Writer Richard Curtis Reveals Major Changes Danny Boyle Made To Yesterday’s Script

Warning: SPOILERS for Yesterday are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, and want to remain unspoiled, bookmark this story and come back once you’re current.

The world of Yesterday is one that’s built on major change. In particular, the Beatles and several other key pop culture contributions have disappeared, thus changing the world that protagonist Jack Malik, played by Himesh Patel, inhabits.

Strangely enough, the story of the film underwent some major changes itself, as one of the conditions director Danny Boyle laid out in order to secure his participation was that he wanted to see 20% to 25% of the script changed before he signed on.

Writer Richard Curtis, working from an original draft by writer Jack Barth, may have shaped Yesterday into the film that it eventually became in its final draft, but Boyle made some key changes that served as cherries on top of the completed narrative.

During a conversation with CinemaBlend on one of the press days for the film, Curtis revealed the following changes that were added into the film, through the suggestions of Danny Boyle:

As Richard Curtis discussed the original version of Yesterday that he’d drafted, there were quite a few points that were altered to streamline and refocus the film’s narrative. Part of those edits were revealed to take place through deleting an entire character played by Ana De Armas.

Just as her removal from the final cut of Yesterday was to prevent Jack from looking like he didn’t deserve Lily James’ Ellie, there was more content that was cut from the movie’s first act for other reasons.

In light of those cuts, the addition of the third act’s “grand sweeping gesture” seems to be part of a trade-off that was made between Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis. With De Armas’ Roxanne gone from the film, and Jack revealing his feelings to Ellie during his final concert, the love story that Yesterday wanted audiences to be invested in needed some new notes during the finale to make the story work.

Even more investment material was originally included in Curtis’s draft of the film. Initially, he had intended to include a lot more of Jack’s background as a failing rock star. Danny Boyle would step in again with some notes, as Richard Curtis pointed out his reasoning for including the material, and how it was cut, in the following terms:

Looking back at all of the changes that were made to Yesterday’s story, Richard Curtis’ admission that Danny Boyle helped shave the film into fighting shape is really easy to agree with. Not only that, but getting this look into the extensive changes made to the film really shows just how collaborative the process was between writer and director.

In the wrong hands, a film like Yesterday could have been an overly maudlin film that hit all of the standard notes a romantic-comedy is expected to. This makes the revisions that both Boyle and Curtis made to the film all the more valuable, in that they deliver a film that’s traditional enough to be accessible, but freshens the formula up to the point that it feels new and effective as well.

You can enjoy the results for yourself at your earliest convenience, as Yesterday is currently in theaters now. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in a new song to sing along with at the movies, check out our 2019 release schedule!

How The Farewell Director And Cast Kept The True Story In Mind

There are many movies in cinema history that are based on a true story, but Lulu Wang’s The Farewell is really on a different level due to the personal nature of the true story being told. After all, the film is based on Wang’s own experiences coming into conflict with what she discovers is a Chinese societal tradition: not telling the elderly about terminal illnesses when they only have a little time left to live.

In The Farewell, Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, and Diana Lin play fictionalized versions of Lulu Wang and her parents, respectively, as they head from their homes in the United States back to China so that they can covertly say goodbye to the family matriarch, Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao). Given the autobiographical nature of the story, you may wonder how the reality of the situation was ultimately influential on both the narrative and members of the cast – and by clicking play on the video below you’ll find out!

Disney Won’t Stop Making Live-Action Remakes Until It Stops Making Money

The Lion King Disney

Another Disney live-action remake is headed to theaters with July’s The Lion King, and as many are well aware, there are more live-action projects on the way. “Why?” some on the internet may ask. So, why do more remakes of Disney classics keep coming down the pipeline? It seems like a valid question, especially when polarizing castings or various other changes that appear in these remakes tend to stir up all sorts of concerns or even arguing amongst Disney fans.

It’s a question that has marked this decade in particular, and has slowly intensified with each passing year following Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland remake in 2010. Believe it or not, though, there’s a reason Disney continues to push these live-action remakes through: the movies make money. Until these remakes stop making money, we are going to continue to see live-action remakes of all the animated Disney classics get produced. Let’s take a look at what got us here, how much The Lion King could make and what the future of the live-action projects holds.

Beauty and the Beast Disney

Just How Much Money Do These Live-Action Remakes Make?

Since 2010, there have actually been nine live-action Disney movies that were remakes or adaptations of animated classics. While critics may have been middling on most of them, they were all solid commercial successes. In fact, two of them (Alice In Wonderland and Beauty And The Beast) have grossed over a billion dollars. Jon Favreau’s previous live-action flick The Jungle Book wasn’t far off from that, either, bringing in $966.6 million, and Aladdin is doing pretty well at around $960 million at the time of this writing.

Even the lesser performing live-action Disney adaptations have pulled a respectable profit. Christopher Robin was the lowest with $122.7 million difference between projected budget and box office numbers, but tit’s worth noting its budget was a quarter of most of the other live-action adaptations of this era — and it wasn’t a straight adaptation, either, like some of the more beloved properties. This may be why it didn’t measure up numbers-wise to a majority of the cookie-cutter adaptations like Beauty and the Beast.

Put all of the estimated budgets of these nine films (around $1,118,000,000?) up against the box office pull ($6,366,600,461), and Disney has come out way ahead on these sorts of animated-but-realistic projects. Audiences may say they want something original, but time and time again Disney has put these projects out and they’ve flopped: think John Carter and particularly Tomorrowland. When looking at the numbers, it isn’t hard to see why Disney feels no guilt in giving an audience remakes that look pretty but aren’t strictly necessary.

The Lion King Disney

What Happens If The Lion King Flops, Will Live-Action End?

First off, let’s just be realistic and say there’s a very good chance that The Lion King will not flop. The fact that people are wondering if it will still hit a billion dollars with poor reviews should be evidence enough that this one will be a commercial success even if it ends up sticking with a Rotten score.

With all that in mind, let’s say there’s a hypothetical boycott in which the entire world (because international box office numbers for these films often nearly double the American box office) boycotts The Lion King and it flops. Sure, Disney might be rattled that people of many nations and backgrounds united on this one issue, but it still has many remakes, sequels and adaptations in the pipeline that ensure this trend keeps on rolling.

That’s not to say a few flops wouldn’t make Disney re-evaluate that strategy, but if we’re wondering if The Lion King will hit a billion dollars despite lukewarm reviews, then I think we’re all subconsciously admitting the day people stop turning up for these movies is pretty far off, which means there is certainly appetite for them. Still though, if by some miracle this movie flops, Mulan flops, and the next few that follow flop, then maybe, maybe, Disney will stop re-releasing animated classics in live action.

Aladdin Disney

But Disney Will Eventually Run Out Of Animated Movies To Remake, Right?

To date, Disney has made nine live-action remakes of animated classics, and three adaptations based on the animated classics. There are several others of both types in various stages of development, and scores of many other movies in its vault to consider for future live-action adaptations. Sure, not all of them like Fantasia or The Three Caballeros will probably get made, but there are still plenty of options.

Even then, folks need to realize that any of these live-action adaptations could get another live-action adaptation down the road. The Jungle Book already had a live-action adaptation in 1994, and made more money with a version that was actually less live-action (and is getting a sequel) two decades later. Remakes of remakes are on the table, which means Disney could be going to this fountain long after we’re all dead and gone. That’s not even getting into all the sequel possibilities out there.

Is this really that bad of a thing though? Disney’s live-action remakes may cause some controversy, angst, and destroy the childhood of some grown adults, but box office numbers show a lot of people watch them. Are we to believe the masses are going to the theaters just to hate watch a movie they wish was never made to begin with? Of course not, although one may think that looking at the outrage and comments on some of these movies. Just remember, angry people on social media are often just a minor part of a whole.

The Jungle Book Netflix

So, Disney Likely Won’t Quit These Live-Action Remakes

Again, there’s an unfathomable scenario where multiple Disney live-action remakes and adaptations flop and the company stops, but the numbers indicate those days are far off into the future. Until folks stop turning up for these movies, there’s no chance in hell Disney will ever consider shoveling audiences slightly different but more of the same movies they’ve already made millions off of.

And really, who can blame Disney? Do people get upset at Vanilla Ice when he shows up to a venue and plays “Ice Ice Baby,” instead of a deep cut from his album? No, people want the classics and what they know, and the box office has often shown that’s largely true with movies as well.

Are there exceptions? Absolutely, but take one glimpse at the box office success of originals IPs vs. sequels and remakes of established franchises, and it’s clear which route studios prefer to go almost every time. it’s always going to be worth the complaints from the peanut gallery, until enough disgruntled souls finally put their foot down and say “enough is enough.”

In particular, there still seems to be enough excitement around these projects that we could be getting more for some time to come, which means the only question left to ask is whether or not the House of Mouse will be able to maintain it’s current pace of putting a slew of these out each year. Which means it’s up to you to get on board with the new movies, or don’t.

Disney’s next live-action film is The Lion King, which is in theaters Friday, July 19, but we’ll likely be hearing more about the 2020 schedule soon. Stick with CinemaBlend for details on its box office performance, and if it stays on pace to hit a billion dollars or not.

Are You Excited For More Disney Live-Action Remakes?

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Zachary Levi Thinks He’ll Face Off Against The Rock’s Black Adam In Shazam! 3

 

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This past spring, Shazam, formerly known as Captain Marvel, finally made his film debut, and the DC Extended Universe-set origin story saw Billy Batson going up against Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, his arch-nemesis from the comics. But Shazam has another opponent who’s given him a lot of trouble over the decades: Black Adam, who will be played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on the big screen.

With Shazam! 2 getting the green light, some might have wondered if that’s when we’ll finally get the long-awaited cinematic clash between Shazam and Black Adam, but Zachary Levi, who plays the World’s Mightiest Mortal, believes that showdown is being saved for Shazam! 3. In the actor’s words:

I can say that as far as I know, Black Adam is not going to be in the second Shazam!, because the idea is that they want to go and do a standalone Black Adam movie first. And then it would kind of be, if we do a third Shazam! and a second Black Adam, kind of [parallel] like that, that’s where we would [meet].

Zachary Levi shared what he knows on the Shazam vs. Black Adam of it all at Germany’s CCXP Cologne convention (via Comicbook.com). Granted, the villains for Shazam! 2 haven’t been officially announced yet, but given how Shazam! ended and that Warner Bros and DC want to spotlight Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam just as much as Shazam, it makes sense that the long game is being played with when these two finally come to blows.

As Zachary Levi also noted, if Shazam and Black Adam were to fight too early, that would result in this corner of the DCEU peaking prematurely. Levi said:

Because he’s like the ultimate bad guy for Captain Marvel, Shazam. Like [Shazam and] Black Adam, they’re doppelgängers right, the evil twin to who I am. So that’s got to be like the final battle.

Dwayne Johnson was cast as Black Adam around the same time that Shazam! was announced, and while initially was the plan was for Shazam and Black Adam to fight in the first Shazam! movie, eventually it was decided that Black Adam deserved to star in his own movie first. There were various updates about the Black Adam movie in the following five years, but after Shazam! hit theaters and critically impressed, Johnson revealed that Black Adam will filming will begin next year.

Jungle Cruise’s Jaume Collet-Serra is directing the Black Adam movie and Undateable’s Adam Sztykiel is writing the script. No official plot details have been revealed yet, but it’s rumored that Black Adam will include Hawkman, Atom Smasher and Stargirl, who were briefly the eponymous protagonist’s Justice Society teammates in the comics and have all already appeared in live action TV, with Stargirl next set to lead her own DC Universe series.

Initially depicted in the comics as a straightforward super villain, Black Adam has evolved into an anti-hero in the last two decades, primarily using incredible powers to protect his home country of Kahndaq. The DCEU is going the anti-hero route with Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, although when the time comes for him to fight Shazam, obviously he’ll be illuminated in a more villainous light.

Although he was unnamed, Black Adam was teased in Shazam! as the individual who the Wizard Shazam bequeathed powers to in ancient times. Black Adam’s status as the Wizard’s champion was taken away when he released the Seven Deadly Sins onto the world. Even if the rumors are true and the Black Adam movie primarily takes place in the present day, presumably we’ll see flashbacks of Black Adam thousands of years ago and learn more about how he fell from grace.

As for Shazam! 2, we can reasonably assume that the villains be Sivana and the super intelligent caterpillar known as Mr. Mind, who had previously been imprisoned at the Rock of Eternity. In the Shazam! mid-credits scene, Sivana was desperately scrawling runes on the walls of his prison cell in an attempt to get back to the Wizard’s lair, but Mr. Mind showed up and proposed that they join forces to gain power and take over the Seven Realms.

Mr. Mind is arguably Shazam’s third most well-known foe from the comics, so he’s certainly deserving of some of the cinematic spotlight. It also makes sense to pair him with Sivana since they’ve worked together in the comics, so it’ll be interested what sort of scheme they hatch in Shazam! 2.

It’s hard to say whether that sequel or Black Adam will come out first, because while Black Adam is set to roll cameras in the first half of next year, it’s been said Shazam! 2 will start filming in late spring or summer of 2020, as the young members of the cast are rapidly approaching adulthood. Either way, those two make up the next phase of Shazam’s corner of the DCEU.

Which brings us to Shazam! 3, when Zachary Levi thanks the Shazam/Black Adam fight will finally unfold. Whether that were to be the last Shazam! movie or more would follow, that brawl would definitely be a worthy culmination to everything that’s happened so far, not to mention a moment comic book fans have waited a long time to see in live action. If you thought the fight between Superman and Zod in Man of Steel was intense, I suspect this fight would rival that intensity or even surpass it.

We also shouldn’t discount that these two could get a rematch in Black Adam 2, but we’re a long ways away from learning if that project’s a possibility. No doubt Warner Bros and DC want to keep Dwayne Johnson part of the DCEU for a long time, and since there are few instances of a superhero fighting a super villain across multiple movies, at least numerous Shazam/Black Adam tussles would be novel.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on what’s happening with both Shazam and Black Adam on the big screen. In the meantime, you can find out what else is in development for the DCEU in our handy guide, and don’t forget that Shazam! is currently available on Digital HD and arrives on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow, July 16.

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One Movie Analyst Predicts 2020 Is Going To Be A Terrible Year For Movies

If the comments and concerns voiced above turn out to be true, what will Hollywood do? Smaller studios and distributors, i.e. basically everyone but Disney and Warner Bros, will likely face the greatest obstacles, but even the aforementioned production behemoths need to keep the bills rolling in. They should be fine, though, especially now that they both have highly-publicized, absurdly well-priced streaming services coming in the fall.

Dave Bautista Was ‘Shocked’ Watching The Fight Scenes In Stuber

 

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At this point in his career, Dave Bautista has considerable familiarity when it comes to the realm of action movies. After all, he’s been a part of two of the most successful action franchises of all time in the last few years, with both Marvel Cinematic Universe, and James Bond roles on his resume. The guy has most definitely thrown enough on-screen punches to be jaded by the experience, and yet he apparently found himself shocked while watching the fight sequences in the new comedy Stuber.

Bautista’s reaction to the finished film was brought up in conversation with the actor and his co-star, Kumail Nanjiani, during the Los Angeles press day for the feature last month. It came up during discussion about famed The Raid star Iko Uwais, who both has a supporting role in the movie, and also contributed to the production as Fight Choreographer. You can watch the two stars discuss their colleague by clicking play on the video below!

Those who have seen The Raid and/or The Raid 2 know that Iko Uwais has some of the most impressive martial arts skills to grace the big screen in the modern era, and Dave Bautista expressed great gratitude for the opportunity to work with him in the making of Stuber.

Part of this appreciation extends from the fact that the Guardians of the Galaxy star felt like Uwais was not just a talented fighter, but a smart collaborator. He explained that what initially had been planned by Indonesian actor/filmmaker in pre-production on Stuber actually didn’t fully suit his particular skills, but they were able to work together to craft something that worked better. Said Bautista,

Iko is a different level. He’s a different level guy. When we worked together it took a few discussions, because they had choreographed a bunch of stuff that I just wasn’t suited for. It was more of that Asian style of fighting. And so we had a lot of discussions, and we found a way to make our different styles work. But he’s just, he’s so talented. I mean, he’s so talented. And he’s got a charisma. He’s a star.

It wasn’t only Bautista who was left impressed by the experience, however. Kumail Nanjiani’s work with Iko Uwais was a bit different than his co-stars, as he is limited to primarily being a spectator in the final fight between the two men in the movie, but even still he gained a particular appreciation for the work by watching them figure out the moves that were best for the scene.

Adding in additional praise for what Dave Bautista can do in an action scene, Nanjiani explained,

It was pretty amazing watching them choreograph this fight. At the end of the movie there’s a fight that I’m sort of just watching. Iko had choreographed the fight, but then they sort of were tweaking it as they were going. And I just felt so lucky being able to watch these two guys who are amazing at this, doing what they do.

All of this led to what we see in the finished cut of Stuber, which evidently really put Bautista in the back of his chair when he had the opportunity to see it for the first time. Being a movie without a giant visual effects budget, the production had to make the big fight sequences practical and impressive, and it’s co-lead was sincerely impressed by its ability to do both:

I was actually shocked at how good the action was because, I mean, I shot a lot of it, the fight stuff, but I hadn’t seen it pieced together. When I saw it on film for the first time I was amazed how good it was – and it feels very real. It feels very practical and gritty, and I think that’s why people are kind of getting that throwback feel [from] it, because it’s not all CGI. It’s real practical fight scenes.

Directed by Michael Dowse, and co-starring Mira Sorvino, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Karen Gillan, and Jimmy Tatro, Stuber is an action comedy that finds a positive review-addicted Uber driver named Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) taken hostage by a cop recovering from Lasik surgery (Dave Bautista) who is on the hunt for a powerful crime lord (Iko Uwais). The film is now playing in theaters everywhere.

To see what else is getting set to play at your local cineplex in 2019, check out our Movie Release Calendar.

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That Time Avengers: Endgame’s Cassie Lang Got In Trouble By Marvel Security

Yeah, definitely. So, I had gotten to Atlanta to film, and there was this gorgeous sunset. I took a picture of the sunset and posted it on my Instagram story, and I just tagged the location, Atlanta, Georgia. The next day, [Marvel’s] head of security came to my trailer and talked to me about how I can’t post that. I was like, ‘Well, I wasn’t going to say I was on set of you know, Endgame or anything,’ and they were like, ‘No, we understand, you’re not the first person we had to talk to about this today, but I’ve had people calling me all day trying to find out where you’re going to be filming,” and that was sort of just like a, ‘Okay, wow, this is real.’ It could not have gotten any realer, I really didn’t understand just how large Marvel was, and how much of an impact it had. That really just was a sort of a pinch me moment even though I was in a little bit of trouble.

Sam Raimi Is Interested In An Evil Dead Sequel

 

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Spanning across decades, various platforms, and at least two different universes of continuity, the Evil Dead franchise is still well beloved by the fandom that made it popular in the ‘80s, and kept it alive into the modern day.

Series’ creator Sam Raimi, knows this fact extremely well. And just like those fans that helped rocket his career into horror genre history, he too would like to see a sequel in some shape or form. Raimi revealed this intention, and the talks he’s currently having, below:

I’d love to make another one. I don’t think TV is in its future but we’re talking about – Bruce[Campbell], Rob [Tapert] and myself – one or two different ways to go for the next movie. We’d like to make another Evil Dead feature and in fact we’re working on some ideas right now.

Sam Raimi is certainly busy at the moment, what with his producer duties on Crawl bringing him into the spotlight to discuss this current film. That almost seems like an open invitation to discuss the man’s legacy horror title, which not only gave his career a boost, but also saw Bruce Campbell come into prominence as a genre favorite actor.

It certainly isn’t the first time that the Evil Dead series has been talked about in terms of how it would continue in a more modern context. Recent experiences certainly support Raimi’s ruling out TV as a possible avenue, as the Starz show Ash vs. The Evil Dead has already worn that path down with its cancellation after three seasons.

Another interesting possibility that was brought up during his interview with Bloody-Disgusting is the fact that Sam Raimi mentioned Bruce Campbell as an involved party in these Evil Dead talks, and that he’s pretty much prepared for any contingency that could be offered. Which leads to those various options that were mentioned at this particular Crawl junket.

Those two different paths are pretty obvious, with Raimi also interested in trying to bring back director Fede Alvarez into the realm of the Evil Dead saga. With his 2013 legacyquel giving the franchise a much needed shot to the arm, there’s plenty of room to return to Jane Levy’s Mia, after the events of her run in with the Deadites. The director, who also saw success working with Levy in Don’t Breathe, certainly isn’t against jumping back in, as he’s said in the past.

Indeed, Fede Alvarez’s series would be a fantastic world to follow up on, but even Sam Raimi himself admits that the director’s career has taken off to such heights that it might not be easy. With Don’t Breathe 2 still on Fede Alvarez’s plate, and his first taste of tentpole franchise work coming in last year’s The Girl In The Spider’s Web, there’s certainly a demand for the man’s work. Which allows the second possibility to emerge, in which Bruce Campbell somehow rescinds his retirement notice, and comes back to the role of Ash once again.

That’s a scenario that’s a bit wishy, washy, despite the newer Evil Dead film closing on a post-credits stinger that would saw Bruce Campbell’s Ash returning to say “Groovy” to the delight of fans far and wide. The cancellation of Ash vs. The Evil Dead seemed to break his heart in such a way that unless it was in a much less intensive context, like say a video game DLC character, he wouldn’t want to return to Ash any time soon.

Yet Bruce Campbell’s friendship with Sam Raimi seems strong enough that, should the right idea come along, he’d probably want to jump in and do justice to the character he originated in 1981’s The Evil Dead. Again, Bruce Campbell has made remarks that sound like he’d easily hand the role over to another actor, but when your good friend is trying to get the band back together for another ride into the sunset, it’s kind of hard not to at least hear them out.

Should either the Campbell or the Alvarez options not work out, there seems to be a third, more secretive option to resurrect the Evil Dead franchise. No details were given on what that would entail, however Sam Raimi did drop this final juicy tidbit as a closer:

So I think you may see some action on the Evil Dead movie in the next six months.

Six months would mean that by time 2020 is ready to get rolling into a new year, we might just have a new evil to look forward to in the future of the Evil Dead universe; no matter who it sees as its lead. With Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert this excited to get things off the ground, it sounds like nothing in Heaven, Hell, or Earth will be able to stop them. Though Hollywood may have something to say about that, so we’ll keep our ears open for any further developments.

Crawl is in theaters now, with 2013’s Evil Dead currently on all home video platforms.

Which Evil Dead Sequel Prospect Excites You The Most?

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The Russo Brothers Are Still Trolling Marvel Fans Hard With New Tease

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has recruited a lot of talented filmmakers over the years, but Joe and Anthony Russo are arguably the heaviest hitters of that select group, having delivered four of the most important entries in the franchise, Avengers: Endgame most recently. It goes without saying then that their panel at San Diego Comic-Con is a highly anticipated event, and the Russos are continuing to troll Marvel fans about what to expect with this latest tweet.

The Russos first began teasing what’s in store for their San Diego Comic-Con panel this Friday with audio from the 2017 Comic-Con when footage from the then-upcoming Avengers: Infinity War was screened for the people in Hall H. Naturally this led some folks to wonder if the directing duo would show some never-before-seen footage from their past Marvel movies.

However, that was then followed by another tweet containing audio from the TV series Community, which the Russos worked on before joining the MCU, and today we receive a third tweet containing audio from Arrested Development, another major TV credit on their resumes. In case you can’t listen to the above tweet, it’s Jeffrey Tambor’s Oscar Bluth saying:

Classic stuff. While it goes without saying that the Russos’ Comic-Con panel will cover their time at Marvel, it’s looking like rather than exclusively focusing on that, it’ll touch on other areas of their careers. With four more days to go until their panel, now I’m waiting for a fourth tweet that’ll include audio from their 2006 movie You, Me and Dupree.

Given that Marvel Studios is holding its own massive Hall H panel this Saturday, it’s incredibly unlikely that some massive piece of MCU-related news will be announced during the Russos panel. That said, it’s possible some juicy tidbits from their time working on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Just don’t expect the entire panel to revolve around the franchise.

Joe and Anthony Russo’s San Diego Comic-Con panel will be at Hall H this Friday at 11 a.m., so those of you attending the convention, best of luck you’ll be able to grab a seat for the event. As for what’s ahead for the MCU, look through our comprehensive guide for that information.

How Much Money The Lion King Made During Its Opening Weekend In China

Back in 1995, the Chinese box office wasn’t even close to what it is now, so when The Lion King opened there (a year after its domestic release) it made only $5 million. Things are much different now with the release of the live-action remake of that animated classic. A week in advance of its domestic opening, Jon Favreau’s The Lion King debuted in China and it got off to a roaring start in its opening weekend.

The Lion King opened in the Middle Kingdom on July 12 and over its first weekend the photo-realistic remake made $54.7 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The tracking on The Lion King had it opening somewhere between $50 million and $60 million in the country so this is right within that range. This is a strong debut for the film, which is playing in China in both a dubbed version and a subtitled version with the English-language cast.

The $54.7 million opening is easily the best for any of Disney’s live-action remakes in China, surpassing this year’s Aladdin, which made $18.8 million, as well as Beauty and the Beast’s $45.2 million and previous king The Jungle Book’s $46.5 million. The Lion King also got many to pony up for the better presentation, with $6 million of the film’s $54.7 coming from 618 IMAX screens, a share much better than The Jungle Book or Beauty and the Beast.

This start sets The Lion King up to swipe the crown from Mowgli and Baloo, and pass the $150 million box office haul of The Jungle Book to become the most successful of Disney’s live-action remakes in The Middle Kingdom. Chinese ticketing app Maoyan sees The Lion King completing its run in the country with $165 million depending on how well it holds and the fierceness of the competition.

Part of what has elevated The Lion King to this level of success in China and what could bode well for it moving forward is that the film is receiving favorable buzz and positive scores from audiences on the various ticketing platforms. However, local film, the family drama Looking Up, is also receiving very positive buzz and a rapidly expanding theater count and when it opens wide on July 18, it could eat into The Lion King’s long-term prospects.

The Lion King opens domestically on July 19 and it has been expected, as basically all Disney films have been, to save an otherwise lackluster summer box office. The pre-sales for The Lion King were through the roof and tracking had it possibly crossing $200 million opening weekend. There is no doubt that The Lion King will be big, but now that the reviews are out it’ll be interesting to see just how big.

The Lion King is in danger of ending up rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, thanks to many less-than-impressed reviews that marveled at the film’s technological achievements, but lamented its lack of emotion and novelty. I tend to think that for this kind of spectacle movie, with this level of nostalgia and emotional investment, those negative reviews won’t matter much, at least not for opening weekend, people have already made up their minds. It’ll be interesting to see audience reaction though and how well the film holds over the course of its run.

The Lion King roars into theaters on July 19. Check out our premiere guide to see all the other movies you can look forward to this year.