The Marksman Strikes Bull’s-eye Again

For the second weekend in a row, action thriller The Marksman stayed in first place at the weekend box office, reports Box Office Mojo. This action movie features Liam Neeson as a grizzled rancher/veteran chased by a drug cartel. It was directed, co-written, and co-produced by Robert Lorenz, a frequent collaborator with Clint Eastwood. The Marksman earned a bit over $2 million last weekend, bringing its domestic gross up to $6 million.

After nine weeks in cinemas, The Croods: A New Age remains among the highest grossing films of the weekend. The pandemic has all but erased the competition, and there’s a drought of new family-friendly features. Last weekend, A New Age grossed almost $1,8 million. Its current domestic gross stands at $42 million. Wonder Woman 1984 dropped to third place at the box office in its fifth week, grossing approximately $1,6 million. The latest Warner Bros. superhero movie by Patty Jenkins has earned $37,7 million – not bad, at least for the pandemic times.

Monster Hunter, an adaptation of a popular computer game franchise, is now in fourth place with $826,000. It is a sign of the times when a Thomas W. S. Anderson movie can stay among the highest-grossing movies at the box office for five weeks in a row. Its current total gross is $10,2 million. And finally, in fifth place at the last weekend’s box office is the Tom Hanks western drama News of the World, with $784,000.

Jodie Turner-Smith Cast in The Witcher: Blood Origin

GeekTyrant reports that Jodie Turner-Smith has just been cast as a lead character in the TV series The Witcher: Blood Origin. Developed by Netflix, this is a prequel TV series taking place centuries before the events of The Witcher. An actress and a model, Turner-Smith previously appeared on TV shows like Nightflyers, The Last Ship, and True Blood. She also played a lead opposite Daniel Kaluuya (Black Panther) in the 2019 romantic crime drama Queen & Slim. She will portray Éile, a former warrior and queen’s guardian who decides to become a traveling musician. However, dangers and intrigues on the Continent force her to return to her blade, looking for revenge and redemption.

The Witcher: Blood Origin was first announced last July. Declan de Barra – who previously worked on the original series – will be the showrunner and executive producer. This is now the third Netflix project related to the book series created by the Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. Another offshoot of the original show is the feature-length animated film titled The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf. Behind that project is Studio Mir, the Korean animation studio that previously worked on The Legend of Korra.

As for The Witcher featuring Henry Cavill as the monster hunter Geralt of Rivia, that show will return for a second season sometime this year.

AMC Theaters Raise One Billion Dollars 

The last time we reported about AMC Theaters, the world’s largest movie theater chain was on the edge of bankruptcy, announcing it might run out of money in January 2021. Well, it’s almost February now, and SlashFilm reports AMC managed to raise one billion dollars in new equity and debt. Besides, the company executed commitment letters for another $411 million of incremental debt capital by upsizing and refinancing its European revolving credit facility. In his statement, Adam Aron, the CEO of AMC, said that “any talk of an imminent bankruptcy for AMC is completely off the table.”

Major movie theater chains like AMC, Regal, and Cinemark have been hit heavily by the coronavirus pandemic. While AMC tried to implement health and sanitation measures, Cinemark and Regal almost immediately closed their theaters across the USA. The pandemic caused a major demand for streaming, jeopardizing the position of major movie theater chains. To ensure their future as movie distributors, AMC signed a deal with Universal in July, reducing the theatrical exclusivity window of future universal titles from 70 days to merely 17. At the time, Regal Cinemas CEO Mooky Greidinger warned about that deal being “the wrong move at the wrong time”. Seven months later, the pandemic is still raging. This left Regal with no choice but to try and negotiate a similar deal with Universal.