When it comes to Hollywood pitches that practically greenlight themselves, “Apocalypse Now in space” has to be pretty high on the list. That’s the premise of Ad Astra, the next film by acclaimed writer-director James Gray (The Immigrant, The Lost City of Z). In February, news broke that Brad Pitt — who had served as a producer on Gray’s previous film — was looking to join the filmmaker for his science-fiction epic about a man who heads into space to pursue his missing father. And now it seems that Gray has found his film’s father figure (put your tiny haaaaand in mine), with Tommy Lee Jones recently signing on to play the vanished astrona
According to census estimates, there are currently 325.3 million people in the United States, which means there has to be dozens — maybe even hundreds! — of people who remain blissfully unaware that a new Spider-Man movie is hitting theaters this summer. The rest of us, however, have lived through the past several months of production rumors, trailers, teasers, teaser trailers, toy reveals, interviews, commercials, specials, features, articles, social advertising, news items, and just about any other form of audio or visual media that Marvel could commercially or organically slap a Spider-Man: Homecoming logo on. In fact, we’ve reached that point in the hype cycle where most fans are completely exhausted with marketing. Can’t we just start talking about the movie itself?
It’s a pleasant Sunday afternoon in the world, which means it’s time for your weekend box office updates! While this was a disappointing weekend overall for a handful of new releases, there’s good news to be had: after a disappointing $144 million total gross last weekend, the box office bounced back to $187 million total over the past few days. That takes some of the pressure off Wonder Woman to, you know, save the summer blockbuster as we know it. Here’s the totals as of Sunday afternoon:
For years now, America has been struggling with the allegations that Bill Cosby — once a beloved television father and comedian — may have used his position in Hollywood to commit a series of violent sexual assaults. For those unfamiliar with the timeline involved in the Cosby case, I would encourage you to check out ABC’s detailed recap of everything that led up to this past month’s trial, including the civil cases brought against the actor-comedian and the Hannibal Burgess joke that is widely regarded as the instigating event in bringing these accusations to the public. And today, as noted by Deadline, a Norristown, PA jury has forced the judge to declare a mistrial in Andrea Costand’s case against Cosby.
While most fans walked away from Universal’s Fate of the Furious impressed by the movie’s use of New York City, it was the film’s use of Cuba that really opened the eyes of American audiences. Back in April, Variety sat down with Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray and discussed what it was like to be one of the first major studio films to be shot on location in Cuba. Gray recalled several logistical challenges — hotel rooms, location shoots, and the like — while also complimenting the people they had met on their trip. By all accounts, Fate of the Furious was to be the film that opened up the Cuban film market to the broader Hollywood community.
If you only look at the surface numbers, this was a pretty predictable week at the box office. Wonder Woman did well, The Mummy did not, and everything else shook out accordingly. That being said, there’s some pretty interesting narratives emerging in the how and why of this weekend’s box office report. Let’s take a look at the rankings as of Sunday afternoon and dive into some of the specifics:
As excited as we are for this summer’s Atomic Blonde — you can read our own glowing review from this year’s SxSW if you still need a gentle nudge — you’d think we’d be all over every new piece of footage from the movie. But it seems a few clips managed to slip through our fingers this past week, so I’m taking this opportunity to bring you back up to speed. Two new Atomic Blonde clips, each themed to a piece of period-appropriate music? Plenty of Charlize Theron kicking [expletive] and taking names? Yeah, that’s definitely worth circling back a little bit for those of you who may have missed these clips.
Look, we all know that there’s a moment for every movie. Sometimes you want to watch the challenging documentary about a group of people struggling against a broken system; sometimes you want to watch the award-winning foreign film that exposes injustices in another country. And sometimes, just sometimes, you want to watch the movie where Antonio Banderas plays a mall cop who shoots a bunch of bad guys in the head. We may not be able to help you with the first two, but today? Today we’ve got enough Banderas goodness to make your Sunday just a little brighter.
Is Tom Hardy doing OK? I mean, financially? After years of alternating between prestige films (The Revenant, Dunkirk) and more idiosyncratic projects (Legend, The Drop), Hardy seems to have accepted a streak of surprisingly mainstream blockbuster roles. After being attached to Ubisoft’s video game adaptation Splinter Cell for several years, Hardy recently shocked fans by accepting the title role in Sony’s Venom spinoff. And now, perhaps most surprising of all, is the rumor that Hardy is very close to signing on for the role of Jafar in Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake. At this point, maybe we should create a GoFundMe for whatever gambling debt Hardy seems to have racked up.
Rejoice, parents: you’ll soon have a new Christmas movie to add to your family’s holiday rotation. If your family was anything like my own, you probably grew tired of placating screaming nieces and nephews with the same ratty DVD copies of A Christmas Story, Elf, or Home Alone. That makes any new holiday movie — regardless of quality — a welcome change of pace. Arthur Christmas? Fine. Rise of the Guardians? It’ll do in a pinch. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale? Maybe save that one for the time in the evening when the uncles break out the adults-only eggnog. But a Melissa McCarthy Christmas comedy? That could be quite a boon for tired family members everywhere.
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