A Quiet Place, Star Trek sequels announced

A Quiet Place, which regained top spot at the domestic box office over the weekend, has amassed more than $200 million in revenue worldwide. (Courtesy Paramount Pictures)
Updated 26 April 2018
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A Quiet Place, Star Trek sequels announced

LAS VEGAS: Paramount Pictures said Wednesday hit horror movie “A Quiet Place” was getting a sequel and ended mounting speculation over its lucrative “Star Trek” franchise by confirming two new movies.
Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos opened the studio’s segment at the annual CinemaCon film industry convention in Las Vegas with the news, praising director John Krasinski, who stars in the monster invasion thriller opposite real-life wife Emily Blunt.
“If you told me five years ago that an almost silent film starring the very funny guy Jim from ‘The Office’ would have been a hit at Paramount, I would have said, ‘Well, I should go work at Paramount,’” said Gianopulos, who joined the studio a year ago.
“A Quiet Place,” which regained top spot at the domestic box office over the weekend, has amassed more than $200 million in revenue worldwide against a budget of just $17 million and is Paramount’s biggest hit since 2016’s “Star Trek Beyond.”
It has been a ray of light in a dark year or more for Paramount, which has struggled to make the box office impact of its “big six” rival studios, all of which are presenting at CinemaCon.
Since the third of the rebooted “Star Trek” movies recouped almost $350 million globally, Paramount’s high-profile flops have included “Ben-Hur,” “mother!” and Matt Damon vehicles “Suburbicon” and “Downsizing.”
Gianopulos acknowledged the studio had suffered a rough year but vowed that Paramount was “laying the foundation” to repeat its past successes.
“I’m incredibly confident that we have the right team, culture, and attitude in place to take Paramount to new heights,” he said.
“And we already started on that road to giant success with ‘A Quiet Place.’”
Gianopulos announced a string of sequels in partnership with Skydance Media, including a new “Terminator” with Linda Hamilton from the original movie back on board with Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Top Gun: Maverick” with Tom Cruise — and two new “Star Trek” films.
Tantalizingly, he offered no details and it remains unclear if these will be a continuation of the reboot franchise or if they include a previously announced “Star Trek” movie from “Pulp Fiction” director Quentin Tarantino.
Paramount initially said after “Star Trek Beyond” came out that a fourth release would bring back “Thor” star Chris Hemsworth as Captain James Kirk’s father, George.
J.J. Abrams, the creative force behind the 2009-16 reboots, wasn’t at CinemaCon but he appeared onstage at Caesar’s Palace to promote horror movie “Overlord,” the first R-rated release from his Bad Robot production company.
Abrams scotched rumors that the World War II Nazi experiments shocker would be another release in the “Cloverfield” series.
But he added that he was planning a genuine theatrical sequel to 2008 found-footage thriller “Cloverfield,” unlike the most recent film in the franchise, the critically panned Netflix February release “The Cloverfield Paradox.”


Modi or Gandhi? Indian mystics split over poll outcome

Updated 46 min 45 sec ago
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Modi or Gandhi? Indian mystics split over poll outcome

  • Larra Shah expects Modi to be returned, but with a vastly reduced majority
  • Raj Kumar Sharma thinks opposition leader Rahul Gandhi will win

MUMBAI: Transgender mystic Zoya Lobo turns over three oracle cards, studies them for a minute and looks up. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will definitely win India’s general election this summer, she proclaims.
Clairvoyant Larra Shah also predicts a victory for Modi owing to his “extremely powerful aura,” but astrologer Raj Kumar Sharma thinks opposition leader Rahul Gandhi will win because his party’s moon sign is Virgo.
Vedic astrology is big business in Hindu-majority India and stargazers are making a host of predictions for the world’s biggest elections starting next month — their many followers hanging on every utterance.
Some 900 million voters are registered to cast ballots in the vote in April and May which will see Gandhi’s Congress party seek to dislodge Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from power.
Shah, 49, a celebrity holistic healer who practices tarot reading, says most of them will plump for Modi, himself a devout Hindu.
“When it comes to tarot cards Modi is like the emperor or the magician where the power of self-knowledge, of spiritual balance, of karma, is in perfection,” she explains to AFP.
“Rahul Gandhi is more like the devil because he’s always confused. There is a conflict there because he is a Gemini so has a dual personality,” Shah adds.
Modi, 68, and the right-wing Hindu nationalist BJP swept to power five years ago by winning 282 out of 543 seats, forming the country’s first majority government in almost three decades.
Shah expects Modi to be returned, but with a vastly reduced majority. Pre-election polling suggests an even closer contest, with many forecasting that neither party will win the 272 seats needed for a majority.
Lobo also has a prediction that hits closer to home for her — a 35 percent chance that Modi will do something to help India’s two-million-strong transgender community.
Indians consult soothsayers for advice on a raft of subjects from whom to marry to whether to buy a house or strike a business deal.
Many businessmen, Bollywood actors and politicians have personal astrologers scrutinize their stars closely to determine auspicious days to hold functions, release a movie or make political announcements.
For the election, Sharma says the planets are aligning in favor of Congress — based on the birth dates of the parties and their leaders — and that it will be able to persuade smaller, regional parties to join them in a coalition.
“Congress’s moon sign is Virgo and at present a favorable Jupiter Mahadasha (period) is happening for them while the BJP’s moon sign is Scorpio,” he explains.
“Rahul Gandhi’s favorable period has started and his moon is more powerful than Narendra Modi’s moon so my prediction is very clear: Rahul Gandhi will either become the prime minister or will make the prime minister with the support of his party.”
He sees the elections being “extremely volatile” because they were declared at an inauspicious time — when the sun was setting instead of rising — and that they may witness more violence between India and Pakistan.