‘Shang-Chi’ Sets Imax Record

Disney/Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings tallied a four-day holiday opening weekend of $13.6 million in Imax theaters globally — the best global September and Labor Day weekend opening ever in Imax, according to the company.

North America led the way, where Shang-Chi delivered $8.5 million across 399 screens — 9.4% of the film’s domestic box office and a per screen average of more than $21,000 — and new records for best domestic September and Labor Day Weekend opening ever in Imax as well, according to the company.

Overall, the Imax global network earned $16.8 million for the weekend — the best global box office weekend ever in September for Imax and the second-best box office weekend for the company in the pandemic era, behind only the 2020 Chinese New Year holiday, Imax reported.

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“Shattering Labor Day box office records with an origin story new to many fans, Shang-Chi delivers an emphatic statement: People really want to get back to the movies,” Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax, said in a statement. “It’s clear that great filmmaking plus an exclusive theatrical release is a winning formula at the box office, and this groundbreaking film has successfully launched an exciting new cinematic journey for Marvel and a strong fall blockbuster slate for the industry.”

Internationally, Shang-Chi opened to $5.1 million of Imax box office from 391 screens in 66 countries. Six countries set pandemic era opening weekend records, while an additional seven countries had their second-best pandemic era opening weekend, including the United Kingdom.

Overall, Imax weekend box office was bolstered by the continued strong performance of Disney/20th Century’s Free Guy in China, which has now grossed $8.7 million on Imax China screens — or 14.5% of the nationwide total gross on less than 1% of screens.

Shang-Chi and Free Guy reveal just how much hybrid distribution and the resulting piracy this year have impacted box office and obscured the pent-up demand among moviegoers for the cinema,” Gelfond said in a statement. “Exclusive theatrical releases continue to see bigger openings, better holds, and have now launched two new blockbuster franchises in the past month that fans will enjoy across screens for years to come.”

AMC Theatres Sets Labor Day Ticket Sales Record

The fiscal largess from Disney’s $90 million Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opening weekend box office continues to spread throughout the Hollywood food chain.

World’s largest exhibitor AMC Theatres Sept. 7 announced a new Labor Day admissions-revenue record, eclipsing the previous admissions record set during Labor Day weekend in 2013. In addition to the revenue record, the Labor Day weekend marks the first time since the beginning of COVID that attendance during a weekend in 2021 exceeded the same weekend in pre-pandemic 2019.

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More than 2 million people watched movies at AMC’s domestic screens Sept. 2-5. More than 800,000 additional moviegoers visited AMC’s international theaters in Europe and the Middle East.

Shang-Chi opened to a reported $90 million for its domestic opening weekend Sept. 3-6. This is approximately triple the previous Labor Day opening weekend record of $30.6 million set by Rob Zombie’s Halloween in 2007.

“For two overarching reasons, this Labor Day weekend in the United States has been an important milestone for AMC as we steadily work to generate a recovery for our business,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. “This is the very first weekend that our attendance numbers were ahead of those of the same weekend pre-pandemic, since we closed our theaters in March of 2020.”

Aron added he was glad Disney opted for a theatrical window versus the hybrid Premier Access/box office distribution model employed for Jungle Cruise and Black Widow. Critics contend Disney undermined the Black Widow box office by concurrently releasing the Marvel movie on PVOD. The film’s star, Scarlett Johansson, is suing Disney alleging the hybrid release strategy undermined her potential financial compensation — reportedly as high as $100 million.

Disney+’s ‘Loki’ Top Rising Show, Netflix’s ‘Lupin’ Top Binge on TV Time Charts

Disney+’s “Loki” was the top rising show and Netflix’s “Lupin” was the top binge show on the TV Time charts the week ended June 13.

“Loki,” which debuted on Disney+ June 9, follows the time traveling exploits of the Norse god from the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Tom Hiddleston reprising the role.

The French series “Lupin,” season two of which hit Netflix June 11, follows a gentleman thief whose quest for revenge has torn his family to pieces. The show also took the bronze on the rising show chart.

Taking the No. 2 spot on the rising show chart was “Trese,” which debuted on Netflix June 10. The anime series is set in Manila, where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans. Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld composed of malevolent supernatural beings.

Coming in at No. 2 on the binge chart was “Lucifer,” season five of which debuted on Netflix May 28. It follows the fallen angel’s exploits in modern day Los Angeles.

Taking the third spot on the binge chart (No. 7 on the rising show chart) was Netflix’s adventure fantasy “Sweet Tooth,” which hit screens June 4. It chronicles the results of “The Great Crumble,” which wreaked havoc on the world and led to the mysterious emergence of hybrids — babies born part human, part animal. Unsure if hybrids are the cause or result of the virus, many humans fear and hunt them. After a decade of living safely in his secluded forest home, a sheltered hybrid deer-boy named Gus unexpectedly befriends a wandering loner named Jepperd . Together they set out on an extraordinary adventure across what’s left of America in search of answers.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by almost 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program. The network displayed is the network where the show first aired (e.g. “Friends” on NBC).

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Top Binge Shows Week Ended June 13 by Share of Binges:

  1. “Lupin” (Netflix) — 3.62%
  2. “Lucifer” (Netflix) — 3.54%
  3. “Sweet Tooth” (Netflix) — 2.14%
  4. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC U.S.) — 1.96%
  5. “One Piece” (Fuji TV) — 1.86%
  6. “Modern Family” (ABC U.S.) — 1.85%
  7. “Friends” (NBC) — 1.47%
  8. “Love, Victor” (Hulu) — 1.39%
  9. “Summertime” (Netflix) — 1.18%
  10. “The Office” (U.S.) (Netflix) — 1.12%

 

Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended June 13 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “Loki” (Disney+) — 100%
  2. “Trese” (Netflix) — 99.9%
  3. “Lupin” (Netflix) — 96.8%
  4. “Love, Victor” (Hulu) — 94.7%
  5. “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (HBO) — 73.4%
  6. “Batwoman” (The CW) — 69.7%
  7. “Sweet Tooth” (Netflix) — 59.3%
  8. “The Owl House” (Disney Channel) — 56.7%
  9. “Total Drama” (Teletoon) — 56.3%
  10. “Walker” (The CW) — 53.6%

Disney+ Proclaims Marvel’s ‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Its Most Watched Series Premiere Ever

The Disney+ original series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” from Marvel Studios ranked as the most watched series premiere ever on Disney+ during its March 19-22 opening weekend, and was the most-watched title overall for the same time period on a global basis, including in Disney+ Hotstar markets, according to the streaming service.

The premiere of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” joins the premieres of Marvel Studios’ first live-action series “WandaVision” and the season two premiere of “The Mandalorian” from Lucasfilm as the three most-watched Disney+ original series opening weekends to-date, the studio announced.

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“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier. The pair, who came together in the final moments of Avengers: Endgame, team up on a global adventure that tests their abilities — and their patience.

Directed by Kari Skogland with Malcolm Spellman serving as head writer, the six-episode series also stars Daniel Brühl as Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter and Wyatt Russell as John Walker. “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” debuted worldwide on Disney+ March 19.

Vizio Official HDTV and Sound Bar Partner for ‘Marvel’s Avengers’ Game

Vizio announced the launch of a partnership with Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics as the official HDTV and sound bar partner for the Marvel’s Avengers video game.

From the new line of IQ 4K HDR processors to Vizio’s ProGaming Engine, every new Vizio 4K TV is designed to optimize the gaming experience, according to Vizio.

The Vizio 2021 collection has started hitting retail shelves over the past four weeks and will continue to roll out through the fall.

“Today’s gamers want to enhance their playing experience,” Bill Baxter, chief technology officer at Vizio, said in a statement. “When they combine a new Vizio 4K TV and new 5.1 sound bar they increase their ability to win and raise their gaming position. We have created an entirely new lineup of 4K TVs with a dedicated gaming engine and immersive 5.1 sound bars that offer a best-in-class gaming experience. We’re excited to be the official HDTV and Sound Bar partner for the new Marvel’s Avengers game and to give gamers every advantage as they play the highly anticipated game upon its release.”

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“Video games are our passion,” Karl Stewart, head of worldwide strategic partnerships at Square Enix, said in a statement. “Now more than ever they are essential to bringing friends and family together. That’s why we are truly excited to work with Vizio and give gamers the perfect way to experience our game with Vizio as the official HDTV and sound bar for Marvel’s Avengers when it launches on Sept. 4.”

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Vizio delivers Quantum Color, Full Array LED with up to 3,000 nits of peak brightness, according to the company. The company is further enhancing its 4K TVs with next-gen gaming performance. Vizio V-Series 4K TVs include the new V-Gaming Engine, which utilizes Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Auto Game Mode to optimize performance upon identifying the game signal. Step-up models such as the M-Series, P-Series Quantum, P-Series Quantum X, and all new OLED include a ProGaming Engine, which offers support for variable refresh rate (VRR) and support for 4K at 120fps. Utilizing 64-bit image processing and offering HDMI 2.1 connectivity along with eARC passthrough, utilizing Vizio’s IQ Ultra and IQ Active processors adjust contrast at the level of individual pixels. The 1GHz CPU smooths contours and gradients in real time for more natural-looking graphics while accurately upscaling HD content to 4K resolution, according to Vizio. The Elevate Sound Bar features DTS:X and rotating speakers that blast sound overhead.

“We want Marvel’s Avengers to be a completely immersive gaming experience and VIZIO’s high performance takes everything to an entirely different level,” Crystal Dynamics creative director Shaun Escayg said in a statement. “The all-new Vizio ProGaming Engine in their TVs will make you feel like you’re a superhero.”

Marvel’s Avengers is a third-person action-adventure game combining a single-player campaign with online co-op action. Players must reassemble, rebuild, and customize their heroes’ roster to play an original Avengers single-player campaign, then enter the Avengers Initiative to battle solo or online alongside friends and continue the expanding story around the globe. They can also customize Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and master their unique powers to defend the world from escalating threats for years to come.

Marvel’s Avengers will bow for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC on Sept. 4, and will be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when the consoles launch in holiday 2020. The game is currently rated ‘T’ (Teen) by the ESRB.

Entertainment One Inks Deal With Former Marvel Exec Jeremy Latcham

Entertainment One has entered into a first-look agreement with producer and former Marvel Studios executive Jeremy Latcham.

Hasbro recently acquired eOne.

The first project announced under the deal is a film for “Dungeons & Dragons,” which is managed by Wizards of the Coast, a Hasbro subsidiary that also manages “Magic: The Gathering.” Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley are attached to write and direct the film, which is co-produced by eOne, Hasbro’s global entertainment studio, and Paramount. This film marks the first project for eOne with Paramount since eOne’s acquisition by Hasbro.

“Jeremy is a massively talented producer with a track record of creating true-to-brand films with size and scope that resonate with audiences and excel on a global scale,” Nick Meyer, eOne president of film, said in a statement. “In our exciting new era with Hasbro, we’re thrilled to begin this new partnership and look forward to sharing the amazing projects that are to come.”

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“Nick and the entire eOne team have welcomed me into the fold with open arms,” Latcham said in a statement. “Hasbro’s incredibly rich library of beloved brands in addition to the opportunity to develop original material makes for a very exciting next step for me as a creative producer. My passion for telling stories steeped in heart, humor and spectacle aligns with D&D’s decades of immersive, adventure-driven storytelling, and I am beyond excited to help John and Jonathan, eOne, Paramount, and Wizards of the Coast bring this rich world to filmgoing audiences.”

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Latcham most recently produced 2018’s Bad Times at the El Royale. Previously, Latcham spent 13 years at Marvel Studios, where he executive produced Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers. Latcham was the associate producer on Iron Man and co-producer on Iron Man 2.

Hasbro’s additional film properties include the “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” film franchises.

Ahead of Disney+ Launch, Service Secures Additional Marvel Movies

Just hours before its domestic and Holland launch, Disney+ has secured additional streaming rights to select Marvel Studios titles.

The $6.99 subscription streaming service Nov. 11 tweeted it would launch the next day with the following Marvel Studios movies: Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

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The titles are in addition to previously-announced Marvel titles available at launch on Disney+: Iron Man, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel.

The service will not have Black Panther, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Avengers: Infinity War and Thor: Ragnarok — all of which are under contract with Netflix through the end of the year.

With Disney staking much of its video future on over-the-top distribution, giving subscribers access to as many proprietary movies at launch is a prerequisite for success.

Disney worked out a marketing deal with Lionsgate-owned Starz to secure launch streaming rights to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Disney is running banner ads for Starz on Disney+ to compensate the multi-platform rival.

A similar deal apparently was not worked out with Universal Pictures, which means The Incredible Hulk will not be on Disney+ at launch.

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Actors Reveled in Chaperone Hijinks

They may play poor chaperones who tend to lose students — notably Spidey alter ego Peter Parker — but the antics of J.B. Smoove (Mr. Dell) and Martin Starr (returning as Mr. Harrington) provide plenty of comic relief in Spider Man: Far From Home.

The latest Spidey superhero flick is available now on digital and on 4K Ultra HD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack and DVD Oct. 1 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In playing the teacher/chaperones on a European trip with Parker and his friends, Smoove and Starr were encouraged to improvise and try alternate jokes.

“The writers were there as we were shooting it, so that there were a lot of things changing on the fly,” said Starr. “[Director] Jon Watts had a lot of ideas that he gave us to just play with, so we were given a fair amount of freedom to play.”

Smoove found comedy in playing it straight.

“Even when we had our arguments about everything that was going on — that he was messing up, losing tickets and didn’t have the hotel reservations right — I played it like I was mad as hell at this guy for not going his job,” Smoove noted.

One comic scene featuring the duo that ultimately didn’t make it into the film is included on the extras under “Teachers’ Travel Tips.”

“Jon Watts had an idea that, as we had gone on, Mr. Dell keeps thinking that I’m cursed, and it became like a running joke that we would throw into different scenes that Mr. Harrington is just cursed, so every hotel that he sets up, every city that they visit, every opportunity that they have for like going to the opera, everything becomes really just about me being cursed,” Starr said.

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The duo played it as if the attack of the Elementals is part of that affliction.

“There’s a moment where [the curse] comes to a climax, where the Elementals are fighting in the river and I take responsibility, and I’m like, ‘Kids, go save yourselves. I’m the one they want,’” Starr said. “And then Mr. Dell leaves, too. And then I’m like screaming at the Elementals, ‘Take me! Take me!’ And I think it was the last thing to get cut.

“It was so close to being in the movie.”

As comic book fans themselves, both were thrilled to play supporting characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“It was very cool,” Starr said. “Spider-Man was the only comic book that I had a subscription to. I’ve read a number of different comic books. X-Men and Spider-Man were the two that I read the most, but Spider-Man I had a subscription to, so it actually came to my house. This was very cool to become a part of this particular story.”

Smoove, too, relished comic books growing up.

“I would hop on the train in Mount Vernon and go to the Bronx,” he recalled. “They had this huge comic book store there. We would spend three or four hours there. Between buying stuff, and reading stuff until the guy told us to stop reading stuff and buy it, we would be there all day.”

He added, “I still have comic books somewhere in boxes in plastic. I might be sitting on a good hundred thousand dollars. If things go bad…”

Starr and Smoove Sept. 17 continued their chaperone duties by taking journalists and others on a “field trip” in Los Angeles to uncover some of the visual magic behind Spider-Man: Far From Home. The group visited The Third Floor Visualization, which created the pre-vis graphics for the film; Ironhead Studio, which designed costumes; and ended at The Magic Castle, where illusionist Jason Latimer used science to create illusions.

Disney Opening Branded Stores at Target

The Walt Disney Co. and Target Corp. Aug. 25 at D23 Expo announced a retail collaboration aimed at jumpstarting the Disney brand in third-party retail locations.

Disney is launching 25 branded stores within select Target stores nationwide on Oct. 4, with 40 additional locations opening by October 2020.

The partnership also includes a Disney-focused digital experience on Target.com. Additionally, a new Target store will open at Flamingo Crossings Town Center at the western entrance of the Walt Disney World Resort in 2021.

To Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and former head of home entertainment, the retail collaboration combines two companies’ focus on families at the retail level.

“Disney and Target share a common vision to provide our guests and consumers with innovative and unique experiences, and high quality product,” Chapek said in a statement.

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Brian Cornell, CEO at Target, said the companies’ combined omni-channel retail platform would create “inspiring and unique” experiences for consumers.

“This collaboration reflects the strength of our platforms and assets to create value for guests and growth for both companies beyond the traditional retail model,” he said.

The branded stores will showcase specialty merchandise from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars, in addition to featuring clips of movies available theatrically and in home entertainment.

Target remains one of the largest retailers of packaged media entertainment.

The launch will include a new assortment of merchandise from Disney’s Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Additional locations will be added to more Target stores over the next year to expand the Disney store retail footprint.

The Disney stores will be Target-operated, branded “shop-in-shop” with an average of 750 square feet, strategically located inside Target stores adjacent to kids clothing and toys, replicated online at Target.com/Disneystore and on the Target app.

The “shop-in-shop” will feature an enhanced Disney assortment of more than 450 items, including more than 100 products that were previously only available at Disney retail locations.

Consumers will be able to browse and shop a variety of Disney Princess, Star Wars, Marvel, Disney Junior characters, classic Disney plush, apparel, home and holiday-specific products.

They’ll also be able to access collectible merchandise, including the Disney Animators’ Collection with dolls, clothing and accessories. Items will range in price from $2 to $200, with many items under $20.

Disney store at Target promises an engaging shopping experience with music, interactive displays, photo opportunities and a seating area where families can relax and watch Disney movie clips and Park events.

Consumers will be able to take advantage of all of the benefits of shopping at Target when they purchase items from Disney store at Target, whether online or in stores.

Target consumers can purchase Disney products with 5% off using their Target REDcard and can take advantage of convenient pickup and delivery options, including same-day pickup, same-day delivery and free two-day shipping.

Disney store at Target will open in October in the following 25 Target stores:

Allen North #2516 (Allen, Texas)
Austin NW #1797 (Austin, Texas)
Bozeman #1237 (Bozeman, Mont.)
Brighton #922 (Brighton, Mich.)
Chicago Brickyard #1924 (Chicago, Ill.)
Clearwater #1820 (Clearwater, Fla.)
Denver Stapleton #2052 (Denver, Colo.)
Edmond #1398 (Edmond, Okla.)
Euless #1368 (Euless, Texas)
Houston North Central #1458 (Spring, Texas)
Jacksonville Mandarin #1300 (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Keizer #2110 (Keizer, Ore.)
Lake Stevens #1331 (Lake Stevens, Wash.)
Leesburg #1874 (Leesburg, Va.)
Loveland #1178 (Loveland, Colo.)
Maple Grove North #2193 (Maple Grove, Minn.)
Mobile West #1376 (Mobile, Ala.)
Murrieta #1283 (Murrieta, Calif.)
New Lenox #2028 (New Lenox, Ill.)
Pasadena #1396 (Pasadena, Texas)
Philadelphia West #2124 (Philadelphia, Pa.)
San Jose College Park #2088 (San Jose, Calif.)
South Jordan #2123 (South Jordan, Utah)
Stroudsburg #1260 (Stroudsburg, Pa.)
Waterford Park #2068 (Clarksville, Ind.)

 

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Arriving Digitally July 30, on Disc Aug. 13 From Disney

Disney will release Marvel Studios’ blockbuster Avengers: Endgame digitally July 30 (including Movies Anywhere), and on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and on demand Aug. 13.

The 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe concludes the first “Avengers” saga that has spanned 11 years, beginning with 2008’s Iron Man. The film, in which the Avengers take one final stand against Thanos, has earned $834.9 at the domestic box office. Its $2.75 billion worldwide box office tally is the highest-ever for a film in its initial theatrical run (without a re-release).

Bonus features include a tribute to Stan Lee; the tale of Robert Downey Jr.’s casting as Iron Man; the evolution of Captain America; Black Widow’s dramatic story arc; directors Anthony and Joe Russo’s experience at the helm of both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame; the making of an epic battle scene with the women of the MCU; the creation of Bro Thor; deleted scenes; a gag reel and more.

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The digital release, available in 4K Ultra HD, HD and SD, offers access to an exclusive extra highlighting the love story of Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Peggy Carter.

Consumers can also buy a digital bundle of all four films in the Avengers franchise, which includes Marvel’s The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

The film’s theatrical run is expanding June 28 with an introduction by the Russo Brothers and additional post-credits footage.