Category Archives: SR Originals

Fury's Big Week: The Correct Way To Watch MCU Phase 1

Category : SR Originals

What is the best rewatch order for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 1? Avengers: Endgame is due out in April, bringing an end to the MCU’s first three phases. Needless to say, ahead of the film’s release many viewers have decided this is the perfect opportunity to rewatch all the previous Marvel movies that go before it.The sheer number of films – 20 at present, with Captain Marvel due just seven weeks before Avengers: Endgame – makes that a tall order as is; it’s already too late to watch one MCU movie a week. However, schedule concerns come after you’ve figured out what order to watch the non-chronological movies.Related: The Best MCU Rewatch Order For Before Avengers: EndgameSome people choose to stick with release order, which makes sense; you can see themes and ideas develop as Marvel becomes increasingly sure-footed and confident of its direction. Others prefer to put together a timeline, and watch events in (roughly) the order things are supposed to have happened in-universe. However, that causes real problems when it comes to rewatching MCU Phase 1.MCU Phase 1 Is Out Of Order

Although they’re all building towards The Avengers, the MCU’s Phase 1 movies are told out of order, and the official timeline is rather tricky. Captain America: The First Avenger is a period piece set during World War II, which naturally means it’s the first Marvel movie to check out in any chronological-order rewatch. But then The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and Thor are all happening at roughly the same time; news footage of the Hulk’s rampage appears when Tony Stark visits S.H.I.E.L.D., while Phil Coulson leaves Malibu for New Mexico because an enchanted hammer has dropped from the sky. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to work out the exact sequence of events, not least because of a number of contradictory references suggest these three films could be set anytime between 2009 and 2011.It fell to Eric Pearson and Christopher Yost to tighten up the official MCU timeline in 2012, in preparation for the release of The Avengers. Both were members of Marvel Studios’ in-house Writers Program, working on scripts for the films and one-shots, and they were tasked with writing a tie-in comic book miniseries that would draw the various threads together. This was Fury’s Big Week, a story that focused on three S.H.I.E.L.D. agents – Fury, Coulson, and Black Widow – and explained how they wound up rushing from one crisis to the next. The plot was signed off by Kevin Feige and Jeremy Latcham, allowing Marvel to market this as “the real deal” in terms of continuity.Using Fury’s Big Week as a guide, it’s possible to put together a far more comprehensive chronological viewing order of Phase 1. Of course, because three of the films are happening at the same time, the comic jumps between the various scenes; at one point Black Widow is helping Stark deal with Justin Hammer and Whiplash before being sent to Culver University to monitor Bruce Banner. It’s unwise to chop and change between the different films, so the best approach is to put the movies in the order their third acts happened in-universe.How To Watch MCU Phase 1

In light of Fury’s Big Week, this is probably the best fit for a chronological viewing order of the MCU’s Phase 1:Captain America: The First Avenger – The film is primarily set in the 1940s, but S.H.I.E.L.D. recover Steve Rogers’ body shortly before The Avengers.Iron Man – The beginning of the modern MCU, Iron Man ends with Tony Stark publicly outing himself as a superhero.Iron Man 2 – The first film to wrap up, Iron Man 2 ends at the mid-point of both The Incredible Hulk and Thor.Thor – Coulson’s story heads out to New Mexico for his encounter with a certain God of Thunder. According to Fury’s Big Week, this is the next crisis to be successfully resolved.The Incredible Hulk – The Battle of Harlem is the final part of Fury’s Big Week, and the comic adds additional details to the end of The Incredible Hulk; Black Widow is sent straight from Stark Industries to monitor Banner, and arrests Samuel Sterns while the Hulk is fighting the Abomination. That’s why he’s never been seen since in the MCU; he was bagged and tagged by S.H.I.E.L.D..The Avengers – The stories come together and the timeline is clear (for now).If you’re wanting to watch the MCU in chronological order, this is probably the best fit; it makes sense in terms of the overall story, with the third acts of Iron Man 2, Thor, and The Incredible Hulk wrapping up in-sequence and setting up The Avengers. It’s certainly very different to the release order, though.More: How To Watch Every MCU Movie Online


Star Trek: Discovery May Be Explaining Spock's Original Series Mutiny

Category : SR Originals

Spock’s presence in Star Trek: Discovery season 2 could shed light on one of his pivotal actions when he was Science Officer aboard the Starship Enterprise under Captain James T. Kirk: the Vulcan committed mutiny, just like his foster sister Michael Burnham. It’s possible Burnham’s life-altering choice in season 1 of Star Trek: Discovery plants the seed for Spock to do the same in the Star Trek: The Original Series episodes “The Menagerie, Parts 1 and 2”- and he learns the dos and don’ts of mutiny from Michael’s mistakes.Star Trek: Discovery is set roughly a decade before the events of the inaugural Star Trek series. In the two-part series premiere, “The Vulcan Hello” and “The Battle at the Binary Stars,” the rise of the Klingon threat prompts Commander Michael Burnham to commit mutiny. Burnham disobeys her orders and fires on the Klingons, instigating the Klingon War that would devastate the Alpha Quadrant and permanently change the course of her life. Though the Federation ultimately achieved an armistice with the Klingons, many thousands died during the year-long Klingon War. Burnham ultimately found redemption, but she continues to deal with the ramifications of her actions.Related: Everything That Happened Between Star Trek: Discovery Seasons 1 and 2One of the intriguing aspects of Star Trek: Discovery is that Burnham grew up in the same household as Spock. Ambassador Sarek adopted Michael as his ward and raised her alongside his half-Vulcan/half-human son. Their relationship soured due to undisclosed reasons (possibly because Spock developed feelings for his foster sister) before Burnham left Vulcan to join Starfleet; Spock would follow suit and also join Starfleet. At this point in Star Trek history, Spock is Science Officer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise under the command of Captain Christopher Pike. Though the Enterprise was exploring the galaxy on its five-year mission and missed fighting in the Klingon War, Spock was surely aware of the mistakes Michael made. It’s logical to surmise that the Vulcan learned from Michael’s mutiny and didn’t repeat her grave mistakes when he also decided to commit mutiny in The Original Series.This Page: Spock and Michael Burnham’s MutiniesPage 2: What This Means For Spock In Star Trek: Discovery Season 2Spock Committed Mutiny In The Original Star Trek

Spock committed mutiny in The Original Series’ first season two-parter “The Menagerie” (which contains footage from Star Trek’s original pilot “The Cage”). When Captain Pike was seriously injured by exposure to delta-rays, which left him permanently in a wheelchair and unable to speak, Spock betrayed Kirk and hijacked the Starship Enterprise. His goal was to deliver Pike to Talos IV, a planet they visited in 2254 (3 years before Star Trek: Discovery season 2’s events). Starfleet is forbidden to visit Talos IV under penalty of death because the Talosians are illusion-casting beings who kidnap aliens for their zoo; however, the Talosians were actually engineering events to bring Pike to them so they could offer the gravely injured captain, whom they respect and admire, a chance to live as he once did in a permanent illusion.When Kirk caught up to his First Officer, he led a court-martial of Spock for mutiny as the Vulcan slowly unraveled his plan with the help of the Talosians. Ultimately, when Kirk learned the truth that Spock hijacked the Enterprise to save his former Captain, the Vulcan was absolved of all wrongdoing: Starfleet brings no charges to Spock, rescinds the death penalty, and allows Pike to live among the Talosians. With the new context offered by Star Trek Discovery, Spock actually became Starfleet’s second mutineer in “The Menagerie”, but he never suffered punishment for his actions, unlike his foster sister Michael Burnham.Spock’s Foster Sister Michael Burnham Was Starfleet’s First Mutineer

Michael Burnham bears the ignoble status as the first mutineer in Starfleet. She not only disobeyed the direct orders of her Captain Philippa Georgiou, Burnham actually attacked her commanding officer, temporarily disabling her with a Vulcan nerve pinch. In the course of the Battle at the Binary Stars, Georgiou was killed by the Klingons and their starship the U.S.S. Shenzhou was lost. Burnham survived and was court-martialed; she was stripped of her rank and sentenced to life in prison but was given a chance to redeem herself when Captain Gabriel Lorca brought her aboard the U.S.S. Discovery.Related: Explaining Star Trek: Discovery’s Biggest Canon Inconsistencies and Plot HolesIn the first six months of Klingon War, 8,000 people were already dead as a result of Michael’s mutiny and that number would sharply rise before it was all over. Star Trek: Discovery’s entire first season depicts Michael Burnham’s long road to redemption, a journey Spock never had to undertake when he followed in Michael’s footsteps in The Original Series.Page 2: What This Means For Spock In Star Trek: Discovery Season 2

The Difference Between Spock and Michael Burnham’s MutiniesIt’s ironic that both of Sarek’s children are mutineers but, in typical Spock fashion, the Vulcan not only learned from his foster sister’s mutiny, he actually managed to improve on it. In “The Menagerie”, Spock may have stolen the Enterprise, lied to Captain Kirk and his crew, and he even attacked and disabled Starfleet technicians on a Starbase in order to beam Pike aboard his ship, but he suffered no ramifications for it. No one died during Spock’s mutiny and once the entire gambit was revealed as an act of mercy, Starfleet and Kirk instantly forgave Spock for conspiring with the Talosians – who were known enemies of the Federation – and allowed Pike to live out the remainder of his life on Talos IV. What’s more, once it was stricken from the record books, Spock got away scot-free and his mutiny was never mentioned again.Afterwards, Kirk never raised the subject of Spock betraying Starfleet or even teased his emotionless best friend about “that one time you stole the Enterprise”; in fact, Spock would commit similar acts later in The Original Series, such as in “Amok Time” when he hijacked the Enterprise again to deliver him to Vulcan while he was gripped in the temporary madness of Pon Farr. All’s well that ends well for Spock when he mutinies and, as time went on, disobeying orders to save the Earth even becomes something of a calling card for Kirk’s entire Enterprise crew.Related: Star Trek Movies & TV: What The Franchise’s Future Looks LikeBy contrast, Michael Burnham suffered personally and professionally from the ramifications of her mutiny. As in the case of Spock trying to save Pike, Burnham betrayed Georgiou because she truly believed she was trying to save the Alpha Quadrant from the Klingons. Instead, she instigated the war that led to mass destruction and thousands of deaths. The entire arc of Star Trek: Discovery season 1 revolved around Michael’s attempt to redeem herself and, even though she does save the Federation and has her rank restored, her status as Starfleet’s first mutineer will always hang like a black cloud over her head.Unlike Spock, Michael is permanently scarred and defined by her mutiny. Despite all being forgiven, in “Brother”, the season 2 premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, Burnham is visibly rankled when Pike pointedly mentions the Klingon War that she started. Burnham was raised on Vulcan and tries to replicate Spock’s cool Vulcan reserve, but she always carries the deep sorrow over the harm she caused and it permeates her being. Michael may never get past the infamy of being Starfleet’s first mutineer no matter how hard she tries while, unfairly, Spock is never judged by his similar actions.What This Means For Spock In Star Trek: Discovery Season 2

As a prequel series, Star Trek: Discovery season 2 looks primed to take advantage of its opportunity to provide a great deal of context to Spock. This is an era of his life that fans have only seen fleeting glimpses of; at this time period, Spock is younger, rawer, and the Vulcan will be coming to grips with the emotions of his human side. The Spock portrayed by Leonard Nimoy that fans know best is the cool, unflappable, fully-formed Vulcan; the Spock as portrayed by Ethan Peck on Star Trek: Discovery is still learning and is wrestling with his private demons (nightmares perhaps caused by the red signals tied to the entity called the Red Angel which have plagued Spock since he was a child).Along with adding depth to Spock’s loyalty to Captain Pike, Star Trek: Discovery will also explore Spock’s problematic relationship to Michael. Seeing Spock in this era should provide fascinating insight into the building blocks that turned the Vulcan into the remarkable character who will one day sacrifice his own life to save Captain Kirk from the wrath of Khan in Star Trek II and, in turn, inspire such loyalty from his Enterprise crewmates that they all committed mutiny in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock to bring their favorite Vulcan back when he’s reborn on the Genesis planet.Ironically, many of Kirk’s Enterprise’s most famous missions involve disregarding Starfleet’s orders and taking matters into their own hands to save the galaxy. These are lessons Spock himself logically must have learned from his foster sister on Star Trek: Discovery, along with the wisdom not to repeat the mistakes Michael Burnham made.Next: Star Trek: Discovery Makes Fun Of A Decades-Old Enterprise ProblemStar Trek: Discovery streams Thursdays @ 8:30pm on CBS All-Access and internationally the next day on Netflix.


Resident Evil 2's Special Weapons Case: How To Open It & What's Inside

Category : SR Originals

The first blockbuster release of 2019 is Resident Evil 2. A remake of the timeless 1998 PlayStation classic, this survival horror adventure title sees players take on the roles of Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy as they attempt to escape from Raccoon City.Like the original survival horror games in the series, Resident Evil 2 is as much about taking on zombies and other grotesque creatures as it is about solving puzzles, scouring environments for key items, and unlocking doors through a variety of contrived means. It’s this mix of harrowing action and methodical puzzle-solving gameplay that makes Resident Evil such a timeless series.Related: Resident Evil 2 Review: A Classic RebornIn the remake of Resident Evil 2, there are several puzzles which are optional; tasks which need not be completed in order to finish the game. One of the most noteworthy optional tasks in the game is opening the Special Weapons Case. Found early in the underground facility, the part of the game explored after unlocking the secret passage underneath the goddess statue, this glass case contains vital goodies… But how do you open it?

In order to open the Special Weapons Case as either Leon or Claire, they need to find the S.T.A.R.S. Badge. This is acquired through a rather lengthy quest chain, and the various parts are found in different locations depending on whether you’re going through an initial playthrough of Resident Evil 2 or a “2nd Run,” which remixes item placements and otherwise cranks up the difficulty a bit. In a “2nd Run,” the player won’t get the S.T.A.R.S. Badge until a bit later compared to an initial playthrough. In any case, this is what you need to do:Find the Ornate Box, which requires a red jewel to open. In a first run, it’s in the RPD Observation Room (with the glass mirror and the terrifying Licker jump-scare), and in a “2nd Run,” it’s in the shower room.Find the Red Book, which is located in the library.Bring the Red Book to the Emperor Statue in the Art RoomUse the Red Book with the statue’s arm to acquire the scepterExamine the scepter to acquire the Red JewelUse the Red Jewel on the Ornate Box to acquire the S.T.A.R.S. Badge.The S.T.A.R.S. Badge can be examined to reveal its true purpose as a USB key, which can be used on the computer in the S.T.A.R.S. office to unlock the armory, giving Claire and Leon access to the machine gun and the magnum, respectively.At this point, it may seem as if the S.T.A.R.S. Badge is no longer of use, but that is not the case; in Resident Evil 2, whenever a key item has been fully utilized, it will be marked by a red check, at which point it can be discarded. The S.T.A.R.S. Badge will not have a red check mark until the player uses it on the Special Weapons Case.Players must to bring the S.T.A.R.S. Badge to the Special Weapons Case, retract the USB key by examining it in the inventory, and slot the badge into the case, at which point it will finally open. If playing as Claire, the box contains a suppressor for her MQ-11, which stabilizes recoil, resulting in a much tighter spread when firing her weapon. Leon, meanwhile, gets a long barrel for his Lightning Hawk magnum, which reduces recoil and increases the hand cannon’s already impressive damage output.At this point, the S.T.A.R.S. Badge will finally earn its red check mark and can be promptly discarded, its purpose fulfilled.More: 15 Things You Never Knew About Resident Evil


Alien: Blackout Guide – Tips, Tricks, and How To Stay Alive

Category : SR Originals

A guide featuring helpful tips and tricks to aid players in keeping Amanda Ripley and her crew alive in Alien: Blackout against the xenomorph threat.In the mobile game Alien: Blackout, the sequel to Alien: Isolation, players take on the role of Amanda Ripley who finds herself trapped on a spaceship with four other survivors of an alien attack. It is Amanda’s job to monitor each level of the station for the alien’s presence while also guiding the other crew members to complete tasks that will eventually lead to their escape.At first, this might seem like an easy task. But as the levels progress, it becomes increasingly difficult to micromanage the team and keep the alien away from the crew and Amanda. Monitoring each of the seven levels means continuously checking for the xenomorph’s whereabouts and figuring out which way crew members need to go to complete their missions without getting killed. Each level has two crew members, and if they die, the game ends. Amanda must also keep herself alive, and that means preventing the alien from attacking her where she hides while she’s also managing each crew member. With a total of seven levels, it can feel impossible to escape the space station alive.Related: Alien: Blackout Review – Not Your Typical Mobile GameHowever, players can beat Alien: Blackout with a little help. The following Alien: Blackout guide features tips and tricks will help keep everyone alive and safe from the xenomorph, allowing them to escape the nightmare of Alien: Blackout.

Use Headphones While Playing Alien: BlackoutMost mobile games only have ambient sound, meant to add to the gameplay experience. Alien: Blackout, though, uses sound as part of its gameplay so it is essential that players listen carefully as they play. This is why it is highly recommended that players use headphones when indulging in Alien: Blackout because sound is sometimes the only way to hear the alien approaching Amanda’s hiding spot. This gives Amanda time to respond by closing the vents (although this creates a station blackout) to keep the alien from killing her. If the alien sneaks up on her and kills her, the game immediately ends. So wear headphones, and listen carefully.Pay Attention And Listen to the Team and VentsAlien: Blackout is not a typical mobile game that someone can play while doing something else. This is a game best played when there are no distractions. Because the alien can pop up anywhere at any time, it’s important to keep an eye on the game and listen carefully. Listening to teammates is crucial because they will often say that they hear the alien approaching. Listening to the scuttling in the vents means the creature is heading towards Amanda. It’s also important to watch the cameras, switching back and forth between them as quickly as possible. When that red dot appears on the map, a quick response to tell a crew member to hide or run can be the difference between life or death.Use Path Drawing To Specify Crew MovementsAlways consider drawing a path for a crew member to reach an objective. This allows Amanda to have crew members stay out of the alien’s way and gives her a chance to close doors behind them to keep the alien at bay. Sometimes path drawing is a little tricky, so the best tip is to click on the dot that represents the crew member Amanda wants to select and then tap where they need to go. If at all possible, though, drag a finger along the exact path to get them from point A to point B as safely as possible.

Always Have One Power Slot AvailableThere are only five power slots available during each level of Alien: Blackout. Once the power slots burn out, Amanda and her team become more vulnerable because she doesn’t have power to do what it takes to keep people alive. That leaves everyone open to an alien attack. During each level, observe the power slots, and always make sure to have at least one available. The alien is unpredictable and can turn up anywhere at any time. Having a power slot available to close a door or activate a Motion Tracker Zone quickly could save a crew member’s life.Use Crew CommandsAmanda can tap on each crew member and get a list of orders for them that includes run, hide, sneak and come out. Use these commands to keep crew members safe. If an alien is near a crew member and there is no door to keep the alien away, the best thing to do is to tell them to hide until the alien has moved on. It’s also good to wait a little longer after the alien disappears, just in case, before telling a crew member that it’s safe to come out. If there’s a room with a door that could save a crew member nearby, tell that crew member to run into that room so that Amanda can close the door behind them. Remember, though, that each time Amanda speaks, it alerts the alien to her location. While giving commands, also listen for the sounds of the alien entering the vents near Amanda and respond accordingly.Try to keep all crew members alive in each levelAlthough each level only requires one crew member to stay alive to complete it, it’s important to try to keep all four crew members alive throughout the game. As the levels progress and get harder, Amanda will need everyone to complete the missions necessary to escape the ship. Each level has two crew members working tasks, so if one dies, go ahead and stop the game and replay the level until both get through. It’s almost impossible to finish the game without the full crew, and although it might get monotonous replaying levels, getting everyone out alive should be Amanda’s top priority.More: The Alien Prequels Are Better Than The PredatorAlien: Blackout is now available for $4.99 on the App Store, Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.


House of Cards Season 6: New Cast & Character Recap Guide

Category : SR Originals

There’s a new President in charge in House of Cards season 6, which sees former lead Kevin Spacey excised from the picture and a new cast of characters enter to cause problems for Claire Underwood. The Netflix series faced a difficult situation when Spacey faced multiple accusations of sexual assault, and the decision was made to write Frank Underwood out of the show entirely. When House of Cards season 6 begins, Frank is already dead and buried – but Claire still has to deal with the fallout of his many crimes.Because of the extra-long stretch of time between seasons, and the complex network of grudges and agendas bubbling under the surface of House of Cards season 6, you may have lost track of which characters we’ve met before, and which characters are new this season. To that end, here’s a handy guide to the new and returning cast.Related: How House of Cards Season 6 Kills Frank UnderwoodRobin Wright as Claire Underwood Replaces Kevin SpaceyThe transition from a show with Spacey as the lead to a show that doesn’t have Spacey in it at all was made easier by the fact that, at the end of House of Cards season 5, Claire had already become President and had turned her back on her husband – defeating him, if only temporarily. That temporary defeat becomes more permanent with the death of Frank Underwood, though from the very start of House of Cards season 6 Claire finds herself haunted by the memories of her husband, and forced to deal with secrets that could bring the house of cards tumbling down.Returning House of Cards Cast In Season 6Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper – Frank Underwood’s White House Chief of Staff took the fall for Frank’s crimes at the end of season 5, and at the start of season 6 is locked up in a psychiatric facility, having taken an insanity plea.Campbell Scott as Mark Usher – Formerly the campaign manager for Frank’s Republican opponent, Will Conway, Mark is now Claire Underwood’s Vice President… though that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s her ally.Derek Cecil as Seth Grayson – Frank’s one-time Director of Communications is now working for the Shepherd family, who are plotting to undermine Claire’s presidency.Jeremy Holm as Nathan Green – The Deputy Director of the FBI, who isn’t afraid to get his hands a little dirty (or threaten to step on a guinea pig) in order to achieve his goals.Jayne Atkinson as Cathy Durant – The Secretary of State, whom Frank Underwood pushed down some stairs in an effort to keep her from testifying against him.Patricia Clarkson as Jane Davis – The (deep breath) Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade of the United States, who was a useful asset for the Underwoods in season 5.Constance Zimmer as Janine Skorsky – A journalist and one-time White House Correspondent for The Washington Herald, who now works for online media company Slugline. Janine was last seen in season 4.Boris McGiver as Tom Hammerschmidt – The former Editor-in-Chief of The Washington Herald, and now a freelance investigative journalist. Tom believes that Frank Underwood killed Zoe Barnes and Peter Russo, but has thus far been unable to prove it.Sakina Jaffrey as Linda Vasquez – President Garrett Walker’s sharp-minded Chief of Staff, who was maneuvered into being forced to resign by Frank Underwood in season 2.Lars Mikkelsen as Viktor Petrov – The President of Russia. Petrov is a cold and calculating man and a rather transparent analog for real-life Russian President Vladimir Putin.New House of Cards Cast in Season 6The major new additions in House of Cards season 6 are Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear as Annette and Bill Shepherd, wealthy and powerful siblings who have known Claire since childhood. While Claire has a veneer of friendship with Annette, the Shepherds are actually the new antagonists of this season – smiling and shaking hands with Claire in public, while at the same time using chilling tactics to try and force her to kiss the ring. Another key figure in the Shepherd family is Annette’s son, Duncan Shepherd, played by new addition Cody Fern.Another cast addition is Athena Karkanis as Melody Cruz, a Conservative talking head who is in league with the Shepherds, and uses her platform to attack the new President Underwood. Chip Zien also joins the cast as Dr. Charles Rosen, Doug Stamper’s psychiatrist at the facility where he’s being held, and Linda Powell plays Marcy Siegerson, the Deputy Director of the CIA.More: How Kevin Spacey’s Firing Changed House of Cards’ Final Season


EXCLUSIVE: All Marvel Netflix Shows Have Been Losing Viewers For Years

Category : SR Originals

The Marvel Netflix shows have been dropping sharply in popularity according to new viewership data provided exclusively to Screen Rant. This certainly explains the surprising, high-profile cancellation of Iron Fist and Luke Cage – in the case of Iron Fist, just a month after the release of season 2.Netflix has always been reluctant to provide viewing figures for its series. “Once we give a number for a show,” Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos explained to the New York Times in 2016, “then every show will be benchmarked off of that show even though they were built sometimes for very specific audiences.” But that means viewers struggle to understand the rationale behind the streaming giant’s business decisions, and cancellations become shocking and surprising.Related: Why Netflix Cancelled Iron Fist (Despite An Improved Season 2)Given the absence of solid data, analytics firms have stepped in to fill the gap in our knowledge. Screen Rant has spoken exclusively to Jumpshot, a San Francisco-based analytics company. Their anonymized global panel tracks five billion actions a day across 100 million devices to deliver insights into online consumer behavior. To compile the data on Netflix Originals, it looked at the viewing behavior and activity of the company’s US members. While this data has limitations – it’s US-specific and based on clicks rather than explicit viewing habits – it nevertheless gives us our best look yet at just what’s going on with the Marvel series.This Page: Marvel Netflix Shows Have Been Losing Viewers Since Daredevil Season 2Page 2: The Big Drops For Luke Cage, Iron Fist and DaredevilPage 3: Why Marvel Netflix Shows Are Losing ViewersMarvel Netflix Shows Have Been Losing Viewers Since Daredevil Season 2Jumpshot began monitoring Netflix viewing habits in 2016, and for the purpose of this analysis they’ve created an index to show the relative number of viewers against Daredevil season 2. As seen in the above graph, there’s a disturbingly clear downward trend; bar two notable examples, every season got substantially less than the one before, to the point that Iron Fist season 2 came it at just a quarter of Daredevil season 2.While it’s not unusual to see that kind of pattern with a long-running show, it’s far more surprising to see it clearly running through multiple different series. It suggests that audiences are interacting with the Marvel Netflix brand as a single entity, rather than dipping in and out of the different series. And that’s a huge problem for Netflix.It’s important to understand that Sarandos wasn’t lying when he seemed to hint viewing figures don’t mean as much to Netflix as they do to other companies. Netflix is a data-driven company, and the secret to their success lies in algorithms. A sophisticated algorithm divides viewers into roughly 2,000 “taste communities,” with each person part of three or four of them. The more shows a person watches, the more the algorithm understands which taste communities they’re part of, and the more it tailors Netflix’s recommendations to their individual interests. So long as each Marvel Netflix series retains its own discrete audience, then they’re still a good investment for Netflix. However, if viewers really are interacting with Marvel as a brand rather than with the individual shows, then they lose value for the streaming giant; they may no longer be appealing to those diverse taste communities.Related: What Luke Cage & Iron Fist Seasons 3 Would Have Been AboutIn the end, should the trend continue, there will come a time where only the hardcore Marvel fans are tuning in; given Netflix will lose the bulk of its Marvel content to the Disney streaming service, that will probably be the point of no return for the Marvel/Netflix partnership.Punisher and Daredevil Season 3 Are The Only Shows To Improve On The TrendOnly two shows seem able to resist the downward trend; The Punisher and Daredevil season 3. While neither season came close to matching Daredevil season 2 where the pair were last seen, they both saw increased viewership compared to the shows that came before.Unsurprisingly, these are the strongest individual brands in the Marvel Netflix range; Daredevil is a popular character who’s even been star of a movie before, and his series has a level of brand recognition that Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist frankly don’t. Season 3’s first-week performance is gratifying, and hopefully strong word-of-mouth will bolster it. A fourth season may well be a smart move.The Punisher, meanwhile, has often been described as a cultural phenomenon. “The Punisher is perhaps the most ubiquitous comic character, worldwide,” comic book writer Nathan Edmondson told ComicVine when discussing his Punisher run. “Soldiers wear him on their uniforms who haven’t read a comic in their lives; sex toys are nicknamed for him, racecars and wrestlers take on the skull or namesake, despite having little awareness of the actual comic.” Unfortunately, though, it’s possible to overstate the strength of The Punisher brand on Netflix; the series may simply have experienced a first season “bounce.” The extra viewers didn’t stick around for Jessica Jones season 2, which returned to the trend, but will they return when the second season of The Punisher streams next year? The answer may well dictate whether or not Netflix move to signing off spinoffs like Daughters of the Dragon or Heroes for Hire.Page 2 of 3: The Big Drops For Luke Cage, Iron Fist and DaredevilDaredevil Season 3 Got Half Of Season 2 In First Week (And Less Than Jessica Jones Season 2)Jumpshot’s data indicates that the Marvel Netflix shows – and, indeed, probably all Netflix Originals – follow a fairly predictable pattern in terms of overall performance; the bulk of their viewers tune in for the opening week, and views subsequently drop, until they reach a basic “background level.” Jumpshot has provided another index indicating how the different Marvel Netflix series performed in their first weeks, again compared to Daredevil season 2. Here’s how they look:Daredevil season 2: 100Luke Cage season 1: 92Iron Fist season 1: 80The Punisher season 1: 70The Defenders: 61Jessica Jones season 2: 53Daredevil season 3: 43Luke Cage season 2: 38Iron Fist season 2: 29Related: When Are Marvel’s Other Netflix Shows Returning?The exact figures give a sense of scale to the diminishing views. In the case of Daredevil season 3, they show just how significant an outlier this really is when compared to the overall trend. Following the drop, you’d have expected the show to score just 20 on the index, with only one-fifth of viewers sticking around for season 3. Instead, it scored 43, strongly suggesting that the Daredevil brand stands apart from the rest of the Marvel Netflix series.At the same time, though, this isn’t all good news for Daredevil. After all, the figures do still show a significant reduction in viewers; less than half the people who watched season 2 have tuned in for the third season. If this particular brand really is more distinct, separate from the other Marvel Netflix series, then it’s possible the two-year wait between seasons has sapped general interest. Hopefully, strong word of mouth will ensure it takes a while for Daredevil season 3 to fall to background levels of viewership.Read More: Daredevil Season 3 Lost 57% Of Season 2 Viewership In First WeekIron Fist & Luke Cage Seasons Were A Third of Their First SeasonsIncredibly, according to Jumpshot both Iron Fist and Luke Cage lost roughly two-thirds of their viewers between their first and second seasons. Compared to their first seasons, Luke Cage lost 59 percent of its viewers, while Iron Fist lost 64 percent. As Jumpshot’s chart shows, Iron Fist season 2 dropped back to background levels of views within just a few weeks. Marvel fans were surprised when Netflix canceled Iron Fist just a month after the second season’s release, but these viewing patterns certainly explain the decision.Read More: Iron Fist & Luke Cage Cancellation Reason Revealed By Netflix Viewer DataThe stats make the debate over Luke Cage’s cancellation rather more interesting. There have been strong rumors that Netflix wanted to renew that series, but that there were the dreaded “creative differences” between Marvel and the streaming giant. The original deal was for a 13-episode series, but it’s reported that Netflix wanted to cut the series down to 10 episodes – probably due to costs. Production of these Marvel Netflix shows isn’t cheap, after all, and as a result Deadline claim that “there has been pressure on [Luke Cage] to overperform in viewership.” With Marvel and Netflix unable to reach an agreement, the viewing figures just weren’t there to save Luke Cage.Page 3 of 3: Why Marvel Netflix Shows Are Losing ViewersNetflix Has Got Too Big For Marvel To Break ThroughWhat is driving the decline of Marvel Netflix? Part of the problem, strangely enough, is likely the streaming giant’s increasing focus on original content. In 2017, Netflix spent $6 billion on original content; for 2018, it planned to spend $8 billion. The streaming service also intended to release 80 original films this year, and a staggering 700 TV shows. No less than 60 different Netflix Originals premiered in October, ranging from Creeped Out to The Haunting of Hill House, from Making A Murderer: Part 2 to The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. When Daredevil season 3 released on October 19, it was competing against 10 other Netflix Original series and three Netflix movies. Netflix is simply getting too big for Marvel to break through.That’s especially the case if, as suggested earlier, the Marvel Netflix shows are increasingly being watched only by Marvel fans. The natural consequence of that would be that Netflix’s algorithms would prioritize other content, original series and films that appeal to the different taste communities. Netflix don’t tend to invest heavily on advertising for their shows, simply trusting to the algorithm to offer viewers something they’re interested in. That may be beginning to damage the Marvel Netflix productions.The Marvel Netflix Series Are Hit-And-MissMeanwhile, it’s also important to note that the quality of the Marvel Netflix shows has varied wildly. Although Daredevil has retained roughly the same quality level, with each season receiving critical and popular acclaim, the same hasn’t been true of the other series. The lowest point was undoubtedly Iron Fist season 1, which was slated by viewers and critics alike. Marvel changed showrunner, and worked hard to redeem the character for a much-improved second season, but it seems it was too late.A related issue, one that perhaps encourages audiences to interact with the Marvel shows as a single brand rather than as individual series, is the fact that they all share the same problems. Even the first season of Daredevil was criticized for its poor pacing, but the same complaints are still being made three years later. Every series needs to find its own balance, shaped by the kind of story it wants to tell, the genre it operates in, and the character dynamics in play. Without exception, the Marvel series have been criticized for failing to get the pacing right. There were finally signs of improvement with Iron Fist season 2 and Daredevil season 3, but again it seems to have been too late. After all, realistically it shouldn’t take Marvel between 10 and 12 seasons to adjust their formula in response to common complaints.Related: Daredevil Season 3’s Ending ExplainedThere’s Too Much Marvel Netflix, So People Give UpThere’s one final variable; the fact that Marvel is producing so much content on the streaming service. When the partnership between Marvel and Netflix began in 2015, they released only two shows a year. Last year, there were three; this year, there have been four. There hasn’t even been much of a gap, either; Iron Fist season 2 came out on September 7, Daredevil season 3 on October 19.Back in 2015, when a Marvel series dropped on Netflix it was an event. Now, it’s par for the course. This immediately means that the problems and issues with the various Marvel shows will become increasingly evident to audiences, and Marvel will be unable to correct. And, as in any medium, you can reach a saturation point when audiences have too much of the same thing. With four Marvel Netflix series releasing in 2018, how do viewers choose which one to prioritize? All four shows felt as though they mattered, as though they were equally important to their characters’ worlds.-While the data provided by Jumpshot has its limitations, it’s tremendously valuable in letting us get a glimpse of what’s going on behind the curtain. Netflix’s recent decisions – the cancellation of first Iron Fist, and then Luke Cage – suddenly make a lot more sense.But what will the future hold for the Marvel Netflix world? The Punisher season 2 has already wrapped up production, and Jessica Jones season 2 is still filming, so those will presumably drop in 2019. The first season of The Punisher was an outlier from the trend, performing surprisingly well, and Netflix will be watching the season 2 viewing figures carefully. Meanwhile, the fact that Daredevil season 3 is another outlier indicates the Man Without Fear may well still hold a powerful appeal.More: What To Expect In Daredevil Season 4


Bohemian Rhapsody's True Story: Everything The Inaccurate Queen Movie Changed

Category : SR Originals

Bohemian Rhapsody charts the true story of Freddie Mercury and Queen’s rise to fame and fortune. However, the film isn’t entirely accurate in its retelling of the band’s history.Aside from Freddie’s witty barbs – and some sarcastic interplay between the band – Bohemian Rhapsody takes its subjects rather seriously. Starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury and Gwilym Lee as Brian May, the movie shows Queen crafting their iconic hits and their eventual triumph at 1985’s Live Aid concert. Yet Queen aficionados are sure to notice that timelines have been tampered with and that occasionally some details don’t add up.Related: Every Queen Song In Bohemian RhapsodyThis is to be expected somewhat. From Argo to BlacKkKlansman, Hollywood has a long track record of sensationalizing real events for big screen biopics. Yet this isn’t always done to heighten the fictionalized dramatic stakes. Some milestones have to be condensed to fit into that two-hour time frame, or they can’t be portrayed due to rights or permissions being withheld.In the case of Bohemian Rhapsody, several events are rearranged to create a potent dramatic effect. This approach is most notable towards the end of the film, as the Live Aid concert looms. As many reviews have noted, the result is an occasionally spectacular – if sanitized – celebration of Queen’s history, which shows off the band at their very best.This Page: Bohemian Rhapsody Changed Queen & Freddie Mercury’s BackgroundPage 2: Bohemian Rhapsody Invents Fake Queen DramaPage 3: Bohemian Rhapsody’s Ending & Reframing Freddie Mercury’s DeathBohemian Rhapsody Changes Almost Everything About Queen’s FormationBohemian Rhapsody’s first act details how Queen emerged from their humble beginnings and crafted some of rock music’s most popular songs. It is true that these eclectic personalities –  a dentist, astrophysicist, electrical engineer and Parsi immigrant – came to form Queen. But Bohemian Rhapsody does switch up the way in which they all met up.Following a glimpse at Queen’s Live Aid glory, Bohemian Rhapsody flashes back to Freddie Mercury’s days as a college student and baggage handler at Heathrow Airport. Soon after, the young and shy Farrokh Bulsara heads out to watch the band Smile perform. When bassist Tim Staffell quits at the end of the show, Bulsara plucks up the courage and meets with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. He soon impresses them with his talent, and Freddie is readily accepted as their new lead vocalist.Far from being that shy youth onscreen, Freddie was always “supremely confident,” according to Brian May. According to several sources, it seems that the young Freddie Mercury always believed that he was always going to be a star. Indeed, he’d already been part of a group called Ibex, prior to his partnering with Queen. Plus, he was not unknown to the band at that point; Freddie shared a flat with May, Taylor and Staffell for a time, and they even joined Freddie and Ibex for their encore in Liverpool, in 1969. As such, Freddie’s replacing of Staffell was not as spontaneous at the movie suggests.Bohemian Rhapsody Cuts Much Of Mary Austin Out Of Freddie’s LifeThat first Smile gig is a somewhat fateful evening for Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. Prior to joining the band that will become Queen, young Freddie also bumps into a young Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) with whom he immediately connects with. Soon after Freddie visits her in Biba, the shop where she works, and their connection evolves from there.Freddie and Mary Austin’s long and abiding love for each other is portrayed in a generally faithful manner in Bohemian Rhapsody. However, their movie counterparts experience things a little differently than reality. In fact, Brian May revealed (via Yahoo) that he’d been dating Austin before Freddie first met her in the shop. After she caught his eye, Freddie sought May’s permission before asking her out, and she only began to follow Smile (soon to be Queen) later on.Its similarly true that Freddie proposed to her, and that they remained close during their relationships with other people and throughout the entirety of Queen’s ascension. In real life, she even served as his personal assistant for a time. Moreover, Freddie stated that she was “impossible to replace,” and Mary expressed similar sentiments about Queen’s lead singer to Refinery29: “We’d done it for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health. You could never have let go of Freddie unless he died — and even then it was difficult.”This enduring loving bond slightly contrasts with Bryan Singer’s film, which depicts a rift developing after Freddie’s partying escalates. Given what is known about this unique pair, there’s little evidence to suggest that this was the case.Freddie Mercury’s Sexuality Gets Downplayed In Bohemian RhapsodyQueen might be known as legends for their music, but Freddie Mercury was also known for his partying, and his substantial sexual appetite. Yet Bohemian Rhapsody refuses to showcase this, aside from the occasional glimpse of white powder and the odd scene of Freddie in a club. This is due to producer Graham King (via THR) wanting to keep the film as family-friendly as possible, so that more tickets can be sold to more demographics.It’s an understandable business move. However, for a film about Queen, it’s an odd decision, since sexuality – especially homosexuality – is so key to the essence of the band. Moreover, this line of thought brings us to one of Bohemian Rhapsody’s standout sequences: Freddie’s coming out to Mary. Malek’s Freddie asserts that he thinks he is bisexual. Mary responds by stating that he is gay. On the one hand, Bohemian Rhapsody does win accuracy points for replicating this scene almost word for word. But on the other, by failing to depict Freddie’s hedonism, the film creates other problems for itself.After this scene, Bohemian Rhapsody only depicts Freddie with same-sex partners, such as Paul Prenter (Allen Leech) and Jim Hutton (Aaron McCusker). The movie never challenges Mary’s assertion – both fictional and real – that he was only truly interested in men. It’s a crucial point, because Freddie refused to label himself throughout his life. Certainly, whilst he saw many men after confiding in Mary, there’s plenty of evidence to say that Freddie remained interested in women as well. Indeed, German actress Barbara Valentin was notably one of Mercury’s numerous female lovers.Some may believe that this isn’t such an important point to make. But by not clearly distinguishing his orientation, the film does do Freddie a disservice. Similarly, whilst he was close with his parents, Freddie never came out to them, nor revealed that Jim Hutton was his partner. When asked, Freddie told them that Hutton was his gardener!Page 2 of 3: Bohemian Rhapsody Invents Fake Queen DramaPaul Prenter Was A “Bad Influence” (But Queen Didn’t Really Break Up)Queen, their management, and their loved ones are mostly portrayed as nice, rounded people in Bohemian Rhapsody. The same cannot be said for Paul Prenter, however. Scheming and manipulative, Prenter first appears as their assistant manager, who soon becomes infatuated with Freddie Mercury. He soon begins to control access to Freddie, and convinces the singer to break up Queen so that he can forge a solo career. Bohemian Rhapsody soon shows him isolating an increasingly ill Freddie in Munich, where he takes advantage of the singer’s fame and fortune to host parties. Prenter soon gets his comeuppance though; when Freddie discovers that Paul didn’t tell him about Live Aid, he’s fired.In contrast to many of Bohemian Rhapsody’s other plot points, much of this did seem to happen. Surviving Queen members said that they frequently disagreed with Prenter’s decisions for the band. These included the disco-influenced content their album Hot Space, which is still seen as one of their weaker entries. Due to the way in which he subtly controlled Freddie Mercury, May and Taylor have since referred to him as a nasty, “bad influence”.Even so, Prenter was not the sole focal point of Queen’s ills. Certainly, it transpires that Freddie was not the only member of Queen to travel to Munich. The band accompanied Freddie to Germany, though this was a similarly dark time and place for them as well. Additionally, Prenter’s machinations did not result in Queen’s break up. In fact, Queen didn’t even break up. They amicably decided to decrease their output and focus upon their solo careers.Furthermore, Bohemian Rhapsody changes the grounds for Prenter’s dismissal. Freddie didn’t fire him until 1986, a year after their Live Aid performance. And whilst, as Bohemian Rhapsody shows, Prenter betrays Freddie in a very public fashion, Paul did not divulge his personal details on a TV interview. Instead, he was rewarded handsomely for leaking information to British tabloid The Sun.Mike Myers’ Manager Was Made UpGame of Thrones’ Littlefinger, Aiden Gillen, is a reliable presence in Bohemian Rhapsody. He’s Queen’s supportive manager, John Reid, who steers the band to glory in their early years. Reid subsequently orchestrates and accompanies them on their Stateside tour in the early 1980s.But Paul Prenter has a plan up his sleeve. He informs John that he’s received a large offer for Freddie to go solo, and that he should be the one to discuss it with the star. Knowing full well that Freddie won’t want to be disloyal to his bandmates, he sets John up to fall, and his scheme is rewarded. A furious Freddie ejects John from the car and severs ties with him immediately. Subsequently, Paul swiftly begins to fill the power vacuum.History differs somewhat from Bohemian Rhapsody’s rather dramatic account of their parting. John Reid actually split from Queen in 1977, and it was far from the rage-fuelled split that we see on screen. Queen’s lawyer and manager Jim Beach has been quoted as saying that they always “had a good working relationship with John,” and it appears that Reid and Queen parted on good terms.By this point in the movie however, John Reid isn’t the first man to manage the unruly rock band. Ray Foster (played by Mike Myers) assumes that role in Queen’s early days. He’s an overbearing executive at the EMI record label, who loves formulas yet hates Bohemian Rhapsody. Several sites have already confirmed that Ray Foster never existed, and that Myers’s character is a composite of various officials who were less than keen on Queen’s titular masterpiece. One of these was Paul Watts, who later recalled:“I was expecting something very special. So when they played me Bohemian Rhapsody, my reaction was, ‘What the fuck’s this? Are you mad?’”As time – and the movie – have shown, driving teenagers would in fact rock out to this timeless tune for years to come.Page 3 of 3: Bohemian Rhapsody’s Ending & Reframing Freddie Mercury’s DeathBohemian Rhapsody Changes The Timeline Of Freddie’s Battle With HIVIn Bohemian Rhapsody, Live Aid is a hugely important time in Freddie’s life. Not only does he start a relationship with Jim Hutton and come out to his parents, he discovers that he has HIV. Freddie soon discloses this to his band-mates, and they decide to give their all in the upcoming concert.Whilst rumors that Freddie was ill were circulating in the tabloids of that year, he wasn’t actually diagnosed with the virus until 1987. Furthermore, he didn’t immediately make Queen aware of his condition. Though they had suspected he was ill, it took Freddie at least two years to inform them, and only went public with the news in November 1991.Additionally, many viewers have assumed that one of Queen’s most soulful hits, “Who Wants To Live Forever”, was written in response to Freddie’s affliction. After all, Bryan Singer chooses to play this song in the moments where Freddie comes to terms with the deadly illness. In actuality, Brian May composed the song for Highlander, a cult film that depicts battling immortal warriors. Moreover, the heartfelt, wistful Queen song plays as the death-defying protagonist, Connor MacLeod, watches his wife succumb to old age. This movie wasn’t released until a year after Live Aid, and a year before Freddie was diagnosed with HIV.Queen Were Legendary At Live Aid – But Didn’t Save ItThe Live Aid section of Bohemian Rhapsody is a scintillating, crowd-pleasing triumph. With Rami Malek channeling the outrageous energy of Queen’s beloved singer, it’s a powerful and visceral way to experience their music. Certainly, given how relations between Freddie and the band had progressed – in the film at least – it appears that it pulled Queen back from the brink.Most of the hype that is bestowed upon Queen’s Live Aid performance in the film is undoubtedly warranted. Their set is still ranked as one of the best live shows of all time. Shortly after they had performed, Elton John even lamented that they had stolen the show. However, it wasn’t quite the last-ditch attempt at unification that it’s made out to be.Sure, Queen was not at their strongest in the run-up to Live Aid. Their output had slowed somewhat, although they continued to tour throughout 1984 and 1985. In turn, they faced a massive backlash for breaking a United Nations-sanctioned boycott and playing gigs in apartheid South Africa. Nevertheless, by the time that Live Aid came around, they were still a functioning musical group.Plus Bohemian Rhapsody shows scenes where no one is donating to the cause until Freddie Mercury took to the mic. Considering that many contemporary superstars (such as David Bowie, Elton John, Paul McCartney and many more) were playing at the event, its highly doubtful that this was the case.  As such, the shots of Bob Geldof (Dermot Murphy) watching in relief and gratitude as the money piles up is a touch of exaggerated artistic licence which rather oversells the moment.What Happened After The End?Bryan Singer’s biopic of Queen closes with lingering shots of Live Aid 1985. Although in real life, this was not the end for Queen. They still continued to make critically acclaimed songs until mere weeks before Freddie passed away in 1991. During that six years, Freddie and Jim Hutton remained together, despite Hutton being diagnosed with HIV as well. Hutton passed away in 2010. Mary Austin still lives in Freddie’s mansion, which he bequeathed to her in his will.But what of the remaining Queen members? Well, as the last title cards revealed, they formed the Mercury Phoenix Trust to tackle AIDS worldwide. Aside from several concerts through the 1990s – which included the Bejart Ballet in Paris in 1997 – John Deacon has since retired from music altogether.Yet that hasn’t stopped Brian May and Roger Taylor from continuing their legacy. Since Deacon quit, they have toured with Paul Rogers as their lead vocalist between 2004 and 2009. When they subsequently parted ways, American singer Adam Lambert was recruited to form Queen + Adam Lambert. The new group is still touring to this day and they have teased that they might record new music together soon.-Musical historians and Queen fans may baulk at Bohemian Rhapsody’s frequent muddling of their song releases, and its occasional deviance’s from their history. Nonetheless, audiences may get a sense of what the band was like in their heyday and be reminded of how heavily Queen have influenced modern music. There’s an argument to be made that Bohemian Rhapsody fails to give its iconic lead singer the attention and depth he deserves. Yet as it stands, you’d be hard pressed to find any movie that exhibits the power of Queen’s marvellous music as well as Bohemian Rhapsody does.Next: The Most Brutal Reviews of Bohemian Rhapsody


The Highest-Grossing Movies Of 2018 (So Far)

Category : SR Originals

It’s already been a massive year for Hollywood movies, with several astounding record-breakers at the 2018 box office. But which films reign supreme? And which have sneakily made bank? Here are the biggest movies of the year.2018 got off to a great start via the mega success of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, which has earned over $1.3 billion worldwide. Black Panther is now the highest-grossing MCU film to date domestically, and the third-highest worldwide, behind only the first two Avengers films. Will further blockbusters like Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom reach that same level of audience love? One thing’s for certain: there’s a lot of competition to hurdle first.Related: The Biggest Box Office Hits of 2017Before the list proper, an important note. The following list of films and their box office totals are current as of the date listed above. As further 2018 films climb the box office rankings, the list will be updated with new numbers and rankings accordingly. Check back regularly to see where things currently stand.Last updated: November 2, 201815. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again ($393.1 Million)Releasing in summer 2008, Mamma Mia! was a surprise box office smash, earning over $600 million worldwide on a budget of only $52 million. A decade later, musical sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is also performing quite well, although not to the level of the first film. After a month and a half in theaters, the sequel has earned $377.4 million worldwide, on a higher budget of $75 million. Still, that’s a huge return on investment for Universal.14. Rampage ($426.3 Million)Despite not-so-good reviews – 50% on RT – Rampage proved that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson truly has the star power to successfully open just about any film. Made for $120 million, Rampage has smashed its way to over $400 million worldwide. While it might not be considered a truly massive hit, it should turn a tidy profit for studio Warner Bros., and continue to shore up Johnson’s status as an A-list superstar.Read More: Rampage’s Success Proves That Dwayne Johnson Can Sell Any Movie13. Venom ($512.1 Million)While many had their doubts about the potential success of a Venom solo movie that wasn’t connected to Spider-Man, those doubts were unfounded as Venom blew past the record for biggest October opening of all time. Director Ruben Fleischer’s film wasn’t received warmly by critics (30% on RT), but fans disagreed, propelling the comic book adaptation to well over $500 million worldwide. Whether or not Tom Hardy will return to play Eddie Brock and the titular symbiote in a sequel is unclear, but it wouldn’t be wise to bet against it.Read More: Venom Can Still Fit Into The MCU (If Marvel Wants It)12. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation ($523.1 Million)While the Hotel Transylvania series will never be an awards contender, each entry so far has succeeded majorly at the box office, with the series as a whole earning over $1 billion worldwide. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation even managed to improve the franchise’s critical fortunes a bit, earning a 61% rating on RT. An all-star voice cast brings the film to life, including Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, and Keegan-Michael Key.11. The Meg ($527.8 Million)Directed by Jon Turtletaub (National Treasure franchise), no one really expected The Meg to live up to Steven Spielberg’s monster shark classic Jaws. With action star Jason Statham onboard, most just wanted a fun bit of popcorn fun, mixed with the occasional bit of horror at the hands of the titular prehistoric predator. Audiences seem to have mostly gotten what they hoped for out of The Meg, as the film has grossed over $500 million worldwide, despite not-so-great reviews (46% on Rotten Tomatoes). At this point, a sequel would not at all be surprising.Read More: How The Meg Compares To The Real Megalodon10. Detective Chinatown 2 ($544.1 Million)Those who thought they wouldn’t see any Chinese-made films up this high on the list were mistaken, as Detective Chinatown 2 is another sequel to earn massive bank in its homeland. About $2 million of its worldwide total was also provided by U.S. moviegoers. With 12 reviews counted, Detective Chinatown 2’s RT score is 50%.9. Operation Red Sea ($579.2 Million)Another massive hit from China, Operation Red Sea counts $1.5 million of its nearly $580 million haul as coming from stateside audiences. As China’s film market only continues to grow, look for more and more of their homegrown releases to take high spots on lists such as this. With 6 reviews counted, Operation Red Sea boasts an impressive 83% score on RT.8. Ready Player One ($582.2 Million)Despite lots of hand-wringing over its nostalgia-focused marketing strategy, Steven Spielberg’s latest blockbuster adaptation of a novel ended up debuting to mostly positive reviews from both critics (74% on RT) and fans. Ready Player One has racked up $137 million domestically, along with a huge $445.2 million internationally.Read More: Ready Player One: Every Change Spielberg Made To The Book7. Ant-Man & The Wasp ($622.5 Million)Coming as it does after the colossal success of Avengers: Infinity War, it’s easy to point to Ant-Man & The Wasp as a financial letdown. After all, its $75.8 million domestic opening stands as one of the lowest in MCU history. However, as with most Marvel Studios movies, the reviews for Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly’s joint superhero adventure were kind, and the film has managed to nearly quadruple its reported $162 million production budget worldwide. Helping the sequel’s path to profitability is a huge $68 million opening in China, the country’s fourth-highest MCU debut of all time.Read More: Ant-Man & The Wasp’s After-Credits Scenes Provide The Best Avengers 4 Clues Yet6. Deadpool 2 ($734.2 Million)Considering how just tremendously successful the original Deadpool film proved to be in 2016, it was never really in doubt that FOX’s sequel Deadpool 2 would do well at the box office. While Deadpool 2 didn’t quite succeed in breaking its predecessor’s record for highest R-rated domestic opening weekend, the gore and profanity filled romp did succeed in outpacing the first movie worldwide, opening to over $300 million. While Wade Wilson is unlikely to make it any higher on this particular list, the Merc with a Mouth has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.Read More: Deadpool 2: Every Marvel Movie Joke & Reference5. Mission: Impossible – Fallout ($791.1 Million)Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise may not be quite as young as he once was, but that doesn’t mean he’s showing any signs of slowing down, especially when it comes to the insane stunts he performs for each entry in the Mission: Impossible franchise. His efforts aren’t going unrewarded by moviegoers, which have propelled director Christopher McQuarrie’s latest sequel Mission: Impossible – Fallout to box office heights faster than those achieved by Ethan Hunt’s prior adventures. Critics loved the film too, awarding it a 97% positive score on Rotten Tomatoes.Read More: What Could Mission: Impossible 7 Be About?4. Incredibles 2 ($1.24 Billion)After a nearly 15-year wait, Pixar’s beloved superhero comedy The Incredibles has received a sequel. A hit with critics (94% on RT), Incredibles 2 is wasting no time climbing this list, as if it were leaping a tall building in a single bound. The Brad Bird-directed film has earned over $1 billion at the box office, easily outperforming many people’s expectations. Incredibles 2 quickly vaulted past the first movie, both domestically and worldwide, vastly outdoing its predecessor’s total gross of $633 million.Read More: Incredibles 2: 11 Easter Eggs You Missed3. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($1.30 Billion)2015’s original Jurassic World film has become a bit of an odd case, drawing decent critical acclaim and making ridiculous amounts of cash at the box office, but being bashed nearly any time it’s discussed online today. While sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom came up far short of fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 51% score, its financial prospects look almost as good as its predecessor’s. With a $150 million domestic opening weekend in the books, Fallen Kingdom has banked a massive $1 billion-plus worldwide.Read More: Jurassic World 2’s Ending: How It Sets Up Jurassic World 32. Black Panther ($1.35 Billion)At this point, industry prognosticators have learned not to bet against the success of an MCU film. Everyone knew Black Panther would be a seismic hit, but even so, few initially predicted just how insanely successful the Wakanda-set superhero adventure would become. Black Panther is now the highest-grossing comic book film of all-time in the U.S., and is gaining on that title worldwide. Critics also fell in love with T’Challa’s solo debut, affording it a lofty 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes. When the inevitable sequel finally arrives, look for similar results.Read More: Every Record Black Panther Has Broken1. Avengers: Infinity War ($2.05 Billion)As the beginning of the culmination of 10 years of MCU storylines, it was never in doubt that Joe and Anthony Russo’s mega blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War was going to make serious cash. Yet, the critically acclaimed (84% on RT) film actually managed to outperform most expectations, setting new all-time records for both best domestic and worldwide opening weekends. Infinity War knocked off The Force Awakens domestically with a massive $257.7 million haul, and has so far earned a Hulk-sized $2 billion worldwide. Avengers smash!Next: The Many Unanswered Questions in Avengers: Infinity War


The 25 Best Movies on Hulu Right Now

Category : SR Originals

Hulu has a lot of great movies – here are the 25 best films on the streaming service. In an age of options, less feels like more. While Netflix has an ever-expanding library, Hulu offers a more focused collection of great movies. Because volume isn’t the objective, Hulu succeeds in curating a batch of excellent films.There are the Academy Awards classics like Terms of Endearment and Rocky, the arthouse darlings like Babel and The Hunt, and the pure entertainment gems like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Goon. Hulu keeps it simple and offers something for everybody. Here are the 25 best movies that you can watch on Hulu right now.Related: The 25 Best Films on Netflix Right NowBefore we start, first a disclaimer. modern streaming libraries are like carousels, always moving and always changing. The films in this list are available on Hulu at the time of writing. We’ll be updating this top 25 list frequently, so keep an eye out for Hulu’s latest and greatest offerings. Also, the list isn’t ranked from worst to best, so a lower number is not meant to denote higher quality. It’s just a list of 25 great movies.Last updated: November 2, 201825. DetroitWhile it slipped through awards season without much hype, Detroit remains one of 2017’s best films. Rotten Tomatoes awarded it an 84% for its “gut-wrenching dramatization of a tragic chapter” in American history. Director Kathryn Bigelow tackles the 1967 incident in Motor City with aplomb, deftly guiding a sprawling cast (led by John Boyega and Will Poulter) through a maze of tension, bigotry, and survival. Detroit streams exclusively on Hulu.24. Child’s PlayIn theory, a killer doll should be an easy villain to defeat. After all, it’s tiny, and made of plastic. The wrinkle 1988’s Child’s Play adds into the mix is that Chucky has been possessed by the spirit of a dead serial killer via voodoo, and is thus supernaturally indestructible. Director Tom Holland’s (no, not that one) film earned praise from both critics and audiences, and would go on to spawn a still ongoing franchise starring Chucky, voiced by Brad Dourif. A remake is coming soon, but the original remains a terror tale worth watching on Hulu.23. ArrivalDirector Denis Villeneuve solidified his reputation with Arrival, perhaps the most intimate science fiction movie in recent years. Critics awarded it a 94% Rotten Tomatoes score, and domestic fans boosted its box office to over $100 million, making it one of the most acclaimed films on Hulu. Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker help ground this mind-bending adventure. Should you have any questions about that ending, we’ve got you covered.Read More: The New Golden Age of Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies22. ElectionThe second feature to be directed by award magnet filmmaker Alexander Payne (and the only one on Hulu), Election is based on Tom Perotta’s 1998 novel of the same name, and takes a darkly comic look at high school life through the lens of a hotly contested election for student body president. Reese Witherspoon stars as Tracy Flick – an ambitious overachiever who sets her sights on the office – while Matthew Broderick plays frustrated teacher Jim McAllister, who makes it his mission to try and crush the often manipulative girl’s dreams.21. Galaxy QuestDirector Dean Parisot’s hilarious 1999 comedy Galaxy Quest manages to succeed on two levels. First and foremost, the film is a loving spoof of classic sci-fi TV, most specifically the original Star Trek series starring William Shatner and its loyal fandom. Beyond that though, Galaxy Quest is just downright hilarious, and doesn’t require Hulu viewers to be Trekkies in order to bust a gut laughing at the antics of a washed up TV cast thrust into a real life galactic crisis. The all-star cast is led by Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, and Tony Shalhoub.20. 28 Days Later28 Days Later, director Danny Boyle’s apocalyptic 2002 horror film (streaming on Hulu exclusively), was a huge hit with both critics and audiences, presenting a terrifying vision of London decimated by a “rage virus”. Although often regarded as a zombie film, 28 Days Later technically isn’t one, as those affected by the virus remain alive, just no longer in control of their violent actions. Still, it’s easy to see why people might consider this a zombie story, as it behaves like one quite often. Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, and Christopher Eccleston star.Read More: 10 Scariest Post-Apocalyptic Scenarios19. SilenceWhile it took director Martin Scorsese 25 years to make Silence, his commitment and passion are fully evident in every frame of the movie. As the title suggests, this is a quiet and interior film, a study of faith and persecution set in 17th Century Japan. Silence is a deeply transporting experience fueled by actors Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, and Adam Driver. Though largely ignored by the Oscars, Silence garnered an 84% Rotten Tomatoes score, and is very much worth checking out on Hulu.18. The Big LebowskiThe filmmaking team of brothers Joel and Ethan Coen have created many beloved films, but it’s safe to say none found as loyal of an audience as 1998’s The Big Lebowski. Starring Jeff Bridges as the now immortal character of “The Dude,” the film wasn’t a box office hit (although it wasn’t quite a bomb either), and many reviewers at the time didn’t seem to know what to make of it. Now, The Big Lebowski is regarded as a cult classic, and has even been preserved in the U.S. National Film Registry. There’s no reason not to give it a spin on Hulu.Page 2: More Great Movies On Hulu17. HellraiserAny dedicated horror fan has surely had their soul torn apart multiple times by Hellraiser’s Pinhead (Doug Bradley) by this point. Director Clive Barker (adapting his own novella) crafted one of the most enduring tales of terror to come out of the 1980s, spawning one of the longest-running horror franchises out there as well. Hellraiser may only have a 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it’s a certified classic of the genre, and needs to be watched by anyone who enjoys a good fright flick. Direct sequel Hellbound: Hellraiser II is also part of Hulu’s roster.Read More: The Real Life Inspirations Behind 11 Horror Movie Icons16. FrankTo some, Michael Fassbender is a young Magneto. To others, he’s a two-time Academy Award nominee. To a select few, he’s the gonzo pop musician and eponymous hero in Frank, the offbeat artist who became more famous for his oversized paper-mâché mask than his music. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Room), Frank earned a 92% Rotten Tomatoes score and remains a cult classic to adventurous Hulu viewers looking for a changeup in their visual diet.15. GoonIf you’re a hockey fan and have ever laughed at National Lampoon movies, Goon deserves to be on your Hulu roster. Directed by Michael Dowse and penned by Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg, this slapstick comedy is packed with laughs, action, and memorable one-liners. Seann William Scott leads the fray with Eugene Levy, Kim Coates, Alison Pill and Live Schreiber in this Rotten Tomatoes 82%-fresh comedy.14. The HuntForeign films are in short supply on Hulu, but director Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt closes the gap. Mads Mikkelsen stars in the haunting drama that earned him the Best Actor Award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival (and a 94% Rotten Tomatoes score for the movie). The Hunt is perhaps more relevant than ever, asking questions about the power of accusation and mass hysteria.Read More: The Hannibal Revival May Be Closer Than Previously Thought13. RobocopDirector Paul Verhoeven has always been known for peppering his films with subversive messages, and making films that were uniquely his. That very much extended to his more commercially successful fare, such as 1987’s Robocop, which proved popular enough to spawn a franchise that’s still ongoing (and entirely available on Hulu), but also overflowed with satirical attacks on consumerism and capitalism as a whole. For Omni Consumer Products, nothing comes before profit, and not even murder is too far to go to make another buck. Thankfully, Robocop ends up disagreeing with his makers.12. GoldfingerOf the more than 20 James Bond films made to date (lots of which are currently on Hulu), many fans would consider 1964’s Goldfinger – directed by Guy Hamilton – to be the absolute best. Similarly, of all the actors to play 007 onscreen, many would still champion original actor Sean Connery as the best Bond, and by his third outing as the iconic character in Goldfinger, he was fully owning the role. Also, generally beloved by fans is titular villain Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe), an affably evil psychopath with delusions of grandeur, and his employee turned Bond love interest, Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman).11. American PsychoWhile landing the role of Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy may be what cemented Christian Bale as an A-list star, just a few years earlier, the actor drew raves for his portrayal of yuppie serial killer Patrick Bateman in director Mary Harron’s American Psycho, now available on Hulu. An adaptation of Brett Easton Ellis’ controversial 80s-set book, the film excises some of Ellis’ more upsetting sequences, but still manages to craft one of the most fascinating horror films of its decade. For his part, Bale is a revelation, exuding both undeniable menace and his own odd charm.Read More: 10 Movie Characters Cooler Than Tarantino’s10. The FlyOne of director David Cronenberg’s most harrowing adventures into the realm of body horror, 1986’s The Fly is less a remake of the 50s classic, and more a modernized re-imagining of the story. Instead of a scientist and a fly swapping bodies, Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum, in one of his greatest roles) this time out ends up having his DNA full-on fused with a fly after a teleportation experiment goes wrong. This leads to a truly monstrous transformation. Geena Davis and John Getz also star in the film, which boasts a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and streams exclusively on Hulu.9. The Nightmare Before ChristmasJust about every holiday has its own signature movies, with Halloween and Christmas tending to get the most. Rarely though does a film become a staple of both Halloween and Christmas, but that’s exactly the case for director Henry Selick and producer Tim Burton’s 1993 stop-motion animated classic The Nightmare Before Christmas. Overflowing with both spooky spirit and yuletide delight, Jack Skellington’s journey through a portal into Christmas Town remains just as captivating today as it was upon initial release, and is worth rediscovering on Hulu.Page 3: Even More Great Movies On Hulu8. The TerminatorWhen director James Cameron made his sci-fi slasher movie The Terminator back in 1984, it’s doubtful anyone anticipated it spawning a franchise of soon to be six films, a TV show, video games, comic books, and more. Yet, the tale of Sarah Connor’s (Linda Hamilton) attempt to survive the relentless pursuit of the titular cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger) remains one of the most compelling pieces of action and suspense to come out of the decade of New Wave music and feathered hair, and is a prime Hulu pick for any night of the week. Michael Biehn also stars as Sarah’s human protector, Kyle Reese.Read More: 15 Behind-The-Scenes Secrets Of The Terminator Franchise7. The GraduateWidely regarded as one of the greatest American films of all time, director Mike Nichols’ 1967 dramedy The Graduate earned seven Oscar nominations, winning Best Director. Based on a novel, The Graduate stars Dustin Hoffman – in arguably his signature role – as 21-year-old recent college grad Benjamin Braddock, who finds himself in an odd position when he’s seduced by an older woman – Anne Bancroft’s legendary Mrs. Robinson – and then falls for her daughter Elaine (Katherine Ross). To call The Graduate anything less than iconic would be an insult, and it’s a truly excellent addition to Hulu’s library.6. Raging BullNeeding no serious introduction to any dedicated film buff, director Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull is arguably the greatest sports-based drama of all time, and is also in contention for best biopic ever. Robert De Niro stars as Jake LaMotta, a talented middleweight boxer, but a man in possession of often uncontrollable anger and many self-destructive tendencies. Shot in stark black and white, Jake’s story is often tragic, but always compelling, and deserves to be seen by any Hulu subscriber.5. PleasantvilleLots of people love to live vicariously through their favorite TV characters, but in director Gary Ross’ 1998 film Pleasantville, sibling duo David (Tobey Maguire) and Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon) actually get to venture inside the world of the former’s favorite show. David thinks of Pleasantville’s sleepy 1950s town as a kind of utopia, but Jennifer isn’t quite so keen on such a sanitized and censored existence. A box office dud, Pleasantville earned positive reviews, and also stars Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, and Paul Walker. For those who haven’t seen it, the film’s Hulu arrival is the perfect opportunity.Read More: Our 10 Favorite Modern Black and White Movies4. Reservoir DogsAfter all the acclaimed films made by director Quentin Tarantino, there are still many who would call his first film (and only one currently available on Hulu), 1992’s Reservoir Dogs, their favorite. It’s not hard to see why, as right from the beginning, all of Tarantino’s directorial signatures were in effect, including his penchant for rapid fire dialogue, pop culture references, rampant profanity, and a nonlinear narrative. Reservoir Dogs tells the story of a five-man squad assembled for a diamond heist, and how all hell breaks loose once the plan goes sideways. Said thieves are played by Michael Madsen, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, and Tarantino himself.3. Escape From New YorkDirector John Carpenter is best known for horror films like Halloween and The Thing, but from the late-70s to the mid-90s, the man was on a hot streak overall, regardless of genre. Case in point is 1981’s Escape From New York, starring Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, one of the most badass antiheroes to ever grace the silver screen, or Hulu. Snake’s misdeeds have landed him in the slammer, and the authorities make him an offer: rescue the president from the giant prison that was once Manhattan within 22 hours, and receive a full pardon. Say no, and die.2. HeathersA darker than dark comedy, Heathers was written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann, and sports a huge cult following, which is sure to only get bigger via Hulu. Winona Ryder stars as Veronica Sawyer, a high school student who runs afoul of former friends the Heathers, a trio of rich, popular girls that rule teen society with an iron fist. After being wronged by them, Veronica makes the mistake of teaming up with outcast bad boy J.D. (Christian Slater) in order to get revenge. Sadly, J.D.’s idea of revenge is straight up murdering his enemies.1. Let the Right One InReleased in a decade where vampire cinema was dominated by the sparkly Twilight, director Tomas Alfredson’s Swedish hit Let the Right One In was exactly what the classic creature needed to remind audiences that despite their affliction, vampire movies don’t have to suck. Lina Leandersson stars as Eli, an ageless vampire with the appearance of a child, and Kare Hedebrant plays Oskar, the bullied young boy she enters into an unexpectedly sweet relationship with. The film was later adapted stateside by Matt Reeves, with Chloe Grace Moretz in the Eli role. That version is sadly not available via Hulu.Next: 10 Best Shows You Didn’t Know Were On Hulu


All The Evidence Avengers 4's Title Is Annihilation

Category : SR Originals

Is the title of Avengers 4 actually Avengers: Annihilation? When Marvel first announced their Phase 3 slate, Avengers: Infinity War was envisioned as a two-part movie. That slate changed a lot over the years, especially in light of Marvel’s deal with Sony to bring Spider-Man into the MCU. One of the most interesting changes, though, was the decision to give Infinity War – Part II a different title. Surprisingly, Marvel then refused to reveal the new name for Avengers 4, with Kevin Feige claiming it would spoil Avengers: Infinity War.Naturally, this has led to intense speculation among fans as to just what the title could be, especially following Avengers: Infinity War’s cliffhanger ending. Given the marketing campaign for Avengers 4 is sure to kick off soon, it can’t be long before that title is officially confirmed.Related: Avengers 4: All The Rumors, Leaks & SpoilersAt the beginning of October, there were rumors the title could be Avengers: Annihilation. These were initially treated with more than a little skepticism, but as time has passed there have been growing rumors that this may be right. Here, we’ll run through all the evidence.The Avengers: Annihilation Title RumorsThe title of Avengers: Annihilation was first guessed by CBR back in April. They suggested that the title could be lifted from a popular comic book event from 2006, in large part because the villain of that arc – Annihilus – was driven by a desire for universal balance. His motives are fairly similar to those of the MCU version of Thanos. As circumstantial evidence, they pointed out that from March 2018 Marvel Comics began to republish the Annihilation event. There is a precedent for the comic book publisher to make sure trades of a story are out in the year or so before a story is adapted for the big screen.That title guess was largely forgotten for months, though, lost in the chatter online following Avengers: Infinity War. It resurfaced again in October when MCUCosmic reported that sources had claimed the title was Avengers: Annihilation. This was allegedly verified by multiple sources; it was also suggested that Mark Ruffalo’s joke-spoiler on Jimmy Fallon was a troll from Marvel about the leak to draw attention away from Annihilation.Related: Mark Ruffalo‘s Bleeped Avengers 4 Title Is The Last AvengerThe Russo Brothers’ Picture Hints At Avengers: AnnihilationThere is some supporting evidence for this rumor. The first is a cryptic photo released by the Russo brothers accompanied with a simple comment: “look hard.” Given the Russos appear to be quite enjoying stoking the rumor mill for the title, this was generally assumed to be a clue, and attentive fans combed over it. The most obvious detail was the double-A, which some suggested could mean the film was called Avengers: Assemble. That was deemed unlikely, given that was the title the first Avengers film released to in the United Kingdom, and attention moved elsewhere. But, in light of the rumors, that double-A really stood for Avengers: Annihilation.This idea does seem rather odd, though. Even Marvel insiders who know the title, such as co-president Louis D’Esposito, have admitted they don’t quite understand what that image is supposed to mean. That would be unlikely if the meaning of the image was as simple as a double-A. Still, it is possible D’Esposito was just joining in with the trolling of fans.Annihilation Would Be A Spoiler for Avengers: Infinity WarThe cliffhanger ending of Avengers: Infinity War saw Thanos emerge triumphant, erasing half the life in the universe with just a snap of his fingers. Although it’s generally believed there’ll be a time-jump between the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, the sequel is expected to continue that story and reveal just how the surviving Avengers either undo or avert the snap.Related: What The Title of Avengers 4 Definitely ISN’TIn April last year, Kevin Feige suggested that a major reason for withholding the new title of Avengers 4 was the fact that it would spoil Infinity War. In March, shortly before Infinity War’s release, the Russo brothers confirmed that fans should be worried about how Infinity War would play out in light of Marvel’s reluctance to reveal Avengers 4’s title. This fits with a title like Annihilation, which would almost certainly have led to speculation online that Thanos would emerge triumphant. However, though, this would also be true with many of the other main contenders, such as Avengers: Endgame.Annihilation Wasn’t Spoken In Avengers: Infinity WarWhat makes End Game an unlikely Avengers 4 title is that it was spoken in Avengers: Infinity War. Speaking just after the first part’s release, Joe Russo said that the 2019’s film title was not spoken in its direct predecessor, which rules out the likes of End Game and No Time At All. What it maintains is Annihilation; that word isn’t spoken once in the two-and-a-half hour movie, which would make it eligible to include (although has popped up in previous MCU efforts).As for what the title could be, Anthony Russo’s subsequent comments also line up with Annihilation: “It’s certainly grounded in the narrative that we have been following throughout the MCU – very well grounded…”Page 2 of 2: More Evidence Avengers 4’s Title Is AnnihilationAnnihilation is Close (Sort Of) To Avengers: ForeverWhile most of the official title discussion for Avengers 4 has been focused on what it won’t, there has been some positive confirmation. One of the most popular titles straight after Infinity War was Avengers: Forever (due to its time travel plot and “4ever” styling), and while the Russos shot it down, they said that – at the time – it was the closest anybody had gotten.”Annihilation” isn’t exactly a synonym for “Forever”, but it is a similarly grandiose term of near infinite scale, so fits better than most of the other options.Avengers: Annihilation Would Be Named After A ComicOne thing most Marvel Studios movie titles have in common is that they’re based on a comic book: The Winter Soldier, Age of Ultron, Civil War, Ragnarok, and even Infinity War were all major comic events before they became blockbuster films. This tradition persists despite most of these having very little in common with the stories on which they’re based – Captain America: Civil War saw Iron Man and Cap fight, but most of the surrounding narrative was changed, while Avengers: Infinity War itself was a mix of several stories and original ideas.Read More: The MCU Isn’t Pretending To Adapt Marvel Comics Stories Any MoreSo, while Marvel movies are slowly moving further and further away from their comic source, they still tend to nod in that direction with their titles. As already established, Annihilation was a comic arc from the 2000s, so while we may not be seeing Annihilus in the MCU (yet), the precedent is there for his big event t0 be used. A Second Rumor Suggests Avengers: AnnihilationThe most recent evidence is a rumor from the Russian social media site vk.com. It showed apparent concept art of Iron Man using his proton cannon, and alleged that the first trailer for Avengers: Annihilation would be released in November, scored by a new rendition of Twelve Titans Music’s song “Dust and Light” (which was used in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer).This makes sense – the November trailer drop is in line with Marvel’s normal marketing approach – but it’s unclear exactly what information was presented to the trailer group who posted this leak. They could easily have just been told when the trailer would drop, and added all the hashtags related to the film; that would have included #Annihilation.-By now, there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence backing the suggestion that Avengers 4’s title is Annihilation. However, while that prospective title has definitely become the front-runner, it’s yet to be officially confirmed – and a lot of the evidence is very much open to interpretation. All that means the Annihilation title is still firmly in the rumor category. What we can say with some certainty, though, is that the truth will come out soon, most probably with the Avengers 4 trailer drop at the end of the month.More: Avengers 4: Every Update You Need To Know