July 25, 2019
Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King dominated the strong summer box office with a stunning $185 million in sales over its first three days of release. Add in foreign returns and Jon Favreau’s latest flick has already sold an unbelievable $531 million in three days.
We knew this one would be big, but I don’t know that anyone expected these numbers. Incredible.
The film, which features the voice talent of Donald Glover, James Earl Jones, Beyonce, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Seth Rogen, John Oliver and Key and Peele, currently holds a score of just 55/100 on Metacritic.
The one thing most reviews seem to share an admiration for is the technical achievement of the film. It’s considered to be live-action, but really, this film is very much an animated work, maybe even a masterful animated work. I can’t wait to see it, negative reviews be damned. (Also, is it safe to say that we’re in the Donald Glover Era?)
Also at the Box
Spider-Man: Far From Home continued to sell well, taking the No. 2 spot at last weekend’s domestic box office with another $21 million in sales, bringing the flick’s 17-day worldwide sales total to just over $970 million. Go, Spidey, go.
Toy Story 4, the No. 3 spot at this weekend’s box office, rounds out a pretty notable trio of films to be playing at the same time.
These are all huge films that took armies to create. And they’re all going to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars. And I think they’re all going to have staying power as at-home-watches (and maybe even be films that get Oscar nominations — no joke). And they’re all at the theater at the same time! Ladies and gentlemen, this is it, we’re in the thick of summer. It’s hot, it’s humid, the days are long, and the movies are fun.
Toy Story 4 sold another $14.6 million last weekend, upping the film’s five-week U.S. sales total to $375 million. Add in foreign sales and Toy Story 4 is creeping towards the $400 million mark.
Crawl and Yesterday rounded out last weekend’s Top 5 at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, selling $6 million and $5.1 million, respectively.
New this Week
If I worked for a film studio, I wouldn’t want to release a movie right now, not with the weather so nice and The Lion King, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Toy Story 4 all selling so well.
That is, I wouldn’t want to release a film unless I had the kind of movie that worked as counter programming to the three mainstream films currently filling seats.
Enter Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood. This one looks very good. It’s QT in full rockstar form, casting Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in a gritty buddy comedy that looks to be every big as saturated with Tarantino’s filmic flare as anything he’s done. Some have said that, stylistically speaking, it’s the closest thing he’s done to Pulp Fiction. That excites me.
In Addition to Leo and Pitt, the movie stars Margot Robbie, Maya Hawke, Dakota Fanning, Timothy Olyphant, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, the late Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Emile Hirsch, and several other notable talents. This is maybe the one, guys. This might be the movie event of the year for us everyday cinephile types. It’s summer, it’s hot, and Quentin Tarantino has made a big, loud, ambitious, star-studded, sepia-toned summer romp for us. Be excited.
And of course I now have to rank Tarantino’s films according to how much I like them:
8. Django Unchained (2012)
7. Death Proof (2007)
6. The Hateful Eight (2015)
5. Jackie Brown (1997)
4. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
3. Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair (2003-4)
2. Pulp Fiction (1994)
1. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Where will Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood rank? Stay tuned next week for more on Tarantino!
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