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: Red carpet to be livestreamed, Abrams on the script and starting from scratch

Today on Twitter: @HamillHimself is such a troll. (USA Today asked the cast.)
Today on Twitter: @HamillHimself is such a troll. (USA Today asked the cast; Carrie’s is best.)
After a successful deployment at Celebration Anaheim earlier this year, StarWars.com will be livestreaming The Force Awakens red carpet at the film’s official world premiere in Los Angeles on December 14. Andi Gutierrez, Anthony Carboni, and David Collins will be hosting and interviewing the cast and other notables.

→ J.J. Abrams talks to io9 about the script process (including Michael Arndt’s exit,) starting fresh with Lawrence Kasdan and even the Expanded Universe. (On that note, The Hollywood Reporter on the pre-Abrams story meetings.) At Nerdist, he says he wants to see Selma’s Ava DuVernay do a Star Wars film. She seems game! And Pablo Hidalgo’s fame continues to spread, as he’s the subject of the first question from the Associated Press.

→ Harrison Ford sheds some light on “Chewie, we’re home,” at io9, and says The Force Awakens “correctly ambitious in every sense” in the LAT.

→ Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are in the New York Times! With the AP, John shares the story of how (and why) he got Robert Downey Jr. as his mentor in fame. But he couldn’t resist getting a little saucy about Star Trek with Yahoo. (Well, about William Shatner, technically. Which is, I believe, legal under the Carrie Directive)

→ It was Oscar Isaac’s turn on Good Morning America today, where he talked about flying an X-wing.

→ In an interview with IGN, Adam Driver says that Darth Vader’s “commitment” is inspiring to Kylo Ren. He’s in favor of Stephen Colbert’s explanation for the broadsaber.

→ A film still of Billie Lourd in the movie has been floating around for a while now (plus she was in one of the first TV spots) but People has an official character portrait, in which we can see she wears her hair in a toned-down version of Leia’s iconic buns. Still no character name, though.

→ J.J. Abrams, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver were in Seoul today goofing around, while Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o and Kathleen Kennedy were in Mexico City. I can’t find any reports in English, but damn they looked cool.

→ Also: The Force Awakens was the #1 movie on Facebook for 2015; Yesterday’s spoilerific Rey action figure got DMCA’d; NASA scientist would pick Threepio over BB-8 or Artoo to take to space. I am outraged! I have to go lay down now.

Everyone is auditioning for young Han Solo

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There are a lot of names in this story from The Hollywood Reporter on the many actors who are vying for a shot at the role of young Han Solo. So many names. I wouldn’t count on anyone making the finals yet, though:

“This has been the easiest movie to audition for,” says an agent with a client who has auditioned. “They are seeing everyone.”

We do learn that the film’s code name is “Red Cup.” (Naturally!)

The young Han Solo spinoff film will be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller from a script by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan. It’s expected to begin shooting in January 2017. The release date has been announced as May 25, 2018.