Venom 2 Massacres the Box Office

Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage massacred its competition at the box office by grossing over $90 million during its inaugural weekend in cinemas. A sequel to 2018 superhero film Venom, the film features Naomie Harris (No Time to Die) and Woody Harrelson (Zombieland: Double Tap), with Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Michelle Williams (The Greatest Showman) reprising their roles from the first film.

Last week’s list of highest grossing movies of the weekend features three newcomers among the top five – something we haven’t seen for a long, long time. Besides the Venom sequel, there’s also The Addams Family 2. This CGI-animated family adventure debuted at second place, earning $17,3 million. Meanwhile, September’s box office champion Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings dropped two places. Now at third place, it grossed a mere $6,1 million. But its producers have nothing to cry about: Marvel’s latest superhero film earned over $207 million domestically and another $181 million overseas. The final newcomer of the last weekend is The Many Saints of Newark – a feature length prequel to HBO’s critically-acclaimed series The Sopranos. In its opening weekend, the film earned $4,6 million. Finally, in fifth place is the musical drama Dear Evan Hansen with $2,4 million and a total domestic gross of $11,8 million.

As always, all of this data comes courtesy of the Box Office Mojo.

Russian Filmmakers Win the Space Race

Last year, we reported a story about Tom Cruise pitching a seemingly insane project of shooting a film in space. Several months later, Warner Bros. committed to the project. And then, just like in the good old days of the Space Race, the United States was once again beaten by the Russians.

As AV Club reports, this week, Russian filmmaker Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild headed up to International Space Station to start working on a feature film titled The Challenge. The movie tells a story of a doctor launched into space to perform life-saving surgery on a cosmonaut. Real-life cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov will play the character while also serving as a mission commander. The Challenge is co-produced by, among others, the Russian space agency Roscosmos and state-owned broadcaster Channel One.

In May 2020, we first learned Tom Cruise was pitching an idea for a live-action film shot in space alongside directors Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) and Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible – Fallout). These filmmakers already worked with the action superstar famous for performing his stunts despite being almost 60 years old. Then, in August, Warner Bros. committed $200 million to the project even though the script didn’t exist. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed the project on his Twitter.

So, now that Russians got a new Yuri Gagarin, but will Tom Cruise become the next Neil Armstrong?

Scott Derrickson’s Next Horror Gets a New Release Date

An upcoming horror film by the filmmaker Scott Derrickson titled The Black Phone has a new release date. According to BloodyDisgusting, Blumhouse planned to release it on January 28, 2022, but later pushed the film by one week – to February 4.

The film is an adaptation of a short story by Joe Hill (In the Tall Grass, Horns, Locke and Key, NOS4A2) about a child named Finney Shaw (played by Mason Thames – For All Mankind) abducted by a serial killer known as The Grabber (portrayed by Ethan Hawke – Sinister). While imprisoned in an old basement, Finney realizes he can communicate with the killer’s previous victims using an old disconnected phone. The Black Phone had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest on September 25, 2021, where it was generally positively received.

Besides directing, Derrickson co-wrote the script alongside C. Robert Cargill, who already worked with him both on low-budget horrors (Sinister) and big-budget blockbusters (Doctor Strange). After leaving the production of the Doctor Strange sequel last January, Derrickson lined up several intriguing projects. Besides directing The Black Phone, he will also make a sequel to Jim Henson’s 1986 cult classic The Labyrinth.