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George Takei Denies Sexual Assault Claim, But Admitted Bad Behavior on Stern

Former model Scott R. Brunton has accused iconic Star Trek actor George Takei of sexual assault. According to Brunton, the alleged incident occurred in 1981. At the time, he was 23 and Takei was 43 or 44. As Brunton tells it, the actor invited him out to dinner after he had broken up with his boyfriend and tried to help console him. Here’s how Brunton describes the incident.

“He was very good at consoling me and understanding that I was upset and still in love with my boyfriend. He was a great ear. He was very good about me spilling my heart on my sleeve. We have the drink and he asks if I would like another. And I said sure. So, I have the second one, and then all of a sudden, I begin feeling very disoriented and dizzy, and I thought I was going to pass out. I said I need to sit down and he said sit over here and he had the giant yellow beanbag chair. So I sat down in that and leaned my head back and I must have passed out. The next thing I remember I was coming to and he had my pants down around my ankles and he was groping my crotch and trying to get my underwear off and feeling me up at the same time, trying to get his hands down my underwear. I came to and said, ‘What are you doing?!’ I said, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ He goes, ‘You need to relax. I am just trying to make you comfortable. Get comfortable.’ And I said, ‘No. I don’t want to do this.’ And I pushed him off and he said, ‘OK, fine.’ And I said I am going to go and he said, ‘If you feel you must. You’re in no condition to drive.’ I said, ‘I don’t care I want to go.’ So I managed to get my pants up and compose myself and I was just shocked. I walked out and went to my car until I felt well enough to drive home, and that was that.”

Even though this all happened a very long time ago, Scott R. Brunton has never felt like he could come forward with the story publicly. However, in the wake of the recent Harvey Weinstein allegations, and the allegations brought against Kevin Spacey, he felt it was time. Though, he admits he’s still uneasy, even though he’s told the story plenty of times over the years.

“This happened a long time ago, but I have never forgotten it. It is one of those stories you tell with a group of people when people are recounting bizarre instances in their lives, this always comes up. I have been telling it for years, but I am suddenly very nervous telling it.”

Four friends of Brunton, Norah Roadman, Rob Donovan, Stephen Blackshear and Jan Steward, have all said that he’s told them this very story over the years. At the time of the initial report, George Takei was said to be unreachable for comment. But Takei took to Twitter in order to deny the claims. Here’s what he had to say.

“Friends, I’m writing to respond to the accusations made by Scott R. Brunton. I want to assure you all that I am as shocked and bewildered at these claims as you must feel reading them. The events he describes back in the 1980s simply did not occur, and I do not know why he has claimed them now. I have wracked my brain to ask if I remember Mr. Brunton, and I cannot say I do. But I do take these claims very seriously, and I wanted to provide my response thoughtfully and not out of the moment. Right now it is a he said / he said situation, over alleged events nearly 40 years ago. But those that know me understand that non-consensual acts are so antithetical to my values and my practices, the very idea that someone would accuse me of this is quite personally painful. Brad, who is 100 percent beside me on this, as my life partner of more than 30 years and now my husband, stands fully by my side. I cannot tell you how vital it has been to have his unwavering support and love in these difficult times. Thanks to many of you for all the kind words and trust. It means so much to us. Yours in gratitude, George.”

This isn’t the first time George Takei has been accused of inappropriate behavior. Hank Azaria, best known for his work on The Simpsons, says that he “creeped out a lot of the staff” while doing a couple of episodes of the series some years back. Takei reportedly creeped out an intern named C.J., who Takei insisted on calling “Angel.” In addition, in a recent interview with Howard Stern, Takei was asked if he’d ever “grabbed anyone by the cock,” when they were discussing Donald Trump. He laughed it off. When asked point blank if he’d ever sexually harassed anyone, he had this to say.

“Some people who are kind of skittish, or maybe afraid, and you’re trying to persuade…it was either in my home, they came to my home.”

Howard Stern then asked if guys were hesitating if he would give them a “gentle squeeze on the balls.” Takei replied by saying, “more than a gentle.” Though his tone wasn’t all too serious, he did appear to be telling the truth about such encounters over the years. But he says it didn’t involve having “power” over the other person.

The 80-year-old George Takei became famous for playing Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek and, over the years, as a gay man himself, has become a major advocate for LGBTQ rights. Brunton says, “I don’t want anything from him but an apology. I am sure he’ll disown all this, I don’t know, maybe not.” Since Takei has denied the claim, it’s likely that apology won’t be coming. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Brunton did meet up with Takei years after the incident, but he says it was “too uncomfortable” to confront him about it. You can check out George Takei’s response on Twitter for yourself below, as well as video of Hank Azaria discussing Takei’s behavior, and Takei’s admission of wrongdoing.

Friends,

I’m writing to respond to the accusations made by Scott R. Bruton. I want to assure you all that I am as shocked and bewildered at these claims as you must feel reading them. /1

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

The events he describes back in the 1980s simply did not occur, and I do not know why he has claimed them now. I have wracked my brain to ask if I remember Mr. Brunton, and I cannot say I do. /2

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

But I do take these claims very seriously, and I wanted to provide my response thoughtfully and not out of the moment. /3

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

Right now it is a he said / he said situation, over alleged events nearly 40 years ago. But those that know me understand that non-consensual acts are so antithetical to my values and my practices, the very idea that someone would accuse me of this is quite personally painful. /4

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

Brad, who is 100 percent beside me on this, as my life partner of more than 30 years and now my husband, stands fully by my side. I cannot tell you how vital it has been to have his unwavering support and love in these difficult times. /5

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

Thanks to many of you for all the kind words and trust. It means so much to us.

Yours in gratitude,

George /end

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

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Donald Trump On AT&T And CNN: The More News Outlets, The Better

President Donald Trump says he is all in favor of the country having “as many news outlets as you can,” a reiteration of sorts of his earlier stance that AT&T should have to carve away CNN if it wants to buy parent company Time Warner.

The president was speaking to a press gaggle aboard Air Force One today en route to Hanoi when a reporter asked if he wants AT&T to sell CNN (the rest of the question – most likely “if the deal goes through” or some such, was interrupted by the quick-to-answer Trump).

At first acknowledging that the decision wasn’t his, he continued, “I did make a comment in the past as to what I think. I do feel that you should have as many news outlets as you can, especially since so many of them are fake. This way, at least you can get your word out. But I do believe you should have as many news outlets as you can.

“Now, with that being said, I didn’t make a statement on it, but I made that statement long before at the very early part. So we’ll see how that — it will probably end up being maybe litigation, maybe not. We’ll see how it all plays out.”

Earlier this week, media reports indicated that The Justice Department had told AT&T to ditch either CNN, all of Turner Entertainment or DirectTV from the Time Warner deal.

As Deadline wrote Wednesday, AT&T’s response to the demands would likely be to file a lawsuit against the government. AT&T’s CFO John Stephens said this week that the closing of the deal, long predicted to come by year-end, was “uncertain.”

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Former Faith No More Singer Chuck Mosley Passes Away at 57

Sad news for longtime Faith No More fans. Former singer Chuck Mosley, who had reunited with the band in recent years, has passed away. No firm cause of death is being discussed. Though family members did have an interesting thing to say about his untimely demise. They blame his recent passing on addiction. It isn’t known if the singer and songwriter succumbed to a drug overdose or alcohol related issues at this time.

Chuck Mosley had spent the past several years living as a sober person. And though he had been fired from Faith No More in the late 80s, the singer did get back together with the iconic band over the past couple of years, after FNM launched their first new album in over two decades with Sol Invictus, back in 2015.

Mosley passed away late Friday night. His family released the following statement.

“After a long period of sobriety, Charles Henry Mosley III lost his life, on November 9th, 2017, due to the disease of addiction. We’re sharing the manner in which he passed, in the hopes that it might serve as a warning or wake up call or beacon to anyone else struggling to fight for sobriety. He is survived by long-term partner Pip Logan, two daughters, Erica and Sophie and his grandson Wolfgang Logan Mosley. The family will be accepting donations for funeral expenses.”

Chuck Mosley was fired from Faith No More in 1988. He was one of many singers the band had attempted to use throughout the years, Courtney Love being among them. Mosley is the most prominent only behind singer and musician Mike Patton, who took over for Chuck Mosley during the recording of their 1989 album The Real Thing. Mosley had been let go due to erratic behavior, and was even accused of falling asleep on stage during a number of live shows. There was never any bad blood between Mike Patton and Mosley over the years, and Mosley accepted his fate throughout the 90s, playing with various bands as well as releasing his solo album.

In recent years, he played a few gigs with Faith No More sans Patton, though Patton was known to come out and join the singer on stage for a song or two. The relationship between the whole of FNM and Mosley had for the most part healed. After hearing of his passing, the other bandmates in Faith No More released a joint statement.

“It’s with a heavy, heavy heart we acknowledge the passing of our friend and bandmate, Chuck Mosley. He was a reckless and caterwauling force of energy who delivered with conviction and helped us set on a track of uniqueness and originality that would not have developed the way it had had he not been a part. How fortunate we are to have been able to perform with him last year in a reunion style when we re-released our very first record. His enthusiasm, his sense of humor, his style and his bravado will be missed by so many. We were a family, an odd and dysfunctional family, and we’ll be forever grateful for the time we shared with Chuck.”

Mosley began his career as a singer in the early 80s punk scene. He was first part of the band Animated, which also featured future Faith No More bassist Billy Gould. Mosley officially joined FNM in 1983. He sang on their debut album, 1985′s We Care a Lot. And he managed to make it back for 1987′s Introduce Yourself. Together, these two albums helped cement (ha, see what we did there? That one was for you Mosley) Faith No More’s reputation in the funk and metal scene. Mosley’s biggest hit was the Faith No More single ‘We Care a Lot’, which was first issued on the 85 album, with an updated version later appearing on the 87 album. And he also updated the song again for his solo release. The song was featured in the 1996 Pauly Shore comedy Bio-Dome and the 1997 John Cusack comedy thriller Grosse Point Blank. And it was a staple of college radio stations in the mid-80s.

In the early 90s, Mosley would sue Faith No More as a band, claiming he had a stake in the future of the band’s earnings, but the dispute was settled out of court. Chuck would later front the infamous hardcore group Bad Brains, and he also helped form Cement in the 90s. Late last year, the 1985 classic We Care A Lot was re-issued for Record Store Day. The singer was one of the more unique individuals on the punk scene, and never swayed from his own style. News of Chuck Mosley’s untimely passing comes to us from Spin. RIP Chuck Mosley, you will be missed.

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Rebel Wilson Recounts Sexual Harassment Incidents

Actress Rebel Wilson says she’ll no longer “be polite” when witnessing or experiencing sexual harassment. Her vow – “Interpret that as you will,” she writes – came at the end of a string of nine tweets today regarding her experience being sexually harassed by both a “top director” and a male star.

Wilson didn’t name names, but described the incidents. The encounter with the star involved the actor repeatedly asking Wilson to commit a lewd act, as the actor’s male friends laughed and tried to record the scene on their iPhones. Wilson says she was later threatened by the star’s representatives to keep quiet.

Regarding the director, Wilson says that early in her career she had a “hotel room encounter” with him. “I thought we were there to talk comedy,” she writes, noting that “nothing physical happened” because the director’s wife called “and started abusing him over the phone for sleeping with actresses.”

“I know, moving forward,” writes Wilson, “that if I witness this behavior, whether it happens to me or something I know, I will no longer be POLITE. Interpret that as you will.”

Here are the tweets, beginning with the most recent:

I know, moving forward, that if I witness this behavior, whether it happens to me or someone I know, I will no longer be POLITE. Interpret that as you will.

— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 11, 2017

To hear how prevalent sexual harassment and assault is, is just so saddening. I know my stories aren’t as horrific as other women and men have described – but if you’ve ever experienced anything like this I feel for you and can relate on some level.

— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 11, 2017

I feel lucky that I grew up in a pro-female environment, going to an all-girls high school, and that I have such a strong sense of self and have taken self-defense classes. I had the ability to escape both incidents. I realize not everyone is as lucky.

— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 11, 2017

that I could hear her and I bolted out of there immediately. I was so naive the thought of anything happening apart from ‘work talk’ didn’t even cross my mind.

— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 11, 2017

Earlier in my career, I also had a ‘hotel room’ encounter with a top director. I thought we were there to talk comedy. Nothing physical happened because the guy’s wife called and started abusing him over the phone for sleeping with actresses and luckily she was yelling so loud…

— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 11, 2017

Later I was threatened by one of the star’s representatives to be nice and support the male star. I refused. The whole thing was disgusting.
I’ve told hundreds of people in the industry the story in more graphic detail basically to warn them off this individual.

— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 11, 2017

I called my agent immediately and my lawyer made a complaint with the studio – basically to protect myself that in the event something similar ever occurred I’d be able to walk out of the job and not obliged to return.

— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 11, 2017

A male star, in a position of power asked me to go into a room with him and then asked me repeatedly to stick my finger up his ass. All whilst his male ‘friends’ tried to film the incident on their iPhones and laughed. I repeatedly said no and eventually got out of the room.

— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 11, 2017

I’ve been away in a ‘bubble’ of sorts creating new comedy overseas but it’s so hard to hear all these stories relating to sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood. As you guys know, I’m a pretty strong and confident person but even I have a story to tell.

— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) November 11, 2017

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‘Ragnarok’ Roaring Past $200M; ‘Orient Express’ Collides With ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ Over 2nd With $27M+

Writethru Saturday AM after 12:06AM post: Disney/Marvel’s Thor:Ragnarok is lighter than anticipated with $56.1M but will still clear $200M, but the real drama this weekend is in second place where 20th Century Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express and Paramount’s Daddy’s Home 2 are both looking to clear $27M+, ahead of their tracking estimates. The Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg comedy did beat the Kenneth Branagh all-star period piece yesterday, $10.9M to $10.7M in industry estimates.

20th Century Fox

Given how it was skewing toward older adults, Murder on the Orient Express in its old fashioned revamp appeared risky. Despite Star Wars’ Daisy Ridley in the cast, good luck on getting anyone under the age of 25 in theater (that crowd showed up at a thin 16%). However, the Kenneth Branagh-directed Agatha Christie mystery is drawing a crowd, and coupled with its near $12M gross from the U.K., stands to be in good shape after its play in another 57 territories and its net $55M production cost. Insiders attribute the pic’s overindexing to a great multi-faceted marketing campaign. CinemaScore audiences though gave it a B on top of its now 59% Rotten Tomatoes score. Still not a bad start. Close to half of the film’s audience were the Christie demo with 47% of all CinemaScore audiences being over the age of 50. Older females turned up at 59% females (who gave the movie a B) and over 25 at 84% (B).

Godiva

Murder on the Orient Express, was of course, a global play. While Fox dropped the first trailer showing the all-star cast dolled up at CinemaCon — which caught our attention in how rich the film was — a huge train for the film was parked out in front of the Carlton Hotel on the Croisette during the Cannes Film Festival. Prior to Cannes, journalists were invited to London and Venice for promo stunts. In Venice, Mathew Prichard, Josh Gad and an Orient Express historian assembled aboard the Simplon Orient-Express. There was a partnership with the Mystery Experience Company on a special MOTOE-themed mystery box that was sent to their 5,000+ subscribers along with an additional 250 press nationwide. The box featured a mysterious letter from an attorney whose client was one of the suspects aboard the famed Orient Express. Through a series of clues, artifacts and puzzles those who received the box were able to unscramble a phone number where, when called, revealed a movie message and drove callers to the film’s website.  There were 10 national/global partners which included Belmond hotels, HSN, Movember Foundation, HarperCollins Publishers, Godiva, Proraso shaving supplies (and sweepstakes), Links of London and more. In total $17.2M of marketing support with exposure in over 20K retail outlets.

Daddy's Home 2

Paramount

Daddy’s Home 2 is interesting. At $27.2M, it’s a decent start for a comedy in the 2017 marketplace which has buried the genre, and it’s the second best debut for a Paramount title this year after Transformers: The Last Knight ($44.6M). However, next to it’s $69M production cost, many aren’t wowed by the opening. On the bright side, audiences love it more than the 2015 original, awarding it an A- CinemaScore over the first one’s B+.

Rivals are split on Daddy’s Home 2 having a spot on the calendar here. Given its lackluster reviews at 16% Rotten, some felt that it might have been better if the sequel launched over Thanksgiving and earned around $38M+ over five-days (the opening of the first title), this way it’s in a better position to hold screens and play into Christmas. Others counter that release strategy saying it’s going to be a light Thanksgiving anyway with a number of distributors having pulled their titles off the schedule at the last minute, i.e. MGM’s Death Wish, STXfilms’ Molly’s Game, Dimension’s Polaroid and Entertainment Studios’ Chappaquiddick; more breathing room for Daddy’s Home 2 even in the wake of Justice League, which like Ragnarok could make $200M as well in its first ten days.

However, given how Daddy’s Home 2 is coming in higher than anticipated, I don’t think Paramount is having second thoughts about where they planted the Mark Wahlberg-Will Ferrell sequel. The whole idea of opening this weekend stemmed from gaining as much headway as possible heading into the holiday season and avoiding event titles (Ragnarok, Justice League, Last Jedi) which could eat into the pic’s family audience. Paramount knew they would get good word of mouth on the film, so the A- CinemaScore comes as no surprise. Had Daddy’s Home 2 launched over Thanksgiving, the pic’s subsequent December weekends would have been soft as its sluggish period before Last Jedi opens. Since it’s a family comedy, Saturday matinees should serve it well today.

Fifty-seven percent of Daddy’s Home 2‘s audience were females, who gave the movie an A- per CinemaScore with an over 25 crowd that was 65% (B+).  Big turnout for Wahlberg and Ferrell at 38% and those fans gave the movie an A-. The under 25 who showed up at 35% gave Daddy’s Home 2 a solid A. RelishMix weighs Daddy’s Home 2 social media universe at 236.7M across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and YouTube views with prime castmembers promoting to 120M social media fans. John Cena counts 63M alone across Twitter, Instagram and FB. Wahlberg has close to 30M. Both Ferrell and Wahlberg have been involved in a number of social promos which the latter has been retweeting.

Props to A Bad Moms Christmas which is easing a fantastic 31% in weekend two, proof that older female fans still want to see the movie despite its lower exit polls and reviews, and will come out later to do so.

Lady Bird

A24

After A24’s Lady Bird notched the best opening theater average of the year with $91K, Fox Searchlight’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is coming up strong with a near $72,5K PTA, now placing third after The Big Sick‘s $84K. Lady Bird, expanding by only 33 locations, is still huge at $31,8K per theater for a mind-blowing $1.18M FSS. That’s $220K shy of what Fox Searchlight’s indie teen comedy Juno made in its second weekend at 40 locations. By the end of Sunday, the Greta Gerwig-directed movie will stand at close to $1.7M to Juno‘s $2.1M.

Industry estimates for weekend of Nov. 10-12 :

1). Thor: Ragnarok (DIS), 4,080 theaters / $18.6M Fri. (-60%) / 3-day cume: $56.1M (-54%) / Total cume: $209.1M / Wk 2

2/3). Murder on the Orient Express (FOX), 3,331 theaters / $10.7M Fri. (includes $1.6M previews) / 3-day cume: $27.9M / Wk 1

Daddy’s Home 2 (PAR), 3,575 theaters / $10.9M Fri. (includes $1.5M previews) / 3-day cume: $27.5M / Wk 1

4). A Bad Moms Christmas (STX), 3,615 theaters / $4.1M Fri. (-25%)/ 3-day cume: $11.6M (-31%) / Total cume: $39.9M / Wk 2

5). Jigsaw (LG), 2,651 theaters (-290) / $1.15M Fri. / 3-day cume: $3.3M (-50%) / Total cume: $34.2M / Wk 3

6). Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (LG), 1,900 theaters (-302) / $641K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2M (-56%)/ Total cume: $45.8M / Wk 4

7). Geostorm (WB/SKY), 1,685 theaters (-981) / $463K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.4M (-55%)/ Total cume: $31.4M / Wk 4

8/9). Blade Runner 2049 (ALC/WB/SONY), 863 theaters (-601) / $417K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.33M (-43%)/ Total cume: $87.9M / Wk 6

Happy Death Day (UNI/BLUM), 1,564 theaters (-620) / $454K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.3M (-51%)/ Total cume: $54.9M / Wk 5

10/11). Lady Bird (A24), 37 theaters (+33) / $385K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.18m (+224%)/ Per screen: $31,8K / Total cume: $1.68M / Wk 2

Let There Be Light (ATLAS), 750 theaters (+108) / $361K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.14M (-2%)/ Total cume: $5.96M / Wk 3

Noteworthy:

LBJ (ELEC), 607 theaters (-52) / $149K Fri. / 3-day cume: $459K (-59%)/ Per screen: $756 / Total cume: $2M / Wk 2

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO (FSL), 4 theaters / $103K Fri. / 3-day cume: $290K / Per screen average: $72,5K / Wk 1

Last Flag Flying (AMZ/LG), 32 theaters (+28) / $77K Fri. / 3-day cume: $209K (+416%)/ Per screen: $6,5K / Total cume: $279K / Wk 2

2ND UPDATE, Friday midday: Currently, per matinee estimates, everything is looking rosy, so let’s hope this doesn’t fall apart.

Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok is coming in ahead of its $60M projected second weekend with $61.5M-$63M, -49% from last weekend, and will beat both of its previous installments’ final cumes at the domestic B.O. (2011’s Thor at $181M and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World at $206.4M) with a running total by Sunday of $218M. Ragnarok‘s second Friday is looking like $21M.

Fox

20th Century Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express is looking healthy with a $9M Friday (including $1.6M previews) and a $24M weekend at 3,341 theaters. That’s notable for a sophisticated, older-skewing film. The Kenneth Branagh-directed remake already has minted $11.5M in the UK and will open in 57 additional markets this weekend, including China, Australia, Russia, Germany, Holland, and Mexico. The threequel’s production cost is $55M net, per insiders, though there are others who believe it’s higher.

Daddy's Home 2

Paramount Pictures

Paramount’s Daddy’s Home 2 is looking at an estimated $8M-$8.5M today (including $1.5M previews) and a $21M weekend at 3,575 venues. On the bright side, that might be the second-best opening for Paramount this year after Transformers: The Last Knight ($44.6M), and it’s a decent start in marketplace that’s been unkind to comedies: Universal’s African-American female romp Girls Trip holds the best bow for a comedy this year with $31.2M, and it took STXfilms’ A Bad Moms Christmas five days to make what Daddy’s Home 2 is making in three. Daddy’s Home 2 does carry an estimated $69M production cost, higher than A Bad Moms Christmas at $28m, and like that film will need to rely on the holiday season to leg out; a bump for all titles over Thanksgiving is expected. Daddy’s Home churned a 3.89 multiple at the domestic B.O. in the wake of The Force Awakens two years ago. It has a slight advantage in getting ahead of Justice League, which will earn $100M-$120M next weekend, if not more.

A Bad Moms Christmas is looking at $4.2M today, -23% from a week ago, for a second weekend of $11.5M, down only 31%and a domestic total by Sunday of $39.9M.

Murder on the Orient Express

20th Century Fox

1ST UPDATE, Friday 7:23 AM: 20th Century Fox’s Kenneth Branagh-directed remake of Murder on the Orient Express got off to a solid start last night with $1.6M at 2,775 theaters, a preview figure that’s up there with Arrival‘s $1.45M a year ago and Girl on the Train‘s $1.23M. Showtimes began at 7PM. Tracking had Branagh’s latest directorial coming in the $20Ms, but more sober minds believe it’s high teens with a shot at $20M.

The pic is squarely aimed at an over 35 audience, specifically females, and moves to 3,341 locations today. Murder on the Orient Express features an all-star cast including Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench and Branagh, to name a few. Murder has a 64% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The opulent movie carries a reported production cost of $55M before P&A.

Paramount

Paramount’s PG-13 comedy Daddy’s Home 2 also earned a solid $1.5M last night at 2,800 theaters from showtimes beginning at 5PM. Tracking has the sequel opening in the low $20M range. Before P&A, Daddy’s Home 2 cost a reported $69M. The first movie in 2015 played in the wake of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and was the best of the Christmas crop that season debuting to $38.7M and legging out to $150.4M off a B+ CinemaScore.

Comps to Daddy’s Home 2 are Dumb and Dumber To which earned $1.6M in previews, a $14.2M Friday and a three-day of $36.1M three years ago. There was also Horrible Bosses 2 at that time which bowed over Thanksgiving and earned a $1M Tuesday preview, $4.3M opening Wednesday and a three-day of $15.5M.

Exit polls per ComScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak for Daddy’s Home 2 last night earned a 78% overall positive with men under 25 loving it the best at 86%. However, so far, they’re not the dominant audience watching the movie at 18%. Over  25 females and males turned out at 32% each and their so-so reviews are pulling this pic’s grades down right now with the ladies only enjoying it at 74% positive. Daddy’s Home 2 has a 7% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Critics hate comedy sequels, and they hated the first 2015 release too giving it a 31% Rotten. There’s a more promising set of exit polls for Daddy’s Home 2 showing that families are giving this movie 4 1/2 to five star ratings. General audiences 3 1/2  which is still very good.

Disney

Both Daddy’s Home 2 and Murder on the Orient Express will fall in line behind Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok who will continue to lord over the box office in his second weekend with an estimated $60M. Last night Ragnarok made a robust $7M, +15% from Wednesday for a first week’s haul of $155M. Crossing the two century mark stateside is definitely part of Ragnarok‘s weekend destiny.

Also continuing to counterprogram Ragnarok this weekend is STXfilms’ A Bad Moms Christmas which grossed $1.9M last night, +19% over Wednesday for a nine-day running total of $28.4M. The movie looks to pull in older females with an estimated $10M while Daddy’s Home 2 hopes that more under 25ers attend.

Fox Searchlight is also opening their hot-buzzed fall festival title Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri  at four sites including Regal Union Square and AMC Lincoln Square in New York as well as the Landmark West L.A., and Arclight Hollywood. The pic carries a 95% certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating.

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George Takei Accused Of Sexual Assault, Denies Allegation

Star Trek actor and pop culture icon George Takei has been accused of assaulting a former model, and has refuted the claim via social media.

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George Takei “Shocked & Bewildered” At Sexual Assault Claims Made Against Him

Star Trek icon George Takei has respond to an accusation of sexual assault made against him by a former model and actor who alleged an incident at Takei’s home in 1981. In a series of tweets this morning, Takei writes that the events “simply did not occur.” He adds that he does not remember Scott R. Brunton, who made the allegations in a THR interview which ran on Friday. “I am as shocked and bewildered at these claims as you must feel reading them,” Takei continues to his 2.79M followers.

Takei, who played Mr Sulu on the original Star Trek, and who is also an author, producer and social activist, writes, “I do take these claims very seriously, and I wanted to provide my response thoughtfully and not out of the moment.”

“Right now it is a he said/he said situation, over alleged events nearly 40 years ago,” he continues. “But those that know me understand that non-consensual acts are so antithetical to my values and my practices, the very idea that someone would accuse me of this is quite personally painful.”

Brunton accused Takei of “groping at my crotch and trying to get my underwear off” while he was passed out at the star’s home. He said he “pushed him off” and left Takei’s house, claiming also to have met Takei for coffee years later, but not discussing the incident with Takei.

Here are Takei’s tweets this morning:

Friends,

I’m writing to respond to the accusations made by Scott R. Bruton. I want to assure you all that I am as shocked and bewildered at these claims as you must feel reading them. /1

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

The events he describes back in the 1980s simply did not occur, and I do not know why he has claimed them now. I have wracked my brain to ask if I remember Mr. Brunton, and I cannot say I do. /2

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

But I do take these claims very seriously, and I wanted to provide my response thoughtfully and not out of the moment. /3

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

Right now it is a he said / he said situation, over alleged events nearly 40 years ago. But those that know me understand that non-consensual acts are so antithetical to my values and my practices, the very idea that someone would accuse me of this is quite personally painful. /4

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

Brad, who is 100 percent beside me on this, as my life partner of more than 30 years and now my husband, stands fully by my side. I cannot tell you how vital it has been to have his unwavering support and love in these difficult times. /5

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

Thanks to many of you for all the kind words and trust. It means so much to us.

Yours in gratitude,

George /end

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

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Louis C.K. Gets Fired from Secret Life of Pets 2

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment have announced they are cutting ties with controversial comedian Louis C.K., who will not be returning for the animated sequel The Secret Life of Pets 2. The move comes in the wake of a New York Times report where five women came forward and revealed that the beloved comedian either masturbated in front of them, or during phone conversations. In a surprising move, Louis C.K. admitted these stories were true in an impassioned statement earlier today, which has lead to an exodus of sorts, with networks, studios, production companies and even his publicists cutting ties with the comedian.

In the original animated hit The Secret Life of Pets, Louis C.K. provided the voice of Max, a beloved Jack Russell Terrier dog who was the main protagonist in the story, who had been expected to return but will no longer do so. It isn’t known if the character will be completely written out of the film, or if Universal and Illumination will simply re-cast the role. Universal has already set June 7, 2019 as The Secret Life of Pets 2 release date, which puts it up against Sony’s Charlie’s Angels reboot and an untitled 20th Century Fox/Marvel movie. It seems unlikely that this casting move will have any impact on the release date or the production schedule.

The original Secret Life of Pets is set in a bustling Manhattan apartment building, following the daily lives of pets, after all of their owners leave for work every day. The embattled Louis C.K. voiced the building’s “top dog” named Max, a quick witted terrier rescue who’s convinced he sits at the center of his owner’s universe. His pampered life is turned upside down when his owner brings home Duke (Eric Stonestreet), a sloppy, massive mess of a mongrel with zero interpersonal skills. When this reluctant canine duo find themselves out on the mean streets of New York, they have to set aside their differences and unite against a fluffy-yet cunning bunny named Snowball (Kevin Hart), who’s building an army of ex-pets abandoned by their owners and out to turn the tables on humanity. The first movie was a smash hit, earning $368.3 million domestic (the fourth highest grossing movie of last year) and $875.5 million worldwide (sixth highest grossing movie of last year).

This move by Universal and Illumination comes at the end of a day where practically every company that has any sort of ties to the actor has cut him loose. Yesterday, The Orchard canceled the premiere of his new movie, I Love You, Daddy, which he wrote, directed and stars in alongside Chloe Moretz, Pamela Adlon and more, and today, The Orchard has cancelled the I Love You, Daddy release altogether. At the same time, HBO announced they will be editing his material out of their Night of Too Many Stars to benefit autism research, which will debut Saturday, November 18, while Netflix also announced they will not move forward with the stand-up comedy specials they had planned with the comedian. FX also announced they are cancelling their overall deal with Louis C.K. and his production company Pig Newton, while TBS announced they are stopping production of the animated series entitled The Cops, which Louis C.K. co-created with Albert Brooks.

The allegations against Louis C.K. came to light in a New York Times article published yesterday, where five women came forward and revealed that the iconic comedian had either masturbated in front of them, or during phone conversations. The actor and comedian admitted in a lengthy statement that those women were telling the truth and he did commit those acts, apologizing to everyone involved. Louis C.K. is just the latest to be accused of sexual misconduct in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, with scores of women coming forward to accuse others of sexual harassment and/or assault, such as director James Toback, director Brett Ratner, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Steven Seagal, Andy Dick, Ben Affleck, Jeremy Piven and many more. Deadline broke the news about the latest to cut ties with Louis C.K. earlier today.

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Sheen Whistleblower Now Accused of Being Haim’s Real Abuser

It’s been quite the week for anybody following Corey Feldman’s Truth Campaign as well as the outside story of Charlie Sheen being accused of sexually assaulting Corey Haim in 1986 on the set of Lucas. The National Enquirer ran a story earlier this week accusing Sheen of raping Haim when he was just 13-years old, which the actor categorically denied through a statement released by a representative. The man behind the allegations is Dominick Brascia, who claims that Corey Haim told him about the incident before he passed away in 2010 at the age of 38. But now, the story has been flipped after Haim’s mother appeared on the Doctor Oz show.

Judy Haim sides with Charlie Sheen and denies that he abused her son. As she doesn’t know for certain, she explains to Doctor Oz that she would have known as Corey Haim was a “transparent” child and she would have noticed the differences right away. She also denied that Sheen and Haim had a consensual sexual relationship afterwards as well. The story was written about in Corey Feldman’s memoir, though he did not name Sheen as the abuser, but there have been subtle hints from the former child actor.

Judy Haim now declares that Dominick Brascia was the one who sexually assaulted Corey Haim back in 1987 during the making of The Lost Boys. Judy Haim’s claim is backed up by a mysterious posting on the official Corey Haim website that has only recently been discovered, leading many to speculate that it was recently posted and backdated. Haim’s mother told Doctor Oz that it was Brascia on the show, which is the man who came forward with the Charlie Sheen allegations publicly. “This guy Dominick is the guy that abused my son,” she said. “My son said so.” Many speculate that Judy Haim could have been paid off by Charlie Sheen, but that has yet to be proven and is a rumor at this time.

In the aforementioned mystery post on Corey Haim’s website, the post refers to an episode of The Two Coreys, which starred Corey Feldman and Haim. Judy Haim brought the show up again on the Doctor Oz show. She had this to say in regard to Dominick Brascia abusing her son.

“He said so on The Two Coreys. If you ever go back and watch any interview that my son ever gave, you would understand what I’m talking about. He hid nothing… Dominick was sitting on my son, pinning him to the floor, not allowing him to move. I took a pool cue, and he will remember that, and I went so close to his head and I said: ‘You better get off of him or I’m bashing your head in.’ And he got off of him and we left.”

The story and timeline are completely different from what has been available from Corey Feldman as well as other sources that were around at the time. There’s definitely something fishy going on. During the Dr.Oz show, Haim’s mom admitted that both her son and Dominic were ‘fully clothed’ at the time of this particular incident. Judy went onto claim that Haim had been sexually abused at the hands of Brascia one time before in that same apartment, but she refused to go into further details. Prior to these revelations, Haim’s mother said her son hadn’t been abused and that Feldman was making up stories in the press. Talking to Dr. Oz, she further said this.

“The industry or the media, they always go and tend to blame a parent. You know what? You can watch them as much as you can watch them. But what are you going to do, go out with a 16- or 17-year-old to every single party, to every single movie? It’s the same thing on set. What if a producer wants to read lines in the trailer? … It’s a really tough situation. What are you going to do? My son went in with a whole bunch of boys to play pool, and one day, this is what happened to him. He kept it [secret for] so long because he didn’t want to talk about it. He didn’t want people to think he was gay or say it was his fault. He said, ‘Mom, somebody hurt me, I don’t need to hurt them back. I need to take this to my grave.’ The memory of the experience has to be horrifying. Then the guilt, and the shame, and what are other people going to think? It’s a horrible thing. Victims, you’ve got to talk nice about victims. We can say, ‘Go and speak up, go and tell your parent, go and tell your teacher, go and tell a social worker’…But it’s not easy.””

Talking directly about Dominic Brascia, who appeared with Corey Feldman in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning, though they shared no scenes together, Judy Haim pleaded for the man, who is now a radio DJ, to come forward and turn himself in.

“Admit it. You know the truth. You know what you did. Honestly, I hope you didn’t hurt anyone else. Admit it. It’s going to set you free, and move on. but do the right thing for a change. Nobody is coming after you. Do the right thing for others, please.”

Judy Haim spent the rest of the show explaining that it was not her fault that her son was molested, which is true, it was not her fault. Dominick Brascia was accused of raping Corey Haim last year and he denies it as well, claiming that he was Haim’s good friend. While all of this is going on, Corey Feldman remains silent out of fear for his life. Regardless, the truth needs to come out soon so that Corey Haim can finally rest in peace. Watch a clip of Judy Haim naming Dominick Brascia as her son’s abuser via The Los Angeles Times.

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Replacing Kevin Spacey in Ridley Scott’s New Movie Is Costing Millions

Sony’s upcoming All the Money in the World biopic shocked the movie world earlier this week, when the decision was made to remove Kevin Spacey entirely from the true-life drama, reshooting new scenes with Christopher Plummer playing the richest man in the world, J. Paul Getty. As if that move wasn’t unprecedented enough, the director still plans to hit the movie’s December 22 release date, giving the filmmaker just over a month to pull off this unprecedented task. A new report surfaced today that reveals Sony may very well wish it actually had all the money in the world, since this entire process is expected to cost millions of dollars.

Variety reports that some marketers estimate the cost of putting together new trailers, posters and in-theater standees for All the Money in the World, will cost millions, along with rush fees and takedown fees for the old materials. There was talk among the studio of simply pushing the movie into 2018, and away from this prestige, Oscar-friendly release date of December 22, but the studio reportedly also wanted to stay put so the movie could debut ahead of the FX TV series Trust from director Danny Boyle, which also focuses on the John Paul Getty III kidnapping and is set to debut in January.

As for the reshoots themselves, Kevin Spacey reportedly worked between eight and 10 days for director Ridley Scott, and it will take exactly that long for the reshoots, with Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams agreeing to come back to film new scenes with Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty. This extra eight to 10 days is expected to cost another $10 million, and it may be even more if they have to pay Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams more than expected. Both actors had two weeks of reshoots written into their contract, but if they already went past that amount on reshoots before this casting switch, the studio will have to pay their pro-rated weekly rate for the new shoot.

As for Christopher Plummer, the actor is expected to fetch between $250,000 and $450,000 for the role. While Mark Wahlberg currently wasn’t in production on another project, although he was doing press for Daddy’s Home 2, Michelle Williams was currently shooting the Sony Pictures Spider-Man spin-off Venom. Since it’s in Sony’s best interest to make her available for these reshoots, which they are doing. Sources claim that the reshoots will take place over the next few weeks, with the goal to have the picture completely locked by December 15, just one week before the December 22 release date.

One option that was reportedly never considered by the filmmakers was to have Christopher Plummer shoot against a green screen, and have his scenes digitally inserted into the pre-existing footage, while taking Kevin Spacey out of those same shots. Sources claim that this process can be quite tricky, particularly in getting the lighting from both shots to match up and be in sync. Since most of Kevin Spacey’s scenes were with Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams, or solo shots, so it was deemed more economical to simply reshoot the scenes Kevin Spacey was in with Christopher Plummer. This unprecedented decision was made because director Ridley Scott didn’t want his film, which started shooting starting in May with December 22 release date handed out within months of each other, to be damaged in the aftermath of the dearth of Kevin Spacey sexual misconduct allegations that have surfaced over the past few days. This report from Variety also adds that Hollywood producers will be watching this intently, since it could set a new precedent with simply removing stars from a film after a scandal breaks.

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