Week-in-Review: Weekend Box Office, Disney-Fox Merger, and the Hasbro Cinematic Universe

    Other Movies Are Insignificant Next to the Power of the Force

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi easily took the first place in the last weekend’s box office, reports Box Office Mojo. Written and directed by Rian Johnson (who previously made the sci-fi thriller Looper), the second installment in the new Star Wars trilogy earned over $220 million in its opening weekend alone, making this the second most successful movie opening in history. Now, you’re probably wondering what movie had the most successful opening in history? I’m glad you asked, you hypothetical reader you! That record belongs to Star Wars: The Force Awakens that, in its opening weekend in December 2015, earned almost $248 million.

    Ferdinand, an animated film about a gentle bull, bravely charged into a doomed battle with the Star Wars juggernaut, landing in the second place with $13.4 million. Pixar and Disney’s animated film Coco earned $9.9 million and dropped to the third place of the weekend box office after spending three consecutive weeks on the top. Wonder, a movie starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, remained among the top five movies of the weekend for the fifth weekend in a row. Finally, Justice League dropped to the fifth place from the last weekend’s second by earning $4.3 million.

    Disney Buys 21st Century Fox

    AVClub reports that our corporate overlords at Disney bought most of the 21st Century Fox’s assets for the astronomical sum of $52.4 billion. House of Mouse now owns and controls Fox’s movie and TV studios, its back catalog of films and shows as well as a majority stake in the Hulu video streaming service. And while the geeks worldwide rejoice about the way the X-Men franchise is finally united with the rest of the Marvel cinematic universe, some professionals raised concerns about the merger, citing antitrust laws.

    This merger is just the latest financial success for Disney. In 2006, the company bought their chief rival Pixar for $7.4 billion. Three years later, Disney bought Marvel Studios for about $4 billion. Then, in 2012, the studio acquired LucasFilm. Control over all these studios now gives Disney unparalleled access to some of the most popular properties and franchises in the recent cinematic history and includes Alien, Predator, The Simpsons, Star Wars and all the Marvel superhero movies.

    Paramount Unveils Plans for a Hasbro Cinematic Universe

    Learning nothing from the failure of the Universal’s Dark Universe, Paramount has decided to join this whole shared universe thing by partnering up with… Hasbro? This week, Paramount has announced release dates for three movies based on popular games and toy lines. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the first of the planned movies is G.I. Joe, set for release on March 27, 2020. Paramount Pictures has already produced two movies based on this hugely popular 1980s toy line: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in 2009 and G.I. Joe: Retaliation in 2013. While the new G. I. Joe movie probably won’t be a sequel to previous installments, their financial success makes it feel like a relatively safe bet for the studio.

    On July 23, 2021, Paramount intends to release a movie based on the venerable – and once controversial – Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role-playing game. While epic fantasy is now popular more than ever thanks to the movies like Lord of the Rings and shows like Game of Thrones, Dungeons & Dragons movies have a bad track record, with the first of the three – directed by Courtney Solomon and starring Jeremy Irons in his worst role ever – being especially terrible. And yet, the last movie announced by Paramount somehow sounds even worse since the studio doesn’t even know what the movie will be about… but they nevertheless intend to release it on October 1, 2021. What also remains unknown is what exactly connects these three movies into a shared cinematic universe, aside from all of them being giant ads for Hasbro.

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