Articles on this Page
- 04/20/18--08:15: _There are red flags...
- 04/20/18--08:43: _7 great movies you ...
- 04/20/18--09:01: _Disney is making ma...
- 04/20/18--09:32: _Michelle Pfeiffer w...
- 04/20/18--09:46: _Netflix has rejecte...
- 04/20/18--15:40: _Here's what 14 movi...
- 04/21/18--07:00: _MoviePass is losing...
- 04/21/18--08:10: _The 17 worst sequel...
- 04/21/18--09:12: _14 movies playing a...
- 04/21/18--10:10: _How The Rock conque...
- 04/22/18--08:14: _'A Quiet Place' con...
- 04/23/18--07:22: _'Super Troopers 2' ...
- 04/23/18--08:37: _19 must-read books ...
- 04/23/18--09:42: _'Black Panther' has...
- 04/23/18--13:29: _A new 'DOOM' movie ...
- 04/24/18--06:28: _12 things we're exc...
- 04/24/18--07:34: _Everything we know ...
- 04/24/18--07:42: _The official traile...
- 04/24/18--07:56: _The 'Avengers: Infi...
- 04/24/18--08:30: _'Equalizer 2' direc...
- MoviePass' owner, Helios and Matheson Analytics, has been losing $20 million a month on average since September, it said in a prospectus filed this week.
- Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, said the fine print in the company's financials, including a warning from its auditor, would scare away many investors.
- Back-to-back financial statements filed by the company this week also include a discrepancy in numbers. When asked about the difference, MoviePass said its prospectus included an error that would be corrected.
- "I think 12 months from now if the company is still around, it's in a very different form than we see it today," Gordon said.
- 04/20/18--08:43: 7 great movies you can watch on Netflix this weekend
- Disney is remaking many animated classics into live-action movies.
- "Mulan" is next at bat after the success of "The Jungle Book" and "Beauty and the Beast."
- The "Beauty and the Beast" remake didn't improve on the original with its changes.
- "Mulan" is shaping up to have new characters and plots that will enhance the movie.
- These movies need to be more imaginative to justify their existence other than "this will make a lot of money."
- It's easier to do this with "Mulan" than a bona fide classic like "Beauty and the Beast."
- A moderator asked Michelle Pfeiffer about her weight while filming "Scarface."
- The audience at the event booed.
- Pfeiffer pointed out that her character was a cocaine addict and said she struggled with maintaining the right weight during filming.
- The moderator may have been trying to make a point about body image issues — but it didn't go over well with the audience.
- Netflix briefly considered acquiring Landmark Theatres, according to the Los Angeles Times.
- The move would have allowed the streaming giant to get their prestige titles better award seasons consideration.
- However, numerous sources told Business Insider that Netflix has the opportunity to screen its movies at more theaters but has declined some offers.
- 04/20/18--15:40: Here's what 14 movies looked like before and after CGI
- One of the lessons of the dot-com bust was that services that seem too good to be true probably are.
- Since it dropped its price to $10 a month, MoviePass, the subscription movie ticket service, has seemed to be just that — too good to be true.
- Executives insisted the service was rationally priced and the company was developing a valuable asset in its large and growing subscriber base.
- But documents released showed the company is doing just what skeptics suspected — losing gobs of money.
- 04/21/18--08:10: The 17 worst sequels to great movies, ranked
- With its $55 million opening-weekend take in China, Dwayne Johnson's latest movie, "Rampage," is further evidence he's one of the few actors who can bring in major coin across the world.
- But his dominance in China, the world's second-largest movie market, has been years in the making.
- Paramount's "A Quiet Place" is back on top of the domestic box office with $22 million this weekend.
- It's now made $132 million domestically (with only a $17 million budget).
- "I Feel Pretty" ($16.2 million) and "Super Troopers 2" ($14.7 million) had solid opening weekends.
- Jay Chandrasekhar, the director and a star of Broken Lizard's "Super Troopers 2," spoke to Business Insider about how the cult-comedy sequel arose from a massively successful crowdfunding campaign.
- Chandrasekhar also touched on comedy's embattled relationship with critical reception, how the rise of President Trump affected the film's production, and the creative advantages of being in a comedy troupe.
- 04/23/18--08:37: 19 must-read books made into movies this year
- A movie based on the classic video game series "DOOM" is in the works.
- The movie is being made by Universal's 1440 Entertainment, which means it's skipping theaters and headed straight from home consumption.
- Actress and singer Nina Bergman is confirmed to be in the film.
- 04/24/18--06:28: 12 things we're excited to see in 'Avengers: Infinity War'
- The official trailer for "Spider-Man" spin-off "Venom" debuted Monday at CinemaCon.
- But more people couldn't stop talking about Michelle Williams' wig in the trailer.
- Williams plays the girlfriend of journalist Eddie Brock/Venom (Tom Hardy).
- Many commented on how bad the wig Williams is wearing looks.
- It was then compared to other wigs Williams has worn on different movies.
- Robert Downey Jr., Zoe Saldana, Paul Bettany, Pom Klementieff, and Tom Holland of Marvel's "Avengers: Infinity War" were on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Monday night.
- When host Jimmy Kimmel asked who was the "least trustworthy," the cast unanimously pointed at Holland, who plays Spider-Man.
- "Snitches end up in ditches," Bettany said.
- "The American version of that, even though we love your Britishness, is snitches get stitches," Downey added.
- Holland's co-stars in "Spider-Man: Homecoming"said that he was "the worst" at keeping secrets.
- During press for "Infinity War," he had fun banter with the cast and crew as he tried to get more Marvel secrets but he was being shut out.
- "Infinity War" hits theaters April 27.
- Watch the interview below.
- Director Antoine Fuqua spoke to Business Insider before revealing footage of "The Equalizer 2" at CinemaCon on Monday.
- The movie marks the first time both he and the movie's star, Denzel Washington, have ever made a sequel.
- Fuqua also gave his thoughts about President Trump's remarks after the Parkland school shooting that movie violence is to blame for school shootings.
- And the director addressed the reports that he's in talks to direct a reboot of the Brian De Palma classic, "Scarface."
On Tuesday, the company's auditor raised "substantial doubt" about its ability to stay in business over the next year (in what is known as a "going concern" statement). On Wednesday, the company said it was going to sell more shares to raise funds. On Thursday, it said it sold those shares at a steep discount from their latest price in the market.
The stock was trading at about $2.38 early on Friday. That's down over 50% from the stock's highest price this week, and it's below what Helios and Matheson's newest investors agreed to pay for the shares.
There's reason to expect things to get worse, according to a University of Michigan business professor who reviewed the latest financial statements with Business Insider.
A few key aspects of the filings jump out. In its prospectus for the share sale, dated Wednesday, MoviePass said it had $42 million in cash and equivalents as of March but also that it had been burning through about $20 million a month on average since September — what it calls a "cash deficit."
This explains the need for more fundraising, and the warning that it would need to keep raising money, even after it raised nearly $30 million this week.
But the company also warned that its figures may not be correct.
Helios and Matheson said in its prospectus that its "internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of December 31, 2017." The company said this was due to a lack of "sufficient accounting resources" to review its "various complex and significant transactions," including the acquisition of MoviePass.
"A complex financial structure with a cash-losing business, it's scary," Erik Gordon, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, told Business Insider. "It's clear they can bring people in — it's not clear they can make any money."
To Gordon, though, none of this is as bad as the auditor's warning to investors in its annual report Tuesday that "recurring losses from operations and negative cash flows from operating activities" gave it "substantial doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern."
"If other attributes of the company hadn't already scared away potential lenders and investors, that caveat will scare some group away," Gordon said. "Not all, but there will be some who can't even look at it with that."
On Tuesday, Helios and Matheson's CEO, Ted Farnsworth, downplayed the significance of the "going concern" warning to Business Insider, saying the term was in "pretty much most" 10-K filings when a company is running at a loss. "If they don't raise money, they could go out of business," Farnsworth said.
Gordon said that wasn't true, noting that companies such as Tesla and Blue Apron, which are making losses, do not include such statements.
"The 'going concern' caveat is very serious," he said. "It's not just because you're making losses — it's because you're making losses and your auditor is concerned that you can't continue to finance the operation of the company."
Farnsworth told Business Insider in an email through his spokeswoman on Friday that the company had going-concern warnings in its previous 10-K filings. It's true, but in its 2016 report—just a year ago — the company told investors it had addressed the risk.
The acquisition of MoviePass has brought the issue back.
Losing money on every customer
Since MoviePass dropped its subscription price to $9.95 a month last summer, which allows members to see one movie a day in theaters, it has attracted over 2 million subscribers, according to the company. But this growth could actually be causing MoviePass to lose more money, since it still has to pay most theaters the full price of every ticket its customers buy with the app.
"MoviePass currently spends more to retain a subscriber than the revenue derived from that subscriber," Helios and Matheson wrote in its annual report.
That means MoviePass relies on money from investors or lenders. The company recently told Variety that MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe and Farnsworth had, since last summer, together raised $280 million and secured a $375 million line of credit to fund the business. A spokeswoman confirmed this was accurate to Business Insider on Friday.
For his efforts, Farnsworth has been paid well. In its annual report, Helios and Matheson said total compensation for Farnsworth was $8.9 million (in cash and stock) in 2017, including a $1 million cash bonus "for his efforts in bringing capital sources that have been critical to the Company's needs during 2017."
Going forward, MoviePass hopes to build its revenue through selling ads on Moviefone, which it recently acquired; teaming with distribution companies on movies, like its deal with The Orchard to take the North American rights for "American Animals," a heist movie that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January; and making deals for discounted tickets with theater chains, like a recent one with Landmark.
Shaking up the industry
Despite the questions about its financials, there is no doubt that MoviePass is shaking up the industry. It has become a force in the US box office, buying at least 1 million tickets to "Black Panther" alone, as of late March.
But even here Helios and Matheson's filings raise a question. In the firm's annual report filed Tuesday, Helios and Matheson said MoviePass represented approximately 6.1% of the US box office. But in its prospectus for investors dated a day later, it said MoviePass represented approximately 4.8%.
The second number was wrong, Farnsworth told Business Insider on Friday.
"The 6.1% is correct," he said in the email through a spokeswoman. "The 4.8% was an old number that was never changed. We'll be making that correction. This 6.1% is also on average — there is a lot of movies that MoviePass does between 10-25% of box office sales when we promote it through the app."
But Gordon said an error in a prospectus could mean trouble for MoviePass.
"The potential liability for a material misstatement in a prospectus is high," he said.
So, with all of this on the table, will MoviePass be around next year?
"I think 12 months from now, if the company is still around, it's in a very different form than we see it today," Gordon said.
No plans this weekend? It's cold pretty much everywhere despite being April, so you still have an excuse to stay inside and watch movies all weekend.
To make your decisions on what to binge-watch easier, every week we look through Netflix's movie selection and highlight seven movies worth watching.
We select a few that have come on to the service recently and mix in a couple of favorites from the catalog you might have missed. We also provide the Netflix synopsis and the Rotten Tomatoes score.
From Christopher Nolan's magician thriller "The Prestige" to the raunchy and weird female-led comedy "Bachelorette," these are wonderful movies on Netflix that you can watch over the weekend.
Here are seven movies on Netflix you should check out:
"Cold Mountain" (2003)
Netflix description: This drama follows a wounded Civil War soldier making the long journey home, while his faraway love fights for survival on her deceased father's farm.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 71%
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 77%
Looking for a movie that captures the brutality of the Civil War but also tells a love story? Look no further than "Cold Mountain," which stars Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Renée Zellweger, who won an Oscar for her supporting role.
"I Love You, Man" (2009)
Netflix description: A recently engaged guy who lacks a best man for his pending nuptials hunts for a candidate with wedding-party potential.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 83%
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 74%
The premise of "I Love You, Man" is a bit drab, and much of the plot feels like a clichéd romantic comedy, but it's dangerously rewatchable thanks to comedic geniuses Jason Segel and Paul Rudd.
"Moonrise Kingdom" (2012)
Netflix description: This quirky drama follows the frantic search that ensues in a small New England town when two 12-year-olds fall in love and run away together.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86%
"Moonrise Kingdom" is colorful, quirky, and pretty much every other word that has already been used to describe a Wes Anderson movie. It captures the feeling of being a kid without a condescending viewpoint of the characters.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Disney is fully intent on remaking its entire library of classic animated movies. "The Jungle Book" and "Beauty and the Beast" were huge smash hits, and while "Cinderella" didn't hit similar box office numbers, it had solid reviews.
Over a billion dollars in tickets sold is enough to convince the Mouse House to keep this strategy going until it remakes everything all over again. One of the next films up to bat is "Mulan," which has taken early steps to get us hopeful about the live-action movie because it directly addresses one of the chief criticisms of these remakes.
While these Disney remakes are fun, gorgeous, and full of the spirit that made the original films classics, you wouldn't be over the line for complaining that these movies are basically the same as the animated ones.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Yes, but Disney might be taking this too literally.
The "Beauty and the Beast" remake didn't improve on the original
Let's take "Beauty and the Beast" for example. The animated movie is one of the best, if not THE best, movie Disney has ever made. This movie was nominated for an Oscar before there was even a category for animation. There's very little that can to improve this movie ... but that's not to say it couldn't have been done.
When the Bill Condon-directed version hit theaters last year, it was incredibly loyal to the original; same costumes, same songs, same shots, same dialogue, same plot. If you've seen the 1991 version, then you've pretty much seen this one, too.
True, the live action "Beauty and the Beast" has new things. It has a few new songs and characters, while fleshing out the backstories of the main players. That's what these movies should be doing, but I'm not convinced that "Beauty and the Beast" took this far enough.
Okay, yeah, Belle's mom died of the plague, but maybe the movie could have devoted that screentime to convincing us on the hard-to-believe romance at the center of the whole movie (something the original doesn't sell super well).
It's admittedly a tough thing to ask. How do you give people something new while delivering on the nostalgia that people want? It's not easy to do, but "Mulan" seems determined to try.
Mulan is adding new characters and cutting old ones
Recently, a bunch of casting information about the live-action "Mulan" dropped, illuminating some of the first details about the remake. Of the characters cast for the pending movie, three of them are entirely new to the story.
One is a general/mentor played by Donnie Yen and another is Mulan's sister. Guess what? Mulan doesn't have a sister in the animated movie, putting an extra spin on the material.
In addition, and perhaps most importantly, the villain of the movie has been given a huge change. Gong Li is playing a powerful witch, notable for several reasons. The villain of the animated "Mulan" was Shan Yu, who led a Hun army to conquer China, and it looks like he's been ditched.
Secondly, the appearance of a witch means magic, an entirely new element to "Mulan." Yeah, the first one had ghosts, but nobody was going around casting spells or curses. This is a relatively major departure, which seems to indicate that this movie is willing to deviate away from the formula in the way that past remakes weren't.
Of course, just because something is being changed doesn't mean it's for the better. There's a rumor that Li Shang, the love interest from the movie, isn't in the live-action version, or that's he's been turned into a different character.
This has upset fans that saw Shang as bisexual, and view it as Disney potentially cutting an LGBT character to simplify the story. (In Disney's defense, the romance between Mulan and Shang is in a super moral gray area; she lies to him through 95% of the movie, and he's just cool with that?)
Shang's sexuality is never addressed in the movie, so it's technically head-canon, but that doesn't change the fact that the character means something to a lot of people.
The remakes need to be imaginative to justify their existence
Not every remake thus far has just been a simple retread of what's come before. While "Beauty and the Beast" and "Cinderella" are mostly the same, "The Jungle Book" avoids some of these issues. While the movie follows many of the beats of the original, it does so with enough new energy to make it feel fresh.
Maybe this is because "The Jungle Book" is older than, say, "Beauty and the Beast," so Disney can get away with bending it a little. It's much harder to do that with a movie from the '90s that is still fresh in a lot of people's minds.
I'm not saying that these movies can't have the same songs, or scenes that people love. I'm pretty sure I'd have burned the theater down if Bill Condon cut "Be Our Guest."
Plus, it's difficult to argue for making changes when Disney is just giving people what they want. There were some who got pretty vocal when the director of "Mulan" mulled over leaving out the songs (they aren't).
The trouble is, these movies need to be more imaginative to justify their existence other than "this will make a lot of money." Basically, Disney has to make it so that people will be torn about which version is their favorite. It's arguably much easier to do this with "Mulan" than a bonafide classic.
A Tribeca Film Festival panel in New York City that reunited the main cast of "Scarface" for the movie's 35th anniversary Thursday night went off the rails when the moderator asked Michelle Pfeiffer about her weight during the movie.
"As the father of a daughter, I’m concerned about body image," the moderator, journalist Jesse Kornbluth, said during the panel, which INSIDER attended. "The preparation for this film — what did you weigh?"
The audience loudly booed. "Why do you need to know?" one member yelled.
"No no no, this is not the question you think it is," Kornbluth continued.
After the booing subsided, Pfeiffer pointed out that her character was a cocaine addict.
"Well, OK. I don’t know. But I was playing a cocaine addict," Pfeiffer said.
Kornbluth interrupted Pfeiffer's response and say "to my point," indicating his question may have been a way of expressing concern about unhealthy body images in movies.
"Yeah. So that was part of the physicality of that part, which you have to consider," Pfeiffer continued.
In an email sent to Indiewire after the event, Kornbluth defended his question and blamed the reaction on "knee-jerk political correctness."
"It is true that a gentleman should never ask a woman about her weight. But that was not my question," Kornbluth wrote. "It is a comment on the knee-jerk political correctness of our time that no one would be shocked if you asked Robert De Niro about the weight gain required for his role in ‘Raging Bull’ but you get booed — not by many, but by a vocal few — for asking Michelle Pfeiffer about the physical two-dimensionality required for her to play a cocaine freak in 'Scarface.'"
At the panel, Pfeiffer said the shooting period for the movie went much longer than planned, which made it hard to manage her weight in accordance with the script.
"The movie was only supposed to be a three-month, four-month shoot. And of course I tried to time it so that as the movie went on, I became thinner and thinner and more emaciated," Pfeiffer said. "The problem was, the movie went six months, eight. I was starving by the end of it."
The panel reunion also featured stars Al Pacino and Steven Bauer, as well as director Brian De Palma.
On Twitter, attendees of the Q&A were incensed about why Kornbluth needed to ask about Pfeiffer's weight in the first place.
The SCARFACE moderator just “as the father of a daughter”-ed Michelle Pfeiffer and then asked her how much she weighed before she started filming and half the audience yelled “NOO NOOO NOOO!” #Tribeca2018— Kate Erbland (@katerbland) April 20, 2018
Oh hey just plugged in my camera and look: Michelle Pfeiffer reacting to the bad question, in three photos pic.twitter.com/BVHO9Pvqym— Jason Bailey (@jasondashbailey) April 20, 2018
Here's a question he could've asked: Pfeiffer paid her own way from LA to NY to audition for Scarface after Melanie Griffith + Kim Basinger turned it down. Why did she want the role so badly? What did she do in her audition? At the time, Pacino wanted Glenn Close. Did she know?— Rebecca Keegan (@ThatRebecca) April 20, 2018
he protested with “this isn’t the question you think it is!!!” but there was no follow-up so honestly i think it was exactly the question we thought it was??? https://t.co/BWrfjfA0DI— karen han (@karenyhan) April 20, 2018
Pfeiffer said that the crew worried about her weight while filming the movie.
"The one scene, which was the end of the film, where I need to be my thinnest, it was [scheduled for] next week, then it was next week, then it was next week," Pfeiffer said. "I literally had members of the crew because they were worried about me and how thin I was getting. I think I was living on tomato soup and Marlboros."
This article has been updated to reflect Kornbluth's statement.
Sign up here to get INSIDER's favorite stories straight to your inbox.
It seems that, for at least a fleeting moment, Netflix was interested in buying movie theaters that would play its movies on the big screen.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the streaming giant “explored” the idea of acquiring Landmark Theatres, the 53-theater chain with locations in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, and San Francisco (among others).
Netflix eventually decided the price was too high, according to the paper (a source familiar with the situation confirmed to Business Insider that Netflix is not buying Landmark). But the news has puzzled many in the movie theater community because for years Netflix has been playing a cat-and-mouse game with exhibitors, especially arthouses.
On one hand, Netflix paints itself as the ultimate Hollywood disrupter — releasing movies simultaneously across the world on its streaming service, from blockbusters to award-season bait. However, on the other hand, Netflix craves prestige from Hollywood and wants its movies to be recognized with multiple Oscar nominations, just like how its TV shows are received by the Emmys.
But the big problem is movie theaters still hold some strong cards. Specifically, no movie can receive Oscar consideration unless it plays in movie theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a specific time. Because Netflix rarely gives its moves theatrical releases, and when it does they are "day-and-date" (playing in theaters when the movies are already streaming), the major movie chains refuse to show them.
This hasn’t stopped Netflix from getting acclaimed documentaries recognized (Netflix’s documentary “Icarus” recently won the best documentary Oscar), but when it comes to its narrative titles they are all but ignored. The acclaimed “Mudbound” received four nominations at this year’s Oscars, but none were for any of the major categories.
So Netflix considering buying its own movie theaters to show its titles makes sense.
“They are looking for awards to boost subscription revenue and buying a theater chain would potentially allow them greater access to awards through key theatrical runs in target markets,” a source who works in exhibition told Business Insider.
However, some in the business are wondering why they just don’t play on more arthouse screens.
“Wouldn’t it be infinitely cheaper to just exhibit their movies like everyone else?” asked one source.
Despite the major multiplexes like AMC and Cinemark blocking Netflix movies because it does day-and-date, independent theaters want them.
Multiple sources in the arthouse community told Business Insider that Netflix has refused theaters that have asked to show its movies. Alamo Drafthouse, which has screened Netflix titles in the past, asked to screen “Mudbound” and Netflix declined, according to numerous sources.
“Netflix has specifically chosen not to make its films available,” a source said.
And there’s another reason why Netflix may have decided owning theaters wasn’t worth it: They would have finally have had to reveal to the public how their titles perform.
“Netflix movies do not report their grosses through comScore, which would likely have to end if they owned a theater company,” one industry source said. “It would look very bad for Netflix movies to underperform against traditional releases in their own theaters.”
Netflix declined to comment for this story.
Before Harry Potter soared across Hogwarts on a broomstick, he was just Daniel Radcliffe balancing on a broom in a studio's green screen room.
To play the dragon Smaug in the "Hobbit" movies, for example, Benedict Cumberbatch wore a motion capture suit and roared while crawling around on the floor. And to play a raccoon-like alien in "Guardians of the Galaxy," Bradley Cooper strapped up in a full-body green suit.
Here's what 14 movie scenes look like without the CGI effects.
"Beauty and the Beast" created a magical world where Emma Watson, as Belle, dances with a beast.
The 2017 adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast" had lavish sets and costumes, as well as some CGI magic that made Dan Stevens look like a prince-turned-beast.
In reality, Dan Stevens wore a goofy outfit to play the beast.
Behind the scenes, Stevens wore a 40-pound padded gray onesie that bulked him up and allowed the movie magic to happen. The suit tracked his movements and allowed the post-production team to build the beast digitally to scale while tracking his movements.
"With the size and mass and shape of the Beast, so yeah, it was a whole combination of things — vocal exploration, dance, singing, movement, the whole package of challenges, really," Stevens told People.
The big egg-like spaceships loomed over "Arrival."
In 2016's "Arrival," alien "landing sites" floated in different spots around the world. The one Amy Adams visited had rolling, magical fog that added a mysterious effect.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Of all the companies that came and went in the dot-com boom and bust, the one I most regret not using before it died was Kozmo.com.
Kozmo was essentially an online convenience store. At just about any hour, you could place an order for whatever it was you were in need of at that moment, and the company would deliver it — quickly and for free.
Because it didn't have a minimum order size, you could get away with ordering a single candy bar or a pack of gum. A buddy of mine, after getting a song stuck in his head, would go on Kozmo and order a single CD to be delivered to his house.
The service was so amazing at the time, it sounded too good to be true.
It turned out that once you factored in delivery costs, Kozmo was losing money on every sale. Its net loss in 1999, the last year it publicly disclosed, was $29 million which was 8 times the size of its meager total revenue for that year. By the time Kozmo shut down in 2001 — four years after it launched — it had burned through $250 million in venture capital funding and had little left to show for it.
The lessons of Kozmo and other, similar dot-com busts have kept coming back to me repeatedly in recent months, particularly as the craze over MoviePass continues.
MoviePass has been a big hit with consumers — but that's its problem
By now, you've probably heard about MoviePass. It's the company that offers a subscription service that allows you to attend one movie each day in the theaters for only $10 a month.
MoviePass has actually been around since 2011, but barely made a stir with the general public until it cut its rates to the $10 price in August. Since then, its service has taken off, hitting 1 million subscribers before the end of last year and 2 million by February. Just by itself, MoviePass bought 1 million tickets to "Black Panther" for subscribers.
But ever since MoviePass made a splash by announcing its $10 a month plan, I've thought there was something very Kozmo-like about it. The company's service sounded just too good to be true.
The average price of a single movie ticket was almost $9 last year, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners. At that price, MoviePass subscribers starts saving money by using the service with the second movie they see each month. Each movie they see after that each month is essentially free.
Things are even better for customers in areas such as New York and San Francisco, where ticket prices are generally significantly more than the average, and often top $10. Subscribers in those areas can often save money on the very first movie ticket they buy each month if they use MoviePass. And if customers signed up for the annual plan that MoviePass temporarily offered — which averaged about $7.50 a month— they can save even more money.
That's a great deal for consumers. But it's a recipe for disaster for a company. The whole thinking behind MoviePass is to encourage consumers to get back into the habit of watching movies in theaters. But it loses money on anyone who sees more than one movie in a month. And the customers that use the service the most are the ones that cost the company the most money.
MoviePass has been publicly dismissing concerns
MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, a former Netflix executive, has been shrugging off these concerns. Instead of the price being irrationally low, Lowe has argued that the service is priced just right. The average casual moviegoer only sees about one movie a month, meaning that the service is priced at around breakeven for them and for the company.
Meanwhile, MoviePass is building up a valuable asset in the form of its large and growing subscriber base, Lowe has argued. Theaters and other companies will pay to advertise to them, he's predicted. And theater chains will end up offering the company discounted tickets and a cut of concession sales, figuring that MoviePass is helping to bring in more viewers to their venues than they'd otherwise have, he's said.
That's a nice dream, but as MoviePass' parent company made clear this week, its reality is much closer to what I believed it to be — MoviePass is losing money hand over fist.
But the company's business model looks a lot like a dot-com bust
The company's annual report indicates that MoviePass is spending far more money buying tickets than it's getting in subscription revenues, a business model that Kozmo would have been familiar with.
Thanks to that, as Business Insider reported, MoviePass has been burning through about $20 million a month since September. Just between December 19 and February 20, parent company Helios and Matheson, which only took control of MoviePass on December 11, advanced MoviePass nearly $56 million to support its operations, Helios disclosed in its annual report this week. Helios gave MoviePass another $35 million between March 1 and April 12.
In fact, MoviePass is burning through money so quickly that Helios had to go to the public markets to raise more funds. And even after raising $30 million this week, it warned investors that it would need to keep raising money.
MoviePass has become such an albatross for Helios that the company's auditors issued a warning in its annual report that there was substantial doubt it would remain in business over the next year.
That too was familiar. We saw a lot of similar "going concern" warnings during the dot-com bust.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Lowe and MoviePass will pull this out. Maybe the company won't be our era's version of Kozmo.
But right now, I feel like I've seen this movie before, and I know the ending.
NOW WATCH: How does MoviePass make money?
Whenever a critically acclaimed movie does well at the box office, Hollywood studios are eager to throw money into a follow-up picture or even a series of sequels.
But some movie premises aren't meant to be extended.
And many, many sequels aren't executed with the thought or care of their far-superior original films, especially in series that have stretched over many years — as one sees in the chasm of quality between "The Terminator" (1984) and "Terminator Genisys" (2015).
We adapted this ranking from our list of the worst sequels of all time, selecting the films that had a vast discrepancy in Rotten Tomatoes critic scores between their terrible sequels and great originals.
Here are 17 of the worst sequels to great movies, ranked by the increasing discrepancies in their critical reception:
17. "Friday After Next" (2002)
Critic score: 26%
Sequel to:"Friday" (1995) — 74%
What critics said:"The jokes are sophomoric, stereotypes are sprinkled everywhere and the acting ranges from bad to bodacious." — San Francisco Chronicle
16. "Batman & Robin"
Critic score: 10%
Sequel to:"Batman" (1989) — 72%
What critics said:"A sniggering, exhausting, overproduced extravaganza that has virtually all of the humanity pounded out of it in the name of an endless parade of stunt sequences."— Chicago Tribune
15. "The Fly II" (1989)
Critic score: 27%
Sequel to:"The Fly" (1986) — 91%
What critics said:"It's got nothing on Cronenberg's original - or the Vincent Price classic" — Sunday Times
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Beginning on Wednesday, the Tribeca Film Festival kicks off another year of spotlighting fascinating movies, TV shows, and the latest projects from the world of virtual reality.
That isn't even mentioning the anniversary screenings of treasured classics like “Schindler’s List" and “Scarface,” accompanied by talks with the legends behind the works.
But not everyone can make it to New York City to take in all the fun. Here are 14 movies showing at the fest that you should seek out when they are eventually released in theaters and streaming.
“The American Meme”
This documentary looks at the people who are famous for being famous — Paris Hilton, The Fat Jew, Emily Ratajkowski, among others — and dissects what you really have to do to become a social media brand. [Seeking distribution]
Following up his best foreign film Oscar for “A Fantastic Woman,” Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio gives us the story of a taboo romance set in North London’s Orthodox Jewish community, starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams. [Released by Bleecker Street on April 27]
“The Fourth Estate”
Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus (“What Happened, Miss Simone?”) looks at the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency from inside one of the papers he criticizes the most: The New York Times. [Airing on Showtime May 27]
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
For many studio heads these days, glancing at how their latest movie did in China is in some ways more important than seeing how it did in North America. That is because things are changing drastically for an industry in which the domestic box office had been considered the true indicator of a movie's worth for over a century.
Since the early 2000s, the movie market in China has gone from almost nonexistent to second behind only the US. And it could become No. 1 by 2020, as movie theaters continue to be built at a hurried pace to feed the interest of not just the Hollywood titles but those made by the country's burgeoning homegrown production industry.
Everyone in Hollywood is trying to figure out how to navigate this sea change. Which stories work best? Which are duds? And which movie stars can rake in the cash?
That last one has become an easy answer: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
His latest CGI (and testosterone) heavy blockbuster, "Rampage,"won the US box office over the weekend with a $35.8 million take for its studio Warner Bros. But what the movie did in China has the studio ecstatic, as it took in $55.2 million there as part of a $115.7 million international gross.
But this is far from an overnight success. The Rock has been big in China for a while.
Dominance years in the making
Johnson's elevation to a global box-office draw came when he joined the "Fast and the Furious" franchise with 2011's "Fast Five." But his potential worth in China expanded dramatically over the next few years.
In 2013, "Fast & Furious 6" became the first movie in the Universal franchise to play in China (though years' worth of bootlegs of the previous movies were undoubtedly floating around the country). It took in a respectable $66.5 million there. But when "Furious 7" played there in 2015, it went gangbusters, taking in $391 million in China. A few months later, Johnson showed he didn't need the "Fast" fam to make it in China, where "San Andreas" went on to earn $103.2 million.
The next movie starring Johnson that went to China was the 2016 animated film "Moana" ($32.7 million), and then in 2017 "The Fate of the Furious" found incredible success there with $392.8 million, helping the movie earn $1.2 billion worldwide.
With audiences in China already getting a glimpse of Johnson this year when "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" opened there in January ($78 million), the $55 million "Rampage" opening suggests it doesn't matter whether he's with an ensemble or solo: They want to see Johnson.
"Johnson continues to prove that he is the most bankable star in the world with his growing global appeal," the comScore box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Business Insider. "It's hard to imagine any other star who could have catapulted 'Rampage' to a nearly $150 million worldwide debut."
But in an indication of just how important China is, The Rock made sure to spend some time there before "Rampage" opened.
Mr. Johnson goes to Shanghai
It's pretty standard to tour the globe for publicity on a major Hollywood release, but when you're a huge star like Dwayne Johnson, the hustle can be narrowed down to some key regions. And Warner Bros. made sure one of Johnson's stops was in China.
Johnson went on a promotional tour in Shanghai for "Rampage," his first time visiting the country's largest city, a studio source told Business Insider.
And the way he was treated, he's certain to return.
The movie's press conference in the city was live-streamed through multiple partners across the country, there was a fan screening in Shanghai's biggest theater, and Johnson extended his likability across all ages after he befriended three kids who were dressed as the three monsters from the movie during the press conference (the movie is based on a popular video game in which giant monsters destroy cities).
It’s all in my charm.. and bribery. Huge RAMPAGE press conference in Shanghai and they bring out these adorable little humans dressed as our three Rampage monsters. They were terrified of me until I said “BIG HUG” in Mandarin, then the hugs commenced. Truth is I bribed these kids with chocolate, candy and free college tuition to not embarrass me in front of the press. It worked. #SHANGHAI #RAMPAGE #WorldTour #BriningLittleHumans
"Dwayne, or 'Johnson' as they call him in China, was in great spirits and charmed all of the audiences with his signature enthusiasm and humor," the source said.
Along with the $55 million opening weekend, "Rampage" took in $15.7 million on its opening day in China, the third-highest opening day ever for a Warner Bros. movie in the country.
"Dwayne Johnson and giant monsters — that's the perfect recipe for a hit in China these days," Jeff Bock, a senior analyst for Exhibitor Relations, told Business Insider. "In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if that was the tipping point for 'Rampage' getting green-lit in the first place."
In an era when the mega movie stars are considered less of a draw than a good superhero movie with "regular" stars, Johnson is showing he's an exception to the trend. He is already a household name in the US, and he's ahead of most stars in conquering China.
This weekend marks the last before Disney/Marvel Studio's "Avengers: Infinity War" opens and pretty much sucks up the majority of the box office for the next few weeks, so the rest of Hollywood tried to get its dollars in now before the faucet is turned off.
For the most part, they were successful.
After the worldwide success of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's latest movie "Rampage" last weekend, Paramount's surprise hit "A Quiet Place" continues to amaze as it's back on top of the domestic box office in its third weekend in theaters. The movie earned an estimated $22 million this weekend, according to Exhibitor Relations.
That now puts its domestic total at $132 million (it was made for just $17 million).
"Rampage" came in second with $21 million. The Warner Bros.' hit dropped under 50% domestically this weekend to land in third place, a respectable drop and even more impressive seeing the movie is based on a video game, a genre that historically isn't a big draw past the first weekend. The movie has made over $192 million worldwide.
But the big surprise of the weekend was the performance of "Super Troopers 2."
The sequel to the now cult classic 2002 release from comedy troupe Broken Lizard that follows the antics of five Vermont state troopers took in $14.7 million this weekend. That's far above its $5 million to $7 million projection for the weekend.
The movie, released by Fox Searchlight, won Friday with a $7.9 million take (pretty much making up its $5 million production budget in one day). It also didn't hurt that the date on Friday was 4/20, a marketing godsend for a marijuana-focused franchise.
"I Feel Pretty," released by STX Films/Voltage/Wonderland Sound, also exceeded its industry projections ($11 million to $14 million), which is a major rebound for Schumer, who lost a lot of points with audiences and critics with the disappointing comedy "Snatched" last year.
Warner Bros. is also happy to see its Steven Spielberg hit, "Ready Player One," cross the $500 million milestone at the worldwide box office. That includes over $200 million in China, making it the 10th-highest grossing US-made release in the Middle Kingdom all-time.
Seventeen years after the release of "Super Troopers," the comedy troupe Broken Lizard has returned with a sequel to the movie that kicked off their careers.
Jay Chandrasekhar, the director and a star of "Super Troopers 2," spoke to Business Insider this weekend about how the film arose, out of necessity, from a massively successful crowdfunding campaign three years ago, which netted $4.6 million from 54,000 donors.
A comedy about a group of Vermont state police officers engaged in a border dispute with Canadian "Mounties,""Super Troopers 2" premiered to a solid opening over the weekend, raking in $14.7 million against the $5 million to $7 million it was projected to hit.
Chandrasekhar also touched on comedy's embattled relationship with critical reception, how the rise of President Trump affected the film's production, and the creative advantages of being in a comedy troupe.
John Lynch: This is the first sequel that Broken Lizard has released. What sort of creative challenges did making a sequel present?
Jay Chandrasekhar: This one in particular was really hard because it had been a little while since the first one. We've made about five other films, but in the intervening years, the show business industry has moved entirely toward movies where the main characters have capes and tights. They're less interested in funding anything non-superhero. So, when we went to them and said, "Hey, we want to make this sequel," they said, "Great. Why don't you raise the money?" And we said, "Okay..."[laughs].
We started raising money, and it was a little challenging, and finally we decided to crowdfund it. It was a high-risk bet, because if they didn't fund it, the movie never would have been made at all. So we took a gamble, we did it, and it really ended up, I mean, $4.6 million they gave us, 54,000 people. And the crowd-funding was sort of the beginning of the advertising campaign really. Three years ago when we started raising the money, that's when it really got like, every piece of art has to be good, every video had to feel close enough to the first one to give audiences the idea that, "Oh, they can still do it."
Lynch: I saw a couple reports that the film is tracking to do well at the box office. Given the success of the crowdfunding, did you anticipate that it would be a success at the box office?
Chandrasekhar: You know, you can't ever be confident about the box office, because it can be anything. You never know what's going to happen. So, no. We have been incredibly surprised by the numbers, and excited. It's been great to see how many people have come out. I mean, it's fantastic.
Lynch: As a source of humor, a theme Broken Lizard has explored a few times now is "cultures clashing." It was in "Beerfest" prominently. What draws you guys to that comedic theme?
Chandrasekhar: It's an interesting thing, because while we were making "Super Troopers 2," and we were working with these Canadian guys, we started laughing, like, "Oh, so they're Germans" [the antagonists in "Beerfest"]. It is a theme that we seem to like. I think it's just, I don't know. I mean, we make kind of like macho, '70s style movies, and that just felt like they were the right opponents for us, you know? And it's fun to do accents in comedies.
Lynch: There's a border dispute and themes of immigration as through line in the film. But you've also got our American turmoil as a backdrop, to some degree. You had the story idea for a while, but how did the cultural situation here in America inform the movie?
Chandrasekhar: Ultimately, these are very interesting times we're living in. When we shot the movie, it was the fall [of 2016]. We didn't know who was going to be the president. We did know that President Trump's "Make America Great Again" was certainly the thing of the campaign, and we thought, whether he wins or loses, or whether she wins or loses, that saying will probably last the test of time. So we put that in. But we try to stay a little bit away from politics. Everyone's talking about politics. We actually politically have our own opinions, too. But our fans are half stoners, and half cops, and half military. We'll do shows and have stoners sitting next to cops all the time. Our audience is on both sides of the aisle, and we're hoping that this film can be just a way for everyone to be like, "Okay, we can agree on that. We're just going to stay out of the political thing for a while." But, you know, sure. The movie has some political moments to it. I mean, obviously.
Lynch: So this is the sixth feature film you've directed now, with the same crew. Has it gotten easier to direct, or how has your perspective on that changed?
Chandrasekhar: It's gotten easier to direct because I've done a lot of television. I've done about 110 episodes of television. I have shot a lot of shots. I've done scenes in a lot of different ways, multiple times. With these TV shows, I've shot a bunch of dinner scenes, and sex scenes, and fights. So when these scenes come up in our movies, I feel pretty confident about how to get them, and get them fairly quickly. Because we still have a fairly low budget, and we're still tight on time all the time, so we have to be more smart and efficient. Both "Super Troopers," one and two, were shot in 28 days. Number two is much more complex, but we are all just better at filming, because we've done it a lot.
Lynch: What about critical reception of comedies in general. Broken Lizard films, if you look on Rotten Tomatoes, I personally feel their scores don't match the level of humor that's in them. I saw The New York Times gave you guys a critics choice for this one, but how do you think of critical reception?
Chandrasekhar: Well, I gotta tell ya, man. The first "Super Troopers" had a 35% [critical] rating and a 90% audience rating. And I thought on this movie that the critics would say, "Well, we got that one wrong. Here's our chance to make up for it." But that didn't happen. What can you do? I think people get tired of movies when they see too many. I don't know what to say [laughs]. I just don't know what to say. We worked very hard on that movie. We wrote 37 drafts of that thing. It's a good movie.
Lynch: I thought it was hilarious. Do you think film critics are too serious about it?
Chandrasekhar: I cannot tell you what happened. Except that some of them just don't like that movie. They also don't like that kind of movie, you know? It's that kind of movie that seems to bug them. And all us comedy filmmakers, we have to suffer the brunt of that for some reason. But that's the way it goes.
Lynch: Moving forward for the group, what's in sight for now? I've heard there may be a "Super Troopers 3." How are you thinking of that at this point?
Chandrasekhar: I think we just have to see how the weekend goes. If the movie does well and the studio wants to make three, I would imagine we would be psyched to do that. We have another film called "Potfest" we would consider doing. We'll see what happens. We had a ball making this one, and we would have a whole story for the third one. We would have to write it. Takes a little while. But if things go well, we'll do it.
Lynch: Last question, about how you guys work as a troupe. Troupe comedy, it's been around forever, back to Vaudeville. How have you guys evolved as a troupe, and what do you think is the best part of writing in that sort of group?
Chandrasekhar: You know, we met each other when we were 18, so we have jokes that are decades old. And it gives you a perspective on a person that's a little different. We know each other very well and we have a sense of what kind of things make each other laugh. So it's been very fun. The writing meetings are fun. I mean certainly, we argue about what's a funnier joke, but we figure it out. Eventually, it's fine. And if we can keep making these movies, we're going to.
Every year, Hollywood plucks great stories from books to turn them into big-screen experiences.
Whether they're a true story based on a biography or a sci-fi extravaganza based on a novel, adaptations often end up being Hollywood's best movies.
But before the movies come out, do yourself a favor and dive into the world of the books instead.
Here are the book-to-movie adaptations of 2018.
"Paddington 2" continues the charming adventures of Paddington Bear.
Release date: January 12
The children's book "The Little Broomstick" by Mary Stewart was adapted into an internationally acclaimed anime film called "Mary and the Witch's Flower."
Release date: January 18
"12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers" by Doug Stanton is about an elite group of CIA officers sent to Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks.
Release date: January 19
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Ahead of the release of Marvel's "Avengers: Infinity War," the studio's first blockbuster of the year, "Black Panther," continues to rake in money at the domestic box office.
Currently leading the year's ranking of the top five highest-grossing films in the US, "Black Panther" has made over 5 times as much money as any other film released (at the domestic box office).
And as the highly anticipated "Avengers: Infinity War" looks to dethrone "Black Panther" following its release on Friday, Marvel and its parent company, Disney, are set to continue their domination of this year's box office.
Here are the top 5 highest-grossing films of the year at the US box office, according to Box Office Mojo:
5. "Fifty Shades Freed"— $100.4 million
4. "Peter Rabbit"— $114.3 million
3. "Ready Player One"— $126.2 million
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
A new movie based on classic video game series "DOOM" is in production.
Unlike the 2005 film starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the new incarnation of "DOOM" won't head to the silver screen: It's a Universal 1440 Entertainment production, meaning it's a film made for home viewing.
That means a streaming service like Amazon or Netflix or Hulu could get the new movie, but it's unclear at this point and far too early to know — it hasn't even begun shooting yet, it looks like.
"Wow I’m doing the next “Doom” movie [with] Universal Pictures!"actress and singer Nina Bergman tweeted recently. "I just signed all the paperwork. I get to go back to Bulgaria again and work with some of my favorite people."
Universal has since confirmed the project's existence to Variety — it's not clear what the movie is called, when it's planned for release, or who else is in it.
The "DOOM" video game franchise is currently experiencing a renaissance of sorts, with the 2016 reboot (seen above) receiving glowing praise from critics and equally glowing sales numbers.
But the last time a film adaptation of "DOOM" was attempted, it failed miserably. Even the movie's main star regards it as a "stinker:
That said, we're talking about fertile content for adaptation here: A comically violent, silent space marine rips through thousands of snarling demons, purely to satisfy his own anger. He travels from the moons of Mars to the depths of Hell in order to do so.
The 2016 game used this aggressively silly premise to indulge in some of the most brilliantly idiotic storytelling in video game history. Whether the upcoming film will successfully walk that line remains to be seen.
Other than the possible demise of characters like Iron Man, Thor, Loki, and Captain America, we're very excited for "Avengers: Infinity War."
This movie is what all of the installments in the MCU have been leading up to, so it's hard to wait, and we can't help but speculate.
From the trailers, we know that we'll see some unexpected people getting together, like Spider-Man and Doctor Strange; and Teen Groot and Thor.
But there will also be an epic battle in Wakanda that could be the end for some of our favorites. Plus we'll get a more fully fledged villain in Thanos, played by Josh Brolin. Since he's had such a big presence in the past few movies, we're expecting a deeper character than Ultron, who was a massive disappointment.
From a secret role played by Peter Dinklage, to Loki's status as good or bad, these are all the things we can't wait to see in "Avengers: Infinity War," in theaters April 27.
Who the heck is Peter Dinklage playing?
Somehow, Emmy winner Peter Dinklage squeezed enough time into his "Game of Thrones" schedule to make an appearance in "Infinity War." Details of the character he's playing have been kept entirely under wraps, but with such a big star cast in the role, it has to be an important character in the MCU. But who? We'll have to wait and see.
Nick Fury brought the Avengers together and has been with the MCU since 2008's "Iron Man," so it wouldn't feel right if he didn't make an appearance in the movie. But Samuel L. Jackson has said that he's not in it, and implied that "Age of Ultron" (2015) could've been his last appearance in the MCU. He could be lying to surprise us though: Remember when Kit Harington said Jon Snow was dead for a year?
An appearance from Brie Larson's Captain Marvel — possibly
Brie Larson's Captain Marvel could make a brief appearance or cameo in "Infinity War" to get us even more excited about 2019's "Captain Marvel," the first female-led movie in the MCU. It's been long enough, so we'd love to get a glimpse, even if it's just the end credits.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Quentin Tarantino announced earlier this year that Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio will be starring in his upcoming ninth film, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," which partly involves the Manson Family murders.
On Monday, Tarantino and DiCaprio teased a few details about the film at the Las Vegas industry event, CinemaCon.
In March, Margot Robbie entered final negotiations to play the role of actress Sharon Tate in the film, Deadline reported. There has not yet been an official announcement of her role.
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:
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 last month, 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."
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.
At CinemaCon on Monday, Tarantino did not add much to the aforementioned description of the plot, calling the project "very hush-hush and top secret."
It has been five years in the making.
Tarantino said last month 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.
On Monday, Tarantino confirmed this sentiment by saying that "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" is "probably the closest to 'Pulp Fiction' that I have done."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The official trailer for Sony Pictures' "Venom" was released Monday night and while we finally got our first look at the film's antihero a lot of fans can't stop talking about one aspect of the trailer: Michelle Williams' wig.
Here's Williams in real life. The actress has much shorter hair.
In the movie, Williams plays the girlfriend of journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) who becomes a host to the alien, Venom.
Fans were quick to call out the questionable wig for looking unnatural.
Gosh millions of dollars spent on this film and none of that was spent on Michelle Williams wig. lol https://t.co/wfj35v4qdD— SAMMY SALSA (@SAMMYSALSA84) April 24, 2018
This whole movie, from that Hardy’s ever changing accent to Michelle Williams wig is a total “we got it? Good! Let’s go” picture— Claymation Tupac in Space (@toolittlecakes) April 24, 2018
I have so many thoughts on how Michelle Williams has made “I Have a Wig for That” her spin on Tom Hardy’s “I Have A Voice for That”— The Stefano De La Cuesta (@THE_Stefano_DLC) April 24, 2018
What was the budget for Venom? Could you guys not afford to put a passable wig on Michelle Williams' head?— Samantha Powell (@sdpowell1) April 24, 2018
Many also pointed out this isn't the first time Williams has a wig onscreen that didn't suit her.
Fans pointed to hair pieces from "All the Money in the World" and the actress' most recent film, "I Feel Pretty."
Save Michelle Williams from wigs pic.twitter.com/02nSV7UddQ— Hoai-Tran Bui (@htranbui) April 24, 2018
I am so here for this era of Michelle Williams beginning each of her roles with “I Have A Wig For That” pic.twitter.com/shor41ZefB— The Stefano De La Cuesta (@THE_Stefano_DLC) April 24, 2018
"Venom" is in theaters October 5. You can watch the trailer with Williams' wig below.
Antoine Fuqua has pulled off something no other director working with Denzel Washington has done before: getting him to do a sequel.
“The Equalizer 2” (in theaters July 20) marks not just the first-ever sequel done by Fuqua, but also Washington. The two have worked on numerous projects, from “The Magnificent Seven” reboot to Washington’s Oscar-winning performance in “Training Day.” But it’s Sony’s unlikely hit thriller about a man (Washington) with a mysterious past who disrupts his quiet life to rescue a girl that the two felt was fertile ground to continue with a sequel.
Before Fuqua presented footage of the movie at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Monday, Business Insider sat down with him (in a backstage room with the film’s producer Jason Blumenthal), to talk about the movie, Trump, and if he’s going to direct the much-rumored “Scarface” remake.
Jason Guerrasio: This is the first time you and Denzel have ever done a sequel. What did Sony have to do to talk you guys into doing another?
Fuqua: It was a conversation that we had toward the end of making “Equalizer 1.” We had a lot of fun together just making the movie. All of us: me, Denzel, the producers. And we were talking about it and it's hard to talk about that stuff with Denzel because he just wants to make this one good. The one we're doing. But we were all kind of like, "Hey, if this works let's do it again." It came out and did well, the audience enjoyed it, and the guys went off to write another. And it wasn't that long, three months after the release.
Guerrasio: Wow, three months after it opened?
Fuqua: Yeah. They gave me the script and I read it and it was better than the first script and much more emotional and deeper. And it hit all the things that I think a lot of people wanted to see. When I would be in an airport people would ask, "Are we going to find out more about this or that?" And the script did those things. And when I read it, Denzel read it as well, and he called me and he said, "This is good!" And I was like yeah, and he said, "Let's do it again!" So that's how it worked.
Guerrasio: I would imagine this was not the first time a sequel to a movie you've done has been floated by you. What sequel pitches have you gotten in the past?
Fuqua:“Olympus Has Fallen,” they wanted me to do that, there were rumors about “Training Day"—
Guerrasio: How can you do “Training Day” again?
Fuqua: I think like a prequel. Yeah, it's been a few times. It’s just not exciting to me to do that really because you have already been down that road and it's rare to get someone like Denzel so you have got to make it right. The script has to be very different from the first one, and it has to be a character he wants to play again, but have enough differences that he feels like he's doing something else. He's an actor's actor, so for him, he's not doing the exact same thing. I can't even get the exact same take. So you think he's going to do a movie twice? [Laughs.]
Guerrasio: I’m thinking about your filmography now, you could probably do another “Magnificent Seven.”
Fuqua: Yeah. I would love to do another one. That's not up to me but I would love to do one. With the right actors. Because that's tricky. You have to get all those guys’ schedules on the same page at the exact same time.
Guerrasio: And do audiences still want to see Westerns?
Fuqua: It's tricky. You never know. The audience sometimes will surprise you. It's timing. You think you know and then the next Western comes out and makes a billion dollars.
Guerrasio: The only thing that will make me disappointed is Vincent D’Onofrio will not be in it. Because he was so entertaining in that movie.
Fuqua: We do it as a prequel. You see what happens? You got the opportunity to do a movie with a great actors and then you kill them off, how do you do another one? [Laughs.]
Guerrasio: I don't want you to give anything away about “Equalizer 2,” but in the trailer there's a shot of Denzel telling a guy to do the Vulcan salute from “Star Trek” and then breaking his fingers when the guy shows him the salute.
Fuqua: That's all Denzel.
Guerrasio: He came up with that?
Fuqua: He did that. That's the fun of it. He's not going to say the exact same line every time the exact same way. Someone on that level, you have to have some fun with it.
Guerrasio: Almost all of your movies deal with gun violence. It's a topic that's big again in society because of the Parkland school shooting. But when you hear President Trump say that school shootings are due to the violence kids see in movies, how do you react to that?
Fuqua: I’m not into politics, I'm a father. I'll say that first. I grew up watching movies — Westerns, war movies, gangster movies, comedies. But are movies the reason people are shooting and killing each other? I don't think so. I would hate to think that's true in any way. We've been making movies since, what —
Guerrasio: Over 100 years.
Fuqua: It seems it's something that's been happening more and more recently, so it's hard to blame something like that on movies. When the president says something like that it's sad because I don't think you should put the blame on one thing. It's all of our problem, not just movies.
Guerrasio: What you see in society, does that affect what stories you want to tell going forward?
Fuqua: It does. That's why I wanted to do “Equalizer.” Because “Equalizer” is about justice. You talk about gun violence, yeah, of course, I'm tired of seeing young black men get shot down in the street like animals. I'm tired of seeing anybody get shot down in the street. Especially innocent people. So you can make a movie with a positive use as well. If you put it in the hands of the right people: Air Force, military, Navy, Navy Seals, Marines, and I'm friends with a lot of these guys and I'm friends with a lot of cops, too. Thank God they are there when you need them, strapped. What I'll say is when you make a movie you have to have a reason you want to make it. I wanted to make “Equalizer” because it's about justice and I think that's the thing we all want. When you see young people die it's heartbreaking, but as a director you can only do a movie to say something. You could get involved with politics if you want to, but I'm not a politician.
Guerrasio: I want your take on the inclusion rider that's been a buzz term since Frances McDormand brought it up at the Oscars. As one of the few African-American directors working regularly in Hollywood currently, do you use that? Do you want to use it more?
Fuqua: I don't know.
Jason Blumenthal: It hasn't been an issue with Antoine, to be honest. We know he wants a very diverse and eclectic group of people around him as a filmmaker. He thrives on that. So we run these colorblind sets. And just so you know, the inclusion rider wasn't even a thing when we shot this movie. Denzel has also been big on that with us, too. He's always wanted us to give people a shot. He's never said, "Give the black guy a shot."
Fuqua: Denzel says, "Give the woman a shot."
Blumenthal: It comes from the top down, so if we weren't running an inclusive set and Antoine and Denzel said we better do that it's going to happen because it needs to happen. But it's been happening with our movies for the last five to six years.
Fuqua: We just do it. There's not really a conversation. We do what's right and who's the best person for the job. And we help bring people up along the ranks as well.
Guerrasio: So I know you're working on a Muhammad Ali documentary.
Guerrasio: After that, are you taking on the “Scarface” reboot?
Fuqua: I don't know. We are still finishing up “Equalizer 2.” Editing a little bit, shaping here and there. Not a lot. The music and all the final stuff we have to do. We did a test last week and it scored through the roof. Scored a little higher than the first one. So “Scarface, “I don't know, man. When I get the script.
Guerrasio: That's such a classic film that if it's going to be attempted I assume, if you were to take it on, you would do it completely different than Brian De Palma's.
Fuqua: Very different.
Guerrasio: Like how De Palma's is completely different from the 1932 original movie.
Fuqua: Exactly. You have to. And you have to find the reason to make it, any movie. I have to find my reason to make the movie. So “Scarface” is one of those movies that I've been talking to the writer and different people about it and I know a lot about that world, it's just making sure when I get the script it's the right reason to make “Scarface.” In today's society everyone feels injustice like Tony Montana. Everyone feels like they are the small guy.
Guerrasio: And hustling to make a better life.
Fuqua: The hustle. So the feeling of that is in the air and coming back to “Equalizer” that's what's important about doing that. It's about justice. When I did “Training Day” it was about street justice. So it always comes back to justice, so I have to figure out what “Scarface” is about for me.
Guerrasio: You're doing “Scarface.”