It Took 3 Weeks, But Godzilla: King Of The Monsters Finally Hit A Box Office Milestone

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is about massive creatures known as titans that beat the hell out of each other. While the main characters of the movie are larger than life, the movie itself wasn’t all that big when it opened domestically. However, it seems the film has been taking the slow and steady approach and now, after three weekends, the film has successfully crossed the $100 million mark domestically.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters has fared a bit better around the world than it has locally, and the film has brought in a total of $366 million globally, about double the film’s budget, so it’s not in danger of complete failure, though it has had a somewhat tougher road than the previous Godzilla, film, or the related Kong: Skull Island.

The previous Godzilla nearly broke the $100 million mark on its opening weekend, as the film grossed $93 million upon release back in 2014. By the Monday of opening week, the film has had $100 million, so it took the movie all of four days.

King of the Monsters hit $100 million on Saturday of this past weekend, so it took the sequel 23 days to get to that mark.

By comparison, Kong: Skull Island hit $100 million on the Saturday of its second weekend in theaters, so it was done in 9 days.

While Godzilla: King of the Monsters looks to be doing ok in an absolute sense, it’s still got a lot of ground to make up compared to its predecessors. Both earlier films did over $500 million at the global box office and at this point it seems pretty close to impossible that King of the Monsters will be able to match that feat, no matter how much time the film is given.

Godzilla is being lumped in with a number of film sequels that seem to be underperforming this summer movie season. Dark Phoenix was a bomb without question. Other movies like Secret Life of Pets 2 and Men in Black International have not done the business that one expects from sequels.

Even Toy Story 4‘s opening weekend came in “below expectations,” though, when your expectations are above the $120 million the movie did domestically, it’s maybe an easier pill to swallow.

The “Monsterverse” movies have been seeing diminishing returns since the release of the previous Godzilla. It makes one wonder what the future holds for the next movie Godzilla Vs. Kong. That movie has finished filming and is set to open next May. The fact that it’s bringing the two most popular giant monsters together might be enough to bring the crowds back. If not, and this trend continues, we could see that film have even more trouble at the box office than King of the Monsters has had.

That Time Interstellar, South Park And More Huge Franchises Were Traded For One Another

Interstellar Brand and Cooper look across the room with concern

When director Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar was released in 2014, it marked the end of a long road that saw the concept originate with a different director, one singular studio and a vision that would radically change over time. And a big part of the history of Nolan’s sci-fi epic was how, because of a pretty big deal struck between several parties, the foundations of franchises such as South Park, Friday the 13th, and the DC Extended Universe would all be altered.

Now, almost five years after Interstellar’s release, and about six since those particular deals were struck, it’s time to uncover how a story about the future of humanity became so big that three companies would give a piece of their own Interstellar pie.

Interstellar the crew looks down at the frozen cryo pod

How Interstellar Started At Paramount

Between 2006 and 2012, Interstellar saw its life start as a project from director Steven Spielberg. While his original ideas, built alongside collaborators such as writer Jonathan Nolan, producer Lynda Obst and physicist Kip Thorne, were wildly different from what would eventually become the finished product, they were a start.

However, this happened during the time Spielberg’s Dreamworks Pictures production company was in an agreement to work with Paramount Pictures; a deal that would end in 2009. Once Steven Spielberg had left Paramount with his Dreamworks banner, he also left Interstellar. But in his absence left a vacancy that allowed Jonathan Nolan to suggest his brother, Christopher, join the project and co-write the film with him, as well as direct.

With such a deal came a bit of a wrinkle though, at least it was a wrinkle if you were a Warner Bros executive.

Interstellar Murph records an angry video to her father

Why Warner Bros Wanted A Piece Of Interstellar

With Christopher Nolan delivering a slam dunk to Warner Bros through his Dark Knight trilogy, any project he was set to board was destined to be a hotly anticipated money maker. Their relationship between those three films was so ingrained that Interstellar became a going concern for the studio the moment he signed onto the project.

Considering that in addition to that trilogy, Warner Bros also saw itself participating in The Prestige as a partner with Touchstone Pictures, and Inception as a sole studio partner, you can see why Interstellar was a prospect that the studio needed to be a part of. And to become a part of that particular story, it was going to cost some capital that the studio had earned over the years.

Most notably, this trade was going to involve South Park and Friday the 13th, as well as a third “undetermined A-list property” that Warner Bros would potentially co-finance with Paramount. These specific trades would then spur one more outside trade between Warner Bros and production company Legendary, which also wanted in on Interstellar. With the pieces now in motion, the following deals would be made.

South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut the boys try to buy R-rated movie tickets

The South Park Trade

Thanks to a co-investment deal that Warner Bros and Paramount’s parent companies had entered into, the birth of Comedy Central came to be. In turn, this meant that both companies had rights to certain properties, such as the South Park franchise, and they would share profits and responsibilities. One such example was the distribution of South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, which was Paramount’s film domestically, but Warner Bros. internationally.

With Warner Bros getting in on Interstellar, one of the conditions was that they would give their share of the South Park empire, more specifically the financing rights to a potential second movie. But if Christopher Nolan and the studio partner of his production company, Syncopy, were going to be able to put Matthew McConaughey into deep space, someone had to give up their share of the Cheesy Poofs.

But something else was going to have to give, as Warner Bros had some more valuable cinematic real estate that Paramount was all too interested in regaining. You see, that same sort of split pertained to another landmark property in the Hollywood landscape: the horror series Friday the 13th. While those roads were always historically complicated, they were about to find themselves a little less so for the foreseeable future.

Friday The 13th (2009) Jason raises his machete for a kill

The Friday The 13th Trade

The rights to the very first Friday the 13th film were set up in the same way South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut had its distribution structured: Paramount was the domestic distributor, while Warner Bros oversaw the international picture. It wasn’t a weird deal to make, as the two studios had and would continue to make similar agreements on films like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Watchmen.

However, the only reason the situation between the two studios would get interesting is the fact that Sean S. Cunningham, creator of the Friday the 13th series, eventually retained the rights to Jason Voorhees. Which meant that when he teamed with New Line Cinema to make the last two Friday movies and Freddy vs. Jason, Warner Bros was the parent company signing the checks and making the deals.

Which lead to the discovery that thanks to certain rights involved with the original Friday the 13th still being held by Paramount, the series would have to jump through major hoops to be rebooted like it was in 2009. So, presumably as a sweetener to the deal, Warner Bros gave Paramount the rights that it held to the Friday the 13th franchise, in addition to those that they had held in the South Park franchise. As far as both studios were concerned, they were ready to rock.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman line up in front of the logo

The Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Trade

Not many people know this, but one more deal had to take place before Interstellar would go on to become the movie we know today, and it was a deal that wasn’t so much giving something away as it was one party making sure they held onto what was theirs. And that party was once former, now once again current, Warner Bros. partner Legendary Pictures.

At the time that Interstellar has Warner Bros handing over their stakes in South Park and Friday The 13th, the studio was splitting up with its partner Legendary, who had also had also built some strong ties with Christopher Nolan’s filmography,and portions of the DC Comics film universe, such as director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.

It was deal time once again, as during Legendary’s exit, it was arranged that instead of participating any further in the DCEU, which could have seen the production company pitch a hand into the next film in line, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros would allow the studio to keep a 25% stake of Interstellar’s production instead. $41.3 million of the film’s $165 million production budget later, Interstellar had three studio partners and one lingering question that remains to this very day: what was that unspecified A-List project?

Interstellar Cooper discussing scientific theory with a white board

The Current State Of The Warner Bros/Paramount Trade

As a part of the deal that saw their interests in South Park and Friday the 13th get traded to Paramount, Warner Bros was also pledged to co-finance an “unspecified A-List” project with their good neighbor. But if history is any indication, this film never happened, as the last co-production effort that Paramount and Warner Bros looks to have engaged in was none other than Interstellar. But that might change any day now, thanks to one particular condition that was included in that big Nolan-centric deal.

Both the Warner Bros interests in South Park and Friday the 13th were traded to Paramount with one specific hitch: it had five years to make a move with those rights, before they reverted back to the way they were. And since no sequel to the South Park movie happened, and Paramount stymied the Friday the 13th machine to an unfortunate degree, both parties are now back to square one.

So if we really want to keep hope alive for both of those franchises, we can hope that either or both of them come up with an idea so bold and so insane, it’s be leaving money on the table not to make it happen. Which, admittedly, doesn’t happen often, but still isn’t impossible to hope for.

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself if Interstellar was worth all of this wrangling. Well, if you look at the film’s basic numbers of a $165 million production budget that brought in $677.5 million in international gross, you’d probably say yes. And considering the film was seen as one of the 20 most profitable studio films in 2014, you could say that it was indeed a success for all involved.

But it ultimately depends on how you look at Interstellar’s performance domestically, which brought in $188 million of that total, and its worldwide numbers, which soared to $489.4 million. With those numbers spread the way they are, plus the South Park and Friday the 13th rights swap not yielding any tangible positives in the way of cash flow, you can see who won and who lost in this deal pretty clearly. But hey, at least we got Interstellar out of the deal.

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One Of The Dogs In Jesse Eisenberg’s New Movie Wanted To Kill Him

In recent months here on CinemaBlend we have been tickled by some cute animal-centric tales from the sets of movies like Captain Marvel and Pet Sematary – but today we have a different kind of story for you in that realm. Specifically, this one comes from the making of the new dark comedy The Art Of Self-Defense, and features an on-set dog that was apparently very eager to straight-up murder star Jesse Eisenberg.

With the movie set for release in just a couple weeks, I had the opportunity to hop on the phone with writer/director Riley Stearns this morning to talk about his work – and it was towards the end of the interview that I steered our conversation towards the animal wrangling that was done on set. He started by telling me that it was an incredible experience, with zero complaints about dachshund that is prominently featured, but as he continued he revealed why working with the German Shepherd in the film was a bit more… complicated

Detailing the exact role played by the larger dog in The Art Of Self-Defense would be giving away too much spoiler-wise at this point, but it can be said that it and Jesse Eisenberg’s character, Casey, have an intense stare down when they first meet in the story. Initially, however, the plan was for the interaction to be much more aggressive from the canine’s perspective, and things evidently got super realistic during filming.

As Riley Stearns explained, the production didn’t have access to dogs with any previous feature experience, and the one they ended up hiring had what could be kindly referred to as “energy to spare.” Said the filmmaker,

The good news is that the Art Of Self-Defense scene called for Eisenberg to look completely terrified, and that’s exactly what comes across.

But, as noted, what the actor is reacting to in the film is much different than what he was actually reacting to during production. Continuing his story, Riley Sterns noted that the movie definitely got all of the chomping and snarling footage it needed to execute the scene as it was planned in the script, but during post-production he discovered that he needed to go a different way with it:

Of course now the funny behind-the-scenes story has been exposed.

The second film from Riley Stearns, The Art Of Self-Defense centers on a timid accountant (Jesse Eisenberg) who becomes the victim of a savage attack while out one night running an errand. Feeling completely powerless as a result, he searches for a way to rid himself of his fear, and in doing so discovers a hobby that ultimately becomes an obsession: karate. He quickly becomes a favorite of the sensei at the local dojo (Alessandro Nivola), but slowly begins to discover that there is more to the community than classes than learning about punching, kicking, and blocking.

The movie – which is one of the best of 2019 so far – had its premiere earlier this year at the SXSW Film Festival, and will be getting released by Bleecker Street on July 12th. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more about The Art Of Self-Defense in the run-up to its release, including more from my interview with Riley Stearns.

Bill And Ted 3 Writer Compares Face The Music To The First Two Movies

If you’re a fan of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and/or Bogus Journey, you’ve probably been mining the internet for all the info you can get on the latest installment, Bill and Ted Face The Music. And as luck would have it, series’ co-creator/writer Ed Solomon has been delivering on that front every chance he’s gotten, and this weekend was no exception. When asked by a fan to describe the tone of this third part, Solomon compared it to the first two films in these terms:

As far as how Bill and Ted Face The Music stacks up with the first two films, Ed Solomon is of the mind that it hews closer to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in terms of where it lands. Which will probably be a relief for fans who may favor that first film more when compared to its sequel, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. Much like Ghostbusters fans, your mileage is going to vary on such a storied duology.

But the most interesting part comes from the points that follow, as Ed Solomon mentions the weight of age and experience weighing on our time traveling pair. With an initial plot synopsis that merely said Alex Winter’s Bill and Keanu Reeves’ Ted would be visited by a future citizen, telling them that their music would save the world, this is a really new development.

Though ever since the film has been confirmed as actually happening, “development” is the watch word for Bill and Ted Face The Music. Since it kicked off its press rounds, we’ve found out that William Sadler is reprising his role as Death from Bogus Journey, and that Barry’s Anthony Carrigan would be playing the film’s villain.

And that’s not even taking into account that Kid Cudi will also have a role in the film, as well as the fact that Bill and Ted both have daughters. Aptly named Billie and Thea, Bridgette Lundy Paine and Samara Weaving will be playing those roles, respectively. As an additional fun fact – they’re both named after their father’s best friend in the world.

With kids, the fate of the world and almost 30 years of history between now and the last time we saw them, it’s quite obvious that Bill and Ted Face The Music is going to try and catch us up with the laughs and love that these best bros have shared. But as with any good story, and as Ed Solomon himself even said in his Twitter update on the film, “The best comedy, to me, is absurdity rooted in human truth.”

Why Jon Favreau Kept Wanting The Lion King To Be ‘Uglier’

With Jon Favreau’s remake of The Lion King hitting theaters next month, an increasing number of news and interview pieces focusing on the film’s unique look have surfaced (as have ones on directing James Earl Jones). Jon Favreau has frequently commented on the film’s utilization of special effects, and his most recent comments shed even more light on the topic. In the director’s words:

Overall, it resulted in a weird creative process on The Lion King that made it feel like those involved were tacking a game. Jon Favreau continued:

Based on what we’ve seen so far, his efforts seem to have paid off. And judging from how the actors look when placed beside their characters, it looks like Jon Favreau and his team recreated these characters in a way that, despite the film’s drastically different look, is incredibly faithful. Well, that’s true for every character except for Scar. So far, fans haven’t responded well to the villain’s new look. Maybe Chiwetel Ejiofor’s eager performance will win them over.

Disney’s willingness to take risks, coupled with its ruthlessness toward competitors, has basically ensured that the studio won’t be beaten at the box office in 2019. And how would it be? It has basically bought every lucrative franchise in Hollywood, so it’s difficult to imagine any studio becoming any kind of threat to its profits.

The Lion King stars Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, James Earl Jones, Keegan-Michael Key, Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Eric Andre and a host of other prominent actors and actresses. It’s a film with that many high-profile actors will absolutely make some serious money at the box office, but will the film be any good? Jon Favreau and his fellow filmmakers seem to think so. We’ll find out for sure next month.

The Lion King will hit theaters on July 19. Tickets are on sale now so snatch them up while you can! Keep your eyes on the CinemaBlend newsfeed for new developments, and don’t forget to look through our 2019 release schedule to see what other movies open later this year.

Annabelle Comes Home Reviews Are In, Here’s What The Critics Think

The Annabelle franchise that spun off from The Conjuring series has, by the numbers, been a mixed bag. With the 2014 origin story being widely panned by critics and fans, the 2017 follow-up Annabelle: Creation’s success was a sudden surprise upgrade to the series’ fortunes.

Now we’re just days away from writer/director Gary Dauberman unveiling Annabelle Comes Home to the world, and the critics have weighed in with their thoughts. Starting off with CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg, his take on the threequel is pretty upbeat, as he describes the film thusly:

Unfortunately, not everyone is quite as happy with the franchise potential that Annabelle Comes Home demonstrates,however, as seen in our next review from The Guardian. Critic Benjamin Lee is not as optimistic about the content, as while he feels the film is “handsomely made,” his biggest takeaway is the following:

Taking a more even-handed view over at The Washington Post, critic Michael Sullivan thinks that Annabelle Comes Home is a fun, albeit perhaps not trilogy-best, entry in the series. Giving the film a 2.5 out of 4 stars Sullivan wrote,

Over at Variety, Owen Gleiberman likens Annabelle Comes Home to speed dating, as he says that there are tons of fear triggers scattered throughout the film. But even with its faults in mind, he seemed to enjoy it to the following degree:

Annabelle Comes Home certainly isn’t a movie for everyone. In fact, the write up the film in The New York Times sounds like it’ll play more towards the reactions you’ll hear from some of the more reserved contingent of horror fans. As she evaluated the film, critic Jeannette Catsoulis did find some solace in the performance of one of the young actors present in the film. Ultimately, though, her reaction is pretty negative:

So far, the reaction to Annabelle Comes Home is mixed at best, with critics going back and forth with positive and negative notes. These reviews certainly seem to vary when compared to the previous reactions that Annabelle Comes Home racked up; but with the number of reviews still climbing by the moment the overall picture just might be a bit more aligned with those results. As for the audience reaction to Annabelle Comes Home, we won’t have to wait too long to figure that puzzle out, as it heads into theaters for early shows this Thursday night.

Of Course, New Warner Bros CEO’s Welcome Announcement Was Bombarded With Release The Snyder Cut Replies

Today it was revealed that Ann Sarnoff, who is currently the president of BBC Studios Americas, has been hired to be Warner Bros’ new Chair and CEO, the position previously held by Kevin Tsujihara. As a result, many DC Extended Universe fans who want Warner Bros to release Justice League’s “Snyder Cut” have flocked to WB’s official announcement on Sarnoff to ask that she take action to deliver this cut of the fifth DC Extended Universe movie. Here’s an example:

Justice League was met with mixed-to-negative reception upon opening in November 2017, and it went on to commercially underperform as well, making only $657.9 million worldwide. Since then, the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut fan movement has been campaigning for Warner Bros to release a cut of Justice League that better reflects what director Zack Snyder was intending to deliver before he left the production and Joss Whedon oversaw the reshoots.

While there is definitely a decent amount of deleted material from Justice League, and there have been claims at least a rough cut of Zack Snyder’s version of Justice League exists, officially there are no plans for Warner Bros to release the Snyder Cut of Justice League. Nevertheless, Zack Snyder fans are still campaigning for it and think Ann Sarnoff can finally make their wish come true. Here’s another fan hoping that Sarnoff delivers on this request:

Feel free to look at Warner Bros’ Twitter post on Ann Sarnoff to read some of the other #ReleaseTheSnyderCut responses, but this one is my favorite, channeling one of the funnier moments from last year’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Whether or not the Snyder Cut of Justice League is ever released, Snyder himself is certainly helping fan those flames by sharing behind-the-scenes looks and information on moments that never made it to the theatrical cut. His recent shares include a look at young Darkseid in the flashback battle scenes and a scene where Cyborg sees a vision of himself looking normal with his mom and dad, which also has a Green Lantern-related ship in the background.

Although Justice League was intended to be the first entry of a wild-sounding trilogy, and all together forming a five movie-arc with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, those plans have been scrapped, and for now, it doesn’t look like the Justice League will be re-forming anytime soon. Instead, the DCEU is now less focused on interconnectivity between its movies and is prioritizing standalone stories.

It should also be noted that Snyder Cut fans recently raised money to fly a banner over San Diego Comic-Con next month promoting their preferred version of Justice League, as well as purchased a billboard and half-page color advertisement. Despite Warner Bros not presenting anything at SDCC this year, it seems this Snyder Cut promotion is still going forward, and the campaign is also raising money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The DCEU will continue with the release of Birds of Prey on February 7, 2020, followed by Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5 of the same year. If you’re curious about what other DC movies are on the way, browse through our handy guide.

All The Rides At Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Orlando, Ranked

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Studios Orlando

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is finally open at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando, and fans worldwide are flocking to the park for a chance to hop on the latest attraction. The ride is certainly fun, but where does it fall in regards to the park’s other Harry Potter attractions? What other rides are top priority when visiting Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley?

CinemaBlend recently took a trip to the theme park and rode every ride to prepare a definitive ranking of which rides are the best and which are still good, but maybe not quite as big of a thrill in comparison. On this breakdown, we’ll considering the ride itself, the quality of references to the Harry Potter universe, and entertainment value while standing in line. Look at us rambling on like an indecisive Sorting Hat, let’s make some decisions!

Hagrid's Hut Flight of the Hippogriff

5. Flight Of The Hippogriff

Flight of the Hippogriff is certainly the most chill ride of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando, but that’s mainly by design. This is a roller coaster for those who don’t want too extreme of an experience, and is ideal for younger children. It’s one of the shorter rides in the park and a good pick for a young witch or wizard looking to get a jolt of excitement, but not looking to be horrified.

There isn’t as much to see while waiting in line compared to other attractions, but Flight of the Hippogriff does give one of the best views of Hogsmeade one can get in the area, and a sweet view of Hagrid’s Hut. That said, patrons can get a much closer view in the queue for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, which ensures this one takes the bottom spot even though it still is a great ride.

Hogwarts Express Universal Orlando

4. The Hogwarts Express

Those who think The Hogwarts Express is merely a means of transport between Hogmeade and Diagon Alley are sorely mistaken, as the famous train from the books and films is far more appealing than walking between the two parks on many levels. It starts with the line, which really captures the aesthetic of King’s Cross and Platform 9 3/4’s to a “t.” Just don’t try to run into any walls to get to the latter!

Of course, the real fun happens when patrons are seated in their train cars, as digital screens give the illusion that you’re traveling around the fictional Wizarding World and just on the other side of the door from some of the franchise’s most iconic characters. It really makes the trip fly by, and also makes the whole experience a lot less awkward if you happen to share a cabin with complete strangers.

3. Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts

Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts is without question the crown jewel of Diagon Alley. The giant fire-spewing dragon atop the mythical bank is an attraction all on its own, and then one goes inside and sees all the animatronic goblins hard at work maintaining ledgers and balancing accounts. Things only get more immersive as line-goers make their way into the vaults, and prepare for an elaborate and well-constructed indoor roller coaster ride.

There’s a lot to love about the ride itself, although one particular highlight is that it’s one of the only times Lord Voldemort (played by the magnificent Ralph Fiennes) appears throughout the entire park. The wonderful and deranged Bellatrix Lestrange makes an appearance as well, and patrons go on a ride that’s the closest we can ever hope to get to that actual tour beneath Gringotts.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Universal Orlando

2. Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey

Let the record state that when it came to ranking Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Escape From Gringotts, it was a very tight race. Both rides are about equal in terms of enjoyment, although the use of animatronics in Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey did present a slight advantage for me personally. With that said, the ride itself is a little more relaxed than Escape From Gringotts, which had them in equal standing.

The key difference maker here is the line experience, in which Harry Potter fans walk through Hogwarts. How can any line experience compare to that? You’re roaming the same halls as some of the greatest witches and wizards of the world once did before! Ok, not really, but it really does feel like it, and the moving pictures and Sorting Hat are nothing short of a dream to see in person. Hands down, this is the best line experience.

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando

1. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Last, but obviously not the least, is Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s newest ride. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is certainly worth the hype, even if the wait right now seems a bit long. That’s saying a lot considering it replaced the much-beloved Dueling Dragons, but Universal’s “story-coaster” maintains the intensity of the original ride while stunning riders with amazing animatronic beasts and a very surprising drop.

Then there’s the line experience, which is stacked with a staggering amount of scenery and easter eggs that fans of Harry Potter will love. This includes an up-close and personal view of Hagrid’s Hut, a look inside Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures workshop and a journey through the Forbidden Forest. It’s all amazing,and will be an experience Universal Orlando will have to work very hard towards to top in the years to come.

Some may view Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in the top spot as reactionary, but after riding all the rides over the course in two days, I can say with certainty it is not. This is a coaster that will be sought out by anyone who visits Universal Orlando regardless of whether or not they’re fans of Harry Potter. This puts it well above the rest in terms of ranking, but every ride in the kingdom is still plenty fun.

Agree or disagree, the comments are open for anyone who has something to say about the rides at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando. Sound off, and be sure to stick with CinemaBlend for the latest in television and movie news.

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Chris Hemsworth Would Be ‘Perfect’ For Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Dave Bautista Says

When Avengers: Endgame… well, ended, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and the surviving Guardians of the Galaxy left Earth for places unknown. They had just won a costly battle against the alien despot Thanos and were itching for a fresh start.

Chris Hemsworth (and his co-stars) showed off some serious comedic chops in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, which, to no one’s surprise, proved to be both a critical and commercial success. Even Dave Bautista’s co-star Karen Gillan agrees, although she wants to see Thor in a more… inhibited capacity.

Regardless of whether or not he drowns himself in outrageous amounts of booze, Thor would fit in perfectly with the Guardians, even if it’s just a temporary deal. Hopefully he sticks with them for a while!

Because Guardians 3 hasn’t even started filming yet, Dave Bautista has moved on to other projects (including Denis Villeneuve’s Dune) while he waits for an official start date. And no, he hasn’t been tapped for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. Clearly, he’s not desperate for projects.

Filming for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 probably won’t even begin until 2020, so we still have a while to wait before those intergalactic misfits hit the screen again. Until then, we’ll have to be content watching his other MCU appearances. Oh well.

Stay tuned for more Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 updates as they come trickling in! We’ll likely hear more about the project sooner rather than later. For now, find out what other Marvel movies are in development with our handy guide.

Toy Story 4’s Ally Maki Had A Less Than Glamorous Introduction To Tom Hanks

Voice acting can be an isolating experience in the making of an animated movie. Most productions have performers working alone in a recording booth, as opposed to in pairs or groups, so there are many instances where co-stars never actually get to meet each other. It was because of these circumstances that Toy Story 4 actress Ally Maki almost missed out on her chance to meet Tom Hanks… but while she did eventually get to meet the Oscar winner, the situation wasn’t exactly ideal.

This was a story I learned last week when I sat down with Ally Maki for an interview on the Walt Disney Pictures lot in Burbank, CA – the conversation centered around her turn as Giggles McDimples in Toy Story 4. I specifically asked about the opportunities she had to meet the other members of the star-studded cast, and while that query initially inspired a laugh, it led to her recounting her first run-in with Tom Hanks.

The meeting happened after the actors’ respective recording sessions were done for the Pixar movie, and instead was during a random press day promoting the film. At the time Maki had no idea that their schedules were going to crossover, so she wasn’t exactly prepared for the moment:

Funnily enough, this met with more confusion than surprise, as Ally Maki hadn’t even considered the possibility of the encounter occurring. She continued,

With that, the reputation of one of the most legendarily nice guys in Hollywood gets a bit more sterling. And while it may not have exactly been the meeting with Tom Hanks that Ally Maki imagined, it’s perhaps better because that extra twist makes it more memorable.

Audiences can now see the two stars’ work “together” on the big screen, as Toy Story 4 is now playing in theaters around the globe. And be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more of our news and features about the 21st Pixar film.