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Warner Bros studio tour expands with DC Universe, Potter

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — Batman’s secret cave, Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs and the apartment from “Friends” are major centerpieces to the huge Warner Bros. studio lot expansion.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood recently reopened more than a year after doors were shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, attendees will have a chance to explore the studio’s nearly 100 years of television and filmmaking history, highlighting the DC Universe and “Harry Potter.”

A firsthand look took place a couple of days before the tour opened in late June at the Southern California studio, which now . . .

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Timothée Chalamet to play Willy Wonka in origin story

NEW YORK (AP) — Timothée Chalamet will play Willy Wonka in a musical based on the early life of Roald Dahl’s eccentric chocolatier.

Warner Bros. and the Roald Dahl Story Co. announced Monday that the 25-year-old Chalamet will star in “Wonka.” The studio said the film will “focus on a young Willy Wonka and his adventures prior to opening the world’s most famous chocolate factory.”

Paul King (“Paddington,” “Paddington 2”) will direct from a script he wrote with Simon Farnaby, with “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman producing. Warner Bros. earlier this . . .

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Angelina Jolie lets Taylor Sheridan drag her through hell

NEW YORK (AP) — Taylor Sheridan, initially brought on to rewrite the mountain thriller “Those Who Wish Me Dead,” gradually got more invested in the movie. When another filmmaker dropped out, he called the studio with an offer.

“I said if I can get Angie to do this with me, I’ll direct it for you,” Sheridan says. “They said, ‘Great. You’ll never get Angie.’”

The skepticism on the part of Warner Bros. executives was warranted. Angelina Jolie, whose priorities have centered on filmmaking, international work and family, hasn’t starred in a live-action film in six years. Over the last decade, her only . . .

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‘Mortal Kombat,’ ‘Demon Slayer’ lead improving box office

NEW YORK (AP) — The weekend at movie theaters featured something not seen for a while: a genuine box-office battle.

Warner Bros.′ “Mortal Kombat” reboot and the Japanese anime film “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train” both vied for the top spot at the North American box office, with “Mortal Kombat” narrowly edging “Demon Slayer.” The R-rated “Mortal Kombat” earned an estimated $22.5 million, according to studio estimates, while Funimation’s “Demon Slayer” grossed $19.5 million.

The two releases fueled the best weekend for movie theaters during the pandemic, with an estimated $54.2 million in ticket sales overall, according to data firm Comscore. “Mortal Kombat,” which like other 2021 Warner Bros. debuted simultaneously on HBO Max, sold . . .

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‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ stomps to pandemic-best $48.5M opening

NEW YORK (AP) — With the help of a few old friends, the box office rekindled some of its old might over the weekend. “Godzilla vs. Kong” scored easily the best opening of the pandemic with an estimated $48.5 million since opening Wednesday, even as it was simultaneously streaming at home.

The monster mash, from Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment, was the widest domestic release in the past year, playing in more than 3,000 theaters. Many theaters have been reopening over the past few weeks; about 60% of theaters were open this weekend, according to data firm Comscore. Most are operating at . . .

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