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?

The Force Awakens: Special effects, sets, names and… toy packaging?

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Despite a hefty amount of fan grumbling over the focus on ‘practical effects’ coming out of The Force Awakens publicity machine, I doubt anyone actually believes that the film isn’t going to have any CGI. (And, let’s face it, us hardcore fans aren’t the audience that they’re going for by saying that in the first place.) But if you’re wondering, and don’t mind spoilers, Making Star Wars has some (supposed) details about the completely CGI shots that are in the film, and where practical effects are are used.

→ Also on MSW, a few Rogue One details, and how they relate (or not) to The Force Awakens, via a bit of creative recycling.

→ We have a name, or maybe just a designation, for Miltos Yerolemou’s character. This, naturally, leads to some details of a certain sequence at MSW.

The Force Awakens toy packaging has been spotted in the wild… On a Rebels-themed item, naturally.

→ Look who’s talking: Simon Pegg and (sort of) Jessica Henwick.

Video: J.J. Abrams actually talks about The Force Awakens


When I heard that J.J. Abrams was at the VES awards last night, I wasn’t expecting much more than the standard boilerplate quotes. But he spoke to Collider on the red carpet, discussing the broadsaber (and the “many contradictory emails” he’s received about it,) IMAX, CGI, and more. Watch the video, or head over to Collider for the most pertinent quotes.

The basics, though: They’re still putting together the first cut of the film, he’ll be executive producing VIII and IX, there will still be “an enormous amount of CG effects,” (duh) and the broadsaber “was not done without a lot of conversation and it’s fun to see people have the conversation that we had, but in reverse.” None of these are huge revelations (we’ve known that only one scene is in IMAX for months,) but considering how little we’ve had out of Abrams overall, this is a bonanza.