The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation (WRMPPF) honored Tom Cruise, multiple Academy Award nominee and three-time Golden Globe winner, as its 2018 Pioneer of the Year. Director, producer and Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie presented Cruise with the prestigious award at the Foundation’s annual Pioneer of the Year dinner, which took place Wednesday night at Caesars Palace during the National Association of Theaters Owners (NATO) annual convention, CinemaCon.
Cruise was honored before an audience of 2,500 motion picture executives consisting of film studio chiefs, theatrical distribution heads, and exhibition presidents and CEOs. Multiple Emmy-winning actor and comedian James Corden surprised guests to emcee the evening that included a special performance by Tony and Grammy Award-winning Hamilton star Leslie Odom, Jr. Additional appearances were made by actors Angela Bassett, Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg and Paramount Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Gianopulos.
Terry Fator celebrated his 9th anniversary at The Mirage with the addition of the legendary pop stars. On Monday, March 12, 2018, Terry Fator celebrated his 9th anniversary at The Mirage. When Fator first began his Las Vegas run, he vowed to continuously keep the show fresh and introduce new characters each year as a thank you to fans.
With that said, two music legends joined the cast to celebrate this special anniversary: the King of Pop himself “Michael Jackson” appears on stage with Fator as they treat the audience to a medley of Michael’s greatest hits. Fator then shows off his ambidextrous puppeteering skills when “Paul McCartney” joins Michael on stage for a duet that features Fator working with both puppets at one time. Fans are then treated to Paul in the solo spotlight…okay with Terry’s help…performing his special take on Beatles classics.
On Thursday, March 8, MGM Grand hosted an exclusive screening of Believer, co-produced by and starring Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds. The film documents one of the most prominent Mormons in Las Vegas challenging the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the wake of an alarming, decade-long spike in suicides among LDS youth in Utah, which has been directly attributed to the church’s hard-line opposition to homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Continue reading Dan Reynolds “Believer” premiere at the MGM Hotel & Casino→
Based on Lionsgate’s blockbuster horror film franchise, the SAW Escape Experience
will be one of the largest immersive escape experiences in the world
Egan Productions, creative masterminds behind Las Vegas’ top-ranked haunted attraction Fright Dome, has partnered with Hollywood film studio and global content leader Lionsgate to bring to life the world’s first immersive escape experience themed after the blockbuster SAW films. SAW is one of the most successful horror franchises ever, grossing nearly $1 billion at the worldwide box office. The Las Vegas venue is set to open on January 26, 2018.
‘The Official SAW Escape Experience’ will feature numerous themed rooms where guests will go toe-to-toe with the notorious Jigsaw. After entering what appears to be an old, abandoned meat-packing plant, guests will be plunged into a world of traps and puzzles where they will need to work together to escape not just a single room, but the twists and turns of an entire building. The iconic SAW bathroom scene will be just one of the many highlights along the way, as visitors are put to the test in what has been designed to be an entirely immersive experience and one of the largest escape attractions in the world.
Norman Reedus, star of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” said he feels like he could portray redneck character Daryl Dixon on the hit zombie series indefinitely. But of course, even though “Walking Dead” has proven to be a major success for AMC which has turned the franchise into a “365-days-per-year” fan experience it eventually will have to come to an end, said Charlie Collier, president and GM of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. The show is currently in the middle of its 8th season. “We talk about it all the time how do you make sure it goes as long as it can, while still being a responsible business?” Collier said. “We talk about whenever it ends, that it’s Smithsonian-worthy.” He added that “this is a fun ride for everyone involved” but acknowledged that “it’s a far more expensive show in every way than it was on Day One.”
Monster said rock guitarist Joe Perry of Aerosmith will headline its annual CES concert in January. This year’s concert and awards program, which honors the company’s top retail partners, will be held at the Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas on Jan. 10. This is not the first time Perry has taken the stage for Monster; he also appeared at the Michael Jackson tribute show at CES 2016. He is a brand ambassador for the audio manufacturer and has been collaborating with Monster for a line of CE devices, slated to debut at CES. The concert, titled “The Sound of Rock,” will also feature special guests, Monster said, who will be “handpicked” by Perry. Names will be revealed closer to the show. Monster has a long history of bringing big-name acts to its invite-only annual CES concerts. Past performers include Ray Charles, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, B.B. King, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Fleetwood Mac, John Legend, Steve Miller, and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
“Coco VR” Experience Showcases Pixar’s Visual and Storytelling Magic
Pixar Animation Studios announced its first-ever VR experience at Oculus Connect, the fourth annual developer conference in San Jose, Calif. Directed by Ross Haldane Stevenson and produced by Academy Award® winner Marc Sondheimer, “Coco VR” is a co-production from Disney•Pixar and Oculus with VR creative development and execution by Magnopus. Supervising technical director John Halstead spearheaded the technical efforts for Pixar.
“Coco VR” allows people to explore the worlds of “Coco” with their friends. The next-level social VR Experience will be available on Oculus Rift November 15 and Samsung Gear VR November 22, the day of the film’s U.S. release. The experience will be available for a sneak peek at the following events and locations:
Día de los Muertos festivals in Los Angeles, New York City, Houston, Phoenix, Dallas, San Antonio, Oakland and Chicago beginning Oct. 28
Camp Flog Gnaw Music Festival in Los Angeles on Oct. 28-29
Select Disney Stores and movie theaters nationwide through Nov. 22.
The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor opened on Thursday, September 28 unveiling a spectacle of new, terrifying attractions with more monsters and scares than ever before. Thousands of brave thrill seekers joined the cast of spirits and phantoms for a completely sold out opening weekend. The blood curdling terror of Dark Harbor will continue with themed entertainment and thrilling special events on select nights through November 1.
Dark Harbor offers hair-raising-fun entertainment and special ghoulish events throughout the frightful season. Nightly shows on the fire stage welcome the Queen Mary spirits showing off their terrifying talents with fire breathing, circus performances, monster dance parties, live music, and more. The Ariel stage holds nightly spine-tingling performances by the world-renown contortionist, a silk aerialist, magicians, nightly DJs and more. Continue reading Shameless star, Emma Kenney, poses with Slider at Dark Harbor Media & VIP Preview→
Knott’s Scary Farm kicked off Thursday night at Knott’s Berry Farm for its 45th year of Halloween haunts, scares, and clowns. This year there are 9 mazes to go through.
One of the new mazes this year is “Dark Ride”, an abandoned carnival attraction. There were fire-breathing dragons and possessed furniture, tons of blood and guts.
Also new this year “The Pumpkin Eater”, taking visitors into the lair of a seven-foot creature that likes to have its visitors for dinner. The maze takes you through the inside of a giant pumpkin, seeds and all, as well as through all sorts of other creepy obstacles, including a cave of creepy insects, a labyrinth of thorns, and a cornfield.
Next the Re-Vamped “Trick or Treat”: One of Knott’s most popular mazes has gotten a very scary new twist this year. This maze is now in the dark! You’ll be given a flashlight to make your way through this well decorated house. But beware, your flashlight is defective. Along the way, your flashlight will turn itself off and on, blink, change colors, and vibrate. This was a highly entertaining attraction. There’s a lot of psychological terror that comes with walking through a maze filled with monsters in the dark! Cool and fun, my favorite!
The weekend kicked off with the annual Variety and Women in Film’s nominee party on Friday night held at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood. The event was presented by Halo Top Creamery.
Emmy nominees included Viola Davis, Samira Wiley, Claire Foy, Alexander Skarsgard and Cicely Tyson. Many attendees also stopped to pose with the Mercedes Benz on display before moving on to enjoy mini bean burgers, fig appetizers and the Halo Top Creamery ice cream bar that awaited them inside. Some celebrities like Kathryn Hahn and Abbi Jacobson choose to spend the bulk of the evening on the patio, sipping Svedka cocktails with the Variety logo stenciled on top and chatting under festive blue lights with a soundtrack from DJ Daisy O’Dell in the background.
2017 Host Committee members Kelly Kahl, David Nevins, Mike Hopkins, John Landgraf and Lena Waithe were on-hand to mix and mingle with Women in Film board member Lake Bell, “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” Yvonne Strahovski, “Empire’s” Serayah McNeill and comedy stars like Keegan-Michael Key, Sarah Hyland and Zoe Lister-Jones.
But nominee Dolly Parton stole the show forming a half circle of people around her to say hello and snap a photo with her.
O’Dell’s playlist included ’90s hits and modern day chart toppers, and as the night went on tunes like Mariah Carey’s “Honey” and Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” even got attendees singing and dancing in front of the ice cream bar.