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This man saved himself from bankruptcy after making $200,000 on Airbnb



Dany Papineau, from Montreal in Canada, says he was saved from the brink of bankruptcy after making thousands by letting out his home on Airbnb.

If you don't know about Airbnb, it's a website that lets people rent out their property to holiday guests. It works as a sort of online marketplace. 

Papineau, an actor and filmmaker, told Business Insider that he was left completely broke after self-producing his first feature film called "2 Frogs in the West." He said he borrowed nearly half a million dollars from friends and family to finance the movie. It got a positive response, but the cash ran out.

Papineau and his boyfriend, Brad, decided to put their home on the market to try to make some money back — but their realtor (strangely) suggested they let it out on Airbnb instead. They did, and the move worked out well.

"Not only has this service allowed me to keep my home by hosting over 1,000 guests from around the world, but I was able to generate more than $200,000 from this endeavour," Papineau told Business Insider. "It changed our life," he added. 

Their house is rather nice, incidentally ...


On the day Papineau contacted BI, he had taken $1,500 of bookings. "I don't think I've ever made this much money in one day," he mentioned. 

The dream didn't start off particularly well, though. "When I first started on Airbnb, I was a bit naive and I was saying '"yes" to all booking requests," Papineau noted.

On one occasion, a guest pretended to book Papnieau's place for three people. Instead, 30 revellers arrived for a big party, which caused $4,000 in damages. Papineau says that a recent story about a host who saw $12,000 of damage at his property through an unruly set of Airbnb guests moved him to get in touch. 

But Papineau said he and Brad learned their lesson, and now make a huge amount of money hosting people at their house. And as a result, the couple have set up AirbnbSecrets.com, an online resource that offers coaching tips for would-be Airbnb users.

Papineau offers video tutorials to people who want to set themselves up as hosts. Over the past year  they've helped others turn Airbnb into a profitable business as well as a way of offering more alternative holiday accommodation. 

Papineau explained that Airbnb "basically provides the entire recipe required to start a successful Airbnb listing anywhere on the planet and monetise it to its maximum potential." Where he failed at marketing his film, he's succeeded in launching an Airbnb venture, he concedes. 

"Everything happens for a reason and I've learned tons of business lessons from this adventure. So much that I can say that my Airbnb success is directly linked to what I've learned from failing to properly market my film," he wrote.

Having a nice house also helps, of course. Have a look inside Papineau's property.


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NOW WATCH: Homeless-Man-Turned-Billionaire Shares The Secret To The American Dream

This horror film based on a true story is the most effective anti-camping PSA ever


backcountry both

What "Jaws" did for the ocean, "Backcountry" will do for the woods. 

The premise isn't unfamiliar: A couple ventures into the Canadian woods for a weekend getaway, and things don't go exactly as planned. Alex claims to be an expert woodsman, and he does all he can to impress his girlfriend, Jenn, since this is her first camping trip.

"Backcountry" works because of the relationship between Alex and Jenn. When they first arrive at the campsite, it's clear that Jenn has little to no interest in actually being there — she's only there because Alex is so gung-ho about it. She'd rather just stare at her BlackBerry the whole time.

As the trip progresses and things spiral out of control, Jenn's disinterest in the trip becomes toxic, and a whole other level of tension and intensity is thrown into the mix. 

The film is more effective than your average horror movie since the terror comes from real-life situations. There are no ghosts, demons, or creatures from another dimension, just the seemingly never-ending woods with all of nature's horrors contained within.

backcountry REDThere are so many elements working to keep the audience on edge and it's never clear which scary set-up will actually get its pay-off. Each new situation brings its own sense of dread to the table, and when the proverbial shit hits the fan, my jaw hit the floor and stayed there for rest of the movie.

Saying any more would likely weaken the experience — I knew literally nothing about the movie going in, so I tense on the edge of my seat the entire time trying to anticipate what would happen next. Every time I thought I knew where it was going, it veered off the path and surprised me with something else that's equally unsettling.  

The single most horrifying moment occurs right up top, when text appears on-screen that reads "based on a true story." "Backcountry" plays like a bizzarro version of Reese Witherspoon's Oscar-nominated "Wild," where literally nothing goes right along the way.

Watch the trailer below (although I recommend going in completely blank if you can hold out):

"Backcountry" opens in limited release on March 20th. 

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NOW WATCH: There's a 'Poltergeist' remake out this summer and the first trailer is absolutely terrifying

'Fifty Shades of Grey' will have the best President's Day Weekend ever at the box office


fifty shades of grey dakota johnson

Analysts grossly underestimated the allure of "Fifty Shades of Grey" at the box office.

The adaptation of E.L. James' BDSM novel about a naive virgin and a billionaire playboy took in $81.7 million opening weekend.

Analysts expected the movie to open north of $60 million. The movie cost an estimated $40 million to make.

That's the second-largest opening weekend ever in February.

The only movie that made more was 2004's "Passion of the Christ," which debuted to $83.8 million.

That number also makes "Fifty Shades" the fifth-largest opening weekend for an R-rated movie behind "The Matrix Reloaded,""American Sniper,""The Hangover Part II," and "Passion."

By the end of the four-day weekend, "Fifty Shades"made $94.4 million., easily giving it the largest President's Day weekend at the box office. Currently, 2010's "Valentine's Day" holds that record with $63.1 million.

This shouldn't come as a surprise.

Not only was the film one of Fandango's top advance ticket sellers of all time, but it was also the ticket service's top February pre-seller and the biggest R-rated ticket-seller for the company.

Overall, the movie has made $266.4 million worldwide so far.

And it wasn't just "Fifty Shades" that had a good weekend.

The other big release this weekend, "Kingsman: The Secret Service" brought in $35 million. Analysts expected the movie to make a smaller haul in the lower $20 millions.

The Fox film starring Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson cost $81 million to produce.

Last weekend's SpongeBob Squarepants movie, "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water," had a strong second week with another $35.6 million. That movie also beat analyst expectations when it opened to $55 million.

SEE ALSO: "Fifty Shades" is nowhere near as sexy as the book

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Learn what all the fuss is about — here's the regular guy's guide to 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Analysts grossly underestimated the allure of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' at the box office


fifty shades of grey ana.JPG

Analysts vastly underestimated how well "Fifty Shades of Grey" would perform at the box office President's Day Weekend.

The adaptation of the best-selling erotica fan-fiction series by E.L. James brought in an adjusted $85 million over the three-day weekend (originally that number was $81.7 million). In four days, the $40 million Universal Pictures and Focus Features' film made $94.4 million.

Analysts thought it would make just over $60 million.

That was probably due in part to comparisons with "Twilight.""Fifty Shades" started out as fan-fiction of the popular teen novels. The first "Twilight" movie debuted to $69 million in 2008, so an opening around $60 million would have made sense for the first installment of "Fifty Shades." 

twilight eclipse

Instead, the film became the best-opening weekend in February ever at the box office, knocking 2004's "Passion of the Christ" from the top spot.

Here are a few other records it now holds:

The film also has the fourth-largest opening weekend for an R-rated movie.

Since its release, the movie has made over $266 million worldwide. In the UK and Ireland, the film made $21.5 million.

Why didn't analysts think "Fifty Shades" would make more?

For one thing, history precedes it.

Typically, February isn't a month where we see a lot of break-out box-office hits.

"The LEGO Movie" started to change that thought process last year when it surprised everyone with a $69 million opening weekend, and a second weekend where it nearly performed just as well.

The biggest thing "Fifty Shades" had going against it was how previous R-rated films and films in the erotica genre have performed at the box office opening weekend.

Take a look at the biggest opening weekends for R-rated movies. "Fifty Shades" is the only film of its kind to crack the top five.

MovieOpening WeekendWorldwide GrossEstimated Budget
"The Matrix Reloaded"$91.8 million$742 million$150 million
"American Sniper"$89.2 million$392.9 million$58.8 million
"The Hangover Part II"$85.9 million$586.8 million$80 million
"Fifty Shades of Grey"$85 million$266.4 million to date$40 million
"The Passion of the Christ"$83.8 million$611.9 million$30 million

Instead, here's how the top erotic thriller films have performed opening weekend at theaters:

MovieOpening WeekendWorldwide GrossEstimated Budget
"Obsessed"$28.6 million$73.8 million$20 million
"Eyes Wide Shut"$21.7 million$162.1 million$65 million
"Basic Instinct"$15.1 million$352.9 million$49 million
"The Boy Next Door"$14.9 million$36.3 million$4 million

"Fifty Shades" had the advantage of not only being an R-rated erotica film, but unlike the other films listed above, it had a huge "Twilight"-sized fan following. Over 100 million copies of "Fifty Shades of Grey" have been sold. 

The combination of both helped it break any box-office expectations. 

SEE ALSO: Meet the author behind the steamy "Fifty Shades of Grey" phenomenon

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NOW WATCH: Learn what all the fuss is about — here's the regular guy's guide to 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

The huge opening for 'Fifty Shades of Grey' can be credited to one major decision


fifty shades of greyLOS ANGELES (AP) — When Universal bumped "Fifty Shades of Grey" from August 2014 to Valentine's Day, 2015, it seemed like a cheesy gimmick. Now that box office results are in, it's clear that was the most brilliant stroke of all.

The adaptation of author EL James' erotic novel debuted to an astounding $94.4 million domestic and $172 million international across the long President's Day weekend, breaking box office records for the month of February, female filmmakers and R-rated movies in what is proving to be a perfect storm of intrigue, brand, and crafty execution by Universal Pictures.

"Fifty Shades of Grey" was always expected to be a fruitful endeavor — that's why nearly every studio in town clamored to scoop up the rights to James' phenomenally successful trilogy in 2012. When Focus Features and parent company Universal were the lucky winners, the hype only intensified as fans hungered for everything from casting rumors, to first photos of stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, and clues about what would make the final cut.

But fans alone don't explain a blockbuster debut, especially when the entire Northeast was battling severe winter storms.

Produced for a modest $40 million with no tested star-power in front of the camera, Universal and Focus were hedging their bets from the beginning, keeping costs reasonable and stoking the buzz machine with a coy marketing campaign playing on the interest of those who hadn't read the book.

Not only did it spark a culture-wide dialogue, it became an event movie centered on a single date: Valentine's Day.

"It follows in the tradition of the edgier, naughtier, so-called romance movies, and that paid off. Audiences like a good R-rated escape," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office firm Rentrak, noting racy films like "Last Tango in Paris," ''9 ½ Weeks," and "Basic Instinct."

"Fifty Shades of Grey" is poised to surpass all of them.

"Certainly the fan base came out, but to reach these numbers, you have to go broader than the built-in audience," added Gitesh Pandya, editor of BoxOfficeGuru.com.

The somewhat random fact that Valentine's Day fell on a Saturday in 2015 was key: it ensured that interest would stay high for at least the first two days of theatrical release.

Day one would be for the die-hard fans. Day two would be for the couples.

"That was a shrewd move," said Pandya. "This is the one weekend of the entire year where men will see a film that they do not want to see. The other 51 weeks of the year are a little different."

christian grey fifty shades of greyWhereas most films with ardent fan bases drop off dramatically on day two, "Fifty Shades of Grey" grew. The first "Twilight" film fell 40.8 percent on its second day. "Fifty Shades" spiked 21 percent.

Nick Carpou, Universal's President of Domestic distribution sees the film as a resounding victory on all levels. He credited the "careful choice" of a release date and an enticing marketing campaign that emphasized "qualities of the piece that are universally accepted," such as romance.

"We overachieved in the South and the South Central and, interestingly, in the Northeast, which is weather challenged," said Carpou. "It's a very motivated audience base."

An estimated 68 percent of opening weekend audiences was female (that number was even higher on Friday night), with 42 percent under the age of 25-years-old for the R-rated film. Racially, an estimated 52 percent were Caucasian, 22 percent Hispanic, 15 percent African American, and seven percent Asian.

Still, moviegoers didn't seem to be thrilled with the results. According to market research firm CinemaScore, audiences gave the film a dismal C+ rating.

"I'm expecting very large declines and rapid erosion in the days and weeks to come. This is one that is not going to have much stamina going forward," said Pandya.

That said, Pandya does note that the way the movie is tracking internationally, it could ultimately make over $600 million worldwide.

"It's going to be remarkably profitable and I'm sure they're getting the next film up and running," he said.

Although director Sam Taylor-Johnson and Dornan have alluded to imminent sequels in interviews, Universal, who holds the rights to the trilogy, is staying mum on the topic. Any suggestions of planned shooting and release dates are just speculation at this point.

fifty shades of greyAs for what comes next for this franchise, Pandya thinks that "Twilight" is a good comparison for the future of "Fifty Shades of Grey" and not just because James' book started out as "Twilight" fan fiction. The second film in the popular vampire series doubled the first film's opening weekend.

"Universal knows it has a franchise that is huge now, but can be made even bigger with future films if they play their cards right," he said.But copycats should take note: The success of "Fifty Shades of Grey" does not necessarily mean that S&M is going to be a fixture in mainstream cinemas going forward.

"I don't think that this is going to open the floodgates to a lot more S&M movies. I think this worked not because it was some random S&M story. It was a popular book which happened to have this type of material," Pandya said. "This is a specific brand. It's one entity."

This article was written by Lindsey Bahr from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


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NOW WATCH: Learn what all the fuss is about — here's the regular guy's guide to 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Everything you should know about 'Fifty Shades of Grey' if you don't want to read the book


fifty shades of grey elevator

By now, you've probably heard about "Fifty Shades of Grey." 

The film adaptation of the best-selling book series is dominating (sorry for the pun) at theaters. "Fifty Shades" had the highest-grossing Presidents Day weekend ever, making $94 million.

While you may know the basic premise — it's about a virginal college student who falls for a billionaire with a knack for bondage and domination — you may not have read the books nor plan on seeing the movie. 

But we bet you still want to know what it's about. 

We have you covered. 

What is 'Fifty Shades of Grey' about?

fifty shades of grey

E.L. James' erotica novel is written from the perspective of college student Anastasia Steele. Before graduation, she interviews the mysterious and eligible billionaire bachelor Christian Grey for her school's paper. She's not studying journalism. Instead, Anastasia, who goes by Ana, is just conveniently filling in for her sick roommate who was supposed to do the interview.

From the moment the two meet, Ana is pretty smitten with Christian. He makes her flush with nervousness as she fidgets with her tape recorder. She stutters as she speaks, and his calm but stern temperament makes her heartbeat start to race.

Naturally, Christian is actually pretty into Ana, too. It's not really clear why. She's a plain Jane, has no plans for her future after college, and she's clumsy. But for some reason he can't control himself any moment she bites down on her lip. Before you know it, Christian's showing up at Ana's place of employment, sending her expensive presents (first-edition copies of books by her favorite author and a new MacBook), getting jealous of other men in her life, and taking her for helicopter rides. 

Romantic, right?

Well, here's the twist.

It turns out there's a reason Christian is single. He's really into BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism) relationships, and he wants Ana to play the submissive to his dominant.

50 shades of grey

If you've ever seen 2001's "Secretary" with Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader, it's sort of a similar setup. 

Christian has a giant non-disclosure agreement whipped up detailing the specifics of their relationship. It contains safe words and limits, and it details the different sexual acts in which the two will participate.

The entire first book and movie follow Ana's decision whether to sign the lengthy contract.

Oh, yeah. There's more than one book.

If you thought you'd be free after this film, you're wrong! There are two more books in the series called "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed."

You can bet more movies will be on the way. The first film has already made more than $266 million worldwide.

It's based on 'Twilight' 


You can thank "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer for inspiring "Fifty Shades." The BDSM trilogy started out as "Twilight" fan fiction.

James began writing her series on Fanfiction.net. Early drafts of "Fifty Shades" were referred to as "Masters of the Universe" and were written from the perspective of Bella and Edward from "Twilight."

Steele is Bella, right down to the clumsiness and awkward comments. And just like Bella, she is drawn to a dark man and embarks on a violent relationship. Grey is supposed to be Edward without the immortality, fangs, and sparkly skin. The two later transformed into Ana and Christian.

I don't get it. Why do women love this? It sounds awful.

fifty shades of grey

Oh, the writing's not that great. 

What I've gathered from reading the trilogy when it came out is that "Fifty Shades" is about playing out the fantasies and conversations written on the page in your head. 

That's what women had to do before they knew who were cast as the leads for the film.

In many ways, the film actually takes away from that experience, because there are many more explicit sexual acts in the book than in the film. 

What are some of these conversations and fantasies you're talking about?

fifty shades of grey lips

Most of the first book's 500-plus pages consist of text messages and email messages that occur between Ana and Christian. While many are flirty with silly email subjects, some are similar to dirty texts sent between teens or young lovers.

Here is an example of an email exchange between the two. Note that they'll change the subject each time they respond to each other.

From: Anastasia Steele
Subject: Chastising ... Me?
Date: May 31 2011 19:22 EST
To: Christian Grey

Dear Sir, 
When have I ever plucked up the nerve to chastise you, Mr. Grey? I think you are mixing me up with someone else ... which is very worrying. I really do have to get ready.

Your Ana


From: Christian Grey
Subject: Your Behind
Date: May 31 2011 16:25
To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele, 
You do it all the time in print. Can I zip up your dress?

Christian Grey
CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.


From: Anastasia Steele
Subject: NC-17
Date: May 31 2011 19:28 EST
To: Christian Grey

I would rather you unzipped it.


From: Christian Grey
Subject: Careful what you wish for ...
Date: May 31 2011 16:25
To: Anastasia Steele


Christian Grey
CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

The two also have discussions about the different things Ana wants to consent to including:

Ankles bound
Elbows bound
Hands bound behind back
Knees bound
Binding to fixed items, furniture, etc.
Bondage with rope
Bondage with leather cuffs
Bondage with handcuffs/shackles/manacles
Vibrators and other sex toys

The list goes on, but you get the idea.

The emails are probably the best part of the book, and that's a shame, because they get very little play in the movie. 

Keertana Sastry contributed to an earlier version of this story.

SEE ALSO: Meet the author behind the "Fifty Shades of Grey" phenomenon

AND: Analysts grossly underestimated the allure of "Fifty Shades" at the box office

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Learn what all the fuss is about — here's the regular guy's guide to 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Why people actually went to see 'Fifty Shades of Grey'


fifty shades of grey elevator

Sex sells and “Fifty Shades of Grey” had plenty of it, but that wasn’t the main reasons that moviegoers turned out in record numbers and drove the biggest Presidents Day opening weekend in box office history.

Story was the primary motivation for nearly half (48 percent) of the respondents in Universal Pictures’ exit polling conducted after weekend screenings of the R-rated romance starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson. The survey was unscientific and voting for multiple motivators was allowed, so the figures don’t add up to one hundred.

Sexiness was a close second, with 46 percent of the crowd indicating that the promise of big screen coupling made them hot to buy a “Fifty Shades” ticket.

Romance (41 percent) and E.L. James’ Books (38 percent) followed. The first figure had to please Universal’s marketers, who went to great pains to sell the steamy saga as a love story, rather than glorified porn.

Emotion (25 percent), Drama (26 percent), Music (17 percent) and the S&M Theme (15 percent) came next.

“Story” is a bit ambiguous, but if you count that category and Books together, it is by far the biggest reason crowds turned out. That supports conventional wisdom that James’ trilogy, which has sold more than 100 million copies, provided the movie with a huge built-in audience base.

The S&M figure seems a little low, given that the popularity – and notoriety – of the “Fifty Shades” books seemed to stem from its focus on its BDSM action.

But the kink scored better than the stars. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, who play Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the film, were cited by just 12 percent and nine percent of the respondents as prime motivators.

The young actors shouldn’t be too disappointed. After all, the polling was unscientific. And despite what they claimed leaving theaters, do we really think it was the story that brought moviegoers out for the steamy love story?

SEE ALSO: Analysts grossly underestimated the allure of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' at the box office

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Learn what all the fuss is about — here's the regular guy's guide to 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

A lot of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' was written on a Blackberry


el james wrote fifty shades on blackberry

Before "Fifty Shades of Grey" was a hit movie, and a best-selling series, early drafts of the erotic relationship between billionaire Christian Grey and college graduate Anastasia Steele existed as a series of notes on a Blackberry.

In April 2012, James recalled to both ABC News and Today that she typed out most of the erotic novel on her phone. 

"I used to write a lot of it on my way to work on my Blackberry,” James told ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas. "I used to beam it into my Mac when I'd get home, and then I'd write."

James told the Today show she “didn’t do anything else for two years” while writing the first novel.

Her tenacity paid off. 

Since the release of “Fifty Shades of Grey” in 2011, the book has sold over 100 million copies and has been published in 52 languages.

In 2013, James was called Forbes' top-earning author making an estimated $95 million from June 2012 to June 2013.

The movie has made over $266 million worldwide, and at least two more installments are expected.

SEE ALSO: Everything you should know about "Fifty Shades" if you don't want to read the book

AND: Analysts grossly underestimated the allure of "Fifty Shades" at the box office

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Learn what all the fuss is about — here's the regular guy's guide to 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Here's which actors passed on the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' lead roles


"Fifty Shades of Grey" may have dominated the box office this weekend, but it wasn't exactly easy adapting E.L. James' best selling novel for the big screen.

While Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan ended up playing Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, respectively, finding the right chemistry between two actors with available schedules proved fairly difficult.

Jamie Dornan Dakota Johnson Initially, "Sons of Anarchy"actor Charlie Hunnam was cast as Christian Grey, but many fans of the book didn't approve of the choice.

Charlie HunnamA petition to re-cast the movie garnered 20,000 signatures on Change.org, and due to scheduling conflicts and reported clashes between Hunnam and Universal Pictures, Hunnam eventually dropped out of the project.

Just 11 days later, "Once Upon A Time" actor Jamie Dornan was cast in the role.

christian grey fifty shades of greyAmid all of the casting back-and-forth, the film's producer Dana Brunetti tweeted somewhat of an explanation:

"There is a lot that goes into casting that isn't just looks. Talent, availability, their desire to do it, chemistry with other actor, etc … So if your favorite wasn't cast, then it is most likely due to something on that list. Keep that in mind while hating and keep perspective."

Brunetti was apparently hinting at the handful of actors who actually turned down the leading roles.

While "50 Shades" author E.L. James has said actor Ryan Gosling was the original prototype for Christian Grey, he doesn't do sequels.

"50 Shades" is a guaranteed trilogy.

ryan goslingBefore Hunnam got the gig, Garrett Hedlund reportedly turned it down.

"Hedlund was heavily courted by Universal, but the 'Tron: Legacy' star passed in July because he couldn't connect with the character," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Garrett HedlundBacking for "White Collar" actor Matt Bomer was so strong that a petition started by fans to cast him garnered almost 100,000 signatures.

matt bomer 50 shades of grey elliotOther actors in the mix included "Magic Mike" star Alex Pettyfer, who auditioned for the role"Gossip Girl" actor Chace Crawford, who publicly stated he would "love the challenge" of the role, Alexander Skarsgård said on "Access Hollywood" he was "born to play" Christian Grey, and "The Vampire Diaries" star, Ian Somerhalder, told Ryan Seacrest that being cast "would be an incredible thing. Hopefully that could pan out."

Fans had their own casting ideas, pushing for Somerhalder as Christian Grey and Alexis Bledel to play Anastasia Steele, in a fan-created mashup trailer that received over a million views.

The role of Anastasia Steele was also a tricky one to cast.

According to Newsweek, "'Pretty Little Liars' star Lucy Hale auditioned, as did 'The Carrie Diaries’' Chloe Bridges, but neither was quite prepared to tackle the subject matter. Hale said the audition made her 'uncomfortable.'"

Lucy HaleBridges, meanwhile, told Cosmopolitan the role was too risqué.

"The scene was, like, the girl telling her friends about some sexcapade she had," explained Bridges. "But it goes into extreme detail and uses the word 'sperm' a couple times. I was like, 'I don’t know, guys, I have to go home to my grandparent’s house in a few months at Christmas, I don’t know if I can do this.'"

Chloe BridgesDespite early rumors that Emma Watson was being considered, the "Harry Potter" actress tweeted:

And so, the role went to Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson's 25-year-old daughter, Dakota Johnson, who had previously only appeared in minor but memorable roles in "21 Jump Street" and "The Social Network."

anastasia steele fifty shades of grey.JPGWhether "Fifty Shades" fans agreed with the Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan casting or not, they clearly have star power as the duo pulled in a record-breaking $266 million worldwide over President's Day weekend.

fifty shades of grey christian and ana

SEE ALSO: MEET DAKOTA JOHNSON, the 25-year-old Hollywood royalty at the center of the 'Fifty Shades' phenomenon

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Here's what the dinosaurs in 'Jurassic World' will look like


chris pratt jurassic world

A new "Jurassic Park" sequel is coming to theaters this June.

"Jurassic World" will return to Isla Nublar 22 years after the original 1993 film. Starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, the island is now home to a dinosaur theme park that's open to the public.

Attendance isn't booming, and to attract some new visitors, scientists at the park begin engineering some hybrid dinos. 

While we've seen a few trailers for the new film tease a few of the new dinosaurs, we haven't had a good look at them until now.

President's Day Weekend, we headed over to Hasbro's Toy Fair in Times Square to check out the new lineup of "Jurassic World" toys coming out later this year.

We were pretty blown away by the big reveal of two of the big dinosaurs that will be in the film. 

Check them out below.

Indominus Rex

This is the big one right here. This female dinosaur is the giant, mysterious hybrid dinosaur that has been teased in every trailer.

Here are a few looks at her.

indominus rex jurassic world toyindominus rex jurassic world

One more shot for fun of her in the park.

jurassic world indominus rex

The following four dinosaurs are part of the Basic Figure Assortment and will be on sale for $9.99 each this spring. They're recommended for ages 4+. 


Jurassic World Basic Figure ALLOSAURUS


Jurassic World Basic Figure   ANKLOSAURUS

Here he is in the box.

ankylosaurus jurassic world


Jurassic World Basic Figure   PACHYCEPHALOSAURUS


Jurassic World Basic Figure   SPINOSAURUS

This next group of dinos lights up and makes sounds. They'll be out in the spring. Each one retails for $14.99. They're also recommended for ages 4 and up.


The flap on this dinosaur flips back and forth and he'll be able to spit a dart out of his mouth. 

jurassic world dilophosaurus


Jurassic World Lights & Sounds Figure DIMORPHODON


This guy looks pretty intense.

Jurassic World Lights & Sounds Figure CERATOSAURUS

You'll also be able to get your hands on a blue Velociraptor.

blue Velociraptor

Along with that velociraptor, the film will feature three raptors by the names of Charlie, Delta, and Echo.

Here's Charlie.Jurassic World Raptor CHARLIE

We had some hands on time with the trio last month.

Here's Delta and Echo.

delta echo jurassic world dinosaur raptors

If they look familiar, it's because you may recognize these guys as Chris Pratt's buddies in the trailer.

jurassic world dinosaurs

Remember the shark-eating dinosaur from the "Jurassic World" trailer?

jurassic world dinosaur eating shark

You'll be able to buy him, too.

The Mosasaurus will come with a scuba diver.

Jurassic World Vehicle Battle Packs SUBMARINE

You'll also be able to get your hands on one of the Pterodactyls seen in the film.

Jurassic World Vehicle Battle Packs pterodactyl

The biggest toy reveal was the presence of a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex

We haven't seen a T. rex hinted at yet in any of the trailers, and that may be why the following toy may not be released until fall 2015 unlike most of the other toys which will be released in the spring.

The cool thing about this toy was that when you stomp his feet on the ground, he makes sounds. 

When you flip his tail down, the rest of his body dropped down and he let out a roar. When you flipped his tail back up, he roared again.

t rex jurassic world

The T. rex will also get his own battle arena playset that will be available in fall 2015.

Jurassic World Tyrannosaurus Rex Lockdown Playset

Inside, kids will get a smaller version of the T. rex. The set above is a giant call back to the original 1993 film.

jurassic world t rex toy fair hasbro

SEE ALSO: The visual effects in the new "Jurassic World" ad look vastly different from the first trailer

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Forget 'Fifty Shades' — this indie film is way sexier


duke burgundy 4

If you thought "Fifty Shades Of Grey" was the first film of the year to explore an unconventional sexual relationship, you would be wrong. 

The plot of "The Duke of Burgundy" reads like a more gender-liberal take on "Fifty Shades"— it traces the sadomasochistic relationship between the dominant Cynthia and her submissive Evelyn. It's refreshing to see a film of this ilk starring two women, because most films depicting sexual fantasy tend to go a more traditional route.

Unlike "Shades," which takes nearly an hour to get to the nitty-gritty, "Burgundy" features its characters' extreme tastes right from the start and doesn't let up until the end credits roll. 

The relationship on screen in "Burgundy" parallels that in "Fifty Shades" in only the most basic ways. Both films feature kinky sex, safe words, and one partner questioning the sexual decisions she has made.

In "Fifty Shades," billionaire Christian Grey is all about control — this is his world, and we're just living in it. There's a more methodical yet unexplained air surrounding Cynthia and her sexual deviancy that is explored during the sequences outside of the bedroom. There's a lot bubbling beneath the psychological surface here, which is something I can't say about "Fifty Shades" with a straight face.

duke burgundy 1"Burgundy's" visual style is its greatest asset, and there's plenty of meaning to be derived from the juxtaposition of images on screen. The "plot" is minimal in that the movie is about their relationship and nothing more, but writer/director Peter Strickland takes this material and runs with it, weaving a thought-provoking, engaging mind game in the process.

The kinks in "Burgundy" are far more bizarre than the blasé whips, belts, and ropes in "Shades." 

Strickland has a unique flair for visuals that somehow renders the abnormal perfectly prim and proper. The audience should be gasping aloud when Evelyn enters a bathroom for a very specific "shower" scene, but it's so artfully shot and tastefully presented that the intimate moment feels completely healthy and normal in context. It's an impressive (and rare) feat for a director to command the space well enough to make an audience enjoy something completely out of their comfort zone.

duke burgundy 2By comparison, "Fifty Shades" is far more on the nose and lacks any and every subtlety that "Burgundy" employs. The characters speak in stiff, unnatural quips that garnered more chuckles from the audience than genuine intrigue. The audience laughed plenty during "Burgundy," but only when it was appropriate and always "with" it, never "at" it. 

"The Duke Of Burgundy" takes domineering control over the viewer right away, while "Fifty Shades" just flounders, lying limp, submitting to the horrid exchanges found in the book with no intention of elevating it.

"The Duke of Burgundy" is now playing in select cities and available on VOD via cable providers. You can also pre-order the film on iTunes.

Watch the trailer: 

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Here's what the next 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movie will be about


pirates of the caribbean

Production is underway on the next "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel.

Disney revealed the plot synopsis for the fifth movie in the series, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," in a press release. 

Johnny Depp will reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow along with Geoffrey Rush (Barbossa), and Kevin R. McNally (Joshamee Gibbs).

Via Disney:  

Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea...including him. Captain Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

Javier Bardem, Kaya Scodelario ("The Maze Runner"), Brenton Thwaites ("Maleficent"), and Golshifteh Farahani ("Exodus: Gods and Kings") will join the cast.

The entire fifth movie will film at Village Roadshow Studios and in Queensland, Australia. 

Though Disney didn't confirm a release date, the film is expected to be released July 7, 2017.

SEE ALSO: 2017 is going to be an absolutely huge year for Disney

AND: Here's what the dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park" will look like

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Matthew Vaughn of 'Kingsman' is mastering and subverting one genre at a time



As a director who seems to have dropped out of more movies than he's made, every time a new feature comes from the notoriously selective Brit, it turns out to be cause for celebration. Indeed, since watching this weekend's piece of Valentine's Day counterprogramming Kingsman: The Secret Service twice with two very different groups myself, the amount of contagious laughter and palpable giddiness that greets every kinetic action sequence and twisted gag only remains a surprise because few moviegoers know what a Matthew Vaughn picture is supposed to be. For that matter, I sometimes wonder if Vaughn and his constant co-screenwriter Jane Goldman know either.

The reason for this continued underestimation is likely because Vaughn has never made the same film twice, much less stayed in the same genre. All of his pictures certainly have a certain shared genetic make-up of being fast-paced ensembles with an unknown lead, as well as a firmly planted tongue in cheek sense of perversity, byt they also lean towards different styles. The sense of humor and need to show off with elaborate action sequences remains the same, but every film feels like Vaughn (and Goldman) are submerging themselves in a new cinematic vocabulary with the singular goal of mocking it…before also trying to one-up it with a defiant love letter to their new chosen form.

Much like Vaughn’s seeming ability to peg relative unknowns right before they blow up into superstardom—he has cast Daniel Craig, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Chloe Grace Moretz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Henry Cavill, and Charlie Cox all before their mainstream breakouts—his five films to date make for a small yet impressive catalogue. There is an idiom about being a Jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. As of now, Vaughn seems determined to disprove that one admiring genre jeer at a time.


Layer Cake (The Gangster Movie)

Before sitting in the director’s chair, Vaughn was already playing a part in the modern British gangster film’s rebirth when he produced Guy Ritchie’s very stylish one-two punch Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch (he also produced Ritchie’s Swept Away, but the less said about that film the better). Each of these crime dramas became international hits due to their fast paced editing, impenetrable plots, and even more impenetrable accents (hell, Brad Pitt got in on the action with a broadly monstrous Irish brogue for Snatch).

Following in Ritchie’s footsteps, Vaughn made his directorial debut with 2004’s Layer Cake, a gangster dramedy that actually pulled the trigger. Unlike the Ritchie efforts,Layer Cake was unafraid to depict its hero, the unnamed XXXX (Daniel Craig), as only cockney cool to a certain point. The aesthetic of London gangsters double crossing their way through the drug world was vintage Ritchie, but the level of twisty action excess, and a hero who more than bled when he got in over his head—he lost it—was the first articulation of Vaughn’s far more cheerfully aware style.

Layer Cake openly mocks its audience by the end for trying to stay ahead of its plot about a criminal underground that is less warring houses than it is hostile takeovers with highly placed imbeciles, proving there is incompetence in every evocation. As XXXX’s voiceover states, if you were so clever, you’d know his name. Moments later, it’s moot when it turns out he wasn’t quite that smart either.

Honestly, while Layer Cake is jolly entertainment, its closeness to the Ritchie aesthetic makes it more removed from my favorite of Vaughn’s efforts. But all of the aspects that would define his genre-bending disruptions were here while remaining shrewdly muted enough to maintain an excellent bit of cockney gunplay as well. Consider that it was this movie that first caught Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson’s attention well enough to consider casting Craig as James Bond, which is an irony unto itself when we get to Kingsman


Stardust (The Fantasy Movie)

By the time Stardust came about, fantasy had become a “legitimate” highbrow genre with the Best Picture Oscar to prove it. While pop culture was still some ways out fromGame of Thrones’ more "adult" high fantasy taking hold of the zeitgeist, the earnestness of the wonderful Lord of the Rings films and the serviceable Harry Pottermovies had popularized swords and sorcery as a profitable, if somber, affair.

Stardust has none of that. Despite being adapted from Neil Gaiman’s beloved illustrated novel, the author’s attempt to make a “fairy tale for adults” became a springboard for Vaughn to make the only fantasy movie that has come close to capturing some of the self-aware magic that made The Princess Bride twinkle decades earlier.

[related article: The Princess Bride and its Perfect Vision of Cinematic Fantasy]

Beginning with a far more playful narrative performance from Ian McKellen than he was ever allowed to exhibit as Gandalf, Stardust combines a whimsical sensibility with a finely tuned preference for gallows humor. Like Gaiman’s novel, there is plenty of death and malevolence from the wicked witches and villains of the piece, but in Vaughn’s first collaboration with screenwriter Jane Goldman, the director also evokes in the characters an unspoken knowledge about the artificiality of this pretense. In other words, everyone realizes that a bloody wall in pastoral Victorian England being a gateway to another realm is battier than a Bram Stoker novel. But when that “everyone” includes a celestial being made of literal stardust turned flesh (Claire Danes), you learn to just go with it.

Stardust plays fast and loose with genre conventions, never taking itself too seriously while also expecting the audience to keep up with its rapid-fire japes. Young Tristan (Charlie Cox) has a classic hero’s journey to go on, but despite being intentionally dressed in the Orlando Bloom mould, he is mentored by a different kind of pirate rogue—one with a penchant for cross-dressing and listening to Offenbach’s high-flying can-can music. As a combination of both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo archetypes—and with a dash of Liberace thrown in—Robert De Niro plays a flamboyantly preening pirate that still knows something about swordplay. Indeed, in a few days he teaches Tristan the ins-and-outs of fencing for some classic cinematic swashbuckling during the third act (against a possessed corpse).

In many ways, Stardust remains counterintuitive to what is considered “proper” fantasy amongst the genre enthusiasts that still take it as seriously as a medieval studies course at Oxford. But in spite of its box office disappointment, Stardust continues to build in its cult esteem. For a reason why it is so beloved, look no further than how it treats the severe topic of royal lineage: a cameoing Peter O’Toole as an old king urges his sons to slaughter each other for the throne. And conversely, with a nigh schizophrenic tonal shift, Stardust also sincerely embraces a “true love” narrative between a boy and a shooting star named Yvaine.

Perhaps more mischievous than Gaiman’s already eccentric book, Stardust is light-years apart from all the “me too” Rings and Potter knockoffs that clogged multiplexes over the last decade. But unlike those movies, this fanciful adventure with a sneaky off-center smirk is the one well worth remembering for children and adults alike.


Kick-Ass (The Superhero Movie)

It shouldn't be so shocking that after dancing around superhero films for so many years, the most logical thing Vaughn could do was satirize them. That he also just so happened to make one of the best superhero movies ever, on a budget of $28 million no less, could simply be coincidence, but I doubt it.

Prior to directing Kick-Ass, Vaughn was at various stages attached to direct Fox’s X-Men: The Last Stand and Marvel Studios’ Thor. Neither project panned out with Vaughn dropping out early before he finally teamed with Mark Millar for this potentially grotesque and wholly mean-spirited concept.

When Millar hatched the idea for his Kick-Ass comics with John Romita Jr., he posited that Alan Moore’s lofty critique of superheroes and rugged individualist American fantasies got it all wrong. If superheroes “existed,” they would be nerdy introverts like Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and their first time out the door in a costume would end with them getting stabbed or run over by less altruistic New Yorkers.

While the premise was comedy gold, the comics were drenched in nihilism and ultraviolent shock value. But seeing the potential in it, Vaughn bought the rights toKick-Ass and worked on the screenplay with Goldman while Millar was still writing the comics. The result was Vaughn finishing his story first—and then being unable to sell it in Hollywood due to its aura of violence and foul language, much of it involving an 11-year-old girl.

What studio executives couldn’t see is a hyperkinetic pop culture collage that’s as much Looney Tunes in its Tarantino-esque violence as it is comic book nasty. It was also a vision that Vaughn believed in enough to independently finance. It may not have found the box office success he was hoping for (think: Superbad meets Kill Bill), but no one could call the finished film compromised.

Whereas Millar and Romita’s comic book browbeats readers with one downer revelation after another, Vaughn’s film pops with a rowdy pace that seems deceptively free-wheeling as it walks the narrowest of tightropes. Kick-Ass bounces with a buoyancy between raunchy teen comedy, a blood-and-guts kung fu flick, and a disarmingly heartfelt recreation of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man aesthetic. Getting closer to that Stan Lee/Steve Ditko escapism than Sony has in recent years, Kick-Asssomehow works as a straightforward origin story for a superhero that spends the first act getting punched in the face and the last one operating a jetpack with machine guns while Elvis Presley performs the most ham-fisted rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” ever recorded.

Kick-Ass also announced Vaughn as a serious action director, because all of the sequence involving the “real” superheroes of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl (Nicolas Cage and Chloe Grace Moretz) land with a dizzying brutality. Granted, the concept of a crazy man training his daughter to be a child soldier/assassin is a disquieting one that earned the movie its initial executive critics (as well as Roger Ebert’s infamous chastisement). But Vaughn sidesteps the horrific implications that pull down the comic by treating it with the weight of a Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote short. Also in the process, he gave Cage, rocking a gonzo Adam West affectation, one of his only good roles in the last 15 years, and ironically created (with a startlingly movie star ready 11-year-old Moretz) one of the best movie superheroes ever put onscreen. For proof, find a better superhero action sequence than Hit-Girl’s strobe-lit Big Daddy rescue that doesn’t involve a small fortune of CGI effects.

The testament to that successful balancing act between vicious satire and a loving homage is Kick-Ass 2. It certainly emulated what Vaughn did, but a lesser director also borrowed more from Millar for a movie that felt crass and vulgar in comparison. Unfortunately for Kick-Ass’ sake, Vaughn was off chasing a different style entirely.


X-Men: First Class (Superhero Movies...Again?)

At this point, one might suggest that my assertion of Vaughn not making the same movie twice seems a bit premature since he left the world of Kick-Ass for another superhero landscape in Fox’s mutant prequel, X-Men: First Class. However, I would contend that in most respects, Kick-Ass is the more straightforward and traditional superhero movie, even with its tongue firmly planted in its cheek.

Yep, even with its PG-13 rating and $160 million budget, the far more mainstream X-Men: First Class still teleported off the beaten path. The case could be made that Bryan Singer’s original X-Men movie set the stage for superhero movies becoming the defining genre of the early 21st century, and perhaps it did (along with Sam Raimi’sSpider-Man). However, when 2011 rolled around, the X-Men franchise looked fairly haggard next to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and Marvel Studios’ steady march toward the following year’s The Avengers. This gave Vaughn’s one and only directorial effort in the franchise a certain amount of leeway to make it unlike any of the X-films before or since.

While the 1960s period set-up was hatched by Bryan Singer and Sheldon Turner, when Vaughn and Goldman came aboard they ran with it in a completely different direction. And the finished result seems to be less a story about how Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen’s Xavier and Magneto came about and more of a rip-roaring, belated addition to the Bondmania craze of the 1960s.

While James Bond didn’t actually hit his peak as a cinematic character until 1964’sGoldfinger, the 1962 setting provides what Michael Fassbender has described as his unofficial “James Bond audition.” Fassbender plays Nazi hunting Erik “Magneto” Lehnsherr as three quarters Sean Connery and one quarter supervillain. But whereas he had the spy era’s penchant for well-groomed ass-kicking, co-star James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier got the swinging ‘60s lothario vibe, coloring angelic Professor X’s origins with a silver spooned edge.

Together, they refocused what was an X-Men story into more of a buddy comedy during a very tense moment of “mutant civil rights.” This is still a superhero movie, but it features beats and a different energy that stands apart any other out there. Indeed,First Class still feels refreshingly retro and bizarre when compared with Marvel Studios’ constant sameness and even Bryan Singer’s much heralded X-Men return, X-Men: Days of Future PastWhile we are also fans of that 1970s post-Vietnam superhero trip, Singer brought back the angst and black leather that Vaughn had jettisoned for Guy Hamilton bubbliness and unapologetically campy yellow and blue, comic book-accurate costumes. It’s a razor-sharp effort that's still pretty savvy since it cast Jennifer Lawrence off her first Oscar nomination before most filmgoers even knew that Hunger Games existed.


Kingsman: The Secret Service (The Spy Movie)

Ironically, if one movie could be accused of somewhat revisiting similar material, I’d suggest that it was Kingsman more so than First Class. From a certain angle, this is the purer distillation of half the tone from the 2011 X-Men prequel, just as Kick-Ass is for superheroes. But unlike anything mutant-related, Kingsman: The Secret Service is less highly budgeted with its R-rating and thus allowed to be completely bonkers.

Credit should also be given that after three films in a row loosely based on comics, Vaughn has yet to make something that feels like the studio mandated “comic book movie.” Indeed, returning to collaborator Mark Millar, Vaughn and Jane Goldman have adapted and reimagined Millar and Dave Gibbons’ The Secret Service into the best Bond movie Roger Moore never made. Quite honestly, it’s as if following The Spy Who Loved Me, Monty Python was given full creative control over the next installment to “lighten things up,” and then the action and violence was pushed to Edgar Wright levels of absurdity. Or: it is very British.

[related article: Kingsman review]

Pining for the bygone days of the “gentleman spy,” be it Bond, The Avengers, or Michael Caine’s own Harry Palmer films (Caine also appears in Kingsman), Vaughn and Goldman’s characters verbalize their mission statement. After superspy Harry Hart, Colin Firth at his most John Steed-ish, declares that he shall have a “tête-à-tête” with his new megalomaniacal foe (Samuel L. Jackson), he is soon sitting across from Richmond Valentine in his best dinner jacket. Jackson’s diabolical baddie asks Harry if he likes spy movies. Glancing over his shoulder at Valentine’s shapely henchwoman Gazelle (Sofia Boutella), Harry notices her menacing sword-legs absent-mindedly posing in the air. Quite literally, her legs are made out of deadly blades (that she uses quite often). Firth doesn’t miss a beat when he smirks, “Nowadays, they’re all a little serious for my taste. But the old ones? Marvelous. Give me a farfetched theatrical plot any day.”

Kingsman delivers that along with Vaughn’s most ambitious three-ring circus to date. Continuing to court younger viewers with a YA story that introduces Taron Egerton to the world in a strong debut performance as Harry’s protégé, Vaughn and Goldman also find time for an anti-authority satire that is sure to push a few buttons in the U.S.Kingsman is an espionage throwback, a coming of age story, an implicit comment on class war in the UK, and that is just the tip of its off-the-wall gonzo disposition. It has so many balls juggling in the air that its exposition-heavy first act struggles a bit to keep them there. But afterwards for about two hours, it never falters in its ear-to-ear goofy entertainment, including a second act shootout that might already claim the “Best Action Scene of 2015” title.

Not two of these five films are quite the same experience, yet all of them are just wacky enough to be hilarious, and smart enough to never fall into the realm of parody. Vaughn pays homage to his favorite films while mocking them, and he tackles entirely different genres while simultaneously subverting them. As Harry Hart might say, that’s worth raising a glass of gin for.

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There's rumour going around that Han Solo dies in the new 'Star Wars' movie


Let’s get this clear – there is absolutely no official basis for that headline.

It’s a rumour first posted on Star Wars fan site Making Star Wars, which admittedly, has got a few things right in the past.

The other point that needs to be noted is the details surrounding the rumour simply say Han Solo isn’t seen after his apparent death. Not that he actually dies.


Here’s a few details of what a friend of MSW editor-in-chief Jason Ward told him. The friend was at Pinewood and says this is what was shot:

  • A sequence takes place on the ramparts of The Evil Castle.
  • Han Solo is hiding and decides to reveal himself to Kylo Renn, the guy with the ridiculous lightsaber which may or may not have been designed by Apple guru Jony Ive.
  • Finn, Rey, Chewbacca and BB-8 stop and watch as Han Solo confronts Kylo Ren. Kylo Renn “silences the conversation forever”.
  • Chewbacca roars and lets of a series of laser blasts, and they all flee to the Millennium Falcon.

(You should head over to MSW if you want the rest of the details.)

The bit that has everyone talking is that Solo “is never in a scene after this”.

That may mean Solo’s dead; it may not. It’s just a rumour from the set and to find out if it’s true, you’ll still have to go and see the film.

So, sorry, no “spoiler alert” needed. That comes when somebody’s actually watched the whole movie, or as it may be, the whole trilogy.

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The incredible success of 'American Sniper' is quietly fueling an ugly fight over money


american sniper bradley coooperThe marathon-like box office success of American Sniper, which is about to hit the $400 million mark, continues to endure impressively considering the film is about to celebrate its two month anniversary since its limited Christmas Day release.

However, amidst the plethora of controversy surrounding the film with Michael MooreJesse Ventura and the current trial over the murder of main character, Chris Kyle, there is also another story to be told.

This story details the effects of the film’s financial success on Kyle's surviving family. Apparently, as often is the case when a huge sum of money is suddenly introduced into the equation, things are getting awkwardly ugly.

According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Kyle’s widow, Taya (played by Sienna Miller in the film,) has found herself embroiled in a dispute over American Sniper-related funds that were allegedly promised to the surviving family members of Chris’ SEALs brethren, Ryan Job (portrayed by Jake McDorman) and Marc Lee (portrayed by Luke Grimes). While things have not quite escalated to the point of a lawsuit, the increasingly fattening funds generated from the book and film seem to be the gunpowder that’s just waiting to ignite.

While there have been conflicting reports about Chris Kyle donating funds collected from his book, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, to veteran’s charities, "friends" have apparently been quoted saying that he never personally collected any of the generated book proceeds. It seems that he had plans to distribute them to the families of Ryan Job and Marc Lee. However, the THR report cites that the Kyle family has currently cleared $6 million from the overall American Sniper franchise, with certainly more pieces of the pie to come, and legal experts have told the trade that Chris Kyle’s passing means that the entirety of his assets, estate and intellectual property pass to Taya - regardless of whatever informal promises Chris may have made.

chris kyleThe only legal standing in the disagreement centers on a house Taya accepted from J. Kyle Bass, the co-owner of Craft International, an LLC that Chris Kyle co-founded.

The gift was apparently conditional upon the donation of the proceeds to the Job and Lee families. Additionally, a separate legal battle between Taya and Craft over 85% of the LLC’s $2.96 million would cause them to dig up a clause agreed to by Chris during an apparent rocky time in the marriage stating that he did not want Taya involved with Craft in the event of a divorce or his death.This would culminate in late 2014 with a possibly legal precedence-setting deal which included the agreement that Craft would stop using Chris’ name and image; essentially codifying Taya’s ownership of the money-making "Chris Kyle IP."

The idea that Kyle had intended to donate an unknown amount of the proceeds from his original book to the surviving families of Job and Lee is hardly in dispute. However, Kyle had published the book as a lucky survivor of brutal conflicts which would tragically see their lives claimed.

Chris Kyle wife TayaAs the film’s epilogue would acknowledge, that all changed when Kyle, himself, would meet a tragic end on the homefront when he was shot and killed on February 2, 2013, by a disturbed veteran named Eddie Ray Routh, who Kyle was apparently trying to help. In that sense, the ordeal would seemingly come back to retroactively claim Kyle as a casualty in his own right in the film/book-depicted events. So, should "survivor's guilt" be applicable to someone who didn't end up surviving?

Therein lies the dilemma. If Kyle’s promise to donate proceeds to the families of Job and Lee were legitimate (which is reasonable to assume), then would the context on which he made said promise have been changed by the military PTSD-related tragedy which claimed his life?

Kyle left behind a wife and two young children, whose welfare we have to assume he would see as the most integral of priorities. He certainly didn’t plan on dying and his apparent intended beneficence to the Job and Lee families had to be exercised under the idea that he would be alive to take care of his own family first. That has to be considered, regardless of how much the Kyle family will bank and the talk of "greed" that will inevitably start to proliferate. 

Do proceeds from the ever-growing pot of money from American Sniper HAVE TO go to those families? No, by most accounts. Not legally. However, it would be an honorable gesture to ensure that they at least get SOMETHING reasonable; especially given the amounts in play. Such an idea seems to fall in line with what Kyle would have wanted, despite the money involved being ridiculously more than he could have possibly dreamed. 

SEE ALSO: The incredible and tragic story of the real-life "American Sniper"

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The 'District 9' director is making a new 'Alien' movie


alien isolation

Sci-fi filmmaker Neill Blomkamp’s next movie, Chappie, is just around the corner, but the director has been making headlines for reasons other than his anticipated original tale.

A couple of months ago, Blomkamp revealed unofficial Alien concept art, which he pegged as nothing more than “a mental stroll” in the universe that Ridley Scott created in his seminal 1979 film.

But, there was apparently fire to go with this smoke. Not too long ago, Blomkamp was openly discussing his desires to make Alien 5 one of his films, and franchise star Sigourney Weaver (who worked with Blomkamp on Chappie) said that she’d be game should the project ever get the green light. Now, it seems that day is here – with word coming from none other than Blomkamp himself. 


 Shortly after Blomkamp shared his news, sources from Variety confirmed that Fox has closed a deal with him to call the shots on a new Alien movie. So anyone who thought that the Instagram image was nothing more than Blomkamp’s wishful thinking need not take those grains of salt. This is really happening.

With a new Alien film so early in development, it’s also impossible to say what exactly the plot will entail. Blomkamp’s post, however exciting it may be, is scarce on other details. Weaver’s previous quotes would indicate that the Ellen Ripley character will be involved in some capacity, but right now only Blomkamp knows what her next mission could be. However, story details could emerge shortly, given that Fox has put this project on the fast track.

alien tom skerritt ian holm sigourney weaver veronica cartwright yaphet kottoThough it looks like Alien 5 has come together rather quickly, there has been talk about the possibilities of such a film for a while. Weaver has gone on record stating that she thought there was still more story to tell and that longtime fans of the franchise would want to see her character’s (Ellen Ripley) arc completed in a new installment, following the events of Alien: Resurrection. Whether those were clues that this news was on the horizon or not, Weaver seems to be getting her wish granted.

neill blomkampThe one question on everyone’s minds will be how this new film relates to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus 2, which is coming through the pipeline for a possible 2016 release. As we’ve speculated before, the two movies will co-exist and not cancel each other out. Justin Kroll of Variety tweeted that Alien 5 is a separate entity, and the Prometheus sequel is still happening. It seems that Fox has another blossoming shared cinematic universe to go with its Marvel Comics properties.

Now that it’s officially happening, Alien 5 is just the latest film in a long list of productions that will look to revive long-dormant Hollywood franchises and introduce them to a new generation of moviegoers. The box office numbers for 2015 will be a strong indicator as to how long this trend will go on, but given the levels of excitement surrounding some of these films, there is a strong chance that this business strategy proves to be as successful as the superhero movies. Some may frown upon the studios returning to the well after so many years, but if a creative eye like Blomkamp is behind the camera, we doubt too many will complain.

We’ll keep you updated on the development of Neill Blomkamp’s Alien movie as more information becomes available. 

SEE ALSO: How Video Game 'Alien: Isolation' reunited the original film cast 35 years later

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7 ways to fix the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' sequels before they even happen


Fifty Shades Of Grey

"Fifty Shades of Grey"stormed the box office, raking in $85.2 million over its three-day opening weekend. Fans, hate-watchers, and those who were just curious flocked to see the virginal college student Anastasia Steele (played by the surprisingly charming and funny Dakota Johnson) surrender to the washboard abs and kinky tastes of billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).

Thanks to the film's early press and wild ticket sales — as well as the enormous popularity of E.L. James' "Twilight"-based seriestwo sequels are already in store for the subsequent books "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed."

Despite the adaptation's success, the first film received pretty terrible reviews. It is sitting at 25% on Rotten Tomatoes for its lack of sexiness and its general tameness. It should have been way steamier considering its provocative source material.

The movie is still a vast improvement from the book, but given the film's widespread criticism, now may be a good time to get started on some improvements. Here are some ways to improve the future installments.

1. Give Ana an iPhone 

ana fifty shades of grey.JPGOr at least give her an Android. It's wildly out of step for Ana not to have a smartphone. You can argue that some folks can't afford fancy phones, but given the looks of Ana's two very nice apartments — particularly her post-grad digs in Seattle — it is likely that she can afford a smartphone. 

Yes, iPhones were less ubiquitous when the first book was published in 2011, when more people used Blackberries. (Some even preferred the Blackberry to the iPhone!) Christian uses one in the book, and he even gives Ana one, too. In the film, however, Christian gets an upgrade to an iPhone. Granted, Ana has an old flip phone in the books, but shouldn't she also receive an updated cell?

2. Make Christian and Ana's relationship less characterized by abuse

fifty shades of grey christian greyThe "Fifty Shades" books are problematic because they fetishize unhealthy relationships and suffer from less-than-mediocre prose, but the movie heightens the problems. It may be tough to see it at first because the book is told from Ana's perspective and readers get caught up in the book's vivid sex scenes, but Christian's behavior is actually abhorrent. The movie liberally stripped the plot of most of its sex scenes and toned down the remaining sex scenes, allowing Christian's awful behavior to be highlighted. 

There's a scene in which Christian randomly appears in Ana's apartment one evening with a bottle of wine in hand. That's not romantic — it's stalkerish, and even creepy. 

Worse, his behavior glamorizes abuse, giving men the idea that it is OK to treat women terribly. With cinematic shots that look like engagement-ring commercials — specifically one shot with Christian playing the piano shirtless while Ana traipses toward him wrapped in nothing but a sheet — the film makes it look as if an abusive relationship with a billionaire is a luxury

Unlike in the book, in which Christian is humanized a bit more in detail, it is slightly unclear to movie viewers why Ana decides to stick around. If the next movie makes Christian less glaringly abusive — and more genuinely interested in Ana — it will help explain why Ana decides to stick around for at least two sequels. That said ...

3. Don't forcefully insert luxury

christian grey helicopter fifty shades of greyTwo drawn-out scenes, both of them set to upbeat music, involve Ana and Christian flying above the skies.

An early scene has Christian sweep Ana away in his personal helicopter to his luxurious home in Seattle. Another scene late in the film serves to mitigate the fact that Christian spontaneously shows up while Ana is visiting her mother in Georgia. He takes her for a ride on a glider when they are supposed to meet for breakfast.

It's not that the extravagant plane rides are problematic — it's just that they come across as forceful attempts to reconcile coercive behavior. Instead of letting these moments come across as sincere romance, the movie makes them look like out-of-place makeups. The scenes look like music videos. The odd juxtaposition of creepy behavior with a helicopter rides sends a message that it is OK to coerce a woman into doing something she may not be comfortable doing, so long as you can take her for a ride above the skyline. Is that the message the next two movies really want to send?

4. Let the BDSM consultant overrule some technical choices

Fifty Shades Of GreyKinky behavior in the bedroom — ropes, ties, whips, whatever you choose to stock in your own personal Red Room of Pain — is your business, but it's not synonymous with abuse. The movie problematically links Christian's tastes in the bedroom with abusive behavior, which ultimately demonizes and shames people in the kink/BDSM communities. The movie also inaccurately represents how a submissive/dominant relationship works. Dominatrix Lady Velvet Steel wrote in The Hollywood Reporter:

Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan, is supposedly a dominant in Fifty Shades. He isn't a dominant. He's a stalker. He breaks into Anastasia's house, he bullies her friend, he buys her expensive gifts. He is constantly crossing boundaries. And S&M is all about respecting boundaries.

Another dominatrix, Mistress D. Sandoval, told The Daily Beast, "No kinkster would ever use cable ties, harsh rope, or duct tape in their play sessions." Those accoutrements come right out of the book, but on screen it is way easier to see. As Ana puts it, Christian seems like a "serial killer."

Yet oddly enough, the movie had Liam Helmer credited as a "BDSM consultant," so how could this misrepresentation happen so blatantly? He reportedly informed Jamie Dornan how to work with his BDSM props, but we can speculate that he couldn't change the source material because author E.L. James had a very tight grip.

5. Try to break free of E.L. James' handcuffs

el james san diego comic-con 2012E.L. James adamantly insisted on making sure specific details of the book made it to screen. This included Ana's incessant lip biting and an exchange of "laters, baby" between Christian and Ana.

If you're a diehard fan of the series, these additions make sense. If you're experiencing only the film, their importance may be slightly unclear as both items are introduced pretty briefly before becoming repeated over and over.

James' persistence didn't make it easy for director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who reportedly argued with James about what should — and shouldn't — make it into the film. James had the final say. 

For instance, Taylor-Johnson wanted to change the ending of the film slightly. The Hollywood Reporter disclosed that James wanted Ana to yell out "stop!" as Christian beat her, but Taylor-Johnson requested that the word be changed to "red," which is their "safe word" to indicate that Ana is still a willing participant even though she has reached her limits. James ultimately won the battle. 

When "Fifty Shades"first sold the rights to the film to Universal and Focus Features in 2012, James' agent Valerie Hoskins told Deadline the goal was to "protect the material and its manifestations into movies." However, if handled delicately enough, perhaps with the right words, the new director (Taylor-Johnson reportedly wants out now) will be able to at least tweak some of the original content.

6. Show a little male nudityfifty shades of grey tiesIt doesn't need to be pornographic, but it seems odd that in a movie targeted at females, with the intention of sexually empowering them, that there is little to no male nudity. Instead there are enough breasts to satisfy a middle-school boy in puberty. That seems counterintuitive, doesn't it?

A quick shot of a man isn't going to immediately catapult a movie into NC-17 territory: Ben Affleck did it ever so briefly in "Gone Girl." Jason Segel did it in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." The latter is a comedy.

Showing male nudity isn't about satiating the appetites of women in heat. It's about parity in nudity, which ultimately is parity in sexuality and, further, in gender equality.

7. More sex, please.fifty shades of grey lips

Sorry, "Fifty Shades" producers, but people aren't coming out to see the film to be wowed as they would when seeing a Shakespearean play. Give the people what the want — lowbrow as it may be.

Reviewers said it pretty loudly: For a movie about sex, there was barely enough of it. The 100-minute film features about 20 minutes of sex, but the first installment in the book series is loaded with sex. No one is asking for straight-up pornography, but isn't there at least a happy medium between tepid and steamy?

SEE ALSO: The foremost academic expert on 'Fifty Shades of Grey' tells us why the movie is truly horrible

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'Fifty Shades of Grey' prompts record sales for sex shops


Fifty Shades Of Grey

The “Fifty Shades of Grey” effect knows no bounds — not even for the gags, restraints, ticklers and toys its helping move in sex shops across the country.

TheWrap spoke with standalone boutiques and national chains about sales spikes following the film’s staggering $94.4 million opening weekend, and they’re reporting back with record numbers and rampant interest in the BDSM toys central to the Jamie Dornan-Dakota Johnson romance.

Babeland, a bi-coastal operation that markets largely to females, said sales of accessories in the BDSM category are up 90 percent from last February with their locations in Seattle and New York posting best-ever in-store numbers. Their official website also posted a five-year high in online purchases.

“In more than twenty years of business, I’ve never seen a cultural force like this,” Claire Cavanah, co-founder of Babeland, told TheWrap.

fifty shades of grey tiesThe range of products available include riding crops, leather cuffs, anal plugs, blindfolds and paddles. The chain also hosts sex workshops in select markets, and this February’s theme is “Fifty Shades.” The workshop scheduled for this Friday at the Soho location has attracted a record-breaking 1100 RSVP’s and counting.

Purple Passion, a high-end fetish boutique in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, said foot traffic has been dialed up since “Fifty Shades” won the President’s Day weekend box office.

“We specialize in BDSM and fetish wear, so we carry a lot of clothing here, latex, leather and shiny toys,” a spokesperson for the shop said, “we’ve definitely had people running in who have seen the film.”

Some clientele haven’t even seen the movie, but their significant others have sent them out to purchase gear for exploratory fun.

50 shades of grey“I just had a woman whose boyfriend went to see it and now he wants to try, she bought an outfit, a cane, blindfolds and french tickler,” the rep said. And given that the film has inspired a rush of purchasing, it’s done the same for instructional material and what to do with those whips and chains.

Adult video site Pornhub.com said searches for video clips related to bondage increased 45 percent over the Valentine’s Day weekend. Specifically the phrases “naughty swinger wife,” “make her scream” and “cupid” saw 636 percent, 518 percent and 433 percent increases in search activity.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” based on the blockbuster novels by E.L. James, made $245 million around the globe last weekend. Expect those bondage sales to surge for years to come, as sequels based on the books — “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed” — are rumored to be in motion.

SEE ALSO: Everything you should know about 'Fifty Shades of Grey' if you don't want to read the book

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Watch the first trailer for HBO's explosive new Scientology documentary


scientology going clearThe first trailer has just been released for director Alex Gibney's explosive HBO documentary about Scientology, "Going Clear," which is based on Lawrence Wright's best-selling book of the same name.

HBO had 160 lawyers preparing for the doc about the litigious church, which has generated tons of buzz since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

In the new trailer, former Scientologists reveal what makes the religion so appealing: "They sell it all in the beginning as something quite logical," an anonymous man says. A different voice adds: "You take on a matrix of thought that is not your own."

Here's six other crazy things we learn about the religion in the new documentary.

"Going Clear" premieres on HBO on March 29 at 8pm. Watch the trailer below: 

SEE ALSO: 6 Crazy Things Revealed In HBO's Explosive New Scientology Documentary 'Going Clear'

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The 19 Actors With The Most Oscar Nominations Of All Time


Meryl Streep oscars 2014

Meryl Streep received her 19th Oscar nod when the 87th Academy Awards nominations were announced in January.

Streep, who was nominated for best supporting actress in Disney's "Into the Woods," is, by far, the most-nominated actor of all time.

Despite her 19 nods, Streep has only won three times — for "Kramer Vs. Kramer" (1979), "Sophie's Choice" (1982), and "The Iron Lady" (2012).

No other actor comes close to Streep's 19 nominations. 

We've compiled a list of the actors with the most nominations for film roles consulting the Academy Awards Databases.

The 87th Academy Awards will air Sun., Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. 

Meryl Streep, 19 nominations (3 wins)
meryl streep 2012 oscars
Katharine Hepburn, 12 (4 wins)katharine hepburn a philadelphia storyJack Nicholson, 12 nominations (3 wins)oscars 70s jack nicholsonBette Davis, 10 nominations (2 wins)bette davisLaurence Olivier, 10 nominations (1 win, 2 honorary awards)olivier hamletPaul Newman, 9 nominations (1 win, 1 honorary award, 1 Hersholt award)newmanSpencer Tracy, 9 nominations (2 wins)spencertracyMarlon Brando, 8 nominations (2 wins)marlonbrando

Jack Lemmon, 8 nominations (2 wins)jacklemmon under yum yum treePeter O'Toole, 8 nominations (1 honorary award)Peter O'TooleAl Pacino, 8 nominations (1 win)al pacino smilingGeraldine Page, 8 nominations (1 win)geraldine pageIngrid Bergman, 7 nominations (3 wins)Ingrid_Bergman_1940_publicityRichard Burton, 7 nominations (no wins)richard burtonJudi Dench, 7 nominations (1 win)Judi DenchRobert DeNiro, 7 nominations (2 wins)Robert De NiroJane Fonda, 7 nominations (2 wins)Jane Fonda CannesGreer Garson, 7 nominations (1 win)greer garsonDustin Hoffman, 7 nominations (2 wins)dustin hoffman

Fun fact: Walt Disney received 59 nominations (and 26 wins), making him the most-nominated person of all time.

SEE ALSO: All the Oscar nominations

AND: The biggest Oscar snubs and surprises

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