Jurassic Park and Jaws Top the Weekend Box Office
While most movie theaters across the US remain closed, drive-in cinemas have unexpectedly entered a kind of renaissance, screening mostly classic Hollywood blockbusters. According to SlashFilm, Steven Spielberg’s 1993 smash-hit Jurassic Park dominated the last weekend’s weekend box office by grossing $517 000 from 230 screens, while Jaws – another film by Spielberg – was in the close second place, earning $516 000 from 187 screens. There are plenty of beloved classics among the weekend top ten, including Back to the Future, Goonies and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
With most cinemas still closed and new releases either postponed or relegated to streaming, box office results have been interesting. In the last eight weeks, Universal’s Trolls World Tour grossed $100 million in VOD rentals in its opening weekend, causing executives to start rethinking the studio’s distribution model. And an indie horror flick The Wretched remained at the top of the weekend box office for five consecutive weeks.
Of course, this strange and precarious situation can’t and won’t last. Eventually, either the movie theater chains will open up, or they’ll go bankrupt and end up gobbled by the major studios or, say, Amazon.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that international cinemas are slowly reopening. Greta Gerwig’s Little Women – which didn’t get to play overseas – recently crossed the $100 million mark at the global box office, bringing its total gross up to $209 million.
Universal Looking to Reboot Twister
Remember Twister? Not the classic party game, but the 1996 disaster movie in which a tornado saves the marriage of Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. Well, someone at Universal does because they want to remake it. And they seem to have found just the right director for it – Joseph Kosinski! While Kosinski has had his share of original projects like Only the Brave and Oblivion, he is becoming a go-to guy for remakes and belated nostalgia-fueled sequels. Case in point: Kosinski’s directorial debut was Tron: Legacy in 2010 while at the moment, he’s filming Top Gun: Maverick.
Directed by Jan de Bont (Speed, Speed 2: Cruise Control), Twister was very loosely based on real-life storm chasers – meteorologists and adventurers hunting down and observing tornadoes in their natural habitat. Based on a screenplay by Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park! Westworld! The Andromeda Strain!) and Anne-Marie Martin (Sgt. Dori Doreau from Sledge Hammer!), Twister became the second-highest-grossing film of the year with $494,4 million, just after Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day ($817,4 million) and several places above Michael Bay’s The Rock ($335 million). What can I say? 1996 was a year of dumb action shlock. Anyways, since the project is still in the early stages, we know extremely little about it, except that it will feature CGI tornadoes of all sizes.
Night Shyamalan Next Film Gets a Release Date
Next film by the sometimes great (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable) and sometimes terrible (The Happening, Lady in the Water) filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan has an official release date – July 23, 2021. SlashFilm says production of the currently untitled film will take place this summer in the Dominican Republic. As yet, nobody knows what the movie will be about – hardly surprising considering how Shyamalan loves mysteries and twists in his films. The film does have a solid cast though, including Nikki Amuka-Bird (Luther), Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread), Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road), Ken Leung (Lost), Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit), Aaron Pierre (Krypton), Eliza Scanlen (Little Women), and Alex Wolff (Hereditary).
After a string of duds, especially his 2010 abysmal live-action version of Nickelodeon’s beloved animated TV series Avatar the Last Airbender, Shamalayan disappeared out of the spotlight for several years. He returned in 2015 with The Visit, a low-budget budget horror thriller produced by Blumhouse. Audiences and critics responded well to it as well as to Shyamalan’s next film Split. However, his next project, Glass, squandered a bit of that goodwill. So, while his opus is uneven, Shyamalan’s movies remain among those worth checking out.