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Box Office: ‘Secret Life of Pets 2’ Ekes Out No. 1 Spot as ‘Dark Phoenix’ Sputters

  • Variety
The North American box office fizzled this weekend as Universal and Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2” and Disney and Fox’s “X-Men” installment “Dark Phoenix” battled it out at theaters. Neither packed much of a punch, with both films debuting well below expectations.

The Secret Life of Pets 2” nabbed first place with $47.11 million, less than half of what its predecessor earned during its inaugural weekend in theaters. Even with an underwhelming start, the animated animal sequel was able to claim victory over “Dark Phoenix,” the final entry in the “X-Men” series and first to be released by Disney. “Dark Phoenix” misfired with a disappointing $33 million, marking the worst debut in the franchise’s 20-year history.

With a huge $200 million price tag, “Dark Phoenix” presents a much tougher path to profitability compared to “Secret Life of Pets 2,” which cost the studio $80 million to produce. It didn’t
See full article at Variety »

‘Secret Life of Pets 2,’ ‘Dark Phoenix’ Disappoint at Sequel-Loaded Box Office

  • The Wrap
‘Secret Life of Pets 2,’ ‘Dark Phoenix’ Disappoint at Sequel-Loaded Box Office
It was a bad weekend for franchise blockbusters at the box office, as Universal/Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2’ and Fox/Disney’s “Dark Phoenix” arrived in theaters and opened both below industry expectations and well behind the openings of their series predecessors.

“Secret Life of Pets 2” took No. 1 this weekend, but with an opening of $47.1 million from 4,561 screens and a $97 million global opening from 21 overseas markets. The animated sequel wasn’t expected to come close to matching the $104.3 million that the first “Secret Life” made in 2016, but it has also fallen short of the $50 million opening projected by trackers and has posted one of lowest openings ever for an Illumination release.

The only two films from the animation studio with lower openings are the 2011 live-action/CGI hybrid “Hop” with $37.5 million and the 2016 holiday film “Sing,” which opened to $35 million but had its opening total weighed down
See full article at The Wrap »

Taron Egerton Isn't a Household Name Yet, but Rocketman Will Hopefully Change That

Taron Egerton Isn't a Household Name Yet, but Rocketman Will Hopefully Change That
Elton John's musical biopic Rocketman is now in theaters, and if you've seen the first full-length trailer, then you know it's a wacky, wild, emotional ride. The film, which is produced by John himself, tracks the pop icon's rise from an ordinary youth to an international music sensation and showman. Although actor Taron Egerton, who plays John, has been around Hollywood for a few years now, he's still not quite an A-list name. Here's what you need to know about the young Welsh actor who earned John's personal approval for the role.

For the most part, Egerton's career has been in very British movies. After graduating with his acting degree from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he snagged a couple of roles on British television. From there, his film career really kicked off in 2014, when he starred in two very different movies that both earned notice: as soldier
See full article at Popsugar »

Is Taron Egerton Really Playing the Piano in Rocket Man? Because That Would Be Insane

Is Taron Egerton Really Playing the Piano in Rocket Man? Because That Would Be Insane
If there's a music icon whose life seems tailor-made for a deeply fabulous biopic, it's Elton John. The life of the legendary singer-songwriter hits the big screen in the quirky musical biopic Rocketman. Taron Egerton, best known as the star of the Kingsman series, steps into John's sparkly shoes for the film, which John himself co-produced. Throughout the film, Egerton is practically unrecognizable in character, decked out in John's signature over-the-top style and '70s glasses. He can also be seen belting out John's musical oeuvre and playing piano. So, is that really Egerton playing piano?

Numerous sources around the production have definitively confirmed that Egerton sings for himself on several of John's iconic tracks, and it's obvious that he's a great vocal fit. Egerton himself has been campaigning to be cast in a musical for some time now, after lending his voice to the movie Sing. He told The Independent
See full article at Popsugar »

Taron Egerton Isn't a Household Name Yet, but Rocketman Will Hopefully Change That

Taron Egerton Isn't a Household Name Yet, but Rocketman Will Hopefully Change That
Elton John's musical biopic Rocketman is now in theaters, and if you've seen the first full-length trailer, then you know it's a wacky, wild, emotional ride. The film, which is produced by John himself, tracks the pop icon's rise from an ordinary youth to an international music sensation and showman. Although actor Taron Egerton, who plays John, has been around Hollywood for a few years now, he's still not quite an A-list name. Here's what you need to know about the young Welsh actor who earned John's personal approval for the role.

For the most part, Egerton's career has been in very British movies. After graduating with his acting degree from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he snagged a couple of roles on British television. From there, his film career really kicked off in 2014, when he starred in two very different movies that both earned notice: as soldier
See full article at BuzzSugar »

Is Taron Egerton Really Playing the Piano in Rocket Man? Because That Would Be Insane

Is Taron Egerton Really Playing the Piano in Rocket Man? Because That Would Be Insane
If there's a music icon whose life seems tailor-made for a deeply fabulous biopic, it's Elton John. The life of the legendary singer-songwriter hits the big screen in the quirky musical biopic Rocketman. Taron Egerton, best known as the star of the Kingsman series, steps into John's sparkly shoes for the film, which John himself co-produced. Throughout the film, Egerton is practically unrecognizable in character, decked out in John's signature over-the-top style and '70s glasses. He can also be seen belting out John's musical oeuvre and playing piano. So, is that really Egerton playing piano?

Numerous sources around the production have definitively confirmed that Egerton sings for himself on several of John's iconic tracks, and it's obvious that he's a great vocal fit. Egerton himself has been campaigning to be cast in a musical for some time now, after lending his voice to the movie Sing. He told The Independent
See full article at BuzzSugar »

‘Rocketman’: Some Studios Wanted Less Sex/Drugs, Says Elton John

‘Rocketman’: Some Studios Wanted Less Sex/Drugs, Says Elton John
Elton John claims that he had to fight to tell his story his way in Rocketman.

“Some studios wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating. But I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life,” John said in an article he wrote for the UK’s Guardian. “I didn’t want a film packed with drugs and sex, but equally, everyone knows I had quite a lot of both during the ’70s and ’80s, so there didn’t seem to be much point in making a movie that implied that after every gig, I’d quietly gone back to my hotel room with only a glass of warm milk and the Gideon’s Bible for company.”

He added: “The whole experience of watching someone else pretend to be you on screen, of seeing things you remember happening again in front of your eyes,
See full article at Deadline »

Elton John Pens Article Detailing Biopic’s Journey to Big Screen

Elton John Pens Article Detailing Biopic’s Journey to Big Screen
Elton John detailed Rocketman‘s long journey to the big screen in his own words in a lengthy article John penned for the Guardian.

“The whole experience of watching someone else pretend to be you on screen, of seeing things you remember happening again in front of your eyes, is a very weird, disconcerting one, like having an incredibly vivid dream,” John wrote of the biopic.

“And the story of how I ended up in a cinema, crying my eyes out at the sight of my family 60 years ago, is a long and convoluted one.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Movie Review – The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)

The Secret Life of Pets 2, 2019.

Directed by Chris Renaud.

Featuring the voice talents of Patton Oswalt, Jenny Slate, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Lake Bell, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Dana Carvey, Harrison Ford, Tiffany Haddish, Pete Holmes, Garth Jennings, Ellie Kemper, and Nick Kroll.

Synopsis:

Max becomes overly concerned about a new addition to his pack, Gidget is given custody of an important toy and Snowball becomes a freedom fighter for animals everywhere.

Illumination Entertainment is known primarily as the studio the Minions built. But it also found a hit in 2016 with The Secret Life of Pets, sold as a sort of Toy Story for domesticated critters. The movie raked in the best part of $900m at the global box office, making a sequel absolutely inevitable. Three years later, the same pets that drove the first film to multiplex success are back, sans the voice of controversial leading man Louis Ck,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Elton John’s ‘Rocketman’ Rocks Cannes and Embarks on Its Road to Awards

The trailer was promising, and so was the CinemaCon footage. But it takes confidence to send a movie to Cannes, and Paramount’s Jim Gianopulos, who knows the ins and outs of the international market, decided to launch out-of-competition at Cannes one of his first greenlights, Dexter Fletcher’s $40-million Elton John musical “Rocketman.”

The gamble paid off as the movie played well, with producers John and his partner David Furnish and songwriter-partner Bernie Taupin on hand. (Tomatometer is strong so far.) Cannes veterans know that the end-of-movie Palais applause is always long and lingering. What’s rare is breaking into applause in the middle, as the audience did after Taron Egerton as John sits down at the piano in his mother’s house and figures out the music for “Your Song” as Taupin (Jamie Bell) watches. It’s the moment when an artist finally finds his voice. I was in tears.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Elton John’s ‘Rocketman’ Rocks Cannes and Embarks on Its Road to Awards

The trailer was promising, and so was the CinemaCon footage. But it takes confidence to send a movie to Cannes, and Paramount’s Jim Gianopulos, who knows the ins and outs of the international market, decided to launch out-of-competition at Cannes one of his first greenlights, Dexter Fletcher’s $40-million Elton John musical “Rocketman.”

The gamble paid off as the movie played well, with producers John and his partner David Furnish and songwriter-partner Bernie Taupin on hand. (Tomatometer is strong so far.) Cannes veterans know that the end-of-movie Palais applause is always long and lingering. What’s rare is breaking into applause in the middle, as the audience did after Taron Egerton as John sits down at the piano in his mother’s house and figures out the music for “Your Song” as Taupin (Jamie Bell) watches. It’s the moment when an artist finally finds his voice. I was in tears.
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Passes $500 Million in China, Becomes Top Foreign Title of All Time

  • Variety
‘Avengers: Endgame’ Passes $500 Million in China, Becomes Top Foreign Title of All Time
“Avengers: Endgame” broke the half-billion-dollar barrier in China on Thursday, becoming the most successful foreign film ever in the country after just over a week in theaters and easily eclipsing the previous titleholder, “The Fate of the Furious.”

Released on April 24, “Endgame” is already the sixth-highest-grossing movie in Chinese film history, thanks to a monster haul of RMB3.39 billion ($503 million) as of late Thursday afternoon, local time. Its market share has not dropped lower than 85% on any given day. Indeed, for five days – more than half its run so far – that figure sat above 95%. By comparison, Universal’s “The Fate of the Furious” made RMB2.67 billion ($393 million) over the course of its 2017 run in China, never climbing above 93% market share, even on its opening day.

“Endgame” has already broken 22 Chinese box-office records, local reports said. These include for most pre-sales, most midnight screening sales, highest single-day ticket sales, the highest single-week box office,
See full article at Variety »

Veteran Animation Executive Amir Nasrabadi Joins Dhx Media

  • The Wrap
Dhx Media announced on Monday that it has appointed veteran animation industry executive Amir Nasrabadi to serve as the company’s new executive vice president and general manager of its Vancouver-based animation studio.

Nasrabadi, an animation industry veteran of more than 20 years, joins the team in a newly created role and will report to Dhx President Josh Scherba, effective June 10. In his role, Nasrabadi will oversee all animation production at the studio, leading the Vancouver animation team in working closely with Dhx Media’s creative, content and brands teams.

“As a well-known and respected figure in the animation community, who brings a wealth of industry experience, Amir is an ideal executive to lead the talented team at our Vancouver animation studio,” Scherba said in a statement. “We believe Amir’s history as head of Pixar Canada in Vancouver, as well as his time in management with Illumination, Paramount and Disney
See full article at The Wrap »

Universal Pushes ‘Sing’ Sequel 6 Months to July 2021 Release Date

  • The Wrap
The cast of Universal’s animated feature “Sing 2” will get a bit more time to warm up their vocals, after the studio announced on Friday that it has pushed the film’s release date back six months.

The sequel to the hit 2016 film is now expected to hit theaters on July 2, 2021, moving from its previous Dec. 25, 2020 release date.

Sing 2,” from writer-director Garth Jennings, will welcome back to the cast Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, alongside Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Nick Kroll and Tori Kelly. They will be joined by soon-to-be-announced fellow vocalists lending their talents to characters new to the world of “Sing.”

Their characters will prepare for a bigger stage and a brighter spotlight as they leave the Moon Theater for the big city in “Sing 2.” The film comes from the creative team behind other Illumination films “Despicable Me,” “Minions” and “The Secret Life of Pets.
See full article at The Wrap »

Universal's 'Sing' Sequel Moves Back to 2021

Sing 2, from Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures, is moving its release date back from Dec. 25, 2020 to July 2, 2021.

Universal said the sequel to Sing will take longer to arrive in theaters and will now take the place of the currently dated untitled Illumination animated film.

Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson and John C. Reilly were among the A-list cast that lent their voices to the original Sing movie from Illumination.

In other dating news, DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods 2 will move from Sept. 18, 2020 to Dec. 23, 2020.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

How Much Green Did ‘The Grinch’ Steal? No. 9 In Deadline’s 2018 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament

  • Deadline
When it comes to evaluating the financial performance of top movies, it isn’t about what a film grosses at the box office. The true tale is told when production budgets, P&A, talent participations and other costs collide with box office grosses and ancillary revenues from VOD to DVD and TV. To get close to that mysterious end of the equation, Deadline is repeating our Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament for 2018, using data culled by seasoned and trusted sources.

The Grinch

Universal/Illumination Entertainment

The Film

While Illumination chief Chris Meledandri has made original creations a priority, the exceptions have been his Dr. Seuss feature adaptations, and the Grinch repped his third after Horton Hears a Who and The Lorax (both made at Fox). Unlike Ron Howard’s 2000 live-action take for Universal (that year’s highest-grossing pic at the domestic box office with $260 million), which focused on the commercialization of Christmas,
See full article at Deadline »

Review: Hozier Deepens His Folk-Soul Sound on ‘Wasteland, Baby!’

Review: Hozier Deepens His Folk-Soul Sound on ‘Wasteland, Baby!’
In 2013, Hozier broke through with “Take Me To Church,” a somber folk song that became an unlikely Top 40 smash, catapulting the twentysomething Irish singer-songwriter into momentary pop stardom. But after releasing his debut album in 2014, he’s waited five years before putting out a follow up.

Turns out, that was a wise move. Wasteland, Baby! is relatively free of the too-high expectations that tend to plague young artist’s anticipated second albums. In addition to the soul-searching title track, songs like “Nina Cried Power and “Shrike” show new depth. The former,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

The Five Best Songs from the “Sing” Soundtrack

Sing was one of the better kids movie to come along in the last several years and at this point it’s almost been forgotten by some since things move on to the bigger and better attractions, but the movie is still one that is a very big standout hit in the eyes of some. Think about it, the act of singing, of playing music, is an expression that a lot of people take some kind of joy in since a lot of folks tend to have their favorite musicians, songs, genres, you name it. But the music in Sing was

The Five Best Songs from the “Sing” Soundtrack
See full article at TVovermind.com »

Sequel of Stephen Chow 2005’s Hit “Kung Fu Hustle” Confirmed by the Director

Shortly after releasing the sequel of one of his beloved movies, 1999’s “King of Comedy”, director, actor and producer Stephen Chow wowed his fans again, officially confirming the rumors of a long awaited follow-up of his 2004’s cult movie “Kung Fu Hustle”.

Chow broke the news while promoting his latest film The “New King Of Comedy” at an audience Q&A in Guangzhou, Hong Kong. Submerged by questions about it, Chow revealed only few details like that it will be set in a foreign country and in modern times. He added that it would not be a proper sequel but something similar. When asked is he will act in the film too, Chow remained vague revealing that he will definitely not play the lead role, but maybe a cameo.

14 years ago the original movie grossed $102 million against a $20 million budget, earning six Hong Kong Film Awards and five Golden Horse Awards.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Wicked Movie Gets New Christmas 2021 Release Date

After an indefinite delay, the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Wicked has finally received a release date that Universal probably plans on keeping this time. Assuming no more delays pop up, Wicked will release in theaters on December 22, 2021.

For the past few years, Wicked was originally slated to release on December 20th of this year. However, it was announced in August of last year that Universal was actually going to push this release date back. This slot was instead given to the movie adaptation of Cats, which will be directed by Les Miserables director Tom Hooper and will star Taylor Swift, Ian McKellen, Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson and James Corden. The movie is currently in production, so it is expected that Cats will still release at the end of the year.

December always seems to be a good month for musicals, as a new
See full article at MovieWeb »
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