“Infinity War” sets new weekend B.O. record & more

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In Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, intergalatic despot Thanos, otherwise known as the “Mad Titan,” hurls a moon at Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. The same can be said about Disney and Marvel as the behemoth event, also known as a film, did the same to the weekend box office.

The epic story, ten years in the making, set new records for the biggest domestic and global opening of all time this weekend, collecting an estimated $250 million in the U.S. and Canada and totaling $630 million around the world. Avengers barely passed the domestic record held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, also a Disney film, which made its debut to $248 million in 2015, and trounced the $541 million global record set by last year’s The Fate of the Furious. The latter film still holds the global box off

With the success of Black Panther ($683.6M domestically) earlier this year coupled with Infinity War’s early eruption, Disney has already passed the $1 billion domestic box office mark, making it the fastest studio to cross that threshold ever. The studio has nine of the 10 biggest box-office domestic openings of all time – an unprecedented box-office streak. The film has yet to open in China, the world’s No. 2 market.

With a budget of about $300 million, Avengers: Infinity War, which CinemaScore has an audience rating of an “A.” Marvel is now on a streak which has seen its past eleven movies score “A” or better. The film is the first half of a two-part culmination for Disney’s Marvel Studios, which has been building out a “cinematic universe” of interconnected characters and story lines over 19 movies thus far. Infinity War combines those elements, tossing characters like Captain America, Black Panther and The Guardians of the Galaxy into the same movie as the good guys team up against a civilization-crushing villain called Thanos. A follow-up to Infinity War is scheduled for release in May 2019, which given the ginormous box office this weekend, could also set new records.

Did you see Infinity War this weekend? What did you think?

Viewers were not lost during sci-fi series premiere on Netflix

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Netflix series premiere numbers are solid

Chicago’s Max Jenkins and devoted Lost in Space fans probably need not worry about Netflix renewing the sci-fi series which premiered earlier this month. According to Variety, the streaming giant did something rare as it shared viewership numbers.

Nielsen ratings reveal that Lost in Space pulled in an initial American viewership of 6.3 million following its April 13 debut — with an average binge time of 2.5 hours. Of that number, 1.2 million had made it all the way through to the end of the final episode before that three-day window had elapsed.

Compared to the premiere of Stranger Things second season, which yielded 15.8 million viewers and Will Smith’s Bright which scored 11 million, in the same time frame, LIS’ viewership doesn’t put the Robinson family into blockbuster territory. But its initial outing does fit solidly among the lineup of popular original Netflix programs that people show a healthy appetite to binge. The series is also light-years ahead of The Cloverfield Paradox (another standalone feature), which for all its Super Bowl guerrilla marketing buzz failed to draw even 1 million views on its debut night, and managed just 2.8 million over the course of its first three days online.

With favorable reviews (including Reel Chicago’s), strong viewership, and a creative team on board for a second season that they started working on it before Netflix gave them the go-ahead, Season 2 of Lost in Space feels like good odds.

Ora Interactive one of “Crain’s 100 Best Places to Work”

Not sure how we missed this, but mea culpa. The Escape Pod’s award-winning user experience and digital product studio, Ora Interactive was named by Crain’s Chicago as one of the 100 Best Places to Work” in the Windy City. Coming in at number 38, the criteria is based on a survey of 8,800 employees at Chicago-area companies. Ora excelled in telecommuting options, education reimbursement and career development programs.

Congratulations to the Ora team!

Comedian Michelle Wolf roasted

The annual White House Correspondent’s dinner was Saturday night, and Daily Show writer/comedian Michelle Wolf’s no holds-barred monologue was hard to swallow for some journalists and politicians. She savagely (and overall funny) went after President Trump, Sarah Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, MSNBC, CNN and more during her 19 minute routine.

The New York Times reports that “late on Sunday, Margaret Talev, President of the Correspondents’ Association, issued a statement acknowledging ‘dismay’ from members about Ms. Wolf’s performance.” President Trump tweeted, “Put Dinner to rest, or start over!” and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer weighed in, calling it a “disgrace” on Twitter, to which Wolf replied “Thank you!” But many journalists also are livid about the Taley’s statement calling it, “a disgrace to the First Ammendment.”

What did you think? Did you watch? Did she go too far? Watch the video below and post your thoughts.

 

 

 
Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.

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