Week-in-review: Weekend Box Office, Star Trek and Westworld

    Yarr! Jason Statham Be Fighting a Giant Shark, Matey!

    Sometimes, the best way to capture the audience is through an over-the-top premise. Case in point: The Meg, a sci-fi thriller in which a heroic deep-sea diver (Jason Statham) saves humanity from a gigantic CGI shark. The Meg opened last weekend and, with a gross of $45,4 million, took over the first place from the latest Mission: Impossible film. Critics have described The Meg – based on a 1997 potboiler novel – as an entertaining B movie, which is exactly the type of compliment its producers had in mind when they sunk over $130 million into its production.

    According to the Box Office Mojo, in the second place of the weekend box office with $19,3 million is Mission: Impossible – Fallout in which Tom Cruise battles enemies both old and new as well as the ravages of old age. Don’t tell him I wrote that: despite being twice as old as I am, Cruise can undoubtedly kick my butt with ease. Continuing with the weekend’s trend of creepy CGI monsters, Disney’s Christopher Robin is in the third place with $12,9 million while the horror movie Slender Man is in the fourth place with $11,3 million. Finally, in the fifth place of the last weekend’s box office is Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman with $10,8 million. Based on an unbelievable true story, BlacKkKlansman follows the exploits of a black cop (John David Washington) infiltrating the ranks of the infamous racist and terrorist organization.

    New Spock Announced; Both Chrises Walk Out?

    We got some good Star Trek news and bad Star Trek news

    The good news is that Mr. Spock will most definitely appear in the second season of the CBS All Access show Star Trek: Discovery. Deadline reports that the world’s most famous half-human, half-Vulcan will be portrayed by Ethan Peck – grandson of the famous Hollywood actor Gregory Peck. 32-year old Peck has appeared in a number of small movie and TV roles since the age of nine. So far, his most prominent performance was that of Patrick Verona in the ABC Family’s TV show 10 Things I Hate About You, based on a 1999 movie of the same title that was, in turn, very loosely based on a William Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew.

    The bad news comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter. Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pine have been in talks about appearing in the upcoming C. J. Clarkson’s Star Trek movie. However, both actors have apparently left the negotiations with the movie’s production companies – Paramount and Skydance Media – since they couldn’t agree on their fees. Both Chrises appeared in J. J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot: while Pine played young James T. Kirk, Hemsworth played his father. Since then, both of them became big stars, appearing in DC and Marvel blockbusters. Companies claim that, with the latest Star Trek films simply not being as profitable as comic book movies, they’re forced to hold the line on the budget. Meanwhile, both Pine and Hemsworth are invoking the previous deals guaranteeing them bigger paychecks. Is this a death kneel for the latest Star Trek project or merely a stalling tactic by the actors’ agents? Time will tell.

    Westworld Showrunners Tease New Developments

    In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, creators of HBO’s existentialist sci-fi western Westworld, hinted at the possible plot developments in their show’s upcoming third season:

    NOLAN: I think it’s a radical shift. What’s compelling and appealing about these characters is that they’re not human. As we said in the show, humans are bound by the same loops the hosts are, in some ways even smaller. You couldn’t expect human characters to withstand and survive the kind of story that we’re telling. The hosts have a different version of mortality, a different outlook. I think clearly with Dolores, as she’s laid out, there is a longer view here, a larger set of goals. They’re existential. They span eons. And that’s a fascinating level of story to engage in.

    LISA JOY: It really is like repiloting.

    The end of the second season hinted that the show runners are getting ready to tackle the larger world outside the titular theme park for decadent rich people indulging in their worst impulses. But Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), leader of the hosts’ revolt, has plans of her own and is getting ready to topple the old order, with the help of hosts like Bernard (Jeffrey Wright). And while the show’s somewhat clumsy, complicated season challenged its viewers, HBO renewed Westworld after only two episodes while the show’s creators are currently developing a TV adaptation of a William Gibson’s cyberpunk novel for Amazon.

    Westworld has also been recently nominated for a number of Primetime Emmy Awards including those for an Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (for both Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Wood) and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Thandie Newton).

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