There was a lot of talk for many years about Darkseid appearing in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but that proved to all be gossip by the version of the movie that hit theaters in November 2017. While the legendary DC villain was mentioned by name once in the dialogue, he did not actually appear on screen, and instead simply had his bidding performed by Ciarán Hinds’ Steppenwolf. Of course, we all know that there are many elements of that blockbuster that never made it to release, and now its director has revealed a big one: young Darkseid, a.k.a. Uxas.
Anthony Mackie has yet to play Captain America on the big screen, but the Avengers: Endgame directors already know what he looks like in his suit. Or at least they know what Sam Wilson looks like as Cap in an action figure they scooped up in Japan:
Nice! The Russo Brothers posted two photos from Tokyo, kind of spoiling what could’ve been a cool surprise gift for Marvel star Anthony Mackie, but that’s OK. In addition to the action figure, they picked up a Marvel Avengers Series book on Sam Wilson as Captain America.
How do you think that action figure compares to the Sam Wilson as Cap fan art that quickly sprouted online after Falcon was named the new Captain America?
Avengers: Endgame ended with old man Steve Rogers asking Sam Wilson to step forward. With Bucky’s apparent approval, Steve passed Captain America’s Vibranium shield on to Sam. Sam went from Falcon to Captain America.
Most fans expected Avengers: Endgame to be Chris Evans’ final film as Captain America, but many fans also expected Steve’s BFF Bucky Barnes to be the next Cap. Marvel Comics has had both Bucky and Sam suit up as the next Captain America, and this time they went with the story where Steve retires and Sam picks up the shield.
Besides, Bucky has his own new title — after The Winter Soldier, he became The White Wolf in Black Panther. Disney+ has a series coming up with both Sam and Bucky, so we can look forward to more stories from those two characters. They’ve only had a few scenes together in the Marvel films, but even when they weren’t on the same page, they both still had love for Steve Rogers.
Actors Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are also a blast together on the press tour. They usually have fun at Tom Holland’s expense, and they’ll probably find a way to continue that when promoting the new Disney+ show. Maybe throw Gwyneth Paltrow in there somehow too, so Sebastian Stan can introduce himself.
Anthony Mackie has a lot going on, beyond becoming the new Captain America. He’s also the new Takeshi Kovacs for Netflix’s Altered Carbon Season 2, which is expected in 2020. Plus, he just starred in a bold and brave episode of Black Mirror Season 5 called “Striking Vipers.” And he has several movies listed as in the works, including Point Blank, Against All Enemies, The Woman in the Window, and The Banker.
Folks, the domestic box office is in a rut. In preparing to write up the latest numbers, I looked back on headlines from the last couple weeks, and rediscovered the used phrases “tepid opening” and “slow weekend” to the way things had gone. Sadly that’s a trend that we are seeing continue as we slide past mid-June. This weekend saw the return of two well-known franchises hit the big screen, but on the whole nobody really cared about them, as both F. Gary Gray’s Men In Black International and Tim Story’s Shaft failed to inspire a lot of ticket sales.
Check out the results in the full Top 10 rundown below, and join me after for analysis!
|1.||Men in Black International*||$28,500,000||Total: $28,500,000||
|2.||The Secret Life Of Pets 2||$23,800,000||Total: $92,044,390||
|4.||Dark Phoenix||$9,005,000||Total: $51,767,350||
|7.||Godzilla: King Of The Monsters||$8,105,000||Total: $93,688,172||
|8.||John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||$6,100,000||Total: $148,626,905||
|9.||Late Night||$5,136,734||Total: $5,449,553||
For what it’s worth, the foreign numbers for Men In Black International should keep the brand a viable property for Sony Pictures going into the future – as the release has already surpassed $100 million globally – but things definitely did not go well for the movie here in North America. The trouble started mid-week with a modest-sized wave of negative buzz, as critics at large were left feeling underwhelmed by what the blockbuster had to offer. This lowered expectations to the point where prognosticators were estimating at least a $30 million three day start for the film, but as you can see above, it wasn’t even able to get over that bar (and keep in mind that there were once suggestions of a possible $50 million opening).
This is most definitely a bad start in the age of the $350 million opening, but what truly makes the performance look bad is when the figures are compared to the numbers generated by previous titles in the sequence. From 1997 to 2012, Men In Black as a brand could be relied on bringing in at least $50 million in its first Friday-to-Sunday – and this latest chapter barely eclipsed half of that. And certainly not helping anything is the fact that it’s received a rather tepid audience response – as represented by the “B” that it received from CinemaScore. So don’t expect this to be a release that gets a late swell of support because of folks telling all of their friends how good it is.
So what went wrong? Well, most critics seem to agree that it has nothing to do with stars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth – who reunite after Taika Waititi’s effortlessly delightful Thor: Ragnarok – but instead the fact that they are given nothing to do by the film’s script. Should there be future sequels, this is fortunately something that can be remedied with talented individuals taking proper care and attention when it comes to the story being told, but Sony might now also feel a bit gun shy about greenlighting any future chapters in this continuity.
What about Shaft? To turn a phrase, people didn’t dig it.
Clearly the latest film in the legendary blaxploitation franchise didn’t cost nearly as much as Men In Black International, but even still there can’t be anybody at Warner Bros. who is smiling because of these results. Opening under $10 million is bad; opening in sixth place is worse; and earning a mere fraction of the opening weekend numbers for John Singleton’s 2000 sequel ($21.7 million) is pure insult to injury. The critical responses doesn’t even earn it a modest cherry on top either, as multiple write-ups have included words like “homophobic” and “misogynistic.” All of that together, along with the number of anticipated releases set to come out in the next few weeks, should guarantee that Shaft‘s stay in the Top 10 won’t be long – even with the reported support of audiences that has manifested in contrast to professional critics.
Of course, it wasn’t exactly a banner weekend for everything else out in circulation either. Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life Of Pets 2 had a solid 49% drop from week one to week two, but its domestic gross is still about $10 million less than what its predecessor was able to bring in during its first three days. And as I mentioned in my box office report last Sunday, the audience for it is likely going to totally disappear next weekend when Pixar’s Toy Story 4 lands in theaters nationwide. The drop won’t be massive, but the numbers are definitely going to sink.
At the very least one can say that the animated dogs and cats movie did a hell of a lot better than Simon Kinberg’s Dark Phoenix. It was a rough state of affairs last time around when the latest/last chapter of the X-Men series earned the “Weakest Opening In The Franchise” title, and things now aren’t exactly better. The news cycle made note of the fact that both Brightburn and Godzilla: King Of The Monsters recently experienced massive drops in their second weekends (68.7 percent, and 67.7 percent, respectively), but the Marvel comics movie actually managed to outpace both of them in that regard. The $9 million earned from Friday to Sunday means that the blockbuster’s numbers sank 72.6 percent, and that’s significant. At this rate, making $100 million domestically will likely be impossible, and that will make it easily the worst performing chapter in the history of the big screen brand.
How will things turn around for Hollywood? Well, Disney seems to have the magic touch so far in 2019 (note that Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin may soon be nearing $300 million domestically), and as mentioned above, the studio has another hotly anticipated title arriving in just a few days. Lee Unkrich’s Toy Story 3 was a crazy big hit when it came out in 2010, making $110 million in its first weekend, and it wouldn’t surprise many to see its follow-up perform similarly. Throw in some interesting question marks like Lars Klevberg’s Child’s Play reboot, Luc Besson’s new action flick Anna, and Tom Harper’s musical drama Wild Rose and you have all the ingredients for some interesting Top 10 shake-ups.
Be sure to come back next Sunday to see how everything plays out.
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What the Forky? Pixar is taking a short break this year. It’s not clear why yet, but it appears Toy Story 4 will break the streak of running an animated short film before the feature.
Running a cute short film before a feature has been a Pixar tradition since A Bug’s Life came out in 1998. The only other Pixar movie to skip a short in the theatrical run is the first Toy Story movie back in 1995. That was Pixar’s first-ever feature and it only included a short film, Tin Toy, in its home release.
That’s slightly surprising, at least to me, since Pixar is hot off an Oscar win for Best Animated Short Film with Bao, which played before Incredibles 2 last year. Pixar shorts are regularly nominated in that category, and the studio has wins for Tin Toy, Geri’s Game, For the Birds, and the adorable Piper short that played before Finding Dory.
There was controversy over the short that played before Coco, mostly because it wasn’t really a short. It was a full Frozen featurette called Olaf’s Frozen Adventure and it lasted for more than 20 minutes. That had a limited run before Coco, but it was around long enough to irritate many people.
It’s possible Toy Story 4 will still get a short for its home release, maybe even something feature-related. It doesn’t sound like that has been announced yet.
Don’t go thinking no Pixar short means Toy Story 4 will get you out of the theater under two hours, since there will still be the usual trailers and ads before the movie. One of those trailers will probably be for Disney’s Frozen 2, which is opening on November 22, but rest assured that they’ll cap it off after a couple of minutes and not go for a full 20-minute featurette.
It’s always sort of fun seeing celebrities getting into insane shape for various movie roles. However, when the celebrity is Daniel Craig getting fit for James Bond and it’s Daniel Craig getting fit for James Bond while recovering from an injury, the image is even cooler.
But don’t take it from me. Take a look at the James Bond official image of Daniel Craig getting back in the workout saddle following Craig’s ankle injury back in May…
Talk about swole goals. Daniel Craig, like fellow quinquagenarian Tom Cruise, is still crushing it out at the gym, even while injured. Honestly, that boot looks pretty serious in the James Bond official photo, but it’s nice to see that Daniel Craig is not sitting on his laurels while he recovers from his injury.
About a month ago, reports from the set of the still-untitled Bond 25 indicated the actor had hurt his ankle while filming a scene for the movie while on set in Jamaica. At the time the production schedule was put on hold while Daniel Craig figured out exactly what had gone wrong with his ankle.
During that time, the James Bond production was pretty transparent about the injury, noting that Daniel Craig would need to undergo ankle surgery – albeit “minor” surgery – after injuring his leg on set. Two weeks of recovery were expected to be needed before production to go back into full swing. The good news? Bond 25 is still expected to hit its release date in 2020! (And that’s even with that controlled explosion injury that happened once the film was back in production.)
Bond 25 has honestly been a long time coming, so hearing the flick is still on track even with this injury is very good news indeed. First and foremost, the last James Bond movie, Spectre, came out all the way back in 2015. Then, there was some question about whether or not Daniel Craig would even return to the role.
Finally, Daniel Craig signed on and all seemed well… but it wasn’t quite. There was another snafu with finding a director to stick with the film through production. At one point, Danny Boyle was signed on and left because of “creative differences.” Then, the movie allegedly went through a rewrite. Next, the injuries happened. So, clearly this hasn’t been the smoothest movie to come to fruition ever.
Now, Daniel Craig is back in the gym, the cast for the movie (including Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Rami Malek) is cemented, and things seem to be moving forward.
Daniel Craig’s workouts have been a big topic of conversation ahead of Bond 25. Reportedly, prior to filming, the actor was working out an absolutely insane amount in order to make sure his physique was at a peak. That reportedly even involved 12-hour workout sessions.
UPDATE: Yep, the Father’s Day weekend results are in, and Box Office Mojo’s projection was apparently correct. Avengers: Endgame ended up in 11th place, just missing the cut for the top 10 with its Jun 14-16, 2019 estimated gross of $3.5 million. That wasn’t enough to pass Ma‘s $3.6 million to take 10th place. Endgame has a current worldwide gross of $2,742,491,359, although maybe that will be adjusted up when more foreign receipts come in from the weekend. Avatar is at $2,787,965,087.
Many outlets that cover weekend box office, including CinemaBlend, stick to the top 10 chart, rather than posting how, say, 100 different movies did in their various theater counts. Avengers: Endgame has been in the top 10 chart since its late April debut, and it was #8 last weekend with about $4.8 million. But Endgame may end up slipping from the top 10 this weekend.
Or it may not, it depends on the prediction.
Over at Box Office Mojo, they posted this box office forecast before the weekend:
Men in Black International (4,224 theaters) – $28.0 M
The Secret Life of Pets 2 (4,564 theaters) – $25.0 M
Aladdin (3,556 theaters) – $15.6 M
Shaft (2,952 theaters) – $14.0 M
Dark Phoenix (3,721 theaters) – $13.1 M
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (3,207 theaters) – $7.4 M
Rocketman (3,052 theaters) – $7.3 M
Late Night (2,218 theaters) – $5.5 M
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2,033 theaters) – $4.5 M
Ma (1,782 theaters) – $3.2 M
Again, that was a forecast for before the weekend, not actuals of how things have turned out yet.
You can see that Avengers: Endgame did not make the top 10 cut of that list.
Head over to Box Office Pro, and here is their three-day weekend forecast:
Men In Black International – $28,000,000
The Secret Life of Pets 2 – $25,800,000
Shaft (2019) – $20,000,000
Aladdin (2019) – $16,200,000
Dark Phoenix – $13,000,000
Rocketman – $9,300,000
Godzilla: King of the Monsters – $8,000,000
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum – $4,400,000
Avengers: Endgame – $3,600,000
Late Night – $3,500,000
As you can see, this list has Endgame making $3.6 million and staying on the top 10 chart. Box Office Mojo figures Ma will make the top 10 list but not Endgame, and Box Office Pro has the opposite.
All of this will be cleared up by the end of Father’s Day weekend. The top 10 chart is just one more arbitrary benchmark, but it’s also a sign that Avengers: Endgame is indeed leaving its lofty perch above the box office.
Forbes even pointed out that Avengers: Endgame may have just passed its final box office milestone before leaving theaters; its 47-day domestic total earlier this week came to $825.825 million. That put Endgame just over the adjusted-for-inflation domestic total of Jurassic Park, making it #17 on the list of inflation-adjusted grossers.
Yeah, it’s kind of a participation trophy milestone. But sure. Add it to the list of everything else Avengers: Endgame has already achieved.
I am still mostly confident that Avengers: Endgame will beat Avatar eventually, but that eventually may have to wait for a Marvel re-release. Maybe next year, in honor of Tony Stark’s sacrifice? Make it Tony Stark Day. Do it every year until Avatar is defeated. And then keep going anyway. It’s a pipe dream, I know. But it’s my pipe dream.
This isn’t meant to be a very strong weekend overall, with so many franchise movies underperforming. Are you seeing anything this weekend? Is it Avengers: Endgame for the 90th time? If not, what are you seeing?
Are You Seeing Avengers: Endgame This Weekend?
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Will Creed star Michael B. Jordan continue to follow in Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky footsteps by directing some films in the franchise? Dolph Lundgren would be down for that.
Dolph Lundgren was just at Celebrity Fan Fest in San Antonio, and shared an update on Creed 3:
So, based on what Dolph Lundgren said at the fan fest (via SuperBroMovies), he must’ve heard that there’s a role for his Drago in the third Creed movie. Michael B. Jordan has already expressed an interest in continuing as the character of Adonis Creed, and I like the idea of Jordan continuing the Rocky tradition of helming a sequel.
Sylvester Stallone wrote the first Rocky movie, which came out in 1976, but he didn’t make his directorial debut until Paradise Alley in 1978. He followed that by directing Rocky II in 1979. Sly continued by directing Rocky III, Rocky IV, and Rocky Balboa.
The first Creed movie was directed by Ryan Coogler, who also directed Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station and Black Panther. The second Creed movie was directed by Steven Caple Jr.
Director Steven Caple Jr. already has some ideas for Creed III, so he may be continuing with the franchise. There’s nothing official on that front, though.
If Michael B. Jordan does ever direct a future Creed movie, it probably wouldn’t be his directorial debut. In November 2017, it was announced that MBJ would adapt the novel The Stars Beneath Our Feet as his directorial debut. According to Deadline, MBJ planned to produce and direct the film. Here’s what the actor said about the movie at the time:
The status of that project isn’t clear, it may still be in the screenwriting phase, so you never know what movie might make it to the big screen first. Sylvester Stallone appeared to retire as Rocky, saying goodbye to the role after Creed II. But, more recently, he shared a new idea he had for Rocky.
Whatever happens from here, it does sound like there’s more gas in the Creed tank. Stay tuned for any further updates. Keep up with everything we already know is heading to the big screen this year with our 2019 movie schedule.
Hey, Marvel, I’m not telling you how to run your business. You’ve obviously done a very good job of that for many years, but as a superfan who gets unreasonably excited about dumb fantasy castings, I feel like this needs an article. Jason Momoa was at Celebrity Fan Fest in San Antonio. He was asked which MCU character he’d most like to play, and he picked Wolverine. Here’s his answer…
Now, there’s nothing legally in most people’s contracts that prevent them from playing two different superheroes for two different companies at the same time. So, I appreciate the excitement you can hear from fans in this clip shot by Jeremiah Marshall from KRIS. In practicality, though, it doesn’t happen very often. Recently, Zachary Levi went from a bit player in the Thor universe for Marvel to the lead in Shazam for DC, and while he was perfect for the latter role, that didn’t stop some fans from being a bit weirded out.
What exactly is happening with the future of Wolverine is a bit unclear. Hugh Jackman played the role to much fanfare for almost twenty years, but following 2017’s Logan, he announced he would step away. The character wasn’t included in Dark Phoenix, but he’s obviously too central to the X-Men to never be seen again. So how exactly he’s re-introduced is going to be a topic of much conversation at Marvel.
Then again, how exactly the X-Men will be introduced to the MCU is a hot topic of conversation too. Dark Phoenix has gotten ummmm less than stellar reviews, and the fan response hasn’t exactly been glowing. Even apart from Dark Phoenix, the larger franchise is at a crossroads right now because of Disney’s purchase of Fox. Now is the time for the folks behind the MCU to start asking larger questions about how separate or united the X-Men and MCU franchises should be. Wolverine is at the heart of that.
I highly doubt Jason Momoa will end up as Wolverine. That would probably too weird to ever be seriously considered, but it’s interesting to think about for a lot of reasons as one of two possible ways forward. When Marvel does bring Wolverine back, would it be better and more accepted if the content production studio went with a complete unknown who could disappear into Wolverine or would it be better and more accepted to grab a major star like Jason Momoa who would bring some buzz with him?
I prefer the Jason Momoa approach, mostly because the last thing in the world I want to see is someone doing a lame impression of Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine. A Momoa Wolverine would be nothing whatsoever like Hugh Jackman’s version, and that’s incredibly appealing to me. So, someone CC Marvel on this answer. If not the actor himself, this general route of going with a huge name that looks and speaks in a completely different way than Jackman is a great path forward.
As for Momoa himself, no one needs to be sweating any concerned bullets over his career. Many actors spend their entire runs hoping to find a single role in a long-term project that fans will embrace. Jason Momoa has not had that problem. He went from Baywatch to Stargate: Atlantis to Game Of Thrones to the DC Extended Universe. He’s also landed a role in the upcoming Dune adaptation. So, whether he ends up as Wolverine or not (the answer will be not), his life is going pretty well.
At this point, Justice League hit theaters more than year and a half ago. However, in that time, the clamoring from the fanbase regarding a Zack Snyder cut or #Snydercut of the film has not died down in the least. (Zack Snyder constantly sharing backstory stuff likely has not helped matters.) Which means the cast is still getting asked about their feelings regarding a lengthier Snyder cut of the DC and Warner Bros. film.
This weekend while Justice League actor Ray Fisher was appearing at Celebrity Fan Fest in San Antonio, Texas, the actor reportedly mentioned he’d love to see the Snyder cut of Justice League. Unfortunately, he’s not the person with the keys to the kingdom, however, so he noted he’d like the Snyder cut with a caveat, saying, “If I had the power, absolutely.”
Later, Ray Fisher also reflected on the fact there is plenty of Cyborg’s story left to tell (via Super Bros. Movies), sharing what he would like to see in the future from Cyborg’s movie. He noted:
This isn’t the first time Ray Fisher has spoken out continuing Cyborg’s story. He’s previously spoken out about how much of his character’s narrative was cut by the time Justice League hit theaters. But he’s said he has no regrets about the way the movie panned out, because “the integrity” of Cyborg was upheld.
It’s clear the actor had a blast playing the superhero and hopes more opportunities will present themselves in the future. He also said at Celebrity Fan Fest,
Still, there are plenty of plotlines related to Cyborg that could be explored more fully, and Ray Fisher has said previously he’d like to see more about the loss of Victor’s mother, as well. Eventually, the character may get his own solo movie to flesh out all of this stuff, although as recently as a few months ago, Fisher was open that a movie may be more expensive to produce than it would be worth. So, we’ll have to wait and see on that point.
While we wait to see how DC’s movie realm pans out, it’s clear the desire for a Snyder cut of Justice League will not be not dying anytime soon. Just this past week we reported there is a Go Fund Me getting some traction that allowed DC fans to collect $20,000. That money will be used to fly a banner over Comic-Con petitioning Warner Bros. to release the Snyder cut.
It may not ever happen, but you can’t accuse DC fans of not being go-getters. Take a look at what the DCEU has coming up with our full guide.
Zachary Levi is living his best life right now. Shazam! wasn’t an Aquaman-sized hit for DC, but it was very warmly received by just about everyone, and put the Chuck star on the map as the next beloved superhero. Levi is hosting the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards Monday night, and while talking up that event, he dropped some teases on Shazam! 2.
According to Zachary Levi, writing the Shazam! sequel has already started and he expects the team to start filming in either late spring or early summer 2020. So this time next year, Levi expects to be back in that expensive costume alongside his co-stars.
It was already revealed in April 2019, shortly after the first movie opened, that Shazam! screenwriter Henry Gayden had been hired to write the sequel. Director David F. Sandberg was also expected to return. It sounds like just about all of the major players could return, since even some supporting stars signed five-picture deals with Warner Bros.
Last month, Zachary Levi didn’t sound sure about where his Shazam would be going after the first movie — or at least he tried to play coy. Considering the script for the sequel isn’t finished yet, he may still be mostly in the dark.
However, the first Shazam! movie gave fans some clues on where Shazam! 2 could go next, following Dr. Sivana, Mister Mind, and this cool comic storyline.
Don’t forget about Black Adam, though — not that The Rock is likely to let you.
Just recently in June, it was announced that Dwayne Johnson would be reteaming with his Jungle Cruise director Jaume Collet-Serra for The Rock’s own Black Adam movie. Johnson previously said Black Adam was planning to start filming in the first half of 2020. Johnson was a producer on Shazam!, so he’s already part of this team. It’s not clear, though, whether Shazam! 2 and Black Adam will overlap filming, or if one will change schedules, or what.
We’ll have to stay tuned for updates on both Shazam-related projects. This time next year, we should be seeing some photos from one set or another, considering that’s definitely the way Dwayne Johnson rolls.
For now, check out Zachary Levi as host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards this Monday, June 17 at 9 p.m. on MTV. And keep up with everything heading to the big screen this year with our handy 2019 movie release schedule.