Disney’s ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ disappointed, but the overall weekend box office made experts optimistic about the industry’s recovery

raya and the last dragon
“Raya and the Last Dragon”

  • Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” earned $8.6 million at the US box office over the weekend.
  • It did not play at Cinemark venues because the chain did not reach a licensing deal with Disney.
  • The total box office was up, giving analysts reason to be optimistic about the theatrical industry.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” earned $8.6 million at the US box office over the weekend in its debut (and $26 million worldwide), a disappointing total even amid the pandemic for a Disney animated movie – more so considering Warner Bros.’ “Tom and Jerry” earned $14 million the weekend prior.

“There is always a spotlight and high expectations placed on any Disney release, but ‘Raya’ entered a marketplace that already had two PG-rated animated films, ‘Tom & Jerry’ and ‘Croods 2,'” said Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore senior media analyst.

There’s a couple more factors that could have contributed to the movie’s underwhelming performance. Notably, it didn’t play at Cinemark venues and some other chains because they didn’t reach a licensing deal with Disney (it did play at AMC). The movie played on around 400 fewer screens than “Tom and Jerry” did in its opening weekend.

“In the current operating environment, we are making near-term booking decisions on a discrete, film-by-film basis, focusing on the long-term benefit of exhibitors, studios, and moviegoers,” Cinemark told Deadline. “While we are having conversations with The Walt Disney Company, we have not yet reached agreeable licensing terms for ‘Raya and the Last Dragon.'”

“[Theaters] need Disney a lot more than Disney needs them right now,” said Jeff Bock, the Exhibitor Relations senior media analyst. “Hopefully a deal will be worked out for the sake of theatrical exhibition.”

The movie also debuted on Disney Plus simultaneously with theaters at an additional “Premier Access” $30 fee for subscribers. In contrast, “Tom and Jerry” is available on HBO Max for no additional cost.

“$30 for a family of 4 is still a very good deal for blockbuster entertainment,” Bock said.

We don’t know exactly how “Raya and the Last Dragon” performed on Disney Plus. The first movie Disney utilized the Premier Access strategy with, last year’s live-action “Mulan” remake, performed well enough that Disney promised to experiment with it on other titles. “Raya and the Last Dragon” was No. 4 in Disney Plus’ “trending” category on Monday, behind Marvel’s “WandaVision,” “The Simpsons,” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” (though it’s unclear how Disney calculates this list).

Bock said that we’ll know how successful the movie was on Disney Plus if Disney implements a similar strategy with upcoming tentpole releases still slated for theaters, like “Black Widow” and “Cruella.”

But even though the “Raya and the Last Dragon” underperformed, the US box office earned a total of $25 million over the weekend, giving analysts reason to be hopeful for the future of the theatrical industry.

It was down 76% compared to the same weekend last year, Bock said. But when compared to the average of a 90% decrease since theaters reopened in August, it’s a noticeable improvement.

New York City movie theaters reopened on Friday at limited capacity, which likely gave the box office a slight boost.

“The bottom line is that while the film’s debut may not have been as strong as some might have hoped, it was a building block in one of the top-grossing overall weekends since the movie-theater shutdown in mid-March [last year],” Dergarabedian said.

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The 75 worst movies of all time, according to critics

death of a nation
“Death of a Nation.”

  • We turned to review aggregator Metacritic to find out what the worst movies of all time are, based on critic reviews.
  • They include two controversial political documentaries from Dinesh D’Souza and ill-advised sequels.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

To find out which movies film critics have been collectively hated the most, Insider turned to the reviews aggregator Metacritic to compile this list of the most critically panned movies in history. 

From ill-advised sequels like “Scary Movie 5” and “Caddyshack II,” to two dubious political documentaries by conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, these films drew the ire of critics and provoked the repulsion of many.

Most recently, 2019’s critically panned “Haunting of Sharon Tate,” starring Hilary Duff, made the list, as did “Grizzly II: Revenge,” which was originally filmed in 1983 but didn’t debut until this year.

Here are the 75 worst movies of all time, according to critics:

Note: Only movies with seven or more online reviews appear in the ranking, so it skews toward more recent films.

John Lynch contributed to a previous version of this post.

75. “Glitter” (2001)

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Critic score: 14/100

User score: 3.4/10

What critics said: “A butt-numbing exercise in tedium, sporadically redeemed by moments of unintentional hilarity.” — TV Guide

74. “Dungeons & Dragons” (2000)

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Critic score: 14/100

User score: 5.0/10

What critics said: “Stinketh like the breath of a dyspeptic dragon.” — The Washington Post

73. “Don Peyote” (2014)

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Critic score: 14/100

User score: 3.0/10

What critics said: “There’s no rhythm or rules, and the beyond-indifferent camerawork and community-access-TV-grade effects help nothing.” — The Dissolve

72. “The In Crowd” (2000)

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Critic score: 14/100

User score: 2.3/10

What critics said: “Isn’t a movie, it’s Gorgonzola, a crumbly summertime stinker veined with pop-cultural fungus.” — Entertainment Weekly

71. “Cabin Fever” (2016)

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Critic score: 14/100

User score: 2.6/10

What critics said: “It doesn’t help that what passes for acting here seems more like a table read.” — Los Angeles Times

70. “Bolero” (1984)

Bo Derek in "Bolero".
Bo Derek in “Bolero”.

Critic score: 13/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “Erotic, surely, only for the very easily pleased, with Dereks J and B and Cannon Films converging to form a matrix of sustained, tawdry silliness.” — Time Out

69. “Love, Wedding, Marriage” (2011)

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Critic score: 13/100

User score: 3.1/10

What critics said: “Only old pros James Brolin and Jane Seymour, as Eva’s colorfully squabbling parents, occasionally rouse the film beyond its fate as fodder for a Snuggie-wrapped slumber.” — Time Out

68. “Daddy Day Camp” (2007)

daddy day camp

Critic score: 13/100

User score: 1.8/10

What critics said: “Filling in for Eddie Murphy in a septically humored kiddie sequel to ‘Daddy Day Care,’ Gooding gives a mug-job performance that consists mainly of reacting (again and again) to nasty smells.” — Entertainment Weekly

67. “Fascination” (2005)

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Critic score: 13/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “Glacially paced, self-consciously acted and narratively risible.” — Variety

66. “Fair Game” (1995)

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Critic score: 13/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “A thriller primarily about the movement of Cindy Crawford’s breasts beneath a succession of ever-smaller T-shirts.” — Entertainment Weekly

65. “Freddy Got Fingered” (2001)

freddy got worst movies

Critic score: 13/100

User score: 5.6/10

What critics said: “The movie is simply not professional. It’s not, even by the lowest standards of Republic B-westerns in the ’30s or bad, cheap horror films in the ’50s, releasable.” — The Washington Post

64. “A Beautiful Life” (2009)

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Critic score: 13/100

User score: 1.7/10

What critics said: “This laughably clichéd dive into sexual masochism and hardscrabble survival replaces story with outline and characters with place holders.” — The New York Times

63. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” (2015)

PAUL BLART MALL COP 2

Critic score: 13/100

User score: 2.4/10

What critics said: “While the original was no classic, it had a few mild laughs and the plus-sized actor displayed a certain buffoonish charm. Such is not the case with this painfully unfunny, slapdash follow-up in which the title character is so relentlessly obnoxious that you’ll be cheering for the villains.” — The Hollywood Reporter

62. “Down to You” (2000)

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Critic score: 13/100

User score: 6.4/10

What critics said: “The confusion it mistakes for true soul-searching is about as realistic a look at the politics of youthful attraction as one of those ‘Did somebody say McDonald’s?’ commercials is a look at mainstream American family values. Did somebody say McCheese?” — Austin Chronicle

61. “Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood” (1988)

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Critic score: 13/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “Only a mote of humor graces the film, and that is Jason’s cunning ability to come up with ever more dreadful weapons for each successive crime, graduating from stake to machete to circular saw. Dare we hope, in Part VIII, for a neutron bomb to obliterate the series altogether?” — Chicago Tribune

60. “New Best Friend” (2002)

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Critic score: 13/100

User score: 4.8/10

What critics said: “A lurid, unsavory mix of ‘Reefer Madness’ hysteria, drive-in sleaze, and the queasy morality of ’80s slasher film.” — The AV Club

59. “Cannonball Run II” (1984)

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Critic score: 13/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “Burt Reynolds and a host of notable performers seem to be having a hell of a good time wandering through this meandering, episodic farce, but rarely is their good mood shared by the viewer.” — TV Guide

58. “Nothing But Trouble” (1991)

nothing but trouble warner bros

Critic score: 13/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “Unfortunately this isn’t even half as fun as the shortest bumper-car ride, with the cast lost in a sea of unfunny situations and badly executed antique jokes on loan from The Munsters all obviously puzzled about why they are actually there.” — Empire

57. “The Avengers” (1998)

the avengers 1998

Critic score: 12/100

User score: 2.5/10

What critics said: “It’s a film to gall fans of the old television series and perplex anyone else.” — The New York Times

56. “Nothing Left to Fear” (2013)

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Critic score: 12/100

User score: 3.5/10

What critics said: “It’s stale B-movie rubbish of a barely watchable sort, albeit slightly more depressing than many of its genre compatriots.” — The Dissolve

55. “Strange Wilderness” (2008)

strange wilderness

Critic score: 12/100

User score: 5.1/10

What critics said: “Aside from the waste of a talented cast, the only thing that really caught my attention was the tomblike silence of the audience–at least until the bong jokes started.” — Chicago Reader

54. “Cocktail” (1988)

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Critic score: 124/100

User score: 3.0/10

What critics said: “There isn’t a scene in ‘Cocktail’ that isn’t cheap and dumb, and whether its camp entertainment value compensates for its contempt for women is a question. ‘Cocktail’ makes beer commercials look deep, makes ‘Top Gun’ look like ‘Hamlet.'” — Boston Globe

53. “Left Behind” (2014)

left behind

Critic score: 12/100

User score: 2.6/10

What critics said: “This failed epic — really, an epic failure — would barely be noticed, were it not for former Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage taking on a ‘Sharknado’-quality remake of a Kirk Cameron movie.” — New York Daily News

52. “The Emoji Movie” (2017)

the emoji movie sony

Critic score: 12/100

User score: 2.0/10

What critics said: “A work so completely devoid of wit, style, intelligence or basic entertainment value that it makes that movie based on the Angry Birds app seem like a pure artistic statement by comparison.” — RogerEbert.com

51. “Slackers” (2002)

slackers

Critic score: 12/100

User score: 4.5/10

What critics said: “‘Slackers’ is supposed to be a gross-out comedy, but the tastelessness of its jokes is nothing compared to its sheer cluelessness.” — Salon

50. “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” (2002)

adventures of pluto nash worst sci-fi

Critic score: 12/100

User score: 4.8/10

What critics said: “A limp Eddie Murphy vehicle that even he seems embarrassed to be part of.” — The Globe and Mail

49. “The Master of Disguise” (2002)

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Critic score: 12/100

User score: 2.4/10

What critics said: “The individual scenes are just random, uninspired riffs by Carvey or awkwardly flat cameos by the likes of Jesse Ventura and Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson.” — New York Daily News

48. “King’s Ransom” (2005)

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Critic score: 11/100

User score: 1.4/10

What critics said: “Generic hip-hop soundtrack? Check. Aerial stock footage of milieu? Check. Hardy-har homophobia and misogyny? Check. Emasculated sub-Gump white dude played by Jay Mohr? Double check.” — Entertainment Weekly

47. “Persecuted” (2014)

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Critic score: 11/100

User score: 3.4/10

What critics said: “This terrible attempt at a political thriller for the religious right is aimed not at Christians in general but at a certain breed of them, the kind who feel as if the rest of the world were engaged in a giant conspiracy against their interpretation of good and truth.” — The New York Times

46. “3 Strikes” (2000)

3 strikes - metacritic worst movies

Critic score: 11/100

User score: 4.0/10

What critics said: “Feels like a very long late-night comedy sketch that occasionally veers beyond tastelessness toward something worse.” — The New York Times

45. “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” (1997)

mortal kombat

Critic score: 11/100

User score: 8.0/10

What critics said: “It’s cynical and it’s depressing, and I would lock a child in a room before I’d show him ‘Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.'” — L.A. Weekly

44. “Date Movie” (2006)

date movie

Critic score: 11/100

User score: 2.9/10

What critics said: “‘Comedy is hard,’ said Steve Martin. For the writers of ‘Date Movie,’ it’s apparently impossible.” — New York Daily News

43. “Pinocchio” (2002)

pinocchio

Critic score: 11/100

User score: 2.9/10

What critics said: “It’s an oddity that will be avoided by millions of people, this new Pinocchio. Osama bin Laden could attend a showing in Times Square and be confident of remaining hidden.” — The New York Times

42. “Death Wish II” (1982)

death wish II

Critic score: 11/100

User score: 7.8/10

What critics said: “The shamelessly rehashed Death Wish II finds Kersey in L.A., methodically hunting down those responsible for his daughter’s death (just as she’s recovering from her assault in the first Death Wish).” — EW

41. “Nine Lives” (2016)

Nine Lives

Critic score: 11/100

User score: 2.8/10

What critics said: “At 87 torturous, laugh-free minutes, the film could change the most avid cat fancier into a kitty hater.” — Rolling Stone

40. “Scary Movie 5” (2013)

scary movie 5

Critic score: 11/100

User score: 2.7/10

What critics said: “‘Scary Movie V’ murdered my capacity to feel joy. ” — Village Voice

39. “Some Kind of Beautiful” (2015)

some kind of beautiful

Critic score: 11/100

User score: 5.0/10

What critics said: “Some kind of hideous, a perfect storm of romantic-comedy awfulness that seems to set the ailing genre back decades with the sheer force of its ineptitude.” — Variety

38. “Whipped” (2000)

whipped

Critic score: 10/100

User score: 6.3/10

What critics said: “Ugly. And unpleasant. And clueless on a grand scale.” — San Francisco Chronicle

37. “Unplanned” (2019)

unplanned movie

Critic score: 10/100

User score: 9.4/10

What critics said: “Unplanned isn’t a good movie, but it’s effective propaganda — or, at least, it is if you belong to the group it’s targeting: those who believe that abortion in America, though a legal right, is really a crime. It’s hard to imagine the movie drawing many viewers outside that self-selected demographic.” — Variety

36. “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers” (1995)

Halloween 6

Critic score: 10/100

User score: 5.6/10

What critics said: “Not even the addition of satanic rituals, farm implements or a Howard Stern-like shock jock (Leo Geter) is enough to paint over the creaky trappings.” — Variety

35. “Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo” (2019)

Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo

Critic score: 10/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “No filmmaker has ever loved anything as much as Abdellatif Kechiche loves butts.” — Indiewire

34. “Johnny Be Good” (1988)

johnny be good

Critic score: 10/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “But mostly the satire is as dated as the recruiters’ plaid jackets, as lame as the Johnny Walker joke.” — New York Times

33. “Saturn 3” (1980)

saturn 3

Critic score: 9/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “The level of intelligence of the screenplay of ‘Saturn 3’ is shockingly low – the story is so dumb it would be laughed out of any junior high school class in the country – and yet the movie was financed. Why?” — Chicago Sun-Times

32. “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star” (2011)

bucky larson

Critic score: 9/100

User score: 2/10

What critics said: “This may be the worst movie Pauly Shore has ever been in. Think about that.” — The New York Times

31. “Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000” (2000)

battlefield earth

Critic score: 9/100

User score: 2/10

What critics said: “A picture that will be hailed without controversy as the worst of its kind ever made.” — Slate

30. “The Tortured” (2012)

tortured

Critic score: 9/100

User score: 4.2/10

What critics said: “Lean, nasty, and patently absurd, ‘The Tortured’ plays like one long scream of agony.” — Village Voice

29. “Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2” (2004)

baby geniuses 2 -metacritic worst movies

Critic score: 9/100

User score: 1.8/10

What critics said: “So bad that I predict there will be drinking games set around viewing it someday.” — The Washington Post

28. “Alone in the Dark” (2005)

alone in the dark 2005

Critic score: 9/100

User score: 1.6/10

What critics said: “So mind-blowingly horrible that it teeters on the edge of cinematic immortality.” — San Francisco Chronicle

27. “Atlas Shrugged III: Who Is John Galt?” (2014)

atlas shrugged iii

Critic score: 9/100

User score: 3.0/10

What critics said: “The movie’s so slipshod and half-assed that I almost feel for Rand, whose ideas have proved enduring enough that they at least deserve a fair representation, if only for the sake of refutation.” — Village Voice

26. “Meet The Spartans” (2008)

metacritic worst movies meet the spartans

Critic score: 9/100

User score: 2.8/10

What critics said: “Gamely alternates between unfunny gay jokes and violent pratfalls for a good 80 minutes, finding time for not one, but two musical dance numbers set to ‘I Will Survive.'” — The AV Club

25. “Dirty Love” (2005)

metacritic worst

Critic score: 9/100

User score: 2.8/10

What critics said: “Dirty Love wasn’t written and directed, it was committed. Here is a film so pitiful, it doesn’t rise to the level of badness. It is hopelessly incompetent.” — Chicago Sun-Times

24. “State Property” (2002)

state property

Critic score: 9/100

User score: 4.9/10

What critics said: “Result is a fairly good-looking video shot down by a hackneyed script, atrocious acting and a total lack of redeeming social value.” — Variety

23. “The Mangler” (1995)

the mangler 1995

Critic score: 8/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “It is not a compliment to suggest that a demonically possessed piece of machinery embarked on a bloodthirsty rampage has more personality than most of the flesh-and-blood characters in ‘The Mangler,’ a horror movie based on a Stephen King story.” — The New York Times

22. “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” (2019)

Hilary Duff in The Haunting of Sharon Tate movie Saban Films
Hilary Duff starred in “The Haunting of Sharon Tate.”

Critic score: 8/100

User score: 2.9/10

What critics said: “A run-of-the-mill home invasion thriller, and while Farrands is a solid genre craftsman — as evidenced by his similarly creepy true-crime film from earlier this year, The Amityville Murders — his taste remains suspect.” — Los Angeles Times

21. “Among Ravens” (2014)

among Ravens

Critic score: 8/100

User score: 1.6/10

What critics said: “Featuring unlikeable characters, preposterously contrived plotting, ham-fisted dialogue and strained attempts at poeticism, Among Ravens is a misfire on every level.” — The Hollywood Reporter

20. “Septic Man” (2014)

septic man

 

Critic score: 8/100

User score: 2.6/10

Summary: “Jack, a sewage worker who’s determined to uncover the cause of the town’s water contamination crisis, gets trapped underground in a septic tank and undergoes a hideous transformation.”

What critics said: “Beyond its mere unfunniness and stupidity, Septic Man is criminally unimaginative.” — The Dissolve

19. “Transylmania” (2009)

Transylmania film

Critic score: 8/100

User score: 8.7/10

What critics said: “The current vogue for all things vampiric is ripe for a satirical drubbing, but this repulsive comedy is part of the problem, not the solution.” — Chicago Reader

18. “Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?” (2016)

that a gun in your pocket

 

Critic score: 7/100

User score: 2.7/10

What critics said: “The movie tries to wrap an important social message in comedy, but it’s unpalatable all the way through.” — Los Angeles Times

17. “Miss March” (2009)

miss march worst movies

Critic score: 7/100

User score: 4.3/10

What critics said: “Writer-director-stars Zach Cregger and Trevor Moore, of the Whitest Kids U’Know, here prove the crassest, most maladroit moviemakers you know.” — Entertainment Weekly

16. “Grizzly II: Revenge” (2020)

grizzly II

Critic score7/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “It’s a pity Grizzly II: Revenge isn’t giddy-bad, the way Tommy Wiseau’s ‘The Room’ delights so many. But it’s here, it’s seriously disoriented and disorienting.” — Chicago Tribune 

15. “Screwed” (2000)

Screwed 2000

Critic score: 7/100

User score: 8.2/10

What critics said: “A confusedly misconceived hybrid of interracial buddy comedy and imitation Marx Brothers farce.” — The New York Times

14. “The Hottie & the Nottie” (2008)

worst movies

Critic score: 7/100

User score: 2.3/10

What critics said: “Great actors make the craft look easy. In the Paris Hilton comedy ‘The Hottie and the Nottie,’ acting looks very, very difficult.” — New York Post

13. “Caddyshack II” (1988)

caddyshack II warner bros

Critic score: 7/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: “‘Caddyshack II,’ a feeble follow-up to the 1980 laff riot, is lamer than a duck with bunions, and dumber than grubs. It’s patronizing and clumsily manipulative, and top banana Jackie Mason is upstaged by the gopher puppet.” — The Washington Post

12. “Baby Geniuses” (1999)

baby geniuses

Critic score: 6/100

User score: 3.0/10

What critics said: “Bad films are easy to make, but a film as unpleasant as Baby Geniuses’ achieves a kind of grandeur.” — Chicago Sun-Times

11. “National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers” (2004)

national lampoons gold diggers

Critic score: 6/100

User score: 2.5/10

What critics said: “So stupefyingly hideous that after watching it, you’ll need to bathe in 10 gallons of disinfectant, get a full-body scrub and shampoo with vinegar to remove the scummy residue that remains.” — The Washington Post

10. “The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)” (2015)

centipede worst movies

 

Critic score: 5/100

User score: 2.5/10

What critics said: “It’s only fitting that a series that began with the concept of linking the digestive tracts of three people would end by feasting on its own sh-t.” — The Dissolve

9. “Vulgar” (2002)

vulgar

Critic score: 5/100

User score: 2.2/10

What critics said: “Sure to appear in everyone’s worst-of lists at year’s end, to say nothing of a few bad dreams, Bryan Johnson’s Vulgar is an unclassifiably awful study in self- and audience-abuse.” — Village Voice

8. “Strippers” (2000)

worst movies

Critic score: 5/100

User score: 4.3/10

What critics said: “Unbelievably awful celluloid-waster.” — New York Post

7. “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party” (2016)

hillary's america

Critic score: 2/100

User score: 4.7/10

What critics said: “Little more than an extended version of the kind of political screeds that can be found online with only a minimum of effort, this is just a terrible movie.” — RogerEbert.com

6. “The Singing Forest” (2003)

the singing forest

Critic score: 1/100

User score: 3/10

What critics said: “‘The Singing Forest’ was written and directed by Jorge Ameer, whose film ‘Strippers’ opened three years ago and remained the single worst movie I had ever reviewed — until now.” — The New York Times

5. “The Garbage Pail Kids Movie” (1987)

garbage pail kids

Critic score: 1/100

User score: 0.8/10

What critics said: “Imagine parents sitting in the audience with their naughty children (who used their Cabbage Patch dolls as driveway obstructions for their Big Wheel obstacle courses) and feeling ruefully double-crassed.” — Slant

4. “United Passions” (2015)

united passions

 

Critic score: 1/100

User score: 0.7/10

What critics said: “As propaganda, ‘United Passions’ is as subtle as an anvil to the temple. As drama, it’s not merely ham-fisted, but pork-shouldered, bacon-wristed, and sausage-elbowed.” — Village Voice

3. “Bio-Dome” (1996)

biodome

Critic score: 1/100

User score: 7.1/10

What critics said: “The sheer ineptitude of the movie is supposed to be funny, but there’s no lunacy behind it: Shore and his writers are like comedians on Prozac, smiling through the fart jokes without a hint of desperation.” — The New Yorker

2. “Chaos” (2005)

chaos

Critic score: 1/100

User score: 2.3/10

What critics said: “Writer-director David DeFalco’s ugly, pointless and dishonest remake of Craven’s remake.” — L.A. Weekly

1. “Death of a Nation” (2018)

death of a nation

Critic score: 1/100

User score: 4.3/10

What critics said: “D’Souza fans and Trump apologists will flock to this, misguided moths to a misleading flame. In that way, it’s a perfect representation of the current climate. In every other way, it’s a mess.” — Arizona Republic

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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ had a huge first weekend on HBO Max, according to Nielsen data

wonder woman 1984 diana prince 3
“Wonder Woman 1984.”

  • “Wonder Woman 1984” was watched for 2.25 billion minutes in its first weekend on Disney Plus, according to Nielsen.
  • It topped other streaming titles that week, including Disney Plus’ “Soul.”
  • It’s good news for Max, as Warner Bros. plans to release all of its movies in theaters and on Max simultaneously this year.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

“Wonder Woman 1984” had an impressive debut weekend on HBO Max, according to viewership data released on Friday by the research company Nielsen.

Warner Bros.’ superhero sequel debuted simultaneously in theaters and on Max on December 25. Viewers in the US  spent 2.25 billion minutes watching it that weekend, topping other streaming titles on platforms that Nielsen measures (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and Hulu). Max isn’t available internationally and Nielsen only measures US viewership.

READ MORE: Data suggests ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ is giving HBO Max a huge boost as the movie struggles at the box office

It’s an impressive accomplishment considering Nielsen measures minutes watched, which gives long-running TV shows like “The Office” an advantage (the series was watched for 1.4 billion minutes the week of December 21 to December 27).

“Wonder Woman 1984” also topped Disney Plus’ Pixar movie “Soul,” which debuted the same day and was watched for 1.67 billion minutes that weekend.

“Wonder Woman 1984” is about 45 minutes longer than “Soul,” but Disney Plus has almost double the subscribers as Max does in the US. Disney Plus has 87 million subscribers worldwide and Rich Greenfield, an analyst with research firm Lightshed Partners, estimates 33 million of those are in the US.

Max now has 17 million activations, up from 12 million in early December, suggesting “Wonder Woman 1984” gave it a much-needed boost. 

It’s good news for Max, as Warner Bros. plans to release all of its 2021 movies in theaters and on Max simultaneously, as it did with “Wonder Woman 1984,” amid the pandemic. The movies will stream for 31 days before leaving Max for an exclusive theatrical run.

“Wonder Woman 1984” isn’t faring as well at the box office, though. The movie has $148 million globally and $37 million in the US. It cost $200 million to produce.

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Pixar’s ‘Soul’ had a huge debut weekend on Disney Plus, according to new Nielsen viewership data

soul pixar
“Soul”

  • Viewers spent nearly 1.7 billion minutes watching “Soul” on Disney Plus in the US in its first weekend, according to Nielsen.
  • The movie topped Nielsen’s latest list of most watched streaming titles for the week of December 21 to December 27.
  • It bodes well for Disney, which plans to release more movies directly to Disney Plus.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Pixar’s “Soul” had a huge opening weekend on Disney Plus last month.

Viewers in the US spent 1.67 billion minutes watching the movie the week of December 21 to December 27 (it premiered on the streaming service on Friday, December 25), according to Nielsen. It topped the research company’s latest list of top streaming titles released on Friday, which accounts for Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video.

READ MORE: New research shows the average US household now subscribes to 4 streaming services – and it could lead to a major shift in the market

The movie’s viewership is impressive considering that Nielsen measures minutes watched in the US, which gives TV shows, especially long-running ones like “The Office,” an advantage. Even more impressive is that the data only accounts for the movie’s first weekend of release, meaning that plenty of Disney Plus’ 87 million subscribers watched it when it premiered.

Disney did not immediately return a request for comment.

“The Office,” which has nearly 200 episodes, landed at No. 2 on Nielsen’s latest list with 1.4 billion minutes watched. The list accounted for the popular sitcom’s final full week on Netflix before it left for NBCUniversal’s Peacock at the end of 2020.

READ MORE: ‘Just a cog in a machine’: Hulu insiders say the company’s culture has changed under Disney and question its future path after a scrapped international expansion

“Soul’s” performance bodes well for Disney Plus as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the theatrical industry.

Disney decided to forgo a theatrical release in favor of making it available on Disney Plus at no additional fee to subscribers, unlike last year’s “Mulan” remake, which Disney charged an additional $30 fee for when it first debuted on the service. Disney has plans to release more movies directly to Disney Plus, such as the animated “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

Questions still linger over what Disney will do with its major tentpole releases, particularly “Black Widow,” which is currently dated for theatrical release in May. Other studios have already started to delay (again) several major movies this week, including the James Bond movie “No Time to Die.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Shonda Rhimes is worth at least $135 million, thanks to her #TGIT lineup and a history-making Netflix deal – see how she makes and spends her fortune

Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes is one of the most successful women in TV.

At age 50, Shonda Rhimes has already created a legacy.

The success of her production company Shondaland’s show “Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC made Rhimes the first Black woman to showrun a successful primetime drama on a broadcast network. But that was only the beginning. Her following hit shows “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder” brought Rhimes into the cultural lexicon with #TGIT (“Thank God It’s Thursday”), dubbed as such because of how Rhimes’ shows dominated TV’s Thursday night primetime line-up.

In 2017, she ended her contract early with ABC, trading in her $10 million base salary for a four-year deal with Netflix worth an estimated $150 million, per The New York Times. Three years later, her first Netflix show, “Bridgerton,” debuted on Christmas to much hype.

It’s all made Rhimes one of the highest-paid showrunners in TV, with Forbes estimating her net worth at $135 million. A representative for Rhimes didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment regarding Rhimes’ net worth and spending.

From buying the “Grey’s Anatomy” cast vacations to snapping up properties around Los Angeles, here’s how Rhimes spends her millions.

With an estimated net worth of $135 million, Shonda Rhimes is one of the wealthiest women in TV.

shonda rhimes

Source: Forbes

Her production company, Shondaland, and its trio of hit shows have driven that wealth: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away with Murder.”

shonda rhimes award

Source: Forbes

But Rhimes didn’t always see herself working in TV. As a kid, she dreamt of being a novelist. That all changed after seeing Whoopi Goldberg on Broadway.

GettyImages 583824638
Shonda Rhimes

Source: Forbes

She earned an MFA in film at the University of Southern California, where she discovered a “new way of storytelling,” she said, and worked as an assistant on several film projects.

university of southern california students
A view of people visiting the University of Southern California.

Source: Forbes

In the early stages of her post-grad career, Rhimes wrote the screenplay for the movie “Crossroads,” starring Britney Spears, and the sequel to “The Princess Diaries.”

Crossroads
“Crossroads.”

Source: Vanity Fair

Her TV career launched in 2003 when ABC picked up “Grey’s Anatomy,” which garnered 20 million viewers by the end of its first season. It made Rhimes the first Black woman showrunnner of a successful primetime drama on a broadcast network, Forbes reports.

grey's anatomy
Grey’s Anatomy.

Source: Forbes

“Scandal” premiered in 2012, raking in roughly $100 million per season in ad revenue at its peak. “How to Get Away with Murder” followed in 2014.

scandal
Scandal.

Source: Forbes

In between those years, Rhimes’ production company also debuted shorter-lived series like “The Catch,” “For the People,” and the “Grey’s Anatomy” spin-off “Private Practice,” which all aired on ABC.

Private Practice
Private Practice.

Source: Forbes

Rhimes became the woman who “owns Thursday night television,” with #TGIT (Thank God It’s Thursday). According to Forbes, she earned “hefty” fees for each episode produced.

Shondaland
Rhimes and the stars of #TGIT.

Source: Forbes, Los Angeles Times

She also took home 10% of the profits when “Grey’s,” “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” and “Private Practice” were syndicated or sold to streaming services at $1 million per episode.

shonda rhimes.JPG

Source: Forbes

By 2017, Shondaland had generated $2 billion in revenue from advertising, rerun sales, and international licensing.

Shonda Rhimes

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Boosting all of that was Rhimes’ base salary. In 2014, she signed a new four-year deal with ABC that earned her $10 million per year.

shonda rhimes.JPG

Source: Forbes

But Rhimes signed a four-year deal in 2017 with Netflix worth an estimated $150 million, making her one of the first showrunners to ink a deal with the streaming service.

shonda rhimes

Source: The New York Times

The deal allowed Rhimes to keep working on her ABC series without the $10 million per year while enjoying new liberties to produce films, series, or miniseries at Netflix.

shonda rhimes kerry washington
Rhimes and “Scandal” star Kerry Washington.

Source: Forbes

Her first Netflix show, period drama series “Bridgerton,” debuted on Christmas. Two days after its premiere, it was holding the number two spot on the platform’s most-watched list.

bridgerton
Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset on “Bridgerton.”

Source: TV Line

In recent years, Rhimes has ventured into other forms of media. In 2015, she published a memoir, “Year of Yes,” which became a New York Times bestseller. At the time it was announced, Rhimes joked “Simon and Schuster is crazy for giving me a book deal, as I am clearly in no position to be handing out wisdom.”

shonds rhimes year of yes

Details about the value of the book deal, including any advance Rhimes might have been paid by the publisher, were not made publicly available.

Source: Simon and Schuster, The Hollywood Reporter

In September 2017, she partnered with Hearst to launch lifestyle website Shondaland.com.

shondaland

Source: Variety

And in 2019, she partnered with iHeartMedia in a three-year podcast deal to launch Shondaland Audio.

shonda rhimes
Shonda Rhimes is inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 at the Television Academy’s Saban Media Center in North Hollywood, Calif.

Source: iHeartMedia

At Elle Magazine’s 2018 Women in Hollywood celebration, Rhimes said she’s the highest-paid showrunner in Hollywood, but an April 2019 Observer ranking put her at No. 4 behind Greg Berlanti, Ryan Murphy, and Mike Schur. Regardless, Rhimes is clearly pocketing some of TV’s biggest paychecks.

rhimes shonda

Source: CBS News, Observer

And she likes to spend that money on real estate. In 2010, she snapped up an 8,300-square-foot home in Los Angeles’ Hancock Park for $5.6 million. It sold in 2019 for $7.16 million.

hancock park los angeles
Hancock Park.

Source: Mansion Global

But Rhimes still has several residences in the area, like the 1920s Spanish-style duplex she bought in 2007 for $1.66 million and the English country manor house she purchased in 2017 for $4.6 million.

Los Angeles
Los Angeles.

Source: Variety

She also has the 8,400-square-foot Elmer Grey-designed mansion that she dropped $8.8 million on in 2014.

Los Angeles
Los Angeles.

Source: Variety

Rhimes may have a thing for LA real estate, but she expanded her portfolio to the East Coast in 2018 when she bought an $11.75 million two-bedroom penthouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

upper east side
The Upper East Side.

Source: Mansion Global

Rhimes also spends on beauty and wellness. She wrote in her 2015 memoir that she hired a personal trainer to help her lose 100 pounds.

shonda rhimes

Source: Business Insider

She told Marie Claire that when she was 16, she got a job scooping ice cream at Baskin-Robbins so she could buy a miniskirt and off-the-shoulder top to look like Madonna.

shondarhimes

Source: Marie Claire

Today, she has a “clothing therapist,” Asher Levine, who is known for dressing top female Hollywood execs.

shonda rhimes

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

She’s also a huge fan of face masks, which she says she uses every day. Especially farmacy, a skincare brand with masks costing as much as $38.

shonda rhimes smiling

Source: Glamour, Farmacy Beauty

In her free time, Rhimes, a tennis fan, likes to attend Wimbledon matches. Tickets can range from several hundred dollars to $6,300.

shonnda rhimes wimbledon.JPG

Source: Baseline Tennis, CNBC

But she’s previously said her happy place is with her daughters. She adopted Harper and Emerson in 2002 and 2012, respectively, and had Beckett in 2013 via a surrogate. She said they help boost her creativity.

shonda harper
Rhimes with daughter Harper.

Source: Essence, ABC News, Hollywood Reporter

Rhimes is also a philanthropist. In 2016, she established the Rhimes Family Foundation to support arts, education, and activism. It emphasizes cultural inclusion and equality.

rhimes_shonda.JPG

Source: Inside Philanthropy

In 2017, she became a “patron of the arts” for IAMA Theatre Company. The amount of the endowment, provided by the Rhimes Family Foundation, was not disclosed.

Shonda Rhimes

Source: Los Angeles Times

Through the Rhimes Family Foundation, Rhimes has given at least $10 million in grants to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture …

national museum of african history
National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Source: Inside Philanthropy

… and at least $1 million to the Obama Foundation.

shonda rhimes michelle obama

Source: Inside Philanthropy

She’s also a generous boss. Rhimes once bought everyone in the “Grey’s Anatomy” cast and crew a vacation to a luxury resort as a gift for the show’s 350th episode, “Grey’s” actor Kevin McKidd revealed in a “Live with Kelly and Ryan” interview in November 2019.

grey's anatomy cast
The cast of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Source: MSN

But she’s not one for vacation herself. In 2016, she ditched her first three-week vacation in 10 years to film a short video for Hillary Clinton during Clinton’s campaign.

shonda rhimes hillary clinton.JPG

Source: Vanity Fair

While Rhimes has a few splurges, they’re not atypical from any other celebrity. Her less than lavish lifestyle might be due to her humble upbringing.

shonda rhimes emmy.JPG

“When I was a struggling graduate student in film school, I often had no money,” she said in a commencement speech at Dartmouth, her undergrad alma mater. “And so I often had to choose between wine and things like toilet paper. Steak did not even enter into the equation.”

shonda rhimes dartmouth

Source: Chicago Tribune

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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ stalled at the China box office with a 92% decline from last week

wonder woman 1984 diana prince 4
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in “Wonder Woman 1984.”

  • “Wonder Woman 1984” earned $1.5 million at the China box office over the weekend, a 92% decline from its debut in the region. 
  • The Hong Kong action movie “Shock Wave 2” earned $64.5 million in China and the Chinese fantasy movie “Dream of Eternity” grossed $39 million over the weekend.
  • “Wonder Woman 1984” scored a lackluster 7.8 on the Chinese ticketing app Maoyan and a 6.5 from the Chinese social network Douban, suggesting audiences weren’t enthused about the movie. 
  • It fared better in the US over the weekend with $16.7 million, the best opening of the pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

“Wonder Woman 1984” took a nosedive at the China box office in its second weekend in theaters in the region.

The superhero sequel earned just $1.5 million over the weekend, according to Artisan Gateway, a Chinese film consulting firm. It’s a 92% decline from its debut weekend in China when it earned a disappointing $18 million.

It has grossed $85 million globally so far.

The movie’s debut weekend was a slow one across the board for China, whose theatrical industry has otherwise started to rebound after being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic (the Chinese box office has even surpassed North America as the world’s biggest this year). The Chinese movie “The Rescue” also fell below projections with $36 million last weekend.

But this weekend was different, as the Hong Kong action movie “Shock Wave 2” earned $64.5 million in China and the Chinese fantasy movie “Dream of Eternity” grossed $39 million. Yet “Wonder Woman 1984” continued to flounder in the region.

READ MORE: DC wants to make 2 superhero movies a year that would be exclusive to HBO Max

“Wonder Woman 1984” fared better in its debut in US theaters over the weekend. It made $16.7 million, the best opening since the pandemic began, but a sign that US movie theaters are far from a full recovery. 2017’s “Wonder Woman” earned $103 million in its opening weekend in the US. It ultimately grossed $822 million worldwide, $90.5 million of which came from China.

“Wonder Woman 1984” debuted simultaneously on WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBO Max in the US over the weekend (it’s not available internationally yet). WarnerMedia said on Sunday that nearly half of its retail subscribers (those who subscribe directly to Max rather than through a cable provider) watched the movie on its first day on Friday, but didn’t provide specific viewership numbers. Max had 12.6 million activations as of December 8.

Industry experts previously said that piracy could be an issue once the movie had become available to stream.

“A pristine, high-definition copy of the movie will be available in everyone’s queues within days,” Shawn Robbins, the Box Office Pro chief analyst, told Business Insider last week. 

But a lack of enthusiasm for “Wonder Woman 1984” may have contributed to its dramatic decline at the China box office. It scored a 7.8 on the Chinese ticketing app Maoyan and a 6.5 from the Chinese social network Douban, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The movie has generally been favored less than its predecessor, “Wonder Woman,” among audiences and critics.

It has a 65% Rotten Tomatoes critic score and a 73% audience score based on over 1,700 user ratings (“Wonder Woman” has a 93% critic score and 84% audience score). The sequel received a B+ on Cinemascore, which surveys audiences on a movie’s opening night (the first movie received an A).

Read the original article on Business Insider

Jeff Bezos appears to be creating a massive Beverly Hills estate worth as much as $175 million. Here’s everything we know about his record-breaking Southern California compound.

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  • Back in February, Bezos became the new owner of the Warner estate, a sprawling compound in Beverly Hills, California, that he purchased for $165 million, according to The Wall Street Journal
  • The estate features a 13,600-square-foot mansion, two guesthouses, a pool, and a tennis court. 
  • Then, in August, both Variety and Daily Mail reported that Bezos had become the new owner of an adjacent house, which he is said to have purchased for $10 million in July. 
  • The three bedroom, five bathroom house is directly next door to the Warner estate and shares a hedge with the compound. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Jeff Bezos appears to be compiling a massive Beverly Hills compound. 

Back in February, the Amazon CEO purchased the Warner estate, a piece of Hollywood history belonging to billionaire David Geffen. The $165 million sale broke a record for the most expensive home sale in California state history. 

Then, in July, Bezos appeared to make another purchase, this time right next door: a $10 million home that shares a hedge line with the Warner estate. According to property records viewed by both Variety and Daily Mail, Bezos is the new owner of the 1930s-era home on a side street in Beverly Hills’ Benedict Canyon neighborhood. 

A spokesperson for Amazon did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the sale. 

While there are few photos of the estate and the adjacent home, Los Angeles County has plenty of aerial views of the property that give us our best look yet at Bezos’ rumored purchases. 

Jack Warner, the cofounder and onetime president of Warner Bros., built his estate in 1937.

Jack L. Warner
From left: former Warner Bros. CEO Ted Ashley, Jack Warner, and Frank Sinatra in 1969.

Warner started constructing the property in 1926, beginning with three acres of what used to be farmland in Beverly Hills, California. Slowly but surely, Warner started adding parcels of adjacent land and building out the grounds of the estate, adding a golf course and two ponds. 

Source: Architectural Digest

Warner liked to throw extravagant parties that were attended by stars like Olivia de Havilland and Jimmy Stewart and moguls like Howard Hughes. An invitation to a party at the estate was apparently one of the most sought-after in Hollywood in the late 1930s and early ’40s.

Jack L. Warner
From left: Warner, Audrey Hepburn, and director George Cukor.

Warner filled the estate with expensive art, including a portrait of his wife, Ann, painted by Salvador Dali, according to Architectural Digest.

Source: Architectural Digest

Warner died in 1978, and Ann Warner owned the house until she died in 1990. That same year, the music and movie tycoon David Geffen bought the whole estate, including the art, for $47.5 million, according to Forbes. The sale set a record at the time.

david geffen

Source: Forbes, The Wall Street Journal

Geffen, who is worth an estimated $9 billion, has a multimillion-dollar real-estate portfolio that includes homes in Malibu, California, and in New York’s East Hampton, and Manhattan.

David Geffen Malibu house
A man on the beach outside David Geffen’s Malibu, California, home.

Source: Forbes, Forbes

Geffen is also the owner of a $590 million superyacht called the Rising Sun, where he frequently hosts fellow moguls and celebrities – including Jeff Bezos.

rising sun super yacht

Source: Business Insider

Bezos has vacationed aboard the yacht near the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain. Last year, he was pictured on the deck of the yacht alongside former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, model Karlie Kloss, and investor Josh Kushner.

Having a great time in the Balearics

A post shared by David Geffen (@davidgeffen) on Aug 6, 2019 at 3:52am PDT

Geffen frequently hosts high-powered celebrities on the 400-foot-plus Rising Sun. Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, and Barack and Michelle Obama have all been spotted on board. 

Source: Business Insider

In February, Bezos became the new owner of the Warner estate, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Journal reported that Bezos purchased the property for $165 million, making it the most expensive home sale in California history. No brokers were involved in the sale, according to The Journal.

Jeff Bezos LA house

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, had been house hunting in Los Angeles and touring mansions throughout the area in previous weeks, the New York Post reported.

Jeff Bezos/Lauren Sanchez

Source: New York Post

The Warner estate spans eight acres and is situated in the Benedict Canyon neighborhood of Beverly Hills.

Jeff Bezos LA house

Source: Los Angeles County

The estate promises the utmost privacy. It’s surrounded by tall hedges, blocked off by a large gate, and completely hidden from view from the street.

Jeff Bezos Beverly Hills compound Warner estate
The Warner estate when viewed from Angelo Drive.

Source: Google Maps

The compound is home to multiple dwellings, including two guesthouses and a 13,600-square-foot mansion.

Jeff Bezos Warner estate Beverly Hills

The Georgian-style home has eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms. It includes a floor that was once owned by Napoleon, according to The Journal.

Jeff Bezos LA house

Source: Los Angeles County, Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal

Photos shot of the interior of the estate by Architectural Digest in the early ’90s show a screening room, an expansive bar, and a dining room that could easily fit 14 guests.

Jeff Bezos LA house

Source: Architectural Digest

The grounds also include a tennis court and manicured gardens. Geffen spent $45 million renovating the property, including $20 million on landscaping alone, The Journal reported.

Jeff Bezos LA house

Source: The Wall Street Journal

There’s a large pool and what appears to be an adjacent hot tub outside one of the large guesthouses.

Jeff Bezos Warner estate Beverly Hills

Source: Los Angeles County

At one point, the property also included a nine-hole golf course and a “motor court” with a garage and gas pumps, according to Architectural Digest, though it’s not clear if those amenities are still on the property.

Jeff Bezos LA house

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest

Bezos reportedly bought an adjacent property in July for $10 million. That property is on Tropical Avenue, which is perpendicular to the Warner estate. It shares a hedge with the compound, though it is currently accessed from a different street.

Jeff Bezos Beverly Hills house skitch

Source: Variety

That adjacent property was built in 1930 and was last sold for $5.45 million, according to Variety. It features three bedrooms and five bathrooms, six fireplaces, a rear patio, and rose and vegetable gardens.

Jeff Bezos Beverly Hills house Warner estate

Source: Variety, Zillow

It’s not clear what Bezos would want with an adjacent property, but he has a history of snatching up homes near his larger estates. In 2017, he bought the house next door to his previous Beverly Hills mansion for $12.9 million. His ex-wife, McKenzie Scott, was granted both homes in the couple’s divorce.

Jeff Bezos Beverly Hills Home

Source: Business Insider, Variety

Read the original article on Business Insider

‘It’s very, very, very, very messy’: Why Warner Bros. faces major Hollywood backlash over its plan to release its 2021 movies on HBO Max the same day they hit theaters

Dune Warner Bros
“Dune”

  • Warner Bros. announced last week that it will debut all of its 2021 movies on HBO Max the same day they arrive in theaters.
  • The filmmaker Christopher Nolan, a longtime partner of Warner Bros., called HBO Max “the worst streaming service” in a scathing statement on Monday.
  • The New York Times reported that WarnerMedia did not alert major talent agencies to the plan until 90 minutes before the announcement was made, leaving actors and filmmakers wondering how they will be compensated to make up for backend deals determined by box office.
  • The production company Legendary, which partnered with Warner Bros. on two of the movies (“Godzilla vs Kong” and “Dune”), was not made aware of the plan beforehand and will likely file a legal challenge, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • Are you a current or former WarnerMedia employee with more to share? Contact the author at tclark@businessinsider.com or DM him on Twitter @TravClark2. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Warner Bros. announced last week that it will release all 17 of its 2021 movies on HBO Max the same day as in theaters in the US, in a move that reflects parent company WarnerMedia’s aggressive focus on its streaming business as the pandemic wreaks havoc on the theatrical industry.

The announcement sent shockwaves through Hollywood.

While movie studios have experimented with alternatives to theaters amid the pandemic, like premium video-on-demand and streaming, Warner Bros.’ plan is the most disruptive one yet.

It didn’t take long for the backlash to start.

Christopher Nolan, the director behind “Tenet” – which Warner Bros. released to theaters in September to underwhelming box office in the US – criticized the plan in an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Monday, particularly the way Warner Bros. reportedly went about it, calling the situation “very, very, very, very messy” and a “real bait-and-switch.”

READ MORE: In a major blow to US theaters, Warner Bros. announces that all of its movies in 2021 will debut on HBO Max the same day they arrive in cinemas

The New York Times’ Brooks Barnes and Nicole Sperling reported on Monday that WarnerMedia didn’t consult with talent before making the decision. According to The Times, the company “kept the major agencies and talent management companies in the dark until roughly 90 minutes before issuing a news release. Even some Warner Bros. executives had little warning.”

“Yeah, it’s sort of not how you treat filmmakers and stars and people who, these guys have given a lot for these projects,” Nolan told ET. “They deserved to be consulted and spoken to about what was going to happen to their work.”

Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story, but declined to comment for The Times.

Nolan, an outspoken defender of movie theaters, issued an even more scathing statement to The Hollywood Reporter calling Max “the worst streaming service.”

Here’s the statement:

“Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service. Warner Bros. had an incredible machine for getting a filmmaker’s work out everywhere, both in theaters and in the home, and they are dismantling it as we speak. They don’t even understand what they’re losing. Their decision makes no economic sense, and even the most casual Wall Street investor can see the difference between disruption and dysfunction.”

Nolan’s comments are a notable separation from Warner Bros., as the filmmaker has established a longrunning partnership with the studio that includes “Tenet,” the “Dark Knight” trilogy, and “Inception.”

the suicide squad
Idris Elba in “The Suicide Squad”

The talent is angry

The reason some talent in the industry are angry about Warner Bros.’ plan, and its failure to consult with them about it, is because many actors and filmmakers strike “backend” deals that rely on box-office returns.

Some talent will take a smaller upfront payment in exchange for backend pay that would be a percentage of a movie’s box office if they think the movie will be a hit. 

In this instance, Warner Bros. plans on releasing to HBO Max tentpole films that under normal circumstances could have been box-office blockbusters, such as “The Suicide Squad” and “Dune.”

READ MORE: HBO Max’s chief breaks down the seismic decision to stream all 2021 Warner Bros. movies as they hit theaters and responds to speculation about 2022 and beyond

According to THR, “The Suicide Squad” director James Gunn was “not pleased” when Warner Bros. offered a “lackluster formula” for compensating him and other talent, and that was only after it made the announcement.

Warner Bros. has tried to sweeten the deal for some. “Wonder Woman 1984” star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins are both getting more than $10 million, according to The Times. The movie will arrive on Max and in theaters on December 25.

But this payday seems to have led to tensions with other stars. Representatives for actors like Margot Robbie (“The Sucide Squad”), Keanu Reeves (“The Matrix 4”), and Will Smith (“King Richard”) felt their clients weren’t being treated fairly by comparison, according to The Times.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the movies will stream on HBO Max for one month before leaving and playing exclusively in US theaters. They will also play as intended in international theaters outside the US, where Max isn’t available. (While “Tenet” struggled domestically, it earned $350 million worldwide, suggesting some international markets are recovering from the pandemic as it continues to rage in the US.)

Max will pay Warner Bros. a 31-day licensing fee for the movies equal to what the studio’s portion of ticket sales would be in the US. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar told Vox’s Peter Kafka that that will play a part in compensating talent.

But actors and filmmakers aren’t the only ones upset with Warner Bros.’ plan.

WarnerMedia reportedly blocked an offer from Netflix for a major tentpole

Warner Bros. has also caught the ire of the production company Legendary, which financed 75% of “Godzilla vs Kong,” according to THR and The Times.

Both outlets reported that Netflix had made a sizable offer to Legendary for the streaming rights to the monster crossover movie, but WarnerMedia blocked it (THR reported that the offer was “something north of $225 million” while The Times reported it was “at least $250 million”).

Now the production company, which also partnered with Warner Bros. on “Dune,” is likely to file a legal challenge, according to THR.

Both “Godzilla vs Kong” and “Dune” cost more than $150 million to produce.

godzilla king of the monsters
Last year’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”

Exhibitors aren’t happy, either

Movie-theater chains are also upset.

AMC, the largest theater chain in the world, issued a rebuke of Warner Bros.’ plan on Thursday, saying: “Clearly, WarnerMedia intends to sacrifice a considerable portion of the profitability of its movie studio, and that of its partners and filmmakers, to subsidize its HBO Max startup. As for AMC, we will do all in our power to ensure that Warner does not do so at our expense.”

AMC’s stock was down 16% following the announcement.

Cineworld, the owner of Regal, was less scathing, saying in a statement that it expects Warner Bros. to “reach an agreement about the proper window and terms that will work for both sides.”

READ MORE: WarnerMedia’s Jason Kilar provokes wrath of Hollywood and cinema owners with move to shift movies to streaming

A senior exhibition source told Business Insider’s Claire Atkinson that WarnerMedia’s plan is “a lousy move in an ecosystem where everybody needs each other.”

WarnerMedia’s EVP of direct-to-consumer, Andy Forssell, feels differently. In an interview with Business Insider on Thursday following the news, he said that the plan “supports the ecosystem.”

“It’s a very stable thing and there’s a lot of value in that,” he said. “Predictability is at a premium right now.”

WarnerMedia clearly expects to capitalize on that “stability” to boost Max, which has struggled to convert customers who already subscribe to HBO amid brand confusion and a lack of support on Roku, one of the biggest streaming distributors.

John Stankey, the CEO of WarnerMedia’s corporate parent AT&T, said on Tuesday that Max had 12.6 million activated users, up from 8.6 million in September.

For comparison, Disney Plus has more than 73 million subscribers since launching in November. NBCUniversal’s Peacock had 22 million sign-ups by October after fully launching in July, though it’s unknown how many are paid subscribers.

A potential preview of how Max’s 2021 plan could fare will be the debut of “Wonder Woman 1984” on December 25, when it will be available on Max and in theaters.

Are you a current or former WarnerMedia employee with more to share? Contact the author at tclark@businessinsider.com or DM him on Twitter @TravClark2. 

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The top 9 movies on Netflix this week, from ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ to ‘The Beast’

Hillbilly Elegy Lacey Terrell Netflix
“Hillbilly Elegy”

  • “Hillbilly Elegy” and both “Christmas Chronicles” movies were among the most popular titles on Netflix this week. 
  • Netflix introduced daily top lists of the most popular titles on the streaming service in February.
  • Streaming search engine Reelgood keeps track of the lists and provides Business Insider with a rundown of the week’s most popular movies on Netflix every Friday.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Ron Howard’s “Hillbilly Elegy,” based on the best-selling memoir of the same name, rose up the Netflix rankings this week, as did “The Christmas Chronicles 2.” The first “Christmas Chronicles” crept up the list, as well.

Every week, the streaming search engine Reelgood compiles for Business Insider a list of which movies have been most prominent on Netflix’s daily lists that week. On Reelgood, users can browse Netflix’s entire movie library and sort by IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

Below are Netflix’s 9 most popular movies of the week in the US:

9. “Hard Kill” (2020)

hard kill movie

Description: “When a billionaire hires a team of mercenaries for protection, they soon realize world-changing technology and his daughter’s life are also at stake.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 0%

What critics said: “Anyone hoping Bruce Willis might enjoy a career renaissance after his rediscovery in M Night Shyamalan’s Split and Glass: lower those expectations now.” — Guardian

8. “The Christmas Chronicles” (2018, Netflix original)

christmas chronicles
Kurt Russell as Santa Claus in “The Christmas Chronicles.”

Description: “After accidentally crashing Santa’s sleigh, a brother and sister pull an all-nighter to save Christmas with a savvy, straight-talking St. Nick.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 67%

What critics said: “The film doesn’t know how to get out of its own way and foreground what’s working, namely the dynamo of screen presence placed more prominently in the advertising than the feature itself.” — AV Club

7. “Peppermint” (2018)

peppermint movie

Description: “After her family is murdered, a mild-mannered mom remakes herself into a badass vigilante in order to exact violent justice.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 12%

What critics said: “There must not have been enough zeros on the alimony check; why else would Garner agree to lend her name to what is essentially gun porn?” — San Diego Reader

6. “The Beast” (2020, Netflix original)

the beast netflix

Description: “To rescue his daughter, an unstable Special Forces veteran unleashes his inner beast as he pursues her kidnappers — and soon becomes a suspect himself.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A

5. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000)

taylor momsen how the grinch stole christmas
Taylor Momsen in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Description: “The Grinch decides to rob Whoville of Christmas — but a dash of kindness from little Cindy Lou Who and her family may be enough to melt his heart.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 49%

What critics said: “Five-year-olds might go for it, but people who grew up with Jones’ version will be looking at their watches and grinding their teeth.” — Slate

4. “The 2nd” (2020)

the 2nd movie

Description: “A Secret Service agent is drawn into a terrorist plot when his son’s classmate, the daughter of a Supreme Court Justice, is targeted for kidnapping.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said

 

3. “Hillbilly Elegy” (2020, Netflix original)

"Hillbilly Elegy"

Description: “An urgent phone call pulls a Yale Law student back to his Ohio hometown, where he reflects on three generations of family history and his own future.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 25%

What critics said: “Hillbilly Elegy is an Oscar-friendly narrative of personal triumph in the face of great hardship, a movie designed to end with an uplifting epigraph; it is also one of the worst movies of the year.” — The Atlantic

2. “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” (2018)

The Grinch
Directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney.

Description: “A grump with a mean streak plots to bring Christmas to a halt in the cheerful town of Whoville. But a generous little girl could change his heart.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 60%

What critics said: “It’s best for kids and adults who just can’t handle the angry, diabolical monster of films past.

1. “The Christmas Chronicles 2” (2020, Netflix original)

the christmas chronicles part two2 netflix

Description: “Unhappy over her mom’s new relationship, a now-teenage Kate runs away and lands at the North Pole, where a naughty elf is plotting to cancel Christmas.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 72%

What critics said: “Kids will eat it all up, but let’s face it, they also love the food at Chuck E. Cheese.” — Hollywood Reporter

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