Disney Reportedly Ignored Dark Phoenix After Fox Merger and Fired Its Marketing Team

Published on 14 Aug 1919
movie news Disney Reportedly Ignored Dark Phoenix After Fox Merger and Fired Its Marketing Team

After grossing around $65 million at the U.S. box office, “Dark Phoenix” is bound to go down as one of the biggest flops of 2019. Not only did “Dark Phoenix” fail to outgross, in its entire run, the opening weekends of seven previous “X-Men” movies, but the movie’s performance was such a disappointment that Disney CEO Bob Iger credited it as the primary reason the studio lost $170 million in the second quarter of the year. A new report from Variety reveals the box office flops of “Dark Phoenix” and other Fox films “Stuber,” “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” etc. acquired by Disney after the $71.3 billion merger has caused Disney to completely retool the upcoming Fox slate.

One of the most revealing tidbits comes from rival studio executives, who told Variety that Disney cut at least $50 million worth from Fox marketing and development. While “Dark Phoenix” did not get support from critics IndieWire’s senior film critic David Ehlrich wrote the film has no reason to exist in a D review, insiders tell Variety that Disney did not internally support the movie either.

As Variety reports: “Disney largely ignored ‘Dark Phoenix’ after it acquired 20th Century in March, according to sources. The marketing team familiar with the film was laid off, and Disney did not spend as aggressively to promote the release. One insider says that the film's lone premiere in Los Angeles was done with an eye to controlling costs &mdash a bit of economizing that annoyed the film's creative team.”

“Dark Phoenix” opened in June to just $32 million and then fell 72.6% in its second weekend with a gross of just $9 million, the biggest second weekend decline in history for a comic book film. Addressing investors earlier this month, Iger called out the lackluster performance of the Fox movies. “The Fox studio performance was well below where it had been and well below where we'd hoped it would be when we made the acquisition,“ he said. Additional Fox films set for release through 2020 under Disney include “Ford v. Ferrari,“ Steven Spielberg's “West Side Story,“ the Amy Adams thriller “Woman in the Window,“ and Brad Pitt's astronaut drama “Ad Astra.“ The latter opens September 20 after a starry world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

IndieWire has reached out to Disney for further comment.

Source: Indiewire

Published on 19 Aug 1919
movie news Disney Reportedly Ignored Dark Phoenix After Fox Merger and Fired Its Marketing Team

Universal is shaking off the damage from pulling “The Hunt” from release, but it can take comfort in the surprise showing of R-rated comedy “Good Boys.” Not only is it the first original film to reach number one since “Us” in March another Universal title, but it also shows the depth of the studio’s lower-budget slate.

“Good Boys” pushed a Universal franchise, “Hobbs & Shaw,” from the top spot, and created the rare case when a non-Disney studio held the top two spots. The week also came with four new wide releases: Two were sequels “The Angry Birds Movie 2” and 󈬟 Meters Down: Uncaged”, both of which failed to do more than mediocre business. “Blinded By the Light” and “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” both targeted older audiences and struggled to gain attention, though the former &mdash a Bruce Springsteen-inspired crowd pleaser &mdash seemed to show initial word-of-mouth appeal.

A stronger than expected Saturday, which boosted the totals of most films from initial estimates, pushed initial weekend totals to a little under $120 million. However, this weekend still reflects an estimated $10 million shortfall against last year. The year-over-year gap stands at 7.5%, or over $600 million.

Jacob Tremblay signs autographs at the ‘Good Boys’ film premiere

Michael Buckner/Variety/Shutterstock

“Good Boys,” like the three other biggest non-franchise domestic successes this year “Us,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Rocket Man” is R-rated. Studios dodge this rating for most top budget, mass-audience  blockbusters it’s possible that the rating helps set these films apart.

R-rated comedies featuring underage boys is a theatrical tradition that goes back to “Porky’s” in 1981. Universal’s own 1999 “American Pie” became a franchise in its own right. Here, “Good Boys” includes spying on a sexy neighbor, viewing internet porn in preparation for a kissing party, and other similar exploits the difference here is that the kids are pre-teens.

Produced for $20 million, it’s the directorial debut of “The Office” veteran writer Gene Stupnitzky. With a $21 million opening, it falls in the range of mid-level success like “Bridesmaids,” “Old School,” “There’s Something About Mary,” and, yes, “Porky’s.” Throw in the recent dearth of comedies and even though $21 million isn’t huge an opening, and it’s a low #1 even for mid-August, it remains impressive.

Last year, “Crazy Rich Asians” opened to $26.5 million and grossed $174 million domestic, a multiple of over six times. That’s tough to duplicate, but it does show that a comedy with good word of mouth with little competition can ride a wave at this time of year.

“The Upside” in January was the last comedy to place #1. And while Jordan Peele’s “Us” was original, the success of “Get Out” gave it a strong presell. For “Good Boys,” it was the rare case when an original concept seemed to push it to success.

󈬟 Meters Down: Uncaged”

Entertainment Studios/screenshot from YouTube

Two years ago, the British-produced shark thriller 󈬟 Meters Down” saw modest success on a $5 million budget, with a surprising $44 million domestic total from an $11 million opening. The sequel opened to $9 million, which is better than expected. “Uncaged” doubled the budget, but given likely decent foreign pre-sales, it should be at least a minor success.

The shark movie grossed slightly less “The Angry Birds Movie 2.” The animated sequel opened last Tuesday, with a six-day total of $16.2 million, way down from the nearly $40 million earned by the 2016 original. This one had a smaller budget $65 million this time, but it needed a much better initial result. However, foreign holds promise the earlier effort grossed $244 million overseas.

“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”

George Kraychyk / CBS Films

Second-week players saw last week’s best opener “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” fall 52% &mdash not bad for horror, and it likely felt some competition from “Good Boys.” The $25 million-budgeted film is already at $40 million.

Paramount’s more expensive “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” fell about the same, but is only at $34 million so far. Dog-centered “The Art of Dancing in the Rain” Disney, a Fox holdover dropped 45% and managed to hold on in the top 10.

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Sony Pictures

Standout among all holdovers is “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Quentin Tarantino’s film dropped only 35%. Even more impressive, it did so while losing 40% of its theaters, and the per-theater average slightly increased. Now at $114 million, it has a real shot at $130-140 million.

The Top  Ten

1. Good Boys Universal NEW – Cinemascore: B+ Metacritic: 60  Est. budget: $20 million

$21,000,000 in 3,204 theaters PTA: $6,554,000 Cumulative: $21,000,000

2. Hobbs & Shaw Universal Week 3 Last weekend #1

$14,140,000 -44% in 3,757 theaters -587 PTA: $3,764 Cumulative: $133,742,000

3. The Lion King Disney Week 5 Last weekend #3

$11,900,000 -41% in 3,560 theaters -660 PTA: $3,343 Cumulative: $496,108,000

4. The Angry Birds Movie 2 Sony NEW – Cinemascore: B+ Metacritic: 60  Est. budget: $65 million

$10,500,000 in 3,869 theaters PTA: $2,714 Cumulative: $16,237,000

5. Scary Tales to Tell in the Dark Lionsgate Week 2 Last weekend #2

$10,500,000 -52% in 3,135 theaters no change PTA: $3,206 Cumulative: $40,217,000

6. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged Entertainment Studios NEW – Cinemascore: C+ Metacritic: 43  Est. budget: $12 million

$9,000,000 in 2,853 theaters PTA: $3,155 Cumulative: $9,000,000

7. Dora and the Lost City of Gold Paramount Week 2 Last weekend #4

$8,500,000 -51% in 3,735 theaters no change PTA: $2,276 Cumulative: $33,910,000

8. Once Upon a Time In Hollywood Sony Week 4 Last weekend #5

$7,600,000 -35% in 2,504 theaters -1,003 PTA: $3,035 Cumulative: $114,348,000

9. Blinded By the Light Warner Bros. NEW – Cinemascore: A- Metacritic: 71  Est. budget: $15 million acquisition cost

$4,450,000 in 2,307 theaters PTA: $1,929 Cumulative: $4,450,000

10. The Art of Racing in the Rain Disney Week 2 Last weekend #6

$4,403,000 -46% in 2,765 theaters no change PTA: $1,929 Cumulative: $16,881,000

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Source: Indiewire

Published on 19 Aug 1919
movie news Disney Reportedly Ignored Dark Phoenix After Fox Merger and Fired Its Marketing Team

Good Boys debuted at number one at this weekend's box office. This marks the first time since 2016's The Boss that an R-rated comedy has taken the top spot. In addition, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's raunchy project is the biggest original comedy to hit screens this year and the second-best opening, only behind Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Funeral, which brought in $27.1 million. Good Boys follows three 12-year old boys who are trying to get into a kissing party while trying to learn about the act along the way.

Hobbs & Shaw fell to number two at the box office this weekend with $14.1 million. The Fast and Furious spin-off did not have what it takes to hold on to the number one spot for a third weekend, but it is still holding strong and waiting for a global boost when the movie opens in China next weekend. Disney's The Lion King remake took the third spot this weekend with $11.9 million. The movie has earner over $1.4 billion globally and is now the tenth highest grossing movie of time.

The Angry Birds Movie 2 disappointed after opening in theaters early in the week, taking in only $10.5 million this weekend, which was enough to capture the fourth position. To put things in perspective, first installment in the franchise started its debut weekend with $38 million. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark took fifth after earning $10 million. To date, the horror movie has taken in over $54 million globally.

Related: Good Boys Trailer: Superbad Middle Schoolers Go on a Foul-Mouthed Adventure

47 Meters Down: Uncaged took the number six position this weekend with $9 million. The debut fell short of expectations and has been getting some negative reviews from critics. Dora and the Lost City of Gold fell to number seven this weekend after bringing in $8.5 million. The movie, which is based on the popular Nickelodeon animated character, has not been living up to its expectations in this slow box office summer either.

Elsewhere, Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood came in at number eight this weekend with $7.6 million. The director has recently come under fire for his depiction of the late martial artist legend Bruce Lee, but that has not stopped the director's latest from success. Blinded By The Light debuted at number nine this weekend with $4.45 million, which is also lower than expected. Finally, The Art of Racing in the Rain took the tenth spot with $4.40 million. You can check out the rest of this weekend's numbers over at Box Office Mojo.

1Good Boys2Hobbs & Shaw3The Lion King4The Angry Birds Movie 25Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark647 Meters Down: Uncaged7Dora and the Lost City of Gold8Once Upon a Time in Hollywood9Blinded by the Light10The Art of Racing in the Rain

Source: Movieweb

Published on 18 Aug 1919
movie news Disney Reportedly Ignored Dark Phoenix After Fox Merger and Fired Its Marketing Team

Five movies opened wide this weekend, but only one could be called a resounding success: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's Good Boys. The R-Rated comedy debuted with a $21 million haul at the box office, which is not only good enough for first place, but it also gives Good Boys the highest-grossing opening weekend for an original comedy in all of 2019. Reviews helped propel the film 80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, in addition to a solid B+ Cinemascore.

What's interesting about the success of the Good Boys opening is that it is so overwhelmingly seen as a “success.“ Last year, the R-Rated Blockers opened with a nearly identical $20 million weekend, but at the time, that was seen as underwhelming. Why is Good Boys&lsquo opening seen as a success while Blockers was seen as a slight disappointment? It's not because Blockers had a higher budget both have around a $20 million budgets. Is it because Blockers was better reviewed? No, not really: It had an 83 percent on the Tomatometer compared to Boys' 80 percent.

The difference is a box-office environment now in which a lot of comedies have been gobbled up by the streaming markets because in 2019 comedies aren't expected to do as well in theaters because of all the misfires in the last few years including Stuber, Rough Night, and Booksmart. The last time a comedy earned $100 million was 2017's Girls Trip. When Blockers came out last year, there was still the expectation that comedies could do very well in theaters, but there have been so many failures in the last couple of years &mdash including even Seth Rogen's Long Shot &mdash that when one musters up $20 million on its opening weekend now, that's seen as a huge success.

Meanwhile, the $133 million that Hobbs and Shaw has earned domestically after 3 weeks, including the $13.5 million it earned this weekend, is probably not seen as all that impressive considering that it's still less than Furious 7 earned in its opening weekend $147 million. However, Hobbs & Shaw has crossed the $400 million worldwide, and while that is short of the $1 billion earned by the last two F&F movies, it's certainly nothing at which to sneeze. It is considerably less than what Lion King &mdash the third place finisher &mdash has earned in the United States only, as it counted up another $11.6 million to bring its total to $495 million and well over $1 billion worldwide. Meanwhile, with another $10 million, the Guillermo del Toro produced Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has now earned $40 million.

The Angry Birds Movie 2 also opened this weekend, and it has apparently fallen prey to whatever fatigue family-film audiences had with the summer's other animated sequel, Secret Life of Pets 2. Like Pets, Angry Birds 2 earned significantly less than its predecessor. It opened in fifth place with $9 million and $14.7 million since its Wednesday opening. Compare that to the $38 million opening of the original Angry Birds. The sequel, despite getting considerably better reviews 76 percent to 44 percent, will be lucky if it earns $38 million over its entire run domestically. The upside is that 70 percent of the original's $352 worldwide opening came from overseas, so the film could still earn a profit on a $65 million budget. It didn't put much of a dent in another family film, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, which earned a respectable $8.5 million in its second weekend to bring its total to $34 million.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged, likewise, fell short of its predecessor in its opening weekend. The sequel earned $9 million in its debut weekend compared to the original's $11.2 million. The original, however, legged out an impressive $44 million domestically, but that seems less likely for Uncaged based on its middling 50 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes and its C+ Cinemascore.

Holdovers also occupied the eighth and ninth spots. Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood fetched another $7.5 million to bring its total to $114 million, as it closes in on Inglourious Basterds $120 million for the second highest grossing Tarantino movie behind Django Unchained $160 million. Meanwhile, The Art of Racing in the Rain dropped to number nine in its second weekend with $4.4 million to bring its total to $16 million.

Two new entries disappointingly took the tenth and 11th spots in this weekend's box office. The Springsteen inspired Blinded by the Light only mustered $4.4 million in 2300 theaters, while Richard Linklater's Where'd You Go, Bernadette, starring Cate Blanchett, only managed to earn $3.4 million in 2400 theaters. It's lowest debut of Linklater's career.

As we enter the closing weeks of August, traditionally a period in which the box office slows down considerably, we'll see three new releases next weekend: The horror-thriller Ready or Not opens on Wednesday, while Gerard Butler stars in Angel Has Fallen on Friday, along with the faith-based Overcomer.

Source: Deadline, Box Office Mojo

Published on 14 Aug 1919
movie news Disney Reportedly Ignored Dark Phoenix After Fox Merger and Fired Its Marketing Team

The troubles continue for The New Mutants. This long-delayed X-Men spin-off has been collecting dust for the better part of two years now and, while the movie has a release date currently, things are far from certain when it comes to this project's release. Case in point, Disney is in the middle of a major strategy shift when it comes to handling future releases from Fox and the studio is reportedly unimpressed with this particular title.

According to a new report detailing the inner workings of the Disney/Fox struggle following the $71.3 billion merger that went into effect in March, Disney allegedly believes that The New Mutants has limited box office potential. At present, it's scheduled for release on April 3, 2020. However, given the studio's reported uncertainty, it would seem that is far from a guarantee. And there are plenty of other factors to consider. Not the least of which being Dark Phoenix, which Disney also inherited from Fox. The X-Men adaptation absolutely tanked at the box office and contributed to heavy losses Disney was forced to post from its theatrical business in its most recent quarter.

Point being, the studio has no reason to put a lot of resources behind this horror-themed X-Men spin-off, despite having a top-notch cast led by Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy. Josh Boone The Fault In Our Stars is in the director's chair, but he reportedly clashed with Fox on the cut. Reshoots were ordered but, when we last heard, those reshoots still haven't taken place. Amazingly, this movie was originally supposed to be released on April 13, 2018. Yet, thanks to the clash, it's just been sitting. A trailer was even released nearly two years ago. Needless to say, it's a big mess.

Related: The New Mutants Still Needs Reshoots, Could Land on Disney+

This is just the tip of the iceberg for Disney when it comes to 20th Century Fox right now. Nearly every Fox title released by Disney since the merger has bombed at the box office, including Stuber and, more recently, The Art of Racing in the Rain. That has left the studio unsure of how to proceed with finished projects, which also include the high-dollar sci-fi flick Ad Astra, starring Brad Pitt. Recently, Disney axed the vast majority of Fox's production slate in hopes of refocusing the brand for the future.

As far as the X-Men go, control of the mutants, as well as the Fantastic Four and Deadpool, have been handed off to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who will incorporate them into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To that point, Disney may not want to put too much attention on The New Mutants, since that version of the franchise is going to be abandoned anyway. Whatever comes of this one movie, it's just one small part of a transition that hasn't gone according to plan. But if anyone can turn things around, it's Disney. This news comes to us via Variety.

Source: Movieweb

Published on 13 Aug 1919
movie news Disney Reportedly Ignored Dark Phoenix After Fox Merger and Fired Its Marketing Team

Comic book movie fans can add Amanda Seyfried to the long list of actors who reportedly turned down a chance to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a.k.a. one of the hottest tickets in Hollywood. Seyfried’s recent video interview with MTV has gone viral for revealing the actress rejected a role in an unnamed superhero tentpole. What Seyfried says has many believing the role was Gamora in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie franchise.

“I turned down [a superhero movie] once and they haven't called back since,” Seyfried responded when asked about her interest in playing a superhero. “And it was a big one. I don't regret it because I didn't want to be green for six months out of every year. They tell beautiful stories through superheroes, and my daughter's now really obsessed with superheroes now, and part of me wishes I'd done it, but the other part of me is like &lsquoI had a life to live' and I don't think I would've been happy.”

Seyfried added, “It's so much more fulfilling to be in a scene with another human, doing human things, talking about real life and that's what we did [in ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’].”

Considering Gamora actress Zoe Saldana appears in extensive green makeup for all of her Marvel Cinematic Universe appearances, it appears Seyfried is most likely referring to the “Guardians” assassin character. Gamora has appeared in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Avengers: Endgame.” Considering the latter two “Avengers” movies were shot back to back over an entire year, Seyfried has a point about the time restraints that come with undergoing extensive makeup for months on end.

Seyfried is hardly the first actor to turn down the MCU. Emily Blunt famously had to turn down the roles of Black Widow in “Iron Man 2“ and Peggy Carter in “Captain America: The First Avenger“ because of scheduling issues. Similar to Seyfried, Blunt has said she doesn’t regret saying no to the biggest Hollywood franchise in the world.

“I don't think I would have been able to do a lot of projects that I've loved doing,“ Blunt told Yahoo. “I think that was a nerve-wracking prospect for me to not be able to choose, and the choices I have are often all I have, so you can't really plan for anything else. You can't predict what's going to happen, what's going to catch fire and what's not, so if I make the choice for me, and not because I'm contracted, I think that's an exciting prospect.“

Seyfried’s latest film, “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Source: Indiewire

movie news Disney Reportedly Ignored Dark Phoenix After Fox Merger and Fired Its Marketing Team
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