John Wick Artillery Trainer Explains Why The Franchise Gets Gunfight Scenes So Right

There’s a unique style to John Wick movie action that is absolutely amazing. Keanu Reeves goes through a lot of training to make it all look as good as it does, but while there’s clearly a lot of work that goes into making the gun fights look fun and exciting, there’s also a lot of work that goers into making them look real.

Taran Butler is a professional three-gun shooter who is responsible for a lot of the gun training in the John Wick films. He tells Task and Purpose it was important that the guns and ammunition actually adhere to reality, this meant giving John Wick the right bullets. According to Butler…

It’s a detail that most of us wouldn’t even bother with. We’re used to seeing gun shots do whatever degree of damage the script calls for. Whether or not the bullet in question would ever actually do that level of damage is something the majority of the audience wouldn’t consider or worry all that much about.

But for some people, what would otherwise be an inconsequential detail, matters. Seeing that somebody took the time to be sure that the ammunition being used is accurate for the damage being done, evidence that care has been taken with other elements of the story.

Beyond the question of what type of bullets are being used, the quantity of the bullets being used is also important. Taran Butler helped be sure that John Wick comes to the situation with the proper number of clips.

This one is probably a bit more obvious to the layperson. We’ve all seen guns in movies that seemingly never run out of bullets. When you do notice it, it helps reinforce the unreality of the situation, which is never good when you’re trying to get lost in an action movie.

Looks Like Keanu Reeves Is Responsible For How Great Toy Story 4’s Duke Caboom Is

Thanks to a recent string of scene-stealing performances from Keanu Reeves, the actor has become 2019’s icon and obsession. Some will say the Keanuaissance is a happy accident of coinciding releases. They’d be dead wrong, and the proof can be found in the making of Toy Story 4.

For Woody’s latest (and last?) adventure, he has the help of Canada’s greatest stuntman: Duke Caboom. Keanu Reeves voiced the hilarious scene-stealer, who also has a tragic backstory he’s working through in the film. The animated film’s director Josh Cooley recently attributed the John Wick actor to Duke’s depth instantly.

Keanu Reeves wanted to know Duke’s motivations and fears, and Josh Cooley hadn’t thought of the character past a few jokes. Here’s what the Toy Story 4 director said:

There’s a good reason Keanu Reeves is having a big moment right now. He pushes for the development of his roles, and Duke Caboom was no exception. Along with delivering funny lines such as “Yes I Can-ada!” and stopping to pose midway through his conversations, his character is also troubled by letting down his kid when he couldn’t do the stunt shown in the commercials.

Josh Cooley continued discussing with USA Today about Keanu Reeves’ collaboration with these words:

Josh Cooley also revealed to CinemaBlend how surprised he was to find out how “naturally funny” Keanu Reeves was on and off camera. One Toy Story producer, Jonas Rivera, said it was clear the actor didn’t come on board just to do a “funny cartoon voice.” He wanted to dig deep.

Similar attention to character was recently described by Always Be My Maybe stars/writers Ali Wong and Randall Park. They weren’t only surprised Keanu Reeves said yes to their Netflix rom-com at all, but that he improvised so much of the great jokes while playing a heightened version of himself.

He came up with funny tidbits such as saying his vision is perfect, while wearing fake glasses for a role and fighting with the air. He also gave Randall Park the idea for his end credit song titled “I Punched Keanu Reeves” to double as a love song for Ali Wong’s Sasha.

You have to admire how passionate Keanu Reeves is about his work, and it’s certainly paid off in how many exciting projects he’s involved in. Marvel Chief Kevin Feige also said he’s talked with Reeves about joining multiple Marvel films in the past and is currently trying to find the right fit for the actor in the universe.

Yesterday Director Danny Boyle On The Moviegoing Experiences That Shaped Him

Himesh Patel in Yesterday

Ever since his debut film, Shallow Grave, Danny Boyle has delivered some of the most visceral cinematic experiences of our time. From Trainspotting to Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours, his films seamlessly jump from comedy to action to tragedy, and they are impossible to forget. With Yesterday, he proves yet again to be a master of juggling more than one tone in a single film.

I caught up with Danny to discuss the visceral moviegoing experiences that made him the filmmaker he is today.

What’s your earliest moviegoing memory?

I have a twin sister, and I think it was on our 10th birthday that my mom took my sister to see The Sound of Music and my dad took me to see Battle of the Bulge … so there was some terrible gender stereotyping right there. That was the first time I’d ever been in a cinema. It wasn’t a natural part of our lives until we were 10. We didn’t go as young children to see animation or anything like that, so that was my first experience … and obviously it’s an overwhelming, visceral experience that you have. It’s that element of cinema that I respond to more than anything in my taste and the work I try to do with people. I want you to be dazzled and mesmerized by the experience you are going through. I certainly got that from Battle of the Bulge.

Of course, I later caught up with Sound of Music. I met the film’s director Robert Wise—who is one of the great underrated directors—and that was remarkable. I’ll tell you a story about that: we had a screening at the DGA [Directors Guild of America] of the first film I ever made—Shallow Grave—and after the screening and Q&A was over there was an old guy sitting in the back of the auditorium and as I walked out he stopped me and said “Very good, young man. Very, very good.” That was Robert Wise. I didn’t know it at the time, someone told me afterward.

Are there any moviegoing experiences you had as a teenager–or in your twenties—where you walked out at the end and said, “I want to be a director.”

There are three. One is a general one. Where I was brought up there was a mainstream cinema, and in order to get to the art cinema you had to go to the big town, which is Manchester. Outside Manchester there was an art cinema called the ABC in Hulme, and it had four screens—which wasn’t that common at the time in Britain—and they were all showing art movies. I used to go there regularly even though it was quite hard to get to. I didn’t really understand the films because I was 14 or 15, but there was something about them. They played really weird films like El Topo by [Alejandro] Jodorowsky, and a lot of Claude Chabrol films. I read later that the popstar Morrisey would go to that cinema as well.

The second one was seeing Apocalypse Now in all its majesty. I’ve seen it dozens of times since, and I’ve taken people because I’ve wanted to convince them of its genius. It remains my favorite film of all time. If you talk about a visceral experience that’s the overwhelming example of it. I was very lucky to meet Francis Ford Coppola. I’ve met some famous people in Britain—the Queen and people like that—and I never really got nervous about meeting those people, but when I met Coppola I was like jelly on the floor. I was an embarrassment. I was in my 50s, but I was a quivering teenage child again.

The final one is a Nic Roeg film called Eureka. It’s a film he made with Gene Hackman, who gives his greatest performance in it. The studio released it for only week in one cinema in Britain. I went to see it at a cinema in North London—the only place you could see it—and that film electrified me. Again, it had that visceral nature. In the first half of the film [Gene Hackman’s character] discovers literally liquid gold in Alaska, and he becomes the richest man in the world … the man who has everything. The moral dilemma of the film is: When you have everything, what can you want? I was so affected by the film, and I went back the next week to see it and it had gone. I was really upset. I’ve managed to get it on DVD since and if any theaters ever show it that would be great.

Speaking of Apocalypse Now**, it’s going to be back in theaters for its 40th Anniversary. Will you try and see it again?**

I’ll be there! I know [Coppola] has slightly recut it. I’ve seen the Redux and I’ve seen the five-hour version. I’ll watch every single version of it there is. As I’m promoting Yesterday, people are asking, “If there was one thing that disappeared and you had the chance to remake it, what would it be?” It would be Apocalypse Now.

I’d like to see your version of Apocalypse Now**.**

It would be shot-for-shot like the Pyscho remake! I can remember every shot. I wouldn’t imagine that I could improve on it, so I’d just have to make it exactly as Mr. Coppola made it.

Moving to Yesterday**: what did you take away from watching the film with a crowd at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere?**

The warmth of the communal enjoyment of a comedy … with any film you do, if there’s comedy and you have a crowd that’s enjoying it there’s something wonderful about that communal moment which is very special in cinema. You don’t get it anywhere else. Sometimes you get it with soccer.

The communal experience is very special, and we have to be careful we don’t lose that. Because it’s one of those things that when it’s gone it might not come back again. It’s really special, and people sometimes don’t value it enough. They enjoy it at the moment, but when they think about going to the cinema they might say “Oh, I have to go out to the cinema, and I’m feeling tired,” but when you get there and you have a great time with a lot of people it’s very special.

I remember seeing Dumb and Dumber in a full cinema, and when his tongue gets stuck I was rolling in the aisle laughing. And you can do that because everybody’s a stranger and you can release like that and have a group sensation.

Let’s talk about the industry a bit. Right now there’s a debate going on that says the rise of streaming has to come at the expense of cinema. But the directors that I talk to believe the two can peacefully co-exist. Do you agree that they can?

I think we have to hope there will be. We—and by we I mean those who love cinema above all forms— are vulnerable at the moment. Long-form television, or streaming, is obviously in the ascendancy. There’s a lot of money in it and a lot of people are moving into it. For me—and I’m not speaking against long-form television because it’s very important it doesn’t become adversarial—cinema is unique because of the contract of time you have with the audience and what you are allowed to do in that very precious, exclusive time. Somebody buys a ticket and they give you two hours of their time, and what’s extraordinary about it is they give it to you exclusively. It’s very rare that they’ll leave—you have to be doing a really bad job or there has to be an emergency—and you don’t do that with long-form television when you watch it at home. Even when you love long-form television, you’re not giving your exclusive time to it. Your peripheral vision is different, and in long-form television the contract is endless. That’s the point: that it just goes on and on into the distance. There’s the joke that it’s a bit like getting married: you don’t quite know what’s going to happen down the line, but you sort of sign up for it. Then people joke that everybody knows Season 6 is going to be pretty poor, but you go along with it anyway because the finale might be good. I think in film it’s different. The uniqueness of film is that because of that undivided, exclusive time you get, you can experiment with time. That’s what cinema does more than any other art form. That’s what you learn working in it: you are changing, compressing, and interrupting time. You can stop time in a way that’s so powerful when it’s used right in cinema. That gives you an almost God-like power for a couple of hours. Obviously it’s an illusion, but we want that illusion that we have power over our own destiny. Cinema can introduce you—in what is apparent real time—to a miracle and say, “There, it’s every day. It’s simple and plain and it’s right in front of you, and now it’s gone.” You don’t get that in any other art form, and it’s been a privilege for me to learn that. As long-form television explodes and becomes more prevalent in people’s lives, it makes me realize more and more how precious those moments of time are for us in cinema, and we should protect them for as long as we can.

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Alita: Battle Angel Video Shows How The Manga Was Adapted For The Screen

Alita: Battle Angel came out all the way back in February and we are still waiting for it to arrive on home video in July. While this might seem like a long wait for a home video release, and it certainly is by modern standards, 20th Century Fox has fortunately been giving fans an early look at some of the bonus features we’ll find on the Blu-ray. The latest bonus feature talks about Alita’s journey from manga to big screen blockbuster. Check it out:

You’ve got to love when an adaptation of a beloved property endeavors to stay as true as possible to the source material and recognizing that it is beloved for a reason. For Alita: Battle Angel, director Robert Rodriguez scanned pages from the Gunnm/Battle Angel Alita manga and directly translated some of that into his film. There are some awesome frames in the movie that are ripped straight from the page, showing that this really was a true adaptation.

In this video we see that Alita’s fight with Grewishka was heavily influenced by the manga, with specific shots, such as Alita launching herself at Grewishka and balancing on one hand, looking just like their black and white counterparts. Alita’s look was also adapted right from the manga big eyes and all; a brave choice and one that could have easily landed in the uncanny valley but I think actually worked out really well.

This “From Manga To Screen” bonus feature from the Alita: Battle Angel home video release, provides some really cool insight, not just into how Yukito Kishiro’s 1990-1995 manga series informed the 2019 feature film, but how long that journey of adaptation took. James Cameron was working on the film since the early 2000’s and in this feature we see a reel of really beautiful concept art from 2005 that showed his vision for the film.

I like the idea that the concept art for James Cameron’s Gunnm/Battle Angel Alita adaptation became this legendary thing in the concept art community because of how awesome it was and the talented artists who worked on it. You can see why too, I think fans of Alita: Battle Angel would be happy to have prints of some of it to frame and hang on their walls.

So when the time came to finally make this movie happen, albeit under a different director, the team for Alita: Battle Angel got to look at that old art and keep as much of it as possible for their new designs. In so doing, the final film looks a lot like that old concept art nearly 15 years later.

That’s because director Robert Rodriguez wanted to make a James Cameron film, to make the movie that he wanted to see James Cameron make but that he never got to because of the Avatar sequels. So he collaborated closely with James Cameron and his team. We’ve already heard about James Cameron’s extensive notes on the property, but here we also see how he worked with Cameron’s designers from Avatar to help create the world both as Yukito Kishiro originally drew it and as James Cameron imagined it for the big screen.

You can check out this bonus feature and more when Alita: Battle Angel arrives on Digital July 9 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on July 23. For the dedicated and deep-pocketed fan, there will also be a Collector’s Edition of the movie that includes a 64-page art book and two framed art prints. You can pre-order the Collector’s Edition here.

Spider-Man: Far From Home’s Runtime Seemingly Confirms An Epic Marvel Theory

Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed the landscape of filmmaking forever. Serialized storytelling has since become commonplace, as major blockbusters interconnect and crossover. But while there might be multiple shared universes releasing new blockbusters, it was Marvel Studios that introduced it to the world through Phase One.

Since then, the MCU has grown exponentially, and it’s also become a more interconnected place. Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame allowed the various franchises to collide, resulting in fun new character pairings. The franchise has done great things with serialized storytelling, but it turns out that Phase Three might be even more planned out than we thought. Namely, that the entire Infinity Saga will add up to a total of 3,000 minutes.

Spider-Man: Far From Home‘s runtime was recently revealed to be 129 minutes, which on the high side for the MCU, but nowhere near the runtime of the last two Avengers flicks. But when you add that number to the sum of the MCU’s time on screen, it equals 3,000 minutes. Marvel fans on social media noticed this, and believe it’s a direct reference to Tony Stark’s fate in Endgame, and the heartbreaking line “I Love You 3,000.”

Since Avengers: Endgame hit theaters two months ago “I Love You 3,000” is one of the most popular lines of dialogue, which was actually Robert Downey Jr’s idea. The first time it’s uttered is by Tony’s daughter Morgan, as he tucks her back into bed in the movie’s second act. He eventually repeats it back to her via a final message he recorded before the Time Heist. It’s an emotional gut punch, and one that’s further punctuated by the full runtime of the Infinity Saga, including Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Marvel Studios hasn’t made any official announcements or comments regarding the cumulative runtime of the MCU, but it seems unlikely that this was a happy accident. Smart money says that Spider-Man: Far From Home was specifically edited to be that runtime. It wouldn’t necessarily affect Jon Watts’ cut of the highly anticipated sequel, as the credits could be altered to properly meet the runtime, and hit that satisfying 3K minute-mark for the greater franchise.

While the hardcore fandom might be losing their minds over the runtime of the Infinity Saga, it’s also unlikely that the studio has been planning this all along, and methodically cutting the theatrical releases of each new blockbuster. Still, it’s one more final nod to the fans– a reward for spending the last decade watching all 22 movies in theaters.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is the final installment of Phase Three, and will reveal how the MCU is moving on after the insane events of Infinity War and Endgame. This includes Peter Parker, who is mourning the loss of his mentor after Tony sacrificed himself. Plus, Tom Holland’s character been nothing but dust for the previous five years. The movie’s early reception is overwhelmingly positive, so so the fandom should be excited about its impending release.

Spider-Man: Far From Home will arrive in theaters on July 2nd. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Will Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Ever Connect To Tom Holland’s Marvel Timeline?

Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Everybody has a favorite cinematic Spider-Man. Some prefer Tom Holland’s younger take on Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, others think that Tobey Maguire does not get enough credit for igniting the modern day wave of superhero films in the early 2000s, and there are certainly some folks who thought that John Mulaney’s Spider-Ham stole the show in 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

You can’t seem to please everyone with your interpretation of a widely beloved comic book property, but the beauty of securing distribution rights of a character is the ability to reboot your franchise with new writers, new directors and a new cast, as if you are creating a whole new universe. However, does the creation of a new Spider-Man timeline necessarily mean an official goodbye to the cinematic Peter Parkers of yesterday?

Such a topic was ignited recently following an interview between the cast of Spider-Man: Far From Home and reporter Jake Hamilton. In the video, Hamilton asks Tom Holland, Jacob Batalon, and Zendaya a question inspired by last year’s Academy Award-winning animated hit Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which gets a very alarming reaction out of Holland. After, perhaps jokingly, making an expression that suggests he knows something he shouldn’t publicly reveal, Holland said:

Of course I’d love to make a movie with those guys, that’d be so cool… It would be amazing, it’d be really, really cool. And it’s something that the fans really want, so whether Marvel and Sony decide to do that, it’s up to them. It’s not up to me. I can’t walk in and go, ‘Kevin, this is what we’re doing on the next one.’ But it would be really awesome.

Coincidentally, prior to Jake Hamilton’s question regarding potential for a Tom Holland/Tobey McGuire/Andrew Garfield crossover, he and the cast were discussing Tom Holland’s tendency to prematurely reveal certain plot details in the past. Thus, fans could not help but wonder, Is there something that he knows that we don’t?

On top of that, the following tweet from the official Twitter account of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse became a source of speculation back in May:

Now, what could that be? An official follow-up to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse? A tease to a Spider-Gwen spinoff with Hailee Steinfeld? Or, something even grander than that?

Based on these “revelations,” fans have been theorizing the possibility that the multiverse concept shown off in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and the reveal that Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio is, supposedly, a being from an alternate reality in Spider-Man: Far From Home could be key to an interdimensional crossover between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and separate cinematic timelines that have incorporated the Web-Slinger. In other words, imagine Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker all in the same movie.

Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland in a Spider-Man crossover?

In a conversation with ScreenRant, Spider-Man: Far From Home producer Amy Pascal commented on how closely Sony’s Spider-Man spin-offs relate to Tom Holland’s MCU timeline, saying:

The most important thing is that each of these movies can stand on their own. So I think the first thing for us to think about is: Venom has to stand on its own, Far From Home has to stand on its own, Spider-Verse has to stand on its own. They all have to be great movies themselves. And then the possibilities are endless.

“The possibilities are endless,” eh? Well, that certainly does not sound like a denial.

While we cannot say that Tom Holland definitively teased a real crossover event between Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man trilogy and Andrew Garfield’s 2012 and 2014 The Amazing Spider-Man films, or a crossover between the MCU and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, or even both in the same project, it is not without its potential. Holland certainly sounds interested and it would not be the first time fans have asked to see Maguire join the MCU.

Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) in

I could, at least, see a post-credits scene in the recently confirmed sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse that sees Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) falling into Wilson Fisk’s (Liev Schreiber) multidimensional collider, transporting him into a New York City that appears vastly unfamiliar to him and far less animated. He webs his way through Queens, seeking some resemblance to home, until concluding that he his far from it.

Suddenly, Miles’ Spider-Sense tingles, alerting him that he is about to collide with another person in midair. How could this be? No one else should be up there but Spider-Man.

Alas, he swings right into the direction of a man in red and blue tights, sending them both falling onto the roof of the building directly beneath them. Miles and the mystery Web-Slinger exchange confused looks, hidden beneath their masks, until the red-and-blue-clad one removes his mask to reveal the face of Tobey Maguire. Cut to black.

Of course, this would incite incessant fan speculation, which would lead to strong anticipation and the inevitable announcement of the epic Spider-Man crossover event that sees Miles Morales and Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker struggling to get return Miles to his world, but incidentally falling into the MCU timeline, where they cross paths with Tom Holland, and then receive an unexpected visit from Andrew Garfield, who has been transported into the MCU timeline mysteriously. Now, these four Spider-Men must team up to discover why they have been brought together, all the while battling the completed assembly of the Sinister Six.

There would, of course, be plenty of self-referential quips, self-reflective discussions whilst sitting on a giant web, a few moments of waterworks (especially from Andrew Garfield) and much of Tom Holland’s signature reactionary bewilderment to his new team of Web-Heads. If this sounds better as a cartoon (just like they did with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), the film could easily incorporate cartoonish, physical comedy melded with comic book action, as is the signature style of the perfect director for this project, Sam Raimi.

There are few characters in Marvel’s comic book universe as popular and as versatile as Spider-Man, especially with how many different iterations there have been on screen or in ink. Thus, the creative potential behind an idea like this is astounding.

Tom Holland himself said he would love to do a movie with both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, Tobey Maguire has said he would be open to another superhero role and he already knows how to play Spidey, and I imagine that no one would love to put the red and blues back on more than Andrew Garfield. Not to mention, Spider-Man fans would gush over it like Peter Parker and Mary Jane.

While Amy Pascal has said that the possibilities with Spider-Man are endless, by the time Sony and Marvel feel such an event is ready, it may be too late, but that is no reason to lose hope so soon. That is what Spider-Man is about after all: taking leaps of faith.

Until then, the closest thing we have to such an event is this:

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest updates about Spider-Man. The Web-Slinger returns to the big screen in Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 2.

Would you like to see an MCU/Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse crossover featuring Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire, and Andrew Garfield?

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Unlike Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home Won’t Have You Worrying About Bathroom Breaks

I know multiple people who went into Avengers: Endgame with peeing strategies. They either dehydrated themselves or spoke to someone who had already seen the movie and asked when the best part to leave would be. Fortunately, for most people with at least average holding it skills, no such strategies will be needed for Spider-Man: Far From Home. The film isn’t short by regular movie standards, but by Marvel standards, it’s very reasonable.

According to the BBFC, the film’s official runtime is 129 minutes. For those of you who don’t feel like doing the math, that’s 2 hours and 9 minutes. Like I said, it’s a hefty film if you’re comparing it against say Norm MacDonald’s Dirty Work. If you’re comparing it to almost anything else in the MCU, however, it’s about what you’d expect. Marvel loves to dance around the two hour mark. This is the eighth Marvel movie between 2 hours and 2 hours and 10 minutes, and there are several more that are just short of 2 hours.

I’ve tried to have conversations with people before about what the ideal length of a movie is, and from my experience, there’s really no consensus at all. Some people always prefer shorter. Some people always prefer longer. For most people, it entirely depends on what type of movie it is and whether they’re enjoying it. Most of us, for example, had no issue watching 70 hours of Game Of Thrones.

The official reviews for Spider-Man: Far From Home haven’t started dropping yet, but the early buzz has been very positive. It’s apparently a very fun glimpse into what the world is like after Avengers: Endgame, and it’s able to find the balance between the normal Spider-Man tone and the more ominous setup the MCU has created. Personally, I can’t wait to see it and enjoy all 129 minutes.

So, to sum up here, Spider-Man: Far From Home is certainly not short, but it’s nowhere close to the 3 hour behemoth of Avengers: Endgame or the slightly less aggressive Avengers: Infinity War, which came in at 2 hours and 40 minutes. If you’re the type of person who has to pee on the regular, you’ll probably still be fine with a quick pre-movie pee and a speedy exit after the post-credits scene, at least provided you don’t go to town on soda, bottled water or whatever you prefer to drink at the movie theater.

Spider-Man: Far From Home opens on July 2nd, 2019 in the United States. Some countries share that same release date, while the rest are within a stone’s throw. Expect a huge opening thanks to the excitement surrounding the project, it being the first post-Endgame release and a nice little bump from people being off in the United States for the 4th of July.

The Lion King Is Breaking Records For Pre-Sales

baby Simba being held up in The Lion King

When the original was released, The Lion King became one of the most successful animated movies ever made. It was a near certainty that, when Disney began to find fresh success in remaking its animated classics, that The Lion King would be back on the big screen before too long. We’re still a few weeks away from the remake’s release, but it’s clear that the love for The Lion King has not faltered in the least, as the movie is already setting ticket pre-sale records.

Fandango reports that, in the first 24 hours that tickets were on sale, The Lion King outpaced all of the other Disney adaptations the studio has released. It also outpaced the first 24 hours of tickets for the recent Toy Story 4, a movie which went on to make $120 million in its opening weekend.

The fact that The Lion King is pre-seliing more tickets than any other Disney adaptation is actually pretty big news. Disney’s 2017 adaptation of Beauty and the Beast ended up doing $1.2 billion in business and is the 15th highest grossing movie ever made, unadjusted for inflation. The Lion King is doing better with ticket sales right now than that movie did, which means we at the very least have the potential to see another billion dollar box office hit for Disney.

It’s honestly not all that surprising. the original Lion King almost broke the billion dollar mark back in 1994. It was, at one time, the fourth highest grossing domestic movie ever. If you adjust box office numbers for inflation, the original Lion King is actually the 20th highest grossing movie ever domestically, well ahead of the Beauty and the Beast remake.

Fandango isn’t the only ticket selling website that’s seeing The Lion King set records. Atom Tickets reports that The Lion King is outpacing every other family movie this year, as well as most of Disney’s own product from the last couple years. It’s sold more tickets than Black Panther did at this point, which was another massive hit.

Perhaps most telling, The Lion King sold four times more tickets in the first 24 hours than the recent Aladdin remake sold, That move saw an opening weekend of over $90 million and has gone on to gross over $800 million globally, so The Lion King‘s opening weekend is looking to be massive, likely second only to Avengers: Endgame for the year.

From everything we’ve seen, fans of the original will be quite happy with the remake, it appears to largely leave the plot and structure untouched, as Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast did before it. It seems clear this is the recipe for box office success, change as little as possible, keep the songs.

There does appear to be at least one “new” thing in the upcoming Lion King remake, a recent soundtrack listing included one “To Be Announced” track. Theories include the possibility that Beyonce could have her own song in the movie, which would be an addition, as the character of Nala doesn’t have her own song in the animated movie.

This would be fitting with current trends, the recent Aladdin remake also gave the female lead her own song after the animated original failed to do so. Also, having a movie with Beyonce in it and not having her perform her own song seems like pure insanity. The only new song officially announced for the film is the Elton John penned “Never Too Late” that will play over the end credits. It’s possible Beynoce could actually sing the song in the movie itself, or there could be an entirely separate all new song we don’t know about yet.

As popular as The Lion King is, it still seems like the movie has been sneaking up on us. With Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker coming out in 2019, that’s where the box office conversation has been focused, but odds are that The Lion King will absolutely be one of the highest grossing movies of the year. It’s been a popular movie for 25 years. There are multiple generations that are fans who will likely turn out to watch the remake. Entire families will be checking out the movie and those ticket sales are all going to add up.

It seems unlikely that The Lion King will ultimately compete with Avengers: Endgame. It probably isn’t going to do $1 billion around the world on its opening weekend, but at the same time if that did happen, it shouldn’t be all that surprising. The movie made more than a half billion dollars internationally during an era when Hollywood films were doing a fraction of the business internationally that they’re doing now. Those numbers could go way up.

Family films also have a tendency to have legs and see smaller box office drops from week to week than other movies. Whatever business The Lion King doesn’t do upon opening it could more than make up for in the weeks following release. The only reason The Lion King might not take over Endgame is that to do so it will have to become the highest grossing movie of all time, which is a tall order.

Currently, Disney holds the top three slots at both the domestic and international box office with Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, and Aladdin. The Lion King will certainly make it the top four. It was clear when this year began that Disney was going to be essentially unstoppable at the box office, but the studio is exceeding even the expectations that most analysts had.

There are still a couple weeks before The Lion King hits theaters, which means there’s plenty of time for people to pick up tickets early. All those sales will be added into the film’s opening weekend. If early sales remain brisk the opening weekend is just going to blow the doors off a summer that has, otherwise, been somewhat underwhelming. A lot of movies that were expected to do well have not seen the success that was predicted. However, it seems quite clear that The Lion King won’t be one of those movies.

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How Much Annabelle Comes Home Made On Opening Night

Annabelle has come home; not only to the home of Ed and Lorraine Warren, where she will proceed to unleash all kinds of horrors, but also to theaters with the release of Annabelle Comes Home. The latest film in The Conjuring Universe is officially a Wednesday release, but got a head start on its 5-day opening weekend with preview screenings on Tuesday night, where it scared up a solid sum.

Annabelle Comes Home made $3.5 million at the box office in its opening night, according to Deadline. That is one of the better debuts for a Conjuring Universe movie, surpassing both of the main Conjuring films, with The Conjuring making $3.3 million and The Conjuring 2 making $3.4 million. The $3.5 million start is also better than the first Annabelle’s $2.1 million and The Curse of La Llorona’s $2.8 million from earlier this year.

This debut does not, however, best Annabelle: Creation, which opened to $4 million in 2017 or The Conjuring Universe’s biggest hit, last year’s The Nun, which made $5.4 million on opening night. Annabelle Comes Home will be playing in 3,525 theaters today and tomorrow before expanding a bit wider to 3,587 on Friday as it heads towards a projected 5-day weekend haul between $30-$35 million.

That would be right around the $31.2 million that The First Purge, another entry in an established horror franchise, made when it opened around this frame last year. An opening weekend between $30-$35 million would be below a bit below the $40 million the long-range tracking indicated a couple of months ago and it would also be one of the lowest openings for a Conjuring Universe movie.

Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation opened to $37.1 million and $35 million, respectively, with The Curse of La Llorona having the lowest Conjuring Universe opening with $26.3 million. Of course, those were all 3-day numbers. So a $30-$35 million opening would be on the lower end of the offerings of this universe, but would still be in line with how we expect an Annabelle film to perform.

Plus, like most modern horror, these movies are cheap to make, with the previous two Annabelle movies costing $6.5 and $15 million, respectively. So Annabelle Comes Home doesn’t need to set box office records for an opening weekend to be successful. Of course, if Annabelle Comes Home overperforms, it wouldn’t be the first film in this franchise to do so. Earlier this year The Curse of La Llorona opened to $26.3 million, nearly $10 million over the $17 million predicted.

Also, Warner Bros. and New Line probably made a smart call by making Annabelle Comes Home a Wednesday release, to give it a couple of extra days to make its money before Spider-Man: Far From Home opens on July 2 and takes over the box office.

Competition-wise, Toy Story 4 is still dominating and should stay in first place this weekend with $60-$70 million. As far as new releases are concerned, Annabelle Comes Home and Yesterday are the only two major ones, with the latter film looking at $10-$14 million opening weekend.

Negative reviews for horror films rarely seem to deter moviegoers, but for what it’s worth, Annabelle Comes Home is actually being pretty well received by critics, so perhaps that will give it an extra boost.

Annabelle Comes Home is now playing. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of everything you can look forward to this summer.

That Time Tom Holland Peed Himself Watching A Star Wars Movie So He Wouldn’t Miss Anything

Our first experiences as moviegoers are some of the most magical. Many of us can think back to our earliest memory at the movies and how exciting and new it felt as kids before it became a routine thrill we can’t help but return to. These days, many young moviegoers will find their love of cinema through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Tom Holland remembered right away that his first time movie he saw on the big screen was Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The 1999 prequel came out when he was four years old, and he wet himself in the theater because he couldn’t bare leaving and missing a single moment of space opera. Funny enough, he said he was also sitting on his granddad’s lap. So maybe he just didn’t let young Holland forget it?

This is certainly an adorable story about the power of cinema on the Spider-Man actor since the beginnings of his exposure to it and to how powerful of a hold Star Wars has on audiences of all ages. Oh, and not to mention he now co-stars with Phantom Menace’s Mace Windu, Samuel L. Jackson.

Interestingly enough, Samuel L. Jackson also told CinemaBlend that watching the first Star Wars in 1977 on the big screen shaped him a moviegoer. He’d have to have been 28 at the time A New Hope hit theaters.

Samuel L. Jackson explained that it introduced something audiences had never seen before. The first Star Wars did mark the beginning of the sci-fi blockbuster that still dominates the box office 40 years later. It’s pretty awesome that Holland and Jackson were so deeply affected by the kind of movies they are part of today!

Far From Home’s MJ, Zendaya, couldn’t think up her first ever movie-going experience but she reminisced on leaving the theaters and reenacting the scenes for her parents. It proved to be good practice for her current success.

Jacob Batalon (who plays Spidey’s bestie Ned) showed his love for the big franchises of the early ‘00s Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, while Jake Gyllenhaal named other sci-fi/fantasy films Dune and Willow.

While we don’t suggest Tom Holland’s four-year-old approach to movie-going (you know, unless you’re actually four), with the high praise Spider-Man: Far From Home has received so far, you’re not going to want to miss a second. The film will officially end MCU’s Phase 3 when it swings into theaters on July 3.