For my first Word on the Street story of 2023, I wanted to talk about a piece of movie news that revolves around a topic I don’t often talk about: movie theatres. When I came across a video from Clownfish TV’s Youtube channel discussing AMC Theatres’ recently announced business model, I felt it was worth bringing up on 18 Cinema Lane. In the video, ‘Desperate AMC Theatres to Charge More for GOOD Seats?!’, Kneon and Geeky Sparkles address the theatre chain’s newest decision to have separate pricing for seats, based on where they’re located in the auditorium. Quoting an article from comicbook.com, Geeky Sparkles and Kneon break down the three tiers that will determine a seat’s price-tag. This article lists these tiers as “Value Sightline” (“seats in the front row of the auditorium, as well as select ADA seats in each auditorium”), “Standard Sightline” (“seats that are the most common in auditoriums and are available for the traditional cost of a ticket”), and “Preferred Sightline” (“seats in the middle of the auditorium and are priced at a premium to standard sightline seats”). Kneon and Geeky Sparkles speculate AMC Theatres is adopting this business plan to encourage more movie-goers to sign up for their AMC Stubs A-List program. Despite the theatre chain “hemorrhaging money right and left”, Kneon believes “other theatres are probably gonna adopt this”.
As someone who talks about movie news from time to time, I’m thankful to have discovered some great topics on Clownfish TV’s Youtube Channel. However, I respectfully disagree with Kneon’s view of the influence AMC Theatres’ latest decision will have on other theatres. When this Word on the Street story is published, the economy AMC Theatres exists in is not strong. Almost every day, there are articles chronicling the closure of multiple retail shops. With that in mind, movie-goers may, more often than not, view the theatre experience as a luxury. To save money on this pastime, audience members could either seek out a theatre that doesn’t charge extra for seats or wait to rent a theatrical movie and watch it at home. I believe AMC Theatres’ tier pricing for their seats will hurt their company more than help. I wouldn’t be surprised if, within this year, there are articles reporting on AMC Theatres closing several cinemas.
What are your thoughts on this piece of movie news? Is your theatre affected by AMC Theatres newest business model? Let me know in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!
If you’re interested in reading the comicbook.com article that was referenced in the Clownfish TV video and my post, here’s the link:
Even though Hallmark’s Christmas line-ups just started about two weeks ago, the network may be planning ahead for next year’s seasonal programming. While on IMDB recently, I stumbled upon a movie listing for what could be an upcoming Hallmark production. According to this listing, which I included a screenshot of in my article, there appears to be a third Gift to Remember film in the pre-production stage. As of the publication of this Word on the Street story, Hallmark has not made any official announcements about their film related projects for 2023. However, if ‘Gift to Remember 3’ (the project’s current working title) is going to be created, then this would fit a trend Hallmark has been practicing this decade. Since last year, Hallmark has been creating sequels for films that premiered several years ago. Some examples are the following:
The Nine Kittens of Christmas – Sequel to 2014’s The Nine Lives of Christmas
Debbie Macomber’s A Mrs. Miracle Christmas – Continuation of the Mrs. Miracle series, last film aired was 2014’s Debbie Macomber’s Mr. Miracle
A Cozy Christmas Inn — Sequel to 2014’s Christmas Under Wraps
The first film in the Gift to Remember story, A Gift to Remember, was released in 2017. Its sequel, Cherished Memories: A Gift to Remember 2, premiered in 2019. In place of ‘Gift to Remember 3’s poster, the cover for Melissa Hill’s stand-alone novel, The Gift of a Lifetime, is featured on IMDB. Since two of Melissa’s books, A Gift to Remember and The Charm Bracelet, have been adapted into Hallmark films, it would make sense if the network adapted The Gift of a Lifetime into a movie. But it does make me wonder if ‘Gift to Remember 3’ will incorporate elements from The Gift of a Lifetime’s story or if The Gift of a Lifetime will be its own film? While looking back on the aforementioned sequels, I realized they were continuations of movies that first aired in 2014. As of the publication of this Word on the Street story, nine Hallmark Channel Christmas movies from that year have not received sequels. I not only question why the network would choose 2014 specifically on focus their sequel efforts on, but also which 2014 film, if any, will be the next to receive a second chapter?
What are your thoughts on this potential piece of movie news? What book of Melissa Hill’s would you like to see adapted into a film? Please tell me in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!
Here is the link to ‘Gift to Remember 3’s page on IMDB:
Earlier this week, it was reported Candace Cameron Bure, one of the most popular actresses in the Hallmark community, has chosen to start a new chapter at GAC Family. With this decision, she will not only star in the network’s future projects, she will also be involved with the behind-the-scenes process of these projects’ creation. Now, Emily Longeretta, from Variety, writes that “there are no plans for new “Aurora Teagarden Mysteries” films”. Emily’s article states that Candace’s partnership with GAC Family “is not exclusive”. Despite this, she will not participate in Hallmark’s ‘Countdown to Christmas’ or ‘Miracles of Christmas’ line-ups either. An official spokesperson for Hallmark gave a statement about Candace’s choice. The spokesperson mentioned how Candace has worked with the network for “over 10 years”. They also said, “We respect her decision and thank her for her many contributions”.
The unceremonious end of Aurora Teagarden Mysteries does not look good for Hallmark. Including this series, the network has cancelled eight programs since 2021. These programs are the following:
Home & Family
The Bubbly Sesh Podcast
Hailey Dean Mysteries
Picture Perfect Mysteries
Aurora Teagarden Mysteries
Aurora Teagarden Mysteries is, arguably, the most popular series on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. In fact, as of late April 2022, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Haunted by Murder has the highest number of viewership, with 1.7 million viewers. With this series gone, that means Hallmark’s second network will receive less viewership. Less viewership means less sponsorships, which equals less revenue. As for Candace, I’m curious to see what her talents and acting experience have to offer to GAC Family. I haven’t seen any original programming from this network. But I have heard good things about them. Who knows? Now that Candace has an executive role with GAC Family, maybe she and the rest of the network’s leaders can transfer the Hallmark Hall of Fame collection to GAC and rebrand it “Great American Hall of Fame”?
What are your thoughts on Candace’s new partnership with GAC Family? Are you interested in her future projects? Please tell me in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!
Here are the links to the references in this articles:
As I was posting my Sunset Over Hope Valley re-cap on Twitter, I found a movie news story from Variety that caught my eye. According to K. J. Yossman, Spirit Halloween “has teamed with Strike Back Studios, Hideout Pictures and Particular Crowd” to create a film revolving around the national costume store. But unlike the Beanie Babies movie I discussed back in January, where the project focused on the history of the iconic toys, the Spirit Halloween film features a fictional story taking place in a Spirit Halloween store. The article includes a synopsis for the upcoming production, which states:
“When a new Spirit Halloween store appears in a deserted strip mall, three middle-school friends whothink they’ve outgrown trick-or-treating make a dare to spend the night locked inside the store Halloween night,” reads the logline. “But they soon find out that the store is haunted by an angry evil spirit who has possessed the creepy animatronic characters. The kids embark on a thrilling and spooky adventure in order to survive the night and avoid becoming possessed themselves.”
K. J. Yossman writes how the film is “billed as a family/kids adventure movie”, feeling reminiscent of classic titles like The Goonies, Gremlins, and Monster Squad, according to Strike Back Studios’ president, Noor Ahmed.
While I read this film’s synopsis, it sounded a lot like the video game, Five Nights At Freddy’s. I know stories are bound to get repeated over time. But I also know a Five Nights At Freddy’s movie has been in the pre-production phase since 2015. Ever since that project was announced, there have been setbacks in the creative process. Two directors have stepped down and the script has gone through several re-writes. Meanwhile, the movie featuring Spirit Halloween has completed filming. It is also “aiming for an October 2022 release”. Even though the Five Nights At Freddy’s film is still in the works, it makes me wonder if the script for the Spirit Halloween movie was originally written for the aforementioned project?
What are your thoughts on this piece of movie news? Are you interested in the Spirit Halloween movie or in a Five Nights At Freddy’s film? Please let me know in the comment section below!
Have fun at the movies!
To learn more about the projects discussed in this article, you can visit this link:
When I write a Word on the Street story, I sometimes talk about stories that were covered on the Youtube channel, Clownfish TV. I not only like Kneon and Geeky Sparkle’s commentary, but I also learn about subjects I never would have known about before. So, when I watched one of their newer videos, I figured it would be an interesting topic to discuss on 18 Cinema Lane! In the video, ‘Elizabeth Banks Doing a BEANIE BABIES Movie?!’, my initial assumption was the movie being similar in execution to the 2014 hit, The Lego Movie. But as I watched the video, I learned the film would revolve around the popularity of Beanie Babies in the ‘90s. While analyzing an article from The Hollywood Reporter, Kneon and Geeky share how actors Elizabeth Banks and Zach Galifianakis are going to headline a film based on The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute, a book written by Zac Bissonnette. According to the original article, the movie will focus on the production and consumption of the classic stuffed animals, including “a celebration of the women who helped power Ty Warner’s success”.
While watching Kneon and Geeky’s video, ‘Elizabeth Banks Doing a BEANIE BABIES Movie?!’, they brought up a documentary titled Beanie Mania. In this documentary, the rise and fall of Beanie Babies are explored. From “a lot of drama” to “the one woman even has a rap song she wrote” (referring to a rap song dedicated to the Beanie Babies), Beanie Mania presents the perspectives of those heavily affected by the iconic toy. As I watched Kneon and Geeky’s video and listened to their commentary, I couldn’t help but feel Elizabeth and Zach’s project was a re-hash of the HBO Max documentary. When speculating which direction the film was headed, Geeky says “I think their take on it’s going to be very similar, cause I think the one guy that wrote the book they’re basing it on was in the documentary”. With this and everything else said, it makes me wonder what is the point of Elizabeth and Zach’s movie? What can they offer to the conversation that Beanie Mania didn’t? Personally, I’d like to see a documentary about Tickle Me Elmo, the coveted toy that dominated 1996.
Speaking of re-hashed ideas, this next story I found in Kneon and Geeky’s video, as it was an advertised article on Deadline’s website. According to the aforementioned site, Justin Kroll writes about a “remake of the classic thriller To Catch a Thief” in the pre-production stages. The Paramount Pictures project has recruited Gal Gadot to star in the film and produce it. Eileen Jones will pen the script, with Jaron Varsano and Neal Moritz also producing the movie. Similar to what I said about the Beanie Baby film, I wonder what the point of this remake is? I know you can ask that about any cinematic production. But what can this creative team bring to the table that Alfred Hitchcock and his team hasn’t already? Personally, I think the remake seems unnecessary.
What are your thoughts on these movie news stories? Are you anticipating any of the projects mentioned in this article? Let me know in the comment section!
Earlier this week, it was announced that Daniel Lissing, When Calls the Heart alumni, will appear in the GAC Family Christmas special, When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas. The Christmas special will mark the start of a second season for When Calls the Heart’s spin-off, When Hope Calls. At the time of the initial announcement, Daniel’s role wasn’t revealed. But according on an article from CinemaBlend, it looks like the beans may have been spilled. CinemaBlend’s Jessica Rawden recently wrote about Daniel’s return to the When Calls the Heart universe. In the article, Jessica wrote how “his character Jack will be appearing along with Abigail on the small screen”. As of October 2021, we don’t know how accurate this statement is. Even if Daniel is portraying Jack again, we don’t know what the character’s significance will be in the story. Jessica also writes how “fans of the two Hallmark shows will learn more about Daniel Lissing’s When Hope Calls gig sometime on October 11”. If there is any truth to this statement, we could be hearing news about this particular development very soon.
A trailer for the new Signed, Sealed, Delivered film, Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Vows We Have, has been posted on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ home page. The trailer emphasized Shane and Oliver’s wedding, with the second half of the trailer briefly explaining the mystery surrounding a missing letter. This piece of marketing highlights an issue I’ve had with this particular series. In my review of the previous entry, Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar, I said there was an imbalance between the story of the POstables and the film’s main mystery. Based on this trailer, it looks like the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series is approachingthe new story in the same way as before. I hope this new movie is better than Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar. For now, I’m going to keep my expectations low.
In an article from Heavy, Stephanie Dube Dwilson wrote about the possibility of a Chesapeake Shores movie. The Executive Producer of the show, Daniel Paulson, expressed interest in creating a movie surroundingthe series. Daniel said, “I’d be happy to do holiday or specials for them” and “maybe if the fans speak up and let that be known, we could do one”. According to the article, the show’s Facebookpage stated back in August “as soon as we have more information, we will be sure to share it”, referring tothe fruition of a movie. Personally, I think the show’s creative team is waiting until news of a sixth season isannounced. As of October 2021, a sixth season for Chesapeake Shores has not been greenlit or denied. Wealso don’t know how the eighth season will end.
Here’s the link to the aforementioned article:
What are your thoughts on these movie news stories? Which story interests you the most? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
On July 24th, Google Trends Now reported a Christmas movie is about to begin filming in late August. So far, this film is titled ‘The Seek for Christmas’. But “that may most likely change earlier than it airs”, says Evergreen Movie Productions’ Daniel Lewis. Erin Cahill, an actress who has starred in five Hallmark films, will be the lead actress and a producer on the project, according to the article. Maclain Nelson has also been announced as the movie’s director. The production is being filmed in Natchez, Mississippi, which is located near the Louisiana border. Daniel said ‘The Seek for Christmas’ “is about three sisters who grew aside and their journey of discovering their manner again to one another over the Christmas vacation”. Daniel also said “that filmmakers did their analysis to make the film as authentically Natchez as attainable and have written Natchez Christmas traditions such because the annual Christmas parade into the script”. Even though Hallmark Channel is mentioned in the article and its title, the network has not confirmed their association to this movie, as of late July to early August 2021.
In Kemptville, Ontario, Canada, a Christmas movie has been in production since July 19th. Ashley Kulp, from Inside Ottawa Valley, writes that this movie is, so far, titled “The Christmas Campaign”. Filming locations in Kemptville have included “the former North Grenville District High School on Prescott Street” and downtown Kemptville. Almonte, Carp, and Ottawa have also been announced as filming locations. No story-related details or casting decisions have been made known at this time. Also, it is unknown where this movie will premiere.
The link to the articles I referenced in this post:
Angelique Jackson, from Variety, reported on July 28th about Hallmark’s plans to create television films based on the company’s Mahogany card line. The article states how these efforts will consist of “a quarterly slate of original movies coming to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries in early 2022”. The pre-production phase of the project started “in early 2021”, with Wonya Lucas, Crown Media Family Networks’ president and CEO, and Toni Judkins, Crown Media Family Network’s current programming and development senior VP, working to get the project off the ground. “Mahogany is a 34-year-old brand that has been an important part of the portfolio since its existence. So for us, it’s not an initiative; it’s bringing something to life through storytelling”, said Wonya. Toni responded to Variety by saying “It was a brand that I love and have known for decades. It just seemed like the most natural, authentic thing to do, to translate and take the inspiration behind the Mahogany card brand and bring it to air”.
This article from Variety mentions how Hallmark has big plans for their Mahogany series. Angelique writes how the network wants “to further expand the franchise to include podcasts and scripted series in the coming years”. According to the article, the Mahogany series is a stepping stone toward programming based on Hallmark’s other card lines, including Eight Bamboo, which highlights “Chinese values and customs”. But in order to make these big plans a reality, Hallmark needs big money to make them happen. In my last Word on the Street story, I speculated how Hallmark might not be as financially strong as in years past. This speculation is based on things happening with the company that I’ve seen and heard as a consumer of some of the network’s programming. To add to this, it should be noted that Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, the network that will host the Mahogany films, doesn’t have the strongest numbers in viewership. As of late July to early August 2021, the movie from Hallmark’s second network with the highest number in viewership was Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Til Death Do Us Part, which garnered 1.6 million viewers. This number is lower than those from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ past films, with 2017’s Rocky Mountain Christmas receiving a record-breaking 2.18 million viewers. One of the reasons for these low numbers is how Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is a smaller network compared to the main Hallmark Channel. This means that the second network doesn’t have the same amount of sponsorship opportunities as the first network does. Because of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ smaller size and lower viewership, maybe Hallmark has been cancelling programs like Home & Family in order to put thosefinances and resources toward the Mahogany series? Like any film project in pre-production, we’ll just have to wait andsee how this series will be carried through.
Andrea Brooks, who stars on When Calls the Heart as Faith, will be co-leading two upcoming movies. In an article from Heavy, these movies are, right now, titled ‘Sit, Stay, Love’ and ‘Fishing for Love’. With ‘Sit, Stay, Love’, Andrea will star alongside Hallmark alumni, Marcus Rosner. The film will be directed by Heather Hawthorn Doyle. According to the article, this movie is about the following:
“A woman’s tightly controlled life starts to loosen up when she adopts a dog and falls in love with him and the owner of the animal shelter she adopted him from”
For ‘Fishing for Love’, Andrea will star with Spencer Lord. The article from Heavy states “the movie was filmed in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, Canada” and is about the following:
“When Kendall, a successful restaurant designer comes home to Mystic Bay for the annual Big Catch Festival, she finds herself in uncharted waters with town newcomer Zack. Is Kendall baited for trouble in her home town or will she catch true love?”
As of late July to early August 2021, “It’s not clear if either of her [Andrea’s] two new movies will be airing on The Hallmark Channel or somewhere else”, as stated in the article.
The link to the Heavy article I referenced:
What are your thoughts on these pieces of movie news? Which project sounds the most interesting to you? Please let me know in the comment section!
Last January, I reported how Bill Abbott stepped down from his presidential and CEO position at Hallmark. Now, another business leader from the Gold Crown company has decided to walk away. On May 17th, Nellie Andreeva, from Deadline, published an article about the departure of Michelle Vicary, who was Hallmark’s executive for programming and production. The article states how Michelle will step down from her position “at the beginning of June”. While no replacements have been announced at this time, Randy Pope and Darren Melameth, the company’s SVPs for Programming, Development, and Content Strategy, will serve “as interim co-heads of the department”. The article does not mention why Michelle decided to leave the company. However, Nellie does write how Wonya Lucas, the current CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, “has led a major restructuring” and made diversity and inclusion “a top priority”.
2021 has, so far, left me wondering if Hallmark has less money than they let on to the public. While everything I’m about to say is pure speculation, I have noticed some things that lead me to believe Hallmark’s entertainment division might not be fiscally strong. Nellie states in the aforementioned article how Lucas’ restructuring of the company has “resulted in some layoffs this year”. Even though the number of layoffs is not mentioned, the news of layoffs is not a good sign for any business. As of mid-to-late May, there have been no announcements for upcoming movies in the Picture Perfect Mysteries series, the Ruby Herring Mysteries series, the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series, and Hallmark Hall of Fame. In fact, there were no new Hallmark Hall of Fame or Signed, Sealed, Delivered films released in 2020. This makes me believe Crown Media Family Networks may be quietly moving away from these series in order to cut costs. In March, it was reported that daytime talk show, Home & Family, would be ending on August 4th. No official reason has been given for the show’s cancellation. Now adding the news of Michelle’s departure, Hallmark appears to be experiencing a rough patch. Everything I said is pure speculation. But I think a tell-tale sign of financial troubles would be if Hallmark created less Christmas movies than they did last year.
What are your thought’s of Michelle’s departure from Hallmark? Do you like the direction the network is currently moving in? Please tell me in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!
Here are the links to the articles I referenced in this post:
As I said in a Word on the Street post last September, it hasn’t been easy finding movie news stories to write about these days. So, when I stumbled across this story on Twitter, I thought it would make a perfect topic for the first Word on the Street article of 2021! According to Aaron Couch from The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is creating a new film titled Wonka. The movie “hails from Paddington director Paul King and Harry Potter producer David Heyman”. Aaron also says of the script that “Simon Rich wrote the original draft, with Simon Farnaby and King penning the current draft”. As of January 2021, the film is scheduled for a March 17th, 2023 release. It is also about Willy Wonka’s life before his beloved candy factory came into the picture.
While everyone involved with this project is busy creating their next cinematic project, they are forgetting one major detail. Back in the 2005 film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willy Wonka’s backstory was revealed. Through a series of flashbacks, the audience learns that Willy created his candy factory in spite of his strict father, who forbade the chocolatier from eating sweets when he was younger. Because of this, it makes Wonka seem like it is using rehashed material and trying to pass it off as new. What would have been more interesting is a movie about Ronald Dahl and how he created one of his most iconic stories.
Back in 2019, I mentioned that Taylor Cole announced a third film in Hallmark’s One Winter series; One Winter Wedding. However, the reality of the project seemed distant at the time. This was because two of the series’ stars, Jack Turner and Taylor Cole, were working on separate film projects. Now, two years after Taylor made the aforementioned announcement, One Winter Wedding is finally going into production! On the website for UBCP/ACTRA (Union of British Columbia Performers/Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), the movie will start filming on February 1st and end on February 20th. With this production schedule, I predict One Winter Wedding will either be a Christmas film or a 2022 ‘New Year New Movies’ presentation.
What are your thoughts on these movie news stories? Do you plan on seeing any of the films I mentioned? Let me know in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!
Here are the links to the articles I referenced in my post:
Originally, I was going to publish my 255 blog follower dedication review. While I still plan on posting this review, I decided to publish a Word on the Street story instead. In one of last month’s Word on the Street articles, I announced two Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series, Crossword Mysteries and Chronicle Mysteries, were either filming a new chapter or were about to film a new chapter. It looks like these two series are not the only ones to receive a new movie. On Creative B.C., the filming schedule for an upcoming Aurora Teagarden Mysteries and Mystery 101 film were posted! ‘Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: How To Con A Con’ will start filming on November 6th and end on November 24th. Even though the movie’s synopsis is not known at this time, I hope it is about comic conventions, based on the listed title. Meanwhile, ‘Mystery 101: Movie 6 – Killer Timing’ just started filming on November 2nd and will conclude on November 20th. Like I said about Crossword Mysteries and Chronicle Mysteries in October, these films in the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries and Mystery 101 series will likely premiere in 2021, based on their filming schedules.
What are your thoughts on this announcement? Are you looking forward to any of these films? Tell me in the comment section!