Star Wars

I saw THE LAST JEDI and I absolutely loved it. It’s not perfect, but I loved it!!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi scores second-highest opening ever with $220 million

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a force to be reckoned with at the box office.

Episode VIII of Lucasfilm and Disney’s enduring space opera is on track to gross an estimated $220 million in 4,232 theaters in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, marking the second-highest domestic opening of all time (not adjusted for inflation), behind only its predecessor Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which debuted to $248 million in 2015.

The Last Jedi is just the fourth film in history to open north of $200 million, joining The Force Awakens, Jurassic World ($208.8) and The Avengers ($207.4). It’s also set to add $230 million overseas, for a worldwide bow of $450 million, which would rank fifth all time. (The Last Jedi has yet to open in China, the world’s second-largest movie market.)

Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick), The Last Jedi has met with excellent reviews from critics and also garnered an A CinemaScore from moviegoers. The film, which picks up where The Force Awakens left off in the midst of a heated intergalactic conflict, features original Star Wars players Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher, as well as next-gen heroes and villains Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, and Kelly Marie Tran.

The Star Wars franchise shows no signs of slowing down, with a young Han Solo spinoff movie (directed by Ron Howard), Episode IX (with J.J. Abrams at the helm), and a new Johnson-directed trilogy all in the works. The Last Jedi‘s huge opening also comes in the wake of Disney announcing its seismic deal to buy film and TV assets from Fox, the original home of Star Wars.

At the weekend box office, The Last Jedi is being followed — in a very distant second place — by Ferdinand, Fox’s animated movie based on the children’s book The Story of Ferdinand. The family-friendly film will take in about $13.3 million, falling short of analysts’ predictions of $15 million to $20 million.

On the bright side, Ferdinand received an A CinemaScore and generally positive reviews. Carlos Saldanha directed the movie, which centers on a gentle bull (voiced by John Cena) who refuses to participate in bullfighting. The voice cast also includes Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, and Bobby Cannavale.

Rounding out the top five are Disney and Pixar’s Coco, with about $10 million; Lionsgate’s Wonder, with about $5.4 million; and Warner Bros. and DC’s Justice League, with about $4.2 million.

According to ComScore, overall box office is down 2.9 percent year-to-date. Check out the Dec. 15-17 figures below.

1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi — $220 million
2. Ferdinand — $13.3 million
3. Coco — $10 million
4. Wonder — $5.4 million
5. Justice League — $4.2 million
6. Daddy’s Home 2 — $3.8 million
7. Thor: Ragnarok — $3 million
8. The Disaster Artist — $2.6 million
9. Murder on the Orient Express — $2.5 million
10. Lady Bird — $2.1 million

Star Wars

So excited to see it!!

‘The Last Jedi’ poised to star as end-of-year box office hero

Stephen King’s “It” made for one scary movie, but it wasn’t nearly as spine-chilling as Hollywood’s summer box-office returns.

That 2017 season’s $3.8 billion take in North American receipts has been the worst since 2006, according to data provided by comScore, and left the industry lagging 6.5 percent behind 2016’s record pace.

“Everyone [at the time] was sounding the death knell for movies,” says Paul Dergarabedian, comScore’s senior media analyst.

Thanks to “It,” which opened in early September, business has since rebounded spectacularly — so much so that it’s sneaking up on last year’s best-ever box office of $11.4 billion.

The Warner Brothers horror flick not only accounted for nearly half of September’s North American gross of $713 million, but is on track to return 20 times its $35 million budget in worldwide ticket sales.

But Warner Bros. also is credited with the year’s biggest flop, the $175 million “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” which generated only $39.2 million in North American receipts.

The year got off to a fast start, with such first-quarter hits as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Logan” and “Get Out,” and after the “It” save in the fall, should close well, beginning with the release of Pixar’s “Coco” on Wednesday. Then the granddaddy hopeful of them all, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” opens Dec. 15.

Just how close Hollywood’s performance in 2017 gets to 2016 will largely depend on whether moviegoers take to “Jedi” as they did to the series’ “Rogue One” or to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

The former grossed $408 million between Nov. 21 and Dec. 31 in 2016, or 33 percent less than “The Force Awakens,” which pulled in an eye-popping $605 million over the same dates the previous year.

Dergarabedian projects a 2017 box-office haul of $10.9 billion to $11.1 billion, or 4.4 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, off the record box office last year. Either one will go a long way toward erasing the memory of the puny summer totals.

For his part, Dergarabedian said the result is satisfying given how “confounding and volatile the year has been,” adding that it will “set the stage nicely for 2018.”

Not all industry trackers are so optimistic, though, especially after separating the top 25 grossing films from the remaining 220 monitored this year by Box Office Mojo.

“Increasingly, a lot of big films are tentpoles produced by Disney, which has all the other players fighting over scraps,” said Doug Creutz, who covers media and entertainment for Cowen and Co.

Creutz also said that, as studios fixate on overseas tastes, they’re leaving domestic audiences with little more than “cartoons and explosions.”

“You’re seeing whole genres almost die off,” the analyst said. “When was the last time you saw a romantic comedy do well at the box office? When was the last time you saw one get released?”

Movies also are up against greater competition for Friday night entertainment, which in the old days meant consumers were lining up to watch that week’s new release.

“Now I’ve got Netflix, video games, Facebook and a billion other things that are entertaining and cost a lot less money,” Creutz said. “People these days only go to movies they feel they really must see at a theater, and those tend to be tentpoles.”

Star Wars

Very cool news!!


For director Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was just the beginning of his journey in a galaxy far, far away.

Lucasfilm is excited to announce that Johnson will create a brand-new Star Wars trilogy, the first of which he is also set to write and direct, with longtime collaborator Ram Bergman onboard to produce.

As writer-director of The Last Jedi, Johnson conceived and realized a powerful film of which Lucasfilm and Disney are immensely proud. In shepherding this new trilogy, which is separate from the episodic Skywalker saga, Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.

“We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “He’s a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.”

“We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on The Last Jedi,” Johnson and Bergman said in a joint statement. “Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it. We can’t wait to continue with this new series of films.”

Johnson’s upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in U.S. theaters on Dec. 15, 2017.

No release dates have been set for the new films, and no porgs were available for comment.

Star Wars

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.”

Star Wars

If it’s good – in the end – none of this will matter, just like ROGUE ONE.

How the Han Solo film broke apart — with Ron Howard picking up the pieces

Ron Howard is now steering the Millennium Falcon. And he has to maneuver it out of a giant asteroid field.

A little over a day after the directors of the upcoming Han Solo movie were fired, Lucasfilm has turned to the veteran filmmaker to steer the Star Wars project home.

“At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement. “With that in mind, we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”

Howard previously worked with Lucasfilm when he directed the 1988 fantasy adventure Willow, with Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, and Joanne Whalley. And the A Beautiful Mind Oscar-winner also served as an unofficial adviser to George Lucas on his prequel films, having been a longtime friend ever since costarring in Lucas’s coming-of-age classic American Graffiti in 1973.

Brace yourself for a wave of “Help us, Opie-Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope” headlines.

The Star Wars stand-alone project, starring Alden Ehrenreich in the role originated by Harrison Ford, was just weeks away from ending principal photography when directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, best known for The LEGO Movie, were dropped from the film Monday — with Lucasfilm and the filmmakers both citing “creative differences.”

The question remained for Star Wars fans: What exactly were those differences, and why were they so insurmountable that neither side was willing to compromise to avoid this public upheaval?

Here’s what we know now: Several sources close to the movie and others close to the directors tell EW that ever since filming began back in February, Lord and Miller, who are known primarily for wry, self-referential comedies like 21 Jump Street and the pilot episodes for Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Last Man on Earth, began steering the Han Solo movie more into the genre of laughs than space fantasy.

Apparently, the split was a subtle one that became magnified over time: Lucasfilm and producer Kennedy believed Lord and Miller were hired to add a comedic touch; Lord and Miller believed they were hired to make a comedy.

It’s an ironic turn. Last year, when Rogue One was undergoing reshoots, fans were critical because they assumed Lucasfilm was trying to “lighten” the war story with more comedy. Those concerns were unfounded, but now the opposite may be the case for the Han Solo film: Lucasfilm wants young Han Solo to be more grounded.

As usual with stories like this, not all sources agree. Another individual close to the movie says it wasn’t a question about how much comedy would be in the film. The consensus, however, is that the filmmakers were encouraging significant improvisation from the actors, which some at Lucasfilm believed was shifting the story off-course.

With actors who are also writers, and gifted at coming up with their own material, like Atlanta creator and star Donald Glover in the role of Lando Calrissian and Fleabag creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge as an unspecified motion-capture character (which in galactic terms, that usually signals a droid or alien), the sources say Lord and Miller began straying from the script by Star Wars veteran Lawrence Kasdan and his son, Jon Kasdan (The First Time).

One person close to the fired directors says: “They thought they were brought on to make a Phil and Chris movie. … Sometimes they just thought the actors could do it differently.”

But others on the project say they pushed too far. It wasn’t just a question of tone. The variations added up to significantly change the story. They may have been brought aboard to give young Han Solo a wiseacre vibe and an irreverent style, but Lucasfilm still felt the directors had a responsibility to tell the story as written.

When dailies began rolling in featuring improvisation from the actors and new ideas from the directors that significantly parted ways with the script, the relationship with the home office at Lucasfilm became fraught. As principal photography for the movie approached its end, it became clear that the filmmakers and producers did not share the same vision for some critical scenes.

Reshoots were always possible (they are factored into almost every major film these days, and each new Star Wars project has undergone them), but as Lord and Miller dug in, refusing to compromise on what they saw as best for the film, the partnership went from strained to fractured. If they wouldn’t do the scenes as Lucasfilm and Kennedy wanted them now, why would they do them that way during reshoots?

Sources close to the studio tell EW that Kennedy was also determined to do what was best for the film. Those perspectives were just different — and growing further apart.

After relaunching the franchise, which had taken damage from the critical reception of the Star Wars prequels, and building not just an acclaimed new saga with The Force Awakens but kicking off a series of stand-alone films with Rogue One, Kennedy felt she had earned her galactic bona fides: The directors should give her the benefit of the doubt and follow her concept of what the Star Wars movie should be.

Lord and Miller are well-liked within the industry and have a style that has often led studios to compete for their attentions, but Kennedy — whose long history of credits include Back to the Future, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Jurassic Park — also has an immense, proven track record. Backing her was Kasdan, Star Wars royalty — the screenwriter of The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

They became immovable objects. If the filmmakers were refusing to make the movie Lucasfilm expected, why continue?

On Monday, Lord and Miller were told they were terminated. The production was put on hold.

Howard’s name began circulating immediately, but yesterday his agency, CAA, was still saying a deal hadn’t been reached. This morning, it was done.

He will have two weeks to get to England and get up to speed on where things are, where they went awry from the studio’s point of view, and come up with a plan to complete it — if not on time, then with minimal extension to the schedule.

Meanwhile, Lord and Miller will begin packing up and heading home. Reps for the directors declined to say whether they might return Warner Bros.’ big-screen version of the DC Comics superhero The Flash, which they had left to take on the Han Solo movie. But since they were fired over a difference of vision, rather than an out-of-control production, they aren’t expected to take a massive career hit.

A source close to them said they wouldn’t have bad blood toward Howard. “Somebody has to take over the movie.”

Some close to the pair say Lord and Miller see the Han Solo film like a romantic break-up. It’s the end of an unhappy relationship, something they once deeply cared about, even if there is no future together.

To paraphrase the smuggler and the princess:

“I don’t love you.”

“I know.”

Star Wars

Awesome! The Force is strong with this title!!

‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Title Revealed

Star Wars: Episode VIII has unveiled its name. The film will be titled Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The film, directed by Rian Johnson, picks up immediately after the events of 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which concluded with Rey (Daisy Ridley) finding Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who had been living in seclusion.

The cast also includes the late Carrie Fisher as Leia, who died Dec. 27. She had completed her work for the film, but had also been scheduled to appear in Episode IX. Lucasfilm has said it has no plans to use a digital re-creation of Carrie Fisher as Leia, as they did in December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

The Last Jedi also stars Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie and Andy Serkis. They’ll be joined by franchise newcomers Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran.

Now that there’s a title, the next question on everyone’s minds: when is the trailer coming?

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set to hit theaters Dec. 15.

Star Wars

This is a smart idea. Well done, Lucasfilm!!

‘Star Wars’ Has ‘No Plans’ to Digitally Recreate Carrie Fisher

In the wake of Carrie Fisher’s death, Lucasfilm says it won’t digitally recreate Carrie Fisher in upcoming “Star Wars” projects.

“We don’t normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address,” the company said in a statement. “We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa.”

They added: “Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars.”

Fisher will appear in the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” She had finished shooting the upcoming sequel prior to her death, though rumors suggested Disney and Lucasfilm would somehow recreate Leia for the next “Star Wars” that shoots in 2018.

Lucasfilm recently drew headlines when Peter Cushing’s character Grand Moff Tarkin was digitally recreated in “Rogue One” after Disney got permission from the Cushing estate to do so causing some to believe the same could possibly happen to Fisher. Cushing died in 1994.

Star Wars

Right now!! I want more STAR WARS movies now, please!!

Star Wars dates: Here’s when the next 3 movies are released

Just saw Rogue One and want more Star Wars action? Well, you’re going to get more – at least three titles. But when, specifically, will each new film be released? Below is Disney’s plan along with what’s currently known about casting and storylines. Obviously, these dates are subject to change. Thankfully, no Bothans died to bring us this information …

Star Wars: Episode VIII
Written and directed by Rian Johnson
Starring: Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, Carrie Fisher, Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro, more
Release: Dec. 15, 2017
Logline: Unknown. Boyega claimed the script was “darker” than the first, while Johnson has said the movie starts “zooming in on the characters and getting to the heart of them, challenging them, and pushing them deeper,” and Isaac has said “Rian is definitely going to places and investigating things that haven’t really been done in the Star Wars universe.”

Untitled Han Solo Anthology Film
Directors: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Written by: Lawrence and Jon Kasdan
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke
Logline: “How young Han Solo became the smuggler, thief, and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina at Mos Eisley.” Lawrence Kasdan has said, “you have to imagine [Solo] 10 years earlier [than in the first film] in his early 20s. What was he like before he hardened up? Before he had some setbacks? Before he put on this cynical coat? What got him there?”
Release: May 25, 2018

Star Wars: Episode IX
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writer: Rian Johnson
Starring: Not yet announced
Logline: Unknown. Trevorrow has said, “We want to channel the invention and just the raw creativity and the boldness that George [Lucas] brought to these films and not being afraid that we’re going to embarrass ourselves by doing something that might be crazy… I just want to embrace that kind of invention and creativity that he brought to it.” The director also reportedly wanted to shoot some footage in actual outer space.
Release: 2019

Hey, weren’t there more Star Wars movies on this list last year? Yes, there were. Like the Boba Fett one. But more stand-alone films have reportedly been put on hold until after Rogue One is released to give Disney a chance to access audience reception to a film that takes place outside the regular franchise titles. So we’ll have to wait and see if the rather futuristic-sounding year of 2020 gets us another Star Wars film.

Star Wars

I want to see it now! Now!! Now!!!

Gwendoline Christie: Fans won’t be disappointed by Episode VIII

As we get excited for the unveiling of Rogue One, somewhere in Disney’s top secret post-production editing and visual effect bays are prints of year’s top-secret Episode VIII – which completed principal photography all the way back in July and won’t be released until another date that’s far, far away (December 15, 2017).

Entertainment Weekly recently spoke to Gwendoline Christie, who reprises her role as chrome trooper Captain Phasma in the film, and asked if there were any vague teases she could give fans.

“No,” she said.


“I don’t think anyone’s going to be disappointed,” she added, and then she made this remarkable expression – her eyebrows shot up, her eyes got wide, and she clamped her lips shut as she smiled, as if thinking about some intensely exciting secrets she’s just bursting to reveal … but absolutely positively will not.

One big question, of course, has been if/when her character will remove her helmet so we can get a look at the real Phasma – though Christie has also defended Episode VII’s choice to keep her appearance mysterious. “I thought it was a really interesting opportunity to play a female character where we formed an opinion of her based on her actions rather than the way she has been made flesh,” Christie told us. “And that concept within a Star Wars movie, a mainstream phenomenon, was very modern and interesting and exciting. I made no secret of the fact I wanted to be in the film, I campaigned hard to be in the film. But to be in it as that kind of character – she’s a woman, she’s in armor, the armor isn’t sexualized, and in the film we don’t see the actor’s face – I thought that was an exciting, modern concept.”

Before Episode VIII comes out, however, Christie will be back in HBO’s Game of Thrones, which returns for its seventh season next summer.

Star Wars

I love this casting news!!

Donald Glover cast as young Lando in Han Solo ‘Star Wars’ film

Donald Glover is joining the “Star Wars” universe.

The acclaimed actor and Grammy-nominated artist, has been cast as young Lando Calrissian in the still-untitled Han Solo standalone film, set for release in 2018.

The movie, from directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, will show Lando “in his formative years as a scoundrel on the rise in the galaxy’s underworld.”

Lando was played by Billy Dee Williams in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”

Glover joins Alden Ehrenreich, who was cast as Han Solo in July.
“We’re so lucky to have an artist as talented as Donald join us,” said Lord and Miller in a statement. “These are big shoes to fill, and an even bigger cape, and this one fits him perfectly, which will save us money on alterations. Also, we’d like to publicly apologize to Donald for ruining Comic-Con for him forever.”

Glover was formerly a cast member on NBC’s beloved cult comedy “Community.”

He now stars on FX’s “Atlanta,” which he also created, and will appear in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” opened in December and broke records at the box office. To date, it has earned over $2 billion worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opens in December.