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Wednesday, July 21, 2021 

Black Widow's box office receipts plummeting, and Space Jam sequel not faring much better

Deadline Hollywood's reporting the latest Marvel movie to undergo PC tinkering has seen a drop at the box office:
The studio’s Marvel Cinematic Universe standalone origin movie Black Widow had a great fall in its second session at the domestic B.O., down -67%, with $26.25M. Black Widow lost No. 1 to Warner Bros. day-and-date theatrical HBO Max release of Space Jam: A New Legacy, which opened to $31.65M.

If you want to know what the negative impact is by having a Marvel movie available in homes and in theaters at the same time, well, here it is: That’s the steepest second weekend drop ever for a Disney-distributed MCU title, beating Ant-Man and the Wasp (-62%).
The sum Space Jam's sequel took in isn't great either, but this does suggest Marvel's movie machine is waning in popularity, and even the home viewing option may not be serving them well financially either, much as they've tried to make it sound as though it is. If the box office recipts turn out to be mediocre, I won't care. It's clear the whole Marvel film franchise is bound to lose direction sooner or later, and the politics the filmmakers are putting in pretty much confirm that.

Speaking of the sequel to Warner Brothers' late-90s combination of animation with live action, Digital Spy reported that one of the voice actors for Speedy Gonzales in the film, Gabriel Iglesias, has addressed controversy surrounding Pepe Le Pew, whose cameo in the sequel film was cut simply because modern PC advocates dictate his unwanted pursuits of Penelope Pussycat were literal glorification of sexual harassment. Unsurprisingly, the actor seems to take a weak stance:
The film's star Gabriel Iglesias – who voices Speedy Gonzales – has now responded to the controversial decision to cut the character and the nature of Pepé Le Pew in an interview with CinePOP.

"You know, years ago growing up watching the cartoons, I just think it was a different time and you don't see things the same way. Times change, views change and for the time I can't say that I ever saw it in a negative light," said Iglesias.

"But based on the climate of today, alright I get it, I see it, okay. It was one of those things where it's a change of times. I don't think that people would intentionally try to make something that was inappropriate. But again, times change and we need to evolve and so unfortunately the character was cut."
So he's throwing the anthropomorphic skunk under the bus, in contrast to Speedy, and not willing to argue Pepe's actions were more or less depicted negatively, and he usually paid the price by winding up the butt of the jokes? Too bad. And now, the film may not be doing well in box office receipts anyway. Let's not forget how the film inexplicably left the Clockwork Orange cameos intact by contrast, proving the studio really is that sloppy. And that's why I'm not going to feel sorry if this cartoon-with-live-action fare tanks in a few weeks as well.

If there's anything to learn here, it's that Hollywood sure is losing its way these days, throwing creative freedom to the winds, and can't seem to decide what kind of audience they want to seek anymore. The two above films are perfect examples of this.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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