Weekend Box Office: 'Red Sparrow' Flying Past 'Death Wish'

In an R-rated action showdown, Jennifer Lawrence’s Red Sparrow is flying past Bruce Willis’ Death Wish remake at the North American box office, according to early returns.Based on early Friday returns, Death Wish is projected to open in the $12 million-$13 million range from 2,847 theaters after earning $650,000 in previews.At the specialty box office, movies competing in the Oscar race hope to benefit from an 11th-hour surge before Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, including such best-picture nominees as The Shape of Water; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Darkest Hour; Phantom Thread; and Call Me by Your Name.Blockbuster ‘Black Panther’ is set to beat both new films in its third outing as it leaps past the $800 million mark globally.On Friday, the Disney and Marvel superhero pic will leap past the $800 million mark at the global box office after finishing Thursday with $780. 3 million in worldwide ticket sales, including $435. 4 million in the U. S.Red Sparrow has a 50 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while Death Wish is getting crushed by critics with a 12 percent aggregated score (MGM didn’t lift the review embargo until Thursday).Blockbuster Black Panther, however, will beat both new films in its third outing with a projected haul of $60 million or more.From Fox and Chernin Entertainment, Red Sparrow is pacing to open in the $17 million-$20 million range from 3,056 locations after earning $1. 2 million in Thursday-night previews.Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeremy Irons, Mary-Louise Parker and Charlotte Rampling co-star in the film, which reportedly cost a net $69 million to produce.

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Live-Action 'Mulan' Pushed Back More Than A Year To Spring 2020

Disney has long known it wouldn’t meet the original 2018 release date after conducting a yearlong search to find the film’s star that culminated in the hire of Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, in November.Disney also made a host of other changes to its release calendar, including moving up the release of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War by a week to April 27, and announcing that its untitled Christopher Robin project will be officially called Christopher Robin.The movie was originally set to open in theaters Nov. 2, 2018, but it took more than a year to find the film’s star, Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, after an extensive worldwide search that concluded with her hire last November.The studio also removed Nicole, starring Anna Kendrick as a female Santa Claus, from the calendar. It had been set for Nov. 8, 2019, and sources say Disney plans to include the film on its upcoming streaming service, which it plans to launch in 2019.

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Will Packer, Marsai Martin's Comedy 'Little' Lands Fall 2019 Release Date

Universal also reveals that two other films from Packer — the prolific producer behind ‘Girls Trip’ — are in the works.The studio also revealed that two other comedies from Packer, the prolific producer behind such hits as Girls Trip, are in the works.The Will Packer-produced comedy Little, starring Black-ish breakout star Marsai Martin, will hit theaters Sept. 20, 2019, Universal announced Thursday.

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'Ready Player One' Locks Down China Release Date

Ready Player One follows Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a teenager and gamer on a high-stakes pursuit in a VR-like video game world called the OASIS.  The game’s deceased creator James Halliday (Mark Rylance) set up a treasure hunt prior to his death, and the winner of the game will become the richest person on Earth and also get control of OASIS.Although a legend in the U. S. , Steven Spielberg hasn’t been a huge box-office force in China — but ‘Ready Player One’ could change that.Sci-fi fantasy franchises with long Hollywood histories — Star Wars and Star Trek — have generally been disappointments, since the recent franchise reboots tend to rely heavily on nostalgia and references to the early films, which many young Chinese filmgoers naturally just don’t get.Steven Spielberg’s much anticipated sci-fi action adventure Ready Player One has secured a China release date of March 30, the same day it opens in the U. S.Most of the legendary director’s early-career blockbuster output came long before the Middle Kingdom asserted itself as a huge market for movies, and the historical work that has characterized his filmmaking since 2010 — Lincoln, Bridge of Spies, The Post — isn’t the sort of popcorn fare that lures large numbers of Chinese viewers into the multiplex.

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