Welcome to the calm before the storm. With a handful of blockbuster movies already released, and more on the way, the second weekend in April was a relatively quiet affair, with a few old favorites dominating the weekend yet again and a few new releases grabbing whatever box office they could before things get fast and furious at your local multiplex. Let’s take a look at the projected grosses through Sunday afternoon.
Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie seems to have developed a pretty strong working relationship with Tom Cruise. In addition to working with the actor on the highly regarded Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation movie, McQuarrie had previously directed Cruise in Jack Reacher while also serving as either a producer or screenwriter on Jack Reacher 2 and Cruise’s upcoming Universal Monsters movie The Mummy. When it comes to actor-director pairings, there’s no denying McQuarrie and Cruise are one of the more impressive duos at work these days.
It’s been a few months since the world lost Carrie Fisher, and while many would prefer to expand the conversation to her accomplishments outside of the Star Wars universe, plenty of people are anxiously wondering how her death might affect her character in the upcoming Star Wars sequels. For some, this can be viewed as a tacky approach to celebrity, but there’s a sweeter side to things as well. Leia Organa remains an icon for people around the world; finding an appropriate way to say goodbye to her character will be, in essence, the way many Star Wars fans say goodbye to Fisher herself.
When word got out that Emily Blunt had been cast as the title character in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, the overwhelming response from most people was, “Well, sure.” Blunt has proven herself to be genre agnostic over the years, as likely to wow audiences in a science-fiction or action film as she is in a light-hearted comedy. That alone would make her an ideal candidate for Mary Poppins — as the rare actress capable of convincing audiences that she’d do justice to an iconic character — but she also bears a physical resemblance to Julie Andrews to boot. You couldn’t ask for better casting.
In a parallel universe where Paramount Pictures doesn’t alienate its fanbase, we might be talking about Ghost in the Shell as the big winner of this weekend and the de facto start of a new wave of Japanese Hollywood adaptations. Instead, DreamWorks Animation and The Boss Baby blew up the box office, no doubt delighting a handful of DreamWorks executives who watched the Ghost in the Shell controversy unfold with glasses of champagne in hand. After all, nobody’s going to boycott a movie about a baby who wears a suit.
After several weeks of limited movement, a handful of new releases prompted a pretty thorough shakeup of the Box Office Top 10. While Beauty and the Beast continued its unstoppable assault on the domestic box office, we also said hello this weekend to three new movies and goodbye to a handful of old favorites from the first few months of the year. Let’s start with the estimated numbers as of Sunday afternoon.
It might be a tale as old as time, but audiences have proven there’s still a few petals left on that old flower. Despite being projected to open at somewhere between $214–245 million worldwide, Beauty and the Beast knocked the pants off those projections, eclipsing $350 million at the international box office and setting a March record for domestic releases along the way. Let’s take a look at how things shook out this past weekend with some of the expected grosses.
While the giant ape in Kong: Skull Island may not climb any New York skyscrapers this time around, he certainly did climb the box office charts. The latest Warner Bros. monster movie shot all the way to the top spot in its opening weekend, with Logan and the surprising hit Get Out both shifting one spot down to accommodate him.
With all eyes on the next entry in the DC Cinematic Universe, it’s hard to say what is under more pressure: Wonder Woman, the World War II-era superhero and savior of the modern world, or Wonder Woman, the first female-directed movie in the modern blockbuster era and a stab at social relevance for the beleaguered executives at Warner Bros. The first Wonder Woman trailer that debuted at Comic-Con hit all the right notes for an exciting and female-driven superhero movie; would additional trailers walk back that promise or deliver more of the same?
With Hugh Jackman’s Logan opening in theaters this weekend, the top spot of this list was never in doubt. The questions were always whether audiences would respond well to the first major R-rated superhero movie. Was the big opening of Deadpool an abberation or a sign of things to come? If today’s numbers are any indication, the answer is, maybe a little bit of both.
Isn’t it just like Ryan Reynolds to upstage a colleague? After listening to critics sing the praises of Logan for the past few weeks, fans around the country took their seats on Friday night ready to watch Hugh Jackman strap on his metal claws one last time. And so it came as quite a surprise when the first superhero to appear onscreen wasn’t Wolverine but Deadpool, everyone’s favorite violent and profane superhero — and, if we’re being honest with each other, the entire reason an R-rated Wolverine movie was greenlit by 20th Century Fox.
The Razzies are a tough award show to love. Oh, I’m sure plenty of people probably read the headline to this article and — depending on their opinion of both Dinesh D’Souza and the DC Cinematic Universe — found great comfort in the public mockery of Hillary’s America and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But while awards shows in general might serve the noble purpose of raising awareness about powerful films, the annual Razzies Awards often feel like you’re kicking someone when they’re already down. They’ve already flopped with audiences and critics; throwing a Razzie award at them is the Hollywood equivalent of kicking them when they’re down.
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