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‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Receives $245 Million At International Box Office 

Universal’s “Jurassic” franchise is once again proving why it’s become one of the most popular series since the 1990’s. “Jurassic World Dominion,” the sixth installment in the long-running series, received $176 million from 72 international markets over the weekend, bringing its international total to $245 million. 

When combined with its domestic earnings of $142 million, the film currently stands with $389 million and is likely to cross the $400 million threshold soon. 

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“Dominion” opened in 57 foreign markets this past weekend, including China, which has been increasingly hostile when it comes to showing Hollywood films. The movie received $52 million in China during its opening weekend. 

China has chosen to import a very select amount of movies since the beginning of the pandemic, so “Dominion” is already set to be the biggest non-local release in 2022. 

“Other top-grossing territories include the U.K. and Ireland with $15.4 million, France with $9.7 million, Australia with $8.5 million and Germany with $7.5 million,” according to Variety.

“Dominion” had a production budget of $185 million, and a promotion budget of $100 million. 

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Another movie that’s continuing the legacy of its original cinematic predecessor is “Top Gun: Maverick,” which earned itself nearly $747 million in international box office sales, passing the original “Top Gun’s” sales of $700 million. 

Within its third weekend of release, the blockbuster starring Tom Cruise earned itself $52.7 million from 64 international markets. According to Variety, “‘Maverick’ has raked up the most tickets in the U.K. ($63 million so far), followed by Japan ($33.9 million), Australia ($32.6 million) and France ($28.7 million).”

Worldwide box office revenue has been on a high as of late. Disney’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” earned itself $930 million in global ticket sales after last weekend, making it the highest grossing movie of the year.

This is an especially impressive feat as both China and Russia have decided not to show the newest Marvel movie and they account for a large portion of the international box office numbers.

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Johnny Depp And Amber Heard Defamation Trial Continues: Social Media Blurs The Lines Between Fact And Fiction

Celebrity exes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are currently engrossed in a multimillion dollar defamation trial. Depp has sued Heard for $50 million on defamation charges after Heard implied Depp abused her during their marriage, leading to him losing work and social standing. Heard has also counter-sued for $100 million.

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How Cinemas Are Going Above And Beyond To Lure Moviegoers Back 

Compared to 2019, domestic movie ticket sales for the first four months of 2022 show a 44% decrease, however, cinemas are seeing a significant increase in ticket purchases when compared to last year. 

“Blockbuster titles like Warner Bros.′ ‘The Batman,’ Paramount’s ‘Sonic 2’ and the Marvel-Sony’s ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ have led to a 338% increase in ticket sales from 2021, reaching $1.95 billion,” according to data from Comscore.

Cinema operators were excited to hear all the new titles coming out this year, and were reassured by studios that they will continue to receive a large number of theatrical exclusives going forward. Operators were also told about the plans certain studios have for the future at CinemaCon last week. 

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The annual convention hosted at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas was seen as a major success after multiple studios expressed their excitement for showcasing a diversity of content in the coming year. 

Movie theater owners, however, have to be more individually creative in order to market their movies to citizens who are still hesitant about returning to the theater. Many theaters have offered exclusive food and drink deals, as well as flexibility regarding the content they show at the theater. 

For larger chains such as AMC, Regal, and Cinemark, live events like concerts, sports and gaming are being used to draw moviegoers back to the cinema. 

AMC announced that it would be investing $250 million into Cinionic’s laser projectors to be placed in 3,500 of its locations in the US by 2026. This technology offers brighter and crisper imaging, and makes it easier for the operators, as the bulbs don’t need to be replaced multiple times a year like more traditional projectors. 

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“We wanted to make a bold, straightforward statement to remind moviegoers of that immersive, communal, multi-sensory experience that you can only get by seeing a movie in a theater,” said Alicia Cook, director of advertising at AMC Theatres, during a CinemaCon panel.

Smaller chains with less access to large sums of money to invest in have gotten creative in creating a better theatrical experience for their audiences. 

“We are more nimble than the larger organizations. I think our superpower is eventizing but also creating those experiences around going to the movies. So, we do crazy stuff,” said Rich Daughtridge, president and CEO of Warehouse Cinemas.

Daughtridge said “promotions range from offering margaritas with movie tickets to special daddy-daughter date night showings. Mid-pandemic, we  capitalized on the release of Solstice Studio’s ‘Unhinged’ by hosting a car smash event during the film’s fifth week in theaters.”

“I think as marketers we tend to say ‘this movie is playing,’ ‘this movie is playing. I think from an engagement perspective, let’s talk a little bit more about why going to the movies is a good thing to do … I think the messaging that we are trying to do to create that engagement is more about why moviegoing makes sense versus just what movie is playing,” Daughtridge said.

Golden State Warriors Launch Golden State Entertainment To Produce Documentaries, Music, And Events

The Golden State Warriors have announced the launch of Golden State Entertainment (GSE), a new affiliate company that will be used to create original content and tell compelling stories that are “rooted in and transcend the world of sports and entertainment,” according to the NBA

GSE announced that they will be producing documentaries, collaborating with recording artists on musical releases and new marketing/partnership opportunities, as well as hosting a slew of culturally relevant events that speak specifically to the Bay Area, as well as the world. 

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David Kelly is the Warriors Chief Legal Officer, and will now also be the Chief Business Officer of Golden State Entertainment.

“It is an honor to be a part of this new chapter in the Warriors story. Audiences demand compelling content that speaks to them on a visceral level,” said Kelly. 

“With the launch of Golden State Entertainment, we are excited to create content that celebrates the nuances of our experiences as athletes, artists, and members of diverse communities in ways that not only entertain, but hopefully create opportunities for learning and deep engagement.”

Kelly also discussed how GSE and Mandalay Sports Media are currently collaborating on a production of a feature-length documentary exploring the cultural legacy of prominent sports figures throughout the industry. 

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GSE is also currently collaborating with Frank Chi and the team behind the Academy Award-winning short film “Two Distant Strangers” for another upcoming documentary set to premiere this summer. 

In terms of music, GSE has already collaborated with KPop star BamBam on the new single “Wheels Up,” which will be released this Friday, April 22nd. BamBam already debuted the single during a live halftime performance at the Warriors regular season finale against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 7th. 

“Wheels Up” also features MAYZIN, an Oakland-based recording artist who recently signed a multi-album recording contract with GSE. This would also make MAYZIN the entertainment company’s lead artist. 

“Music has such a rich history in the Bay Area. Being the lead artist for Golden State Entertainment provides an opportunity to be a voice that reflects and is understood by the community.”

According to the NBA, “GSE is the entertainment and content vertical under the larger company umbrella that encompasses the six-time NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, Santa Cruz Warriors, Chase Center, the Golden Guardians and Warriors Gaming Squad.”

JoJo Siwa ‘Didn’t Get An Invite’ To Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards 

The 2022 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards (KCA’s) was this past Saturday evening with hosts Miranda Cosgrove and Rob Gronkowski. One of the most popular faces who normally attends/performs at the KCA’s is JoJo Siwa, who’s fans were disappointed to see she wasn’t in attendance. 

Siwa took to Instagram to clear the air as to why she wasn’t there. 

“A lot of you have been asking me why I’m not at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards tonight, and the answer is very simple — I wasn’t invited. I’m not sure why, but I just didn’t get an invite.”

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The 18-year-old singer and actress reiterated her video statement with a post that stated: “A lot of you have been asking why I’m not at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards tonight, I don’t want anyone to think it was my choice not to go…. I simply didn’t get an invite :(“

Representatives for Nickelodeon have yet to respond to media requests for a comment on why Siwa wasn’t invited this year, when she’s normally one of the most popular attendees. 

However, this isn’t the first time Siwa has called out Nickelodeon for seemingly trying to reduce her exposure on the network. Back in September 2021, Siwa called Nickelodeon out for preventing her from performing certain songs on her 37-city “D.R.E.A.M. Tour” which began in January this year. 

“I go out on tour in January. My movie musical was just released (with 6 new original songs)… Nickelodeon told me today that I’m not allowed to perform/add any of the songs from the film into my show,” she tweeted at the time, referring to the movie The J Team

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“These are MY songs, MY voice, MY writing. Does this seem fair??? There is no reason that this music should not be included. Working for a company as a real human being treated as only a brand is fun until it’s not,” she wrote in a follow-up tweet.

Siwa’s post about not getting invited to the KCA’s this year came after she debuted her new short haircut after saying goodbye to her signature long ponytail look. 

“Yesterday I went for the like down and curly moment, but today I went for a up and back moment. But let me know what y’all think, I think I might be into the up and back,” Siwa said via her Instagram Story.

Siwa acknowledged that she’s “on a path of discovery — and an exciting one! I mean, it’s gonna be different everyday as I’m still learning how to do it. It’s way different than long hair, it’s crazy, but I’m obsessed.”

Despite not being invited to the award ceremony, Siwa was still nominated for favorite social music star, which eventually went to Dixie D’Amelio, and the ceremony even featured one of Siwa’s hit songs. Social media users have called out Nickelodeon for not inviting Siwa the same year that she went public about her sexuality and became a major advocate for LGBT+ rights in general.

Zoë Kravitz Discusses Losing ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Audition 

Zoë Kravitz is receiving amazing reviews for her performance as Selina Kyle/Catwoman in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman.” However, this is not the first time Kravitz has attempted to enter the DC Caped Crusader universe. 

In a recent interview with The Observer, Kravitz revealed that she attempted to audition for a role in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” but was rejected after being told she was too “urban” for the part. 

Kravitz didn’t reveal whether or not she originally auditioned for the role of Catwoman for Nolan’s film, a role which was played by Anne Hathaway. 

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“I don’t know if it came directly from Chris Nolan. I think it was probably a casting director of some kind, or a casting director’s assistant,” Kravitz said.

“Being a woman of color and being an actor and being told at that time that I wasn’t able to read because of the color of my skin, and the word urban being thrown around like that, that was what was really hard about that moment.”

During another 2015 interview, Kravitz revealed she was seeking a smaller role in “The Dark Knight Rises” but she wasn’t even able to get into the room because the film wasn’t “going urban for the role.” 

“It was like, ‘What does that have to do with anything?’ I have to play the role like, ‘Yo, what’s up, Batman? What’s going on with you?” Kravitz questioned. 

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Kravitz recently clarified that she wasn’t making these comments to call out anyone, but instead give an example about “what it was like to be a woman of color in the industry at that time.”

“I did not mention this to point any fingers or make anyone seem racist, namely Chris Nolan, the film’s producers or anyone on the casting team, because I truly do not believe anyone meant any harm.”

Kravitz was officially cast as Catwoman in “The Batman” in October 2019. “It was crazy when the news was officially announced. My phone was blowing up more than any birthday I’ve ever had,” the actor stated. 

In “The Batman” Kravitz plays Selina Kyle before she’s known in Gotham as the infamous cat burglar Catwoman. Kravitz revealed she interpreted this iteration of the Selina Kyle character to be bisexual. 

During one scene Selina is seen going into her apartment looking for her friend Anika, who she refers to as her “baby.” The idea that their relationship is potentially more platonic, is left open-ended. 

Kravitz claimed that the scene was meant to spotlight Selina’s bisexuality:  “That’s definitely the way I interpreted that, that they had some kind of romantic relationship.” 

“The Batman” recently topped the box office with $128 million over its opening weekend. The film is currently playing in theaters nationwide. 

Bob Saget’s Death A Tragic Reminder Of The Importance Of Seeking Medical Attention When It Comes To Head Injury

This past Wednesday Bob Saget’s family released a statement which described how authorities discovered that Saget passed away from head trauma. 

“They have concluded that he accidentally hit the back of his head on something, thought nothing of it, and went to sleep. No drugs or alcohol were involved.” 

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Saget was 65 and had been embarking on his comedy tour at the time of his untimely death. He was found unresponsive in his hotel room in Orlando, Florida after performing. The statement didn’t detail what or how Saget may have hit his head. 

CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta said it sounded like a “possible bleed on top of the brain”which may have resulted in a subdural hematoma.”

“There is a blood collection in this scenario that’s on top of the brain pushing on the brain. The thing about the brain, unlike any other organ in the body, it’s obviously encased in a hard skull so it has nowhere to go if it has this kind of pressure on it.”

If pressure is placed on the brain and brainstem, it can result in a person losing consciousness and their ability to breath on their own. 

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“It may have been a pretty significant blow to the head. Maybe a fall in the bathroom, or on the headboard of your bed, you don’t think anything of it. Small veins can tear as a result of that blow and blood can start to leak,” Gupta explained. 

Saget’s passing reminded many fans of Natasha Richardson, the late actress who passed away after hitting her head during a skiing lesson after initially declining medical treatment after the fall. Mark Shaud, the younger brother of Duchess of Cornwall Camilla also passed away after falling and hitting his head on the sidewalk. 

Gupta explained how subdural hematomas are “far more common than people realize, they can develop over hours, or even weeks.” 

Gupta explained how typically one will experience a headache, slurred speech, confusion, nausea, and vomiting when a subdural hematoma is occurring. It’s vital that the individual seeks medical treatment as quickly as possible when a potential head injury has occured. 

“I don’t want to suggest that everyone who hits their head needs to go get a [computed tomography also known as a CT or CAT)] scan. Most do not need that obviously. But if it’s a significant blow, you’re on blood thinners …and again those symptoms: worsening headaches, confusion, nausea, vomiting, slurring of speech, things like that are unusual. You should definitely go get that checked out,” Gupta said.

Evan Rachel Wood Reveals More Horrifying Allegations Against Marilyn Manson In New Documentary 

Phoenix Rising is a new documentary regarding the life and career of Evan Rachel Wood, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance film festival. In the documentary, Wood accused rock musician Marilyn Manson of raping her on the set of his ‘Heart-Shaped Glass’ music video in 2007. 

Wood revealed that she was fed absinthe and was barely conscious on the set of the video, in which she plays a character styled to look like Lolita. Wood knew that her and Manson would be participating in a “simulated sex scene” for the video, but stated that once the camera’s were rolling Manson began penetrating her “for real.” 

Wood said that she had “never been on a set that unprofessional in my life up until this day. It was complete chaos and I did not feel safe. No one was looking after me. I didn’t know how to advocate for myself or say no because I had been conditioned and trained to never talk back – to just soldier through. The crew was very uncomfortable and nobody knew what to do.”

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She said that the alleged incident made her “feel disgusting and like I had done something shameful. I was coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses. That’s when the first crime was committed against me and I was essentially raped on camera.”

She also revealed that after the video wrapped Manson gave her “really clear instructions on how  to describe the video to journalists. I was supposed to tell people we had this great, romantic time and none of that was the truth.”

“But I was scared to do anything that would upset Brian in any way. The video was just the beginning of the violence that would keep escalating over the course of the relationship.”

Wood was in a relationship with Manson from 2007 to 2010. She previously accused him of grooming her as a teenager which led to her experiencing “horrific” abuse for years. “I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission.” Wood initially met Manson when she was 18 and he was 38. 

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Wood is not the only woman to come forward with intense allegations against Manson. Game of Thrones actor Esme Bianco recently accused Manson of sexual and physical violence involving torture.

Manson is currently facing up to four lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault, battery, and harassments, as well as an investigation into claims of domestic violence. The Los Angeles County sheriff’s department raided his home back in November 2021 over these claims as well. 

In February 2021 Vanity Fair published an article with the first public allegations made against Manson; he was quickly dropped by his record label, Loma Vista, after the article was released. 

Phoenix Rising will air on HBO in the US this March. The film follows the creation of the Phoenix Act, which is a piece of legislation Wood led in an attempt to extend the statute of limitations for survivors of domestic violence to pursue charges against their abusers. The Act was signed into law in October 2019.

David Bowie Song Catalogue Publishing Rights Sold For $250 Million

The publishing rights to David Bowie’s extensive and iconic catalogue of songs have been sold by his estate to Warner Chappell Music (WCM), the publishing arm of Warner Music Group. According to an anonymous source, the deal is worth at least $250 million. 

Guy Moot, chief executive of WCM, said: “These are not only extraordinary songs, but milestones that have changed the course of modern music for ever … We are looking forward to tending his unparalleled body of songs with passion and care as we strive to build on the legacy of this most extraordinary human being.”

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The deal itself means that Warner now owns all the rights to Bowie’s songwriting itself, as well as almost all of the recordings of it. In September of this year, Warner completed a deal to acquire Bowie’s recordings and songs from 2000 to 2016 when he passed away. 

Warner already owned all of Bowie’s recordings that were done between 1968 to 1999. There is now just a small number of recorded music that Bowie recorded before the late 60’s that Warner Music does not own. 

Warner Music has been repackaging Bowie’s back catalogue in a series of box sets in recent years, which happens fairly often when an older musical legend’s discography is purchased by a larger label. 

Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Fleetwood Mac are some other musical legends who have sold the catalogues of their music to various companies as a means of earning more money in exchange for the rights. 

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These deals and acquisitions allow publishing companies to acquire income from royalties, as well as when music is licensed for use in films, TV, and advertising as well. 

The specific terms of the Bowie deal have not been disclosed to the public, however, the Bowie estate in the past has been known for closely controlling the use of his music. The 2020 David Bowie biopic, Stardust, which was about the creation of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona, was forbidden by the estate from using any of Bowie’s music in the film. 

WCM co-chair Carianne Marshall said: “We were pleased that the estate felt that Warner Chappell has the knowledge, experience, and resources to take the reins and continue to promote a collection of this stature. All of our global leaders and departments are incredibly excited and primed to get to work with these brilliant songs across multiple avenues and platforms.”

Another film has already been approved by the estate, and will be a documentary by Brett Morgan, who is using thousands of hours of rare and unseen live performance footage.

 George Orwell’s Estate Approves Feminist Retelling Of Nineteen Eighty-Four 

The estate of George Orwell has approved a feminist retelling of Nineteen Eighty-Four. The retelling reimagines the entire story from the perspective of Winston Smith’s lover Julia. 

Orwell’s original novel, which was published in 1949, is set in a dystopian future where Great Britain, referred to as Airstrip One, is a part of the totalitarian state of Oceania. Big Brother runs the state, and the Thought Police stamp out any individual thought within the community. Protagonist Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth and starts a love affair with Julia. 

Julia is known for working in the Fiction Department of the novel-writing machines, both characters are eventually captured for their affair and sent for re-education in Room 101. 

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In Julia by Sandra Newman, all of the incidents that occur throughout the original novel are told through the eyes of Julia, as opposed to Winston. 

“It was the man from Records who began it, him all unknowing in his prim, grim way, his above-it-all oldthink way. He was the one Syme called ‘Old Misery.’ Comrade Smith was his right name, though ‘Comrade’ never suited him somehow. Of course, if you felt foolish calling someone ‘Comrade’, far better not to speak to them at all,” writes Newman. 

Orwell describes Julia in Nineteen Eighty-Four as a “more acute person than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda … She also stirred a sort of envy in him by telling him that during the Two Minutes Hate her great difficulty was to avoid bursting out laughing. But she only questioned the teachings of the Party when they in some way touched upon her own life. Often she was ready to accept the official mythology, simply because the difference between truth and falsehood did not seem important to her.”

Publisher Granta said that when it comes to Julia, “she has known no other world and, until she meets Winston, never imagined one. She’s opportunistic, believing in nothing and caring not at all about politics. She routinely breaks the rules but also collaborates with the regime whenever necessary. She’s an ideal citizen of Oceania.”

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“One day, finding herself walking toward Winston Smith in a long corridor, she impulsively hands him a note – a potentially suicidal gesture – she comes to realise that she’s losing her grip and can no longer safely navigate her world.”

Orwell’s estate stated that they’ve been looking for an author to tell the story of Smith’s lover, and Newman “proved to be the perfect fit.”

“Two of the unanswered questions in Orwell’s novel are what Julia sees in Winston, and how she has navigated her way through the party hierarchy. Sandra gets under the skin of Big Brother’s world in a completely convincing way which is both true to the original but also gives a dramatically different narrative to stand alongside the original,” said the estate’s literary executor Bill Hamilton. 

“The millions of readers who have been brought up with Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four will find this a provocative and satisfying companion.”

Granata is also gearing up to release Newman’s new novel, The Menian, next June. Julia will be published after that release.