A week after its release in theaters across America, director Ryan Coogler’s new Marvel comic-adaptation, Black Panther, is still setting box office records. The film is the 5th highest domestic debut of all time, and the highest grossing February release in history, with a staggering $202,003,951. It earned more in just 3-days in theaters than any other film featuring a black director and predominantly black cast with an impressive worldwide opening weekend gross of $350 million. The success of the film has not only shattered age-old myths surrounding the “unpopularity” of all-black ensemble movies in Hollywood. It is also changing the way Hollywood, and America at large, view films that deal primarily with black and African American culture. But why is Black Panther such a big deal for America and not simply just another superhero movie with a hero who happens to be black? Continue reading →
Walt Disney Pictures has come a long way from making full-length animated features like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, and Peter Pan. In the 21st century, the company has reinvented itself with live-action blockbusters like Pirates of the Caribbean, state-of-the-art computer animated films like Cars and Frozen, and adaptations of children’s literary classics like Roald Dahl’s The BFG and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (out in theaters this March). In recent years, Disney has expanded into more lucrative markets like comic book blockbusters (ie. Marvel comics) and, of course, the Star Wars franchise. The latest Star Wars entry, The Last Jedi, hit the $1 billion mark in worldwide box office sales barely three weeks after its US theatrical release. With a plethora of material to work with, and plenty of money coming in, one would think Disney is far passed its tipping point, but that might not be the case at all. Continue reading →
Friday saw the US release of Captain America: Civil War, a week following its international release, and the people at Disney are reaping the benefits. Along with The Jungle Book in only its second week of release, Civil War saw an opening weekend haul of $181.5 million, bringing the international box office total to a stammering $675 million, and making the movie the fifth-largest box-office opening weekend sale of all time. The film is expected to continue to do well over the next few weeks, with estimates of US sales surpassing up to $450 million. Marvel‘s release of X-Men: Apocalypse may, however, knock Civil War off top when it opens in theaters this May 20th, but we’ll see what the final numbers are in the next couple of weeks. If you didn’t get a chance to see it with the fan-rush this weekend, be sure to check it out while it’s in theaters. The trailer is here on MADE.
DC Comic‘s latest big screen endeavor, Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, from director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen), is continuing to do incredibly well at the domestic and international box office, despite the terrible reviews from critics, and a pretty decent body of fans. The film has grossed more than $420 million worldwide, but it’s not the enormous success that should have fans and studio execs worried, its what lies ahead that could be potentially hazardous. The problem is that DC and the production studios royally fucked up in terms of their plan to unveil their Justice League movies. Unlike Marvel, who succeeded in introducing all of the Avengers characters in film-worthy, individual projects, DC left Batman vs Superman, not only with the task of serving as a sequel to Man of Steel (2013), but also of introducing the other Justice League characters, including Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), the Flash (Ezra Miller), and Aquaman (Jason Momoa). Continue reading →
Fans of Marvel films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man have been waiting with high anticipation for the release of Deadpool since last year’s Comic-Con celebration in San Diego. This week their waiting is over as Deadpool will be opening in theaters nationwide this Friday. The new film stars Ryan Reynolds (Safe House, Self/Less) as former Special Forces operative Wade Wilson, who, after being subjected to a rogue military experiment, turns mercenary as he discovers he has accelerated healing abilities. Also starring in the film are actors Morena Baccarin (Heartland, Spy), TJ Miller (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Silicon Valley), and Stefan Kapicic (Tears for Sale, Big Miracle) as the voice of Colossus. The film is directed by visual effects producer Tim Miller from a script by co-writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (GI Joe: Retaliation, Zombieland). The trailer for the movie is here on MADE. If you’ve been waiting for this one be sure to see it on the big screen this Valentine’s weekend. Enjoy!
Last week we caught the first full length trailer for DC Comics’ upcoming Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. This week, however, Marvel has just rolled out a new trailer for Bryan Singer‘s new (and potentially last) installment in the X-Men film series, subtitled Apocalypse. The film follows the new timeline that was established at the conclusion of Days of Future Past, and finds the young generation of X-Men facing an ancient mutant known as Apocalypse, who has the power to destroy civilization as we know it. Original X-Men director Bryan Singer, who also directed X2: X-Men United and Days of Future Past, returned to direct and co-write the screenplay with Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand, Sherlock Holmes), along with help from Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris (X2: X-Men United, Superman Returns). Continue reading →
Painter Frank Bernard Dicksee’s 1884 oil canvas Romeo and Juliet.
Just when we thought Hollywood couldn’t do anything more to ruin originality, we see headlines like these in the news and just want to lose all hope. THR recently reported that Sony Pictures has picked up a new film adaptation of William Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet that will supposedly be imagined in the likings of director Zack Snyder‘s 300. The project is called Verona and is the first from writing duo Neil Widener and Gavin James. At the same time director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) is also working on a new project at Thunder Road Pictures that will tell the story of King Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinivere in a Western-genre setting. This one is titled Man at War and comes from a script by writer Jeremy Lott, but we have yet to hear when this project will be released in relation to Guy Ritchie‘s upcoming movie Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur. I don’t know how fans of classic literature will take news of a 300-style Romeo and Juliet, or two King Arthur movies being made pretty much simultaneously, but with Disney and Marvel both busy popping out Star Wars and Avengers films for every consecutive year from now until God knows when, I can’t say this comes as very surprising news. Keep an eye out for further updates.
Marvel’s upcoming film-adaptation of Ant-Man is scheduled to open in theaters this July 17th. Considering the subject matter I can’t honestly say I’m excited about this comic-movie, but fans of the series may enjoy the big-screen adventure from comedic-drama director Peyton Reed (The Break-Up, Yes Man) and comedy screenwriters Adam McKay (Step-Brothers, The Other Guys) and Paul Rudd (Anchorman, Knocked Up). Rudd also leads the cast as Scott Lang (Ant-Man), which also features Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), Hayley Atwell (The Duchess, Captain America: The First Avenger), Judy Greer (Love & Other Drugs, Jurassic World), and Michael Douglas (Romancing The Stone, Wall Street). As I said before I’m not particularly thrilled about this one coming out, but at least McKay and Rudd play into the ridiculous title of this comic character. The plot follows con-man Scott Lang as he uses a specialized suit that can grow and shrink in size in order to pull off a heist that will save the world from self-destruction. Check out the new teaser trailer here on MADE; we should see a more full-length trailer come out closer to the summer-time, so stay tuned.
More comic book news is coming out of Marvel regarding additions to the cast of the upcoming Captain America: Civil War film, scheduled for release in May 2016. We already know that Robert Downey Jr. will star as Iron Man opposite Chris Evans as Captain America and that the two will face-off against each other in battle, but now we have word about another potential villain appearing in the film, and that German actor Daniel Bruhl may be taking the part. Variety has stated that Bruhl, who has appeared in films like Inglorious Bastards and Rush (opposite Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor in The Avengers), will not star as the main villain, but that it’s likely his role will be the main villain in the upcoming Doctor Strange release. Captain America: Civil War is being directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, and will appear in theaters after Avengers: Age of Ultron is released next year. Chadwick Boseman is also set to appear in the film as Black Panther. Stay tuned for more news.
It seems I spoke too soon when I said I hadn’t heard of any upcoming independent Wonder Woman project in the midst of all the crazy Avengers and Justice League news that has been coming out from Marvel and DC Comics. Apparently there is a solo movie featuring Wonder Woman is in the works from Warner Bros. studios that will feature Gal Gadot carrying her role over from Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and that project has already been given a release date of June 23, 2017. While Batman Vs. Superman is obviously already in the works with director Zack Snyder, the studio is quite not looking to Snyder to direct this independent project. Instead they are on the hunt for a female director to take on the film, and some names already being tossed around the grapevine (specifically from Forbes Magazine) include Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), Catherine Hardwicke (Lords of Dogtown, Twilight), Julie Taymor (Titus, Across The Universe), Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones), and Tricia Brock (Killer Diller, The Walking Dead). While a decision has yet to be made on the matter of directing, the screenplay is already being worked out by writers Michael Goldenberg (Contact, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Matthew Jennison, William M. Marston (Wonder Woman-1979), and Brent Strickland. Gadot is the only confirmed cast member at this point. Stay tuned for more news.