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Rampage Rustles Up $37M Overseas Through Friday; Eyes $50M+ China Opening

Warner Bros./New Line

SATURDAY UPDATE: With Fridays numbers included, Warner Bros Rampage has gross..

Warner Bros./New Line

SATURDAY UPDATE: With Fridays numbers included, Warner Bros Rampage has grossed $36.7M at the international box office so far. The Dwayne Johnson sci-fi ape pic is dominating offshore play with 61 markets now open; on Friday it grossed an estimated $27.1M. In China, its Friday haul was $15.6M (with Thursday sneaks), firmly making it WBs 3rd biggest opening day in the Middle Kingdom. The flash Saturday estimate is $21.2M which is not included in the total international number above.

The Saturday China performance lifts the local two-day take to $36.8M and portends an opening upwards of $50M. Johnson visited Shanghai last week with co-star Naomie Harris, director Brad Peyton and producer Beau Flynn. The group did a red carpet walk at Shanghai Film Museum and attended the premiere at the Shanghai Film Art Center.

Johnson and Peytons San Andreas made $103M in the market. The 2015 disaster film had a 7 rating on Douban while Rampage is carrying a 6.8. The screen count on Rampage is increasing today.

In new Friday openings, Rampage ranked No. 1 in Mexico with $992K on 2,648. That was on par with Godzilla, 17% ahead of Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, and 68% ahead of the recent Pacific Rim: Uprising and 94% over Tomb Raider.

India grossed $540K on Friday to take the No. 1 slot for an import, above the recent comps including nearly triple Tomb Raider.

had a strong $522K on 430 for the 2nd biggest WB opening ever. And Spain took $282K from 390 to outperform Godzilla by 72% and land on par with Pac Rim 2 and San Andreas.

In the continuing plays, the UK held No. 1 with a $2.8M cume through Friday. Also all ranking No. 1, and with cumes so far cited here, are the UAE ($1.5M), Korea ($1.5M), Malaysia ($1.5M), Russia ($1.1M), Thailand ($1.2M), Australia ($1M) and Indonesia ($1.3M) all ranked No. 1. Some of those numbers are a bit light — Korea and Russia notably.

Well be back tomorrow with a full international weekend breakdown.

PREVIOUS, FRIDAY: Rampage in flash day grosses over in China is clearing $15.7M on day one including previews on 20K screens. Some analysts even see $17M. Thats the third best opening day for a Warner Bros. title in the Middle Kingdom, beating Ready Player Ones first day of $14.6M which yielded a $61.7M opening weekend and a total cume thats at $181.7M. Rampage could well see a $60M start in China.

Rampage is below the first day of Pacific Rim: Uprising which grossed $21.7M on its first day before a $65M three-day opening and a near $100M take to date.

Johnson fares well in China: San Andreas made $103.1M there with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle earning over $77M. His ensemble Fast and Furious movies are enormous though with Fate of the Furious grossing over $392M, but thats not a comp here. Kong Skull Island, not a Johnson movie, ended its China run with $168.1M. Rampages first day is +28% higher than Jumanji and double what San Andreas did back 2015. Johnson made a point to tell his fans in China on social that Rampage was opening day and date with the rest of the world in early March.

All in through two days abroad, Rampage counts $25.4M with $9.7M coming from 41 markets. Approximately 17,250 screens cleared $8.2M from 39 markets yesterday.

Rampage made $2.4M last night stateside in previews with an eye on a $35M-plus weekend.

The breakdown per WB Intl:

$1.3m on approximately 866 screens (including Wednesday sneaks), narrowly ranking #2. Excluding previews, thats 30% higher than the first day of Kong: Skull Island, 76% ahead of Pacific Rim 2.

Warner Bros./New Line

Malaysia: No. 1 with 78% share of top 5 for $877k from 566 screens (including sneaks). Excluding sneaks its on par with Skull Island and 44% ahead of San Andreas.

United Arab Emirates: No. 1 repping 75% share of top 5 with $665k from 168 screens. Thats the second biggest day of 2018 year to date.

Thailand: Also No. 1 with 75% counting $639k from 597 screens and the biggest opening day year to date.

South Korea: Rank #1 with nearly 40% share of the Top 5 films, grossing an estimated $610k from 786 screens. Results are narrowly behind the opening day tally for Godzilla and exceeds Tomb Raider by +38%.

Russia: Rank #1 with a 41% share of the Top 5 films and grossing an estimated $502k from 2,668 screens.

Australia: Rank #1, grossing an estimated $434k from 469 screens and coming in ahead of Pacific Rim 2 by +23%, and San Andreas by +28%.

Indonesia: Still No. 1 in day 2 with $404k from 681 screens and a cume thats near $800K.

Brazil: No. 2 behind a local title with $240k from 922 screens which is 10% ahead of Pac Rim 2.

Italy: Rank #1 with a 34% box office share of the top 5 films, grossing an estimated $178k from 420 screens. Thats 16% better than San Andreas and on par with Kong: Skull Island.

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‘Antebellum’ has a ‘Get Out’ vibe, but doesn’t live up to its twist

“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definite..

“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definitely shouldn’t be spoiled even a little. Once that revelation is absorbed, however, the movie becomes less distinctive and inspired, reflecting an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist that made “Get Out” a breakthrough, without the same ability to pay off the premise.

Originally destined for a theatrical run, the movie hits digital platforms trumpeting a “Get Out” pedigree in its marketing campaign, since there’s an overlap among the producing teams.

More directly, the film marks the directing debut of Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz, who have championed social-justice issues through their advertising work. The opening script features a quote from author William Faulkner, whose intent will eventually become clearer: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

If that sounds like a timely means of drawing a line from the horrors of slavery to the racism of today, you’ve come to the right place.

The story begins on a plantation, where the brutal overseers carry out grisly punishments against those tilling the fields. A few have just tried to escape, led by Veronica (Janelle Monae), and they pay a heavy price for their resistance, which does nothing to curb her defiance.

Also written by Bush + Renz, the script take too long before revealing what makes “Antebellum” different, but the middle portion — a “The Twilight Zone”-like phase when it’s hard to be sure exactly what’s going on — is actually the film’s strongest. (Even the trailer arguably gives away too much, so the less one knows, the better.)

The final stretch, by contrast, veers into more familiar thriller territory, and feels especially rushed toward the end, leaving behind a host of nagging, unanswered questions. That provides food for thought, but it’s also what separates the movie from something like “Get Out,” which deftly fleshed out its horror underpinnings.

Although the filmmakers (in a taped message) expressed disappointment that the movie wasn’t making its debut in theaters, in a strange way, the on-demand format somewhat works in its favor. In the press notes, Bush says the goal was “to force the audience to look at the real-life horror of racism through the lens of film horror. We’re landing in the middle of the very conversations that we hoped ‘Antebellum’ would spur.”

“Antebellum” should add to that discussion, so mission accomplished on that level. Monae is also quite good in her first leading film role (she did previously star in the series “Homecoming’s” second season), but otherwise, most of the characters remain underdeveloped.

In a theater, the tendency with a movie so dependent on a central mystery might be to become antsy. At home, “Antebellum” is worth seeing, not only because of what it has to say about America’s past and present, but as a reminder of the often yawning gap between an intriguing idea and a fully realized film.

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‘Chemical Hearts’ director Richard Tanne on the film’s ‘bittersweet’ ending and what he hopes fans take away from the movie

“Chemical Hearts” director Richard Tanne spoke to Insider about the film’s “bittersweet” ending and ..

“Chemical Hearts” director Richard Tanne spoke to Insider about the film’s “bittersweet” ending and what he hopes fans take away from it.

“I think it’s gonna disappoint some people, and maybe all people on a certain level, ” the 35-year-old filmmaker told us. “It’s bittersweet. But that’s OK.”

The film, based on Krystal Sutherland’s 2016 book “Our Chemical Hearts” and now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, centers on 17-year-old high school senior Henry Page (Austin Abrams), who finds himself drawn to a mysterious and secretive new transfer student named Grace Town (Lili Reinhart).

“Chemical Hearts” is told from Henry’s perspective, chronicling his first heartbreak after he falls in love with the person he thinks Grace is.

Tanne, who wrote the screenplay, said that he was impressed by how the story goes ‘a little bit deeper than your average teen romance’

“I loved how it embraced the dark side of being young, the pain and the grief and the loss, the idea of crossing the threshold from being an adolescent to an adult for the first time,” he told us.

By the end of the movie, Henry learns about Grace’s tragic past. On their last day of senior year, the characters don’t end up together. Instead, they prepare to explore different futures, with Henry heading off to a school for writing and Grace taking a year off to continue therapy.

Even though fans might be disappointed by the love interests splitting, Tanne said that ‘not everything has to be escapist’

“Sometimes, younger people watching movies don’t know that it’s OK to have unhappy endings because they’re fed a steady stream, a steady diet of escapist happily ever after movies,” he told us. “And that’s OK.”

He added: “There’s a place for those, I’m not knocking them. But I just wanted to make something that didn’t talk down to the younger audience. I wanted to make something that either meets them at their level or asks them to reach a little bit higher or dig a little bit deeper.”

Tanne said that having to confront that ‘bittersweet ending’ could also be useful to viewers

The director described the conclusion as bittersweet because “there’s hope at the end, maybe not for their relationship, but for other aspects of their lives.”

“Maybe it will be helpful for young people to see that and walk away with the same sting that Henry has, but to know that it’s going to be OK, to know that Henry will be OK,” he said.

Abrams, who was 22 when he filmed the movie, told Insider that hopefully, audiences will empathize with Henry.

“I think in terms of I supposed how he’s navigating relationships, I feel like hopefully at least anyone can relate to that,” he said.

Abrams told Insider that Henry and Grace’s relationship status at the end speaks to the film’s realistic nature

Abrams shared similar sentiments as Tanne, telling us that they tried to “portray the characters as honestly as possible,” which ties in to the conclusion.

“I think there are some people that meet one person and that’s who they’re with for the rest of their lives, who actually are Henry’s parents in the movie,” the 23-year-old actor told us.

“But then there are other people, and I think it’s probably a larger number, that are going to be in multiple relationships and some of them, a lot of them aren’t going to go well. I hope that that’s an aspect of the movie that people are able to relate to.”

Abrams added that he’s “perfectly fine” letting fans decide for themselves what their main takeaways are from “Chemical Hearts.”

“I hope that maybe they take away things that I didn’t even think of, because everyone’s different and at a different point in their life and hopefully will be able to relate to it in different ways.”

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Julia Sawalha furious after being told she is ‘too old’

Julia Sawalha has said she has been “plucked, stuffed and roasted” after being told that she would n..

Julia Sawalha has said she has been “plucked, stuffed and roasted” after being told that she would not be cast in the forthcoming sequel to the hit Aardman Animation film Chicken Run as her voice sounded “too old”.

In the original film, released in 2000, Sawalha voiced the lead role of Ginger, the plucky hen who inspires her fellow egg-layers to escape from a farm when they are threatened with being turned into pies. News of the development of a sequel first emerged in 2018, and Netflixs involvement was announced in June. It is due to be directed by Sam Fell (ParaNorman) and start production in 2021.

Sawalha posted a statement on social media saying she was told a week ago that she was not wanted for the sequel. “The reason they gave is that my voice now sounds too old and they want a younger actress to reprise the role.”

She added: “Usually in these circumstances, an actress would be given the chance to do a voice test in order to determine the suitability of their pitch and tone, I however was not given this opportunity. I am passionate about my work and I dont go down without a fight, so I did my own voice test at home and sent it to the producers … However, they stated, We will be going ahead to recast the voice of Ginger.”

Sawalhas protest follows reports that Mel Gibson, who voiced the character of daredevil rooster Rocky, would not be involved in the sequel. While Rocky is named as a character in the official plot synopsis for Chicken Run 2, the role is due to be recast. Variety magazine reported that Gibson was told that as “the sequel will revolve around younger chickens, therefore casting younger voice actors” was necessary. The report also claimed that Gibsons history of controversial behaviour, including an accusation of antisemitic comments by actor Winona Ryder, which Gibson denies, played no part in the recasting.

Sawalha added: “I feel I have been fobbed off with the same excuse … To say I am devastated and furious would be an understatement. I feel totally powerless.”

No official announcements have been made for the Chicken Run 2 cast, but original film cast members Jane Horrocks and Lynn Ferguson have been added to the films IMDb page.

Aardman has been contacted for a response.


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