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Critics groups disqualify Disney from year-end awards consideration due to LA Times ban

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Disney disqualified from awards.

Disney has lifted its ban on The Los Angeles Times and will continue to give the paper access to press screenings, interviews, and more. The studio issued following the statement via The New York Times on Tuesday afternoon: “We’ve had productive discussions with the newly installed leadership at The Los Angeles Times regarding our specific concerns, and as a result, we’ve agreed to restore access to advance screenings for their film critics.”

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Earlier this month, The Los Angeles Times revealed that they had been blacklisted from attending press screenings of Disney films due to what the company called “unfair coverage of its business ties with Anaheim.” Since then, multiple outlets, including The A.V. Club and Flavorwire, have come forward and announced that they will no longer give Disney films advance coverage until the LA Times can too.

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Fast forward to this morning, and Disney’s attempt to blackout the press has backfired even further as four major critics groups from across the nation, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics, and the National Society of Film Critics, have voted to disqualify all Disney films from year-end awards consideration.

“It is admittedly extraordinary for a critics’ group, let alone four critics’ groups, to take any action that might penalize film artists for decisions beyond their control,” the organizations said in a joint statement. “But Disney brought forth this action when it chose to punish The Times’ journalists rather than express its disagreement with a business story via ongoing public discussion. Disney’s response should gravely concern all who believe in the importance of a free press, artists included.”

Even filmmakers such as Ava DuVernay, whose A Wrinkle in Time is scheduled to be released by Disney on March 9, took to Twitter on Monday to express her support for “the film journalists standing up for one another” and says she is standing with them. Jake Tapper of CNN called Disney’s boycott of the LA Times “unprofessional and journalistic,” saying that it makes the company “look small.”

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Robert Pattinson to star in horror-fantasy film ‘The Lighthouse’ from ‘The Witch’ director

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Robert Pattinson The Lighthouse
PASCAL LE SEGRETAIN/GETTY IMAGES

Fresh off his Oscar-worthy performance in Josh and Benny Safdie’s riveting New York City crime-thriller Good Time, Deadline is reporting that Robert Pattinson will star opposite Willem Dafoe in Robert Eggers’ upcoming horror project The Lighthouse, which will be distributed by A24, who also released the filmmaker’s 2016 sleeper hit The Witch.

Written by Robert and Max Eggers, The Lighthouse is described as a fantasy horror story set in the world of old sea-faring myths. “This new script blew us away,” A24 said in a statement. “It creates a totally unique and ambitious universe and manages to somehow feel scary, suspenseful, wondrous and beautiful all at the same time.”

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In 2015, Variety reported that Eggers had begun development on a remake of Nosferatu, the 1922 silent movie about Count Orlok of Transylvania, which served as what is considered an unofficial adaptation of Bram Stocker’s iconic 1897 novel Dracula. However, according to Collider, the Nosferatu is going on the backburner for now as production on The Lighthouse is expected to begin this spring, though a release date has not been announced.

“I am extremely happy to be working with RT, A24, and Parts & Labor again,” Eggers said. “Along with New Regency, they are providing me and my collaborators with the support and freedom to make this film the way it needs to be made. It’s a privilege.”

As someone who is a huge fan of everyone involved in this project, especially Eggers, whose directorial debut was simply outstanding and still haunts me to this day, it should certainly be exciting to see what he puts together with The Lighthouse. I mean, Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe in the same movie? How could you go wrong?

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‘Black Panther’ scores a record-breaking $25.2 million from Thursday night previews

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Black Panther Rotten Tomatoes
MARVEL STUDIOS

Ryan Coogler’s critically acclaimed Black Panther has already begun to dominate the domestic box office, reeling in a mighty $25.2 million in Thursday previews, breaking the February record previously held by Deadpool, which earned $12.7 million from Thursday previews when it opened in 2016.

Additionally, Black Panther also bested Captain America: Civil War, which earned $25 million from Thursday previews and, thanks to its stellar early reviews and an all-star cast that includes Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, and Danai Gurira, is expected to round up as much as $170 million by the end of the Presidents’ Day weekend.

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Black Panther picks up after the events of Civil War and follows T’Challa as he returns home to Wakanda to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king after the death of his father. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king is tested when he is lured into a deadly conflict.

Earlier this year, Black Panther managed to break Marvel’s pre-sale record on Fandango to become the fourth biggest pre-seller in the ticketing company’s history. It’s bested only by the three latest installments in the Star Wars franchise including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Meanwhile, Black Panther has earned $47 million in foreign territories, bringing its worldwide total to somewhere in the $72 million range. We’ll keep you posted on the film’s box office performance over the course of the four-day weekend.

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Tiffany Haddish, Greta Gerwig, Chadwick Boseman among the 2018 Oscars presenters

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Tiffany Haddish Oscars
JASON LAVERIS/FILMMAGIC

Producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd announced the star-studded first slate of presenters for the 2018 Oscars on Friday morning. The ceremony will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and will air live on ABC on Sunday, March 4.

Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Mahershala Ali, last year’s winners for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Supporting Actor, respectively, will return to the Oscars stage to present those same awards, while 2018 nominees such as Greta Gerwig (Best Director, Best Original Screenplay), Kumail Nanjiani (Best Original Screenplay), and Margot Robbie (Best Actress) will also take the stage to present.

Additionally, it was also announced that Chadwick Boseman, Laura Dern, Jennifer Garner, Tiffany Haddish, Tom Holland, and Daniela Vega will also be handing out awards, as well.

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“Whether returning to the Oscars stage, or gracing it for the first time, each of these artists bring their own distinguishing and energetic appeal,” said De Luca and Todd. “Their contributions will make for an unforgettable evening.”

Among the nine nominees for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards are Call Me by Your NameDarkest HourDunkirkGet OutLady BirdPhantom ThreadThe PostThe Shape of Water, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, while Christopher Nolan, Jordan Peele, Gerwig, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Guillermo del Toro are all up for Best Director.

You can check out the complete list of nominations for the 2018 Oscars here.

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