Crossing Swords
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WIRE Buzz: Tenet's coronavirus box office; Hulu's 'Crossing Swords' trailer; more

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Apr 29, 2020, 1:50 PM EDT

The folks behind Robot Chicken are back with Crossing Swords, another stop-motion series that cares nothing for your niceties or squeamishness. Even the title is a reference to...well, you know.

In the first violent trailer for the medieval Hulu show (premiering in June), we meet our hero Patrick (X-Men's Nicholas Hoult), a lowly peasant who lands a squire job at his local castle. However, it turns out his job dream job isn't all it's cracked up to be when Patrick learns that the kingdom "is run by a hornet’s nest of horny monarchs, crooks and charlatans," reads the synopsis.

As if his life wasn't bad enough, Patrick must also contend with his family, a group of criminals, who have returned to make his life a living hell.

Watch the trailer now:

The bizarre usage of armless Playmobil-style wooden toys that wouldn't be out of place in a little kid's bedroom makes the over-the-top bloodshed and nudity all the more hilarious.

Created by John Harvatine IV and Tom Root, Crossing Swords also features the voice talents of  Luke Evans, Seth Green, Tony Hale, Wendi McClendon-Covey, Breckin Meyer, Adam Pally, Adam Ray, Tara Strong, Alanna Ubach, Yvette-Nicole Brown, and Maya Erskine.

Green is executive producing alongside his fellow Robot Chicken co-creator Matt Senreich.

The entire first season of 10 episodes drops on Hulu Friday, June 12.

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 blockbuster season is pretty much non-existent. The only two movies left on the calendar that can possibly bring the theater industry back to life are Warner Bros.' Tenet (July 17) and Disney's live-action Mulan remake (July 24). But even if physical venues can re-open by mid-to-late July, theater owners aren't expecting a ton of business.

"They won’t open to the kind of numbers they would have a year ago, but there’s going to be tremendous word-of-mouth. People are going to love Tenet and share that on social media," John Fithian, CEO of the National Association of Theater Owners, told Variety in a recent interview.

A slow trickle is to be expected when you consider that people are sure to remain wary of stepping into public gathering spaces, even after they're declared to be "safe." To that end, major chains are working on "innovative ways" to ensure a safe and healthy theater-going experience.

Credit: Warner Bros. / Disney

"[Customers are] also going to talk about how impressed they are with how seriously theaters are taking their responsibility to provide a safe environment," Fithian added about the power of social media. "These films will also have staying power because people will be so sick of being stuck in their houses that they’re going to flood to cinemas."

While box office numbers might be low at the beginning, new releases will have time to grow. To ease things back to a state of normalcy, theaters are only going to screen a very small amount of movies at a time. There won't be that many to choose from anyway, as most big studio features (think Free Guy or Ghostbusters: Afterlife) have been pushed off to the fall-winter window or next year entirely. Because of that fact, TenetMulan, and, eventually, Wonder Woman 1984 (now slated for release on August 14) "will play a lot longer in theaters than they would have a year ago," Fithian said.

Directed by The Dark Knight's Christopher Nolan, Tenet is cloaked in a thick blanket of mystery. All we really know is that it's a globe-trotting spy adventure with some sort of genre element.

Mulan, on the other hand, is a reimagining of the classic animated Disney movie from 1998 about a young woman passing as a man in order to take her father's place in the Imperial Chinese army.

Speaking of box office numbers, Deadline reports that Fox's Dark Phoenix was the biggest financial dud of 2019 with a loss of $133 million. Written and directed by longtime X-Men producer-scribe Simon Kinberg, the comic book film cost $200 million to make (not including marketing) and only brought in $252 million worldwide. 

The release is an adaptation of the famous Marvel Comics arc by John Byrne and Chris Claremont. It also closes out the quadrilogy of films kicked off by X-Men: First Class.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Of course, Dark Phoenix wasn't the last mutant-related project of the Fox era. Disney, which now owns the 20th Century studio, still plans to release Josh Boone's The New Mutants. Delayed several times, it was finally going to hit big screens April 3, but then the pandemic hit and shut everything down. We still don't have a new date for that one.

Getting back to the topic of 2019's biggest box office bombs, however, the rest of the "Top 5" were all genre efforts: Terminator: Dark Fate (loss of $122.6 million), Cats (loss of $113.6 million), Gemini Man (loss of ($111.1 million), and Missing Link (loss of $101.3 million).