Category Archives: Movies

Come Together with the New Justice League Trailer

Watch Aquaman, the Flash, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, and Batman come together to form the Justice League in this new trailer.

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Justice League is out November 2017.

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Unite the League, The Flash Gets a Teaser Video

Warner Bros. has released a teaser video featuring the Flash in the lead up to the release of a new trailer for this year’s Justice League film.

Justice League is in theaters November 2017.

Unite the League with a Aquaman and Batman Justice League Teasers

Warner Bros. has released two teaser trailers for a new trailer out this Saturday for Justice League. This new video gives us more of a look at Aquaman and Batman.

Justice League is in theaters November 2017

While We Talk “Power Rangers” Breaking Down Barriers, How About Haim Saban’s Islamophobia?

With the new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers film opening up this weekend, the full court press is on to show the film is updated and fresh with one Ranger being autistic and another figuring out their sexuality. While the changes have been met with glowing articles, the reality is they overlook the darker side of the Power Rangers. I’m not talking about the on-set homophobia experienced by actor David Yost (the original Blue Ranger) during the original Power Rangers show; my focus is a bit different.

If you look at the logo of the 2017 big budget film reboot of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers you’ll see the word “Saban’s” is subtly located in the advertising including television and posters. “Saban” is a reference to Haim Saban, the individual credited with bringing the popular kids show to the United States after coming across the concept during a trip to Japan. Saban was able to make billions off of it all and has parlayed that into political capital.

“I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel.”

Saban is the Israeli-American who is one of the largest donors to Democratic causes and campaigns. He not only runs an entertainment empire but also is a very politically influential individual who is able to shape policy. It was in a letter to Saban that Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came out against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel. Her opposition wasn’t a surprise, the fact she did so in a letter to her biggest donor instead of a press release or speech was and suggests Saban’s influence within political circles and the parts of the Jewish community.

Saban vehemently describes himself as a one-issue person, and that issue is Israel, where he has shifted from a more left-leaning view a decade ago to more of a hardline right-wing hawkish view today. That view also includes disturbing statements about Muslims.

As reported by Haaretz, Saban is quoted as saying in November 2015:

“I’m not suggesting we put Muslims through some kind of torture room to get them to admit they are or they’re not terrorists,” he is quoted as telling The Wrap in a story posted Wednesday, “but I am saying we should have more scrutiny.” Suggesting that some civil liberties may need to be suspended in the face of security threats, he asked rhetorically: “You want to be free and dead? I’d rather be not free and alive.”

He later walked back some of those statements, but doubled down on the threats to civil liberties and opinions on policy that eerily echo President Trump’s logic for his Executive Order regarding immigration.

“I believe that all refugees coming from Syria – a war-torn country that ISIS calls home – regardless of religion require additional scrutiny before entering the United States. At this moment in time, with hundreds killed in Paris and thousands more around the world, freedom as we know it is under existential threat. And while in contradiction to our country’s principles in time of peace, I’m comfortable with the government taking additional measures, including increased surveillance of individuals they deem suspicious. Our first priority is to protect the lives of our citizens and no liberty is more valuable than our safety. I regret making a religious distinction as opposed to a geographical one: it’s about scrutinizing every single individual coming from a country with ISIS strongholds.”

Saban was also a leader in the organized effort to smear Congressman Keith Ellison during his recent bid to be the chair of the Democratic National Committee. Ellison is a Muslim Congressman who has criticized the foreign assistance to Israel when some of their actions make peace difficult and run counter to requests made by the United States.

During the Brooking Institution’s Saban Forum, an annual gathering, Saban unprompted called Ellison an anti-Semite saying:

“If you go back to his positions, his papers, his speeches, the way he has voted, he is clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual,” the Israeli-American said Friday about the Minnesota lawmaker. “Words matter and actions matter more. Keith Ellison would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party.”

What Saban, and other Democratic Jewish donors like Alan Dershowitz, were hinting at is donations. This was a veiled threat to pull vital dollars that’d otherwise be donated to candidates and the party if Ellison became chair.

When CNN researched claims against Ellison, they turned up nothing. As CNN acknowledged when digging up old Ellison quotes:

“None of the records reviewed found examples of Ellison making any anti-Semitic comments himself.”

The attacks on Ellison led to numerous Jewish organizations and individuals such as American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, J Street, and Senator Chuck Schumer to defend Ellison. In a statement, J Street said:

“It is time to retire the playbook that aims to silence any American official seeking high office who has dared to criticize certain Israeli government policies.”

In reality, Ellison is a pretty average liberal Democrat supporting a two-state solution and advocating for peace. But, the damage was done, the toxicity thrown towards Ellison was a factor in his loss as DNC chair.

But this wielding of influence shouldn’t be a surprise. At a Saban Forum event, Saban laid out his three-pronged approach to influence American politics: fund political campaigns, bankroll think tanks (Saban is the founder of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, a foreign policy think tank that’s part of the Brookings Institution and a supporter of the conservative pro-Israel organization AIPAC with their Saban National Political Leadership Training Seminar), and control the media (as part of a group of investor Saban Capital Group is a partial owner of Univision).

Interestingly, Saban was rebuked during the DNC chair race. When asked if Saban should apologize, those running generally agreed he should.

“There were some fireworks. When asked whether billionaire Democratic donor Haim Saban should apologize for smearing Ellison as an anti-Semite, everyone on stage but Ellison and Greene agreed ― a rare rebuke from political aspirants directed toward a deep-pocketed supporter.”

Greene felt the question was a “gotcha” moment attempting to divide the party from its donors, showing where Greene’s loyalty lies. Turning the other cheek, Ellison said the following:

“I just think everybody should know that Haim and I did have a phone call, I won’t disclose what we talked about, but it was amicable, and we’re going to get together and build on our relationship. So I don’t want everybody to think that that was the last word, it wasn’t. And I think we’re on the road to recovery in that regard. So I just wanted people to know that.”

Keep in mind, the DNC chair is a leadership and management role, it doesn’t decide on policy. But, the damage was done with Saban sending one of the loudest messages. Ellison’s bid was sunk… because he’s Muslim and due to Islamophobia.

So while all the article praise the Power Rangers update they overlook a disturbing few recent years where an ugliness has reared its head. As seen in the DNC chair race and the President Trump’s actions, Islamophobia is alive and well. The advocating for profiling, the support of curtailing civil liberties, and unfounded attacks on a Muslim Congressman who wants to serve his party and nation, all in the “support of Israel.” For someone whose show espouses teamwork and bringing together individuals of varying backgrounds as a team, Saban’s statements and actions are divisive and refutes the lessons the show teaches. Go go Power Rangers?

Where the Data Ranks 2016’s Comic Book Films

The summer movie season is over and we’ve seen an interesting year when it comes to comic book films. For months debates have raged as to who is more successful, Marvel or DC, which movies were successes, and which were flops. The answers aren’t so simple and black and white, which is why I like to turn to data to give actual rankings as to who were winners and losers.

So far this year, seven films have been released based on comic books (counting Batman: The Killing Joke). This feature will be weekly until the end of the year, as some films are still in the box-office and there’s till more to come.

Of note:

  • Doctor Strange currently sits at $677.5 million. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is $31 million ahead so it’s not likely to pass that film. It also will remain far behind Suicide Squad‘s $745.6 million worldwide total putting it in fifth for this year’s comic films.
  • Captain America: Civil War looks to be the top grossing film worldwide for 2016 though Rogue One is challenging that. The film earned $1.153 billion worldwide, about $100 million more than the next film. There’s still a chance that Rogue One catches up, but it’s unlikely to happen with $100 million to go. Rogue One did pass the film when it comes to domestic earnings and is the top domestic film of the year. Civil War is third for the year, the best performing comic film.
  • Officer Downe continues to look like it hasn’t earned any more money. When it comes to the below stats, the film is being treated like Batman: The Killing Joke. The film is mostly a video on demand release, so it likely won’t see a wide release.
  • The Chair is currently not included in these stats. While the film is based on a comic, its release was done so through a service where receipts aren’t tracked in traditional ways.
  • DC’s films average $315.5 million a film domestically compared to Marvel’s $302.5 million. Internationally, Marvel earns $477.2 million and DC earns $446.8 million.

Here’s where this year’s movie crop stands as far as the actual numbers. Numbers are presented with and without The Killing Joke and Officer Downe which did not have an international run or wide release, so was not included in that average to start:

Total Domestic Gross: $1.901 billion ($1.897 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total International Gross: $3.125 billion
Worldwide Gross: $5.026 billion ($5.022 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total Reported Budgets: $1.215 billion ($1.211 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total “Profit”: $3.812 billion ($3.811 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)

Average Domestic Gross: $271.0 million ($211.2 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average International Gross: $446.5 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $717.5 million ($558.4 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average Budget: $173 million ($151.8 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average Profit: $544.5 million ($476.5 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)

Now that we have those numbers down we can get a better idea as to how films have actually done this year. Below are various rankings of where films stand so far and if the films are above average (green), below average (red), or above the overall average but below the adjusted average (yellow):

Beauty and the Beast Has a Record-Setting Opening

Beauty and the Beast, the live-action version of the classic animated film, was a beast at the box office with an estimated $170 million weekend. That beats the previous March opening record holder of $166 million which was set by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice lst year. It’s the seventh largest opening weekend ever.

The film set an IMAX record with the largest opening in that format with an estimated $21 million.

Internationally, the film earned $180 million from 44 markets for $350 million globally. It was the number one film in every market except three.

The film should do well over the next few weeks as it scored an “A” Cinemascore. It was also dominated by women who made up 60% of the audience (72% opening night) and 52% were under the age of 25.

In second place was Kong: Skull Island which added an estimated $28.85 million. That’s a 53% drop from last weekend and brings it to $110 million domestically and $259.3 million worldwide.

Logan dropped to third place with an estimated $17.5 million. Domestically it’s about $185 million and the film also earned $31.5 million internationally. Worldwide it’s at $524.1 million and the #1 domestic and worldwide release of 2017. That probably won’t last long with a beast of a movie debuting this week.

In fourth place was Get Out which added $13.2 million to its domestic total to bring that to $133.1 million. With a budget of just $4.5 million, the film is already the big winner of 2017.

Rounding out the top five was The Shack which added $6.1 million to bring its domestic total to $42.6 million.

The Belko Experiment was the other big new film this week and it debuted at #7 with $4.1 million. With a $5 million budget, that’s not too bad and the film should be profitable down the road.

Doctor Strange looks to have dropped out of the top 48 films, but we’ll give it a few more weeks until we definitely say the film’s run is over.

This coming weekend sees the release of the new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers film, Life, as well as the movie adaptation of Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel Wilson.

Come back in an hour where we’ll have a better look at the 2016 comic film releases.

The Assignment Gets a New and Final Trailer

Lionsgate and Saban Films have released the final trailer for The Assignment out April 7 in the US. The film stars Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver and features Rodriguez as a hitman who’s out for revenge after having his gender changed.

The movie is directed by Walter Hill who directed The Warriors, 48 Hrs., Brewster’s Millions, and Red Heat as well as the comic turned movie Bullet to the Head. The screenplay and story is by Hill as well as Denis Hamill.

Why are we covering this? There’s also a comic series released written by Walter Hill and Matz. Released by Titan Comics in the United States, the comic was originally published in French and called Body and Soul. The comic and film were worked on simultaneously and the comic was released in Europe March 2016.

Graphic Policy Radio Goes to the Movies to Discuss Logan. Listen on Demand.

On demand: iTunes ¦ Sound Cloud ¦ Stitcher ¦ Listed on podcastdirectory.com

Snikt. Snikt. In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.

Logan is the latest and reportedly final ride of Hugh Jackman as the iconic Wolverine partnering him with Patrick Stewart as Professor X and Dafne Keen as Laura aka X-23! Part road trip, part western, Logan explores themes and tackles issues as immigration, intellectual property, violence in fantasy entertainment, the inevitability of death, and more.

Joining hosts Elana and Brett to discuss the film is Graphic Policy contributor Logan Dalton.

By day, Logan is a data entry administrator. At night, he writes about comics, TV shows for sites like Graphic Policy and Nerds on the Rocks, and is even working on a play. Once he interviewed a vampire. Feel free to pick his brain on LGBTQ representation in comics at any time on Twitter @MidnighterBae

It’s Showtime. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Gets a New Promo.

The “Gardens” unite once more with your latest look at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The movie comes to theaters May 5!

Where the Data Ranks 2016’s Comic Book Films

The summer movie season is over and we’ve seen an interesting year when it comes to comic book films. For months debates have raged as to who is more successful, Marvel or DC, which movies were successes, and which were flops. The answers aren’t so simple and black and white, which is why I like to turn to data to give actual rankings as to who were winners and losers.

So far this year, seven films have been released based on comic books (counting Batman: The Killing Joke). This feature will be weekly until the end of the year, as some films are still in the box-office and there’s till more to come.

Of note:

  • Doctor Strange currently sits at $677.4 million. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is $31 million ahead so it’s not likely to pass that film, but with some impressive international numbers still coming in, you never know. It also will remain far behind Suicide Squad‘s $745.6 million worldwide total putting it in fifth for this year’s comic films.
  • Captain America: Civil War looks to be the top grossing film worldwide for 2016 though Rogue One is challenging that. The film earned $1.153 billion worldwide, about $100 million more than the next film. There’s still a chance that Rogue One catches up, but it’s unlikely to happen with $100 million to go. Rogue One did pass the film when it comes to domestic earnings and is the top domestic film of the year. Civil War is third for the year, the best performing comic film.
  • Officer Downe continues to look like it hasn’t earned any more money. When it comes to the below stats, the film is being treated like Batman: The Killing Joke. The film is mostly a video on demand release, so it likely won’t see a wide release.
  • The Chair is currently not included in these stats. While the film is based on a comic, its release was done so through a service where receipts aren’t tracked in traditional ways.
  • DC’s films average $315.5 million a film domestically compared to Marvel’s $302.5 million. Internationally, Marvel earns $477.2 million and DC earns $446.8 million.

Here’s where this year’s movie crop stands as far as the actual numbers. Numbers are presented with and without The Killing Joke and Officer Downe which did not have an international run or wide release, so was not included in that average to start:

Total Domestic Gross: $1.901 billion ($1.897 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total International Gross: $3.125 billion
Worldwide Gross: $5.026 billion ($5.022 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total Reported Budgets: $1.215 billion ($1.211 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total “Profit”: $3.812 billion ($3.811 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)

Average Domestic Gross: $271.0 million ($211.2 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average International Gross: $446.5 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $717.5 million ($558.4 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average Budget: $173 million ($151.8 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average Profit: $544.5 million ($476.4 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)

Now that we have those numbers down we can get a better idea as to how films have actually done this year. Below are various rankings of where films stand so far and if the films are above average (green), below average (red), or above the overall average but below the adjusted average (yellow):

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