Let’s talk about the top stories in Hollywood this week!
Hollywood received a jolt of good news on Monday, as Pfizer Inc. announced that its COVID-19 vaccine may be 90 percent effective, prompting top health authorities to speculate that life could begin to resemble normal by March or April. This provides theater owners and Hollywood studios clarity for the first time as to when moviegoing might resume in earnest. “Pfizer said it is a game changer in terms of public health issues. And I think the vaccine is a game changer in terms of the movie industry. No one had a time frame before. The announcement puts bookends on in,” Imax CEO Richard Gelfond told The Hollywood Reporter.
Let Him Go, the suspense drama starring Diane Lane and Kevin Costner, scored the best domestic opening in six weeks with $4.1 million from 2,454 locations, making it the top grossing picture in six weeks amid the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At the worldwide box office, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet crossed the $350 million mark in ticket sales after beginning to rollout in late August. The Warner Bros.’ tentpole has grossed $55.1 million domestically and $295.6 million internationally for a global total of $350.8 million. (The Hollywood Reporter)
We’re all used to wearing masks at this point, but Vince Vaughn’s is cooler! For director Christopher Landon’s new horror comedy Freaky (in theaters Friday), Vaughn masks up like Jason Voorhees to play the physically imposing serial killer Blissfield Butcher, but he actually spends most of the movie playing a teenage girl after the Butcher attacks high schooler Millie (Kathryn Newton) with an ancient magical dagger and gory, soul-and-body-switching mayhem ensues. Freaky marks Vaughn’s return to the signature broad humor of his earlier hits like Wedding Crashers after a slate of dramatic projects, and a new Crashers sequel may even be in the works! (USA Today, ScreenRant)
Speaking of weddings and Owen Wilson, Universal Pictures’ Jennifer Lopez music fueled romantic comedy Marry Me is moving from Presidents Day-Valentine’s Day weekend on the theatrical release calendar next year, February 12 and going to May 14, 2021. Lopez stars as musical superstar Kat Valdez and Owen Wilson as Charlie Gilbert, a math teacher – total strangers who agree to marry and then get to know each other. An unlikely romance about two different people searching for something real in a world where value is based on likes and followers, the pic explores celebrity, marriage and social media. (Deadline)
Cannes Coup de Coeur award winner The Climb – a hilarious and touching bromance comedy – opens in theaters this weekend a year-and-a-half in release date limbo. Taking place over the course of roughly 15 years, the film tells the often squirm-inducing saga of two old friends who share a love of biking, and the various ways that eternal screwup Mike (Michael Angelo Covino) continually upends the life of his chum Kyle (Kyle Marvin). Its time-spanning vignettes also take in broken marriages, drunken brawls, heated arguments, and the near collapse of that friendship several times. The co-writers/costars’ own friendship dates back about a dozen years in the advertising business making commercials together. (IndieWire, Rolling Stone)
Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt are teaming up to adapt The Water Dancer, the best-selling novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates, for MGM. Set in the pre-Civil War South, the story follows Hiram Walker, born into bondage. He possesses amazing photographic memory but has no memory of his mother. A car accident reveals to him a superpower called conduction, an ability to travel large distances and that is triggered by powerful memories of his mother. As he struggles to gain an understanding of this power, he becomes involved with the Underground Railroad and meets historical figures. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Universal, which already had July 22, 2022 RSVP’ed on the theatrical release calendar, is designating that as the day to open Jordan Peele’s next horror event title. Peele has thus far kept the plots of his genre movies under wraps, but the new movie will share the weekend with Paramount’s musical animated feature Under the Boardwalk. (Deadline)
Spoiler Alert! Spoilers may actually help boost a movie’s box office, according to a new paper published in the Journal of Marketing. Researchers from Western University and University of Houston found that, “Uncertainty reduction is the driving mechanism behind this positive spoiling effect. If potential moviegoers are unsure about the quality of a movie, they are likely to benefit from the plot-related content of spoiler reviews when making their purchase decisions.” However, they still recommend putting “spoiler alert” labels at the top of movie reviews so people can decide for themselves if they’d rather be surprised. (Science Daily)
Paramount Pictures is broadening its A Quiet Place franchise! The studio has set Jeff Nichols to write and direct the third film, which is based on an original idea by John Kraskinski. Studio has set a 2022 release date. Krasinski co-wrote and directed the original, and wrote and directed the sequel, which was pushed from its March 20 release date by the COVID lockdown, with Paramount slating it for an April 23, 2021 release. (Deadline)
Warner Bros. has added Fantastic Beasts 3 back to the release calendar. The upcoming installment in the Harry Potter spinoff series is set to debut on July 15, 2022. The third Fantastic Beasts movie, which is currently in production in the U.K., recently delayed its original mid-November 2021 premiere date. The scheduling shift comes days after Johnny Depp announced he was asked to exit the franchise. His role of the infamous dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is being recast, and Mads Mikkelsen is rumored to be one of the actors being considered to replace him. The cast, led by Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law, are already shooting. (Variety, Deadline)
As always, stay tuned to our friends at Noovie for all the latest film release updates in real time!
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