Weekend box office: 'Smurfs: The Lost Village' flops with $14.1 million - Silver Screen Beat
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Weekend box office: ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ flops with $14.1 million

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Surprisingly enough, it appears Smurfs: The Lost Village isn’t having the best of opening weekends at the box office after debuting to a lackluster $14.1 million despite its impressive cast and $60 million budget, which, in all honesty, actually isn’t much for an animated film whose predecessors carried a hefty price tag twice that size. Either way, it was a mistake for Sony Pictures to choose this particular release date for The Lost Village when we still have Twentieth Century Fox’s The Boss Baby continuing its reign while Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast is still going strong weeks after its initial release.

After crushing Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell with its massive $49 million opening last weekend, The Boss Baby, the animated comedy in which Alec Baldwin voices a baby that also (seemingly) happens to be some sort of business executive, is No. 1 again this weekend after pulling in $26.3 million, enough to bring its domestic total to an impressive $89.4 million. However, with Universal’s eighth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, The Fate of the Furious, set to hit theaters next weekend, the success of the animated infant won’t stick around for much longer.

On a separate note, Going in Style, the comedy which boasts quite an impressive ensemble that includes Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin, took in $12.5 million on its relatively low production budget of only $24 million. Staggering along slowly behind it is, yes, you guessed it, Ghost in the Shell, with only $7.3 million to add to its $31.6 million domestic total. Keep in mind, this is a film that features a big-name actress, top-of-the-line special effects, and a fairly large marketing campaign—it cost $110 million to produce. For Paramount, this is yet another big blow following several other box office flops including Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-nominated Silence and last summer’s Ben-Hur remake.

As I mentioned in last week’s box office report, April is not an exciting month for movies, with the exception of next weekend’s The Fate of the Furious. Thankfully, things will certainly pick-up in May with the arrival of the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Alien: Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Baywatch. Until then, let’s hold our heads up high and try to get through these next couple of weeks.

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Universal has two new projects from M. Night Shyamalan coming our way in 2021 and 2023

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M. Night Shyamalan
PABLO CUADRA/GETTY IMAGES

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.

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Matt Damon and Christian Bale attempt to pull off the impossible in this new ‘Ford v Ferrari’ trailer

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Ford v Ferrari
20TH CENTURY FOX

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.

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Phoenix: Put on a happy face and come see Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Joker’ early and for free

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Joker
WARNER BROS.

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.

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