Spiral Scares Away the Competition

Horror movie Spiral, the most recent installment in the long-running Saw franchise, successfully scared away its competitors at the top of the last weekend’s box office. The film was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, who already helmed another four Saw movies. Featuring Samuel L. Jackson (Samuel L. Jackson!), Max Minghella (The Handmaid’s Tale), Marisol Nichols (Riverdale), Zoie Palmer (Dark Matter), and Chris Rock (Fargo), Spiral grossed 8,7 million in its opening weekend.

In second place at the box office is the thriller Wrath of Man, featuring Jason Statham (Expendables) as a furious man. According to the Box Office Mojo, Wrath of Man earned $3,7 million in its second weekend in cinemas, bringing its domestic gross up to $14,6 million. Our second newcomer of the week is the action thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead. Starring Angelina Jolie (Maleficent) and featuring Jon Bernthal (Punisher), Aidan Gillen (The Game of Thrones), and Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road), Those Who Wished Me Dead opened to the tune of $2,8 million. Japanese anime Demon Slayer: Mugen Train is in fourth place with $1,8 million. Our list of the top five highest-grossing movies of the weekend closes off with Raya and the Last Dragon ($1,7 million).

DC Finds Directors for Its Batgirl Film

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the filmmaking duo who helmed last year’s Bad Boys for Life, have been hired by DC Entertainment to direct the Batgirl movie. According to an article by GeekTyrant, the script for the film comes from Christina Hodson, who formerly worked on Bumblebee and Birds of Prey. Batgirl will be produced by Kristin Burr (Cruella, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Christopher Robin).

In 2015, Arbi and Fallah directed the crime film Black. They followed it by yet another crime movie Gangsta in 2018. Then they took over from Michael Bay and directed the third Bad Boys film, with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprising their roles. While the critical response has been mostly positive, the real accomplishment of Bad Boys for Life may have been its lucky timing. Released on January 17, 2020, this action-comedy grossed over $400 million just before COVID-19 struck the entertainment industry and the world in general. So, practically by default, Bad Boys for Life became one of the highest-grossing movies of the year.

Batgirl will be exclusively available on HBO Max.

Kathryn Hahn, Janelle Monáe, and Leslie Odom Jr. Join the Cast of Knives Out 2

Rian Johnson’s Knives Out sequel keeps stacking up an impressive cast list. According to an article by GeekTyrant, Kathryn Hahn (Bad Moms, WandaVision) and Janelle Monáe (Hidden Figures, Homecoming) joined the growing list of movie stars that already include Dave Bautista, Edward Norton, and Daniel Craig reprising his performance as the private detective Benoit Blanc. And just several days later, Leslie Odom Jr., a Hamilton veteran and an Academy Award nominee for his role as the singer Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami, also joined the cast.

Recently, director and screenwriter Rian Johnson signed a $450 million deal with Netflix for two sequels to his critically acclaimed and commercially successful murder mystery Knives Out. Filmed in 2019 for $40 million, the movie went on to earn over $300 million worldwide as well as receiving critical praise (its current Rotten Tomatoes score stands at an impressive 97 percent). While Johnson mostly gained fame with his 2012 sci-fi thriller Looper and with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he launched his career by directing crime movies like Brick and Brothers Bloom.

While we don’t know much about the plot of the next Knives Out movie, we do know it will also be a whodunit featuring an ensemble cast of actors.