LeBron James and Bugs Bunny got game in theaters this weekend in Space Jam: A New Legacy

Let’s talk about the top stories in Hollywood this week!

Black Widow crossed the $100 million mark at the domestic box office in six days, making it the fastest to do so during the pandemic. Black Widow joins other titles in the pandemic’s century club including Universal’s F9 (8 days to the mark), Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II (15 days), and Warner Bros/Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong (12 weekends). It’ll be a showdown between Disney’s and Marvel’s Black Widow and the Warner Bros. sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy at the domestic box office, with Scarlett Johansson’s superhero adventure poised to reclaim the top spot. After Black Widow opened on July 9 to $80 million in North America, a record for COVID times, the comic book adaptation is projected to add $24 million to $28 million in its second weekend of release. (Deadline, Variety)

Also new to theaters this weekend is Sony’s horror movie Escape Room: Tournament of Champions. The PG-13 film, a follow up to the 2019 thriller Escape Room, is expected to generate $7 million to $10 million from 2,775 locations over the weekend. A flashback to the halcyon days where people weren’t scared to gather in enclosed spaces, Escape Room 2 follows six people who unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of, you guessed it, escape rooms. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions got off to a good start and earned $1.2 million in Thursday night previews at the box office from early shows. (Variety, The Wrap)

Nicolas Cage knows how to get the best performances out of his co-stars — even if that co-star is a pig. The Oscar winner reveals what it took to get Brandy, the pig that plays his truffle-hunting porker in the new Neon drama Pig to act on cue. “Brandy was very payment oriented, she liked to eat,” Cage told Variety at the movie’s premiere on Tuesday at the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles. “If I needed to go and get her to hit her marks, some food would be put down. And if I needed a soulful expression, I’d put a carrot behind the camera, and she’d look at the carrot and the carrot made her look at me with love.” Brandy had no acting experience before Pig. Writer-director Michael Sarnoski found her at a local farm near where they were shooting in Portland, Oregon because they couldn’t afford to hire a trained pig. “There are trained acting pigs,” he said. “We just found one on a farm and said you are adorable, and you have a great personality and said, ‘Would you like to be in our movie?’ And she said, ‘Oink,’ so we went with it.” Catch Brandy’s big screen debut in theaters this weekend! (Variety)

PepsiCo and Regal Cinemas are working hard to evoke theater nostalgia that will get people buying movie tickets, buttery popcorn and fountain soda again with a new ad campaign featuring a faux movie trailer to remind people that there’s no pause button on the big screen. With Gen Z audiences ready to go back to the movies, many brands and media buyers are confident in the future of the business. According to Scott Finlow, CMO of PepsiCo Global Food Service, consumers are still attached to the “unapologetic enjoyment” that comes with going to the theater. “Consumers are now valuing experiences to a greater degree,” he said to Adweek. “There is a pent-up demand to go to the movies and we finally get to celebrate that with Regal.” (Adweek)

More stars are heading to Secret Headquarters. Riverdale actor Charles Melton and Tony winner Jessie Mueller are set for the project from Paramount and Jerry Bruckheimer, along with Dustin Ingram and Levy Tran. They are joining an already announced cast that includes Owen Wilson, Michael Peña and Jesse Williams, among others. The high-concept project is described as “Home Alone set in the Batcave.” Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who recently helmed the Netflix feature Project Power, will direct from a script they wrote with Josh Koenigsberg, based on a story by Christopher Yost. Paramount has set an Aug. 12, 2022, release for Secret Headquarters. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Antonio Banderas is Harrison Ford’s newest co-star in the anticipated next installment in the Indiana Jones franchise. The Oscar-nominated Banderas has closed a deal to join the film to star alongside Ford, who returns as our favorite archaeologist, and an all-star ensemble that includes Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Boyd Holbrook and Shaunette Renée Wilson. For Banderas, the film marks another major franchise for the international star. Production on Indiana Jones 5 is currently underway, with the film set to bow on July 29, 2022. Plot details are still vague on what new adventure awaits Jones, as are details behind who Banderas will be playing. (Deadline)

Bill Murray is among the cast of Wes Anderson’s new film that will begin production in Spain in August. Sources close to the project have confirmed Murray’s casting. The as-yet-untitled film also stars Tilda Swinton, and although the film is shooting in Spain, “it’s not about Spain,” Swinton has hinted. Meanwhile Anderson had said he’s “not ready to share any details” about the new film. Murray and Swinton co-stared in Anderson’s The French Dispatch, which recently had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Murray is an old Anderson hand — besides the new Spain project and The French Dispatch, the duo have also worked together on Isle of Dogs, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Darjeeling Limited, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Rushmore. (Variety)

Universal Pictures has set a release date for She Said, the film about the Harvey Weinstein investigation starring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan. The film will hit theaters on November 18, 2022, the studio announced Thursday. Mulligan and Kazan star in She Said as New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, who broke the Weinstein scandal and helped usher in the #MeToo movement. Unorthodox director Maria Schrader will direct. Rebecca Lenkiewicz is writing the script. The film will be based on the New York Times bestseller She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement. It will begin production this summer. (The Wrap)

Tamera Kissen has signed on for New Line’s reimagining of House Party. She joins previously announced cast members Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Tosin Cole, Karen Obilom, DC Young Fly, Shakira Ja’nai Paye, Andrew Santino and Bill Bellamy in the film, which The SpringHill Company is producing for HBO Max. The original 1990 comedy watched as high schooler Christopher (Christopher “Kid” Reid) snuck out to his friend Peter’s (Christopher “Play” Martin) house party, for a wild night of music and fun. The movie was a surprise box office hit for New Line, and is credited with helping launch hip-hop into the mainstream. It also launched the career of writer/director Reginald Hudlin, and those of actors Reid, Martin, Tisha Martin-Campbell, Martin Lawrence, A.J. Johnson, Daryl “Chill” Mitchell and Full Force (Paul Anthony, Bowlegged Lou and B-Fine). (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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