UPDATED: January 7, 2022 to reflect the news that Pixar’s Turning Red will premiere on Disney+ instead of having a theatrical release.

Pixar’s Turning Red has become the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on Hollywood. The film, which is about a teen girl who “poofs” into a giant red panda when she’s excited, is skilling its theatrical release and will premiere March 11 exclusively on Disney+. Domee Shi, who is known for her work on the Oscar-winning short Bao, directed the film, which stars Rosalie Chiang as the confident — if dorky — 13-year-old Mei Lee and Sandra Oh as her smothering mother, Ming.

Turning Red is far from the only film that’s experienced some release changes due to the pandemic. The long-awaited fifth Indiana Jones movie, which was scheduled to be released in summer 2022, has shifted to a June 30, 2023 release. Other schedule changes include Thor: Love and Thunder, which moves to July 8, 2022 and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which moves to November 11, 2022.

(Photo by Pixar)

This doesn’t mean that Walt Disney Studios or its subsidiaries (think Marvel, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Studios) don’t have plenty of other content coming soon. The Mouse House recently announced that Owen Wilson and Rosario Dawson would be joining the cast of director Justin Simien’s Haunted Mansion movie. And news also recently broke that there are plans for a second Jungle Cruise film after the box office success of the 2021 Emily Blunt-Dwayne Johnson film. In original properties not based on IPs, Free Guy star Ryan Reynolds has stated that the studio would be interested in a sequel to that summer 2021 hit.

Below, we’ve gathered details for some of the flashier Disney and Disney-associated films that are expected to hit in the next few years – it’s the most comprehensive new Disney movies list you’ll find. We’ll add to this list as more information becomes available, especially in regards to the speculation surrounding Marvel and Pixar movies still waiting release dates – and in some cases, titles – as well as other rumored and in-development films like the sixth Pirates of the Caribbean.

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Upcoming Premieres

Below, you’ll find the Disney-produced projects that have locked release dates – for now. Among them are big-hitters like Black Panther 2 and Lightyear. Expect some of the dates later in the set to shift as announcements are made, and note that the situation with the coronavirus and theater openings remains fluid. We’ll keep this list updated so you’re always on top of what’s coming up. We’ve noted which of these are Twentieth Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures releases.

(20th Century Studios)
Release Date: January 14, 2022
Director: Adrian Lyne
Starring: Ana de Armas, Ben Affleck, Rachel Blanchard

This adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel centers on a husband who allows his wife to have affairs to stave off a divorce, only to become a suspect when her lovers begin to disappear. Director Adrian Lyne has form here: He directed both Unfaithful and Fatal Attraction. But this will be his first film in 18 years.



Release Date:  January 28, 2022
Director: John C. Donkin
Cast: Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg returns as the swashbuckling weasel in this 20th Century Studios film franchise. It will air in early 2022 on Disney+.



(20th Century Studios)
Release Date: February 11, 2022
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Gal Gadot, Letitia Wright, Armie Hammer, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Bateman

Branagh, who directed and starred in the 2017 adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, returns to the universe of Agatha Christie mysteries. This one finds his Belgian detective Hercule Poirot forced to cut his beach-side vacation short when a young heiress turns up murdered. The film was scheduled to be released in December 2020, but was rescheduled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.




Release Date: February 18, 2022
Director: Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum
Starring: Chosen Jacobs, Lexi Underwood

A modern twist on the Cinderella story, this Disney+ film follows a budding sneaker designer who falls in love with the daughter of a basketball star. His best friend and a Fairy Godmother help me realize his dreams.



Release date: March 11, 2022
Director: Domee Shi
Starring: Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh

Domee Shi, who won an Academy Award for her Pixar short Bao, is directing this film. It’s about a teenage girl named Mei who is experiencing all the awkwardness of that age — except she turns into a giant red panda every time she gets too excited. Although the film had planned to have a theatrical release, Disney announced in January 2022 that it would instead premiere exclusively on Disney+.



Release date: March 2022
Director: Gail Lerner
Cast: Gabrielle Union, Zach Braff

Disney confirmed during the December 2020 Walt Disney Company investors day that Black-ish creator Kenya Barris was penning the script for this film and that Gabrielle Union would star. It’s reported that Zach Braff will play opposite her and Gail Lerner is directing. It is described as a story about “a blended family of 12, navigating a hectic home life and their family business.” At the 2021 Disney+ Day, it was announced that the film would premiere in March 2022 on Disney+.


Chip n Dale

(Photo by © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, © Marvel Studios)


Release date: May 6, 2022
Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong

Benedict Cumberbatch returns as the Sorcerer Supreme with Elizabeth Olsen joining him as the Scarlet Witch in what is being touted as the first scary MCU movie. Director Scott Derrickson left the project, and Sam Raimi – who helmed the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man films – confirmed in April 2020 that he was now overseeing it. However, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the film’s release date from November 2021 to March 2022. It was moved again to May 6, 2022, replacing Thor: Love and Thunder (which moved to July 2022).


(20th Century Studios)
Release Date: May 27, 2022
Director: Lauren Bouchard
Starring: H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal

Oh to imagine all the burger-related puns that could fit into a full-length movie. Hoping to rekindle the box-office magic that The Simpsons Movie did in 2007 (it grossed $183,100,000), the movie adaptation of this popular Fox sitcom is now officially a go after a lot of red tape in the Disney-Fox acquisition. The film was slated to be released in April 2021, but coronavirus-related concerns have temporarily bumped it off the schedule before it was rescheduled for May 2022.


(Photo by © Pixar, © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)


Release date: June 17, 2022
Director: Angus MacLane
Starring: Chris Evans

In a bit of brilliant meta filmmaking, Pixar offers this movie – an origin story not about the toy Tim Allen voices in the Toy Story movies, but about the movie character that inspired that doll. Chris Evans voices the hero who infamously (also) goes “to infinity and beyond.”


Marvel Studios

(Photo by © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, © Marvel Studios)


Release date: July 8, 2022
Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman

Shortly before Comic-Con 2019, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi signed on to return for a fourth installment in the God of Thunder franchise. In a surprise move, Marvel revealed that Natalie Portman is returning to the series as the new Mighty Thor, a twist pulled from a Thor comic book series by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and others. Meanwhile, Tessa Thompson will return as Valkyrie, the king of New Asgard who must find a Queen. It was confirmed during The Walt Disney Company’s December 2020 investors day that Christian Bale would play villain, Gorr the God Butcher.


Disenchanted
Release Date: Fall 2022
Director: Adam Shankman
Cast: Amy Adams

The Variety article that announces Shankman’s ties to Hocus Pocus 2 also states that Shankman was in pre-production on Disenchanted – a sequel to 2007’s Enchanted – when that news broke. It was confirmed during the December 2020 The Walt Disney Company investors day that Amy Adams would be reprising her starring role from the first film.

Production on the sequel started in May 2021 and it was announced at the 2021 Disney+ Day that the film would premiere in fall 2022 on the streamer. James Marsden, Patrick Dempsey and Idina Menzel will also be reprising their roles while Maya Rudolph and newcomer Gabriella Baldacchino join the cast.


Bette Midler in Hocus Pocus

(Photo by Buena Vista courtesy Everett Collection)

Hocus Pocus 2
Release Date: Fall 2022
Director: Anne Fletcher
Cast: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy

In March 2020, Variety reported that Hairspray director Adam Shankman was attached to direct this sequel while others reported in April 2021 that Anne Fletcher has taken over directing duties. Disney confirmed in May 2021 that the original film’s stars, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, would be returning for this movie and that the plot will follow “three young women [who] accidentally bring the Sanderson Sisters back to modern day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on the world.” It will air in fall 2022 on Disney+.


Pinocchio

(Photo by © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Pinocchio Live-Action Movie
Release Date: Fall 2022
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Tom Hanks

Continuing Disney’s trend of making live-action versions of fan-favorite films from its vault, it was announced in January 2020 that Robert Zemeckis had signed on to co-write and direct a version of Pinocchio in this format. It was announced during the December 2020 The Walt Disney Company investors day that Tom Hanks would star as woodworker Geppetto. In March 2021, it was announced that Benjamin Evan Ainsworth would play the title character, Cynthia Erivo would play the Blue Fairy, Keegan-Michael Key would play Honest John, and that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would play Jiminy Cricket. It will air in fall 2022 on Disney+.


Christian Bale David O Russell

(Photo by © Marvel Studios)


Release Date: November 11, 2022
Director: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett

Much is at stake for the second chapter of Black Panther – including how it will pay tribute to star Chadwick Boseman, who died of complications related to colon cancer in August 2020. It was announced during The Walt Disney Company’s December 2020 investors day that lead character T’Challa will not be recast and, instead, the film “will explore the world of Wakanda & the rich characters introduced in the first film.” The film was scheduled to be released in July 2022, but was pushed to that November.


Strange World
Release Date: November 23, 2022
Director: Don Hall
Starring: TBD

Formerly titled Searcher Clade, this action-adventure is an ode to pulp magazines and follows the legendary Clades, a family of explorers whose differences threaten to topple their latest and, by far most crucial, mission.


(20th Century Studios)
Release Date: December 16, 2022
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver

The long-awaited sequel to director Cameron’s box-office hit and Best Picture nominee checks in with Worthington’s former human, Jake Sully, and his partner, Neytiri (Saldana), a member of Na’vi royalty. Weaver, whose character died in the first film, is back in a new role. Lang, whose character also died in the first film, is also back (somehow). New cast members include Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis. Production was delayed on this film, as well as Avatar 34, and , due to coronavirus concerns.


Rodrick Rules
Release Date: 2022
Director:  TBD
Starring: TBD

A second animated film from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series will premiere in 2022 on Disney+. It is not to be confused with the 2011 live-action film with a similar name.



Release Date: February 17, 2023
Director:  Nia DaCosta
Starring: Brie Larson
Captain Marvel star Brie Larson will return for the second film, which we will finally see in the summer of 2022. In January 2020, it was announced that WandaVision’s Megan McDonnell would write the script. it was announced at The Walt Disney Company’s December 2020 investor day that Nia DaCosta would direct and that Iman Vellani, who plays Ms. Marvel in that titular Disney+ TV show, will appear in this film.


Guardians of the Galaxy

(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

The Little Mermaid
Release Date: May 26, 2023
Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Halle Bailey, Awkwafina, Daveed Diggs

This remake of the Disney classic is one of the most anticipated releases the studio has coming – at least, if the feverishness of the rumor mill is anything to go by. We know that R&B star Halle Bailey will play Ariel, Daveed Diggs will play Sebastian, Awkwafina will play Scuttle, and Jonah Hauer-King will play Prince Eric.

The film will include music from the animated smash as well as new songs from Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.


Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

(Photo by ©Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection)

Untitled Indiana Jones Film 
Release date: June 30, 2023
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Mads Mikkelsen

Ready your leather jackets and fedoras. After much waiting, the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise will finally arrive in theaters in summer 2023. While plot details about the rugged archaeologist’s latest adventures have truly yet to be unearthed, star Harrison Ford is set to return, while Steven Spielberg has handed the directing reins over to Ford v Ferrari and Logan helmer James Mangold. The film had been scheduled to be released in July 2022, but it was announced in October 2021 that Disney was pushing its release to June 2023.


Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Release Date: July 28, 2023
Director: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd

The third chapter in the Rudd-starring superhero standalone “is going to be a much bigger, more sprawling movie than the first two,” director Reed said when visiting SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show in August 2020. Reed also teased then that “it’s going to have a very different visual template.” It was confirmed during parent The Walt Disney Company’s December 2020 investor meeting that Kathryn Newton was joining the cast as Cassie Lang and Jonathan Majors would play Kang the Conqueror. In addition to Rudd, previous cast members Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer will also return. In October 2021, it was announced that the film had been pushed from February 2023 to July 2023.


Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
Release Date: December 23, 2023
Director: Patty Jenkins
Starring: TBD

The first-ever Star Wars film to be directed by a woman follows a group of fighter pilots who band together to defend good from evil.


Avatar 3 (20th Century Studios)
Release date: December 20, 2024
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana


Avatar 4 (20th Century Studios)
Release date: December 18, 2026
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana


Avatar 5 (20th Century Studios)
Release date: December 22, 2028
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana


Awaiting Premiere Dates

Below are projects that have been announced, are in some state of development – we define “stalled” as a state of development – and whose dates we’re still awaiting for. A number are projects that are set to premiere on Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, and a number were taken off the schedule following the coronavirus outbreak and have not been re-dated.

For more info on upcoming Marvel films without release dates, check our our full list of upcoming Marvel movies.


Nimona (20th Century Studios)
Director: Patrick Osborne
Starring: TBD

This animated film is based on the graphic novels by Noelle Stevenson – a.k.a. the creator of Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power – and tells the story of a young shape shifter who happens to be the sidekick of a super-villain.


Fantastic Four
Director: Jon Watts
Starring: TBD

It was announced during The Walt Disney Company’s December 2020 investor day that Jon Watts was on board to helm a long-rumored new version of the Fantastic Four series. It’s been reported that the film will premiere in 2023.


Children of Blood & Bone
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Starring: TBD

In 2019, Deadline reported that This is Us’s Kay Oyegun is adapting the film based on Tomi Adeyemi’s young adult fantasy novel about a young girl who attempts to restore magic to her kingdom. It was also reported that year that Rick Famuyiwa would direct.


PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, 2003, (c) Walt Disney/courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

New Pirates of the Caribbean Movie
Director: TBD
Starring: TBD

The ship that doesn’t ever seem to sink will keep sailing with Disney’s newest attempt to revive the franchise. Initially, Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were hired for the project, but in October 2019 it was announced that franchise vet Ted Elliott and Chernobyl writer Craig Mazin were taking over writing duties. No word on cast and director or on whether Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) will be a part of the new story.


New Pirates of the Caribbean Movie
Director: TBD
Starring: Margot Robbie

The above Pirates film should not be confused with the one set to star Margot Robbie. This film, which The Hollywood Reporter says will be penned by Birds of Prey screenwriter Christina Hodson, will reportedly be female-fronted and be its own story that will introduce new characters beyond those already part of Jack Sparrow’s orbit.


29 Dates
Director: Richard Wong
Starring: TBD

This young adult rom-com, which is based on the Melissa de la Cruz novel, will appear on Disney+. While no cast or writer has been announced, we know that this story centers on a 16-year-old Korean exchange student who meets a host of eligible bachelors from around the globe. It has been compared to author Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series.


Hunchback of Notre Dame

(Photo by © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Peter Pan & Wendy
Director: David Lowery
Starring: Alexander Molony, Ever Anderson, Jude Law

Something to crow about? In March 2020, Variety reported that newcomer Ever Anderson would play Wendy and The Reluctant Landlord’s Alexander Molony will play Peter in this live-action version of the 1953 Disney animated classic. It was confirmed at the December 2020 The Walt Disney Company investors day that Jude Law would play Captain Hook and Yara Shahidi will play Tinker Bell. Pete’s Dragon’s David Lowery will direct.

The film will air on Disney+.


Robin Hood Live-Action Movie
Director: Carlos López Estrada
Starring: TBD

Another classic animated Disney film to get the live-action/CGI treatment is 1973’s animated musical Robin Hood. In April 2020, Disney announced that Lopez Estrada would be directing a new adaptation of this movie with Lady and the Tramp’s Kari Granlund writing the script. The film will air on Disney+.


Hercules live action disney

(Photo by Walt Disney Pictures)

Cruella 2
Director: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Emma Stone

Soon after the 2021 release of Disney’s villain origin story, Cruella, news broke that a sequel was in early development. Variety reported at the time that director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Tony McNamara were expected to return. A couple months later, Deadline confirmed that Emma Stone had a deal to be in the second film.


(Photo by Walt Disney Pictures)

Live-Action Snow White Movie
Director: Marc Webb
Starring: Rachel Zegler

After falling asleep for several years, the live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves has risen with West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler set to lead. Variety reported in 2021 that Marc Webb will direct and that production on the still-untitled film would begin in 2022.


(Photo by 20th Century Fox Films)

Deadpool 3
Director: TBD
Starring: Ryan Reynolds

Cue the creative ad campaigns and Hugh Jackman insults. Ryan Reynolds’ sardonic super hero is back for another installment. The Great North and Bob’s Burgers’ Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Loeglin are writing the script for the third movie, according to Deadline. The article also stated that David Leitch, who directed the second film, would likely not return for this movie due to scheduling conflicts. No word on if Celine Dion would appear.


Keeper of the Lost Cities
Director: Ben Affleck
Starring: TBD

Deadline reported in 2021 that Oscar winner Affleck would direct this cinematic adaptation of Shannon Messenger’s best-selling book series. He’s also working with Kate Gritmon to adapt the script about “a telepathic girl [who] must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world before the wrong person finds the answer first.”


Muppet Man
Director: TBD
Starring: TBD

Someday we’ll find it … this movie about Jim Henson, which has been in the works for some time. Deadline reported in 2021 that playwright and screenwriter Michael Mitnick was rewriting the script by Aaron and Jordan Kandell and that the film about the Muppets creator was in development.


(Photo by 20th Century Fox Films)

The Simpsons Movie 2
Director: TBD
Starring: TBD

Comic Book Guy — and other Simpsons characters who care about details — would like you to know that the long-awaited second Simpsons movie is a standalone film and not a sequel. At least, that was the word from series producer Al Jean when he was asked about it in 2020.


Planet of the Apes 4
Director: Wes Ball
Starring: TBD

Director Ball told Discussing Film in 2020 that he’d already been in pre-production on the film and working with writer Josh Friedman when the coronavirus pandemic shut down Hollywood and the rest of the world. He also said in that interview that “we have a take. We have a way of staying in the universe that was created before us, but we’re also opening ourselves up in being able to do some really cool new stuff.”


No Exit
Director: Damien Power
Starring: TBD

Deadline reported in 2019 that Killing Ground’s Power was directing this thriller. Not to be confused with the Jean-Paul Sartre play, this film is based on the Taylor Adams novel about strangers stranded at a rest stop during a snow storm. One of them discovers a kidnapped girl and the characters must find the kidnapper and plan their escape.


Rosaline
Director: Karen Maine
Starring: Kaitlyn Dever

This dark comedy is based on the “other” woman in the story of Romeo and Juliet — the ex Romeo is still pining after when he sets eyes on Juliet. Based on the novel When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle, this modern take on the story will star Booksmart’s Dever and comes from a script by (500) Days of Summer’s Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber.


The Princess
Director: TBD
Starring: Joey King

Deadline reported in 2020 that The Act’s King is starring in the film and that the script, which is by Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton, is being kept under wraps but that it is “described as Rapunzel meets The Raid.”


Master and Commander
Director: TBD
Starring: TBD

Deadline reported in 2021 that 20th Century was charting a course for another Master and Commander movie with Patrick Ness writing the script. The first film, which starred Russell Crowe and was directed by Peter Weir, was set during the Napoleonic Wars and was a best picture Oscar nominee. A cast and director have not been announced for this film.


Poor Things
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Jerrod Carmichael, Emma Stone

Based on the Alasdair Grey novel, Variety describes the plot as a Victorian-set drama with a Frankenstein twist in which “Stone plays a young woman named Belle Baxter who is brought back to life by an eccentric and brilliant scientist.” The Favourite’s Tony McNamara wrote the script.


Not Okay
Director: Quinn Shephard
Starring: Zoey Deutch

According to Deadline, Deutch plays a young woman desperate for attention who “desperate for friends and fame, fakes a trip to Paris to up her social media presence. When a terrifying incident takes place in the real world and becomes part of her imaginary trip, her white lie becomes a moral quandary that offers her all the attention she’s wanted.”


Chevalier de Saint-Georges
Director: Stephen Williams
Starring: TBD

Variety reports that Atlanta and Fargo writer Stefani Robinson is penning the biopic about the man known as the “Black Mozart” — a.k.a. a musical prodigy born in the 1700s French Caribbean who was the child of an African slave and a French plantation owner and who rose to fame as both a violinist and composer but also a champion fencer (among other moments of notoriety).


See How They Run (Searchlight Pictures)
Director: Tom George
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Sam Rockwell

A whodunnit set in the 1950s London theater scene about what happens when members of a production start dying. Rockwell plays a world-weary inspector assigned to the case with Ronan playing his ambitious gumshoe sidekick. The all-star cast also includes David Oyelowo, Adrien Brody, Ruth Wilson, and Harris Dickinson.


Empire of Light (Searchlight Pictures)
Director: Sam Mendes
Starring: Olivia Colman

Mendes is directing and writing the film, which Variety says is described as “a love story set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the 1980s.”


Fire Island (Searchlight Pictures)
Director: Andrew Ahn
Starring: Bowen Yang, Joel Kim Booster

Variety reports that the romantic comedy is a modern spin on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and “will center on two best friends embarking on a weeklong vacation to Fire Island — the historic gay escape off the southern shore of Long Island — with the help of cheap rosé and a cadre of eclectic friends.” Booster also wrote the script.


Greek Freak
Director: TBD
Starring: Uche Agada

Agada will portray NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo in this biopic that is being developed for Disney+, according to a 2021 Variety report. Other cast members include Yetide Badaki and Dayo Okeniyi, who will portray Antetokounmpo’s parents.


Spooked
Director: Peter Foott
Starring: TBD

News came in 2020 that Irish filmmaker Foott was developing a Disney+ supernatural comedy that The Hollywood Reporter says “involves a Halloween night gone awry as trick or treaters are transformed into whatever costume they are wearing.”


The Return of the Rocketeer
Director: TBD
Starring: David Oyelowo

After some false starts, a live-action remake of the 1991 film The Rocketeer is in the works with David Oyelowo on board as an executive producer and a potential lead. Deadline reports that Ed Ricourt is writing the project, which will focus on a “retired Tuskegee airman who takes up the Rocketeer mantle.”


Jungle Cruise 2
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt

After the success of 2021’s Jungle Cruise, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that plans were quickly in the works for a sequel film. Deadline reported in 2021 that original stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt were set to return for the second film and that director Jaume Collet-Serra and writer Michael Green were also returning.


Free Guy 2
Director: TBD
Starring: Ryan Reynolds

Star Reynolds Tweeted soon after Free Guy’s summer 2021 premiere that Disney would be interested in doing a second film. What that film would look like and whether Shawn Levy would return as director are still TBD — especially since Disney itself hasn’t officially made any comment on the matter.


More Untitled Marvel, Live-Action Disney, Animated, and Pixar Films Also On the Way

That isn’t all. As per usual, there are a number of movies that are shrouded in mystery – some of which come to us from the next phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and from Pixar. Here is the full list of those.

Untitled Searchlight Film
Release Date: April 8, 2022

Untitled Searchlight Film 
Release Date: June 10, 2022

Untitled Searchlight Film
Release Date: August 12, 2022

Untitled 20th Century Film 
Release Date: September 23, 2022

Untitled Marvel Film
Release Date: October 7, 2022

Untitled 20th Century Film 
Release Date: October 21, 2022

Untitled 20th Century Film 
Release Date: December 23, 2022

Untitled Disney Live-Action Film
Release Date: March 10, 2023

Untitled Marvel Film 
Release Date: May 5, 2023

Untitled Pixar Animation Film
Release Date: June 16, 2023

Untitled Disney Live-Action
Release Date: August 11, 2023

Untitled 20th Century Film 
Release Date: September 15, 2023

Untitled 20th Century Film 
Release Date: October 20, 2023

Untitled Marvel Film
Release Date: November 3, 2023

Untitled 20th Century Film 
Release Date: November 10, 2023

Untitled Disney Animation Film 
Release Date: November 22, 2023

Untitled Disney Live-Action Film 
Release Date: March 22, 2024

Untitled Marvel Film
Release Date: May 24, 2024

Untitled Pixar Animation Film
Release Date: June 14, 2024

Untitled Disney Live-Action Film 
Release Date: July 5, 2024

Untitled Marvel Film 
Release Date: July 26, 2024

Untitled Marvel Film 
Release Date: November 8, 2024

Untitled Star Wars Film
Release Date: December 19, 2025

Untitled Star Wars Film
Release Date: December 17, 2027


Check out the most anticipated movies of 2022.

Thumbnail image: Pixar


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Jamie McPherson/Silverback/Netflix

(Photo by Jamie McPherson/Silverback/Netflix)

What better way to spend this Earth Day – or any day, really – than learning about the wonders of our planet, all that threatens it, and some of the people working tirelessly to preserve it.

We’ve put together a list of some of the best planet-centric and environmentally conscious documentaries to watch on Earth Day. From harrowing investigative films like The Ivory Game and intimate series like Planet Earth (I and II!), to the vast oceans of Blue Planet and the chilly reality of Chasing Ice, this list taps into a number of fascinating ecosystems. It will also introduce you to some of the most inspiring people of our time, like Jane Goodall.

Whether you’re looking to admire Earth’s beauty or gain some perspective on the challenges it faces, the movies, series, and specials on this list are sure to awaken and inspire, and they’re all available to stream right now.

Don’t see your favorite nature special on this list? Share your recommendations in the comments.


Our Planet: Season 1 (2019) 93% (Netflix)

What it is: This Netflix series showcases the vast ecosystems of Earth, visiting 50 countries in the process. Each episode is practically a feature-length documentary in its own right. After the introductory episode, each installment focuses on a different habitat — “Deserts and Grasslands,” “Frozen Worlds,” “Forests,” and “Jungles” — and three separate episodes are dedications to freshwater and oceanic environments.

Critics Consensus: A cornucopia of visual wonder and environmental advocacy, Our Planet’s breathtaking cinematography explores more of this beautiful, blue marble while presenting an urgent call to action to its inhabitants.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: ~6 hours (8 episodes, around 50 minutes each)


Planet Earth: Miniseries (2006) (Discovery Channel)

Discovery Channel/BBC

(Photo by Discovery Channel/BBC)

What it is: Like Our Planet, but released a decade earlier and by the BBC, Planet Earth charts the Earth’s ecosystems episodically. Perhaps no voice is more recognizable in the nature documentary genre than that of British natural historian David Attenborough, who narrates the BBC version of this documentary series (if you watch the Discovery Channel version, you’ll hear none other than Sigourney Weaver guiding you through each hour-long episode). Planet Earth is essentially the go-to for nature series. It won four Emmys the year it was released: non-fiction series, cinematography, sound editing, and music.

Critics Consensus: Planet Earth weaves innovative camera techniques and patient observation to deliver viewers an astounding glimpse of the world’s perils and wonders, capturing jaw-dropping scenery and animals on both an epic and intimate scale.

Where to watch it: YouTube, Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu

Commitment: 9 hours (11 episodes, around 50 minutes each)


Planet Earth II: Miniseries (2016) 100% (Discovery Channel)

What it is: Ten years after the award-winning original, BBC’s Natural History Unit released a second, shorter sequel called Planet Earth II that takes viewers to new locales – and a few familiar ones – to document even more harrowing survival stories most of us have never seen before. This time around, the series also explores city-dwelling animals — and they’re probably not the species you’d expect to see thriving in urban environments.

Critics Consensus: Planet Earth II offers a spectacular, moving, unprecedented account of the natural world.

Where to watch it: Amazon, Google PlayiTunes, Vudu

Commitment: 5 hours (6 episodes, around 50 minutes each)


Blue Planet II: Miniseries () 97% (BBC America)

What it is: Even before they made Planet Earth, in 2001 the BBC released the first Blue Planet, yet another nature documentary series narrated by Attenborough. The original won two Emmys for its cinematography and music composition. This follow-up series was released in the U.S. in 2018 — Attenborough returned, and won the series another Emmy for his narration to boot. Both iterations in the series provide intimate, breathtaking looks at the undersea world with particular focus on its occupants (from seahorses to squids and whales) and the environmental issues that threaten them.

Critics Consensus: Blue Planet II‘s hypnotic beauty is complemented by intense ethical musing, contrasting the micro and the macro in a humbling exploration of humanity’s relationship with the ground it stands on.

Where to watch it: Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu

Commitment: ~6 hours (7 episodes, around 50 minutes each — plus an additional 6.5 hours if you want to watch the original series)


Chasing Ice (2012) 96% (National Geographic)

National Geographic

(Photo by National Geographic)

What it is: Chasing Ice follows a celebrated National Geographic photographer as he documents several years of climate change using time-lapse cameras. Critics called the film “spectacular but depressing” and “the most important documentary of the year.” Chasing Ice is a call to attention — and for some, a call to action.

Where to watch it: Amazon, iTunes

Commitment: 1 hour 30 minutes


Flight of the Butterflies (2012) 100% (SK Films)

What it is: If you’re short on time this Earth Day, or on any other binge day, but still want to marvel at the planet’s beauty, look no further than this short but marvelously compelling documentary. Flight of the Butterflies follows the yearlong migration cycle of monarch butterflies from Mexico through the U.S. to Canada and back.

Where to watch it: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu

Commitment: 45 minutes


Blackfish (2013) 98% (Magnolia Pictures)

What it is: This unforgettable documentary feature rattled the world when it was released in 2013. Blackfish follows the story of a performing orca named Tilikum, highlighting the species’ intelligence and the impact of lifelong captivity. Critics called the film “startling,” “powerful,” and “a troubling exposé of Sea World’s hazardous entertainment trade.” It was powerful enough for the amusement park to make several changes.

Critics Consensus: Blackfish is an aggressive, impassioned documentary that will change the way you look at performance killer whales.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNowiTunes, Vudu, Netflix, Hulu

Commitment: 83 minutes


The Ivory Game (2016) 77% (Netflix)

What it is: This Netflix documentary (produced by Leonardo DiCaprio) goes undercover to investigate the ivory trade (both illegal and legal), and brings to light the horrific practice of elephant tusk poaching. A call to action for activists and governments alike, The Ivory Game sheds light on and condemns the international ivory trade to prevent the imminent and violent extinction of elephants. Since its release, some of the poachers seen in the film have been apprehended and  sentenced to years in prison.

Critics Consensus: Hard-hitting and ambitious to a fault, The Ivory Game serves as a fittingly urgent call to action against a looming threat against vulnerable wildlife and a fragile ecosystem.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: 1hour 52 minutes


Virunga (2014) 100% (Netflix)

What it is: Virunga is titled after Virunga National Park in the Congo — “one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet,” according to the park’s website, and home to an endangered group of mountain gorillas. This Netflix documentary not only aims to capture the wildlife in the national park, but also the dedication of teams aiming to protect it and the militia that target it. A year after Virunga was released, Netflix also provided a behind-the-scenes look at its production, with particular focus on the gorillas it features. Since the documentary’s release just a few years ago, the park has been temporarily closed to the public due to an increase in violence.

Critics Consensus: Virunga offers a heart-rending glimpse of natural wonders vulnerable to the atrocities of greed — and the people devoting their lives to defending them.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: 1 hour 40 minutes (plus 30 extra minutes if you want to watch Virunga: Gorillas in Peril, too)


Encounters at the End of the World (2007) 94% (Thinkfilm)

What it is: Another legendary voice in the documentary genre alongside Attenborough is German director Werner Herzog. In Encounters at the End of the World, Herzog serves as both narrator and guide on a trip to Antarctica, and the result is a thoughtful (if at times absurd) study of the environment and human nature.

Critics Consensus: Encounters at the End of the World offers a poignant study of the human psyche amid haunting landscapes.

Where to watch it: AmazonFandangoNowiTunesVudu

Commitment: 1 hour 40 minutes


Jane (2017) 98% (National Geographic)

What it is: This critically acclaimed National Geographic doc drew from more than 100 hours of previously never-before-seen footage to give viewers an intimate portrait of one of the most famous and beloved conservationists of our time, Jane Goodall. For those familiar with Goodall’s work and current activism, Jane will be particularly fascinating, as it transports viewers back to the 1960s when Goodall was in her mid-20s and doing her earliest work observing chimpanzees. The film features a score from composer Philip Glass.

Critics Consensus: Jane honors its subject’s legacy with an absorbing, beautifully filmed, and overall enlightening look at her decades of invaluable work.

Where to watch it: Disney+Amazon, FandangoNow, HuluiTunes, Vudu

Commitment: 1 hour 30 minutes


Chasing Coral (2017) 100% (Netflix)

What it is: After directing Chasing Ice in 2012, Jeff Orlowski turned his focus from the arctic to the ocean with Chasing Coral in 2017. The latter documents coral bleaching and the environmental impact of carbon emissions and pesticides on the reefs. Like many films on this list, this Netflix documentary is a call to consciousness regarding the tangible, quantifiable impacts of global warming.

Critics Consensus: Chasing Coral offers a breathtakingly beautiful look at some of the Earth’s most incredible natural wonders while delivering a sobering warning about their uncertain future.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: 1 hour 30 minutes


The Year Earth Changed (2021) 100% (Apple)

What it is: This timely documentary narrated by David Attenborough reflects on the past year, during which the COVID-19 pandemic effectively shut down several aspects of everyday life for many of us and, rather unexpectedly, served as an invitation for elements of the natural world to creep back into virtually empty cities. It’s a fascinating look at an unprecedented phenomenon and a testament to the resilience of nature. The release of The Year the Earth Changed also coincides with two other Apple TV+ originals: the second seasons of both the Paul Rudd-narrated Tiny World and the Tom Hiddleston-narrated Earth at Night in Color. (We assume you can gather what they’re about from their titles.)

Where to watch it: Apple TV+

Commitment: 48 minutes


March of the Penguins (2005) 94% (National Geographic)

What it is: For viewers of a certain age, March of the Penguins represents their first exposure to nature documentaries. Thanks to some incredible cinematography, a compelling narrative, and the unforgettable voice of Morgan Freeman, the film was a hit at the box office and became a pop culture touchstone, going on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary. The sequel, March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step, can be streamed on Hulu.

Critics Consensus: Only the most hardened soul won’t be moved by this heartwarming doc.

Where to watch it: Tubi, HBO Max

Commitment: 1 hour 20 minutes


My Octopus Teacher (2020) 93% (Netflix)

What it is: Rather than a broad, sweeping look at the natural world, My Octopus Teacher instead offers a more intimate story about one man’s journey to self discovery, thanks in large part to the unique relationship he forms with — you guessed it — an octopus. The Oscar-nominated documentary follows South African free diver Craig Foster, who meets an unusually curious octopus during one of his dives and chronicles a year of his experiences bonding with the creature. In the process, Foster learns to appreciate his own life and humanity’s crucial ties to nature.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: 1 hour 24 minutes


David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (2020) 95% (Netflix)

What it is: As evidenced by this list, Sir David Attenborough has been the elegant, soothing voice behind many of the best nature documentaries ever produced, and his work over the past half century has not only highlighted the most astonishing wonders of our planet but also advocated for a greater dedication to ecological preservation. This documentary — narrated by Attenborough himself, of course — utilizes his remarkable life as a backdrop to examine how drastically the world has changed during the course of his career, and it serves as his personal “witness statement” to encourage humanity to fundamentally change its relationship with nature for the greater good.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: 1 hour 23 minutes


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This week at the movies prompts several questions. Will the latest Bond movie ("Casino Royale," starring Daniel Craig) leave pundits shaken and stirred? Can penguins learn to dance ("Happy Feet," featuring voice work by Elijah Wood, Nicole Kidman, and Robin Williams)? And can prison be fun ("Let’s Go to Prison," starring Dax Shepard)? Find out what the critics have to say!

"Batman Begins" heartily displayed the virtues of taking a moribund series back to basics by ditching the camp and placing its titular superhero in a more plausible, real-world context. With "Casino Royale," the Bond series has taken a similar no-nonsense approach, and critics say the result is a triumph. "Casino Royale" delves into the 007 creation myth; the early days of the suave secret agent find him a lot more haunted — and casually cruel — in ways only vaguely suggested in the previous 20 Bond pictures. But scribes also note the film is hardly morose, with enough exciting action and in-jokes to please the diehards. Some even go so far as to say that Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Sean Connery. At 95 percent on the Tomatometer, "Casino Royale" has the Midas touch; it’s not only Certified Fresh, it’s also the best reviewed wide release of the year (although it’s still a cut below "Dr. No" at 100 percent).


Soon to appear on ESPN2…

For those of you whose cinematic appetite for flightless fowl was left unsatiated by "March of the Penguins," we’ve got good news. Featuring motion-capture dancing by Savion Glover and an eco-friendly message, "Happy Feet" is winning praise from critics for its sharp animation and rousing soundtrack. The film tells the story of a young penguin named Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood) who’s gotta dance when all the others Emperors gotta sing. At 80 percent on the Tomatometer, "Happy Feet" is the best reviewed animated feature of the year.


Sometimes you have to settle things the hard way: with a dance-off.

"Let’s Go to Prison" was not screened for critics, which means it’s unlikely to join the list of timeless jailhouse classics that includes "Cool Hand Luke," "The Shawshank Redemption," and "Caged Heat II: Stripped of Freedom." So kids, it’s time to call up your parole officer to get some help Guessing that Tomatometer.


"There really is no life after "Arrested Development."

Also opening this week in limited release: "Who the $#%& is Jackson Pollock?, a documentary about the battle to verify what could be a painting by the famed abstract expressionist, is at 100 percent on the Tomatometer; "Flannel Pajamas," an indie about the deterioration of a longstanding relationship, is at 80 percent; the Argentine thriller "The Aura" is at 80 percent; the zero-budget teen indie "Dance Party, USA" is at 80 percent; the drug addiction drama "Candy," starring Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish, is at 65 percent; "Fast Food Nation," Richard Linklater‘s fictional multi-plotline treatment of the muckraking bestseller, is at 60 percent (read RT’s interview with cast and crew members here); Emilio Estevez‘s "Bobby," an Altman-esque tale of the night of Robert Kennedy’s assassination starring half the population of California, is at 56 percent; the Hollywood-skewering "For Your Consideration," Christopher Guest‘s latest ensemble comedy, is at 56 percent; and the Quay Brothers’ twisted fairytale "The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes" is at 50 percent.


"Fast Food Nation": She deserves a break today.

And finally, props to dreday, who came the closest to guessing "The Return"’s Tomatometer of 13 percent. Everybody’s celebratin.’

Recent James Bond Movies:
———————————-
59% — Die Another Day (2002)
53% — The World is Not Enough (1999)
53% — Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
83% — Goldeneye (1995)
65% — License to Kill (1989)

Recent CG Animated Films:
———————————–
78% — Flushed Away (2006)
40% — Everyone’s Hero (2006)
65% — The Ant Bully (2006)
70% — Monster House (2006)
76% — Cars (2006)

In this week’s Ketchup, The "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin was eulogized by RT users, and the Bruce Willis-as-Hannibal-in-the-"A-Team" rumors swirled as well.

Also, the title of the next "Pirates" movie has been confirmed, pictures from the next "Harry Potter" movie have been making the rounds, and to the delight of moviegoers everywhere, Uwe Boll may have found a new hobby to distract him from making movies (if only German tax loopholes could be found for taking on movie critics in the boxing ring). Read on for more!

This Week’s Most Popular News:

"Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin Dead at 44

Activist, conservationist and animal-lover Steve Irwin was killed over the weekend when he was stung in the chest by a stingray. The 44-year-old leaves behind a wife and two young children.

Bruce Willis in "The A-Team"?

TV producer Stephen J. Cannell has been trying to get an "A-Team" movie off the ground for a little while now, and here comes word that he wants Bruce Willis to play the leader of the team…

"Pirates 3" Title Confirmed

There was some speculation that Disney might go in another direction, but it looks like "Pirates 3" will definitely arrive with its screenwriters’ choice of titles: "Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End." (No apostrophe.)

More Pics from the Set of "Harry Potter 5"

I know how much you guys love that Harry Potter kid, which is why we keep sharing all these on-set photos with you … even when the snapshots aren’t all that fascinating! Click on through for the next batch of pictures from the production of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

Uwe Boll Creams Critic in Match; "BloodRayne" Still At 5%

Notorious German director Uwe Boll has taken on his first critic in the boxing ring, as promised – and you can view the video online!

Loves it when a plan comes together?


In Other News:

  • Brendan Fraser is signed to reprise role in the third installment of "The Mummy," set to begin shooting early next year. There is no confirmation, however, that co-stars Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, and Oded Fehr have also signed on.
  • Dennis Quaid, Rachel Weisz, and Thomas Haden Church will star in "Smart People," about a professor (Quaid) who turns into a recluse after his wife’s death, until he falls for a former student.
  • Strike Entertainment, the production company behind "Slither" and the "Dawn of the Dead" remake, is combing Hollywood for a writer (or writers) to tackle a theatrical prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter sci-fi classic "The Thing."
  • Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman will star in "The Bucket List," to be directed by Rob Reiner. They will play two cancer patients who escape a cancer ward in order to make one last road trip before they die.
  • National Geographic Films, which distributed last year’s documentary "March of the Penguins," has reached an agreement to distribute "God Grew Tired of Us," the documentary about Sudanese refugees which won this year’s Sundance Festival grand jury prize. It is expected to reach North American theaters in early 2007.
  • Warner Bros. Pictures and Bryan Singer are set to produce "Trick or Treat", a new horror film from "X2" and "Superman Returns" co-writer Michael Dougherty. Dougherty will direct the film which has been described as "’Pulp Fiction’ on Halloween night."
  • Meg Ryan has replaced Annette Bening in the mystery-thriller "Homeland Security." George Gallo is serving as writer-director and Antonio Banderas will co-star.
  • David Strathairn will star in "Hereafter," about a clothing designer who is separated from his family after the 2004 tsunami in Thailand. Filming will begin on location next year.
  • MGM Studios announced it’s developing a raft of direct to video and TV sequels. Amongst the titles are "Legally Blonde 3", "The Cutting Edge 3", "Into the Blue 2", "War Games 2" and "Species 4." (How could I have missed "Species 3?")

To be followed by another straight-to-vid classic!

The summer movie season comes to an official end with the Labor Day holiday weekend unleashing three new releases plus the national expansion of a fourth.

Lionsgate offers the action crowd "Crank," Warner Bros. provides the suspense thriller "The Wicker Man," Sony takes a shot with the basketball drama "Crossover," and Yari Film Group goes nationwide with its period thriller "The Illusionist." Each is hoping that current champ "Invincible" will fumble the ball. The summer-ending frame is often a time when moviegoers catch up on hit films they haven’t seen yet so notable holdovers could see their four-day grosses grow beyond their three-day takes from last weekend. Overall, the marketplace remains overcrowded with too many films fighting to get a slice of the box office pie.

British action star Jason Statham attacks the U.S. for the second Labor Day weekend in a row with his latest pic "Crank." Co-starring Amy Smart, the Lionsgate release sees the actor playing a poisoned hitman who must keep his adrenaline up in order to stay alive. Unlike his PG-13 "Transporter" flicks, "Crank" carries a more restrictive R rating which could narrow its target audience. It’s been a tough summer for R-rated action films with movies like "Snakes on a Plane" and "Miami Vice" both underperforming. But if there’s any distributor who can successfully target young adult males with these types of films with intriguing concepts, it’s the "Saw" studio.


Jason Statham showing off his dramatic range

"Snakes" was the only pure action film in the top ten last weekend so competition for "Crank" may not be too fierce. Statham has seen his starpower grow in the last couple of years and that might benefit his latest pic too. Still, the marquees are jam packed with choices this weekend so it will be tough to fight off other films and convince moviegoers that their time and money should be best spent here. A year ago this weekend, "Transporter 2" opened at number one with a four-day tally of $20.1M. However, that Fox pic was a sequel, had a less restrictive rating, and bowed in 900 more theaters. Given "Crank’s" debut in about 2,400 locations, it could end up with around $13M over the long Friday-to-Monday period.

With his twin towers drama still in the top ten, Nicolas Cage hits the big screen for the second time in a month with the psychological thriller "The Wicker Man." The PG-13 film stars the Oscar-winning actor as a cop investigating a cult while looking for a missing girl. Labor Day weekend has been a good time for creepy thrillers, especially for ones that appeal to high school and college students like the "Jeepers Creepers" pics. "Wicker Man’s" rating will help its cause, but whether it can excite teens will determine how big it can become. With a half-dozen production companies, six producers, and seven executive producers all involved, it’s hard to say if this is really director Neil LaBute‘s film. Warner Bros. has given "Wicker" a decent marketing push, but it has not become a must-see thriller. A marketplace flooded with pictures will provide plenty of competition for adults and this one will have to work extra hard to stand out in the crowd. Ending a disappointing summer for the studio, "The Wicker Man" bows in over 2,500 theaters and could scare up around $12M over the four-day period.


Nicolas Cage and Ellen Burstyn in "The Wicker Man"

Sony goes after the urban youth audience with its new basketball drama "Crossover" which finds two young streetballers competing in the world of underground hoops. The PG-13 film is getting a moderate release in 1,023 theaters which will limit its potential, however a solid per-theater average could result. Compared to reigning box office champ "Invincible," this new sports drama will attract a much more ethnic audience and should play primarily to teens and young adults. "Idlewild" will provide some competition for African American moviegoers, however the OutKast pic is playing to an older audience. With Anthony Mackie, Wesley Jonathan, and Wayne Brady heading up the cast, "Crossover" does not offer up much starpower. But it could be a short-term choice for the back-to-school crowd in urban markets. Over the Friday-to-Monday holiday span, "Crossover" might shoot up about $5M.


The first rule of underground streetball is…

After two weeks of strong results in limited release, the period mystery "The Illusionist" expands wide from 144 theaters to approximately 1,000 sites across North America. One of the summer’s best-reviewed films, the Edward NortonPaul Giamatti drama opened in 51 theaters with a powerful $18,195 average and widened on its second frame scoring a still-potent $12,745 average. Glowing praise from critics and solid word-of-mouth could help sell "The Illusionist" to moviegoers who would not ordinarily buy tickets to a film with these stars. Competition will be tough, though. For only the second time all year, ten films surpassed $5M last weekend and most are looking to remain relevant over the holiday session. "The Illusionist" could capture the same amount over four days this weekend pushing its cume to about $9M.


Those illusionists get all the chicks

More new movies enter into limited release on Friday. IFC Films unveils the documentary "This Film is Not Yet Rated" in exclusive engagements in New York and Los Angeles. The unrated film (it was given an NC-17, but is going out with no official rating) explores the mystery behind the movie ratings system as determined by the Motion Picture Association of America. Writer/director Ed Burns returns to theaters as a private investigator searching for a missing woman in "Looking for Kitty." The R-rated drama is being released in one solo New York house by ThinkFilm.

Last weekend, Mark Wahlberg‘s football drama "Invincible" scored a number one opening and was the only film to attract more than $10M in ticket sales over the frame. Word of mouth has been good and the Disney release would like nothing more than to land another win over the holiday session. The four-day gross might see only a small drop from last weekend’s three-day bow. A decline to about $15M would give "Invincible" a total of $38M after 11 days.

Labor Day weekend has historically been a great time for hot late-summer indie films to reach out to broader audiences and "Little Miss Sunshine" hopes to be the latest one to capitalize on its buzz. Four-day increases over the previous three-day weekends in recent years have included 17% for "March of the Penguins" last year, 35% for "Garden State" in 2004, 80% for "Napoleon Dynamite" that same year, and a whopping 104% for "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" in 2002. That PG-rated blockbuster added about 300 theaters over the holiday frame while the R-rated "Sunshine" will only increase its current count of 1,430 by a hundred or so. The Fox Searchlight hit could charm about $9.5M from ticket buyers over the long weekend and boost its cume to $36M.

LAST YEAR Jason Statham ruled the Labor Day weekend box office with the number one opening of his action sequel "Transporter 2" which grossed $20.1M over four days. The Fox hit went on to collect $43.1M. The comedy sensation "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" slipped to second place with $16.5M over four days displaying another great hold in its third frame. Debuting in third with $11M was the thriller "The Constant Gardener" from Focus which went on to gross $33.6M and become a major awards contender. Rounding out the top five were the DreamWorks suspense flick "Red Eye" with $9.4M and Miramax’s adventure pic "The Brothers Grimm" with $9M. Two new films opened with weak results outside of the top ten. Miramax’s "Underclassman" bowed to $3.1M on its way to $5.7M while Warner Bros. took in just $1.2M for "A Sound of Thunder" leading to only a $1.9M final.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Detectives Crockett and Tubbs shot their way to number one in North America with the cop thriller Miami Vice which finally managed to knock the megablockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest out of the top spot.

The new teen comedy John Tucker Must Die debuted well but the animated entry The Ant Bully got squashed in its opening weekend. Overall, the box office saw a summer slowdown as the top ten films attracted the weakest sales since early May.

Universal hit the top of the charts with its big-budget actioner Miami Vice which opened with an estimated $25.2M. Starring Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell as the famous South Florida cops from the hit 1980s television series, the R-rated film averaged a strong $8,340 from 3,021 theaters. The debut was in line with the opening of director Michael Mann‘s last film Collateral which was also an R-rated actioner and bowed to $24.7M in August 2004. That film, which starred Tom Cruise and Foxx, eventually squeaked past the $100M mark domestically. The studio reported that the audience for Miami Vice was older, multicultural, and evenly split between men and women. Studio research showed that a high 62% of the crowd was age 30 and older, 51% was male, and 52% was non-white. Reviews were mixed for the $135M production.

After three weeks of ruling the box office, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest dropped to second place but still posted strong results grossing an estimated $20.5M. The Disney smash dropped only 42% and propelled its cume to a staggering $358.4M after just 24 days. More records were looted by Captain Jack Sparrow. Chest became the fastest film in history to sail past the $350M mark doing so on Saturday in only 23 days. Shrek 2 held the record previously with 26 days in 2004. The Pirates sequel also stands as the top-grossing movie ever for its studio surpassing the $339.7M of 2003’s Finding Nemo.

The middle film in the swashbuckling adventure trilogy vaulted to number 11 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters right behind the $370.3M of 2004’s The Passion of the Christ. Pirates has also put an end to the industry’s seven-year streak of the top-grossing summer film coming out of the month of May. Johnny Depp and friends have completely dominated the moviegoing world this month as no other film since has opened north of $30M. The last time the month of July saw only one $30M+ opener was ten years ago when Independence Day ruled the mid-summer box office in 1996. Dead Man’s Chest looks to smash the $400M mark in the weeks ahead.

Teenagers pushed the high school comedy John Tucker Must Die into the number three spot with an estimated opening of $14.1M. Bowing in 2,560 theaters, the PG-13 film about a group of young women who get revenge on the guy secretly dating all of them averaged a solid $5,498 per site. However, sales plunged a disturbing 24% on Saturday from a strong Friday turnout indicating there could be trouble ahead. Still, with no pricey stars, Tucker should become a nice little hit for Fox. The studio’s divide-and-conquer marketing approach seems to have worked. Television spots aimed at females focused on the revenge-on-a-cheating-boy angle while those targeting males showed off the title character’s ability to juggle three chicks.

Sony’s digital toon Monster House dropped 48% in its second weekend to an estimated $11.5M and raised its total to $43.9M after ten days. The $75M film looks to find its way to a relatively good $65-70M.

Warner Bros. stumbled with the opening of its rival kid toon The Ant Bully which finished the weekend in fifth place with an estimated $8.1M. Playing in 3,050 locations, the PG-rated adventure about a boy who enters the world of insects averaged a weak $2,670 per location. Big-time Hollywood stars Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, and Nicolas Cage provided the voices, but audiences were not swayed. Bully’s opening weekend couldn’t even beat the second weekend of Monster House. The kidpic market will get even more crowded on Friday when Paramount launches its own animated film Barnyard targeting the exact same family audience once again.

Sixth place was too close to call with a pair of films claiming an estimated $7M in ticket stubs this weekend. Universal’s comedy You, Me and Dupree fell 45% in its third weekend and boosted its 17-day cume to a solid $59M.

However, M. Night Shyamalan‘s bedtime story Lady in the Water followed its weak opening weekend with a steep 61% crash and gave Warner Bros. a feeble $32.1M in ten days. By comparison, ten-day totals for the filmmaker’s last films have been $85.6M for 2004’s The Village and $117.7M for 2002’s Signs. Lady, which is not even in the same ballpark, has not excited audiences and it could stumble to a final tally of about $45M making its entire total smaller than the opening weekend of his last film.

It’s been a difficult summer for Warners. First, its costly ocean liner actioner Poseidon flopped grossing $100M less than its production budget. Then Superman Returns, the most expensive movie ever, did not live up to expectations. Now the studio is suffering a double blow with Lady and Ant Bully both being ignored by moviegoers. Of course, overseas box office and worldwide home video will add more revenue, but expensive marketing campaigns will make it hard for these films to become moneymaking ventures. The studio’s other summer film The Lake House has enjoyed a respectable run though, grossing $51M.

Sony’s Wayans brothers comedy Little Man placed eighth with an estimated $5.1M, down 54%, and raised its sum to a decent $50.2M. Meryl Streep followed with the sleeper hit of the summer, The Devil Wears Prada, which grossed an estimated $4.8M. Off only 35%, the Fox hit pushed its total to $106.7M.

Crumbling 61% to an estimated $3.9M in its sophomore session, Kevin Smith‘s Clerks II rounded out the top ten and put its ten-day cume at $18.5M. The inexpensive $5M production should continue to fade fast, but looks to end with around $25M making it a nice little moneymaker for MGM and The Weinstein Company. Smith’s last summer film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back dropped a hefty 53% in its second weekend in 2001 although the Labor Day holiday frame helped to cushion the blow.

Opening in platform release to sensational results was Fox Searchlight’s indie comedy Little Miss Sunshine which bowed to an estimated $357,000 from only seven theaters for an eye-popping $50,980 average. Since its Wednesday launch in New York and Los Angeles, the R-rated comedy starring Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, and Alan Arkin has grossed $449,000. Sunshine was the hottest film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and the distrib is now looking to turn it into a strong word-of-mouth hit for moviegoers numbed by all the mindless popcorn films of the summer. Reviews were outstanding and the road comedy will continue to expand in the weeks ahead. The distributor plans to widen to ten cities and about 60 theaters this Friday, 175 playdates the following weekend, and a full national release in over 600 sites on August 18.

Also debuting this weekend was Woody Allen’s latest film Scoop with an estimated $3M from 538 locations for a good $5,582 average. The Focus release stars Scarlett Johannson and Hugh Jackman and earned mixed reviews from critics.

Three films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. Superman Returns fell 49% to an estimated $3.8M in its fifth mission and reached a cume of $185.8M. After 33 days of release last summer, Warner Bros. collected a similar $183.1M with its other super hero revival Batman Begins. However, the Caped Crusader posted a stronger $6M frame, ranked higher with a fifth place finish, and was enjoying smaller weekly declines on its way to $205.3M. With a reported production budget north of $240M, Superman Returns is on a course to end its domestic run with roughly $195M and will need some sort of special re-release in order to cross the double-century mark.

Fox also grabbed an estimated $3.8M with its super hero comedy My Super Ex-Girlfriend which tumbled 56% in its second weekend. With a weak $16.4M in ten days, the Uma ThurmanLuke Wilson comedy should find its way to only $25M.

Disney watched Pixar’s durable toon hit Cars become the second highest-grossing film of the year this weekend. The G-rated smash fell 50% to an estimated $2.5M boosting its cume to $234.6M surpassing the third X-Men flick. Add in the recent Pirates sequel and the Mouse House can now claim the two biggest box office hits of 2006 with no other films in the near future looking to get in their way.

Al Gore‘s global warming hit An Inconvenient Truth became only the fourth documentary in box office history to cross the $20M mark this weekend. The Paramount Vantage title took in an estimated $773,000 in its tenth frame, off 23%, to lift its cume to $20.2M. The only docs to score better have been Fahrenheit 9/11 ($119.2M), March of the Penguins ($77.4M), and Bowling for Columbine ($21.6M).

The top ten films grossed an estimated $107.3M which was up a scant 2% from last year when Wedding Crashers climbed to number one in its third weekend with $20M; but down 22% from 2004 when The Village opened in the top spot with $50.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Nosy moviegoers just couldn’t stay away from a high-profile lovers quarrel as the anti-romantic comedy The Break-Up starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston surprised the industry this weekend by opening at number one, shoving the comic book juggernaut X-Men: The Last Stand into second place in only its second weekend.

The mutant sequel was widely expected to remain atop the North American charts. The only other new face in the top ten was the global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth which expanded and jumped into the number nine slot while still in limited release. Overall, the box office remained healthy with the top four choices gobbling up most of the business.

Jen and Vince attracted millions of fans to theaters with The Break-Up which debuted with an estimated $38.1M over the weekend beating all expectations. Universal launched the date movie in 3,070 locations and averaged a stellar $12,395 giving the studio its best opening yet this year. It was also the third biggest debut ever for a romantic comedy trailing the $43.1M of Hitch and the $39.9M of 50 First Dates which both premiered just days before Valentine’s Day. Women fueled the business for Break-Up. Studio research showed that a whopping 67% of the audience was female while the crowd was evenly split between those over and under the age of 30. Vaughn and Aniston play a couple that breaks up, but still decides to live in the same condo together.

Produced for $52M, The Break-Up sparked lots of media attention over the past year because of Aniston’s split from ex-husband Brad Pitt and her new relationship with Vaughn. Curiosity seemed to attract the former Friends star’s core audience of young women while men were far less interested. Universal’s marketing pushed the starpower and the lack of any other new wide releases kept the attention on Break-Up. Plus, the marketplace has not offered any star-driven films aimed at women in several weeks. Critics, however, gave little support with many panning the film finding it lacking in both romance and comedy. Aniston scored the second biggest opening of her career after 2003’s Bruce Almighty ($68M) while Vaughn enjoyed his third largest after 1997’s The Lost World ($72.1M) and last summer’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith ($50.3M). The Break-Up, however, marks new career highs for each actor in a leading role.

After a record-breaking Memorial Day weekend opener, X-Men: The Last Stand crumbled in its second weekend plunging 67% to second place with an estimated $34.4M. After ten days of release, the mutant sequel has hauled in a staggering $175.7M domestically. Most industry watchers had expected the super hero pic to remain at number one this weekend, but a stronger-than-expected opening by Break-Up coupled with a larger-than-expected decline for X-Men led to a second place finish. Given that loyal fans all rushed to the theaters on the debut frame and the added holiday boost, a steep drop was widely anticipated, but a drop of two-thirds was especially high. Subsequent weeks should stabilize a bit, but based on its trajectory, the third X-Men film looks to be headed to a domestic tally of $230-240M which would still make it the biggest hit of the trilogy.

Holding steady in third place once again this weekend was the animated film Over the Hedge which slipped only 24% to an estimated $20.6M in its third outing. After 17 days, Paramount has collected an impressive $112.4M with the DreamWorks production. After three weeks of having the family market virtually to itself, Hedge will face some stiff competiton next weekend when Disney and Pixar race into theaters with Cars.

Losing a reasonable 43% of its audience in its third weekend, The Da Vinci Code ranked fourth with an estimated $19.3M. That pushed the 17-day total to a stunning $172.7M making the religious thriller the year’s third biggest domestic hit behind Fox’s Ice Age and X-Men sequels. Overseas, Da Vinci continues to lead the box office for the third straight weekend delivering sizzling results. The Ron Howard-directed smash grossed an estimated $51M, down 44% from last weekend, boosting the international tally to a towering $409M. With a sensational $582M in global grosses (70% of which is from outside North America), The Da Vinci Code will shatter the $600M mark by the end of the week.

The top four films ruled the weekend accounting for 88% of all money spent on the top ten films. All other players in the marketplace grossed under $5M each.

Dropping only 33% and finishing fifth for the frame was the spy sequel Mission: Impossible III with an estimated $4.7M which pushed Paramount’s domestic cume to $122.7M. For the fourth consecutive weekend, the ocean liner disaster film Poseidon followed right behind Tom Cruise’s actioner and dropped 40% to an estimated $3.4M. Warner Bros. has taken in just $51.7M thus far.

For the first time in five years, the month of May ended without any of its releases hitting the $200M mark. But while none of this year’s early summer contenders has come close to last year’s Star Wars Episode III which had amazingly smashed through the $300M mark at this point, collectively the hits have managed to measure up to 2005. The aggregate gross of the top five May films this year is $635M which is up 2% from this same point a year ago. Instead of flocking to one giant megahit, moviegoers have been spreading the same amount of money across a collection of popular films.

Sony’s hit kidpic RV continued to hold up well slipping only 21% in its sixth weekend to an estimated $3.3M. The Robin Williams film has taken in $61.8M to date. Lionsgate witnessed a surprisingly strong hold for its horror entry See No Evil which dipped 26% and grossed an estimated $2M. Total stands at $12.4M.

Proving that it is more than just a blue-state hit, Al Gore‘s global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth expanded into major markets and hit the top ten grossing an estimated $1.3M from only 77 theaters. The Paramount Vantage release averaged a stunning $17,299 over the weekend and raised its cume to $1.9M after bowing last week in just four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. This Friday, Truth widens to the Top 25 markets with about 150 total theaters before going national on June 16 in 450-600 locations.

The PG-rated film has quickly nabbed the title of must-see summer doc this year and hopes to follow in the footsteps of last year’s March of the Penguins and 2004’s Fahrenheit 9/11 as non-fiction films that crossed over to become pop culture events. Those films rank as the top-grossing documentaries ever with $77.4M and $119.2M, respectively. This weekend, the former Vice President’s environmental pic became the first film of the year to enter the top ten while playing in fewer than 200 theaters.

Rounding out the top ten was Lindsay Lohan‘s comedy Just My Luck with an estimated $825,000, down a steep 58%, for a cume to date of $15.6M.

Break-Up and Inconvenient Truth bumped two spring films out of the top ten. Universal’s controversial 9/11 thriller United 93 dropped 43% to an estimated $464,000 after spending five weeks in the top ten. The $15M film has grossed $30.6M to date and should collect a bit more before ending its theatrical run. Fox’s animated sequel Ice Age: The Meltdown has spent eight of its ten weekends in the top ten and is now headed for the finish line grossing over $191M to date. The PG-rated hit remains the top-grossing film of 2006 thus far and has unearthed more than $625M worldwide.

Opening this weekend in limited release was the Lionsgate sports drama Peaceful Warrior which took in an estimated $77,000 from ten sites for a solid $7,700 average. Also debuting, but with weaker results, was the Korean action film Typhoon with an estimated $48,000 from 24 theaters. The Paramount Vantage release attacked nine markets and averaged a dull $2,009.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $127.9M which was up 2% from last year when Madagascar climbed into the number one spot with $28.1M; but down 30% from 2004 when Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban opened in the top slot with a June record $93.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Sam Jackson is moving from snakes to penguins as he lends his voice to "Farce of the Penguins," a R-rated, Bob Saget-directed spoof on last year’s Oscar-winning doc "March of the Penguins."

Saget is writing and directing "Farce of the Penguins," which lampoons the survival story of "March" and will follow that film’s structure, lending character voices to real footage of penguins in the wild. Per Variety, "Farce" tells the story "of one bird’s search for love while on a 70-mile trek with hedonistic buddies obsessed with getting laid."

Jackson will act as narrator in the vein of his "March" counterpart Morgan Freeman, but will lend his "signature" style to the pic to earn its R-rating. Jackson joins a cast that includes Saget (voicing the protagonist penguin), Dave Coulier and John Stamos (rounding out the "Full House" trifecta), Whoopi Goldberg, Harvey Fierstein, Jon Lovitz, Norm MacDonald, Mo’Nique, Carlos Mencia, Tracy Morgan, Lewis Black, Jason Alexander, Dane Cook, Gilbert Gottfried, Jason Biggs, Jamie Kennedy, Alyson Hannigan, James Belushi and Adam Duritz.

"Farce of the Penguins" is a ThinkFilm release and is set to hit theaters this summer.

Like most pathetic movie geeks, I was up at the crack of dawn (ok, 8:30am eastern time) to see how my nomination prediction ballot would measure up. (I was perfect on all 20 acting nods and all 10 screenwriting nods, but I erroneously predicted that “Walk the Line” would get nominated over “Capote” for Best Picture, and I picked Croneberg for director over Benett Miller.) Anyhow, here are the nominations for us to rant and rave about for the next five weeks…

BEST PICTURE
Brokeback Mountain
Capote
Crash
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Munich

BEST DIRECTOR
George Clooney – Good Night, and Good Luck.
Paul Haggis – Crash
Ang Lee – Brokeback Mountain
Bennett Miller – Capote
Steven Spielberg – Munich

BEST ACTOR

Philip Seymour Hoffman – Capote
Terrence HowardHustle & Flow
Heath Ledger – Brokeback Mountain
Joaquin PhoenixWalk the Line
David Strathairn – Good Night, and Good Luck.

BEST ACTRESS
Judi DenchMrs. Henderson Presents
Felicity HuffmanTransamerica
Keira KnightleyPride & Prejudice
Charlize TheronNorth Country
Reese Witherspoon – Walk the Line

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Matt Dillon – Crash
George Clooney – Syriana
Paul GiamattiCinderella Man
Jake Gyllenhaal – Brokeback Mountain
William HurtA History of Violence

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy AdamsJunebug
Catherine Keener – Capote
Frances McDormand – North Country
Rachel WeiszThe Constant Gardener
Michelle Williams – Brokeback Mountain

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Match PointWoody Allen
The Squid & the WhaleNoah Baumbach
Good Night, and Good Luck. – George Clooney & Grant Heslov
Syriana – Stephen Gaghan
Crash – Paul Haggis & Robert Moresco

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Constant Gardener – Jeffrey Caine
Capote – Dan Futterman
Munich – Tony Kushner & Eric Roth
Brokeback Mountain – Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana
A History of Violence – Josh Olson

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Don’t Tell (La Bestia nel Cuore) – Italy
Joyeux Noel – France
Paradise Now – Palestine
Sophie Scholl – Germany
Tsotsi – South Africa

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Darwin’s Nightmare
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
March of the Penguins
Murderball
Street Fight

ANIMATED FILM
Corpse Bride
Howl’s Moving Casle
Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

ART DIRECTION

Good Night, and Good Luck.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
Pride & Prejudice

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Batman Begins
Brokeback Mountain
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Memoirs of a Geisha
The New World

COSTUME DESIGN

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Memoirs of a Geisha
Mrs. Henderson Presents
Pride & Prejudice
Walk the Line

FILM EDITING

Cinderella Man
The Constant Gardener
Crash
Munich
Walk the Line

MAKEUP
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Cinderella Man
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

SCORE

Brokeback Mountain
The Constant Gardener
Memoirs of a Geisha
Munich
Pride & Prejudice

SONG
“In The Deep” – Crash
“It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” – Hustle & Flow
“Travelin’ Thru” – Transamerica

SOUND EDITING

King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
War of the Worlds

SOUND MIXING

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
Walk the Line
War of the Worlds

VISUAL EFFECTS
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
King Kong
War of the Worlds

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of The Bang Bang Club
God Sleeps in Rwanda
The Mushroom Club
A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

Ausreisser (The Runaway)
Cashback
The Last Farm
Our Time Is Up
Six Shooter

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Badgered
The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation
The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello
9
One Man Band

I hate to sound like a geek (actually, no I don’t), but how was Episode III not nominated for best FX? And would it have been so hard for the Academy to throw some small amount of love towards Sin City?

And how the hell was Serenity not nominated for Best Picture???

Adam Lepzig is on the lookout for marching penguins or weeping camels. More to the point, the president of National Geographic Feature Films is looking to acquire films that he feels would be a good fit for the company.
"I’m here to see the filmmakers, meet people, and acquire a movie that might be right for us," he said.

National Geographic scored a major coup when, at the 2005 Sundance fest, it partnered with Warner Independent Pictures to acquire "March of the Penguins," a commercial and critical hit last year, grossing $77 million in the U.S.

Lepzig said he attends a few festivals each year, including Sundance, Toronto and Berlin. But when he goes to a festival, he’s there for business first and foremost.

"I’m very judicious about what I choose to go to," he said. "I don’t do the party thing. I’m here to work.

"There are three Sundances," he said. There are the cinephiles, the dealmakers, and the partygoers. It’s hard to do all three at the same time."

It’s not uncommon to leave a festival without buying a film, Lepzig said. But some of the company’s acquisitions at festivals have paid off handsomely.

At the 2003 Toronto Film Festival National Geographic partnered with ThinkFilm to distribute "The Story of the Weeping Camel," a tale of nomadic shepherds who enlist the help of a musician to mend familial relations between one of their camels and her newborn calf.

Lepzig said he was very pleased with the performance of "Weeping Camel," a Mongolian language film that grossed $1.7 million at the U.S. box office.

However, what "March of the Penguins" achieved was beyond all expectations. National Geographic hoped it would do as well as "Winged Migration," another excellent French bird doc that grossed $11 million.
"We believed it could reach a wide audience," he said. "But we were all stunned. You can never predict these things."

Check out Sundance features by Rotten Tomatoes:
Sundance Full Coverage
Sundance Blog
Sundance Discussion"

The Broadcast Film Critics Association held their annual awards presentation live on The WB network, with plenty of mildly corny jokes, appreciative acceptance speeches, accolades galore, and even a few cool surprises. (Oh, and their favorite film overall was "Brokeback Mountain.")

Best Picture

Brokeback Mountain

Best Director

Ang Lee – Brokeback Mountain

Best Actress

Reese WitherspoonWalk the Line

Best Actor

Philip Seymour HoffmanCapote

Best Supporting Actor

Paul GiamattiCinderella Man

Best Supporting Actress (tie)

Amy AdamsJunebug
Michelle Williams – Brokeback Mountain

Best Comedy Movie


The 40-Year-Old Virgin


Best Animated Feature

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Best Foreign Language Film

Kung Fu Hustle

Best Writer

Paul Haggis and Bobby MorescoCrash

Best Documentary

March of the Penguins

Best Ensemble

Crash

Best Family Film

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Best Young Actor

Freddie HighmoreCharlie and the Chocolate Factory

Best Young Actress

Dakota FanningWar of the Worlds

Best Picture Made for Televison

Into the West

Best Composer

John WilliamsMemoirs of a Geisha

Best Song

"Hustle & Flow” – performed by Terrence Howard, written by Al Kapone– Hustle & Flow

Special awards were also handed out to those who brought the modern "King Kong" to life and to George Clooney for using his Hollywood power to inform and enlighten people instead of just entertaining ’em. (Clooney also made a funny little joke about Julia Roberts‘ "twins" that had me chuckling.)

The OFCS, which is hosted right here at Rotten Tomatoes and (full disclosure) includes yours truly as a member, announced their year-end nominations yesterday … and we hope you’ll find a few solid surprises among the more familiar (yet obviously deserving) nominees. The winners will be announced on Monday the 16th.

BEST PICTURE

Brokeback Mountain
Crash
Good Night, and Good Luck.
A History of Violence
Munich

BEST DIRECTOR

George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck.
David Cronenberg, A History of Violence
Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
Peter Jackson, King Kong
Steven Spielberg, Munich

BEST ACTOR

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow
Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line
David Strathairn, Good Night, and Good Luck.

BEST ACTRESS

Joan Allen, The Upside of Anger
Felicity Huffman, Transamerica
Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice
Naomi Watts, King Kong
Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Matt Dillon, Crash
Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man
Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
William Hurt, A History of Violence
Mickey Rourke, Sin City

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams, Junebug
Maria Bello, A History of Violence
Catherine Keener, Capote
Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener
Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Woody Allen, Match Point
Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale
George Clooney and Grant Heslov, Good Night, and Good Luck.
Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco, Crash
Jim Jarmusch, Broken Flowers

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Jeffrey Caine, The Constant Gardener
Dan Futterman, Capote
Tony Kushner & Eric Roth, Munich
Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain
Josh Olson, A History of Violence

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Christopher Doyle, Kwan Pun Leung and Yiu-Fai Lai, 2046
Robert Elswit, Good Night, and Good Luck.
Emmanuel Lubezki, The New World
Rodrigo Prieto, Brokeback Mountain
Robert Rodriguez, Sin City

BEST EDITING

Michael Kahn, Munich
Stephen Mirrione, Good Night, and Good Luck.
Robert Rodriguez, Sin City
Ronald Sanders, A History of Violence
Claire Simpson, The Constant Gardener

BEST MUSICAL SCORE

James Newton Howard, King Kong
James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer, Batman Begins
James Horner, The New World
Gustavo Santaolalla, Brokeback Mountain
John Williams, Munich

BEST DOCUMENTARY

The Aristocrats

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Grizzly Man
March of the Penguins
Murderball

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE (NON-ENGLISH) FILM

Cache
Downfall
Kung Fu Hustle
Oldboy
2046

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Howl’s Moving Castle
Madagascar
Robots
Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride
Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

BEST BREAKTHROUGH FILMMAKER

Judd Apatow, The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Craig Brewer, Hustle & Flow
Paul Haggis, Crash
Bennett Miller, Capote
Joe Wright, Pride & Prejudice

BEST BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMER

Nathan Fillion, Serenity
Georgie Henley, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Tony Jaa, Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
Q’Orianka Kilcher, The New World
Owen Kline, The Squid and the Whale

Founded in 1997, the Online Film Critics Society has been the key force in establishing and raising the standards for Internet-based film journalism. The OFCS membership spans the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Asia/Pacific Rim region, with journalists representing many of the most important online film-related sites including Salon, Slate, TV Guide Online, IndieWire, Netflix, Film Threat, eFilmCritic.com and the Internet Movie Database.

The Society’s web site, which has been hosted since January 2001 by the highly influential film resource Rotten Tomatoes, provides the most comprehensive online listing of reviews and original interviews with the leading artists in today’s cinema, plus links to the most important motion picture-related web sites.

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