Let’s talk about the top stories in Hollywood this week!
The big screen was officially back this Memorial Day weekend! Over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, North American cinemas tallied nearly $100 million in ticket sales, the best performance since the start of the pandemic and a bellwether for the movie theater industry. A Quiet Place Part II screamed to a $58 million opening, while Cruella also dazzled with $27 million, causing Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX to declare, “A Quiet Place Part II is the first domestic release this year to cross the threshold from ‘great opening weekend given the pandemic’ to ‘great opening weekend, period’ — offering undeniable proof that the domestic box office is back.” Even with some theater closures and capacity limits in place, the horror sequel opened just shy of the first A Quiet Place in 2018, also scored the best Tuesday recorded at the domestic box office since the onset of Covid in mid-March of last year. (CNBC, Deadline)
In a box office battle of the scares this upcoming weekend, A Quiet Place Part II is facing off against the latest Conjuring installment for big-screen dominance. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is playing in 3,100 U.S. theaters, and onscreen exorcism experts Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles as paranormal investigators, this time taking on a demonic case that’s based on the 1981 murder trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson. For younger moviegoers this weekend, Universal and DreamWorks are releasing Spirit Untamed, a sequel to the 2002 film Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron. The animated adventure centers on Lucky Prescott (voiced by Dora and the Lost City of Gold actor Isabela Merced), a headstrong girl who feels out of place in the world until connecting with an enchanting mustang. The voice cast includes Julianne Moore and Jake Gyllenhaal. (Variety)
After a blockbuster international opening for F9 just a week ago, Universal continues to rev up its movie marketing for F9 here in the U.S. with a chance to win a free Advance Screening for you and your crew from our friends at Noovie. Fast Saga fans can go to Noovie’s pinned tweet, follow @whatsnoovie, and use “#giveaway” to enter, and one lucky winner will be drawn on June 14. The studio is also carpooling with Cameo for a new promotional partnership where fans can enter for a chance to win a personalized video message from participating F9 cast members like Gibson, Ludacris, Vin Diesel (Dominic Toretto), John Cena (Jakob, Dom’s long lost brother), Nathalie Emmanuel (Ramsey), and Sung Kang (Han Lue). (SyFy Wire)
Hugh Jackman in his latest film Reminiscence will take you on a journey through your memories — even if there’s a past you’d be best served to forget. From director and writer Lisa Joy, who co-created Westworld, Reminiscence stars Jackman as “a private investigator of the mind,” someone who helps his clients access lost memories and relive them and their emotions. But he soon becomes obsessed with the past when he takes on a new client and tries to find the truth about a woman’s disappearance. The first trailer dropped this week, and the film is debuting in theaters on August 20, 2021. (The Wrap)
Tiffany Haddish will play the fastest woman in the world, Florence Griffith Joyner, in an upcoming biopic. The Girls Trip actress will star as the famous Olympian, known as “Flo-Jo” to her fans, who helped popularize track and field with her record-breaking Olympic run and flashy personality and style. Many of the records that Joyner set in the 1988 Olympics, including those in the 100 m and 200 m, have yet to be broken. Joyner died in 1998 at the age of 38 of an epileptic seizure. Haddish will produce the film, as well. Flo-Jo’s widower and former coach, Al Joyner, will also serve as a producer and creative consultant on the project, and has already begun training Haddish to play the role, using methods that his late wife deployed during her career. (Variety)
MGM’s Thelma & Louise is turning 30, and the studio is holding a special drive-in screening event June 18 in partnership with Cinespia’s Drive In at The Greek in Los Angeles. The film was originally released over Memorial Day weekend in 1991, on May 24. Geena Davis, who played Thelma, and Susan Sarandon, who played Louise, will participate in a Q&A before the screening. Directed by Ridley Scott, the groundbreaking female empowerment film grossed over $45 million at the domestic box office (unadjusted for inflation) and went on to be nominated for six Oscars including Best Director and Best Actress each for Davis and Sarandon. (Deadline)
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Dwayne Johnson and Beau Flynn have teamed up for Emergency Contact, an original action project that has landed at Warner Bros. The studio preemptively picked up the pitch from writing team Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani, with Abdul-Mateen attached to star and executive produce. Details of the pitch are being kept hidden in a studio panic room but Emergency is described as being a high-concept, high-octane action film set in the underground music scene of Austin, Texas. The project reteams many of the players of Black Adam, the DC adventure movie currently in production by Warners arm New Line. Haines and Noshirvani wrote the current script for the movie that sees Johnson toplining a cast of newcomers and vets, and is being produced by Seven Bucks and FlynnPictureCo. (The Hollywood Reporter)
The first teaser for Demonic dropped on Thursday, and the film shows a woman donning elaborate head gear that sends her into an unusual alternate dimension — or perhaps some kind of virtual reality — where instead of being wholly there, she appears all pixelated and even inverted. Director Neill Blomkamp’s film is described as a horror movie in which a young woman unleashes terrifying demons and supernatural forces when a decades-old rift with her mother is revealed, and stars Carly Pope, Chris William Martin and Michael Rogers. Demonic hits theaters on August 20, 2021. (The Wrap)
Glenn Close is joining the Brothers family. She star alongside Josh Brolin and Peter Dinklage in the upcoming Legendary comedy Brothers, which will be directed by Palm Springs helmer Max Barbakow. Etan Cohen, the writer behind Tropic Thunder and Get Hard, penned the screenplay with Macon Blair. Story details are being kept under wraps, but Brolin and Dinklage are to play, as the title would suggest, unlikely brothers. Sources say the project harkens tonally to Twins, the 1988 Ivan Reitman comedy toplined by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. (The Hollywood Reporter)
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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