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- 10/19/14--11:26: _'Best Of Me' Has Wo...
- 10/19/14--12:35: _Las Vegas' Planet H...
- 10/19/14--12:52: _Novelty Glasses Ent...
- 10/19/14--14:35: _Here's How 'Hanniba...
- 10/19/14--16:35: _The Most Famous Mov...
- 10/20/14--02:49: _Singer James Blunt ...
- 10/20/14--04:25: _Kate Middleton Expe...
- 10/20/14--05:55: _23 Actors Who Turne...
- 10/20/14--07:27: _Lady Gaga Reportedl...
- 10/20/14--09:29: _‘Hannibal’ Creator ...
- 10/20/14--13:59: _This Is The SUV Mat...
- 10/20/14--21:11: _Fashion Designer Os...
- 10/21/14--02:42: _Skechers Makes A Re...
- 10/21/14--06:51: _How 'Hannibal' Acto...
- 10/21/14--07:22: _Here's How Ridiculo...
- 10/21/14--08:57: _Matthew McConaughey...
- 10/21/14--10:07: _Watch A Senate Cand...
- 10/21/14--10:08: _How Marvel Prevents...
- 10/21/14--11:21: _Gene Simmons On How...
- 10/21/14--14:24: _Here's What 'Termin...
- 10/19/14--11:26: 'Best Of Me' Has Worst Opening Of Any Nicholas Sparks' Movie
- 10/19/14--16:35: The Most Famous Movie Set In Every State
- 10/20/14--04:25: Kate Middleton Expects 2nd Royal Baby Next April
- 10/20/14--05:55: 23 Actors Who Turned Down Huge Movie Roles
- 10/20/14--09:29: ‘Hannibal’ Creator Has A 6-Season Plan For Show
- 10/20/14--21:11: Fashion Designer Oscar De La Renta Dies
- 10/21/14--02:42: Skechers Makes A Really Odd Choice For Its Next Spokesmodel (SKX)
- 10/21/14--10:07: Watch A Senate Candidate's Wife Sing In A Taylor Swift Tribute Video
- 10/21/14--10:08: How Marvel Prevents Video Footage From Leaking At Comic Con
- 10/21/14--14:24: Here's What 'Terminator' Gets Wrong About AI
Nicholas Sparks' latest film adaptation "Best of Me," did not have a good weekend at the box office.
The film, starring James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan, brought in $10.2 million, marking Sparks' lowest-grossing opening weekend at theaters.
Sparks is best known for 2004 adaptation, "The Notebook," which helped propel Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling to stardom.
Previously, the best-selling author's lowest opening was one of his early adaptations, 2002's "A Walk to Remember," with Mandy Moore.
|Movie||Opening Weekend||Worldwide Gross|
|"Dear John" (2010)||$30.5 million||$115 million|
|"The Lucky One" (2012)||$22.5 million||$99.4 million|
|"Safe Haven" (2013)||$21.4 million||$97.6 million|
|"Message in a Bottle" (1999)||$16.8 million||$118.9 million|
|"The Last Song" (2010)||$16 million||$89 million|
|"The Notebook" (2004)||$13.5 million||$115.6 million|
|"Nights in Rodanthe" (2008)||$13.4 million||$84.4 million|
|"A Walk to Remember" (2002)||$12.2 million||$47.5 million|
|"The Best of Me" (2014)||$10.2 million|
Exhibitor Relations vice-president and senior analyst Jeff Bock said the success of the movie depended on "how much excitement the cast and marketing were able to generate ... and it wasn't enough," according to The Wrap.
Sparks has never had a movie adaptation released in October. His romance movies usually come out in the spring or early summer.
Three of films have been released around Valentine's Day, "Message in a Bottle," "Safe Haven," and "Dear John." Two of those made more than $100 million at the box office.
Brad Pitt's World War II film "Fury" commanded the weekend with $23.5 million. It beat out competition from "Gone Girl" which has now made $201 million worldwide. Fox's animated picture "The Book of Life" also performed well over the weekend taking in $17 million.
That December, Spears took the stage to debut her new show, titled "Britney: Piece of Me."
Spears' original 2-year contract reportedly had her earning $30 million to perform 48 shows per year. With ticket prices at $60 to over $500, the residency has been so successful that in September, Spears announced she had extended her contract for an additional two years through 2017.
While Spears' most recent album "Britney Jean" was a total flop, the singer's Las Vegas residency has been a huge win for Planet Hollywood. Citi credit analyst Jenna Giannelli explains in a new research note:
Planet Hollywood – The property is doing very well, having been revitalized by the Britney Spears show. Prior to her contract, the company had EBITDA of ~$80mm that is now run-rating near $100mm. Her contract expires at the end of 2015, and the company is already engaging new acts to keep the momentum going. Further, as capex wraps up on the Quad, it will be reallocated toward properties that need refreshes including Planet Hollywood, whose rooms and pool need upgrades.
In other words, Spears can take at least some credit for boosting Planet Hollywood's annual operating earnings by around $20 million. Note, this is the money the house keeps after paying Spears.
The resort and casino was taken over by Caesars Entertainment in 2009 after the casino defaulted on its mortgage.
As someone who has watched Spears lip-synch her way through the Vegas show, Planet Hollywood should consider itself lucky that people will still pay to see pop's one-time princess.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires a tremendous amount of confidence and determination. But it also requires moments where that passion gets dialed back for the sake of making a grounded decision.
The founders of the novelty sunglasses company Sun-Staches learned that in the most recent episode of the sixth season of ABC's "Shark Tank," right in time to make a deal with fashion mogul Daymond John.
Old friends David Levich, Eric Liberman, and Dan Gershon started Sun-Staches in 2011 as a way to expand on the idea of the classic toy disguise glasses with attached eyebrows and mustache. Sun-Staches offers products that make you look like Uncle Sam, a cowboy, a cat, or a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
When the entrepreneurs put on their glasses during the pitch, John rolls his eyes at the idea of a novelty business. But he and the other Sharks quickly perk up when the Sun-Stache founders tell them they brought in $5.7 million in sales last year. "Not so funny anymore!" investor Robert Herjavec says.
The revenue breakdown is $2.8 million from the novelty line of glasses, and the rest is from the founders' offerings of affordable generic glasses sold under H2W Inc. Still, the Sharks are impressed with the way Levich, Liberman, and Gershon have built their business with huge profit margins — the glasses range from $7.99 to $12.99 and cost only 75 cents to $1.50 to make.
But the fact that the Sun-Staches founders are seeking a $300,000 investment for a 5% equity stake is too much for the Sharks to take seriously, even though the founders say they expect to bring in $6.4 million in revenue and $750,000 in profit in 2015.
Kevin O'Leary says that instead of valuing the company at $6 million, as they have, he'd say it's worth $2.5 million. He says that number is actually generous, considering that it's five times the amount of after-tax cash flow they would be making.
The founders defend themselves by saying that they think $300,000 for 5% is a good deal, since using a Shark to acquire more licenses like Marvel and DC will make their business explode.
Investor Lori Greiner says she won't do a deal because she doesn't think she's right for the company. O'Leary follows suit because he thinks the entrepreneurs have gotten ahead of themselves.
Herjavec is a fan of the product and the founders themselves but agrees with O'Leary.
"Here's my challenge with it. You're in love with the future. I mean you have to believe in the future, but you can't love the future so much that it changes your metrics of today," Herjavec says. "I really wish there was a more reasonable value that you had on this business. It's like any great love affair. You've got to have some sense of reality to it."
Herjavec says no deal.
Investor Mark Cuban asks the founders outright how high an equity percentage they'd be willing to give for $300,000, and O'Leary chimes in: "The right answer is 20%."
O'Leary explains that if the founders went to a typical venture capital firm, they'd be looking for 15%, but there's a 5% premium for a Shark, since "Shark Tank" investors are unusually involved in developing the businesses they're invested in.
The Sun-Staches founders say they'd give 12.5%, and Cuban says he's out because he just doesn't see it.
By this point, John shows that he wants to invest, and he makes it clear to the guys that if they weren't on the show, he'd probably ask for 30% for the same offer.
"I'll save you a lot of time and money," John says, offering his extensive network of licensors and retailers.
Before John can back out, the entrepreneurs decide that maybe one day the company will be worth as much as they imagine, but it's not there yet. And John has the connections to help them achieve their vision.
"I'm gonna make you $20 million," John tells the entrepreneurs.
"I like them a lot!" he says about the founders, wearing a pair of their captain's-hat novelty sunglasses.
You can watch the full episode over at Hulu.
One of the most interesting aspects of NBC's "Hannibal" is the incredible amount of attention paid to the meals prepared by the show's titular character. We all know Dr. Hannibal Lecter is a cannibal, but the series presents his obsession in a new light by focusing on the fact that the man is a master of the culinary arts as opposed to a human-eating savage.
While the show gets gory, the scenes showcasing food are so well shot and mouthwatering that they resemble culinary masterpieces prepared on the Food Network.
"Hannibal" doesn't return to NBC until next summer, but as shooting begins this month for season 3 in Europe, Business Insider spoke with the show's food stylist, Janice Poon, to get some insight on how it's decided what food will double for specific body parts in Hannibal's unconventional, exotic cuisine.
"I can either rely on my feeble understanding of anatomy or I can ask Dr. Google what the dimensions are, what the skeletal structure is ... just the general appearance and then I think, okay, what in the grocery store looks like what I'm looking for," Poon tells us. "It doesn't always have to be meat ... sometimes an eggplant will look like what you're looking for, like a wrist or something. Then you have to know the bone structure. It's got a tibia, but I need a fibula, or maybe it's the other way around."
Poon says preparing for an episode usually involves getting a simple rundown from series showrunner Bryan Fuller and receiving input from celebrity chef José Andres.
"A lot of times, I'll get a late night email from Bryan saying 'We need a recipe for a leg, what can we do with this leg?'" Poon tells Business Insider. "I don't think this is a spoiler of any type, in an upcoming episode Hannibal will be eating somebody, and it will be a leg. They had this idea going around in the writer's room that they wanted to do a kind of a hallucinogenic evil witch thing, so they wanted to do some sort of candied meat. I don't know if they just put words in a hat and pull them out and say 'Ok, candy. Ok, meat' and then email me, but it sure seems like it."
Poon says it's not always easy to convince the showrunners that her ideas will work. She once had to send a photo to showrunner Bryan Fuller to get the go ahead.
"I remember there was some doubt as to whether this shank that I was preparing would actually look like a cow's leg, so I put a sock on it and a shoe, put it up against my leg and took a picture and emailed Bryan, and they bought it," Poon said.
Poon says it helps to have a "very, very cooperative butcher or a guy at the abattoir is key, too." She prefers shopping at ethnic markets, where she gets "different cuts that you wouldn't get at your local grocer."
Due to the volume that Poon goes through during shooting one scene, she says she tries to get something that's easily available.
"Something that I can get from a butcher where they're not going to say 'Well what are you going to use that for, that's not how you cut it!'"
Below is one of Poon's sketches from the very first episode of "Hannibal," when she was tasked with preparing a meal that featured a human lung. She added tomato toast, onions, mushrooms, and grilled baby tomatoes with herbs to balance it out.
Poon recalled that "pork organs are almost exactly the same size and shape as humans" and used this knowledge to prepare the meal. "There's a loveliness about [the lungs], but of course there's a grisliness too."
She succesfully turned this:
... into this:
By episode 2, Poon had to figure out how to turn a pork loin into a delectable dish consisting of a woman's thigh meat.
Here's Poon's sketch for episode 2, which consists of the "thigh" slices, caramel shards, a glazed apple wedge, mushrooms and gorgonzola
According to one of Poon's many blog posts, she consulted her niece, a phsyiotherapist, to get the proper dimensions of a thigh bone, which she then cross-referenced with "Dr. Google" as seen below.
On the show, Hannibal served up the finished meal to FBI special agent Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne).
Poon says they like to aim for a balance between appetizing and nauseating when creating dishes.
"I want to maintain that underlying threat, I think that's the key goal, to make it right on that knife edge of really appetizing and really scary. It's like that excitement of 'I'd love to eat it, but will it kill me?' While shooting my favorite thing to hear from the crew is 'Oh, that looks disgusting, can I try it?' That's the reaction I'm going for — something that is so alluring, just like Hannibal himself. We know he's a monster, we know that he's just the worst imaginable person, but we love him and it's inexplicable, so that's what I'm going for, too."
Everyone has that one movie that reminds them of home.
We set out to name the most famous movie in every state — a challenging and subjective endeavor. Some states were more obvious than others. While there's no place like Kansas, New York has inspired directors ranging from Martin Scorsese to Woody Allen to Rob Reiner.
To pick the most famous, we evaluated the state's prominence in the movie and leaned toward movies that were filmed in that location as well. The movie's lifetime gross, its critical acclaim, and testimonials by our geographically diverse staff also influenced our decision.
Additional reporting by Kirsten Acuna, Melissa Stanger, and Sara Bower.
ALABAMA: "Forrest Gump" (1994)
Even though "Forrest Gump" took Tom Hanks from Vietnam to the White House, home was always the fictional town of Greenbow, Alabama. Plus, Forrest was an All-American for the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Source: "Forrest Gump"/Paramount Pictures
ALASKA: "Into The Wild" (2007)
"Into The Wild" follows Chris McCandless, played by Emile Hirsch, as he heads to Alaska to find his place in the world. The journey would bring McCandless to many places, but his ultimate destination was the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Source: "Into The Wild"/Paramount Vantage
ARIZONA: "Raising Arizona" (1987)
The Coen brothers' cult classic follows H.I. McDunnough and his wife as they attempt to have a baby, either naturally or through kidnapping. The Coens made the pair all the more real by incorporating a vernacular that Joel called "a mixture of local dialect and a vocabulary we imagined from the likely reading materials of the characters."
Source: "Raising Arizona"/20th Century Fox
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
London (AFP) - British singer-songwriter James Blunt has described the song that made his name "annoying".
"You're Beautiful" was Blunt's break-out hit when it was released in 2005, topping charts from the United States to Australia.
"There was one song that was force-fed down people's throats, "You're Beautiful", and it became annoying, and then people start to associate the artist with the same word," Blunt told an interview with the latest edition of Hello! magazine, published on Monday.
The song, which sold more than three million copies, tells the story of Blunt seeing an ex-girlfriend on the subway with another man.
The musician, 40, added his music had been marketed to women, and had therefore lost out on male fans.
"The marketing also painted me out as an insanely serious person, an earnest person and, as all my friends know, I'm anything but," Blunt said.
"I have a couple of over-emotional miserable songs that I'm known for, but I think it's turned that corner now."
The album that contained the song, "Back to Bedlam", was the most-sold in the United Kingdom in the 2000s and went platinum all over the world.
Prince William and Kate Middleton's second child is due in April 2015, Kensington Palace announced on Monday morning.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced the pregnancy in September.
The Royal couple welcomed their first child, Prince George of Cambridge, in July last year.
Michael Keaton may be best known for his 1989 role as Batman, but he's revealed that he turned down another huge role as the lead in "Groundhog Day" because he simply "didn't get it."
Keaton's not alone.
Harrison Ford wasn't originally sought out to play Han Solo, nor was Scarlett Johansson the original choice for Marvel's Black Widow.
And we might have seen Brad Pitt in a very different role if it wasn't for his kids.
We rounded up 23 actors and actresses who turned down possible career-changing roles.
Michael Keaton regrets passing on the chance to star in "Groundhog Day."
Role was played by: Bill Murray
Michael Keaton told Entertainment Weekly he turned down the lead in 1993's "Groundhog Day" because he simply "didn't get it."
"This guy sounds like the kind of wry, sardonic, glib young man I've played — and it ended up being so great," Keaton tells EW. "But you can't do it better than Bill Murray did it."
Bill Murray declined to play the lead in "Forrest Gump."
Role was played by: Tom Hanks
Murray told Howard Stern on his SiriusXM program the part didn’t interest him.
“I did have ‘Forrest Gump’ conversations,” Murray said. “I think I had the original book and all that sort of stuff.”
Murray says he never saw the script for the film. When Stern asked Murray if he regretted passing on the film, he said he never saw it.
Matt Damon turned down the role of Harvey Dent in "The Dark Knight."
Role was played by: Aaron Eckhart
Damon told MTV he had to turn down the iconic role of Harvey "Two-Face" Dent because of filming conflicts.
I couldn't [appear in The Dark Knight]. It was a scheduling thing. But I never spoke to Chris Nolan.
He had no qualms regarding Nolan's final choice for the villain.
Look, Aaron is a great actor, so the movie didn't suffer for it. Every once in a while you get [an acting opportunity] and you can't do it.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Lady Gaga has reportedly dropped $23 million on a Malibu, California, mansion with a Batcave (yep, you read that right), according to Curbed.
The Batcave, which is accessible by a secret door, contains a wine cellar, home theater, and bowling alley.
The home was sold by Dan Romanelli, the founder of the consumer-products division at Warner Bros., who listed it for $24.95 million in May 2014.
Romanelli built the superhero-inspired home in 2006. "Batman was something that really helped build my division," Romanelli, who worked on toys linked to the series, told The Wall Street Journal when the home went on sale.
The nearly 10,270-square-foot mansion also has five bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, an elevator, gym, and pool.
Here's what you see when you drive up to Lady Gaga's new digs.
If you head around back, the view gets even more impressive.
Let's jump right to the underground "Batcave." It contains arcade games and a collection of vintage toys.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
NBC's cult hit show "Hannibal" was recently renewed for a third season after being on the chopping block.
During a panel for the show Saturday evening at the Paley Center in New York City, which included cast members Caroline Dhavernas, Laurence Fishburne, Mads Mikkelsen, and Hugh Dancy, showrunner Bryan Fuller was asked about his longterm plan for the series and how malleable that plan is.
Previously, Fuller revealed a 7-season plan for the series about cannibal Doctor Hannibal Lecter; however, he told a packed audience that is getting shorter.
He currently has a six-season plan for the thriller.
We deviated a little bit from the plan for the third season because originally it was going to be the season where Hannibal was abroad and then as we sort of started breaking that story out we realized, 'Okay, in order to make that last an entire season, we're going to have to tread water for a couple of episodes.' If we have 13 episodes, we have no business treading water. So, I thought, let's wrap 'Red Dragon' into the third season and then actually do a Red Dragon miniseries. So, that changed a little bit so that 7-episode plan ... or 7-series plan became a 6-series plan because those seasons kind of collapsed into each other in a way that they actually fuel their own stories and it felt organic. That was one of the places where I was like, let's change the plan.
Earlier in the evening, Fuller spoke about the direction of season 3, which will air on NBC next year.
"What's interesting about the third season is that every episode is kind of a little movie so it's almost like the first episode is a pilot for a show that's just about Bedelia [Du Maurier] and Hannibal's relationship," said Fuller."
The showrunner also revealed a few new characters who will be joining season 3 including Molly, who eventually becomes Will Graham's wife, and an adaptation of Lady Murasaki who will be played by actress Tao Okamoto.
"Tao Okamoto, who is an amazing actress, you may know her from 'The Wolverine,' she's a young woman and we were very excited when she was interested in the role," said Fuller. "Lady Murasaki is an older woman so we shifted the character. It's the same story but the character is Chio which is also from the literature who was Lady Murasaki's attendant. So, we are expanding that character and her history with Hannibal."
The biggest character fans want to see is an adaptation of Clarice Starling from "Silence of the Lambs." The character was played by Jodie Foster in Oscar-winning 1991 film adaptation and Julianne Moore in a 2001 sequel. However, the show has to get the rights for the character from MGM, something that has proven difficult so far.
Fuller told audiences he remains hopeful.
"We're going to try. Every season we ask them," said Fuller. "The first season and the second season they were like ... 'It was No' ... an annoyed 'No.' And then the third season they were like, well not this year, but ask again next year."
Producer Martha DeLaurentis has previously said at San Diego Comic-Con if the series can't get the rights, then they'll do their "own mash-up" workaround.
Laurence Fishburne added, 'They like the show and they see that the show has given life to the material again."
"Hannibal" returns to NBC next year. No official return date has been announced.
Ford probably didn't know what was in store for its struggling Lincoln brand when it hired Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey to appear in a series of ads. The carmaker did know it had to fix Lincoln, which was slipping into irrelevance. And it knew that McConaughey had a link to the cars, through his role in 2011's "Lincoln Lawyer."
So maybe Ford took some chances, creating spots in which McConaughey just kind of meanderingly freestyles his way through various quasi-philosophical musings about Lincoln and the meaning of life (it's all been compared to his "True Detective" character). The ads debuted a month ago and their generally trippy, stream-of-consciousness approach swiftly inspired parodies. Conan O'Brien did one:
Elle DeGeneres also did one, in which she suggested that McConaughey might have been assisted in his deep thoughts by an increasingly popular type of folk medicine:
Ford has to be sort of happy about all this, given that it's committing billions to reviving Lincoln, after seriously flirting with killing the brand a few years back. And it isn't completely in the difficult position of having to use an out-there media strategy to make up for a lack of decent vehicles to sell. I personally rather liked the last Lincoln I sampled.
The Lincoln MKC that McConaughey is driving around Texas in the ads is a new vehicle for the carmaker. It's a relatively compact luxury SUV, intended in theory to compete against similar rides from BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Acura, Infiniti, and Audi — but in truth, its actual competition is more like General Motor's Buick and Chrysler's Jeep.
That said, it's a very nice package, built on the same platform as the Ford Escape, which is one of the most comfortable, best-riding small SUVs around — more of a shrunken full-size SUV than a compact SUV trying to punch above its weight. The 4-cylinder engine is turbocharged, so it's peppy, but still fuel-efficient.
You can't really say that all the laffs that comics have extracted from McConaughey's ads have brought on an identity crisis for Lincoln — "What kind of luxury carbuyer wants to get into conversations with a bull?" one might ask — because Lincoln didn't have that much of a contemporary identity before McConaughey came along. It had a legacy identity, as a luxury car that was popular during the Kennedy Administration.
If the carmaker sticks with this creative approach, the temptation will be to send McConaughey tripping off into ever-more esoteric zones of monologue both dazing and confusing for viewers.
He's slated to leave the Solar System next month, so who knows?
Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta has died at aged 82.
De la Renta died at his home on in Connecticut on Monday after battling cancer.
"While our hearts are broken by the idea of life without Oscar, he is still very much us. Oscar's hard work, his intelligence and his love of life are at the heart of our company," a statement said.
"All that we have done, and all that we will do, is informed by his values and his spirit. Through Oscar's example we know the way forward. We will make Oscar very proud of us by continuing in an even stronger way the work that Oscar loved so much."
The designer, born in the Dominican Republic, defined American style in the '60s and '70s. The New York Times writes: "Determined to stay relevant, Mr. de la Renta achieved fame in two distinct realms: as a couturier to socialites — the so-called ladies-who-lunch, his bread and butter — and as a red-carpet king. He also dressed four American first ladies, but it was Hollywood glitz, rather than nice uptown clothes, that defined him for a new age and a new customer. Just as astutely he embraced social media."
He dressed first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, and Hillary Clinton as well as a long list of Hollywood royalty including Amy Adams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Penelope Cruz, and Sandra Bullock.
De la Renta is survived by his wife Annette, his son, three sisters, as well as three stepchildren and nine step-grandchildren.
Skechers has a long history of signing up famous sports stars to become its brand ambassadors — retired 49ers and Chiefs star Joe Montana, NBA’s Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath to name a few recent examples. But the shoe brand has gone slightly left-field for the choice of its latest spokesman: Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.
Ringo, 74, is set to feature in a huge global marketing campaign for Skechers’ “Relaxed Fit” footwear range. Ads will appear across TV, print, outdoor, online and point of sale from Spring 2015 through June 2016.
In a press release, Skechers explains why is the perfect brand ambassador: His half century in the music industry; the release of a children’s book (Octopus’s Garden) earlier this year; and his philanthropy and involvement with the #peacerocks campaign through the David Lynch Foundation.
"Renowned for wearing comfy sneakers” is not listed, but Skechers president Michael Greenberg says Ringo is a perfect fit as the brand looks to move from just associating itself with the sports world to tying in with the music world in its upcoming campaign.
He adds: “Ringo possesses the charm, cool, charisma and instant global recognition that will elevate awareness for our popular Relaxed Fit footwear collection.”
What the release doesn't explain, however, is why Skechers should have an association with music. It's been more than a decade since its famous campaigns with Britney Spears — a tie-up the company said lost it tens of millions of dollars because the pop star allegedly violated her contract. Both sides filed lawsuits against each other over the deal, which were eventually both settled (terms of which were not disclosed) in 2003.
Whatever the reason, the company will be hoping the change of marketing direction from sports to music will continue the its recent upward momentum financially. In the most recent quarter to June 30, Skechers USA Inc. reported a record 37% increase year on year in net sales to $587.1 million and a slight lift in gross profit to 45.9% of net sales, up from 45.5% in the second quarter of last year.
One of the best things about NBC's "Hannibal" is Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen as the show's titular character. His portrayal of the infamous Dr. Lecter is unique in that his cannibalistic obsession manifests itself in such a way that his character comes off as a master chef, not some human-craving barbarian.
Prior to shooting for season 3, Business Insider spoke with the show's food stylist, Janice Poon, to find out just how hands-on the actor truly is on set. Poon tells us Mikkelsen does all his own food stunts.
"That was really him chopping ingredients," Poon tells Business Insider. "He [Mikkelsen] came up to my studio for some culinary training because he is a master of all things, he can do everything better than anybody. He's a quick study; he's just very dexterous and aware of physicality and using different instruments."
Poon says there was one moment on set when Hannibal was tasked with pulling off an impressive food trick akin to something you'd see at a Benihana restaurant.
"There's this Benihana egg trick that the writers tried to put it in once before and we got around it because it could be a mess. The idea is you throw an egg up in the air, you put your spatula out and it breaks on the spatula and you twist the spatula just slightly and the egg falls down on the griddle. They do this at Benihana, you know the Japanese chefs with their little tricks, and I've seen them screw it up. They have a whole big grill to hit, and here we just had this little pan for Mads to hit. The first time we thought 'we're not cleaning this up,' because every take, if you break an egg, we have to clear the set, clean it up, etc. The set-dresser comes in just cursing the props person for ever allowing this stupid stunt, and we clean up and go again ... so we decide we're not going to have that, we'll just have peeled potatoes.
Poon says, despite the difficulty, the writers were intent on making the scene happen.
"They put it in again six episodes later. That script came through at about 6 o'clock at night and was to be shot in the morning. So, the prop master says to me 'Do you think you can do it?" and I said I can do it one time out of three ... I've seen a Benihana chef screw this up. We're all tired, and I don't want to imagine broken eggs all over the set."
"So I called my Japanese food guy and asked for a Benihana chef to bring in for a potential hand double. The next morning, there were two Japanese guys, me, six dozen eggs, and Mads wanders on to the set and asks 'Ok, What are we doing?' ... I tell him we're doing the Benihana egg trick today, but don't worry because we have these chefs from the Sushi shop, and we're gonna handle it. So Mads asks what he has to do, and I tell him - you throw the egg up in the air, you stick the spatula out, it breaks slightly, you twist your wrist, then the egg falls down into the pan. He says, OK, let me try it....he goes on set, and he actually did it. I accused him of practicing, but that's when he told me he used to be a juggler."
Poon says she and the crew were stunned to learn how effortless the move was for Mikkelsen.
"I can't believe I worried so much thinking about how we could make it work," says Poon. "He never tried it again until they shot it, and boom he did it, and we all were slack-jawed and happy to move on to the next thing."
Michael Keaton and Edward Norton's new film "Birdman" came out swinging at the box office this weekend.
Released in only four theaters both in Los Angeles and in New York, the Fox Searchlight movie made more than $424,000 at the box office.
The film, about a washed-up actor Riggan Thomson (Keaton) gearing up for a Broadway debut, underwent a rigorous schedule.
Shot in just 30 days in the spring of 2013 at the St. James Theatre in New York City's theater district, director Alejandro González Iñárritu insisted the film be made to appear as one continuous shot.
The camera work comes from Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki who worked on “Gravity.” Try to spot a cut in the film and you'll maybe notice one. The film plays straight through pretty seamlessly.
During a panel for the movie recently at New York Comic Con, host Chris Hardwick described what it's like watching the film:
"There are these really long scenes where the camera will follow one character into a room and then something sort of weird and special effect-y happens and then someone else will come in and it will follow that character out. Meanwhile, there's stuff going on along the way to the next destination to a whole other area of the building and then there's something else completely in progress that is being orchestrated at the same time."
In order to achieve the look, the cast underwent shots that took anywhere from seven to 10 minutes to film, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Keaton described the difficulty of prepping for the film to the magazine for its Oct. 17 issue.
"Everybody showed up every morning frightened," Keaton told EW. "The crew too. I think we were all thinking, I don't want to be the guy who lets everybody down."
To give you an idea of how stressful it could be on set, the cast, crew, and camera team had to be readily in sync.
Here's how EW describes what one mistake would cost them on set.
"Anything—a misremembered line, an extra step taken, a camera operator stumbling on a stair or veering off course or out of focus—could blow a take, rendering the first several minutes unusable even if they had been perfect."
"You had to be word-perfect, you had to be off script, and you literally had to count your paces down to the number of steps you needed to take before turning a corner," Keaton told EW.
"Everyone would apologize perfunctorily if they messed up ... mostly because we were aware of how hard it was on the camera operators," Keaton added. "And the camera operators didn't want to screw up because of us."
Norton didn't want to speak much about the making of the film at NYCC, wanting the film to instead speak for itself.
"I'm sure film schools will be deconstructing how a lot of it was done for a long time to come because it is really remarkable," said Norton. "I think suffice to say it was a level of planning you rarely see on a film. I thought it was wonderful because you rarely get that kind of rehearsal period on a film and you rarely get to work that intimately with the entire camera crew. It was all great. It has its challenges but it's a lot more fun actually than on a day-t0-day basis."
"It's amazing what he [Lubezki] pulled off as a cinematographer in this film," Norton added. "I think it's every bit as amazing as what he did in 'Gravity,' and yet in a totally different type of story and context."
Watch a preview for "Birdman" below:
SEE ALSO: "Birdman" is the best movie of the year
If you watched HBO's "True Detective," two things probably hold true.
You were going crazy trying to figure out who the "spaghetti monster" killer was, and, as with Woody Harrelson's character, you were probably left scratching your head trying to comprehend what Matthew McConaughey's character Rust Cohle was talking about half the time.
Cohle would often go on and on about dense philosophies and theories about life and the world as we know it.
For small talk with his partner Marty Hart (Harrelson) he says, "I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution."
One of Cohle's most popular quotes online comes from season 1, episode 5, when he reveals the "secret fate of all life."
In eternity, where there is no time nothing can grow nothing can become nothing changes. So death created time to grow the things that it would kill. And you are reborn but into the same life that you've always been born into. How many times have we had this conversation detectives? Well, who knows? You can't remember your lives. You can't change your lives, and that is the terrible and secret fate of all life. You’re trapped by that nightmare you keep waking up into.
In a new interview with GQ, McConaughey says he understood every word, theory, and rant Cohle uttered.
"I spent many, many, many, many, many, many hours, if not days, writing to Nic Pizzolatto and asking, 'What are you saying here? What does this mean? Why is he saying it now?'" McConaughey said. "And then I was able to take it and make it my own."
The Emmy-nominated actor won't be back for "True Detective" season 2, but he says many people have tried to get him to return to another cop role.
"I've seen a lot of detective scripts since then, but none of them could wear the jockstrap of Rusty Cohle," McConaughey said.
You can read the full GQ article here.
Kansas businessman Greg Orman has had his wife, Sybil, by his side throughout his campaign in what has become one of the most crucial and closely watched Senate races in the country.
Sybil, who is currently getting a PHD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Kansas, is apparently no stranger to the spotlight. Before marrying Orman last year, Sybil, who was a schoolteacher, apparently was a budding online video star. Her relatively small body of work includes high-concept art videos and a Taylor Swift cover.
Sybil apparently participated in a 2008 contest in which she filmed an online promotional campaign for Sunsilk hair products. Sadly, that video has since been removed from YouTube.
She also worked on two videos with a man named Carlos P. Beltran.
One of the clips Sybil made with Beltran features her on a bed singing Taylor Swift's "Our Song." Another is a "poetic video" called DREAMSCAPE that shows a woman taking a walk while being pursued by an ominous figure and an intense techno soundtrack. According to the credits, Sybil didn't appear in DREAMSCAPE, but she helped come up with the "concept" for the video.
Orman is running as an independent, and polls show him in an extremely close race with incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas). His campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider about Sybil's videos.
Watch Sybil's Taylor Swift cover below.
Marvel doesn't mess around when showing off exclusive footage at New York Comic Con.
The studio took extra precautions to make sure footage debuted for its upcoming "Daredevil" series on Netflix at New York Comic Con didn't make it online.
Before the panel began, fans were warned to put away all electronics. If any phones were out and appeared to be recording, devices would be taken and attendees would be escorted out of the theater.
Simple enough. That's typical protocol for movie screenings.
Marvel went one step further.
The studio brought a team dressed in suits who Marvel TV president Jeph Loeb playfully referred to as a few of their "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," a reference to ABC's Marvel series.
Marvel's "agents" were stationed both on the floor and in the balcony areas of the Main Stage room of Javits' Convention Center with night vision goggles to make sure no one was capturing footage during the panel.
Here are a few we saw on the balcony as we looked around.
Loeb reminded fans of the rules to follow before the event began.
It would not be a Marvel security measure without me talking a little bit about that. What you guys are going to see today on this panel and maybe some other surprises ... belongs in this room. It is a gift from us to the folks at New York Comic Con and for all of you as fans. What this means, if you look around, you will see gentlemen that are standing, and I'm not making this up, they're wearing ties and they look S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents and they actually are S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents.
Believe it or not, what they have with them is night-vision goggles. I am not making that up either. They do not have radar sense, but they can tell whether or not you are recording the clips that are going on up here. So if you have a recording device: a telephone, anything that is doing something other than your eyeballs, put it away. And the reason I'm saying that is, they're gonna find you and they're gonna take it away and then you're going to be asked to leave, and I don't want that to happen. It's our party folks. So let's enjoy the party and have a great time.
Any time one of several "Daredevil" clips were shown, the suits yelled out "all cell phones away, all cell phones away" repeatedly.
Earlier this year at San Diego Comic Con, Disney and Marvel were able to keep video footage from its "Avengers" sequel from being widely spread online. The studios showed off the first trailer for the film along with other video clips.
It was a bit of a surprise. When Warner Bros. debuted the first teaser trailer from its upcoming "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" film at SDCC, recordings quickly made their way to YouTube and continued circulating for more than 24 hours before the studio was able to pull the leaked footage.
Marvel has a system.
It's highly unlikely you'll see any leaked footage from the studio's "Daredevil" panel at New York Comic Con or its secret "Avengers" and "Ant-Man" teaser screenings.
KISS bassist Gene Simmons and frontman Paul Stanley have worked together for 40 years, developing a hard rock empire that Simmons thinks is worth somewhere between $1 billion to $5 billion.
In Simmons' new book on his business approach, "ME, Inc.," he says that Stanley is "the brother I never had," and uses him as the model for an ideal business partner.
Like real brothers, the two have had plenty of disagreements and arguments, but they've remained the band's only two original members because they share the same vision and what Simmons tells Business Insider is a "blue collar work ethic."
"Don't sweat the small stuff. Just find a partner who brings something to the table and an expertise that you don't have," Simmons says.
He tells us that problems between cofounders inevitably arise, but they can only be overcome if there are shared values.
Simmons and Stanley met in New York City in 1970 when Simmons' band Wicked Lester recruited Stanley as a rhythm guitarist. The two decided that the band lacked focus but that the two of them were on the same page. They brought on Ace Frehley as lead guitarist and Peter Criss as drummer and reinvented themselves as KISS by the end of '72.
As the band exploded in popularity over the next decade, Simmons and Stanley took the lead in approving contractual decisions and songwriting responsibilities.
The differences in effort and personalities between the two halves became too much for the ambitious Simmons and Stanley to deal with, especially when substance abuse became an issue. Criss was kicked out in 1980 and Frehley booted in '82.
"Life is a football game. You don't want to pass the ball to somebody who's going to fall on their face because they're drunk or high or don't want to work that day because guess what, then the whole team loses," Simmons tells us.
Because Simmons and Stanley have worked together for so long, they certainly have butted heads, but they both believe that business partners need to be honest with each other, even when it's not pretty.
In his recent autobiography, "Face the Music: A Life Exposed," Stanley says he thinks that Simmons' ego has gotten in the way of their work at times, and that it's a huge overstatement to consider Simmons the sole brains behind KISS.
Simmons admits that he tends to be arrogant, but it's only because he's completely sure of himself.
It's telling that the two are comfortable both criticizing and praising each other.
In his book "Zero to One," billionaire investor and entrepreneur Peter Thiel likens founding a company with a business partner to getting married. It's important for cofounders to have complementary skill sets, he explains, but they need to share a vision and actually like each other so that they can overcome problems that arise.
The two have certainly complemented each other in their development of KISS. Simmons had a drive to take every business opportunity that came his way, while Stanley took the lead on writing songs that topped the charts.
In addition to their own businesses, Simmons, now 65, and Stanley, 62, still play with KISS, alongside band members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.
"And with Paul, as the brother I never had, there is nothing we can't do. It's almost 2015! Watch us burn rubber," Simmons writes.
In a lot of science fiction, artificial intelligence systems become truly intelligent — as well as extremely dangerous — once they achieve self-awareness.
Take the "Terminator" series. Before becoming self-aware, Skynet is a powerful tool for the US military to coordinate the national defense; after becoming self-aware, Skynet decides, for some reason, to coordinate the destruction of the human species instead.
But how important is self-awareness, really, in creating an artificial mind on par with ours? According to quantum computing pioneer and Oxford physicist David Deutsch, not very.
In an excellent article in Aeon, Deutsch explores why artificial general intelligence (AGI) must be possible, but hasn't yet been achieved. He calls it AGI to emphasize that he's talking about a mind like ours, that can think and feel and reason about anything, as opposed to a complex computer program that's very good at one or a few human-like tasks.
Simply put, his argument explaining why AGI is possible is this: Since our brains are made of matter, it must be possible, in principle at least, to recreate the functionality of our brains using another type of matter. (Deutsch provided a rigorous proof for this idea, known as "the universality of computation" in the 1980s.)
As for Skynet, Deutsch writes:
Remember the significance attributed to Skynet’s becoming ‘self-aware’? That’s just another philosophical misconception, sufficient in itself to block any viable approach to AGI. The fact is that present-day software developers could straightforwardly program a computer to have ‘self-awareness’ in the behavioural sense — for example, to pass the ‘mirror test’ of being able to use a mirror to infer facts about itself — if they wanted to. As far as I am aware, no one has done so, presumably because it is a fairly useless ability as well as a trivial one.
In other words, the issue is not self-awareness — it's awareness, period. We could make a machine to be "self-aware" in a technical sense, and it wouldn't possess any more human-level intelligence than a computer that's programmed to play the piano. Viewed this way, self-awareness is just another narrow, arbitrary skill — not the Holy Grail it's made out to be in a lot of science fiction.
As Deutsch puts it:
AGIs will indeed be capable of self-awareness — but that is because they will be General: they will be capable of awareness of every kind of deep and subtle thing, including their own selves.
So why does this matter? Isn't this just another harmless sci-fi trope? Not exactly.
If we really want to create artificial intelligence, we have to understand what it is we're trying to create. Deutsch persuasively argues that, as long as we're focused on self-awareness, we won't focus on understanding how our brains actually work.
What matters, Deutsch argues, is "the ability to create new explanations," to generate theories about the world and all its particulars. In contrast with this, the idea that self-awareness — let alone real intelligence — will spontaneously emerge from a complex computer network is not just science fiction. It's pure fantasy.