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Maroon 5’s Adam Levine Accused of Cheating on Pregnant Wife

Maroon 5’s lead singer Adam Levine is facing allegations that he cheated on his wife. One woman claims to have dated him for a year, while three others allege Levine privately sent them inappropriate messages.

lord of the rings

Original ‘LOTR’ Cast Stands in Solidarity With ‘Rings of Power’ Cast Amid Racist Backlash

The original cast of “The Lord of the Rings” movies are standing in solidarity with the diverse cast of Amazon’s new series “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” The cast of “The Rings of Power” have been on the receiving end of a slurry of hateful messages from racist “fans” of the LOTR franchise. These fans are unhappy with the casting decision and feel that it does not represent what they perceive to be LOTR author J.R.R. Tolkien’s vision of its fantasy world, “Middle-earth.”

Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd, Sean Astin, and Dominic Monaghan publicly supported the new cast members on social media. They posted photos wearing hats and t-shirts featuring a row of human, goblin, and elf ears in various shades of skin tone. The four actors played the four hobbits in Peter Jackson’s movie adaptation of the LOTR trilogy.

The actors captioned their posts with “you are all welcome here,” which quickly became a hashtag and reaffirmed their support. The merchandise designed by Don Marshall also features the phrase printed in “elvish.” 50% of the merchandise sales profits go to a nonprofit supporting POC.

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On a statement on Instagram, The Lord of the Rings on Prime account wrote a response to the controversy.

“We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it. JRR Tolkien created a world which, by definition, is multi-cultural. A world in which free peoples from different races and cultures join together, in fellowship, to defeat the forces of evil. “Rings of Power” reflects that. Our world has never been all white, fantasy has never been all white. Middle-earth is not all white. BIPOC belong in middle-earth and they are here to stay.”

This is not the first time a cast’s diversity or lack of diversity stirred controversy. A few weeks before “The Rings of Power” started streaming, a prequel to the TV fantasy series “Game of Thrones” called “House of Dragons” was released. Fans noticed that the prequel attempts to create a more diverse world than in “Game of Thrones.” A few years ago, Idris Alba received backlash when rumors of him playing James Bond circulated in the media.

Neil Gaiman, a fantasy and science-fiction author and screenwriter, has also come out in support, dismantling some of the arguments circulated by racist fans. On Twitter, one user posted, “browner of skin means tanned white similar to people who work in the sun,” to which Gaiman responded, “Tolkien didn’t say ‘The Harfoots spent longer in the sun than any of the other hobbits and were a lot more tanned.” He said that Tolkien described them as “browner of skin.”

The TV adaptation of “The Sandman,” released on Netflix recently, features a similarly diverse cast. In the show, one of the characters, “Death,” is white in the comics and is played by a Black actor named Kirby Howell-Baptiste. Female actors played other characters who were originally male in the comics. Gaiman wrote the original comic and was one of the developers of the show.

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Actor Whoopi Goldberg also came out in support and talked about the absurdity of a diversity rule placed on a fantasy world. Goldberg said, “they don’t exist in the real world.”

“There are no dragons. There are no hobbits. Are you telling me Black people can’t be fake people too? Is that what you’re telling me? I don’t know if there’s like a hobbit club, I don’t know if there are gonna be protests, but people! What is wrong with y’all?”

“The Rings of Power” takes place in Tolkien’s Middle-earth second age, before the timeline of the first book. It is streaming on Amazon Prime.

award

Taylor Swift Teases New Album “Midnights” At MTV Video Music Awards

Sunday night marked a historic night as Taylor Swift won the biggest award of the night, Video of the Year. 

Her music video for “All Too Well: The Short Film” marked Swift’s third win in the category after previously winning for her videos “Bad Blood” in 2015 and “You Need To Calm Down” in 2019. 

“I know with every second of this moment that we wouldn’t have been able to make this short film if it weren’t for you, the fans because I wouldn’t be able to rerecord my albums if it weren’t for you,” said Swift.

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But along with the headlines covering her big win, she also surprised the world with the announcement that her next big album is on the way.

“I had sort of made up my mind that, if you were going to be this generous and give us this, I thought it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand-new album comes out Oct. 21. And I will tell you more at midnight…” Swift said as she wrapped up her acceptance speech.

At the stroke of midnight, Swift made the official announcement on social media of the arrival of her 10th studio album. 

Swift described the record as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life. This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams.”

“Midnights” marks Swift’s first full length album since her successful album “Folklore” which debuted in 2020 during the pandemic. 

Other than “Folklore,” the only other piece of original music that she released was the song “Carolina” which was featured in the movie “Where the Crawdads Sing.”

The new LP is set to contain 13 tracks within it. “Midnights” will contain fewer songs than her last releases contained. 

In 2020 when Swift dropped both “Folklore” and “Evermore,” both albums contained 16 and 15 songs on them respectively. 

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Her latest re-release of her 2012 album “Red” held 30 songs within the record. 

Upon the end of the announcement online, Swift mentioned “For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching — hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve … we’ll meet ourselves.”

Only time will tell what Swift means by what she is teasing about her newest release and fans can find out when the album drops at midnight on Oct.21.

“Midnights” is now available on pre-order on four different formats: vinyl, CD, cassette and as a digital album.

stage

Olivia Wilde Speaks Out For The First Time Over Being Served Child Custody Papers At CinemaCon

In the recent CinemaCon, the ticketed industry convention for theater exhibitors, Olivia Wilde was looking forward to introducing her latest film “Don’t Worry Darling” to the people in attendance. 

As Wilde was getting ready to show some footage for the new movie, she was handed an envelope which was originally perceived as containing a script. Within the envelope actually contained child custody papers that were from her former partner, Jason Sudeikis. 

“Mr. Sudeikis had no prior knowledge of the time or place that the envelope would have been delivered as this would solely be up to the process service company involved and he would never condone her being served in such an inappropriate manner,” read a statement that was on behalf of Sudeikis. 

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Wilde has just spoken to sources about the incident for the first time since it occurred this past April. 

Wilde said to Variety that she felt it was “deeply painful” for her children to be involved in a matter that should’ve remained private. 

“It was my workplace. In any other workplace, it would be seen as an attack. It was really upsetting. It shouldn’t have been able to happen.”

After she received the envelope, she carried on in a professional manner and further continued her presentation on “Don’t Worry Darling.”

Wilde felt very frustrated that an instance like this had distracted so many from the work that many different people and workers from the studio were trying to present to the public. 

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“To try to sabotage that was really vicious. But I had a job to do; I’m not easily distracted,” said Wilde. But the incident also didn’t leave her surprised that it was something that actually happened. 

In her recent cover story with Variety, Wilde also recently revealed that she had to make the hard decision to push back her next project, “Perfect,” which was originally planned to start production this summer. 

With all the recent events, Wilde felt like now wasn’t the right time to be away from her children and to dedicate the long hours on-set as a director. 

Since her next film “Perfect,” also went back into development, Wilde believed that she also needed a break and that it was also time for her to be a stay-at-home mom for a while. 

“It was not the year for me to be on a set, which is totally all-encompassing. It was time for me to pause and devote myself to the kids when I have them,” said Wilde.

movie

Thailand’s Gay-Romance TV Dramas Reviving Tourism Industry

A recent wave of Thai television dramas known as “Boys Love” (BL), or the “Y” series, has grown in popularity in Thailand. The genre of show portrays some sort of gay romance, which has attracted a large audience across Asia in recent months.

comic con

San Diego Comic-Con Mandating Masks And Health Pass Screenings To Attend 

San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC) has released their set of safety protocols for attendees as the world combats the sixth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

According to the set of health and safety protocols, all convention attendees must provide vaccine verification that proves they’ve received at least two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, or proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours. 

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Additionally, attendants must be wearing a mask the entire time they’re at the convention. Guidelines state that “face coverings should completely cover the nose and mouth, fit snugly against the side of the face, and not have any gaps.” 

The Los Angeles Times reported that as of Monday, “the California COVID Assessment Tool, published by the state Department of Public Health, said the spread of the coronavirus is likely increasing, with every infected Californian likely spreading it to 1.15 other people.”

“When you look at the [coronavirus] case counts, they’re no longer reliable. There are tremendous undercounts, and the number of cases now probably is not all that dissimilar to what we saw during the massive surge in December and January,” Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the UC San Francisco Department of Medicine, said. 

According to the SDCC’s FAQ page about attending the event, individuals can download the CLEAR app to easily upload their Covid-19 vaccine verification. 

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For unvaccinated individuals, SDCC says that “adults and children aged 5 and older who are not fully vaccinated, a recent negative COVID-19 test result must be obtained. All COVID-19 tests must be done by a certified lab, clinic, or physician. A negative test result must show the specimen was collected within 72 hours. Additionally, both PCR and antigen are acceptable as long as testing is conducted within the time frame.”

The website for SDCC also emphasizes that they will have health and safety protocol enforcers at the event to ensure that everyone in attendance is adhering to the guidelines that are implemented for everyone’s safety. 

During May’s Star Wars celebration in Anaheim, California, and June’s Anime Exposition in Los Angeles similar protocols were put in place, which allowed staff at SDCC to prepare for the convention itself and enforce the covid safety protocols. 

SDCC kicks off with preview night this Wednesday, July 20th, and ends Sunday July 24th.

rapper

Lil Nas X Details ‘Strained’ Relationship With BET Network

Lil Nas X recently expanded on the details of his relationship with the BET network after he called them out for not gaining any nominations at this year’s award ceremony. “My relationship with BET has been painful and strained for quite some time. It didn’t start with this year’s nominations like most people might think.”

Movies

‘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.

Gavel

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.

Cinema Movie Theater

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.