dolittle behind the scenes problems

Another week, another story about how a box office disaster ended up the way it did. But Dolittle, which is on track to be Universal’s first massive box office bomb of the year, is unique in that these stories are coming right now and not right after release.

By now you’ve probably heard some of the tales of infamy surrounding the $175 million family blockbuster starring Robert Downey Jr. — the nonsensical storyline, the badly CGI’d talking animals, the dragon fart scene. But what you may not know is that most of those problems that Dolittle is currently getting slammed for (with a whopping 19% on Rotten Tomatoes) got added by Universal in a series of costly reshoots and tonal tinkering in an attempt to appeal to a global audience. (Cue dragon fart noise.)

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fox name change

Say goodbye to 20th Century Fox (and Fox Searchlight, too). Disney, which purchased Fox last year, is killing off the Fox name and rebranding the respective companies as 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures. Insiders suspect the move is an attempt to distance the studios from Fox News, which was not part of Disney’s acquisition.

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shane carruth retiring

Shane Carruth isn’t what you’d call a prolific filmmaker, but the two films he’s delivered – Primer and Upstream Color – are held in high regard. Fans have been hoping for a new Carruth-directed film for almost seven years now, and the good news is that their wish might soon be granted. The bad news is that Carruth might be retiring once this next film is made.

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WarnerMedia WB Logo

Update: An in-the-know source has reached out to correct some of the information in this story. Turns out that Cinelytic is only being used by Warner Bros. International as an additive tool to help select release dates, and not, as many have suggested, in any sort of major creative capacity. Our original story continues below.

The frequent tug-of-war between art and commerce means that there have long been Hollywood studio executives whose jobs include looking at analytics and trying to assess whether greenlighting a certain film will be financially beneficial to their shareholders. Now Warner Bros. is inviting artificial intelligence into the equation, because the studio has signed a deal with a company called Cinelytic to use its project management system and “leverage the system’s comprehensive data and predictive analytics to guide decision-making at the greenlight stage.” Is this situation as bad as it sounds?

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Dan Harmon Left Starburns Industries

Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon has been hard at work with Justin Roiland on new episodes of the popular Adult Swim animated series. So far we’ve only seen five episodes of the latest fourth season, but with an unprecedented order for 70 total new episodes, we’ve got plenty more to come. In fact, it’s all the time Dan Harmon has been spending on Rick and Morty that resulted in him leaving behind the animation-focused Starburns Industries production company he co-founded back in 2010. Read More »

How John Mulaney Got Started in Comedy

Back in 2005, comedian Dave Chappelle shocked everybody by fleeing to South Africa in the middle of a lucrative deal with Comedy Central while the third season of his sketch series Chappelle’s Show was still in production. But did you know that Saturday Night Live writer and comedian John Mulaney was the one who had to break the news to Comedy Central executives that Chappelle was gone? Learn more in a video explaining how John Mulaney got started in comedy below. Read More »

Hasbro eOne Merger Deal

The toy company Hasbro has been comfortable turning some of their valuable properties like Transformers, G.I. Joe, Battleship, and Ouija into major motion pictures at Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures. But it seems like the toymaker is looking to start making its own movies and expanding its licensing agreements at the same time thanks to a merger deal that recently closed with the independent Canadian studio Entertainment One. Read More »

Netflix Shrinking End Credits

BoJack Horseman will soon be wrapping up its sixth and final season with a final batch of episodes debuting on Netflix on January 31. That means creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg is free to throw some shade at the home of his critically-acclaimed animated series – specifically at how the streaming service handles the end credits.

Any Netflix user can tell you that once a movie or show is over, after a few seconds of rolling a small amount of the names who worked on the given film or series, the end credits are minimized into a small window in favor of teasing a Netflix original project. That’s frustrating to Raphael Bob-Waksberg, who finds it disrespectful and hopes to work with a distributor who doesn’t treat series creators and the creative minds responsible for making movies and TV shows so flippantly. Read More »

Universal Updating Cats Visual Effects

The big screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Cats is already a disaster for a number of reasons. Chief among them are the unsettling cat-human hybrids at the center of the story, brought to life thanks to digital fur technology and motion-capture performances. Director Tom Hooper and the rest of his crew were working 36-hours straight up until 8am the morning before the world premiere, but it sounds like they didn’t quite finish everything they needed to. Read More »

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Ticket Sales

With just one day before Thursday night previews bring Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to entire world, it looks like online ticket sales for the movie’s opening weekend are pretty much on par with where The Last Jedi was at the same time in the sales cycle. What do The Rise of Skywalker ticket sales numbers mean for the box office success of the movie? Let’s talk it out below. Read More »