Box-Office Preview: ‘The Circle’ No Match for ‘Fate of the Furious’

The major headline will be overseas, where ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2′ is unfurling in numerous markets a week ahead of its North American launch; ‘Fate of the Furious’ will cross $1 billion globally on Friday or Saturday.

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Ewan McGregor Is Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh Movie

With Disney setting Marc Forster to direct the studio’s live-action Christopher Robin movie, the studio has now found its leading man. Ewan McGregor has signed on to play the title character, who has long since grown up from his days in the 100 Acre Wood, and is now a businessman with a family of his own. The studio has also brought in writer Allison Schroeder, who is coming off an Oscar nomination for her work in Hidden Figures, is coming aboard to work on the script.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on this casting, with the actor set to play the grown-up Christopher Robin who has “lost his sense of imagination,” since he is now solely focused on his work and being successful. While the Winnie the Pooh character isn’t mentioned in The Hollywood Reporter’s piece, previous reports revealed that Winnie The Pooh actually comes back to visit the adult Christopher Robin, since he needs help finding his friends, but this visit comes at the worst possible time for Christopher, since he is close to losing his wife and daughter because he’s too focused on his work.

The original script for Disney’s live-action movie was written by Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip), with Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) writing a later draft of the script. Now with Allison Schroeder taking over the writing duties, it remains to be seen how much of the original story will change, or if a new approach will be taken. Brigham Taylor (The Jungle Book) will produce for Disney, which hasn’t set a release date at this time. Then again, with the cast now beginning to be formed, perhaps the studio will set a release date soon.

Author A.A. Milne named the Christopher Robin character after his own son, Christopher Robin Milne, with the character appearing in his 1926 book Winnie the Pooh and the 1928 follow-up The House at Pooh’s Corner, along with several poems. The character would then appear in the animated TV series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the 2011 animated film Winnie the Pooh. The author is the subject of a new biopic himself, entitled Goodbye Christopher Robin, which stars Domhnall Gleeson as A.A. Milne, Margot Robbie as his wife and Will Tilston as Christopher Robin.

Ewen McGregor can currently be seen in theaters in two vastly different movies, the Disney blockbuster Beauty and the Beast, where he voices the candelabra Lumierre, and Trainspotting 2, where he reprised his iconic character Renton. He also stars on FX’s hit anthology series Fargo, playing the dual role of Minnesota twin brothers Emmit Stussy and Ray Stussy. He will next be seen in The Land of Sometimes and Zoe, which are both in pre-production. Hopefully we’ll hear more about Christopher Robin soon, now that the lead character has been cast.


The Wonders from That Thing You Do! Reunited on Stage in LA

The fictional band from Tom Hanks’ 1996 movie That Thing You Do! reunited in Los Angeles last night to perform their hit song “That Thing You Do.” The Wonders were persuaded to reunite and perform at the Roxy last night for the Goddamn Comedy Jam with Bill Burr by Josh Adam Myers. Ethan Embry (The Bass Player), Jonathon Schaech (singer Jimmy), and Tom Everett Scott (Shades the Drummer) got up on stage to perform their hit single from the movie with a backing band and the crowd loved it. Steve Zahn, the guitar player in the band, was not able to attend so the guitar player of the backup band made a mask of Zahn’s face. Tom Hanks played the role of the band’s manager and was also not in attendance.

Various social media posts show the actors having a blast playing their hit single. Ethan Embry, when interviewed for the 20th anniversary of the movie told Entertainment Weekly that he was sick of the song. Here’s what he had to say in his interview with EW.

“I hate that song. I remember it reached that point of, like, ‘I can’t play this song one more time.’”

It is rumored that actors would playfully punch people on the set while filming who were caught whispering the tune. Hate it or not, the band clearly loved reuniting and playing That Thing You Do! for the first time in over 20 years.

That Thing You Do! was written by Hanks in 30 days while he was on a press tour to promote 1994′s Forrest Gump. The movie, set in 1964, follows a garage band’s rise to fame and the trials and tribulations of being in a one hit wonder rock band. Hanks had the actors learn to play their respective instruments while filming, which gave the movie a sense of authenticity. The song “That Thing You Do” was written by Adam Schlesinger of the band Fountains of Wayne and went on to reach number 41 on the Billboard charts and snag a Grammy nomination. The soundtrack included songs written by Hanks and Schlesinger and also cracked the Billboard charts. Not bad for a fictional band.

Hanks made sure to put references to The Beatles in That Thing You Do!, even modeling his character, Andy White as the band’s manager after Beatles manager, Brian Epstein. Andy White was the studio drummer who played on the Beatles first single, “Love Me Do.” The band’s sound was influenced by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, as well as the Dave Clark 5. Keen listeners can hear the influence while listening to the movie soundtrack.

That Thing You Do! was a moderate success at the box office in 1996, bringing in $35.5 million worldwide and a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While it seems last night’s Wonders reunion was a one off, we hope that other fictional bands take notice. Wyld Stallyns, Crucial Taunt, Cap’n Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters would make a great package tour.


Alien: Covenant Prologue Video Shows Prometheus Aftermath

Happy Alien Day, everyone! And what would Alien Day be this year without some brand new stuff related to the highly-anticipated next installment of the Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant? Don’t worry, Fox has us covered on that front in a big way, as they have released a brand new prologue for Alien: Covenant that finally shows us what happened to Elizabeth Shaw and David after the events of Prometheus.

Credit where credit is due, Fox and Ridley Scott are doing a great job of putting together a very compelling marketing campaign for this movie without having to give the whole thing away. They’re still giving plenty of it away, but seemingly not all of it. Fox released this new prologue, titled “The Crossing,” as part of the Alien Day festivities and it is a huge deal. At least for those who like to know more about the Alien mythology, which is really what these new Alien movies are all about.

“The Crossing, an official prologue short to Alien: Covenant, reveals what happened to crew members Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and the synthetic David after the events of Prometheus. Set aboard an abandoned Engineer vessel, Dr. Shaw repairs David as they continue their search for humanity’s creators.”

In the video, we see Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) repairing David (Michael Fassbender), who was pretty close to scrap by the end of the movie. David provides the voiceover for the video, which is for some reason very unsettling, but it does teach us an awful lot about the events that occurred between Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. More and more it is looking like David is going to wind up playing arguably the biggest role in what threatens the humans in Alien: Covenant and, since it is a prequel to the original movies, pretty much everyone who ever met their demise at the hands (or mouths) of a Xenomorph.

This is the second Alien prologue video that Fox has released for Alien: Covenant, like the first one, which showed the crew before they enter cryosleep aboard the Covenant ship on their journey, this will not appear in the movie. It is meant to serve as a bit of setup for the movie and helps to satiate our appetites before Alien: Covenant hits theaters, without having to show us actual footage from the movie. This video does lead up to something we have seen in one of the promo photos that was released, which makes it look like David has developed a bit of a dark streak.

Prometheus disappointed quite a few people when it was released, but the more and more we see about Alien: Covenant makes it seem like that movie was extremely necessary and that it could wind up looking better in hindsight. The cast for Alien: Covenant includes Michael Fassbender, James Franco, Demian Bechir, Danny McBride, Katherine Waterston and Billy Crudup. Alien: Covenant is directed by Ridley Scott and is set for release on May 19. Be sure to check out the brand new prologue for yourself below.

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Box Office: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2′ Soars to $6.6M on First Day Overseas

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