The Croods Are Back on the Top!
During the slow box office weekend – even by the pandemic standards – The Croods: A New Age made an unexpected comeback. According to the good folks at the Box Office Mojo, this CGI-animated adventure about a prehistoric family came in first, earning $ 2,079,825 last weekend. Mind you, The Croods: A New Age came out twelve weeks ago. Not only that, but the film has been available as VOD for two months. Not even Tenet – Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller that was supposedly here to save cinemas – had such staying power.
It was an all around photo finish at the box office last weekend. In second place is Judas and the Black Messiah, a biographical drama co-written, directed, and produced by Shaka King. It tells a story about a betrayal of Black Panthers leader Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out) by an FBI informant William O’Neal (Lakeith Stanfield – Sorry to Bother You). In its inaugural weekend, Judas and the Black Messiah earned around $2,070,000 – just around $10,000 less than The Croods: A New Age. John Lee Hancock’s crime thriller The Little Things is in third place with $2,045,000 – $25,000 below Judas and the Black Messiah. Wonder Woman 1984 is currently at number four, with $1,140,000. And finally, the list of the top five highest-grossing movies of the weekend closes with The Marksman. This action-thriller starring Liam Neeson earned $1,102,088.
There’s Yet Another Constantine TV Series in the Works
Deadline reports J. J. Abrams is developing a reboot of Constantine for HBO Max through his production company Bad Robot. Guy Bolton, who previously wrote several crime novels, is working on scripts for the series that would follow the occult detective John Constantine as a young Londoner investigating cases involving the paranormal.
The character of John Constantine – “a working-class warlock” – first appeared in The Saga of Swamp Thing in 1985. He was created for DC comics by Alan Moore, Rick Veitch, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben. The character soon got a comic book of its own and has been in circulation for almost four decades.
In 2005, Francis Lawrence (Hunger Games movies) directed a feature film inspired by the comic book, with Keanu Reeves as Constantine. The film also featured Djimon Hounsou, Shia LaBeouf, Peter Stormare, Tilda Swinton, and Rachel Weisz. A decade later, Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer developed a Constantine TV series for NBC, with Matt Ryan playing the lead character. While the network canceled the series after a single season, Ryan reprised his performance on The CW’s shows The Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.
Disney Plus Surpasses 95 Million Users
SlashFilm reports Disney’s streaming service crossed yet another milestone. As of February 2021, Disney Plus has passed 95 million subscribers worldwide. Before it launched the service in November 2019, Disney hoped to reach 90 million subscribers by December 2024. Instead, it already had 86 million subscribers by the 2020 Disney Investor Day, one year after its launch.
As we repeatedly reported, the pandemic has been a difficult time for the entertainment industry. By August 2020, even Disney suffered its first quarterly loss since 2001. But streaming services like Netflix not only survived but thrived as the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns forced people to stay at home. Netflix currently has around 203 million subscribers worldwide, followed by Amazon’s 150 million. Chinese streaming services are next: Tencent (120 million subscribers) and Baidu (119 million).
However, most of these services have been around for a while now. Amazon began offering streaming in 2006. Netflix came online a year later. The rise of Disney Plus was indeed meteoric. Of course, the main question now is: can Disney’s streaming service continue growing at this rate, or will it eventually slow down and plateau at a certain point?