hollywood 411
September 22, 2019

Downton Abbey had a strong opening weekend, pulling in $31 million during its domestic debut weekend.

This was the biggest opening ever for its distributor, Focus Features. The film, a continuation of the beloved PBS/ITV series that ended in 2016, brought together much of the original cast, including Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Allen Leech, Hugh Bonneville, and Laura Carmichael. It opened in the U.K. last week. In this iteration, the king and queen come to Downton Abbey, and the upstairs and downstairs have very different ways of dealing with the visit.

Coming in second place was Ad Astra, starring Brad Pitt, which brought in $19.2 million, with Sylvester Stallone's Rambo: Last Blood a close third with $19 million. Catherine Garcia

August 5, 2019

The Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham action flick Hobbs & Shaw was No. 1 at the box office this weekend, bringing in an estimated $60.8 million in North America.

The Fast & Furious spin-off also had a strong opening abroad, with about $120 million in ticket sales. In its third weekend in theaters, the live action Lion King fell to the No. 2 spot, with an estimated $38.2 million; the movie has made almost $1.2 billion globally. Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood came in third place, earning an estimated $20 million, followed by Spider-Man: Far From Home with an estimated $7.8 million and Toy Story 4 with an estimated $7.2 million. Catherine Garcia

July 29, 2019

Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood had a $40.4 million domestic debut, the director's best opening weekend yet.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie, Tarantino's 10th film was expected to bring in $30 million to $40 million over the weekend. Prior to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, his biggest opening was 2009's Inglorious Basterds, which earned $38.1 million. Entertainment Weekly notes that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is the first film Tarantino has made without the involvement of disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein.

The movie took the No. 2 spot at the box office, behind Disney's live-action Lion King, which earned $75.5 million. Catherine Garcia

July 22, 2019

The live-action Lion King had an incredible North American debut, bringing in $185 million over the weekend — the biggest domestic opening of all time for a Disney remake.

The previous record-holder was Beauty and the Beast, which earned $174.7 million during its March 2017 debut. The Lion King also had the biggest Disney opening outside of Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, beating Incredibles 2, which earned $182.7 million in 2018.

Additionally, The Lion King had the largest domestic launch ever for a PG movie, once again beating Incredibles 2, and the biggest July opening of all time, edging out Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, which grossed $169.2 million in 2011.

Directed by Jon Favreau, with voice work by Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Seth Rogen, and Billy Eichner, The Lion King "resonated across the board," Disney distribution chief Cathleen Taff told The Hollywood Reporter. Catherine Garcia

June 23, 2019

In its opening weekend, Toy Story 4 topped the North American box office, bringing in $118 million.

This was the fourth-largest debut for an animated movie, following Incredibles 2 ($182 million), Finding Dory ($135 million), and Shrek the Third ($121 million), and the third movie this year to hit $100 million in ticket sales during its opening, behind Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame. While still a good launch, it fell below expectations, as experts predicted the film — which introduced a few new toys to the beloved crew, including Forky (voiced by Tony Hale) — would earn $140 million.

Child's Play came in a distant second place with $14 million, followed by Aladdin with $12 million, Men in Black: International with $10.8 million, and The Secret Life of Pets 2 with $10.2 million. Catherine Garcia

May 29, 2019

If a strict new abortion law takes effect in Georgia next year, it would be "very difficult" for Disney to continue filming in the state, CEO Bob Iger told Reuters.

"I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard," he said Wednesday. "Right now we are watching it very carefully." He added: "I don't see how it's practical for us to continue to shoot there." Georgia offers studios tax credits, and Disney recently filmed several blockbuster movies there, including Avengers: Endgame and Black Panther.

On May 7, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed into law a bill that effectively bans abortions after six weeks. The bill, which is being challenged in court, is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, and several actors, producers, and directors have already sent Kemp a letter saying they won't film in his state. On Tuesday, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said should the ban go into effect, "we'd rethink our entire investment in Georgia." Catherine Garcia

May 19, 2019

The Keanu Reeves thriller John Wick: Chapter 3 knocked Avengers: Endgame from the top of the box office, bringing in an estimated $57 million in North American ticket sales over the weekend.

Avengers: Endgame, which dominated the box office three weekends in a row, came in second place with an estimated $29.4 million in ticket sales. Pokémon Detective Pikachu finished third, with an estimated $24.8 million. John Wick: Chapter 3 had a massive opening weekend compared to the first movies in the series: John Wick brought in $14.4 million in 2014, and John Wick: Chapter Two earned $30.4 million in 2017, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Avengers: Endgame has brought in $2.62 billion globally, second only to 2009's Avatar, which earned $2.78 billion. Thanks to its weekend ticket sales, Avengers: Endgame is now the second-highest grossing movie domestically, at $771 million; 2015's Star Wars: The Forces Awakens is still No. 1, with $937 million. Catherine Garcia

May 14, 2019

Fans were excited last week when ABC announced that Fresh Off the Boat is coming back for another season, but star Constance Wu was less than thrilled — and let the world know it on social media.

Wu tweeted that she was "so upset right now that I'm literally crying," and posted "Dislike" under the show's Instagram photo sharing the news, CNN reports. Wu later wrote a lengthy statement, explaining that she was "temporarily upset" because the show's renewal meant she "had to give up another project that I was really passionate about." She then said playing the show's mom, Jessica Huang, is "easy and pleasant," but she's "always sought artistic challenge over comfort and ease."

ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke responded on Tuesday, telling reporters that the network will not recast Wu. "We love what she does on the show," Burke said. "And we love the show." Burke said she knew Wu had another acting opportunity, but ABC always planned on renewing Fresh Off the Boat for a sixth season. "The show is just too strong for us and we love it," she added. "I'm going to choose to believe Constance's most recent communication about the show — that she's happy to return." Catherine Garcia

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