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Will Smith & Glen Powell, When Stars Collide

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Good morning: In today’s edition of The Industry, we look at:

Bad Boys at the Box Office, Hugh Jackman and some sheep detectives, Elizabeth Banks saves lives, La Cocina saves souls and an unlikely fire.

Let’s go!


WILL SMITH AND GLEN POWELL, WHEN STARS COLLIDE

Something remarkable happened this weekend.

Has Will Smith regained his status as a legitimate box-office draw?

Bad Boys: Ride or Die brought in $104.6 M worldwide this weekend (is this an interesting trend?). This was the best domestic R-rated opening weekend since Oppenheimer debuted 11 months ago.

Whatever patina remains from Smith’s notorious Oscars slap, his “ride or die” fans came back in force to support him.

But once-luminary box office draws are aging out of believability for their iconic action roles. Will Smith is 55. Keanu Reeves is 59. Tom Cruise is 61 and transitioning to prestige indies.

At a time when cratering box office numbers threaten to prolong an already fledgling recovery period, can aging Hollywood stars and newcomers provide a beacon of hope?

This weekend, rising star Glen Powell, 35, debuted in his first lead role.

Powell, who brought in a shocking $220 M co-starring in the rom-com Anything But You, was finally granted a lead role in Richard Linklater’s Hit Man, legitimizing Powell as a major Hollywood force.

Powell stated:

“How do we make a movie that is rewatched and rewatched over decades? “When a movie is really watchable — engaging enough to captivate generations of people — that’s true cultural power.”

He continued:

“Small, intimate movies are also on my bingo board of things I want to do, but rewatchable is an important word. This is where I think actors who want to be serious get it wrong. Flogging yourself and showing how tortured and serious you can be — people often don’t rewatch, which takes all the power out of it.”

Powell is set to star in:

  • Twisters
    • Releasing July 19th
  • The Running Man (reboot)
  • Heaven Can Wait (reboot)

The potential minting of a new Smith/Reeves/Cruise-level action star remains to be seen. But Hollywood is lining up Powell as a likely heir.

Smith, for his part, will continue banking on sequels of his fan favorites. Next up, I Am Legend 2.

For More:

Hit Man trailer.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die trailer.


THE INDUSTRY NEWS

Weekend Box Office. Here are the domestic grosses:

  • $56 M – Bad Boys: Ride or Die (Sony)
    • $104.6 M worldwide
    • $100 M budget
    • Overperformed
    • Highest R-rated opening since Oppenheimer ($82 M)
    • Will Smith (lead) makes an impressive comeback by mining a nostalgic series
    • Trailer
  • $10 M The Garfield Movie (Sony)
    • 2nd week in theatres
    • $68 M domestic total
    • $192 M worldwide total
    • Trailer
  • $8 M If (Paramount)
    • $93.5 M domestic total
    • $160 M worldwide total
    • $110 M budget
    • Trailer
  • $7 M The Watchers (Warner Bros)
    • $11 M worldwide
    • Acquired by WB for $30 M
    • Underperformed
    • Trailer
  • $5.4 M – Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Studios)
    • $350 M Global
    • $169 M budget
    • The last instalment War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), grossed $490 M worldwide
    • Trailer

Amazon MGM has two new massive projects:

  • Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Movie
    • Starring: Hugh Jackman, Emma Thompson, Nicholas Braun (Succession)
    • Writer: Craig Maizen (The Last of Us, Chernobyl, The Hangover Part II & III)
    • Dir: ​​Kyle Balda (dir: Minions) (live-action debut)

Here’s the official synopsis:

Shepherd George Hardy (Jackman) reads murder mysteries to his sheep. When he’s killed, the sheep realize he was murdered and set out to solve the case themselves, venturing from their meadow into the complex human world.

Release date February 20, 2026.

  • The Challenger (mini-series)
    • Starring/EP: Kristen Stewart (TV debut)
    • Showrunner: Maggie Cohn (writer/EP: The Staircase)
    • EP: Steven Spielberg

Here’s the official synopsis:

A group of astronauts, including the first woman and LGBTQ+ member, first Black and Asian Americans, and a married couple become the top crew for NASA’s space shuttle program. Tragedy strikes, and Ride investigates the Challenger disaster.

Stewart plays the first female astronaut and the first LGBTQ+ astronaut.

Toy Story 5 finds a director: Andrew Stanton (dir: Walle-E, Finding Nemo). If we really need a Toy Story 5, at least it’s in good hands. Stanton is also the original writer of Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Bugs Life, and Monsters Inc.

Beyond and without a shadow of a doubt, Toy Story stuck its landing with its third installment. The first three films are counted among the best of Pixar; the 4th unsettled some of the peace and resolution 3 had laid down. But it was still a well-liked and charming romp with characters we had all grown attached to. But it made clear that Woody and Buzz’s story doesn’t end just because their kids don’t want to play with them anymore.

Andrew Stanton knows how to catch that Pixar magic, maybe this ol cowboy has a bit more giddy-up after all.​

Tidbit:

Tokyo Vice is canceled after two seasons. Our favorite episode of the Max series is Michael Mann’s Season 1 pilot. The camera gets so close to Ansel Elgort’s (Baby Driver) face that you experience every pore.


THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

Elizabeth Banks reminds everyone of her acting chops in the New Zealand-set medical drama, A Mistake.

The slow-burn thriller based on Carl Shuker’s 2019 novel of the same name had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last week.

Here is the official synopsis:

In the midst of a new scheme to publicly report surgeons’ performance, a gifted surgeon’s (Elizabeth Banks) life is thrown into disarray as her colleagues begin to close ranks, and even her partner who is a nurse at the hospital turns her back on her.

Now accomplished and well-versed in all areas of film, Elizabeth had her first breakthrough acting role in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (2002-2007). Five years later, she joined another franchise as the lovable Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games (2012-2015, clip) films.

She starred and produced the popular musical comedy Pitch Perfect (2012) which led to her feature directorial debut, with its sequel in 2015. More recently, Banks directed the controversial horror comedy, Cocaine Bear (2023), loosely based on the true story of a black bear ingesting several kilograms of the lost drug and inevitably, chaos ensues.

A Mistake, “about powerful women working in challenging spheres,” differs from most of Banks’ more comedic credits but is similar to her praised performance in Call Jane (2022, trailer). This true story follows a network of activists who helped provide underground abortions in the 60s and 70s.

We’re curious to see what roles attract Banks next.

John Hawkes has been cast in Amazon Prime’s new series Criminal.

Here’s the very light official synopsis:

An inter-generational story of families connected through shared criminal history.

Here’s Hawkes character description:

‘Sebastian Hyde,’ a hard man who is six months out from a stroke, and now walks with a cane. Once the biggest shark in the shark tank, Hyde is now showing his humanity a bit — maybe a bit too much. The owner of a gambling club, the kind of man whose name is accompanied by fear, Hyde can be both amused by someone one minute, and a ruthless enforcer the next.

What’s great about Hawkes is that he can play the dichotomy of both:

Ruthless enforcer:

  • Winter’s Bone (2010)
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

Amused by someone:

  • The Sessions (2012)
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

I found Hawkes’ character in True Detective Season 4 frustrating. There was a sense of utter defeat, as if he’d reached a deadlock with his existence and was just moving through the motions. He’s cruelly under-utilized, and I truly hope he’ll be set free to do his best and worst in Criminal.

Tidbits:

Superman Casting Roundup:

We recently got a glimpse of David Corenswet’s Superman, and we know who will be playing Lois Lane (Rachel Brosnahan) and Lex Luthor (Nicholas Hoult).

We have some new casting announcements. Some new members of the Daily Bugle Newsroom:

The Talented Dr. Leto. Jared Leto will star and produce a film adaptation of an article, The Talented Dr. Gray, about a political science professor who infiltrated elite social circles and stole $1 M in jewels and art pieces.


FESTIVALS / INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

La Cocina (The Kitchen), which premiered in Berlin and had its North American Premiere this week at Tribeca, is my favorite film of the year.

Directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios, the film is a stunning fable of late-stage capitalism and how it unites and ensnares the staff at a Times Square restaurant.

Rooney Mara plays a waitress entangled in a quasi-romance with Raúl Briones, who plays a cook with a wild bestial ferocity brought out by the sweat and pressure of the kitchen.

But this is not The Bear. The halls of the kitchen are shot as if it’s a cathedral (in B&W), a mecca to those undocumented workers who believe they can make a life here, only to be ripped apart in the process by putting themselves into the cruel, absurd, fatalistic machine.

Going any deeper into the plot would rob the film of its power. But let’s say this, the director is working on a level where he is molecularly connected to the rhythms of his film.

At the screening, Ruizpalacios stated:

“I structured this movie more like a symphony in the sense it had movements rather than acts.”

The only thing wrong with this film is that it has not been picked up by a distributor.

Tidbit:

Kino Lorber SVP Wendy Lidell will depart after an eight-year tenure. Lidell has driven Oscar-nominated documentaries and acclaimed films:

  • Fire at Sea
    • Dir: Gianfranco Rosi
  • Of Fathers and Sons
    • Dir: Talal Derki
  • Four Daughters
    • Dir: Kaouther Ben Hania

Kino Lorber chair and CEO Richard Lorber stated:

“Wendy is the rarest amalgam of smart cinephile and canny business executive whose deft touch, even in the toughest deals and most challenging times, left only smiles in her wake.”

CRO Lisa Schwartz will oversee interim operations.


ON THIS DAY

1991. David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” final episode airs on ABC-TV.


See you tomorrow.


Written by Gabriel Miller, Spencer Carter, and Madelyn Menapace.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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