Jumanji 2


Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is dominating the North American box office to easily win the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend with about $33.4 million at 3,849 sites, estimates showed Sunday.

Fox’s “The Post” is leading the rest of the pack handily and topped forecasts with $22.2 million at 2,819 locations for Friday-Monday after expanding from 36 sites. The opening of Lionsgate’s Liam Neeson’s thriller “The Commuter” also topped expectations in third place with $16 million at 2,892 venues.

The fifth weekend of Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” with $14.7 million at 3,090 sites is fourth and Fox’s fourth weekend of “The Greatest Showman” with $14.5 million at 2,938 screens takes fifth place at the holiday box office.

Warner. Bros.’ launch of family comedy “Paddington 2” was battling for sixth place with Universal’s second weekend of “Insidious: The Last Chapter” with about $14.1 million each. Sony’s launch of action-thriller “Proud Mary” came in eighth with $12 million at 2,125 sites followed by Universal’s fourth weekend of “Pitch Perfect” with $6.7 million at 2,505 sites and Focus Features’ eighth weekend of “Darkest Hour” with $5.7 million at 1,693 venues.Overall business was solid rather than spectacular with a four-day total in the $190 million range, according to comScore. “Jumanj: Welcome to the Jungle,” which will finish the holiday with nearly $290 million in 29 days, now ranks as the eighth highest grosser released in 2017.

“‘Jumanji’ has in essence hit the reset button and is now behaving more like a film in its second weekend rather than its fourth,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore. “In the wake of a startling late run ascension to the number one spot, ‘Jumanji’ continues to energize the early 2018 box office marketplace while this weekend taking on a host of wide release newcomers.”

Disney noted Sunday that “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” had reached a worldwide total of $1.264 billion, topping Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” ($1.263 billion) and Universal’s “The Fate of the Furious” ($1.236 billion) to become the top global release of 2017 and the tenth-highest global release of all time.

“Jumanji,” starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, provided the most substantive challenge to “The Last Jedi” after opening Dec. 20. It’s the most successful title for Sony since “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which pulled in $337 million domestically during the summer.

“The Post,” starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in a story about the 1971 publication of the Pentagon Papers, attracted an older audience with 66% over 35. It received an A Cinemascore with ComScore’s PostTrak audience survey showing solid response with 63% rating the drama a “definite recommend” — indicating strong playability in coming weeks, according to Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution.

“We see a real opportunity for attracting young people who are politically aware due to the timeliness of the subject matter,” he added.

“The Post” took in $4.3 million in two weeks of limited release, so its domestic total has hit $26.7 million. The National Board of Review named “The Post” the best film of 2017 with Hanks and Streep winning the acting awards and the Producers Guild nominated it as one of its top 11 films but it was denied nominations last week from the Directors Guild and Writers Guild. “The Post” has an 88% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

“The Commuter,” starring Neeson as a businessman drawn into a criminal conspiracy on his train ride home. The film finished Friday with around $4.6 million, and has received a B CinemaScore.and a 55% Rotten Tomatoes rating. The film kicks off a long-term partnership between Lionsgate and StudioCanal that will continue with “Early Man” and “Shaun the Sheep Movie 2.”

“Paddington 2” was coming in slightly under expectations. Warner Bros. acquired the North American rights for the the sequel film, starring the popular British children’s literary character, from the Weinstein Company in November after the sexual harassment allegations against former head Harvey Weinstein left the production company and distributor a toxic name.

“Paddington 2,” in which Ben Whishaw voices the accident-prone bear, has already earned $125 million internationally and has garnered a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Proud Mary,” starring Taraji P. Henson, opened at the lower end of expectations for Sony’s Screen Gems. The film, which carries a modest $14 million budget, was marketed toward Henson’s fan base. She portrays a hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston, whose life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes bad. Critics were unimpressed and gave “Proud Mary” a 23% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In the Middle Kingdom, where star Dwayne Johnson and others landed last week for a premiere and press tour, the movie was No. 1 on Friday, knocking mega local pic The Ex Files 3 down a notch. Its first day topped comps like San Andreas and Godzilla.

Jumanji is tipped to lead MLK weekend Stateside and to become Sony’s 6th highest grossing pic ever at the domestic box office.

Offshore, its best plays thus fare are led by the UK at $37M, followed by Australia ($24.9M), Russia ($21.9M), France ($20.2M) and Mexico ($15.7M).

Johnson is a major international draw and stars with Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas and Bobby Cannavale. The Rock has been engaged as ever on social (see below) and Sony’s marketing team has also done a terrific job with this update on the 1995 classic that started rollout during the Christmas corridor. China is one of the last markets to go with Japan on deck in March.



Pixar veterans Darla K. Anderson and Lee Unkrich told reporters backstage that the experience of working on “Coco,” which won the Golden Globe for animated film, has helped the company move forward after the jolt of allegations of inappropriate behavior leveled against Pixar stalwart John Lasseter.

In November, Lasseter went on a six-month leave from Disney after he was accused by multiple women of inappropriate conduct in the workplace. Lasseter is one of dozens of high-powered men who have been so accused in the past few months, sparking the Time’s Up initiative to help women across the country who face workplace harassment.

“We all can improve. We can all be better,” Unkrich said. “And at Pixar, we have been taking steps and we will continue to move towards making it an even better place for people to create art.”

For Anderson, it was important to be “in solidarity with tonight’s movement,” she said of Time’s Up, which was prominent throughout Sunday’s ceremony. “We have been looking at a lot of things and making our environment as safe as possible and with as much integrity as possible.”

“Coco” revolved around the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos. To ensure cultural authenticity in the telling of the story, producer Anderson and director Unkrich brought in a host of experts and creatives with a vast range of experience. The disparate influences on the development of the production made for a much stronger movie — and that’s a lesson that Pixar is taking to heart.

“From the very beginning, we tried to create an environment that welcomed as many diverse voices as possible, not only in the consultants we brought in, but in the crew we assembled,” Unkrich said. “It was a very diverse crew and we’re proud of that, and we believe that all of those voices really did help make the movie as successful as it was. Moving ahead, we’re learning from the lessons of what we did on ‘Coco.’”PARACHO, Mexico (KTRK) — The popular Disney movie “Coco” is giving guitar makers in one tiny Mexican town something to sing about.

Guitar makers in Paracho, Michoacán, Mexico say their guitars stood out in film, and now they are flying off the shelves.

The guitar makers are also adding a little flair inspired by the movie, painting Dia de Los Muertos-themes skulls and symbols in multiple colors onto the guitars.

Those musical instruments are now finding homes around the world as the instrument maker ships internationally to meet the demand.

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It marks the Walt Disney Company’s 10th win in the category, an impressive feat when one considers that the the Golden Globes have only presented an animation award for 12 years. The only two non-Disney animation winners in the history of the Golden Globes have been Tintin and How to Train Your Dragon 2.

The other nominees in this year’s feature animation category were the aforementioned European entries – Breakthru Films/Trademark Films’ Loving Vincent and Cartoon Saloon’s The Breadwinner – as well as Blue Sky’s Ferdinand and Dreamworks’ The Boss Baby.

Before tonight’s Golden Globe win, Coco had already emerged as the frontrunner for the Oscar, winning 27 out of 31 American film critics’ organization awards for best animated feature of 2017.

Nevertheless, the preference for Pixar might be a tad surprising for the Golden Globes, which are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), a group of foreign film journalists, the majority of whom are based in Europe. Then again, the HFPA is not exactly a group that is respected for its knowledge of film. “They’re fucking ridiculous,” 2018 Golden Globe nominee Gary Oldman said of the HFPA. “It’s 90 nobodies having a wank. Everybody’s getting drunk, and everybody’s sucking up to everybody.”Pixar’s Coco has won the award for Best Animated Feature Film at the 75th Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California on Sunday night in the US. The film follows a Mexican boy who dreams of becoming a musician, and accidentally ends up in the land of the dead during the annual Día de los Muertos festival.

Coco was nominated alongside The Boss Baby, Afghanistan-set The Breadwinner, Ferdinand – the story of a pacifist bull who doesn’t want to bullfight, and the fully-hand painted van Gogh biopic Loving Vincent. Coco grossed $589 million (about Rs. 3,730 crore) worldwide, and has become the highest-grossing film of all-time in Mexico.

Coco was made with a reported budget of $175-200 million (about Rs. 1108-1266 crore), and was notable for being the first film with a nine-digit budget (in dollars) to have an all-Latino cast. The voice cast included Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Anthony Gonzalez, Alanna Ubach, and Renee Victor among others.

Justice League


As you surely know by now, Justice League didn’t do so hot at the box office. In fact, its modest $227 million domestic haul was just outgrossed by Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle this weekend. That’s right, one of the biggest superhero tentpoles of 2017 was just beaten by a (hugely entertaining) rebootquel of a moderately-beloved children’s movie.

And Warner Bros. knows they have to do something to save the ailing DC Extended Universe. They’ve shaken up their executive structure and hired a new DC Films president. But one thing they haven’t done is give into the ludicrous demands of the fans demanding a “Zack Snyder cut” of the movie — a cut that probably doesn’t actually exist. But with the impending release of Justice League on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital, new information is surfacing on a possible extended cut of the comic book movie. Maybe (hopefully) that will finally satisfy Snyder fans.

A listing of Justice League‘s 4K Ultra and Blu-ray digibook on Amazon Germany suggests that the home media release of the superhero ensemble movie could feature an extended cut. The information on the page lists the “Spieldauer” (the run time) at “135 Minuten” or 135 minutes. This is 15 minutes longer than the theatrical cut of Justice League which clocked in at exactly 2 hours. We don’t know yet if this listing is accurate, but it should be noted that Justice League‘s Blu-ray.com page lists its run time as 121 minutes — approximately the same length as its theatrical run.

This rumor comes on the heels of Zack Snyder fans flooding (or rather, trickling) the Warner Bros. headquarters lot in Burbank, California, demanding that the studio #ReleaseTheSnyderCut.Here we go, diving into the year-in-review for the year that was 2017. This will be the first of a handful of year-end pieces, highlighting the year that is just about to end. The first one is one of my favorites, a look at films that arguably got a bum rap from critics or more of a lashing than they deserved.

Now, as always, there is a considerable difference between underrated and underseen. So, no, you won’t find stuff like Colossal or Professor Marston and the Wonder Women that earned positive reviews and strong word-of-mouth from the few that sought them out. Some are genuinely good films, and others are bad without being war crimes. All 11 deserved a closer look. These will be in alphabetical order save one at the end.This was another project that was preemptively put to death before it was ever released. Granted, it was certainly sold as a “Matt Damon saves China”-type white savior fable. In truth, Zhang Yimou’s period piece actioner, about giant monsters attempting to scale the Great Wall of China, used Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe’s westerners as audience surrogates for the film’s “China is awesome!” messaging.

Audiences got a dose of state propaganda (which isn’t a shock to those who have seen Hero) while also enjoying some top-shelf production values and some banger action sequences. Absent the “whitewashing” controversy that really wasn’t, this is an enjoyable piece of B-movie hokum.The end result of DC Films’ first round of DC Comics superhero universe is… fine? It’s a hack-job to be sure, with Zack Snyder’s original intentions twice reversed after Dawn of Justice’s poor reception and then again after Joss Whedon took over.

And its attempts to mold itself into an Avengers clone was a terrible idea since folks had already seen a couple of Avengers movies. But, irony of ironies, it nails the core characters, giving us fun and entertaining variations on the Super Friends as a surrogate family unit. And by the end, we wouldn’t mind seeing Mom (Wonder Woman), Dad (Batman) and the three troublemaking kids (Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg) go up against a Legion of Doom.Halle Berry may not get the prime roles that she arguably would if she were white (or a dude), but she seems to have found a niche old-school bruised-forearm movies. Kidnap isn’t quite as good as The Call (which is a masterpiece for its first hour), but it maintains its momentum for the entire running time.

And it makes clever use out of its high concept (a mother witnesses her son being kidnapped and gives chase), while offering a near consistent sense of dread and “What would you do?” tension. With shockingly smart writing and a frighteningly plausible solution (no spoilers, but there is no grand conspiracy which explicitly targeted her), this is a terrific little bit of high-toned Hollywood suspense.

DC Films is in a very weird place right now. Critics tend to trash the movies, and audiences have had, if we’re being generous to Suicide Squad’s decent end-of-summer legs, mixed reactions to them. Yet, with the exception of Justice League (which cost way too much due to way too many reshoots and revamps), they have grossed oodles of money at the domestic/global box office. But the perception, arguably a fair one, is that the franchise is in a constant reactionary panic mode, with executive micromanaging and mixed signals spoiling the pot. Moreover, the mixed reception of the likes of Batman v Superman or Justice League have become the dominating narratives even in years where Warner Bros. has otherwise performed pretty damn well.

That’s what I feared four years ago, when the mixed reaction to Man of Steel resulted in an attempt to craft a full-on DC Comics cinematic universe. WB is the home of movies like American Sniper, Gravity, Inception, and It, so it’s a damn shame to see it almost entirely defined in the public (or media) eye by the struggles of its DC Films department. It doesn’t help that every time someone sneezes a pitch it gets reported as a new DC Comics movie that’s absolutely going to get made, leading to the notion that WB is throwing spaghetti at the wall with no set plan. That last part may be true, but as we should know there are plenty of movies that die in one stage of development or another for every one film that makes it to theaters. I mean, you know we might not actually see Paramount’s alleged Quentin Tarantino Star Trek movie, right?

So I’m actually glad that (so says Variety) Walter Hamada is being promoted to oversee the DC Films division over at Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc. After all, fair or not, if you’re trying to snag some critical/commercial success with your DC Films movies, you could do worse than bring in the guy who has been helping to run your one hugely successful cinematic universe to date. I’m speaking of course of James Wan’s Conjuring universe. That somewhat accidental horror franchise spawned from The Conjuring, which shocked us all in the summer of 2013 (opening in WB’s lucky late-July release slot no less) with a $41 million debut and eventual $317m global total on a $20m budget. Since then, we’ve had one Conjuring sequel, two successful Annabelle spin-offs and The Nun coming this summer. And, like the early MCU days, the franchises have mostly stayed in their own lane.

Thor Ragnarok


Marvel films often look like they are even more fun to work on than they are to watch, and Thor: Ragnarok might be the most fun of them all.That’s because the endlessly goofy and quirky Taika Waititi of What We Do in the Shadows fame was sitting in the director’s chair and, as you can imagine, plenty of the film’s outtakes focus on him:The featurette comes from the Thor: Ragnarok home release.

Of all the bonkers things that did make it to the screen, there was plenty of weirdness in the script that didn’t make it into the finished product – including something to do with a thousand screaming squirrels.

Even for a film about a man with a magical lightning hammer, that’s pretty offbeat.There was plenty of improvisation on the set that made it into the final film, including the standout ‘get help’ scene.

Next up for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is Black Panther, which isn’t even out yet but it’s already breaking records for the studio: tickets are selling out so quickly that even star Lupita Nyong’o can’t book a showing.Black Panther will pounce into cinemas (and maybe smash more records?) on February 9, 2018 in the UK and February 16, 2018 in the US.If you loved “Thor: Ragnarok” you’re kinda stuck in limbo right now — there’s probably not any theaters near you still showing the movie, and there’s still several weeks before you can buy your own copy (it’ll be available digitally on Feb. 20 and on disc March 6).

But if you need your fix of the wackiest Marvel movie yet, you can sort of get it, thanks to this goofy behind-the-scenes gag reel that the folks behind the movie put together for the home video release. It’s not your typical gag reel — this video doesn’t feature much in the way of outtakes, but is much more focused on the antics of writer/director Taika Waititi on set. You can watch the video embedded above.

And also not on set. The video opens with Waititi singing an improvised song to go with the Marvel Studios logo that they put at the beginning of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.As for the on-set “hijinx,” as “Thor: Ragnarok” star Tessa Thompson describes them in the video, they include, but are not limited to: Waititi wearing a wig, Waititi marveling at the random things the set dressers put in a scene on the alien planet of Sakaar, Waititi marveling that behind one of the doors on set was the island of Australia, and Waititi dancing with Cate Blanchett.It goes on and on like that, and it is good.

“Thor: Ragnarok,” as you may know, came out in November and ended with a sort of cliffhanger that will lead directly into this summer’s “Avengers: Infinity War” — you can read all about that momentous occurrence here. There’s still one more Marvel movie between us and that massive teamup flick: the Ryan Coogler-directed “Black Panther,” which lands on Feb. 16 and will be taking aim at the record for biggest President’s Day weekend ever at the box office — a mark currently held by “Deadpool,” which pulled in $152 million over the four-day weekend in 2016.Disney has dropped a new trailer for its upcoming “Thor: Ragnarok” home entertainment releases. The studio also confirmed the release dates of the digital, DVD and Blu-ray releases of the hit Marvel film.

As announced by Disney, “Thor: Ragnarok” will be available digitally on Feb. 20. The digital release will be followed by the DVD and Blu-ray home releases, which will arrive two weeks later on March 6.

The home video release will include another Marvel One-Shot style short film that stars Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) weird housemate Darryl, who previously appeared in the “Team Thor” featurette. In the said clip, the character was hilariously wondering who none of the Avengers asked him to join them during the battle that took place in “Captain America: Civil War.”

The home video release also features a commentary by film director Taika Waititi, who is expected to give some valuable insight and additional trivia about one of the most successful films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The full list of Blu-ray bonus features includes deleted scenes, some funny outtakes; the third part of the mockumentary “Team Thor” titled “Team Darryl,” the evolution of the superheroes in “Avengers: Infinity War;” and some featurettes tackling Waititi’s vision for the film, particularly when it comes to the story’s audacious female characters, Korg, the tyrannical leader of Sakaar, the Grandmaster; as well as the origins of the “Thor” comic book.

“Thor: Ragnarok” opened in theaters November and was one of Marvel’s most successful outings in 2017. It centers on the God of Thunder and his rise back to power after an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Hela. In the film, he faces the Incredible Hulk in a gladiatorial combat.

“Thor: Ragnarok” is the third installment in the “Thor” franchise and was met with generally positive reviews, blowing away expectations with its $120 million revenue on its opening weekend.

Star Wars The Last Jedi


Disney’s The Last Jedi is one of the most divisive Star Wars movies to ever be released and it has sparked intense debate amongst hardcore fans. Rian Johnson has gone out of his way to appease fans and detail the reasoning behind every tiny decision that he made and one of the biggest problems from fans is the portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the movie. It’s this problem that Director Kevin Smith bases his theory of why several fans hate The Last Jedi on, and it makes a lot of sense.

On his Fat Man on Batman podcast, Kevin Smith explains that fan expectations are the real reason that there is so much hate for The Last Jedi and specifically, the portrayal of Luke Skywalker. Smith says that Star Wars fans expected the Luke that they’ve grown up with.

The director continues by saying that even the way he looked in the promotional material sparked a sort of expectation in fans. He had this to say.To further his point, Kevin Smith went on to say that since director Rian Johnson did not deliver what Star Wars fans were expecting, that fans had an adverse reaction to The Last Jedi.

And that seems like a logical explanation, especially since people either hate or love things these days. There’s hardly any room for anything else anymore. Smith explains.Rian Johnson recently weighed in on a debate about Luke Skywalker’s new Force powers in The Last Jedi. Two grown men were wondering where the new powers came from and insisted that there had to be an explanation for everything. However, Johnson brought it all back to the original trilogy by saying that everything that was in there was excepted and there was no great “setup.”

Another fan chimed on to agree with Rian Johnson by stating that nobody ever wondered why the Emperor was suddenly able to shoot lightning from his hands at the end of Return of the Jedi without ever being shown doing it.

There are other reasons that people dislike The Last Jedi, but for the most part, it all has to do with the way that Rian Johnson chose to portray Luke Skywalker. The writer/director gave Star Wars fans something that they weren’t expecting and Kevin Smith believes that to be the root of all of the negativity surrounding the movie. You can hear more about what the director had to say about all of the hate for The Last Jedi via The Fat Man on Batman podcast.

It was always inevitable really, but now it’s official: Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the highest-grossing release of 2017, with Episode VIII pushing its global total to $1.2649 billion, surpassing the $1.2635 billion haul of fellow Disney title Beauty and the Beast.

The Last Jedi is the second-highest grossing Star Wars movie after 2015’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which pulled in $2.0682 billion. In total, the Star Wars franchise has now earned a whopping $9.03 billion, and has Solo: A Star Wars Story incoming this May to boost that total even further. It still trails the Marvel Cinematic Universe by a considerable amount though – with the superhero series having earned in excess of $13.5 billion, making it the biggest franchise in history.

The Last Jedi is now the tenth highest-grossing release of all time, and should go on to surpass Frozen ($1.2765 billion) and perhaps even Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($1.3415 billion) before it ends its run.In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi sees returning cast members Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb) and Warwick Davis joined by new additions Jimmy Vee (Pan) as R2-D2, Kelly Marie Tran (Ladies Like Us) as Rose, Benicio Del Toro (Guardians of the Galaxy) as DJ and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park) as Vice Admiral Holdo.Star Wars: The Last Jedi is one of the ten highest grossing movies of all time.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s domestic total now stands at $591.5 million. Its foreign total has climbed to $673.4 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $1.26 billion. That’s enough to knock Beauty and the Beast out of the top ten list and take its place.

This also makes Star Wars: The Last Jedi the highest grossing film of the year domestic and worldwide. The was projected to reach $1.6 billion before the end of its run, but that was before its disappointing opening in China.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi earned $230 in its first three days in foreign markets and opened to a combined $450 million worldwide. That is the fifth largest opening in box office history.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is sixth highest grossing movie ever at the domestic box office. It was it only the fourth film in history to earn over $200 million in its opening weekend. Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke records with its $247.9 million opening. Jurassic World earned $208.9 million in its first weekend. Marvel’s The Avengers opened to $207.4 million.

The Last Jedi was a divisive movie for Star Wars fans. Kevin Smith tried to explain his theory on why that was.

I think at the end of the day audience expectation plays into that,” Smith said. “Like when, you know, you’re like ‘alright the next movie is going to be all about Luke and I’ve seen Luke in the trailer and I know exactly who Luke Skywalker is and now he looks like Obi-Wan so he’s going to be like this version of Obi-Wan,’ and then they give you a version of Luke that even Mark Hamill reportedly was like ‘I don’t know, is this really supposed to be Luke Skywalker? He’s not the one I remember.'”