Warner Bros. Faces a Massive Loss at the Box Office on JUSTICE LEAGUE

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The members of the Justice League may have saved the world in their new movie, but they are suffering a major loss for Warner Bros. at the box office. 

Forbes reports that the current box office suggests that Justice League is the lowest-grossing movie among the five DCEU releases so far:

“Total estimated costs: $600 million. Deduct that from the $545 million in studio revenue and we wind up with a $55 million loss. Against Warners’ $475 million in upfront production and marketing expenditures, that works out to a negative 12% ROI.”

That’s the worst performance by far among when lined up against comparable recent films. Assuming my estimates for Justice League are in the right ballpark, then the film appears to have been a very bad investment for Warner Bros. Even if my loss estimates are off by $100 million and instead of losing $50 million the picture made $50 million in profit, it would still be the 19th worst performing picture on my 20-picture list.

Will this underperformance of Justice League impact DC’s future releases like AquamanShazam, and the Justice League and Wonder Woman sequels? I would assume it will. And despite Marvel’s overall success with their MCU, this could even have a ripple effect on the upcoming Marvel movies.

What do you think? Will Warner Bros. look past this shortcoming and move forward with the same game plan? 

James Cameron Talks About Using Underwater Motion Capture for the AVATAR Sequels

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One of the very first things we learned about The Avatar Sequels was that writer/director James Cameron would be taking the characters underwater on Pandora. Cameron has been hyping that the follow-up films will offer brand new visuals and a good chunk of these will happen underwater. But shooting motion capture underwater is something that has pretty much never been done before. It turns out that developing this process is part of the reason it has taken so long for The Avatar Sequels to happen.

Recently Cameron sat down with Collider and talked about the process of shooting underwater motion-capture for Avatar 2 and 3 which is currently in production and as Cameron explains, it sounds incredibly hard:

“Well, we’re doing it. It’s never been done before and it’s very tricky because our motion capture system, like most motion capture systems, is what they call optical base, meaning that it uses markers that are photographed with hundreds of cameras. The problem with water is not the underwater part, but the interface between the air and the water, which forms a moving mirror. That moving mirror reflects all the dots and markers, and it creates a bunch of false markers. It’s a little bit like a fighter plane dumping a bunch of chaff to confuse the radar system of a missile. It creates thousands of false targets, so we’ve had to figure out how to get around that problem, which we did. Basically, whenever you add water to any problem, it just gets ten times harder. So, we’ve thrown a lot of horsepower, innovation, imagination and new technology at the problem, and it’s taken us about a year and a half now to work out how we’re going to do it.”

Even though it has been tough, Cameron said he is happy with the how things have turned out so far:

“We’ve done a tremendous amount of testing, and we did it successfully, for the first time, just last Tuesday [November 14th]. We actually played an entire scene underwater with our young cast. We’ve got six teenagers and one seven-year-old, and they’re all playing a scene underwater. We’ve been training them for six months now, with how to hold their breath, and they’re all up in the two to four minute range. They’re all perfectly capable of acting underwater, very calmly while holding their breath. We’re not doing any of this on scuba. And we’re getting really good data, beautiful character motion and great facial performance capture. We’ve basically cracked the code.”

Cameron also explained that most of the underwater stuff in The Avatar Sequels will happen in the second and third installments, but the final two movies will only have some:

“Now, we’re still working in our small test tank. We graduate to our big tank in January. There’s a tremendous amount of water work across Avatar 2and 3. It’s ongoing into 4and 5, but the emphasis is on 2 and 3.”

Cameron is shooting a lot of these movies at the same time, for example Avatar 2 and 3 are filming simultaneously, then Cameron will take a break to finish post-production on those two sequels only to go back in and shoot Avatar 4 and 5 at the same time to wrap things up. 

Avatar 2 is set to hit theaters on December 18, 2020.

STAR WARS: Galaxy’s Edge Planet will be Featured On STAR TOURS

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We already know that Star Tours is getting a new segment inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but now there’s a new planet that rider will get to visit in a galaxy far, far away: Batuu.

StarWars.com reveals that Batuu — the location of the upcoming Star Wars-themed land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge — was announced as a surprise addition on Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park.

Batuu is described as follows:

“This remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but its prominence was bypassed by the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer to stay out of the mainstream, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe haven for those intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order. While Batuu may be new to us, it is clearly already familiar to many characters from the Star Wars saga as a stepping off point for epic adventures.”

I’m glad that they are not only embracing locations from the Star Wars films, but now the ride will feature the planet that so many of us will come to know as “Star Wars land” at Disneyland.

Below is a video that gives you a look at what Galaxy’s Edge will be like;

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in 2019.

Lizzy Caplan In Talks To Join Channing Tatum in GAMBIT

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Lizzy Caplan (Master of Sex, The Disaster Artist) is in talks to join Channing Tatum in Fox’s X-Men spinoff Gambit. Deadline reports the actress is seriously being considered to join the film that will be directed by Gore Verbinski from a script by Josh Zetumer. It’s not clear who Caplan would play, but that she would have a significant role in the 20th Century Fox movie that is set to release on February 14, 2019.

Gambit was created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee in 1990. Gambit/Remy LeBeau has the ability to charge matter with volatile kinetic energy, his favorite form or matter being playing cards, causing them to explode on impact. Gambit had a brief appearance in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he was played by Taylor Kitsch.

Who do you think Caplin could end up playing?

Christopher Eccleston Says Marvel Was Dishonest and That He Only Did THOR: THE DARK WORLD For the Money

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It’s a common understanding among fans of the MCU that Thor: The Dark World is one of the least-liked films in the expanded universe. So, it comes as no surprise and no disappointment that actor Christopher Eccleston is now calling his performance as the film’s main villain “Not my greatest moment.” 

Eccleston, who played the dark elf Malekith in Thor: The Dark World, is making it clear to Express he didn’t enjoy working with Marvel:

“The first couple of days it was about seven hours, eight hours [in make-up]. I think we got it down to six and a half. It’s a day’s work before [anything]. Marvel were dishonest to me because they never, ever let me know that there’d be that amount of make-up.” 

It is understandable that sitting in the makeup chair for that many hours a day would be pretty difficult, but he also made it clear that he only took the job for an easy pay check: “Money. That’s exactly what I felt,” he answered when the interviewer suggested that was a good reason to play the villain.

Eccleston doesn’t have to worry too much about working for Marvel anytime soon, of all the characters Marvel could bring back from the dead, Malekith is probably at the bottom of the studio’s list.

Watch STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI’s Crystal Fox aka the Vulptex Come to Life

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The Porgs have had the spotlight for long enough, now it’s the time for the Vulptex. When the Star Wars: The Last Jedi BTS reel debuted we got our first look at some of the amazing new creatures that will be in the movie, including the Porgs and the amazing-looking crystal foxes. Well thanks to EW, we now know this blinged out creature is known as a vulptex. (A pack of them would be vulptices.)

The lifeforms live on the mineral-rich world of Crait and run across the salt flats and burrow deep within the tunnels of an old Rebel Alliance hideout, which dates back to the events of the original trilogy.

EW spoke with the head of the Star Wars creature shop, Neal Scanlan, about the creation of these sparkly survivors.

“The idea is that these wonderful sort of feral creatures had lived on this planet and had consumed the planet’s surface, and as such had become crystalline,” Scanlan says. The designers took inspiration from “crystal glass chandeliers and the sort of luminosity and elements of refraction” they create.

The vulptices were designed by Aaron McBride and the name “vulptex” came from Lucasfilm story group member Pablo Hidalgo, who galacticized vulpes, the Latin word for “fox.”

Describing a fox covered with gems instead of fur is an easy thing to do, but it’s no simple task to create on in real life. For help, they turned to man’s best friend.

“We had a little dog come in and we built a little suit for it, and we covered that suit with clear drinking straws,” Scanlan said. “It was amazing to see him run around. It could run and jump, and it had this wonderful sort of movement to it. It had a great sound to it, as well, because all the little straws moved and flexed with the animal.”

The dog showed them how a creature covered with long crystals might actually move around, and where spaces between the crystals would be necessary. After that, the creature shop built animatronic puppets that could perform in scenes with live actors, while separate models that didn’t move were made and digitally scanned for animators.

And the Vulptex won’t just be something pretty to look at in the background on Crait, apparently, they will have an important part to play in the story.

“They live within the burrows and within the tunnels beneath the planet,” Scanlan says. “So there is a time where their ability to shine within the darkness, should provide a guiding light to our heroes.”

Check out this short featurette about the making of the vulptex:

DCEU Fans Are Petitioning For a Zack Snyder Cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE

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Now that they’ve seen Justice League some hardcore DC Extended Universe fans are wondering how the film would have looked had Zack Snyder stayed behind the director’s camera. Some are demanding that Warner Bros. release Snyder’s original cut for the Justice League movie.

Snyder stepped down during reshoots and post-production and handed the film over to Avengers director Joss Whedon. The Justice League’s producer says that Whedon only contributed to about 20% of the movie, but for some fans that’s too much.

Now a fan in Puerto Rico, has launched a Change.org petition for Warner Bros. to release Snyder’s unaltered version of the film and he has a pretty good start to the movement, the petition currently has over 17,000 signees.

Here’s a sample of the petition’s over 2400 word mission statement:

“We the undersigned make this petition,because during the last few months, the film Justice League underwent a few changes in terms of composer and runtime. Zack Snyder, director of the film, screened Justice League to Warner Bros. executives earlier this year, they where happy with the film, but the director himself felt the film needed something more, he contacted Joss Whedon, director of The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, to write a few additional scenes with plans to shoot them over the summer, but an unfortunate tragedy in his family happened and he understandably had to step down, Warner Bros. following Snyder’s departure, released a statement saying that Justice League will be finished as Zack Snyder’s vision, but a week after that statement, composer Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL) was replaced with Danny Elfman, much to the dismay of fans, who were concerned about the thematic compositional elements from Man of Steel and Batman v Superman being changed, due to the change in composer.

In early October cinemas confirmed that the runtime for Justice League will be 2hrs long, much to the shock of fans, who were asking themselves: “how will a film that has 6 main characters, their supporting players, a story that revolves around an alien invasion, the terraforming of earth and the return of a familiar face, would fit in a 2hr runtime?”, Many film critics, websites and journalists started comparing the runtime to Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope, stating that the sci-fi/fantasy film dealt with 5 characters, the introduction of a mythology and an intergalactic war, but the difference between Justice League and Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope is very simple: Justice League as mentioned earlier, revolves around a plot to terraform earth, an alien invasion, 4 new characters, their backstories and their motivations, the development of 2 other characters from previous entries in the DC Extended Universe and the return of a familiar face that need development and I will explain myself.

The DC Extended Universe is based on DC comics, a brand of comic books that writes superheroes, villains and other characters from different backgrounds with different backstories and motivations, that are relatable to the reader with themes that mirror the real world, for example, Man of Steel was the first entry in the the DC Extended Universe, the film revolved around an alien trying to find his place in the world, while dealing with his past, alien origins, superhuman abilities and a plot that revolved around first contact with an alien civilization, while the sequel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice revolved around the existence of an alien and his purpose in the world, how humanity reacted to him, how they were divided and ultimately united, because ofnhim, the different philosophies, ideologies and motivations of a man coming to gripes with his past, the reality of aliens living amongst humans and the realization that such alien could be dangerous, a man with a childhood trauma, who wants to get rid of abusive figures and who realizes that power is not innocent and the perception of humans towards the alien in question. Justice League is the culmination of the alien’s story and the beginning of a new chapter in the DC Extended Universe. Fans have been waiting for years, while others have waited decades for the film to finally arrive on the silver screen. The 2hr runtime is disrespectful towards Zack Snyder’s vision and towards the fans who have waited for more than a year to see the alien’s story come to an end.”

The petition goes on to touch on the importance of the film’s score and other items. Warner Bros. has set some kind of precedent for this kind of thing, having released the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Ultimate Edition with a significant number of scenes cut from the theatrical edition of the movie restored. However, Suicide Squad, another movie where much of the director’s original footage was excised and rearranged for the theatrical cut, received no such restored edition.

Pretty convincing stuff, but just because there is a petition doesn’t necessarily mean that Warner Bros. will decide to play ball. The good news is that there is still plenty of time before Justice League is released on BluRay.

Justice League is now playing in theaters. 

Damon Lindelof Is Adapting WATCHMEN for TV Because We Need More Dangerous Shows

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It was only a few months ago that we learned that Damon Lindelof would be adapting Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen for the premium cable network HBO. Now, Lindelof is revealing more about his interest in the book. He told a crowd at a panel at Vulture Fest LA:

Watchmen—it was dangerous. And you can’t be dangerous for dangerous’s sake, but the reason that I’m doing this is these are dangerous times, and we need dangerous shows.”

Lindelof then explained what might be the central point of Watchmen:

 “What we think about superheroes is wrong. I love the Marvel movies and we saw Justice League this morning and I’m all for Wonder Woman and Batman and I grew up on these characters, but we should not trust people who put on masks and say that they are looking out for us. If you hide your face, you are up to no good.”

I do like the point that Lindelof is making here, just about all the superhero movies we have today are sugar coated and don’t contain real human struggles like the characters in Watchmen deal with.

What do you guys think? Do you agree with Lindelof? Are you excited about his Watchmen series?

 Vulture.com

It’s Rumored that Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN Won’t Be a Reboot

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There has been a lot of speculation as of late about director Matt Reeves‘ planned Batman movie, but there’s some new information that might give confirmation as to when the movie actually takes place.

The new rumor comes from former Latino Review reporter Mario Francisco-Robles who claims that The Batman will not be a prequel or a reboot, and will be set after the events of Justice League.

There have been a lot of inquiries regarding the details of Reeves’ film, especially with rumors of current Batman, Ben Affleck possibly departing the role and Jake Gyllenhaal rumored to be replacing the caped crusader.

Francisco-Robles cites an unnamed source, who recently revealed the new information.

The Batman will not be a prequel or reboot. It’s the [Justice League] Batman… [Jake Gyllenhaal] will be almost 40 when The Batman is out. He still has operated for 20 years, but his age will be less of the focus.”

It’s is good to hear that Warner Bros. isn’t necessarily looking to start over in the wake of Affleck’s possible departure. But the source says the writing is on the wall that Batfleck is done in the DC cinematic universe.

“[The Gyllenhaal] news will probably be confirmed, because now Affleck is most likely not coming back. The last few weeks have been clear he wants out. It’s a bummer. So I think that is why the [Gyllenhaal] stuff is leaking harder.”

The source also backs up what the director has said he wants to showcase, saying “Reeves is going to do some stuff influenced in crime film and deep Batman mythos.”

It would make sense that the studio would not want to bring light to Affleck’s departure during the opening run of Justice League. Time will tell and we will know sooner than later if these rumors have any truth to them.

What do you think? Would you like Gyllenhall as Batman?

Justice League is now playing in theaters.

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Writer Billy Ray Set To Rewrite New TERMINATOR Movie

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The new Terminator movie already has Deadpool director Tim Miller attached, with original director James Cameron producing. Now The Wrap reports that Captain Phillips and The Hunger Games screenwriter Billy Ray has been hired to rewrite the script for Paramount’s new Terminator movie.

The new Terminator film will disregard all sequels produced after 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The new film will also act as a launching pad for a whole new cast of characters. Cameron previously said:

“This is a continuation of the story from ‘Terminator 1’ and ‘Terminator 2.’ And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream. Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse.”

Cameron wrote and directed the first two films in the franchise, he then stepped away before Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Since then there have been three sequels and a TV show. Cameron goes on to say that the idea to disregard later films was Miller’s idea.

“This was really driven more by [Tim] than anybody, surprisingly, because I came in pretty agnostic about where we took it. The only thing I insisted on was that we somehow revamp it and reinvent it for the 21st century.”

Linda Hamilton, who played Sarah Connor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger are expected to return, but Cameron explains the main purpose of the reboot is to hand off the story to new characters.

“A lot of this is handing off the baton to a new generation of characters. We’re starting a search for an 18-something young woman to essentially be the new centerpiece of these stories. And then a number of other characters around her and characters from the future. We still fold time in the story in intriguing ways. But we have Arnold’s character and Linda’s character to anchor it.”

Sounds very similar to what Disney and Lucasfilm did with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, brought back the original cast only to have them hand off the saga to a new generation of actors and characters.

Right now the new Terminator film is set to hit theaters on July 26, 2019