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The Birth of Mickey

In 1928, Walt Disney, then an unknown animator, was forced to give up his relatively successful character of "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" following a contract dispute with Universal.

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Aug 20

Weekend Box Office: 'Hitman's Bodyguard' Mows Down 'Logan Lucky' With $21.6M

Stills from new theatre releases "Hitman's Bodyguard" (left) and "Logan's Lucky" (images courtesy Lionsgate / Bleecker Street)
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by Pamela McClintock

In a blow for returning director Steven Soderbergh, his star-studded heist pic Logan Lucky was mowed down at the domestic box office by The Hitman's Bodyguard despite rapturous reviews.

Hitman's Bodyguard also doesn't lack for star power in its two leading men, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. Lionsgate's action comedy debuted to a better-than-expected $21.6 million from 3,377 theaters to easily top the weekend box-office chart, although it couldn't do anything to stop overall summer revenue from continuing to tumble as Hollywood and theater owners endured the lowest-grossing weekend of the year to date.

Critics snubbed Hitman's Bodyguard, while audiences gave the R-rated pic a B+ CinemaScore. Directed by Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3), the action comedy tells the story of a world-renowned bodyguard (Reynolds) who must protect an infamous hitman (Jackson) who is scheduled to testify. The movie drew its fair share of females (48 percent).

Logan Lucky placed third with an estimated $8.1 million from 3,301 theaters, the lowest nationwide start of Soderbergh's career behind the 2002 space odyssey Solaris ($6.7 million) and the lowest when adjusting for inflation. The filmmaker made the $29 million heist comedy outside the Hollywood studio system by relying on a combination of foreign presales and equity, while raising another $20 million for marketing so as to retain tight control of how the PG-13 pic was sold. Indie distributor Bleecker Street distributed the pic on behalf of Soderbergh's Fingerprint Releasing.
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Among holdovers, Warner Bros./New Line's Annabelle: CreationAnnabelle 2 earned conjured up $42 million from 56 markets, enough to beat China blockbuster Wolf Warrior 2 ($36 million), which has amassed a record-shattering $772 million since debuting earlier this month, the majority of which it has earned in China, according to comScore. Annabelle 2's global cume stands at $160.7 million.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Aug 19

The Hilarious Way Kingsman: The Golden Circle Is Using The Solar Eclipse To Its Advantage

by Adam Holmes

Next Monday, the United States will be treated to a solar eclipse of varying degrees depending on where you live. The last time this kind of eclipse occurred was in 1979, and it will be decades until this phenomenon happens again. Eager to use this event to its advantage, 20th Century Fox has released a funny new promo for the upcoming Kingsman: The Golden Circle that claims the movie's marketing team is triggering the solar eclipse simply to plug the sequel. Check it out!

Dubbed "The Greatest Movie Promo Ever," the newest Kingsman: The Golden Circle video ironically sheds light on the lengths the marketing team went for some extra advertising. Unhappy with the usual campaigns, the director of market research was suddenly struck by inspiration. Or as he put it, he had an "ecliphany." With a title like The Golden Circle, artificilly moving the moon in front of the sun's path to Earth is the best way to convince domestic audiences to see the sequel next month, and all it takes 100,000 tons of liquid nitrogen and nitrogen tetroxide, as well as 22,000,000 pounds of thrust. Did this put the movie's marketing way over budget? Yes. Could moving the moon lead to a catastrophe later on? Probably. Is it legal to move the moon? That's questionable. Is this a grandiose way to promote a movie? Definitely.

Continue Reading at: CinemaBlend

Aug 18

Patty Jenkins In Final Negotiations On Historic Deal To Helm 'Wonder Woman 2'

It's been over two months since Wonder Woman opened to a staggering $103.2M and went on to gross close to $800M worldwide for Warner Bros. (with Japan yet to bow). The movie, directed by Patty Jenkins, not only re-invigorated DC movies and the studio itself, but became a symbol of strength for women across the country. Now Jenkins is returning to the director's chair to helm the second film in the franchise that she was so instrumental in starting.

Last month at Comic-Con, the studio confirmed both a sequel with Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot and a release date of Dec. 13, 2019. However, curiously, there was no deal with Jenkins. Why the delay? Because Jenkins - who was lauded repeatedly during the Women in Film Crystal Awards this year by several of its nominees - expects to be paid substantially more and the same as a male director would receive after such a box office coup. That desire was seconds away from becoming a reality on Thursday evening as a deal was being finalized which would elevate her as the highest-paid female director in town.

And why not? Wonder Woman shattered several glass ceilings at the box office, including the best opening ever for a title by a female director and the best global haul for a live-action film directed by a woman as well as the third-highest grossing film in Warner Bros.' history (behind only Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight series).

Although no payday was revealed, we understand that her payday and deal is in line with any other director who has performed at this level. A studio source said they were "confident the deal will be reached soon."

Continue Reading at: Deadline.com

Aug 17

Emma Stone Tops Jennifer Lawrence as World's Highest-Paid Actress

Emma Stone (left) has surpassed Jennifer Lawrence as highest paid Hollywood actress (image courtesy Rex / Shutterstock)
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by Rebecca Rubin

The city of stars is giving a nod right back to Emma Stone.

The "La La Land" actress has been named the world's highest-paid actress by Forbes, surpassing Jennifer Lawrence, who claimed the top spot in 2016 and 2015.

Stone, 28, collected $26 million, mostly thanks to her Oscar-winning performance as Mia, a barista and aspiring actress, in the movie-musical juggernaut "La La Land."

Stone spoke out about gender parity earlier this year, revealing that her male co-stars have taken salary cuts so she could receive equal pay. "That's something they do for me because they feel it's what's right and fair," Stone said to Out magazine. "That's something that's also not discussed, necessarily - that our getting equal pay is going to require people to selflessly say, 'That's what's fair.'"

Jennifer Aniston was runner-up with $25.5 million. While she continues to receive millions in royalties even a decade after "Friends" ended, the actress, who appeared "The Yellow Bird," also monetizes endorsements through Emirates airlines, Smartwater, and Aveeno.

Lawrence dropped down two slots to No. 3 with $24 million, almost half of her $46 million earnings in 2016. Most of her paycheck comes from Darren Aronofsky's upcoming cryptic horror movie "Mother!," "Red Sparrow," and her Dior endorsement.

Continue Reading at: Variety

Aug 15

Stunt driver dies while filming 'Deadpool 2' in Vancouver

by The Associated Press

"Deadpool 2" star Ryan Reynolds is mourning the death of a motorcycle stunt driver killed during production Monday.

Reynolds released a statement on Twitter a few hours after the accident near the waterfront in downtown Vancouver.

"Today, we tragically lost a member of our crew while filming Deadpool," the actor wrote. "We're heartbroken, shocked and devastated ... but recognize nothing can compare to the grief and inexplicable pain her family and loved ones must feel in this moment."

Reynolds, a native of Vancouver playing the Marvel Comics superhero Deadpool in the 20th Century Fox movie, said his heart "pours out to them - along with each and every person she touched in this world."

The motorcycle crash happened near the Shaw Tower office building, where a crumpled motorcycle was seen lying on its side and a window was smashed.

Nathan Kramchynski, who works on the seventh floor of the building, said he watched rehearsals for the stunt outside the Vancouver Convention Centre. The stunt woman had been riding the motorcycle down a set of stairs from the center and had stopped when she reached the street, he said.

But on the occasion when the accident happened, the driver appeared to pick up speed, crossed the street and swerved to avoid pedestrians before disappearing from his view, Kramchynski said.

"She lost control really quickly. It happened in a split second," he said. "She was going full throttle and then there's a building there."

Another witness, Sharmina Kermalli, said she had just walked into a Starbucks next door to where the accident happened when she heard a loud crash. She ran outside and saw glass still falling on the body of the motorcycle driver.

The name of the stunt woman was not immediately released.

Continue Reading at: ABC

Aug 14

Tom Cruise crashes into wall during 'MI6' stunt mishap

Tom Cruise gets injured doing a stunt on the set of 'Mission Impossible: 6' (image courtesy WENN)
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by WENN.com

Age is taking its toll on Tom Cruise and his stunt work, if a nasty mishap on the set of Mission: Impossible 6 is anything to go by.

The 55-year-old action man was injured during a big building-jump stunt on the set of the blockbuster in London on Sunday - which was caught on camera.

Cruise appeared to miss his mark while jumping from construction rigging onto a nearby building, and slammed against the wall.

Clambering up the wall and getting to his feet, the movie star limped for a few yards and then collapsed in front of the film crew. Filming was halted as Tom was checked out by members of the on-set safety team.

The footage was captured by a WENN photographer.

"He crashed into the building and then limped away," an onlooker says. "He looked like he was in a lot of pain. Maybe it was all acting and he was supposed to struggle to his feet, but the safety crew seemed more than a little concerned as they gathered round."

It's not clear how badly Cruise was injured and bosses at Paramount, the studio behind director Christopher McQuarrie's latest Mission: Impossible movie have yet to comment.

Continue Reading at: Toronto Sun

Aug 13

Weekend Box Office: 'Annabelle: Creation' Scares Off August Blues With $35M

Another still from new film release "Annabelle: Creation" (image courtesy Warner Bros.)
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by Pamela McClintock

Moviegoers like playing with dolls - or at least menacing ones.

Warner Bros./New Line's R-rated prequel Annabelle: Creation conjured up a pleasing $35 million from 3,502 theaters in its domestic box-office debut, more than enough to scare off the competition even as it came in somewhat behind the previous three films in the successful Conjuring horror franchise.

Overall, it was another sluggish weekend at the North American box office, with revenue down more than 30 percent from the same frame last year as new animated offering The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature did muted business and holdovers including The Dark Tower and Detroit continued to struggle. Summer to date is now 12 percent down from the same frame in 2016, while year to date is down 4 percent.
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[Annabelle: Creation] marks another summer win for Warner Bros. after Wonder Woman and Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, which remained a formidable force in its fourth weekend, placing No. 2 with $11.4 million and crossing the $150 million mark in North America - no small accomplishment for a World War II drama relying on an older audience. Dunkirk earned another $14.5 million offshore for a foreign tally of $210 million and $363.6 million worldwide to date.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Aug 13

'The Conjuring' Has Launched a Cinematic Universe That Actually Works

A still from new film release "Annabelle: Creation" (image courtesy Warner Bros.)
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by Chris Eggertsen

With cinematic universes multiplying rapidly in Hollywood the last couple of years, it's clear that minting a garden-variety franchise simply isn't enough anymore. Now you need not just sequels but prequels and spin-offs and sequels to said spin-offs, all painstakingly mapped out ahead of time so as to remain a cohesive, interlinked cinematic world. While Marvel Studios is the gold standard, not every universe has had so few bumps in the road. In addition to Marvel and DC, Disney has Star Wars, Universal has its (admittedly struggling) Dark Universe and now Warner Bros./New Line has The Conjuring. While the latter universe is the latest to bill itself as such (namely in the trailers for this weekend's Annabelle: Creation), The Conjuring and Conjuring 2 director James Wan has had world-building in mind from the start.

"Very early on, I wanted to call the Conjuring films The Warren Files," says Wan, who chatted with Heat Vision while en route to the Australia set of Aquaman. "And so that was going to be a more encompassing sort of umbrella name for this whole world. We didn't end up going with that title, obviously, but I guess that spirit has always sort of lingered around."

The spirit has so far been with Wan and his creative partners. In addition to the first two blockbuster Conjuring films, the 2014 spinoff Annabelle became a massively profitable hit ($256 million worldwide on a $6.5 million budget) and Annabelle: Creation (actually a prequel to the first movie) is primed to do similarly strong business. Wan and the studio are so confident in their growing universe that there are several projects in the pipeline beyond that, including Conjuring spinoffs The Nun and The Crooked Man (the former directed by Corin Hardy) and The Conjuring 3, which Wan says he will most likely not direct owing to his commitments on Aquaman, which opens in December 2018.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Aug 12

James Cameron Is Coming Back to Terminator Because the World Caught Up To His Ideas

The Terminator, a killing robot (image courtesy Distrib Films US)
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by Germain Lussier

The Terminator franchise helped launch James Cameron's career to a level few other filmmakers dream of. However, after his first two films in the franchise, he walked away - mostly due to complicated rights issues - and the subsequent sequels suffered for it.

Soon, those rights return to Cameron's camp and he’s planning to produce a new film (or three) in the franchise. But why does James Cameron think the Terminator is franchise worth exploring after all those misses?

"A lot of the things that were science fiction in Terminator are now around us," Cameron told IGN. "You know, from predator drones and actual discussions on the ethics of having a robot have its own kill decision possibilities. Things like that. It's actually happening. So, okay, maybe there is room for a film that examines these themes. It just has to be retooled for an audiences' expectations now."

That retooling, according to Deadline, is happening right now, with a writer's room brainstorming ideas for Deadpool director Tim Miller to turn into a feature or maybe a trilogy. And star Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to think filming on this hypothetical Terminator 6 starts in March. If and when that happens, Cameron will only produce because he'll be too busy directing four Avatar sequels.

Continue Reading at: io9 Gizmodo

Aug 11

Terminator 6: Arnold Schwarzenegger CONFIRMED for 2018 but he's NOT the T-800 this time

by George Simpson

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER has confirmed he's shooting Terminator 6 next year, but James Cameron won't have him return as the T-800.

Since 2015's ill-fated Terminator Genisys was panned by fans and critics alike, the iconic sci-fi franchise has looked dead and buried.

That was until Cameron, who directed the first two movies, revealed he's planning a new trilogy.

Both the filmmaker and Arnie have confirmed that the latter will return, however not as the T-800 this time.

According to The Playlist, the 70-year-old actor said: "In March next year, I am shooting Terminator 6. James Cameron and [producer] David Ellison are back on board."

Continue Reading at: Express UK

Aug 10

New Disney and Netflix deals are about streaming - but they take cues from box office

by Michael Cavna

ANIMATED FILMS, live-action adaptations of animated classics and superheroes dominate the global box office each year. So it's no real surprise this week that the burgeoning streaming-service industry is steering hard to attract fans of those films.

Netflix, which already is in business with Marvel Studios with series like "Luke Cage" and "Jessica Jones," on Monday announced its first acquisition: Millarworld, the Scottish comics company that created the "Kick-Ass" and "Kingsman" franchises. For Netflix, teaming with Mark Millar, a Marvel veteran himself, reflects a belief that comics-spawned action heroes represent a sure bet for big growth. (Right as the film sequel "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" is due out next month from Fox.)

That deal quickly appeared to be a smart move, because just a day later, Disney - Marvel's parent - unveiled its plans to begin untangling many of its connections to Netflix.

Disney - which also owns ESPN, Pixar and Lucasfilm - plans to launch its own sports streaming service next year and a family-friendly streaming service by 2019.

The Disney move had loomed not as a matter of if, but when. Because when you're the Fort Knox of popular content, with decades of golden properties and the market muscle to protect your fiscal interests, not owning your own streaming services would have seemed atypically passive for the Mouse House under chief executive Bob Iger.

Iger also said Tuesday that Disney was still weighing how to make its Marvel and Star Wars feature films available to streaming services in the coming years - and whether Marvel and Star Wars might each get its own proprietary service.

Continue Reading at: The Washington Post

Aug 7

James Bond SHOCK: Daniel Craig to star in REMAKE of old 007 classic?

George Lazenby in his only appearance as James Bond in 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' (image courtesy MGM)
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by Shaun Kitchener

The 25th film in the hit franchise was confirmed late last month, with Daniel Craig widely rumoured to be reprising the iconic role.

But with some reports suggesting he will sign a two-movie deal to come back, it has been surprisingly alleged that the second film in the deal will be a remake.

The story in question? On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, first released as a film in 1969.

That tale was, of course, the only film that George Lazenby made as Bond, and is regarded among many fans as one of the best Bond adventures ever.

Diana Rigg joined Lazenby in the cast, as did Telly Savalas, Bernard Lee, Gabriele Ferzetti and Ilse Steppat.

A source told The Sun: "The deal is almost done and the idea of returning to On Her Majesty's Secret Service for the 26th movie is really exciting.

"The film sees James get married, only for his wife to be killed, so it would be an explosive way to end [Craig's] reign as 007."

Continue Reading at: Express UK

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