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The latest news on Movies from Business Insider

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    When TV shows and movies need to use a phone number as part of the story, they typically use one that starts with 555. We spoke with an official historian at AT&T to find out why these three numbers were chosen.

    It turns out that the answer has a lot to do with the way telephone numbers evolved over time. Following is a transcript of the video.

    "Pick up your phone and call the professionals: Ghostbusters."

    Narrator: Did you ever wonder why phone numbers in TV shows and movies always start with the numbers 555?

    555-1125.

    It's 555-3455.

    555-2401.


    Narrator: The short answer is that most 555 numbers are not working numbers, so real people won't be harassed if diehard fans try to call them. 555 was an exchange combination that was not used very often in the American telephone system.

    You may get a wrong number, or no number at all.

    Narrator: An FCC contractor called the NANPA, or North American Numbering Plan Administration, is tasked with assigning numbers for use. 555-1212 is still used for directory assistance and 555-4334 is reserved for assigned national use. But a set of 100 555 numbers have been officially designated for use in Hollywood, 555-0100 through 555-0199.

    Cory Gillis, 555-0176.

    Narrator: Back in the early '90s, 555 numbers outside that range could be reserved for information service providers, but this program was shut down by the NANPA in 2015. While those other numbers might one day be put back in circulation, the 100 reserved for TV and movies will not, so they will always be safe for use.

    So, how specifically did 555 become the famous number that it is today?

    Decades ago, phone numbers used to look a lot different. They consisted of a word and a five-digit numerical code. The word was a telephone exchange name, and the number was assigned to a specific phone in that area.

    Sheldon Hochheiser: Up until 1919, all telephone calls were manual. You had to start by speaking to an operator.

    This is WY 5-2240.

    Narrator: References to this system can be seen in the names of movies, like "BUtterfield 8." And songs like the Glenn Miller Orchestra's "PEnnsylvania 6-5000," which calls hotel Pennsylvania in New York.

    Hochheiser: These were based on names that could be easily understood verbally.

    Narrator: Eventually, phone companies switched to a system where customers had to dial themselves.

    We are changing your telephone service over to dial. Take up your receiver, and always listen for the dial tone.

    Narrator: Phone numbers were reached using numbers corresponding to the first two letters of the exchange name. So if you wanted to call Pennsylvania 6-5000, you would dial 73-6-5000. Since seven corresponds with PQRS on the keypad, and three corresponds to DEF. For Butterfield, you would start with 28.

    So, with this in mind, let's take another look at 555.

    Hochheiser: Now, some combinations for the first two letters of a word worked better than others. One of the combinations that were very difficult to correlate to useful exchange names was 55.

    Narrator: On the keypad 5 has the letters JKL. Letters, which when placed next to each other, don't make many words or exchange names. So there were not many real phone numbers starting with 55.

    Hochheiser: Klondike, which has become well known, is about the only one.

    Klondike 4-2106, Los Angeles, please.

    Then call Klondike 5-3226.

    Narrator: These numbers were often shortened to just the first two letters plus the five-digit code. Since Klondike 5 was not frequently assigned, it found other uses. Bell systems noted in an official guide that the 55X exchange was reserved for "radiotelephone."

    The portable transmitting and receiving radio unit that makes it possible to combine radio and wire telephony for communication purposes.

    Narrator: This was actually a very small group of numbers used in early mobile phones. Klondike 5 was also a sample number used in old phone-company advertisements, and it began to be used in old movies and TV shows. Eventually, area codes were introduced allowing for more available phone numbers, and the exchange names were abolished, but the 555 trope is still used today in Hollywood.

    What's the phone number of this store?

    555-2310.

    Narrator: So, if you're looking for a Ghostbuster, who ya gonna call? No one.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    black panther

    • "Black Panther" earned an estimated $22.7 million its first day of release in China.
    • It's on pace to outgross what "The Last Jedi" earned there, as comScore box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian predicted to Business Insider earlier this week.
    • "Black Panther" should hit $1 billion at the global box office by the end of this weekend.


    "Black Panther" is proving that in China the Marvel Universe is more powerful than The Force.

    The box-office sensation hit theaters in the second-largest movie market in the world on Friday and is on pace to outgross the latest "Star Wars" movie, "The Last Jedi."

    Early estimates have "Black Panther" taking in $22.7 million on its first day, according to Deadline. That's almost as much as "The Last Jedi" earned in its entire opening weekend in China ($28.7 million).

    This is no surprise for comScore box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian, who told Business Insider earlier this week that "Black Panther" would preform better than "Last Jedi."

    "The 'Star Wars' brand doesn't have the built in audience that Marvel has developed over the years," he explained.

    Though "Star Wars" has been branded into the minds of North Americans (and other regions of the world) for generations, China has been behind on its access to the saga.

    It's only been showing "Star Wars" movies since the late 1990s, when the prequels were the first-ever "Star Wars" films shown in theaters (outside of piracy). The original trilogy wasn't released in China until "A New Hope" opened in 2015.

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe, on the other hand, has been getting plenty of attention in China. 

    Outside of "The Force Awakens," all the recent MCU titles performed stronger in China than the recent "Star Wars" releases — $109.1 million for "Doctor Strange," $100 million for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," and $116.2 million for "Spider-Man: Homecoming." In fact, none of the "Star Wars" movies have broken the $100 million mark in China since "The Force Awakens" ($124.1 million).

    "The Last Jedi" earned $42.5 million in China.

    "Black Panther" looks to be on its way to be in that company. And it's tracking to hit the $1 billion global box office milestone by the end of this weekend.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best actors working today, from box-office titans to essential scene-stealers

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why 555 is always used for phone numbers on TV and in movies


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    olivia cooke thoroughbreds

    Part teen character study and part commentary on millennial malaise, "Thoroughbreds" is a pitch-black comedy about two teens who commit a murder.

    It's about Anya and Lily, two teenage girls living in a well-to-do Connecticut suburb with spaced-out mansions filled with gleaming marble tabletops. The two drifted apart since Lily killed a horse years earlier and Anya went off to boarding school, but they strike their friendship back up one summer.

    Anya also has a new stepfather, a rude, abusive alpha male who seems bent on ruining her life — and she needs help taking care of him.

    The movie also features Anton Yelchin's final performance — he died two weeks after "Thoroughbreds" finished filming— and it shows just how much talent we're missing with him gone.

    Why you should care: It's an actor showcase for two up-and-coming stars and features Anton Yelchin's last performance.

    "Thoroughbreds" is a dark comedy about young people and mental illness in the vein of "Heathers" and "Ingrid Goes West."

    It's a tricky tone to pull off, and most of that job rests on the shoulders of the two main actresses, who make it all work, with Anton Yelchin providing some valuable supporting work.

    thoroughbreds anya taylor joy

    You'll be hearing about Anya Taylor-Joy and Olivia Cooke a lot more in the future. The former already impressed with last year's "Split" and will be in the upcoming X-Men movie "The New Mutants" and the latter will be in "Ready Player One."

    What's hot: The actors nail their roles in a risky movie.

    A movie where two teens try to kill one of their stepdads is not easy to make. First time director Cory Finley made the movie in a tightly coiled style with deadpan humor. Much of it only works because of the finely sketched characters and the actors who play them.

    Taylor-Joy plays Lily, a teenager who seems icily perfect. She keeps every strand of her hair in place, wears clothes that are understated but well-considered, and attends an elite boarding school. But underneath the sheen, there's something fraudulent about her.

    And Cooke plays Amanda, who's alienated from her friends because she euthanized a wounded racehorse with a knife a few years earlier. She has no emotions, loves pimple popping videos, and uses Steve Jobs as an inspiration for her own ruthless moral logic.

    thoroughbreds anton yelchin

    To pull off their murder, they recruit Tim, played by Anton Yelchin, who went to their local high school and who's been chewed up and swallowed by American suburbia. He has grand ambitions, but he needs to get through his two-bit criminal life first. Someone creepy and functional like Caleb Landry Jones – from "Get Out" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"— could have easily played Tim. But Yelchin's wide-eyed performance gives the character the heart it needs to transcend the movie's precise, tight writing — and the imaginary limits of the suburbs that trap him.

    What's not: The plot doesn't entirely pay off.

    While "Thoroughbreds" succeeds as a character study, it doesn't entirely work on a narrative level. The movie spends a lot of time building tension as the two plot the murder, but the filmmaking is too reserved in the movie's final moments. It doesn't use that energy to culminate in any meaningful way, like in "Heathers."

    And likely since the movie was originally written as a play, some of the dialogue feels clunky in the context of a movie.

    The bottom line: "Thoroughbreds" creates memorable characters but doesn't use them enough.

    Finley has created a smart character study about two teenagers and suburban malaise, but the plot is something of a letdown. The film has a lot of parts, but they add up to less than they should.

    Grade:

    B-

    "Thoroughbreds" is in limited release Friday.

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    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The best and worst things about the Tesla Model 3


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    Wall-E

    Disney animated movies have been a well-established force in the genre for many decades.

    But while Disney films rank high (and often) among the most critically acclaimed animated films of all time, the company is sporadically outranked on this list by movies from the likes of Warner Bros. and Studio Ghibli (Hayao Miyazaki's company). 

    To find out which animated films have received the most critical acclaim, we turned to the reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes for its ranking of the top animation-based movies in history.

    The site ranked the films by a weighted critic score that accounts for variation in the number of reviews each film received.

    Here are the 50 best animated movies of all time, according to critics:

    SEE ALSO: The best movie of every year since 2000, according to critics

    50. "Bambi" (1942)

    Critic score: 90%

    Audience score: 72%

    Summary:"The story of a young deer growing up in the forest."



    49. "The Triplets of Belleville" (2003)

    Critic score: 94%

    Audience score: 90%

    Summary:"When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno team up with the Belleville Sisters — an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire — to rescue him."



    48. "Coraline" (2009)

    Critic score: 90%

    Audience score: 73%

    Summary:"An adventurous 11-year-old girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Milk Focus Features

    • Some of the most pivotal moments in American political history — from social movements to war — are best retold in dramatic cinematic accounts. 
    • Here are four of Netflix's best offerings. 

    If you're looking for reprieve from the constant barrage of political news, you may consider diving into a fictional version of events.

    Check out these political movies on Netflix:

    SEE ALSO: The 22 best political movies ever, ranked

    "Milk"

    Sean Penn earned an Oscar for his 2008 performance as Harvey Milk, California's first openly gay politician to be elected to public office. The movie chronicles Milk's struggle as a gay activist in San Francisco in the late 1970s and ends with his shocking assassination.

    Jason Guerrasio contributed reporting. 

    Youtube Embed:
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    "War Machine"

    In this satirical take on the real story of Gen. Stanley McChrystal's political downfall, Brad Pitt depicts a charismatic four-star general and his attempt to lead NATO troops in Afghanistan before being brought down by a media exposé. 

    Youtube Embed:
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    "Barry"

    This 2016 film documents a year in the life of Barack Obama during his junior year at Columbia University, where he transferred in 1981. Actor Devon Terrell depicts 20-year-old Obama's struggle to navigate the mostly white world of Columbia and the black community he wishes to be part of. 

    Youtube Embed:
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    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    luke skywalker last jedi

    "Star Wars" is literally about war in the sky, which means that a lot of lives have been lost along the way.

    But somehow, General Hux is still alive.

    Some of the characters lost throughout the "Star Wars" films have been in our lives for decades, like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. And some had small but powerful roles in just one movie that made us shed a lot of tears despite their brevity, like Amilyn Holdo in "The Last Jedi."

    But with some characters, we couldn't wait for them to die. So when they did, we were cheering (Jabba the Hutt, Palpatine).

    We ranked 38 notable deaths from the movies, from the porg Chewie cooked to Obi Wan Kenobi. We chose the deaths of characters who had names, had more than a few lines, and/or had some kind of impact on a major plot point or a major character.

    Here's the Star Wars deaths ranked, from least tragic to most tragic:

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best superhero movies of all time, ranked

    38. Jabba the Hutt

    When: "Return of the Jedi"

    Cause of death: Leia chokes him with the chains he bound her in. 

    Jabba was awful, and we're glad Leia was the one who got to end his days. 



    37. Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious

    When: "Return of the Jedi"

    Cause of death: Falls down the reactor shaft of the second Death Star when Darth Vader turns on him to save Luke's life.

    Finally! It was about time Palpatine fell down a reactor shaft. His death was not sad, but it was an emotional moment for the Skywalker boys. 



    36. Grand Moff Tarkin

    When: "A New Hope"

    Cause of death: He's inside the Death Star when the Rebel Alliance destroys it. 

    Tarkin served his purpose. He was an example of an evil person within the Empire that isn't Vader or the Emperor. His death was karma getting back at him for destroying Alderaan with such enthusiasm. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Black Panther

    • "Black Panther" wins the weekend domestic box office for a fourth straight weekend with an estimated $41.1 million.
    • The movie has now passed $1 billion globally in just 26 days.
    • "A Wrinkle in Time" came in second place with $33.3 million.
    • In an extremely rare occurrence, the top two box office winners are directed by black filmmakers.


    This weekend proved not just the lasting power of "Black Panther" but that a Hollywood studio like Disney can release multiple diversely told stories in theaters at the same time — and they can be profitable.

    For the fourth consecutive weekend, Disney/Marvel's "Black Panther" topped the weekend domestic box office with an estimated $41.1 million, according to boxofficepro. That's the first-time ever for a movie released in February.

    And in second place is Disney's new release, "A Wrinkle in Time." Ava DuVernay's adaptation of the Madeleine L'Engle's popular novel took in $33.3 million.

    "Black Panther" now has a domestic total of $562 million and has passed $1 billion globally. The movie pulled off the milestone in just 26 days.

    a wrinkel in time disneyDespite "A Wrinkle in Time" having only a 42% Rotten Tomatoes score, the movie is performing well as its $10.2 million Friday increased 36% on Saturday to nab $14 million.

    But the movie's true test will be the coming weeks. With schools taking spring break shortly as well as the Easter holiday coming up, will families head to see the family-friendly movie or will word-of-mouth lead most to wait until "Wrinkle" is available on cable/streaming?

    If anything, Disney can be proud of the fact that it has two titles topping the box office this weekend, and both of them are telling stories with diverse, multi-cultural characters. That's something no other Hollywood studio can boast at the moment.

    In fact, in recent memory there has never been two black filmmakers atop the box office at the same time. It's icing on the cake for Ryan Coogler ("Black Panther") and DuVernay, who both have been working on their projects closely alongside each other.

    They were even in edit suites across the hall from one another while completing their Disney titles.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best actors working today, from box-office titans to essential scene-stealers

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: You can connect all 9 Best Picture Oscar nominees with actors they have in common — here's how


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    ready player one

    • Characters in Steven Spielberg's forthcoming "Ready Player One" don Oculus-like headsets to fight an evil corporation in a virtual reality universe. 
    • Jefferies says the movie could fuel demand for VR headsets, and tangentially help boost AMD and Nvidia, whose chips power the headsets. 

    "Ready Player One"— a futuristic Steven Spielberg movie based on a best-selling novel by Ernest Cline — is being trashed online before it even premieres, but at least one Wall Street research shop is betting it can boost sales for chipmakers Nvidia and AMD.

    In the movie, lead character Wade Watts, played by Tye Sheridan, dons a virtual reality headset — or at least something that resembles an Oculus Rift — to take on an evil corporation in the virtual world called Oasis.

    Those headsets, naturally, are powered by high-performance graphics processing units (GPUs) made by both AMD and Nvidia.

    "We believe that the movie will drive sales of VR headsets that require high-performance GPUs from NVDA and AMD," Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis said in a note to clients Monday.

    "We also think that Ready Player One has the potential to appeal to a electronics game savvy audience that is motivated to have a more immersive experience."

    The bank already has bullish targets for both stocks: $300 for Nvidia and $19 for AMD, both well above Wall Street's consensus targets of $250 and $14.87, respectively. Nvidia and AMD are set to open at $246 and $11.79 respectively on Monday.

    The renewed focus on VR headsets could also be a welcome return to normalcy for the chipmakers. Both companies have been dragged into the cryptocurrency hype as their chips, which made up 84% of Nvidia's revenue in 2017, have seen a huge uptick in demand for use in mining rigs.

    "The computing paradigm experiences a tectonic shift every 15 years, and that it is currently in a shift to a "Parallel Processing - IoT" model," Jefferies said. "We observe that a lot of the demand for increased compute cycles is becoming parallel in nature, like neural networking, gaming, virtual reality and blockchain/ cryptocurrency mining."

    Will movie goers be inspired to don headsets of their own and thus increase demand for Nvidia and AMD? We won't know until after "Ready Player One" hits theaters on March 29.

    SEE ALSO: RBC: Nvidia's crypto boom isn't dead, it's just getting started

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why 555 is always used for phone numbers on TV and in movies


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    Minions movie mic drop Bob

    With movie ticket prices increasing and the resurgence of franchises like "Star Wars," films earning over $1 billion worldwide may become commonplace.

    But, for now, there are only 33 movies from the last 25 years that have managed to join this exclusive club.

    Using data from Box Office Mojo, we compiled a list of the highest-grossing movies that made $1 billion or more.

    From "Minions" to "Beauty and the Beast" and more, keep reading for a look at the biggest box-office hits.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best animated movies of all time, according to critics

    33. "Black Panther" (2018)

    Total Gross Revenue: $1,000,000,000 (and counting)

    "Black Panther"crossed this milestone in just 26 days after breaking the record for best February opening weekend of all time. This movie is the 16th Disney film to gross over one billion dollars. "Black Panther" is also now ranked as the best-rated movie of all time on Rotten Tomatoes.



    32. "The Dark Knight" (2008)

    Total gross revenue: $1,004,600,000

    Back in July 2008, people began speculating that Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" sequel starring Heath Ledger as the Joker might have the box-office power to set a world record. "There are even whispers starting whether 'Dark Knight' can beat the incredible worldwide numbers posted by the all-time $1.8 billion benchmark of 'Titanic,'"Deadline reported.

    "The Dark Knight" remains in the 27th spot when it comes to highest-grossing movies of all time.



    31. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (2012)

    Total gross revenue: $1,021,100,000

    When Peter Jackson's first "Hobbit" movie crossed the $1 billion mark, it appeared a good indication the subsequent two sequels would perform equally well, if not better, at the box office. But neither of the second two "Hobbit" films wound up crossing that box-office landmark. Both "The Desolation of Smaug" and "Battle of the Five Armies"made about $960,000,000 each.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    david hasselhoff the spongebob movie cameo

    • A well-timed celebrity cameo can make a movie go from good to great.
    • It's even better when the celebrity has a connection to the movie, like Danny Glover appearing in "Maverick" alongside his long-time "Lethal Weapon" co-star Mel Gibson.
    • Sometimes a cameo signals a connection to a larger cinematic universe.


    Everyone loves a good Easter egg in movies, and blink-and-you-might-miss-it celeb cameos are arguably some of the best.

    Cameos range from totally random to inside jokes for long-time fans of the movie's writers or directors. It can even be a way for a famous person to poke fun at their own public persona.

    Keep reading to see what familiar faces have shown up in unexpected places.

    Matt Damon in "Thor: Ragnarok" surprised movie-goers when he appeared as Loki in a play during the film.

    In a meta-moment, Loki decided to stage a play about his triumphs in previous "Thor" movies. The star-studded cast of this play included Luke Hemsworth as Thor, Sam Neill as Odin, and none other than Matt Damon as Loki.

    How did this happen? According to "Ragnarok" director Taika Waititi, Chris Hemsworth and Damon are friends. The God of Thunder was able to pull some strings and bring Damon down to the Gold Coast of Australia during post-production.

     



    Michael Jackson appeared in"Men in Black II" as an agent.

    The director of "Men in Black II," Barry Sonnenfeld, revealed that he wanted Jackson to be in the first "Men in Black" movie as an alien (alongside famous faces George Lucas and Danny Devito), but that Jackson refused.

    However, Jackson called up Sonnenfeld after seeing the first movie and asked to play a small role in the sequel — and so Jackson became an agent who negotiated a peace treaty between aliens. 



    Football quarterback Brett Favre, at the height of his fame, appeared as himself in "There's Something About Mary." He played one of Mary's ex-boyfriends.

    "There's Something About Mary" stars Cameron Diaz as Mary, a woman who seems to make every man she meets fall in love with her — including Brett Favre. Throughout the movie, he is constantly alluded to by just the name Brett, making it all the more hilarious when the famous footballer finally shows up.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    wrinkle in time

    In a time where bestselling novels seem to get optioned for films almost immediately, it's easy to forget about some classics that have taken the long road.

    Let's face it: No other author's record of book-to-movie adaptations comes close to all the Stephen King adaptations that have been gracing our screens for longer than many of us have been alive.

    But for every huge film franchise spawned by a best-selling novelist like JK Rowling (four years), Suzanne Collins (also four years), and Stephenie Meyer (three years), there's at least one book that took much longer to get there.

    "The Lord of the Rings"/"The Hobbit"

    Years from page to screen: 29

    The children's literature classic known as "The Hobbit"was first written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in 1937. Tolkien also began work on "The Lord of the Rings" as a sequel — meant for the same readers who loved "The Hobbit," but written to include greater complexity since these children would have matured since the original novel.

    A small, 12-minute film version of "The Hobbit" comprised of cartoon stills was made in 1966, but the first widely available screen adaptation was the Rankin/Bass animated TV film version in 1977.

    In 1978, the Ralph Bakshi animated "J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings" received a theatrical release. It starred the voices of Christopher Guard, William Squire, John Hurt, and Peter Woodthorpe as Gollum.

    Since the book was so immense, Bakshi intended to make the story complete in two separate films. Unfortunately, Bakshi's investors pulled out — so instead the animators at Rankin/Bass stepped in to make the second part a made-for-TV animated film. Reception from critics and fans was mixed, at best.

    Finally, Peter Jackson directed the live-action blockbuster film trilogy. "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" was released in 2001, with "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King" following in 2002 and 2003.

    Together, these films won numerous Academy Awards. In fact, "The Return of the King" remains one of only three films in the Academy's history to sweep up 11 Oscars at the annual ceremony.

    Jackson went on to direct "The Hobbit"live-actionfilm trilogy which hit theaters from 2012 to 2014.



    "Peter Rabbit"

    Years from page to screen: 34

    This adorable, mischievous lagomorph has stolen veggies from Mr. McGregor and hearts from children since his introduction. Beatrix Potter both wrote and illustrated this classic children’s tale in 1893, self-published it in 1901, and it is currently considered one of the best-selling books of all time.

    In 1935, a Merrie Melodies short film called "Country Boy" changed Peter’s last name to Cottontail, and marked the first time that Peter and his vegetable garden exploits would grace the silver screen.

    Since that time, Peter’s fluffy tail — er, tale — has been adapted for TV and film several times over. The most recent film was called "Peter Rabbit" and hit cinemas in February 2018. It was directed by Will Gluck and starred the voice talents of James Corden, Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie, and Elizabeth Debicki.



    "Starship Troopers"

    Years from page to screen: 38

    Originally published as a military sci-fi novel by Robert A. Heinlein in 1959, this Hugo Award-winning novel remains one of Heinlein's best-known works. To this day, a debate about its depiction of militaristic and fascist themes continues.

    The 1997 film version was also called "Starship Troopers." It was directed by Paul Verhoeven and starred Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Dina Meyer, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jake Busey. The screenplay was written by Ed Neumeier, who had previously worked with Verhoeven on "Robocop."

    At the time of its release, critics skewered the film version as being too close to the fascist utopian themes of the book. Verhoeven — who grew up in Nazi-occupied Holland— wanted to make a savage, biting satire that completely tore the themes of the original novel apart.

    Many critics and filmgoers in 1997 didn't get it — but his film version has undergone massive reappraisal in the public eye since then. Some critics now even consider it Verhoeven's greatest work.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Mrs. Which A Wrinkle in Time Disney movie

    • Disney released their highly anticipated movie "A Wrinkle in Time" this past weekend.
    • The movie made $33.3 million on a $103 million budget, which means it will probably break even at best.
    • The poor box office result may be because of problems with the movie itself, marketing, and difficulty with fantasy films.
    • Regardless, the movie is an incredible achievement — even if it doesn't entirely work.

    Looking at it one way, the box office results this past weekend are an achievement. The No. 1 and No. 2 slots are held by "Black Panther" and "A Wrinkle in Time" respectively. It's the first time two films by black directors with budgets over $100 million topped the box office.

    But it must be disappointing to Disney — which produced both movies — that their newer offering came in second. "A Wrinkle in Time," directed by Ava DuVernay, cost $103 million to produce and made $33.3 million at the domestic box office this weekend. "Black Panther," directed by Ryan Coogler, made $41.1 million, topping $1 billion at the box office.

    By the end of its run, "A Wrinkle in Time" will just about break even, but it will likely lose money once you factor in marketing costs and how much revenue goes to theaters. The movie is Disney's first major box office miss in two years, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

    The failure can be traced back to the movie itself, the marketing, and difficulties with the movie industry as a whole. Here's what went wrong.

    1. The reviews simply weren't great.

    While critics found some things to like about "A Wrinkle in Time," reviews as a whole were mixed or negative. It received a 42% score on Rotten Tomatoes, which weighs the percentage of film critics who gave the movie a positive review.

    wrinkle in time

    Even if kids are less discerning in their tastes, the poor reviews could be a problem for parents, who are the people who need to shell out money for tickets and spend a couple of hours in a movie theater as well. Bad reviews are a turn off.

    2. Disney targeted a younger audience instead of a wider one.

    There are basically two ways to make movies for kids.

    One way is to embrace its status as a kids movie, going full blast into the camp of fantastical costumes and makeup, not be shy about unrealistic dialogue, and be totally sincere in its tone.

    The other way is to have some ironic distance in place — but not too much — that make the movie accessible to adults as well. Disney has especially succeeded at this with their Pixar animated movies. The "Harry Potter" series also did this well.

    a wrinkle in time murray family

    "A Wrinkle in Time" went with the first direction. This means it was OK for the studio to release it just a few weeks after "Black Panther"— the movies were going for somewhat different audiences, so they wouldn't compete against each other — but it also meant it wouldn't be nearly as popular as the Marvel film.

    3. The story didn't click.

    DuVernay's update of Madeleine L'Engle's classic book was hotly anticipated. It made the cast more racially diverse, and added a splash of fantastical imagery, even as it controversially stripped it of its Christian themes.

    But the updated script seemed to value style over substance. As INSIDER's Kim Renfro wrote, the story's shifts from scene to scene didn't flow well, and DuVernay's version of the story's villain, IT, was hard to grasp.

    4. And the marketing didn't help.

    The trailers for "A Wrinkle in Time" didn't help make the story more clear. Yes, a lot of people have read the book, but it would have been helpful if the marketing reminded people of the gripping story anyway, especially since it has confusing elements like "tessering" and angelic beings like Mrs. Who and Mrs. Whatsit.

    Instead, the marketing focused on the images — people unsettlingly playing ball in a cul-de-sac, a giant green creature, Oprah with divine powers — instead of the epic time-and-space adventure. The images were cool, but every big-budget movie has cool CGI stuff nowadays.

    5. It's just plain hard for a fantasy film to be a big box office hit if it isn't a sequel.

    In the past few years, pretty much every fantasy movie to be a box office hit was a sequel, spin-off, or remake, like "Thor: Ragnarok,""Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," and "Beauty and the Beast."

    a wrinkle in time mrs whatsit green monster thing

    "A Wrinkle in Time" joins a long list of movies that didn't quite make it, alongside "The Dark Tower" and "The BFG."

    In this case, the odds were simply stacked against it.

    OK, but should I still watch it?

    "A Wrinkle in Time"seems to be fun for kids. If you're an adult, the movie is still fascinating to watch as an example of what an idealized diverse cast looks like. And the visual effects are impressive, even if it all doesn't completely come together as a story.

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    • Steven Spielberg described the production of his new sci-fi film, "Ready Player One," as "perhaps the greatest anxiety attack I ever had," while introducing the movie at South by Southwest on Sunday.
    • The Oscar-winning director also called himself a "gamer," and explained how he wants the virtual-reality-based film to appeal to both video game enthusiasts and everyday audiences.
    • "I've been a gamer ever since 1974, when I played the first Pong Game on Martha’s Vineyard while filming 'Jaws,'" Spielberg said.

    Steven Spielberg gave a surprise introduction to the South by Southwest premiere of his new sci-fi film, "Ready Player One," on Sunday, during which he described the film's production as "perhaps the greatest anxiety attack I ever had,"IndieWire reports.

    Adapted from a best-selling 2011 novel of the same name, "Ready Player One" is set in a dystopian Earth in the year 2044, where the population lives primarily in a virtual-reality world called the OASIS. 

    Spielberg told the SXSW audience that he wanted to make a movie that would appeal to both video game enthusiasts and everyday audiences, and he described himself as a "gamer."

    "I've been a gamer ever since 1974, when I played the first Pong Game on Martha’s Vineyard while filming 'Jaws,'" he said.

    The Oscar-winning director not only described the production of "Ready Player One" as anxiety-inducing, but also expressed anxiety for viewing the film with the South by Southwest audience.

    "When I make a movie that I direct behind the camera ... I am pretty much in control," he said. "But when I decided to make a movie sitting in the audience with you, and I direct a film in the seat right next to you, that means I’m making the picture for you. And your reaction is everything."

    Read IndieWire's report of the event here.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best animated movies of all time, according to critics

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    mother movie screenshot jennifer lawrenceEvery week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film critics two questions and publishes the results. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

    This week's question: Inspired by a tweet from Matt Zoller Seitz, what widely despised (and/or financially disastrous) movie from the last few years will eventually be considered a classic?

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best animated movies of all time, according to critics

    Carlos Aguilar (@Carlos_Film), Freelance for MovieMaker Magazine/Remezcla

    The curious case of “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” evidences how critical consensus can shift in strange ways from festival premiere to theatrical release, and how easy it is for people to jump on the backlash train. Clearly, not everyone has to love Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s adaptation of Jesse Andrews’ novel as much as I do, but it was shocking to see how a film that was so instantly beloved at Sundance, where it received both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, could enlist so many detractors in the months that followed.

    Fox Searchlight bought “Me and Earl” for a massive $12 million in Park City thinking it was poised to become a hit, but the disappointing grosses at the end of its run didn’t even make them that money back. It’s likely that both the marketing campaign and the less favorable reviews that appeared closer to its opening day were to blame, and, undoubtedly, the fact that it was up against Jurassic World did not help its cause.

    But despite the indifference the world showed towards it, “Me and Earl” remains one of the most sincere, charming, and formally audacious teen dramedies amongst an ever growing list of similarly themed projects. The scene near the end when Greg (a perfectly cast Thomas Mann) shows Rachel (Olivia Clarke), who is in her dying bed no less, the movie he and Earl made for her, wrecks me every time.

    Set to Brian Eno’s music, this specific and silent moment elicits incredible vulnerability from both actors and its designed to be as visually enticing as it is moving. Such heartfelt imagery might derive from Gomez-Rejon’s own grieving process given that he made the film shortly after his father had passed. That honesty sets “Me and Earl” apart and infuses it with a real directorial voice. On a lighter note, the team’s dedication to creating a large number of the cheesy adaptations of classic films that Greg and Earl dedicate their lives to in the story is an endearing and hilarious touch.  I’ll be here waiting when everyone realizes they misjudged this gem.



    Richard Brody (@tnyfrontrow), The New Yorker

    I’m ignoring the “financially disastrous” part, because that’s true of most recent great movies. With the increased quality of film criticism and its rapid spread through on-line discussion, there are fewer true films maudits (“Knight of Cups” and “Song to Song” don’t really count, because they’ve had eloquent and vigorous enthusiasts from the start); I think that the last one, at a robust 19% on Rotten Tomatoes, is from the dawn of Film Twitter: “Gentlemen Broncos.” And while Jared Hess’s two most recent movies, “Don Verdean” and “Masterminds,” don’t quite reach its heights of inspiration, “Don Verdean,” at least, surpasses it in chutzpah; if it wasn’t as widely derided, it was more widely ignored. And since I’m counting on Hess–who’s not yet forty–to come through with a whole flotilla of inspired movies in the years to come, “Don Verdean” will endure, at least for diagnostic purposes.



    Siddhant Adlakha (@SidizenKane), Freelance for The Village Voice

    Decades from now, long after Martin Scorsese has left us, and perhaps when Andrew Garfield is old and grey, some film student will look at “Silence” on their curriculum and wonder what boring, pretentious snooze-fest from their grandparents’ generation they’ll have to sit through in week eleven. But when week eleven rolls around, they’ll join years’ worth of scholars, filmmakers and film fans who realized how wrong they were for sleeping on a masterpiece.

    The film barely made back half its budget – it’s no wonder Scorsese is off working with Netflix, David Ehrlich’s favourite distributor – and it wasn’t the kind of easily digestible feel-good fare to warrant year-end awards. While heavily Christian, it wasn’t for the “God’s Not Dead” crowd either, who would likely shudder at the thought of any substantial theological engagement. It most certainly isn’t for moviegoers who prefer their morality clear-cut and their conclusions straightforward. Who is it actually for, then? Well, that’s a harder to determine without first getting to the root of what it is.

    No, I don’t have an answer to that. Not yet, though I’m sure I will someday. I’ve only seen the film once, a year ago, and I haven’t managed to revisit it since (though not for lack of trying), and the reason for that is simple. It is perhaps the most challenging film I’ve seen in recent years, if not ever. It’s difficult in ways that can be hard to swallow, not thanks to some penchant for gore, but because of its interrogative nature. “Silence” is like having worldview – not necessarily your own, but the very concept of outlook – turned upside down and shaken, zeroing in on the immovable building blocks of belief as their nature is called into question. It may not be a future classic by virtue of being on the tip of everyone’s tongue, but it will most certainly be a gem rediscovered.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    the last jedi tree2 final

    • The burning tree scene in "The Last Jedi" was a practical effect — they really lit a fake tree on fire.
    • It took months to build the tree, and close to 25 separate gas lines were rigged to it to have the tree burn to director Rian Johnson's liking.
    • Special effects supervisor Chris Corbould explained to Business Insider how the scene was pulled off.


    In an era when you assume anything amazing that happens in a movie is courtesy of computer-generated imagery, it’s always exciting to learn when a memorable scene was pulled off by practical effects.

    Since the “Star Wars” prequels, in which George Lucas was heavily criticized for using too much CGI to create the worlds and characters, many big-budget movies have tried to find that happy medium of practical and visual effects to give the action on screen a more grounded feel. And the now Disney-owned “Star Wars” saga leading the way.

    A perfect example is in “The Last Jedi” (available on digital release Tuesday, on Blu-ray/DVD March 27) when Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) attempts to burn down the giant tree that holds the sacred Jedi texts. It’s a scene that also features a Force ghost of Yoda.

    When Skywalker tells the legendary Jedi master what he’s about to do, Yoda doesn't talk him out of it. But when Skywalker gets to the giant tree, with flame in hand, he can’t go through with it. This leads to Yoda summoning a giant lightening bolt that strikes the tree and engulfs it in flames. He then delivers his famous giddy laugh as Skywalker looks on in complete shock.

    the last jedi tree finalAlmost all of that scene is done with practical effects. From the puppet of Yoda, voiced by Frank Oz, that Hamill traded lines with, to the enormous tree and giant flames shooting from it.

    It was the handiwork of the movie’s special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, and one of the reasons why he recently received a visual effects Oscar nomination for “The Last Jedi.”

    Responsible for some of the greatest visual effects pulled off on screen in the last 40 years, he’s done everything from James Bond movies like “Moonraker” and “GoldenEye,” to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and “Inception” (which he won an Oscar for). He’s now hit the effects industry mountain top with getting the “Star Wars” gig (he was also the effects supervisor on “The Force Awakens”) and the Yoda/Skywalker scene for him is one of his favorites.

    There’s the nostalgia of seeing Luke and Yoda on screen again, but also the pride of pulling off a practical effect of this size.

    “It was a tricky one,” Corbould admitted to Business Insider.

    First, there was building the tree and rigging it to burn. Corbould said it took a couple of months for the construction crew on the movie to build the fireproof tree that was almost 60 feet high and close to 50 feet wide. It was so big that the tree could not be built on the set.

    “They had to assemble it in various parts,” Corbould said.

    So the tree was basically a very large Lego set. A piece of a trunk would be built on set, then another piece of the trunk would be brought in and attached to that. Then the multiple branches were attached one at a time.

    After all that, close to 25 separate gas lines were put into the tree, each one with its own valve so Corbould and his team could adjust the flame to his and director Rian Johnson’s liking.

    “It’s very easy to have it just burst into flames,” Corbould said. “Rian really wanted it to catch the light a little bit slower. So we had to spent quite a lot of testing time to bring the gas lines to a point where it looked like the flames were slowly creeping up and then totally enveloping the whole tree.”

    The tree burning scene was shot over two nights with a crew of 20 people just responsible for the tree catching on fire. Most of the shots pre-fire were completed on the first night. The second night was for the shots after the tree was on fire, which included Hamill, the Yoda puppet, and Oz voicing the character in front of the giant burning tree. And it got hot — to the joy of everyone on set.

    “When we shot the scene the nights were incredibly cold,” Corbould said. “I think the whole crew was happy when we lit that up.”

    The tree was lit on fire close to 30 times by the time they wrapped on the scene, according to Corbould.

    Chris Corbould Frazer Harrison GettyThe special effects veteran laughed when he was told that many people probably think the tree fire scene is just another dazzling VFX feat by the wizards at Industrial Light and Magic.

    “I think when you do something for real you get a much more convincing performance from the actors,” he said. “I think that’s why a lot of the directors — Chris [Nolan], Rian [Johnson], J.J. [Abrams] — they value those moments where you’ve got a real look of terror, anxiety, excitement on the faces of the actors.”

    Corbould added that some of the excitement for him is seeing if a practical effect could even be pulled off.

    He said he wasn’t completely confident he could pull off the 18-wheeler truck flip he did in “The Dark Knight.”

    “There was a bit of banter between me and Chris Nolan,” he said. “Eventually we pulled it off.”

    But in today’s moviemaking landscape, it’s what’s done on the VFX side that has really upped everyone’s game in the special effects profession.

    “When CGI was first invented we all thought we're not going to have a job in five years,” Corbould said. “But what it actually did is it allowed films to do even bigger visual effects and we had to enhance what they did — whether it's an asteroid hitting the ground or blowing 10 cars up in the air. It's a great marriage these days. It's a combination of practical and visual effects to make that great film — that's what we're striving to do.”

    Corbould's next task: Making our hearts melt for Winnie the Pooh in the upcoming Disney release, "Christopher Robin."

    SEE ALSO: The amount of money The Rock gets paid for a single movie is unheard of in Today's movie business

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    ready player one tye sheridan

    • The first reviews for "Ready Player One" are in.
    • Critics say Steven Spielberg's new movie is a blast and adapts the book extraordinarily well.
    • It suffers when it comes to character development and it's idea about gaming culture.
    • Overall, critics say "Ready Player One" is a fun movie worth watching.

     

    When "Ready Player One" premiered at the South by Southwest festival this past weekend, it received a standing ovation. The anxiousness over whether the movie would be good, it turned out, was all for nothing.

    Now that the reviews from the festival screening are in, they're a little more mixed, but still positive overall. Critics generally agree that Steven Spielberg has constructed an enormously fun movie. It's filled with action, well-executed conceits, and Easter eggs for fans to pore over. In Spielberg's hands, the high-concept plot from Ernest Cline's book — where a person races against a corporation to gain control of a virtual reality universe — works, even if it isn't very deep.

    "Ready Player One" will be in theaters on March 29. Here's what the critics are saying.

    It's dumb fun for movie fans.

    "'Ready Player One' wants to make people who love its references celebrate them all over again. While it lacks edge, subtlety, or the genuine dread to explore life in a complete technocracy, it does find the Iron Giant battling Mechagodzilla while a rock-heavy soundtrack featuring everything from Blondie to the Bee Gees underscores the mayhem.

    Indiewire's Eric Kohn

    But it doesn't hit you over the head with pop culture references.

    "Spielberg trusts his audience a bit more than Cline did when it comes to describing them because he allows the visuals to do the job. In a mindblowing racing sequence, Wade drives the DeLorean from 'Back to the Future,' and Spielberg treats that as matter-of-factly as if it was any car instead of languishing over the nostalgia. He knows those who get it will enjoy it and those who don’t will just think it’s a cool car. And there’s no time to stop the story to explain the reference."

    RogerEbert.com's Brian Tallerico

    ready player one

    At the same time, the movie embraces a toxic view of fanboy culture.

    "The film never stops making distinctions between the 'true fans' — who have encyclopedic knowledge of every pop-culture item Halliday was obsessed with — and the pretenders. It’s embracing a kind of fandom gatekeeping that has, in recent years, soured and turned toxic, especially online."

    Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson

    And the conceit against giant corporations doesn't make sense.

    "It’s a movie steeped in and sold off intellectual property imagery – which has been remixed and regurgitated in order to create this whole new attraction to get paying butts in seats. At the same time, it spins a narrative of the underclass rising up to reclaim these images as their own, before a massive corporate conglomerate can obtain, pirate, and bastardize it. In essence, we’ve bought a ticket to a rather spiffy laser light show that asks us to consider revolting against those who just sold us this seat. It’s either a brazen gag at the audience’s expense, or an utter lack of self-awareness on the creators’ parts."

    Birth.Movies.Death.'s Jacob Knight

    It feels more like a ride than a substantial movie.

    "In 'Ready Player One,' everything you could call virtual is clever and spellbinding. Everything you might call reality is rather banal. ... 'Ready Player One' is set in a dilapidated future where fantasy rules because reality looks hellish by comparison. Yet the movie puts you in a different mindset. By the end, you’re more than ready to escape from all the escapism."

    Variety's Owen Gleiberman

    iron giant ready player one

    But it doesn't let you forget there are humans behind the digital avatars.

    "The film is overtly funny in ways that constantly remind the audience that there are people behind the game avatars, and specifically people who are sometimes young, self-absorbed, immature, and caught up in their own created self-images of badassery. The human frailties behind the game avatars is a reliable well of humor for 'Ready Player One,' and the script takes full, hilarious advantage."

    The Verge's Tasha Robinson

    A big change from the book makes the story much better as a movie.

    "It starts bringing them together in the real world, getting them in trouble that gives the action both flesh-and-blood stakes and offers viewers a break from the well-executed but fake-by-design character avatars."

    The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore

    Watch the trailer for "Ready Player One" below:

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    johnny depp gellert grindelwald fantastic beasts sequel teaser

    • The first teaser for the second "Fantastic Beasts" movie is here.
    • It's called "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," following "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."
    • The movie continues the adventures of Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne.
    • We're also introduced to a younger albus Dumbledore, played by Jude Law.
    • The villain in the series, played by Johnny Depp, is Grendel Grindelwald, who Dumbledore was in love with when he was younger.
    • The series will have five movies in total. Here's what we can expect to see in them.
    • J.K. Rowling is writing each of the "Harry Potter" spinoff movies, which is set decades before the original series.
    • Watch the trailer below.

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    Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio are teaming up with Quentin Tarantino for the director's upcoming ninth film, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," Tarantino announced last month.

    Pitt and DiCaprio were in talks to star in the film for weeks, but the contract negotiations for it were reportedly so "strenuous" that DiCaprio was ready to walk away from the project in January, sources told The Hollywood Reporter

    Margot Robbie is currently in negotiations to play the role of actress Sharon Tate in the film, Deadline reported Tuesday.

    Pitt previously worked with Tarantino on 2009's "Inglorious Basterds," and DiCaprio appeared in 2013's "Django Unchained."

    "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" is set for release on August 9, 2019.

    Here's everything we know about Tarantino's upcoming ninth film:

    SEE ALSO: Quentin Tarantino's next film will be released by Sony following the Harvey Weinstein scandal

    The film takes place in "Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood."

    Tarantino described "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" in a statement on Wednesday, calling it, "a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don't recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbor ... Sharon Tate."

    In July 2017, early reports of the film described its script as focused on the murder of actress Sharon Tate by Charles Manson's followers. 

    While Tarantino's most recent statement mentions Sharon Tate as a player in the movie, Tarantino previously said that the film would not center on Charles Manson, but on the year 1969.



    It has been five years in the making.

    Tarantino said on Wednesday that he had been working on the script for the film for half a decade.

    "I’ve been working on this script for five years, as well as living in Los Angeles County most of my life, including in 1969, when I was seven years old," he said. "I’m very excited to tell this story of an L.A. and a Hollywood that don't exist anymore. And I couldn't be happier about the dynamic teaming of DiCaprio & Pitt as Rick & Cliff.”

     



    It's a "Pulp Fiction-esque" movie

    Deadline reported in January that the Leonardo DiCaprio would play an "aging actor" in a "'Pulp Fiction'-esque movie."

    "Pulp Fiction," Tarantino's 1994 classic, told a collection of interconnected stories.



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    jacob kowalski fantastic beasts crimes of grindelwald

    • Jacob Kowalski returns to the "Fantastic Beasts" series with the "Crimes of Grindelwald" trailer.
    • He's a non-magical person who stumbles into Newt Scamander's adventures.
    • At the end of the first movie, his memory was erased, so fans aren't sure how he makes his way back.

     

    When the first "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" trailer dropped, fans noticed that one beloved character was making a return: Jacob Kowalski.

    In "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler, is a No-Maj — the American term for a person without magical abilities, or muggle. He was inaugurated into the world of magic when he stumbled into Newt Scamander's quest to get all of his escaped creatures back into his briefcase. As Scamander's romp through New York City turned into a full-blown crisis for the magical community, Kowalski stayed by his side.

    At the end of the movie, Queenie Goldstein, a witch who developed a romantic relationship with Kowalski, erased his memory. Still, there were flickers left. Kowalski opened a bake shop and found himself baking pastries in the shape of the magical creatures he encountered. And in the movie's last moments, we see Queenie enter his bakery.

    While we knew Kowalski would be back in the sequel, fans are happy to see him again. In the trailer, we see him walking behind Scamander through a dark stone hallway, noticing a magical owl-like creature on a windowsill behind him, and agreeing to join Scamander on a new adventure.

    It's not clear yet how Kowalski comes back. Will his memory be fully restored? Did he stumble upon Scamander's world again, or did Scamander purposefully recruit him? Did Queenie restore his memory, or did it come back on its own? Does he go to Paris, where much of the rest of the movie takes place?

    We'll find out on November 16, when "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" hits theaters.

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