Week-in-Review: Weekend Box Office, Guillermo del Toro Movie Label, and Ernest Cline’s Armada Adaptation

    Ready Player One Is the Weekend’s Number One

    After a single weekend at the top of the box office, Pacific Rim Uprising was overthrown by Ready Player One, says Box Office Mojo. Directed by Steven Spielberg, this big-budget adaptation of a best-selling science fiction novel by Ernest Cline earned $41,7 million in its opening weekend. Starring Tye Sheridan (X-Men: Apocalypse), Olivia Cooke (Limehouse Golem) and Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Ready Player One tells an inspirational story about the importance of fighting against online ads in one’s favorite MMO while living in a poverty-ridden corporate dystopia.

    In the second place of the last weekend’s box office is Tyler Perry’s Acrimony, a psychological thriller that earned a bit over $17 million in its opening weekend. Black Panther is in the third place with $11,5 million. Christian-themed biopic I Can Only Imagine is still going strong, having earned $10,4 million in its third week in cinemas and bringing its domestic gross up to around $55 million. Finally, in the fifth place of last weekend’s box office is Pacific Rim Uprising that dropped four places since the weekend before, earning only about $9.4 million.

    Ernest Cline’s Armada Adaptation in the Works?

    Deadline reports that the screenwriter Dan Mazeau is working on a draft of a screenplay based on Ernest Cline’s science fiction novel Armada for Universal Studios. This comes as no surprise – Cline’s novel Ready Player One not only became a New York Times bestseller but has also been successfully turned into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg that, at the time of this writing, has grossed over $192 million worldwide.

    Published in 2015, Armada is Cline’s second novel. While Ready Player One tells a story of a pop culture-obsessed kid being really good at computer games, Armada instead tells a story of a pop culture-obsessed kid being really good at computer games. Cline’s novel plays out as a riff on the 1984 movie Last Starfighter as well as on Orson Scott Card’s 1985 science fiction novel Ender’s Game. Cline has helped co-write the screenplay for the movie adaptation of Ready Player One as well as a 20-page proposal for the Armada adaptation. Dan Mazeau has so far completed a single filmed screenplay, for the 2012 epic fantasy movie Wrath of the Titans, starring Sam Worthington (Avatar) and Rosamund Pike (Doom).

    Guillermo del Toro to Get His Own Movie Label

    According to AVClub, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has just signed a new deal with Fox Searchlight that will get him his own film label he can use to develop new genre movies – presumably horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Meanwhile, Fox Searchlight will get exclusive rights to anything new del Toro might want to write, direct or produce.

    This deal comes due to the success of The Shape of Water, del Toro’s latest film. Featuring, among others, Sally Hawkins (Godzilla), Michael Shannon (Man of Steel) and Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man), this critically acclaimed adult fairy tale received thirteen nominations at this year’s Academy Awards. It won four of them, including those for the Best Film and the Best Director. The first film to be released by del Toro’s new label will most probably be supernatural film Antlers by Scott Cooper who previously directed biographical crime drama Black Mass in 2015 featuring Johnny Depp and this year’s western drama Hostiles, starring Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike. Del Toro himself wants to do a remake of a low-budget 1947 noir crime thriller Nightmare Alley.

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