Shortlink

Sadly, we’re nowhere near the worst of the coronavirus yet.

Late-night goes dark: NBC suspends Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers shows due to coronavirus

First, they decided to tape shows without an audience. Now they’re not taping at all.

NBC is suspending late-night talk show staples The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The production pause is supposed to go through March 30, but it wouldn’t be surprising if that was extended. Sources say decisions about future shows will be made as that date approaches.

Both shows previously planned a hiatus for the week of March 23 anyway.

Fallon will still tape Thursday’s show without a live audience before going into repeats on Friday.

Previously, NBC announced the shows would go audience-free. So did several other late-night shows, including CBS’ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, TBS’ Full Frontal With Samantha Bee.

Oh, and The Happiest Place on Earth is closing — because that’s apparently the world we live in now.

Shortlink

Here’s hoping that BATMAN VS. THOR is better than SUPERMAN VS. BATMAN!! :D

Christian Bale to play villain in new Thor movie

Christian Bale will play the villain in the new Thor movie, according to Tessa Thompson.

The actress let the news slip to Entertainment Tonight at the Westworld season three premiere, revealing she can’t wait to work with The Dark Knight star.

“Christian Bale is going to play our villain, which is going to be fantastic,” she told ET. “I’ve read the script (but) I can’t tell you much.”

And she’s not the only one excited about Thor: Love and Thunder – Natalie Portman, who returns as Jane Foster in the new movie, loves the idea of sharing the screen with her fellow Oscar winner.

“(There have been) lots of exciting text messages exchanged between Natalie and I,” Tessa added. “We’re going to have fun.”

The actress also revealed she’ll be playing King Valkyrie in the new movie.

“She’s king,” she said. “If she can’t find her queen, she’ll just be king and queen at the same time.”

Thor: Love and Thunder is scheduled to hit theatres in November 2021.

Shortlink

That was probably the right decision.

Woody Allen memoir scrapped by publisher

The release of Woody Allen’s memoir has been scrapped by publishers at Hachette Book Group a day after staff members staged a walk-out in protest.

Employees opted to support Ronan Farrow, who hammered the publishers for agreeing to release his estranged father’s book amid ongoing claims suggesting the Oscar-winning filmmaker molested the journalist’s sister, Dylan – Woody’s adopted daughter, and it appears the protest has prompted company bosses to rethink their release plans.

“Hachette Book Group has decided that it will not publish Woody Allen’s memoir Apropos of Nothing, originally scheduled for sale in April 2020, and will return all rights to the author,” a statement reads.

“The decision to cancel Mr. Allen’s book was a difficult one. At HBG we take our relationships with authors very seriously, and do not cancel books lightly. We have published and will continue to publish many challenging books. As publishers, we make sure every day in our work that different voices and conflicting points of views can be heard.

“Also, as a company, we are committed to offering a stimulating, supportive and open work environment for all our staff. Over the past few days, HBG leadership had extensive conversations with our staff and others. After listening, we came to the conclusion that moving forward with publication would not be feasible for HBG.”

Ironically, Hachette bosses were also behind Ronan Farrow’s recent release, Catch & Kill.

Meanwhile, Dylan Farrow has issued a statement thanking staff who protested on her behalf on Thursday.

She took to social media on Friday afternoon and wrote: “To each and every individual who, at great professional risk to themselves, stood in solidarity with my brother, myself, and all victims of sexual abuse yesterday: words will never describe the debt of gratitude I owe to you.

“For someone who has felt alone in my story for so long, yesterday was a profound reminder of what a difference can be made when people stand and unite together for what’s right. Thank you so very much.”

Shortlink

It must be said that THE WAY BACK is a lot better than it looks. It’s no HOOSIERS, but I liked it.

‘Onward’ leads weak box office; Affleck’s ‘The Way Back’ stumbles into 3rd

LOS ANGELES — Disney and Pixar’s Onward debuted this weekend to US$40 million, enough to lead box office charts but still a somewhat disappointing start given the studio’s near-flawless track record when it comes to animated fare. Internationally, the film brought in $28 million for a global tally of $68 million.

Onward, a fantastical adventure about two brothers (voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt), ranks among Pixar’s lowest opening weekend’s in modern times, joining 2015’s The Good Dinosaur and its $39 million as a rare blemish for the Disney-owned company, known for producing hits such as Inside Out, Coco and Up. Pixar films typically cost $175 million to $200 million to produce, a huge sum that doesn’t include global marketing fees.

Directed by Dan Scanlon, Onward received mostly positive reviews, though it didn’t welcome the kind of rapturous reception that greets most Pixar titles. Still, Onward looks to benefit in coming weeks as one of the few options for family audiences. It scored an “A-” CinemaScore, signaling that moviegoers enjoyed the film.

“Pixar has earned an incredible reputation for delivering quality to audiences, and based on their response, they are being touched by it,” said Cathleen Taff, Disney’s president of global distribution. “We’re excited to see such good word-of-mouth. That bodes well for the life of its run in theatres.”

This weekend’s other high-profile release, Warner Bros.’ sports drama The Way Back, also fell short of expectations. But box office experts suggest it was the movies themselves — not fears of coronavirus — that stifled ticket sales. Onward was tracking an opening between $40 million and $45 million even before threats of coronavirus in North America.

“I think there was zero impact,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with Comscore, said. “With $40 million for Onward, a small drop off for The Invisible Man and The Way Back getting solid scores from audiences, it looks like people are in the habit of going to the movies.”

Overall box office receipts are down 50% from the same weekend last year, an inevitable dip given last year saw Captain Marvel arrive with a huge $153 million. That drastic dip pushed the year-to-date box office down almost 2%, the first year-over-year decline in 2020.

The Way Back brought in $8.5 million when it launched in 2,718 theatres, enough for third place on box office charts. It’s a lacklustre start given its A-list leading man, but an improvement from Warner Bros. recent mid-budget duds, such as The Good Liar ($5.6 million) and The Kitchen ($5.5 million).

The film, which cost roughly $21 million to make, was poised as a big-screen comeback for Affleck. His performance as an alcoholic construction worker who is recruited to become the head coach of a high school basketball team has been praised, but it didn’t get the level of reception that smaller dramas need these days to make an impact at the box office. Among opening weekend crowds, 64% were over the age of 35. Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution, noted it’s a demographic that doesn’t usually rush out on opening weekend.

“Our reviews were really strong and we have a ‘B+’ CinemaScore, so we’re in a really strong place,” Goldstein said. “The story gears toward an older audience that doesn’t rush out. I think we can capture an older audience, assuming a coronavirus scare doesn’t keep audiences away.”

In second place, Universal and Blumhouse’s The Invisible Man added $15.5 million in its second outing for a cumulative total of $52.6 million. Internationally, the Elisabeth Moss-led thriller generated $17.3 million. Its box office receipts currently stand at $98.3 million, already a win for the studio since it cost just $7 million.

Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog landed at No. 4, bringing in another $8 million. After four weeks in theatres, the animated family film has made an impressive $140 million. The blue speed demon, voiced by Ben Schwartz, has also been a draw overseas, where it has made $154 million. Globally, Sonic is nearing the $300 million mark with ticket sales currently at $295.6 million.

Disney’s The Call of the Wild rounded out the top five, pocketing $7 million in its third frame. The adaptation of Jack London’s novel, starring Harrison Ford and a CGI dog named Buck, has generated $57.5 million in North America and $99.6 million worldwide, a weak result because the film cost a head-scratching $125 million to make. Given the high price tag, sources estimate “The Call of the Wild” needs to earn between $250 million and $275 million to get out of the red. At this point, it will be difficult to reach those heights so “The Call of the Wild” is expected to lose around $50 million.

Among indie releases, A24’s First Cow made $96,059 when it opened in four venues — translating to $24,015 from each location. Directed by Kelly Reichardt, the film is set in the Pacific Northwest and follows a 19th century cook who travels with fur trappers to the Oregon Territory. It will continue its platform release next weekend before opening nationwide in the spring.

Sony Pictures Classic’s Burnt Orange Heresy had a rocky start in limited release, bringing in $18,296 from four screens for a theatre-average of $4,574. The heist thriller stars Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki and Mick Jagger.

Elsewhere, Focus Features’ Emma amassed $5 million when it expanded to 1,565 theaters, bringing its domestic tally to $6.8 million. The adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel also earned $1.5 million this weekend at the international box office for a global bounty of $20.9 million.

Shortlink

Hope it’s true. The last few – including HOBBS AND SHAW – have been pretty boring.

Ben Stiller joining Fast and Furious franchise

Funnyman Ben Stiller is reportedly preparing to rev his engine after joining the cast of the next sequel in the Fast and Furious franchise.

According to the New York Post’s Page Six, the Meet the Parents star is due to shoot his scenes for F9 “soon,” although it will likely only be a small role as the action adventure is set for release in May.

Further details regarding Stiller’s alleged involvement have not been revealed, and representatives for both the actor and the Universal Pictures project have yet to comment.

If the casting news is true, he will join franchise stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, and Ludacris onscreen, as well as newcomer John Cena.

Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron will also feature, reprising their roles from 2017’s The Fate of the Furious.

Shortlink

Wouldn’t it be great if they just focussed on making great pop music again? It would!!

Katy Perry says she and Taylor Swift text each other ‘a lot’ after ending feud

Katy Perry and Taylor Swift may not spend a lot of time together, but they’re still in touch after publicly ending their feud last year.

The American Idol judge and singer, 35, opened up to Stellar Magazine about her relationship with Swift, 30, and why it was so important to reconcile after years of not being on the best terms.

“We don’t have a very close relationship because we are very busy, but we text a lot,” Perry said, as she went on to praise how vulnerable Swift was in her Netflix documentary Miss Americana.

“I was really excited for her to be able to show that to the world: that things aren’t perfect, they don’t have to be and it’s more beautiful when they aren’t,” Perry said.

Swift and Perry publicly ended their feud when they costarred in Swift’s music video for “You Need to Calm Down” last year — hugging it out while wearing coordinating burger and French fry costumes.

“It was important to make that appearance in the music video because people want people to look up to,” Perry told Stellar Magazine. “We wanted it to be an example of unity. Forgiveness is important. It’s so powerful.”

Last year, Perry explained that the pair decided to put their feud to rest in order to set an example for their younger fans.

“It was actually just a misunderstanding but we have such big groups of people that like to follow us, and so they kind of started turning against each other a little bit too,” the singer explained during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Perry went on to explain that their path to reconciliation began when she “sent a literal olive branch” to Swift’s Reputation tour the previous year.

“Then we started seeing each other out and about and I just would walk up to her and say, ‘Hey, how are you?’ ” she shared. “It’s like, we have so much in common — there’s probably only 10 people in the world that have the same things in common — I was like, ‘We should really be friends over that and share our strengths and our weaknesses and our challenges. We can help each other get through a lot.’ Because it’s not as easy as it seems sometimes.”

Swift shared a similar sentiment last year, telling BBC Radio 1 that she and her fellow pop star had “grown past allowing ourselves to be pitted against each other.”

“The Man“ singer also revealed that she and Perry have been on good terms for a while before the music video, but wanted to make sure they were “solid” before announcing their reconciliation to fans.

“You know, she and I have been fine for a while and really on good terms but we didn’t know if we were ever gonna really tell people about it. We wanted to make sure that was solid between us before we ever made the public aware,” Swift told Capital Breakfast during another interview.

Shortlink

THE INVISIBLE MAN was a very good film. It’s not perfect, but I enjoyed it and Elisabeth Moss, as always.

The Invisible Man sees box office win with $29 million debut

The Invisible Man saw success during its debut weekend at the box office, earning an estimated $29 million.

Following the winning Blumhouse title in second place is Sonic the Hedgehog with $16 million, and The Call of the Wild in third with $13.2 million. Rounding out the top five are My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising ($6.3 million) and Bad Boys for Life ($4.3 million).

Elizabeth Moss stars in The Invisible Man reboot based on the H.G. Wells novel of the same name, in the role of an abuse victim who is being haunted by her deceased boyfriend. Her character Cecilia Kass is convinced her abuser Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), who seemingly died from suicide, has found a way to stalk her while being invisible.

The Leigh Whannell directed film co-stars Storm Reid, Aldis Hodge, and Michael Dorman.

EW gave the film a B saying, “If the buildup and catharsis of its final minutes are more than a little silly, and marred by Whannell’s urge to put too neat bow on it all, the movie still has its satisfying jolts — including possibly one of the single most shocking screen deaths so far this year.”

Moviegoers liked it a little bit more, Cinemascore viewers gave it a B+.

Funimation’s Japanese anime superhero film, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising is based on the popular manga written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. It tells the story of a group of young, professional superhero wannabes, who fight in a world full of people with powerful gifts. Deku and his partners from the Academy face Nine, the strongest villain yet.

The Kenji Nagasaki directed film features the voice talents of Yuichi Nakamura, Aoi Yuki, Yuki Kaji, Yuka Terasaki, Kosuke Toriumi, Yoshio Inoue, Tomoyo Kurosawa, Shunsuke Takeuchi, and Mio Imada.

From the small screen to the big screen, the popular truTV comedians Impractical Jokers (Brian Quinn, James Murray, Sal Vulcano, and Joe Gatto) also known as The Tenderloins, took the seventh spot on the box office chart with an estimated $3.5 million.

The film tells story of a humiliating high school mishap from 1992 that sends the Impractical Jokers on the road competing in hidden-camera challenges for the chance to turn back the clock and redeem three of the four.

The Chris Henchy directed title co-stars Paula Abdul, Jaden Smith, and Joey Fatone.

Overall, the box office is up 3.5 percent year-to-date, according to Comscore. Check out the Feb. 28- March 1 numbers below:

The Invisible Man—$29 million
Sonic the Hedgehog — $16 million
The Call of the Wild—$13.2 million
My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising —$6.3 million
Bad Boy for Life — $4.3 million
Birds of Prey — $4.1 million
Impractical Joker: The Movie—$3.5 million
1917 — $2.7 million
Brahms: The Boy II—$2.7 million
Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island —$2.3 million

Shortlink

Pretty excited for this!! Hope it’s longer than 60 minutes!!!

‘Friends’ Cast to Reunite for Exclusive HBO Max Special

It’s happening: The “Friends” cast is reuniting for an exclusive untitled unscripted special on HBO Max.

Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer will return to the original “Friends” soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank to celebrate the long-running series, which ended its run in 2004.

Sources close to the situation tell Variety the six stars will receive at least $2.5 million apiece for participating in the special.

The reunion has been hotly anticipated, with speculation about the HBO Max special swirling since last fall, just months after the WarnerMedia-created SVOD platform nabbed the streaming rights to the show from Netflix in a deal with Warner Bros. Television. All 10 seasons of the comedy left Netflix at the end of 2019, meaning that “Friends” has thus far not been available to stream in the U.S. this calendar year — at least, not until HBO Max launches in May.

The special, as well as all 236 episodes of “Friends,” will be available upon the streaming service’s debut. They will no doubt be a high-profile part of HBO Max’s appeal as it tries to attract subscribers. Though the sitcom aired its series finale over 15 years ago, third-party market researchers have said “Friends” was one of Netflix’s most-watched shows. And as previously reported, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment told Variety that sales of physical and digital versions of “Friends” have “roughly tripled” since news broke that it would be leaving Netflix.

“Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together — we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa, and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire ‘Friends’ library,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer at HBO Max and president of TBS, TNT, and truTV, in a statement. “I became aware of ‘Friends’ when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation. It taps into an era when friends – and audiences – gathered together in real time and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans.”

Ben Winston will direct the special and executive produce alongside “Friends” executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television and Fulwell 73 Productions are behind the program. Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, and Schwimmer are also executive producing the special, with Emma Conway and James Longman on board as co-executive producers.

Shortlink

I really wanted to see STAR WARS – THE RISE OF SKYWALKER again in a theatre this weekend, but it’s no longer playing near me.

Sonic the Hedgehog can’t be beat at the box office, Call of the Wild performs better than expected

Audiences can’t get enough of Sonic the Hedgehog, it continues its domination of the box office chart with $26.3 million during its second week in theaters.

The Call of the Wild sits comfortably in second place with an estimated $25 million, opening strong with numbers that are better than expected. Third place belongs to Birds of Prey with $7 million, followed by Brahms: The Boy II with $6 million.

Rounding out the top five is Bad Boys for Life with $5.9 million after six weeks on the big screen.

Harrison Ford still has the cache to bring audiences to theaters in droves, and his adorable CGI canine co-star certainly added to The Call of the Wild‘s popularity. The duo star in the drama, adapted from the Jack London classic of the same name, about a dog named Buck whose life is turned upside down when he moves from California to Alaska during the Gold Rush of the 1890s.

The Chris Sanders directed title co-stars Dan Stevens, Karen Gillan, Bradley Whitford, and Omar Sy.

EW gives the film a B saying, “Though this tale of redemption and survival doesn’t feel particularly relevant or essential in today’s media landscape, it still has the capacity to entertain and move, well over a century after the story first was published.”

Moviegoers liked the film a big more, giving it an A- via Cinemascore.

Brahms: The Boy II is a supernatural horror film and stand alone sequel to 2016’s The Boy. Katie Holmes portrays Liza, a mother who moves into a mansion with her young son Jude (played by Christopher Convery) after a home invasion leaves them both injured and traumatized.

Jude discovers a doll in the woods that he decides he’ll clean up and take home with him, but that doll has a curious past involving unusual events. It’s not long before the doll is wreaking havoc on the family, or could something else be behind the mysterious occurrences happening in the house?

The William Brent Bell directed film co-stars Owain Yeoman, Ralph Ineson and Oliver Rice.

Overall, box office is up 5.9 percent year-to-date, according to Comscore. Check out the Feb. 14-16 numbers below:

Sonic the Hedgehog — $26.3 million
The Call of the Wild—$25 million
Birds of Prey — $7 million
Brahms: The Boy II—$6 million
Bad Boy for Life — $5.9 million
1917 — $4.4 million
Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island —$4.2 million
Parasite — $3.1 million
Jumanji: The Next Level — $3 million
The Photograph — $2.5 million

Shortlink

I went to see DOWNHILL, expecting it to be entertaining, and it was not very good. First off, it’s a drama…not a comedy…and by the end I just didn’t care.

Sonic The Hedgehog zooms past the competition at the box office with $57 million

Sonic the Hedgehog made its big debut over President’s Day weekend and it zoomed all the way to the top of the box office. Not only did the film make an estimated $57 during its first week in theaters, but it also claimed the title of biggest North American debut for a movie based on a video game.

Second place goes to Birds of Prey with an estimated $17.1 million during its second week, followed by Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island in third with $12.4 million. Rounding out the top five are The Photograph ($12.3 million), and Bad Boys for Life with $11.3 million, according to Comscore.

Sonic the Hedgehog made a big splash in theaters as fans of the original 1991 Sega game and newcomers were curious about what adventures the quick, blue and white critter would be getting into on the big screen. In the film, Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) and his new human best friend Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) team up to stop the evil scientist Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), who wants to take over the world by stealing Sonic’s super speed abilities.

The Jeff Fowler directed film (his debut) co-stars Tika Sumpter, Adam Pally, Neal P. McDonough, and Natasha Rothwell.

In November, it was announced that Fowler was taking Sonic back to the drawing board after the film’s first trailer was criticized by fans who noticed the critter had an infinite amount of human teeth. It seems to have been a good move, Sonic the Hedgehog is certified fresh by Rotten Tomatoes critics and moviegoers gave it an A, via Cinemascore.

The 1977 series Fantasy Island was rebirthed into a 2020 horror film of the same name by the folks at Blumhouse, and their efforts did not go unnoticed. In its new iteration, five people win a contest that’ll take them to the luxurious yet remote island where it’s said their fantasies will come true. When Gwen (Maggie Q), Patrick (Austin Stowell), Brax (Jimmy O. Yang), JD (Ryan Hansen), and Melanie (Lucy Hale) arrive, they meet a whole cast of characters including the island’s keeper Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña) who warns them that they have to see their fantasies all the way through.

The Jeff Wadlow directed film also co-stars Paris Fitz-Henley, Portia Doubleday, Kim Coates, and Michael Rooker.

Fantasy Island is certified rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, but moviegoers liked it a bit more. Cinemascore reports the horror title earned a C-.

Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield star in the romantic drama The Photograph, a movie about two people brought together by circumstance. Rae stars as Mae Morton, the estranged daughter of a famous photographer (played by Courtney B. Vance) who meets and falls for the journalist (Stanfield) covering her late mother. It is through her mother’s mistakes that Morton can learn how to move forward and let herself love and be loved, but will she?

The Stella Meghie directed film also co-stars Chelsea Peretti, Jasmine Cephas Jonas, Lil Rel Howery, and Rae’s Insecure co-star Y’Lan Noel.

The Photograph is certified fresh via Rotten Tomatoes and Cinemascore reports the film earned a B+ from moviegoers.

Downhill stars Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as married couple Pete and Billie Staunton in the dark comedy that follows the pair as their life is turned upside down after an avalanche scare during a family ski trip. Will the Staunton’s stay together after re-evaluating their life and their marriage?

The Nat Faxon and Jim Rash directed film, loosely based on the 2014 Swedish movie called Force Majeure, co-stars Miranda Otto, Zach Woods, and Kristofer Hivju.

EW gave the film a B saying, “As an attempt to scale the craggy heights of a marriage in crisis, Downhill may be more bunny slope than black diamond — a force mineure, but still worth the trip.” Cinemascore wasn’t as kind to the Indie, it earned a D from moviegoers.

Overall, box office is up 9.1 percent year-to-date, according to Comscore. Check out the Feb. 14-16 numbers below:

Sonic the Headehog — $57 million
Birds of Prey — $17.1 million
Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island —$12.4 million
The Photograph — $12.3 million
Bad Boy for Life — $11.3 million
1917 — $8 million
Jumanji: The Next Level — $6 million
Parasite — $6 million
Dolittle — $5 million
Downhill — $5 million