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Ahoy! Disney has confirmed a new release date for the latest sequel in the money-making Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Although the fourth movie, On Stranger Tides, performed the worst out of all four, it still made over $200 million at the US box office and thus justifies yet another sequel, even though fans have even begun losing interest. Initially titled Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, this fifth one is now scheduled for release on July 7th, 2017 - the same opening weekend as the first two films, release in 2003 and 2006. That is still three years away, but at least they have an actual release date.
Briefly: Universal has updated their 2015 release schedule with a few changes that should be good news for fans of this franchise. The release date for James Wan's sequel Fast & Furious 7, which is just finishing up production after a delay due to the tragic death of actor Paul Walker. The seventh movie in the Fast and Furious franchise was originally set to hit theaters April 10th, but will now arrive Friday, April 3rd, 2015, putting it against romance The Longest Ride two weeks before Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 opens. It should be a huge hit. In addition to Walker, the cast for Fast & Furious 7 includes Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Kurt Russell, Lucas Black, Jordana Brewster, Djimon Hounsou, Tyrese & Tony Jaa. All 2015 releases.
Briefly: It looks like we have official release dates for the next two Steven Spielberg-directed movies. In the last year, we've been covering news on Spielberg projects that have come about since Robopocalypse was delayed. A few months ago it was announced Spielberg was attached to an adaptation of Roald Dahl's The BFG (seen above), a family friendly story about a little girl who leads a friendly giant and the Queen of England on a journey to stop man-eating giants from gobbling children. Thanks to @ERCboxoffice, that one has been scheduled for release July 1st, 2016 two years away. In addition, the Cold War thriller starring Tom Hanks that Spielberg is also attached to has been given a release date - October 16th, 2015. Read on.
Briefly: We now have a release date for the next Jeff Nichols movie! If you're not already a fan of filmmaker Jeff Nichols, there's always time to get caught up with his films: Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and Mud. He's in the middle of directing his first studio feature for Warner Bros now titled Midnight Special, a "government chase film" sci-fi inspired by John Carpenter about a kid who develops "extraordinary power"; starring Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver. This sounds like it's going to be awesome and even WB is so excited they greenlit it fast. Now Midnight Special is scheduled for release on November 25th, 2015 late next year, the same exact day as Pixar's The Good Dinosaur was reset for. WB also pushed Affleck's Live By Night from late 2015 to October 2016 - after Man of Steel 2. Full 2015.
Briefly: How will you spend your Christmas Day? How about snuggling up with loved ones at the cinema for the latest Tim Burton movie. That's the plan for 2014, as The Weinstein Company has scheduled Burton's latest, titled Big Eyes, for release on December 25th, Christmas Day, 2014. The film stars Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams as real-life artists Walter and Margaret Keane, who became famous in the 1960's with their wide-eyed depictions of women and children. This was shot last summer mostly in/around British Columbia for a much lower budget than Burton's Dark Shadows, and this release date seems to indicate it might be more family oriented than some of his other recent work. With the release now 7 months away, we expect to see a trailer and poster hit sometime soon. Stay tuned for updates on the latest Tim Burton movie.
Briefly: After getting a first look at Bennett Miller's latest drama Foxcatcher last year, Sony Pictures Classics decided to move the film out of last year's Oscar race to an unknown release in 2014. Now the film starring Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum is poised to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next month, and has just received another awards season release date on November 14th this fall. The film tells the true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Ruffalo) and their relationship with the eccentric John du Pont (Carell), heir to the du Pont Chemical fortune that led to murder. We'll likely have a full report on this one out of Cannes so stay tuned.
Get ready for more odd, exciting, intriguing cinema to catch this fall, as Drafthouse Films has confirmed release dates (via BoxOfficeMojo) for a number of their 2014 films. The doc The Final Member just opened today, and they have Borgman, Nothing Bad Can Happen and Mood Indigo set for the summer. After that, they just scheduled Ari Folman's half-animated mind-trip sci-fi film The Congress (starring Robin Wright as seen in the teaser photo) for August 29th late in the summer. Dog Day Afternoon doc The Dog will also be released in early August. Drafthouse Films has four additional films set to open late 2014. Read on!
Briefly: Last month, we learned the developing sequel to Steven Soderbergh's male stripper hit Magic Mike would be going by the appropriately bigger title of Magic Mike XXL and the original film's first assistant director Greg Jacobs would be at the helm this time. Now Warner Bros. has announced that the sequel will arrive in a prime summer spot on July 3rd, 2015, just in time to take advantage of the big box office that always comes through on July 4th weekend. That means the Channing Tatum sequel will arrive just a couple days after Terminator: Genesis, but the target audiences couldn't be more different. We still don't know much of anything about the film other than it's "a road movie sort of thing," so stay tuned for more.
Briefly: Fox Searchlight has announced a release date for Alejandro G. Iñárritu's Birdman, a Broadway stage drama about a fading actor starring Michael Keaton (seen above), for early in awards season 2014. Birdman will open in select theaters starting October 17th, 2014 this fall; a similar release date slot was used by Searchlight to debut 12 Years a Slave last year, and that went all the way to win Best Picture. Not saying that Birdman has that chance as we haven't seen much yet, but it will be something to behold anyway - with Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki behind the long-take cinematography. Also in the cast: Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts.
Briefly: Indie distributor IFC Films has confirmed a summer release date for Richard Linklater's Boyhood, his ambitious time capsule project filmed over the course of 12 years following a boy growing up in Texas. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews (here's my review) and has been touring around to other festivals, stopping at SXSW in Austin and the Berlin Film Festival. There's nothing like it, a must-see for its masterfully captured and beautifully realistic look at growing up, starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as the parents, and I hope it does well even in the thick of the summer. Boyhood will open in limited theaters starting July 11th this summer. We'll keep you updated on trailers and more.
Once slated for release last month, the found footage time travel adventure Welcome to Yesterday was delayed by Paramount Pictures so the studio could partner with MTV Films (both under the Viacom name) in order to refine the marketing strategy. Paramount wanted to use the MTV connection to reach a bigger teen and college audience, especially after the initial trailer and marketing were testing well already. The film was only supposed to be delayed until the fall, but now Borys Kit of THR has news out of CinemaCon in Las Vegas that the film will now be called Project Almanac and will hit theaters in January 2015 now.
Briefly: With the annual CinemaCon exhibition industry convention taking place next week, Hollywood is solidifying their upcoming release schedule with dates for their next five years of blockbusters. 20th Century Fox has set some big comic book movie release dates to top off everything else on their line-up in the next few years. Fox has scheduled The Wolverine sequel, which just announced that James Mangold would be returning to direct, for March 3rd, 2017 early in the year, along with The Fantastic Four 2 (sequel) set for July 14th, 2017. They're betting big on this, as we still have to see Josh Trank's new take on Fantastic Four in 2015 to begin with. As we still have three years to go, we expect plenty of updates on these projects.
Briefly: We got a first look at the indie romantic comedy The F Word last summer with Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan looking pretty friendly. But since then, the title has been changed to the generic What If, and CBS Films has given the film a release date of August 1st this year in NY and LA before expanding elsewhere in the weeks following. The film is directed by Michael Dowse (Goon) and written by Elan Mastai (The Samaritan) and tells the story of a young man recovering from a failed relationship and trying to navigate a new friendship with an alluring girl (Zoe Kazan of Ruby Sparks) that seems to be developing into a romance until he discovers that she has a boyfriend. Radcliffe in a romantic comedy? We're interested.
Briefly: Not to be confused with the other indie Sundance '07 horror thriller The Signal, a triptych set of stories, this is one full-length sci-fi indie feature that just premiered at Sundance 2014. Another one of our favorite Sundance films (my review) this year finally gets a release date, as Focus Features has announced that William Eubank's The Signal will hit limited theaters starting June 13th, 2014 this summer, with wider expansions June 20th and June 27th. In The Signal, three college students on a road trip across the Southwest experience a detour; the tracking of a computer genius who has already hacked into MIT and exposed security faults. The trio find themselves drawn to an eerily isolated area when suddenly, everything goes dark. The film stars Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp and Laurence Fishburne. More soon.