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Nov 13

Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee dead at 95

Stan Lee at the premiere of Doctor Strange in Los Angeles on Oct. 20, 2016 (image courtesy Invision / AP)
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by Reuters

Stan Lee, who dreamed up Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk and a cavalcade of other Marvel Comics superheroes that became mythic figures in pop culture with soaring success at the movie box office, died at the age of 95, his daughter said Monday.

As a writer and editor, Lee was key to the ascension of Marvel into a comic book titan in the 1960s when, in collaboration with artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he created superheroes who would thrill generations of young readers.

Lee's daughter C.J. Lee confirmed the death to Reuters. Lee is survived by his daughter and his younger brother, Larry Lieber, who also worked in comics.

Americans were familiar with superheroes before Lee, in part thanks to the 1938 launch of Superman by Detective Comics, the company that would become DC Comics, Marvel's archrival.

Lee was widely credited with adding a new layer of complexity and humanity to superheroes. His characters were not made of stone - even if they appeared to have been chiseled from granite. They had love and money worries and endured tragic flaws or feelings of insecurity.

"I felt it would be fun to learn a little about their private lives, about their personalities and show that they are human as well as super," Lee told NPR News in 2010.

Continue Reading at: CBC

Nov 12

Pixar drops first 'Toy Story 4' teaser trailer

Although it seems like just yesterday that we all collectively ugly-cried at the ending of "Toy Story 3," Disney is hoping we still want to see what troubles face our favourite toys, Woody, Buzz and Jessie, next.

The first teaser trailer for the newest installment of Pixar's "Toy Story" franchise dropped Monday morning and shed some light on where the series will go from here.

The whole gang is back but it will be joined by a homemade toy that isn't really a toy, per se.

Judy Collins' 1967 classic "Both Sides Now" plays as Andy's toys hold hands dancing in a seemingly idyllic circle before one of the newcomers screams: "I don’t belong here!"

A brief synopsis for the film is in the YouTube video's description: "Woody has always been confident about his place in the world and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that's Andy or Bonnie. But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called "Forky" to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy."

Watch the new teaser trailer here:

Continue Reading at: CTV

Nov 12

'Venom' Passes 'Justice League' At The Worldwide Box Office

by Jamie Jirak

Venom, which stars Tom Hardy in the titular role, received mixed reviews, earning an astoundingly different reaction from moviegoers than the critics. No matter who you side with in the Venom battle, there's no denying the film's success. The movie is now ranked at 115th on the worldwide grossing scale while Justice League is pushed down to the 120th spot.

Much like Venom, Justice League was met with mixed reactions, but that didn't stop audiences from taking a peak at the first big DC crossover film, which $229 million domestically.

In a big win for Sony, Venom has officially grossed $673.5 million worldwide whereas Warner Bros.' Justice League topped off at $657.9 million. Venom also comes out on top when you factor in the budget of both films. Venom took about $100 million to make, which is fairly low by today's superhero standards. Justice League, on the other hand, cost three times as much to complete.

Venom's box office win comes off the heels of its release in China, earning $34.7 million on Friday alone. This means the Ruben Fleischer-directed film now holds the record for the second-biggest opening day of a superhero movie in the country's box office history.

Continue Reading at: comicbook.com

Nov 11

Weekend Box Office: 'The Grinch' Wins With $66M; 'Overlord,' 'Girl in the Spider's Web' Snubbed

A scene from this weekend's Box Office winner 'The Grinch' (image courtesy Illumination / Universal Pictures)
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by Pamela McClintock

Hollywood's obsession with reviving dormant film franchises was met with mixed messages at the weekend box office.

Christmas came early for Illumination and Universal as The Grinch, the second big-screen adaptation of the classic Dr. Seuss holiday tale after Ron Howard's 2000 film, opened to a pleasing $66 million from 4,414 North American theaters despite mediocre reviews (it fared better with audiences, earning an A- CinemaScore). Voiced this time out by Benedict Cumberbatch, the CG-animated pic is the first family event film of the year-end corridor.

On the other hand, The Girl in the Spider's Web, starring Claire Foy, opened to a disappointing $8 million from 2,929 locations in a blow to Sony, MGM and New Regency's attempt to reboot the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. The $43 million film, dismissed by many critics, is currently tied with A Star Is Born, now in its sixth weekend, for fifth place. The order won't be decided until Monday morning.

Directed by Fede Alvarez, Girl in the Spider's Web is likewise struggling overseas, where it took in $6.2 million from 49 markets for an early foreign total of $8.2 million and $16.3 million globally.
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Girl in the Spider's Web was beat by the J.J. Abrams-produced World War II-zombie pic, Overlord, which placed third in its domestic launch with an unimpressive $10.1 million from 2,859 theaters. Overseas, the $38 million horror-thriller turned in a meek $9.1 million from 52 markets for a global bow of $19.3 million. Overlord fared the best among the three new films in terms of its Rotten Tomatoes score (81 percent).

The Grinch started off its foreign run with $12.7 million from 23 markets for a global launch of $78.7 million. The family pic, costing a reported $75 million to make before marketing, has another weekend to itself before Disney Animation's Ralph Breaks the Internet on the eve of Thanksgiving; both movies should enjoy a merry run throughout the year-end holidays.

The massive Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles resulted in weekend box-office revenue for the Los Angeles market being down slightly (7 percent, if not less), according to preliminary estimates.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Nov 10

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald Has Lowest Rotten Tomato Score Of The Harry Potter Universe

Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander in a scene from 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' (image courtesy Warner Bros.)
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by Jessica Rawden

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald doesn't hit theaters until next weekend; however, a lucky few people have already gotten to see the movie. Overall, reactions to the second flick in the Fantastic Beasts franchise have been positive. Still, if you head over to aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, the movie is scoring lower than every single flick in the Harry Potter universe.

At the time of this writing, reviews for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald are running at 60% on Rotten Tomatoes, which aligns with roughly how our own Eric Eisenberg felt about the flick. This means the movie is at least slightly fresh and not rotten, which is great news for the studio. It's always better to see a shiny red tomato than the green splat, although in recent years audience perspectives have become just as big of a deal for the site as critics reviews have.

When compared to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the numbers aren't super far off. The first Fantastic Beasts movie runs at a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning that plenty of people like the movie or mostly liked the movie and fewer people straight up disliked it.

When comparing The Crimes of Grindelwald to the various Harry Potter movies that have come out over the years, currently Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is also running somewhat lower. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix are the lowest-rated in the universe after Crimes of Grindelwald, ranking at 78% and 77% respectively. The rest of the movies featuring Harry Potter are in the 80-90s percent range, score-wise.

Of the rest of the movies, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 ranks the highest. It's at a whopping 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, indicating near-universal acclaim. That's the final movie in the set with character deaths and the defeat of Voldemort, and it's no wonder that critics seemed to latch onto the flick as the best one.

Continue Reading at: CinemaBlend

Nov 9

Disney's Profit Soars, but Focus Remains on Its Coming Streaming Service

by Brooks Barnes

Disney returned to annual profit growth on Thursday after a difficult 2017, the result of blockbuster movies, rising theme park attendance and a stabilizing ESPN.

Despite reporting a record profit of $12.6 billion for its fiscal year, the Walt Disney Company spent most of a call with analysts discussing its high-risk plan to introduce a Netflix-style subscription streaming service late next year, which will carry enormous content, technology and marketing expenses.

Robert A. Iger, Disney's chief executive, unveiled the name of the streaming service on Thursday, telling analysts on a conference call that it would be called Disney Plus, styled by the company as Disney+. The name parallels the one for Disney's fledgling sports streaming service, ESPN Plus.

In addition to the original shows and films already announced, Disney Plus will include a live-action "Star Wars" series based on the rebel spy Cassian Andor, a character from the 2016 film "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." Diego Luna will reprise the role, Mr. Iger said.

Disney Plus will also feature a live-action Marvel series about Loki, the god of mischief from the "Thor" movies. Tom Hiddleston will reprise that role.

Continue Reading at: The New York Times

Nov 8

Bryan Cranston confirms 'Breaking Bad' movie in development

This image released by AMC shows Bryan Cranston as Walter White in a scene from the series finale of "Breaking Bad." (image courtesy AMC / Ursula Coyote)
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by The Associated Press

Bryan Cranston has confirmed that a "Breaking Bad" movie is in development, though he's not sure he's in it.

Following reports that "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan is prepping a two-hour movie connected to the AMC series, Cranston on Wednesday called into the sports talk radio show "The Dan Patrick Show" and confirmed the project is indeed in the works.

Cranston said he hasn't yet read the script and that his character, Walter White, may not even be in it. Cranston said he would "absolutely" return to the character if he was in it.

The two-hour spinoff is set to begin shooting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in mid-November under the code name "Greenbrier."

Gilligan's "Breaking Bad" prequel series "Better Call Saul" last month concluded its fourth season.

Continue Reading at: CP24.com

Nov 7

Inside Illumination's Plans for Animated 'Super Mario Bros.' Movie

by Brent Lang

Illumination founder Chris Meledandri wants to make an animated version of "Super Mario Bros." and Variety has the inside scoop on his plans for bringing the Mushroom Kingdom to the multiplexes.

It's a daunting challenge. The classic Nintendo game about a pair of Italian plumbers who must rescue Princess Peach from the villainous Bowser has already inspired a critically reviled 1993 movie - it's a film so bad that John Leguizamo said he and co-star Bob Hoskins drank whiskey between takes to dull the pain. Hoskins was slightly more judicious, saying it was one of the worst movies he ever made.

Meledandri, who is the producer behind "Despicable Me and "The Secret Life of Pets," relishes the challenge of adapting a property that previously suffered a bumpy transition from game console to the big screen.

"I like that this was not done well the first time," he said. "I think that's more exciting or more worthy than simply making another version of a film that was done incredibly well to begin with."

And Meledandri thinks he's hit on the right approach. He reasons that part of the problem that plagued the 1993 movie is that its makers didn't involve the game’s creator. This time he's working closely with Shigeru Miyamoto, the designer and producer responsible for cooking up "Super Mario Bros."

"We are keeping him front and center in the creation of this film," said Meledandri. "I've rarely seen that happen with any adaptation where the original creative voice is being embraced like we're embracing Miyamoto. There's a history in Hollywood of people believing that they know better than the people responsible for a property. I've made that mistake before."

"Super Mario Bros." is in "priority development" at Illumination and could be in theaters by 2022.

Continue Reading at: Variety

Nov 6

Deadpool 2's PG-13 Cut Officially Titled Once Upon a Deadpool

Fred Savage (left) and Ryan Reynolds in a still from newly named "Once Upon a Deadpool" (image courtesy 20th Century Fox)
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by Jake Abbate

Deadpool 2 is coming back with a new name when its PG-13 cut hits theaters this holiday season. Deadline reports that this summer's hit sequel will be renamed Once Upon a Deadpool. The film will be given a 12-day run beginning December 12 and concluding on Christmas Eve.

According to Deadline, the limited engagement is targeting younger audiences who will be on winter break from school. Screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick previously mentioned that it was Ryan Reynolds' idea for a new framing device that prompted the studio to greenlight this new version. That framing device is now confirmed to feature actor Fred Savage in a parody of his memorable role in 1987's The Princess Bride. Once Upon a Deadpool will be interspersed with scenes showing the title character recounting the film's plot as a bedtime story to Savage. The final cut of the film is about three minutes shorter than Deadpool 2.

The very existence of Once Upon a Deadpool couldn't be more ironic. One of the speedbumps Reynolds faced while trying to get the first Deadpool film made was fighting the studio against anything less than an R-rating. Reynolds told Deadline that "Fox has been asking for a PG-13 basically since the start in 2006. I've said no since 2006. Now, this one time, I said 'Yes' on two conditions. First, a portion of the proceeds had to go to charity. Second, I wanted to kidnap Fred Savage. The second condition took some explaining…"

As for the charitable component, Reynolds explained which organization will benefit from the re-release., "Because it's the season of giving, we will also be giving $1 for every ticket sold to F-ck Cancer, which will be renamed Fudge Cancer just for this limited time and campaign."

Continue Reading at: Superherohype.com

Nov 5

'Nutcracker and the Four Realms': 4 Reasons Why It Cracked at the Box Office

A scene from the CGI-filled "Nutcracker and the Four Realms" (image courtesy Disney)
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by Jeremy Fuster

Three weeks from now, Disney should be back to making box office money hand over fist with "Ralph Breaks the Internet," but it's always noteworthy when the top studio in Hollywood suffers a flop as big as "Nutcracker and the Four Realms."

Filmed on a pricey $130 million budget, "Nutcracker" has posted a domestic opening this weekend of just $20 million and $58.5 million worldwide. With family films like "The Grinch," "Fantastic Beasts" and the aforementioned "Ralph" headlining the rest of the November slate, all signs point to "Nutcracker" dropping down the charts very quickly in the weeks to come.

"Obviously, while we try to put all our films in the best position to succeed, some might not connect as much as we hope," said Disney domestic distribution head Cathleen Taff.

It's the worst opening for a wide Disney release since the $18 million opening of "The BFG" two years ago, and the third misfire for Disney this year alongside "A Wrinkle in Time," which made $132 million against a $103 million budget, and "Solo," which was the worst-performing "Star Wars" film ever with just $392 million grossed worldwide.

Click the Continue Reading at link to read The Wrap's 4 reasons why "Nutcracker" flopped.

Continue Reading at: The Wrap

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