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A Star Is Born’s Ally Got Her Own Real Hollywood Billboard

Los Angeles residents, if you don’t already feel like you’re living in a movie, there’s a new billboard in town to convince you. It recently and mysteriously appeared along Sunset Boulevard, straight out of Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born. Take a look:

The tweet comes from NY Times award season columnist Kyle Buchanan, who came across it on Thursday — along with many Angelenos who are snapping pictures of it as they drive into West Hollywood.

It’s a clever wink to the buzzy release, just in time for the Golden Globes this weekend. A Star is Born is up for five awards — including Best Picture, Lady Gaga for Best Actress, Bradley Cooper for Best Actor and Best Director in the Drama categories, and Best Original Song for “Shallow.”

The critically-acclaimed romance follows Lady Gaga as Ally, an aspiring singer who rises into super stardom after crossing paths with well-established artist Jackson Maine, who finds solace in her and her talent amidst his personal downward spiral.

As Ally starts to make it big as a pop star — such as making a live appearance on Saturday Night Live, going to photoshoots, practicing dance numbers, and appearing on billboards such as this one — it’s clear to her and Jackson that her dreams have been realized.

In the film, the couple talk on the balcony of their Chateau Marmont suite as the billboard gazes over at them. It’s somewhat of a symbol of how her newfound image and life follow the couple. She’s traded her simple look for orange hair and a more glamorous “pop” look.

With the immense success of A Star is Born, the character of Ally has certainly earned her place on a billboard in West Hollywood. Fans will certainly be taken aback to see Lady Gaga’s character in the spotlight, and some will certainly be confused to see this new Gaga doppelganger, but it’s an impactful nod to those who have seen the film.

A Star Is Born is one of 2018’s most celebrated films, as it has received rave reviews from critics, including being one of the few movies CinemaBlend gave a 5-star review to. Its success wasn’t guaranteed or expected, by any means: It marks Bradley Cooper’s first time as director and singing in a film, it’s Lady Gaga’s first leading role, and it’s a remake of a story that’s been done three times over.

The movie has also made over $389 million worldwide at the box office since opening in October. It has broken the domestic record for the highest-grossing romance movie (not including action or fantasy titles), previously held by Fifty Shades of Grey, and also sits at No. 12 on the list of 2018’s top earning films, per Box Office Mojo.

You can tune into the Golden Globes this Sunday on NBC at 8 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. PT to see if A Star is Born nabs an award or two for its cinematic excellence.

John Cena Found His Bumblebee Character By Swearing A Lot

John Cena is no stranger to trash talk. Before he became a movie star, he was a WWE star, and he plans to continue with that while still making films. His latest movie is the Transformers spinoff Bumblebee. It’s a PG-13 family film, so there’s only so much Cena could run his potty mouth. But he told CinemaBlend’s own Dirk Libbey that dropping some foul language on set actually helped him figure out his character, Agent Jack Burns.

Dear director Travis Knight, please include all of that cursing in the Bumblebee outtakes on the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital release. Thank you.

John Cena recently revealed that he wanted to join this Transformers prequel because he was drawn to the idea of playing a conflicted character. Bumblebee is set 20 years before the first Transformers movie, and Cena said he was also interested in delving into the unanswered Sector 7 questions from the earlier movies. Cena looks and acts like a tough guy, so he naturally gets roles like government military man Agent Burns. Without spoiling anything, his deep-feeling Burns does hint to some layers in this film. Will Cena be able to keep digging and exploring (and cursing in cut scenes) in future films?

John Cena told CinemaBlend he’d love to be part of a Bumblebee sequel — something echoed by the film’s main human star, Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie. Travis Knight has also revealed he has ideas for a sequel. The movie hasn’t quite reached the box office heights of previous Transformers movies at this point, per Box Office Mojo figures. That said, it only recently hit theaters, and it enjoys very high acclaim from both critics and moviegoers.

Bumblebee is now playing in theaters. Time will tell if Bumblebee 2 happens, but it won’t be in 2019. However, this year should certainly bring the Bumblebee home release, which may or may not feature some of John Cena’s on-set swearing as Agent Burns. We’ll have to stay tuned for the Blu-ray release date and details. In the meantime, here’s a list at the many movies coming to theaters later this year.

Chrissy Teigen’s Video Tribute to Insta-Husband John Legend Is Straight-Up Perfection

It’s no secret that Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are #couplegoals. Just take their joint appearance at this year’s Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards where Legend told the audience, “Hello, everyone. I’m John. Also known as Chrissy Teigen’s trophy husband. Sometimes Chrissy likes to take me out on the town and show me off a little. Nights like this one, when people are taking pictures. I have a career in the music business, but we all know who the star of the family is.”

But in our social-media-driven age, it’s not just words that matter in a relationship: It all comes down to the ‘gram—more specifically, a partner’s ability to take a top-notch Instagram of their S.O. And this just so happens to be John Legend’s speciality—and this weekend, he proved himself to be in a Insta-husband class all his own.

While on vacation with their children, Luna and Miles, Legend took time out of his R&R to nail the perfect shot of Teigen on the beach: She’s living her best vacation life in an emerald green dress, squatting in the sand. And being the jokester Teigen is, she made sure to capture a video of Legend’s artistic process at work.

True to her signature wit, Teigen captioned her video: “Thank u for always supporting my Instagram dreams. This train only moves because of you(r phone) .. you are the tracks that lay the foundation .. creating a direct path to hope and possibilities of likes and curated content. what u do is important. I will never take u for granted, my king.”

She posted the result herself:

The photo of Teigen isn’t the only great shot from the family’s tropical getaway (in an undisclosed location): Earlier this week Teigen shared a twinning shot of Legend and their son, Miles.

And a pic of quickly-growing-up Luna:

Teigen also posted one more pic of her with both kids, which, per her usual style, is beyond relatable to any parent who’s taken pics for the ‘gram while on vacation. “these are my kids. honestly so tired of thinking of captions”

We feel ya, Chrissy—but we gotta say, you have a great photographer.

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Mark Hamill Reveals Steamy Star Wars Trivia On The Death Star Attack

As one of the biggest franchises in history, there’s no shortage of behind-the-scenes trivia about Star Wars. The epic saga has had plenty of featurettes and documentaries about the making the of the movies, but there are still fun, unknown details that leak to the surface from time to time. Case in point, Mark Hamill just shared that most of the pilots during the Death Star attack weren’t wearing the bottom halves of their costumes.

Fans of Star Wars are more than familiar with the iconic attack on the Death Star during the original 1977 film. The Rebel Alliance sends Red Squadron to blow up the Empire’s secret weapon, taking advantage of a small thermal exhaust port. The team consisted of Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, Biggs Darklighter, and, of course, everyone’s favorite, Porkins.

A lot of the members of Red Squadron met grizzly deaths that day, but at least it sounds like they were comfortable. In honor of National Trivia Day, Mark Hamill decided to share some fun behind-the-scenes trivia about Star Wars: A New Hope.

The movie filmed in London, which happened to be going through a massive heat wave at the time. Because it was so hot and the pilots had to wear heavy orange costumes, many of them opted to not wear the bottom half while in the cockpit. Hey, if it’s not on camera, then it’s fair game!

Mark Hamill mentions on Twitter that people were just wearing shorts, but you know that there was at least one guy who was like, “I’m just going to wear my underpants.”

You can hardly blame the actors for wanting to shed some layers during a heat wave. Most of the costumes in Star Wars are heavy armor or uniforms. No one exactly dresses for the summer in those movies. But at least none of those pilots had to be the ones wearing the Chewbacca costume. Poor Peter Mayhew was probably sweating through the costume.

Star Wars: Episode IX is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on December 20, 2019. That’s still almost a year away, but hopefully we’ll start learning some details over the coming months. So stick with CinemaBlend for all the latest news and updates. Thankfully, there are lots of other movies to keep us all entertained until December, and you can check them all out right here with our 2019 movie release guide.

Intriguing Avengers: Endgame Theory Connects Cap And Tony’s Endings

Captain America and Iron Man have been two pillars of the MCU since the very beginning. Both of their journeys are likely to end in Avengers: Endgame, partly because it’s a finale, and partly because contracts are up. While waiting for more (or any) plot details, fans are filling the void with their own theories. One fan has posted their own intriguing take on what will happen to Cap and Iron Man and how parenthood and sacrifice will play a role.

Tony and Cap may not be speaking to each other at the moment, but one Reddit user thinks that the two of them will be the most important characters in Avengers: Endgame and together, they will cause the death of Thanos.

The Redditor puts a big emphasis on parenthood and sacrifice, which are key to Cap and Tony’s character arcs. In the case of Iron Man, family has been a big part of his journey in Phase 3. The death of his parents by Bucky fueled his feud with Cap; he finds a son-figure in Peter Parker; and he wants to have a child with Pepper Potts.

For Cap, family is something that he used to want. He wanted to settle down and start a family with Peggy Carter, but had to sacrifice what he wanted so that everyone else could live. Trading lives is a theme in Avengers: Infinity War and while Cap says they “don’t trade lives,” it’s something that he personally has done and is willing to do again.

As the theory goes, a pregnant Pepper will suit up as Rescue in the final battle against Thanos. Not a great decision on her part, but when the world is about to end, anything goes. At some point in the battle, Thanos is about to lay the death blow on Pepper, but Steve intercepts, sacrificing his life for Pepper and the baby.

This will enrage Tony, who fights Thanos one final time. Tony realizes that he “didn’t deserve that sacrifice” and fights to earn it, finally embodying what it means to be a hero. The Redditor points out that Tony wavers between what is right and what is self-beneficial in his own movies, so this will be a true hero moment.

Finally, Tony will wield Cap’s shield and will be the one to say “Avengers Assemble,” and kill Thanos. Tony will then retire to start a family.

It’s a pretty cool theory, when all is said and done. I like emphasizing the parenthood theme that both characters have. Will it actually happen? Probably not, but like any fan theory it sounds cool on paper!

We’ll know for sure what happens in Avengers: Endgame when the movie finally releases on April 26, 2019.

Aquaman Helped Warner Bros. Hit A Box Office Record In 2018

Never mind Lady Gaga, Warner Bros. is the real star that rose in 2018. Disney seems to own just about everything at this point, so it’s no surprise when one of its brands tops the box office. But Warner Bros. deserves a hat tip for still managing to set a new box office record during the same year as Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Incredibles 2.

That worldwide total is from a combination of roughly $1.95 billion domestic and $3.6 billion foreign. The foreign box office marked a jump of 17% from 2017, topping the previous record of $3.17 billion from 2014.

So the big story here is WB’s improvement at the overseas box office, and how much that helped it reach a new record overall. It’s also a promising story for moving forward, since the international box office was such a major player in 2018 in general — from WB’s Aquaman to Sony’s Venom. It’s no longer a death sentence for a studio or franchise if the U.S./Canada crowd sniffs at your movies.

As Variety noted, Warner Bros.’s 2018 saw record years in 21 territories — including the all-important China, but also Russia, and Ukraine. Movies like Ready Player One and Rampage that did only OK business at the North American domestic box office were able to make big bucks overseas.

The DCEU’s Aquaman just opened on December 21, but it was Warner Bros.’s top-grossing title of the year, with $866 million worldwide and counting. So far — as of the first week of January 2019 — $229M of that is from the domestic market and $637M from the foreign box office. We keep talking about the impact of China, and it has given Aquaman $261,246,391 on its own.

WB’s second-biggest hitter was the Fantastic Beasts sequel, Crimes of Grindelwald, which picked up $629 million worldwide, from $157.5M domestic and around $472M worldwide, per Box Office Mojo. That’s actually less than the first film ($814M total, from $234M domestic, $580M worldwide) but it was enough to take second for WB in 2018.

Ready Player One is another film that “only” made $138 million at the domestic box office but picked up $445 million overseas for a total of roughly $583 million, putting it behind Aquaman and Grindelwald. Jason Statham’s The Meg also did big business overseas for the team — earning $145.5M domestic and $385M foreign for a total around $530M.

Smaller films like A Star Is Born and Crazy Rich Asians also made money for WB, especially at the domestic box office, in a flip of the blockbusters script. Their lower budgets and high U.S. takes made for nice profits — plus, it’s looking like A Star Is Born is going to have its name-dropped multiple times at the 2019 Oscars.

So Warner Bros. ended 2018 just behind Disney for market share. That’s what usually happens anyway, but at least this year WB can pop some champagne over its biggest year to date. We’ll have to wait and see how 2019 treats the studio. It’s looking like a big one for the Mouse House, but there’s so much crowded into the year that moviegoers are going to be the real winners.

Hilary Duff Recreated Rachel McAdams’ Breast-Pumping Pic, and It’s So Good

Hilary Duff is no stranger to getting completely candid about the struggles of being a mom: She’s opened up about having a “hard as hell” pregnancy, shared her method for dealing with mommy-shamers, and shut down the Internet trolls who criticized her version of a “mom bod.” But Duff’s most recent Instagram tops them all.

Last month, a shot of Rachel McAdams posing for Girls. Girls. Girls. wearing Versace and her breast pump went viral. McAdams was praised by the Internet and heralded as a “true queen” for this empowering moment for moms everywhere.

So on Friday, Duff—who welcomed her second child last October—decided to get in on the fun and recreate McAdams’ iconic pic. She wasn’t decked out in couture, either; instead Duff’s pic featured her in a shower cap, coat, and white button-down top on her couch—along with a breast pump. She captioned the photo, “Am I doing this right?”

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and in this case, they’re totally right. The more celebrities normalize breast pumps and the journey mothers go through, the better.

Banks Violet Blair, who arrived October 25, 2018, is Duff’s first child with boyfriend Matthew Koma. Her son, Luca, is from her previous marriage to Mike Comrie. During her pregnancy with Banks, she also took to Instagram to shed light on the difficulties of pregnancy.

“Man…pregnancy is hard,” Duff wrote. “Giving love to all mamas who make it look effortless…. This journey is hard as hell and also incredibly special. Lovely to have a little life inside and to day dream of all the new adventures to come buuuut almost impossible to get my own shoes on..sick of getting up 9 times a night to pee and looking at this weird body in the mirror that is not my own at the moment. Women are so bad ass, this was just a note to remind myself and remind others how’s strong and beautiful you are! WE GOT THIS.”

Here’s to seeing more of our female celebrities getting refreshingly honest about motherhood in 2019.

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An All-Female Marine Platoon Will Finally Train Alongside Men at Boot Camp

In an historic first for the U.S. Marine Corps, women will be able to train alongside men during boot camp. On Friday, a platoon of about 50 female marines began training side-by-side with the men at the traditionally all-male battalion at a facility in Parris Island, South Carolina. About 300 recruits are participating in this groundbreaking session, according to NBC News.

But before we pop a cork for this step towards gender equality, we have to take into account that this decision doesn’t totally reflect a shift in the Marine Corps’ philosophy going forward. Instead, according to NBC News, as well as a source cited by the New York Times, they only integrated the male and female marines for “training efficiency.”

“A lack of female recruits during the winter training cycle made it more practical to shut down the all-female battalion at Parris Island and roll the remaining 50 women into a male battalion,” the Times wrote, citing the official, who remained anonymous because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. According to NBC and the Times, recruits will still be trained by instructors of their own gender, despite the integration, and women will live on a separate floor in the barracks.

The Marine Corps’ gender segregation has long been controversial. As Glamour wrote in in September 2017, “Officials have often argued that women and men must be separated during the training process so that women can “become more physically competitive before joining their male counterparts.”

Because only 8.4 percent of Marines are women (the lowest percentage among all the branches of the military), Marine Corps leaders have said that an all-female training environment could provide them with the support they need during the early stages of service. However, others are now changing their tune and suggesting that the separation of men and women prevents male recruits from establishing good relationships with their fellow female Marines. By changing the early training process, it could foster more respect for women and help change the problematic culture that pervades the current Marine structure.”

Ret. Army Col. Ellen Haring, who is advocate for the women in the military and the CEO of Service Women’s Action Network, pointed out in a statement to NBC News that all other military services have coed training units—and have for years.

“The Marine Corps’ recent announcement that it would integrate an all-female platoon within a company of all-male platoons on a trial basis comes decades after all of the other Services integrated all of their basic training units,” she wrote in her statement. “After reviewing training data in the 1990s both the Army and the Navy found that integrating basic training units improved performance on a number of measures.”

She went on to say that her organization has, “long advocated for fully integrated boot camp in the Marine Corps, including through pending federal litigation alleging that sex segregated training violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.”

But there’s still some hope that this training can lead to larger change: According to the corps, they will evaluate the training results after the 13-week session.

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Why Women are Posting Photos of Their Leg Hair on Instagram for Januhairy

In recent years, more and more women have ditched their razors, buoyed in part by body hair-happy celebrities, beauty brands, and the rest of us alike taking a definitive stance on body hair. Rihanna posted a selfie showcasing her leg hair, while Billie became the first brand to actually show body hair in a razor ad. Whether they’re trying to make a statement or just no longer interested in being “perfectly groomed”—or maybe both—it’s working.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 2019 is off to a similar start, as women have taken to social media to celebrate #Januhairy, a project that encourages women to grow out and share photos of their body hair for the month of January.

Started by student Laura Jackson, who first grew out her body hair for a school project, #Januhairy encourages women to accept and empower themselves while challenging the view that female body hair is abnormal and something to be ashamed of. It’s a fundraising effort, too: #Januhairy is also raising money for Body Gossip, a nonprofit that promotes education around body acceptance, by encouraging followers to sponsor women up to the task.

Jackson told the BBC News that she was inspired to start the hashtag after experiencing backlash after growing her own body hair out. “Though I felt liberated and more confident in myself, some people around me didn’t understand or agree with why I didn’t shave. I realized that there is still so much more for us to do to be able to accept one another fully and truly.”

As part of the project, Jackson is encouraging like-minded women to post photos of their progress on social media, too—all for the purpose of normalizing women in their natural state. In an Instagram post in which she recounts explaining her plan to her curious mother, Jackson points out: “Why should we be called lazy if we don’t want to shave? And why do we have to be proving a point?…If we do something [or] see the same things over and over again, it becomes normal.” And by filling feeds with photos of women with body hair, she aims to make it just that: Normal.

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The Official Harry Potter Site Revealed A Disgusting Fact About Hogwarts

Even magical shit has to stink on its way out. So the implications of Pottermore’s latest revelation are still wafting through the Harry Potter fandom. On one hand, it’s just funny. On the other hand, eww. Now, when we go back to watch the Harry Potter films, we may be left imagining what it was like in those early centuries — centuries, plural! — when witches and wizards just … let loose. Here’s what J.K. Rowling’s official site decided to dump on the entire class:

Ummm. Many fans are wondering why we needed to know that, even on National Trivia Day. But Pottermore wasn’t done, it also tied the news into the Chamber of Secrets, saying the new plumbing almost revealed the Chamber’s entrance.

This is all fictional, of course (or is it?), but fans always take the world of Harry Potter very seriously. So it’s kind of disturbing to imagine how long students and teachers (and house elves?) went with this method. As we have been told, Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw, Helga Hufflepuff, and Salazar Slytherin founded Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the 10th century, and the plumbing changes came during the 18th Century.

Fans had many questions and comments, and of course a few jokes.

There are also a couple of versions of this one:

I’m also kind of into this response:

And here’s my own personal reaction:

Many Harry Potter fans are filing this news away in the growing drawer of things J.K. Rowling thinks we need to know but we would rather have lived without.

You could argue that some details in the ongoing Fantastic Beasts saga also belong in that drawer, but that depends on your point-of-view. We’re only two films into that five-film story. Fantastic Beasts 3 already has a title (not that it has been announced yet) and an arrival date of 2020.

The second film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, introduced a younger Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) at Hogwarts — which did have plumbing at the time. That film didn’t do quite as well at the box office as the first film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. We’ll have to see if that trend continues with the third film, or if fans are so curious about the big twists that they come running to get the promised answers.

The Harry Potter film series ran for eight films from 2001 to 2011, based mostly at Hogwarts. Every year on May 2, the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, J.K. Rowling has been tweeting apologies for killing off certain characters. To be honest, we love this world so much that Rowling and her Pottermore can tell us anything they want and we’ll be happy (mostly happy, anyway) to hear it just to keep the magic alive.

As we wait for the next Harry Potter prequel film to show up in 2020, keep track of all of the movies that are coming to theaters in 2019 in our handy cinema schedule.