‘Black Panther’ Poised For $460M+ In Profit; ‘I Can Only Imagine’ Surprises – Box Office Update

Saturday AM: It’s the best of times and the worst of times at the box office.

On the bright side we have Black Panther which is performing like a summer tentpole during the first quarter of the year, set to hit $606.8M this Sunday, and what many ultimately believe will be an end game of $650M stateside, $1.25 billion worldwide and now per our film finance sources will churn a total estimated profit of $461M after all ancillaries (ironically, a total that’s close to what some analysts believe Disney CEO Bob Iger could earn over four years if he hits all his performance goals in his compensation package).

That’s a sizeable chunk of change, one that’s higher than the profits of Avengers: Age of Ultron $382.3M and Captain America: Civil War‘s $193.4M, and we’re informed a lot of that has to do with the fresh face cast of Black Panther. There’s not a lot of heavy participations impacting Black Panther‘s bottom line in the Robert Downey Jr. or Joss Whedon Avengers sense, nor is it at the level of a Fast & Furious cast where its top players reportedly earn $0.40 of every $1 of profit after breakeven.  Note Disney did not generate these Black Panther profit estimates for us. 


For better or for worse, studios are taking advantage of the summer off-season which has proven to be lucrative, however, they’re flooding the marketplace with male-oriented action pictures in the market (either opening or on their way), i.e. MGM/Warner Bros.’ Tomb Raider this weekend (est. $23.5M opening in 2nd place drawing 37% Men over 25, men overall at 56%), Universal/Legendary’s Pacific Rim Rising next weekend, and Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s Ready Player One over Easter. In sum, it’s a challenge for any of these titles to pop on tracking past $35M. Some distribution executives fear that this fierce competition is a blur. Ready Player One generated some great heat out of SXSW and Warner Bros. has some great stunts planned, so we could see that one rise in its projections, but for now Black Panther sits on everything with a fifth No. 1 weekend of $28.5M.

The lesson learned here for rival studios is: You’ve got to be better than Marvel. What does Marvel do that your studio does not in regards to making movies, and marketing them? For one, the creatives there don’t just rest on their laurels and believe that brand alone will open their movie as an event. Marvel movies defy genre, raise stakes, create experiences we haven’t seen before with an auteur’s touch: James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok and Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther all stand apart from each other, and audiences can point to and savor each pic’s unique qualities.

Our finance sources continue to be gobsmacked by the results of Black Panther‘s over-performance, especially overseas, but still emphasize that the film is largely driven by its domestic results of which African American audiences have turned out greatly (close to 40% per Screen Engine/ComScore’s PostTrak). This makes the pic an anomaly, and hard to comp in the ancillary market. Given how Black Panther was soft in certain western Euro markets like Italy, Spain, Germany, and Japan, the thinking is that the home entertainment cascade in those markets will be smaller as well. That’s why our estimates for the movie’s net global home entertainment monies of $125M are smaller than say Civil War’s $132M global home entertainment revenues or Ultron‘s $161.7M. Disney has some of the best foreign TV deals, and terms for such output deals remain fixed whether a studio has a $1 billion-grossing film or a $700M-grossing title.

Check out our profit projections below:

At $90M+ before P&A (some even say it’s much higher at $106M), Tomb Raider is too expensive for a reboot, especially on a franchise which never surged in its sequel, rather collapsed with 2003’s Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life. That sequel made 43% less than its 2001 original at the global B.O. This weekend’s opening currently at $23.5M isn’t that far from Cradle of Life‘s of $21.7M, and critics and audiences are mixed at 50% Rotten, a B CinemaScore and 70% overall positive on PostTrak.


Here’s the thing: videogame movies have always been challenged at the box office. But the original Lara Croft: Tomb Raider proved that they weren’t poison with an opening of $47.7M, domestic take of $131M and global haul of $274.7M. A lot of that had to do with Angelina Jolie. Lara Croft was one of her first big roles after winning the supporting actress Oscar for Girl, Interrupted, and her star was rapidly on the rise. Her sex appeal, fierce acting, Hollywood legacy (her father Jon Voight made a cameo as her onscreen dad), and her ability to do stunts with the greatest of ease raised Lara Croft beyond the Raiders of the Lost Ark knock-off sensibility which inherently comes with the brand. But then the sequel fell into the tropes of other adventures films and Lara Croft went dormant. That puts this Tomb Raider in a very large hole to climb out of, despite the sublime acting skills of Alicia Vikander. No disrespect to her, but as an Oscar-winning actress largely known on the arthouse scene, she didn’t walk into this Tomb Raider with the machine that Jolie possessed 17 years ago. Couple this with the fact that the movie has squarely been sold on her image in one-sheets, and the unfortunate fact that stars don’t open movies anymore. In this day and age, the solo star and the brand need to prop each other, it’s a two-way street.

Wonder Woman

Warner Bros.

Here’s a more recent example that worked in regards to a fresh face actress raising a brand’s image: Gal Gadot, an Israeli actress previously known for her supporting turns in Fast and Furious movies, completely resonates and wows moviegoers sending Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman to $821.8M. So, how’d that work out so well? She’s radiant, vibrant, funny and charming in all of her public appearances leading up to her big screen debut as the DC superhero from Comic-Con to Jimmy Kimmel. She’s playing a role that was long over-due on the big screen, and fit the part to a ‘T’. Warner Bros. smartly tees up Wonder Woman’s introduction as a cameo in Batman v. Superman, and it’s not only the main reason why people went to see the film, all of the scenes with Gadot were their favorite moments. And then came Wonder Woman, the highest grossing film of last summer ($412M).

Tomb Raider

Warner Bros

So the question asked to the creators of Tomb Raider is: What makes the 2018 version an event film? The studios’ challenge at $90M is to truly make this movie a version of Tomb Raider that we have never, ever seen before, and the opening weekend results speak for themselves: The pic is no better than Cradle of Life money-wise, and about the same in audience reception–B grade and 70% overall positive on PostTrak–as the first Lara Croft. Given how this property was in moth balls for so long and was last seen on a flat-footed note, it would have been more prudent financially (and most likely for the prestige of the brand) to make Tomb Raider on a $50M-$60M Resident Evil budget.  At least then we’d be able to talk about how Tomb Raider worked at the box office.

Some want to give foreign the benefit of the doubt in regards to saving Tomb Raider profit-wise; that this property was built for overseas, not U.S./Canada audiences. China’s first day of $12.3M has been described to us by a rival studio executive as “nice” and when added into the pic’s running foreign haul counts $37M overseas as of this minute. The pic is opening in another 19 markets this weekend including Spain, Mexico and Scandinavia after bowing in nine Asian territories including South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia last weekend.

Roadside Attractions

Low budget pics are working with their audiences: 20th Century Fox’s $10M gay teen romance Love, Simon is opening to $11.7M in 5thhowever, the biggest surprise comes from Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate’s $7M faith-based Christian rock title I Can Only Imagine which is making a heaven-sent $15.1M at 1,629 locations in faith-based locales for a 4th place rank. Tracking predicted this movie would die in the low single digits, but there’s been a fervent turnout from churches on this one. We’ll expound more on how title soared as the weekend goes on, but Lionsgate trailered this title in front of the masses that attended Wonder.  Trailers online generated 130M views. The pic is about the story behind Christian rock band MercyMe’s song, and the group showed off the trailer at all of their concerts. RSA and LG executed a strong Christian radio program, which is still the main driver of the faith-based market with spots about the success of the song and the story behind it. And, of course, there was an extensive grassroots campaign with screenings at faith events and ministry gatherings; down to churches direct-emailing their parishioners about the pic. Both I Can Only Imagine and Love, Simon earned A+ CinemaScores tonight.

Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time is ranking 3rd with a second weekend take of $17M, -49% for a running total of $61.5M.

Industry estimates as of this morning:

1..) Black Panther (DIS), 3,834 theaters (-108)  / $7.4M Fri  (-26%) / 3-day: $28.5M (-%)/Total: $606.8M/Wk 5

2..) Tomb Raider (MGM/WB), 3,854 theaters  / $9M Fri (includes $2.1M of previews) /3-day: $23.5M /Wk 1

3..) A Wrinkle in Time (DIS), 3,980 theaters (0)  / $4.6m Fri (55%)/3-day: $17M (-49%)/Total: $61.5M/Wk 2

4..) I Can Only Imagine (RSA/LG), 1,629 theaters  / $6.2M Fri /3-day: $15.1M /Wk 1

5..) Love, Simon (FOX), 2,402 theaters  / $4.6M Fri /3-day: $11.7M /Wk 1

11..)7 Days in Entebbe (FOCUS), 838 theaters  / $544k Fri /3-day: $1.8M /Wk 1

Friday midday update: Once again, it’s another weekend where other studios can blame Black Panther for eating up their homework: The Disney/Marvel movie is looking at its fifth No. 1 notch with an estimated $26M-$28M sending its cume to $604M-$606M by Sunday and crossing that threshold in its 31st day of release. That makes Black Panther the second-fastest to $600M after Star Wars The Force Awakens (12 days) and ahead of Jurassic World (36 days) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (37 days).

Tomb Raider

Warner Bros

Tomb Raider looks to arrive between $22M-$24M — that’s at this point in time. We’ve heard the exhibitor screenings for this Alicia Vikander movie were good.

Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time is eyeing $15M-$16M right now off industry estimates, -53% in weekend 2 with a 10-day running total of $60.5m.

Roadside Attractions

The biggest surprise is Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions’ Christian rock movie I Can Only Imagine which is trying to push Greg Berlanti’s 20th Century Fox teenage gay romance movie Love, Simon out of 4th place. Each is vying for an estimated $12.5M to $13M. We understand the raw gross right now for I Can Only Imagine is beating all titles, but of course as the hours go on, it will ease. There’s a ton of pre-sales in this film. Production cost on this pic before P&A was a thrifty $7M.

Friday AM update: MGM/Warner Bros’ Tomb Raider dug up $2.1 million last night in previews at around 3,100 locations. The reboot of the videogame franchise on screen starring The Danish Girl supporting actress Oscar winner Alicia Vikander as explorer Lara Croft is expected to bring in a mid-$20M opening for a projected No. 2 debut as Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther continues its grip at No. 1 with a high $20Ms fifth weekend. That will give it a running B.O. of $600M-plus.

Also on Thursday, Roadside Attractions’ faith-based title I Can Only Imagine grossed a strong $1.3 million Thursday at 1,392 locations. It’s not often we see a faith-based title break into the top five in advance ticket sales, but that’s exactly what Fandango observed heading into the weekend. The pic starring Dennis Quaid, Cloris Leachman and Trace Adkins is expected to file in the single digits.

MGM and Warner Bros co-financed Tomb Raider for what is reported to be a $90M production.  The 2001 original shot Angelina Jolie to solo box office stardom with a $47.7M bow. In regards to comps, Tomb Raider beat Maze Runner: The Death Cure ($1.5M Thurs, $24.5M FSS) and The Huntsman: Winter’s War ($1M Thurs, $19.4M FSS) and was just under The Divergent Series: Allegiant ($2.3M Thurs, $29M FSS). A year ago at this time, Warner Bros had Legendary’s Kong: Skull Island which made $3.7M in Thursday previews, but surged to $61M off of great reviews (75% certified fresh). Critics are currently split over Tomb Raider with 50% Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes off 140 reviews.

Love, Simon

20th Century Fox

Greg Berlanti’s teenage gay romance Love, Simon earned $850,000 from 2,125 locations for a $400 per-location average. 2oth Century Fox is excited about the result citing that the top 10 theaters came from seven different markets: LA, NY, Dallas, Orlando, Toronto,San Francisco and Boston. Love, Simon was made for a reported $10M with a three-day expected in the low-to-mid teens. The pic is currently 89% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The comp here is MGM/Alloy’s teen romance Everything, Everything, which earned $525K in previews and a $11.7M opening.

Among regular pics in release, Black Panther was of course the No. 1 movie, grossing an estimated $3.6M for a running total of $578.4M. Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time was second with $2.35M and a week’s take of $44.5M. The Ava DuVernay-directed movie is expected to make another $16.6M this weekend.


How Barbra Streisand Avoided #MeToo Moments In Her Career: ‘I Worked With Great Men’ – PaleyFest

Tonight at the Dolby Theatre, renaissance entertainment icon Barbra Streisand opened PaleyFest with a bang, joining Ryan Murphy (9-1-1American Crime Story) for a sprawling conversation about her legendary career.

The only musical artist ever to have #1 albums spanning six decades, Streisand was honored tonight with the Paley Center for Media’s Icon Award, acknowledged for her groundbreaking work as an actress, director, producer and singer-songwriter which, over the years, has landed her two Oscars, 10 Grammy Awards, eight Golden Globes, four Emmys, four Peabody Awards, a Special Tony Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among other accolades.

In conversation with Murphy, Streisand discussed working with talents including Judy Garland and Ray Charles, her stage fright—a challenge she struggled with for years—and gave a few political remarks here and there, most notably in regards to the #MeToo movement. “We’re in a strange time now in terms of men and women and the pendulum swinging this way and that way,” Streisand said, “It’s going to have to come to the center.”

Asked by Murphy whether she had her own #MeToo moments early in her career, Streisand said that she didn’t. “I never thought of myself as powerful. I was always thinking, ‘Wow,’ like a person surprised. I’d like to be powerful as a human being, I’d like to do good in the world, but I didn’t know what powerful meant,” she said, reflecting on her status as an atypical icon. “I wasn’t like those pretty girls with those nice little noses. Maybe that’s why [I wasn’t harassed]. I have no idea.”

Streisand added that her best collaborations came with men who treated her as a creative partner, asking for her ideas. “I loved Funny Girl,” she said about that William Wyler-directed comedy-drama which landed her a 1969 best actress Oscar win (tying that year with Katharine Hepburn who won for The Lion in Winter). “It’s the most wonderful memories I have of my first film because I worked with great men.”

Having Murphy moderate was an interesting choice tonight: Streisand, as exclusively reported by Deadline, is in talks to star in the creator’s new Netflix comedy The Politician opposite Ben Platt. However, Murphy and Streisand didn’t make any confirmations of her involvement on the series tonight at PaleyFest, nor did they expound on her role in the show. Traditionally, whenever Murphy has made an appearance at PaleyFest, typically with an American Horror Story panel, he’ll divulge some casting or plot details about that series’ next season. Asking Streisand about her future ambitions, all Murphy hinted was, “Well, I’ve got a really good Netflix deal, Barbra.”

Throughout the night’s conversation, a theme emerged—Streisand as powerful woman who stood up for her artistic independence and managed her own reputation, in the trades and otherwise. Murphy pointed out that Streisand wasn’t taken seriously enough by some male executives, even at the heights of her power and draw as a screen talent, while Streisand recalled one interview with 60 Minutes‘ Mike Wallace that was particularly upsetting. “He made me cry. I was 19 years old and he would say, ‘Why are you so self-obsessed?’ Or something like that. I thought, who else should I be obsessed by?” Streisand joked.

Earlier in her career, Streisand said, she was less quick to jump to her own defense, or to call her own shots, for fear of being called out as “difficult.””I didn’t want people to make fun of me or call me controlling—which I am,” she said. “I would say anybody talented wants to control their work.”

Asked about the experiences that have given her most joy, creatively, Streisand looked to her work as a director on such films as Yentl and The Prince of Tides, singling these out as the times she felt most in control of her own creative experience. “That is such a complete experience. It just involves every sense you have, every nerve end, your taste or your visual qualities,” she said. “To be in control and not have to feel frustrated, it’s just so wonderful. You feel so humbled by it, humbled by that power.”

At one point, Murphy asked Streisand what projects she’d love to produce (She’d like to play Mama Rose in Gypsy), while avid fans wanted to know what she thinks about Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born remake (“It’s very good”) and Murphy’s latest, The Assassination of Gianni Versace. “It’s very scary to me,” she said. “I had to go fast.”

For his part, Murphy opened the evening talking about his decades-long appreciation of Streisand, discussing his yearly tradition of watching Hello, Dolly! at Christmas and the potent experience of seeing Funny Girl for the first time.

“The interesting thing about [Funny Girl] to me was I left and I said to my grandmother in the car afterwards, ‘I want to go back [to see the film again], and I want to be like her. To me, that’s not a male thing, it’s not a female thing, it’s not a straight and it’s not a gay thing. I saw something in Barbra Streisand that really touched my soul,” Murphy said. “She was the first of her kind as an artist, in our business and in the world. She had incredible power, she suffered no fools. You could tell that she was going to do things her way. She was not going to be [put] into a box that men created, and she kept that spirit alive throughout her entire career.”

“Many people talk about Barbra as the greatest female star of them all, and I say, ‘No. That’s not enough.’ People use the phrase ‘other’—‘the other’—and Barbra Streisand really was the first ‘other’ in our culture. She was singular, she was an artist who, on paper, probably should not have worked, but just by pure force of talent, and magnetism, and charisma, pushed through so many glass ceilings,” the producer continued. “She created an incredible career and an incredible life, her way. I think Barbra is the greatest star, male or female, that the world has ever seen, and I honestly don’t think that I would be in show business without having seen her at a very young age.”


‘Real Time’: Billy Bush Says Life Was “Chaos” After Trump Grabbing Scandal

Last week Kathy Griffin, this week Billy Bush: Real Time‘s rehab for post-Trump career slumps was open for business tonight, and HBO host Bill Maher gave the former Access Hollywood anchor and infamous bus giggler plenty of space for reflection.

But first thing’s first: No, Bush said, he did not give Donald Trump any breath-freshening Tic Tacs. “Thirteen years ago I kissed a lot of ass,” Bush said, “but that’s where I drew the line.”

Maher asked Bush what he’d have done differently on that hot-mic’d bus as the Apprentice kingpin boasted about grabbing women by the genitals.

“I probably would have just changed the topic,” Bush said, an answer that might score higher for honesty than for satisfying, put-the-creep-in-his-place retribution. Trump, Bush told Maher, was NBC’s “cash cow,” and a volatile one at that, and calling out his oafish behavior wouldn’t have gone down well with Bush’s bosses.

“I’d have had to explain how I lost Trump, the big fish,” Bush said.

Bush said watching Trump prosper and win even as he himself lost his career – when, after all, Trump was the grabber, and Bush just the snickerer – was, in Bush’s word, “shitty.”

“Chaos,” he said. “You’ve got order in your life and then all of a sudden you’ve got chaos.”

“You can’t control what happens,” Bush said. “You can only control how you react to it.” He said he took one of his daughters to Japan, has another trip planned with his middle daughter, and intends to donate the $850 he gets from Real Time to a church, Maher’s atheism notwithstanding.

As for insight into the presidential character, Bush said he has none other that what we all see and know. Once, when Bush caught Trump lying about Apprentice ratings, Trump explained (off camera), “Billy, look, you just tell them and they believe it. They just do.”

The other guests on tonight’s Real Time with Bill Maher seemed less inclined than Maher to forgive and forget. Nayyera Haq, a former senior official at the White House and State Department under Barack Obama, said the Trump-Bush bus conversation confirmed the worst of what women suspect about men in the workplace, and she made particular note of Bush’s failure to stand up to Trump.

“I’m calling it social courage for a reason,” she said.

Pete Dominick, comic and SiriusXM Radio host, told Bush – “with all due respect”  – that “every single one of us has to stand up in those moments. That’s the only way it turns around. You could have, you should have, you didn’t and in the future I hope you will and I hope everybody that saw that and heard that tape knows that is unacceptable. You have to stand up to assholes everywhere all the time.”

Bush endured the going-over with considerably more grace than he showed on that bus, and noted that the incident was 13 years ago. “I grew into myself,” he told Dominick. “I became a different person. Not that I need to convince you.”


Attorney General Jeff Sessions Fires FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

The Justice Department handed former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe an explosive 50th birthday present Friday night, firing him two days before he would have been eligible for a lifetime pension, after deciding he lied to investigators reviewing the bureau’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server.

DOJ says it was taking its lead from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility recommending McCabe be sacked. DOJ claims that watchdog report claimed McCabe misled investigators about his decision to authorize FBI officials to speak to the media about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

Horseradish, shot back McCabe, who insisted Friday night he was fired because of what he witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

“I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey,” McCabe said in a statement, calling tonight’s development part of a campaign to “slander” him and to “taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally.”

McCabe called DOJ’s move part of an ” ongoing effort to undermine my credibility because of the work that I did on the Russia case, because of the investigations that I oversaw and impacted that target this administration.”

“They have every reason to believe that I could end up being a significant witness in whatever [Special Counsel Robert Mueller] comes up with, and so they are trying to create this counter-narrative that I am not someone who can be believed or trusted,” McCabe told Politico.

This Sunday, his birthday, McCabe would have become eligible for early retirement benefits for his 20-plus years of service. He joined the bureau in New York in 1996, rising to become deputy to then-FBI director James Comey in early 2016.

McCabe had, at one point been on President Donald Trump’s list of possible Comey replacements.

But McCabe angered Trump, and, earlier Friday, Trump’s White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders derided McCabe as a “bad actor” for his involvement in the FBI’s probes of Hillary Clinton. McCabe’s the guy Trump reportedly asked who he voted for in the presidential election, shortly after McCabe became acting director of the bureau, when Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

Trump relished whipping McCabe on Twitter:

Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2017

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2017

DOJ had been expected to make the call on Friday, after meeting with him Thursday so he could plead his case. TV news outlets had erupted in late January with word McCabe told staff he was exiting immediately and would be on leave.


Shia LaBeouf, Lucas Hedges To Star In ‘Honey Boy’

Shia LaBeouf and Lucas Hedges will star in Alma Har’el’s next film, Honey Boy, which follows child actor Otis Lort (Hedges) and his law-breaking, alcohol-abusing father James (LaBeouf) as they attempt to mend their contentious relationship over the course of a decade. Har’el’s known for the films LoveTrue and Bombay Beach.

Producing is Automatik’s Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Daniela Taplin Lundberg of Stay Gold Features and Christopher Leggett of Delirio Films. Automatik’s Fred Berger is the executive producer. Stay Gold Features will finance for a production that is planning to film in Los Angeles.

Endeavor Content put together the financing and will co-rep worldwide rights with CAA.

LaBeouf last received critical kudos for his performance in Borg vs McEnroe at the Toronto Film Festival; that film comes out in April 13th. He will be seen next in Peanut Butter Falcon.

Hedges recently co-starred in Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird. Of course, he received an Academy Award nomination for his performance in Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea (which won Oscars for both Lonergan and star Casey Affleck).

His upcoming films include Boy Erased opposite Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe, directed by Joel Edgerton, and Ben is Back, opposite Julie Roberts, written and directed by Peter Hedges.

Har’el first collaborated with LaBeouf on the music video for Sigur Rós, in which he starred, and he went on to executive produce LoveTrue. She is one of the top commercial directors working today, with her commercial campaigns and shorts for Airbnb, Coca-Cola, Chanel and P&G garnering millions of hits and accolades, including Clios and D&AD awards.

The news first broke on Tracking Board.

LaBeouf is repped by CAA, John Crosby Management and attorney Matt Saver; Hedges by CAA, Anonymous Content and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman, and Har’el by Independent Talent Group, WME and attorneys Skrzyniarz & Mallean.


Infinity War Demolishes Black Panther Pre-Sales Record in Just 6 Hours

Marvel not only rolled out the new trailer for Infinity War earlier today, but the studio also opened advanced ticket sales, and it only took a few hours for the movie to set a new record. Fandango has announced that the movie has already become the best-selling superhero movie in advanced pre-sales, taking just six hours to surpass both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the most recent record-holder, Marvel’s Black Panther, with tickets going on sale at 6 AM PM/9 AM ET today. Fandango also surveyed 1,000 ticket buyers earlier today, which revealed some interesting details about what moviegoers want to see in Avengers: Infinity War.

A whopping 97% of ticket buyers are excited to see, “how dozens of heroes work together in the same film,” while 94% of those surveyed were excited to see characters from different parts of the MCU meeting each other for the first time. The new trailer even featured one such meeting, with Peter Parker (Tom Holland) meeting Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). 92% believe Infinity War is “the culmination of all the MCU films before it,” even though Avengers 4 will be hitting theaters next May, as the final Marvel Phase 3 movie, and 87% have seen every one of the MCU movies to date.

What’s also interesting is that the success of Black Panther is helping create buzz for Avengers: Infinity War. 71% of those surveyed said that have seen Black Panther on the big screen, while 60% said that Black Panther “made them even more excited to see Avengers: Infinity War“. For those who haven’t already purchased their tickets yet, the Fandango FanShop is giving away a free Avengers poster, designed by artist Kaz Oomori, with every Fandango VIP ticket purchase. Fans can choose one of five posters, which will feature MCU heroes such as Black Panther, Okoye, Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk, Black Widow and the Guardians of the Galaxy, to name just a few.

This new record shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, since Fandango users voted Avengers: Infinity War as the most anticipated movie of 2018. As of now, limited box office predictions have been made, but it’s possible that it could finally surpass the Marvel Cinematic Universe opening weekend record of $207.8 million, set back in 2012 by The Avengers. That figure stood as the highest opening weekend ever for several years, before it was ultimately beat by Jurassic World ($208.8 million) and the current opening weekend record holder, Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($247.9 million). With this movie uniting essentially the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, it very well could set multiple box office records.

These impressive pre-sales figures also come after Marvel inexplicably shifted the release date, from the traditional first weekend in May (May 4) that signifies the start of the summer movie season, to the last weekend in April (April 27), traditionally a dumping ground for movies the studio aren’t confident about, before the summer movie season. This, paired with Black Panther‘s astronomical success in the month of February, could lead to Marvel experimenting with non-traditional release dates as we get into the studio’s Phase 4 lineup. If you haven’t bought your tickets for Avengers: Infinity War, you can do so at


Force Awakens Gets the Ending It Deserves in Fan-Made Video

The release of The Last Jedi on Digital HD has allowed fans to pore over this blockbuster as much as they want, but it also allows inventive video editors to have a little bit of fun. One such editor is a Twitter user named Jacob Martin, who put together an alternate ending of The Force Awakens using one pivotal scene from Last Jedi. If you’re well-versed in both movies, you may even be able to guess what this ending may be without even watching it, but, even if you do correctly guess this ending, it’s still quite funny.

Jacob Martin put together this brief video and even sent it to Mark Hamill on Twitter, telling the actor that he thinks director J.J. Abrams “missed an opportunity” with his ending. After the missing piece of the map that showed Luke Skywalker’s location was finally uncovered, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Chewbacca and R2-D2 took off on the Millennium Falcon for the hidden planet of Ahch-to. The final scene of The Force Awakens features Rey holding out Luke’s old lightsaber, although he doesn’t take it, with one final aerial shot from above showing Luke and Rey just standing there as the movie ended.

While there is traditionally large gaps of time between most Star Wars movies, The Last Jedi started exactly where The Force Awakens left off, and it’s this combination of the final scenes in The Force Awakens and the opening scenes of The Last Jedi that is shown in this video, with the final shot showing Luke throwing the lightsaber over the cliffs behind him, before the credits start to roll. There had been much speculation as to how Skywalker would react, but the reaction that ended up on screen was certainly unexpected, to say the least.

Many fans were quite surprised that, after 32 years of waiting to see Luke Skywalker on the big screen again, director J.J. Abrams only showed this iconic character in the final scene of the movie, with the character not even uttering a word before the movie came to a close. While fans knew that The Last Jedi would take place directly after the final scene, most didn’t expect Luke Skywalker to simply abandon his old lightsaber, tossing it into the cliffs below where Rey would have to retrieve it. While it was certainly an unexpected moment, it would have been quite the shock to fans to have The Force Awakens end with Luke’s lightsaber toss, as seen in this fan-made ending.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the first Star Wars movie in 10 years, and the first to be set after the events of Return of the Jedi, the last movie in the iconic original trilogy that hit theaters in 1983. The movie set several box office records, including highest opening weekend ($247.9 million) and highest domestic total ($936.6 million) but it still couldn’t top the all time worldwide record of $2.7 billion set by Avatar. While The Last Jedi certainly fared well ($220 million opening, $619.6 million domestic, $1.3 billion worldwide), it fell well short of The Force Awakens, leaving fans to wonder if Star Wars 9 could break The Force Awakens box office records. Take a look at this hilarious alternate ending below, courtesy of Jacob Martin Twitter.

@HamillHimself I made an alternate ending for The Force Awakens. Feeling like JJ really missed an opportunity here…

— Jacob Martin (@jacobdontcare) March 15, 2018


Linda Cardellini and Matt Dillon Join Tom Hardy in Fonzo

It was announced today that Linda Cardellini, Matt Dillon, Kyle MacLachlan, and Kathrine Narducci will join Tom Hardy in the Al Capone biopic, Fonzo, which was written and will be directed by Josh Trank (Fantastic Four). Hardy recently announced that the Al Capone biopic is the next project that he will be working on and production has been confirmed to start on April 2nd in New Orleans. Fonzo will tell the story of the legendary gangster in his later life behind bars. Tom Hardy has been attached to play the character since 2012 for Cicero, but that movie didn’t end up getting the green light.

Linda Cardellini will play Al Capone’s long-suffering wife Mae while Matt Dillon will play his closest friend Johnny. Kyle MacLachlan plays Karlock, his doctor, and Kathrine Narducci portrays Rosie, who is one of Capone’s sisters. Tom Hardy announced his involvement with the movie through social media late last week, which suddenly put a lot of excitement behind the project after many were skeptical with the involvement Josh Trank.

A ruthless businessman and bootlegger who ruled Chicago with an iron fist, Al Fonzo Capone was the most infamous and feared gangster in American history. Capone was sentenced to prison at the age of 33 for tax evasion of all things. When the gangster arrived to prison, he was diagnosed with syphilis and gonorrhea, which began to rot his mind. The official synopsis for the movie reads.

“At the age of 47, following nearly a decade of imprisonment, dementia rots Capone’s mind and his past becomes present as harrowing memories of his violent and brutal origins melt into his waking life.”

Linda Cardellini recently starred in the critically acclaimed hit Netflix series Bloodline and was seen in Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Matt Dillon was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in Crash and will next be seen starring in Lars Von Trier’s The House That Jack Built. He also starred in the Fox hit sci-fi series Wayward Pines. Kyle MacLachlan is best known for his role as Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks, which garnered him a Golden Globe Award and Emmy nomination in its original run. He has also shown up in Blue Velvet and David Lynch’s Dune. Kathrine Narducci is well known for The Sopranos and Jersey Boys. he will next be seen in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming The Irishman.

As previously noted, Fonzo begins filming next month, but there is no official release date set at this time. However, a late 2019 release date seems logical, depending on the schedules of the actors. Tom Hardy may have to take a break to do reshoots for Sony’s Venom movie if Fonzo isn’t already finished by that time. If the project didn’t have enough hype with Tom Hardy on board, it certainly does now with its new additions to the cast. This report originated from Bron Studios.

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