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  • Netflix continues its push to aggressively pursue A-list talent with an announcement of a new series from Damien Chazelle, director of the recent Oscar nominee, La La Land. Chazelle will serve as executive producer of The Eddy, set in a Parisian music club. According to Hollywood Reporter, Chazzelle will also direct two episodes of the series. The announcement is the latest in a series of high profile movies by Netflix, including a four-year development deal with Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, believed to be in the $100 million range.

  • The battle lines are now drawn between AMC Theatres, the nation's largest motion picture theater chain, and MoviePass, a company that offers customers virtually unlimited moviegoing at a fixed price at the majority of the screens in this country, including, for now, AMC. MoviePass has been in operation since 2011 but had failed to gain much traction, until it recently announced a cut in its monthly fee from $50 to $9.95. For that price, a customer can see one movie a day at any one of the participating theaters. Special formats like 3D and IMAX are excluded, but, otherwise, customers can see any movie being shown at a theater, including "no pass" films. MoviePass customers order a ticket while at the theater using a special Smartphone app. The company then downloads the ticket price to a special MoviePass debit card which the customer uses to buy the ticket. MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe acknowledged to Variety that the company will lose money if customers use the service as little as twice a month, but claims the company will be able to make a profit through subsidies from theater chains. AMC apparently disagrees and has threatened legal action against MoviePass, saying the company's pricing plan is not sustainable and that lowering ticket prices to accommodate MoviePass would "negatively impact the customer experience."   

  • Disney is pulling out all the stops in its remakes of some the studio's most beloved animated classics. Following the success, both critically and at the box office, of Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book, the studio just announced some of the talent for Aladdin, ready to begin filming next month. According to the Hollywood Reporter, leads Aladdin and Jasmine will be played by relative newcomers Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott. But the big name talent in the Guy Ritchie-helmed film will be Will Smith stepping into Robin Williams' shoes as the Genie. Still to be cast is the villainous Jafar, as word is that Disney is looking for an established actor in the role. The Mouse house isn't neglecting its older classics either. Variety reports that the remake of the 1941 Dumbo is now set for a March, 2019, release and will follow a similar casting strategy. Newcomers Nico Parker and Finley will play the leads in the Tim Burton film, while the supporting cast includes familiar names such as Colin Ferrell, Eva Green, Danny DeVito and Michael Keaton.

  • Paramount's Baywatch is the latest disappointing summer release to get a healthy boost from international ticket sales. Despite the star power of Dwayne Johnson, the comedy received scathing critical reviews and only made $57 million domestically, but is on track to nearly double that total overseas. While big budget U.S. action films traditionally play well in foreign markets, few comedies, especially R-rated comedies like Baywatch, outperform the domestic market. According to Deadline: Hollywood, industry observers attribute the success of Baywatch to a number of factors, including the enduring popularity of the original television series and its star David Hasselhoff, especially in Germany and Austria.

  • Advertisers are balking at NBC's plans to charge $5 million for a 30-second ad for the upcoming Super Bowl LII, to be held February 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. According to a report in Variety, Fox wanted to charge $5 million for last year's game but may have wound up settling for less. Ad prices for the 2016 Super Bowl were a "mere" $4.8 million. One thing that no one's balking at are the Super Bowl ratings, which have risen steadily and are now in excess of 110 million people annually.  

  • Despite significant competion from new and expanded releases, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle remained in first place at the box office with another $27 million take. Steven Spielberg's acclaimed drama, The Post, expanded nationwide and landed in second place at $19 million, while the latest Liam Neeson action thriller, The Commuter, debuted in third place at $13 million. You can read reviews of all the week's top releases at Silver Screen Cinema.
  • Every year, the Toronto International Film Festival gives audiences the first chance to view many films that will battle it out for year end awards. Here are press conferences featuring sure-to-be-Oscar-nominated Gary Oldman discussing his role as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, while Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon talk about their roles as two other historical giants, Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, in The Current War. We also have trailers for two new films, the Afghanistan war drama, 12 Strongand the cops-and-robbers action film, Den of Thieves.