Disney officially acquired 20th Century Fox a few weeks ago, and the time since has been filled with theorizing and doubt regarding what the future might hold. The House of Mouse recently pulled its first project from Fox’s schedule, and it’s been teased that dates will be changed around in order to not compete with itself on big premiere weekends. But the biggest question is what might happen to the X-Men franchise, and when the mutants might finally arrive in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It’s currently unclear when the X-Men will pop up in the larger MCU, although fans are eager to see the iconic team interact with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. While it looks like it could take years, Marvel’s Kevin Feige does seem excited about the concept of bringing Professor X and company to the behemoth franchise. As he recently explained:
While Disney’s acquisition of Fox may end the X-Men franchise as we know it, Kevin Feige does make a point. Marvel’s gang of mutants are beloved characters from the page, and the comics have always featured crossovers with other heroes. Now that can come to life on the big screen, as the Marvel property has the potential to join the MCU.
Kevin Feige’s comments to Variety should please the hardcore Marvel fans, even if they’re going to miss 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise. The X-Men franchise may have started before shared universes became on trend, but their exclusion from the MCU still always felt strange. Hugh Jackman’s long tenure as Wolverine ended before crossovers could ever occur, and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes definitely could have used the X-Men’s help during their major conflicts.
But now that Disney officially has access to Marvel’s mutants, one has to wonder if/when they could eventually join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It feels like a great time to get a new cast of characters, as many of the OG heroes are coming to the end of their contracts with Avengers: Endgame. As such, Marvel Studios is presumably going to need to put more stock in newer characters like Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange. And adding in the X-Men might be a great way to keep the MCU filled out, and ripe for more epic crossover events.
For now, Disney’s plans for the X-Men are unclear. But the titular team will return to theaters when Dark Phoenix arrives on June 7th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Hellboy is a movie with problems. Those problems started with a slew of negative reviews making the film one of the most critically lambasted of the year. If the movie was hoping to be a success with fans, more than critics, it didn’t have much luck there either, as it opened in third place and wasn’t even the highest grossing new release of the weekend.
If Hellboy was looking to then fix things with some positive word of mouth, it’s come up short there as well, as the film saw a serious box office drop of nearly 68% which almost saw it fall out of the top 10 during only its second weekend.
Hellboy finished its second weekend at the box office with just short of $4 million, a 67.8% drop compared to its opening weekend gross. That put the film behind Jordan Peele’s Us, which finished its fifth weekend at the box office with $4.2 million.
A two-thirds drop in box office isn’t an unreasonable drop, many films see their box office numbers fall by that much or more from their first to second weekend. However, Hellboy‘s problems are that it didn’t start out in the best position. In addition, the movies that opened against Hellboy last weekend have shown much more remarkable staying power, making Hellboy look that much worse by comparison.
The comedy Little, which ended up beating Hellboy last weekend, only saw its fortunes fall by 45%, giving it the number five spot. Even more impressive, Laika’s Missing Link which actually opened in ninth place last weekend, only saw it’s box office fall by 26%, resulting in it actually gaining a slot and finishing its second weekend in eighth place
Part of the reason that these films saw such low box office drops, Captain Marvel jumped up two spots in the top 10 and actually made more money this weekend than it did the previous weekend, is that there was no major tentpole release to suck all the air, and money, out of the room. The box office was won by The Curse of La Llorona with only $26 million.
But then, a weekend like this, where movies that have been out for a while still had strong weekends shows just how badly things are going for Hellboy as it wasn’t able to benefit from the same situation as every other movie at the multiplex. Nobody was even morbidly curious to see how the movie turned out when there was nothing else to see at the theater.
With Avengers: Endgame hitting this weekend we can pretty much write off Hellboy from a box office perspective. It will fall out of the 10 next weekend and will have to hope that it finds new life as a digital rental or perhaps on streaming services.
Ever since the snap heard around the universe in Avengers: Infinity War, fans have been waiting to see how exactly this quest by Thanos would ultimately play itself out. Everyone knew immediately that the disintegration of half the Avengers into a fractal mist wouldn’t be the end of the story, but it has remained a mystery exactly how the titular team would solve the devastating crisis. Now it’s up to Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye, Captain Marvel, Iron Man and a few others to right the wrongs by the Mad Titan, bring back their friends, and wrap up this era of the franchise. It looks awesome.
Thor’s friend from work is back! Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie debuted in Thor: Ragnarok but was not seen in Avengers: Infinity War. It was later confirmed by the Russo Brothers that she escaped with other surviving Asgardians. Apparently she survived The Decimation, too. She got her own Avengers: Endgame poster, and it was in color like the other lucky 50%.
And now an Avengers: Endgame TV spot has given us a very quick glimpse of Valkyrie, live and in color. She’s actually the first one we see in the promo:
Nice! Looking forward to seeing more of her role in Avengers 4. It was suspected that she would return, especially when she was spotted with Ragnarok (and Men in Black: International) co-star Chris Hemsworth in September 2018, joining him when he flew to Atlanta for Avengers 4 reshoots.
Of course, since we’re talking about the Russos and the MCU, we have to leave room for misdirection. It would be cruel to give Valkyrie fans that glimpse of her in the new TV spot and only learn that it was another mislead. But it does sound like she’ll be back in some fashion, and Marvel did give her a new Endgame poster. Maybe we’ll also see the return of the rest of the Asgardians. Will they join the fight against Thanos?
One of the most exciting things about Avengers: Endgame is the number of new characters working together. Even Avengers: Infinity War didn’t cover every base. We have characters like Rhodey and Black Widow going to space for the first time, alongside Guardians Nebula and Raccoon, as Thor bonds with “new girl” Captain Marvel.
Speaking of Captain Marvel, actresses Brie Larson and Tessa Thompson are good friends off-screen, and they’ve been loving fans’ social media posts pairing Valkyrie and Carol Danvers. So maybe fans can expect to see their characters at least meet on screen? Thompson has brought up the idea of Marvel women getting together to fight folks and hang out in space. Maybe she’ll get her wish soon.
Continuing on that note, Marvel Studios also released another Endgame TV spot — it’s almost too much now! — and this one was heavy on the foreshadowing of endings and goodbyes. It also focused a lot on Black Widow finding a family for the first time with the Avengers. She has her own movie coming up, but will it be after she loses her Avenger “family”?
Avengers: Endgameisn’t quite the end of MCU Phase 3, as we initially thought, but it does seem to mark the endgames for some original stars and their characters. Chris Hemsworth may be on that boat, although he has said he’d be happy to return as Thor whenever they need him. If Valkyrie is in Endgame, she’d probably connect with Thor at some point. If the rest of the Asgardians return as well, will Thor want to leave to help start a new life with them, after they do whatever they do with Thanos? I have been avoiding any spoilers, so all speculation is valid to me.
The Conjuring Universe has unquestionably become one of the strongest brands in the Warner Bros. arsenal. Going back to 2013, every release has been an absolutely massive hit, with the $250 million-plus worldwide earnings for each title looking even more impressive when you consider that none of them have been made with a budget larger than $40 million. It’s a train that doesn’t appear ready to stop any time soon, and Michael Chaves’ The Curse Of La Llorona demonstrated that this weekend by earning the franchise yet another box office crown. Check out its opening weekend numbers – as well as the rest of the Top 10 – below, and join me after for analysis!
The Curse Of La Llorona*
It should be noted that The Curse Of La Llorona had the weakest opening of any Conjuring Universe movie thus far – with David F. Sandberg’s Annabelle: Creation previously holding that title with its $35 million take back in 2017 – but part of the reason why it can still be considered a victory is the fact that it still managed to exceed expectations. Last week prognosticators suggested that the film would struggle to make more than $20 million, with Box Office Mojo suggesting a $17 million start, but those estimates proved to be a bit too conservative. Instead, the horror flick managed to beat that number by nearly $10 million, which is pretty significant when you consider that the feature only cost a reported $9 million to make.
There is no question that it’s a step down for the brand, particularly after the record-breaking numbers put up by Corin Hardy’s The Nun last fall, but the performance certainly says something about the hunger for stories in this universe. Adding in numbers from foreign territories, the movie has already made $56.5 million worldwide, and it will likely be the sixth feature in the franchise to get a nine figure total by the end of its theatrical run. It might take an extra minute, though, as there are a few things working against it in the coming weeks.
The first and most obvious roadblock is the forthcoming arrival of what is unquestionably one of the most anticipated blockbuster releases of all time. Joe and Anthony Russo’s Avengers: Endgame is expected to have the attention of everyone in the world when screenings start on Thursday night, and there is probably little chance that folks are planning on doing a weird double feature that pairs the three-hour superhero epic with The Curse Of La Llorona.
Also, the film doesn’t have quite the same level of buzz that the previous Conjuring Universe efforts have received. Not only have professional reviews not been super kind to the release, but audiences don’t seem to be falling in love with it either. On CinemaScore, it doesn’t look so great when you compare its “B-” grade” to the “A-” earned by both Conjuring titles and the “B” that both of the Annabelle movies received.
All that being said, it’s already profitable after just three days, so Warner Bros. can’t complain too much.
Speaking of the studio, this weekend was actually a double win for WB, as another one of their big brands – the DC Extended Universe – crossed an important milestone. It took a few weeks, but David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! is now the seventh title in the franchise to join the century club. The movie only dropped about 29 percent in its third week, and while its still the slowest performer among recent DC releases (it’s still made only half of what Zack Snyder’s Justice League did in 2017), it has an ace up its sleeve: the fact that it didn’t cost nearly as much to make as your average big comic book adaptation. Put in perspective, it’s already made three times its budget worldwide – albeit before the cost of marketing and publicity.
As for the rest of the Top 10 beyond the two biggest releases, it was actually a very strange weekend. First there is the disappointment of Roxann Dawson’s Breakthrough, which failed to make the $17-18 million that was expected in its first five days (screenings started mid-week). It was thought that the feature would get a nice boost from the religious crowd, and it actually earned better reviews than most god-centric releases, but apparently it couldn’t stir up too much interest.
That’s really the least of it, though, as the big theme for this weekend was unexpected ranking flip flops. For starters, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Captain Marvel seemingly got a boost from the aforementioned forthcoming release of Avengers: Endgame, as the blockbuster jumped from its sixth place position last week into fourth place. The $9.1 million it earned over the last few days now puts its domestic total over $400 million, and its only the seventh of 21 Marvel Cinematic Universe releases to hit that benchmark. To date it has made $1.1 billion worldwide, and while it looks like it won’t surpass the numbers put up by Joe and Anthony Russo’s Captain America: Civil War back in 2016, the performance is still nothing short of astonishing.
Another surprise this weekend was the performance of Chris Butler’s Missing Link – albeit the significance is relative. The stop-motion animated film got off to a depressing start last time around, as it started its theatrical run in ninth place, but this week it actually climbed a bit thanks to the fact that it only dropped about 26.5 percent. The movie has still only made about $13 million in North America, which isn’t exactly impressive, but it is trying to put up a fight.
The middle of the chart also saw some weird switches, as Tina Gordon Chism’s Little went from second place to fifth, and Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer’s Pet Sematary went from fourth to seventh. Those are far less noteworthy than what happened to Neil Marshall’s Hellboy, however. The panned Lionsgate release played in the exact same number of theaters this weekend as it did when it opened, but far fewer seats were filled in the last three days. Not only did it drop from third place to 10th, but it suffered a drop of nearly 68 percent. It failed to cross the $20 million mark, and things are looking seriously bad for the feature, which reportedly cost $50 million to make.
It was definitely a weird weekend at the box office, but things should change in a massive way next time around. It’s entirely possible that Avengers: Endgame will soon become the new record holder for biggest worldwide opening – and we’ll have all of the details for you next Sunday.
The Lion King has a tough job balancing expectations ahead of its July release. On one hand, some fans like the heavy nostalgia factor. They like the recognizable scenes. They don’t want many changes. On the other hand, why bother remaking The Lion King if it’s going to look so similar to the beloved 1994 movie?
So now it’s director Jon Favreau’s job to convince everybody that The Lion King movie he’s making is exactly the one they’ll want:
Jon Favreau told USA Today the humor has been updated from the original animated movie, but the iconic moments are still there. He reiterated that it won’t be a shot-for-shot remake.
Jon Favreau has earned some credit on this front, not just for directing The Jungle Book in 2016, but also from his previous successes with Elf and Iron Man. So if Happy Hogan says surprises are ahead, hopefully they will be pleasant ones.
So it’s really going to be a challenge to please everyone. That’s always the case, but these many upcoming Disney remakes are really putting themselves in a delicate position. Then again, it worked for The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Maleficent.
Sometimes copying the past works, sometimes going in a very different direction works. And sometimes it just doesn’t quite click with audiences, like the new Dumbo. The upcoming Aladdin movie is in a similar boat. Will Smith’s Genie has been the focus of early criticism, but maybe most fans will end up loving the result. After all, the internet does not offer a full representation of the fandom, young or old. It’s the box office that will be the true judge.
In one very good sign for The Lion King, the first teaser it dropped back in November broke Disney’s record for trailer views. There’s a lot of interest out there, and that does come with high expectations and early criticism. It would be worse if people didn’t have anything to say at all.
The Lion King features the voice talents of Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones back as Mufasa, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar. The movie opens in theaters July 19, as one of the many films — both Disney and non-Disney — headed to theaters in 2019.
Reshoots are pretty commonplace in filmmaking, especially for blockbusters. Big studio films are almost guaranteed to reserve a block of time for reshoots. Sometimes things change in the editing room and filmmakers decide they need to get the cameras back out. For example, that very same thing happened on Shazam! The fun superhero film reshot the intro scene for its villain, Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong), because the room he was in was a bit too sterile.
In Shazam!, Dr. Sivana is a man obsessed with breaking into the Rock of Eternity and freeing the Seven Deadly Sins, a group of demons who symbolize the worst traits in humanity. Technically, the first time we see Sivana is as a child in the opening minutes of the film, but the scene that was reshot was his intro as an adult.
The scene in question had Sivana overseeing the questioning of a person who visited the Rock of Eternity in the hopes that he could finally get a clue to return there. Originally, the room he was in was much more sterile with blank white walls, but director David F. Sandberg felt that this wasn’t quite the right way to introduce his baddie.
Replying to a comment on Twitter, David F. Sandberg revealed that there wasn’t enough extra footage to do a director’s cut of Shazam! The footage on screen is exactly what he wanted and all of the unused footage is really just alternate takes of scenes in the film. As an example, he showed a pic of the original introduction for Sivana. It’s still the same scene, it just takes place in a different room.
While I can’t remember for the life of me what this conference room looked like in the actual movie, I think it was a good call to change the room. It’s pretty boring looking, and while I’m sure it could have been spruced up in post-production, that wouldn’t likely change much.
We don’t know what else was changed in the film during reshoots, but maybe some of these alternate takes will be available on the digital and home release of Shazam! The movie has been enjoying a pretty healthy run at the box office, earning $322.8 million worldwide at the box office. That’s pretty good for the first film in what is sure to be a franchise, and DC’s hot streak still lives on.
If you missed out on Shazam! or just want to kill some time before Avengers: Endgame later this week, you can still catch the superhero film in theaters. For everything else DC has coming down the pipeline, here’s our DC movie guide. If you’d like to know what else is coming this year to plan out all your upcoming theater trips, here’s our 2019 movie release guide.
You didn’t forget Keanu Reeves was going to be in Toy Story 4, did you? Yes, right after fighting for his life in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum in May, Reeves is going to shrink down for his mighty role as new motorcycle daredevil character Duke Caboom in Pixar’s 2019 Toy Story movie.
Disney has been gathering the new Toy Story 4 stars to show off their special character posters, so here’s Keanu Reeves unveiling “the man, the myth, the legend — Duke Caboom!”
YES! That’s Ally Maki with him, and she voices Officer Giggle McDimples in Toy Story 4. She reposted Disney’s Duke Caboom video with her own very relatable fangirl gushing over Keanu Reeves, adding that “he is so hilarious in this movie”:
Keanu Reeves may not be known for comedy post-Bill & Ted, but just go find a copy of I Love You To Death and enjoy it because his comic timing is perfect. He really should be in more comedies, and I’m looking forward to what he does with Duke Caboom.
Duke Caboom was actually first introduced as an Easter egg in Incredibles 2, although fans didn’t know that toy in the background would be showing up in Toy Story 4 — and voiced by none other than Keanu Reeves.
Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear) is the one who first told fans Keanu Reeves would be playing a role in Toy Story 4:
Keanu Reeves later explained he got a call out of the blue “from the lovely people at Pixar” and they pitched the character to him. They let him “kind of riff on it,” he said, and it was a lot of fun.
Keanu Reeves later added to EW that he figured Duke should love what he does, since he’s the greatest stuntman in Canada, so he wanted Duke to constantly be doing poses on his bike while he was talking. A motorcycle enthusiast himself, Reeves teased more of his character’s story in the movie:
Speaking of failure, Keanu Reeves said he wanted Duke to be an extrovert, but also have a bit of a sad backstory. (That appears to be going around in the Toy Story world.) Every kid has their toy, and apparently Duke let his kid down when he couldn’t do what a commercial said he could do:
Director Josh Cooley told EW Keanu Reeves added a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and ideas for the character:
Leave it to Kevin Feige to completely pull the rug out from under us. It’s been widely believed that Marvel’s Phase 3 would conclude with Avengers: Endgame. It wasn’t a difficult thing to assume. The film has been teased as a true finale, closing out the story of The Infinity Saga. However, the Marvel Studios boss has officially stated otherwise, and it will instead be Spider-Man: Far From Home that wraps up the beloved MCU Phase 3.
While we know that Marvel has several projects such as The Eternals and Black Widow in development, none of those have technically been confirmed by Marvel Studios. As of now, the only two movies officially on the slate are Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Of those two, you’d think the epic Avengers blockbuster would end Phase 3, but it will be the penultimate film of Marvel’s current saga.
Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will officially bring Phase 3 to the finish. During a fan event in Shanghai (via Newsweek), Kevin Feige stated that Far From Home was the final film of Phase 3. People had previously assumed that it was the first movie in Marvel’s Phase 4 (or whatever they end up calling their next slate of films).
While this might seem like a change that makes very little difference, it’s actually notable for a few reasons. For starters, this means Phase 3 is ending on a lighter note. This is similar to how Phase 2 ended with Ant-Man right after the dramatically heavier Avengers: Age of Ultron. It seems Marvel has a preference for ending its Phases with lighter comedies about bug-themed heroes to refresh the audience.
This also means that we now don’t know any of the films slated for Phase 4. Marvel has never officially confirmed what it’s working on, which means that Phase 4 is totally blank right now. I imagine that once Far From Home is out in theaters, it won’t be long before Marvel makes a ton of announcements, hopefully in the style of its Phase 3 press conference. Marvel announced the entire Phase 3 slate in one go, so here’s hoping we get something similar this year.
Tonally, I don’t think this changes very much for Far From Home. It’s still partially setting up what the MCU will look like in a post-Endgame world and it’s fitting that it’s a Spider-Man film. Spider-Man is sure to be a key player in the MCU’s future, so it makes sense that he helps to usher in the new age of superhero films.
Thankfully, there isn’t that much longer to wait for any Marvel movie. Avengers: Endgame is out on Friday, April 26 while Spider-Man: Far From Home is in theaters on July 2 (the movie was recently moved up a few days).
Ryan Reynolds is still getting his ass kicked as bodyguard Michael Bryce. He’s back for The Hitman’s Bodyguard sequel — called The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard — which also stars Samuel L. Jackson as Darius Kincaid and Salma Hayek as Sonia Kincaid. It looks like Reynolds’ Bryce might have a smaller role than the Kincaids, considering Ry-guy has already wrapped his role while the others continue filming:
Oof. When you and your husband are looking A+ sharp and your bodyguard friend looks like THAT. Something must happen, once again, to Michael Bryce to get him so roughed up in the sequel.
Ryan Reynolds already showed a photo of bloodied Bryce last month, as the first photo from the movie’s set, so it sounds like he just stays messed up through his entire arc in the sequel? Bad sign.
The photographer tagged is Sam Speranza, who had this note to share on Ryan Reynolds wrapping, while Sam Jackson and Salma Hayek continue:
Samuel L. Jackson shared the same photo with his own note on Ryan Reynolds:
So the journey continues with Salma and Sam. That makes sense, in a way, since Jackson’s Darius should be the hitman of the title, with Sonia as the wife. But is Bryce not her bodyguard for the whole movie?
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard follows bodyguard Ryan Reynolds’ Michael Bryce, who’s enlisted by Samuel L. Jackson’s Darius and Salma Hayek’s Sonia Kincaid to join them on a mission along the Amalfi Coast. Patrick Hughes is returning as director, with a script by Tom O’Connor. According to Variety, Frank Grillo is reported to play an Interpol agent who needs the trio’s help to prevent a cyber attack in Europe. The rest of the supporting cast is very impressive, including Antonio Banderas and Morgan Freeman, with Richard E. Grant reprising his role as Bryce’s drug-addicted corporate client Mr. Seifert.
Salma Hayek has been sharing her own photos from production, including this one — which also seems to show Ryan Reynolds’ character looking roughed-up and in no condition to be grocery shopping:
Salma Hayek looks amazing, as usual. She’s 52, did you know that? Enough about Paul Rudd looking young for 50. It was Hayek’s dream to return to the role of Sonia after the first movie. When doing press for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, the main trio all said any sequel would have to follow the Kincaids. As Ryan Reynolds told Moviefone:
Salma Hayek was all the way down for that idea:
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard started filming in early March in Europe, and apparently it will continue on from here without Detective Pikachu himself. The first movie made $176.5 million worldwide off a reported $30 million budget, per Box Office Mojo, so hopes are high for the sequel to continue the profits. Critics weren’t huge on the first movie, but fans seemed to like it a bit more, giving it a 67% RT audience score vs. 42% from critics. CinemaScore’s polled moviegoers gave it a B+.
There’s no word yet on a release date for The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, but stay tuned. In the meantime, keep up with all new releases with our 2019 movie release date schedule.