From May 11 to May 17, 2020

8,000 Screens

Solstice Studios wants to release their film Unhinged starring Russell Crowe on July 1 so it can be the first new movie when theaters reopen. About making a profit under the spacing restrictions theaters will be opening under to remain safe in the COVID-19 environment, Studio CEO Mark Gill has said “We might not be able to do it with 2,000 screens, but maybe we need 8,000 screens. There are 40,000 screens available. As the only new movie in the marketplace at that moment, we expect to be able to have the screens we need.” This would dwarf the 4,600 Avengers: Endgame opened on. [Deadline]

The film had a $33 million budget and the studio claims that making $30 million at the box office will be a success, but will people want to go to the theater when they can finally leave their homes and interact with friends? Regardless of the screens available, if people don’t show up it won’t matter. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is set to release on July 17 and Disney’s Mulan on July 24. Will the two-week head start be enough for Unhinged to be successful before being drowned by those blockbuster behemoths?

1 Billion Triangles Per Frame

Last Wednesday Epic Games announced Unreal Engine 5 by showcasing a gameplay demo running on the still unreleased PlayStation 5. Their new game development engine boasts a new technology they call Nanite that allows game art to be rendered at the same quality regardless of in-game proximity. The engine also uses Lumin for dynamic lighting and an improved sound engine to better imitate how sound bounces off of objects in the real world. [Unreal Engine]

Is there a man, woman, or child alive that can recognize the difference between 1 Million Triangles Per Frame and 1 Billion Triangles Per Frame? Probably, but for the uninitiated the simple explanation of what Unreal Engine 5 means for the casual video gamer is that people are one step closer to being able to play photo-realistic scenes from their favorite films.

4 Rings

Thursday morning, Nintendo surprised the world with a trailer announcing a new Paper Mario game to be released on July 17 of this year. The game, titled Paper Mario: The Origami King, features a new folded paper antagonist and seems to have Mario teaming up with a defeated and folded Koopa King as well as other Mario enemies. The trailer also showed glimpses of a new battle system where Mario (and allies) stand at the center of 4 rotating rings. Fans are both excited and nervous as they argue about whether or not the game will be a return to form after the more recent disappointing entries to the series. [Nintendo]

At this point, no real details are known about how the game will function compared to other Paper Mario games. What are the rings in the battle there for? Are they wheels? Hoola-Hoops? A new way to bring positioning into a turn-based RPG? Are battle partners returning to the franchise? Will there be a sky blue Fuzzy as a teammate named Lent? Or a Yellow Spike that is unable to spit out spiky objects, but instead only spits out soft bouncy flowery things, named Dandy? More is unknown than known…

2 Special Dogs

Scoob! climbed to the top of Video On Demand rental site lists within hours of being made available. Claiming that spot faster than both Trolls: World Tour and speedster Sonic the Hedgehog did last month. Unfortunately for number nerds everywhere, movie studios do not release dollar nor download numbers for Video on Demand, but when Universal is considering skipping theaters altogether going forward the numbers must be high. At the very least Scooby-Doo and Dynomutt are becoming the favorite puppies of youngsters everywhere. [IndieWire]

So far no high profile live-action film has been put to the Video On Demand test. This week Josh Trank’s Capone released as well and has seen moderate success, though it has clearly under preformed Scoob! at this point. Perhaps the historically based crime drama could have benefited from a crossover scene where someone pulls off Tom Hardy’s Mission: Impossible mask of a face to reveal that the janitor was the titular Capone the whole time?