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Telefonica Reverses Pay TV Dip in Spain

1 hour ago

Madrid — Telefonica, Europe’s first telecom to move massively into scripted TV production, saw pay TV subscribers increase at its Spanish operations in the run-up to the launch of its weighty slate of original TV series productions, which hits the market this September with “Velvet Collection.”

After dropping three consecutive quarters from a highpoint in June 2016 of 3.755 million, pay TV subs at Telefonica España added 51,000 clients from April to June this year, increasing from 3.615 million at the end of March to 3.666 million on June 30.

The increase was fostered by new customers and migration from low-value options to the Fusion + Ocio bundle launched in April, which had 131,000 clients on June 30, Telefonica said in its second quarter results announcement on July 27.

A quad-play offer of mobile and fixed telephony, broadband internet and TV,  Fusion + Ocio is offered at attractive prices ranging from €60 ($70) for 50Mb Internet speed to €72 ($84) for 300 Mb.

The big question for Telefonica – and other telecoms ploughing into »


- John Hopewell

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June Foray, Voice of ‘Bullwinkle Show’s’ Natasha and Rocky, Dies at 99

4 hours ago

June Foray, the voice of “The Bullwinkle Show’s” Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his nemesis Natasha Fatale of Boris and Natasha fame, died Thursday. She was 99.

Her close friend Dave Nimitz, confirmed her death on Facebook, writing “With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little June today at 99 years old.”

Foray was the voice behind Looney Tunes’ Witch Hazel, Nell from “Dudley Do-Right,” Granny in the “Tweety and Sylvester” cartoons and Cindy Lou Who in Chuck Jones’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” among many others.

The first lady of voice acting and founder of the annual Annie Awards was instrumental in the creation of the Oscars’ animated feature category. »


- Terry Flores

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16 Iconic Roles Almost Played by Other Actors

7 hours ago

Actors turn down roles all the time, but what would these 16 roles be like if the actors that were originally approached for them said yes?

Related stories'Star Wars': Warwick Davis to Appear in Han Solo FilmDisney's 'Star Wars'-Themed Lands Get Official NameWoody Harrelson on Ron Howard Directing 'Star Wars' Han Solo Spinoff: 'Obviously the Force Is With Us' »


- Jacob Bryant

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SAG-aftra Election Ballots Go Out Against Backdrop of Contract Ratification

8 hours ago

About 144,000 SAG-aftra election ballots have started hitting performers’ mailboxes this week — only one week after union members were asked to ratify a three-year successor deal to the master contract.

As a result, the question of whether to ratify the contract is the key issue among presidential candidates. Current SAG-aftra president Gabrielle Carteris, who heads the moderate Unite for Strength faction, has strongly endorsed the deal while Esai Morales and stuntman Peter Antico are pushing for a “No” vote.

The union reached a deal with Hollywood producers on July 4. The new deal, if ratified, provides for $256 million in increased pay over the three years with minimums increasing by 2.5% in the first year, 3% in the second year, and 3% in the third year. Employers will also provide a 0.5% hike in contributions paid to the SAG pension plan and AFTRA retirement fund in the first year of the agreement along with “significant” improvements in the residuals rate paid by streaming platforms »


- Dave McNary

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‘Star Wars’: Warwick Davis to Appear in Han Solo Film

9 hours ago

Star Wars” veteran Warwick Davis has joined the upcoming Han Solo standalone film.

When a Twitter user asked when fans could expect a sequel to the 1988 film “Willow,” Ron Howard — who is now directing the Han Solo origin story, and directed Davis in “Willow” — casually revealed that Davis has a part in the latest “Star Wars” tale.

“Glad you are asking for one! I directed Warwick Davis for the first time in 30 years today,” Howard wrote. “It made me happy.”

Glad you are asking for one! I directed @WarwickADavis for the 1st time in 30 years today. It made me happy https://t.co/yW8E19MPCn

Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) July 26, 2017

Davis also confirmed the news.

“Reminded me what a wonderful experience ‘Willow’ was, made so by your expert direction and friendship,” Davis tweeted. “After 30 years, you’ve still got the magic!”

Reminded me what a wonderful experience #Willow was, made so by your expert direction & friendship. After »


- Jacob Bryant

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Henry Cavill Addresses ‘Justice League’ Mustache Controversy

10 hours ago

Henry Cavill brushed together a somewhat tongue-in-cheek message after a controversy over his ‘stache left some fans bristling.

The dispute in question stemmed from Variety‘s report that tied extensive “Justice League” reshoots to his facial hair.

“Pictured above, is not a set on ‘MI6,’ but is in fact, the latest in a series of weapons being designed by Warner Bros. and Paramount Studios to combat the entity known as ‘Henry Cavill’s Moustache,” he joked on Instagram.

Related

Justice League’ Trailer Shows Off DC Comics Big Bad Steppenwolf

Cavill grew a mustache for his character in “Mission: Impossible 6,” which was supposed to finish shooting before Cavill needed to return as Superman in “Justice League.” However, “Justice League” re-shoots have required him to simultaneously bounce between both projects. Paramount reportedly would not allow Cavill to shave his facial hair while production was taking place, so his mustache will have to be digitally removed from “Justice League” in »


- Rebecca Rubin

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IMAX Posts Quarterly Losses on Lackluster Box Office Returns

10 hours ago

IMAX quarterly earnings missed Wall Street expectations on Wednesday, with box office disappointments such as “Transformers: The Last Knight” and “The Mummy” dragging down profits.

The exhibition company reported $1.7 million in losses for the three-month period ending in June, compared to profits of $6 million in the prior-year period. Revenues topped out at $87.8 million, a drop of 4.2% from the $91.7 million in revenues that the company reported in 2016. Losses on a per-share basis came in at 3 cents, whereas last year Imax touted profits of 9 cents a share. Analysts who follow the company had projected it would make $89.3 million in revenues and predicted earnings per share would come in at 14 cents.

Related

Box Office: ‘Dunkirk’ Conquers Weekend With $50.5 Million, ‘Valerian’ Flops

Imax executives said they were making changes to the way they present Hollywood blockbusters. Imax Entertainment CEO Greg Foster told analysts on an earnings call that they would have fewer 3D showings of films, while »


- Brent Lang

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Jon Hamm Plays a Hologram Husband in ‘Marjorie Prime’ Trailer (Watch)

11 hours ago

Jon Hamm is eternally young, smart and attractive in the trailer for “Marjorie Prime.”

In the movie he portrays a computerized version of the deceased husband of Lois Smith’ titular 86-year-old Marjorie.

“I’ll be right here — I have all the time in the world,” he assures her in the trailer, released Wednesday by distributor FilmRise.

Marjorie’s “Prime” relies on the information from herself and others to develop a more complex understanding of his history. So as their interactions deepen, the family begins to develop diverging accounts of what has transpired in their lives. Geena Davis stars as the daughter of Smith’s character and Tim Robbins portrays the son in law.

Related

Sundance Film Review: ‘Marjorie Prime

“She’s nicer to that thing than she is to me,” Davis laments in the trailer.

Marjorie Prime,” directed by Michael Almereyda and based on Jordan Harrison’s play of the same name, debuted »


- Dave McNary

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Will ‘Emoji Movie’ Fight Off ‘Atomic Blonde’ and ‘Dunkirk’ at Box Office?

11 hours ago

Two vastly different movies will open at the domestic box office this weekend to vie for audience attention.

The first is Sony’s “Emoji Movie.” Despite the “Confused Face” or “Face With Rolling Eyes” that some deployed when the animated feature based on iPhone keyboard pictorials was announced, it now looks to have the upper hand this weekend, eyeballing up to $30 million from 4,069 theaters. The studio has it pegged closer to $20 million. In fairness, tracking shows a rather wide margin (albeit still not huge on the upper end).

That’s partially because it’s an original project, so it’s more difficult to tell how audiences will respond. The studio hopes for a long tail based on word of mouth. Visibility for the film has been exceptionally strong thanks to an aggressive marketing push that included T.J. Miller parasailing into Cannes to help launch the movie’s first trailer. Reviews have yet to be released, but »


- Seth Kelley

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‘The Big Sick’ Makes You Wonder: Where Have All the Romcoms Gone?

12 hours ago

The Big Sick,” the indie-crossover hit of the summer, is the sharpest, funniest, and most touching romantic comedy in a long time, and that should be a shot in the arm for romantic comedies everywhere. Except for one small detail: There aren’t any! They’ve all disappeared! Gone to that great big DVD player in the sky! (Somewhere up in Heaven, Nora Ephron is watching one right now, smirking and sighing.) There’s surely a micro-budgeted exception or two I’m not thinking of, but in the ’90s, the ’00s, and into the ’10s, you could count on the appearance, every few months, and certainly once or twice a summer, of a major movie that was some sort of cheesy-tasty screwball knockoff of the romantic comedies of old. It might star Sandra Bullock or Reese Witherspoon, Renée Zellweger or Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Garner or Marisa Tomei, Kate Hudson or Katherine Heigl, or »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Lupita Nyong’o Danced Around Comic-Con as Pink Power Ranger

12 hours ago

Lupita Nyong'o revealed on Instagram Wednesday that she attended San Diego Comic-Con incognito as the Pink Power Ranger.

The Oscar-winning actress posted videos to Instagram showing her sporting the glittery costume while stopping a car.

Related

New ‘Black Panther’ Footage Gets Standing Ovation at Comic-Con

Nyong’o danced around the convention and stopped to take pictures with fans and other cosplayers. The star, who plays Nakia in Marvel’s upcoming “Black Panther” film, was at Comic-Con to participate in the film’s panel in Hall H. Director Ryan Coogler and co-stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Andy Serkis, Daniel Kaluuya, and more joined her on stage. The cast presented a new teaser trailer for the Wakanda-set film at the panel, which was considered one of the highlights of the convention.

The actress will also reprise her role as Maz Kanata in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” set to premiere Dec. 15. Nyong »


- Erin Nyren

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‘Mindy Project’ Star Ike Barinholtz Recovering From Broken Neck After Movie Stunt Accident

12 hours ago

Ike Barinholtz broke his neck while filming his upcoming movie “The Pact.”

While shooting a falling stunt from a high platform on set five weeks ago, Barinholtz fractured cervical vertebrae in his neck on impact. Per doctor’s orders, he has to keep his neck stabilized until the fractures heal.

Conveniently for Barinholtz, the brace has been incorporated into his storyline as ex-con and nurse Morgan Tookers on the next season of “The Mindy Project.” The look should easily fit in with the essence of his eccentric oddball character.

Related

Hulu’s ‘The Mindy Project’ to End After Six Seasons

“After the accident, I talked to Mindy [Kaling] and we agreed that the only option was writing it into the show,” he told People. “Luckily, on ‘The Mindy Project,’ I play a character who could break his neck falling out of his bunk bed and it’s completely believable.”

Barinholtz directed an episode of the show’s sixth »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Japanese Film ‘Fireworks’ Finds Distributors Around the World

13 hours ago

A recent press conference for the upcoming Japanese film “Fireworks” confirmed that finishing touches are still being put on the animated feature ahead of its August 18 release.

The film’s full name, “Fireworks: Should We See it from the Side or the Bottom?,” refers to the story of schoolkids watching fireworks who are debating whether they look different depending on where they’re viewed from. Meanwhile, a girl named Nazuna is about to move to a different school due to her mother’s remarriage. A boy falls in love with Nazuna, and the two teenagers decide to run away.

“Fireworks” is based the live action TV series which was directed and written by Shunji Iwai in 1993. Iwai won the Directors Guild of Japan New Directors Award for the series.

Produced by Genki Kawamura, who also shepherded global hit animated film “Your Name,” voice actors include Suzu Hirose, Masaki Suda, Mamoru Miyano, and Takako Matsu. »


- Variety Japan

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Angelina Jolie Opens Up About Brad Pitt Divorce, Reveals Bell’s Palsy Diagnosis

13 hours ago

Almost a year since she filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie opened up about the experience in an interview with Vanity Fair. She also revealed in the interview that she was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, a condition resulting from nerve damage which causes one side of the face to droop.

Related

Angelina Jolie Buys Cecil B. DeMille’s Estate at Record-Shattering Price

Jolie was reticent about the exact catalyst of her divorce from Pitt, but did say that moving into her new Los Feliz home after spending nine months in a rental has helped her children cope with the change.

“They’ve been very brave,” Jolie said. “They’re not healing from divorce … they’re healing from some … from life, from things in life.”

Jolie added that the former couple’s global lifestyle did not play a part in their split, as some have suggested. “[Our lifestyle] was not in any way a negative,” she »


- Erin Nyren

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Other Music Documentary Drops New Trailer Featuring Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig (Watch)

13 hours ago

For 21 years, independent New York record store Other Music was a mecca for left-leaning music fans and musicians, owned and staffed by hardcore music geeks who made the place into a definitive incarnation of the retail outlet as a tastemaker. And while the store managed to survive as most of its fellow outlets folded in the great post-Napster music-business recession — including the giant Tower Records that was formerly across the street from Other Music’s East 4th Street location — by 2016 its owners saw the writing on the wall and closed it down, prompting many mournful blog posts and even a New Orleans-style second line march from the store to a farewell concert at Bowery Ballroom several blocks away on its last day.

The store is even the subject of a documentary by directors Puloma Basu and Rob Hatch-Miller, and if their Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to finish the film is successful — it ends tomorrow, July »


- Jem Aswad

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Star Henry Golding Joins Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick’s ‘Simple Favor’

13 hours ago

Crazy Rich Asians” actor Henry Golding will co-star opposite Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick in Lionsgate’s thriller “A Simple Favor.”

Paul Feig is directing the film, with shooting starting on Aug. 14 in Toronto. Kendrick will play a mommy blogger trying to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of her best friend, portrayed by Lively. Golding has been cast as Lively’s character’s husband.

Feig and Jessie Henderson are producing through their Feigco production company. Jessica Sharzer wrote the script based on Darcey Bell’s book of the same name.

Fox 2000 was originally developing the project after buying the movie rights to “A Simple Favor” in a preemptive deal. The story is in the vein of Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel “Gone Girl” and Paula Hawkins’ 2015 debut “The Girl on the Train” — two best-selling thrillers in which a female protagonist disappears from a seemingly perfect relationship, part of the “domestic noir” genre.

A Simple Favor »


- Dave McNary

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‘Bond 25’: Yann Demange Frontrunner to Direct, Daniel Craig Likely to Return

14 hours ago

Eon and MGM look to be zeroing in on the director who will be taking the reins for the next James Bond movie.

While insiders say others are still being considered, sources tell Variety that “White Boy Rick” director Yann Demange is the frontrunner to take over the next installment.

The film is currently dated for Nov. 8, 2019, and while it has not yet been confirmed, it’s likely that Daniel Craig will be returning to star in the pic.

Related

New James Bond Film Gets 2019 Release Date

The series is currently looking for a new distributor as well, as its deal with Sony has run out. It is believed that Warner Bros. is the closest to landing the next movie.

While the Bond conversation has mostly revolved around what studio will distribute and whether Craig would return, the director role is an issue Eon would like to have handled sooner rather than later.

Sam Mendes »


- Justin Kroll

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Ser’Darius Blain Joins Military Drama ‘The Last Full Measure’ (Exclusive)

14 hours ago

Ser’Darius Blain has signed for a role in “The Last Full Measure,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Todd Robinson will direct the movie from his own script, and shooting will start this week in Thailand.

Previously announced cast includes Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Fonda, Amy Madigan, Christopher Plummer, Bradley Whitford and Michael Imperioli. Foresight Unlimited is the production company and producers are Timothy Scott Bogart, Mark Damon, Lauren Selig, Julian Adams, Nicholas Cafritz, Robert Reed Peterson, and Shaun Sanghani.

Stan portrays a Pentagon investigator who reluctantly teams with veterans of the 1966 Operation Abilene to convince Congress to award the Medal of Honor to a courageous Air Force medic, William Pitsenbarger, who is seen saving the lives of over 60 Marines ambushed in one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War. As the battle waged on, and after the last helicopter left, he continued to save lives until his own was sacrificed.

Blain »


- Dave McNary

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Meet the Norwegian Cowboy Being Chased by 300 Angry Investors Over a Failed Western

15 hours ago

On June 22, Ryan Wiik walked into a conference room at an Oslo law firm and faced down a large group of his former friends. They were carpenters, plumbers and mechanics, mostly from his seaside hometown of Drobak.

They had invested millions of kroner — in some cases, their life savings — in his dream to build a billion-dollar movie company. Wiik planned to produce and star in a Western based on the “Morgan Kane” series of novels, which were popular in Scandinavia. But a decade had gone by, and no film had materialized. A few days earlier, two investors had reported him to the Norwegian police.

As he took his seat in the conference room, a young man walked up. “Ryan Wiik?” he asked.

“Yes,” replied Wiik. The man dropped a fraud lawsuit in his lap. “In your face,” someone said, in English, as the crowd snickered.

Wiik had come to the annual meeting to try to set the »


- Gene Maddaus

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Alejandro G. Inarritu Turns to Virtual Reality With ‘Carne y Arena’

15 hours ago

Location-based Vr is beginning to blossom in museums as well as in dedicated theaters. Alejandro G. Inarritu, award-winning director of “Birdman,” created the “Carne y Arena” (Meat and Sand) Vr exhibit, which debuted at Cannes as one of the film festival’s official selections. The exhibit was also installed at Milan’s Fondazione Prada and has been on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art since July 2, functioning as a piece of politicized art to place viewers in the world of an immigrant crossing the Mexico-u.S. border.

Alejandro G. Inarritu wrote and directed the Vr experience “Carne y Arena.”

Emmanuel Lubezki

Participants begin their journey in a room similar to the cells in which the U.S. Border Patrol holds detainees, and after moving barefoot into another room — this one covered in sand and pebbles, with a metal barricade on one side — they put on Vr goggles to watch and interact with those making »


- Erin Nyren

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