If you’ve been living under a rock, “Avengers: Endgame” is now the biggest blockbuster film of all time, surpassing multiple records. It made an estimated $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office for its opening weekend alone. It is the only film in history to cross the $1 billion mark for its debut week, breaking the previous records by hundreds of millions of dollars. Its prequel "Avengers: Infinity War" formerly held the record making $640 million for its opening last year. The film, which opened internationally last Wednesday, took just 5 days to cross $1 billion. The film also shattered the opening record in North America.
The Marvel film somehow exceeded its own huge expectations. Film critics vastly underestimated the Marvel comic’s popularity, predicted last week that the film could make anywhere from $260 million to $300 million domestically.
The film grossed an estimated $859 million internationally which far exceeds the record for the biggest opening weekend internationally, which was held by 2017's “The Fate of the Furious." The film's global domination was propelled by China. "Endgame" made $330.5 million there, which is the highest-grossing debut ever in China.
Marvel Studios has made nearly $20 billion at the worldwide box office over the last 10 years. Though 'Endgame' is far from an end for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these first 22 films constitute a sprawling achievement, and this weekend's monumental success is a testament to the world they've envisioned.
The Swiss generally don’t make great archvillains. They love rules, they love regulations and they love when things are nice and orderly. The Swiss have world-class tennis players, philosophers, and actors but world-class criminals? Not so much.
However, Thanos, the Marvel Comics villain who is one of the most powerful villains played by Josh Brolin, has his roots in Zurich, Switzerland.
Wait a moment, isn’t Thanos American?
Not so fast! A crack team of high-tech commuter animators in Zurich were the ones who created a program that mimicked Josh Brolin’s facial expressions and captured it in computer animated form, giving the computer-generated character a new depth of complexity and realism that has never before seen in a superhero film before. The state-of-the-art animation is set to be the new standard for films and computer games alike.
Therefore Thanos may be the first Swiss superhero but he may not be the last.
The MeToo movement has seen an unprecedented amount of alleged abusers in the entertainment industry from Michael Jackson, John Lasseter, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K exposed for their wrongdoings.
Production companies have been supportive of the victims have been quick to blacklist these performers and entertainers, even going so far as to recast actors like Kevin Spacey at considerable cost. But does that mean the audience should stop listening or watching their art? What about classics such as Billy Jean, Pulp Fiction or Toy Story? Do we just ignore them or can we continue watching them without a feeling of guilt?
When asked this question, most people feel divided. They love these artworks and often times grown up watching them as part of their childhood. Such attachment isn’t so easily disposed of. When these horrible abuses come to light, it feels like a betrayal. When someone whose music or film we used to enjoy turns out to have hurt and abused people, often on a frequent and systematic basis, it leaves us in a state of shock.
Some argue if art has imitated real life. In the case of R. Kelly, Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen, their work reportedly details their sexual abuse and maybe even encourages it. In the cases of John Lasseter or Bill Crosby, their best pieces of work aren't about them as artists. Many fans still argue The Cosby Show and Toy Story are classic family entertainment. In the case of The Crosby Show it paved the way for other black family sitcoms, like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
Film companies are famous for protecting their scripts and film footage from being leaked to awaking audiences. Now with how fast things travel across the internet (it doesn’t take long for something to be shared millions of times) films need to be protected now more than ever.
Do you remember when the script for Hateful Eight Script, the Quentin Tarantino picture, was leaked? Tarantino was still early on in his writing process when he threatened to scrap the entire project completely.
With films the creation of so many different people, often across different countries, it’s not surprising that production companies are going to extreme lengths to protect shows such as Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and comic book franchises a Avengers.
In fact, there is a bunker room in Los Angeles where, if you didn’t know better, you would think was the U.S President’s west coast home. It is, in fact, mere a writer’s room for Amazon. It has all the windows blacked out, security guards at each entrance and a fingerprint scanner to get in.
The story Amazon is working on in its bunker is set in the realm of the Lord of the Rings. The streaming show’s adaptation is rumoured to focus on the character of Aragorn, the man (spoiler alert) who is destined to be King of Gondor. The storyline is a prequel to The Fellowship of the Ring before Aragon meets Frodo. The general consensus was largely that the security measures were a tad bit overkill and the efforts to protect this sacred information were unnecessary. Afterall, we know how the story of Aragon ends up so how much of a spoiler can there be?
If you’ve followed Amazon’s history, you now that they aren’t a company to take things lying down. But then again neither is Woody Allen. The film star recently filed a $68 million lawsuit in New York claiming that Amazon studios scrapped its four-film deal and is actively blocking the director’s artistic efforts. However, Amazon has filed a counter suit saying Allen sabotaged his own movies’ success with controversial comments about the MeToo movement and sex abuse allegations against him. In the lawsuit, Amazon wrote Allen’s statements came out just as Amazon and Allen were preparing to promote Allen’s latest film Wonder Wheel, effectively sabotaging those efforts. Wonder Wheel is about four peoples’ lives which intertwine amid Coney Island’s heyday and stars Kate Winslet.
Woody Allen has long been the subject of sexual misconduct rumours; but none of these rumours have ever been proven in court. The response from the film industry, however, has been damning with many actors expressing regret for having worked with Allen and many declared publicly that they would never work with him again. These actors include Freida Pinto of Slumdog Millionaire, who worked with the director in You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, and Colin Firth who stared in Magic in the Moonlight also directed by Woody Allen.
Amazon studios has said Allen would not rescind some of his most problematic public statements he had made. What the verdict will be, is anyone’s guess as Amazon’s new court motion is only seeking to dismiss four of the eight claims in Allen’s suit. Amazon also cites Allen’s response to accusations of sexual assault by his daughter Dylan Farrow, which he denied.
Canada has always been the neglected younger child while the United States struts across the world stage puffing his chest, Canada sits meekly alone.
But that is quickly changing as Canada content has made some splashes world wide – especially with hits like Schitt’s Creek, Working Moms, and Kim’s Convenience. Schitt's Creek, especially, has really broken through in a way that not a lot of even American-produced comedies have done lately. It doesn’t hurt that the main star, Eurgene Levy has been a successful comedic actor for decades and has stared in hits like American Pie and Best In Show.
Eugene Levy and his son Dan secured CBC secured as the Canadian broadcaster, but the shows producers thought the show’s concept could also do well south of the border — something that's eluded many Canadian-made comedies for decades, even as Canadian comedians such as Mike Myers, Martin Short, Seth Rogen, and Jim Carrey became household names. Schitt's Creek, in particular, is enjoying a rare combination of commercial and popular success.
Dan and Eugene Levy, the show's creators and stars, already had CBC secured as the Canadian broadcaster. But Schwartz, a Canadian well established in the U.S. TV system, thought the little show with the funny title just might work there as well.
It's a show that started with a wealthy family, a riches-to-rags story that in itself doesn't seem like anything we haven't seen before," says Schwartz. "But the writing and the acting is so phenomenal, that the little things happen in the episode and the characters learn from those little things that happen, that change them in the next episode, and change them in the next episode."
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