DC Universe Becomes Comics-only DC Universe Infinite, But For How Long?

Was a huge fan of DC Universe the latter part of 2019 and through half of 2020, mainly for introducing me to the twisted, bizarro world of Harley Quinn. Sadly, their streaming service was doomed and the movie and TV content was gutted and moved to HBO Max.

Now, as previously announced (see: Harley Quinn finally receives much deserved season three renewal and DCU will become comics only) the service is being rebranded as DC Universe Infinite and it’s pretty much a comics-only subscription service competing against the Marvel comics-only subscription service.

DC Universe Infinite is available online at DCUniverseInfinite.com, iOS and Android devices for $7.99 a month or $74.99 a year ($6.25 a month). DC Universe Infinite subscribers in good standing who were existing members of DC Universe or who joined during the DC Universe Infinite pre-order offer window and who enrolled in auto-renewal, will receive a special thank you voucher redeemable at the DC Shop, on or after February 1, 2021, subject to terms and conditions. Annual subscribers will receive a $25 voucher, while monthly subscribers will receive a $10 voucher. See full terms and conditions for details.

DC Universe Infinite: Pricing, Content Details Revealed for Rebranded App

With the addition of the Vertigo titles, including the Black Label comics, this is likely a must-subscribe for comic book fans. I’m a casual comics fan, mostly due to my lousy eyes. Unfortunately, I don’t find it very pleasurable reading comic books digitally. Sure, you can pinch and zoom to blow up the art and I love the animation, I really do, but the experience isn’t something I can do much any more. Hard to explain that conflict, I guess. To like something, but being unable to fully enjoy it due to the form factor and bad eyesight. Maybe I just need to go get a better prescription and that will rejuvenate my comic book reading.

Anyway, I bought Harleen, the book and it’s gorgeous. So nice that I couldn’t even break it out of its packaging, so bought the digital version through Google Play to read it that way (keep in mind the last paragraph).

Bottom line: subscribing to DC Universe Infinite seems like it would be a cool idea so I could read a bunch of great DC comics, but not something I’d likely do often enough to justify the subscription. Time can change things, so who knows?

Based on the rocky history of DC Universe, subscribers must also worry if DC’s future is in doubt. AT&T seems hellbent on cutting costs and it’s possible they will abandon the comic business to shave more costs. Hopefully, if that happens, somebody who cares about the IP and industry will pick them up and keep the comics going. I like the comic book industry and think it should continue. DC has too many awesome characters to have some mega corporation kill them off.

Apple, WarnerMedia and Facebook Reportedly Say No To Buying Quibi

How many subscribers, like us, canceled Quibi after the generous 90 day free trial? Guesses anyone?

Poor empty theater Quibi, showing their “quick bites” to people who aren’t hungry like Facebook, WarnerMedia and Apple. Or so the article below is saying.

The Information reported, “Over the past few weeks, Katzenberg has pitched several tech and entertainment executives about buying Quibi, only to be turned down. Among those he approached was Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, and WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, according to people familiar with the situation. He and his partner in Quibi, former HP CEO Meg Whitman, also made formal presentations to executives at other tech companies, including Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app, only to get rejected there as well, the people said.”

Quibi Reportedly Fails to Sell Assets to Apple, WarnerMedia, and Facebook

Of the three rejecting suitors, only the last one makes any kind of sense, but let’s take them one at a time.

WarnerMedia – Quibi would be of little help for HBO Max. Maybe some of their content would be worthwhile, but why pay premium for it? Wait for the fire sale. This is an easy pass.

Facebook? They are focused on VR right now and Quibi doesn’t have any VR content (at least to my knowledge). They also don’t seem to want to be in the streaming movie & TV space, so a Quibi acquisition makes less than zero sense.

Apple – this is one I’ve already mentioned could help by adding to their sparse library of content for AppleTV+. The problem, and just guessing here, is the price tag. Same as WarnerMedia, wait for the fire sale.

There are other issues that makes buying Quibi unattractive, like the infringement lawsuit for the flipscreen feature. It’s an cool feature for techie movie fans, but the vast majority of non-techie subscribers probably could care less.

Bottom line: Quibi is going to have to lower the price tag, find some way to increase their subscriber count (good luck!) and try again later.

Jim Lee Promises “big news” Regarding DC Universe’s Future “next week” – Let’s Speculate!

Who let the dogs out? Harley rides her Joker sled in an episode of Harley Quinn on DCU

Should we start speculating what next week’s “big announcement” will be for DC Universe? Sure, I’ll bite, after the jump.

Lee made the announcement via Twitter, after congratulating DC Universe’s Doom Patrol on being renewed for Season 3. “Stay tuned next week for big news about @thedcuniverse and it’s [sic] exciting future!” Lee wrote.

Jim Lee Promises a Major Announcement Regarding DC Universe’s Future

My guesses? Some kind of bundling with HBO Max and/or Cinemax (see: HBO Max and DC Universe bundle is a good idea – Merging? No, here’s why) and/or reduced subscription pricing or expanded comics access (perhaps reducing the window from one year to six months for new titles to show up on DCU) for the unlimited comic book reading experience.

Whatever the announcement will be, it’s kind of odd that they didn’t bring it during DCFanDome on Saturday 9/12? I mean, that was the perfect platform, date and time. A week later seems off (?) All we heard was Doom Patrol news (see: Doom Patrol greenlit for season 3 exclusively on HBO Max, no love for DCU continues). Good news there, but expected we’d hear Harley Quinn season 3 was being greenlit.

Although a criminally bad decision if it doesn’t happen, we can rule out a HQ Season 3 greenlight announcement since WarnerMedia has already stated there will be no new original shows on DCU, so it must have something to do with just how committed they are to DCU going forward (see: Jim Lee on DC Universe: “It’s definitely not going away”)

Anybody else want to guess what this news will be? The comments are waiting below.

Wait, Tenet did $10 million, not $20 million, now Wonder Woman 1984 could be delayed again?

Tenet ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Tenet apparently didn’t do the $20 million that was reported. It’s half that, which could threaten another delay for Wonder Woman 1984 release in October. Dune, which has a pretty cool looking trailer, is also at risk.

Warners did not break down the $20.2 million total by days, or by country. However, according to multiple sources, Canada’s initial Wednesday-Sunday grossed $2.6 million. Based on normal play, Labor Day likely brought in about $2.5 million. In the U.S., there were limited shows August 30-September 2, followed by a full day on Thursday, September 3; a fair guess for that period is $5 million. That comes to around $10 million, leaving “Tenet” about about the same for its actual opening three day weekend in North America.

Mediocre ‘Tenet’ Grosses Likely Factor in Expected ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ and ‘Dune’ Delays – IndieWire

Still, $10 million in box office sales for Tenet considering the number of theaters that haven’t reopened and the number of moviegoers that haven’t gone back yet isn’t “mediocre” as the article states. Also, don’t forget the $100+ million in international revenue.

Assuming those numbers aren’t faked.

One reason I’m not a political blogger — and likely couldn’t be, frankly — is pure disgust at the phony environment. Here we are a couple short months from a presidential election and who seriously knows what to trust from the media regarding both presidential candidates. Everything seems overblown and with exclamation !!!! marks !!!! At some point, you become breathless reading about so many different panic modes. Voters can analyze President Trump’s impulsive, sanity-stretched rule over the last four years and Biden’s 40+ year political record (and the fact he looks at death’s door), but it’s difficult to gauge the unbiased truth from the media about either candidate. Can you?

And, more relevant to this site, we’re in the midst of an event we’ve not experienced before in my lifetime and not even the entertainment sector is safe from spin.

Spin, spin, spin.

Making box-office gross available is a norm, but it’s not a requirement. Studios made the collective judgment decades ago that the reports provide more positive energy for successful films than harm for the bad ones, but the horse-race aspects often create the impression that the immediate response determines a film’s value. For “Tenet,” Warners decided to buck tradition and withhold information, thereby avoiding much of the rush to judgment. It also allows the studio greater capacity to spin.

Tenet and Mulan Opening Weekend: Studios Say Don’t Judge Box Office | IndieWire

This seems like we were being setup to accept falsehoods involving the actual box office states. Unbelievable – and yet in 2020 nothing seems to be.

We don’t know what the streaming viewing numbers are, because Netflix doesn’t use third party analytics and the closest they’ll come to telling us is their top 10 list. This list, they say — and we are supposed to believe them — is the popularity of movie and TV shows on their service. Hulu claimed an Andy Samberg movie was one of their top movies (see: 15+ Palm Springs Reviews – Samberg Still Isn’t Funny), but was it? Where is the independent verification?

Too much of what we see and read in 2020 is spin and it’s disappointing. We don’t have independent, third party verification much any more. Instead, we have some popular website or organization saying they have “inside sources” and that makes news. We have the companies themselves reporting popularity of shows they paid to create. We are, literally, trusting what we’re being told, not what really is happening.

I don’t mean to be the cynic here, but the amount of news I’m reading that I believe is 100% accurate is very, very small.

All this to say, we don’t know exactly what the true Tenet numbers are in the United States. Warner Bros. provided part of the story. We don’t know what Mulan’s numbers behind the premium gated VOD wall of Disney+ either, but we’re hearing it’s doing very well. We’ll just have to take Disney’s word for that.

Oceanfront property is raging in Arizona right now.

DC FanDome Kicks Off Today August 22 @ 10am PT – Share Your Schedule – What are you looking forward to seeing?

DC FanDome is advertising buying DC movies at special pricing during the event and a little bit beyond … catch the fun at DCFanDome.com on Saturday August 22, 2020

It’s Saturday, August 22, and DC FanDome time starting at 10am PT … or possibly now by the time you read this. I’m going to be checking this virtual event out at least part of today.

(The other part? We’re going back to the movie theater to watch some new movies! YAY!)

Have seen some ads for $5 digital deals on buying DC movies circulating through Roku and some publications, see the quote below, are doing detailed dives on the merchandising offerings.

Highlights include the best of Wonder Woman 1984 lifestyle products, a LEGO shop, EleVen by Venus Williams x Wonder Woman exclusives, and DRAWN: Black DC Super Heroes with Ken Lashley and Denys Cowan art. Superhero fans won’t want to miss this opportunity to own merch from around the world to create or expand their personal DC collection. (Quantities are limited and may sell out fast — some are only for sale for the first 24 hours).

Official DC FanDome Store Launching Tomorrow Through September – ComingSoon.net

Don’t think I’ll be buying any Wonder Woman gold shoes for $100 or going in on the LEGO Batman VISA card (one credit card for me, with a small credit limit, suits me just fine), but maybe there are some other deals that will interest. I’ll check it out.

Honestly, I’m much more interested in the panels. The most interesting panel I looked forward to, though, has been pushed back to next month (see: DC FanDome Splits and Offers Second Day on September 12, Harley Quinn Season 3 News Likely To Be Revealed?).

Still, I’m ready for WW1984. The hype for that movie has been going on far too long (see: FIRST LOOK: Wonder Woman 1984 – First Official Trailer Released – Livestream Notes and Reaction — that was December?!). Not Patty Jenkins fault the movie didn’t get out on time, but I’m past ready to see the sequel. The fact that it’s set in the 80s, my high school years, makes me even more excited. You?

As for shopping? Meh. I’m not a big merch guy. Sure, if I go see a concert I spring for the way overpriced concert T, and I usually want to buy something to remember an event for, but a virtual event? It’s not the same as saying “I was there” — and honestly buying or collecting crap that just gathers dust and becomes something to throw away or sell down the road? Not my idea of money well spent.

That said, for others who want to show off their DC pride, it’s all good. We must question the unfortunate timing of this event shortly following the layoffs and other negativity swirling around WarnerMedia lately (see: Majority of DC Universe staff have been laid off by WarnerMedia, report says)

Buying any of the DC movies for $5? Maybe Wonder Woman would interest me at that price. We have it on HBO Max right now, so owning it to rewatch isn’t really that compelling. Also, I’m guessing down the road there will be some sort of bundle pack for WW1984 and WW at a special price. We just don’t buy that many movies any more.

What DC FanDome events are you most looking forward to?

How many of you are attending DC FanDome today? Any noteworthy panels, discussions or live events you are especially interested in?

You can share your DC FanDome scheduled by clicking on the “Share” link, here’s mine: https://schedule.dcfandome.com/my-schedule/5f3891cdac38af0019c0338f

Share with us in the comments. We don’t want to miss something exciting, entertaining and/or fun!

Majority of DC Universe staff have been laid off by WarnerMedia, report says

The Riddler, Joker and Harley Quinn on the DC Universe original TV series Harley Quinn

After reading the WarnerMedia CEO letter and not seeing anything about DC Universe, I was nervous for the service (see: WarnerMedia Company Shakeup Memo Doesn’t Mention Fate of DC Universe), and earlier today comes reports that the “majority” of DC Universe staff have been laid off. The comics division is being hit especially hard.

Insiders also say the majority of the staff of the streaming service DC Universe has been laid off, a move that had been widely expected as WarnerMedia shifts its focus to new streaming service HBO Max. “DC Universe was DOA as soon as the AT&T merger happened,” said one source.

DC Comics, DC Universe Hit By Major Layoffs | Hollywood Reporter

Hopefully the “source” is wrong about DCU being “DOA” (Dead On Arrival). Keep it around for at least the wide selection of comic books. Will continue to push for that from our tiny, relatively insignificant — but growing, hey! — web crevice.

Saw another article the other day — no sources cited, so probably not credible — saying that DC Universe had around only 50,000 paid subscribers. Don’t believe the numbers are that low. We’re one of them, having gotten in at a lower monthly price deal at the end of 2019, but it just seems to me that they must have at least a couple hundred thousand paid subscribers for their comics … yes/no?

Even though Stargirl’s first season is now finished, we’re staying subscribed to see what comes out of the FREE virtual event, DC FanDome on Saturday August 22, 2020. Presumably, we’ll find out from the source what is happening with DCU. Will be posting more about that in the not too distant future.

Now, could be wrong, but despite the layoffs, I don’t think WarnerMedia is going to shut down DCU.

Will the service be changed? That much seems all but a certainty. My money is on it being a comics-only service, perhaps even with a bundling deal with HBO Max (which would promote HBO Max, so it plays into WarnerMedia’s strategy).

I mean, if they’re keeping Crunchyroll (see: WarnerMedia’s Crunchyroll growing, despite curated hub on HBO Max, maybe DC Universe will enjoy similar autonomy?), they aren’t opposed to keeping other niche services. I do think the days of seeing anything movie or TV-oriented original and exclusive at DC Universe are gone.

WarnerMedia’s Crunchyroll growing, despite curated hub on HBO Max, maybe DC Universe will enjoy similar autonomy?

Crunchyroll’s free 14-day trial outlines benefits paid subscribers receive

Anime is popular in 2020. Is it bigger from a streaming site subscription than the comic book subscriptions? I don’t know.

We’ve all heard people saying they hate reading, so maybe that has something to do with it. One you can watch that makes you think, the other your read and makes you think. One is clearly more passive than the other.

Also, there are videogames. Anime and videogames go together perhaps even better — because of active audience participation — than comic book adaptations to movie or TV shows. Clearly, Crunchyroll has videogames going for it, too.

I hadn’t considered Crunchyroll — but probably should have — in my DC Universe coverage of how they are being treated during the release of HBO Max getting most of their movie content (see: HBO Max and DC Universe bundle is a good idea – Merging? No, here’s why).

Warnermedia is a hydra with many different businesses, some competing with each other for subscribers. It’s tough when you compete against yourself, but a company as large as their parent AT&T is no doubt going to have some tiger eating their own conflicts.

Their solution on HBO Max for Crunchyroll was to have a curated section, a best of Crunchyroll, which could be an attractive add-on for Max subscribers, but not pull away from Crunchyroll.

This strategy is working.

In an interview with Deadline, Waage declined to speculate on the broader strategy of WarnerMedia in streaming, but she said “the goal is to fuel both” Crunchyroll and HBO Max. “We believe we can grow this area by exposing people to it,” she added. “Dramatic animation is in its infancy … We are Fox 30 years ago with The Simpsons. This is a category that will only grow.”

WarnerMedia’s Crunchyroll Hits 3 Million Streaming Subscribers As Anime Continues To Make Strides – Deadline

With Crunchyroll adding subscribers it’s a different circumstance than DC Universe which might be holding even or losing paid subscribers based on the wide amount of negative publicity we’ve seen.

The difference is HBO Max has what DCU subscribers feel is more and better movie and TV content than DCU. A lot of the people seem to be heading to HBO Max for the movie and TV content and don’t see the value in keeping DCU.

Frustrating that the comic books aren’t being considered, but it isn’t a curated DCU comic books — which would have been a cool idea had HBO Max done that — instead they basically gutted DCU of the bulk of the movies they had.

Still, I’m reminded that DC Universe have like 24,000+ DC Comics. They have an active community around the comics and it’s more than just the animated movies, live action and TV shows.

I can see subscribers who want DC movies and TV shows only and don’t care as much about comics might find paying for a DC Universe subscription less desirable.

As for Crunchyroll? I know almost nothing about their site except that they do anime. I like anime but it’s not something I’d put in my top five genres of movies. I’ve seen some absolutely killer anime and have covered some anime here at this blog.

What I don’t understand, and maybe this is something a reader can help me with is why isn’t there as much excitement around comics? There are anime comics, so is that niche all self-contained and doesn’t carry over to the big companies DC and Marvel?

Maybe HBO Max should rethink how they do the DC Universe section of HBO Max and include a “best of” curated comics for HBO Max subscribers? This would be a great tie-in for HBO Max subscribers buying a subscription to DCU.

It just seems strange to me that HBO Max took two different strategies with how they handled Crunchyroll and DCU. The former is working and driving new subscribers whiel the latter is driving anger and frustration. At least from a segment of the subscriber base, those of us who see the value in the comic books aren’t as upset about the circumstance.

I think the biggest problem with WarnerMedia is communication. They haven’t communicated to their paid customers what they want to do with DCU. The sooner they can make their intentions known there the better. Are they leaving DCU to run the way it is? Are they closing DCU? Merging it entirely with HBO Max? Making DCU a comics-only subscription portal? Customers deserve to know what’s going on.

At least Crunchyroll subscribers know where they stand. Business is good there.

HBO Situation for Cable TV Users on ROKU Getting Messy as of July 1

Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam arm wrestling over HBO branding (just a joke, folks!)

It’s not just cable TV subscribers, but WarnerMedia needs badly to simply what they are doing with their HBO brand. It seems to me like they are trying to put all their eggs in the HBO Max basket, which is a good package — if you can access it.

Aye, there’s the rub.

In case you didn’t already know, it’s about to get very confusing on Roku for HBO Go customers, and maybe even impossible when that is removed as of July 1, 2020. Even though I’ve read multiple articles, and consider myself fairly intelligent, I don’t completely understand what the heck is going on with HBO Go.

It’s going away, sort of, in place of HBO Max. HBO wants to just have one HBO which is HBO Max, but as we’ve already written about here several times: there is no HBO Max on Roku right now, nor is it on Amazon Fire. There is HBO Now, which is contains a fraction of the overall HBO Max content.

If you want to watch HBO Max on your TV, the simplest way to do it is to sign up directly and use Chromecast. I gave up that fight recently, and that’s where I ended. Others might not feel as compelled to go out and pay $29 for Chromecast, subscribe directly to streaming channels and pay for cable TV (wouldn’t blame anybody who thinks that way, btw).

It gets dicey if you already subscribe to HBO through your cable company. I’m feeling for you folks, because again, I don’t understand how you get the new HBO (HBO Max) without dropping HBO and just signing up directly and using Chromecast? You can read the article quoted below and maybe you’ll glean some kind of knowledge of what to do.

WarnerMedia will be replacing HBO NOW with a rebranded HBO App, but cable authentication isn’t supported. That means in order for cable customers (and those who subscribed via Roku) will have to access HBO content through their cable company’s platform. If you already created a HBO Max account, you may be able to use your log-in to access HBO Now.

Roku Customers Won’t Be Able to Access HBO App with Cable Credentials Starting July 31st

I think most of our readers here don’t have cable TV, but that’s just a guess. And at least a good percentage of those readers probably have at least one streaming account.

But that’s just a guess, as I don’t have any scientific data to back that up. The comments section below provides a chance for you to tell me if you still have cable TV. Anyway, if you do, and want to keep cable TV (I’m interested to hear why anybody does want to pay for that any more, but that’s not meant as any kind of diss), then what do you recommend to others who have cable TV and want to enjoy HBO Max?

This too many HBO brand conflicts needs to end. What would you tell your friends o do who want to watch HBO Max? I’m telling them, just get Chromecast and sign up directly.