‘Spider-Man’ Sequels And Bad Bunny Kick Off Buoyant CinemaCon Summit

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 25: (L-R) Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group, Chris Miller and Phil Lord onstage during Opening Night and Sony Pictures Entertainment Presentation at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace during CinemaCon. (Photo by Frazer Harrison /AFP)

 

 

Hollywood bosses showcased new “Spider-Man” sequels and brought rap superstar Bad Bunny on stage to kick off a bullish meeting of movie theater industry leaders in Las Vegas Monday.

The CinemaCon summit draws Tinseltown executives to giant casino ballrooms each year, where owners of theaters — from global chains to tiny independents — are treated to never-before-seen footage and A-list appearances.

After a subdued edition last August, big-screen operators were back in a buoyant mood, with box office hauls now recovering from successive Covid-hit years — not to mention news that streaming juggernaut Netflix recorded its first subscriber loss in more than a decade.

“What are you doing here? Everyone said you’re dead, everyone said you’re finished,” joked Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures, to cheers from theater owners.

Theaters have particularly been encouraged by hits like Sony’s recent “Spider-Man: No Way Home” — the third-biggest US box office success of all time, grossing $1.9 billion worldwide.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller, directors of Oscar-winning 2018 animation “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse,” unveiled unfinished footage from the first 15 minutes of their sequel “Across the Spider-Verse,” out next summer.

It featured various male and female Spidey heroes hopping between dimensions — and will be followed by another animated sequel, the newly announced “Beyond the Spider-Verse,” in 2024.

In its opening-night presentation, Sony also presented footage from Brad Pitt action thriller “Bullet Train,” based on a Japanese novel and out in July.

Early scenes showed Pitt’s wise-cracking hitman pacing through neon-lit Tokyo streets before brawling with music superstar-turned-actor Bad Bunny on a train.

“That’s not my first fight,” joked the chart-topping Puerto Rican rapper, who was also unveiled as the first Latino to lead a live-action Marvel superhero film — “El Muerto,” out in January 2024.

Viola Davis appeared on stage to accept the event’s inaugural “trailblazer” prize — while plugging her upcoming film “The Woman King,” a historical epic about the female warriors of the west African kingdom of Dahomey, out in September.

“I wanted to be a producer who championed those stories with people with a history that looked like me,” said the “Fences” Oscar-winner.

She called the new film — in which she also stars — her “magnus opus.”

Reese Witherspoon appeared by video to introduce her adaptation of best-selling novel “Where The Crawdads Sing,” a creepy drama set around a murder in the North Carolina marshes, out this summer.

The presentation also confirmed new “Ghostbusters” and “Venom” sequels, and ended with a video message from boxing great George Foreman ahead of a new biopic about his career.

– ‘Zeitgeist’ –
This year’s CinemaCon brings A-listers back in-person to Las Vegas, with Robert De Niro, Rachel McAdams and director David Cronenberg among those due to attend.

The stars stayed away last year when anxiety was high over the latest Covid-19 wave, and the mood was gloomy as Hollywood studios released films directly on streaming platforms, bypassing theaters.

Major studios have since cheered theater owners by largely reverting to an exclusive “window” when movies can only be seen on the big screen — albeit for 45 days or less, down from around 90 days pre-pandemic.

Appearing by video, “Dune” director Denis Villeneuve said he was still “worried about the theatrical window getting shorter and shorter,” and called for a return to longer windows to keep the movie-going experience “unique” and “precious.”

Villeneuve spoke from Budapest, where preparation for his sci-fi epic sequel “Dune: Part Two” was going “full speed ahead,” with the film due October 2023.

The Canadian director said he was “sad, horrified and worried” about the war in Ukraine, which led to Hollywood pulling films from Russian screens.

Warner Bros international chief Andrew Cripps said pirated copies of “The Batman” were playing at Russian theaters despite the embargo, but added that “we’ve all learnt to live with uncertainty in recent years.”

Warner, which merged with Discovery this month to create Hollywood’s newest giant, will present its upcoming films Tuesday, before Disney — which skipped last year’s event — follows Wednesday.

CinemaCon concludes Thursday, when Paramount will present the first full screening of long-awaited sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.”

‘Spider-Man’ Surpasses $1bn Globally, Holds North America Box Office Top Spot

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 26, 2019 A giant inflatable Spider-Man is displayed on the red carpet for the “Spider-Man: Far From Home” World premiere at the TCL Chinese theatre in Hollywood.  Chris Delmas / AFP

 

The hit new “Spider-Man” became the first billion-dollar-grossing film of the pandemic era over the Christmas weekend, reaching the milestone while holding firmly to the North American box office top spot, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Sunday.

“Spider-Man: No Way Home,” British star Tom Holland’s third solo outing in the wildly popular role, has grossed $467.3 million in North America and $587 million internationally, raking in more than $1 billion over 12 days and proving analysts’ predictions that it could reach the milestone sum.

It rocketed to that benchmark at a speed only matched by 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” according to industry outlet Variety, and comes even as the rapid spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant casts a pall over holiday outings worldwide.

Sony’s latest installment to the comic-inspired series took an estimated $81.5 million in North America for the three-day period over the Christmas weekend, holding its top spot after scoring the third-biggest domestic opening of all time with more than $260 million, smashing early estimates.

Its debut box office sales trailed only 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame” ($357 million) and the previous year’s “Avengers: Infinity War” ($258 million), according to the BoxOfficeMojo website.

With an estimated $23.8 million, “Sing 2,” Universal’s star-studded animated jukebox musical follow-up to “Sing,” was this weekend’s runner-up.

It beat out two other new series installments: “The Matrix Resurrections” from Warner Bros, which sees Keanu Reeves reprise his iconic role as Neo, underperformed at $12 million.

In fourth place, also earning less than expected, was 20th Century’s spy prequel to the “Kingsman” films, “The King’s Man,” with $6.4 million.

Lionsgate’s “American Underdog” — based on the true story of Kurt Warner, who went from stocking shelves at a grocery store to National Football League MVP — slid in at number five on its opening weekend with an estimated $6.2 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

“West Side Story” ($2.8 million)

“Licorice Pizza” ($2.3 million)

“A Journal for Jordan” ($2.2 million)

“Encanto” ($2 million)

“83” ($1.8 million)

AFP

‘Spider-Man’ Flies Again To Top Box Office

In this file photo taken on June 26, 2019, a giant inflatable Spider-Man is displayed on the red carpet for the “Spider-Man: Far From Home” World premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.  Chris Delmas / AFP

 

Once again Spider-Man seems to be trapping everything that flies by: “Spider-Man: Far From Home” took in an impressive $93.6 million in North America over the US holiday weekend and has passed the half-billion-dollar mark worldwide, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations estimated on Sunday.

This latest in the Spider-Man franchise, made by Sony and Disney-owned Marvel, set a record six-day total for a Tuesday release of $185.1 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Its storyline follows on the blockbuster “Avengers: Endgame” to focus on how Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) confront a world without Iron Man. Also starring are Zendaya, Jake Gyllenhaal and J.B. Smoove.

Coming in second in its third week out was Disney/Pixar collaboration “Toy Story 4,” at $34.3 million. The film again features the voices of Tom Hanks as Woody, the eager but empty-holstered cowboy doll, and Tim Allen as space toy Buzz Lightyear.

In third, at $10.8 million, was Universal’s alternate-universe romantic comedy “Yesterday.” Himesh Patel stars as a struggling musician who, after a mysterious global blackout, is the only person in the world to remember the Beatles and their music — and takes full advantage of it.

Patel does his own singing; Danny Boyle, of “Trainspotting” and “Slumdog Millionaire” fame, directs.

Fourth spot went to Warner Bros. horror film “Annabelle Comes Home,” at $9.8 million.

In fifth was Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin,” taking in $7.6 million in its seventh week out.

Rounding out the weekend’s top 10 were:

“Midsommar” ($6.6 million)

“The Secret Life of Pets 2” ($4.8 million)

“Men in Black: International” ($3.6 million)

“Avengers: Endgame” ($3.1 million)

“Rocketman” ($2.8 million)

AFP

Latest Spider-Man Spin-Off Scales Box Office Heights

 

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” snared North American viewers in its web this weekend, earning $35.4 million in ticket sales, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations estimated Sunday.

Sony’s action-packed animation sees Peter Parker make way for Miles Morales as Spider-Man — a black, Latino character new to theater-goers, but not comic book enthusiasts.

The Spider-Man of his dimension, Morales, voiced by Shameik Moore, joins forces with Spideys from parallel realities to stop a threat menacing all of them.

In at second was Warner Bros’ crime film “The Mule,” which earned $17.2 million. Clint Eastwood both directed and took the lead as a destitute 90-year-old who turns to transporting cocaine through Illinois for a Mexican drug cartel.

“Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” dropped one place to third, earning $11.6 million over the weekend. Benedict Cumberbatch voices the grouchy title character as he plots to steal Christmas.

Fourth place went to “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” which took in $9.6 million after spending three weeks at the top of the box office. The animated film, a sequel to 2012’s “Wreck It Ralph,” has sold $154 million in domestic tickets since it opened.

In at fifth was Universal’s newly-released “Mortal Engines,” whose ticket sales stalled at $7.5 million.

The post-apocalyptic sci-fi sees Hera Hilmar star as the only person who can stop the city of London — now a colossal wheeled predator — from chomping up all in its path.

Rounding out the weekend’s top 10 were:

“Creed II” ($5.4 million)

“Bohemian Rhapsody” ($4.1 million)

“Instant Family” ($3.7 million)

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” ($3.7 million)

“Green Book” ($2.8 million)

Spider-Man Is Back On Screen, This Time He’s Black And Latino

The atmosphere at the World Premiere Of Sony Pictures Animation And Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” at Regency Village Theatre on December 01, 2018 in Westwood, California. PHOTO: Presley Ann/Getty Images/AFP

 

For what seems like the umpteenth time, Spider-Man is back on the big screen. 

But this year, when Hollywood is under the microscope on the hot-button issue of diversity, the superhero is half-black and half-Latino.

Step aside, Peter Parker. There’s a new Spidey in town. Hello, Miles Morales.

Miles as Spidey is not new to comic book enthusiasts, but he is new to theatre-goers, who earlier this year embraced the long-awaited arrival of the Marvel universe’s first black hero, Black Panther, on the silver screen.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which hits US theatres on December 14, is a free-wheeling animated look at the multiple Spideys in parallel dimensions, including Spider-Ham (yes, a pig) and two women.

This time, an older Parker is a mentor to Miles, who is voiced by 23-year-old Shameik Moore, an Atlanta-born actor and singer with Jamaican roots.

Long before Moore landed the major role, he hoped he would get the chance to play Miles, he told AFP in an interview. He had even written about it in a journal given to him by a friend.

“One of the things I wrote in there very early on was, ‘I am Spider-Man. I am Miles Morales,'” he said.

Moore first drew notice in the well-received indie film “Dope” in 2015. He says being chosen to play Morales is as rare as… being bitten by a radioactive spider.

“That spider chose him. However, many thousands of people live in Brooklyn… Sony chose me to play Miles Morales out of the hundreds of thousands of people that auditioned,” he recounted.

Stan Lee’s posthumous cameo

The film recalls the visual style of the original comic books, with less refined art and speech balloons that appear on the screen.

Its release comes one month after the death at age 95 of the character’s creator, Marvel legend Stan Lee.

But the man behind a stable of heroes, from The Hulk to the X-Men, is still present — he is listed as an executive producer and, as is customary for Marvel films, Lee has a cameo appearance — in animated form.

The cast features Oscar winners Mahershala Ali (Miles’s uncle) and Nicolas Cage (Spider-Man Noir), and Oscar nominees Hailee Steinfeld (Spidey’s love interest Gwen Stacy) and Lily Tomlin (Parker’s Aunt May).

The film is generating major buzz and currently has a 100 per cent “fresh rating” on Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates reviews from critics.

‘People want to see that’

The idea for a Spider-Man of colour first took hold in 2008, when Barack Obama was elected US president.

Miles, whose father is black and mother is Latina, first hit comic book stands as Spider-Man in a parallel universe in 2011 following Parker’s apparent death.

In an animated television version, of-the-moment actor-musician Donald Glover voiced Miles.

But a film adaptation always seemed likely, as Tinseltown works to show that not all superheroes have to be white men. “Black Panther” and “Wonder Woman” stand as proof that fans are ready for different heroes.

“Everything is based off the business,” said Jake Johnson, who plays Parker in the film.

“The reason that projects are getting more multicultural and more women as leaders… People want to see that — they’re paying to see it.”

AFP

Spider-Man Swings To Top Of U.S. Box Office

Superhero franchise reboot “Spider-Man: Homecoming” spun its magic on the U.S. box office, landing at the top spot in its first weekend.

The film, which sees Tom Holland slide into the iconic Spidey suit previously donned by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, pulled in an estimated $117 million according to Boxofficemojo.com.

Last weekend’s number one film, “Despicable Me 3” slid into second place with an estimated $34 million.

Third place belonged to Edgar Wright’s musical heist drama, “Baby Driver,” which boasts a cast including Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx, led by Ansel Elgort. It brought in an estimated $12.75 million in its sophomore weekend.

Wonder Woman slipped to fourth place with a haul of an estimated $10.1 million.
Rounding out the top five, “Transformers: The Last Knight” brought in an estimated $6.3 million in its third week at theatres across the United States

‘Spider Man Homecoming’ To Swing Into Box Office Top Spot

Superhero franchise reboot “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is expected to swing to the top of the box office this weekend.

The film, which sees Tom Holland slide into the iconic Spidey suit previously donned by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, is expected to pull in excess of $100 million on its debut according to BoxOfficePro.com. Worldwide, it’s expected to take almost double that amount.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the third reboot of the franchise since Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” 15 years ago is expected to knock last weekend’s number one film, “Despicable Me 3” into second place.

The family-friendly animated threequel, which took $99 million domestically on its five-day debut, thanks the long July 4th weekend, is expected to add another $30 million to its tally this weekend.

Third place looks set to be taken by Edgar Wright’s musical heist drama, “Baby Driver,” which boasts a cast including Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx, led by Ansel Elgort. It’s expected to take an additional $15 million in its sophomore weekend.

The fourth and fifth place will likely go to either “Wonder Woman” or “Transformers: The Last Knight” although the DC superhero movie is expected to come on top with $9 million to $6.3 million. Elsewhere, romantic-comedy “The Big Sick” is expected to continue its successful run as it expands across the domestic markets.

Tom Holland Arrives In Style For ‘Spider-Man’ Premiere

Tom Holland Arrives In Style For 'Spider-Man' Premiere‘Spider-Man’ arrived in style at the world premiere for “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, the first in the franchise of the superhero which is incorporated into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Arriving on the hood of a car carrying a selfie stick, the web-slinging superhero did acrobatics, met fans and posed for photographers before re-entering the car moments before lead actor Tom Holland came out of the same vehicle in a black suit.

Holland is the third actor to play Peter Parker, Spider-Man’s alter ego, after Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield appeared in two other Sony Pictures franchises.

In this film, Holland is, however, starring alongside Robert Downey Jr. who plays Iron Man in the Disney-distributed Marvel films.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” goes on release on July 7 in the United States.

“Spider-man: Homecoming” Cast And Crew Excited Ahead Of Release

With just a few weeks to go until the release of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, 21-year-old actor Tom Holland, who is about to appear on the big screen in his first solo outing as the web-slinger, has mixed emotions saying he’s ‘excited and nervous’.

Audiences got a brief taste of Holland as Spider-Man in ‘Captain America: Civil War’, which saw him well received by the critics, this time around he’s the star of the movie.

‘Homecoming’ is set a few months later and shows Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) trying to juggle his superhero duties with his school life. Luckily Tony Stark / Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr. is on hand to help him.

Director Jon Watts, who has previously made ‘Cop Car’ and ‘The Onion News Network’, says ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is the biggest thing he has done in his career, and can’t wait for it to be released so that he can talk openly about it.

Asked about Holland, who made his name playing ballet dancer Billy Elliott in ‘Billy Elliott the Musical’ in London’s west end, Watts said he gave a ‘great performance’ and was able to do so many of his own stunts ‘we almost killed him by the end of the movie.’

Starring alongside Holland as Michelle, one of Peter Parker’s classmates, is Zendaya, a rising star who also made her name as a child, rather than theatre she starred in Disney show ‘Shake it Up’ as well as ‘K.C. Undercover’.

Making her theatre movie debut as Michelle the 20-year-old said it was ‘cool being able to collaborate with Jon’. Known for her fashion sense as well as acting Zendaya explained her choice of outfit, saying she wanted to match ‘the vibe out here’ (in Spain) and wear something ‘weather appropriate.’

She and the rest of the Spider-Man team were in Spain for Cine Europe 2017, an annual cinema convention.

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, is due to be released internationally from July 5, 2017.