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Netflix Spared As Academy Keeps Oscars Rule Unchanged.

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday voted to not change its rule for a film’s Oscars eligibility, sparing Netflix after months of pressure to exclude the streaming titan.

Campaigners including Steven Spielberg — who is set to work with Apple’s rival to Netflix — have suggested that the films produced and released by streaming firms should not be eligible for the Oscars, and should instead be classified as TV content.

But despite the grumbling about the impact of streaming services on the traditional cinema industry, the Academy’s board decided to continue with its current rule: a film “must have a minimum seven-day theatrical run in a Los Angeles County commercial theater, with at least three screenings per day for paid admission.”

“Motion pictures released in nontheatrical media on or after the first day of their Los Angeles County theatrical qualifying run remain eligible.”

Ahead of the board meeting, the Academy had also received a warning from the US Justice Department that any exclusion may fall foul of anti-trust laws.

The battle between traditional cinema and streaming came sharply into focus after Netflix’s impressive haul at this year’s Academy Awards, including three Oscars for Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma.”

Other rivals to Netflix include streaming service Hulu — which has followed Netflix into original shows including “The Handmaid’s Tale” — and Amazon, which is also producing high-profile content including “Manchester by the Sea”.

Many who support the exclusion of streaming content from the Oscars have suggested that streaming at home or on devices does not capture the true experience of cinema, a criticism that appeared to have been acknowledged by the Academy after Tuesday’s board meeting.

“We support the theatrical experience as integral to the art of motion pictures, and this weighed heavily in our discussions,” Academy President John Bailey said in a statement.

“Our rules currently require theatrical exhibition, and also allow for a broad selection of films to be submitted for Oscars consideration.We plan to further study the profound changes occurring in our industry and continue discussions with our members about these issues.”

Despite the hostility, Netflix has attempted to find space and allies within the Hollywood establishment.It joined the Motion Picture Association of America in January.

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‘John Wick 3’ Dethrones ‘Avengers: Endgame’ With $57 million.

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The box office has a new king and his name is John Wick. The third installment of the hyper violent Keanu Reeves franchise has taken the top spot at the North American box office and ended the three-week reign of "Avengers: Endgame."

Studios on Sunday say "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum" has grossed an estimated $57 million in its opening weekend. Not only did it far exceed expectations, it's a franchise best that nearly doubled the opening of the second film, which itself doubled the opening of the first film from 2014.

The audience, in other words, is growing exponentially for this series about a talented assassin who never seems to get a break. This time, there's a $14 million price tag on his head.

Men made up the majority (63 of the "John Wick 3" opening weekend crowd. Overall audiences gave the film a rare A+ CinemaScore, indicating that word-of-mouth will be strong in subsequent weekends. According to Comscore's PostTrack audience survey, 70% said they would "definitely recommend" to their friends and 21% said they would see it again in theaters.

"This is the best reviewed film of the series so far," said Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, in a statement. "We believe word-of-mouth will continue to drive strong business for the film all over the world."

Internationally "John Wick 3" earned $35.2 million from 66 territories.

"Avengers: Endgame" slid to second place in its fourth weekend with $29.4 million. Domestically, where the film has grossed $711 million, it's now second only to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" ($937 million) and globally, with $2.6 billion, it's still second to "Avatar" ($2.8 billion).

In its second weekend, "Pokémon Detective Pikachu" also continued to do well, placing third with $24.8 million. But with the high-performing trifecta of John Wick, the Avengers and Pikachu, there weren't very many moviegoers left over for the less flashy newcomers like "A Dog's Journey" and "The Sun Is Also a Star."

"The marketplace was so dominated by 'John Wick,'" said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. "It's tough when one movie over performs by this kind of magnitude."

Amblin Entertainment and Reliance Entertainment's "A Dog's Journey" opened in fourth with an underwhelming $8 million. The Universal-distributed film is a sequel to the 2017 hit "A Dog's Purpose." But unlike John Wick, the audience for this sequel was less than half of that for the first, which opened to $18.2 million. But audiences who did turn out gave it an A CinemaScore, which could point toward long-term playability.

Most disappointing, however, is the young adult adaptation "The Sun Is Also a Star" which grossed only $2.6 million from over 2,000 screens and landed in eighth place. Although modestly budgeted at a reported $9 million, and featuring popular television actors such as "Riverdale's" Charles Melton and "grown-ish's" Yara Shahidi, the Warner Bros.-released film failed to connect even with the audiences who turned out, 75% of whom were women. It got a poor B- CinemaScore.

It's a far cry from the days of "The Fault in Our Stars'" $48 million debut in 2014, and even the last film based on a Nicola Yoon novel, "Everything, Everything," which opened to over $11 million in 2017.

"As unpredictable and fickle as young adults are, so are the performances of films that target that audience," Dergarabedian said.

In limited release, Joanna Hogg's well-reviewed relationship drama "The Souvenir" did well with $85,851 from four screens.

Even with the success of "John Wick," the weekend itself was down about 31% and the year to date is still down around 9%, but, Dergarabedian said that this is the calm before the storm. In the next few weekends theaters will see an influx of could-be hits such as "Rocketman," ''Aladdin" and "Godzilla: King of the Monsters."

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1."John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum," $57 million ($35.2 million international).

2."Avengers: Engame," $29.4 million ($46.8 million international).

3."Pokémon Detective Pikachu," $24.8 million.

4."A Dog's Journey," $8 million ($15.5 million international).

5."The Hustle," $6.1 million.

6."The Intruder," $4 million.

7."Long Shot," $3.4 million.

8."The Sun Is Also a Star," $2.6 million.

9."Poms," $2.1 million.

10."Uglydolls," $1.6 million.

Source: Associate Press.

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The Who’s Who Of ‘John Wick’ Ahead Of Chapter 3

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OK, so you’ve seen the trailers, you’ve heard the hype, but let’s face it — you still can’t distinguish John Wick from a candle wick.

Never fear, you’re not the only one. Here’s everything you need to know about the legendary hitman and his cohort of friends and frenemies before the latest flick in the franchise hits screens across the country.

It’s been two long years since we last saw John on screen in John Wick: Chapter 2, so the anticipation for the third instalment has been intense. Yep, it’s been a minute. As the movie gods would have it, things in Wick-world have well and truly gone from bad to worse in the meantime.

When we last saw John, he had just been ex-communicated from the criminal underworld for breaking the one rule of The Continental: no killing on hotel grounds (he killed a member of the High Table, a council for the highest-level crime lords in the world). Winston, John’s occasional ally, gives him a one-hour head start to get out of the city after a global contract for $14 million was put on his head. And that’s where we left off.

In John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, our hero is on the run from a host of assassins — but not for long. This is John Wick, after all. With Reeves back in the main role, alongside co-stars new faces Asia Kate Dillon, Halle Berry, and Angelica Huston, and old friends Lawrence Fishburne and Ian McShane, the third chapter in the series promises more stunts and fight scenes, and more dogs than ever before.

Phew, now that you’re caught up, here’s the lowdown on all the new and returning characters in Chapter 3. It goes without saying, there are spoilers aplenty.

John Wick

The man himself! John Wick (Keanu Reeves) aka The Boogeyman, is an ex-assassin whose life gets turned upside down when his wife, Helen, dies of a terminal illness. Before her death, she arranges for the world’s cutest beagle puppy to be delivered to John to help with his grief following her passing — and let’s just say, there’s not a dry eye in the house when he realises what she’s done.

While trying to recover from the trauma of losing his wife, John takes his new puppy, Daisy, for a drive in his awesome 1969 Mustang. That’s when things get troublesome.

A high-ranking member of the Russian mafia asks to buy the car, and when John turns him down, the dejected mob boss shows up at John’s house in the middle of the night with a bunch of his pals to beat the heck out of John and kill poor Daisy. Rude! It’s truly heartbreaking, so if you haven’t seen the first film, maybe consider yourself lucky. Poor doggo.

Needless to say, the almost super-human John seeks revenge in a major way and the plot thickens. But hey, if you’re going to avenge the death of anyone or anything, a dog is a pretty good reason. By the time John Wick: Chapter 2 comes around, John takes off to Rome to kill the sister of an Italian crime lord but gets double crossed. On the plus side? He’s got a new pup in tow.

Why the summary? Well, we don’t actually know much about John beyond the fact that he’s a lean, mean, killing machine. Thankfully, we’re about to find out a whole lot more about John’s personal life as the third film is said to be an origin story that explores his upbringing and past.

The Director

In helping us learn more about where John came from, a new character, The Director, might finally have some answers. According to director, Chad Stahelski, The Director (played by Angelica Houston) is said to be “someone who was responsible for Wick’s upbringing and his protection.” Fascinating.

Sofia

Making her John Wick debut, Halle Berry joins the cast as Sofia. She meets up with John in the Middle East after he seeks her out and asks for assistance. We can tell from the trailer though that she’s not too keen on helping out, saying, "After this, we are less than even." What can we deduce from this seemingly throwaway line? Well, it says the two have a history. Exciting!

Most importantly, Sofia’s character has two doggos of her own, continuing the tradition of canine-based plot lines in the film franchise. "Whereas John’s puppy was symbolic of his wife, Halle’s two dogs are symbolic of someone she’s lost," Stahelski told EW.

While speaking to Screen Rant, Reeves divulged even more info about the new character, saying, "I have her marker. So, she has some obligations that she might not want to fulfil."T

The Adjudicator

Played by Asia Kate Dillon, The Adjudicator is linked to the High Table — a.k.a. the criminal council. Based on what we’ve seen in the trailer, it seems she’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to new characters keen on killing John.

Not sure where you’ve seen Dillon’s face before? You might recognise her from her role as Brandy in Orange is the New Black.

Zero

Talk about a villain with a vendetta. Mark Dacascos plays Zero, John’s main enemy throughout the film and another member of the High Table. Dacascos is best known for his roles in Iron Chef: America, Agents of Shield and Hawaii Five-0.

Winston

Returning for the third film, Winston (Ian McShane) is best known as the owner and manager of the Continental Hotel in New York City — a neutral zone for hired killers just like John. If anyone breaks the hotel rules and kills someone on the premises, it’s up to Winston to decide on the punishment for that person.

Important storyline reminder — Winston gave John a blood marker in the second film to keep in case he ever needed a favour in times of grave danger…

Bowery King

Laurence Fishburne returns as the underground crime lord, The Bowery King, but we’re not quite sure whose side he’s actually on in the latest instalment. He did help John recover from his extensive injuries in the last movie though, so you never know.

John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum hits cinemas from May 16.

Source: Mashable

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Cannes Makes A Killing On The Film Festival.

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The Cannes film festival is not just about killings made on big-money movie deals sealed over champagne in hotel suites and on luxury yachts.

It is a goldmine too for many locals in the French Riviera resort.

"For my boss the festival is the goose that lays golden eggs," a hotel receptionist called Herve told AFP.

The proof, he declared, is that a room in his two-star hotel goes "from 40 euros ($45) a night to 260" as soon as the red carpet is rolled out.

It is not the only establishment to rake it in when the population of the town almost triples for the festival.

A few minutes walk away, the price of a room in a rival three-star hotel rockets five times from 71 euros a night to 350 -- without breakfast.

"The six rooms that we put aside for the very last minute will be filled very rapidly" at the very top price, said the receptionist at the hotel, which is officially fully booked.

Even if the four days in March when MIPIM, the world's leading property congress, is held in Cannes are more profitable day-for-day for the conference town, the film festival fortnight with its 40,000 accredited movers and shakers is on an entirely different scale.

  • Town makes $200 million -

For hotels close to the giant Palais des Festivals, where the red carpet premieres are held, the festival accounts for nearly a sixth of their annual turnover, said the Cannes hoteliers union, UMIH.

The festival was worth an astonishing 197 million euros to the town in 2017, according to official municipal figures.

Even so, hoteliers insist there is still room for improvement.

"Everything fills up for the first week of the festival but the second is more difficult," said Christine Welter of UMIH.

"For several years now people are not staying as long as they did," she added.

She also warned that "the cards are also being reshuffled" by the possible defection of people working with Netflix, whose films are barred from competing in the festival because it refuses to release them in French cinemas.

"When suddenly demand falls the market has to adjust," Welter cautioned, pointing the finger of blame partly at what she regards as the unfair competition of people letting out their homes and apartments.

Just as many homes in Cannes are being rented now out as hotel rooms -- "6,000 of each," she revealed.

  • Locals cashing in -

It has become something of a racket, Welter complained, with some people renting out several flats.

Airbnb alone claims between 2,500 and 4,000 arrivals a night, peaking with 4,600 on Friday May 17 -- nearly 10 times the number of Cannes homes it is handling on the Friday before the festival.

With that amount of fast money to be made, "some locals don't think twice about going and sleeping in a campsite along the coast so they can rent their places out for a fortune," quipped Herve, the hotel receptionist.

For the resort's restaurants -- some of whom put up their prices -- the festival is also a boon.

"May is the biggest month in the year for us: the place is jammed.We can do 5,000 covers in 11 days," said Pascal Hamard, who runs an Italian restaurant.

However, he has noticed a drop off in recent years, which he blames on people trying to cash in.

"You feel some of the clientele have become ultra suspicious and are worried about being ripped off," the restaurateur added, with taxis and hotels hiking up their rates.

"Now people coming to Cannes for the festival are more careful -- we can feel that they have been warned by their bosses -- and budgets are that much tighter," Hamard said.

Source: AFP

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YOLO Bounces Back With Very Instructive Lessons No Youth Should Miss.

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The most watched youthful TV series, YOLO after a little hiatus bounces back with season five which contains very instructive lessons every youthful person needs to sail through to adulthood.

The Farmhouse productions creation Which is part of the “Good Life, Live it Well” campaign since its inception in 2015 has sought to equip the everyday Ghanaian youth with knowledge in reproductive health and also acquaint them with skills to deal with the challenges confronting them as young people.

The season 5 which consists of 13 episodes of which one lasts for 30 minutes captures an intriguing storyline, that seeks to shed light on the day to day struggles of young people on campus; Teachers dating students, peer pressure among others.

The Premiere of the Selassie Yao written story which was directed by Ivan Quashigah started on the 1st of May 2019 at the west hills mall and ended on the 4th of May 2019 at the Silver birds cinema at the Accra mall. In attendance were Stephanie Sullivan the US ambassador to Ghana and Characters: Drogba, King George, Lydia, Odenkyem, Flex, Martha, Tilly, Ariana, Mark Antony, and more.

The season five has definitely come in at a good time to help streamline the youthful lifestyle. There has been some deletion of some old characters and an injection of fresh limps.

Could this be the last season of YOLO or we are to expect another. I'm highly expectant just as you. Make sure you, your family and friends don't miss any scene of this highly educative and informative series.

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