"There's a general adage," he says, "as long as there’s inflation, tax deferred is tax forgiven." Postponing taxation can be valuable, says another attorney who has worked for Streamline investors.
The whole experience left a sour taste, Kessler says.
However, Salveson disputed the penalty, arguing that the solar projects were not overvalued.
Salveson, an executive producer on the film, and her business partner, Ryan Donnell Smith, have each been sued for allegedly failing to ensure a safe set. 21, when the actor fired a prop gun and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The tragedy has brought intense scrutiny on all aspects of the production, including Salveson's proprietary financial model. One of her films was "Rust," the Alec Baldwin production that has been shut down since Oct.
At the end of five years, Salveson’s company would take ownership of the panels. The client had paid effectively nothing out of pocket, but could claim a tax deduction – spread over five years – worth 100% of the purchase price of the solar panels.
Salveson is 36. As the Hollywood Reporter reported last month, she had a series of jobs before landing in film financing, including surf instructor, assistant at a rehab center, a job in the office of her father, tax attorney Kent Salveson, and host of a YouTube show called "Bath Time TV.”
The Golans took a deduction for the investment. The court reduced the Golans’ deduction, but allowed them to claim the $152,250 in debt as a legitimate expense. The IRS challenged it, and Salveson retained an attorney to defend them in tax court. The court also ruled that the IRS had not shown that the solar equipment was overvalued.
They don’t want to give it back. They earned it. They’re constantly looking for vehicles they can invest in that would give them some tax deferral." "There is so much money lying around with wealthy people, and they’re trying to find something to invest in," Hein says. "There are a lot of people that are very pro-tax deferral. This is pretty common with the self-made wealthy individuals.
Kessler also helped Emily Salveson get an interview with Variety and invited her to participate in the panel at Cannes, lending her credibility and career support. Kessler did several drafts of the documents, but ultimately Kent Salveson said he was dissatisfied with the work.
It is not clear whether the IRS has investigated Streamline. The IRS declined to comment, citing the confidentiality of tax records.
Salveson has disputed that characterization. Salveson has also been accused by the IRS of promoting “abusive tax shelters,” which allowed clients to claim excessive deductions and tax credits for solar panel projects.
So an investor could wipe out tax liability for the current year and get a sizable refund for taxes paid in prior years. Under a provision of the CARES Act – passed in 2020 to help alleviate the pandemic – taxpayers can also carry that deduction back up to five years.
"I did a lot of work, and he didn’t like it," Kessler says.
The IRS alleged that Salveson owed $794,000 in unpaid taxes for those two years, plus $595,000 in fraud penalties, $260,000 in delinquency penalties, and $339,000 in interest.
A Streamline client might agree to purchase a film for $1 million. They can pay just a fraction of that as a down payment – say, $100,000 – and personally guarantee a loan for the remaining $900,000. That guarantee might never be exercised, but it can still be used to take a deduction for the full $1 million. Just as with the solar energy investment, Streamline’s film investment model relies heavily on debt.
On his own taxes for that year, he had claimed a ​​$368,215 deduction for the cost of installing the solar equipment. Salveson took that as vindication. That motion was denied on procedural grounds. The IRS had disallowed that as well, and one IRS lawyer described his use of tax credits and bonus depreciation for solar projects as “bullshit,” according to a filing Salveson submitted in his bankruptcy case. After the Golan ruling in 2018, Salveson asked the bankruptcy court to reinstate his deduction.
In its 2019 explanation, the IRS stated that Salveson had “not fully considered the consequences to himself or the customers” of his taking ownership of the solar projects after five years. But the IRS alleged that Salveson did not tell investors that.
They get tickets to the premiere. These people want to be involved in films. “You’re digging in the wrong direction,” the attorney says. “The tax benefit is just icing. I think that’s the primary motivation.”” /> They hobnob with famous people. They want to be around actors and the glamor of the film industry.
For support, Salveson pointed to an earlier tax court case, involving his clients Don and Sheila Golan. But no money had changed hands. The transaction was financed with a $152,250 loan from Salveson, a deferred down payment, and a federal tax credit. The Golans had acquired a solar project from Salveson in 2011 for a purported price of $300,000.
She did not cite her father. Kessler told Variety that he spoke with the elder Salveson several times on the phone about how to adapt his tax incentive model to the film business. But according to Kessler, it was Kent Salveson who had hired him to draft some documents. He recalled Salveson saying that he “beat the IRS” in an earlier tax dispute.
He is formally identified as an adviser to the company, and he helped structure the company's financial model for film investment, according to an attorney who helped launch the firm. Kent Salveson, 71, is also a key figure in Streamline Global.
In interviews and in public appearances, she has said that the model was able to "solve the problem of risk" for investors. For the last few years, Emily Salveson has been touting a new model for investing in film.
He filed for personal bankruptcy in 2003 and again in 2010, after his company, Campus Realty, collapsed and its homes were foreclosed upon. Salveson continued to work in real estate development. Salveson then turned to tax credits for renewable energy, launching Solar Energy Equities and Clear Sun Corp.
“Looking at the entertainment industry, I thought it was baffling to me that people were losing so much money so frequently by investing in films,” she said. “So when I created this financial model, I thought, ‘Is there a way to make it so that the profits of the film are not what define whether the investor makes money or not?’”
"These massive tax cuts seem too good to be true," Streamline said on its website, "but they are battle-tested by the Silicon Valley elite, many of whom are Streamline clients."
On its website, Streamline states that it "works within the tax code."
The client would agree to a purchase price, and would agree to pay Salveson a 30% down payment. Salveson would consider the remaining 70% a loan, which would be slowly paid off as the host paid monthly power bills directly to Salveson. The client could use his or her federal tax credit – which also happened to be 30% – to cover the down payment.
“Additionally, Salveson has not shown that he would properly account for receiving or repossessing a solar energy system by including the value of the system and the income stream in his (or his entities) income.” “Nowhere in any of the provided documentation, on the website or in any interviews or meetings with Salveson has Salveson been able to show that he has let the customer/investor know that when they sell the system back to him it will have no basis which will result in a taxable gain to the customer,” the IRS said.
Kent Salveson’s site makes the same assurances, with one change: the word “Streamline” is replaced with “TCA” – for Tax Credit Attorney.
“Addressing the needs of the film industry, and building a business that does that, is my passion," she said. I was determined to build a business of my own and, as a businesswoman in Hollywood, grow prouder of my team with every Streamline achievement." "My father continues to mentor and inspire me every day and I appreciate all of his fatherly advice.
But others are skeptical that the model makes much sense for investors, at least in the way that it’s advertised. Warren Goz is a film producer who made use of Section 181 when he ran Grand Army Entertainment, which launched in 2006 and shut down amid the credit crisis a few years later.
Kessler is an expert in Section 181, a tax incentive for film investment. She credited a team of accountants and attorneys for helping her get the company off the ground, including attorney Hal “Corky” Kessler, who was moderating the panel.
“Usually they come back many times after the first time,” she said in an interview in June 2020.
The attorney who works with Streamline investors, who asked not to be identified, said that one of his clients had been audited, and the IRS approved the return with no change.
Salveson filed a tax court petition in June accusing the IRS of numerous errors, and seeking a tax refund. The IRS filed an answer in November, restating its earlier allegations and accusing Salveson of failing to substantiate hundreds of thousands of dollars in claimed deductions. The case remains pending.
“It's a pure deferral play.” "There’s no magical way to not pay tax when the chickens come home to roost,” Hein says.
The IRS also accused him of concealing and commingling assets, failing to keep adequate records, and failing to cooperate with its investigation. According to the IRS, Salveson had not filed his tax returns on time eight years in a row. In April 2021, the IRS alleged that Salveson had failed to report $1.86 million of income in 2015 and 2016.
Emily Salveson has said that some investors are so pleased that they invest again – meaning they could repeatedly defer their tax obligations.
Once the solar panels started generating revenue, that revenue would be taxable income for the investor. In theory at least, the same drawback applied to the solar energy investment model. And once Kent Salveson bought back the solar project after five years – either for a purchase price or by forgiving the balance of the debt – then that, too, would be taxable for the investor.
In a separate statement, Emily Salveson said that she appreciates her father's mentorship.
They declined to address the allegations leveled by the IRS.
In addition to its work in the film business, Streamline also promoted investments in renewable energy and low-income housing. Hofmeister said that no Streamline clients have actually invested in those companies. In her IMDb bio, Emily Salveson said that the company has a "strategic partnership with Clear Sun Corporation and EEXCEL Communities” – her father’s companies.
But the tutoring program was suspended within a couple of years due to a property tax dispute, according to an L.A. In the early 1990s, Salveson launched EEXCEL (Educational Excellence for Children with Environmental Limitations), which leveraged government-backed loans to build affordable housing in South L.A. Kent Salveson has been working for more than 30 years in businesses that rely on tax-incentivized financing. Times report. Salveson partnered with USC to offer tutoring programs, an idea that generated nationwide publicity.
Todd Hein is an accountant who has worked closely with Streamline. He defends the company’s model, saying it is a legitimate way for wealthy individuals to defer paying taxes.
“The greater value that Salveson could assign to a system the greater the tax benefits and the better it was for both Salveson and the customer. “Using Salveson’s arrangement the customer/investor has no financial risk and in fact benefits from Salveson overvaluing the solar energy system,” the IRS concluded. This approach gave the customer no reason to question the value or cost of the solar energy systems as they were effectively out of the business deal in five years.”
In a statement to Variety, Kent Salveson said that he has worked as an outside legal counsel for Streamline, but that his daughter deserves the credit for building the company.
But her company, Streamline Global, has nevertheless come from nowhere to help finance more than two dozen films in the last four years. It's a pitch that's been heard before in the film industry, and it tends to end badly. She has done it thanks to provisions of the tax code that help wealthy clients defer their tax obligations.
"I wish I could take credit for Streamline’s accomplishments, but I can’t," he said. I do not own any part of Streamline, nor am I an employee or officer. She may have learned about some of the tax concepts from working with me, but this idea was hers, and she is the one who built the company. I am supportive but did not support her financially or provide capital to the business. My motto has always been 'Do well by doing good,' so I am proud to see my daughter carrying on that tradition in the entertainment industry by increasing funds available to finance film projects." "This is all Emily. My role has been as outside legal counsel for Streamline and not for any of Streamline’s investors.
Kent Salveson has his own website – taxcreditattorney.com – which also touts investments in film, renewable energy, and low-income housing. His website contains language and graphics that match those found on Streamline’s website nearly word-for-word.
In other words, Salveson appeared to be far more diligent about claiming credits and deductions than he was about reporting income.
Salveson challenged the penalty in tax court, but the court dismissed his petition due to lack of jurisdiction. The service cited four other Clear Sun clients, in addition to the Golans, who had also claimed inflated or improper credits and deductions. The IRS imposed the $9,000 penalty for promoting abusive tax shelters the following year.
Streamline's spokesperson, Sallie Hofmeister, did not dispute Kessler's account, but said that he "has violated his duty of confidentiality as an attorney and any statements by him should not be made public."
Salveson told agents that the total cost of materials, labor and permits for the panels was covered by the 30% down payment, according to the IRS document.
Hein says that once a project starts generating revenue, that income will be used to pay down the guarantee, and it will be taxable. But that might take a while. In the meantime, the investor will have enjoyed the use of their other income without paying taxes on it.
The IRS agents alleged that Salveson dramatically inflated the value of the solar projects, sometimes by double or triple their true cost. In 2019, the IRS assessed a $9,000 penalty against Salveson for promoting this deal.
"Nothing cannot be upheld in an audit," the company states. "Should an audit occur, Streamline works with taxpayer & CPA & Expert Counsel to defend the client."
You’re going to be taxed on every single bit of that.” “Whatever income comes through in that asset, you’ve got zero basis in it. “I’m very skeptical when people are promoting an investment in film based on 181,” Goz says, noting that investors might be able to write off their stake initially, but will end up owing tax sooner or later.
Emily Salveson appeared on a panel at the Cannes Film Festival in July 2017, in which she touted her company’s new model for film investment.
As a film production incentive, Goz says that Section 181 “is really not a difference maker at all.”
Under Section 181, Streamline investors can write off the full cost of a film project as soon as a film goes into production. (Without that provision, they would have to wait to take the deduction until the film was actually distributed.) Congress created the incentive in 2004 as a way to keep film production from going overseas.
Salveson is disputing the allegations in U.S. The revenue service ordered Salveson to pay $2 million, including back taxes, interest, late fees, and almost $600,000 in fraud penalties. The IRS has also accused Kent Salveson of civil tax fraud for failing to report income in 2015 and 2016. Tax Court, and claims he may be entitled to a refund.
“Every few years somebody gets something that’s too good to be true, and people think they’ve discovered a pot of gold,” says Sky Moore, a veteran Hollywood attorney. “There’s no way it makes sense.”
Financing films is hard, and even Oscar-winning producers and directors routinely struggle to scrounge up funding for their passion projects. So when someone appears to be raising money without breaking a sweat, it tends to raise eyebrows.
According to an IRS "explanation of items," Salveson’s company would enter into a contract with a property owner, or a “host.” The property owner would allow Salveson to install solar panels and agree to buy the power from Salveson’s company at a discounted rate. Salveson would then sell the solar panel system to a client who needed a tax deduction.
“The claim is abusive and retaliatory in nature.” “Taxpayer has not engaged in promotion of abusive tax shelters,” he argued, saying the valuations were reasonable and supported by independent appraisals.

Things you didn’t know about David Arquette:
But for me, if I like a kids movie, I’ll do a kids movie because I have kids. But if you’ve been in Hollywood long enough, you recognize that there’s a roller coaster of sort of highs and lows, so you have to figure out how to withstand the winters. If somebody trusts me enough to do a dramatic role, I’m happy to. But I’ve always just tried to do different stuff. To this day, people still don’t necessarily think of me as a dramatic actor, for sure. So typecasting is fine when the alternative is your phone’s not ringing at all. A lot of people are more calculated about their choices.
It’s been more than 10 years since “Scream 4”; did you ever expect to come back?
Horror hero: He’s a big fan of Ari Aster’s films “Midsommar” and “Hereditary.”” />
What do people most want to talk to you about when they see you? You’ve done such a wide variety of projects.
And I have a teacher who's pointed out there's a lot of lessons that they teach that are very similar to to wrestling. A lot of wrestling fans recognize me now since my documentary, “You Cannot Kill David Arquette.” I’m not wrestling at the moment; it’s hard on the body. It’s an amazing world. “Scream.” Or wrestling. To make sure you’re quick but your actions are purposeful and safe at the same time. But I’ve learned a lot from wrestling — actually learned about acting, about being in the moment, taking your beats, taking your time. I'm studying clowning right now.
He’s a horror icon. It would be silly for them not to. But I didn’t know how or when. It’s such an iconic brand and series and killer. There was also the series, so I always felt like it was alive in these multiverses. I mean, I figured.
Are you going to play him?
Age: 50
And it’s great to see that Woodsboro is more diverse, a reflection of the world we live in. That really reminded me of us when we were younger — the way they all got along. It’s scary and it’s really funny. They took the world and expanded on it, and it’s got this incredible new cast. And the writers as well. Well, I could tell you that [directors] Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett did an incredible job.
You’ve done your share of dramatic roles, but did you ever worry you were being typecast in comedies?|
What sparked the interest in clowning?
Clowns are designed to sort of make us laugh at ourselves and allow you to laugh at them. In fact, it took my 15 years but I've secured the rights to his story. Clowns are sort of a reflection of society. So I don't consider scary clowns really clowns. And especially in America right now,  there's such a focus on the scary clown, which isn't really a clown. Well, I've loved Bozo the Clown since I was a kid. And, Bozo's the perfect sort of Ambassador for a mission like that. We're trying to sort of bring back the kind clown.
We'll see. I'm not sure. (Laughs) Those are big shoes to fill.
I’d love to talk to you about “Scream,” but I’m guessing you can’t tell me much.
Birthplace: Bentonville, Va.
Have you ever read something about yourself that you just had to laugh? You’ve said you avoid reading reviews.
14. Now Arquette will reprise his role as lovable Dewey Riley in the fifth “Scream” film in the iconic horror series, hitting theaters Jan. Though David Arquette is a member of an acting dynasty (his parents and sister Alexis were both actors, as are siblings Patricia, Richmond and Rosanna), he originally didn’t think acting was for him after repeatedly auditioning as a kid and never being cast. It was only through the encouragement of a high school teacher, Ben DeBaldo, that he discovered his love for the craft and the confidence to try again.
But my favorite review said something like “I couldn’t get past the fact that I feel the wrong Arquette was cast in this role.” They meant Alexis, and honestly, Alexis would have crushed it. I did “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and I played Frank N. Yeah, it was my favorite review ever. Furter. I was like, “That guy was right.” It was this tough, tough, tough experience. It would have been far better. One night, Alexis was doing a show, and she did a performance to “Sweet Transvestite” and just tore the house down.

Italian premieres include apocalyptic Christmas movie “Silent Night,” starring Keira Knightley; Tim Sutton’s moody Western “The Last Son,” with Heather Graham and Sam Worthington; and New York-based Turkish director Mustafa Ozgun’s drama “COVID19 — Ground Zero,” produced by Donald Kushner.
Steven Zaillian, who in 2019 came to Capri to be honored as screenwriter of Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” is shooting his “Ripley” TV series, based on Patricia Highsmith’s novels, for Showtime in Italy. Cameras have been rolling in Capri, Sorrento and Naples, among other locations.” />
For sanitary safety reasons, the small picturesque town of Sorrento, overlooking the bay of Naples, will become the main hub where guests, most of whom this year will be flying from Europe for the Dec. 26-Jan. 2 shindig, will congregate.
Bell will be receiving the fest’s European Breakout Director of the Year award. Also from the Blighty, actor Sadie Frost making the trek to promote British director Kirsty Bell’s COVID-19 debut feature lockdown drama “A Bird Flew In,” having its international premiere. Expected international attendees include directors Michael Radford and Terry Gilliam, who are fest regulars, coming from the U.K.
He shares pride that this year’s closing ceremony will take place in Naples’ 18th-century Teatro San Carlo, the oldest opera house in Europe. It will host performances by Israeli singer and human-rights activist Noa and Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo. “This year we are navigating the [COVID] crisis while also expanding our horizons,” says Capri Hollywood fest founder and chief Pascal Vicedomini.
Film Festival, dedicated to launching Oscar hopefuls and establishing a creative and business bridgehead between Hollywood and Italy’s film and showbiz communities, is countering the Omicron variant by expanding its venues beyond the “blue island” off the coast of Naples. For its upcoming 26th edition the Capri Hollywood Intl.
The closing gala will see Neapolitan actor Toni Servillo, who stars in “Hand of God” — and also has lead roles in two other pics recently launched from Venice, Mario Martone’s “King of Laughter” and Leonardo Di Costanzo’s “The Inner Cage” — celebrated with a career award. Tribute will also be paid to late great writer-director Lina Wertmüller, with whom Capri Hollywood had a longstanding relationship.
“Lina was the first person to give me her trust, believing from the start in my vision for Capri Hollywood; she became my lucky charm,” says Vicedomini, who was instrumental in getting the wheels in motion — with help from stars such as Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave and Sophia Loren — for the concerted effort that led to Wertmüller’s honorary Oscar in 2019 and subsequent star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Vicedomini is also pleased that several Netflix titles, including Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” and Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Hand of God,” which is Italy’s international Oscar contender, will be screening as part of their awards season push.
film communities. The informal shindig, which attracts industry heavyweights and stars from Hollywood and Europe — and is followed by cinema showcase Los Angeles, Italia, running April 18-24 — helps foster collaborations between the Italian and U.S.
Also expected on hand are “Gossip Girl” star Ed Westwick, model and actor Mădălina Ghenea (“House of Gucci”), helmer Bille August and, from the U.S., Bobby Moresco and Paul Haggis.
13 in Rome with the fest’s Capri Legend Award. Elizabeth Hurley, Capri Person of the Year honoree won’t be there, instead organizers say Richard Dreyfuss was honored in Dec.

And hide behind these things
Smiles and smoke and screens
Not getting what you need, need
Or did those lights go out on Broadway?
Your little purse a pharmacy
Think if you can just keep spinning
I see you.' So I can write it" from both sides. And you're like, 'Oooookay. Somebody’s laughing and smiling, but you see that little crack. "I've certainly been the girl who's revealing herself by the things she's trying to hide with consumption of all kinds. "I've definitely been on both sides of that," says Clark. But I've also been the person who has seen that.
Vincent employs throughout the "Daddy's Home" album builds to a peak here as they sing: "You can't hide, you can't hide from me." Clark had a model in mind for how the song crests with that chorale, even if her song ends up being a bit warmer and more hopeful than its classic-rock template. The Greek chorus of female background vocals that St.
You can't hide from me
"To me, it was sort of a feminine version of 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' for 2021. That was in some ways an ode to the Stones, a little bit," she says.
So no one sees you not getting
Listen to the track, above, and read the lyrics, below. And may human connection be all the Christmas opiate the masses need.
The narrator of the song is seeing behind the facade of a friend who may be dealing with unfulfilled dreams as well as solitude ("Are you still working on your screenplay / Or did those lights go out on Broadway?"), and whose Gucci purse's self-medicinal contents betray what her face is working overtime to conceal.
The kind of encounter described in "…At the Holiday Party" could happen any time of year, theoretically, but a Christmas party is "a completely different feeling, I think. Thats when people are really imbibing and stuff like that," says Annie Clark, aka St. What are you gonna do next year?'" We're talking about cold outside, end of the year — 'What have you done? Because the season is extra reflective, when it's melancholy, it's extra melancholy. We're not talking about a Rose Day summer soiree. Vincent, discussing the song with Variety. "It definitely had to be a holiday party.
Pretend to want these things
Red wine-lipped a little early
You won't miss what you've been missing
At the holiday party
Reminiscing got us laughing
That's when I saw your face cracking
Not getting what you need
Are you still working on your screenplay
Your Gucci purse a pharmacy

Pills and Juuls and speed
So no one sees you not getting
Need, need
The best holiday song of the year isn't on a Christmas album. It's a song for anyone who, in the midst of people concerned about tracking their lost shipments, is actually losing their shit … Vincent's "..At the Holiday Party," a track from her album "Daddy's Home," which takes a look at the other side of seasonal revelry — that feeling of being alone in the crowd and trying to put on a festive face while living a life of quiet desperation. or just who, like the song's narrator, is able to pick out the partygoer who's just barely keeping it together. It's St.
You can't hide, you can't hide from me” />

The Thursday earning is the third-highest Thursday gross of December of all time, and the highest Thursday take for Sony, the "Spider-Man" franchise and for a superhero pic.
In total, seven new films opened this weekend, including "The King's Man," "The Tender Bar," "A Journal for Jordan," "American Underdog" and "Licorice Pizza." But none of them will top "Spider-Man: No Way Home," which debuted to a record-breaking $260 million last weekend.
The fourth "Matrix" movie, directed by Lana Wachowski, sees the return of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss as Neo and Trinity — though neither remembers the past. "The Matrix Resurrections," which debuted simultaneously on HBO Max, also stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Priyanka Chopra, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris and Jada Pinkett Smith.” />
On Monday, "No Way Home" raked in another $37 million, and early estimates for this weekend predicted the superhero movie would make another $100 million this weekend.
The latest entry in the Tom Holland-led trilogy will become the biggest movie of the year worldwide on Friday, Christmas Eve.
"The Matrix Resurrections," meanwhile, made $6.4 million on Wednesday and $4.1 million on Thursday from 3,552 venues in North America for a two-day total of $10.5 million. If it hits the higher end of estimates, "Resurrections" would beat "Dune" ($41 million) to become Warner Bros.' top opening of the year. Picking up 20 years after 2003's "The Matrix Revolutions," the sci-fi adventure is expected to finish the holiday weekend with $40 million to $50 million.
Directed by Garth Jennings, the "Sing" sequel stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Nick Kroll, Pharrell Williams, Taron Egerton and Bono as animated animals who perform hits like Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy" and Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." "Sing 2" and "The Matrix Resurrections," which both opened on Wednesday, are vying for the No. 2 spot.
"No Way Home" made $29.3 million domestically on Thursday, bringing its seven-day gross to $385.8 million — the third-highest seven-day gross of all time, the highest seven-day gross in the "Spider-Man" franchise, and the second-highest seven-day gross ever for December and for a superhero film.
"Spider-Man: No Way Home's" box office prowess knows no bounds.
It's set to cross the $1 billion mark on Christmas Day. At 11 days, it would be the second-fastest to hit that milestone (behind 2019's "Avengers: Endgame" at five days and tied with 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War"). It would also be the first theatrical release of the pandemic to join the billion-dollar club — even without China, the largest box office market in the world.
The family-friendly musical is on track to rack up at least $40 million by Sunday. Including ticket sales from Thanksgiving weekend advanced screenings, it's grossed $17.2 million so far. Another sequel, "Sing 2," earned $8.1 million on Wednesday and $7.5 million on Thursday at 3,892 North America locations for a total of $15.6 million.
Internationally, it brought in $32.2 million on Thursday, bumping its overseas total to $490.2 million and global haul to $876.0 million.

Pedro Almodóvar has written and directed 23 feature films since 1978; each one carries his unique style, yet he manages to keep surprising audiences. “Parallel Mothers” may be his best and most accessible; it features his frequent outrage at government oppression and deceit, mixed with great compassion for his characters.
Pedro Almodóvar personally has only been nominated for two Oscars, as writer and director of the 2002 “Talk to Her,” winning for original screenplay.
This is one of the films in which Pedro refers to families based on love, rather than on biology." “Parallel” also offers Cruz a terrific role. Almodóvar says of the new film, “Penélope Cruz gives a magisterial performance; it’s a master class in acting.” Says producer Almodóvar, “I think ‘Parallel Mothers’ gives an interesting perspective on maternity and family.
Almodóvar has had shockingly few Oscar nominations, but this film could wind up with bids for him, for best picture and for star Penélope Cruz.
“I play two roles. The other role is more technical: finding funds to make the film. I keep those two things very separate because I don’t want economic constraints to affect Pedro’s creative choices." One is to support Pedro during his creative process, specifically in doing research or information he needs for the film.
That’s stimulating to me as a producer and to Pedro as a writer-director. “We never really know. We’re always working with uncertainty and that’s always a challenge, entering new territory. We always ask that a script takes us into new places.”
The filmmaker’s brother, Agustin Almodóvar, has been his producer since the 1987 “Law of Desire.” That’s fitting, since families are at the center of many of the films, including this one — but they're not necessarily traditional families.
All this makes the film an amazing collaboration of artists.” Aside from the work of his brother and Cruz, Agustin notes, “Also, you have the soundtrack by Alberto Iglesias and the photography by José Luis Alcaine.
“I realized Almodóvar was more than a movie director; there was a social movement attached to the way he was expressing himself.” Banderas added the filmmaker was part of “a revolution that shook the foundation of Spanish cinema and Spanish morality.”
Spain, for whatever reasons, often fails to choose his films for submission. Of his previous 22 films, only three received Oscar nominations for foreign-language/international film: “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” (1988), “All About My Mother” (which won, 1999) and “Pain and Glory” (2019).
Did they know during production that this film was special?
When “Pain and Glory” opened, star Antonio Banderas talked with Variety about the 1982 San Sebastian premiere of “Labyrinth of Passion,” saying the audience was passionate, pro and con, with vocal reactions to the film.
He adds, “Pedro likes to work with characters facing a moral dilemma.” In “Parallel Mothers,” Cruz’s character is dealing with two dilemmas: an atmosphere of secrecy and lies that go back to the Franco era, “and a private truth, which she’s incapable of confronting right away,” says Almodóvar.
Variety’s Owen Gleiberman reviewed “Parallel Mothers” at the Venice fest and proclaimed it his best since “All About My Mother.” He added, “‘It is as serious as any film Almodóvar has made but he hasn’t let go of his luminously light, beguiling puckish side … and Cruz acts the part with a mood-shifting immediacy that leaves you breathless.”” />
The producer says that with each new film, “I’m very lucky to be there from the beginning, when a script is just an idea.

There is a chronology to the development of a new character at Aardman. And we usually get in at least one animator: On this occasion, it was Rhodri Lovett, who came in and developed Ella. So we worked closely together to get the very specific look, and the very specific kind of actions and movements that we would need from her. We always try and do that with our lead characters to develop them.” Cox says: “We build into the schedule at the beginning some development time, some testing time.
So when it came to the shoot, everything was so tight … the storyboards, the animatic… And it should be a good film. “As we were going through the process, before we even start shooting actually, we knew that the story was in good shape. And having that at the very beginning of the shoot meant that the crew were on board, were excited, and wanted to work hard. we knew that all we needed to do was use the skills of the crew to fill in the gaps, do the animation. They wanted to do their very best.” We knew that we'd done a lot of prep work, and we'd got some good gags in there.
The tone of the special follows that of the series, created by Richard Starzak, who drew inspiration for the dialogue-free show from the comedy greats of the silent era, such as Laurel and Hardy, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin.
Cox adds: “And then for the mom, Jin, we thought Ben would probably need a bit of organizing in his life because he's probably swanned through life, just being charming, and everything falling in his lap. So his wife would be the brains of the operation and the organizer.”
Cox comments: “We decided the color palette downstairs in the house would be quite cold, quite muted. So cold, concrete hard surfaces downstairs, and upstairs you get her lovely, rich, cosy room, and all the corridors are all slightly warmer.” The ground floor of Ben’s house has a certain “austerity” to it, but upstairs is different. But then when you go upstairs you'll notice there's a slight warming because that's where Ella’s bedroom is and all the fun stuff happens.
Cox worked with Debbie Smith, the sculptor, and Claire Cohen, the puppet designer, to bring the character into the 3D world. Everyone else then gave their notes, followed by final tweaks, and then it was turned into a puppet for Lovett and Cox to start building the character. Once the character’s 2D design is finalized, then it is sculpted in clay.
And it worked pretty well.” “But we had to re-conceive all that virtually. Although they're just drawing, there's a lot of communication that goes on, as you're putting the film together as an animatic,” Beek says. “Normally those story-board artists would be in one place with the director.
“It works at a pace. I would say almost double the speed of any of the other features or style work that we do at Aardman,” he says.
Executive producers were Mark Burton, Sarah Cox and Carla Shelley. – had to be produced during the pandemic to a tight schedule and with a limited budget. The film – which airs on TV networks in 17 territories, including the BBC in the U.K., ABC in Australia, France TV and Germany's WDR, and streams on Netflix in the rest of the world, including the U.S.
So it was always quite a delicate balance of making the story work and making it have drama, but not making anyone bad or naughty. Ella couldn't be the villain of the piece. It was quite a challenge in scripting and boarding to get that to work,” Beek says. So we have people who are causing problems for Shaun, but the family couldn't be the bad guys. “We were very clear that the film didn't have villains.
I wanted Farmer Ben to have this traditional farmhouse that he's then just splurged this big extension onto the side, which is still done with class but it's the old meets the new.” Cox says: “I’m a big fan of [Channel 4 TV show] ‘Grand Designs.’ We're always watching that.
For the special, which they conceived of as a mini-movie, they decided to expand Ben’s world, giving him a family. Cox headed up the character design for Jin and Ella.
Cohen designed the armature of Ella’s puppet – its metal skeleton – as well as deciding how her hair and clothes were going to look, “making sure that everything that we put in speaks to the characters and the story, that's what guides those choice,” Beek says.
We held back very little. But we shared at treatment stage, script stage; every animatic was shared. He adds: “Sometimes it's not the nicest experience getting your homework marked every time you do anything.
Cox adds: “You have to love her. You have to really love her.”
“Big vistas, lots of huge sets, which are used for just the one shot as the sleigh was flying through.” “We knew it was going to be very difficult to do because there are a lot of shots in quick succession,” he says.
The endeavor began in 2018 when Burton and writer Giles Pilbrow began brainstorming ideas for "Shaun the Sheep” specials and came up with some treatments. In 2019, Beek – who had been involved previously – came back on board and was joined by Cox, and the four of them developed the project, which was greenlit in November 2019.
The film had to be delivered by the first week of September; it launched on Netflix on Dec. They shot for 21 weeks – starting in mid-January 2021, and wrapping in early June, with 15 animators employed, and a total crew of around 60, as well as those working on the post-production, the color grading, and the score. 3.” />
Then Steve made his amends to those 2D drawings.” Beek adds that on “Shaun” TV projects, due to the limited budgets in comparison to feature-length movies, time is of the essence. “We shared those with the Aardman team, the executive team, and also [Mark Burton], the executive producer. And they gave notes on those. “On ‘Shaun’ it’s so tricky because you have one bite of every cherry.” Cox did two passes on 2D design on Ella.
Cox explains how he developed the characters of Jin and Ella. “We were thinking: ‘What kind of family would Ben have, and what kind of character would we need as a foil for Shaun, because we wanted [Ella] not to be a proper villain, but to have proper motivations for getting in Shaun's way and cause all this trouble. So we thought of an only child who's probably been a bit spoiled and overlooked and all that kind of stuff.”
Ben and Jin’s house is distinctive, and Cox worked closely with the art department on the design, down to the smallest details, such as the type of curtains. “The art director, Andy Brown, was asking: ‘What kind of curtains do you want in here?’ and I said we need them to be ceiling to floor, and then I saw the Nissan Dukkha advert and said: ‘The curtains in that are the kind of plain but sophisticated looking curtains that we want.’ He looked that up, and before we knew it, they were on set.”
“It’s quite a furious process; it's not as considered as some of the other work we do. The development of the special took six months up to the start of the shoot, which is typical for “Shaun” projects. But that's part of its energy,” Beek says.
Tom Howe, the film’s composer, came on board very early, before the team had the first animatic ready. Cox says they were looking for the score to be "epic," "cinematic" and "Christmassy." It was recorded with an orchestra at London's Abbey Road studios in one day in July 2021, about four weeks after the end of shoot.
Because we were working to such a tight deadline, what we didn't want was a problem that we couldn't fix, or couldn't fix in a way that would please us.” “And we would do packages of all the shots as they were coming in off the floor.
When he storyboarded it with artist Andy James the sequence totaled 10 minutes … far too long; so it was a case of “whittling this thing down to get all those fun chase things in, and all the story beats we needed, into something very short. I think it was two minutes in the end.”
It's like Morecambe and Wise,” he says, referring to the cuddly British comedy double act from the last century. People don't seem to pick up on how dark [‘Wallace and Gromit’] is sometimes. It's silly. “ ‘Shaun’ always keeps way clear of the kind of darkness that [’Wallace and Gromit’ creator Nick Park] sort of revels in almost. the fact that the sheep have been made into dog food and things like that,” Beek says. This lightness in tone is in contrast to Aardman’s best-known show, “Wallace and Gromit,” which “actually has quite a dark edge to it… But ‘Shaun’ is bucolic.
Whereas Ben and Jin are “so neat and prim and proper,” Cox says, for Ella the look started with “a massive mop of hair.” He adds: “I thought: That's unruly hair. So it was based on real life kids. They explode with life, don't they?” It's kind of her personality. You can't neaten them up. Her mom is trying to straighten her hair the whole time.
It's something we are used to. They know exactly how to dress the farmhouse, what paints to use, all this sort of stuff. And the same with the art department. Cox, who directed season six of “Shaun the Sheep,” adds: “We can only achieve that because the crew are well versed in ‘Shaun.’ I directed them [in season six], so I'd worked with them closely. And that was really useful. If it was a brand new product, we wouldn’t be able to do it with that kind of speed.” So we've done it so many times in the past that we can hit the ground running. Everybody who animates Shaun knows exactly how to move him, how he works.
The team produced three versions of the film on storyboards over the rest of that year, and delivered a final version on Dec. “It was quite a full-on process,” Beek says, adding that there was nothing else to distract them because of the pandemic. “We all threw ourselves into it, heart and soul.” 20, 2020.
“He’s athletic, good looking, everyone likes him, and The Farmer hates this guy.” Ben had been brought into the series in a previous season of the show to provide a counterpoint to The Farmer, its leading human character, who lives at Mossy Bottom Farm with his faithful hound Bitzer, and the less faithful flock of sheep. Ben isn’t a traditional bad guy. “We wanted to find a nemesis for The Farmer. He’s perfect and that's what's irritating about him for The Farmer. Everything he does, he does it well, it does it brilliantly,” Beek says.

Ella’s personality was inspired by a real girl. In the original treatment, the Ella character was called Lucy and she was a little bit sweet, a little bit cutesy, and not that interesting. “A friend of mine has a little girl around that age and she's just a tearaway. So I just thought: This character needs to be a real force of nature; she needs that kind of energy.”
In Aardman's half-hour stop-motion comedy film "Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas," Timmy the lamb finds himself whisked off on an adventure to the local town, hidden in a large parcel, and thence onward to the house of Ben the farmer, his wife Jin and their daughter Ella. The making of the animated show was also an adventure, producer Richard Beek and director Steve Cox tell Variety. Shaun and the flock must mount a daring rescue.
but Steve being the judge of what is right or wrong for the characters. So there was a lot of real examples of what the elements of the house could be. Beek adds: “We do a lot of mood boarding and stuff like that. And then Steve and Andy would really dig into the detail of those pieces, like which walls were just concrete, which had a kind of texturing to them… So, yeah, everything was considered.”
“When we did the first [season of ‘Shaun’], we made a choice that we wouldn't rehearse any of the shots. We would treat it more like a traditional children's TV show, where you just go straight to the shot you want,” he says.
Beek adds: “All the things that are economies about ‘Shaun’ are also part of what makes it ‘Shaun.’ I think if we were to overthink ‘Shaun,’ and to start rehearsing all the shots, maybe it would lose its spontaneity and energy.” It was stressful, but, Cox says: “It is great when it works. You're going 100 miles an hour, and then all of a sudden, you've got this great product, great shots are coming in, and everything looks fantastic.
They made “some quite fundamental changes, especially towards the end of the film,” Cox adds, and then continued to “tweak and adjust right through” to April 2020. “Steve, Mark, Giles and I really dug into the script for six months. We took it from quite a detailed treatment, but made quite a lot of changes in that period,” Beek says.
But Aardman also shared the work as it progressed with BBC and Netflix. German broadcaster WDR was Aardman’s main production partner on the special, having been on board with the “Shaun” series since the beginning, and contractually could deliver notes at every stage of production. “Our thinking was the more we shared it and heard what people thought the better,” Beek says. “We’d use that feedback to improve it.”
Our production partners were happy with it. And we're all ready to start [story] boarding … then COVID hit.” So we felt like we'd used that six months really, really well. People were happy with it internally. By then, Beek says, “everything was going great guns; we'd got the script into such a great place; really, really solid.
Meanwhile, Beek and the Aardman team made the studio in Bristol as COVID safe as they could, putting up screens between all the desks, and tidying up to create more space. There followed an eight-week shutdown at Aardman’s studio, but the storyboard and animatic teams quickly switched to working from home. When everyone came back into the studio in the summer a COVID testing regime was in place, with everyone testing twice a week.
Four or five story-board artists were engaged on the project to begin with, which was ramped up a bit later.
Beek adds: “In the series, The Farmer has a niece who screams when she doesn't get what she wants. She couldn't be a brat. She had to tick over in a way that you sympathized with for the end to pay off properly.” And we knew that Ella couldn't have that element.
It was “so exciting; with loads of gags; lots of fun stuff.” Out of all the sequences in the film, Cox singles out its ski chase as the one that gave him the most satisfaction.
This speed is driven by financial considerations, but despite this TV style approach to production, the aesthetic is cinematic, Beek says.

And then when I pitched him the film, he hit me right back and it was all go from there, you know? “Me and him, we just connected the first time we spoke. So, he was bought in.” “Jonathan's just an incredible actor, an incredible person,” Jordan said, explaining why he felt Majors would make the perfect sparring partner.
“He's full of quotes and advice and a lot of gems,” Jordan added about learning from the storied entertainer. In particular, Jordan keyed into the filmmaker’s preparation process, describing Washington’s rehearsals as “spot-on and intense.”
“A Journal for Jordan” is in theaters now.
The cast for “Creed III” is slowly coming together, as Jordan is expected to be reunited with Adonis Creed’s on-screen love, Bianca (Tessa Thompson) and mother (Phylicia Rashad), with “Lovecraft Country” and “The Harder They Fall” star Jonathan Majors joining the crew as the story’s mysterious antagonist.
Michael B. Jordan is preparing to make his directorial debut with “Creed III,” the latest chapter in Adonis Creed’s saga, which is set to hit theaters Thanksgiving 2022.
“I think we did three weeks before we started filming, which I think is incredible,” Jordan shared. “I've always done rehearsals before, but I think on [‘Creed’], I'm going to make sure I get enough rehearsals to really massage the scenes that I feel like are the biggest days for my cast, once we actually start production.”
But Jordan wisely skipped over speculation that Majors might be playing someone connected to Rocky Balboa's past (like the son of Clubber Lang from "Rocky III," for example), so fans will have to just have to wait and see how this sparring match shakes out.
When news broke that Jordan would take the helm of the franchise, in addition to starring as the boxing champ, the first-time feature filmmaker released a statement explaining why he wanted to take on the challenge.
Jordan added: “He has so many different talents, and things that he brings to the table. I'm extremely lucky. He was just perfect for the role, so it was a match made in heaven. We're very blessed to have him and I can't wait for everybody to see what we do.”
“‘Creed III’ is that moment — a time in my life where I’ve grown more sure of who I am, holding agency in my own story, maturing personally, growing professionally and learning from the Greats like Ryan Coogler, most recently Denzel Washington, and other top tier directors I respect. All of which sets the table for this moment.” “Directing has always been an aspiration, but the timing had to be right,” Jordan stated.
Majors also shared how his training regimen has affected him personally. “This is something my coach said: ‘People live the way they fight.' So you learn a lot about yourself when you’re training, and you can surprise yourself.”
Majors recently opened up to Variety about squaring off against Jordan and playing the antagonist, versus the leading man roles he’s landed lately.
“It’s just you and your fatigue, and when the body gives out, you can explore the spirit," he said. And through the intense boxing workouts, Majors tapped into something profound about his acting.
Jordan’s Donnie Creed is the son of the fallen boxing champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), and “Creed II” featured a next generation rematch between Creed and Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu) — son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the boxer who killed Apollo in that “Rocky IV” match. (Milo Ventimiglia). Plus, the film also re-introduced Rocky Balboa’s (Sylvester Stallone) estranged son Rocky Balboa Jr. The ”Creed” and “Rocky” franchises have traditionally dealt with family ties and stories of fathers and sons.
Jordan worked with Washington on the true-life romantic drama “A Journal for Jordan,” which is now in theaters, where he picked up a few tips from the two-time Oscar winner and four-time director.
The lingering question is, who exactly is this “antagonist” that Majors is playing?
Washington recounted his conversations about directing with Jordan, saying that his first piece of honest advice was to “prepare, prepare, prepare.”
“But [Michael’s] motivated and he's very, very bright, so I'm sure he will do well.” (To note: Washington also directed himself in his first three efforts, “Antwone Fisher,” “The Great Debaters” and “Fences”). “It's much harder than you think because he's acting and directing,” Washington told Variety.
“What is happening, how it manifests may seem like there’s malice in it. “In my opinion, there’s no difference, but there is,” he explained. Sometimes I feel like with the villains or the antagonist, there’s more hurt, so it almost seems impractical or it seems extreme what it is they’re trying to do.”

"The Center Will Not Hold" included archival footage and conversations between Dunne and Didion.
"Yesterday morning her enormous readership also began their goodbyes to Joan Didion, one of the greatest writers of our time. "Yesterday morning I said goodbye to my Aunt Joan for the last time," Dunne, the son of Didion's brother-in-law, author Dominick Dunne, said in a statement on Friday.
Actor and filmmaker Griffin Dunne paid tribute to his aunt, acclaimed author Joan Didion, who died on Thursday at 87.
Also an essayist and screenwriter, Didion rose to prominence in the 1960s as a leader in the New Journalism movement, and managed to keep generations of readers captivated with her distinctive voice and acute observations, especially of California life. The death of the iconic writer left the literary world and Didion's legion of fans reeling on Thursday.
Essay collections "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" (1968) and "The White Album" (1979); plus novels "Play It as It Lays" (1970), which she adapted for a 1972 film; "A Book of Common Prayer" (1977); "Democracy" (1984), and "The Last Thing He Wanted" (1996), adapted into a 2020 film by Dee Rees, cemented her legacy as one of the 20th century's most masterful writers.” />
Now I find myself in grief, which I share with so many others who are also mourning this great loss." She wrote about grief to find out what she felt, but ended up giving hope and meaning to those who needed it most. "Her voice was that of a writer who saw things as they were before most of us.
Dunne said Didion, who was the subject of his haunting 2017 Netflix documentary "Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold," "wrote about grief to find out what she felt, but ended up giving hope and meaning to those who needed it most."
These qualities are ones I admire and have tried to learn from all my life. "In 1961, as a young contributor at Vogue, Joan once wrote, 'People with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve; they display what was once called character.' As her nephew, I was fortunate enough to witness firsthand Joan’s character, her self-respect, her certain toughness.