Box Office: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY aims for August opening record!

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Coming off a remarkably slow month at the box office, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY should get things back on the right track this weekend. The 10th movie in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” will likely set a new August record, and could even come close to matching last year’s THOR: THE DARK WORLD.

Here are the predictions from Box Office Mojo:

Forecast (Aug. 1-3)
1. Guardians of the Galaxy – $82 million
2. Lucy – $18.9 million
3. Get on Up – $15.5 million
4. Hercules – $14 million
5. Dawn/Apes – $9.6 million

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Universal pushes THE MUMMY to June 24, 2016, sets THE HUNTSMAN for April 22, 2016!

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Universal Pictures has set dates for two of its major 2016 releases. The SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN prequel, THE HUNTSMAN, will hit theaters on April 22, 2016, while Alex Kurtzman’s THE MUMMY will move from that date to June 24, 2016.

THE HUNTSMAN expands the world of Rupert Sanders’ 2012 global, revealing how the fates of two characters, the huntsman Eric and evil queen Ravenna, intersected before they met Snow White. Chris Hemsworth and Oscar winner Charlize Theron return to their roles for the new epic action-adventure. Three-time Oscar nominee Frank Darabont (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE GREEN MILE) directs and wrote the current draft of the screenplay, with earlier drafts by Craig Mazin and Evan Spiliotopoulos. Producer Joe Roth (MALEFICENT) once again leads the team in a breathtaking new tale from the legendary saga.

THE MUMMY, meanwhile, offers a new take on the legend that has endured since the dawn of man. The new film is conceived with dramatic intensity by an imaginative creative team led by Kurtzman and producers Roberto Orci, Chris Morgan (FAST AND FURIOUS series, WANTED) and Sean Daniel (THE MUMMY trilogy). Jon Spaihts (PROMETHEUS) wrote the screenplay.

Final trailer for THE EXPENDABLES 3 brings the action!

Lionsgate has released the final THE EXPENDABLES 3 trailer for director Patrick Hughes’ action sequel. This time around, Sylvester Stallone and his gang of geriatric action stars must band together to save their protégés, who have been kidnapped by an evil nemesis played by Mel Gibson.

The film also stars Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kelsey Grammer, Antonio Banderas, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, and Glen Powell.

THE EXPENDABLES 3 opens August 15, 2014!

First trailer for Disney’s INTO THE WOODS, due Christmas 2014!

Disney has released the first trailer for the fairy tale musical INTO THE WOODS, directed by Rob Marshall (CHICAGO). James Corden and Emily Blunt star as a couple who encounter Brothers Grimm characters while on a quest to reverse a curse that keeps them from starting a family. This is very much a teaser trailer, which unfortunately means we don’t get to hear any of the songs just yet; this trailer is very much focused on introducing the cast and the magical world.

Marshall’s first foray into tentpole moviemaking with PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES was a bit of a misfire, but INTO THE WOODS looks to combine the large-canvas sensibilities of that film with the theatrical quality of CHICAGO. He’s assembled an incredibly talented cast to bring INTO THE WOODS to fruition, so if he can deliver from a directorial standpoint (and if the songs turn out well), we could be in for something quite special.

INTO THE WOODS stars Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Tracey Ullman, and Christine Baranski, and opens December 25, 2014!

Trailer for THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER has arrived!

Well, this looks ridiculous, but I guess that’s been the point of SpongeBob SquarePants since day one. The very first trailer for THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER 3D has arrived and it’s got Bikini Bottom in ruins post-apocalyptic-style, Slash from Guns N’ Roses, Antonio Banderas hamming it up as a pirate, and SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, Plankton and Mr. Krabs dressed up as superheroes trying to save the day in a live-action world.

I can’t say it’s my thing, but the trailer is in the vein of the TV show and kids love that, so this thing’s got to be on the right track. The movie arrives in theaters on February 13, 2015 and features the voices of Tom Kenny, Clancy Brown, Rodger Bumpass, Bill Fagerbakke, Carolyn Lawrence and Douglas Lawrence.

Alex Kurtzman to helm THE MUMMY, first in Universal’s crossover monsters universe!

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It was just a couple of weeks ago that we learned that Alex Kurtzman (TRANSFORMERS, STAR TREK) and Chris Morgan (FAST AND FURIOUS franchise) would be spearheading a crossover universe for the Universal Monsters starting with THE MUMMY, but it appears that those plans also include giving Kurtzman the keys to the first film out of the gate. THE MUMMY is intended to set the tone for the other Universal Monsters films going forward, and while the project previously had Len Wiseman (UNDERWORLD) attached to direct and then later Andy Muschietti (MAMA), both of those filmmakers subsequently left the project. With Universal keen on getting going sooner rather than later in anticipation of a April 22, 2016 release date, the studio has now tapped Kurtzman to direct THE MUMMY instead.

Per THR, Alex Kurtzman is in final negotiations to take the helm of THE MUMMY. Kurtzman is best known as one half of his writing partnership with Roberto Orci that resulted in screenwriting jobs on the first two TRANSFORMERS films, the first two STAR TREK films, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, and more. The two recently decided to sever their professional relationship, and it appears that Kurtzman’s first project in the post-Orci world will be this new iteration of THE MUMMY.

Though one might think Universal could create a wonderful, interconnected horror franchise with its Universal Monsters, the studio will instead be keeping things four quandrant-friendly with this interconnected series of films. THE MUMMY takes place in the present day and is described as an action-adventure tentpole with horror elements rather than a straight horror film, and it will feature all-new characters, opting not to riff on previous Mummy films.

Kurtzman previously worked on the script for THE MUMMY with Orci, as did Prometheus screenwriter Jon Spaihts. Again, THE MUMMU is intended to set the stage for the Universal Monsters franchise, so all eyes will be on what Kurtzman comes up with. The scribe has only directed one other feature film, the 2012 dramedy PEOPLE LIKE US, so this is quite a step up—though somewhat fitting, given that Orci will be making his directorial debut with STAR TREK 3.

Kurtzman is also attached to direct VENOM for Sony and has been one of the producers spearheading the studio’s SPIDER-MAN franchise, but after the lackluster performance of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, the studio’s ambitious plans have been put in doubt (indeed, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 3 has already been pushed to 2018). Now that Kurtzman will be tied up with THE MUMMY through 2016, don’t expect to see VENOM anytime soon.

I’m personally a fan of Guillermo del Toro’s vision for an interconnected Universal Monsters universe, which involves making them all period pieces and drawing from the Victorian era. Though that plan isn’t exactly being implemented by Kurtzman and Morgan, I do hope they enlist del Toro to bring FRANKENSTEIN to the screen.

New INTERSTELLAR trailer features more cosmic adventures!

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Paramount Pictures has released a third INTERSTELLAR trailer for director Christopher Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi drama. The film stars Matthew McConaughey and revolves around a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole “to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”

I am so incredibly looking forward to this film and love how this new trailer expands upon the second one from a few months ago. You really get a sense of the film’s scope and cosmic elements. I’m really hoping this film sticks the landing like INCEPTION did for me, when Nolan is really inspired in his work, it’s really something to behold. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine, David Oyelowo, Wes Bentley, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace, David Gyasi, Mackenzie Foy, Bill Irwin, Timothée Chalamet, and Matt Damon.

INTERSTELLAR opens November 7, 2014! Check out the trailer HERE.