Lucasfilm, ILM nabs a few pre-Oscar awards

RedTails-image-award-lucasIn the land of not-Star Wars, Lucasfilm picked up a couple awards last weekend:

Red Tails won the NAACP Image award for Outstanding Motion Picture, beating out others such as Flight and Django Unchained. In a video clip from the event, George Lucas shares why he produced the WWII action film about the Tuskegee Airmen.

While the Annie Awards were dominated by wins for Wreck-It Ralph and Dragons: Riders of Berk, a team from Industrial Light and Magic won for Outstanding Achievement, Animated Effects in a Live Action Production: Jerome Platteaux, John Sigurdson, Ryan Hopkins, Raul Essig, and Mark Chataway won for their work on The Avengers. Also in the running, we had The Clone Wars crew with four nominations and LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out with one nomination.

Star Wars in the news: TMZ stalks George Lucas, gets obvious answer to stupid question

Top-notch reporting! TMZ harassed George Lucas in Los Angeles yesterday to learn what (almost) every Star Wars fan already knows: There will be no more Star Wars movies. “Never,” you can barely hear Lucas say over the ‘reporter.’ Just let the guy have a visit with his daughter, jeez.

On that note… Forbes’ Roger Friedman says that Lucas lost more than $60 million on Red Tails.

Games. For those who roll their eyes at the very mention of Kyle Katarn, stop here: Gaming media are theorizing that LucasArts may revive a certain first-person shooter. Whatever.

Tours. ‘Where Science Meets Imagination’ is still out there, and its next stop will be the Indiana State Museum in our beloved Indianapolis.

In the news: George Lucas takes in some fashion

Random… George Lucas at Fashion Week? Yes, indeed: Lucas was spotted at the Rodarte show on Tuesday with girlfriend Mellody Hobson. According to one report, Lucas is “obsessed” with the work of the women behind the label, sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy. (Maybe George is thinking about costumes for one of his art films?)

Also at the show was Natalie Portman, who was wearing Rodarte when she got her Oscar for Black Swan last year – they designed the movie’s costumes.

Sith strategists? Forbes’ Alex Knapp looks at five leadership mistakes of the Galactic Empire.

It’s an industry. In his latest Film Critic column, John Scalzi looks at why Star Wars just won’t go away.

Haters gonna hate. Has-been mouth-frother Glenn Beck went on a rant about Star Wars this week. In addition to hating on The Phantom Menace (so last week) he also hated on… Red Tails? Really? For what it’s worth, Rick McCallum is thrilled.

Listen. Geeky band The Board of Education has a cute song about Star Wars called ‘Why Is Dad So Mad?’

Did you miss George Lucas on Oprah last night? has posted several clips up from last night’s episode of Oprah’s Last Chapter, including: On directing Star Wars and how he never got to see it with the rest of the world. (You might recognize that from the preview clip.) He also discusses Red Tails, his visionary process, his career, the George Lucas Educational Foundation, his relationship with Mellody Hobson and his near-death experience. There’s also a clip where Oprah sits down with Red Tails actors Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard.

Red Tails takes #2 at box office this weekend

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?