Holiday forecast: Independence Day is a mixed bag when it comes to moviegoing since many consumers are tied up with other activities, Pamela McClintock notes:
+ 20th film in Marvel’s series: If tracking is correct, Ant-Man and the Wasp should buzz to $75M or more in its domestic debut, ahead of the $57.2M launch of Ant-Man in summer 2015.
+ Fourth Purge: Universal and Blumhouse’s The First Purge is targeting a $25M-$30M Wednesday-Sunday launch, including previews on Tuesday night. (To date, the Purge franchise has grossed more than $320M against a relatively tiny production cost.) Full preview.
Elsewhere in film…
► Weinstein Co. sale update: Producer says he was frozen out over racism. The saga has moved from sexual misconduct to alleged racism as Marvin Peart has filed a $110M lawsuit over the sale to Lantern Entertainment.
► China’s CMC raises $1.5B from Tencent, Alibaba. Known as a gatekeeper for investment into China’s regulated entertainment sector, CMC founder Li Ruigang has invested into CAA, Warner Bros.’ Chinese studio, Ron Howard’s Imagine and more.
► New Regency plans Scarlett Johansson, Rupert Sanders drama. The star and director of Ghost in the Shell are reteaming for Rub & Tug, a drama about a real-life massage parlor owner. Joel Silver will produce.
► Universal options The King of Oil for Matt Damon. The actor is in early talks to star as disgraced billionaire Marc Rich in the biopic based on the book, which is being produced by John Krasinski’s Sunday Night Productions.
Quoted: “Because even as I recognized that Weinstein’s time is truly up, I also realized that he won’t go down without a fight. Just as this chapter in the #MeToo chronicle is drawing to an end, another is about to begin. Call it Harvey’s Revenge.” — From Stephen Galloway‘s latest column on the disgraced mogul’s upcoming trial.
^Oscar mailers already sent out for Paramount’s A Quiet Place. The PR firm that reps John Krasinski and Emily Blunt has begun reaching out to entertainment journalists urging them not to forget the critics’ darling and commercial hit: “we wanted to remind you…“
► A24 finds leads for dramatic musical. Lucas Hedges, Sterling K. Brown, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Taylor Russell will headline the cast of Waves, which is about to begin filming in South Florida. Trey Edward Shults is directing.
► Sony’s Tom Hanks drama gets new release date. The actor’s $40M WW II drama Greyhound is moving from Feb. 8 to March 22. Aaron Schneider is directing the movie, which is based on the novel The Good Shepherd.
► Focus Features changes awards season plans. The specialty label said it is moving coming-of-age drama Boy Erased from Sept. 28 to Nov. 2, while the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex will debut on Christmas Day.
► eOne names new president of film. Bolstering its production efforts, the company has enlisted veteran executive Nick Meyer for the role. At the same time, eOne will acquire the remaining stake in Meyer’s Sierra/Affinity.
In THR, Esq: Lucasfilm wins copyright battle over Star Wars app. A California federal judge has ruled that the maker of an app that lets fans play the Han Solo-Lando Calrissian card game of Sabacc has violated copyrights belonging to Disney’s Lucasfilm. Details.