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SeaWorld says backlash following 'Blackfish' has affected its revenue


For months after the release of Blackfish, a documentary about the negligent treatment of orca whales in captivity, SeaWorld denied allegations that negative press was affecting earnings or attendance. Now, as the company failed to hit an expected revenue mark in its second quarter, it’s admitting that the backlash, likely fueled in part by Blackfish, is taking its toll.

In a press release picked up by New York Magazine, SeaWorld noted a relative decline in revenue compared to the same quarter in 2014, which it links to many causes, among them the belief that “attendance in the quarter was impacted by demand pressures related to recent media attention surrounding proposed legislation in the state of California.” That legislation, the “Orca Welfare Safety Act,” garnered more than 1.2 million signatures (and had the support of Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite), and proposed to outlaw the keeping of killer whales in captivity.


Jason Biggs hates on SeaWorld in new PETA commercial -- VIDEO


Tip: Don’t invite Jason Biggs to SeaWorld.

The Orange is the New Black actor partnered with PETA for an anti-Sea World ad that seems to starts of as a pro-SeaWorld ad: “When I have kids, I can’t wait to take them to SeaWorld,” he starts before making a jab at the theme park. “Maybe they’ll get lucky, see one of the trainers get their legs ripped off.” Sounds like some harmless family fun to us.


What to watch, Earth Day edition -- VIDEO

Earth Day, the perfect occasion for you to kick up your feet, sit on the couch, and watch some movies. Okay, so this may not be the traditional way to celebrate the day, but it is something good to do after a day of volunteering — or a day of thinking about volunteering.

The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970, and has been celebrated each April 22 since then. It’s a day to honor the Earth, to help the Earth, to think about the Earth. Lots of Earth. Now’s a tricky time for this lovely ol’ planet though, with global warming and pollution and all that fun stuff, and that means it’s a tricky time for people’s opinions of the planet. So we’ve compiled a movie or TV show for each kind of Earth Day celebrator, ranked from most to least depressing:


Nominated for Nothing: 'Blackfish'


Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Shame — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. This year, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The Film: Blackfish, a gripping documentary about the devastating consequences of keeping orcas in captivity — especially as performing attractions at theme parks like SeaWorld. Though the Academy snubbed the film, it’s been as popular with audiences as it was with critics; Blackfish was the third-highest-grossing documentary of 2013 that didn’t star One Direction or Justin Bieber. (The only docs that out-earned it, 20 Feet From Stardom and The Gatekeepers, both got Best Documentary Feature nods, the former this year and the latter in 2013.) Huge numbers of people — 21 million in total, over multiple airings — have also watched Blackfish on CNN.

Oscar snubs Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, 'Inside Llewyn Davis': Which omission hurts the most?


The Oscar nominations were announced Jan. 16, and while we all congratulate the lucky ones, we can also lament those left off the list, starting with Captain Phillips‘ Tom Hanks, a two-time winner looking to snag his first nom since Cast Away in 2001 and his equally-decorated Saving Mr. Banks costar Emma Thompson, who hasn’t been nominated since Sense and Sensibility in 1996.

Inside Llewyn Davis is missing from the Best Picture and Best Actor races (but did score noms for Cinematography and Sound Mixing).

Which snub have you dubbed the most egregious? Feel free to tackle any category (no Blackfish in Documentary Feature?).  READ FULL STORY

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