Week-in-review: Weekend Box Office, Blade Finds A Director, And The Second Season Of Amazon’s The Wheel of Time

    Space Jam: A New Legacy Slam-dunks at the Box Office 

    In its inaugural weekend, Space Jam: A New Legacy officially took over first place at the weekend box office from Black Widow, earning $31,7 million in the process. A live-action/CGI-animated sequel to the 1996 film Space Jam features basketball player LeBron James joining forces with the Looney Tunes characters to win a match against digitized champions and rescue his son from rogue AI or something. Besides James, A New Legacy features Don Cheadle (No Sudden Move), Sonequa Martin-Green (Star Trek: Discovery), and a long list of celebrity voice cameos.

    In its second weekend in cinemas, Black Widow grossed $25,8 million. According to the Box Office Mojo, this was the worst drop in earnings for any Marvel movie ever – 67,3 percent. After Black Widow first came out, Disney bragged about how much it earned. Well, now the studio is as quiet as a mouse. But The National Association of Theatre Owners certainly doesn’t mince words: in its statement, NATO claims Black Widow could have earned between $92-100 million in its opening weekend if it wasn’t available online. But then again, even if the pandemic is allegedly winding down, it’s hard to blame people for wanting to enjoy the movie in the safety of their homes.

    In third place at the weekend box office with $8,8 million is Escape Room: Tournament of Champions – a sequel to the 2019 horror film Escape Room. Action film F9: The Fast Saga is in fourth place with $7,7 million, while The Boss Baby: Family Business is in fifth place with $4,7 million.

    Blade Lands a Director?

    It’s been two years since Marvel first announced plans to produce a new film featuring half-vampire, all-badass monster hunter Blade. Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) will take over the titular role from Wesley Snipes. This week we learned the studio was in talks with Bassam Tariq to direct. Tariq’s most recent film is the 2020 drama Mogul Mowgli, written by and starring Riz Ahmed, who appeared in movies like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Nightcrawler, Sound of Metal, and Four Lions.

    While seemingly unexpected, this news is hardly surprising. Throughout the last decade, major Hollywood studios began hiring indie filmmakers to helm big-budget projects. Sometimes this works, as with Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World or Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong. Blade was created for Marvel comics in 1973 by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gene Colan. He first appeared as a supporting character in The Tomb of Dracula #10. Later, Blade became a star of his comic book title. The character appeared in three movies – Blade, Blade II, and Blade: Trinity – and in the short-lived TV series that aired on Spike for a single season. Stacy Osei-Kuffour (Watchmen) is writing the script.

    Amazon Filming Season 2 of The Wheel of Time

    Just four months ago, we reported Amazon renewed its epic fantasy series The Wheel of Timeway, way ahead of its premiere. Well, now we got even more surprising news: according to SlashFilm, Amazon is already producing the show’s second season! Once again – And we can’t emphasize this enough! – the show’s first season hasn’t even aired yet. We don’t know its exact release date!

    While attention-grabbing, it could be easy to perceive this decision as a risky move for Amazon. After all, there’s no guarantee the show will be any good or popular with the audience. On the other hand, filming two seasons back-to-back could lower the overall production cost. This is significant since Amazon already sunk around $200 million into its ambitious Lord of the Rings TV series – yet another epic fantasy show renewed ahead of its premiere.

    Rafe Judkins, who previously produced Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is in charge of The Wheel of Time. The show is an adaptation of the best-selling series of novels by the late author Robert Jordan. So far, the biggest name in the cast has been Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl). She will portray Moiraine, a member of a powerful, all-female organization of magic users called Aes Sedai.

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