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AMC Theatres offering $20 movie subscription plan to rival MoviePass

AMC Theatres has announced it will offer a movie subscription service that will compete with MoviePass.

Variety reported that the service will allow guests to see up to three movies a week for $19.95 a month through AMC’s loyalty program. Called AMC Stubs A-List, the price point is higher than MoviePass’s $9.99 plan. On the MoviePass service, customers can see one movie a day.

>> Read more trending news 

"We believe that our current and future loyal guests will be interested in this type of program, as AMC Stubs A-List rewards guests with something that no one else offers: the very best of AMC, including IMAX, Dolby Cinema and RealD 3D up to 3 times per week, for one simple, sustainable price," AMC Theatres CEO and president Adam Aron said in a statement, likely referring to MoviePass.

AMC Stubs A-List subscribers can also see all three movies in one day, see the same film more than once and get tickets in advance. MoviePass subscribers must be within a certain range of the theater to book tickets to 2D movies and cannot buy tickets for the same film. However, they can see a movie anywhere Mastercard is accepted. The company provides the service through a MoviePass-enabled Mastercard.

Related: MoviePass brings back movie-a-day monthly plan

"AMC Stubs A-List is being taken to market at more than double the price of that charged by some of our competitors," Aron said in a conference call with investors, according to The Associated Press. "A good deal to consumers to be sure, but being done at a sustainable price point where we can be very confident that we will be profitable across the membership base and in turn, that we can share that increased profitability with our studio and premium format partners." 

"Other discounters, by contrast, will continue to be hemorrhaging cash."

The latter comment is likely another dig at MoviePass, which was the subject of an April Business Insider report. In the report, an independent auditor for the company’s owner expressed doubt that MoviePass could stay in business.

CNN reported that, according to AMC, MoviePass will still be accepted at all its locations. 

MoviePass responded to the news in a couple of tweets, saying, "Heard AMC Theaters jumped on board the movie subscription train. Twice the price for 1/4 the theater network and 60% fewer movies. Thanks for making us look good AMC!

"AMC has repeatedly disparaged our model as a way to discourage our growth because all along they wanted to launch their own, more expensive plan. We want to make movies more accessible, they want more profit."

AMC’s AMC Stubs A-List program starts June 26.

Sons of Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago face off in 'Creed II'

The sons of Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago will pick up where their fathers left off more than 30 years ago.

MGM and Warner Bros. Pictures on Wednesday released the first trailer for "Creed II," the sequel to the 2015 "Rocky" spinoff.

Michael B. Jordan returns as Adonis Creed, with Sylvester Stallone by his side as former heavyweight champ and trainer Rocky Balboa. In the trailer, Balboa warns Creed his opponent is dangerous.

Creed is training to box Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago, who killed Apollo Creed in "Rocky IV." Romanian boxer and kickboxer Florian Munteanu plays Viktor.

"Creed II" is directed by Steven Caple Jr.

The eighth film in the "Rocky" franchise is scheduled to be in theaters Nov. 21.

Apple signs deal with Sesame Workshop for kids' shows

Apple is getting into business with the prestigious Sesame Workshop.

Apple said Wednesday it has given a multiple-series order to the nonprofit organization.

The shows will be part of a slate of children's programming for Apple's upcoming streaming service.

Apple said the long-running "Sesame Street" program, which airs on PBS and HBO, isn't part of the agreement.

Apple has been making content deals with other big names, including Oprah Winfrey, as it prepares to compete with Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services.

Film starring Kevin Spacey to be released in August

Kevin Spacey was erased from "All the Money in the World" and booted from "House of Cards," but a movie starring the disgraced actor is going forward with a summer release.

Vertical Entertainment announced that it will release "Billionaire Boys Club" on video-on-demand on July 17 and in theaters August 17. The film is about young wealthy men in Los Angeles who run a Ponzi scheme. It stars Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton and Spacey.

"Billionaire Boys Club" was shot in 2015, before Spacey was accused last fall of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior by numerous people. Spacey apologized to one accuser, "Star Trek" actor Anthony Rapp, who said Spacey tried to force himself on Rapp in the 1980s. At the time, Rapp was 14.

"We don't condone sexual harassment on any level and we fully support victims of it," the film distributor said in a statement. "At the same time, this is neither an easy nor insensitive decision to release this film in theaters, but we believe in giving the cast, as well as hundreds of crew members who worked hard on the film, the chance to see their final product reach audiences."

Other companies have elected to remove Spacey entirely from their productions.

After shooting was completed but before the film was released, Sony Pictures and director Ridley Scott chose to reshoot large parts of "All the Money in the World" with Christopher Plummer in Spacey's role. "House of Cards" producer Media Rights Capital, opted to move forward with a sixth and final season of "House of Cards," but without Spacey. Netflix scrapped a Gore Vidal biopic starring Spacey.

Council of Europe asks Russia to release jailed filmmaker

The head of Europe's human rights body is calling on Russia to release an imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker who has been on hunger strike for a month.

Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary of the Council of Europe, met Wednesday with Russian human rights commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova and said Oleg Sentsov "should be released on humanitarian grounds," the Interfax news agency reported.

Sentsov, a vocal opponent of Russia's annexation of Crimea, was sentenced in 2015 to 20 years for conspiracy to commit terror acts. He went on hunger strike in mid-May.

Separately Wednesday, Sentsov's lawyers said the European Court of Human Rights had called on Sentsov to end his hunger strike and for Russia to provide details by June 27 about his condition and how his rights are being ensured.

Legendary WWE wrestler Big Van Vader dead at 63

Former WWE superstar Big Van Vader has died after battling congestive heart failure, according to a Twitter post from his son. 

>> Read more trending news 

TMZ reported that the athlete's son confirmed the news, saying, “Around a month ago, my father was diagnosed with a severe case of Pneumonia. He fought extremely hard and clinically was making progress. Unfortunately, on Monday night his heart had enough and it was his time.”

The WWE also confirmed the news. 

Vader, whose real name is Leon White, started out in national sports in 1978 when he was drafted by the Rams. He played in Super Bowl XIV against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He retired from the NFL in the mid-1980s due to injury and joined the WWE roster in 1996. He also had a recurring guest role on the ABC sitcom “Boy Meets World” during that time.

Paris Fashion Week menswear shows kick off

Fashion editors, bloggers, photographers and buyers cried "Bonjour Paris" Wednesday as the first full day of menswear fashion shows kicked off in the French capital.

Edgy brand Off-White drew renewed attention at its show, thanks to the meteoric rise of its African-American designer Virgil Abloh — now chief of Louis Vuitton menswear.

Some highlights of the spring and summer menswear shows:

PROUD FAMILY AT OFF-WHITE

The parents of American-Ghanaian designer Virgil Abloh were the image of pride as they sat front row at Off-White — the Milan-based house their son founded in 2013 — in the sweltering Palace of Chaillol that overlooks the Eiffel Tower.

They had jetted to Paris for the first time from Rockford, Illinois to support their son, who on Thursday debuts his wares at the Louis Vuitton show. He's the first African-American to head up a major global design house.

"It's unbelievable. We're so proud of him. Very incredible," said his mother Eunice Abloh, who sat next to her husband Nee.

"We flew in. We're being treated very well. It's my first time in Paris — and it's beautiful," she added.

___

OFF-WHITE'S BLUE DENIM

Denim, denim and then more denim.

That was the formula employed at the Milan-based house for spring-summer to produce a hip, urban, loose and highly masculine aesthetic.

Steel-blue denim opened the show. A denim shirt with frayed sleeve edges sported utilitarian metal zippers and was accessorized with a jangling key chain, while the hem down denim pants curved round, instead of vertically down, in a hip-hop style.

Oversize white T-shirts with logos, retro sneakers and an oversize color-blocked, tie-dye style coat added an on-trend whiff of the '80s in the collection that never forgot to have fun.

White confetti fell from snow machines at one point to a slurred remix of Bing Crosby's "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas," prompting chuckles from front row attendees who saw irony at the snowfall during a spring-summer collection, in the sweltering Paris heat, in which many of the models were topless.

The collection stood out for using models from different ethnic backgrounds — sadly, a rarity for many Paris shows.

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TAKASHI MURAKAMI

The edgy styles of Off-White that have garnered Abloh a cult-like following attract diverse guests.

Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami — who's famed for blurring the lines between high- and low-art and whom Christie's ranks as the sixth highest-selling living artist — said he attended the show to support his friend.

"Virgil and I we've got a really good friendship. That's why I'm here. But I'm very much excited about Vuitton," he said from beneath an oversize silver toggle hat.

Murakami said that Abloh's appointment will be positive for the industry as his aesthetic is inclusive, and added it's a good direction for fashion to have an African-American at the helm of the major brand.

"It's much more democratic so young people can get involved more and more," he said.

___

FACETASM'S BRIDAL WORKMAN

Designer Hiromichi Ochiai didn't disappoint those expecting the wackily-creative from Japanese house Facetasm.

The fashion-forward designer's touchstone of workman's clothes was given an unusual bridal twist in Wednesday's collection that mixed mens' and women's styles, as well as punk, preppy and eclectic aesthetics.

One of the first looks showcased on a female model was a hybrid between a workman's overall — with big utilitarian pocket — and a white tulle bridal gown.

The model's hair channeled Madonna's "Like a Virgin" styles, worn with voluminous '80s earrings, and evoked a punk going down the church aisle.

Elsewhere, a blue navy shirt had the oversize silhouette of a worker's top, yet was gently perforated like lace.

It was a clever touch that demonstrates why Ochiai commands a strong following. The Tokyo-founded company has won plaudits for its conceptual styles with hints of punk.

___

Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K

Halsey added to Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival lineup

Pop singer Halsey has been added as a headliner to the 2018 Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival.

The two-day event takes place Aug. 18-19 at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Long Island, New York.

Hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd and Halsey will headline the first day of the festival, where other performers include Cheat Codes, Kehlani, Lil Xan, Taylor Bennett and Gnash.

Rapper-singer Future and DJ Snake will headline day two, which also includes French Montana, Machine Gun Kelly, Daya, Justine Skye, Sabrina Carpenter and Jacquees.

Two-day passes, ranging from $80 to $275, are on sale. Single-day tickets go on sale June 29.

The Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival is in its fourth year.

____

Online: https://www.hot100fest.com

Esoteric 'brencheese' and buzzy 'spoiler alert' added to OED

From the positively medieval to the beat of contemporary music: Brencheese, deathshildy and hip-pop are among about 1,000 new or refreshed entries added in June to the online Oxford English Dictionary.

The additions are part of the company's quarterly update of its searchable subscription website, Oed.com . The dictionary's 20-volume third edition in print has been in process since 2000 and likely won't be ready for more than a decade, said Katherine Connor Martin, who heads U.S. dictionary operations.

Generally, the OED tracks usage for at least 10 years before deciding whether to add a new entry, new definition or word related to an existing entry, she said. The rule of thumb is sometimes not followed, as in the case of "tweet," which was added well before that benchmark. But the OED has other roles as well.

"It's funny because we talk about new words but many of the words we add are already obsolete. It's just that they were never in the dictionary before," Martin said in a recent interview.

That, she noted, is the nature of a historical dictionary looking to put more than 1,000 years of English into context in volumes already stuffed with more than 855,000 words, senses and compounds. Hence, brencheese, a rare reference to bread and cheese when eaten together. It stretches back to 1665. The word deathshildy references Old English for someone guilty of a capital crime and condemned to death.

On the way, way, way more recent front: hip-pop, for music that combines elements of hip-hop and pop. The OED found a 1985 reference in a Pennsylvania newspaper to "hip-hip pop," and a 1991 reference in a Florida newspaper to M.C. Hammer's "hip-pop."

Along with the ancient esoterics are some cultural obligations: binge-watching, spoiler alert and microaggression, all buzzy today.

Some other highlights:

IMPOSTOR SYNDROME: It dates to 1982, when Vogue magazine ran a story about women who felt they were suffering from "impostor phenomenon," a term used by psychologists for the "persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's own efforts or skills." The two are synonymous — the syndrome the more popular of the two at present. They're most often used in relation to the workplace, Martin said. The phenomenon dates to a psychotherapy journal article published in 1978.

SILENT GENERATION: There's the greatest generation, generally describing people who reached adulthood during World War II (1939-45). The silent generation, Martin said, describes "people born before that of the baby boomers," spanning roughly the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s. They're "perceived as tending towards conformism or restraint in their outlook and behaviour," according to the new dictionary entry. Time magazine used the term in a 1951 cover story. Pollsters today commonly split the silents into their own group, Martin said.

HETEROROMANTIC, BIROMANTIC, AROMANTIC, HOMOROMANTIC: "This all comes from an evolving idea about human sexuality and human relationships. People have begun to self-identify as asexual, but they may still have romantic feelings short of actual sex, so there was sort of a semantic gap for what your romantic orientation is," Martin said. Translation: One who identifies as asexual does not desire sex from anybody but can still want a romantic relationship that doesn't involve the act. If they do not want sex or romance of any kind, they are both asexual and aromantic, Martin explained. And so on.

HOMOPHILY: Consider the adages "birds of a feather flock together" and "like attracts like" and you've got homophily. It's defined by the OED as the "tendency of people to be drawn to or seek out those they perceive to be most like themselves," and more generally as "similarities between individuals or groups." It reflects all the talk about "filter bubbles in our society" leading to self-segregation online, Martin said. The dictionary traced homophily to 1953, in a sociological journal.

Nickelodeon, HQ Trivia mark 'Double Dare' reboot's debut

Nickelodeon is joining with HQ Trivia to celebrate the "Double Dare" reboot.

A 1990s-themed trivia game will pair the Nickelodeon show's original host, Marc Summers, with HQ host Scott Rogowsky.

The game will include "Double Dare" trivia questions and moments familiar to fans of the 1986 to 1993 series, including physical challenges and toss-ups.

The HQ Trivia game will end with one contestant winning a cash prize and chance to appear on "Double Dare," the companies said Wednesday.

The game will be available on smart phones at 9 p.m. EDT Sunday.

Liza Koshy is host of the "Double Dare" reboot premiering 8 p.m. EDT Monday on Nickelodeon. Original host Summers is an executive producer and will provide color commentary.

Series guests will include Rico Rodriguez, Chloe Kim and Lindsey Vonn.

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