‘Despicable Me 3′ rakes in nearly $100 million, smashes US holiday weekend box office

LOS ANGELES: ‘Despicable Me 3′, the latest installment of the animated crime caper series, smashed the North American box office through the US holiday weekend, taking in nearly $100 million, industry figures showed Wednesday.

Minions Mascot Adult Costume Despicable Me 3

Minions Mascot Adult Costume Despicable Me 3

The latest installment of the franchise that opened in theatres last Friday hauled in $99 million through the five-day weekend, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Steve Carell stars as the voice of “despicable” bad guy-turned-protagonist Gru — and his twin brother Dru — in the Universal film.

It also features Kristen Wiig as Gru’s wife Lucy and ‘South Park’ co-creator Trey Parker as Balthazar Bratt, a former child star and evil villain whose fashion sense is suck in the ’80s.

Debuting in second place was hotly anticipated heist thriller ‘Baby Driver’, with $30 million.

Ansel Elgort (“The Fault in Our Stars”) stars as a gifted getaway driver who suffers from tinnitus — ringing in his ears — and has to play music on an iPod to concentrate when he is behind the wheel.

Falling to third after its debut weekend at the top of the box office was “Transformers: The Last Knight,” the fifth installment in the blockbuster series which raked in $24 million.

The film, which is heavy on visual effects, features actors Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro and Anthony Hopkins, and opened to what was by far the weakest debut in the franchise’s history.

Warner Bros. superhero action film “Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot as the Amazonian goddess-princess, earned $24 million, landing in fourth place and bringing the film’s total domestic ticket sales to $354.6 million in five weeks.

Meanwhile Pixar’s “Cars 3″ cruised into fifth place, with $14.2 million in its third weekend.

The animated movie features Lightning McQueen and his longtime friends fighting off a challenge from a new generation of racers, voiced by actors including Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo and Armie Hammer.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

- ‘The House’ ($11.9 million)

- ’47 Meters Down’ ($5.4 million)

- ‘The Beguiled’ ($4.4 million)

- ‘The Mummy’ ($4.4 million)

- ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ ($3.8 million)

Christmas Pikachu and second-gen babies show up in Pokémon Go

If you needed an excuse to go for a walk, then get your coat on because Pokémon Go just received a big update. New Pokémon from the second generation can now be hatched from eggs and there’s a limited edition, Christmas-hat-wearing Pikachu to be found.

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The much desired, hotly anticipated and regularly rumored new Pokémon for the mobile app Pokémon Go are finally here. Players around the world can now get their tapping fingers on the likes of Pichu, Togepi, Igglybuff, Elekid, and Cleffa, among others, as well as a special Christmas version of Pikachu.

To date, Pokémon Go has been limited to first-generation Pokémon — the pocket monsters found in the original Pokémon Red and Blue/Green. However, with many more generations of Pokémon to potentially add, fans began eagerly awaiting some of their favorites from later game releases and now they’re finally here.

This isn’t a full generational release, however, and most of the newly available Pokémon do only seem to be appearing from random egg hatches, but they are there. Announced Pokémon include Pichu, Togepi, Cleffa, Magby, Igglybuff, Tyrogue, Elekid, and Smoochum. These are all classed as “baby” Pokémon from the second-generation games: pre-evolutionary forms of other Pokémon.

A number of these have been confirmed in-game by fans over at the Pokémon Go subreddit, though some are still proving elusive.

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One Pokémon that many are hoping to find is the special Christmas Pikachu. Only available until December 29, the little electric rat comes complete with a Christmas hat. There are even some claiming that the hat carries over to its evolved form, Raichu, making it a real limited edition Pokémon that long-time fans of the game will want to find before it’s gone for good.

As nice as these additions to the game are though, there are some who are a little disappointed. There have been rumors and speculation about the second-generation Pokémon release in Pokémon Go for the past few weeks, with many suggesting we could see the entire additional 100-plus Pokémon from the original Silver and Gold games.

That still hasn’t happened as of yet, but considering this initial release is starting to introduce Pokémon from that generation, the rest may well follow in short order.

Rob Letterman To Direct Pokemon Film ‘Detective Pikachu’ For Legendary

Legendary made the movie deal in July at the height of the Pokemon Go craze, in which followers accumulated pocket monsters through their phones by passing by locations. The movie covers a different aspect in the Pokémon universe. Letterman’s credits include Goosebumps and Monsters Vs. Aliens, which he directed, and Shark Tale, which he wrote and directed. He is represented by WME.

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Universal Pictures, Legendary’s distribution partner, will release the live-action film outside Japan. The Pokémon Company’s longtime movie collaborator, Toho, will handle distribution of the film franchise in Japan, as it had done in its partnership with Legendary on its iconic monster reboot for Godzilla.

First introduced in Japan in 1996, Pokémon video games have sold more than 279 million units worldwide across its various incarnations, 21.5 billion TCG cards have been shipped to 74 countries, and the animated series spanned 20 seasons.

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‘Frozen 2′ News And Updates: Olaf Christmas Special To Air Next Year; Sequel To Start Recording Soon?

Fans of the phenomenal movie “Frozen” might have something to watch out for while waiting for its sequel to materialize. Actress Kristen Bell recently confirmed that they have been working on something special for their avid supporters.

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During an interview with Collider, Bell, who voiced Anna in “Frozen,” revealed that she just finished recording for her reprised role. But no, it’s not for “Frozen 2.” It turns out, the cast and crew of the hit Disney movie is working on other related projects.
“What we have been working on is an Olaf Christmas special that we’re doing for next year (airing on ABC).” the 36-year-old actress revealed. “We’ve recorded that already, which has been a lot of fun to work on.”
The said project is for the 2017 holiday special which focused on the cheerful snowman, Olaf. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Sven are also set to return. The special, which is still untitled, will be directed by award winning directors Kevin Deters and Steven Wermers-Skelton. It will also be produced by Oscar Award-winner Roy Conli of the “Big Hero 6.” Original voice cast will also reprise their roles for the said special including Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Josh Gad.
Meanwhile, Bell also clarified that they haven’t began recording yet which is contrary to her earlier statement that they were about to commence recording for “Frozen 2.”

“We haven’t, actually. I thought we were about to start recording, but I was mistaken. So, we haven’t begun yet,” Bell admitted, clarifying her claims back in March.

The actress also added that the writers are working hard to polish the script, saying: “They’re putting the finishing touches on the script. We record, as those characters, often. At the change of season at the parks, whether it’s for Disneyland, Epcot, or when Japan opens, we will record new voices for our characters, but we actually haven’t started recording for the second Frozen.”
As of this writing, no official premiere date has been confirmed for “Frozen 2” but it is expected to release in late 2018.

Watch: First trailer for Universal’s Despicable Me spin-off Minions

Universal Pictures Ireland has sent us over the trailer for their forthcoming Minions, a spin-off of their excellent series Despicable Me. Want to know the origin of your favorite and cutest villain sidekicks? Well now you can!

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The film is an origin story and sees a trio of Minions in 1960’s London working for the world’s first-ever female super-villain.

Sandra Bullock will voice Scarlet Overkill, the villain of the film, with Jon Hamm voicing her husband, inventor Herb Overkill.

Minions is out in Ireland on June 26th.

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The story of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression.

But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow.

The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award® winner Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minions kind…from annihilation.

New ‘Zootopia’ Exhibit Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Guests visiting Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will soon be able to check out a new exhibit inspired by Disney’s Zootopia.

When making the film Zootopia, the filmmakers worked with animal care professionals from Disney’s Animal Kingdom to learn about animal behaviors, personalities, and movements. The artists working on the film incorporated this information into the animation.

The Zootopia exhibit will show guests how the film was made and what was learned at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Guests can also check out a sneak preview of Zootopia at One Man’s Dream in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Bug’s Life Theater at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort.

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The new Zootopia exhibit opens January 29 inside Conservation Station.

Zootopia opens in theaters on March 4.

‘Frozen 2′ news: four things to know about the sequel

Queen Elsa, Princess Anna and Olaf are definitely coming back to the silver screen in “Frozen 2.” But with all the rumours, theories and wishful thinking that have come out, it’s easy for anyone to get confused as to what is really happening with “Frozen 2.”
So in an effort to make things simpler, here’s what you need to know about “Frozen’s” sequel –

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1. “Frozen 2” will be released after 2018.
No exact release date has been given for the return of Elsa and Anna but after 2018 is the only logical time for the film to be released. For one, “Frozen” took two years to create and even though the sequel has been confirmed, the writers and songwriters are still in the process of developing the plot. Disney also has three animated films already in the pipeline – Finding Dory, Toy Story 4 and Moana – that are scheduled to be released before “Frozen

2. The original cast will be back.
Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell are expected to be back for the sequel as the two women are already synonymous with the movie. Bell even mentioned in a “Huffington Post” interview that if she was called back to the film, she would “be there in a heartbeat.” Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee will also be back to direct the sequel.

3. Elsa and Anna will have new dresses.
The two sisters were wearing new dresses in the short film, “Frozen Fever,” so it’s a given that they will also sport new outfits in the sequel. Plus, Disney’s merchandising department will no doubt want new items to sell once “Frozen 2” comes out.

4. There will be a duet between Anna and Elsa.
It hasn’t been confirmed yet but given that “Let It Go” is known and sung all over the world now, there’s a big possibility that the film will introduce another catchy song. And several film critics have mentioned that the only way to top the success of “Let It Go” is to have the sisters do a duet. While “Let It Go” songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson Lopez wrote a new song for “Frozen Fever,” there’s no word yet on whether they will be back for “Frozen 2.”

There’s no doubt that there will be more rumours coming out about “Frozen 2,” but what is certain is that children will patiently wait for the movie and that Disney is working hard to come out with an experience that will top the original movie.

Parents, Prepare Your Wallets: Yokai Watch Is The New Pokémon

In Japan, a little show called Yokai Watch is now a kiddie craze on a scale not seen since Pokémon.

The Americanized version of a little boy protected by a colorful (and collectible) cadre of “spirits” is set to premiere in 2016, Disney XD announced on Tuesday.

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Companies are betting big on Yokai Watch becoming the West’s next big Japanese animation boom. Along with Disney, both Hasbro and Nintendo have finalized deals with the shows’ three co-producers—Dentsu Entertainment USA, TV Tokyo, and Level-5—to bring Yokai Watch entertainment and toys to the United States. Nintendo’s deal with Level-5 will bring a Yokai Watch 3DS game to North America in 2016, with versions in Europe, Latin America, Australia, and New Zealand to come later. Hasbro’s toy line will premiere at the same time.

Make no mistake: Yokai Watch means to capture the hearts and minds of American children (and the wallets of their parents) with an aggressive cross-platform strategy. Toys, games, TV, and likely other channels including music and graphic novels will mirror the approach these companies used with a previous, highly successful Japanese franchise, Pokémon.

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In 1998, Pokémon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back was a box office hit in the U.S. with estimated ticket sales around $85 million. It continues to be the highest grossing anime film inNorth America to date. Like all fads, Pokémon sales eventually waned, and companies again turned to the East for a replacement.

Companies could use another Pokémon, and Yokai Watch seems readily primed to be that. In Japan, the Yokai Watch franchise is booming. Toys and merchandise sales alone have already totaled $1 billion, and the franchise has only been around since 2013.

For parents who didn’t pay attention, Pokémon was about a boy and his friends who caught, trained, and battled “pocket monsters” like Pikachu, which they found around their world. Yokai Watch is based on a similar premise, starring a young boy named Keita who obtains a timepiece that allows him to interact with mischievous and mysterious spirits (known as yokai in Japanese). Keita is able to summon friendly yokai to battle those who would do him harm.

The question now is whether localization can smooth over the nuances of the Japanese mythology that inspired the show into a way North American kids can understand. Just like Satoshi became Ash Ketchum before him, Keita will become Nate in the U.S. Level-5 president Akihiro Hino has already confirmed that many of the shows’ yokai names will be changed, but that Keita’s Pikachu analog, the ghost cat Jibanyan, will retain his Japanese name in North America.

Already, Jibanyan outranks Pikachu in Japan. When a Japanese mall booked meet-and-greets with both cuddly creatures at the same time on the same day, a Twitter user observed: “You can just go up and touch Pikachu, but Jibanyan [is so popular he] needs his own queueing and ticketing system.”

Will American kids love Jibanyan the way they loved Pikachu? The argument can be made that the idea of a ghost cat—or any of its fellow spirits—is a purely Japanese one. Writing for Games Beat, Dale North notes that the localization teams have their work cut out:

“These beings… won’t mean anything to Western children, but Japanese kids are familiar with these mythical creatures and are able fully appreciate the silly, pun-based naming scheme that series’ creators went with. And it’s not just the lore that is Japan-specific: The locations, relationships, and nonplayer characters are all just as unabashedly Japanese.”

Then again, Pokémon’s pocket monsters were directly inspired by Japanese ghosts and ghouls. American Kids may not know the mythology, but that didn’t them from begging for Pokémon toys.

Perhaps Hasbro and co. envision the yokai spirits of Yokai Watch as the ghosts of Pokémon-past. They’re hoping they’ll at least make their bottom lines rise again.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron Ending – Where The Characters Are And Where They May Go

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The Avengers: Age of Ultron left many heroes broken and scarred, including Joss Whedon. After battling Ultron, “the twins,” an army of robots, and dealing with conflicts within the team, Earth’s Mightiest weren’t so mighty by the end of the film. Most of the original members decided to go their separate ways, either to lead their own lives, live out their days in solitude, or defend the world by other means, while new heroes came in to replace them. A lot went down in Age of Ultron, and if you weren’t already versed in Marvel Cinematic Universe lingo, then it could’ve been difficult to follow. To properly digest everything that we saw in the massive superhero mash-up, and prepare for the events to come in Captain America: Civil War, which will feature most of the Avengers, here’s what happened to each of the Marvel heroes and where they’re likely to go post-Age of Ultron. _1431536126 Iron Man Where He Is At The End Of Avengers 2: Iron Man has had enough of avenging. Having been blamed for unleashing Ultron onto the world because of his own hubris, which is accurate, Tony Stark says goodbye to Captain America, Thor, and Black Widow as he drives off in his million-dollar sports car, away from the new Avengers academy in upstate New York. How Avengers 2 Changed Him: “This is the end of the path that I started us on.” Stark believes the Avengers Initiative all started with him. Thanks to his egotistical tech tampering, his creation almost destroyed all of humanity and his actions ended the first age of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Even then, his ego is so big that the blame, the responsibility, and the attention all comes back to the billionaire playboy philanthropist. Where He May Go After This: Stark may be retired, but we all know he’s not completely retired. He still has Avengers Tower (formerly Stark Tower) which runs on clean, sustainable energy, and he’ll never stop tinkering with new technology. We know he’s eventually coming back for a showdown with Captain America, but in the meantime, he’ll likely be resting up…or, rather, Stark’s version of resting. _1431535036

Where He Is At The End Of Avengers 2: With the original team disbanded, someone needs to whip the new recruits into shape. The last we see of Steve Rogers, he’s stationed at the new Avengers headquarters. It’s his job to help train the replacements for Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Hawkeye, including War Machine, Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Falcon. 

How Avengers 2 Changed Him: As Captain America mentions to Stark, “The Avengers were supposed to be different from S.H.I.E.L.D.” in that Stark wasn’t supposed to keep all kinds of potentially life-threatening secrets from the team. Though he was suspicious of Iron Man in the beginning, by the end, Stark’s continued secrecy and ego further proved he’s untrustworthy. He was even disappointed that Hawkeye would keep something like a secret family from the entire team.  Where He May Go After This: We know from the official synopsis from Civil Warthat Cap is leading his new team of Avengers on world-saving missions. It’s unclear what these missions are exactly, but perhaps it’ll have something to do with the growing mistrust of the superhero team. We saw how aggressive the Sokovians became when Stark’s Avengers-marked Iron Legion bots flew in to assist the people. Thor _1431536187 Where He Is At The End Of Avengers 2: Thor has been living on Earth since the events of The Dark World, but now he’s ready to go back to Asgard. Since discovering that the gem in Loki’s scepter, which now lies atop Vision’s forehead, is the Infinity Stone known as the Mind Gem, he has made it his mission to look for the remaining ones. 

How Avengers 2 Changed Him: After Scarlet Witch got inside his mind and showed him a strange vision of white-eyed Heimdall and his foreboding warning, Thor went to a mystical pool that allows him to see the vision once more with fresh eyes. It’s in there that he realizes the Infinity Stones are resurfacing and just how dangerous they are. Where He May Go After This: Unlike the other Avengers, Thor’s fate directly afterAge of Ultron is already set in stone. When Marvel announced Thor: Ragnarok, the studio also let slip that the third installment for the Mjolnir-wielding Asgardian picks up directly after he leaves Earth. You know what that means, it’s time for the beginning of the end of the Nine Realms.  Hulk _1431536142 Where He Is At The End Of Avengers 2: After Ultron is defeated and his army is disbanded, Hulk is flying in a S.H.I.E.L.D. quinjet that is both on autopilot and stealth mode. Black Widow asks that he turn off the setting so that she can track him and come pick him up, but Hulk switches off the communicator and allows the ship to fly him to near the coast of Fiji. 

How Avengers 2 Changed Him: Bruce Banner attempted to further a romantic relationship with Black Widow, but he always kept a safe distance due to his fear of harming her. Even after Agent Romanoff offered to run away with him into hiding, he couldn’t bear the fact of letting his inner demons bleed into her, especially not after he was sent into a rage on innocent civilians thanks to Scarlet Witch’s wiccan mojo. 

 Where He May Go After This: Hulk is once again on his own. Since Mark Ruffalo isn’t listed on the official cast roster for Civil War, he probably won’t return for this superhero face-off and will remain in hiding. However, Ruffalo teased that Marvel has big plans for the giant green rage monster, but where might he appear next? Perhaps his earlier question has a larger meaning: “Where in this world am I not a threat?” 
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Where She Is At The End Of Avengers 2: With her love interest off in Fiji with few options of tracking him, Black Widow chooses to stay behind at Avengers headquarters to train the new recruits with Captain America. How Avengers 2 Changed Her: Scarlet Witch’s psychic attack affected Romanoff more so than many of the other Avengers. After reliving how she was sterilized as part of her assassin academy graduation, she began to come to terms with who she is and attempted to find some semblance of happiness with Bruce Banner.

Where She May Go After This: It seems like she’ll continue to hang with Captain America training the new Avengers team. She stuck with him all through the Winter Soldier fiasco, though she may continue her search to find some life for herself outside of Avenging.

‘Paddington 2′ Movie under Pre-Production: StudioCanal sets sequel after ‘Paddington’ hit it big in the box office

Paddington” hit the big screens tremendously, earning over $228 million worldwide at the box office. A StudioCanal is currently back to the drawing board for plans of a sequel to the loveable hit movie.colin-firth-paddington

The book A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond was first introduced to children in the 1958 and the subsequent series went on to sell over 35 million copies, translated into 40 languages. And in January 2015, a film was produced by David Heyman and was directed by Paul King. Paddington bear is a tremendous family film that can easily be appreciated by anyone, young or old.

According to a scoop report, StudioCanal are seeing a prospective Paddington sequel with negotiations having already begun with Paddington producer David Heyman for another round of bear-based chaos

David Heyman stated that they were still in talks about a sequel, and is hopeful he could get Paul King back to write and direct the movie. They were already having conversations, and Paul has to decide that he wants to do it, and they have to come up with a story that they feel works.

Aside from being a box-office hit, Paddington film was nominated as “outstanding British film” and “best screenplay” at the BAFTA Film Awards — a pretty high distinction for a CGI-heavy family film.

On the other side, production cost is an obstacle standing in the way of Paddington’s boots. The film’s estimated $55 million budget was spent on expensively-animated anthropomorphic animal CGI character. It was to ensure that Paddington would be animated sufficiently enough to pose another great movie production.

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StudioCanal seems to think that there will be Paddington 2: Pad Harder (not the official title). And aside from that, they are going forward with other family friendly movies like Shaun the Sheep and Robinson Crusoe that would probably invade America of G-rated British films.  However, those who haven’t seen yet the adorable bear, Paddington is now available on Blu-ray/DVD.