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The most-rented movie of 2017 was … Ben Affleck’s ‘The Accountant’?

Charmaine Blake

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At the U.S. box office, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was far and away the biggest film of 2017, followed by Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman.

At home, though, it was a whole different story.

According to the MPAA (via THR and /Film), the top digital rental of 2017 was The Accountant – you know, the 2016 thriller starring Ben Affleck as an autistic accountant who works for the mob.

The film made just $86 million domestically during its theatrical run. That’s not awful, considering The Accountant has a reported production budget of $44 million, but it’s nothing to write home about, either. It didn’t even crack the top 30 releases of that year.

Nor was it particularly well-loved by critics. The Accountant‘s Rotten Tomatoes score stands at a fine-but-not-fantastic 52%.

That stands in sharp contrast to the second and third most-streamed movies of last year, Moana and Wonder Woman. Both of those were bonafide blockbuster hits. It’s no surprise they were as popular at home as they were in theaters.

But The Accountant? Why?

Well, we don’t really know. But we’ve got a few theories.

For starters, it may have benefitted from good timing. The Accountant‘s digital release date fell at the very end of 2016, which means it had all of 2017 to keep making money. Compare that to a film released in, say, October of that same year, which would have had to split its earnings between 2016 and 2017.

Moreover, The Accountant does not appear to have been available on subscription sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Most people who wanted to see it would have had to pay to rent it. (It was streaming on HBO, but that accounts for a smaller slice of the pie.)

Then there’s the film itself. Critics may have been unmoved by The Accountant, but general audiences apparently liked it just fine. It has an A Cinemascore and earned decent audience ratings from IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. (Grain of salt and all, but still.)

Plus, honestly, The Accountant just seems like something you’d watch at home. It’s not an Avengers-style event movie, that has people flocking to theaters opening weekend – but it looks just sturdy and familiar enough that you might be inspired to give it a shot if you see the cover on iTunes.

Does any of this definitively explain why The Accountant was America’s digital movie rental of choice in 2017? Well, no. But the only other explanation we could come up with is “2017 was wild.” Which, come to think of it, makes as much sense as anything else.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/04/06/the-accountant-most-rented-movie-2017/

New Movie News

James Gunn fired as ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’ director following resurfaced old tweets

Charmaine Blake

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Image: Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Updated 5:12 p.m. EST with Gunn’s statement.

Guardians of the Galaxy franchise director James Gunn has been fired in light of tweets from his past, THR reported Friday afternoon.

“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” said Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

Though the statement does not specify the contents of Gunn’s tweets, other users have screenshots that may point in the right direction:

According to THR, Gunn’s tweets were found by conservative Twitter users, possibly in retaliation for his recent tweets against Donald Trump.

“Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo,” Gunn said in a series of tweets. “As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.”

Gunn was ostensibly scrubbing his own Twitter clean Thursday evening when he accidentally tweeted out a search for his own tweets.

Gunn issued an official statement in response:

My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.”

“Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/20/james-gunn-guardians-director-fired/

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‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ picks up Keri Russell

Charmaine Blake

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Keri Russell could be headed to a galaxy far, far away.

Image: FilmMagic

If you’re a big fan of The Americans, you’re gonna love this.

Variety is reporting that Keri Russell is in talks to join the cast of Star Wars: Episode IX—reuniting with director J.J. Abrams for the first time since Mission: Impossible III. They previously collaborated on the televised drama Felicity.

According to Variety‘s sources, project leads (including Abrams) have been meeting with various actresses for several weeks. They finally decided on Russell for the role earlier this week.

Very little is known about Russell’s character and that’s appropriate considering the mystery surrounding the film’s release. Speculation on Episode IX‘s working title change has been spinning since last month and we’re still in the dark on where our rebels are headed.

If this casting is confirmed by Lucasfilm, Russell will be adding to an already star studded cast with plenty of Last Jedi alumni. Hopefully, we’ll get more info on new cast members before filming commences in August.

Until then, the 2019 premiere date is going to keep feeling far, far away.

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Idris Elba joins Dwayne Johnson as Villain in ‘Fast and Furious’ Spinoff

Charmaine Blake

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Idris Elba is going to be the handsomest villain to grace the ‘Fast and Furious’ universe.

Image: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Idris Elba is going to be making another heel turn in his upcoming role in the Fast and Furious universe.

Elba is in final negotiations with the folks behind the upcoming Fast and Furious spinoff Hobbs and Shaw to play a new villain, Variety reported Thursday. The movie, coming in 2019, will star Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham as their popular characters Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw.

Elba, who has played both protagonists and antagonists in movies and TV shows including The Wire, Beasts of No Nation, Pacific Rim, and a handful of Marvel movies. His debut in the star-studded Fast and Furious universe will be the ninth movie and first spin-off of the series.

Johnson first appeared in Fast Five, the series’ fifth installment, and Statham joined the cast four years later in Furious 7, where the two actors and their characters struck up quite the chemistry. Elba will undoubtedly make a great antagonist for the two in Hobbs and Shaw.

The spin-off is likely fueled by fans’ enjoyment of Statham and Johnson on screen together but may also be inspired by some on-set feuds that sprung up between some of the actors. Johnson and fellow star Vin Diesel were apparently butting heads so much during the filming of Fate of the Furious that the two no longer film scenes together.

As much as Hobbs and Shaw may be a spin-off that fans of the series were hoping for, it may also be an easy way to keep the stars on the big screen without causing any additional problems.

Hobbs and Shaw rolls out in theaters July 26, 2019.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/05/idris-elba-hobbs-and-shaw/

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