It was a slower-than-normal weekend, which may be since we’re getting closer to the holidays and productions have either wrapped or are getting ready to wrap for the holiday break.
The biggest production-related news from the weekend is that a project called Lumina has essentially been shut down by SAG-AFTRA who put out a “DO NOT WORK” order on the project, since it “failed to demonstrate its compliance with SAG-AFTRA’s required Covid-19 safety standards and protocols for a safe set.”
The union said the above about the production company, Luminamovie LLC, saying that its members are “hereby instructed to withhold any acting services or performance of any covered work for this production until further notice from the union.” It added that “accepting employment or rendering services on Lumina may be considered a violation of Global Rule One. Violating this order may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Constitution.”
We don’t really know much else about the movie or even where or when it was supposed to start shooting, but considering how many agreements have been signed in order to protect everyone from COVID and how serious this matter is taken, we’ll have to see when and how this gets resolved.
Cuba-born actress Ana de Armas became a super-hot commodity after receiving attention and adulation (and a Golden Globe nomination) for her role in Rian Johnson‘s Knives Out last year. She also co-stars in the upcoming, delayed James Bond movie, No Time to Die. Late last week, she was announced to star opposite Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans in the Netflix action-thriller The Gray Man, directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. The movie will be the biggest budget movie in Netflix history in terms of features, adapting Mark Greaney‘s 2009 novel with a script written by the Russos along with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who wrote all four of the Russos’ Marvel Studios movies. No word on where or when the project might begin production, but the Russos’ next project, Cherry, will appear on Apple TV+ this coming January.
Over the weekend, Netflix announced 7 new U.K. projects from the likes of Rowan Atkinson, Sam Mendes (1917), Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) and others, including Sarah Dollard, Sophie Petzal, Richard Gadd, Barney Ronay and Jonathan Liew. Atkinson, best known for his characters Mr. Bean and Johnny English, is introducing a new character in Man vs. Bee, a series of ten 10-minute shorts. Cornish is the lead director and writer on Lockwood & Co, an 8-episode hour-long drama series about a group of teenage ghost hunters. Mendes is Exec. Producing Ronay and Liew’s The Red Zone, six half-hour long episoides that tangentially involves football. The other 30-minute series is Baby Reindeer, starring Richard Gadd; and then the 60-minute shows are Sarah Dollard’s Cuckoo Song; Half Bad from Joe Barton; and Petzal’s The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.
If you’ve been reading this column every week, then you already know how bad things are at the box office, but this weekend saw a new low as DreamWorks Animation‘s The Croods: A New Age remained #1 for a third weekend in a row with just over $3 million. It has grossed roughly $24.3 million in the past three weeks, but on Friday, it will be available to watch at home via VOD, so we’ll see how that affects its box office this coming weekend. There were no other new wide releases this weekend as Bleecker Street‘s Irish rom-com, Wild Mountain Thyme, starring Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan and Jon Hamm only opened in 450 theaters and only grossed $100,500 over the three-day weekend. Warner Bros. rereleased the original Wonder Woman into an unknown number of theaters but that only ended up making $189,000, not a good sign for the Christmas release date for the sequel, Wonder Woman 1984.
Over the weekend, Chloe Zhao‘s acclaimed drama, Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand, won the top prize from the Boston Society of Film Critics, and Searchlight Studios rolled out a brand-new trailer for the movie that is likely to win many more prizes in the awards season that’s just now starting in earnest.
Dickinson, starring Hailee Steinfeld, is one of the Apple TV+ series returning in 2021, specifically on January 8. The streamer has released a trailer for the second season that you can watch below. The series has already been renewed for a third season, so Steinfeld may have to split her time between that and the Disney+ series, Hawkeye, on which she co-stars with Jeremy Renner.