Chris Pine is a wise-cracking bard in D&D: Honor Among Thieves trailer

The beloved tabletop RPG comes (back) to the silver screen with Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

Paramount Pictures delighted D&D fans at Comic-Con with a panel and official trailer for its upcoming feature film, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

The film is a reboot of the film trilogy that launched with Dungeons & Dragons (2000). That film bombed at the box office, earning just over $33 million globally against its $45 million budget. Plus it was savaged by critics for its poor quality especially the cheap special effects), subpar performances, and inept direction. That film still spawned D&D: Wrath of the Dragon God (2005), a made-for-TV standalone sequel; and D&D 3: The Book of Vile Darkness (2012), which had a direct-to-DVD release.

The current reboot was first proposed by Warner Bros. in 2013, but the project’s announcement quickly drew Hasbro’s ire, because Hasbro was developing its own D&D film with Universal Pictures. Hasbro sued and eventually settled, giving Warner Bros. the green light to continue. Eventually, Hasbro moved the project to Paramount, shooting for a July 2021 release, and hired John Francis Daley and Jonathon Goldstein to write and direct. The release was delayed twice, but Honor Among Thieves will finally see the light of day on March 3, 2023.

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#chris-pine, #dungeons-and-dragons, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #paramount-pictures, #san-diego-comic-con, #trailers

Tom Cruise Aims to Fly High at the Box Office With ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

At a time when superheroes dominate the box office, the film industry hopes the actor can bring grown-ups back to theaters.

#actors-and-actresses, #box-office-sales, #cruise-tom, #movies, #paramount-pictures, #top-gun-maverick-movie

Why TV-Inspired Vacations Are on the Rise

TV-themed itineraries are on the rise, taking travelers on adventures with familiar shows during a time of uncertainty.

#airbnb, #amazon-com-inc, #bloomington-ind, #breaking-bad-tv-program, #british-broadcasting-corp, #costner-kevin, #crown-media-family-networks, #edinburgh-scotland, #graduate-hotels, #great-britain, #hallmark-channel, #harry-potter-book, #home-box-office, #hotels-and-travel-lodgings, #movies, #netflix-inc, #outlander-tv-program, #paramount-pictures, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #rae-issa, #sex-and-the-city-tv-program, #squid-game-tv-program, #starz, #stranger-things-tv-program, #television, #the-lord-of-the-rings-book, #the-sound-of-music-play, #travel-and-vacations, #yellowstone-tv-program, #yes-day-movie

Jim Carrey’s megalomaniac Robotnik steals the show in Sonic 2 final trailer

Our favorite blue supersonic blur is back in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

The first Sonic the Hedgehog film was a surprise breakout hit early in 2020, even though Ars Tech Culture Editor Sam Mackovech deemed it mediocre. It was “somewhere above The Angry Birds Movie, somewhere below Pokemon: Detective Pikachu,” he wrote.

And now we have the final trailer for its sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, once again featuring the voice of Ben Schwartz as Sonic.

In the first film, Sonic teamed up with local town sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) to stop the sinister mad scientist Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). Robotnik wanted to catch and experiment on the hedgehog, and if he could also frame Tom as a domestic terrorist, even better. Sonic the Hedgehog had the good fortune to premiere before movie theaters shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite the mixed reviews, it posted the biggest opening weekend yet for a film based on a video game and eventually earned $319.7 million worldwide.

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #paramount-pictures, #sonic-the-hedgehog-2, #trailers

Restoring ‘The Godfather’ to Its Original (Still Dark) Glory

Francis Ford Coppola discusses a repaired 50th-anniversary edition of his classic, one that aims to be as vivid — and shadowy — as it was in 1972.

#american-zoetrope, #coppola-francis-ford, #mockoski-james, #movies, #paramount-pictures, #restoration-and-renovation, #the-godfather-movie

Without Box Office or Streaming Numbers, Hollywood Finds It Tough to Plan

With box office numbers way down in the pandemic and streaming numbers hard to come by, the film industry is often unable to determine whether a movie is a hit or a miss.

#box-office-sales, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disney-plus, #hbo-max, #marvel-entertainment, #movies, #netflix-inc, #paramount-pictures, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #theaters-buildings, #universal-pictures, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming

Review: A Quiet Place Part 2 is a sequel that was worth the wait

Emily Blunt and Cillian Murphy star in A Quiet Place Part 2, John Krasinski’s sequel to the 2018 sci-fi/horror hit film.

It’s been a long road for Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part 2, the much-anticipated sequel to 2018’s surprise sci-fi/horror hit A Quiet Place. Originally slated to hit theaters last March, the sequel even had an official premiere, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced shutdowns all over the country mere days before the planned theatrical release. Paramount and director John Krasinski opted to shelve the movie until theaters reopened rather than releasing it on demand.

A Quiet Place Part 2 is finally here, and it was well worth the wait. It’s less of a sequel and more of a continuation of the original story. It retains all the aspects that worked in its predecessor while exploring new themes and character development.

(Spoilers for 2018’s A Quiet Place below; mild spoilers for Part 2, but no major reveals.)

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#a-quiet-place-part-ii, #entertainment, #film, #film-review, #gaming-culture, #paramount-pictures, #paramount-plus

Scrounging for Hits, Hollywood Goes Back to the Video Game Well

After decades of game-to-film flops, a new effort, led by Sony, aims to adapt big PlayStation and Xbox franchises for movies and TV.

#computer-and-video-games, #home-box-office, #illumination-entertainment, #legendary-entertainment, #lions-gate-entertainment-corporation, #movies, #netflix-inc, #paramount-pictures, #playstation-video-game-system, #sony-corporation, #sony-pictures-entertainment, #television, #the-last-of-us-movie, #universal-pictures, #web-original-programming

John Krasinski and the Tense Wait for ‘A Quiet Place Part II’

It’s been more than a year since the film he wrote and directed was originally set for release. Now, as the sequel to the 2018 hit reaches theaters, Hollywood is holding its breath.

#a-quiet-place-movie, #blunt-emily, #krasinski-john, #movies, #paramount-pictures, #quarantine-life-and-culture

Paramount+ will carry new Star Trek series Strange New Worlds and Prodigy

Key art for the new <em>Star Trek</em> series <em>Star Trek: Prodigy</em>.

Enlarge / Key art for the new Star Trek series Star Trek: Prodigy. (credit: ViacomCBS)

In an online event for investors, ViacomCBS revealed several new details about CBS All Access replacement Paramount+, including pricing as well as two new Star Trek series that will premiere on the network. Also, the company announced that a much-anticipated Showtime show will end up on Paramount+ instead.

Paramount+, which was announced several months ago, will launch on March 4 in the United States, Canada, and 18 Latin American countries. As with CBS All Access, both an ad-supported and ad-free plan will be offered. In the US, the ad-supported one will cost $4.99 per month, while the ad-free plan will cost $9.99.

That $4.99 per month is $1 cheaper than the ad-supported version of CBS All Access. However, this cheaper plan will not include local CBS stations. The service is also expected to launch in Nordic countries within a few weeks and in Australia sometime later this year.

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#cbs, #cbs-all-access, #gaming-culture, #paramount, #paramount-pictures, #showtime, #star-trek, #tech, #viacom, #viacomcbs

The + That’s Taking Over Streaming Platforms

An idea that seemed like a real plus when streaming was newer has fallen into cliché.

#advertising-and-marketing, #disney-plus, #labeling-and-labels-product, #nbcuniversal, #paramount-pictures, #viacomcbs-inc, #walt-disney-company

Plus + Plus + Plus = Streaming Name Surplus

An idea that seemed like a real plus when streaming was newer has fallen into cliché.

#advertising-and-marketing, #disney-plus, #labeling-and-labels-product, #nbcuniversal, #paramount-pictures, #viacomcbs-inc, #walt-disney-company

Tom Cruise Erupts at ‘Mission: Impossible’ Crew Over Covid-19 Breach

On a film set in Britain, the actor tore into the crew with an expletive-laden rant. Production of the blockbuster film had previously been delayed by the pandemic.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cruise-tom, #italy, #london-england, #movies, #paramount-pictures, #sun-the-british-newspaper

The Spectrum Equity-backed video education platform Kajabi has already hit $60 million in ARR

Kajabi may not be an American household name, but users of the web hosting and video tech platform are now being seen in a lot of American households.

The company, initially bootstrapped and profitable since its launch, raised a minority investment from Spectrum Equity Partners last November, but that was merely icing on the cake for a business that had seen its user adoption surge.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed that adoption even higher as work-from-home gigs yield to work-from-home side hustles and anyone and everyone decides to get in on on the online education and training action, the company said.

In the past year alone, the company has seen its run rate cross $60 million in August and the company hit over $1 billion in recorded transactions milestone in March, according to chief marketing officer Orlando Baeza, who previously served as a marketing executive at Buzzfeed and Paramount Pictures .

Last November, the company took a minority equity investment from Spectrum Equity Partners, the first outside capital the company raised since its inception a bit over a decade ago.

Founded by a former commodities trader, Kenny Rueter, Kajabi is like Thinkific or Patreon primarily for online learning and video-based entrepreneurs.

“It’s not just a way  to sell your content,” said Kajabi President, Jonathan Cronstedt. “It does do your webpage, blog, email marketing, marketing automation, digital delivery. It does the  webinar aspect and the marketing you’d need to build up a list of prospects… It’s a platform from start to finish for an online business.”

If the best way to make money during a gold rush is to sell picks and shovels, then think of Kajabi as the pick and shovel purveyor for the self-help, startup guide, guru advice set.

The company touts its enabling of self-help legends like Brendon Burchard, Danielle Leslie, and Amy Porterfield, and, most recently, Sophia Amoruso, who joined the platform in August.

“We want  to empower entrepreneurs, experts and influencers  who are serious about their business to have success  online,” said Cronstedt in a November interview when the company took its minority investment from Spectrum Equity. 

The company’s toolkit basically serves as an integration of the various bundle of software a business would need to get itself off the ground. Instead of integrating Shopify, Wix, and other platforms to create a full stack of tools, Kajabi does it for a business.

“There’s endless ways you can use duct tape and bailing wire to get all of these solutions together,” said Cronstedt. “[Businesses are] not going to have the chance to get it out there  because they’re too busy trying to be a platform integrator… they never get into creating anything.”

With over 100 employees, the company sees itself on a pandemic-driven trajectory that should set the company up for massive growth.

Indeed, online learning is now a $220 billion global market, and the self-help market alone is $11 billion (people need a lot of help). The company also cites statistics that put the number of Americans pursuing a “side hustle” at roughly 35% with an estimated 40 million “solopreneurs” in the U.S. workforce.

“Since inception, we have helped 41 million users access great educational content and our customers have generated over 1 billion in sales,” said Rueter, in a November statement. “We feel fortunate to partner with incredible entrepreneurs who are sharing their expertise with the world and are excited to help so many more.”

#articles, #business, #buzzfeed, #economy, #entrepreneurship, #online, #online-education, #online-learning, #paramount-pictures, #president, #shopify, #sophia-amoruso, #tc, #trader, #united-states

Sumner Redstone, Hollywood Brawler

He embodied the impolite era of the media mogul, a time before streaming, when movie theaters and cable TV were all the rage.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #cable-television, #cbs-corporation, #diller-barry, #malone-john-c, #media, #mergers-acquisitions-and-divestitures, #movies, #paramount-pictures, #redstone-sumner-m, #television, #viacom-inc

Sumner Redstone Dies at 97; Built Media Empire and Long Reigned Over It

Starting with a chain of drive-in movie theaters, Mr. Redstone negotiated, sued and otherwise fought to amass a domain that included CBS and Viacom.

#cbs-corporation, #dauman-philippe-p, #deaths-obituaries, #herzer-manuela-1963, #moonves-leslie, #national-amusements-inc, #paramount-pictures, #redstone-shari, #redstone-sumner-m, #viacom-inc

This Weekend’s Live-Streaming Events: Lady Gaga’s Star-Studded Special and More

Appointment viewing is back. What online events to look out for today, and when to tune in.

#american-ballet-theater, #art, #badu-erykah, #bobs-burgers-tv-program, #broadway-com, #buyercellar-play, #classical-music, #copeland-misty, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #curtis-jamie-lee, #da-corte-alex, #dancing, #eilish-billie, #fox-entertainment-group-inc, #global-poverty-project, #la-la-land-movie, #lady-gaga, #lions-gate-entertainment-corporation, #lloyd-webber-andrew, #lopez-jennifer, #mccartney-paul, #movies, #musgraves-kacey, #paramount-pictures, #pop-and-rock-music, #reparations-play, #robyn-1979, #royal-calvin-iii, #segal-peter, #swift-taylor, #television, #the-hunger-games-book, #the-simpsons-tv-program, #theater, #tolins-jonathan, #tommy-boy-movie, #urie-michael, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #whitney-museum-of-american-art, #winfrey-oprah, #wonder-stevie, #world-health-organization

The Future That Hollywood Feared Is Happening Now

The pandemic has hastened at-home viewing trends and will probably disrupt longtime traditions like the Oscars. Here’s a season-by-season look at the movie calendar.

#academy-awards-oscars, #black-widow-movie, #cannes-international-film-festival, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #fast-9-movie, #hillbilly-elegy-movie, #mank-movie, #movies, #mulan-movie, #netflix-inc, #paramount-pictures, #soul-movie, #tenet-movie, #the-french-dispatch-movie, #the-lovebirds-movie, #trolls-world-tour-movie, #universal-pictures, #walt-disney-company, #west-side-story-movie, #wonder-woman-1984-movie

‘The Lovebirds’ reportedly skipping theaters and heading to Netflix

Netflix is picking up “The Lovebirds,” an upcoming romantic comedy starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae.

“The Lovebirds” reunites Nanjiani with director Michael Showalter. Their previous collaboration, “The Big Sick,” was distributed by Amazon Studios, who gave it a theatrical release before moving to streaming.

This is part of the ongoing fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced Hollywood studios to scramble as theaters close amidst a broader push for social distancing. Responses have ranged from delaying major releases to releasing movies early, either as digital rentals or via subscription streaming services like Disney+.

Paramount has already delayed a number of its releases, including “The Lovebirds” (originally scheduled for April 3) and “A Quiet Place II.” This is the first time the outbreak has prompted one of the major studios to have cancel a theatrical release entirely in favor of Netflix, but Paramount had an existing deal with the streamer and previously chose to distribute “The Cloverfield Paradox” via Netflix rather than theaters.

There does not appear to be an official announcement or release date yet. Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter are both reporting on the deal.

This approach likely makes more sense for a mid-budget romantic comedy like “The Lovebirds” than it does for a big-budget blockbuster — but according to The Wrap, Warner Bros. is even considering a streaming release for this summer’s “Wonder Woman.”

#coronavirus, #covid-19, #entertainment, #media, #netflix, #paramount-pictures, #tc