Theater Owners Aren’t Going to Take F.D.A. Regulations Sitting Down

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How do you watch movies in a theater? While sitting in the seat that theater provides you? Probably! That’s pretty much how everyone watches movies, preferably with one hand deep in a box of popcorn, the other shooting M&Ms straight into their beaks; eventually it all gets washed down with a chemical waterfall of soda or a day-glo slushie. It’s the American way! Yet the F.D.A. is trying to crack down on this glorious national pastime by forcing theaters to put calorie counts on their snack displays. In retaliation, the National Association of Theatre Owners is making a number of truly astronomical reaches to avoid the new new regulations, per the Hollywood Reporter.

While N.A.T.O. (yeah, not that N.A.T.O.) isn’t combatting the F.D.A.’s request to put calorie counts on menu boards themselves, the organization is rankled by the request to “post calorie counts adjacent to self-service items and food on display.”

“This is redundant and burdensome,” the statement reads.

Why isn’t it necessary? Well, according to N.A.T.O., people aren’t necessarily sitting and motionless while watching movies. Though the F.D.A. argued that “movies attract sedentary people,” N.A.T.O. rejects this claim: “The F.D.A. provided no source or study conducted of moviegoers and their habits to support this statement,” it wrote August 2.

You’re reading that right. How can the F.D.A. really know that people in theaters watch movies sitting down if they don’t have any tangible sources or studies to back up such an outlandish claim? Who’s to say? Some people, in fact, do spend several minutes standing in the aisles, squinting in the dark as they try to locate the friends who warned them not to go to the bathroom because the movie was about to start. Maybe some people watch entire films standing in tree pose, to the direct irritation of the person behind them. Maybe some people lightly jog in place, their glowing Fitbits reminding them that they’ve almost made their daily step requirement.

N.A.T.O. also argued that it’s impossible to calorically regulate all snacks, because they all have slightly different measurements and are prepared differently. For example: much like snowflakes, no two bags of popcorn are alike.

“Two large bags of popcorn filled using the same scoop could contain different calorie counts, because it is impossible to ensure that there is exactly the same number of kernels in each bag and that each kernel is coated in precisely the same amount of oil,” the organization wrote.

Truly incredible. Of course, it’s no surprise that N.A.T.O. is fighting against any and all regulations that might cause people to think twice about buying those expensive, deeply unhealthy snacks. Concessions make up a huge part of movie theater sales, notching hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Hiking the price up genuinely helps theaters at a time when people are going to the movies less and less, smoothing out the rough spots in an increasingly more uncertain industry. If a calorie display is going to stop folks from shelling out cash on those high-priced snacks, you can bet N.A.T.O. will be there to fight it every step of the way.

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Full ScreenPhotos:15 of the Most Torturous Movie Shoots in Hollywood History

Justice League

Making a massive superhero movie with a sprawling cast is never easy, but D.C.’s Justice League truly is in a league of its own. Not only did director Zack Snyder drop out due to the tragic death of his daughter, but new director Joss Whedon has had to oversee two months‘ worth of re-shoots, which is now causing a world of scheduling issues for the busy cast. He’s now also dealing with studio pressure to make the movie funnier and lighter in the wake of Batman v Superman’s horrible reviews.

Photo: Courtesy of Clay Enos/DC Comics.

*Cleopatra*

Cleopatra

The 1963 film about the iconic Egyptian queen has gone down as one of the most famously complicated shoots of all time. Cleopatra was not only the most expensive movie ever made at the time ($44 million, equivalent to $300 million today)—it also took multiple directors and years of embarrassingly fraught production to make, nearly destroying 20th Century Fox in the process.

Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection

*Heaven's Gate*

Heaven’s Gate

It’s the textbook example of a potential blockbuster gone wrong. Michael Cimino’s 1980 Western was supposed to be the post-Deer Hunter project that established his Hollywood prowess. Instead, it ran spectacularly over budget—a testament to his controlling nature—and was buried at first sight by ruthless critics, a devastating blow that haunted the filmmaker for the rest of his life.

Photo: From United Artists/Everett Collection.

*Ishtar*

Ishtar

A comedy starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty at the height of their fame should have been a home run. Instead, audiences got Ishtar, a critical bomb. It was a wreck behind the scenes as well, with the Moroccan setting proving inhospitable to traditional Hollywood production. Director and writer Elaine May also butted heads with cast and crew, and was nearly fired by the studio. Ishtar racked up a gargantuan $50 million budget and endured an incredibly tense 10-month post-production period, in which Hoffman, Beatty, and May all tried to make their own cuts of the film, which led to a screaming match between Beatty and May.

Photo: From Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection.

*Waterworld*

Waterworld

Every decade has its own Cleopatra–esque bomb; in the ‘90s, it was Waterworld, Kevin Costner’s bloated sci-fi adventure. The film ran up a $175 million bill and became one of the biggest flops of all time. Bad luck was everywhere: a pricey set sank under water, cast members got seasick, and Costner nearly died after a stunt in which he was tied to the mast of a boat went ferociously wrong.

Photo: From Universal Pictures/Everett Collection.

*Titanic*

Titanic

James Cameron’s $210 million epic was a logistical nightmare, thanks to its high budget and his perfectionist ways. He had massive set-pieces built to make the film look photo-realistic, and was picky about the smallest of details—like requesting real wallpaper instead of painted sets. Cameron’s famous temper also flared up on the stressful shoot, often putting him at odds with his crew and studio execs.

Photo: From 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection.

*Suicide Squad*

Suicide Squad

Speaking of superhero movies . . . Suicide Squad was a perfect case of actors going a little too method. Jared Leto, in character as the Joker, would send his co-stars horrible gifts like rats and used condoms. Jai Courtney did shrooms and burned himself. Director David Ayer encouraged the chaos, turning the set into a miniature fight club to help the actors bond through beating each other up. It’s no wonder they needed an on-set therapist.

Photo: By Clay Enos/Warner Bros./Everett Collection.

<em>Justice League</em>

Justice League

Making a massive superhero movie with a sprawling cast is never easy, but D.C.’s Justice League truly is in a league of its own. Not only did director Zack Snyder drop out due to the tragic death of his daughter, but new director Joss Whedon has had to oversee two months‘ worth of re-shoots, which is now causing a world of scheduling issues for the busy cast. He’s now also dealing with studio pressure to make the movie funnier and lighter in the wake of Batman v Superman’s horrible reviews.

Courtesy of Clay Enos/DC Comics.

<em>Cleopatra</em>

Cleopatra

The 1963 film about the iconic Egyptian queen has gone down as one of the most famously complicated shoots of all time. Cleopatra was not only the most expensive movie ever made at the time ($44 million, equivalent to $300 million today)—it also took multiple directors and years of embarrassingly fraught production to make, nearly destroying 20th Century Fox in the process.

Courtesy Everett Collection

<em>Heaven&#39;s Gate</em>

Heaven’s Gate

It’s the textbook example of a potential blockbuster gone wrong. Michael Cimino’s 1980 Western was supposed to be the post-Deer Hunter project that established his Hollywood prowess. Instead, it ran spectacularly over budget—a testament to his controlling nature—and was buried at first sight by ruthless critics, a devastating blow that haunted the filmmaker for the rest of his life.

From United Artists/Everett Collection.

<em>Ishtar</em>

Ishtar

A comedy starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty at the height of their fame should have been a home run. Instead, audiences got Ishtar, a critical bomb. It was a wreck behind the scenes as well, with the Moroccan setting proving inhospitable to traditional Hollywood production. Director and writer Elaine May also butted heads with cast and crew, and was nearly fired by the studio. Ishtar racked up a gargantuan $50 million budget and endured an incredibly tense 10-month post-production period, in which Hoffman, Beatty, and May all tried to make their own cuts of the film, which led to a screaming match between Beatty and May.

From Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection.

<em>Fitzcarraldo</em>

Fitzcarraldo

Werner Herzog’s jungle drama was so needlessly complicated that it was nicknamed the “conquest of the useless.” He tasked his crew with building bizarrely complex sets, at one point requiring at least 700 people to pull a boat up a mountain for one of the scenes. A handful of people were injured, including one man who was bitten by a poisonous snake and had to cut his own foot off to staunch the venom. On top of that, Herzog was working with actor Klaus Kinski—someone he once lightly considered having killed because of their volatile relationship.

From New World/Everett Collection.

<em>The Shining</em>

The Shining

Poor Shelley Duvall. The actress was tormented while making Stanley Kubrick’s horror classic, calling the experience “almost unbearable.” The director would play psychological mind games with her and force her to cry for hours on end, shredding the young actress’s nerves and even causing her hair to fall out.

From Warner Bros./Everett Collection.

<em>The Island of Dr. Moreau</em>

The Island of Dr. Moreau

Problems began before the cameras started rolling on this critically reviled 1996 flick—original star Bruce Willis dropped out, Val Kilmer made dramatic demands, and Marlon Brando retreated after the shock of his daughter’s death. Just three days into filming, director Richard Stanley was fired. Things only got worse from there, with Kilmer ramping up his diva tactics and Brando lazily checking out, delivering his lines via earpiece.

From New Line/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock.

<em>Silence</em>

Silence

Martin Scorsese’s dream project took decades to get financed, and it was still an uphill battle from there. The 2016 film about Portuguese priests trekking to Japan was actually shot in Taiwan under grueling weather conditions, including high heat, humidity, and monsoons that nearly shredded the skeletal set. Actors Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield also pushed themselves to the brink, with Driver admitting he lost nearly 40 pounds for his role.

Courtesy Of Paramount Pictures.

<em>World War Z</em>

World War Z

In some ways, Heaven’s Gate has nothing on Brad Pitt’s epic zombie adaptation. World War Z had just about every problem a film can have: a wildly overblown budget (around $225 million), scheduling issues, the departure of key behind-the-scenes members (writers, producers, visual-effects artists), and personality clashes between the star and director Marc Forster, all of which was detailed in a 2013 cover story.cover story.

By Jaap Buitendijk/Paramount Pictures/Everett Collection.

<em>Apocalypse Now</em>

Apocalypse Now

The heady Vietnam War film was the biggest gamble of Francis Ford Coppola’s career. He sank $16 million into it, and had to grapple with extreme weather conditions on the Philippines-based set. His cast was also dealing with their own setbacks—Marlon Brando couldn’t remember his lines and was severely overweight, Harvey Keitel had to be fired and replaced, and Martin Sheen had both a heart attack and a nervous breakdown while filming.

From United Artists/Everett Collection.

<em>The Revenant</em>

The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio would have done anything to win an Oscar, so The Revenant put him to the test. The grueling film saw the actor eat raw bison liver, sleep inside a dead horse carcass, and suffer through miserable freezing temperatures on the Alberta, Canada set. Not only that, but director Alejandro G. Iñárritu and co-star Tom Hardy often feuded off-camera, with tensions rising over creative disagreements. In the end, DiCaprio got his precious statuette—so it was all worth it, right?

By Kimberley French/20Th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection.

<em>The Canyons</em>

The Canyons

Lindsay Lohan’s worst habits came to the forefront while working on this 2013 drama, directed by tempestuous former Scorsese collaborator Paul Schrader. In a straightforward New York Times exposé, it was revealed that Lohan disappeared for days before filming began, and would often clash with Schrader, as well as co-star James Deen. It was a precarious set, with the scrappy $250,000 film running into problems around every corner.

From IFC Films/Everett Collection.

<em>Waterworld</em>

Waterworld

Every decade has its own Cleopatra–esque bomb; in the ‘90s, it was Waterworld, Kevin Costner’s bloated sci-fi adventure. The film ran up a $175 million bill and became one of the biggest flops of all time. Bad luck was everywhere: a pricey set sank under water, cast members got seasick, and Costner nearly died after a stunt in which he was tied to the mast of a boat went ferociously wrong.

From Universal Pictures/Everett Collection.

<em>Titanic</em>

Titanic

James Cameron’s $210 million epic was a logistical nightmare, thanks to its high budget and his perfectionist ways. He had massive set-pieces built to make the film look photo-realistic, and was picky about the smallest of details—like requesting real wallpaper instead of painted sets. Cameron’s famous temper also flared up on the stressful shoot, often putting him at odds with his crew and studio execs.

From 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection.

<em>Suicide Squad</em>

Suicide Squad

Speaking of superhero movies . . . Suicide Squad was a perfect case of actors going a little too method. Jared Leto, in character as the Joker, would send his co-stars horrible gifts like rats and used condoms. Jai Courtney did shrooms and burned himself. Director David Ayer encouraged the chaos, turning the set into a miniature fight club to help the actors bond through beating each other up. It’s no wonder they needed an on-set therapist.

By Clay Enos/Warner Bros./Everett Collection.



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