Weekend news roundup 18/12: Box Office, Champions League draw & more
Select news stories from across sports and entertainment.
Wonka wins the box office in US debut
Timothy Chalamet’s Wonka has reigned supreme at the box office in its US debut week, taking the top spot while The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes remained at number two and The Boy and the Heron took bronze.
The latest edition of the Road Dahl classic brought in $39m domestically and a further $53.6m worldwide, where it had already been in cinemas for a week, bringing the global total so far to $151.4m.
The Hunger Games prequel, which has now spent five weeks in either first or second, brought in another $5.8m domestically, taking the US total to $145.2m and the global total to $282.6m.
The Boy and the Heron passed the $100m global mark, bringing in $5.1m domestically this weekend to take the full global total to $109.8m.
Champions League Round of 16 draw
The road to Wembley for this year’s Champions League Final has reached the knockout round as the Round of 16 draw has taken place.
Chelsea legend John Terry was on hand in Switzerland to draw the teams but failed to produce any real knock-out matchups.
Arsenal and Manchester City are the remaining representatives for England. The reigning champions will face FC Copenhagen while the Gunners will face FC Porto.
Arguably the biggest matchup for the next round will see last year's runners-up Inter Milan face Atletico Madrid.
Later today will also see the draws for the Europa League and Europa Conference League, pulling the matchups for the knockout round play-offs.
Saw 11 confirmed for 2024 release
The Saw franchise will be continuing as Lionsgate have officially confirmed that an 11th film is in the works and is set to come next year, even giving it an official release date of 27th September 2024.
Announced via the Lionsgate social media channels, the as-of-yet-named Saw 11 film follows in the trend of Saw X, which, unlike previous films that were released in October, was released in September this year.
Another film isn’t that surprising either, given the box office success Saw X and many of the other films in the series. The latest edition pulled in $107m worldwide from its $13m budget, so they will be looking for the same with the 11th film.
Jenson Button returning to racing
ð¨ #WEC | Jenson Button to make WEC return with JOTA ð¬ð§— Only Endurance (@onlyendurance) December 15, 2023
The 2009 F1 Champion will make his full-time return to the series in the #38 Porsche, having last raced in the series in 2018.@JensonButton | #JOTA #LeMans pic.twitter.com/qByKfaE2KF
2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button will be stepping back into the drivers seat, albeit not in a seat on the F1 grid but instead into that of Jota Team’s Porsche 963 as he will compete in the leading hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship.
Button competed in F1 from 2000 to 2016 (and a one-off Monaco GPin 2017), competing in 309 races with 15 wins and one World Championship with the short-lived Brawn GP team.
Since retiring, Button has had brief spells in various other categories while also spending more time with the Sky Sports F1 team during numerous race weekends over the last few seasons.
His turn in the WEC will be his first full season of racing since retiring from F1 as he will compete in all eight rounds of the season, including the centrepiece Le Mans 24 Hours.
New Marvel show Echo debuts TV-MA trailer
Marvel’s Echo series, which will be streaming in early January, has just shown off its latest trailer, showcasing the hard-hitting TV-MA action fans can expect from the show when it is released.
Better yet for fans, they can binge the series all at once as all five episodes will made available on the day of release, which has also been brought forward a day, now coming on 9th January.
Described as “Marvel’s most intense series yet,” Echo will properly introduce iconic characters such as Daredevil and Kingpin/Wilson Fisk after both making their entrances in previous projects.