings results (it also raised its annual profit forecast for the year). The Mario icon beat Q3 revenue expectations as the latest Zelda game, “Tears of the Kingdom,” continued to drive sales of its six-year-old Switch console.

  • Rupees: Nintendo has released 40+ Zelda games, including spin-offs and remakes, ever since the $3.4B franchise’s 1986 debut.

  • Open world: The Japan-based co’s US president, Doug Bowser (yes, that’s his real name), said Nintendo is evolving into an “entertainment company with gaming as a nucleus.”

Link to the past… With the exception of Pokémon (which Nintendo partially owns), gaming cos have struggled to move their IP beyond the console. Decades ago, Nintendo made an animated Zelda TV show and a Mario movie, both of which flopped. “Assassin’s Creed,” “Tomb Raider,” and “Doom” have all been made into 20%-Tomatometer flicks. But the industry recently got a power-up:

  • It’s-a-money: “The Last of Us” was HBO’s second-largest show premiere last year, and the “Halo” TV series was Paramount+’s biggest debut. Nintendo’s “Super Mario Bros. Movie” is this year’s second-highest-grossing film with $1.3B in global ticket sales.


More touchpoints can level up IP… To make the most of its beloved characters and worlds, Nintendo opened two Super Nintendo Worlds with two more under construction. And Netflix is building permanent in-person dining and shopping venues. Giving fans more ways to engage can create a flywheel: Nintendo’s president said the Mario movie boosted sales of the game, similar to how “Barbie” caused a spike in toy sales. Looking ahead, Nintendo said it plans to release one movie a year.


3. The Crypto Catch-Up…

🪙 Coins… Bitcoin’s price hit an 18-month high, and ethereum climbed above $2K for the first time since April. Possibly driving the moves: anticipation that the SEC could soon approve a spot bitcoin ETF, and that a spot ether ETF could be in the works.

💰 Spendy… Yuga Labs cofounder Wylie Aronow (aka Gordon Goner) snapped up $1.5M+ of name-brand NFTs (including CryptoPunks, Doodles). The buying spree came as NFT trading volumes hit $307M in October, up 20% over the month (but still down big time from last year).

📸 Flashy… Circle, the biz behind the USDC stablecoin, is said to be considering going public. Though it bailed on a plan to go public last year (recall: SPAC fatigue, crypto winter), Circle’s now benefiting from higher interest rates as it sits on $24B in reserves.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Ozempetition: Eli Lilly got FDA approval for its weight-loss drug Zepbound. Charging into a market that’s made Wegovy and Ozempic maker Novo Nordisk billions, Eli Lilly said its shot will cost 21% less than rivals’.

  • Postphone: The latest in wearable tech is a “Star Trek”-like pin made by Humane. The Ai Pin — which the biz positions as a $700 smartphone replacement — is screenless and controlled largely by voice commands.

  • Chipped: Block, the Square and Cash App parent, is laying off 1K employees after implementing a workforce cap of 12K. With Block shares down 80% since a 2021 peak, last month founder Jack Dorsey stepped in to run Square.

  • Parlay: On the heels of WeWork’s bankruptcy filing, SoftBank posted a surprise $6.2B loss. SoftBank — the coworking company’s largest shareholder — has WeWork-related losses totaling at least $14.2B through September.

  • PaidNow: BNPL may be staging a comeback. Affirm beat revenue estimates and logged $5.6B in transactions (a 28% YoY increase). Earlier this week, rival Klarna reported its first profitable quarter in four years.

Snack Fact of the Day

Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day, which commemorated the end of WW1


  • Earnings expected from Soho House & Co.

Authors of this Snacks own bitcoin and ethereum and shares of: Block, Comcast, Disney, and Eli Lilly

*Advertiser’s disclosure: This is a paid advertisement for Autonomix’s Reg A public offering. Additional information concerning risk factors related to the offering can be found in the Form 1-A offering circular.

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