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70% of AMC Locations Will Open for Labor Day Weekend Release of “Tenet”

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  • AMC announced that it will have 70% of its theaters open in time for people to see Christopher Nolan’s “Tenetthis Labor Day weekend.
  • The company’s stocks jumped to their highest point since February after the announcement was made.
  • “Tenet” opened to international audiences last week ahead of its domestic debut. It brought in $53 million in its opening week, surpassing the expectations of many box office analysts.
  • While other films are out in theaters, many have been looking to “Tenet” as the true measure of how successful a blockbuster can be during the coronavirus pandemic.

AMC Reopens More Theaters

AMC, the largest theater chain in the United States, will have 70% of its theaters open for Labor Day Weekend, in time for the release of Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated blockbuster “Tenet.”

AMC has been reopening locations at limited capacity around the country for the past couple of weeks. On Thursday and Friday, 140 more will unlock their doors, bringing the movie theater giant’s grand total to 420 up and running locations. 

Among the theaters reopening are seven spots in San Diego, marking the first AMC locations to open in the state of California. In the coming weeks, AMC anticipates it will open more in the state, and in New Jersey as well. These reopenings follow what AMC CEO and President Adam Aron have described as a successful few weeks back in business. 

“The first two weekends of operations have exceeded our expectations in terms of guests returning to the movies and in terms of their feedback about our extensive AMC Safe & Clean policies and procedures,” he said in a statement.

After AMC announced it would expand its theater reopenings, its stocks jumped up 13%, reaching their highest peak since February. 

In addition to “Tenet,” audiences will be able to see “The New Mutants,” “Unhinged,” “Words on Bathroom Walls,” and “The Personal History of David Copperfield.” Some AMC locations will also be screening “42” to celebrate the life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman, who passed away over the weekend. 

Tenet’s International Box Office Success

All eyes will be on Nolan’s “Tenet” though, as the film has long been looked at as the first major summer blockbuster to hit the silver screen since the COVID-19 pandemic shut moviegoing down. The release date for the Robert Pattinson and John David Washington-led picture has been pushed back several times until Warner Bros. finally opted to release it overseas before domestic moviegoers got a chance to see it. 

“Tenet” hit international screens last week, debuting with a box office haul of $53 million. Warner Bros. executives have stated that they could not be more pleased with this opening, and box office analysts are equally amazed. Many predicted that the film would bring in closer to $40 million. 

“It’s a very impressive result, frankly,” Bruce Nash, a box office expert told the Washington Post. “You needed three players to come together in this dance to make it happen — Warner Bros., theaters and moviegoers. And you have to credit each of them for doing their part.”

Nolan’s films have reliably strong box office grosses. His last three films have collectively raked in over $2.3 billion. Other American films currently in theaters pale in comparison to his latest release. 

Other Films Success

“The New Mutants” hit select open theaters last weekend, bringing in $10 million both domestically and internationally. The Russell Crowe-starring feature “Unhinged” has been doing a scattered roll out international since mid-July. It made its way to U.S. screens in mid-August and brought in a total of $21 million. 

“Bill and Ted Face the Music” which came out both in theaters and on VOD this weekend, brought in a million dollars from theaters. It is sitting at the top of VOD charts, but it is unclear exactly how much money it has pulled from that format. 

AMC’s choice to open more theaters could help these films. They will not be alone in providing a boost as Regal Cinemas is also opening locations in a few more states. A lot rides on their success, particularly in the case of “Tenet.”

If “Tenet” does well in its domestic release, it makes it all the more likely that blockbusters farther down the 2020 pipeline, including “Wonder Woman 1984” and “West Side Story” will keep their release dates instead of opting for a 2021 debut. If studios are not impressed by what “Tenet” brings in, many may go back to the drawing board and shuffle their release schedules.

See what others are saying: (Variety) (Deadline) (CNBC)

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Former “Real Housewives” Star Bethenny Frankel Sues TikTok Over Ads Misusing Likeness

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The reality star said social media has become “a breeding ground for scams.”


TikTok Hit With Class Action Suit

Businesswoman and reality star Bethenny Frankel filed a class action lawsuit against TikTok on Thursday, accusing the social media app of platforming fraudulent ads that misuse the identities of influencers. 

According to the lawsuit, several videos “purloined the images, voices, and content” of Frankel and others in an effort “to sell counterfeit items.” 

Frankel claims that one advertisement used footage of her to make it appear as though she was endorsing a knockoff cardigan, even though she never authorized the use of her image. According to the lawsuit, Frankel attempted to warn her followers that the ad was misusing her persona, but TikTok allegedly removed that video for being “abusive.”

“Despite demands on TikTok to remove and police this corrupt conduct, TikTok has ignored such demands, and even taken countervailing positions,” the lawsuit claims. “Aside from not being compensated, the reputation and brand of Ms. Frankel and Class Members are being damaged and tarnished through unauthorized associations with counterfeit goods and other products that they do not support.”

It further alleged that TikTok is “unlawfully” allowing the use of Frankel’s “persona, voice, content, and likeness” in a manner that “constitutes unfair competition and deceptive trade practices.”

In addition to previously starring on “The Real Housewives of New York,” Frankel is also the founder of lifestyle and food brand Skinnygirl, and disaster relief initiative BStrong. 

The Wild West of Social Media

In a TikTok video last month, the former Real Housewife told her followers she was considering taking legal action against the video app. As for why she took her complaints up with TikTok as opposed to the brands behind the sham ads, she said that the bigger issue is “the wild wild west of social media.”

This is something that has to be addressed because it’s a breeding ground for scams,” she said. 

After the fake ads appeared to show Frankel giving the knockoff cardigan a thumbs up, many of her followers thought she “sold out” by “hocking” the product. According to Frankel, TikTok offers little help in repairing the issue. 

“There’s nobody to call at TikTok,” she said. “You know, calling China, you’re reporting something, it’s like small potatoes.”

After news broke that she filed the class action complaint, Frankel posted a statement to Instagram saying her demands “for creators and consumers is correct and just.”

“Consumers and creators are being exploited with no recourse or power to defend and protect themselves,” Frankel wrote. “That ends now.”

“Social media, and its impact as the most powerful medium on the planet, cannot be a reckless marketplace where people risk their rights and privacy being violated without protection.”

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (Insider) (Reuters)

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Halyna Hutchins Family Settles With “Rust” Production, Filming to Resume in 2023

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Alec Baldwin said everyone involved was motivated by the “desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son.”


Settlement Reached

The family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was fatally shot on the set of “Rust” last year, reached a settlement with the production over a wrongful death lawsuit on Wednesday. 

The lawsuit was filed in February, several months after Hutchins’ death in New Mexico last October. The cast and crew were rehearsing a scene that involved producer and actor Alec Baldwin pointing a gun toward the camera. Baldwin claims he did not know it was loaded when it fired, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. 

The actor also claims he did not actually pull the trigger, but investigators determined it must have been pulled. 

Hutchins’ husband Matthew filed the wrongful death suit on behalf of himself and his young son. It claimed that the production did not follow proper safety procedures and endangered the crew via reckless cost-cutting measures. Baldwin was listed as a defendant, as well as the set’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, first assistant director, Dave Halls, and others involved with the film. 

The amount of the settlement was not disclosed, but as part of the agreement, the production of “Rust” will resume in January 2023. The late cinematographer’s husband will join the project as an executive producer. 

“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” he said in a statement. “All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”

A Tribute to Hutchins

Souza will return as the director. In a statement, he said his “every effort on this film will be devoted to honoring” Hutchins.

For his part, Baldwin shared the news of the settlement on his Instagram Wednesday morning.

“Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son,” he wrote. “We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”

According to The Los Angeles Times, while Gutierrez-Reed and Halls were not part of the settlement, if a judge approves it, the allegations against them will be resolved.

There is still an ongoing criminal probe happening separately from this lawsuit. It is unclear what impact the settlement will have on that, if any. 

Last month, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies sent a letter to the New Mexico Board of Finance seeking additional funding to prosecute up to four people over the incident, including Baldwin. So far, no charges have been filed. 

In April, the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau fined the production after it found multiple safety violations on set. 

See what others are saying: (The Los Angeles Times) (The Hollywood Reporter) (Deadline)

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The Try Guys Address Removal of Ned Fulmer: “We Had No Idea This Was Going On”

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The group said that by severing ties with Fulmer, it felt like they were losing a friend. 


“That Is Not What We Stand For”

Digital comedy and sketch group The Try Guys posted a video on Monday night explaining the recent removal of member Ned Fulmer. 

Last week, the Internet was filled with speculation that Fulmer, who is married with children, was having an affair with a staffer for The Try Guys. Fulmer confirmed the reports, claiming he had a “consensual workplace relationship.” The Try Guys quickly announced that Fulmer would no longer be working with the group as the result of an internal review. 

In Monday’s video, the remaining three members, Eugene Lee Yang, Zach Kornfeld, and Keith Habersberger, explained what led to their decision to remove Fulmer. While the trio noted there were legal issues that prevented them from sharing certain details, they wanted to be as transparent as possible. 

“On Labor Day weekend, multiple fans alerted us that they had seen Ned and an employee engaging in public romantic behavior,” Habersberger explained. “We reached out to check on that employee and Ned confirmed the reports, and since confirmed that this had been going on for some time, which was obviously very shocking to us.”

He emphasized that the rest of the group “had no idea this was going on.” 

After this, The Try Guys reached out to a variety of lawyers and HR professionals to make sure they handled the situation correctly. 

“This is something we took very seriously,” Yang said. “We refused to sweep things under the rug. That is not who we are, and that is not what we stand for.” 

Removing Fulmer From Content

They decided to immediately remove Fulmer from work activities and hired an HR rep to conduct a review. Fulmer was also withdrawn from releases pending the results of that review. 

As part of this, his video section was erased, he was digitally taken out of some content, and he was not included in merch drops. The Try Guys said this was a long and tedious process. 

“Honestly, I want to give major props to our editing staff for how deftly they handled that,” Kornfeld said. “There are several videos that we have deemed as fully unreleasable, you will never see them, and that is due to his involvement. And that is a decision that has cost us lots of money.” 

“We will not be able to recoup that money,” he continued. “But it’s a decision we stand by proudly.” 

The group declined to share details of the review but claimed it found that Fulmer engaged in “conduct unbecoming” of the team. Because of this, Yang, Kornfeld, and Habersberger gave written consent on Sept. 16 to ax Fulmer as a manager and employee of The Try Guys company. 

The three said they were always planning to make a public statement about their decision, but were initially waiting out of respect to the families and employees involved. As online speculation arose, they chose to deal with it sooner. 

“We’re losing a friend, we’re losing someone we built a company with, we have countless memories with, we just made a TV show together,” Kornfeld said. “I’m sure many of you feel the same way.” 

According to the group, some upcoming videos featuring Fulmer will be edited to remove him. They said they are currently taking time to reimagine their channel. 

See what others are saying: (USA Today) (People) (Deadline)

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