By LISA SPECKHARD PASQUE, The Capital TimesMADISON, Wis. (AP) — It’s a Wednesday afternoon at Ford’s Gym, a “Rocky”-style gym filled with “regular old-school dudes,” Sabrina Madison says. That’s why she likes it.Head coach Andrea Nelson leads Madison through her boxing drills. Wearing boxing gloves, Madison punches while stepping to the left, stepping right, taking quick one-two punches, then punches while stepping forward and stepping backward. At the end of her session, she gives whatever she has left to the heavy bag hanging from the ceiling by a chain.In this Wednesday, March 6, 2019 photo, Sabrina Madison works on the double end bag at Ford’s Gym in Madison, Wis. Madison says the exercise from boxing is a release from the 24/7 nature of her work. (Michelle Stocker/The Capital Times via AP)She’s sweating from the effort, but she laughs when she mixes up her footwork. After all, this counts as time off for Madison. Her seven-day schedule and everyday support for Black women doesn’t allow for free nights and weekends, The Capital Times reported.Just a few days earlier, she told a group of Black middle school girls that they just had to say the word and she would advocate on their behalf.“I love getting in people’s face and saying, ‘Hey! These girls want to do this thing and they need this money,’” she told them. “I love that.”“Some people call me a pit bull. It’s basically because I get what I want and I’m very matter of fact about it.”Her friends and colleagues agree. They say Madison is an entrepreneur, unapologetic about being herself and focusing her work on Black women. She’s willing to critique the powerful. She doesn’t care whether you like her, yet people use words like “charismatic” and “warm” to describe her.Madison’s innovative ideas and tenacity have taken her far, from a dysfunctional family, early grief and teenage motherhood in Milwaukee to creating a host of programs and spaces for Black women in Madison. She quit her job at Madison College in 2016 to work for Black women and hasn’t looked back; she hosted her first Black Women’s Leadership Conference later that year and founded the Progress Center for Black Women just a year later.But after spending her days speaking up for Black girls, women and families in a predominantly White city, throwing punches provide self-care and an escape.“It releases so much when you’re doing work like this, and people are sharing with you and there’s so much racism,” she says. “It’s just such a great release.”Sabrina Madison — known her nickname “Heymiss Progress” or simply “Progress” — naturally wakes up by 5 a.m. every morning and spends about a half hour catching up on news from sources like the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times and local outlets.She often stops for her regular Moka order (the employees know it as “The Sabrina”), then it’s on to an ever-varied schedule.On a recent Friday morning, she heads first to John Muir Elementary on the west side for “Read Your Heart Out,” an event that brings community members into schools to read aloud to kids.The second she steps into a second-grade classroom, an African-American boy half-asks, half-exclaims, “That’s Sabrina Madison?!”She’s just as surprised that he knows her by sight as he is to have her in the classroom.Jennifer Greenwald, a teacher at Muir, explains the kids know Madison because they studied her story. The school holds an annual Black history event and this year chose to celebrate local figures, Greenwald said. Second grade was in charge of Black activists, so students wrote a skit about movers like One City Schools founder Kaleem Caire, Mentoring Positives founder Will Green and Madison.Prompted by their teachers, the kids recite part of the skit for Madison.“Sabrina Madison is a Madison activist,” one child says.“Actually, she works from what she calls a ‘love ethic,’” the next little girl recites.“Love ethic,” all the kids repeat, forming their hands into hearts around their chests. That’s a reference to feminist bell hooks, one of Madison’s favorite authors.“Growing up it was just her and her mom, and they struggled to get along,” the skit continues.“Now she runs the Progress Center for Black Women. And helps Black women be who they want to be.”“Who. They. Want. To. Be,” the kids repeat in chorus.As Madison reads to the kids sitting on the floor in front of her, she peppers them with comments and questions.“She is a growing business owner,” Madison says, pointing out the entrepreneurial efforts of the woman in the story. “She built an entire shop right here in the forest.”“Girls can do everything boys can do right? Sometimes better?” she asks, and when the kids don’t immediately agree, she keeps asking. “Right? Right?”Entrepreneurship and empowerment — even if it’s just casual questions to a group of second graders — are ways of life for Madison.Her fourth annual Black Women’s Leadership Conference is coming up in the spring, and she’ll launch a Black women’s leadership accelerator, AMBITION, in the fall. She’s growing an entrepreneurial program called blkCOLLAB and is gearing up for a small-dollar grant program to help women who find themselves in financial straits. She’ll be shifting from her wildly popular one-day Black Business Expos to a new strategy, renting out a temporary storefront and letting Black entrepreneurs rotate through the space.This summer, she’s organizing yoga sessions for Black girls. For International Black Women’s History Month in April, she’s hosting four Saturday activities, including a mother-daughter tea and a girls art afternoon. In May, the center will have teams of Black kids compete for a prize of hopefully $5,000 to solve a community problem.In January, she hosted her own living room-style discussion with the mayoral primary candidates to zero in on the issues important to Black families. She spoke up for Ali Muldrow and Ananda Mirilli as Madison School Board candidates. She does consulting work and keeps up a prolific social media presence, posting about her work, community issues and funny stories about her grandmother. She staffs the Progress Center along with a recently added part-time assistant, and raises the money to make it all possible.Desmond Webster, a friend who met Madison through his work at Forward Community Investments, praised her ability to execute.“There are a lot of people with great ideas, with Sabrina, she actually has the capacity to do it,” Webster said. “I’ll be having pancakes with her and all of a sudden, two weeks later, these (ideas) are real.”Some of her goals and programs have taken longer than anticipated — AMBITION originally had an earlier start date — but Madison is also frequently pulled in different directions to advocate for Black women.“Sabrina doesn’t stay in a lane. If she sees something that matters and is important to what she cares about, she’s going to take it head on,” said Mindi Giftos, managing partner at Husch Blackwell’s Madison office and a supporter of Madison’s work.When a video of a homeless woman suffering through bitterly cold conditions this winter shows up on Facebook or a Madison Metropolitan School District teacher uses a racial slur, community members reach out to Madison, tagging her in comments or messaging her. She is often contacted directly by people she doesn’t know who ask for her help when they face discrimination at work, eviction or financial crises.When Ruby Clay found out that a teacher at Hamilton Middle School used the n-word in front of her seventh-grade daughter, she was beside herself. Madison was the first person she thought to call.“She literally listened to like five seconds of what I had to say before she was like, ‘I’m on my way,’” Clay said.When Madison arrived at the school, Clay had tears in her eyes and was in “mama mode,” Clay said. Madison helped Clay gather herself.“I need you to pull it together. I know you’re upset,” Clay remembered Madison saying. “Here’s what we have to do, here’s what we’ll ask for when we go in there.”They went in with three demands. Madison did most of the talking, but made sure every decision was made with Clay’s agreement. Eventually, the teacher resigned.Clay’s conclusion: “She’s amazing.”Madison attributes her work ethic to her history as a single mom living in Milwaukee.“Once you’re a teen parent, that’s all you do is hustle because you ain’t got no money,” she said with a laugh.When Madison was 14, her family didn’t have money for necessities like deodorant, food or decent shoes for her brother to run track. So she blurred the birth year on her high school ID and conned her way into a job at a Catholic newspaper.“I remember my mom selling food stamps just to buy laundry soap,” she said. “Whether we were hustling to get change for candy or we were hustling to get food — most little Black kids who grew up really poor, the hustle is just there.”Yet despite her tireless advocacy and crowded schedule, she’s serious about taking care of herself. A tattoo on her right forearm instructs her: “don’t break the chain,” a reference to a strategy attributed to Jerry Seinfeld. Each day he worked toward the goal, he crossed out the date with a large X on his calendar, and did it every day so as not to ruin the streak.Madison has such a calendar in her apartment, and draws a satisfying X on a day if she does something for herself: an afternoon off, a session at the gym, a day trip to Milwaukee.Michael Johnson, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County and a good friend of Madison’s, remembered when she announced plans for the Progress Center for Black Women.Some people asked what would happen if someone started a center dedicated to White women.“She’s been inclusive of all, but she’s unapologetic in saying this is the demographic that I want to be of service to,” Johnson said.Ask Madison’s friends to describe her and they will use the term “unapologetic” over and over, as if they conferred beforehand.A small example: Webster pointed out that Madison does not code switch, or alternate between languages or dialects. Madison speaks the same way to small groups of Black girls in the privacy of her Progress Center as she does to audiences for the many panel discussions she’s asked to attend.Webster said he’s often the only African-American in workplace settings and thinks that “to reach these goals in my career, ‘Oh, I have to code switch.’”“She’s like, ‘No. I don’t need to acknowledge the premise of code-switching. It’s saying that who I am is unacceptable or needs to be calibrated to fit in to this environment and I just don’t accept that,’” Webster said.She’s not waiting for approval or permission from White people. She creates her own opportunities, her supporters say.“I will support that child ’til the cows come home for the simple fact that she is a mover and shaker, she doesn’t wait for people to open the door for her. She builds it and then she opens the door for others,” said Jasmine Banks, who works at Operation Fresh Start and has participated in Madison’s expos as the founder and CEO of natural body care company Perfect Imperfections.On a recent Monday at the Progress Center, Madison hosts a group of girls from the Goodman Community Center’s Girls Inc. program. She explains to them that people trying to help the Black community don’t often focus on empowerment.“A lot of times here, folks just sort of give us stuff, give us resources, throw things on top of us,” she says. “It’s about, ‘I got this free food I’m going to give it to you, come get it at eight o’clock every Wednesday night.”She tells the girls she built the Progress Center so she doesn’t have to “listen to White men tell me how to do it,” and it feels good.“When I’m out in the public, my swag really be on 10, especially if I’m in a space where I’m talking about what I’ve created,” Madison says to the girls.Madison’s careful about funding, to make sure she, not White leadership, stays in control of her center. She ignores advice to abide by respectability politics and doesn’t allow herself to be tokenized by White Madison, she said later.“I am not looking to be accepted by Whiteness, I don’t need Whiteness’ co-sign,” Madison said. “If Whiteness never recognized me, such is life.”She’s not waiting for approval, Johnson said, so she’s willing to push back. He has witnessed her call out “very influential people” in a meeting. Madison said that after the death of Tony Robinson at the hands of a Madison Police officer, she sent a “reply-all” email response sharply criticizing a message from Chief Mike Koval.“I would say if you are looking to get something done authentically, she is the person that you want to work with,” Johnson said. “But if you are phony, fake and not real, she could be your worst nightmare.”Madison said she speaks her mind because after dealing with so much in her childhood, not much can scare her.“I’ve already had all this craziness, this madness, this hurt, this pain,” she said. “I’m just going to do what I got to do, I’m going to say what I need to say. I’ve already had a bad life, so there’s nothing anybody can do to me now where I’m afraid.”She corrects herself with a laugh: “The only person I’m really afraid of is my grandmother.”When she was a child, Madison’s family moved around Milwaukee a lot but settled for a while in the Sherman Park neighborhood on the city’s northwest side. Madison’s father lived in Chicago and died of an overdose when she was 10. She had a rough relationship with her mother, who many years later was diagnosed as a schizophrenic with bipolar disorder. Her brothers sold drugs and eventually wound up in prison. She was a mom at 15.Her mother would regularly call her names like “bitch” and “whore” and leave her at friends’ or relatives’ places for weeks at a time. There were men constantly cycling in and out of the house for what Madison later identified as prostitution.“I’ve already experienced so much bad. Seeing my mother being beaten with a gun, suffer from black eyes for probably three or four years, us having to literally escape the abuser two, three in the morning,” she said.Madison is open about this past, telling pieces of her story on panels, to the Girls Inc. girls, to the teen moms who meet her at the center. It’s this vulnerability that helps others trust her, Webster said.“Yes Sabrina’s exciting, she’s bold, she’s intelligent,” Webster said. “But you’re really missing everything with Sabrina if you don’t appreciate her decency and her warmth.”“You could meet her and then you would think about her like, ‘Who is that? I want to go to her events and I want to help her out,’” said Molly Richardson, Madison’s part-time assistant.After reading to second-graders at John Muir, she sits down for lunch with Memorial High School students who also volunteered. In less than two minutes they’re laughing and she’s razzing them for getting pencils thrown at them.“I didn’t get not one pencil to the face,” she says. “Y’all came in there with the wrong energy.”By the end, Madison’s taking a picture with the group and telling a girl: “I want to see you within like two weeks at the center.”Around 2008, Madison moved to Madison. She didn’t know anyone in the city, but found a job at Goodwill Industries and then rushed to find an apartment because she wanted a better environment for her son, SaVance Ford.“It was really, really important for me to raise him where he would not have the same outcomes that his father had,” Madison said. Her son is 24 and his father has only been out of prison for about five of those years.But it didn’t take long for her to realize “something was wrong with this damn city.” Plenty of statistics prove Madison’s persistent racial disparities, but she sensed something less quantifiable.People she encountered assumed she lived in the Allied Drive neighborhood, which mystified her until she realized there was a large Black population there. People warned her to stay away from Badger Road — which drew her there, because she thought “Black people must live on Badger Road.” Black women seemed isolated. She considered leaving when her son was in high school.“People call themselves such a liberal city, when in reality you’ve created this system of racism where Black people don’t win,” she said.Maia Chen is the owner of art and greeting card company Sweet Sorrel, featured at Madisons’ Black Business Expos. Chen grew up in Madison and remembers struggling to find places to hang out.“I felt like a lot of places where Black and brown kids find to be themselves always end up getting shut down,” Chen said.Banks, the owner of Perfect Imperfections, has lived in Madison all her life, and agreed that it has long been hard for Black people to find a space to comfortably exist.“People can say as much as they want that you can be yourself,” Banks said. “That’s a lie.”Black women are ridiculed for their hairstyles, language they use, clothing and style, she said.Sensing that problem, Madison started carving out her own spaces for Black folks. That started with “Word is Bond” poetry slams and her “Conversation Mixtapes,” regular gatherings for Black people to discuss love and relationships.By that point, Keena Atkinson was in her early 20s and “just began to accept” that there weren’t many places for her to hang out as a Black woman in Madison when she discovered the poetry events and Conversation Mixtapes.“I was telling everybody, ‘Oh my God, you have to go here,’” Atkinson said.Former Mixtape participants talk about the diverse attendee mix, from PhDs and CEOs to those living in their mother’s basement.“We didn’t have to worry about being loud, didn’t have to worry about using Ebonics,” Atkinson said. “We were just cool. We were just being who we were. We could connect around what our mamas did when we were growing up.”But that progress wasn’t enough for Madison, who was working at Madison College at the time. She was so agitated by the time she quit in 2016, she said, she couldn’t even stick it out through the end of her last day. She loved working with students, but some coworkers were like a “walking microaggression,” she said.So she left to work for Black women and hosted her first Black Women’s Leadership Conference months later, followed quickly by the first Black Business Expo. She eventually brought all her projects under one roof when she announced the creation of the Progress Center for Black Women. It found a home a year later.The center is a sea of gray and white, but the velvety furniture offers splashes of deep teal and rich purple, with flashes of gold and silver. It’s stocked with books by Black authors (hardly surprising, as she has 1,116 books in her home library by her last count), decorated with pieces by Black artists. Little Black dolls sit in the bookshelf. She calls it “my little Atlanta.”She schedules meetings at the center whenever she can. It’s her sanctuary from the overwhelming Whiteness of Madison.For Atkinson, it’s a place she can visit with her kids without someone asking, “Are you lost?” or saying, “We need this table for somebody else.” She donates to the center every month, “regardless of what my income looks like.”Madison is in talks with affordable housing developer Movin’ Out to build a permanent center, hopefully as part of a project with 40 units of affordable housing. After that, Madison hopes to build five centers throughout the country. Her first target outside of Madison is Austin, Texas.In the meantime, Madison is helping other women carve out Black spaces. Atkinson got sick of walking into yoga studios and being greeted with surprise or even asked if she was in the wrong space. She decided she would become a yoga instructor, but didn’t have the resources to do it.Madison helped her make it happen.“How many Black single moms who are living at the poverty level are able to quit their job for a month so they can go to yoga teacher training for 200 hours so they can become a yoga teacher?” Atkinson asked.Asked about her legacy, Madison’s friends and supporters have big ideas for her.“We’re all trying to get on Sabrina Madison’s TV show. I’m serious about that,” said Michael Ford, the Hip Hop Architect and friend of Madison’s. “I can see her rising to the ranks of an Oprah Winfrey-type personality.”The Boys and Girls Club’s Johnson envisions the Sabrina Madison Elementary School of the Arts or the Sabrina Madison Social Justice Center.“If she continues to do stuff that she’s doing, in her 50s I think there’s going to be hundreds of women who will say, ‘My life is better because of the Progress Center for Black Women,’” Johnson said.Madison jokes that she’ll know her work is done when she can walk into five Black-owned stores around Madison to pick up a t-shirt, jeans, jewelry, hair product and something to eat.Yet even as Madison works to build Black spaces and advocate for change, she’s been known to encourage Black residents to leave town, especially if their kids are struggling in school. One morning at the center, she gets a phone call from a friend who moved her daughter to Texas — and she snaps her fingers in delight with the good news of this little Black girl flourishing in school.Chen said Madison can’t be the only person pushing back on the “toxicity” of Madison for Black people.“I really believe in what Sabrina is doing and it’s really good for Madison,” Chen said. “I just want it to be able to flourish the way it should. It worries me because of what (the city of) Madison does to things.”Webster said the city has a choice: it can continue to be a politically correct, mid-tier regional city that makes safe choices or it can work to draw people from outside the state.“That requires making investments in people like Sabrina. And I’m not saying just put her on a stage and let her talk and clap and then everyone eat your salad,” Webster said. “Make the seven-figure investment. Make the eight-figure investment.”“There’s a movement happening in this community. I don’t know if people can feel it,” Banks said.Like a train picking up momentum, there are slow but positive changes coming for people of color, and Banks said Sabrina’s a part of that.“People need to get on board,” Banks said.___Information from: The Capital Times, http://www.madison.com/tct
Competition in ad-supported VOD has been less intense than in the subscription-video space, but there’s been a recent upswing in investments in AVOD services. Those include Roku’s free Roku Channel, Walmart’s Vudu, and Amazon’s IMDb, which launched Freedive this month. Last week, Viacom acquired Pluto TV, a free AVOD service specializing in TV and episodic content, for $340 million.In February, new titles coming to Tubi include “American Ultra,” starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, and Connie Britton; and “Warm Bodies,” with Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, and John Malkovich. AVOD exclusives on Tubi include “Pride,” “Blindsided,” “Repentance,” “Girl Most Likely,” “Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden,” and “Hostel: Part II.” Other titles coming to Tubi include “Blood Father,” “Empire State,” “Coriolanus,” “Submarine,” “Winter’s Bone,” “Amusement,” “Whiteout” and “Reservoir Dogs.”The most-viewed movies on Tubi currently are “Repentance,” “Knock Knock,” “Drive Angry,” “Paddington,” “The Iceman,” “Baytown Outlaws,” “The Cabin in the Woods,” “Sucker Punch” and “Barnyard.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Tubi’s library is now around 12,000 movies and TV series — approximately 40,000 hours of content — licensed from over 200 content partners including Warner Bros., Fox, MGM, Lionsgate and Paramount. The notable holdout: Disney, which is prepping a major streaming push in late 2019.It’s hard to assess the level of momentum Tubi actually has. The privately held company claims it was profitable in the fourth quarter of 2018 for the first time, but Tubi doesn’t disclose financial numbers or projections. Nor would Massoudi provide any actual metrics about users, viewing time or advertising impressions (except to say it notched 1,000 different advertisers in 2018).For 2019, Tubi expects to operate at a loss as it invests in content to expand its free movie and TV lineup. “We are not focused on maintaining profitability,” said Massoudi.To fund new content spending as well as marketing, Tubi in December closed $25 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank. The San Francisco-based company, founded in 2010 as an ad-tech platform, has raised about $26 million in venture capital to date. Tubi has around 140 employees, nearly doubling headcount over the past 12 months.Currently, Tubi’s service is available only in the U.S. and Canada. In the next few months, the company expects to launch in additional international territories. “We’re doing the analysis now,” Massoudi said. Tubi currently has some content rights that extend outside North America but will be ramping that up as it heads overseas.Tubi got a big boost in November 2018, when the service launched on Comcast’s X1 platform, available to some 20 million U.S. video customers alongside Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video. Tubi’s free service also is available on Amazon’s Fire TV, Roku, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Samsung televisions, and Xbox and PlayStation consoles. Tubi says viewing on its free, ad-supported video-on-demand service is surging — and it’s planning to spend more than $100 million this year licensing library TV shows and movies to keep the flywheel spinning.In 2018, Tubi claims its ad revenue grew more than 180%, with fourth-quarter 2018 advertising revenue larger than all of 2017 combined. It also says total viewing time increased by 4.3 times over 2017.Tubi’s content budget for 2019 will be “way more than double” last year, said founder and CEO Farhad Massoudi, claiming the company will be the biggest buyer in the AVOD segment. “We’re doing this with an engine that is a self-sustaining business,” he said.Of course, $100 million is just a tiny fraction of the whopping $15 billion in cash spending on content Netflix is projected to reach in 2019. But Massoudi isn’t trying to vie against Netflix or other subscription VOD players, focusing instead on back-catalog hits, classics and niche content. The SVOD market “is heated and very expensive,” he said, noting that Tubi has no plans to produce original content. “We want to bring our customers as much of the other 99% of the content that’s available in the market.”
A group of Hollywood studios wants to remind consumers that they can rent movies — including recent releases not available on Netflix — from a wide array of digital providers, through a four-day promo offering discounts on titles starting at 99 cents.Dubbed the “Ultimate Movie Weekend,” the special sale runs May 31-June 3 and will offer select titles from Lionsgate Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Notably absent from the campaign: Disney and 20th Century Fox (which Disney recently acquired).It’s touted as the first coordinated, multi-studio and multi-platform promotion of its kind in the U.S., spanning the five studios and 18 internet and pay-TV services. Retailers participating in the Ultimate Movie Weekend will offer 50-250 movies at discounted prices — as low as $2.99 for recent releases and 99 cents for catalog movies. Each retailer sets prices independently. Related Hollywood Execs Talk Their Inclusion Initiatives and Removing Barriers Lionsgate Shares Tumble on Report Comcast May Drop Starz Popular on Variety Recently released titles available through the promo include “Aquaman,” “A Star Is Born” (2018), “Bumblebee,” “Robin Hood” (2018), “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Step Brothers” and “First Man.” Older movies being offered at discount include “Wonder Woman,” “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Forrest Gump,” “The Hunger Games” and “The Wizard of Oz” (1939).Digital-video providers on board include Amazon, Apple’s iTunes and the Apple TV app, NBCUniversal’s FandangoNow, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, Sony’s PlayStation Store, Redbox On Demand and Walmart’s Vudu. Participating cable and satellite TV operators include Altice USA’s Optimum and Suddenlink TV, Atlantic Broadband, Comcast’s Xfinity TV, Cox Communications, AT&T’s DirecTV and U-verse, Dish Network, and Frontier Communications.The home-video trade group Entertainment Merchants Association coordinated the promo, which is based on similar initiatives last year in Australia, France, and the U.K. The hope is that the limited-time discounts will attract new customers and spur “infrequent digital renters” to become more habitual, according to EMA president/CEO Mark Fisher.The EMA said it’s supporting the campaign with a “significant” media buy, along with social media marketing and direct-to-consumer outreach. Richard Smith, senior VP of domestic digital sales for Paramount Pictures, chaired EMA’s Ultimate Movie Weekend planning committee. “This is the first effort of its kind in the U.S., and the breadth of participants demonstrates that the home entertainment industry is making it a priority to communicate the value proposition of digital rentals to consumers,” he said in a statement.Here’s the list of the 29 recent releases in the promotion (note: not all of these will be available at discounted rates from all retailers): “A Star is Born” (2018); “Aquaman”; “At Eternity’s Gate”; “Ben Is Back”; “Bumblebee”; “Cold Pursuit”; “A Dog’s Way Home”; “Dragged Across Concrete”; “Escape Room” (2019); “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”; “First Man”; “Glass”; “Hell Fest”; “Holmes & Watson”; “The House With a Clock in Its Walls”; “Instant Family”; “Isn’t It Romantic”; “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”; “Miss Bala” (2019); “Mortal Engines”; “Nobody’s Fool”; “On the Basis of Sex”; “Overlord”; “Replicas”; “Robin Hood” (2018); “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse”; “Stan & Ollie”; “The Mule”; and “What Men Want.” More info on is available on the EMA’s Ultimate Movie Weekend website (ultimatemovieweekend.com). ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15
Stay on target Lego Unveils ‘Friends’ 25th Anniversary Central Perk SetThis Tree House Is Lego’s Most Sustainable Set Ever Geeks love video games. Geeks love Lego. Geeks love giant mechs. Combine all three, and you’ve got a perfect storm of geekiness: Lego Titanfall 2 Titans!These amazingly detailed models are the work of 19-year-old German student Marius Herrmann. He’s done some wonderful builds before, like this massive diorama of Luke’s X-Wing submerged in the swamp on Dagobah.Marius Herrmann/flickrHe revealed his first three Titans — Ion, Northstar, and Ronin — back in November. Just before Christmas, he added a fourth and fifth: BT-7274 and Legion. I can’t wait to see his take on Tone and the thermite-spewing Scorch.Marius Herrmann/flickrThere is, of course, one big thing standing in the way of Lego Titanfall sets becoming a real thing. K’Nex already has the license.Official K’Nex TitanfallLego has taken over licensing from another company before, but it doesn’t happen all that often. They’re also much keener on turning their existing licenses into successful video games than turning successful video games into Lego sets.Their Minecraft line has been a big hit, but there have only been a handful of others. There’s the Lego Dimensions Sonic and Portal packs, and you could make the case that Angry Birds count (though strictly speaking they’re based on the movie and not the games).Maybe if Marius gets enough encouragement from the people of the Internet he’ll pitch his amazing builds on Lego Ideas. Then all we have to do is muster up 10,000 votes and pray that Lego’s review panel thinks they’re worthy of boxing up.Hey, stranger things have happened!
Nissin, the maker of Cup Noodles, continues to create bizarre foods that we still slurp up, no matter how weird they are. Honestly though, this one sounds kind of disgusting, even though its components are tasty together when you eat the real thing. Nissin’s latest Cup Noodle Potenage Big is a lot different than you may have imagined, and it’s a little weird to be honest. What’s “potenage,” you may ask?Oh, nothing. Just potato and “nagetsu,” or the Japanese word for “nuggets.” Like, as in, chicken nuggets. This is ramen with French fries and chicken nuggets, all shriveled up and floating around with the noodles in a big ol’ package just waiting for you to add hot water too. There’s also scrambled eggs and green onion with a soy sauce broth and black pepper. It may sound yummy on paper, but consider what’s actually in it. Consider the consistency that chicken nuggets and fries are supposed to have. Now think about their soggy nastiness in ramen.But okay! It may be good. I’m not here to judge. I’m just here to try delicious food, and I’m not sure this is it. But I wouldn’t object to a big ol’ forkful if it were here in front of me. It’s going on sale February 12 in Japan, and it seems a bit suspect, but it could be tasty after all. Remember, I really enjoyed Strawberry Milkshake Pop Tarts. There’s obviously not much I won’t take a spoonful of and give the ol’ college try.AdChoices广告If all else fails, I’ll just start snacking on all the Final Fantasy ramen I have stored in my cupboard. It’s not in special flavors or anything, just Final Fantasy labeled. That feels a lot safer than eating my chicken nuggets and fries in ramen broth, though. Just a little more. Stay on target Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Pizza and Ramen Collide in This New Flavor From Nissin’s Cup Noodle LineNissin Foods Is Offering Special Final Fantasy XV Cup Noodles
Stay on target Elon Musk’s Cheeky ‘Nuke Mars!’ Post Is Taking Over TwitterA ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’-Themed Cookbook Is Coming This Fall We all have lottery fantasies. Whether it’s buying a medieval castle or splurging on a retro sports car, the sky’s the limit with a million (or billion) bucks in your name. Well, tomorrow might be your chance to win big.At $1.6 billion, Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing is major, because it’s the set to become the largest lottery jackpot of all time. According to Mega Millions, there wasn’t a winner on Friday night’s drawing, which means it’s completely up for grabs. If you haven’t bought a lottery ticket yet, you might want to purchase one ASAP before 11:00 p.m. tomorrow. Check here for where you can play the Mega Millions in your state.To get you excited, we’ve rounded up the craziest things you can buy if you won the Mega Millions jackpot. From an abandoned island to a spaceship ticket, these are the most bonkers purchases yet.Drake’s IslandDrake’s Island (Photo Credit: Blom UK/Getty Images)It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s an uninhibited island for sale? Yes, we’re talking about Drake’s Island, which is located 600m off the coast of Plymouth, U.K. According to BBC, Drake’s Island, which was named after English explorer Sir Francis Drake, is available to purchase for $7, 780, 182. For the price, you’ll own a 16th century barracks, an underground network of tunnels, and a pier. Aidan McCauley, the son of Dan McCauley, the island’s owner, hopes that Drake’s Island will be used again in the near future.Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two TicketVirgin Galactic (Photo Credit: Virgin Galactic)Space travel is upon us, and Virgin Galactic wants you for its SpaceShip Two voyage. The company, which is aiming to bring people beyond Earth’s borders in the future, is currently selling SpaceShip Two voyage tickets for $250,000 each. It’s said that 650 tickets were already bought, but it’s unknown who some of those lucky ticket holders are. If you’re interested, you’ll have to fill out an application on Virgin Galactic’s site first. The price might be steep, but Virgin Galactic aims to make space travel more affordable ($40,000 to $50,000) within the next decade.1984 Jaguar XJR5 Sports Car1984 Jaguar XJR5 (Photo Credit: Hemmings)Sports cars are some of the most popular collectibles worldwide, yet some vintage models are hard to find. If you’re dying to get your hands on a hot ride, this 1984 Jaguar XJR5 Sports Car is for sale on Hemmings, a major collector car marketplace. At $1,125,000 this old-school baby comes with all the speed fixings and it’s still in tip-top shape.James Bond Movie PosterJames Bond movie poster (Photo Credit: Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)James Bond enthusiast? You’re in luck. Prop Store, a global entertainment memorabilia company, is holding a large vintage movie poster auction on Nov. 20. Rare finds include this James Bond: From Russia With Love Movie Poster (1963), which combined with other classic cinema posters, could generate more than $330,000, according to Forbes. You’ll want to hang this collectible in your foyer, living room, or office.Marie Antionette’s JewelryMarie Antionette’s jewelry (Photo by Michael Bowles/Getty Images for Sotheby’s)If you’re obsessed with royals, Sotheby’s is auctioning baubles that were part of Queen Marie Antionette’s personal accessory collection next month. The auction, Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family, which will start on Nov. 12 in Geneva, Switzerland, includes beautiful royal jewels from European monarchs. You’ll have to drop approximately $2,000,000 on each piece, but well worth it for an exclusive part of history.More on Geek.com:8 Eco-Brands Reimagining How We Get Dressed You Could Own Stephen Hawking’s Thesis WheelchairPhotos: Eerie Ghost Towns to Visit (If You Dare)
For Xbox fans eager to get hold of the sequel to one of the most technically advanced PC games of this era, you will be pleased to hear that EA have released a new multiplayer trailer for Crysis 2 which is expected to release in March of this year.The trailer showcases the lush graphics and power-ups that you have at your disposal via your Nanosuit, and it does look amazing I have to say.As for the back story, the year is 2023, terrifying alien invaders stalk the New York City streets. Only you can prevail, wielding the supersoldier enhancements of the Nanosuit 2. The information of the official EA Crysis 2 site says we’ll be getting 6 new gameplay modes including Armor mode (heavy weapons use) and Stealth mode (traps and sniping). There’s around 12 New York city locations, 4 classes + 5 custom classes, a total of 50 multiplayer rank and 20 or so Nanosuit modules.That’s all arriving in March, though, for now just enjoy the new multiplayer footage:Read more at Team Xbox
Stay on target DC’s ‘Batman Experience’ Pop-Up Exhibition Is Coming to SDCC’Krypton’ Series Season 2 Sneak Peek: Superman’s Home Planet Is at Stake DC’s Young Animal imprint curated by Gerard Way has seen a return to the strange and transgressive comics of the early Vertigo days. One of if not the standout title of the line has been Shade, the Changing Girl by Cecil Castellucci and Marley Zarcone. I got the chance to chat with them the other day about the release of Shade, the Changing Girl Volume 2 and the lead up to the start of the next volume, Shade, the Changing Woman. So the first arch deals a lot with finding yourself and dealing with how people perceive you versus how you perceive yourself. While that element is still there in volume two, it shifts more towards nostalgia and reflection. I wanted to hear from both of you on how you both came up with shifting the focus to nostalgia.Cecil: So you know I knew that what I really liked about the analogy of the first volume, and Marley and I have talked about this, is you feel like an alien when you’re a teenager. We thought it’d be kind of nice to have her in high school and have that first part have Shade adjusting to her new body, and it felt right to be in that arena. I did have more ideas on how to keep up with that. There were a lot of stories in that high school about that swim team and all that stuff that I was interested in, but in talking with our editor Jamie Rich, we decided that it’d be good to open it up. Loma, her whole mission was to wander to leave, to be a tourist on earth and feel these emotions. And it felt that the high school setting was too claustrophobic. Seemed kinda obvious to have her go on and search for Honey, her favorite character from a show she liked, Life With Honey, broadcast from us to outer space. So it made sense to go into nostalgia because that’s the reason that brought her to earth.Marley: And I also think that the first stage of the book is about adjusting to a human body, getting comfortable in a human body. And when she is in the second phase, she’s in a new stage of development. She’s thinking about what she’s idealized that this perfect image of Honey and earth are related. She’s trying to find her place in this world, and she’s exploring and seeing what’s real. Is this real? And sometimes that can be a knockback.Cecil: Yeah, it’s about how she’s matured. You know like when you mature you suddenly have the wool taken off your eyes and see things as they are. Earth is suddenly being revealed to her in it’s true, raw form.That’s great! Since you mentioned Life With Honey, I gotta know more about how you all came up with that. What shows like that influenced both of you when coming up with this amalgamation? And the character of Honey and how she’s not the same person now?Cecil: For me, Life With Honey is based on a very specific show, I Love Lucy, and it’s because I Love Lucy, the way that it was broadcast the waves of it actually bounced off the earth and went out into outer space. So if you were an alien and you were receiving messages from earth, I Love Lucy would be one of the first things you’d see. It’s still traveling. I don’t remember precisely how many light years away it is at this point. It just struck me as funny that you know maybe aliens would be watching I Love Lucy and that’s what they would think earth is like. I wanted to make it because we are dealing with madness and there is the acronym M.A.D., mutually assured destruction, from the Cold War in terms of the arms race that it would be a good thing to bring into the fray. So thinking something about M.A.D. And making Honey the fun, but seemingly dim-witted housewife of a brilliant nuclear physicist and her wacky hyjinx she gets into there. The idea was to have every issue to have a short story of Life With Honey to parallel emotionally with a lesson that Loma is going through. I always suggest to people to always read Life With Honey and not skip over that because it always enhances the story.Marley: With Honey, it’s not what the aliens are seeing, it’s what’s real. Well, I did draw her first.Cecil: Yeah, you did.Marley: Yeah I drew her first in issue 3. Then I didn’t draw her again til after the backup stories. The reality and age point, exploring what it’s like to be an aging star and drawing that. Definitely a different flavor to it.Cecil: I think it’s important because Honey has always been her (Loma’s) mentor/guru of earth. That’s who Loma turns to, so it’s nice to have her actually be that person. And to still have her be that confident and tour guide, but in a much different way than she expected.Great! A little more specific on the art since we have Marley here. How was it designing madness and how madness looks in the book versus reality?Marley: You mean how I approached it? Hmmm. It was different for volume two than it was for volume one. Volume one you see tongues, you see eyeballs because she’s getting used to her form and she’s manifesting what she’s experiencing in a new body, so it’s kind of coming out in weird places through physical manifestations. Now she’s just drifting, so she’s grabbing it from other people’s feelings. I’m kind of drawing on an exaggeration of other things around her because she’s focusing outwardly as she’s exploring around the United States. It changes depending on whatever the scenario is. I have some things that are consistent to show that the madness is happening, but I try to streamline it so people can still follow. It can be really fun, and hopefully grounded somewhere in there, but this is generally my approach.For sure. One other thing I noticed about the book in general and it’s really prominent in Volume Two is that the antagonists aren’t really driven by evil which is common in big two comics. The motivation of these characters is love and prioritizing someone else’s love over your own or prioritizing your own love over someone else’s. That seems to be the source of most of the conflict. So how did you come about structuring the story in this way that’s unique to big two comics?Cecil: Well, I think that when you’re dealing with madness, it’s such a strange thing and I wanted to do something a bit different than the Vertigo run that happened over twenty years ago. There was a lot of violence in it; a lot of cruelty and stuff. I wanted to stake a claim in a new area, so love was sort of a natural place to go. I think it’s ever hopeful, so you can have as much despair as you want. Doesn’t mean we don’t have evil in there. Doesn’t mean we won’t have evil in there. But I think love is a good North Star to sail by and I feel like Loma has so much to learn. It’s about Loma becoming a being, not a human being, but a whole being. Love is a powerful thing. And love can also be used as a weapon. Love can sometimes be turned on you. It’s a wonderful thing, but there are scary parts of it too.I know we’re running short on time.Cecil: We still have time for one more question!Okay! So with everything set up here, it can go anywhere you want the story to go now. Do you want to give readers any hints on the direction things might go or what we might see in the next arch?Marley: I think there is definitely a tone shift. We are getting further into what it means to be a whole person. Sometimes that’s embracing different aspects, even negative aspects and it’s different. I don’t want to give anything away though!Cecil: I don’t want to give anything away either! I’m like afraid because how do you say things without saying anything!You know, I will say that it is a few years later. So Shade, she’s got this new body that’s her, and she’s sort of exploring the world in a much more deep way that is both pleasurable and painful. The world is also moving on and things are happening in the world that she’s going to have to face.I’m really excited for it! You’re both doing really great stuff.Cecil: Thank you! Marley: We’re a great team and we like this book a lot.Anything else you want to add before we wrap up.Cecil: In Shade, the Changing Woman we have wonderful backup stories that are illustrated by Jamie Coe. I just want to emphasize that they really are a part of the story and I want to encourage readers of Shade to definitely not skip the backups because they’re extra peaks to the whole of the story. Marley: And if you skip them you miss out on Jamie Coe’s art. He’s frickin’ awesome!Thank you both so much! This was really great. Can’t wait for the next volume.Shade, the Changing Woman #1 is available everywhere March 7th
Good Omens, a new fantasy series, is coming to Amazon Prime Video on May 31, 2019.On Thursday, Amazon announced the Good Omens update at a Television Critics Association press briefing, The Verge reported. The six-episode show, which is based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, stars Michael Sheen, David Tennant, and Benedict Cumberbatch.Good Omens isn’t your typical fantasy plot: It focuses on Aziraphale (Sheen) an angel, and Crowley (Tennant), a demon, who form a cool friendship and work together to protect Earthlings from a deadly apocalypse. The pair must save the Antichrist, an 11-year-old boy who has no idea that he has a role in Armageddon. Cumberbatch will play the devil in the upcoming series, who likes to stir up trouble for the dynamic duo.Amazon hasn’t disclosed any other updates on the series yet, but you can watch an Inside Look at Good Omens, a Bonus Teaser Trailer, and other behind-the-scenes footage on Amazon Prime Video before Good Omens debuts later this year.More on Geek.com:Neil Gaiman and ‘Good Omens’ Cast Reveal Trailer, Discuss ScriptAmazon’s New ‘Invincible’ Animated Superhero Show Has a Cool CastHere’s Everything Coming to Amazon Prime Video in February 2019 Stay on target Amazon’s ‘Marvelous’ Gas Station Discount Causes Chaos in CaliforniaAmazon to Donate Unsold Products Instead of Trashing Them
Aside from the price, the most noticeable, maligned aspect about the PlayStation 3 when it first launched was how big it was, closely followed by how similar to a George Foreman grill it looked. This time around, Microsoft’s next-gen console is absolutely enormous, so much so that it appears the console will not have a vertical orientation like the Xbox 360. Since Sony’s PS4 didn’t have to be small to compete with the Xbox One’s size, would Sony at least learn from their last-gen mistake, and make the PS4 more manageable on a shelf? IGN UK got ahold of a PS4 and make a quick video comparing the size of the PS4 to a host of objects, such as other game consoles, toys, a computer named after a fruit dessert, and a real fruit.We already knew the PS3 would be significantly smaller than the PS4, but thanks to IGN, we now know how it compares other objects you might have locked away in an attic. As you can see, while the PlayStation 4 isn’t exactly tiny, it’s actually smaller than the PS3 Slim in terms of height (or length, depending on the console’s orientation), and is about the size of the Xbox 360. Of course, if you happen to have a Sega Mega Drive, some action figures, and sports equipment, you can do your own size comparisons when the PS4 launches sometime this holiday season. If you’re a console polygamist, then you’ll probably need to build yourself another shelf if you want to fit your PS4 and Xbox One in the same room, though.