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Film News Roundup: Opening of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ Leads in China

In today’s film news roundup, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” leads the box office in China, “Bumblebee” spent $84 million in California and Katrina Begin gets a starring role in “The Secret.”

CHINA OPENING

Sony’s opening day of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” led the box office Friday in China with $6.6 million, topping three new local titles.

It was the top first day for a Hollywood animated film in 2018 in China, surpassing “The Incredibles 2” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” Projections are for a $26 million to $28 million for the weekend. As of Dec. 21, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” had taken in $48 million in North America and another $28.5 million internationally.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is Sony’s seventh pic about the webslinger. The six “Spider-Man” movies have collectively generated $4.9 billion worldwide. Last year’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” starring Tom Holland, hauled $880 million globally and a sequel will bow next year.

“Spider-Verse” features Shameik Moore voicing Miles Morales, a half-Puerto Rican and half-African-American teenager from Brooklyn who is bitten by a genetically modified spider, develops spider-like abilities, and discovers an alternative universe where more than one Spider-Man exists.

‘BUMBLEBEE’ ECONOMICS

The production of Paramount’s “Bumblebee” contributed more than $84.8 million to the California economy, according to data released by the studio Friday.

The production hired more than 2,800 local workers, who took home nearly $50.5 million in wages, and supported 1,250 local vendors. The “Transformers” prequel spent 189 days on locations in Solano, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mammoth, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz.

“When it comes to the latest installment of the Transformers franchise, there’s more than meets the eye,” said the Motion Picture Association of America’s Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin. “The production of this film not only directly employed thousands of creative professionals, it also spent tens of millions of dollars at local businesses throughout the state – adding to California’s already robust creative economy.”

The production spent $25.5 million on local rentals and purchases for set decoration, production, and other supplies. It also spent $1.8 million on lodging, $1.7 million on hardware and lumber supplies, nearly $1.4 million on transportation and more than $590,000 on local catering and other food items for the cast and crew.

CASTING

Actress Katrina Begin will star in a leading role opposite Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas in “The Secret,” directed by Andy Tennant.

The project is based on the self-help book, which focuses on a hard-working widow and mother of three who hires a handyman to fix her house during a storm. As the handyman grows closer to the family, he shares his philosophy of believing in the power of positive thinking. Bekah Brunstetter wrote the screenplay.

Covert Media is financing the project. Robert Cort is producing with Covert Media CEO Paul Hanson. Begin’s credits include “Grounded for Life,” “ER,” “Gossip Girl” and “No Ordinary Family.”

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