Venom Already Set A Box Office Record And It’s Only Friday

Critics have not been kind to Venom, but it doesn’t appear that’s going to cause much of a problem for the film’s box office this weekend. If the Thursday night preview screenings are any indication of the long-term success of Venom, the movie is going to be just fine. It brought in an estimated $10 million on Thursday night, which is a record for an October opening, besting the previous record holder by $2 million.

Previously the record holder for October previews was Paranormal Activity 3 which brought in $8 million but even if Sony’s early estimates, as reported by Deadline, for Venom‘s take last night are off slightly, and there’s no reason to believe they are, Venom beat that without breaking a sweat. It also didn’t see much competition from the other major release this weekend, A Star is Born which brought in less than half of Venom ‘s total last night.

Of course, part of the reason for Venom ‘s success is the fact that it’s opening in October at all. This isn’t a month that we normally see comic book movies open, but the numbers show that fans will go see that sort of movie any time of year if it’s something they want to see. Blockbuster tentpole movies don’t need to be limited to the summer or holiday seasons. However, the fact that we haven’t seen a movie of this size generally open on October sets the film up for a certain amount of success. Venom‘s take is good for October, but not necessarily on par with other major superhero releases.

This puts Venom in a great position going into its opening weekend. The best October opening weekend to date came from Gravity which put up $55 million in 2013, with another space drama, The Martian doing nearly as well a couple years later with $53 million. With the best ever start for an October movie, it looks like Venom is in a great position to take this title as well.

This is also potentially good news for Sony in a broader sense, as there are a number of “Spider-verse” characters poised to get their own films, and while many don’t have the name recognition of Venom, success here will help pave the way for the others.

Based on this box office start, it would appear that Venom is one of those movies that is “critic-proof.” The initial reviews of Venom have not been overwhelmingly positive, but that obviously didn’t keep people away from the theater last night. The only question is just how strong the audience is that’s going to see Venom regardless of other opinions. It’s possible all the diehards went last night, though it’s more likely Venom will see similar success at least through its opening weekend, if not beyond.

Final Aquaman Trailer Plunges Jason Momoa Into Some Epic Action

We are weeks away from taking the plunge with Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and the Atlanteans of James Wan’s Aquaman. The DC superhero, last seen in Justice League, showed off an action-packed trailer to the Comic-Con crowd back in July, but Warner Bros. has saved one last look at the December blockbuster, and we have it for you now, below:

James Wan has established, in earlier conversations, that Aquaman will explore both the human side of Arthur, as well as the lure that’s bringing him back to the throne of Atlantis. And this new trailer certainly places its focus on those two aspects, with plenty of underwater action, and the split that’s driven between Aquaman’s two worlds.

This is a massive look at the final movie, clocking in at nearly 6 minutes of footage that covers the full sweep of James Wan’s movie. And it does an outstanding job of exploring the different realms that will be important to Aquaman’s journey… and not all of them are underwater (as you can see by the desert scenes that really do harken back to Raiders of the Lost Ark, as Wan has been teasing).

But the bulk of the footage does plunge audiences below the surface of the water, where Arthur Curry begins his movie as an outcast who has rejected his heritage, but slowly evolves into the warrior king.

Ben Affleck Breaks Silence About Rehab And Addiction

Since entering rehab a little over a month ago, Ben Affleck has kept a low profile. The actor/director is focused on his health and recovery at this moment, and he appears to be taking the process seriously — particularly as he works on bettering himself not merely for his health but for the sake of his soon-to-be ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, and their three young children. While a couple of people, including his brother Casey Affleck, have spoken on Ben Affleck’s account, Ben Affleck has opted not to open up about the process yet publicly, for understandable reasons. But as Affleck enters his 40th day inside the rehabilitation center, the celebrity provided an update on social media about his recovery process, admitting that it’s a running journey, not a clear destination, and that it’ll continue to be a long ongoing process. Here’s what Affleck wrote to his fans in his update about his rehab stint.

As the confessional Instagram post from Ben Affleck admits, the road to recovery doesn’t come easily. It’s going to remain a process for Ben Affleck, even as he begins to finish up his time with rehab (presumably). It’s now up to Affleck to make sure he stays healthy and sober once he checks out of rehab. That’s never easy for an addict, but it’s something he’ll need to do in order to keep himself controlled, focused and sober in the tough months to come. However, by hearing people’s stories and being open about his own struggles, Ben Affleck continues to find the inner strength to push forward.

This recent rehab visit is Ben Affleck’s third. The actor was previously in rehab in 2001 and then he went to rehab again in December. As Affleck notes in the post above, seeking help is a sign of courage, not weakness, and Ben Affleck hopes he can inspire others to seek help if they need it as well. Addiction is tough, and it is something that one is never truly able to shake away. But thankfully, Affleck is seeking treatment and he is hopefully finding the support and help he needs in this difficult process. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to provide you with updates and news breaks here at CinemaBlend.

Armie Hammer Joins Murder On The Orient Express Sequel

Murder on the Orient Express was a solid hit last year, and that has greenlit a sequel that is building an equally star-studded cast. Previously Gal Gadot was announced to be joining Kenneth Branaugh in Death on the Nile, which will follow the adventures of literary detective Hercule Poirot, and now Armie Hammer has been the next major star to join the cast.

The newest version of Murder on the Orient Express ended with a tease of Death on the Nile, another of Agatha Christie’s most famous mystery novels which star Hercule Poirot. Kenneth Branaugh brought the character to life in the previous film and will be returning to star in as well as direct the new feature. Orient Express included a huge cast including everybody from Johnny Depp to Josh Gad to Judi Dench and it seems like Death on the Nile will be looking to do something similar, filling out the list of suspects with big names.

Death on the Nile is currently set to release in December of 2019 but according to Variety production isn’t expected to begin until the middle of the same year. This makes it unlikely the movie will actually meet its release date, probably pushing it to December 2020 if it wants to release at the same time of year. Murder on the Orient Express was a November release and it brought in over $350 million so you can expect the studio will do everything it can to recreate those circumstances with the sequel.

Death on the Nile was previously given a film adaptation in 1978 with Peter Ustinov in the lead, four years after Albert Finney had played the detective role in a film version of Murder on the Orient Express. The original novel was published in 1937.

While most of the time when we think of major film franchises they are limited to major blockbusters, but it’s possible we could be seeing a new film franchise being born here that won’t require massive special effects or costumed heroes. Agatha Christie wrote over two dozen novels that starred Hercule Poirot, and so the possibility that we could see several of them turned into films certainly has to be considered under the circumstances. If Death on the Nile succeeds as well as Murder on the Orient Express did, we could very well see more movies where these came from.

I loved the classic “who done it?” mystery of Orient Express that we simply don’t see much anymore. Hopefully, this means we’re starting to see a resurgence in the genre as a whole. Some new original mysteries would be a welcome addition to all the potential remakes.

Jersey Shore Family Vacation Stars Said Ronnie Looked Really Bad After Car-Dragging Incident

Warning! The following article contains spoilers from the Jersey Shore Family Vacation episode “Where It All Started.” Read at your own risk!

Jersey Shore Family Vacation recently featured everyone returning to Seaside Heights, and while Deena was back with the gang for this next chapter, Ronnie was not. Viewers expected this, of course, as news had previously spread that the reality star was absent from shooting in Jersey after an alleged car-dragging incident involving his on-and-off girlfriend Jen Harley. It was claimed that Ronnie looked really bad after the incident, but without photographic proof, fans were left to guess as to how rough the reality star was feeling afterward. Luckily, Deena filled in the blanks and described the pic Ronnie sent to her and the others.

Deena’s reaction implied that Ronnie’s injury pic was pretty graphic, even if she didn’t get to see his actual face. That said, Jersey Shore Family Vacation did show Ronnie later in the episode via a Facetime call, and possibly because a week or so had passed since the incident, his face did not look as “fucked up” as others had implied. Ronnie appeared to be largely unchanged from the neck up, although the cameras were still a distance away from the phone screen, so maybe smaller cuts and bruises didn’t show up. What was seen was that his arm was in a sling, which was confirmed to be a result of the accident.

The arm in the sling seems to be the thing Deena saw too, and Snooki described the picture separately to Angelina. Snooki was a bit more graphic in her description, which helped shed some light on the extent of his injuries:

Ronnie’s arm appeared to get cut up pretty badly during the incident, in which he was allegedly dragged from a car. although Snooki told Angelina she didn’t “see bone” or anything like that. As serious and problematic as the incident and picture were, however, the cast still found time to joke around with their Jersey Shore Family Vacation castmate while talking to him.

Vinny was the first to make a joke, and then kept it going with several puns involving the word “drag.” The gang chastised Vinny and called him out for being insensitive, but Ronnie took the jokes in stride and just appeared to be happy to talk to his friends again.

Everyone on Jersey Shore Family Vacation went on the record in the episode with their own condemnation of Ronnie and Jen’s volatile relationship. During their live-tweeting, the cast was noticeably silent about the drama on screen at that part in the episode, probably because Ronnie and Jen appear to be still (or back) together currently, based on their frequent pictures on social media. The car incident seems to be the last major fight between the two that will air in Season 2 unless the series captured some additional drama the tabloids didn’t pick up on.

Jersey Shore Family Vacation airs Season 2 on MTV on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. It’s not the only entertaining show on television at the moment, and may not be the last, as our fall premiere guide is loaded with premiere dates for a bunch of new and returning shows this season.

One Long-Lost Walking Dead Character Could Finally Return

The Walking Dead is typically good at resolving the fates of characters both minor and major, even if it takes a while for the writers to make good on that promise. Robert Kirkman revealed at New York Comic Con that the franchise has not forgotten a currently missing member of the group, Corey Hawkins’ Heath, and has confirmed the still-presumably-living character could finally return to the series somewhere down the line. Kirkman talked about the potential future plans for Heath, and how they’d like to bring actor Corey Hawkins back to the show at some point:

Robert Kirkman’s joke at the end appears to mean The Walking Dead has something bigger in mind for Heath’s story down the road. If they didn’t, they could’ve shown a skeleton or some other obvious sign that Heath didn’t make it out on his own, without the need for Corey Hawkins to appear on set. Hawkins has been busy since his days on the AMC show, and his latest appearance in the film BlacKkKlansman proves he’s not slowing down anytime soon. As such, it could still be a while before Hawkins’ schedule opens up enough for another Walking Dead appearance, and his star power in Hollywood might mean any re-emergence he’d make as Heath would be short-lived.

For those who can’t remember what happened to Heath, the character was last seen with Tara fighting walkers back in Season 7. Both were getting overrun, but before Tara could come to Heath’s aid, she tumbled off a bridge and touched base with the Oceanside posse. When Tara returned to her previous spot later in the episode, she found Heath’s broken glasses and a badge that says “PPP,” with the RV they were traveling in now missing. Robert Kirkman’s statement to New York Comic Con attendees appears to confirm Scott Gimple’s prior assertion that Heath isn’t dead, and that there is more within his story they’d like to revisit.

If Heath’s story is indeed picked back up, it seems probable whatever follows has to be tied to that “PPP” card that was left behind. The mysterious card Tara found was the subject of much speculation when it appeared, with various theories regarding its meaning popping up all over the web. Some believe it’s a clue concerning where Heath is currently, while others have guessed it’s a message tied to symbols used in music. Many others have just made memes and jokes about it, seemingly resigned to the fact that we may never know the outcome unless Corey Hawkins finds time in his schedule to return. Given one can never predict what the writers are planning, that might actually be the better option.

The Walking Dead returns for Season 9 and Rick’s final episodes on Sunday, October 7, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Keep tabs on everything happening on television over the next couple of months by visiting and bookmarking our fall premiere guide.

Criminal Minds’ Season 14 Premiere Didn’t Do So Well In The Ratings

Once one of the biggest shows on TV, CBS’ killer drama Criminal Minds entered Season 14 on shaky legs, with CBS waiting until late in the game to renew the series for a shortened run. Now, that season has started up alongside the other big fall debuts, and it’s arguably more obvious than ever that Criminal Minds is on its last legs, bringing in series-low stats in both viewership and the demo rating.

The season premiere, titled “300,” was watched by 4.45 million people, which is easily the smallest group of people who have ever tuned in for a Criminal Minds episode. The previous series low was for the Season 13 episode “Annihilator,” which had a 5.04-million-strong audience. Before now, no other installments had ever amassed fewer than 5 million viewers before, which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the season, considering the premieres are often the most-watched episodes.

To be fair, Criminal Minds did have some pretty stout competition from NBC, which used Wednesday night to air its giant “One Chicago Crossover” event between its trio Chicago Fire, Chicago Med and Chicago P.D. The latter, which aired in the same time slot as CBS’ crime drama, brought in 7.78 million viewers, which was the lowest total of the three Dick Wolf series, but was still obviously better than Criminal Minds‘ stats. ABC’s new drama A Million Little Things was in third place at that time, with just 3.79 million total viewers. And to its credit, the BAU team also attracted more eyeballs than Fox’s Star and ABC’s Single Parents.

However, A Million Little Things did manage to win out over Criminal Minds in the key age demographic department, according to TVByTheNumbers. The CBS drama faced another series low here, earning a 0.7 demo rating, which is as terrible a sign for its future as anything else. Though Criminal Minds has always skewed older with viewers, even the previously mentioned “Annihilator” managed to rope in a 0.9 demo rating. Seal Team barely topped it with a 0.8 rating (with 5.02 million viewers), but the only programming that fared worse in that stat was The CW’s Burden of Truth finale and a Supergirl repeat.

The Season 14 premiere wrapped up the events from the cliffhanger finale, which saw Garcia taken hostage while Reid was tasked with an impossible request, so it speaks to the show’s pop culture status that so few people tuned in. Criminal Minds showrunner Erica Messer is hopeful to keep the drama going on CBS for as long as possible, and has many more ideas for all of these characters. But I think we can all agree that the audience needs to match up with its former heights in order for CBS to be confident in Criminal Minds‘ chances of doing better than a new project.

Criminal Minds airs Wednesday nights on CBS at 10:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to keep watching to give the show a better shot at reaching Season 15. And when needing some other form of escapism to dive into, hit up our fall TV premiere schedule.

Watch Lady Gaga Surprise Fans At A Star Is Born Screening

The buzz around A Star Is Born is impressive, but one group of lucky fans got an even bigger experience than they were expecting. An early screening a couple of days ago received a very special appearance by the one and only Lady Gaga. Check it out below.

Seeing one of the most anticipated movies of the year early is great enough on its own, but fans at a recent screening hosted by YouTuber Tyler Oakley got even more than that when Lady Gaga stopped by to say hi. The audience is attendance is as thrilled as you’d expect and Lady Gaga seemed equally happy that everybody is there to see her new movie. She praises her co-star and director Bradley Cooper for fighting to cast her in the part that many are saying will put her in contention for major awards including the Oscar.

A Star Is Born has been one of the hottest things in entertainment these days as the movie is a double threat. Thanks to the fact that it’s actually about the music industry, A Star is Born contains great music as well, including the recent release Shallow which has been catching fire on music streaming services ahead of the film release. Though, if you’ve been able to avoid the song to this point, you’re in luck, because of the song and video sort of spoil some of the best parts of the movie.

Quite frequently is seems like the movies that win awards and the ones that make money fall in two separate camps, though, A Star is Born might be the lucky film that’s able to succeed in both categories. Whether on not it’s able to overcome an opening weekend challenge from a comic book movie or not, it could very well put up solid box office numbers not only this weekend but in the weeks to come as well.

It’s all the more impressive to see such buzz around a movie that has been made so many times before. It seems to indicate that there’s something universal about the themes of A Star is Born that just works with nearly any audience. The story itself is basically a trope at this point, thanks to the previous versions of the story, but that doesn’t stop people from embracing it. You can now check it out for yourself. A Star is Born is in theaters now.

How The X-Men Movies Are Affected By The Disney And Fox Deal, According To Simon Kinberg

Fox’s X-Men franchise may be in its whopping 18th year of existence, but the long standing property seems to be in flux at the moment. Fox recently delayed a gaggle of movies including Dark Phoenix, and the pending merger with Disney makes the future all the more unclear. Disney’s bid on 20th Century Fox has the potential to bring the X-Men and Deadpool into the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper, finally uniting most Marvel characters in one shared universe. But how will this affect the upcoming movies like The New Mutants? Long standing X-Men producer Simon Kinberg recently addressed just this, saying:

Well, this is interesting. While crossovers and universe-altering change seem like an inevitability, Simon Kinberg and the folks at the X-Men franchise are just continuing the work on previously announced projects. As for the future, your guess is as certain as ours.

Simon Kinberg’s comments to Collider are sure to be a relief to the hardcore X-Men fandom, who may be nervous about the current state of the franchise. While everyone’s favorite mutants have never been closer to joining the greater MCU, the current slate of movies have seen a fair amount of set backs. Just one day after releasing the trailer for Dark Phoenix, the movie ended up being pushed back a number of months. Also on hold is Channing Tatum’s Gambit, and The New Mutants had previously been delayed after releasing an epic trailer of its own.

But despite these setbacks and the need for extensive reshoots in both Dark Phoenix and New Mutants, 20th Century Fox and the powers that be in X-Men land are still moving forward with its set of future blockbusters. Aside from the projects that are already in the can, Simon Kinberg also maintains that both Gambit and Multiple Man are still in development. Gambit has Channing Tatum attached, and has been pushed back a handful of times already. Multiple Man has been a bit more of a mystery, but James Franco is reportedly playing the lead, in a film that may end up being rated R. We’ll just have to see how things continue to develop over at Fox.

The next installment in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise is Dark Phoenix, which was recently pushed back to June 7, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

A Star Is Born Review

Of course, the driving factor of A Star Is Born’s success is the intense chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. As individual actors, they’re both at the top of their game, with Gaga standing toe to toe with her director / co-star in her first leading film role. But whenever they’re on screen together, you can feel how natural it was for the two of them to slip into these characters, and bounce off of each other’s energy. Conversely, Bradley Cooper stands up to Lady Gaga’s vocal talents, delivering a singing voice that’s more impressive than we ever would have imagined. While there’s definitely a vital and impressive supporting cast with the likes of Sam Elliott, Dave Chappelle, Andrew “Dice” Clay and Anthony Ramos, the unquestionable center of this film’s universe is Cooper and Gaga, and they burn with the heat and intensity of a furnace.