Why did 'In the Heights' flop?
And 'Zoey's star slams NBC
What to know
In The Heights disappoints with $11.1M weekend… That’s well under its projected $20M. This is unfortunate to see and indicative of our still evolving post-pandemic movie landscape. Experts say Heights failed to reach past its core fans and that a simultaneous release on HBO Max was not to blame. Hopefully good reviews and word of mouth will give In the Heights legs at the B.O. It worked for Greatest Showman. 🌉
Jane Levy calls out NBC for Zoey’s cancellation… “I’m sorry, but I have to say this: I look at the new NBC lineup, and it’s like, ‘Okay, we could watch a lot of shows about crime and guns.’ Our show is about love. It’s a real shame to take that off the air. I feel like it’s the wrong move.” Dang, if she didn’t hit the nail on the head. 👏
Actor Ned Beatty has died at 83… Superman, Deliverance, All the President’s Men, Back to School, Rudy, 1941, Charlie Wilson’s War, Toy Story 3 and more. A truly legendary career. 🎭
#RestoreTheSnyderVerse trends once again… we’re still doing this? 🤔
Perfect Strangers is getting a gender and race flipped reboot on HBO Max… once again standing tall on the wings of a dream 📺
DC stopped Batman from performing oral sex on Catwoman in season 3 of Harley Quinn… apparently heroes are selfish lovers 👀
Dropping this week:
Dave s2 premiere — June 16 on FXX/Hulu | Comedy series | RT
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard — June 16 in theaters | Action comedy | 29% RT
iCarly premiere — June 17 on Paramount+ | Nickelodeon sitcom reboot | RT
Luca — June 18 on Disney+ | Pixar feature | RT
Physical — June 18 on Apple | Drama seres | 75% RT
Rick and Morty s5 premiere — June 20 on Adult Swim | Animated comedy | RT
What to watch
Considering its cast and subject material, you’d think Netflix feature Stowaway would have made a bigger splash upon its April 2021 release. Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson, and Toni Collette in a space thriller seems like an easy sell to me, but upon seeing the movie, it’s easy to understand why Netflix might have had a hard time marketing it.
Stowaway is no ordinary space thriller. It looks like Gravity or The Martian or Ad Astra or Interstellar or etc etc, but writer-director Joe Penna and his co-writer Ryan Morrison are less interested in special effects, action, and theatrics. This space thriller is much more intimate and character-driven. It’s focused on the human drama and impossible choices people have to make when thrown into horrible circumstances. Save for the heart-pumping set piece at the end, it’s basically a 4-person stage play set on a space ship. Claustrophobic and gripping, Stowaway thrills in quiet moments over big, loud action-y ones.
Kendrick, Kim, Anderson, and Collette are all excellent, as you’d expect. The script asks them to do a lot: make life-or-death choices with believability, struggle with issues of loss and sacrifice, spit out technical jargon, and do some wire/VFX work out in ‘space.’ They rise to the challenge and deliver a movie that forces you to sit with uncomfortable feelings and a whole lot of dread.
Stowaway is a refreshing change of pace for a genre that has become monotonous and repetitive. No wonder Netflix didn’t really know what to do with it.
…or find more newsletters to love with The Sample!