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Will Smith Thanks Fans As ‘Aladdin’ Tops ‘Independence Day’ To Become Star’s Biggest Film Worldwide.

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Will Smith took to Instagram this weekend as Aladdin, the Disney live-action remake of the 1992 animated classic, overtook Independence Day to become the star’s biggest film ever at the global box office (unadjusted). In a video post, a “humbled” Smith said, “To be in this game as long as I’ve been in this game and to have my biggest movie at this point in my career, I just want to say thank you.” Check out the video below in which Smith offers those thanks in myriad languages.

Through Sunday, Aladdin, which is also director Guy Ritchie’s biggest global hit, has cumed $568.3M at the international box office and $874.2M worldwide. Independence Day‘s unadjusted lifetimes were $511.2M overseas and $817.4M global. Domestically, Aladdin is just shy of Independence Day at $305.9M versus the 1996 film’s unadjusted $306.2M. For the moment, Suicide Squad remains Smith’s top-grossing movie in North America with $325.1M (also unadjusted).

Aladdin has been the surprise hit of the summer, riding its magic carpet past major milestones from early June. Strong word of mouth continues to bring a shine to the lamp and the pic has soared with audiences around the world (defying any early industry sniping which simply did not translate to moviegoers). Notably, Aladdin has made over $60M in Korea while it’s nearing $67M in Japan. Drops have been slight throughout the six weekends — this past frame was off by just 30% versus last — and there have been increases in some markets as the movie reaps holiday business. It should cross $900M global by the end of the run.

The Top 5 offshore hubs through Sunday are Japan ($66.6M), Korea ($60.2M), China ($53.3M), UK ($42.8M) and Mexico ($32.1M).

Domestically, Aladdin remained in the Top 4 in its 6th weekend, and this frame became Disney’s third release of 2019 to pass the $300M threshold. It’s the fourth of Disney’s live-action reimaginings to get to $300M domestically alongside Beauty And The Beast, The Jungle Book and Alice In Wonderland.

Here’s Smith offering up his domo arigato and more (also “pay attention” to the Aladdin musical number reference in the text):

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Aladdin just became the biggest movie of my career! I’m honored and I’m Speechless. (You see what I did there?Gotta pay attention) The only thing I can say is… Thank You

A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith) on

Source: Deadline

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Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt Go Wild In First Jungle Cruise Trailer.

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https://youtu.be/ydnzilTiBcY

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt are ready to welcome you to the jungle. The pair star in the first trailer for Disney’s Jungle Cruise, an early 20th-century adventure that follows riverboat captain Frank (Johnson) and scientist Dr. Lily Houghton (Blunt) as they venture into the wilderness.

Neither Johnson nor Blunt are strangers to the Disney family — he voiced Maui in 2016’s Moana, while she played the magical nanny in last year’s Mary Poppins Returns — and Jungle Cruise is based on one of Disney’s oldest and most enduring properties. The original Jungle Cruise Disneyland ride opened in 1955, and during Disney’s D23 Expo in August, both Johnson and Blunt promised an adventure that puts a new spin on the ride (think Pirates of the Caribbean meets Indiana Jones).

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“We’re just so moved, so honored to be in a movie like this because we both grew up madly in love with Indiana Jones, Romancing the Stone,” Blunt said onstage at D23. “So to be a part of something like, this same spirit, just makes my heart race.”

The Shallows’ Jaume Collet-Serra directs Jungle Cruise, which also stars Jack Whitehall, Edgar Ramirez, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti. It’ll, um, cruise into theaters July 24, 2020.

a man standing in front of a giant elephant: If there’s one thing that theme park fans know about Disney, it’s that when they really try, they come up with top-notch attractions. Since Disneyland opened its doors in 1955, Imagineers have been churning out game-changing attractions that truly are the best. And these, well, they’re the absolute best of the best.Luckily, all of these rides are still open and operating around the world, and many of them are brand new experiences using the best technology and effects that Imagineering has ever been able to dream up. Flagship rides such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Tokyo DisneySea, Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure at Shanghai Disneyland, and Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom prove that no matter what, Disney attractions are the best in the biz.But don’t think you need flashy effects to be an all-time great Disney attraction. Fan favorites like “it’s a small world,” Space Mountain, and Haunted Mansion prove that the fine folks at Disney have known what they’re doing for a long time.These 20 rides make up a Disney World bucket list of sorts. They’re spread across all 12 theme parks around the world, from Pirates of the Caribbean in California to Pooh’s Hunny Hunt in Tokyo Disneyland and plenty of fun in between.

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Ang Lee Puts Will Smith Through The Digital Wringer in The Dizzying Gemini Man.

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It isn’t enough for Ang Lee to just make movies. Not anymore. At this point in his career, he apparently feels he has to push the boundaries of everything the moving picture format can do and be. The Taiwanese director’s 2012 film Life of Pi heralded the arrival of a new era for him, a period of big-budget experimentation that’s yielded as many bafflements as wonders. His adaptation of the book club favorite went well enough, winning four Oscars for its spectacular menagerie of CGI beasties. His big gamble with Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk in 2016 didn’t pay the same dividends, though. Lee’s foray into 120 frames-per-second shooting, combined with depth-of-field-obliterating 3D cinematography, made for a perfect storm of visual disorientation. It was the kind of ride that makes viewers clutch at their armrests, desperate to escape.

Lee claims to have worked out the kinks in the process for Gemini Man, his latest attempt to blow open the walls of cinematic hyperreality. This time around, he’s having another go at 120fps, and the 3D projection has had three years to play technological catch-up with Lee’s futuristic vision. But the most e-ink has been spilled over his successful cloning of Will Smith. Smith stars in the film opposite his early-twenties self, de-aged to his Fresh Prince years with the help of cutting-edge motion-capture technology.

Will Smith as "Junior" in Gemini Man from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

Of Lee’s many gambits in Gemini Man, the digital character-doubling works the best. Smith the Younger emotes with an organically recognizable humanity from under his weird digital mask, and Smith pitches his voice up a few semitones to play his younger self, which takes viewers over the age of 18 right back to his West Philadelphia days. Smith has chemistry with himself, particularly in the scenes of hand-to-hand combat. (They’re a welcome reminder that nearly 20 years ago, Lee gave us the world-class wuxia epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.)

The same praise can’t be heaped on the eyeball-searing camerawork, which suggests an unholy cross between a white-knuckle telenovela and high-octane VR porno. In theory, running more images at a faster rate should make for more fluid images, rendering the gap between the movie and actual vision so small as to be negligible. In practice, it feels like watching TV on your parents’ new flat-screen that came with auto-activated motion smoothing. (Which is still bad.) The judder of good ol’ 24fps may be a “flaw” in the most rigid sense of the concept, but that imperfection has been integrated into the moviegoing public’s innate understanding of the medium. Lee’s quixotic efforts to drag multiplexes into the next dimension have forged an off-putting visual artifice that makes it nearly impossible to get lost in a film — or even just get into it.

Some of the film’s issues, though, might be owed to a thick-headed script that clashes with the forward-thinking industry intellect applied to its production. Audiences at theaters other than the dozen or so featuring 120fps projection will have a slightly easier time sifting for the story buried in here somewhere, a thin science-fiction-inflected potboiler pitting an assassin against his own genetic duplicate.

Smith gives off an “I’m getting too old for this shit“ vibe as Henry Brogan, an expert operative for a shadowy government agency. He’s ready to hang up his sniper scope, but a hit squad shows up just after he announces his retirement, and they’re soon followed by the Ghost of Flat-Tops Past. Henry gets the sense that his former handlers aren’t just trying to stiff him out of a pension, but the film primes viewers for a revelation that never really comes. Its meaningful progression isn’t in Henry’s secrets, but in the development of his relationship with his doppelgänger, “Junior.”

While Junior’s controller, Clay (Clive Owen) pushes to keep his mission on track, Henry and Junior gradually, reluctantly take up a father-son dynamic that vacillates between absurd (particularly in the incongruously mushy final act) and poignant (as the older Smith muses on regret and chances not taken). For a film fine-tuned in pursuit of audiovisual perfection, this thing is full of narrative glitches, story elements that half work and half don’t.

Henry’s primary operative partner Dani (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), for instance, feels like a romantic interest stripped of the romance during the latest rewrite of this 20-year-old script, due to the glaring age disparity between the stars. Benedict Wong shows up as comic relief, delightful in a film that has no use for him beyond his purely functionary capacity as tension-breaker. Every moment staged as a big reveal either turns out to be something the audience already knew, or had most likely intuited.

But an effects showcase like this is supposed to come alive in the kinetic sequences, and for 10-second stretches at a time, Lee’s mad dream of an evolved cinema appears to be within his reach. Applied sparingly, 120fps’ complete lack of motion blur can have an exhilarating artistic effect. One impressive tracking shot slides frictionlessly through a tight alley with the full-body lurch of Star Wars’ jump into hyperspace. It’s easy to see why the promotion foregrounded the first confrontation between Henry and his double. It’s a bravura face-off with no-holds-barred fight choreography that culminates with Smith somehow firing a motorcycle at his older self.

It’s enough to make viewers long for the days when Lee knew better than to put the technical cart before the creative horse. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon let the director pursue his wildest gravity-defying whims, without using the screenplay solely as scaffolding for his fancy gadgetry. Lee sometimes gives the impression of a virtuoso guitarist, needlessly gussying up his act with double-necked axes and pyrotechnics. When a filmmaker has skills like Lee’s, all the bells and whistles just seem to get in the way. God willing, his acoustic days aren’t totally behind him.

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Kerry Washington Joins Meryl Streep & Nicole Kidman In Ryan Murphy’s ‘The Prom’

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Kerry Washington is heading to The Prom. The Emmy-nominated Scandal star has joined the A-list cast of Ryan Murphy’s feature adaptation for Netflix. Deadline broke the news in June about the casting of Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Awkwafina, James Corden, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells.

Streep will star as Dee Dee Allen, a two-time Tony winner who teams with Corden’s Barry Glickman in a flop musical about Eleanor Roosevelt. After career-ending reviews, they decide — along with Broadway babies Angie Dickinson (Kidman) and Trent Oliver (Rannells) — to champion a cause to rehabilitate their careers. They find one in Emma, a high school senior in Indiana who isn’t allowed to take her girlfriend to the prom.

Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin wrote the screenplay, which Murphy, Alexis Woodall, Bill Damaschke and Dori Berinstein are producing. Music and lyrics are by Beguelin and Matthew Sklar, based on the original concept by Jack Viertel.

Washington is headlining the action drama Shadow Force, along with Sterling K. Brown, which landed at Lionsgate. She’s also set to co-star in the Hulu limited series Little Fires Everywhere, opposite Reese Witherspoon, and recently premiered her film American Son at TIFF. It will be available to stream on Netflix in November.

Washington is repped by Washington Square Arts, CAA and attorney Gretchen Rush.

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Billy Porter In Talks To Join Camila Cabello In Sony’s ‘Cinderella’

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Category is: Fairytale realness! Newly minted Emmy winning Pose actor Billy Porter is going from the ballroom culture of ’90s New York to the ballroom culture of a land far, far away as he is in talks to join Sony’s forthcoming adaptation of Cinderella, Deadline has learned.

Sony has declined to comment about the casting, but we are hearing that he is circling the role of the fairy godmother opposite Camila Cabello, who will play the titular glass slipper-wearing fairytale character.

Details about Kay Cannon’s re-imagining of the classic fairytale has been kept under wraps. Jonathan Kadin is producing the musical comedy alongside James Corden and Leo Pearlman who will produce under their Fulwell73 banner. The movie is scheduled to begin prep this fall and Sony has slated a February 5, 2021 release date.

In September, Porter took the Emmy for his role as the outspoken, fierce and fabulous ballroom emcee Pray Tell in the groundbreaking FX drama Pose. He made history as the first openly gay black man to win an Emmy in the Lead Actor category. He is no stranger to the musical world as he has been a Broadway actor for decades. In 2013, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Lola in Kinky Boots.

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