What would be better than a 20 foot shark like in the book Jaws

Steve Alten goes one better and writes this novel about the great and terrible 65 foot megalodon - aka
The Meg

I learned about this because of all the hype of the movie release in summer of 2018 starring Jason Statham and Li Bingbing. When I watched the movie, I really enjoyed it! I love a good shark film, probably because my husband is terrified of the ocean and sharks, so I suppose that makes sharks my new best friend! When I learned this was based on a book of the same name, I was pumped because I love delving into stories and getting as much detail as possible which I know movies can never do in their limited time frame. Let’s take a swim into the book!

Book Summary:

Jonas was working with the United States Navy to try and confirm the existence of the megalodon when they ventured into the Mariana Trench in 1997. During this expedition, the Meg surfaces and attacks them so Jonas tries to save everyone by surfacing the vessel, but a few are killed due to this. When explaining to the Navy what he saw, they brushed it off as the ramblings of a madman which causes Jonas to become obsessed for years with proving the existence of the megalodon. This causes tension in his marriage which leads to his wife having an affair with his best friend.

Jonas is approached by Masao Tanaka to help venture into the Mariana Trench in order to retrieve one of their lost submarines, which Jonas immediately accepts as an opportunity to find the Meg and prove he wasn’t crazy. Jonas and Tanaka’s son , DJ, both venture into the trench when DJ is attacked and killed by a male megalodon. As Jonas looks on in horror, a larger megalodon - the Meg - rises from the depths, attacks the male megalodon (#Yasqueen, you don’t need a man boo), and surfaces out of the mariana trench into open waters. Well, it sounds like Jonas can finally prove he wasn’t crazy - as long as he doesn’t get eaten first.

Thus begins the wild shark chase! They hunt and search the ocean as the Meg leaves behind a trail of death. They shoot the Meg with a tranquilizer to try and capture her alive until she wakes up and attacks several bystanders. Jonas drives his submersible into her throat and stomach and cuts through her stomach lining, while inside her, and cuts out the heart. Who else is volunteering to be in the Meg’s stomach? With the Meg finally dead and gone, everyone can finally breathe a sigh of relief - or can they?

Here are the main differences between the book and the movie:

Meg vs. T. Rex

Do you remember the scene in the movie with the T. Rex? Probably not because it was not in the movie at all. The opening sequence of the book is in the late Cretaceous Period, when a T. Rex pursues a herd of dinosaurs and ends up waist deep in the ocean. While there, all of a sudden a huge chunk of his gut is bitten into which confuses the T. Rex until the Meg surfaces and devours the rest of him. Really now - it was no contest. I wish I could have seen the T. Rex swatting his baby arms at the Meg.

The Meg is White in the Book

While in the movie they portrayed the Meg as a giant Great White Shark, in the book the Meg has a bio-luminescent white hide. This is because there is no sunlight in the trench where it has been residing, which only makes it that more menacing looking. Imagine a giant 60 foot long shark all white with charcoal black eyes - I think I just peed my pants a little. The meg also only hunts and surfaces at night in the book due to it’s eye sensitivity to sunlight. This occurs only till the end when it is blinded - then it’s fair game to hunt day or night.

Male and Female Meg Smack Down in Trench

In the movie, there is a scene when they finally killed off the megalodon shark and suspend it on the back of the boat - until the female Meg jumps out of the water, twice as large as the one killed, and bites a huge chunk out of the dead male megalodon. While that was a terrifying site - we actually get to read about the female Meg attacking the male megalodon in the trench right in front of Jonas! I wouldn’t have wanted to get in the middle of that fight. The female Meg being twice the size of the male, not only tears him apart, she actually uses him as a warm bloody shield to escape the trench as it protects her from the extremely cold cloudy barrier that kept her trapped down there all along. Yikes!

Jonas’ Wife Eaten in Shark Cage

In the movie, Jonas is rescuing his ex-wife and her crew from their expedition into the trench. In the book however, Jonas is still married (till death do us part right), even though he does discover his wife is having an affair. She is a popular news reporter and when news of the terrifying Meg surfaces, she decides to go into a shark cage in order to capture videos of the Meg giving birth underwater - read my review on Jaws to see how well it went for Hooper when he did the same. The Meg decides she looks like a tasty snack and attacks the shark cage, swallowing it whole thus killing off Jonas’ wife.

Pregnant Meg

This is the biggest difference from the movie and the book. While in the movie, she is just a lethal shark with a giant destructive appetite, in the book she is actually pregnant and gives birth to 3 megalodon pups. This just takes the book into a whole new level of anxiety because it’s bad enough hunting down one giant 60 foot long shark, but now they have to hunt down 4! While in the end they managed to kill 2 of the pups and the mom… 1 pup was not killed and ends up being the main character in the next book, the Trench. Maybe the movie will mimic this for a sequel due to the success of the movie.

Final Rating & Thoughts: 8/10

I loved loved loved

The Meg

From the beginning of the book to the end, I was on the edge of my seat wondering how things could possibly get worse until things start to get worse. If a shark could be a villain, I don’t think there is a better one than the Meg herself. She is menacing, terrifying, and will mow down anyone in her way. Even when you notice the characters making dumb decisions by getting in the water, you are rooting for the Meg to show them who’s boss! I loved when they let one of her pups live to set-up for a sequel because I know I definitely needed more megalodons in my life. I also think they did make the Meg seem truly terrifying, at least for me. With it being 60 feet long and albino white, I could only imagine how terrifying that looks charging at you in the water. I actually had nightmares for a while about being chased by the Meg. I won’t be exploring any underwater trenches EVER just in case the Meg really is waiting down there for a moment to shine.

I would have loved to give this book a 10 but there are a few flaws in the book. The way the Meg escaped the trench, in my opinion, was just way too easy. They made it seem like they have been stuck down there for thousands of years but she just randomly ate the right male megalodon that just so happened to cocoon her enough to escape the trench? I am sorry but I’m not buying it. I also didn’t much care for the drama with Jonas and his wife because I really didn’t think it added anything to the story and just set us up to dislike her so when she was eaten, I really wasn’t all that bothered by it. Lastly, I think this is definitely a rip off of it’s inspiration movie: Jaws. The shark attacks, the shark cage, the cheating wife - it just felt like things I read before. Even though

The Meg managed to use those same features and make it better, it almost feels like I am reading Jaws 2: Big Daddy.

With that said, I still love this book and would reread it again. It was a really fun and exciting read and they managed to get us to root for the Meg and Jonas at the same time. Maybe if they work out their differences, they could be friends? Even though I felt like this copied Jaws, I still think they did it in a much more entertaining way. For those that read my review on Jaws - you know how I feel on that one. I think The Meg is definitely the best shark book I have ever read. I would recommend this to fellow shark lovers or those looking for an ocean thrill!

For those ready to take a Meg sized bite out of this tale, this is available for purchase on

Amazon in Paperback or via Kindle

New From Story Merchant Books: Grizzly Justice by April Christofferson

When Yellowstone backcountry ranger Will McCarroll is fired for breaking the rules one time too many, he disappears into the backcountry to continue his decades-long mission of protecting the park’s wildlife. Will is hell bent on saving a wounded grizzly bear whose fate is all but certain: euthanasia.

In his quest, Will stumbles onto a secret meeting of the Alliance, a political movement determined—at any cost—to force the transfer of public lands into state hands. Blackfeet wolverine biologist Johnny Yellow Kidney has taken a forced hiatus from his work in Glacier National Park to head a project born of a high-profile journalist’s loss from a highway tragedy. The goal: to construct safe highway crossings for Montana’s wildlife. Once again, Johnny and Will’s paths cross, not only through both men’s romantic connection to Yellowstone Magistrate Judge Annie Peacock, but also in each man’s race to save the two- and four-leggeds they’ve sworn to protect. Time is running out in Yellowstone Country—and for Will, Johnny, and those they’ve dedicated their careers to defending, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

“A gorgeous book. Grizzly Justice is a riveting read, the majesty and magic of its landscapes and wildlife illuminating every page. I couldn’t put the book down and closed the last page with a deep sense of gratitude for our national parks and profound respect for those who fight to protect them. This book will bring transformational awareness to its readers. It certainly did for me.”

-Ruth Wariner New York Times bestselling author of The Sound of Gravel.

“April Christofferson weaves together her knowledge of the cadences of the natural world, the complexity of behavior that enables injustice, the redemption that passion provides to individual initiative, and the foibles of the human heart.”

-Jeff Hull, bestselling author of Broken Field: A Novel

“Guaranteed to make any reader late for dinner, or even breakfast.”

-Booklist on Clinical Trial

Available on Amazon

ETA's ‘Echo Boomers’ Crime-Drama Pic

Congratulations Eric Brenner, Sandra Siegal, Frankie Ordoubadi and Kate Linder

Patrick Schwarzenegger (Midnight Sun), Gilles Geary (The I-Land) and Hayley Law (Riverdale) are among cast to join Michael Shannon and Alex Pettyfer in feature crime-drama Echo Boomers, which is now under way in Utah.

Based on a true story, the film follows a group of disillusioned twentysomethings who break into and steal from the homes of the rich. Also among cast are Oliver Cooper, Jacob Alexander and Kate Linder.

Seth Savoy is making his directorial debut on the movie which he scripted with Kevin Bernhardt and Jason Miller. Producers are James Langer, Mike D. Ware, Matthew G. Zamias, Lucas Jarach, Byron Wetzel and Sean Kaplan. Nadine de Barros, Jeff Waxman, Frankie Ordoubadi, Eric Brenner and Sandra Siegal are executive producers, as are James Ireland and Alex Pettyfer via their company Dark Dreams Entertainment which is co producing.

Financing is provided by Three Point Capital, with its principals David Gendron and Ali Jazayeri also serving as executive producers. Fortitude International holds foreign rights and launched the project last year at the AFM. CAA Media Finance reps domestic.

The History of Plot

Let’s start from the beginning (the Western beginning, anyway).

PREHISTORY TO 500 BCE:   The Creation Story (the Hebrew Bible, Sumerian tablets). How we first started to explain the world, relying mostly on supernatural explanations.

2100–400 BCE:  The Epic Poem (the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Iliad). Episodic narratives in which the gods interact with people, with man at the center of the story.

500–400 BCE:  Classical Tragedy (The Oresteia, Oedipus the King, Medea). Murder, incest, revenge, and the tragic flaw. Aristotle wrote in Poetics that they ideally preserved “the three unities” — of action (one story), time (one day), and place (one location).

1350–1450:  Framed Vernacular Stories (The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales). With the breakup of Latin and the very beginning of “modern” Europe, writers began compiling often bawdy, irreverent stories under baggy framing devices.

1450–1550:  The Chivalric Romance (The Death of Arthur, Amadís de Gaula). A marriage of heroic saga and earthy romance, these were the first stories written mostly in prose.

16TH CENTURY:  The Picaresque (Don Quixote). Technically, this loose structure of roving misadventures was born with the anonymous novella Lazarillo de Tormes; Cervantes popularized the style (while also satirizing the chivalric romance).

1590S: Parallel Plots Shakespeare didn’t invent modern drama — or really most of his plots — but he pioneered the practice of moving several stories through the same place and time.

1700–1750:  The “True” Novel (Robinson Crusoe, Pamela, Tom Jones). The first fully coherent realist plots — rise, climax, and fall — often pretended to be even realer than they were.

MID-18TH CENTURY:  The Comic Metastory (Tristram Shandy, Candide). Satire and experiment predated modern formal play by a couple of centuries.

1764:  The Supernatural (Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto).

1813:  The Marriage Plot Pride and Prejudice was the Ur–marriage plot — the winding tale of a woman’s road to saying “yes” — but Jane Austen’s entire body of work points to her larger (quite modern) project of capturing (and gently satirizing) the mores of the day.

MID-19TH CENTURY:  Urban Social Panorama (Balzac, Dickens, Hugo): Ambition was the primal drive and a core subject of capacious plots that traveled up and down the social strata of industrial cities.

MID-19TH CENTURY:   The Detective Story (“The Murders in the Rue Morgue,”The Woman in White). Following Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins pioneered the mystery genre at novel length, and Arthur Conan Doyle later introduced the procedural with Sherlock Holmes.

1860S–1870S:   The Moral-Anguish Plot (Crime and Punishment, Anna Karenina). Two very different thick Russian novels move the realist plot inward.

LATE-19TH CENTURY:  Science Fiction (Journey to the Center of the Earth, War of the Worlds). 1910S–1920S:  Stream of Consciousness (Ulysses, To the Lighthouse, In Search of Lost Time). A new avant-garde redefined plot as the not-always-linear progress of a mind as it processes the world.

1920S–1930S: Noir (Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler). Hardboiled and noir fiction complicated Agatha Christie’s neat puzzles.

1930S–1940S:  Dystopia (Brave New World, 1984). Aldous Huxley and George Orwell helped bring the premises of sci-fi to bear on the question of how the individual interacts with society at its future worst.

1950S:   The Fantasy Quest (The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings). The quest goes into worlds never seen before, though they may resemble medieval and ancient folklore.

1960S: Autofiction (Marguerite Duras, Karl Ove Knausgaard). This term for thinly veiled autobiography was only coined decades after Marguerite Duras wroteHiroshima Mon Amour and decades before Knausgaard made it his own.

1967:  Modern Folklore (One Hundred Years of Solitude). Jorge Luis Borges and other Latin American writers spent the preceding decades marrying supernatural native folklore to European realism, but Gabriel García Márquez’s best seller made “magical realism” a big thing.

1960S–1970S:  Metafiction (Robert Coover,Slaughterhouse-­Five, Gravity’s Rainbow). Postmodernism opened plots up to elements that winked at the reader in self-conscious ways.

1984:  Cyberpunk(Neuromancer): This subset of sci-fi juxtaposes the picaresque with the dystopian and sets up a world in which technology outpaces society’s ability to cope with it.

~ Sadie Stein

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Is It Story That Makes Us Read?

Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine
Recite a plot backward and you’ll discover some things. Try it with a classic you haven’t read in years. You remember the green light on the last page of The Great Gatsby, of course, and probably Gatsby’s corpse in the pool a chapter earlier. Do you remember who killed him? It was Wilson, the husband of Tom Buchanan’s lover, Myrtle, who was run over by Gatsby’s car with Daisy at the wheel. It was Tom who told Wilson, a man with a few screws loose, that the car belonged to Gatsby, so you could make a case that Gatsby’s death was all Tom’s fault — that he was the real killer and had plenty of motive. You could also argue that Fitzgerald’s end plot is a shambolic mess heaped on a pile of coincidence, though there’s a beauty to the end of the novel that does express one of its great themes: that Gatsby was a careful man who involved himself with careless people and died as a martyr to their carelessness.

But my point here isn’t to pronounce on that novel’s worthiness. What I mean to get across are the thin traces the plots of even the most memorable, near universally read books can leave in our minds. If a work of fiction has any force to it, we close the book with a head full of images, lines, and emotions.

We’ve gotten to know characters and may think of them the way we think of the heroes and villains of our own lives. That sense of them can stay with us for years, even if we forget their names. A good prose style will stay in our ears the way memorable music does. But there’s something that goes away quickly when we close a book, or the screen goes dark, or the curtain falls: the memory of just what happened, in what order, and why. Plots are ghostly things in our brains. It can be hard to keep a grasp of them even as you’re reading a novel or watching a film or a play. I sometimes fret that I have a better memory of the font certain novels were printed in than the incidents that riveted me as I was reading them.

But it’s plot that keeps us turning pages, even when we feel no sympathy or the opposite of sympathy for a fiction’s characters and animating ideas. Nell Zink has said that when she wanted people to read a book about avian conservation and militant environmental activism, the logical way to do it was to embed those elements in the sex-farce plot of The Wallcreeper. Yet a summary of that novel wouldn’t tell you much about why it’s so good. The late Robert Belknap points out in his study Plots (a work largely devoted to close readings of King Lear and War and Peace) that some argue that the only adequate summary of War and Peace is the text of War and Peace, the implication being that you can never really know the novel unless you memorize the text, something that’s possible with a play but not so with Tolstoy’s masterpieces. Others hold that “the summary of a book is the plot of the book,” since the act of summarizing a plot mimics the way our mind grasps a story as it unfolds. On this view, we are all critics when we read, unconsciously adding emphasis to certain events, flattening out ambiguities, lending our loyalties to some characters over others. Some readers want plots that will sweep them away. Others want to keep their distance and examine plots the way a doctor might look down a patient’s throat. In between is a style of reading that takes temporary possession of a text, creating a new work of art that exists only in the reader’s head.

It was Aristotle who first called plot “the first principle, and, as it were, the soul of a tragedy.” (The elements of less importance for him are character, diction, thought, spectacle, and song.) He was writing about Greek drama, but we can apply his ideas to novels, though he considered narrative works, particularly epic ones, inferior to tragedy. There’s something hostile to the bagginess of the novel in Aristotle’s notion that the best works are those in which nothing can be  subtracted without the meaning being lost. A more generous theory of plot arrived about a century ago in Russia. The Formalists Vladimir Propp and Victor Shklovsky held that every work of fiction has a fabula and a syuzhet. The fabula is the set of fictional events related within or implied by the work; the syuzhet is the manner in which the fictional information of the fabula is conveyed to the reader. Together they constitute the plot.

There’s something beautiful to me about the concept of the fabula. Every narrative implies an entire world beyond the confines of the narrative, and another history stretching backward and forward in time forever. Thus books proliferate that enter into other books’ fabula to fill in backstories, portray familiar events from other perspectives, and see characters on to further escapades. Television spinoffs and movie-franchise universes operate within shared fabula, and great care is taken not to violate the illusion of a consistent fictional world. Lots of people, after all, are keeping track.

Theorists of plot tend to think of the concept elastically. If plot is the arrangement of incident, each incident itself is also a plot in miniature. The crucial question is the level of causality linking the incidents — or if not causality, the appearance of design, as in Aristotle’s example of the murderer of Mitys dying when a statue of Mitys falls on him. Paradoxically, he says, tragic wonder is greater when it happens by accident.

Aristotle scorned the epic, but he would have hated television. “Of all plots and actions the episodic are the worst,” he wrote. An episodic structure tends to do away with any causal link between the episodes. It’s a string of plots where all the conditions are reset between episodes, and each character returns to his or her mean. Of course, seriality is something else: an episodic structure nested within larger plot arcs — more a linked chain than a string of beads.

Prestige television inherited this structure from the 19th-century novel. Many are enthralled by this development — novelists like Jonathan Franzen among them — but the parallel development of binge-watching has exposed some of the seams of the serial television drama. Binge-watch Breaking Bad and you’ll notice that Walter and Jesse will often reverse their stances on the meth-cooking business every few hours. What would the writers do with them if they weren’t constantly getting out and then being pulled, or jumping, back in? Even The Sopranos shows its reliance on formula if you watch it quickly enough. Rapid rotation of personnel within Tony’s crew means there’s always some problem capo around whom it’ll take a season for somebody to whack. Aristotle thought a tragedy should unfold over the natural course of a day — so perhaps he would have been a fan of 24.

 to put plot in its grave, and tried to replace it with intellectual or aesthetic dazzle, but it always returns zombielike, and suddenly we’re again reading books that end with weddings. “All plots tend to move deathward,” Jack Gladney says in Don DeLillo’s White Noise. “This is the nature of plots.” Of course, a marriage is its own kind of death, the death of the individual in the union of a couple. That’s the sort of death that gives people hope for the future, and it’s a plot’s power to trigger the emotional release — catharsis — that Aristotle values. Tragedy’s power rested in its ability to stir feelings of terror and pity in an audience. Unlike Plato, who thought the emotional manipulations of poets a danger to society, Aristotle saw emotional release as a healthy thing — a way to purge the heart of pity and terror before going to war, where such feelings are a liability.

What sort of feelings do we look for from plots today? On television, it’s been well documented, we’ve watched an era of criminal males enacting power fantasies at a time when patriarchy seems to be waning. I’ve seen a different pattern, another prevailing feeling recently in literature, both in novels I’ve admired and many I’ve detested. The feeling is shame. Many fictions these days are animated by a shameful trauma lurking in the fabula, but typically undisclosed until the reader is half or three-quarters of the way through the work. The strange thing about such shame-inducing secrets is that they exist apart and without a direct causal link to the rest of the fictional events but still exert an overpowering distortionary force on subsequent events: Plots become sand castles washed away in a tide of shame. Jay Gatsby had a shameful secret too — that his fortune was criminal. He wanted to get rich in order to marry Daisy. He ended up a corpse floating in a pool.


*A version of this article appears in the August 8, 2016 issue of New York Magazine.

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Listen: How Walden Media Navigates the Mega-Budget Film Era

Frank Smith Strictly Business Podcast

“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” is just the kind of family-friendly movie you’d expect to see from Walden Media, which teamed with Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon to bring the iconic kiddie character to theaters (premiering Aug. 9). But while the company is as dedicated as ever to burnishing the inspirational fare-focused brand it has built over the past 16 years, the strategies CEO/president Frank Smith has employed to keep Walden in the game have evolved considerably in recent years. “The industry has changed so dramatically around us and so quickly, you realize to continue with your mandate, to be relevant, you have to change with the industry,” he explained in the latest episode of the Variety podcast “Strictly Business.”

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Calling it quits: When leaving your job is the right thing to do

Listen here

In 2009, Bill Murphy Jr. landed a top-level law job making big bucks. But when he showed up for work, he realized pretty quickly that he wasn't the right person for that spot. On his very first day, Murphy already wanted out.

Correspondent Tony Dokoupil asked, "What was it about a competitive, six-figure income that wasn't attractive to you?"

"Yeah, I know, that's a question a lot of people would ask," he replied. "I recall going to the orientation, and one of the speakers got up, 'Hi, I'm John Smith, I've been here for 21 years and three months, so that means I have, you know, eight years-plus to retire.' And that became a running joke with a few of the others speakers that got up. But that's not really what you say if you love your work and you really want to come in there every day."

So, rather than count his own days behind a desk, he did something you won't find in most career playbooks: He quit on Day Two, telling his boss, "I'm really very sorry, I can tell that I made a big mistake in accepting this job."

The move was radical, but the mindset is not so uncommon. According to a recent CBS News poll, more than half of Americans with full time jobs say they daydream at least once in a while about leaving those jobs behind.

Michelle Singletary, who writes about personal finance for the Washington Post, says the fantasy of quitting your job is more prevalent today than it was a generation ago. "And for many people, it is a fantasy unfortunately," she said.

Singletary said employers are largely to blame: "I think the companies broke the contract, because they made us expendable at every level. I mean, it got to the point where they could boost their stock prices by firing people. And people are saying, 'If that's the case, I don't owe you my entire life.'"

That may help explain why some employees now put early retirement at the top of their to-do list. But making that happen takes work, and a whole lot of savings. Singletary said, "You've got to save a substantial amount of your salary, upwards of 40, 50, 60%."

Dokoupil asked, "If you're 25 right now and you have it in your head that you want to retire early, to be clear, the things you would have to do in order to save are, sounds like, not have kids?"

"You can have kids. You can't have five," Singletary replied.

House? "Not too big."

Can you go out to eat at restaurants? "You can every once in a while. You're not gonna be taking a $5,000 cruise, no."

"You essentially have to ignore every cue from our culture, every commercial on TV?"

"My husband and I keep our cars until we're on a first-name basis with the local tow truck drivers," Singletary laughed. "And we don't care!"

That's the sort of thing Susan Emmerson might do. She remembers telling her accountant, "'I'm gonna save half of my income.' He said, 'No, you're not. Don't give me that.' And I said, 'Watch me.'"

Before retiring at age 47, she kept close tabs on everything she spent, and we do mean EVERYTHING. In her little notebook she wrote down every expenditure, even a Coke.

Frugality helped Susan Emmerson quit her career as a physician at age 47, to take up a second calling: art.   SUSAN EMMERSON
Thanks to that tight budget and some savvy investing, Emmerson, now 61, has spent more than a decade pursuing her lifelong passion of art.  To do that, she walked away from a career as a physician. "The best part was turning in the beeper, because they can't get me anymore!" she laughed.

But can someone who isn't earning a doctor or lawyer's income afford to retire early? Singletary said, "Yes, absolutely. Early retirement isn't just for people making six figures. It's you. But it's you making different choices. Your early retirement may not be some big villa in Florida. It may just be a nice two-bedroom condo where you live, and the car that you have had for 20 years."

Emmerson said when she announced her early retirement to her mother, "Oh God, she had a fit! She told her friends that I had gotten sick and had to retire, because that, I guess, seemed like a more acceptable reason to retire."

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi may help explain her mom's reaction. A famous quote attributed to him is woven deep into the fabric of American culture: "Winners never quit."

Author Seth Godin is the anti-Lombardi; he says quitting is often the best possible move, because it frees us up to thrive where we're better suited.

"We've been brainwashed into thinking that quitting is somehow wrong, it's somehow weak," he said. "If you have a choice between being unemployed for one, two, three years or sticking with a job that's a dead-end, most people are afraid of the unknown, so they will stick with that job."

Dokoupil asked, "We met an individual who quit on his second day of work. Would you advise such a thing?"

"I'm not sure what the difference is between the second day and the 200th day," Godin said. "If I got a job working at a payday loan company, I wouldn't even last two days."

Which brings us back to Bill Murphy Jr. After quitting as a lawyer, he went all-in on a childhood dream: Journalism.

He's now a contributing editor at the publication Inc. "I would not go back. I have no regrets."

And one thing's very clear: He's happy now, having quit his way to a better life.

"I call it the joy of quitting," he said.

New From Story Merchant Books: Educating Marston: A Mother and Son's Journey through Austism

LOS ANGELES, CA—Story Merchant Books releases its newest work of nonfiction: Educating Marston: A Mother and Son’s Journey through Autism by Christine Weiss. In 1995, Marston was born five weeks premature but otherwise “fine.” As days turned into weeks (and months), Christine realized her son was not like the other so-called normal kids. With her husband, Dr. Eric Weiss, taking a second job in an ER on the weekends, Christine began her journey of researching and implementing every therapy and treatment out there to help heal Marston’s injured brain.

“Autism wasn’t widely talked about back then, and Facebook (networking) didn’t exist. We were on our own. This memoir is our journey of educating Marston through programs like The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, Vision Therapy, the Tomatis® Method, Marion Blank’s approach to reading, hypotherapy, ballroom dancing, and the list goes on…until we discovered STEM CELL REPLACEMENT THERAPY.” 

In PART II of Educating Marston, Eric Weiss, MD details his history studying stem cells, how they work, and how he put their healing potential to the test with an experimental surgery, and then with Marston.

“For the first few weeks after ‘Gail’s’ surgery, the umbilical cord strips just lay there, neither hurting nor helping her open wounds. We needed more time. Three months later, she walked into
my office for the first time without assistance in years. She was healed. The affected regions contained 95 percent new tissue, and only about 5 percent of her skin had scarring. The umbilical cord stem cells had programmed her body to regenerate healthy skin cells. That’s when we knew stem cells could heal our son—and we had to try.” 

Not only did the Weiss family find a doctor to help Marston, they went on to devote part of Eric’s private practice to administering stem cell transfusions. He’s been treating people for autism, physical traumas, and other diseases and disorders through stem cell replacement therapy since December 2018.

“The pain, obstacles, and victories over the last twenty-four years have brought us one step closer to our son living a life of purpose with as much normalcy as possible. We’ve cracked the glass wall separating us from Marston, but we believe stem cell replacement therapy will ultimately shatter it. NOW, IT’S OUR JOB TO SHARE OUR STORY WITH THE WORLD BECAUSE ONE WIN FOR AUTISM IS A VICTORY FOR US ALL.”

To request a review copy or inquire about an author interview, please email

Super-Sized Fun Screening of The MEG!

Just in time for Shark Week, a 70-foot prehistoric megalodon shark – let’s call him “The Meg” – will invade the beaches of South Florida.

Think of its as a float-in theater. “The Meg” will play on a 14-foot inflatable screen, floating offshore along the beach near the park’s Oleta River Outdoor Center. Moviegoers at their own (ahem) peril must watch from the beach or from pool floats.

Perhaps only one screening is needed. “The Meg” is essentially “Jaws” on steroids, an over-the-top fin flick featuring a wet-suited Statham hunting a prehistoric monster-fish with a harpoon gun. During one meaty sequence, the Meg chomps its way through a beach resort crowded with bathers in pool floats.

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What You Need to Know About Steve Alten’s ‘Meg’ Series

There are currently seven books in the series: 1997’s awesomely-titled Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror (recently republished with the 2011 e-prequel Meg: Origins), followed by The Trench (the only Megless title, and digitally released as The Trench: Meg 2) in 1999, then Meg: Primal Waters, Meg: Hell’s Aquarium, Meg: Nightstalkers and this summer’s Meg: Generations, and Meg: Purgatory. Alten, a doctorate of sports administration turned voraciously prolific wordsmith, doesn’t appear to have any plans to slow down.

The Meg is loosely based on the first book (excuse me, novel of deep terror) in the series, with Alten cheerfully signing off on the changes to the source material. Here we’ve got new characters, newly named old characters, a no-longer-albino megalodon and an entirely different backstory explaining protagonist Jonas Taylor’s PTSD. But even though the film diverges wildly from the book that inspired it, it might still help you to know the following about Alten’s Meg series before you watch Jason Statham wrestle a giant prehistoric shark on the silver screen.

They’re Fun
Alten’s writing tends to the prosaic and weirdly sexist (boyyyyy, is Jonas Taylor’s wife a real piece of work! Fortunately, she's been completely updated in the film, as has the book's character Terry, whom Book Jonas derisively calls "Gloria Steinem." The movie is much better about this stuff). But while these books might not be **pushes glasses up nose, over-enunciates** highbrow literature, there’s no denying they're a blast. The chapters fly by, the energy is propulsive and the premises are uniformly intriguing, from Meg’s deep sea dive redemption story to Primal Waters’ daredevil reality TV plot. And Jonas himself is undeniably compelling, the sort of terse, grizzly antihero with a heart that Statham was born to play.

They’re Scary
While Alten may not adequately sell romance or profound human sentiment in these books, there’s one emotion he’s very good at generating, and that’s fear. Meg opens with an account of the Meg back in her Late Cretaceous days. A Tyrannosaurus rex stalks a couple of hadrosaurs into the surf when “a six-foot gray dorsal fin rose slowly from the sea, its unseen girth gliding silently across their path.” Soon the T. rex gives up on the hadrosaurs because it has bigger fish to fry, and we’re treated to a completely gnarly T.rex vs. Megalodon battle that ends with this note-perfect sentence:

A moment later the dinosaur surfaced again, drowning in its own body fluids as its rib cage crushed and crumbled within the powerful jaws of its still-unseen hunter, its gushing innards strangling it to death.


They’re Science-y
Look, I’m not a scientist. The only science class I took in college was called “Science For Liberal Arts Majors.” But these books seem very scientific! There’s tons of paleontological speak, a litany of jargon matched only by the lovingly rendered technical specifications of submarines. Alten goes to great lengths to establish that Megs could still exist in the deep recesses of the ocean, of which we know less than we do outer space. He reminds us in Meg’s preface that dead sharks sink, their carcasses eaten and dissolved, and that less than 5% of the world’s oceans, and less than 1 percent of the deep abyss, have been explored. I’m convinced! Megalodons exist and we need Jason Statham to kill them!

They’ll Make GREAT Movies
One chapter into Meg and I couldn’t wait to see The Meg. Having now flown through the series and cheered my way through the ridiculously fun film, I already can’t wait for any sequels that Hollywood wants to throw our way. This is fun, silly, thrilling stuff, and as big as Carcharodon megalodon feels in my imagination, she's even bigger on that big ol’ screen.

Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror

Blogcritics Reviews How to Quit your Day Job and Live Out Your Dreams

Are you in an unsatisfying job and would like to get out of your current line of work? Do you want to transition from a job that is secure but soulless, from a life that is created by others to one that is created by you which allows you to follow your creative dreams? If you do, this book is for you.

Kenneth Atchity was also in a job he despised. He was a tenured professor. He should have been on top of his game and happy. He had security, and everything he wanted financially. But he was still fundamentally unhappy because he felt drained and didn’t feel as if he was fulfilling his creative purposes in life. How sad? He always wanted to be a story merchant and film producer. Then one day he dared to take the necessary steps to make his dreams come through. And this is how the idea for this book was born.

Kenneth Atchity’s book is for everyone who feels that their creativity has been squelched at their current line of work. How to Quit Your Day Job and Live Your Dreams will show the reader how to create a personal vision and recreate your life so that it fulfilling your vision, face negative peer pressure, identify and control conflicting inner voices, redefine what it means to live successfully for yourselves, steal time to make your dreams come true, and a lot more. The book is full of advice for the person who is still working at a dead end job and wants to take fruitful steps to get out. Kenneth Atchity shows the reader how to do this through consistent planning, a bit of hard work, and perseverance.

The good news is that we can all reclaim our lives, and we don’t have to stay in dead end jobs for the rest of our lives and live unhappy and unfulfilled days. We can be bold and recreate our lives so that they are what we want them to be. So, if you want your life to change for the better, pick Kenneth Atchity’s book today and get ready to transform your life one step at a time.

What is “Coverage” and How Does It Affect Whether My Book Sells to Hollywood? by Kenneth Atchity

I read part of it all the way through.—Samuel Goldwyn

The Hollywood decision-maker who receives your story submission rarely has time to read it him- or herself. They assign it “for coverage” to the story department, and receive back a coverage. “Coverage” is the term used in Hollywood for the document that determines the fate of most story submissions. It’s a document, created by a story editor, in the story department of an agency, production company, studio, or broadcaster that analyzes your story’s film-worthiness.  A typical coverage includes a “grading system” something like the following that suggests that the submission (screenplay, novel, nonfiction book, or treatment) is:

PASS— Nothing to spend more time on. So the executive who receives this recommendation returns the submission.

RECOMMEND— The grade you’re looking for. The executive reads at least part of the submission and, if he agrees with his story editor, contacts the writer to ask about its rights status.

RECOMMEND, W/DEVELOPMENT— Don’t let this one go, but it’s not perfect and needs fixing.

CONSIDER— The story editor isn’t sure. Usually this grade leads to a “second read,” from a different story editor.

CONSIDER, WITH DEVELOPMENT— Meaning it’s worth taking on for development, but not yet ready for production. In many cases this will lead to a pass because most companies are so swamped with production and development projects that they simply have no bandwidth for developing another one.
Sometimes an additional category might be included:

KEEP AN EYE ON THE WRITER? That’s a Yes, or No.

The coverage typically contains a number of analytical sections to make sure all aspects of the project are addressed:

TITLE and GENRE: The title of the submission is followed by a statement of what genre it falls into: Fantasy/Adventure, Action, Romance, Drama, Horror, Thriller, Comedy, True Story, etc.

TYPE: Screenplay? Manuscript? Nonfiction? Novel? Treatment?

LOGLINE: This is a one- or two-sentence summary of the story, sometimes referred to as the pitch-line. The best are the shortest: “A man is mistakenly left behind when his ships leaves in a hurry. On Mars.”

SYNOPSIS— This is a straightforward outline of your story, to give the executive an overview of what happens in it. It describes all main plot points and details necessary to understand the story. The preferred length of a synopsis is a page or two. When it’s longer, it’s usually a sign to the executive that the story is too complicated to make a good film.

MARKET POTENTIAL— This section is a comment on the audience the project is aimed at, and whether the story editor feels it fits that market or departs from its needs or expectations, whether it’s a fresh approach to an important story, whether the story is “elevated” by its theme to make it a worthy film or series. Often names successful films that resemble this one.

STRUCTURE— This is an overall comment on how well the structure of the story holds together and accomplishes its purpose, but also where it falters in doing so. Do events unfold cohesively? Are plot points used effectively? Does the story reveal a three-act structure? A typical comment, “There seems to be repetition of the same events over and over again throughout the story.”

CONFLICT— This crucial section indicates whether there is sufficient conflict, both external (in the events of the story) and internal (within the characters).  Is the main external conflict of sufficient formidable force to hold audiences? Is it supported by smaller external conflicts, as well as by internal conflict on the part of the characters, especially protagonist and antagonist?

CHARACTER— Is the protagonist fully formed? Do we care about Does he or she have a back story, a mission, and does he or she experience change by the end? Are the supporting characters strong?

DIALOGUE— Is the dialogue unique to each character or do they all sound the same? Does the dialogue move the story along, providing information and containing subtext without being on-the-nose or unbelievable?

PACING— Are scenes or events an appropriate length for their purpose? Is there a sense of build-up, a balance between tension and release, mystery and discovery? Sufficient twists and turns, cliffhangers and surprises? Does each scene or event depend on what came before?

LOGIC— This section talks about plot holes or points lacking sufficient clarity? Do events make sense within the world of the story? For example, do science fiction and fantasy worlds remain consistent with their own set of rules?

CRAFT— Is the writing itself clear, concise, and descriptive? Is there an even balance of action and dialogue? Is proper formatting employed? Are there spelling or grammatical errors?

Yeah, it’s pretty thorough, isn’t it? And here’s the catch: the writer who submitted the story will rarely see the coverage that determines its fate. It’s a real philosophical dilemma. Given that the coverage is so important, and that you won’t see it, how should you behave?

The answer is to know that the coverage, like the troll under the bridge, is there lurking in wait for you–and to disarm it in advance by making sure your story addresses all the categories of expectation.

If, in its current form, it does not, write a treatment of your story and submit that instead.

About Sell Your Story to Hollywood:

Through the expanding influence of the Internet and the corporatization of both publishing and entertainment, the process of getting your book to the big screen has gotten more complicated, more eccentric, and more exciting.

This little book aims to help you figure out how to get your story told on big screens or small. It’s not going to give you rules and regulations, because they simply don’t exist today. Any rule that could be promulgated has and will be broken. What this book offers instead is nearly thirty years of observation of how things happen in show business, the business of entertainment (better known around the world as Hollywood). Dr. Ken Atchity’s Hollywood experience ranges from writing to managing writers to producing their movies for television and theaters. He’s seen the Hollywood story market from nearly every angle, including legal and business affairs.

Ken Atchity spent his first career as a professor, a career he embarked upon innocently because he wanted to focus his efforts on understanding stories and helping writers get their stories told—and here he is thirty years later still pursuing the same goal—because it’s a worthy and never-ending goal.
He’s made films based on nonfiction books, and made deals for a number of nonfiction stories. But most of his experience lies in turning novels into films. As a lifelong story merchant, what Dr. Atchity develops and sells are “stories,” because he believes stories rule the world. Many of the observations outlined in this book are simply about selling stories to Hollywood.

This pocket guide will help you expedite the transformation of your show business dreams into realities.

Order your copy online here.

A Study of 12,000 Screenplays Tries To Answer: What Are Script Readers Looking For?

Studios, producers and agencies receive countless spec scripts – original feature length screenplays that weren’t the product of a paid writing assignment. To filter through hundreds and thousands of submissions to determine which are worth considering, or to identify writers with potential, the industry hires professional script readers to rate scripts.

The readers who write “coverage” can play a vital role in screenwriters’ prospects, but what do they think makes for a good script? One the industry’s leading data scientists, Stephen Follows, has attempted to answer this exact question in a year long study, using data from the coverage scores of 12,309 feature film screenplays, that resulted in a 65-page report.

The scripts analyzed were a mix, from amateurs to award winners, all of which were submitted to Screencraft – a service used by screenwriters to submit to contests, fellowships, or pay to have their script covered. According to Screencraft co-founder John Rhodes, ScreenCraft’s freelance readers all have at least one year of experience reading scripts for a major production company, studio, agency or management company, and most of ScreenCraft’s readers are currently employed in the industry as professional readers for top companies including Paradigm, UTA, Amazon, Warner Bros, Blumhouse, The Black List, and Nicholl Fellowships.

Follows spent 12 months combing through anonymized data on ScreenCraft’s servers looking for the most interesting correlations, in an effort to decode a group of largely anonymous industry gatekeepers. In an interview with IndieWire, Follows explained the goal was to answer the question of what readers think a good script contains.

For Follows, one of the most satisfying aspects of his study was that it proved there were supposed “rules” that screenwriters should actually ignore.

“I think it was nice to discount some things that get talked about that I’ve often instinctively felt were people wasting their time and worrying about things that didn’t matter,” said Follows. “It was nice to sort of free up writers from that and just say, ‘look, just do what’s best for your script.’ This isn’t a poisoned thing that if you put it in your script, it’ll drag it down.”

For example Follows showed there was no correlation between the use of Voice Over – often cited as being a storytelling crutch and a sign of bad writing – and a script’s overall rating. He also demonstrated that rules about page length had been way over blown, as scripts ranging between 90 and 130 pages had largely uniform score results. Only at the page length extremes, less than 90 pages and over 130, did scores start to go down

One of Follows biggest findings was in separating scripts by genre. While historical-based screenplays often would score higher, the real finding was that inside each genre there were individual ingredients that readers were looking for.

“It makes sense when you think about it — genre is a promise to the viewer of what to expect in a film,” said Follows. “So for example, catharsis is something that’s important in all scripts, but for family films it was the number one thing, whereas with action films plot was much more important than catharsis.”

Follows’ results show that knowing what is expected and what readers are looking from the genre can be very helpful to a writer. He warns though that this may leave great, out-of-box writing out in the cold.

“Would ‘Reservoir Dogs’ pass a script reader?” questioned Follows. “I don’t know, maybe it would. But truly great scripts that are unusual and break some mold might fail, the way the industry has set things up. Maybe we’re shooting for the middle by looking for this. Maybe not. I don’t know.”

To swear or not to swear is a question screenwriters often debate, especially when writing their action description. Follows’ results show that swearing not only doesn’t hurt a screenplay’s overall score, it actually can help when script readers grade a writer’s “voice.”

You can find the entire report here.

via  @ Indiewire

Navigating Life in the Fast Lane: Working in showbiz, attention writers, producers, agents, or executives-- some tips from an insider

by Ken Atchity
Reprinted from Fade In Magazine

While most of the world conjures up images of showbiz types lounging poolside with cellphones all day and schmoozing at star-studded premieres throughout the night, those of us who actually work in the industry know all too well the enormous challenge of simply keeping your head above water while swimming with sharks. In this business, where everything goes by messenger warrant your full attention, have him meet with someone else and being "swamped" is the norm, free time is a luxury few can afford - not to mention a good night's sleep.

So how does the agent return those 123 calls from last week (including the one from his mother)? How does the creative exec complete her notes on that script being rushed into production at month's end? How does the writer have time for pitch meetings, development meetings, phone calls, treatments, page-one rewrites and that new spec? In short, how does any Hollywood player have time to even enjoy the wonderful life the rest of the world assumes we have?

The key to success (and sanity) is to remain flexible while simultaneously being relentlessly organized. And this doesn't just mean organizing your workload because, as any assistant will tell you, that work is infinite. Manage your time and you can manage your life. Knowledge may be power in Hollywood, but time is the lifeblood of the most successful players.

Here are a few suggestions to make your life a little easier, whether you're a writer, producer, agent, or executive.

Once a week, in an inspiring place far away from the daily grind, schedule thirty minutes to examine and reschedule your goals. Write out a list of priorities and give each a deadline. Every week, revisit this agenda and revise it as necessary to keep your priorities current. This will keep you in greater control of your time and make the decision process easier.

THE FINE ART OF DELEGATION Know your limits and maintain them. Of course you can do it. But are you the only one who can do it? If not, whatever it is, delegate it and pass it along to someone else- Let that be the first thought with every task that crosses your path. Otherwise you'll soon be trapped under an avalanche of self-generated work. The psychologist Carl Jung had a sign over his desk that read Yes No Maybe to remind him that every maybe will turn into a yes if you don't immediately recognize it as a no. The maybes swallow up most of our time.

Be a call-maker. not a call-taker. Call when you feel like it, and when you need to. It's a simple matter of being proactive versus reactive. When you've swapped calls more than three times - assuming you're not just avoiding the caller - schedule that phone conversation. With interminable ramblers, tolerate the rambling for five minutes, then beg off the call. They'll get the picture and get to the point the next time they catch you. Turn your phone off during meetings. If your visitor isn't important enough to warrant your full attention, have him meet with someone else - or meet by phone.

Take care of correspondence immediately - with a note, letter or phone call - and discard junk mail before it even reaches your desk. Redirect eighty percent of your e-mail to others. Answer e-mall immediately only if it's shorter than four lines. If it's longer, print it out and add it to your reading pile, instead of reading it on the screen and becoming further enslaved to the reactive mode.

MEETINGS Have no meeting until you're clear on what you want to accomplish. Avoid unnecessary business lunches. Not only do they eat up hours, they also make the rest of the day less productive. Instead, meet for drinks, breakfast, or reschedule half of your meetings each week to take place by telephone instead of in person. If you're the traveler, you'll likely save almost two hours per meeting in commute lime.

UNPLAN YOUR LIFE Don't let your personal life slip by. As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans-" Remind yourself to relax. Take time away from it all. Turn the phone off for a day. Scheduling time to do nothing, or learning a new hobby, is like taking out life insurance payable, in advance, to yourself.

MANAGING YOUR MIND Time management for the Type C personality (C for creative and/or crazy) begins with a practical everyday expression of mind-management. Continually remind yourself that you are privileged to be playing on the most exciting gameboard in the world - the one that everyone back home would give precious body parts to play on.

Winning an Academy Award is a dream. The only way to make dreams come true (excluding blind luck) is to manage goals (getting the movie out of development and into pre- production), and focus on objectives (getting the story straight, finding a director), By reminding yourself of what you've accomplished, you can keep your head together and succeed in managing your time.

Tip for the day: Associate with positive people, and stop associating with negative people. Nothing is more helpful than a positive support group, and nothing more damaging than constant negative reinforcement from "friends" and family. Make whatever adjustments are necessary to reduce or eliminate your contact with the naysayers.

Once upon a time I resigned my position as tenured professor of comparative literature at Occidental College in Los Angeles to pursue a new, full-time career as freelance writer, independent producer, literary manager, and entrepreneurial "story merchant."

For the Type C, or creative, personalities who want their work to "fill" their deepest creative urges, this is the frontline guide to making the transition from a secure and soulless job to a life built around a creative dream. Individuals learn how to follow the mind's eye to construct a life that conforms to personal vision, steal time to make creative dreams come true, use as assets the resources around them, and turn creative goals and objectives into an effective life plan.

E.B. White on Writing With Style

In the final chapter of The Elements of Style (Allyn & Bacon, 1999), White presented 21 "suggestions and cautionary hints" to help writers develop an effective style. He prefaced those hints with this warning:
Young writers often suppose that style is a garnish for the meat of prose, a sauce by which a dull dish is made palatable. Style has no such separate entity; is nondetachable, unfilterable. The beginner should approach style warily, realizing that it is himself he is approaching, no other; and he should begin by turning resolutely away from all devices that are popularly believed to indicate style—all mannerisms, tricks, adornments. The approach to style is by way of plainness, simplicity, orderliness, sincerity.

Writing is, for most, laborious and slow. The mind travels faster than the pen; consequently, writing becomes a question of learning to make occasional wing shots, bringing down the bird of thought as it flashes by. A writer is a gunner, sometimes waiting in his blind for something to come in, sometimes roaming the countryside hoping to scare something up. Like other gunners, he must cultivate patience; he may have to work many covers to bring down one partridge.

You'll notice that while advocating a plain and simple style, White conveyed his thoughts through artful metaphors.

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How China's box office dominance changed the game

It should be no surprise, though, that Hollywood studios are now repeatedly and generously catering to different continents. It is just an honest reflection of how the box office has shifted over the past 15 years, as international returns have now long eclipsed domestic numbers from the United States.

Of course, it wasn’t always this way. As recently as 2004, the American box office actually accounted for 51.3 per cent of worldwide takings.

Fast forward to 2018 and the United States’s $11.9 billion equated to just 28.5 per cent of global takings.

The main reason for this change has been the emergence of China as a box-office powerhouse. For decades, the country had little to no interest in releasing American movies. It even deployed stringent rules restricting films from the US being shown.

But over the past decade, these regulations have become more lenient and the country’s interest in cinema has grown so rapidly, that not only does China reportedly already have the most movie screens in the world, but it is expected to overtake the US as the largest movie market on the planet by 2022. The huge potential of China’s box office means Hollywood films of recent years have been specifically altered to suit that country’s audiences. Michael Bay’s decision to shoot parts of 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction in China helped it amass $320m in the country, $75m more than it did in the US and 29 per cent of its overall takings of $1.1bn.

Just last year, both Jason Statham’s The Meg and Dwayne Johnson’s Skyscraper also thrived with the same approach. Thanks to Chinese megastar Li Bingbing and a prominent scene set at Sanya Bay, The Meg, which was stuck in development for more than 20 years before Chinese companies Gravity Pictures and Flagship Entertainment teamed up with Warner Bros to co-produce it, ultimately grossed $153m in China compared to $145m in the US, all of which helped it to a total of $530.2m worldwide.

Meanwhile, the US accounted for about a quarter of Skyscraper’s $304m gross, with $98.4m coming from China as The Towering Inferno and Die Hard hybrid’s international ensemble was rounded off by Singapore’s Chin Han, Hong Kong’s Byron Mann and ­Taiwan’s Hannah Quinlivan.

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