Sonic Races to the Top
Sonic the Hedgehog raced straight to the top of the last weekend’s box office. According to the Box Office Mojo, this fantasy adventure film delivered the biggest inaugural weekend ever for a video game adaptation, grossing a bit over $58 million. When Sonic’s unfortunate CGI-animated visage was first revealed last year, it caused a minor uproar among fans. This led to Vancouver-based studio Moving Picture Company working overtime to redesign the character in time for the movie’s new release date this February. And while animators completed their job splendidly, they were afterward all fired and the studio itself closed.
In the second place at the last weekend’s box office is Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn with $17.1 million. The latest DC superhero blockbuster failed to meet box office expectations. Besides, it had the lowest opening for a DC movie in a decade, since Jonah Hex opened with $5.3 million in 2010. This led to an unusual development with Warner Bros. suggesting distributors to alter the title into Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey to help with SEO optimizations and ticket reader boards.
Horror flick Fantasy Island is in third place with $12.3 million. Fantasy Island takes place on, well, an island where all of your fantasies can come true. Produced by Blumhouse, the film is very loosely inspired on a 1970s ABC TV series starring Ricardo Montalbán (KHAAAAAANNN!!!). It features Portia Doubleday (Mr. Robot), Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars), Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars), Michael Peña (Ant-Man), Maggie Q (Nikita), and Austin Stowell (Whiplash). In the fourth place is the romantic drama The Photograph with $12.2 million. And finally, the list of the top five highest-grossing movies of the weekend closes with Bad Boys for Life with $11.5 million.
Paramount Remaking The Saint, Dexter Fletcher to Direct
Paramount is planning a remake to its 1997 spy thriller The Saint. Deadline says the movie will be directed by the actor and filmmaker Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman) based on a script penned by Seth Grahame-Smith (LEGO Batman Movie). The titular character in the film is a high tech thief using his mastery of disguise to rob the rich and powerful.
Paramount first released The Saint in 1997. The movie featured Val Kilmer (Top Gun) playing the lead character, with Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) as a nuclear physicist who invents cold fusion and Rade Šerbedžija (X-Men: First Class) as Russian general planning a coup d’état. Directed by Phillip Noyce (Salt, The Quiet American), the movie went on to earn $169 million on a $90 million budget.
The Saint – aka Simon Templar – originated in a series of pulp novels written by British writer Leslie Charteris from 1928 until 1968. The adventures of Simon Templar were adapted into radio dramas, comic books, movies, and TV shows. Roger Moore was the first to portray him in a TV series that aired from 1962 to 1969. This role later helped Moore become the next James Bond after Sean Connery left the franchise in the early 1970s.
Disney’s Planet of the Apes Film Will Reboot the Franchise… Or Will It?
In December, we reported Disney was developing a new Planet of the Apes film. The studio hired Wes Ball, who previously made the Maze Runner movies, as the film’s director and screenwriter. Now, Discussing Film reports that the production designer Daniel Dorrance joined the crew of Disney’s Apes reboot. Dorrance previously worked with Ball on Maze Runner movies as well as on his Mouse Guard film that was canceled soon after Disney bought 21st Century Fox.
As the more perceptive among you have undoubtedly noticed, the keyword here is “reboot.” Apparently, Disney’s proposed movie won’t continue the storyline from Matthew Reeves’ latest Planet of the Apes trilogy, rebooting the franchise instead. If you want to be really precise, it will be a reboot of a reboot of a remake of the original movies. The article speculates that the next Planet of the Apes film will most likely reboot the 1968 original starring Charlton Heston.
However, according to GeekTyrant, a fan reached out to Wes Ball directly on Twitter, asking the filmmaker will his Planet of the Apes movie ignore the latest trilogy. Ball was kind enough to respond and, while not exactly denying the news, said: “that Caesar’s legacy will continue in the new film.” And, while somewhat reassuring, “Ceasar’s legacy” is still a pretty loose term that could mean pretty much whatever the producers decide. We’ll have to wait and see.
The first Planet of the Apes was co-written by The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling based on the satirical science fiction novel by the French writer Pierre Boulle (who also wrote The Bridge over the River Kwai). It became an unexpected hit leading to a series of increasingly cheap and grim sequels, culminating with Battle for the Planet of the Apes in 1973. In 2001 Tim Burton directed the reboot of the first film. While it received mixed reviews, it was a solid box office success, grossing over $362 million worldwide on a $100 million budget.