“BLACK WIDOW” SETS PANDEMIC RECORD AT THEATERS
UNDATED (AP) – Pandemic-weary moviegoers weren’t scared off from seeing “Black Widow” in theaters. Even with fans having the option to stream the superhero picture at home, Black Widow set a pandemic-era box office record. Disney reports that it made an estimated $80 million in ticket sales in North America. That’s the largest box office total since “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” was released. That happened in 2019, before the pandemic shuttered movie theaters nationwide through most of last year.
“BLACK WIDOW’S” JOURNEY TO THE BIG SCREEN
UNDATED (AP) – For movie fans and its studio Disney, the release of “Black Widow” was worth the wait. The movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, was due in theaters in May of last year. But that was scuttled because of the pandemic. Disney decided to do a double “day and date” release, meaning it hit theaters and its streaming service at the same time this past weekend. It was a $30 rental on Disney+. Like most studios, Disney hasn’t been reporting streaming income in real time – if at all. So we may never know how “Black Widow’s” box office take compares with what it earned on Disney+.
SEAN PENN RETURNS TO CANNES
CANNES, France (AP) – So much for being gun-shy. Sean Penn is back at the Cannes Film Festival with a new project – after his last one flopped badly. He rolled out “Flag Day” over the weekend, a movie in which he co-stars. Penn says he had no hesitancy about returning to Cannes after his 2016 film, “The Last Face,” bombed. He calls Cannes “the greatest in the world” – and says he’s glad to be back with something new.
WARNER BROS. LOT EXPANDS TO INCLUDE FAMOUS MOVIE SCENES
BURBANK, Calif. (AP) – Those who decide to check out the Warner Bros. Studio Tour will find that it has some new features since it was last open. The facility has expanded, giving fans a chance to see things like Batman’s secret cave, Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs – and the apartment from “Friends.” The tours recently resumed after being closed for more than a year because of COVID-19.
ACTOR WILLIAM SMITH DEAD, STARRED AS TOUGH GUYS IN MOVIES, TV
LOS ANGELES (AP) – William Smith – an actor who played bikers, brawlers, cowboys and no-nonsense tough guys in many TV shows and movies – has died. His wife says he died last week at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Los Angeles at age 88. But she declined to give the cause of death. Smith’s credits include “Laredo,” “Rich Man, Poor Man” and “Any Which Way You Can.”