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'Solo' bombs at the box office taking in only $83 million over the weekend and $101 million by Memorial Day (DIS)


Solo2 Disney

  • "Solo: A Star Wars Story" earned an estimated $83 million over three days, $101 million by Memorial Day.
  • That's $29 million under original industry low-end projections for the movie.
  • This marks the lowest opening for a "Star Wars" movie since 2002's "Attack of the Clones" (not counting inflation).
  • "Solo" is the latest victim of disappointing Memorial Day weekend releases.

It turns out "Star Wars" is not bulletproof.

The beloved franchise released its latest "A Star Wars Story" movie over Memorial Day weekend by telling the origin story of space scoundrel Han Solo, and it greatly underperformed.

"Solo: A Star Wars Story" earned an estimated $83 million domestically over the weekend and is projected to take in $101 million by Memorial Day, according to Exhibitor Relations. That's $29 million off what the industry had for the movie's low-end projection.

In the middle of last week, "Solo" was projected to earn between $130 million and $150 million on 4,381 screens. If that held, "Solo" would be set up to be the latest "Star Wars" movie having a record-breaking box office opening — taking the crown from current Memorial Day record holder, 2007's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" with $139.8 million.

But by the end of day Friday, Disney hinted that the weekend wouldn't go according to plan as it drastically adjusted that projection to between $105 million and $115 million over the four-day weekend.

The $101 million performance by Memorial Day for "Solo" would be strong for any other movie at any other studio — especially over a holiday weekend where audiences would rather be outside than in a theater — but for a "Star Wars" movie, this just doesn't cut it.

"Solo" went into the weekend on a strong note. The movie took in $14.1 million at Thursday night previews, a record for Memorial Day (beating "At World's End," which took in $13.2 million). But there were signs that the movie would not be a huge money maker like other "Star Wars" movies that have been released since Disney bought the franchise.

Even if "Solo" hit the high-end of its original industry projections, it wasn't likely to even have the opening weekend of 2016's "Rogue One," which took in $155 million, the lowest opening weekend for a "Star Wars" movie since "The Force Awakens."

Solo Disney finalThe opening three-day performance by "Solo" is the lowest for a "Star Wars" movie since 2002's "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones," which took in $80 million. But back in 2002 that was quite a feat — counting inflation, that would be a $126.1 million opening in 2018.

"Solo" may have had in-production drama — the movie's original directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, were fired over creative differences and replaced by Ron Howard — but you can't equate that with its poor box office.

"Rogue One" had its own drama, as director Gareth Edwards had to take a backseat to the more experienced helmer Tony Gilroy during the reshoots of the movie, and that went on to earn over $1 billion at the global box office.

The weak performance by "Solo" is due more to three big obstacles — opening over Memorial Day weekend, "Star Wars" fatigue, and the movie's lackluster reviews.

Opening over the Memorial Day weekend, "Star Wars" was thrown headfirst into the cutthroat summer movie season (hits "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Deadpool 2" being the main combatants). It's a much more competitive time at multiplexes than December, which has been the home for "Star Wars" movies since "The Force Awakens."

Also, over the last decade moviegoers have been less interested to go to the theater over Memorial Day weekend, which for most areas of the country is the first time to enjoy the nice weather outside.

Pirates of the CaribbeanDeadMenTellNoTalesDisneyfinalLast year, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" opened over Memorial Day's four-day weekend and took in $78.4 million. That was just under its $80 million to $85 million projections, and the lowest opening for a "Pirates" movie since the first one, 2003's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" ($46.6 million).

Other movies that opened over Memorial Day weekend and were DOA include "Tomorrowland" ($33 million opening weekend), "Alice Through the Looking Glass" ($26.8 million), and "X-Men: Apocalypse" ($65.7 million).

In this field, the "Solo" opening doesn't look so bad. But the rules change when you talk about "Star Wars."

Yes, "Star Wars" fatigue is a thing. With "Solo" opening five months after "The Last Jedi," audiences just weren't motivated for another story from the saga that quickly, even one about one of its most legendary characters. You could make the argument that Marvel released "Avengers: Infinity Wars" two months after "Black Panther" and there certainly wasn't any MCU fatigue.

But in that instance, it went from releasing an origin story followed by an established Avengers movie. It also didn't hurt that "Infinity War" practically starred every character from the MCU. Audiences weren't exhausted; they were pumped up for it. Also, things are a lot easier when both movies close to one another are great.

If "Solo" was a better movie, this would all be moot. But with its 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the lowest since"Attack of the Clones," it did not possess the have to see it first weekend hype that the other "Star Wars" movies had.

With all these factors combined, clearly for most, going to the beach or a barbecue was the better option this holiday weekend.

SEE ALSO: A creator of the original Millennium Falcon describes who the legendary "Star Wars" ship was made with airplane scraps and lots of imagination

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Insiders say MoviePass is both a blessing and a curse to independent movie theaters (HMNY)


moviepass business insider

  • Though the major multiplexes say they can't stand MoviePass, independently owned movie theaters are willing to play ball.
  • Chains like Landmark Theatres and Studio Movie Grill have partnered with the app.
  • However, there are others that just tolerate MoviePass because their audiences use it.

When MoviePass announced a radical change to its business model last summer — offering monthly subscriptions for around $10 a month to see a single movie at a theater, once per day — the major multiplex chains instantly opposed it. AMC Theaters, the biggest chain in the world, even announced that it was consulting its lawyers to find a way to not accept MoviePass.

But for independent theater owners, and theaters run by non-profits, the reaction to MoviePass’ bold new endeavor has been a feeling of cautious optimism. 

Unlike the large chains, arthouse theaters are more willing to take chances to potentially get more people through the turnstiles, as they historically have constantly had to find ways to keep the doors open. This has led to some theater owners fully buying into MoviePass’ popularity, going as far as doing partnerships with the company. However, there are many also keeping an arm’s distance and waiting to see if the company can prove it can overcome its financial woes.

“We don’t promote it, we don’t oppose it, we want to make our customers happy and if they want to use MoviePass then we do it,” Dylan Skolnick, co-director of Cinema Arts Centre, an arthouse in Long Island, told Business Insider. 

cinema arts centre cineam treasuresAnd that’s the same sentiment made by most theaters owners and marketing heads Business Insider spoke to. Theaters are reimbursed the full ticket price from MoviePass for the tickets their customers purchase. Independent theaters are happy to take the money MoviePass is giving them and willing to take the grief from their customers when the MoviePass app doesn't work or there are claims of being overcharged — as long as MoviePass keeps sending the money. 

“My only concern is if this company does shut down that the customers who have gotten used to it and love it will go back to how they felt about movie tickets,” said David Huffman, director of marketing for Cleveland Cinemas, which operates 46 screens at 7 locations. “I fear the backlash will be on us.”

But then there’s the concern from some who wonder what happens if MoviePass can sustain itself and gets bigger. Some independently owned theaters offer memberships to theatergoers for discount tickets and other perks. MoviePass now puts a wrinkle in some of those offers. 

“That realization hit me a few weeks ago,” said John Ewing, cofounder and director of the non-profit Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. “I realized the main perk for being a member of ours is to save money on ticket prices and a number of regulars do have MoviePass. So we might be hurt when it comes time for membership renewal. Though I would like to think that these people are in our court enough that they would still support us.”

One option for some of these theaters would be to discontinue using MoviePass, but that comes with its own dilemma — as AMC's lawyers likely learned. Because MoviePass works through MasterCard that means theaters would have to discontinue accepting MasterCard as well. 

“You really don’t have any choice,” Skolnick said. “We already annoy people a little because we don’t accept American Express.”

Finding success in partnering with MoviePass

Then there are those theaters that have gone into a partnership with MoviePass.

In late March, MoviePass announced it was partnering with one of the country’s largest arthouse chains, Landmark Theatres. MoviePass is now integrated into the ticket system for the chain’s 255 screens in 53 theaters in 27 markets.

MoviePass members who use the service at a Landmark theater receive perks they don’t get at other theaters, like e-ticketing and advanced seat reservations through the app. In return, MoviePass receives a discount on the tickets it has to pay for.

It’s similar to a deal MoviePass has been doing with Studio Movie Grill. The in-theater dining chain that has 314 screens in 30 locations in 9 states agreed to a partnership with MoviePass in 2016, long before the app slashed its price to $9.95 last August.

Studio Movie Grill founder and CEO Brian Schultz has zero regrets. Because his chain was one of the few that partnered with MoviePass before the onslaught of new subscribers, he’s been able to track how it’s helped his company and it's striking.

“We’re seeing more exploration on the smaller indie films but we’re also seeing pretty high attendance on non-peak third and fourth week on the big movies,” Schultz said of MoviePass usage at Studio Movie Grill. “It’s driving us off-peak.”

Schultz said that attendance due to MoviePass for big opening weekends like “Avengers: Infinity War” or “Deadpool 2” was very low due to the high volume of presale orders for those movies. But where he's seen a spike in MoviePass usage is for those same titles when audiences return to see the movie again the following weeks.

studio movie grill cinematreasuresThe push of MoviePass during those low traffic periods helped Studio Movie Grill score record attendance in 2017.

Schultz did not go into specifics on what his partnership deal with MoviePass entails, only saying that on “incremental attendance” from MoviePass he pays them a fee.

“We don't want to share in the revenue, what we’ve asked exhibitors is to give us the same bulk rate discount they would give anyone who is going to buy $20,000 to $100,000 worth of tickets a month,” said MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, who compared what they want to the 20%-25% discount Costco receives for selling AMC tickets in bulk. “The bottom line is it’s really in exchange for us driving a whole bunch of more people to your theater at our cost.”

Lowe said that currently MoviePass has partnered with independent theaters representing 2,000 screens and hopes to get to 5,000 screens by the end of the year.

However, even if MoviePass grows substantially in the coming years — it currently boasts that it accounts for 6% of the domestic box office — people who work in the movie theater space tell Business Insider it would be quite difficult for the company to make a deal where it would get a taste of box-office profits from exhibitors. That's mainly because theaters see so little already.

“The general percentage that the distributor gets is usually between 35% and 40% of the box office, it can be a little higher,” veteran movie booker Jessica Rosner said. “If you're the venue and MoviePass wants a percentage of what’s left? That’s crazy.”

Numerous theaters voiced a concern to Business Insider that MoviePass' next move may be to try and take a percentage of concessions made by theaters (which is the lifeblood of movie theaters). Lowe said currently MoviePass has no plans to propose a partnership where it would receive a percentage of concessions that were driven by MoviePass subscribers.

Despite the ongoing discussion of how a popular service like MoviePass can make money in a business where the pie has been divided so many ways for so many decades, everyone universally agrees that the service is good for theater attendance — which suffered a 25-year low in the US last year.

“The industry needs to have years where we have attendance increases or else we can't be a healthy business,” Schultz said. “We can talk about box office and other things, but we need to drive people through the door. MoviePass could be an important piece of driving that. Studios are trying to innovate, I think exhibitors should try to innovate and I like ideas that drive more people to the box office.”

Have a tip about MoviePass or anything else? Email jguerrasio@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: "It has become a bit of an obsession": Meet the MoviePass fanatics who go to the cinema a dozen times a month

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Terry Crews explains how the X-Force joke in 'Deadpool 2' was pulled off, including shooting a scene they knew would never be in the movie



  • Terry Crews plays Bedlam, a member of X-Force, in "Deadpool 2."
  • But this version of a team of more edgy X-Men mutants doesn't last long in the movie.
  • Crews explains how the X-Force sequence in "Deadpool 2" turned out to be a huge practical joke on the audience.

Warning: MAJOR spoilers below if you haven't seen "Deadpool 2."

The birth of the X-Force was in the trailers, posters, and almost all other marketing for "Deadpool 2."

But if you saw the latest Marvel hit over the weekend, you know the formation of a grittier version of the X-Men didn't happen the way the movie's marketing teased it.

Let's set the stage. In "Deadpool 2," the Merc With a Mouth finds himself up against a soldier from the future, Cable, who is driven to kill a young mutant named Russell. Deadpool, by this point in the movie, has alienated himself from the only X-Men members who would talk to him, and he decides to form his own super team to stop Cable. He calls it X-Force.

Enter the mutants Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård), Vanisher, Domino (Zazie Beetz), and Peter (Rob Delaney). Well, Peter isn't a mutant, but he wowed Deadpool at the audition. They team up with Deadpool and head out to take on Cable and spring Russell from prison. They all skydive from a large plane to pull off their plan.

Almost all of this is teased in the trailers. But what happens next is one of the biggest shocks of the movie.

Because of strong winds on the day Deadpool decides to do the jump, his X-Force mates veer off course, and they all suffer horrific deaths — except for Domino because her superpower is being really, really lucky. Bedlam glides facefirst into the windshield of a bus. Shatterstar is chopped up by helicopter blades. Peter dies after being covered in the acid vomit spewed by Zeitgeist just before he's sucked into a wood chipper. And Vanisher flies right into power lines — with the electrical shock revealing he's played by Brad Pitt.

The sequence is one of the most memorable from the movie and is the biggest example of the lengths Ryan Reynolds and the director David Leitch went to give audiences a very different superhero sequel.

Business Insider talked to Terry Crews about what it was like to be a part of the movie's biggest joke, why there was fight footage of Bedlam in the trailers if it wasn't going to be in the movie, and whether anyone on the set knew Brad Pitt was playing Vanisher.

Jason Guerrasio: Going into doing the movie, were they straight up with you about the fate of Bedlam?

Terry Crews: I knew everything. We were trolling the world. That was the whole point. And the big thing was to keep it a secret. That was the hardest part. I didn't even tell my wife what was going to happen. My son was like, "What happens?" and I was like, "I'm not going to tell you."

Terry Crews Deadpool 2 FoxGuerrasio: So what many people, like me, are wondering after seeing the movie is what is that footage of you knocking someone out in the trailer? Did you guys shoot more X-Force footage?

Crews: [Laughs.] Yes. We shot a whole scene that we knew was never going to be in the movie. I'm telling you, it's the biggest troll of all time. I couldn't believe we were going to do this.

Guerrasio: They were just going to use that footage for the marketing knowing it wasn't going to be in the movie.

Crews: Exactly. Everything that we shot that isn't in the movie was done to fool everybody to think that me and the other members of X-Force were going to be in the movie the whole time.

Guerrasio: That's amazing.

Crews: And I felt horrible. The fans were excited. But, to me, the purpose was to give the audience something they would never expect. And it was crazy to keep all that a secret. When we were shooting in Vancouver I had to walk around with blankets over me because there were spies. I just got a few pages, sometimes even just a few lines of the script. Our goal was not to let anyone find out what we were going to do. Because the fanboy culture wants to find out everything before it happens.

Guerrasio: So you're at the world premiere of the movie, you are one of the few people in that room that knows it's coming. What was the reaction when the X-Force start dropping one by one?

Crews: When I was first on-screen the audience went crazy, and I just felt so bad because it's basically a giant practical joke. [Laughs.] So I'm just bracing for it and then we jump out of the plane and our parachutes start going wild, gradually you notice the audience can tell something is wrong. As we died one by one I could feel in the audience people realizing that this isn't the start of X-Force that they thought they were getting. There was just this audible gasp. When they show Deadpool walking by me and people were trying to revive me by the bus, people around me in the theater were just like, "What the?" It was so good.

deadpool 2 poster foxGuerrasio: Did you guys shoot different deaths, or was that always Bedlam's fate?

Crews: That was it. He was always going to get hit by a bus.

Guerrasio: How about the reveal of who Vanisher was? Did you know it was Brad Pitt before seeing the movie?

Crews: That was a total surprise for me.

Guerrasio: So you guys on set doing the scenes didn't know?

Crews: Nope. I did not know. I had no idea.

Guerrasio: How did they shoot the Vanisher character? Was it just a guy in a head-to-toe green suit wearing a parachute sitting with you guys in the plane scene?

Crews: Not even that. In the scene where we are all sitting around they just had two indented pillows to make it look like Vanisher was sitting there. And then in the plane scene there was a harness rigged to look like a body was wearing the parachute. There wasn't anyone in a green suit. We were just acting like there was a person there the whole time.

This is what everyone has to appreciate, the level of which this whole thing was done is on another level. There were layers upon layers. This is "The Matrix"-meets-"Inception"-type level. And this is why it's so satisfying. At this point in the superhero genre everyone has seen everything. Nothing rivals what we've done here.

Guerrasio: So the future of Bedlam, are you just waiting for a phone call?

Crews: I'm waiting. There's nothing that will prevent me from being in stuff, but there's nothing that says I'm locked up for seven pictures. This is Marvel. I'm open to anything and everything. And it's funny, some folks are like this is my only shot at a franchise. But hey, Josh Brolin is now two different characters in the Marvel universe — Cable and Thanos. Michael B. Jordan did "Fantastic Four" and "Black Panther." There's no limits here, that I can see. To be honest, I love that Bedlam is a character a lot of people don't know about because hopefully we can grow it into something. I'm ready for anything. And with what is shown at the end of the movie, the way they are fooling with time—

Guerrasio: Ah, I was waiting for you to give me this tease.

Crews: [Laughs.] There's always ways to bring me back.

Guerrasio: It's really a testament to you guys keeping this under wraps. As you know, this is an industry of big egos, one of you guys could have been so upset that you all are only in a few minutes of the movie following all that marketing hype they could just leaked everything.

Crews: Oh, easy. It all could have fallen apart at any time. The other day me and Ryan hugged each other and he was just like, "Thank you." It feels good.

SEE ALSO: "Deadpool 2" director opens up about the pressures of jumping into a hit franchise and what working with Ryan Reynolds was like

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'Solo' is the latest 'Star Wars' movie to bomb in China, and Disney has a big problem on its hands (DIS)


Solo Disney final

  • "Solo: A Star Wars Story" had a bad Memorial Day weekend domestically but an even worse one in China.
  • The latest "Star Wars" movie earned only $10.1 million in the world's second-largest movie market.
  • This continues the consistent lackluster performance the franchise has had in the Middle Kingdom.

There aren't many instances in which Disney is on the wrong end of a box-office story, but this Memorial Day weekend, that's exactly what happened.

"Solo," the origin story of the legendary "Star Wars" character Han Solo, bombed not just domestically but also in the all-important international market.

"Solo" earned just $65 million internationally, according to weekend estimates. That's nowhere close to the Disney's Skywalker saga releases — "The Force Awakens" and "The Last Jedi," each of which did well over $200 million — or even its standalone release "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," which took in $135 million internationally its opening weekend.

"Solo" performed particularly poorly in China, the world's second-largest movie market.

The release made only $10.1 million in the Middle Kingdom, according to early estimates. That put it in third place for the weekend behind two holdovers, "Avengers: Infinity War" ($18 million) and the top earner for the weekend, the Chinese romantic comedy "How Long Will I Love U" ($25 million).

Historically, "Star Wars" has never grabbed the attention in China, but this is a new low for the franchise.

"The Force Awakens" is the only movie in the franchise's Disney era to make any noise there. It was able to muster a respectable $52.3 million opening weekend, which might have made Disney think China was ready for "Star Wars." It went on to earn $124.1 million its full run there. But it turns out you can chalk that up to the movie just being a global sensation. More recently, "The Last Jedi" had a $28.1 million opening and went on to earn only $42.5 million there. And "Rogue One," even with the casting of the Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen, pulled off just a $30 million opening ($69.4 million for its entire run).

RampageCompare that with how Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's movies perform in China, and it's a sobering reality for Disney.

Whether it's the "Fast and Furious" movies ("The Fate of the Furious" had a $184.9 million opening and went on to make $392.8 million) or titles in which he's the driving force like "San Andreas" ($52.2 million opening, $103.1 million total) or "Rampage" ($55 million open, $154.2 million total), audiences in China can't get enough of him.

It's not all bad for Disney in China, though. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has consistently been strong there. A big reason for that is that unlike "Star Wars," the MCU films have been released in China since the franchise's inception. The original "Star Wars" trilogy wasn't released in China until "A New Hope" opened in 2015.

But "Solo" may prompt Disney to change up its "Star Wars" strategy in China. This could mean less spending on marketing or a softer release strategy. The problem with that would be that Disney never does anything small with "Star Wars," and, more important, China is only growing in the movie business.

In the coming years, China is likely to surpass the US as the world's top movie market thanks to the country's massive building of movie theaters and its own successful homegrown movie productions. Disney certainly doesn't want to be on the outside looking in, especially with one of its major pieces of intellectual property.

Most in the industry whom Business Insider has spoken with are taking a wait-and-see approach in how Disney will go forward with "Star Wars" in China.

"The Middle Kingdom treats 'Star Wars' like a second-class cinematic citizen," Jeff Bock, a senior analyst for Exhibitor Relations, told Business Insider over the weekend. "They just aren't taken with the space saga, and unless Dwayne Johnson jumps on board, these lackluster grosses will continue."

As far as we know, The Rock isn't joining the franchise anytime soon.

SEE ALSO: "Solo" bombs at the box office, taking in only $83 million over the weekend and $101 million by Memorial Day

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Morgan Freeman's lawyer demands that CNN retract its sexual harassment story on the actor


morgan freeman

  • An attorney for Morgan Freeman sent a letter to CNN president Jeff Zucker demanding the retraction of a CNN report in which eight women accused the actor of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment.
  • In the letter, obtained by multiple outlets on Tuesday, Freeman's lawyer called the CNN report a "product of malicious intent, falsehoods, slight-of-hand [sic], an absence of editorial control, and journalistic malpractice."

A lawyer for Morgan Freeman is demanding the retraction of a CNN report published last week, in which eight women accused the actor of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment.

Freeman's attorney, Robert M. Schwartz, sent a 10-page letter to CNN president Jeff Zucker saying that CNN's report "defamed" and "inflicted serious injury" on Freeman and his career. The letter was obtained by multiple outlets on Tuesday, including Variety and Deadline

"At a minimum, CNN immediately needs to issue a retraction and apologize to Mr. Freeman through the same channels, and with the same level of attention, that it used to unjustly attack him on May 24," Schwartz wrote. 

Schwartz wrote that his law firm had begun an investigation into the report, which he called a "product of malicious intent, falsehoods, slight-of-hand [sic], an absence of editorial control, and journalistic malpractice."

The attorney wrote that CNN reporter Chloe Melas, who cowrote the report and accused Freeman of making inappropriate comments about her appearance at a press junket last year, had "no reasonable basis" to interpret what Freeman said to her as harassment.

Melas said Freeman told her during a 2017 interview when she was six months pregnant, among other comments, that "you are ripe."

"Videotape confirms that his statement had nothing to do with [Melas] and was not harassing. And an independent third party, the Warner Bros. Human Resources Department, investigated her claim and concluded that it was not supported by the facts," Schwartz wrote. 

Among the seven other accusers in the report, an unnamed production assistant who worked on the set of the 2017 movie "Going in Style" said she experienced several months of sexual harassment from Freeman on the film's set, including unwanted touching and comments. The woman said Freeman "kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear."

"Ms. Melas baited and prodded supposed 'witnesses' to say bad things about Mr. Freeman and tried to get them to confirm her bias against him. Thus, no reader of the article can have any confidence that any of the anonymous sources, which make up the balance of CNN's article, can be relied upon at all," he continued.

CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Read the attorney's full letter at Deadline

SEE ALSO: 8 women accuse Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment

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The devastating end of 'Infinity War' was almost going to be the beginning of the next 'Avengers' movie


avengers infinity war thanos gauntlet

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for "Avengers: Infinity War."

"Avengers: Infinity War" ends on one heck of a cliffhanger.

After Thanos acquires all six Infinity stones he rids of half the universe with a simple snap of his fingers. Even if you had read the comic from which the movie was partly inspired, the sudden deaths of many fan favorites were very unexpected. 

It was a perfect cliffhanger ending for next summer's "Avengers 4," but we could have had to wait until the beginning of the sequel to see the devastation go down.

"Infinity War" screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely told The New York Times a draft of the script had Thanos' snap happening in the second film. 

"What we realized is, it would feel more like a cliffhanger than we intended," said Markus.

If the snap was in "Avengers 4," Markus said it "would be a continuation of exactly what you were watching before" and directors Anthony and Joe Russo have said that's not what they're aiming for with these two movies. The third and fourth "Avengers" films are two very distinct movies. 

"It isn't a true two-parter," Joe Russo told a group of press on set of "Infinity War.""I think the two-parter concept came back when Marvel decided they were going to culminate the MCU, it was going to be a two-movie deal. But as we developed the movie, in execution, it ended up being more of two singular expressions."

avengers infinity war chris evans

Markus and McFeely didn't say where "Infinity War" would have ended if the big snap occurred in the second film, but it sounds like it would have been a bit more anticlimactic with Thanos simply acquiring all six gem stones. Even more bothersome would have been if the movie ended on the snap itself before fading to black.

Thankfully, we didn't get any of those things.

McFeely told The New York Times it made more sense to deliver all the way with a "tragic ending" in "Infinity War" to pave the path for a sequel "where mysterious things happen."

What are those mysterious things? 

Many believe "Avengers 4" will involve time travel and diving into the quantum realm, which was introduced in "Ant-Man." We'll probably get more of a hint when "Ant-Man and the Wasp" comes to theaters July 6.

You can follow along with our "Infinity War" coverage here. 

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Why American actors suck at British accents


Lots of British actors have really nailed their American accents, but Americans can't seem to imitate their peers across the pond. We spoke with Erik Singer, a dialect coach based in New York, to find out why British actors appear to be so much more skillful when it comes to accents and dialect on the big screen. Following is a transcript of the video.

Kevin Costner: Sheriff calls us outlaws. But I say we are free.

Cary Elwes: Unlike some other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an English accent.

Narrator: There are countless examples of American actors who do terrible British accents.

Keanu Charles Reeves: I've seen many strange things already.

Dick Van Dyke: Mary Poppins, you look beautiful.

Narrator: While most British actors appear to have perfected their American accents.

Kate Winslet: Is that the going rate for saving the woman you love?

Andrew Lincoln: But, I'm gonna kill you.

Narrator: So why do Americans have such a tough time?

Erik Singer: I think part of it is an illusion. I think part of it is just the fact that we actually hear a lot more British actors doing American accents.

Narrator: Erik Singer is a dialect coach based in New York.

Singer: How many accents and dialects can I do? All of them.

Narrator: He works with actors to fine tune their accents for film and TV.

Singer: I think we can probably think of some accents from British actors in American accents that are less successful.

Orlando Bloom: I can't imagine a world without you.

Ray Winstone: There are guys you can hit. And there's guys you can't.

Singer: The British actors who do really successful American accents tend to live in the states tend to come here and really be sort of be aiming at the kind of success that, you know, having a career in TV and film that's produced in Hollywood represent. The American actors who do really good British accents, and there are plenty, tend to be under the radar a little bit more. You know they're doing theater in London or something like that.

Narrator: The type of training actors receive can also come into play.

Singer: More British actors tend to have a drama school training in which speech and accents and phonetics is part of it.

Narrator: So what are some examples of Americans who can do a good British accent?

Singer: I've heard some clips of Michael C. Hall in the Netflix series "Safe" doing an English accent that sounds really really really good.

Michael C. Hall: I'm looking for Jenny, my daughter, I think she was Chris last night, is she here?

Singer: Alan Tudyk does a great job, he's the robot in "Rogue One."

Alan Tudyk: I'm a reprogrammed Imperial Droid.

Narrator: On the flip side, Singer says there are numerous British actors who have really nailed their American accents.

Singer: Idris Elba's kind of African American accent in "The Wire."

Idris Elba: You going out on point pickin' up business in the pit. Ain't nothin' else to it.

Singer: Daniel Kaluuya did an amazing job, I think, in "Get Out."

Daniel Kaluuya: Yo, my man, they were asking me about the African American experience. Maybe you can take this one.

Singer: Mark Rylance, his native accent is English. He usually does a really great job in American accents.

Mark Rylance: Hello, I am James Halliday, if you're watching this, I'm dead.

Narrator: For those who have struggled with accents in the past.

Brad Pitt: I need that money, Tom.

Narrator: Singer has some tips for actors looking to hone their skills.

Singer: Listen to a native speaker, listen a lot and listen some more. It's an act of the imagination taking on another accent if you're not familiar with the culture, the place, the people or you don't have a strong kind of sense of empathetic identification that's when it gets really hard. Meryl Streep is famous for having done this a lot, being surrounded by people who talk in the target accent.

Meryl Streetp: 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

Singer: Meryl Streep doing Margaret Thatcher which is a very specific, it's an idiolect, it's one person's accent. But, it's absolutely flawless.

Narrator: When doing a British accent, there are a few basic things to keep in mind.

Singer: Posture wise the tongue tips tend to be pointier jaw tends to be a bit higher. I would listen particularly for sounds like goat, the o-sound where it's like hold, gold, hope. I tend to use a bit more pitch, tend to use pitch for emphasis a bit more so that'll get you started.

Narrator: There were many types of British accents. And some tend to be more difficult than others.

Singer: One thing that comes up for some reason is that a lot of Americans seem to really struggle with is Welsh accents. A lot of it is a lack of exposure. It's like Welsh, what does that even sound like for a lot of Americans. Unless you've gone to see a production of "Under Milk Wood" or something like that. You probably haven't been exposed to lots of Welsh accents.

Narrator: There's also one type of British accent that actors tend to lean on.

Singer: One of the first things that you'll see American actors do is kind of straighten up, yes, I've got to be like this. And there's an association with the kind of fanciness. Sometimes you'll see British actors kinda get soft and floppy and lean back 'cause American are all like that. Which is adding a particular character and attitude on top of an accent. And I think it's really important not to rely on those sorts of things. And to realize that people are people. And character is to a large extent, independent of accent.

Narrator: To perfect an American accent you need to focus on one key letter.

Singer: A huge thing is getting American r-sounds. And there's two things that can be challenging there. One of them is just making sure they're all there. And unstressed syllables like at the end of words like other and another, mother, sister, brother, you know, writer, baker. We tend to skip right over those.

Andrew Lincoln: Carl! Carl!

Singer: American r's usually are made for most people with the sides of the tongue kind of bunching up. It's a really odd thing to do with your tongue. And it can feel very awkward and clumsy and it involves a lot of muscularity.

Narrator: Regardless of your skills, sometimes your true accent will pop up unexpectedly.

Singer: Getting very emotional, yelling, also being tired or drunk, these are times when accents do tend to slip.

Christian Bale: I killed Bethany, my old girl friend with a nail gun.

Narrator: So how long does it take to master an accent?

Singer: It just depends, it really does. The more time the better. If you have six weeks before shooting starts or before rehearsals start for a play and you work on it really really hard, ideally with a really qualified dialect coach, you stand a pretty good shot of getting to a good place.

Keanu Charles Reeves: Yes sir, I will give it my full attention. Our work is finished here. Hers has just begun.

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How a true-life heist movie used the real criminals and victim to bring the story to life


american animals 2 the orchard moviepass ventures

  • "American Animals" looks at a thrilling heist that took place at Transylvania University in 2004.
  • Director Bart Layton explains to Business Insider the unique way he used the real-life criminals in his movie to make it more real than most "based on a true story" movies.

When a movie starts with the text “based on a true story,” audiences are meant to believe that what they are about to see is mostly true. But the words “based on” can be very misleading.

Often the rights to a true-life story are based on an article or book. This leads to the real-life people behind the story, if they are still alive, often not being involved in the storytelling. And that can mean the filmmakers taking a lot of major artistic liberties to get the story compelling enough for it to be worthy of the big screen.

But with a background in documentary filmmaking, director Bart Layton (“The Imposter”) wanted to change that perception with his new movie “American Animals” (in theaters Friday). And right from the opening, it promises to be different.

The text at the start boldly changes from reading “This is not based on a true story” to “This is a true story.”

Finding the men behind the heist

“American Animals” looks at the audacious attempted heist of priceless books from Transylvania University’s special collections library in 2004 by childhood friends Warren Lipka and Spencer Reinhard. The movie follows the two, along with two other fellow students they enlisted, as they plan and follow through with the heist. Every second they think they are masterminds when in fact they are a bunch of bored suburban kids who get in over their heads.

This may all sound like your typical heist movie, but here's the kicker: Layton also filmed the real members of the heist as well, so along with actors cast to play them, the movie also gets the perspective of the men who did it. The heist members even have on-screen discussions with the actors playing them at certain moments.

american animals the orchard moviepass venturesReinhard (played by Barry Keoghan), Lipka (Evan Peters), and the two other members — Chas Allen (Blake Jenner) and Eric Borsuk (Jared Abrahamson) — were all caught after the heist and went to prison for over seven years. It was during their stint in prison when Layton, who had come across their story in a magazine article while on a flight, began writing letters to the men.

“I wrote to each of them and asked why, what was the motivation?” Layton told Business Insider. “They sent back these surprising letters about doing it because they were searching for their identity and the realization that maybe they weren’t going to be interesting or special in life like how they were told they would be when they were brought up. For me it took it from a great story to an amazing story.”

For years, Layton had a correspondence with the men through letters while also feeding his interest in the subject by getting their case files and police reports of the heist through the Freedom of Information Act. And despite a “big Hollywood producer” having the life rights to the men, according to Layton, he began to work on a script for a movie that would depict how the heist went down.

A style of true story you've never seen before

Layton is no stranger to putting a unique spin on stories that are already ambitious in nature. His major breakout in the movie world was his award-winning 2012 documentary “The Imposter.” In it, he tells the story of a man who in 1997 convinced authorities on two continents that he was a boy who had gone missing three years earlier at the age of 13. He even convinced the boy’s family.

Layton didn't just film interviews with all the players involved — even the crafty admitted imposter, Frédéric Bourdin — but filmed Bourdin’s recollections through reenactments, blurring what was true and what was made up by Bourdin.

bart layton the orchard moviepass venturesFor “American Animals,” Layton wanted to go a step further. He believed having the real people placed into the narrative would heighten the truth.

“I wanted to experiment with this notion that there might be a new way in which to tell a true story,” Layton said. “A gripping roller coaster white knuckle heist movie but at the same time because of the inclusion of the real guys you have a connection to the truth and to the reality.”

While trading letters with the heist participants in prison, Layton was informed that the Hollywood producer declined to reacquire the rights after they lapsed, allowing Layton to nab them and go forward with his movie. When the heist members were through with their prison sentences, Layton asked them to be in the movie, though making it clear that they were not going to receive a major pay day for their involvement.

“It was nothing that would commensurate to life rights from Hollywood,” Layton said. “We paid them for their time. We didn’t want them to profit from this seeing they did something that’s not legal.”

Getting the victim to agree to be in the movie

“American Animals” concludes with how the heist went down, and though it's depicted with all its stranger-than-fiction qualities, it’s the added element Layton plugged in that really drives it home.

Layton was able to track down the librarian who was working the day the heist took place. Depicted by character actor Ann Dowd in the movie, at a point toward the end of the movie, the real Betty Jean Gooch comes on screen, dressed exactly how she is in the movie, and is interviewed about the experience. It’s a moment in the movie that stands out for Layton because it defines what he tried to do with the movie — building an added element of fact.

“I wanted her to get the last word,” Layton said, though he admitted she needed a lot of convincing to be in the movie.

Gooch, along with the four real-life heist members, were the few who saw the movie before it had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival (it was co-acquired there by The Orchard and MoviePass Ventures).

“She’s the only person I would have gone back into the finished film and changed anything," Layton said. “But she actually loved the film and said after we showed it to her that she could actually begin to find a degree of forgiveness toward the guys after all this time.”

SEE ALSO: "Solo" is the latest "Star Wars" movie to bomb in China, and Disney has a big problem on its hands

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7 great movies you can watch on Netflix this weekend


The Kings Speech Colin FirthNo plans this weekend? Thankfully, there are plenty of movies available on Netflix, and you don't have to choose among its entire catalog anymore.

Every week, we go through Netflix's inventory and select amazing movies that you can watch over the weekend.

We pick some that have recently come onto the service and mix in a few old favorites as well.

From Pixar's Oscar-winning tear-jerker "Coco," to the silly but enjoyable action-adventure "National Treasure" starring Nicolas Cage, these are some great movies on Netflix that you can watch over the weekend.

Here are seven movies you won't regret watching on Netflix:

SEE ALSO: All your favorite Netflix original shows that have been renewed for another season

"Coco" (2017)

Netflix description: On the Dia de los Muertos, young would-be musician Miguel crosses into the afterlife on a quest to meet his ancestor and understand his family legacy.

Critic score: 97%

Audience score: 94%

Before you watch this sweet and visually stunning Oscar winner from Pixar, make sure you have a lot of tissues, because it will make you cry a river. 

"The Truman Show" (1998)

Netflix description: Truman Burbank is the star of "The Truman Show," a 24-hour-a-day TV phenomenon that broadcasts every aspect of his life without his knowledge.

Critic score: 94%

Audience score: 88%

This film is one of the smartest movies from the 90s, and quickly became a classic for its thought-provoking twist and Jim Carrey's exemplary performance. It's such a pop-culture touchstone that people still discuss it 20 years later. 

"Other People" (2016)

Netflix description: After a bad breakup, a struggling New York comedy writer tries to don a brave face and care for his dying mother in Sacramento.

Critic score: 88%

Audience score: 79%

This dark comedy about death from "SNL" writer Chris Kelly doesn't exactly cover anything new, but has a fresh take on it. It's a smart, funny, emotional movie, and it's some of the best work Molly Shannon has ever done. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Netflix's 'The Kissing Booth' is a terrible rom-com full of slut-shaming and sexism — here's everything wrong with the movie


The Kissing Booth Ella Noah Netflix movie

  • Netflix's new romantic comedy "The Kissing Booth" is now streaming.
  • The high school-set rom-com is a sexist and regressive look at relationships that highlights the worst impulses of the genre.
  • Noah, the love interest, is a typical "bad boy" with a violent streak.
  • And the main character Elle is sexually harassed and never gains any sense of agency.

Netflix might be trying to corner the market on big-budget spectacles from some of Hollywood's hottest names — from the $90 million "Bright" to its multi-picture deal with Adam Sandler and Martin Scorsese's much-hyped "The Irishman" — but the streaming giant has quietly planted its stake in a less ambitious place: romantic comedies.

So far this year, Netflix has released six original films that are classified as rom-coms, with at least three more on the way before the year closes out. And it's on to something here: 2017's "A Christmas Prince" was such a smash hit for the outfit that it has already prepped a holiday sequel.

Netflix's newest hit-in-the-making, "The Kissing Booth," is kicking up similar attention. Unfortunately, the high school-set rom-com is a sexist and regressive look at relationships that highlights the worst impulses of the genre. Netflix isn't new to the sub-genre of teen rom-coms, and it has already succeeded with other picks. 

Later this month, Craig Johnson's delightful "Alex Strangelove" will arrive on the streaming service, and last month saw the introduction of Olivia Milch's "Dude," a female-driven comedy in the vein of other raunchy features like "Bridesmaids" and "Mean Girls."

Elle Lee The Kissing Booth Netflix movie

Films like that are indicative of the outfit locking down yet another piece of Hollywood magic and serving its viewers something they want to see, even if the traditional studio system isn't giving it to them, but "The Kissing Booth" is a strange blight on that run.

The film combines classic narrative tropes of the genre — think a low-budget mishmash of "Pretty in Pink,""Never Been Kissed,""Mean Girls," and "10 Things I Hate About You" — but is also hobbled by a gross understanding of gender dynamics and what makes a healthy relationship.

And that's to say nothing of its approach to depicting sexual harassment, frequent slut-shaming of its leading lady, and attempting to romanticize a "bad boy" love interest who mainly seems interested in getting in physical fights and then loudly mouthing off about his possessive tendencies. Cute, huh?

The story starts with Elle falling in love with her BFF's off-limits older brother

The movie, written and directed by Vince Marello (best known for his film versions of stories from the "American Girl" doll franchise), is an adaption of the Beth Reekles novel of the same name, and starts off with a relatively sweet premise. Elle (Joey King) and Lee (Joel Courtney) have been best friends since birth, “raised like twins” by their mothers, who also happen to be life-long best friends. (One of the moms is even played by Molly Ringwald, to give the film further rom-com bonafides.)

They've been obsessed with Dance Dance Revolution since they were tiny, and while their private high school appears to be a clique-y kind of place, they’ve grown into popular-ish kids who are grounded by their bond.

The central conflict is a classic one of the genre: Elle falls in love with the wrong dude. This dude happens to be Lee's older brother, Noah (Jacob Elordi), who has always been an elusive part of Elle's life, mainly standing out because of his near-constant tendency to get into physical altercations.

That's not the problem with Noah, though — who, as a high school senior, is cast as a literally leather jacket-wearing, motorcycle-riding jock, all the better to drive home his sex appeal and "bad" reputation. Instead, the issue is that he's Lee's brother, and is thus off-limits to Elle.

Noah The Kissing Booth Netflix

The first act of “The Kissing Booth” plays out in predictable fashion, as Elle wrestles with her growing feelings for Noah as he alluringly teases her, engaging in the kind of push-pull will-they-won’t-they dynamic that’s always been a hallmark of the genre. And yet, even in its earliest moments, “The Kissing Booth” is preoccupied with sexist rhetoric and a willingness to apologize for Noah’s alarming behavior.

The start of the movie focuses on sexual harassment and slut-shaming

Elle (who, it must be noted, is just charming, thanks to King’s bubbly performance) has a lot going for her, including a plucky personality that manages to find all kinds of solutions for weird problems. Early in the film, Elle tears her last pair of school-issued pants, and unable to rustle up any other options, is forced to head off to school wearing a two-year-old skirt (too small, but at least part of the dress code).

The moment she hits campus, she’s assaulted by catcalls from nearly all of her fellow male students (a real “boys will be boys” moment that imagines that all teenage boys are simply unable to do anything beyond scream epithets at pretty girl they’ve known for years, if she’s wearing a short piece of clothing).

Elle sexism The Kissing Booth

It gets worse, as Elle is groped by another student, leading Noah to physically assault him (predictable). Elle lands in the principal’s office — an awkward enough twist, given she’s the actual victim here — and things only get worse from there.

Both Lee (again, her best friend and typically a sweet guy) and the school’s principal tell Elle that she was “asking for it” by wearing the skirt. It’s a laughably regressive moment, such obviously outdated thinking, but “The Kissing Booth” just keeps plugging along.

The parking lot-set fisticuffs helps pave the way for Elle and Noah’s tentative romance, with Noah first brushing off his behavior as springing from a place of familial affection for Elle, while she wonders if it’s a sign that he has deeper feelings for her.

Noah's violent streak is poorly explained and borderline manipulative

Despite this run-of-the-mill and wholly relatable high school romance (who has never felt like Elle?), “The Kissing Booth” remains enamored of Noah’s defining characteristics: he’s got a seriously violent streak who gets turned on by jealousy and demonstrates some weirdo possessiveness that never abates.

This is not an exaggeration. Noah’s affection for getting into fights — often very brutal ones — becomes a large part of the film. Elle even lays down a rule that he can’t fight anymore if he wants them to be together (His response: “You know, you’re cute when you’re bossy”), and later gets him to admit that his family has struggled to deal with it, even sending him to counseling with no lasting impact.

Elle Noah The Kissing Booth prom

It’s “kinda just how I’m wired,” he muses, and that’s all there is. Later, Lee briefly worries that Noah has hit Elle, a jarring moment in a film marketed as a fluffy rom-com for teens. And Elle constantly acquiesces to him, even when it feels dangerous.

Noah is possessive to fault and it strips Elle of agency

On occasion, Noah’s possessiveness comes out in nice ways — like when he stands up to a girl who is being mean to Elle — though even those moments are tempered by his pervasive misogynistic attitude. That girl? She “tasted like Cheetos” anyway, who cares if he was just making out with her.

Later, Noah will continue to act as if he was pulled from some manual written by Men’s Rights Activists, opting to apologize to her father when he hurts Elle and even using his big romantic moment to further cut her down, pointing out that he’s going public with his love, standing in front of everyone they know, as if he should be getting points just for being seen with her in public.

Elle does attempt to assert herself on a few occasions, but even those moments feel designed to further strip of her agency and set her up as a plaything for her perpetually googly-eyed peers. When a painting project goes awry, Elle stumbles into the girls’ bathroom (or so she thinks) to clean up, taking off her shirt before she realizes she’s actually in the boys’ locker room, surrounded by horny, panting teens.

Elle Noah The Kissing Booth Netflix

And there’s Noah, screaming at her to cover up, while Elle fires back with a well-earned “You’re not the boss of me, Noah!” It could all end there, but instead, in the next moment, Elle opts to dance around provocatively, still with her shirt off.

On one hand, she’s taking control of her own sexuality and body; on the other, she’s doing it entirely to get a rise out of the guy. That’s not true agency, and it’s Noah who is still pulling the strings.

“The Kissing Booth” eventually pushes towards a conclusion that could offer Elle the chance to embrace herself instead of the overbearing Noah, sending him off to college after the pair finally profess their love for each other and manage to enjoy their final days together (fight-free, to be sure), before going back on it, obsessed with defining Elle only in relation to her boyfriend.

After the pair bid a tear-soaked goodbye to each other at the airport, a confident Elle strolls outside to Noah’s motorcycle (hers now) to embark on a life that may not always include Noah. It’s a believable, satisfying moment, and an unexpected twist on the genre. Maybe Elle can be the hero of her own story for once.

And still, as Elle sets off on her own, literally riding off into the sunset by herself, she can only think of one thing: “I knew there was a part of me that was always going to belong to Noah Flynn.” In another film, the sentiment would be a romantic one. In “The Kissing Booth,” it feels like a cage.

Grade: D

“The Kissing Booth” is now available to stream on Netflix.

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'Toy Story 4' was delayed because Pixar 'threw out' most of the script


bo peep woody toy story 4

  • "Toy Story 4" is set for a 2019 release.
  • The movie has been pushed back a few times after being announced in 2014.
  • According to actress Annie Potts, who voices Bo Peep, part of the reason is because much of the original script was thrown "in the bin" and the team started over.
  • The movie is supposed to be about a love story between Bo and Woody, the cowboy doll.

Toy Story 4 star Annie Potts, who returns to voice Bo Peep, reveals Pixar discarded most of the film's original script, which explains its prolonged delay.

The project was first announced back in 2014, when the intention was for it to hit theaters in 2017. However, as the sequel made its way through the developmental process, it kept getting pushed back. Currently, it's secured in Pixar's June 2019 slot - a release date that director Josh Cooley re-confirmed only a couple months ago.

Difficult productions are no stranger to Pixar, but Toy Story 4 is arguably more troubled than most.

Late last year, co-writers Rashida Jones and Will McCormack left the film, citing creative differences as the main reason for their departure. Given how long it takes for animated films to come together, the fact Toy Story 4's behind-the-scenes team was getting an upheaval at this stage raised a few eyebrows. But Pixar is definitely prepared, having pushed the film back to account for the screenplay changes.

Related: Toy Story 4 Gets Uncredited Thor: Ragnarok Writer

In an interview with Radio Times, Potts discussed her involvement with Toy Story 4. She stated that Pixar ended up throwing out "three-quarters" of the script, leading to it swapping release windows with this summer's Incredibles 2:

“[Toy Story 4] was supposed to come out this year and then they threw out three-quarters of it and rewrote. Usually, it takes – from start to finish – two years. But because they threw most of it in the bin and started over [my time on the project has] been extended a little bit. I’ve done a lot of work on it.”

Considering how acclaimed the ending of Toy Story 3 was, there's an inherent risk for Pixar to return to this well and add another chapter to what is arguably Hollywood's perfect franchise.

With that in mind, it's encouraging the filmmakers realized what they initially had wasn't working and went back to the drawing board. It would be a shame if the Toy Story legacy was spoiled by a mediocre installment, but story is king at Pixar, and everyone involved is going to make sure this fourth movie lives up to the incredibly high standard set by its predecessors. Despite their recent binge on sequels, Pixar is never one to make a quick cash grab, and Toy Story 4 wasn't a possibility they seriously considered for a while until the story was cracked years later. After Toy Story 3 grossed $1 billion in 2010, Pixar easily could have fast-tracked another followup, but they took their time.

Fortunately, things seem to be sailing much more smoothly now. In her interview, Potts confirmed she has recorded lines alongside Tom Hanks (who plays Woody, of course) and is enjoying the fact Bo Peep has such a significant part. The narrative revolves around Woody and Buzz Lightyear's quest to find Bo, who had been sold by Andy's family in a yard sale at some point between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. The character of Bo Peep never got proper closure, so it'll be nice to see her back on the big screen next year, where hopefully her story ends on a high note.

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16 actors you probably didn't realize were in the 'Harry Potter' movies


divination ron harry and hermione

When it comes to "Harry Potter," everybody knows the film's leading trifecta: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson. 

But what about the dozens of other witches, wizards, and muggles who graced the screen throughout the series? While you were watching Harry and his friends fight dragons and hunt horcruxes, these performances from veteran actors and youngsters just beginning their careers might have totally passed you by.

From cameo appearances from the cast of "Dancing with the Stars" to a member of the band Radiohead, here are 16 actors you might have missed in "Harry Potter":

Alfred Enoch has come a long way since his days playing Dean Thomas in "Harry Potter." Today, you can spot him as law student Wes Gibbins on "How to Get Away with Murder."

Scarlett Byrne kept company with fellow Slytherin Draco Malfoy as the sour Pansy Parkinson. Since then, she's starred in a different magical world as Nora Hildegard on "The Vampire Diaries," and can now be seen playing Lacey on "Mary + Jane."

Verne Troyer, who passed away in April, was the first of two actors to play Griphook the goblin in "Harry Potter," but you probably recognize him from his most famous role as Mini-Me in "Austin Powers."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

8 summer movies that are potential sleeper hits, from 'Crazy Rich Asians' to 'Hereditary'



Summer popcorn season is synonymous with big budget blockbusters, so it’s especially fun to see an underdog go head to head with superheroes, massive monsters, or iconic characters and still come out victorious.

Surprise hits aren’t just exciting for audiences, though. They also send a signal to the entertainment industry that studios and filmmakers can bet big on fresh material and see it pay off.

“These films offer proof that Hollywood can still deliver originality and that audiences will often respond enthusiastically to the unexpected cinematic treat that no one saw coming,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior box office analyst at comScore. “Some of the most notable movies of all-time have been films that prior to their release flew under the radar and then suddenly became massive hits and part of the cultural conversation and resonated within the zeitgeist.”

While we know that tentpoles including “The Incredibles 2,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” will likely ignite the summer box office, here are eight movies that could become breakouts:

SEE ALSO: The 10 highest-grossing movies of all time

“Hereditary” — June 9

Ari Aster’s bone-chilling horror movie starring Toni Collette scared up rave reviews after debuting in the Midnight lineup at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. And sure, not all the attention that followed was good, but if the trailer is any indication, “Heredity” looks to be one of the most genuinely terrifying movies of the year. Variety’s chief film critic Owen Gleiberman praised the movie, writing, “Unlike almost every mainstream horror film you see these days, [it] has the substance to match its scares.” 

The film, which follows a family that begins to be haunted following the death of their reclusive grandmother, arrives at the perfect time for audiences’ heart rates to recover after “A Quiet Place” smashed expectations in April. Thanks to “A Quiet Place,” “It,” “Split,” and “Get Out,” the genre has amassed over $1 billion in the past year, but the last few horror movies to hit the box office didn’t quite hit the mark. “Hereditary” will remind audiences why they love to be scared.

“Uncle Drew” — June 29

Is “Uncle Drew” just an elaborate Pepsi commercial? Whose to say. Regardless, Kyrie Irving’s character from his 2012 Pepsi Max ads is hitting the big screen, and he’s bringing a slew of former NBA stars with him, including Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, and Nate Robinson.” Get Out” breakout Lil Rel Howery, the ever-charming Tiffany Haddish, and Nick Kroll also star. The sports comedy has an engaging premise, an entertaining trailer, an ideal release date, and a solid cast — all prime components for a summer hit.

“Whitney” — July 6

Look no further than “RBG” to see proof that even in the midst of popcorn season, documentaries can put themselves on the map. “Whitney,” which chronicles the life and tragic downfall of Whitney Houston, features previously unreleased recordings and new footage of the late pop icon. 

Though it’s not the only documentary following Houston — and not even the first of this year — “Whitney” taps into the unanswered questions surrounding the transformative singer’s storied career, struggle with drug abuse and traumatic relationships.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The new 'Wreck-It Ralph 2' trailer gathers together all of the Disney princesses in one place for the first time


disney princess wreck it ralph

  • Disney released a new trailer for "Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2" Monday.
  • This time around Ralph and Vanellope wind up in the internet and — in a meta turn of events — on a Disney website. 
  • Vanellope meets every Disney princess from Snow White to Moana gathered in one room.
  • The princess scene was first teased at Disney's D23 Expo in 2017.
  • The best part? Most of the original actresses returned to voice the princesses for the "Wreck-It Ralph" sequel.
  • What are you waiting for? See the princesses unite in the trailer below.
  • "Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2" is in theaters November 21, 2018.

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'Solo' is expected to lose Disney at least $50 million, and become the first 'Star Wars' movie to lose money


solo star wars

  • "Solo: A Star Wars Story" could lose at least $50 million for Disney and Lucasfilm, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • A Wall Street analyst told THR that "Solo" will lose more than $50 million, while other industry financing sources told the outlet that the film's loss could exceed $80 million. 
  • "Solo" dropped 65% at the box office in its second weekend, and it is reportedly unlikely to gross past $400 million at the global box office against an estimated total budget that would exceed its gross.

The box-office struggles of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" could result in a loss of at least $50 million for Disney and Lucasfilm, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Solo" is reportedly unlikely to gross past $400 million at the global box office against an estimated $250 million production budget and marketing costs that likely doubled its total budget. 

B. Riley FBR senior analyst Barton Crockett told THR that "Solo" will lose more than $50 million, while other industry financing sources told the outlet that the loss could exceed $80 million, depending on auxiliary revenues and the undisclosed, exact terms of Disney's deal for the film.

"Solo"dropped 65% at the box office in its second weekend of release, and its global box office total currently stands at $264.3 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

"Solo" also bombed in its opening weekend in China, as Business Insider's Jason Guerrasio reported. The film brought in only $10.1 million over Memorial Day weekend in China, a record low for "Star Wars" films in the country, though the franchise itself has historically never grabbed the attention of China, the world's second-largest movie market. 

If it doesn't see a late surge, as analysts are predicting it won't, "Solo" will become the first movie from Disney and Lucasfilm to lose money.

2017's "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" brought in $1.332 billion at the global box office, while the first "Star Wars" spin-off "Rogue One" grossed $1.056 billion in 2016.

The first collaboration from Disney and Lucasfilm, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," grossed $2.068 billion in 2015, setting off a renewal of the "Star Wars" series that is now likely to see its first miss in "Solo."

SEE ALSO: 'Solo' is the latest 'Star Wars' movie to bomb in China, and Disney has a big problem on its hands

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The first 'Transformers' spin-off movie looks shockingly great — and fans were not prepared


Bumblebee Movie trailer movie

  • The first trailer for "Transformers" spinoff movie "Bumblebee" was just released.
  • The film is directed by Travis Knight instead of Michael Bay, and stars Hailee Steinfeld.
  • People were surprised by how emotional and grounded the movie looks. 
  • "Bumblebee," set in 1987, is a prequel story to the recent "Transformers" franchise.
  • Watch the full trailer below.

"Bumblebee" is a new "Transformers" prequel movie — but this time Michael Bay isn't in the director's chair. Instead Travis Knight ("Coraline,""ParaNorman,""Kubo and the Two Strings") is directing the film, which stars Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena.

Paramount just released the first official trailer, and fans are surprised by how impressively emotional the movie looks. 

"Bumblebee" takes place in 1987, well before the time frame of the 2007 "Transformers" movie starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox which kicked off the series of live-action films directed by Michael Bay.

Steinfeld (who is among the youngest-ever Oscar nominated actors of all time) plays Charlie, a teenager who finds Bumbleebee in a junkyard while he's disguised as a Volkswagen bug. 

People were immediately taken by the trailer's emotional portrayal of the bond between Charlie and Bumblebee, especially because the CGI design of the beloved Autobot is closer to the original comic book design.

People were also surprisingly touched by Knight's choice to include a quote from the late Bernie Mac's character, Bobby Bolivia, in the first "Transformers" live-action movie.

Bolivia told LaBeouf's character Sam Witwicky that "the cars pick their drivers — it's a mystical bond between man and machine."

This line can be heard over radio static as we watch Charlie first see Bumblebee and drive him home. 

In addition to the people left feeling emotional, there were some who found humor in one shot of Charlie diving into a body of water to find Bumblebee.

The visual reminded some of 2017 Oscar-winning movie "The Shape of Water" (in which a woman falls in love with a fish-man).

Michael Bay's "Transformer" movies have been panned by critics for years now, though they continue dominating box office charts (and cracking the coveted $1 billion dollar mark, too).

If the inital trailer reactions are any indication, perhaps Knight will turn around the franchise's reputation with "Bumblebee" and make millions while doing it.

"Bumblebee" arrives in theaters on December 21. Watch the first full trailer below:

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This poster challenges you to watch 100 iconic films — and it's the ultimate bucket list

Audiences think Netflix original movies are 'meaningfully worse' than most studio releases


the week of Netflix

  • Audiences see Netflix original films as "meaningfully worse" in quality than the releases of most major films studios, according to new research from Barclays. 
  • The firm analyzed IMDB audience ratings for all films released by Netflix and the top six studios at the global box office this year, and Netflix ranked sixth overall in median score, behind the top five studios. 

While Netflix has ramped up its original film production to net a substantial viewership, audiences still view the streaming service's film offerings as qualitatively inferior to the releases from most major film studios, according to new research from Barclays, led by analyst Kannan Venkateshwar.

As Barclays notes, Netflix recently reported that the 33 original movies the company has released in 2018 so far have gained an audience of around 300 million viewers (or an average of around 9 million viewers per film). 

Barclays said that Netflix's audience for original films this year would equate to an estimated global box office performance of more than $4 billion.

But in the eyes of audiences, Netflix films are still "meaningfully worse" in quality than most studio releases, according to Barclays. 

To assess audience perception of film quality, the firm analyzed the median IMDB audience ratings for all original movies released by Netflix and the top six studios at the global box office in 2018. It found that Netflix's films ranked sixth overall in median score, behind the top five studios and only ahead of Paramount.

imdb ratings netflix

In a few notable instances, Netflix's strategy for original films has gained viewership even over critical (or even audience) perception of quality. 

This year, Netflix bought the film "The Cloverfield Paradox" from Paramount for $50 million and surprise released after the Super Bowl in February. Though it brought in an estimated 5 million viewers in its first week, the film was panned by critics and scored low audience ratings on both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB

Last year, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings pointed to high Rotten Tomatoes audience scores for its Will Smith-led fantasy film "Bright" as the "measurement of success" that the company cited against critical panning of the film.

While Hastings blasted critics for being "disconnected from the mass appeal" of its strategy in releasing films like "Bright," which drew 11 million viewers in its first three days of release, it appears that the company still has some major ground to make up in its stated attempt to win over the masses. 

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12 movies that will make you miss the glory days of college


22 Jump Street

Ah college, the good old days. Long nights in the library, goofing off in the university quad, tailgating before a football game. Nothing can replace the memories you made in college, but you can relive some of your favorite moments through — sometimes cheesy — Hollywood flicks.

While classics like "Animal House,""Old School," and even "The Graduate" are all great college-inspired films, consider streaming something new the next time you miss having roommates and sharing beers before a big game.

"National Lampoon's Van Wilder"

Arguably the movie that launched Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" has everything you could ever want in a college movie: a comedy-focused plot, numerous love interests, and plenty of parties.

"Legally Blonde"

Nothing is better than watching Elle Woods tell her ex-boyfriend Warner getting into Harvard Law isn't hard. NOTHING. You don't necessarily need to miss college or have attended Harvard Law to enjoy this classic early-2000s film.

"21 & Over"

While not a traditional college movie, "21 & Over" perfectly captures the chaotic good (and bad!) of turning 21 and struggling with post-college plans. The movie itself follows a college student who decides to celebrate his 21st birthday the night before a life-changing medical school interview. What could go wrong, right?

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Netflix shared a list of 15 great movies with strong female leads you can stream right now



If you're a bit tired of movies dominated by only male characters, Netflix has you covered. 

On Tuesday, the streaming service shared a list of its favorite movies "with a strong female lead" currently available in its catalog.

The list includes the horror flick "The Babadook," Tim Burton's "Big Eyes," and the critically acclaimed love story "Carol." The movies star the likes of "Lady Bird" director Greta Gerwig, Cate Blanchett, Amy Adams, and Lupita Nyong'o.

We've rounded up the films below in order of release date, and included the Netflix description and Rotten Tomatoes critic score for each film to help you better choose what to stream.

Below are 15 movies with strong female leads currently available on Netflix:

SEE ALSO: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' actress Kelly Marie Tran deleted all her Instagram posts after months of harassment

"She's Gotta Have It" (1986)

Netflix description:"A free-spirited woman can't choose between a trio of ill-suited suitors: relationship-minded Jamie, shallow male model Greer and bike messenger Mars."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

"Boys on the Side" (1995)

Netflix description:"Looking to jump-start her career, a lesbian nightclub singer accompanies a woman with AIDS on a cross-country drive from New York to Los Angeles."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 73%

"Cruel Intentions" (1999)

Netflix description:"Quenching a thirst for dangerous games, a promiscuous teen challenges her stepbrother to deflower their headmaster's daughter before summer ends."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 48%


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