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Winners at War’ (PHOTOS) – TV Insider


Survivor is bringing back its winners for its upcoming 40th season.

For the CBS competition series’ 20th anniversary edition, the theme is “Winners at War,” uniting the most memorable, heroic, and celebrated champions for the biggest battle in the show’s history. These returning players will compete to once again to earn the title of Sole Survivor and the largest prize in reality show history — $2 million.

The champions will compete in epic challenges and face the return of Edge of Extinction (which gives voted-out players a second chance to win). There’s also a new element, fire tokens, currency which will “add more complexity” to the game.

“To celebrate and honor this momentous 20-year milestone, we created the biggest battle in Survivor history!” executive producer and host Jeff Probst said in a statement. “For the first time ever, 20 winners, who have masterfully proven they can outwit, outplay and outlast in this game, will face off to determine who is the greatest player of all time!”

Click through the gallery above to see which champions have returned for another season.

Survivor: Winners at War, 2-Hour Season 40 Premiere, Wednesday, February 12, 8/7c, CBS



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Movies

The World War I Film Pushes Star Wars From The Number One Spot


With the release of Sam Mendes’ 1917, Universal Pictures chose to execute what has become a standard award season maneuver. The movie was first screened in mid-November, allowing critics and guild members to see what it was and start the wave of buzz, and then just before the end of the year the studio released it in just a handful of theaters – allowing it to qualify as a 2019 release. It was only this past weekend that Universal finally distributed the feature across the country, capping off a very slow play… but to the company’s credit, the strategy totally worked. The film is now the number one movie in America, having made more than enough money to knock J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker down to second place.

Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!

1917 Box Office January 10-12, 2020
1. 1917

$36,500,000 Total: $39,221,279

LW: 17

THTRS: 3,434

2. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

$15,059,000 Total: $478,169,690

LW: 1

THTRS: 4,279

3. Jumanji: The Next Level

$14,000,000 Total: $257,124,981

LW: 2

THTRS: 3,904

4. Like A Boss*

$10,000,000 Total: $10,000,000

LW: N

THTRS: 3,078

5. Just Mercy

$10,000,000 Total: $10,435,988

LW: 29

THTRS: 2,375

6. Little Women

$7,650,000 Total: $74,031,009

LW: 3

THTRS: 3,216

7. Underwater*

$7,003,000 Total: $7,003,000

LW: N

THTRS: 2,791

8. Frozen II

$5,761,000 Total: $459,384,042

LW: 4

THTRS: 3,175

9. Knives Out

$5,725,000 Total: $139,621,744

LW: 7

THTRS: 2,060

10. Spies In Disguise

$5,108,000 Total: $54,616,429

LW: 6

THTRS: 2,671

In the last few months, 1917 has become a favorite in the on-going awards season, with an eye on becoming the second Sam Mendes film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards (the other being 1999’s American Beauty – his directorial debut). Looking at these numbers, it’s not hard to guess that all of this chatter has made movie-goers curious, resulting in a significant number of ticket sales once the one-shot thriller made it into wide release. No title on the Top 10 had a per theater average anywhere near what it did, making more than $10,000 while playing on over 3,400 big screens across North America.

The numbers are notably huge for Sam Mendes, as no title in his filmmography outside of his James Bond movies – Skyfall and Spectre – made over $30 million when they first found their way into 1,000-plus theaters. Previously it was Jarhead, his last war movie, that held that distinction, having made $27.7 million in its first three days back in 2005. After that is the Tom Hanks mob thriller Road To Perdition, which earned $22.1 million.

Looking at box office trends in recent months, war movies are notably getting some attention. While it didn’t have anywhere near the same kind of critical acclaim and buzz possessed by 1917 going into its first weekend of release, Roland Emmerich’s Midway wound up being a big surprise hit when it hit in early November. That being said, even those numbers don’t compare to what Sam Mendes’ movie has done, as Midway made just $17.5 million in its first three days.

It likely won’t be a long reign at the top of the box office for 1917, as there is a very real possibility that it could be taken down by one of the films set to hit theaters on Friday, but I predict you’re going to be seeing 1917 on this chart for many weeks to come. The conversation surrounding it is probably only going to grow louder in the weeks leading up to the Oscars, and that’s going to result in a lot of people checking it out just so that they can establish their own opinion.

Of course, Universal Pictures wasn’t the only studio to play the slow rollout move with a film they see as a contender, as Destin Daniel Cretton’s Just Mercy found its way into 2,371 more theaters this weekend following its limited release in late December. And while the numbers for the drama starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx aren’t quite as big as those put up by 1917, it’s hard to argue with a drama earning eight figures and tying for fourth place. As you can see from its ranking last week, the movie wasn’t getting out to a lot of people during its first few days in release, resulting in $435,988 in earnings, but now audiences purchasing tickets, and really loving what they are seeing.

The narrative surrounding Miguel Areta’s Like A Boss – which is paired with Just Mercy in fourth place ? isn’t really comparable. While the two films reportedly sold just as many tickets in the last three days, word of mouth for the comedy has been considerably different than what exists for the death row-centric legal drama. Critics did not take kindly to the Tiffany Haddish/Rose Byrne feature, resulting in a rough 21% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and while general audiences have been a bit more friendly, it still only resulted with a “B” grade on CinemaScore. The drops that both movies experience over the course of the next week should be interesting, as I predict that Just Mercy will wind up ranking higher than Like A Boss on the chart this time next week.

In far less positive news, William Eubank’s Underwater looks like it is going to be going into the books as the first flop of 2020. The film didn’t exactly having critics falling over themselves, earning a rather tepid response overall, but now it seems that the movie is on track to be a money-loser, having been made for a reported $50 million. Adding to the rough news is that it’s star Kristen Stewart’s second box office disappointment in a row following the cold movie-goer reception to Elizabeth Banks’ Charlie’s Angels in the fall.

On the milestone beat, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker may have been bumped down in the domestic box office rankings this weekend, but it’s currently also on the precipice of becoming the ninth 2019 blockbuster to make over $1 billion at the global box office. At this point it should be able to handedly beat out Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, Todd Phillips’ Joker, and Pixar’s Toy Story 4, all of which made under $1.1 billion by the time they were done with their respective theatrical runs, but how much higher it climbs beyond that is a question mark at this point.

Coming up this week we have the arrival of the first action blockbuster in 2020 with Joe Carnahan’s Bad Boys For Life, and it will be joined by Stephen Gaghan’s family friendly adventure Dolittle. We’ll be back next Sunday to examine their performance and shake up the Top 10, so be sure to come back then!

 



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Anti-War Movements Opposing Vietnam and Iraq Have Lessons to Teach About Stopping a War with Iran


In just the space of a weekend since the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the rhetoric on Iran from President Donald Trump’s administration has seriously escalated. Trump boasted about $2 trillion in recent military spending and the prospect of bombing Iranian culture sites (a potential war crime in violation of international law), prompting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to announce a war powers resolution designed to put a 30-day time limit on any further “military hostilities” with Iran.

As the president and his allies seem dead set on launching the third U.S. war in the Middle East in this young century, people all across the country are also gearing up for what has the potential to be our nation’s latest anti-war movement.

According to the New York Daily News, hundreds came out to protest in New York City’s Times Square just days after the area hosted its annual New Year’s Eve festivities. The director of Code Pink told the New York Times that 80 demonstrations took place across the country over the weekend in places like Washington, Philadelphia, and Seattle. I was among those who took to the streets this weekend at a protest Friday night outside of Democratic New York senator Chuck Schumer’s New York City home.

Protesters in Times Square in 2020.

Erin Lefevre/NurPhoto/Getty Images

So how can these mass expressions of public resistance evolve into a new anti-war movement? There are two key examples in relatively recent history that we can draw from to help us understand.

First and foremost among these was the anti-war movement organized against the U.S. invasion of Vietnam. Through the 1960s and ’70s, the U.S. was engaged in an invasion of the southeast Asian nation in order to fight a war against communism (really a proxy war against the Soviet Union) in line with the the Truman Doctrine, which had also motivated involvement in the Korean War.

The movement that arose in response was a broad coalition of organizations. Asian-American groups like the Bay Area Asian Coalition Against War (BAACAW) brought an anti-imperialist sensibility to discussions about bringing U.S. troops home, arguing that the war amounted to the U.S. imposing on the Vietnamese people’s right to self-determination.

Black organizers were a major force in the Vietnam-era anti-war movement. Civil rights and black power groups like the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee (SNCC) denounced the conflict, viewing it as yet another act of U.S. aggression. The SNCC’s Atlanta Project organized a protest outside a local draft office in 1966. By 1968, an organization called the National Black Anti-War Anti-Draft Union (NBAWADU) had formed, part of community efforts to set up draft counseling centers designed to help black men avoid conscription into military service.





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Donald Trump’s Order to Kill Iranian Leader Qasem Soleimani Feels Like World War 3, but We Must Say No to War With Iran


The Pentagon announced late Thursday night that the U.S. military killed a top-ranking senior Iranian official in an airstrike carried out at the direction of President Donald Trump. The killing is understood as a major escalation in U.S.-Iran relations, prompting online conversations about the prospect of an impending “World War 3.”

Last night, as I watched our latest existential terror unfold through a torrent of World War 3 memes, I found myself wondering not just what political leaders will do but also what the people of both countries and the broader world will experience as we prepare for what now feels like inevitable further escalations.

While the potential for large-scale global political conflict is palpable, the more immediate concern will be the drumbeat for marching forward with military action that could take us there. How to make sense of it, this immediate future that now rides on an ever-thinner razor’s edge?

First, we have to establish how we got here. Last night, the Pentagon put out a statement saying that the U.S. military had killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani “at the direction of the president” with the aim of “deterring future Iranian attack plans.” The Pentagon statement claimed that Soleimani, leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, was responsible for hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries to U.S. and coalition service members.

Trump’s history with Iran isn’t particularly friendly. Trump called Iran a “rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos” in a 2017 United Nations speech. In 2018, he pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal (aka the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) negotiated by his predecessor, President Barack Obama. That same year, he threatened the Iranian president on Twitter.



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Movies

Civil War Almost Didn’t Include Iron Man



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While Captain America: Civil War wasn’t a fully faithful adaptation of the original Civil War comic book storyline (there’s no way it could have been, given Marvel’s lack of access to certain characters at the time), it did carry over several key elements, like pitting Captain America and Iron Man against each other physically and ideologically. However, at one point, there wasn’t even a guarantee that Robert Downey Jr. would reprise Tony Stark in the Civil War movie. As Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently recalled:

Robert Downey Jr. was confirmed to appear in the third Captain America movie in October 2014, shortly before Marvel Studios announced to the world that it would adapt the Civil War storyline. Before that, Downey had starred as Tony Stark in the Iron Man trilogy and the first two Avengers movies, as well as cameoed in The Incredible Hulk. So that’s six appearances under his belt in the span of seven years. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

It’s fortunate that Kevin Feige and the rest of the Marvel brass were able to sign Robert Downey Jr. onto Captain America: Civil War, as it’s hard to imagine who could have served as Steve Rogers’ heroic opposite in Tony Stark’s place. Just like in the comics, Steve and Tony had differing opinions on legislation dictating what enhanced individuals could and could not do, and considering that these two were among the MCU’s anchoring heroes, it felt all the more powerful when they found themselves on opposite sides of both this political debate and later on the battlefield.

Tony Stark and Steve Rogers’ relationship being fractured, as well as the Avengers being essentially dissolved, are what kicked off Phase 3 of the MCU, and its impact could still be felt when Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame came along. Tony and Steve patched things up before the former died and the latter traveled to the past to live out the rest of his life, but who knows how their dynamic would have changed had Tony not been present in Civil War.

Kevin Feige recalled how it was touch-and-go for a bit getting Robert Downey Jr. onto Captain America: Civil War during the Q&A portion of his visit to the New York Film Academy, where he also noted that there was a period when it was unclear if Marvel would be able to work out a deal with Sony and bring Spider-Man into the mix. Ultimately Feige and his team were successful on both fronts, although where the Web-Slinger is concerned, it turns out that said period where his absence was looking likelier helped flesh out Black Panther’s role.

As mentioned already, Iron Man and Captain America have now exited the MCU following the conclusion of Phase 3. While we will see how differently their lives could have turned out in the animated What If…? series on Disney+ (which is offering a seven-day free trial), their time in the cinematic spotlight as over, and going into Phase 4, we’ll not only reunite with familiar characters like Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy, but also meet plenty of new folks, like The Eternals, Shang-Chi and Blade.

The MCU will continue next year with the release of Black Widow on May 1. Don’t forget to look through our Marvel movies guide to learn what else is coming in Phase 4 and beyond.



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Movies

MCU Fans Want A Captain Marvel And War Machine Team-Up After Stars’ Posts



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Avengers: Endgame brought all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s starring heroes together for an epic team-up years in the making, but that doesn’t mean all of these protagonists got significant screen time with one another. In the case of Captain Marvel and War Machine, we barely saw them interact outside of exchanging a few lines at the beginning of the movie, but many MCU fans are wanting Carol Danvers and James “Rhodey” Rhodes to have a proper team-up together after seeing a fun social media interaction.

It started when Don Cheadle posted a picture on Twitter of him and Brie Larson seated next to each other and rocking the same pose. Cheadle tagged Larson in the post and asked “Why you be copying … ?”, leading Larson to respond:

Anyone else suddenly start hearing “I Wan’na Be Like You” from The Jungle Book in their heads? It’s like the old saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, hence the reason why Brie Larson posed the same way as Don Cheadle in that photo… or maybe it was really just a happy accident. Regardless, this interaction resulted in fans wanting Captain Marvel and War Machine to go on an MCU adventure together, especially considering all the time their comic book counterparts have spent with one another. For example:

And while there wasn’t a hint of romance between Captain Marvel and War Machine in Avengers: Endgame, others fans noted how the two characters were an item in the comics earlier this decade, as seen below.

It’s unclear if Captain Marvel and War Machine’s paths will cross again in the MCU, let alone if those two will become a couple. Still, as you can tell by looking through the responses to Brie Larson’s response, many people would like to see these two share more screen time, and something tells me that Larson and Don Cheadle would be game for that.

Quite frankly though, both Captain Marvel and War Machine’s MCU futures are shrouded in mystery. Carol Danvers at least has the benefit of having another cinematic appearance lined up, as Captain Marvel 2 was announced to be in development at the last San Diego Comic-Con. However, as of last October, Brie Larson did not know when the sequel would begin filming.

As for War Machine, we don’t even know if we’ll see Don Cheadle’s character again. Just like with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, there’s been no official word on what’s next for Rhodey, be it showing up in another movie (getting his own looks like it’s off the table) or starring in his own Disney+ series. The latter seems like the more likelier option given how packed the movie slate is becoming for the first half of the 2020s, but with seven Marvel Disney+ shows already filming or in the works, it’s hard to say if War Machine will ever get a spotlight for himself on the streaming service (which is offering a free seven-day trial).

One easy way to pair Captain Marvel and War Machine together is to just throw the latter into Captain Marvel 2. Following in the footsteps of movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok, Carol Danvers’ next movie could provide a smaller and more self-contained team-up to MCU fans. Just because his best friend, Tony Stark, is dead doesn’t mean that Rhodey has hung up his armor, and it would be interesting to see him get involved with whatever cosmic craziness Carol is dealing with and have them become closer in the process.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for any major updates concerning what’s happening with Captain Marvel and/or War Machine in the MCU. For now, be sure to scan through our Marvel movies guide to learn what’s coming up in Phase 4 and beyond.





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