Let’s talk about the top stories in Hollywood this week!
In more great news for movie fans, the Cineworld Group will reopen its U.S. Regal Cinemas on April 2 with a limited release for Godzilla vs. Kong, and a wider release planned for Mortal Kombat from April 16 to get ready for the summer movie season. “We have long-awaited this moment when we can welcome audiences back to our Regal theaters and restore our essential role within the communities we serve,” said Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger. “With the health and safety of our customers, staff, and communities as our top priority, we continue to take all the necessary precautions and abide by our CinemaSafe guidelines to confidently provide a safe and comfortable experience.” Cineworld also announced a multi-year agreement with Warner Bros. Pictures Group beginning in 2022 for Warner Bros. theatrical movie releases to have a 45-day window of theatrical exclusivity, with certain provisions, before they head to streaming platforms. Regal is the second-largest movie theater chain in the U.S. (Variety)
L.A. was easily back on top as the No. 1 box office market this past weekend in its first weekend back after a year of being shut down, taking in $1.55 million from 75 theaters – a 743% explosion in moviegoing. Meanwhile, New York was the No. 2 weekend box office market with 89 theaters in the third weekend that NYC theaters were in operation. While there were not any major studio wide releases last weekend, there is a lot to look forward to in the upcoming weeks beginning his Friday with Universal’s R-rated Bob Odenkirk action movie Nobody, the Legendary/Warner Bros. theatrical release of Godzilla vs. Kong on Wednesday, March 31, and Screen Gems’ The Unholy on April 2. Also new at the movies this weekend as the big screen gets back in business is Six Minutes to Midnight, a pre-WWII Nazi thriller set in a girls’ boarding school starring and co-written by Eddie Izzard with James D’Arcy and Judi Dench; Shoplifters of the World, the story of one crazy night in the life of four friends reeling from the sudden demise of iconic British band The Smiths starring Helena Howard, Elena Kampouris, James Bloor, and Nick Krause; and Senior Moment a romantic comedy for the retired set with Christopher Lloyd, William Shatner, Katrina Bowden and Jean Smart. (Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, Yahoo!, The Wrap, New York Daily News)
Disney is shaking up the film slate again with a number of big movie shifts. Black Widow has been pushed back two months and will debut on July 9 instead of May 7 and Cruella is arriving as scheduled on May 28, but both will now simultaneously debut in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access, which comes with a $30 rental fee. Meanwhile, Pixar’s animated coming-of-age adventure Luca is launching exclusively on Disney+ on June 18. Black Widow’s move means that Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which was previously set for early July, was bumped back to September 3. Despite Disney’s recent refocus on streaming, numerous other titles have been postponed but will bow solely on the big screen, including Free Guy (August 13), The King’s Man (December 22), Deep Water (January 14, 2022) and Death on the Nile (February 11, 2022). (Variety)
As the Oscars get closer in a movie year like no other, it was announced that only nominees, their guests, and the presenters will be attending the ceremony in person this year, which airs live on ABC on April 25. For safety and social distancing, the show will be divided between two venues, L.A.’s Union Station and the traditional Dolby Theatre. If you need to get prepped for Hollywood’s big night, our friends at Noovie have a guide to where you can watch all of the 2021 Oscar Nominees. (Variety, Noovie)
Clint Eastwood’s next movie, Cry Macho, has landed a release date from Warner Bros. this fall. The film, which Eastwood directed, produced and stars in, will open in theaters and on HBO Max — for the first month — on October 22, 2021. Cry Macho is based on a book by N. Richard Nash and is a drama about a one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who, in 1978, takes a job from an ex-boss to bring the man’s young son home and away from his alcoholic mom. Crossing rural Mexico on their back way to Texas, the unlikely pair faces an unexpectedly challenging journey, during which the world-weary horseman may find his own sense of redemption through teaching the boy what it means to be a good man. (The Wrap)
Helen Mirren is joining the DC Extended Universe for Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Mirren will play the villain Hespera, the daughter of Atlas, in the sequel to 2019’s Shazam! from New Line and Warner Bros. Mirren joins fellow franchise newcomer Rachel Zegler, the star of Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story. Sources say Mirren and Zegler will play sisters who both may or may not be of ill intent. The Shazam! sequel once again stars Zachary Levi as the adult version of teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who transforms into a superhero. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Pierce Brosnan is taking on his first role as a superhero. The actor has been cast as Dr. Fate in DC and New Line’s Black Adam alongside Dwayne Johnson, who is playing the titular role. Dr. Fate, also known as Kent Nelson, is a founding member of the Justice Society who gains superpowers through putting on the magical Helmet of Fate. The casting of Brosnan completes the lineup for the Justice Society of America, with Aldis Hodge playing Hawkman, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher and Quintessa Swindell taking on Cyclone. Black Adam follows the story of the anti-hero of the same name, played by Johnson. The character of Black Adam first appeared in DC Comics in the 1940s as a power-corrupt villain, and slowly became an anti-hero by the 2000s, known for his disregard of rules and conventions. (Variety)
A movie based on Ghost of Tsushima, the blockbuster samurai video game from 2020, is in the works at Sony Pictures and PlayStation Studios, and John Wick filmmaker Chad Stahelski is attached to direct. The game is developed by Sucker Punch Productions and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment and centers around samurai warrior Jin Sakai, the last surviving member of his clan, who must set aside the traditions that have shaped him as a warrior to wage an unconventional war for the freedom of Tsushima. The game sold 6.5 million copies since its debut last July. (The Wrap)
Sony Pictures has set a movie based on Bewitched, the classic TV series that starred Elizabeth Montgomery. Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett, who ran the TV series MacGyver and 12 Monkeys, will write the script. Sony tried a romantic comedy movie version in 2005, which Nora Ephron directed and which starred Nicole Kidman as the witch and Will Ferrell as her hapless husband Darrin. This one is said to be sticking closer to the series, in which a witch marries an advertising executive and then tries to hide her powers and her crazy relatives who drop in often. (Deadline)
For a full schedule of all the new movies coming to a theater near you, check out Box Office Mojo’s Domestic Release Calendar.
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