Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Movie News
Movie News

Wonder Woman Box office predictions: How high will Wonder Woman soar?

Wonder Woman is off to an impressive start at the domestic box office. The blockbuster has lassoed a robust $11 million from Thursday night preshows, putting in on track to clear at least $90 million across its first three days in wide release. Comparatively, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy collected $11.2 million in Thursday preview ticket sales back in 2014 en route to a $94.3 million debut. In terms of recent DC releases, Wonder Woman‘s Thursday numbers still trail those of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, which bagged $27.7 million ($166 million) and $20.5 million ($133.7 million) on opening day, respectively, last year.

EARLIER: A glass ceiling isn’t the only thing Wonder Woman is poised to break this weekend; the Warner Bros. blockbuster also has its sights set on shattering records for female-fronted superhero flicks as it eyes an opening that could topple $100 million. With only one major newcomer (Fox’s Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie) entering the fray this weekend as well, Wonder Woman should handily conquer the domestic chart. As for where the rest of this week’s contenders will fall, read on for EW’s June 2-4 box office predictions.

1: Wonder Woman – $100 million+

It’s been more than 75 years in the making, but Wonder Woman is finally headlining her first major standalone feature this weekend, as the namesake DC Comics adaptation storms roughly 4,100 theaters Friday (with Thursday preshows). While the film’s contemporary DCEU forerunners (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad) opened to well over $100 million across their three-day debuts, industry forecasts have remained a tad conservative on Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, with the studio expecting an opening in the $70-75 million range.

Still, with some of the best critical reviews for a monolithic superhero picture to date, Wonder Woman has seemingly tapped into a powerful vein, as the narrative surrounding the U.S. political divide has largely been wedged by issues pertaining to gender equality, meaning the $149 million picture is landing at a time when a story about a strong-willed woman fighting back against seemingly insurmountable opposition has more social relevance than ever before.

As we’ve seen in the recent past, critical reviews can make or break a picture at the box office, but when it comes to big-budget tentpoles of the Marvel and DC ilk, these pictures are often review-proof, as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad (44 percent and 40 percent on Metacritic, respectively) earned buckets of cash despite scathing reception from film journalists; On the other hand, Wonder Woman is being hailed as one of the best DC movies of all time, and that certainly can’t hurt its box office prospects.

Historically, action films led by women have performed better in recent years, with all four of Jennifer Lawrence’s Hunger Games films climbing past $100 million openings since 2012, and two prominent Star Wars titles — The Force Awakens and Rogue One — rocketing to worldwide success with women (Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones) at the center in 2015 and 2016. Before that, Halle Berry, Jennifer Garner, and Charlize Theron each starred in a high-profile action flop (Catwoman, Elektra, Aeon Flux).

Expect Wonder Woman to approach the $100 million mark through Sunday.

2: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie – $28 million

While the broad appeal of Wonder Woman will draw single adults and families alike to theaters around the country, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie will hold its own at the box office this weekend when it opens at 3,434 locations. With a popular book series providing a solid foundation of familiarity, primarily with children, the animated title will be difficult for ticket-buyers to ignore, even with titanic competition looming overhead. It doesn’t have the potential to clear the opening grosses of similar summer pictures like or The Secret Life of Pets or The Angry Birds Movie, but it should be in good shape if it posts $25–30 million by the end of the week.

3:  Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – $22 million 

Disney’s fifth Pirates outing is taking on water in the days ahead, as Wonder Woman swoops into the game to steal most of its demographic. The franchise picture already underwhelmed over the Memorial Day stretch, bagging a so-so $63 million over the standard three-day weekend, indicating the once-passionate fanbase for this $4 billion series has mostly jumped ship since its 2003 start. Despite solid audience reception (the film received an A- grade on CinemaScore), expect Pirates 5 to sink roughly 60 percent to $20 million–$22 million this weekend.

4: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – $10 million 

At $342 million and counting, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has already zoomed past the $333 million North American haul of its predecessor after just 26 days in release. It bested Baywatch, which premiered last weekend, for the holiday period’s No. 2 slot, meaning another gradual slide in the 40 percent-50 percent range is in the cards.

5: Baywatch – $7.5 million 

After an underwhelming launch over Memorial Day weekend, Baywatch is entering troubled waters for its second go-round at the box office, with the all-encompassing appeal of Wonder Woman likely funneling away a large portion of this raunchy comedy’s adult audience. As a whole, comedy has struggled at the box office in recent months, with everything from Amy Schumer’s Snatched to the contemporary reboot of CHiPs coming in below modest industry expectations. Look for Baywatch to take on around $7–8 million through Sunday.

Outside the top five, the Mexican comedy 3 Idiotas looks to extend the winning streak of Hispanic-oriented productions in the modern market, after both Lowriders and How to Be a Latin Lover averaged $8,149 and $10,959, respectively, during their opening frames. The film opens Friday at approximately 325 sites.

Elsewhere, Zoe Lister-Jones’ Band Aid and Demetri Martin’s Dean open in limited release, where they should both translate decent festival reception into healthy bows on the specialty scene.

wonder woman 1 Its Time to Talk Wonder Woman Spoilers

Clay Enos/Warner Bros.
[Warning: This story contains spoilers for Wonder Woman]

Wonder Woman has finally hit theaters — and there’s a lot to say about the Patty Jenkins’ superhero movie. Few know Wonder Woman better than voice actress Susan Eisenberg, who has voiced the superhero since 2001. She was in the audience for the film’s emotional Hollywood premiere, and is breaking down the film’s many applause-worthy moments (and that heartbreaking ending) with Heat Vision editor Aaron Couch.

Aaron Couch: What was your short takeaway after walking out of the premiere?

Susan Eisenberg: Family. Action. Love.

Couch: I think a lot of people felt that. I was impressed with how well Gal Gadot played Diana as an innocent on the island — someone who hasn’t seen war or what the world of man is capable of. Themyscira was hard to pull off well, and they totally nailed it — especially Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen in the limited screen time they had.

Eisenberg: The WWI backdrop didn’t affect me one way or another, but the scenes on Themyscira, especially with Antiope and Hippolyta were very moving! When Diana says goodbye to her mother, and when Antiope gets murdered, I felt the heartbreak in it.

Couch: Speaking of heartbreak, people complain that love interests in these movies aren’t the strongest, but to me it was a huge plus to the story.

Eisenberg: Loved the relationship between Diana and Steve. Their relationship felt like a throwback to earlier films that featured a fun, sexy couple who loved and fought equally hard. In the scene where she walked in on a naked Steve, her expression and eyebrow-raise said it all. It was adorable and charming, and it gave the audience the lighter fare that fans have been clamoring for in their superhero films. And when she’s in the alley and protects Steve from the Germans, that was terrific.

Couch: In these movies, a characters’ death often doesn’t mean much.  They’ll inevitably return … or maybe you didn’t care that much about them in the first place. But you really felt the loss of Steve in this. It felt permanent and it was for a good purpose. I loved how Chris Pine played it. In his final moments, he’s laughing and happy and can’t quite believe his luck that he’s able to save the day. And the camera really lingers on his face before his death, giving him a good sendoff. The only real complaint I have about the movie is the final battle, which as others have said, does fall into the trap many of these movies face with your hero engaged in CGI-heavy battle. But the excellent Steve Trevor sendoff helped make up for it. Overall, what did you think about Wonder Woman in action?

Eisenberg: Any time the WW music cue would play, and Diana would go into action mode, I got chills. Seeing her doing all of her Diana moves that have now become so iconic was electrifying to me, and to the audience. Applause erupted each and every time.

Couch: I suspect there were a lot of misty eyes in the audience during the no-man’s land battle scene. When you talk about an origin story — that’s the moment she becomes Wonder Woman, and I’m not sure there’s ever been a better introduction scene for any superhero. What stands out to you in terms of what Gadot’s performance, the writing and directing brought to this interpretation of Diana?

Eisenberg: Diana’s vulnerability. This film gets that so right! She isn’t a master… She is learning on the job, if you will, and the audience gets to see her evolve both physically and emotionally, and that was stunning to behold!

Couch: The interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of my all-time favorite things in the movie world. But it was cool that Wonder Woman really felt like a standalone – save for a few Bruce Wayne references. There was no post-credits sequence, and it’s exciting to think that Diana is going to get to explore more stories before Superman or Batman are even born in her sequels. Where should those go?

Eisenberg: Agree with you about it being a stand-alone Diana movie as opposed to part of a Trinity, or a larger universe. As for the sequel, I think WWII is the perfect fit because the contest of Good vs. Evil is so blatant.

Couch: At the premiere, you were there, as were Gadot and Lynda Carter, and I was curious how it was watching the movie for all three of you. Literally no one has spent more time in Diana’s head than you, just because of the number of years you’ve been playing her. Did you at all feel like you were watching yourself on screen?

Eisenberg: Watching myself? Interesting, it all felt so familiar to me, especially Themyscira, the scenes with her mother, and, of course, some of the dialogue, but at the same time, I was very caught up in watching Gal become Wonder Woman, which we got to see. When she decided, no matter what, she was going to save those children, she became Wonder Woman!

 

The Square Cannes: The Square Wins the Palme dOr

‘The Square’/Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Sofia Coppola becomes the second woman to ever win for best director while Joaquin Phoenix and Diane Kruger earned acting honors.

The 70th annual Cannes Film Festival came to a close Sunday night with the main competition awards ceremony at the Palais des Festivals.

The Square, by Swedish writer-director Ruben Ostlund, won the top prize, the Palme d’Or. The satire, the follow-up to Ostlund’s 2014 international hit Force Majeure, explores Swedish art, commerce, politics and national identity stars Claes Bang and Elisabeth Moss.

The story centers on a man who is overseeing a new art installation called The Square, a sanctuary where anyone entering it is supposed to abide by humanitarian values — but things quickly go awry.

When he took the stage to accept his award, Ostlund led the crowd in a “scream of happiness” and told photographers to turn their cameras away from him and into the audience. He counted down, and the audience led out a massive scream. “I can direct you all now because I won this prize,” he said.

Sofia Coppola became only the second woman to win the prize for best director for her film The Beguiled, starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell. Maren Ade accepted for Coppola, who was not present. She ended the speech by thanking director Jane Campion for being a role model.

The Grand Prix was awarded to 120 Beats per Minute by Robin Campillo, which follows “Eastern Boys” by mining his past as a member of AIDS activist group ACT UP in 1990s Paris.

Nicole Kidman was honored with a special prize for the festival’s 70th anniversary. The actress appeared in competition projects Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Beguiled, along with the second season of Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake, and the film How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Will Smith accepted the award in her absence, and a special video message from Kidman was presented.

Joaquin Phoenix was awarded the best actor prize for Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here.The actor stars as a hitman trying to save a teen prostitute.

Diane Kruger was honored with the best actress award for her work in In the Fade. Fatih Akin’s courtroom and revenge drama saw the German actress doing a German-language film for the first time.

In her speech, Kruger dedicated her award to victims of terror. “Those trying to pick up the pieces and go on after having lost everything, please know you are not alone,” she said.

Loveless, helmed by Russian writer-director Andrey Zvyagintsev, took the jury prize.

In a surprise twist, best screenplay was awarded to both The Killing of a Sacred Deer (written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou) and Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here.

The Palme d’Or for short film was given to A Gentle Night from Chinese director Qiu Yang. A special mention for short film was awarded to Teppo Airaksinen for Katto.

The Camera d’Or, given to any best first film that played in the festival regardless of section, went to Leonor Serraille for Jeune Femme (Montparnasse-Bienvenüe).

Nineteen movies screened in competition this year. The jury included president Pedro Almodovar and members Will Smith, Jessica Chastain,  Fan Bingbing, Agnès Jaoui, Park Chan-wook, Maren Ade, Paolo Sorrentino and Gabriel Yared.

Snatched Snatched (2017) Movie Review

Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn play a daughter and mother on a disastrous South American vacation in Jonathan Levine’s comedy.

It may just be an early-summer action comedy, but the stakes feel oddly high for Snatched. Will star Amy Schumer re-create her Trainwreck magic? Are co-star Goldie Hawn’s screwball chops still intact after a 15-year absence from the big screen? (Remember her last film, The Banger Sisters? Didn’t think so.) Does writer Katie Dippold’s screenplay have more bite than her ineffectual Ghostbusters reboot? And, of course, the eternal, ad nauseum, haven’t-we-settled-this-already question: Can a female-driven movie deliver at the box office?

That’s a lot of anticipation to bog down any film — let alone something as featherweight as Snatched, a fitfully amusing, entirely disposable mother-daughter caper that’s elevated a notch by its gifted central duo and capable direction from Jonathan Levine. Schumer and Hawn know what funny looks and sounds like, and they lend their dialogue and gags — no matter how tepid — enough snap and personality to distract you, at least some of the time, from the utter laziness of the material. To put it bluntly: They’re worth watching even in junk like this.

Schumer plays Emily, who, in the brisk opening, is fired from her retail job and then dumped by her boyfriend (Fresh Off the Boat‘s Randall Park). You’ve seen this girl before: Irresponsible, irrepressible, savagely self-deprecating and potty-mouthed to the extreme — it’s classic Amy Schumer, and reactions to Snatched may indeed boil down to how one feels about the leading lady. Sloppy, sexual, unapologetic about her body and its various functions, Schumer’s comic persona — similarly to that of Lena Dunham, her sister in glorious female chaos — forces us to confront gender double standards. That’s why, like Dunham, Schumer is polarizing. That’s also, combined with her undeniable skill and charisma, what makes her a bracing alternative to the usual rom-com queens and brom-com kings. Schumer’s presence in a movie is a mark, if not necessarily of quality, at least of novelty.

The draw here, of course, is the pairing of Schumer with older-school comedy goddess Hawn as Emily’s overprotective mom, Linda. A divorcee who lives with a couple of cats and her agoraphobic son (reliable scene- stealer Ike Barinholtz), Linda is more suburban neurotic than vintage Goldie Hawn ditz, and the actress fills her in with endearing shadings. The stars get a decent odd-couple chemistry going, with Hawn’s dazed elegance nicely deflecting Schumer’s pouty quips and crass wisecracks. The scene in which Linda writes to Emily on Emily’s Facebook wall is just one example of how the two performers turn a ho-hum generational-clash bit (Linda doesn’t realize it’s not a private message; those clueless senior citizens!) into something giggle-worthy.

Stuck, post-breakup, with a non-refundable trip for two to Ecuador, Emily persuades her mother to come with. So off they go, and soon Linda is slathering her mortified, cocktail-swilling daughter with copious amounts of sunblock at a posh resort. Emily starts to enjoy her vacation more when she meets a tall, dark and handsome Brit named James (Tom Bateman), who sweeps her off her feet and onto his motorcycle, promising to show her local hotspots. Their flirtation allows Schumer to settle into her comfort zone — batting her eyelashes, chirping in valley-girl cadences, twerking drunkenly on the dance floor. This has always been a big part of Schumer’s shtick: the extent to which conventional femininity is a performance, a form of deception for the “benefit” of men not mature enough to accept women as the imperfect beings — and bodies — they are. In Snatched, that disconnect between female presentation and female authenticity is literalized when an inopportunely opened bathroom door allows James to catch a glimpse of Emily preparing herself — in the most intimate sense — for a possible hookup with him later that night.

It’s a bold comic moment in a film that quickly moves on to sillier things — namely, a dumb kidnapping plot that brings Emily and Linda into contact with a baddie named Morgado (Oscar Jaenada), then sends them running for their lives through the Amazon. They’re helped along the way by a couple of “platonic friends” traveling together (the always welcome Joan Cusack and Wanda Sykes), as well as a genial Indiana Jones wannabe (Christopher Meloni) and a beleaguered state department official (Bashir Salahuddin). There’s one extremely bizarre gag involving the manual extraction of a tapeworm, and also some unfortunate cultural stereotyping in the form of gun-toting Colombians with long hair and sinister teeth.

snatched Snatched (2017) Movie Review

Levine, who flaunted a graceful touch in “cancer comedy” 50/50 before venturing into more generic territory with Warm Bodies and The Night Before, isn’t a deft enough director to overcome the optics of yet another film about white characters finding themselves thanks to their experience in a problem-plagued developing country. But he shepherds his cast through slapstick set-pieces with reasonable speed and fluency. (It helps that Snatched clocks in at a mercifully lean 91 minutes.)

Dippold, meanwhile, already has a much better female-buddy flick, The Heat, under her belt, though she occasionally crafts a scene here that pierces the lowest-common-denominator haze; a borderline-surreal exchange between Emily and an inept U.S. embassy official in Bogota (Al Madrigal) hints at the sharper, more offbeat movie Snatched might have been. Still, in the apocalyptically bleak landscape of the mainstream studio comedy, the mere sight of Schumer and Hawn just doing their thing is almost pleasing enough to get a pass. Almost.

Production companies: Chernin Entertainment, Feigco Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox
Distributor: Fox
Cast: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Joan Cusack, Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, Christopher Meloni, Tom Bateman, Oscar Jaenada, Randall Park, Bashir Salahuddin, Al Madrigal, Kevin Kane
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Katie Dippold
Producers: Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Paul Feig, Jesse Henderson

Executive producers: Kim Caramele, Tonia Davis
Production designer: Mark Ricker
Director of photography: Florian Ballhaus
Music: Chris Bacon, Theodore Shapiro
Editors: Zene Baker, Melissa Bretherton

Rated R, 91 minutes

adam devine What time are the MTV Movie & TV Awards? And other burning questions answered!

MTV
 Now that it’s been a solid two months and we’ve all fully recovered from the Oscars’ Best Picture mix-up, the time feels right for another awards show, doesn’t it? Great! Because the MTV Movie & TV Awards are coming right up!

This weekend’s show will be MTV’s 26th entertainment awards gala, but its first to distribute Golden Popcorn statuettes to the best of both the big and the small screens. And that’s not the only change — the network has also combined a couple of awards categories, added some new ones, and honored a franchise with an award that usually goes to an individual. But don’t be overwhelmed! We’ve got answers to all of your burning questions about the revamped show right here.

What time are the MTV Movie & TV Awards?

The 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards will be held Sunday, May 7, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. They will return to airing live, after having been broadcast on tape delay, on MTV at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT, and can be streamed live with a TV subscription on the MTV app or on mtv.com/live-tv.

Who’s hosting?

Workaholics and Pitch Perfect star Adam DeVine will assume hosting duties for the first time. Despite being an awards show novice, DeVine, who won an MTV Movie Award just last year, says he’s the perfect choice to host MTV’s first Movie and TV Awards, because “I feel like I am the biggest movie and television star together as one,” he told PEOPLE. His approach to topping last year’s co-hosts, Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, is “to be more muscular than them and have more vascularity. That’s the only way.” Best of luck to him!

Who’s presenting?

The first presenter of the night will be Billions star Asia Kate Dillon, who has the distinction of being the first non-binary identifying actor to star on a major TV show. Dillon made headlines earlier this year by writing a letter to the TV Academy imploring them to do away with gender-specific acting categories; now, the MTV Movie and TV Awards have done just that. MTV hasn’t announced all of the other presenters, but Hailee Steinfeld, Cara Delevingne, Alexandra Daddario, and the cast of 13 Reasons Why have all been confirmed to hand out Golden Popcorns.

Who’s performing? 

MTV has promised three big performances over the course of the show. Big Sean will perform his single “Jump Out the Window” from his album I Decided, and Noah Cyrus will take the stage to sing “Stay Together” from her upcoming debut NC-17. Camila Cabello, Pitbull, and J Balvin will also join forces to deliver the first televised performance of “Hey Ma,” off the Fate of the Furious soundtrack.

Who’s nominated? 

The list of nominees looks different this year, because not only has the show doubled in scope to celebrate TV as well as movies, but it’s also combined its male and female acting categories into gender-neutral acting awards. The show is further celebrating inclusion, diversity, and political awareness with the new Best Fight Against the System and Best American Story categories, and has also added the Next Generation Award for a breakout new star, the Tearjerker award, and the TV-specific Best Host and Best Reality Competition awards. Voting is still open in the two last categories to be announced, Best Musical Moment and Trending.

Writer-director Jordan Peele’s subversive, socially conscious horror-comedy Get Out snagged the most nominations, with six nods in total, including one in the new Best Fight Against the System category. Tying for second are Beauty and the Beast and Stranger Things, each of which racked up four noms. The nominees in some of the higher-profile categories are below, and you can check out the full list here.

Movie of the Year (presented by Toyota CH-R)
Beauty and the Beast
Get Out
Logan
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Edge of Seventeen

Best Actor in a Movie
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
Emma Watson – Beauty and the Beast
Hailee Steinfeld – The Edge of Seventeen
Hugh Jackman – Logan
James McAvoy – Split
Taraji P. Henson – Hidden Figures

Show of the Year
Atlanta
Game of Thrones
Insecure
Pretty Little Liars
Stranger Things
This Is Us

Best Actor in a Show
Donald Glover – Atlanta
Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones
Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin
Jeffrey Dean Morgan – The Walking Dead
Mandy Moore – This Is Us
Millie Bobby Brown ­– Stranger Things

Best Kiss
Ashton Sanders & Jharrel Jerome – Moonlight
Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Emma Watson & Dan Stevens – Beauty and the Beast
Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard – Empire 
Zac Efron & Anna Kendrick – Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

Best Fight Against the System
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Loving
Luke Cage
Mr. Robot

Trending
“Sean Spicer Press Conference” feat. Melissa McCarthy – Saturday Night Live (NBC)
“Lady Gaga Carpool Karaoke” – The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
“Cash Me Outside How Bout Dat” – Dr. Phil (CBS)
“Run The World (Girls)” Channing Tatum and Beyonce – Lip Sync Battle (SPIKE)
“Wheel of Musical Impressions with Demi Lovato” – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
Winona Ryder’s Winning SAG Awards Reaction – 23rd Annual SAG Awards (TNT)

Isn’t there some kind of lifetime achievement award?

Yes, it’s called the MTV Generation Award, and this year it’s going to the Fast and Furious franchise, marking the first time it’s gone to any entity other than an actual individual. MTV explains its choice to give the honor to the eight-film series: “From the extremely diverse cast to the perfect balance of action and romance, the Fast and Furious franchise has had a significant impact on pop culture and continues to entertain millions of fans across the world.” Fast and Furious stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, and Tyrese will accept the award.

So, what’s different this year…? 

To recap: The ceremony formerly known as the MTV Movie Awards is now the MTV Movie & TV Awards; they have done away with gender-specific acting awards to include male, female, and non-binary actors in the same categories; they have added the Next Generation, Best Fight Against the System, Best American Story, Tearjerker, Trending, Best Host, Best Reality Competition, and Best Musical Moment awards; and they are giving the MTV Generation Award to a franchise instead of a single person for the first time ever.

But wait! There’s more! The network announced last month that this year’s show will be preceded by the first ever MTV Movie & TV Awards Festival, which will take place immediately before the ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium. The fest will go down from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT, and Zara Larsson, All Time Low, and Bea Miller will take the stage to perform for the lucky fans in attendance, and hosts Terrence J and MTV News correspondent Gaby Wilson will be on hand to interview the stars as they hit the red carpet. Watching from home? You can stream the festival on MTV.com.

1 The Superheroes Who Will Rule Your World This Summer
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..L to R: Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Drax (Dave Bautista), Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Ego (Kurt Russell) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (out now)

2 The Superheroes Who Will Rule Your World This Summer
Captain Underpants, voiced by Ed Helms, in Dremworks Animation’s “Captain Underpants: The FIrst Epic Movie.”

Captain Underpants (June 2)

3 The Superheroes Who Will Rule Your World This Summer

Wonder Woman (June 2)

4 The Superheroes Who Will Rule Your World This Summer
Tom Holland is Spider-Man in Columbia Pictures’ SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING.

Spider-Man: Homecoming(July 7)

5 The Superheroes Who Will Rule Your World This Summer
Marvel’s The Defenders

Marvel’s The Defenders (Aug. 18)

6 The Superheroes Who Will Rule Your World This Summer
Inhumans
Season 1 Gallery
2017
Pictured: (From Left to Right) Eme Ikwuakor (Gorgon), Ken Leung (Karnak), Anson Mount (Black Bolt), Serinda Swan (Medusa), Isabelle Cornish (Crystal), Iwan Rheon (Maximus)

Marvel’s Inhumans (Sept. 1)

guardiansvol2 The 5 post credits scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and here’s what they all mean.

MARVEL STUDIOS
 There’s a long lineage of cosmic visions in Marvel Comics. The Fantastic Four were only a few years old when co-creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced Galactus, a supra-sentient spacegod who literally kills planets for breakfast. Kirby, in particular, loved exploring the cosmos, and his legacy led bold creators like Jim Starlin and Steve Gerber to map out the outer reaches of the Marvel Universe’s many galaxies.

That cosmic tradition faded from prominence during the grimdark age of superheroes, but never really went away. And in the work of writer-director James Gunn, the Marvel Cosmos has received its most prominent showcase… well, everGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 remixes some iconic figures from Marvel Comics with Gunn’s own candy-colored space opera vision. And, in what feels like some kind of wild dare, Gunn’s film ends with a whole series of credits-adjacent stingers, all of them potential guideposts for the future of the Guardiansseries and the whole Marvel universe. Let’s dig in, shall we? (Kabillion Spoilers Ensue.)

Before the Credits: Nebula Unleashed

After playing a secondary antagonist in the first Guardians, Karen Gillen’s Nebula returns in the new film as an uneasy ally to the space adventurers. She ultimately comes to peace with her stepsister Gamora — and sets off on her own mission of heroic vengeance. Nebula departs Vol. 2 on the hunt for Thanos, the monstrous warlord who raised her to be a psychotic assassin. Thanos, as hopefully everyone knows by now, is the primary antagonist of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a pivotal role in next year’s megafranchise-unifying Avengers: Infinity War. That film’s plot will be loosely derived from The Infinity Gauntlet, which prominently features Nebula. We haven’t seen the last of her.

Credits 1: Kraglin the Brave

The first and least narratively essential end-credits sequence finds Yondu lieutenant Kraglin experimenting with his (recently deceased) boss’ whistle weapon.

 I bring this scene up because we’re about to dive deep into some deep comic book lore. And it’s important to note that what makes the Guardians movies special is how – unlike some comic book franchises which just throw together a lot of famous stories adding nothing new, like if some goofball made The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman into one single movie for no reason plus also Wonder Woman – Gunn has carved new ground with some characters. Like, this is the whole history of Kraglin in Marvel Comics. (Also worth pointing out: Kraglin is played by Gunn’s brother Sean, who also works overtime as the on-set Rocket stand-in.)

Credits 2: Ravagers of the Galaxy

Sylvester Stallone appears early in Guardians 2 as Stakar, a mysterious and somewhat paternal figure for Yondu. It’s established that Stakar represents some larger force of Ravagers and that Yondu himself is an outcast, having broken the Ravagers’ outlaw moral code by running children back to Ego’s planet.

At the end of Guardians 2, Yondu has rescued his reputation (and the universe, sort of) at the expense of his own life. His old Ravager pals show up. If you’re a typical moviegoer – or even if you’re someone like me, who hasn’t read 30-year-old Guardians of the Galaxy comics in a long time – you experienced this scene in the following way:

WHOA, VING MOTHERF—ING RHAMES!!!!

WHOA, MICHELLE MOTHERF—ING YEOH!!!

…was that speaking machine Miley Cyrus?

In the second post-credits sequence, Stallone’s Stakar assembles his “old team,” expressing some sadness that they only got together because of the death of Yondu. But now, having gotten together, they want to stick together. “Let’s go steal some sh–,” says Stakar.

Ving Motherf—ing Rhames is playing a character named Charlie-27. Michelle Motherf—ing Yeoh is Aleta. The glass-looking dude is named Martinex, played by Michael Rosenbaum. And the machine is called Mainframe, indeed voiced by Miley Cyrus.

Besides Mainframe, all of the characters in this sequence share a common ancestry: They were all members of the Guardians of the Galaxy team in the comic books. In Marvel history, the Guardians have had various permutations – and the Peter Quill-fronted team that provides the film’s main inspiration only debuted in the 2000s. From the ’60s through the ’90s the Guardians were a superteam from Marvel’s far-future. And I would never say they were “boring,” because their adventures involved crazy far-out space adventures and ultimately trended into weird time travel flimflammery. But they were definitely a little more square: Each of them the last member of their race, fighting for good, generally not stealing sh–.

It’s a nifty way to honor the Guardians’ history but also reboot it. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these characters are old rogues, a crew of Expendables contrasted with fast and furious youngsters like Star-Lord and Gamora. Don’t expect a Ravagers spinoff just yet, but James Gunn told BuzzFeedthat Cyrus could factor into the next Guardians film. Presumably, if Miley’s in, Sly’s in.

Credits 3: The Power of… HIM!!!

Throughout Vol. 2, the Guardians are pursued by Ayesha, leader of the golden-skinned species comprising the Sovereign. The Sovereign initially seem like your garden-variety outer-space gene-fascists, focused on the perfection of their bloodline and eerily upset over the robbery of some batteries. By the end of the film, Ayesha’s pursuit of the Guardians has left her fleet decimated. There’s the implication that she’s about to be called to task for this, but she already has another plan. She’s created something new, something that will definitely prove to be the Guardians’ undoing. We see a weird ectoplasmic biomechanical cocoon, and she declares, “I think I will call him Adam.”

The cocoon and the name “Adam” are telltale signs. Inside of that cocoon is a golden man of unbridled power who, in the comics at least, is ultimately known as Adam Warlock.

 Adam Warlock’s comic book history is wonderfully confusing. It ties directly into some major comic book events, and it also spirals off into its own weird directions. Initially, the character was known only as “Him,” a weird laboratory creation built by one of the the Fantastic Four’s many mad-scientist nemesis branches. He was created by Lee and Kirby, and could’ve been one of a hundred one-offs they were cranking out in their prime. Then Roy Thomas and Gil Kane launched the character into his own series. Newly named “Adam Warlock,” he became a literal Christ Figure, a new Messiah exploring an extremely ’70s version of Earth.

And then things really got weird. Jim Starlin sent Warlock out into the cosmos and embroiled him in a willfully strange, explicitly philosophical, and all-around freaking incredible ongoing story arc. (If you have 22 dollars, put them here now.) Warlock met Thanos, fought a Church, fought himself. Starlin’s writing is lysergic, his drawing phantasmagorical. There is the constant and explicit possibility that the hero of the story is going crazy, or already there.

So: Adam Warlock is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. How? In the comic books, Warlock was a key figure in the Infinity Gauntlet and the various tie-in stories focusing on the Infinity Gems, renamed Infinity Stones in the movies for no reason. It’s unclear but unlikely that Warlock will appear in Infinity War – there are already so many people in Infinity War, freaking Nebula is in Infinity War – so this seems more likely to pay off in the third Guardians movie. That film is currently undated, but Gunn himself promised on his Facebook page that Vol. 3will pick up after Infinity War and set the stage for the future of Marvel’s cosmic adventures.

So it seems likely that Adam Warlock will be a villainous figure in Vol. 3. Maybe even the villain? Adam Warlock’s story often intersects with Thanos in the comics. And if Thanos lives on after Infinity War – if he remains a diminished antagonist figure, battling the Guardians or possibly allying with them against some newer evil – it’s likely that Warlock will play a massive role in the third film.

And then he’ll get his own movie in 2025, let’s say. Matt Bomer seems like he’d make a good Adam Warlock, or Trevante Rhodes, or weirdly even Alex Pettyfer would finally make sense in a movie for once. Anyhow, let’s get to the good stuff already!

Credits 4: Teen Groot

Teen Groot! He’s a teenager now!

Credits 5: Who Watches the Watchers?

Stan Lee’s cameo in Guardians vol 2. gets split in two. He first appears earlier in the film during Rocket and Yondu’s merry megajump across the galaxy. Lee’s talking to some big bald guys on a distant space rock. This scene reappears as the final stinger of the movie. Lee specifically mentions his past as a FedEx guy – a reference to his cameo in Captain America: Civil War. Ultimately, the big bald guys walk away, while Lee yells after them, “I’ve got more stories to tell!”

Those big bald guys are Watchers, a race of extraterrestrial beings that Lee co-created with Kirby, in the same story arc that first introduced Galactus. The Watchers represent one of the most cosmic branches of Marvel’s larger universe, a race that is simultaneously remarkably powerful and totally passive. They watch what happens – live! – and are sworn to never take any action. One Watcher in particular, Uatu, is stationed on Earth’s Moon.

Because Stan Lee has appeared in essentially every Marvel-derived movie for a brief cameo, popular theories have sprouted up that he is actually the same character in every movie – a theory that depends on Lee being some essentially omniscient and immortal character. Fortunately, there are several characters who fit that description, and many people have concluded that Lee is actually a Watcher.

This sequence is an explicit nod in that direction, although you can read this scene as proof that Lee is a Watcher (albeit some kind of renegade) or proof that he definitely isn’t a Watcher (because he isn’t giant and bald and the other Watchers don’t seem to like him very much.) Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige recently endorsed the idea that all of Stan Lee’s cameo characters are the same person, which is either a totally mindblowing concept or just a cute thing to say. Assuming it’s a mind-blowing concept, my own theory is that Lee is actually Korvac. No, no, he’s Eternity! Wait, no, he’s the Beyonder, but like Secret War II Beyonder!

star wars episode 9 indiana jones 5 Star Wars: Episode 9 gets release date, Indiana Jones 5 gets pushed back

The Star Wars saga is moving from December to May, and the fifth Indiana Jones movie will be pushed back a year from July 2019 to 2020, according to a new rundown of release dates from Walt Disney Studios.

The young Han Solo movie, starring Alden Ehrenreich, is already breaking the winter cycle for the Star Wars stand-alones, with its release of May 25, 2018, but now we see the saga films will shift back to that traditional springtime berth with Episode 9. That follow-up to this December’s The Last Jedi will be in theaters on May 24, 2019.

The other major move in the announcement was the untitled fifth Indiana Jones movie, which director Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford have promised fans. Instead of July 19, 2019, it will be in theaters July 10, 2020.

Part of the reason for that is Spielberg keeps letting other new projects cut in line. In addition to Summer 2018’s Ready Player One, which he has already shot and is currently in postproduction, he’ll be starting the Pentagon Papers movie with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in a few weeks, with plans to have it in theaters by the end of the year.

He’s also planning The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, about the Vatican baptism of a young Jewish boy in the 1850s, before returning to his bullwhip-cracking archaeologist.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out Dec. 15.

frozen Disney sets release dates for Frozen 2, Lion King, and more

Here it stands, and here it’ll stay.

Disney’s Frozen 2 has received its official release date — Nov. 27, 2019 — confirming what had previously been announced as just an “Untitled Disney Animation” slot.

Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee will return for the 2013 blockbuster’s sequel, which was announced in March 2015 by Disney creative chief John Lasseter, CEO Bob Iger, and the voice of Olaf himself, Josh Gad (whose Frozen costars Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel are expected, although not officially confirmed, to reprise their roles).

Prior to the 3D sequel’s release, a stage musical adaptation of Frozen will make its debut on Broadway in the spring of 2018.

Meanwhile, Disney has also updated a handful of other movie release dates, notably in its animated division: Disney Animation’s Gigantic, the retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, has been pushed back by more than two years (from Nov. 21, 2018 to November 25, 2020). In its stead, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 will get an extra few months to power up, moving to the Nov. 21 slot instead of its previously announced March 9 date.

Jon Favreau’s new take on The Lion King has also been set for July 19, 2019 (replacing the next Indiana Jones film, now July 2020); A Wrinkle in Time moves up a month to March 9, 2018 rather than April 6, which Magic Camp will now take rather than its August 2018 release; and two untitled animated features have also selected dates — one from Disney (Nov. 24, 2021) and another from Pixar (June 18, 2021).

War for the Planet of the Apes War for the Planet of the Apes director reveals films that influenced the sequel
War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
Woody Harrelson

WARNER BROS. PICTURES

When director Matt Reeves and screenwriter Mark Bomback came on board for 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the film already had a release date, which led to an accelerated production schedule. “We were always running like maniacs to make that movie,” says Reeves. The result? Dawn was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $700 globally and setting the stage for a sequel.

But Fox, the studio behind the Apes franchise, did something unusual when it came to developing a sequel. “They actually gave us time,” Reeves says. “Mark and I began by doing the thing everybody thinks writers do, but they don’t, because there’s never time. We talked about our lives. We talked about history stories. And then we watched a lot of movies.”

The collaborators went back and watched all the films in the Apes franchise, but they also sought broader inspiration. “We watched Bridge on the River Kwai,” says Reeves. “We watched The Great Escape. We watched Biblical epics, because I really felt like this movie had to have a Biblical aspect to it. We watched Ben-HurThe Ten Commandments. We didn’t go, like, ‘Let’s take a little bit of this, a little bit of that.’ When you surround yourself with something that feels emotionally right, there are connections that make sense to you that somebody else might not see…[the films] informed the vibe we felt about this thing.”

As Reeves and Bomback set to writing the screenplay, there were echoes of some of their favorite films. In the film, heroic ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) comes into contact with Woody Harrelson’s Colonel, a military leader with vague pretensions toward godhood. Reeves compares their relationship to the dynamic between Alec Guinness’s British Commander and Sessue Hayakawa prison camp Colonel in Bridge on the River Kwai. But War is also a quest narrative, with mythic western overtones. After a stunning opening sequence that throws the audience into the human-ape war, Caesar sets off on a journey to find the Colonel, flanked by a posse of close friends – a situation Reeves explicitly ties to Clint Eastwood’s war-weary soldier in The Outlaw Josey Wales.

War, of course, stands on its own, a uniquely character-focused blockbuster film albeit one in which many of the characters are primates played via performance-capture. And Reeves is sincere when he refers to Caesar in biblical terms. “The movie is totally about his mythic ascension,” says the director, “The battle for his soul that cements his position as the key figure in early Ape history. You can imagine the story of him would inspire religions.”

War for the Planet of the Apes opens July 14.

transformers Michael Bay built a second Stonehenge to blow up in Transformers: The Last KnightPARAMOUNT PICTURES/BAY FILMS

Although the shapeshifting robots themselves are always digital creations, with thousands of moving pieces, the human stars of the Transformers movies always inhabit real locations.

They’re much more fun to blow up.

Laura Haddock, who costars in this summer’s latest sequel, Transformers: The Last Knight, says the franchise’s bombastic director even recreated an ancient location – because they wouldn’t let him detonate the real one.

“Michael’s sets are practical, so you would think that maybe 90 percent of this film is done on green screen, and it’s really not,” Haddock tells EW. “He loves an explosion. He absolutely loves them, so if he can use them safely, he will. Often you’re running through what feels like a genuine … battlefield. Something that kind of builds your adrenaline. You’re absolutely experience what it feels like to have an explosion go off just behind you. And you’re just running, running for your life.”

Scary? A little. Although she said they take pains to guarantee safety. “Some days, you go home and you’re just covered in, you know, bruises and cuts, and you just think, ‘That was one of the best days I’ve ever had,’” Haddock says.

One of the battlefields in the movie, which links the Transformers history to Arthurian legend, was this actual ancient site in the fields of England:

“I mean the man took a whole crew and cast and unit to Stonehenge and then by the time he had made it down the road, built another Stonehenge just so he could blow it up,” Haddock says.

You know there was a moment when Bay asked if they’d let him blow up the real one.

“Oh, that question was most definitely asked,” Haddock says.

Transformers: The Last Knight opens on June 23.

Logan Logan is getting a black and white re release

BEN ROTHSTEIN/20TH CENTURY FOX
 Logan will be returning to the big screen — but will look a little different this time around.

Director James Mangold announced on Twitter Friday that a black-and-white cut of the popular superhero film — and star Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the beloved X-Men character — would be coming to theaters for a single showing on May 16. The limited engagement will only be taking place in the U.S.

The Logan director has previously discussed creating a black-and-white version of the movie (which almost starred nemesis Sabertooth) to be included as part of the DVD and Blu-ray extras, not unlike George Miller, whose Mad Max: Fury Road black-and-“chrome” cut was released as a special edition last year.

Of course, the process of converting the film to black-and-white isn’t an easy one, as Mangold noted on Twitter after some questioning from fans. “One must determine which hues go dark or light, adjust contrast, blacks,” he explained briefly. “Turning down color on TV just makes gray mush.

The black-and-white version of Logan hits theaters on May 16.