hollywood 411
January 12, 2020

The World War I drama 1917 dethroned Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at the box office, earning $36.5 million during its first weekend of wide release.

Directed by Sam Mendes, 1917 opened in limited release on Christmas; it received a major publicity boost last weekend, when the movie won the Best Motion Picture — Drama award at the Golden Globes. Mendes also picked up the Best Director statue. The film tells the story of two young British soldiers who are racing to save hundreds of their fellow troops.

This was the first weekend since its debut in December that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was not in the top spot at the box office; it earned $15 million, bringing its worldwide total to $990 million. Catherine Garcia

January 5, 2020

Frozen has been dethroned by its sequel.

Over the weekend, Frozen 2 became the highest-grossing animated film of all time, having brought in an estimated $1.325 billion. The movie was released in November, and has made $449.9 million in North America and $875.3 million overseas. Frozen earned $1.281 billion worldwide and Incredibles 2 raked in $1.243 billion.

Last month, Frozen 2 became Disney's sixth film released in 2019 to earn more than $1 billion worldwide. Catherine Garcia

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

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