Special Update From MakeSandcastlesNotWar + Quote!

Greetings, fellow sandcastle makers!

Hope you’ve been having a great week.  Last week I started a new job, so I’ve been busy learning the ropes these days.  It’s been hard finding the time to post great content since being busy with a paying job (Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work we go!)

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Not to worry though!  Once things settle down more, I’ll set some time to post some great topics for MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  In the meantime, today’s post is a mindful quote to kickstart everyone’s day.  Enjoy!

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The instinct of nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free. First, society begins by trying to beat you up. If this fails, they try to poison you. If this fails too, they finish by loading honors on your head.

~ Jean Cocteau

AHS Teases New Elephant Monster!

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It’s now been six months since American Horror Story: Roanoke ended and I really haven’t been doing much research on the newest season.  What I do know is that it will follow a new storyline, have new crazy enemies, and a twisted monster that will hack and slash some of the characters.  There’s always a new monster creeping around the corner every season and some of them will take our fears to a whole new level.  First there was Bastien the Minotaur on American Horror Story: Coven, then the Piggy Man graced us with his grotesque appearance on American Horror Story: Roanoke, and our new season will introduce…an elephant!

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On May 5th, Ryan Murphy teased us with a new tweet of an elephant monster for next season.  This elephant looks creepy AF, with black hollowed-out eyes and a red, twisted grin.  None of its body has been drawn, but the face itself will induce nightmares for months to come.  To put it bluntly, this new elephant monster already looks creepy…as…FUCK.

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Who is this new elephant monster?  What is the backstory behind this disturbing drawing?  Does it have any ties to the previous monsters within the American Horror Story universe?  What’s the reason for that twisted grin?

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While I don’t have any answers yet, there’s already a clue found within the drawing.  Recognize that twisted grin?  You should, because it’s the EXACT same mask Twisty the Clown wore on American Horror Story: Freak Show!  AHS fanatics will remember Twisty the Clown, the disturbing clown killer on season 4 that made Pennywise look like child’s play.  Twisty the Clown, played by John Carroll Lynch, was the monster who kidnapped or murdered his victims.  What’s even more frightening was the tale behind his mask that he wears as his costume.

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If the elephant’s grin bears a striking resemblance to Twisty, then the clue could be tied to season 4 in some way!  Whether it ties directly to Twisty the Clown or not, there’s a hint that we could be revisiting the Freak Show storyline during season 7.  No other clue has been dropped, yet we have an interesting idea for what the monster will be next season.

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Before dropping the twisted clown drawing, Ryan Murphy revealed that season 7 will revolve around the 2016 elections.  Rather than the storyline being directly about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, it will play as an allegory of the fears many people felt after the election results.  The elephant is the symbolic animal for the republican party; with that being said, the elephant monster will definitely fit well with the disturbing allegory for next season.  Who knows what kind of shocking outfit the elephant monster will wear during season 7.  The elephant monster could serve as an assistant to one of the characters (like The Addiction Demon was to Sally McKenna).

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This was so cool to find!  I honestly haven’t been reading much news about the upcoming season of American Horror Story these days.  Discovering this awesome tweet while on the train home from Boston really got me pumped about the new season.  The elephant drawing itself looked SO creepy and I’ll enjoy watching it do its dirty work!  It drives me insane how long I have to wait until I figure out what dastardly theme Ryan Murphy has planned for us.  There’s really not much on TV (except for Bong Appétit and Weediquette) and American Horror Story is really the only story I look forward to.

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There is no other major news about the new season of American Horror Story, but more news will be dropping in the future.  Ryan Murphy showed us the most disturbing animal creatures (Bastien the Mintoaur and the Piggy Man!) and now he’ll be scaring us shitless with an elephant monster.  Looks like people won’t be heading to the zoo anytime soon next year!

2017: The Summer of Franchise-Films

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Summer is about a month away, which can only mean one thing…Summer Blockbusters!  The summer blockbusters make waves every year, with the most action-packed films hitting the big screen.  From superhero franchises to action-packed stories, the summer blockbuster is the season where the film industry rakes in billions of dollars in profits.  With the kids out of school and parents taking more vacation times, more audiences check out the movies during the rainy weather.

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This is the pinnacle season where Hollywood really makes bank and this is the chance to wow the audience during the summer season.  Once the Spring season of comedy film is over, the action-packed franchises make their way into the big screen.  But in a twisted turn of events, Hollywood is bracing for a major decline this year.

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If you’re growing tired of the franchise craze, then you’re not alone – Hollywood is expecting a sharp dip during the box-office season.  Last year’s box office earnings were around $4.5 billion and one number-cruncher predicted that profits could drop as much as 10% this year (to $4 billion!).  While this isn’t a serious profit loss, this drop could cause studios to make some serious changes in the future.

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So why are the numbers going down?  How is it that profits are decreasing in one of the busiest box office seasons?  What underlying factors are hindering people from checking out features at the big screen?

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To start with our first factor, let’s take a look at some of the titles that are coming out soon:

  • Cars 3
  • Despicable Me 3
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Alien: Covenant
  • Baywatch
  • The Mummy
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

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Notice anything about these “new” titles coming out?  They’re ALL franchises!  Every one of these titles will be a sequel, prequel, or a film based off of a familiar idea (Baywatch was a popular drama series during the 1990s before it became a film!).  This franchise-film fad has really taken a hold of the summer blockbuster trend; so much, that it’s the only safe bet that Hollywood plays these games.  Hollywood is playing it safe with the familiar franchise so that it won’t sever its ties with their ever-growing diverse audience around the world.  Releasing a summer blockbusters that audiences will see worldwide is easy, but drawing up an original idea for the domestic audience (audience here in the United States) is much more complicated.

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Hollywood can play it safe for now, but they’ll have to come up with a major plan if profits decrease further in the future.  This is a frustrating/complex situation we have going on.  On the one hand, these franchise films will rake in major profits because they are so well-known all across the world; yet on the other hand, audiences are growing weary of the same franchise ideas hitting the big screens.  Where exactly are those frustrating audiences moving to after seeing too many prequels/sequels of the franchise hits?  Netflix, of course!

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This is another factor in why summer blockbuster sales are decreasing (or box office sales, in general!).  Audiences are turning away from the big screen blockbuster to the silver screen hits from streaming services at their homes.  Streaming sites like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other services are providing better quality content to watch.  For example, one of the most talked-about series last year was Stranger Things when it released on Netflix.  Out of all of the TV series/movies releasing, Stranger Things is the most popular series everyone is flocking to.

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Netflix’s series Sense8 released its 2nd season a few weeks ago and is already taking off with a hit.  The first episode came out back in December and audiences were already psyched for what season 2 had to offer (Hollywood blockbuster films got NOTHING on shows like Sense8, especially after that beautiful orgy scene in the middle of episode 1!).  While Sense8 is pleasing audiences with their action-packed storyline and steamy sex scenes, Hollywood films are boring audiences with their franchise sequels and prequels.  In general, people will save their money for movie tickets and watch films at home through Netflix.

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As an entertainment buff myself, going to the movies is one of my favorite activities on a rainy day.  I enjoy checking out a new film with unique characters and a heart-racing storyline.  Seeing another superhero film this summer won’t hinder my weed buzz, but I will grow weary of watching the same franchise films each year (why would I feel the need to watch ANOTHER Spider-Man movie?).  Why bother taking a trip to the movies when I can smoke up at home and find films on Netflix?  I’m already enjoying the unique content that Netflix offers, so is going to the movies even worth it?  At this point, it isn’t worth spending the $11 on a ticket for another sequel/prequel/franchise title film.

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With that in mind, Hollywood really needs to make serious changes to their range of films.  Since more consumers are watching titles on Netflix, Hollywood must think outside of the box to tap into those audiences.  Playing it safe with the franchise-themed films isn’t going to cut it now that consumers are spreading word about titles like Stranger Things and Sense8.  Not only is Netflix producing better-quality TV series, but they’re also producing amazing films as well.  These titles from Netflix will continue to dominate the entertainment scene as the franchise-films continue to sink from consumer’s interest.

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If you’re not interested in the summer blockbuster list this year, just skip the movies and search for content on Netflix.