Film Bits: Speculation Surrounds Reboot of ‘The Matrix’; ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Breaks Bank

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Rumors Swirl Around ‘The Matrix’ Spin Off/Reboot

Hard to believe it’s been 18 years since The Matrix first blew everyone’s minds. A lot has changed in the ensuing two decades, not the least of which is Hollywood’s penchant for wringing franchises for all the money they’re worth and then some. Which means it’s not exactly shocking that they’re planning to jack back in to the world created by the Wachowskis. After rumblings and grumblings across the internet of a planned reboot of the series, WB and head writer Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand) confirmed that the new film would simply be an extension of the original universe rather than a complete do over. News that Michael B. Jordan (Creed) was circling the project has now to led to rumors that the new film would be a prequel to the original and would explore the origins of Morpheus, the character first portrayed by Lawrence Fishburne in the original series. That’s certainly an interesting take on the film, but still doesn’t necessarily justify its existence. When you consider that, so far at any rate, the Wachowskis haven’t signed up for (or off on) anything, it’s hard to get fully behind the idea as anything but a shameless cash grab. That being said, there’s not too much they could do that would be worse than The Matrix: Reloaded or The Matrix: Revolutions. With the right script, we might finally get a follow up we deserve. But who knows?

(THR, BMD)

Eddie Murphy May Be Working on ‘Coming to America 2’

An enigmatic post on actor Eddie Murphy’s now deleted Twitter has people wondering if Coming to America 2 may be in the works. Posed as a simple question, “Coming to America 2?” the simple tweet sparked a flurry of speculation, including some from his Coming to America co-star, Vanessa Bell Calloway, that the account had been hacked and that we were all being pranked. Still, TMZ seemed to confirm that Murphy was, indeed, in the early stages of writing a new follow up to his 1988 classic. It wouldn’t be a bad move on his part. Murphy has struggled to maintain his stature in the recent years following a string of critical duds in the late 90s/early 00s. Revisiting on the of the works that solidified him as a star could help him break the cycle of mediocrity he seems to have fallen into, though following up a film as classic as Coming to America might be a hard nut to crack. Regardless, internet reaction has been largely positive which hopefully fuels Murphy if indeed he’s diving back in.

(IndieWire)

‘Beauty and the Beast’ Breaks Records on Journey to Box Office Dominance

Beauty and the Beast had the strongest opening in almost a year in its opening weekend, raking in a staggering $170 million at the box office (edging out Batman v Superman and Rogue One while falling just short of Captain America: Civil War). This was also enough to earn it the 7th largest opening weekend of all time, the largest opening of a PG film ever, and the strongest opening ever for a female led film. Kong: Skull Island fell to a distant second with $28.8 million in its second week of release while Logan took in $17.5 million in its third week. Get Out, meanwhile, still went strong with $13.2 million while the faith based film The Shack stacked $6.1.

  1. Beauty and the Beast-$170 million
  2. Kong: Skull Island-$28.8 million
  3. Logan-$17.5 million
  4. Get Out-$13.2 million
  5. The Shack-$6.1 million
  6. The LEGO Batman Movie-$4.7 million
  7. The Belko Experiment-$4 million
  8. Hidden Figures-$1.5 million
  9. John Wick Chapter 2-$1.2 million
  10. Before I Fall-$1 million

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