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‘John Carter’ film loses $200 million for Disney

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LOS ANGELES — Critically-panned fantasy adventure film “John Carter” is expected to lose $200 million for makers Disney, dragging its whole movie budget into the red, the studio said Monday.

Disney said it would take the huge operating loss on the movie, made by Oscar-winning director Andrew Stanton about a Civil War veteran transplanted to Mars, in its second fiscal quarter.

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“In light of the theatrical performance of John Carter ($184 million global box office), we expect the film to generate an operating loss of approximately $200 million during our second fiscal quarter ending March 31.

“As a result, our current expectation is that the Studio segment will have an operating loss of between $80 and $120 million for the second quarter,” Disney said in a statement.

Starring Taylor Kitsch and Willem Dafoe, the movie cost an estimated $250 million, but was met with a chorus of derision from critics when it was released earlier this month.

The respected Rotten Tomatoes website said: “While ‘John Carter’ looks terrific and delivers its share of pulpy thrills, it also suffers from uneven pacing and occasionally incomprehensible plotting and characterization.”

It was the first live action movie for Stanton, who won best animated film Oscars in “Finding Nemo” in 2004 and “Wall-E” in 2009. He also wrote for all three “Toy Story” movies as well as “Monsters, Inc.”

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But Disney insisted the embarrassing loss can be turned around by upcoming projects, including “The Avengers” and “Brave.”

“As we look forward to the second half of the year, we are excited about .. ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Brave,’ which we believe have tremendous potential to drive value for the Studio and the rest of the company,” it said.


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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