[VIDEO] ‘Ghost in the Shell’, with Scarlett Johansson, Super Bowl Spot Trailer, 2017

Scarlett Johansson plays The Major in Ghost in the Shell from Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures in theaters March 31, 2017.

 


[VIDEO] ‘Ghost in the Shell’: Official TV Spot Trailer (2017) Scarlett Johansson 

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Hollywood’s Superheroes, Family Movies Boosted by China in 2016 

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The revenue from the world’s second-largest movie market accounted for 13 percent of the $13.5 billion generated by the top 20 movies from U.S. studios.

Lisa Richwine reports: China’s moviegoers embraced big-screen superheroes, cartoon animals and a video game-turned-action flick in 2016, adding $1.8 billion in ticket sales to Hollywood’s 20 highest-grossing films of the year.

The revenue from the world’s second-largest movie market accounted for 13 percent of the $13.5 billion generated by the top 20 movies from U.S. studios, according to a Reuters analysis of data from tracking firm Box Office Mojo. That was triple the 4 percent level five years ago.

The numbers illustrate China’s growing importance to U.S. studios such as Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) Disney Studios, Time Warner Inc‘s (TWX.N) Warner Bros. and Comcast Corp’s (CMCSA.O) Universal Pictures.

While China’s booming box office growth stalled this year in single digits, the country remains vital for Hollywood studios, box office analysts said. In 2016, China overtook the United States as the country with the largest number of movie screens.

Most of the top Hollywood movies would have reached the top of the film charts without China. But the additional revenue is significant, especially for blockbuster films that can cost $200 million or more to make.

“You can grab an extra hundred million (dollars) of revenue from the Chinese market,” said Jonathan Papish, film industry analyst for China Film Insider. “You can’t do that anywhere else in the world.”

Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) animated “Zootopia,” known in China as “Crazy Animal City,” was Hollywood’s biggest hit there, with $236 million in ticket sales, and ranked as the third-highest-grossing movie worldwide. China’s film authorities extended the movie’s theatrical run by two weeks beyond the typical 30 days for foreign films. Read the rest of this entry »


Robert Downey Jr. Joins ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

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It looks like the team-up of Spider-Man and Iron Man seen in Captain America: Civil War won’t be the duo’s last.

Robert Downey Jr., who plays the red and gold-armored Marvel character, has closed a deal to join the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel and Sony’s reboot of the web-crawling superhero, sources tell THR.

Tom Holland will star as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and is making his debut as the character in Civil War (and already garnering praise for his take on the role).

[Read the full story here, at Hollywood Reporter]

The movie establishes a key relationship between Tony Stark/Iron Man and Parker and Homecoming will continue that thread.

Homecoming has been casting up ahead of its June start of production. Marisa Tomei will play Aunt May, while Zendaya is one of the female leads. Tony Revolori, who starred opposite Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Laura Harrier, who appeared in the soap opera One Life to Live, are also boarding the production, which is being produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Duet: Dean Martin & Scarlett Johansson, ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’

This duet between the infamous Rat Packer and the voluptuous actress would still be weird if it happened when Martin was still alive…Surprisingly, posthumous Christmas duets aren’t unusual, with Kelly Clarkson and Martina McBride teaming up with Elvis for I’ll Be Home For Christmas and Baby It’s Cold Outside,” respectively.

Source: TIME.com


John Anderson: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Review: A Superpowered Spectacle

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Superheroes return in Marvel’s effects-and wit-filled sequel

John Anderson writes: Those truly committed to the Kremlinology of Marvel Comics will find “Avengers: Age of Ultron” a revelatory piece of 3-D entertainment. Who knew that the evil Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) had been working on the kind of robotics that would provide superhero/industrialist Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), the groundwork for developing an artificial intelligence that could threaten the existence of all human life on Earth? Who knew The Incredible Hulk could be a romantic lead?

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For those more concerned with what “The Avengers” movies do best—outsize spectacle and wry comedy—“Age of Ultron” has to be declared a victory. “Victory should be honored with revels,” declares hammer-throwing Scandinavian elocutionist Thor (Chris Hemsworth). “Who doesn’t love revels?” answers snark specialist Stark. “Revels” is a good word to describe it all, if one tends to revel in effects-driven mass destruction for the good of mankind.

[Read the full text here at WSJ]

Director Joss Whedon, under the auspices of the almost supernaturally profitable Marvel-Disney alliance, has brought back the core of 2012’s “The Avengers”—Mr. Hemsworth, Mr. Downey, Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Mark Ruffalo (the Hulk), Chris Evans (Captain America), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye)—along with several subordinate supervillains and heroes to embellish the plot and set up the sequel (well on its way, to judge by the closing moments of “Ultron”). They include the brother-sister act of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), whose superpowers are the result of Strucker’s experiments and whose antipathy toward the Avengers is rooted in the devastation visited upon their native Sokovia by now-reformed war merchant Tony Stark.

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If any of this seems complicated—the fictional Sokovia, for instance, or that there was also a Quicksilver in “X-Men: Days of Future Past”—you really have to just let it go, the momentum of the movie being too much for cogitation. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’: Hundreds of German Theaters Boycotting Marvel Film

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Ryan Gajewski reports: The heroes of Avengers: Age of Ultron won’t be assembling at a number of German theaters.

“We are worried, particularly about eastern Germany. When prices go up, then we have a serious problem that could force movie theaters to close.”

—  Karl-Heinz Meier, spokesman for advocacy group I.G. Nord

Theaters in 193 small towns in Germany are refusing to screen the Marvel blockbuster, citing Disney‘s raised rental fee for the film, according to German publication Deutsche Welle. In total, the film is being kept from 686 screens.

Cinema owners told DW that they were taken aback when Disney announced it was upping the fee from 47.7 to 53 percent of ticket sales. Additionally, Disney is cutting its advertising spend and will not provide advances for 3D glasses. Read the rest of this entry »


China Is Getting its Very Own Comic Con

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‘Geekdom is a universal language’

Event producer ReedPOP is bringing Comic Con to China this spring.

“China is a massive frontier for ReedPOP, a huge market and boundless community of fans that we are eager and enthusiastic to build events for. Geekdom is a universal language and we’re sure that the Chinese people will celebrate fan culture in their own unique and amazing ways.”

— Lance Fensterman, Global Senior Vice President of ReedPOP

The Shanghai Comic Convention will take place on May 16 to 17 at the Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Center, ReedPOP announced Wednesday. The inaugural Chinese Comic Con follows on the company’s growth strategy of bringing its pop culture events to international markets, including India, Singapore and Germany.

[See Avengers: Age Of Ultron Concept Art]

“China is a massive frontier for ReedPOP, a huge market and boundless community of fans that we are eager and enthusiastic to build events for,” said Lance Fensterman, Global Senior Vice President of ReedPOP, in a statement. “Geekdom is a universal language and we’re sure that the Chinese people will celebrate fan culture in their own unique and amazing ways.” Read the rest of this entry »


The CELEBRAGEDDON of 2014: Jennifer Lawrence Requests Nude Pics Investigation

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jennifer Lawrence has contacted authorities to investigate who stole and posted nude images of the Oscar winner online, a publicist for the actress said.

 Enetertainment Weekly‘s Kyle Ryan has this:

Various reports say nearly 60 photos of Lawrence in various stages of undress circulated after a hacker posted them to 4chan, the Internet’s screaming id, alongside similarly racy leaked photos of Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kate Upton, Victoria Justice, Ariana Grande, and allegedly many others—all of them women. 

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Kirsten Dunst photos were also swept into the controversy, though no statement has been issued

Winstead confirmed in dispiriting tweets that her pics were real, but Justice and Grande have denied it. (TMZ quotes a Grande tweet, “My petite ass is much cuter than that,” though it’s not on her Twitter page anymore.)

Meanwhile, the presumed stockpile of penis photos taken by Hollywood actors remains curiously untouched.

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Intimate images of the actress, who stars in “The Hunger Games” film franchise and won an Academy Award for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook,” began appearing online on Sunday. Naked images purporting to be of other female stars were also posted, although the authenticity of many of the images could not be confirmed. The source of the leak was unclear.

 “Once images and other data are uploaded to the cloud, it becomes much more difficult to control who has access to it, even if we think it is private.”

— Security researcher Ken Westin

“This is a flagrant violation of privacy,” Lawrence’s publicist Liz Mahoney wrote in a statement. “The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”

Mahoney declined to provide further details, including which authorities were contacted. Lawrence, 24, is a three-time Oscar nominee. Read the rest of this entry »


Social Media Goes Cuckoo Bananas Over Massive Celebrity Nude Photo Leak

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Mashable (and everyone else on earth at the same time) reporting:

A massive leak of what appears to be celebrities in compromising positions has seen the Internet go into overdrive.

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[Also see: The CELEBRAGEDDON of 2014: Jennifer Lawrence Requests Nude Pics Investigation]

On Sunday evening, a hacker posted photographs to 4Chan purporting to show dozens of stars naked or partially exposed. The images spread quickly across Twitter and other social media platforms.

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The ‘master list’ released by the hacker includes some of the biggest names in the world such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Bosworth, Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johansson, Selena Gomez, Rihanna and many more. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] LUCY Movie Trailer HD – Writer Director Luc Besson, Stars Scarlett Johansson

A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

Director & Writer: Luc Besson Stars: Scarlett JohanssonAnaleigh TiptonMorgan FreemanSee full cast and crew »

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How Director Jon Favreau Learned to Cook for his New Movie


Scarlett Johansson, War Criminal?

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Daniel Schwammenthal  writes:  In a sane world, Israeli company SodaStream would be a poster child for corporate responsibility. Of the 1,300 staff in its West Bank plant, 450 are Israeli Arabs and 500 are Palestinians. All workers receive equal pay, which in the case of the Palestinians is several times the average salary they would normally make.

 [Check out Amazon’s SodaStream Store] I call it “fizzy water”. I support SodaStream. I have one, I like bubbles…]

sodastreambottleHere is a real-life example of coexistence, a place where Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims, Druze and Christians work together in peace. To boot, they assemble a product that, by turning tap water into fizzy drinks, cuts the production of environmentally damaging beverage containers.

Alas, this world is not sane, certainly not when it comes to discussions of Israel. Simply because one of its 20-plus factories is in the West Bank, anti-Israeli activists have been targeting SodaStream and its celebrity spokesperson, American actress Scarlett Johansson.

No matter that the factory is in a location that would most likely remain Israeli in a future peace agreement. And if it became part of Palestine, even better for the new state’s tax revenues. But in the destructive world of supposedly pro-Palestinian activism, this facility must be boycotted, those 500 Palestinians and their families be damned.

Read the rest of this entry »


Is Scarlett Johansson Wrong to Dump Oxfam? Ask SodaStream’s Palestinian Workers

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Raheem Kassam reports:  While the likes of MSNBC’s Chris Hayes are criticizing actress Scarlett Johansson‘s decision to stand by SodaStream and Israel and ditch the politicking Oxfam, there is another group of people whose opinions on this issue should be heard: the Palestinians employed by SodaStream in the West Bank.

Earlier this month, Johansson and Oxfam came to blows over the actress’s appearance for and endorsement of SodaStream, a company which has factories in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

And while there are of course many Palestinians not employed by the company who oppose the West Bank factories, the resounding consensus from employees and their dependents seems to be one of excitement and gratitude towards the Israeli-owned firm. Over 500 Palestinians are able to earn three times as much as the average Palestinian worker—and even more than Israel’s own minimum wage.

Read the rest of this entry »