There was a lot of talk for many years about Darkseid appearing in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but that proved to all be gossip by the version of the movie that hit theaters in November 2017. While the legendary DC villain was mentioned by name once in the dialogue, he did not actually appear on screen, and instead simply had his bidding performed by Ciarán Hinds’ Steppenwolf. Of course, we all know that there are many elements of that blockbuster that never made it to release, and now its director has revealed a big one: young Darkseid, a.k.a. Uxas.
In light of the recent wave of state-by-state attempts to block women’s access to safe and legal abortions, many high-profile women have been speaking out about their own experiences with abortion in order to draw awareness to the critical issue—and to serve as calls to action. Jameela Jamil spoke out in May about the pregnancy she terminated, and Ashley Judd also recently spoke about her own experiences securing an abortion in Georgia after she was raped. After the state’s extreme abortion ban passed in May, celebrities and studios have also been threatening to boycott working in Georgia, which would hit the state where it hurts: The film industry had a total economic impact of $9.5 billion there during the 2018 fiscal year, according to the state. Now, Tiffany Haddish has escalated the conversation by postponing her Atlanta show in protest over the abortion ban.
“After much deliberation, I am postponing my upcoming show in Atlanta. I love the state of Georgia, but I need to stand with women, and until they withdraw Measure HB481, I cannot in good faith perform there,” Haddish said in a statement on Saturday, according to CNN—making her the first celebrity to effectively cancel a performance over the ban. As Jezebel points out, it’s unlikely that Georgia will voluntarily strike down the law before it takes effect. (Ticket-holders will be refunded by the theater.)
Georgia’s law, set to take effect Jan. 1, 2020, will ban abortions after six weeks (before many women realize they’re pregnant) and criminalize them as well. Residents there won’t even be allowed to travel out of state to receive a legal abortion, or they could be charged with conspiracy to commit murder. The law only makes exceptions in cases of incest, medical danger to the pregnant person, and rape—though, for the latter, that’s only if there’s a police report filed.
So far, it seems like many are waiting to follow through until the law actually takes effect—it could be struck down by courts before Jan. 1. Among them, Netflix: “We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” the company’s chief content officer said in a May statement to Glamour. “It’s why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there—while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”
Now that Haddish has postponed her performance, it remains to be seen if other celebrities, studios, and companies follow her lead.
It turns out even Lena Headey wasn’t thrilled with how the Game of Thrones showrunners wrapped Cersei Lannister’s storyline in the final season of Game of Thrones. For the past eight seasons, we wondered if Cersei would meet her end on the show—but what ultimately happened wasn’t quite what viewers thought would transpire for the once-powerful queen. (After all, the show has dispatched characters major and minor in pretty much every way imaginable.) As viewers know, Cersei dies in her lover/brother Jamie’s arms as King’s Landing crumbles on top of them, which some argue wasn’t befitting of her character. As it turns out, they’re not alone: Headey always wanted Cersei to have a more epic death, too.
“I invested as a viewer, and I have my favorite characters. And I’ve got a few of my own gripes. But I haven’t sat down drunkenly with [showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] yet,” she told The Guardian in an interview published Sunday (July 16). (Those two are the showrunners who adapted Game of Thrones from the books.)
As far as what she’ll say in her tipsy critique, Headey told the Guardian that she already has it planned: “I will say I wanted a better death,” Headey said. “Obviously you dream of your death. You could go in any way on that show. So I was kind of gutted. But I just think they couldn’t have pleased everyone. No matter what they did, I think there was going to be some big comedown from the climb.”
This isn’t the first time Headey has voiced her dissatisfaction with Cersei’s death. Last month, following the series finale, she told Entertainment Weekly, she wanted her character to “have some big piece or fight with somebody.”
Even if Cersei didn’t get the ending she quite deserved, Headey is already considering her next role: The Guardian reports that the massive success of the show—and the acclaim her acting received—has been a huge boost to her career, and that she’s now being “sent scripts in which she is actively interested.” Hopefully, that means we won’t have to wait too long until we see Headey and her talent back in action.
“I still have more questions. How can you be a latina woman and be gay? You do know being gay is a sin correct,” the bride says, making assumptions about Cardenas’s beliefs. “I will pray for you my friend. I’m sorry that you’ve chosen a path that’s going to send you straight to hell. I think you do beautiful makeup but i just can’t have someone who’s gay being apart of my special day. The wedding is in a church and i don’t want you walking into my church.”
As if that weren’t bad enough, the bride ignorantly suggests that if Cardenas suddenly decides to stop being a lesbian, she’ll hire her, saying, “If you at any chance change your mind about being gay let me know please so i can book you.”
Words like this would be hurtful to anyone who doesn’t identify as straight, but they were especially painful to Cardenas, who told me she had only just recently come out. “I wanted to post [this conversation] for my friends and family because about a month and a half ago, I came out to everyone on social media. I was tired of hiding who I was. And when I had such a positive reaction to me sharing who I was I felt like everyone just needed a little taste of my reality,” she tells Allure, explaining that she’s struggled with facing acceptance in her small Texas town.
The response she’s gotten to the screenshots has been heartening — sympathy, support, love, and a new understanding. “So many friends and family or just strangers had no idea that people could actually be like this. I wanted to share to bring some light on the subject because it’s from someone they know and love,” Cardenas tells Allure. “I’ve been getting such a positive response, so much love and support, whether it be from potential clients, strangers, or someone who’s struggling with their own story. Of course, I have my fair share of awful things still being said to me. I have to brush that aside and focus on the positive.”
In fact, Cardenas tells Allure that even the bride-to-be has reached out after the conversation went viral. “She apologized, but told me it was her wedding and her choice to choose who she wanted doing makeup and hair, and that her beliefs shouldn’t have hurt my feelings,” Cardenas explains. And then, displaying the kind of tolerance Cardenas herself deserves, she says, “I understand where she’s coming from. I just wish she would have been a little nicer about it.”
It’s become somewhat of a Kardashian-Jenner tradition to throw some seriously over-the-top parties—who among us could ever forget Kylie Jenner‘s Stormi World? So, naturally, to celebrate North West‘s sixth birthday on Saturday (June 15), as well as Penelope Disick‘s upcoming seventh birthday on July 8, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian pulled out all the stops to give their daughters a bash they’re definitely going to remember. On Saturday, the sisters brought the game of Candy Land to life by throwing an incredible sweets-themed party.
Kim and Kourtney shared clips of the event on their Instagram Stories—and let’s just say the sugar crash must have been real when the party was all over. There were lollipops, sour ropes, M&Ms, gummi bears, gumballs, Pez, cupcakes, cake pops, and more. It’s unclear which of the Kardashian sisters’ homes the lavish party was held at, but whoever’s backyard it was held in was transformed into the Hasbro board game, complete with a rainbow walkway, candy-themed bounce house, and giant balloons.
Scroll down for an inside look into North and Penelope’s candy-themed birthday party.
The backyard was literally turned into Candy Land.
The birthday girls were dressed in colorful, theme-appropriate outfits.
Compliments of Monday morning’s full moon in Sagittarius, this week fires up with the cosmic headline “you were born free.” Feel the need for extra space in an area of your life? How and where do you need to expand your horizons? Heed the call of your inspiration and note what your intuition brings in over this week. Bring in the jaws of life to make and take the space you know you need. Meanwhile, the faerie wings of Gemini season flutter to a close with more questions, answers, curiosities, and interesting new connections. The Sun moves into caring Cancer on Friday, marking the Summer solstice and longest day of the year. Look inside and use the extra light of consciousness to pause and reflect on your inner battle between light and dark. What’s been banished in the dark that needs acceptance, love or release?
Read on to discover what’s in store for your zodiac sun sign (your actual sign) for the week of June 17 through June 23, 2019, and also your rising sign (which you can find here.)
Aries | Aries rising
It’s time to fire up your inner guru, set up your soapbox, and preach what you want to teach. Monday’s full moon will have you feeling the urge to spout your personal brand of philosophical brilliance. Grab the mic, broadcast an inspiring video, or get that book started already. You know you’ve got a lot to say and the passionate firepower to just do it. Alternatively, the call to learn more or push your boundaries may be booming over the loudspeaker. An epic travel bug that just won’t quit? How about Machu Pichu, a motorcade across America, or spiritual walking quest across remote, yet stunning mountainous terrain? You love to test your mettle with forays that leave the faint of heart on their knees. Choose your own adventure. The domestic fires burn brighter as of Friday when the sun sets up camp for Cancer season in your home zone. You may have been feeling the urge to nest or just put some extra elbow grease into getting your retreat on point. Try to balance your push into public space with your own private home space. Take a breather when you need to, though, and consider keeping these two areas separate for a month or so.
Taurus | Taurus rising
The Full Moon in Sagittarius, otherwise known as the Strawberry Moon, will take a little adjustment to allow inspiration to flow. Sagittarius is a mutable sign, encouraging changes it takes to broaden your horizons. Yes the C word again. Change. At the risk of repetition, you don’t like it but overall, it’s the medicine you need as Uranus the planet of radical—yes radical— change is freshly in your sign for the next seven years. Let go of any attachment that’s keeping you stuck. When you loosen your grip, both energy and new opportunities can flow to you. This full moon illuminates your zone of others resources, metaphorical endings, and sex. It will reveal the state of all those things and may highlight opportunities you’ve previously missed. Are your deepest needs for intimate connection being met? Either bring space into your mergers, consider a new one or completely break free with love and gratitude. If blissfully attached, how can you deepen the roots? A secret ceremony to share your deepest feelings with trust and optimism? Lean into the emotional spaces you’ve been resisting to next level your closest intimate connection. On Friday, the sun lights up your communication zone, while Sunday may deliver unrealistic relationship expectations. What is fantasy, and what can you truly expect or deliver?
Anthony Mackie has yet to play Captain America on the big screen, but the Avengers: Endgame directors already know what he looks like in his suit. Or at least they know what Sam Wilson looks like as Cap in an action figure they scooped up in Japan:
Nice! The Russo Brothers posted two photos from Tokyo, kind of spoiling what could’ve been a cool surprise gift for Marvel star Anthony Mackie, but that’s OK. In addition to the action figure, they picked up a Marvel Avengers Series book on Sam Wilson as Captain America.
How do you think that action figure compares to the Sam Wilson as Cap fan art that quickly sprouted online after Falcon was named the new Captain America?
Avengers: Endgame ended with old man Steve Rogers asking Sam Wilson to step forward. With Bucky’s apparent approval, Steve passed Captain America’s Vibranium shield on to Sam. Sam went from Falcon to Captain America.
Most fans expected Avengers: Endgame to be Chris Evans’ final film as Captain America, but many fans also expected Steve’s BFF Bucky Barnes to be the next Cap. Marvel Comics has had both Bucky and Sam suit up as the next Captain America, and this time they went with the story where Steve retires and Sam picks up the shield.
Besides, Bucky has his own new title — after The Winter Soldier, he became The White Wolf in Black Panther. Disney+ has a series coming up with both Sam and Bucky, so we can look forward to more stories from those two characters. They’ve only had a few scenes together in the Marvel films, but even when they weren’t on the same page, they both still had love for Steve Rogers.
Actors Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are also a blast together on the press tour. They usually have fun at Tom Holland’s expense, and they’ll probably find a way to continue that when promoting the new Disney+ show. Maybe throw Gwyneth Paltrow in there somehow too, so Sebastian Stan can introduce himself.
Anthony Mackie has a lot going on, beyond becoming the new Captain America. He’s also the new Takeshi Kovacs for Netflix’s Altered Carbon Season 2, which is expected in 2020. Plus, he just starred in a bold and brave episode of Black Mirror Season 5 called “Striking Vipers.” And he has several movies listed as in the works, including Point Blank, Against All Enemies, The Woman in the Window, and The Banker.
Folks, the domestic box office is in a rut. In preparing to write up the latest numbers, I looked back on headlines from the last couple weeks, and rediscovered the used phrases “tepid opening” and “slow weekend” to the way things had gone. Sadly that’s a trend that we are seeing continue as we slide past mid-June. This weekend saw the return of two well-known franchises hit the big screen, but on the whole nobody really cared about them, as both F. Gary Gray’s Men In Black International and Tim Story’s Shaft failed to inspire a lot of ticket sales.
Check out the results in the full Top 10 rundown below, and join me after for analysis!
|1.||Men in Black International*||$28,500,000||Total: $28,500,000||
|2.||The Secret Life Of Pets 2||$23,800,000||Total: $92,044,390||
|4.||Dark Phoenix||$9,005,000||Total: $51,767,350||
|7.||Godzilla: King Of The Monsters||$8,105,000||Total: $93,688,172||
|8.||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||$6,100,000||Total: $148,626,905||
|9.||Late Night||$5,136,734||Total: $5,449,553||
For what it’s worth, the foreign numbers for Men In Black International should keep the brand a viable property for Sony Pictures going into the future – as the release has already surpassed $100 million globally – but things definitely did not go well for the movie here in North America. The trouble started mid-week with a modest-sized wave of negative buzz, as critics at large were left feeling underwhelmed by what the blockbuster had to offer. This lowered expectations to the point where prognosticators were estimating at least a $30 million three day start for the film, but as you can see above, it wasn’t even able to get over that bar (and keep in mind that there were once suggestions of a possible $50 million opening).
This is most definitely a bad start in the age of the $350 million opening, but what truly makes the performance look bad is when the figures are compared to the numbers generated by previous titles in the sequence. From 1997 to 2012, Men In Black as a brand could be relied on bringing in at least $50 million in its first Friday-to-Sunday – and this latest chapter barely eclipsed half of that. And certainly not helping anything is the fact that it’s received a rather tepid audience response – as represented by the “B” that it received from CinemaScore. So don’t expect this to be a release that gets a late swell of support because of folks telling all of their friends how good it is.
So what went wrong? Well, most critics seem to agree that it has nothing to do with stars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth – who reunite after Taika Waititi’s effortlessly delightful Thor: Ragnarok – but instead the fact that they are given nothing to do by the film’s script. Should there be future sequels, this is fortunately something that can be remedied with talented individuals taking proper care and attention when it comes to the story being told, but Sony might now also feel a bit gun shy about greenlighting any future chapters in this continuity.
What about Shaft? To turn a phrase, people didn’t dig it.
Clearly the latest film in the legendary blaxploitation franchise didn’t cost nearly as much as Men In Black International, but even still there can’t be anybody at Warner Bros. who is smiling because of these results. Opening under $10 million is bad; opening in sixth place is worse; and earning a mere fraction of the opening weekend numbers for John Singleton’s 2000 sequel ($21.7 million) is pure insult to injury. The critical responses doesn’t even earn it a modest cherry on top either, as multiple write-ups have included words like “homophobic” and “misogynistic.” All of that together, along with the number of anticipated releases set to come out in the next few weeks, should guarantee that Shaft‘s stay in the Top 10 won’t be long – even with the reported support of audiences that has manifested in contrast to professional critics.
Of course, it wasn’t exactly a banner weekend for everything else out in circulation either. Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life Of Pets 2 had a solid 49% drop from week one to week two, but its domestic gross is still about $10 million less than what its predecessor was able to bring in during its first three days. And as I mentioned in my box office report last Sunday, the audience for it is likely going to totally disappear next weekend when Pixar’s Toy Story 4 lands in theaters nationwide. The drop won’t be massive, but the numbers are definitely going to sink.
At the very least one can say that the animated dogs and cats movie did a hell of a lot better than Simon Kinberg’s Dark Phoenix. It was a rough state of affairs last time around when the latest/last chapter of the X-Men series earned the “Weakest Opening In The Franchise” title, and things now aren’t exactly better. The news cycle made note of the fact that both Brightburn and Godzilla: King Of The Monsters recently experienced massive drops in their second weekends (68.7 percent, and 67.7 percent, respectively), but the Marvel comics movie actually managed to outpace both of them in that regard. The $9 million earned from Friday to Sunday means that the blockbuster’s numbers sank 72.6 percent, and that’s significant. At this rate, making $100 million domestically will likely be impossible, and that will make it easily the worst performing chapter in the history of the big screen brand.
How will things turn around for Hollywood? Well, Disney seems to have the magic touch so far in 2019 (note that Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin may soon be nearing $300 million domestically), and as mentioned above, the studio has another hotly anticipated title arriving in just a few days. Lee Unkrich’s Toy Story 3 was a crazy big hit when it came out in 2010, making $110 million in its first weekend, and it wouldn’t surprise many to see its follow-up perform similarly. Throw in some interesting question marks like Lars Klevberg’s Child’s Play reboot, Luc Besson’s new action flick Anna, and Tom Harper’s musical drama Wild Rose and you have all the ingredients for some interesting Top 10 shake-ups.
Be sure to come back next Sunday to see how everything plays out.
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What the Forky? Pixar is taking a short break this year. It’s not clear why yet, but it appears Toy Story 4 will break the streak of running an animated short film before the feature.
Running a cute short film before a feature has been a Pixar tradition since A Bug’s Life came out in 1998. The only other Pixar movie to skip a short in the theatrical run is the first Toy Story movie back in 1995. That was Pixar’s first-ever feature and it only included a short film, Tin Toy, in its home release.
That’s slightly surprising, at least to me, since Pixar is hot off an Oscar win for Best Animated Short Film with Bao, which played before Incredibles 2 last year. Pixar shorts are regularly nominated in that category, and the studio has wins for Tin Toy, Geri’s Game, For the Birds, and the adorable Piper short that played before Finding Dory.
There was controversy over the short that played before Coco, mostly because it wasn’t really a short. It was a full Frozen featurette called Olaf’s Frozen Adventure and it lasted for more than 20 minutes. That had a limited run before Coco, but it was around long enough to irritate many people.
It’s possible Toy Story 4 will still get a short for its home release, maybe even something feature-related. It doesn’t sound like that has been announced yet.
Don’t go thinking no Pixar short means Toy Story 4 will get you out of the theater under two hours, since there will still be the usual trailers and ads before the movie. One of those trailers will probably be for Disney’s Frozen 2, which is opening on November 22, but rest assured that they’ll cap it off after a couple of minutes and not go for a full 20-minute featurette.
The GRAMMY winner went through all the emotions at the group’s Wembley Stadium show.
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