Monday blues? Get up to date with all the breaking news stories from the weekend.
Avengers: Infinity War shatters box office records
Step aside, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In December 2015, JJ Abrams' triumphant movie reignited the Star Wars series, grossing $248m in the USA on its opening weekend. But that movie's success has now been exceeded by the latest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Infinity War.
Marvel's latest took a colossal $250m in the USA during its first few days of release, officially making it the biggest domestic release of all time. According to Box Office Mojo, Infinity War's worldwide opening total of $380m is second only to international record holder Fast & Furious 8 ($541.9m). However, that's factoring in the latter movie's success in China, where Infinity War is yet to open.
With $630m in the bank so far, the movie has already doubled its reported $300m budget (one of the largest ever assigned to a blockbuster movie), and the film posted a slew of other domestic records.
These include the largest single Saturday gross, largest single Sunday gross, largest April opening, largest spring opening, widest PG-13 release (the rough equivalent of a 12A certificate here in the UK), and the fastest film to $150, $200 and $250 million. Box Office Mojo also reports that over here in the UK, the movie opened to $42.2m (£30m), defeating Black Panther's already impressive £10m opening back in February.
"To have now the biggest movie of domestic history as one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films seems like a fitting tribute to the Marvel Studios team, which has had just an astounding, unmatched run in the last decade," said Dave Hollis, Head of Distribution for Disney.
2012's Avengers Assemble opened to $207.4m domestically, and follow-up Avengers: Age of Ultron posted debut results of $191m. Factor in Black Panther's world-conquering gross of $1.3bn this year, and it's official: Marvel rules the world.
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Michelle Pfeiffer in talks to join Maleficent 2
2014 fantasy adventure Maleficent ushered in an imperious Angelina Jolie as the Sleeping Beauty villain, in a movie that explored the character's tragic backstory. The film looked at how Maleficent's once-pure heart was turned dark by the removal of her wings, before she was ultimately redeemed by the love of young Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning). Now, the title character is set to return in Disney sequel Maleficent 2, and the cast got a serious injection of gravitas with the addition of one Michelle Pfeiffer.
The Oscar-nominated star, most recently seen as one of the suspects in Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express, will be famous to many as the definitive Catwoman in Tim Burton's Batman Returns. Variety reports Pfeiffer is in talks to play the queen in the movie, although exact details of the role are yet to be determined.
Pirates of the Caribbean 5 filmmaker Joachim Ronning will be directing, with Fanning also back on board. The original film's screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who penned the blockbusting Tim Burton take on Alice in Wonderland, has submitted a script and production is set to begin at some point in 2018.
In the meantime, Pfeiffer will be seen next in Marvel sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp, playing scientist Hank Pym's (Michael Douglas) long-lost wife Janet van Dyne. The movie is released on 3rd August.
Colin Firth's new Secret Garden movie begins filming today
Frances Hodgson Burnett's much loved children's story The Secret Garden, first published in 1911, is a tender story of family redemption brought about by a deserted garden. The book has been adapted several times in the past, including the celebrated 1993 version starring Maggie Smith as formidable housekeeper Mrs Medlock, and is considered a quintessential part of the British literary landscape.
Well, it may be time to unleash those green fingers again, because a new adaptation of Hodgson Burnett's timeless story is on its way to screens. Production begins today with The King's Speech Oscar winner Colin Firth and Mamma Mia's Julie Walters in the central roles.
The movie is scripted by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne, who has brought the story forward from Edwardian times to post-World War II 1947. It's directed by Marc Munden, responsible for acclaimed, if short-lived, Channel 4 sci-fi series Utopia, and he had this to say: "This is a fantastical reimagining of The Secret Garden, I can’t wait to explore it... It’s an opportunity to immerse ourselves in an uncanny and wondrous world, which will play to the imaginations of adults and children alike."
Stay tuned for more details on the blog as they come in.