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Rovio's Desperate Push For 'Angry Birds' Movie

Slashdot.org - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 17:30
An anonymous reader writes:Last year Rovio "cut 213 jobs, affecting all departments except those working on the film and its related projects," remembers VentureBeat, describing their effort to make a movie about three outcast birds on an island of happier birds who all meet in an anger management class. But "Since Rovio funded the entire film, the directors didn't have to answer to an executive committee or a board of trustees..." reports VentureBeat, quoting director Clay Kaytis as saying "We had to make ourselves happy... We were making the films for [ourselves] instead of for a larger entity that expects something in return." After working for four years from a script by Jon Vitti (a writer for both The Simpsons and The Office), and funding a marketing onslaught that lasted nine months, Rovio finally saw their Angry Birds movie open in this weekend's #1 spot, according to the New York Times. "Most of the 'Angry Birds' financial risk fell to Rovio, the Finnish video game company, which paid $173 million to make and market the movie. As such, Rovio will receive the bulk of any profit." In China, McDonald's released special Angry Birds burgers with red or green buns...which at least one patron complained made the buns look moldy.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Box Office: Angry Birds Movie Dethrones Cap 3

IGN.com - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 13:43

After holding strong at number one for two weeks in a row, Captain America: Civil War slipped to second place at the box office this weekend, thanks to the debut of The Angry Birds Movie, which claimed the top spot with $39 million.

Sony’s animated feature performed as well as forecasts projected, eclipsing the $33.1 million figure that Disney's new Marvel movie earned during its third weekend in U.S. theaters. While Civil War surpassed $1 billion at the worldwide box office earlier this week, it saw a 54 percent decline this weekend.

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The Big Bang Theory: Season 9 Review

IGN.com - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 11:30

Warning: Full spoilers for the ninth season of The Big Bang Theory below.

In a TV landscape where lasting success is incredibly difficult to come by, The Big Bang Theory has defied all odds and managed to survive for a full nine seasons (with at least one more yet to come). In terms of ratings, the show is as popular and successful as ever. In terms of quality, things were a little more chaotic this year. Season 9 took some interesting gambles that helped shake up the familiar formula. At the same time, there was an awful lot of wasted potential, particularly in the latter half of the season. The result was a very uneven and often frustrating experience.

The fallout of Season 8 necessitated a few major changes when the show returned last fall. For one thing, Sheldon (Jim Parsons) was coping with being dumped by long-time girlfriend Amy (Mayim Bialik) even as he was on the verge of proposing to her. Meanwhile, Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) were still determined to carry out their impulsive Vegas wedding despite Leonard admitting to a drunken faux pas during his extended absence months before. Both of those storylines set the tone for the first few months of the season. The Big Bang Theory suddenly became a darker and more drama-fueled show. "Darker" being a very relative term, of course, but the tonal shift was very apparent in the premiere and long afterward.

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Batman v Superman: Dead Robin's Identity Revealed

IGN.com - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 07:49

After showcasing the suit of a dead Robin in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. has finally confirmed the dead character's identity is Jason Todd.

Warner Bros. revealed the character's identity in a Hollywood studio tour video (via Batman-News), which you can check out at the 1:33 mark below:

"This was one of the big things from Batman v Superman, right across this way. The Jason Todd Robin suit," the video's tour guide explained. "Spray painted on the front 'Ha ha. The joke’s on you Batman.' Those of you that know the storyline, know what happened to this Robin."

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Outlander's Claire and Jamie Discuss the Fallout of "Faith"

IGN.com - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 21:05

Full spoilers for Outlander's latest episode, "Faith," continue below.

There's a lot left unsaid between Claire and Jamie Fraser when they finally reunite at the end of "Faith." She is still reeling from the loss of their child, he is newly out of prison and missed the entire experience, and both of Outlander's main characters decide it's finally time to return to Scotland after an attempt to change history that has gone off with quite a few hitches.

Claire and Jamie might have had a difficult time processing the events of the episode, but stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe have had plenty of time to understand the emotions their characters are struggling with. For Heughan, the way Jamie processes the loss of his child is through his pain for his wife.

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Outlander: "Faith" Review

IGN.com - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 21:04

Full spoilers for Outlander continue below. For more insight on the episode, check out our interview with stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan.

Outlander pulled no punches with "Faith," the best episode of Season 2 to date and an excellent canvas for star Caitriona Balfe to give her best work of the series. Starting with a flashforward (more on that later) and then staying with Claire as she lost her baby, came home to an empty house with Jamie imprisoned and did what needed to be done to free him, "Faith" was a strong, focused episode that also served as an insightful exploration of loss.

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New Star Trek Beyond Scenes Described

IGN.com - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 20:17

Paramount Pictures thrilled Trekkies, Trekkers and Treksters (is that a thing?) alike on Friday night with its Star Trek Beyond Fan Event, a promotional push for the upcoming third picture in the rebooted franchise intended to get fans excited for the film. The evening, which took place on the Paramount lot in Hollywood, included cast and filmmaker appearances, a Leonard Nimoy tribute, footage debuts, a party held amid a treasure trove of Trek prop and costume displays, and more.

Not only did the new trailer for the film debut at the event, and then online shortly afterwards (watch it below), but we were also shown a few scenes from the film. An opening montage sequence depicted Chris Pine’s Kirk doing the Captain’s Log thing that we know so well from the old show. The Enterprise is now two or three years into its famed five-year mission, he says, and the day to day drudgery of life on the ship has settled in. The humorous touch of co-writer Simon Pegg (who of course also plays Scotty) is clear here, as Kirk opens his closet where nothing hangs but a dozen of the same yellow uniforms, or as he talks about how the Enterprise’s mission now feels like a series of “episodes.” It’s funny but also has a real old-school Star Trek feel to it, as if the Abramsverse characters have finally grown into the Enterprise crew we remember so well.

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Angry Birds: From Mobile App to Full-Fledged Movie

IGN.com - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 15:09

Adapting a video game, let alone a mobile app, into a movie is no easy feat, but The Angry Birds Movie was unique in that it had a basic premise and eye-catching characters to go on, but not much else. And as first-time directors Clay Kaytis (Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph) and Fergal Reilly (Hotel Transylvania, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) put it, that gave them the freedom to really explore Rovio's multicolored world and take it in new, comedic directions.

Recently, IGN got a chance to sit down with the two filmmakers, both in a press conference and one-on-one, to talk about their take on Angry Birds, how Tangled and The Iron Giant influenced the film, and why the Angry Birds aren't actually birds...

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Preacher: Why Dominic Cooper Is the Right Pick for Jesse Custer

IGN.com - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 13:30

Casting the role of Jesse Custer wasn't a simple process, but when it came time to consider Dominic Cooper to play the lead in AMC's new comic book series Preacher, showrunner Sam Catlin reflects that it actually was a pretty easy "yes."

Cooper is best known for playing Marvel's Howard Stark (Captain America: The First Avenger, Agent Carter) and has had recognizable roles in films such as Need For Speed, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Warcraft, but there were two characters in particular who caught Catlin's eye. Because of the changes in the casting process, much of the casting for Preacher was done off reels instead of in person. The showrunner said it wasn't until he saw Cooper in The Devil's Double that casting him as Jesse Custer clicked.

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Halo 5 Warzone Firefight Expected to Drop in June

IGN.com - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 11:25

Halo 5: Guardians' Warzone Firefight is scheduled to release at the end of June, 343 Industries announced.

The game's next update—Hog Wild—is expected to drop at the end of this month, but the developer recently decided to hold much of its "bigger items" until the Warzone Firefight release.

Along with the PvE mode, 343 Industries will include new game updates, features, REQs, and "plenty more" in the June update. It'll be Halo 5: Guardians' "largest release to date," and the developer will be unveiling more about it in the "coming weeks."

Players can expect the Hog Wild REQs at the end of this month. Halo 5: Guardians' Memories of Reach update launched earlier in May, bringing with it Halo: Reach Noble Team–inspired REQs and fan-favorite Infection mode.

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Fear the Walking Dead: What's Next for Chris?

IGN.com - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 10:24

This Sunday, May 22nd, Fear the Walking Dead airs its midseason finale, "Shiva," as our survivors must come to terms with all the new drama down in Mexico and Celia's basement full of walkers.

So will all those walkers get set free somehow? That's a good bet considering that this is Season 2's midway point. But what role will Chris play? We already know what Madison, Travis and Daniel have their hands full with the crazy compound leader, but Chris' actions last week paint the picture of a very disturbed young man. Is he redeemable or will he sink further into darkness? These new images from the episode show Chris, but what is he up to?

Also, it looks like both Madison and Ofelia try to talk some sense into Celia. Check out the gallery...

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The TV Show Obituary: Here's What Got Cancelled

IGN.com - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 09:20

Welcome to the 2016 edition of the IGN TV Show Obituary, formerly known as the "Endangered Series" list. With all of the broadcast networks having announced their 2016-2017 lineups this past week (and thus making their final renewal and cancellation decisions) it's time to put another endangered list to bed...

Per usual, you'll find shows below that ended for very different reasons. A lucky few got to end "naturally," with pre-announced final seasons and true series finales. But for the unfortunate remainder, whether after one season or four, the show was more abruptly cancelled - some series with more closure than others when last we saw them.

Note that our focus here is specifically on broadcast network series that ran during the traditional TV season, so cable shows (which don't operate under the same September-May TV season cycle) or summer series are not included.

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New ABC Trailers Feature Kiefer Sutherland, Hayley Atwell and More

IGN.com - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 09:00

ABC debuted trailers for all their upcoming new TV series this past week at their Upfront presentation in New York. Check out all the trailers below, including Kiefer Sutherland's intense-looking new series, Hayley Atwell's follow-up to Agent Carter, a new comedy with Minnie Driver and a new take on the HG Wells vs. Jack the Ripper story, Time After Time.

Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor Kiefer Sutherland (“24”) returns to primetime in a conspiracy thriller as Tom Kirkman, a lower-level cabinet member who unexpectedly becomes president after a devastating attack on Washington. He will struggle to prevent the country and his own family from falling into chaos, as he is thrust into one of the most difficult presidencies in history.

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Fruit Ninja: Live-Action Family Movie in the Works

IGN.com - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 08:06

Halfbrick Studios' popular mobile game Fruit Ninja is getting a live-action film adaptation.

According The Hollywood Reporter, the movie will be a family-friendly comedy that "centers on ninjas with an inexplicable vendetta against produce."

Tripp Vinson of Vinson Films is producing the film in partnership with developer Halfbrick Studios. Tara Farney and Sam White will executive produce, with J.P. Lavin and Chad Damiani—the writing duo behind the in-development film adaptation of How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack—penning the script.

This isn't the first mobile franchise to receive a film adaptation, as a movie based on Rovio's super successful Angry Birds franchise opens in theaters today. For our thoughts on Sony Pictures' animated flick, check out IGN's review of The Angry Birds Movie.

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True Detective Director May Helm HBO Miniseries Napoleon

IGN.com - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 08:03

True Detective director Cary Fukunaga is in talks to direct an HBO miniseries based on Stanley Kubrick's script for a Napoleon film that was never made.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fukunaga is currently in negotiations to helm the project, which centers around the story of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's quest to gain complete control of Europe.

David Leland is on board to write the miniseries, which is being co-produced by HBO and MGM. Steven Spielberg, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey will executive produce through Amblin Television.

Kubrick did extensive research for his Napoleon film project back in the 1960s and planned to shoot the movie in several locations across Europe. However, the project was put on indefinite hold after the releases of War and Peace and Waterloo made it less viable commercially.

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DC Universe Rebirth #1 Review

IGN.com - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 01:27

Note: this is an advance review of DC Universe Rebirth #1, which will be released on Wednesday, May 25. It's difficult to discuss this comic without acknowledging the many significant developments within. Because of that, and because spoilers for the issue have already hit the Internet, we've elected to discuss some specific story details in the review. We won't cover every twist in this issue (you can read our round-up of all the major DC Rebirth plot twists for that), but we do address the more significant plot points (including the ending) and how they play into the larger themes of the book. If you'd rather remain spoiler-free until Wednesday, just know that the comic is very good and well worth the surprisingly low price of admission. 

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DC Universe: Rebirth #1 Full Spoilers Leak Online

IGN.com - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 22:57

Full spoilers for the DC Universe: Rebirth #1 by writer Geoff Johns and artists Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, Gary Frank and Phil Jimenez special one-shot issue have leaked on Reddit, prompting DC to lift the embargo on plot details early. This issue sets the tone and gives the story reason for DC's upcoming relaunch, and it is jam-packed with crazy revelations. For those who’d like to know what happens, read on, but if you’d rather not be spoiled, click away now.

Warning: seriously, full spoilers for DC Universe: Rebirth #1!

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Banshee: Series Finale Review

IGN.com - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 22:03

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

It's hard to nail every note with a series finale, but I appreciated the restraint of Banshee's "Requiem." I may not have liked Proctor's end, or cared enough about Kurt and Calvin's brother-Brotherhood turmoil (especially once Calvin's coup was quickly quelled) to watch an extended fight scene, but there was enough here that, I felt, honored the rest of the characters.

A normal Banshee season finale would be overloaded with action. Particularly at the end. Here, in the show's final episode, the second half was devoted to goodbyes (except for Deva's), and those worked really well. Brock and Kurt talking trust (along with Brock's very Hood-like "Sometimes you gotta take off these badges and get bloody" credo). Carrie and Hood's farewell (complete with sensual, loving flashbacks). And then the "suck my tit" disbanding of the Hood/Job/Sugar trio. Sometimes it's okay to go out with a whimper.

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Microsoft Finds Legal Path To Launch Minecraft In China

Slashdot.org - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 21:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Minecraft's PC and smartphone versions are finally coming to China. On Friday, Microsoft and Mojang announced the beginning of a "five-year exclusive partnership" with Chinese software publisher NetEase, Inc to roll the game out onto Chinese computer and smartphone marketplaces. Microsoft was able to publish the game on Xbox One consoles late last year, but those consoles have yet to penetrate the Chinese market to the extent that PCs and smartphones have, and the fact that even Microsoft had to license the game to someone else as opposed to launching it from its own Shanghai campus is a stern reminder of what roadblocks stand in the way of Western software developers. "The most challenging aspect of doing business in China by far is dealing with the government," former PopCap executive James Gwertzman said at the 2010 Game Developers Conference. Game publishers must acquire a combined six permits to launch a game in China, and most of those permits cannot be acquired by foreign-operated companies. Microsoft is presumably in the exact same regulatory boat, and its choice of partner is telling; NetEase already has a major Western-gaming reputation thanks to its partnership with megawatt game makers Blizzard. Gwertzman guessed that Minecraft will probably avoid such undue attention with its upcoming launch. "Minecraft is on the good side as it encourages teamwork and learning," he said. "I see Minecraft as the perfect example of a game that will receive public support [in China]." Meanwhile, American technology companies like Apple and Microsoft are undergoing security reviews in the communist country.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Giant Overwatch Action Figures Unveiled Across the World

IGN.com - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 20:32

Overwatch made a big promotional splash today, emphasis on big, when three giant action figures of characters from the game were unveiled in Los Angeles, California (Tracer), Paris, France (Genji), and Busan, South Korea (Pharah).

Each figure, standing about 15 feet tall, was housed in action-figure packaging complete with accessories, stats on the back, and a “Try Me!” button that, when pushed, made a part of the figure light up.

I went down to Hollywood Blvd to check out the Tracer figure, which was planted right on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (in front of the star belonging to Britney Spears, no less). Being in the middle of a busy tourist area, tons of people were taking pictures, although none seemed to know what it was, save for one teenage girl who ran up, excited as can be, talking about how much she couldn't wait to play as Tracer, her favorite character.

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