Who would you rather fight, a million spider-sized ape or one ape-sized spider? It’s a question that’s been haunting my mind since, oh, about an hour ago when I started to look up the box office numbers for this past weekend. And while I might not be any closer to solving my riddle, I can at least say this: when it comes to week-old spiders versus brand new primates, the primates are destined to win. Here’s the box office numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
If you’re like me, you probably watched the first trailer for The Layover and thought, “Huh, they’re doing comedy?” The movie offers a strange mix of talent both behind and in front of the camera. William H. Macy isn’t exactly the first name that comes to mind when you think of raunchy sex comedy directors, nor are Lance Krall and David Hornsby household names as writers, but when you look at their combined track records the past few years - a whole bunch of Shameless and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia - the pieces for humor are most definitely there.
Pop quiz, hotshot: what does an actor do after he retires from one of the most iconic superhero roles of all time? Answer: anything he wants! Nobody would fault Hugh Jackman for spending the next several years drinking mojitos on the beach and packing on some of the pounds he was contractually obligated to keep off for the X-Men franchise, but it sounds like Jackman isn’t about to rest on his laurels anytime soon. The actor has been hinting at an upcoming Disney collaboration over the last day, sharing suggestive photos of himself at Disney parks, and now a hot new rumor seems to explain why.
When a Hollywood studio decides to make a sequel to a much-beloved classic decades after its initial release, the overwhelming response is usually skepticism. It’s a testament to the incredible cast that Disney has assembled for Mary Poppins Returns, then, that most of the buzz around the film has been overwhelming excitement. From Emily Blunt’s Julie Andrews doppelgänger to Lin Manuel-Miranda’s chimney sweep - pretty much the part he was born to play, right? - Mary Poppins Returns is the exception that proves the rule, an unnecessary sequel that nevertheless melts away all skepticism.
What happens when Disney throws a party for itself and everyone is invited? The answer is D23, this weekend’s trade show-slash-Disney party with new teasers, news, and footage from the company’s expanding lineup of Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar properties. We’ve already seen a few updates on Wreck-It Ralph 2 and The Incredibles 2, but for the sequel-phobic among you, there was also a pretty high-profile announcement of Pixar’s upcoming original feature.
If we’re lucky, every few years we’re treated to a will-they-or-won’t-they love story that sparks our imagination and warms our hearts. Ross and Rachel from Friends. Jim and Pam from The Office. Daniel and Barbara from Bond 25. Yes, these are classic, iconic love stories, where two people who are destined to be together must nevertheless fight through a series of unfortunate events before going public with their mutual love and affection. Which is all a complicated and jokey way of saying, c’mon, Daniel Craig and Barbara Broccoli, we know y’all are going to make Bond 25 happen, so just do it already!
Did any new releases come out this weekend? I honestly can’t remember. Someone mentioned that there was a new Marvel movie in theaters - one featuring some sort of Spider-Person - but that can’t be right. I feel like I would’ve seen that, perhaps promoted on an unprecedented level for any superhero movie? Hmm. Well, anyways, here’s the weekend box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
One of my favorite things about the Fast and the Furious franchise is how it seems to have supplanted the James Bond series as the premiere summer destination for globe-trotting adventures. High-tech gadgets, mysterious government agencies, and gratuitous explosions abound; just around the time that Daniel Craig’s Bond franchise was becoming unbearably grim, Vin Diesel’s Fast and the Furious franchise leaned into its retro Bond vibe, undoubtedly aided by a cohesion at the production level. With Diesel serving as series architect, Chris Morgan writing each movie, and Justin Lin the steady hand behind the camera, the movies promised and delivered some high-caliber action.
Despite the fact that Spider-Man is Marvel‘s most popular and successful character - by the comic book standards, anyways - the studio hasn’t left anything to the imagination in the Spider-Man: Homecoming marketing blitz. We’ve seen Tom Holland‘s face on everything from car commercials to NBA spots to computer advertisements, ensuring that everyone around the world knew that a Spider-Man film was going to be in theaters this weekend. Heck, we were probably one hip-hop song away from throwing the whole franchise back to the nineties heydays of corporate synergy.
With a handful of major Hollywood stars choosing to speak out on behalf of gender pay equality in Hollywood, we’ve been treated to an unprecedented amount of transparency over these past few years. Major stars like Jessica Chastain, Keira Knightley, and Jessica Lawrence have all spoken out publicly about their own negative experiences on Hollywood franchises, and each passing week, more stars are encouraged to share their own experiences. Through it all, one important theme has emerged: in many of Hollywood’s biggest franchises, female actors are not being paid as much as men.
While plenty of fans hold Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man film close to their hearts, it’s probably fair to say that the costume for Willem Dafoe‘s Green Goblin hasn’t aged particularly well. Given the dynamic costumes for the current generation of Marvel villains - including Frank Grillo‘s Crossbones, Cate Blanchett‘s Hera, and plenty more - Dafoe’s Green Goblin seems a little bulky and a lot campy, not unlike a Power Rangers villain that wandered out of his franchise and somehow ended up in the Marvel universe. It certainly gets the job done by the standards of the day, but rewatching scenes from that film suggest that the studio had a missed opportunity to do something a little more memorable with the character.
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for, Edgar Wright fans: did the filmmaker’s action-packed Baby Driver score big with audiences? Or does this weekend belong to sequels, sequels, and more sequels? This weekend was always going to belong to Despicable Me 3— it’s a big hit with the kiddos, don’t you know— but there’s definitely some room for optimism in how the rest of the weekend Top 10 shook out. Here’s the numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
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