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- 08/15/18--10:01: _As its rivalry with...
- 08/15/18--11:23: _All the TV shows th...
- 08/15/18--12:18: _I would play the Ni...
- 08/15/18--13:42: _A day in the life o...
- 08/16/18--06:14: _Instagram and YouTu...
- 08/16/18--06:44: _'Crazy Rich Asians'...
- 08/16/18--06:46: _16 of the best debu...
- 08/16/18--06:55: _'American History X...
- 08/16/18--06:58: _Now MoviePass will ...
- 08/16/18--07:12: _Soul music legend A...
- 08/16/18--07:51: _Disney reportedly s...
- 08/16/18--07:59: _The massive popular...
- 08/16/18--08:23: _13 of Aretha Frankl...
- 08/16/18--09:46: _MoviePass investors...
- 08/16/18--10:32: _The 7 highest-gross...
- 08/16/18--11:19: _The makers of 'Gran...
- 08/16/18--13:05: _AMC boasts more tha...
- 08/17/18--07:14: _'Mile 22' is one of...
- 08/17/18--07:29: _Spike Lee's 'BlacKk...
- 08/17/18--07:51: _7 great movies you ...
- Amazon is making efforts to win over content creators to its livestreaming platform, Twitch, Bloomberg reports.
- Twitch is said to be offering exclusive deals, sometimes with multi-million dollar salaries, to popular internet personalities.
- Twitch seems to want to swoop in at a time when some creators are unsure about YouTube and its effectiveness as a revenue stream.
- The two video platforms are competing heavily to convince streamers and creators to stay on their respective platforms.
- 08/15/18--11:23: All the TV shows that have been canceled in 2018
- Disney California Adventure Park West general manager Gary Maggetti has worked at the Disneyland Resort full-time for 23 years.
- Before he landed a full-time role, he did a stint as a Jungle Cruise skipper in college.
- Maggetti shared his typical daily routine — which features a morning pick-me-up of green tea and lots of walking — with Business Insider.
- The UK's Competition and Markets Authority is investigating celebrities and social media stars for not labeling paid promotions on platforms like Instagram and YouTube.
- The competition authority has written to a number of stars it suspects of wrongdoing and could name and shame them before the end of the year.
- It is not, at this stage, talking to the social media platforms about whether they are doing enough to stamp out the practice.
- Henry Golding, the star of "Crazy Rich Asians," never acted before this movie.
- An accountant named Lisa Kim, who met him five years ago, recommended Golding to director Jon M. Chu, who was having trouble casting the leading man, Nick Young.
- Golding said he resisted auditioning because of his lack of experience, but Chu was very convincing.
- British director Tony Kaye is hoping to cast an artificial intelligent (AI) "actor" in the lead of his next film, "2nd Born."
- The idea to cast a robot in a lead role is a joint effort between Kaye and producer Sam Khoze.
- Kaye hopes to train the robot in various techniques and acting methods and hopes the role will lead to recognition by the Screen Actors Guild.
- The film is a sequel to the comedy "1st Born," which stars Val Kilmer and Denise Richards and centers around a married couple's first pregnancy.
- 08/16/18--06:58: Now MoviePass will only let you see certain movies on certain days
- MoviePass is limiting the number of movies available on the service each day as it transitions to a new plan.
- In a letter to customers it began sending out on Thursday, MoviePass said, "For the time being, we will be limiting the films and showtimes that are available to members each day. During this transition period, MoviePass will offer up to six films to choose from daily."
- The schedule of each day's movies is expected to be updated at least a week in advance on the MoviePass website.
- This week's movie schedule is now available, though each day lists seven movies as opposed to six right now.
- 08/16/18--07:12: Soul music legend Aretha Franklin has died at age 76
- Aretha Franklin, known as the "Queen of Soul," died at her home in Detroit on Thursday at the age of 76, her publicist told the Associated Press.
- Her cause of death was advanced pancreatic cancer, according to a statement from Franklin's family.
- Reports earlier this week indicated the singer was "gravely ill" and put on hospice care in her home in Michigan.
- According to Variety, Disney stands by its decision to fire "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn and does not plan to reinstate him.
- Gunn reportedly had a "courtesy" meeting with Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, but only to clear the air.
- Variety said that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was not present at the meeting, but stands with Disney and its decision.
- The massive success of "Fortnite" and "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" is making major waves in the video game industry.
- Earlier this year, Activision announced that this year's "Call of Duty" would have a Battle Royale mode. Then, in June, EA announced that this year's "Battlefield V" also will.
- The announcement is indicative of how impactful the success of "Fortnite" and "PUBG" has been on the world of video games.
- On Thursday, EA offered the first look at the new "Royale" mode in "Battlefield V."
- The mode has tanks, and potentially other vehicles.
- The map — at least one of them — appears to be in a snowy environment.
- The equivalent of a "storm" in "Battlefield V" is a wall of firey explosions that leave a scorched, burning earth in their wake.
- Many investors in the parent company of MoviePass, Helios and Matheson Analytics, have seen their stakes dwindle over 99% in recent months, with some losing over $100,000.
- To fund massive MoviePass losses, Helios has flooded the market with new shares, diluting previous shareholders and sending the stock price plummeting.
- Helios is trading at about $0.05.
- 08/16/18--10:32: The 7 highest-grossing indie movies at the US box office this summer
- AMC Theatres announced on Thursday that it now has 260,000 members in its AMC Stubs A-List movie-ticket subscription service.
- That makes up 4% of the chain's US attendance.
- Director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg's fourth movie together, "Mile 22," is being slammed by critics for its messy, incoherent plot.
- With a 24% Rotten Tomatoes critic score, the movie is one of the worst reviewed of Berg and Wahlberg's careers, and of this summer.
- Critics have compared the movie to far-right conspiracy website InfoWars and being drunkenly yelled at.
- Berg and Wahlberg were hoping to launch a franchise with the movie.
- Spike Lee's "BlacKkKlansman" is a movie you need to see, regardless if you are a fan of his movies or not.
- Looking back on the true story of a black police detective who infiltrates a local Ku Klux Klan chapter, it has to be seen to be believed.
- 08/17/18--07:51: 7 great movies you can watch on Netflix this weekend
Amazon's ongoing rivalry with Google is heating up, and it's now setting its sights on some of the stars of Google-owned YouTube.
Amazon is offering exclusive deals, sometimes with multi-million dollar salaries attached, to content creators in an effort to convince them to stick with Twitch instead of its rival, YouTube, Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw reports.
Although Twitch was solely focused on video game streaming before its acquisition by Amazon in 2014, Amazon is trying to broaden the appeal of the once-niche streaming platform in order to attract a wider variety of content creators, and in the end-run, earn more ad revenue, according to the report. Popular personalities approached range from Will Smith to Gigi Gorgeous, according to Bloomberg.
YouTube is a behemoth when it comes to unique viewers — it had more than 10 times Twitch's 11 million unique visits in June, according to ComScore. But YouTube has been weathering a rocky year as it continues to manage its relationships with content creators, and Amazon is looking to capitalize on it.
No longer just a video game streaming site, Twitch allows all sorts of streaming — from IRL (in real life) streams of everyday life, to dedicated baking and cooking channels, Twitch is hoping to expand its audience — and it reportedly has set an internal goal of $1 billion in ad revenue.
YouTube isn't staying passive, however, as Bloomberg reports the company is offering payments to creators if they don't take any deals with competitors like Twitch.
Twitch has had a reputation as a video game-centered website for a while, but in order to take on YouTube, Amazon will likely have to change that, and its efforts have already begun.
NOW WATCH: Everything wrong with the iPhone
As the year flies by, the list of canceled TV shows piles up.
While there's been somewhat of a quiet period since May, some networks are still cutting shows throughout the summer, including USA, which recently canceled two series after three seasons: "Colony" and "Shooter." In June, Freeform canceled the supernatural teen drama, "Shadowhunters."
ABC also canceled the previously renewed "Roseanne" revival in late May, after Roseanne Barr posted a racist tweet about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. However, ABC announced a spin-off called "The Conners" without Barr coming this fall.
Amazon kicked off the year with a slew of cancellations, announcing the end of three quirky comedies, including the Golden Globe nominee "I Love Dick" and the comedian Tig Notaro's semi-autobiographical show, "One Mississippi." It canceled Golden Globe nominee "Mozart in the Jungle" in April, after four seasons, and recently canceled "Transparent," which will end after the upcoming fifth season.
The long-running "The Jerry Springer Show" is ending after 27 seasons and 4,000 episodes. NBC's "Timeless," was also canceled for the second year in a row. NBC reversed its first decision to cancel the show last year after fan outcry. However, fans may have a movie to look forward to that gives the series a proper finale, though no official decision has been made.
We'll update this list as more are announced.
Here are all the shows that have been canceled this year, including those from networks and Netflix:
"Jean-Claude Van Johnson" — Amazon, one season
"I Love Dick" — Amazon, one season
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The Nintendo Switch is an incredible game console. But I wish I could justify playing it more often.
Some of my favorite games over the last year have been on the Switch: I played through the entirety of "The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" twice, and my fiancée and I shared — and loved — every moment of "Super Mario Odyssey."
There are other great games worth checking out, like "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" and the "Bayonetta" games, not to mention hit indie titles like "Stardew Valley," "Hollow Knight," and "Dead Cells."
But more often than not, I'm choosing to play on my PlayStation 4 instead of my Nintendo Switch. And it comes down to a few features the Nintendo Switch simply doesn't have.
1. There's no built-in support for wireless audio
I mostly play video games at night. My fiancée likes to go to sleep early, so that's when I tend to dig into games I want to play.
But the Nintendo Switch's lack of native Bluetooth audio support means I can't quietly listen to my games on a wireless headset — I have to play all the audio through my TV, which means it either needs to be really quiet or totally muted.
To me, it's a huge omission for a game console in 2018.
The PlayStation 4, on the other hand, has a wired audio jack in every controller, so you can plug in your pair of wired headphones, and the system also supports plenty of first- and third-party wireless headphones. Some headphones require a USB dongle, while others work with the system natively. Either way, Sony made audio a major consideration; Nintendo didn't.
To wit: The Nintendo Switch can play wireless audio, but you have to buy a third-party audio transmitter, like this one from Creative Labs. Audio might have some lag, but customers say it isn't very noticeable. There's also a popular Kickstarter project that's promising a Nintendo Switch USB-C solution for wireless audio, but that won't be widely available until late 2018.
2. No voice chat, and no messaging
Voice chat and messaging are relatively new features for game consoles, but they're extremely important for any kind of online games. Coordinating with other players is crucial for popular games like "Fortnite," and without any real solution for voice chat, it doesn't make sense to play those kinds of games on the Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo Switch app for iPhone and Android actually does make voice chat possible...but it currently only works with Nintendo's own "Splatoon 2," and you need to have your phone on and a headset connected to it in order to use it.
I also find it confusing that I can't send text messages to anyone, not even my friends.
3. Hardly any other apps besides games
Most game consoles these days also double as entertainment systems. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One can both run dozens of streaming apps, from video apps like Netflix and Amazon to music apps like Spotify and Pandora. The PlayStation 4 even offers Sony's PlayStation Vue over-the-top streaming service, in case you want to watch live television on your PS4.
The Nintendo Switch, on the other hand, is more of a true game console for now. It notably does support the Hulu app, but all of the other consoles have that one too, plus plenty of other services the Switch doesn't have.
Having all of the streaming services on your game console isn't a dealbreaker for me, but it's just one less reason to boot up the Nintendo Switch compared to the others.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Before the iconic resort became his workplace, he was just another kid at the park, swinging by all the best attractions with his twin brother Chris. Their family visited Disneyland every two years, starting when they were four.
Then, Maggetti was a Northern Arizona University hotel and restaurant administration major applying for the Disney College Program. He landed a summer gig as a skipper on the Jungle Cruise, one of his favorite rides.
Finally, in 1995, he landed his first full-time role at the park. By that point, Maggetti knew that Disneyland was where he wanted to stay.
In the 23 years since, Maggetti has held 13 different roles at the Walt Disney Company, including one that took him all the way to Japan. Today, he's a general manager representing the western part of Disney California Adventure Park. Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Park are the two theme parks that make up the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.
Maggetti said his story isn't "unique" at Disneyland.
"You go to a meeting and you look around the room and it's like: 'Oh my goodness, you were in my management training class in 1996,'" he told Business Insider. "This is not an unusual story because there are so many opportunities with Disney to have different experiences."
Maggetti recently shared his daily schedule with Business Insider. His routine sheds light on both the culture at Disneyland, and the behind-the-scenes inner-workings of the park.
Here's what a typical day at Disneyland looks like for Maggetti:
Maggetti wakes up early and typically passes on coffee
Maggetti kicks off his day at 6 a.m. He's not big on breakfast, but he said that he'll sometimes eat a morning meal with his two teenage sons.
According to Maggetti, the boys take after his twin brother Chris — an executive chef at Disneyland.
"They're actually pretty good cooks, so sometimes they'll make me breakfast in the morning," he told Business Insider.
But two figures are typically absent from the breakfast table: Maggetti said he has a "long distance marriage" with his wife, who lives and works in Northern California with his stepson. The family reunites on the weekends, though.
After breakfast, Maggetti drives his sons to school and then embarks on the 35-minute commute to Disneyland. He usually arrives at work around 8 a.m.
To prepare for the workday, Maggetti skips coffee and instead opts for decaf green tea. He said he prefers the "calming effect" of the beverage.
He meets up with his team mates and enjoys watching the park open
First up, Maggetti heads to his team's morning huddle. Patrick Finnegan, the vice president of Disney California Adventure Park and the Downtown Disney District, leads the daily meeting. Everyone discusses the previous day and establishes a "game plan" for the coming day.
Maggetti said the team often makes a point of huddling out in the park, where they can watch early-bird guests trickle in around 9 a.m.
"It's incredibly enjoyable to be there when the first guests go through the turnstiles," Maggetti said. "There's this sense of adventure and hope and excitement. You can kind of see the guests making decisions early in the day. Like, 'Am I going to the new Incredicoaster?' or 'Am I going to head over to Radiator Springs Racer?' It's great to be a part of that."
Up next, Maggetti learns about any cool opportunities for his cast members
Once the park is opened, all of the general managers will connect with one of the resort's duty managers for a daily "roll call."
Maggetti said this is his chance to learn about cool opportunities for Disney California Adventure Park cast members, such as trying out new attractions before they open to guests.
"They'll let the leaders know, 'Hey make sure your cast members know we have this great experience before the guests arrive,'" Maggetti said.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Britain's Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation into celebrities and social media stars failing to declare when they are being paid to promote brands on platforms like Instagram.
The competition authority said it has written to a range of online stars to gather information about their posts and the nature of the deals they strike with brands to sell everything from vacations to makeup.
Those contacted could be in breach of UK consumer laws, and if they don't comply, the Competition and Markets Authority could potentially take them to court.
The Competition and Markets Authority plans to name those caught up in the investigation before the end of the year. They are understood to be well-known individuals, with large online followings.
Social media celebrities have in the past fallen afoul of advertising rules, which require them to clearly label their posts as adverts if they are being paid to promote goods and services.
One case in 2015 involved Millie Mackintosh, a former reality TV star who has 1.3 million followers on Instagram. She was rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority after posting a video featuring a J20 drink that was not clearly marked as an advert.
The Competition and Markets Authority is not, at this stage, talking to social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube about whether they are doing enough to clamp down on poorly labeled ads. Its investigation could broaden, however, depending on its findings.
"If people see clothes, cosmetics, a car, or a holiday being plugged by someone they admire, they might be swayed into buying it," said George Lusty, the Competition and Markets Authority's senior director for consumer protection.
"So, it’s really important they are clearly told whether a celebrity is promoting a product because they have bought it themselves, or because they have been paid or thanked in some way by the brand."
"Crazy Rich Asians" star Henry Golding — a travel show host — took the leading role as Nick Young in the $30 million Warner Bros. rom-com without any acting credits to his name.
Golding told Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show" Wednesday the story about how he was cast, which involved an accountant who met him five years ago — and some resistance on his end.
"As much as I tried not to audition for this," Golding said, "Jon [Chu, "Crazy Rich Asians" director] really sent the hounds on me."
"There's this lovely woman in accounting," Golding said. "Her name's Lisa Kim. If you're out there Lisa Kim, I still owe you one. I love you Lisa! She was like, 'I met this guy about five years ago in Malaysia. I don't know what he's doing now, but for me he was this character Nick Young.'"
Chu, who struggled to get the casting for this role right, took the recommendation from Kim. Chu followed Golding on Instagram, and watched his travel videos on YouTube.
"They sent me about three or four emails asking me to audition," Golding said. "But I was like, 'no no no no no. I'm not an actor. I'm sure there's somebody absolutely amazing ready for this role. And the studio's not going to gamble on a newbie or a greenhorn.'"
But Chu continued to fight for Golding. Through a mutual Facebook friend, Chu arranged a Skype call with Golding to convince him to audition.
"When you meet Jon," Golding told Fallon, "anyone can tell you: he's the most convincing human being." After the Skype call, Golding went through the audition process and chemistry reads with co-star Constance Wu. He said he got pulled out of his honeymoon to complete a screen test ("wife wasn't happy, still making up for it, but I think she loves me").
Wherever you are Lisa Kim, the world thanks you. "Crazy Rich Asians" is in theaters now.
You can watch the entire interview below:
From today's rising stars to veteran auteurs, some of the best Hollywood filmmakers have delivered fantastic debut feature-length films.
Some haven't reached the promise of their first film yet (Neill Blomkamp peaked with "District 9"); some haven't slowed down (Brad Bird makes hit after hit); and some are just getting started (Bo Burnham is earning widespread praise for this year's "Eighth Grade," now in theaters).
We looked at the work of filmmakers past and present to determine some of the best debut features of all time.
Below are 16 of the best:
"Eighth Grade" (2018) — Bo Burnham
Bo Burnham rose to stardom on YouTube and has developed a successful stand-up comedy career where he expresses his own thought-provoking questions about humanity through unique musical performances. He does something similar with "Eighth Grade," his feature-length directorial debut after directing Chris Rock's "Tamborine" Netflix special this year. Only in "Eighth Grade," a middle schooler played by Elsie Fisher (also in a brilliant debut) takes the spotlight. The movie premiered this year to widespread acclaim for its heartwarming, and all-too-real, take on adolescence in the age of social media.
"Hereditary" (2018) — Ari Aster
Ari Aster's polarizing horror film "Hereditary" split critics and audiences. Moviegoers expecting a mainstream, spooky ghost story were treated to something more complicated, but that's why the film sticks with you long after the credits role. The marketing campaign effectively hid the movie's most shocking moments, transforming it into a brutal and terrifying family drama once we were actually in the theater seats.
"Lady Bird" (2017) — Greta Gerwig
Greta Gerwig co-directed a mostly-improvisational film called "Nights and Weekends" a decade ago, but her first real, solo debut was with "Lady Bird" last year. Inspired by her own childhood in Sacramento, the movie is a hilarious and relatable mother-daughter tale that earned Gerwig a best director Oscar nomination.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
"American History X" director Tony Kaye is hoping to cast an artificial intelligent (AI) "actor" as the lead of his next film, "2nd Born", Deadline reports.
The idea to cast a robot in a lead role is a joint effort between the British filmmaker and producer Sam Khoze.
Kaye hopes to train the robot in various techniques and acting methods and hopes the role will lead to recognition by the Screen Actors Guild and awards consideration.
The reason behind casting AI instead of a human actor is that Kaye didn’t want to relay on makeup or computer-generated effects as films have in the past.
"2nd Born" is a sequel to the comedy "1st Born", which stars Val Kilmer and Denise Richards and centers around a married couple's first pregnancy.
Directed by Ali Atshani, "1st Born" is set to be released later this year, and the majority of the cast is expected to return for the sequel.
Kaye was not attached to the first film and it remains unclear what role a robot will play in the sequel.
The filmmaker's other directional credits include the drama "Detachment" and the acclaimed abortion documentary "Lake of Fire."
His debut as a director was 1998's "American History X", but he asked to be taken off the credits after disagreements over the final cuts of the film, according to The Guardian.
MoviePass implemented a new plan on Wednesday that limits the number of movies that subscribers can see a month to three, but also rolls back many recent unpopular changes. But that doesn't mean subscribers can see any movie they want on any given day.
MoviePass began to send out a letter to customers on Thursday detailing the changes, but the gist is that the number of showtimes and movies available each day will be limited for the foreseeable future during this "transition" period to the new plan. The movie schedule for each day will be available to view on the MoviePass website.
After announcing late last month that it would raise its monthly price to $14.95 a month and restrict big movies in their first few weeks of release, MoviePass quickly walked back on that announcement. While subscribers will only be able to see three movies a month, the new plan will keep the monthly price at $9.95 and eliminate surge pricing for popular movies during in-demand showings.
The letter to subscribers says, "As we transition to the new subscription plan, we want to share more details about our service moving forward as part of our commitment to keep you fully informed. For the time being, we will be limiting the films and showtimes that are available to members each day. During this transition period, MoviePass will offer up to six films to choose from daily, including a selection of major studio first-run films and independent releases. In addition, showtime availability may be limited depending on the popularity of those films on the app that particular day."
It adds, "While the films and showtimes available in the app will change daily, the schedule of available film selections will be published at least a week in advance on the MoviePass website so members can plan ahead for the films they want to see."
Subscribers can view this week's schedule here, though each day lists seven movies as opposed to six right now.
A representative for MoviePass told Business Insider that the movie schedule was "part of a larger move to go for increased transparency" and said to refer to the letter for any other details.
To be fair, when MoviePass originally announced the new plan, the email to customers said, "The new plan will include many major studio first-run films, however there will be some exceptions."
But MoviePass never indicated that it would "offer up to six films to choose from daily," where the number of movies and the movies themselves would change on a daily basis. This may confuse or disappoint those who stuck around expecting to be able to see any movie they wanted to once again. Many MoviePass subscribers have already canceled the service only to be re-enrolled into the new plan, and could be the last straw for some depending on how long this limitation lasts.
The movies that subscribers can see Thursday are "BlacKkKlansman," "The Meg," "The Miseducation of Cameron Post," "Skate Kitchen," "Summer of 84," "We the Animals," and "Juliet, Naked."
For more from Business Insider's MoviePass coverage, click here.
Aretha Franklin died at her home in Detroit on Thursday at the age of 76, her publicist told the Associated Press.
Her cause of death was advanced pancreatic cancer, the AP said, citing a statement from Franklin's family.
Reports earlier this week cited friends and family members as saying Franklin, known as the "Queen of Soul," was "gravely ill" and put on hospice care in her home in Michigan.
"In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart," Franklin's family said in a statement released by her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn. "We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds."
Rumors of Franklin's declining health followed her for several years, and she denied reports in 2011 that said she had cancer. She canceled a series of tour dates in 2017 and 2018 for health reasons, and in April her doctor ordered her to "stay off the road and rest completely."
Franklin released her first album, "Songs of Faith," in 1956, and her decades-spanning career earned 10 top-10 singles, including "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "Think," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Chain of Fools," and her iconic 1967 cover of Otis Redding's "Respect," which became an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement.
Her voice was a singular force that earned her the designation of the greatest singer of all time in a 2008 Rolling Stone list.
"You know a force from heaven. You know something that God made. And Aretha is a gift from God," the Rolling Stone feature said. "When it comes to expressing yourself through song, there is no one who can touch her. She is the reason why women want to sing."
Franklin was one of the best-selling artists in history, with one industry estimate indicating she sold 75 million records worldwide in her career.
Despite vocal displeasure from fans and celebrities, and the entire "Guardians of the Galaxy" cast releasing an open letter in support of him, Disney reportedly stands by its decision to fire director James Gunn from the third "Guardians" movie.
Variety reported, citing anonymous sources, that Disney will not reinstate Gunn even after a recent "courtesy" meeting between Gunn and Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, which sources told Variety that Horn took only to clear the air.
According to Variety, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was not able to attend the meeting because he was out of town, but he stands with Disney and its decision, despite reports that Marvel was having backchannel conversations with Disney in an effort to reach a compromise regarding Gunn.
Gunn was fired last month from the third "Guardians" movie, slated to hit theaters in 2020, after conservative personalities resurfaced offensive tweets of Gunn's from years ago. Support for Gunn was been loud since — this week, "Guardians" actor Chris Pratt opened up about Gunn's firing in an interview with The Associated Press. He said it's a "troubling time" but implied that he would like to see Gunn rehired.
But this is just the most recent indication that Disney has no plans to reinstate Gunn. If that's the case, it's unclear when a new director will be announced or if production on "Guardians 3" will stay on track for its 2020 release.
The last "Guardians" movie made $863 million worldwide.
The next major entry in the "Battlefield" series is getting a huge new addition: A version of the massively popular Battle Royale mode that made "Fortnite" such a huge success.
In the case of "Fortnite" and "PUBG," Battle Royale means a 1-vs-100 fight to the death on an island that gets smaller by the minute. In the case of "Battlefield V," it's not clear how large the mode is or how it will work. But we did learn a few new things about the mode from a new trailer:
Here's a look at it from afar:
"Battlefield V" is the latest major blockbuster to add a Battle Royale mode.
Its competitor, "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4," arrives this October with its own spin on the Battle Royale concept. "Battlefield V's" new "Royale" mode won't arrive alongside the game on October 19. Instead, it's said to arrive some time after launch as part of EA's plans for ongoing support of the game via downloadable updates.
It's unclear how long-time fans of the "Battlefield" franchise will react to the new mode. The series is celebrated for its focus on tactical, team-based multiplayer.
"It's royale re-imagined for Battlefield," senior producer Lars Gustavsson said of the mode in June. "So we bring those pillars of 'Battlefield' — destruction, team play, vehicles — into this new experience. We'll bring you an experience that you haven't played before — in 'Battlefield,' or anywhere else."
Take a look at the new mode in action right here:
Aretha Franklin died at her home in Detroit on Thursday at the age of 76, her publicist told the Associated Press.
The "Queen of Soul" was one of the best-selling female artists in history with 75 million records sold worldwide in her career.
These are 13 of her most inspirational quotes throughout her expansive career and life.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
When Ken, a retiree investor, logged into E-Trade in March to research a stock called Helios and Matheson Analytics, it looked like a killer deal.
"I use the analyst research to decide if I am going to buy a stock and after buying it, when to sell," Ken told Business Insider, describing a feature on E-Trade that allows retail investors to see a summary of the ratings — buy, hold, or sell — that Wall Street analysts have given a company.
Ken liked what he saw in Helios, the owner of the popular movie-theater subscription service MoviePass, which makes up essentially the company's entire business. Helios stock was trading under $5, but at the time the two Wall Street analysts covering the stock recommended that investors buy, with price targets of $15 and $16.
Ken saw a lot of upside in the Nasdaq-listed stock. On March 6, he bought 10,000 shares at $4.62, putting $46,200 into the stock, according to E-Trade screenshots shared with Business Insider. (Ken requested we not use his full name when discussing his personal finances, as did the other investors I spoke with.)
The stock didn't reach $16, or $15. It kept dropping. Over the next few months, Helios racked up tens of millions in losses because of MoviePass, which changed its pricing structure in ways that made it likely to lose money on subscribers who used the service to see just one movie a month in theaters; many saw more than that. To raise money, Helios flooded the market with hundreds of millions of new shares, which helped send its stock into a downward spiral.
But as Ken saw the share-price tank, the analysts kept their advice to "buy." And he did.
Ken bought in May, then in June, then in July — as the price dropped from $4.62 to $0.81 to $0.25 to $0.08. He stopped in late July, after Helios did a 1-to-250 reverse stock split that reduced his stake of 1 million shares to just 4,000 (but worth the same total amount). He had put almost $190,000 into Helios. His stake is now worth about $200.
Ken's story is not unusual.
This week, the no-fee stock-trading app Robinhood shut down trading of Helios, as first reported by my colleague Graham Rapier, saying it was doing so "to protect our customers from the risks associated with some low-priced stocks."
More than 74,000 Robinhood users hold the stock, the firm's website shows. And that's just one brokerage. E-Trade, which Ken used to buy shares, still allows its users to trade Helios stock. E-Trade did not respond to a request for comment.
There is a personal story behind each retail investor who holds Helios, many of whom have seen the value of their stakes drop by over 99%. Helios did not respond to a request for comment.
'Over half my retirement portfolio ...'
Last week, I wrote a piece about the two Wall Street firms— Canaccord Genuity and Maxim Group — whose analysts kept buy ratings on Helios until late July, as the firms made millions in fees helping sell the stock. After it published, I was contacted by many people who said they had lost big on Helios.
Some, like Ken, said they were retirees or had lost a big chunk of their retirement savings.
"I bought in for the same exact reasons and was fooled as well," one investor wrote. "I lost over half of my retirement portfolio trying to average down, thinking that the published data and info was accurate and true. Seriously, could not afford to lose that money either."
Other investors were younger, some of whom were a tad more optimistic about the loss.
One sent a Robinhood screenshot of his stake being down 99.96%, almost $12,000. Another screenshot showed an investor being down more than 10 times that, at nearly $165,000 in the red.
"I'm only 27 and that money was not easy to come by," the second said. He said he was planning to hold on to his stake for now, though he realized he was "totally falling for the sunk cost fallacy."
Still another investor said he'd encouraged friends to buy Helios based on the low price.
"We all know now how that has worked out," he said, adding he was personally down $50,000 on the stock.
'I looked on E-Trade and noticed the buy ratings ...'
So why did these investors decide to put their faith in, or gamble on, Helios?
Several cited the analyst recommendations, which isn't surprising given that it was the topic my previous piece focused on.
One said she first found out about Helios through a Facebook group for investors and put $8,500 into the stock in October. After that stake lost 99% of its value, she said, she went on E-Trade again in July to decide what to do.
"I looked on E-Trade and noticed the buy ratings," she said. "I thought, foolishly, after seeing a brief 40% increase in the stock from $0.10 to $0.14, that if I invested another $8,500 at $0.11 and it doubled, I would make my money back, or be happy to make 40% back. I was 100% encouraged by the buy rating of the analysts. I invested another $8,500 specifically because of those analysts' buy recommendations I saw on E-Trade."
After the reverse split, the value of her second stake sunk as well.
"I invested about $500 based almost entirely off those analysts buy ratings and price targets," another investor said. "My shares are now worth about $0.17 total. $500 might not sound like a lot, but it's a big deal to a single income family."
Other investors mentioned believing in MoviePass' business model as a reason for their investment. One made the decision to buy recently, after getting an email from MoviePass limiting him, as a customer, to three movies a month instead of one a day. MoviePass pays full price for tickets subscribers buy, so heavy users of the service can cost the company a lot of money.
"My wife and I are MoviePass subs and have only used it a few times," another said. "We are the subs that MoviePass was hoping to make a profit on."
Not all the investors were MoviePass users, however. Some heard about it from friends or found it through online sources like StockTwits, the social-media platform for retail investors.
'It's a gamble but ...'
Though most of those who wrote to me were angry, there are still some investors who haven't given up on Helios.
"You're fighting the regime just like Trump came in to drain the swamp," a Helios investor said in a shareholder meeting in New York in July. "You're fighting the regime. And everybody jumps on board and is ready to bash you. But you're really doing a good thing for the consumer."
And even after the torrent of negative press, some still see it as a potential buying opportunity.
A prospective investor wrote to me this week saying he was considering putting money into Helios at $0.05.
"It's a gamble but at this price, I'm a small investor in the market, and could afford to lose about $500, equivalent to approximately 10,000 shares, hoping that they can dig themselves out of the hole within a year potentially making a profit," he wrote.
He finished with a question. "In your opinion, would it be worth the gamble, and what is the potential," he asked, of Helios "becoming solvent again?"
If you are an HMNY investor, or know anything about the company or MoviePass, email the author at email@example.com.
Superhero and animated movies like "Deadpool 2" and "Incredibles 2" may rule the summer box office every year, but some impressive indie movies can also manage to break through the crowd.
This year saw first-time directors deliver a chilling horror and a coming-of-age drama, as well as three crowd-and-critic pleasing documentaries, make noise.
These movies can go under the radar among the blockbusters, but 2018 has been a good year for movies at the box office, including the smaller films.
These are the seven highest-grossing indie movies this summer, according to box-office analytical service Exhibitor Relations.
Below are the seven highest-grossing indies at the US box office in summer 2018:
7. "Three Identical Strangers"
Total box-office gross: $10 million
Description: "Three strangers are reunited by astonishing coincidence after being born identical triplets, separated at birth, and adopted by three different families. Their jaw-dropping, feel-good story instantly becomes a global sensation complete with fame and celebrity, however, the fairy-tale reunion sets in motion a series of events that unearth an unimaginable secret –– a secret with radical repercussions for us all."
6. "Eighth Grade"
Total box-office gross: $10.5 million
Description: "Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school—the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year—before she begins high school."
Total box-office gross: $12 million
Description: "After his wife is killed during a brutal mugging that also leaves him paralyzed, Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, PROMETHEUS) is approached by a billionaire inventor with an experimental cure that will “upgrade” his body. The cure–an Artificial Intelligence implant called STEM–gives Grey physical abilities beyond anything experienced, and the ability to relentlessly claim vengeance against those who murdered his wife and left him for dead."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
A massive new open-world game from the folks behind "Grand Theft Auto" is on the horizon
It's named "Red Dead Redemption 2," and it's an incredible-looking prequel to 2010 blockbuster "Red Dead Redemption."
Unlike the satirical "GTA" games set in modern times, "Red Dead Redemption 2" is a gritty tale of American outlaws facing modernization at the turn of the 20th century.
Rockstar Games isn't known for pumping out games. You may recall that the latest "GTA" game came out in 2013 — that's the most recent release from Rockstar Games.
Thus, the upcoming launch of "Red Dead Redemption 2" is a Pretty Big Deal. You might even call it the most-anticipated game of 2018 — it's scheduled to launch for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on October 26.
So, what's all the fuss all about? Isn't it basically "Grand Theft Horse"? Let's dive in.
Like the "GTA" series, "Red Dead Redemption 2" is a third-person action game set in a vast, open-world environment.
In a way, "Red Dead Redemption 2" is a sequel to "GTA V" — it's the latest iteration of the same third-person action games Rockstar has been making for years.
But in reality, "Red Dead Redemption 2" is a direct prequel — narratively-speaking — to 2010's "Red Dead Redemption."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
As MoviePass tries desperately to scale back so only the "occasional moviegoer" will be attracted to the service, AMC Theatres continues to grab more willing takers for its own subscription program.
AMC, the largest movie chain in the world, announced on Thursday that its movie-ticket subscription service, AMC Stubs A-List, now has more than 260,000 members in the seven weeks since its launch. AMC said that made up 4% of the chain's US attendance.
The company also noted that A-List had been responsible for more than 1 million in attendance at its movie theaters since launch.
"While one would think that the rate of signups will inevitably have to slow down at some point, enrollments now are continuing at quite a brisk pace, getting AMC to scale much sooner than we initially anticipated," AMC Theatres president and CEO Adam Aron said in a press release. "This is very good for AMC and very good for our movie studio partners as well."
MoviePass has certainly proven that moviegoers love a subscription model. But it's hard to tell if it will be around long enough to reap the rewards.
It was revealed earlier this week in the quarterly filing of its parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, that the compay had burned more than $219 million in the first six months of the year, $150.8 million of that in the second quarter.
And in the hopes to slow down the burn, MoviePass on Thursday revealed that, for the time being, it will only offer up to six movies daily for its subscribers to go see. That's in addition to capping subscribers at three movies per month (AMC offers three per week).
The new action movie "Mile 22" marks director Peter Berg's fourth movie with actor Mark Wahlberg — and, according to critics, it's easily the duo's worst.
The two paired up on the well-reviewed true tales "Lone Survivor," "Deepwater Horizon," and "Patriots Day," each of which dramatized real-life tragedy. But as Indiewire's David Ehrlich put it in his review of "Mile 22," their latest movie is "almost bad enough to make you wish Berg hadn’t run out of terrible events that could be turned into popcorn entertainment."
The movie's official description is, "Aided by a top-secret tactical command team, [CIA operative James] Silva [Wahlberg] must retrieve and transport an asset who holds life-threatening information to Mile 22 for extraction before the enemy closes in."
But if you ask most critics, the plot is an incoherent mess that takes advantage of America's current political climate with bad results. The movie has a 24% Rotten Tomatoes critic score as of Friday morning — one of the worst-reviewed movies of the summer, and of Wahlberg and Berg's careers.
Rolling Stone's David Fear said that "Mile 22" feels like "'Info Wars: The Movie,' a motormouthed mess that finds Wahlberg indulging in endless paranoid jags in between needlessly complicated plot loop-the-loops."
The Wrap's Robert Abele said "the movie equivalent of being shouted at by your drunk ex-Army dad about how stupid and pointless your taste in popcorn fare is, and why can’t there be more bloody combat scenes with foreigners?"
Berg and Wahlberg weren't initially going to sign on to the movie. But then they got franchise hopes. Berg told Entertainment Weekly, "It kind of checked that box of not being another true story. [Wahlberg] had a slot open and there’s no one I want to work with more. I was kind of hooked on the story, which I was involved in creating."
"We both liked having this action franchise in theory ... and not having to tell a true story,” he added.
Those prospects didn't seem to benefit the movie, though. For The AV Club, A.A. Dowd wrote, "There’s also no third act to speak of, to the point where it’s unclear whether that’s purely a product of shameless franchise aspirations (an implicit “to be continued” has scarcely ever seemed so presumptuous) or some hasty editing-room reconfiguration."
The movie might have to pull in big money at the box office to offset the terrible reviews if it wants to launch a franchise, though.
Spike Lee has spent his filmmaking career delving into stories that look at the rotten side of America, and what he does in "BlacKkKlansman" is the best work he's done in years.
Looking back on the real-life story of an African-American Colorado Springs police detective Ron Stallworth, who in the 1970s infiltrated the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, Lee doesn't just recount the wild happenings of Stallworth (played in the movie by John David Washington) and the white detective who would impersonate him at Klan meetings, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver). Lee also shows the scary resemblance 1970s America has with what's going on in the country today.
Not since Lee's 1992 masterwork "Malcolm X" has the director been able to weave together such a powerful story that's as much historic as it is a reflection of ourselves. Lee has certainly done it since, with powerful works like 2000's "Bamboozled" and his "When the Levees Broke" documentary series, but not since "Malcolm X" has Lee really driven home the country's continued struggle with racism and bigotry.
John David Washington, the son of Denzel Washington (who starred in numerous Lee movies, including "Malcolm X"), plays Stallworth as a man driven to make a change in his community — which leads him to the highest ranks of the Klan. Yes, he really would have conversations with former Klan grand wizard David Duke (Topher Grace gives a great performance).
But Lee also doesn't shy from the absurdity of the situation Stallworth is in, and includes some extremely funny moments throughout.
Lee shows that sometimes to get through the pain all you can do is laugh.
Other Indie Movie Picks:
Choosing a movie to watch on Netflix over the weekend is a struggle. But it shouldn't be, so we've made it a whole lot easier.
Every week, we look through what's available on the streaming service and recommend seven movies you can watch over the weekend.
Some of our selections recently came to Netflix and some have been available for awhile — you might have just missed them because Netflix's algorithm thought you wouldn't like them.
From Netflix's new teen rom-com "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" to "Queen of the Damned" starring Aaliyah who tragically died before it was released, these are some awesome movies on Netflix you can watch this weekend.
Here are seven movies on Netflix you should check out (along with their scores from Rotten Tomatoes).
Note: Not all of these films are available in countries outside the United States. Sorry!
"To All the Boys I've Love Before" (2018) — A Netflix Original
Netflix description: When her secret love letters somehow get mailed to each of her five crushes, Lara Jean finds her quiet high school existence turned upside down.
Critic score: N/A
Audience score: N/A
"To All the Boys I've Loved Before" is an awkward, cute movie that captures what people loved about the book it's based on. It's the perfect teen rom-com for the modern age that you'll probably find yourself rewatching sooner than expected.
Netflix description: A private detective with a taste for the supernatural investigates an apparent suicide in this thriller based on the comic book "
Critic score: 46%
Audience score: 72%
"Constantine" isn't comparable to Keanu Reeves' best action movies like "The Matrix" and "John Wick" because the clunky, boring plot doesn't do much to surprise you. But it's a visually interesting (and dark) movie that isn't nearly as bad as critics said when it came out in 2005. It also stars Shia LaBeouf and Rachel Weisz.
"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" (2018) — A Netflix Original
Netflix description: A London writer bonds with the colorful residents of Guernsey as she learns about the book club they formed during the WWII German occupation.
Critic score: 80%
Audience score: 80%
Love period dramas? Love "Set It Up?" How about "Mamma Mia 2?" This Netflix original was manufactured for you. It has an epic romance, it's historic, and it stars Glen Powell and Lily James in old-timey outfits. You'll remember Powell from Netflix's modern romantic original "Set It Up," which came out in June. And you'll recognize James as the star of "Mamma Mia 2," which came to theaters in July.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider