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The Real Reason The Meg Feasted at the Box Office

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“Late last week, it seemed as though the very expensive, very Stathamy underwater thriller The Meg was on its way to becoming a dead shark. Even though the film—an adaptation of the 1997 novel by Steve Alten—had an online fanbase more than 20 years old, most predictions pointed toward a relatively low opening weekend at the box office. For a movie with a megalodon-sized $150 million estimated budget, this was ominous news. So were the The Meg‘s mostly meh reviews.

By Sunday night, however, the movie had become one of the year’s few Hollywood surprise stories, making $45 million in one of the highest debuts of the year. That turnout helped obliterate the weekend’s other long-in-the-works thriller: Slender Man, the adaptation(?) of a nearly 10-year-old meme that originated in the world of web-borne urban legends known as “creepypasta.” Slender Man earned far less than The Meg, making about $10 million. That was better than expected for a barely marketed schlock thriller. But it will likely disappear from theaters soon, considering its damning D– grade on audience-reaction tracker CinemaScore. To get an idea of how uniquely calamitous that is, consider that 2015’s Fantastic Four—a movie that actually ends with this scene—wound up a mere C– score.

Both The Meg and Slender Man are, in their own ways, “internet movies,” a hazy descriptor that can be applied to any film with a uniquely nutty prerelease relationship with the web. Internet movies tend to fall within two categories: The majority are like The Meg, which was embraced online in the weeks or months (or even decades) before its arrival. A film like Slender Man is far rarer, as it works in reverse…………….”

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/the-meg-slender-man-internet-movies/

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Emily Blunt on the pressure of playing Mary Poppins

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Mary Poppins is a woman with a talent for putting things back together again.

“Which is why it’s rather apt that after 50 years, she’s returning to our screens at a time when the world is arguably most in need of being put back together.

And, Emily Blunt — who plays Mary Poppins in the upcoming sequel Mary Poppins Returns — is well aware of the impact her character has already had on the lives of those who watched the 1964 movie starring Julie Andrews.

Standing in full Edwardian get-up inside Shepperton Studios, Blunt told Mashable that she has fond memories of watching the film as a child. “The film, for me, and I think for most people, is one of those films that is seared into people’s memory, an emblem of their nostalgia in many ways,” says Blunt…………………………………………………”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/emily-blunt-interview-mary-poppins-returns/

 

 

Director Rob Marshall and Emily Blunt on the set of Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns’.

Image: Jay Maidment

 

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How Willem Dafoe Learned to Paint like Van Gogh

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Midway through artist-director Julian Schnabel’s new film At Eternity’s Gate, we see Vincent van Gogh, portrayed by actor Willem Dafoe, entirely consumed by the compulsion to paint. In the scene, the Dutch artist opens the door to his yellow-walled apartment in Arles, France, to find his friend, fellow artist Paul Guguin, sketching Madame Ginoux, a local café owner. Instantly compelled by what he sees, Van Gogh lunges into action, assembling his easel and grasping several paintbrushes in his left hand, while using his right to commit bold, feverish brushstrokes to canvas. His passion is enthralling—so much so, we forget that Dafoe is not a real painter at all.

At Eternity’s Gate envisions the final years of Van Gogh’s life, through a series of vignettes that straddle truth and fiction (much, though not all, is based on the trove of letters the artist left behind). We see his plight as an artist in Paris, his infatuation with the light and landscapes of Arles, and his declining mental health—including when he famously cut off his ear. But it’s not a straightforward account. “This isn’t a biopic, it doesn’t explain his life,” Dafoe recently explained at the New York Film Festival. “It’s really about painting.” Indeed, it is, first and foremost, the story of a painter as told by a painter: Schnabel, who is known for an idiosyncratic painting practice ranging from canvases covered in shattered plates to inkjet prints painted with purple-hued goats…………………………….”

Read the rest of the article here: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-willem-dafoe-learned-paint-van-gogh

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‘Love Actually’ turns 15: Fun facts about the movie

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