1. Brent crude oil jumped 13% yesterday to almost $68 a barrel after drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. The US is blaming Iran, who denies responsibility. Sasol's share price rallied 10% in reaction. The rand weakened to R14.65/$.

2. The overwhelming majority of Naspers shareholders chose to get shares in its new tech company Prosus, rather than more Naspers shares. Investors representing 96.3% of Naspers shares went for the default option: They received one Prosus share for every Naspers N share they held. Alternatively, they could have opted to get 0.36986 new Naspers shares for every Naspers share they owned. 

3.  President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised workers that government will do more to clamp down on the illegal importation of Chinese clothing and textiles which undercuts locally manufactured goods. He told the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union that the SA Revenue Service has been ramping up its investigative and enforcement capacity.

4.  The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) received  a loan of R7bn from the Brics bank. The SA government provided a guarantee for the loan. The money will be used to upgrade toll roads.

5. The introduction of 5kg gas cylinders, and strong demand from hospitals for its healthcare products, helped to counter the impact of a shrinking SA manufacturing sector on Afrox's revenue.  South Africa's largest gas and welding company saw revenue rise by 3.3% to R3bn for the six months to end-June. Thanks in part to cost cutting, headline earnings per share rose by 7% to 111.3c. 

13 of the biggest box-office flops of 2019 so far

Reported by Travis Clark

The biggest box-office loser of the year so far has been actor Matthew McConaughey, who had two major bombs in 2019.

McConaughey's January release, "Serenity," co-starring Anne Hathaway, grossed a rough $8.5 million and had a production budget of $25 million. Harmony Korine's "The Beach Bum," starring McConaughey, opened with $1.8 million in March, which was the worst opening for a wide release on over 1,000 screens at the time, and one of the worst openings of the actor's career.

While STX Entertainment is flying high with "Hustlers" in theaters, STX released two bombs in two weekends earlier this year: the animated "UglyDolls" and "Poms," which had the worst opening for a movie in over 2,700 theaters.

The first major bomb of the year, director Joe Cornish's "The Kid Who Would Be King," opened just $7 million in January and ultimately made $32 million worldwide. It was made for $60 million.

Even some superhero movies have crashed and burned. "Hellboy" failed to spark excitement last month due to a poor release date, awful reviews, and other factors. It's made just $21 million and was made for $50 million. And the "X-Men" dud "Dark Phoenix" was a huge misfire.

The latest flop is Warner Bros.' "The Goldfinch," which had the worst opening of the year so far over the weekend for a movie in over 2,500 theaters.

Below are 13 box-office flops this year, in order of release date:


"Replicas"

Entertainment Studios

Release date: January 11

Opening weekend: $2,375,325

Total global gross: $4,046,429

Production budget: $30 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 10%

What critics said: "The filmmakers manage to avoid every potentially interesting choice for far dumber, and far more inexplicable, conclusions." - Los Angeles Times


"The Kid Who Would Be King"

Fox

Release date: January 25

Total global gross: $32,097,473

Production budget: $60 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 90%

What critics said: "Cornish is offering a kind of movie they just don't make anymore - expansive live-action adventure tales unabashedly aimed at young people, not the adults charged with taking them to the cinema." - Vulture


"Serenity"

Aviron Pictures

Release date: January 25

Opening weekend: $4,415,403

Total global gross: $8,547,045

Production budget: $25 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 19%

What critics said: "What an infuriating mess the makers of Serenity have unloaded on an unsuspecting public. It's still only January, but this bats--- bonkers trip through the subconscious has already earned a place among the year's worst movies." - Rolling Stone


"Miss Bala"

Columbia

Release date: February 1

Total global gross: $15,310,211

Production budget: $15 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 22%

What critics said: "Gloria is basically in the wrong place at the wrong time, something that might be said for everyone involved with this movie, audience included." - New York Times


"Captive State"

Focus Features

Release date: March 1

Opening weekend: $3,131,525

Total global gross: $8,557,327

Production budget: $25 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 45%

What critics said: "The central plot development is galvanizing in theory but mostly just confusing in practice." - Indiewire


"The Beach Bum"

Neon

Release date: March 29

Total global gross: $4,440,954

Production budget: $5 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 54%

What critics said: "The Beach Bum would be more entertaining if it weren't the same scene over and over, with escalation in lieu of evolution. But that's Korine's strategy, for better or worse, possibly both." - Vulture


"Hellboy"

Lionsgate

Release date: April 12

Opening weekend: $12,045,147

Total global gross: $41,099,007

Production budget: $50 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 15%

What critics said: "An R-rated slog that's heavy on bad attitude and creative dismemberments, and completely missing the humane core of Mignola's original story." - The Atlantic


"UglyDolls"

STX Entertainment

Release date: May 3

Total global gross: $27,530,241

Production budget: $45 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 27%

What critics said: "UglyDolls is less a movie than an infomercial for the plush Hasbro toys." - RogerEbert.com


"Poms"

STX Entertainment

Release date: May 10

Total global gross: $13,631,124

Production budget: N/A

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 34%

What critics said: "Even by the elastic standards of mass-market escapist trifles the creators of POMS might consider the challenges of growing old and confronting death without infantilizing both characters and audience." - NPR


"Tolkien"

Fox Searchlight

Release date: May 10

Total global gross: $7,776,413

Production budget: N/A

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 51%

What critics said: "If you're going to tell the story of one of the most imaginative writing minds of the 20th century, why not infuse it with more ... imagination?" - Chicago Sun-Times


"Dark Phoenix"

Fox

Release date: June 7

Total global gross: $252,423,828

Production budget: $200 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 23%

What critics said: "A stupendously dull series-ender without a shred of wit, narrative thrust or genuine emotional force." - London Evening Standard


"The Kitchen"

Warner Bros.

Release date: August 9

Opening weekend: $5,510,000

Total global gross (So far): $15,049,257

Production budget: $38 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 21%

What critics said: "There's not enough heat in this Kitchen, but there's nothing cool about it, either." - Time


"The Goldfinch"

Warner Bros.

Release date: September 13

Total global gross (So far): $3,625,000

Production budget: $45 million

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 25%

What critics said: "The film suffers from both an excessive faithfulness to its source and a general failure to translate that material into anything close to a gripping onscreen narrative." - The Atlantic

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