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Film News Roundup: ‘Aquaman’ Hits $152 Million at International Box Office

In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” has already grossed more than $150 million outside the U.S., Michael Masini joins “Birds of Prey,” and Freestyle buys the documentary “Shamanic Trekker.”

BOX OFFICE

Warner Bros.’ tentpole “Aquaman” has taken in $152 million overseas in 36 markets, with $135 million of that from China, where it opened on Dec. 7.

The Jason Momoa vehicle has become the highest China grosser in the DC Universe and surpassed the lifetime grosses of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Black Panther” in the Middle Kingdom. Mexico debuted with $1.4 million on Thursday on 3,517 screens while Russia and Brazil each took in $1.3 million.

Indonesia has taken in $2.2 million in two days and the U.K. generated $1.8 million in two days of previews. Taiwan’s two-day total is $1.4 million and the Philippines generated $1.1 million. In the U.S., Amazon Prime is holding advance screenings of “Aquaman” on Dec. 15 amid expectations of a $65 million opening weekend in North America on Dec. 21-23.

CASTING

Michael Masini (“Modern Family”) will join Margot Robbie and Ewan McGregor in the Warner Bros. Harley Quinn spinoff film “Birds of Prey.”

The film will be directed by Cathy Yan and begins filming in January. The studio has dated the project, a spinoff from 2016’s “Suicide Squad,” for Feb. 7, 2020.

Sue Kroll, Robbie, and Bryan Unkeless are producing. Robbie announced last month that the title will be “Birds of Prey: (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).” Masini’s credits include “Blue Bloods” and “NCIS.”

ACQUISITION

Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American rights to the documentary “Shamanic Trekker” for release on Jan. 8.

The film focuses on the Q’uero tribe of the High Andes and the sacred rituals and ceremonies of the indigenous shamans. The Q’uero are potato farmers, weavers, and alpaca herders living in stone houses without electricity, running water, and plumbing.

“Shamanic Trekker” is directed by Emmanuel Itier and Kristen White, written by Kristen Schwab, and produced by Kristen Schwab & John Schwab.

“The shamanic descendants of Machu Picchu are alive today and have something powerful to share in modern media,” said White. “We are grateful to the team at Freestyle Digital Media for making it possible to share this powerful message.”

AWARD

Thee US-Ireland Alliance will honor Aidan Gillen at the 14th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards, which will be held at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot in Santa Monica, Calif., on Feb. 21.

Gillen’s credits include “Game of Thrones and “The Wire.” He is currently in production the BBC/Netflix series “Peaky Blinders” and is about to star in the Robert Zemeckis-produced History series “Project Blue Book.” On the big screen, Gillen recently appeared in A24’s “The Lovers” and “Maze Runner: Death Cure” and currently appears in Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Trina Vargo, founder of the US-Ireland Alliance, said: “Aidan’s body of work is rich with a range of diverse and memorable roles that span television, theater and film.  While his career his taken him to London, Los Angeles and beyond, he has remained loyal to working Ireland as well.”

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