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Sorry, Folks, The Best Deal For Movies Isn't iTunes Or Netflix — It's Redbox



Netflix and other streaming-video platforms from Apple and Amazon all but destroyed the once-powerful entity known as the video store.

However, streaming hasn't totally eliminated the market for physical DVD rentals. Sixty-eight percent of Americans live within a five-minute drive of a Redbox kiosk.

The company's competitive prices and impressive selection of titles are keeping Redbox alive in the post-Blockbuster era.

NOW WATCH: Here's The Dirty Little Secret IMAX Doesn't Want You To Know

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Steven Spielberg To Direct Movie Adapation Of Roald Dahl's 'The BFG'


Spielberg, BFGDreamWorks has attached Steven Spielberg to direct The BFG, a live-action adaptation of the Roald Dahl children’s book. While BFG could stand for any number of things, in this case it’s short for “big friendly giant.”  

Illustrated by Quentin Blake and first published in 1982 as an expansion of a story in Dahl’s other book, “Danny, the Champion of the World,” The BFG centers on a young girl named Sophie who befriends the world’s only benevolent giant.  Hit the jump for more.

[Update: The report has been updated to add that Spielberg has committed to starting production on The BFG in early 2015 in anticipation of a 2016 release, but he's considering fitting in a smaller-scale film before then if he can--most likely the Cold War thriller that has Tom Hanks attached to star.]

As THR reports, Spielberg is attached to direct The BFG for DreamWorks.  The studio acquired rights to the property back in 2011 with Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall attached as producers.  Marshall is still attached, and screenwriter Melissa Mathison is still expected to pen the script.  

Though other directors have been signed up for The BFG in recent years, this is only the most recent addition to Spielberg’s slate of potential upcoming films.  He’s also attached his name to a Cold War-era thriller with Tom Hanks, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, Robopocalypse, a West Side Story remake, and Montezuma to name but a few.  Time will tell which one of these projects Spielberg commits to making his next feature.

As for The BFG, here’s the book’s synopsis (via Amazon):

Captured by a giant!

The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants—rather than the BFG—she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

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

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How Ron Howard 'Blackmailed' His Way Into Directing His First Movie


ron howard grand theft auto

"Grand Theft Auto" is Ron Howard's first feature-length movie as a director after television roles in "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Happy Days." 

Though the 1977 comedy didn’t go over well with critics, it was a success at the box office, and helped lead to his following movies including "Splash,""Willow," and the eventual Oscar-winning "Apollo 13."

However, transitions from actor to director or vice versa aren't so easy.

ron howard tribeca film festivalWhile recalling stories from his lengthy career in both acting and directing during a Tribeca Film Festival panel Saturday, Howard told an excellent story of how he made the transition because he wasn't afraid to ask for someone to take a chance on him.

He went on to explain how, at the time, TV actors weren't the place Hollywood was looking to when recruiting directors. 

"There weren't very many," he said. "Alan Alda ("M*A*S*H") did some directing and Rob Reiner ("The Princess Bride"), but it was kind of unusual."

Howard recounted a time he took a giant risk when he ditched his agent to speak alone with a producer about making the change to the director's chair.

"I really had to blackmail my way into my first directing opportunity. Roger Corman, famous 'B'-movie director, but also started the careers of Scorsese, Bogdanovich, Francis Coppola. He wanted me to act in a movie called, 'Eat My Dust.' This was after 'American Graffiti' was a big hit and "Happy Days' was becoming a top 10 show. And, I had a script that I had written that I wanted to make. It was a character study. I thought maybe I'd raised half of the $300,000 budget to get it made. I needed distribution."

"I told my agent, 'Please don't come with me to this meeting,' which was hard to do when you're 21 and you tell your veteran agent, 'I'm taking this one on my own,' because I wasn't going in there to talk about money. I was going in there to talk about my dream."

When Howard met with Corman he was brutally honest and laid everything out on the table.

"I went in to Roger Corman and said, 'To be honest, I've read 'Eat My Dust' and, uh, it's not very good,'" said Howard. "But, I know that you're the one person who gives first-time directors a chance. Please read this script and if you'll co-finance this, I'll act in 'Eat My Dust.'"

Though it wasn't a sure sell, Corman was very receptive.

ron howard roger corman 2009

"He read the script and he said, 'Well, this is like an art house movie. This is a character piece — not what I do — but if you do 'Eat My Dust' I will let you write a script for a movie," recounted Howard. "If I like that, I'll let you make it. If that all fails then I'll let you direct the car crashes or the second-unit or something on another movie.'"

When "Eat My Dust" came out in 1976, it ended up becoming a big hit. From there, Howard started pitching ideas regularly. Eventually, it paid off.

"Finally, he [Corman] said to me one day, ''Eat My Dust' was a car-crash comedy about young people on the run. When we were testing titles for 'Eat My Dust' there was another title that came in very close second: 'Grand Theft Auto.' If you can fashion a car-crash comedy about young people on the run that we can entitle 'Grand Theft Auto,' I'd let you direct that picture."

"I had an outline for him about 15 minutes later and I got to make that movie," he added.

The film came out a little more than a year after “Eat My Dust” in 1977 on a budget of about $600,000. It ended up making $15 million at the box office.

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

AND: Howard says he wants to return to acting

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'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' Has Already Made Over $130 Million Overseas


amazing spider-man 2 new costume

This year has already proven to be a big one for comic book movies. Released the first weekend of this month, Marvel Studios' Captain America: The Winter Soldier has made $645 million globally already and is still climbing. We're still waiting to see how well Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is going to do here in the States, but it's already off to a great start overseas.

Box Office Mojo has tallied up the numbers and is now reporting that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has already made $132 million from overseas theaters. The biggest contributors to this total are the United Kingdom (approximately $15 million) and Mexico (approximately $10 million), but other markets include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Uruguay.

While $132 million is nothing to scoff at, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 still has a long way to go before it can be considered a success. A report from Deadline last week said that the film's budget was about $255 million and that somewhere between $180-190 million was spent on marketing. This means that the movie has thus far only managed to make back 30% of what it cost. Obviously the movie is still in the very earliest stages of release, but there's still a long road for the movie to travel.

If the first Amazing Spider-Man is anything to go by, Amazing Spider-Man 2 shouldn't have any trouble making its budget back. Made for a slightly lower cost - $230 million - the movie wound up bringing in $262 million domestically and $490 million foreign for a grand total of $752 million. These numbers were boosted by big performances in countries like South Korea, Russia, Japan, France, India, Brazil and China, none of which have seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2 yet. Expect the wall crawler to make a lot more money by the time it exits its last theater.

As for the upcoming American release, the film is coming out on what has been proven to be the prime summer release date. Two years ago Marvel Studios set an opening weekend record when The Avengers managed to pull in $212 million in its first few days, and then last year Iron Man 3 came out the first weekend of May and made $174 million. The buzz on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn't as big as it was on those two movies, but there's still plenty of potential.

Directed by Marc Webb, the new comic book movie sees Andrew Garfield return to the titular superhero role and continue the adventures of Peter Parker as he is balancing between his complicated relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), graduating from high school, seeing the return of his old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) and being a full-time masked vigilante. Jamie Foxx, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Colm Feore, Paul Giamatti and Sally Field co-star in the movie, which is based on a script by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.

SEE ALSO: How A Schoolyard Bully Helped Andrew Garfield Become Spider-Man

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Marvel’s Daredevil Netflix Series Takes Place In The Marvel Cinematic Universe


daredevilThough Marvel Studios’ first foray into the television world, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has been struggling to find its footing, their next television effort has a considerable amount of promise. 

Instead of another network series, Marvel is moving ahead with four separate Netflix series, all of which will culminate in a limited The Defenders run. 

Though we’ll be getting to Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist Netflix shows in the coming years, the first one out of the gate is Daredevil.  Moreover, it has The Cabin in the Woods co-writer/director and self-identifying Daredevil superfan Drew Goddard at the helm as showrunner, writer, and director.

With production on Daredevil looking to get underway in New York City this summer, Marvel Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada recently spoke a bit about the Daredevil Netflix show, confirming it will take place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and discussing how it will differ from Marvel’s feature efforts.  Read on after the jump.

While appearing on Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman podcast (via ComicBook.com), Quesada confirmed that Daredevil will take place within the same Marvel universe as the films:

“There will be some interconnectivity, much like the movies. They will exist within the cinematic universe again, so this is all the same world as S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers.”

marvel's agents of s.h.i.e.l.d. shieldThough this is a bit of a no-brainer, it does have potentially major implications for the future.  If Daredevil exists in the same universe as the Iron Man and Captain America film franchises, it’s possible that the character could eventually crossover into a new, rebooted film series with his origin already complete via the Daredevil Netflix show.  Which brings us to the all-important question of who will inhabit the role of Matt Murdock:

“The scripts are coming in. They are pretty fantastic. They’re really emotional. They’re very, very original. But at the same time, it is Daredevil. It is Matt Murdock. We will eventually, hopefully start casting really, really soon, but I’m very, very excited about it.”

Whoever signs on to play Daredevil in the standalone Netflix series as well as the Defenders miniseries will probably also have an option in his contract to appear in feature films.  So when Marvel does announce who will be playing Daredevil in the Netflix show, keep in mind that this could also possibly be our new Daredevil on the big screen.

Though Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is very much a network TV show complete with network-style procedural episodes and commercial break-influenced act structure, Quesada seems to imply that the Netflix shows will be a bit different:

“Although these are superhero stories, this is different now. This is the street level…this is the street level noir side of the Marvel Universe. Something that you haven’t really, really seen in any of our Marvel movies. And probably more ground level, than I think you’ve seen. This is not like us doing Batman, Dark Knight or any of that stuff. This is very Marvel doing street level superheroes.”

Quesada was mum on who the villain of the show would be, but he did confirm that Daredevil will follow the Netflix Original Series structure of releasing all of the episodes at once.  If all goes according to plan, we’ll be binge-watching the new Daredevil sometime next year.

SEE ALSO: Chelsea Handler In Talks For A Show On Netflix

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How Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Get To The Choppa!' Movie Quote Became So Popular


Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1987 sci-fi action film "Predator" is today most remembered for one amazing line: “Get to the choppa!”

Get To The Choppa GIF

You've probably heard the movie line before, but why are we still saying it today?

Schwarzenegger, who played Major Alan “Dutch” Schaeferd in the movie, actually said the line straight as he yells it to character "Anna" to quickly board the helicopter after the rest of his team has been killed by the Predator. But with the actor's thick European accent, it unintentionally came across as comical.

Since then, the line has become a part of our general lexicon.

According to Urban Dictionary, "Get To Da Choppa!" means "that one is saying that they must attain whatever goal it is that is set forth. 'Getting the choppa' is the act of succeeding in this goal and is the highest possible recognition." The entry adds that "It's used when there is no need to mention where you're going, you all already know where you're going. So you just yell 'GET TO DA CHOPPA!!!!'"

In the game World of Warcraft, "Get to the Choppa" became an achievement badge "which could be unlocked once the player obtains a Mechano-hog or Mekgineer’s Chopper, both motorcycles," according to knowyourmeme.

The phrase was also featured as an unlockable title in "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" once the player completes the “Chopper Gunner I” challenge by calling in 3 Chopper Gunner helicopters.

In April 2009, the quote was  even featured in a U.S. Library of Congress report titled “Wise Guide to Helicopters.arnold Schwarzenegger chopper

During a recent "Tonight Show" appearance, host Jimmy Fallon made Schwarzenegger partake in a QVC cooking show skit in which the actor had to say his infamous line over and over again.

Arnold Schwarzenegger chooper

According the the below Google Trends chart, the phrases "get to the chopper" and "get to the choppa" have only become more searched since the film's 1987 release.

"Predator," which was made for $15 million, has since gone on to earn over $98 million worldwide. It even snagged an Oscar nod in 1988 for Best Visual Effects.

SEE ALSO: How ‘Indiana Jones’ Finally Forced Hollywood To Create The PG-13 Rating

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Warner Bros. Has 9 More DC Comics Movies In Development Beyond 'Justice League'


justice league

Warner Bros. and DC Comics had a big day of announcements this past Sunday, confirming that Man of Steel and Batman Vs. Superman director Zack Snyder will next take the helm on Justice League and that it may be shot back-to-back with Batman Vs. Superman for a 2017 release.

Now, The Wall Street Journal is confirming that Warner Bros. and DC Comics have a total of 11 movies currently in development, with 9 unannounced titles besides Batman Vs. Superman and Justice League.

The report officially states:

Warner has now entrusted its core superheroes to Man of Steel director Zack Snyder, who will helm Batman Vs. Superman and then Justice League. It also has nine other movies based on DC comics in development.

A previous report from the Wall Street Journal stated that Warner Bros. is currently working on the DC titles Shazam!, 100 Bullets, Metal Men and Fables. This could be four of the nine. The same article claims that a standalone Wonder Woman movie is also in the works, with Gal Gadot signed to three movies, two of them already confirmed to be Justice League and her introductory appearance in Batman Vs. Superman.

That leaves four more films unaccounted for. Dwayne Johnson has been teasing a possible role in a DC Comics movie, which many people believe will be Lobo. There is also Sandman from Neil Gaiman that is being spearheaded by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And there is also plenty of evidence that Dark Universe, otherwise known as Justice League Dark is moving forward with Guillermo del Toro.

It has not yet been confirmed which other 9 titles are officially moving forward. It's doubtful that members of Justice League will get their own standalone movies until the title becomes a proven success on the big screen. Those solo movies wouldn't be in development at this time.

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

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Warner Bros. Wins Lawsuit Against Writer Claiming 'The Matrix' Stole His Idea


The Matrix

Warner Bros has prevailed in a lawsuit claiming it stole the idea for The Matrix trilogy. U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner today granted summary judgment to defendants WB, Andy and Lana Wachowski and Joel Silver, ruling that Thomas Althouse’s The Immortals screenplay was not similar in “plot, characters, theme, dialogue, mood, setting, pace, or sequence”, according to the ruling (read it here).

“In The Immortals, Hitler and the Nazis are cryogenically frozen and then reanimated at a time when their cohorts have successfully created an immortality drug. The protagonist, Jim, must fight the now-immortal Nazis who seek to oppress and destroy all ‘Short-lifers.’ In contrast, in The Matrix Trilogy, machines harvest humans’ energy while trapping their minds in a virtual reality known as the “matrix.”

The protagonist, Neo, seeks to free humans from enslavement by the machines and protect a group of rebels who live freely in the real world. The basic premises of The Matrix Trilogy and The Immortals are so different that it would be unreasonable to find their plots substantially similar”, Klausner wrote.

Warner Bros contends that the Wachowskis began working on The Matrix trilogy in 1992 and completed a first draft of scripts for all three films by 1993. Althouse claims he submitted his Immortals script to the studio in 1993. He filed suit in January. A Warner Bros spokesman said the studio had no comment on the court ruling.

SEE ALSO: The Matrix Probably Wasn't Even Necessary In ‘The Matrix’

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Han Solo Reportedly Has 'Gigantic Role' In 'Star Wars: Episode VII'


han solo star wars

This Sunday marks a fun day for Star Wars fans around the world. The date is considered by many to be a day to celebrate George Lucas' great science-fiction franchise, as die-hards tweak the date - May 4th - to resemble the series most famous line of repeated dialogue: May the 4th be with you.

As a result, many anticipate that this Sunday may be the date chosen by Disney and LucasFilm to officially announce the cast of the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. Nothing has been confirmed on this front, but regardless we are definitely getting closer and closer to the reveal. Hence why the rumor mill is once again getting busy.

Take, for example, the new report posted over on Deadline. The site says that the first big table read for Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled to be held tomorrow in London, which means that all of the actors will be on hand and director J.J. Abrams will presumably be forced to soon reveal his signed-on cast.

The report adds that Adam Driver and John Boyega, who were previously mentioned in rumors, are both still in line for large parts, as are Inside Llewyn Davis star Oscar Isaac and Oxford trained actress Maisie Richardson-Sellers. Because we know absolutely nothing about the script written by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, at this point in time we have no idea what kind of roles the actors might be playing (though it has been previously said that Adam Driver will be the movie's central antagonist).

Interestingly enough, the Deadline report also seems to treat the casting of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill like a done deal, despite the fact that Disney and LucasFilm have yet to make anything official. What's more, the story also adds that Ford actually has a "gigantic role in the first of the next three films," though that's pretty unsubstantiated.

It was just revealed earlier today that all three of the original Star Wars cast members have been seen in London, which very well could be because they are reuniting for the Star Wars: Episode VII table read. We can probably expect that every reporter in England will be keeping an extremely close eye on every action the group of stars take over the new few days, but given the level of secrecy surrounding the movie I wouldn't be surprised if J.J. Abrams had the country build a few secret underground tunnels exclusively for members of the Star Wars: Episode VII cast and crew

Principle production on Star Wars: Episode VII will begin very soon, with most of the shooting being done in the legendary Pinewood Studios in England, and Disney and LucasFilm plan to have the movie out in theaters on December 18th, 2015. We expect to hear some very, very big news about this sequel soon, so be sure to stay tuned over the next few days.

SEE ALSO: New 'Star Wars' Movies Will Avoid Expanded Universe

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New ‘Godzilla’ Trailer Shows Off Multiple Monsters


godzilla winged monster

Godzilla won't be the only monster storming around when the movie comes out this May.

A new international trailer shows a clear look at another monster in the upcoming Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures film.

We previously pointed out what looked like other multiple monsters in the upcoming reboot.

"Godzilla" is in theaters May 16.

Here are a few better looks at the other monster fighting godzilla.

monster godzilla flying

monster godzilla

godzilla monster

We've previously seen a look at a monster other than Godzilla in another recent trailer:

godzilla monster

Here's one final look at Godzilla. It's probably the best one we've seen yet.Godzilla roar

SEE ALSO: "Godzilla" reboot origin story was scrapped because of Superman

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How Napkin Sketches During A Pixar Lunch Meeting Led To Four Of The Studio's Greatest Movies


Pixar lunch

For the first time in 9 years a Pixar film will not be on the summer movie schedule.

Fans will have to wait until next year's "The Good Dinosaur" to enjoy the vibrant colors and heartfelt story that has helped make Pixar an animation giant for over a decade.

But how did Pixar come to dominate the industry in the first place?

Most will recall the studio taking off after 1995's "Toy Story," but that was only one film. Without a lineup of great films to follow, Pixar could have easily been one and done.

That is why one lunch meeting at the Hidden City Café in Point Richmond, California may be one of the most important moments in Pixar's history.

The Lunch

Pixar crew, John LasseterIn the summer of 1994, director John Lasseter, writers Andrew Stanton, Joe Ranft, and Pete Docter were putting the finishing touches on Pixar's first feature, "Toy Story" when, during a lunch meeting, a big question was raised: "What is Pixar going to do next?"

"'Toy Story' was almost complete and we thought, well geez, if we're going to make another movie we have to get started now,"Staton later recalled of the lunch conversation.

According to the New York Times, Lasseter, Staton, Ranft, and Docter then started a brainstorming session sketching the outlines and characters that would make up four of the studio's greatest films (1998's "A Bug's Life," 2001's "Monsters, Inc.," 2003's "Finding Nemo," and 2008's "WALL-E") on nothing more than the napkins on their table.

"There was something special that happened when John, Joe, Pete and I would get in a room," Stanton told the Post and Courier. "Whether it was furthering an idea or coming up with something, we just brought out the best in each other."

The story of the famed lunch became something of legend (the story even made it into the teaser trailer for "WALL-E"), but for Staton there was much more to the creation of those films than just a mythical lunch.

"Well, I'm trying to dispel a little bit of it, before it turns too mythical," Staton later told the Times-Picayune of the lunch. "The truth is, there are people who worked really hard at making things like 'Monsters' and 'Nemo' really turn into the great stories they were way after those lunches."

One Lunch, $1 Billion Box Office

Hidden City Cafe

Since that lunch, Pixar has gone on to be one of the biggest and most critically acclaimed studios in the history of animation.

Pixar's 14 films have brought in $3.5 billion at the domestic box office. Of that, the four films created at the table that day have brought in nearly $1 billion combined. Those four films have also spawned two sequels (2013's "Monsters University" and the upcoming "Finding Dory") and have been nominated for a combined 15 Academy Awards, winning 3.

Those at the lunch would go on to other great things themselves. Lassester went on to direct "A Bug's Life" before becoming the Chief Creative Officer at Disney. Docter would go on to direct "Monsters, Inc.," Staton would direct "Finding Nemo" and "WALL-E," and Joe Ranft would also go on to create other features at Pixar before dying in 2005.

As for the place where the fabled lunch took place, the Hidden City Café (which was actually included in "Monsters, Inc." as seen above) closed its doors in 2012.

SEE ALSO: 12 Places In Pixar Movies That Actually Exist In Real Life

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

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'Frozen' Songwriters Explain Disney Ban On The Word 'God'


Kristen Anderson-Lopez Robert Lopez Frozen songwriters oscar

When it came to its smash hit "Frozen," there was one thing that Disney couldn't let go.

Speaking with NPR's Terry Gross, husband-and-wife duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez  the Academy-award-winning songwriters behind "Frozen"  said that Disney wasn't the "sanitized place that you might imagine it to be," but did draw the line at using the word "God."

"It's funny. One of the only places you have to draw the line at Disney is with religious things: the word God," said Anderson-Lopez.

"You can say it in Disney but you can't put it in the movie," Lopez explained.


Gross then went on to suggest that a possible reason why Disney was so strict with the word is because Lopez was a co-creator of the immensely popular religious satire Broadway musical, "The Book of Mormon."

Lopez explained further on NPR:

Terry Gross: I'll point out, Robert Lopez you co-wrote "The Book of Mormon," which is a satire about the Mormon faith.

Robert Lopez: And it's as equally a satire of Disney as it is of the Mormon faith.

Terry Gross: Yes. Right. Yes, strike two. Yeah.

Robert Lopez: I mean, it really is.

Even though Disney enforced the "no God" rule, Lopez did say that it was a place where creative people could inject adult aspects into movies for children.

"I don't think Disney has any problem with employing people who have, you know, done off-color stuff in the past," Lopez commented.

"Frozen" has grossed over $1 billion worldwide and is the highest-grossing animated film of all time.

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

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IT'S OFFICIAL: 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Cast Announced, Original Stars Returning


star wars

It's official! After months of speculation, Disney and Lucasfilm have announced the cast for "Star Wars: Episode VII."

Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford will all reprise their roles as Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo in the film.

Joining them will be newcomer John Boyega, who will appear in FOX's upcoming "24: Live Another Day" miniseries; Oscar Isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis"); and Adam Driver ("Girls").

Boyega was among the actors rumored for the lead in the sequelDriver is expected to play the main antagonist. His character has been described to be "in the vein of iconic Darth Vader."

Previously, it was reported Peter Mayhew would return as Chewbacca. Kenny Baker and Anthony Daniels will join him reprising their roles as R2-D2 and C-3PO, respectively.

Daniels let it slip last October he may return for "Episode VII" at New York Comic Con.

Not much is known about the film's plot; however, it's rumored that Harrison Ford will have quite a large role.

Lucasfilm announced last week the new movies will deter from the expanded "Star Wars" universeSo, all the books, comics, and video games, cartoons, etc. released since “Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” that explain what happens after the film will have little to no impact on the sequels and spin-off movies going forward.

"Star Wars: Episode VII" will be released Dec. 18, 2015.

Here's the release:

The Star Wars team is thrilled to announce the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.

Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.

Director J.J. Abrams says, "We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud."

Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

SEE ALSO: The "Star Wars" expanded universe will be completely separate from the new movies

AND: What you should know about the young actor just cast in "Episode VII"

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Meet John Boyega: The Young Actor Just Cast In 'Star Wars: Episode VII'


John Boyega

The cast of "Star Wars: Episode VII" was just announced

While many actors will reprise their roles, including Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill, the film will be filled with new stars including John Boyega. 

The 22-year-old British actor is best known for playing Moses in 2011's teen monster movie, "Attack The Block."

He was also featured in Spike Lee's 2011 TV movie "Da Brick." Next, he will appear in Fox's upcoming miniseries "24: Live Another Day."

Boyega was widely rumored to star as the lead in "Episode VII." He was reportedly up against other young stars including Jesse Plemons from TV hits "Breaking Bad" and "Friday Night Lights."

Boyega's exact role in the film is still unknown.

He will star alongside another newcomer, Daisy Ridley,  as well as Adam Driver ("Girls") and Oscar Isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis").

The casting of both Boyega and Ridley fits along with J.J. Abrams' rumored decision to want to cast relative unknowns.

This follows the casting decisions of the original film, “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope” which cast relative unknowns Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford.

"Star Wars: Episode VII" is slated for a December 18, 2015 release.

SEE ALSO: IT'S OFFICIAL: 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Cast Announced, Original Stars Returning

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Here's What You Should Know About The Young Actress Just Cast In 'Star Wars: Episode VII'


daisy ridley star wars episode VIIYou may not know Daisy Ridley's name now, but you will soon.

The young British actress was just cast in a mystery role in "Star Wars: Episode VII."

Disney and Lucasfilm announced the official cast for the film todayRidley will be joining a lot of stars from the original "Star Wars" trilogy including Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford.

Ridley has had a lot of brief roles in British TV series and shorts. The actress has appeared in British TV show "Casualty" and "Youngers" along with short film "Blue Season" last year. 

Daisy Ridley, Star Wars Episode VIIShe is represented by Jonathan Arun Limited

Artist Films has since pulled the actress' showreel from YouTube.

SEE ALSO: See who's cast in "Star Wars: Episode VII"

AND: What you need to know about the actor just cast as the lead in "Episode VII"

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DreamWorks Animation Will Lose $57 Million On 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman'


peabody and sherman

DreamWorks Animation announced it will take a $57 million writedown on its latest movie, "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," during its Q1 earnings Tuesday afternoon.

The movie, based on the characters from "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show," received generally positive reviews making $260.8 million worldwide.

The animated picture cost DWA an estimated $145 million to make.

This is the latest in a string of underperforming movies for the studio.

Last year's "Turbo"— a film about racing snails — took a $13.5 million writedown after a poor summer performance.

Prior to that, the company posted an $83 million loss in Q4 2012 because of "Rise of the Guardians."

"The box office shortfall of Mr. Peabody & Sherman is evidence of the current challenges we face within our feature film segment, and restoring the strength in our core business is my number one priority today," said DreamWorks Animation CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, in a statement.

This summer, DreamWorks Animation will release the sequel to its popular series, "How to Train Your Dragon." With no Pixar film slated for this year, the feature should be a strong win for the studio. 

"How to Train Your Dragon 2" is set for a June 13 release and is expected to make north of $75 million opening weekend at this point.

SEE ALSO: 15 movies to see this summer

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Dreamworks' Jeffrey Katzenberg Predicts One Major Change To The Way We Watch Movies


jeffrey katzenberg

The evolution of digital media has radically shifted how audiences ingest movies and television. Buying DVDs has become old-fashioned in a world where clouds can hold all our online movie files. And theaters are now competing with streaming video libraries that offer scads of titles for less than a movie ticket.

DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg has been watching all this unfold, and he believes there's an even bigger shift coming.

Variety reports Jeffrey Katzenberg was a guest speaker at the Beverly Hills' Milken Global Conference on the Entrepreneurial Leadership in the Corporate World panel. There he unfurled his belief that the next change in movie distribution will be dramatically shorter theatrical runs, and pay-per-inch VOD. He explained:

"I think the model will change and you won’t pay for the window of availability. A movie will come out and you will have 17 days, that’s exactly three weekends, which is 95% of the revenue for 98% of movies. On the 18th day, these movies will be available everywhere ubiquitously and you will pay for the size. A movie screen will be $15. A 75" TV will be $4.00. A smartphone will be $1.99. That enterprise that will exist throughout the world, when that happens, and it will happen, it will reinvent the enterprise of movies."

Katzenberg predicts we'll see this shift within 10 years.

It's a rattling thought. Right now, a theatrical run often depends on how well a movie is doing in theaters. A movie with a three-week run would be considered a problem in this environment. But if Jeffrey Katzenberg's figures are accurate, this model could be the way Hollywood shifts in hopes of cutting print and advertising costs considerably. However, there are the occasional movies that just continue to rake in major money beyond the three-week mark, and those examples might stall Katzenberg's cause.

Consider Disney's Frozen, a massive hit that broke a slew of box office records. The critically heralded musical opened wide on November 29th. With a $67 million opening, it became the No. 1 all-time Thanksgiving debut. The following week, it pulled in $31 million, then $22 million the next week. That's roughly $120 million domestic. That's not chump change, but for a movie that costs $150 million, it's not enough to make it a success.

disney frozen annaIn the course of it's 23-week run, Frozen earned $400 million domestic, and another $743 million overseas for a grand total of $1.1 billion. This example might be one of the 2% of movies that break from Jeffrey Katzenberg's majority. Still, it's hard to imagine studies converting to a shorter theatrical run that could leave that kind of money on the table.

To look at a more recent, and still-emerging example, Captain America: The Winter Soldier made an impressive $95 mil its opening weekend. The next two weeks brought in $41 mil, then $25 mil. If Jeffrey Katzenberg's proposed three-week theatrical run were in effect now, Buena Vista could have conceivably missed out on the $16 mil Cap 2 took in this past weekend.

Of course, if moviegoers knew a film would only be playing for three weeks, there might be an increased urgency to see it in theaters that might bolster the first three weeks' numbers. On the other hand, if movies would play for just 17 days then hit the web in a pay-per-inch setup as Jeffrey Katzenberg suggests, causal movie fans might just wait it out, hurting box office totals.

Worse yet, a smaller window for theatrical releases might mean studios scaling back considerably on budgets. While a big budget doesn't guarantee a great film, a smaller one offers lots of additional obstacles for filmmakers. But that might be the way we're headed as Katzenberg insists, "Movies are not a growth business." To that end, DreamWorks is diversifying with short form content on television and digital platforms.

SEE ALSO: Film Industry Movie Theaters To Try Discount Tickets One Day A Week To Improve Sales

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Why Courteney Cox Didn’t Use Kickstarter To Fund Her Directorial Debut


courteney cox camera

Kristen Bell may be the poster child for a successful "Veronica Mars" movie Kickstarter campaign, but Courteney Cox didn't want fans' money to finance her directorial debut, "Just Before I Go."

Instead, the former "Friends" actress chose to fund the film herself.

She explains her reasoning to Vanity Fair:

I think I would have been uncomfortable doing a Kickstarter. Don’t get me wrong — I need to make the money back [on this film] if I want to direct another one. But I believed in this project that much. I initially tried funding like normal companies do — but it’s hard to get actors without financing and financing without actors. I could have gotten financing, I think, but it would have taken me a year or so and I knew after reading after the script that this was something I wanted to do right away.

The first-time feature filmmaker debuted her dark comedy at this year's TriBeca Film Festival to mixed reviews. It stars Elisha Cuthbert, Olivia Thirlby, Kate Walsh, and Sean William Scott as a suicidal man traveling to his hometown to make amends.

While it remains to be seen whether Cox can recoup her personal investment into her passion project, Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler is still a firm believer in going the "Veronica Mars" way.

“I think that a lot of artists who never before would have thought Kickstarter could be for them were suddenly made aware that the scale of this is actually — well, we don’t even know how big this is. Maybe there isn’t a limit,” Strcikler explained to EW after the success of "Veronica Mars.""This whole system is just a blank canvas for people’s dreams and for the enthusiasm of the internet."

Strickler added, “Something like 300 Kickstarter films have opened theatrically, one has won an Oscar [2013 Best Documentary Short winner Inocente], over a thousand have played at major festivals. Ten percent of Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca, and SXSW have been Kickstarter-funded films in the last couple years. But Hollywood-scale movies? That has been new ground for Kickstarter, and it’s certainly one that I expect to continue.”

SEE ALSO: How Napkin Sketches During A Pixar Lunch Meeting Led To Four Of The Studio's Greatest Movies

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'Star Wars: Episode VII' To Add At Least One More Major Female Lead


princess leia carrie fisher

You didn't really think that all of the Star Wars: Episode VII casting madness was over, did you? We have spent the last year and a half wondering what group of actors would eventually sign on to the J.J. Abrams-directed space epic, and while we now know 13 names confirmed to be on board, there is still more to come. 

For those of you who were concerned to see that Carrie Fisher and Daisy Ridley were the only two actresses featured at the Star Wars: Episode VII table read, I have some good news: The Hollywood Reporter has learned from sources close to the production that the blockbuster is still on the hunt for another female actor to play a major role in the story.

Similar to just about every other casting story we've heard about the project, no details are known about the character right now, but THR suggests that what the filmmakers may still be looking for is "a mixed-raced female in her twenties." The trade notes that just a couple weeks ago Abrams was reportedly meeting with Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o about a potential part, so feel free to speculate that she may still be in the game. 

As a franchise, Star Wars has never excelled when it comes to female characters. Princess Leia is, of course, an iconic character, but how many others can you name from the original trilogy? Yes, there's Mon Mothma, but she only played a small role in Return of the Jedi. You can also point to Oola the Twilek Dancing Girl in Jabba's palace, but the most notable thing about her character is that she gets eaten by a Rancor. The point is that there's a lot of work to be done, and it seems like J.J. Abrams and Co. are doing it. 

Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled to start principal photography soon, with the bulk of the production scheduled to take place in the legendary Pinewood Studios in England. In addition to the aforementioned Carrie Fisher and Daisy Ridley, the movie will also feature Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in their original roles and John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow in brand new ones.

They will be working from a script written by J.J. Abrams and Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, but all plot details are being kept strictly under wraps at this time. You should definitely stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for more casting announcements, go here to find out everything we know about the movie so far, and get ready for Star Wars: Episode VII to hit theaters on December 18, 2015! 

SEE ALSO: IT'S OFFICIAL: 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Cast Announced, Original Stars Returning

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Stephen Colbert Hates The New 'Star Wars' Cast, Says J.J. Abrams Is 'Blowing It'


Stephen Colbert is a big "Star Wars" fan and in his final season on "The Colbert Report," he wants to make sure you know it.

"I am a huge fan of 'Star Wars,' I saw the original movie when I was 13-years-old," he explained on Tuesday's show. "Let me tell you, Princess Leia's firm high buns stirred something in me. So when I heard they were making a new 'Star Wars' movie, let's just say I was the one to shoot first."Stephen Colbert Star Wars

"So far," Colbert continued, "we know that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford are all confirmed to be in the new movie, which I believe will be titled 'Episode VII: A New Hip.'"Stephen Colbert Star Wars

"Some super fans out there are a little skittish about the relaunch, but the director is my good friend J.J. Abrams, who just released this photo of the very first table read of the new movie."Stephen Colbert Star Wars

"It is so cool to get a glimpse behind-the-scenes, which is why I'm giving a wag of my finger to J.J. Abrams for blowing it!"Stephen Colbert Star Wars"I mean, look at this photo, everything is wrong! Where is the creature design? Every single character is humanoid with two arms and two legs? And those love seats are clearly not canon, those are tatooine battle couches! Have these people even heard of the holocron continuity database? I don't think so!"Screen Shot 2014 04 30 at 11.18.03 AM

"'Oh, but Stephen,' I'm sure he'd say, 'it's just one photo'  cry me a moisture farm, Abrams! Whatever scruffy looking nerfherder released this photo has midichlorian for brains!"

Watch the full, funny clip below:

SEE ALSO: 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Cast Announced, Original Stars Returning

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