TIME movies

Top Gun Sequel Will Feature Tom Cruise Versus Drones

Top Gun
Paramount Pictures Tom Cruise in 'Top Gun,' 1986.

The movie will explore "the end of an era of dogfighting," says producer David Ellison

Top Gun‘s Maverick will return — and this time, he’s going to be fighting drones.

The sequel to the 1980s hit will examine the clash between manned and unmanned aircraft, the film’s producer told the Guardian, in an age when remotely operated flight increasingly becomes the mainstay of the U.S. Air Force.

“When you look at the world of dogfighting, what’s interesting about it is that it’s not a world that exists to the same degree when the original movie came out,” Ellison said. “So really exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots, and what that culture is today, are all fun things that we’re gonna get to dive into in this movie.”

David Ellison of production company Skydance confirmed that Tom Cruise will be featured in his role as star fighter pilot Maverick. Cruise said last year he was interested in the role.

It’s almost enough to take your breath away.

[Guardian]

TIME movies

11 Real-Life Harry Potter Destinations You Can Visit

Your long-waited-for letter from Hogwarts may never actually come, but a visit to each of these destinations will get the fans pretty close

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Netflix

Why Activist Investor Carl Icahn Dumped His Last Netflix Shares

Key Speakers At The Robin Hood Investors Summit
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Robin Hood Investors Conference in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014.

Carl Icahn announced on his Twitter Wednesday that he’s sold his last Netflix shares.

Icahn Enterprises, which owned about 1.4 million Netflix shares at the end of 2015’s first quarter, made the move after Netflix announced approval of a 7-for-1 stock split, according to CNBC.

Per the publication:

The split will come in the form of a dividend of six additional shares for each outstanding share, Netflix said. It is payable on July 14 to stock owners of record at the July 2 close. Trading at the post-split price will start July 15.

CNBC reported, too, that Netflix stocks dipped slightly after Icahn’s message on the social media service.

Here’s Icahn’s Twitter message announcing the decision:

Netflix has expanded in recent years becoming not only a streaming service for television and film, but also a developer of new movies and TV shows.

TIME movies

James Cameron Pays Tribute to Friend, Collaborator James Horner

Premiere Of 20th Century Fox's "Avatar" - Arrivals
Kevin Winter—Getty Images Director James Cameron, singer Leona Lewis and composer James Horner arrive at the premiere of 20th Century Fox's "Avatar" at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on December 16, 2009 in Hollywood, California

"It's sad and shocking, and it's such a waste"

In the wake of composer James Horner’s death, his old friend and partner-in-film James Cameron spoke fondly of their work together in an exclusive interview with People.

“It’s sad and shocking, and it’s such a waste in a way,” Oscar-winning director Cameron told the magazine. “We were looking forward to our next gig together.”

Horner had already committed to compose the scores for Cameron’s next three Avatar films. Avatar 2 is listed as his final credit.

According to People, the pair, who both won Academy Awards for their work on Titanic, first collaborated in 1980 on a small sci-film called Battle Beyond the Stars.

Horner died Monday in a plane crash north of Santa Barbara, Calif.

Read the full story from PEOPLE.com

TIME movies

Here’s How Much Disney Could Lose on Tomorrowland

It could be Disney's first major financial misfire since The Lone Ranger

This story first appeared in the June 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

If ever there was a studio that could withstand a serious stumble, it’s Disney, home of Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. And stumble it has with Tomorrowland, the Brad Bird-directed fantasy adventure. Sources say the film will lose $120 million to $140 million by the time it finishes its global rollout, becoming Disney’s first major financial misfire since The Lone Ranger prompted a $190 mil­lion write-down two summers ago.

It’s also the third big-budget original tentpole of 2015 to bomb after Jupiter Ascending and Seventh Son, highlighting the risky nature of nine-figure filmmaking at a time when relatively lower-budget hits such as Spy and Pitch Perfect 2 are causing studios to look closely at the costs of creating franchises.

Tomorrowland, which cost $180 million to produce plus a marketing spend of $150 million or more, had everything going for it: a hot filmmaker in Bird, 57 (Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol), and a global star in George Clooney, 54. But it debuted to weak reviews (was it for kids or adults?) and a soft $42.7 million during the long Memorial Day weekend. As of June 8, the film had earned $76.4 million domestically and $93.5 million overseas for a global total of $169.9 million. It might not gross much more than $200 million, far from enough to cover Disney’s costs.

China, ravenous for American event movies, has been a particularly harsh blow. Tomorrowland bowed to $13.8 million there in early June, getting trounced by the $38.3 million opening of the Japanese animated title Stand by Me Doraemon.

“Yes, they took a miss with Tomorrowland, but there are so many things working for Disney,” says analyst Eric Handler of MKM Partners, noting that Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron has earned nearly $1.35 billion worldwide since May. “And coming up, there’s Inside Out (June 19), Ant-Man (July 17) and Star Wars (Dec. 18). Disney will do just fine this year.”

That’s why Tomorrowland hasn’t stirred media or shareholder uproar as did Lone Ranger and John Carter ($200 million write-down). (Disney stock hasn’t budged.) But it has raised the issue of whether studios will spend at this level on original tentpoles. Even the hit San Andreas, which Warner Bros. has marketed as an event pic, cost “only” $110 million.

“There’s a reason you’re seeing more sequels, prequels and known properties because you never know how films like Tomorrowland or Jupiter Ascending are going to turn out,” says Handler.Jupiter was a pricey miss for Warners, Village Roadshow and other partners who paid nearly $180 million to make the sci-fi fantasy, which topped out at $181.9 million worldwide and lost about $120 million all-in.

Despite the flop, few fault Disney for taking a chance on a director like Bird. Says a rival executive, “When a guy like that comes to you with an original idea, and Clooney is part of the package, you’ll take the swing.”

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

More from The Hollywood Reporter:

TIME Aviation

Watch Newly Discovered Footage of Amelia Earhart, Made Shortly Before She Disappeared

It is thought to be the last surviving footage of her

Newly discovered footage, published for the first time, shows doomed aviator Amelia Earhart before one of her two attempts to fly around the world.

Her first attempt, made in March 1937, ended when she crashed her plane while taking off after a stop in Hawaii. During the second attempt, made three months later, Earhart vanished over the Pacific Ocean, her fate unknown to this day.

The newfound film was recorded at an airfield in Oakland, Calif., and shows a happy and smiling Earhart as she poses for photos and climbs over her plane, the Lockheed Electra L-10E, reports CNN.

The footage also shows her husband George Putman, her navigator Fred Noonan, and personal photographer Albert Bresnik. The grainy 16 mm film is believed to have been shot by Bresnik’s brother John and had sat on a shelf in his house for more then 50 years until his death in 1992.

Bresnik’s son, also called John, unearthed the film when he was going through his father’s belongings.

“I didn’t even know what was on the film until my dad died and I took it home and watched it,” Bresnik told the Associated Press. “It just always sat it in a plain box on a shelf in his office, and on the outside it said, ‘Amelia Earhart, Burbank Airport, 1937.'”

The film, now named Amelia Earhart’s Last Photo Shoot, will be released in July by the Paragon Agency alongside an 80-page book, written by Nicole Swinford.

Swindford believes the footage was shot in May 1937, days before Earhart and Noonan set off on their fateful journey.

But Richard Gillespie, executive director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, said the film was likely shot in March, before Earhart’s unsuccessful first attempt.

Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and was one the most celebrated figures of her day.

Read More: Is This the Uninhabited Pacific Island Where Amelia Earhart Spent Her Last Moments?

[CNN]

TIME Advertising

See How Amazon Just Changed Its Iconic Shipping Boxes

Inside An Amazon.com Distribution Center On Cyber Monday
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images An employee loads a truck with boxes to be shipped at the Amazon.com Inc. distribution center in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012.

It's the first time the e-commerce company has done this

Amazon now gets the honor of reportedly being the first company to use its packaging to advertise an un-related product.

The company is rolling out ads on its delivery boxes in bright yellow to boost the new Minions movie from the Despicable Me franchise, Geek Wire reported. Boxes began being sent to customers last week. According to Geek Wire, there are three different types of ads. There’s also a link on the box to a Minions page on the e-commerce site.

The article notes that while Amazon has used its packaging in the past to market its own products, this is the first time that it has done so for a non-Amazon product. Per Geek Wire:

This new revenue stream could be lucrative for Amazon, whose boxes can be seen on doorsteps (and in recycling bins) across the country. However, the ads aren’t likely to draw the same attention as this Minions run if they become commonplace.

It already appears to be a hit on social media, as customers have been posing with their Minions-themed boxes and posting to Twitter.

Here’s an image of the packaging:

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TIME

Streaming Is About to Beat DVD Sales For the First Time

Netflix is feeding the frenzy

A report released Tuesday said that the money spent to download movies and stream videos will rise above that for buying and renting DVDs for the first time ever, according to Bloomberg.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers study found the revenue from downloading and streaming is expected to jump 13% to $9.5 billion in 2015 as sales of physical DVDs lower to $7.8 billion. The firm added that streaming will become a $12 billion industry in 2017, rising above the money spent going to movie theaters.

The report comes as streaming service such as Netflix have been booming in recent years. In April, the streaming service saw its revenue soar 24% for the last quarter, while the number of subscribers rose to over 60 million around the world. The company’s stocks have also been rising, helping it beat out competitors like CBS and Viacom, Fortune wrote in April.

MONEY movies

Big Chain Movie Theaters Under Investigation by the Feds

Regal AMC movie theater antitrust
Russell Haydn / EyeEm—Getty Images/EyeEm

The Justice Department is scrutinizing cineplex giants AMC and Regal

There’s good news if you love movies—and having choices about them.

New Securities and Exchange Commission filings by cinema giants AMC and Regal confirm earlier reports that the government is investigating potential anti-competitive activity on the part of America’s biggest movie theater chains. The filings disclose the Department of Justice is looking into whether those companies used joint ventures and exclusivity agreements with movie studios in violation of antitrust laws.

Operators of small independent cinemas say exclusivity agreements, called “clearances,” are a problem because they allow big chains to prevent competitors from playing popular new movies.

That’s bad for consumers who want more theater options close to home—or prefer indie theaters, which sometimes offer special ticket discounts or features like food and drink service.

Tom Stephenson, CEO of a local Dallas multiplex, told the Dallas Morning News he has been cooperating with federal investigators. He claims AMC threatened not to play certain films unless movie studios granted the chain exclusive screening rights in his cinema’s area.

“The Justice Department is highly skeptical that limiting consumers’ choices is a good idea,” Stephenson told the newspaper.

Together the biggest three movie chains—AMC, Regal Entertainment Group and Cinemark Holdings—control about 42% of U.S. screens. In its filing, AMC acknowledges that it “has been an active participant in our industry’s consolidation,” having acquired several theater chains, including Loews and General Cinema, in the last two decades.

AMC also points out it’s easier to beat smaller competitors in big urban areas: “Where real estate is readily available, it is easier to open a theatre near one of our theatres, which may adversely affect operations at our theatre. However . . . the complexity inherent in operating in . . . major metropolitan markets is a deterrent to other less sophisticated competitors, protecting our market share position.”

Both AMC and Regal’s filing state that the companies’ managers do not believe they have violated federal or state antitrust laws.

“One has to remember that film clearances, they’ve existed for many years and we believe they have because they are beneficial to the studios, they are beneficial to exhibition and they are beneficial to consumers,” Regal Entertainment Chief Executive Amy Miles said in a recent conference call.

Ironically, clearances were originally created to protect small, independent theaters after a 1948 Supreme Court decision required movie studios to divest ownership in cinemas.

TIME movies

Sofia Coppola Drops Out of Live-Action The Little Mermaid

Sofia Coppola attends the Anna Sui fashion show in New York City on Feb. 18, 2015.
Mike Coppola—Getty Images Sofia Coppola attends the Anna Sui fashion show in New York City on Feb. 18, 2015.

The director is leaving due to "creative differences"

Sofia Coppola won’t be going under the sea after all. EW has confirmed that the director has dropped out of the upcoming live-action version of The Little Mermaid due to creative differences.

Deadline first broke the news, reporting that Universal Pictures and Working Title are still planning to move forward with the film adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, with a script rewritten by Caroline Thompson. The classic story has been adapted many times, but the 1989 Disney animated version is perhaps the best known version.

Coppola’s most recent project was directing The Bling Ring in 2013, but she’s also working on A Very Murray Christmas, an upcoming Netflix feature that will reunite her with Lost In Translation star Bill Murray. Murray and Coppola co-wrote the script with producer Mitch Glazer, and the 2015 Christmas story will feature Murray spending the holidays with George Clooney, Miley Cyrus, Amy Poehler, and more—all playing themselves.

Even if we won’t ever see Coppola’s version of The Little Mermaid, at least we’ll always have Funny Or Die’s version of what that might look like.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

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