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Chris Pratt Transforms Into Star-Lord In New ‘Guardian Of The Galaxy’ Clip


MTV released a new clip from Disney's big summer movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy."

The minute preview shows how Chris Pratt's ("The LEGO Movie,""Parks and Rec") character Peter Quill transforms into superhero Star-Lord who will be front and center in the film.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" will be in theaters August 1 and will also star Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel.

Check it out:

If it passed by too quick, here's that moment Quill transforms into Star-Lord again:

chris pratt star lord guardians of the galaxy

Here he is in full costume:chris pratt guardians of the galaxy

SEE ALSO: 9 images from Marvel's next three movies

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'Lost' Writer In Talks To Direct Spider-Man Spinoff 'Sinister Six'


amazing spider man 1964

Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) is in negotiations to direct the Spider-Man spin-off, Sinister Six. Goddard was announced as the film's writer in December.

The film is expected to expand on Spider-Man's rich universe and explore his greatest adversaries. Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad will produce. 

Tolmach and Arad will also produce another spin-off titled: Venom - which will focus on Spider-Man's Symbiote nemesis. Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Ed Solomon, and Jeff Pinkner will write the film, with Kurtzman directing. 

Both films will be character-driven stories and explore the complexity of villains that are "victims of circumstances." Popular Sinister Six figures included Kraven, Vulture, Mysterio, Doc Ock and Electro.

The Spider-Man universe will continuously expand with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that will hit theaters May 2. Two sequels will follow in 2016 and 2018. 

SEE ALSO: Sony Plans To Have A 'Spider-Man' Movie Every Single Year For The Foreseeable Future

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IMAX Sells 20% Stake In IMAX China For $80 Million


IMAX private theatre

IMAX will sell a 20 percent stake in IMAX China to CMC Capital Partners and FountainVest Partners for $80 million, the exhibition company said Tuesday.

The deal with the Chinese investment firms paves the way for a potential stock listing for IMAX China, the company said, and will strengthen its grip in one of the most rapidly expanding markets for Hollywood films.

The box office in China hit new records in 2013, climbing more than 27 percent to $3.6 billion, and many experts predict that it will eventually eclipse the United States as the dominant source of ticket sales.

Theater construction has been a critical component of this box office surge, and IMAX has been active in this expansion, signing partnerships that gives it more than 130 theaters across the country.

“China is an enormously complex market in which we have accomplished quite a bit over the last 15 years,” IMAX Corp. CEO Richard L. Gelfond said in a statement. “At this juncture, it makes sense to bring in Chinese investors to help us better address local market dynamics and further optimize our business in China.”

The stock purchase will be paid out in two equal installments, with the first expected to close Tuesday and the second installment will close in early 2015. IMAX China will continue to operate as a subsidiary of IMAX Corp.

SEE ALSO: Now China's Rich Can Buy IMAX Home Theaters Starting At $250,000

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'Godzilla' Reboot Origin Story Was Scrapped Because Of ‘Man Of Steel’


godzilla art of destruction book

Over the weekend, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures released a longer look at its “Godzilla” reboot. 

Before the film comes to theaters this May, publisher Insight Editions will release a hardcover book, “Godzilla: The Art of Destruction,” which will deliver an inside look at the film’s production from start to finish. 

The book will contain a bunch of concept art including sketches, storyboards and interviews with director Gareth Edwards along with cast and crew. 

Insight Editions shared a few early spreads from the upcoming book with us.

The most interesting thing we've learned so far is that the new Godzilla could have had a different origin story had it not been for last year's Superman reboot.

According to the book, originally a "Godzilla carcass was to have been discovered entombed in Siberia."

That was changed after the production learned "Man of Steel" had a potentially similar scene with a spaceship. 

The full spread, featuring the original concept art, was shared exclusively with Business Insider. 

Feel free to zoom in and read it below. (If viewing on mobile, check out the corresponding links which each image.)

(Photo Credit: Reprinted from Godzilla: The Art of Destruction by Mark Cotta Vaz, published by Insight Editions. TM & © Toho Co., Ltd. © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

Here's one more exclusive spread from the book featuring director Gareth Edwards with a miniature Godzilla (left) and prepping for a scene with Ken Watanabe who will play Dr. Derizawa (right).

(Photo Credit: Reprinted from Godzilla: The Art of Destruction by Mark Cotta Vaz, published by Insight Editions. TM & © Toho Co., Ltd. © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

Here are a few more pages from the book that were also shared with us and other outlets.

These scenes show concept art for a quarantined area. 

(Photo Credit: Reprinted from Godzilla: The Art of Destruction by Mark Cotta Vaz, published by Insight Editions. TM & © Toho Co., Ltd. © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

Here's a red control room that will be seen early on in the reboot. Filming took place there for two to three days but set decorator Elizabeth Wilcox says it took months to prepare.


(Photo Credit: Reprinted from Godzilla: The Art of Destruction by Mark Cotta Vaz, published by Insight Editions. TM & © Toho Co., Ltd. © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

This final bit of concept art doesn’t make it into the film but imagines what it would have looked like if a nuclear submarine was dropped in the mountains.

(Photo Credit: Reprinted from Godzilla: The Art of Destruction by Mark Cotta Vaz, published by Insight Editions. TM & © Toho Co., Ltd. © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

SEE ALSO: Check out a new extended trailer that shows off multiple monsters in the movie

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How Movie Editing Tricks Your Brain Into Ignoring Errors


continuity lg

When your job is to be vigilant and spot things that are out of place, as is the case for an airport security screener or a film editor, you are trained to have laser-sharp attention to detail. If most people noticed every little change in their field of view at every moment of every day, they might go insane.

Then there are the people who can watch a movie and notice that in one scene the top button on a character's shirt is buttoned, and in the next scene it isn't. These are called "continuity errors" because they break the audience's attention and the illusion of realism. One famous example is in the 1990 film "Pretty Woman." In one scene Julia Roberts is eating a pancake that in the next shot it turns into a croissant and then back to a pancake.

The goal of any good film is to immerse the audience in the story and suspend their disbelief. "The editor’s job is to make sure that any breaks in continuity are invisible enough that they do not disturb the audience’s involvement in the story," said Norman Hollyn, a professor of cinematic arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. "There are a multitude of problems that come from the fact that we must assemble a film from pieces shot at different times and some of the problems have to do with performances that vary from day to day."

Film editors can use these visual cues to their advantage. "If actors are angrier in a close-up than a wider shot, if we cut to them as they are standing up, the audience will tend to allow the change more easily," said Hollyn. "We use many different techniques to disguise these mismatches and distractions and we use the fact that, like magic, audiences tend to be distracted by differences in size, color and movement."

According to scientists, this idea also holds true in everyday life. "How an object looks at the present moment is biased toward what it looked like in the recent past and we refer to that bias as 'perceptual serial dependence,'" said Jason Fischer, who completed research on this topic while at the University of California, Berkeley and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at MIT. "We do not perceive a fresh snapshot at every moment."

A paper based on the research was published on March 30, in Nature Neuroscience

Visual scientists have discovered what they call a "continuity field," which refers to how far an object can move from one moment to the next and still have perceptual serial dependence. 

"For example, imagine a circular region of space around a coffee cup on your desk," said Fischer. "If the coffee cup was located somewhere within that circular region -- or continuity field -- five or ten seconds ago, then your perception of the cup at this moment will be biased toward what it looked like at those previous times." 

Move the cup out of the continuity field and your brain sees the cup as a "new" object with no bias. The time between glances at an area is also a factor.

"We found that things seen up to about 15 seconds ago can still bias perception at the present moment," said Fischer. "Something seen 10 seconds ago will have an even stronger influence on our present perception, but something seen 30 seconds ago will not have any influence on our present perception."

Our visual systems are constantly trying to strike the perfect balance between what we actually see and what is important for us to see. "We are sensitive to important changes, but not so sensitive that we notice every minor fluctuation," said Fischer. "Continuity fields stabilize our visual experience by obscuring those minor changes that are irrelevant most of the time."

Without a continuity field, we would be sensitive to every fluctuation in the image that we see and our visual experience would appear to be a constant hallucinogenic trip. For example, if you and a friend walked along a tree-lined street together, your friend would pass in and out of the sunlight and shadows from the trees, and his or her face would constantly change in appearance.

"That would be a jarring experience," said Fischer. "Your friend should look like the same person from one moment to the next."

This stabilization makes sense when observing the real world where there is constant visual stimulation all around us, but in a dark movie theater, viewers are focused — for the most part — on the screen. So why do so many people miss continuity errors in films?

"There is evidence that people are blind to lots of film edits," said Joseph Magliano, a research psychologist at Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, Ill. "People's attention is focused on making sense of the things that they are experiencing but in rare circumstance they will notice errors."

When a film editor uses a strategy such as cutting to a new shot of the actor outside of the continuity field, the majority of the audience would not notice a change. "I think this speaks to the delicate balance that the visual system achieves between stable perception and sensitivity to changes," said Fischer. "Serial dependence in perception occurs in just the right measure so that we enjoy stable, fluid vision without missing most of the important changes in the world."

The next time a friend points out a continuity error in a film that you missed, it means that your eyes and brain are doing exactly what they are supposed to do. 

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Why Marvel's Connected Universe Can Be Bad For Storytelling


captain america black widow chris evans scarlett johansson

When Cinema Blend sat down with Captain America: The Winter Soldier writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, they discussed specific plot details of the blockbuster sequel.

The writing duo chatted references, sequel ideas, inspirations. But what stuck out was a curious lynchpin to the Winter Soldier experience. When asked about how they brought the plot together, Markus revealed, 

"Sometimes it’s just images. [Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige] wanted helicarriers crashing. So, we were like ‘Okay, if helicarriers are going to crash in the third act, what kind of story would you tell to get there?’ and that kind of generated the whole inside program in the story."

Inspiration has many muses, of course, but this storytelling approach isn't the safest method. There's probably more to this story, but the way Markus tells it, they honored the request from a producer (and studio chief) for some crashing planes in Captain America: The Winter Soldier by basically building an entire movie around a special effect. Nerds with good memory will recall producer Jon Peters bullying screenwriters (including Kevin Smith) that his Superman film should feature a giant spider, despite arachnids having nothing to do with Superman or his mythology. That spider later showed up, in mechanical form, in Wild Wild West, a veritable laundry list of random producer requests that make no sense. 

Feige claims he has a map in his office of every Marvel movie until 2028. And because there is a strict continuity, these films may not have a director or writer, but they have an intended ending, and a list of elements that please Feige (and Marvel). It's a mentality these films have had for awhile now, much to the grumblings of a select few fans: Iron Man 2 was the first Marvel film to bore the responsibility of introducing the Black Widow and the presence of S.H.I.E.L.D. People complained. People went. But that material dragged down the core story, which was so small it might as well be nonexistent. 

Now, those complaints have died down, just as The Winter Soldier has gone on to become Marvel's most in-jokey and reference-heavy film yet. There's trouble within the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization. In the meantime, there's a reference to Dr. Strange. Here's a hint about the future of the Winter Soldier, which will NOT be seen in this film. Robert Redford reveals that Iron Man does birthday parties. Garry Shandling's Senator Sterns from Iron Man 2 is a bad guy; if you didn't seen Iron Man 2 (which you shouldn't have to see to appreciate The Winter Soldier) then his presence makes zero sense. Later, there's a post-credits sequence that might as well be in nerd Esperanto, introducing two characters who have absolutely nothing to do with Captain America. At the film's close, it's important to know that Agent 13's name is Sharon. Check your Marvel Handbook, kids. 

Of course, these additions are mandated, probably on very specific orders from Kevin Feige. Now that we've heard Dr. Strange's name, we know he'll pop up in a movie soon. The Winter Soldier, like all of these characters, is basically invincible: when he is seen alive at the end, it only promises what a follow-up will be like. Redford doesn't know it, but his line is basically a billboard reminding audiences that their billion dollar hero is still out there, and not retired like Iron Man 3 suggested. While Markus and McFeely march ahead on their screenplay, Feige has index cards with these sorts of suggestions. 

Why does it feel like this is all being decided on a whim? Whatever the case, it's treating movies like MadLibs. The absurdly long climax of The Winter Soldier honors Feige's wish to see helicarriers crashing, but it doesn't make much sense. Are we to believe the villains placed all their eggs in one basket and didn't have a backup plan to "massive city-wide ships that destroy?" Does the visual of the crashing helicarriers symbolize anything other than collateral damage? Worse yet, it bisects the action needlessly, simply isolating Cap's fight with the Winter Soldier while Black Widow and Nick Fury stand in a room with Redford's Alexander Pierce and talk, trading empty threats. By the time Anthony Mackie's Falcon and Frank Grillo's Brock Rumlow are trading blows, it reeks of, "We needed something for these characters to do, since we had to emphasize the falling helicarriers and the story no longer needs these two." 

The film's core idea – that S.H.I.E.L.D. is a corrupt 21st century organization emboldened by fear, one that Cap ultimately must fight – is a good one. But the title was announced years ago, and it's supposed to emphasize The Winter Soldier's story. And yet, the character is a pawn in his own tale, filling a role that almost any brainwashed soldier (Rumlow?) could fill. This is another case of Feige taking over: for The First Avenger he signed Sebastian Stan for nine films, with the intention of introducing The Winter Soldier. Ultimately, it didn't matter that he had nothing to do, and that HYDRA poisoning the military-industrial complex has no relation with the idea of Cap's childhood friend being a nightmare mirror image of himself. They signed Stan for a reason, and they were dead-set on taking advantage of that reason.

Ultimately, the fans dig it, and the critics are generally favorable towards Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But watching the film can be dizzying. On one hand, you've got the Feige-endorsed teases for other films, the references to the rest of the Marvel universe, callbacks to earlier films. On another, you've got filmmakers like the Russos, clever guys who nonetheless stuffed the picture with their own pop culture influences, including Community cameos, WarGames references and a particularly distracting Pulp Fiction gag.

These elements, on their own, are enjoyable, even cute ideas. But when you're trying to make a tense, contemporary spy thriller (or a high fantasy film, or an adventure picture like Iron Man), maybe you need to focus on story, stakes, and character. Don't worry – it's the Marvel universe. There are always opportunities to crash helicarriers. 

SEE ALSO: Marvel Has Movies Planned Through 2028

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“Nymphomaniac”: How Four Hours Of Boring Porn Can Make a Profound Statement About Sex Addiction


Nymphomaniac Poster slice

At the start of Nymphomaniac, a midlife bachelor named Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) finds Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a self-proclaimed sex addict, prostrate and battered in a gutter. He takes her home, plies her with tea and rugelach, and offers to wash her clothes, which she refuses.

How did she come to such dire straits, he wonders. “You wouldn’t understand,” she protests. “I wouldn’t know where to start.” But Gainsbourg doesn’t even sit up in bed as she begins an affectless recitation while her head lolls: “I discovered my cunt as a two-year-old…”

And she’s right: There’s not much to understand in her story. Sex happens repeatedly in shocking, profligate ways, and that’s pretty much it. But the director, Lars von Trier, isn’t telling a simple story; the interesting bits are not in the sex but in the philosophical conversation between Joe and Seligman—and also in what’s not present: clear motivation, sentimentality or a recognizable love story. Ironically, Joe and Seligman’s relationship may be the most tender on view.

Controversy—and publicity—have swirled around Nymphomaniac since its first advance trailer was released over a year ago. As with all von Trier’s films—such as Melancholia, Dogville and The Idiots—this two-part, 240-minute marathon stuffed with breasts, full-frontal male nudity (the credits list numerous “sex doubles”), anal sex and kink is provocative, to say the least. (Volume I is in theaters now; the second will be released selectively on April 18. Both are currently available on iTunes.) Critics disagree over whether Nymphomaniac is a work of art or a work of pornography, but they generally agree that it is a workout.

“A study of sex addiction that contains as much analysis as action, Nymphomanic is sometimes perplexing, frequently preposterous but never less than provocative,” The Guardian‘s Xan Brooks wrote. “It makes most other movies look like middling insipid little flirts.”

“This is a work of pornography, in which fantasy, and the contemplation of it, is the only thing that’s real,” The New Yorker‘s David Denby wrote. “Like most porn, even art porn, it falls apart at the end.…But the director has at last created a genuine scandal—a provocation worth talking about.”

Richard Brody did his New Yorker colleague one better. “There is a scintilla of metaphysical mystery in Nymphomaniac, albeit as a sort of sick joke,” he wrote, peevishly adding that “the introduction of the theme of sadomasochism with the hammer clangs of Wagner’s ‘Das Rheingold’ has ruined one of my favorite pieces of music.”

Nymphomaniac is anything but just another movie about sex addiction. It intentionally frustrates the conventional expectations that come with that genre: wanton lust, shame, destruction; the loss of control and the struggle to regain it. Even the harshest of these films—such as 2011′s Shame, in which a handsome, successful, young New Yorker falls into the void of endless sex—remain solidly grounded in psychological realism. In Nymphomaniac, Joe exhibits all the symptoms of sex addiction, often in an almost fantastic fashion. But their meaning is as elusive and suggestive as her condition itself. You’ll find no addiction-speak about “triggers” or “trauma” in von Trier’s film, although if you’re determined to identify something Freudian in Joe’s childhood, there is a not-very-warm mother.

Von Trier neither accepts nor denies the standard explanations for sex addiction. Each chapter illustrates one theory or another—biological instinct, early trauma, self-soothing, attention-seeking, female rebellion, masochism, even love—without committing to any. At first Joe condemns herself, saying that her condition is an insatiable appetite for pleasure. “I behaved reprehensibly,” she says. “I was an addict out of lust, not out of need.” Yet there is pride, too—as if to say that she has chosen nymphomania rather than becoming trapped by it. Likewise, in the first chapter, when Joe loses her virginity at 15 to a brute (Shia LeBeouf), it is she who chooses him rather than the reverse.

Losing her virginity causes her neither shame nor celebration. It does not awaken a hitherto slumbering lust: The lust, as she said, had been there since age two. Neither, though, does Joe’s desire seem life-affirming or pleasurable. Orgasm and other sexual sensation are often absent for the experience. Nymphomaniac is simultaneously pornographic and boring.

At one point Joe professes that her promiscuity is a revolutionary act. “We were committed to combat the love-fixated society….For every hundred crimes committed in the name of love, only one is committed in the name of sex,” she says, explaining the charter text of her after-school-type girls’ club. Does she really believe in this statement, or is it just a weak rationalization?

Somehow von Trier has narrated prurience without revealing desire. When Joe’s de-virginator mysteriously reappears years later, she develops feelings for him not because he was her first, but because he saves her, prosaically, from a stuck office elevator. After some years, they develop a relationship, but the more his love for her grows, the less she can feel. And true to sex-addict type, she takes flight.

Although she has regrets, Joe evinces shame at only one point—and it has nothing to do with her sexual activity. Occasionally she denies that she is a sex addict at all. Yet she tells her story confessionally—or therapeutically?—to Seligman and it is their ascetic, undefinable relationship that ultimately may help or heal her.

Midway through the movie, Joe asks Seligman if he’d get more from her vignettes if he’d just sit back and yield to faith. That’s one of the questions von Trier asks of the viewer, too: How can it be that a movie like Nymphomaniac is in fact not about sex? Wouldn’t it be better if we just sat back and took it all at face value? It’s tempting, but the answer is no: If you’re interested in von Trier’s latest film for the sex, skip it. It’s not erotic. But if you want to see a film that provokes—and has serious fun with the conventional sex-addict narrative—Nymphomaniac is one of the best you’ll find.

Johannah King-Slutzky is a freelance journalist living in New York City. 

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HOLY BATMAN: The 75-Year Evolution Of The Batsuit


batman the animated series

Batman is turning 75 this year.

To celebrate, Warner Bros. is holding a year-long celebration for the Caped Crusader, complete with new animated films, a potential Fox show, and a rerelease of Tim Burton's 1989 "Batman." 

The Bat's also getting a new video game.

In honor of the Dark Knight's milestone, we're looking back at a favorite of ours. A while back, the folks over at Screenrant produced a handy infographic that covers most of Batman's looks over the years. We found a few from the past that weren't included. Rainbow Batman, anyone?

From Zebra Batman to the killing machine of Azrael, see the many styles of the famous cape and cowl.

May 1939: Batman's first appearance in Detective Comic 27 – Batman wore a bulletproof vest under his suit and had purple gloves. He wore a standard belt with a round buckle.

1939: Detective Comic No. 30 "Golden Age Batman"– The Caped Crusader has sharper, pointier ears, and more durable wings.

1940: Detective Comic No. 30 – Batman's outfit is visibly more blue with the addition of longer boots and gloves.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Marvel Surpasses 'Harry Potter' As The Most Successful Franchise In Box-Office History


tony stark iron man

As expected, Captain America: The Winter Soldier took the top spot at the box office this weekend, with a hefty $96.2 million, but that tally also helped Marvel achieve another milestone. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, which includes all of the studio's Phase One and Phase Two movies, have surpassed the Harry Potter films to become the most lucrative franchise of all time.

With this weekend's gross, the MCU has taken in $2.463 billion domestically, which includes Iron Man (2008, $318.4 million), The Incredible Hulk (2008, $134.8 million), Iron Man 2 (2010, ,$312.4 million), Thor (2011, $181 million), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011, $176.6 million), Marvel's The Avengers (2012, $623.3 million), Iron Man 3 (2013, $409 million), Thor: The Dark World (2013, $206.3 million) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is now at $101.2 million and counting. The eight movies in the Harry Potter franchise earned $2.39 billion during their run between 2002 and 2011.

It should be noted that third on the franchise list is Star Wars at $1.91 billion, but that also includes the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie (2008, $35.1 million) and numerous re-releases throughout the years. Of course, those numbers will surely go up with Star Wars: Episode VII coming out next year, along with Star Wars: Episode VIIIStar Wars: Episode IXUntitled Star Wars Han Solo Spin-Off andUntitled Star Wars Boba Fett Spin-Off. However, with Marvel already planning out future movies until 2028, it seems unlikely that Star Wars or any other franchise will be able to catch them.

However, when you adjust for inflation, since ticket prices are much higher these days, the James Bond franchise and its 24 films (including the 1967 spoof Casino Royale), come out on top with a whopping $5.26 billion, with Star Wars in second with $4.26 billion, Harry Potter in third with $2.95 billion, Batman and all of its iterations in fourth with $2.78 billion and the MCU in fifth with $2.58 billion. It's also worth noting that, worldwide, Harry Potter has raked in $7.7 billion, compared to the MCU's $5.97 billion.

Here is the current, unadjusted, franchise top 10. Do you think any of these have a shot at taking down Marvel?

SEE ALSO: Why Marvel's Connected Universe Can Be Bad For Storytelling

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A ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Movie Is Finally Getting Made


battlestar galactica number 6

Battlestar Galactica, the gone but not forgotten sci-fi series that still lives on in the reruns of our hearts and the cable network Syfy, is getting the film adaptation that fans have been demanding since its end in 2009. But while many may have thought a movie would continue the adventures of the inhabitants of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol in a new journey, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Instead, according to Variety, the movie will be a reimagining of the story as told by Transcendence writer Jack Paglen (also the man attached to write Prometheus 2) and produced by original series creator Glen Larson.

Of course, reimagining is flowery code for a term we’ve come all too familiar with hearing lately: reboot. For a television series that has already gone through three series, including a brief but mentionable run called Galactica 1980, it’s questionable if this move is altogether necessary. But for fans of the highly popular military space drama, maybe anything is worth some more screen time for another chance at seeing their beloved BSG again.

After all, some fans have stuck with the show since the late 1970s. The original series centered upon the end of a war between mankind, existing in colonies on planets far, far away from Earth, and a sinister robot race called Cylons. When the Cylons strike in a deadly and sudden sneak attack, the inhabitants of the colonies are forced to flee and abandon their homes, taking to space in a fleet of starships (see where I’m headed?), the last of which is the battlestar called Galactica. Aboard Galactica is where the juicy drama of the series unfolds, as well as the military prowess.

The short-lived, little-mentioned Galactica 1980 aired with little aplomb. But it was Ronald D. Moore‘s 2003 miniseries for the Sci-Fi Channel (today’s SyFy — seriously, that still doesn’t seem necessary) that led to the show’s current fame and success. That then turned into a full-fledged series that ran for five years. The show kept the same tenants of the original — take the colony dwellers and force them into the starfleet — but added new liberties that morphed the series into something spectacular. In the current incarnation of Galactica, the Cylons became less robotic and were instead humanoids. Giving the enemy a “human” face made their battle somehow a little more terrifying, knowing that what they were fighting wasn’t human at all.

The crew was also actively searching for Earth, that distant planet where they believed they could start their community anew, away from the Cylons. With the Twelve Colonies wiped out, the series focused on the survivors’ struggle to regroup and maintain their sense of identity — and ability to just survive — while on the run from their predators.

While it’s understandable and inevitable that a Galactica movie was going to happen, it seems risky and a little bit foolish to tamper with a concept that worked as well as the Moore series. Why not make a film continuing that beloved vision instead of giving another stab at trying to find a Galactica that works on the big screen? There’s already a Galactica that works just fine. The inclusion of Larson as producer is a draw, at least in the sense that he will have first-hand knowledge of what the story and the characters are about — and where it should go.

But let’s be honest. If it can’t be exactly what you’re looking for, at least dream about something promising: what Galactica is going to look like on the big screen. She’ll be a beaut, won’t she?

SEE ALSO: Ridley Scott is making a 'Halo' digital project for Microsoft

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Marvel Is Making Movies More Like TV, And That's Okay


captain america winter soldier scarlett johansson

After a decade or more of prestige TV revolutionizing the medium by making television more cinematic, the Marvel movie universe is doing something just as extraordinary: they're making movies more like TV.

Yes, each of their connected films have their own identity and largely manage to stand alone as rollicking action flicks. But what's unsettling, and undeniably daring, about what Marvel is doing, flies in the face of movie conventions. The films generally attract decent reviews, but grumbling has grown with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, coupled with producer Kevin Feige telling Bloomberg Businessweek that he's planned out the Marvel Universe through 2028.

Manohla Dargis, reviewing The Winter Soldier for the New York Times, decried it as "less a stand-alone work than a part of an ever-expanding multimedia enterprise." Indeed, The Winter Soldier features all the Marvel Cinematic Universe tricks that are now becoming routine. Along with Cap, it pulls in members of the Marvel ensemble we've seen in other movies (Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, Cobie Smulders' Maria Hill, and most importantly Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow).

It includes a mid-credits tag, written and directed by Joss Whedon, that has little to nothing to do with the film you just watched and everything to do with setting up Avengers: Age of Ultron, which comes out more than a year from now. Another tag, likely relating to a direct Captain America threequel (due in 2016), is relegated to the very end of the credits.loki jane foster thor the dark world

This is the exact same approach we saw in 2013's Thor: The Dark World, and the success of Marvel's approach means that other studios are trying the same tricks—Fox had The Wolverine end with a jarring set-up for X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Sony is also desperately trying to turn its Spider-Man franchise into a linked universe, today hiring Drew Goddard to make a Sinister Six movie composed only of villains.

But Marvel is doing it best, and most deliberately, even if it's flouting moviemaking rules as it does so. There's a cookie-cutter approach to every film that turns some critics off—every film's score sounds basically the same (Brian Tyler has become the biggest culprit, scoring Iron Man 3Thor: The Dark World and now Age of Ultron), they tend to shy away from anything too visually interesting (the gang on the great Fighting in the War Room podcast recently pointed out how over-lit everything is in the Marvel franchise), and it's hard to evaluate how to feel about one film when it's just as important to consider how it relates to everything that came before and after.

What Marvel is doing, though, is just what it's been doing in comics for many years. Yes, one can simply go to the store every month and buy issues of Iron Man, but the superhero comics approach for many years has been to suck the reader in by crossing over with other titles and building every year to a massive crossover event that brings together as many heroes as possible. Events like "Civil War" or "Avengers vs. X-Men" always have major repercussions throughout the shared comics' world, and keeping up to date with these crossovers is almost required just to know what's happening with your favorite heroes.

marvel civil warMarvel wants the same thing to happen with its movies, although it's asking a lot less of its audience, releasing just a couple films a year. And while its approach is obviously inspired by comic book arcs, its success probably wouldn't be feasible without the boom in serialized storytelling on television over the last ten years. Sure, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (another Joss Whedon joint) helped pioneer season-long story arcs in the '90s but was labeled as niche at the time—now, Netflix orders up multiple seasons at a time of prestige dramas like House of Cards, knowing its audience will devour the grand stories in large chunks and happily keep track of interweaving plots and characters. Marvel brought in Whedon to make The Avengers for a reason—he's been spinning plates like this for a long time. 

Essentially, what Marvel is doing would have been considered too nerdy just a decade ago. Until Nick Fury showed up after the Iron Man credits talking about the Avenger Initiative, the approach was always to make one superhero movie, make direct sequels, but try to keep things as simple as possible. Superman and Batman have been teaming up in comics as part of the Justice League since 1960, but DC is just now getting a crossover movie off the ground. Before The Avengers came out, it was fair to be skeptical that Marvel's grand plans would really pay off, but the tremendous response sealed them in place.
What's changing with every Marvel "phase" is the directors being hired. For the initial movies, Marvel hired well-known pros (Jon Favreau, Kenneth Branagh, Joe Johnston), although most of them had never dealt with super big-budget movies before. The Thor and Cap sequels used TV directors—Alan Taylor and the Russo Brothers—who clearly could turn in a coherent piece that would fit into a larger puzzle without rocking the boat too much (weirdly, Marvel's first attempt at actual TV has largely flopped with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

guardians of the galaxy first photoBut some of the directors on the horizon for Marvel are a little trickier. James Gunn, who's making August's Guardians of the Galaxy, is the singular director of cult hits Slither and Super (neither of which made much of a dent box-office wise). Edgar Wright, stepping behind the camera for 2015's Ant-Man, is of similarly iconoclastic ilk. As the Marvel Universe expands, will it allow room to divert from the formula? The studio has so far kept everything on rails partly out of necessity, just to keep audiences from getting lost as it sets its pieces in place. That doesn't mean there isn't room for growth as the gravy train keeps rolling on.

SEE ALSO: Marvel Surpasses 'Harry Potter' As The Most Successful Franchise In Box-Office History

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It's A Terrible Idea For Warner Bros. To Release ‘Batman Vs. Superman’ The Same Weekend As ‘Captain America 3'


captain america batman

Earlier this week, Marvel confirmed it will release "Captain America 3" May 6, 2016.

It wasn't too much of a surprise since Disney previously planned to release a movie that date.

However, if you're a movie fanatic, or a comic fan, you knew the real news was the giant-sized gauntlet Disney threw down at rival studio Warner Bros.

Previously, WB announced it would release its hugely anticipated "Batman / Superman" movie that same day after pushing back the movie 10 months.

While a bit of competition is healthy (there are usually big movie showdowns at theaters around holidays — "Fast and Furious 6" vs. "The Hangover III" Memorial Day weekend and "Despicable Me 2 vs The Lone Ranger" bowing July 4), but usually these movies aren't competing for the same exact audience and demos.

As it stands, this would be a huge misstep for Warner Bros.

Disney Has Nothing To Lose 

Captain America winter soldier chris evansThere's no way Disney will budge from the May 6 date. It's the only studio that has figured out how to bring multiple successful superheroes to the big screen — something Fox, Sony, and Warner Bros. are now scrambling to duplicate at theaters. 

This past weekend, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"came close to a $100 million openingbetter than the "Thor 2" opening in November. 

In addition, the Mouse House has claimed the first weekend in May for its Marvel movies for several years.

Both "The Avengers" (2012) and "Iron Man 3" (2013) made more than $1 billion at theaters worldwide after early May releases.

As soon as Warner Bros. announced it would push back the currently untitled "Batman / Superman" movie to May 2016, the studio made it clear it wanted to go head-to-head with Disney.

In the past, the sweet spot for Warner Bros.' superhero films has been the third weekend of July. Both "The Dark Knight" and "The Dark Knight Rises," four years later, grossed more than $1 billion.

However, with only Superman at its disposal now, WB's DC characters don't have anywhere near as much klout as Disney's Marvel universe.

This Isn't a Christopher Nolan "Batman" Film

ben affleck batmanBatman may be one of the biggest superheroes at the box office; however, it was Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy that really resonated with fans.

If this was a fourth Nolan film with Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader, it would make more sense for Warner Bros. to go head-to-head with a Disney film. It would potentially even cause the mouse to back down fearing lost profits to the Bat. (Disney probably let out a giant sigh of relief when Nolan and Bale said they were done with Batman because it meant he wouldn't be churning the wheels behind a Justice League franchise.)

However, that's not the case.

Now that Ben Affleck has been cast as an entirely new Batman — the eighth incarnation of the Dark Knight on screen —  the DC superhero needs to prove himself again to viewers. Warner Bros. is starting from scratch.

The last superhero we saw Affleck portray on screen was 2003's "Daredevil" — and while Affleck's grown a lot since then on screen — it's not stopping fanboys from holding that over his head

Can two big superheroes perform better on screen than one who isn't Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man? Probably. Fans have been waiting years for the Dark Knight and son of Krypton to appear on screen together. 

But Warner Bros. has tried time and time again to put the two on the big screen side by side without success. (Remember that logo teased in "I Am Legend" that had audiences going nuts back in 2007?)

i am legend superman batman

With a 10-month delay in the film's production to re-work the script, there are doubts about the direction of the "Man of Steel" sequel. 

It's clear Warner Bros. is going to want to use this movie as its stepping stone to help set up an eventual Justice League film similar to "The Avengers." The question is whether "Batman / Superman" will simply feel like a direct set up for an expanded DC universe to compete with Marvel.

Warner Bros. should take the time to focus on making sure its newest incarnation of Batman sits well with fans rather than throwing their best superhero up against an established Marvel character on screen.

Warner Bros. Will Lose Out If It Goes Up Against Disney's Marvel Titan

nick fury captain america

It's really a loss for either studio, but a bigger one for Warner Bros. which doesn't have a plethora of DC movies at its disposal right now.

When "Captain America 3" comes out, it will look like a sequel to "The Avengers 2," out next summer which should give it a big box-office bump.

"Iron Man 3" came out last May it had a tremendous opening weekend ($174 million) due in part to people seeing it as an "Avengers" sequel.

Sure, Captain America may not be “Iron Man” popular; however, its $315 million gross after two weeks in theaters worldwide says the superhero’s a force to be reckoned with.

It makes sense Warner Bros. doesn't want to make fans wait until June or July for a "Man of Steel" sequel with Batman. It also makes sense the studio wants to be the first big movie of the summer out in 2016; however, there's no reason "Batman / Superman" can't open earlier in April where it can rule the box office for a few weeks ahead of “Captain America 3."

It’s clear blockbuster-sized movies aren’t limited to summer months after both “The LEGO Movie” in February and the record “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” April release. 

No matter how much money both Disney and Warner Bros. make that weekend, it won't be more than each would make if the two sequels were spread out on the calendar.

As it stands, the two films are vying for the same audiences, asking consumers to either choose allegiances to one superhero or expecting them to spend money on two outings to theaters in one weekend.

At the end of the day, this is a case of two stubborn movie studios. One wants to be able to say it can top the other and neither wants to back down.

We’ve spoken to a few insiders who figure its only a matter of time until Warner Bros. backs off the May date.

(Though honestly, I've never quite understood why Disney doesn't release a "Captain America" movie around July 4. Seems like a no-brainer marketing wise.)

If Warner Bros. sticks with the May 6 date, it will definitely be a bit of a surprise.

SEE ALSO: There are 2 end-credit scenes in "The Winter Soldier"— Here's what they mean for future Marvel movies

AND: The 75-year evolution of the Batsuit

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Why It’s Okay That Warner Bros. Won’t Show Us Much Of ‘Godzilla’


godzillaJust show us the monster already! I believe I’ve seen this in a number of comment threads below articles about Warner Bros.’ upcoming Godzilla reboot. People want to see the big guy, standing out in the open, in the light of day. But up to this point the best look we’ve received is the one above from the latest extended look trailer (seen below). Nerds don’t want to be teased only to find themselves watching a movie where all the best stuff happens at night in the rain (ahem, Pacific Rim).

Yet while the marketing department is playing mostly coy with the beast, there’s a heavily understated reason why you don’t need to see a lot of Godzilla and whatever other monsters exist in this movie. And it’s all tied to the film’s ambitious director Gareth Edwards.

Edwards doesn’t yet have the kind of name recognition that would lead to his name being in big letters on a poster. And you won’t see Warner Bros. leading any trailers with “From the Director of Monsters.” But there’s something about him that has real cinephiles sitting back in the corner, oddly silent about not getting to see the damn monster. The secret that gives them that knowing smirk is that they’re aware Edwards’ capabilities. If there’s one thing he accomplished with his low-budget debut Monsters, it was a sense that whatever threat was out there for the characters, it was large and terrifying.

Even if we didn’t see the threat, we felt its presence in the performances of Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able. And later in the movie, the big reveal of the titular monsters was pretty spectacular. Beautiful even. It was in those final moments where audiences realized that Edwards wasn’t just a Swiss Army knife filmmaker (serving as writer, director, cinematographer, production designer and visual effects supervisor). He was a filmmaker who had a strong sense of suspense and perceived scale. It’s not always about showing the monster.

Which is why I’m not too worried about missing out on a good look at Godzilla in a trailer. So far the marketing, from the same studio that has carefully led us around the Internet garden path chasing viral clues about Batman movies, has shown us everything we need know. This includes:

  • Tons of destruction, the result of something massive moving into town
  • A carefully assembled cast that includes Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche and Ken Watanabe — actors who can absolutely sell the suspense while the big guy is off-screen
  • Just enough of the monster to let us know that they haven’t Roland Emmerich’d the design — Godzilla has his classic look back

These are the only things that matter right now. In fact, this is more than enough to hold us over to the film’s release on May 16. If you need to be more confident in this movie, look to the past. Monsters is available to stream on Amazon Prime and Netflix. It’s a challenge I put to a few friends who recently read me the riot act over (a) the need for a new Godzilla movie and (b) the fact that the trailers aren’t showing them the goodies. Their response a few days later after watching Monsters: “Oh, I get it now.”

Take one last look at everything you need in this extended trailer, then chill until you can buy your ticket. You’ll want to see this one on the big screen:

SEE ALSO: 'Godzilla' Reboot Origin Story Was Scrapped Because Of ‘Man Of Steel’

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'Spider-Man' Spin-Off Movies Will Be Released Before 'Amazing Spider-Man 4'


venom amazing spider-man

With Sinister Six and Venom movies planned in addition to more Amazing Spider-Man sequels, the big future plans for Sony's Spider-Man Cinematic Universe are very clear - but what remains a mystery is exactly when the studio will be releasing their titles and in what order.

It's never been clear exactly which of the titles will be coming before the other, but now producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach have shed a little bit of light on the situation. 

Director Marc Webb's final installment in the franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man 3 is scheduled to come out on June 10, 2016, but will The Amazing Spider-Man 4 be the next title to follow it? Not according to Den of Geek's interview with the aforementioned producers, which says that the studio has plans to unfurl the comic book movie spin-offs before beginning work on a fourth Spider-Man film. Said Tolmach, 

"Before we know what we do with Spider-Man 4, we're going to do Sinister SixVenom and Spider-Man 3. There is going to be a lot of crossover in those movies. So we're just not at Spider-Man 4, because we still have a whole other Spider-Man movie and two other movies. So we don't know yet what [Spider-Man 4] is going to be"

Adding an interesting detail to this mix is the already announced May 4, 2018 weekend that the studio has already acquired. Since the studio claimed the date we've assumed that it would be The Amazing Spider-Man 4, but apparently that's not the case. Tolmach also told Den of Geek that May 4, 2018 will be a Spider-Man-related movie, but not The Amazing Spider-Man 4

We can pretty much safely assume that the May 2018 title is either Venom or Sinister Six, but which one? Could Venom be a part of the Sinister Six and then move on for his own solo movie? Or will Venom get a solo movie that leads him to the Sinister Six? If either one of those turns out to be true, will the earlier title be released in 2018, or possibly in 2017? In case you couldn't already tell, this whole situation is still packed with unanswered questions. 

While a great deal of Spider-Man's future on the big screen remains a hazy mystery, there's a good chance that the whole picture will become a lot clearer in less than a month. By then The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be out in theaters worldwide and will we all be able to create informed speculation about what's coming in the next few years. Until then, enjoy this trailer for the upcoming blockbuster. 

SEE ALSO: SPOILER: The 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Post-Credit Scene Reveals A Huge Secret

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'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Reviews: 'More Focused On Franchise-Building Than Storytelling'


amazing spider man 2

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" doesn't come out until next month but we're already seeing a ton of early reviews for the sequel.

Although the reviews seem positive, with a very healthy 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, many reviewers have noted its overriding focus on setting up sequels and spin-offs — in other words an attempt to replicate Disney’s superhero success at theaters. 

That may leave a bit of a bad taste in moviegoer's mouths.

For example:


"There’s great action and compelling performances – Garfield is Spider-Man – but there’s also an obvious pressure to rapidly expand the Spider-Man universe that threatens to derail the film at points."

Total Film:

"The intention is clear – Sony wants their own expanded universe to rival Marvel, since Spidey joining the Avengers will remain the stuff of Garfield and other fans’ dreams. Paul Giamatti’s Rhino and Felicity Jones’s Felicia Hardy are given glorified cameos clearly designed to pay off down the line, in ASM3 or ASM4 or the already-promised Sinister Six spinoff. 

What all this means is that the film often seems more focused on franchise-building than storytelling, nowhere more so than in its final few scenes."

The Playlist:

"It's wildly overstuffed. Sony seems to have taken the lesson from the mammoth success of "The Avengers" that people want an abundance of characters in their superhero movies, but the script from J.J. Abrams acolytes Jeff Pinkner, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci flits around from plotline to plotline shapelessly, and the result is something bloated, that at 141 minutes, is way too long."

Digital Spy: 

"Plans are already afoot for installments 3, 4 and Venom and Sinister Six spinoff movies, and that feels like a big a part of the problem here -Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems more like an exercise in calculated franchise architecture than its does a cohesive stand-alone blockbuster.”

Since "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" it feels like every impending superhero movie will ultimately have some sort of set up toward a larger franchise. 

Still, the movie, out in theaters May 2, should be an enjoyable one.

Many reviews praise director Marc Webb's action sequences — a NYC Times Square scene that’s been heavily promoted stands out — and the romantic storyline between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone on screen.

It should also be a successful film for Sony. 

Estimates are already calling for upwards of $100 million opening weekend. 

Check out a trailer below:

SEE ALSO: "The Amazing Spider-Man 4" will be released after Venom and Sinister Six movies

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The Opening Fight Sequence From 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Looks Awesome


xmen days of future past

A preview of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” aired during the MTV Movie Awards and it has us pumped for the movie come May. 

The scene shows part of the film's opening sequence with Ellen Page and Shawn Ashmore among other mutants uniting to fight.

Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellen also star in the movie out in theaters May 23. 

Watch the scene below:

SEE ALSO: Conan O'Brien's MTV Movie Awards' opening took 3 weeks to make

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4D Theaters That Spray And Tickle Moviegoers Are Coming To California This Summer


4d movie

It bucks, it mists, it hurtles. It smells.

No this is not an amusement park ride and yes, the smells part is accurate. It's 4D, the latest effort by cinema owners to offer something on the big screen that moviegoers can't find on their tablets, mobile devices or gaming consoles.

4D enabled theaters have become popular attractions in Latin America, South Korea, China, Mexico and other foreign markets and they've begun to crop up stateside in recent years. A 4D enabled theater is scheduled to open at Regal Cinemas’ L.A. Live location this summer and another one is tentatively planned to debut in Oxnard, Calif. at roughly the same time, planting hopes for cinema's future right near the heart of the movie business.

Also read: Summer Movies Forecast: Can Spider-Man, Transformers and Godzilla Smash Records?

“The lines are shorter and it doesn't cost as much as a theme park,” said Mark Shaw, CEO of CJ 4DPlex America, the South Korean-backed company behind the L.A. Live theater. “We're asking how can we continue to grow the theater business and create the kind of immersive experience that draws audiences in?”

For CJ 4DPlex America, which was on hand at the exhibition industry trade show CinemaCon last month in Las Vegas to demo its products, that kind of immersion is a sensory assault. Its chairs move along with a film's action, water vapor replicates the feeling of being sprayed as characters splash through waves and a series of aromatic effects recreate the smell of burning rubber as a car chase unfolds. Other companies deploy leg and neck ticklers, so audiences can recoil as a horde of rats or other creepy crawlies race across the screen.

captain america the winter soldierThese features have already cropped up in screenings of epics such as “Frozen,” “Star Trek: Into Darkness” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” and are designed in coordination with the various studios. Representatives from a production must approve the way the 4D works in conjunction with a particular film.

Also read:  21 Summer Movies We're Dying to See – From ‘Transformers 4' to ‘Godzilla’

There's a growing demand for these kind of enhancements, but analysts caution that 4D may not have the appeal of 3D, which continues to be a major attraction at the foreign box office, but is looking wobbly domestically. In the 1950s, for example, movie theaters experimented with enhancements such as CinemaScope, which boasted wider screens, and Smell-o-Vision, which offered exactly what it promised, as a way to compete with television. Today's rivals are video games and online diversions, but it's not clear if 4D will be any more successful than those earlier experiments.

“It may work, but there's a fine line between something that is a gimmick and something that is an economically viable product,” David Hancock, head of IHS Technology's film and cinema department, said.

Plus, Hancock cautions that all the hurtling and jerking could cut down on soda and snack sales — the most profitable part of the exhibition business.

Also read: 3D Lessons Hollywood Could Learn From ‘Gravity’

Indeed, some theater owners have experimented with the technology, only to decide that it is best served up in small doses. Rolando Rodriguez, president and CEO of Marcus Theaters, installed 30 motion seats in one of his fifty theaters. While the seats are popular features when paired with big-budget blockbusters, he has decided not to invest in the technology. The $8 surcharge the 4D seats carry limits their appeal, he said.

“We're investing in other amenities that play better with our customers,” Rodriguez said. “We're pleased with the performance, but from our perspective, investing in things like large screen theaters and in-theater dining is more important.”

But other exhibitors and manufacturers counter that this is more than just a novelty act.

“We're finding that people turn into aficionados,” Michel Paquette, vice-president of marketing of the 4D manufacturer D-Box Technologies, said. “Once people try it, if they like it, they usually get hooked.”

Likewise, Heath Thomas regional manager of the Goodrich Quality Theaters, has placed 4D seats in 16 locations and reports they are a big hit with audiences between the ages of 18 to 30.

Also read: ‘Interstellar': Christopher Nolan Teases Wormhole Travel, Space Shuttle Sets

“It enhances the movie-going experience,” Thomas said. “It doesn't overtake it. The movement of the seats is muted and it's not a huge, drastic motion, so there's no trouble holding a popcorn or a soda.”

When it comes to 4D theaters, there is a wide range of options and experiences. Not everything seems to be ripped out of Disney World's playbook. While companies such as CJ 4DPlex and MediaMation, install comprehensive, total theater packages that come outfitted with fog, aromatic sensors, strobe lighting and other features, other companies, such as D-Box, only offer chairs that move on an individual basis or by rows, sans the other bells and whistles. Some chairs  come with dials that allow audience members to determine the intensity of the motion-enhanced experience. Installation costs are also variable, ranging from $3,000 for one seat to between $1 million to $2 million to outfit an entire theater.

Also read: Christopher Nolan on Why ‘Great Gatsby’ Worked, But 3D Isn't for Him

For now, exhibitors seem willing to shoulder the cost, just as they once shelled out for 3D in hope of reinvigorating the theatrical experience for the “Angry Birds” and “Candy Crush” set. MediaMation, which began life providing motion simulators for theme park attractions and interactive shows, now makes up over half its business selling 4D seating to theatrical exhibitors.

The hope for these companies is that 4D may come of age like 3D did with such masterworks as “Life of Pi” and “Hugo.” It could one day be seen as another arrow in a filmmaker's quiver, rather than an afterthought.

“4D, if done correctly can make a big difference,” Alison Jamele, president of MediaMation, said. ”We hope that directors like James Cameron or Michael Bay will start to have 4D in mind as they're making a movie and will see that it can be an enhancement, not something that interferes with their creative vision.”

SEE ALSO: IMAX Sells 20% Stake In IMAX China For $80 Million

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Relativity Media Says It Can Top Disney’s $500 Million Bid For Maker Studios


Shay Carl

Is $1 billion in stock from Relativity worth more than $950 million in cash from Disney?

That’s the proposition Relativity is offering online multichannel company Maker Studios today. It sent a letter of intent last night that it says “is superior to the current offer from Walt Disney” that the Maker board accepted last month.

The plan developed with help from Jefferies and Barclays includes $500M in Relativity shares, $400M in stock when Maker hits “certain financial milestones,” plus $100M in stock to go to “key talent and executives” who also “are not existing stockholders of the Company.”

Relativity says that both it and Maker “are natural partners” because both “share a commitment to challenging the status quo, breaking down old models that don’t work and inventing new ones that do.” Disney believes that the deal it struck with Maker last month — $500M upfront and $450M with milestones — is binding, so we’ll see where this goes.

The proposal does not appear to be directly related to an effort by former Maker execs including co-founder Danny Zapplin to persuade the LA Superior Court to block the deal with Disney.

The application for a temporary restraining order wants to put things on hold while the plaintiffs try to demonstrate that  current Maker execs are “skimming tens of millions of dollars for themselves by kicking back to the other stock adverse to the common shareholder.” Disney isn’t named as a defendant in the matter.

Major studios are becoming interested in YouTube-oriented multichannel online network companies including Maker Studios which targets Millennials with more than 55,000 channels that attract 380M subscribers and 5.5B views per month. For example, last year DreamWorks Animation paid $33M with another $117M in potential payments for AwesomenessTV, and Warner Bros recently led a funding round for Machinima.

But many investors are wary about the business models; YouTube collects a big chunk of the ad sales. When Disney announced its plan to buy Maker last month Cowen and Co’s Doug Creutz questioned why the entertainment giant “couldn’t have build something themselves for less money” since Maker “generally does not internally develop shows, but instead signs personalities with established shows to contracts.”

SEE ALSO: Disney Buys Maker Studios For $500 Million

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David Fincher Won't Direct Steve Jobs Movie After Alleged $10 Million Demand


David Fincher

Despite widespread rumors, David Fincher (“The Social Network”) won’t be directing Sony's Steve Jobs biopic, according to The Hollywood Reporter 

THR reports Fincher had "aggressive demands for compensation and control," including $10 million upfront and control over how the movie would be marketed.  

Variety reports Fincher has a number of other projects he's currently working on and never officially signed on to direct. 

The biopic, with a screenplay written by Aaron Sorkin, is based off of Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography, “Steve Jobs.” 

The film would have re-teamed Sorkin and Fincher since their Oscar-winning “The Social Network” in 2010.

With Fincher unattached to the project, the chances of Christian Bale as Jobs are probably unlikely since he was reportedly the director’s top choice for the role. 

The Jobs’ movie is currently slated for a 2016 release.

SEE ALSO: The opening fight sequence from "X-Men: Days of Future Past" looks awesome

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How Sports Movies Have Become Their Own Underdog Success Stories


Million Dollar Arm Jon Hamm

There's a good reason why studios keep making sports movies like “Draft Day” and “Million Dollar Arm” despite growing odds against their box-office success: Hollywood loves them.

Once a popular staple at the box office, they have become underdogs in an increasingly international business where American sports don't always travel. But that hasn't stopped Hollywood from making sports movies — or trying to score another box office or critical success like “The Blind Side” or “Moneyball.”

Five sports movies are on this year's calendar, beginning with Summit Entertainment's “Draft Day,” which opened with a disappointing $9.7 million over the weekend. Freestyle Releasing opens the golf movie “From the Rough” later this month, Disney's “Million Dollar Arm” and Sony's “When the Game Stands Tall” will open during the crowded summer season, with Disney's Kevin Costner track saga “McFarland” set for November.

Also read: 9 Burning Summer Movie Questions: Will Channing Tatum Save the Wachowskis? Did Time Off Hurt Angelina Jolie?

Sean Bailey, Disney's president of production, said the studio is feeling good about “Million Dollar Arm” and “McFarland.” Regardless whether the studio manages to strike “lightning in a bottle” as Warner Bros. did with “The Blind Side,” he expressed satisfaction with the way they turned out.

“Themes of inspiration and courage, that's also meaningful to us,” Bailey said. “Obviously we want to succeed financially, but it's also meaningful to us at Disney to put movies out there with themes and ideas at their core.”

Disney's “Million Dollar Arm,” starring Jon Hamm, is ostensibly about baseball, but won't feature a single baseball game. Instead, it dramatizes the true story of a baseball scout traveling to India to recruit cricket players — an international component that's a bonus in today's box office arena.

“I wouldn't say there was a calculated effort to change the nature of narrative to adjust to changing business climate,” Bailey said. “The world is just changing. JB Bernstein went to India because the Yao Ming phenomenon had happened.”

 Also read: 8 Under-the-Radar Summer Movies We're Excited to See

Because even domestic hits like “Moneyball” didn't play strongly overseas, there's extra pressure to have a story line compelling enough to convince backers that a project can appeal to non-fans. As a result, budgets have shrunk.

“We are looking at the numbers for these movies pretty hard, and we don't have the cushion that may have been there in the past,” Bailey conceded.

“It's more difficult to make any movie now, but sports movies are as difficult as they come because they are hard to travel with,” Erica Huggins, president of Imagine Entertainment, toldTheWrap.

Yet Imagine has been one of the most frequent producers of the genre, making “Friday Night Lights,” “Cinderella Man” and “Rush,” with several more on the way — including a biopic of Brazilian soccer icon Pele.

“If done well, sports movies tell us something about our time and culture,” Imagine production president Kim Roth explained.

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Sports movies, which date all the way back to the Charlie Chaplin era, have gradually lost their luster in the past decade. “A League of Their Own,” released in 1992, is still the top grossing baseball movie domestically with $107.5 million. Movies like Legendary Pictures' ”42,” a sleeper hit in the U.S. last year, did not get an international release. 

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Sports Movies Football Box Office

Nine of the ten highest-grossing football movies opened between 1998 and 2006. “The Blind Side,” which has grossed nearly $310 million worldwide, is the one exception, and it exemplifies Hollywood's increasingly important formula for sports movies: Heavy on emotion, light on the games.

Based on Michael Lewis’ book about Michael Oher and the growing importance of the outside tackle-position in football, the movie emphasized the personal relationship between Oher and his adoptive family. Of course, having an A-list star like Sandra Bullock didn't hurt either — and she won an Oscar for her performance.

Successful sports movies often play up the personal side, whether it is Billy Beane's family in “Moneyball” (another Lewis book) or the personal travails of Jake LaMotta in “Raging Bull.”

The inspirational tone has become more critical today, since the primary demographic for most sports films — young people, and males in particular — have become distracted by video games, 24-hour sports cable sports and other digital entertainment options. Sports comedies, like Charlie Sheen's “Major League” in 1989, have fallen out of favor.

“Sports movies, especially comedies, used to be the one of the best forms of fun for males under 25,” said Mandalay Pictures executive David Zelon, who produced 2011's “Soul Surfer,” the highest-grossing live-action surf movie ever. He's also producing “The Game Stands Tall,” the story of the championship DeLaSalle High football team that Sony will release in August.

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“Now you're competing with Madden Football and Facebook,” Zelon said. “There are so many other things pulling away their interest that are cheaper and easier now.”

Still, Hollywood keeps churning them out because, as one executive said, “a lot of people who work in this business have a sports movie in their top five.”

Like “Draft Day” before it, “Million Dollar Arm” and “The Game Stands Tall” will open against movies that cost more than $100 million to make. Underdogs to the end.

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Sports Movies Basketball Box Office

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Sports Movies Golf

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