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Watch Will Ferrell’s Rousing Rendition of ‘I Will Always Love You’ at USC’s Commencement

Beaming families, teary smiles, mortarboards in the air — it’s graduation season, which means that more importantly, it’s celebrity commencement address season. While some high-profile speakers have received a chillier reception than others, the A-lister speech has long been a reliably amusing diversion in between long-winded orations from dusty academic types. Maya Rudolph took plenty of artistic license with “The Star-Spangled Banner” at my graduation ceremony from Tulane a few years ago, an unforgettable experience that I was too drunk to currently remember. But today brings video of another movie star taking the stage before a mass of fresh-faced students blissfully unaware of how hard getting a job is. Ladies, gentlemen, Will Ferrell is in the house.

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Columbia
Columbia

Scientists Name New Species of Dinosaur After Zuul of ‘Ghostbusters’

We owe a lot to scientists — they cured polio, got us on the moon, and they‘re doing their darnedest to stop us from methodically killing the planet. But man, what a bunch of nerds. It seems like every time biologists discover a new species of animal and need to give it a name, they take the opportunity to bust out a reference to their favorite bit of geek-approved pop culture. Lest we forget the velvet worm named after My Neighbor Totoro, and we’d be remiss to overlook the euglossa bazinga, a rare bee with a Big Bang Theory catchphrase as its namesake. And it appears that now the nerds are at it again.

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Disney
Disney

‘Beauty and the Beast’ Is Now the Highest-Grossing PG Movie of All Time

We‘ve only just entered May, but in the first few months of 2017, the year has yielded a surprisingly eclectic array of blockbusters. Survey the biggest earners to date, and you’ll see a socially critical horror flick from a first-time director, a spin-off based on a cross-property licensing deal within a corporate brand expansion, and a tough-as-nails superhero side project with post-apocalyptic Western overtones. The latest Fast and Furious installment looks most at home in the top five so far, but more unexpected still is that it’s been handily defeated by the year’s top earner, Disney’s handsomely mounted revival of Beauty and the Beast. And now, the unlikely box-office behemoth has claimed another record.

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Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm

Watch Mark Hamill Surprise Some ‘Star Wars’ Superfans For a Good Cause

For a guy whose entire acting career has been overshadowed by one role he played decades ago, Mark Hamill’s got a pretty good attitude. He loves Star Wars, and what’s more, he loves how much the people who love Star Wars love Star Wars. A regular fixture at conventions and other fan events, Hamill regularly gets in on the fun and mingles with his adoring public. And in a new video from Lucasfilms’ charity arm Force for Change, he gives a handful of diehard devotees the surprise of their lives.

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Logan Hugh Jackman
20th Century Fox

The Black and White Cut of ‘Logan’ Is Headed to Theaters – Here’s How to See It

Black-and-white re-edits of crowd-pleasing action blockbusters — so hot right now. George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road exploded heads across the globe upon release in 2015, and though the oversaturated coloration gave the film its distinctive post-apocalyptic look, rumors that Miller had planned a monochromatic cut of the film compelled fans to demand just that. The so-called ‘Black and Chrome’ edit drained all the color from the film, leaving something sparser and bleaker. And now Logan will be the latest to undergo a similar process, rendering a gritty and tough superhero picture as something even grittier and tougher. [Spits out mouthful of nails.]

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Mattel
Mattel

‘Masters of Universe’ Movie Has the Power, a Release Date, and No Director

By the power of Greyskull, I have the POWER!

If you ever bellowed those words in the mirror while holding a cardboard tube aloft like a sword shortly after giving yourself a DIY bowl-cut, you were probably a fan of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. That, or a kid with extremely weird hobbies. Either way, the series of comics, cartoons and collectibles remains a cherished part of ’80s nostalgia, and as we have learned time and again over the past few years, no corner of Generation X’s childhood is safe from the plunderers at the major movie studios.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Heath Ledger’s Sister Says Playing the Joker Didn’t Torment Him

People like a legend. When Heath Ledger died of a prescription drug overdose in January 2008, he had just completed principal photography on his Academy Award-winning role of the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s grown-up Batman flick The Dark Knight. With zero foundation in confirmed public knowledge, a narrative sprung up around Ledger’s troubled final days, that the psychological demands of portraying a figure as sick and twisted as the Joker weighed too heavily on the actor. The apocryphal notion that the role ultimately drove Ledger to suicide is way off the mark, however, explains Ledger’s sister Kate.

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Beauty and the Beast Belle and the Beast
Disney

‘Beauty and the Beast’ Knocked ‘Star Wars’ Out of the All-Time Domestic Box Office Top 10

This past weekend, a seismic shift in box-office history took place and went largely unnoticed. The writing was on the wall for Star Wars’ legacy in the all-time top 10 highest-earning films, as noted on Reddit prior to the start of this past weekend. Box-office behemoth Beauty and the Beast continued to generate healthy grosses in its fifth weekend of release, ending the weekend with a princely (or should I say, princessly!) sum of $471.1 million. This gave the film a slight edge of the next-most-lucrative film on the list, which just so happened to be George Lucas’ original space opus. Star Wars and its lifetime gross of $461 million have now slid down to the #11 spot.

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Daniel-Craig-james-bond-BW-e1417693457606

Five Studios Are Fighting for the Rights to James Bond

Much online e-ink has been e-spilled over the question of which actor will take up the mantle of international superspy James Bond for the 25th installment of the perennial franchise. Will incumbent star Daniel Craig return for another go-round as 007, or will he be replaced by the likes of new challengers Tom Hiddleston, Dan Stevens, Emily Blunt, or Idris Elba? Who knows (not us), but as the mission to secure a star has been playing out, another big change-up has unfolded largely in the background.

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Netflix
Netflix

Netflix Is Willing to Release Original Movies Into Theaters, But Only After They’re on Netflix

Yesterday, Indiewire film critic David Ehrlich ran an illuminating essay on Netflix’s testy relationship with the original films it releases, explaining how their model of bypassing theatrical release and going straight to streaming ultimately degrades the viewing experience and makes the movies harder to find and appreciate. (This comes hot on the heels of an official denunciation from the Federation of French Cinemas against the Cannes Film Festival for allowing TV into their lineup for the first time ever.) Clearly, his words went straight to the top of Netflix’s corporate office, as the online video giant has issued a letter to their shareholders assuring them that everything’s going to be fine and movies aren’t dead, probably.

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