Worst Labor Day Weekend at the Box Office in 17 Years

Labor Day weekend produced some alarming results at the box office. According to Box Office Mojo, top twelve movies earned a total of only $51.5 million, making this the worst Labor Day weekend for the top 12 since the year 2000.

For the third weekend in a row, the box office was dominated by the action comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard (starring Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds) and The Conjuring spin-off/prequel Annabelle: Creation (starring a possessed wooden doll). Further down the list are Wind River, a crime thriller starring Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner, animated feature film Leap! and Steven Soderbergh’s redneck crime comedy Logan Lucky.

The only new release that managed to crack the top twenty list was – somewhat bizarrely – a pilot episode for the ABC’s new superhero TV show The Inhumans, released in a limited number of IMAX theaters and scheduled to air on TV on September 29.

Colin Trevorrow Leaves Star Wars

Variety reports that director Colin Trevorrow has dropped out of directing Star Wars Episode IX. According to a statement released by Disney and Lucasfilm, the studios and Trevorrow have “mutually chosen to part ways”.

Trevorrow first gained notice with his 2012 indie sci-fi comedy Safety Not Guaranteed. In 2015, he directed Jurassic World, a soft reboot of a Jurassic Park franchise that earned $1.6. billion worldwide, becoming one of the most financially successful movies in the history of cinema. This summer saw the release of Trevorrow’s drama The Book of Henry, widely derided as one of the worst movies of the summer.

The news of Trevorrow parting ways with the Star Wars franchise comes atop June news about directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller of a Lego Movie fame leaving the production of the standalone Han Solo movie because their ideas didn’t line up with the executives’ vision of the Star Wars franchise.

…and Paul Bettany Joins Star Wars

Paul Bettany joined the production of the standalone Star Wars spinoff about young Han Solo, reports AVClub. Hollywood veteran Ron Howard first announced this news on Twitter. Howard took over the reshooting of the movie after directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller got fired from the production in June.

Howard has previously worked with Bettany on his 2006 adaptation of a Dan Brown potboiler The Da Vinci Code as well on a 2001 Academy Award-winning biographical drama A Beautiful Mind. Bettany proved himself as a classical actor in movies such as Creation and Master and Commander but also appeared in blockbusters such as Avengers: Age of Ultron. As such, he may easily become a welcome addition to a Star Wars universe.

Gavin O’Connor Hired to Write and Direct Suicide Squad 2

According to Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has hired Gavin O’Connor to write and direct the upcoming Suicide Squad 2. The studio has hunted for a replacement director ever since it announced that David Ayer, director of the first movie, won’t return for its sequel.

Gavin O’Connor directed the last year’s The Accountant. Starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J. K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal and Jeffrey Tambor, this crime thriller about an autistic accountant/martial artist (Affleck) uncooking the books of dangerous criminal organizations around the world grossed around $155 million at the box office.

Released in 2015, the first Suicide Squad starring Will Smith, Jared Leto and Margot Robie earned over $745 million worldwide. The gig of directing a sequel to this blockbuster behemoth was hot in Hollywood, with the list of possible directors including the likes of Mel Gibson, Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows), Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) and Daniel Espinosa (Safe House).