Look, I’m no stranger to college acapella groups. When I was an undergraduate, a ragtag group of choir kids — myself most definitely included — organized the first men’s acapella group in the modern history of the university, and a quick Google search shows that the group is still alive and well to this day (no, I won’t tell you the name of the university or the name of the ensemble, so don’t bother asking). So am I pretty much as cool and influential as the Bellas in the Pitch Perfect movie series? Why, yes. I’d like to think so, yes.
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 months now, we’ve assumed that any possible Spider-Man spinoffs would exist in a world separate from that of Spider-Man: Homecoming. With Sony and Marvel weaving a complicated web of licensed properties and revenue sharing, the safe bet was that Sony would choose to build up its own parallel world independent of Marvel’s, giving them complete ownership of those characters and their events without having to plug into a larger established canon. This seemed to be confirmed by Marvel boss Kevin Feige earlier this week, when Feige said in no uncertain terms that Venom would not be invited to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disappointing for some, curious to others, but on the surface, it did make sense.
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Deadpool 2 is officially underway! Even though we’ve spent more than a year analyzing and talking about Ryan Reynolds’ merc with a mouth, the success of the original Deadpool movie is still kinda hard to believe. A $58 million R-rated superhero movie that went on to gross $780 million worldwide? A comic book movie that broke the mold so thoroughly that now every major studio is openly courting the R-rated crowd? Deadpool was a phenomenon, and none of us can wait to see if Reynolds and company are capable of avoiding the sophomore slump.
If we’re lucky, a few times each year we’ll be treated to a $100 million blockbuster that manages to wow critics and audiences alike. This was the case with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which managed to pull in both a 90% on RottenTomatoes — normal caveats about RottenTomatoes aside — and grossed over $700 million at the global box office. When Hollywood finds just the right balance of magic and money, we catch a glimpse at the potential of the right filmmaker with a ton of money at his or her disposal. It’s what has so many fans excited for War for the Planet of the Apes. Can Matt Reeves and 20th Century Fox team up for a second incredible blockbuster movie?
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.
There are two diverging narratives surrounding Paul Feig’s 2016 Ghostbusters remake. On the one hand, fans of the original films were irrationally upset to see Hollywood give their (suddenly untouchable) films an all-female cast. For them, the film was a deserved flop. On the other hand, countless stories were written about a new generation of female Ghostbusters fans who were thrilled to see the movie reach out to new audiences. These fans believe the movie did more than enough to warrant sequels. And while the box office numbers and critical scores didn’t signal the slam-dunk hit that most fans were looking for, it sounds like the producers side in the second camp, with Ivan Reitman promising earlier this year that he was hard at work weaving together a cohesive universe from the games, movies, and animated films.
A few weeks before Wonder Woman hit theaters, film critics took to social media to share their early reactions of the newest movie in the DC Cinematic Universe. And while critics had plenty of great things to say about the film’s overall tone and Gal Gadot in particular, one sentiment above all others kept bubbling to the surface: this movie was funny. When fans got a chance to see the movie for themselves, they were pretty quick to agree. Gadot’s fish-out-of-water take on Diana Prince, combined with Chris Pine’s deadpan delivery as the superhero’s straight man, makes Wonder Woman one of the funniest comic book movies to date.
Based on how this weekend’s box office numbers shaped up, odds are good that you either saw Wonder Woman this weekend or you avoided the theater altogether. It was a record-setting few days for everyone’s favorite warrior princess — sorry, Xena — but things were decidedly less rosy if your movie was… well, literally anything else. Here are the box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
With Marvel, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Bros. each building out their respective superhero franchises over the past few years, we now expect every up-and-coming actor to eventually put on a pair of tights in a summer blockbuster. That’s led to plenty of arguments among fans and film critics about the superhero genre as a whole. Should we be worried that talented actors are locking themselves into a multi-movie contracts at the beginning of their careers? Are we losing out on original stories along the way? It’s an issue that everyone seems to have an opinion on, and certainly one that won’t go away anytime soon.
While fans might be a little cynical about a Transformers multi-verse, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about their planned Bumblebee prequel. For one, Christina Hodson’s script has widely been praised as a standout in the franchise thus far. For two, the film will serve as the live-action directorial debut of Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight, whose visuals in that film — and whose overall body of work with animation studio Lakia — make him a name to remember in future projects. Oh, and there’s this small little tidbit: the movie may now be adding a pretty talented star as its (human) lead.
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