Discover more from Pop Culture Brain
The 2020 box office champ is...
And a never-before-seen 'Office' cold open
What to know
2020 was a weird year — especially at the box office. All it took was $204.4 million for Bad Boys for Life to top the domestic charts. For context, Avengers Endgame won 2019 with $858.3 million. Even weirder, the #2 movie of 2020 was 1917 which came out in 2019. Here’s hoping 2021 looks a little bit more normal at the B.O.
Women directed 16% of the top 100 movies at the box office in 2020, per a new study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. While still a small fraction, that share is up from 12% in 2019 and just 4% in 2018. The study also examined movies viewed at-home and found that 10% were directed by women.
The third season of The Karate Kid sequel series Cobra Kai just dropped on Netflix — which means millions of fans are already champing at the bit for season 4. The good news is Netflix has renewed the show for a fourth season, and the better news is that the show’s creators have no intention of stopping there.
Transformers, Battleship, Rubik’s Cube? Yep, the iconic ‘80s toy is becoming a movie. Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment Group and Endeavor Content are teaming to tell the story of how “Professor Erno Rubik’s toy became a pop culture phenomenon.” Hyde Park is also developing a game show around the puzzle toy.
What happened to Ryan Murphy? | Vulture
Super interesting op-ed about how Ryan Murphy’s work has changed since he got $300M and carte blanche at Netflix. Vulture argues that by becoming the ultimate insider, Murphy’s shows have been flasy and saccharine, where before they had underdog bite.
What to watch
We got some new Office material! Peacock celebrated The Office arriving on its platform by releasing a never-before-seen cold open that was cut from the series finale. In the clip Jim and Pam pull one last elaborate prank on Dwight — and it’s Matrix themed. It’s wild to think we’re still getting new stuff from The Office almost 8 years later.
New notables this week:
Alex Trebek’s final Jeopardy! episodes (Jan 4-8) - Syndication (Watch the trailer)
History of Swear Words (Jan 5) - Netflix doc series with Nic Cage
Pieces of a Woman (Jan 7) - Netflix movie | 78% RT
Mr. Mayor (Jan 7) - NBC comedy from Tina Fey & Ted Danson
Pretend It’s a City (Jan 8) - Netflix doc from Scorsese & Fran Lebowitz
Thanks for reading! As always, Tuesday and Wednesday editions are free, while the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday editions are accessible via monthly or the more-affordable yearly subscription. You can upgrade via the ‘Subscribe Now’ button below.
If you like this and aren’t already subscribed, please consider signing up or forwarding this email!
Thoughts? Reply to this email or hit me up @alexrab on Twitter.
About the author: Alex Rabinowitz has led the way on social media and story packaging at media outlets big and small. With his acclaimed Tumblr site PopCultureBrain.com, Alex became a leading figure in emerging social networks and entertainment news. Sourced by many top destinations, including New York Magazine, BuzzFeed, and Videogum, Pop Culture Brain was featured by BuzzFeed and TIME as the best pop culture blog on Tumblr. Alex's writing has appeared on The Huffington Post, GQ.com, Mic, and Time Warner Cable.