New Terminator: Dark Fate Behind-The-Scenes Video Delves Into The ‘10X Bigger’ Action

If there’s one thing you can count on from a Terminator movie, it’s action. The latest installment, the R-ratedTerminator: Dark Fate, will be no exception, and while a new trailer didn’t drop today following the movie’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the public has treated treated to a consolation prize: a behind-the-scenes video highlighting the action Dark Fate has to offer, which star Linda Hamilton claims is “10x bigger” than before. Check it out!

Although Terminator mastermind James Cameron did return to the franchise as a producer and story crafter on Terminator: Dark Fate, sitting in the director’s chair is Deadpool’s Tim Miller. He says at the beginning of the video that he still can’t get over the fact that he’s making a Terminator movie; one with both Arnold Schwarzenegger AND Linda Hamilton, a pairing that we haven’t seen on the big screen since Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

From there, we delve into the many action-packed moments Terminator: Dark Fate filmed, whether it’s official footage or a behind-the-scenes looks. Highlights include Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor firing a bazooka, Mackenzie Davis’ Grace fighting some soldiers, Gabriel Luna’s Rev-9 Terminator plowing through cars on a highway and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest T-800, who’s named Carl, shooting the Rev-9 in the face.

However, my favorite moment from this Terminator: Dark Fate video isn’t one of the action scenes, but Sarah Connor saying, “I hunt Terminators, you metal motherfucker.” It’s been nearly 30 years since Linda Hamilton last played Sarah (not including her uncredited vocal cameo in Terminator Salvation), but it’s good to see that the actress still has the character down pat.

We’ll have to wait and see how Terminator: Dark Fate compares to its predecessors, but as I see it, this video and the footage that was screened at San Diego Comic-Con have done a better job of making this feel like a proper Terminator movie than the teaser trailer did. Tim Miller also added that Dark Fate is “relentless” and “just doesn’t stop,” so fingers crossed it delivers what he’s promising.

It’s no secret that the last three Terminator movies failed to make anywhere near the kind of splash the first two did. So, following in the footsteps of last year’s Halloween, Terminator: Dark Fate is only serving as a sequel to The Terminator and Terminator 2. Which is fitting since James Cameron says that Dark Fate follows tonally in the footsteps of the first two Terminator movies through its “adrenaline rush” and “sense of terror.”

Along with the previously mentioned actors, Terminator: Dark Fate also stars Natalia Reyes as Dani Ramos, the Rev-9’s target; Diego Boneta as Miguel Ramos, Dani’s brother; and Edward Furlong, who is back as John Connor, Sarah’s son and leader of the resistance against Skynet in the future.

You can see Terminator: Dark Fate in theaters on November 1, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend in the meantime on more updates. If you’re curious about what other movies are coming out later this year, browse through our 2019 release schedule.

Linda Hamilton Had A Weird Hormone Reaction While Making Terminator: Dark Fate

Franchise fans will long remember the transformation that Linda Hamilton underwent going from the original Terminator to T2: Judgement Day. The Sarah Connor character became completely different from one story to the next – going from “woman on the run from a killer robot” to “warrior against the apocalypse” – and that required a serious physical change that saw the actress turn into a muscle-bound ass-kicker.

It’s a brilliant part of action movie history, but apparently things didn’t go quite as well when the actress tried to pull off a similar trick in the making of the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate.

The new movie had its big Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con this morning, and it was during an interview with CinemaBlend and AMC Theatres after the panel that Linda Hamilton openly discussed the bit of trouble that she had while trying to get back into Judgement Day-esque shape for the new Terminator. Apparently there was an attempt to facilitate her exercise efforts with the use of hormones, but they didn’t quite agree with her, and caused some unfortunate alterations to her mood and her blood pressure. Hamilton explained,

It was a honest attempt to try and go the extra mile for her role in Terminator: Dark Fate, but clearly it didn’t put her in a great place. It’s not exactly fun to just feel angry all the time, so it will probably come as no surprise that using the hormones wasn’t a regimen that she was able to stick with for very long.

Continuing, Linda Hamilton added that she terminated her use of the chemicals following a late night chat with her doctor – and that the whole thing ultimately left her with an important takeaway: while physicality is important, what is far more vital is her ability to get into the character’s mind and sell Sarah Connor’s reality with her performance. Said the actress,

It’s pretty crazy that we are getting another big screen chapter in the Sarah Connor saga nearly 30 years after the original sequel – and it won’t be long until we all get to see it ourselves. Directed by Tim Miller and co-starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta, Gabriel Luna, and Edward Furlong, Terminator: Dark Fate will be in theaters November 1st.

How Spider-Man: Far From Home Could Lead To An MCU Sinister Six

Spider-Man fighting Sinister Six

Warning: SPOILERS for Spider-Man: Far From Home are present. If you haven’t seen the film yet, turn back and only return once you’ve caught up.

There are a lot of interesting developments that came out the aftermath of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the most momentous of which is the fact that Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is now known to the public at large as Spider-Man. With Mysterio/Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) putting that little secret into the world, there’s a ton of potential for the famed Web-Slinger’s adventures to go to some interesting places.

One such destination is a place that the Spider-Man series, and to a certain extent the Marvel Cinematic Universe, have been waiting to arrive at for some time: the formation of the Sinister Six. After two Spider-Man solo films in the MCU, and several appearances in team-up films, there are enough threads to pull together what could be a new and exciting turn for the villainous conglomerate that forms to make Peter Parker’s life one big, living hell.

Let’s take a look at what could be bringing this group together, as well as what new members may be present in the Sinster Six of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Iron Man Tony Stark with his arms open, waiting for the Jericho rockets to explode

The Common Thread Of The MCU’s Sinister Six

One member of a potential Sinister Six team in the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs to be revealed right from the start, though we’ll speak more to his place in this lineup when we break down the individual members. That person is, of course, Quentin Beck, a.k.a. Mysterio, the man who may have just given away the common bond of this new squad of adversaries.

A running thread through the MCU in its first three phases has always been the effect that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has had on the world. With his business empire almost always thriving and his heroism as Iron Man always on display, it’s driven his most envious competitors mad with jealousy.

Though he may have failed in his ultimate goal of becoming the latest and greatest “superhero” on the earth, Quentin Beck’s twin purposes of trying to denigrate the legacy of Tony Stark, as well as take down Spider-Man/Peter Parker in the process, fit together perfectly to inspire a new Sinister Six team-up.

Six figures have had run-ins with Spider-Man and/or Tony Stark so confrontational, their grudges are still worn pretty clearly on their sleeves. Together, those figures could potentially pool their resources and become a fighting force so powerful, Peter Parker won’t know what hit him.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Mysterio talking to Peter about "his world"

Quentin Beck/Mysterio

Despite the fact that Spider-Man: Far From Home would have you believe that Quentin Beck died on the Tower Bridge in London, it’s hard to accept that “reality” as truth. Beck lets people see what he wants them to see, and considering the last couple moments of Quentin Beck’s life were drenched in illusions that Peter Parker had to fight through, there’s a good chance he’s still alive.

With Mysterio still on the streets, and having outed Peter Parker as a supposed terrorist mastermind, he could return to the world of the living and enlist folks who not only don’t like Spider-Man, but also feel Tony Stark’s memory could be brought down a peg or two. There’s no shortage of those types either, and with Beck being the right villain at the right time, he just might back Peter into a corner he can’t get out of.

Spider-Man: Homecoming Scorpion faces down Vulture, asking about Spider-Man

Mac Gargan/Scorpion

While he only appeared at the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Mac Gargan, better known as “Scorpion” (Michael Mando), has a score to settle with Spidey. He’s clearly not afraid to talk about it either, as he walks straight up to Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) in the middle of the prison halls and tries to strike up a friendship built on a mutual hatred.

Should there be a Sinister Six after the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, you could be sure that Gargan would be a part of it, as he’d jump to the head of the line to try and take down Peter Parker’s superhero alter ego. Not to mention, someone else introduced into the Spider-Man canon would be able to provide the resources to make that fight a little more even handed.

Spider-Man: Homecoming Vulture leans against a work desk

Adrian Toomes/Vulture

Despite having some level of respect for Spider-Man and not wanting to kill him outright, prison may have made Adrian Toomes into more of a sinister, Vulture-esque personality. Being separated from his family, all thanks to the heroic efforts of Peter Parker, may not sit too well in his mind. It all adds up to a no-brainer sort of decision to bring Vulture into the Sinister Six team.

However, there’s also a possibility that Toomes would join to loot as much as he can and sponge up the benefits of Sinister Six membership, while also somewhat protecting Peter Parker. If he wouldn’t give his name up entering prison, there’s a chance that Adrian Toomes’ intention to protect the identity of Peter Parker just might have persevered through the years.

Iron Man 2 Justin Hammer worrying in front of some important equipment

Justin Hammer

When last we saw Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), he was in Seagate Prison after getting sent up due to the events of Iron Man 2. Much like Adrian Toomes though, there’s a shot that Hammer could be given some special treatment to let him out of prison early. Let’s not forget, Quentin Beck’s resources and common grudge against Tony Stark would totally make enlisting Justin Hammer onto the team all the easier.

Even worse is the fact that once he’s out of prison, Hammer could totally rebuild his business empire with the right contracts. Anyone who’s out to get Spider-Man, and has the cash to flash, would be his best buddy for life. And it just so happen that there’s two people that fit both of those bills.

Spider-Man J. Jonah Jameson angrily clenching a cigar in his mouth

J. Jonah Jameson

The head of the The Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) has always had it out for Spider-Man. His appearance at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home more than confirmed that this old rivalry is still very much in play, and with the connection of some dots in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Jameson’s presence will be even more of a blight on young Peter Parker’s life.

Not only is J. Jonah Jameson capable of running slanderous content that’ll make Parker’s web-headed antics look positively evil, but as we’ve mentioned before, the comic source material has played him as the guy who funds the creation of Mac Gargan’s Scorpion persona. Though Justin Hammer wouldn’t only have Jameson as a promising client, as there’s one more person who could really bring the fight to Peter Parker.

Spider-Man Norman Osborne with a grin like a madman

Norman Osborn

While he hasn’t been introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe just yet, Norman Osborn’s adversarial nature against Peter Parker/Spider-Man is as legendary as the red, black and blue color scheme our hero wears. Typically, Norman is a businessman himself, but in some incarnations, such as the Playstation 4 game recently released, Osborn has been seen as a political figure in the world of Marvel.

Throw in the fact that he himself gets to be the Iron Patriot in the comics, and you can see how the world of the MCU could be setting the table for the greatest foe Spider-Man has ever faced. Norman’s political machinery, bolstered by a heroic image in a very Stark-esque shell, could play the public face to a shadowy organization ready to rip New York apart, in the hopes of destroying Spider-Man. Who knows: with J.K. Simmons coming back to his role in a previous incarnation of Spider-Man history, maybe Willem Dafoe could return to play this brand new Osborn.

Modern SpiderMan movies have been all about the fresh air approach to the legacy of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko originated with their comic book work. This version of Peter Parker’s life is similar enough to the source that it works, but different enough that it’s not just a stale reimagining of something we’ve seen before.

Putting that modus operandi together with some of the threads the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already spun, and you can see why this new Sinister Six would be the best course of action. As Jon Watts’ Spidey films have also woven in a theme of socially relevant commentary in the world of a very modern Spider-Man, this strategy also keeps the series on brand, delivering a third film that pulls out all the stops.

As that third film isn’t entirely dreamed up just yet, there’s still time for Spider-Man: Far From Home’s actions to gel in the minds of both the audience and the architects that’ll build that next film. Perhaps Phase 4 will help lay down the foundation further, but as it stands now, this is a theory worth getting hyped up about.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is in theaters now, in case you want to see it again and imagine it as a Sinister Six prequel adventure.

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Tangled’s Zachary Levi Doesn’t Think He’ll Play Flynn Rider In Live-Action

With the success that Disney is having remaking it’s animated catalog in live-action, it seems like only a matter of time before every animated feature has a live-action equivalent. Of course, with some of the more recent films, that raises an interesting question, could we see actors who lent their voice to animated characters take on those same roles in a live-action remake? It’s certainly possible that it could happen, but one actor who might have a shot doesn’t think it will happen.

Recently, Zachary Levi was asked if there was any Disney prince he’d like to play in a live-action remake and while he says he would love the chance to play his own character, Flynn Rider, in a live-action Tangled, he figures, by the time Disney gets around to doing a live-action Tangled, he probably won’t be young enough anymore. According to Levi…

At this point, basically every Disney movie that was done with traditional hand drawn animation has been rumored for a live action remake, and many of them seem likely to move forward. Tangled is less than 10 years old at this point, and the franchise still has life in its original incarnation, so as Zachary Levi’s comments at CCXP Cologne (via Comicbook.com) point out, it doesn’t seem likely that one will be getting remade anytime soon. Disney is producing remakes a lot faster than it ever produced the animated features, but not so fast that we’ll be seeing a live-action Tangled or Frozen anytime soon.

Though, lets be honest, they’re both going to happen eventually, right?

It has to be said, Zachary Levi lends more than simply his voice to Flynn Rider in Tangled, there’s an attitude that goes with Flynn that is distinctly Levi. That’s not to say somebody else couldn’t play the role, but there’s a reason it feel like Levi should play a live-action Flynn.

While there will probably be a live-action Tangled far sooner than anybody thinks, it’s probably true that, hair color or not, Levi will have aged out of the role by the time Disney greenlights the project.

He’s almost 40 now, and while he can certainly play younger, when he’s pushing 50, that probably won’t work. Hopefully Disney will find a nice cameo role for him. Perhaps he could play the king and Rapunzel‘s father. And that way he can be on set to give whatever young actor becomes the new Flynn Rider some pointers.

There’s A Casting Notice For Taika Waititi’s Akira, Is It Not On Hold After All?

A new casting call for Akira was published in the July 18 issue of Production Weekly, two days after Warner Bros reportedly placed the film on hold. Is it’s inclusion in the trade magazine a leftover remnant of the production’s plan to finally get the project off the ground with Taika Waititi before news of his work on Thor 4 was announced or a sign of the movie still moving forward?

It’s too early to do much more than speculate about this Akira detail, but Warner Bros was apparently taken aback by Taika Waititi’s decision to drop the project, so plans for casting may have already been in the works before it was shelved by the studio. The report also stated that Warner Bros would hope to work with Waititi on Akira after Thor 4 was finished with production.

On the other hand, it was also said that the Ragnarok director had some creative differences with the studio regarding the project. He’d been attached to the film for two years and Warner Bros had already delayed production for Taika Waititi to seek out “untapped talent” consisting of young Japanese actors to better represent the source material.

Perhaps following his exit, Warner Bros has decided to quietly move forward with Akira with another director in mind? After all, the project has been in and out of development for the better of a decade at the studio with no luck.

Taika Waititi and Always Be My Maybe writer Michael Golamco were attached to the most recent script, and the plan for that draft are still unclear. The film was reportedly to start production in August ahead of its May 2021 release date. With Akira this far in development toward production “on hold” may not be the whole picture.

Anime adaptations seem to be a Hollywood trend currently being exploring with recent releases of Death Note, Ghost in the Shell, Alita: Battle Angel and Detective Pikachu. There is also a Cowboy Bebop television series starring John Cho in the works, Death Note 2, and a live-action Gundam and Your Name.

Only time will tell the fate of the live-action Akira. Until then, Marvel fans can rejoice over the Thor: Ragnarok director reteaming up with Marvel Studios to continue the Asguardian storyline and hopefully reprising the hilarious role of Korg.

Since it’s Comic-Con week, look out for potential Marvel announcements on Saturday when the studio returns to Hall H!

First Cats Trailer Debuts The A-List Cast’s Feline Looks

Movie musicals have always been a tried and true genre of filmmaking. In the modern era, these type of blockbusters typically arrive around Awards Season, allowing actors to rack up nominations and awards for their ability to bring stage characters to life on the big screen. We’ve seen this in notable movies like Chicago, Dreamgirls, and Les Miserables. The latter was directed by Tom Hooper, with the project earning a whopping eight Oscar nominations and winning three.

Why The Next Power Rangers Movie Shouldn’t Be A Total Reboot

2017 Power Rangers

Ever since Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers debuted in 1993, the Power Rangers franchise has maintained a consistent presence on television, but in 2017, the Mighty Morphin’ well was revisited on the big screen. New versions of Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Trini and Zack were recruited by Zordon and Alpha 5 to defeat Rita Repulsa, and the goal was for these teenagers with attitude to keep fighting the forces of evil across multiple sequels.

Alas, the last Power Rangers movie was met with mixed-to-negative critical reaction and underwhelmed at the box office, thus cutting the chances down of one sequel, let alone many, down significantly. More than two years later, Stranger Things star Dacre Montgomery, who played Jason Scott, the Red Ranger, has revealed that a new Power Rangers movie is being made, but it won’t see him or his cast mates returning.

A new cast for the next Power Rangers movie naturally screams ‘reboot,’ and that does make sense given that the 2017 movie failed to generate enough buzz and box office returns. However, rather than delivering a full reset, Hasbro would be wise to have the new Power Rangers movie set in the same continuity as the last one, thus serving as more of a relaunch. Below are the main reasons why this approach should be taken.

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers

It’s Too Soon To Do Mighty Morphin’ Again

Right now it sounds like the next Power Rangers movie is still being workshopped over at Hasbro, but for the sake of argument, let’s assume the company officially announces the project next year. Allow two-three years for the movie to be made, and by the time it comes out, it will have been five-six years since the previous Power Rangers movie came out.

It’d be one thing if more than two decades had passed between these two movies, as was the case between the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers movie and 2017’s Power Rangers, but if it’s only a half decade and change, that’s way too soon to adapt this corner of the Power Rangers franchise again, as the last Power Rangers movie will still be relatively fresh in many people’s minds. In another two decades, maybe we can try giving the Mighty Morhpin’ mythology another spin, but for now, it’s better off exploring different kinds of Power Rangers.

Power Rangers' main heroes

It’s Not Worth Trying To Replicate The Previous Cast’s Dynamic

Make no mistake, the 2017 Power Rangers movie had its issues, particularly with the story. But if there was one area where it shined, it was the main characters and their dynamic with one another. Power Rangers took the core personalities of the original Mighty Morphin’ heroes and expanded upon them to make these new versions much more interesting. It would have been great to these five become even closer with one another in one or more sequels, but it’s not to be.

Again, with a longer passage of time, maybe it’d be interesting to see new adaptations of Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Trini and Zack, but for right now, it’s the better call to go with a new lineup of characters who have their own unique rapport with one another. Well, new in the sense that they’ve only had their sole TV depictions thus far. On film, it’d be breaking new ground, and those characters are also in need of modernization/fleshing out.

Power Rangers Zeo

New Teams And Powers Are A Trademark Of The Franchise

One of the reasons Power Rangers has stayed on television for so long is continually changing up the cast. Ever since Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy, there’s been a new team of Power Rangers introduced every one-two years. With all those new faces also comes new power sets, with themes ranging from animals and ninjas to magic and time travel law enforcement. Even if you weren’t alive when the original Power Rangers were kicking ass, there’s been a few Ranger teams every generation since then.

Throw in the fact that there have been so many Power Rangers team-ups over the years, and you can easily introduce a new team of Rangers who exists in this film continuity rather than having them exist in yet another separate universe. Take advantage of the time gap between the two movies by having the original heroes having all left the Ranger life behind long ago. So when a new threat comes to Earth, new heroes can come in and fight the forces of evil, and there’s no shortage of established power sets you can give them, though I’m inclined to go with Zeo since the Zeo Crystal is already established.

Lord Zedd in Power Rangers

The Last Movie Paved The Way For Lord Zedd

Just like in the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers TV series, the 2017 team’s first adversary was Rita Repulsa, and while she nearly succeeded in destroying Angel Grove, the Rangers managed to vanquish her with their Zords. However, before she was knocked into space, Rita told Jason that others would invade Earth. That was the perfect set-up for Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’ next main villain, Lord Zedd, and the plan was to introduce him in Power Rangers 2.

Obviously a full-blown Power Rangers reboot could still use Lord Zedd as its antagonist, but its better to have that history from the earlier movie established. Years after Rita Repulsa tried to take the Zeo Crystal, Lord Zedd arrives to finish what she started, and since the original Power Rangers are no longer active, a new team of teenagers with attitude to take their place. Whether this Zedd is directly or indirectly connected to Rita, he can lead an even bigger attack on Earth and be significantly more intimidating that his predecessor.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for any major updates concerning the next Power Rangers movie, which will ideally arrive sooner rather than later. In the meantime, look through our 2019 release schedule to plan your visits to the movie theater in the near future accordingly. And if you want to see what the Power Rangers are up to on TV nowadays, Power Rangers Beast Morphers airs on Nickelodeon.

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Joe Manganiello Is Teasing DC Fans About Deathstroke

DC fans have been wondering for a while now what exactly is going on with Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke. The deadly supervillain, played by Joe Manganiello, showed up in the end-credits scene of Justice League, but we haven’t seen him since then. At last year’s San Diego Comic Con, the actor said that something is in the works, but the ‘what’ and ‘when’ were left a mystery. Now a year later, Joe Manganiello is once again teasing DC fans about Deathstroke. Take a look:

We already knew that Deathstroke was a master of unarmed combat and melee weapons like his swords and firearms, and I guess now you can add dice to that list. Like the party in Stranger Things, Joe Manganiello is an unabashed Dungeons & Dragons fan and he takes it quite seriously. Apparently the most discerning connoisseurs and demanding players, or those who just like stuff that looks cool, can get fancy dice made for them as you see here with Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke die.

The 20-sided die displays Deathstroke’s image on one side, and while I have no idea what that does in Dungeons & Dragons, based on Joe Mangniello’s Instagram post, it seems that Deathstroke is just as deadly in fantasy tabletop role-playing games as he is in DC comics. So is this just a chance for Joe Manganiello to geek out and show off his D&D dice, or is this tease of the world’s deadliest assassin something more?

We might as well roll a die because it’s anyone’s guess at this point. Bringing up Deathstroke right around San Diego Comic Con is convenient timing, but with Warner Bros. not doing a Hall H panel this year, it seems unlikely that we would get some huge DC movie news, which anything involving Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke would qualify as being.

The DC film universe is in a different place than it was a year ago when Joe Manganiello said that something was in the works. At that time, Ben Affleck was still technically attached to play Batman in a solo film with Deathstroke as the villain, and the DCEU was still finding its footing post-Justice League and pre-Aquaman and Shazam!.

It was rumored that Deathstroke could show up in Suicide Squad 2. That’s presumably still theoretically possible, as is an appearance in The Batman or Birds of Prey, but that was before James Gunn was signed on to write and direct the Task Force X sequel. We only know bits and pieces about the characters and stories in these future films at the moment.

The DCEU is seemingly in a better place than it has been in a while, but without an especially clear public plan about the strategy moving forward. Perhaps there is an opportunity for Joe Manganiello to play Deathstroke in a movie and perhaps not.

Still, it’s cool that Joe Manganiello is continuing to rep his Deathstroke fandom and carry the torch for the character that he got to play in Justice League in part thanks to fan art showing him as Deathstroke. His casting as Slade Wilson was pretty on point and it would be a shame if we never got to see him in action on the big screen.

The Lion King Already Lost Its #1 Spot In China

 

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The first screenings of the remake of The Lion King don’t start here until this evening, but the movie is already expected to be a massive box office hit, bringing in as much as $200 million during its first weekend domestically. However, the expectations for the movie stretch far beyond our borders, and internationally the movie may already be seeing some trouble.

The Lion King opened in China last weekend and while it brought in a solid $55 million, expectations were that it would have another good weekend this weekend. However, a Chinese family film called Looking Up has opened in China this weekend to rave reviews, and it’s already toppled The Lion King at the box office.

By 3 PM Thursday in China Looking Up had already brought in $6 million in ticket sales according to THR, compared to The Lion King‘s $2 million. That’s a hefty margin and seems unlikely that the difference will change all that much as the weekend goes on.

This is important because as a family film, interestingly, one that also deals with a father-son relationship at its core, though among humans, Looking Up is playing to the same audience that The Lion King is looking for.

China is the second largest box office market after North America and so for The Lion King to bring in the most from the box office that it possibly can, it has to do well in China. Disney as done a lot to make China a major market for its films. While Star Wars movies and Pixar have a tendency to struggle in China, proper Disney films and Marvel usually make up large portions of their box office there.

The Lion King came up just short of bringing in $1 billion in the mid-90s when the original animated film was released. There had to be an expectation that the remake would break that barrier by a healthy margin. If only because the international market, and especially China, are only a bigger part of the overall box office picture today than they were 25 years ago. It still might end up being a solid hit in China, but if the movie performs significantly below expectations in China, it’s going to take a lot from the rest of the world to recover from that.

Of course, this isn’t some sort of nail in the coffin of The Lion King remake. The movie is still going to make a metric ton of money and probably still be the second highest grossing movie of the year both domestically and internationally.

Still, if the China numbers do suffer, it will be an example of just how fickle the box office can be, and how sometimes the reasons that some movies don’t put up certain numbers can have less to do with a movie itself and a lot more to do with circumstances.

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