Dog the Bounty Hunter Targeted in Half a Million Dollar Scam

Dog the Bounty Hunter star Duane “Dog” Chapman has been targeted in a scam for nearly half a million dollars. And he wasn’t the only celebrity taken advantage of.

Chapman was introduced to American TV viewers with his show Dog the Bounty Hunter, which premiered on A&E in 2004. The show followed him and his wife, Beth, who recently passed away after battling stage 4 throat cancer, as they located and arrested people who broke the terms of their bail agreements. On the ride to jail, Chapman and his family counseled the ex-cons on how they should start over and leave their life of drugs and crime behind. The show was canceled in 2012, but Chapman’s gone on to star in several successful spinoffs, including Dog’s Most Wanted. This year, however, has been particularly hard for him. Following his wife’s death, his store was burglarized and personal items of Beth’s were taken. Now, he’s caught up in a huge financial scam – and he’s not the only one.

Related: 15 Secrets From Dog the Bounty Hunter You Had No Idea About 

According to TMZ, Chapman was sent a check for nearly half a million dollars – $430,000 to be exact – in exchange to do a speaking gig in Dubai. What sounded too good to be true turned out to be a huge scam. Once the large check made it to Chapman’s office, it set off alarm bells. Sources told TMZ it all began last month when Chapman’s literary agent, Alan Nevins at Renaissance Talent, received an email supposedly from the office of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan – the Deputy Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates – offering an impressive fee for Chapman to speak at an economic empowerment convention for small business owners. Only, things got sketchy real quick.

The alleged deputy prime minster’s office would only communicate with Nevins via email, claiming it was because of the time difference, and when he reached out to the host hotel to ask about the event, they said no such convention was taking place there. Then, Nevins was told they were having trouble wiring the funds and that they needed his personal bank info. That’s when they pulled out. But lo and behold, a check was sent to them from a Portland construction company – but with a catch. Once the check was deposited, Chapman was to donate $250,000 to their organization. When Nevins contacted the construction company who supposedly cut the check, they said they had no knowledge of it. That’s when they knew for sure it was a scam. Local and federal authorities told TMZ this is a wide-spread scheme that’s affected several celebrities, but they wouldn’t name who.

Considering that $250,000 would’ve come directly out of Chapman’s own bank account, he was very lucky they figured out the scam before he wrote the check. Hopefully, next time he’ll be more careful when investigating new business opportunities that seem too good to be true.

Next: 15 Secrets From Dog The Bounty Hunter You Had No Idea About 

Source: TMZ

2019-08-12 07:08:55

Sarah Beauchamp

Smuggler’s Run Has Already Passed 1 Million Pilots At Galaxy’s Edge

The Smuggler’s Run attraction has already passed one million pilots at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The Star Wars theme park at Disneyland has only been open for just under two months now, with the second Galaxy’s Edge attraction due to open in Florida’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort on Aug. 29.

The two parks were first announced back in 2015, roughly four months before the Star Wars film franchise set off in a new direction with J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now, some four years later, the film franchise is getting set to release its final installment in the new trilogy, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, with Abrams once again back in the director’s chair, and Star Wars fans are enjoying the first of the two Galaxy’s Edge parks in huge numbers. While Galaxy’s Edge offers fans a consummate degree of authentic Star Wars experiences that range from drinking Blue Milk to building their own lightsabers, one of the most popular attractions in the park is Smuggler’s Run, which allows fans to pilot the legendary Millennium Falcon.

Related: What to Expect From the Restaurant and Cantina at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

In fact, the popularity of Smuggler’s Run has grown so much in the short amount of time it’s been open to the public that the actual numbers are stunning. According to Polygon, Galaxy’s Edge sees roughly 24,000 guests pass through its Smuggler’s Run attraction per day, with its millionth guest having recently taken flight in the Millennium Falcon. The heavy numbers are further proof to critics that Galaxy’s Edge isn’t suffering from any attendance issues whatsoever.

The millionth guest to ride Smuggler’s Run was 8-year-old Jonathan Ridgeway, who experienced the attraction on July 16. There’s currently no word as to what sort of celebration was thrown for Ridgeway after he completed his milestone journey, but there is a photo of the young Star Wars fan and his family, seated in the Millennium Falcon in the company of Chewbacca. Disneyland Resort also released other photos of the Ridgeway family and Chewbacca, one of which showcases the family toasting the occasion with Blue and Green Milks. The rather short wait time to experience Smuggler’s Run had previously been around 30-90 minutes, prompting some to suspect that the park wasn’t as popular as had been expected. On the contrary, it seems that Disney’s stellar crowd control was able to keep wait times short, while still managing to allow a huge number of people through.

Of course, it’s still very early days for Galaxy’s Edge, with the Disneyland park still only operating one of its two major attractions. The second attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is expected to be a major affair, though it won’t open in the Disneyland park until Jan. 7, 2020. Meanwhile, the new attraction will open on Dec. 5 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, just over three months after opening its Galaxy’s Edge doors to an undoubtedly very eager public.

Next: How The Millennium Falcon Ride Actually Works at Galaxy’s Edge

Source: Polygon

2019-07-24 02:07:56

Mike Jones

Avengers: Endgame $7 Million Away From Breaking Avatar’s BO Record

The ongoing battle for all-time box office supremacy between James Cameron’s Avatar and this year’s Avengers: Endgame is nearly at a close, as Avengers: Endgame is now just $7 million away from breaking Avatar‘s decade-old record as the highest-grossing film in history.

Projected to have already surpassed Avatar at the worldwide box office by this point back during its first couple of weeks in theaters, Avengers: Endgame has snaked its way towards its coveted goal a bit more slowly than anticipated. Though it beat James Cameron’s sci-fi epic in the domestic box office ring during its initial run earlier this summer, Avengers: Endgame has still yet to top Avatar in the worldwide market, despite getting a theatrical re-release late last month. Avengers: Endgame is by no means a disappointment for Disney by any means, however, as the thought of coming so close to Avatar’s incredible $2.787 billion figure – let alone exceeding it – likely seemed unthinkable prior to Avengers: Endgame’s premiere.

Related: Every Upcoming Avatar Movie (2021-2027)

According to VarietyAvengers: Endgame scored another $2.8 million at this weekend’s box office, inching it’s all-time gross revenue to $2.78 billion and putting the film just $7.2 million away from finally shattering Avatar’s long-time record. Reasonably, this most recent injection of moviegoer money can be traced to Spider-Man: Far From Home’s second weekend in theaters, especially when adding the weight of the deep, intrinsic plot connections between the films.

Because its not known how much longer Disney will keep the Avengers: Endgame re-release in theater, things have really come down to the wire in this battle of the ages of this and last decade’s biggest blockbusters. Avengers: Endgame co-director Anthony Russo has previously implied that it ultimately won’t matter to him whether or not the film surpasses Avatar’s previously untouchable success, but one has to wonder if he and the rest of Avengers: Endgame’s filmmakers will change their tune if the movie suddenly comes out on top in the coming days. Of course, even if Avengers: Endgame achieves this impressive milestone, the coming storm of Avatar 2 still looms on the horizon of 2021.

The odds of film history being made by Avengers: Endgame over the course of the next week or so are looking quite likely, and the newly set bar stands to potentially be near-unconquerable, with Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Force Awakens before it having each only been able to climb past the $2 billion mark. Of course, the list of history’s highest grossing films is considerably top-heavy with newer films, so it’s likely only a matter of time before Avengers: Endgame’s likely throne is taken by another, even more wildly successful movie.

Next: Every Upcoming Marvel Movie (2019 – 2021)

Source: Variety

2019-07-14 03:07:35

Phillip Tinner

Avengers: Endgame Sells More Than $120 Million in Presale Tickets

The box office for Avengers: Endgame is already looking promising, with over $120 million in ticket presales already earned domestically. Over the last several years, Marvel Studios has made the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe film one of the most anticipated movies of the year around the globe. The popularity of the franchise is clearly seen at the box office, especially after The Avengers grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide. Since then, Marvel Studios has released six films that made over a billion dollars, with Captain Marvel being the most recent.

But, the success of the entire MCU can most prominently be seen with Avengers: Infinity War, which is the fourth highest grossing film of all-time. At just over $2 billion worldwide, it’s easily the biggest MCU film to date, but it also put an expectation on Avengers: Endgame to do the same. There’s just a few days left before the film begins to roll out in theaters around the globe, and box office projections believe Avengers: Endgame is heading for the biggest worldwide opening weekend ever and could come near $900 million.

Related: How to Avoid Avengers: Endgame Spoilers: A Guide

A majority of this sum will come from overseas, but Avengers: Endgame is still expected to do extremely well stateside. This interest can already be seen in ticket presales too. According to Deadline, the 22nd film in the MCU has already earned an estimated $120 million in presales, with some estimations pointing to $140 million. It’s not clear if all of these tickets are for showings in the opening weekend though.

This figure is not terribly surprising, as the high level of interest in Avengers: Endgame became all the more clear from the second that tickets went on sale. The rush to secure tickets to opening weekend showings crashed several ticket selling services – and the movie still managed to break records despite this. Even though this $120-$140M range pales in comparison to the lofty predictions of a $300M opening weekend, the presales alone would be a top 10 MCU opening weekend.

These estimates are sure to continue climbing too, as there are still a few days left to buy advanced tickets for this weekend, and there’s now even more opportunities to do so. AMC recently revealed that they’re opening up a record amount of their theaters for round-the-clock showings of Avengers: Endgame. Even though the start times will be incredibly late or early (depending on how you look at it), the anticipation for the film will still likely drive fans to these showings. And, now that AMC is expanding their showtimes to meet the demand, other theater chains may follow suit.

Of course, the reactions that will come from the world premiere of Avengers: Endgame and the eventual reviews will also likely have an impact on these sales. If the reactions/reviews are positive and promise a worthy conclusion to the 22-film story, then it should be expected that Avengers: Endgame‘s tickets will continue selling at high volumes – while negative or underwhelming ones could slightly deter interest. Either way, the film is well on its way to being financially successful.

MORE: Avengers: Endgame Recap: The Most Important Things To Remember From Each Movie

Source: Deadline

2019-04-22 07:04:23

Cooper Hood

EA Paid Ninja $1 Million To Play Apex Legends At Launch, Report Says

According to a new report from Reuters, EA spent a cool $1 million paying Tyler “Ninja” Blevins to stream Apex Legends and then tweet about it after the game launched on February 4. Ninja is no stranger to being paid for hosting or attending events, but still, the amount he received for a day’s worth of advertising is exorbitant even by his lofty standards.

Ninja has over 13 million followers on Twitch, and has been one of the driving forces behind Fortnite‘s continued popularity, embedding himself in its community so much that developer Epic Games has routinely courted him to be part of their advertising model. When Ninja played Apex Legends in February, he placed an “Apex Legends partner” graphic on his stream, but didn’t overtly address what that label meant. Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek also labeled his stream that day with the same tag, and hasn’t disclosed much more, although in Shroud’s case he has admitted to being involved in the game’s development as a consultant.

Related: Activision Blizzard and EA Make List of “Most Overpaid” CEOs

The report from Reuters seems credible, although it may be difficult to completely verify how much Ninja really made. According to Kotaku, two people who have worked with Ninja previously have both stated he was paid $600,000 for an event last year. If that’s true, it’s within reason that EA really did shell out a seven-figure sum just to have one of the most popular streamers in the world advertise its newest game. It worked, too – Apex Legends is still a mainstay on Twitch’s homepage, frequently hovering in the Top 10 streamed games and flirting with Top 3 positions fairly often.

An EA rep has since stated that the company had a “multi-part marketing program” for Apex Legends that included “paid engagements with some content creators” that were designed to introduce the game to communities faster than it would have been otherwise. The rep also stated that paid streams only lasted for about a day after Apex Legends released, and that all streams after that were “completely organic.” EA insisted there was a disclosure agreement with Ninja, but it didn’t provide details, and it’s unclear exactly what was expected of Ninja during his Apex Legends stream.

While it’s clear the marketing move paid off handsomely for EA and developer Respawn Entertainment, it’s also the latest ugly reminder that the Twitch platform, and streaming and video content in general, can be easily exploited for gain. The lack of knowledge about this payment and how much it influenced the rise of Apex Legends is uncomfortable and best, and insidious at worst. Millions of adolescents consume content from Twitch, YouTube, and other services daily, and if they aren’t being explicitly informed with a reasonable frequency that they’re essentially watching paid advertisements from content creators, then they’re being exploited, plain and simple. Unfortunately, the end doesn’t seem to be in sight, as EA and Ninja’s latest endeavor has clearly proven.

More: Apex Legends Datamining Not A Reliable Source, Warns Respawn

Source: Reuters (via Kotaku)

2019-03-13 02:03:35
Cody Gravelle

Dragon Ball Super: Broly Passes $100 Million at Worldwide Box Office

Dragon Ball Super: Broly has just passed $100 million at the worldwide box office, making it the highest-grossing film in the Dragon Ball franchise. The movie was released in Japan on December 14th, and hit theaters in North America on January 16th.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly is the 20th film in the popular anime series, and the first movie released under the Dragon Ball Super brand. Written by Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, the movie was announced in December of 2017, and was expected to explore the history of the Saiyans. It was later confirmed that the movie would pit Goku, Vegeta, and Frieza against the Legendary Super Saiyan, Broly. While the movie is Broly’s fourth appearance in a feature film, this is the first time Goku’s longtime nemesis has appeared in-canon. The same holds true for Gogeta, the fused form of Goku and Vegeta.

Related: Dragon Ball Game – Project Z Announced With New Trailer

New totals from Box Office Mojo reveal that Dragon Ball Super: Broly has made nearly $102 million at the worldwide box office, including $30 million in the United States and $71 million in foreign markets. The movie dominated at the Japanese box office. Broly is now the third-highest grossing anime film to be released in the United States. Broly also topped the highest-grossing film in its own franchise, Dragon Ball: Evolution, the first and only live-action film in the series.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly‘s success at the box office is impressive based on a few factors. It’s important to note that the animated movie only had a budget of $8.5 million. The last two films, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F both made significantly less but were still considered successful. The two movies grossed $51.2 million and $64.8 million respectively. Broly nearly doubled those numbers. Also, Broly was only released in select theaters in the United States, which limited its audience.

Not only did it do well in theaters, but the film also received a great deal of praise from both fans and critics, who felt that the movie added a new level of depth to the fan-favorite villain by giving him a fresh new backstory.

It’s hard to say where Dragon Ball will go from here. With the conclusion of the “Tournament of Power” saga, Dragon Ball Super ended after a 131-episode run. Akira Toriyama has already confirmed that a new Dragon Ball project is in the works. At this point it’s not clear if a new TV series is planned, or if another movie is on the horizon. However, the unprecedented success of Broly is an indication that a second Dragon Ball Super movie is a major possibility.

More: Dragon Ball Super: Broly Ending Explained

Source: Box Office Mojo

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2019-02-06 01:02:13

Aquaman Crosses $500 Million at Worldwide Box Office

Aquaman – the latest film in Warner Bros.’ DCEU franchise – continues to make bank worldwide, crossing the $500 million mark at the box office. After the critical and commercial disaster that was Justice League, DC Films was badly in need of a win. Unlike Marvel Studios, which released three new MCU films in 2018, DC took nearly the entire year off. Thankfully, director James Wan’s Aquaman movie seems to have given the DCEU the win it so sorely needed, and hopefully gotten the franchise back headed in the right direction.

While Aquaman’s critical fortunes didn’t end up as positive as it first appeared they would – the film first settled in the mid-70s on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, before subsequently falling to the mid-60s – the 82 percent audience score for Arthur Curry’s adventure is much more telling. Moviegoers are having a lot of fun with Aquaman, and while it earned the lowest domestic opening weekend total in DCEU history with $67.4 million, that was still more than enough to take the top spot stateside. Where Aquaman is really impressing though is with its overseas grosses, a measure in which the film has already passed both Wonder Woman and Man of Steel.

Related: Aquaman: The Best Justice League Easter Egg You Missed

As reported by THR, Aquaman earned an additional $11.2 million domestically on Christmas Eve, giving the Jason Momoa-fronted blockbuster the final push it needed to cross the $500 million mark worldwide. Despite Aquaman just releasing this weekend in the U.S., the film has received a staggered international release over the last few weeks, and the strategy has paid off in a major way. Aquaman now sits at an about $80 million domestic haul, plus over $420 million from foreign markets.

While the DCEU’s future plans remain mostly unclear – for example, whether or not Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill will ever return to their respective roles of Batman and Superman still hasn’t been officially addressed – it’s hard to imagine Aquaman not getting a sequel at this point. It’s long since passed the threshold it needed to cross to become profitable, and topping the worldwide total grosses of Justice League and Man of Steel seems highly probable. It’s a bit less likely Aquaman will swim past Suicide Squad on the DCEU worldwide chart, but certainly not impossible if the film’s current momentum holds.

Aquaman looks set to firmly establish star Momoa as an A-lister, and luckily for Warner Bros., the actor is already under contract for another DCEU movie. One person not under contract for a sequel is director Wan, who recently hinted that he wasn’t sure if he even wanted to make another superhero movie so quickly after Aquaman, and might instead opt to do something else. For DC’s sake though, hopefully he’ll sign on, as after so many years being made fun of, Wan and Momoa have officially made Aquaman cool.

More: Aquaman 2: How The Ending Sets Up An Even Better Sequel

Source: THR

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2018-12-25 05:12:34

Avengers: Endgame Trailer Sets New Record with 289 Million Views

The first trailer for Avengers: Endgame has set a new record with a staggering 289 million views in its first 24 hours online. It breaks a record previously set by Marvel themselves back in November 2017, when the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War was watched 230 million times in a single day.

Marketing campaigns for blockbusters usually begin around 7 to 8 months before a film’s theatrical release, but Marvel has defied expectations with the much-anticipated first trailer for Avengers: Endgame. The first trailer released yesterday, less than five months before the movie will hit theaters. This kind of late marketing approach is the same as the one adopted for Avengers: Infinity War, which proved tremendously successful. In the case of Avengers: Endgame, though, Marvel added to the hype by refusing to even confirm the film’s title until the trailer drop.

Related: Avengers: Endgame Trailer Breakdown – 30 Story Reveals & Secrets You Missed

It’s clearly worked out perfectly for Marvel Studios, who have taken to Twitter to thank fans for making this the most viewed trailer in history – with a stunning 289 million views in its first 24 hours online. That figure will include all digital channels, such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. It’s just the latest success for Marvel; of the top 20 trailers viewed in the first 24 hours, seven are Marvel properties released in the last few years.

This partly reflects the fact that the way audiences consume trailers has changed. Back in 1998, Lucasfilm partnered with Apple to release the second trailer for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace as a download. It was viewed as a tremendous coup for Apple, with Quicktime downloaded more than 600,000 times that day and 6.4 million times over the next three weeks. Lucasfilm – perhaps unwittingly – set a pattern; over the last 20 years, a trailer release has become an online event. That’s especially the case for franchise films like Avengers: Endgame.

Marvel played a smart game with the trailer for Avengers: Endgame, though, and it definitely seems to have paid off. They refused to offer any real clues as to when the trailer would drop – the most Kevin Feige would do was confirm that it would be in 2018. They then basically sat back and watched the fandom get itself increasingly excited. The last few weeks have seen a spate of rumors as to when the trailer would drop, and fans have even launched online petitions begging Marvel to release it. Marvel essentially increased the buzz about next year’s Avengers film by doing absolutely nothing – which is basically every advertiser’s dream. When the trailer did finally come out, though, it’s clear that everybody was primed to watch it as quickly as possible – and probably multiple times, too. Thus for Marvel Studios, Avengers: Endgame has become yet another record-breaker, reminding the world that they’re now one of the most important cinematic brands of all.

More: Highest Grossing Franchises At The Box Office

Source: Marvel Studios

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2018-12-08 12:12:48

Crazy Rich Asians Bombs at China Box Office, Opening to $1.2 Million

Crazy Rich Asians debuted in China this weekend, and promptly bombed at the box office. While the movie was a runaway hit in the U.S., grossing $173 million domestically, it has failed to translate that success abroad, earning only $64 million from international markets.

The highest grossing rom-com of the year, Crazy Rich Asians, based on the book of the same name by Kevin Kwan, tells the story of a Chinese-American woman (Constance Wu) who travels with her boyfriend (Henry Golding) to Singapore, where she discovers she’s unwittingly been dating the heir to an incredibly wealthy family and one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors.

Related: Crazy Rich Asians’ Michelle Yeoh & Awkwafina Reunite For Action Film

Unfortunately, while Crazy Rich Asians was a smash success in America, the film earned a mere $1.2 million during its first weekend in China. Exhibitor Relations was the first to report the official box office numbers, but there had been much speculation about the film’s chance of success in China leading up to its release. Some industry prognosticators predicted that the level of success the movie achieved in America would be unlikely in the Asian market, for exactly the same reasons it smashed records domestically. While a film with an entirely Asian cast is refreshing and groundbreaking in the U.S., it’s not at all unusual in China, where almost all feature films include completely Asian casts.

The timing of the film’s Chinese release also likely played a part in its disappointing debut. Crazy Rich Asians was released on August 15 in the U.S. and garnered much buzz, but by its November 30 release in China, that buzz had significantly died down. The large gap in release dates also meant that most Chinese moviegoers who were interested in seeing the film were probably able to watch it online through legally dubious means before it came to theaters in their country.

Despite the lackluster showing in international markets, Crazy Rich Asians is still on track for a sequel­ – or two. Kwan turned his bestseller into a trilogy, and there is every reason to expect the films will follow suit. The first sequel, based on Kwan’s book China Rich Girlfriend, has already begun moving forward with Jon M. Chu returning to direct. The Crazy Rich Asians effect has also reached beyond its own source material to greenlight other Chinese-centric films. Following the success of Crazy Rich Asians, Warner Brothers and New Line began moving forward with Single’s Day, a China-set romantic comedy based on the popular holiday that celebrates singledom. And this is likely just the beginning of a slate of films that will be looking to bank off of Crazy Rich Asians’ domestic, if not international, success.

More: Crazy Rich Asians 2: Everything We Know About The Sequel’s Story

Source: Exhibitor Relations

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2018-12-02 11:12:43

‘Müslüm’ conquers box office with 5 million tickets sold

The movie “Müslüm,” which follows the life of prominent Turkish arabesque and folk singer Müslüm Gürses, became the most viewed film in Turkish movie theaters of 2018, selling over 5 million tickets within…Click To Continue

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