Let’s talk about the top stories in Hollywood this week!
Godzilla vs. Kong continued to dominate the box office, ranking as the highest-grossing movie of the pandemic era. After another solid weekend at the movies, several Wall Street analysts have issued upbeat outlooks on the exhibition sector, calling for a robust moviegoing rebound from COVID-19 starting this summer and continuing in 2022 and beyond with a theatrical film slate that is “nothing short of amazing.” (Variety, Deadline)
There are no other wide releases hitting the big screen this weekend to give the monsters any major competition, but it’s still a respectable limited release lineup including horror movie Jakob’s Wife, action thrillers Trigger Point, SAS: Red Notice, and The Rookies, drama Reefa, romance Monday, and comedy We Broke Up. (/Film, MovieWeb, Collider, ET, EW, ScreenRant)
Universal Pictures released their second trailer for F9 and it’s exhilarating! Not only do we get to see Dom (Vin Diesel) and the gang reunite with some long-lost friends, but we also get to see more action from our newest villain, Dom’s brother Jacob (John Cena). And he’s not alone. Cipher (Charlize Theron) is getting in on the fun as well. Other trending movie trailers this week include Army of the Dead, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Cruella, Those Who Wish Me Dead, Black Widow, and Space Jam: A New Legacy. (Noovie)
Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish’s new film Here Today will be here on May 7. Crystal plays a veteran comedy writer named Charlie Burnz, who forms an unlikely, yet hilarious and touching friendship with New York singer Emma Payge (Haddish) that “kicks the generation gap aside and redefines the meaning of love and trust.” Rounding out the film’s cast are Penn Badgley, Laura Benanti, Louisa Krause, Anna Deavere Smith and Nyambi Nyambi. Crystal directed the film, his third feature and eighth directorial effort. Crystal also co-wrote the screenplay with his fellow Saturday Night Live alum and Emmy Award-winning writer Alan Zweibel, whose short story The Prize inspired the film. (Variety)
Brett Leonard’s Triumph, the inspirational wrestling movie starring RJ Mitte and Terrence Howard and inspired by screenwriter Michael D. Coffey’s true story, has set a deal with distributor Relativity Media, United Cerebral Palsy and Cinemark to release the pic in 200 theaters nationwide beginning April 30. Breaking Bad alum Mitte stars as a bright and determined high school senior who strives to be a wrestler despite having cerebral palsy. Going to extreme lengths, he crushes obstacles and inspires others along his journey. Colton Haynes, Grace Victoria Cox and Jonathon Schaech also star in the film. (Deadline)
The flight of Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick from the July 4 corridor to Thanksgiving isn’t a signal other tentpoles will move — sources say the reason behind the shift is that Cruise wants to embark on one of his famous world press tours to promote the movie in advance of the opening, something that would now be impossible in much of Europe, where there are once again lockdowns, and possibly Japan. Within hours of Paramount’s Top Gun shift to Nov. 19, Universal snapped up the July 2 date for The Forever Purge. The Memorial Day schedule remains intact, with both Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II and Disney’s live-action Cruella set to debut May 28. And there are zero plans presently to move June event movies In the Heights and F9. Along with Black Widow, July brings G.I. Joe origin pic Snake Eyes, which Paramount and Skydance have moved up to July 23. It looks like a great summer at the movies! (The Hollywood Reporter)
Speaking of summer, Great White, a horror film about a killer shark starring 30 Rock actress Katrina Bowden is swimming up to the big screen just in time for beach season. In the movie, a blissful tourist trip turns into a nightmare when five seaplane passengers are stranded miles from shore. In a desperate bid for survival, the group tries to make it to land before they either run out of supplies or are taken by a menacing terror lurking just beneath the surface. Bowden stars in Great White alongside Aaron Jakubenko (Tidelands), Kimie Tsukakoshi (Riptide), Tim Kano (Neighbours) and Te Kohe Tuhaka (Love and Monsters). (The Wrap)
Renée Zellweger is set to star in The Back Nine, a golf comedy that Sex and the City’s Michael Patrick King will direct from a script he wrote with Jhoni Marchinko and Krista Smith. Zellweger, who is coming off the Best Actress Oscar win for Judy, plays Casey Jones, who gave up a golf career so that her husband could have one. When she wakes up one morning to find her 25-year-old marriage in free fall and her son off to college, she dusts off the clubs she tossed aside years ago in an effort to finally turn pro and redefine the “back nine” of her life. (Deadline)
Lucy Liu has joined the cast of New Line/DC’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods to play the villainous Kalypso, a second daughter of Atlas and sister to Hespera, played by Helen Mirren. Liu is the latest addition to the cast, which also includes West Side Story breakout star Rachel Zegler. The sequel to New Line and DC Comics’ acclaimed 2019 film Shazam!, Shazam: Fury of the Gods will continue the story of teenage Billy Batson who, upon reciting the magic word “Shazam!” is struck by the Living Lightning of the gods and transformed into his adult superhero alter ego, Shazam. (The Wrap)
Mads Mikkelsen is headed to Indiana Jones 5 to join Harrison Ford, who reprises his iconic title role as the adventuring archeologist, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is also starring in the Disney franchise for this next installment. Logan filmmaker James Mangold takes over directing duties over from Steven Spielberg, who helmed the first four installments and remains very active in the film as a producer along with Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Simon Emanuel. John Williams is also returning to score the film. Indiana Jones 5 has a release date of July 29, 2022. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Phoebe Tonkin, Lamorne Morris, and Madison Hu are set to star in Night Shift, a horror film being directed by brothers Paul and Benjamin China, in their first feature directorial outing. The film hails from Defiant Studios with Eric B. Fleischman and Maurice Fadida producing alongside John Hodges, Bradley Pilz, and Dennis Rainaldi. Rounding out the cast are Patrick Fischler, Lauren Bowles, and Christopher Denham. The horror-thriller, written by the China brothers, follows a young woman (Tonkin) working her first night shift at a remote motel as she begins to suspect that she is being followed by a dangerous character from her past. As the night progresses and supernatural events occur, she quickly finds out that nothing is what it appears to be. Production is slated to take place this spring in Los Angeles. (Deadline)
Paul Greengrass, whose latest movie, News of the World, is a contender in this year’s Oscar race, has found his next project. The filmmaker is reuniting with Universal, the studio behind his kinetic Bourne movies, to develop and direct Night of Camp David, a political thriller that adapts the best-selling 1965 movie by Fletcher Knebel. Providing eerie similarities to recent political headlines, Camp David told of a junior U.S. Senator who comes to believe that the President is mentally unbalanced and sliding into paranoia as he seeks closer ties to the Soviet Union, believes a media cabal is out to get him, and wants to annex Canada. (The Hollywood Reporter)
The Oscars are finally almost here! After an unusually long season, voting for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards just opened and is closing on April 20, with the winners announced at what promises to be a unique Oscars ceremony held across the globe on April 25. All the speculation about how the length of the season and pandemic viewing may have affected things will at last be put to an end! Speaking of the pandemic, it is also shaking up the Oscars telecast, as some of the contenders for best original song will be pre-recorded performing their nominated songs on the rooftop of the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles this week. (Variety)
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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