Divergent Dominates, Age of Ultron in Full Swing, Explorers Return, More Wolverine, Winter Soldier On the Horizon
03.25.14 by BJSprecher
BOX OFFICE Surprising absolutely no one, Divergent, the YA adaptation starring Shailene Woodley as a "Divergent" in a dystopian future stratified by personality types, obliterated the competition at the box office this weekend, raking in an estimated $56 million. The take brought it in behind both Twilight and The Hunger Games, but was enough to make it the #2 opener of 2014 and likely validated Summit Entertainment's ongoing plans for a sequel. Muppets Most Wanted opened in second, with $16.5 million, a considerable drop from The Muppets' $29.2 million opening in 2011. Mr. Peabody & Sherman took third, with $11.7 million, a 46% drop over the previous weekend. 300: Rise of an Empire earned an additional $8.6 million, bringing it's total at the start of week #3 to $93.8 million. The Christian-marketed God's Not Dead took fifth with $8.6 million, helped, in part, by appearances by Duck Dynasty stars Willie and Korie Robertson.
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AGE OF ULTRON Joss Whedon's globe-trotting sequel to The Avengers is off and running...fast. As in, Quicksilver fast! We got a few peeks at a Hulk dummy when Avengers: Age of Ultron was filming in South Africa, but South Korea yielded little more than people running around and yelling. The Italian leg of the production is a bountiful harvest for those who like "spy" pics, however. Not only do we get to see Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a bonafide superhero costume as Quicksilver (complete with silver hair, thank you very much), but Jeremy Renner popped up as Hawkeye, and we got our very first look at what appears to be the villainous robot Ultron (voiced by James Spader). Or, at least, part of him.
EXPLORERS One of the most overlooked kid-friendly sci-fi movies of the '80s will have another chance to capture the imaginations of moviegoers thanks to Paramount's low-budget Insurge production label. Joe Dante's Explorers (1985), about a trio of boys who take a homemade spaceship to a distant planet where they meet aliens who speak American TV lingo, is being remade, reports THR. The original introduced the world to Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix, but failed to contribute much more, despite it's Amblin-esque feel. Lame-looking aliens and a slapped-together third act spelled the movie's doom at the box office, but it has remained a curiosity thanks to the home video market.
Geoff Moore and David Posamentier, the writer-director team behind the dramedy Better Living Through Chemistry, now in theaters, have been hired to pen the script.
WOLVERINE The Wolverine was Hugh Jackman's fifth go-round as everyone's favorite feral mutant (not counting his awesome cameo in X-Men: First Class) and, while not quite the box office burner that Fox might have hoped, it still proved to be a remarkable earner at the worldwide box office, even after taking into consideration production and marketing costs. Fox was certainly pleased enough to add a sequel to the movie to its future release slate, though there was some speculation that it might not actually be a Wolverine-centric movie. Any rumor that the movie was merely a holding place for a future Deadpool movie appear baseless, as Deadline has reported that Jackman and directorJames Mangold will both return for as-yet-untitled sequel, which will be written by neophyte screenwriter David James Kelly. Fox is eyeing March 3, 2017, as a possible release date.
WINTER SOLDIER Jackman may very well rule the roost as the longest-running actor/superhero in Hollywood history by the time his Wolverine tenure comes to an end, but there's a new kid in town who might just give him a run for his money. Sebastian Stan, the villainous co-title star of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, recently revealed to ScreenRant that he signed a
9-picture deal with Marvel. How and why would Marvel want to keep a brainwashed cyborg around for so long? Oh, well, only because in the Marvel Comic books on the which the movies are based, Bucky Barnes is eventually freed from his Winter Soldier programming and takes up the shield as the new Captain America after Steve Rogers is felled by an assassin's bullet!
But, before any of that stuff, Bucky is still an evil dude looking to put the hurt on Cap (Chris Evans) in Marvel's latest movie. Check out the latest TV spot to see just how badass the Winter Soldier really is.