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

Disney Announces Release Dates for Frozen 2 and Live Action Lion King

The Walt Disney Studios has just updated its release schedule—which means it’s time for Disney fans to update their calendars!

Some release dates are simply worth melting for… Frozen 2 has been scheduled to open on November 27, 2019. Development of the sequel to the blockbuster film from Walt Disney Animation Studios was announced in March 2015, with the Oscar®-winning team of directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and producer Peter Del Vecho returning to continue the adventures of the characters fans first fell in love with in 2012.

The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau, will open in theaters on July 19, 2019. Actor James Earl Jones is reprising the role of Mufasa in the live-action reimagining of the Disney animated classic, and Donald Glover is voicing the adult Simba in the new film. The savanna and its amazing inhabitants will come to photorealistic life through technology that builds upon the innovative filmmaking audiences loved in Favreau’s adaptation of The Jungle Book.

Of course, those aren’t the only opening dates you’re going to want to circle in red. Take a look at this list for 2017 and 2018—and set those calendar alerts. There’s a lot of popcorn in your not-too-distant future, and there’s always room for surprises, too! Stay tuned to D23 for all of the updates about these films, and more to come in the future.

2017

May 5—Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

May 26—Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

June 16—Cars 3

November 3—Thor: Ragnarok

November 22—Coco

December 15—Star Wars: The Last Jedi

2018

February 16—Black Panther

March 9—A Wrinkle in Time

April 6—Magic Camp

May 4—Avengers: Infinity War

May 25—Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film

June 15—The Incredibles 2

July 6—Ant-Man and The Wasp

November 2—Mulan (Live-Action)

November 21—Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

December 25—Mary Poppins Returns

Disney Announces Release Dates for Star Wars: Episode IX and Next Indiana Jones Movies

The Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilm announced today two major upcoming release dates.

Star Wars: Episode IX is now set for release on May 24, 2019. Directed by Colin Trevorrow, the film will close out the third Star Wars trilogy.

In addition, the fifth chapter of the Indiana Jones series is now confirmed for a July 10, 2020 release. Both Steven Spielberg, director of every Indiana Jonesfilm, and star Harrison Ford will return.

From StarWars.com

‘Beauty And The Beast’ Ends Week Three With $920 Million

Another day, another Beauty and the Beast update. The Walt Disney blockbuster earned $3.2 million on its third Thursday, bringing its domestic total up to $407.3m in just 21 days. Presuming an over/under $25m fourth weekend, the film is looking at a 24-day total of slightly above $430m as it starts to lose theaters. But if that

But if that fourth-weekend drop is a little smaller than expected, it’ll be because 1,200 theaters will be getting a new Sing-Along version of the Emma Watson/Dan Stevens musical, just as Walt Disney did for Frozen and Moana.

Moana dropped just 8% on the weekend its sing-along version opened wide for a $2.4 million weekend. But, in that case, A) the film expanded by nearly 600 theaters and B) Moana was coming off a few Oscar nominations.

Back at the end of January 2014, Frozen fell just 2% on the weekend its “sing-along” version debut and bounced back from No. 4 to No. 2 in that weekend’s box office. It earned $8.9 million, outgrossing both new releases (That Awkward Moment and Labor Day) and giving it one final shot in the arm before The LEGO Movie blew into town. This time out, it’s one last ride before Fate of the Furious rolls into town.

So we’ll see how that plays out, as the Disney musical and DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby fight it out for the (arbitrary) top spot. But either way, there isn’t that much more to offer until we get some solid weekend numbers as the $160 million-budgeted musical moves its way further up the all-time charts.

In terms of overseas muscle, the film earned another $6 million overseas to bring its foreign cume to $512.7m and its global cume to a whopping $920m thus far. As of this moment, it is the 22nd-biggest domestic grosser of all time (not accounting for inflation or 3D bumps) and the 41st-biggest global earner ever, just above Shrek 2 ($919m back in 2004 and in 2D).

There are no new overseas markets this weekend (South Africa is next weekend and Japan is the weekend after that), so it will need several more days to claw up to the $1 billion mark. Beyond that, it’s just a matter of seeing just how far it’ll go.

From Forbes

Disney Announces Wreck-It Ralph 2 Title

Disney’s sequel to its 2012 Oscar-nominated animated comedy Wreck-It Ralph officially has a title and a release date. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 is headed to the big screen on March 9, 2018, the studio announced Tuesday night during its presentation at CinemaCon.

John C. Reilly (Ralph), Sarah Silverman (Vanellope von Schweetz), Jack McBrayer (Fix-It Felix), and Jane Lynch (Sergeant Calhoun) will all reprise their roles in the sequel. Fresh off their Oscar win for Zootopia, Rich Moore, who directed the first film, and Phil Johnston, who co-wrote the story, will direct the Ralph Breaks the Internet; producer Clark Spencer is also returning.

“To take these characters we love and have them enter the enormous world of the internet has given us so much to explore,” Moore said in a statement. “Our production team has been hard at work designing a world that takes something we all think we know – the internet – but shows it in a whole new, imaginative way.”

The sequel will add several new characters, but will still focus on the relationship between the lumbering and lovable demolition expert and the sassy racecar driver from the first film. ” At the center of this film, as in the first one, is the relationship between Ralph and Vanellope, two once-outcasts, who in each other, found true friendship,” Johnston said in a statement.

From Entertainment Weekly

‘Beauty and the Beast’ Dominates for the 2nd Straight Week

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” waltzed into the top spot at the box office for the second week in a row, earning an estimated $88 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

The live-action feature, starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline and Ian McKellen, has raked in more than $315 million in 10 days. In addition, “Beauty and the Beast” brought in more than $119 million overseas, bringing its worldwide total to more than $690 million.

“Power Rangers,” starring Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G. and Dacre Montgomery, had an impressive opening weekend, earning an estimated $40.5 million for a second place finish. “Kong: Skull Island” took third place with a $14.4 million haul.

“Life,” released last week and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson, had a disappointing fourth place finish, taking in an estimated $12.6 million.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated weekend gross ticket sales:

  • 1 – Beauty and the Beast, $88 million
  • 2 – Power Rangers, $40.5 million
  • 3 – Kong: Skull Island, $14.4 million
  • 4 – Life, $12.6 million
  • 5 – Logan, $10.1 million
  • 6 – Get Out, $8.68 million
  • 7 – CHIPS, $7.6 million
  • 8 – The Shack, $3.78 million
  • 9 – The LEGO Batman Movie, $1.97 million
  • 10 – The Belko Experiment, $1.8 million

From ABC News

‘Beauty and the Beast’ Smashes Records With Towering $170 Million Debut

This is what makes Disney such a powerhouse.

“Beauty and the Beast,” the studio’s latest live-action update of a cartoon classic, waltzed its way to a towering $170 million debut this weekend, setting a new record for a March opening and solidifying the Mouse House’s status as the dominant player in the film business. No other company can match the streak that Disney is currently enjoying, thanks to a series of multi-billion acquisitions that put the likes of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm in its Magic Kingdom. Last year, the studio accounted for more than a quarter of all domestic ticket sales, and 2017 brings the release of sequels to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Cars,” and “Thor,” in addition to “Beauty and the Beast.”

“I don’t know if they made a deal with the devil, but Disney is an awfully potent empire right now,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst at Exhibitor Relations. “You continue to shake your head and roll your eyes, but they can do no wrong right now and that has all the other studios salivating.”

“Beauty and the Beast” represents another part of Disney’s branded strategy. It’s the latest fairy tale adaptation to hit screens. Others in the lucrative group include “Alice in Wonderland,” which picked up $1 billion worldwide; “Cinderella” with its $543.5 million global haul; and last year’s “The Jungle Book,” which racked up a mighty $966.6 million after finishing its run. Remakes of “Dumbo” and “Mulan” are already in the works, as Disney commits to putting a live-action spin on the bulk of its animated properties (Fans of “Treasure Planet” may be out of luck).

The latest fairy tale follows Belle, a bookish girl in France played by Harry Potter film veteran Emma Watson, who helps a tortured Beast (Dan Stevens of “Downton Abbey” fame) break out of his shell. In the process, she lifts a curse that’s left the Beast’s kingdom populated by talking household items. “Beauty and the Beast” didn’t muck about with the elements that made the 1991 film so beloved. Director Bill Condon kept the basic plot intact, while fleshing out a bit more of Belle’s backstory, and retaining a soundtrack that includes “Be Our Guest” and “Belle.” All those elaborate musical numbers and chatty cutlery don’t come cheap. “Beauty and the Beast” carries a hefty $160 million budget. It should make that money back manyfold after ticket sales are tallied and new lines of princess wear are whipped up to satisfy new generations of Belle lovers.

“Beauty and the Beast’s” appeal cut across the generations, while its feminist heroine, a brainy, headstrong villager who refuses to conform, resonated with younger women. Sixty percent of ticket buyers were female, while families accounted for half of the opening weekend audience. Children under 12 made up 22% of the crowd, while people between the ages of 26 and 34, the same demographic reared on the animated film, comprised 21% of the audience.

“The elements came together to make this into a can’t miss event,” said Dave Hollis, Disney’s distribution chief. “There was massive nostalgia for the original film. Parents loved the movie and they wanted to show this one to their kids and share that experience.”

Most major studios steered clear of “Beauty and the Beast.” The only other new release of note, “The Belko Experiment,” debuted to $4.1 million, which its backers say is success given its model. The film boasts a unique distribution strategy. “The Belko Experiment” opened in 1,341 locations, roughly a third of the theater count for a major studio offerings. The theaters are chosen because they are more popular with horror fans. Orion, an MGM label, backed the film and is distributing it with BH Tilt. That label is overseen by “The Purge” and “Insidious” producer Blumhouse. It’s trying to find more cost-efficient ways to bring smaller films to the masses. “The Belko Experiment” follows a group of American corporate types, who are locked in a high-rise office in Bogotá, Colombia. They are ordered by a voice on the intercom to kill one another in a gray flannel-version of Social Darwinism.

With “Beauty and the Beast” dominating ticket sales, last weekend’s champ, “Kong: Skull Island,” fell 53% to $28.8 million. That pushes the monster movie’s domestic haul to $110.1 million. Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment teamed up to produce the remake of King Kong.

Fox’s “Logan” took third place, pulling in $17.5 million and bringing the R-rated superhero tale’s stateside total to $184 million. Universal and Blumhouse’s “Get Out,” a thriller about a black man whose girlfriend’s white family holds a sinister secret, nabbed fourth position. It made $13.2 million, bringing its gross to $133.1 million. With a budget of $4.5 million, the film is one of the year’s most profitable. Lionsgate’s “The Shack” rounded out the top five generating $6.1 million and pushing the faith-based drama’s earnings to over $42.6 million.

In limited release, “T2 Trainspotting,” a sequel to the 1996 cult comedy about a group of heroin addicts, opened in five locations, earning $180,000. Ewan McGregor reprises his role as a drug-addict Scot. The actor also has a supporting turn playing Lumiere, a candlestick, in “Beauty and the Beast.” Sony is releasing “T2,” which is heavily geared towards European audiences. The drama has already made $34 million overseas.

From Variety