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US International Tourism Market Share Is Falling Under Trump

/. - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 8:00am
An anonymous reader writes: The United States' slice of the international tourism pie is declining, according to a new report from Foursquare that looks at data from millions of phones worldwide. The US share of international tourism dropped 16% in March 2017 compared with the previous year. And it declined an average of 11% year over year in months spanning October 2016 to March 2017, according to the report. The drop coincides with the final month of the US election, the Trump transition, and the early months of the Trump administration, which notably imposed a travel ban on people from several majority-Muslim countries in January 2017 that was eventually halted in court but is currently under appeal. Declines in tourism market share from people originating in the Middle East were more pronounced than the rest of the world, down 25% this January, along with a smaller decrease from South America, Foursquare found. The data accounts for the percentage of international tourism coming to the US and not the absolute number of tourists, but Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck told BuzzFeed News that it's unlikely tourist visits to the US increased while share declined. "I don't think you'd see a 16% decline in international market share and absolute numbers being up. I don't think that's compatible," he said. "The volume of tourism doesn't change that fast."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Jack Kesy Is A “Deadpool 2” Villain

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 7:54am

Jack Kesy (“The Strain,” “Baywatch”) has been cast as a major villain in the upcoming “Deadpool” sequel at 20th Century Fox.

Though it’s not clear which villain he will play, the best guess at the moment appears to be Dublin-born mutant Black Bob who can manipulate, bond with, and project energy through plant life.

Ryan Reynolds reprises his role as the Merc with the Mouth in the project which follows on from last year’s $783 million worldwide grosser. Joining him are Josh Brolin as Cable and Zazie Beetz as Domino.

David Leitch helms the film which is set for release June 1st 2018.

Source: Deadline

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“Pirates,” “Baywatch” Are Panned But Earning

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 7:53am

Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” looks set to dominate the Memorial Day holiday box-office, with the Dwayne Johnson-led “Baywatch” coming in second.

Early estimates have the $230 million-budgeted ‘Pirates’ taking in $80 million during the Friday-Monday weekend, and twice that overseas where it has begun to roll out.

That’s a far cry from a decade ago when “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s” opened to $140 million domestically. Meanwhile “Baywatch” is on track for a $40 million opening in its first five dates. With a budget of $65 million, it’s a much less risky bet.

Both “Baywatch” and ‘Pirates’ are being widely panned. ‘Pirates’ sits at a 48/100 on Metacritic, the second worst for the series behind only the fourth film. It’s Rotten Tomatoes score of 34% isn’t much better.

The Metacritic score for “Baywatch” is far worse at 37/100 – putting it almost on par with floptaculars “Terminator Genisys,” “Ben-Hur” and “Assassin’s Creed”. On Rotten Tomatoes, “Baywatch” is pulling in just 17% positive reviews.

Last weekend’s disappointing results from Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant” have raised worries about the summer movie season of 2017. Year-to-date results are up 2.5% to $4.31 billion, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScor, who also noted that summer results are off nearly 10% compared with the 2016 summer.

Source: Variety

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New “Batman” Villains & “Flash” Script Rumors

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 7:51am

Reddit subcommunity DCEULeaks (via Screen Rant) has scored postings from a user, ‘WBUT7,’ which has offered new updates on two of the most anticipated films of the DC Extended Universe – Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” and the upcoming “The Flash” film.

First up, they say that The Joker, Deathstroke, and Scarecrow are rumored to be serving as the main antagonists in Reeves’ version of the script for “The Batman” with others potentially popping up in cameos. Both The Joker and Deathstroke already have Jared Leto and Joe Manganiello attached to the roles. They add that things remain in early stages:

“No work has been commissioned on this movie. Apparently, Matt Reeves has yet to even start on this and has to fulfil his commitment to ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ before working with Ben Affleck.

Although there have been rumours of the script being thrown out, there have been rumours around the executives that Matt Reeves wants to incorporate many Batman villains. These villains will include Deathstroke, Joker, and Scarecrow. The studio has already been working on Deathstroke (obviously) and has mockups of a potential new Scarecrow.”

The user also says the Ezra Miller-led “The Flash” film has reportedly finalized its script and will center on Barry Allen’s struggle with coming to terms with the unique sets of special abilities that he has at such a young age. It also will NOT be an origin story:

“The script has been completed and approved after MANY drafts and rewrites. The studio has finally approved a very good script, with some calling it ‘a perfect coming of age story regarding a young man trying to control his power’. There have not been that much more conversation regarding this film, although they have been very excited.”

As with any Reddit posting, take these rumours as VERY MUCH rumours for now. Both films have yet to set a release date or lock down a production date at this point though both are expected to get underway within the next few months.

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Final Trailer: “Despicable Me 3”

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 7:49am

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment have premiered the third and final trailer “Despicable Me 3” a month out from the film’s release.

The threequel follows the latest adventures of the Minions, Gru (Steve Carell), Lucy (Kristen Wiig), Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Nev Scharrel), as well as the new characters Dru (Gru’s twin brother) and Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker).

Bratt is a former child star who’s grown up to become obsessed with the character he played in the 1980s, and proves to be Gru’s most formidable nemesis to date.

Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda directed, Eric Guillon co-directed, and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio penned the script. “Despicable Me 3” will be released on June 30th.

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China Censored Google's AlphaGo Match Against World's Best Go Player

/. - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 7:20am
DeepMind's board game-playing AI, AlphaGo, may well have won its first game against the Go world number one, Ke Jie, from China -- but most Chinese viewers could not watch the match live. From a report: The Chinese government had issued a censorship notice to broadcasters and online publishers, warning them against livestreaming Tuesday's game, according to China Digital Times, a site that regularly posts such notices in the name of transparency. "Regarding the go match between Ke Jie and AlphaGo, no website, without exception, may carry a livestream," the notice read. "If one has been announced in advance, please immediately withdraw it." The ban did not just cover video footage: outlets were banned from covering the match live in any way, including text commentary, social media, or push notifications. It appears the government was concerned that 19-year-old Ke, who lost the first of three scheduled games by a razor-thin half-point margin, might have suffered a more damaging defeat that would hurt the national pride of a state which holds Go close to its heart.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon Brings Its Physical Bookstore To New York

/. - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 6:40am
Amazon's first New York City bookstore, Amazon Books, will open to the general public on Thursday morning, marking Amazon's highest-profile move into bricks-and-mortar retail to date. Even as the book shop is a physical bookstore, some "Amazon" elements can be felt. From a report: While some may be excited that this is an "Amazon Store," similar to Apple and Microsoft's respective flagship stores located just blocks away, Amazon says its goal for the new store is the same as it was when the online retail giant first started two decades ago: To sell books. "We have this 20 years of information about books and ratings, and we have millions and millions of customers who are passionate," said Jennifer Cast, vice president of Amazon Books. "It really is a different way to surface great books." The 4,000 square-foot-store features roughly 3,000 books, all with their covers facing out in order to better to "communicate their own essence," Cast says. The company's recommendation system makes a physical appearance in the bookstore through an "if you like this" section, which combines the data Amazon gathers on the books listed with human curators to recommend new books. To someone who walks in to browse, it feels like a high-tech Barnes and Noble.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Malicious Subtitles Threaten VLC, Kodi and Popcorn Time Users, Researchers Warn

/. - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 6:00am
Millions of people risk having their devices and systems compromised by malicious subtitles, according to a new research published by security firm Check Point. The threat comes from a previously undocumented vulnerability which affects users of popular streaming software, including Kodi, Popcorn-Time, and VLC. Developers of the applications have already applied fixes and in some cases, working on it. From a report: While most subtitle makers do no harm, it appears that those with malicious intent can exploit these popular streaming applications to penetrate the devices and systems of these users. Researchers from Check Point, who uncovered the problem, describe the subtitle 'attack vector' as the most widespread, easily accessed and zero-resistance vulnerability that has been reported in recent years. "By conducting attacks through subtitles, hackers can take complete control over any device running them. From this point on, the attacker can do whatever he wants with the victim's machine, whether it is a PC, a smart TV, or a mobile device," they write.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Final Trailer: “Valerian and the City of 1000 Planets”

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 5:36am

EuropaCorp has unveiled the third and final trailer for Luc Besson’s $180 million sci-fi epic “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” based on the classic French comic series.

Set this time to an orchestral version of Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise,” the clip deals with some story elements, showcases one big sequence, and generally forgoes some of the cute creatures and ‘place of wonder’ tone of the previous trailers for something darker and more urgent.

Additionally, a new international poster for the film has arrived and can be seen below as well. “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” opens around much of the world on July 21st.

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“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” Photos & Story Details

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 5:09am

Vanity Fair’s extensive “Star Wars” The Last Jedi” cover story has gone online over on their official site, along with a gallery of fourteen photos consisting of shots on location and some beautiful portait photos of members of the cast such as the late Carrie Fisher with her daughter Billie Lourd.

The shots include first looks at Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro’s characters in the movie. Click on the photos below to access the full slideshow.

The full cover story meanwhile can be read here and confirms that Del Toro plays a shady character who goes unnamed in the film but is called ‘DJ’ by the filmmakers. Dern plays Vice Admiral Holdo, a prominent officer in the Resistance. It also confirms there’s an opulent casino city setting called Canto Bight.

In terms of the overall film structure, director Rian Johnson says: “J.J. [Abrams] and Larry [Kasdan] and Michael [Arndt] set everybody up in a really evocative way in VII and started them on a trajectory. I guess I saw it as the job of this middle chapter to challenge all of those characters – let’s see what happens if we knock the stool out from under them.”

He also confirms Luke went in search of the first Jedi temple and found it on Ahch-To where he’s been living among an indigenous race of caretaker creatures which Johnson re-assures are “not Ewoks”.

Click here to check out the full piece, and check out the video below of photographer Annie Leibovitz visiting the set and conducting her photo shoot. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” opens in December.

Source: Vanity Fair

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Wikimedia Is Clear To Sue the NSA Over Its Use of Warrantless Surveillance Tools

/. - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 5:00am
The Wikimedia Foundation has the right to sue the National Security Agency over its use of warrantless surveillance tools, a federal appeals court ruled. "A district judge shot down Wikimedia's case in 2015, saying the group hadn't proved the NSA was actually illegally spying on its communications," reports Engadget. "In this case, proof was a tall order, considering information about the targeted surveillance system, Upstream, remains classified." From the report: The appeals court today ruled Wikimedia presented sufficient evidence that the NSA was in fact monitoring its communications, even if inadvertently. The Upstream system regularly tracks the physical backbone of the internet -- the cables and routers that actually transmit our emoji. With the help of telecom providers, the NSA then intercepts specific messages that contain "selectors," email addresses or other contact information for international targets under U.S. surveillance. "To put it simply, Wikimedia has plausibly alleged that its communications travel all of the roads that a communication can take, and that the NSA seizes all of the communications along at least one of those roads," the appeals court writes. "Thus, at least at this stage of the litigation, Wikimedia has standing to sue for a violation of the Fourth Amendment. And, because Wikimedia has self-censored its speech and sometimes forgone electronic communications in response to Upstream surveillance, it also has standing to sue for a violation of the First Amendment."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Jenkins On Using Real Film On “Wonder Woman”

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 4:49am

Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” film has topped a Fandango audience poll of the most anticipated films of this Summer. ‘Woman’ came in ahead of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” in second, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” in third, “The Dark Tower” in fourth and “Dunkirk” in fifth.

Jenkins has been out doing promo rounds for the film this week and, in a new interview with FOX’s Kevin McCarthy, spoke about why the movie was shot on 35mm film as opposed to Digital which is becoming the norm these days:

“I’ve come up on shooting film and working on film for a long time. Digital has come a long way. Digital does a lot of great things. There are things I really like about digital, but they are not the same and there is some sort of strange myth that ‘Oh, you can do everything now on digital.’

Well if that was true, why do all the great, great, great filmmakers still shoot on film? Is it because they know less? Is it because they’re more haphazard? Is it because they can’t move on to new information? No. It’s because there’s a certain type of epic grander escapism that film gives you that you cannot – you will struggle very hard – to get that on video.”

Jenkins cites Christopher Nolan as one of the few champions left for film and his work with Warner Bros. Pictures seems to have allowed for Jenkins to use film here. Check out her answer in video form:

I want this answer to be my ringtone!@PattyJenks & I geek out about why WONDER WOMAN was shot on 35mm FILM. #Nolan

Film > Digital.pic.twitter.com/Y10UWHPxPr

— Kevin McCarthy (@KevinMcCarthyTV) May 22, 2017

The comment comes at the same time some snazzy new IMAX posters for the film have arrived, check out those below. “Wonder Woman” hits cinemas on June 2nd.

The post Jenkins On Using Real Film On “Wonder Woman” appeared first on Dark Horizons.

Milla Jovovich Talks That “Resident Evil” Reboot

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 4:46am

One of the more unexpected announcements in the past week was that of Constantin Film rebooting the “Resident Evil” film franchise mere months after the sixth and apparent final entry was released in cinemas.

Then came word the other day that James Wan would produce the new film which was the first of six more planned films. What’s not clear at this time is the tone and new direction these films will take.

Today, actress and the previous six films’ leading lady Milla Jovovich was asked for her thoughts on the reboot. The actress tells ComicBook.com that she understands the decision, and hopes those involved will respect the fanbase:

“I think a lot of people with these franchises kind of put the cart before the horse. There’s a danger to that. They’ve been wanting to reboot Resident Evil for a long time, and listen: I love the Resident Evil world. I think it’s a great property, I would do it if I was a producer.

I think what made Resident Evil so special is that the people involved really loved what they’re doing and really were fans of the game. I would suggest that you find people that have that same passion for the property before you talk about reboots.

I think if you get into this kind of genre, people are very sensitive to fakes. There’s some real fans in the sci-fi/action/horror world, and they’re not idiots. They can smell when something is done because people love it and when something is done just to monetize an opportunity.”

The quote indicates the reboot talk isn’t new and has been underway for some time, which might explain why it was decided the sixth film would be the last in the series.

The new “Resident Evil” hasn’t set a date yet.

The post Milla Jovovich Talks That “Resident Evil” Reboot appeared first on Dark Horizons.

Cujo Makes A Cameo In “The Dark Tower”

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 4:42am

If James Gunn can get away with plenty of easter eggs to other Marvel cosmic properties in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” it makes sense that the upcoming “The Dark Tower” film will include references to other works by famed author Stephen King.

A few weeks back the trailer for the film surfaced and eagle-eyed fans spotted some references to other King books including a framed photo of the Overlook Hotel from “The Shining,” and a dilapidated carnival attraction with the name ‘Pennywise’ from “IT”.

So what other King books might be mentioned? King himself recently spoke with IGN about it and confirmed that a certain rabid dog might make an appearance: “If viewers who are familiar with my work look very closely, they might see Cujo. Keep an eye out for Cujo in New York City.”

“Cujo” is considered one of King’s strongest works, and was previously adapted into a so-so movie in 1983. “The Dark Tower” opens in August, just a few weeks ahead of a new adaptation of King’s “IT”.

“IT” was previously adapted into a TV mini-series in 1990 starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown. A new IndieGoGo campaign is out this week to fund a documentary which will explore the making of that mini-series.

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New “Homecoming” & “Mummy” Posters

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 4:40am

Following yesterday’s announcement of its ‘Dark Universe’ initiative, Universal Pictures has released two new IMAX-exclusive posters for the upcoming remake of “The Mummy” starring Tom Cruise.

At the same time, Sony Pictures has unveiled two new one-sheets for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” following that film’s release of its domestic and international final trailers earlier this morning. Check out all the one-sheets below:

The post New “Homecoming” & “Mummy” Posters appeared first on Dark Horizons.

007 Actors React To Moore’s Passing

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 4:35am

In the wake of yesterday’s sad news of the passing of 89-year-old Sir Roger Moore, three of the five other actors to have inhabited the iconic role of James Bond in the official series have paid tribute to the man.

Moore played the character for the longest and forged his own path with the role – something that both brought in newcomers to the franchise whilst at the same time alienated some others who weren’t so charmed. The actor himself though was universally well-liked.

Moore replaced Sean Connery who left the series after “Diamonds are Forever”. Despite Connery and the franchise’s producers butting heads, Connery says he had no ill will for his replacement and released this statement to EW:

“I was very sad to hear of Roger’s passing. We had an unusually long relationship, by Hollywood standards, that was filled with jokes and laughter. I will miss him.”

Pierce Brosnan, who inhabited the role for four films from 1995-2002, has also released a statement on his Facebook page and credited Moore for leading the way:

“Dear Sir Roger Moore, It is indeed with a heavy heart that I hear the news of your passing this morning. You were a big part of my life, from The Saint to James Bond…you were a magnificent James Bond and one that lead the way for me, the world will miss you and your unique sense of humor for years to come. My sincerest condolences to your family and children. RIP.”

Finally, current James Bond star Daniel Craig also released a brief statement in a tweet referencing the title song in Moore’s arguably best outing in the role – “The Spy Who Loved Me”:

Nobody Does It Better – love Daniel pic.twitter.com/lkeKirvt0l

— James Bond (@007) May 23, 2017

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Fourth “Jeepers Creepers” Script Already Done

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 4:33am

After a fourteen year break since the last one, the third film in the “Jeepers Creepers” saga is on the way and is targeting a release sometime later this year or early next year. The film has already wrapped production, and today comes word the creative team behind the third instalment is confident enough that a fourth film is already planned.

Actress Gina Phillips, reprising her role as Trish from the first film, tells Diabolique Magazine that the film’s director Victor Salva has already written a fourth film which will pick up right after the events of the third:

“The plan is for this stuff to go to the screen in the next Jeepers Creepers movie. Victor has written what happens from the second after the conclusion of Jeepers Creepers 3.

I think that’s all I’m allowed to say about it but he wrote in such detail and he had a lot of flashbacks to what happened over the years that it made it very easy for me.

I got to see what will eventually happen to the character and he put enough flashbacks in there that I got to see what happened to her over the last 15 years. Let’s just say, there’s more to come…a lot has changed for Trish over the years. She’s a mother; she’s been through a lot.”

In the third film, Trish Jenner is now a rich and powerful woman who has a teenage son named Darry. She’s also having a recurring nightmare in which he’s killed by the Creeper.

To prevent this from happening, Trish sets out on a final quest, with a small army in tow, to end the reign of terror of The Creeper (Jonathan Breck) once and for all.

The post Fourth “Jeepers Creepers” Script Already Done appeared first on Dark Horizons.

TV News: DC, Stewart, Justice, FOX, Orphan

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 4:32am

DC Super Hero Girls
Production has officially begun on the animated action-comedy series “DC Super Hero Girls” from Warner Bros. Animation, with plans for it to premiere on Cartoon Network in 2018.

In the series, we follow the teen versions of Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl as they deal with school, friends, family and the chaos that comes with managing a social life and superhero shenanigans. Sam Register (“Teen Titans Go!,” “Justice League Action”) serves as executive producer. [Source: Cartoon Network]

Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart and HBO have cancelled plans for a digital animated project that satirises cable news. HBO confirms that it intends to continue developing other content with the former “The Daily Show” host.

The reasons for the cancellation have been put down to “technical issues in terms of production and distribution that proved too difficult given the quick turnaround and topical nature of the material.” [Source: The Wrap]

Chicago Justice
NBC has cancelled “Chicago Justice,” the newest and lowest-rated entry in the franchise, after one season. Dick Wolf’s other three shows – “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.” and “Chicago Med,” were renewed earlier this month.

“Chicago Fire” is NBC’s second-highest-rated and most watched drama series behind breakout “This Is Us”. It averages a 2.3 rating in Live+7 whereas ‘Justice’ scored just a 1.5. [Source: TV Line]

FOX
FOX has officially passed on picking up its five remaining TV pilots to series. Those potential shows being scrapped include the TV remake of “Behind Enemy Lines,” the Lauren Graham-led “Linda From HR,” the Eva Longoria-led “Type A” and the quirky Antarctica comedy “Thin Ice”.

There are efforts underway to shop some of the pilots, notably Sheldon Turner’s University Project which tackles college sexual assault. Fox will also proceed with filming the pilot for its post-apocalyptic vampire drama “The Passage.” [Source: Deadline]

Orphan Black
The final trailer for the fifth and final season of “Orphan Black” has been released by BBC America. The Tatiana Maslany-led clone series will return on Saturday, June 10th.

The post TV News: DC, Stewart, Justice, FOX, Orphan appeared first on Dark Horizons.

“The Last Ship” Sets Season 4 Premiere

Dark Horizons - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 4:30am

TNT has set a 9pm Sunday, August 20th premiere date and time for the fourth season of its epic naval drama series “The Last Ship”. The two-hour episode will debut across TNT platforms.

Eric Dane, Bridget Regan and Adam Baldwin star in the series that chronicles the aftermath of a global catastrophe that nearly decimates the world’s population.

Steven Kane will serve as solo showrunner for seasons four and five, having previously served alongside show co-creator Hank Steinberg for the first three seasons.

The show remains one of TNT’s top-rated series, the third season reached an average of 7 million viewers per episode across multiple platforms and has ranked one of basic cable’s Top 10 summer dramas with adults 18-49.

Source: TNT

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Standing Alone, Part 1

The power of one. Worldwide movements have begun with a single individual determined to change the world. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn so eloquently said, “One word of truth shall outweigh the world.”

 

The Bible offers compelling accounts of rare individuals who, despite impossible odds, trusted God at all cost. One of those remarkable individuals was Esther, who lived “for such a time as this.” What about you?

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