Let’s talk about the top stories in Hollywood this week!
Tenet has been temporarily removed from the U.S. release calendar due to surges in COVID-19, but the studio assured fans that it is still coming to theaters in 2020. Warner Bros said it has decided not to treat the film like a traditional global day-and-date release after all, and is reportedly working on a non-traditional strategy to maintain its “commitment to the theatrical experience around the world.” With international cinemas now opening before some theaters in the States and two thirds of the global box office for a blockbuster like Tenet typically coming from outside the U.S., it could be a smart step to keep the movie business moving forward. (The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Screen Daily)
AMC Theatres has delayed plans to reopen its cinemas in the U.S. in response to the latest shifts in the movie slate. The exhibitor, which ranks as the country’s largest movie theater chain with more than 600 locations, had planned to safely welcome audiences back on July 30, but will now open its American venues in mid to late August. Overseas, nearly one-third of AMC locations in Europe and the Middle East are already currently open. (Variety)
Movie theaters in China began reopening this week, and Chinese authorities have given the go-ahead for cinemas in Beijing to open this Friday. As of Monday, there were just about 835 cinemas open across the country (or about 12% of the total), and the Chinese box office has been steadily climbing all week with films like Sheep Without A Shepherd, Dolittle, and Bloodshot drawing audiences back to the big screen. More big Hollywood titles will follow including the anniversary re-release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 1917, and Bad Boys for Life. (Deadline, Variety)
Tom Cruise is bringing the Mission: Impossible crew back to Norway! Mission: Impossible – Fallout filmed partially in the Nordic country, and Cruise recently told Norway’s culture minister Abid Raja he hopes to return there in the fall to shoot more scenes for Mission: Impossible 7. The upcoming sequel is back on track with filming and was recently granted permission to start shooting again after being delayed by the pandemic. Cruise is also continuing his plans to make history with the first narrative feature shot in space, and Universal Pictures is in negotiations to land the new film, which will be shot in cooperation with NASA on the International Space Station. (/Film, Variety)
In the wake of the great response from Jennifer Hudson’s performance of Aretha Franklin’s Young, Gifted & Black on the BET Awards and the trailer premiere that followed, MGM/United Artists Releasing is now going wide with its Respect biopic about the legendary performer on January 15, 2021, MLK weekend. Previously, the studio was planning to platform the movie, with a limited Christmas Day debut, an expansion January 8 and full-on wide release January 15, so this new all-in move shows how much confidence they now have in the film’s commercial potential. (Deadline)
Star Wars fans in Paris may fear that movie theaters could be going over to the dark side after seeing plans for a new theater design that looks exactly like the Republic Senate seen in the Star Wars prequels. Imperial overtones aside, the design itself is very cool, and Ōma Cinema says it will create a “cinematographic experience” that is “intimate, spectacular and immersive, where every seat in the house is the best seat in the house.” (Nerdist)
Word to your mother – Vanilla Ice is getting the biopic treatment from someone versed in telling the stories of offbeat cultural icons. Dave Franco, who co-starred in The Disaster Artist, will play the rapper in To The Extreme, which will soon head into pre-production. Chris Goodwin and Phillip Van’s script chronicles his struggles with “stardom, extortion attempts, and selling out” as it follows him from being “a high school dropout selling used cars in Dallas to having the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts.” (AV Club)
Edgar Wright, the filmmaker behind movies like Shaun of the Dead and Baby Driver, has signed on to develop, executive produce, and direct a ghostly film called Stage 13, an adaptation of one of novelist/screenwriter Simon Rich‘s recent short stories. But despite the presence of a ghost, this movie won’t be a traditional horror film. Stage 13 centers on a young, aspiring director who’s plucked from obscurity and hired to direct a movie on major film studio’s backlot – only to discover that the only reason he was given the chance in the first place is because the sound stage is haunted and the studio head is trying to get rid of the ghost, an aspiring actress who still desperately wants to be a star. (/Film)
Alan Menken and Glenn Slater’s animated movie musical Spellbound has a release date –the feature from Skydance Animation and Paramount is scheduled to debut on November 11, 2022. Spellbound, which features original songs and music from the legendary Broadway and Disney composer, centers on a young girl who must break a spell that has split her kingdom in two. (The Wrap)
Speaking of musicals, Paramount’s Grease prequel Summer Lovin’ is revving up its engine, with the studio tapping Brett Haley to direct the film. The new movie tells the story of greaser Danny and good girl Sandy’s summer fling, originally hinted at in the song Summer Nights in the original 1978 movie. Leah McKendrick penned the script with Temple Hill and Picturestart producing. (Deadline)
Kaiju fans finally got their first official look at the fight from Legendary’s upcoming Godzilla Vs Kong.between the two most prominent titans of the Monsterverse cinematic universe, Kong, the giant ape, and Godzilla, the giant lizard. A new movie photo seen on licensed Playmates Toys packaging shows Kong all grown up to be a sizable nemesis for Godzilla in the new film. (MovieWeb)
While little is known about how big of a role Colin Farrell’s Penguin will play in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, Farrell had added himself to the list of performers in the film that are praising Reeves’ vision and originality for the project, saying, “This script is something that feels incredibly original. It leans into it but it doesn’t borrow; it’s born of the mythology of that character, Bruce Wayne, Batman and Gotham. But it feels like a treatment and a version that I hadn’t seen before. Matt Reeves has done an incredible job of keeping it familiar and at the same time unique and new. It’s really exciting to be a part of it.” The new take on the Caped Crusader will be getting back to shooting in the UK shortly. (Jo Blo)
Cinephiles with a lot of cash to burn can now own a piece of movie history by bidding on Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Cliff Booth’s (Brad Pitt) cars from Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. They’re going up for auction August 26 and 27 as part of a massive memorabilia event hosted by Prop Store. The auctioneer is based in London and Los Angeles, and you can register to bid virtually online. (IndieWire)
Studios continue to move premiere dates around to ensure moviegoers have a lot to look forward to when theaters reopen, including the following shifts to the film slate announced this week:
- Tenet (August 7, 2020 to TBD, 2020)
- Bill & Ted Face the Music (August 28, 2020 to September 1, 2020)
- The Broken Hearts Gallery (August 7, 2020 to TBD)
- What About Love (September 25, 2020 to February 12, 2021)
- The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (September 11, 2020 to June 4, 2021)
As always, stay tuned to our friends at Noovie for all the latest film release updates in real time!
For a full schedule of all upcoming movies, check out Box Office Mojo’s Domestic Release Calendar.
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