Despite the fact that Spider-Man is Marvel‘s most popular and successful character - by the comic book standards, anyways - the studio hasn’t left anything to the imagination in the Spider-Man: Homecoming marketing blitz. We’ve seen Tom Holland‘s face on everything from car commercials to NBA spots to computer advertisements, ensuring that everyone around the world knew that a Spider-Man film was going to be in theaters this weekend. Heck, we were probably one hip-hop song away from throwing the whole franchise back to the nineties heydays of corporate synergy.
While plenty of fans hold Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man film close to their hearts, it’s probably fair to say that the costume for Willem Dafoe‘s Green Goblin hasn’t aged particularly well. Given the dynamic costumes for the current generation of Marvel villains - including Frank Grillo‘s Crossbones, Cate Blanchett‘s Hera, and plenty more - Dafoe’s Green Goblin seems a little bulky and a lot campy, not unlike a Power Rangers villain that wandered out of his franchise and somehow ended up in the Marvel universe. It certainly gets the job done by the standards of the day, but rewatching scenes from that film suggest that the studio had a missed opportunity to do something a little more memorable with the character.
Here’s a quick question for you, who is the most important actor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? We all know who the highest-paid actor is — that would be Robert Downey Jr. — but is he still the most important actor in the franchise as well? Has Chris Evans or Chris Hemsworth surpassed him? How about one of the characters from Guardians of the Galaxy or a newcomer like Tom Holland? Is anyone in the MCU so irreplaceable that Marvel couldn’t introduce another version of their character? It’s a very interesting question, and one that the studio and actors are no-doubt struggling with internally.
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for, Edgar Wright fans: did the filmmaker’s action-packed Baby Driver score big with audiences? Or does this weekend belong to sequels, sequels, and more sequels? This weekend was always going to belong to Despicable Me 3— it’s a big hit with the kiddos, don’t you know— but there’s definitely some room for optimism in how the rest of the weekend Top 10 shook out. Here’s the numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
If you spend enough time reading interviews with writer-directors, you may find yourself wondering how big a role music plays in the creative process. Hollywood is littered with movies that were written under the influence of a particularly strong playlist; filmmakers who have been given control over every aspect of production, from screenplay the final cut, can sometimes appear to be writing to the music that influenced them along the way. That’s one of the beautiful things about the work of James Gunn. Not only does he exhibit a delightfully eclectic taste in ’70s and ’80s music, he often finds ways to bring those songs directly into the action of his Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
When you create a series of films as magical as the Pixar universe, you’re going to get your share of fans trying to puzzle your history out. That’s always been the case with movies like Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. Since each movie often features easter eggs that hint at the interconnected nature of each film, people have gone to great lengths to try and understand the elements of the movies not explicitly stated onscreen. Take, for instance, this past week’s video about the tragic story of Andy’s father in Toy Story. According to the host , Woody actually belonged to Andy’s father, who sadly passed away from complications due to polio before the first film. The video caught the internet by storm and was widely circulated over the weekend by most major entertainment sites.
Does anyone else think that Dwayne Johnson’s blockbuster movies are starting to blur together a little bit? Given that Johnson tends to play variations of the same character — the tough-as-nails and compassionate ex-military whatever — while things blow up around him, what matters most is the type of thing that’s blowing up. Sometimes they’re cars (The Fate of the Furious), sometimes parts of California (San Andreas), and sometimes monsters (Rampage). Don’t worry, though, because Johnson will really show off his range with his next film: this time, it’s a building that blows up. Oscar, please!
Look, I’m no stranger to college acapella groups. When I was an undergraduate, a ragtag group of choir kids — myself most definitely included — organized the first men’s acapella group in the modern history of the university, and a quick Google search shows that the group is still alive and well to this day (no, I won’t tell you the name of the university or the name of the ensemble, so don’t bother asking). So am I pretty much as cool and influential as the Bellas in the Pitch Perfect movie series? Why, yes. I’d like to think so, yes.
Alright, I’m going to be completely honest: when I saw that Power Rangers director Dean Isrealite had commented on his film’s PG-13 rating, I thought we were in for another round of confusing comments about the need for R-rated summer movies. Given the worldwide success of Deadpool, we’ve seen plenty of studios succumb to the siren song of mature adaptations. Warner Bros. has openly pledged to make more R-rated DC animated movies. 20th Century Fox will reportedly push for an R-rating with its upcoming Venom cinematic universe. Even Marvel, the current lead dog of superhero films, has felt compelled to weigh in on the issue (spoiler alert: it’s not going to happen). So sure, why not add Power Rangers to the mix?
This has been a good weekend for Planet of the Apes fans. Not only did we get our first look at some of the early buzz for the final film in the trilogy — buzz that suggest that War for the Planet of the Apes might just be the best and bleakest movie in the series yet — we’ve also been treated to a special Father’s Day trailer that explores the universal truths of fathers, sons, and legacy. Sentient apes or human, we’re all just trying to leave behind a better world for our children.
For months now, we’ve assumed that any possible Spider-Man spinoffs would exist in a world separate from that of Spider-Man: Homecoming. With Sony and Marvel weaving a complicated web of licensed properties and revenue sharing, the safe bet was that Sony would choose to build up its own parallel world independent of Marvel’s, giving them complete ownership of those characters and their events without having to plug into a larger established canon. This seemed to be confirmed by Marvel boss Kevin Feige earlier this week, when Feige said in no uncertain terms that Venom would not be invited to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disappointing for some, curious to others, but on the surface, it did make sense.
If you only look at the surface numbers, this was a pretty predictable week at the box office. Wonder Woman did well, The Mummy did not, and everything else shook out accordingly. That being said, there’s some pretty interesting narratives emerging in the how and why of this weekend’s box office report. Let’s take a look at the rankings as of Sunday afternoon and dive into some of the specifics:
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