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Screen Junkies is an Emmy-nominated online movie magazine and YouTube channel, owned and operated by Defy Media, that focuses on movies and television. The Screen Junkies produce three main shows: The Screen Junkies Show (hosted by Hal Rudnick, consisting mostly of interviews and film discussions); Honest Trailers (a series of trailers, narrated previously by Ptolemy Slocum and Gannon Nickell, and currently by Jon Bailey, that satirizes and parodies various films and television programs); and Movie Fights (a competition series, hosted by Andy Signore, where guests debate various issues related to film).
As of April 2017, Screen Junkies has over 6 million subscribers and over 1.6 billion video views.
Created by Andy Signore and Brett Weiner and shepherded by Break Media's Head of Programming Mitch Rotter, Honest Trailers debuted in February 2012 and by June 2014 had become the source of over 300 million views on the Screen Junkies YouTube channel. The series started when the creators saw that Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was being re-released in 3D and decided to make a parody trailer for it, continuing the series as a result of the positive reception the videos received. The series received its first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards.
The series' videos take approximately one week to assemble, and are typically created by around four people. The creators watch the movie a number of times before writing the script as a group. Subjects are chosen by a combination of current popular movies and suggestions from viewers, with an aim of making the videos go viral. Though Signore has said that they would like to cover more television shows, they haven't done many due to the increased time commitment as the team have to watch every episode of the series versus a film.
The series was first narrated by comedian Ptolemy Slocum who narrated only the first video. The next dozen were narrated by Gannon Nickell (with the exception of the one for Avatar, which was narrated by Dough Medlock), before he enlisted in the military and Jon Bailey replaced him. Despite starting as a direct copy of typical movie trailer voiceovers, Bailey's narration voice has become more of a parody over time, using different styles for the various genres satirized.
Co-creator Signore says that he would like a celebrity to perform a narration for their own Honest Trailers episode, explaining that he would like to have someone who "understands what we’re doing and enjoys it and is willing to make fun of themselves." This eventually occurred in May of 2016, when they were able to get Ryan Reynolds to co-narrate the Honest Trailer for Deadpool in character as the titular character, who is known for breaking the fourth wall.
The series' 100th video, for 50 Shades of Grey, was released in May 2015. As of July 2016, the Honest Trailer for Game of Thrones seasons 1-3 (Vol. 1) was the highest viewed with over 31 million views. Previously, the most watched was the trailer for the Disney film Frozen, which currently has over 28 million views.
Not all videos speak negatively about their films; for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, contrary to typical style, the creators found it difficult to raise negative points and conceded that the film was good. Co-director Joe Russo said that he had the series in mind when creating the film, and aimed to make the movie "Honest Trailer-proof".
The head writer of Honest Trailers is Spencer Gilbert, who also appears on Movie Fights.
The Screen Junkies Show
The Screen Junkies Show covers a variety of topics in film and television. Some episodes include interviews with actors, "supercuts" (compilations), and information and updates on movies. The Screen Junkies Show is hosted by Hal Rudnick, and was created by Andy Signore, Brett Weiner, and Mitch Rotter.
"Movie Fights", typically hosted by Signore, typically features debates between three other people within or outside of Screen Junkies, such as other YouTube reviewers, on various movie-related questions. This segment lasts for about an hour and a half, with the first five rounds being a roundtable debate, and the last round being a "Speed Round". Each round would begin with a question, and each contestant would have to make an argument for why their answer is best. The speed round consists of five questions, and each contestant has fifteen seconds to make a claim for their answer and ten seconds to give their rebuttal against their opponent. When a contestant wins a round or speedrun question, they win a point and the person who finishes the game with the most points wins. In the match titled "Ultimate Game of Thrones Spin-off Movie?" posted on April 12 2015, Murrel became the first ever Movie Fights Champion after winning the fist ever title bout, a position he holds to today. To become the next Movie Fights champion, a contestant is required either to defeat the current champion in a title bout match which occurs if the current champion wishes to "put the belt on the line", or win the special "Last Man Standing" fight where multiple contestants fight in a knock out format to win the "Showstopper", a box with 5 speedround questions, so that the contestant can challenge the current champion to a speedround match using the speedround questions found inside the "Showstopper".
Screen Junkies Plus
During the 56th episode of Movie Fights (air date 11/8/15), new premium shows were announced to be available through screenjunkies.com or an app for a monthly fee of $4.99 with a free 3-month trial and other package options. Upon its initial release, more than ten original shows were available through Screen Junkies Plus, including Interns of F.I.E.L.D., their first scripted series.
|Currently Airing Shows||Main Host(s)||Live/Pre-Taped||Day|
|Dan's Labyrinth||Dan Murrell||Live||Monday|
|Knocking Dead||Hector Navarro||Live||Monday|
|Watching Thrones||Ken Napzok, Spencer Gilbert, Michele Boyd||Live||Monday|
|TV Fights||Roxy Striar (Billy A. Patterson as Fact Checker)||Live||Tuesday|
|Honest Trailer Commentaries||Andy Signore, Dan Murrell, Spencer Gilbert, Joe Starr||Live||Tuesday|
|Honest Game Trailers Commentaries||Matt Raub and/or Spencer Gilbert||Pre-Taped||Tuesday|
|Screen Junkies Universe (SJU)||Andy Signore and Alicia Malone||Live||Wednesday|
|Flash and Friends||Joe Starr, Roxy Striar, and Jason Mewes||Live||Wednesday|
|What's in the Box?||Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes||Pre-Taped||Wednesday (alternating with Pitch Off)|
|Pitch Off||Doug Benson||Pre-Taped||Wednesday (alternating with What's in the Box?)|
|After The Fight||Andy Signore||Live||Thursday|
|Debugging Mr. Robot||Rob Cesternino, Spencer Gilbert, and Clarke Wolfe||Live||Thursday|
|Gamer Fights||Matt Raub (Nikole Z as Fact Checker (Kristen Brancaccio for live episodes))||Live||Friday|
|Movie Games||Jeremy Jahns||Pre-Taped||Saturday (alternating with Movie VS Movie)|
|Does it Hold Up?||Spencer Gilbert||Pre-Taped||Friday|
|Movie VS Movie||John Flickinger||Pre-Taped||Saturday (Alternating with Movie Games)|
|After Credits||How It Should Have Ended (HISHE) crew (created by)||Pre-Taped||Monthly|
|Screen Junkies Roasts||N/A||Pre-Taped||Monthly|
|Previously Aired Shows||Main Host(s)||Live/Pre-Taped||Day|
|Mundy Night Raw||Nick Mundy, Michael Truly (with Spencer Gilbert on bass)||Live||Monday|
|Mega Movie Get-Together||Andre Meadows||Live||Wednesday (alternating with What's in the Box)|
|Interns of F.I.E.L.D.||Andy Signore, Dan Murrell, Spencer Gilbert (created by)||Pre-Taped||Monday|
|Summer Movie Report||Dan Murrell and Sasha Perl-Raver||Live||Monday|
|ScreenJunkies Movie Review||Dan Murrell||Pre-Taped||Monday|
|F1rst and Worst||Chris Stuckmann||Pre-Taped||Saturday (alternating with Movie Games)|
In addition, their Youtube shows, including the Screen Junkies Show and Honest Trailers, are available through the platform, with each episode of Movie Fights also streaming live each Thursday before its Saturday Youtube release. Several cast members, notably Alicia Malone and new producer Ken Napzok had previously worked for the Schmoes Know network, Napzok as a producer and Malone as a presenter, as the Schmoes and the Screen Junkies often work together, with numerous members of the Schmoes Know team appear on Movie Fights.
On the February 3, 2016 episode of Screen Junkies Universe, Hector Navarro was announced as the host of a new show Knocking Dead (start date Monday, February 8, 2016), which would have more of a balance of praise and criticism for the TV show "Walking Dead" than the show has been given thus far. The show focused on the second half of season 6. This slot was later used in April through June for the show Watching Thrones, a commentary on "Game of Thrones" season 6, hosted by Ken Napzok, Michele Boyd, and Spencer Gilbert and a rotating guest host, with Trisha Hershberger later becoming a regular. Starting July 7 (Thursday), a similar style show was introduced critiquing the second season of USA's "Mr. Robot" (Debugging Mr. Robot).
On the April 25, 2016 episode of Mundy Night Raw, Dan Murrell announced that the show will go on hiatus after the following episode, and that he would begin a show of his own in which he'd review films. Summer Movie Report with co-host Sasha Perl-Raver debuted on Monday, May 9. Following the conclusion of Summer Movie Report, it was announced Dan would host a new movie review show called Dan's Labyrinth, which premiered on Monday, November 7th.
On the 86th episode of Movie Fights (YouTube airdate June 4, 2016), it was announced that winner Matt Raub would be hosting a new weekly show Gamer Fights, which premiered on Friday, June 17. The show is created in collaboration with Smosh Games, and once a month, an episode will be available through the Smosh Games website. The first six episodes were pre-recorded. Additionally, Honest Game Trailers would be aired on Screen Junkies Plus along with Honest Game Trailers Commentaries.
In addition to their original series, Screen Junkies Plus also features occasional special content, including Extended Editions of their Honest Trailers, a 2015 holiday special, and a Movie Fights two year anniversary retrospective special.
Screen Junkies News
On October 21, 2016, the ClevverMovies channel announced that it will be rebranding into Screen Junkies News on November 1, 2016.
As of December 2016, Screen Junkies has over 5.8 million subscribers and over one billion video views.
The Russo brothers have declared themselves fans of the "Honest Trailer" series, and stated that during production of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they aimed to make that film's script "Honest Trailer-proof" finding the series a litmus test on film logic. Similarly, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch stated that they enjoy the series and have kept it in mind during the production of John Wick and its sequel.
Zack Stentz, co-writer of Thor and X-Men: First Class, initially called the channel's Honest Trailers "insufferable." After the crew from the channel got in contact with Stentz, he agreed to watch the Honest Trailer for Thor with the crew. He also later appeared on the first episode of "Summer Movie Report" and the 83rd episode of Movie Fights.
During the production of Deadpool, the crew at one point considered making the Honest Trailer version of their own movie for the closing credits. While the idea ultimately did not come to pass, Ryan Reynolds reprised his role as Deadpool in the Honest Trailer for the movie.
In 2015, the series was nominated at the 5th Streamy Awards, being nominated for writing. The awards cites the writers as Spencer Gilbert, Dan Murrell, Erica Russell and Andy Signore.
- "Nominees/Winners | Television Academy". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
- "Screen Junkies - YouTube". Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- Acuna, Kirsten (June 26, 2014). "How YouTube's Funniest Movie Parody Series Found Its Epic Trailer Voice". Business Insider. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- Ned Ehrbar (6 May 2015). "Honest Trailers hits 100". Metro. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- Nicole Laporte (30 September 2014). "The Truth Behind The Blockbuster Success of Honest Trailers". Co.Create. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- Couch, Aaron (25 February 2014). "Honest Trailers Hits 50th Installment With '300' (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- Deadpool Honest Trailer (May 10, 2016) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qIRtFE6aIc
- Jonathon Dornbush (5 May 2015). "Honest Trailers celebrates 100th episode with 50 Shades of Grey". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- Kristy Puchko (2014). "Captain America: The Winter Soldier Made Great By Honest Trailer Nitpicking". Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- "The NMR Top 100 YouTube Channels: 50-26!". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
- Weintraub, Steve (September 3, 2014). "Joe Russo and Anthony Russo Talk CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, the Deleted Scenes, Trying to Make the Film Honest Trailer-Proof, and More". Collider. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- "HONEST REACTIONS: John Wick Directors React to The Honest Trailer!". Youtube. February 17, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
- Will Perkins (March 22, 2016). "Deadpool". Art of the Title. Retrieved February 17, 2017.