Today in The Force Awakens: First Blu-ray cover spotted

tfa-bluray-walmleakThis morning, Stitch Kingdom spotted a cover on the pre-order page for The Force Awakens Blu-Ray from Walmart. The product page is still live, but not searchable. Some are reporting that this is the Walmart exclusive cover, but I don’t really see any sign of that. (Though it’s certainly possible we’ll see multiple covers – I hope not just slipcovers.)

Reports have the Blu-ray coming out April 5, with digital copies available as soon as March 15. We’re still waiting an an official announcement, maybe as soon as Tuesday.

→ J.J. Abrams talks about Harrison Ford and how he reacted to his big moment in The Force Awakens with Fandango.

→ Daisy Ridley and J.J. Abrams talked about Star Wars at the Oscar Wilde Awards, which was held at the Bad Robot office. Ridley got a bit more specific (maybe too specific) on Skellig Michael with Goss.ie.

The Hollywood Reporter looks at The Force Awakens’ chances at the VFX Oscar. Reminder: Daisy Ridley and J.J. Abrams will be presenting at the ceremony tomorrow tonight.

The Force Awakens publicity team, at least, has already won one honor: The Maxwell Weinberg Showmanship trophy.

Today in The Force Awakens: Digital release in March?

rey-poster-cropLooks like The Force Awakens may be released for home digital (aka iTunes and the like) as early as March 15th, per Blu-ray.com (via). Interesting, but given that staggered release dates seem to be a big thing with this movie, not at all unprecedented. Signs point to the Blu-ray and DVD coming out April 5.

The Force Awakens is up for 15 Saturn Awards, including nods for J.J. Abrams, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Lupita Nyong’o.

ANOVOS’ Kylo Ren costume is available for pre-order. So many layers.

→ Here’s one way to make a more appetizing version of Rey’s green bread.

The Force Awakens, Boyega, Ridley, and DK Star Wars book up for Kids’ Choice Awards

Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know (JTFA)It may be no surprise that The Force Awakens is nabbing a bunch of key nominations for the Nickelodeon 2016 Kids’ Choice Awards, but a Star Wars book has also earned a nomination, competing against both Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. DK’s Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, by Adam Bray, Cole Horton, Michael Kogge, and Kerrie Dougherty, is one of six choices to be voted on in the Favorite Book category. Will it stand up to the likes of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Maze Runner? Anyone can vote as much as they want for the Kids’ Choice Awards at nick.com/KCA. Sadly, you can’t skip a category, like Favorite (Music) Collaboration.

In other categories, The Force Awakens has earned nominations for Favorite Movie, Favorite Actor (John Boyega) & Favorite Actress (Daisy Ridley). In the video games category, Disney Infinity 3.0 (which added Star Wars content) is a nominee. The Kids’ Choice Awards will air live on March 12, hosted by Blake Shelton.

The Force Awakens roundup: VES awards, how BB-8 got his voice

tfa-maz-cropThe Force Awakens won four categories at the Visual Effects Society Awards, including outstanding VFX in a photoreal feature. On that note, there’s a new Roger Guyett interview over at Deadline.

→ Bryan Young talked to Matthew Wood and David Acord about how BB-8 got his voice for How Stuff Works.

The Force Awakens is likely to pass $900M domestically and $2B globally this coming weekend, Scott Mendelson reports.

→ Your moment of extremely relevant zen: An adorable puppy finds a home.

5 Oscar nods for The Force Awakens include music, VFX

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The Force Awakens received five Oscar nominations this morning, all in technical categories. John Williams got his 50th nomination for the score. ILM’s Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould are up for the film’s Visual Effects. Matthew Wood and David Acord are nominated for sound editing, with Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson for sound mixing. The biggest surprise is Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey for editing.

the 88th Academy Awards will be given out Sunday, February 28.

Roundup: J.J. Abrams addresses The Force Awakens’ throwback feel, Roger Guyett on VFX

tfa-rs-kylo-vader-smJ.J. Abrams discusses The Force Awakens with The Hollywood Reporter, including the criticisms that the film is too similar to A New Hope, and why it was important “to go backwards to go forwards.”

Today, Abrams was at TCA for Hulu’s 11.22.63, where he told Entertainment Weekly not to expect an extended edition of The Force Awakens and addressed the lack of Rey toys.

→ At Studio Daily, ILM VFX Supervisor Roger Guyett talks about the film’s visual effects, including the Falcon on Jakku.

The Force Awakens has opened strong in China with a record $33M Saturday opening. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., there’s some real box office competition this weekend thanks to The Revenant. Who wins? Either way, Domhnall Gleeson.

→ Speaking of actors, The Force Awakens has let Harrison Ford reclaim the title of highest grossing actor of all time from fellow Star Wars alumni Samuel L. Jackson.

→ Business Insider profiles Joonas Suotamo, who doubled for Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca.

→ Award watch: John Boyega is a nominee for the BAFTA’s Rising Star award. TFA itself is up for BAFTAs in production design, sound, music and visual effects. The film is also up for a Costume Designers Guild Award.

Roundup: The Force Awakens passes Jurassic World’s key opening weekend box office records

jw-tfaThe numbers are in, and The Force Awakens made an astounding $529 million worldwide this weekend, $248 million of it domestically. That takes it past both Jurassic World’s key opening weekend records.

Jurassic World producer Frank Marshall (and husband of Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy) tweeted the traditional congratulation ad, seen at right. Meanwhile the film also continued to rule on social media.

→ Want the nitty-gritty of what the actors made in The Force Awakens? Variety has a report, but beware of spoilers.

→ Video: Phil Tippett and his team on recreating the Millennium Falcon’s Dejarik holochess game.

The Force Awakens is among the ten films making the shortlist for the visual effects Oscar. Five will make the cut. Also on the shortlist are Mad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Ex Machina, The Martian, The Revenant, Tomorrowland and The Walk.

→ Finn’s ID number is a particularly easy-to-miss Easter egg. Also on Buzzfeed: Finn/Poe shippers. Hey, at least it’s not Reylo.

Matt Patches did it. He stayed spoiler-free for The Force Awakens for three whole years. I think he’s nuts, but respect.

→ Also: Mike Ryan on the redemption of Han Solo, Hasbro’s first look at Leia and Maz Kanata figures in a new motion poster, and how will The Force Awakens influence fashion?

Today in The Force Awakens: It’s officially PG-13

A new Poe Dameron image from Empire. This looks to be part of the scene we saw filmed in SDCC's behind-the-scenes reel.
A new Poe Dameron image from Empire. This looks to be part of the scene we saw being filmed in the behind-the-scenes reel from SDCC.
The Force Awakens is rated PG-13 for “sci-fi action violence,” per filmratings.com. It’s only the second Star Wars to be rated above a PG, after Revenge of the Sith – although to be fair, the PG-13 rating didn’t even exist until 1984. (And I personally doubt this one will have anything to match extra crispy Anakin.)

→ Box office tracking estimates for the film came out today, and they are, as you might expect, pretty nuts. Oh, and it’s selling a lot of stuff.

→ If you really love hyperbole, Entertainment Weekly wants you to start thinking about The Force Awakens’ Oscar chances. Uhh, okay guys.

→ Yet another featurette, this time on BB-8, is coming to the Disney Channel on Sunday. Looking a bit further ahead, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill will be among the guests on Graham Norton’s Christmas show.

The Force Awakens at the American Music Awards


First we got a new commercial, above, with a few brief bits of new footage. Much later, there was indeed a “new scene” – but one we’ve already seen most of in the trailers, Rey, Finn and BB-8 on the run:

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Just with dialogue this time. Then, sure enough, Harrison Ford introduced Pentatonix’s tribute to John Williams. Here’s the whole Star Wars portion of the show: