In a special edition of “The Take,” we’re looking at the buzziest stories from the first half of 2022 that had everyone talking.
The biggest story of the year, perhaps even in the entire existence of the Academy Awards, was Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Oscars, nearly an hour before he won best actor for his performance in the sports drama “King Richard.” So has his career ended, or is there time for the once-respected and revered actor to make a comeback in Hollywood?
Movie theaters and tentpole franchises for studios made a comeback, with the industry opening back up for consumers. Some of the highest-grossing films of this year included the fifth installment of the “Scream” franchise, along with superhero films such as “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” with Benedict Cumberbatch and “The Batman” with Robert Pattinson. Even Tom Holland boasted two moneymakers with “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Uncharted.” Of course, there’s also lots to look forward to, like “Avatar: The Way of Water,” the anticipated sequel from James Cameron. This year, some heartbreaking moments include the deaths of comedy icons Bob Saget and Gilbert Gottfried, television legend Betty White, trailblazing Oscar winner Sidney Poitier, and musical master Taylor Hawkins. In addition, Bruce Willis announced his retirement from acting due to health problems. It marked a loss for the film world as a talent that delivered in classics such as “Die Hard,” “Death Becomes Her” and “The Sixth Sense.”
Finally, the streaming wars are still fully in effect, with wins and losses on all sides. Netflix announced the loss of 200,000 subscribers, with more expected to come. Warner Bros. and Discovery merged, resulting in some high-profile firings. Apple acquired Skydance Animation while Amazon took MGM Studios under its wing.
Hosted by Variety chief correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister and senior awards editor Clayton Davis, Variety‘s “The Take,” presented by Apple TV+, is a weekly series that navigates the week’s top stories from entertainment, pop culture and media, while providing expert analysis and exclusive insight on what’s buzzing in Hollywood. Filmed in Variety‘s state-of-the-art studio in Los Angeles, new episodes are released on Fridays on Variety.com, YouTube and social media.
Make sure to let us know … what’s your take?
Monica has a BA in Journalism and English from the University of Massachusetts and an MS in Journalism and Communications from Quinnipiac University. Monica has worked as a journalist for over 20 years covering all things entertainment. She has covered everything from San Diego Comic-Con, The SAG Awards, Academy Awards, and more. Monica has been published in Variety, Swagger Magazine, Emmy Magazine, CNN, AP, Hidden Remote, and more. For the past 10 years, she has added PR and marketing to her list of talents as the president of Prime Entertainment Publicity, LLC. Monica is ready for anything and is proudly obsessed with pop culture.