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"Batman v Superman" Closing Out With $875M

Dark Horizons - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:21pm

With its theatrical run essentially complete, Zack Snyder's "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" is set to finish up as the seventh highest earning superhero film at the worldwide box office, not accounting for inflation.

Through Sunday, the film has grossed $862.9 million globally including $325.1 million in North America and $537.8 million internationally - it's expected to finish in the $875 million range.

Within the United States it currently ranks as the eleventh highest comic book film but could crack the top ten and overtake "Guardians of the Galaxy" ($333.2 million) before it closes out. It won't beat Fox's "Deadpool" ($361.8 million) and in terms of 2016 titles to date, 'Dawn' sits behind Disney's "Zootopia" which is at $931.4 million worldwide and counting.

With the exception of Chris Nolan's second and third "Dark Knight" films and Tim Burton's first two "Batman" films when the latter are adjusted for inflation, 'Dawn' is the highest-grossing adaptation of a DC property so far.

Source: THR

GLAAD: "Star Wars" Needs Gay Characters

Dark Horizons - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:21pm

"Star Wars" needs gay or lesbian characters introduced into the franchise according to a recommendation in anti-defamation group GLAAD's studio responsibility index report.

The annual survey of depictions of LGBT characters in major studio releases has given both Disney Pictures and Paramount Pictures black marks this year due to them not featuring any gay or lesbian characters at all in any of their films last year.

Of the 126 major studio releases last year, only 22 of them (17.5%) featured LGBT characters. That was the same percentage of characters that appeared in films in 2014. Over 77% of films with LGBT characters featured gay men, 23% had lesbians, and 9% included bisexual characters.

Only one film had a transgender character that was deemed inclusive, and the LGBT characters that did appear were not racially diverse - in fact the number of LGBT characters of color went down with from 32% to 25% in a year.

No studio earned a 'good' rating for LGBT character inclusion - the best were Fox, Lionsgate, Sony and Universal which all earned 'adequate' ratings. Kevin Hart in particular was called out for both of his comedies "Get Hard" and "The Wedding Ringer" trading on 'gay panic' humor.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has been praised for featuring both a female and an African-American protagonist, but the lack of gay characters in the screen universe has become a sore point with some fans. In regards to "Star Wars" inclusiveness, the report says:

"As sci-fi projects have the special opportunity to create unique worlds whose advanced societies can serve as a commentary on our own, the most obvious place where Disney could include LGBT characters is in the upcoming eighth 'Star Wars' film. 2015's 'The Force Awakens' has introduced a new and diverse central trio, which allows the creators opportunity to tell fresh stories as they develop their backstory. Recent official novels in the franchise featured lesbian and gay characters that could also be easily written into the stories."

Rian Johnson's "Star Wars: Episode VIII" is currently shooting in London.

Source: Variety

'Tomahawk' Helmer Reboots "Puppet Master"

Dark Horizons - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:21pm

Following on from great acclaim for his cannibal western drama "Bone Tomahawk," filmmaker S. Craig Zahler has been tapped to pen the script for "Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich," the first in a proposed cinematic universe based on Charles Band's cult classic horror franchise.

The original 1989 film revolved around a group of anthropomorphic puppets animated by an Egyptian spell, each equipped with its own unique and dangerous device - some were heroes, others antiheroes, and others antagonists. Numerous sequels, comics, collector's items and toys followed.

Di Bonaventura Pictures and Caliber Media are developing the new film which will kick off multiple storylines and an expanded mythology for the franchise. This one follows a recently divorced young man who discovers a mint condition Blade doll in his deceased brother's closet and plans to sell the toy at a convention in Oregon celebrating the 30th anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders.

All hell breaks loose at the Postville Lodge during the auction when a strange force animates all of the various puppets throughout the convention as they go on a bloody killing spree. The new film is said to include brutally inventive puppet kills infused with the same comedy of the original.

Zahler will only pen the film, a search for a director is now underway. Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian, Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller will produce.

Source: Variety

Hulu Planning Skinny Bundle Package

Dark Horizons - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:21pm

Hulu is reportedly planning to launch a service that will allow users to live stream broadcast and cable channels along with the library of movies and TV shows that they already provide - essentially adding a 'skinny bundle' (ala SlingTV) to its service.

Fox, Disney and Comcast's NBC Universal all have an ownership stake in Hulu. Licensing deals are being closed to include access to channels from Disney and Fox. Comcast has not agreed to license NBC or any of it other channels, but it's a silent partner and so can't object to this service going forward.

Hulu has not yet officially announced this, but three executives with direct knowledge have revealed the news to The Wall Street Journal. Hulu will give its upfront presentation for advertisers this coming Wednesday with the news potentially to be officially announced there.

The company reportedly hopes to roll out the service, which has no name at this point, in the first quarter of 2017 with a $40 a month price tag on offer.

Oprah Signs For HBO's "Henrietta Lacks"

Dark Horizons - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:21pm

Oprah Winfrey has signed on for the title role in "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" for HBO Films.

Based on Rebecca Skloot's nonfiction bestseller, the story follows a poor black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951. Without her consent, pieces of the tumor that killed her were removed and used for medical exploration and to build a billion-dollar research industry.

Both Winfrey and "Six Feet Under" creator Alan Ball have been attached as executive producers for several years, but the project is only now moving forward and will begin shooting this Summer.

George C. Wolfe ("Lackawanna Blues," "Angels in America") wrote the screenplay and will direct, while Peter Macdissi, Carla Gardini and Lydia Dean Pilcher will executive produce.

Source: The Live Feed

Bryan Singer Takes On "Apocalypse" Criticism

Dark Horizons - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:21pm

Considering the rousing success of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" both critically and commercially, you'd expect there to be more excitement for Bryan Singer's follow-up "X-Men: Apocalypse". Yet the buzz on this one doesn't seem as high, buzz that got off to a rocky start due to the first image released.

That photo, showing off a first look at Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse, came under much criticism with the villain being compared to the more comical Ivan Ooze from the "Power Rangers" movie. The photo itself doesn't reflect the character's look in subsequent trailers - what was seemingly pink and purple on set looks decidedly blue in the final product.

Singer himself, speaking with IGN in the lead-up to the film, has offered a response to the criticism:

"There was an image released on Entertainment Weekly, where the effect hadn't been put in yet, so everyone was - the effect has a pink light on it, and everyone got lit up pink, so people thought Apocalypse was going to be pink. I was like, 'No, no, they're all pink. Take a look. Everyone in the picture is pink. It's a pink picture.' They maybe just should have taken the pink out of the picture - I should have taken the pink out of the picture. I'm going to take some blame for that. My fault, not Entertainment Weekly's. That's the picture I gave them."

Singer also defended some other choices. First up, the character is not a physically large actor as Singer wanted an actor who could "nail his power of persuasion, and it was very important that he'd be able to connect with his horsemen, at their level, and that he'd be played by a guy who can actually act like Oscar, who's a fantastic actor."

He also talked about the voice difference of the character between the first and subsequent trailers - in the first it was Isaac's natural voice whereas the follow-ups have all used an altered version. Singer says it was an issue they didn't have time to fix it before the trailer came out:

"We just needed those words to govern the first teaser. So people thought, 'Oh, wait, is that going to be his voice during the whole movie?' It's like, no, but to tell the story of the first teaser, we needed the voice, and I hadn't recreated the voice yet."

Essentially it sounds like the campaign may have just gone too early and offers a warning to studios to make sure the first material you offer from a film better be fairly complete. 20th Century Fox is now stoking the fire to try and get more people excited for the film and today announced plans for a special fan screening of the film to take place in London on May 9th with live red carpet coverage taking place.

That's a big vote of confidence in the film from the studio. Further details on how to attend will be provided at 3PM on the X-Men Movies Facebook page.

"Call of Duty: Infinite War" Reveal Trailer

Dark Horizons - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:21pm

Well the rumors were true, Activision and Infinity Ward's next title in the world's most popular gaming franchise has scored the new title of "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare" and will include whole sections set in space.

'Infinite Warfare' has players taking on the role of a captain of their own warship who must take command against a relentless enemy. The entire campaign - from boots-on-ground combat to piloting high speed space-fighters - is said to occur as a "near seamless experience" with few visible loading times.

The game will be available from November 4th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in multiple editions including Legacy Edition & Digital Legacy Edition ($79.99) which includes a remastered version of "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare". There's also the Digital Deluxe Edition ($99.99) which adds the Season Pass, and the physical Legacy Pro Edition ($119.99) which includes all of that plus a collectible Steelbook, official game soundtrack and additional digital items.

The "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" remaster includes the full campaign and ten multiplayer maps from the original game, all remastered in high-definition by Raven Software to include HDR lighting, shadowing VFX particles, improved texture resolution and detail, revamped animation and audio and more.

Check out the game's reveal trailer below:

Malick's "Voyage of Time" Sets Release Date

Dark Horizons - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:21pm

Finally. After years of waiting, Terrence Malick's now almost mythical documentary "Voyage of Time" has finally set a U.S. release date - October 7th this year through IMAX and Broad Green Pictures.

The Ennio Morricone-scored documentary is one of the longest gestating films of the famed auteur, first announced seven years ago. Two versions were said to be in the works - a 40-minute IMAX cut narrated by Brad Pitt, and a 35mm feature-length version narrated by Cate Blanchett. The project is said to be one of his most ambitious, a "celebration of the universe, displaying the whole of time, from its start to its final collapse."

To put it more simply - take that amazing half-hour 'birth of the universe' segment in Malick's "The Tree of Life", cut out the rest of the film around it including Sean Penn's beach walks and Texan coming-of-age ponderings about parental influence, and then expand on what's left.

The date was discovered deep in an IMAX press release about first quarter 2016 earnings by the Malick Facebook fan community One Big Soul. That October 7th date will be for the IMAX version, no word on the feature-length version which could either be simultaneous, or more likely after the IMAX version has wrapped its run.

Something IS Happening With "Dredd 2"?

Dark Horizons - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:21pm

Last week actor Karl Urban got fans of 2012's "Dredd" film excited with a tweet saying he'd love to return to the Judge Dredd role for a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon as "there's a gold mine of awesome Mega City One stories" from the original comics that could still be used as source material.

Cut to a week and a half later and Urban was a guest at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. The film and his comment came up during his panel on Saturday afternoon. Urban was asked about it and, according to one tweeter in attendance, said that "conversations are happening" regarding the film.

Hardly anything approaching a confirmation, but it's arguably the best indicator so far that a follow-up might be more than just a pipe dream. The fan base for the film has been vocal about their desire for a sequel to the 2012 film which was co-written by Alex Garland ("Ex Machina") and helmed by Pete Travis.

Wan Shoots Down "Aquaman" Rumors

Dark Horizons - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:21pm

In the wake of Seth Grahame-Smith's departure as director of "The Flash" film on Friday, along with talk that Warners is becoming more hands on in its involvement on Zack Snyder's "Justice League: Part One," rumors sprang up over the weekend that filmmaker James Wan was showing "a tremendous amount of trepidation" in regards to taking the helm of the "Aquaman" solo film for Warner Bros. Pictures.

This naturally went further with speculation quickly following that Wan might depart the project. But the man himself, who has "The Conjuring 2" opening this Summer, took to Twitter to shoot down the rumors.

pic.twitter.com/ffJOZSWvkM

— James Wan (@creepypuppet) May 2, 2016

Just resurfaced from been buried in a foxhole for the last two weeks, wrapping up all things #conjuring2. You guys are killing me.

— James Wan (@creepypuppet) May 2, 2016

Wan also asked people not to harass Birth Movies Death which originated the report. Wan and his "The Conjuring 2" co-writer Davie Leslie Johnson are penning the screenplay for "Aquaman" which is slated to go into production next year.

Roberts' "Mother's Day" Paycheck Revealed

Dark Horizons - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:21pm

Whatever you get for you mother on Mother's Day, it won't quite measure up to Julia Roberts' payout for last week's film named after the holiday. Costing $25 million to make, Garry Marshall's "Mother's Day" was completely savaged by critics and essentially ignored by audiences, taking in just $8.3 million at this weekend's box-office.

Now it has been revealed that a nice portion of the film's budget went to actress Julia Roberts - an amount that's raising eyebrows not so much for what she got paid but what little work she did to get it. Specifically Roberts garnered $3 million for just four days of work on the film.

Of course Roberts is being paid more for her marketable name than anything else, something the film's posters and trailers have been exploiting to the hilt. Roberts last major hit was 2012's "Mirror Mirror" and the actress remains one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. She also has "Money Monster" coming out next week, but that is a leading role as opposed to effectively a small supporting role in "Mother's Day".

Source: Variety

Without Encryption, Everything Stops, Says Snowden

/. - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:10pm
An anonymous reader writes about Snowden's appearance on a debate with CNN's Fareed Zakaria: Edward Snowden defended the importance of encryption, calling it the "backbone of computer security." He said, "Encryption saves lives. Encryption protects property. Without it, our economy stops. Our government stops. Everything stops. Our intelligence agencies say computer security is a bigger problem than terrorism, than crime, than anything else," he noted. "[...] Lawful access to any device or communication cannot be provided to anybody without fatally compromising the security of everybody."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Announced; CoD4 Remaster Confirmed

Blue's News - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:56am
Activision officially announces Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, a futuristic next installment in the first-person shooter series, saying this is expected for worldwide release on November 4th. This...

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Blue's News - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:56am
InSomnia (PC, Mac, Linux) by Studio MONO ? Kickstarter. Now offers a playable prologue for Windows, OS X, and Linux for this dieselpunk RPG. Word is: "The aim of the Prologue Chapter is to introduce...

Morning Interviews

Blue's News - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:56am
Behind the scenes at Boss Key Productions for LawBreakers - PC PowerPlay Magazine. Interview: Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, on the Australian gaming industry - PC & Tech Authority. Matt Chat 338:...

Morning Consolidation

Blue's News - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:56am
The Red Ring of Death recall: HOW IT HAPPENED. Thanks HARDOCP. Uncharted 4 Multiplayer Guide. The Drop: New PlayStation Games for 5/3/2016.

Morning Mobilization

Blue's News - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:56am
Better Buy: Previous-Gen Flagship vs. Today's Budget Smartphones. The Apple Watch: Year One.

Morning Metaverse

Blue's News - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:56am
Verizon Makes its 'Final Offer' to Striking Workers. Thanks Ant. Yahoo gives CEO Marissa Mayer severance package worth $55M.

Morning Tech Bits

Blue's News - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:56am
Windows 7 drops under 50% market share, XP falls below 10%. Thanks Slashdot via Ant. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn sells entire stake in Apple. Thanks HARDOCP. Intel's 7th Generation Kaby Lake...

Morning Safety Dance

Blue's News - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:56am
PrivacyCon recap - Federal Trade Commission. Thanks DSLReports via Ant. Your phone?s biggest vulnerability is your fingerprint.
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