Kevin Feige Announcess Disney-Fox Deal Won’t Affect MCU Films Already in Progress

When the Disney-Fox merger was announced a few weeks ago many fans of the movies produced for the Marvel Cinematic Universe wondered if and more importantly when characters from the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises would work their way into the MCU.

The media website Vulture spoke to MCU head Kevin Feige during the press junket for Black Panther and asked him about the looming deal and the impact it will have on the MCU. Feige said that he had no prior knowledge of the deal taking place, stating that he “found out about it in the press like everybody else.”  He also confirmed that they won’t be changing their next six films.

“The truth of the matter as I understand it is the deal has to be figured out. There’s been no communication. We’re not thinking about it. We’re focusing on everything we’ve already announced. If and when the deal actually happens, we’ll start to think more about it. Until then, we have a lot to do. … It would be years away. We’ve announced everything through 2019, so none of those would be adjusted.”

This isn’t a huge surprise considering the complexity of the merger and what people associated with the MCU have been saying recently.  It’s likely that the Disney-Fox merger will take up to a year to finalize.  So we’re looking at late 2018 or early 2019 for that to happen.

James Gunn recently confirmed that the deal won’t change his plans for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.  It also echoes what one of Marvel’s artists said earlier this month.

The delay in integrating the Fox Marvel characters also makes sense when you look at Marvel Studios’ production slate. Infinity War is coming out in just a few months, and while reshoots are still coming, the introduction of mutants or Marvel’s first family would involve more than minor rewrites. Ant-Man and The Wasp is in a similar boat and may even take place chronologically before Infinity War.  That leaves Captain Marvel and the culmination of the entire MCU in Avengers 4, as well as Spidey’s sequel, to bring in these new toys.  With Avengers 4 already done filming and the other two in deep pre-production, it would be nearly impossible to implement major changes that would be needed to integrate the new characters at this point.

Let the speculation begin about what will happen after 2019 or 2020.

Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of the X-Men either in the movies or the comic books, so I can go either way on this.  If Feige decides that they need to be integrated into the MCU, I’m sure it would be done well.  But on the other hand, if he decides that they should remain in their own universe I’d be okay with that too.

Do you want to see an integration of the newly acquired characters with the MCU characters or would you prefer that that Marvel keep these characters in their own cinematic universe?

 

 

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‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Reigns Supreme with Massive $121 Million Opening

Nothing makes money like Disney. As Beauty and the Beast continues to reign supreme at the 2017 domestic box office, Thor: Ragnarok now has the fourth biggest domestic opening of 2017 with a whopping $121 million, outpacing most estimates by a solid $5 million or so. That places it right below Andy Muschietti‘s It, which brought in some $123 million in its opening weekend, on the list of 2017 opening and sticks Taika Waititi‘s film right between Spider-Man: Homecoming($117 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 ($146 million) on the Marvel 2017 opening charts.

It feels genuinely unfair to compare the rest of the top five to this kind of predictable blow-out. A Bad Moms Christmas, the only other new release that played wide this weekend, came in at second with a total of $21 million after debuting on Wednesday. That still leaves a gap of some $99.4 million between the amiable, forgettable sequel and Ragnarok, one of the best movies that the MCU has produced thus far. In its second frame, Jigsaw came in at third with $6.7, up against Tyler Perry‘s Boo 2! at fourth with $4.6 million and Geostorm at fifth with $3 million. Combined, those three films made two-thirds of what A Bad Moms Christmas made.

In total, Ragnarok is now sitting on an international gross of $427 million, which would cover the production budget of $180 million twice over as well as any and all marketing costs. The $4 billion or so that Disney paid to buy Marvel is paying off big time, as the House of Mouse and its subsidiaries now lay claim to the first and third most profitable domestic films of 2017. Depending on how Thor: Ragnarokcompetes against next weekend’s Murder on the Orient Express and then Justice League the weekend after, it may very well have three of the highest domestic grossing movies of 2017 before November closes. By the time Star Wars: The Last Jedi does its business, Disney will have   anywhere from 3-5 of the highest grossing movies of 2017, as compared to the five films that Disney had in the top ten highest grossing movies of 2016 domestically. So, even if Ragnarok doesn’t quite make it into the top ten by 2017’s close, Disney’s grasp on the movie business will continue on to my simultaneous horror and wonder.

Here’s the top five for the weekend:

Title Weekend Domestic BO Total Domestic BO
1. ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ $121,005,000 $121,005,000
2. ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ $17,030,000 $21,556,106
3. ‘Jigsaw’ $6,700,000 $28,836,471
4. ‘Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’ $4,650,000 $42,958,423
5. ‘Geostorm’ $3,035,000 $28,770,341

From Collider

Kevin Feige Wants a Marvel Convention Separate from Comic-Con

If you enjoy attending cons like NYCC and SDCC to get a first glimpse of the latest Marvel news, you might want to start planning different travel arrangements. MCU head honcho Kevin Feige recently said he’s keen to see a Marvel-specific convention, similar to Disney’s Star Wars Celebration event. Good news for Marvel fans, not such good news for regular Comic-Con attendees. The Marvel convention news awaits you below.

Well, this was probably inevitable. Disney, in their never-ending quest for entertainment world domination, currently owns both Marvel and Star Wars. That’s a hefty chunk of pop culture entertainment, and with that comes the inevitable convention gatherings where exciting new projects are announced. For most of recent history, events like SDCC were the site of the biggest announcements. But the times they are a changing.

In recent years, Star Wars Celebration, first started in 1999, has eclipsed Comic-Con as the location for big Star Wars news. With the Star Wars Celebration only growing bigger and better, it was only a matter of time before Marvel made the jump to their own con as well. Then there’s the biennial D23 Expo, which recently featured Marvel announcements alongside events for Star Wars. Marvel President Kevin Feige is out making the rounds to help promote promote Thor: Ragnarok right now, and dropping hints left and right of things to come. In a new interview with Fandango, Feige talks about how there have been many discussions regarding a Marvel-only con, and how much he’d like to make it happen:

“Over the years there have been discussions about that […] I think what we try to do occasionally in San Diego we’re very proud of and think is a fun tradition. That being said, I think [Star Wars] Celebration is pretty amazing. I’ve been to a few Celebrations and the idea of doing something like that … I think we have enough content, and enough fans, and enough ideas that we could easily do something like that, I’m just not sure where or when.”

When and if this finally happens (and let’s be honest, it probably will), the question that arises is: what becomes of Comic-Con? With no Marvel and Star Wars, does Comic-Con wither away and die? Or will it soldier on with other big events surrounding companies like DC? Marvel and Star Wars may be big, but are they big enough that their absence at an event would sink the event completely? Time will tell. At the very least, the big movie studios pulling out would let Comic-Con be about comics again.

From SlashFilm

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Scales $117M in Heroic U.S. Bow

Spidey has returned home in style.

Over the weekend, Spider-Man: Homecoming opened to $117 million from 4,348 theaters at the North American box office in a major victory for Sony Pictures, which made the unorthodox decision to partner with Disney’s Marvel Studios in rebooting the marquee superhero franchise.

The critically acclaimed tentpole exceeded expectations, passing up Wonder Woman ($103.3 million) to boast the third-best North American opening of the year so far behind Beauty and the Beast ($174.8 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($146.5 million). It becomes only the eleventh superhero pic to open to $100 million or more, and narrowly marks the second-biggest three-day launch of the franchise behind Spider-Man 3, not adjusting for inflation.

In a summer season when many tentpoles have been clobbered by critics, Homecoming boasts a 94 percent certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as nabbing a franchise-best A CinemaScore from audiences. (Wonder Woman and Guardians Vol. 2 were likewise embraced by reviewers and ticket buyers.) The Spider-Man pic skewed male (60 percent), while 50 percent of the audience was under the age of 25, an impressive stat.

Starring Tom Holland as the whimsical teenage web slinger, Homecoming, costing $175 million to produce, launches a new series of Spider-Man films and spinoffs that will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Historically, Hollywood studios holding the film rights to Marvel comic book characters — such as Sony with Spider-Man, or 20th Century Fox with its X-Men franchise — have maintained creative ownership of their superhero properties. Sony made the unorthodox decision to team with Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios after the two Amazing Spider-Man pics lagged well behind the original Spider-Man film trilogy. (Ergo, that’s why Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., and other members of the Avengers crew show up in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and why Holland first appeared as Spider-Man in Disney/Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War.)

“This is a great result, and a gigantic win for Sony and for Marvel,” says Sony president of worldwide marketing and distribution Josh Greenstein. “Spider-Man is one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Universe, and Homecoming is a fresh take.”

Former Sony Pictures vice chairman Amy Pascal, who helped orchestrate the unique partnership with Marvel before exiting the studio, is a lead producer on Homecoming. The pic, directed by Jon Watts, also stars Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Donald Glover and Tyne Daly also star.

Homecoming‘s ranking in the Spider-Man pantheon changes when adjusting for inflation. In May 2002, Spider-Man made history when opening to a then-record $114.8 million — or $174 million by today’s terms — becoming the poster child for the modern-day superhero pic.

Comparisons to Spider-Man 2 (2004) are complicated by the fact that the sequel debuted over the long July Fourth corridor in 2004, amassing $180.1 million in its first five days, or $256.3 million when adjusted for inflation. That included an official four-day weekend of $115.8 million, or $165 million when adjusted. (Spider-Man 3‘s adjusted opening is $174.7 million.)

The Amazing Spider-Man likewise opened over the July Fourth holiday, opening on July 3, 2012 (a Tuesday) and earning $137 million in its first six days, or $155.7 million when adjusted for inflation. The three-day weekend portion was $62 million, or $70.5 million when adjusted. Amazing Spider-Man opened to $91.6 million in early May 2014, or $97.2 million when adjusted.

From The Hollywood Reporter

‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ Zooms to $145M Debut

For the fifth year in a row, a superhero entry from Marvel and Disney has kicked off the summer box office in high style.

This time, the spoils belong to James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which debuted to $145 million from 4,347 theaters over the weekend  — more than 54 percent ahead of the first film — for an early global total of $427.6 million. Males fueled the movie (56 percent), while 40 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 25.

In its second weekend of play overseas, the quirky superhero sequel earned another $124 million from 55 markets for an early foreign total of $282.6 million. Among new territories, China led with $48 million, followed by South Korea ($13.3 million) and Russia ($11.6 million).

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has pushed the Marvel Cinematic Universe past $11 billion in combined global grosses, according to Disney.

Gunn’s follow-up sees the return of Chris Pratt as Star-Lord/Peter Quill, who brings his team back together to fight off evil forces while he seeks to unravel the mystery of his parentage. Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan star along with Vin Diesel as the voice of baby Groot and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket. Elizabeth Debicki, Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone join the cast for the new installment.

In early August 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy opened to $94.3 million, an impressive number for a lesser-known group of superheroes. The movie went on to earn $773.3 worldwide. Last summer, Warner Bros. and DC’s Suicide Squad, likewise based on lesser-known superheroes, opened to $133.7 million on its way to grossing $745.6 million worldwide.

Guardians Vol. 2 got the widest Imax opening ever, with 1,088 screens delivering $25 million worldwide.

Among holdovers, Universal’s The Fate of the Furious passed the $200 million mark domestically after grossing $8.5 million from 3,595 locations for a $1.16 billion cume globally. Universal’s Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele, also scored a victory in topping the $200 million mark worldwide (the movie has earned $173.9 million domestically and $30.5 million offshore).

Pantelion Films’ How to Be a Latin Lover placed No. 5 with $5.3 million from 1,203 cinemas for a 10-day total of $20.7 million. And Indian film Baahubali: The Conclusion continued to impress, earning $3.2 million from a mere 425 theaters for a total $16.2 million.

While no other film dared open nationwide against Guardians Vol. 2, there were plenty of new offerings at the specialty box office.

Despite a high-profile ratings dust-up, The Weinstein Co.’s transgender drama 3 Generationsbombed in its debut, grossing $20,100 from six theaters for a theater average of $3,353. The movie stars Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon.

In comparison, A24’s The Lovers, starring Debra Winger and Tracy Letts, opened to $70,410 from four theaters for an average $17,603.

Laura Poitras’ Julian Assange documentary, Risk, also debuted this weekend, earning $75,179 from 35 theaters for a disappointing theater average of $2,211. In 2015, Poitras won the Oscar for best documentary for Citizenfour, about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Neon is distributing Risk.

From The Hollywood Reporter

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Trailer Is Marvel and Disney’s Most Watched Ever in 24 Hours

Marvel’s promise of a Thor vs. Hulk battle seems to have re-energized the Thor movie franchise.

The trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, which was unleashed Monday by Disney, the parent company of Marvel, has garnered more than 136 million views in only 24 hours.

Thor: Ragnarok Trailer

It becomes the not only the most viewed Marvel trailer ever, but also the studio’s most viewed trailer ever across all its brands, which includes Disney’s live-action and animation divisions, Pixar, Star Wars, as well as Marvel.

The Beauty and the Beast trailer was the previous 24-hour record-holder for Disney with 127.6 million views. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was viewed 112 million times in that time frame. Captain America: Civil War held the previous Marvel record with 94 million views.

The trailer was met with tremendous enthusiasm, with it channeling a Guardians of the Galaxy vibe with both music and sci-fi fantasy worlds as it set up a scenario where Thor, played by a returning Chris Hemsworth, is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer. It offered glimpses of Hela, the movie’s powerful new villain played by Cate Blanchett. And it closed with a killer line as Thor, forced to fight in a gladiatorial arena, sees his Avengers comrade Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and bellows, “He’s a friend from work.” It’s a line he quickly rues saying.

The Ragnarok trailer doesn’t hold the most viewed overall record. The trailer for New Line’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It was viewed 197 million times in the 24 hours after its March 29 release, while Fate of the Furious was eyeballed 139 million times.

Taika Waititi, the New Zealand filmmaker behind the acclaimed indies Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows, is in the director’s seat for Ragnarok.

The movie will be released in the U.S. on Nov. 3.

From The Hollywood Reporter

Disneyland Introduces New Fine Dining Experience, 21 Royal

Disneyland Resort has recently introduced a new and exclusive fine dining experience, 21 Royal. If you thought dining at Club 33 was the pinnacle of fine dining at Disneyland, this new experience takes it to another level.

The 21 Royal experience includes dinner for 12 guests inside 21 Royal Street, a space that was meant to be Walt and Lillian’s private apartment overlooking New Orleans Square in Disneyland Park.

21 Royal is available for a single party of 12 once per evening. The cost is $15,000 and includes tax, gratuity, valet, and park admission. Reservations can be made by calling the 21 Royal Concierge at (714) 300-7749.The evening begins at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, where valets will give you and your guests a VIP escort to 21 Royal Street. Diners will enjoy signature cocktails served by professional butlers in the salon, followed by a reception on the patio. Guests will also have a chance to explore the rooms in the apartment, in addition to learning the history of the space from guides including sommelier Matt Ellingson.

Dinner is a seven-course meal prepared by executive chef Andrew Sutton and chef de cuisine Justin Monson. Sutton is the culinary director for Disneyland’s signature restaurants. The dinner is meant to reflect the type of dinner party Walt and Lillian might have hosted, and Ellingson and Sutton introduce each course and wine pairing with stories about the inspiration behind the dish.

After dinner guests enjoy coffee and desserts in the dining room or on the private balcony.

From the Disney Food Blog

 

Square Enix and Marvel Team for Multiple Games, Starting with the Avengers

Square Enix is working with Marvel on multiple games from the Marvel universe, starting with an Avengers title as the first of its projects. The game is being promoted with the hashtag #Reassemble, and appears to center around the aftermath of the events of Captain America: Civil War, which likely means it’ll either precede or coincide with the next Avengers movie, which is set for release in May 2018.

The Avengers Project Trailer

The trailer basically gives us a look at the battle-worn, discarded equipment of a number of avengers, including Thor, Iron Man and Captain America. It also tells us that Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal are also involved in the game’s development.

So far, we know little else beyond that, but it’s exciting to see a developer like Square Enix get behind a franchise as successful and beloved as Marvel’s.

From TechCrunch

‘Doctor Strange’ Tops Box Office

Walt Disney Co. topped the weekend box office with “Doctor Strange,” the newest comic-book-to-film character from its Marvel superhero hit factory.

Featuring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role, “Doctor Strange” collected an estimated $85 million in its debut in the U.S and Canada, ComScore Inc. said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. It beat two other new releases, 20th Century Fox’s “Trolls,” which placed second, and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.’s “Hacksaw Ridge,” which garnered a third-place finish for Mel Gibson’s first directorial feature in a decade.

“Doctor Strange” scored the biggest debut among Marvel movies that introduce a single character since Robert Downey Jr.’s 2008 blockbuster “Iron Man,” which generated $98 million. It gives Burbank, California-based Disney its fifth No. 1 movie this year, extending an industry lead after becoming only the second studio in history to cross $6 billion in annual sales worldwide. Disney’s $6.07 billion in sales this year trails only the $6.89 billion that Universal Pictures tallied in 2015.

Disney is “on a trajectory to be the No. 1 studio, if not for the next five years, then for the next decade,” said Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations. “We are living in a superhero world right now and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.”

The studio plans to bring more superheros to audiences in coming years, such as “Black Panther” and “Captain Marvel.”

Before reaching screens in North America, “Doctor Strange” had already garnered $122 million in foreign ticket sales, researcher Box Office Mojo said on Thursday. Cumberbatch portrays a talented neurosurgeon whose hands are mangled in a car accident. In his search to find a way to repair them, he is led to the Ancient One, played by Tilda Swinton, who teaches him the ability to harness mystic powers.

The film earned top scores from critics, with 90 percent giving positive reviews, according to aggregator Rottentomatoes.com. It cost $165 million to produce, excluding marketing expenses, and was set to generate $85 million on its first weekend, according to analysts at Box Office Mojo.

From Bloomberg

 

Disney Guests to Get Sneak Peak of the Mysterious World of ‘Doctor Strange’ at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort

It won’t take the powers of the Sorcerer Supreme to conjure a look at the magical, mind-bending adventure “Doctor Strange,” for beginning October 7, guests visiting Disney Parks will be able to catch a preview of scenes from the film in sneak peeks planned for Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

At Disney California Adventure park, the preview of “Doctor Strange” will be presented in 3D with special in-theater effects at the Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land, while guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will get to see this advance look at clips from the film as part of the One Man’s Dream attraction.

“Doctor Strange” follows the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange who, in his quest for healing after a horrific car accident, discovers powerful magic in a mysterious place known as Kamar-Taj – the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality.

Plan to catch our 10-minute sneak peek of “Doctor Strange” when it opens October 7, and see fully why the impossibilities are endless when you experience the film in theaters in 3D on November 4, 2016!