Week-in-Review: Weekend Box Office, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune Films and So Many Game of Thrones Spin-offs

    Black Panther Still Reigns

    For the fourth consecutive week, Marvel’s latest blockbuster Black Panther won the weekend box office. According to Box Office Mojo, Ryan Coogler’s (Creed) first superhero movie earned $40,8 million last weekend, bringing its total worldwide gross to over $560 million. In the second place of the last weekend’s box office with $33 million is A Wrinkle in Time. Directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma), A Wrinkle in Time is based on a 1962 science fantasy novel by Madeleine L’Engle about the adventures of a teenager Meg Murry (Storm Reid – 12 Years a Slave) as she’s looking for her mysteriously missing father (Chris Pine – Wonder Woman).

    The Strangers: Prey at Night is in the third place with $10.4 million. A sequel to a 2008 horror movie Strangers, the film follows Cindy (Christina Hendricks – Mad Men) and her family as they’re brutally attacked by a trio of masked murderers. Spy thriller Red Sparrow starring Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger Games) is in the fourth place with a bit over $8.5 million. Finally, in the fifth place of the last weekend’s box office is the dark comedy Game Night starring Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) and Rachel McAdams (Doctor Strange).

    Denis Villeneuve to Film Two Dune Movies

    Recently, director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners) announced that the goal for his upcoming adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune is to film it as at least two movies. The Playlist reports that Villeneuve recently appeared in front of a packed auditorium at Rendez-Vous du Cinema Quebecois where, while talking about his next big project, he also admitted it will take him at least two years to complete the Dune films.

    It was in February 2017 that the French Canadian filmmaker Villeneuve signed on with the Legendary Entertainment to direct a new adaptation of Herbert’s notoriously unfilmable cult classic. Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky famously tried and failed to film Dune in the late 1970s. In 1984, David Lynch, fresh from the mainstream success of his biographical drama The Elephant Man, filmed his critically divisive version featuring, among others, Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks), Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Jürgen Prochnow (Das Boot), Max von Sydow (The Exorcist) and Sting (Sting!). Since signing on, Villeneuve has confirmed his sci-fi credentials with his movies Arrival (based on an award-winning short story by sci-fi writer Ted Chiang) and Blade Runner 2049.

    Get Ready for All Those Game of Thrones Spinoffs

    In a recent The Best of HBO panel held at the TV conference in Israel, HBO’s Senior VP of Drama Francesca Orsi talked about continuing the Game of Thrones franchise after the original show ends, says The Hollywood Reporter. Discussing the show’s spinoffs (or “successor shows” as HBO calls them), Orsi bragged about the network working on up to five possible spinoffs to the critically-acclaimed and globally popular fantasy TV series. Orsi also claimed that $50 million per season – which was the average cost of the first several seasons of Game of Thrones – just isn’t enough for HBO’s ambitions. In her words, these Game of Thrones spinoffs “are going big”.

    Time will tell how much of this is just empty talk and how many of these proposed projects will actually get made – especially considering Orsi’s remarks about their projected budget. However, last year HBO did hire screenwriters Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island), Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Brian Helgeland (A Knight’s Tale) and Carly Wray (Mad Men) to develop spinoff series based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling Song of Ice & Fire novels. Considering the richness of Martin’s world and the caliber of some of the people involved, this news makes us very cautiously optimistic, although five spin-off fantasy shows may be a tad too much even for hardcore GoT fans.

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