Cinema Chat: ‘Black Widow’ Dominates COVID Era Box Office, ‘Roadrunner’ Opens in State, and More


The summer movie season is progressing, so join in the fun! WEMU’s David Fair is out this week, so Michael Jewett steps in to talk all things about movies with Michigan Theater Foundation Executive Director Russ Collins.


In North America, the previous pandemic record holder was Universal’s “F9”, which debuted at $ 70 million a few weeks ago. But unlike “Black Widow,” the ninth “Fast & Furious” movie was exclusively in theaters. Black Widow generated approximately $ 80 million in ticket sales in North America. Combined with $ 78 million from international theaters and at least $ 60 million in Disney + Premier Access rentals, “Black Widow” grossed over $ 215 million in its first weekend. The studio said it was the biggest national opening weekend since the start of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” in 2019, before the pandemic. “It was a pretty monumental weekend,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “’Black Widow’ has performed well on both large and small screens. And that actually strengthens the case for movie theaters.”



Thist is a 2020 American black comedy film based on a viral Twitter feed of Aziah “Zola” King and the Rolling Stone article “Zola Tells All: The Real Story Behind the Greatest Stripper Saga Ever Tweeted” by David Kushner. Directed by Janicza Bravo (“Atlanta-TV”, “Lemon”, “Forever-TV”, “Them-TV”) from a screenplay by Bravo and Jeremy O. Harris, it stars Taylour Paige as Zola, a part-time stripper who is convinced by her new friend (Riley Keough) to travel to Tampa, Fla., In order to earn money, and ultimately win; Colman Domingo, Nicholas Braun and Ari’el Stachel are also on the bill.

“Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” – OPENING FRIDAY, JULY 16 IN THE STATE

This is not where you are going. That’s what you leave behind … Chef, writer, adventurer, provocateur: Anthony Bourdain has lived his life shamelessly. This film is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at how an anonymous chef became a world-renowned cultural icon. From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (“20 feet from fame,” “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”), This unfailing look at Bourdain resonates with his presence, in his own voice and in the way he made an indelible impact on the world around him.





CINEMA CLASSICS – Sundays & Tuesdays

NT Live: “The Curious Incident of the Dog during the Night” – THURSDAY, JULY 22 IN MICHIGAN

One night event! Captured live from the National Theater in London, this critically acclaimed production directed by Marianne Elliot (“Angels in America”, “War Horse”) has amazed audiences around the world and received seven Olivier and five Tony Awards®. Christopher, fifteen years old, stands next to Mrs. Shears’ dead dog. He’s been stabbed with a garden fork, it’s seven minutes past midnight, and Christopher is suspicious. He records every fact in the book he writes to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington, he has an extraordinary brain, exceptional at math, though ill-equipped to interpret everyday life.


“I carry you with me”

AN ACCLAIMED SUNDANCE 2020 FILM. Based on true love, this decades-long romance begins in Mexico between an aspiring chef (Armando Espitia) and a teacher (Christian Vázquez). Their lives reboot in incredible ways as societal pressure pushes them to embark on a treacherous journey to New York with dreams, hopes and memories in tow. Directed by Heidi Ewing (from Farmington Hills [Jesus Camp, Detropia]), from a screenplay by Ewing and Alan Page Arriaga.

“Black Widow”

In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller, Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) takes on the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy linked to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must face her spy story and the broken relationships left in its wake long before she becomes an Avenger.

This is an American superhero movie based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, it is the 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Cate Shortland (Australian screenwriter and director best known for “Somersault”, “Lore” and “Berlin Syndrome”) from a screenplay by Eric Pearson. Stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow alongside Florence Pugh, David Harbor, OT Fagbenle, William Hurt, Ray Winstone and Rachel Weisz. Set after “Captain America: Civil War” (2016), the film sees Romanoff on the run and forced to confront his past.

Scarlett Johansson has been cast for the role of several MCU movies starting with “Iron Man 2” (2010). Construction began in late 2017 and director Cate Shortland was hired in 2018. Filming took place from May to October 2019 in Norway, Budapest, Morocco, Pinewood Studios in England, and Atlanta and Macon, Georgia. . This is the first film in Phase Four of the MCU and has been delayed three times from the original May 2020 release date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Summer of Soul (or when the revolution couldn’t be televised)”

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and moving documentary, part a musical film, part a historical record created around an epic event that celebrated history, culture and history. black fashion. For six weeks in the summer of 1969, just 160 km south of Woodstock, the Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The images have never been seen and largely forgotten until now. The film highlights the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and testifies to the healing power of music in times of turmoil, past and present. The feature includes unreleased concerts by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, The Staples Singers, Mahalia Jackson, BB King, The 5th Dimension, and more.

“In the heights”

This is an American musical drama directed by Jon M. Chu from a screenplay by Quiara Alegría Hudes. It is based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s stage musical. The film stars Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV and Jimmy Smits.

Light up Washington Heights … The scent of a caliente cafecito hangs in the air just outside the 181st Street subway station, where a kaleidoscope of dreams brings this vibrant, tight-knit community together. At the intersection of it all is the likeable magnetic bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who saves every penny of his daily grind as he hopes, imagines and sings for a better life.

“The truffle hunters”

Deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, a handful of men, young in their seventies or eighties, hunt the rare and expensive Alba white truffle, which to this day has resisted all the efforts of modern science in culture. They are guided by a secret culture and training passed down from generation to generation, as well as the noses of their cherished and skillfully trained dogs. They live a simpler, slower way of life, in tune with their loyal animals and their perfect land, seemingly straight out of a fairy tale. They are not connected to cellphone screens or the internet, choosing instead to prepare their food and drinks by hand and prioritize in-person and community connections.

The demand for white truffles is increasing year by year, even as the supply is decreasing. As a result of climate change, deforestation and the lack of young people taking up the torch, the secrets of truffle growers are more coveted than ever. However, as it quickly becomes clear, these aging men may well hold something much more precious than even this delicacy: the secret to a rich and meaningful life.

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—Michael Jewett is WEMU’s weekday jazz host. Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or write to us at [email protected]


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