WHAT’S GOING ON? Here is a small sample of area happenings — some in-person, others online — you may want to check out in the coming days.Art/Museums
WEST ORANGE “The Power of IV — Emotion, Eurythmy, Vernacular and Subversion,” opening reception, 2-6 p.m., for online and in-person exhibit of works by Elisabeth Antoine, Carol Black-Lemon, Lisa Lackey and Ann Vollum that runs through Sept. 11, West Orange Arts Council, 551 Valley Road. woarts.org, 973-325-0151.Comedy
ROSELLE Central Jersey Comedy Showcase, hosted by Comedy Therapy, 8 p.m., Central Park Restaurant, 2401 N. Wood Ave. $20 and two-item minimum. eventbrite.com/e/158189144991, 848-391-8808.
BOUND BROOK Comedy Night, standup with Kevin Downey Jr.and Eric Potts, 8 p.m., Brook Arts Center, 10 Hamilton St. $25-$35. brookarts.org, 732-469-7700.
EATONTOWN Iliza, Count Basie “Concert on the Green” show, 7 p.m., also Aug. 7, 9:30 p.m. Suneagles Golf Club, 2067 Tinton Ave. in Fort Monmouth. $39-$69. thebasie.org, 732-842-9000.
POMPTON LAKES Standup Comedy Night, F. William Samuel, Mitch Alan, Paul Goldenberg, Chip Ambrogio, Joseph Columbo and Gary James, 8 p.m., Rhino Studio 237, 237 Hamburg Turnpike. $25. smilingrhinotheatre.com, 973-248-9491.
WOODBRIDGE Carie Karavas and Friends, 8 p.m., Avenel Performing Arts Center, 150 Avenel St. in Avenel. $39.50. avenelarts.com, 732-314-0500.
NEWTON Jim Breuer, 7 p.m., also Aug. 8, 9:30 p.m. The Newton Theatre, 234 Spring St. $39-$54. skypac.org, 973-383-3700.Fairs/Festivals
HARMONY Warren County Farmers Fair and Hot Air Balloon Festival, 3-10 p.m. Friday, also noon-10 p.m. Saturday, Warren County Farmers Fairgrounds, Stryker Road. $5-$9. warrencountyfarmersfair.org, 908-859-6563.
FRANKFORD New Jersey State Fair and Sussex County Farm and Horse Show, carnival rides, live music and other entertainment, animal showcases, exhibits, fair food, demolition derby, oxen pull and other contests, agricultural museum, craft tent and other attractions, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sussex County Fairgrounds, New Jersey State Fair, 37 Plains Road in Augusta. $14, ages 6-12 $6, ages 60 and older $10. newjerseystatefair.org, 973-948-5500.Music
ASBURY PARK Limp Bizkit, 6 p.m., Stone Pony SummerStage, 913 Ocean Ave. $59.50-$65. stoneponyonline.com, 732-502-0600.
EATONTOWN “Summer Doo Wop Spectacular,” Count Basie Center “Concert on the Green” with Jay Siegel’s Tokens, John Kuse and the Excellents, Cleveland Stills and the Dubs, 7:30 p.m., Suneagles Golf Club, 2067 Tinton Ave. in Fort Monmouth. $39-$59. suneaglesgolf.com, 732-389-4300.
HOLMDEL Jason Aldean, 7:30 p.m., PNC Bank Arts Center, Garden State Parkway, Exit 116. $128-$160. ticketmaster.com/PNC-Bank-Arts-Center-tickets-Holmdel/venue/16839, 732-203-2500.
LAKEWOOD Rod Picott, 8 p.m., Strand Center for the Arts, 400 Clifton Ave. $25. strand.org, 732-367-7789.
MADISON Scott Sharrard Band, 6:30 p.m., also Aug. 6, 8:30 p.m. Shanghai Jazz Restaurant and Bar, 24 Main St. $40 food-drink minimum. shanghaijazz.com, 973-822-2899.
MILLBURN “Brookside Cabaret,” live outdoor performance with optional prix-fixe meal at the F.M. Kirby Carriage House Restaurant, 7:30 p.m., Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive. $20-$35 and $20-$30 food/drink minimum. papermill.org, 973-376-4343.
SOUTH ORANGE Broken Arrow, Neil Young tribute, 8 p.m., South Orange Performing Arts Center, 1 SOPAC Way. $38. sopacnow.org, 973-313-2787.
TUCKERTON Rory Block, outdoor Lizzie Rose Music Room concert, 7:30 p.m., Atlantic Shore Pines Campground, 450 Ishmael Road. $33. lizzierosemusic.com, 908-310-2941.
WILDWOOD Festival Playero, Latin food and music festival with performances by Elvis Crespo, Tony Vega, Frankie Negro, Edgar Joel and others, 6-11:30 p.m., also Aug. 7, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Fox Park, 4500 Atlantic Ave. $15-$80. eventbrite.com, pracnj.com.
ASBURY PARK Yacht Rock Revue, 6 p.m., Stone Pony SummerStage, 913 Ocean Ave. $30-$67. stoneponyonline.com, 732-502-0600.
BERNARDS Roomful of Blues, 7 p.m., The Ross Farm, 135 N. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge. $35. rossfarm.org, 908-221-1770.
HOLMDEL The Doo Wop Project, outdoor Axelrod Performing Arts Center concert, 5:30 p.m., also Aug. 7, 8 p.m.; Aug. 8, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Bell Works, 101 Crawfords Corner Road. $45. bell.works, 973-507-0369.
MONTCLAIR Lackawanna Block Party, free Montclair Jazz Festival performances by trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, the Kelly Green Trio, Lee Hogans and Pursuance and Jazz House musicians, 1-9 p.m., Lackawanna Train Station, Lackawanna Plaza, 294 Bloomfield Ave. montclairjazzfestival.org, 973-744-2273.
NEWTON Experience Janis, Janis Joplin tribute with CC Coletti, 8 p.m., The Newton Theatre, 234 Spring St. $24-$39. skypac.org, 973-383-3700.
STANHOPE Band of Changes, 7 p.m., Stanhope House, Outdoor beer garden, 45 Main St. $38.50. stanhopehousenj.com, 973-347-7777.
TUCKERTON Deadgrass, outdoor Lizzie Rose Music Room concert with the Grateful Dead bluegrass tribute, 7:30 p.m., Atlantic Shore Pines Campground, 450 Ishmael Road. $25-$30 (sold out). lizzierosemusic.com, 908-310-2941.
CAMDEN Luke Bryan, 7 p.m., BB&T Pavilion, 1 Harbour Blvd. $39-$134. livenation.com/venues/14115/bb-t-pavilion, 856-365-1300.
EATONTOWN Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers, Count Basie Center “Concert on the Green,” 7:30 p.m., Suneagles Golf Club, 2067 Tinton Ave. in Fort Monmouth. $29-$45. suneaglesgolf.com, 732-389-4300.
MORRISTOWN PUBLIquartet, outdoor concert, 8 p.m., Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road. $50 for space to accommodate two patrons by advance order only. morrismuseum.org, 973-971-3706.
OCEAN CITY Ocean City Pops, Aretha Franklin tribute, 7:30 p.m., Ocean City Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace at Boardwalk. $25-$30. ocnj.tix.com, 609-399-6111.
SOUTH ORANGE Valissima with the Montclair Orchestra, 3 p.m., South Orange Performing Arts Center, 1 SOPAC Way. $15. sopacnow.org, 973-313-2787.
WEST ORANGE “West Orange Idol,” singing competition showcasing local talent, 2 p.m., Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center, 4 Boland Drive. $5-$10. downtownwo.com, 973-669-7385.Sports
EAST RUTHERFORD Hambletonian Party and Poker and Casino Night, fundraiser for Standardbred Retirement Foundation and Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame with dinner, open bar, games of chance, 6 p.m., Meadowlands Racetrack, 1 Racetrack Drive. $50-$125. adoptahorse.org/2021-casino-night, 845-294-6330, 609-738-3255.Theater
CHATHAM 27th Annual Jersey Voices One-Act Festival, seven original short plays by New Jersey playwrights, 8 p.m., also Aug. 7, 8 p.m. Chatham Playhouse, 23 N. Passaic Ave. $15. chathamplayers.org, 973-635-7363.
HACKETTSTOWN “Always . . . Patsy Cline,” musical based on the life of the country singer, 8 p.m., also Aug. 7, 8 p.m.; Aug. 8, 2 p.m. Centenary University, Sitnik Theater, Lackland Center, 400 Jefferson St. $22.50-$25.50. centenarystageco.org, 908-979-0900.
HADDONFIELD “The Good Body,” outdoor production of followup to “The Vagina Monologues,” 8 p.m., also Aug. 7, 8 p.m. Haddonfield Plays and Players Performing Arts Center, 957 E. Atlantic Ave. at Crows Woods. $20. haddonfieldplayers.com, 856-429-8139.
LAMBERTVILLE “Matilda,” musical based on the picture book character, 8 p.m., also Aug. 7-8 3 p.m. Music Mountain Theatre, 1483 Route 179. $25. musicmountaintheatre.org, 609-397-3337.
MAPLEWOOD “interACT Sings: Come Alive!” A Musical Gala Celebrating Re-emergence and New Beginnings,” fundraiser for upcoming season with cocktail hour and performance, 6:30 p.m., also Aug. 7, 6:30 p.m. Burgdorff Cultural Center, 10 Durand Road. $25-$105. interactproductions.org, 973-544-8489.
RED BANK Alea and Sinhue, outside show, 7 p.m., also Aug. 7-8, 7 p.m. Two River Theater Company, Plaza, 21 Bridge Ave. $50 table for two; $100 table for four. tworivertheater.org, 732-345-1400.
RIDGEFIELD PARK “Hamlet,” free outdoor Black Box Performing Arts Center production, 8 p.m., also Aug. 8, 8 p.m. Overpeck Park, amphitheater, 100 Challenger Road. blackboxpac.com, 201-569-2070, email@example.com.
EAST BRUNSWICK Playhouse 22 Theater Fest, free outdoor program of short one-acts, singing and dancing with evening concert by the VooDudes, noon-10 p.m., East Brunswick Community Arts Center, 721 Cranbury Road. playhouse22.org, 732-254-3939.
RIDGEFIELD PARK “As You Like It,” free outdoor Black Box Performing Arts Center production, 8 p.m., Overpeck Park, amphitheater, 100 Challenger Road. blackboxpac.com, 201-569-2070, firstname.lastname@example.org.
POMPTON LAKES “An(other) Evening with Melody,” one-woman show with Melody Lieberman, 3 p.m., Rhino Studio 237, 237 Hamburg Turnpike. $25. smilingrhinotheatre.com, 973-248-9491.Other
EAST BRUNSWICK “Hollywood Night Cruiser,” car and motorcycle show to benefit Special Children’s Committee, noon-4 p.m., East Brunswick Elks Lodge 2370, 21B Oakmont Ave. $10 registration for vehicles. email@example.com, 732-900-8124.
PISCATAWAY “New Jersey’s American Revolution” Metro Gathering, geocaching outing hosted by Northern New Jersey Cachers and Central Jersey Cachers, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., East Jersey Old Town Village, 1050 River Road. middlesexcountynj.gov, 732-745-3030.
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Blue Fox Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights to “I Am Here,” a documentary about 100-year-old Holocaust survivor Ella Blumenthal which recently won the Jury Prize at the Durban Film Festival.
Directed by Jordy Sank, “I Am Here” tells Blumenthal’s incredible life story, starting with her youth in Poland during World War II, where she witnessed the Warsaw ghetto uprising and was a prisoner in the Majdanek, Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. Shot as Blumenthal celebrated her 98th birthday with family and friends in South Africa, the film uses evocative, hand-drawn animation to illustrate stories from her life.
Blue Fox will release “I Am Here” theatrically in early 2022. Metro International, who is handling worldwide sales on the film, negotiated the deal with Blue Fox. Metro has also concluded deals with Kismet Movies in Australia/New Zealand, where the film will have a theatrical run at the end of the year, DNC Entertainment in Italy, and Nos Lusomundo in Portugal, with further deals to be confirmed soon.
“Having Ella’s voice to remind us all of the horrors of the Holocaust is not to be forgotten, but even more powerful and uplifting is her example of forgiveness and tolerance,” said Blue Fox’s James Huntsman.
“We are so thrilled and privileged to be working with Blue Fox to share Ella’s remarkable spirit, boundless energy and magnetic personality with U.S. audiences,” said Sank.
“I Am Here” premiered at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award for Best Documentary, and also screened in the Miami International Jewish Film Festival and the Encounters Documentary Festival in South Africa. The film’s Durban triumph came as Blumenthal celebrated her centennial birthday on July 24.
Pic is produced by Gabriella Blumberg and Sank of South Africa’s Sanktuary Films, with financial backing from Claims Conference, an organization that provides reparations for Jewish Holocaust victims. Claims Conference previously backed Lázló Nemes’ foreign-language Oscar winner “Son of Saul.”
Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) may have thought crowing about its $60 million from the debut of Black Widow on Disney+ would show how smart its simultaneous film releases to theaters and its streaming service was.
Instead, the boast indicated to star Scarlett Johansson just how much money she was losing from the practice, and now she's suing Disney for breach of contract. It's also emboldened other movie stars to consider suing the studio, which could lead to day-and-date releases being dramatically scaled back or even eliminated.
If that happens, Disney may have just accidentally saved AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE:AMC) from financial ruin.Back to the future
Movie studios distributing films simultaneously to theaters and streaming services is a body blow to theater operators. Disney isn't the only one doing it; Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros., and others are adding movies to their streaming channels on the same day they're showing in theaters.
Theaters have long faced declining attendance and day-and-date releases offer an additional incentive for moviegoers to avoid the cinema. While AMC was brought to its knees by the pandemic and was only rescued from bankruptcy by being elevated as a meme stock, which let it raise enough money to keep going, the advent of simultaneous film releases makes its future dark.
But Johansson's lawsuit, and others that may follow -- Cruella star Emma Stone is also reportedly considering suing the studio for the simultaneous release of her film -- could have studios rethinking the practice. In so doing, they could just preserve the theater industry's window of exclusivity, ensuring AMC, Cinemark Holdings, and Regal theaters survive.
Because theaters make most of their money from extended movie runs, reopening the window will bolster their profits. AMC CEO Adam Aron says most of a film's box office is made in the first three weeks of its run, but other chains argue they make greater profits from extended runs because of high-margin concession stand sales.
The window of exclusivity that had once been as long as six months was virtually shut closed during the pandemic as studios needed to recoup their investment in the films they had already shot. Even after theaters began reopening, studios continued releasing them to streaming services.A case of projection
According to Johansson's lawsuit, "Disney intentionally induced Marvel's breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel."
Like most actors, Johansson earns a salary for her acting, and then earns additional money from the box office receipts a film generates. It's often why actors go on extended promotional tours for a movie, and Johansson was very active in marketing Black Widow.
The movie earned $80 million in its box office debut and has since generated over $167 million in domestic receipts and $176 million worldwide.
Yet Disney separately benefited from her efforts, reaping tens of millions of dollars in streaming receipts that it did not have to share with the actor. It was ironic that Disney tried shaming Johansson for filing the lawsuit by calling her "callous" for ignoring the "horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic," considering the extra profits the studio earned off Johansson's promotions.Zeroing in on the bottom line
Only films with blockbuster potential are worthy of a premium when released to streaming, and studios don't generate nearly as much money on their simultaneous release because multiple people can view a single stream. They lose the revenue that comes from multiple ticket purchases at the theater.
And that is what can help theaters stay afloat. The entertainment venues will sell more tickets, which still accounts for 60% to 70% of their revenue, but generate more concession stand sales, which account for the bulk of their profit margins.
AMC's food and beverage sales represented 31% of total revenue in 2019, but only 5% of its operating costs. They totaled 35% of revenue for Cinemark, but only 7% of its operating expenses.
The problem for theaters is streaming is here to stay and will continue to gnaw away at attendance over time. In the meantime, Disney may have just given AMC Entertainment the time it needs to come up with a solution to confront this secular decline.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.