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5 Reasons Why Denzel Washington's ‘Equalizer’ Exploded At The Box Office

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denzel the equalizerDenzel Washington delivered in a big way at the box office this weekend with “The Equalizer.” He's one of Hollywood's most bankable male stars and nearly always delivers, but the $35 million opening of the gritty action saga was something special.

It was the biggest opening for an R-rated movie ever in September and Washington's biggest since “Safe House” debuted to more than $40 million in February of 2012.

That “The Equalizer” was going to dominate the weekend was a given, since the only other wide opener was the animated family film “Boxtrolls,” but not many people anticipated this powerful of a debut. Sony is already prepping a sequel, which would be the first in Washington's more than 30-year film career.

There were several factors that contributed to the film's supersized success:

1. Denzel Delivered

“The Equalizer” proved the latest example of audiences embracing Washington, whether he plays a good or bad guy. “Even when he's playing nasty or flawed characters, you find yourself rooting for him,” said Rentrak senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “The Equalizer,” in which he rescues a young prostitute from the Russian mob with righteous fury, proved just the right mix of Good Denzel and Nasty Denzel for a lot of moviegoers. African-American and Hispanic moviegoers made up roughly 40 of the crowd.

denzel fuqua

2. The Fuqua Factor

“The Equalizer” re-teamed the star with Antoine Fuqua, the director of the gritty 2001 hit “Training Day,” for which Washington earned the Best Actor Oscar. Their synergy came across on screen, and audiences plainly didn't forget what the duo was capable of. It's easily the best opening of Fuqua's career.

3. “Guts Over Fear”

That's the name of Eminem‘s latest single, which plays over the end credits of “The Equalizer.” Sony's Dwight Caines-led marketing team created a special trailer featuring the tune, which Eminem sent out to his 18.7 million followers and nearly 95 million Facebook fans, and that helped the film connect with younger moviegoers in addition to Washington's older fan base.

4. The Big Picture

IMAX and premium large format (PLF) screens delivered nearly 20 percent of the domestic grosses. That's a very high number for a film that didn't necessarily scream “giant screen,” so kudos to Sony and the filmmakers for seeing the potential and capitalizing. IMAX alone brought in $3.3 million, a new record for a September opening, and accounted for seven of the film's highest-grossing locales. The PLF total was estimated at $3.7 million.

Also read: ‘The Equalizer’ Reviews: Critics Divided on Denzel Washington's New Action Film

5. Smart Date

Earlier this year, Sony shifted the release date for “The Equalizer” from April 11 — one week after the debut of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” – to this weekend. That took some nerve, since it put it just a week after “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” a similar action film starring Liam Neeson. But many action fans opted to wait a week, justifying the confidence shown the film by Sony distribution chief Rory Bruer. “We believed in this film from the very start,” he said.

SEE ALSO: 17 Movies To See This Fall

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Why 'X-Men' Will Make Major Franchise Changes After 'Apocalypse'

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x men days of future pastThrough X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, the mutants known as Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) have gone through a hell of a lot.

Beginning in the early 1960s, they wound up right smack dab in the middle of not only a massive societal change, but also the Cuban Missile Crisis. Then, about a decade later, they found themselves fighting for the future and against a horrific apocalyptic nightmare, saving humanity from giant machines that would ultimately create nothing but death and destruction.

Their road has been a long one, but, according to writer/producer Simon Kinberg, that arc may soon be coming to an end. 

While answering fan questions as part of a recent fan Q&A hosted by Yahoo! UK, the filmmaker revealed that X-Men: Apocalypse is being strongly viewed as an end to a trilogy that began with X-Men: First Class and continued this past summer with Days of Future Past.

The aim seems to be to provide some kind of conclusion for Xavier, Magneto, Mystique and Beast, who have grown and changed (some more literally than others) a great deal over time. Said Kinberg:

"The thrust of Apocalypse is really to complete the trilogy we began with First Class – to complete the stories of young Raven, young Hank, younger Charles and Erik. And complete this trilogy of four people who began the films sort of disparate and in different worlds who we’ve followed through the span of decades. So that’ll be the thrust. There will be familiar characters and new characters that we haven’t seen…ever…but it’ll be the completion of what we began in First Class."

What makes this statement very odd is that fact that Professor X, Magneto, Mystique and Beast all play absolutely vital roles in the world of X-Men - so how could the franchise continue on without them?

The simplest answer could be that future titles would center on the new younger versions of characters like Cyclops, Jean Gray and Storm, and follow their adventures, but how do you feature them and not feature Xavier and Beast as their teachers? Another possible solution is that 20th Century Fox may start looking at different teams that they have the rights to, like X-Force (which has already been developing) or Alpha Flight. Or maybe they'll just starting focusing more on solo titles, like the announced Deadpool and rumored Gambit. There are a number of interesting options, and it will be fascinating to see which directions they go in. 

X-Men: Apocalypse, which is being directed by Bryan Singer and is being written by Kinberg, is scheduled to go into production next year and is currently dated on the release calendar for May 27, 2016. 

SEE ALSO: 5 Reasons Why Denzel Washington's ‘Equalizer’ Exploded At The Box Office

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'Crouching Tiger 2' Is Opening Simultaneously On Netflix And IMAX — And That Could Be The Future

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crouching tiger green destiny sword chow yun fatWhile Hollywood studios and exhibitors endlessly spar over shortening the window between theatrical and home viewing on feature films, you just knew that someone was going to take a bona fide movie, bypass theaters and go right to home viewing. Not surprisingly, it’s Netflix, already a disruptive force with series including House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black.

The pay service has just contracted with The Weinstein Company’s Harvey Weinstein to release its first major feature film, Crouching TigerHidden Dragon: The Green Legend. Sort of a sequel to the Ang Lee-directed 2000 martial arts epic that won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, the film will premiere exclusively on Netflix, and it will simultaneously have a berth in IMAX theaters.

ted saranados

The release is August 28, 2015.

Yuen Wo-Ping is directing a script by John Fusco, and Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen star. Lee is not involved in this, and the connective tissue is the source material based on the Crane-Iron Pentalogy by Wang Du Lu. Crouching Tiger was the fourth book in the series, and this film is based on the fifth installment, Silver Vase, Iron Knight.

Both are from Wu Sia, the centuries-old genre of Chinese fiction that this series is part of. There is plenty of high-wire sword fighting along with the themes of lost love, young love and redemption. Yeoh reprises her role as Yu Shu-Lien, and Donnie Yen plays Silent Wolf. The film is shooting in New Zealand. Yuen is a legendary filmmaker and fight choreographer, and the production team is composed of all seasoned feature players. Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey are producing with Weinstein and The Imitation Game helmer Morten Tyldum is exec producing with Ralph Winter, Anthony Wong and Bey Logan.

This isn’t the only feature film that Netflix is working on, but it likely will be the first one released.

Fusco, Harvey Weinstein and Netflix also are in business on the mammoth event series Marco Polo, and the TWC catalog of films, including those directed by Quentin Tarantino, are available on demand to Netflix subscribers.

TWC already has branched into other distribution models with its multi-platform releasing arm RADiUS, but this more closely mirrors the Golden Age of cable television that is partly fueled by the ability for viewers to watch what they want, when they want it. That has not been possible with feature films until now. TWC and Sony (SPC released the 4-Oscar-winning original) had battled several years ago over the rights to the Crouching Tiger books left behind by the author, who died in 1977. Reports quoted his son, Hong Wang, saying his family made very little money from the original film, and that is why they made another deal. TWC then made the movie, going in with a budget north of $20 million.

Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, who has thumbed his nose at exhibitors in the past, understandably considers this a coup to get a branded title with global appeal.

“Fans will have unprecedented choice in how they enjoy and amazing and memorable film that combines intense action and incredible beauty,” he said in a statement. “We are honored to be working with Harvey Weinstein and a world-class team of creators to bring this epic story to people all over the world and to partner with IMAX, a brand that represents the highest quality of immersive entertainment, in the distribution of this film.”

harvey weinsteinWeinstein was a bit more reserved in his statement: “The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement. We are tremendously excited to be continuing our great relationship with Netflix and bringing to fans all over the world the latest chapter in this amazing and intriguing story.”

Being along for the ride helps IMAX broaden its horizons, per senior executive Greg Foster. “IMAX has a terrific opportunity, via this partnership with Netflix, to release Crouching Tiger–a high quality action packed film that is right in our wheelhouse, at the end of the summer blockbuster season,” he said. “We are particularly hopeful it will play in our highly successful China market. In territories where we simultaneously release with Netflix, we are excited to offer consumers the option of deciding how, when and where they want to view the film, and exhibitors the opportunity to participate in this alternative form of content in a new and innovative way.”

Will the status quo theater chains see it that way?

SEE ALSO: Netflix Knows What We Really Want, And It's An Alcoholic Talking Horse

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Regal Slams IMAX, Weinstein Co. for 'Crouching Tiger 2' Netflix Deal

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Michelle Yeoh, Crouching Tiger, stuntsRegal, the country's largest theater chain, has wasted no time in slamming a historic deal to release The Weinstein Co.'s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel simultaneously on Netflix and in select IMAX theaters around the world, circumventing the normal theatrical release.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend will make its debut Aug. 28, 2015. When announcing the deal Monday night, Netflix said it will be the first of several major films to be given a day-and-date release on Netflix and in some Imax theaters.

"At Regal Cinemas, presenting movies on a grand scale is our promise to movie fans as we work to continually enhance the moviegoing experience. We recognize that there is a tremendous slate of films scheduled for release in 2015 and we couldn’t be more excited by the prospects," Regal spokesman Russ Nunley said in a statement.

"While a home video release may be simultaneously performing in certain IMAX locations, at Regal we will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3” wide on a smart phone. We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear," he continued.

Regal operates 86 IMAX locations.

SEE ALSO: 'Crouching Tiger 2' Is Coming Out Only On Netflix And IMAX — And That Could Be The Future

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How David Fincher Turned Pulpy 'Gone Girl' Into A Work Of Art

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gone girl ben affleck

"Gone Girl" probably shouldn't win an Oscar for Best Picture, though it's already getting buzz; it's too ridiculous and trashy for Academy voters. But David Fincher's new movie, which debuted last week at the New York Film Festival, is clearly the work of an auteur and in many ways represents the culmination of his past works.

Based on a book by Gillian Flynn, the movie shows Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) on the day of the disappearance of his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike), as the viewer is left to wonder whether Nick is responsible. Through a series of flashbacks and other narrative quirks, the movie also shows Amy's perspective, and it features a big twist in the middle.

Right from the rapid-fire opening titles, "Gone Girl" drips with Fincher's glossy, stylish aesthetic. Much like in "Dragon Tattoo" or even "Zodiac," the decidedly dark tone is offset by the efficient editing, but it also has a strong sense of humor as in "Fight Club."

There's a palpable distance between the characters on-screen and the audience, so what we get is a very detached look at the events. Fincher simply lays out information without bias, and the slow but steady reveal of key plot points ensures that the audience never knows what's going to happen next.

This procedural approach is typical of the director; films like "Zodiac" and "Se7en" are similarly cold and reserved. Even the more mainstream "Panic Room" and "The Social Network" have a certain clinical rhythm, a quality that has naturally evolved and become increasingly notable through his career. Fincher always finds a way to tell his story by emphasizing the facts, and he takes this concept to new heights in "Gone Girl" by disclosing the nasty details in a dizzying manner. 

gone girl poster

The first tonal shift occurs with Amy's introduction, as her narration brings a heightened sense of humor and doesn't shy away from graphic depictions of sex. Amy narrates the story via her exquisitely detailed diary, and it's not long before the story turns into a tug-of-war between our two narrators. Pike turns in a stellar, scene-stealing performance as Amy — and she truly could be a strong contender for a Best Actress Oscar. As we stick with Nick in the present, Fincher entwines Amy's narrated flashbacks to provide a fuller picture, but we're never quite sure of what to believe.

The film exhibits a hallucinatory effect through its quick editing that is further accented by the abrasive but restrained score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who won an Academy Award for "The Social Network."

The film's structure is part of what makes it so unabashedly entertaining — it's a pulpy, trashy story dressed up so it appears more glamorous than it really is. The plot itself gets just as silly and hard-to-believe as an episode of ABC's "Scandal," but the material is elevated by Fincher's masterful direction and the fantastic cast. It's a rare joy to see something so dark and smutty make it to the mainstream, let alone directed by a two-time Best Director Oscar nominee.

Author/screenwriter Flynn sticks with the "he-said-she-said" composition of her novel, which limits the audience's knowledge and ensures that the filmmakers are always one step ahead. "Gone Girl" thrives on upending the audience's perceptions and expectations. The filmmakers intentionally misdirect us by exploring one side of the story just to throw us off guard with a completely new development a couple of scenes later.

The beauty of the misdirection is that it is all implied; we are merely flies on the wall, observing the character's actions and making judgments for ourselves. The audience is forced to make assumptions about Nick, which are either confirmed or rejected as Fincher weaves in crucial facts from alternate angles.

Fincher is no stranger to a good mystery ("Se7en" is still referenced as a benchmark for the genre), and "Gone Girl" takes his well-established skills to new heights. The gritty, in-your-face tone of "Se7en" is replaced by a quiet, underlying sense of dread that fills the screen with tension. Combined with a wry, sardonic wit reminiscent of "Fight Club", it's not hard to envision "Gone Girl" as a career-spanning highlight reel of Fincher's best qualities.

gone girl cast nyffOne of the more amusing aspects of "Gone Girl" is its slightly exaggerated but not too far off send-up of modern day journalism. At the press conference following the film's premiere at the New York Film Festival, Flynn referred to the media's presence in the film as a "a blown-up Greek chorus." She expanded on this by saying that the film is, at least partially, about the idea that in this age dominated by media, we are forced to become "consumers of someone else's tragedy." 

Fincher was quick to defend the media as a whole and singled out the "narrow bandwidth of tragedy vampirism"(think Nancy Grace) that, according to Flynn, casts a dichotomy of heroes and villains "against our wills" despite a lack of any actual evidence. Fincher and Flynn explore these ideas in a playful manner that leads to some of the film's biggest laughs.

Ultimately, "Gone Girl" works best when it's playing up its sleazy sense of humor and not taking itself too seriously. There's a lot more bubbling under the surface of the film, including a bitingly satirical examination of marriage and a questionable portrayal of feminism, but it'd be hard to elaborate further without spoiling anything, and most of the fun comes from watching the mystery unravel in real time. "Gone Girl" may not be the best picture of the year, but it's an enjoyable diversion and an intriguing choice for Fincher.

SEE ALSO: 9 Awesome Movies We Can't Wait To See At The New York Film Festival

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Watch Joaquin Phoenix Go Nuts In First Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice'

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joaquin phoenix inherent vice

Warner Bros. has released the highly anticipated first "Inherent Vice" trailer for filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel, and it is glorious. 

The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as private detective Larry “Doc Sportello” who is enlisted to help a former lover thwart a potential kidnapping involving her current billionaire boyfriend.

While PTA has trended a bit darker with his past few films, "Inherent Vice" looks to be a delightfully goofy romp that’s closer in tone to "Boogie Nights" than "There Will Be Blood."  I found myself laughing multiple times during this trailer, and Joaquin Phoenix looks to be absolutely perfect casting as the pothead protagonist.  

Moreover, the supporting cast appears to be phenomenal as well, with Josh Brolin getting a particularly hilarious standout moment here.  Anderson cuts his own trailers so this is likely a very accurate snapshot of the film’s vibe as a whole, and all I can say is it’s made the wait for the film’s release feel so, so, so much farther away.

The film also stars Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Jena Malone, and Joanna Newsom. "Inherent Vice" opens in limited release on December 12th.

Click over to Apple to watch in HD.

SEE ALSO: 9 Movies We Can't Wait To See At The New York Film Festival

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The FBI Is After Liam Neeson In The First ‘Taken 3’ Trailer

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liam neeson taken 3

The cops are out to get Liam Neeson in the first trailer for the next installment of "Taken."

No, no one gets kidnapped this time. Instead, it looks like the 20th Century Fox film, called "Tak3n," will focus on a different meaning of the word.

Retired CIA agent Bryan Mills (Neeson) gets framed for murder after he finds his wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) dead in her home.

From the trailer, it looks like the people from the first two installments are finally getting their revenge on Mills for overusing his particular set of skills in the first two films.

But don't worry, Neeson is still at the top of his game — taking names in what the 62-year-old actor has hinted will be the end of the film's franchise.

"Tak3n" is in theaters January 9, 2015.

Check out the trailer below.

SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know about "Tak3n"

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Major Studios And Exhibitors Are Going To War Against The 'Crouching Tiger 2' Distribution Model

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crouching tiger green destiny sword china chow yun fat slash

Anyone expecting the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” sequel to trigger a revolution in the way Hollywood delivers new movies will be sorely disappointed.

“It might be a step on the time line that will someday see movies available in homes the same day they come out in theaters,” said an executive at a rival film company, “but that's not going to happen until the major studios and the exhibitors are on board, and that's not going to be anytime soon.”

Just how far the industry has to go before embracing day-and-date movie releases became clear on Tuesday after the Weinstein Company announced its plan to release the “Crouching Tiger” sequel simultaneously on Netflix and in IMAX theaters next summer.

Also read: ‘Crouching Tiger’ Sequel Set for Simultaneous Netflix, Imax Release in First of Its Kind Deal

The nation's biggest theater chains — AMC Theatres, Regal, Cinemark and Carmike — said that they would not carry the “Crouching Tiger” sequel. The sequel will be co-produced by TWC and Netflix, and begin streaming on Aug. 28, 2015 — the same day it is scheduled to hit theaters. Cineworld, Europe's No. 2 theater chain and top IMAX operator, said it wouldn't participate, either.

That leaves IMAX with the five theaters it owns and operates, and whatever smaller chains it can get on board to screen the film. AMC and Wanda Cinemas are the largest operators of IMAX-equipped theaters globally, and they splashed cold water on the plan in a pointedly icy statement.

“No one has approached us to license this made-for-video sequel in the U.S. or China, so one must assume the screens IMAX committed are in science centers and aquariums,” it said.

Also read: IMAX's CEO Responds to Theater Owner Rejection of ‘Crouching Tiger’ Netflix Deal

IMAX private theatreRichard Gelfond, IMAX's chief executive, responded to the criticism by saying the plan would ultimately benefit the theater owners.

“I understand change isn't always the easiest thing in the world, it's easier to stick with the status quo,” he told TheWrap, “but on the other hand, if you don't try to change you get stuck in a certain place. We made our reputation by innovating.”

The future of film releasing aside, just the announcement of the plan stands to benefit the principals.

TWC co-chair Harvey Weinstein is getting a ton of publicity for producing a sequel that appears much closer to a direct-to-video release than the Oscar contenders he's so adept at handling. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend” will arrive 15 years after the original film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and took in more than $213 million globally, but without its main stars and iconic director Ang Lee.

Also read: Regal, Cinemark Will Not Screen ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ Sequel Due to Netflix Release

By co-financing the film, Netflix gets a degree of credibility as a film production force, but that's more image than reality at this point. The larger goal is of course to evolve into the primary streaming site for new movies, and this is step in that direction — one that the company hopes Wall Street will appreciate. Whether that's worth its $40 million-plus investment remains to be seen.

The benefits for IMAX are less clear and like so many things in Hollywood these days, it may have a lot to do with China.

“Remember, we're a global company, 60 percent of our revenues are from international sources,” Gelfond said. “In China, there is no Netflix, so this can play in all our theaters in China if it gets through the quota. That could be 200 theaters in China alone.”

Despite Tuesday's backlash and theater owners digging in, most in the industry believe it's a matter of time until at least some movies become available in homes.

Also read: Is VOD the Future? Even Roadside Attractions’ Howard Cohen Defends Theatrical Windows

“You're never going to see ‘Transformers 5' on Netflix,” said Exhibitor Relations vice-president and senior analyst Jeff Bock, “but you can't change the fact that the studios and theater owners are in business together and that they're eventually going to have to work something out.

“Exhibitors get it, but it's not going to be easy to come up a plan. If you were a theater owner, would you want to give up admission and concessions in return for a slice of the streaming pie?”

SEE ALSO: Regal Slams IMAX, Weinstein Co. for 'Crouching Tiger 2' Netflix Deal

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Pixar Director Squashes Fan Theory That Suggests All Of The Movies Take Place In The Same Universe

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Earlier this year, Jon Negroni proposed "The Pixar Theory," an elaborate idea that suggests that every Pixar movie exists in the same universe. 

While there are Easter Eggs that show up from one film to the next (the "Toy Story"pizza truck can be spotted in most movies), the idea is a bit of a stretch. 

The theory draws elaborate parallels between each of the studio's 14 films starting with 2013's "Brave" in the 14th or 15th century, and weaving past "The Incredibles" and the "Toy Story" films before ending up at the "Monsters Inc." movies in between the years 4000 and 5000.

First, here's a look at how Negroni weaves all of Pixar's films together.

disney pixar theory

The theory suggests that the magic introduced in "Brave" allows inanimate objects in every subsequent film to exist.

"It all starts with Merida discovering "the-will-of-the-wisps" (magic). The Magic turns her mother into a bear. This magic is why animals and inanimate objects (brooms & tools) behave like humans," Negroni writes.

brave pixar

He suggests human pollution and experimentation hinted at in 2003's "Finding Nemo" has led to curiosity in animals who "carry more humanistic behaviors."finding nemo

While "Up" foreshadows the fall of civilization to a large corporation after elderly man Carl is threatened to give up his home and land to fictional company Buy and Large (BnL) which appears in numerous Pixar movies.

up house pixar

Negroni suggests a war ensued between humans and animals while blaming BnL for polluting the Earth as eventually seen in "Wall-E."

wall e

This leads to the rest of the human race heading to space to live out their days before returning to Earth to rebuild.

Wall-E exploring spaceship

You can read more on the theory on Negroni's blog, here.

Pixar has been pretty quiet on whether the fan theory held any water.

Last year, Pixar's Jay Ward laughed off the theory to Jalopnik saying, "I think somebody had a lot of time on their hands."

"The movies were sort of made in a different order by different directors in different times, in different places," he added. "It's cool that it all worked out that way, but it probably was not intentional."

Recently, Movies.com caught up with "Monsters University" director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae to ask once and for all what Pixar thinks of the very complex universe.

"It's a funny idea, but we would've had to be insane geniuses to have plotted that out." Rae said, "It's nothing that we talk about at Pixar, I don't think. Or at least I don't. I'm sure people do, though."

So, while the theory is fun and in-depth, it's definitely no more than that, a theory.

Scanlon does admit it's clear some of the movies are connected in the same broad universe by brands that appear in the films.

"When you really think about  all the Easter eggs and stuff, you know what I mean," Scanlon told Movies.com.

"Like the toy [bear from Toy Story 3] in Up, or the Rex action figure in WALL-E. You gotta think  obviously we build on a world, and it's not for any other reason than a fun thing to do, but you can't deny that certain products are sold in the same world."

SEE ALSO: More on Negroni's Pixar Theory

SEE ALSO: A woman is suing Disney for $250 million claiming "Frozen" ripped off her life story

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Robert Downey Jr. May Keep Playing 'Iron Man' Longer Than We Thought

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robert downey jr iron man suitsPoor Robert Downey Jr. All the dude wants to do is talk about The Judge. But because he’s a leader in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – perhaps THE founding father of what has become a massive wave of cinematic endeavors – he has to field questions about his most popular character, Tony Stark, and his alter ego, Iron Man.

Right now, we know that Robert Downey Jr. is appearing as Iron Man in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron, due in theaters in May 2015. He’s contractually obligated for The Avengers 3, though Marvel hasn’t announced when that movie might open. And there has been talk – mostly from hopeful fans – that Downey would return for a possible Iron Man 4. Today, in a conversation with THR, Robert Downey Jr. kept that door slightly ajar with a bizarre wave metaphor to describe the current state of his Iron Man status. RDJ said: 

"I'm sure we'll ride that thing. You've got to surf that all the way in to shore. I think I was at the  forefront of something that was coming into being, and I think it has carried me as much as I  have informed it. That's the healthy way to look at it. It's so easy to become inflated by the  successes, but what they really are are long, strong trends. It's just another wave."

Surf on, Robert. Keep in mind that Robert Downey Jr. has "surfed" several "waves" over the course of his career, enjoying multiple highs and enduring some crippling lows. It’s possible that he could come crashing down off of the wave that’s currently being powered by his unprecedented Marvel run, but with wife (and producing partner) Susan by his side, he seems to be making all of the right decisions right now.

He has other franchises in play with the Sherlock Holmes movies (if they make another). He’s dabbling in standalone projects like The Judge. And he could do more Iron Man movies if he chose to… and if Marvel backed up the dump truck loaded with money. 

To me, the factor for Robert Downey Jr. has always been and will always be age. He’ll be 50 when The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in theaters next May. We don’t even know when The Avengers 3 could open. A fourth Iron Man would be later than that. Is Downey going to be in the 60s and still making Marvel movies? Unlikely. 

If anything, I see Downey possibly cameoing in future Marvel movies, playing the "elder statesman" who continues to charm audiences as an integral factor of this expanding world. But Iron Man 4 I’d honestly be very surprised. 

SEE ALSO: PLOT REVEALED: Here's What 'The Avengers' Sequel Is About

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All The Ways 'Gone Girl' The Movie Is Different From The Book

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ben affleck gone girl movieEarlier this year, many fans of Gillian Flynn’s 2012 thriller Gone Girl were dismayed to learn that the author had changed the story’s ending for the film adaptation. AsEntertainment Weekly reported in January, director David Fincher quoted Ben Affleck as saying, “This is a whole new third act! She literally threw that third act out and started from scratch.”

But that’s not quite true—and Flynn later described the reports that the ending had changed as “greatly exaggerated.” Indeed, the overall arc of the story remains the same in the movie as in the novel. Still, in adapting the book for film, some changes had to be made. So how closely does the movie stick to the novel?

Closely enough that, if you’ve read the book, there aren’t really any spoilers below. If you have not, however, spoilers abound.

The crucial plot points and the structure of the book remain. The first half alternates between Amy’s disappearance—seen primarily, though not solely, from Nick’s point of view—and her diary entries, before we get the big reveal that Amy has faked her death. The back story is the same, too: Amy is a personality quiz writer and the inspiration for her parents’ book series Amazing Amy, and she meets Nick in New York at a party; they move to Missouri after Nick’s mother becomes ill, and there Nick buys a bar (called The Bar) which he runs with his sister Margo (whom he calls Go). Amy eventually runs to her high school boyfriend, Desi Collings, then kills him and makes it look like an escape from a dangerous captor. She returns to Nick, becomes pregnant, and convinces him to stay with her.

But not everything is exactly the same. Below we’ve highlighted the principal differences.

Nick and Amy’s Courtship

In the book, Nick and Amy (Affleck and Rosamund Pike) meet-cute at a party in Brooklyn thrown by one of Amy’s friends. They leave together, then immerse themselves in a romantic cloud of powdered sugar wafting off a late-night delivery to a local bakery. All this occurs in the film. In the book, though, over eight months go by before Amy runs into Nick again, randomly on the street—he claims to have lost her number. And while the  book release party for the Amazing Amy wedding story is depicted in both versions—as are the invasive questions Amy answers about her own singledom from attendees—in the novel, this event occurs the night before she runs into Nick, and leaves her devastated about her marriage prospects. The moment in the film turns out to be a much happier occasion, as Nick proposes to her in front of the nosy guests after two years of dating.

Amy’s Clues

For the most part, Amy’s anniversary clues and their locations are taken wholesale from the book: Nick’s office at school (where red underwear is found), Nick’s father’s house (where Nick forgets the alarm code), and the woodshed in back of Margo’s house (where Nick finds all of the items he denies having purchased on his credit cards, including the Punch and Judy dolls). But one clue is absent from the film: Hannibal, Missouri, where Mark Twain grew up and where Nick spent his childhood summers. There, in the old courtroom of Mark Twain’s father, Nick finds a long note from Amy about how “witty” he is, as well as the next clue.

Nick and Amy’s Memoirs

Completely missing from the film is any mention of Nick and Amy’s respective memoirs. In the book, over a week after Amy’s return, Nick begins writing a book about his side of the story so that he can “burn [their relationship] down” and leave her for good; he spends his nights furiously typing it up. Amy begins her own memoir, which she intends to call, simply, Amazing.

As in the book, Amy, unbeknownst to Nick, kept semen of his that was frozen when they were trying to have a baby, and she impregnates herself after returning home. After learning that she is, in fact, pregnant, and that he is the father, Nick, in the novel, deletes his book at Amy’s request, feeling defeated and trapped into becoming the father he had always wanted to be. In the film, however, he slams her against the wall before reluctantly revealing the news during an on-camera interview with media star Ellen Abbott.

Missing Characters

In the novel, Nick seeks comfort in a bar that is not his own, and there he meetsRebecca, a young crime blogger who has flown into Missouri from New York just to interview him. He agrees on the spot, using the opportunity to “take control of the story” by gushing about Amy’s treasure hunt and playing up the “regretful husband” angle. (“I failed my wife so entirely. I have been so wrong. I just hope it’s not too late.”) The video goes viral and seems to sway public opinion largely in his favor. Both Rebecca and the video plotline are omitted from the movie entirely.

Also left out are Tanner’s wife, Betsy Bolt, described in the book as a “gorgeous six-foot-tall black woman” and “former TV news anchor turned lawyer”; Desi’s mother,Jacqueline Collings  who staunchly avows her son’s innocence; and Hilary Handy, a former high school friend whom Amy falsely accused of stalking and pushing her down a flight of stairs.

Other characters are present but have their roles much reduced. Andie, Nick’s young mistress, is largely relegated to the background, though she does make her televised announcement about her involvement with him as seen in the book. Nick’s father appears in the book several times, but his abusive, misogynistic tendencies toward women, including Nick’s mother, just barely make it into the movie: He appears on screen at the police precinct while Nick is first being questioned about Amy’s disappearance. (And as in the book, Nick returns him to his group home.)

Amy’s parents, Marybeth and Rand Elliott, are also smaller presences, rarely seen in the movie outside of the press conferences and one other scene in which they speak with the police about possible suspects. A tense confrontation with Nick in which they raise their suspicions about his involvement is absent from the film.

Previously
How Faithful Is The Giver?
How Faithful Is The Great Gatsby?

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

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Netflix's Adam Sandler Deal Is Smart Because People Watch His Movies No Matter How Bad They Get

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adam sandler netflixThursday morning, Netflix announced Adam Sandler signed an exclusive four-movie deal with the streaming site. 

Earlier this week, Netflix announced its first venture into original films. It will release a sequel to "Crouching Tiger" next summer, at the same time it will debut in theaters.

According to Netflix, Sandler's films are among the most viewed by subscribers not only in the U.S., but across its nearly 50 global territories from Brazil to the U.K.

The deal makes sense for Sandler, whose films haven't been making as big of a splash domestically as they have been internationally.

His last movie, "Blended," which reunited the actor with Drew Barrymore, was an overall box-office disappointment, and one of Sandler's lowest opening box-office weekends ever. The $40 million film made $46.3 million domestically, but a whopping $80.5 million overseas.

After more than 30 movies, the actor's films have arguably gotten considerably worse and wackier (Sandler played both himself and his sister in 2011's critically panned "Jack and Jill"). Despite 19 Razzie nominations and five wins, Sandler's movies have amassed more than $3.9 billion worldwide.

We've taken a look at his biggest hits based on worldwide gross adjusted for ticket price inflation. Through all of the actors serious and wacky roles, it's clear that the zanier the role, the bigger the cash grab at the box office. Left off this list are animated Sandler films.

11. "You Don't Mess with the Zohan" (2008)

Estimated Budget: $90 million
Worldwide gross unadjusted:
$199.9 million
Adjusted for ticket price inflation: $227 million
Rotten Tomatoes:37%/45% 

Sandler plays a man who fakes his own death to live out his dream of becoming a hairstylist in New York City in "You Don't Mess With the Zohan." 

(Box Office Mojo)



10. "Mr. Deeds" (2002)

Estimated Budget: $50 million
Worldwide gross unadjusted:
 $171.2 million
Adjusted for ticket price inflation: $240 million

Rotten Tomatoes:  22%/60%

The remake of Frank Capra's 1936 film followed Sandler as a pizza shop owner named Longfellow Deeds who comes into a great fortune of money. The film received three Razzie Award nominations including Worst Actor but is one of Sandler's most successful hits.

(Box Office Mojo)



9. "Bedtime Stories" (2009): $242 million

Estimated Budget: $80 million
Worldwide Gross Unadjusted: $212.8 million
Adjusted for ticket price inflation: $242 million
Rotten Tomatoes:25%/56% 

The family film opened during the 2009 holiday season against animated picture "The Tale of Despereaux" and "Marley and Me," easily beating out the first film. The film also edged out "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" at the box office when it debuted.

(Box Office Mojo)



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The First Teaser For Pixar's Next Movie Is Very Different From Anything They've Done Before

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inside out pixar

Pixar released the first teaser trailer for its next big film "Inside Out."

The movie looks like a huge risk. It will explore how an individual processes experiences by personifying five emotions in one's brain — Fear (Bill Hader), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Anger (Lewis Black). 

Pixar has an excellent track record though making us fall in love with everything from animated cars to a lonely robot left on an abandoned, polluted Earth.

The majority of the trailer takes you through Pixar's lengthy list of successful films before teasing its next film.

Watch it below:

Variety's Peter Debruge was already impressed with footage shown from the film during a presentation at the Animation Film Festival in France in June.

Here's the full synopsis for the film via Disney:

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

"Inside Out" will be Pixar's 15th movie and will be in theaters June 19, 2015.

SEE ALSO: Pixar director squashes fan theory that suggests all of the movies take place in the same universe

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Why Christopher Nolan Insisted On Making 'Interstellar' Available On Old School Film

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interstellar matthew mcconaughey

Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" is fast approaching, and full details of the film's release strategy have finally been revealed.

Despite the fact that 35mm is almost dead, Nolan, along with directors like Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, J.J. Abrams, and a few others, vow to keep the format alive by continuing to shoot on film the old-fashioned way. 

Nolan's campaign to save the ailing format picked up steam when Paramount announced Wednesday that theaters equipped with 35mm and 70mm projectors will get the film two days early.

"We are taking a moment to acknowledge the huge heritage of film ... filmmakers like Chris and J.J. want to make sure that film is a part of the business going forward," Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore told The Hollywood Reporter.

In an interview with the Director's Guild of America magazine, Christopher Nolan himself outlined why he prefers film:

"For the last 10 years, I’ve felt increasing pressure to stop shooting film and start shooting video, but I’ve never understood why. It’s cheaper to work on film, it’s far better looking, it’s the technology that’s been known and understood for a hundred years, and it’s extremely reliable. I think, truthfully, it boils down to the economic interest of manufacturers and [a production] industry that makes more money through change rather than through maintaining the status quo. We save a lot of money shooting on film and projecting film and not doing digital intermediates. In fact, I’ve never done a digital intermediate. Photochemically, you can time film with a good timer in three or four passes, which takes about 12 to 14 hours as opposed to seven or eight weeks in a DI suite. That’s the way everyone was doing it 10 years ago, and I’ve just carried on making films in the way that works best and waiting until there’s a good reason to change. But I haven’t seen that reason yet."

35mm and 70mm film can look brighter and clearer than digital projection, though the latest IMAX and 4K digital projection technology comes close. Digital projection has caught on because it's cheaper to distribute, among other reasons.

"Interstellar" will be released in six different formats: IMAX 70mm, traditional 70mm, traditional IMAX, 35mm, 4K digital and standard digital. It will open in 70mm IMAX, 70mm film, and 35mm film on the evening of Tuesday, November 4th  two days before its official release date. 

Paramount has set up a website outlining the various ways that you can experience the film and sent out this handy graphic to sum it all up.

interstellar graphic

Watch the film's final trailer below. 

SEE ALSO: 7 Things We Know So Far About 'Interstellar'

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Leonardo DiCaprio Won't Play Steve Jobs In Sony's Next Biopic (AAPL)

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leonardo dicaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio won't be playing Steve Jobs in Sony's next biopic of the Apple cofounder, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

DiCaprio wants to finish his next project, "The Renevant," and then take a break from acting.

The Reporter didn't say what's motivating DiCaprio's flight from the screen. 

This isn't the first time Sony has produced a Jobs biopic, though it is the first such film with a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin.

Sorkin wrote the screenplay for "The Social Network," which chronicled the early days of Facebook.

He's also written "The West Wing" and "The Newsroom."

Sony's biopic is based on Walter Issacson's biography of Jobs. The Hollywood Reporter also notes that Danny Boyle will be directing the project since David Fincher declined the job.

With DiCaprio out of the picture, Sony will need to find another A-list Jobs lookalike. David Fincher reportedly wanted Christian Bale for the role.

Sony is also considering Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Bradley Cooper.

SEE ALSO: The Beer Machine Marc Newson Designed Looks Just Like A Mac Pro

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Here’s Why Netflix Wants Adam Sandler Even Though Critics Trash His Movies

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bill madison adam sandler

On Thursday, Netflix announced that four original Adam Sandler movies would be coming to the streaming site.

It may seem like a strange deal for Netflix to take on, considering Sandler's more recent films including "That's My Boy" and "Blended" have been critically panned.

However, it's probably one of the smartest moves Netflix has made to date.

Critics aside, most of Sandler's movies do extremely well at the box office, and if they're not hits domestically, they perform well overseas.

With the exception of the "Grown Ups" series, Sandler's movies have been performing progressively worse stateside. On the flip side, his movies have slowly been making more overseas than at home.

Here is a look at Sandler's comedies from 2006 to 2014.

adam sandler box office

Four of his films since 2011 have made more money at the foreign box office than domestically.

adam sandler foreign box office

So it's not a surprise Netflix says Sandler's films are among the most viewed by subscribers not only in the US but around the world in its 40-plus territories including Brazil and the UK.

The Sandler films available to stream vary by country.

brazil netflix adam sandler movies

great britain netflix

If you look up Adam Sandler on Netflix in the US, you'll find an even smaller selection of films. The biggest noticeable difference here is that the US version of Netflix contains more serious Sandler roles like "Punch-Drunk Love" and "Reign Over Me."

adam sandler netflix US

"People love Adam’s [sic] films on Netflix and often watch them again and again. His appeal spans across viewers of all ages — everybody has a favorite movie, everyone has a favorite line — not just in the US but all over the world,"” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in Thursday's press release.

According to Vulture, the budgets for the four films are similar to those of Sandler's previous works. Sandler's most recent films have average budgets of $75 million to $80 million, while his less-expensive films like "Blended" cost $40 million.

The Wall Street Journal reports one film is expected to be put out per year

Regardless of what anyone may think of a Sandler film, it's clear people go out to see his films. According to Netflix, it's clear that people enjoy rewatching his movies over and over, and if not here, then elsewhere around the world.

That's where Netflix sees the payoff with Sandler. 

Will these movies be awful in the eyes of critics? If history is any precedent, surely. Will they have crude humor that will make you roll your eyes? You can probably bet yes.

Regardless, will you secretly stream the films in the comfort of your home while trying to maintain that Sandler films are not funny or at least amusing? Probably. 

Netflix probably thinks so, too. 

SEE ALSO: Here's How Much Money Adam Sandler's Movies Make

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A Major Rumor About 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Just Hit The Internet

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luke skywalker

It goes without saying that this article will get into MASSIVE spoilers for Star Wars: Episode VII. You do NOT want to continue reading if you do NOT want to know a good deal about possible revelations in the upcoming sequel. 

There are millions of Star Wars fans who are looking forward to going into Episode VII next December with as clean a slate as possible. This article is not for you. This article is aimed at rabid Star Wars fans who enjoy poring over every clue, hearing every rumor, and placing the smaller pieces of the larger puzzle together as part of the Star Wars: Episode VII experience. If you are THAT fan, scan below this fantastic photo, and spoil away. 

darth vader galactic empire star warsThe Web site Making Star Wars is running with what they call an "I am your father"-sized rumor from the plot of Star Wars: Episode VII. In doing so, the site essentially spoils what could be the final moments of J.J. Abrams’ movie. Again, stop reading now if you still want to protect the integrity of the movie. 

The rumor relates back to a photograph that circulated earlier of a character we believed to be the villain in the movie – and at the time, it was believed that Episode VII would lean on the characters of The Sith Inquisitors. That might not be the case. MSW refers to several "pieces" of something (footage? concept art?) floating around that tell a full picture of the significant character, saying, "All of the pieces out there show a human male, with a mask obscuring part of his face, with one red eye and a familiar cloak we haven’t seen since Return of the Jedi." 

A cloak that belongs to Luke Skywalker

The site talks about the fact that the hooded figure holds the charred mask of Darth Vader, and has a mechanic hand that calls to mind both Anakin Skywalker and Luke. The site goes into great detail about a series of pics that appear to come from a scene in the middle of the movie (set on a planet that isn’t Hoth), which involve a character named "Kira" confronting the "monster." (Their term, not ours.) They make it clear that "Kira" has been searching the entire movie for Luke Skywalker, needing his help to "vanquish" evil. Instead, as it turns out, the "evil" that everyone’s terrified of is Luke Skywalker, himself. 

luke skywalker no gif

Making Star Wars tries to cover its bases. It talks about how we’ve seen a bearded Mark Hamill during production work on Star Wars: Episode VII, and that wouldn’t make sense if his face is going to be obscured by a digital mask and a long cloak. They suggest that if the cloaked and evil figure isn’t Luke Skywalker, then it might be Adam Driver… even though we just saw photos of him wearing the flight suit of an X-Wing pilot. 

Mark Hamill Instagram

And that, in theory, points to the unusual notion that this all could be misdirection, sent out by J.J. Abrams and his team to preserve the Mystery Box atmosphere on the director’s films. Could that be the case? It would seem like a lot of trouble to go to just to protect a film’s secrets. Then again, there hasn’t been a film like Star Wars: Episode VII on fans’ radars in a long, long time. If you braved the spoilers and read the rumor, what are your thoughts? Possible? Bogus? Weigh in with your own thoughts below. 

And we discuss this news further with 5 Huge Star Wars Questions here.

SEE ALSO: New ‘Star Wars’ Movies May Blend Multiple Genres

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The Most Famous Movie Set In Every State

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taxi driver robert de niro most famous movie set in every state

Everyone has that one movie that reminds them of home.

We set out to name the most famous movie in every state — a challenging and subjective endeavor. Some states were more obvious than others. While there's no place like Kansas, New York has inspired directors ranging from Martin Scorsese to Woody Allen to Rob Reiner.

To pick the most famous, we evaluated the state's prominence in the movie and leaned toward movies that were filmed in that location as well. The movie's lifetime gross, its critical acclaim, and testimonials by our geographically diverse staff also influenced our decision.

Click to see a map that shows the most famous movie in every state »

Additional reporting by Kirsten Acuna, Melissa Stanger, and Sara Bower.

ALABAMA: "Forrest Gump" (1994)

Even though "Forrest Gump" took Tom Hanks from Vietnam to the White House, home was always the fictional town of Greenbow, Alabama. Plus, Forrest was an All-American for the Alabama Crimson Tide.

forrest gump tom hanks

Source: "Forrest Gump"/Paramount Pictures



ALASKA: "Into The Wild" (2007)

"Into The Wild" follows Chris McCandless, played by Emile Hirsch, as he heads to Alaska to find his place in the world. The journey would bring McCandless to many places, but his ultimate destination was the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Into The Wild Poster

Source: "Into The Wild"/Paramount Vantage



ARIZONA: "Raising Arizona" (1987)

The Coen brothers' cult classic follows H.I. McDunnough and his wife as they attempt to have a baby, either naturally or through kidnapping. The Coens made the pair all the more real by incorporating a vernacular that Joel called"a mixture of local dialect and a vocabulary we imagined from the likely reading materials of the characters."

Raising Arizona, nicholas cafe

Source: "Raising Arizona"/20th Century Fox



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This Map Shows The Most Famous Movie Set In Every State

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There's no place like home.

And the movies that take place there are as central to a state's subculture as its dialect, landmarks, and industries.

We recently set out to name the most famous movie set in every state, a challenging and subjective endeavor. In order to pick, we evaluated the state's prominence in the movie and leaned toward movies that were filmed in that location, as well. The film's lifetime gross, its critical acclaim, and testimonials by our geographically diverse staff also influenced our decision.

How many have you seen? Check out the annotated map below.

Click for the full feature on the most famous movie set in every state »

BI_graphics_moviesMap 01 FINAL most famous movie set in every state

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What Netflix's Movie Deals With Adam Sandler, ‘Crouching Tiger’ Are Really About

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mr deeds adam sandler

Netflix's move into the film production business has much more to do with the subscription video giant's global aspirations than with making a mark in Hollywood.

The streaming service — and now TV and movie production company — announced Thursday that it will bankroll four Adam Sandler films. That's on the heels of its decision earlier this week to fund the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” The moves, coming within days of each other, generated a storm of publicity (and in the case of “Crouching Tiger,” criticism), along with some good will on Wall Street.

netflix Ted SarandosBut financially, they represent just a drop in the bucket in terms of its overall spending strategy: Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos announced earlier this year that it would spend $3 billion on making TV and movies in 2014.

Also read: Adam Sandler, Netflix Ink 4-Picture Production Deal

While Netflix may not have reached its peak penetration levels in the United States, it's getting close, and the company's primary growth potential lies in its ability to woo customers as the service rolls out in Europe, Asia and other overseas regions. Currently, three-quarters of Netflix's some 50 million subscribers are in the U.S., while the company has barely scratched the surface internationally, where 80 percent of the world's internet users are.

The company will “likely maintain the status quo in the U.S., but this may allow it to get more exclusive content in international markets,” Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Tony Wible said.

It's very hard to pencil in a profit on its “Crouching Tiger” deal with the Weinstein Company and IMAX. It will be all but impossible to recoup the $40 million-plus that the company spent on what is basically a direct-to-video martial arts title, especially since U.S. and European exhibitors have drawn a line in the sand and won't play it.

Also read: Why Netflix ‘Crouching Tiger’ Sequel Won't Revolutionize the Way Movies Are Released

Crouching Tiger Hidden DragonThe Sandler deal is different, in part because the size, cost and intent of making the films is unclear at this point.

Sandler and his Happy Madison production company still have a deal, and a history of success, at Sony Pictures. So it's logical that studio or another major — the deal is non-exclusive — would remain the launch pad for standard Sandler movies, which typically come with a budget in the $70 million-$80 million range and with a proportionate marketing outlay. Whether Netflix ramps up its operations and takes on that kind project remains to be seen, but it could be a ideal platform for the comedian's smaller projects.

While his films have taken in $3.9 billion worldwide over the past two decades, the 48-year-old actor's star appears to be fading, at least in the U.S. “Blended,” his Warner Bros. comedy this summer, was a disappointment and failed to crack $50 million in the U.S.

But this deal isn't about domestic audiences.

“I would be more worried if they picked some American-based indie movies,” analyst Larry Tanz, CEO of Vuguru told TheWrap. “This is comedy, you want something that appeals to a global audience. You can't do Jon Stewart. … It's a good global play.”

Also read: Netflix CEO on Passing HBO Subscriber Revenue: ‘They Still Kick Our Ass in Profits and Emmys’

But why Adam Sandler movies?

“They're pretty smart and data driven over there,” said Tanz, referencing the European market. ”If you look at the way that subscription and VOD work, it's not about having the thing that just came out in theaters. It's about people watching things repeatedly. … They may have a lot of data that suggests that people go back and watch Adam Sandler.

In the short term, Netflix's entry into the movie arena is good news for the industry. Another player on the production landscape means more potential business for creatives and the agencies. And Hollywood has always been glad to take money from deep-pocketed outsiders fascinated by the film biz.

Also read: Regal, Cinemark Will Not Screen ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ Sequel Due to Netflix Release

Netflix is not a total outsider of course, and its recent foray into TV production gives it some credibility. But announcing plans to make movies and actually making them — much less realizing a profit — are two very different things. Nonetheless, Netflix's move makes sense in terms of its long-term goal of becoming a platform for first-run theatrical releases, even if it does represent a short-term gamble.

“Maybe they can make the next ‘Superbad,'” said Tanz, referring to the low-budget Seth Rogen-Evan Goldberg comedy that became a $170 million smash in 2007. “In Hollywood, having commitments can equal creative risk. And Adam Sandler is at his best when he's taking creative risk.”

SEE ALSO: Adam Sandler Signs An Exclusive 4-Movie Deal With Netflix Because 'It Rhymes With Wet Chicks'

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