April Fools! Here’s one we missed: First Showing spotted what appears to be an Episode VIII script or treatment that appears very briefly in Peter Jackson’s latest Hobbit behind-the-scenes video, which was released on Monday. Of course, there are also appear to be scripts that say The Silmarillion, which I don’t believe anyone even has the film rights for, so take it as you will. I’m sure you can guess how I’m leaning. Well played, hobbitses.
Box office.The Motley Fool predicts that Episode VII will make a lot of money. Not just a a lot of money (because duh) but that it will go where only James Cameron has gone before: To make $2 billion worldwide. Well, if anyone can, it would be Star Wars… Right?
People. J.J. Abrams talks Star Wars and Star Trek with SFX, while Harrison Ford’s lips are sealed on Entertainment Tonight Oh the humanity. Or maybe he’s just tortured his publicist enough this week.
Back… To the future!Movies.com gathers some Lucas’ quotes on earlier plans for extending the saga.
Word-of-mouth is playing a big part – the film only dropped 13% from Friday to Saturday, and it’s getting a rare A+ rating from CinemaScore participants. And:
“It’s not playing like just a superhero film,” says Dave Hollis, Disney’s executive vice president of distribution. “It’s playing like a huge, accessible-to-everyone, all-quadrant picture.” To prove Hollis’ point, Disney is reporting that the PG-13 superhero flick was split 50-50 between moviegoers under the age of 25 and those over 25. And while men outnumbered women, it wasn’t to an extreme extent; men made up 60 percent of the film’s audience.
The Hunger Games is more than living up to box office speculation: With $155 million, now the third-highest domestic debt of all time, and the first that’s not a sequel. (It came in behind only The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.)
The film is, not surprisingly, drawing in more men than Twilight, with women compromising 61% of the opening weekend crowd. (The audience of the last Twilight film was 80% female.) It’s also doing well across the country – a Utah theater had the weekend’s highest gross.
Have you seen it yet? What did you think? Vote in our poll beneath the cut!
The Phantom Menace had a 65% drop at the box office this weekend, coming up at #6 with $7.9 million, but it did pass one very big milestone – the first Star Wars. The Phantom Menace is now beating the original in all-time domestic grosses. Will A New Hope earn back top placement when its 3D turn comes around? Stay tuned…
As predicted, The Vow and the Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds thriller Safe House were the top movies this weekend with $41.7M and $39.3M respectively. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island came in #3 with $27.6M. Overall, theaters took in $190M this weekend, an almost 30% increase over this time last year.
Ringing in with a better-than-expected $19.1 million, Red Tails is second only to the fourth Underworld film in this weekend’s box office numbers. It’s a strong debut, bolstered by support from the African-American community and good word-of-mouth. (CinemaScore audiences have rated the movie a solid “A-.”) Viewers increased 40% from Friday to Saturday as well – a good sign for next weekend’s numbers, according to Entertainment Weekly. Box Office Mojo notes that this is 20th Century Fox’s best opening for “a non-franchise title” since last year’s Rio.
Also of note to Star Wars fans, given the February 10 release of The Phantom Menace 3D, is the performance of Disney’s recent release of Beauty and the Beast in 3D. It’s not doing near as well as the 3D version of The Lion King did last year, plummeting 52% this weekend. (It was #2 last week.) Lion King 3D spent a surprising two weeks at #1 in September. On the other hand, there’s little doubt that the 3D revenues from Underworld: Awakening helped bolster the film to #1. Who can say what it all really means for TPM?
Avatar may have beat Titanic in terms of cold hard cash, but it still has yet to catch up with The Phantom Menace when it comes to the amount of tickets sold, Entertainment Weekly points out. And when the domestic box office numbers are adjusted for inflation, it’s only #26 – all three original trilogy films and TPM are higher, along with Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., The Exorcist and all-time champ Gone With the Wind. (A New Hope is #2.)
Granted, all this stat-pushing is petty and useless, but hey: We’re interested, aren’t we? And on that note, check below the cut for a blast from the past: The ad George Lucas took out in Variety when Titanic took the top spot from Star Wars. Continue reading →
George tops Forbes Hollywood list. George Lucas is the top earner on the business mag’s brand new list of Hollywood’s highest-paid men. (Wait, men? I guess Oprah isn’t ‘Hollywood.’) Coming up second is Steven Spielberg, and Harrison Ford shows up at #11.
Number games Because Harry Potter could soon beat Star Wars as the best-grossing movie franchise in the U.S. And yeah, while it didn’t beat Transformers 2′s opening weekend, Half-Blood Prince hasn’t done too shabby. (Would J.K. Rowling count as ‘Hollywood,’ Forbes?)
It’s not the greatest weekend for Star Wars at the box office: AP reports that the animated film took in $15.5 million, coming in third behind Tropic Thunder ($26M) and The Dark Knight ($16.8M.) Respectable, but not exactly the kind of figures we’re used to seeing… Plus, TDK also rolled over the original Star Wars’ to become the second highest grossing film, as it’s been threatening to for weeks. Bummer.
The film is not doing very well with reviewers (a stunning 19% on Rotten Tomatoes) but many fans do seem to be liking it. Yay? In any case, our poll on The Clone Wars is up now: Vote on the sidebar or under the cut. Continue reading →