Despite Paramount and MGM’s claims of a $20 million opening weekend for their reimagining of Ben-Hur, the film is off to a very poor start at the box office. As box office analysts correctly predicted, the film is heading towards a $12 million debut after opening to a disastrous $4.1 million on Friday. The Timur Bekmambetov-directed film began targeting faith-based audiences after a fairly weak marketing campaign but that didn’t seem to push the film much further than where it was already heading.
Hustling far ahead of Ben-Hur at the box office is Todd Phillips’ War Dogs. Starring Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, the film is expected to earn a respectable $15 million this weekend after grossing $5.5 million on opening day. Based on a true story, War Dogs follows two twenty-something-year-old friends living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who land a $300 million deal to arm the Afghan Military. The dramedy also stars Bradley Cooper and Ana de Armas.
Kubo and the Two Strings, the critically acclaimed animated feature from Laika and Focus Features, is looking to reel in an estimated $12 million this weekend. On Friday, the film earned an estimated $4 million, not far behind Ben-Hur. Directed by Travis Knight, Kubo features the voices of Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron and Rooney Mara.
Universal has two new projects from M. Night Shyamalan coming our way in 2021 and 2023
M. Night Shyamalan and Universal Pictures seem to be getting along pretty nicely with each other as the studio announced yesterday that it will be continuing its relationship with the director and has dated his next two films from February 26, 2021 and February 17, 2023.
“M. Night Shyamalan continues to create exciting, highly original stories that keep global audiences on the edge of their seats,” said Universal Pictures president Peter Cramer. “There is no one like him: he is a master filmmaker working at the height of his powers, and we are honored that he has once again chosen Universal to be the home for his next two incredible projects.”
Shyamalan added, “There are wonderful studios out there, but Universal has made it a mandate to release original films. They are the best at finding an audience for new stories with unexpected tones. I believe original films are crucial to the longevity of the theatrical experience.”
While any and all details about these two films — with the exception of the release dates, of course — are being kept tightly under wraps for the time being, we can’t help but think Shyamalan will be pulling another Split-type secret sequel stunt and has something pretty exciting in store for us, though that’s just pure speculation on our part.
Fresh off its stops at festivals like Telluride and Toronto, 20th Century Fox has released a brand new trailer for James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari and it looks like this thing is shaping up to be one of hell a contender this awards season.
Ford v Ferrari tells “the remarkable true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale),” who, believe it or not, does not seem to have undergone any drastic transformations for his role here.
Together, the duo “battled corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.”
At press time, Ford v Ferrari boasts an impressive 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 43 reviews, and something tells me that percentage isn’t going to change too much over the next couple of months. I mean, even the “negative” reviews aren’t even that negative!
Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, and Ray McKinnon also star in Ford v Ferrari, which hits theaters on November 15.
Phoenix: Put on a happy face and come see Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Joker’ early and for free
Warner Bros. will release Joker, Todd Phillips’ take on the iconic DC villain’s origin starring Joaquin Phoenix, on September 6 and they’re giving Silver Screen Beat readers in Phoenix a chance to attend an advance screening of the film before it officially opens in theaters.
Our readers in the Phoenix area can click on this link to enter to win passes — good for you and one guest — to attend an advance screening of Joker happening Tuesday, October 1 at Harkins Arizona Mills IMAX at 7:00 p.m.
Winners of this contest will be selected and notified on Saturday, September 29 after 12:00 p.m. PT via email, so good luck! Below is the official trailer for Joker as well as some additional details about the film.
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, and Zazie Beetz
Opens: Friday, October 4
Rating: R for disturbing violent content and bloody images throughout, pervasive language, and some crude sexual material
Synopsis: Director Todd Phillips Joker centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.