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“I see a really huge franchise here — honestly, as big as ‘Star Wars.’” the director told BBC 4’s Francine Stock in an interview that aired in May, just before the film was released overseas. “I’m trying to open it up. This is not an innocent plan,” he said.
Which must have made this weekend’s numbers a bit of a gut explosion … er … punch. Off a $97 million production budget (not including marketing costs) “Alien: Covenant” opened in first place at the domestic box office with $36 million, just barely beating out the third frame of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” It’s leading worldwide as well with $66.3 million this weekend, and $117.8 million total when counting last weekend’s international opening (one frame before it was released in the states).
- Seth Kelley
Now, we have an answer. As of Sunday morning, “Covenant,” from 20th Century Fox and Scott Free Productions, looks to be the winner with a three-day estimate of just over $36 million from 3,761 locations. That’s just above Disney’s “Guardians” sequel which is raking in an additional $35.3 million from 4,347 spots. The super sequel is seeing only a 46% drop from last weekend. The movie’s domestic earnings are now more than $300 million.
The sixth installment in the Alien franchise (not counting the two Alien vs. Predator films) was directed by Ridley Scott and stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, and Danny McBride. It holds a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is in line with 2012’s “Prometheus.” Although it came in already »
- Seth Kelley
That’s more than enough to deny a third straight box office title to Disney-Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” which is heading for about $32 million at 4,347 sites. The tentpole sequel’s taking in about half of its gross from last weekend and should push “Guardians 2” to nearly $300 million by the end of this weekend — trailing only Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” among 2017 titles.
The launch of Warner Bros.-MGM’s teen romance “Everything, Everything” was performing somewhat above modest estimates with a projection of about $13 million at 2,850 sites. Fox’s debut of family comedy “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” appeared to be in line with expectations with about $10 million at 3,157 venues. Fox’s second weekend of Amy Schumer- »
- Dave McNary
The “Alien: Covenant” preview number is similar to Warner Bros.’ “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which opened on the same weekend in 2015 with $3.7 million on Thursday night on its way to a $45.4 million weekend. “Alien” held screenings at about 3,000 in North America.
Recent estimates have projected Fox’s R-rated horror-thriller to launch in the $40 million to $45 million range at 3,760 sites. That’s probably enough to deny Marvel-Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” a third consecutive victory as it heads for a weekend in the $35 million range. The Marvel-Disney sequel, still playing at 4,347 locations, has already taken in more that $265 million domestically in its first two weeks. It’s the second-biggest domestic grosser of 2017 and is nearing $650 million worldwide.
- Dave McNary
This weekend, it’s all about 20th Century Fox. The studio is in the unusual position of opening two sequels, Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.” With the second weekend of “Snatched” and the long-running “The Baby Boss,” that should give them four titles in the top 10.
Read More: Why ‘King Arthur’ Flopped: You Can’t Make a $300 Million Movie Without Women, and Three More Reasons
Joining the two new titles is “Everything, Everything” (Warner Bros.), an adaptation of the young-adult novel about the first love of a chronically ill teenage girl. Those three, along with the continued strength of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” could propel top 10 grosses into a second straight week of improvement over last year. A robust Mother’s Day actually pushed last weekend slightly ahead of 2016’s.
“Alien: Covenant” will provide the bulk of the new films’ total, »
- Tom Brueggemann
It appears so, according to early estimates which project Fox’s “Prometheus” sequel will make anywhere from $40 million to $45 million during its opening weekend. The studio is projecting earnings on the low end of the range. “Prometheus” made $51 million when it opened in June 2012 in the second slot behind “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.”
Which is to say the squirm-inducing franchise appears to remain sentient nearly 40 years after “Alien” shocked theater-goers in 1979. This latest R-rated horror extravaganza hails from 20th Century Fox and Scott Free Productions, and stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, and Danny McBride. The project centers on the crew of the colony ship Covenant who are confronted by life-threatening alien life-forms — and, yes, there will be blood. »
- Seth Kelley
The news was announced this morning by StudioCanal, confirming that Elba has begun work on the feature adaptation of Victor Headley’s cult novel of the same name. Aml Ameen (The Maze Runner, The Butler) starring in the lead role as ‘D’. Yardie will shoot on location in London and Jamaica for seven weeks.
Additionally, Stephen Graham (the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, This Is England, Little Boy Blue) will play the role of Rico, while Idris Elba will star as Piper. The film will introduce exciting new Jamaican talent including Shantol Jackson as Yvonne, Sheldon Shepherd as King Fox and Everaldo Creary as Jerry Dread.
- Paul Heath
Filming has begun on the project, which is based on Victor Headley’s cult novel.
Studiocanal announced today (16 March) that principal photography has started on the film, based on Victor Headley’s cult novel.
It follows the story of a young Jamaican named ‘D’ who, on arriving in early 1980s London, unexpectedly finds the young man who assassinated his revered brother back in Jamaica ten years before. His quest for justice explodes into a violent street war that could end up killing him and his loved ones.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Orlando Parfitt)
Here at Et, we're obsessed with a lot of things -- and for the week of May 15 to May 21, this is what we’re most excited about:
Why We're Obsessed With 'The End of Longing'
The End of Longing, a dark comedy play written by Matthew Perry about four broken souls who set out to shatter their demons once and for all, begins preview performances at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on Broadway this week, following its successful run at London's Playhouse Theatre last year. "I've never done a play in New York before, so it's very, very exciting," the 47-year-old former Friends star told Et last month. Joining Perry on stage is Jennifer Morrison, Quincy Dunn-Baker and Sue Jean Kim, with Lindsay Posner serving as director. Perry plays Jack, a character loosely based on himself, in the production. "I'm always drawn to characters that improve, that are geared to try to become better men in their lives, that »
We’re going to be getting tons of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur in our theaters soon, with the upcoming biopic All Eyez on Me, and now a fully authorized feature length documentary helmed by Steve McQueen, the director of 12 Years a Slave. This will be the first documentary from the director of Hunger and Shame, though he […]
- Hoai-Tran Bui
The director, best known for his acclaimed work across 12 Years a Slave, Hunger, and Shame, is set to work closely with the late rapper’s family in order to craft an authentic portrait of Shakur’s life and legacy. Though it’s yet to nail down an official title, McQueen’s Tupac Shakur biopic will foster a collaboration between Amaru Entertainment, a banner created by his mother Afeni Shakur, and White Horse Pictures. Jayson Jackson (What Happened, Miss Simone?) is on board to produce, while Gloria Cox, Shakur’s aunt, will executive produce.
- Michael Briers
While he’s currently set to begin shooting his next drama Widows this summer, acclaimed filmmaker Steve McQueen has set his sights on helming a documentary about the life of hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur. Per Deadline, the doc is fully authorized by Shakur’s mother Afeni Shakur. “I am extremely moved and excited to be exploring the life and times of this legendary artist,” said McQueen. “I attended Nyu film school in 1993 and can remember the unfolding hip-hop world and mine overlapping with Tupac’s through a mutual friend in a small way. Few, if any shined brighter than Tupac Shakur. I look forward to working closely with his family to tell the unvarnished story of this talented man.”
Shakur’s recording career was brief, lasting only five years before his murder in 1996, yet the artist’s legacy has continued to thrive, selling 75 million records worldwide. Last month, Shakur became »
- The Film Stage
It looks like we’re in for a couple of years of Tupac Shakur appreciation. This summer, the late iconic rapper gets the biopic treatment with “All Eyez On Me” which looks….serviceable. But the project that we’d bet will be the authoritative take on the rapper’s life, career, and legacy will be the one coming from Steve McQueen.
- Kevin Jagernauth
French actress Sandrine Kiberlain has been named president of the Caméra d’or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (May 17-28).
Kiberlain and jury will award a prize to a director’s first work from the Official Selection, the Directors’ Fortnight or Critics’ Week .
Since 1978 the prize has gone to films including Stranger than Paradise by Jim Jarmusch (1984), Suzaku by Naomi Kawase (1997), The White Balloon by Jafar Panahi (1995), Hunger by Steve McQueen (2008) and Beasts of the Southern Wild by Benh Zeitlin (2012).
In a career spanning 25 years and boasting around 40 films, actress Kiberlain first shot to prominence in The Patriots by Éric Rochant (winner of the Romy-Schneider Prize) and En Avoir (Ou Pas) by Laetitia Masson, for which she won the César for most promising actress.
Subsequent turns have »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
French actress Sandrine Kiberlain will be president of the Cannes Film Festival’s Camera D’Or jury who award a prize for the best first film in the Competition, Un Certain Regard, Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight sections.
The Cannes Film Festival has given this particular prize since 1978, with winning films including Stranger Than Paradise by Jim Jarmusch (1984), Suzaku by Naomi Kawase (1997), Le Ballon Blanc by Jafar Panahi (1995), Hunger by Steve McQueen (2008) and Beasts Of The Southern Wild by Benh Zeitlin (2012). Last year’s winner was Divines from Houda Benyamina.
Kiberlain who will be surrounded by other industry professionals, has had a career spanning 25 years and more than 40 films, »
- Richard Mowe
How important is resemblance, really?
As we mentioned in our newsletter yesterday, Christian Bale is reportedly in talks to star as former vice president Dick Cheney in an Adam McKay helmed biopic, alongside Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney and Steve Carrell as Donald Rumsfeld. The news, broken by Variety, has lead to a host of reactions across the internet, including a number of Dark Knight and American Psycho related jokes because, you know, duh. Front and center in many of these reactions is speculation (though in some cases, anticipatory salivation might be more accurate) over how Bale will transform for the role.
After all, Christian Bale is known for physical metamorphoses that rank just below those of caterpillars on an impressiveness scale; he famously lost 60 pounds for his role in The Machinist (bringing the 6' actor to a skeletal 120-ish pounds), and afterwards went directly to Batman Begins, eating and weight-lifting his way to 220 pounds, which »
- Ciara Wardlow
We’re still a while away from “Widows,” Steve McQueen’s highly anticipated follow-up to his Best Picture–winning “12 Years a Slave.” In the meantime, New Yorkers can visit the Museum of Modern Art beginning May 6 to see a digital projection of “Static,” a 35mm film McQueen made in 2009 to commemorate President Obama’s motion to reopen the Statue of Liberty to the public following its closure after 9/11.
Here’s how MoMA describes the work, which came after “Hunger” and before “12 Years a Slave”: “Shot from a helicopter circling the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, in New York Harbor, the film captures Lady Liberty both in furtive, detailed close-ups and from a greater remove. As suggested by the work’s title, the statue remains fixed, intended to be gazed at from afar, even »
- Michael Nordine
And look at that, not a leprechaun in sight.
For a relatively small island with a tiny film industry, Ireland certainly gets a lot of representation in movies — sometimes via other places masquerading as Ireland, other times by representing other places (the beach landing scene in Saving Private Ryan was shot in Wexford, for example) or worlds (Ahch-To in The Force Awakens), and occasionally it even gets to play itself. The island also exports a rather impressive number of cinematic talents considering the fact that, though every third or forth person you meet on the street in, say, Boston or Chicago (a lot of places, really) will claim Irish heritage, the Republic of Ireland has a population of slightly less than 4.6 million and Northern Ireland slightly more than 1.8 million, bringing the island to a total of only around 6.4 million. In other words, still around 2 million less than before the Famine, over »
- Ciara Wardlow
[Editor’s Note: This post is presented in partnership with Spectrum. Catch up on this year’s Awards Season contenders and past winners On Demand. Today’s flashback winner is “12 Years a Slave.”]
At this point, hardly anyone would mistake Steve McQueen — the British-born, Amsterdam-based African-American director of “12 Years a Slave” — with the late “Bullitt” star of the same name. The living McQueen started out as an acclaimed experimental shorts filmmaker before landing critical acclaim with his 2007 directorial debut “Hunger,” a spare, haunting portrait of an Ira fighter on a hunger strike during the late 1970’s; he followed that up with another unsettling treatment of male physicality in crisis, the sex addiction drama “Shame.” Both movies starred Michael Fassbender as deeply troubled souls, and “12 Years a Slave” is no exception, though it has much bigger aims than personal strife: The true story of Solomon Northup, a free African American in the 19th century kidnapped and sold into slavery, the movie features Chiwetel Ejiofor at the center of a remarkably poignant and tense story that many have deemed the most compelling treatment of the American slavery experience to date. »
- Eric Kohn
It’s just a few weeks until this year’s Oscars, which means the Hollywood machine is running out of steam to provide “new angles” on various awards season campaigns and Oscar bloggers are trying to squeeze traffic out of last-minute prediction shifts. It’s fitting, then, that around this time every year we get a rather substantial update of one of the most comprehensive polls on the greatest films of all-time, not simply the November/December releases with the biggest marketing budget come Academy Awards time.
That’s right, They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They? has now published their 2017 edition of 1,000 Greatest Films, culled together from an exhaustive list of major publications and critics. Still topped by Citizen Kane, I often find the most interesting portion to be those films that have most moved around, for better or worse, especially those with newfound critical admiration. This year, Terrence Malick »
- Jordan Raup
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