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March 26, 2017

‘Beauty and the Beast’ Tops Box Office as ‘Power Rangers’ Comes on Strong

Beauty and the Beast” (Disney) held beautifully, down less than half after its phenomenal opening, and easily led the Top Ten for the second weekend.

But the Lionsgate reboot of “Power Rangers” (officially “Saban’s Power Rangers”) exceeded expectations to lead the new wide releases. The two other studio newbies, “Life” (Sony) and “CHIPS” (Warner Bros.) stumbled out of the starting blocks with weak showings as more attention is directed at the four March 2017 releases well past $100 million domestic (“Kong: Skull Island”/Warner Bros. and “Logan”/20th Century Fox) as March looks to be the new April in terms of studio release schedules. The calendar keeps expanding and the returns at the top are strong.

Emma Watson as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”


1. Beauty and the Beast (Disney) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$88,347,000 (-49%) in 4,210 theaters (no change); PTA (per theater average): $20,985; Cumulative: $316,953,000

2. Power Rangers (Lionsgate) NEW – Cinemascore: A; Metacritic: 44; Est. budget: $100 million

$40,500,000 in 3,693 theaters; PTA: $10,967; Cumulative: $40,500,000

3. Kong: Skull Island (Warner Bros.) Week 3; Last weekend #2

$14,425,000 (-%) in 3,666 theaters (-180); PTA: $3,935; Cumulative: $133,502,000

4. Life (Sony)NEW – Cinemascore: C-; Metacritic: 55; Est. budget: $58 million

$12,600,000 in 3,146 theaters; PTA: $4,005; Cumulative: $12,600,000

5. Logan (20th Century Fox) Week 4; Last weekend #3

$10,145,000 (-43%) in 3,163 theaters (-524); PTA: $3,207; Cumulative: $201,456,000

6. Get Out (Universal) Week 5; Last weekend #4

$8,681,000 (-35%) in 3,146 theaters (-505); PTA: $3,508; Cumulative: $147,499,000

7. CHIPS (Warner Bros.) NEW – Cinemascore: B+; Metacritic: 28; Est. budget: $20 million

$7,600,000 in 2,464 theaters; PTA: $3,084; Cumulative: $7,600,000

8. The Shack (Lionsgate) Week 4; Last weekend #5

$3,785,000  (-37%) in 2,334 theaters (-495); PTA: $1,624; Cumulative: $49,072,000

9. The LEGO Batman Movie (Warner Bros.) Week 7; Last weekend #7

$1,970,000 (-57%) in 1,368 theaters (-1,097); PTA: $1,203; Cumulative: $170,841,000

10. The Belko Experiment (BH Tilt) Week 2; Last weekend #7

$1,807,000 (-56%) in 1,341 theaters (no change); PTA: $1,348; Cumulative: $7,578,000

The Takeaways

1. Grosses to delight theaters and studios

The biggest industry business side convention of the year takes place this week in Las Vegas as distributors and exhibitors gather to see upcoming product and get a sense of the state of affairs on all sides. The early spring event usually takes places in the hiatus between Christmas blockbusters at the end of their runs and months in advance of summer juggernauts.

This year, it comes in the middle of a surge in business with multiple films that would look great in key periods and more impressively all out at the same time and appealing to multiple audiences. Throw in “Get Out” (Universal) and “The LEGO Batman Movie” (Warner Bros.) and five of the top nine movies this weekend have already grossed over $100 million (with “Power Rangers” likely to eke out that number), two over $200 million. That’s extraordinary and unprecedented.

That leaves year to date totals about five per cent ahead of last year at the same date. This weekend was second only to last week’s and last August’s premiere of “Suicide Squad.”  Yes, even better than the totals for “Rogue One”‘s opening break or the following three-day holiday periods, or Thanksgiving. That’s astonishing.

The strong showings internationally of most of these movies will buttress their domestic success. Perhaps the most important number is the $72 million opening in China for “Kong: Skull Island.” The Warners/Legendary reboot of the iconic monster is now just shy of $400 million worldwide, with a likely half billion dollar or more total. That should put it in line to get into the black after some reasonable fears its $185 million production budget could lead to a significant loss.

The problem comes in the middle range of routine films that are sputtering. “Life” and “CHIPS” the first wide release studio duds in over a month, since the mid-February debuts of “The Great Wall,” “Fist Fight” and “A Cure for Wellness.” So the profits from the top performers –box office-juggernaut Disney aside — won’t easily cover their losses.

The Top Ten total this weekend is down from last year ($190 million compared to $245 million). But that is not really a negative. The 2016 last March weekend saw both the Good Friday/Easter holiday and the $166 million opening of “Batman v Superman,” until “Beauty and the Beast” the biggest March opening ever. No way this year could compete with that. It did fine otherwise.

The openers: one promising, two duds

“Power Rangers” topped its low-to-mid $30 million predictions, which gives it a positive spin. The $100 million production (Lionsgate covered itself by selling off foreign rights), with initial foreign results inconclusive (Japan, Korea and some key European countries still to come, and China up in the air), it remains promising but uncertain.

Still it was a risk, with the action figure and original TV-centered previous adaptations part of 1990s culture more than contemporary, unlike the more ongoing appeal for the similar “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Its reboot in August 2014 opened to $65 million and nearly $500 million worldwide. That result likely played no small role in raising interest to return to these characters, whose sole theatrical effort in 1995 opened to the equivalent of $26 million.

What fueled the decent initial showing? Retro appeal to audiences now in their twenties and thirties looking to revisit past friends. About half of the ticket buyers were between 18-34. Some doubtless were parents taking young kids, lured by its nostalgic appeal.

The key will be the hold. $100 million-plus isn’t guaranteed, but likely. It is playing in a period with staggered spring vacation weeks, which should boost it, though ‘Beauty” remains major competition.

The Saban game plan calls for multiple sequels. For Lionsgate, built in recent years with masterful handling of multiple episode franchises (“Twilight” and “Hunger Games” leading the way) but recently scoring with standalone projects, this is critical. But that remains an open question.

Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson) in Columbia Pictures' LIFE.


Alex Bailey

“Life” suffers from the high standards set from a series of adult-appeal science fiction films from “Gravity” through “The Martian” and “Arrival” (including three Best Picture nominees) as well as the recent decent performance of star-driven “Passengers.” “Life” did not have the reviews, but in Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson an appealing cast should have boosted it more.

Not all hits require good reviews (“Power Rangers” didn’t), but to get adults for a genre that of late has soared makes them more important. And timing hurt as well. Normally this time of year has less competition and studios could throw in a mid-level budget effort like “Life” and expect better results, if for no other reason than standing out more as a fresh film. Not this year.

CHiPS (2017)(L-R) MICHAEL PEÑA as Ponch and DAX SHEPARD as Jon


Peter Iovino/Warner Bros.

“CHIPS” only set Warner Bros. back $25 million (before similar level marketing expenses, even if reduced faced with questionable returns). But this R-rated Dax Shepard-directed and starring redo of the 1970s TV series had a tough time finding any audience. Unlike the two “Jump Street” movies, “CHIPS” doesn’t adapt as easily to comedy. And it’s 20 years older and lacks (to be charitable) the appeal that Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum along with Ice Cube gave the “Jump” entries.

Again, this is the kind of routine easy to green light, tough to sell film that no longer has an audience. And a $50 million layout for a film likely to return under $10 million in domestic film rental, and not likely to add much more overseas (where additional marketing costs will add up) is going to hurt.

“Beauty” Piles Up the Numbers

Bill Condon’s musical totals are enormous. It is (in appropriately inflation-adjusted numbers) the seventh best-second weekend ever, and only the second (and by far the best) among the top 30 ones in the first four months of a year.

Here’s an eye-popper — it is ahead of last year’s top domestic grosser “Rogue One” through their first ten days. For the Star Wars prequel, that included Christmas Day (it was a strong juggernaut through the rest of the holidays). But with $317 million, and strong hold and school breaks helping, this has a shot at topping”Rogue”‘s $531 million “Rogue” domestic gross.

It will easily blow past “Rogue”‘s $1,055,000,000. global total And by some distance. It also will reach the higher end of musicals of all time at home, likely topping “My Fair Lady” and “West Side Story” in adjusted numbers.

If so, that would put it behind only “The Sound of Music” and “Mary Poppins” as the biggest musical ever. And that raises the question of what it means for star Emma Watson. (The original animated musical version topped out at an adjusted $392 million, which this will blow past by next weekend).

Unlike Julie Andrews, who was propelled to movie stardom by her two blockbusters, Watson has a great film history. She is only two years younger than Andrews when she played Mary Poppins, but also has potentially a wider range of possibilities ahead of her. She has to be given credit for the success (a role which reports suggest she chose over “La La Land”), in no small part because of her credibility from the “Harry Potter” films in which she was front and center.

It’s tough to go from an established franchise and build on it. Multiple James Bond stars have struggled to advance beyond those films, Daniel Radcliffe, Robert Pattinson and even despite her recent acclaim Kristen Stewart have not reached their initial heights. Jennifer Lawrence is the closest model after her success with “Hunger Games,” with real growth but not surefire hits in all cases.

No doubt the remake elements carried the film. But look how far Amy Adams has come since she elevated her career with “Enchanted” in 2007. And she was 32 when she played that role.

It will take a couple more films to confirm this, but Watson might now become a big global star. Even more than the other Emma who won an Oscar for “La La Land.”


Key to the weekend were decent continued performances from the usual suspects. All five among the top eight dropped under 50 per cent, with the stunning “Get Out” again leading the way (down only 35 per cent, approaching $150 million). On a smaller scale “The Shack” still managed to keep to a 37 per cent, with the low budget faith-based titled heading to over $60 million.

“Kong” managed to keep its drop to 48 per cent for its third weekend, greater than other recent successes, but still decent enough to make a $170 million domestic take likely. “Logan” dropped less at $43 million as it passed $200 million (already $565 million worldwide).

The bounty is large, wide spread and most importantly in a period not known to be this fruitful or occurring when so many titles are competing.





Source: IndieWire film

March 26, 2017

Watch: Exploring the Symbolic Use of Color in Akira Kurosawa’s Films

Though his most famous work was done in black and white, Akira Kurosawa used color like no other filmmaker before or after him.

1970 was a big year for director Akira Kurosawa, because it was the year his first color film, Dodes’ka-den, was released. Up until this point, the Japanese filmmaker mesmerized audiences with his brilliant black and white films, including Rashomon, Seven Samurai, and Yojimbo, however, utilizing his expertise as a painter, the world was introduced to a kaleidoscopic imagination that had been hidden in achromaticity for 27 years. Philip Brubaker explores Kurosawa’s transition to color in this Fandor video essay.

When Kurosawa made the transition from black and white to color, he really transformed. In a Wizard of Oz-on-LSD kind of way, the director injected vibrant primary colors into his work, sometimes channeling his inner expressionist and splashing them everywhere or sometimes being very measured and carefully painting them. Either way he did it, he did it with a purpose.

Read More

Source: NoFilmSchool

March 26, 2017

‘Power Rangers’ Cast Members Want a Female Green Ranger for Sequel

Power Rangers” had a respectable $40 million opening weekend, according to Deadline, and fans are already clamoring for a sequel. Luckily, the cast already has a bold new idea for a twist on the original story in case of a second installment.

READ MORE: ‘Power Rangers’ Makes Blockbuster History With First Gay Superhero

During a post-credits scene, the character Tommy Oliver is teased but never seen. In “Power Rangers” lore, Tommy is the Green Ranger, who starts as an enemy of the team, but later becomes an ally.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dacre Montgomery, who plays Red Ranger Jason Scott, said there has been discussion amongst the cast of a Green Ranger gender swap.

“A lot of the cast and I have discussed that we think it should be a girl,” he said. “It makes it even: three girls, three boys. It’s left blank. It’s a cliff-hanger. Whoever you’re going to drop into that position — whether it’s a girl — it’s inevitably going to create drama. It’ll be interesting to drop that drama into it and see how we all relate to it and work with it.”

Watch the “Power Rangers” trailer below:

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Source: IndieWire film

March 26, 2017

‘A Brief History of Hollywood Whitewashing’ Video Traces Controversy Before ‘Ghost in the Shell’ — Watch

Scarlett Johansson’s role as The Major in “Ghost in the Shell” has faced nonstop controversy, as some fans have accused the film of whitewashing by casting a white actress to portray a previously Japanese character. A new Fandor video by LJ Frezza briefly explores the history of whitewashing prior to this film through some particularly egregious examples, including “Aloha,” “Speed Racer,” “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Doctor Strange,” “The Last Airbender,” and “Dragonball Evolution.” The video essay also compares and contrasts the different types of whitewashing exhibited through the variety of titles.

READ MORE: ‘Ghost in the Shell’: Original Anime Director Mamoru Oshii Defends Scarlett Johansson’s Casting

“Ghost in the Shell” director Rupert Sanders has defended the role and dismissed the Johansson casting controversy.

“I think whenever you cast someone, someone’s going to be critical about it,” he said. “To me it was, you know, I stand by my decision — she’s the best actress of her generation and I was flattered and honored that she would be in this film. So many people who were around the original anime have been vehemently in support of her because she’s incredible and there are very few like her.”

Watch the Fandor video below:

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Source: IndieWire film

March 26, 2017

‘Wilson’ Flops for Fox Searchlight as ‘T2 Trainspotting’ Holds Strong

This weekend, strong holdover “T2 Trainspotting” outperformed Fox Searchlight disappointment “Wilson” at the specialty box office. Jazz documentary “I Called Him Morgan” is the bright spot among new specialty entries — at just one theater. This year, there are so many well-reviewed wide releases enjoying huge success with smart adults that the indies need a strong critical response to compete for moviegoers.


Wilson (Fox Searchlight)  Metacritic: 50; Festivals include: Sundance 2017

$330,000 in 310 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $1,065

“Wilson” did not make a splash at Sundance, and even a top-flight specialized distributor like Fox Searchlight can’t transform a film with mediocre reviews into a success. It’s got a great pedigree — directed by Craig Johnson (“The Skeleton Twins”), Daniel Clowes adapted it from his own graphic novel and its includes Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. Searchlight went with a non-platform wider initial release of 330 theaters. For all that, however, the results are so puny that this story of a middle-aged malcontent won’t get much past $1 million.

That’s a disaster, even beyond other recent disappoints dogging the once-dominant distributor. Since their terrific 2014 (led by Oscar-winners “Birdman” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”), its best-grossing recent film was “Brooklyn” just over a year ago. In 2017, both “Birth of a Nation” and Oscar-contender “Jackie” failed to perform to expectations. This flop will do less than a third of their recent “Table for 19” or “A United Kingdom,” neither of which did well.

What comes next: Expect a second weekend hold but little more for this in theaters.

“I Called Him Morgan”

I Called Him Morgan (Submarine Deluxe) Metacritic: 89; Festivals include: Venice, Telluride, Toronto, New York 2016

$14,154 in 1 theater; PTA (per theater average): $14,154

Terrific reviews in New York, and a continued interest in minor legends in the performing arts world, propelled this documentary about jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan and his murder.

What comes next: Los Angeles is among the new dates this Friday.

Slamma Jamma (River Rain)

$1,687,000 in 502 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $3,361

Totally off the mainstream media’s radar, this faith-based, African-American prison-life sports story managed to get a respectable national break. It was good enough to land the #11 spot overall among all releases this weekend.

What comes next: This could have room for some growth, but the numbers seem good enough at least to get a second week’s play to add to its numbers.

In Search of Israeli Cuisine (Independent)

$(est.) 10,000 in 2 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $(est.) 5,000

As niche as a specialized documentary gets, this food movie scored two of the top specialized theaters in the country (New York’s Lincoln Plaza and Angelika). Consider that a coup for its filmmakers, releasing this independently, but also a sign of the dearth of available product to show in this weak specialized season.

What comes next: This is booked at top art houses in upcoming weeks, starting with the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas as well as Philadelphia this Friday.

International releases

Katamarayuda (CGX)/India) – $(est.) 1,125,000 in 208 theaters

Phillauri (20th Century Fox/India) – $265,000 in 74 theaters

Trainspotting 2 Ewan McGregor

“T2 Trainspotting”

Week Two

T2 Trainspotting (Sony)

$380,000 in 59 theaters (+54); PTA: $6,440; Cumulative: $613,000

The second weekend expansion for Danny Boyle and company’s revisit of their 1996 smash had a decent aggressive expansion, although without the intense excitement of the initial film. It’s the strongest recent specialized release in crossover and wider appeal.

Song to Song (Broad Green)

$142,005 in 80 theaters (+76); PTA: $1,775; Cumulative: $213,580

The second weekend of Terrence Malick’s Austin music scene film got a similar response to last year’s “Knight of Cups,” with a higher total gross in more than twice as many theaters.

Frantz (Music Box)

$50,000 in 10 theaters (+8); PTA: $50,000; Cumulative: $82,241

Los Angeles was among the second weekend additions as French director Francois Ozon’s latest acclaimed film expanded. The reviews continue to be strong, but the response is modest. This week, it will add 25 theaters.

After the Storm (Film Movement)

$(est.) 23,000 in 10 theaters (+4); PTA: $(est.) 2,300; Cumulative: $(est.) 51,000

Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s latest Japanese family drama had a modest second week expansion which, despite good reviews, finds itself struggling with the disinterest in subtitled films.

Ongoing/expanding (grosses over $50,000 in under 1,000 theaters)

“The Last Word”

The Last Word (Bleecker Street) Week 4

$520,802 in 380 theaters (+286); Cumulative: $971,866

Shirley Maclaine oversees her own obituary in this expanding film, which is attracting older viewers. Bleecker Street had a decent success with Blythe Danner in similarly senior-targeted “I’ll See You in My Dreams.” Its fourth weekend had a slightly higher ($553,000) gross, but in fewer than half (165) as many theaters. That suggests this won’t achieve the earlier film’s success.

Lion (Weinstein) Week 18

$383,000 in 320 theaters (-301); Cumulative: $50,725,000

Winding down after its lengthy and successful run (including an additional $76 million overseas), this has been a solid rebound for Weinstein.

The Sense of an Ending (CBS) Week 3

$270,000 in 235 theaters (-47); Cumulative: $1,024,000

Another recent older-audience film that has failed to create a stir, even with Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling in tow. Its PTA only fell slightly, but it wasn’t strong to begin with.

Personal Shopper (IFC) Week 3

$225,235 in 107 theaters (+72); Cumulative: $553,980

Olivier Assayas’ second collaboration with Kristen Stewart expanded more quickly than their “Clouds of Sils Maria,” which had 69 theaters on its third weekend with a gross of $219,000 with an equivalent PTA. This will be in the top 50 markets next week.

La La Land (Lionsgate) Week 16

$205,000 in 212 theaters (-373); Cumulative: $150,234,000

As Damien Chazelle’s smash hit ends its final theatrical stages, add an additional $277 million in foreign grosses for a total so far of $427 million.

Kedi (Oscilloscope) Week 7

$205,000 in 107 theaters (-23); Cumulative:  $1,760,000

Cats in Istanbul continue to appeal. This unlikely success should top $2 million before it’s through.

A United Kingdom (Fox Searchlight) Week 7

$185,000 in 159 theaters (-98); Cumulative: $3,519,000

The director’s 2014 “Belle” grossed nearly three times as much in 2014. This respected film’s lesser gross is a clear sign of the steep dip in the specialized world.

I Am Not Your Negro (Magnolia) Week 8

$(est.) 105,000 in 61 theaters (-49); Cumulative: $(est.) 6,528,000

Who could have guessed that a documentary about James Baldwin could gross nearly 80 percent as much as last year’s Oscar-winner “Amy”?

Raw (Focus) Week 3

$74,000 in 27 theaters (+18); Cumulative: $186,709

Julia Ducornau’s horror film continued to gain acclaim and some niche interest. This French film expanded wider with modest but steady interest.

Moonlight (A24) Week 22; also available on Video on Demand

$82,200 in 83 theaters (-198); Cumulative: $27,695,000

A month after getting home-viewing availability, “Moonlight”‘s Oscar wins have kept a few screens to boost the film’s final theatrical total.

Also noted:

Paterson (Bleecker Street) – $48,647 in  36 theaters; Cumulative: $2,056,000

The Salesman (Cohen) – $46,485 in 35 theaters; Cumulative: $2,296,000

The Women’s Balcony (Menemsha) – $35,252 in 14 theates; Cumulative: $201,533

Land of Mine (Sony Pictures Classics) – $34,283 in 26 theaters; Cumulative: $298,567

The Red Turtle (Sony Pictures Classics) – (#1,032 in 127 theaters; Cumulative: $826,807

Source: IndieWire film

March 26, 2017

Studio Ghibli Easter Eggs: Video Shows Unique Connections Between Hayao Miyazaki Films — Watch

Studio Ghibli films are known for their lush animation and attention to detail, and a new video from Ghibli Museum points out unique connections and easter eggs found in the work of co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. Similar to American animation studios such as Disney and Pixar, Ghibli animators find room to put fun flourishes in their work.

READ MORE: Hayao Miyazaki Calls Artificial Intelligence Animation ‘An Insult To Life Itself’

Including moments from “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “Porco Rosso,” “Whisper of the Heart,” “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” “From Up on Poppy Hill,” and ” My Neighbor Totoro,” this video showcases parallel scenes, hidden characters and other gems for diehard fans.

Miyazaki is currently working to complete his next project, “Boro the Caterpillar,” which started as a short until he left retirement to expand it into a feature. Miyazaki has been developing this tale for 20 years, and described the project as “a story of a tiny, hairy caterpillar, so tiny that it may be easily squished between your fingers.”

Watch the video below:

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Source: IndieWire film

March 26, 2017

In Light of GH5, Atomos Adds 4K 60p Ninja Inferno and Slashes Prices

Atomos has updated products in line with Panasonic GH5 release.

When it comes to upcoming camera releases, Atomos is quick to react with products that seemingly bridge the gaps in software. The new Ninja Inferno is a Shogun Inferno-Lite looking to take advantage of the Apple Pro-Res 10-bit 4:2:2 4K 60p the Panasonic GH5 spits out over its HDMI 2.0 connection.

If you happened to pre-order the GH5, you may already know the shipping firmware can internally record 4K UHD 60p—but only in 4:2:0 8-bit, and tops off its 4K UHD 10-bit 4:2:2 at 30p limited to 150Mbps. The Ninja Inferno will give you the added bump with a slew of features priced at $1,000 less than its big brother (at $995).

Read More

Source: NoFilmSchool

March 26, 2017

Cinematic Techniques That Have Become Popular in the Modern Age of Filmmaking

Here’s a look at what’s en vogue in cinematography today.

Cinematography has changed a lot since workers left the Lumière factory in 1895. Drones, gimbals, and 360-degree camera rigs have made it easier for filmmakers to take advantage of their wild creativity in order to capture images that the forefathers of film never even dreamed possible. So, what are the techniques that have become popular in today’s cinematic climate? Well, here to discuss it in this episode of Indy Mogul’s Saturday Morning Special series is YouTuber Aidin Robbins of Digital Blast, who, at just 14 years old, has an understanding of filmmaking that stands up to even the most seasoned pros.

Robbins gives us a lot to digest in this video. Though some of the techniques he mentions, like macro shots and flares, have been used for quite some time, he definitely mentions some that are unique to the current climate of cinema.

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Source: NoFilmSchool

March 25, 2017

Seasonal Video Assistant – Fall – Tennessee Titans (Nashville, TN)

SEASONAL VIDEO ASSISTANT-FALLTennessee Titans video department is seeking a seasonal video assistant to work during 2017 training camp and regular …
Source: CW’s Flipboard Feed

March 25, 2017

Assistant Director, Video Production (Football) – University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics consists of more than 275 staff members and coaches and sponsors 30 varsity sports programs. These 30 …
Source: CW’s Flipboard Feed