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Desus & Mero: Episode 1 Review

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Desus & Mero: Episode 1 Review

Hailing from the Bronx with heavy accents, the unconventional internet comedians have arrived on your late night TV-programming. For those who are exhausted with the prototypical comedic night shows that cover pop culture topics, Desus & Mero are here to bring new energy for viewers.

Relatively new channel Viceland, gave the green light for their show to start last night at 11 p.m ET. Their chemistry is on the level of a former Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. Not because they have extensive knowledge about the topics, but because they feed off each other’s jokes and have no shame in expressing how they feel.

Desus & Mero are both prominent users on Twitter known for their witty and flat-out hilarious tweets. Their start originated on twitter but quickly transitioned into a podcast. The duo got their start in 2013 when Complex offered them an internet show where they would talk about everything from Derek Jeter’s newest girlfriend to the horrific actions about Isis. Their current show on Viceland holds the same template. Two men from the Bronx offering their opinions in an unconventional comedy/news show.

The first episode hosted a guest host, actor Awkwafina, and they proceeded to watch a video of fight between a Jaguars and Bears fan. With numerous expletives being beeped out while they commentated, they managed to sneak in a “timbs” joke in the process.

This segment of the show took from Highly Questionable, random hilarious videos are shown and the duo gave their comments on it. It will be interesting to see their comments on future viral videos.

There were tons of laughs to be made and random facts to be presented. Like the fact that “creepy clown porn” is a highly searched topic on Pornhub. After struggling to make ends meet a few years back, Desus & Mero succeeded in making it on making on TV and are looking to gain you as fans. The next episode starts tomorrow night at 11 p.m. ET.

Recent University of Missouri graduate. English major with love for anything sports, fashion or music related. Favorite artist is Kanye West, and favorite writer is Ta-Nahesi Coates. Currently resides in Rocklin, California but hopes to live in a big city one day as a writer/journalist covering the most important news.

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Disney’s Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ Looking at $100M+ In Memorial Day Riches

UPDATED, 1:17 PM: At this time we can tell you that Disney’s Aladdin is off to a healthy start at the domestic box office with a $28 million-$30 million Friday (including $7 million in Thursday’s previews). It is now expected to hit $80 million over three days and $95 million over the full four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend frame.

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Disney’s Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ Looking at $100M+ In Memorial Day Riches

UPDATED, 1:17 PM: At this time we can tell you that Disney’s Aladdin is off to a healthy start at the domestic box office with a $28 million-$30 million Friday (including $7 million in Thursday’s previews). It is now expected to hit $80 million over three days and $95 million over the full four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend frame.

Some see the Guy Ritchie film besting Solo: A Star Wars Story‘s four-day Memorial Day start of $103M last year with a potential $104M gross, but this holiday is so wonky it is too soon to call it at that. There can be fall-off as people become distracted by holiday activities.

Regardless, it’s a better than anticipated start for Disney’s latest live-action remake, on which critics are divided but exit polls show audiences love. Aladdin is a brand that is fresher than Dumbo and hipper, being a fave of Gen X and Gen Y audiences.

We will have more box office updates later today.

PREVIOUSLY, 7:36 AM: Disney’s Aladdin is off to strong start after $7 million in Thursday night previews that began officially at 6 PM yesterday, preceded by 5 PM fan events. That figure is exceedingly better than the frumpy Thursday night start of Dumbo, which only snorted up $2.6M for a $46M weekend.

Last night was also the best preview start for director Guy Ritchie at the domestic box office; two summers ago, his King Arthur: Legend of the Sword tanked with a $15.3M opening, leading to a $39.1M domestic finish and $148.6M global off a $175M production cost.

Tracking is between $73M-$85M on Aladdin over the Friday-through-Monday stretch of Memorial Day weekend. Critics are split about the live-action reboot of the 1992 Disney classic at 60% fresh. We’ll see whether the die-hard Aladdin fans dominate or remain divided as the weekend continues.

So far, so good: ComScore/Screen Engine PostTrack exits show general audiences giving Aladdin 4 1/2 stars and a solid 69% definite recommend. Females over 25 lead at 34% (98% positive grade), followed by females under 25 at 25% (97% grade), men over 25 at 21% (88%) and Men under 25 at 20% (83%). Parents gave the pic four stars after turning out at 12%, and kids under 12, who repped 20% of the crowd and loved it at 4 1/2 stars.

If those figures maintain, Ritchie is bound to see his best opening at the domestic B.O. after 2009’s Sherlock Holmes ($62.3M). We went into the weekend projecting on the low end, given the funkiness of moviegoing over the Memorial Day stretch. Since Marvel movies have taken over the earlier part of the month (or late April), Memorial Day has increasingly become anti-climactic at the box office. Disney has traditionally tanked over Memorial Day weekend with its event attempts, but this year might be different.

Aladdin‘s Thursday also bests that of Disney’s 2017 Memorial Day attempt Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ($5.5M off 7 PM shows for a $78.4M four-day opening) as well as late May 2014’s live-action Sleeping Beauty spinoff Maleficent ($4.2M previews from 9 PM and midnight, $69M opening). Many are comparing Aladdin to the female-skewing Cinderella, and Prince Ali also beat her 8 PM Thursday showtimes of $2.3M, which turned into a $67.8M opening.

Among the preview nights for the live-action remakes of Disney’s toons, Beauty and the Beast is still the fairest in the land with a huge $16.3M from March 16, 2017 shows.

Those who’ve seen the top sheet of Aladdin say it cost around $182M net, which is cheaper than Pirates 5 ($230M production cost net before P&A), and a little higher than Beauty and the Beast ($160M).

Atom Tickets saw Aladdin presales outstrip those of Dumbo and Mary Poppins Returns. Based on Atom’s recent Summer Movie Survey, Aladdin was in the top 10 Most Anticipated Summer Movies list in addition to the top 5 Most Anticipated Family Summer Movies. Of those that voted for Aladdin as their top summer movie, they also said they are most excited to hear the song “A Whole New World” from the movie. The majority (70%) are really excited to see Will Smith as the genie. In terms of the survey demographics, 50% were 25-34 years old, 26% were in the range of 35-44, and 12% were 45-54. Also based on the survey, fans of the movie also skewed more female (~60%), which was what tracking spotted and what last night’s exit polls indicated.

Sony Screens Gems/The H Collective has the James Gunn-produced superhero horror pic Brightburn, which drew $950,000 last night from 7 PM shows at 2,257 locations. Pic’s opening is projected at $8M over three days and $10M for four days. That’s ahead of Warner Bros’ R-rated July 2015 horror pic The Gallows, which opened to $9.8M. Brightburn cost an estimated $6M before marketing and distribution costs.

United Artists’ release of Annapurna’s Olivia Wilde-directed teenage comedy Booksmart took in $875K in previews. The R-rated film is tracking towards a domestic four-day weekend opening in the mid- to high-single-digits.

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Aaron Rodgers Goes on Epic Rant Blasting Game of Thrones Ending

The “Game of Thrones” series finale arrived on Sunday and let’s just say that plenty of fans and critics had problems with the ending.That includes a man who actually made an appearance on the show, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

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Aaron Rodgers Goes on Epic Rant Blasting Game of Thrones Ending

The “Game of Thrones” series finale arrived on Sunday and let’s just say that plenty of fans and critics had problems with the ending.

That includes a man who actually made an appearance on the show, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

(Warning: Several “Game of Thrones” spoilers are mentioned here, but you were smart enough to know that.)

Aaron Rodgers blasts ‘Game of Thrones’ finale

Speaking with reporters during Packers OTAs, Rodgers was initially asked to clarify where he actually showed up in “The Bells,” the fifth episode of the “Game of Thrones” final season.

Rodgers confirmed he was neither the archer (“that person definitely looked like me”), nor the man incinerated by dragon fire (“I’m disappointed in every person who would say that was me … total non-athlete.”) Rather, he was the one by the bell tower.

Once that was settled, Rodgers was asked if he actually liked the ending of the show he has watched for years. What followed was a lengthy, point-by-point takedown of the finale’s biggest decisions.

A full transcript of Rodgers’ comments about the show’s ending:

Were you satisfied with the ending of “Game of Thrones?”

No. I love the show and it was a great 10 years, but no. You come down to the end and Tyrion says the person with the best story is Bran? Who, by the way, three episodes said he wasn’t Bran Stark anymore. No. Jon had a better story. Dany had a better story. Arya had a better story. Sansa had a better story. Tyrion had a better story. Varys had a better story. Bronn, a lot better story. Jaime, better story. Cersei, probably a better story. Any Baratheon, better story.

Who should have been on the throne?

I think Dany should have been on the throne. Here’s the thing, though. Here’s my last theory about it. If Bran, the Three-Eyed Raven, whose all about the health of the realm. Let’s think about what he did. He basically wanted the throne the whole time because he’s the one who told the Starks, knowing that Sansa would tell Tyrion, knowing that Tyrion would talk to Varys, knowing that he’d scheme for Dany’s death, knowing that would piss her off, which led her to be the Mad Queen. So he, the entire time, set the whole thing up and then at the end goes ‘Oh yeah, I don’t want to be king. Oh, but why did I travel all this way to be here?’ No. Look, I love the opportunity to be in the show, which most people probably don’t think I was, but I was there. I love the show, but the writers are also doing Star Wars, so I think they might have been a little busy.

Clearly, Rodgers is a little upset.

Aaron Rodgers is not alone in hating the ‘Game of Thrones’ ending

That last comment alludes to the recent news that “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will helm the next “Star Wars” movie, which led to backlash from many fans over the perception that the show’s final season was rushed as its top decision-makers prepared for their foray into science fiction.

Really, Rodgers’ comments match up with most fans’ biggest criticisms, mainly the implications of Bran Stark king-taking the throne and the handling of Daenerys Targaryen’s transition into villainy. Petitions have already been started to redo the show’s final season.

“Game of Thrones” is finally over as a television series, but the discussion around the show and story will likely live on for years.

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Coca-Cola Brings Back New Coke in Honor of ‘Stranger Things’

A rush of TV watchers to streaming video has prompted Coca-Cola to test an interesting pour. Coca-Cola will bring New Coke back to market for a brief time, all part of a partnership with Netflix, which has featured Coke in its cult-favorite series “Stranger Things.”

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Coca-Cola Brings Back New Coke in Honor of 'Stranger Things'

A rush of TV watchers to streaming video has prompted Coca-Cola to test an interesting pour.

Coca-Cola will bring New Coke back to market for a brief time, all part of a partnership with Netflix, which has featured Coke in its cult-favorite series “Stranger Things.” The third season of the series, set in 1985, will weave New Coke into select episodes, and so the streaming-video outlet approached the beverage giant about taking part in a promotion that will boost the return of the series as well as the company’s flagship drink.

The formula for New Coke has languished in the Atlanta vaults of The Coca-Cola Company for years, left to collect dust after an ill-fated launch in 1985. More than thirty years later, the company thinks consumers will clamor for the beverage they once declined to love.

“This is uncharted territory for us,” says Geoff Cottrill, senior vice president of strategic marketing for Coca-Cola North America, in an interview. “We want to look for ways to work with Netflix, but only in ways that don’t interrupt consumers, and don’t get in the way of the entertainment. If we can find ways to integrate authentically and add value to the experience, then we want to be a part of it.”

New Coke was supposed to be a saving grace for Coca-Cola, a sweeter version of its iconic soda tailored for modern tastes. Instead, its launch is seen as one of the greatest gaffes in the history of marketing. Consumers rebelled, hoarding cans of the original formula. The old reliable returned to shelves after just 79 days. Imagine the pushback if Twitter had been invented last century!

Now the oft-disparaged beverage has a chance to redeem itself in an era when consumers are exponentially harder to reach. Coca-Cola’s big swing shows how much blue-chip advertisers crave a connection with streaming-video outlets, which often run few ads – and in many cases, none.

And yet, advertisers of all stripes are eager to find ways to align themselves with the streaming shows that have captured more attention from the public. Viewers have “added a new platform in how they are consuming content and stories,” notes Cottrill. “It’s an opportunity for us to find an interesting way to be there.” Coca-Cola is taking part in a test with Hulu, which has begun to run on-screen “pause ads” that show up when its subscribers decide to stop their video selection for a period of time.

The pressure to catch consumers fascinated with ad-free premium video has become palpable. In February, Anheuser-Busch InBev ran a Super Bowl ad that did the unthinkable – it left viewers thinking more about HBO’s “Game of Thrones” than about beer. The commercial showed a character from the HBO series defeating the Bud Knight in a joust and then killing him in no uncertain terms. Even so, the commercial gave Anheuser’s Bud Light a connection to viewers who at the time were eager to see the series’ final season.

No one predicts streaming-video will take up the models used by TV networks. “We don’t have any ad space to sell,” says Barry Smyth, head of global partnership marketing at Netflix. Indeed, neither Netflix or Amazon break up their programs with commercials, while Hulu offers an ad-supported option that includes fewer commercials than linear TV. Netflix has tapped a marketing agency, 1TwentyFour, to work with advertisers and their representatives, but Smyth notes the company is not driven to rack up new alliances with sponsors, and says the service will remain ad-free. Other marketing alliances may be possible: “We are definitely open to working with brands, just so long as it’s very authentic,” he says.

Other streaming outlets are contemplating advertiser alliances, too – even if they won’t run commercials. Amazon features banner ads from movie studios and TV networks on its Prime Video home page. There are no plans to include traditional commercials on Disney Plus, the soon-to-launch subscription-video service from Walt Disney Co.. Still, the company could offer a limited number of content sponsorship opportunities that would align Disney Plus content with promotions from advertisers, says a person familiar with the matter, much in the same way a movie studio creates alliances with car companies and restaurant chains to call attention to a new release.

Netflix and Coca-Cola have been working on the promotion for 18 months, Smyth says, and with good reason. The marketing initiative, spurred after Netflix learned that “Stranger Things” showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer intended to make New Coke part of the story in the show’s third season, required a lot of research and work.

Coca-Cola will make available about 500,000 cans of New Coke to the public, who can buy it online as part of a package at CokeStore.com/1985, or have a chance to get it at the company’s World of Coca-Cola the week of June 3 on select days. As part of the promotion, Coca-Cola will also unveil limited-edition packages of original Coke with “Stranger Things” designs on them. And the company will launch an ad in movie theaters – a remake of an actual 1985 ad for New Coke directed by the Duffers themselves.

Researchers and designers at Coca-Cola spent six months sifting through past materials to recreate the New Coke package, which uses a slightly different shade of red than the original formula. Executives had to source the ingredients in the New Coke recipe and secretly produce New Coke concentrate in an Atlanta bottling plant.

The company doesn’t expect to make any money off the New Coke revival, says Stuart Kronauge, president, sparkling business unit, Coca-Cola North America, but it will use the experiment to gauge other reaction. She is interested to see how quickly the New Coke supply sells out, tracking the Netflix promotion to actual customer orders.”I want to see how fast that goes…the receptivity, the energy.”

You’d think reviving New Coke would be a task fraught with gravitas, but Kronauge suggests the process has been anything but. Coca-Cola ‘has a side that’s very playful,” she says. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

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