For all the carnies

December 4th, 2023

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Beyoncé won the weekend. Her Renaissance concert movie is #1 at the box office with a $21 million debut. Fun fact: it’s the first time in 20 years that a film has opened at over $20 million on this weekend. The Last Samurai was, well, the last movie to do so. See what we did there? Anyway, check Renaissance out in a theater near you.

In other news… Drake buys an amusement park, Apple and Paramount team up, and 2024’s food trends are here.

Top Trends

YouTube → The Boys

X → Deadpool 3

Reddit → Beyoncé

TikTok → “greedy”

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ENTERTAINMENT

Drake, the ringmaster // Illustration by Kate Walker

Drake buys an amusement park

The Future. Drake is taking on Disneyland… well, not exactly. But the rapper and his entertainment firm, DreamCrew, have purchased the assets of the forgotten, artist-driven Luna Luna amusement park. While it’ll simply be displayed as an art exhibit for now, DreamCrew’s ultimate ambition to turn it into a full-fledged, rideable destination could make independent, bespoke carnivals the coolest new addition to the experience economy.

For all the carnies
Only put up for a brief run in Hamburg, Germany in 1987, the Luna Luna theme park was crippled by financial and legal headaches and ultimately lost to time… until Drake’s DreamCrew found it sitting in shipping containers two hours north of Dallas.

  • DreamCrew purchased Luna Luna’s entire collection of trippy carnival rides, which were designed by contemporary artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Salvador Dalí, from the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation.

  • It’s currently being set up in a 60,000 square foot warehouse in downtown LA as a multi-month, immersive art exhibition, dubbed “Luna Luna Forgotten Fantasy,” that opens next spring.

  • The rides won’t be… well… rideable, but some will be functional, and performers will also wander the space to recreate the feel of the original attraction.

  • And LA won’t be the first stop — the firm plans to take the exhibit on the road as part of a larger cultural project “to reclaim the amusement park as an art-driven space,” per the LA Times.

DreamCrew is also talking with European ride manufacturers to one day bring the rides up to code and turn the exhibit into a full-fledged theme park… offering a lot of people the chance to give history a whirl.

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ENTERTAINMENT

“Let’s make this more permanent.” // Courtesy of Apple

Apple and Paramount consider a streamer collab

The Future. Apple and Paramount are discussing bundling their respective streaming services at a discounted price. If the team-up reduces subscriber cancellations, boosts revenue (important to Paramount), and increases content visibility (important to Apple), it’ll be a win for everyone. More intriguingly, with Paramount reportedly on the sales block, the close collaboration between the companies could put Apple in the pole position to acquire the storied studio.

Turn the churn
After partnering on Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, Apple and Paramount are in talks to work a little more closely together — bundling their streamers.

  • That’s because both have had higher-than-typical customer cancellations — in October, each had a 7% churn rate, while 5.7% is the industry average.

  • And with prices going up across the board (Apple recently doubled its price, while Paramount raised its own when it combined with Showtime), the companies hope a bundled package will help reverse those stats.

This sort of consolidation has been inevitable for the past year, as every Hollywood studio rushed to build its own streamer but was met with poor economics, rising costs, and a Wall Street that prioritized profits. Companies can only lose so much money chasing Netflix before they have to rethink their strategy.

In the case of Paramount and Apple, the former has steadily grown but is still at the bottom of the streaming pecking order, while Apple has a plethora of great titles but has gotten lost in the shuffle. By joining forces, the hope is both get a boost.

Heck, the news already boosted Paramount Global’s stock.

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No-Shave November is over

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the 20% off MANSCAPED® holiday sale. Whoever it is you’re shopping for, our friends at MANSCAPED® have you covered on gifts for every guy in the family:

  • Dad: The revolutionary Weed Whacker® 2.0 electric nose and ear hair trimmer designed for maximum comfort and performance. 

  • Husband or Boyfriend: The new Performance Package 5.0 Ultra all-in-one grooming kit featuring The Lawn Mower® 5.0 Ultra body hair trimmer, the Weed Whacker® 2.0 ear and nose hair trimmer, ball aftershave lotion, ball deodorant, free anti-chafing boxers, and a free travel bag.

  • Brother: The Body Care Kit featuring the highest quality hair and skincare products that’ll step up any man’s shower routine. It includes the Body Buffer silicone body scrubber, UltraPremium Body Wash, 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner, and cologne-quality fragrance Deodorant.

  • Friend: The Shears 3.0 precision nail grooming kit featuring professional-grade stainless steel tools.

FOOD & DRINK

Dishin’ // Illustration by Kate Walker

2024’s adventures in flavor

The Future. Next year’s culinary trends may rearrange how and where people spend their money and fill their stomaches. Whether or not any of them stay on the plate in 2025 is a question of cultural taste. But the winner could create new mainstream snack brands, start fresh taste movements, and elevate a new generation of restaurateurs.

Flavor forecast
Axios culled together a recipe of food trends to look out for in 2024.

  • The “how food is made” is key: ultra-processed foods are out, as diners want upcycled and sustainably-farmed food to eat cleaner and protect the environment.

  • Like social media influencers, authenticity is crucial: there’s a focus on culture and heritage, with West African, Lebanese, and Korean restaurants now on the rise.

  • “Newstalgia” is replacing “nostalgia”: people want the snacks (cereal, candy, soda, etc.) that remind them of their childhoods, but updated for modern times.

  • And in case you’re wondering, some specific items you’ll begin to see on every menu are pickles and espresso martinis… but hopefully not together.

While food trends come and go (TikTok recipes burn hot, bright, and fast), these ones could transform your grocery runs and Friday night dates for the whole year to come.

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The dreamiest chocolate beverage

Having trouble catching those Zzz’s? Say hello to Beam Dream Powder — your new sleep BFF!

Imagine sipping on guilt-free hot chocolate that helps you drift into dreamland like it’s your job. It’s made with organic cacao and cinnamon, zero calories, and no added sugar. It’s also loaded with magnesium, reishi, L-theanine, and even nano CBD.

1.5 million nights of great sleep can’t be wrong. Just check out these dreamy stats:

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And guess what else? When you become a Beam Dream Powder subscriber, you’ll score a sweet 20% off, a fancy mug/frother, free shipping, VIP treatment, and a delivery schedule as flexible as your yoga instructor.

YOUR DAILY POLL

We ask the hard-hitting questions.

What's your social media preference?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Most of you chose JOMO over FOMO in Friday’s poll.

“The COVID lockdown triggered my introvert tendencies. I don’t want to rush to be in a crowd or to spend money.”

“The POV of happiness is key.”

“Simplify your life. Stick with the tried and true, and stop chasing the next ‘big’ thing.”

Highlights

The best curated daily stories from around the web

Media, Music, & Entertainment

  • Paramount Global is set to finally make an announcement about who will take over The Daily Show desk… and it may end up being two hosts after some successful testing. Read More → deadline

  • as1one, the first combined Israeli and Palestinian boy band, is in LA recording their first album with a bevy of high-profile collaborators… and a push from the music industry to turn them into a “harmonizing” hit. Read More → billboard

  • Former Lucasfilm exec, Catherine Winder, is launching Future Chicken — a kid-focused, “multi-platform digital universe” centered around a digital chicken that helps kids with climate anxiety. Read More → fastcompany

Fashion & E-Commerce

  • Louis Vuitton has revealed an entirely 3D-printed shoe, dubbed the “LV COBRA.” Read More → hypebeast

  • Old-school toys like Furbys, Care Bears, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are all the rage again and have people scouring the internet for both presents and profits. Read More → forbes

  • Stella McCartney’s new parka is the first garment to be made using “biological recycling.” Read More → fastcompany

Tech, Web3, & AI

  • Biotech startup Loyal is developing a drug that could extend the lives of big dogs like Bernese mountain dogs and Great Danes for potentially over a year by reducing a specific hormone. Read More → wired

  • A bipartisan bill wants to reign in the TSA’s facial-recognition tech program at airports across the country. Read More → engadget

  • The government of Porto Alege, Brazil passed a water consumption ordinance that they didn’t realize had been generated by one of the city council members with ChatGPT. Read More → ap

Creator Economy

  • A federal judge has issued an injunction on Montana’s statewide TikTok ban, citing that it likely violates the First Amendment. Read More → variety

  • With many major advertisers signaling that they won’t return to X after Musk’s now-infamous “go f*ck yourself” comments, the platform said that it’d focus on attracting small businesses. Read More → techcrunch

  • The hottest trend on TikTok is the aging “Time Travel” filter… or, as we like to call it, the Benjamin Button filter. Read More → fastcompany

Correction: In our 11/30 newsletter, we mistakenly called Andrew Santino of the Bad Friends podcast Bobby Santino. We apologize and will re-binge Dave as penance.

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Today’s email was written by David Vendrell.
Edited by Boye Fajinmi. Copy edited by Kait Cunniff.
Published by Darline Salazar.

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