Hocus Pocus 2, Prey, Fire Island & Weird: The Al Yankovic Story Rally Straight-To-Streaming Movies At Emmy Noms

It’s a good thing that the Television Academy never scrapped the Television Movie Emmy category because original streaming movies stepped up in a major way this morning in the Primetime noms.

Streaming movies notched four of the five Outstanding Movie Primetime Emmy nomination slots including Disney+’s most watched movie ever Hocus Pocus 2, Disney’s Hulu movies Prey and Fire Island, as well as Roku’s Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. In recent years, there’s been chatter that the Television Academy was pondering a nix of the movie category, but they’ve held on to it, and obviously streamers are delivering product to it.

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Even more amazing, streaming movies grabbed three out of the six writing noms in the limited-anthology series/movie slot: Prey (Patrick Aison, story by Dan Trachtenberg), Fire Island (Joel Kim Booster) and Weird: Al the Yankovic Story (Weird Al and Eric Appel).

Hocus Pocus 2, the sequel to the 1993 movie about silly witches, clocked a Nielsen record for a streaming movie in its first weekend (Sept 30-Oct 2, 2022) with 2.7 billion minutes views. A threequel is already in development.

Prey is a prequel in the 20th Century Studios Predator franchise and follows Naru, a skilled warrior of the Comanche Nation, who fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth. According to Nielsen, Prey was watched over 585 million minutes in its first three days, meaning it was watched about 5.8 million times by Hulu subscribers (the film is 100 minutes long). With box office on the rebound as early as last year coming out of the pandemic, some wondered why Prey and Hocus Pocus 2 went straight-to-streaming, however, Disney+ and Hulu needed product to juice the service, a mission during the Bob Chapek-run era of Disney.

The Andrew Ahn directed Fire Island starring SNL’s Bowen Yang and stand-up Margaret Cho was part of Searchlight’s plan to make movies for Hulu. The pic follows a group of queer best friends who gather in Fire Island Pines for their annual week of love and laughter, but a sudden change of events might make this their last summer in gay paradise.

Weird world premiered at the TIFF Midnight Madness last September and played like a rock concert there, a reminder to how comedy movies can resonate with a crowd post pandemic as there has been very few of them playing to packed cinemas. The movie earned eight Emmy Primetime Noms today including Lead Actor in an Anthology Series or Movie for Daniel Radcliffe who plays the title character. Weird also received noms in Outstanding Casting for Limited Series or Movie, Picture Editing, Original Dramatic Score, Original Music and Lyrics and Sound Mixing.

Among Prey’s six Primetime Emmy nominations are also directing (Tratchenberg), Picture Editing, Original Dramatic Score, and Sound Editing.

Last year there were three movies conceived for streaming in the mix among the Emmy noms: Roku’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas, Paramount+’s Reno 911!: The Hunt for QAnon and Disney+’s Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers which won. HBO Films had acquired the Barry Levinson directed theatrical drama The Survivor out of TIFF 2021, which had a debut on HBO and HBO Max; that pic also being among last year’s five Emmy nominated Outstanding Television Movies.

NBC’s Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas was the fifth title to be nominated in the Outstanding Movie category today, and the only one from a broadcast network.

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