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Tom Holland Is the New Spider-Man, Jon Watts to Direct Film

Originally posted on Variety:

Marvel and Sony have found their Peter Parker.

“The Impossible” actor Tom Holland is set to play the web-slinging superhero in the next “Spider-Man” franchise. Jon Watts (“Cop Car”) will direct the film.

“I’ve worked with a number of up-and-coming directors who have gone on to be superstars and believe that Jon is just such an outstanding talent,” Tom Rothman, Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group chairman, said in a press release. “For Spidey himself, we saw many terrific young actors, but Tom’s screen tests were special. All in all, we are off to a roaring start.”

The actor is first expected to make an appearance in “Captain America: Civil War” in order to properly introduce him into the Marvel film universe, with standalone films to follow on July 28, 2017.

[pmc-related-link href=”http://variety.com/2015/film/news/details-spider-man-appear-in-sony-and-marvel-movies-1201429039/” type=”See More:” target=”_blank”]Spider-Man: How Sony, Marvel Will Benefit from Unique Deal (EXCLUSIVE)[/pmc-related-link]

Sony announced a new partnership with…

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‘Jurassic World’ Beats ‘Avengers’ As The Fastest Pic To Cross $400M – Update With Top 20

Originally posted on Deadline:

9TH & 10th UPDATE, MONDAY, 2:30PM & 1PM: Universal made it official: Jurassic World has collected $402.8M in 10 days, the fastest film to hit that mark, beating Disney Marvel Avengers’ record of 14 days. JW is the highest grossing Jurassic Park title in the franchise stateside, surpassing the first title’s lifetime cume of $402.45M. With a second weekend of $106.6M (it fell 49% on 4,291 sites — which is soft by tentpole standards), JW also owns the record for the best second weekend of all-time, kicking Avengers’ ($103.05M second weekend) in the butt.

Next record to takeover: highest grossing film of the year, a record that Avengers: Age of Ultron currently owns with $449.4M. This weekend Universal continues its march on the domestic B.O. with the highly anticipated R-rated sequel, Ted 2. Will the studio beat itself at the B.O.? Will the dinosaurs bow out of the top spot and…

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Box Office: ‘Jurassic World’ Bites Into $102 Million, ‘Inside Out’ Scores With $91 Million

Originally posted on Variety:

These are the weekends that record-breaking summers are made of.

The North American box office sizzled as Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out” and Universal’s “Jurassic World” duked it out at the multiplexes. After shattering records for domestic and international debuts, “Jurassic World” became only the second film in history to top $100 million in two separate weekends.

The dinosaur sequel nabbed first place with a massive $102 million, pushing its domestic total to $398.2 million. “Jurassic World” has now passed “Jurassic Park” ($357.1 million) as the highest-grossing domestic release in the franchise’s history when not adjusted for inflation.

[pmc-related-link href=”http://variety.com/2015/film/news/jurassic-world-records-box-office-1201520586/” type=”See More:” target=”_self”]‘Jurassic World': Counting Down the Records It Demolished[/pmc-related-link]

Its dominance ended one of the most remarkable winning streaks in cinema history, putting a period to Pixar’s run of first place finishes. Every previous film released by the studio bowed in the top spot on domestic charts.

Not that…

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‘Jurassic World’ Topples ‘Avengers’ With Domestic Record $208.8M Bow

Originally posted on Deadline:

10th UPDATE, Monday 9:20 AM: Universal has made it official: Jurassic World has broken the North American, international and global records for an opening weekend. The final domestic number is $208.8M, which passes 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers which ended its first frame with $207.4M. The dino dandy ended Sunday with a global total of $524.1M after a record $315.3M  start internationally. That total edges 2011’s Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 which wrapped Frame 1 with $314M.

9th UPDATE, Monday, 7:51 AM:
Early morning estimates show that we have a new box office champion with Jurassic World besting The Avengers’ $207.4M domestic bow from 2012. By all accounts this AM, the dinosaurs stomped in with a $209M three-day opening; others have it just slightly lower, but they definitely took the crown. Congrats to Universal and what a wild ride it has been.

8th UPDATE, Sunday, 8:32 PM: When the dust…

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‘Ultron’ Has Super Second Weekend At $77.7M; ‘Hot Pursuit’ Opens To $13.9M – Final Box Office

Originally posted on Deadline:

Final update, Monday, 2:50 PM: In its second weekend, Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron hauled in another $77.7M, which ended up being a 59% drop in its second frame. That is actually a strong hold considering that 15% of its first weekend gross came from the action hero cluster flick’s $27.5M Thursday preview. Opening in the No. 2 spot was Warner Bros.’ female buddy comedy Hot Pursuit turned in a little better Sunday than expected with weekend final of $13.9M.

Next weekend will be action-packed as Mad Max: Fury Road with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron revs into theaters competing head to head with Pitch Perfect2 which is getting a significant amount of interest from the young female demo. Actually, right now, the audience make-up is quite similar, but the girls just may give Max a lesson in how opening weekend is done.

Here are the final grosses for this…

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Avengers: Age of Ultron review

As John Heywood once said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Of course in this case, Rome would be the equivalent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The end goal of Marvel Studios was to get these heroes to team up for the very first time and create this universe. The idea to team up all these heroes together after each of them getting their own film was never heard of. Sure the first X-Men or Fantastic Four films featured a team of heroes, but their origins pegged them together. In the case of 2012’s The Avengers, it was an idea that many were skeptical of every happening. It wasn’t until 2008 at the end of the original Iron Man when Samuel L. Jackson wanted to talk about the Avengers initiative. The rest is history as Marvel’s The Avengers not only worked, but soared both critically and financially. So, how do you top that? Naturally you must get bigger and set higher stakes which is what Joss Whedon does with Avengers: Age of Ultron. The film isn’t perfect by any means nor is it Marvel’s best yet but it is great and definitely better than its predecessor.

Since the events of The Avengers, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) seems obsessed with the black hole he threw a nuclear missile into to save New York and nearly died in, and wants to protect the world without having to fight. Stark and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) decide to create this Artificial Intelligent being named Ultron (voiced by James Spader) whose sole mission is to keep the world at peace. Unfortunately, this mission is taken in a different way as Ultron believes that the only way to achieve peace would be to end the human race. This forces the Avengers to assemble (sorry…) with Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) Iron Man, Hulk, and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) again.

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I’m going to be upfront here and say that while a lot of people loved the first Avengers film, I wasn’t one of them. I liked it a lot and own it even. Nevertheless, I felt that at times it wasn’t all that great like many thought it was. That film didn’t balance all the characters as well as I’d like and takes a while to kick start. In Age of Ultron, the film decides to kick start the action from the get-go. The action sequence is great as they attempt to fight this Hydra army in the forest, yet I felt like I needed more of an explanation there. This felt a little too quick to jump start but that’s simply a nitpick.

My real issue with the film is that the film feels too episodic, rather than feeling like a movie. This is really an issue with the MCU as a whole and unfortunately Avengers: Age of Ultron suffers a bit from that. The little moments that I loved from the first Avengers film aren’t as abundant. There are nice moments that further Hawkeye, Black Widow and Banner but the newcomers, Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor Johnson) don’t get much other than a few moments of dialogue explaining their origins. They simply feel like pawns and never really add much in terms of character until the 3rd act. The other big issue I had was the Banner and Natasha romance as none of the previous films gave any sort of hints to this idea and it’s not even in the comics. It feels too forced at times, but there is a sense that since both of them are misfits in their own ways, that they would make a decent pair. Some won’t mind it but I just really get with this romance.

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The titular character, Ultron is wonderfully portrayed by James Spader who gives him a very charming personality. Ultron doesn’t seem to be that menacing villain who just wants to kill humanity, he is essentially Tony Stark gone evil. It’s noted that his personality lines up with Stark, which is a nod to the relationship between Stark, the creator and Ultron, his creation. The trailers all gave off this much darker vibe with Ultron as the villain, but ultimately it’s not that much darker. Granted it is much darker than the 1st film but nowhere near the darkness that DC movies seem to be. The only real issue I had with the titular villain would be that his origins felt rush. Once he becomes Ultron, I thought he was great but during the creation of Ultron and his birth, it never felt as organic as I’d like. Plus the situation with Ultron also brings up bigger, darker questions with the impact technology (i.e. Social Media, cell phones, laptops) has on our everyday life and whether humanity is actually hurting the world around us. The first film was simply a fun B-movie with the child-like admiration of putting all these heroes together but Whedon attempts to ask deep questions in this giant blockbuster.

The film’s action sequences are much better this time around as the beginning and final battles feature a one shot like sequence. Each action sequence never feels repetitive yet there is a sense of exhaustion with each battle. The Hulk vs Hulk-buster sequence and the final battle are pretty great and they also manage to say something to the Man of Steel lovers about saving the people during these battles. And the entire Avengers crew bounces off each other well, showing that the series has grown since the first time we saw all these guys grace the big screen.

Ultimately, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a worthy successor to its predecessor and for me, it’s better. The film has its issues and feels a bit rushed in the beginning but it’s a very entertaining, well-balanced blockbuster that never overstays its welcome. It does feel a bit episodic at times but that’s the after effects of the entire MCU. As a Marvel film, of course you have those moments that have to set up the future of the series and some never feel out of place while others do. If you are a big marvel fan, you’ll love it. If you aren’t, this movie won’t win you over. Ultimately, it’s great way to kick off the summer movie season and is better than the last 2 summer kick-off films as well.

Rating: B+

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(Images via Box Office Mojo & Collider.com)

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Box Office Numbers: ‘Avengers’ delivers huge $191 million domestically & crosses $631 million worldwide [UPDATED

[UPDATE: Avengers: Age of Ultron final numbers came in and the superhero sequel actually earned more than estimated with $191.2 million domestically. Worldwide, the new Marvel film has earned $631.1 million with $439.8 million coming internationally.]

The summer box office was kicked off by a huge bang as Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron earned $187.7 million in its domestic debut. While it’s lower than its predecessor’s debut of $207 million, this is still the 2nd highest domestic opening of all time. While some may be disappointed it didn’t crack $200 million, it’s still huge that Marvel earned this much despite all the sporting events of the weekend. Saturday’s boxing match of Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao, the Kentucky Derby, and the NBA playoffs featuring Game 7 between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers impacted Ultron ‘s Saturday gross which ultimately led to the film falling short of the $200 million. Worldwide, Marvel’s blockbuster sequel has earned $631 million since it debut in some international markets last weekend and has earned $439 million internationally. Overall, the box office was up big time from last year when Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 debuted.

Everyone knew which movie would take the top spot but the question was always how high could Ultron reach. After debuting on Friday with the 2nd highest opening day in Domestic box office history, $84.4 million, many figured it could reach $225 million. Some pegged it for a low of $210 million but no one really thought it wouldn’t surpass the $200 million mark. Yet here we are as Disney is projecting a $191.2 million opening. This ranks as the 2nd highest grossing weekend of all time and Marvel now owns the 3 highest opening weekends with Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Iron Man 3 ($174 million).

The question going forward here is if Ultron will surpass the domestic totals of Avengers and it doesn’t look likely. With much stiffer competition on paper in Pitch Perfect 2, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Tomorrowland as compared to 2012 with Dark ShadowsBattleship, and Men in Black 3 it doesn’t seem likely that Ultron will surpass the $623 million finish of its predecessor. Plus, critics didn’t love the sequel as much as the original (92% fresh on RT compared to 75% fresh on RT for the sequel). Nevertheless, audiences loved Ultron with an A on Cinemascore and 90% approval rating from audiences on RT.  Still, it will likely finish around $560-$580 million if it plays out like its predecessor with $1.6 billion worldwide and end up being 2015’s biggest summer movie.

As for the rest of the box office, the 4 time champ Furious 7 finally saw its reign fall with Ultron debuting. The 7th installment earned $6.4 million, falling 62% from last weekend. The box office juggernaut has earned $331 million domestically and still looks on course to finish with $350 million. Internationally, the film has earned $1 billion and has earned $1.3 billion worldwide and will likely surpass The Avengers worldwide total of $1.5 billion.

In 3rd was last weekend’s newcomer, The Age of Adaline which fell 53% from last weekend. The Blake Lively film earned $6.2 million and has earned $23.4 million since its debut. The romantic period piece will finish its run with $40 million as it faces competition next weekend in the form of Hot Pursuit.

The only newcomer that didn’t involve superheroes was Far From the Maddening Crowd as the Fox Searchlight film had a solid debut in limited release. The film earned $164,985 in 10 theatres with an average of $16,499, according to Box Office Mojo.

Next weekend will likely continue the reign of Ultron as it will likely take the top spot once again. The challengers will come in the form of Hot Pursuit which will try to play as counterprogramming for the female demographic as compared to Avengers. Good luck trying to take Marvel’s crown for a few weekends. The only challenger that may come close will be either Mad Max: Fury Road or Pitch Perfect 2 or may take until Disney’s own Tomorrowland.

Weekend Box Office for May 1, 2015 – May 3, 2015 (Courtesy of Box Office Mojo)

  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $191,271,109 (Week 1: Total $191,271,109)
  2. Furious 7 – $6,644,140 (Week 5: Total $331,068,495)
  3. The Age of Adaline – $6,114,000 (Week 2: Total $23,377,371)
  4. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 – $5,880,022 (Week 3: Total $51,516,418)
  5. Home – $3,472,177 (Week 6: Total $158,304,454)
  6. Cinderella – $2,745,090 (Week 8: Total $194,038,460)
  7. Ex Machina – $2,286,000 (Week 4: Total $10,924,000)
  8. Unfriended – $2,210,960 (Week 3: Total $28,754,625)
  9. The Longest Ride – $1,704,810 (Week 4: Total $33,245,253)
  10. Woman in Gold – $1,605,252 (Week 5: Total $24,512,725)