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Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye Gets its First Trailer

After a lot of anticipation Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye has released its first trailer teasing what we can expect when it debuts later this year.

Starring Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye and Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, Hawkeye also features Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, Zahn McClarnon, Brian d’Arcy James and newcomer Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez. Helmed by Rhys Thomas and directing duo Bert and Bertie, Hawkeye debuts exclusively on Disney+ on November 24, 2021.

This holiday season, the best gifts come with a bow.

Hawkeye Poster

Shang-Chi Takes the Box Office with a Labor Day Record but Short of Black Widow’s Debut

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings easily took the weekend box office setting a Labor Day weekend record… but all is not perfect. The film earned an estimated $75.4 million over the three day weekend and is projected to earn between $83 and $90 million over the four days. The previous weekend best was Rob Zombie’s Halloween which earned $30.5 million in 2007. The film also earned $56.2 million internationally for a worldwide debut of $127.6 million.

Where things can be debated is whether the “theater only” strategy paid off for Disney and Marvel Studios.

In July, Black Widow debuted with $80.4 million domestically and $78 million internationally. In both of those measurements that film did better than Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings but it also debuted on Disney+ for an extra $30 plus subscriptions and reportedly generated an additional $60 million. That offer wasn’t available for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. So, did the film miss out on revenue?

What can be argued is that the lack of a Disney+ didn’t boost box office receipts like theaters might have expected. Black Widow so far is the top opening film of the year and Shang-Chi is second beating F9 by about $1 million. Theater owners will argue the lack of digital release did help to boost Shang-Chi‘s debut due to the record setting weekend. But, when it comes to “origin” films, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is on the lower end of Marvel Cinematic Universe debut earnings with only The Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Thor lower. And, when adjusted for inflation only Ant-Man is lower with The Incredible Hulk being close with $70.3 million. Disney likely lost out on money by not releasing the film on Disney+.

What really needs to be watched is the film’s second weekend and if it sees a massive drop-off like Black Widow though the two are very different in reviews with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings receiving much higher reviews from both critics and the audience. It’s possible a positive word of mouth will soften the second weekend drop. What’s clear is that audiences are being picky about what they see in theaters in the age of COVID. Studios need to be much more strategic for the next year in deciding what to release only in theaters and what to dual release on-demand.

In second place was Candyman which dropped 52% from its debut weekend. The film earned an estimated $10.6 million to bring its domestic total to $39.1 million. Internationally, the film earned about $5.7 million over the week to bring that to $10.9 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed a little over $50 million after two weeks.

Free Guy slipped one spot to third earning an estimated $8.7 million. Domestically, the film has grossed $91.9 million after four weeks. Over the week the film added an impressive $47.1 million to bring that to $147.4 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $239.3 million.

PAW Patrol: The Movie grossed an estimated $4 million to bring its domestic total to $30.3 million. $12.5 million was added to its international total over the week to bring that to $50.3 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $80.6 million.

Rounding out the top five was Jungle Cruise which added a little under $4 million to its domestic total. It now has grossed $105.6 million. Its international total stands at $86.9 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $192.5 million.

In comic films…

The Suicide Squad came in at #8 with an estimated $905,000. Domestically, the film has grossed $54.4 million. The film added $16 million to its international gross to bring that to $108.1 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $162.5 million.

Black Widow came in at #9 with an estimated $748,000. Domestically, the film has grossed $182.5 million. The international total has held steady at $189.6 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $372.1 million.

Old was #12 with an estimated $470,000. Domestically, the film has grossed $47.3 million. Internationally, the film added about $500,000 to its total over the week to bring that to $38 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $85.3 million.

Initial numbers have 45 films earning $110,438,478 from 30,852 theaters. That’s around $45 million more than last weekend’s 51 films which earned $61,351,651 from 37,222 theaters. The average earning was $3,579.62 this past weekend, over double the previous weekend’s $1,648.26.

Scarlett Johansson is Suing Disney for Black Widow Breach of Contract

Black Widow

As we’ve been seeing in recent months, the decision to split releases between theaters and streaming services isn’t going over well with actors and directors who rely on getting some of the backend of the movie gross and bonuses based on benchmarks. Scarlett Johansson is the latest to launch a lawsuit over the decision to release Black Widow on Disney+‘s premium service.

The lawsuit alleges that Johansson’s contract was breached when the film didn’t debut exclusively in theaters. The claim says the decision depressed ticket sales. If certain benchmarks were hit for the box office performance bonuses would kick in.

For an extra $30, Disney+ subscribers were able to watch the film at home.

Black Widow set a record in the pandemic era with an $80 million debut in North America and earned $78 million at the foreign box office. Disney released that it also had over $60 million in sales on Disney+, a rare release of those numbers by the company.

In the second week of release, the film dropped which led theater owners to blame Disney+ and piracy for the decline. The film received mixed reviews for a Marvel film and on the lower end of critic reviews for the franchise universe.

The lawsuit also notes that Disney’s stock rose after it released the streaming numbers. Johansson’s lawsuit claims the dual release resulted in $50 million in lost bonuses.

There was worry in the Johansson camp even before COVID-19 that Disney would release the film on Disney+. Her management as the studio to guarantee that Black Widow would premiere exclusively in cinemas. Marvel Chief Counsel Dave Galluzzi promised a traditional theatrical bow and that if that plan changed there’d be a discussion and deal to come to an understanding.

Warner Bros. faced similar charges when it decided to release its films through HBO Max for the year. That resulted in numerous actors earning their full back-end on movies released this way.

This lawsuit has massive implications as it’s clear that Warner Bros., Disney, and more are looking at streaming only and dual releases for films.

(via Variety)

Loki with Julia Serano & Tea Fougner: Queers, Alligators, and Kangs

THE Julia Serano explains why Loki and Sylvie have no time for your gender essentialism, Tea Fougner delves into Loki’s gender fluidity in comics and we all wish the queer showrunner would stick around another season.

Julia Serano is an Oakland, California-based writer, performer, biologist, and activist. She is best known for her nonfiction books Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity and Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive. Julia’s first foray into fiction, entitled 99 Erics: a Kat Cataclysm faux novel, won the Publishing Triangle’s 2021 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, and was an Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) 2021 silver medalist in LGBT+ Fiction.

Julia’s Loki essay https://twitter.com/JuliaSerano/status/1413186947862859776

Tea Fougner is the Editorial Director for Comics at King Features Syndicate. When she’s not reading comics for work, she’s reading comics for fun, drawing comics, dressing up as comic book characters, or watching comic adaptations on television. https://twitter.com/teaberryblue

Theatres Blast Disney’s Dual Release for Black Widow’s Second Week Drop

Black Widow

The National Association of Theatre Owners isn’t happy about Black Widow‘s release in movie theaters and on Disney+. The organization released a press statement on Sunday concerning the 67% drop in the second week of the film. The organization blamed piracy and Disney+ for the results.

The organization charged that the Premiere Access availability of the film would have gone to traditional theaters if it did not exist.

NATO stated:

Despite assertions that this pandemic-era improvised release strategy was a success for Disney and the simultaneous release model, it demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release means more revenue for all stakeholders in every cycle of the movie’s life.

The organization went on to state the film “should have” opened between $92 to $100 million and based on preview revenue the film should have been between $97 million and $130 million.

They go on to argue that the simultaneous release costs Disney money due to multiple individuals in a household.

Black Widow was the most pirated film for the week according to Torrent Freak. But, the major releases are usually the top pirated film when they’re released.

NATO further stated that:

This was also the case for all simultaneous releases (Wonder Woman 1984, Godzilla vs Kong, Cruella, Mortal Kombat). This did not happen for F9 or A Quiet Place Part II. How much money did everyone lose to simultaneous release piracy? The many questions raised by Disney’s limited release of streaming data opening weekend are being rapidly answered by Black Widow’s disappointing and anomalous performance. The most important answer is that simultaneous release is a pandemic-era artifact that should be left to history with the pandemic itself.

NATO of course is making numerous leaps in its assumptions and claims. It assumes those consuming in Disney+ would go into theaters. It also ignores that Disney+ subscriptions are required to view the film generating long-term ongoing revenue on top of Premiere Access dollars. It also ignores the stats. People went into theaters for numerous series that saw the dual releases on multiple platforms. A Quiet Place II premiered on Paramount Plus this past week and saw only a 27% dip.

Black Widow‘s reviews have been good but not stellar. While it has a 92% audience score on Rottentomatoes, the Tomatometer is 81%. The general consensus has been while the film is entertaining, it’s not one you need to rush out to see.

The fact is, the landscape has changed in the short and long term and instead of figuring out how to adapt, NATO is likely doing a disservice to its members with these sorts of baseless statements. At this point, theaters need Disney, Paramount, and Universal more than the studios need theaters.

(via Deadline)

Black Widow Delivers Over $218 Million in its Debut

Marvel Studio's Black Widow

It looks like Disney‘s plan to split openings between theaters and a “premier” offering on Disney+ has paid off for Marvel StudiosBlack Widow. The film opened with $80 million in domestic theaters, the best debut of a film since the pandemic caused utter chaos.

Subscribers to Disney+ are able to rent the film for an extra $30 (plus they need a regular subscription) and Disney reported that generated more than $60 million. The studio has been tight-lipped as to how films have done so to release this one is interesting and raises more questions about what hasn’t been released.

The film also earned $78 million from 46 international territories to ring its box office haul worldwide to $158 million but with its digital numbers, it’s over $218 million.

F9: The Fast Saga was knocked out of first place earning an estimated $10.9 million. Domestically, the film has brought in $141.3 million, one of the better numbers for films since the pandemic. The film also earned about $30 million over the week at the international box office to bring that total to $400.5 million. Worldwide, the film has earned an impressive $541.8 million.

The Boss Baby: Family Business dropped one spot to third. It earned an estimated $8.7 million to bring its domestic total to $34.7 million. Internationally, the film earned just shy of $250,000 over the week to bring that number to $1.7 million and $36.5 million worldwide.

The Forever Purge came in fourth place adding an estimated $6.7 million to its domestic total. That now stands at $27.4 million. Internationally, the film added about $3.8 million to its total over the week to lift that to $7.4 million. Worldwide, the film has brought in $34.8 million.

Rounding out the top five was A Quiet Place Part II which added a little over $3 million to its total. The film has earned $150.7 million domestically. Internationally, the film added about $16.2 million over the week to bring that total to $128.3 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $279 million.

Initial numbers have 39 films earning $119,147,708 from 28,025 theaters. That’s shy of just double the previous weekend’s 44 films which earned $68,949,541 from 30,906 theaters. It’s one of the best weekends of the year so far. The average earning was $4,251.48 this past weekend, over double the previous weekend’s $2,230.94.

Get a Look at Star Wars: Visions

Seven Japanese anime studios bring their unique talent and perspective to Star Wars: Visions, a collection of animated Original Short Films, streaming September 22 on Disney+.

The anime studios revealed were Kamikaze Douga, Geno Studio (Twin Engine), Studio Colorido (Twin Engine), Trigger, Kinema Citrus, Science Saru, and Production IG. Each studio will use its signature animation and storytelling styles to realize its own visions of the galaxy far, far away.

Lucasfilm’s Jacqui Lopez (Executive Producer), James Waugh (Executive Producer), Josh Rimes (Executive Producer), and Qubic Pictures’ Justin Leach (Co-Executive Producer) and Kanako Shirasaki (Producer) were on hand at the event to reveal each studio and give fans a special look at the environment and concept art as they debuted the title and first details of each short.

  • Kamikaze Douga – The Duel
  • Geno Studio (Twin Engine) – Lop and Ochō
  • Studio Colorido (Twin Engine) – Tatooine Rhapsody
  • Trigger – The Twins
  • Trigger – The Elder
  • Kinema Citrus – The Village Bride
  • Science Saru – Akakiri
  • Science Saru – T0-B1
  • Production IG – The Ninth Jedi

As a first formal venture into anime, each Star Wars: Visions short bears a unique Japanese sensibility, which in many ways aligns with the tone and spirit of Star Wars storytelling. From the beginning, stories told in the Star Wars galaxy have counted Japanese mythology and the films of Akira Kurosawa among their many influences, and these new visions will further explore that cultural heritage through the unique animation style and perspective of each anime studio.

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