This Rotten Week: Predicting The Beach Bum and Dumbo Reviews!

If there was ever a movie that seems written specifically with Matthew McConaughey in mind, it’s this one. In fact, I get the sense that if the dude had passed the movie might never have been made.

Harmony Korine has written and directed a bunch of films, though the only one to really hit wide release was 2012’s Springer Breakers (66%). It is easily his most well-received and well-publicized film. The other stuff is mostly, well, weird (or just depressing like Kids).

Beach Bum appears to take some of its look and feel from Springer Breakers, embracing the neon Florida haze while following around Moondog in his attempt to, well, be Moondog. McConaughey looks every bit in his element, playing what seems to be a mashup of Jimmy Buffett and Hunter S. Thompson.

Early reviews are basically split down the middle with the Tomatometer sitting at 55% through 20 looks. I suspect it only drops as the week goes on considering the positive reviews all found a few things they didn’t like with the film. I see that trend continuing and it ends in the rotten territory almost for sure.

Ben Affleck Hopes To Direct His Next Film At The End Of 2019

What is Ben Affleck going to direct next? We know it’s not The Batman. He’s not going to star in that either. But he does have a lot of irons in the fire on the writing and production front, and he’s hoping at least one of them will be ready for him to direct at the end of this year. More than two years ago, he was announced to direct and star in an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution. Here’s what Affleck said when asked if that will be the next film he directs:

It’s not easy to get a movie made, even for someone with a solid record of success in the industry and two Oscars (Argo, Good Will Hunting). Collider asked Ben Affleck if the projects he has in development are all things he’s written, or if he might direct something that he hasn’t written. Here’s what he had to say:

The last feature Ben Affleck directed was Live by Night in 2016. It wasn’t exactly the success of Gone Baby Gone or The Town, never mind his Oscar-winning Argo.

He’s certainly kept busy on every other front, though. Right now he’s promoting his role in the Netflix film Triple Frontier. He’s also executive producing the TV series City on a Hill. We’re also waiting to hear more about that true crime movie he’s supposed to be directing, starring his buddy Matt Damon, following a rigged McDonald’s Monopoly game.

On the acting and producing front, Ben Affleck will star in Torrance, which is set to come out this October, directed by Gavin O’Connor. O’Connor directed Affleck in The Accountant and supposedly they’re still planning to make a sequel. Affleck also has a role in the political thriller The Last Thing He Wanted, directed by Dee Rees, which was picked up by Netflix for a release … at some point.

We’ve seen how easily plans come together and fall apart when it comes to making movies. After all, Ben Affleck was supposed to direct, write, produce, and star in The Batman movie. He’s said to still be on board as one of the producers, but he admitted he and his fellow screenwriter couldn’t “crack” the script. Rather than just push forward with something subpar, he walked away. Now Matt Reeves has that project and seems to know what he wants to do with it.

When Ben Affleck is good, he’s great. He may have had his confidence shaken a bit after Live by Night and the back-to-back critical bashing of Batman v Superman and Justice League (which he didn’t direct, but still). He’s also been dealing with things in his personal life. But I’m hoping the pieces come together for him with the right project, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he announces as his next directing project for the end of 2019.

In the meantime, keep up with everything headed to the big screen this year with our handy 2019 movie guide.

Shazam! Made More Money Than Aquaman In Preview Screenings

My man Aquaman has the highest-grossing DC film of all time. Shazam! is not expected to top it, or even come close, to be honest. But Zachary Levi’s film is already defying expectations, with a preview screening pulling in bigger bucks than the DCEU’s reigning king — among other movies.

Shazam! played in 1,200 Fandango preview screenings Saturday night, making $3.3 million. That topped Aquaman‘s Atom/Amazon preview take of $2.9 million, and also the previews for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($2.6 million), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($1.8 million), and Hotel Transylvania ($1.3 million).

Those figures are per Deadline, which noted that Shazam!‘s preview box office take was spread pretty evenly throughout North America. Of course, that doesn’t mean the movie will have a huge opening weekend at the domestic North American box office, or charm the international box office in the way that really boosted Aquaman over the top. But it’s a promising start for a movie that’s easy to root for.

Zachary Levi — aka the kid-in-an-adult-superhero’s body himself — was on hand for one of Shazam!‘s advance screenings. He thanked the fans, who were surely surprised and thrilled to see him:

The review embargo for Shazam! lifted last night, with critics flooding the internet with lengthy opinions. Most of the reviews have been very positive, and Shazam! currently has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 93% from 46 reviews.

Aquaman actually had a relatively slow start at the domestic box office, with the lowest opening of the DCEU. But it definitely made up for it over time, especially with help from the foreign box office, and the movie currently has a worldwide gross of $1,146,648,294. That’s the best of the current DCEU, and also the best for any DC Comics movie.

So right now many lucky critics and fans have already seen Shazam! but the rest of us will have to wait another couple of weeks. The movie officially opens in theaters on Friday, April 5. Shazam! will show up right after Dumbo, about a month after Captain Marvel, and only a few weeks before Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame. We are officially in the busy season, and it should continue through the summer. Keep up with everything headed to the big screen in 2019 with our handy movie schedule.

Shazam! Made More More Money Than Aquaman In Preview Screenings

My man Aquaman has the highest-grossing DC film of all time. Shazam! is not expected to top it, or even come close, to be honest. But Zachary Levi’s film is already defying expectations, with a preview screening pulling in bigger bucks than the DCEU’s reigning king — among other movies.

Shazam! played in 1,200 Fandango preview screenings Saturday night, making $3.3 million. That topped Aquaman‘s Atom/Amazon preview take of $2.9 million, and also the previews for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($2.6 million), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($1.8 million), and Hotel Transylvania ($1.3 million).

Those figures are per Deadline, which noted that Shazam!‘s preview box office take was spread pretty evenly throughout North America. Of course, that doesn’t mean the movie will have a huge opening weekend at the domestic North American box office, or charm the international box office in the way that really boosted Aquaman over the top. But it’s a promising start for a movie that’s easy to root for.

Zachary Levi — aka the kid-in-an-adult-superhero’s body himself — was on hand for one of Shazam!‘s advance screenings. He thanked the fans, who were surely surprised and thrilled to see him:

The review embargo for Shazam! lifted last night, with critics flooding the internet with lengthy opinions. Most of the reviews have been very positive, and Shazam! currently has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 93% from 46 reviews.

Aquaman actually had a relatively slow start at the domestic box office, with the lowest opening of the DCEU. But it definitely made up for it over time, especially with help from the foreign box office, and the movie currently has a worldwide gross of $1,146,648,294. That’s the best of the current DCEU, and also the best for any DC Comics movie.

So right now many lucky critics and fans have already seen Shazam! but the rest of us will have to wait another couple of weeks. The movie officially opens in theaters on Friday, April 5. Shazam! will show up right after Dumbo, about a month after Captain Marvel, and only a few weeks before Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame. We are officially in the busy season, and it should continue through the summer. Keep up with everything headed to the big screen in 2019 with our handy movie schedule.

Us Box Office: Jordan Peele Horror Dethrones Captain Marvel In Massive Debut

Lupita Nyong'o in Jordan Peele horror film Us

Daaaaaamn, Jordan Peele. We knew Us would make a lot of money — much more than the initial projections from $38 million to $48 million — but Us‘ opening weekend nearly doubled that. It made $70.2 million from March 22-24, which is literally double what Captain Marvel made this week in its third time on the chart. This is the first time Captain Marvel has been dethroned at #1, after its own better-than-expected debut.

Us has set all kinds of records, and we’ll get to that and more, but first check out the full top 10 domestic box office chart:

Us tops the weekend box office for the first time
1. Us*

$70,250,000 Total: $70,250,000

LW: N

THTRS: 3,741

2. Captain Marvel

$35,021,000 Total: $321,498,835

LW: 1

THTRS: 4,278

3. Wonder Park

$9,000,000 Total: $29,477,304

LW: 2

THTRS: 3,838

4. Five Feet Apart $8,750,000 Total: $26,461,064

LW: 3

THTRS: 2,866

5. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

$6,533,000 Total: $145,752,630

LW: 4

THTRS: 3,347

6. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral

$4,500,000 Total: $65,881,232

LW: 5

THTRS: 2,187

7. Gloria Bell

$1,802,500 Total: $2,498,485

LW: 18

THTRS: 654

8. No Manches Frida 2 $1,780,000 Total: $6,626,279

LW: 6

THTRS: 472

9. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

$1,125,000 Total: $103,328,550

LW: 8

THTRS: 1,389

10. Alita: Battle Angel

$1,015,000 Total: $83,748,050

LW: 9

THTRS: 1,439

Us set a new record for an original horror movie, easily passing A Quiet Place‘s $50 million debut. It marked the third best horror opening of all time behind It and Halloween. Also — and this is pretty cool — it’s the best opening for an original live-action movie since Avatar in 2009, per Deadline. Huzzah for original films!

Us demolished the $33 million opening of Jordan Peele’e previous hit, the 2017 film Get Out. That movie won Jordan Peele the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It was a tough act to follow, but it also added more anticipation for this film, which must’ve contributed to the huge opening box office. Plus, no one likes to be spoiled, so many fans rushed to theaters to see what happened in Us before someone spoiled it for them online. (If you’re still confused on exactly what happened, here’s help.)

Very strong reviews are also known to help at the box office, although fans don’t seem to be quite as fond of Us as the critics. The movie currently has a 94% fresh rating from critics but only 69% from RT users, and a “B” CinemaScore from moviegoers polled on opening night.

Us winning doesn’t really mean Captain Marvel loses. The MCU movie did see a drop of -48.5% this week (and a loss of 32 screens), but those chart numbers are just from the domestic box office. Captain Marvel currently has a worldwide total of $910,298,835, and it’s expected to hit $1 billion later this week. One billion dollars within a month of release? Not too shabby.

Most of the chart order above looks the same as last week’s figures from Box Office Mojo. There are some changes, though, like the arrival of Gloria Bell in the top 10. Julianne Moore’s movie added 615 screens, putting it up to 654, giving it a box office boost of +394.5% over last week.

Other that that, this weekend pushed How to Train Your Dragon 3 very close to $500M worldwide — it’s currently at $488M — and Alita: Battle Angel is barely a hair under $400M with a current worldwide gross of $399,866,842. The total may be above $400M by the time you read this, depending on how much still comes in from the impressive foreign box office. But the question remains on whether it can reach $500 million, which seems to be the benchmark people are looking at for profit/sequels.

At any rate, Us should enjoy #1 while it can, because next weekend we have Dumbo and then it’s Shazam! time. And in just over one month, Avengers: Endgame will arrive to show every film how box office winning is done. Keep up with everything headed to theaters in busy 2019 with our handy movie schedule.

Did you predict a $70 million opening for Us? If so, now’s the perfect time to brag in the comments below. (No one will believe you without proof, but that’s fine.)

Blended From Around The Web

 

Godzilla: King Of Monsters Director Teases Idea For An Avengers Crossover

We are only about one month away from the release of Avengers: Endgame and the end of this iteration of the MCU as we know it. Though the plot is being treated like a military-grade secret, it’s likely that the Avengers will be in need of a new villain by the time the rumored three hour runtime is complete. There are plenty of villains to choose from, but director Michael Dougherty presented a really cool option: Godzilla.

Michael Dougherty is the director of the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which will be hitting theaters in May. The sequel will find Godzilla going head-to-head against Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah in a battle to decide who is the alpha Titan of planet Earth. Having three of Godzilla’s most iconic monster foes in one movie must not have been enough for Dougherty because he’d like to see Godzilla go to town on the Avengers.

And it’s not such a crazy idea! There’s actually some real history in the comics to support this, something that Mike Dougherty knows well. The director took to social media posting a picture of a comic book in which the Avengers had to fight Godzilla. Dougherty wrote that this movie would “make the world a better place” and I’d have to agree with him.

The comic book in reference is back during the late ’70s when Marvel had the licensing rights to Godzilla. Occasionally during the issues it released, Godzilla would encounter Marvel superheroes, in one case going up against the Avengers. The heroes are called in to stop one of Godzilla’s rampages.

It’s not too hard to see why Dougherty would be 100% down for this crossover. The Avengers are arguably the biggest box office success in history, and a movie where they meet Godzilla would be filled with enough spectacle to make your eyes bleed. I don’t know how the Avengers could ever beat Godzilla, but I also don’t know how they will reverse half the universe getting erased either.

Even though an Avengers and Godzilla crossover is just an impossible dream right now (movie rights are owned by different studios), it’s not like there isn’t plenty to look forward to from both franchises. Endgame is just right around the corner, and the movie is already projected to shatter box office records.

Meanwhile, Godzilla doesn’t have a shortage of foes to beat as he fights his arch-nemesis King Ghidorah in King of the Monsters. The trailers have teased that this is the effects-heavy, big budget monster brawl that fans have ben waiting years for and it looks like a very entertaining movie.

You can catch Avengers: Endgame on April 26, while Godzilla: King of the Monsters will follow about a little over a month later on May 31.

Josh Brolin Preps For Dune Filming With Intense Shirtless Photo

Denis Villeneuve’s 2020 Dune movie has officially started filming. Josh Brolin is one of the many, many — seriously, so many — major stars of the film adapting Frank Herbert’s novel. Brolin plays Gurney Halleck, weapons master for House Atreides, who teaches young Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet). Brolin got into battle mode with his usual intensity, staring into the camera for a photo he posted with a caption quoting the Dune author:

Fear is the mind-killer. It’s clear Josh Brolin is not afraid to strip himself down to the basics and #cowboyup for his role. Since filming just started, it looks like Brolin is getting in on the early action, possibly for some training scenes with young Paul.

Patrick Stewart played Gurney Halleck in David Lynch’s 1984 Dune. Denis Villeneuve has his own very different plans for the story, which is also meant to carry across more than one film. Just the physicality of Josh Brolin alone hints in a different direction, not that SirPatStew isn’t boss in his own right.

Dune is filming on location in Budapest, Hungary, and Jordan, so those countries can look forward to seeing many famous faces in the next few months.

So far, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune cast includes Rebecca Ferguson as Jessica Atreides; Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto; Zendaya as Chani; Javier Bardem as Stilgar; Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban; Stellan Skarsgård as Vladimir Harkonnen; Charlotte Rampling as Reverend Mother Mohiam; Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho; David Dastmalchian as Piter De Vries; and Chang Chen as Dr. Wellington Yueh.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis, from Warner Bros. and Legendary:

Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049) is not only directing the film, he also co-wrote the screenplay (with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts) and he’s one of the film’s producers. Dune is currently scheduled for worldwide release on November 20, 2020.

Meanwhile, Josh Brolin — no stranger to major films, from Deadpool 2 to Avengers: Infinity War — will soon be seen back in action as Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. That movie opens April 26, 2019 as one of the many films hitting the big screen this year.

Dora And The Lost City of Gold Trailer Explores The Live-Action Jungle

This summer, the popular Nick Jr. series Dora the Explorer is making the big jump to live-action with its first theatrical movie. Isabela Moner straps on the purple backpack to go on a journey through the jungle to save her missing parents and find a lost city of gold. Danger, friendship, and foxes dressed as burglars abound! Check out the first trailer for Dora and the Lost City of Gold right now.

Just about anything with a recognizable IP is getting the movie treatment these days and that’s especially true for Dora the Explorer. The iconic children’s education series was one of the longest running programs on Nick Jr. and it spun off a number of series, specials, and TV movies over the course of its 172-episode run.

Given the fourth-wall breaking nature of the show and its very specific format, it’s fair to say that some people were curious how a live-action movie would work. Would it embrace those elements of the show or would it be a more straight-forward and grounded take on the material? The answer, it seems, is a little bit of both. The first trailer for Dora and the Lost City of Gold dropped last night and it presents a Dora who is more adept at navigating the literal jungle than the jungle of high school.

The new trailer lays out the basics of the plot. The film follows Dora (Moner), an energetic but reckless teenage explorer who is sent to high school by her parents (Michael Peña and Eva Longoria) to meet kids her own age. While Dora has trouble fitting in, she and some of her classmates are dragged back to the jungle in order to save her parents and find a mythical city of gold.

This trailer is a pretty solid confirmation that Dora is shooting for a younger target audience and it looks fun for that age group! It’s silly and over the top, which is certainly a good tone to have when your main character hangs around with a monkey and keeps flare guns in her backpack instead of textbooks.

My only gripe is that Boots the Monkey isn’t wearing any boots. Is he named Boots just because it’s cute? #NotMyBoots

The only other thing missing from this trailer is Swiper the Fox. The kleptomaniac fox is voiced by Benicio del Toro, but it looks like the marketing team is saving the reveal of what Swiper looks and sounds like for a rainy day.

About 80% Of Captain Marvel’s Goose Shots Are CGI, VFX Boss Says

Goose the cat is a scene-stealer in Captain Marvel, but apparently most of the scenes were stolen by computer-generated images. We’ve already heard from the trainer who coached four different cats — mostly a little guy named Reggie — to play the role of Goose on set. But Captain Marvel visual effects supervisor Chris Townsend said most of the shots actually used in the MCU film were done through effects company Trixter, even beyond just the obvious Flerken fun.

Visual effects supervisor Chris Townsend told HuffPost the CG version of Goose looked so realistic, even directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck didn’t recognize real from fake. Townsend explained some of the times they felt they needed to go with a CG version, including when working around star Brie Larson’s (Carol Danvers) allergy to cats:

Divas! Chris Townsend did praise the cats and the cat trainers, but he’s right that there’s only so much you can demand from a cat — especially one that probably doesn’t even have profit participation, so what’s their motivation, really?

Pet trailer Ursula Brauner had said, of the four cats used, a dude named Reggie was probably in about 70% of the Goose scenes. But Chris Townsend is saying about 20-30% of what’s seen on screen was CG. So it sounds like Reggie didn’t really get that much screen time. (Call your agent, man.)

The cats did spend a lot of time on set, though, and that’s useful for the VFX team. Apparently Ben Mendelsohn was very patient with the cats, to get them used to the Skrulls. Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) gave mixed reactions to working with the cats, but the trainer said he was one of the best people working with them, and that the cats would go right up to him.

Goose is a character out of Marvel Comics, but on the page the Flerken “cat” was called Chewie. The movie decided to change the name to have a reference that was more era-specific to pilot Carol Danvers.

Captain Marvel is hurtling toward $1 billion at the global box office as we speak, even though it was just dethroned this weekend by new horror film Us. The MCU has more treats ahead in Avengers: Endgame on April 26, and right now we are just crossing our Flerken fingers that Goose — CGI or not — has a role in that story. Keep up with everything headed to the big screen with our 2019 movie schedule.

During Clueless Cast Reunion, Paul Rudd Finally Explained Why He Never Ages

Clueless came out in 1995, and it has become a running joke that Paul Rudd — who will turn 50 on April 6, yes, 50! — simply does not age. The cast of Clueless just reunited for a panel at Chicago’s C2E2 expo. Paul Rudd (Josh) ended up a main attraction, after he arrived a little bit late, sitting next to co-stars Alicia Silverstone (Cher Horowitz), Breckin Meyer (Travis Birkenstock), and Donald Faison (Murray).

During the panel, Ant-Man star Paul Rudd was asked about the recent death of Stan Lee, and told a wonderful story. Rudd was also asked about his own apparent lack of aging, and had a great response, with backup from Breckin Meyer:

As IF the rest of the cast has aged much in the past 24 years either.

Thanks to C2E2 fans for tweeting out the responses so the rest of us can follow along from far. This next one is great, with Ant-Man star Paul Rudd talking about “the real thrill” of meeting and working with Marvel icon Stan Lee for his cameo:

Paul Rudd’s story continued, and you can watch in a fan’s full video below. Rudd said Stan Lee was excited to see his vision of Ant-Man from the comic book finally play out on screen.

Very sweet. Since it was a Clueless panel, they did talk some Clueless. @ClareKramer was there with some great live feed Q&A reactions. Here’s one funny exchange:

Of course, Paul Rudd was partly a focus of attention because there’s so much hype for Avengers: Endgame, and he seems to be a major player in what happens. Ant-Man and the Wasp ended up a key bridge between Infinity War and Endgame with the Quantum Realm factor, and we’ll have to see how it all plays out when Endgame opens April 26. That hugely anticipated movie is just one of the many titles heading to the big screen in 2019.