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Lion King 2019 Rotten Tomatoes Score Is Low After Early Reviews

The Lion King debuts to a Rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes after the first reviews are published. In the last handful of years, Disney has had great success producing re-imaginings of some of their most beloved animated classics. Most recently, Aladdin became a major box office smash, surprisingly moving past the $900 million mark worldwide. Others, like The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, proved to be sizable draws themselves and demonstrated there was an audience for these retellings. To the shock of no one, Disney has plenty more on the way.

Up next is a new rendition of The Lion King, a remake of the 1994 animated classic that remains a beloved and treasured installment in the Disney canon. Directed by The Jungle Book’s Jon Favreau, there’s been plenty of hype and anticipation surrounding the project, particularly after the all-star cast was announced. The Lion King is poised to be one of the biggest box office hits of the year, evidenced by the trailer breaking viewership records and marketing continuing to drum up excitement. And while The Lion King is sure to be a commercial success, it’s not going to go down as a critical darling.

Related: Every Major Movie Releasing In July 2019

Today, the Lion King review embargo lifted, and after the first wave was published, the film has a Rotten score on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. As of this writing, it stands at 58% with 87 reviews counted. A critics consensus has already emerged:

Though it can take pride in its visual achievements, this reimagined The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved-though for some fans that may just be enough.

This development is a little surprising, since Lion King social media reactions released earlier this week painted a more positive picture. On social media, most appeared to be in agreement that The Lion King was an astounding technical achievement and praised the efforts of the actors involved (most notably Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa). One common critique of those bite-sized reviews was that the photorealistic animals (obviously) couldn’t emote like they do in the original animated movie, but overall people seemed to enjoy it. The full reviews are more mixed, however. Everyone is quick to acknowledge the incredible visual effects that were used to bring the story to life, but for some that wasn’t enough to make up for the film’s shortcomings. An argument can be made that The Lion King is an exercise of style over substance.

That’s been the fate of many of these Disney remakes; even the ones that go down as being financially successful are largely seen as hollow retellings that lack the magic and imagination of their animated counterparts. The business incentive behind this endeavor was always clear, but from a creative standpoint, Disney’s in a tough spot. It’s always difficult to remake an acclaimed film, since there’s little (if anything) to improve upon. The best movie remakes are the ones that take an intriguing premise with potential and make the most of it after the initial attempt was underwhelming (Ocean’s Eleven, etc.). The Lion King will make money this summer, but it sounds like rewatching the original would be a more rewarding experience.

More: Why The Lion King’s Mouth Movement Looks So Unsettling

Source: Rotten Tomatoes


2019-07-11 01:07:23

Chris Agar

Avengers: Endgame Early Reviews – A True Love Letter to MCU Fans

The first reviews for Avengers: Endgame have arrived. A direct followup to Avengers: Infinity War, Anthony and Joe Russo’s Endgame marks the long-awaited finale to Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the 21 MCU films released to date. The movie further promises to usher in a whole new paradigm for the franchise at large. Indeed, by the time the Avengers have defeated Thanos once and for all in the film, the MCU (and all the beings that populate it) could end up looking a whole lot different.

That being said, it was recently revealed that July’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, not Endgame, marks the true end to Phase 3. Even so, Endgame is expected to conclude the Infinity Saga, with Far From Home serving as an epilogue that feeds into Phase 4. With so much secrecy around the latter right now, it’s little wonder that Disney and Marvel have been jumpier than usual about keeping Endgame spoilers under wraps. Now, however, they’ve finally screened the movie for the press, ahead of its release in theaters this week.

Related: Every Avengers: Endgame Trailer, TV Spot & Clip

Disney and Marvel dropped the social media embargo on Endgame reactions last night, following its world premiere. The film has since been shown to critics in general, who have started weighing in with their thoughts and feelings about the movie’s quality, all the hype and subterfuge aside. For more on that, check out these spoiler-free excerpts from the early Endgame reviews.

Molly Freeman, Screen Rant

Ultimately, Avengers: Endgame is a whole lotta movie, but the filmmakers put every single second of its three-hour runtime to good use. Since Endgame concludes the Infinity Saga (the official title of the story thus far), Marvel and the filmmakers have the unenviable task of delivering a movie that satisfies all MCU fans. While there are bound to be aspects of Avengers: Endgame that don’t work for all viewers, for the most part the movie actually, truly offers a satisfying ending to the Infinity Saga.

Leah Greenblatt, EW

For the millions who watched half the Marvel universe vaporize onscreen in the final moments of 2018’s Infinity War… there had to be one last sequel to set it right. Nearly a year to the day, Endgame returns with the promise of many things: revenge, redemption, a runtime that defies the limits of most streetside parking meters. And the movie largely delivers, splashing its ambitious three-hour narrative across a sprawling canvas of characters, eras, and not-quite-insurmountable challenges.

Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

“Avengers: Endgame” has almost nothing on its mind but crossing the Ts and dotting the Is of a far-flung superhero saga, but to anyone with even a minor emotional stake in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it has all the fleeting satisfaction of a shot of whipped cream delivered directly from the spray can. And that’s not a bad thing… “Avengers: Endgame” is a popcorn epic, of the extra salt-and-butter variety.

Angie Han, Mashable

Avengers: Endgame is not the best Marvel movie ever made. It’s not the prettiest or the funniest; it won’t blow your mind with new ideas or complicated character development. But it is the most Marvel movie ever made, and there’s something incredible about that. This is Marvel flexing, building on over 10 years and 20-plus films of careful groundwork and intricate planning to show us what it can do that no other movie franchise can. As such, it’s an immensely satisfying finish to this era of the series.

Peter Debruge, Variety

Time and again, “Endgame” makes the point that family matters, whether that means biological ties… or those bound by duty. The final takeaway from this decade-long journey is that heroism isn’t defined by bravery or super-abilities, but by what one gives up for the greater good. Among the many frustrations of the Snap was that it robbed so many great characters – and gazillions of anonymous creatures throughout the galaxy – of proactively making that choice. “Endgame” isn’t exactly a do-over, but it builds to an infinitely more satisfying conclusion.

Todd McCarthy, THR

A gargantuan film by any standard, this three-hour extravaganza shuffles back into the action numerous significant characters seen in recent Marvel films as it wraps up an epic story in which the survival of the known universe is (once again) at stake. While constantly eventful and a feast for the eyes, it’s also notably more somber than its predecessors. But just when it might seem about to become too grim, Robert Downey Jr. rides to the rescue with an inspired serio-comic performance that reminds you how good he can be.

Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Suffice to say, “Endgame” delivers the payoff countless fans hoped for, even as it struggles to fuse that commercial mandate into a gratifying whole. There’s much to enjoy about this mishmash of tender goodbyes and last-minute strategies to save the universe, but after an intelligent first hour, “Endgame” amounts to a dense nostalgia trip. With “Infinity War,” it was thrilling to watch a mass-market movie let the bad guy win, and it’s less satisfying to see the Avengers clean up the mess one last time. The title of “Endgame” is misleading: This busy love letter to the biggest movie franchise of all time unleashes several endings at once, resulting in a fascinating – if at times messy – collection of competing agendas.

Laura Prudom, IGN

Endgame is a film that feels like it was made by fans, for fans – to the point where some scenes will undoubtedly be labeled as outright fanservice. But it’s hard to view those moments as cynical pandering so much as earned and effective homages to the moments, characters, and relationships we’ve grown so invested in over the past 11 years. Several scenes truly feel like a Jack Kirby splash page come to life, and that’s an utterly exhilarating realization, something that forces you to absorb the sheer scope of what Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and his team have assembled: an interconnected cinematic endeavor beyond comparison.

Altogether, it sounds like Endgame is a splashy, sprawling, messy, and ultimately triumphant love letter to the MCU’s fans. Nearly every review for the film so far notes that it’s overflowing with fan service moments, yet appear to agree that Endgame is largely justified in taking this approach. It seems that everyone involved with the movie’s production (from its ensemble cast to its equally massive crew) are also aware of the film’s significance, and stepped up their game accordingly. The end result might not be Marvel Studios’ best, but (to paraphrase one of these reviews) it’s certainly their Marvel-est movie, and should leave fans feeling emotionally satisfied… if also pretty drained, in the end.

Yes, as though it wasn’t already obvious, nearly every review makes it clear: Endgame should succeed in making viewers feel a wide range of emotions, by the time it’s over. Several people admitted to crying multiple times while watching the film in the early reactions, so everyone would do best to prepare themselves as necessary. Beyond that, it’s good to hear that the movie lives up to the staggering expectations overall, and concludes the Infinity Saga on an altogether strong note. Here’s to the next eleven years of MCU storytelling to come.

NEXT: The 5 Movies You Have to Watch to Understand Avengers: Endgame

Source: Various [see the above links]


2019-04-23 03:04:45

Sandy Schaefer

Anthem’s Release Still Considered Early Access, Key Content Delayed

Some bizarre information emerged from BioWare earlier today, as the development team revealed that the studio still considers Anthem to be an early access release and that nearly all of its key content from its initial roadmap will now be delayed indefinitely. The news comes hot on the heels of anticipation for the upcoming new Stronghold release, a move that would have inspired some excitement for a game that has too often been viewed as an exemplary instance of corporate greed and rushed development sinking an otherwise promising new IP.

Anthem‘s struggles are nothing new—in fact, they began in what fans initially believed to be the early access release period that saw Origin subscribers given a full week of play time before other PC, PS4, and Xbox One users were given the chance to join in. Lately, a player-made Anthem survey indicated the dire conditions that surround the game now, suggesting that over half the game’s initial playerbase had already quit the game permanently while a further third were considering leaving if something didn’t change relatively soon. After a flurry of initial Anthem patches saw developer BioWare attempt to stopgap some of the most egregious bugs and missing features, news about the game’s ongoing repair process has been strangely quiet.

Related: Former BioWare GM: Anthem’s Launch Was Tough To Watch

In an update posted to Reddit by Anthem team member Darokaz, staff updated fans on the status of the game as well as the silence that has been a troubling but consistent element of BioWare’s approach as of late. Troublingly, the post indicated that BioWare still inexplicably believes that Anthem is in early access release. The post then addressed Anthem Update 1.1.0, which introduced the new Stronghold called The Sunken Cell as well as a few other quality-of-life changes that have been requested for weeks now. Finally, the update dropped a bombshell on fans—a dramatic number of Act 1 features were being delayed, with little reason other than there being more pressing fixes given. Here’s what’s being delayed:

  • Mastery System
  • Guilds
  • Legendary Missions – Phase II
  • Weekly Stronghold Challenge
  • Leaderboards
  • Some Freeplay Events
  • Cataclysm

In short, nearly everything that has kept fans sticking around and hoping for something better in the near future will be delayed by BioWare as the studio continues to try and figure out how to sort out the cataclysmic mess that is Anthem. While Cataclysm was a huge focus on early content releases in the build-up to launch, its May release window is now being used to simply release information about the feature, which fans still don’t know about. The post also closes out by addressing the many complaints over Anthem‘s loot that have literally persisted since the beginning of the game’s launch, stating:

We have heard your concerns around end game loot. We agree that our loot and progressions systems need to be improved and we are working towards this. When we have more information to share, we will.

Basically, the most recent update on Anthem is that nothing is going right. Now seems to be an appropriate time for fans to panic, as months after the game’s release, the only thing Freelancers have to show for their continued support is one extra Stronghold and the promise that things will get better, just not on schedule. It’s an atonal message from a developer that already needed to do a lot to win back the faith many had placed in its ability to produce quality products, and it’s hard to imagine anything except an extremely negative backlash waiting in the wings for BioWare after the latest Anthem update brings nearly all bad news.

Next: Fixing BioWare’s Problems Are A Top Priority For Studio

Source: Darokaz


2019-04-23 01:04:37

Cody Gravelle

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 Leaks Online Early

The second episode of season 8 of Game of Thrones has leaked hours ahead of its airtime. This marks the second leak for the popular HBO series since last week. In an unrelated incident, the final season’s premiere became available on DirecTV hours before it was meant to air.

Based on George R.R Martin’s popular A Song of Ice and Fire book series, Game of Thrones quickly became a cultural phenomenon after HBO began airing the show in 2011. Although Game of Thrones hewed closely to the source material during its earlier seasons, the series eventually outpaced Martin’s novels. The decision was made to wrap up the beloved show with a shortened 8th season, which premiered last Sunday. Before Game of Thrones returned, fans had waited almost two years to discover the fates of their favorite characters. With only six installments in the final season, some longer than an average episode, excitement has been at an all-time high. Last week’s premiere set new streaming and ratings records for both the series and the network. Even the show’s trailer set record-breaking numbers for HBO.

Related: Game of Thrones Theory: Daenerys Is The Final Villain Of Season 8

Reddit and Twitter users (via: The Wrap) were quick to point out that Season 8’s second episode became available on Amazon Prime in Germany well ahead of its planned time slot. The installment was uploaded to Openload, but was quickly removed. Anticipation for these episodes has reached fever pitch, so spoilers are already showing up across the internet.

Some Game of Thrones fans will do everything that they can to track down even the tiniest tidbit of information on what’s to come. There are plenty of theories, but showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have had their hands full trying to keep the real story under wraps. The show has had its fair share of leaks over the years and every year it seems as though more measures must be taken to prevent this classified information from getting out. The scripts have been known to vanish as soon as the actors finish shooting their scenes.

Fans have been endlessly dissecting the season 8 premiere, but despite this, most viewers would prefer to remain spoiler-free. Much of the fun here is obviously watching the story as it unfolds. Many viewers are heartbroken that Game of Thrones is ending and hope to make this journey last as long as possible. Of course, there are also those would prefer to find out who will sit on the Iron Throne immediately. Any fans who want future episodes to still surprise them ought to stay off of social media a few hours before new episodes air.

More: How To Watch Game Of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 Live & Online

Source: @Bladimir (via: The Wrap)



2019-04-21 05:04:45

Jamie Gerber

Dreams – Early Access Launch Trailer



Dreams Creator Early Access is available now on PlayStation 4.

Watch more trailers here!

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2019-04-17 17:36:52

Swamp Thing Reportedly Shuts Down Production Early, Cutting Season 1 Short [Updated]

DC Universe’s live-action Swamp Thing TV show shuts down production early, cutting off season 1 at 10 episodes instead of the previously ordered 13. Prior to the launch of DC Universe last fall, Swamp Thing was put into development as one of the streaming service’s original series. It joined a slate of live-action TV shows created for DC Universe that also includes Titans and Doom Patrol as well as the still upcoming Stargirl. Swamp Thing adapts a DC Comics property to live-action for a dramatic take on the titular character created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson.

The Swamp Thing TV show started filming in late 2018 and was expected to wrap in May. Len Wiseman directed the Swamp Thing pilot and remained on board the series as an executive producer, alongside fellow producers James Wan (Aquaman), Gary Dauberman (The Nun) and Michael Clear (The Curse of La Llorona). Mark Verheiden (Daredevil, Constantine) serves as the series’ showrunner. Swamp Thing stars Andy Bean as Alec Holland and Derek Mears as Swamp Thing along with Crystal Reed as Abby Arcane. However, it appears the first season of Swamp Thing will be shorter than previously expected.

Related: All the DC Movies and TV Shows Streaming on DC Universe

Local North Carolina newspaper Wilmington Star News reports production on Swamp Thing season 1 was shut down before it was previously expected, with the season order being reduced from 13 episodes to 10. According to the report, local crew members were told the series will wrap production on episode 10 before stopping to allow the writers time to rewrite the ending. Further, several days of reshoots are expected to still take place. Screen Rant has reached out to DC Universe for comment. UPDATE: The Wrap reports the change in episode count was due to “creative decisions” according to a source with knowledge of the production.

The news of Swamp Thing production shutting down was seemingly confirmed by actress Virginia Madsen – who plays Maria Sunderland on the series – on Instagram Wednesday morning, who wrote, “I’m beyond sad. What a terrible decision. We have been cut to the core by those who have never set foot into the Swamp. And despite the rule I am going to use the hashtag. #swampthing.” The post was deleted shortly after. See a screenshot below.

As of now, it’s unclear why Swamp Thing production shut down. Wilmington Star News purports it’s part of a larger issue as the DC Universe streaming service evaluates its future, but that seems to be largely speculation – either from the publication itself or its sources close to the Swamp Thing production. As of recently, DC Universe appeared to have plenty of confidence in Swamp Thing, announcing the season 1 premiere date as May 31 at WonderCon 2019.

Further, it’s uncertain what will become of Swamp Thing now that DC Universe has cut down the show’s first season order by three episodes. It’s not a good sign, to be sure, and may spell the end of the series before it even begins. However, it may be the case that Swamp Thing will receive further episodes in a second season. After all, Titans season 1 turned its original finale into the season 2 premiere, so perhaps Swamp Thing will have a chance to tell the rest of the story the show’s creatives originally intended in future episodes. For now, fans will have to wait and see what becomes of Swamp Thing, and they’ll get to see the show for themselves when it launches late next month.

More: DC Needs More Stories Like Shazam – And Less Like Titans

Swamp Thing season 1 premieres Friday May 31st on DC Universe.

Source: Wilmington Star News

Update Source: The Wrap


2019-04-17 09:04:20

Molly Freeman

World War Z Crashing and Connectivity Launch Issues Spell Early Trouble

The video game adaptation of the World War Z universe is having unfortunate launch day problems which are severely crippling the experience for players. In today’s gaming landscape, it’s almost a given that a multiplayer-focused video game will have issues once the servers go online and the players get their hands on the game in the wild. However, World War Z is a particularly egregious offender, with multiple bugs essentially ruining the experience for many would-be fans.

Following the game’s launch today, April 16, players across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC have reported numerous issues with the co-op zombie shooter. Perhaps the most upsetting issue can be found on the PC version, for which many players report the game crashing to the desktop before even reaching the main menu screen. Talk about a bad first impression.

Related: World War Z Launch Trailer Emphasizes Co-Op Fun

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions aren’t faring much better. We’re playing on PlayStation 4 for review, and simply cannot connect to the multiplayer servers, effectively blocking off the core gameplay appeal of World War Z: online co-op. The main menu screens are constantly bombarded with “unable to connect” messages, making menus a chore to navigate. Worst of all, we were unable to complete the second chapter of the New York episode; upon reaching the end of the level, the game hangs and then returns to the main menu with a “disconnected” message. While Class XP and currency are retained, precious Weapon XP is not.

Unfortunately, players eager to jump into World War Z have little choice but to wait and see how developer Saber Interactive addresses these connectivity issues. Hopefully, the issues are entirely related to online servers, which can be fixed without the assistance of a game-altering patch. To that end, World War Z’s Twitter feed promised, “the additional servers we’re spinning up will fix this in a couple hours.” That was fourteen hours ago from the time of this writing, so either Saber was premature in their estimates of how long it would take to fix the game, or it will take more work than they previously expected.

The latest updates from the World War Z Twitter feed expressed awareness at the server issues, and promised that the team at Saber are working to fix things and make the game playable online, while asking for patience as they iron out the issues. Time will tell as to whether the game will be fully functional by the end of the day or if day one customers will have to wait days (or longer) before the game is running smoothly.

The worst part about this whole mess is that, even in an offline state without the aid of the game’s main appeal, online multiplayer, World War Z is still a ton of fun. Firearm combat feels fast and visceral, and emptying clips at the endless horde of zombies, slowly chipping away at the swarm, is deeply satisfying. The structured missions offer a cinematic flair lacking in other co-op shooters, and the character progression appears deep and rewarding. Of course, none of these positive traits will matter in the long run if Saber can’t get their act together and make everything run smoothly behind the scenes. Here’s hoping World War Z starts firing on all cylinders sooner, rather than later. If Saber takes too long to fix it, WWZ will be known more for server issues and not working than for frantic and exciting zombie action.

More: World War Z Movie Franchise May Be Dead, But Its Video Game Isn’t



2019-04-16 03:04:47

Zak Wojnar

Captain America: Civil War Happened Too Early In The MCU – But Marvel Had No Choice

Many Marvel fans complained that Captain America: Civil War should have happened after a lot more heroes had been established in the MCU – but in truth it couldn’t have happened any later. The film is based on a classic Marvel Comics story from 2006 that saw the entire superhero community divided over a Super Human Registration Act.

There’s a sense in which the Civil War comic set the scene for the modern comic book industry. It was the first Summer Event of the 2000s, and it genuinely did transform the Marvel Universe for years to come. Although it starred Captain America and Iron Man, every single superhero not gifted powers by a mutant gene was drawn into the Civil War; from Carol Danvers’ (then Ms. Marvel) to Spider-Man, from the Punisher to the Fantastic Four. When the dust settled, Captain America had been arrested as a criminal – and he was executed by a sniper before he could stand trial. Tony Stark was placed in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D., while several major heroes were left as fugitives from justice, a so-called “Secret Avengers” team. The scale of it all was absolutely staggering, and – even more impressively – it was possible to chart the course of the event through all the main issues and the countless tie-ins. No other Marvel Comics event has matched it in terms of consistency and careful plotting.

Related: Every Captain America Movie, Ranked

The MCU version of Civil War, told as part of Captain America 3, was different. Each side had just a handful of heroes; Iron Man had Vision, Black Widow, War Machine, Spider-Man, and Black Panther, while Captain America had Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man, Falcon, Winter Soldier, and Hawkeye. The Airport Battle may have been a franchise highlight, but it didn’t really begin to compare to the comic book climax, when vast numbers of heroes slugged it out in Times Square. Comic book fans cried foul, insisting that Marvel should really have waited for a bigger line-up before doing this plot.

Lovers of the comics tend to forget that there’s a crucial difference between the comic medium and the movies. In the comics, thanks to a sliding timeline, no superhero ever really ages or retires; the Fantastic Four were introduced in 1961 and are still Marvel’s First Family to this day. In contrast, the movies are restricted by the fact that actors age and contracts expire. What’s more, in a shared cinematic universe, it’s much harder to recast the franchise stars; the MCU pulled it off with the likes of the Hulk and War Machine back in Phase 1, but they just couldn’t do it now, when their stars have become household names. The MCU creates phenomenal storytelling possibilities for Marvel Studios, but it also imposes restrictions.

Marvel visionary Kevin Feige understood that any adaptation of Civil War simply had to include both Captain America and Iron Man. In actual fact, that reportedly became something of a bone of contention in Marvel back in 2015, with Marvel Entertainment’s Ike Perlmutter reluctant to sign off on Robert Downey Jr.’s pay-check for the film and proposing using another character for the pro-registration side instead. This was only one of many issues between Feige and Perlmutter, and matters became so acrimonious that Disney intervened and forced a corporate restructure. Marvel Studios was separated out from the rest of Marvel Entertainment, Feige was placed in charge, and he promptly signed up Downey for Captain America: Civil War. That internal Civil War shows just how important Feige felt Iron Man was to the story, regardless of who was on his team.

Given the contracts of both Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. are believed to be coming to an end with Avengers: Endgame – an fact Evans talked about as early as 2014 – the truth is that this plot could only happen in Phase 3. Granted, that means a smaller cast than the comic book version of Civil War, and a less spectacular final battle, but it’s better that than losing the main characters from the story and abandoning their arcs altogether.

More: Joss Whedon’s Avengers Films Never Understood Captain America


2019-04-15 05:04:18

Thomas Bacon

10 Times Early Funko Pops Spoiled Movies

Funko Pops are highly collectible. People all over the world collect characters from their favorite movies or TV shows to show off to all their friends. You just need to make sure to keep them in the boxes to return their value!

However, Funko Pops can do so much more than bring joy. They can also spoil big upcoming releases by showing off a character that was supposed to remain a secret. In some cases, the Funko Pop ruins a big, important moment in the movie. Here are 10 Funko Pops that spoiled movies. After you read this, maybe you should wait until after a film comes out before buying your next figurine.

RELATED: 10 Best Star Wars Funko Pops, Ranked

10 Captain America: Civil War

There are two major fights in Captain America: Civil War. The airport fight was a ton of fun, and it was even better with the reveal of Scott Lang turning into Giant-Man. Or at least, it would have been thrilling had Funko not released an Ant-Man figurine called Giant-Man. Collectors knew well in advance Lang would turn into a giant. It wasn’t necessarily the biggest surprise of the movie, but it was a fun bit to witness. We suppose this also would’ve been spoiled for people if they looked at the concept art beforehand.

9 Justice League

Superman sacrifices his life at the end of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. We all saw that dust floating just over his coffin in the final moments, so we all assumed he would be back at some point in Justice League. Still, it doesn’t excuse Funko releasing a Superman figurine explicitly for Justice League. It proved definitively the team would need to resurrect Superman to defeat Steppenwolf, and at that point, all the tension from the movie really goes away. After all, it’s not like they would kill Superman in two movies back-to-back.

8 Alien: Covenant

Alien: Covenant was Ridley Scott’s way to bring the franchise back to form after the highly criticized Prometheus. No matter what, when you are watching an Alien movie, you can expect most of the cast to die.

RELATED: Alien Movies & TV Shows – Explaining The Future Of The Franchise

It was still rather unfortunate to see a Funko figure depicting one of these deaths in detail. Christopher Oram is the Chief Science Officer on the Covenant. He isn’t the most important character of the film, but the Funko figure still shows him meeting his demise on the wrong end of a facehugger. You would think as a Science Officer, we would have enough common sense to stay away from strange alien life. Here’s hoping one day soon we’ll get to see Alien: Awakening.

7 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was the last movie in the franchise, and hopefully, it will be the last one for a while. Before the movie was released, everyone was wondering whether Orlando Bloom would return to his role as Will Turner. At World’s End left the door open for him to return, and the movie did end up using him. Unfortunately, the big reveal was spoiled in a Funko Pop labeled “Ghost of Will Turner.”

6 Thor: Ragnarok

As soon as it was revealed the latest Thor movie would revolve around the Ragnarok storyline, fans assumed Surtur would appear in the film. Not only did the Thor: Ragnarok Funko Pop reveal this, it also showed Thor carrying Surtur’s head. There’s actually much more to the movie, considering Surtur only appears in the very beginning and very end. Perhaps this is less of a spoiler and more of just a reveal of what happens in the first five minutes of the movie.

5 How To Train Your Dragon: The Lost World

The How to Train Your Dragon trilogy came to an end in 2019. From the trailers, we all knew Toothless was going to meet a Light Fury. The film had plenty of awesome moments, but none were as touching as the very end when Hiccup allows Toothless to leave with his new love. Most everyone could have guessed Toothless would live happily ever after with his new lady dragon, but Funko revealed all in a set of figures showing their babies.

4 Captain Marvel

Jude Law’s role in Captain Marvel was shrouded in mystery for the longest time. At one point, outlets even reported he would be playing Mar-Vell. When the movie finally came out, it was revealed he was actually portraying the villain Yon-Rogg.

RELATED: 25 Weird Details About Captain Marvel’s Anatomy

Of course, Funko ruined the fun on that one. People may not have been able to tell it was Jude Law due to the mask, but comic book movie fans are pretty good at drawing conclusions.

3 The Predator (2018)

Not very many people saw the newest Predator movie. That means not a lot of people were probably bothered by a figurine showing off some of the plot development. The figurine in question shows Jacob Tremblay’s character wearing the Predator mask. It spoils the Predators’ plan in the movie to fuse their DNA with the genetic make-up of people with autism. This particular Funko spoiler likely flew under the radar because the movie tanked at the box office.

2 Shazam!

Billy Batson finally makes his big-screen debut in 2019’s Shazam! This is the most recent film on the list, so if you still haven’t seen it yet, you should probably keep scrolling. Back in February, Funko released the official Shazam! lineup, and it revealed something previously confirmed in reports. The entire Shazam family will make an appearance in the film to some capacity. The Shazam family has become an integral part of the comics, so it’s great to see they’ll have a role in the film and probably any sequels.

1 Avengers: Infinity War

We’re not sure if this one should technically count as a spoiler. After all, the Funko depicts something that does not actually happen in the movie, but we were all so sure it would. The Funko Pop in question shows the Hulk busting out of Iron-Man’s Hulkbuster suit. The problem is that this never happens. Bruce Banner never turns into the Hulk outside of the first five minutes of the film. We all thought we got a huge spoiler, but instead, it was a major red herring.

NEXT: 10 Funko Pops Every MCU Fans Should Own


2019-03-28 09:03:38

Mike Bedard

Anthem’s Sales Figures Could Mean More Publishers Stop Early Copies

Anthem, despite all evidence pointing to the contrary, actually performed pretty well from a sales perspective during its first month of release. The game topped US sales charts, and immediately became the second-most popular game of 2019 behind the much better-received Kingdom Hearts 3. Not only was Anthem successful from a monthly sales standpoint despite struggling to move physical copies, it was also close to a studio-best for developer BioWare as its second best launch month behind Mass Effect 3.

How Anthem‘s sales success came to be is a more fascinating story than just the numbers, though, and it could point toward a larger trend that threatens the transparency of the industry. Anthem was one of the first major releases of 2019 that failed to provide advance review copies to critics ahead of its launch. Instead, reviewers were entered into the PC early access week that was reserved for people who had purchased a subscription to Origin on top of Anthem. As such, in the week leading up to launch, Anthem was mostly reviewed as a work-in-progress, with many critics rightfully asserting that their early impressions could be off compared to the title’s endgame.

Related: Don’t Play Anthem Until It’s A Full Game

It was pretty tough getting to the endgame, and even then, the player totals were sparse. As a result, most Anthem reviews weren’t out for longer than a few days prior to the game’s official launch, and those who may have been swayed were also keenly aware that 5 or 10 hours with a title’s endgame content often isn’t enough to make a completely accurate assessment. Despite being a shambles at launch and doing very little to improve since then, Anthem crushed its first month of sales all the same.

What does that mean? For EA and BioWare, it appears to be a lesson learned: Mass Effect: Andromeda completely tanked thanks largely to some incredibly negative review buzz, but it’s hard to suggest that Anthem is a better game in any capacity (outside of face animations, sure). So the publisher/developer duo did something different with Anthem. It cut off the amount of time word could circulate about the game and ensure that, regardless of critical feedback, fans who were sold on it by the game’s gorgeous E3 presentations – which weren’t fully implemented into the game, by the way – would remain sold on it until they got to try it for themselves. Mike Ybarra infamously suggested that, instead of listening to critics, people interested in Anthem should listen to streamers and content creators instead – just weeks before it was revealed Ninja was paid $1 million just to play Apex Legends for a day, coincidentally by EA, who also publishes that title.

Look, there are plenty of reasons people might have picked up Anthem in spite of the early reviews that strongly indicated they should avoid it, and not all of them have the same sinister undertones as deliberately trying to mask a game’s quality prior to full release. A lot of Dragon Age fans saw Anthem as, functionally, a Kickstarter campaign to get BioWare to work on the next iteration of that beloved franchise. Anthem also had an incredible amount of hype swirling around it after years of anticipation and careful glimpses into its development, buoyed by a restricted hands-on session that had many outlets reporting good things about the game. For many, their minds were made up prior to any gameplay footage even being shown, and poor reviews won’t sway people who want to decide for themselves.

Those factors were definitely at play in Anthem‘s sales success, but it’s hard to shake the lingering sense that they weren’t nearly as important as the fact that EA and BioWare made sure critics couldn’t get a full review out with enough time to impact pre-orders or day one purchases. We’re certainly not trying to say that this was a case of a publisher and developer deliberately shipping a game both parties believed wasn’t good. If anything, it’s clear that BioWare really believes in Anthem, and the developer has been admirably trying to salvage it with frantic updates and community discussions ever since day one. What did happen, though, was that a game that wasn’t even close to what had been promised managed to have a decent bottom line all the same.

That in and of itself isn’t troubling if not for the likelihood it could become an even more predominant industry practice than it already is. Fans rely on critics to help them make decisions about where to spend their money. It’s unlikely anyone who was ever a diehard fan of a game truly decided against its purchase because of a bad review, but those who are on the fence about a title and strapped for cash benefit greatly from added information. We’re swiftly moving into an era where that won’t be possible anymore.

Anthem is the worst-reviewed BioWare game ever, and it is being routinely shredded by its own sub-reddit. It’s also the best selling game in its launch month. These two facts are no longer mutually exclusive from each other, and if publishers look at Anthem and see a safety valve for unexpectedly poor receptions, it might become a very common phenomenon over the next few years.

More: Diablo 3 Developer Perfectly Explains Anthem’s Biggest Issues


2019-03-20 08:03:20

Cody Gravelle