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'Frozen 2' Not In Development At Disney, Studio Focusing On Live Musical Instead

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frozen elsa

Yesterday, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn talked about Star Wars: Episode VII, but he also touched on some of the studio’s other major projects.  After the monster success of Frozen, it was assumed that Disney would fast track a sequel. 

However, according to THR, Horn says that Frozen 2 “hadn’t even been discussed.”  Perhaps there have been no serious discussions when it comes to finding a story or hiring cast and crew, but you don’t get to a over a billion dollars worldwide without someone saying, “Hey, maybe we should do a sequel.”  That doesn’t mean one is happening tomorrow. 

Disney has no reason to rush when the original is still riding high.  It’s currently the top selling Blu-ray and soundtrack on Amazon.  However, I have no doubt when Horn says they’re primarily focusing on the Frozen musical.  Disney loves bringing their animated features to the stage, and a Frozen stage musical is a license to print money.

It’s important to remember that musicals take a while to put together, and if Disney doesn’t want to run this franchise into the ground, they have to make sure it reaches a certain level of quality.  This isn’t like Mulan or Aladdin where Disney is digging into their back catalog and to give a property a second life.  Frozen is alive and well and will be for some time.  In the long term, it’s better not to run it into the ground with a slapdash musical or rushed sequel.

Fans should take heart in that rather than be disappointed that we won’t be returning to Arendelle in the near future.

SEE ALSO: Parents Are Shelling Out Big Bucks For 'Frozen' Swag On eBay

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Peter Jackson Reveals Why The Final 'Hobbit' Movie Is Getting A Name Change

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hobbit bilbo

The third “Hobbit” film is getting a name change. 

Peter Jackson announced on Facebook the next — and last — installment to the Hobbit franchise will change its name from “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” to “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” 

Jackson explains the reasoning behind the title change:

“There and Back Again” felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo’s arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film. But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced—after all, Bilbo has already arrived “there” in the "Desolation of Smaug".

When we did the premiere trip late last year, I had a quiet conversation with the studio about the idea of revisiting the title. We decided to keep an open mind until a cut of the film was ready to look at. We reached that point last week, and after viewing the movie, we all agreed there is now one title that feels completely appropriate.

And so: "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" it is.

The name change makes a lot of sense.  

The “Battle of the Five Armies” is the climactic scene of the short children’s book and has been hinted at since the first film with Gandalf's many disappearances on his own side venture.

gandalf the desolation of smaugThe name change should also help attract a wider demographic who may not have been sold on a vague title such as “There and Back Again,” a nod to author J.R.R. Tolkien’s name for the adapted book. “Battle of the Five Armies” in the title sets up a giant war similar to the battle that took place in the final “Lord of the Rings” film, “The Return of the King.”  

Don’t expect the name to go away entirely. 

Jackson hinted since Tolkien used the phrase to describe title character Bilbo Baggin’s entire journey that “There And Back Again” may be “used on a future box-set of all three movies.” 

Jackson added there will also be an extended version of the series’ second entry, “The Desolation of Smaug,” with more than 25 minutes of new scenes available. 

The film was first released on DVD and Blu-ray April 8. 

“The Battle of the Five Armies” will be released December 17, 2014.

You can read Jackson's full announcement here.

SEE ALSO: 15 movies you need to see this summer

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Here's How Many People Really Use Sketchy Streaming Sites — And Why

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There's very little data about how many people use sketchy online streaming sites, but we know quite a few people who do.

These sites, which can be found with a simple online search, offer links to free, albeit typically low-quality and spammy, videos of countless shows and live TV. They are actually legal if they follow certain rules, and they can legally be used under the right circumstances — though that could change as digital law evolves. Read more on how they work here »

To get more information about who uses unlicensed streaming sites and what people think about them, Business Insider partnered with Survey Monkey to survey 549 people from a diverse pool of online respondents. The most important findings are presented below:

First of all, 14% of respondents admitted to streaming unlicensed content.

Given that respondents may have been reluctant to admit to activity they feared was illegal, the actual number could be higher.

Among people who admitted to streaming unlicensed content, the majority cited the unavailability of content on a licensed site as the primary reason why they did it.

streaming survey question 12

Also, almost 39% focused on TV series, as shown in the chart below. For example, TorrentFreak recently discovered that "Game of Thrones" season 4, episode 2 was the most downloaded show ever. Open-ended survey responses also showed people streamed Game of Thrones with some regularity.

streaming survey question 8

Among people who admitted to streaming unlicensed content, 20% did it for the first time in the past 12 months; 42% have been doing it for more than three years.

streaming survey question 11

Among people who said they don't stream unlicensed content, the largest group — 32% — said the primary reason why they don't is because they think it's illegal; 24% cited fear of viruses; 23% said it's because they don't know how.

streaming survey question 6

Should unlicensed streaming sites be illegal? 25% strongly agreed, 9% strongly disagreed, and everyone else was uncertain or uninterested.

streaming survey question 14

 Aside from unlicensed online streaming, about 61% of respondents said they streamed licensed content. Netflix was the most used service for nearly 60% of these respondents.

streaming survey question 2

Although all of these licensed sites are legal, some are using them in ways that violate the user agreement. For example, 13% admitted to sharing their passwords to paid services.

SEE ALSO: How Sketchy Streaming Sites Really Work — And Why Some Are Legal

DON'T MISS: How To Use The Hola App To Unlock Hundreds Of Videos On Netflix

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Bryan Singer Breaks Silence On 'Vicious' Sexual Abuse Allegations

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bryan singer

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” director Bryan Singer has finally released a statement on the sexual abuse allegations against him.  

Last week, the director was accused of sexually assaulting an underage boy in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Hawaii. 

Here’s his full statement, via The Wrap: 

"The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false. I do not want these fictitious claims to divert ANY attention from X-Men: Days of Future Past. This fantastic film is a labor of love and one of the greatest experiences of my career. So, out of respect to all of the extraordinary contributions from the incredibly talented actors and crew involved, I've decided not to participate in the upcoming media events for the film. However, I promise when this situation is over, the facts will show this to be the sick twisted shake down it is. I want to thank fans, friends and family for all their amazing and overwhelming support." 

Since the allegations, Singer has dropped out of all press for his “X-Men” film due out in May. 

Singer’s attorney has called the lawsuit “completely without merit” and has said credit card receipts, telephone records, and production schedules prove the director was not in Hawaii at the time the lawsuit claims any sexual abuse took place.

SEE ALSO: The man allegedly at the center of an infamous Hollywood "sex ring" hasn't been seen in years

AND: Will sex allegations against Bryan Singer hurt "X-Men: Days of Future Past" at theaters

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Director Joss Whedon Says 'Avengers 2' Villain Ultron Is 'Genuinely Disturbed'

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age of ultron

Comic book fans understand Ultron – or, the different versions of Ultron that they’ve read about in different issues dating all the way back to 1968, when the robot first appeared in Avengers.

But film fans who adored Joss Whedon’s Marvel’s The Avengers might not know what Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will have to face in next summer’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron, so these fresh comments from Whedon will be insightful… and more than a little tantalizing.

Whedon was speaking with Empire Magazine as part of the mag’s summer movie preview, and while The Avengers: Age of Ultron doesn’t open this year, it casts a long enough shadow over the season that we’re already anticipating what the Marvel crew will be able to bring to theaters next May. When asked to discuss Ultron’s personality in this next movie, and what they are trying to accomplish with the evil villain, Joss Whedon explained:

"Last time, I had all of Earth's Mightiest Heroes versus one British character actor, and I needed more conflict. I'm having a blast with Ultron. He's not a creature of logic -- he's a robot who's genuinely disturbed. We're finding out what makes him menacing and at the same time endearing and funny and strange and unexpected, and everything a robot never is."

Having James Spader as the voice of said robot likely allows Whedon the chance to explore different disturbing emotions in a sentient being. The challenge facing the Avengers franchise time after time is that Marvel – or Joss Whedon, if he keeps directing the installments in this franchise – has to keep coming up with a threat that’s large enough to justify reuniting the full complement of Avengers, from Thor and Iron Man to Captain America and newcomers Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. For example, The Winter Soldier wasn’t a big enough threat, apparently, for Tony Stark to swoop down to Washington, D.C. and help dismantle Hydra (which was masquerading as S.H.I.E.L.D.) But Ultron will be a big enough problem that the whole team will have to unite… in a more exotic location.

On that note, Whedon talked to Empire about filming The Avengers: Age of Ultron in various European and African locations, trying to introduce a new backdrop to the action. And I loved his comment about moving the familiar characters to new areas for the benefit of his film:

"This, palette-wise, is very different. I'm trying to make a different film. Because why would you make one movie twice? That seems weird."

That DOES seem weird! And yet, someone as business savvy as Joss Whedon no doubt understands that far too many directors who’ve experienced success (cough, Michael Bay, cough) happily go back to the well and make the same movie twice. Or four times.

SEE ALSO: Mark Ruffalo Gets In Trouble With Marvel For Tweeting Photos From 'Avengers 2' Set

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It's Not Just 'Frozen': Most Disney Films Are Subtly Pro-Gay

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frozen queen elsa

The culture warriors have decided: Disney’s Frozen is queer. Elsa hiding her ice-powers could be read as a metaphor for the closet, the Oscar-winning “Let it Go” plays like a coming-out anthem, and a character in the film evokes the question of whether homosexuality is a choice by inquiring of Elsa’s powers, “born with it or cursed?” Some liberals have praised the film for its subtext; some conservatives have denounced it.

But the most remarkable thing about queer readings of the film may be how unremarkable they really are. Through both its corporate practices and the content of its films, Disney for decades has implemented the so-called "gay agenda"—which is to say, helping make the world a more accepting place.

To start in the most obvious place: As a business, Disney has long held a progressive attitude toward LGBT people. Gay pride events have been hosted at Disney World since 1991, and the company started offered its gay employees health insurance benefits for their partners since 1995, a decision that wasn’t entirely popular back then.

One of the most poignant examples of the company’s tolerant atmosphere is the case of lyricist Howard Ashman, who was openly gay and died of AIDS in 1991. Not only did Ashman write songs for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, he was also closely involved in those films’ productions, casting actors and holding story meetings with animators. At the end of Beauty and the Beast, Disney acknowledged his contributions with this tribute: “To our friend Howard Ashman who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful.”

But Ashman’s story also offers an example of how the substance of Disney’s films reflect an interest in LGBT peoples’ struggles. Ashman worked on Beauty and the Beast while suffering through the worst (and final) phases of his illness, and composer Alan Menken called the film Ashman’s “personal story.” The result is a movie that can be viewed as an allegory: Shunned from society, his body hideously transformed, and his life wilting away like the enchanted rose, the Beast is a figure of degenerative disease. Belle’s love and the ultimate breaking of the curse is the fantasy cure that Ashman was denied.

But even without Ashman’s involvement, queer kids could identify with Disney protagonists, who are usually outcasts set apart from society by some innate desire (usually indicated by an “I want” song that details whatever dream that particular character is pining to attain). Ariel (The Little Mermaid) wanted to be part of another world, the townspeople think Belle (Beauty and the Beast) is “a funny girl … different from the rest of us” and Pocahontas (Pocahontas) does not want to be steady as the beating drum. This marks the Disney protagonist as odd, unusual, queer.

arielle the little mermaid disney princessEven classic Disney films featured these archetypes. Initially mocked by his peers, Dumbo (Dumbo“comes out” and waves his freak flag after hallucinating pink elephants and learning to fly. Pinocchio (Pinocchio) reflects queer anxiety since he doesn’t know how to act like “a real boy,” and he thinks performing masculinity through smoking, cursing, and misbehaving will earn his father’s love.

Then there’s the fact that Disney protagonists often reject traditional marriage partners. Ariel wants to marry a human against her father’s wishes, Belle rejects Gaston’s proposal in front of the whole town, Jasmine refuses to marry the sultan’s suitors, Pocahontas refuses to marry a tribal warrior, and Mulan rejects conventional matchmaking. In this way, even though Disney films usually offer a traditional happy ending with a heterosexual marriage, the journey always involves rejecting parental and societal expectations, and exercising a “freedom to marry whomever you love” spirit that is endemic to gay rights.

Indeed, many Disney romances are examples of “impossible desire,” a trope that is crucial to the queer experience, as gender-studies theorist Heather Love argued in Feeling Backward. It was impossible for Ariel to be with Eric unless she became human, or for Belle to be with the Beast unless he became human, or for Aladdin to be with Jasmine unless he became a prince, or for Pocahontas to be with John Smith unless she left her people.

In the seminal Gender Trouble, Judith Butler pointed out how gender was in part performance-based, a fact that Disney has often depicted with cross-dressing and gender subversion. The company’s animators cite the drag performer Divine as the inspiration for Ursula in The Little Mermaid. Just as Divine was cast in Pink Flamingos because “society saw [drag characters] as perverts so they decided to revel in their status,” so too Ursula is marked a pervert by introducing sex to a children’s animated film. She encourages Ariel to use her body to lure the prince, and her magic not only gives the mermaid legs but also (presumably) a sexual organ, as Ariel emerges from the sea completely naked and must be covered up

AladdinIn another instance of gender bending, the Genie in Aladdin shapeshifts into many characters, including female ones, and even dons feminine clothes and underwear at different points in the film. Indeed, Aladdin’s romance with Jasmine is much less developed than his friendship with the genie, and his decision to free the genie provides the movie’s poignant climax. Robin Williams's character even acknowledges the queer undercurrent: “I’m getting kinda fond of you kid … not that I want to pick out curtains or anything.”

Another obvious example: Mulan, where the protagonist disguises herself as a male soldier. When the soldiers later dress themselves as courtesans so they can sneak into the palace, the film completes its theme of gender as performance, with women pretending to be men and men pretending to be women. Mulan’s “I Want” song also plays like an anthem for kids born into the wrong gendered body—“When will my reflection show who I am inside?”—and intriguingly, the film insinuates that her male captain fell in love with her while she was masquerading as a man.

More subtly, Disney protagonists often mature in ways that evoke the queer experience. In The Queer Child Kathryn Bond Stockton argues that queerness is not just about homosexuality, but also about growing in abnormal ways that makes the child an outcast. First there is “growing sideways”—children who in physical ways signify that they're different—which Disney has depicted through Pinocchio’s nose, Dumbo’s ears, and Rapunzel’s hair. Secondly there is “delayed growth” as seen in Peter Pan and The Jungle Book where Peter and Mowgli want to remain in Neverland and the jungle respectively so they won’t grow up.

Similarly, the enchanted objects in Beauty and the Beast cannot grow until the spell is broken and they become human again, and Quasimodo and Rapunzel have been locked away in towers all their lives, precluding adult socialization. Thirdly, there is “growth by animals” where pets reflect the inner lives of their queer masters. Certainly this last conceit is all over the Disney canon, where aside from the obvious anthropomorphism of films like Bambi or The Lion King, there are also lots of animal sidekicks reflecting the emotions of their masters in films about human protagonists. Jiminy Cricket represents Pinocchio’s conscience, Ariel’s pet fish reflects her joy or sorrow, and even villains get their own vicarious pets, like Iago parroting Jafar’s evil.

Thus, Disney films have been both traditional and subversive, serving wholesome princess stories to a largely hetero-normative global audience while also subtly appealing to queer children. You don't need to be up on your queer theory or buy into the “It Gets Better” campaign to understand why any of this matters. Through conventional happy endings for outcasts and oddballs, Disney films let every child know that it’s ok to be different.

SEE ALSO: 'Frozen 2' Not In Development At Disney, Studio Focusing On Live Musical Instead

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Another Justice League Superhero Will Appear In The ‘Batman / Superman’ Movie

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cyborg ray fisherWhen the Batman/Superman movie hits theaters in 2016, the superheroes will be joined by Wonder Woman and another DC superhero, Cyborg.

Variety reports theater actor Ray Fisher has been cast as the Justice League superhero in the currently untitled film.

You may recognize Fisher as one of the young actors who was recently reported to be a frontrunner for the lead in “Star Wars.”

What you should know about Cyborg

cyborg

Cyborg, aka Victor Stone, is half man and half machine saved by his father after an accident left him injured. 

While Cyborg’s mostly known as a member of DC Comic’s “Teen Titans” which includes superheroes like Batman’s sidekick Robin, Cyborg has also been a member of the Justice League. 

Cyborg's role is thought to be a minor as Warner Bros. is expected to be working up to a "Justice League" movie to compete with Disney's monster Marvel cinematic universe on screen.

Previously, Warner Bros. announced Jesse Eisenberg will join the cast as iconic Superman villain Lex Luthor. "Fast and Furious" actress Gal Gadot will play Wonder Woman / Diana Prince.

“Argo” screenwriter Chris Terrio is working on the screenplay based on one by David S. Goyer. Goyer previously worked on the stories for Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy.

The “Batman / Superman” movie is currently set for a May 6, 2016 release

SEE ALSO: The 75-year evolution of the batsuit

AND: Why it's a terrible idea for Warner Bros. to release "Batman vs. Superman" the same weekend as "Captain America 3"

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Director Filmed 3 Actors Over 12 Years For Incredible Coming Of Age Movie

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Boyhood

In 2002, director Richard Linklater began filming then-six-year-old actor Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, and Patricia Arquette — and then periodically shot scenes over the next 12 years. 

The result is an incredible coming-of-age film in which we actually see the main character grow up  and his parents age  on screen.

Watch Coltrane transform below:

Boyhood

Linklater, who is the director behind the somewhat similar "Before Sunrise" trilogy, explained his unorthodox process to Indiewire:

"You know, every year I had a year to think up the next part, based on everything that had gone before. So by year four, I’ve got three years that I can look at, that are edited, that we’ve been working on, and I can feel where it’s going and where it wants to go. I was stuck with this kind of architecture but yet within that the décor, the details were always being reworked, being found. That’s kind of how I work on any movie, there’s always a strong outline, a structure and then within that structure, a certain looseness to work with the actors," he explained. "It makes you keep working—the night before, I want to have the great idea that keeps the scene interesting. I want to leave myself open to that."

"Boyhood" opens on July 11th. 

SEE ALSO: 15 Movies You Should See This Summer

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Critics Are Trashing Kate Upton And Cameron Diaz's New Movie 'The Other Woman'

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cameron diaz kate upton the other woman

Cameron Diaz's new movie starring Leslie Mann and Kate Upton, "The Other Woman" is out this weekend.

In what appears to be a modern-day version of "The First Wives Club", Carly (Diaz), Kate (Mann), and Amber (Upton) seek revenge on the guy (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, "Game of Thrones") who has been romancing all three of them — and more — while married to Kate.

So far, the reviews are pretty brutal with the film sitting at 25% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Here are a few:

The New York Times

“This female revenge comedy is so dumb, lazy, clumsily assembled and unoriginal, it could crush any actor forced to execute its leaden slapstick gags and mouth its crude, humorless dialogue (by the first-time screenwriter Melissa K. Stack).” 

NJ.com:

“Nick Cassavetes, who hasn't had a hit since ‘The Notebook,’ directs as deftly as if he were wearing boxing gloves. Scenes are overlit — the photography does Diaz no favors — the sound editing is awful and music cues are scored with a sledgehammer … The only thing missing from this steaming casserole, in fact, is the one crucial ingredient: A sense of humor.” 

The NYPost: 

“‘The Other Woman’ is a weak adultery rom-com in which the most authentic performance comes from a non-housebroken Great Dane.” 

“Cassavetes also relies heavily on tired visual shorthand. We know Carly is a career woman because she wears all black and stilettos; we know Mark is an alpha male because he drives a sports car. We know Upton’s the eye candy because she’s running down the beach in slow motion, “Baywatch”-style.” 

Time Out: 

“There’s a strong whiff of ‘The First Wives Club’ and an even a sprinkling of ‘Working Girl’ here – but instead of updating the genre, ‘The Other Woman’ rehashes it, bringing little more than a few giggles and a dash of glamour to the table.” 

A similar sentiment by many outlets is that Kate Upton’s presence in the film appears to be simply just for “eye candy."

the other woman

NYT:

"Amber [Upton] is crassly shoehorned into the movie to provide jiggling eye candy for boys." 

NPR: 

“It is a film that features a vomiting scene, a farting scene, a huge dog taking an extravagant, full-view dump on an apartment floor, the aforementioned diarrhea and nipple segments, a joke — the approach of which is visible from space — when a man is sexually humiliated by a transgender woman, and plenty of appreciative ogling of Kate Upton's caboose.”

The Hollywood Reporter

"Upton does what she's called upon to do, look great in a bikini, and rarely has more than one line to speak at a time."

Instead, a few suggest Nicki Minaj’s brief role is the best part of the film.  

Time: 

“All three women are less watchable and amusing that [sic] Nicki Minaj as Carly’s legal assistant Lydia. Here’s someone who enjoys a job she doesn’t feel the need to excel in — ‘It’s like having a hobby that pays well’ — and dispenses the working-girl wisdom that ‘Selfish people live longer.’”

Here's a clip of her in the film.

Despite the reviews, the film is set to win the box-office weekend with an estimated $16.5 million.

Now, watch a trailer for the film.

SEE ALSO: 15 movies you should see this summer

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Disney Is Going To Nuke All The 'Star Wars' Books And Comics Fans Have Been Enjoying For Decades (DIS)

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star wars empire strikes back

Lucasfilm, which is now owned by Disney and is working on a new trilogy of "Star Wars" movies, announced Friday that it's essentially killing off the vast series of books, comics, and video games that have spun off the original "Star Wars" movies.

Most of that extra material, commonly referred to as the Expanded Universe, explains what happens after "Return of the Jedi," the third movie in the original trilogy that ended with Darth Vader's death.

Disney's new trilogy of "Star Wars" movies will begin with "Episode VII" and will be the official sequels to "Return of the Jedi." In order to keep the storyline fresh and exciting, Disney decided to throw out the events that happen in the Expanded Universe and start over. After all, what would be the point of watching the new movies if we already know what's going to happen thanks to the Expanded Universe?

Moving forward, Lucasfilm/Disney will have a group of people tasked with making sure future Star Wars cartoons, books, comics, video games, etc. fall within the official storyline. That official storyline now only includes the six existing "Star Wars" movies, Episodes I through VI, and the "Clone Wars" cartoon series that aired on Cartoon Network.

All the other Expanded Universe material that has been published over the years will continue to exist, but will be rebranded under the "Star Wars Legends" banner. They're fun and interesting stories, but readers should note they do not reflect the official storyline that will take place in all future "Star Wars" material produced from now on. However, Lucasfilm did say some elements from the Expanded Universe like certain characters and organizations might make it into future "Star Wars" movies, books, etc.

Note that in the announcement it says "Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU [Expanded Universe]."

"Episode VII" will premiere on Dec. 18, 2015. There will be two more movies, "Episode VIII" and "Episode IX", after that.

The Expanded Universe really got cranking once it became clear George Lucas wasn't going to make any sequels to "Return of the Jedi." That gave sci-fi writers the right to license "Star Wars" and its characters to come up with what happens to Luke Skywalker and crew after the final movie. But when Disney announced it was buying Lucasfilm in 2012 and planned to make a new "Star Wars" trilogy, it didn't make sense for the company to adhere to the Expanded Universe material.

Here's a video from Lucasfilm explaining the changes:

Here's the announcement from Lucasfilm:

For over 35 years, the Expanded Universe has enriched the Star Wars experience for fans seeking to continue the adventure beyond what is seen on the screen. When he created Star Wars, George Lucas built a universe that sparked the imagination, and inspired others to create. He opened up that universe to be a creative space for other people to tell their own tales. This became the Expanded Universe, or EU, of comics, novels, video games, and more.

While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU. He set the films he created as the canon. This includes the six Star Wars episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align.

Now, with an exciting future filled with new cinematic installments of Star Wars, all aspects ofStar Wars storytelling moving forward will be connected. Under Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy's direction, the company for the first time ever has formed a story group to oversee and coordinate all Star Wars creative development.

"We have an unprecedented slate of new Star Wars entertainment on the horizon," said Kennedy. "We're set to bring Star Wars back to the big screen, and continue the adventure through games, books, comics, and new formats that are just emerging. This future of interconnected storytelling will allow fans to explore this galaxy in deeper ways than ever before."

In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe. While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe. For example, elements of the EU are included in Star Wars Rebels. The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems are story elements in the new animated series, and all these ideas find their origins in roleplaying game material published in the 1980s.

Demand for past tales of the Expanded Universe will keep them in print, presented under the new Legends banner.

On the screen, the first new canon to appear will be Star Wars Rebels. In print, the first new books to come from this creative collaboration include novels from Del Rey Books. First to be announced, John Jackson Miller is writing a novel that precedes the events of Star Wars Rebelsand offers insight into a key character's backstory, with input directly from executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Greg Weisman.

And this is just the beginning of a creatively aligned program of Star Wars storytelling created by the collaboration of incredibly talented people united by their love of that galaxy far, far away....

SEE ALSO: The new "Star Wars" film will cost at least $175 million to make

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Kate Upton And Cameron Diaz's 'The Other Woman' Is Essentially 'The First Wives Club'

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"The Other Woman"hits theaters this weekend, but you may have seen something similar before — at least according to the trailer.

The Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Kate Upton-starring comedy is essentially a modern day "First Wives Club."

In "The Other Woman," the women strike up an unlikely friendship after figuring out they're involved with the same man and plot to get revenge. In 1996's "The First Wives Club," Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, and Bette Midler set out to get revenge against their individual ex-husbands.

Here's how the two story lines go down.

Once the women figure out they're being cheated on, they bond and spy:

The other woman binoculars spying

First Wives Club Spying

As a result of what they see, they get drunk and sad:

The Other Woman bar

Goldie Hawn First Wives CLub

Once sober, they vow to take revenge. This involves scheming in a car:

The Other Woman Cameron Diaz Kate Upton Leslie Mann

First Wives Club old cell phone

There's a whiteboard on which the women write the steps in their plan. Progress is made!The other woman white board cameron diaz

First Wives Club Diane Keaton white board

Mission accomplished over lunch at a fancy NYC restaurant. Cheers!The other woman cheers

First Wives Club

First Wives Club cheers

Watch both trailers and judge for yourselves below:

SEE ALSO: Critics Are Trashing Kate Upton And Cameron Diaz's New Movie 'The Other Woman'

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The 5 Biggest Box-Office Summer Showdowns

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godzilla maleficentWhen a family movie like “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” for example, opens on the same weekend as an R-rated comedy like “22 Jump Street,” it's not as if they're competing for the same moviegoers. The target audiences are different, their theaters could be disproportionate, one could be in 3D — all factors that make for unfair fights,  (It's not all about a film's first three days either, but that's a different story.)

Nonetheless, if they open on the same weekend, one movie is going to come out on top and get the victor's buzz — and one of them isn't.

In that spirit, here's a looking at some of the blockbuster season's most intriguing box-office face-offs.

Movies going against each other at the box office >

“Godzilla” vs. “Million Dollar Arm,” May 16

Everyone's favorite rampaging reptile goes up against hunky Jon Hamm, the star of TV's “Mad Men,” as a baseball scout who takes an out-of-left-field approach to finding a star by mining India's cricket leagues.

Disney knows how to market a family film, and a baseball movie in the summer makes sense. But the hordes of fanboys who mobilize for monster movies gives “Godzilla,” from Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros., a clear edge. The presence of another TV star — Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” — further tips the balance in favor of the the big lizard.

Prediction: “Godzilla,” in a romp



“A Million Ways to Die in the West" vs. "Maleficent," May 30

Will moviegoers prefer to get scared silly by Angelina Jolie as The Mistress of All Evil from “Sleeping Beauty,” or laugh themselves silly with Seth MacFarlane and his cowpoke pals?

Both movies have a lot going for them. Disney's marketing machine and Jolie's star power is a potent 1-2 punch, and this is the same young-girl target audience that made “Frozen” a blockbuster, though “Maleficent” is darker. The early buzz on “A Million Ways to Die” is positive and MacFarlane and Universal are hoping that he — along with co-stars Charlize Theron, Neil Patrick Harris, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried and Sarah Silverman — can do for cowboys what he did for teddy bears with “Ted.” 

Prediction: “Maleficent,” but not a blowout



"22 Jump Street" vs. "How to Train Your Dragon," June 13

This is another battle between a kids film and an R-rated comedy. Sony's clearly confident in its sequel to last year's breakout hit based on the 1987 TV show, shifting it into the heart of summer.

Hits “Magic Mike,” “Wolf of Wall Street” and “This Is the End” have raised the heat index for Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum), and adding Ice Cube to the cast won't hurt. But Hiccup and Astrid, the two main characters in DreamWorks’ animated sequel, also have turned it up since the 2010 original.

The movie's Facebook page is approaching 6 million “likes” — which is “Despicable Me 2” range. One thing we know is that Hill will be in whichever movie comes out on top — he voices Snotlout Jorgenson in ”Dragon.” 

Prediction: “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” but both will be big.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

'Wonder Woman' Movie: 7 Things We Know For Certain

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superman wonder woman kiss dc comics

Every time we talk about Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel 2 on CinemaBlend, we unofficially refer to it as Batman vs. Superman. Which is accurate, but it leaves out a significant component: When will Wonder Woman get her own movie?

Infamous Amazonian Wonder Woman will be introduced in Snyder’s movie when it reaches theaters on May 6, 2016. It’s unclear at the moment, however, how screenwriters Snyder, David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio (Argo) plan to use Princess Diana of Themyscira in this film.

Will she merely cameo, hinting at the promise of stories to come? Will she be an integral part of the narrative, assisting Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) as they contend with the evil schemes of the already announced Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg)? And what does the future hold for Wonder Woman at Warner Bros.?

Some of those questions can be answered. Others await confirmation. For now, let’s dig into everything we know about Wonder Woman’s cinematic future, as Warner and DC Comics try to get their collective act in gear and keep pace with Marvel’s signature franchise, The Avengers.

1. The Star: Gal Gadot

gal gadotNow Hollywood's taking another shot at Wonder Woman and our first look at her in movie form will be as part of the Batman vs. Superman cast. We may not know how Zack Snyder will use her in his Man of Steel sequel, but we do know who will be playing her. The director confirmed the casting of Israelian beauty Gal Gadot back in December 2013, stating, "Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role. We look forward to audiences discovering Gal in the first feature film incarnation of this beloved character."

Some audiences discovered Gadot already. She played Gisele in the last three Fast & Furious movies, and had parts in Date Night and Knight & Day. But there’s no question Wonder Woman will be the biggest role Gadot has ever attempted. So, how many times will she attempt it?

2. Her Contract

gal gadot motorcycleAt the time of her signing, Variety confirmed that Gadot had inked a three-picture deal with Warner Bros. that would begin with Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman. The trade said that the next two movies would be a Justice League of America movie, and a standalone Wonder Woman film… though they didn’t say in what order those movies would happen. And honestly, those movies aren’t going to happen if, for some bizarre reason, Snyder’s Man of Steel 2 tanks. It won’t. But at the very least, Warner has Gadot under contract for future movies if and when Batman vs. Superman takes off and leads to future films in this still developing franchise.

If we had to manufacture a guess as to where we’ll see Gal Gadot after Snyder’s movie, I’d lay my money down on…

3. The Justice League of America

justice leagueWarner Bros. and DC Comics are doing their best to keep pace with rival studio Marvel, but Marvel has SUCH a head start, the competition has been unfair to this point. We actually could have concrete details on a third Avengers movie by the time DC finally gets Batman and Superman on screen in 2016. So it makes sense that DC would want to use Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel 2 to expand the universe and lay the foundation for a Justice League of America movie that would involve Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and other as-yet-to-be-cast actors playing other members of the JLA.

Cyborg was recently added to Batman vs. Superman. And in the Variety story about Gadot’s casting as Wonder Woman, a source told the trade that Flash also would "cameo" in Snyder’s sequel, though that has not been confirmed by anyone at Warner Bros. or DC Comics. The question isn’t "if" when it comes to a Justice League of America. The question is "when?"

Gadot’s deal includes participation in a Justice League of America movie. IMDB claims it’s down for 2017. But unless Snyder shoots footage for that film WHILE he’s doing Batman vs. Superman, the earliest I could possibly see JLA getting into theaters is 2018. That’s four years away, when the 28-year-old Gal Gadot will be approaching 32. Not too old to toss a golden lasso, mind you. It’s just a long time to commit to a franchise that isn’t exactly pumping out installments.

We might be getting way ahead of ourselves, thinking about Wonder Woman’s involvement in a possible Justice League of America movie. Let’s refocus our attentions on the character, and how she will be portrayed on screen wherever she happens to show up.

4. Wonder Woman’s Costume

wonder woman lynda carterZack Snyder, in a recent interview with Forbes Magazine, talked about the success he had in delivering a grounded, more realistic version of Superman in -- one that was closer in tone to the comic books than Richard Donner’s beloved Superman. And that approach might work when Snyder tackles Batman. But how hoes one make a grounded, realistic Wonder Woman? The character is a goddess, formed from clay (in most iterations) by the Queens of the Amazon. It will be interesting to see how her origin is approached by Snyder and his team.

Also, what type of costume will she wear? At the beginning of this year, Latino Review’s elmayimbe noted on Twitter that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman costume "will consist of ARMOR. Not the Lynda Carter itty bitty outfit." Which gels with the looks of General Zod (Michael Shannon), Faora-Ul (Antje Traue), and the villains of Man of Steel. Maybe if we had a good look at Ben Affleck’s Bat suit from Batman vs. Superman, we could be clued in to the possible design of Wonder Woman’s costume. But a lot can change between now and 2016. And a lot will need to be answered. Will there be an invisible jet? A lasso that makes enemies tell the truth? All of these components are very important to the character. Because Hollywood has gone down this road once or twice before.

5. Wonder Woman's Failed TV Efforts

Wonder WomanLong before Wonder Woman was supposed to appear on the big screen, network executives at various companies tried to figure out a way to bring the mighty hero to television sets across the country. And for assorted reasons, the plans never got off the ground. The most recent example, Amazon, was going to be a Smallville-esque origin story for Diana of Themyscira. Given the success of Arrow and the potential in the television program Flash, it was believed that Wonder Woman could make her debut on TV. Then, in January, the production hit the wall.

Long before that, NBC tried to mount a Wonder Woman series with G.I. Joe and Friday Night Lights hottie Adrianne Palicki in the lead. They even shot a pilot for the show, backed by TV guru David E. Kelley (The Practice). Alas, it was not to be. The pilot is a bit of a "Holy Grail" of television, as NBC has kept it under wraps. But you can see some footage of the failed episode on YouTube.

6. Joss Whedon’s Wonder Woman Movie

Wonder Woman and Superman kissing "Justice League 12" issue

Hollywood has been trying to get a Wonder Woman movie off the ground for years. The last attempt was back in 2005, with Avengers 2 director Joss Whedon pitching the idea. This was long before he’d eventually become the Geek Icon behind Marvel’s beloved Avengers franchise. At the time, Whedon was best known for the strong female personalities driving television programs like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And he was signed to write and direct a Wonder Woman movie for producer Joel Silver. "She's someone who doesn't belong in this world, and since everyone I know feels that way about themselves, the character clicked for me," Whedon was quoted as saying.

The project bounced around in various stages of pre-production for years – with starlets like Jessica Biel, Katie Holmes, Megan Fox, Charisma Carpenter and Eliza Dushku circling the role.

Obviously, it never happened, but Whedon speaks fondly of his screenplay… often. Imagine how different the current comic universe would be if Whedon got DC off the ground first?

Along those lines, Batman scribe David Goyer almost got his own Wonder Woman movie off the ground in 2010, but that, too, stumbled. Drive director Nicholas Winding Refn talked about wanting to do a Wonder Woman movie with Mad Men beauty Christina Hendricks – to no avail. And Bridesmaids brain Paul Feig pitched a Wonder Woman movie to Warner Bros. once.

Why is Wonder Woman such a tough nut to crack? Let’s look at her history and find out.

7. Wonder Woman’s Hollywood History

lynda carter wonder woman

If Gal Gadot wants to comb Hollywood’s archives while researching how to best play Wonder Woman, she’ll have options… though not all of them are great. Wonder Woman’s most popular iteration has to belong to Lynda Carter, who played the DC Comics hero on TV from 1975-79 in a hit program that aired on both ABC (for its first season) and CBS (for the next two seasons). But did you know that prior to Carter, Wonder Woman was played by Cathy Lee Crosby of That’s Incredible! fame in an ill-fated, live-action 1974 TV film?

The character has had a LOT more success in animated form. The longest-running DC Comics program was the animated Super Friends, which ran from 1973-86 and prominently featured Wonder Woman (voiced by Shannon Farnon and Connie Caulfield) as a founding member of the group. She also has appeared on various episodes of DC Comics-based programs like Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice and in a brief run on South Park in 2007. Earlier this year, Cobie Smulders voiced Wonder Woman in The LEGO Movie.

Of course, Wonder Woman’s history in DC Comics’ books dates back to 1941, when she appeared in All Star Comics and later received her own title. While Hollywood has always tried to figure out a way to transition Wonder Woman to the big screen, Zack Snyder seems to be on the right path – and the fastest track – to making Wonder Woman a hit character.

SEE ALSO: Another Justice League Superhero Will Appear In The ‘Batman / Superman’ Movie

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Netflix Roulette: This App Will Randomly Select A Movie For You

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Netflix

I’m one of those people who can’t make a decision to save my life. When given a choice in anything, whether there are only two options or an infinite amount, I take forever making up my mind. It drives my family nuts, though it’s not like I’m a fan of the problem either. It cripples my ability to buy new things, decide what to have for dinner, even plan what to do at any moment of the day.

Fortunately there are such things as the shuffle feature on iPods and whole services like Pandora to give me randomly selected songs, so I don’t have to pick (and I can shuffle between stations there, too, so I don’t even have to choose a genre). It’s much better than when I was a kid and would choose a CD to listen out of a hat — seriously, I had a hat with slips of paper in it with all my CDs represented.

Now I’ve discovered a new app that allows me to be just as random about my movie watching. Most of the time I actually don’t have to choose. I watch what I need to watch for work, whether I’m reviewing or researching a list or any other assignment requiring something to be seen. Typically I have more screeners on the side of my desk than I have time to get through.

But there are the occasions when I get some free time to watch something just for fun, and whenever that happens I spend way too long rummaging through Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes and my cable on demand library that I probably could have watched two movies by the time I’ve made a final decision. That doesn’t have to happen anymore if I just use Netflix Roulette. I just go to the site (there’s also an app for Android), click on the button marked “spin” and I’m quickly given a random movie to watch. 

Like with Pandora, I can limit what I’m interested in by genre. I have enough capability for decision-making to know if I’m not in the mood for a horror film or anything in the faith & spirituality category. You can also isolate if you want to just search movies or just search TV shows. The only major fault might be that you can’t filter for quality — as in the Netflix Rating (though I don’t always trust those since I just noticed Ross McElwee’s Photographic Memory is listed there with only 2.9 stars). Maybe that’ll be an added feature later. For now, the classic movies category is a pretty safe bet.

I don’t know how many of you movie fans out there are as bad with choosing things as I am. Having the equivalent of a shuffle feature on your video streaming service isn’t something that seemed high in demand. I can recall, back when I worked in a multiplex box office, occasionally encountering moviegoers who’d appear to randomly pick what to see. But most people go by what they think looks good or what critics recommend. FSR even makes it easy by highlighting good movies streaming on Netflix each month.

There was a time when I thought about using random selection in the video store, but that was always a costly idea. If my choice was no good, I’d feel I lost money. With Netflix Watch Instantly, you’re not paying my the movie, and if Netflix Roulette steers you in a disappointing direction and you don’t like the selection, it’s easy to stop what you’re watching and spin again. Too bad it’s not “streaming service roulette” and you can filter so it picks something from any number of services you’re subscribed to. Sometimes I go back and forth between Netflix and Amazon when trying to find something to watch.

Anyway, here’s a fun idea you can use the app for: random movie club. Get some friends together and on a weekly basis take a random movie off Netflix Roulette, then watch it and discuss. Maybe we should even start such a club here on FSR if enough readers are into it.

SEE ALSO: Netflix Is Raising Prices For New Subscribers

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Director Ron Howard: I Would Like To Return To Acting

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ron howard brian williams

Director Ron Howard says he may return to acting.

Howard, who got his start acting on television series including "The Andy Griffith Show," went on to make some of Hollywood's biggest films from "Apollo 13" to "A Beautiful Mind." He also brought us cult television favorite "Arrested Development."

The director made the comments during a Tribeca Film Festival panel Saturday with Brian Williams after the "NBC Nightly News" anchor asked him if he would ever return to acting.

"I would kind of like to now," said Howard. "I acted all my life mostly in television series, also in movies. When I became a director, my wife, Cheryl, she's been with me every step of the way of this dream of being a movie director."

Howard recounted it was his wife, Cheryl, of nearly 40 years who reminded him that while he has become a great director, to not forget his acting roots.

"When I met Brian Grazer we began Imagine Films, my career was really established, I directed a couple of videos, I did a couple of cameo appearances in music videos ... and Cheryl finally came to me. By now, we had three of our four kids and she said, 'Ron, you know, I understood the dream to become a director. I didn't sort of have the mini-mogul thing in my mind and what that would entail, but that's great. You love it, Brian's great, and I'm proud of you, but now that we have this family and we're accomplishing all of this stuff, how about you don't dabble? How about you don't direct movie videos or TV commercials? And if you actually have two weeks to act for somebody, maybe just give that to us because I know how ambitious you are about the directing.' I moved pretty much from one movie to the next, so I thought that was a pretty fair argument."

Howard went on to say he does get the occasional script to read now and then and he's actually had to turn down offers in films.

"I've even had some opportunities with great directors," said Howard. "The Coen brothers once invited me to do something and I was doing a movie. Marty Scorsese, who's an absolute hero of mine, called me one time to ask if I wanted to be in a film and it was a nice role, and I couldn't do that as well." 

"Because I move from film to film I never have the time to commit, but one of these days I'm going to make the time," he added.

SEE ALSO: How Ron Howard's mother ended up delivering one of the best lines in "Apollo 13"

AND: Bryan Cranston reveals the grossest scene from "Breaking Bad"

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Why Christian Movies Are Crushing It At The Box Office

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heaven is for real

Over the weekend, the religious film "Heaven is for Real"performed extremely well at the box office, earning $22.5 million. It's the largest Easter opening for a faith-based film, blowing past Johnny Depp's "Transcendence."

It's also the fourth recent Christian film that has taken off at theaters, following "Son of God,""God's Not Dead," and Darren Aronofsky's "Noah."

The success of the genre has spurred discussions about a Bible boom at the box office and whether 2014 is the year of the Christian film.

But BoxOffice.com chief analyst Phil Contrino tells us we shouldn't be surprised by how well these movies are performing.

"Religious crowds are underserved, and they have been for a while now," Contrino tells Business Insider. "What you're seeing is a big section of the population that wants movies that speak directly to them with themes they can relate to. So there's no surprise that's there's this rush out."

For those who may feel like the success of Bible-based movies kind of just sprung up, Contrino says that's simply not the case. For one, 2004's wildly successful "Passion of the Christ" proved there was an interest in religious films.

That movie ended up making north of $611 million worldwide. (It was made on a $30 million budget.)

Not until History’s “The Bible” miniseries pulled in huge ratings last year have we seen a big push again from Hollywood to target a religious demographic in theaters. In fact, "Son of God"— one of the films performing well right now — also comes from Mark Burnett, who produced the successful History series.

So far, "Noah" has made $301.3 million at the box office — far from the earnings of "Passion.” 

noah russell croweWhile some of that film’s performance may be attributed to the controversy sparked about the movie deviating from the Bible, Contrino says the film may have wanted to please too big of a general crowd while turning away its initial demographic.

"If you’re going to make something aimed at religious crowds just go the whole way — aim it at religious crowds without the secular moviegoing population, because the reality is there’s a big enough audience globally for you to just make a film that’s aimed directly at religious people and that’s it and still succeed. It doesn’t have to be everything for everyone," he says.

Contrino says there doesn't have to be a big push for advertising with billboards and TV for these films because there are organizations that will market them to religious crowds through means such as church outreach.

"When a movie's aimed at religious crowds, you don't launch it the same way you would launch 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2,'" says Contrino. 

"What you have with these movies is a grassroots campaign that's targeted specifically at this group and reaching out to churches and making sure they get into theaters,” he adds. “That's another component to the profitability because they don't have to do the big ad spend necessarily that other studio pictures do."

heaven is for realForbes' Dorothy Pomerantz likened the success of faith-based movies to low-budget horror films that take off at theaters, something which Contrino says makes sense on a business level.

"There are quite a bit of similarities because they both go after a niche that's very supportive and who's going to show up opening weekend," says Contrino.

While some suggest this may be the year of the Christian film, Contrino predicts this is just the beginning.

"2014 will be just the tip of the iceberg," says Contrino. "We'll see a lot more movies aimed at this crowd over the next several years.

"The potential is still kind of untapped," he adds. "'Passion of the Christ' proved if you really connect with the religious crowd in a significant way, there's a lot of money to be made at the box office."

SEE ALSO: "Heaven is for Real" crushed it at the box office opening weekend

AND: 15 movies you should see this summer

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15 Movies You Should See This Summer

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lucy scarlett johansson

Summer movies had an early start this year when "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" premiered the first week of April.

Come May, three highly anticipated movies will make their way into theaters.

Past the web-slinging, transforming, and roaring monsters and superheroes are a few films you may not have heard of with talent ranging from Scarlett Johansson to the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

We've gone through more than 100 summer movie releases and picked the top 15 you should check out.

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2"

Release Date:
May 2

Why to see it: Flashbacks to Sam Raimi's jam-packed "Spider-Man 3" came to mind when multiple villains were announced in the sequel; however, director Marc Webb assured fans this wouldn't be an issue. And it doesn't seem like it.

Very positive early reviews— out a month ahead of the film's U.S. release — make us confident Andrew Garfield's return as the web-slinger will be well worth it as the sequel is expected to touch upon an iconic scene from the comics.

Action aside, the on-screen chemistry between real-life couple Garfield and Emma Stone is reason to head out.

Watch the trailer



"The Double"

Release Date:
May 9

Why to see it: The black comedy allows Jesse Eisenberg to play two dynamically opposite characters — Simon, an awkward, shy, introverted worker and then James, a smooth, charismatic new employee who begins to take over Simon's life.

The film first premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and has been nominated for several awards. Mia Wasikowska ("Alice in Wonderland") also stars.

Watch the trailer



"Godzilla"

Release Date:
May 16

Why to see it: We know what you're thinking: It's a reboot, one from a little-known director, Gareth Edwards, who's best known for an alien movie "Monsters." 

Every trailer so far has looked pretty darn impressive — thanks in part to the chilling vocal narratives of "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston. Plus, it appears 'zilla won't be the only monster wreaking havoc in the new film.

At the end of the day, it can't get any worse than the 1998 film featuring Matthew Broderick.

Watch the trailer

Check out behind-the-scenes artwork from the film »



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How Ron Howard's Mom Ended Up Delivering One Of The Best Lines In 'Apollo 13'

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ron howard mom apollo 13

One of the most memorable lines in "Apollo 13" takes place after Jim Lovell's (Tom Hanks) wife Marilyn (Kathleen Quinlan) tells his mother there's been an accident with the shuttle he's flying on in space.

The mission, which originally had Lovell's crew heading to the moon, is being rerouted home, but no one's sure if they'll make it.

While Lovell's family looks grim and teary-eyed, his mother reassures them everything will be OK with the following line: "If they could get a washing machine to fly, my Jimmy could land it."ron howard mother apollo 13It's a great moment written by John Sayles, who goes uncredited in the film. You can watch it here

If you didn't know, it's director Ron Howard's mother, Jean Speegle Howard, who plays Hanks' mom in the film.

During a panel at the Tribeca Film Festival Saturday on Howard's lengthy career as both an actor and director, he explained that it was his father, Rance, who suggested he cast his mom in the blockbuster.

"My dad called me up and said, 'Ya know, I just read the rewrite' [on "Apollo 13"] ... you know your mom would be good playing Lovell's mother. And I said 'I don't know dad. It's kind of a tricky thing and what if it doesn't go well? And ya know, it's an important, pivotal scene and she's just only started acting again a couple years."

Howard explained that his mother, who was an actress in movies and television, gave up acting while she was raising him and his siblings. When she eventually returned, Howard said she became "a woman who worked quite a bit as sort of the new little old lady on the sitcom."

You probably recognize Howard's mother from appearances on "Married with Children,""Roseanne," and the movie "Matilda."

After considering it, Howard eventually told his father he would audition her for the role.

"I thought, I thought, and I thought, Well, this is a very important movie to me. There's a lot riding on it. I knew I would have to audition her. So I didn't want to do it at the office. So I said, 'Well I'm going to come by the house and we'll just read through the scene.'

I came by, she was nervous, and had a little housecoat and was prepared to do it. And we went through it a couple times and she made me cry just because I was proud of her as a son, but also I saw that she could do it and this was an opportunity."

Howard said on the day of shooting they only needed one or two takes.

"It was a great moment," he added.

SEE ALSO: Ron Howard: I would like to return to acting

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How ‘Indiana Jones’ Forced Hollywood To Create The PG-13 Rating

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‘Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom’

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the popular second installment of the Indiana Jones series, "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."

However, a more important anniversary is what "Temple of Doom" helped to usher in — the creation of the PG-13 rating, a box-office sweet spot that would shape film production.

Here's how the rating came to be.

A Darker Dr. Jones

Of all the films in the Indiana Jones series, there's no doubt that 1984's PG-rated "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" is the darkest.

As producer George Lucas explained to Empire, "Part of it was I was going through a divorce, Steven had just broken up, and we were not in a good mood. It ended up darker than we thought it would be. Once we got out of our bad moods ... we kind of looked at it and went, 'Mmmmm, we certainly took it to the extreme.'"

Those extremes — which included an incredibly violent human-sacrifice scene— outraged parents who brought their children to the PG-rated film. Still, the darker installment was massively popular and brought in $179 million in the U.S. alone.

"Everybody was screaming, screaming, screaming that it should have had an R-rating, and I didn’t agree," director Steven Spielberg told The Associated Press in 2004.

But with no rating in between PG and R, Spielberg would come up with a compromise that would change movies and the rating system forever.

A New Rating

Steven Spielberg

Up until 1984, there had been only four ratings that a film could receive: G, PG, R, and X (which would later become NC-17).

Films like "Temple of Doom," which were too mature for PG audiences but not mature enough for the R rating, would find themselves in limbo.

Spielberg found this "netherworld" rating unfair to both filmmakers and audiences. So, according to a 2008 interview with Vanity Fair, Spielberg says he came up with a new rating that would bridge the gap:

"I remember calling Jack Valenti [then the president of the Motion Picture Association] and suggesting to him that we need a rating between R and PG, because so many films were falling into a netherworld, you know, of unfairness. Unfair that certain kids were exposed to Jaws, but also unfair that certain films were restricted, that kids who were 13, 14, 15 should be allowed to see. I suggested, 'Let’s call it PG-13 or PG-14, depending on how you want to design the slide rule,' and Jack came back to me and said, 'We’ve determined that PG-13 would be the right age for that temperature of movie.' So I’ve always been very proud that I had something to do with that rating."

On Aug. 10, 1984, only three months after parents were outraged over the release of PG-rated "Temple of Doom," "Red Dawn," a drama starring Patrick Swayze, became the first film to be released with the PG-13 rating.

The Popularity And Profitability Of PG-13

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom posterOver the next 30 years, the PG-13 rating would become one of the most popular and profitable ratings in the film industry.

Six of the top 10 highest-grossing domestic films of all time are rated PG-13.

The highest-grossing film ever, 2009's PG-13-rated "Avatar," raked in $760 million at the domestic box office, while the highest-grossing R-rated film, 2004's "The Passion of the Christ," took in a comparatively low $370 million.

With its ability to be both safe and threatening while still reaching a mass audience, the rating has become a great marketing tool for most major studios.

"In a way it’s better to get a PG-13 than a PG for certain movies," Spielberg told the AP. "It turns a lot of young people off. They think it’s going to be too below their radar and they tend to want to say, 'Well, PG-13 might have a little bit of hot sauce on it.'"

SEE ALSO: Harrison Ford Explained The Story Behind The Best Scene In 'Indiana Jones'

MORE: How Steven Spielberg Made Millions Off 'Star Wars' After A 1977 Bet With George Lucas

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Warner Bros. Finally Announces 'Justice League' Movie

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justice league

It was only a matter of time until this happened.

Warner Bros. confirmed it is working on a "Justice League" movie to follow the "Batman / Superman" film currently in the works, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Like Disney and Marvel's "The Avengers," the film is expected to assemble a group of superheroes based on the DC Comics.

Zack Snyder ("Man of Steel") will direct his third film in the DC universe.

Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck are expected to reprise their roles as Superman and Batman / Bruce Wayne respectively.

Recently, Gal Gadot ("Fast & Furious 6") was cast as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince, while Ray Fisher was just cast as Cyborg, two more regular Justice League members.

The comics have seen various incarnations of the Justice League group. The heroes who make regular appearances include Aquaman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, and Cyborg.

All but the Martian Manhunter appear on the cover of the rebooted "Justice League" comic from 2011.

justice league

Green Arrow currently has a series on the CW while a Flash show is in the works.

No release date has been announced though WSJ believes it unlikely to come out prior to 2018.

The untitled "Batman / Superman" movie is set for release May 6, 2016.

SEE ALSO: Another "Justice League" superhero will appear in the "Batman/Superman" movie

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