Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Johnson-Blunt adventure ‘Jungle Cruise’ tops box office


Greg W. Locke

Whatzup Features Writer

Published August 4, 2021

This past weekend was a doozy at the movies. Not because the box office was “back” — it very much is not back — but because there are a lot of promising movies to choose from.

There was also decent weather around the country, so sitting inside large, dark rooms with strangers probably wasn’t appealing.

Not to mention, there’s the Delta variant to navigate.

Despite a sluggish weekend at the box office, Disney’s new adventure flick Jungle Cruise took the No. 1 spot at the box office, selling a ho-hum $34.2 million while playing on 4,310 screens. In pre-COVID-19 times, this is a movie that would have surely brought in a solid $80 million or more over its first weekend.

Not only is this a Disney adventure film, but it stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He has become American Pop Culture’s top male figure over the last few years. The film also stars ScreenTime heroes Emily Blunt, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti, and Edgar Ramirez. It’s a heck of a cast.

I’m a sucker for adventure movies and will absolutely see this at some point, but despite my interest, the film is not getting great reviews. It’s currently holding a score of just 50/100 on Metacritc.

That doesn’t deter me though. I’m watching this movie eventually, even if only to see Blunt and Plemons in action.

Also at the Box

ScreenTime favorite David Lowery has a new flick out called The Green Knight. It took the No. 2 spot at last weekend’s box office with just $6.9 million in sales. Lowery has a track record of making great films, so I have to assume this one follows suit.

Lowery aside, I’m not a huge fan of the film’s lead actor, Dev Patel, although his supporting cast (Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, and Sean Harris) is excellent. As much as I like the director, as well as the poster, I can’t get excited about this one.

I’ll check it out eventually, but not at the theater and not with any urgency.

Here’s hoping Lowery’s next project, Peter Pan & Wendy, is good and that he doesn’t just make children’s flicks and period pieces. David, you’re too good for that!

M. Night Shyamalan’s new thriller Old took the No. 3 spot at the U.S. box over the weekend with just $6.7 million in sales. That’s not a great turn out. I saw it and, in my opinion, it really isn’t that great. The reviews seem to concur.

That being said, Old was shot by Mike Gioulakis (It Follows, Split, and Us), who is amazing. That’s not to say the film is worth rushing to the theater just to see Gioulakis’ work, but it counts for something.

Black Widow ($6.4 millon) and Stillwater ($5.1 million) took the No. 4 and No. 5 spots, respectively.

Stillwater, starring Matt Damon and directed by Tom McCarthy, was projected to do much better than it did. McCarthy’s last major release, Spotlight, won Best Screenplay and Best Picture, with McCarthy also receiving a nomination for Best Director.

Here’s the thing about Tom McCarthy: he’s massively overrated as a director and perhaps underrated as a writer. I believe he should just write and leave the directing to those who are more creative, tasteful, and visually talented.

Stillwater, which is probably perfectly watchable, despite being a major flop at the box, currently holds a score of just 60/100 on Metacritic. For reference, Spotlight had a score of 93/100.

New This Week

This weekend will likely be all about the week’s major new release, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. This new film is a sequel to David Ayer’s 2016 film Suicide Squad.

I’m just not going to bite my tongue any longer: James Gunn is maybe the worst “Major American Filmmaker” I can think of.

He’s gotten much better at the production side of his craft, but his instincts, humor, and creative decisions are about as good as your average local freelance videographer with a $200 gimbal and all the confidence in the world. I’m not sure how this guy keeps getting big studios and amazing actors to work with him, but I hope that ends as soon as possible.

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