Let’s talk about the top stories in Hollywood this week!
It was a scary good weekend for horror sequels at the box office as movie-goers continued to return to theaters. For the second week in a row, a horror film took the top spot at the box office. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It made an estimated $24 million besting last week’s leader A Quiet Place Part II which came in at $20 million. But this weekend, the summer season should really start to sizzle with the highly anticipated musical In the Heights, the big-screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Broadway hit, opening in 3,400 U.S. theaters Friday after premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival. Reviews are calling it the first genuinely cheerful, splashy, life-affirming movie of the summer, and according a recent poll, 96% of moviegoers say it’s the first movie they plan to see since the pandemic shuttered theaters 15 months ago. Fans who just can’t wait can check out the first 8 minutes of the film here. (Noovie.com, Variety, The Washington Post, Deadline)
Speaking of which, the Tribeca Film Festival kicked off its 20th edition Wednesday in New York City after being postponed from its traditional April slot. As coronavirus infections fade and vaccinations increase, Tribeca is the first major North American festival with in-person activities since COVID-19 took hold last year. Pent-up demand for theatrical moviegoing and a bit of advantageous timing gives the Tribeca slate extra potency this year, with 56 of the feature slate’s 66 titles world premieres. Warner Bros.’ In the Heights opened the festival and premiered in front of an audience of several hundred people inside the opulent United Palace in Washington Heights. Closing night should be equally memorable at a 100% capacity Radio City Music Hall on June 19, when a fully vaccinated crowd of 6,000 will watch the still-untitled documentary about comedian Dave Chappelle’s pandemic year in his rural Ohio town. In between opening and closing, there will be dozens of outdoor screenings, plus an assortment of other events under Tribeca’s ever-expanding tent, including podcasts, concerts, virtual reality, video games and television. In other festival news, filmmakers and executives hoping to attend this year’s Cannes Film Festival got some good news this week as France, along with the rest of the European Union, reopened its borders to Americans and Brits — if they are fully vaccinated — so they can travel to Cannes and will not be required to quarantine upon arrival. (Deadline, Town & Country, The Hollywood Reporter)
According to Comscore, more than 83% of movie theater locations are now open worldwide and safely welcoming enthusiastic fans back to the bigger than life big screen experience that only the movie theater can provide. Films such as Universal’s F9, which have thus far generated over $250 million internationally, along with recent hits from Paramount with A Quiet Place Part II, Disney’s Cruella and Warner Bros.’ latest film in The Conjuring franchise have collectively brought in over $500 million in global box office revenue and climbing. (Comscore)
Join the fight against filmnesia! A new study from the UK has found that watching films on the big screen IS more enjoyable than viewing at home. The experiment found that the immersive, no distractions environment of the cinema provided the perfect place for the brain to focus on film; with excitement levels rising and study participants smiling twice as much when watching a movie on the big screen. Apparently, in the past year, nearly 9 in 10 of us have suffered from “filmnesia” when watching films at home, struggling to remember key plot details, characters, or even if we’ve watched a certain film before due to all of the interruptions. Thankfully, now that theaters are open again, we have a cure for that! (Celluloid Junkie)
Praise the Lord! Seachlight Pictures has dropped the first full trailer for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield star in the film about the rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Bakker. In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker, played by Garfield, rose from humble beginnings to create the world’s largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance, and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. However, it wasn’t long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire. The Eyes of Tammy Faye is set to hit theaters on September 17. (Deadline)
Shameik Moore, best known for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, is attached to lead Silver Star, opposite Sydney Sweeney. Moore will play Buddy, a 20-year-old Civil War re-enactor who is fresh out of jail and struggling to root himself in today’s world. Buddy is determined to reconnect with his estranged parents by saving their home from foreclosure, whatever it takes. During a botched bank robbery, Buddy takes Franny (Sweeney), an impulsive, pregnant 19-year-old with nothing to lose, as his hostage and together they embark on an unexpected road trip across America. Filming is scheduled for fall in the U.S. (Variety)
A new version of Stephen King’s Christine is coming to the big screen and in development with Bryan Fuller set to both write and direct the film at Sony Pictures and for Blumhouse Productions. Christine, first adapted into a cult horror film by horror master John Carpenter in 1983, is about a teen who buys a classic 1958 Plymouth Fury and fixes it up, only to discover that it seems to have a mind of its own, a jealous, possessive personality toward its new owner, and a vindictive, murderous past. It starred John Stockwell, Keith Gordon and Alexandra Paul and made $21 million at the U.S. box office, but it’s now become a cult classic. (The Wrap)
An all-star lineup of actors is joining Dwayne Johnson in the animated feature DC League of Super-Pets. Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna and Keanu Reeves will also lend their voices to the animated film about the four-legged friends (and enemies) of some of DC’s biggest heroes. Jared Stern penned the script, and is co-directing with Sam Levine for Warner Bros. and Warner Animation Group. Johnson voices Superman’s canine Krypto, who first appeared in 1955’s Adventure Comics No. 210. The super dog will team up with other animals with ties to DC’s biggest heroes, such as Ace the Bat-Hound, to be voiced by Hart, and Topo, Aquaman’s pet octopus. DC League of Super-Pets is due out May 20, 2022. (The Hollywood Reporter)
A host of big names have assembled for Rebecca Miller’s romantic comedy She Came to Me. Oscar winners Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables, The Devil Wears Prada) and Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny, The Wrestler), BAFTA nominee Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian, The Serpent), Joanna Kulig (Cold War, The Eddy) and Matthew Broderick (Election, Manchester by the Sea) have been cast in the film, with principal photography on the film is set to commence this fall in New York. Billed as a “truly modern romantic comedy,” She Came to Me is a multi-generational story set against the backdrop of New York: A composer suffering from writer’s block rediscovers his passion after an adventurous one-night stand, a couple of gifted teenagers fight to prove to the parents that their young love is something that can last forever, and for the woman who seemingly has it all — love arrives in the most unexpected places. (The Hollywood Reporter)
New Line Cinema is returning to Middle Earth. The studio behind the feature film trilogies The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit is partnering with Warner Bros. Animation on the original anime theatrical feature The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim. The stand-alone feature will depict the bloody saga behind Helm’s Deep, the fortress depicted in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and the man in whose honor it’s named: Helm Hammerhand, the legendary King of Rohan who spent much of his reign locked in a prolonged and costly war. The project is intended to be connected to director Peter Jackson’s six Middle Earth films based on the books of J.R.R. Tolkien. (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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