‘Minions’ Is Now the Third-Highest Grossing Animated Film of All-Time

The summer of Minions is still going strong. Last weekend, the film grossed $12.5 million globally, boosting its worldwide total to $989.4 million and making it the third highest-grossing animated feature of all-time. Minions edged out the $987.5M gross of Disney’s The Lion King for the bronze glory.

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The current top-10 animation grossers of all-time are:

Frozen (Disney): $1.27 billion
Toy Story 3 (Pixar): $1.06 billion
Minions (Illumination): $989.4 million
The Lion King (Disney): $987.5 million
Despicable Me 2 (Illumination): $970.8 million
Finding Nemo (Pixar): $936.7 million
Shrek 2 (DreamWorks): $919.8 million
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Blue Sky): $886.7 million
Ice Age: Continental Drift (Blue Sky): $877.2 million
Shrek the Third (DreamWorks): $799 million
Minions is now set to become only the third animated film ever to reach $1 billion at the worldwide box office. The film’s last major market is China next month, which will propel Minions past Toy Story 3′s lifetime total and earn second-place for the yellow henchmen on the all-time list.

Love’em or hate’em, Minions is a remarkable accomplishment for Illumination Entertainment, which is just eight years old. The studio’s next film, The Secret Life of Pets, will be released in July 2016.

‘Frozen 2′ update: Story to show a more playful Elsa; Will Olaf get a love interest?

Disney‘s latest princesses are back as the studio finally confirmed that the groundbreaking film, “Frozen,” will have a sequel with the production already underway.

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The story will reportedly depict a different side of Elsa, from the brooding and frightened princess who developed into a strong, determined and motivated queen of Arendelle. The plot will also pick up from the playful Elsa momentarily seen during animated short “Frozen Fever,” shown at the beginning of live-action movie “Cinderella.”

Director Chris Buck teases the film and said, “In the previous production, Elsa had such a difficult journey, and finally she is just beginning to feel like she should be open and enjoys life again. That is what was good about her in “Frozen Fever” follow up sequel – we could enjoy with Elsa, and that bit will be unveiled in the next one.”

Although Elsa will somehow have a good change, Buck reassured the fans that her relationship and connection with Anna will still be a central point in the sequel.

Meanwhile, voice lead actresses Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel as Anna and Elsa respectively, will also return to reprise their roles. Rumors have it that their characters are expected to have brand new dresses to replace the iconic blue gown that became a staple in little girls’ costume closets.

Bell took it to Twitter to previously announce the news and said, “Dreams really do come 2!!! #FROZEN2 #itsofficial.”

Director Jennifer Lee also tweeted her enthusiasm, “At last, I can say – FROZEN 2!!!! I’m beyond excited to create alongside my Frozen family!”

Josh Gad who voices the ever-cheerful Olaf will also come back and some reports are claiming that a love interest for the snowman may be introduced.

No official date has been set yet but based on the history of the franchise, the sequel may hit the theaters in 2018.

Kingdom Hearts 3 adds Big Hero 6 and Dark Baymax, Disney Infinity 3.0 introduces Force Awakens playset

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Star Wars Battlefront wasn’t the only game to take center stage at the D23 Expo this weekend, as new information about Kingdom Hearts III and Disney Infinity 3.0 was also revealed.

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New characters and Disney properties were unveiled for both upcoming prequels, including last year’s animated hit Big Hero 6 coming to KH3. As seen in the concept art above, Sora will travel to San Fransokyo in the latest game after the events of the film. While not much else is known about what San Fransokyo will play like in the game, the concept art does reveal one of the key elements of the game. (Spoiler alert for Big Hero 6) Sora’s enemies will be using their powers to create a Dark Baymax based on the Baymax body left behind in the portal at the end of the film. (End spoilers.)

Big Hero 6 joins Tangled as the announced new worlds coming to the sequel, which currently does not have a release date.

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As for Disney Infinity 3.0, the game’s third playset based on The Force Awakens was revealed courtesy of the new Star Wars film’s John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. The two stars came on stage at D23 to reveal the playset figures based on their characters Finn and Rey.

Additionally, Disney announced that Spot from The Last Dinosaur and Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps from Zootopia, as well as limited edition Star Wars figures that light up will all be coming to the game.

Check out Boyega and Ridley on stage below. Disney Infinity 3.0 is set to release on Aug. 30 for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, iOS, and Android devices.

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‘Disney Infinity 3.0′ update: New characters announced, Mickey and Minnie are included

Disney Infinity 3.0″ is getting closer and closer to its release date and fans are excited to know which characters are going to make an appearance. And Disney announced that more classic Disney characters will be arriving to the game’s “Star Wars” world.

At this year’s D23 Expo, Walt Disney announced that Mickey and Minnie are going to be in “Disney Infinity 3.0.” They will be joined by other Disney classics: Disney princess, Mulan, “Frozen’s” Olaf, and Peter Pan. Sam Flynn and the algorithm Quorra of “Tron: Legacy” will also be playable.

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Not launching with the game but available as a downloadable content in November is “The Good Dinosaur‘s” spot. In the same month, four Power Discs will be available and all will be based on the same movie.

Speaking of Power Discs, attendants of the expo already got their hands on a special Power Disc. The special disc is a limited item, with only 5,000 in circulation. The disc will allow gamers to turn classic Mickey into King Mickey.

As Disney seemed determined to pull out all the stops, the list does not end there. “Zootopia” is also joining the pool and will be represented by Judy and Nick. As the game is set in the “Star Wars” world, more “Star Wars” figures are also being thrown in to the game and they will be sporting lightsabers that light up when they are in the Infinity base.

The “Disney Infinity 3.0″ game will also have skins and other backdrops familiar to Disney fanboys and fangirls. Real world Hollywood’s El Capitan Theater and fictional Flynn’s Arcade from “Tron” will also be spotted in the game. Disney Parks will also factor a lot in the game.

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The open-world, Toy Box, has also been improved for the third iteration of “Disney Infinity.” Improvements include six new gameplay zones and the path creator. Farming is now also included, with the ability to hire townspeople as sidekicks. Check out the other new features in Toy Box on IGN.

“Disney Infinity 3.0″ will be available for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U and PC this Aug. 30.

The Director of ‘Frozen’ Says That Elsa and Anna Are Related to…Tarzan?!

Is it really a fan theory if it comes from the director of the movie?

First, let’s back up: We all know the theory that connects Frozen to Tangled and The Little Mermaid, right? The one that says the King and Queen of Arendelle were actually en route to Rapunzel and Eugene’s wedding when they perished at sea? Hence, why the Tangled characters make a cameo in Frozen

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Look, they’re right there in the bottom left hand corner! Post-haircut!
Using our amateur cartography skills, we know Corona = Germany, Arendelle = Norway, and The Little Mermaid takes place off the coast of Denmark, so what if the sunken ship Ariel finds is actually the King and Queen’s?

Spooky.

Well, directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee kind of confirmed the first part in a Reddit AMA, when they were asked point-blank where the King and Queen were going. As for the latter, you should be looking to a different Disney movie:

Vis-à-vis, Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) have a brother and that brother is Tarzan! Could these parents really be the same people?

Buck recently reconfirmed his theory to MTV News, explaining, “When you’re working on [an animated] feature, you have a lot of time to think about stuff because it takes four years to make one.”

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He continued:

“I said, ’Of course Anna and Elsa’s parents didn’t die.’ Yes, there was a shipwreck, but they were at sea a little bit longer than we think they were because the mother was pregnant, and she gave birth on the boat, to a little boy. They get shipwrecked, and somehow they really washed way far away from the Scandinavian waters, and they end up in the jungle. They end up building a tree house and a leopard kills them, so their baby boy is raised by gorillas. So in my little head, Anna and Elsa’s brother is Tarzan — but on the other side of that island are surfing penguins, to tie in a non-Disney movie, ’Surf’s Up.’ That’s my fun little world.”

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Well…OK! “I say, whatever people want to believe, go for it,” Buck continued. “If you want to tie them all together, then do it. That’s the spirit of Disney.”

Meanwhile, we will add a Tarzan cameo to our wish list for Frozen 2.

Now, find out how Idina Menzel’s son uses Frozen to charm the ladies:

What Makes Despicable Me’s Minions So Gosh Dang Meme-able?

The Minions have already established a foothold in our theaters, raking in more than $100 million this weekend, and now they’re coming for our memes. Minions have been blowing up in the meme scene for months, and even the savvy souls plastering their little yellow forms across Tumblr, Twitter, and Imgur seem to find their appeal inexplicable — almost as if they’re not creating these memes consciously but are instead being compelled by some unknowable Lovecraftian force.

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Whatever Minion fever is, it’s spreading across the web. British Vogue pretended to put Minions on its cover. BuzzFeed replaced Disney princesses with Minions, captioning each photo, “I’m so sorry.” Minion erotica has been popping up in surprisingly mainstream places.

Is this appreciation ironic? Sincere? A little bit of both? It’s hard to tell — you can read Minions memes simultaneously as a satirical commentary on overexposed pop-culture merchandising and a joyful embrace of their lab-grown adorableness. With their yellow skin and exaggerated facial features, Minions are essentially anthropomorphized emoji. They’re cute, they’re enthusiastic, they’re kind of gross, and they’re also struggling through life: In short, they’re exactly the way most online communities see themselves. Aside from that, they don’t really have individual personalities, which makes them the perfect canvas upon which to project whatever desires you want.

Let’s take a tour. (Meme authors credited where we could find them. If you made one of these, let us know!)

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Meme carbon dating is imprecise, but most scientists agree that the earliest Minions memes to appear were generally antiauthoritarian, in the same manner of antiauthoritarianism that often pops up on your relatives’ Facebook pages:

The Pokemon Company Expands Digital Content Reach

The company behind all things Pokemon is going aggressively after kids who own tablets this summer, expanding the digital Poke-presence with the apps Camp Pokemon and Pokemon TV.

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Both apps serve different portions of the fanbase. The Camp Pokemon app is geared more toward fans of the card game. Its main attraction is the Pokemon TCG Match activity, which contains three modes of play: matching pairs of cards, matching cards by Energy type, and matching cards by Evolution chain. By aceing these games, players can earn Energy symbol pins for their Pin Book.

Camp Pokemon has a few episodes of the animated series, but for those who want more, there’s the Pokemon TV app. Storing all 700-plus episodes of the cartoon wouldn’t be feasible for a free app, so Pokemon TV has instead a rotating selection of over 50 choice favorites from the show’s 16-year history. The lineup changes every week, so if you don’t see the one you were looking for, just wait a bit and it might turn up.

Camp Pokemon and the Pokemon TV app are available on both the App Store and Google Play. For those who want to view the Pokemon TV app directly on their TVs, it’s only currently possible on Google Chromecast.

 

‘Frozen 2′ news: lovable snowman Olaf to have more screen time; sequel will explain Elsa’s powers

The team that introduced Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and the song that you cannot escape from will soon be back with a sequel to “Frozen.”

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Disney made a lot of fans happy with their announcement last March that “Frozen 2” is in the pipeline and is expected to return to the big screen before 2018.

John Lassiter, Disney‘s Chief Creative Officer, said they enjoyed making the movie so much that they are taking fans back to that world.

“Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck have come up with a great idea for a sequel and you will be hearing a lot more about it and we’re taking you back to Arendelle,” Lassiter announced. “We are so excited about that.”

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Unfortunately, that is all that Lassiter had to say about the movie and as always, Disney has been characteristically quiet on what fans could expect from “Frozen 2.”

But fans are not letting a little secrecy stop them from formulating their own theories on what “Frozen 2” will be about. According to some reports, the strong bond between Anna and Elsa were surprising considering they were separated at such an early age, so fans are hoping that the sequel will touch on this.

Of course, everyone wants to know how Elsa discovered her powers and how the two sisters’ relationship will progress.

Stars, Idina Menzel (Elsa), Kristen Bell (Anna), Josh Grad (Olaf) and Jonathan Groff (Kristoff) are reportedly back on board and will reprise their beloved characters.

In other good news, the 34-year-old Grad’s Olaf will be getting more screen time, as fans hearts have apparently melted for the lovable snowman.

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Eva Bella, the talented 13-year-old who lent her voice to the young Elsa, is also back and has excitedly shared that she has been going to the studio regularly to record.

Frozen 2” is expected to blow audiences away once more when it opens in theaters on Nov. 21, 2018.

Film review: Fur flies in Ted 2 as Seth MacFarlane’s bear faces courtroom fight

Ted 2

Ted 2 Movie

Director: Seth MacFarlane

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried

Two stars

Ted 2 asks a question that we never needed, or particularly wanted, to know the answer to: is Ted, the magical, foul-mouthed teddy bear, a person in the eyes of the law?

While it’s unfair to judge a comedy simply for a ridiculous premise, here it also happens to be the unlikely killer of the overstuffed sequel. And resolution does not come quickly enough in this nearly two-hour rumination on civil rights and abject stupidity.

Part of the charm of Ted Bear costume, writer-director Seth MacFarlane’s better-than-it-should-have-been story of a grown man and his sentient stuffed animal, was how unaffectedly it treated its talking teddy. Ted just is. No one thinks too hard about the how or why of it.

Combining that silly foundation with Mark Wahlberg’s endearingly dopey intensity was a stroke of brilliance. The movie was allowed to only be about their friendship, and it worked.

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Making a sequel to an original comedy is always a tough prospect. More often than not, the desire to please fans and recreate the magic of the original produces nothing more than an exaggerated rehash.

In an admirable effort to go down a different route, MacFarlane has instead done something hopelessly bizarre: he has given his film too much sincerity and story, which practically crushes whatever fun exists.

This time, we meet up with Ted (voiced again by MacFarlane) at his wedding to fellow ­grocery-store clerk and gum-smacking bombshell Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). Their newly-wed bliss soon curdles, however, and they decide to have a baby to save the marriage.

Because the natural way of ­going about this is not an option, Tami-Lynn and Ted decide to try adoption. It’s then that a state authority steps in and asks whether or not a stuffed animal, sentient or not, should be afforded the rights of a human.

Very quickly, Ted loses his job, his marriage is invalidated and audiences are forced to endure a horrifying ordeal: that of watching a whiny, self-righteous Ted.

Then Ted and his best friend John (Wahlberg), now a sad-sack divorcee, hook up with Samantha Jackson (Amanda Seyfried), a rookie lawyer who is willing to take their case pro bono, and a few montages later, they’re off to fight the good fight – in excruciating detail.

Seriously, there are almost-interesting debates over Ted’s humanity and a few fairly earnest references to the 13th Amendment and Dred Scott, an African-American slave who unsuccessfully launched a legal battle for freedom for his family in the 1840s and 1850s. It’s a wonder Ted 2 didn’t also venture into artificial intelligence territory.

Still, it’s very rare for a MacFarlane venture to be completely unfunny. Even A Million Ways to Die in the West had its moments. The highlights in Ted 2 are almost worth it. There’s a Busby Berkeley-style opening number, a fantastic Liam Neeson cameo, a riff on what the F stands for in F Scott Fitzgerald, a Jurassic Park bit and a few other gems.

There’s even an over-the-top fight at New York ComicCon (with more than a few Transformers robots peppering the background, though it is unclear whether that is poking fun at Wahlberg’s association with the franchise or promoting it). The sequence had some promise, in spite of the vitriol fuelling the joke, but it’s all too late.

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MacFarlane continues to be a unique, and probably misunderstood, artist in popular culture. His venomous humour, basic moral code, crass sensibilities and fondness for classic showmanship are, at the very least, an interesting combination for a modern entertainer. But they haven’t quite meshed yet, at least on film.

The misadventures of a couple of crass knuckleheads should be simple fun. It’s quite all right to try for a more substantive story in something so trivial – but the silliness of the first has ceded to something that’s also a little more hateful and bitter.

Ted and John should have stayed on the couch and out of the courtroom.