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Computer Generated Imagery

Computer Generated Imagery, or CGI, is not a new development in the movie industry. In 1973 the first 2D CGI was used in the Yul Brynner movie Westworld.

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April 21

Box Office: 'Civil War' Draws Blood to Beat 'Abigail' and Stay No. 1 With $11M Second Weekend

Kirsten Dunst (left) and Cailee Spaeny in Alex Garland's "Civil War" (image courtesy A24)

by Pamela McClintock

Alex Garland's dystopian political action film Civil War about an America torn apart triumphed over new vampire pic Abigail at the weekend box office.

Civil War held in well to stay No. 1 in its second weekend with $11 million for a healthy domestic total of $45 million for indie studio A24. The film has succeeded in uniting both blue states and red states.

Heading into the weekend, Universal's Abigail was expected to take a bigger bite out of Civil War but instead opened to $10.2 million. That's still a respectable number for a studio film that cost a modest $28 million to make before marketing.

Horror often struggles overseas, where Abigail only took in $5 million from 62 markets for a global start of $15.2 million,

Abigail is from Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the directing duo known as Radio Silence who were behind the reboot of the Scream franchise and the horror hit Ready or Not. Their new movie, written by Stephen Shields, follows the horrors that happen when a group of criminals kidnap a 12-year-old who is the daughter of an underworld figure. The only problem: The young ballerina is a vampire.

Warner Bros. and Legendary's Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire remained a force to be reckoned with in its fourth weekend, earning another $9.8 million to place No. 2 as it stomped past the $170 million mark domestically and a huge $485.2 million globally, including a mighty $119 million in China. And don't forget about Legendary and Warners' Dune: Part Two, which is on the cusp of crossing $700 million at the global box office.

Guy Ritchie's new movie The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare wasn't too far behind, with an opening of $9 million. The ensemble film, whose cast includes Henry Cavill, chronicles a covert World War II mission manned by a band of renegades who are tasked with destroying Nazi U-boats (it's loosely based on real events). The Lionsgate film boasts an A- CinemaScore.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

April 20

Abigail Star Alisha Weir, 14, Says Family Was 'Pretty Shocked' by Her R-Rated Vampire Role

by Benjamin VanHoose

Transforming into the titular ballerina vampire out for blood in Abigail, 14-year-old star Alisha Weir stunned her friends and family.

"They were pretty shocked, especially when they saw all the blood," the Irish actress tells PEOPLE, adding, "I was getting messages saying, 'I don't know if I'll be able to see you the same after seeing the trailer!' "

In the new horror film, Weir, a breakout as the lead in Netflix's 2022 movie-musical Matilda, stars as Abigail, the pre-teen target of kidnappers seeking ransom. The band of misfits soon realize, though, that they're trapped in a mansion with a centuries-old lethal vampire forever stuck in a child's body.

She bites, beheads, stabs and bursts through doors, often drenched in blood throughout the film and dropping F-bombs. It was all "so much fun and really crazy" for Weir.

"There were so many cool parts. I think one of them would have to be the blood cannon, for me. Me and [costar] Melissa [Barrera] had a big blood cannon at the very end of the film, and you could only do it in one take. We were both really nervous because we didn't want to mess up since it would've taken a long time to clean it all up."

And, the young star points out, fake blood is "quite hard to clean off."

"At the end of the day we'd have to use bottles and bottles of shaving cream and as the movie goes on ... by the end we were so covered in blood, all you could see was our teeth and our eyes. We had to get straight into the shower to wash it all off."

Check out the new trailer here:

Continue Reading at: People

April 19

M. Night Shyamalan's 'Trap' Trailer Features Josh Hartnett as a Serial Killer at a Concert

by Zoe G Phillips

Warner Bros. released the trailer for M. Night Shyamalan's newest thriller, Trap, with Josh Hartnett, Ariel Donoghue and Saleka Shyamalan on Thursday. The upcoming film will feature Hartnett as a serial killer at a pop star's concert.

Trap follows a "father and teen daughter attending a pop concert, where they realize they're at the center of a dark and sinister event," per the logline. Warner Bros. offered a first look at the movie at this year's CinemaCon earlier this month, and released the trailer on social media Thursday.

The trailer shows Hartnett's character with his daughter, Jody (Donoghue), at a concert for pop star Lady Raven (played by Shyamalan's daughter and R&B singer, Saleka). When Hartnett goes to the bathroom, he finds groups of federal agents looking for a serial killer whom a concession worker refers to as "The Butcher," named for the way he "goes around just chopping people up." The trailer then reveals Hartnett to be the killer, who is holding a victim hostage and now must find his way out of the concert venue.

See the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

April 19

Sony Reportedly in Talks to Join a Bid to Buy Paramount

by Alex Stedman

Sony is reportedly in talks to join a joint bid with investment firm Apollo Global Management to acquire Paramount, according to an article from the New York Times [Thursday].

Per the report, Sony and Apollo Global Management have not yet submitted an official bid, but Sony chief executive Tony Vinciquerra held conversations with the investment firm last week. The terms of the possible bid are still apparently being worked out, but it would essentially offer cash for shares of Paramount, "in effect taking the company private through a joint venture."

The report adds that, if a bid and subsequent acquisition goes through, Sony would likely absorb Paramount's operations and brand it as a label of its own media empire. In addition to Paramount Pictures, the Paramount umbrella includes networks like Nickelodeon, Showtime, MTV, Comedy Central and - perhaps most notably - CBS, as well as Paramount+. In that, Paramount boasts IP like Spongebob Squarepants, Top Gun, Yellowstone, and the Sonic the Hedgehog films.

As Bloomberg, which also reported the news, points out, Sony is the only major entertainment studio without a general streaming service. With that in mind, it's easy to see why Paramount and its vast array of linear TV channels might be appealing for the company.

Today's report comes not long after National Amusements, Paramount's controlling company, signed off on a deal that would merge Paramount with Skydance Media, the production company behind movies like Top Gun: Maverick, Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning, and Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.

Continue Reading at: IGN.com

April 19

Hollywood Mourns Participant, the Oscar-Winning Studio that Wanted to Save the World

by Matt Donnelly

End of an era, end of a business model, end of a gravy train, end of the world. There were plenty of mixed emotions this week in response to the closure of Oscar-winning production company Participant, and at the very least the industry has agreed something has come to an end.

When Variety broke the news Tuesday that billionaire Jeff Skoll's 20-year-old company will shut down - after fetching 21 Oscars and introducing a business model that prioritized social impact a bit more than profits many in the industry were rattled. Not just that mid-level, standalone financier and producer had left the market, but what that means for the viability of movies and TV shows that ask vital questions about justice and the humanity's future.

"The end of Participant Media is devastating news to anyone who cares about documentaries," director Julie Cohen wrote bluntly on X. She's the co-director behind notable nonfiction films like "RBG," "Julia" and "My Name is Pauli Murray." Participant ushered in the era of prestige docs in 2006 with "An Inconvenient Truth," about Al Gore's devotion to climate action, which won the Academy Award for best documentary.

Dozens of industry players mourned the studio in Instagram stories and on group text threads, terrified that Participant's co-productions like "Roma," "Spotlight," "Murderball," "Judas and the Black Messiah" and "Flee" might not get made in a present-day Hollywood obsessed with cost-cutting and mired in a slowed-down streaming revolution.

"It's very sad, but perhaps inevitable," one C-suite Hollywood executive told Variety on the condition of anonymity. The exec, and two other top show business agents, agreed that Participant's output had slowed too dramatically over the pandemic and in the wake of last year's Hollywood labor strikes.

"If you're coming out with one or two movies per year, you'd better blow the roof off like Legendary," one the agents said, referencing the company which financed Denis Villeneuve's "Dune" series and just released the latest hit Godzilla film.

Continue Reading at: Variety

April 18

Quentin Tarantino Drops 'The Movie Critic' As His Final Film

Quentin Tarantino at last year's Cannes Film Festival (image courtesy AFP / Getty)

by Justin Kroll

Quentin Tarantino's movies are always full of surprises, and here is one about The Movie Critic we did not expect. Deadline can reveal that Tarantino has dropped the film as his 10th and final project. He simply changed his mind, Deadline has been told.

Tarantino was going to have Brad Pitt as the principal star, which would have marked their third teaming after Inglourious Basterds and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. There were rumors that many from the casts of his past films might take part, and Sony was preparing to make the film after doing such a superb job on the last one.

Word is that Tarantino had rewritten his script, which delayed the start of production. But this is his 10th and final film, and Tarantino simply decided The Movie Critic will not be it.

This is the biggest surprise to Tarantino fans since years back when Deadline revealed he had shelved The Hateful Eight after he gave a small group of actors his script and one of them shared it with their rep. Soon it had been copied and the rough draft was shared all over town and online. Tarantino felt betrayed, but he eventually returned to the project after staging a reading for charity and drawing raves for it.

As for The Movie Critic, originally planned to be his 10th and final film, Tarantino has simply had a change of heart and Deadline hears he will not be moving forward with the project. Sources close to the director said he changed his mind and is going back to the drawing board to figure out what that final movie will be.

Continue Reading at: Deadline

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