Star Wars Keeps Winning Those… Wars

Last weekend, Star Wars: Episode IX – Rise of the Skywalker continued dominating the domestic box office with $34,5 million. Now in its third week in cinemas, J. J. Abrams’ final installment in the new Star Wars trilogy has yet to break through the one billion dollar mark globally – its total worldwide gross now stands at $927 million.

Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level is still going strong, holding second place at the box office. A month after its première, the third Jumanji movie earned $26,2 million last weekend, bringing its total worldwide gross up to $612 million. In its second weekend, period drama Little Women has moved up at the box office – from fourth to third place. Greta Gerwig’s new film earned $13,6 million. Its current domestic gross stands at a bit over $60 million, with another $20 million earned overseas.

Frozen II is slowly sliding downwards: in its seventh week in cinemas, Disney’s latest animated film is in fourth place with $11,8 million. It’s worth noting though that Frozen II has, according to SlashFilm, just become the most successful animated film of all time, with a worldwide gross of over $1,3 billion. Finally, at the fifth place of the highest-grossing movies of the weekend is The Grudge. This latest sequel to a series of horror movies based on a 2002 Japanese film Ju-On: The Grudge collected 11,4 million in its inaugural weekend.

All of this data comes courtesy of the Box Office Mojo.

Netflix Announces Its 2020 Slate of Films

Over the last several years, Netflix’s original movies proved themselves out to be a mixed bag. This streaming service did produce award-winning titles: Marriage Story, Roma, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The Irishman, and The Two Popes. But it had its share of duds as well. For every minor genre classics such as 1922, Cam, Gerald’s Game or El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, there were plenty of misfires: Bird Box, Bright, Extinction, Io, Mute, Spectral, Tau or The Cloverfield Paradox. But the most significant flaw of Netflix movies may be the distribution model itself. On Netflix, it’s far too easy for a perfectly decent film to disappear in the constant flood of new content. With this in mind, we present to you some of the upcoming original movies coming to Netflix in 2020. While the thorough list of over two dozen titles is available here, we focused on those that sound interesting or involve critically acclaimed filmmakers.

David Fincher (Mindhunter, Gone Girl) will direct Mank, a period drama about the writing of Citizen Kane featuring Lily Collins, Charles Dance, Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried in lead roles. Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) will make Da 5 Bloods, a story of a group of vets traveling back to Vietnam in search of their fallen squad leader and the buried treasure. This war drama will feature Chadwick Boseman, Paul Walter Hauser, Norm Lewis, Delroy Lindo, and Jonathan Majors. Director Ben Wheatley (Free Fire, High-Rise) will helm the new adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s gothic novel Rebecca, first adapted by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940. The story follows a newly married bride (Lily James) who finds herself battling the shadow of her husband’s (Armie Hammer) dead first wife. Sam Hargrave (Atomic Blonde) will direct the action-thriller Out of the Fire starring Chris Hemsworth. And writer and director Charlie Kaufman (Anomalisa, Synecdoche, New York) will direct the psychological drama I’m Thinking of Ending Things featuring Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette, Jesse Plemons, and David Thewlis.

Mike Flanagan to Direct Horror Series Midnight Mass

Last July, Netflix revealed that director Mike Flanagan and producer Trevor Macy (The Haunting of Hill House) will team up for a new horror series called Midnight Mass. Now BloodyDisgusting reports that the filming of the series will begin this year, with Flanagan directing all seven episodes of the show.

Midnight Mass takes place in an isolated island community experiencing strange miracles and unsettling omens after the arrival of a young, charismatic priest. The series has an unusual origin. In Flanagan’s 2016 film Hush, the story’s protagonist Maddie Young (played by Kate Siegel) writes the novel titled Midnight Mass. In Flanagan’s 2017 psychological horror film Gerald’s Game, leading character (played by Carla Gugino) is seen with a copy of Maddie’s book. So, technically, Midnight Mass represents an adaptation of a fictional novel!

Both Siegel and Gugino appeared in Flanagan’s 2018 Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House, based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 horror novel. Currently, Flanagan is helming the production of the show’s second season. Titled The Haunting of Bly Manor, the second season is a loose adaptation of Henry James’ 1898 horror novella The Turn of the Screw.