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Entertainment

How Movies Receive Their Ratings

Many Americans use the MPAA’s formalized rating system as a guide for which films to see. The Onion provides a step-by-step view into how these ratings are chosen:

‘Winnie-The-Pooh’ Turns 90

Winnie-The-Pooh, the A.A. Milne series featuring a stuffed bear and his toy animal friends, debuted 90 years ago this week. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s nearly century-long run:

50 Years Of ‘Star Trek’

Star Trek, the science-fiction show about the crew of the starship Enterprise, premiered 50 years ago today on NBC, spawning a cult following and decades of spin-offs. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s 50-year history

How Big-Budget Movies Flop

Despite the recent box-office failures of Exodus, Ben-Hur, and Gods Of Egypt, studios continue to fund big-budget movies they hope will achieve blockbuster success. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how one of these movies becomes a flop:

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 30, 2016

ARIES: Sometimes in life, you just need to stop whatever it is you’re doing and take a step back. Actually, maybe it’s two steps back. Yeah, that’s good. Keep going. The stars will let you know when you’re far enough.

‘Rugrats’ Turns 25

This August marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Rugrats, the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon about intrepid baby Tommy Pickles and his group of toddler friends. Here are some milestones from the show’s nine-season run

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 9, 2016

ARIES: Your life’s story will soon play out in front of movie theater audiences across the country, though it’ll only last about 30 seconds and advertise free soft drink refills in the main lobby.

Director Has Clear Vision Of How Studio Will Destroy Movie

LOS ANGELES—Saying he can already picture exactly what the finished cut will look like on the big screen, Hollywood film director Paul Stanton told reporters Wednesday he has a clear vision of how studio executives will totally destroy his upcoming movie.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 14, 2016

ARIES: Once the laughter dies down, the party favors are put away, and the monkeys led back inside their cages, you’ll finally be given a chance to explain your side of the story.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

Guide To The Characters Of ‘The Force Awakens’

The highly anticipated seventh episode in the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘The Force Awakens,’ which will be released December 18, will feature several returning characters as well as a host of new ones. Here is a guide to the characters of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

Robert De Niro Stunned To Learn Of Man Who Can Quote ‘Goodfellas’

‘Bring Him To Me,’ Actor Demands

NEW YORK—Immediately halting production on his latest project after hearing of the incredible talent, legendary actor Robert De Niro was reportedly stunned to learn Wednesday that Bayonne, NJ resident Eric Sullivan, 33, can quote the critically acclaimed 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas at length.

Timeline Of The James Bond Series

This week marks the release of the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, featuring Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as the British secret agent. Here are some notable moments from the film series’s 53-year history
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Entertainment

Citing Slow Summer Box Office, Hollywood Calls It Quits

BURBANK, CA—Universal Studios joined DreamWorks SKG, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Paramount, and Fox Monday, when CEO Ron Meyer announced that the company is shutting down operations and ceasing all film production, effective immediately.

Demolition begins on a Hollywood landmark.

"In their hearts, every studio chair would like to be a patron of the arts," said a candid and reflective Meyer, speaking from his New York office on the 69th floor of Manhattan's Rockefeller Plaza. "But this is a business, not an artists' charity ward."

According to Hollywood insiders, summer 2005 dealt the death blow to an already ailing industry. With box-office receipts 9 percent lower than those of 2004, the few successes, such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin and War Of The Worlds, could not carry the industry.

Regarding the decision to liquidate Paramount, Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone said, "It was a simple choice: cling to an outdated business model or cut the pictures loose."

To better protect their stockholders' interests, Hollywood will be shifting its focus to safer, more reliable profit models, including real estate, life insurance, and the sale of hygiene products.

Said Meyer: "The mortuary industry also seems like a good bet. No matter what happens in the economy, there's always a market for funeral homes. People are always dying. That doesn't go unpredictably out of fashion with the public's taste, like, say, historical costume epics or Russell Crowe."

Monday, construction crews quietly dismantled the storied Hollywood Walk of Fame.

"This is a real shame," said foreman Kevin McKnight, directing members of his crew to pry the brass stars from Hollywood Boulevard and transfer them to a nearby freight crate destined for a Japanese smelting plant. "I love movies. My whole family does. All my life, I loved movies."

With each studio's decision to cease operations, dozens of films in various stages of production will quietly die, some going to DVD, others disappearing entirely, amounting to little more than tax write-offs. Assets are being sold for pennies on the dollar, and hastily liquidated prop houses and set rooms have flooded an already deluged eBay resale market. An original Indiana Jones flight jacket was sold Tuesday for $1.49 plus shipping.

Figures from the California Labor Department reflect the industry's sudden collapse. As of Tuesday, some 700 directors, 15,000 producers, 2,900 entertainment lawyers, 14,000 writers, and 72,000 actors—not to mention countless gaffers, tour guides, production designers, publicists, souvenir sellers, and personal assistants—were reportedly out of work.

Mel Gibson begs for work on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.

"I feel a little betrayed," said Stealth director Rob Cohen. "After the summer season ended, I had hoped that people would start coming back to theaters, or maybe the industry would cook up some new concepts."

Cohen added: "Now it looks like I'll have to go back to directing TV ads."

"I don't know how my family will get by without a steady source of income," said 43-year-old Los Angeles resident Kirk Ferguson, a third-generation set carpenter. "Making facades that get blown up is all I know."

The absence of films is creating a ripple effect far beyond Southern California. Movie ushering has become an obsolete trade overnight, as first-run theaters shut down, convert to loft apartment space, and force hundreds of thousands of adolescents into the already crowded lawn-mowing and car-washing professions.

"A lot of movie history was made on the Warner Bros. lot, but not a lot of money," Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyer said. "We've been sitting on valuable land at the height of a booming real-estate market. We could have sold it off months ago instead of making Must Love Dogs. We acted irresponsibly, and for this I apologize to our stockholders."

With little hope of getting a job in Hollywood, ex-film-industry employees are understandably reacting with anger and despair. Some, however, are more philosophical.

"I can always go back to Wisconsin and tend bar," actor Mark Ruffalo said. "Maybe do some community theater. The folks you should really feel sorry for are Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise. They're fucking nuts. I have no idea what they'll do without Hollywood."

The void is not likely to remain for long, with heavy hitters such as Bollywood producer Aamir Khan ready to swoop in.

"We are very excited to be entering the American entertainment market," Khan said. "Our first release, timed to coincide with the American holiday entertainment rush, is a remake of Mahabharata, a five-hour retelling of the ancient Hindu epic, filled with thrilling synchronized dance numbers and much romance."

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