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'Avengers: Infinity War' Passes 'Star Wars: Force Awakens' With Record $250M U.S. Bow

Disney and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War kicked off the summer box office in high style, opening to a record-setting $250 million in North America and $380 million overseas for a global total of $630 million, the top worldwide start of all time. The superhero mashup accomplished the feat without China, where it doesn't unfurl until May 11.

Fellow Disney title Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($248 million) was the previous record holder for biggest domestic opening, while Universal's The Fate of the Furious had held the record for biggest global start ($541.9 million).

Infinity War's box office victory was aided by the biggest Saturday of all time in North America ($83 million), reflecting a strong family turnout. The tentpole cost close to $300 to produce before a major marketing spend.

Directed by the Russo brothers, Avengers: Infinity War is most ambitious amassing of superheroes in history, and comes as Marvel Studios — led by Kevin Feige — celebrates its 10th anniversary. In 2009, Walt Disney Co. chief Bob Iger paid $4 billion to acquire Marvel Studios, even though many of the superhero characters in Marvel's stable were unproven.

Infinity War is the first film to be shot entirely with IMAX cameras. IMAX theaters in turn delivered $41 million of the total global gross, the biggest showing ever for a Marvel title. The U.S. share was $22.5 million.

Infinity War follows the massive success of Marvel's Black Panther, a cultural phenomenon and fanboy darling that currently ranks as the top-grossing superhero film of all time in North America with $688 million in ticket sales. The superhero, played by Chadwick Boseman, appears in the Avengers film and was no doubt a boost for Infinity War.

In a surprise twist, interest in Black Panther — now in its 11th weekend — once again spiked as Infinity War debuted. Black Panther moved back up the chart from No. 8 to No. 5, earning $4.4 million.

Marvel Studios is unrivaled in its success, boasting six of the top 10 opening weekends of all time. The Avengers ($207.4 million) previously held the record for the biggest superhero launch, followed by Black Panther ($202 million). They are the only two superhero titles to have crossed $200 million in their first weekend.

Infinity War also continues Disney's domination at the box office. The studio has bragging rights to nine of the 10 biggest domestic openings, including the top three; Infinity War, Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($220 million). Universal's Jurassic World ($208.8 million) is No. 4.

Nabbing an A CinemaScore, Infinity War reunites the Avengers gang and friends, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Panther (Boseman), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), as they join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy crew to stop the evil intergalactic despot Thanos (Josh Brolin).

Black Panther stars Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright and Winston Duke also appear in Infinity War, the third outing in the Avengers series. Other characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe making a play include Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Bradley Cooper are some of the stars from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise appearing in Infinity War.

No other wide release dared open opposite Infinity War. Save for Black Panther, most holdovers felt the pinch, although Paramount's hit horror film, A Quiet Place, still made noise, grossing $10.7 million for a domestic total of $148.2 million. Overseas, the film earned another $6.6 million for a foreign total of $87.2 million and $235.4 globally.

A Quiet Place easily came in No. 2 domestically, followed by Amy Schumer comedy I Feel Pretty, which tumbled 49 percent in its second weekend to $8.1 million for a total $29.6 million. STX and Voltage are partners on the film.

Dwayne Johnson's action-adventure appeared to be the hardest hit by Infinity War, falling 65 percent to $7.1 million for a domestic total of $77.9 million at the end of its third weekend.

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The Game Reboot Lands At Paramount+ Streaming Service

A revival of the BET’s The Game is officially in development under the ViacomCBS digital subscription streaming service Paramount+, which was originally branded as CBS All Access.

The series reboot was announced on Tuesday (Sept. 15), along with a list of original and rebooted shows headed for the streaming outlet which includes a limited series chronicling the making of The Godfather, a new edition of VH1’s Behind the Music, and the true crime docuseries, The Real Criminal Minds. The programming will join CBS All Access’ list of more than 20,000 episodes and movies across BET, MTV, CBS, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, and more.

Although no details have been released about The Game revival, the series will fall under BET’s Paramount+ programming from CBS Television Studios and Garment Productions. It’s unclear if any of the show's original cast members like, Tia Mowry, Pooch Hall, and Wendy Raquel Robinson, will be involved in the new installment.

The hit sports series was created by Mara Brock Akil, as a spinoff of her other hit sitcom, Girlfriends. Akil recently inked an overall deal with Netflix to develop new projects for the streamer. The company also acquired the rights to Girlfriends, Sister, Sister, Moesha, and The Parkers.

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50 Cent Developing Starz Series About Beef With The Game

Add a couple more credits to 50 Cent’s long list of TV projects. The rapper-turned-TV-producer inked a deal to develop two new series for Starz, one of which will explore his feud with The Game, the cable network announced on Monday (Sept. 14).

The seasonal anthology series tentatively titled, Moment in Time: The Massacre, chronicles “true stories in which iconic hip hop moments collided with the sensational and sometimes criminal events behind the scenes.” Season one focuses on the beef between Fif and Game that “led to an all-street war, pitting G-Unit against music impresario Jimmy Henchman.”

Henchman, The Game’s former manager, is currently serving life for the murder-for-hire of a G-Unit affiliate. Moment in Time will be written and executive produced by Abdul William, who penned The Bobby Brown Story, The New Edition Story, Lottery Ticket, and Lifetime’s forthcoming Salt-N-Pepa mini series.

Inspired by the life of sports agent and attorney Nicole Lynn, who serves as executive producer, the second series follows a Black female sports agent’s rise up the ranks in the male dominated industry of sports agents. Tash Grey will produce the series and pen the script. Grey’s notable credits include the Power spinoff Raising Kanan, Snowfall, P-Valley, and the true-crime drama, Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.

Both series will be executive produced by 50 Cent and his G-Unit Film & Television imprint.

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Netflix Acquires ‘Malcolm & Marie’ Starring Zendaya, John David Washington

Netflix has acquired the rights to the film Malcolm & Marie staring Zendaya and John David Washington in a $30 million deal during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The streaming giant beat out HBO, Amazon, Searchlight, Apple and MGM among others in a bidding war over the film, Deadline reports.

Shot on 35mm black and white film, Malcolm & Marie, tells the story of a filmmaker (portrayed by Washington) who returns home with his girlfriend after a celebrating the premiere of his latest movie. Things take a turn as revelations about the couple’s relationship rise to the surface, changing the mood of the evening.

Malcolm & Marie pic.twitter.com/99RWzgLFbD

— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 8, 2020

Malcolm & Marie was written, directed and produced by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, who penned the script in less than a week. Aside from starring in the romantic drama, Zendaya and Washington serve as executive producers on the project.

“I am so grateful to this cast and crew, many of whom are my ‘Euphoria’ family, for coming together during such uncertain times,” Levinson said in a statement. “We felt privileged to be able to make this film together and we did so with a lot of love. We are all thrilled that it has ended up with Netflix which is unparalleled in allowing filmmakers the freedom to tell their stories that reach audiences all over the world.”

The film was shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic at a quarantine location in California in mid-June. Over the course of the two week shoot, heavy precautions were taken to ensure the health and safety of the cast and crew including social distancing, increased sanitary measures, and daily temperature checks.

Netflix’s acquisition of Malcolm & Marie follows an onslaught of TIFF films scooped up by  the company, with Halle Berry’s Bruised among the lot. The film marks Berry’s directorial debut and was sold to Netflix for a reported $20 million.

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