Week-in-Review: Weekend Box Office, Star Wars, and Netflix

    Happy Death Day Retires Blade Runner 2049

    With the last month’s phenomenal success of It and Halloween just weeks away, it was hardly surprising to see yet another horror movie taking the first place in the last weekend’s box office. According to Box Office Mojo, Happy Death Day earned around $26 million in its first weekend. This slasher horror about a teenage girl (Jessica Rothe) reliving the day of her death was directed by Christopher B. Landon who made several movies in the Paranormal Activity movie series.

    In its second weekend in cinemas, Blade Runner 2049 earned $15.5 million, dropping to the second place. This brought its total gross up to $60 million, which is still way below its production costs. In the third place with $13.1 million is the action thriller The Foreigner, starring Pierce Brosnan and Jackie Chan in a rare non-comedic performance. It continues to creep ever so slowly down, dropping from the last week’s third place into this weekend’s fourth. Finally, in the fifth place with $5.7 million is the last week’s newcomer, adventure drama The Mountain Between Us.

    Ron Howard Finishes Filming Han Solo Movie

    Recently, director Ron Howard announced on Twitter he finished filming standalone Star Wars movie about young Han Solo. He also revealed that the movie’s title will be Solo: A Star Wars Story.

    Howard, best known for directing Da Vinci’s Code in 2006 and appearing in sitcoms such as The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days (ask your grandparents about them), took over the movie’s troubled production after previous directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The LEGO Movie, 21 Jump Street movie) got dropped this June. Apparently, Lord and Miller clashed with the series’ long-time screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan due to their tendency to change and improvise dialogues on set. Movie’s producer Kathleen Kennedy quickly hired Howard to replace the two and finish the movie. While there’s still a lengthy post-production process ahead, it looks like Solo: A Star Wars Story might actually hit theaters on its original release date – May 28th, 2018.

    Netflix To Release 80 Movies In 2018

    Next year, Netflix plans to release 80 original movies, Variety reports. According to Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, these movies will “range anywhere from the million-dollar Sundance hit, all the way up to something on a much larger scale”.

    It’s an ambitious plan but not an impossible one. Twenty years ago Netflix mostly distributed DVDs and Blue-Rays. A decade ago the company started streaming movies and TV shows. Over the last couple of years, Netflix produced a number of highly successful and critically acclaimed shows such as House of Cards, Stranger Things, Marvel’s Daredevil and BoJack Horseman while simultaneously reviving cult shows such as Arrested Development and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Last September, Netflix CFO David Wells revealed plans for a content mix that would include 50 percent original programming. Since Netflix has also been cutting down its catalog of older titles over the last five years, the realization of Sarandos’ plans would actually make this parity of content possible.

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