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“A Quiet Place Part II” Breaks Pandemic Record While “In The Heights” Falters

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The horror sequel crossed $100 million at the box office. Meanwhile, the New York-set musical raked in only half of what it was projected to gross.


“A Quiet Place Part II” Sets Pandemic Record

“A Quiet Place Part II” hit a major pandemic milestone this weekend while “In The Heights” struggled to get its feet on the box office ground.

John Krasinski’s horror sequel became the first film to cross $100 million domestically since the start of the pandemic, with its haul currently sitting at $108 million after 15 days on the big screen. Prior to COVID-19, this would have been nothing too impressive, but the last films to make at least this much were “Bad Boys For Life” and “Sonic the Hedgehog,” both of which came out in January 2020. 

The success of “A Quiet Place Part II” is a sign that the appetite for moviegoing is returning. It also brings hope that this summer, the box office could begin to recover from the devastating damages and losses that 2020 brought. 

It’s also a win for Paramount regarding its decision to put films exclusively in theaters. Currently, audiences can only see “A Quiet Place Part II” on the big screen. The film is set to be released on Paramount+ 45 days after its initial release, which would have been considered an absurdly quick turnaround a year ago, but now feels like a generous gift from the studio to exhibitors.  

It proves not only the power of the horror genre to draw audiences, but that the prestige and exclusivity of a theatrical-first release is undeniably without peer in terms of its ability to deliver huge financial dividends and long-term rewards,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore, told The Hollywood Reporter.

“In The Heights” Stumbles

“A Quiet Place Part II” made just shy of 12 million this weekend, unexpectedly surpassing Warner Bros.’ big summer title, “In The Heights.” The Lin-Manuel Miranda musical was projected to make $20 million in its opening weekend, but walked away with just $11.4 million. 

The film was released on HBO Max the same day it made its way into theaters, which could be a major factor in its stumbling. While theatergoing does appear to be back in some capacity, it is unclear what titles might be more tempting at home than on the silver screen. It’s possible that many opted to watch “In The Heights” from the comfort of their couches, but HBO Max does not release data on how many users stream a single title, so exactly how many views it received remains unclear. 

This was the exact fear exhibitors had when Warner Bros. first announced its plan to drop all of its 2021 titles on its streaming service the same day those films were released in theaters. The decision faced swift backlash from theater executives and filmmakers alike as many feared it could kill the box office and theatergoing as we knew it prior to the pandemic. The same-day streaming model, however, may not be the only thing that hurt “In The Heights.”

As of late, franchise films like “A Quiet Place Part II” and “Godzilla vs. Kong” have had stronger turnouts than lesser-known material. While Miranda’s “Hamilton” was nothing shy of a major success story, “In The Heights” bares much less name recognition. The songs in it are not widely popular, and the film also starred lesser-known actors in its leading roles. 

So far, “In The Heights” has been a critical success and is expected to be a part of the awards conversation come Oscar season, but without those immediate connections, it seems audiences were not as eager to flock to the theaters for it as analysts anticipated. Its journey is far from over though, and musicals generally have a spotty history. 

“The Greatest Showman,” which ended up being a major box office hit, started off to an incredibly slow run. It had a domestic opening of just $8.8 million, and it came out years before the pandemic when theaters were running at their full capacities. It eventually grossed a domestic total of $174.3 million and $438 million worldwide.

“In The Heights” could similarly have stronger legs further down the road, and its path will be a crucial one to follow, as 2021 is going to be a major year for movie musicals. Highly anticipated projects like “Tick, Tick… Boom!,” “West Side Story,” and “Dear Evan Hanson” will all come out later this year, and while they will enjoy the perks of being released when theatergoing has likely stabilized more, “In The Heights” could serve as a sign for the state of public interest in the genre.

See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (Deadline) (A.V. Club)

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Fire at Home Reportedly Owned by Beyoncé and Jay-Z Under Arson Investigation

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Officials said there were no injuries or evacuations during the fire, which was put out in around two hours.


Fire Breaks Out at Famed Couple’s Reported Residence

A Wednesday fire at a historic home in New Orleans, Louisiana believed to be owned by music titans Beyoncé and Jay-Z is being investigated as a possible arson. 

On Thursday, a New Orleans Police Department spokesperson confirmed to multiple outlets that it had received a tip about a suspicious person in the area. Further details about the suspicious person and the cause of the fire have not been revealed.

Neighbors told local media that there is an unlocked gate on the property that outsiders sometimes use to gain entry.

Officials told The New York Post that it took 22 firefighters over two hours to extinguish the blaze, with no reported injuries or evacuations. The extent of the damage currently remains unclear, but a spokesperson told The Post that given the age of the residence, the situation could have been far more severe. 

“If [the firefighters] didn’t get there when they did, it could have been much worse,” the spokesperson said. “It’s a historic home.”

About the Home

The building was first built in the Garden District neighborhood of the city in the 1920s as a church. It was later used as a ballet school and then became a high-end residence in 2000. Realtor.com says it is currently valued at $3 million.

The home was purchased in 2015 by Sugarcane Parkin LLC. According to The Washington Post, this company has the same registered address as other entities owned by Beyoncé. Sugarcane Parkin is also allegedly managed by Beyoncé’s mother, Celestine Lawson, better known as Tina Knowles.

Representatives for the “Lemonade” singer and her husband have not issued any public statements about the incident, nor have they confirmed that the home is owned by the couple. 

In March of this year, storage units in Los Angeles belonging to Beyonce were burglarized. According to TMZ, over a million dollars of goods were stolen, including expensive dresses and handbags.

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Post) (NOLA)

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Cleveland’s Baseball Team Changes Name From Indians to Guardians

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The move marks the team’s first name change since 1915, and it comes after decades of criticism from Native Americans. 


Name Change Announced

Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team said Friday that it will change its name after the 2021 season from the Indians to the Guardians.

The team announced the name change with a just over two-minute video narrated by actor Tom Hanks.

“You see, there’s always been a Cleveland — that’s the best part of our name,” Hanks says in the clip. “And now it’s time to unite as one family, one community, to build the next era for this team and this city.”

This marks the team’s first name change since 1915, and it comes after decades of criticism from Native Americans. 

Despite long-running calls to change racist and offensive team names — including the Washington Redskins — such campaigns did not gain significant momentum until the nationwide racial reckoning that followed the murder of George Floyd.

Why Guardians?

Officials behind the Cleveland team first pledged to change the name last year and previously removed the “Chief Wahoo” logo, a caricature of a Native American character, from its uniforms following the 2018 season.

It toyed with several options before ultimately landing on Guardians, which draws from Cleveland’s architectural history. 

“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said in a news release. 

“Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders.”

“‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”

Guardians will be the fifth name in franchise history, joining Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903-14), and Indians (1915-2021).

See what others are saying:(ESPN)(Axios) (Cleveland)

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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Editor Slams Megyn Kelly for “Bullying” Naomi Osaka

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Editor M.J. Day said Kelly’s attacks against Osaka are “part of the problem” when it comes to mental health discussions.


Megyn Kelly and Naomi Osaka’s Heated Twitter Exchange

The editor of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue slammed former TV news anchor Megyn Kelly Tuesday for mocking cover model and tennis star Naomi Osaka.

“It’s such bullying and it’s so unnecessary,” editor M.J. Day told People Magazine’s Every Day” podcast. “And [Osaka] did nothing wrong.” 

Osaka made history Monday by becoming the first Haitian and Japanese woman on the cover of the iconic issue. The athlete has been making headlines over the last few months for speaking openly and vulnerably about her mental health. In the spring, she said she was not going to participate in French Open press events because of the toll it takes on her as an introvert who has struggled with depression. She later withdrew from the tournament after that choice sparked backlash and likewise opted out of Wimbledon to take some “personal” time. 

Some — conservative pundits, in particular — slammed Osaka for stepping back from these roles because of her mental health, but still opting to work on other projects, including the release of a Barbie doll, a Netflix docuseries, and a handful of magazine covers. Kelly joined that bandwagon, noting that Osaka has been featured in the likes of Vogue and TIME.

“Seeing as you’re a journalist I would’ve assumed you would take the time to research what the lead times are for magazines, if you did that you would’ve found out I shot all of my covers last year,” Osaka tweeted in response, though she later deleted the post.

“Instead your first reaction is to hop on here and spew negativity, do better Megan.”

M.J. Day Says Kelly is “Part of the Problem” With Mental Health Conversations

Kelly later tweeted that Osaka blocked her on Twitter, lashing out at the tennis champion for that decision as well.

People online have been largely defending Osaka and criticizing Kelly. Many argue that it is unfair for Kelly to attack a young woman who has been vocal about dealing with mental health issues; though it’s a practice the former Fox and NBC host has made a recent habit of, likewise attacking Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry.

Day said that remarks like Kelly’s are the reason it is so hard for people to have open and honest conversations about mental health.

“I’m like, ‘You know what, you’re journalists,’” Day added. “How about you do your job and you fact check instead of jumping all over this woman for attention, for ratings, for whatever it is that they’re doing? Which is, by the way, part of the problem. It’s part of the reason why mental health is such an issue.” 

“How about we do our due diligence and make sure we know what the reality of a situation is before we come for people,” Day continued. “It broke my heart to see someone who is really living her life for the betterment of others while also trying to pursue her own passion.”

“Let her live. Let her make decisions for herself that protect her own wellbeing. It’s at no cost to anyone.”

See what others are saying: (People) (Huff Post) (The Hill)

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