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In the shadow of 'Breaking Bad,' 'Low Winter Sun' never stood a chance

Only in its second week, Low Winter Sun already seems to be on its way out. Sunday night’s episode brought in 1.467 million viewers with a rating of .5 for adults ages 18-49, down from 2.5 million viewers and a 1.1 rating last week. It’s a sudden decline, and one that might not be the show’s fault.

From day one, Low Winter Sun has been not-so-subtly marketed as the next Breaking Bad. The poster reveals a bald man looking serious and reads “Good man. Cop. Killer.” Get it? It’s a good guy gone bad, just like Walter White. And in the promos for the show, we see that the killing is all about family. Again, not unlike Walt. Oh, did we mention that the killer has an accomplice we’re not sure he can trust? Also, hey, Gale!

At first glance, it makes sense to market Low Winter Sun this way. AMC knows that the audience that will be most likely to watch will be those who don’t change the channel after Breaking Bad, so why not give them another dark drama to enjoy, right? Wrong. It’s one thing to market a show as something similar, and it’s something else to market it as a sort of replacement. Perhaps that wasn’t AMC’s intention, but Breaking Bad is on the way out, so that’s how it comes across.
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About that surprise teaser at the end of 'The Wolverine'...

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Warning: Spoilers ahead!

If you have not seen The Wolverine and don’t want to ruin one of its best surprises, read no further…

Okay, now let’s get into it.
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'Sharknado' is whirling into movie theaters for one night only -- Will you go?

Just when you thought it was safe to go, well, anywhere, Regal Entertainment Group has announced that there’s a theatrical storm a’brewin’ — and it’s filled with vicious, man-eating members of the aquatic clade Selachimorpha.

By that, of course, I mean this: Sharknado is coming to theaters!

On August 2, Regal will host midnight showings of the greatest film of our time at about 200 cinemas across the country — check here to find one near you. The company clearly expects these to be like showings of The Room, only with more chainsaws: “You know how audiences have had fun with Rocky Horror Picture Show over the years,” said Chris Sylvia, Regal Entertainment Group’s director of digital marketing, in a statement. “If the internet reactions to this film are any indication, then our moviegoers are primed and ready to enjoy ‘Sharknado’ larger than life in cinemas.”

Here’s the thing, though — while Sharknado sunk its teeth into social media users after airing on Syfy July 11, its ratings were more Dwarf Lanternshark than Great White. Even though everyone was tweeting about it, only 1.4 million people watched the movie itself — giving it a smaller audience than previous Syfy creature features like 2010′s Sharktopus (2.5 million viewers), 2011′s Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid (2.4 million) and last year’s Piranhaconda (1.8 million).

Does this mean that Regal is vastly overestimating Sharknado‘s appeal — especially since its buzz peaked weeks ago?

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Comic-Con 2013: The Awkward Hug Challenge returns

The Comic-Con Awkward Hug Challenge is something of an EW tradition, but for those who are not familiar: We’re sorry.

For everyone else, let us set it up for you. Since the beginning of time (meaning bianually) EW has had reporters Annie Barrett and Darren Franich storm the floor of the San Diego Convention Center, armed with one goal — to find a stranger who’s willing to give you the world’s longest awkward hug ever. Who was this year’s winner? Watch below to find out!
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Why 'Inferno' will make a much better movie than 'The Lost Symbol'

Sony has announced the release of Inferno as the next film adaptation based on author Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series. EW has confirmed the Deadline report that Inferno will mark the return of Ron Howard as director and Tom Hanks as symbologist/art historian/accidental adventurer Robert Langdon. The film will also be written by Angels & Demons’ scribe David Koepp. But the Florence-set thriller — and pseudo travel guide – is the fourth book in the Langdon saga, meaning that the development of The Lost Symbol film adaptation will be put on the back-burner.

Howard previously announced that he would produce but not direct The Lost Symbol, instead focusing on the racing movie Rush. With Rush speeding onto screens Sept. 27, Howard will bypass the Washington, D.C.-set work, originally scheduled to be adapted by Game Change‘s Danny Strong, for the film version of Brown’s latest novel, released May 15. Although on the surface, this decision may seem odd or detrimental to the franchise, it may be the best decision Howard could have made.
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PopWatch Confessional: I took Chris Harrison's dating site At First Sight for a test drive

I was bouncing around on ye olde Interwebs today when I noticed a tweet from Bachelor Pad enemy No. 1 Chris Bukowski informing the showmance-franchise’s beloved (and super-dreamy) host Chris Harrison that he’s joining Harrison’s new dating app At First Sight. My first thought: Why can’t the (semi-)newly single Harrison himself be the one setting up a profile?* My second thought: I gotta see this thing in action!

Keep reading as I take At First Sight for a spin — and send a gentle nudge to a few other celebs I’d like to join me in my “journey” to love online.
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They're really making a 'Hot Wheels' movie. Which other toys could be big-screen bound?

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Thought that Battleship‘s sinking would make studios think twice about searching for ideas in the toy aisle? No dice: According to The Hollywood Reporter, a proposed Hot Wheels movie — first floated two years ago — is finally getting off the ground. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) and Simon Crane (second-unit director of World War Z) are both in the running to helm the film, which Legendary hopes to get “revving” during 2014′s first quarter.

THR describes the movie’s script as “more Mission: Impossible than Fast & Furious.” All I really hope is that the storyline focuses on a dude named Wheels who’s hot.

Actually, strike that: I also hope this means that Hollywood is truly recommitting to the “retro toy pastiche” genre, which would pave the way for films like these:
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PopWatch Viewing Party: Lifetime's 'Anna Nicole'

Last night, Lifetime premiered its destined to be Peabody-, Emmy-, Golden Globe-, and (why not?) Nobel Prize-winning film Anna Nicole. A prestigious (and I must add, courageous) group of EW staffers convened at my apartment to see whether the biopic could give Citizen Kane a run for its money. Read on for a sampling of our reactions to Anna Nicole. READ FULL STORY

Middle-aged beauty queens compete in TLC's 'Crown Chasers,' see their gowns -- EXCLUSIVE

Step aside Toddlers & Tiaras, there’s a new crop of (middle-aged) contestants threatening your reign.

On July 10, TLC will unveil Crown Chasers, a reality special set in the pageant world that will follow five women aged between 30 to 50 as they vie for the title of Mrs. Colorado Golden Queen. The contestants might be much older than their T&T counterparts, but rest assured they manage to throw just as many tantrums. Expect to see a whole lot of name-calling, backbiting, and bickering about very dramatic things like getting de-friended on Facebook. And of course, quite a few garish gowns.

Check out an exclusive sneak peek of some of the ladies, including contender Jocelyn Morrow above, in their evening wear gowns, and then hit the comments to let us know if you plan to tune in to watch the show. READ FULL STORY

In defense of Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan

Miss Hannigan is not a sacred role.

Hundreds have played the negligent, booze-soaked ward of that Depression-era orphanage. That’s one of the great things about musicals. The parts are interchangeable by design. We may have our favorites, but on a certain level, we accept that the part is expected to live on separately from any individual performance, transcending generations and even the beloved soundtrack. Committing that performance to film, however, does tend to get people riled up in a way that, say, Nick Jonas playing Marius in Les Misérables on stage does not.

After months of wondering whether Sandra Bullock would take on the part in Will Gluck’s adaptation of Annie, news broke Wednesday that the coveted part would in fact go to Cameron Diaz. Unless they’d announced that some Broadway crossover (à la Sutton Foster) had snatched up the role, the knee-jerk reaction was never going to be great. Diaz is pure Hollywood. Is she too beautiful? Too young? Too old? Can she sing? Is this a case of disaster stunt casting that is just indicative of our worst fears that Jay-Z, Will Smith, and Gluck aren’t interested in making a good film?

But let’s step back for a moment. Diaz’s casting is not only not a bad thing, she may actually make the movie. Bear with us.
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