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The latest news from Entertainment

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    showtime who is america

    Sacha Baron Cohen's new Showtime series, "Who Is America?," caused a stir before its premiere last month, as several Republican politicians felt the need to get ahead of the show in explaining how Cohen "duped" them to appear on it.

    The former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the former congressman Joe Walsh, and the former US Senate candidate Roy Moore were among those who preceded the show's premiere with statements explaining their appearances on the series and criticizing Cohen.

    In the show's pilot episode, Cohen, disguised as an Israeli "anti-terror expert," roped several Republican congressmen and former elected officials into voicing their support for a program that would arm toddlers with guns to prevent school shootings.

    On Sunday, in episode five, the former Milwaukee sheriff and avid Trump supporter David Clarke told Cohen, who was in character as a Finnish YouTuber, that "you don't want to take sides" regarding fascists in 1930s Germany.

    Before the show's premiere, Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report tweeted a list of political and media figures he said Cohen had "finked" for the series, including Palin, Howard Dean, and David Patreus, each of whom may (or may not) appear in the show's final two episodes.

    Here are the notable people and politicians who have appeared on "Who Is America?" so far:

    SEE ALSO: Sheriff David Clarke told Sacha Baron Cohen 'you don't want to take sides' on fascists in 1930s Germany

    Sen. Bernie Sanders

    The show's first episode began with Cohen interviewing Sanders, the Vermont senator who was a Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, as a right-wing conspiracy theorist character named Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr.

    Sanders, with a perplexed expression, politely dodged and shut down various absurd questions on income inequality and other topics from Cohen's Ruddick.

    Larry Pratt, executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America

    In the strongest segment on the pilot episode, Cohen's Israeli "anti-terror expert" character, Col. Erran Morad, introduced Pratt and several other conservative political figures to a fake program called "Kinderguardians" that would arm children as young as 3.

    Pratt endorsed the program and, reading off a teleprompter, said: "Toddlers are pure, uncorrupted by fake news or homosexuality. They don't care if it's politically correct to shoot a mentally deranged gunman. They'll just do it."

    Florida congressman Matt Gaetz

    Cohen's Morad character interviewed Gaetz for the pilot's segment on arming toddlers, but Gaetz wisely sidestepped the topic, saying, "Typically members of Congress don't just hear a story about a program and then indicate whether they support it or not."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    • Netflix's new original movie, "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society," has earned positive reviews from film critics and social media users since its premiere on Friday.
    • The film, a romantic drama/comedy set mainly on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel, in 1946, is adapted from a 2008 historical novel of the same name by Mary Anne Shaffer, and it stars Lily James. 

    Netflix's original movie, "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society," premiered on the service Friday and has earned positive reviews from film critics and social media users. 

    The film, a romantic drama/comedy set mainly on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel, in 1946, is adapted from a 2008 historical novel of the same name by Mary Anne Shaffer. It stars Lily JamesMichiel Huisman, and Glen Powell.

    Here's Netflix's description for the film: "A London writer bonds with the colorful residents of Guernsey as she learns about the book club they formed during the WWII German occupation." 

    Currently at a 79% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes,"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" has earned a few laudatory reviews from film critics. 

    "An old-school, old-fashioned entertainment, a romantic drama bursting with scenic vistas and earnest charm that contains just enough mystery to keep us involved," Kenneth Turan wrote in a review for The Los Angeles Times.

    "Buoyed by a reliably appealing star turn from James, this handsome tearjerker mostly sidesteps the tweeness of its title to become, somehow, both an old-fashioned romance and a detective story trumpeting gender equality," Harry Windsor wrote for The Hollywood Reporter.

    The film also illicited strong reactions from social media user: 

    Watch the movie on Netflix. 

    SEE ALSO: Spike Lee's new film 'BlacKkKlansman' is based on an electrifying true story, and it has a 98% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

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    At the Met Gala in early May, a surprising new couple showed up on the red carpet: billionaire tech CEO Elon Musk and Canadian musician and producer Grimes.

    While Musk has long been known to date successful and high-profile women, the two made a seemingly unlikely pairing. Shortly before they walked the red carpet together, Page Six announced their relationship and explained how they met — over Twitter, thanks to a shared sense of humor and a fascination with artificial intelligence.

    Since they made their relationship public in May, the couple has continued to make headlines: Grimes for publicly defending Musk and speaking out about Tesla, and Musk most recently for tweeting that he wants to take Tesla private.

    The couple was in the news again on Monday for a new reason: the rapper Azealia Banks chronicled on Instagram what she claims was a strange weekend staying with Grimes and Elon Musk in Los Angeles. 

    But for those who may still be wondering who Grimes is and how she and Musk ended up together, here's what you need to know about the Canadian pop star.

    SEE ALSO: How to dress like a tech billionaire for $200 or less

    Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. She attended a school that specialized in creative arts but didn't focus on music until she started attending McGill University in Montreal.

    Source: The Guardian, Fader

    A friend persuaded Grimes to sing backing vocals for his band, and she found it incredibly easy to hit all the right notes. She had another friend show her how to use GarageBand and started recording music.

    Source: The Guardian

    In 2010, Grimes released a cassette-only album called "Geidi Primes." She released her second album, "Halfaxa," later that year and subsequently went on tour with the Swedish singer Lykke Li. Eventually, she dropped out of McGill to focus on music.

    Source: The Guardian, Fader

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers Kathy Tran final

    • Theater chain Alamo Drafthouse is beta testing its movie ticket subscription service, Alamo Season Pass.
    • Business Insider got details about the plan from Drafthouse chief technology officer, Mikey Trafton.
    • The pass is only being used by a few hundred people at the chain's Yonkers, New York location, but over 40,000 are on a waitlist to use the pass (the beta is less than a month old).
    • Currently, the subscription price is between $15 and $20 for unlimited 2D and 3D movies (including going back and seeing the same movie as many times as you want).
    • Alamo Season Pass will be expanding to other locations in the future, however, Trafton said there will be many changes to the plan during the beta phase before it's rolled out to all Drafthouse theaters.

    Since MoviePass disrupted the move-theater business last summer by offering a $10-a-month subscription, theater owners have taken a more serious look at launching their own plans.

    That includes a theater chain with some of the most loyal followers in the country: Alamo Drafthouse. 

    The chain is known best for being one of the first in the US to offer its patrons food and alcohol while watching movies. And Drafthouse is always looking for out-of-the-box ideas to showcase. That can be anything from doing female-only screenings last year of the first "Wonder Woman" movie to having a four-course meal while watching "Pineapple Express," which is happening later this month at its Brooklyn, New York location.

    But for a company that loves to do things as big and outlandish as its homegrown Austin, Texas roots, Drafthouse has been very methodical about its movie-ticket subscription service, Alamo Season Pass

    Launched in a beta version on July 18 at its Yonkers, New York location, Drafthouse has been generally mum about the pass, other than stating that for an undisclosed monthly free subscribers can see unlimited movies through its app, and can add on additional tickets. 

    However, after Business Insider had a chat with Drafthouse's chief technology officer, Mikey Trafton, we now know more details about Alamo Season Pass and how much its customers are using it.

    According to Trafton, a few hundred people are currently using Alamo Season Pass at its Yonkers theater, but that's not because it's having trouble finding subscribers. In less than a month, over 40,000 people have signed up for a waitlist for Alamo Season Pass, according to Trafton. Some of them are those waiting to be invited to use the service in Yonkers, but many are people in other parts of the country. 

    "We're going to roll it out and test it in other cities in the future," Trafton told Business Insider. "We're using the waitlist to figure out the next locations we should test at."  

    Trafton was very adamant that Alamo Season Pass is still in a beta version, and the plan will be tweaked often to figure out the best offer for when it's officially rolled out. But currently, at the Yonkers location, the pass has a monthly fee between $15 and $20 for unlimited movies, which includes seeing the same movie as many times as you want. 

    Through the Drafthouse app you can pick the movie and showtime you want, reserve your seat (this doesn't need to be done at the movie theater, and you can do it days in advance), and add any additional tickets.

    "You can just walk right into the theater and sit down," Trafton said, after you're done selecting the movie on the app. "You don't have to stop at the box office, there's no credit cards that you have to fiddle with, it's a completely seamless experience."

    Alamo Season Pass currently doesn't offer food or beverage deals, and it's only for standard-format 2D movies and 3D tickets (but not for any special Drafthouse screenings that have a higher ticket price).

    Trafton said the number of subscribers using the pass at the Yonkers location will increase over time. On a weekly basis, people on the waitlist in Yonkers are receiving email invites to take part. The price and features are included on the email — remember, they are beta testing, so the monthly price and options may change — and the invitee is given two weeks to agree to take part.

    alamo drafthouse in austin texasTrafton said the biggest takeaway so far has been the mix of movies people are seeing with the pass.

    "Our number one movie people are seeing with Season Pass is 'Mission: Impossible — Fallout,' but our number two movie is 'Eighth Grade,'" Trafton said, referring to the acclaimed A24 release. "One of the big goals for having a subscription is to share independent films that we really think are the lifeblood of cinema and we love these movies and want to share them with as many people as possible. Our hypothesis is that if we can reduce the friction to seeing movies that people will take a chance on a movie that they didn't hear about as much as one of the big films. It's very early data, but that's really great."

    The reason Drafthouse is being so methodical about rolling out Alamo Season Pass is because the company wants to have a price point and options that are ideal for the Drafthouse moviegoer, but also make business sense.

    "If you price it too high the causal moviegoer won't be interested and if you go too low you'll drive yourself out of business from overuse," Trafton said. "The key variable is the price and then we have to determine what our members control, which is their behaviors, how often they see movies."

    Trafton said it's hard to figure that out now because, comparing it to a gym membership, Season Pass is in a binge period (Trafton said the most pass members are going right now is every three days on average). He said it will take months to see how the members use it in normal behavior. In that time, Season Pass may be rolled out to other locations for beta testing, but it's "going to be a while," Trafton said, before the subscription plan is available at all 29 Drafthouse locations around the country. 

    "People love it," Trafton said of the reaction to Season Pass so far. "The app has been solid and easy to use, the response has been over the moon."  

    SEE ALSO: Inside the long process of getting Led Zeppelin's music in HBO's "Sharp Objects," which has defined the mood of the show

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

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    sean rad

    • A group of 10 current and former Tinder employees are suing the dating app's parent company, IAC, for $2 billion.
    • They allege IAC purposely undervalued the startup to devalue early employee options.
    • Tinder was founded as part of an IAC-owned incubator, and conflicts over its ownership structure and its founders' equity stakes go back to the founding of the company, according to the complaint.
    • IAC said that the "allegations in the complaint are meritless, and IAC and Match Group intend to vigorously defend against them."

    A group of early Tinder employees, including cofounders Sean Rad, Justin Mateen, and Jonathan Badeen, announced on Tuesday that they had filed a lawsuit against InterActiveCorp and Match Group, the owners of Tinder.

    They're alleging that IAC used a lowball valuation based on false information to reduce the value of stock options that early employees and founders held. The plaintiffs are seeking at least $2 billion.

    The Tinder team received written contracts in 2014 outlining stock options as well as four dates they could exercise them, according to Tuesday's complaint.

    But they allege that ahead of the first exercise date, in May 2017, IAC valued Tinder at $3 billion and merged it with Match, which "stripped away" the team's options in the fast-growing dating app, leaving them with less valuable Match options.

    They also say that IAC put its own financial executive inside Tinder, Greg Blatt, who concluded that Tinder was worth less than the Tinder team thought it was. The valuation is important because although Match is a publicly traded company, Tinder was not, which meant that the valuation process directly affected how much the founders' options were worth.

    "The reason for these management changes was clear: to allow defendants to control the valuation of Tinder and deprive Tinder optionholders of their right to participate in the company's future success," according to the complaint.

    The suit also alleges that Blatt, the former IAC chairman and CEO, groped Rosette Pambakian, Tinder's VP of marketing and communications, at a Tinder holiday party in 2016, shortly after Blatt took over as interim CEO.

    Tinder operates independently on a day-to-day basis from IAC and Match, according to the complaint, and it's based in Los Angeles. Tinder was founded in an incubator, Hatch Labs, that was majority-owned by IAC. Conflicts over its ownership structure and its founders' equity stakes go back to the founding of the company, according to the complaint.

    The group of early Tinder employees are represented by Orin Snyder of the firm Gibson Dunn, who famously argued Apple's case in an e-book price-fixing lawsuit.

    When reached by Business Insider, IAC and Match Group provided this joint statement:

    “The allegations in the complaint are meritless, and IAC and Match Group intend to vigorously defend against them.

    Since Tinder’s inception, Match Group has paid out in excess of a billion dollars in equity compensation to Tinder’s founders and employees. With respect to the matters alleged in the complaint, the facts are simple: Match Group and the plaintiffs went through a rigorous, contractually - defined valuation process involving two independent global investment banks, and Mr. Rad and his merry band of plaintiffs did not like the outcome. Mr. Rad (who was dismissed from the Company a year ago) and Mr. Mateen (who has not been with the Company in years) may not like the fact that Tinder has experienced enormous success following their respective departures, but sour grapes alone do not a lawsuit make. Mr. Rad has a rich history of outlandish public statements, and this lawsuit contains just another series of them. We look forward to defending our position in court.”

    Here's the full list of Tinder employees and former employees suing IAC and Match:

    • Jonathan Badeen, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, March 2012 to Present
    • Paul Cafardo, Director of Engineering, April 2013 to June 2017
    • Gareth Johnson, Lead Designer, February 2014 to June 2017
    • James Kim, Vice President of Finance, February 2016 to Present
    • Alexa Mateen, Head of U.S. Expansion, May 2012 to May 2015
    • Justin Mateen, Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, February 2012 to September 2014, Strategic Advisor from September 2014 to 2017
    • Joshua Metz, Director of Marketing, June 2013 to Present
    • Ryan Ogle, Chief Technology Officer, August 2012 to June 2017
    • Rosette Pambakian, Vice President of Marketing/Communications, March 2014 to Present
    • Sean Rad, Co-Founder, CEO, President, & Chairman, February 2012 to September 2017

    Here's the full complaint:

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How movie theaters are ruining your movie

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    castle rock

    • Hulu's new horror series, "Castle Rock," was just renewed for a second season.
    • It's the closest Hulu has gotten to its own "Stranger Things," as it is heavily inspired by the work of Stephen King and relies on a sense of nostalgia akin to the Netflix hit.
    • "Castle Rock" isn't as flashy as "Stranger Things," but with the works of King at its disposal, it doesn't have to be.
    • The show has an impressive cast that includes Andre Holland, Scott Glenn, Sissy Spacek, and Terry O'Quinn.


    Hulu must feel confident with its new Stephen King-inspired original series, "Castle Rock," as it just renewed the show for a second season. But don't miss the first season, the first five episodes of which are currently streaming.

    With the new seasons of "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Westworld" wrapped, and a long wait until "Stranger Things" and "Game of Thrones" return, audiences may be craving a new otherworldly TV obsession. That's where "Castle Rock" comes in, which may be able to fill that gap if it capitalizes on its promising start. 

    "Castle Rock," a new anthology series from executive producer J.J. Abrams, based on the stories of horror master Stephen King, is as close to Netflix's "Stranger Things" as Hulu has gotten.

    "Castle Rock" isn't as flashy as "Stranger Things." It doesn't star a group of kids viewers can fall in love with, nor instantly recognizable theme music. But both are elevated fan-fiction that benefit from nostalgia pioneered by two of the most influential creators of a generation: Steven Spielberg for "Stranger Things" and Stephen King for "Castle Rock."

    "Castle Rock" doesn't need to be as flashy — or even politically relevant like Hulu's first big hit, "The Handmaid's Tale" — to be a success. The show has an entire universe of horror at its disposal that already has a large, loyal fanbase, and the show's story relies on classic King works such as "The Shawshank Redemption," "Carrie," "The Shining," and more.

    castle rock

    Last year's box-office smash "It" proved that people will still flock to King's stories in other media besides books, and the subtle horror elements of "Castle Rock" should easily find an audience.

    The series centers on a death-row lawyer named Henry Deaver, played by Andre Holland, who returns to his small hometown of Castle Rock, Maine to aid a mysterious prisoner at Shawshank State Penitentiary. The unnamed prisoner is played by Bill Skarsgard, who is no stranger to King adaptations, as he plays Pennywise in "It" and next year's sequel, "It: Chapter Two."

    But Deaver has a mysterious past, as his adoptive father died under suspicious circumstances when he was a child — and the town believes Deaver had something to do with it.

    Other notable characters include Molly Strand (Melanie Lynskey), a real-estate agent and childhood neighbor of Deaver who hears voices, and has a somewhat creepy mental connection to Deaver that she can't control; Alan Pangborn (Scott Glenn), the retired former sheriff in Castle Rock who knows more about what's going on at Shawshank than he lets on; Ruth Deaver (Sissy Spacek), Deaver's adoptive mother whose memory is failing her; Jackie (Jane Levy), a sarcastic and curious member of the local church who may or may not be a descendant of "The Shining's" Jack Torrance; and Dale Lacy (Terry O'Quinn), the God-fearing Shawshank warden.

    "Castle Rock" packs quite an impressive cast. Glenn and O'Quinn's characters may be familiar to fans of "The Leftovers" and "Lost," respectively, as they each play characters reminiscent of the ones they portrayed in those shows.

    Both those shows introduced a lot of questions that went unanswered, and that's something "Castle Rock" has the potential to do as well. Hopefully not. But being an anthology series, there's an urgency to wrap up this storyline by the end of the season rather than leaving important plot threads dangling for years to come.

    My biggest fear with "Castle Rock" is that its mysterious plot will overshadow its characters, who all are all suffering from their own inner demons. But even if "Castle Rock" sets up a lot of questions in its first few episodes, it's not mind-numbingly confusing as, say, "Westworld." I can sum up the first five episodes of "Castle Rock" for you easily, and I was also genuinely surprised by some of the twists already taken.

    "Castle Rock" has a ton of potential, and King fans as well as non-fans should enjoy what the show offers. It lays a solid groundwork in the first few episodes, and I'm looking forward to seeing what else it has in store for viewers.

    Simply put: It could be Hulu's next big hit.

    The first five episodes of "Castle Rock" are now available to stream on Hulu, and new episodes of the 10-episode first season drop Wednesdays.

    SEE ALSO: Disney's upcoming Netflix competitor likely won't have its full catalog at launch, notably lacking classic 'Star Wars' movies

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

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    Sean Rad

    Tinder founder Sean Rad has had a tumultuous few years. 

    When Tinder launched in 2012, it was a near-instant success. The dating app made over a million matches in less than two months, became a sensation on college campuses, and gained recognition from tech's elite. Six years after launch, the company is valued around $3 billion and is one of the highest-grossing apps in the App Store.

    But Tinder also had its share of troubles. One of its cofounders, Whitney Wolfe, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against another cofounder, Justin Mateen. Rad stepped down from his post as CEO, only to return to the helm six months later. Eventually, he switched stepped aside as CEO for good to become Tinder's chairman. 

    Now, Rad and a group of nine other former and current Tinder employees are suing InterActiveCorp and Match Group, the owners of Tinder, for $2 billion. 

    Here's how Rad got his start, helped build Tinder into a billion-dollar startup, and went to war with IAC. 

    Maya Kosoff contributed to an earlier version of this story. 

    SEE ALSO: Tinder's founders are suing Match Group and IAC saying they've been ripped off — and they're seeking at least $2 billion in damages

    NOW READ: Tinder's parent company allegedly faked financial information to lower the dating app's valuation, according to a new lawsuit

    Sean Rad, the son of Iranian immigrants who came to Los Angeles in the 1970s, grew up in the Persian community of Beverly Hills. His parents worked in the consumer tech industry.

    "In my family, there was a need to make something of our lives," Rad told Rolling Stone. "Not doing something big with your life was just not accepted."

    Source: Rolling Stone

    He was initially drawn to show business, but a high school internship for an entertainment manager turned him off to the whole industry.

    "I figured I could amass a lot of wealth by doing things I love — then I can control my own fate as an artist," he told Rolling Stone.

    Source: Rolling Stone

    Rad's parents gave him his first cell phone when he was 13. Five years later, he started an integrated mobile messaging company called Orgoo.

    Source: Rolling Stone

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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  • 08/14/18--13:42: Why TV speakers suck
  • Each year TV picture quality improves, but the sound quality has not followed suit. As TVs get thinner and bezels get smaller, manufacturers start to sacrifice audio quality. Following is a transcript of the video.

    You just paid a ton of money for a brand new 4K TV. You get it home, you get it set up, it's mounted on the wall, you turn it on, you bring up Netflix, you put a movie on, and you can barely hear the dialogue. Modern TVs improve their image quality every year. So why doesn't the sound quality improve too?

    Well, TV manufacturers don't really put an emphasis on sound quality. TV design has changed dramatically over the last 20 years.

    TV Spokesperson: It swivels.

    The old CRT TVs had a lot more room for speakers. It was also much more common to see big entertainment centers with large speakers. That's no longer the case with flat screen TVs. Manufacturers are constantly making their TVs thinner and the bezels smaller. This has forced the speakers into the back or the bottom, making them very tiny in the process. The problem is, speakers need to be bigger to produce decent sound. And it doesn't help that they're often facing down or away from you. This creates a quiet, often inaudible, sound. Wanna open up your window or maybe turn on the AC? Chances are, you're going to miss some dialogue. But, there are a few things you can do to get some decent sound out of that TV.

    It doesn't take much Googling to find the solution. Buy another speaker. But the answer is a little more complicated than that. The two main forms of external speakers for TVs are sound bars and bookshelf speakers. Bookshelf speakers are what we traditionally think of when it comes to a home sound system. They usually come in pairs to produce stereo sound. You can even add more speakers to create a surround sound setup. Sound bars are a longer, single unit with several speakers inside. The biggest advantage with any of these speakers is the sound is actually pointing towards you. They also have larger and higher quality drivers which produce better sound. Many speaker systems even come with a subwoofer, adding much more bass than you would ever get with your TV.

    You can spend anywhere from less than 100 to thousands of dollars on a sound system. Do your research and read reviews, but generally, any speaker you get will be better than what came with your TV. But, if you just dropped a ton of money on a brand new TV and are looking for a solution that doesn't cost you anything, take a look at the placement of your TV. If the speakers are on the bottom, make sure the TV is propped up. Either by a stand or in a wall-mounted position. If the speakers are in the back, it may help to move your TV further away from the wall. That way the sound will be less muffled. You may have gotten used to the subpar sound quality of your TV, but there is a lot you can do to fix it. Don't let bad sound ruin your viewing experience. Don't let bad sound ruin your movie. You may have gotten used. Why can't I say it?

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    • MoviePass' parent company, Helios and Matheson, has less than two months of cash left at the rate it was burning through its funds in the second quarter.
    • Even if it was able to reduce its burn rate as much as executives have stated, it still would have less than a month's worth of cash.
    • When it's run low on funds in the past, Helios and Matheson has repeatedly issued and sold new shares to raise cash.
    • But that tactic may be coming to an end; it already increased its share count by more than 9,000% in the last two weeks, and its stock price is inching closer and closer to $0.

    Enjoy your MoviePass subscription while you've got it. You may not be able to use it two months from now.

    Helios and Matheson, the parent company of MoviePass, has less than two month's worth of cash left, the company revealed Tuesday in its quarterly report.

    And that may be overstating things. It could run out of cash much sooner than that if it has overstated the degree to which new restrictions on the service — including a new three-movies-a-month limitation — will reduce the rate at which it burns through cash. 

    The company cautioned investors in the report that its cash is running low and reissued a previously stated "going concern" warning. The company did not immediately respond to a request for further comment. 

    "Without additional funding, the company will not have sufficient funds to meet its obligations within one year from [Tuesday]," the company said in its quarterly report. "These factors raise substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern."

    As of Friday, Helios and Matheson had just $26 million in cash on hand. It had another $25.4 million on deposit at its merchant bank, which processes payments on its behalf.

    By contrast, the company burned through more than $219 million in the second quarter. That's a rate of about $73 million a month — or nearly 50% more than all of the company's cash and accounts receivable on Friday.

    MoviePass has been making changes to save cash

    But Helios and Matheson has been making changes to its MoviePass service, which is its only significant business, to conserve cash. Most notably, it plans to limit the number of movies subscribers can see at no extra price to just three a month — down from one a day. MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe told the Wall Street Journal he expected the changes, which take effect Wednesday, to reduce the company's cash burn rate by 60%.

    Assuming that figure is accurate, it would mean that Helios and Matheson is now burning cash at a rate of about $29 million a month — or, again, more than the entire amount of cash it had on hand as of Friday.

    And that's assuming things don't get dramatically worse, which again may be a big assumption. One of the things Lowe has repeatedly crowed about is the sharp rise in the number of MoviePass subscribers and the value of the data the company is collecting from them.

    But all the recent changes to the company's service seem to be taking a toll on its users. As of Saturday, the company had 3.2 million subscribers, which was up by just 200,000 in the six weeks since the end of June. Between December and the end of June, MoviePass added 2 million subscribers, or about 333,333 per month.

    Helios and Matheson has repeatedly sold shares to raise cash

    When the company has run low on cash in the past, it has issued new shares to raise funds. And in the report it raised the prospect of doing that again, noting that it has already filed a regulatory document indicating its intent to sell as much as $1.2 billion worth of new shares.

    MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe and Helios and Matheson Chief Executive Ted Farnsworth.In fact, the company has already been issuing lots of new shares to generate cash. Between June 30 and last Friday, the company issued and sold 232.4 million new shares on the market, raising some $50.2 million.

    But the company's ability to keep repeating that tactic seems dubious. It's already in danger of being delisted from the Nasdaq stock market for having a share price of less than $1, a move that would severely limit its ability to sell new shares.

    Last month, Helios and Matheson attempted to boost its stock price above that threshold by reverse splitting its stock, giving investors one of its new shares for 250 of its old ones. The move worked only temporarily; within a week, the company's stock was again trading at less than $1 a share. On Tuesday, it closed regular trading at 5 cents a share, and sunk under 4 cents a share in after-hours trading.

    It looks set to fall even farther after the company revealed in the report just how much it has diluted shareholders in just the last several weeks.

    Helios' share count has increased by 9,423% in two weeks

    After its reverse stock split, Helios and Matheson had just 1.7 million outstanding. By July 31, it had 6.7 million shares in circulation. However, by Monday it had 636.9 outstanding shares. That's an astounding 9,423% increase to its number of shares in less than two weeks.

    In after-hours trading Tuesday, shareholders seemed to already be starting to take the new, previously unreported dilution into account. In recent exchanges, Helios and Matheson's stock was down more than a penny, or about 29%, to 4 cents a share.

    The farther the company's stock falls the more shares it will have to sell to raise additional funds. And the more shares it sells, the less each share will likely fetch on the open market.

    For the quarter, Helios and Matheson reported a loss of $63.3 million on sales of $74.2 million. In the same period a year earlier — which was before it took control of MoviePass — the company lost $5.2 million on $1.1 million in sales.

    The company's cash burn was more than triple its stated loss in part because it recognized big paper gains due to the reduction in some of its liabilities.

    All of which is to say that something could change soon — the company could get a strategic investment from another, larger company, or it could get acquired wholesale. But with things being as they are, MoviePass subscribers should, perhaps, buckle up for the worst-case scenario. 

    SEE ALSO: The owner of MoviePass keeps repeating the same move to raise the cash it needs to stay alive — and it’s getting absurd

    SEE ALSO: MoviePass' parent company has flooded its investors with a 3,000% increase in new shares — this chart shows how devastating it's been to the stock price

    SEE ALSO: MoviePass may be in bigger trouble than people realize

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    CEO of MoviePass Mitch Lowe attends 'An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn' Dinner presented by MoviePass on January 20, 2018 in Park City, Utah.

    • MoviePass's parent company, Helios and Matheson, revealed Tuesday that it has increased its share count by 9,423% in just the last two weeks.
    • The massive dilution comes just weeks after the company executed a 250-1 reverse stock split to soak up excess shares and boost its stock price.
    • Helios and Matheson has a history of issuing gobs of shares to raise cash to fund its money-losing MoviePass service.

    Shareholders of the parent company of MoviePass just found out their stakes are worth about 1% of what they previously thought — at least in terms of the portion of the company they thought they owned.

    In its quarterly report it filed on Tuesday, Helios and Matheson revealed that between July 31 and August 13, it increased its share count by an incredible 9,423%. Its total outstanding shares went from 6.7 million to 636.9 million over that period.

    The company now has more shares in circulation than it did before it reverse split its stock by a ratio of 250-1 last month.

    Between June 30 and August 9, MoviePass' parent company issued and sold 232.4 million shares on the public markets, raising $50.2 million. It also swapped convertible notes it issued in November and January for another 266 million shares of stock over that time period, raising some $31.4 million in the process. The company didn't reconcile those figures to the total share count or the increase just since the end of last month.

    Ever since Helios and Matheson acquired a majority stake in MoviePass and instituted its $10-a-month unlimited movie ticket subscription service, it's been losing gobs of money. It blew through $219 million in cash in the second quarter alone.

    Helios has a history of massive dilution

    To replenish its coffers, its repeatedly issued new shares. From August of last year to July this year, for example, its share count swelled by 3,429%.

    All those new shares weighed heavily on its stock. With its shares trading at less than a $1 a share, Helios and Matheson received a warning in June from the Nasdaq that its stock didn't meet the market's standards and was in danger of being delisted.

    To prop up its stock, the company did its reverse split last month, temporarily boosting its stock to more than $20 a share. But within days, the company had resumed its diluting ways.

    Near the end of July, the company had to take out an emergency loan from a creditor to stay in business. It repaid the loan days later. It did so, apparently, by issuing new shares; from the time right before to right after the crisis, its share count increased by nearly 300%.

    Helios and Matheson's share price fell almost in tandem with the dilution. Within a week of the reverse split, it was again trading below $1 a share. It closed regular trading Tuesday at 5 cents a share.

    With the news of the latest round of extreme dilution, it looks set to fall even farther. In after-hours trading Tuesday, Helios and Matheson's shares were down about 2 cents, or 30%, to 3.6 cents a share.

    SEE ALSO: MoviePass has less than two months left before it runs out of cash — and its latest changes won't save it

    SEE ALSO: The owner of MoviePass keeps repeating the same move to raise the cash it needs to stay alive — and it’s getting absurd

    SEE ALSO: MoviePass' parent company has flooded its investors with a 3,000% increase in new shares — this chart shows how devastating it's been to the stock price

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Kimberly Guilfoyle donald trump jr

    • Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle were overheard trading pet names while in Southampton, Long Island.
    • A  sleuth from celebrity gossip site Page Six reports hearing Guilfoyle call Trump Jr, "Junior Mint."
    • Trump called her "Pooh-Bear" in return.
    • "Junior Mint" is a reference to his bank account, Page Six speculate.

    Kimberly Guilfoyle and her new boyfriend, Donald Trump Jr, have reportedly nicknamed each other "Pooh Bear" and "Junior Mint."

    Guilfoyle and Trump were overheard calling each other pet names in Southampton, New York, over the weekend, celebrity gossip site Page Six reported on Tuesday.

    Guilfoyle, a former Fox News personality, was overheard calling Trump "Junior Mint" which Page Six guessed is a reference to his bank account. 

    Trump Jr, on the other hand, calls her "Pooh Bear," as in Winnie the Pooh from the popular series of children's books.

    Guilfoyle is an established Fox News presonality but is leaving the channel to help her Trump on the midterm campaign.

    She may call him Junior Mint in private, but in public she calls him "Don."

    Great night in DC last week with Don to see @dineshjdsouza’s new movie Death of a Nation. 🇺🇸#maga #kag Dress 👗 Taoray Wang and bag Alexander McQueen

    A post shared by Kimberly Guilfoyle (@kimberlyguilfoyle) on Aug 7, 2018 at 5:25pm PDT on

    Guilfoyle is taking a job at "America First Policies," a pro-Trump non-profit that has worked to recruit her, a source told CNN. On July 24, she confirmed on Instagram that she was leaving Fox.

    She also dated former White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, in July 2017.

    Find out how Kimberly Guilfoyle went from a Macy's and Victoria's Secret model to Trump ally here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Crazy Rich Asians Movie 2

    • "Crazy Rich Asians" is an extravagant, hilarious, and poignant examination of Asian American and Asian cultures. 
    • It is a new kind of rom-com for many reasons.
    • The cast is wonderful, and shows that Constance Wu and Henry Golding can carry a movie with their charm and outstanding talent in both comedy and drama.
    • Awkwafina and Michelle Yeoh are other highlights. 

    It’s a shame that it took decades of filmmaking to get a delightful yet poignant movie like “Crazy Rich Asians” made. It’s an incredible, moving, and hilarious film that is just as rich in details and clever social satire as Kevin Kwan’s 2013 best-selling novel of the same name.

    Director Jon Chu says that “Crazy Rich Asians” is “not just a movie, it’s a movement.” It’s also an experience — of lavish food, culture, interiors, fashion, and Singapore itself. You might look up flights to Singapore as you walk out of the movie, like I did.

    And to get the full experience, it's absolutely necessary to see the movie in theaters, so it's a good thing director Jon Chu and author/executive producer Kevin Kwan didn't go with Netflix's massive offer. The first time I saw "Crazy Rich Asians" was at a small press screening. There were laughs, of course, but there weren't nearly as many reactions coming from an audience of critics as there were weeks later at a sold-out screening I attended. Seeing the movie with an engaged audience added to the movie, which I loved even more after seeing it for the second time. Seeing the movie on the big screen also helps you take in the gorgeous shots of Singapore, the clothing, the jewelry, the food, and the over-the-top wedding more so than if you wait to watch it on a small screen. 

    The film is hilarious, emotional, and educational as it examines the differences between Rachel Chu (played by Constance Wu, a natural lead), an Asian American woman who grew up with a Chinese single mom, and her boyfriend, Nick Young, who comes from and incredibly wealthy and traditional Singaporean family. The problem? Nick never bothered to tell Rachel about his family.

    crazy rich asians

    Though screenwriters Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim take some narrative departures to make the story tighter, the movie follows the book's story quite religiously. After some convincing, Rachel accompanies Nick to Singapore for his best friend's wedding which, unbeknownst to her, is basically a Singaporean royal wedding.

    Rachel visits her best friend from college Goh Peik Lin, played by a scene-stealing Awkwafina, and then she meets Nick's family. Once that happens, there's tension between Rachel and Nick's mother Eleanor Sung-Young (played by Yeoh). Rachel quickly realizes that friends and family look down on her for being an Asian American and assume that she's just after Nick's money. 

    awkwafina crazy rich asian comedian rapper

    The beloved characters from the book are brought to life by its perfect cast: from Constance Wu to Michelle Yeoh to its all-Asian supporting characters and extras. Everyone involved in this film had the time of their lives filming it, and that joy shows in every frame.

    “Crazy Rich Asians” is not only significant as the first major theatrical release starring Asian Americans in 25 years, since 1993’s “Joy Luck Club,” but for its vast and entirely Asian cast.

    Crazy Rich Asians

    What’s also refreshing is its story. Movies, especially romantic comedies, often tell the same story: a workaholic 26-year-old white blonde woman, who is played by an actress in her 30s, can’t find love because she’s too obsessed with her job. Then, in comes a white man played by an actor in his 40s to make her reconsider her personality.

    “Crazy Rich Asians” ignores many tropes set for rom-coms. At the beginning of the movie, the main characters have already been dating for over a year. And their relationship's obstacles  family and money  are more real than most romantic comedies.

    crazy Rich Asians

    If Hollywood listens, “Crazy Rich Asians” absolutely has the potential to bolster a change for Asian actors, filmmakers, and stories. It’s a necessary push for inclusivity in the film industry. Like February’s “Black Panther,” it makes a lot of people who’ve largely been ignored feel seen. It also proves these specific stories work for everyone, even if they don’t look the same as the people on screen.

    “Crazy Rich Asians” is a blast, and within minutes it will immerse you into its extraordinary extravagance and extraordinary talent.

    The movie is in theaters today.

    SEE ALSO: 'Crazy Rich Asians' star Henry Golding hadn't acted before the movie, and was suggested by an accountant who recognized his charm

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

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    the nun

    • YouTube removed a six-second ad for the upcoming horror movie "The Nun" from playing before select videos because people complained about the ad's jump scare.
    • YouTube replied to a tweet with thousands of likes and retweets explaining that the ad violated its "shocking content policy."
    • "Promotions that are likely to shock or scare" is among examples of content it considers violent or shocking.


    The latest horror movie in "The Conjuring" universe is already terrifying people to the point where YouTube recently cracked down on an ad for the movie.

    A six-second ad for "The Nun" played in front of select videos on the platform and featured a warning to turn your volume down, and then there's a sudden appearance of a monstrous nun screaming at the camera. But the jump-scare tactic proved too much to handle for some viewers. 

    One tweet in particular from Sunday warned people who might have anxiety about the ad, and garnered nearly 150,000 likes and over 135,000 retweets.

    The tweet said, "WARNING! If you see an ad on youtube with the volume sign being turned down and nothing else, ITS A JUMPSCARE for the new NUN movie coming out. i advise you look away and/or turn down the volume if you have anxiety or just straight up hate jumpscares, pls rt to save a life."

    YouTube replied to the tweet and said, "Appreciate you bringing this to our attention! This ad violates our shocking content policy and it's no longer running as an ad."

    YouTube's shocking content policy for ads states, "We value diversity and respect for others, and we strive to avoid offending or shocking users with ads, websites, or apps that are inappropriate for our ad network."

    It lists "Promotions that are likely to shock or scare" among examples of content it considers violent or shocking.

    "The Nun" is the fifth installment in "The Conjuring" series and comes to theaters September 7.

    SEE ALSO: Hulu's 'Castle Rock' is a 'Stranger Things' for the Stephen King horror universe that was just renewed for season 2

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

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    Woodstock 1969

    This August marks the 49th anniversary of the famed Woodstock Music and Art Festival, which took place on Max Yasgur's 600-acre farm in Bethel, New York.

    Every notable musician of the time, from Jimi Hendrix to Janis Joplin, played during the three-day festival. Even with 400,000 attendees, zero reports of violence were made to the police during or after the festival, and with two babies reportedly born on the premises, it certainly was a weekend of peace, love, and music.

    Ahead, take a look at those who made it into the music festival's premises and became part of the renowned "Woodstock generation."

    SEE ALSO: Vintage photos show what Glastonbury music festival was like in 1989

    When residents of Wallkill, New York, denied plans for Woodstock to occur near their town, farmer Max Yasgur came to the rescue, offering his land near Bethel at the price of $75,000.

    Woodstock was created by the then-novice promoters John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfield, and Michael Lang. Originally, the four had hoped the festival would be a way to raise funds to build a recording studio and rock-and-roll retreat near Woodstock, New York.

    Tickets to the event cost $6.50 a day, and festival organizers told authorities they were expecting around 50,000 people, even when 186,000 tickets had already been sold.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    chris pratt guardians of the galaxy

    • "Guardians of the Galaxy" actor Chris Pratt opened up about director James Gunn's firing from the third movie in an interview with the Associated Press.
    • Pratt said it's a "complicated situation" for the cast because they love Gunn but also love playing the Guardians characters. 
    • "It's not an easy time," Pratt said. "We all love James and he's a good friend of ours, but we also really love playing the Guardians of the Galaxy. It's a complicated situation for everybody."
    • He implied that he still hopes to see Gunn reinstated.


    "Guardians of the Galaxy" actor Chris Pratt is still reeling from director James Gunn's firing from the third movie.

    In an interview with The Associated Press, Pratt implied that he still hoped to see Gunn reinstated, but also said that it's a "complicated situation" because the cast loves playing the Guardians characters.

    Disney fired Gunn from "Guardians of the Galaxy 3" last month after conservative personalities resurfaced offensive jokes Gunn had tweeted years ago. In the interview, Pratt — who has played Star-Lord in "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," and "Avengers: Infinity War" — opened up about Gunn's firing and said "it's not an easy time" for the cast.

    "I was a little shocked like everybody and it was crazy timing with Comic-Con and stuff," Pratt said. "I love going to Comic-Con, but I ended up not going a lot of interviews around that time just because it was so shocking. But all I know is that we put a lot of time, thought, and effort into the statement that we released about it and I think we all kind of want that statement to be essentially what we have to say about it. We were pretty clear and honest about how we feel."

    He added, "It's not an easy time. We all love James and he's a good friend of ours, but we also really love playing the Guardians of the Galaxy. It's a complicated situation for everybody."

    Pratt and the rest of the main "Guardians" cast recently released an open letter in support of Gunn, and some, including Pratt, took to Twitter to voice that they wanted to see him rehired. When asked whether he still hopes for this, Pratt told AP to "go to his Twitter feed" and if that tweet is still posted, then that "will be what I have to say about it."

    Well, as of Wednesday morning, the tweet is still on his feed. Pratt said, "Although I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man. I’d personally love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3."

    Variety recently reported, based on anonymous sources, that Disney had no plans to rehire Gunn. But hope was sparked again when Deadline reported, also citing anonymous sources, that Marvel Studios was having backchannel conversations with Disney in an attempt to reach a compromise on bringing Gunn back.

    Gunn had finished the "Guardians 3" script and planned to start filming later this year before being fired. The movie is currently set to hit theaters in 2020. 

    Watch the full interview below:

    More on James Gunn:

    SEE ALSO: We made a timeline showing the entire history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    travis scott

    • Rapper Travis Scott announced on Tuesday that he would commemorate the success of his No. 1 album, "Astroworld," by giving away $100,000 to his fans through the Cash App. 
    • Scott has since sent sums ranging from $50 to $1,000 to several fans on Twitter, for tweeting lyrics from "Astroworld" along with their "cash tag" for the app.
    • The giveaway appeared to be ongoing on Wednesday morning.

    Rapper Travis Scott announced on Tuesday night that he would commemorate the success of his No. 1 album, "Astroworld," by giving away $100,000 to his fans through the Cash App.

    Scott's label, Epic Records, confirmed the giveaway to Billboard on Tuesday.

    Scott has since sent sums ranging from $50 to $1,000 to several fans on Twitter for tweeting lyrics from "Astroworld" along with their "cash tag" for the app. 


    The giveaway appeared to be ongoing on Wednesday morning, as Scott tweeted late Tuesday night that he had "$75K left" to give, and he continued to retweet accounts he had sent money to in the morning. 

    Scott's third studio album, "Astroworld," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart after its release last week. The album moved 537,000 equivalent album units, the second-highest first week sales for an album this year, behind Drake's June release, "Scorpion," according to Billboard.

    Scott's previous album, "Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight," also debuted at No. 1 in September 2016 but earned only 88,000 equivalent album units. 

    Listen to "Astroworld" below:

    SEE ALSO: Musicians only got 12% of the $43 billion the music industry generated in 2017, and it mostly came from touring

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

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    Super Mario

    Nintendo has a great problem on its hands: It has two very popular game consoles available at the same time. 

    Better still: Both the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS are extremely capable game consoles, and both have access to Nintendo's wealth of classic gaming franchises — "Super Mario Bros." and "The Legend of Zelda" and "Pokémon," among many others.

    And, for the first time in Nintendo's history, both of its main game consoles are capable of playing games wherever you go.

    So, which to choose? The answer is more complicated than ever.

    SEE ALSO: Nearly 5 years after launch, we compared the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One — and it's a harder decision than ever

    1. Price.

    There's no getting around it: Nintendo's 3DS is far less expensive than the Switch, by at least $100.

    At very best, you might find a Switch that comes with a game like "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" or "Splatoon 2" for $300. You're just as likely to get the console and nothing else for the same price. It's a popular game system and it's still in high demand — the Switch has cost the same $300 since it launched in March 2017. 

    If you're looking at price alone, the 3DS is the better deal by a long shot. You can get the largest, newest version of the 3DS — aptly named the "New 3DS XL" — with a game included for somewhere in the range of $150. 

    The 3DS is the less expensive console, no matter which way you slice it. If you're looking at price alone, the 3DS is the clear choice.

    2. Games.

    With over seven years of game releases, the Nintendo 3DS has a far, far larger library than the Nintendo Switch. It has major Mario and Zelda games, a smattering of major Pokémon games, and much more.

    The Switch, however, is far more powerful. And Nintendo is using that power to great effect in major games like "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" (above), "Super Mario Odyssey," and "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe." 

    In so many words: On paper, the 3DS has a far larger, richer library of games, but in reality, the best games Nintendo makes are on the Switch.

    The next major "Super Smash Bros." game arrives on the Switch this December, and there's a long list of major upcoming games in the works for next year and beyond. The 3DS, by comparison, has a relatively bleak future in terms of game launches. Nintendo has clearly shifted focus to its big new console, the Switch.

    But if you're not as concerned with having the biggest, prettiest, newest games, there is a massive library of great games on the 3DS. Games like "Super Mario 3D Land" and "The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds" are just as incredible as when they originally came out, to say nothing of the excellent "Pokémon" games.

    Of note: Games cost less on the 3DS, by about half ($30 on 3DS versus $60 on Switch). That is tremendously meaningful!

    3. Durability.

    The 3DS is far more kid-friendly, both in terms of price and durability. Due to its design, the 3DS is easily closed and stored in a bag or a pocket. And when it's closed, it's protected.

    It's not entirely kid-proof. The 3DS isn't waterproof, for instance, and repeated drops (or even one serious drop) can break it.

    But it's much tougher than the Switch, which, by comparison, is far more fragile.

    The Switch is a tablet, and there's no way to protect that tablet screen without a case. Worse: The brackets that connect the Switch's controllers to the sides of the tablet are relatively weak. 

    Nintendo Switch

    It's hard to suggest getting a Nintendo Switch for anyone under the age of 13 — it's a $300 tablet game console that has lots of little moving parts and stuff to lose. 

    Each of the console's "Joy-Con" controllers cost $50, so replacing components isn't exactly cheap. 

    That said, if you're over the age of 13, the Switch is a perfectly solid piece of technology. I haven't had to replace any piece of mine since launch in March 2017. There are instances of the Switch tablet bowing over time, as it gets hot inside the Switch dock, but they are rare. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    unhinged an insiders account of the trump white house omarosa

    Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the firebrand communications director of the White House Office of Public Liaison who was abruptly fired in December, has released her tell-all book, "Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the White House."

    In the book, she recounts her alleged experiences inside the Trump administration and campaign, making startling claims that include an accusation she heard a recording of Trump saying a racial slur.

    But the Trump administration is fighting back, with the president leading the charge by downplaying her credibility and calling her names on Twitter.

    The relationship between the two former reality TV stars — Trump was the host of NBC's "The Apprentice" while Omarosa was a contestant — was not always strained. Even in a phone call between Trump and Omarosa shortly after her ouster from the White House, the two appeared to share a compassionate moment with Trump offering his condolences.

    "Damn it, I don't love you leaving at all," Trump appeared to say on a secretly recorded phone call from Omarosa.

    Here's a timeline of Omarosa's journey from a star on "The Apprentice," to her eviction from the White House:

    Omarosa Manigault-Newman was involved in politics long before Donald Trump's presidency.

    Omarosa held various roles in government during the Clinton administration. She answered invitations for Vice President Al Gore and eventually landed a job with the Department of Commerce.

    Her former colleagues described her tenure as rocky, including Cheryl Shavers, the former Under Secretary for Technology at the Commerce Department, who said that "she was asked to leave as quickly as possible, she was so disruptive," according to People.

    "One woman wanted to slug her," Shavers said.

    Omarosa made her primetime debut on NBC's "The Apprentice" in 2004.

    She was eliminated from the show by Trump in Week 9 of the first season. 

    Source: Bustle

    Omarosa continued to make appearances in various "Apprentice" spinoffs. She also starred in her own show "The Ultimate Merger," in which 12 men, selected by Donald Trump, competed against each other for her favor.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Earlier this month, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe told Business Insider that charging theaters and studios more for marketing was a way to generate revenue that fit with industry norms.
    • The company, however, earned less revenue from marketing and promotions in the second quarter of the year than it did in the first, according to the latest quarterly report from MoviePass' owner, Helios and Matheson Analytics.

    As MoviePass scrambles to keep the lights on, it seems one of the company's new plans to earn more revenue hasn't worked out as advertised.

    When the movie-ticket subscription service announced its most recent change — going from subscribers being allowed to see one movie a day to three movies a monthCEO Mitch Lowe told Business Insider that one of the plans going forward was to capitalize on the popularity of the service by arranging marketing deals with movie theaters and studios.

    Lowe acknowledged earlier this month that the company's initial strategy of trying to get direct discounts on the millions of movie tickets it buys for subscribers wasn't working. But he said he was confident that getting more for marketing titles on its app, the web, and social media made more sense.

    "We think we now have a way to do this that fits in with how business is done," he said.

    But when MoviePass' owner, Helios and Matheson Analytics, released its quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, it showed that marketing revenue had not been on the rise. In fact, it was falling.

    For the second quarter of 2018, Helios and Matheson snagged revenue of $935,488 from marketing and promotional services. That's over $500,000 less than what it earned in the first quarter ($1,440,910).

    And it's not because fewer people are becoming members of the service. Subscription revenue spiked in the second quarter to $72.4 million (in the first quarter it was $47.1 million). But for MoviePass, that subscription growth only means more full-price tickets it has to pay for.

    Despite MoviePass' claim that it's responsible for 6% of the box office this year, its financials suggest it hasn't been able to turn that popularity into marketing dollars.

    MoviePass was not immediately available for comment to Business Insider.

    SEE ALSO: The director of 'Crazy Rich Asians' had to ignore past failure to make a career-defining movie that hopes to push real Hollywood change

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Jon M Chu Alberto E Rodriguez Getty final

    • Director Jon M. Chu was looking for a way to stop Hollywood whitewashing when the script for "Crazy Rich Asians" fell in his lap.
    • But the movie also gave him a chance to prove to audiences that he can do more than make forgettable Hollywood titles like "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and "Jem and the Holograms." 
    • He told Business Insider how the fear of failure drove him to making "Crazy Rich Asians," the most acclaimed movie of his career to date.

    Jon M. Chu is the first to admit he’s taken a different path than most to becoming a working director in Hollywood.

    He was immediately thrust into the studio system when his short film at USC, “When the Kids Are Away,” caught the eye of Steven Spielberg. With that blessing, he quickly got jobs making Hollywood titles like “Step Up 2: The Streets,” “Step Up 3D,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” and “Jem and the Holograms.”

    But then in the last few years, Chu came across online protests like #WhitewashedOut and #StarringJohnCho that put a spotlight on the lack of Asian representation in US movies, and realized he had to stop trying to just survive in the industry, and get behind the cause.

    “I realized that I was actually part of the problem, not by contributing in some crazy way, but the fact that I hadn't done anything to help shift that,” Chu told Business Insider.

    Unbeknownst to Chu, redemption was coming in the form of the script adaptation of the book “Crazy Rich Asians.”

    The national best-seller written by Kevin Kwan follows the funny gossip and scheming that occurs when “ABC” (American-born Chinese) Rachel Chu (star Constance Wu in the movie) spends the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend Nicholas Young (Henry Golding) as they attend a wedding. What Rachel quickly realizes is that Nicholas’ family is one of the wealthiest in Asia, and the wedding is the social event of the year.

    Crazy Rich Asians

    Chu realized this was what he was looking for and in convincing producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson he was right for the project, made a presentation that was filled with personal insights about his background and family in the hopes of convincing them that he was the right person to direct.

    Chu would learn after getting the job that being Chinese-American wasn’t his only connection to the material. He and his family are actually in the book.

    “I had no idea my cousin is best friends with Kevin and he wrote my family in the book,” Chu said. “I had no idea that I was literally ‘the cousin who makes movies’ in the book. When I met Kevin I was like, ‘What the hell is happening here?’”

    According to Chu, he was extremely confident in how to adapt the book so whether you were Asian or not in the audience, you could relate to the story. But it wasn’t just the need to tackle a project that looked into his own cultural identity that drove Chu, he also wanted to prove that he was more than a filmmaker who made second-tier Hollywood movies, many of which weren’t hailed critically or at the box office.

    “I had to see if I’m a real filmmaker,” Chu said. “I mean, I have proven myself in movies and franchises, but am I an artist? Can I contribute something to a medium that I love so much?”

    Chu said if he got anything out of making movies that found the ire of critics — 2015’s “Jem and the Holograms” was the low point, with a 19% Rotten Tomatoes score and Universal yanking it from over 2,000 screens in just its second week in theaters— it’s to have a thick skin and not get gun shy. And Chu often had to remind himself that on the set of “Crazy Rich Asians.”

    Jem and the Holograms

    “The fear of doing [‘Jem’] again was definitely present,” he said. “I always told myself after ‘Jem,’ I don't want fear to change my choices. Fear is a destruction of creativity. Any time I had a fear about this movie I would go to that idea, don't let ‘Jem’ determine your choices here. You were destined to be here and do this movie.”

    And though he felt he was on the right path during production — with encouragement from the producers, and even a flashy presentation at this year’s CinemaCon, where the movie’s studio, Warner Bros., showcased to theater owners why the first Hollywood-produced movie with an all-Asian cast in 25 years would work — behind the scenes Chu wouldn’t get too excited.

    “Our test screenings were hard to recruit,” he said. “It was 20-1 saying yes to see a free screening of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ back in November and December. It was so hard to convince Caucasian people that this movie was for them. And Asian people, if they didn't know the book, they thought the title was offensive. So it was always an uphill battle.”

    Chu said it was the “just see the movie” marketing approach by Warner Bros. that convinced him audiences would want to see his rom-com with a family backbone. It wasn’t a blitz of internet and TV ads. It was just finally showing audiences early screenings of the movie that led to a word-of-mouth buzz that is powering the movie (which opens Wednesday) to have a big opening weekend.

    For Chu, it’s confirmation of the abilities that caught Spielberg’s eye all those years ago ("Crazy Rich Asians" is the first "fresh" score Chu has even gotten on Rotten Tomatoes) and it’s led to bigger projects. He’s going to direct the screen adaptation of the Lin-Manuel Miranda Broadway musical “In the Heights” and he’s signed on for one of the Thai cave rescue movies. But “Asians” is also a landmark moment in the movement to end whitewashing in Hollywood.

    “That's the one party we haven't been invited too,” Chu said, referring to advances in Asian casting in TV and streaming. At one time, “Crazy Rich Asians” could have been a Netflix release, but Chu knew that wouldn’t have been right in proving Asians can carry a movie.

    “The big screen is the big show,” Chu continued, “and that means [a studio] has to spend tens of millions of dollars on marketing and tell the world that this is worth your time and energy, so we felt that was the important message that needed to be told. I fully believe this whole fervor that's going on would not have happened if we were on Netflix. For this movement, we needed a parade.” 

    SEE ALSO: Inside Alamo Drafthouse's beta test of its movie-ticket subscription plan, which has a waitlist of over 40,000 after less than a month

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