Paramount Pictures on Monday halted production on the seventh "Mission: Impossible" film due to the new virus, as Hollywood began to more drastically adapt to the growing global outbreak.
"Mission: Impossible 7" had been scheduled to shoot for three weeks in Venice. More than 200 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Italy, the largest number outside Asia. While most of those cases are in the neighboring Lombardy region, authorities said three people in Venice have tested positive for the virus.
In a statement, Paramount cited the Venetian government's halting of public gatherings, and said it was canceling the shoot "out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew."
Paramount also on Monday postponed the Chinese release of "Sonic the Hedgehog," which had been set for Friday. Cinemas in China have been shuttered due to the outbreak, closing down the world's second largest box-office market.
At stake is potentially hundreds of millions in ticket sales in China and elsewhere. Media stocks were among those that tumbled Monday on Wall Street as fears increased of the virus' effect on the global economy.
Last week, the James Bond film "No Time to Die" canceled its planned Beijing premiere and promotional tour. The film is to open in Britain on April 2 and in North America on April 10.
The Walt Disney Co.'s anticipated live-action "Mulan" remake is also soon to open worldwide, with a particular focus on China. It's due to open there on March 27.
President Donald Trump is apparently not a fan of "Parasite," his biggest complaint being that the movie was made in South Korea.
Trump started talking about the Academy Awards during a campaign rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Thursday. Parasite was named best picture, becoming the first non-English-language film to get the top honor.
"What the hell was that all about?" Trump said. "We've got enough problems with South Korea with trade. On top of that, they give them best movie of the year. Was it good? I don't know."
Neon, the U.S. distributor for the subtitled film, shot back on Twitter: "Understandable. He can't read."
The audience booed when Trump mentioned the Academy Awards and then cheered when he said: "Can we get like ''Gone with the Wind' back please? 'Sunset Boulevard,' so many great movies."
"Parasite" tells the story of how a family of four poor, unemployed people living in a slum basement apartment comically infiltrates a wealthy family residing at a luxurious mansion before things unravel violently and tragically.
Oscar-winning "Parasite" director Bong Joon-ho said Wednesday the film's "biggest pleasure and the most significant meaning" to him is that it succeeded even though the audiences might feel uncomfortable with his explicit description of bitter wealth disparity in modern society.
Bong's dark comic thriller about two families on the opposite ends of South Korea's social spectrum is a history-making film. It won best picture at this month's 92nd Academy Awards ceremony, becoming the first non-English-language film to get the top honor. Bong and his film clinched three other Oscars.
Bong told reporters that the movie's story has not only "funny, comic" elements but also "bitter, painful natures" of the disparity between the haves and have-nots in modern society.
"I didn't want to avoid such a part even a little bit," Bong told a nationally televised news conference. "Audiences might hate that or feel uncomfortable to watch it ... but I thought the only option I can have for this movie is depicting the world we live as frankly as possible, though that might be risky commercially."
Noting that "Parasite" was already commercially successful in North America, France, Vietnam, Japan, the United Kingdom and his native South Korea even before his Oscar triumph, Bong said, "Regardless of the (Oscar) wins, the biggest pleasure and the most significant meaning was the fact that many audiences around the world of our times respond to the movie."
The class satire tells the story of how a family of four poor, unemployed people living in a slum basement apartment comically infiltrates a wealthy family residing at a luxurious mansion before things unravel violently and tragically.
Bong already had commercial and critical success with his 2013 sci-fi film "Snowpiercer," which starred Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton along with South Korean "Parasite" actor Song Kang-ho. But nothing that's come before has been remotely as successful as "Parasite," a profoundly South Korean film shot in the Korean language.
Along with the best picture award, Bong was also named best director and co-shared another Oscar title, best original screenplay, with "Parasite" co-writer Han Jin Won. The film won best international feature film as well.
The movie, which is also the first South Korean film to win an Oscar, has made Bong a national hero. Ahead of April's parliamentary elections in South Korea, some politicians even proposed setting up a Bong statue, establishing a street named after him and rebuilding the house where he was born.
Asked about such proposals, Bong joked, "I hope people will talk about such things after I die."
Bong said that he will leave it to critics, journalists and fans to analyze the movie's commercial appeal, and that he'd fully focus on working on this next film.
At the same news conference, actress Lee Jeong-eun, who plays a live-in housekeeper for the wealthy family in "Parasite," said the movie portrayed universal problems such as unemployment "in a very interesting yet an in-depth manner." Han said he believes many audiences sympathized with the movie's 10 main characters, who "have their own dramas and have their own reasons to live."
Bong said he was ready for a break after a successful yet exhausting Oscars campaign. But he said prominent American director Martin Scorsese pleaded that he get back to work quickly.
"I just read his letter a few hours ago and it was an honor," Bong said. "He said I did a good job and should rest, but only a little because he and everyone else was eagerly waiting for my next film."
Bong had mentioned his admiration of Scorsese while receiving the directing Oscar, inspiring an impromptu standing ovation from the crowd.
Bong said he was discussing with HBO making a TV adaptation of "Parasite," with American director and screenwriter Adam McKay agreeing to be a writer on the series, which could run five or six episodes.
"We have smoothly taken the first step with HBO," said Bong, while denying reports that Mark Ruffalo and Swinton have been finalized as cast members.
"The TV adaptation of 'Snowpiercer' is planned to air in May, but since we started talking about it in 2014 or 2015, it took about five years. (The TV version of) 'Parasite' might take quite a while too," he said.
Bengali actor and former MP Tapas Pal passed away early Tuesday morning at the age of 61 in a private hospital in Mumbai, his wife Nandini Pal confirmed to ieBangla. He won the 2014 general elections from the Krishnanagar Lok Sabha constituency on a Trinamool Congress (TMC) ticket, reports The Indian Express.
Born on September 29, 1958, Pal started his career at the age of 22 and gained popularity with his debut film Dadar Kirti in 1980. Later, several of his films got popular including Saheb (1981), Parabat Priya (1984), Bhalobasa Bhalobasa (1985), Anurager Choyan (1986), Amar Bandhan (1986). He was awarded the Filmfare Award for his role in Saheb.
Pal also worked in Bollywood films. He first starred in Abodh opposite Madhuri Dixit.
The actor was arrested by the CBI for alleged link to Rose Valley Chit Fund scam in December 2016 and was granted bail after 13 months.
Pal, once a baby-faced lead actor of melodramatic Bengali films, was among the earliest Tollywood stars to add shine to the Trinamool’s anti-Left campaign.
In 2014, Pal was caught on camera threatening to kill CPI(M) workers and have their women raped if any of his party workers were attacked.
Pal is survived by his wife Nandini Pal, who is a participant of Bigg Boss Bangla at present, and a daughter Sohini Pal, who is also an actor.
The redesigned "Sonic the Hedgehog" showed plenty of teeth at the box office, speeding to a $57 million debut, according to studio estimates Sunday, while "Parasite" saw one of the largest post-Oscars bumps in years following its best picture win.
Paramount Pictures' "Sonic the Hedgehog" came in well above expectations, especially for a movie that just months ago was a laughing stock. After its first trailer was greeted with ridicule on social media last year, "Sonic" was postponed three months to give its title character a design overhaul — including fixing Sonic's eerily human teeth.
The makeover worked and audiences responded by making "Sonic the Hedgehog" the weekend's top film and the highest-grossing opening for a video game adaptation, not accounting for inflation. For Paramount, it's a welcome success following misfires such as "Gemini Man" and "Terminator: Dark Fate." The studio estimates "Sonic" will gross $68 million over the four-day Presidents Day holiday weekend.
"If you don't listen to your customer, and this goes for any business, then you're going to fail," said Chris Aronson, distribution chief for Paramount. "We retooled Sonic in a way that was obviously very satisfying for the fans and they were very forgiving. Now that they've seen the movie, they love the movie. It all worked out."
The Sega video game adaptation, directed by Jeff Fowler, drew decent reviews (63% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and an A CinemaScore from moviegoers. The $87 million production co-stars Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik with Ben Schwartz supplying Sonic's voice.
Bong Joon Ho's "Parasite" had its biggest weekend in its 19th week of release. Neon put "Parasite" into its widest release yet (2,001 theaters) following its historic win at the Oscars. ("Parasite" was the first non-English-language film to win best picture in the 92-year history of the Academy Awards.) And despite the film already being available for weeks on digital platforms and on DVD, its $5.5 million weekend is the largest Oscars bump for a best-picture winner since "Gladiator" in 2001.
Last week's opening of "Birds of Prey" followed up its limp debut by sliding to second with $17.1 million. Following its disappointing opening, some theaters retitled the movie "Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey," instead of "Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)."
It was a busy weekend in theaters, with a handful of other new releases — "The Photograph," "Fantasy Island," "Downhill" — seeking to capitalize on both Valentine's Day on Friday and Presidents Day on Monday.
"Fantasy Island," the Blumhouse horror remake of the '70s TV show, fared the best, collecting $12.4 million in ticket sales despite terrible reviews. Sony Pictures handled the release of the low-budget, PG-13 film, which earned just a 9% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Universal Pictures "The Photograph," a romance starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield and produced by Will Packer ("Girls Trip," "Ride Along"), opened with $12.2 million. The film, written and directed by Stella Meghie, cost $15 million to make.
"Downhill," from Disney's Fox Searchlight Pictures, debuted with $4.7 million, a modest start for a film starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell. A remake of the acclaimed Swedish film "Force Majeure" by Ruben Östlund, "Downhill" didn't do great with critics but fared even worse with audiences. They gave it a D CinemaScore.
Neon followed up its "Parasite" Oscar win with the Valentine's Day release of "Portrait of a Lady on Fire," one of 2019's most acclaimed films. Following a one-week qualifying run in December, Celine Sciamma's French period romance opened in 22 theaters with a strong per-theater average of about $20,000.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included.
1. "Sonic the Hedgehog," $57 million ($44.3 million international).
2. "Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey," $17.1 million ($23 million international).
3. "Fantasy Island," $12.4 million ($7.6 million international).
4. "The Photograph," $12.3 million.
5. "Bad Boys for Life," $11.3 million ($11.1 million international).
6. "1917," $8.1 million ($6.4 million international).
7. "Jumanji: The Next Level," $5.7 million ($1.9 million international).
8. "Parasite," $5.5 million.
9. "Dolittle," $5.1 million ($8.8 million international).
10. "Downhill," $4.7 million.