Disney Shelves ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ Film ‘Gigantic’

Gigantic, Disney Animation’s original feature project that was to have been released in 2020, is being shelved.

The project was being developed as an updated take on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale, in which Jack befriends a female giant.

Inside Out co-writer Meg LeFauve and Nathan Greno (Tangled) were directing the project while Frozen songwriters Robert Lopez and Kirsten Anderson-Lopez were to have written songs for the film.

But according to the studio, creative walls were being hit.

“It’s impossible to know when we begin a project how the creative process will unfold, and sometimes, no matter how much we love an idea or how much heart goes into it, we find that it just isn’t working,” said Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios president Ed Catmull. “With Gigantic, we’ve come to that point, and although it’s a difficult decision, we are ending active development for now. We are focusing our energies on another project that has been in the works, which we’ll be sharing more about soon, now set for Thanksgiving 2020.”

Details regarding the new project were not revealed, although insiders said it would be an original feature.

Animation is known for its long development process and it is not uncommon for projects to be put on the shelf or to morph from one concept to another. It is also not the first time Disney Animation or its sister company Pixar have taken projects off the schedule either to further work on them or shelf them indefinitely. King of the Elves and Newt were titles that had been actively in the works in the last decade that are now inactive.

Disney Animation next has Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 which opens Nov. 21, 2018 and Frozen 2for Nov. 27, 2019.

From The Hollywood Reporter

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Disney Releases Updated Film Release Schedule…Aladdin and Star Wars Episode IX Get Release Dates

A dream is a wish your heart makes, and today, Walt Disney Studios made kids’ and parents’ dreams come true when it announced the release dates for 20 (!!!) upcoming films, including the live-action Aladdin and the highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode IX. 

Mark your Disney princess calendar, because here are all of the upcoming House of Mouse film releases through the end of 2019. Bibbidi-bobbidi-boom!

Thor: Ragnarok: November 3, 2017
Coco: November 23, 2017
Star Wars: The Last Jedi: December 15, 2017
Black Panther: February 16, 2018
A Wrinkle in Time: March 9, 2018
Dolphins: April 20, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War: May 4, 2018
Untitled Han Solo Project: May 25, 2018
The Incredibles 2June 15, 2018
Untitled Christopher Robin Project: April 3, 2018
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: November 2, 2018
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2: November 21, 2018
Mary Poppins Returns: Decembe 25, 2018
Dumbo: March 29, 2019
Untitled Toontown Studios Film: April 12, 2019
Live-Action Aladdin: May 24, 2019
Toy Story 4: June 21, 2019
Artemis Fowl: August 9, 2019
Nicole: November 8, 2019
Star WarsEpisode IX: December 20, 2019

From PureNow

J.J. Abrams to Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

Disney and Lucasfilm are turning to a familiar face to take the helm of “Star Wars: Episode IX” following the exit of former director Colin Trevorrow.

J.J. Abrams, who helped reboot the franchise with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” has landed the directing job, Variety has learned. He will also co-write the film with Chris Terrio, according to a press release on StarWars.com.

“With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in the release.

Disney and Lucasfilm moved quickly to replace Phil Lord and Chris Miller with Ron Howard this summer while the film was still in production. The companies see Abrams as the perfect fit for “Episode IX,” given his proven track record in the “Star Wars” universe.

Trevorrow and Disney could not see eye-to-eye in regards to the script of the last installment in this latest “Star Wars” trilogy, sources say, and decided to part ways before getting further along in pre-production. The plan was to begin production by February 2018, but even if Abrams agreed to come back as director, meeting that start point still seems like a challenge.

Sources say producers already giving talent a heads up that there was a possibility of the shoot pushing two to three months and that once a director was announced the timeline would then be focused on.

While “Force Awakens” broke multiple box office records and “Rogue One” was hit at the box office, Lucasfilm and Disney have still had an issue with directors, dating back to when Tony Gilroy had to step in to shoot a significant amount of footage for “Rogue One” before its release. The studio has also fired Josh Trank from a standalone “Star Wars” pic and moved on from Lord and Miller, even though the film was far from done shooting.

Abrams and Rian Johnson, who helmed “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” had smooth shoots on their respective “Star Wars” productions. Sticking with someone who knows the story — and posed little trouble in production — would make sense. Abrams has also remained close to Kennedy since working on “The Force Awakens.”

Since directing “The Force Awakens,” Abrams has not committed to his next feature gig, mainly producing movies including the next untitled “Cloverfield” film that Julius Onah helmed.

From Variety

‘Star Wars’ Obi-Wan Kenobi Film in the Works

Stephen Daldry is Star Wars’ newest hope.

The Oscar-nominated director behind Billy Elliot and The Hours is in early talks to direct a Star Wars stand-alone movie centering on Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Sources say talks are at the earliest of stages and that the project has no script. If a deal makes, Daldry would oversee the development and writing with Lucasfilm brass.

The Obi-Wan Kenobi stand-alone is one of several projects being developed by Lucasfilm and Disney that fall outside the trilogies telling the saga of the Skywalker family. A Han Solo movie is now in the final stages of shooting under new director Ron Howard, and Lucasfilm is also considering movies centering on Yoda and bounty hunter Boba Fett, among other characters.

In the original Star Wars trilogy, Kenobi is a desert-dwelling and war-weary hermit who later proves to be a wise and powerful warrior, brandishing a lightsaber. He is briefly a mentor to a young Luke before being cut down by Darth Vader, his former pupil. Alec Guinness’ portrayal of Kenobi garnered him an Oscar nomination.

The character played a central role in the George Lucas-directed prequels, which recount the origin of Vader and his betrayal of Kenobi and the Jedis. McGregor, who played the younger Kenobi in the prequels, has said he would be open to playing the character again. Sources stress, however, that since there is no script, no actor is attached.

Daldry hails from the theater world and made his feature debut with Billy Elliot, which netted him his first directing Oscar nomination. He followed that up with searing dramas The Hours and The Reader, which also netted him directing nominations.

He most recently directed episodes of Netflix’s period drama The Crown, which garnered him an Emmy nomination.

From The Hollywood Reporter

D23 Expo 2017 Summary – Live Action Presentation

Hollywood’s biggest names in acting and directing… Surprises at every turn… Compelling stories and sneak peeks that had us on the edge of our seats. The Hall D23 presentation from The Walt Disney Studios this morning at D23 Expo featured all of these and more!

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn greeted the 6,800 fans who had just watched a sizzle video that spotlighted some of Disney’s recent hits and upcoming films. “I know those guys. They’re friends from work,” he joked, echoing Thor himself in the trailer for Marvel Studios’ upcoming film Thor: Ragnarok. And, he added to the crowd’s great delight, “We have a lot of them backstage.”

Always one of the most eagerly anticipated presentations at D23 Expo, there were indeed a lot of stars and filmmakers taking the stage in Hall D23—and announcements and unexpected treats galore. Here are just a few of the moments we’ll remember long after D23 Expo concludes:

“Everybody here gets a poster! Everybody here! You get a poster!”
Sure, fans were excited to learn they’d be going home with a teaser poster for The Walt Disney Studios’ upcoming film A Wrinkle in Time, which opens in theaters on March 9, 2018. But to be told that news by brand-new Disney Legend Oprah Winfrey only made the gift that much more exciting.

Winfrey (who plays Mrs. Which) joined director Ava DuVernay and co-stars Reese Witherspoon (Mrs. Whatsit), Mindy Kaling (Mrs. Who), Chris Pine (Mr. Murry), and newcomer Storm Reid (Meg Murry) in Hall D23. The epic adventure is based on Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel, which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and ultimately, the triumph of love.

DuVernay described Disney as “the perfect place” for A Wrinkle in Time. Thrilled to attend her first D23 Expo, DuVernay told the audience, “I found my tribe—people who love movies as much as I do.” She also debuted the first trailer for the film:

Wrinkle In Time Trailer

A First Look at The Nutcracker and the Four Realms—with an Exclusive Live Dance Performance
Sean Bailey, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, introduced us to The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, acclaimed director Lasse Hallström’s spin on a story that has been beloved for generations. The film, which will be in theaters on November 2, 2018, stars Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Mackenzie Foy and Richard E. Grant, as well as Morgan Freeman in the iconic role of Drosselmeyer. Music and dance are essential to the film, Bailey stressed, and he revealed that the incredible stylings of Charles Riley, known as Lil Buck (picture below), are being used to create the film’s Mouse King. The character will be made up of thousands of mice, made possible through cutting-edge CG, Bailey said. Expo guests were treated to a special performance by Lil Buck that gave us a glimpse into the hypnotic, fluid dance style we’ll see from the Mouse King when the film opens next year.

A Practically Perfect Glimpse into Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall and actress Emily Blunt talked about the upcoming film, which flies into theaters on December 25, 2018. Speaking reverently about the original Mary Poppins film, Marshall said, “I think it was my first film. I think it was many of our first films. There’s something so amazing about it that lived with me my whole life.”

When it came to stepping into Disney Legend Julie Andrews’ shoes, Blunt stressed, “No one is ever going to out-Julie Julie Andrews.” To make the character her own, she explained, “I needed to try to pay homage to Julie but carve out a new space for myself. And we were very loyal to the books.”

The film was shot on location in London—which Marshall characterized as a special experience—and he said that audiences will recognize Cherry Tree Lane immediately. They might also recognize a piece of furniture, Marshall noted, sharing a photo of a table that’s part of the set for Mary Poppins Returns that also appeared in the original film.

Leaving fans with “a little something”—an understatement—composer Marc Shaiman led an orchestra in a performance of a piece of the original score, which played over a series of images from the film. It was a supercalifragilistic-Expo-alidocious moment, if ever there were one.

Dumbo is Coming!
Director Tim Burton sent a greeting to Disney fans from the set of Dumbo, which is currently in production in London. Additionally, Bailey showed fans a maquette that was created to help bring the beloved baby elephant to life via state-of-the-art visual effects. The film stars Golden Globe® winner Colin Farrell (Saving Mr. Banks), Golden Globe winner Michael Keaton (Birdman, Beetlejuice), Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Danny DeVito (Batman Returns, Big Fish), BAFTA Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Eva Green (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Dark Shadows), and introduces Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins in their first film roles. Dumbo is slated for release on March 29, 2019.

The Lion King Looks Amazing!
The Walt Disney Studios presentation at D23 Expo 2015 gave Disney fans a first look at The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau, who was on hand again this year and received a standing ovation after showing footage from the upcoming live-action The Lion King. The photoreal interpretation of the film’s “Circle of Life” sequence featured beloved characters, including Rafiki, Mufasa, and an impossibly adorable baby Simba. Favreau, a lifelong Disney fan himself, told the excited crowd, “We like to check in with you.” His first question upon embarking on the film was, “When’s D23? We wanted to give you the first look.” The film is slated for release in 2019.

News from a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson took the stage at his first D23 Expo today, revealing that he began his career at Disney Channel, working in on-air promotions. As much as he loved that job, he says that making Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been the time of his life.

Johnson introduced stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Gwendolyn Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro, and, of course, new Disney Legend Mark Hamill. Johnson and his cast wouldn’t reveal much about the upcoming film—in fact, they wouldn’t really reveal anything, though Hamill confirmed that we will, indeed, hear Luke Skywalker speak in this film. He referred to the movie as a “game changer,” and noting, “When I read the script, there were so many unexpected elements.”

Johnson and the cast then offered up a behind-the-scenes look at Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which opens in theaters on December 15, 2017.

Avengers—and More—Assemble!
Kevin Feige is Marvel Studios President—and he’s also a massive Disney fan and a card-carrying D23 charter member who has been coming to D23 Expo since the first Expo in 2009. Feige explained that next year will be one of celebration—in honor of the 10th anniversary of Marvel Studios. It’s going to be a big year for the studio, and fans can look forward to what Feige calls “the biggest production in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—Avengers: Infinity War. The film is filming now, Feige said, but a slew of Super Heroes—and a fearsome villain—were able to take time away from the production to surprise Disney fans at Expo. In the most Marvel-ous gathering of stars ever, Feige welcomed Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, Don Cheadle, Sebastian Stan, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, and Pom Klementieff to the stage, along with one of the film’s directors, Joe Russo.

“Even I find myself geeking out,” Feige joked, as the assemblage continued. The crowd was on their feet long before Robert Downey Jr. demanded, “Let’s see it”—“it” being an exclusive early look at footage from the movie.

Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War, an unprecedented cinematic journey 10 years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, opens in theaters on May 4, 2018.

D23 Expo 2017 Summary – Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios

“We are going to show you things that no one has seen outside the walls of our studio.”

That was the promise from John Lasseter—Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios Chief Creative Officer, not to mention a onetime Jungle Cruise skipper—at the start of this afternoon’s presentation in Hall D23 at D23 Expo 2017. Wearing a signature Hawaiian shirt featuring characters from all of the films he’s worked on, John took to the stage accompanied by a “spirit squad” brandishing T-shirt shooters, which they used to lob tees to a crowd who couldn’t have been more eager to find out what’s next for Disney’s three animation studios.

In the coming months and years, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, and Disneytoon Studios will roll out a slate of films that feature familiar faces (and voices) and new characters fans are sure to love. “I’m so excited about our upcoming movies; they are all hilarious, emotional, beautiful, and make you think,” Lasseter said. “It’s a great mix of incredibly creative and surprising new worlds and characters and stories we love returning to. Our filmmakers are putting so much heart into these films—I can’t wait for people to see them.”

Today’s presentation included surprise appearances from the filmmakers and voice talent behind the studios’ upcoming films, exclusive clips, and unforgettable moments that only happen at D23 Expo. If you’re a fan of Disney animation—and aren’t we all?—here are the films that are bound to exceed all Expo-tations!

Untitled Disneytoon Studios Film
According to Lasseter, the folks at Disneytoon Studios aim to elevate storytelling to new heights—literally—with their yet-to-be titled film that explores the future of aviation. Lasseter previewed a “speed test” for fans, and revealed that the film—which is directed by Klay Hall and Bobs Gannaway and produced by Ferrell Barron—opens in theaters on April 12, 2019.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
We were already shivering in anticipation of this new 21-minute Frozen holiday featurette, opening on the big screen in front of Disney•Pixar’s Coco on November 22, 2017. Kristen Bell returned to the Hall D23 stage for 2017 with an animated clip from the film that audiences would be seeing “for the first time in forever.” The 6,800 fans in Hall D23 let out a collective “Awww” when they saw their frosty friend Olaf once again, followed by a collective gasp when “audio problems” threatened to cut the clip short. Help was close at hand, however, as Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf, was waiting in the wings to surprise the crowd with a live performance of a new song from the featurette, “That Time of Year,” from Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson (who have provided four new songs for the featurette). The full cast is back for Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, including Idina Menzel as the voice of Elsa and Jonathan Groff as the voice of Kristoff. Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (Prep & Landing) direct, and Oscar® winner Roy Conli (Big Hero 6) produces.

Frozen 2
We have to wait a big longer to learn the final title for the sequel to the 2013 blockbuster Frozen, but the creative team is hard at work on the film, which opens on November 27, 2019. In addition to the returning cast, Frozen directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and producer Peter Del Vecho are also headed back to Arendelle. Fans were treated to a behind-the-scenes video from a recent research trip the filmmakers took to Norway, Finland, and Iceland.


Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
Director Rich Moore told D23 fans that the Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 filmmakers knew they had to go “somewhere big” in the follow-up to the film that he described as “a love letter to video game arcades.” That turned out to be the Internet. John C. Reilly is returning to voice Ralph, and Jack McBrayer will again lend his vocal talents to the role of Fix-It Felix. Sarah Silverman—Vanellope von Schweetz—joined Moore and director Phil Johnston on the Hall D23 Stage, and they introduced a new character, Yesss (all those esses are meant to be there). You’ll be hearing Golden Globe winner Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures, Empire) as the character. According to Moore, “If it’s cool, if it’s trendy, if it’s now, Yesss has discovered it and shared it with the world.”

Fans were treated to a “break the Internet” moment in Hall D23, with the debut of a scene from the film that pays homage to the Disney Princesses like never before. After revealing that the original voice actresses behind the Princesses were asked to reprise their roles for the sequence, in an historic, only-at-Expo experience, Auli‘i Cravalho (Moana), Kristen Bell (Anna in Frozen), Kelly MacDonald (Merida in Brave), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel in Tangled), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana in The Princess and the Frog), Irene Bedard (Pocahontas), Linda Larkin (Jasmine in Aladdin), Paige O’Hara (Belle in Beauty and the Beast) and Jodi Benson (Ariel in The Little Mermaid) came together for the largest gathering of Disney Princesses ever.

With Oscar® winner Clark Spencer producing, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 opens in theaters on November 21, 2018.

Incredibles 2
Lasseter has been waiting for this film “since before there was a D23,” he said, prior to showing a look at the character people have been talking about since the film’s release: Edna Mode. Featuring fashion luminaries such as Zac Posen, Rachel Zoe, Heidi Klum, Kendall Jenner, the video takes a fun look at what the fashion world thinks of the diminutive designer:

Edna Mode Tribute Video

Director Brad Bird (who voices Edna Mode) joined Lasseter on stage, and presented clips that showed off the new animation technology filmmakers are using to bring the super-family to life in the sequel. Actors Craig T. Nelson (Mr. Incredible), Holly Hunter (Mrs. Incredible), Sarah Vowell (Violet), and Samuel L. Jackson (Frozone) were reunited on the Expo stage, joined by newcomer Huck Milner (the voice of Dash). Incredibles 2 is slated to open on June 15, 2018.

Toy Story 4
Josh Cooley, who joined Pixar in 2003 as an intern in the story department on Cars, joined Lasseter on the stage, who revealed that Cooley (who directed the Riley’s First Date? short) has assumed full director responsibilities for Toy Story 4. D23 Expo attendees were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at a day in Cooley’s life at the Pixar headquarters in Northern California and at the making of Toy Story 4, which is slated to open in theaters on June 21, 2019.

Untitled Dan Scanlon Movie
“D23 has become the place to announce new films—which we’re going to do right now,” Lasseter said. Monsters University director Dan Scanlon revealed a few details about a new, original feature in production at Pixar Animation Studios. The untitled film is based on a personal story for Scanlon, who lost his father when he was very young. The director has always wondered, “Who was my father?” The story is set in a world with no humans—only elves, trolls, and sprites—“anything that would be on the side of a van in the ’70s,” said the director. “In the film, we’re going to tell the story of two teenage elf brothers whose father died when they were too young to remember him. But thanks to the little magic still left in the world, the boys embark on a quest that will allow them a chance to spend one last magical day with their father.” Kori Rae (Monsters University) will produce.

Coco
The last film of today’s presentation, but, happily, the next animated film to be released by Disney, Cocoopens in theaters on November 22, 2017. Director Lee Unkrich, co-director and screenwriter Adrian Molina, and producer Darla K. Anderson gave the audience a first look at a clip from the film, which introduces Miguel, who dreams of becoming a musician like his hero, Ernesto de la Cruz, but whose family long ago banned music. A fateful decision leads Miguel to the Land of the Dead. Molina said, “In the end it’s a story about the importance of family, honoring your ancestors, and following your dreams.”

Music is an important part of Coco, and Unkrich promised that the film will feature both traditional Mexican music and new songs created just for the film, as well as a score from Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Up, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). The song “Remember Me” was written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, with additional songs co-written by Germaine Franco (Dope, Shovel Buddies) and Molina. Also part of the team is musical consultant Camilo Lara of the music project Mexican Institute of Sound.

The presentation ended with a grand finale, the first-ever public performance of “Remember Me,” performed by Anthony Gonzalez, (who voices Miguel in the film) and Benjamin Bratt, who lends his voice to Ernesto de la Cruz. They were joined by more than 160 performers, including Grammy®-winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea and Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles under the direction of Kareli Montoya, and the Grammy-winning Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band. Orange confetti that filled the air suggested the film’s stunning bridge of marigold petals, making a magical, memorable finish to an unforgettable afternoon.

Box Office: ‘Cars 3’ Beats ‘Wonder Woman’ With $53.5M

Despite signs of franchise fatigue, Pixar and Disney’s Cars 3 dominated the road at the North American box office over the weekend.

The threequel opened to an estimated $53.5 million from 4,256 theaters, enough to beat ruling champ Wonder Woman. It is anticipating a brisk Sunday, thanks to Father’s Day (the movie is skewing slightly male). Overseas, Cars 3 debuted to $21.3 million from its first handful of territories for a global start of $74.8 million.

Make no mistake, Wonder Woman continues to impress, falling a scant 30 percent in the U.S. to $40.8 million for a domestic cume of $274.6 million. The Warner Bros. movie, directed by Patty Jenkins, enjoyed one of the best third weekends in history for a superhero film. Internationally, Wonder Woman‘s hold is almost as good, earning another $39.5 million for a foreign total of $297.2 million and worldwide tally of $571.8 million.

In the coming days, Wonder Woman will eclipse 2008’s Mamma Mia! ($609.8 million) to become the top-grossing female-directed live-action film of all time, not accounting for inflation.

Cars 3 nabbed an A CinemaScore. That means all 18 Pixar films have received some variation of the top grade. It is also the 16th Pixar movie to open at No. 1.

At the same time, Cars 3 came in 19 percent behind the $66.1 million domestic debut of Cars 2 in 2011, which went on to earn $562.1 million worldwide. The original Cars, which hit theaters in 2006, opened to $60.1 million in its North American bow before topping out at $462.2 million worldwide. Overall, Cars merchandise is a huge revenue generator for Disney.

The threequel follows the legendary Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) as he’s pushed out of the sport he loves by a new generation of blazing-fast racers. He enlists the help of a young female race technician (voiced by Cristela Alonzo) to help him get back in the game.

“We are thrilled with this start and look forward to the balance of the world opening up. Cars continues to be an important franchise for the company and the reaction to this new story and characters is very gratifying,” said Disney’s distribution president Dave Hollis. “Pixar’s consistency is an extraordinary competitive advantage in today’s world. ”

From The Hollywood Reporter

‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Sails Toward $300 Million Opening Weekend Worldwide

Disney’s latest crack at the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise appears to be a global hit.

The fifth installment, subtitled “Dead Men Tell No Tales” is sailing to $270.6 million at the international box office. That, combined with the $77 million it’s expected to pull in over the four-day holiday domestically, should easily put the film over $300 million globally during its opening frame.

In China alone the movie will make an estimated $67.8 million. The third highest opening for any Disney movie is partially attributed to the opening coinciding with the country’s Dragon Boat Festival holidays.

The film saw the largest opening of all time in Russia with $18.1 million ($18.6 million including previews). The rest of the top five territories are Korea ($11.6 million); France ($9.3 million); and Germany ($8.4 million).

“Dead Men Tell No Tales” centers on Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow battling deadly ghost sailors, led by Javier Bardem’s Captain Salazar. Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg directed the film, which also sees the return of both Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, who were absent from the fourth installment.

This weekend, a number of films are meeting or passing milestones both in the U.S. and abroad. Universal’s “Fate of the Furious” became the sixth film to earn over $1 billion overseas. Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” passed $500 million domestically putting it in elite company as well. With $783 million globally, Disney and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” has surpassed the first “Guardians” movie’s total earnings. Disney in general is keeping the box office afloat — as of Friday, the studio became the first to have earned over $1 billion in 2017, reaching the milestone in near record time. The only time a studio has earned so much so quickly was Disney last year.

From Variety

‘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

Ewan McGregor to Star in Disney’s ‘Christopher Robin’

Ewan McGregor is in talks to star in Disney’s Christopher Robin.

Disney’s live-action film, which will be helmed by World War Z and Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster, centers on the child from the A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories — but he’s all grown up.

McGregor will play the adult Christopher Robin, who’s lost his sense of imagination and is a businessman focused on work and success.

The studio also is bringing in Oscar-nominated screenwriter Allison Schroeder (Hidden Figures) to take a new pass of the script. Alex Ross Perry wrote the screenplay, with Tom McCarthy working on a later draft.

Milne’s Christopher Robin was inspired by and named after his own son, Christopher Robin Milne. He wrote about the character in two books, Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928), and other poems. Disney adapted the tales into several animated projects, including the 1988 series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the 2011 animated film Winnie the Pooh.

The Jungle Book producer Brigham Taylor is producing the project.

McGregor was most recently seen in Danny Boyle’s T2 Trainspotting and Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson. He stars in the third season of FX’s hit Fargo, which premiered April 19, playing twins Emmit and Ray Stussy. He’s also attached to Drake Doremus’ next film, Zoe, with Lea Seydoux. He’s repped by UTA, United Agents in the UK and Sloane Offer.

Schroeder wrote the script for Fox’s hit film Hidden Figures, which was nominated for three Oscars, including best adapted screenplay. She is repped by Verve and Good Fear Film + Management.

From The Hollywood Reporter