Jungle Cruise Sails to the Top

Jungle Cruise, Disney’s latest CGI-heavy action-adventure, rose to the top of the box office in its inaugural weekend. Based on a Disneyland theme park ride, the movie features Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns) and Dwayne Johnson (Jumanji: The Next Level) as adventurers sailing up the Amazon River searching for the Fountain of Youth. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan, The Shallows), Jungle Cruise earned over $35 million in cinemas and an additional $30 million from premium rentals on Disney Plus. Nevertheless, as Box Office Mojo points out, the movie did cost around $200 million.

In second place at the weekend box office is M. Night Shyamalan’s latest horror-thriller Old with $6,9 million. Unlike Jungle Cruise, Old didn’t have any trouble covering its costs. Filmed for a mere $18 million, it already earned almost $50 million worldwide. The second newcomer this week is David Lowery’s (Pete’s Dragon) Green Knight. This epic fantasy film stars Dev Patel (The Personal History of David Copperfield) as Sir Gawain, one of the Knights of the Round Table. In its opening weekend, the film earned $6,7 million. Black Widow is coming in fourth with $6,5 million and a worldwide gross of $344,5 million. And in fifth place is the final newcomer of the week – a crime drama Stillwater. Featuring Matt Damon (Ford v Ferrari) in a leading role, it grossed $5,2 million last weekend.

Ms. Marvel to Premiere Next Year

Even as the pandemic continues taking its toll on the entertainment industry, 2021 continues to be a busy year for Marvel. So much so that some of its previously announced shows won’t even get to air this year.

SlashFilm reports that Ms. Marvel – a show about the adventures of teenage Pakistani-American superhero Kamala Khan (played by Iman Vellani) probably won’t premiere until 2022. The logic behind this speculation comes from the official release date of another Marvel TV series – Hawkeye. This MCU series will come out on November 24, 2021. If it has between six to eight episodes as other Marvel shows so far, it will end in late December. The only way for Ms. Marvel to premiere this year is if Disney decides to air several shows simultaneously, which seems unlikely.

This year, Marvel has released one movie — Black Widow — and three TV shows: WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki. Pandemic permitting, there are at least three more Marvel movies lined up for a release in 2021: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (September 3), Eternals (November 5), and Spider-Man: No Way Home (December 17). Also, the animated TV series What If? is coming out on August 11. Considering all this, it seems very likely Ms. Marvel won’t premiere until early next year.

Paramount Developing a Star Trek Series Set in Starfleet Academy

Under the leadership of Alex Kurtzman, the Star Trek universe keeps on expanding, attempting to mirror the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The most recent project in development is a TV series set in Starfleet Academy. This academic institution training future Star Fleet officers appeared previously on Star Trek TV shows and movies. While the concept sounds promising, an article by SlashFilm doesn’t reveal much about it. So far, we merely know the series will be geared towards younger audiences.

Over the past several years, Kurtzman has been adding to and expanding the Star Trek franchise. First, there was the latest live-action series Star Trek: Discovery. That one proved out to be quite divisive among fans. Then came Star Trek: Picard, featuring everyone’s favorite captain. Last year, the adult animated TV series Star Trek: Lower Decks premiered on CBS All Access. In addition, there are at least three other TV shows currently in development. Star Trek: Prodigy is yet another animated TV series, albeit more kid-friendly. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is a spinoff to Discovery and prequel to the original 1960s Star Trek show. Finally, there’s another Discovery spinoff titled Section 31, starring Michelle Yeoh as the former Emperor of the evil Terran Empire who now runs the notorious clandestine organization working within the Star Fleet.