Kyle Davies, the President of Domestic Distribution for Paramount Pictures, is not having a great week. The early eruption of a backlash to his studio’s newest release (the generously-budgeted Ghost in the Shell remake) and its whitewashed casting was cause for concern. But up until recently, he could assuage his shareholders’ worries by clinging to the notion that hackle-raising on the Internet would not have any tangible effects on the box-office receipts. That changed after this past weekend, when the Scarlett Johansson vehicle mustered a piteous $19 million in wide release. Left to answer for the film’s commercial failure, Davies has placed the blame on the controversy over tapping confirmed white woman Johansson to portray an Asian role, to which the whole of the Internet will now respond with a hearty “DA-DOY.”
The whitewashing controversy surrounding Ghost in the Shell may keep it from becoming 2017’s big box office hit, despite how faithfully the filmmakers have recreated some of the most visually-arresting scenes from the 1995 original. It’s a bummer that Motoko Kusanagi is now Mara Killian because the movie looks absolutely gorgeous, as evidenced in this new clip, which takes its cues directly from an iconic scene in the original.
Female-driven comedies are having what they call a “moment.” It’s like after Bridesmaids came out, studios discovered, hey, women can be funny too! The latest of these lady-driven entertainments is Rough Night, formerly titled Rock That Body (possibly renamed because of copyright issues with one Justin Timberlake), starring Scarlett Johansson, SNL’s Kate McKinnon, Zoe Kravitz, Ilana Glazer, and Jillian Bell, and Sony just released a first look.
Near the end of every year, Forbes releases their rankings of the top actors in Hollywood based on their box-office value and earnings (along with a list of the most overpaid actors, which is always interesting). This year, Scarlett Johansson tops the list of the highest-grossing actors in Hollywood, followed closely by Marvel co-stars Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr., who tied for second place. What makes Johansson’s ranking even more notable, however, is her earnings — while RDJr. placed ninth on this year’s list of the highest-paid actors with $33 million, Johansson ranked third on the actress list with $25 million.
Scarlett Johansson has played Natasha Romanoff in five Marvel movies, five, and yet she still hasn’t gotten her own Black Widow solo movie. It’s kind of crazy, especially since fans have been clamoring for the female superhero to get her own film for ages – just this summer a new poll found that audiences want a Black Widow movie over any other Avengers character. Kevin Feige recently ignited some hope, saying Marvel is “committed” to giving the superhero her own movie, the Russo brothers called it a “no-brainer,” and Joss Whedon is down to direct. Now Johansson has chimed in to share her ideas for a solo movie.
Of the many bonus features included in each new Marvel Blu-ray / DVD release, the gag reels are always the most special of the bunch, especially when the whole MCU gang gets together. You won’t be able to purchase Captain America: Civil War for another couple of weeks, but thanks to Marvel, you can watch the hilarious outtakes featuring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and the rest of the Avengers crew right now.