TheWrapMovies – TheWrap https://www.thewrap.com Covering Hollywood Sun, 18 Feb 2018 06:36:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Wins Top Prize From American Society of Cinematographers https://www.thewrap.com/blade-runner-2049-wins-top-prize-american-society-cinematographers/ https://www.thewrap.com/blade-runner-2049-wins-top-prize-american-society-cinematographers/#respond Sun, 18 Feb 2018 06:24:50 +0000 Steve Pond https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1816664 Roger Deakins has been named the best cinematographer of 2017 for his work on “Blade Runner 2049,” the American Society of Cinematographers announced at the ASC Awards on Saturday night.

The honor marks Deakins’ fourth competitive ASC Award, in addition to one lifetime-achievement award from the group. Though he is widely acclaimed as the greatest living cinematographer and has been nominated for the Oscar 14 times, Deakins has never won an Academy Award.

The five ASC nominees in the theatrical category — Deakins, Bruno Delbonnel for “Darkest Hour,” Dan Laustsen for “The Shape of Water,” Hoyte van Hoytema for “Dunkirk” and Rachel Morrison for “Mudbound” — were the same as the five nominees for the Academy Award for cinematography, with Morrison the first woman ever nominated for both awards.

But the win does not necessarily mean that Deakins is now an Oscar frontrunner. In the first 31 years of the ASC Awards, the theatrical winner went on to win the Oscar only 13 times, although three of those wins (“Gravity,” “Birdman” and “The Revenant,” all to Emmanuel Lubezki) were in the last four years.

More often than not, though, ASC members disagree with the Academy. That explains why Lubezki won two ASC Awards before he won his first Oscar, and why Deakins won his first three ASC Awards but then lost at the Oscars.

The ASC Spotlight Award, which goes to a foreign or indie film without wide distribution, was won by Mart Taniel for the black-and-white Estonian film “November.”

Television awards went to Adriano Goldman for the “Smoke and Mirrors” episode of “The Crown,” Mathias Herndl for the first episode of the Nat Geo miniseries “Genius” and Boris Mojsovski for the “Thief” episode of “12 Monkeys.”

The ceremony took place in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. Honorary awards were given to director Angelina Jolie, cinematographers Russell Carpenter, Alan Caso, Russell Boyd and Stephen Lighthill and Kino Flo Lighting Systems founder Frieder Hochheim.

The ASC Awards winners:

Theatrical Release: Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049”

Spotlight Award: Mart Taniel, “November”

Motion Picture, Miniseries, or Pilot Made for Television: Mathias Herndl, “Genius,” “Chapter 1”

Episode of a Series for Non-Commercial Television: Adriano Goldman, “The Crown,” “Smoke and Mirrors”

Episode of a Series for Commercial Television: Boris Mojsovski, “12 Monkeys,” “Thief”

Lifetime Achievement Award: Russell Carpenter
Board of Governors Award: Angelina Jolie
Career Achievement in Television Award: Alan Caso
International Award: Russell Boyd
Presidents Award: Stephen Lighthill
Bud Stone Award of Distinction: Frieder Hochheim

Andrew Lesnie Heritage Award Winners:
Undergraduate: Logan Fulton, “Widow”
Graduate: Favienne Howsepian, “Snowplow”
Haskell Wexler Student Documentary Award: Connor Ellmann, “Forever Home”

Related stories from TheWrap:

SAG and PGA Awards Give Boosts to 'Three Billboards' and 'Shape of Water,' But How Big?

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All 19 Movies That Flunked CinemaScore With F Grade, From ‘Solaris’ to ‘mother!’ (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/cinemascore-f-grade-movies-solaris-mother/ https://www.thewrap.com/cinemascore-f-grade-movies-solaris-mother/#respond Sun, 18 Feb 2018 06:00:41 +0000 Thom Geier and Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1709340
  • Dr. T and the Women (2000)
  • Darkness (2002)
    Solaris (2002)
    Wolf Creek (2005)
    Bug (2006)
    The Wicker Man (2006)
    - I Know Who Killed Me (2007)
    Disaster Movie (2008)
    The Box (2009)
    The Devil Inside (2012)
    Silent House (2012)
    Killing Them Softly (2012)

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    https://www.thewrap.com/cinemascore-f-grade-movies-solaris-mother/feed/ 0 Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” has polarized critics, but audiences who went to see it on opening night stamped it with an F on CinemaScore. Only a handful of films have received that failing grade, but how many of them had a critical/audience divide like “mother!” did?

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    Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” has polarized critics, but audiences who went to see it on opening night stamped it with an F on CinemaScore. Only a handful of films have received that failing grade, but how many of them had a critical/audience divide like “mother!” did?

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    "Eye of the Beholder" (1999) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 9%

    Ewan McGregor plays a detective who goes chasing after a serial killer (Ashley Judd).

     

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    "Eye of the Beholder" (1999) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 9%

    Ewan McGregor plays a detective who goes chasing after a serial killer (Ashley Judd).

     

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    "Lucky Numbers" (2000) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 22%

    Nora Ephron directed this clunker starring John Travolta as a weatherman who tries to cheat the local lottery.

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    "Lucky Numbers" (2000) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 22%

    Nora Ephron directed this clunker starring John Travolta as a weatherman who tries to cheat the local lottery.

    ]]>
    "Lost Souls" (2000) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 7%

    Winona Ryder stars as a woman who has survived an exorcism but is convinced that a journalist (Ben Chaplin) will become the Antichrist -- like all journalists.

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    "Lost Souls" (2000) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 7%

    Winona Ryder stars as a woman who has survived an exorcism but is convinced that a journalist (Ben Chaplin) will become the Antichrist -- like all journalists.

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    "Dr. T and the Women" (2000) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

    Richard Gere, Helen Hunt and Farrah Fawcett couldn't save "Dr. T and the Women" from a F grade.

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    "Dr. T and the Women" (2000) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

    Richard Gere, Helen Hunt and Farrah Fawcett couldn't save "Dr. T and the Women" from a F grade.

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    "Solaris" (2002) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66%

    Directed by Steven Soderbergh, produced by James Cameron, and starring George Clooney, this adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s classic sci-fi novel alienated opening night crowds with its deliberate pace, but won over critics like Roger Ebert for its cerebral storytelling. 

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    "Solaris" (2002) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66%

    Directed by Steven Soderbergh, produced by James Cameron, and starring George Clooney, this adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s classic sci-fi novel alienated opening night crowds with its deliberate pace, but won over critics like Roger Ebert for its cerebral storytelling. 

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    "Darkness" (2002): Rotten Tomatoes Score: 4%

    Released on Christmas Day in the U.S., critics roundly panned the occult European horror import as a nonsensical, poorly edited mess that relied too much on jump scares. 

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    "Darkness" (2002): Rotten Tomatoes Score: 4%

    Released on Christmas Day in the U.S., critics roundly panned the occult European horror import as a nonsensical, poorly edited mess that relied too much on jump scares. 

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    "Fear Dot Com" (2002) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 3%

    In this ripoff of "The Ring," people start dying 48 hours after they log onto a mysterious website.

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    "Fear Dot Com" (2002) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 3%

    In this ripoff of "The Ring," people start dying 48 hours after they log onto a mysterious website.

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    "In the Cut" (2003) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 34%

    Meg Ryan was savaged by critics and audiences for playing very much against her girl-next-door image as a writer who embarks on a torrid affair with a cop (Mark Ruffalo).

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    "In the Cut" (2003) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 34%

    Meg Ryan was savaged by critics and audiences for playing very much against her girl-next-door image as a writer who embarks on a torrid affair with a cop (Mark Ruffalo).

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    "Alone in the Dark" (2005) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 1%

    Christian Slater plays a paranormal investigator in an adaptation of a videogame that was reviled even more than most big-screen adaptations of videogames.

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    "Alone in the Dark" (2005) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 1%

    Christian Slater plays a paranormal investigator in an adaptation of a videogame that was reviled even more than most big-screen adaptations of videogames.

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    "Wolf Creek" (2005) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53%

    This viciously violent horror flick, on the other hand, got a hard pan from Ebert for its depiction of women being tortured. But other critics defended the film for its audacity and willingness to truly horrify. This polarizing film has since earned a small cult following among horror buffs. 

     

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    "Wolf Creek" (2005) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53%

    This viciously violent horror flick, on the other hand, got a hard pan from Ebert for its depiction of women being tortured. But other critics defended the film for its audacity and willingness to truly horrify. This polarizing film has since earned a small cult following among horror buffs. 

     

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    "Bug" (2006) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%

    The reception for “Bug” was similar to that of “mother!”, shocking and polarizing audiences at Cannes while winning over critics with the powerful lead performances of Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon. But when it hit theaters, audiences were disturbed in the worst way possible. 

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    "Bug" (2006) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%

    The reception for “Bug” was similar to that of “mother!”, shocking and polarizing audiences at Cannes while winning over critics with the powerful lead performances of Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon. But when it hit theaters, audiences were disturbed in the worst way possible. 

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    "The Wicker Man" (2006) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 15%

    The original “Wicker Man” in 1973 is regarded as a cult classic. This one was seen as an unintentional joke by critics, and has gained a cult following as a so-bad-its-good film.

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    "The Wicker Man" (2006) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 15%

    The original “Wicker Man” in 1973 is regarded as a cult classic. This one was seen as an unintentional joke by critics, and has gained a cult following as a so-bad-its-good film.

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    "I Know Who Killed Me" (2007) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 7%

    This psychological thriller wasn’t screened in advance for critics, and when reviews did come out, they were not kind to Lindsay Lohan’s performance. “I Know Who Killed Me” went on to win eight Razzies, including Worst Picture. 

     

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    "I Know Who Killed Me" (2007) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 7%

    This psychological thriller wasn’t screened in advance for critics, and when reviews did come out, they were not kind to Lindsay Lohan’s performance. “I Know Who Killed Me” went on to win eight Razzies, including Worst Picture. 

     

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    "Disaster Movie" (2008) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 1%

    Kim Kardashian may have been the biggest star in this failed spoof of the disaster-movie genre with possibly the least original movie title ever.

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    "Disaster Movie" (2008) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 1%

    Kim Kardashian may have been the biggest star in this failed spoof of the disaster-movie genre with possibly the least original movie title ever.

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    "The Box" (2009) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%

    James Marsden and Cameron Diaz found a bizarre package in a befuddling brain-twister from "Donnie Darko" director Richard Kelly that filmgoers preferred to keep shut.

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    "The Box" (2009) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%

    James Marsden and Cameron Diaz found a bizarre package in a befuddling brain-twister from "Donnie Darko" director Richard Kelly that filmgoers preferred to keep shut.

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    "The Devil Inside" (2012) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 6%

    2012 brought a trio of CinemaScore flunkies. First was the hated “Devil Inside,” which pretended to be a documentary and ended with a link to a website to encourage viewers to learn more about the film’s paranormal incidents. Audiences chose to log off instead. 

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    "The Devil Inside" (2012) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 6%

    2012 brought a trio of CinemaScore flunkies. First was the hated “Devil Inside,” which pretended to be a documentary and ended with a link to a website to encourage viewers to learn more about the film’s paranormal incidents. Audiences chose to log off instead. 

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    "Silent House" (2012) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 41%

    Premiering as a midnight screening at Sundance, “Silent House” earned praise from some critics for using the “continuous shot” style that “Birdman” later won Oscars for. But like “The Box” and “Devil Inside,” the film’s payoff soured CinemaScore polls. 

     

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    "Silent House" (2012) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 41%

    Premiering as a midnight screening at Sundance, “Silent House” earned praise from some critics for using the “continuous shot” style that “Birdman” later won Oscars for. But like “The Box” and “Devil Inside,” the film’s payoff soured CinemaScore polls. 

     

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    "Killing Them Softly" (2012) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

    Critics who saw this dark crime thriller at Cannes loved Brad Pitt’s performance and the film’s bleak portrayal of capitalism. But “Killing Them Softly” didn’t just go after capitalism, it went after America, ending with Pitt responding to an Obama speech on TV by declaring “America is not a country; it's just a business.” Americans didn’t appreciate that.

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    "Killing Them Softly" (2012) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

    Critics who saw this dark crime thriller at Cannes loved Brad Pitt’s performance and the film’s bleak portrayal of capitalism. But “Killing Them Softly” didn’t just go after capitalism, it went after America, ending with Pitt responding to an Obama speech on TV by declaring “America is not a country; it's just a business.” Americans didn’t appreciate that.

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    "mother!" (2017) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%

    Darren Aronofsky's horror film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem sharply divided critics -- but not audiences. The film's shocking, violent climax has left viewers deeply shaken. 

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    "mother!" (2017) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%

    Darren Aronofsky's horror film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem sharply divided critics -- but not audiences. The film's shocking, violent climax has left viewers deeply shaken. 

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    ‘Black Panther': Activist Group Launches Black Voter Registration Effort at Film Screenings https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-voter-registration-at-screenings/ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-voter-registration-at-screenings/#respond Sun, 18 Feb 2018 03:10:59 +0000 Umberto Gonzalez https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1816623 An activist group known as the Electoral Justice Project (EJP) has launched a black voter registration effort at screenings of “Black Panther” nationwide.

    An offshoot of the Movement for Black Lives, EJP was founded by Kayla Reed, Jessica Byrd and Rukia Lumumba last October and aims to fight for and advance the rights of black Americans with the #WakandaTheVote campaign.

    “We will be registering people to vote at movie theaters across the country so that we can #wakandathevote at the ballot box,” said one of the organizers in a story first reported by Blavity.

    The founders told Blavity that the recruitment effort has been effective “because we meet our communities where they are, whether that’s in the streets, at the city council meeting, or in the movie theater.”

    “This weekend we wanted to meet our people in Wakanda,” they added, referring to Black Panther’s fictional native East African nation. “We know that for some it’s a superhero world, but we know that the world we deserve is still waiting to be built — and we want to build it! This upcoming spring and November 2018 midterm elections are an important step in building that new world, and we want to take every opportunity to engage our communities in the conversation of electoral justice.”

    For more information, head to the Movement for Black Lives website, which says recruiters will be wearing “Wakanda inspired outfits” to help filmgoers register to vote.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    44 Movies With A+ CinemaScore Since 2000, From 'Remember the Titans' to 'Black Panther' (Photos)

    'Black Panther' Nabs A+ CinemaScore, First Superhero Movie Since 'The Avengers'

    'Black Panther' Storms Toward Record-Setting $200 Million-Plus Box Office Opening

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    Viola Davis: If I’m the Black Meryl Streep, ‘Pay Me What I’m Worth’ https://www.thewrap.com/viola-davis-if-im-the-black-meryl-streep-pay-me-what-im-worth/ https://www.thewrap.com/viola-davis-if-im-the-black-meryl-streep-pay-me-what-im-worth/#respond Sun, 18 Feb 2018 02:44:10 +0000 Rosemary Rossi https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1816432 Viola Davis may be one of the most sought after actresses in show business, but as a woman of color, she still fights pay inequality at every turn.

    Although she stands in solidarity with women who’ve stepped forward regarding gender bias, Davis said she experiences an additional inequality because she is paid a fraction of what white actresses with similar training, experience and talent earn.

    “What they’re getting paid — which is half of what a man is getting paid — well, we get probably a tenth of what a Caucasian woman gets. And I’m number one on the call sheet,” she said referring to African-American women in an interview for Women in the World.

    True, she has had a career better than most SAG card holders, one that she said is probably comparable to Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver and others. But it still doesn’t add up.

    “I got the Oscar, I got the Emmy, I got the two Tonys. I’ve done Broadway, I’ve done off-Broadway, I’ve done TV, I’ve done film. I’ve done all of it,” she said. “And yet, I am nowhere near them, not as far as money, not as far as job opportunities. Nowhere close to it.”

    She has all that going for her, but she still gets on the phone and hustles for every job, and frequently hears the same old thing.

    “People say, ‘You’re a black Meryl Streep. You are. And we love you. We love you. There is no one like you,'” she said, mimicking potential employers. “OK, then if there’s no one like me, if you think I’m that, you pay me what I’m worth. You give me what I’m worth.”

    You can watch the interview by clicking here.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Hollywood Wage Gap Shocker: 10 Best Paid Actresses Earned One Third What Top Actors Did

    Hollywood Gender Wage Gap: 10 Highest Paid Actors Earn More Than Double Top 10 Actresses

    Why Charlie Walk Accuser Waited Months to Come Forward – and How Viola Davis Spurred Her to Action

    Jordan Peele, Viola Davis, Steve Bannon Make Time's 100 Most Influential People List

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    https://www.thewrap.com/viola-davis-if-im-the-black-meryl-streep-pay-me-what-im-worth/feed/ 0
    44 Movies With A+ CinemaScore Since 2000, From ‘Remember the Titans’ to ‘Black Panther’ (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/movies-a-plus-cinemascore-lord-of-rings-harry-potter-black-panther-photos/ https://www.thewrap.com/movies-a-plus-cinemascore-lord-of-rings-harry-potter-black-panther-photos/#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 20:06:56 +0000 Thom Geier https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1816473 Movies That Nabbed an A+ CinemaScore Since 2000, From ‘Remember the Titans’ to ‘Black Panther’ (Photos)

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    https://www.thewrap.com/movies-a-plus-cinemascore-lord-of-rings-harry-potter-black-panther-photos/feed/ 0 "Finding Forrester" (2000) 

    A writing prodigy finds an unlikely mentor in a reclusive author played by Sean Connery in this feel-good drama that won over first-weekend audiences.

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    "Finding Forrester" (2000) 

    A writing prodigy finds an unlikely mentor in a reclusive author played by Sean Connery in this feel-good drama that won over first-weekend audiences.

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    "Remember the Titans" (2000) 

    Audiences cheered for the high school football drama starring Denzel Washington as a tough-talking coach.

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    "Remember the Titans" (2000) 

    Audiences cheered for the high school football drama starring Denzel Washington as a tough-talking coach.

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    "Monsters, Inc." (2001) 

    Pixar animated hits like this one consistently get high marks from CinemaScore moviegoers.

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    "Monsters, Inc." (2001) 

    Pixar animated hits like this one consistently get high marks from CinemaScore moviegoers.

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    "Antwone Fisher" (2002) 

    Denzel Washington plays a Navy shrink treating a troubled sailor (Derek Luke).

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    "Antwone Fisher" (2002) 

    Denzel Washington plays a Navy shrink treating a troubled sailor (Derek Luke).

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    "Drumline" (2002) 

    Nick Cannon plays a Harlem street drummer recruited to play for a Southern university's marching band.

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    "Drumline" (2002) 

    Nick Cannon plays a Harlem street drummer recruited to play for a Southern university's marching band.

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    "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002) 

    The second film in the eight-film saga won a grade that would have pleased Hermione -- though all the others rated an A– or better.

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    "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002) 

    The second film in the eight-film saga won a grade that would have pleased Hermione -- though all the others rated an A– or better.

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    "Finding Nemo" (2003) 

    Another beloved Pixar hit.

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    "Finding Nemo" (2003) 

    Another beloved Pixar hit.

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    "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003) 

    The Oscar-winning finale of Peter Jackson's J.R.R. Tolkien saga was the one ring that ruled them all.

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    "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003) 

    The Oscar-winning finale of Peter Jackson's J.R.R. Tolkien saga was the one ring that ruled them all.

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    "The Passion of the Christ" (2004) 

    Mel Gibson's biblical epic won a passionate response from filmgoers.

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    "The Passion of the Christ" (2004) 

    Mel Gibson's biblical epic won a passionate response from filmgoers.

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    "The Incredibles" (2004) 

    Another Pixar film that won over audiences in a superhero-size way.

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    "The Incredibles" (2004) 

    Another Pixar film that won over audiences in a superhero-size way.

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    "The Polar Express" (2004) 

    Tom Hanks' CG conductor now looks a little creepy, but this holiday-set animated film was cutting edge at the time of its release.

     

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    "The Polar Express" (2004) 

    Tom Hanks' CG conductor now looks a little creepy, but this holiday-set animated film was cutting edge at the time of its release.

     

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    "Ray" (2004) 

    Jamie Foxx's Oscar-winning turn as music legend Ray Charles hit high notes with filmgoers.

     

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    "Ray" (2004) 

    Jamie Foxx's Oscar-winning turn as music legend Ray Charles hit high notes with filmgoers.

     

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    "Dreamer" (2005) 

    A heart-tugging story about a racehorse who came back after breaking a leg is a natural to win high marks.

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    "Dreamer" (2005) 

    A heart-tugging story about a racehorse who came back after breaking a leg is a natural to win high marks.

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    "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" (2005) 

    Tyler Perry's early Madea film won over first-weekend audiences.

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    "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" (2005) 

    Tyler Perry's early Madea film won over first-weekend audiences.

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    "Cinderella Man" (2005) 

    Ron Howard's drama about a real-life boxer (Russell Crowe) knocked out moviegoers.

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    "Cinderella Man" (2005) 

    Ron Howard's drama about a real-life boxer (Russell Crowe) knocked out moviegoers.

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    "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (2005) 

    The C.S. Lewis story ticked the right boxes for CinemaScore audiences with its appeal to both faith-based and family audiences.

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    "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (2005) 

    The C.S. Lewis story ticked the right boxes for CinemaScore audiences with its appeal to both faith-based and family audiences.

    ]]>
    "Akeelah and the Bee" (2006) 

    A girl from South Los Angeles tries to compete in the National Spelling Bee in this feel-good drama.

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    "Akeelah and the Bee" (2006) 

    A girl from South Los Angeles tries to compete in the National Spelling Bee in this feel-good drama.

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    "Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?" (2007) 

    CinemaScore grades tend to get a boost when super-fans turn out in force on opening weekend -- like Tyler Perry enthusiasts.

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    "Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?" (2007) 

    CinemaScore grades tend to get a boost when super-fans turn out in force on opening weekend -- like Tyler Perry enthusiasts.

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    "Up" (2009) 

    Filmgoer affection kept the score aloft for this Pixar hit.

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    "Up" (2009) 

    Filmgoer affection kept the score aloft for this Pixar hit.

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    "The Blind Side" (2009) 

    Sandra Bullock's Oscar-winning feel-good drama blindsided audiences with its heartfelt true-life story.

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    "The Blind Side" (2009) 

    Sandra Bullock's Oscar-winning feel-good drama blindsided audiences with its heartfelt true-life story.

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    "The King's Speech" (2010) 

    Colin Firth's true-life story of King George VI became the latest Oscar Best Picture winner to appeal to audiences as well.

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    "The King's Speech" (2010) 

    Colin Firth's true-life story of King George VI became the latest Oscar Best Picture winner to appeal to audiences as well.

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    "Tangled" (2010) 

    Disney's spin on Rapunzel was just another one of its much-loved princess yarns.

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    "Tangled" (2010) 

    Disney's spin on Rapunzel was just another one of its much-loved princess yarns.

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    "Soul Surfer" (2011) 

    Filmgoers latched onto a film about Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who got back on the board even after losing an arm in a shark attack.

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    "Soul Surfer" (2011) 

    Filmgoers latched onto a film about Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who got back on the board even after losing an arm in a shark attack.

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    "Courageous" (2011) 

    This faith-based indie about four cops who reassess their lives after a tragedy hit home with audiences.

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    "Courageous" (2011) 

    This faith-based indie about four cops who reassess their lives after a tragedy hit home with audiences.

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    "Dolphin Tale" (2011) 

    Family audiences flipped for this one.

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    "Dolphin Tale" (2011) 

    Family audiences flipped for this one.

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    "The Help" (2011) 

    Tate Taylor's civil rights drama became a giant summer hit on the heels of some very positive word of mouth.

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    "The Help" (2011) 

    Tate Taylor's civil rights drama became a giant summer hit on the heels of some very positive word of mouth.

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    "The Avengers" (2012) 

    Marvel's superhero-palooza became the first comic-book movie to land a perfect grade.

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    "The Avengers" (2012) 

    Marvel's superhero-palooza became the first comic-book movie to land a perfect grade.

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    "Argo" (2012) 

    Ben Affleck's fact-based drama connected with audiences -- and Academy voters.

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    "Argo" (2012) 

    Ben Affleck's fact-based drama connected with audiences -- and Academy voters.

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    "42" (2013) 

    Five years before his "Black Panther" landed an A+, Chadwick Boseman starred in this biopic of Jackie Robinson.

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    "42" (2013) 

    Five years before his "Black Panther" landed an A+, Chadwick Boseman starred in this biopic of Jackie Robinson.

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    "Instructions Not Included" (2013) 

    This Spanish-language comedy became a surprise hit -- and the audience response meant strong word of mouth.

     

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    "Instructions Not Included" (2013) 

    This Spanish-language comedy became a surprise hit -- and the audience response meant strong word of mouth.

     

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    "The Best Man Holiday" (2013) 

    Fans of Malcolm D. Lee's original 1999 best-friends melodrama had to wait more than a decade for this sequel -- and they went home satisfied.

     

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    "The Best Man Holiday" (2013) 

    Fans of Malcolm D. Lee's original 1999 best-friends melodrama had to wait more than a decade for this sequel -- and they went home satisfied.

     

    ]]>
    "Frozen" (2013) 

    Filmgoers just couldn't let this one go.

    ]]>
    "Frozen" (2013) 

    Filmgoers just couldn't let this one go.

    ]]>
    "Lone Survivor" (2014) 

    CinemaScore audiences love Peter Berg's true-life tales of American heroism, this time with Mark Wahlberg as a Navy SEAL on the run from the Taliban.

    ]]>
    "Lone Survivor" (2014) 

    CinemaScore audiences love Peter Berg's true-life tales of American heroism, this time with Mark Wahlberg as a Navy SEAL on the run from the Taliban.

    ]]>
    "Woodlawn" (2015) 

    Recipe for success with CinemaScore audiences: Faith-based football drama starring an African American young man who must overcome obstacles to succeed.

    ]]>
    "Woodlawn" (2015) 

    Recipe for success with CinemaScore audiences: Faith-based football drama starring an African American young man who must overcome obstacles to succeed.

    ]]>
    "Selma" (2015) 

    Ava DuVernay's stirring portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. marched forward with strong word of mouth.

    ]]>
    "Selma" (2015) 

    Ava DuVernay's stirring portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. marched forward with strong word of mouth.

    ]]>
    "American Sniper" (2015) 

    Clint Eastwood's searing portrait of an American military hero (Bradley Cooper) was a hit with audiences.

    ]]>
    "American Sniper" (2015) 

    Clint Eastwood's searing portrait of an American military hero (Bradley Cooper) was a hit with audiences.

    ]]>
    "Miracles From Heaven" (2016) 

    CinemaScore audiences again fancied this religiously themed Jennifer Garner drama.

    ]]>
    "Miracles From Heaven" (2016) 

    CinemaScore audiences again fancied this religiously themed Jennifer Garner drama.

    ]]>
    "Queen of Katwe" (2016) 

    This unfortunately little-seen film about a young girl in rural Uganda who becomes an unlikely chess champion was loved by those who did see it.

    ]]>
    "Queen of Katwe" (2016) 

    This unfortunately little-seen film about a young girl in rural Uganda who becomes an unlikely chess champion was loved by those who did see it.

    ]]>
    "Patriots Day" (2016) 

    Peter Berg's drama about the Boston Marathon bombing case wasn't a hit, but CinemaScore filmgoers loved it.

    ]]>
    "Patriots Day" (2016) 

    Peter Berg's drama about the Boston Marathon bombing case wasn't a hit, but CinemaScore filmgoers loved it.

    ]]>
    "Hidden Figures" (2016) 

    The true-life tale of African-American women who helped NASA's space program blasted off with filmgoers.

    ]]>
    "Hidden Figures" (2016) 

    The true-life tale of African-American women who helped NASA's space program blasted off with filmgoers.

    ]]>
    "Girls Trip" (2017) 

    Another film starring African-American women aced it with audiences.

    ]]>
    "Girls Trip" (2017) 

    Another film starring African-American women aced it with audiences.

    ]]>
    "Wonder" (2017)

    The heartwarming story of a boy with a facial deformity checked all the right boxes for first-weekend audiences.

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    "Wonder" (2017)

    The heartwarming story of a boy with a facial deformity checked all the right boxes for first-weekend audiences.

    ]]>
    "Coco" (2017) 

    Pixar's animated feature won over audiences with its take on Mexico's Day of the Dead.

    ]]>
    "Coco" (2017) 

    Pixar's animated feature won over audiences with its take on Mexico's Day of the Dead.

    ]]>
    "Black Panther" (2018)

    The Disney/Marvel blockbuster became only the second superhero movie to nab a perfect grade.

    ]]>
    "Black Panther" (2018)

    The Disney/Marvel blockbuster became only the second superhero movie to nab a perfect grade.

    ]]>
    If you're curious, click on to see all the movies that have flunked in the CinemaScore survey.

    [contextual-link post_id="1709340" title="Also Read" link_title="All 19 Movies That Flunked CinemaScore With F Grade, From ‘Solaris’ to ‘mother!’ (Photos)" target=""]

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    If you're curious, click on to see all the movies that have flunked in the CinemaScore survey.

    [contextual-link post_id="1709340" title="Also Read" link_title="All 19 Movies That Flunked CinemaScore With F Grade, From ‘Solaris’ to ‘mother!’ (Photos)" target=""]

    ]]>
    Costumed ‘Black Panther’ Proposes to Girlfriend in Theater Showing Movie https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-proposes-girlfriend-theater/ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-proposes-girlfriend-theater/#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:03:45 +0000 Umberto Gonzalez https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1816422 Brooklyn theatergoers out to see a showing of “Black Panther” got more than the price of admission when a man dressed as the Marvel superhero found his girlfriend in the audience and proposed.

    Her answer, of course, was yes because, well, how could she say no to that?

    Theater patrons who witnessed the event Friday night caught the moment – and the cheering that followed — and shared it on social media. “So this couple just got engaged in my #BlackPanther viewing!” tweeted a theatergoer.

    Even the Alamo Drafthouse Theater got in on the fun and tweeted, “Step up your game, gentlemen.” The groom-to-be didn’t even have tickets for the movie but knew his fiance would be there. He left shortly thereafter.

    He should have bought a ticket and stuck around to watch it the with his new fiance because the audiences seem to love it – it’s the first superhero movie since “Avengers” to get an A+ in CinemaScore polls.

    And, based on its opening two days, it looks like it’s on track to set box office records, as well. Earlier this week, rival studios and analysts told TheWrap that a $200 million four-day opening for “Black Panther” was fully in the realm of possibility.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    'Black Panther' Fans Go All-Out for Marvel Film's Opening Night

    Did You Catch the 'Back to the Future II' Reference in 'Black Panther'?

    Black Panther Is So Good Even Milo Yiannopoulos' Website Loves It

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    ‘Black Panther’ Nabs A+ CinemaScore, First Superhero Movie Since ‘The Avengers’ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-a-cinemascore/ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-a-cinemascore/#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:01:57 +0000 Umberto Gonzalez https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1816457 “Black Panther” has earned an A+ CinemaScore, the company announced on Friday night.

    Ryan Coogler’s blockbuster is the first superhero movie to receive a perfect grade from the company’s survey of opening-weekend audiences since Marvel’s “The Avengers” in 2012.

    The critical reception for “Black Panther” has also been history-making, as the film now holds the highest score in Rotten Tomatoes history for a superhero movie with 97 percent.

     

    “Black Panther” posted a remarkable $75.8 million opening day at the domestic box office, putting it on track for a possible $200 million four-day opening over Presidents Day weekend.

    In fact, analysts now estimate that Ryan Coogler’s superhero film — which opened on 4,020 screens — should set a new record for the biggest pre-summer opening weekend in box office history, currently held by last year’s “Beauty and the Beast” with $174.7 million.

    “Black Panther” could potentially pass the $204 million four-day start of 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” with estimates for its Presidents Day opening ranging between $200-210 million. Three-day weekend estimates are currently set at $180-185 million, which would not only set the new pre-summer opening record, but would also be the sixth-highest opening weekend of all-time and the biggest opening weekend for a superhero movie outside the two “Avengers” films.

     

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Did You Catch the 'Back to the Future II' Reference in 'Black Panther'?

    Black Panther Is So Good Even Milo Yiannopoulos' Website Loves It

    Build-a-Bear Brings Wakanda to You With Fearsomely Snuggly 'Black Panther' Teddy

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    ‘Black Panther’ Storms Toward Record-Setting $200 Million-Plus Box Office Opening https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-storms-toward-record-setting-190-million-plus-box-office-opening/ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-storms-toward-record-setting-190-million-plus-box-office-opening/#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 16:13:00 +0000 Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1816414 “Black Panther” posted a remarkable $75.8 million opening day at the domestic box office, putting it on track for a possible $200 million four-day opening over Presidents Day weekend.

    In fact, analysts now estimate that Ryan Coogler’s superhero film — which opened on 4,020 screens — should set a new record for the biggest pre-summer opening weekend in box office history, currently held by last year’s “Beauty and the Beast” with $174.7 million.

    “Black Panther” could potentially pass the $204 million four-day start of 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” with estimates for its Presidents Day opening ranging between $200-210 million. Three-day weekend estimates are currently set at $180-185 million, which would not only set the new pre-summer opening record, but would also be the sixth-highest opening weekend of all-time and the biggest opening weekend for a superhero movie outside the two “Avengers” films.

    On Thursday, “Black Panther” made a whopping $25.2 million in preview screenings, just behind the $27.6 million made by “Age of Ultron” for second among all Marvel films.

    The critical reception for “Black Panther” has also been history-making, as the film now holds the highest score in Rotten Tomatoes history for a superhero movie with 97 percent. On top of that, opening night audiences gave the film an A+ in CinemaScore polls, putting “Black Panther” alongside “The Avengers” as the only two MCU films to earn an A+.

    Elsewhere on the charts, last week’s openers “Peter Rabbit” and “Fifty Shades Freed” are neck-and-neck for a very distant second place finish. “Peter Rabbit” is currently estimated for a $17 million three-day/$22 million four-day second weekend after making $4 million on its second Friday.

    That’s just a 28 percent drop-off from its $25 million opening and would give Sony’s hybrid animated film a $54 million 11-day total. Universal’s “Fifty Shades Freed,” after making $10.8 million on Valentine’s Day, is looking at a $16.6/$18.5 million second weekend, which would give it a total of around $77 million by the end of the weekend, 15 percent behind the pace for “Fifty Shades Darker.”

    In fourth is “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” which will become Sony’s second-highest grossing film of all-time with an $8.3/$10.9 million weekend. That will push its total to $380 million, passing “Spider-Man 2” on the studio charts. It also puts the film in position to pass “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” for the No. 4 spot on the 2017 domestic charts sometime next week.

    WB/Village Roadshow’s “15:17 to Paris” completes the top five this weekend with an estimated second frame of $7.3/$9.8 million, which would give the film an 11-day total of $27 million. Just below it is Fox’s “The Greatest Showman,” which finally exited the top five in its ninth weekend in theaters with an estimated $6.6 million four-day total. However, this is still a big weekend for the Hugh Jackman musical, as it will pass the domestic total of “La La Land” with an estimated $155 million cume.

    The only two wide releases daring to open against “Black Panther” this weekend were the Lionsgate/Aardman stop-motion animation film “Early Man” and the Pure Flix faith-based film “Samson.” “Early Man” is currently sitting in the No. 7 spot with an estimated four-day opening of $5 million from 2,494 screens, while “Samson” is No. 11 with $2.2 million from 1,249 screens.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    'Black Panther' Fans Go All-Out for Marvel Film's Opening Night

    Black Panther Is So Good Even Milo Yiannopoulos' Website Loves It

    'Black Panther' Claws to Record $25.2 Million at Thursday Box Office

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    The Weinstein Company Board Fires COO David Glasser ‘for Cause’ https://www.thewrap.com/weinstein-company-board-fires-coo-david-glasser-cause/ https://www.thewrap.com/weinstein-company-board-fires-coo-david-glasser-cause/#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 04:05:54 +0000 Sharon Waxman https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1816386 The Weinstein Company board of directors fired the company’s COO and President David Glasser in a surprise move on Friday night.

    In a statement, the board — diminished by the sex scandal tied to the Weinstein brothers — said:  “The Board of The Weinstein Company has unanimously voted to terminate David Glasser for cause.”

    There was no explanation of what constituted “cause.” Glasser could not immediately be reached for comment.

    The Weinstein board now comprises Bob Weinstein, Lance Maerov and Tarak Ben Ammar.  The move comes amid rising turmoil for the scandal-plagued independent film and TV company.

    An expected sale to new buyers, led by Maria Contreras-Sweet and Ron Burkle, stalled last weekend after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued the company over civil rights violations.

    The lawsuit came on the heels of the board of directors rejecting a settlement offer by Schneiderman over a long list of sexual misconduct accusations against ousted CEO and co-founder Harvey Weinstein.

    Contreras-Sweet and Burkle had been intending to name Glasser the CEO of the new company. But this too was thrown into question after Schneiderman made it known this week that he considered Glasser to be an unacceptable candidate for CEO. This was largely because of Glasser’s previously close relationship to Harvey Weinstein, and the implication that he permitted sexual misconduct to go unchecked.

    The board has been at loggerheads with Glasser, and the decision to fire him on Friday did not necessarily mean the end of the road for the executive should a new buyer — and board — emerge in the near future.

    The board rejected a settlement offer from Schneiderman that potentially left them open to liability over sexual harassment claims against the company, according to an individual with knowledge of the talks.

    Representatives for TWC, who still speak for Bob Weinstein, would not elaborate beyond their provided statement. Representatives for Ben Ammar and Maerov did not immediately return requests for comment.

    An insider told TheWrap this week that the independent studio faced “instant bankruptcy” if Contreras-Sweet formally withdraws from the bidding process. Contreras-Sweet, the former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration under President Barack Obama, had been expected to buy the company for $500 million, leading to a complete overhaul, including a new name and a female-majority board of directors. But that deal is now in jeopardy because of the civil rights lawsuit.

    Only hours before Glasser’s dismissal, insiders close to the attorney general and the Contreras-Sweet Group told TheWrap the deal was in a holding pattern. People close to Schneiderman said he would be open to a meeting with Contreras-Sweet but would not budge on an adequate victims fund and “suitable” leadership for the company. Glasser is not suitable, the politician has said numerous times in statements and on social media.

    An individual close to Contreras-Sweet said she has been attempting to “resuscitate” since the lawsuit stalled their efforts last Sunday.

    Since the Weinstein scandal broke, TWC has frozen its film release schedule and sold off films in an effort to stave off bankruptcy, including selling Warner Bros. domestic distribution rights to “Paddington 2.” While other bidding groups were waiting for a bankruptcy sale, the Contreras-Sweet group had agreed during its negotiations to assume all the companies liabilities — estimated at $225 million — in addition to its assets.

    Among the titles that would be inherited by the new owners of TWC include the already completed Benedict Cumberbatch/Michael Shannon drama “The Current War,” the Dev Patel/Armie Hammer thriller “Hotel Mumbai” and a planned film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical “In the Heights.”

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Weinstein Company Faces 'Instant Bankruptcy' if Current Bidder Withdraws

    NY Attorney General Blasts 'Complicit' Weinstein Co Leadership, Proposed Buyer: 'No Victims Compensation Fund'

    Weinstein Attorney Responds to NY Suit: 'He Will 'Vigorously Defend Himself'

    'I Will Kill Your Family': 10 Shocking New Harvey Weinstein Claims From Attorney General Lawsuit

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    ‘Black Panther’ Fans Go All-Out for Marvel Film’s Opening Night https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-fans-dress-up-in-cosplay/ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-fans-dress-up-in-cosplay/#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 01:21:37 +0000 Shira Namvar https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815975 “Black Panther” is currently plowing through February box office records, and fans have gone all-out to celebrate the first major superhero movie with a majority-Black cast and a Black director. 

    The Marvel film directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman hit wide release Thursday night, and before and after, fans went nuts on social media, celebrating the film’s success, and its cultural significance with photos from their screenings. 

    On display, an array of inventive outfits ranging from colorful fashions inspired by traditional African clothing to characters from the Wakandan Royal Family. Some even came dressed as an entirely different fictional African royalty, Prince Akeem from Eddie Murphy’s 1988 film “Coming to America.”

    Here are some of the funniest, coolest, and most outrageous costumes fans have shared.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Did You Catch the 'Back to the Future II' Reference in 'Black Panther'?

    Black Panther Is So Good Even Milo Yiannopoulos' Website Loves It

    Build-a-Bear Brings Wakanda to You With Fearsomely Snuggly 'Black Panther' Teddy

    'Black Panther': Did We See the Soul Stone in Wakanda?

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    JJ Abrams Slams ‘Star Wars’ Fans Who Didn’t Like ‘Last Jedi’ as ‘Threatened’ by Women https://www.thewrap.com/jj-abrams-star-wars-fans-last-jedi/ https://www.thewrap.com/jj-abrams-star-wars-fans-last-jedi/#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 01:10:45 +0000 Umberto Gonzalez https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815976 JJ Abrams has slammed “Star Wars” fans who didn’t like “The Last Jedi,” telling Indiewire, “If you are someone who feels threatened by women and needs to lash out against them, you can probably find an enemy in ‘Star Wars.'”

    “‘Star Wars’ is a big galaxy, and you can sort of find almost anything you want to in ‘Star Wars,'” he said in the Friday interview. “You can probably look at the first movie that George [Lucas] did and say that Leia was too outspoken, or she was too tough,” he added, referring to “Star Wars: A New Hope.”

    “Anyone who wants to find a problem with anything can find the problem. The internet seems to be made for that.”

    The director/producer admitted he’s no stranger to passionate and vocal fanbases expressing their feelings. “I think everyone is going to have their point of view,” he said. “Certainly something I discovered early on in the ‘Star Wars’ world, is that you’re going to have an incredibly passionate and vocal fanbase, and they’re all going to have a lot of specific opinions.”

    TheWrap’s Phil Owen weighed in on the issue last year, saying that 2017 ruined the “Star Wars” discourse.

    “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is currently playing in theaters.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    JJ Abrams Sci-Fi Drama 'Demimonde' Grabs Straight-to-Series Order at HBO

    JJ Abrams Reveals Why He Really Returned to Direct 'Star Wars Episode IX'

    Quentin Tarantino Has a 'Star Trek' Idea, JJ Abrams to Put Together Writer's Room

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    ‘Maze Runner’ Author James Dashner Dropped by Publisher, Agent After Sexual Misconduct Accusations https://www.thewrap.com/maze-runner-author-james-dashner-dropped-by-publisher-agent-after-sexual-misconduct-accusations/ https://www.thewrap.com/maze-runner-author-james-dashner-dropped-by-publisher-agent-after-sexual-misconduct-accusations/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 22:38:57 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815895 “Maze Runner” author James Dashner has been dropped by his literary agent and publishing company in the wake of sexual misconduct accusations against him.

    “Random House Children’s Books, Random House Publishing Group, and Penguin Random House Audio will not be publishing any future books by James Dashner,” Random House said in a statement, obtained by Entertainment Weekly and several other outlets.

    Dashner has been with the publishing company for the past decade, most famously for his “Maze Runner” series. Most recently, Dashner was working on his first adult novel for Random House, titled “The Walking.”

    According to multiple media outlets, including the New York Times, Dashner’s literary agent Michael W. Bourret parted ways with him on Monday.

    Earlier this week, four anonymous commenters commented on a recent School Library Journal article, titled “Children’s Publishing Reckons with Sexual Harassment in Its Ranks,” accusing Dashner of inappropriate behavior. Two other people said they named Dashner in an article on reporting the results by Anne Ursu, who launched a survey about harassment in the children’s publishing world.

    On Thursday, Dashner himself posted a long statement to Twitter, writing, “Some of the things said about me have been shocking and my initial instinct was to be defensive… but I believe all victims must be heard and I’m committed to listening to them.”

    He continued, “I can sincerely say that I have never intentionally hurt another person. But to those affected, I am deeply sorry. I am taking any and all criticisms and accusations very seriously, and I will seek counseling and guidance to address them.”

    The news comes just after Jay Asher was expelled from a writers group for violating its sexual harassment code. Asher spoke with BuzzFeed saying, “it’s very scary when you know people are just not going to believe you once you open your mouth.”

    “I feel very conflicted about it just because of what’s going on in the culture and who’s supposed to be believed and who’s not … I understand the predicament they’re in with everything going on and to want to protect themselves,” he continued. “I love the organization, but they didn’t decide to push me out. It was my decision, even though [Lin Oliver, executive director of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators] said the email contained nothing that their organization should have anything to do with.”

    On Wednesday, his agent confirmed Asher had been dropped in a statement to the Associated Press: “Mr. Asher is no longer working with the Andrea Brown agency. He respects and understands their position, given the current climate.”

    Representatives for Random House have not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    'Maze Runner' Star Kaya Scodelario to Portay Ted Bundy's Ex-Wife in 'Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile'

    'Maze Runner' Leads Fox-Heavy Box Office With $23.5 Million Opening

    'Maze Runner' Heads to No. 1 as Fox Dominates Box Office

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    15 Scenes in the ‘Justice League’ Trailers That Were Not in the Finished Movie https://www.thewrap.com/scenes-from-justice-league-trailers-but-not-the-movie-itself/ https://www.thewrap.com/scenes-from-justice-league-trailers-but-not-the-movie-itself/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 22:24:57 +0000 Phil Owen and Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1742482 (Spoilers ahead for “Justice League”) Given that the Joss Whedon-helmed reshoots on “Justice League” went on significantly longer than planned, it’s not really a surprise that some scenes from the marketing didn’t make the final cut. But it’s still fun to take a look at what was meant to be and compare it to what we actually got. So let’s do that right now. (Note: This post was originally published on Nov. 18, 2017)

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    https://www.thewrap.com/scenes-from-justice-league-trailers-but-not-the-movie-itself/feed/ 0 (Spoilers ahead for "Justice League") Given that the Joss Whedon-helmed reshoots on "Justice League" went on significantly longer than planned, it's not really a surprise that some scenes from the marketing didn't make the final cut. But it's still fun to take a look at what was meant to be and compare it to what we actually got. So let's do that right now. (Note: This post was originally published on Nov. 18, 2017)

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    (Spoilers ahead for "Justice League") Given that the Joss Whedon-helmed reshoots on "Justice League" went on significantly longer than planned, it's not really a surprise that some scenes from the marketing didn't make the final cut. But it's still fun to take a look at what was meant to be and compare it to what we actually got. So let's do that right now. (Note: This post was originally published on Nov. 18, 2017)

    ]]>
    This hero shot of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) didn't make the movie -- and neither did whatever location they're standing in. 

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    This hero shot of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) didn't make the movie -- and neither did whatever location they're standing in. 

    ]]>
    This location appears to be a different version of the cross-shaped platform at the center of the abandoned nuclear reactor Steppenwolf works from in the movie, but it never ends up looking so thoroughly thoroughly alien in the finished film. This old version of that space may have been somewhere else -- like inside Steppenwolf's spaceship that he keeps teleporting down to Earth from but which we never actually see in the movie.

    ]]>
    This location appears to be a different version of the cross-shaped platform at the center of the abandoned nuclear reactor Steppenwolf works from in the movie, but it never ends up looking so thoroughly thoroughly alien in the finished film. This old version of that space may have been somewhere else -- like inside Steppenwolf's spaceship that he keeps teleporting down to Earth from but which we never actually see in the movie.

    ]]>
    There were two trailer shots that showed Victor Stone in his pre-Cyborg state, but none were in the movie.

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    There were two trailer shots that showed Victor Stone in his pre-Cyborg state, but none were in the movie.

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    Here's Victor Stone playing football, another pre-Cyborg bit for him that didn't make it in.

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    Here's Victor Stone playing football, another pre-Cyborg bit for him that didn't make it in.

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    There is a big cornfield scene between Clark (Henry Cavill) and Lois (Amy Adams) in the finished film but either it's different from this one one -- in which Clark says that he'll take her wearing his engagement ring from "Batman v Superman" as a yes to his proposal -- from the trailer or this was a part of that scene that didn't make it in. The cornfield scene in the finished product, notably, is one of those where Henry Cavill has his "Mission: Impossible" mustache being covered up by CGI, and that is very obviously not happening in this shot here.

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    There is a big cornfield scene between Clark (Henry Cavill) and Lois (Amy Adams) in the finished film but either it's different from this one one -- in which Clark says that he'll take her wearing his engagement ring from "Batman v Superman" as a yes to his proposal -- from the trailer or this was a part of that scene that didn't make it in. The cornfield scene in the finished product, notably, is one of those where Henry Cavill has his "Mission: Impossible" mustache being covered up by CGI, and that is very obviously not happening in this shot here.

    ]]>
    Though the "Justice League" opening credits did feature a montage of people being terrible without the moral compass of Superman to guide them, this bit with the "WORLD WITHOUT HOPE" newspaper headline was not among those shots.

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    Though the "Justice League" opening credits did feature a montage of people being terrible without the moral compass of Superman to guide them, this bit with the "WORLD WITHOUT HOPE" newspaper headline was not among those shots.

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    There's a scene in which Alfred (Jeremy Irons) is talking to someone offscreen (it's implied that it's Superman) in the batcave. Based on the dialogue we'd guess that Superman visited Alfred to find out where the other Justice League pals had gone to fight the final battle -- Superman, as you'll recall, simply shows up midway through that fight.

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    There's a scene in which Alfred (Jeremy Irons) is talking to someone offscreen (it's implied that it's Superman) in the batcave. Based on the dialogue we'd guess that Superman visited Alfred to find out where the other Justice League pals had gone to fight the final battle -- Superman, as you'll recall, simply shows up midway through that fight.

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    There was a bit in one of the trailers where Cyborg saves a man from being nailed by an exploding tank, but there were no tanks at all in the finished film so it's tough to guess where this fits in.

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    There was a bit in one of the trailers where Cyborg saves a man from being nailed by an exploding tank, but there were no tanks at all in the finished film so it's tough to guess where this fits in.

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    Aquaman did spear a lot of bug people in the finished movie, but this bit where he spears two at the same time didn't make the cut

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    Aquaman did spear a lot of bug people in the finished movie, but this bit where he spears two at the same time didn't make the cut

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    This trailer shot shows Cyborg sporting a helmet.

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    This trailer shot shows Cyborg sporting a helmet.

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    The trailer implies this shot is of Cyborg flying above the clouds, and while we do see him fly around a few times we never got this particular bit.

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    The trailer implies this shot is of Cyborg flying above the clouds, and while we do see him fly around a few times we never got this particular bit.

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    The Flash breaking a window while using his super speed was a cool visual that was nowhere to be found in the finished movie

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    The Flash breaking a window while using his super speed was a cool visual that was nowhere to be found in the finished movie

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    Here we see the Flash (Ezra Miller) fighting an evil soldier. Curiously, that entire type of baddie was cut from the movie -- all of Steppenwolf's forces had wings but this guy looks more like a regular human, a la the soldiers in Bruce Wayne's nightmare in "Batman v Superman."

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    Here we see the Flash (Ezra Miller) fighting an evil soldier. Curiously, that entire type of baddie was cut from the movie -- all of Steppenwolf's forces had wings but this guy looks more like a regular human, a la the soldiers in Bruce Wayne's nightmare in "Batman v Superman."

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    Not sure what this shot is, honestly.

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    Not sure what this shot is, honestly.

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    This part, in which Wonder Woman knocks a couple bug guys off the Batmobile, actually is in the movie -- but the color pallette is dramatically different in the finished film, sporting a bright red hue instead.

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    This part, in which Wonder Woman knocks a couple bug guys off the Batmobile, actually is in the movie -- but the color pallette is dramatically different in the finished film, sporting a bright red hue instead.

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    ‘Three Billboards’-Style Gun Control Campaign Launches in Florida https://www.thewrap.com/three-billboards-style-gun-control-campaign/ https://www.thewrap.com/three-billboards-style-gun-control-campaign/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 22:14:31 +0000 Umberto Gonzalez https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815841 Inspired by the Oscar-nominated film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” online activist network Avaaz has set up three billboards in the Miami calling out Senator Marco Rubio for his inaction in curbing gun violence.

    The truck-mounted billboards were spotted near Rubio’s Doral, Fla., office on Friday and say: “SLAUGHTERED IN SCHOOL,” “AND STILL NO GUN CONTROL?,” “HOW COME, MARCO RUBIO?”

    Of course, the activism comes in the wake of this week’s Parkland, Fla. high school shooting that left 17 dead.

    In the film “Three Billboards, Frances McDormand’s Mildred Hayes is a mother consumed with grief and anger — because nine months before the film begins her teenage daughter was found raped and murdered, burned to death on a remote road where three empty, tattered billboards stood.

    Desperate to shame the police into restarting a stalled investigation, Mildred pays $5,000 to have messages put on the billboards: “RAPED WHILE DYING” on the first, “AND STILL NO ARRESTS?” on the second, and “HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY?” on the third.

    A similar campaign was also launched outside Grenfell, London, where 71 died in a public housing fire:

    “Three Billboards” is nominated for seven Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Original Screenplay.

    The high school shooting happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, roughly 50 miles north of Miami.

    An “AR-15-style weapon” was recovered at the scene, according to CNN.

    Nikolas Cruz, 19, who officials said is a former student at the school, has been ID’d as the suspected shooter. He was taken into custody nearby in Coral Springs.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    'Shape of Water,' 'Three Billboards' Push Fox Searchlight to Biggest Screen Count in Studio History

    SAG and PGA Awards Give Boosts to 'Three Billboards' and 'Shape of Water,' But How Big?

    'Three Billboards' Director Martin McDonagh Blasts Hollywood's 'Bland PC Filmmaking'

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    Did You Catch the ‘Back to the Future II’ Reference in ‘Black Panther’? https://www.thewrap.com/catch-back-future-ii-reference-black-panther/ https://www.thewrap.com/catch-back-future-ii-reference-black-panther/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:43:59 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1814772 (Note: This post contains light spoilers for a joke in “Black Panther”)

    The African nation of Wakanda in “Black Panther” sports the most advanced technology on Earth, and it keeps it to itself, lest it fall into the wrong hands. For other characters coming from the rest of the world, though, stuff in Wakanda looks like it comes from the future.

    “Black Panther” even makes a solid joke about the idea of fully possible stuff in Wakanda being the realm of science fiction movies everywhere else. One of the best jokes in the movie is about a piece of clothing that, in another movie, literally comes from the future.

    Fairly early on in the movie, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) prepares to go on a mission as the Black Panther to hunt down Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), a black market arms dealer who stole a bunch of Vibranium from Wakanda.

    Before he heads out on his mission, however, T’Challa gets some new gear from his brainiac sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), who serves as engineer and gadget guru for the king. Like Q to James Bond, Shuri outfits T’Challa in a bunch of new stuff, but not before making fun of his traditional, low-tech sandals.

    Shuri offers T’Challa something better in the realm of footwear: Shoes that automatically tighten on the wearer’s foot. She notes that they’re like “those shoes from that old movie” their dad, King T’Chaka (John Kani) had told them about.

    The movie Shuri’s talking about, of course, is “Back to the Future II.” In that film, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) travel forward in time from 1985 to 2015, where Doc hooks Marty up with futuristic Nikes. When he puts them on, the shoes automatically adjust, prompting Marty to exclaim, “Power laces! Alright!”

    In our world, it’s 2018, and the “Back to the Future II” dream of self-tying laces is still mostly a fantasy. Nike did produce a limited run of the design from “Back to the Future II,” providing a pair to Fox. It also unveiled athletic shoes with power laces in 2016 that consumers could by — at a cost of $750 a pair.

    With Wakanda so far ahead of the world in everything, it’s a wonder the nation doesn’t export a few of those future items to the rest of the world. It could make a killing bringing Marty McFly’s shoes to the rest of the MCU.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    'Black Panther': 5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Marvel's Latest Big-Screen Hero (Video)

    'Black Panther' Slays at Korean Box Office, Signs Point to Olympics Boost

    'Black Panther' Film Review: Supporting Players Steal Show in Marvel's Excellent African Adventure

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    Olivia Wilde to Make Feature Directing Debut With ‘Booksmart’ https://www.thewrap.com/olivia-wilde-feature-directing-debut-booksmart/ https://www.thewrap.com/olivia-wilde-feature-directing-debut-booksmart/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:23:38 +0000 Umberto Gonzalez https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815726 Olivia Wilde will make her feature directing debut with “Booksmart” for Annapurna Pictures, the company announced Friday.

    Kaitlyn Dever (“Last Man Standing”) and Beanie Feldstein (“Lady Bird”) will star. Wilde, Dever and Feldstein made the announcement on their Instagram pages.

    Dever and Feldstein will play two teenage academic superstars who, on the eve of their high school graduation, suddenly realize that they should have worked less and played more.

    Determined never to fall short of their peers, the girls set out on a mission to cram four years of fun into one night.

    The film is being produced by Annapurna and Gloria Sanchez, the female-focused wing of Gary Sanchez Productions. Chelsea Barnard, David Distenfeld, and Megan Ellison are producing for Annapurna. Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay will produce for Gloria Sanchez.

    The script is written by Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins. Initial revisions were written by Susanna Fogel, and current revisions by Katie Silberman.

    Wilde’s recent film credits include “Meadowland,” which she also produced, “Her” and “Rush.”

    Wilde has directed music videos for Red Hot Chili Peppers and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Wilde will next be seen in “A Vigilante,” premiering at SXSW, and Dan Fogelman’s “Life Itself.” She is repped by WME, Untitled, and Ziffren Brittenham, LLP.

    Feldstein is repped by WME and Brillstein. Dever is repped by UTA and Felker Toczek.

    Variety first reported the news.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Olivia Wilde Adds 'Breast Pump Bra Ad Critic' to Her Résumé

    Olivia Wilde Ripped on Twitter for Wanting to Sit Down While Pregnant

    Olivia Wilde's Down Syndrome PSA Will Give You Goosebumps (Video)

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    Saoirse Ronan Weighs Oscar Date Pros, Cons: ‘Do They Do the Loser Face With You?’ (Video) https://www.thewrap.com/saoirse-ronan-weighs-oscar-date-pros-cons-do-they-do-the-loser-face-with-you-video/ https://www.thewrap.com/saoirse-ronan-weighs-oscar-date-pros-cons-do-they-do-the-loser-face-with-you-video/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:42:22 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815673

    Ahead of the Oscars next month, Best Actress nominee Saoirse Ronan weighs how many dates you should have before you invite your partner to the awards show.

    “It’s a big leap, it depends how the dates are going, I guess?” Ronan said wryly during what turned into a hilarious BBC Radio 1 appearance. She said that if the vibe is good, she could take someone on their third date, but if you’re still feeling things out, she would recommend waiting until date 10.

    It’s also important to invite the right person to the biggest awards show given that you have to walk the red carpet, spend the majority of the evening with them — and do the loser face in front of them should you not win in your category.

    “And then I’ve got to do my Loser Face in front of this person I don’t know that well, and do they do the loser face with you?” Ronan said. “How are they going to comfort you when you lose and will you want them to? That’s why you bring your mom.”

    Ronan is nominated in the Best Actress category for her starring role in Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird.” She won the award at the 2018 Golden Globes.

    “Lady Bird” is nominated for four other Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Laurie Metcalf.

    The 90th Academy Awards will take place on March 4.

    Watch the video above.

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    Awards Box Office: With Golden Globes Momentum, 'Lady Bird' Can't Be Stopped

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    ‘Samson’ Movie Review: Old Testament Tale Collapses Like a Philistine Temple https://www.thewrap.com/samson-movie-review-pure-flix/ https://www.thewrap.com/samson-movie-review-pure-flix/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:41:20 +0000 Inkoo Kang https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815637 If you take the Old Testament literally, strongman Samson has a body count of at least 4040 men (and one lion) to his name. His biography — full of sex, lies, and disastrous haircuts — is a grisly one. Gouged eyes, mutilated animals, and satisfaction in mass murder distinguish the story of Samson, even in the section of the Bible where readers are encouraged to delight in the deaths of the Israelites’ enemies. The Book of Judges, in which Samson appears, could be read as “Game of Thrones” for ancient Jews.

    Even during my Sunday school years, Samson struck me as a horny dolt, a cautionary tale of what can happen if you disobey God (or, I guess, trust women). Clearly not everyone agrees with my interpretation. Christian studio Pure Flix’s “Samson,” which opens the same day as Marvel’s “Black Panther,” recasts its titular muscle man as a superhero awaiting his “with great power comes great responsibility” moment.

    The result is pure dissonance. I’ll first note that the film is just plain bad, with an amateur cast (led by Taylor James), cut-rate special effects, who-cares storylines, and confusing details shoehorned in from the Bible. Why do we briefly glimpse a cave full of foxes? I discovered the reason in Wikipedia, because director Bruce Macdonald, who previously helmed the faith-based surfing drama “The Perfect Wave,” never lets on.

    The small tribe of writers behind the screenplay — Jason Baumgardner, Galen Gilbert, Timothy Ratajczak, and Zach Smith — do a reasonable-enough job of transforming a handful of Old Testament chapters into an epic drama that takes us from Samson’s reluctance to do violence against the oppressive Philistines on behalf of his people to his ultimate capture and redemption. (Do I need a spoiler alert for a 2500-year-old text?)

    Billy Zane slums it as the Philistine king (his death scene is too short and unintentionally hilarious), while Frances Sholto-Douglas and Caitlin Leahy co-star as Samson’s first wife and femme fatale Delilah, respectively. A sadistic Philistine prince (the hammy-as-hell Jackson Rathbone from the “Twilight” movies) tasked to collect harvests from the starving Israelites keeps goading Samson into fights, and our dimpled himbo keeps falling for them.

    But the movie’s most interesting clashes aren’t between Samson and the Philistine royals, but between Pure Flix’s intent to create “clean” entertainment and the obvious bloodthirstiness of the source material. Macdonald wants the piles of corpses (Samson’s ability to do violence is meant to be a sign of his sanctity), but without the strikes or gore. The ensuing PG-13 fight choreography is about as bloodless as a children’s tae kwon do class. The only battle moment that grabbed me was when James ripped off his already torn shirt to reveal his hairless, glistening chest.

    Most disappointingly, the (theoretically) crazy badass scene in which Samson faces off against a lion lasts for all of five seconds. Those YouTube compilation videos of household cats swatting things off tables boast more aggression.  

    I watched “Samson” on Thursday night, the day after the Parkland school shooting. I did wonder if Pure Flix was on to something by shielding viewers from the kinds of gruesome hits and sword thrusts that we’ve come to expect from mainstream entertainment. But in the same way that depiction isn’t always endorsement, a refusal of depiction isn’t always discouragement.

    In framing his final act of violence as righteous vengeance, “Samson” doesn’t renounce brutality, it glorifies it. Worse, the film’s holier-than-thou approach prevents viewers from fully grappling with the consequences of the violence it champions. Instead of offering viewers an alternative cinema, “Samson” just gives us the worst of both worlds.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    'Morning Joe': Trump Like 'Pontius Pilate' for 'Letting Christians Get Slaughtered' in Shootings

    Donald Trump Blasted for Speech at Christian University: 'There Isn't a Shred of Christ in Him'

    'I'm Not Ashamed' Director on Why His Movie Isn't 'Christian' Just Because the Lead Character Is (Guest Blog)

    Christians Can Now Buy The Bible Translated Into Emojis

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    Rupert Everett’s Oscar Wilde Movie ‘The Happy Prince’ Lands at Sony Pictures Classics https://www.thewrap.com/sony-pictures-classics-rupert-everett-happy-prince/ https://www.thewrap.com/sony-pictures-classics-rupert-everett-happy-prince/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 18:45:26 +0000 Umberto Gonzalez https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815520 Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all North American and Latin American rights to “The Happpy Prince,” an Oscar Wilde movie written and directed by, and starring Rupert Everett, the company announced Friday.

    The film, which premiered last month in Sundance, also stars Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas, Colin Firth, Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson. “The Happy Prince” screens Saturday as a special gala at the Berlin International Film Festival.

    Everett plays the great Irish writer Oscar Wilde during his last days, with his body ailing and heavy, his mind spinning — but his flamboyant irony and brilliant wit very much intact. The film follows Wilde’s last travels through England, France and Italy.

    The film was produced by Sébastien Delloye, Philipp Kreuzer and Jörg Schulze. It is a maze pictures and Entre Chien et Loup production in co-production with Palomar, cine plus Filmproduktion, Tele München Group, RTBF, Proximus and in association with BBC Films.

    CAA represented the filmmakers in the negotiation. Beta Cinema represents the international rights.

    Everett offered praise for Sony Classics co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard. “I am absolutely thrilled, particularly because Michael and Tom distributed my first film ‘Another Country,'” Everett said in a statement.

     

    Sony Pictures Classics is planning a 2018 release.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Jesse Peretz Sundance Hit 'Juliet, Naked' Goes to Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions

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    ‘The Shape of Water’ Director Guillermo del Toro Shares the Secret to Perfect Casting (Exclusive Video) https://www.thewrap.com/the-shape-of-water-director-guillermo-del-toro-shares-the-secret-to-perfect-casting-exclusive-video/ https://www.thewrap.com/the-shape-of-water-director-guillermo-del-toro-shares-the-secret-to-perfect-casting-exclusive-video/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 18:30:09 +0000 Steve Pond https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815501

    For director Guillermo del Toro, the key to a movie is the actors, and the key to the actors is their eyes.

    “When I cast a movie, I cast eyes,” the Oscar-nominated director of “The Shape of Water” says in an exclusive video clip premiering at TheWrap.

    “The eyes of Sally [Hawkins]. The eyes of Octavia [Spencer]. The eyes of Michael [Shannon]. Completely different eyes, and they suit the character.”

    “The Shape of Water” leads all films with 13 Oscar nominations, including three for del Toro himself: Best Picture, which he shares with producer J. Miles Dale; Best Director; and Best Original Screenplay, which he shares with Vanessa Taylor.

    “He’s an alchemist,” says Oscar-nominated costar Octavia Spencer in the clip. “He makes everyday things seem so otherwordly.”

    Adds Best Actress nominee Sally Hawkins, “He himself vibrates with emotion and the passion of it, and you can’t not respond to that.”

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Guillermo del Toro Says 'The Shape of Water' Has Some Advice for You on Valentine's Day (Video)

    Guillermo del Toro Has Seen That 'Shape of Water' Dildo – It's Not Accurate

    Guillermo del Toro on How 'The Shape of Water' Was Almost Shot in Black and White

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    Black Panther Is So Good Even Milo Yiannopoulos’ Website Loves It https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-is-so-good-even-milo-yiannopoulos-website-loves-it/ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-is-so-good-even-milo-yiannopoulos-website-loves-it/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:25:32 +0000 Jon Levine https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815400 The reviews for Marvel’s “Black Panther” are in and they’re outstanding. They’re so good, in fact, that the movie is taking praise from some surprising places.

    On Friday, the website of mega-troll Milo Yiannopoulos published a glowing review of the film, with author Ian Miles Cheong cheering “Black Panther” as “the superhero we need, and the movie we deserve.”

    Yiannopoulos was kicked off Twitter in 2016 after his followers sent racist messages to African American “Saturday Night Live” star Leslie Jones.

    “The movie stands among one of the best films in Marvel’s movie franchise. It’s right up there with ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ and for good reason,” wrote Cheong on Yiannopoulos’ website, “Dangerous.”

    “If it wasn’t for the superpowers and science fiction landscape, you’d almost forget you were watching a superhero movie. While there’s enough of the otherworldly to draw you in, it’s the characters at the heart of Black Panther who drive the two-hour ride.”

    “The hero is basically black Trump.” he added in additional comments on Twitter.

    The praise is also significant because Cheong and many of the readers he speaks to had initially assumed the flick would be a trojan horse to push identity politics, considered popular among the social justice left.

    “I was expecting some social justice notes, maybe a couple of heavy-handed phrases. It didn’t do that,” Cheong told TheWrap. “The hero was relatable — in fact, so was everyone else in it. The villain, too.”

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Milo Yiannopoulos Announces New College Speaking Tour, Starting at UCLA This Month

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    Milo Yiannopoulos Book: 5 Most Outrageous Editor Notes, From 'Fecal Waste' to 'Delete… Ethnic Joke'

    Milo Yiannopoulos Column Canceled by Daily Caller, Opinion Editor Also Fired

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    ‘Red Sparrow’ Film Review: Jennifer Lawrence Swans About in Silly Spy Tale https://www.thewrap.com/red-sparrow-film-review-jennifer-lawrence/ https://www.thewrap.com/red-sparrow-film-review-jennifer-lawrence/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:00:47 +0000 Alonso Duralde https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815118 I’m sorry, “Red Sparrow,” but you can’t just throw out a brilliantly terrible line like “You sent me to whore school!” — spit out angrily by Jennifer Lawrence, in a Russian accent, no less — and then not live up to that level of wildness for your entire running time. Neither intelligent enough to be involving nor fun enough to be trashy, this is a movie that would only work if it were a little worse or a lot better.

    As it is, Lawrence’s reunion with director Francis Lawrence (the second through fourth “Hunger Games” movies) does at least amp up the sex and violence in an attempt to cover up the fact that the story feels grafted together from any number of spy sagas, not to mention the USSR flashbacks from “The Americans” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

    Ultimately, this brand of dazzle camouflage is no more successful than casting Aussie actor Joel Edgerton as CIA agent Nate Nash (no, really) to make it less noticeable that most of the Russians are played by Americans, Brits and Belgians. “Red Sparrow” is the sort of sumptuous, globe-trotting production that takes us to the Bolshoi, Budapest and London — not to mention the aforementioned “whore school,” where would-be spies are trained to be both deadly and seductive — but it’s the sort of listless affair where it’s easy to tune out and start noticing locations from other movies. (Ooo, it’s the apartment where Melissa McCarthy fights that guy in “Spy”!)

    Jennifer Lawrence stars as Dominika, a star ballet dancer whose career is cut short by an onstage calamity. Faced with losing her Bolshoi-provided apartment, as well as health care for her sick mom Nina (Joely Richardson), Dominika accepts an assignment from her creepy uncle Vanya (no, really) a higher-up in the intelligence service. Vanya (Matthias Schoenaerts) sends Dominika to seduce an oligarch and steal his cell phone, but when the man tries to rape her, a mysterious intruder enters the hotel room and murders him.

    Now that she’s a witness, Dominika has the choice of being killed or joining the government’s “Sparrow” program for sexy secret agents. Matron (Charlotte Rampling) tells Dominika she’ll have some catching up to do, since her classmates are mostly military-trained, but the former dancer takes an abbreviated curriculum (or maybe the editing badly conveys the passage of time) before she’s sent out into the field to find the identity of the Russian mole who’s feeding intel to Nate Nash.

    The Russians think that Dominika can be trusted (particularly after they torture her at one point), and the Americans suspect they can turn Dominika for their own purposes, but she clearly has an agenda of her own. The screenplay by Justin Haythe (“A Cure for Wellness”), based on the novel by Jason Matthews, focuses on the double-crosses and in Dominika and Nate’s relationship, despite the fact that Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton have zero chemistry.

    But the only plot of genuine interest involves Dominika getting herself and her mother out from under the thumb of her uncle, who clearly has quasi-incestuous designs on his niece.

    It also doesn’t help that the film is so desperate to be taken seriously. Any movie that is clearly grafting Jennifer Lawrence’s face onto a pirouetting ballerina’s body, or taking the actress from brunette to blonde with one box of Hungarian drugstore hair dye, could easily tip into delicious campiness; Rampling’s Lotte Lenya realness suggests she knows what this silly saga should be, as do the winking turns by Mary-Louise Parker as a boozy American turncoat and Jeremy Irons as a steely general.

    Had “Red Sparrow” dared to have a little fun along the way, this hard-R thriller might actually have thrilled.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

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    Jennifer Lawrence Was Up for Emma Stone's Part in 'Easy A' and Didn't Get It: 'You Suck!'

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    Build-a-Bear Brings Wakanda to You With Fearsomely Snuggly ‘Black Panther’ Teddy https://www.thewrap.com/build-a-bear-black-panther-teddy-toy/ https://www.thewrap.com/build-a-bear-black-panther-teddy-toy/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:34:15 +0000 Jennifer Maas https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815367 Lions and tigers and panthers. Oh my!

    Marvel’s eagerly-anticipated “Black Panther” hit theaters Friday, the same day Build-A-Bear announced the launch of its companion teddy bear that comes straight out of Wakanda. And yes, it’s pretty adorable.

    The plush toy (which will set you back $28) is wearing the same suit that T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) dons in the film, which is made out of one of the world’s strongest substances — Vibranium. Of course, we’re thinking this bear’s outfit has to have a little more give to it than T’Challa’s did (for cuddly reasons, obviously).

    Ryan Coogler’s new superhero flick also stars Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, and Angela Bassett.

    See the “Black Panther” bear below.

    Build A Bear

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    'Black Panther': Did We See the Soul Stone in Wakanda?

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    'Black Panther' Post-Credits Scene Explained: What You Need to Know About White Wolf

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    ‘Black Panther’ Claws to Record $25.2 Million at Thursday Box Office https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-claws-record-25-2-million-thursday-box-office/ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-claws-record-25-2-million-thursday-box-office/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:24:44 +0000 Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815387 “Black Panther” is off to a flying start at the box office, earning $25.2 million from Thursday previews. That blows by the record for the biggest pre-summer preview ever, which was held by “The Hunger Games” with $19.7 million in March 2012. It’s also the second-highest preview total for a Marvel film, sitting only behind the $27.6 million made by “Avengers: Age of Ultron” in summer 2015.

    While there is a margin of error when judging the weekend by preview results, analysts have told TheWrap that a $25 million preview start would put “Black Panther” on pace to score a $180-185 million four-day opening on this President’s Day weekend, shattering the February record set by “Deadpool” two years ago with $152 million. In fact, “Black Panther” has already nearly doubled the preview total made by “Deadpool,” which made $12.7 million on its Thursday night launch.

    The three-day total for “Black Panther” is on pace to reach $160 million, which would beat the openings of all of last year’s MCU entries and rank fifth among all 18 MCU films.

    Over on Fandango, “Black Panther” became the fourth-best selling film in the website’s history, only being beaten in advance ticket sales by Disney’s three “Star Wars” releases, “The Force Awakens,” “Rogue One” and “The Last Jedi.”

    Meanwhile, IMAX is reporting a $3 million total from its Thursday screenings, putting “Black Panther” in a dead heat with “Age of Ultron” and “Captain America: Civil War” for the biggest preview totals in IMAX history.

    Overseas, “Black Panther” has racked up an international total of $47 million, with openings in Germany, Australia and Brazil on Thursday. The U.K. is the top grossing market with $10.1 million, while Korea, which is playing host to foreign moviegoers with the Olympics and is also prominently featured in the film, is cloe behind with $9.5 million. True comps can’t be made until the end of the weekend, but so far, the international pace is ahead of past first-entry MCU films like “Ant-Man,” “Doctor Strange” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The film does not open in China until March 9.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Build-a-Bear Brings Wakanda to You With Fearsomely Snuggly 'Black Panther' Teddy

    How 'Black Panther' Might Bust the Myth That Black-Led Blockbusters Don't Play Overseas

    'Black Panther' Now Ranks Among Fandango's Top 5 Biggest Pre-Sellers of All Time

    ]]>
    https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-claws-record-25-2-million-thursday-box-office/feed/ 0
    All 18 Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked, From Worst to Best (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/all-marvel-cinematic-universe-mcu-movies-ranked-worst-best/ https://www.thewrap.com/all-marvel-cinematic-universe-mcu-movies-ranked-worst-best/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:00:55 +0000 Alonso Duralde https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1022830 Nobody on the internet wants to talk about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it’s a topic we just can’t go on ignoring. But seriously: even though this seemingly unstoppable franchise has rabid fans across the globe, no one can agree on which ones they like best (or least, for that matter). TheWrap’s Film Reviews Editor Alonso Duralde take his own stab at the subject — and no, he’s not getting paid by anyone at Disney to like (or dislike, for that matter) any of these films.

    17. “The Incredible Hulk” (2008)

    Released just five years after Ang Lee‘s “Hulk,” this second attempt to make a leading man out of the big green Gamma-radiated creature proved to be similarly disappointing. If we’ve learned anything from the Avengers movies, it’s that Bruce Banner works best when he’s a supporting character (and when he’s played by Mark Ruffalo)

    16. “Ant-Man” (2015).

    While this movie deserves credit for not putting the fate of mankind on the line — the stakes are more child’s-toy-train-sized — the film’s stabs at humor seem overplayed, and little of Paul Rudd‘s natural charm comes to the forefront of what should be a breezy caper. We can only wonder what Edgar Wright‘s original version might have been like.

    15. “Thor” (2011).

    Director Kenneth Branagh nails the thee-and-thou of the Asgard segments, but the small town where the climax plays out is one of the screen’s cheesiest fake cities since the terrible 1980s “Supergirl” movie. On the upside, actor Chris Hemsworth demonstrates a twinkly wit in this thunder god adventure, matched with impressive brawn.

    14. “Iron Man 2” (2010).

    The best MCU movies do a good job of distracting you from all the setting-up of future franchise entries; this one offers so much empire-building that it might as well have a “Pardon Our Dust” sign on it. Still, the first appearance of Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, dispatching a hallway’s worth of opponents, made an unforgettable impression.

    13. “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011).

    Much as he did in “The Rocketeer,” director Joe Johnston excels at portraying the gloss of the 1940s, although the characters aren’t nearly as vivid as the USO bunting. But fear not, true believers — Cap’s onscreen adventures got way better in his subsequent solo and team movies.

    12.”Thor: The Dark World” (2013).

    Firmly average, yes, but an improvement on its predecessor and a straight-up good time, skillfully balancing superheroics, second bananas, entertaining villains and the occasional killer one-liner. By no means a cornerstone of the MCU, but this one, mostly, works.

    11. “Iron Man 3” (2013).

    Director and co-writer Shane Black doesn’t always have the tightest grasp on the story — what does the nefarious Extremis do again, and why? — but he shows off his skill at witty banter (which Robert Downey, Jr. can perform within an inch of its life) and breathtaking action (a mid-air rescue of a dozen passengers who have just tumbled out of Air Force One).

    10. “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015).

    It’s always fun when the band gets back together, but it’s also difficult to recapture the magic of that first time. This sequel offers plenty of excitement and Joss Whedon-scripted badinage, but it’s also a little overstuffed with supporting characters and set-ups for the next round of MCU movies. Lovers and haters of superhero movies can both find bolsters for their arguments here.

    9. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017)
    The band is back together, and they’re as bristly hilarious as in their first outing, but overall this sequel feels like it’s just vamping (entertainingly) until the next major plot shift in the MCU. Kurt Russell pops up as Ego the Living Planet, who claims to be the long-lost father of Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), and while the movie is more concerned with character and emotion than plot, not all of the moving moments ring true.

    8. “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)

    Director Taika Waititi (“Hunt for the Wilderpeople”) strikes a delicate balance between breathless action and fate-of-the-universe stakes on one hand and tongue-in-cheek silliness and snappy banter on the other. Luckily, he’s got Chris Hemsworth, who excels at both, surrounded by the witty likes of Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo and franchise newbies Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum and a gloriously over-the-top Cate Blanchett.

    7.”Captain America: Civil War” (2016)  .

    The plotting and pacing aren’t as tight as in “Winter Soldier,” but if you’re looking for dark human conflict and rousing superhero-on-superhero action, this movie does a whole lot right that “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” did wrong.

    6. “Iron Man” (2008) .

    It all starts here — a superhero origin story for literalists who can’t get behind exploding planets or radioactive spiders. Jon Favreau, then most famous for directing “Elf” and writing and co-starring in “Swingers,” seemed an odd choice for the material, but he knows how to give us both the characters (played by Downey and Gwyneth Paltrow with panache) and the ka-blam.

    6. Black Panther (2018). 

    While Chadwick Boseman’s titular African king-superhero takes something of a back seat to a troika of fascinating female characters — played by Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright — the movie nonetheless overflows with excitement and rich backstory. (And Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger ranks among the franchise’s greatest villains.)

    5. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017)
    Less guilt-driven and haunted than previous iterations of the character (on the page or on screen), this Spider-Man (Tom Holland) has enough on his plate dealing with his superhero growing pains. Hungry to join The Avengers but still grappling with all he has to learn — he’s only 15, after all — our hero faces off against blue-collar bad guy The Vulture (Michael Keaton, Birdman at last) in an adventure that’s breezy and funny while also featuring genuine stakes, terrific characterizations and wonderfully detailed casting. (You gotta love a teen movie that works in Zendaya, Tony Revolori, Abraham Attah and J.J. Totah, plus scene-stealing newcomer Jacob Batalon.)
    4. “Doctor Strange” (2016).

    It would be all too easy to make the spell-casting Master of the Mystic Arts look ridiculous on the big screen, but somehow director Scott Derrickson and his crew gave us a version of surgeon-turned-magician Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who seems at home in the real world, rubbing shoulders with the Avengers, and traversing trippy, eye-popping dimensions where none other could go.

    3. “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)  .

    Breezy, flippant and soaking in the super hits of the ’70s, this comedy adventure is something of an outlier — both tonally and geographically — in the Marvel Universe. Still, whether or not Rocket Raccoon and Black Widow ever cross paths, this star-spanning saga was a reminder that there’s more than one way to tell a superhero story.

    2. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014) .

    Aggressive patriotism meets anti-government paranoia in this exciting tale that pits the Captain against labyrinthine conspiracies. It also turns out that Steve Rogers is way more interesting displaced in time in the 2000s than firmly at home in the 1940s. And you will believe The Falcon can fly.

    1. “The Avengers” (2012)  .

    Still the gold standard of the MCU, this movie reveals that Joss Whedon gets comic books down to their DNA, in the same way that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were fluent in the language of serials in the “Indiana Jones” movies. Putting all these heroes in one room (or helicarrier, anyway) yielded terrific results, even if the film’s success led to the all-superheroes-all-the-time ethos of contemporary Hollywood.

     

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    'Doctor Strange' Early Reviews Are In: 'Stunning,' 'Unique,' 'Unlike Anything Marvel's Done'

    'Blade' Reboot Not in the Works, Marvel Head Kevin Feige Says

    Sigourney Weaver To Play Villain in Marvel's 'The Defenders'

    Attention 'Star Wars' and Marvel Fans: Disney's Bob Iger Has Updates for You

    ]]>
    https://www.thewrap.com/all-marvel-cinematic-universe-mcu-movies-ranked-worst-best/feed/ 0 18. “The Incredible Hulk” (2008)  

    Released just five years after Ang Lee’s “Hulk,” this second attempt to make a leading man out of the big green Gamma-radiated creature proved to be similarly disappointing. If we’ve learned anything from the Avengers movies, it’s that Bruce Banner works best when he’s a supporting character (and when he’s played by Mark Ruffalo).

    ]]>
    18. “The Incredible Hulk” (2008)  

    Released just five years after Ang Lee’s “Hulk,” this second attempt to make a leading man out of the big green Gamma-radiated creature proved to be similarly disappointing. If we’ve learned anything from the Avengers movies, it’s that Bruce Banner works best when he’s a supporting character (and when he’s played by Mark Ruffalo).

    ]]>
    17. “Ant-Man” (2015)  

    While this movie deserves credit for not putting the fate of mankind on the line -- the stakes are more child’s-toy-train-sized -- the film’s stabs at humor seem overplayed, and little of Paul Rudd’s natural charm comes to the forefront of what should be a breezy caper. We can only wonder what Edgar Wright’s original version might have been like.

    ]]>
    17. “Ant-Man” (2015)  

    While this movie deserves credit for not putting the fate of mankind on the line -- the stakes are more child’s-toy-train-sized -- the film’s stabs at humor seem overplayed, and little of Paul Rudd’s natural charm comes to the forefront of what should be a breezy caper. We can only wonder what Edgar Wright’s original version might have been like.

    ]]>
    16. “Thor” (2011)  

    Director Kenneth Branagh nails the thee-and-thou of the Asgard segments, but the small town where the climax plays out is one of the screen’s cheesiest fake cities since the terrible 1980s “Supergirl” movie. On the upside, actor Chris Hemsworth demonstrates a twinkly wit in this thunder god adventure, matched with impressive brawn.

    ]]>
    16. “Thor” (2011)  

    Director Kenneth Branagh nails the thee-and-thou of the Asgard segments, but the small town where the climax plays out is one of the screen’s cheesiest fake cities since the terrible 1980s “Supergirl” movie. On the upside, actor Chris Hemsworth demonstrates a twinkly wit in this thunder god adventure, matched with impressive brawn.

    ]]>
    15. “Iron Man 2" (2010) 

    The best MCU movies do a good job of distracting you from all the setting-up of future franchise entries; this one offers so much empire-building that it might as well have a “Pardon Our Dust” sign on it. Still, the first appearance of Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, dispatching a hallway’s worth of opponents, made an unforgettable impression.

    ]]>
    15. “Iron Man 2" (2010) 

    The best MCU movies do a good job of distracting you from all the setting-up of future franchise entries; this one offers so much empire-building that it might as well have a “Pardon Our Dust” sign on it. Still, the first appearance of Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, dispatching a hallway’s worth of opponents, made an unforgettable impression.

    ]]>
    14. "Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011) 

    Much as he did in “The Rocketeer,” director Joe Johnston excels at portraying the gloss of the 1940s, although the characters aren’t nearly as vivid as the USO bunting. But fear not, true believers -- Cap’s onscreen adventures got way better in his subsequent solo and team movies.

    ]]>
    14. "Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011) 

    Much as he did in “The Rocketeer,” director Joe Johnston excels at portraying the gloss of the 1940s, although the characters aren’t nearly as vivid as the USO bunting. But fear not, true believers -- Cap’s onscreen adventures got way better in his subsequent solo and team movies.

    ]]>
    13. "Thor: The Dark World" (2013) 

    Firmly average, yes, but an improvement on its predecessor and a straight-up good time, skillfully balancing superheroics, second bananas, entertaining villains and the occasional killer one-liner. By no means a cornerstone of the MCU, but this one, mostly, works.

    ]]>
    13. "Thor: The Dark World" (2013) 

    Firmly average, yes, but an improvement on its predecessor and a straight-up good time, skillfully balancing superheroics, second bananas, entertaining villains and the occasional killer one-liner. By no means a cornerstone of the MCU, but this one, mostly, works.

    ]]>
    12. “Iron Man 3” (2013) 

    Director and co-writer Shane Black doesn’t always have the tightest grasp on the story -- what does the nefarious Extremis do again, and why? -- but he shows off his skill at witty banter (which Robert Downey, Jr. can perform within an inch of its life) and breathtaking action (a mid-air rescue of a dozen passengers who have just tumbled out of Air Force One).

    ]]>
    12. “Iron Man 3” (2013) 

    Director and co-writer Shane Black doesn’t always have the tightest grasp on the story -- what does the nefarious Extremis do again, and why? -- but he shows off his skill at witty banter (which Robert Downey, Jr. can perform within an inch of its life) and breathtaking action (a mid-air rescue of a dozen passengers who have just tumbled out of Air Force One).

    ]]>
    11. “The Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015)   

    It’s always fun when the band gets back together, but it’s also difficult to recapture the magic of that first time. This sequel offers plenty of excitement and Joss Whedon-scripted badinage, but it’s also a little overstuffed with supporting characters and set-ups for the next round of MCU movies. Lovers and haters of superhero movies can both find bolsters for their arguments here.

    ]]>
    11. “The Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015)   

    It’s always fun when the band gets back together, but it’s also difficult to recapture the magic of that first time. This sequel offers plenty of excitement and Joss Whedon-scripted badinage, but it’s also a little overstuffed with supporting characters and set-ups for the next round of MCU movies. Lovers and haters of superhero movies can both find bolsters for their arguments here.

    ]]>
    10. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (2017) 

    The band is back together, and they're as bristly hilarious as in their first outing, but overall this sequel feels like it's just vamping (entertainingly) until the next major plot shift in the MCU. Kurt Russell pops up as Ego the Living Planet, who claims to be the long-lost father of Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), and while the movie is more concerned with character and emotion than plot, not all of the moving moments ring true.

    ]]>
    10. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (2017) 

    The band is back together, and they're as bristly hilarious as in their first outing, but overall this sequel feels like it's just vamping (entertainingly) until the next major plot shift in the MCU. Kurt Russell pops up as Ego the Living Planet, who claims to be the long-lost father of Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), and while the movie is more concerned with character and emotion than plot, not all of the moving moments ring true.

    ]]>
    9. "Thor: Ragnarok" (2017) 

    Director Taika Waititi ("Hunt for the Wilderpeople") strikes a delicate balance between breathless action and fate-of-the-universe stakes on one hand and tongue-in-cheek silliness and snappy banter on the other. Luckily, he's got Chris Hemsworth, who excels at both, surrounded by the witty likes of Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo and franchise newbies Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum and a gloriously over-the-top Cate Blanchett.

    ]]>
    9. "Thor: Ragnarok" (2017) 

    Director Taika Waititi ("Hunt for the Wilderpeople") strikes a delicate balance between breathless action and fate-of-the-universe stakes on one hand and tongue-in-cheek silliness and snappy banter on the other. Luckily, he's got Chris Hemsworth, who excels at both, surrounded by the witty likes of Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo and franchise newbies Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum and a gloriously over-the-top Cate Blanchett.

    ]]>
    8. "Captain America: Civil War" (2016)  

    The plotting and pacing aren't as tight as in "Winter Soldier," but if you're looking for dark human conflict and rousing superhero-on-superhero action, this movie does a whole lot right that "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" did wrong.

    ]]>
    8. "Captain America: Civil War" (2016)  

    The plotting and pacing aren't as tight as in "Winter Soldier," but if you're looking for dark human conflict and rousing superhero-on-superhero action, this movie does a whole lot right that "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" did wrong.

    ]]>
    7. "Iron Man" (2008) 

    It all starts here -- a superhero origin story for literalists who can’t get behind exploding planets or radioactive spiders. Jon Favreau, then most famous for directing "Elf" and writing and co-starring in "Swingers," seemed an odd choice for the material, but he knows how to give us both the characters (played by Downey and Gwyneth Paltrow with panache) and the ka-blam.

    ]]>
    7. "Iron Man" (2008) 

    It all starts here -- a superhero origin story for literalists who can’t get behind exploding planets or radioactive spiders. Jon Favreau, then most famous for directing "Elf" and writing and co-starring in "Swingers," seemed an odd choice for the material, but he knows how to give us both the characters (played by Downey and Gwyneth Paltrow with panache) and the ka-blam.

    ]]>
    6. Black Panther (2018) 

    While Chadwick Boseman's titular African king-superhero takes something of a back seat to a troika of fascinating female characters -- played by Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright -- the movie nonetheless overflows with excitement and rich backstory. (And Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger ranks among the franchise's greatest villains.)

    ]]>
    6. Black Panther (2018) 

    While Chadwick Boseman's titular African king-superhero takes something of a back seat to a troika of fascinating female characters -- played by Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright -- the movie nonetheless overflows with excitement and rich backstory. (And Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger ranks among the franchise's greatest villains.)

    ]]>
    5. "Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017)

    Less guilt-driven and haunted than previous iterations of the character (on the page or screen), Tom Holland's Spider-Man has enough on his plate dealing with his superhero growing pains. Hungry to join The Avengers but still grappling with all he has to learn -- he's only 15, after all -- our hero faces off against blue-collar bad guy The Vulture (Michael Keaton, Birdman at last) in an adventure that's breezy and funny while also featuring genuine stakes, terrific characterizations and wonderfully detailed casting. (You gotta love a teen movie that works in Zendaya, Tony Revolori, Abraham Attah and J.J. Totah, plus scene-stealing newcomer Jacob Batalon.)

    ]]>
    5. "Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017)

    Less guilt-driven and haunted than previous iterations of the character (on the page or screen), Tom Holland's Spider-Man has enough on his plate dealing with his superhero growing pains. Hungry to join The Avengers but still grappling with all he has to learn -- he's only 15, after all -- our hero faces off against blue-collar bad guy The Vulture (Michael Keaton, Birdman at last) in an adventure that's breezy and funny while also featuring genuine stakes, terrific characterizations and wonderfully detailed casting. (You gotta love a teen movie that works in Zendaya, Tony Revolori, Abraham Attah and J.J. Totah, plus scene-stealing newcomer Jacob Batalon.)

    ]]>
    4. "Doctor Strange" (2016)

    It would be all too easy to make the spell-casting Master of the Mystic Arts look ridiculous on the big screen, but somehow director Scott Derrickson and his crew gave us a version of surgeon-turned-magician Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who seems at home in the real world, rubbing shoulders with the Avengers, and traversing trippy, eye-popping dimensions where none other could go.

    ]]>
    4. "Doctor Strange" (2016)

    It would be all too easy to make the spell-casting Master of the Mystic Arts look ridiculous on the big screen, but somehow director Scott Derrickson and his crew gave us a version of surgeon-turned-magician Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who seems at home in the real world, rubbing shoulders with the Avengers, and traversing trippy, eye-popping dimensions where none other could go.

    ]]>
    3. “Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014)  

    Breezy, flippant and soaking in the super hits of the ’70s, this comedy adventure is something of an outlier -- both tonally and geographically -- in the Marvel Universe. Still, whether or not Rocket Raccoon and Black Widow ever cross paths, this star-spanning saga was a reminder that there’s more than one way to tell a superhero story.

    ]]>
    3. “Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014)  

    Breezy, flippant and soaking in the super hits of the ’70s, this comedy adventure is something of an outlier -- both tonally and geographically -- in the Marvel Universe. Still, whether or not Rocket Raccoon and Black Widow ever cross paths, this star-spanning saga was a reminder that there’s more than one way to tell a superhero story.

    ]]>
    2. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (2014) 

    Aggressive patriotism meets anti-government paranoia in this exciting tale that pits the Captain against labyrinthine conspiracies. It also turns out that Steve Rogers is way more interesting displaced in time in the 2000s than firmly at home in the 1940s. And you will believe The Falcon can fly.

    ]]>
    2. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (2014) 

    Aggressive patriotism meets anti-government paranoia in this exciting tale that pits the Captain against labyrinthine conspiracies. It also turns out that Steve Rogers is way more interesting displaced in time in the 2000s than firmly at home in the 1940s. And you will believe The Falcon can fly.

    ]]>
    1. “The Avengers" (2012)  

    Still the gold standard of the MCU, this movie reveals that Joss Whedon gets comic books down to their DNA, in the same way that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were fluent in the language of serials in the “Indiana Jones” movies. Putting all these heroes in one room (or helicarrier, anyway) yielded terrific results, even if the film’s success led to the all-superheroes-all-the-time ethos of contemporary Hollywood.

    ]]>
    1. “The Avengers" (2012)  

    Still the gold standard of the MCU, this movie reveals that Joss Whedon gets comic books down to their DNA, in the same way that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were fluent in the language of serials in the “Indiana Jones” movies. Putting all these heroes in one room (or helicarrier, anyway) yielded terrific results, even if the film’s success led to the all-superheroes-all-the-time ethos of contemporary Hollywood.

    ]]>
    Disney World’s Toy Story Land to Be Fully Assembled for a Summer Opening https://www.thewrap.com/disney-world-toy-story-land-open-summer-2018/ https://www.thewrap.com/disney-world-toy-story-land-open-summer-2018/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:57:46 +0000 Jennifer Maas https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815335 All systems are finally go on Toy Story Land!

    On Friday, the “cast” of one of Pixar’s most beloved franchises appeared on Good Morning America to announce that the eagerly-anticipated park will open in Disney World in Orlando, Fla. on June 30.

    Woody, Buzz, Jessie, and Slinky Dog welcomed fans to enjoy the new 11-acre park, the latest addition at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The new land will feature a Slinky Dog Dash rollercoaster, an Alien Swirling Saucers ride based on the villainous Sid’s favorite “The Claw” game at Pizza Planet, and an expanded version of the 3D-shooting ride Toy Story Mania!

    Visitors will also get a chance to roam around giant Crayons, Cooties, Green Army Men, Rubik’s Cubes, Tinkertoys, and grab a bite at Woody’s Lunch Box.

    Watch your favorite “toys” announce the opening of the new park in the clip below.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    'Toy Story 4': Black List Alum Stephany Folsom to Write Script

    Rashida Jones Says John Lasseter Wasn't Why She Exited 'Toy Story 4'

    John Lasseter Steps Down as Co-Director of 'Toy Story 4'

    Pixar Writer Debunks 'Toy Story' Theory Regarding Andy's Father

    ]]>
    https://www.thewrap.com/disney-world-toy-story-land-open-summer-2018/feed/ 0
    ‘Black Panther': Did We See the Soul Stone in Wakanda? https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-did-we-see-the-soul-stone-in-wakanda/ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-did-we-see-the-soul-stone-in-wakanda/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 02:31:28 +0000 Phil Owen and Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1814495 (Spoilers ahead for the more mystical portions of Marvel’s “Black Panther.”)

    “Black Panther” is here, and the final story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe prior to “Avengers: Infinity War” has been told. The stage is now set for the biggest fight yet for the myriad heroes of this gargantuan movie franchise — we’re only three months away from Thanos showing up on Earth to get that party started. But there’s still one big piece missing.

    What Thanos (Josh Brolin) has been working toward during all these movies is to collect the Infinity Stones in order to power his Infinity Gauntlet, which would give him essentially complete power over the universe and even the nature of reality. He would become not god, but the God. But that will only happen if he has all six of the stones — one for each of his five fingers on the Gauntlet, and the last for the big slot in the middle of the back of his hand.

    Over the course of the last decade of movies, we’ve seen five of the stones bouncing around the universe, often passing through many different hands. Thanos will have obtained two of the stones by the time he gets to Earth, judging by the “Infinity War” trailer: the Space Stone and the Power Stone. The Space Stone, A.K.A. the Tesseract, was last seen in the hands of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) at the end of “Thor: Ragnarok.” The Power Stone was entrusted to the Nova Corps at the end of the first “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The trailer shows those two stones equipped in the Gauntlet.

    Two other stones are known to be on Earth: the Time Stone, which Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) wears around his neck, and the Mind Stone, which is what gives Vision (Paul Bettany) life. The fifth known stone, the Reality Stone, was last seen in the possession of the Collector (Benicio del Toro), an immortal Elder of the Universe.

    That leaves the Soul Stone, which was not seen in “Black Panther” — at least not directly.

    A key thing to remember about the Infinity Stones is that they usually don’t initially appear in the form of a gem. The Tesseract, for example, has always appeared as a large blue cube; the Reality Stone, known as the Aether in “Thor: The Dark World,” was a liquid in that movie; and the Mind Stone was hidden in plain sight inside Loki’s scepter for a whole bunch of movies before its true nature was revealed in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” So it’s very likely we have seen the Soul Stone, or its effects, without having seen something that looks like an Infinity Stone.

    While we did not see anything that looked like the Soul Stone in “Black Panther,” we definitely did see some things that could have been caused by the Soul Stone’s power. Specifically, Wakanda’s Ancestral Plane, in which T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is able to consult with his dead father twice during the film.

    One of the key traits of the Soul Stone is that it, well, captures souls. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it could be the Soul Stone, trapped inside the Vibranium meteor that crashed in Wakanda thousands of years ago, that created that spiritual plane. Likewise, the Soul Stone could also be the source of the Heart-Shaped Herbs that give the Black Panther his power — it would follow then that it’s the use of the Herb would then tie a Panther’s soul to the Soul Stone.

    We know from “Infinity War” trailers that Wakanda is a major locale in the film, and not just because of Black Panther’s greater involvement with the Avengers. Thanos’ forces collide with Wakanda’s army in the trailer, suggesting the most technologically advanced nation on Earth has something the supervillain wants. That provides a little further evidence for the theory that Wakanda is, perhaps unknowingly, housing the Soul Stone. If the stone is what gives the Black Panther his powers and creates the ancestral realm, it would make a lot of sense that Thanos is trying to take it by force.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    All 18 Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked, From Worst to Best (Photos)

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    Every Marvel Comics Live-Action TV Show Ranked, from 'Spider-Man' to 'The Runaways'

    Tracking the Infinity Stones of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Through 'Black Panther'

    'Avengers: Infinity War': 11 Things We Learned From New Trailer

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    ‘Black Panther': Could the Wakandan Ancestral Plane Have Something to Do With a Hidden Infinity Stone? https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-ancestral-plane/ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-ancestral-plane/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 01:52:55 +0000 Phil Hornshaw and Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1814623 (Some spoilers ahead for Marvel’s “Black Panther”)

    Outside of “Doctor Strange,” the Marvel Cinematic Universe has generally stuck with scifi rather than mysticism and magic, and now “Black Panther” is giving us another look at the spiritual side of the MCU by delving into the the reality of the religion of Wakanda.

    Most notably, “Black Panther” shows moments in which T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) visits what the Wakandans refer to as the “ancestral plane,” and even interacts with his ancestors as part of the process to become a superhero.

    It all comes from the Heart-Shaped Herb, the strange Wakandan plant that, when ingested, gives the Black Panther their enhanced strength, speed, reflexes and durability. “Black Panther” includes a scene in which T’Challa has to take the herb as part of the ritual to instill the power of the Black Panther on him as king of Wakanda. Part of that ritual sees T’Challa briefly and loosely buried while he experiences a spiritual vision.

    T’Challa’s vision shows him T’Chaka (John Kani), his father, and gives the pair a chance to talk about T’Challa’s future. The film suggests this isn’t just a hallucination on T’Challa’s part, either — he’s actually connected to his ancestors, previous Black Panthers, through the power of the heart-shaped herb. T’Challa seeks counsel from his father through the process, and learns other information from him. But there’s reason to believe that the final unrevealed Infinity Stone, the Soul Stone, may be what fuels this spiritual realm. And that’s because this “ancestral plane,” as presented, is a concept that’s original to the movie

    “Black Panther” comics also carry a lot of that spirituality, rooted in the character’s African heritage and drawing from a variety of influences. How that spirituality is portrayed varies between writers and Black Panther’s iterations over the years, however. The idea that people who previously held the mantle of Black Panther are spiritually connected has been around since the 1980s, in which the Panther Spirit, which is essentially Wakanda’s god, is an active character. The spirit binds everyone who has served as the Black Panther (since the title isn’t just hereditary, but must be earned through tests of worthiness), and even abandons T’Challa because of his actions through part of the story. But ideas of reincarnation and spiritual connection have long been a part of the Black Panther character.

    The “ancestral plane” is not a term used in the comics, but the closest comic book equivalent concept is probably the D’Jalia, the spiritual realm that has been an important part of the most recent run of “Black Panther” comics written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In those stories,the D’Jalia is a spiritual plane that represents Wakanda’s collective memory. When T’Challa’s sister, Shuri, is killed in the comics, her soul travels through the astral plane and eventually to the D’Jalia. She trains there with spirits until T’Challa finds a way to rescue her soul and she’s revived.

    What’s seen in “Black Panther,” a spiritual plane linked to the heart-shaped herb that binds ancestors together, might also have a larger link to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well. Each of the MCU films has been building toward the eventual massive crossover event “Avengers: Infinity War,” in which all the heroes in all the movies come together to deal with the threat of a supervillain called Thanos. The big deal with Thanos is that he’s after six super-powerful gems that helped create the universe, known as the Infinity Stones. Five of those stones have popped up in previous movies and are accounted for, but one still has never been shown: the Soul Stone.

    Thanos’ driving force in “Infinity War,” as we know from the comics, is to gather all the stones together and use their power to control reality. We also know from trailers that some major stuff goes down in Wakanda in “Infinity War,” suggesting it’s a key locale to both the heroes and to Thanos.

    Combine that with T’Challa’s visits to the ancestral plane after taking the Heart-Shaped Herb in “Black Panther,” and there’s a strong argument to be made that the Soul Stone might be in Wakanda, likely inside the vibranium meteor that crashed there thousands of years ago. It seems very possible that part of what makes the ancestral connection so strong between people who take on the mantle of Black Panther, which seems to go beyond religion and spirituality and isn’t mirrored anywhere else in the MCU, is the influence of an Infinity Stone.

    That idea follows because of one of the key traits of the Soul Stone in the comics is that it captures souls — this afterlife that’s apparently centered around the Black Panther mantle, and thus also the consumption of the Heart-Shaped Herb, could mean that the ancestral plane and the Herb itself are products of the influence of the Soul Stone.

    This is, however, just speculation for now, because “Black Panther” does not provide these answers. We’ll have to wait until “Avengers: Infinity War” comes out in a few months to find out if we’re right.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

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    'Black Panther' Grabs Best Rotten Tomatoes Score of Any Superhero Movie

    All 49 Marvel Movies Ranked, Including 'Black Panther'

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    Jeffrey Tambor Disappeared From ‘Stalin’ Movie Poster https://www.thewrap.com/jeffrey-tambor-disappeared-from-stalin-movie-poster/ https://www.thewrap.com/jeffrey-tambor-disappeared-from-stalin-movie-poster/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 01:52:51 +0000 Matt Donnelly https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1815032 Actor Jeffrey Tambor has disappeared from the movie poster for his upcoming comedy “The Death of Stalin.”

    A new promotional image for the IFC Films release made the rounds on Thursday replacing the Emmy winner with his costar Andrea Riseborough. The one-sheet is almost identical to a version used since the film’s premiere last September.

    The new poster was circulated hours after Amazon Studios announced it had terminated the Emmy winner from its original series “Transparent,” following an investigation into alleged misconduct with coworkers. Tambor called the accusations false and said he was “profoundly disappointed” in Amazon’s investigation.

    The original poster:

    From left: Rupert Friend, Michael Palin, Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs

    The new poster:

    From left: Simon Russell Beale, Rupert Friend, Andrea Riseborough, Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs

    Actor Michael Palin was also removed from the original image, substituted his costar Simon Russell Beale. The film, from “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci, won three British Independent Film awards in November following its September debut at the Toronto international Film Festival.

    Both versions of the poster were approved by the filmmakers, with the Tambor version made specifically for the United Kingdom, an individual familiar with the marketing plan said — though its worth noting that only that Tambor version has been used in North America before Thursday.

    An IFC Films spokesperson did not immediately comment on the new poster. A rep for Tambor did not respond immediately to TheWrap’s request for comment on his omission.

    For four seasons Tambor played the groundbreaking role of Maura Pfefferman, a Jewish academic who transitions from male to female in the twilight of her life. An investigation into his accused misconduct said Tambor harassed three women, official word from Amazon said today. He vehemently denied this in a subsequent statement.

    Entertainment One is distributing the film in the UK.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Armando Iannucci's 'The Death of Stalin' Wins 3 British Independent Film Awards

    'Veep' Creator Armando Iannucci on Finding Humor in 'The Death of Stalin' (Exclusive Video)

    'The Death of Stalin' Review: Is This 1950s Russia, or Today's Washington?

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    Tracking the Infinity Stones of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Through ‘Black Panther’ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-tracking-the-location-of-the-six-infinity-stones/ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-tracking-the-location-of-the-six-infinity-stones/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 01:47:49 +0000 Jeremy Fuster, Phil Hornshaw and Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1331950 As every Marvel movie fan knows, the thread that connects the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe from Earth to Xandar are the six Infinity Stones that will all come together when the Marvel heroes take on Thanos in “Avengers: Infinity War.” Starting with “Captain America: The First Avenger,” the Stones have been revealed one by one since 2011. If you need a brush-up on where each stone currently is and what it can do, we’re here to help you out. (WARNING: Spoilers for “Black Panther”  and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ahead)

    If you need a brush-up on where each stone currently is and what it can do, we’re here to help you out.

    The Infinity Stones were created at the dawn of the universe by cosmic entities who bent all of existence to their will. Each of the stones gives the user control over some element of the cosmos … provided that the user’s body is powerful enough to withstand the stones’ energy without getting vaporized. The six stones control one of the following: Space, Reality, Power, Mind, Time, and Soul. Each stone has a special nickname in the MCU.

    The Space Stone, a.k.a. The Tesseract, was left on Earth by Thor’s father, Odin. It was first introduced in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” as Red Skull used it as a power source for his evil plans. After Cap stopped him, the Tesseract was taken by SHIELD with the hopes that they could harness its power to protect Earth.

    Instead, the Tesseract became the impetus for Loki’s invasion of New York in “The Avengers.” After Loki was defeated Thor and his superhero pals, the Tesseract returned to Thor’s home world of Asgard, where it is currently being used as a means to teleport between different planets.

    In “Thor: Ragnarok,” we see the Tesseract again in Odin’s vault on Asgard. Toward the end of the movie, Thor sends Loki to the vault to execute a plan that can defeat Hela. While he’s there, Loki has a pointed moment walking past the Tesseract. We don’t know for sure, but it seems very likely Loki didn’t leave the Tesseract to get destroyed along with the rest of Asgard. He probably has it in his possession at the end of the movie. Which means…

    …The Tesseract, and thus the Space Stone, are probably currently in the possession of Thanos. In the mid-credits scene at the end of “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor, Loki and the rest of the Asgardians are aboard a spaceship bound for Earth. They’re intercepted by Thanos’ ship, the Sanctuary II. And in footage of “Avengers: Infinity War” shown at San Diego Comic-Con this year, there’s a shot of Loki handing the Tesseract over to Thanos.

    The Reality Stone, a.k.a. The Aether, was introduced in “Thor: The Dark World” as the object that spawned a war between the Asgardians and an evil race of Dark Elves, led by a tyrant named Malekith. Unlike other stones, the Aether had taken a liquid form that could suck the life force out of humans and other mortals. But those who could control it were able to use its power to turn anything in the universe into dark matter.

    With the help of Loki, with whom he made an uneasy truce, Thor was able to stop Malekith’s plans to use the Aether to turn the universe into a dark matter realm ruled by his people. Since Asgard already had the Tesseract, it was decided that it was too dangerous for Infinity Stones to be close together for a long time, and the Aether was given to a man called The Collector for safekeeping. What Thor didn’t know was that The Collector had plans to gather the Stones for himself.

    Unfortunately for The Collector, his plans were derailed after a visit from the Guardians of the Galaxy, who had arrived with a mysterious Orb they had planned to sell him for a massive payday. They learned the Orb contained the Power Stone, an Infinity Stone used by its creators to cast judgment upon worlds and destroy them with a single blow. Direct contact with the Power Stone will result in the holder being vaporized.

    And vaporization is exactly what happened to The Collector’s assistant, who touched the stone inside the Orb and caused a massive explosion. While The Collector held on to The Aether, most of his collection was lost while The Orb fell into the hands of Ronan, who planned to use its power to destroy the planet Xandar and conquer the galaxy. The Guardians were able to defeat Ronan and placed the Orb under the care of their galaxy’s top defense force, the Nova Corps.

    The Mind Stone was introduced in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and was revealed to have been contained in Loki’s scepter. It grants the user immense knowledge and the ability to control the minds of others, and can even bring about new life. After the Avengers retrieved the Scepter from HYDRA, Tony Stark planned to use its power to develop an A.I. strong enough to defend Earth from another otherworldly invasion. Instead, he created Ultron, who hatched an invasion of his own.

    To counter this, the Avengers used The Mind Stone again on Stark’s computer companion, JARVIS. With the help of Thor’s power, their experiment created the Vision, a sentient android with the Mind Stone embedded in his head. Vision gave the Avengers the edge they needed, putting an end to Ultron’s plans.

    The Time Stone was introduced in “Doctor Strange” and played a key role in the titular hero’s development of his magical power. As you may guess, the Time Stone allows those with magical abilities to manipulate time like a Blu-Ray remote. The stone is held within a pendant called The Eye of Agamotto, which Doctor Strange uses despite warnings from Baron Mordo that the Eye is a form of magic that is far too dangerous to be wielded.

    Using the Eye to undo the destruction brought about by the dark deity Dormammu, Strange trapped his nemesis in a time loop, in which Dormammu would kill Strange again and again but could never conquer Earth. Strange only stopped the loop after Dormammu agreed to leave Earth. Afterwards, Strange placed the Eye back in storage, at which point his companion, Wong, revealed to him that he had been wearing an Infinity Stone around his neck.

    The final stone, the Soul Stone, has yet to be revealed. Though fans thought it could be tied to Hela, the villain of “Thor: Ragnarok,” it didn’t turn up in that movie. We hoped, then, that it would show up in “Black Panther,” somewhere in the super-advanced Earth nation of Wakanda. However, that didn’t appear to be the case.

    Then again, in the comics, Hela wields control over all the souls who reside in her domain and has made Faustian bargains with the living in exchange for their souls. We saw Hela raise the dead in “Thor: Ragnarok,” but got no explanation of how that power works. There’s also some speculation that, while Hela gets blasted by Surtur’s sword at the end of the movie, she might not have died — leaving the door open for her to resurface, potentially with the Soul Stone.

    It’s also possible “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” has hinted at the reveal of the final Infinity Stone. The movie includes a post-credits scene in which Ayesha, High Priestess of the Sovereign, talks about using her race’s technology to create a powerful being she dubs “Adam.” This is a reference to the extremely powerful Adam Warlock, a character who derives much of his incredible abilities from the Soul Stone in the Marvel Comics.

    There’s speculation that this version of Adam Warlock may or may not have the Soul Stone. Marvel boss Kevin Feige and “Guardians” director James Gunn have said that Adam won’t be in “Infinity War,” even though he’s key to the conflict in the comics. And Feige says we won’t see Adam until “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which takes place after “Infinity War.” But all of this could also be misdirection — and there are several movies ahead of “Infinity War” where Adam Warlock could show up to introduce the Soul Stone.

    Which, of course, brings us back to the possibility that the Soul Stone was present in “Black Panther,” just out of sight. It’s conceivable that the Soul Stone, which has the key trait of trapping souls within itself, is what spawned the “ancestral plane” that T’Challa visits to speak with his deceased father after eating the Heart-Shaped Herb. That Thanos will assault Wakanda in “Infinity War” would lend some credence to this idea, but we’ll have to wait until May to find out for sure.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

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    32 Marvel Movie Heroes Ranked, From Dr. Strange to Iron Man to Rocket Raccoon (Photos)

    Rebecca Hall Recalls Marvel Villain She Never Got to Play: 'It Was Heartbreaking'

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    https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-tracking-the-location-of-the-six-infinity-stones/feed/ 0 As every Marvel movie fan knows, the thread that connects the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe from Earth to Xandar are the six Infinity Stones that will all come together when the Marvel heroes take on Thanos in "Avengers: Infinity War." Starting with "Captain America: The First Avenger," the Stones have been revealed one by one since 2011. If you need a brush-up on where each stone currently is and what it can do, we're here to help you out. (WARNING: Spoilers for "Black Panther" ahead)

    ]]>
    As every Marvel movie fan knows, the thread that connects the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe from Earth to Xandar are the six Infinity Stones that will all come together when the Marvel heroes take on Thanos in "Avengers: Infinity War." Starting with "Captain America: The First Avenger," the Stones have been revealed one by one since 2011. If you need a brush-up on where each stone currently is and what it can do, we're here to help you out. (WARNING: Spoilers for "Black Panther" ahead)

    ]]>
    The Infinity Stones were created at the dawn of the universe by cosmic entities who bent all of existence to their will. Each of the stones gives the user control over some element of the cosmos...provided that the user's body is powerful enough to withstand the stones' energy without getting vaporized. The six stones control one of the following: Space, Reality, Power, Mind, Time, and Soul. Each stone has a special nickname in the MCU.

    ]]>
    The Infinity Stones were created at the dawn of the universe by cosmic entities who bent all of existence to their will. Each of the stones gives the user control over some element of the cosmos...provided that the user's body is powerful enough to withstand the stones' energy without getting vaporized. The six stones control one of the following: Space, Reality, Power, Mind, Time, and Soul. Each stone has a special nickname in the MCU.

    ]]>
    The Space Stone, a.k.a. The Tesseract, was left on Earth by Thor's father, Odin. It was first introduced in "Captain America: The First Avenger," as Red Skull used it as a power source for his evil plans. After Cap stopped him, the Tesseract was taken by SHIELD with the hopes that they could harness its power to protect Earth.

    ]]>
    The Space Stone, a.k.a. The Tesseract, was left on Earth by Thor's father, Odin. It was first introduced in "Captain America: The First Avenger," as Red Skull used it as a power source for his evil plans. After Cap stopped him, the Tesseract was taken by SHIELD with the hopes that they could harness its power to protect Earth.

    ]]>
    Instead, the Tesseract became the impetus for Loki's invasion of New York in "The Avengers." After Loki was defeated Thor and his superhero pals, the Tesseract returned to Thor's home world of Asgard, where it is currently being used as a means to teleport between different planets.

    ]]>
    Instead, the Tesseract became the impetus for Loki's invasion of New York in "The Avengers." After Loki was defeated Thor and his superhero pals, the Tesseract returned to Thor's home world of Asgard, where it is currently being used as a means to teleport between different planets.

    ]]>
    In "Thor: Ragnarok," we see the Tesseract again in Odin's vault on Asgard. Toward the end of the movie, Thor sends Loki to the vault to execute a plan that can defeat Hela. While he's there, Loki has a pointed moment walking past the Tesseract. Judging by the trailer for "Avengers: Infinity War," in which we see Loki holding the Tesseract, he clearly didn't leave it there to get destroyed along with the rest of Asgard. Which means...

    ]]>
    In "Thor: Ragnarok," we see the Tesseract again in Odin's vault on Asgard. Toward the end of the movie, Thor sends Loki to the vault to execute a plan that can defeat Hela. While he's there, Loki has a pointed moment walking past the Tesseract. Judging by the trailer for "Avengers: Infinity War," in which we see Loki holding the Tesseract, he clearly didn't leave it there to get destroyed along with the rest of Asgard. Which means...

    ]]>
    ...The Tesseract, and thus the Space Stone, are probably currently or about to be in the possession of Thanos. In the mid-credits scene at the end of "Thor: Ragnarok," Thor, Loki and the rest of the Asgardians are aboard a spaceship bound for Earth. They're intercepted by Thanos' ship, the Sanctuary II. And in the "Avengers: Infinity War" trailer, there's a shot of Loki handing the Tesseract over to someone. And that someone is probably Thanos, since later in the trailer Thanos is shown wearing the gauntlet armed with two of the stones, one of which is the Space Stone

    ]]>
    ...The Tesseract, and thus the Space Stone, are probably currently or about to be in the possession of Thanos. In the mid-credits scene at the end of "Thor: Ragnarok," Thor, Loki and the rest of the Asgardians are aboard a spaceship bound for Earth. They're intercepted by Thanos' ship, the Sanctuary II. And in the "Avengers: Infinity War" trailer, there's a shot of Loki handing the Tesseract over to someone. And that someone is probably Thanos, since later in the trailer Thanos is shown wearing the gauntlet armed with two of the stones, one of which is the Space Stone

    ]]>
    The Reality Stone, a.k.a. The Aether, was introduced in "Thor: The Dark World" as the object that spawned a war between the Asgardians and an evil race of Dark Elves led by a tyrant named Malekith. Unlike other stones, the Aether had taken a liquid form that could suck the life force out of humans and other mortals. But those who could control it could use its power to turn anything in the universe into dark matter.

    ]]>
    The Reality Stone, a.k.a. The Aether, was introduced in "Thor: The Dark World" as the object that spawned a war between the Asgardians and an evil race of Dark Elves led by a tyrant named Malekith. Unlike other stones, the Aether had taken a liquid form that could suck the life force out of humans and other mortals. But those who could control it could use its power to turn anything in the universe into dark matter.

    ]]>
    With the help of Loki, with whom he made an uneasy truce, Thor was able to stop Malekith's plans to use the Aether to turn the universe into a dark matter realm ruled by his people. Since Asgard already had the Tesseract, it was decided that it was too dangerous for Infinity Stones to be close together for a long time, and the Aether was given to a man called The Collector for safekeeping. What Thor didn't know was that The Collector had plans to gather all the Stones for himself, and so they were accidentally helping him out in that quest.

    ]]>
    With the help of Loki, with whom he made an uneasy truce, Thor was able to stop Malekith's plans to use the Aether to turn the universe into a dark matter realm ruled by his people. Since Asgard already had the Tesseract, it was decided that it was too dangerous for Infinity Stones to be close together for a long time, and the Aether was given to a man called The Collector for safekeeping. What Thor didn't know was that The Collector had plans to gather all the Stones for himself, and so they were accidentally helping him out in that quest.

    ]]>
    Unfortunately for The Collector, his plans were derailed after a visit from the Guardians of the Galaxy, who had arrived with a mysterious Orb they had planned to sell for a massive payday. They learned that the Orb contained the Power Stone, an Infinity Stone used by its creators to cast judgment upon worlds and destroy them with a single blow. Direct contact with the Power Stone will result in the holder being vaporized.

    ]]>
    Unfortunately for The Collector, his plans were derailed after a visit from the Guardians of the Galaxy, who had arrived with a mysterious Orb they had planned to sell for a massive payday. They learned that the Orb contained the Power Stone, an Infinity Stone used by its creators to cast judgment upon worlds and destroy them with a single blow. Direct contact with the Power Stone will result in the holder being vaporized.

    ]]>
    And vaporization is exactly what happened to The Collector's assistant, who touched the Orb and caused a massive explosion. While The Collector held on to The Aether, most of his collection was lost while the Orb fell into the hands of Ronan, who planned to use its power to conquer and destroy any world he wished. The Guardians were able to defeat Ronan and placed the Orb under the care of their galaxy's top defense force, the Nova Corps.

    ]]>
    And vaporization is exactly what happened to The Collector's assistant, who touched the Orb and caused a massive explosion. While The Collector held on to The Aether, most of his collection was lost while the Orb fell into the hands of Ronan, who planned to use its power to conquer and destroy any world he wished. The Guardians were able to defeat Ronan and placed the Orb under the care of their galaxy's top defense force, the Nova Corps.

    ]]>
    The other Stone that the "Infinity War" trailer shows Thanos having on his Infinity Gauntlet is the Power Stone, so it can be presumed that he will have handled the Nova Corps by the time he reached Earth.

    ]]>
    The other Stone that the "Infinity War" trailer shows Thanos having on his Infinity Gauntlet is the Power Stone, so it can be presumed that he will have handled the Nova Corps by the time he reached Earth.

    ]]>
    The Mind Stone was introduced in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and was revealed to have been contained in Loki's scepter. It grants the user immense knowledge, the ability to control the minds of others, and can even bring about new life. After the Avengers retrieved the Scepter from HYDRA, Tony Stark planned to use its power to develop an A.I. strong enough to defend Earth from another otherworldly invasion. Instead, he created Ultron, who hatched an invasion of his own.

    ]]>
    The Mind Stone was introduced in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and was revealed to have been contained in Loki's scepter. It grants the user immense knowledge, the ability to control the minds of others, and can even bring about new life. After the Avengers retrieved the Scepter from HYDRA, Tony Stark planned to use its power to develop an A.I. strong enough to defend Earth from another otherworldly invasion. Instead, he created Ultron, who hatched an invasion of his own.

    ]]>
    To counter this, the Avengers used the Mind Stone again on Stark's computer companion, JARVIS. With the help of Thor's power, their experiment created Vision, a sentient android with the Mind Stone embedded in his head. Vision gave the Avengers the edge they needed, putting an end to Ultron's plans.

    ]]>
    To counter this, the Avengers used the Mind Stone again on Stark's computer companion, JARVIS. With the help of Thor's power, their experiment created Vision, a sentient android with the Mind Stone embedded in his head. Vision gave the Avengers the edge they needed, putting an end to Ultron's plans.

    ]]>
    The Time Stone was introduced in "Doctor Strange" and played a key role in the titular hero's development of his magical power. As you may guess, the Time Stone allows those with magical abilities to manipulate time like a Blu-Ray remote. The stone is held within a pendant called The Eye of Agamotto, which Doctor Strange uses despite warnings from Baron Mordo that the Eye is a form of magic that is far too dangerous to be wielded.

    ]]>
    The Time Stone was introduced in "Doctor Strange" and played a key role in the titular hero's development of his magical power. As you may guess, the Time Stone allows those with magical abilities to manipulate time like a Blu-Ray remote. The stone is held within a pendant called The Eye of Agamotto, which Doctor Strange uses despite warnings from Baron Mordo that the Eye is a form of magic that is far too dangerous to be wielded.

    ]]>
    Using the Eye to undo the destruction brought about by the dark deity Dormammu, Strange then trapped his nemesis in a time loop in which Dormammu would kill Strange again and again but would never conquer Earth. Strange only stopped the loop after Dormammu agreed to leave Earth. Afterwards, Strange placed the Eye back in storage, at which point his companion, Wong, revealed to him that he had been wearing an Infinity Stone around his neck.

    ]]>
    Using the Eye to undo the destruction brought about by the dark deity Dormammu, Strange then trapped his nemesis in a time loop in which Dormammu would kill Strange again and again but would never conquer Earth. Strange only stopped the loop after Dormammu agreed to leave Earth. Afterwards, Strange placed the Eye back in storage, at which point his companion, Wong, revealed to him that he had been wearing an Infinity Stone around his neck.

    ]]>
    The final stone, the Soul Stone, has yet to be revealed. Though fans thought it could be tied to Hela, the villain of "Thor: Ragnarok," it didn't turn up in that movie. We hoped, then, that it would show up in "Black Panther," somewhere in the super-advanced Earth nation of Wakanda. However, that didn't appear to be the case.

    ]]>
    The final stone, the Soul Stone, has yet to be revealed. Though fans thought it could be tied to Hela, the villain of "Thor: Ragnarok," it didn't turn up in that movie. We hoped, then, that it would show up in "Black Panther," somewhere in the super-advanced Earth nation of Wakanda. However, that didn't appear to be the case.

    ]]>
    Then again, in the comics, Hela wields control over all the souls who reside in her domain and has made Faustian bargains with the living in exchange for their souls. We saw Hela raise the dead in "Thor: Ragnarok," but got no explanation of how that power works. There's also some speculation that, while Hela gets blasted by Surtur's sword at the end of the movie, she might not have died -- leaving the door open for her to resurface, potentially with the Soul Stone.

    ]]>
    Then again, in the comics, Hela wields control over all the souls who reside in her domain and has made Faustian bargains with the living in exchange for their souls. We saw Hela raise the dead in "Thor: Ragnarok," but got no explanation of how that power works. There's also some speculation that, while Hela gets blasted by Surtur's sword at the end of the movie, she might not have died -- leaving the door open for her to resurface, potentially with the Soul Stone.

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    It's also possible "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" has hinted at the reveal of the final Infinity Stone. The movie includes a post-credits scene in which Ayesha, High Priestess of the Sovereign, talks about using her race's technology to create a powerful being she dubs "Adam." This is a reference to the extremely powerful Adam Warlock, a character who derives much of his incredible abilities from the Soul Stone in the Marvel Comics.

    ]]>
    It's also possible "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" has hinted at the reveal of the final Infinity Stone. The movie includes a post-credits scene in which Ayesha, High Priestess of the Sovereign, talks about using her race's technology to create a powerful being she dubs "Adam." This is a reference to the extremely powerful Adam Warlock, a character who derives much of his incredible abilities from the Soul Stone in the Marvel Comics.

    ]]>
    There's speculation that this Adam Warlock may or may not have the Soul Stone. Marvel boss Kevin Feige and "Guardians" director James Gunn have said that Adam won't be in "Infinity War," even though he's key to the conflict in the comics. And Feige says we won't see Adam until "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," which takes place after "Infinity War." But all of this could also be misdirection -- we've seen that from Marvel Studios before.

    ]]>
    There's speculation that this Adam Warlock may or may not have the Soul Stone. Marvel boss Kevin Feige and "Guardians" director James Gunn have said that Adam won't be in "Infinity War," even though he's key to the conflict in the comics. And Feige says we won't see Adam until "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," which takes place after "Infinity War." But all of this could also be misdirection -- we've seen that from Marvel Studios before.

    ]]>
    Which, of course, brings us back to the possibility that the Soul Stone was present in "Black Panther," just out of sight. It's conceivable that the Soul Stone, which has the key trait of trapping souls within itself, is what spawned the "ancestral plane" that T'Challa visits to speak with his deceased father after eating the Heart-Shaped Herb. That Thanos will assault Wakanda in "Infinity War" would lend some credence to this idea, but we'll have to wait until May to find out for sure.

    ]]>
    Which, of course, brings us back to the possibility that the Soul Stone was present in "Black Panther," just out of sight. It's conceivable that the Soul Stone, which has the key trait of trapping souls within itself, is what spawned the "ancestral plane" that T'Challa visits to speak with his deceased father after eating the Heart-Shaped Herb. That Thanos will assault Wakanda in "Infinity War" would lend some credence to this idea, but we'll have to wait until May to find out for sure.

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    Oscar Parties 2018: The Top Invites, Events and Nominee Gatherings https://www.thewrap.com/oscar-parties-2018-top-invites-events-nominee-gatherings/ https://www.thewrap.com/oscar-parties-2018-top-invites-events-nominee-gatherings/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 01:36:02 +0000 Mikey Glazer https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1814888 This preview focuses on private, invite-only events aimed at a professional industry audience of stakeholders in the Academy Awards.

    As soon as Oscar voting closes on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. PST, the Academy’s prohibition on “non-screening events” ends. Party season begins again. Here’s a first look at the top gatherings of nominees and creative ensembles before and after Jimmy Kimmel hosts the big show on Sunday, March 4.

    Wednesday, February 21

    Women, Whisky and Wisdom – Celebrating Women Oscar Nominees
    Teddy’s at The Roosevelt

    Women, Whisky and Wisdom February 21

    Logline: Whisky tastings, toasts, and a woman’s road to Oscar.

    Featuring: Female Oscar nominees will join TheWrap’s Editor-in-Chief Sharon Waxman for an insider’s debrief of their journeys to the industry’s highest nomination. Speakers will highlight mentors who guided and supported them along the way.

    Let’s Go For Drinks: Let’s. We’ll also be tasting premium 30-year old whiskies. BenRiach Whisky and WrapWomen partner up on the night.

    What’s Next? If fine spirits amongst a warm spirited crowd of supportive industry women sounds like you, then make plans for the BE Conference in Austin next month, mentoring the next generation of empowered women.

    The Oscar Concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    Logline: The great Michael Giacchino (an Oscar-winning Academy Governor) led a team making fresh arrangements of this year’s nominated scores. The L.A. Phil will perform them live with film clips.

    Tickets: Unlike everything else from here down, this is open to the public. Tickets start at $43.

    Vanity Fair, Barneys New York, and Sony Pictures Classics’ Cocktail Party
    Chateau Marmont

    Logline: Cocktail with one of the season’s buzziest films, “Call Me by Your Name,” while servicing one of the mag’s many advertising clients touching Oscar week.

    Global Green’s 15th Anniversary Oscar Party
    Neuehouse Hollywood

    Logline: The CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will be honored but the Oscar-winning environmentalist himself is not expected. Stepping into the spotlight instead: Sophia Bush, Elisabeth Röhm, Sharon Lawrence and Ed O’Neill.

    Thursday, March 1

    Cadillac Celebrates the 90th Academy Awards
    Chateau Marmont

    Logline: Michael Patrick’s soiree always draws a mix of familiar faces (Zoe Saldana, Christoph Waltz, Naomi Watts, Joel McHale) and some news ones (Angela Sarafyan, Jay Ellis) at one of the most social industry gatherings of the week.

    Connection: As the Academy’s official wheels, Cadillac will be shuttling nominees and presenters across town all week to many of the events listed below.

    Gersh Oscar Party
    Chateau Marmont Penthouse

    Logline: The agency and Tequila Don Julio 1942 will raise a glass to the agency’s nominees Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell and Richard Jenkins.

    Lookout: I don’t envy the elegant face of the Chateau, Anya Varda, and her team that night. March is coming in like a lion.

    Vanity Fair and Lancôme Paris Toast Women in Hollywood
    Soho House

    Logline: Oscar week doubles as a debut for Graydon Carter’s successor, new top editor Radhika Jones. The high-end cosmetics brand will make a donation to Time’s Up on behalf of the guests, who include Ava DuVernay.

    Universal, Focus Features and DreamWorks Animation Oscar Nominee Celebration Dinner
    Spago

    Gary Oldman and Leo DiCaprio buddied up at the Chateau at a party for “Darkest Hour” earlier this awards season. (Focus Features)

    Logline: There’a pile of nominees and nominations here with Focus having a banner year (“Darkest Hour,” “Phantom Thread,” and “Victoria & Abdul”).  A year ago, Universal was not scheduling Oscar week plans for “Get Out,” but after Jordan Peele’s commercial and critical hit took off, that all changed.

    Friday, March 2

    British Consul General Michael Howells’ Film is Great Reception
    British Consul General’s Residence in Hancock Park

    Logline: Don’t tell the ultra-nationalist xenophobes. The foreigners are already here.

    There are U.K.-born nominees in 17 of the 24 Oscar categories and representation in five of the top races: Best Picture (“The Darkest Hour,” “The Phantom Thread,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), Supporting Actress (Lesley Manvill), Best Actor (Daniel Kaluuya, Daniel Day Lewis, Gary Oldman), and Director (Christopher Nolan).

    Feature: Host Michael Howells gave one of the best speeches of this awards season at BAFTA’s Golden Globes weekend Tea Party. Take note and shut up when he addresses his backyard.

    Pours: Even the bar is British. Sponsors include Silent Pool Gin, Aberlour Whisky, Chapel Down (English Sparkling Wine), Seedlip (non-alcoholic spirit) and Fever Tree tonics.

    Emma Stone hosts Women in Film’s Celebration of the 2018 Female Oscar Nominees
    Crustacean, Beverly Hills

    Power Women: Emma Stone and Patty Jenkins in a Party Report file photo from the AFI Life Achievement Award. (Michael Kovac/Getty Images)

    Logline: The reigning Best Actress winner (and in the famous flub, also announced as the Best Picture winner) joins Women in Film president Cathy Schulman and the community of female nominees from both sides of the camera.

    The industry’s reckoning of institutionalized gender inequality and systemic sexual assault engulfed Hollywood, and Schulman’s been sounding the alarm for years. How WiF addresses the state of the industry on its biggest weekend will set the tone for what happens as as we turn the page to a new “industry year.”

    WME
    Friday evening, Private Residence

    Who’s Who: Kobe Bryant, the champ of this year’s Oscars gatherings, should be there. Add nominees Denzel Washington, Octavia Spencer, Laurie Metcalf, Guillermo del Toro, Dee Rees, Christopher Nolan, Luca Guadagnino, Hans Zimmer, James Mangold and Michael Green to the list and call it a top crowd.

    Bonus: The agency will also raise a glass to nominated projects “Call Me by Your Name,” “Mudbound” and “The Square,” all of which hail from Endeavor Content.

    Saturday, March 3

    Film Independent Spirit Awards
    A Tent on the Beach: 1550 Pacific Coast Highway Lot 1 North Santa Monica

    (Mikey Glazer)

    Logline: The industry’s booziest daytime bash of the year. Everyone heeds Film Independent President Josh Welsh’s mantra to “leave the thank-you notes at home,” adding to a celebratory day that begins in the lounges outside the main tent as early as 11 a.m.

    Sony Pictures Classics Annual Oscar Nominees Dinner
    Nordstrom Local on Melrose Place in West Hollywood

    January 2017 at Sundance: Luca Guadagnino, Michael Stuhlbarg, Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Walter Fasano (TheWrap)

    Why they will be smiling: This is the finish line. The “Call Me by Your Name” troika — Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, and director Luca Guadagnino — end the 14-month promotional tour that started back at Sundance 2017.

    Other Nominees: SPC will also toast its two foreign language nominees, “A Fantastic Woman” (from Chile) and “Loveless” (from Russia).

    MPTF’s Annual “Night Before”
    Fox Studios

    Logline: The MPTF is where the gatekeepers and power brokers in the industry convene on the night before the Oscars. This is an invite worth fighting for. Make a big donation and step in to Jeffrey Katzenberg’s circle.

    Sign of the times: YouTube joins the list of blue-chip corporate sponsors.

    Oscars Viewing Parties on Sunday, March 4

    *Top Invite* – 2018 Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party
    Custom built complext in West Hollywood Park

    Logline: The most choice invite if you’re not seated in the first 15 rows of the Kodak Theatre itself.

    Do: drink top-shelf champagne and feast on cuisine from a Michelin three-star restaurant in Spain with a great cross section of Hollywood.

    Don’t: Don’t try to take any pictures of Sir Elton or stand too close to his head table. You may be excused for asking frequent guest Robert Kraft what happened in the Super Bowl. By 8:45 or so, trophy winners start pouring in as the telecast on screen comes to you.

    Charity Component: Contributing to the EJAF mission, presenting sponsor BVLGARI is donating a 13 carat white gold diamond necklace, the “BVLGARI DIVISSIMA” to the live auction.

    Wow Booking: Greta Van Fleet. This is a return to prime form for the EJAF, welcoming a big up-and-coming band heralded as a savior of guitar rock, not a nostalgia act. Because all 42 of the headlining dates on their first U.S. tour sold out in advance and they’re headed to Coachella, the four Michigan boys are a choice dessert on the evening.

    Byron Allen’s Second Annual Entertainment Studios Gala
    Beverly Wilshire

    Logline: Katy Perry and Jamie Foxx will perform at the benefit for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Last year’s inaugural event raised $1 million, and “Byron hopes to raise even more again this year,” a rep for Entertainment Studios tells the Party Report.

    IMDb Live Viewing Party
    Neuehouse in Hollywood

    Logline: This is part party, part live broadcast. Dave Karger, Kevin Smith and other IMDb talent will provide live commentary on the show that will stream across IMDb platforms.

    Guests: About 300 industry types.

    Notables: Last year, Issa Rae and Aisha Tyler were among the crowd about a mile away from the actual show.

    Mercedes-Benz Viewing Party
    Four Seasons, Beverly Hills

    Logline: The Four Seasons is an Oscars week base camp, so this is sort of like watching the golf tournament from the clubhouse. Last year was a mixed bag of names from Housewives (Kandi Burruss) to 1980s basketball star Ralph Sampson, to ESPN’s man in L.A., Stan Verrett.

    Nordstrom Local Oscar Viewing Party for the Fashion Industry
    Nordstrom Local on Melrose Place in West Hollywood

    Logline: With New York’s fashion week two weeks in the rearview mirror, the style set can kick back here before hitting the after parties.

    Oscars After-Parties

    The Academy’s Governors Ball
    Dolby Ballroom above the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland

    Logline: They have a lot of “make-up” homework to do after last year’s Governors Ball drowned in the surreal wake of the Oscars envelope flub.

    Vanity Fair Oscar Party
    Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills

    Radhika Jones (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

    Logline: It’s the first outing for new Editor-in-Chief Radhika Jones (above). She steps into the bridge of a ship that Graydon Carter built and is already making waves. On Feb. 15, a round of layoffs included Jane Sarkin and Beth Kseniak, two founding mothers of VF Oscar night that has been the “toughest invite in town” over the past 24 years.

    On the brighter (or sadder?) side of “recently separated” news, single Jennifer Aniston should be there. Forget the Brad Pitt sequel rumors. Please, let her show up with Angelina Jolie.

    Details on other late night soirees to come.

    Please send invites, updates, and details to the party and event contributor Mikey Glazer here.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Academy to Eliminate Paper Balloting at Next Year's Oscars

    Syria Blocks 'Last Men In Aleppo' Producer and Subject from Attending Oscars

    'Faces Places' Director JR Explains Agnes Varda Cardboard Cutout at Oscars Luncheon (Video)

    Kobe Bryant, Diversity Talk Dominate Oscar Nominees Luncheon

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    ‘Black Panther’ Post-Credits Scene Explained: What You Need to Know About White Wolf https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-post-credits-scene-explained-what-you-need-to-know-about-white-wolf/ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-post-credits-scene-explained-what-you-need-to-know-about-white-wolf/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 01:30:15 +0000 Phil Owen and Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1814206 (Spoilers ahead for the post-credits scene in Marvel’s “Black Panther,” but not the rest of the movie)

    “Black Panther” is, of course, not an outlier when it comes to Marvel movies having extra scenes after the credits begin rolling to tease upcoming movies in the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s got a pair of extra scenes, the first being a sort of final ending to the film itself and the second being a sort of look forward.

    At first glance, the second post-credits scene may seem rather innocuous. We see Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), aka the Winter Soldier, hanging out in a Wakandan hut and receiving a visit from the tech genius Shuri (Letitia Wright). And a few children refer to Bucky as “White Wolf,” but otherwise nothing much happens. You may be tempted to not think much of that nickname — Bucky is, after all, very white. But actually that title is significant, because White Wolf is the name of a Marvel character from Wakanda.

    As you may recall, we last saw James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes at the end of “Captain America: Civil War.” T’Challa agreed to either rehabilitate Bucky from his Winter Soldier mind control, or, seemingly, freeze him until such time as he could be fixed. In Wakanda, Bucky would be safe from the rest of the world trying to kill him, which gave Captain America some peace of mind, as well. The time has apparently come for that fix, which is presumably what he’s working with Shuri on — along with a new arm to replace the one Iron Man destroyed, of course.

    Okay, let’s do a comic book deep dive now.

    The character in the “Black Panther” Marvel Comics stories named White Wolf (whose first appearance came in 1999) isn’t Bucky Barnes, but rather another white guy altogether named Hunter. In the comics, Hunter was in a plane crash as a child in Wakanda that killed his parents. T’Chaka, the king of Wakanda at the time, adopted Hunter as his son. Before long, though, T’Challa was born, and Hunter realized he was never going to be the true Wakandan heir. Hunter became jealous of T’Challa and tried to win his adoptive father’s favor by out-performing T’Challa, working extra hard to train to become the best Wakandan around. It didn’t change T’Chaka’s mind, but he did give Hunter a consolation prize: Command of the Wakandan secret police, the Hatut Zeraze. A fierce warrior, Hunter became known as the White Wolf.

    In the comics, after T’Challa became king following T’Chaka’s death, the son disbanded the Hatut Zeraze because of the group’s brutality. Instead of finding new roles in Wakandan society, they become mercenaries — White Wolf included. The group left Wakanda, but remained loyal to their home, and White Wolf stayed somewhat grudgingly loyal to his king. That leaves the comics version of White Wolf as something of an anti-hero, helping out Wakanda and Black Panther when they really, really need it.

    Obviously, none of that backstory applies to Bucky, and since Hunter’s story starts before T’Challa is born, it’s too late to shoehorn him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with exactly the same background. Instead, it looks like elements of Hunter’s will be applied to Bucky.

    That suggests a few things. First, we might see the creation of the Hatut Zeraze with Bucky, rather than Hunter, in charge. That could lead to some interesting conflicts in a later “Black Panther” film if it follows the comics — the fighting force would become something more dangerous than T’Challa would be willing to put up with, and that would mean that Bucky, too, would have to cross that line. It’s certainly not impossible, given that he’s been an unfeeling assassin for roughly 60 years.

    Next, if Bucky goes full White Wolf, he ought to get something akin to Hunter’s Hatut Zeraze suit. The costume is Vibranium, making it extremely tough to destroy, as well as bulletproof. It also sports cloaking technology and Vibranium boots that let White Wolf drop several stories and survive the fall, landing, essentially, like a cat. It did not appear that he was wearing such a suit in the trailer for “Avengers: Infinity War,” where he’s seen fighting Thanos’ minions on the Wakandan planes, so it may be a while before all this comes to fruition.

    But, given Bucky’s troubled past and likely desire to stay out of the spotlight in Europe and North America, where he’s known pretty much exclusively as a murderous assassin, it would make sense for him to stay in Wakanda if they’ll have him. Our guess is he does some particularly heroic stuff to defend Wakanda during “Infinity War,” and thus will be more than happy to keep him around. This is all just guesswork, though, because Bucky as White Wolf, and White Wolf emerging at this point in time, doesn’t have a precedent in Marvel lore. But we’ll see!

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Here Are Some Key MCU Developments to Remember Before Seeing 'Black Panther'

    Letitia Wright Is 'Black Panther's' Breakout Star – Here's Where You've Seen Her Before (Photos)

    All 49 Marvel Movies Ranked, Including 'Black Panther'

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    How ‘Black Panther’ Might Bust the Myth That Black-Led Blockbusters Don’t Play Overseas https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-might-bust-myth-black-led-blockbusters-dont-play-overseas/ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-might-bust-myth-black-led-blockbusters-dont-play-overseas/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:56:16 +0000 Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1814912 For Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther,” domination of the domestic box office is virtually assured. Trackers are now saying a $200 million opening over the four-day Presidents Day weekend is within the realm of possibility, and the Marvel movie could not only break the February opening record set by “Deadpool” two years ago, it could pass the mammoth $174 million opening made by “Beauty and the Beast” last year to become the biggest pre-summer opening of all time.

    But overseas, the film’s prospects are far from certain. While “Black Panther” has major cultural importance for the black community in the U.S., it doesn’t have that social weight in the rest of the world. That led some to wonder whether the film will underperform internationally compared to the likes of “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

    One example of the difference between domestic and overseas performance for black-led films would be Coogler’s last movie, “Creed.” The film was the seventh installment in the acclaimed “Rocky” series, but also takes much of its beats from Philadelphia’s African-American community.

    That’s a reason why “Creed” outperformed the 2006 film “Rocky Balboa” domestically with $109.7 million, but overseas it only made $63.8 million. Best Picture nominee “Get Out,” with its social commentary on prejudice against African-Americans even in supposedly tolerant liberal communities, made 69 percent of its box office haul domestically — $176 million compared to $69 million overseas.

    “Certain African-American films have a cultural resonance that American audiences really respond to, but not so much in other countries,” said comScore’s Paul Dergarabedian. “But I don’t think ‘Black Panther’ is going to have this problem, because it has so many great action sequences and universal themes that it really feels like a movie that can entertain anyone no matter where they’re from.”

    Indeed, the biggest advantage for “Black Panther” is its status as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one of Hollywood’s most globally successful properties today. So in many territories, Disney is downplaying the Black Panther as Marvel’s first non-white superhero and emphasizing how the character is the latest in its line of larger-than-life Avengers.

    In the U.S., posters and billboards for “Black Panther” are heavily promoting the film’s stacked African-American cast, including character posters featuring black actresses like Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, and Angela Bassett.

    But the posters for some overseas markets, which you can see above, feature the Black Panther himself, with mask on and vibranium claws unsheathed. One of the posters currently being used in Taiwan is almost identical to an American one, but with Chadwick Boseman’s face hidden behind his mask.

    Reps for Disney did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this story.

    So far, Disney’s approach to foreign filmgoers seems to be paying off. While the Hollywood giant has released other Marvel films in some markets a week before America, the earliest release date for “Black Panther” was this past Tuesday. So far, the film has grossed $23.2 million. While it’s still too early for true comparisons, it is ahead of the pace set in many markets by films like “Ant-Man,” “Doctor Strange,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

    The most notable performance for the film is in South Korea, where it had the highest February opening day in that country’s history and the seventh-highest of all time with $4.7 million.

    Korea has been an interesting market for “Black Panther” because one of its most exciting action scenes is a James Bond-esque car chase through the streets of Seoul. That chase has been used heavily in trailers and TV spots for the film in global markets, and Korean cinemas have also received a boost from foreign moviegoers who are currently in the country attending the Winter Olympics.

    Tracking for “Black Panther” has the film making an overseas start of $80-120 million, with launches in Russia, China and Japan still to come. If this weekend’s total hits the upper part of that range, it would put the film well on its way to matching the $445 million overseas haul made by “Doctor Strange” in fall 2016. If that happens, it may serve as a testament to the ability of black filmmaking — or at least the Marvel brand — overcoming cultural barriers.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Are Blockbusters Like 'Black Panther' Hurting This Year's Oscar Contenders at The Box Office ?

    'Black Panther' Now Ranks Among Fandango's Top 5 Biggest Pre-Sellers of All Time

    Does 'Black Panther' Have a Post-Credits Scene?

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    Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux Announce Separation https://www.thewrap.com/jennifer-aniston-justin-theroux-announce-separation/ https://www.thewrap.com/jennifer-aniston-justin-theroux-announce-separation/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 23:39:42 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven and Matt Donnelly https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1814948 Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux have announced their separation after two-and-a-half years of marriage.

    In a statement first obtained by The Associated Press, the couple said the decision to split “was mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year.”

    The statement continued, “Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly. Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else’s fictional narrative. Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another.”

    The couple married in August 2015 and have no children together. The first met on the set of 2008’s “Tropic Thunder” but they didn’t start dating until 2011.

    Aniston’s love life has been a major point of interest throughout her career. She was previously married to Brad Pitt, whom she divorced in 2005. Almost immediately after their separation, Pitt took up with actress Angelina Jolie — creating a sensational love triangle that served as tabloid fodder for years.

    Aniston’s first interview following her split and the Jolie news was a Vanity Fair cover, which still ranks as the magazine’s top-selling issue of all time at nearly 800,000 copies sold.  Pitt and Jolie split in September 2016 after 11 years together.

    Read the entire statement obtained by TheWrap below.

     In an effort to reduce any further speculation, we have decided to announce our separation.  This decision was mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year.  We are two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship.  Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly.  Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else’s fictional narrative.  Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Jennifer Aniston in Talks to Headline Parenting Comedy for STX

    Jennifer Aniston Stands Up for Her Nipples' Prominent Appearances on 'Friends'

    Jennifer Aniston Poses for Lucky Fan's Christmas Card (Video)

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    Are Blockbusters Like ‘Black Panther’ Hurting This Year’s Oscar Contenders at The Box Office ? https://www.thewrap.com/blockbusters-like-black-panther-changing-oscar-season-movie-theaters/ https://www.thewrap.com/blockbusters-like-black-panther-changing-oscar-season-movie-theaters/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 23:30:57 +0000 Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1814724 For studios with major contenders at the Academy Awards, it used to be that you could expect a clear window all the way to Oscar Sunday, as January and February were often considered a dumping ground when it comes to distributing new movies in wide release.

    But as films like “Deadpool,” the “Fifty Shades” trilogy, and now “Black Panther” make their debuts in February, the windoew for Oscar contenders to cash in on their nominations has gotten smaller.

    While Oscar films like “La La Land” and “Hidden Figures” held a major presence on the January charts last year, the top film of January 2018 was “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” which made $171 million last month alone. That’s more than the combined January revenue of the seven Best Picture nominees still in theaters, which was led by “The Post” with $59.5 million, fifth among all releases.

    Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock says part of the downtick in performance is simply what sort of stories the Best Picture nominee list is offering this year. While “La La Land” and “Hidden Figures” offered mainstream appeal with romantic musicals and inspirational true tales, the two films in this year’s batch that had the most crossover potential, “Dunkirk” and “Get Out,” have long since ended their theatrical runs.

    What remains are films that, while critically acclaimed, are not exactly crowd pleasers, averaging only 4.5 million tickets sold based on the national average ticket price of $8.97.

    “The nominees in theaters right now have really tough subject matter like ‘Three Billboards’ or are really slow-paced dramas like ‘Phantom Thread’ and ‘Call Me By Your Name.’ Even something like the sci-fi romance in ‘The Shape of Water’ might be a little too weird for casual moviegoers,” said Bock.

    “That’s not to say they’re busts. The films have done well for the types of films by they are, but they aren’t going to move the needle like ‘La La Land’ did. Ironically, the film that got an Oscar nomination and is doing really well is another musical, ‘The Greatest Showman.’ That performed really well last month in a way that no one expected and it’s making just as much money as ‘La La Land.'”

    But these early blockbusters pose a a different problem for Oscar films: screen counts. If a film currently in theaters gets a half-dozen or more Oscar nominations, it will almost assuredly add hundreds of theaters to its screen count the following two weekends.  But last weekend saw three new wide releases — “Fifty Shades Freed,” “Peter Rabbit,” and “15:17 to Paris” — enter theaters with a combined screen count of 9,535, with “Black Panther” entering this weekend with a screen count of over 4,000.

    As a result, screen counts for all the Best Picture films are taking a big hit. “The Shape of Water,” for example, had a high of 2,341 screens two weeks ago, but after last week’s wide releases arrived, it shed 561 screens last weekend. Box office insiders tell TheWrap that the arrival of “Black Panther” will knock the screen count for “Shape of Water” down to around 950 screens, just 100 more than what the film had the weekend before Oscar nominations were announced.

    “Now that big movies are coming out every single month, a lot of the smaller movies are fighting for less shelf space,” said comScore’s Paul Dergarabedian. “The mentality around Hollywood used to be that you could wait until March or April to put out a blockbuster, but now February is seen as a time to put out a big movie now that the holiday films have run their course. That’s great for moviegoers and theaters, but it’s something that awards film distributors now have to keep in mind.”

    So what are studios to do with their awards contenders? One distribution chief from a studio with an Oscar contender told TheWrap that the best thing they can do is continue on as planned, keeping confidence in the quality of their film. The head also notes that the 52-week release slate that’s changing February at the box office may mean more competition for moviegoers’ eyeballs, but is ultimately a good thing for movies. It can even work in favor of an Oscar contender, as “Dunkirk” showed when it proved that a weighty WWII film could make summer blockbuster levels of cash in the middle of July.

    “Ultimately, anything that brings more people to movie theaters is a good thing for all of us. Rising tides lift all ships,” the distribution chief told TheWrap on condition of anonymity. “Yes, the window of time in which Oscar films are the main offering at theaters isn’t as big as it used to be, but if your movie gets nominated you still have to strike when the opportunity comes. Besides, the main demographic that goes to see, say “The Post,” probably isn’t going to go see a superhero movie, but there’s always the chance that a person that goes to see a blockbuster might end up getting interested when they see the awards films on the marquee.”

    There’s obviously no way to accurately predict what sort of Best Picture nominees will be on tap in winter 2019, but they too will have to go against a crowded February slate, including the sequel to “The Lego Movie,” a planned Blumhouse horror release, and the X-Men horror spin-off “The New Mutants,” which was originally slated for this spring but was pushed to next year by Fox.

    In the meantime, the Oscar Best Picture race will have to step aside as the major talk of Hollywood. At least until Oscar Sunday, the movie world belongs to Wakanda.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    'Black Panther' Slays at Korean Box Office, Signs Point to Olympics Boost

    'Black Panther' Film Review: Supporting Players Steal Show in Marvel's Excellent African Adventure

    Here Are Some Key MCU Developments to Remember Before Seeing 'Black Panther'

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    ‘Black Panther’ Now Ranks Among Fandango’s Top 5 Biggest Pre-Sellers of All Time https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-now-ranks-among-fandangos-top-5-biggest-pre-sellers-of-all-time/ https://www.thewrap.com/black-panther-now-ranks-among-fandangos-top-5-biggest-pre-sellers-of-all-time/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 23:27:58 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1814899 “Black Panther” is now among Fandango’s top 5 ticket pre-sellers of all time, the mobile ticketing company said on Thursday.

    “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Rogue One” top the list, with “Black Panther” coming in fourth place. Jennifer Lawrence’s “The Hunger Games” rounds out the list.

    “Black Panther” opens in previews on Thursday night and is projected to open to at least $150 million in its four-day holiday opening weekend. However, “Black Panther” is expected to post an opening that would rank in the top 10 for superhero films, and the question arises whether it will beat the February box office record held by “Deadpool” two years ago when it opened to $152 million.

    Right now, “Black Panther” is also the top-rated superhero film of all time, at 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, DC or Marvel.

    “Black Panther” follows T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) who, after the death of his father in “Captain America: Civil War,” returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take the throne as its new king. But when vicious arms dealer Ulysees Klaue (Andy Serkis) returns to threaten the kingdom, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and Black Panther — is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict against enemies both inside and outside his kingdom, including the mutinous Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan).

    Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, and Winston Duke star with Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker. Ryan Coogler directed from a script he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    'Black Panther': 5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Marvel's Latest Big-Screen Hero (Video)

    'Black Panther' Slays at Korean Box Office, Signs Point to Olympics Boost

    Here Are Some Key MCU Developments to Remember Before Seeing 'Black Panther'

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    Does ‘Black Panther’ Have a Post-Credits Scene? https://www.thewrap.com/marvel-black-panther-post-credits-scene/ https://www.thewrap.com/marvel-black-panther-post-credits-scene/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 23:06:50 +0000 Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1811689 It may only be February, but it’s already time for the first of three Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in 2018. “Black Panther” is the last Marvel movie before this summer’s teamup to end all teamups, “Avengers: Infinity War.”

    Of course, it’s important for far more than just that reason — “Black Panther” is the first mega-budget blockbuster ever to feature a cast made up almost entirely of black actors. Chadwick Boseman headlines as the titular hero, and the supporting cast is spectacular, with Michael B. Jordan as the villainous Eric Killmonger alongside Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Sterling K. Brown, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya and many others.

    Clocking in at a robust 140 minutes, “Black Panther” is a movie that will test the limits of your bladder if you grabbed a large beverage at the theater. And so once the credits roll you may feel a strong urge to head to the bathroom and want to know if you’re going to miss anything by doing so. And so here’s the skinny.

    “Black Panther” contains two extra scenes after the credits start to roll. The first comes early in the credits, about a minute or so in. And the second comes at the very end of the credits. There’s about a five minute gap in between the two, so you probably will have time to run out and come back if there’s not like a long long at the bathroom.

    Thus concludes the spoiler-free portion of this post. If you don’t want to know any of the details of the post-credits scenes in “Black Panther,” now’s the time to bow out.

    Here’s a cool shot from the movie to act as a buffer.

    Okay, it’s spoiler time.

    The first of the two scenes is sort of a bonus ending of the movie. T’Challa is addressing the United Nations, declaring Wakanda’s intent to, for the first time, work with other countries in order to make the world a better place, following up on the outreach center he’s planning to set up in Oakland. At the end of T’Challa’s address, some smarmy white guy pompously asks how a nation of farmers is going to be able to contribute anything meaningful. At which point all the Wakandans in the room smile wryly.

    The scene at the end of the credits gives us an update on the status of one Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), who at the end of “Captain America: Civil War” was seen being put into what appeared to be cryogenic stasis in Wakanda. But now he’s out and awake, still in Wakanda, hanging out in a hut in one of the rural areas of the country. T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) pays him a visit, running off the three children who seemingly like to lovingly bother Bucky while he sleeps — and those children call him by a new nickname: White Wolf. It’s a significant thing — White Wolf is a Marvel character, but not one associated with Bucky.

    In the comics, White Wolf is a white man named Hunter whose family died in a plane crash in Wakanda when he was a boy. White Wolf was the head of Wakanda’s secret police, the Hatut Zeraze, under T’Chaka. T’Challa abolished the organization when he took the throne, which led to an estrangement between him and the White Wolf, who then became a mercenary.

    It’s unlikely that Bucky’s arc from here will follow that of the comic book White Wolf in any meaningful way, the title instead carrying a symbolic parallel — that of a favored adopted son of Wakanda. Since, according to the trailer for “Avengers: Infinity War,” we’ll next see Bucky defending Wakanda from the forces of Thanos, that thought follows.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    'Black Panther' Grabs Best Rotten Tomatoes Score of Any Superhero Movie

    All 49 Marvel Movies Ranked, Including 'Black Panther'

    'Black Panther' Review Roundup: Marvel Fans 'Won't Want Experience to End'

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    CBS Breaks Revenue, Earnings Records in Q4 – and for All of 2017 https://www.thewrap.com/cbs-earnings-revenue-2017-q4-all-access-showtime-viacom/ https://www.thewrap.com/cbs-earnings-revenue-2017-q4-all-access-showtime-viacom/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 21:17:48 +0000 Tony Maglio https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1814687 CBS recorded record revenues and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) over the final quarter of 2017 — and for the whole year, too. Thank goodness for that adjustment, though. You’ll see what we mean in a bit.

    Wall Street had forecasted Q4 earnings of $1.14 per share on $3.7 billion in revenue, per a Yahoo Finance compilation of media analysts. On Thursday, CBS reported EPS of $1.20 on $3.9 billion in revenue. Both of those were new all-time highs.

    Along with the solid dollars and cents, company Chairman and CEO Les Moonves touted a combined near-5 million subscribers at CBS All Access and Showtime’s over-the-top offering combined. Executives did not break down the numbers more granularly than that.

    CBS Corporation’s overall fourth quarter revenue grew 11 percent year over year. Pitching in the most on a percentage basis were the company’s content licensing and distribution revenues, which combined for a 33 percent increase. Additionally, affiliate and subscription fee revenues were up 20 percent — that one is thanks to a 31 percent increase in retransmission revenues and fees from affiliates and from CBS All Access and Showtime’s individual streaming services.

    Combining CBS Television Network, CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International, CBS Television Distribution, Network Ten, CBS Interactive, and CBS Films, the company’s entertainment revenue increased 18 percent in Q4. Advertising revenues were up 4 percent, driven by the addition of Australia’s Network Ten, which CBS acquired in November.

    All told, operating income at the entertainment segment increased 25 percent in the fourth quarter, despite increased spending at CBS All Access.

    On the cable end — Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, and Smithsonian Networks — while revenues were up 9 percent, operating income slipped 8 percent. That dichotomy was due to higher programming spend at Showtime.

    The CBS-owned Simon & Schuster grew publishing revenue 12 percent over the recent 90-day period. Local CBS stations saw revenue slip 14 percent on the loss of political advertising.

    Without its big adjustment covering tax reform, a pension settlement and restructuring charges, CBS posted a net loss of $41 million. That is better than last year’s $113 million net loss over the comparable three-month period. The corporation completed its split-off of CBS Radio this past November.

    “I’m very pleased to report that CBS turned in outstanding fourth-quarter results, including double-digit revenue growth and our 32nd consecutive quarter of EPS growth, capping off a very strong year in 2017,” said Moonves. “The CBS Corporation produces many of the most-valuable programming franchises in the world, reaching more viewers than anyone else. This gives us a tremendous advantage as streaming becomes more central to our distribution strategy. As a result, we now have nearly five million subscribers at CBS All Access and Showtime OTT combined. When you add this to our retrans and skinny bundle subscribers, our total subscriber base continues to grow at an accelerated pace.”

    “With the backdrop of this changing business model, and the completed separation of our radio business during the fourth quarter, we now have even greater visibility into our operations,” he continued. “Specifically, we expect 2018 to be another strong year for the CBS Corporation, with revenue growth in the high-single digits and EPS growth in the high teens from the record $4.40 we’re reporting to you today. So we feel very good about the growth path before us, and we continue to have great confidence in our ability to deliver for our shareholders.”

    Shares of CBS stock closed Thursday at $56.74, up 88 cents apiece. The stock price inched up further after-hours.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    'No Activity' Renewed for Season 2 on CBS All Access

    Justin Lin to Direct 'Magnum P.I.' Reboot Pilot for CBS

    CBS, Viacom to Evaluate Potential Merger

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    ‘Loveless’ Film Review: Russia’s Oscar Entry Features a Missing Boy, Negligent Parents, and a Fractured Nation https://www.thewrap.com/loveless-film-review-russia-oscar-foreign-film/ https://www.thewrap.com/loveless-film-review-russia-oscar-foreign-film/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 20:39:01 +0000 Robert Abele https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1814730 Over five haunting films set in his splintered, morality-challenged Russian homeland, Andrey Zvyagintsev has become a die-hard master at capturing spaces both beautiful and desolate, images of the recognizable world — nature, buildings, people — that also teem with a sense of something absent. That feeling is given explicit purpose in his latest breath-taker, “Loveless,” a quietly harrowing drama about a shattered marriage that finds itself under the spotlight again due to the most awful of circumstances: the sudden disappearance of the couple’s young son.

    After his last two dissections of modern Russia — the class-divide tale “Elena” and the corruption saga “Leviathan” — Zvyagintsev takes a more people-focused than system-exposing approach this time to laying bare his country’s psychological fault lines.

    Marriages have been used before as prisms of a wider critique. But “Loveless” has a careful alchemy of psychological acuity and societal insight that imbues nearly every shot (a close-up of a face, an epic vista, a tension-filled pan) with a gathering insight into the ripple effects of turning private miseries into petty wars.

    A wintry tableau of snow-covered woods opens the film before it imperceptibly shifts to autumn as we shadow 12-year-old Alexey (Matvey Novikov) as he makes his way home from school along a tree-lined river. Moviegoers familiar with Zvyagintsev’s oeuvre might be reminded of the director’s debut film, “The Return,” which chronicled a boy’s coming of age across a variety of unforgiving landscapes.

    The eerie calm is interrupted, though, by what awaits Alexey in the high-rise apartment where he lives: coarse sniping between his viper-tongued mother Zhenya (a glamorously unpleasant Maryana Spivak) and exasperated father Boris (Aleksey Rozin, exquisitely forlorn). The divorcing pair’s corrosive insults are a poisonous cloud of hate, one that doesn’t spare the son they consider as much of a burden as each other.

    In a devastating camera reveal, Zhenya flings a door shut behind her after a bathroom break like a fighter returning to battle, only to show Alexey hidden behind it in darkness, silently weeping over all he’s heard.

    We then get extended glimpses into Zhenya’s and Boris’s separate lives, which makes it painfully clear how their need to escape their marriage conveniently leaves out any consideration of Alexey. Boris, employed in sales at a large business, lives in fear the breakup will get him canned by his ultra-Christian boss. His new girlfriend Masha (a perfectly cast Marina Vasilyeva) is his ex’s opposite: devoted, insecure, affectionate. She’s also pregnant and ready for domestic bliss, a sign that Boris sees the rapid starting of a new family as the most convenient way of erasing a broken earlier model.

    Zhenya, meanwhile, a phone-addicted salon manager who cherishes her well-maintained sexiness away from home, treasures the cosmopolitan life that comes with her wealthy, older, divorced new beau Anton (Andris Keishs). He lets her complain about her life, and she feels protected instead of challenged.

    But one day, arriving home after an overnight with Anton, Zhenya realizes she hasn’t seen Alexey in over a day. He’s declared missing, triggering a succession of law enforcement types and volunteer searchers, who turn Zhenya’s and Boris’s post-split bliss avoiding each other into the worst kind of reunion: a real-time, dread-filled reminder of their self-consumed negligence.

    The search’s main coordinator (Alexey Fateev) has little time for the pair’s bickering, his full-throttle dedication to finding a boy he’s never met — organizing teams, making flyers, scouring buildings both inhabited and abandoned — like a gift neither parent deserves.

    Sure, it’s allegorical, the themes of dereliction and venality in Zvyagintsev’s and co-screenwriter Oleg Negin’s scenario squaring nicely with a sense that Russia is hopelessly splintered and tolerant of moral rot. Even the moment in which we’re most sympathetic to the brittle woman Zhenya has become requires sitting through a scene of emotional awfulness with her own terrible, estranged mother. A recluse who distrusts everyone, her own invective — knowing her grandson is missing — illuminates the cycle of psychological abuse and recriminations that led Zhenya into a doomed marriage/motherhood to begin with.

    Elsewhere in the film, snatches of news reports can be heard, about media-driven apocalyptic paranoia and war in the Ukraine, and these aural details point to a society ill-equipped to handle crises, but perhaps okay with conflict as a constant so long as it’s elsewhere.

    But as bleak as Zvyagintsev’s compositionally powerful imagery can get — decrepit edifices, dark rooms steeped in misery, and lonely, colorless expanses — the sheer force of the search that dominates the second half, even when Zhenya and Boris are at their most vulnerable, suggests a persistent humanity in even the most hardened of worlds.

    As “Loveless” lets its pitiful protagonists ebb as marital drama figures snatched from their self-serving personal freedom narrative (in their respective last scenes, both flash-forwards, they look hollowed-out), what lingers is the cumulative might of an all-out quest to find a lost (runaway? kidnapped?) kid. For a movie about a nightmare, that unadorned depiction of a collective good in others seems like, perhaps, a tinge of hope.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

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    'Morning Joe': Fox News, Russians Are Creating 'Alternate Reality' in America (Video)

    Twitter to Notify 675,000 Americans Who Interacted With Russian Trolls

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    ‘Black Panther': 5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Marvel’s Latest Big-Screen Hero (Video) https://www.thewrap.com/5-things-black-panther-video/ https://www.thewrap.com/5-things-black-panther-video/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 20:25:35 +0000 Umberto Gonzalez https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1814709

    With Marvel Studios unveiling “Black Panther” Thursday in theaters across the country, TheWrap produced a video with more details about the Wakandan superhero.

    Do you know where Black Panther first made his appearance in the comics or who was slated the play the character in the movies before Chadwick Boseman? Check out the video above for the answers.

    “Black Panther” will rollout in 70 percent of markets this weekend, with countries getting the film on Thursday including Germany, Australia and Brazil.

    In the U.S., director Ryan Coogler’s film is expected to easily break the $132 million February box office record set by “Deadpool” in 2016. But now rivals and box office analysts tell TheWrap that the film’s three-day total could beat the $174 million opening made by Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” remake last year, which would make the film the biggest pre-summer opening of all time.

    That would also beat the opening by “Iron Man 3” to make it the biggest opening by a Marvel movie featuring a single superhero.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Here Are Some Key MCU Developments to Remember Before Seeing 'Black Panther'

    'Black Panther' Grabs Best Rotten Tomatoes Score of Any Superhero Movie

    Does 'Black Panther' Have a Post-Credits Scene?

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