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    eSports Advertising and Sponsorships

    This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

    What is eSports? History & Rise of Video Game Tournaments

    Years ago, eSports was a community of video gamers who would gather at conventions to play Counter Strike, Call of Duty, or League of Legends.

    These multiplayer video game competitions would determine League of Legends champions, the greatest shooters in Call of Duty, the cream of the crop of Street Fighter players, the elite Dota 2 competitors, and more.

    But today, as the history of eSports continue to unfold, media giants such as ESPN and Turner are broadcasting eSports tournaments and competitions. And in 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch, the live streaming video platform that has been and continues to be the leader in online gaming broadcasts. And YouTube also wanted to jump on the live streaming gaming community with the creation of YouTube Gaming.

    eSports Market Growth Booming

    To put in perspective how big eSports is becoming, a Google search for "lol" does not produce "laughing out loud" as the top result. Instead, it points to League of Legends, one of the most popular competitive games in existence. The game has spawned a worldwide community called the League of Legends Championship Series, more commonly known as LCS or LOL eSports.

    What started as friends gathering in each other's homes to host LAN parties and play into the night has become an official network of pro gaming tournaments and leagues with legitimate teams, some of which are even sponsored and have international reach. Organizations such as Denial, AHQ, and MLG have multiple eSports leagues.

    And to really understand the scope of all this, consider that the prize pool for the latest Dota 2 tournament was more than $20 million.

    Websites even exist for eSports live scores to let people track the competitions in real time if they are unable to watch. There are even fantasy eSports leagues similar to fantasy football, along with the large and growing scene of eSports betting and gambling.

    So it's understandable why traditional media companies would want to capitalize on this growing trend just before it floods into the mainstream. Approximately 300 million people worldwide tune in to eSports today, and that number is growing rapidly. By 2020, that number will be closer to 500 million.

    eSports Industry Analysis - The Future of the Competitive Gaming Market

    Financial institutions are starting to take notice. Goldman Sachs valued eSports at $500 million in 2016 and expects the market will grow at 22% annually compounded over the next three years into a more than $1 billion opportunity.

    And industry statistics are already backing this valuation and demonstrating the potential for massive earnings. To illustrate the market value, market growth, and potential earnings for eSports, consider Swedish media company Modern Times Group's $87 million acquisition of Turtle Entertainment, the holding company for ESL. YouTube has made its biggest eSports investment to date by signing a multiyear broadcasting deal with Faceit to stream the latter's Esports Championship Series. And the NBA will launch its own eSports league in 2018.

    Of course, as with any growing phenomenon, the question becomes: How do advertisers capitalize? This is especially tricky for eSports because of its audience demographics, which is young, passionate, male-dominated, and digital-first. They live online and on social media, are avid ad-blockers, and don't watch traditional TV or respond to conventional advertising.

    So what will the future of eSports look like? How high can it climb? Could it reach the mainstream popularity of baseball or football? How will advertisers be able to reach an audience that does its best to shield itself from advertising?

    Robert Elder, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled an unparalleled report on the eSports ecosystem that dissects the growing market for competitive gaming. This comprehensive, industry-defining report contains more than 30 charts and figures that forecast audience growth, average revenue per user, and revenue growth.

    Companies and organizations mentioned in the report include: NFL, NBA, English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, NHL, Paris Saint-Germain, Ligue 1, Ligue de Football, Twitch, Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, Electronic Arts, EA Sports, Valve, Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, ESL, Turtle Entertainment, Dreamhack, Modern Times Group, Turner Broadcasting, TBS Network, Vivendi, Canal Plus, Dailymotion, Disney, BAMTech, Intel, Coca Cola, Red Bull, HTC, Mikonet

    Here are some eSports industry facts and statistics from the report:

    • eSports is a still nascent industry filled with commercial opportunity.
    • There are a variety of revenue streams that companies can tap into.
    • The market is presently undervalued and has significant room to grow.
    • The dynamism of this market distinguishes it from traditional sports.
    • The audience is high-value and global, and its numbers are rising.
    • Brands can prosper in eSports by following the appropriate game plan.
    • Game publishers approach their Esport ecosystems in different ways.  
    • Successful esport games are comprised of the same basic ingredients.
    • Digital streaming platforms are spearheading the popularity of eSports.
    • Legacy media are investing into eSports, and seeing encouraging results.
    • Traditional sports franchises have a clear opportunity to seize in eSports.
    • Virtual and augmented reality firms also stand to benefit from eSports.  

    In full, the report illuminates the business of eSports from four angles:

    • The gaming nucleus of eSports, including an overview of popular esport genres and games; the influence of game publishers, and the spectrum of strategies they adopt toward their respective esport scenes; the role of eSports event producers and the tournaments they operate.
    • The eSports audience profile, its size, global reach, and demographic, psychographic, and behavioral attributes; the underlying factors driving its growth; why they are an attractive target for brands and broadcasters; and the significant audience and commercial crossover with traditional sports.
    • eSports media broadcasters, including digital avant-garde like Twitch and YouTube, newer digital entrants like Facebook and traditional media outlets like Turner’s TBS Network, ESPN, and Canal Plus; their strategies and successes in this space; and the virtual reality opportunity.
    • eSports market economics, with a market sizing, growth forecasts, and regional analyses; an evaluation of the eSports spectacle and its revenue generators, some of which are idiosyncratic to this industry; strategic planning for brand marketers, with case studies; and an exploration of the infinite dynamism and immense potential of the eSports economy.

    Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

    1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
    2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

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    i tonya 10  Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan), Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) and Diane Rawlinson (Julianne Nicholson) in I, TONYA, courtesy of NEON

    • Screenwriter Steven Rogers was known in Hollywood as the go-to scribe for romantic movies, both comedies and dramas.
    • He decided to reinvent himself by writing a screenplay on the life of infamous figure skater Tonya Harding.
    • Rogers spent a year tracking down Harding and her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly before writing the script.

    The life of a screenwriter in Hollywood is a thankless job. It’s days filled with coming up with stories that will satisfy the tastes of a mass audience, which eventually get poked and prodded by everyone from executives to directors to stars. When a movie you wrote finally shows up on the big screen, it looks nothing like what was originally written — if it makes it on screen at all.

    Steven Rogers has spent decades working as a scribe in the studio system, and though his name is on recognizable titles like “Hope Floats,” “Stepmom,” and “Kate & Leopold,” he’s also got the scars of a career Hollywood screenwriter.

    “Starting out I didn’t know anything,” Rogers told Business Insider recently while sitting in a hotel room at the Crosby Hotel in Lower Manhattan. “I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know how to protect myself.”

    Rogers was in his twenties when his first-ever screenplay was made, “Hope Floats,” the 1998 romance movie starring Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr. that has since become a staple on cable TV. That same year his second script hit theaters, “Stepmom,” a tearjerker starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon that also became a classic on paid cable.

    Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya HardingRogers didn’t know it yet, but he was instantly pigeon-holed as the “romance” guy in Hollywood. If a romantic drama or comedy needed to be written, Rogers was the guy. It led to years of his phone ringing off the hook matched by years of barely getting a call back from his agent. As Rogers put it: “I’ve been flavor of the month and I’ve been told I’m cold and they can’t do anything with me.”

    When Rogers hit a cold spell he would just block everything out and come up with a new script. But after the horrific reviews for the 2015 holiday comedy he penned, “Love the Coopers,” he knew he couldn’t go on much longer working like this.

    “I had to reinvent myself,” he said. “Even if I had wanted to go back to the studio system, the rom-coms and romantic dramas, they were rapidly not making those anymore. I had to go in a different direction.”

    It was around this time when Rogers realized how he could start over after watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, “The Price of Gold.” Sitting with his niece, they were glued to the screen watching the story of one of sport’s most infamous people, Tonya Harding. A brilliant figure skater with Olympic hopes, in 1994 she became one of the most known names and faces on the planet when her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, organized (with his dimwitted friends) an attack on Harding’s fellow US figure skater, Nancy Kerrigan. Footage of Kerrigan screaming “Why, why, why?” as she clutched her leg was the main story on the 24-hour news channels and evening news for weeks. And Harding became the target of every news outlet trying to figure out if she was involved in the attack.

    “The perception of truth, memory, family, media, and class, I thought that all would be interesting to write about,” Rogers said looking back on watching “Price of Gold.”

    Rogers looked up Tonya Harding’s website and called the contact number on it. The phone number went to the front desk of a Motel 6. Rogers was hooked.

    Finding Tonya

    Rogers broke every screenwriting rule he knew to write “I, Tonya” (opening in theaters on Friday). The movie looks at the life of Harding (played by Margot Robbie) from the perspectives of the disgraced figure skater, ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan), and Harding’s mother (among others). It’s hilarious and horrific at the same time. Rogers weaves a tale of Harding’s rise in figure skating, her abusive upbringing by her mother (Alison Janney), and her abusive relationship and eventual marriage to Gillooly. (Gillooly claims most of the physical assaults Harding says happened didn’t.)

    And that’s the core of Rogers’ story (brought to life by director Craig Gillespie). He lets all his characters have the floor to set the record straight. It’s up to the audience to decide if any of it is true.

    The movie also delves deep into the Kerrigan attack and aftermath. Again, it’s up to you to believe who is telling the truth.

    Tonya Harding Jeff Gillooly AP

    The reason why Rogers’ script is such a knockout is because of the work he put in before typing a single word — all done on spec. After realizing Harding was not at the Motel 6, Rogers continued to try and track her down. His search led him to Texas where he thought he had found Harding’s manager. It turned out the person wasn’t, but she was a friend of Harding’s and because the woman was familiar with Rogers’ writing credits she connected him with Harding.

    After a few months of searching, Rogers was finally face-to-face with Harding. The two hit it off and agreed to have Rogers sit with her over two days and interview her about her life. But first Rogers had to get her life rights. It took some time, mostly because Rogers said Harding didn’t want to pay for a lawyer so she got her ex-manager to do the negotiation pro bono.

    Rogers said Harding was open to talk about everything. “She did say to me at one point, ‘Now, do I have any say in this?’” Rogers said. “And I said, ‘No, I’m going to tell everybody’s point of view.’ She was okay with that.”

    With the Harding interviews done he went out to find Jeff Gillooly.

    After getting out of prison in 1995 on a racketeering charge for masterminding the Kerrigan attack, Gillooly tried to move on with this life. He shaved his trademark mustache and changed his last name to Stone. But it wasn’t a total disappearing act because he moved back to his hometown. So Rogers found Gillooly/Stone easier than Harding.

    To Rogers' amazement, he agreed to meet with him.

    “I think it was because his wife liked the movies I wrote, that was my in,” Rogers said.

    Rogers was even more amazed that Stone said he didn’t want any money for the interview. The two sat down for one day and talked about Harding.

    “He didn’t want to profit on it,” Rogers said. “That’s not how he was portrayed in the media. I genuinely liked him.”

    Writing a screenplay that Hollywood studios would never make

    Rogers was convinced the best way to write the screenplay was to tell it from the point of view of both Harding and Gillooly. (He couldn’t find Harding’s mother so Rogers created the character through research and Harding’s recollections. Shawn Eckardt, Harding’s bodyguard who was also involved in the attack on Kerrigan, died in 2007). He wanted to go beyond how the media had portrayed them but also not tell the story as a standard biopic. For a writer who only knew how to write for Hollywood, it was thrilling. He had characters talk to the screen in mid performance. There’s even one point when Harding’s mother criticizes the filmmakers for keeping her out of the story for a long stretch of time.

    “All the characters were very rebellious in their own way, but also very wrong headed, and I wanted the screenplay to mirror that,” Rogers said.

    I Tonya 3  LaVona Golden (Allison Janney) and her pet bird in I, TONYA, courtesy of NEONThat included bringing out the domestic abuse that Harding alleges her mother and Gillooly inflicted on her. “Life's not one thing, why can't you be funny and tragic?” Rogers said. “To me, you can. You don't know if you should laugh, that's what we were going for.”

    For all these reasons, Rogers knew when he was done with the script at the beginning of 2016 he could not send it to the studios. He couldn’t bear seeing all the work he put in get gutted. For the first time ever in his career he went the independent film route and quickly found Brian Unkeless (the “Hunger Games” franchise) as a producing partner. But there were a few caveats before he took it out on the market: there couldn’t be rewrites without his consent, and Allison Janney had to play the role of Harding’s mother.

    “I have always written parts for Allison in all my scripts,” Rogers said. He has known the actress for most of his adult life. “She’s never gotten to play a part that I’ve written for her.”

    Rogers didn’t just get all his requests, but also Margot Robbie. The actress was hot off her breakout role in “The Wolf of Wall Street” and searching for movies that could be star vehicles for her when she came across Rogers’ script. She jumped on board to star as Harding and also be a producer.

    They chose Craig Gillespie (“The Finest Hours”) as the director and Rogers said over the 31-day shoot very little from the script was changed. The movie was bought for around $5 million following its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

    allison janney steven rogers tonya harding margot robbie i tonya vivien killilea gettyBy this time Rogers had become close with both Harding and Gillooly. He invited Harding to see the movie once it was completed. He did not watch it with her.

    “I let her see it on her own,” Rogers said, adding that he’s also setting up a time when Gillooly can also see it. “Tonya emailed me twice to thank me. She said she laughed, she cried, there were things she didn’t like, but she was happy.

    Harding attended the premiere of the movie.

    Rogers can’t tell yet what the success of “I, Tonya” has done for him. He’s never been involved with a movie that’s received award season buzz like “Tonya” is, or ever been asked to do press for a movie. Hollywood has taken notice, though. He says now instead of being offered rom-coms he’s getting scripts about every misunderstood woman from the 1990s.

    “It’s like, ‘I, Lorena’ or ‘I, Monica,’ I mean really?” Rogers said with a laugh, referring to women who, like Harding, also grabbed the media spotlight in the 1990s — Lorena Bobbitt and Monica Lewinsky. “Right now, I’m just enjoying the ride.”

    SEE ALSO: In a career filled with bad guy roles, Ben Mendelsohn in very thankful to show a different side in Churchill drama 'Darkest Hour'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Sean Astin describes one thing you probably never knew about 'The Goonies'

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    HQ Trivia (Android)

    • Smash-hit iPhone game "HQ Trivia" is coming to Android on Christmas, the game's maker says.
    • The game combines trivia questions with a live video feed of a host, and it's become a massive success.
    • Thus far, the game was limited by its availability on one platform.

    The breakout hit iPhone game of 2017 has undoubtedly been "HQ Trivia," a live trivia game that went from curiosity to viral hit seemingly overnight. And now, in a few weeks, it's finally coming to Android.

    The makers announced the news in a tweet on December 5, which read, "Hey world, we hear you also have Android phones? HQ has a nice little stocking stuffer coming your way." The game's Twitter profile more directly confirms the release date: "Coming for Android this Christmas," it says.

    In the last few weeks, "HQ Trivia" has exploded in popularity and users. Live games regularly garner a quarter million players, all attempting to answer every question correctly — winners get real cash as a prize, which is paid out to players through Paypal. 

    HQ Trivia

    It's this combination of trivia, cash prizes, and a live video feed that's drawn so many players. But it's one of the game's "hosts," a man named Scott Rogowsky, who's kept so many fans invested.

    Rogowsky is the man in the suit seen above, known for his quirky personality and penchant for creating slang words. He calls players "HQties" (pronounced "H-cuties"), makes hilarious hand gestures, and lets slip little bits about himself while hosting the phone-based, live game show. He's often the subject of memes from the game's prolific, passionate fanbase.

    He even appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" due to the game's massive sudden popularity:

    It's not clear which Android phones will work with "HQ Trivia" when it arrives on December 25, but we'd expect the last few years of major flagship phones from Samsung, LG, and others to be included.

    SEE ALSO: Here's the screen you see when you win HQ Trivia

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 15 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do

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    Quentin Tarantino

    • Quentin Tarantino wants to direct a Star Trek movie.
    • The catch? It has to be rated R.
    • JJ Abrams is reportedly helping Tarantino find a writer, and will be a producer.


    Quentin Tarantino has plans to direct a Star Trek movie, and his only demand is that it is R rated.

    Deadline reported on Monday that Tarantino pitched an R-rated Star Trek movie to Paramount. On Thursday, Deadline reported that the rumored project is moving forward at a rapid speed, and they're already selecting a screenwriter.

    JJ Abrams, who has directed two Star Trek films, is helping Tarantino and will be a producer. The movie likely won't come out for a few years, but we can't hide our excitement. A Star Trek movie from Tarantino — one of the most ambitious directors of all time — is an exciting concept, and we can't wait to see the finished product. 

    Here's everything we know so far about Quentin Tarantino's Star Trek movie:

    SEE ALSO: The worst new TV shows of 2017, ranked from bad to completely unwatchable

    Tarantino approached Paramount with the idea

    According to Deadline, Tarantino approached Paramount about directing a Star Trek movie, Tarantino-style. This typically means blood, violence, cursing, witty dialogue, and a very long running time. 

    Tarantino worked with Miramax and The Weinstein Company on all his previous films, but is working with other studios after the allegations of sexual harassment and assault against long-time collaborator Harvey Weinstein surfaced in October. 


    Tarantino will direct his movie based on the Manson Family first

    This means we likely won't see his Star Trek movie for at least a few years. 

    His project about the Manson Family has the working title of "Helter Skelter," and will be released by Sony.

    This will be Tarantino's first dive into a franchise — he usually writes and directs screenplays for original stories.

    "Jackie Brown" (1997) was based on a novel, but every other movie he's made was an original screenplay.

    But Tarantino isn't going into the franchise world completely inexperienced: in the past he's directed episodes of "CSI" and "ER."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    snl santa

    • "Saturday Night Live" took on the continuing fallout over powerful men accused of sexual misconduct with a skit featuring kids asking Santa uncomfortable political questions.
    • Politics, and the sexual misconduct news, were the focus of a few skits this week.
    • James Franco hosted and SZA was the musical guest.

    In this week's cold open of "Saturday Night Live," a bevy of woke kids asked Santa a series of uncomfortable political questions.

    The first boy asked if Santa could tell him what Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota did, and which list embattled Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore was on.

    Santa (played by Kenan Thompson) said Franken, who resigned from the Senate this week following a growing number of sexual harassment accusations, was on his naughty list this year.

    The elf (played by Kate McKinnon) said Moore wasn't on a list, suggesting he was on the sex offender registry instead. Several women have accused Moore of acting inappropriately or pursuing relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.

    The next child asked, "Is President Trump on the naughty list?"

    Santa said Trump "may have said or done a few naughty things," while McKinnon said under her breath, "19 accusers— Google it." Santa told the girl we could all learn a lesson from the news.

    "I learned that if you admit you did something wrong, you get in trouble," the little girl said. "But if you deny it, they let you keep your job!"

    The rest of the kids talked about NFL players kneeling for the National Anthem, the "dying" coal industry, the GOP tax plan, "feminazis," opioids, Trump moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, and the sexual harassment allegations against fired NBC host Matt Lauer.

    "Earmuffs, earmuffs!" Santa told one of the children. "Where the hell they get these kids from? I never thought I'd say this, but I think our public schools are too good!"

    The last little girl, Jenny, said she didn't want any presents, she just wanted everything to be OK.

    "I know that things seem particularly insane right now, like truly mind-bendingly insane. And we seem to have lost all perspective on what's naughty or nice," McKinnon told her. "As bad as things might seem, I promise you, Jenny, it will be OK. ... Most people in America are good people, and eventually good people will fix our country."

    Jenny said she'd put all her money in Bitcoin just in case.

    Elsewhere on the episode, on which James Franco hosted and SZA was the musical guest, sexual harassers apologized to their workplace victims, and Michael Che went undercover as a liberal white woman named Gretchen.

    Steve Martin, Seth Rogen, and Jonah Hill also crashed Franco's opening monologue, and "Weekend Update" addressed Trump moving the US embassy and the allegations against Moore and Franken.

    SEE ALSO: 22 powerful men in politics and media accused of sexual misconduct in the wake of Harvey Weinstein

    DON'T MISS: 'Welcome to hell': SNL goes after widespread sexual misconduct in hilarious new music video

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 10 things you missed in the 'Avengers: Infinity War' trailer

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    Chelsea Miller started making custom knives in 2011 and has grown her client list to include some of the top chefs in the world. Business Insider visited her Brooklyn studio to learn how she does it. Following is a transcript of video.

    Chelsea Miller: I'm Chelsea Miller and I make knives.

    Some of the world's best chefs use her knives.

    Chelsea Miller: The chefs at Eleven Madison, Mario Batali, Massimo Bottura. Chefs who make some really, really delicious food. Let's say that.

    And they don't come cheap.

    Chelsea Miller: My smaller knives start at $200, the largest knife, the chef knife are $800.

    I moved to New York when I was 18 and I was singing, dancing, acting, and as much as I love that kind of storytelling, I grew up in Vermont on a farm, homeschooled, my father was a blacksmith, and I was really missing that quality of working with your hands and that creative process.

    So I went home for a while at the end of 2011 and started playing around in my father's shop. These knives came out of that exploration.

    My friends encouraged me to take out a booth at the Brooklyn Flea and the Brooklyn Flea is an incredible place to be as a creator because there's an incredible amount of foot traffic and a lot of high profile writers, photographers, chefs. And that's how I got my first publications in Saveur Magazine and The New York Times and it really blew up from there.

    Most of all my knives have a grater on the side, which is very unique because I've never seen a knife with a grater, but also that is the original function of the original material that I make it from. They're made from horseshoe rasps which have that rasp on the side that was originally used for filing horse's hooves. So in my mind, I thought, "Why take that away?" We can incorporate that into this new tool.

    Since I've started my own business, I've noticed a real progressive movement towards more and more and more handmade things and a lot more consciousness about where you items are coming from. Trying to buy things that are going to last you your lifetime instead of something that's meant to be thrown away the second you open it.

    I leave a window of about three to six months. If I were making one knife at a time, that would take me a couple of days, but because I have so many I tend to make them in batches, so as many as I can, I start from the beginning process, maybe 10 knives at the same time. So for a few weeks I'll be working on those first initial processes on those knives altogether. Then I'll move on to the next stage.

    I use the forge for all of my smaller knives and essentially what we're doing is we're heating the metal and then using the hammer to hammer out the metal, lengthen the metal, to give us a longer, smoother material. And I don't do that with the chef's knives because I want to leave that grater on the side of the knife.

    So with the larger chef's knives, I've already cut out the pieces in Vermont with an oxy acetylene torch and then once I get them here, I start the stock removal process. So I start with my bench grinder, grinding away the excess metal on one side to leave the grater on the other.

    And then I'll move to my belt sander, and using a series of belts that go from very coarse to very fine, I'll bring that blade down to a fine edge and make it all shiny and smooth and sharp.

    Each piece, depending on the way that it looks, it calls for a different piece of wood. So I'll shuffle through a lot of wood to find the right wood for the right knife.

    And we'll cut out the wood, we will sand the handle a little bit, then we'll drill the holes, glue it together, clamp it, and then wait for it to cure. I usually let it cure for about 24 hours.

    Then we'll take that off, sand the handle down, all the excess glue off the edges. And then we'll put a final sharpen on the blade, oil up the handle, and it's ready to go off and cut some vegetables.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Hulk Hogan, one of the most famous wrestling superstars in the history of WWE, has been missing from the company for a long time. In 2015, after an audio tape surfaced wherein Hogan can be heard using a racial slur, WWE swiftly terminated his contract. The tape was part of the sex tape posted by Gawker in 2012. 

    In 2016, Gawker lost a gigantic lawsuit to Hogan after a Florida jury found that the media company had violated Hogan’s privacy by posting a one-minute, 41-second clip of the sex tape online along with commentary. Gawker eventually settled with Hogan for $31 million. 

    Upon terminating Hogan, WWE, removed all traces of the famed wrestler from its website, removing links to his profile, merchandise, and photographs. But lately, there have been rumblings suggesting Hogan might soon return to WWE. 

    We asked one of the most highly revered figures in WWE history, Jim Ross, if he thinks Hogan will make a comeback soon. Ross is promoting the release of his new book "Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling," which he wrote with Paul O'Brien. 

    WWE did not respond to our request for a comment. Following is a transcript of the video. 

    Jim Ross: I don't have any insider knowledge that Hulk will be back in WWE, but if he isn't in 2018, I will be shocked.

    [Jim Ross is a legendary WWE announcer and executive. He wrote a new memoir about his career in wrestling]

    [An audio recording of Hogan using a racial slur surfaced in 2015. WWE swiftly terminated Hogan's contract]

    The world has an interesting way of forgiving others. The guy paid his price. He had a trial. He lost jobs. He had a court case. I don't know what more he needs to do. And why are we his judge and jury? It seems right for, arguably the greatest alumnus of WWE ever with the most global name identity, will make his presence felt in WWE in some way. 

    I don't know what Terry – Hulk Hogan is able to do physically. I know he's still training. He's about my age — 64, but he's in really good shape. He looks awesome. So, I would say that Hulk is – there's a ticket for Hulk to punch somewhere to get back in WWE, at least on a reoccurring role-type basis, in my opinion.

    If I were there, I would encourage that development. If you don't like him, don't watch the damn thing, but I believe he belongs on that television show or WWE in general, and that somewhere in 2018 that will happen.  

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    i, tonya

    • With Hollywood studios bracing for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" opening next weekend, independent films are benefiting at the box office.
    • "I, Tonya" had an impressive opening weekend.
    • Movies like "The Disaster Artist" and "Lady Bird" continue to preform well as they expand to more theaters.

    Another week passes, and it's another one where "Coco" tops the domestic box office.

    With its estimated $19 million take over the weekend, according to The Wrap, that makes three straight weekends the latest Disney/Pixar title has been No. 1.

    Why has it been such an easy road to dominance? Because all the other studios are taking a breath until another Disney title, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," comes in and takes the torch from "Coco" and dominates the box office (likely for the rest of 2017).

    As the studios see it, why release one of their big titles these past two weekends and spend millions on marketing when it's likely just going to suffer the buzz saw that is a new "Star Wars" movie? That's allowed independent movies to sneak in and attract audiences.

    It's a perfect time as many are hoping to get recognition on Monday morning when Golden Globes nominations are announced, which will only lead to more interest in the weeks to come.

    Neon/30WEST's "I, Tonya," an unconventionally told biopic focused on the life of infamous figure skater Tonya Harding, opened on four screens this weekend and scored an impressive $245,000. That's a $61,000 per-screen average.

    With the movie's star Tonya Harding likely to get a Golden Globes nomination (and maybe even an Oscar), Neon/30WEST has a title that more and more audiences will check out as the film expands its release in the weeks to come.

    the shape of water fox searchlightSame with Fox Searchlight's "The Shape of Water." Guillermo del Toro's unique love story was on 41 screens this weekend and earned $1.1 million (a $26,000 per-screen average). It was only on two screens last weekend.

    And A24 had two titles crack the top 10 this weekend. "The Disaster Artist" went from 19 screens last weekend to 840(!) this weekend, and it proved to be the right move.

    James Franco's funny and touching behind-the-scenes look at the making of "The Room," regarded as one of the worst movies ever made, took in $6.4 million to take fourth place.

    "The Disaster Artist" came in second behind "Coco" in the Friday estimates, earning $2.6 million ("Coco" made $4.3 million). The movie was made for $10 million.

    And Greta Gerwig's "Lady Bird" came in ninth place with $3.5 million  ($22 million lifetime total) and continues to be one of the feel good titles of the holiday season. The movie is now in over 1,500 theaters. This is another title that will only see its box office numbers increase with likely Golden Globes and other major award nominations to follow.

    Studio titles took home second and third place this weekend, with "Justice League" and "Wonder," respectively. "Justice League" took in $9.6 million, putting its domestic total to $212 million. "Wonder" continues to be the little engine that could, earning $8.5 million to put its total over $100 million.

    Hollywood is desperate for a home run at the box office, and that will come next weekend with the release of "The Last Jedi."

    The only question is: How high will that opening number be?

    SEE ALSO: After burning out writing blockbuster rom-coms, this screenwriter reinvented himself by tracking down infamous figure skater Tonya Harding

    DON'T MISS: 'The Disaster Artist' is the most fun you'll have at the movies this year, and James Franco should get Oscar attention

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 10 things you missed in the 'Avengers: Infinity War' trailer

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    cam newton nfl player sad crying

    • TV ratings for the National Football League have declined in each of the past two seasons.
    • RBC Capital Markets says that this is going to hurt ad sales as investors shy away in an increasingly competitive landscape.

    When it comes to TV ratings, the National Football League needs a Hail Mary.

    Average game viewership has fallen to 15 million this season, down from 16.5 million last year, and the lowest since 2008, according to data compiled by RBC Capital Markets.

    The firm also finds that the league's audience is down on a year-over-year basis, and notes that it hasn't seen meaningful growth since 2013, when the measure climbed 5%. RBC says this has had an adverse effect on how advertisers view the prospect of buying time slots during NFL games.

    "The sustained decline is what worries investors about media's willingness to offload the NFL's monetization risk," analyst Steven Cahall wrote in a client note.

    Screen Shot 2017 12 01 at 4.05.49 PM

    RBC says possible reasons for the ratings skid include player protests, the NFL's ongoing concussion controversy, competition from politics, increased offerings from cable and entertainment providers, and an oversaturation of games. And there's also what Cahall considers to be the most obvious explanation:

    "When a Sunday or Monday Night game is 42-7 late in the 3rd quarter, the viewer may now opt to catch up on Stranger Things or Billions instead of watching through to the end," he said. " Five or ten years ago, an unexciting 4th quarter might still have been the best thing on TV."

    SEE ALSO: A mystery trader keeps betting that the stock market will go crazy

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    Flatliners Sony

    It's time to look back on 2017 and see what happened at the multiplex. And for some titles it wasn't pretty.

    Though 2017 found some success stories — like the early-year releases "Get Out" and "Split" from Blumhouse, the fall favorite "It," and presumably "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" when it comes out in mid-December — numerous titles were dead on arrival.

    For every "Beauty and the Beast" and "Wonder Woman" in 2017, there was a dud like "CHiPs" and "mother!" that quickly followed.

    Here are the 10 worst box-office earners of the year (compare them to our list from the halfway point).

    Note: This selection is limited to only those titles released by the six major studios that have played in more than 2,000 screens for at least two weekends. Grosses below are all US earnings from Box Office Mojo.

    SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 11 best movies of the year so far

    10. "The House" — $25.5 million

    Reported budget: $40 million 

    (Note: Production budgets are estimates and do not include expenses for marketing and release.)

    9. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul" — $20.7 million

    Reported budget: $22 million

    8. "CHiPs" — $18.6 million

    Reported budget: $25 million

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    darkest hour Focus

    • Ben Mendelsohn plays King Henry VI in "Darkest Hour," one of the rare times he hasn't played a bad guy in a movie.
    • Don't worry though, he's got some major bad guy roles coming, like Sheriff of Nottingham in "Robin Hood" and the villain in "Ready Player One."
    • But he's quiet about a possible return of his "Rogue One" character Director Krennic in any future "Star Wars" movies. 

    After years of being a struggling actor in Australia, Ben Mendelsohn got his breakout in 2010 as the patriarch of a crime family on the run in “Animal Kingdom,” and hasn’t looked back since.

    Finding his mark playing complex dark characters in indies like “The Place Beyond the Pines” and “Slow West,” Mendelsohn hit it big when he scored the role of Director Orson Krennic in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” last year. But in his latest role Mendelsohn proves he can do more than just play the bad guy. As King George VI opposite Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour” (in select theaters now, nationwide December 22), Mendelsohn shows off his softer side as he plays a man tasked with keeping the United Kingdom strong during World War II while trying to match wits with Churchill, though suffering a stammer when he speaks. (He plays the same character who earned Colin Firth a best actor Oscar for “The King’s Speech.”)

    Mendelsohn talked to Business Insider about preparing for the challenging task as well as his upcoming anticipated roles, which range from the Sheriff of Nottingham in “Robin Hood” to a gaming nerd in “Ready Player One” — yes, he’s a bad guy in both.

    Jason Guerrasio: When you had to wrap your head around that you're going to play King Henry VI, was it exciting or scary?

    Ben Mendelsohn: It was both. It was very unexpected. I got why [director] Joe [Wright] thought of me in one respect. If you look at me in profile and look at him it's not a bad match. There are certain, well, I guess, shyness to me and the portrayal of him. But other than that it's a pretty big risk. 

    Guerrasio: And when you say risk, you mean the weight of the role?

    Mendelsohn: Yeah. It's a risk from Joe's perspective. I think there's plenty of people he could have cast that were more, um —

    Guerrasio: English. 

    Mendelsohn: Yeah. Exactly. Wouldn't have to worry about the accent stuff. But I'm very thankful that he did ask me to do it. And then it's the company you're in. Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill, that is a film I would go see. 

    darkest hour Jack English Focus FeaturesGuerrasio: What was the research like? Did you want to go really deep in knowing everything about King Henry?

    Mendelsohn: No. I was mostly interested in what I could see and hear. I was less interested in the various interpretations of the man. I knew the rough outlines of his situation. It was really to get a sense of where the stutter was and what feeling you get from him. 

    Guerrasio: So basically watching "The King's Speech" would have screwed you up.

    Mendelsohn: By the time the Jello had nearly set I went back and watched "The King's Speech." I hadn't planned on it and then I just thought, you know what — um, I'm trying to find a way to say this that you won't have to edit me —

    Guerrasio: Screw it!

    Mendelsohn: Yeah. Thank you. [Laughs.] And I'm glad I did because it is a beautiful portrayal.

    Guerrasio: Was it less looking at how Colin did the voice and more how he moved as the King? His swagger?

    Mendelsohn: It was less of that. No. I wasn't looking at Colin's performance as to how he interpreted the guy. I wasn't interested to try to take up or ignore, it was more getting the whole sense of the story. The stuff that affected me more was the business with his dad and brother. That's what I took on board a bit more. 

    Guerrasio: It sounded like you got in early with Gary, all the actors were given a good chunk of rehearsal time before shooting started. 

    Mendelsohn: They had a long rehearsal period which I was there for a few days of. And thank God we did. Look, it was a task and it helps a lot to get comfortable with the people you're going to be doing it with. Gary and I had met before, we worked on "The Dark Knight Rises."

    Guerrasio: That's right!

    Mendelsohn: We don't do anything together, but we are in one scene where Commissioner Gordon gets up and makes a little speech in the back of Wayne Manor. So we were together over a couple of night shoots together. 

    Guerrasio: While shooting "Darkest Hour," between shooting are you and Gary talking in your character voices? Are you scared you'll lose the stutter?

    Mendelsohn: Well, once you know where it is you can pick it up and put it down. You don't need to do all that stuff.

    Guerrasio: The connection between you and Gary is you both play bad guys so well. For you, is it hard to find a role like this? Something that just on paper doesn't scream, "evil!"

    Mendelsohn: I consider it a real compliment to be offered the bad guy. No complaints on that. But it was a delight to be offered this role in part because he's a good guy. 

    slow west a24Guerrasio: Is it more fun to play the dark roles?

    Mendelsohn: No. Well, it depends. I think it's more fun to work than not to work. 

    Guerrasio: [Laughs.]

    Mendelsohn: There's a certain malevolent delight that baddies get to express. But that's pretty short lived. 

    Guerrasio: Coming up you play the Sheriff of Nottingham in the latest “Robin Hood” movie. Will you give him a more playful feel? Like Alan Rickman did in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves?"

    Mendelsohn: Ah, no one is ever going to top Alan Rickman. 

    Guerrasio: He was damn good in that role. 

    Mendelsohn:No one is ever going to top that, and I'm not trying. But this is an origin story of Hood, it's a very explosive kind of piece. But no, the sheriff is not a good guy at all. But Nolan Sorrento in “Ready Player One” is a fantastic bad guy. He’s a nerd that's got too much power. I guess most bad guys you look at what they do with their flaws. How they've compensated for them in some way and how they try to make everyone else pay for it. That seems to be one of the thematic things about most bad guys. 

    Guerrasio: I think that's why people gravitate to those kind of roles, they plug their darkness and insecurities into what they see that character doing. 

    Mendelsohn: Yeah. And that kind of misbehaving, as it were, comes vicariously. 

    Guerrasio: With “Ready Player One,” was that just another "pinch me" moment in your career?

    Mendelsohn: Oh yeah. I remember meeting Spielberg for the first time and I said, "I don't know what your intention is but this is good enough for me, I got to sit in a room with you." He had seen "Bloodline," he was a big "Bloodline" fan.

    Guerrasio: Are you bummed there's no more "Bloodline?” Did you feel there was more story to be told?

    Mendelsohn: I think from my point of view [my character] Danny Rayburn was always in the early part of that telling. I think that those guys had a lot more in them. But that's the way it is. Few things have been as good to me as "Bloodline." 

    ben Mendelsohn rogue oneGuerrasio: With the news that Rian Johnson is going to expand "Star Wars" and is tasked with making more movies — not to mention all the one-off movies — is it possible Director Krennic comes back?

    Mendelsohn: I don't know. I really don't know what's happening with any of that. 

    Guerrasio: Was it a one-and-done contract for you, or did you have an option for multiple films?

    Mendelsohn: It would be remiss for me to discuss contractual details. 

    Guerrasio: Well, I had to try.

    Mendelsohn: [Laughs.]

    Guerrasio: And I guess this is another one you can't really say, but are the rumors true that you'll be in Captain Marvel?

    Mendelsohn: That’s another I wish we could talk about, but I can neither confirm or deny the existence of such a project, if there were such a project. [Laughs.]

    Guerrasio: Honestly, these kind of questions, are these fun for you? Because you've had to navigate through them a lot for a year-plus now.

    Mendelsohn: Look, honestly, I'm a guy who sat around being out of work for a very long time so this is not a problem. [Laughs.] This is a very, very lucky position to be in.  

    SEE ALSO: The 10 biggest box office bombs of 2017

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    wanaka new zealand

    • New Zealand is seeking further information on sexual misconduct allegations against Matt Lauer to decide if he is still fit to own property in the country.
    • The country requires foreigners who purchase land in New Zealand to be "of good character." 
    • Lauer purchased a 16,000-acre ranch worth $9.1 million on New Zealand's South Island earlier this year.
    • Last month, NBC fired Lauer after a colleague accused the TV anchor of sexual misconduct.

    New Zealand is seeking further information on Matt Lauer's sexual misconduct allegations to determine if the former TV host is still fit to own property in New Zealand.

    Matt and his wife Annette, through Orange Lakes Ltd, purchased a 16,000-acre cattle and sheep farm near Lake Wanaka on New Zealand's South Island earlier this year. But New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office, which regulates foreign investment in New Zealand, stipulates foreigners who seek to purchase land in New Zealand must be "of good character." 

    A spokesperson for the agency, Lisa Barrett, told Business Insider it is "aware that allegations have been made in relation to Matt Lauer."

    "We are discussing this with his representative and are seeking further information," said Barrett. "A condition of the consent granted to Orange Lakes Ltd to purchase the lease for Hunter Valley Station is that the individuals with control of that company must continue to be of good character."

    Valley Station has 30 kilometers of lakefront access, a five-bedroom homestead, stables, 10 huts and four airstrips. According to the New Zealand Herald, the property is worth $9.1 million. 

    Last month, NBC fired Lauer after a colleague accused the TV anchor of sexual misconduct. Lauer had been a TV personality on the network for over two decades before his fall from grace.

    Lauer released a public statement on the allegations, saying: "Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed." 

    According to the Overseas Investment Office, when determining an investor's good character, the office takes into account any ongoing allegations or investigations into any criminal offenses.

    Barrett said the Overseas Investment Office can "seek orders, through the Courts, that require people to dispose of property," if they are deemed to lack good character.

    The New Zealand government has been cracking down on foreign investors buying property in the country in order to tackle the nation's housing crisis. In October, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern introduced legislation to ban foreign buyers from purchasing existing homes.

    According to the Guardian, the country has become a hotspot for wealthy Americans, who see the country as a safe investment away from the politically unstable climate of the rest of the world.

    SEE ALSO: Megyn Kelly on Matt Lauer: 'I had heard rumors about Matt'

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    NOW WATCH: The 'Avengers: Infinity War' trailer is finally here

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    Queens of the Stone Age Josh Homme

    • The lead singer of Queens of the Stone Age appeared to kick a photographer at a concert on Saturday.
    • Photographer Chelsea Lauren said Josh Homme "looked at me, smiled and then kicked me."
    • Homme said he was "in a state of being lost in performance" and didn't mean to kick her.

    Queens of the Stone Age lead singer Josh Homme appeared to kick a concert photographer during his show, which sent her to hospital.

    Josh Homme, who founded the rock group, appeared to kick Chelsea Lauren in the head as she held up her camera to film him in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

    Watch the moment the incident happened in the video below, which Lauren uploaded to Instagram:

    Lauren wrote in her caption: "Thanks to @joshhomme @queensofthestoneage I now get to spend my night in the ER. Seriously, WHO DOES THAT?!?"

    She said in an ensuing post that the 44-year-old singer "looked at me, smiled and then kicked me. [...]

    "Assault in any form is not okay, no matter what the reasoning. Alcohol and drugs are no excuse. I was where I was allowed to be, I was not breaking any rules. I was simply trying to do my job," she said. "I hold nobody accountable for this but Josh himself."

    She added that she had a sore neck and a bruised eyebrow, but that she has since been discharged from hospital.

    After the show, Homme apologised to Lauren via Twitter, explaining he was "in a state of being lost in performance" and that he didn't mean to kick her.

    He added in a second apology: "I don't have any excuse or reason to justify what I did. I was a total d**k. I want to be a good man but last night I definitely failed."

    This is not the first time Homme has been in trouble for his behaviour during one of his shows. In 2008, he threw a bottle at a fan after accusing him of throwing an item toward the stage.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This South Korean boy band is taking over the music world

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    The Shape of Water Fox Searchlight

    Nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards were announced Monday morning at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

    Kristen Bell, Sharon Stone, Alfre Woodard, and Garrett Hedlund announced the nominations in a live stream.

    Guillermo del Toro's unique love story "The Shape of Water" led everyone with seven nominations. Steven Spielberg's "The Post" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" each nabbed six. On the TV side, HBO's hit "Big Little Lies" picked up six nominations.

    The Golden Globes ceremony is set to air on January 7 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC, with Seth Meyers hosting.

    Here are the nominees:

    Best motion picture, drama

    "Call Me by Your Name"
    "The Post"
    "The Shape of Water"
    "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

    Best motion picture, comedy or musical

    “The Disaster Artist"
    "Get Out"
    "The Greatest Showman"
    "I, Tonya"
    "Lady Bird"

    Best director

    Guillermo del Toro, "The Shape of Water"
    Martin McDonagh, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
    Christopher Nolan, "Dunkirk"
    Ridley Scott, "All The Money in the World"
    Steven Spielberg, "The Post"

    Best TV series, drama

    "The Crown"
    "Game of Thrones"
    "The Handmaid's Tale"
    "Stranger Things"
    "This is Us"

    Best TV series, comedy

    "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
    "Master of None"
    "Will & Grace"

    the post 4 fox final

    Best actor in a motion picture, drama

    Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
    Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
    Tom Hanks, “The Post”
    Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
    Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

    Best actor in a motion picture, comedy or musical

    Steve Carell, “Battle of the Sexes”
    Ansel Elgort, “Baby Driver”
    James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
    Hugh Jackman, “The Greatest Showman”
    Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”

    Best actress in a motion picture, drama

    Jessica Chastain, “Molly’s Game”
    Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
    Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
    Meryl Streep, “The Post”
    Michelle Williams, “All the Money in the World”

    Best actress in a motion picture, comedy or musical

    Judi Dench, “Victoria & Abdul”
    Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
    Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
    Emma Stone, “Battle of the Sexes”
    Helen Mirren, “The Leisure Seeker”

    Best actor in a TV series, drama

    Sterling K. Brown, “This is Us”
    Freddie Highmore, “The Good Doctor”
    Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
    Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”
    Jason Bateman, “Ozark”

    Best actor in a TV series, comedy

    Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
    Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
    Kevin Bacon, “I Love Dick”
    William H. Macy, “Shameless”
    Eric McCormack, “Will and Grace”

    Best actress in a TV series, drama

    Caitriona Balfe, “Outlander”
    Claire Foy, “The Crown”
    Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Deuce”
    Katherine Langford, “13 Reasons Why”
    Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

    Best actress in a TV series, comedy

    Pamela Adlon, “Better Things”
    Alison Brie, “Glow”
    Issa Rae, “Insecure”
    Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
    Frankie Shaw, “SMILF”

    glow 2 netflix

    Best supporting actor in a motion picture

    Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
    Armie Hammer, “Call Me by Your Name”
    Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
    Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
    Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

    Best supporting actress in a motion picture

    Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
    Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
    Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
    Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
    Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

    Best TV movie or mini-series

    “Big Little Lies”
    “Feud: Bette and Joan”
    “The Sinner”
    “Top of the Lake: China Girl”

    Best actor in a TV miniseries or movie

    Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”
    Jude Law, “The Young Pope”
    Kyle MacLachlan, “Twin Peaks”
    Ewan McGregor, “Fargo”
    Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”

    Best actress in a TV miniseries or movie

    Jessica Biel, “The Sinner”
    Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
    Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
    Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
    Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”

    Best supporting actor in TV miniseries or TV movie

    Alfred Molina, “Feud”
    Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”
    David Thewlis, “Fargo”
    David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
    Christian Slater, “Mr. Robot”

    Best supporting actress in TV miniseries or movie

    Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
    Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
    Chrissy Metz, “This is Us”
    Michelle Pfeiffer, “The Wizard of Lies”
    Shailene Woodley, “Big Little Lies”

    big little lies

    Best animated film

    “The Boss Baby”
    “The Breadwinner”
    “Loving Vincent”

    Best original score

    “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
    “The Shape of Water”
    “Phantom Thread”
    “The Post”

    Best screenplay, motion picture

    “The Shape of Water”
    “Lady Bird”
    “The Post”
    “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
    “Molly’s Game”

    Best foreign language film

    “A Fantastic Woman”
    “First They Killed My Father”
    “In the Fade”
    “The Square”

    Best original song

    “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
    “The Shape of Water”
    “Phantom Thread”
    “The Post”

    SEE ALSO: The 10 biggest box office bombs of 2017

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Mario Batali

    • The food and dining website Eater says Mario Batali is "stepping away" from his restaurant empire after multiple women accused the celebrity chef of inappropriate behavior.
    • Eater published a bombshell report on Monday, with women recounting instances of groping, inappropriate comments, and sexual harassment while working for the chef.
    • Batali did not deny the allegations.

    The celebrity chef Mario Batali has stepped back from running his restaurant empire after multiple allegations of groping and sexual misconduct.

    Vox Media's food and dining website, Eater, reported on Monday that four women had shared stories of Batali touching them inappropriately. Batali's pattern of inappropriate behavior spanned over two decades, according to Eater.

    Mario Batali

    One woman in the restaurant industry told Eater that when she met Batali about 10 years ago, someone bumped her glass, causing her to spill wine on her shirt. Batali, she said, "began rubbing her breasts with his bare hands while saying something like, 'Let me help you with that,' as he groped her chest."

    Sources told Eater that Batali had a history of inappropriate comments about women's bodies and aggressive sexual behavior in and out of the kitchen they described as an open secret in parts of the restaurant world.

    In the 2006 book "Heat," Bill Buford wrote that Batali once told a female server at one of his restaurants: "It's not fair I have this view all to myself when you bend over. For dessert, would you take off your blouse for the others?"

    Tom Colicchio, another celebrity chef with restaurants in New York City, tweeted Monday morning that "no one should be surprised" by the bombshell report. Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 9.18.37 AM

    Batali rose to prominence as a chef in New York City in the 1990s. Known for his Italian-inspired cooking and orange Crocs, he became a familiar face outside the New York restaurant scene thanks to his Food Network show "Molto Mario" as well as appearances on "Iron Chef" and, most recently, as a cohost on ABC's "The Chew."

    The chef did not deny the allegations and told Eater he was "stepping away" from the day-to-day operations of his businesses, though he did not say for how long. As the cofounder of the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, that means taking a step back from more than two dozen restaurants, including Babbo, Del Posto, and Eataly. ABC told Eater that Batali had been asked to step away from "The Chew" as it reviewed allegations against the chef.

    "We built these restaurants so that our guests could have fun and indulge, but I took that too far in my own behavior," Batali told Eater. "I won't make that mistake again. I want any place I am associated with to feel comfortable and safe for the people who work or dine there."

    SEE ALSO: Undercover footage shows chickens being kicked and impaled at a farm that reportedly supplies Tyson Foods

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    The Shape of Water Fox Searchlight

    • "The Shape of Water" by Guillermo del Toro led all Golden Globe nominees with seven.
    • That could foreshadow a major Oscars run.
    • We saw it at the Toronto International Film Festival and found it to be a moving monster love story.

    The latest film by visionary director Guillermo del Toro, "The Shape of Water," is officially a frontrunner in the race to the Academy Awards. Leading all nominees at this year's Golden Globes with seven, this unique love story is one that shouldn't be missed.

    Here's what we thought about the movie when we saw it at the Toronto International Film Festival:

    There are some directors who have a special talent for building worlds all their own, without any source material, and Guillermo del Toro is one of the best doing it right now.

    His latest movie, "The Shape of Water," followed up its grand prize win at the Venice Film Festival this past weekend by dazzling everyone here at the Toronto International Film Festival.

    Written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, the movie is set during the Space Race at a time when America isn't ready to put a man in a shuttle yet. In the film, there's a creature the government has captured in the Amazon that it thinks can be used as a test dummy on a launch. But that plan is quickly knocked down, as the military believes it makes more sense to kill and examine the creature to know more about its capabilities.

    There's one problem: The creature has befriended a mute janitor named Eliza (Sally Hawkins), who is determined to see that doesn't happen. 

    That's the real story of "The Shape of Water," the relationship between the creature and Eliza. She lives atop a run-down movie theater and spends her days going to work at an military base, where she cleans alongside chatty Zelda (Octavia Spencer), and at home hanging out with her gay neighbor, Giles (Richard Jenkins). Only able to communicate through signing, Eliza instantly has a connection with the creature as she sees them both as prisoners: literally for the creature and figuratively for Eliza, as she cannot find someone to love her.

    After Eliza comes up with a daring escape from the lab with the creature, pulling a fast one on the head of security, Strickland (Michael Shannon), Eliza keeps the creature in the bath tub of her apartment until the rainy season comes when she'll bring him out into the ocean. In that time, a relationship between Eliza and the creature sparks.

    Throughout all this, we're surrounded in a world del Toro has created that has the feel of an old Hollywood movie, from the set design to the wacky dream sequence when Eliza and the creature suddenly have a brief dance number. "The Shape of Water" combines a creature feature and a melodrama to tell a beautiful story that will thrill as much as get you emotional. 

    As with every del Toro movie, there's a nice touch of gore in it, too. The major squirm moments come from the Strickland character, who early in the movie has two fingers sliced off by the creature. And let's just say the reattachment of the digits to the hand doesn't work out.

    The creature is played by the always great Doug Jones, who del Toro fans will remember played Abe Sapien in his "Hellboy" movies, while Hawkins gives a wonderful performance as Eliza. And let's not forget two of the best Michaels working today: Shannon and Michael Stuhlbarg (as the good-natured scientist).

    Expect a lot of talk about this movie as we get deeper into awards season.

    "The Shape of Water" is currently playing in limited release:

    SEE ALSO: Morgan Spurlock on making a "Super Size Me" sequel and why he's taking on "Big Chicken"

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    Gawker Kickstarter

    • Former Gawker employees have launched a Kickstarter to buy
    • ceased publication in 2016 and was not included in the sale to Univision.
    • Gawker founder Nick Denton is not involved. 

    A group of former Gawker employees launched a Kickstarter on Monday to buy back the domain name and archives of the pioneering blog, which ceased publishing in 2016.

    The non-profit project is looking to not only keep the site's archive of blog posts alive, but also aims to re-launch the site. 

    "We're a group of former Gawker Media employees across editorial, tech, and business, and we want to put in our own bid to buy it back," according to the Kickstarter page

    The reason that the archives and domain name are for sale is because they were not included in the sale of the other Gawker Media properties to Univision in 2016. Gawker Media was forced to sell sites such as Gizmodo after it was forced into bankruptcy after Hulk Hogan was awarded $140 million in damages stemming from a Gawker news article. Billionaire investor Peter Thiel secretly financed Hogan's lawsuit. 

    The Gawker Foundation

    The Kickstarter campaign, which is backed by a group calling itself "The Gawker Foundation,"  is looking for $500,000. 

    It's being led by James Del, a former advertising executive at Gawker, and also involves Elizabeth Spiers, Gawker's first editor, among what they say is a dozen "Gawker Media alumni." Spiers will advise and will join the Gawker Foundation's board of directors. 

    "I'm the only name involved because everyone else has a day job working for another company. I run my own company, so there's no risk that I'm going to fire myself for being involved," Spiers told Business Insider in an email. 

    One person who's not involved is Gawker founder and former publisher Nick Denton. "First I had heard of it," Denton told Business Insider in an email on Monday. 

    Re-launching Gawker

    FILE PHOTO: Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, sits in court during his trial against Gawker Media, in St Petersburg, Florida March 17, 2016.    Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/Pool via ReutersThe foundation has a two-part objective. First, to keep Gawker's archives online, which consists of a "couple hundred thousand articles," according to Spiers. 

    The second objective is to relaunch Gawker under the "stewardship of former editors, new writers, and an entirely membership-funded model." If it's not under the domain name, they will choose a new name, but the site will still be modeled off of Gawker. 

    "By setting ourselves up as an ownerless, advertiser-less, non-profit media organization, the editorial team will be able to do what they do best," said the group's Kickstarter page.

    But the Gawker Foundation's goals may be limited by what the Gawker Media estate decides to do with the site's archive and domain name. 

    "My biggest concern personally is that all of Gawker gets erased, and you're talking 14 years of work and a couple hundred thousand articles," Spiers said.

    "The estate may decide to separate the archives from the domains, etc., but right now, they're packaged together," she continued. If they lose the bid, the winner could choose to take the archives down, but Spiers hopes that whoever else bids has an interest in preservation.  

    That's part of the reason why they're trying to raise $500,000 or even more — to make a bid on the Gawker archives, in addition to funding the new site. "I think the bids are going to be all over the place on this one," Spiers said. 

    The Kickstarter is currently accepting donations. Possible rewards includes membership to the new Gakwer, a launch party invite, an even special "commenter star" status for people who pledge $10,000 or more. 

    Max Tani contributed to this report. 

    SEE ALSO: Controversial billionaire Peter Thiel might be looking to buy — the news site he helped Hulk Hogan take down

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    Alphabet EarningsThis story was delivered to BI Intelligence "Digital Media Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

    YouTube plans to launch a new music streaming subscription service, internally dubbed "Remix," in March 2018, Bloomberg reports.

    The service, YouTube's latest foray in the music streaming space, will include on-demand streaming capabilities, similar to Spotify's, and offer video clips.

    Warner Music Group, one of the world’s three largest record labels, has already signed a deal with YouTube for Remix. And YouTube is in talks with the other two major record labels — Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group — as well as with independent labels, about procuring their music libraries for the service. Additionally, YouTube could structure royalties based on the licensing agreements other streaming services, like Spotify and Apple Music, have with the record labels.

    A new music streaming service makes sense for YouTube for several reasons:

    • It has a sizable user base to draw from. The site last reported having over 1.5 billion logged-in users on its platform in June 2017. This built-in user base can help Remix quickly catch up to music streaming leaders Spotify and Apple Music.
    • YouTube’s music catalog is unique. YouTube has a ton of content — such as mainstream songs, cover songs, remixes, and old obscure songs — that other platforms like Spotify and Apple Music don’t. And, more than 400 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every minute — this significantly helps the platform grow its catalog in a way other platforms can’t.
    • Music is one of the most popular types of content on YouTube. Music videos account for 30% of all time spent on YouTube and represent 94% of the 250 most-viewed videos on the platform, per the VAB. This indicates that there's a big base of devoted music listeners who YouTube could potentially convert into paying subscribers.
    • YouTube will be able to strengthen its relationships with record labels. Some record labels believe YouTube doesn't pay enough in fees for the music videos it hosts on its platform, according to The Guardian. A successful music streaming platform would generate additional royalties for record labels, appeasing those that feel monetization from YouTube streams is too low.

    Nonetheless, the company’s planned music streaming service will have obstacles to overcome:

    • Google could struggle to differentiate Remix from its existing music streaming services. The company already runs Google Play Music, an audio-only streaming service available on Android, iOS, and desktop. It also operates YouTube Music, a stand-alone app that features audio and music videos and can be accessed without ads through a YouTube Red subscription.
    • Google is going up against established players with large subscriber bases. Google’s ad-free music streaming service, Google Play Music, hasn’t seen the same success as Spotify and Apple Music, for example. YouTube Red and Google Play Music have about 7 million subscribers combined, while Spotify and Apple Music have 60 million and 30 million, respectively.
    • Users may opt to view music videos on YouTube for free instead. Given Google's limited success at launching music streaming services, the competition it faces elsewhere, and the popularity of its free YouTube tier, the company might have a hard time convincing consumers to pay for its streaming service.

    To receive stories like this one directly to your inbox every morning, sign up for the Digital Media Briefing newsletter. Click here to learn more about how you can gain risk-free access today.

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    The Big Sick Nicole Rivelli Sundance Institute final

    • The Golden Globe nominations were announced Monday morning.
    • The competition was tough this year, particularly in the film categories, which means there were a lot of snubs.
    • After a breakthrough year for female directors, none were nominated in the best director category. 


    Unfortunately some of the year's most notable movies, shows, performances, and directors were snubbed by the Golden Globes this year.

    Nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards were announced Monday morning at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

    And while not everyone can get a nomination, there were still quite a few disappointing snubs this year.

    NBC's innovative comedy "The Good Place" is going places no other network comedy has before, but isn't recognized at all. "Logan," one of the best and most critically acclaimed films of the year, didn't manage to get any nominations despite powerful performances and an excellent screenplay. "Get Out" got several nominations including best motion picture (in the comedy category), but Jordan Peele didn't get nominated for the award the movie deserves most: best screenplay. The romantic comedy "The Big Sick" was a fresh take on the genre and was expected to get several nominations, but didn't get any. 

    And zero women were nominated in the best director category, despite some of the year's best movies being directed by women including Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird"), Patty Jenkins ("Wonder Woman"), and Dee Rees ("Mudbound").

    The Golden Globes ceremony will air January 7 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC, with Seth Meyers hosting.

    Here are all the snubs for the 2018 Golden Globes:

    SEE ALSO: Here are all the nominees for the 2018 Golden Globes

    Best motion picture, drama


    "The Florida Project"

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider