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  • Tom Hanks's Mr. Rogers movie now has a title, and it's a very fitting one. The previsously untitled project will now be called, quite fittingly, It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, according to The Hollywood ReporterThe film is set for an October release and will be directed by Marielle Heller, whose most recent effort is Can You Ever Forgive Me? Fans of Rogers may get to see their icon receive some Oscar recognition this year, as Won't You Be My Neighbor, a documentary about the children's TV host, is a favorite for this year's Best Oscar documentary.

  • Miles Teller has joined the cast of the currently filming Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to Tom Cruise's first big action hit, Top Gun. Cruise is reprising his role as ace Navy fighter pilot Pete Mitchell, aka "Maverick." while Teller plays the son of Maverick's former wingman Nick "Goose" Bradshaw (played by Anthony Edwards originally), who was killed in the original film. Also reprising his role from the first movie is Val Kilmer as Maverick's rival, Tom "Iceman" Kazansky. According to VarietyTeller's character will be Maverick's new protege, although other plot and casting details remain sketchy. Top Gun: Maverick is currently filming with a planned release date in the summer of 2019. Joseph Kosinski, who previously directed Cruise in the science fiction film Oblivion, will helm the new movie.

  • Although Star Wars: The Last Jedi has set box office records throughout most of the world, one place it hasn't succeeded is China. Normally, Chinese audiences love spectacular American action films, as The Fate of the Furious earned $392 million in China and Jurassic World clocked in at $228 million. But in its second weekend of wide release there, Star Wars: The Last Jedi managed only $2.9 million, and estimates for its final box office place it behind major 2017 duds such as Valerian and Geostorm. According to Hollywood Reporterthese low totals may be the result of the numerous references in Last Jedi to earlier Star Wars films, movies that have not been widely distributed in China. 

  • 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

  • The joke was on the competition again as the supervillain origin story, Joker, again dominated the box office, adding another $55 million to its total. Newcomers came in second and third, with the animated version of The Addams Family scaring up a ghoulish $30 million, while the Will Smith action thriller, Gemini Man, managed a $20 million debut. You can read reviews of all the week's top releases at Silver Screen Cinema.
  • It's end-of-the-year award season time, and everyone wants to know who's going to be picking up gold at the Oscars. Two groups of experts make their predictions. First, from Gold Derby, Tom O'Neil and Tariq Khan butt heads as they discuss likely Oscar nominees. And second, from Collider Video, Scott Mantz, Perri Nemiroff, and Jeff Sneider provide their thoughts on the potential Best Picture nominees. In addition, you can listen to my two-part appearance on the Aaron's Horror Show podcast, hosted by author Aaron Frale. We also have trailers for two new films, the live action Disney sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and the cult comedy horror sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap.