Category: MONDO

The ‘Eternals’ Trailer Finally Reveals How Chloé Zhao’s Vision Will Fit in the MCU

the-‘eternals’-trailer-finally-reveals-how-chloe-zhao’s-vision-will-fit-in-the-mcu

Of all the movies on Marvel Studios’ upcoming slate, “Eternals” has been the most mysterious, between its sprawling and multicultural ensemble, its Oscar-winning auteur director in Chloé Zhao and its story of a race of immortal beings who have secretly been on Earth for millennia. With the teaser trailer finally released to the world, we now have a greater sense of how Zhao will be integrating her unique cinematic eye to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how the Eternals will fit inside the MCU.

Here’s what we’ve learned.

Lazy loaded image

Screen grab courtesy of Marvel Studios

The Eternals are an integral — but invisible — part of human history

Set to Skeeter Davis’ haunting song “The End of the World,” we first meet the Eternals as their massive, totemic ship appears before a small tribe of early humans, many thousands of years in our past. As the Eternals’ leader Ajak (Salma Hayek) explains in voice-over, the Eternals have “watched, guided, and helped [humanity] progress” — including everything from causing water to sprout for farming to a shot of the ancient capital city of Babylon. While Ajak says the Eternals have “never interfered” in human history, the implication is humanity wouldn’t be where it is today without the Eternals quietly pulling strings in the background.

Lazy loaded image

Screen grab courtesy of Marvel Studios

They know about Iron Man, Captain America and the Avengers

After the events of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame,” you’ve got to wonder: If the Eternals are so powerful, why didn’t they help stop Thanos’ attempt to erase half of all life in the universe? We’ll probably need to buy a movie ticket to get the answer to that question, but at least the button of the teaser — with Lia McHugh’s Sprite asking who is going to lead the Avengers now that “Captain Rogers and Iron Man are both gone” — makes clear the Eternals know who the Avengers are. Note that Sprite says “Captain Rogers” and not “Captain America,” suggesting she also knows that Sam Wilson has taken up that mantle.

Richard Madden’s Ikaris suggests he could lead them, which causes everyone else to laugh. Ikaris seems to chuckle along, but could this mean the Eternals will finally reveal themselves to the world?

Lazy loaded image

Screen grab courtesy of Marvel Studios

Something finally forces the Eternals to “interfere”

The main antagonist in “Eternals” will reportedly be the the Deviants, a similarly long-lived race of super-powered beings who are — in the comics, anyway — as physically hideous as the Eternals are strikingly beautiful. There are a few brief shots in the teaser that appear to establish the Deviants: Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo sliding underneath an ominous, hulking black monster, and a group of dead-eyed farmers raising weapons in unison.

Lazy loaded image

Screen grab courtesy of Marvel Studios

Chloe Zhao’s aesthetic approach is unmistakable

The moment Marvel Studios announced that Zhao would be directing “Eternals,” fans of the filmmaker and of Marvel alike began wondering how much of Zhao’s singularly intimate and beatific approach to filmmaking would make it into the movie. From the opening shots of the teaser, however, it’s plain that this is unquestionably a Chloé Zhao movie. There was a curious lack of heavy action beats in this teaser — mostly Angelina Jolie’s Thena posing moodily with various weaponry — so it remains to be seen how Zhao’s feel for action spectacle will vibe with Marvel’s famously collaborative approach to filmmaking.

Zhao’s imprint on this movie is so strong, she’s actually credited twice for writing the screenplay: Once for writing individually, and then again for writing in collaboration with Patrick Burleigh (“Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway”). (The “story by” credit goes to Ryan Firpo & Matthew K. Firpo.)

Lazy loaded image

Screen grab courtesy of Marvel Studios

Gemma Chan’s Sersi indeed appears to be the lead

In April, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige told Variety‘s Kate Aurthur that “if there was a lead in this ensemble, it is Sersi, it is Gemma Chan.” The teaser certainly bears that out, making Cersi its main visual through line. She’s the one who, with Ikaris, first lays eyes on Earth from their ship. She’s the one who appears to leap in time from antiquity to modern day. We see her embrace Ikaris, seemingly over thousands of years. And we see her, briefly, with Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman, a character with his own storied history in Marvel comics — that was left a mystery for now.

Lazy loaded image

Screen grab courtesy of Marvel Studios

What we didn’t see is just as interesting as what we did

We still don’t know whether Dane Whitman is also the Black Knight by the time we meet him in “Eternals.” But in the comics, the character has also lived through many centuries thanks to the Ebony Blade, a nearly indestructible sword that also curses anyone who wields it.

We also don’t get a sense in the teaser about where the Eternals come from. In the comics, they’re created by the Celestials, a race of nearly all-powerful creatures that predate practically everything in the universe. The Celestials have popped up in the MCU a few times before: In “Guardians of the Galaxy,” we see a Celestial use the Power Stone to destroy a planet; and in the sequel, we learn that not only is Peter Quill’s father Ego (Kurt Russell) a Celestial who’s become a living planet, but he has designs to remake the entire galaxy in his own image.

Which is to say, to date, the Celestials haven’t exactly presented themselves as benevolent overseers of the universe — in the comics, they also created the Deviants.

Zhao’s previous films have all examined the ways in which individual lives are irrevocably shaped by greater forces they can’t control. So perhaps its fitting that her first foray into big-budget studio filmmaking deals with the god-like Eternals still not being able to escape the whims of their own creators. Heavy stuff for a superhero movie!

optional screen reader

‘Army of the Dead’ Viewers Question Dead Pixels on Screens

‘army-of-the-dead’-viewers-question-dead-pixels-on-screens

If you happened to watch Zack Snyder’s “Army of the Dead” this weekend, you might have noticed something was not quite right. You weren’t alone — quite a few Twitter and Reddit users noticed that some scenes appear to have dead pixels, or completely white spaces, on various parts of the screen.

Army of the Dead Pixel pic.twitter.com/H14f40CHdB

— Paul Doherty (@thepauldoherty) May 24, 2021

One user wrote, “Army Of The Dead really had me thinking my TV was messed up with 2 broken pixels and turns out it was in the movie.”

Viewers questioned whether the pixel problem with Snyder’s zombie VFX opus was an issue with their TV screens or a Netflix glitch after the film dropped on the streaming platform on May 21. Eagle-eyed audiences instantly noticed the dead pixels and quickly weighed in. A Reddit user wrote, “It is not visible in every scene, as only one of the (I estimate three) cameras has a faulty sensor. For example, you can clearly see it in Dave Batista’s reverse shot when he sits down in the diner at the beginning of the movie.”

As the film goes on, the cluster of dead pixels at one point goes up to three. A few watchers commented on how distracting they found the situation and wondered why the glitch had not been fixed in post-production. A user who goes by Jake commented, “I’m amazed Zack didn’t notice.”

Snyder used RED Monstro digital cameras equipped with vintage Canon lenses to craft the distinctive look of the film, on which he served as director of photography.

A few Twitter users quipped that the film should have been called “Army of the Dead Pixels.”

However, other Reddit users have pointed out that this is not the first time dead pixels have been spotted on the Netflix service. A user points out they were first noticed during last year’s “Extraction,” while another noted it’s becoming more frequent, pointing out the glitch on recent VFX-heavy shows such as “Jupiter’s Legacy” and “Shadow and Bone.”

XEvilrobot wrote, “I’ve been noticing white pixels in lots of recent Netflix content lately, Shadow and Bone for example had several of them – they’d be there for some scenes and then not on others. Came and went, but always back on the same few pixels when it would be there.”

A graphics expert at a top visual effects company that did not work on “Army” said there were several reasons dead pixels could appear onscreen, though it would be “highly unlikely” they would have been missed in post-production. “If auto-processing was not available for the given camera settings or was turned off to keep the workflow as ‘analog’ as possible, it would likely preserve these dead pixels,” the expert said.

Netflix had no comment.

Here’s what viewers were saying about the strange glitch:

Army of the Dead Pixels more like, couldn’t anyone be bothered to fix these in post?

— V.I.N.CENT (@VINCENT97536095) May 23, 2021

Though I did think my new LG OLED was broken after watching Army of the Dead! Cant believe a film could be released with a few hit pixels like that. I was raging at first!

— Simon Edwards (@Turak64) May 24, 2021

Lmao wasn’t just me pic.twitter.com/vbzOIEIB5D

— Grimoire Vice (@uzionmain) May 22, 2021

Army of the Dead pixels pic.twitter.com/gg6Z4MTZ73

— Jack Painter (@JackPainterX) May 23, 2021

Army of the Dead was super fun. Even more fun when I realized that dead pixel issue wasn’t my TV so I could relax a little bit.

— keithkrebs (@keithkrebs) May 23, 2021

I mean ultimately the fact that #ArmyOfTheDead has a dead pixel in a bunch of shots is a very, very minor imperfection. But it is also quite funny, and the kind of thing that will drive some viewers absolutely bananas when they notice it. pic.twitter.com/Xg1U3UsTca

— Stephen McNeice (@maccytothedee) May 22, 2021

No it really doesn’t, do a search for army of the dead pixel on here. Pics don’t do it justice but here is one, having a super bright spot on your screen is super distracting. Think it only shows in 4k HDR, on lesser versions you probably wouldn’t notice it pic.twitter.com/jP7yap07dL

— K3v8az (@K3v8az) May 23, 2021

optional screen reader

Harvey Weinstein Raises Paperwork Issue Again to Delay Extradition

harvey-weinstein-raises-paperwork-issue-again-to-delay-extradition

Harvey Weinstein is still fighting his extradition to Los Angeles to face rape and sexual assault charges, as his attorney filed a second motion on Monday claiming that the paperwork is out of order.

A hearing on the motion was scheduled for June 15, meaning that Weinstein will remain at a maximum security prison near Buffalo, N.Y., at least until then.

Weinstein last appeared in a court hearing on April 30. At the time, Judge Kenneth Case indicated that he would have 30 days to contest the extradition or appeal it to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Weinstein’s attorney, Norman Effman, told Variety that he will not appeal to Cuomo, saying he did not expect the governor would want to intervene.

“I don’t think it makes any sense, given the nature of politics in New York at the present time,” Effman said. “We’re resting our case on the mandates of the interstate agreement on detainers.”

Effman previously challenged the extradition on the grounds that the paperwork was out of date, prompting prosecutors to file a new request. At the April 30 hearing, Effman conceded that the new request made his earlier objection moot, but he said he would file a new objection.

“This is simply one set of papers after another, without any clarification as to whether any of them are withdrawn,” Effman said. “There’s a lot of confusion.”

Weinstein was charged in Los Angeles in January 2020, just as his trial in New York was getting underway. He now faces 11 counts in Los Angeles, involving five alleged victims.

He is serving a 23-year sentence at the Wende Correctional Facility, and his attorneys have argued that he should be allowed to stay there to receive treatment for a host of ailments.

The extradition has been repeatedly delayed due to the pandemic, by agreement with the prosecution. But this spring, with conditions improving in the Los Angeles court system, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has stopped agreeing to further delays.

Weinstein, 69, would be held in custody in Los Angeles for the duration of his trial, and then shipped back to New York to serve the remainder of his sentence there. He is not eligible for parole in New York until 2039.

optional screen reader

DJ-Actor Dimitri ‘Vegas’ Thivaios Lands First Lead Role in a Feature Film

dj-actor-dimitri-‘vegas’-thivaios-lands-first-lead-role-in-a-feature-film

Dimitri “Vegas” Thivaios, one-half of hugely popular electronic dance music duo Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, has landed his first lead role in a feature film, “H4Z4RD.” Billed as an action comedy, “H4Z4RD” is the second film from Belgian director, Jonas Govaerts, whose debut feature, the horror flick “Cub,” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Thivaios temporarily broke Instagram when he filmed himself cutting off his signature locks for the role. The haircut, soundtracked by his first solo single, “Pull Me Closer,” has logged over half a million views.

The Belgian/Greek Thivaios has made a few appearances on the big and small screen in recent years, including on “Jurassic World 3: Dominion” and “Rambo: Last Blood.” “H4Z4RD,” which takes place in Antwerp, in Thivaios’ home country of Belgium, takes place over a 24-hour timeframe and will be putting Thivaios’ acting chops to the test.

“It’s about a simple ‘job’ gone wrong turned into a nerve-wrecking race against the clock,” says Thivaios of “H4Z4RD.” “It’s an intense script entirely rendered from the point of view of the main character’s car, so that makes it a pretty unique and challenging concept.”

The Dutch-language film, which begins shooting this June, also stars high-profile actors from both Belgium and the Netherlands. Some names familiar to North American audiences are Frank Lammers from the Netflix crime-thriller series “Undercover,” Monic Hendrickx from the Netflix revenge drama “Ferry,” and Jeroen Perceval from the Academy Award-nominated “Bullhead.”

Govaerts is known for directing music videos, film shorts and television series, most notably the Netflix psychological thriller, “Tabula Rasa.”

optional screen reader

Universal’s ‘Boss Baby’ Sequel to Premiere on Peacock and in Theaters on the Same Day

universal’s-‘boss-baby’-sequel-to-premiere-on-peacock-and-in-theaters-on-the-same-day

Universal’s sequel to “The Boss Baby” will premiere on Peacock on the same day it launches in theaters.

The Boss Baby: Family Business,” arriving ahead of schedule (it was initially slated for Sept. 17), is now set to premiere on July 2.

The animated family film is the first theatrical title from Universal Pictures to open simultaneously on Peacock, the budding streaming service owned by the studio’s parent company, NBCUniversal. Peacock launched in 2020, with its premium versions costing $4.99 or $9.99 per month. “The Boss Baby” sequel will be available to Peacock Premium subscribers at no extra fee.

The film, produced by DreamWorks Animation, will begin to roll out internationally in select markets on July 2. Peacock hasn’t launched yet overseas.

The decision to put “The Boss Baby 2” both on the big screen and a streaming platform underscores the shift in power between studios and theater owners as the box office recovers from the pandemic. Disney and Warner Bros. have recently attempted similar moves in an effort to grow subscribers for Disney Plus and HBO Max, respectively. Nearly every Hollywood studio had at least one movie skip theaters entirely during the pandemic.

Theater operators, of course, have the option of whether or not to play the movie. However, they aren’t in much of a position to refuse new films. Though the box office has begun to shown signs of life, film exhibitors are still reeling from prolonged theater closures and the onslaught of release date delays that followed.

In what feels like a lifetime ago, theater owners threatened to boycott Universal’s movies last year after the studio decided to put “Trolls World Tour” in cinemas and on demand on the same day. At that time, all indoor theaters were shuttered to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Yet shortly after the “Trolls World Tour” debacle, the studio made nice with theaters and forged a historic agreement to put new movies on premium video-on-demand platforms after 17 days. So far, that method has proved to be lucrative for Universal. It later put the DreamWorks film “The Croods: A New Age” on demand shortly after it debuted in theaters, where the kids’ film became a pandemic-era hit with $168 million in worldwide ticket sales.

The hybrid release model for “The Boss Baby 2” isn’t expected to be Universal’s new way of doing business, but rather a boost for Peacock ahead of the Olympics in late July. Since April of 2020, NBCUniversal says more than 42 million people have signed up for Peacock.

“Families are at the heart of our decision today to make DreamWorks Animation’s ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’ available to everyone this July Fourth weekend, and to give those families the freedom to choose whether to see this joyful, hilarious and heartfelt film from a big-screen theater seat or from the comfort of their own homes on Peacock,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution.

“The Boss Baby,” released in 2017, was commercially successful, generating more than $500 million at the global box office. Alec Baldwin is returning to voice the title character with James Marsden, Amy Sedaris and Jeff Goldblum joining the voice cast.

“Our Peacock subscribers love movies, so we are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with UFEG and to offer Peacock customers this premium content from one of the industry’s most beloved animation brands,” said Matt Strauss, NBCUniversal’s chairman of direct-to-consumer and international. “DreamWorks Animation films, from ‘Trolls World Tour’ to ‘Shrek’ and beyond are among Peacock’s top performing titles to date, and we’re certain that ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’ is sure to become this summer’s ultimate streaming event.”

optional screen reader

Colin Firth and Kelly Macdonald’s ‘Operation Mincemeat’ Sets U.K. Release Date – Global Bulletin

colin-firth-and-kelly-macdonald’s-‘operation-mincemeat’-sets-uk.-release-date-–-global-bulletin

In today’s Global Bulletin, Warner Bros. announced Jan. 7 theatrical release for “Operation Mincemeat”; Nigerian Oscar submission “The Milkmaid” to headline BFI African Odyssey; Sovereign Film Distribution picks up Spanish thriller “The Offering”; BBC Music documents Glastonbury presents Live at Worthy Farm; and “Friends: The Reunion” heads to Zee5 in India.

PREMIERE

John Madden’s Colin Firth and Kelly Macdonald-starring WWII drama “Operation Mincemeat” will release in the U.K. and Ireland on Jan. 7, 2022, just in time for awards season, as reported by Deadline. Warner Bros. is distributing in most of Europe, including the U.K. and Ireland, with Netflix taking North American and Latin American rights in a $15m struck in March. Possible theatrical plans or a platform release date have not yet been announced by the streamer for those territories.

“Operation Mincemeat” is the film adaptation of Ben McIntyre’s homonymous novel, adapted by screenwriter Michelle Ashford. It retells the true story of an Allied mission in Northern Italy, when British forces successfully disguised the body of a recently-deceases homeless man as a Royal Marine officer and placed falsified documents on the corpse. Famously, “James Bond” creator Ian Fleming, a Lieutenant Commander at the time, was involved in the plan’s conception.

Matthew Macfadyen, Penelope Wilton, Johnny Flynn and Jason Isaacs all co-star in the drama, produced by Charles S. Cohen, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Kris Thykier, with See-Saw COO Simon Gillis as executive producer.

*****

The Milkmaid” made history as Nigeria’s first-ever Academy Award Best International Feature Film qualifying submission this year, and now British audiences will be able to see the movie on the big screen as BFI Southbank has picked up the film as part of its BFI African Odysseys program. In addition to hosting the film’s European premiere, Southbank will host director Desmond Ovbiagele and executive producer Oluseun Sowemimo for a Q&A after the screening.

“The Milkmaid” is a careful look at religious extremism which is overtaking the African continent, and the real-life consequences of its dissemination. The film tells the story of sisters Aisha and Zainab, who were kidnapped from their village on the latter’s wedding day, and their divergent struggles for survival thereafter.

Lazy loaded image

The Milkmaid Credit: BFI

ACQUISITION

London-based Sovereign Film Distribution has acquired U.K. and Ireland rights to Spanish drama “The Offering” (“L’ofrena”) from decorated Catalan director Ventura Durall. “The Offering” stars Alex Brendemühl, Verónica Echegui – who nabbed a best supporting actress win at the Catalan Academy Gaudi Awards for her performace, Anna Alarcón, Pablo Molinero and Claudia Riera, and was nominated for three other prizes at the Gaudi’s, including Best Female Lead, Best Male Lead and Best Film. A story of obsession, “The Offering” turns on a man unwilling to let go of a lost love from 20 years ago and his disturbing plan to win her back.

FESTIVAL

BBC Music has secured exclusive rights to footage shot at this year’s Glastonbury presents Live at Worthy Farm and has commissioned a behind-the-scenes feature film to be produced from recordings at last week’s concert. BBC will broadcast a director’s cut of the event’s stream, which premiere online over the weekend. The network will also offer an opportunity to revisit highlights from the stream on TV, Radio and its online platforms from June 25-27 as part of the Glastonbury Experience 2021, when BBC Two will also air an hour-long behind-the-scenes documentary from the event hosted by BBC Radio 2 presenter Jo Whiley during.

STREAMING

India’s Zee5, the country’s fastest-growing local streaming platform, will host the HBO MaxFriends: The Reunion” special exclusively on May 27, the one-year anniversary of the original series landing on the WarnerMedia-owned platform. Zee5 is operated by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), the country’s largest media conglomerate. The platform hosts more than 120 original programs and represents 12 language groups through all kinds of programming.

optional screen reader

Timothée Chalamet to Play Young Willy Wonka in Warner Bros. Movie

timothee-chalamet-to-play-young-willy-wonka-in-warner-bros.-movie

Timothée Chalamet will play the world’s most famous chocolatier in “Wonka,” a musical based on the early life of Willy Wonka.

Though plot details have been kept under wraps, the Warner Bros. prequel film will explore the upbringing of the man who later created the world-famous house of confectionary treats. Reps for Chalamet confirm he will be singing and dancing in the movie.

Roald Dahl’s popular children’s book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” follows a poor boy named Charlie Bucket, who wins a golden ticket to tour the world-famous and heavily guarded chocolate factory run by one Willy Wonka. Since the upcoming movie takes place before the chocolate factory opened, Charlie and company won’t be making an appearance in “Wonka.”

Gene Wilder memorably portrayed the candy man in the 1971 movie adaptation titled “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and Johnny Depp later embodied the role in 2005 reboot “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” directed by Tim Burton.

Paul King, known for “Paddington” and its sequel, is directing “Wonka.” David Heyman, a driving force behind the “Harry Potter” franchise and the beloved “Paddington” movies, will produce the film, based on a script by Simon Rich. Production is expected to begin in September, with the movie scheduled to debut theatrically on March 17, 2023.

Chalamet has several movies coming out this year, including Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” adaptation, the Wes Anderson comedic drama “The French Dispatch” and Adam McKay’s star-studded disaster movie “Don’t Look Up.” He’s also set to portray Bob Dylan in the Searchlight biopic “Going Electric.”

Deadline Hollywood first reported the news of Chalamet’s casting.

optional screen reader

Cineworld Reports Strong Post-COVID Return in the U.K., U.S.

cineworld-reports-strong-post-covid-return-in-the-uk,-us.

Regal Cinemas owner Cineworld has reported a strong return in the U.K. and U.S. markets as cinemas reopen in a post-COVID scenario.

In the U.K. the recovery is led by the strong box office performance of “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.” Cinemas reopened in the U.K. on May 17 and the film led the box office with collections of $6.4 million, including a remarkable $2.5 million on Saturday.

“This weekend’s performance went beyond our expectations as customers were eager to return to the movies and enjoy the full movie experience, including the traditional popcorn which led to strong concession income,” Cineworld said in a statement.

In the U.S., following the opening of an additional 167 cinemas, more than 97% of Regal cinemas across 502 sites have resumed operations. Cinemas in Israel and Poland will reopen at the end of this week and the company anticipates most of its sites reopening by the end of the month.

The Cineworld Group also announced it has received the full $203 million tax refund under the U.S. CARES Act.

“We are thrilled to have our cinemas back in business in the U.S. and U.K. and to welcome movie fans back to the big screen for an exciting and full slate of films,” said group CEO Mooky Greidinger. “We are especially pleased with the warm welcome our employees have received, and the positive feedback from returning guests. With the releases next week of ‘Cruella,’ and ‘A Quiet Place 2,’ we expect next weekend’s results to be strong.”

“When combined with improving consumer confidence and the success of the vaccination rollout, we expect a good recovery in attendance over the coming months, noting the record breaking success of ‘F9’ in the Asian market,” Greidinger added. “We are excited for our customers to experience the magic of big screen entertainment again, all made possible by the hard work of our colleagues around the world, and (we) remain committed to be the best place to watch a movie.”

optional screen reader

China Box Office: ‘F9’ Clocks up $137 Million in its Opening Lap

china-box-office:-‘f9’-clocks-up-$137-million-in-its-opening-lap

F9” roared into the lead at the China box office, where the “Fast and Furious” franchise has repeatedly lapped faster than in North America.

On its first weekend in China the film grossed $137 million, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway.

That gave it an 83% share of the China weekend box office, a market share figure that was notably stable from its Friday lights out. Total box office in the country was $165 million between Friday and Sunday.

Some $12.45 million of the “F9” total was earned from Imax screens in China. That was Imax’s third biggest May opening score (behind “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron”) and Universal’s second-best China opening weekend in Imax venues behind “Fate of the Furious.” The giant screen provider calculates that earning 9% of the nationwide box office from just 1% of the screens showing the film, is a franchise-best result.

The runaway win was achieved despite a mediocre critical reception in China. On the fan review site Douban “F9” earned only a 5.6 out of ten critical rating. On the more generous ticketing platforms Mtime and Taopiaopiao it earned only slightly better scores of 6.2 and 7.8, respectively.

Artisan Gateway, nevertheless, calculates that the powerful performance was good for overall health of the theatrical economy. Its data shows that the year-to-date box office cumulative is now $3.86 billion, only 6.5% down on pre-COVID 2019. A week earlier, the gap had been 10%.

Gritty Chinese romance, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” released a day earlier than “F9” on Thursday in order to coincide with (yet another) local Valentine’s Day. It earned $15.6 million on Thursday and a further $15.1 million between Friday and Sunday, good enough for second place in the local chart.

Previous chart-topper, Zhang Yimou’s “Cliff Walkers” was edged into third place by the two new releases and earned $5.1 million over the weekend. That lifted its cumulative to $164 million since its pre-May Day release on April 30.

Japanese film “Love Letter” was re-released on Thursday and managed $4.1 million over the weekend and $7.4 million over four days.

optional screen reader

Powerful ‘F9’ Debut Injects Horsepower Into Korean Box Office

powerful-‘f9’-debut-injects-horsepower-into-korean-box-office

South Korea claimed to have had the honor of being the first country in the world where “F9” revved into commercial release – the distinction can only have been a matter of hours, as Hong Kong cinemas followed later the same day, on May 19 – and it proved a smart choice. The franchise film finally injected some horsepower into the Korean box office, with a tap on the accelerator from Korean-American star Kang Sung back for a fourth lap.

“F9” earned 5.53 million over the weekend and $$9.83 million over its opening five days, according to data from Kobis, the box office tracking service operated by the Korean Film Council (Kofic). Its five-day-total, means “F9” has already overtaken “Minari” to become the third biggest film of the year at the Korean box office.

“F9” accounted for fully 85% of the weekend box office, and managed to lift the nationwide weekend aggregate to $6.52 million, some 150% higher than the previous weekend’s sorry $2.60 million total.

As a first-placed film “F9” also revved at a ten time the rate of last week’s top performer “Spiral: From the Book of Saw,” which managed a sorry opening weekend of just $552,000.

The downward spin of “Spiral” continued over the most recent weekend, when it found itself falling to fourth place. Its second weekend score was just $85,400, representing an 85% week-on-week decline. After 11 days in cinemas, “Spiral” has a cumulative score of just $1.08 million.

While “F9” was the top new release of the weekend, it was not the only newcomer. Japanese animation, “Stand by Me Doraemon 2” also opened on Wednesday and took second place. It earned $215,000 over thee weekend proper and $460,000 over five days.

Another Japanese animation, “Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train” showed its gyroscopic stability. Released on Jan. 27, the film managed another $173 million over the weekend, to advance its cumulative score to $17.5 million.

“The Croods : A New Age,” which topped the box office just two weeks ago, this weekend lapped at just 20% of its previous speed. It recorded a weekend take of $47,600 in sixth place, for a three-week cumulative of $1.74 million.

optional screen reader