Box Office: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Is First Summer Pic Ever to Target $2B
The tiny club of movies that have grossed $2 billion or more at the worldwide box office — Avatar, Titanic and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, to be exact — all opened over the year-end holidays, when many adults take time off from work and students of all ages are sprung from classes. And all three films did huge carryover business in January, a relative dead zone in terms of major Hollywood releases. That’s the reverse of the tentpole-soaked summer season, when the marquee is crowded with one sprawling sandcastle after another. To date, Universal’s Jurassic World is the top-grossing summer title of all time ($1.672 billion), not adjusted for inflation. However, the dinos are now in serious danger of losing the crown to Avengers: Infinity War, the record-breaking Disney and Marvel superhero mashup that is the first summer pic in history to have a shot at nearing, or crossing, $2 billion in global ticket sales after hitting $1.164 billion in its first dozen days.
Solo: A Star Wars Story outsells Black Panther times two
Meet the Millennium Falcon: The ship that made the Kessel Run to Wakanda and… wait, what? Presale tickets for Solo: A Star Wars Story went on sale on Fandango at midnight Eastern Time and have already doubled presales for Marvel’s blockbuster hit Black Panther in less than 24 hours. Among 2018 films, Solo’s presale numbers are second only to Avengers: Infinity War. Ticket-buyers receive a free Solo poster but must pay shipping and handling charges. Fans also have a new way to buy online tickets on the service using just their voices, via Google Assistant. The voice service can be used on any GoogleAssistant-supported device, including smart speakers like the Google Home and Android phones. Solo: A Star Wars Story stars Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo, the role made famous by Harrison Ford, while Donald Glover steps into Billy Dee Williams’ role as Lando Calrissian. Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Thandie Newton and Joonas Suotamo also star. Solo: A Star Wars story opens May 24 in the UK and Australia, and May 25 in the US.
John Lithgow Boards ‘Pet Sematary’ Remake
Star of stage and screen John Lithgow has joined Jason Clarke in Pet Sematary, Paramount’s new adaptation of the Stephen King novel, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Lithgow will play Jud Crandall, a kindly neighbor to a big city family that moves into the country, next to an old burial ground. Fred Gwynne played the part in Paramount’s original 1989 movie. Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, the duo who co-directed the 2014 fantasy horror feature Starry Eyes, are helming the update, which is being produced by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian and Steven Schneider. Jeff Buhler wrote the most recent draft of the adaptation. Sematary, first published in 1983, told of a doctor (Clarke) who uses the burial ground to first resurrect his son’s pet, killed by a car, then later to bring back to life his son. The results, in true King form, are nightmarish.
What We Do in the Shadows lands 10-part US series
The successful Kiwi film What We Do in the Shadows is set for an American television reboot. 21st Century Fox-owned US channel FX announced a pilot episode in January, but has now confirmed it will go ahead with a 10-part series, each half-an-hour long. The original film, directed, written by and starring Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, is a mockumentary following the lives of three vampires flatting together in Wellington. The pair will stay on as executive directors of the new series, with a new cast featuring Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak and Natasia Demetriou, all from Britain, and Mexican-American actor Harvey Guille. The exact details of the show, including the release date, have not been made public. However there is wide speculation it will be set in New York City, featuring a similar unconventional house-sharing setup to the first film.
Patton Oswalt Replacing Louis C.K. in ‘Secret Life of Pets 2’; Harrison Ford Joins Cast
Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment are firming up the voice cast for the animated sequel The Secret Life of Pets 2, and there’s an unsurprising switcheroo in store for the lead role. Louis C.K. voiced protagonist Max in the 2016 smash hit, but Deadline reports that Patton Oswalt will now be taking over the role. The reasons are obvious: C.K. fessed up to sexual harassment last year and has largely been out of the public eye ever since, and Universal doesn’t exactly want to gamble with a franchise as valuable as this one. Oswalt is a swell choice to fill the role, and the rest of the cast is pretty exciting as well. Harrison Ford will be taking his first animated voice role ever in the film, and while it’s unknown what kind of animal he’ll be playing, might I humbly suggest a stoner turtle? Tiffany Haddish, Nick Kroll, and Pete Holmes will provide other new voices alongside returning actors Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, and Bobby Moynihan.
Talking to David Lynch about Twin Peaks: The Return
All summer long, the Showtime revival of Twin Peaks transported viewers to a wonderful and strange universe of mystery. EW’s Jeff Jensen and Darren Franich have been trying their best to guide you through the show with A Twin Peaks Podcast: A Podcast About Twin Peaks, which was a podcast about Twin Peaks. On Thursday, Twin Peaks co-creator/director/Promethean entity David Lynch got on the phone with them. It was someone’s last day at the office. Enigmas ensued from the moment that Jeff dialed the phone…