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There's A 'Frozen' Easter Egg Hidden In The Trailer For Disney's Next Movie

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We know Disney loves putting Easter eggs— hidden messages and symbols — in its films.

So when the Mouse House debuted the first trailer for its new movie "Big Hero 6" Tuesday, we searched high and low to see if there were any nods to previous or future Disney films. 

Since it's Disney's first animated picture from Marvel, we weren't expecting to see any, but it turns out there's one from "Frozen" cleverly hidden in the back of one scene. 

Perez Hilton noticed a wanted poster on a police officer's corkboard showed Hans (below) from Disney's billion-dollar movie.

frozen hans

You probably missed it if you've seen the trailer. 

First, here's the image. Can you spot the "Frozen" character?frozen hans big hero 6

He's on the right side of the corkboard.frozen hans big hero 6

Here's another image of Hans:hans frozen

Some of the other faces in the background may be of other previous or future characters — the guy on the left kind of resembles Milo from "Atlantis: The Lost Empire"— but we don't recognize them.

You can catch the moment at the 1:15 mark in the trailer below:

SEE ALSO: What "Big Hero 6" is about

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Board Game 'Ouija' Is Getting Turned Into A Horror Movie — Here's The First Trailer

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ouija movie

Remember when "Battleship" was turned into a movie in 2012? Later this year, mystery game Ouija is getting the same treatment. 

Universal just put out the first trailer for "Ouija," an adaptation of the Hasbro spirit talking board game that will be released in theaters this October. 

Here's the synopsis for the film:

"In Ouija, a group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board."

While you may be quick to write off another board game adaptation, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, and Jason Blum — the minds behind some of the biggest recent horror series including "The Purge,""Friday the 13th,""Paranormal Activity," and "Insidious"— are working on the film. The movie is also being produced by Michael Bay.

The film feels like a horror version of 1995's "Jumanji." 

"Ouija" is in theaters October 24. Watch the trailer below. 

SEE ALSO: How Hasbro decides what toys it will turn into movies

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This Is A Summer Of Truly Awful Blockbusters

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amazing spiderman 2

I’m trying to figure out why I’m so disheartened with the movies this summer. It’s true that the season began badly. Marc Webb’s "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" was a disappointment. The aerial sequences at the beginning were thrilling. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have undeniable chemistry and seem on the surface perfectly cast.

But as the film unfolds, Garfield’s neediness, his virtue, the way his slowly spoken dialogue separates each emotion with a pause, ends up seeming rather twee and more than a bit tiresome. It was enjoyable — to a point — but a bit underwhelming and it made one ask at what stage special effects detract rather than enhance a production. Because wherever that point is, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has reached it.

I didn’t expect much from "Pompeii," which was lucky, seeing as it made me wonder whether there are any directors currently making big-budget action spectacle who are worse than Paul W. S. Anderson. It was so bad that it was an endless source of good jokes, all of them at the film’s expense. Trying to find good things to say about it, all one can dredge up is “Kit Harington has the best abs of the season and is very beautiful”. One can stay home, watch "Game of Thrones" and get all of that plus so much more.

I thought Gareth Edwards’s "Godzilla" the dullest blockbuster of the season — but then, after yawning for an hour and a half, the monsters finally arrived and woke me up. It’s a movie where everyone — apart from the director, writers and actors (Juliette Binoche excepted) — seems to have done an amazing job. Some of the shots are jaw-droppingly good – the visual effects truly astonishing, with the scene on the bridge where the monster rises behind the hero and "Godzilla’s" arrival at the airport being particular delights. But, ultimately, "Godzilla" illustrates how empty and unsatisfying spectacle on its own can be. There’s a story-telling dimension to spectacle itself — and a monster movie that doesn’t scare, doesn’t thrill and doesn’t allegorise with intelligence is not much of a monster movie at all.

So which of the summer blockbusters have been good? "Captain America: Winter Soldier" was better than the original but was released in March so probably shouldn’t figure in this account. "X-Men: Days of Future Past" was fun but all I can remember about it now is the sexual abuse lawsuit against director Bryan Singer that preceded the film’s release and the marvelous scenes of Quicksilver in motion.

I loved the glossiness of Robert Stromberg’s "Maleficent," the gorgeous design and look of the film as well as Angelina Jolie’s magnificent performance in the title role. I also loved that it was a summer blockbuster aimed at young girls and clearly succeeded in engaging them in the story. I was glad to also see that it was a hit. But good as they are, none of these movies have been good enough to get a general audience to line up to see them again.

The best of the summer blockbusters so far has been Doug Liman’s "Edge of Tomorrow." But this in itself is a depressing thought. Cruise is terrific in it; he and Emily Blunt have great chemistry together; the premise is excellent. Like Bill Murray in Harold Ramis’s "Groundhog Day," Tom Cruise re-lives the same day over and over but the catch is that he’s got to be shot first. So the audience gets to see Cruise save the world, but not before enjoying the pleasure of seeing him killed over and over again as he tries to figure out how to do so. It’s intelligent, critical, imaginative and very handsome to look at.

What depresses me about "Edge of Tomorrow" is that its American marketers haven’t been able to sell it in the US. Seeing Cruise giving a great performance while he dies over and over again has not proved sufficient to redeem him with audiences there — though worldwide audiences have been much more forgiving of America’s biggest and most iconic star (the film grossed “only” US$95m in the States in contrast to the US$350m it made worldwide).

The most hateful blockbuster of the summer so far has been "Transformers: Age of Extinction," currently topping the UK box office. It’s crude, ugly in spirit, a kind of barbarism in culture. It seemed to me an illustration of Adorno and Horkheimer’s argument regarding The Dialectic of Enlightenment: all that science, all that knowledge, all that artistry, marvellous shots; are all now directed at destruction, of ideals as well as things.

It’s a cynical exercise: the chasing of the Chinese market, product placement, sexism, all the crash, bang, explosions and metal twisting. It’s a militarist gun-loving display of destruction: thousands of buildings get destroyed, loads of people die, nobody cares.

The summer has not been without pleasures at the movies, but these pleasures are often found around the edges of, but in the same cinemas as, the blockbusters. "22 Jump Street" is very intelligent about the way it makes dumb funny. Channing Tatum dances and speaks up for gay rights and he and Jonah Hill bounce jokes off each other like music-hall stars of old.

I also loved seeing Hayao Miyazaki’s "The Wind Rises" which is slow-paced, meditative, poetic, romantic, bittersweet — it had me on the verge of welling up for most of its length. I was also very intrigued by Amini Hossein’s "The Two Faces of January," a glamorous, stylish, star-driven murder mystery set in the early 1960s, with Viggo Mortensen at his very best as Kirsten Dunst’s deceitful, dissolute, and murderous husband.

But even the best of these films, did not provide the pleasures one usually expect from blockbusters at their best. They should dazzle your senses, give you the impression of being lifted from your seat by images and sounds. The visual effects should result in emotional affect, the visceral kick in the body should leave an afterglow in the heart and head. And all this should result in such a satisfying experience that you’re willing to repeat it over and over again as the summer unfolds.

No blockbuster has succeeded in doing this so far. Richard Linklater’s "Boyhood," an indie just out, is doing this at the moment. But it is not big budget, it is not a blockbuster and will have to wait to be discussed in the next column.

SEE ALSO: Board Game 'Ouija' Is Getting Turned Into A Horror Movie — Here's The First Trailer

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If Fox Acquires Time Warner, An 'X-Men' Vs. 'Justice League' Movie Could Happen

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x-men days of future past

Early yesterday, the Rupert Murdoch-owned 21st Century Fox put in a massive $80 billion takeover bid to purchase Time Warner, a move which would have put Fox superhero properties such as X-Men and The Fantastic Four under the same roof as Warner Bros.' DC properties Justice League and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Although Time Warner rejected the bid, New York Times sources reveal that Fox will try to acquire the media conglomerate again.

If this deal were to happen, it would make Disney's acquisitions of Marvel and LucasFilm, which both cost $4 billion apiece, look like child's play in comparison, with the Fox/Time Warner deal valued at 10 times more than both the Marvel and LucasFilm deals combined. Of course, even if the 21st Century Fox/Time Warner sale does go through, there still may be a number of legal issues to sort out before X-Men and Justice League would face each other on the big screen.

Justice League, Superman, Wonder WomanAside from a X-Men vs. Justice League movie, Business Week points out that the potential merger could be used to answer some questions that have plagued comic book fans for decades. Marvel's Quicksilver could possibly square off against DC's speedy equivalent, The Flash, to find out which is truly the fastest superhero, if both companies come together.

The elastic abilities of Marvel's Mr. Fantastic and DC's Plastic Man could also be put to the test on the big screen, along with a telepathic showdown between Marvel's Professor X and DC's Martian Manhunter and a test of strength between DC's Superman and Marvel's Silver Surfer.

Are you dying for an X-Men vs. Justice League movie? Would you like to see any of the other Marvel vs. DC cinematic showdowns? Chime in with your thoughts below.

X-Men: Days of Future Past was released May 23rd, 2014 and stars Hugh Jackman,James McAvoyMichael FassbenderJennifer LawrenceHalle BerryNicholas HoultAnna PaquinEllen Page. The film is directed by Bryan Singer.

Justice League comes to theaters in 2018 and stars Gal Gadot.

SEE ALSO: Here's The Insanely Long List Of Things Rupert Murdoch Would Own If He Bought Time Warner

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PLOT REVEALED: Here's What 'The Avengers' Sequel Is All About

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entertainment weekly avengers

Entertainment Weekly's latest issue has a huge 11-page spread on the "Avengers" sequel revealing what to expect from possibly the biggest movie of 2015.

We find out a bit about how the Avengers team reassembles after the last film, what's going on with the additions of Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as new characters Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and how villain Ultron comes into play. 

It's safe to say we can expect to learn much more about "Age of Ultron" during San Diego Comic Con next week, but until then, here's what we learned about the film. 

The new issue of Entertainment Weekly will be on stands Friday.

Mini-spoilers will follow.

What "Avengers: Age of Ultron" will be about: 

After "Thor 2,""Iron Man 3," and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," our superheroes are pretty much in retirement mode. 

Thor has given up his right as the leader of Asgard, Captain America has gone off in a search of his friend Bucky, and Tony Stark rid of all his Iron Man suits. 

According to EW, the Avengers team now wants someone — or something — else to take the lead when it comes to fighting off villains. 

Enter Ultron, a drone that was originally built by Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man) in the comics back in 1968. This time; however, he'll be built by Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) as a means of protection gone awry.age of ultron

From EW:

"The 'Avengers' sequel begins with Stark's latest plan to fix the world: Ultron will be an all-seeing, all-knowing captain of the Iron Legion, a planetary force of robotic beat cops that resemble blue-and-white versions of the Iron Man suit but have no human core ... If it all works out, the superheroes can just sit back. It does not work out.

"In a bid to give his creation a dose of humanity, Stark programs Ultron (James Spader) with elements of his own personality—which proves to be Mistake No. 1 ... It seems our new robot overlord is an absolutist with all of Stark's cynicism but none of his kindness."

As you could imagine, eventually, Ultron will go rogue and announce a plan to "bring peace" to Earth by ridding of the entire human race.

Where the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver come into play:

quicksilverComic fans are excited to see the twin duo — played by Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor Johnson ("Godzilla") — make their entrance onto the big screen. 

Director Joss Whedon tells EW they'll be working with the rogue robot.

"They're on Team Ultron, which makes things really hard for the Avengers because all of a sudden they're dealing with powers that they're not used to," says Whedon.

Quicksilver has the ability to move at lightning speed. Whedon describes him as "quick-tempered," and "impatient," but "super protective."

Every fan has been wanting to know what sort of powers the Scarlet Witch will have since the comic character has an array of powers. We first saw her in the mid-credits sequences for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" playing with cube-like objects.

elizabeth olsen scarlet witch

Whedon says the Scarlet Witch will be able to "harness magic and telekinesis." She'll be able to get "inside your head and move objects." From the article, it also sounds like she's not completely in control of her psychic abilities. 

Of course, this will be the second time we'll see Quicksilver on screen after the scene-stealing, goofy character was in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." 

This is due to a tricky rights negotiation between both Fox and Disney. Disney's $4 billion purchase of Marvel in 2009 allows them to use Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch in the Avengers property. However, since both characters are X-Men mutants (they're the children of Magneto played by Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender on screen), they're also allowed to be in the 20th Century Fox films.

How J.A.R.V.I.S., who has been voiced by Paul Bettany up until this point, will come into play:

vision paul bettanyBettany, who has been voicing Stark's A.I. system J.A.R.V.I.S. up until this point on screen, will finally appear in human form in the "Avengers" sequel.

However, Bettany was cast as The Vision, described by EW as a "synthetic, superpowered human designed by Ultron."

What does this mean for Jarvis? Fans can probably put two and two together and imagine that J.A.R.V.I.S. will be transformed into The Vision.

Our take:We're thinking Ultron will manipulate the A.I. system into working against the Avengers team by offering him the gift of life — something Stark didn't do for his beloved J.A.R.V.I.S. (Vision is used in a similar way in the comics.)

The rest of the EW article reveals one big scene between the Avengers facing off with Ultron that we won't spoil. It's a great read worth checking out ahead of Comic Con.

Head over to EW to check out exclusive images from the film >

SEE ALSO: Director Joss Whedon says "Avengers 2" villain is "genuinely disturbed"

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'True Detective' Season 2 Plot Rumors Revolve Around Transportation Corruption In California

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true detective woody harrelson

A few days ago the news hit that True Detective Season 2 was zeroing in on its leads (Colin Farrell is reportedly in talks to join the hit HBO series with Taylor Kitsch being in the mix for another role). 

The day before that creator Nic Pizzolatto revealed that there will be four central roles and William Friedkin claimed to be considering a directing gig on the series (Season 2 will have multiple directors, standing in contrast to Season 1 which was directed solely by Cary Fukunaga).

At the time Pizzolatto seemed reticent to discuss plot specifics, backing away from the rumor that Season would deal with the U.S. transportation system.  But now talk of that story angle has returned with a much greater degree of specificity.  There’s also a lot of new info in terms of the demons that will be haunting our protagonists.  Hit the jump for more on True Detective Season 2 plot rumors.

A source told Film Divider (via The Playlist):

“The new mystery is to be kickstarted by the murder of Ray Caspar, City Manager of a fictional Californian city.  From what I can gather, the new, partly invented map that Pizzolatto is drawing will be essential to his new story.  As he teased, some months ago, part of the mystery will involve California’s transportation systems. This plot will involve a corrupt scheme to link North and South California with a high speed train, all in pursuit of profitable land ownership and lucrative federal grants.”

Several people have alluded to similarities to Chinatown in regard to institutionalized corruption and I don’t disagree (nor am I bothered by it, I think the show has many,  many tricks up its sleeve).  The tortured protagonist angle isn’t going away either.  From the same report:

“I can tell you now that these would make up two corners of the series’ central triangle of investigators, two men and a woman from different Californian cities and their own distinct branches of the State’s law enforcement bodies, coming together to uncover a whole mess of corruption.

The third corner will be a woman, a character in her 30s.  She’s a Monterey Sheriff with – as you might well expect – trouble in her past and problems in her day-to-day. Her issues are with alcohol and gambling.

Farrell’s character has terrible problems with cocaine and anger management. The young guy, a member of the California Highway Patrol, has been suspended for sexually exploiting a young woman he pulled over.  Nobody is clean.”

Regardless of the veracity of these rumors, Pizzolatto has more than earned my trust.  I’d be looking forward to True Detective Season 2 even if it was set on the moon.

SEE ALSO: Colin Farrell Is In Talks To Star In 'True Detective' Season 2

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Here's Why Fox Is The First Studio To Reach $ Billion At The Box Office This Year

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x-men days of future past mystique jennifer lawrence

The major studios will never admit it, but they are always in competition with each other, and it's always good to have a leg up. And its a long year, with a lot of jockeying to occur between studios, and a loaded winter season on its way of new releases ready to break box office records. Still, forgive Fox for doing a bit of a strut-walk as currently they're the most successful studio of 2014. 

Box Office Mojo confirms that Fox is the first major studio to reach a billion in domestic receipts. The interesting part of this is how Fox did this the old-fashioned way, by mixing a couple of massive blockbusters with some smaller films. Leading the way was X-Men: Days Of Future Past , which has collected nearly $230 million domestic since its May opening, while also doing huge business overseas. They're also likely to see massive success from the recently-opened Dawn Of The Planet of The Apes, which is a lock to register at the very least $200 million stateside. 

Unfortunately the news wasn't all good for the studio. Dreamworks teamed with Fox to release their films but the result were three underperformers. How To Train Your Dragon 2 was viewed by many to be one of the summer's biggest hits. Instead it will finish well below $200 million, even though its predecessor landed at $217 million. And Mr. Peabody And Sherman didn't have much brand recognition and sputtered to an underwhelming $111 million. At the very least, Rio 2 did well, though it also couldn't match the earlier effort. 

But keeping costs down and courting female audiences worked fairly well. The Fault In Our Stars was a buzzy-enough film to land just under $120 million, and Cameron Diaz proved to be a name worth another gamble as she notched another hit with The Other Woman ($84 million). They also saved some cash by converting miniseries The Bible into the $60 million-grossing Son Of God and getting Fox Searchlight to back the $58 million hit The Grand Budapest Hotel

Fox has a pretty killer lineup set for later this year as well. They have a toon (The Penguins Of Madagascar) and a family film (Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb). There's your big faith-forward blockbuster (Exodus: Gods And Kings) and your nasty R-rated crowd-pleaser (Kingsman: The Secret Service) standing alongside awards bait like David Fincher's Gone Girl. None of the upcoming films look like monster billion dollar hits, but there are sure ways to get crowds in the seats to promote what looks like a diverse lineup without breaking the bank. 

Box Office Mojo expects Fox to finish with over $1.8 in billion dollar domestic gross. Soon to join the billion dollar club is Warner Bros., while Disney likely crosses the line sometime next month. 

SEE ALSO: 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Is Now The Highest Grossing X-Men Movie

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4 Reasons Why 2004 Was One Of The Most Unforgettable Summer Movie Seasons Ever

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Spiderman 2

Believe it or not kids, there was once a time when Amanda Seyfried and Rachel McAdams were largely unknown actresses with second billing to Lindsay Lohan, who was considered the most promising star of her generation, when Tom Cruise could star in a movie without Scientology and Oprahgate entering the discussion and when an M. Night Shyamalan film was something to look forward to.

If I said that 2004 was the most important summer in filmdom I’d be biased, because that was the first time I started to treat the critical viewing of films as a serious pursuit, so if I said that the films that came out that summer — AnchormanShrek 2, and Mean Girls -- were like nothing I’d ever seen before, that’s accurate in a way, as I was paying attention to films in a way I hadn’t before.

Still, 2004 was an unforgettable summer (if you don’t count the forgettable films like Catwoman and White Chicks). Here were the highlights:

1. Sequels Eclipsing the OriginalsShrek

Sequels In the 2000’s movies transformed more drastically to the point where tent pole films in the summer were not only commonplace, but it was out of the ordinary if more than a weekend passed in the summer time without a new big blockbuster opening. Day After Tomorrow was the fourth highest-grossing film of the summer and it didn’t even win its opening weekend.

Sequels that bested the original were nothing new but the Summer of 2004 was notable in the way a number of Part IIs.

Both films were surprisingly introspective takes on the aftermath of the classic superhero/fairytale story arc. Shrek 2 started with a montage of two happy newlyweds to the tune of the Counting Crows’ “Accidentally in Love” (one of the unofficial songs of the summer or at the very least, my Windows Media Player queue) but disintegrated into a melodrama about holding a marriage together and meeting in-laws. The end result was a film with something new to say about the superhero genre. I know the word post-modern is overused but it seems appropriate here.

What was more significant, than whether I found the film uniquely satisfying, was that the film made a ton of money. Most people don’t know this but Shrek 2 became the 3rd Titanic and it wasn’t until The Dark Knight came along four years later that a film would make as much money as Shrek 2.

Spider-Man 2 was one of the first comic book movie hero sequels to not only transcend the original but earn such strong critical acclaim that it started to be taken seriously as an Oscar contender. In the film, Tobey MaGuire’s Spider-man (today’s teens are going to scratch their head and wonder how I could misspell Andrew Garfield so poorly) has serious doubts about whether he wants to be Spider-man anymore and his mask is even stripped off to a subway car full of bystanders as he’s saving them from doom. Spider-Man 2 was declared the best superhero film of all time by Roger Ebert and it was even named on AFI’s ballot of 400 films for their 100 Years 100 Movies 10th Anniversary Edition when they did their ballot a couple years later.

Also in the Part II category that summer were Bourne Supremacy which, while not the film of the summer, definitely mobilized and expanded the fan base to the point that when Bourne Ultimatum came out three years later, it got similar “Best action movie of the summer or best action movie of all time?” treatment by the critics and won an Oscar in the competitive Best Editing category.

Although it was technically a Part III, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was also a big hit. The films director Alfonso Cuaron (taking over from Chris “I didn’t discover America” Columbus), who has risen in stature since 2004 with Children of Men followed by his Best Director Oscar for Gravity, changed the tone of the film with reviewers noting it had a darker (one reviewer even used the word “wintry”), more inventive, and more delicately balanced tone.

2. A Lack of Anything Sequel-Worthy

troy brad pittOver the last ten years or so, sequels (or films that have been blatantly presented as part one of a larger story arc like Hunger Games and Twilight) have filled up the summer schedule to the point where it’s basically a given that any film that makes a dent in the box office like The HangoverPitch Perfect, or Horrible Bosses will merit a sequel despite the fact that it usually makes absolutely no narrative sense (“What’s that, roofing these guys in a different city and repeating the plot verbatim doesn’t strike your sense of integrity? Ok, I’ll just return this free $100 million”).

Looking at the flip-side of sequelitis in 2004, there are few films that spawned any sort of franchise. Part of this is that the franchises with the clearest aim to launch sequels – Catwoman, and Garfield - bombed (which didn’t stop the latter from getting a sequel anyway).

Again, this is mostly a good thing. Catwoman 2 would have likely blacklisted Halle Berry from Hollywood forever if it was anywhere near as bad as the first, and The Day After the Day After Tomorrow might have been a stretch. The ability of Troy: The Iliad to spawn Troy 2: The Odyssey (IF the film followed the source novels which is a big IF considering I only read the Cliff Notes of the Iliad and spotted tons of inconsistencies) was severely dampened by the fact that they cast Sean Bean as Odysseus who, no offense to Mr.Bean’s immediate family, isn’t the kind of movie actor people would pay to see. Still, there seemed like a lack of staying power from most of the semi-original or original films.

Part of this had to do with being overshadowed by the sequel juggernauts and part of this had to do with certain genres like historical fiction hitting a lull. There was not one but three historical fiction films that came across as generic action films: King ArthurTroy, and Van HelsingTroy, for example, oversimplified the mythology and excluded most of the God characters in favor of more screentime for a tunic-clad Brad Pitt. In the following years, Kingdom of Heaven (a mildly successful one-off), Thor and Sherlock Holmes would get the formula right.

Elsewhere, there was the annual Will Smith sci-fi action-packed fun-fest I Robot which I enjoyed as a cleverly- posited futuristic mystery but was likely too thinky and conceptual to get off the ground (Although I’m guessing acclaimed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov would have probably preferred watching to the Robin Williams ham-fest Bicentennial Man that was the only other novel of his to be adapted to film). There was also M.Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller The Village which marked the first Shyamalan film with a twist ending that most people found, for lack of a better world, sucked.

3. Comedy was King

anchorman will ferrell2004 was the year that comedy became dominated by a group of comic actors — Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson, Jack Black, and Ben Stiller — called the frat pack (coined by a pair of articles in USA Today that June that I coincidentally remember reading from the newsstand that day).

It would be difficult to categorize a single comic style of the group as a whole: Jack Black was the quintessential slacker with a gift for oversize expressions and physical comedy; Vince Vaughn was the smooth talker who could go a mile-a-minute if need be; Luke Wilson was more of a comedic straight-man; Owen Wilson was a verbal sparring partner and had a laid-back vibe; Will Ferrell brought his intensity as he descended into various levels of man-child, and Ben Stiller was chameleon-like and very often wrote and directed his own projects. Still, their comic M.O.s might have been a little different but they all wound up in each other’s films over the past couple years (i.e. ZoolanderOld SchoolStarsky and Hutch) and enjoyed good chemistry.

In the summer of 2004, the two highest grossing-comedies (if you don’t count The Princess Diaries 2, which, who would? Sorry, that was a movie?) were Brat Pack projects: Anchorman and Dodgeball. And they were not only hilarious, but just plain brilliant in my eyes. Prior to watching those two films, I had been slightly guilty of ghettoizing comedies in comparison to dramas. I had always assumed that the acting and production values of a good comedy could not be on par with a great drama, but Anchorman and Dodgeball won me over. With Anchorman, I wasn’t just the comic inventiveness of Will Ferrell in creating such a uniquely comic character, but the ability of everyone else in the cast to keep up with him and match his absurdly silly dialogue with lines that were even more bizarre. There were very few moments in the 94-minute running time that you wouldn’t have found me laughing if you walked into the Minneapolis theater where I was watching it.

Although, Judd Apatow (who’s band of comedic underlings supplanted the Brat Pack as the next big thing) is credited as Anchorman’s producer, the film is more reflective of the comedic stylings of director Adam McKay. Now five films deep into his career, improvisational stylings of ex-Saturday Night Live head writer Adam McKay (who’s now five films deep into his career) whose comedy is heavily improvisational which leads to a very natural cast chemistry and highly inventive out-in-left field lines like “Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era” to “60% of the time, it works every time” to the classic “I Love Lamp.”

Dodgeball was an equally brilliant satire of obscure sports that even spurned dodgeball tournaments at local colleges (and I imagine high schools and adult youth leagues. Sorry, I could only speak from the POV of a college student in 2004). Like a good piece of sketch comedy, the film just kept getting more and more absurd as the sportscasters got increasingly dense, Coach Patches O’Houllihan (a memorable performance by Rip Torn) got increasingly discombobulated, the villains got more absurd, and the cameos (Including Lance Armstrong back when people liked him) got more riotous.

Last but not least, there was also Mean Girls which sparked Tina Fey’s career and is now considered one of the archetypes of the high school melodramedy genre. A number of articles came out recently for the film’s 10th anniversary (found here, here, here, and here) showing the film’s influence which shows Fey’s whip-smart take on the genre has had a lot of staying power. 

4. Political Messages in an Election Year

Passion of the Christ2004 was also a year in which politics were getting as heated as they’d ever been (or at least then they’d ever been in my lifetime) with opposition to the George W. Bush administration turning into thinly-concealed hatred.

“Red states” and “blue states” were starting to become mainstays in our lexicon and each party had their own mascot at the movie theater. For the red states, Passion of the Christ (technically, it was released back in February although it ran well into May) was a pet project by Mel Gibson who managed to mobilize the bible belt into making the film a humongous hit. Gibson didn’t even show it to the press and instead opted to screen it for religious groups and church congregations. At $370 million, the film managed to break into the Top 10 of all-time. What was mostly ignored in the story of its success was how unwatchable the film was if reliving Christ’s crucifixion wasn’t your idea of a fun afternoon at the movies. Stephen King noted in an essay for Entertainment Weekly that the film was inappropriate and even a scarring experience for children. Ironically, Gibson would soon have a public fall from grace over anti-Semitic charges that would severely diminish his chances of ever having the clout to fund such an epic film again despite being an Oscar-winning director.

The left’s cinematic answer for Gibson was Michael Moore who had made a name for himself playfully mocking conservative rhetoric with documentaries dating back to his anti-outsourcing manifesto Roger and Me and culminating in an Oscar win with his anti-gun documentary Bowling for Columbine. In Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore carried on with his trademark guerilla journalism by approaching members of congress on street corners with paperwork to enlist their children in the army and driving an ice cream truck through DC and reading the Patriot Act out loud after congressmen admitted not having read the whole act.

As a sign of the highly partisan times, people either saw as a sleazy nuisance or a populist hero depending on which party they were from. Still, few denied that Moore made an entertaining film and the $119 million domestic box office (at also helped that he was promoting it like mad) take was a new box office record for a documentary. In terms of influence, few remember that Moore might have helped his cause more by explicitly promoting Bush’s opponent, John Kerry, but I can think of at least one cinemagoer (myself) who was profoundly swayed as a voter the day he watched that film.

Whether it was a coincidence or a sign of the times, a few other blockbusters in 2004 had some pretty explicit political messages. In his remake of The Manchurian Candidate Jonathan Demme sought to modernize the 1962 classic by replacing the evil Manchurians as the big bad with the multi-national corporate agenda. Roland Emmerich, a director whose entire film career has been an excuse to blow up large buildings, attempted to take about as serious a stance on global warming as a popcorn movie can with The Day After TomorrowI, Robot attempted to take a stance on the decisive “Robot Apocalypse” referendum which if it isn’t on the ballot just yet, should be soon.

SEE ALSO: This Is A Summer Of Truly Awful Blockbusters

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Why Board Games Ouija And Candy Land Are Getting Made Into Movies

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ouija board game movie

Wednesday, Universal released the first trailer for horror movie "Ouija" based on the board game of the same name.

It's the most recent game-to-movie adaptation for Hasbro after 2012's "Battleship"bombed at theaters and it won't be the only one coming to theaters. Sony is also planning on bringing Candy Land to life with Adam Sandler. 

From an outsider's point of view, it may sound like a misstep by the company. It didn't work the first time so what will make it work this time around? Why risk bringing more board games to screen?

First, there's the simple answer.

Hasbro's "Transformers"— a more than $3 billion franchise— has been a huge success at the box office so it only makes sense that more brands (G.I. Joe, Jem, Stretch Armstrong) will receive the film treatment. 

But while something like "Transformers" has been around for years and has a set storyline, you can't say the same for something like "Battleship." While the game was originally released in 1967, the adaptation forced Hasbro and Hollywood to take some huge liberties bringing it to screen. An alien invasion definitely wasn't responsible for sinking anyone's Battleship during gameplay.

candy landSo, again, why are we getting more board game movies? 

Recently, we spoke with Hasbro Chief Marketing Officer John Frascotti about how the company decides which brands it decides to translate to film

We also asked specifically why Ouija and Candy Land were getting turned into films and how a company pitches a board game to Hollywood versus an action figure.

Here's the answer he gave us: 

“In the case of some of our board game titles like Ouija and Candy Land these are brands that have a lot of cross-generational relevance and cross-generational emotional appeal because parents and children have grown up playing these games and associate them with really enjoyable parts of their lives. A brand like Candy Land has such emotional resonance with moms and their daughters because it's been played for years and it's been a shared experience. A brand like Ouija has a certain amount of mystery and intrigue behind the brand.

What we find is that these brands are great platforms for storytelling. So even though they may not have quite the same lore and character beneath them that Transformers and G.I. Joe do, they certainly have a high degree of emotional resonance, cross-generational resonance, and they serve as a great platform for storytelling because they involve, in the case of Candy Land, great characters in the board game, and in the case of Ouija, there's that intrigue and mystery behind the brand that has existed for many years. "

SEE ALSO: How Hasbro decides what toys it will turn into movies

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Beyoncé Teases The 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Movie Trailer

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Well, this was unexpected. 

The first teaser trailer for "Fifty Shades of Grey," the adaptation of the steamy romance novel that became a phenomenon in 2012, came online via Beyoncé's Instagram account.

It appears as if the singer's music will appear in the film. The teaser plays along to a slowed down version of "Crazy in Love."

Based on the trilogy by E.L. James, the film will star Jamie Dornan ("Once Upon a Time") and Dakota Johnson.

The first full trailer will be out Thursday. 

 

SEE ALSO: The first photo of Dornan and Johnson in "Fifty Shades of Grey"

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'Sex Tape' Is One Of Cameron Diaz's Worst-Opening Movies Ever

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sex tape movieIt was not a good weekend for Cameron Diaz at the box office. 

Her new movie "Sex Tape" with Jason Segel made $15 million over the course of three days. 

The Sony Pictures comedy about a married couple's sex tape getting shared over Apple's iCloud with friends and family cost an estimated $40 million to make. 

It's one of Diaz's worst-performing opening weekends to date. Her last movie, "The Other Woman," with Leslie Mann and Kate Upton debuted to $24.7 million in April. 

Overall, the film came in fourth this weekend at the box office behind new sequels "The Purge: Anarchy" ($28.4 million) and Disney's "Planes: Fire and Rescue" ($18 million).

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" dominated for the second weekend in a row scoring $36 million. The film has now made $240.5 million worldwide and has helped Fox become the first studio this year to hit $1 billion at theaters.

SEE ALSO: Here's what "The Avengers" sequel is all about

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J.J. Abrams Shows Off First Footage Of X-Wing In 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

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jj abrams x-wing

Monday morning director J.J. Abrams showed off the first footage of the X-Wing from "Star Wars: Episode VII." 

Usually Abrams prefers to keep his future projects top secret; however, the big slow reveal of a beat-up X-Wing Fighter plane comes during the final week of a raffle giving fans a chance to appear in Episode VII.

jj abrams x wing

Eight weeks ago, Disney and Lucasfilm launched a campaign with fundraising site Omaze to support Star Wars: Force for Change,” an initiative launched by the Mouse House to find “creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.”

This campaign will help raise money for United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund’s (UNICEF) Innovation Labs

For a chance to appear in the film, fans are asked to donate anywhere from $10-$50,000 through Omaze for a chance to win an all-expense trip to London with a friend to shoot a scene for the sequel. 

Abrams announced that in addition, fans will also have the opportunity to win an advanced screening of "Star Wars: Episode VII" if they donate this week.

"By supporting 'Force for Change' you can win a private screening of the movie in your hometown and invite 20 of your closest friends and family," says Abrams.

Check it out below:

Note: It's been pointed out to us that the ship above looks more like a Z-95 Headhunter. Disney's official release refers to the ship above as an X-Wing. 

SEE ALSO: Read more on the contest for a chance to be in "Star Wars: Episode VII"

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The Plot For 'Star Wars: Episode VII' May Have Been Revealed

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Luke Skywalker and Yoda

A hand. The driving force that possibly kicks off the first Star Wars movie we have seen in years might be a hand. One that is holding a lightsaber, and tumbling down from the stars. 

Plot details for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII have leaked over at Badass Digest, where the site is citing multiple sources as saying… well, here’s the requisite spoiler warning. Obviously, you clicked in this story to read about the plot of Star Wars: Episode VII. But if you do not really want to know, STOP reading now. 

Still here? The opening image after the trademark title crawl, according to Bad, will be "a severed hand" that lands on a desert planet where it is discovered by two characters played by Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. There are no details on the characters these two will play, but they will recognize the lightsaber in the severed hand as one belonging to a former Jedi, so they attempt to return it to its owner. The site continues: 

Their quest takes them off world, and they meet up with Han Solo and Chewbacca, who aren't flying around in the Millennium Falcon anymore but are piloting... well, that could be a spoiler. I'll leave it. Anyway, Han and Chewie recognize the light saber as Luke's, and they say they haven't seen their friend in thirty years, since the events of Return of the Jedi."

So begins a quest, to find Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), and to return the lightsaber that might be resting in his severed hand. Is it his human hand? Or his mechanical hand? No confirmation, as Devin Faraci Tweets: 

Is all of this possible? Sure. Is it accurate? We’re not sure yet. The driving force of the narrative sounds very similar to Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope, which is intentional. J.J. Abrams reportedly wants to capture the same magics of the initial foray into George Lucas’ universe. Only, the threat of the new movie is described as "nefarious forces… building a super weapon, one capable of destroying not planets but entire solar systems." So long as it’s not Khan, we’re cool. 

We have a long time to go between now and the release of Star Wars: Episode VII, and there are a lot of characters who still need to be explained. But leaks like this could start the Star Wars boat sinking just a tad. J.J. Abrams cherishes his "Mystery Box." Can he keep a lid on Star Wars for the next few months? 

SEE ALSO: J.J. Abrams Shows Off First Footage Of X-Wing In 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

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Marvel Announces Release Dates For 5 Untitled Mystery Movies

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thor the dark world

Looks like Marvel Studios is quite bullish on their prospects for Phase 3 (and possibly beyond).  They’ve just announced 5 release dates for films that are as-of-yet untitled and they stretch all the way up to 2019.  That’s two films a year.

We’ll be updating this piece with more data as our analysis comes in, but could the May 3rd, 2019 date be when we’ll see Avengers 3?  The announced Marvel release dates are:

  • Marvel Untitled – 7/28/17 wide
  • Marvel Untitled – 11/3/17 wide
  • Marvel Untitled – 7/6/18 wide
  • Marvel Untitled – 11/2/18 wide
  • Marvel Untitled – 5/3/19 wide

Previously announced dates on their docket included Guardians Of The Galaxy on 8/1/14;  Avengers: Age Of Ultron on 5/1/15;  Ant-Man on 7/17/2015;  Captain America 3 on 5/6/2016; and two additional Untitled Marvel Films on 7/8/16 and 5/5/17 respectively.

I imagine that Scott Derrickson‘s upcoming Doctor Strange will fall on one of the previously released dates and not one of the dates that hit tonight. What could be falling on the new dates? At least one of them has got to be Avengers 3, and I imagine that’s a May film, but which May between 2017 and 2019 I don’t know (I’ll assume it’s not coming out in 2018 since its signature month isn’t represented in the announcement for that year).  I’d venture to say 2019 since that gives them a little more time to wrangle the cast together.  If Guardians of the Galaxy is a hit (and it’s tracking like it will be), then one of these is probably for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as well.

I also wouldn’t bet against a standalone film or two for a few of the Avengers like Black Widow or Hawkeye.  It’s also not surprising that the hardball between Marvel and DC/Warner Bros. continues. Warner Bros is releasing Justice League in 2017 and it’s fairly evident that Marvel putting three movies against it in that calendar year is a move to maintain their domination over the superhero box office.

SEE ALSO: PLOT REVEALED: Here's What 'The Avengers' Sequel Is All About

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5 Reasons 'Sex Tape' Didn't Sell At The Box Office

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sex tape movie cameron diaz jason segel

“Sex Tape,” the Cameron Diaz-Jason Segel comedy about a married couple who accidentally post their best Kama Sutra imitation online, failed to generate much box office heat in its opening this weekend.

The raunchy R-rated romp reteamed the stars of “Bad Teacher” as well as director Jake Kasdan from the hit 2011 comedy. But it took in just $15 million over its first three days — less than half the opening haul of the trio's previous film.

It's not a disaster for Sony. With a $40 million price tag, it's the latest in a string of risk-mitigating low to mid-range budget comedies that Hollywood is favoring these days. And it may yet get into the black, if it can manage decent foreign returns and some staying power at the domestic box office. But the latter will be tricky, since audiences disliked the comedy almost as much as critics and gave it a limp “C+” CinemaScore.

Here are five reasons that factored into the film's failure to ignite:

1. Dicey Title: It probably helped Sony's marketers give audiences a clear handle on what the movie was about, but it may have put off Heartland crowds in the process. “Calling a film ‘Bad Teacher’ is acceptable, but ‘Sex Tape’ is certainly walking the line for some audiences,” said Exhibitor Relations vice-president and senior analyst Jeff Bock. “I mean, one could definitely get the wrong idea when you told them what you did last night.”

2. Toxic Reviews: With only a 20 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews weren't just bad, some of them were aggressively toxic: “The cinematic equivalent of herpes, ‘Sex Tape' is an uncomfortable embarrassment to raunchy comedies everywhere,” wrote the Miami Herald's Connie Ogle.  “As with most leaked sex videos, ‘Sex Tape’ is more embarrassing to those involved than memorable to those who watch it,” said the Toledo Blade's Kirk Baird. “For a movie filled with amateur porn, sex toys, cocaine and Cameron Diaz‘s butt, ‘Sex Tape’ is awfully tame,” added the Arizona Republic's Barbara VanDenBurgh.

Also read: Critics Pound ‘Sex Tape': 11 Takedowns That Might Make Audiences Pull Out

3. Dated Concept: The idea of making a sex tape — and then being ashamed that you did — seems so yesterday that it gave the film a tired feel before it opened. “Sex Tape” might have worked five years ago, or had it taken on lewd “selfies,” but anyone who found this idea fresh was probably turned off by the idea. Can anyone say Kim Kardashian?

4. Lousy Timing: With this summer's surfeit of R-rated comedies, finding a good slot to launch “Sex Tape” was always going to be tricky, and this wasn't it. With two other ribald romps — “Melissa McCarthy‘s “Tammy” and Sony's own “22 Jump Street” – still drawing strong numbers, “Sex Tape” may have encountered raunch fatigue and couldn't find its footing.

5. Uncoupled: To break out the way earlier R-rated movies “Neighbors” and “22 Jump Street” did earlier this summer, “Sex Tape” was going to have to draw a young date night crowd. It didn't, instead attracting an audience that tipped female (53 percent) and older (52 percent over 30 years of age).

SEE ALSO: 'Sex Tape' Is One Of Cameron Diaz's Worst-Opening Movies Ever

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Here's What Marvel's Next 7 Mystery Movies Could Be

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captain america thoughtful

Marvel has just laid down the (infinity) gauntlet by announcing their next SEVEN films.

Well, release dates, at least.

The new schedule, which some are assuming is Phase 3, takes them to 2019, and suggests the world these heroes inhabit is about to expand considerably.

However, the tricky part is guessing what these films are. Actors can only star in so many movies, and Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans are just two actors who have held fast on strictly fulfilling their contracts. 

Evans is signed for three more films, which include another Captain America and two more Avengers. But Downey Jr. is only attached to the next two Avengers, and the contract Marvel inked with the actor years ago suggests it would only be financially viable to bring Downey back to Iron Man solo films if he took a massive paycut (which he will not do). That means Iron Man 4 is out of the equation, while Captain America 3 (and Ant-Man) already have dates. 

So, aside from some obvious guesses, those seven slots could be filled with several different Marvel properties. Which are they? Will we see The Punisher again? Could The Inhumans make their presence felt? And what's Thor up to? We looked at the tea leaves and carefully pinpointed just which films are coming down the pike for Marvel, and what the studio might be announcing at next week's Comic Con. 

Our guesses for the next Marvel movies >

July 8th, 2016: "Doctor Strange"

This is easily the most obvious of choices for a slot, considering it's the only Marvel film with a director attached, but no release date. Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us From Evil ) will be taking on this project, which opens up the mystical world of Marvel. Which could be an implication that Marvel's ready to journey into mystery with their upcoming projects, considering a few actors will be taking their final bow.
 
This is Marvel's fresh new Phase Three entry, so a lot's riding on the Sorcerer Supreme. But at the very least, it will be released only two months after Captain America 3, so the strength of the Marvel brand should help it succeed at the box office. 


May 5th, 2017: "Thor 3"

Marvel has already hired writers for the third Thor, which follows Thor: The Dark World's mammoth $644 million worldwide take. It's very likely events in Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Doctor Strange heavily affect what occurs in Thor 3, particularly considering Loki is now in charge of Asgard.

This could be Chris Hemsworth's last solo film as the God Of Thunder, so Marvel's likely got something big in store, considering the juiciest release date on the schedule. There's a very good chance the repercussions of Thor 3 (perhaps Ragnarok?) will echo over the course of the other Marvel movies, leading to Thor's return in Avengers 3. Perhaps they'll finally give the Warriors Three something to do? 



July 28th, 2017: "Guardians Of The Galaxy 2"

Given the spoilers that we've heard regarding Avengers: Age Of Ultron, we're willing to believe that the Guardians will have a big green friend to tango with this time around. This release date, very late in the summer, is close to the August 1st bow for this year's Guardians Of The Galaxy, which is currently tracking to do Thor numbers. Of course, Guardians Of The Galaxy is really just Marvel's space franchise: the first film introduces the Nova Corps, and this next film could very well involve a number of space-traveling characters like Adam Warlock.
 
If the Marvel movie are widgets, Guardians Of The Galaxy is potentially the most malleable. So at this point, Marvel basically has this movie aligned with the overall Marvel story as "another deep space adventure" with any number of participants or villains. 


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Robert Downey Jr. Is Once Again The Highest Earning Actor Of The Year

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Robert Downey Jr.

Tony Stark may be the richest man in the Avengers, but the man who plays him is doing pretty well too, sitting pretty once again atop the Forbes’ list of the Top 25 Earning Actors. 

Robert Downey Jr.matched his $75 million take from the previous year to earn the top spot for the period from June 2013 to June 2014.

Amazingly, Downey accomplished his back-to-back victories without releasing a film during the period accounted for. It was the staying power of “Iron Man 3,” and his back-end deal, that earned him the $75 million for the most recent year. “Iron Man 3” first hit theaters in May 2013, but continued making money for months afterward, amassing more than $1.2 billion in the global box office.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe star was joined by fellow Avenger Chris Hemsworth, with $37 million, thanks to “Thor: The Dark World” surpassing earnings from the previous film in the franchise. Upcoming Marvel star Bradley Cooper came in third with $46 million, with star turns in “The Hangover Part 3” and “American Hustle.” He's sure to score again when “Guardians of the Galaxy” hits theaters in August.

Also read: Robert Downey Jr. Rehab Drama in the Works at Showtime

Dwayne Johnson came in second for the earning period with $52 million, thanks to the continuing strength of the “Fast & Furious” franchise, while Leonardo DiCaprio ranked fourth with $39 million. He did it with more sophisticated adult fare like “The Great Gatsby” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

The Top 10 is rounded out by Liam Neeson ($36 million), Ben Affleck ($35 million), Christian Bale ($35 million), Will Smith ($32 million), and Mark Wahlberg ($32 million).

SEE ALSO: Here's What Marvel's Next 7 Mystery Movies Could Be

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Dwayne Johnson May Be Playing A Member Of DC's Justice League

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Dwayne Johnson

Okay.  So we know that DC and Warner Bros. would really like to play some catchup with Marvel and Disney.  Man of Steel didn’t do especially well, so they’re moving full steam ahead into the Avengers-esque territory of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, which will be shot back-to-back by Zack Snyder.

But wouldn’t it be nice if they put some solo movies in there too?  There were some rumors last month about a potentially leaked Warner Bros. schedule for Comic-Con this week that included a Wonder Woman movie, a Sandman movie and a Shazam movie.  And it’s the latter film that Dwayne Johnson seems to be hinting at.  Hit the jump for more on a possible Shazam movie starring Dwayne Johnson.

Johnson told Total Film:

“There’s a character out there that we’re going to announce very soon that I’m going to play.  And, I’ll just say this… he has the power of Superman.  And it’s not Green Lantern.  Believe me, he was a character I wanted to play but there was already another version of Green Lantern and so now we’ve gone in a different direction.  But this character has the power of Superman.  He can throw down.  Just say the word.  That’s all I’m going to say.”

We all know (okay, I just found out) that Shazam’s name is an acronym that has changed over time but certainly mentions “the strength of” various ancient heroes and deities.  Maybe that’s where this “strength of Superman” line comes in?  By “soon”, I will somewhat safely assume that we will get a verification on this by the time Warner Bros. has ended ots panel at SDCC.  That would certainly be the time to go into full-steam hype mode.

SEE ALSO: If Fox Acquires Time Warner, An 'X-Men' Vs. 'Justice League' Movie Could Happen

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Marvel President Says Studio Won't Be Swayed Into Making Female Superhero Movies

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black widow scarlett johansson

Both LucasFilm and Marvel have come under pressure for making movies with a certain lack of leading female characters. Star Wars: Episode VII was hit hardest after the initial cast was announced, revealing only one new female cast member, unknown actress Daisy Ridley, who was joining the only other woman at the table read, Carrie Fisher, reprising her iconic role as Princess Leia. Marvel has felt the pressure too, as fans loudly demand a female-led superhero movie, hoping for a Black Widow solo adventure or a stand-alone Captain Marvel franchise. While these are certainly possibilities and may even be announced at Comic-Con this Saturday, Kevin Feige has said his studio will not be forced into making a female superhero movie.

Speaking with Screen Crush about the backlash, he promised that Marvel would not be swayed by the outrage, and will continue making the movies that it wants to make. And if that includes a female-driven adventure, then great. It is likelier to happen sooner than later (with Captain Marvel even rumored to have a cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron).

Asked if he felt the same pressure that J.J. Abrams felt when the Star Wars: Episode VII cast was announced, a reaction that many believe led to the casting of Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie later on, Kevin Feige helped clear the air:

"I don't think J.J. Abrams or the Star Wars people — I have no idea — but my guess is that they were not swayed by any backlash. We're not going to be swayed by the backlash. We're going to keep bringing the movies out the way we envision it and the way we believe in it — and that includes diversity in all of the active films. And certainly, on our development slate of many of the characters — some of which you just named — and always being conscious of that. The great thing for us is the comics have been conscious of that through the decades and have been rather pioneering in that over the years."

Kevin Feige then commented on the recent changes to Thor, who is now a woman, and Captain America, who is now The Falcon, an African-American. Will we see these iterations on the big screen in the future?

"Well, look, listen, as you know, that's happened before in the comics. It's getting a lot of attention because they've just done it, but both of those things have happened in the past. So, it's always that's part of the fun. There's always that chance to surprise people or to switch up — a number of people have worn the Cap' costume. A number of people have lifted Mjölnir. So, that's all fodder for future storytelling."

SEE ALSO: Here's What Marvel's Next 7 Mystery Movies Could Be

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Here Are The First Photos From The Final 'Hobbit' Movie

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Warner Bros. will be holding a huge panel this Saturday at San Diego Comic Con previewing some of its new films for attendees.

Ahead of the event, the studio released a bunch of photos for three of its upcoming films, including a first look at the final installment of the "Hobbit" trilogy, "The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies."

The teaser trailer for the film, which director Peter Jackson has confirmed is in Warner Bros. hands, is expected to debut during the panel.

Until then, here are the first two images released for the sequel. They suggest Luke Evans' character Bard the Bowman will have a bigger role in the final film.

Bard (Evans) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) appear to be deep in conversation. legolas battle of the five armies

Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and Bard look like they're prepping for battle. Could they be looking at the dragon Smaug?the hobbit battle of the five armies gandalf first photo

SEE ALSO: Here's what "The Avengers" sequel will be about

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