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I saw mostly Toronto Film Festival Flicks this week, with only The Tragically Hip film to recommend.

It breaks box office records in second weekend as mother! flops

It has still got it. Warner Bros. and New Line’s big-screen adaptation of the Stephen King horror novel is on track to gross an estimated $60 million in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, topping the box office for a second time. On the flip side, Darren Aronofsky and Jennifer Lawrence’s psychological thriller mother! is stumbling with an estimated a $7.5 million debut.

After a record-breaking bow last week, It declined just 51 percent, bringing its domestic total to an estimated $218.7 million after just 10 days in theaters. The movie is now the highest-grossing September release ever, eclipsing the $174.8 pulled in by Crocodile Dundee in 1984. It is also set to add another $60.3 million overseas, which would put its worldwide tally at $371.3 million.

Andy Muschietti (Mama) directed It, which stars Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff, and Jeremy Ray Taylor as a group of unpopular kids in small-town Maine who battle an evil presence that feeds on its young victims’ greatest fears. Bill Skarsgard portrays the malevolent being in its favored form, a demonic clown named Pennywise.

King’s novel was published in 1986 and previously adapted as a 1990 miniseries. A sequel to Muschietti’s movie has not been officially given the green light but is already in development.

Fortunes are looking less favorable for mother!, which is on pace to come in well below industry projections of about $11 million. That puts the Paramount film in third place for the weekend and resets the bar as the lowest nationwide release of Lawrence’s career (displacing The House at the End of the Street and its $12.3 million five years ago).

Despite having a name director in Aronofsky and a star-studded cast — including Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer — mother! was largely rejected by audiences. They hit it with an F CinemaScore, putting it in rare company and likely hobbling word-of-mouth prospects. Critics’ reviews were not as dire but still somewhat mixed.

The film, which Aronofsky also wrote, stars Lawrence as a young woman whose tranquil life with her husband, a creatively blocked poet (Bardem), is upended by the arrival of an enigmatic couple.

Speaking about the extreme reactions to his movie, Aronofsky said, “Anytime you do something that aggressive there are going to be people who enjoy it, who want to be on that roller coaster ride, and then there are others who say, ‘Oh no, that was not for me.’ It’s a strange one. You see Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer and people are conditioned for a certain type of movie. And … we didn’t do that type of movie. [Laughs] It’s all good.”

Sliding between It and mother! at the No. 2 spot is another R-rated film, American Assassin. The new release, which marks Dylan O’Brien’s first time back on the big screen since his serious injury on the set of Maze Runner: The Death Cure last year, will gross about $14.8 million this weekend. It’s a satisfactory start for the action-thriller, about equal to that of the original John Wick (which just got a second sequel).

Directed by Michael Cuesta (Kill The Messenger) and released by Lionsgate, American Assassin stars O’Brien as a CIA black-ops recruit under the tutelage of a Cold War veteran (Michael Keaton). Critics were unimpressed by the film, but audiences gave it a respectable B-plus CinemaScore.

Rounding out the top five are the Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy Home Again, with an estimated $5.3 million, and the Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which an estimated $3.6 million.

And on the specialty front, Mike White’s dramedy Brad’s Status, starring Ben Stiller as a middle-aged family man questioning his life choices while touring colleges with his son, is leading the pack with an estimated $100,179 from four locations. That breaks down to a solid per-theater average of $25,045 for the Amazon and Annapurna release.

According to ComScore, overall box office is down 4.9 percent year-to-date. Check out the Sept. 15-17 figures below.

1. It — $60 million
2. American Assassin — $14.8 million
3. mother! — $7.5 million
4. Home Again — $5.3 million
5. The Hitman’s Bodyguard — $3.6 million
6. Annabelle: Creation — $2.6 million
7. Wind River — $2.5 million
8. Leap! — $2.1 million
9. Spider-Man: Homecoming — $1.9 million
10. Logan Lucky — $1.3 million

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Love this news!!

‘Back to close out the trilogy’: J.J. Abrams to direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

The Force is strong with this one.

J.J. Abrams, who helped kickstart a new era of Star Wars with The Force Awakens in 2015, will return to complete the sequel trilogy as writer and director of Star Wars: Episode IX.

Previously announced director Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) stepped away from the project last week citing creative differences, which followed the departure of Chris Miller and Phil Lord from the standalone Han Solo movie mid-shoot (they were replaced by Ron Howard).

The Abrams announcement was made official on Star Wars’ Twitter account Tuesday morning.

Abrams will co-write the film with Chris Terrio, who helped script Justice League and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

“With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.

Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Abrams, Bad Robot, and Lucasfilm.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson was rumoured to be a front-runner to take over for Episode IX, but he refuted that talk during a promo visit to Japan.

“It was never in the plan for me to direct Episode IX, so I don’t know what’s going to happen with it,” he explained.

“For me, I was entirely focused on Episode VIII and having this experience. Now I’m just thinking about putting the movie out there and seeing how audiences respond to it. So no, I’m not really thinking about that right now.”

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IT wasn’t perfect or really that scary but IT certainly got my $14!!

Box Office: Stephen King’s ‘It’ Smashes Records With Massive $117 Million Opening

“It” came; “It” saw; “It” conquered.

The New Line and Warner Bros. adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is officially shattering box office records during its opening weekend. The R-rated horror film should make a whopping $117.2 million from 4,103 locations, far surpassing earlier expectations. That would give “It” the third largest opening weekend of 2017, about even with “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which made $117 million. Only “Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” earned more this year. $7.2 million of “It’s” domestic grosses are coming from 377 Imax screens.

“There’s something really special about the story itself, the way the movie was made, and the marketing,” said Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief at Warner Bros. “The stars aligned on this, and we still have some room to grow for the weekend.”

“It” earned a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 87% and a B+ CinemaScore. Its gender breakdown is reportedly 51% female and 49% male. About two thirds of the audience has been over 25 years old.

“It’s” opening is mostly unprecedented, crushing the record for largest September opening set by “Hotel Transylvania 2” in 2015 with $48.5 million, and the biggest opening weekend banked by a horror or supernatural film — “Paranormal Activity 3” earned $52.6 million in 2011. When it comes to R-rated movie openings, “It” falls only to “Deadpool,” which changed the game in 2016 with a massive $132.4 million opening. This, during a weekend when Hurricane Irma threatens huge portions of Florida and Georgia, which could dent attendance by as much as 5%.

In addition to its domestic grosses, the horror hit is expected to pull in $62 million from 46 markets overseas, giving “It” a $179 million global debut. That’s a huge win for a movie with an estimated $35 million production budget.

Horror films often have lower budgets than other more CGI-dense blockbusters, so the return on investment has potential to be massive. Goldstein said the genre is one that New Line particularly excels in, and there is potential to see more horror in the future if the right story comes along. “If we were able to find more films in this genre, we’d be thrilled to make them,” he said.

The movie comes courtesy of Argentine director Andy Muschietti, who is known for the 2013 horror film “Mama.” Bill Skarsgard stars as Pennywise the Clown, which terrorizes young children in Derry, Maine. The rest of the cast includes youngsters Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jackson Robert Scott in supporting roles.

That leaves Open Road’s “Home Again” trailing far behind. The Reese Witherspoon-led romantic comedy should earn $9 million this weekend from 2,940 locations. The $15 million project was directed by Hallie Meyer-Shyer, the daughter of Nancy Meyers, who also worked on the film as a producer. The story centers on Witherspoon’s character — a mother of two who unexpectedly has three young men come to live with her following a recent separation from her husband.

Lionsgate’s “Hitman’s Bodyguard” is landing in third with $4.9 million from 3,322 locations after winning the domestic box office for the past three weekends. “Annabelle: Creation” from Warner Bros. is next with $4 million from 3,003 spots. And “Wind River” caps the top five with an anticipated $3.2 million from 2,890 theaters.

For the movie business, “It” couldn’t have come at a better time. Following a dismal summer box office that plunged 14.6% from last summer to $3.8 billion, “It” serves in part as the pick-me-up the industry was desperately craving. A sequel is already in the works at New Line with Gary Dauberman attached to write the script, and Muschietti expected to return to the director’s chair.

Regarding plans for the next movie, Goldstein said, “It puts more pressure on us to come up with the best version of the story so we bring fans what they want to see. We’ve had a lot of history with franchises. Some are great, and some we wish we had a little bit more story. Fortunately, there’s a lot here in this story.”

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He was one of my Dad’s favourite singers. I loved his voice too. May he rest in peace.

Don Williams, Country’s ‘Gentle Giant,’ Dead at 78

Don Williams, the Country Music Hall of Fame member whose imposing height and warm, reassuring voice earned him the nickname “Gentle Giant,” died Friday, September 8th, after a short illness. An internationally popular country star, Williams recorded dozens of hit songs, including “Tulsa Time,” “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good” and “It Must Be Love.” He was 78.

“In giving voice to songs like ‘Good Ole Boys Like Me,’ ‘Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good’ and ‘Amanda,’ Don Williams offered calm, beauty, and a sense of wistful peace that is in short supply these days,” Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young said in a statement Friday. “His music will forever be a balm in troublesome times. Everyone who makes country music with grace, intelligence, and ageless intent will do so while standing on the shoulders of this gentle giant.”

Born in Floydada, Texas, on May 27th, 1939, Don Williams was raised in Portland, Texas, where he learned guitar from his mother. Initially performing in Corpus Christi in a duo called Strangers Two with singer Lofton Kline, Williams and his partner met singer Susan Taylor and formed the folk-pop trio that would be called the Pozo-Seco Singers. Based in Nashville, the trio earned two Top 40 tunes, “I Can Make It With You” and “Look What You’ve Done,” in late 1966.

After the group disbanded, Williams landed back in Texas to sell furniture in his father’s store before returning to Music City to embark on a solo career. “Cowboy” Jack Clement signed Williams as a songwriter to his Jack Music publishing company, where he recorded demos for songwriter-producer Allen Reynolds, who later went on to helm projects for Crystal Gayle and Garth Brooks, among many others.

When other artists proved reluctant to record Williams’ songs, Clement signed him as an artist to his JMI Records, releasing his first country single, “Don’t You Believe,” in 1972. In 1974, the label issued “We Should Be Together,” which became the singer’s first Top Five hit. Later that year, he scored the first of 17 Number One singles with the romantic “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me.” The visionary Clement also shot some of the industry’s first-ever music videos for Williams’ early hits.

In 1980, Williams, who had quickly gained an overseas following, was named Artist of the Decade by the readers of the London-based magazine Country Music People. That same year, he reached the pop Top 40 with the tender “I Believe in You,” Between 1974 and 1991, of the nearly 50 singles he released, first on Dot, then ABC/Dot – which would become MCA – then Capitol and finally RCA, all but three reached the Top Ten. In 1976, Williams became an Opry member, and was crowned CMA Male Vocalist of the Year in 1978, with his version of Danny Flowers’ “Tulsa Time” earning CMA Single of the Year. In 1981, he joined Emmylou Harris on “If I Needed You,” a Top Five duet that would introduce the masses to the work of songwriter Townes Van Zandt. In the late Eighties, Williams quit touring after suffering back problems, but soon picked back up, with several hits for RCA until 1991’s “Lord Have Mercy on a Country Boy” ended his streak. Williams was consistently an international ambassador of country music, earning a massive following in Europe, especially in the U.K. and Ireland, as well as Australia and Africa.

In addition to his recording career, Williams appeared in the 1975 Burt Reynolds films W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings and 1980’s Smokey and the Bandit II. He later name-checked Reynolds in the 1982 Bob McDill-penned hit “If Hollywood Don’t Need You (Honey, I Still Do),” which was one of the many singles co-produced by Williams with longtime collaborator Garth Fundis.

In 2004, he released his My Heart to You LP for Sugar Hill Records; although he staged a 2006 farewell tour, he came out of retirement in October 2010, the same month he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. By that time, he had released more than 35 albums. His most recent studio album, Reflections, was released in 2014. He retired from touring for good two years later.
Don Williams, the Country Music Hall of Fame member whose imposing height and warm, reassuring voice earned him the nickname “Gentle Giant,” died Friday, September 8th, after a short illness. An internationally popular country star, Williams recorded dozens of hit songs, including “Tulsa Time,” “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good” and “It Must Be Love.” He was 78.

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“In giving voice to songs like ‘Good Ole Boys Like Me,’ ‘Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good’ and ‘Amanda,’ Don Williams offered calm, beauty, and a sense of wistful peace that is in short supply these days,” Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young said in a statement Friday. “His music will forever be a balm in troublesome times. Everyone who makes country music with grace, intelligence, and ageless intent will do so while standing on the shoulders of this gentle giant.”
Born in Floydada, Texas, on May 27th, 1939, Don Williams was raised in Portland, Texas, where he learned guitar from his mother. Initially performing in Corpus Christi in a duo called Strangers Two with singer Lofton Kline, Williams and his partner met singer Susan Taylor and formed the folk-pop trio that would be called the Pozo-Seco Singers. Based in Nashville, the trio earned two Top 40 tunes, “I Can Make It With You” and “Look What You’ve Done,” in late 1966.

After the group disbanded, Williams landed back in Texas to sell furniture in his father’s store before returning to Music City to embark on a solo career. “Cowboy” Jack Clement signed Williams as a songwriter to his Jack Music publishing company, where he recorded demos for songwriter-producer Allen Reynolds, who later went on to helm projects for Crystal Gayle and Garth Brooks, among many others.
When other artists proved reluctant to record Williams’ songs, Clement signed him as an artist to his JMI Records, releasing his first country single, “Don’t You Believe,” in 1972. In 1974, the label issued “We Should Be Together,” which became the singer’s first Top Five hit. Later that year, he scored the first of 17 Number One singles with the romantic “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me.” The visionary Clement also shot some of the industry’s first-ever music videos for Williams’ early hits.

In 1980, Williams, who had quickly gained an overseas following, was named Artist of the Decade by the readers of the London-based magazine Country Music People. That same year, he reached the pop Top 40 with the tender “I Believe in You,” Between 1974 and 1991, of the nearly 50 singles he released, first on Dot, then ABC/Dot – which would become MCA – then Capitol and finally RCA, all but three reached the Top Ten. In 1976, Williams became an Opry member, and was crowned CMA Male Vocalist of the Year in 1978, with his version of Danny Flowers’ “Tulsa Time” earning CMA Single of the Year. In 1981, he joined Emmylou Harris on “If I Needed You,” a Top Five duet that would introduce the masses to the work of songwriter Townes Van Zandt. In the late Eighties, Williams quit touring after suffering back problems, but soon picked back up, with several hits for RCA until 1991’s “Lord Have Mercy on a Country Boy” ended his streak. Williams was consistently an international ambassador of country music, earning a massive following in Europe, especially in the U.K. and Ireland, as well as Australia and Africa.

In addition to his recording career, Williams appeared in the 1975 Burt Reynolds films W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings and 1980’s Smokey and the Bandit II. He later name-checked Reynolds in the 1982 Bob McDill-penned hit “If Hollywood Don’t Need You (Honey, I Still Do),” which was one of the many singles co-produced by Williams with longtime collaborator Garth Fundis.

In 2004, he released his My Heart to You LP for Sugar Hill Records; although he staged a 2006 farewell tour, he came out of retirement in October 2010, the same month he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. By that time, he had released more than 35 albums. His most recent studio album, Reflections, was released in 2014. He retired from touring for good two years later.

Williams’ songs have been recorded by country superstars Alan Jackson and Lee Ann Womack, as well as rock legends Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton. Just one day before he turned 78 last May, the tribute album Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams was issued. A testament to his widespread and long-lasting influence, the LP featured performances of beloved Williams hits by Alison Krauss, Chris Stapleton, Pistol Annies, Brandy Clark, Keb’ Mo’, Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Lady Antebellum, songwriter Roger Cook, Dierks Bentley, John Prine, and Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires. A special tribute to the longtime Grand Ole Opry member was also performed on the Opry stage just days after that album was released. That same month, the concert CD/DVD package, Don Williams in Ireland: The Gentle Giant in Concert, was released, featuring an onstage performance from the Emerald Isle.

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Very sad. May he rest in peace.

Country singer Troy Gentry dies in helicopter crash

Troy Gentry, one half of the award-winning country music duo Montgomery Gentry, died Friday in a helicopter crash just hours before a concert, according to a statement from the band’s website. He was 50.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter crashed into a wooded area near the Flying W Airport in Medford hours before Montgomery Gentry was due to perform at a resort that is also housed at the airport. The airport announced the cancellation of the gig Friday afternoon.

The band’s website called Gentry’s death “tragic” and said details of the crash are unknown.

Medford Township Police Chief Richard Meder told NJ.com that police got a call about a helicopter “that was distressed” around 1 p.m.

He said crews were able to remove the passenger from the wreckage, but he died on the way to a hospital. The pilot died at the scene and crews were working to remove his body, Meder said.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Gentry was the pilot or the passenger.

Gentry was born on April 5, 1967, in Lexington, Kentucky, where he met bandmate Eddie Montgomery and formed a group based off their last names.

The duo had success on the country charts, scoring five No. 1 hits. The band was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2009.

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Can’t wait to give this whole album a listen. Foo!!!!

Justin Timberlake featured on new Foo Fighters album: ‘We’d drink whisky in the parking lot’

Justin Timberlake will feature on the new Foo Fighters album after a chance studio run-in in Los Angeles.

The SexyBack singer was working at EastWest studios while Dave Grohl and his bandmates were recording Concrete and Gold, and decided to say hi.

During the chat, Justin asked the rockers if he could sit in on a track – just so he could boast to friends that he had recorded with the Foo Fighters.

“We’d drink whisky in the parking lot,” Grohl tells Rolling Stone. “He was really, really cool. Then the night before his last day, he says, ‘Can I sing on your record? I don’t want to push it, but – I just want to be able to tell my friends’.”

Grohl didn’t think twice and pulled him into the studio to sing backing vocals.

“He nailed it. I’m telling you – the guy’s going somewhere,” the rocker jokes.

The Foo Fighters frontman also reveals his friend Sir Paul McCartney plays drums on one track.

The former Beatles star admits he was a little puzzled when he was first asked to get behind band drummer Taylor Hawkins’ kit, but insists he was really keen to be in the studio with the group.

‘’Even if it had been banjo, I think I probably would have showed up,” he says.

Hawkins adds, “You don’t generally think of him as a drummer, but he laid that track so f–king effortlessly. He never even heard the song. Dave kind of explained it to him with an acoustic guitar. And he was like, ‘Yeah, yeah. I think I know what you’re doing’.”

Grohl smiles, “He was so f–king good. We played for an hour, then took a break and had bagels and tea. I thought we were done… and someone goes, ‘Hey, Paul wants to jam some more’. He rounded everybody up, and we jammed for hours.”

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This could be pretty cool!!

Big Brother celebrity edition planned for winter

Oh my … stars?

A celebrity edition of Big Brother is coming this winter to CBS. Host Julie Chen just announced the plan on Thursday’s edition of the show.

The special winter edition is expected to feature multiple episodes per week during a “concentrated” run and will include Head of Household and Power of Veto competitions and live evictions. Chen, naturally will host.

No cast members have been announced yet.

“Big Brother has been dominating pop culture throughout its 19 seasons, and it is exciting to grow the franchise with the first-ever celebrity edition in the U.S.,” said executive producers Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan in a statement. “Celebrities will be under the watchful eye of the Big Brother cameras, facing the classic game elements, and of course new twists in this special winter event.”

The special edition will air ahead of Big Brother’s 20th season next summer.

Bringing celebrities into a camera-filled house is not a new idea: Celebrity Big Brother has aired on and off in the U.K. since 2001.

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On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is still my favourite Bond film to this day!!

More James Bond 25 Plot Details May Have Leaked

Now that the drama of who will play James Bond in the next film is behind us, we can begin to focus on the drama that will transpire on screen once the 25th James Bond film finally arrives. New details may have leaked which paint an interesting picture of the film’s story. Specifically, it hints at how Bond 25 may relate to Spectre as well as another story from James Bond’s past, the movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

The rumor states that the next James Bond film will see the return of Léa Seydoux in her role as Dr. Madeleine Swann from Spectre. The two characters walked off together in Spectre and as the new film opens, the two are reportedly married and James Bond has quit his spying lifestyle. Things are not all sunshine and rainbows forever, however, as Dr. Swann is somehow killed, Page Six doesn’t specify how, bringing Bond back to work in a quest for vengeance.

If that plot sounds slightly familiar, it’s because this description of how Bond 25 starts is exactly how On Her Majesty’s Secret Service ends. The only James Bond film to star George Lazenby as the super spy, it was also a very different Bond film because of its story. Bond saves a woman, Tracy di Vicenzo, at the beginning of the movie, and marries her at the end. However, before they can even start their new life together, she is killed by another character familiar to those who saw Spectre, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Christoph Waltz played Blofeld in Spectre and there’s been some indication that the character will return for the new film as well. The primary villain has been rumored to be somebody else, but it’s possible that this new character could be a Blofeld lieutenant who takes out Bond’s wife as payback for Bond stopping Blofeld.

An early rumor regarding the future of the James Bond franchise had indicated that Daniel Craig would film two more Bond movies, with the second being a direct remake of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. While this rumor appears to contradict that to some degree, it certainly seems to indicate that wherever these rumors are starting, some relationship to that specific movie is certainly on the table. Maybe the new Mrs. James Bond will survive the next movie, but if she does her number may be up in Bond 26.

While On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was not well-received in its day — and it’s always been something of a black sheep of the franchise due to its lead only being around for one film — in recent years the film has become much better regarded. Maybe this is why the studio is looking at remaking, or at least adapting elements, from that story.

Bond 25 is currently without a title but it does have a release date, November 8, 2019.

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I saw so much garbage this Summer just because I like going to sit in a theatre to watch movies. Better luck to us all in 2018!!

2017 Summer Box Office Is Lowest Since 2006

The summer 2017 box office, widely seen as one of the most disappointing in recent memory, posted the lowest cumulative total since 2006. While there were hits like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Wonder Woman that had prolonged runs of dominance, the success of those films were offset by a number of would-be tentpoles that failed to leave an impression. Critical duds such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and The Mummy were non-starters, and even some acclaimed works like War for the Planet of the Apes struggled commercially. Things were made worse towards the end of the season, as the past two weeks had zero high-profile new releases.

Anticipated films including IT, Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi should turn things around in the fall/winter, but the summer is typically when the studios look to make the most of their money. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case this year, and we now know just how bad things were for executives.

According to EW, summer 2017’s total gross was $3.8 billion, which sounds like a lot of cash, but is actually a 14 percent decline from last year’s and the worst figure in 11 years (unadjusted for inflation). It’s difficult to pinpoint a specific reason for why this transpired, word-of-mouth probably had something to do with it. Several of the films that underperformed from May through August endured negative reviews, which hurt their financial prospects. For a while, properties like Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers were critic-proof, but this time U.S. audiences weren’t enamored by what they had to offer. As a result, the future of some franchises could be in doubt.

Analysts were predicting summer 2017 would be a rough period from the beginning, so this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who’s been following the development. Fortunately, this doesn’t appear to be the start of a new trend that signals the death of cinema. Next summer sees the premieres of several eagerly-awaited blockbusters like Avengers: Infinity War, Han Solo, Deadpool 2, The Incredibles 2, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. A problem with many of 2017’s releases is that they weren’t exactly in high-demand, but 2018 should be a different story. Sequel fatigue is an issue studios are going to have to deal with eventually, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, and Pixar are reliable cash cows. Deadpool 2 is coming off the success of its record-breaking predecessor, so it too is poised for greatness.

If there’s a lesson to be learned here, perhaps executives need to be a little more selective about what they green light. As stated earlier, critical reception played a sizable role in how most movies played at the box office. Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and the comedy Girls Trip were able to exceed expectations simply because of the reviews. When planning future slates, studios need to take what transpired in 2017 to heart so they can deliver projects that have widespread appeal and can entertain audiences, instead of having people question how something got made in the first place.

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This is amazing! Just amazing news!!!

Indiana Jones 5 won’t feature Shia LaBeouf’s character

Will an Indiana Jones protege soon snatch the iconic wide-brimmed fedora from atop Harrison Ford’s head? Perhaps, but it won’t be Mutt Williams — a.k.a. Indy’s son, Henry Jones III — the character Shia LaBeouf played in 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

“Harrison plays Indiana Jones, that I can certainly say,” screenwriter David Koepp, who has penned a script for the fifth film in the storied Indiana Jones franchise, tells EW. “And the Shia LaBeouf character is not in the film.”

Koepp’s confirmation follows wide speculation that Ford, who originated the role of the globetrotting adventurer in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, would eventually abdicate his throne to a younger actor as the series progressed under Steven Spielberg’s direction. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull‘s ending even teased LaBeouf’s character’s potential future in the series, with a closing scene that saw the iconic headpiece ride a breeze and land at the Even Stevens actor’s feet, before Ford swooped in to grab it out of his hands and place it back on his own head.

While Mutt won’t be embarking on any perilous journeys alongside his father any time soon, Koepp says he and Spielberg are largely satisfied with the current version of the screenplay, and production could begin in the near future.

“We’re plugging away at it. In terms of when we would start, I think that’s up to Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Ford,” he continues, playfully teasing that the plot will involve “some precious artifact that they’re all looking for” throughout the film. “I know we’ve got a script we’re mostly happy with. Work will be endless, of course, and ongoing, and Steven just finished shooting The Post …. If the stars align, hopefully it’ll be his next film.”

After appearing in Crystal Skull, LaBeouf, whose representatives did not return a request for comment, criticized the production in a 2010 interview with the Los Angeles Times. He told the paper he felt as if he “dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished,” and that Ford wasn’t happy with the film either. Ford later responded by calling his costar a “f—g idiot” for his comments.