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Hollywood has a new problem: sequels that people just don't want

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The Huntsman movie

After last summer's "Pitch Perfect 2" proved a breakout hit — grossing $287.5 million worldwide, more than doubling the $115.4 million worldwide gross of the 2012 original — a third installment in the suddenly red-hot franchise became inevitable.

But on May 31, Universal abruptly pushed back the release of "Pitch Perfect 3" by five months from July 2017 to December 2017. And just days later, it dropped another bombshell: Elizabeth Banks would not return as director.

The reason? Banks revealed over the weekend that the development process was taking longer than expected — and part of that delay was the nervousness with which studios are now viewing sequels. The delay pushed the shooting schedule into fall, when it would interfere with her kids' schedules, she said.

"We feel obligated to put out the best movie, and anyone who has done sequels, this third one is hard to figure out what the story is," Banks, who remains on the project as a producer, said Saturday at the PGA's Produced By Conference.

Universal, home of the female-centric franchise, had good reason to slow down. Sequel after sequel has disappointed at the box office this year. This weekend's underpowered opening of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" is just the latest example. And that is perplexing and alarming Hollywood studios, who are addicted to turning films of all sizes and genres into ongoing franchises, from comedies to the smallest horror films to tentpoles.

Privately, studio executives concede that they are equal-opportunity offenders when it comes to making sequels consumers aren't necessarily clamoring for, such as "The Huntsman: Winter's War" (the Universal follow-up earned 59% less than its predecessor). Others note that poor reviews also have become a huge factor, even if a sequel is part of a popular property.

"Sequels of late have fallen on rough times,"box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian says."The tried-and-true formulas and familiar characters and themes that are the cornerstone of the modern sequel have acted as a de facto life-insurance policy against box-office failure. However, 2016 has proven to be a very tough battleground, and the landscape has been littered with a series of sequels that have come up short and thus call into question the entire notion of the inherent appeal of nonoriginal, franchise-based content."

Fox domestic-distribution chief Chris Aronson adds: "The consumer is bombarded by quality, whether it's movies, streaming, cable, or network television. Studios struggle to build IP, but moviegoers aren't so tolerant anymore."

It's not unusual for franchise installments to dip, but the declines have become massive, in terms of both opening weekend and ultimate global gross. The canary in the coal mine was Universal's "Ride Along 2," the January comedy that grossed $90.9 million in North America, down 33% from the 2014 original. February saw Paramount's "Zoolander 2" gross 53% less domestically, and 32% less globally, than the 2001 first film when accounting for inflation.

Now sequelitis is damaging the health of the summer box office, but it's too late for studios to inoculate themselves. Over the weekend, "Out of the Shadows" became the latest follow-up to lag, opening to $35.3 million, compared with $65.6 million for the 2014 reboot.

"Certainly, the bar is being raised," Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore says. "Franchises give you a leg up, but I think audiences are definitely challenging us to make sure the story will be unique and different this time."

Many knew Disney's summer tentpole "Alice Through the Looking Glass" was in trouble before it launched to a paltry $26.9 million over the three-day Memorial Day weekend — 77% behind Alice in Wonderland — but no one anticipated Universal's "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising" would come in 56% below "Neighbors" in its debut ($21.8 million versus $49 million). And the decision to push back "Pitch Perfect 3"— coming less than a month after the studio had actually moved up its release to July 2017 from August — was announced just days after "Neighbors 2" opened over the May 20-22 frame.

Late last month, Fox's summer offering "X-Men: Apocalypse" opened well behind 2014's "X-Men: Days of Future Past" ($65.8 million versus $90.8 million). The former got a 48% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, down significantly from the 91% earned by its predecessor. Both films are from director Bryan Singer.

Universal, in particular, has been hard hit. In April, "Huntsman" limped to $19.4 million in its domestic opening, a whopping decline of 65% from 2012's "Snow White and the Huntsman." In recent years, Hollywood has relied on the foreign marketplace to make up for a sluggish showing in North America. But even that's changing: "Huntsman 2" grossed $113.2 million at the foreign box office all in, compared with $241.3 million for the first film. (North America was worse to be sure, or $47.6 million versus $155.2 million.)

"This year's sequel slump reveals Hollywood is in a creative funk," box-office analyst Jeff Bock says. "You could argue that sequel fatigue is feeding this; however, audiences still purchase tickets in droves to [some] continuing sagas. It's all about forging new territory and sometimes waiting until significant momentum and interest is built up again, something Hollywood isn't consistently good at.

"There is something to be said about allowing creative forces time to refuel and recharge," he continues. "However, the pace of today's studio machinations makes that nearly impossible. For awhile, YA adaptations were arriving year in and year out, and we saw the negative results from that accelerated pace as most became box-office burnouts."

Earlier this year, for example, Lionsgate's young-adult adaptation "The Divergent Series: Allegiant" topped out at $176.9 million, down 40% from "The Divergent Series: Insurgent." And, underscoring that the international marketplace is no longer an automatic savior, "Allegiant" did far less business internationally, or $110.7 million versus $167.1 million.

"Perhaps the real question is one of quality not categorization," Dergarabedian says. "Can we simply say that once a movie is labeled a sequel it has, in today's immediate environment, lost value and drawing power with audiences?"

There will be plenty of chances to answer the question, considering the slew of sequels preparing to enter the summer fray, including "Finding Dory,""Independence Day: Resurgence,""Ghostbusters,""Star Trek Beyond," and "Jason Bourne."

Certainly, sequelitis hasn't infected every film. Disney and Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War," the first tentpole of the summer, has amassed $1.132 billion globally since opening in early May, a huge uptick over the $714.4 million grossed by 2014's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (The movie is more Avengers-like in feel, however, and last summer's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" collected $1.4 billion worldwide.)

And "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice," released in late March, took in $871.9 million worldwide, compared with $668 million for 2013's "Man of Steel," even if many analysts thought it would get to $1 billion.

If anyone thought sequel success to be a sure thing, a glance at the 2016 worldwide box-office chart proves the power of originals over sequels as "Captain America: Civil War" is the only sequel that's been able to outgross a pair of original tentpoles: Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia," which has just crossed $1 billion worldwide, and Disney's "The Jungle Book" ($895.1 million).

SEE ALSO: 18 Hollywood moms whose lookalike daughters are following in their footsteps

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'Harry Potter' author J.K. Rowling lashes back at the 'racists' who are against a black Hermione

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Hermione Granger Noma Dumezweni Harry Potter Play

J.K. Rowling said that she was prepared for the negative reactions over the casting of a black woman in the role of Hermione in the new play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child."

“With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot,” she told Bristish newspaper The Guardian. “But what can you say? That’s the way the world is."

The conflict began back in December of last year when the actors cast in the roles of Harry, Ron, and Hermione were announced. That was when the world learned that black actress Noma Dumezweni had been tapped for the Hermione role, which was played by Emma Watson in the "Harry Potter" movie franchise.

Rowling said back then that she never specifically described Hermione's race in the books. And there had been a longtime fan theory that Hermione was black. Regardless, many fans were not happy about the casting.

Ron Weasley Hermione Granger Rose Granger Weasley Harry Potter Play"I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ — that is, lost color from her face after a shock — that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with," Rowling told the newspaper. "But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.”

Dumezweni, who won an Olivier award for her role in "A Raisin in the Sun," will play Hermione 19 years after the final book in the "Harry Potter" series. The character is married to Ron (Paul Thornley), with whom she has a daughter, Rose Granger-Weasley (Cherrelle Skeete).

"Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job," Rowling said.

The play, which will open July 30 at London's Palace Theatre, sold a record-breaking 175,000 tickets in the first 24 hours during pre-sales.

SEE ALSO: J.K. Rowling apologizes for another death in 'Harry Potter' and explains why she did it

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The creators behind 'Idiocracy' are shooting anti-Donald Trump ads with Terry Crews

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idiocracy

Earlier this year, the screenwriter of cult classic “Idiocracy,” Etan Cohen, said that he never expected the movie to “become a documentary” while observing the rise of Donald Trump — who's now, of course, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

It turns out the people behind the 2006 comedy have now come together to produce an anti-Trump ad campaign leading up to the election.

In “Idiocracy,” an “average American” (played by Luke Wilson) wakes up after a government experiment five centuries later to find that society has gotten dumber and the president is a former professional wrestler named Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho (played by Terry Crews).

Cohen told BuzzFeed in a recent interview that he and “Idiocracy” director Mike Judge (also creator of "Silicon Valley") began talking after Cohen’s statement via Twitter went viral. They decided that they should shoot fake political ads satirizing Trump using Terry Crews' Camacho.

“This is what satire is for... to be able to hold up a mirror and say, ‘This is crazy,’” Cohen told BuzzFeed. “‘Idiocracy’ was like that, but this all of a sudden felt like a very immediate need for the true meaning of satire and what it can actually do.”

Judge and Cohen are currently waiting on Fox to clear the rights for Camacho before shooting the ads.

SEE ALSO: Someone just discovered a new secret in a 25-year-old Nintendo game

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NOW WATCH: Sacha Baron Cohen recounts his 2003 Trump interview: 'I was the first person actually to realize that he’s a d---'

Renée Zellweger explains why she took a 6-year break from Hollywood

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renee zellweger

Renée Zellweger opened up about her six-year hiatus from Hollywood in a new interview.

The actress has another "Bridget Jones" movie set to debut this fall, but it arrives 12 years after the last movie in the franchise, "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason," and six years after the release of her last film, the road-trip movie "My Own Love Song."

"As a creative person, saying no to that wonderful once-in-a-lifetime project is hard," the actress told British Vogue"But I was fatigued and wasn't taking the time I needed to recover between projects, and it caught up with me. I got sick of the sound of my own voice. It was time to go away and grow up a bit."

The Texas native was once one of the biggest leading ladies in movies. She starred opposite Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire," won an Oscar for "Cold Mountain," and fronted the "Bridget Jones" movie franchise.

But during her time away from her movie career, Zellweger said she got some perspective, much-needed privacy, and the ability to try and see new things.

"I found anonymity, so I could have exchanges with people on a human level and be seen and heard, not be defined by this image that precedes me when I walk into a room," Zellweger, 47, told the magazine. "You cannot be a good storyteller if you don't have life experiences, and you can't relate to people."

Zellweger is back in the swing of things. Aside from the upcoming "Bridget Jones' Baby," she stars in two other films hitting theaters by 2017.

SEE ALSO: This 90-year-old homeless woman befriended Hollywood stars, and it changed her life

DON'T MISS: Zellweger 'new face' highlights Hollywood aging taboo

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This famous director told George Lucas that 'Star Wars' 'didn't make any sense' when he first saw it

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Brian De Palma John Lamparski Getty final

Brian De Palma has never been shy about giving his full, honest opinion. Especially to fellow filmmakers.

The director of classics like “Scarface,” “Carrie,” and “The Untouchables” recently told Business Insider that after seeing “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” before it premiered in 1977, he turned to his good friend Steven Spielberg, who directed the movie, and said, “I don’t know, this doesn’t really work for me.”

Laughing about it now, he said, “And this was considered a crowning success of his career.”

But Spielberg wasn't the only person in the talented inner circle that De Palma ran in during the 1970s (they were known as the Movie Brats) who was on the receiving end of his harsh opinions.

In an encounter that has become a Hollywood legend, De Palma didn’t think much of the original “Star Wars,” either.

George Lucas’ Movie Brats mates were the first people to see “Star Wars,” including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, John Landis, and De Palma.

After watching an early cut of the movie — which included little to no effects and didn't yet have the John Williams score — the Brats got together to tell Lucas what they thought. Spielberg told Lucas it was going to be a hit, but De Palma thought differently.

“The crawl at the beginning looks like it was written on a driveway,” De Palma told Lucas, according to the book “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.” “It goes on forever. It’s gibberish.”

Looking back now at his alleged insults, De Palma has a different recollection. Kind of.

“That is not correct,” De Palma told Business Insider. “I am sarcastic. I am considered the class clown, but a sarcastic clown. So I would make fun of certain things. Because everyone would take this stuff too seriously.”

Brian De Plama George Lucas Brad Barket Getty finalHe did, however, admit he didn’t like the opening crawl.

“The crawl didn't make any sense at all,” De Palma said. “And I kept kidding him about the Force. I was like, ‘What is the Force?’ But you have to understand, we used to look at each other's movies in order to be helpful. We might say some things that weren’t nice.”

De Palma admits the harsh criticism didn’t always go down well for some. Though he said, as far as he knows, Lucas never took offense to his remarks about the movie.

But one story has it that Lucas’ wife at the time, Marcia, confronted De Palma.

“I don't remember this, but there was an account where Marcia told me, ‘You've hurt George's feelings and you should be gentle with him.’ I don't remember that. I really don't know what they're talking about,” De Palma said. “I was basically myself. The thing the guys could always count on with me is I would say what I thought. I wasn't holding back.”

Success washes away all sour grapes in Hollywood, and if Lucas was ever mad at De Palma, that sure ended quickly, as the original “Star Wars” went on to make over $775 million worldwide in its theatrical run and gave birth to one of the most lucrative movie franchises of all time.

"De Palma," a documentary on the filmmaker, opens in theaters on Friday.

SEE ALSO: Brian De Palma, legendary director of "Scarface" and "Carrie," explains why he 'left Hollywood completely'

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This concept art shows what the canceled 'Spider-Man 4' movie with Tobey Maguire would have been like

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Oh, what could've been. The first two "Spider-Man" films starring Tobey Maguire were box-office hits, but audiences saw "Spider-Man 3" as a bloated misstep. Its critical panning effectively ended the franchise. Since then, the franchise has been rebooted twice, with the young Tom Holland taking over as the lead in the latest on-screen incarnation of the hero.

But before the two reboots of everyone's favorite webcrawler, we nearly had a fourth Spider-Man movie with Maguire. What would it have looked like?

Storyboard artist and illustrator Jeffrey Henderson recently posted concept art from the canceled project to his personal site, saying the team was excited to get a new start.

It would’ve been one absolutely kick ass movie. Seriously. We were working on some crazy- cool stuff, because everyone, from top to bottom, felt that Spidey 3 was a bit of a ‘missed opportunity’, and we all really wanted to help Sam take SM4 to another level so he could end the series on a high note.

Hendersen gave Tech Insider permission to run some of his early concept art for the film. Read on to see glimpses of what could've happened in "Spider-Man 4," including two new villains and a preview of an impressive battle above the New York City skyline.

Peter Parker would've faced classic villain Vulture in "Spider-Man 4." Before the film's cancellation, John Malkovich was cast.

Source: Collider



It looks like Vulture would've launched an attack against a helicopter, sparking a dramatic battle above New York.



Maybe Vulture was fighting off soldiers or police officers?



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Daniel Radcliffe riding around New York with a dead version of himself might be the best promo stunt ever

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Swiss Army Man Featured

When up against the huge marketing dollars of Hollywood studios, independent distributors have to be clever about promoting their movies — especially over the summer. 

And A24 has proven that it's one of the most innovative with its latest stunt to promote the upcoming "Swiss Army Man."

The wacky tale of a man (Paul Dano) who befriends a dead body (Daniel Radcliffe) and the adventure they seek out, the film premiered at this year's Sundance festival. It's the strangest movie I've ever seen there.

But that's not to say it isn't good. On the contrary, it's an inventive look at love and friendship. (It won the best directing prize at Sundance.) And A24 will finally get it in theaters on June 24 in New York and LA (nationwide July 1).

So to get the word out about a movie in which Radcliffe farts and uses an erection to help guide his friend out of the wilderness (yes, that all happens in the film), A24 has gotten equally zany about the marketing.

On Monday in New York, press were invited on a double-decker bus and driven around New York City with the real Radcliffe and the dead-body Radcliffe double from the movie, named Manny.

Here they are:

a casual Monday with #DanielRadcliffe and his creepy af #SwissArmyMan corpse 💀

A photo posted by BuzzFeed Celeb (@buzzfeedceleb) on Jun 6, 2016 at 12:59pm PDT on

Looks like Manny had a fun time:

He even got to hang out with the ladies while taking in the sights:

Manny also found someone to get him off the bus:

A24 tour bus with Daniel Radcliffe corpse dummy

A photo posted by Alison Willmore (@alisonwillmore) on Jun 6, 2016 at 11:00am PDT on

As "Swiss Army Man" is wedged between the release of "Finding Dory" the week before and "The BFG" the week after, A24 is hoping to attract those who are tired of the superhero movies and constant sequels that summer multiplexes provide.

If you want to see Manny and you're not in New York City, A24 told Business Insider that the Manny Tour will be popping up across the country over the next couple of weeks.

And the distributor isn't done. Head over to swissarmyman.com and you can spend the rest of the day tossing around Manny on your computer screen like a rag doll.

Radcliffe Swiss Army Man A24Watch out, though. Computer Manny is gassy, too.

SEE ALSO: The extreme measures actor Tom Hardy takes to beat hackers

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This awesome visual effects breakdown shows all the crazy details that went into making 'Deadpool'

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Deadpool VFX

"Deadpool" was a huge surprise hit at the box office this year, and brought the beloved comic book hero to the big screen for the first time. 

While the visual effects might not look as flashy as those in, say, "Captain America: Civil War," it took a lot of work to bring "Deadpool" to life.

Rodeo FX, one of the companies that did visual effects for the film, released a video breaking down some of its work on "Deadpool."

While Atomic Fiction, another company that worked on "Deadpool,"released their own VFX breakdown back in March, this one shows many of the subtle details brought out by CGI.

For instance, visual effects helped bring out Deadpool's mutant appearance:

They also turned a few flames into a full-on fire:

And they turned green screens into a fully realized world:

Watch the full breakdown here:

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11 Easter eggs hidden in Disney's latest animated movie 'Zootopia'

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zootopia

Disney's latest animated movie "Zootopia" is packed with Easter eggs, or, small hidden references to other movies.

With the movie's Blu-ray and DVD release Tuesday, Disney has released several Easter Egg breakdowns to help audiences spot many of the film's nods to other movies and characters.

Keep reading to see some of the film's coolest Easter eggs.

Tundra Town, an area of Zootopia where the colder weather creatures live, looks an awful lot like the kingdom in Disney's "Frozen."



Upon closer inspection, you'll find two little elephants dressed in Elsa and Anna costumes. How cute!

Source: Disney



Hans's Pastry Shop pays homage to "Frozen", too.

Source: BuzzFeed



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This ordinary Rhode Island man knew about the Han Solo twist in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ 2 years ago but was sworn to secrecy

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jyn rogue one

Warning: There’s a giant spoiler for “Star Wars: Episode VII” below. (But you’ve seen “The Force Awakens” by now, right?)

Diehard fans would give anything to know what's coming in the next "Star Wars" movies.

Though we've seen a few leaks on character names, set images, and the likely return of an iconic character, you'll be pretty hard-pressed to find too many details about the forthcoming "Star Wars" spinoff, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story", and next year's "Episode VIII."

However, there are a few people in Rhode Island who have the privilege of knowing exactly what characters will be in the next "Star Wars" movie and what will take place.

Among them is Hasbro's production design manager Bill Rawley who oversees a lot of the "Star Wars" toys that you see hit shelves ranging from lightsabers to that viral Chewbacca mask

He's currently overseeing and working on products for Lucasfilm's next two "Star Wars" movies.

chewbacca mask hasbro

"We have another movie coming out this December, 'Rogue One.' And then, next year, there’s 'Episode VIII. So, we’re actually working on 'Episode VIII' stuff right now," Rawley told Tech Insider. "We’re excited about some of the newness we’re bringing into the products of that. It’s going to be fun."

Rawley couldn't tell us about anything specific he's currently working on — he's been sworn to secrecy. That's not a surprise knowing the precautions Disney took to prevent spoilers around "The Force Awakens." (Actor Oscar Isaac said he had to read his script in a room with cameras.)

But Rawley did give us an idea of what it was like keeping secrets for "Episode VII." He says he knew about the big Han Solo twist in "The Force Awakens" two years before the movie came out.

"For example, and spoiler alert if you didn’t see 'Episode VII,' Han Solo’s death, I knew that for two years and I couldn’t tell anyone, not even my wife," Rawley explained. 

To give you some perspective, "The Force Awakens" started production in May 2014. The movie itself was on such heavy lockdown that film critics didn't even see the movie until a few days ahead of the movie's release December 18, 2015. It's one thing keeping a secret like that for a few days, but imagine keeping Han Solo's death quiet for two years.

 

han solo star wars"When that scene happened in the movie theater with my wife she just turned and looked at me and said, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t tell me.' I was kind of in trouble," he joked. "It was the third time I’d seen the movie, the first time I saw it with my wife. So, I didn’t even watch the scene. I just turned and looked at her instead because I wanted to see her expression."

Though Rawley tells us he knows a lot about "Episode VIII," it's not like everyone at Hasbro knows what's going on in the upcoming "Star Wars" films. It's a very select group of people who are in the know. 

"We do get information really early and we’ll send team members out to Disney to do script reads so that we understand stories so that we can put our toys in context with the story and we cannot share any of that information with anyone," Rawley explains. " Even internally in the building, designers and people on other groups, we can’t really talk to them about it. It’s on a need-to-know [basis]. If they’re working on products that are influenced by the story, we’ll let them know some story elements but a lot of times we don’t even share the full story with the rest of the teams because they don’t need to know that Han Solo doesn’t make it through the movie."

We'll have to wait until the fall to see Hasbro's new line of "Star Wars" toys. "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" will be in theaters December  16, 2016.

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Here's how much everyone working on a blockbuster movie gets paid

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It takes almost a small village to make a big-budget summer movie, from the hundreds on set to the small clusters of CGI artists, sometimes spread out all over the world, who work on the special effects.

And though all of them put in a lot of hours, the pay for most of them can seem surprisingly slight.

To point that out, Vanity Fair created a credit role to a fake $200 million movie to show the take-home pay each person on a movie of that size roughly gets.

It should be noted that many of these are based on average union rates, so though it lists in the video below that a director on a project of this size earns $4 million, we assure you the J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielbergs of the world get a lot more than that.

But it is startling to see some of the below-the-line wages: costume designer, just $315,000; second assistant director, $126,815; stuntman who is put on fire, $7,503.

These might sound like big paydays, but most often these crew members are on set for six months to a year, and unless they have a lot of contacts in the business, it might be another year until they get work again.

Watch the video with all the credit pay amounts and see some of the figures below:

SEE ALSO: The unglamorous summer jobs 21 successful people had before they made it big

Director: $4 million



Executive producer: $1.1 million



Writer: $3.25 million



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 8 best science movies and shows on Netflix

The 21 best romantic movies you can watch on Netflix right now

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16 Candles

You can't beat a great love story.

That was proven, once more, this past weekend when the Emilia Clarke-starrer "Me Before You"earned an impressive $18.2 million at the box office, exceeding all expectations.

The mixture of pleasant weather outside and falling in love can be quite a potent combination, so we thought we'd help out those who are smitten with a list of the best romance movies on Netflix.

From classics like "Sixteen Candles" and "The Princess Bride" to those unique love stories you probably haven't caught like "Beyond the Lights" and "Meet the Patels," here are 21 titles you can watch right now.  

SEE ALSO: Here's how much everyone on a blockbuster movie gets paid

1. "13 Going on 30"

Jenna (Jennifer Garner) wants to be "thirty, flirty, and thriving," and realizes once she magically becomes 30 that her boyhood best friend (played by Mark Ruffalo) grew up to be hot.



2. "Adventureland"

Before starting the rest of his life, college grad James (Jesse Eisenberg) works a summer job and puts the moves on Kirsten Stewart. 



3. "Amelie"

A lonely Parisian (Audrey Tautou) with a creative mind is in search for love. A garden gnome also has one hell of a trip. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Tom Hiddleston just addressed the rumors that he'll be the next James Bond

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Tom Hiddleston Mike Pont Getty final

With Tom Hiddleston fever at an all-time high following reports that the actor is having “advanced” talks to be the next James Bond, Hiddleston calmed everyone down when the question came up at Wizard World Comic Con over the weekend.

"I’m sorry to disappoint you, everybody,” the Brit told the audience. “I don’t think that announcement is coming. There’s not much that I can say that I haven’t already said, your guess is as good as mine, to be honest.”

We should note that though there have been reports that current Bond, Daniel Craig, has turned down $100 million to be in two more 007 movies, the actor has not officially commented at all.

So you can look at it two ways: The producers of the Bond movies began talking to Hiddleston to lure Craig back to the negotiation table, or Hiddleston is being his charming self and deflecting all talk until he signs a contract to be the next Bond.

Here are Hiddleston’s comments in full:

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Leonardo DiCaprio is being considered to play a Muslim poet, and people are outraged

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leonardo dicaprio

The screenwriter of "Gladiator," David Franzoni, is beginning work on a biopic about 13th-century Muslim poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi, and his idea for who could play the role is not going over well with people.

According to The Guardian, Leonardo DiCaprio is his first choice to play Rumi. He also mentioned Robert Downey Jr. for the role of Shams Tabrizi, spiritual instructor of Rumi.

Though Franzoni and the film's producer, Stephen Joel Brown, say casting is still far off, Brown points out that these A-list names are the "level of casting we're taking about."

But early rumblings of Oscar winner DiCaprio potentially playing Rumi have caused many on the internet to call out the project as the latest example of Hollywood whitewashing. Critics are using the hashtag #RumiWasntWhite.

The film will focus on Rumi's teachings and his encounter with Shams, according to The Guardian story, but it looks like casting will be a major hurdle. With audiences being more vocal than ever about the authenticity of casting, Franzoni and Brown will need to tread lightly to make sure the project doesn't become another "Exodus: Gods and Kings" or "Gods of Egypt." In both of those films, the cast was predominately made up of Europeans.

Both movies ended up being box-office busts. 

SEE ALSO: Tom Hiddleston just addressed the rumors that he'll be the next James Bond

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Here's how the new 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' movie looks without visual effects

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Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Raphael are all back in theaters right now in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows."

While you'll see the classic characters polished on the big screen ...

TMNT Lula Carvalho Paramount

... that's not how they looked while filming.

ninja turtles motion capture suits

Visual effects were used to bring the turtles to life. Paramount Pictures released a featurette Tuesday afternoon showing off exactly how the quad looks while filming. A lot of motion capture was used to bring the NYC-dwelling ninjas to theaters.

Motion capture helps capture the smallest movements and facial expressions on an actor to translate those onto CG characters. The four actors — Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, and Alan Ritchson — didn't only have to wear full motion capture suits. They also had to have motion capture turtle shell backpacks on them while filming. 

Look at these things:

ninja turtles motion captureninja turtle motion capture suits"All that mo-cap gear has really become a second skin at this point,” said Leonardo actor Pete Ploszek in the featurette.

ninja turtles 2 motion capture suitsThough the actors had to wear bulky motion capture suits while filming, they were able to ditch the shells while delivering lines for the movie. 

ninja turtles 2 motion captureninja turtles motion capture All of the mo-cap footage is then used to help perfect the look of the turtles.

ninja turtles motion capture visual effects

You can check out the full feature below:

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Matt Damon returns in the new 'Jason Bourne' trailer to save summer movies

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The summer movie season is in a funk at the moment, with recent titles like "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" and "X-Men: Apocalypse" underperforming. So there's a need for a franchise to step up and prove its worth. 

Though "Finding Dory" will bring some light, on the action end you may have to wait until the end of July for a satisfying experience when Matt Damon returns to the Bourne franchise with "Jason Bourne" (in theaters July 29).

The latest trailer shows that Damon will be kicking some major butt. Hollywood hopes that will lead to a late-summer rebound at the box office.

Watch the trailer here:

SEE ALSO: Here's how much everyone on a blockbuster movie gets paid

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Billionaire Sean Parker's innovative movie startup is already a dud according to one exec — here's why

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sean parker

Though Sean Parker’s latest startup proposing to offer movies still in theaters for home viewing has received a lot of press, according to an executive in the movie exhibition industry, the company isn’t making much noise in Hollywood.

“It didn’t get a lot of traction in the industry itself,” said Patrick Corcoran, vice president and chief communications officer for the National Association of Theatre Owners, according to Variety

Parker’s Screening Room would offer new theatrical releases to stream at home for a rental price of $50 each. Director Peter Jackson, the only person involved with Screening Room who has spoken extensively about it, told Deadline that the mission of the company is to “inject health” into the movie industry by splitting the money Screening Room gets with exhibitors so, as Jackson puts it, the theaters and studios use the money to "improve the [cinematic] experience" and "get more films made."

But Corcoran pointed out at a conference on Thursday that eliminating the window between the theatrical release and when people can see a movie at home wouldn’t help theaters.

“Any talk about shortening the window is not in order to benefit the theatrical market,” he said. “It is because of the difficulties in the home [entertainment] market.”

Though the domestic box office saw a record $11 billion in earnings in 2015 (thanks “Star Wars”), the Blu-ray/DVD industry is continuing to crumble, as it has lost $6 billion in revenue since 2005, according to Variety.

This is likely why Screening Room isn’t gaining many fans on the industry side in Hollywood. Though theatrical box office is only living off a handful of hits a year (which is scary), keeping a window between theatrical and home viewing is critical for making that possible.

Corcoran said at the conference that it’s vital for the industry to protect the “exclusivity” of the theatrical release window.

Currently, the fate of Screening Room is unknown. Neither Parker nor anyone else running the company has commented about it.

SEE ALSO: The $35,000 device that the super-rich use at home to stream movies still in theaters

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Disney tapped a huge Broadway star for a few exciting collaborations

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moana

Disney has an uncanny knack for cashing in on the biggest stars.

Their latest partnership is with Broadway's Lin-Manuel Miranda, the man behind the Tony Award-winning musical "In the Heights," and this year's phenomenon "Hamilton."

It was announced earlier this year that Miranda will be starring alongside Emily Blunt in a sequel to Disney's "Mary Poppins." While Blunt will be portraying the classic nanny, Miranda will play a new character named Jack.

This announcement is the latest in a string of collaborations the composer and actor has done with the studio since 2015.

In August 2015, Miranda rapped about his new role as a composer for Disney's upcoming animated film "Moana."

The film stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as a demigod named Maui who helps Moana, a young girl on a quest to save her people. Johnson and Miranda hit the studio in February to record songs for the movie.

Also in 2015, Miranda worked with director J.J. Abrams on music for Disney's monster-hit "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Miranda approached Abrams during "Hamilton's" intermission and told him he'd write cantina music if needed. They composed the cantina music over the span of two months.

But even before these three major collaborations, Miranda had already worked with the studio once before. His first time working with Disney was a small part in 2012's "The Odd Life of Timothy Green."

Miranda has already won Emmy, Grammy, and Tony awards, and it wouldn't be far-fetched to think that he could win an Oscar — and complete the EGOT — for his future collaborations with Disney, maybe even for "Moana."

 

Miranda and Disney have built up a successful repertoire over the years, so don't be surprised if Miranda and Disney continue to collaborate in the future. It's a good deal for the both of them.

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The new 'Warcraft' movie is a major disappointment — and I'm a huge 'Warcraft' fan

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It's pretty rare to go into a movie expecting nothing and get less than that out of it, but "Warcraft" somehow accomplished that feat.

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I gave three years of my life to "World of Warcraft," the gigantic online world that, at one point, boasted 12 million active subscribers. Though I can't see myself ever going back, I have a ton of fond memories of running around the enormous fantasy world of Azeroth, taking in all of the game's great quests with the friends I made along the way.

My time with the game didn't make me want it as a film. It's a super fun world to inhabit as a player, sure, but the writing was always cheesy (in a bad way), and it's a giant melting pot of different generic fantasy tropes that I always figured wouldn't be much fun to watch.

It turns out that my instinct was spot on.

To its credit, the "Warcraft" movie is a fairly faithful adaptation of the original 1994 strategy game (all of its characters are either way older or dead by the time "World of Warcraft" takes place), but there's no real value in faithfully adapting a story that wasn't very good to start. Its sequels had slightly more narrative weight, but that first game is just another fantasy war between angry, green-skinned orcs and noble, virtuous humans. 

No, really: the original game was just called "Warcraft: Orcs & Humans." That's such well-worn territory that I'm sure the writers of the "Angry Birds" movie had more fun crafting a plot.

world of warcraft movie

Easily the worst thing about "Warcraft," though, is that it was only made for people who like the games.

My gut feeling while watching it is that it would be impossible to follow unless you already know the lore of the world. Tech Insider senior editor Ben Gilbert (who has never played the games) confirmed this when he saw the movie.

The film's story is seemingly missing 45 minutes of world-building, but even that wouldn't have saved it from its mindnumbingly boring action sequences and wooden acting. That's not to say the cast members are untalented; I just get the feeling none of them wanted to be involved with this thing.

"Warcraft" had a reported budget of $160 million, backing from a major studio in Legendary Pictures and a talented writer-director in Duncan Jones (who did "Moon" and "Source Code"), things most video game movies could only dream of having. None of that was enough to overcome the fact that "Warcraft" is a lot more fun to play than it is to watch. 

It may be odd to call something "disappointing" when I expected nothing from it, but that's a testament to how bad it was. It could've been a film that attracted new people to the games. It could've been a well-done extension of a beloved franchise. Instead, it caters exclusively to people who already know these stories and these characters in better places. And it's not even competent at doing that.

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